How We Pulled Off The Ultimate Long-Con Prank On Our Coworker


*Names have been changed to protect the pranked.

I have the great fortune of working in a young office environment, where my coworkers and I are all relatively the same age and we generally enjoy spending our time with each other. Because of this, our days tend to be peppered with numerous time-wasters, ranging from trashcan basketball games to bizarre email threads to our new favorite pastime: pranking our coworker Teddy on Fridays.

Teddy is the most recent addition to our staff, and he spent absolutely no time in immediately declaring himself as the most eccentric. From incredibly detailed but entirely fabricated stories (generally involving our other coworker, Jared, who he will typically ask in the range of five to ten times a day what his proposal plans to his girlfriend are, as well as question name options for his firstborn child, all of which Jared had no immediate — or really any — interest in) to impersonating various personas (including Creed frontman Scott Stapp, who he will channel as he sings any number of songs throughout the day, most of them not actually by Creed), Teddy’s random outbursts quickly became our main source of entertainment throughout the day. Then we realized how easy he was to prank.

We stumbled upon this discovery one Friday when Jared was mocking Teddy for one of his office etiquettes: talking very quietly on the phone.

“Dude,” said Jared. “Your voice is, like, UP HERE –” Jared accompanied this statement by raising one hand high in the air “– ALL the time, but when you’re on the phone, you just whisper.” Jared lowered his voice until it was barely audible. “‘Uh, hi, this is Teddy.’ No one can hear you.”

Before Teddy could defend himself, his office phone rang and he answered almost verbatim: “Uh, hi. This is Teddy.” This was followed by a long pause. “Uh, hello?” Another long pause. “Hello?”

Something about Teddy half-whispering “hello” to absolutely no one was so incredibly hilarious to all of us that it spiraled into a half-hour long tag-team, back-to-back prank where all of us took turns calling Teddy from either a vacant phone in the office or from a cell phone and leaving it off the hook for Teddy to answer. Either Teddy wasn’t catching on, or he was too concerned about who could possibly be on the other line that he answered every single call. “Uh, hello, this is Teddy. Hello? Hello?”

He left incredibly flabbergasted that day.

Fast-forward a week later. Our staff was split in half for travel; some of us (Teddy, Patrick, Maddie, Dan, and me) were at the office for the first half of the week, and the rest of us (Jared, Jamie, and Jack) were on-site. Then we switched for the other half of the week. The days on-site were busy but also monotonous, and one of the days, Dan decided to break up some of the monotony at Teddy’s expense.

“Hey,” said Dan, walking up to me and nodding over at Teddy in the distance. “Check out Teddy’s back.”

The site we were on had numerous companies and vendors, some of which had stickers for their companies they were handing out. Dan saw some real potential in these stickers and had pulled the ol’ classic pat-on-the-back-and-leave-something-stuck-there maneuver.

“Let’s see how long it takes him to notice,” I replied. Then, a glorious idea came to me. “No, wait — let’s see how many we can get on his back without him noticing.”

Dan and I took off, gathering as many free stickers as we could before putting our plan into action. We managed to get six on him. (Dan got Teddy three times by coming up to him, slapping him on the back, and suggesting they get food, then walking away before they’d actually go anywhere. He did this three times. THREE TIMES.) One was a large bumper sticker that one of our managers got on with an incredible two-handed shoulder-grab technique, and there was a second large one that wasn’t as adhesive as the rest. This one would continually start to peel off, so we had to walk up to Teddy and push it back up while pretending like we needed things from him. We even enlisted the help of absolute strangers. Teddy didn’t notice until a vendor told him that he “had something small on his back” to which Teddy exploded on us.

“I was wondering why everyone was freaking touching me!” he said, still in tandem with trying to peel all of the stickers from his back. “I thought the office chemistry was just really good today!”

Teddy outlined his revenge plans for us, which included the tame “slashing our tires” and “framing us for murder” (neither of which he thought were excessive) before he finally decided he wasn’t mad enough to fake-hug Dan goodbye at the end of the day. Dan used this opportunity to stick another sticker on his back.

“Hey, make sure you got all those stickers off,” Dan said as we were waving goodbye to Teddy.

“Haha, whatever man, fuck you,” Teddy said, not believing him.

Two hours later, Dan got a text from Teddy containing just two words: “Fuck you.”

This past Friday, Teddy unfortunately found himself on the end of a mini-long-con. You see, during the time that the first group of our coworkers were on-site for work, we had printed out a small picture of a member from One Direction and placed it in an obvious location in Jared’s cubicle. We intended this to be a “hidden in plain sight” scenario where we just wanted to see how long it would take him to notice it. Once we were all back in the office, Jared still hadn’t said anything, so Teddy and I thought he simply hadn’t noticed yet. In response, we printed out another picture and placed it in another obvious location while Jared was away from his desk. When Jared came back, Teddy was elsewhere, and Jared immediately took notice of the new picture.

“Aw man! So you noticed the first one, too, then?” I asked.

“Yeah I literally noticed that the first day back,” he responded. “You guys are idiots.”

In an effort to salvage the prank, we devised a prank within a prank. Jared would keep pretending that he had no idea the pictures were going up, meaning Teddy would keep putting pictures up, thinking Jared was the idiot when really Teddy was being the idiot.

For the rest of the week, Teddy upped his One Direction game. Not only was he sticking pictures everywhere, but he was now asking Jared One Direction-themed questions.

“Hey Jared?”

“Yeah Teddy?”

“Who’s your favorite One Direction member?”

“I literally have no idea why you’re asking me this, Teddy. Go back to work.”

The plan almost came unraveled when Teddy dropped one of the pictures right outside Jared’s cube and then ducked for cover because Jared was walking by. Jared saw the card, looked at me, pointed at the card, sighed, shook his head, and then sat down at his cube. Teddy came out, snatched the card with a grin on his face, gave a thumbs up, and then ducked back into his cube. He had no idea what was going on. Jared sent an email to Jamie and me containing nothing but: “I don’t know how much longer I can play this dumb.”

Finally Friday rolled around, and we decided it had been long enough. I suggested Jared put one of the pictures on Teddy’s back, and Jamie suggested he put the other ones on the frosted glass that separated their cubes (Jared and Teddy sit next to each other) with all the printed sides facing Teddy’s cube. Jared decided to do both.

Teddy was down the hall talking to Jack, so Jared went over, returning less than three minutes later with a giant grin on his face.

“You guys,” he said under his voice to Jamie and me, “I had the card, I was ready to go, but I never touch Teddy, so I was wondering how the hell I was going to get this thing on his back. So then he sees me coming,” he paused, starting to laugh. “You guys, he said ‘trust fall’ and then just fell RIGHT onto my hands. I couldn’t have timed it more perfectly.”

Then, right in sync with the perfect timing, Teddy returned from Jack’s cube. He went into his own cube, saw the printed out pictures facing up, and immediately went into Jared’s cube to rip them off.

“Dudeeee!” he said, trying to pull the pictures down, “How long have you known?”

“I’ve literally known the whole time,” Jared said, pulling out his cell phone as Teddy’s back — displaying the One Direction picture — was facing him. He snapped a quick picture of Teddy’s obliviousness as Teddy continued to rip the pictures from the frosted glass. “Are you kidding me, Teddy? I noticed the first day.”

“So if you knew, did you ALL know he knew?” Teddy paused, looking at the pictures. “Wait…” he said as he counted the pictures he had torn down. “Where’s the last picture?”

At this point, none of us could keep it together, and we were laughing hysterically while Teddy walked back and forth from Jared’s cube to his cube and back to Jared’s cube again, all while giving us a complete display of the last picture hanging proudly on his back.

“Where did you hide the last one?” Suddenly, the dark realization dawned on his face and he reached his hand up behind his back to pull off the last picture. We were nearly in tears at this point, and as Teddy crumpled the last picture in his left hand, he pointed at no one in particular with his right hand and sat down in his chair.

“Screw ALL of you.”

We all love Teddy, but we also love pranking him, which is why we want to keep them coming. Give me suggestions and I’ll keep writing about them — until he finds out about this, which I’ll probably write about, too. Currently, we’re trying to think of an Ocean’s Eleven-style long-con, but we’ll also take any small-level ingenious pranks as well.

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one time i told a potential employer in an interview that my favorite movie was jurassic park, completely out of context. i think that sums up being an adult for me.

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