Every once in a while it’s fun to play a practical joke, or even to be on the receiving end of one. It can mean that you’re well liked. But practical jokes make me nervous because it is so easy to cross the line into cruelty or danger. This is why I have never liked people who seem to make practical jokes their life’s work.
I have worked with a couple people like that, and they knew I didn’t like their antics.
One of them could have killed one of my coworkers. At the time, she was in her third trimester of pregnancy and against all odds she was still working with us on the bridge. To get to the tenderhouse you have to climb a ladder 25 feet up above the roadway. She had made it to the top, God only knows how, and our resident merry prankster, who was lying in wait for her, decided to throw a pigeon at her. She screamed and took a step back. She could have fallen to her death or at the very least, lost the baby. That is when I lost all respect for the guy.
But of course, that incident didn’t stop him. It didn’t even slow him down. Next, he decided to target the most vulnerable of us, a guy with a very low IQ and a very high body odor. With a cohort who was always easy to lead down the wrong path because she was so desperate to be liked, our class clown got a pair of underwear, smeared the crotch with chocolate, broke into the poor guy’s locker and left it there. Upon finding this little love letter, the man was on the verge of tears. It made me sick. Picking on this guy was the moral equivalent of kicking a puppy.
Before playing tricks on people, you might want to consider your motivation, and you really ought to take into account the way you will make others feel. Is this really the legacy you want to leave behind you?
(Image credit: demotivationalposters.net)