At 7 a.m., Manager Scott Owen arrives to work at the Daily Grind on the William & Mary’s campus.
Instead of opening up the store, he grabs a homemade “furniture grabber,” and gets to work on the roof.
“Grab it, pull it toward me walk it down, grab the next one pull it,” Owen told NewsChannel 3.
He’s taking time out of his work day to remove his patio furniture from his roof. It’s a prank that’s been happening for years.
“The kids or whoever is coming by in the evening and throwing the furniture up on the roof,” he said.
This year, it’s happened more often than usual, including twice last week, and several weekends before that.
“It’s not something that I enjoy seeing when I pull up in the morning. To have to start off by taking furniture off the roof is a hassle.”
Owen keeps his patio furniture out in the evenings so students can sit down and use the WIFI.
“We leave this out for you; it’s here for your convenience. Don’t destroy it, be respectful,” Owen added.
The trick is becoming costly. He lost ten chairs so far, and one set is over $1,500.
But Owen says the joke is actually on the students, since the school pays for replacements.
“It’s going to cost the college money to replace it and it’s going to come out of your money. This is your furniture. You’re breaking your own furniture,” he says.
Yet, he knows pranks are sometimes in a college student’s DNA.
“These kids work hard. If you work too much you need to blow off some steam You can sort of appreciate that in a way.”
But he’s had enough of cleaning up after them.
“On the flip side, as a business manager and someone responsible for all this, no I don’t appreciate it at all.”
William and Mary officials tell NewsChannel 3 campus police are paying more attention to the area. But until someone is caught, it’s just Owen and his homemade tool, taking on one chair at a time.