Rules to Running a Gag Office Event or Contest

Posted: July 22, 2011 by sirdiggy in Uncategorized

Your office life is a complete drag, you can’t stand your job and you would like to liven things up a bit to break the daily routine and monotony.  Good for you – just follow these simple rules I’ve created to eliminate any chances of a misunderstanding that could lead to you and other getting written up, fired, or even sued.

  1. Get a good number of people in on the gag: Inside jokes between a couple coworkers is cool, but a running joke that 15 to 20 people are in on is just more fun.  On two of the gags I ran, I had between 15 to 25 “participants”.  It’s not quite a group project, but the more the merrier as they say.
  2. Only inform people who “get it”: Loosely translated, “get it” refers to coworkers that have a similar level of disdain for where you work with whom you fraternize with regularly.  It also helps if they possess a sense of humor and will understand the point of the gag.  See the next rule, as well as Rule Nos. 6 and 7, for people you should not inform of the spoof.
  3. Keep management-lovers out of the fucking loop: Any fellow employees who like to play runtellthat to management (aka nauseous brown-nosers) should not be told of the gag.  Note that I did not say they cannot be included in the faux-event, just don’t tell them about it.  If it’s a “contest” and they happen to win it, unless you can come up with a job-centered reason for awarding them a Burger King crown and a $10 fast-food gift certificate, just keep the shit to you and the coworkers that “get it”.
  4. Pay attention to your work!: I cannot stress this point enough.  Remember that the planning of such spoof or mock events should be done during downtime.  For example, if you work in a call center and your boss notices the call queue is backed up more than it should be because you and your cohorts are distracted by your scheme, you’ll put your gag at significant risk of being squashed by drawing extra attention from your supervisor or manager (that’s if they’re not cool enough to be in on things).  This goes double if the suits are around; put the bullshit away until either you go on your lunch break or the execs go home for the day.
  5. Work evenings and weekends? Even better: Most suits/execs/admins are nine to fivers, which means after 6pm or so, you can relax a bit.  If you work a job were the workload decreases after normal business hours or after dinnertime, you’ll have lots of time to plan out and execute your gag.  Ditto for weekends for the most part, but always keep one eye on Rule #4.
  6. Sense of humor is key; don’t take it seriously: It’s just jokes, folks.  Your intent may have a dark, mischievous, even sinister streak to it, but never let it be malicious.  If you have a coworker whose behavior, say, favors Milton from Office Space, that poor soul will be an easy mark for everyone else participating.  We’re poking fun at our hated workplace, not singling out any particular person for viral, venomous ridicule.  Spare the pour soul; if you can’t poke fun without trying to hurt somebody, then don’t do the gag.  Remember that we’re all adults here …mostly.
  7. Just because they’re in it, doesn’t mean they have to know: This goes along with Rule #3, but you can extend this to cover newbies who don’t know enough about the place they work at to despise it yet, or anyone else you’ve decided not to let in on the thing.  Some folk are really better off not knowing shit until the time is right, should such a time ever be determined.  Oh I almost forgot – those one or two diarrhea-mouthed gossiping coworkers that don’t know when to STFU even when management or the suits are around?  Leave their asses out of the loop too.
  8. Maintain some neutrality: While you may or may not include yourself as a participant in the ruse, if you’re going to be the mastermind behind it, at least pretend you don’t have a rooting interest so others feel the results won’t be rigged (at least from the start).  If you work at a job that has weekend shifts, reach out to a trusted employee that works weekends to help moderate the “action” when you’re not there.  I had to do this at one of my previous jobs, but it turned out that the weekender I trusted wasn’t quite as neutral as I’d hoped.  Luckily, it was still all in good fun.
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