As part of my search for a new career, the woman I’m working with has asked me to complete an exercise to identify my “transferrable skills”. In order to do this, I’m to write seven stories from my life that will (hopefully!) make those skills clear and obvious. So sit back and enjoy the stories; I’m sure you’ll learn something new about me.
Last April I was a few weeks into a new job and I wanted to make a big impression with my team. I planned a prank for each of the other people on the Corporate Finance team, and on the weekend before April Fool’s Day I came into the office to lay my traps!
- I moved everyone’s chair into our Director’s office
- I made 25 copies of a paper clip, and then reinserted the paper into the paper tray
- I created a web in one woman’s office out of twine by connecting everything in her office with the same long string
- I hid four car air fresheners in one guy’s cube…the scents did not complement one another
- I secured the lid of each pen on one guy’s desk with masking tape
- I let my then-eight-year-old daughter label everything in the youngest guy’s cube with post-its (the misspellings and childish handwriting were a nice touch!)
- I wrapped everything in my supervisor’s office with aluminum foil
- I created a neon Easter scene on another director’s desk, complete with pink “grass” and plastic eggs
The only person who escaped my April Fool’s wrath was the admin assistant because, let’s face it, she was overworked and didn’t need the aggravation.
I then made sure to watch each and every person come into the office to see their reactions, and most of them made it worthwhile. The string-web lady was actually out of town that week, so everyone on the floor got to come by and admire her office before she finally saw it. The only prank that didn’t pay off was the car-scent guy. Apparently he couldn’t tell the difference. Tells you something about him, I think.
The pranks helped me break into a team that had been together for some time. It made being the “new guy” easier, and it helped get me a great review later that year.