1. A soft cat meow every two hours.
“I have hidden a tiny speaker in an adjacent cubicle wall that emits a soft cat meow every two hours.”
2. Uploading files to my butt.
“I installed ‘cloud to butt’ on my coworker’s pc.
It’s a Chrome add-on that changes all instances of the word ‘cloud’ being displayed to ‘butt.’
He didn’t notice for months. Last week he finally asked me what that customer could possibly mean by ‘uploading files to my butt.’”
3. I move everything on their desks slightly to the left every day.
“I move everything on their desks slightly to the left every day. After a few days, they notice ‘something’ off but can’t tell what it is and it drives them nuts.”
4. ‘For rectal use only’ stickers.
“Grabbed a roll of stickers from the pharmacy that say ‘For rectal use only’ and randomly attach them to pens, phones, staplers, the water cooler.
It’s all good till our director comes in and loses his shit and can’t help but laugh.”
5. Abusing the ‘reply all’ feature.
“Reply all to say ‘tank you,’ then reply all again to your previous reply all to say ‘*thank’
If anybody complains about using reply all, reply all to apologize for using reply all.”
6. Pretending I can’t read.
“I may or may not have convinced several people including our secretary that I lack the ability to read. When asked how I’ve gotten this far (5 years of undergrad and halfway through a master’s program), I confidently state that I memorize the shapes and fake it.”
7. Misspelling their name in emails.
“Misspell their name in emails.
Place dead batteries in their keyboard/mouse. Do this every day for a week.
One coworker is 10 years younger than I am, I use out of date pop culture references and exclamations, then follow them up by saying, ‘That is what the kids say nowadays, right?’ Example: ‘Well, that’s just the bee’s knees!’ turns to coworker… ‘That is what the kids say nowadays, right?’”
8. Incorrectly correcting their pronunciation.
“I like to incorrectly correct people’s pronunciation. Like they’ll say beignet ‘ben-yay’ and I’ll say, ‘actually, it’s bang-yet.’
Most of the time it’s obvious I’m just messing with them or they already know the shtick and they laugh it off. But every so often I’ll actually convince someone they’re wrong. And it’s glorious. It’s a pretty low success rate but when you hear someone use the wrong pronunciation in a conversation months later and you know you did that, it makes it all worth it.”
9. Adjusting the keyboard rest.
“Whenever my coworker isn’t at his desk, I’ll put back one—but only one—of the keyboard rests. So next time he goes to type, his keyboard will be off balance!
Also, sometimes I mess with his adjustable chair arm rests.”
10. Ghost in the disc drive.
“Found a little script a while back that would randomly open and close the disc drive on my coworker’s computer. Not incredibly often, but enough to the point where it was annoying. He requested a new computer, I reinstalled the .scr as soon as he left that day.”
11. Russian Dwarf Porn.
“Made a new folder on his desktop called Russian Dwarf Porn and then took a screenshot. Set the screenshot as his desktop background.
For an engineer, it took him a ridiculous amount of time before he realized why he couldn’t delete the folder.”
12. Click Lock.
“On a Windows machine, go into the mouse settings and enable ‘Click Lock.’
This changes a primary button click into a toggle on/off instead of the standard press and release for highlighting and click and drag operations.
It’s infuriating as hell and obscure enough that most people assume the mouse is broken and will request a new one. The new one will do it, too.
Or just microwave some fish.”
13. The door trick.
“Gradually increase the pressure required to open the office door by adjusting the automatic door-closer with a screwdriver so they become accustomed to giving it a mighty shove then one day disconnect the arm altogether.”
14. I plant evil questions in their lectures and tutorials.
“I plant evil questions in their lectures and tutorials, seeding them to students we have in common.
I’ve been doing it for years, and they have no idea it’s happening. They’re just constantly baffled that the same kids each year keep asking obscure, graduate-level, often borderline unanswerable questions in person, but never quite manage that level of insight in their writing.”
15. I use my boss as my personal Google.
“The former big boss of my oil plant works in the office with me. I noticed anytime I would mention an interesting story he would immediately fact check it and point out how wrong I was. So, If I wanted to know something , rather than look it up myself, I would just throw out a claim. Me- xyz stock is $4.40 today Him- NO ITS NOT—its $2.17
Me- Chicago is an 8-hour drive from here. Him- NO IT’S NOT—it’s 12 if you do Route A, and 10.5 if you go Route B etc.”
16. Ghost in the mouse.
“Once I plugged in a wireless mouse into their computer without them knowing. And a few times a day I would just jiggle the mouse. Just enough to hear them slamming down the mouse and muttering under their breath and I’d stop. This went on for several days. Sometimes I’d stop by to chat, and I would bring the mouse. When they we go to click on something I would just move the mouse just slightly so they couldn’t actually hover over what they wanted to click. It was brilliant!”
17. The falling pen cup.
“I used to mess with a former coworker that was always rude to me. She had an earlier shift than I did, so after she would leave for the evening I would go to her desk and rearrange her pen cup so that the moment a pen was taken out the whole thing would fall over. I did this every night for about two weeks or so before she gave up and stopped using the pen cup but not before she threw the whole thing across her work area in a fit of rage.”
18. Changing times on the microwaves.
“We have two microwaves in the break room that somebody needs the time to be the same on. I used to change the time on one by twenty minutes and wait for them to fix it. Now I change it by one minute every day until they fix it and I start over.”
19. Mystery Post-It notes.
“I have a few coworkers (myself included) that run on Post-It notes. Seriously, some of our desks look like that Pepe Silva scene in Always Sunny.
That said, I take advantage of this. I do fairly well at copying other’s handwriting. I’ll do my best facsimile of something innocuous or mildly ominous and place it among their other post-its.
My notable favorites were: ‘Ask Linda about the bees.’ and ‘Knife Parade?’”
20. Scotch tape on the mouse.
“Put a strip of Scotch tape on the underside of their computer mouse.
It’s transparent enough that the mouse will still function, it will just kind of suck and annoy them slightly for the rest of the day. They likely won’t even notice, just be subconsciously frustrated.
Add an additional strip each day until they notice.”
21. Adding a ridiculous title every time they type their name.
“Change their autocorrect settings in Outlook so when they type their name it adds a ridiculous title.
Tom Smith = His eloquence, master of ceremonial duck herding, and debater of microwave etiquette, Thomas ‘The Velvet Hammer’ Smith, Esq.”
22. Adding 1,000 paper sheets to my HR director’s messy desk.
“Our old HR director was notorious for having a messy desk. My manager and I made it our mission to add an additional 1,000 random sheets of paper to his desk over the course of a few weeks without him noticing. Every morning he’d come in and 10-15 more sheets would be added to the mess. It took a long time for him to suspect something was up.”
23. Crush on the desktop.
“There was this girl sitting next to me in an open plan office and we were always joking with each other. One day, she had a meeting scheduled at her desk with a male coworker I knew she had a crush on. So while she was in the bathroom getting ready, I went on her PC, found the guy’s photo on the company website and made it her desktop background. Then I tabbed back to whatever program she had been using so she wouldn’t notice right away. She comes back. Guy arrives for the meeting. They’re talking away for about ten minutes before she goes to check something on the computer and just let an enormous shriek out of her and goes bright red when she sees the desktop.
In a way, that prank almost worked too well. Because her shock was so obviously genuine, it was obvious she was the victim of a prank (rather than a crazy stalker, which is what I was aiming for.)”
24. Staring at a spot slightly above their eye.
“I just keep handing them random items. 99% of the time they’ll keep accepting.
Or I’ll stare at a spot slightly above their eye, like they have a booger on their face or something.
Or I’ll slowly back up as we talk, see how far I can get them to follow me before they catch on.”
25. Setting a screen shot as their wallpaper.
“I screen shot their desktops, put all their shortcuts in one folder, then set that screen shot as their wallpaper. I find it amusing listening to their call to IT.
I’ve also been known to change the Windows start sound to a Chewbacca yell and crank their speakers all the way up.”
26. Winston, my imaginary cat.
“My coworkers think I have a cat. I’ve named him Winston.
I’ve pleasantly avoided many after-work happy hours and other work events with ‘I have to get home and feed the cat.’
I even have a photo of some random cat on my phone in case anyone inquires further.
I don’t have a cat, of course. But I do chuckle to myself at the thought of Winston, My Imaginary Cat.”
27. Whistling Christmas songs in June.
“I whistle Christmas songs in months other than December. Just the first few lines once or twice an hour. Give it a few hours and they’re questioning why ‘Jingle Bells’ is stuck in their head mid-June.”
28. Gradually changing the sensitivity settings on their computer mouse.
“Gradually change the sensitivity settings on their computer mouse and leave leaflets about Multiple Sclerosis and Motor Neurone Disease lying around in the break room.”
29. Messing with the bathroom code.
“So our men’s bathroom had a code to get in 123. For months whenever I entered or left the bathroom I would enter in a number in the keypad. If anyone went in after me, the code wouldn’t work the first time.
They actually had to remove the code after about a year.”
30. Gradually moving the desk divider.
“I sit beside a guy who is a good friend of mine and our desks are separated by a moveable divider. Since I moved beside him two weeks ago I’ve been moving the divider a centimeter towards him each day. We’re at 13cm and he hasn’t noticed yet.
I have to shift his monitors soon though so that will be interesting.”
31. Manila envelope full of glitter.
“I sent a coworker I loathed a manila envelope full of glitter. She promptly tore it open.
That was two years ago, and she still finds glitter everywhere. Our li’l office fairy.”
32. Adding kids’ tracks to their Spotify account.
“They sometimes leave their personal Spotify accounts on the shared computer that we all use, so in the past, I’ve added things like Barney the Dinosaur and TeleTubby tracks into their libraries.”
33. My dog is better than your kid.
“Every time this one girl mentions something her kids did, I mention something my dog did.”
34. Unplugging their mouse.
“For a while my favorite thing was to unplug their mouse & put a sticky under the mouse sensor.
Was great when people plugged it back it and it still didn’t work…”
35. The poltergeist prank.
“My department is pretty small, so when we fuck with someone, everyone is involved.
We have a tradition to set up elaborate pranks for one of us returns from vacation, with the crown jewel being an office poltergeist we staged.
We threw in a bait-and-switch and adorably made the desk a beach scene, complete with a cardboard cutout of Justin Bieber in scuba gear, a kiddie pool with sand, and a crafty palm tree. About a few hours into her shift, shit got real.
See, the rest of her desk was seemingly normal. However, behind the scenes, there was fishing wire connected to different objects on her desk, with the other ends spread across the rest of our desks attached to pens, activating an ‘event’ with a tug of a pen. There was an instant messaging group where we planned on real time behind the scenes.
For the next few hours, in intervals of about 20 minutes, things on her desk started to move. A rose we had bought for her flew at her, a tack holding up a corner of a calendar loosened, her mouse moved, drawers opened, etc.
This started subtle, and got more and more ridiculous as the day played out. The end of the poltergeist, however, is when we suckered someone in Accounting to remove a panel in the corner of her cubicle and roll a ball through the cracks with a picture of the victim’s face taped to the ball.
We have yet to top this one.”
36. Framing a pen thief.
“In my first job out of college I worked at a small tech company. One of the bosses was a very sweet woman. She had borrowed pens a few times and forgot to give them back. At one point one of my coworkers accused her of intentionally hording pens because they knew she would be embarrassed.
Thus began the gaslighting.
I began to steal every pen in office over the course of a month (100+ pens). I targeted the specific people who had made the original joke to make sure that there was good visibility to the prank. I made sure that the nicer pens that people associate as ‘theirs’ were always specifically found in her desk. She would always deny it only to find them right there.
Christmas rolls around and we have the company Christmas party. I package up the pens for the white elephant gift exchange making sure to place my present in the exchange pile without having anyone see who placed it there. When it’s opened, the room explodes with laughter and accusations.”
“I add the Chrome extension ‘cenafy’ to other people computer and turn their speakers up. When they’re browsing the internet…. AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA. John Cena randomly pops up covering the whole screen playing his theme song and playing a 15 second clip of him. You can’t exit out of it till it’s over too.”
38. The phantom beep.
“Many years ago, I had collected money from the staff for a holiday party and left it on my desk. I went to the bathroom and came back to find the money missing. I was freaking out about the missing money searching with my boss who was disappointed I left it unattended. I was seconds away from accusing these guys working on the lights in the office when my phone rang with a devious laugh on the other end saying ;missing something?’ It was a coworker from upstairs, she thought it was hilarious, I knew the gauntlet had been thrown. I went online and bought something called the Annoyotron. It was a magnetic little device that I stuck under her desk that would make beeps intermittently every 10 to 15 minutes I think (it had various settings). For the next month, I would find reasons to go by her desk and say ‘did you just hear a beep?’ She would go wide eyes and say ‘OMG yes! I can’t figure it out! It’s driving me crazy.’ Sometimes I would go by and they would have a maintenance guy checking the fire alarm and I would just keep egging her on ‘I swear I just heard a beep.’ So after a month of this torture we were at the annual holiday party and I was seated with her and had knocked a couple back. I spilled the beans and apologized to the person she shared a cubicle with as she was ‘collateral damage.’ She never fucked with me again.”
39. The paperclip chain.
“When I was working the evening shift, I had this morning shift coworker who was(/is) a shit who regularly screws up work and makes life difficult for the rest of us. Before I left on March 31st I took ALL of the paperclips on this co-worker’s desk and linked them together into one long chain. Then I removed the staples from all the nearby staplers and put his boxes of spares back in the supply room. Super petty shit, but stuff that couldn’t be construed as me wasting or ruining supplies, just making shit inconvenient for him.
He was apparently super pissed about it. Blamed my April Fool’s prank on a different coworker, too, which made it even better.”
40. Very tiny printouts of a coworker’s head.
“Coworker. I have very tiny printouts of just his head. I sneak them all over the office in inconspicuous places. This has been going on for 2 years. He still doesn’t know it’s me.”
41. Demonic voices whispering.
“We have this old crotchety hyper religious nut at my job. Very annoying, sits on her butt all day. I put a remote-control speaker, loaded a 30kb sound file of demonic voices whispering.
When she starts hearing and looking around, I cut it off with the remote. I’ve been doing this shit for years. She keeps adding more bible calendars to ward ‘it’ off. Taking this one to the grave, Cathy, you cunt.”