So, for those of you who are of a mischievious nature, this is a warning message. Don’t.Do.It. Yes, tomorrow is April Fools’ Day, you’re dying to try to pull something. Please don’t. I was once the inadvertant victim of a nasty AF prank that wasn’t even directed at me. It all happened 7 years ago…(hazy flashback music and visuals)
When Tom and I moved to Colorado, we were pretty darned broke. We moved from Iowa, which was not nearly as expensive. Let’s compare: we went from two jobs to one, from two cars to one (and our car insurance doubled), our living square footage was cut in half (and our rent doubled), and I had out-of-state grad school tuition. Gah. So I took any kind of part-time job I could find. I taught flute lessons, I was the personal assistant to a blind grad student, my second semester I was one of the band department’s librarians (I loved that job), my second year I was appointed the music department’s (and lemme explain, this is a HUGE music department) instrument/locker manager. My duties pretty much included anything having to do with department instruments that needed to be checked out, and department lockers that needed to be assigned to music students. Not a bad job, it perfectly suited my anal, type-A, love to organize personality. Several weeks into the school year and I had the instruments/lockers organized. I knew where everything was, what condition the instruments were in. I knew which locker had which lock with which serial number and combination. I was on top of it.
April 1, 1999. We lived far enough from campus (remember, one car) that I would drop Tom off at the school where he was teaching and then continue on to the university to study/practice/have office hours for instruments/lockers. Since he had to be at his school at the ungodly hour of 6:45 am for a 7:20 start time, I usually arrived at my campus shortly after 7:00. So that day I naively walked into the music building, where I was greeted by a friend who announced with little preamble: “Jen, I can’t get into my locker.” Hmmmm…that’s strange. So I go down to my “office”, which was little more than a small locker room with a desk and my big honkin’ locker with all my instrument/locker binders in it. Twirl, twirl, twirl…hmmm…that’s strange…twirl, twirl, twirl….my office locker won’t open either. I had a key for my locker on my keyring and opened the locker. Got out the locker binder, where every single lock (you know, the Master locks that we all had in school?) and its serial number and combo are listed. Got out the other locker binder, which listed every locker and which lock it had with which serial number and combo, checked out to which person.
The serial number of the lock I now held in my hand did not match the serial number of the lock that was supposed to be on this locker.
This was not good.
The serial numbers of all the locks on all the lockers around me did not match the serial numbers of the locks that were supposed to be on those lockers.
Someone, somehow, had changed every single lock on every single locker in the music building. This was nearly 1000 locks. I had the only (so I thought) master key and the only access (so I thought) to the binders.
I think it was around this point that my friend asked me if I was ok, as I was getting a bit lightheaded and it showed. I took my master binder, went up to his locker, gave him his new combo. By the time I got down to my “office”, there were another half dozen irate people waiting for me.
It was a long day.
I sent note up to the band office, the secretary (bless her heart, she kept me sane that day) made a crap load of notices and posted them around the music building that people should not panic, just go see me and be nice about it. The Dean of the music college, Dean S., came down every few hours to see how I was doing and if there was anything I needed. The music department kept me in food and coffee that day. My professors were informed that I would not be attending classes that day and it was not to be held against me. Hell, professors had lockers they needed to get into.
I gave out new combos and info and dealt with irate musicians for close to 14 hours that day. It sucked and swallowed donkey balls. That day easily compares to the kind of stress I deal with now as a mom, but I was nowhere near ready to deal with it then. 😉
(flashback music and visuals back to present day)
So I hate AF day. Turns out a piano student had been living (LIVING!!) in the music building. The night before AF day he got bored, somehow snuck into the locked music office, found the other master lock key, and went nuts. He didn’t need the combos to open the locks with that key. He would take off a bunch of locks, scramble them, and put them back on different lockers. All night. On more than a thousand lockers. It was nothing against me, I didn’t even know the guy. But he was angry at the music college, bored, and this is what he did. He was eventually found and arrested. Not for the prank, but because he had stolen and fenced some other stuff from the music department (a laptop computer, recording equipment, the Dean’s office chair). So, for a prank that wasn’t even directed at me personally, it smacked me right upside the sanity.
From that day forward, the music department and (especially) Dean S. thought I was wonderful. If I hadn’t come in that day, or if I was out of town…actually, that’s the first time I’ve had that thought! LOL But I know I really impressed Dean S. that day; I’m pretty sure if aliens landed in my backyard and hauled off my husband, I could go to him and he’d help me find a job at the university to support my boys.
So please, I beg of you. Don’t switch the salt and sugar at breakfast. Don’t turn the volume all the way up on the radio. Don’t pull a prank. Especially on me. I did my time. ; )