April Fools' Day Work Pranks: Silly, Stupid And Sometimes Vicious

St Paul Minnesota zoo phone lines prank calls

Each year around this time, workers at the Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minn., endure a flood of calls from pranksters looking to speak with Al E. Gator, Billy Goat and other assorted fictitious folks who just happen to have animal-themed names.

Last year, the park handled 300 such calls in one day, so this year zoo officials decided to add four phone lines to handle the increased call volume it's anticipating this April Fools' Day, St. Paul's Pioneer Press reports.

Rather than scolding pranksters for tying up phone lines (and employees' precious time), this April Fools' the zoo staff will play along. For example, anyone calling to speak with "Mr. Lion" will be transferred to the animal's own line, answered with a lively roar followed by some promotional info about the zoo.

"We get inundated every April Fools' Day," zoo spokesman Matt Reinartz told the newspaper. "But if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

Although April Fools' Day falls on Sunday this year, there likely will be plenty of workplace foolery, anyway. A survey by CareerBuilder.com notes that a third of workers polled in 2008 were victims of office pranks.

Some of the more mundane tricks include covering fellow employees' cubicles with aluminum foil, gluing office supplies to desks and forging resignations, but the survey also uncovered these gems:

  • A pair of pants and shoes placed inside the only toilet stall in a men's room to make it appear that someone was using it. The items sat for hours until someone called security to check if a person had died.
  • Sending a fake love note to a co-worker from another co-worker.
  • Filling a soda-vending machine with cans of beer.

Then there's the story of an unnamed Cleveland secretary who last year called her boyfriend to tell him that she was under her City Hall desk hiding from a gunman who had entered the building and begun shooting.

But the April Fools' joke went awry after the boyfriend, predictably, called police, resulting in a crush of city law enforcement and safety personnel rushing to the woman's office -- where she was promptly arrested after admitting the prank.

She perhaps would've done well to listen to advice by employment experts to keep April Fools' Day pranks in check.

Staffing-firm Manpower suggests that employees rethink before doing something foolish. Among its list of pranks to avoid is feigning armed robbery, a joke that resulted in a retail worker in Columbus, Ohio, being fired, after she called her manager at home to tell him that armed men were robbing his clothing store.

The manager called police, who upon arrival charged the clerk with unlawfully inducing panic.

Happy April Fools' Day, indeed.

Fans of the animated TV series, "The Simpsons," are no strangers to Bart Simpson's prank calls placed to Moe the Bartender in a running gag that has lasted as long as the series itself. Check out this recent example from the 23-year-old show.

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Is this an April Fool's Joke or just plain old common Stupidity? April 1 is on Monday NOT Sunday!

April 02 2013 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RonDeHugger's comment

this posting is from last year

April 02 2013 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Back in my days as a security guard, one of our favorite pranks was to put flour or paper dots from the hole puncher down the air vents in the security car, then turn the fan to full blast with the engine off just before shift change. The guards on the next shift always got a hell of a surprise when they got into the car and started it up!

Here at the firehouse, the pranks are even wilder! Once my husband and I bought a remote controlled fart machine at the local Halloween supply store, then hid it under one of the bunks in the bunk room. That night, my husband was in one of the bunks with the remote for it, and every time he set the fart machine off, the guys would all be blaming each other while my husband was just DYING trying to keep a straight face! When he finally 'fessed up and showed them the remote, they just cussed him OUT!

Immature? Maybe. Funny? HELL, YEAH!

April 01 2012 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I took a screen capture of a co-worker's computer before they arrived to work. Then set that screen capture as their desktop bacground and moved some of the icons. They thought they had a virus on their computer.

To a different co-worker, I rotated her desktop 90 degrees. She had no idea what happened or how to fix it. Computer pranks are so easy when other people are clueless.

April 01 2012 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

LOVE the zoo'z handling of the fun April Fools calls ...They may just cause MORE next year, but the promotion messages may also bring in more visitors. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons ... LOL Salute to them!

April 01 2012 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hit the lottery, yeah. April fools

April 01 2012 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My sister works in the building with two entrances. On April 1 few years ago she arrived before everybody else and put the signs on both doors: "LOCK BROKEN. PLEASE USE OTHER DOOR". Naturally, both doors were unlocked, but no one of colleagues tried to open...

April 01 2012 at 2:10 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Iran is building nuclear bombs!
April fools, they already have them...

April 01 2012 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I once convinced a former girlfriend that the toilet seat had an electrical short in it and that she had to use the outhouse. That night she asked me if we just couldnt unplug the toilet to make it safe to use. No, because then it would not flush...... at least she was pretty.

April 01 2012 at 12:11 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

greatest problem here is, it's sunday dude

April 01 2012 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I copied a paper clip and put the papers with the copies back in the printer. ..had everyone going nuts trying to find where the paper clip was "stuck" in the printer.

April 01 2012 at 11:00 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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