Office War!
May 14, 2008 4:33 AM   Subscribe

How do I start a good natured inter-office war?

At work we have a life sized, pose-able foam mannequin with a storm trooper's helmet on. (Hey! Guess which industry I work in!) We leave him downstairs by the front doors- which we have open at the moment as the sun is shining.

The unit next door just posted a letter through the door, in cut up newspaper letters with a photo of our stormtrooper attached to it. It said that unless we buy them 10 ice creams, they're going to do something terrible to him.

So, great. They have a sense of humour.

We've had a lengthy internal meeting about this and decided to escalate this without hesitation or further thought.

Suggestions from the hive mind please on fun ways to get back at them. Your limits are, say a £50 budget and no one must actually be killed.

(Pics to follow)
posted by Jofus to Society & Culture (21 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Free-associating from "escalate without hesitation or further thought", you could go down the route of pretending the unit next door is a foreign country. Start by sending them a "telegraph" announcing your intention to immediately withdraw your ambassador.

Then send one or two people to occupy a corner of their office, declaring that that corner is historically a part of your unit, and that you have come to liberate it from its oppressors and re-integrate it into the motherland.

Make up and start singing an incredibly pompous and cheesy "National Anthem" at random intervals.
posted by Zarkonnen at 4:44 AM on May 14, 2008 [16 favorites]

I'm pretty sure this should somehow involve Boba Fett. Perhaps you should capture someone/something from their office and freeze it in carbonite (or at least threaten to if you don't have carbonite easily available)?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:49 AM on May 14, 2008

Give in to their demands. Buy 11 ice creams. Give them the ten they asked for. Get your doll back.

Then, after the ice cream has been consumed, send an email thanking them for playing fairly and for providing them with amusement. Attach photo of 11th ice cream container floating in the toilet and ask, "So, who got the tainted pint?"
posted by ColdChef at 4:56 AM on May 14, 2008 [4 favorites]

Clearly a blockade, with appropriate sanctions as necessary. Don't forget to fire a few water-gun shots across the bow of anyone who tries to approach.
posted by awesomebrad at 4:57 AM on May 14, 2008

We had a yearly Cruddy-Buddy week in college. You could be nice or naughty to your fellow dorm mates. I stole a guy's wet suit and held it hostage until he dressed as a woman and sang a song in the main lounge (think it was Big Balls by AC/DC and he did it, too). Someone else stole a person's undies and hung them on a line in the lounge for all to see.

The other thing is, you need to strike fear into them that something will happen at any second. Nothing injurious, of course. Use your money to buy a huge quantity of ice cream and place it in their beds or their boots?

You could also make friends with or bribe the laundry people to put extra starch in their shorts...

Of course, I had help from my buddy's room mate, so you could also use your money to bribe a mole from their side over to yours and he could do your dirty work.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:59 AM on May 14, 2008

Sadly, you're going to need a lot more stormtrooper costumes and maybe a boba fett costume, because you have to occupy their office in response to the threat, take the boss hostage, put him on a cart (of some sort), then dump a large number of (packaged) "carbonite" popsicles on him, thus escalating the situation, getting revenge, and fulfilling their frozen dessert demands. Maybe fudgesicles.
posted by beerbajay at 5:00 AM on May 14, 2008

Buy 10 pints of cream (as in the type that goes in coffee). Over the word "cream" on the containers add "Frozen (Ice)". Freeze them and hand them over. Of course, you might want to buy enough real ice cream for both groups to keep it friendly too. Then next week your group would need to initiate an attack and issue a demand, something they can be creative with.

Zarkonnen's idea is great. Reminds me of that corporate pirates bit Monty Python did (I think). Lots of fun to be had there.
posted by jwells at 5:25 AM on May 14, 2008

Following Zarkonnen's idea: It looks like that money's going to be spent at the DIY and thirft store this weekend, because you can't have a proper border starting on Monday morning without border posts and gates, identity documents and customs forms required to import photocopies to their office, lengthy queues to pass checkpoints, and, of course, pompously-epaulet-enhanced, medal-covered uniforms.
posted by mdonley at 5:31 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'd say you have no choice but to deliver those ice creams. be very humble about it as well. you got beaten by the man. they showed you big time.

alas, they didn't seem to specify what flavor you had to deliver. isn't it time you made some really wicked ice cream at home? or see what you can buy in local ethnic food stores. the webbernet has some ideas... (someone should make some very very strong wasabi ice cream).

have it delivered by a cute five year-old and make sure they understand he/she put hours and hours of work into it to save dear mr. storm trooper and that he'd be very sad if they didn't finish it.
posted by krautland at 5:32 AM on May 14, 2008

As far as what the border post should look like:

- Something like this sign would be cheap enough at a local copy shop.
- In the hallway, demarcate separate queues for nationals and foreigners.
- If you can, have your border post's "front" be made of some sort of clear plastic with a voice-box thing, and one of those little pass-through drawers.
- Deportees have a big, red stamp in their passports and are persona non grata.
posted by mdonley at 5:48 AM on May 14, 2008

Replace the stormtrooper with an American Girl doll and tell them to do their best.
posted by bondcliff at 5:49 AM on May 14, 2008

Some good ideas previously here and here .
posted by nkknkk at 6:03 AM on May 14, 2008

Also on a similar vein to zarkonnen's idea, you could instead pretend they are a terrorist group, or a quasi-governmental entity that you refuse to recognize as a state. Proceed accordingly.

You could send someone who is NOT officially a representative of your state, because you do NOT negotiate with terrorists, but have that person go there and bug them by trying to not-negotiate in a really circuitous this-isn't-really-negotiation manner that will take a long time.

You could set up a puppet "government" in your office or a corner of theirs, claiming to be the actual real government of their "state", even though it has no real power. Send credentials to the chamber of commerce or whatever, if you think you can get someone there to play along, and get them to send a letter to your adversaries stating they are no longer officially recognized.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 6:24 AM on May 14, 2008

Get a bunch of stormtrooper masks (helmets would be expensive), and stage a hostage rescue raid. Bring them ice cream.
posted by Comrade_robot at 6:27 AM on May 14, 2008

Violence is not the answer. The proper diplomatic response to this unprovoked hostility as, as with international geopolitics, to isolate the rogue regime and ensure they are cut off from the support of their allies.

By this, of course, I mean wallpapering over the front door of their office.
posted by flashboy at 6:33 AM on May 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

Buy ten more mannequins and ten more storm trooper hats, and position strategically outside their office.
posted by googly at 7:28 AM on May 14, 2008

I think you should send some "investigators" over to their office to look into the matter. Dress them in bad suits and bad Joe Friday or Columbo imitations.

Also, buy a stuffed pony (preferably one with a big goofy smile), cut the head off, and leave the head on the receptionist's desk when they aren't around. Suitable lure might be required.
posted by ctmf at 7:34 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Wait, have they actually stolen your storm trooper yet? Your post just says that they posted a letter, and all mention of the placement of the storm trooper is in present tense. It sounds like the war hasn't begun yet, and you've just received a threatening letter. Am I right?

If so. Let them have him. This a foam mannequin, is it hollow? Fill that bastard right up with cement, and let them try to steal it. If it's solid styrofoam, and you REALLY want to escalate, carve out a hole under the helmet and pack it full of tuna. (He's a Storm Trooper, he knows his life is cheap.)

It'd also be pretty cool to replace the mannequin with a person dressed and posed exactly the same, but I can't imagine a way to do that practically.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 8:07 AM on May 14, 2008

Instead of ice cream you should see if they like Jell-O.
posted by sambosambo at 2:33 AM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

You could ask the UK garrison of the 501st Legion to show up in force. You need to make a donation to charity, but perhaps they'll do it for fifty quid if they know their cloned brother is on the line.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:19 AM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

That would be awesome. Get a garrison of stormtroopers to turn up and arrest them all, frog march them to the nearest supermarket, and force (no pun intended) their boss to buy EVERYONE ice cream.
posted by armoured-ant at 3:57 PM on May 18, 2008

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