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My Practical Joke

In my life before being a stay at home mom, I was a manager in a call center. I loved it. The dynamics of my team were fascinating and I whole-heartily believe that building a family dynamic in the workplace makes time go by faster and builds a foundation for so many opportunities. After all, we spend 8-10 hours with these people and understanding who they are fosters relationships.

My workplace could be fast-paced. There were key performance indicators to meet and they could be stressful. I remember this one young man on my team was so focused on his performance. He wanted to do well..and he did. One day, while browsing through Quality Evaluations, I spotted a score of 23. That’s beyond failing, when the highest score was 100%. An idea struck me.

I went to my supervisor, whom I had worked with for a few years and told him the plan I wanted him to help me execute. He was game and so we set it in motion.

I printed the Quality Evaluation. I doctored it up so it read my employee’s name and ID. I edited the text where it showed the conversation to make it personal to my team member and then delivered it to my supervisor.

Within a few minutes, my supervisor came out of his office and went to my employees desk with a note that said, “When finished with this call, come into my office.”

I watched the monitor as the call was completed, the phone was put into “conference” and my team member stood up, walked to my supervisor’s office and the door was closed.

Inside, my supervisor was telling my employee that he had scored a 23% on a Quality Evaluation and that was grounds for disciplinary action. His personal folder was pulled where there was a goal chart from my one on one conferences with the employee and slowly my Supervisor was asking “What is going on?”, “We invested in you and the expectation was that you would utilize your training to perform.”

My employee was trembling. He was in shock. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing and yet it must be true for him to be here.

After seven minutes the door to the Supervisor’s office opened and I stood there with a grin and in unison, my Supervisor and I said, “You’ve been punked!”

My team member was relieved. He was also momentarily angry. Then he burst into laughter. “You had me going! I thought I was going to be fired!”

The guys on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ have a very fun and playful work dynamic, often joking around with each other and playing games. Because they work at CalTech, most of their jokes revolve around astrophysics and Wolowitz’s lack of a PhD! Last time we checked in with the Big Bang Theory gang they were bouncing lasers off the moon and love was in the air…kinda. 

Are you good friends with your co-workers? What fun jokes have you established with your work-mates?

*“I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote The Big Bang Theory Season 4 on DVD.”
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