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Vol II: The Mis-Adventure Continues
Funny stories, witty encounters and serious reflections from Malaysia as experienced by a vegetarian struggling to understand the world.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

April fool's day

An email sent out by a colleague reminded me of a prank that took place 2 years ago in my office, no thanks to yours truly. The company I was working for at that time had just undergone a merger process, so I had quite a few new colleagues. I wanted the new colleagues to know that ITguys are not all that 'nerdy' (ok, this is one time I will use the term 'IT' though I prefer the term 'IS' for Information Systems).

So on 1st April 2005, just about 15 minutes before lunch time, I sent out this email to a few colleagues (I did not sent to everyone in the office since I didn't really know the new colleagues and was not sure if they can take a joke):

Subject: Network Cabling Cleanup

First of all, apologies for the last minute announcement.

We have noticed that over the past 2 months, there has been a deterioration of network service. Signs and symptoms of this deterioration includes but not limited to:
- delay in emails
- d i s t o r t i o n in files transfered accross the network (esp. in spreadsheets where figures can actually be changed!)
- disruption in email service
- server shutdown

After several tests, we have concluded that it is due to the static and noise from the cabling. We have seen in extreme cases where these static and noise reached our workstations and caused display problems such as blur display.

To prevent further damage to our office equipments, we will be configuring a script scheduled to run during lunch today. If you are working over lunch, kindly email Adrian TAI (please do not reply to all) with your preferred date and time. We will then customise the script according to your preference.

In order for the script to run effectively, we want to minimise any disruption caused by electromagnetic interference. Workstation display units (the normal CRT monitor or even the LCD monitor) can actually cause this interference, a phenomenon known as a Latent Interference Electromagnetism.

As such, we would like you turn off your monitor before leaving for lunch. And to avoid any leakage of the interference, we would like you to cover your monitor with a piece of A4 paper (A4 should be big enough to cover the screen). Please use recycled paper for this. You can just use a bit of celotape and tape the top and bottom of the paper to the monitor (FYI, static and noise is cause by electromagnetism, which the monitors also generate).

If you have any questions regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact Adrian TAI. Thank you.

(Note: A separate clean-up for XXXXXXX is scheduled sometime next week.)

Note that I have replaced XXXXXXX to protect my company's identity (like real only... who dunno where I work la?!?)

I know that many non-IT people dread getting emails from the IT Department because emails coming from that department is usually written in some alien language. So I purposely drafted an alien sounding email.

I am the type of person that likes to reward people who take the time to read my stuffs. Yes, even in this blog, I do leave hints and many other goodies. So it was no different with the email I sent out. Anyone who took the time to try to understand the email would have noticed the hints I left like:
1. spacing the word 'distortion'
2. Latent Interference Electromagnetism?!? Read the CAPS... LIE.
3. recycled paper?!

I sent that email about 15 minutes before lunch because it gave the recipients enough time to read my email. I expected to get calls regarding the email, so I conveniently disappear from my desk. I added the last line about having a separate exercise for the other division to make the email sound genuine.

I had a good laugh during lunch that day...
April fool joke result 1
A desktop monitor covered with a recycled A4-size paper

April fool joke result 2
Another desktop with an A4-size paper covering the monitor

April fool joke result 3
This one is probably worried about the leakage and decided to use a thicker paper

April fool joke result 4
2 more desktops

April fool joke result 5
This one is also probably worried about leaking radiation and decided to use extra paper

April fool joke result 6
Notebooks were not spared either

April fool joke result 7
Another notebook

April fool joke result 8
More notebook users falling victim

April fool joke result
These are compliant people... Don't laugh!

The MD had a good laugh as well when she came back from lunch. She saw a few desktops with the A4-size paper and asked what was going on...

This prank was made even more interesting by the fact that some of the original victims decided to re-use my prank on the other colleagues who were in a meeting (they are the ones with the notebooks photographed above).

I was told there was also one un-intended victim. She had overheard the conversation about email and had wondered why she did not get the email from me. But rather than put up with the hassle of looking for me, she decided to just follow everyone and covered her monitor with an A4-size paper... :)

It has been two years. I don't think anyone actually remembers this anymore. But this year, 1st April falls on a Sunday...


It falls on Tuesday next year. That's good news for me... :)

If you are curious what are the top 100 pranks, check out this site.

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Please leave your comments. There are 7 comment(s).

On 3/31/2007 12:03:00 AM Blogger Michelle said:
you are like.. so so BADDDD...
but it was definitely one good laugh.. hahahha lol
On 3/31/2007 02:18:00 AM Anonymous Seut Leng said:
I didn't expect that you are still so 'playful'. Were you also so playful when you was young? I think you were, rite?

And how come you colleagues were so 'fool'?
On 4/01/2007 12:50:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
yup, i definitely had a good laugh. actually, many of the victims also had a good laugh.

one particular colleague I will always remember gave me one really hard whack on my arm claiming I should NOT have done that!

well, we can't take life too seriously. Have to make office life fun... ;)
On 4/01/2007 08:29:00 PM Anonymous vicky said:
that is REALLY FUNNY!!!

I can imagine u were covering ur mouth grinning!!!!!

I wish I can be that playful as well!!! LOL
On 4/10/2007 03:27:00 AM Blogger michsue said:
wow... what a great practical joke... i wanna try something like that man... hehehe...
On 4/12/2007 05:45:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
michsue... unless you work in the IT dept, else very hard to use this joke on your colleagues... hahaha...

vicky... no one stopping you from being playful, right? must always remember to stay young at heart! :)
On 6/08/2011 09:01:00 PM Anonymous fioricet 40mg said:
The Class photographers!.
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