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Following The Rules To The Letter

, , , | Working | October 26, 2020

I am the watch-stander in Damage Control Central on the midnight watch on April first. Damage Control Central is the primary communications point for any emergency aboard the ship and is manned around the clock. As a result, the watch-standers routinely get sailors wandering in at all hours to ask some extremely stupid questions, like, “What time are eight-o’clock reports?” and, “What deck is the weatherdeck on?”

Since it is April Fool’s Day, I decide to try to limit the Stupid Question Parade by putting a sign outside the door suggesting we’re busy with an emergency situation. In an attempt to avoid getting in trouble for false reporting, I make sure the sign is totally accurate but misleading to anyone not paying attention.

All is well — and blissfully Stupid-Question-free — until the Chief Engineer happens to drop by DC Central to print out a report he’ll be needing first thing in the morning. He is less than thrilled about the sign and yells at me, but he acknowledges that the sign is both accurate and pretty funny.

The sign I posted says, “DC Central is dealing with seawater intrusion in the firemain system. Emergencies Only!”

For non-Navy readers, the firemain is the system that provides fire-fighting water in the event of a fire. On Navy ships, the firemain is constantly pressurized with seawater.

I receive some mild punishment from my Division Officer, but I follow it up the next April Fool’s Day with a different sign: “DC Central is dealing with a Class Bravo Fire in #2 Boiler. Emergencies Only!”

A “Class Bravo” fire means the fire source is a flammable liquid. The ship’s boilers burn diesel fuel, so there is always a “Class Bravo” fire in the boilers when they’re running.

I get in trouble again, of course. For the rest of my tour aboard that ship, I am specifically prohibited from standing any watches on April first.

April Fool’s Also Happens Every Other Month

, , , , | Related | June 25, 2017

(This takes place a few years ago on April Fool’s Day. A few things it’s important to note: my father appears to be a very gruff and stoic man, but has a hidden and dark sense of humor; his job involves a lot of people with power tools, and he’s already had to get stitches twice before, due to accidents; and I’m a HUGE worrywort with a tendency to think the worst-case scenario is happening.)

Me: *picks up call from my father’s cell phone* “Hey, Dad, are you working overtime again? The ribs are gonna take a while in the oven, so I was thinking of getting them started now.”

Dad: “I don’t think I’ll be home for dinner tonight, kiddo. I’m actually at the hospital now. One of the guys dropped his chainsaw, and… well, I lost a couple fingers.”

(He’s also always been incredibly calm in such situations; the last time he had to go the hospital, his co-workers told me he complained more about having to use his newspaper to staunch the blood!)

Me: “What?! Oh, my god! Let me call [Brother #1]; we’ll get [Brother #2] from work on the way and be right th—”

(Obviously I’m panicking, so it takes a bit for me to realize that he’s cracking up.)

Dad: “I thought you love to read. Why not read the calendar?”

(I look at the calendar on the fridge.)

Me: “Why you… It’s not a fair April Fool’s joke if it happens to you ALL THE TIME!”

(He brought me a chocolate bar to make up for messing with me like that, at least.)

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| Right | April 1, 2016

Me: “Aaaaarghahhhrrrg!”

Customer: “Grrrrrrrhaaarghar!”

Me: “Haaaargh! Mrrrrrghargr!”

Customer: “Harrrrg! Gorrrrrrerghargh!”

Me: “Grrrrrhrrrgargrgr!”

Customer: “Ghrrrrrdrgerggggh!”

Me: “Owr! Raaaaaargh!”

Customer: Mrowraaargh!”

A False Scent

, , , , , , | Right | April 28, 2015

(I work for a group coupon website. As an April Fool’s joke, we post an online advert for an obviously fake perfume, with ingredients like “anger” and “crushed hopes and dreams.” On top of that, it costs R10,420, or about $861. Obviously, when they click the BUY button, it shows the price as R0. More than 2,000 people “purchase” it, but we have more than a couple of calls that go like this:)

Me: “Hi, thanks for calling [Company]. What can I help you with today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’d just like to find out how you’re going to ship my [Fake Perfume]? It didn’t ask me for an address.”

Me: “Oh. Ma’am, that perfume isn’t real… It’s an April Fool’s joke.”

Customer: “No, it’s not. There’s a photo of the bottle on the website.”

Me: “Yes, one of our graphic designers made that.”

Customer: “Really? I thought it was a real perfume. Please cancel my order.”

Me: “But, ma’am, you didn’t actually pay for anything.”

Customer: “It’s fine. Just cancel my order, please. I thought it was real.”

Me: “…”

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Night-Shift Of The Dead

, | Right | April 1, 2015

(I am working the customer-service desk for the night-shift at a 24-hour retailer in a huge supermarket. It is a very quiet shift, with the few customers in the store shopping silently and not needing customer-service. In the early hours of the morning, one of my coworkers who has the day off comes running in, looking filthy, exhausted, and covered in blood.)

Coworker: “What are you still doing here?!”

Me: “What do you mean? My shift isn’t over.”

Coworker: “Dude! The zombie apocalypse has started! Haven’t you seen the news?”

Me: “No, I’ve been right here.”

Coworker: “But the store is overrun with zombies! I took a huge risk coming in here for supplies. You haven’t seen any zombies?!”

Me: “No! Just me and the customers.”

(We both stop to look around the store, and at the customers. Now that I am looking a little closer, the customers are walking around with a slightly exaggerated shuffling gait, a little bit more of a blank look than they usually do, and some seem a little less… fleshy than would normally be expected.)

Me: “Huh, I guess the zombies are the customers.”

Coworker: “You mean you’ve been working here surrounded by zombies all night and you didn’t even notice?!”

Me: “It’s the night shift.”

Coworker: “…Yeah, sounds about right.”