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  1. #1
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    I massively trolled a coworker and didn't even realize it

    This coworker has worked for the company I recently left for over 25 years. Ive known him for 20 and worked with him for 17. Back in the early days, he once played a hugely funny prank on the boss. He called in with the daily report, and since it was just before 5 PM, the receptionist had put the answering machine on. So my coworker left a deadpan message that said something like "just checking in, the boat sank, we lost all the gear, but we swam ashore and we're all ok. talk to you tomorrow". The receptionist was not a native English speaker, and did not catch the sarcasm in his voice when she listened to the message, so she thought the boat had actually sank. She went running into the boss' office and told him, and because she beleived it, he believed it. he immediately got on the phone with the company president, and because the boss believed it, the president believed it. They started putting things in motion, insurance, Coast Guard, etc, when the boss actually listened to the message, and knew he'd been had.

    It was an awesome troll. It becamse a standard joke that people often used when calling in even to this day - the boat sank, we lost all the gear, etc. It was about as meaningless as calling someone a moreon.

    Fast forward 25 years.

    Last year about this time I was involved in a work incident where a survey boat I was working on capsized and sank. Thankfully, the three of us got out OK and were picked up by some passing fishermen, but it could have gone many other ways that didn;t have as good of an ending.

    That said, we lost about $125k worth of geophysical and seismic gear.

    I called the boss (same guy) from the deck of a Coast Guard boat with one of their cell phones. He of course did not believe me, and I said out loud in front of the Coasties, no really man, I'm not kidding this time! They looked at me funny so I had to explain the story from 25 years ago. They all got a good laugh.

    I had been texting a few people during the events leading up to the sinking, and since I lost my phone, it looked to them that I had stopped responding. One of them called the boss, and also the guy who had left the original answering machine message, to see if they had heard from me. Once I got a replacement phone, I was able to get the text messages I missed, and one of them was from the guy who left the original message, and he said something like hey people are calling me asking if I've heard from you, something about an unstable boat in high seas etc etc are you ok? I replied "the boat sank, we lost all the gear, but we were picked up by some local fishermen and we're ok". I was laughing at the irony of responding to his query with a joke that actually wasn't a joke this time when he responded with something like "that's an old and stale joke, you should think of something else".

    Fast forward to last week. A friend who still works for the company came over for a few hours. The subject of the boat came up. She said that original message guy had been pissed at me for MONTHS last year. Apparently, he believed I was joking when I told him the boat sank. But then when he heard everyone else he was on a field project with talking about it, he believed that I had told everyone the joke, and that everyone had believed me. So he believed that I had used his joke to much greater effect than he had. It wasn't until someone finally showed him pictures of the actual boat that he realized I hadn't been joking.

    I massively trolled him without trying and without realizing it.

    That's better than the original joke.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I was involved in a work incident where a survey boat I was working on capsized and sank....I had been texting a few people during the events leading up to the sinking...

    Can't help but wonder about your "involvement" in the "events"............!

    I once had the engine of my car catch fire on the way to work. This was before cellphones were ubiquitous, but somebody pulled over and offered me the use of their phone. Called my boss and explained that I'd be late.

    Later on, heard from co-workers that the boss didn't buy my story. Took the wooden doll thing that was hanging from the rearview mirror, now charred, and tossed it on his desk. "This is all that's left of my car," and walked out. What an a-hole.

    Must've been nice to work among people with a sense of humor! I'm smirking just thinking about "the boat sank......"

  3. #3
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    I massively trolled a coworker and didn't even realize it

    I'm still chuckling over it. It's baffling why he was angry about it, since he's the most likely one to pull something like that. That makes it even funnier :-)


    As for the boat, I was just along for the ride, running the gear and making sure the data met standards. The extent of my involvement in the boat sinking was getting out of the cabin alive and helping the other two do the same. The party chief was fired later that day by the company that we were subcontracted to, as he should have been. He screwed up, and almost killed himself and two other people.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I figured, but the sequence of events was too easy.

    Last time I was on a boat, the captain was as drunk as the rest of us. Nothing like running out of gas around midnight and learning that the captain doesn't actually have an account with Sea-Tow after all.

  5. #5
    Quiet, daddy's drinking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69 View Post
    I'm still chuckling over it. It's baffling why he was angry about it, since he's the most likely one to pull something like that. That makes it even funnier :-)


    As for the boat, I was just along for the ride, running the gear and making sure the data met standards. The extent of my involvement in the boat sinking was getting out of the cabin alive and helping the other two do the same. The party chief was fired later that day by the company that we were subcontracted to, as he should have been. He screwed up, and almost killed himself and two other people.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Was it pilot error? Unsafe equipment? What's the straight poop Popeye?
    Just because you won't listen to reason does not mean I have to listen to idiocy.

    No collusion with the delusion

    “Nationalism always breaks its promises because nationalists hate enemies in their countries more than they hate the enemies of their countries" The Guardian.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtleherder View Post
    Was it pilot error? Unsafe equipment? What's the straight poop Popeye?
    Stubborn pride more than anything.

    60+ year old party chief didn't like a 22 year old boat operator (who had more deck time than the party chief and me put together) telling him we needed to head in because conditions were rapidly deteriorating. By the time I jumped in to the conversation the party chief was already in full passive aggressive mode. The result was we ended up in conditions that were too much for the size of the boat we were on.

    I'm still angry for allowing myself to be put in that position. I trusted someone who I thought was worthy of that trust because of his position. I was way wrong on my judgement and didn't realize it until it was too late.

    Next time I step on a boat under those conditions - with a crew I do not know - their credentials and background will have been fully vetted by me first.


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  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I'm still angry for allowing myself to be put in that position. I trusted someone who I thought was worthy of that trust because of his position. I was way wrong on my judgement and didn't realize it until it was too late.

    Next time I step on a boat under those conditions - with a crew I do not know - their credentials and background will have been fully vetted by me first.


    A person's title doesn't always mean much. I was just thinking about this, too, for some reason- years ago, I had a sales manager who was 23 years old, with an associates degree in art and no sales background, in that position only b/c her sister was a manager elsewhere in the company.


    If this were PO, I'd use an entirely different example......

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