If you read my last story, then you know I like to play practical jokes. Most of the time, I dream up these ideas when I am bored and want something fun to do. I want to see what type of reaction I get, and, of course, I want to see if I can actually pull it off. Sometime I don’t even have to think about a joke, the opportunity just presents itself. And, anyone who knows me knows I will never let a good opportunity pass me by.
It was Friday morning around nine o’clock, and my coworker, Jen, and I were in Janice’s office. Janice was the international in-house sales representative and I was the international credit manager. Jen was trying to get a truck scheduled for an afternoon pickup, and she and I were talking to Janice about what we would be shipping that day. Paulette was Janice’s assistant and we all called her Ms. P. Ms. P only worked part-time and her hours were from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. It just happened that day Ms. P was running late for work, or at least she thought she was running late.
As I said, Jen and I were in Janice’s office and the telephone rang. I couldn’t help overhearing the phone conversation and when Janice hung up, I asked, “Is everything alright?” Janice said, “Yes. That was Ms. P and she said was running late. She’s on her way now.” I looked at the clock and saw that it was only five after nine and I said, “It’s only a little after nine. She’s not supposed to be here until ten; right?” Janice said, “Yes, that’s right.” Knowing that Ms. P only lived about five miles from work, I said, “She’s not going to be late, she going to be very early.” Then I said, “Hum!” Jen looked at me as if she read my mind and said, “Are you thinking what I think you’re thinking?” I said, “If it has to do with the time of day, then yes.” Jen smiled and said, “Let’s do it!” I booted up Ms. P’s computer and while I was waiting for it to power up, I took the clock down from the wall and move the time up an hour. In the meantime, Jen changed the time on Ms. P’s telephone and then she ran down the hallway to the front lobby and set that wall clock up an hour. Once the computer was booted up, I changed the time from ten after nine to ten after ten. While we waited for Ms. P to show up, we let the other people working in the front office know what was going on.
About nine fifteen, Ms. P walked into the front lobby where we had an employee sign in sheet. While she was signing in, I walked through the lobby pretending to be going to the mailroom. I looked at Ms. P and I said, “Good morning. Running a little bit late, aren’t you?” She said, “Yes. I let my dog, Dixie, outside this morning and she didn’t want to come back into the house. The Little devil!” The vice president, Tracy, who also knew what was going on, came into the lobby and he said, “Ms. P, you’re late.” Now, Ms. P was very quiet and never did anything wrong, so she was a bit nervous that the vice president knew she was late for work. She said, “I know. I let Dixie out this morning and I couldn’t get her back inside. I’ll work over this afternoon to make up my time.” Tracy almost laughed when he said, “Okay, but don’t let it happen again.” Then Jen came into the lobby and said, “Ahhh Ms. P, you’re late!” By this time, Ms. P was quite embarrassed and she blushed and said, “I know.”, then she walked off. I watch Ms. P walk down the long hallway to her office and I was wondering how long we should let it go on before we told her that it was really only nine fifteen.
I went back to work and forgot all about playing the joke on Ms. P. It wasn’t until eleven o’clock before I remembered it. I looked up from my computer and Ms. P was standing at my door and I smiled and said, “Hey Ms. P. What’s going on?” Ms. P said, “I was wondering if you were ready to go to lunch.” I looked at my clock and I said, “It’s a little bit early for lunch, don’t you think?” Ms. P said, “No. It’s noon.” Then I remembered the joke. I didn’t want to go to lunch at eleven o’clock because that would make for such a long afternoon, so I said, “Well, I’m in the middle of something right now, but when I get finished with this, I’ll be ready. Besides, it’s only eleven o’clock.” Ms. P said, “No it’s not. It’s noon.” I said, “No, Ms. P., it’s eleven o’clock.” Then I pointed to my wall clock and said, “See.” Ms. P looked confused as she looked at the clock. Then she turned to me and said, “You need to check the batteries in your clock because it’s an hour slow. It’s noon.” I started laughing and just when I was about to explain what Jen and I had done, my phone rang. When I was picking up the receiver, Ms. P said, “You can come and get me when you’re ready for lunch.” I said, “Okay.”, and Ms. P went back to her office. After I finished my phone conversation, I started thinking that we should tell Ms. P about the joke. I picked up the phone and buzzed Jen’s office.
When Jen picked up the phone, I told her that we should tell Ms. P about our joke. I said, “I think we’ve had enough fun. She still doesn’t know what time it really is, and she’s ready to go to lunch.” Jen laughed, and she agreed that we should let Ms. P know what we had done. Jen and I met at Ms. P’s office door. When Ms. P saw us, she grabbed her purse and said, “Let’s go eat, I am starving.” I looked at Jen; then I looked at Ms. P and I said, “It’s only a little after eleven.” Ms. P looked at the wall clock and said, “No it’s not. It’s ten after twelve.” Jen started laughing and I said, “No, it’s ten after eleven.” Ms. P said, “No. It’s ten after twelve!” Jen jumped in the conversation and said, “Ms. P, that clock is wrong.” Ms. P looked down at the clock on her telephone and, of course, it was showing ten after twelve, so she looked at Jen and said, “No. It’s after twelve!” I said, “No. We changed the time on the clock and the phone.” Then Ms. P looked at her computer monitor and said, “What kind of joke are you two trying to pull on me? It’s ten after twelve. Now quit being silly and let’s go to lunch.” I said, “Seriously, it’s only eleven. Jen and I played a joke on you this morning. You called Janice a little after nine, not ten. So, Jen and I set all the clocks up so you would think you were late. But, don’t you get it? You were almost an hour early for work. You need to change your time on the sign in sheet, or your paycheck will be shorted an hour.” It took some convincing from both Jen and I, but Ms. P finally believed us, so she went up front and changed her time on the sign in sheet to nine fifteen.
When Ms. P was walking down the hallway back to her office, she ran into Tracy. When Tracy saw her, he shook his head and said, “Ms. P, I can’t believe you were late this morning.” Ms. P asked Tracy, “What time is it right now?” Tracy looked at his watch, and then he smiled and said, “It’s about quarter after twelve.” Tracy walked off, and Ms. P turned around and went back up front and changed her sign in time back to ten fifteen. Jen and I were still trying to convince Ms. P that we had played a joke on her earlier by setting all the clocks up an hour. We finally told her that Tracy was in on the joke. She turned around and walked back down the long hallway to the lobby to change her sign in time again. Then on the way back down the hall, she stopped by the HR lady’s office and said, “Sherry, what time is it?” Sherry smiled and said, “It’s a quarter after twelve.” Ms. P turned around and walked back down the hallway and changed her time again.” Ms. P made five trips up and down the hallway to change her time on that sign in sheet, and this was becoming more fun than Jen and I had ever expected.
This went on for almost thirty minutes and by this time, Ms. P was totally confused over the time of day and Jen and I were still trying to convince her that it was only eleven something. Finally, at eleven forty-five, we decided to go to lunch. As I was signing out for lunch, I noticed the ink scribbling and a hole in the sheet from where Ms. P’s had changed her sign in time so much. I started laughing and I looked at Ms. P and said, “What time did you get here this morning? I can’t read it because there’s a hole in the sheet!” Ms. P gave me a mean look and said, “You know what time I got here; you little devil you!” About that time, everybody started laughing and then I started singing, “Does anybody really know what time it is?” 😛