When office morale is low, nothing says “go team!” quite like public humiliation. One day, while researching some important work stuff on Facebook, I stumbled across a site called yearbookyourself.com. The site allows you to “morph” a digital headshot into one of several rather dated coif-and-shirt ensembles. I immediately recognized the potential workplace fun that could be had with such an application. The resulting masterpieces that I covertly posted on the conference room window were the talk of the office for weeks. (No, as a matter of fact, we don’t have anything better to do.)
Here is how you, too, can give your fellow coworkers a good laugh:
1. First you must get a job working in an office conducive to your goal, as some
receptionists people are too sensitive to handle a little public mortification. A good way to gauge the sensitivity level is to tell a really funny, but inappropriate, joke. Did everyone get really quiet, or did they laugh and nudge one another knowingly? Are they giving you looks of disgust, or high fives? If you already work in an office that doesn’t have any pansies, you can skip ahead to step 2.
2. Now that you’ve secured your place in an office that can handle a little fun, you’re going to need to get access to digital photographs of the employees. If infiltration of these files is not possible, you may need to secretly photograph your coworkers with your cell phone. This is not considered creepy if you’re doing it for a really good cause.
3. Take your photographs over to yearbookyourself.com and play around with the generator until you have created a realistic-looking, yet severely unflattering, yearbook portrait of each coworker. Don’t leave anyone out. Company officers and direct supervisors are not exempt from ridicule.
4. Print out your handiwork on your company’s color printer, on the highest quality. Apply a nice matting for an extra touch of whimsy. Do not become overly concerned with any company policies regarding utilization of company resources for personal pursuits, as this clearly is a business endeavor. Besides, policies are guidelines, not rules.
5. As everyone is leaving for the day, pretend that you still have a butt load of work to do. Grumbling and shaking your head as they move for the door should suffice. Once the coast is clear, post your pictures in neat rows on a large wall or window. To identify your project, I recommend cutting out some pendants and labeling them with your company’s name, “Class of 2010,” “School of Hardknocks,” etc.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind:
– Some coworkers, especially the older ones nearing retirement, are going to think these are real yearbook photographs. No matter how many times you try to explain otherwise, they are going to remain convinced you actually located their high school yearbook photos. Just roll with it. It is much easier for some people to believe you hired a private investigator or contacted their mother than it is to grasp the marvels of modern technology.
– The generator allows you to lighten or darken skin tone to make pictures blend better. It may be tempting to change someone’s ethnicity when you start running out of templates, but I would not recommend doing so unless you are prepared to answer the question, “What’s so funny about being [insert ethnicity here]?”
– Wait to see everyone’s reactions before claiming credit. If the receptionist is insulted or your supervisor wonders aloud who had this much time on their hands, you may want to consider playing dumb.