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More Evil Teasing

One good turn deserves another.

It was Tim's birthday over last weekend. That's a good excuse to pull a prank. (We don't need much.) There was even some precedent for this — on Kim's birthday, her team pulled a prank on her, grilling her mercilessly during a meeting before bringing out the cake.

Tim participated in that, so it was especially satisfying to roast him in the same way. Several people from his team and from my team organized a fake meeting to discuss some alleged problems we had just discovered, that would require work in some of the tools he owns.

I regret I can't go into details about the nonsense we fed him to make him worried. I can't talk about our future products. But we did an extremely good job making up things that sounded vaguely threatening, and we assigned him to investigate a bunch of things. Several times we almost lost control and started laughing while telling him all the stuff he'd have to worry about.

It helped that he was out sick the day before we did this. He thought we had already discussed it, so that he was the only one who didn't understand the details of what was wrong. If he had probed us for more information, the farce would have been exposed.

He bought it. There was only one thing he challenged, but I countered by changing the subject. We led him on for a half-hour, making stuff up on the fly, squirming in the effort of making him squirm. It was tremendously fun.

Nobody thought it would take a half-hour. It took so long because Tim's manager — who tolerated this, if not quite sanctioned it — was stuck in another meeting. Kim also missed most of the banter because she was responsible for bringing the cake and manager to the conference room. But eventually they arrived, we sang Happy Birthday, and patted ourselves on the back for an evil deed well done.

I thank my co-conspirators for their participation.

Tiny Island