The 'no evening emails' joke
On April 1 2015, law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, which has offices in both New York and London, made the fatal mistake of assuming that its overworked employees would respond well to a joke about their precarious work-life balances.
An email from the company, sent out to all employees, told workers that company emails would be switched off between 11pm and 6am, to ensure that staff did not work into the small hours.
“All emails during this time will be automatically responded to with a message that the recipient is on vacation and not receiving emails, and the name, email address and telephone number of a designated substitute for the duration of the vacation,” it stated. “We are proud to be taking a leadership role in caring about our colleagues’ quality of life.”
When the message was revealed to be a prank, exhausted staff responded with (pretty understandable) anger, accusing the company of "making a mockery of our hard work”.