Happy April first, or as many of us celebrate, April Fools' Day. I know that some of you might not have celebrated this great day, so as with most of my technical blog posts, I will start with a definition from Wikipedia.
April Fools' Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other.
I simply love April Fools' Day. It is the best time of the year to recall all of those Service Desk requests that can only be thought of as a joke - "are you serious?" Of course, over the years, we have all pulled pranks on others and been on the receiving end too. My favorite office pranks always involve cubical gags; like the time coworkers surrounded a cube with pallet stretch wrap and filled it with shipping popcorn.
Well, if your legacy Service Desk or Help Desk is starting to feel like a prank played on the IT Organization by your current vendor, check out this offer.
Now, if you are bored, and need to pull a prank, you can check out this post from last year, Top 10 (Mostly) Harmless Geek Pranks. I particularly like #2, Use Text Expansion to Replace Common Words. I use a lot of text shortcuts, having my Office programs automatically replace my "shorthand" with full text. The easiest would be pls becomes please, thx becomes thanks€¦ What a hoot if your co-worker didn't lock their machine and someone added a bunch changes to the auto correct. Well, not really funny if you are on the Service Desk call, but funny nonetheless.
In last week's TechRepublic e-newsletter there were some great posts. The one with 10 classic "clueless" customer calls was very funny. Although none of the 10 were LOL, some did bring back the "good old days" when many of our service calls were from total newbies. Today, it is doubtful that you would get a call from someone who didn't know what a mouse was or how it worked, but, for you younger readers, there was a time when some of the calls were from users with absolutely no clue.
One of my favorites was #4.
We currently have a great policy for keeping e-mail to a minimum. It's only kept 90 days, then it's deleted, so if you want to save it past the retention period, you have to put it into a file somehow.
This has been in effect for several years, but amazingly, we had a couple of executives in the legal dept who built up 40,000 messages in their inboxes each, without having any deleted. I finally got the connection when the new "retention policy" was published. The company lawyers who wrote it had a line in the document that excluded themselves from the policy and made sure they could keep everything forever!
Another link from the TechRepublic e-newsletter was from Rod Shelley's classic "Stupid Computer Tricks" originally published in 2000. Rod allowed TechRepublic to republish his photos - definitely worth a look.
I really enjoyed seeing some of the old tech in the photos. Of particular interest were the floppy drives. Those drives could lead to some serious user mishaps. My favorite photo and accompanying caption was #18, the Harrah's casino token in the Floppy drive - hilarious!
Feel free to share your favorite prank with our readers and good luck surviving the day unscathed.
Flickr Image by Jeremy Vandel