Middle-aged Culpeper, VA resident James Carroll Butler has been charged with assault for laying a urine-laced trap in the office coffeepot for his coworker, Michael Utz. While Butler’s plan backfired, we get where he was coming from; we’ve all had infuriating coworkers we would have liked to do dirty. (Though maybe not quite that dirty.)
In case bodily fluids aren’t your bag, we came up with five alternative–and probably not illegal–ways to get the best of that annoying desk jockey in the next cubicle.
1. For those of us with less-than-stellar olfactory abilities: Get a cheap can of tuna or sardines and sprinkle the juice around their chair, on their carpet, wherever. Smaller amounts are better; no giveaway stains involved. Your colleagues will be disgusted, your awful coworker will be increasingly embarrassed and/or infuriated, and you will sleep soundly at night knowing your revenge was sweet. (But ultimately probably not legally actionable. Unless someone is allergic to fish smell, in which case that’s just Darwinism in action.)
2. Every time they go to the office bathroom, follow them in and sit in the stall next to them. Always let them leave first. They will never poop at work again. (Unless they’re one of those weird people who’s totally comfortable pooping in public, in which case they are probably incapable of being embarrassed no matter what you do to them.)
3. If you know they have a phobia (clowns, sharks, carrots, Madonna’s arms, etc.), change their desktop background to a picture of that thing and enjoy the subsequent screams. (If you’re unsure about the legality of this or their computer is password protected, just tape a picture of that thing to their monitor under a note that says, “Hey! Just dropped by to tell you…”)
4. Hide a device with a long battery life somewhere around their office/cubicle. Make sure the device emits a low-level beeping noise. If you’re not the only one who’s annoyed with this person, get your colleagues to tell the person that they don’t hear anything unusual.
5. While all of these things will make you feel better in the short run, the best revenge is living well. Long after the smell of fish has left their cubicle, their computer settings have been returned to normal, and they’ve finally found the source of that fucking beeping noise, they’ll be thinking about how you got to travel the world/make more money/live a happy and full life and they didn’t. While that shouldn’t be your only motivation to be successful, it doesn’t hurt.