Hello and Happy April Fool’s Month!
That phrase shouldn’t surprise you. The great majority of you have been following my blog or have known me personally, long enough to know this party isn’t restricted to just the day. I’m sorry, but there is just too much fun to be had when it comes to my favorite holiday.
You should also know that when it comes to the practical jokes, I am both relentless and dedicated. I have been known to plan my pranks as far as a year in advance, oftentimes sparing no expense.
And no one is exempt. No one. Family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, I don’t discriminate.
…and distance will not save you. I can get you out there. Anywhere. Hence the reason a select few have actually called off work in years past.
But this day? This is the worst because I’m at my best.
I thought long and hard throughout the week leading up to it, wondering whether or not I should get my co-workers, seeing as how I am only in my second year with the company and have been recently given a promotion. I even asked my granddaughter Gianna (aka my protégé). Of course, being only 4 months old as of March 30, she silently responded in the way only she and I could understand.
Worked for me.
So what happened? Let’s start with this…
April 1, 2023 Location: Everywhere (this all occurred online)
On Saturday, I told my team members how much I appreciated them working on weekends to help our company reach its project goal. Working from home makes it a lot easier because they don’t have to worry about waking up early enough to get dressed, gas up and drive anywhere (remember that blog post about the Pros And Cons of Working From Home?). True, we’re all ultimately in it for the money, but not everybody is willing to give up a Saturday. Yet and still, no matter what the incentive, it meant a lot for me to see them.
Shortly after their morning break, I asked everyone to meet me in our virtual team room. This was not a normal thing because as I said, Saturday is volunteer only, so we are far from fully staffed. And even if you DO report, you’re not required to clock in at any specific time or work the duration of the day. A meeting is nonsensical because you don’t have your entire team, unless the talk pertains strictly to the moment and attendees at hand. I do, however, bring people together for a quick laugh or “hey, how ya doin’?” kinda chat to break the monotony and maintain good morale.
Once everyone was assembled, I began with some light humor to start it off, but I could tell they were wondering why they had been summoned. I then reminded that our director had warned throughout the course of the project, not to get too comfortable at their position. I added that it was not uncommon for people to be transferred to other projects in need of personnel without warning, despite the project to which they were currently attached. I had seen it happen before and we’d already been notified that one of our Team Leaders had been promoted to Director of another project and was in her final days with us.
After the intro, I decided to cut to the chase. With a melancholy tone, I told them I had been informed by the Director that I had been transferred, effective the following Wednesday.
Before I could continue, I was interrupted by a barrage of shocked responses, comprised primarily of “NOOOOOOOOOO”, not knowing everyone was mic’ed up. Normally they responded to my words in text replies, but as Aragorn of Lord Of The Rings once said, “Today is NOT that day…”
Mixed in were a few congratulatory responses, but the general comments were laced with sadness and disappointment. I wanted to hit them with the ever enjoyable “April FOOOOOOL” but the pensive mood both froze and touched me, almost to the point of tears. I had been told before how much they enjoyed working with me, but at that moment, I truly learned to what extent.
Thankfully, I was spared from breaking the news when one of the team asked, “Wait! Is this an April Fool?” Breathing a quick sigh of relief, I immediately replied, “It is indeed.”
After some relieved laughter and semi-aggravated chuckles, I told them how much I loved them and had no intentions of going anywhere anytime soon. Not that it was within my power, but I was pretty sure I was there until the end, seeing as how I was just recently appointed the position.
After the air cleared, there were a few “watch yo’ back” type comments before I dismissed everyone so they could continue with their work.
So how could that go wrong, you ask?
Well, I messaged the management team to share the joke, describing the tale as it happened. The mistake I made was not prefacing my story with “let me tell you how I tricked the crew for April Fool’s day today”.
I told the story in chronological order, unaware that they were accepting what they were reading as fact. By the time each of them reached the so-called punchline, they had bought in completely. My story was met with a sense of suspense and shock, synonymous with that of Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast reading of “War Of The Worlds” which terrified listeners who thought it was a live reporting of actual events.
Of course I didn’t know this until I received my first response of “Kenny! I thought this was real!” Another told me that I had them until they got to the end. And so it went, as each person called my story and prank everything from stunning to hilariously cruel.
I explained that I hadn’t intended to fool them in the process and that I was merely sharing what transpired earlier, but the damage was done. My fellow supervisors and management team had become unsuspecting marks. Victims of friendly fire.
How does that poem go? “I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to earth, landing EVERYWHERE!”
I tried desperately to get them to understand that my message was not designed as a prank, but they weren’t having it. As far as they were concerned, it was “shots fired” and I had gone from partner to pariah in one paragraph.
Could this story get any worse? C’mon man. This is Kenny Davis we’re talking about. You all know I’m constantly in proverbial prison for my run-ins with Murphy’s Law.
After lunch break, I was informed by the Assistant Director that I had a series of serious mistakes in my queue that needed immediate resolution. Wonderful. Considering the time I took in the meeting, then enjoying the playful banter with the other leaders, I hadn’t considered any upcoming reports. To make matters worse, the power failed in my house for the second time in as many hours. And right after I got the notification!
By the time the power had been restored, I was struggling to troubleshoot the problems created on my computer as a result of the outage. I eventually got in, but now had trouble with connectivity.
I just GOT everything converted to AT&T Fiber. This should NOT be happening. Everything was either failing to respond or taking its sweet time.
I finally got back into the project, apologized and explained my sudden disappearance, then opened the message to click the provided links to resolve the problems.
I copied the first access code and placed it in my search engine.
I pasted and tried again.
I logged out and returned. Re-copied and pasted, AGAIN.
I tried the next access code. Nothing.
The next access code. Nothing.
Lord, I don’t want to tell these people that I can’t get in. They’re going to think I’m trying to pull another prank. Breathe, Kenny. You got this.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. NOTHING!
My shoulders slumped downward, conceding defeat as I began typing to the Assistant Director and the group that I couldn’t get in. My message was more personal than professional, indicating that I felt I was being punished by the Goof Gods for my hubris in hijinx.
The Assistant Director quickly sent me an alternate link to backdoor my way in.
SUCCESS!!! It WORKED!
Once in, I found only one file awaiting me… …a message…
Soon after, my family came running to see what all the screaming was about in my office.
I later learned that the entire management team had met in secret to decide what to do about me. Once their counterattack had been decided, the Assistant Director created a list of obsolete links to send me for a short, but wild goose hunt. Access codes, discontinued over 3 years ago…
It was justice.
It was retribution.
It was payback.
And everyone was in on it.
And for the first time since 2007 (yes, 2007), I was April’s Fool…
The king is dead. Long live the king…
Epilogue: We laughed everything off as I was given a Behind The Scenes breakdown of the planning and conversations that occurred before they all watched me and my online futile efforts to solve my problem. It only served to their advantage that I happened to have two power outages and subsequent connectivity issues.
All I could do was sit and acknowledge their genius ploy as the thought reverberated throughout my mind:
There was no list. There was no problem. There was only laughter around the corner.
There WAS, however, a message from the Program DIRECTOR. She told me how much she enjoyed my prank and the action that followed. Also that she would put the fact that I used her name in my ruse in my Employee Performance Evaluation.
…and she never said, “April Fool.”
Was she kidding or was she serious?
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Until then, it’s business as usual…
…I ain’t scared.
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HAHAHAHAHA!! As I was reading all of the failed attempts, I was thinking, “they got him!!” LMBO!!! Great story, as usual. I’m glad they were good sports about it. ~Sarah Lynn
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Yeah, all the clues were there, more than I mentioned in the story. I just didn’t see it. I’ll just take the “L”.
Thanks for reading, Sarah!
It was a good read Kenny, this year my daughter caught me and my husband too . She called from school saying she had fallen down and her ankle was hurting and she wasn’t able to walk. The thought crossed my mind that there was something not true about it but the concern for her safety overrode that thought and we were messaging her to take care , we were coming to pick her up and then she says “April fool”. She likes playing practical jokes . Hope she doesn’t take it as seriously as you do, 😅
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The good thing here is that she told you the truth before you got on the road. But the real risk is playing with emotions. I have two upcoming Good Pranks Gone Wrong posts where I did just that and of course, it went horribly wrong.
But be sure to tell your daughter that she’s alright with me! lol
Thanks, as always, for reading!
4/4/2, great story Kenny. Thank you for sharing. I’m still smiling at the picture of your granddaughter giving you the nod to go ahead with your prank. 🙂
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I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Franchesca! As you can see, things don’t always go as planned. On the flip side, I got more bang for my buck! lol
Thanks for reading!