This morning, a reader who wishes to remain anonymous sent the Voice the video appearing in this post, along with a brief description of its contents.
The video purports to show the reaction of former Pelham Town Treasurer, Cari Pupo, upon discovering a live rooster that had been placed in her office by a senior member of Town management, who can be heard laughing off camera.
The Voice has not independently verified the authenticity of the video. Earlier today we contacted Pelham’s Public Relations and Marketing Specialist, Marc MacDonald to confirm that the incident occurred, when it occurred, and the identity of the rooster-planting administrator.
There are a number of ways this video could be interpreted by viewers.
It may be seen to present an innocent moment of staff hijinks, the sort of humorous event whose effect can actually lead to stronger team-building through an increased sense of belonging. Or it may be seen to present one in a series of workplace pranks that, over time, could be considered a form of harassment.
Or Town staff may well have another interpretation.
Late today, Marc MacDonald updated us, stating that he hoped to have an answer by the close of business on Friday. We have no doubt that he is working diligently to do so. However, we find it perplexing that it would take several hours—much less two days—for a senior administrator to confirm whether he planted a live rooster in the Treasurer’s office. Surely the planting of live roosters is not a regular event, requiring a forensic examination of previous poultry planting incidents to determine which this one happened to be.
We would imagine that this confirmation could be accomplished with a short phone call, something along the lines of, “Say, ——-, did you plant a rooster in the Treasurer’s office?” And the answer would be a similarly straightforward, “Why, yes, I did,” or, “Sounds silly, but yes,” or even, “Can you be more specific? Which rooster? The Rhode Island Red or the Iowa Blue?”
Humour aside, there’s a potentially sober issue that needs to be addressed: Whether Pelham Town staff, including its senior managers, are being subjected to pranks that they may not find particularly funny.
As for the rooster’s fate, we’re not asking.
UPDATE 1: Friday, May 19
Pelham’s Public Relations and Marketing Specialist, Marc MacDonald, confirms the the video’s authenticity, and says that it was recorded in 2014, “prior to regular business hours at Town Hall.”
“The Mayor and Council were made aware of the incident,” he says. “Council took the incident seriously and acted accordingly.”
MacDonald asserts that the rooster placement was a lighthearted practical joke and that no complaints were received. “The Town is not aware of any subsequent events of this nature.”