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Shag pile PC earned techies a carpeting from HR

Thankfully a veep with a sense of humor pulled the rug out

Who, Me? Welcome once again dear readers to Who, Me? in which we recount the heroic (and sometimes less so) antics of Regizens in the workplace.

This week we're hearing from a reader we'll Regomize as "Ben". Back in the 1990s Ben and his buddy "Jay" would sometimes play merry pranks upon their cubicle-mate "Sherm". Nothing nasty – just harmless stuff to pass the time.

Then one day Ben arrived to find that several of the floor tiles in his area had been removed, and he knew exactly who was responsible. He spotted the jape in time, so no harm was done. But upon mature reflection he decided it was just a tad dangerous from a health and safety standpoint.

So before any lines were crossed that couldn't be uncrossed, Ben thought a word in Sherm's ear might de-escalate things.

"Hey, that was a genius idea," he began, "but a bit risky."

"I can't take all the credit," replied Sherm, "it was Jay's idea."

Wait just one dog-gone second here. Jay? The prankster who had been Ben's own accomplice was also guiding Sherm's nefarious schemes?

So much for de-escalation. Ben and Sherm decided to teach puppetmaster Jay a prank-tastic lesson.

Now, as it happens, the office had a stockpile of adhesive carpet squares sitting in the receiving dock. They did not match the office's interior, so were apparently of no use to anyone and had sat there for some time.

Ben and Sherm put them to good use, upholstering Jay's workspace – desk, chair, monitor, even his Compaq PC – with adhesive carpet.

When Jay arrived, he thought it was hilarious! People came from all over the office to see the plush cubicle.

When the manager responsible for the carpet squares saw it, he was less impressed. Waste of corporate resources, and so on.

Which was how Ben and Sherm found themselves in the HR vice-president's office, worried about the consequences of their actions.

The HR VP entered the room and didn't even sit down.

"That was one of the funniest pranks I've seen in 35 years! Don't do it again," he said.

And then he left.

Have you had a lucky escape thanks to a boss who saw the funny side? Or indeed, have you had a small error blown out of proportion by a humorless manager? Tell us about it in an email to Who, Me? and we will immortalize your exploits for the ages in these very pages. ®

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