You know cleaning is a serious business when April Fool’s pranks like these keep us laughing for years.
Working for a builder in Cincinnati performing Final Cleans, our company was hired to perform maid service at the builder’s home. On April 1st quite a few years ago, myself and co-worker were nearing completion of his service, and it hit me! I called the owner on his cell and proceeded to explain that after I had completed his top floor and headed down to the main level, I walked into the dining area and his ceiling had dropped to the floor in the area of the Jacuzzi tub in his master, and water was gushing everywhere; we could see the bottom of the Jacuzzi above us.
It must have been at least a minute before I finally asked, “Josh, are you there?” A few more moments went by until I heard a very low and drawn out, “What!” I waited another 30 seconds and said, “Josh?” …a few more seconds…he answered in the same tone “What?” I REPLIED, “APRIL FOOLS!”
He made several attempts to repay me. On one occasion, he called our office after we performed a cleaning for him that day and proceeded to let me know in no uncertain terms that we had closed his cat in the master closest and the cat had freaked out and s&%t all over floor, walls, clothes and shoes!!! And “when were we coming to take care of the mess!!!!???”
One April Fool’s Day several years ago, I posted on our Facebook page an elaborate story about opening a new location in Billings, MT (my home town). The story mentioned that we would be transferring most of our staff to Billings to help the new location get up to speed.
I had a couple of resignations, and words that cannot be repeated here, that morning when the staff gathered. I think that was the last time I pulled an April Fool’s joke on my staff.
Classic Touch Cleaning
The funniest prank was when a customer lifted one of her toilet seats, both parts, and stretched saran wrap over the porcelain bowl and then put the seat and lid back to normal. When we put product into the bowl, it all just sat on top until my employee realized what was going on. The children were outside the door watching and giggling so then she caught on. It was fun and we all laughed about it at the office too.
Mr. Carpet Cleaning Company
One year I did a bunch of small stuff:
- Cotton balls in everyone’s shoes so they were tight
- Turned the office’s computer screens upside down (In Control Panel, enable Rotation; then use ctrl, alt, up/down arrow to switch)
- Switched the keys for our cars on the key rings
- Changed the language on the company phones to French
- Changed the covers on everyone’s cells so they all had the wrong ones
- Switched cabinets in the kitchen
- Hid in my closet so when they came in I wasn’t there
- Wrote funny things for them to do on their work orders, like scratch the dog for five minutes and use a brush to clean all baseboards by hand, especially behind furniture.
Here are some of the more complex April Fools pranks I have pulled on my staff:
All of our people leave the keys to their cars when they leave in the morning. I moved them all around; the ones that were far away I moved up close and vice versa. It was funny how many people walked out to where their cars always are and thought their cars had been stolen.
I called a team and told them that one of their clients had cameras on in the house yesterday, and I was giving them a chance to tell me what happened before I take further action; call me when they were ready. They called about an hour later and said that two of the girls had switched bras, but they never would have done it if they thought the client was watching! So weird!
TC called me to prank me, and said she had just spilled Shooter (a chemical) on our client’s $25,000 rug. Her voice just sounded weird, so I told her I’d call her back. I decided to prank her back and called back really upset sounding, saying I can’t afford this and it will actually potentially bankrupt me, so I needed them to roll it up and bring it back to the office right now; we’ll throw it in the dumpster and pretend we have no idea what happened. She was dumb-founded and broke into tears! I felt a little bit bad, but she did start it! We all got a good laugh.
One day I called the teams around mid-day and told each one of them that we got this huge job added on that we couldn’t pass up. They would be working until about 8:00 pm, and I would bring them Taco Bell to get by. They weren’t happy, and I learned a valuable lesson about throwing jobs on and expecting people to just do my bidding!
Once I changed all the clocks in the office forward an hour. After we got about four people here, I got them all in on the gag and they would all hide. When the next person would come in, I’d act surprised and say, “What are you doing here? I already took you off the schedule.” It would last until the next person got there and they’d join the hiders who were listening. This was funny.
Internet Spring Cleaning
In 1997, an email message spread throughout the world announcing that the internet would be shut down for cleaning for 24 hours from March 31 – April 2. This cleaning was said to be necessary to clear out the “electronic flotsam and jetsam” that had accumulated in the network. Dead email and inactive ftp, www, and gopher sites would be purged. The cleaning would be done by “five very powerful Japanese-built multi-lingual internet-crawling robots (Toshiba ML-2274) situated around the world.” During this period, users were warned to disconnect all devices from the internet. The message supposedly originated from the “Interconnected Network Maintenance Staff, Main Branch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.” This joke was an update version of an old joke that used to be told about the phone system. For many years, gullible phone customers had been warned that the phone systems would be cleaned on April Fool’s Day. They were cautioned to place plastic bags over the ends of the phone to catch the dust that might be blown out of the phone lines during this period.
Originally published on April 29, 2014 at CleaningBusinessToday.com.