Sunday, 4 August 2013

Daft Office Pranks (Part 3)

Yet another example of office related japery.

This daft trick requires fast typing skills.
Readers of my blog may recall that the original title of my book ‘How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy’ was ‘A Lush Snaky Trick’ and so on that theme from time to time I like to write about various lush snaky tricks* that I used to play on people when I worked in an office.

* Or ‘good natured comedy pranks’ to use a more universally understood term.
This next daft office prank is another trick which I used to play back when I used to work for the council on the pensions team.  Anyone who’s worked in an office will have probably come across at some stage the use of shared spreadsheets which everyone in the office has the ability to update.  A consequence of this is the possibility that on occasion you will try to get into a shared spreadsheet but unfortunately someone else will already be using it which means it’s locked for editing.  In those cases Excel will give you a message along the lines of:

"Spreadsheet ‘Monthly Accounts For August’ is locked for editing by User: Henry Flangechomper"

What you do if you get this message is you can either close the spreadsheet and ask Excel to tell you when Henry Flangechomper has finished using it, or if you’re impatient you can shout across the office and say, "Henry, are you gonna be long in the monthly accounts spreadsheet?" and more often than not he’ll reply along the lines of, "Ee, actually.  I’m finished with it now.  I just forgot to log out," and then he’ll log out so you can log in and update what you needed to update.

Anyway, that’s the boring intro out of the way, to get to the point of this post, when people use it correctly then this is a useful feature of Excel.  However, if you’re like me and enjoy playing daft tricks then another use for this feature is to play daft comedy pranks on people.

This trick requires a fast response and fast typing but what you basically do is if you hear a co-worker (for the purposes of the example we’ll call them Fred) shout across the office, "Henry, are you finished in the accounts spreadsheet?" you quickly go into Excel and select ‘Tools > Options > General > User Name’ and change your user name to ‘Henry Flangechomper’, i.e. to match the name of the person currently in the spreadsheet.  Then once Henry has logged out and they shout back across the office something like, "Right, I’m logged out now.  You should be able to get in now, Fred," you quickly log into the spreadsheet yourself before Fred has a chance to open it.  Then when Fred tries to log into the spreadsheet it will once again come up with the message:

Spreadsheet pranks for the easily amused (like myself).
"Spreadsheet ‘Monthly Accounts For August’ is locked for editing by User: Henry Flangechomper"

This will confuse Fred and he’ll probably shout back to Henry, "Are you sure you logged out?  It’s saying you’re still logged in."

Henry will become equally confused and may double check before replying something like, "No, I’m definitely logged out.  I’ve just double checked."

So then Fred will try again and get the same message:

"Spreadsheet ‘Monthly Accounts For August’ is locked for editing by User: Henry Flangechomper"

So this will fill Fred with more confidence and he’ll proclaim, "You definitely haven’t logged out, like, Henry.  It’s saying you’re still logged in."

Henry will insist that he has logged out and the pair of them will gradually become more and more insistent and more and more confused and baffled by the whole thing.  When you think they’ve suffered long enough you can finally log out and Fred will finally be able to log into the spreadsheet.

A variation on this trick is that instead of editing your name to ‘Henry Flangechomper’ or whoever was originally in the spreadsheet, you can instead edit your name to a totally made-up name, such as ‘Gladys Petunia-Basingstoke’ or ‘Mavis Glockenspiel.’  This will also confuse your co-workers and get them wondering, ‘Eh?  Who’s Mavis?  No-one called Mavis works in our office.’

The latest book by Charles Fudgemuffin...
'Hopes And Dreams'
Or another variation on this trick is that you could edit your name to the name of someone who works in another department.  Then when your co-workers see the name they’ll wonder, ‘Eh?  What’s ‘such and such’ doing in our spreadsheet!?  They shouldn’t be looking at our data!  It’s nothing to do with them!’  If you did this though, you’d obviously have to come clean and admit your prank otherwise you could get the person from the other section into trouble if you didn’t say anything.

Anyway, that was another daft childish prank I used to play when I worked at the council.  You can find a few other daft pranks, or 'lush snaky tricks' in my previous posts:

Daft Office Pranks
A Lush Snaky Trick (Part 1)
What Is A Lush Snaky Trick?

Other recent posts:
Scary Kids' Stories
How To Save The World: Part 3A - Hopes And Dreams
Even More Signs From Around The World
Languages Around The World (Part 1 - Korean)
Some Kind Words From Two Friends I Met On My Recent Travel Adventures

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.