21st century tape over the phone plug prank??
March 12, 2009 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Phone Prank Filter: I need to keep a co-worker's phone from ringing. I know the tape over plug technique but the trick is these phones have digital displays. Is there a way to cut the phone w/o cutting the power?

The phone is a NEC Dterm 80 (I guess... that's the only markings on it), so if I put tape over the plug the main display goes blank, a dead giveaway it's not working. That will probably cause her to bug our tech guy rather than wonder why her phone does not ring.

Answer must be non permanent, non damaging to phone, non dangerous, and easy enough for an electrical idiot (me) to pull it off.

Low tech techniques are good too, but keep in mind that the co-worker uses a phone headset, so the tape over the Mic or tape over little button thingy the hand set rests on won't work either. Also, it would be good if the prank does not affect customers who call in, so keeping her from receiving calls is great (I can take them) but making her headset silent so the customer hears nothing is not so great

Other phone related phone pranks welcome. Or ways I could slow down her ability to answer the phone, or speed mine up (we are in a bit of a race to answer phones).
posted by DetonatedManiac to Technology (13 answers total)
Your best bet, I think, is to find a way to speed up your own phone-answering. Sabotaging your coworker's performance seems like several kinds of bad idea.
posted by box at 2:34 PM on March 12, 2009

Adjust the ringer volume as shown in the manual, page 24.
posted by b33j at 2:35 PM on March 12, 2009

Using this font, prepare a facsimile of the phones display, sized correctly. Then get yourself some inkjet or laser transparency film, print out your image, cut to the size of the display, then use some clear tape or possible some mucilage to attach. Proceed with disconnection!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:37 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Other pranks: befriend the phone system admin. There's nothing like having a coworker blurt out, "WHY THE HELL IS GOD CALLING ME?" It's good to be the king.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:39 PM on March 12, 2009

You say your co-worker uses a headset in a way that indicates you might not. If you started using a head-set you'd be faster to answer the phone -- there's less movement involved.
posted by kate blank at 2:41 PM on March 12, 2009

The display on the phone draws off the 48VDC supplied by the phone company (or your office's PBX, if it has one), which is there so they can tell whether your phone is on- or off-hook. At the very least, you need a power brick that will supply this to an RJ-11 jack you can plug the phone into (hopefully under her desk, or somewhere out of sight). eBay has this for under $20 that I suspect (but do not promise) would work.

Note this will have the side-effect that she will also be unable to dial out. If this ruins the prank, you're pretty much out of options aside from breaking into the wiring closet and connecting her to an unused extension, which would be a pain.

I do recall a homebrew circuit designed to block just the ring signal, but I'm having trouble tracking it down. I'll repost if I happen to find it.

Happy phreaking!
posted by 7segment at 2:41 PM on March 12, 2009

If coworker has her own extension number, forward all calls from that number to your number. Her phone will never ring. Yours, more than usual.
posted by exphysicist345 at 2:52 PM on March 12, 2009

Here's a fun phone prank, but it only works once: wrap a wiretie around the cord, so that the headset is wired up tight against the place the cord attaches to the phone.

It won't be funny if your coworker picks up the headset when she first gets there -- but if she waits until the phone rings for the first time and then grabs it in a hurry, she'll yank the phone off of her desk with a horrendous crash.

for that reason, this does work better with handsets. also, I didn't invent this, but I don't remember who did
posted by davejay at 3:07 PM on March 12, 2009

I read a funny prank that involved adding weights (coins) inside the handset slowly over the course of a few weeks. And then taking them all out at once and seeing your coworker hit him/herself in the face with the phone.

Unfortunately this will not work if they use a headset.
posted by liquoredonlife at 3:27 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Re Box: this is a prank... they put tape over my receiver button thing (I use the phone the old style) this morning and I wanted to get them back. This is just temporary and in good fun.
posted by DetonatedManiac at 3:29 PM on March 12, 2009

Response by poster: And I do plan on switching to the head sets as soon as the company provides it me one. In the mean time I want to have a little fun.
posted by DetonatedManiac at 3:32 PM on March 12, 2009

I have no idea how your office is laid out, but there's a possibility you could run extra cable to hook it to an unused extension elsewhere in the office.
posted by crapmatic at 3:39 PM on March 12, 2009

as a pbx (office phone systems) tech of some experience, most of these suggestions are bs. almost all phones have a switch or setting to turn down the ringer volume or off entirely.

as a tech i made a good pay from PDR service tickets - phone doesn't ring.
posted by lemuel at 4:24 PM on March 12, 2009

« Older Where can I get Bic Runga sheet music?   |   What are the WORST THINGS about being pregnant? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.