More office hijinks

I’m having a really hard time coming up with something technical for today’s blog entry, and I have 3 or 4 others out for review (after my last experience with off-the-cuff posts, I’ve learned my lesson – if I’m not 100% sure about a ‘blog post, I have the real experts review it for accuracy).

I’m also really swamped at work wrestling with fxcop (a truly useful tool, but it’s an iterative process cleaning up my code).  So I’ve not had the time to come up with something new for the day – I’ve tossed out several post ideas and others will take too much time to develop.

So it’s time for an office prank story instead.

As I mentioned earlier, Microsoft employees LOVE trashing each others offices.  It’s sort-of a sport around here.  Another of my favorites (which Valorie mentioned in the comments section of my previous post) was when some of the summer interns in the Lan Manager group decided to “shorten” the office of a developer on the server team.   He worked in an inside office, so they removed all the furniture from the office, and built a false wall at the back of the office, shortening the office by six inches.  This was a professional looking job – fully mudded and taped, they even relocated the outlets into the new wall.  When they were done, they came in and repainted the entire office to match the original colors.  And then, of course they put all the stuff back into his office.

They did all this work on a Friday night, so that on Monday morning when the developer came back in, he wouldn’t notice the smell.

He came in, and started working just like normal.  And they sat there and waited for him to notice the changes.  They kept on coming by his office all day.  I’m sure he was totally confused as to why he was suddenly the most popular developer in the server group, but he ignored it.

Well, the end of the day came and went, and he left for home.  And he came in the next day, started working and they once again waited for him to notice the changes.

And the end of that day came and went, and he left for home.  At this point, the interns were starting to get a little panicky.  Was he just unobservant?  Or had he noticed and was he playing a trick back on them by NOT reacting to the shortened office?

It started driving them up the wall.  They couldn’t spill the beans to him, since it sort-of would defeat the whole point of the joke.  And he never did seem to notice it.

It wasn’t until six weeks later that the developer in question noticed that his office was smaller than it was before and started asking what happened…

The interns all breathed a sigh of relief at that, the cat was finally out of the bag.

And they went in and restored the original wall back to it’s initial location the next day J


Comments (12)

  1. Florian says:

    Well, six inches is nothing easily noticed, is it? Now, if you had said six feet, *then* I’d have been worried. But six inches… I don’t think I would necessarily notice six inches when I was busy concentrating on work.

  2. AT says:

    Enlarge your office by six inches :o))

  3. Centaur says:

    This reminds me of a story where one coworker had a photo of a certain celebrity (Jennifer Lopez?) on his desktop. And another coworker routinely messed with the image in Photoshop, enlarging a certain body part several pixels at a time and waiting for the other to notice.

  4. John says:

    You don’t have locks on your office doors?

    Question: I heard all MS employees have offices, is this true? Even testers get their own offices? or do they share?

  5. John,

    Contingent staffers (contractors and vendors) always share offices. Except in certain groups (like PSS), every employee is in an office, but sometimes they share offices.

    Typically the decision to share offices is done via seniority, but there are some exceptions (for example – if you’re a manager, you’re pretty mug guaranteed to get your own office regardless of your seniority, since you sometimes have to have confidential discussions with the people who report to you).

    I’m fortunate that I’m senior enough that I’m unlikely to ever have to share offices again 🙂

  6. Btw, Florian, when I moved from the 1st floor to the same office directly above it on the 4th floor, I noticed that my office on the 4th floor was 6 inches shorter than my office on the 1st floor. It depends on the layout of your office.

  7. B.Y. says:

    After 6 weeks, how did he notice his office was shorter by 6 inches ? You’d think by that time, he’d got used to his new office length already.

  8. James Bray says:

    Sounds like something out of The Twits by Roald Dahl.

    Would have been even funnier if, like in The Twits, they had continued to decrease the size of the office, slowly, over time 😉

  9. James: Oooh, that would be evil, wouldn’t it 🙂

    The Twits happens to be one of my daughter’s favorite books btw 🙂

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