First World Problems: An Office Prank Gone Wrong


Jul 23, 2015


Article Icon - First World ProblemsFirst World Problems is a weekly advice column for India’s first world population. Write to Judy at contact@theswaddle.com (confidentially!) if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately,
or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind.


PROBLEM: My manager at work is really hectic about getting ahead. He makes our team work late all the time to show how dedicated he is. One night while we were working late for no reason, he left his LinkedIn profile open when he went to the bathroom, so my buddy and me changed his profile pic to a one of the business baby meme. Then we changed his password. We thought it would be funny, but he got furious and threatened to suspend all of us. I don’t know if he can do that, but we’re a little worried. Everyone knows it was us, but no one is telling him…yet. Should we confess?

I don’t understand you. You just executed a hilarious prank (albeit very unoriginal) and you don’t want to take credit? I mean, what are you afraid of? You haven’t told me enough about your job, but I’m getting the feeling it’s like Chandler Bing’s job. And the best thing about having Chandler Bing’s job is that nobody gives a shit whether you do it or not. So here’s my advice in this order: (1) take credit, (2) do not give your manager the new password, (3) get fired, and (4) keep posting on Linkedin on his behalf till you get bored or the account gets de-activated: announce new seminars he’s scheduled to attend (Shiv Khera’s You Can Win!), quote from books he reads (Fifty Shades, of course), endorse yourself from his account, think of interesting ‘skills’ to add to his profile—OK, I’m boring myself already.

The point is, it’s a f$%king prank. And if your idiot workaholic boss doesn’t get that, you should just shake the dust off your Aldos and look for a work environment that not only allows but celebrates wasting time. Have you considered the Passport Office? You can play Solitaire while busy people with too much to do wait in a queue all day for you to attend to them. How fun! Or how about the RTO? This one comes with unique privileges: If your wife, mother or other important woman in your life pisses you off in the morning, you get to come to work and flunk all of the women who’ve come for their driving test that day (yes, all eight of them and yes, true story). But if a good prank is what you want, the Electricity Board might just be your thing. You could cut off your friends’ power supply on hot summer nights and then call them up to tell them that their entire neighbourhood doesn’t have electricity because of them! Hah. I could go on and on, but I think any Indian government-office would be just your cup of chai. But if that’s not cool enough, you can always join Buzzfeed and make GIFs for a living. In fact, I can already think of 15 reasons why you should join Buzzfeed.

PROBLEM: My friend’s daughter is 12 and she loves to sing. She is loud and full of joy when she sings, the only problem is — she is terrible. Truly, she is tone-deaf. She always wants to sing to me when I visit, but I can’t take it anymore. And I think it might be kind if someone tells her gently that she should follow other passions (before another person tells her in a cruel manner). Should that someone be me?

Hahahaha. I’m sorry, but they’re messing with you. I have a nine-year-old and I’ve been amusing myself for the last seven years by letting the offspring hold unsuspecting guests as captive audience for her many ‘performances’—which range from Gangnam Style, “Let it Go” solos (where you’re expected to understand that it’s a SOLO, and NOT join in, and if you do, you’ll be punished in some scary Frozen-inspired manner, so help me God), and art-project viewings (where you’re only allowed to appreciate the work), to magic shows (where you’re not allowed to second guess the magician’s powers), standup comedy (where YOU are heckled if you don’t laugh and applaud on cue), zombie attacks (because hey, who doesn’t love being pretend-eaten by a tiny zombie?), and random Zumba moves. All without music, which is an absolute genius move to put your guest’s ability to smile and nod to the ultimate test.

So, there. Chances are, your friend is going to burst out laughing when you gently and awkwardly point this out to her. And in the event she turns out to be one of those deluded mothers who thinks her daughter has a Susan Boyle inside of her just waiting to break free, you’ll end up breaking her heart and possibly, your friendship, too.

But maybe that’s the question you need to ask yourself: How much am I willing to endure for this friendship: Death? Betrayal? Jealousy? Pettiness? Constant bickering? Long distance? Lack of communication? Fake Susan Boyle?




Written By Judy Balan

Judy Balan is a bestselling author and blogger popular for her quirky, often self-deprecatory humour. She is a self-proclaimed expert at American pop-culture with a sitcom/romcom quote for all of life’s situations. Judy believes that if she’s made you laugh, smile or even snort in the middle of a stressful day, her job here is done. Follow her at her website judybalan.com, on Twitter @judybalan, or on Facebook.


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