Sometimes I (along with our other Global Professional Instructors) am asked to spend a week working in our office headquarters. Our main duty is to take inbound phone calls from our Certified Instructors and others. We answer questions and problem solve and build that essential rapport over the phone.
These weeks also allow me to learn what behavior is appropriate and what is not when working in an office environment.
Play with food
For example, sticking your finger in someone’s food and asking if it’s good is not only rude, it actually works. I didn’t realize how generous our office staff are when it comes to their food. I didn’t have to buy lunch all week.
Fun with cubes
Finding out who’s out sick for the week and whose cubicle will be empty can have benefits as well. This space can be used for trash when your wastebasket is full. I usually go all the way and just empty my wastebasket under their desk. If there’s space left over, I’ll drop off old tires, permanently stained clothing, and other toxic waste. Online gambling with their computer and use of their family photos to make the claim that you actually have a life are equally beneficial.
I also enjoy walking over to a colleague who’s on the phone and silently mouthing the words “The building is on fire!” while looking wide-eyed and hysterical. Place a tripwire that connects to the fire alarm right in front of their chair and stand back and watch the hilarity. When Security asks who made the false alarm, shamelessly point in your coworker’s direction. It’s not like you’re lying, after all.
Mess with coffee
Most of my office chums drink coffee. A used, grease-encrusted scouring pad in place of the coffee and filter can be your little secret. Who’s gonna know the difference? When people complain that the coffee tastes terrible, you can blame your boss. Tell the coffee drinkers that she hates coffee and decided to replace the gourmet brand with grout scrapings in order to save money. What a cheapo!
One last activity that makes time in the office all worthwhile:
Shave your head, sit in the lotus position, and tell your colleagues that you’re channeling your cat. Come back to the office the next day with a box full of kitty litter, occasionally drape your cube with a sheet, and tell people that you “need a few minutes.” I guarantee people will leave you alone, and you’ll be free to take a nap. That’s mostly what cats do anyway, right?
What about you?
This is by no means a complete list and I would love to hear from the rest of you on fun, nonviolent ways to decrease office stress, minimize boredom, and increase camaraderie. Send in your ideas!
And April Fool’s!
Here’s what I really do with my time in the office. I talk to you, and sometimes I blog:
And I still want to know:
How do you use humor and fun to lighten things up?