Immediately after leaving university I joined a software company, and stayed there for 2 years and 8 months. It was serious slice of life. I’m glad I spent it there, but I’m also glad I left. Over the almost-three-years, my self-control wavered from time to time. I enjoy a joke, and if there’s a practical element, all the better.
In his goodbye speech, my manager went over the list of things I had done in my time there, including several practical jokes.
The Great Teabag Curtain
One running joke that I had with a colleague concerned tea-bags, which company supplied with strings, in boxes. Back in 2009 I had a colleague who worked at the next desk and she used to leave her used teabags on her desk. Sometimes she waited until the end of the day before putting them in the bin, sometimes she’d forget altogether. I started sneaking the teabags off her desk and storing them. She didn’t seem to notice, so I continued for about a month.
When the time was right, I waited for her to go to lunch before springing into action. Enlisting the help of two willing volunteers, I affixed the teabags to her desk.
Over the years one or two more teabag related jokes came and went, including the Teabag Beard
And of course, the Cat Eyes.
Sadly, the Deskful of Cats was destroyed before a photograph could be taken. Which is a shame, as it was my most daring work. And it took real team-work to achieve.
So on my last day, I decided one last parting shot would be appropriate. People collect things (such as used bottle tops), and leave out containers with a note. I decided on a name, checked that it wasn’t in the staff database, and commenced the Final Joke. I started with a single tea bag of my own.
The note read:
(For a wormery)
By the afternoon it was clear people had seized on the idea:
I said my choked-up goodbyes to colleagues, friends, former housemates, and walked out the revolving doors for the last time. Sad as I was to go, I had a smile on my face, knowing that I had left one last parting gift.
Two days later, the following email circulated:
Date: 24 February 2011 13:27:37 GMT
To: Non-Work List
Subject: Who is Judy (downstairs)?
In the kitchen of 2/G3 there’s a pile of old teabags waiting for Judy (downstairs) to come for them. It’s a bit of a mystery as we don’t have a Judy, or Judith, listed and there’s no extension or location, or…. A
<img class=“img-responsive” title=“Tea Bags III ” src=“/images/2011/10/tb3.png” alt=“” /
No-one owned up to being Judy.
A week later I received a mail from my man-on-the-inside:
They are gone !
But they lasted a week.
I suspect people will eventually guess it was me. They will if they read this blog.