I realized that a lot of my posts have been full of heavy philosophy. I thought I would step back and reminisce about something all of us wish we had: fun at work.
I worked in an office that was very productive. We had a team of a couple dozen developers, product managers, tech writers, etc. that were great. We were supporting several large applications and dozens of customers on a regular basis. Stress could have easily been very high, but it wasn’t. We had fun. Let me give you a few examples.
Our boss went to a conference where some of the marketing folks in our company were handing out blue foam rubber question marks with a logo on them (because we were the answer, get it?). He brought back a box full of question marks and our three aisles of cubicles became a battleground where you might occasionally find yourself bombarded by question marks or foam balls or other projectiles. Into this chaos I once introduced an Airzooka. If you have never owned or used an Airzooka, I highly recommend it. I have given several away as gifts and they have never been unappreciated. We had tests of range and accuracy and discussion of how the makers should find a way to introduce odors for maximum effect.
The memory of this crew that makes me laugh the hardest was an incident involving a relatively new employee named D (to protect myself from liability and revenge). D had decided to wait in a closet situated between our cubicle area and a conference room so that he could jump out and scare us as we walked by on our way to a team meeting.
On the second or third occasion when D pulled this particular prank, he had the misfortune of jumping out to try to scare me as I walked by. I gently pushed him back into the supply closet and closed the door behind him. I proceeded to stand in front of the door holding it shut (he tried to force his way out, but I was about 50% heavier than he was and had wedged my shoe under the door so that it couldn’t swing outward). The rest of the team paraded by on their way to the conference room. A couple of them asked me what I was doing and I told them I was teaching D a valuable lesson. D could be heard on the other side of the door pleading to be released. A few minutes after the meeting started I let him out and we walked to the team meeting. Laughter ensued and for weeks folks talked about D being held in the closet. He never attempted to scare anyone on the team (though he continued to participate appropriately in our practical jokes).