The beauty of this prank is that, if executed properly, the victim will not realize they have been hoaxed for a long while and will be hard pressed to figure who duped them... especially when performed in the faceless environment of an office. Plus, it makes a delightful mess of their work space.
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Step 1: The Plan
The idea behind the hoax is simple: People love getting packages and would never expect an important-looking package to contain nothing. Well, almost nothing...
Above you can see my drawn-out plan:
A package absolutely stuffed with styrofoam packing peanuts is made to appear "important" and subsequently placed before your victim for their enjoyment. The box has been selected in such a way that after the victim opens the box, they will be forced to dump the contents into the nearest trashcan to expedite the recovery of the "precious components", which of course do not exist. Once they realize that they have missed these precious components, they will be forced to resort to rummaging through the trash like many a transient hobo before them.
After they give up (a few minutes perhaps), the victim may waste additional time by calling the company or sales representative that sent them the package to figure out what exactly is going on. Of course you will have made up said company or sales rep, furthering the confusion.
Meanwhile, you will be plugging away at your workstation like the diligent worker you are, only stopping for the occasional mind-chuckle as you picture your colleague hunched over their trash can, elbow deep in styrofoam packing peanuts, sweating like they're shooting for a 5 o'clock deadline... except that it's only 10am.
Who do you think the superiors are going to promote for that new opening in management: the dishevelled, smelly, sweating kid who's workstation is covered in paper bits and styrofoam peanuts? or you, fresh and proper plus, oh look at that... you finished that assignment on time because you didn't have a stupid empty box to deal with all morning?
That's right, this prank is also the first step to a better you.