Last Friday afternoon I was in the process of moving the stack of plates when it occurred to me that I wasn't ever going to transcribe them, so I grabbed the entire pile and put it onto the desk of a coworker who happened to have left early. This particular coworker is pretty cool. I figured she'd find it funny and be amused, and she'd probably call me on it, but it would be no big deal. We'd have a good laugh about it and then we'd throw them away. Yeah, right.
Later in the afternoon, somebody was walking around and noticed the stack of plates which hadn't been there before. Apparently she was feeling nosy, and the magnetism of the foot-high stack of paper plates was too much for her, so she took a look. A few minutes and a couple of "what the hell?"s later, she called some other people to have a look. At first I got accused of having done it, but before I could say anything it was pointed out that almost all of the plates exhibited different handwriting. That was really perplexing.
The plates were a curiosity for the rest of the afternoon, and they drew an audience from all over the building. Every time someone walked into our department, my coworkers had to show it to them.
A few of the plates got branded "offensive," and it was decided that the woman on whose desk they were found would not appreciate them. They got thrown away prematurely, and The Mystery of the Cryptic Plates was on everyone's minds for a few days. It wasn't good. The woman came in on Monday, read through the plates, and surprised everybody by not being offended at all, but that doesn't make it any less scandalous.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure it's blown over now. I'm hoping. If I get fired on Monday over the plates, you guys'll know.