It’s only fun until somebody gets fired… then it’s just awkward! Have some fun in the office this April Fool’s Day, but don’t risk it all just for a laugh.
Regardless of whether you are completely rearranging your boss’s furniture, pretending you and a coworker are having a baby or simply sticky-noting their office, be sure to do so cautiously.
Workplace jokes can be cute and hilarious — but they can also land you a cute little meeting with HR. Use that same sense of preparation that got you hired in the first place as you plan your big April Fool’s Day tricks.
Step 1: Give a personality test
You most likely researched your boss before you went in for your job interview. Consider this another level of interviewing. Watch your boss for a couple of weeks before April Fool’s Day and observe how she responds to little annoyances. Do a mini personality test on their sense of humor. If they seem to have one at all, you’re probably safe to go forth and prank.
Step 2: Test-drive your boss
Accidentally knock over your boss’s coffee one day and see how he responds. Tell a PG-13 joke and note whether or not he takes you seriously or laughs it off. By test-driving smaller jokes, you can gauge whether your April Fool’s Day trick will roll over well.
Step 3: Don’t go in alone
Find a friend at the office who wants to play a trick on the boss as much as you do. It’s a good idea to have back-up support as you play out your prank. With a partner in crime, you at least guarantee someone will be there laughing with you in that HR meeting should anything go awry.
Step 4: Be there first
The entirety of your trick is at risk if your boss beats you to the building. Get to the office before your boss so you can set up, and avoid looking mischievous when they arrive. (Plus, it’s probably good practice in general to beat your superiors to the office.)
Step 5: Beat the realization
On the morning of the ha-ha holiday, people tend to forget that it’s April Fool’s Day until somebody reminds them. Make sure you carry out your prank before everyone starts talking. This means you should probably execute your plan first thing.
Remember: Don’t push the envelope
As is true for all workplace conduct, there are some unforgivable acts. When you pull a trick on your boss, make sure you keep it lighthearted. Don’t mess with valuables, and certainly don’t exploit them or their family members. Also, try to keep the prank cleanup to a reasonable minimum.
Always know that while it may all transpire smoothly, you could still become responsible for figurate and physical cleanup. Keep it simple with materials so you are just removing sticky notes and plastic wrap — and not explaining why you thought it would be acceptable to change your boss’s signature to something grossly inappropriate when they sent emails to the executives.