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I am planning to play a prank on my office mates this April Fool's Day, but it occurs on a Sunday. Considering there would be no one to play a prank on, if I go to office on a Sunday, would it be culturally OK to do so either on Friday or Monday? Even if those two days are not good substitutes, which would be the better alternative of the two?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Draken, paparazzo, user34587, Snow, gnat Mar 27 '18 at 7:47

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Better off going to church – Kilisi Mar 27 '18 at 6:30
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    You'll be the best judge of how your colleagues will take a prank any day. – user34587 Mar 27 '18 at 7:23
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    I think this is one of these "if you have to ask, then the answer's no" questions. – berry120 Mar 27 '18 at 14:57
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Doing pranks in the office is just asking for trouble. Sure, it might make someone chuckle but it could just as well offend someone. Why take the risk? Do your pranks in your private life if you must be a prankster.

And of course, generally, these pranks would need to happen on 1st April. Doing it one day earlier or later because that happens to be a Sunday is not covered by the tradition.

  • If we stop doing thing because of the blanket "why take the risk of offending someone?", life would become dreadfully boring. I'm not saying OP should seek out a controversial topic that is likely to offend; but your suggestion to avoid it based on nothing but it being a prank is overly dismissive (which is then further solidified by "if you must be a prankster" revealing your contempt for pranking as a whole) – Flater Mar 27 '18 at 15:19
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    @Flater, I would agree with you for outside the office, but there are numerous cultures/countries where offending someone can have significant ramifications, so I think it is pertinent to this question which is about in the office. – cdkMoose Mar 27 '18 at 15:30
  • @cdkMoose: Fully on board with pranking not being appropriate everywhere; but this answer makes a blanket statement that does not in any way limit itself to regions where it may not culturally be acceptable and simply argues the overly generalized "someone might get offended" angle without any specific input from the OP about whether it's culturally accepted or not. – Flater Mar 27 '18 at 15:38
  • @Flater agreed, but even in areas where pranking might be acceptable, offensive (hard to define) pranking would not be. I read the answer to mean just because OP thinks the prank is funny doesn't mean everyone will, but that is just my read – cdkMoose Mar 27 '18 at 15:55
  • @Flater Sure, I'm not a fan of pranks. My point is that you can meet people like me everywhere and it's very hard to argue that pranks are appropriate for the workplace. Some pranks might be okay at some worlplaces but I really don't see why anybody should risk that they are not. – Roland Mar 27 '18 at 18:11
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It all depends on the country, office culture and type of prank.

It is not appropriate to play a prank on even April 1st in many professional companies in Sri Lanka. It may cause unexpected problems. Sometimes you can't correct them again.

Playing a prank on the day before or after is even worse. My recommendation is not to do it unless your are 100% sure (not 99% because why would you want to create an unneeded problem) that that prank will not go wrong.

  • It's an Australian company and they are pretty casual around the workplace. I work in tech, so I am just going to send an email saying I dropped the company's database, no physical stuff. Technically, I could send the email on April 1 and wait for them to read it on the following day. – Shahid Thaika Mar 27 '18 at 6:21
  • @ShahidThaika As I don't know your company/coworkers/system, I can't say anything about the contents of your prank, but if your prank is an email, I strongly suggest that the timestamp on the email is indeed April 1st. – さりげない告白 Mar 27 '18 at 6:27
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    @ShahidThaika If you're going to do it, don't mess around with something as serious as suggesting you deleted the company's data. But I feel the answers say it pretty well, it's really not a good idea unless you have a great read on the company culture and are 100% sure this can't bite you in the ass – Draken Mar 27 '18 at 6:54
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    If I got an email like that, you would be fired before you had a chance to tell me it was a joke. This is not funny and never under any circumstances appropriate. Businesses depend on their databases and dropping them is grounds for dismissal. – HLGEM Mar 27 '18 at 21:47
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    Sending an email like that is going to throw literally everyone who receives it into panic mode, a really bad idea. Even worse if you send it on the actual 1st, as someone will receive it on the long weekend and freak out over nobody being at work to fix it. What if someone goes into damage control mode and emails all the company's customers apologising for the outage without verifying a problem first? This will cost you dearly if you do it. – Xono Mar 28 '18 at 5:09

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