System Administration and April's Fools Day

Date April 1, 2011

Ah, April 1st, the one day of the year that you can't trust everything you read on the internet....

Sorry, did I forget my sarcasm tag?

It is an interesting day, though. For those of us who are particularly gullible, it's probably a day of irritation at best (did you know that Wikipedia has no entry for Gullible (seriously, just click the link)), but if you're the kind of person who takes part in the shenanigans, then it's a day of choices. Do you prank people? If so, how far do you go? How do you cross the line?

As I write this, there's discussion on twitter using the #sysadmin hashtag. One side of the argument is that, as sysadmins, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard. The other is that, with as much pressure as we're under day-to-day, it's alright to relax occasionally and have (and take) a joke.

I can see both sides, but really, as a sysadmin, it's necessary to manage your stress, and one of the best ways to do that is to relax on occasion and have some fun. Of course, what fun you choose to have is the crux of the issue.

There's no telling how people take a joke, and what one person might laugh at and shrug off, another person might get upset about. I've had people react both ways to things I've done, so if you're prepared to play a joke, be prepared to deal with the consequences (which may involve needing to take a joke, too).

That being said, did you do anything for April Fools Day? My junior admin got one of the guys here at work by replacing his workstation with a Commodore 64:

  • katre

    I would be in heaven if I showed up and found a C64 on my desk.

    10 PRINT "katre rocks!"
    20 GOTO 10

  • Chris

    Today is the day we are moving our school district (1300 staff, 8000 kids) over to Google Mail and Calendar. I'm already going to be inundated with user problems, so I'm sure glad Google not only created their Google Motion website, they also included a link to it in the Gmail interface for my users to find. *sigh*

  • http://jon.netdork.net/ Jon Angliss

    I'm like Katre, I'd have been stoked if I turned up and had a C64 on my desk (still have one somewhere). I wouldn't have done any work, just enjoyed the old times :)

  • http://blog.sysdroid.com Giovanni

    Awesome! I should add April 1st to my Google Calendar with a 1 month warning.. It's always too close to do anything cool. Thanks for sharing.

  • anon

    Should have used one of these, could have made it long term then. http://walyou.com/commodore-c64/

  • jason

    For a while we had pretty lax security on our main login server, and only a small tightly knit team of devs had access to it (we've since gotten larger, and better ... :) )

    As a retaliatory prank (Started on Apr 1, one year), I added a echo sleep .1 >> ~/.bashrc to the end of my victim's .bashrc.

    It took him 2 weeks to finally ask "Is anyone seeing the server go slow? It's taking me forever to login .... :)"

  • John_M

    Was the wood folding chair part of the prank?

  • http://www.standalone-sysadmin.com Matt Simmons

    Yeah. Fortunately, we've got really nice aeron chairs :-)