In our August cover story about having fun at work ("That's Chief Entertainment Officer"), we mentioned some companies that allow grass-roots fun to develop in the office. One of my favorite examples was a company called AppRiver. Its employees make videos of a sock monkey attacking various workers.
From the story:
An exemplary instance of employee-driven hilarity is the "attack monkey," which has been cheerfully murdering people at AppRiver, an e-mail security company in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Three years ago, Hurricane Ivan ripped the roof off AppRiver's headquarters, forcing it to set up shop in a temporary location. To cheer the troops, software developer Erik Forsberg used a digital camera to film his sock monkey attacking another developer. Others pitched in on the film, and the staff was in hysterics as it made the rounds. Later, an administrative assistant decked out the monkey in a tiny red hood with devil horns.
Now when someone is hired, staff mull ways the monkey could attack, explains CEO Michael Murdoch. "We have a lot of funny people here, and I don't want to stifle that," he says. So far the 55-employee company has documented about 45 kills, including electrocution, strangulation, poisoning, and hit-and-run. The attack monkey finished off Murdoch during a job interview. It slid its salary requirements across the desk, and the CEO suffered a fatal heart attack.