Office Prank
November 1, 2005 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Practical Joke Filter: Two office buildings, clear windows. Guy's name tag (pretty big) was sitting against his desk facing out. Putting names to faces. We posted a sign saying, "Hey ***, call me." He wrote back, "What's the number?". How should we progress?

We're a small design company... two-women band. Share our office too with a web designer, and we thought of putting up his cell phone number just to freak him out and bring him in on the joke. But any ideas out there besides just, uh, either leaving it as is, or continue communication via large mural paper text msging across the street?
posted by margaretlam to Human Relations (23 answers total)
What's your end goal? Do you want to get him to moon you or do something else? Or do you want to meet him later for drinks?

You could go off in any direction. Like make a sign that says "Show me something from your boss' office" and see if he does. And vice versa.

But, if it were me, I'd go for trying to get him to moon you, snapping a pic and then posting the flickr address to see his ass online.
posted by fenriq at 9:32 AM on November 1, 2005

Yeah as odins said ... it doesn't really seem like a joke to me. How should you progress? How about make a new friend?
posted by fourstar at 9:33 AM on November 1, 2005

If you wanted to pursue this as a joke rather than a relationship, don't give him a phone #. It kills the joke, because suddenly you're not communicating via windownotes. The proper response is "Call me HAWT!"
posted by mkultra at 9:42 AM on November 1, 2005

Response by poster: Even though we started it off with "call me", we realized what an incredibly had idea it is to post your work or any number up in a public forum, even if it's 10 floors up.

We're just having fun, didn't really think of an end goal, except to just liven up the 'place' a little, get to know our neighbours, etc. Alternatively, we might just set up an email address, not that it's that hard for him to figure out what office we're in.
posted by margaretlam at 9:51 AM on November 1, 2005

Practical jokes are for people you KNOW. When you do it to a stranger, it's just a mean trick.
Are you sure it's not your mom who's the designer??
posted by clh at 9:57 AM on November 1, 2005

Quiz him.

"Before we give you our number, we have to make sure you're worthy."

Then ask him a series of nonsensical or pop culture related questions.

"What is the proper response to 'how 'bout some more beans, Mr. Taggart?'"

"If a pig drinks a beer before he starts, runs a mile before he farts, if he clenches his ass and uses his wits, how far will he run before he shits?"

Stuff like that.

You could also request things like jumping jacks or other stunts and see how far you can take it.

You've been given this opportunity, do not waste it. Seize the carp.
posted by bondcliff at 10:01 AM on November 1, 2005

Yeah, I have no idea. This dosn't sound really that intresting. Give him an email address or something.
posted by delmoi at 10:04 AM on November 1, 2005

Subservient GuyOnTheTenthFloorâ„¢
posted by baltimore at 10:05 AM on November 1, 2005

Put up the number of the local zoo (or any zoo) and instruct him to ask for Ms G. Raff C. Lyon...

Aha hah ha.
posted by brautigan at 10:30 AM on November 1, 2005

Ditto clh. Practical jokes are between friends. Maybe you're describing a practical joke on your web designer (albeit one devoid of humor)...but as far as the guy across the street, you're just being mean-spirited children.
Two girls approach a stranger. After learning his name, they feign interest and give him a number. "Call us!" He dials later, only to find the number is answered by a random guy who wasn't expecting any calls.
Yeah, real funny. Go back to work.
posted by cribcage at 10:45 AM on November 1, 2005

See the movie "Me and You and Everyone We Know" for more ideas of things to write on signs to be put in a window.
posted by sexymofo at 10:46 AM on November 1, 2005

Malkovich malkovich
posted by sagwalla at 10:56 AM on November 1, 2005

Best answer: I don't think it's mean-spirited whatsoever if you give him "this is a joke" type responses right away to clear up what your intentions are (e.g. bondcliff's nonsensical questions mean you're in joke territory; your designer's phone number will be taken either as flirting with a mean letdown, or bafflement).

If he responds well, run with it. Make it a block-wide scavenger hunt ("look on page 42 of the last magazine of Cooks Illustrated at the news stand on 23th & Pine," which will lead him to the next clue). Keep it exciting & draw it out. I once worked with a friend-of-a-friend (who didn't know me) who I started passing peculiar quotes & strange cryptograms/scytales/paper foldings/etc to in the halls, trying to make a puzzle or scavenger hunt out of every one. It was a great game for about three weeks, then fizzled out (it was a month-long contract job, so the timing was perfect), but I still send him cryptic postcards sometimes.
posted by soviet sleepover at 11:06 AM on November 1, 2005

um. can someone please post the answer to the pig question?
posted by whatnot at 12:07 PM on November 1, 2005

Oh, c'mon. There are plenty of joke numbers you could go with:

1-900-MIX-A-LOT (and kick them nasty thoughts!)
Pennsylvania 6-5000
Good Love 6-9969 (Isaac Hayes)
777-9311 (Prince)

Or just put up the lyrics to "Baby Don't Forget My Number" one line at a time.

Or 666. Or 42. Or 3.14159265. And last time I checked--which was years ago, now--dialing 1-800-EAT-SPAM gets you a recorded intro to a dominatrix chat line ("SLAVE BOY! Get down on your knees...").
posted by Vervain at 12:29 PM on November 1, 2005

There's always the rejection hotline, though I don't see any Canadian numbers.
posted by solotoro at 1:00 PM on November 1, 2005

Turning this into a citywide scavenger hunt would be awesome.

Or get everyone in your building to post a sign in their windows. 300 "Hi Matt!"s or whatever.
posted by blag at 1:56 PM on November 1, 2005

soviet sleepover has it nailed - keep it light and fun, a scavanger hunt would be great!! Worst case is you get a new friend.

You could set up a Yahoo email account and use that as well as the big signs in the window.
posted by Puppy D at 2:27 PM on November 1, 2005

Another way to keep it light -- bring in sports. Guys usually like sports. Do a mock bet on the home team's next game (uh, football, basketball and hockey are in season).

This will also go over well if you decide to meet him later. Guys (usually) like gals who can handle sports.
posted by dhartung at 3:42 PM on November 1, 2005

The answer to "What's the number?" is always "4."
posted by GaelFC at 7:14 PM on November 1, 2005

Why not pretend that you're such a low-tech office that you don't have phones, and can only communicate via window-notes? Much more fun!
posted by Chunder at 7:56 AM on November 2, 2005

I vote for continuing the window notes for a while. Unless you are interested in meeting him for drinks, in which case you should just give your number and meet him for drinks.

If you do give him your number, when he calls have Napoleon Dynamite, The Dude, or someone else answer the phone.
posted by deanj at 8:38 AM on November 2, 2005

To give out your number while making sure no one else gets it, convert your number to a function of his window coordinates, ie. if he's the 4th window from left on the 6th floor and your number is 555-4123, send him this message:

X=window from left
Y=floor / 2

Anyone but the intended will end up with the wrong number.
posted by junesix at 2:14 PM on November 2, 2005

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