For the past couple of years, I’ve attained the reputation for playing practical jokes on my fellow employees. Last year, I pulled an epic support call prank, so this year I thought it’d be better to chill out. Since I let my guard down, I fell victim to this year’s prank, and I believe it was revenge for last year.

Last April 1st, I decided that I was going to have a member of our support team call a zoo and ask to speak to the animals. I came into work early and took 20 minutes calling every major zoo in the country starting on the east coast. I was listening for the best automated prompt to catch someone off guard.

“Hello, you have reached the San Diego Zoo. If you know your party’s extension, please dial it now. Otherwise press 0 to speak to the operator.”

Perfect. It’s quick and to the point. It gives my victim an out, since the message declares that it is in fact a zoo. The research for my prank is done. All I needed to do was to wait three hours for the operator to show up for work.

Around noon (9 a.m. PST), I took a walk around the office to see if anyone had gone to lunch. Raul was missing. I quickly scribbled a note, left it on his desk and disappeared.

The note read:

Mr Lyon and Mr Behr Support Call

“Mr. Lyon called… if not available ask for Mr. Behr 619-231-1515”

Now, I had given some huge clues that this might be a prank, even though I disguised the clues with “lyon” and “behr”.

When I returned from lunch, I immediately checked on the status of my prank. It was a success. Raul had placed the call and the operator eventually pointed that it might be a prank, since he just called a zoo and asked to speak to the animals.

This was a harmless prank and everyone got a laugh. Yesterday, Raul got the last laugh.

I had originally decided I was going to work from home, but at the last minute I remembered I needed to be in the office. So I drove in and parked my car, backing into the parking space (something I don’t normally do). This worked to Raul’s advantage.

At the end of the day, I drove off, thinking I had gone through the day without being pranked. I hadn’t even left the parking lot before I heard the chime from my gas tank. “Right, I need gas.” Luckily there is a gas station in my sight, so I pulled over to fuel up. As I’m pumping gas, I noticed something hanging from the back of the Jeep, a Pepsi can attached to the frame with some duct tape and CAT5 cable.

I think this is a declaration of an office prank war. Please post any new ideas as comments. I will post updates to this as the pranks unfold.


Thomas Pore is the Director of IT and Field Engineering at Plixer. He developed and leads, the Malware Incident Response and Advanced NetFlow Training programs which are being offered in cities across the USA. He is also an adjunct professor at the local community college and teaches ethical hacking. Thomas travels the globe meeting with customers and trying improve the Scrutinizer network incident response system. He helps clients optimize threat detection strategies and aids in the configuration of custom incident response solutions. He has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Dickinson College.


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