I jokingly told my manager "I quit" via email (it was longer than that) as an April Fools joke. We get along pretty well normally.

Well, it seems my joke was taken a bit too seriously as I just got an automated email from HR with checkout procedures and an invite to a few "checkout" meetings later this week as well. My company has also been letting a lot of people go recently so I am worried this is an excuse to have that happen to me.

I can see my manager responding in a like fashion but the HR communication worries me. He is also on vacation this week so I cannot ask him directly (which would be ideal).

  • How can I determine if I am actually being fired or my boss is just playing along?
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    If you got an automated email from HR, that would imply to me that they have been informed and have started the "terminate employment" process within their systems. If HR is "playing along" that's a pretty serious level of commitment to the prank. You need to speak to your boss ASAP. – alroc Apr 1 '13 at 14:27
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    @alroc - I dunno about that, I've never seen an HR department with a sense of humor. – James Adam Apr 1 '13 at 15:19
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    I think you should be fired for even entertaining the possibility that this would be an amusing april fools day joke. – Dunk Apr 1 '13 at 17:45
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    Am I the only person wondering if the joke is on enderland/enderland's boss, or everyone reading the question on workplace.se? – Dan Is Fiddling By Firelight Apr 1 '13 at 18:31
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    The next step is obviously to pretend you're planning to burn the building down. Keep the laughs rolling! – Nathan Long Apr 1 '13 at 18:41

The best plan of attack will be to slap your boss. Slapping people at work is pretty common and will help make it more clear you were only joking.

If this doesn't work, sleeping with your boss's wife is also an effective way to make it clear you were only joking.

Failing that, you should probably just quit your job - no one wants to work with a bunch of people who cannot take a joke. This is likely to make it hard for you to get a new job. Fortunately you can just make up your new resume. This will make is significantly easier to find a new job if they do not know to call your last one for a reference.

Make sure to watch out for an employee pushing you in front of a bus.

  • 21
    Gaaah, an april fools' joke about april fools? That belongs on meta. – thejh Apr 1 '13 at 20:37
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    Awesome collection of the workplace's greatest hits! – Carson63000 Apr 2 '13 at 0:09
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    All good options, but don't forget about burning down your office. In the confusion your departure will be completely forgotten about... – Coomie Apr 2 '13 at 5:24
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    Shouldn't such answers be Community Wiki? – Val Apr 2 '13 at 6:13
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    @Carson63000 was that deliberate? 'Slapping' ... 'Greatest Hits'...? :D – user5305 Apr 2 '13 at 9:52

Call your boss immediately and indicate in no uncertain terms that the email was a joke (an incredibly bad idea, by the way), and you're concerned that it was taken seriously. The risk of being a sucker and falling for his automated HR email prank is much less disastrous than actually losing your job over a poorly thought out joke.


There's no need to take action. Just carry on doing your job as well as you can. If your boss is playing along with your "joke," nothing will happen.

Mind you, if at some point in the future your pay stops being processed, you can be certain that they have "fixed the glitch" and you actually were terminated. Please be advised that if you resigned in writing, you were not fired. Your prank is in much the same taste as having a lawyer deliver divorce papers on April 1st.

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    which means no unemployment for you... – nathan hayfield Apr 2 '13 at 0:02
  • okay, so you're telling the OP off and purposefully giving him bad advice. Hmm. I'm sure this should have been a comment for these very reasons – sehe Apr 2 '13 at 6:35

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