People Hand Over Their Award-Worthy Revenge Stories
18. Don't Criticize My Parking Skills
“Back in secondary school, I (then 18F) went to a friend’s 18th birthday party. The plan was to have cake and give presents at the birthday girl’s home, then drive into the city for a meal, followed by drinks in a bar.
Since I did not live close by, and I would have to drive there and back home in my car, either way, I volunteered to be one of the drivers for the night.
The two other people that would drive the party guests around were a family member of the birthday girl as well as a guy I will call Peter.
Peter was the partner of Amy, a girl in the same friend group as me and the birthday girl. Our group had the rule that, unless something was explicitly labeled as a girl’s day, all invitations included our respective romantic partners as a +1.
From what I could tell, Peter was not close to anyone in our group other than Amy, but they only ever showed up together. I am not kidding, Amy once refused an invitation to my birthday party because Peter would be busy with his studies that night. I never got along great with Peter, but I always acted civil and polite around him.
Anyways, the birthday girl lived in a part of town I had never been to before.
While driving from her place to the restaurants, we drove through a stretch of road that had several hard-to-see curves with several intersections and traffic lights and several lines of road in each direction. The road is crowded with cars that drove at the speed limit. I did try not to drive too slow as not to block traffic, but I had to drive a little below the speed limit.
When we reached the restaurant, Peter pulls me aside.
Peter: “You do know that you can cause accidents by driving too slow, don’t you?”
Me, annoyed, since I am an experienced driver, and he has no reason to lecture me: “Yes, I know. But I’ve never driven on that road before, so I could not go full speed while navigating safely in that traffic. Also, I am not sure that driving between 40 and 45 km/h in a 50 km/h zone can be actually considered too slow.”
He sneers and leaves to join Amy at the tables.
Later, we drove to a different part of town for drinks. Mine was the last car to enter the parking lot, so the other cars had already parked by the time I found an empty spot.
Now, there is something you should know about my car: It was a solid working car but a bit on the older side. It drove well but was missing some amenities newer cars had.
Most annoyingly, it did not have hydraulic power steering. As a result, it was very hard to adjust the wheels while that car was standing still.
It was possible but did require some elbow grease. I was used to it and could move the steering wheel while standing with little problem, but I had also adjusted the way I drove to make it possible to do most adjusting while the car is still moving.
Among other things, I was very careful while parking, as in correcting the car’s position mid-parking required wheel adjustment while standing still.
I was letting my car roll slowly into the right position to get into the parking spot in one move. Just before I got to the spot where I had to start turning the steering wheel to get the right angle without having to stop, Peter left the group waiting for us and walked over to my car.
I lowered my window.
Peter, in the most condescending tone I have ever heard, said: “Well, how about I help you out and park that car for you, huh?”
I was just about to explain to him just what I thought about condescending buttholes like him when my eyes fell on his car, his brand new car his parents bought him when he got his license. His nice car with all the amenities you could imagine.
Cue the malicious compliance:
I let my car roll up further, to the exact spot where the wheels had been fully adjusted in order for the car to fit into the spot. Then I shut off the motor, smiled, and said, “You know what? That sounds like a wonderful idea!” and exited my car.
He took my keys, started the motor, grabbed the steering wheel, and suddenly froze.
His face turned to me with a scared look in his eyes.
Peter: “Does your car not have power steering?”
Me, with the biggest grin: “Nope. Now go on, show me how to park my car!”
He had to adjust while standing several times until my car was finally in the spot. The friends in my car had a very hard time suppressing their laughter. He exited, handed me the keys, and did not even look at me for the rest of the night. I think I even saw him rubbing his upper arms in pain a couple of times. He never bothered me again.”
17. Assume I Work Here? Let's Just Say Your Order Is Going To Take A Long Time
“A few months ago, I was looking for a job. I spent most of my day walking downtown in interviews. At this point, I’m in a horrible mood. The only interviews that showed any interest were the ones that looked very swifty. Most of the day is gone, the whole thing was just a farce, and I’m starving. It was one of these days that nothing goes right.
After I was done, I chose to grab a bite.
I chose a big, local chain of fast food as they make decent food at a low price.
As I enter, the first thing I notice is that it’s kind of full, but the register was empty. I sighed as that usually means they have a lot of orders in the back, and my food would be kind of late.
I walk there, and the employees (teenagers, probably part-timers or their first job) were giggling on the phone. One of them glances at me and says one moment. Alright, I have no problem with that. And I wait. And wait. And wait. At some point, I look at the clock behind them. I was waiting awkwardly in front of two giggling teenagers for four minutes.
I decided not to make a big deal out of it.
I politely and discreetly clear my throat.
The same teen rolls her eyes at me, evidently very annoyed that I interrupted again. The irritation of the day starts creeping out, but as I have worked retail most of my life, I hold it in. “What do you want to order?” She asks in a very rude manner. At this point, I’m quite sure I have a vein popping out, anime style.
I swallow my temper (I have to point out; I am generally very polite in my social interactions especially towards employees, having worked retail most of my life) and order my food (2 small burgers and a cola, totaling something like $6.30).
She rolls her eyes again, “Wow, spending the big bucks aren’t we?” in the most condescending, annoyingly bratty voice you can imagine.
At this point, I just shrug my shoulders.
My upbringing preventing me to make the remarks my brain was screening at me.
I move on a corner on one of those tall bar tables on the side to wait for my order, and I take out my small notebook to write some notes on the last interview. (I keep notes on the owners’ attitudes and other small details I notice during interviews)
As I mind my business, a wild Karen encroaches on my personal space!
“Excuse me? Are you listening to me? I’m speaking to you!”
I turn around, and I’m like what?
“Are you gonna take our order now, or are you gonna keep pretending to work?”
Then it hit me. I was wearing similar attire to the employees (a red polo t-shirt and dark blue jeans).
Of course, one could mention the fact that my red shirt was a different shade than the store uniform and that mine lacked the store logo and the name tag, not to mention a big leather bag hanging from my side, but my years of experience taught me that Karen cells cannot co-exist with brain cells.
I tried to tell her that I don’t work here and that she must go to the register. (Something to point here: the way ordering works in big franchises here is, you go to the register, you make your order, you pay, and a server brings it to you. Very rarely would a server go to your table, usually if you take a while to order.) After a while of demanding, I said screw this, and I complied.
I took her order.
“Alright, ma’am, where is your table?” She points at the 5 Karen table, and I nod.
“I will be right there.”
“Freaking kids, all you know is how to avoid working. You should get fired, you lazy thing.” She says as she leaves. I’m 30. No longer a kid (but I do look very young, 24-26 with a beard, around 20 shaved, which I was at that time).
I would not have it. I was hungry, in a horrible mood, and years of self-discipline were crumbling as I was hungry for blood.
I went to the nightmare table that consisted of not one, not two, but six whole Karens. I put on my biggest, fakest of smiles, and I took the order. I even suggested a few non-existent dishes, while ghostwriting on my notebook.
I then pointed out that it was a big order, and it’ll take a while.
I then left the Nightmare on Karen Table and went back in a corner and waited for my order in a far better mood. While waiting, a server went to their table and asked if they had ordered.
“Yes, we have. Are all the staff here as lazy as you?”
At this point, I started grinning. She had a chance to fully undo my master plan, and she failed to grasp it. I wait for 5 more minutes for my order. I take and leave a happy man.
Granted, after calming down a bit, I did feel kind of bad for feeding a couple of inexperienced part-timers to the Karensharks, but I was caught in the moment.”
16. Not Enough Graham Crackers In Your Ice Cream? Here, Let Me Fix That For Ya
“Briefly in the recent past, I worked as a manager at a Ralph’s (an NYC-area ice cream chain), and one night, as I’m helping out scooping, I hear a customer getting annoyed at the window and starting to get snippy with one of the young kids who was working the window, so I head over to smooth the situation as manager.
The woman is mad because the hot fudge on her hot fudge sundae is hot and going to melt the ice cream.
I explain to her that hot fudge is indeed served hot, but she insists, so I make her a new sundae with magic shell topping instead and let her keep the hot fudge one.
By the time I return with that, this customer is stirring her spoon through another cup of cream ice (kind of like a sherbet) she ordered, obviously about to complain about it. The flavor she ordered was called “graham crunch,” and she proceeded to tell me that there wasn’t any graham crunch in it.
That she orders this flavor all the time, and she knows that I am intentionally stiffing her. I tell her that this is just how the flavor is, and I don’t name or make the ice cream, but she isn’t having it. She wants me to “fix” it.
We’ve got some crushed graham cracker topping in the back, so as she is berating me, I just walk away from her and grab the entire container and come back to the window with it.
At this point, we’ve got a line of people down the block because this lady has held us up, so there are lots of witnesses to what I was about to do.
Without breaking eye contact with her as she continues to tell me that I’m wrong about the ice cream I scoop 6 days a week, I open the lid of the container and empty the entire thing over her cup of the offending ice cream.
Graham crackers are everywhere. Her ice cream is now definitely crunchy.
She loses her mind at this and starts yelling at me she knows the owner and will get me fired. I tell her, “Yeah, Steve is a nice guy,” and she responds with, “I’ve known Steve a long time” to which I respond, “Well, his name is John. Get out of here, and don’t bother my employees for free ice cream again.”
Now sufficiently embarrassed in front of the long line of customers, the lady leaves in a huff and indeed never returns. The next few customers left us $20 tips in the jar to make up for her, so the kids who worked for me left with quite a bit more in their pockets than they normally would and realized that their manager had their back.”
15. Ban Me From Campus? You Won't Even Be A School Pretty Soon
“This happened in the early 2010s. Let’s say it’s in a very hot state (Christmas weather is in the low 80s).
I’ll give you some background information (to explain my state of being at the time, and just how messed up what happened actually was). After my wife, my high school sweetheart, and mother of two boys had passed away suddenly at age 22 at the hands of arrogant physicians (a long and totally different story that isn’t MC) during my working through college I found myself in a situation where it was advantageous for me to get my Master’s Degree in Education before entering the field of education.
I was given the board of regents scholarship that was a four-year scholarship, and I transferred from a Community College so it paid through my Master’s degree. It is known in the field of education (especially in a desert climate for some reason) that getting your Masters BEFORE working as a teacher is very risky, because if you work for a public school they HAVE to pay you for your Master’s, and most places won’t pay extra for someone with no “actual” teaching experience.
Education is like gold in the education system. At least they value themselves.
Anyway, I’ve found it very difficult to find even an INTERVIEW for a teaching position in a public school, let alone getting a job in one. I decided to sub for various districts to supplement the pay. I was hoping to somehow get an “in” by subbing for these school districts, finding out what was so great about the hires they had (I found out nothing aside from them being a dime a dozen).
This wasn’t panning out. I did land a couple of teaching jobs that were private (literally private, teaching a prominent local desert hockey player’s kid/friend one year) or charter schools. Out of desperation, I double down on my applications for more schools that aren’t public, like Catholic Schools, Jesuit schools (I ain’t picky), any charter school I can find.
Enter Sports-is-more-important-than-education Charter School, from here on referred to as SIMITECS.
I got an interview for this place that was just being built, and they had this philosophy that sports and education go hand in hand. They fought hard to get as many “fit” and sports-related people as possible. Basically, if you didn’t play at least High School sports (Varsity) you had NO chance at this interview. I mean, it was weird. It’s like I was applying for a gym, based on the interview questions “So how many times a week do you think is a fair amount to work out?”, “What is your philosophy on aerobic to anaerobic workout ratio?”, peppered in with the standard “So what does a typical day in your classroom look like?” for good measure.
I played football in High School, and football, basketball, and baseball in college (Juco), so I thought I had a shot. I talked up my favorite athlete(s), and why I loved John Wooden so much, stuff like that. Ninety percent of the interview was sports-related. That should have been my first sign that this place wasn’t great, but the director (she didn’t like the term principal) seemed, however hippy-dippy, like a decent person.
Oh, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
So anyway, my interview was in like May and school started in very early August, and the building wasn’t even completed yet. All of the new hires (me being clearly the fattest of the bunch, save for one guy whose rotundity was only surpassed by his intellect, the “academic” of the campus, and a leader) would report to the school and pick their classroom location as they build and help them finish things up, and when they finish we could bring our supplies.
I don’t know if it was the allure of being the first person to teach in a particular building or classroom or what, but all of a sudden I was ALL in at Simitecs, and in my mind made the decision to retire from there (the first of a couple of places I thought were going to be “the one”). Oh, I couldn’t have been more naive.
Once I decide to teach somewhere for “life” I bring in my arsenal. Back in the early 2010s, the internet wasn’t such a staple of teaching. We could teach using notebooks, whiteboards, and textbooks. Seriously old school. That being said, my “arsenal” was the accumulation of all the books, notes, filing cabinets (6 five footers, full of materials), supplies, and basically leftover junk from my previous teaching assignments, like dibels testers, mismatched and random manipulatives, you name it.
Basically, a six-foot by six-foot by twelve-foot concentrated cube of junk that wouldn’t get more than $30 bucks total at a yard sale. At the time it was important to me for my craft, but to anyone else: basically useless.
So anyway, I’ve got the arsenal in my back closet of the room for use whenever, and I do occasionally. Over time the arsenal grows somehow by another couple of feet as I continue to teach my middle schoolers.
This teaching assignment was tough. There were about six kids in this class that individually warrant being worse than my worst student ever in any other place I’ve taught. Even worse than the kids (it’s a very close race), is one particular mother. Oh, what a mother she was. She accused me of being racist when I called her “precious boy” out for his ridiculous in-class behavior.
Not that this is a defense in any way (but I’ll say it anyway at the risk of sounding like that dude), but I’m biracial, neither of which is the race of the mom or son I presume. Anyway, I’m trying to say I’m genuinely not hating on this kid because of his race. He’s not the only kid that has this race in the class, he’s just the only one who jumps over desks and throws things at me when my back is turned (not even turned 180, more like a quarter turn to get the whiteboard marker).
This was tough because this lady was the lunch lady, who passed out lunch at the top of the hallway with her catering company. Evidently, I made the mistake of going to admin about the kid’s behavior before I went to her. I really did call the available number given and send an email, with no response. She absolutely hated me, yelled at me, and insulted me out loud when I walked by her, to the point I stayed in my classroom until she was off-campus.
This kept me cooped up in my classroom through lunch so I couldn’t bring a lunch that needed refrigeration. Whatever, peanut butter sandwiches it is/was.
As time went on this issue seemed to work itself out once the rest of the team realized what a pain this kid truly was. You ever see a kid that you hate so much that you want to slap that goofy smile off their face? Okay, maybe I was harboring a bit of resentment toward him for ruining my lessons on a daily basis, but I really did give him a clean slate daily and made every effort to show him positivity in the face of what could have been a rough situation.
Anyway, we hit December, and all the teachers, admin, everybody is in a good mood, excited about the break coming up. Christmas hits and we are invited to a three-star restaurant (fancy!) by admin. We say our goodbyes, I make sure that I say bye to everyone and say goodbye back.
Enter winter break. I start planning for a trip we were taking up to Flagstaff with my family (since after the lawsuit I remarried and have three children with my current wife with two from previous for a big family of seven).
As I’m entering the hotel where we’re staying, I see an email from Hippy-dippy from Simitec, this is like noontime, December 23rd. It was sent to me and one other person (who wasn’t bcc’ed but just cc’ed so I could see). It says that I need to “find employment elsewhere because your employment with us is terminated”. It was such a lame WAY to say it…
it was such a lame TIME to do it… Like Christmas eve EVE? You’ve GOT to be kidding me…
My trip is now “canceled” in spirit because now I’ve got to look for a job. Now I’ve got to contact them and find out what happened. I called her. She said that she doesn’t owe me any more explanation. I ask her about picking up my personal belongings (like my 4,500 pounds of personal belongings).
She says that, and I kid you not she said it like this, “If I see anything worth salvaging I’ll have it shipped to you. Don’t come back on campus.”
Are you KIDDING me?
Enter the beginning of a revenge that escalates like a domino.
More details about what stuff is in my classroom at this point…
So all of these things I brought on campus, pre-copied worksheets (is there any other kind?) in the thousands for math, science, ELA, social studies, random textbooks I’ve accumulated over time, a plethora of flotsam that was just for me…
waiting in my classroom, the classroom Hippy-Dippy never entered, and thusly not ever having ANY evidence as to my teaching prowess one way or another, so she had no idea just how much of my stuff was there… that’s fine… I just…… waited………and waited…….
So I tell my wife “Look, babe, (she was so mad and told me how illegal it was for her to not let me collect my personal items), 99 percent of the stuff I have there I really don’t care about, never wanted to store at the house, and is well worth it being someone else’s problem”…
she saw where I was going with this, and dreamed of keeping our garage as neat as it currently is…
So I decided I would never go back. EVER. I know this is a “revenge” that really was just what my boss said to do, but I know for a fact that had she seen what my classroom looked like she would demand I remove everything.
At first, I was surprised to not hear from HD…
I just kept enjoying my vacation (I landed a job pretty much instantly, two days after I get the poorly-timed email). I presumed that by boxing day or the day after I’d get an urgent call from her saying “Hey, come get your piles of trash.” This is a call that presumably never would happen. I just stopped thinking about it. New Year’s comes and goes…
here we are sitting on the Sunday before they go back to school, which now is (after actually signing contracts we discussed on break) also the Sunday before I start at my new school, and here comes the call.
Tempering Revenge phase 1…
HD: Mr. Jones? Mr. Jones?? Mr. Jones!!! (had a baddish connection)
Me, as cordial and pleasant as EVER: HEY HD, how was the holiday season? I had an amazing break, much needed, so glad I do what I do for a liv…
HD: (interrupting, how rude…) You need to GET all of this TRASH out of here right now… I don’t care if you have to PAY to rent a U-haul, we have class starting TOMORROW… what time are you going to get here??!
Me: Yeah, sorry, we tried that route, I believe you said that if you saw anything worth salvaging you’d ship it or something? You also said I’m not allowe-
HD: No NO NO NO you’re not doing this to me, you came in on winter break and dumped a bunch of TRASH here, I WILL send you the bill to have this ship-
Me (now I’m doing the interrupting): yeah good luck with that, that’s a bill that will NOT be paid.
(I wanted to add a nice little “Oh no thank you, but good luck in all of your future endeavors”, but I never had the chance to end a conversation so sweetly. I’m pretty sure I heard a click right about the time I said “NOT”.
She was obviously calling from campus (not just because of the click that accompanies hanging up a school phone). I found out later from a colleague (three of the teachers that worked with me at SIMI left there within a year or two, and couldn’t wait to tell me how things went down) that it went down something like this:
Revenge phase 2
Through the grapevine, the teachers found out the jerk move that HD did (firing two teachers OVER winter break by EMAIL, no call nada).
This polarized the remaining crew into 2 distinct categories: those who thought this was a totally awful move and lost all respect for HD, and those who didn’t like me or the other person who got canned either, or just didn’t care because the job market was bleak at the time. There was a subcategory of people who didn’t necessarily like us but still thought it was a bad move.
Who’s to say what percent was what, but I’d like to say that not ALL the remaining teachers I didn’t converse with didn’t hate me.
Revenge phase 3
The Fallout: Evidently HD was shopping around for new teachers in November. None of my colleagues I still talk to swear they had no idea it was to replace me… the other teacher, maybe…but they had given them a tour of campus, but not into my classroom.
Not until the newly hired teacher came into the class and brought HER arsenal of items (all on one dolly and that’s it) and asked about moving some of the teacher’s old supplies did they realize just how bad it was. HD came in on that Sunday (which she rarely does from what I’ve heard) and saw the monstrosity that was taking up every available nook and cranny of space in the classroom.
She was livid about all of the stuff she had to deal with. The situation caused the new hire to back out of the deal (she heard what happened and how it happened and decided she didn’t want to be part of it ).
Revenge phase 4
Two teachers left the week after (both colleagues I keep in touch with on JinxedIn), and when they didn’t get subs (they didn’t have a subsystem, they just split classes) and the other classrooms grew in student number by 30%, four more teachers left (an entire grade level and one more from the grade below).
Revenge phase 5
They canceled school for two days originally and then it turned out to be a whole week until they got new hires in classrooms. It was a hot mess, with teachers leaving either because of the awful way they fired two people over the holiday, or by making the rest of the teachers take in 10 more students apiece, or by making the rest of my grade level move my heavy and junky trash out of there (two flat out refused to handle the personal possessions of someone else, and supposedly she insinuated that something bad happened to me to one of the other teachers), knowing it was a full lie.
Phase 6? The charter school never recovered from that point and the building was bought out a couple of years ago by a charter school system that’s all over the state.
Edit: a few have asked how I could get a job (by email, “two days later”) on Christmas day. Though that totally could happen, it wasn’t Christmas day that I was emailed and offered the new job, but two days after I READ the email, which was later (after Christmas but before New Years). I wanted to make note that this email was SENT on December 23rd. The timing of this was a total move, especially when considering that back at this time checking email over breaks was NOT expected or reasonable. Here I am getting daily emails about my retirement, and reminiscing over these stories is truly fun.”
14. You Want The Office Temperature Hot? Not Happening, Miss
“Trigger warning – I’m about to stereotype. Ready? Men tend to like colder temperatures than women. Are we good? Okay.
It’s a tale immemorial, one person in a work setting wants the thermostat at one temperature and someone else wants it at a different temperature. One person sets it and the other resets it.
I work in a lab setting. Not a medical or microbiology lab, but an analytical lab all the same.
We have a large open area with a bunch of sensitive equipment and offices around the edge of the building. When I started this job 5+ years ago, there was a changing of the guard. The older workforce was retiring and new people were coming on board. This meant a bunch of new hires in a fairly short period of time.
The old crew that worked in the lab were a bunch of good ole boys.
Not in a negative sense, but older gentlemen.
We work in the southern US and we loved our AC (aircon). We would occasionally have to go outside to do various tasks, and when coming back inside, it was nice to have a cool environment.
We would also have to repair sensitive instruments and run samples, all while wearing personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles, lab coats) (PPE) which would make a person quite warm.
These instruments are so sensitive that temperature swings would cause issues. We had the temperature set at 72F year-round.
Not too cold, not too hot. Everyone was happy including the instruments.
After a couple of years, they all began retiring. We hire a new lady, and I hesitate to call her a Karen because she wasn’t Karen-like except for one issue, so let’s call her Mary? Mary came on to run the quality control aspect of our lab.
In order to operate our lab, we have to be certified, and maintaining that certification was Mary’s job. Think FDA, EPA, DOD, something along those lines.
The guidelines are strict and not complying is a HUGE deal. As more people leave, we hire more people, a few of whom are Mary’s former co-workers. All of whom are great workers, and all of whom are women (yay women in STEM!).
The lab now is 2 guys, 5 women.
After a while, I noticed the thermostat starting to creep up and I would turn it back down. The thermostat is somewhat close to my office so I unconsciously kept an eye on it.
Remember how the instruments are sensitive? They sure as heck didn’t like the temperature constantly being changed. This means a bunch more work for me to recalibrate them multiple times a week.
So I bring this up at a meeting.
Me – “So I noticed that the thermostat is being changed and it is starting to affect the instruments in a negative way. Can we not touch the thermostat?”
Mary – “Well I am cold in my office, so I need it to be warmer so I’m not cold.”
Me – “Maybe put on a jacket? We can’t have the temperature swinging throughout the day.”
Mary – “Well it’s not just me that is cold, some of the other women have told me they are cold as well.” A couple of her friends back her up.
Me – “Okay, well maybe everyone wears a jacket? I’m not sure what to do but we can’t have the temperature changing.”
Mary – “Well if it can’t change, why don’t we just set it higher and leave it there? Why don’t we vote on what temperature to keep the lab?”
Well damn. I didn’t think this through and now I know what’s going to happen. I didn’t have a specific reason to keep it at 72F (22C), it’s just what we always did.
The only other person that likes it nice and cool is my boss. He doesn’t care as much since his office has its own thermostat.
So, outnumbered and defeated, the new temp is 77F (25C) and everyone is told NOT to change it.
Working in the lab becomes a bit miserable for me. I am trying to work and sweating quite a bit. If you are cold, you can always put on clothes, when I’m sweating while working, taking off clothes or PPE isn’t an option.
The ladies, in their offices, are nice and happy but I am miserable. Goggles consistently fogging up, sweat stains on my work clothes, just sticky and sweaty all day. Not fun. At least I got a fan for my office. This goes on for a while.
I know it’s only 5 degrees but I am a sweaty guy by nature and it made a big difference.
Then one day, we are updating our certification.
We all have to re-read and sign off on the new certification and go over the procedure for noting non-compliance issues.
I actually care about my job and actually read the entire document instead of just signing off that I did. It also meant I got to sit in my office in front of my fan for a couple of days. It’s not as bad as a legal document, but it’s a chore.
Then, I read something in the document that perks my ears up.
I go talk to Mary.
Me – “Hey Mary, just had a quick question about the new certification and documenting non-compliance. Got a second?”
Mary – “Sure! We have to take any non-compliance VERY seriously, do you need a form?”
Me – “I think so, so what happens if we note a non-compliance?”
Mary – “Well, our certification dictates that we have to file it and keep it on file for 5 years and perform a root cause analysis project to figure out why it happened and to prevent it from happening again.
All of this needs to be documented and filed. We usually do this at the end of every month.”
Now I have done root cause analysis before and it takes a good bit of time and effort. Non-conformances are a BIG deal. A good lab might have 1-2 a year, a bad lab, maybe 10? Don’t know, been fortunate to work in good labs.
Cue Malicious Compliance.
Every day I come in, fill out the non-conformance form, and put it into the system.
The non-conformance? The temperature is outside the specified range for the lab.
You see, our certification covers a wide variety of laboratory types, and while we are not a microbiology lab, our certification does cover these labs and they need to be kept cold to prevent microbial growth. If you have ever wondered why hospitals seem to be cold all the time, this is why.
The certification temp? 68-72F (20-22C).
At the end of the month review, there are 20+ non-conformances. Our director is livid! A meeting with the director, my boss, Mary and me is called.
Director – “Op, why in the world are you submitting the same non-conformance over and over each day?”
Me – “Well, I noticed a non-conformance and reported it via the proper channels. I came in each day and noticed the same one again.
Was I not supposed to report it?” Big no-no to say not to report it.
Director – “Well no, you should report it, but why didn’t you just fix it? It would take 10 seconds to change the thermostat.”
Me – “Well I would, but we took a vote and it was voted to stay at 77F and was told I couldn’t change it.”
Director – “Is this seriously all over the darn temperature in the lab?”
Me – “Yes sir.
We used to keep the lab at 72f, but we took a vote as the lab and decided on 77f. I wasn’t in favor of it, but was told this was now the new temperature.” Boss starts to chuckle.
Mary – “Well, those are just the recommended temps, we can set it to whatever we want as long as it doesn’t change. Why don’t we just remove these non-compliances and move on.”
Me – produce the certification document.
“Actually if you read it, there isn’t any leeway. It says the lab is required to stay between 68-72F.”
Everyone reads the certification
Boss- “He’s got you there Mary, better start those root cause analyses.”
Director – “Just fix it.”
The next day, I come in and maintenance is putting a lockbox around the thermostat.
The heat kicks on if the temp drops below 68f and the AC kicks on when it goes about 72f. Ahh…”
13. Possessive Ex Tries To Stop Friend From Getting The Role In A Play They Want... And Fails
“I was reminiscing about the good ole days with my friends the other night, and we got onto the topic of my best friend Mandy’s ex. Now this girl was, I guess you could say, a bit of a control freak. We’ll call her Heather for this story. She and Mandy went out for around a year or just over a year in secondary school, and she was a teeny bit possessive.
Heather desperately tried to keep Mandy to herself, she’d grab Mandy’s hand all the time, practically sit on her lap when they were around other people, and was just generally really clingy.
Now she wasn’t clingy because she thought Mandy would leave her; it was more like she was marking her territory.
Mandy and I have a running joke that we’re like a little married couple. We’ve known each other since we were little kids and are both really gay (gay male here by the way, hi!) So, we never saw each other in a romantic way, though this didn’t stop Heather from being super jealous.
She hated me for it. Eventually, Mandy broke up with her, and she did not take it well. She only screamed at Mandy twice. The first was the day after they broke up (in front of everyone in the cafeteria), and the second will come later.
Heather became occupied with spreading rumors about how Mandy and I were seeing each other and how SHE broke up with Mandy because she caught us in bed together.
She’d go out of her way to make Mandy miserable (though, honestly, she was just more annoying than anything else).
Anyway, Mandy and I were both musical theatre kids and were in the same theatre group (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights). We had decided to do a show that was a mash-up of a bunch of different songs from a bunch of different musicals. There were kids doing songs from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hairspray, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Rent, pretty much all the big, popular musicals.
Mandy and I requested to do a duet and were immediately allowed. I was also playing Corny Collins for the Hairspray section whilst Mandy was a backing dancer for the Hairspray part and Magenta for the Rocky Horror segment.
We decided on “Dead Girl Walking” from the Heathers musical (hence her ex’s name) as no one had suggested that one, and it’s a hella fun song to sing.
So, we were pretty excited to start practicing when it happened.
Heather actually sends a link to the Broadway version of the song (where it’s pretty obvious that the characters JD and Veronica are getting it on) to Mandy’s dad. He was not happy with his daughter being ‘topless’ (wearing just her underwear and a short skirt) on stage, and it led to a whole argument with her parents that I’m not gonna get into.
All you guys need to know is that Mandy’s mom didn’t have any issue with it and thought her dad was overreacting.
To stop it from escalating, Mandy reluctantly agreed not to go through with our original plan. Heather loved this and made comments about how she was buying a ticket to see the show just to “make sure you kids are behaving” and threatened to report back to Mandy’s dad if we did our original routine.
I believe her dad’s words were along the line of, “Under no circumstances will my daughter be on stage in a bra and panties,” which was a bummer, and we thought it’d be pretty funny, and the song just kinda doesn’t seem the same if you’re just standing there singing it.
Then we had an idea. A very amusing, very petty idea. And we started planning.
We talked it through with the drama teacher, and Mandy’s mom, and they both thought it was great, as long as we could change out of our costumes and clothes in time for our other performances, and we agreed.
Mandy’s dad had said that he didn’t want Mandy on stage in a bra and skirt; he didn’t say anything about me.
We were just doing what her dad said, after all. He’d been insistent that she switch places with someone and, well, she kinda did.
We planned it for weeks. Mandy worked on getting a skin-toned vest and chest binder that she could wear when she played JD (even going as far as drawing on some abs to make it look more realistic), and I set about choosing makeup, finding padding, and getting my skirt sorted for playing Veronica.
We’ve both done drag a couple of times for plays and Halloween events, so we were quite familiar with it. We were kindly reminded by Heather that she had her ticket bought and “couldn’t wait to see the show.”
It was gonna be great.
Heather got mad when she saw someone standing too close to Mandy. So, imagine her surprise when she came to a show, expecting to see Mandy and me standing awkwardly singing at opposite sides of the stage but instead saw us in drag pretending to be getting it on whilst singing a pretty darn suggestive song.
I should point out that we had both not long turned 18, and this was not a school event, so it wasn’t exactly as if we were minors or breaking any school rules.
Thankfully, we had around three or four songs between our Dead Girl Walking performance and our other songs, so we had plenty of time to get changed. When the time came, we were absolutely giddy.
We peeked out from behind the curtain and, sure enough, Heather was there looking absolutely smug as she thought she’d ruined the performance for us.
The curtain came up, and I stepped on the stage in my skirt and blazer and began singing Veronica’s part of the song, having to contain my laughter at the look of confusion on Heather’s face. It was even more of a struggle when her face turned from confusion to anger when I strutted over to where Mandy was, straddling her, and we both struggled to not laugh at the look of horror that was no doubt on Heather’s face.
I’m a lot shorter than Mandy, and our makeup and costumes were done really well so to the people in the back, we probably would’ve passed as the opposite gender.
We savored every single second of that performance. Even looking over to Heather with a smug look every now and then and made sure to exaggerate yeah’s at the end, which left Heather looking absolutely mortified. Her face was priceless.
After the performance, we rushed off to get changed for the next song, pretty easy seeing as we’d taken off most of our clothes on stage. The show went absolutely perfectly, and we enjoyed a little drink afterward (again, we were both 18; no underage drinking here).
I later found out that once Mandy got home, she received a furious call from Heather calling her a horrible name and asking how she could do this to her. Mandy just replied that she was on stage in a pair of shorts and a vest; how was that inappropriate? She reminded her that they weren’t a couple anymore.
We got a lot of death glares from Heather after that, but she seemed to have stopped with the rumors, and we haven’t spoken to her since we left school.
12. Throw A Tantrum To Try To Get A Lower Price? End Up With Nothing
Cry babies don’t get what they want.
“I love when this happens; people throw a tantrum thinking they will get what they want and end up with nothing.
I used to be a manager at a video game store. The year the Nintendo Wii came out, they were the hottest Xmas gift. Literally, I would get some in stock and sell out within 20 minutes.
I had just got a shipment and was down to my last one.
This couple walks in and asks for a Wii. I tell them it’s my last one and they are lucky to get it. The woman asks the price, and I tell her $280 (standard price in Canada at the time). Convo goes like this:
Woman: OK, you’re going to sell it to us for $250, no tax.
Me: I’m sorry, all of our prices are set, and we cannot adjust them.
Woman: You are going to sell it for $250, or we aren’t taking it.
Me: I can’t reduce the price of it. If you don’t wish to purchase it, that’s OK.
Woman: We want it for $250, or we are walking out now.
Me: I am sorry, but I can’t lower the price. That would put my job at risk as it goes against company policy.
Women: Well, you just lost a customer.
She then walks out. The guy with her looks a little dumbfounded and then follows her. 3 minutes later, a mom and daughter (maybe 12-13 years old) walk in and ask for a Wii.
I told them it was my last one, and they are lucky because someone almost bought it. The daughter lights up and starts pulling her wallet out. Her mom tells me she has been doing extra babysitting jobs to save for a Wii.
She had the $280, and her heart sunk as she realized she didn’t have enough for the tax. Mom of course stepped up and paid for it.
They left, and the girl had the biggest smile.
Fast-forward about 15 minutes and turning away a dozen people looking for a Wii, the couple comes back in.
Woman: Fine, we’ll take that Wii for your ridiculous price.
Me: I am sorry, but I sold out about 15 minutes ago.
Woman: What? You didn’t hold it for us?
Me: No I didn’t. We aren’t holding Wii’s because of how high in demand they are. You also told me you would not be purchasing it.
Woman: Well you should have…
Man: (interrupts her loudly) Oh, for heaven’s sake! You do this all the time, and it never works! We have been looking for a Wii for 2 months, and now you screwed us out of one.
I am sick of this nonsense.
The man storms out. The woman now is in shock and not sure what to do. I shrugged, and she bolted out after him. Other customers in the store are now watching in confusion and amusement. A regular asked if I was OK, I just chuckled and told him the story. He had a good laugh.”
Another User Comments:
“What entitled idiots go to a store and try to haggle prices? I’ve never seen anyone do that. You don’t go to a grocery store and say, “I only want to pay $0.50 for this bread or I’m leaving.”” K-teki
11. Blow Up At Me For Not Answering The Phone? I'll Put You On Hold
“Part of my job involves taking calls from the public to offer various types of support, this can range from tech support to helping people find services in our county that they need. My ‘team’ is me and one other person, between us we have to cover 07:30 – 19:30 Mon-Fri and weekends as well. Because of this, and the fact that the company won’t invest in call waiting for us, we can only take one call at a time.
Our voicemail quite clearly states that we’re a small team but if you leave your name and number we aim to get back to you within 5 minutes.
Normally people are rather understanding of our situation and are happy to wait for us to call them back but, as the world is full of impatient buttholes, we often get voicemails just criticizing us.
Now, this happened today and I’ve been wanting to react this way for a long time and finally got the opportunity to!
Jerk Caller: (Voicemail) This is freaking ridiculous, I was told to call this number but what’s the freaking point in telling people to call if there’s nobody to answer the phone!?
-Jerk Caller calls again-
Me: ‘Hello you’re through to -company name- OP speaking, how can I help?’
Jerk Caller: ‘Oh, so now you answer the phone.
What is the point of having a number if you never freaking answer it!?’
Me: ‘Ah, did you leave us a voicemail? I’ve just listened to it but unfortunately, you didn’t leave any contact details so I was unable to return your call. Thank you for calling back, how can I help?’
Jerk Caller: ‘You should answer every call that comes through!!’
Me: ‘Well, unfortunately, there are only two people in my team, including myself and there tends to only be one of us in at a time so if I answered every call I’d end up having to keep putting people on hold and that really doesn’t seem fair.
Regardless though, you’re through at the moment and I’m happy to help you however I can.’
Jerk Caller: ‘You can help me by doing your job and answering the phone when it rings!’
At this point, I’m like, screw you, lady. So sod it, I’ll comply.
Me: ‘Ok, sure. I’m sorry that I’ve annoyed you, I’ll make sure to answer the phone whenever it rings. Now, how can I help?’
-Jerk Caller starts to describe her problem-
Me: ‘Oh, I’m sorry, the phone is ringing.
I’ll have to place you on hold.’
Jerk Caller: Wai…
I then help the person calling, taking my sweet, sweet time. Like going above and beyond just to keep this other jerk waiting… plus, y’know it’s nice to help people.
-Take Jerk Caller off hold-
Me: ‘Thanks for your patience, now you were saying?’
Jerk Caller: ‘How dare you put me on hold, especi…’
Me: ‘Oh, I’m sorry, the phone is ringing. I’ll have to place you on hold.’
You can see where this goes. I think I managed to keep this going for about 15/20 minutes before she hung up and I’m in for the next 10 hours…. god I hope she calls back.”
10. Refuse To Accept Your Delivery Now? You Can Wait Several Days Then
You asked for it.
“I was talking with an old boss that I used to work for (I’m at a different company now but left on good terms) and remembered this.
I drive a semi, and at the time, I worked delivering milk and other products to grocery stores. All days were the same except for Saturday. On Saturday, my last stop was at a Walmart, and I didn’t like dealing with one of the people who checked in deliveries.
They had three people who rotated being in charge on Saturday.
So, this happened early on a Saturday morning over Labor Day weekend in 2009. Because of the holiday weekend, stores took larger amounts than normal because of the holiday on Monday. Everything went smoothly at the first 3 stops, but the last didn’t. When I arrived at the docks that normally had one or 2 open, there was a line of trucks waiting.
I wasn’t surprised and don’t mind waiting because I get paid for waiting.
About a half-hour later, it was my turn to get a dock. So, I backed in and then went inside to see “the jerk” as people called her. She was busy with a soda delivery, and I went about collecting the empty crates and put them on my trailer after pulling the incoming dairy to the trailer tail.
(Walmart loads of cooler or frozen items are temperature checked before being accepted. So, you leave it on the trailer until they are ready to check your load in.)
So, it’s finally my turn to be checked in, and I open the trailer door and start pulling their order out.
Jerk: ‘Put that back on your truck. I have beer and soda that need to go in first.’
Me: ‘I’m not leaving until you check it or refuse it.’ Holding the invoice out to her.
She signed and dated it refused with no reason for refusing. I put everything back on and secured it. Then pulled off the dock and parked out of the way then took a picture of the invoice and texted my boss it before calling her.
I told her what happened, and I already know that store will be out of milk this afternoon.
Boss: ‘So, it was never tempted?’
Me: ‘Correct, so when they call later looking for the milk, I’ll tell them it was refused for no reason and check the cameras.’
Boss: ‘Well, they’re are not getting any till Tuesday now.
Don’t worry; you’re covered.’
So, I took and put the product back into the plant cooler in the good product return area.
I didn’t hear anything until Tuesday when I returned from that day’s route.
Boss: ‘You were right; they ran out about 2 in the afternoon and called in a panic. I told them what happened, and I’m not paying a driver double-time to fix their mistake and check the security cameras.’
So, Saturday comes, and I expect to be cussed at both by the dock people and the management of the Walmart because of last weekend’s disaster.
Instead, I was greeted with smiles and thanks. The manager showed up also. It seems that that was the mistake that he was waiting for to fire the jerk.”
9. Act Ungrateful Over Free Groceries? I'll Snatch Them Myself
“I lost my job and I’ve been struggling ever since, eating less and less every day to make food last.
I happened to find my old bike and decided that I could maybe start working doing delivery services. Business was slow at first, but my contact managed to land on some nice people that thought they could help me out, and I don’t charge a lot, just the exact amount I need to buy whatever they want plus the delivery fee, which is basically nothing in my country.
Normally, I charge the delivery fee after I’ve delivered the food.
Today, a new lady called me asking if could buy her groceries, like 2 weeks’ worth of groceries for a family of 4. This is a lot. At first, she refused to pay me the amount for the groceries, but after I explained to her that my only income was going to be the delivery fee and her calling me an “untrustable jerk” a few times, she finally figured out how my system works and how I will not be able to steal from her.
She agreed. In other circumstances, I wouldn’t have argued and just let her go the moment she became rude, but I needed to be paid.
So, off I went to buy her items.
My bike doesn’t have a place for me to put a basket or something, so I have to carry all of my deliveries in a backpack. It normally isn’t a problem, but today, I had to carry around maybe 110 pounds (maybe more – not sure; it was heavy as heck) worth of food in my backpack and on the bike’s handles for 2 hours while biking around the city.
When I finally make it to this lady’s house (which was not in an easy route), I took some minutes to just lay down on the sidewalk in front of the building and texted the lady. When she came down, she expected me to carry her stuff up to her apartment too.
I said sorry and that I was too tired, and it was too much weight.
Also, unless they really need me to help, I do not carry the stuff up to their apartments; it makes me uncomfortable, especially if they have a family that can help, but I was unable to answer her fully because I was still trying to catch my breath.
“If you can’t deal with it, then don’t work as a delivery worker. Ugh, whatever. I’ll call my husband.
Is it going to be five?” She said
“I need to sort that out with you. I normally charge 5, but due to this delivery being particularly hard for me, is 7 okay for you? This was a 2-hour trip biking with around 11o pounds of stuff.”
“No. I am not paying you that. You charged my friends 5.”
“Yes, I charged them 5 because they asked for less stuff, and the trip was shorter.
It was easier. In reality, I should’ve charged double for this, but I think 7 is a good com…” and as I was talking, I sneezed. Oh no.
I have allergies. I am supposedly allergic to dust, but honestly, my allergies trigger with everything. Today was a cold morning, so I already had a runny nose, and the mask wasn’t helping a lot with keeping stuff out of my nose.
“WHAT? YOU’RE SICK? I SHOULD’VE KNOWN SINCE YOU GO AROUND WITH THAT BIKE. NOW YOU’VE CONTAMINATED MY FOOD AND WANT TO OVERCHARGE ME? OH NO, YOU LITLLE JERK! I’M CALLING THE COPS ON YOU.”
“No no no, wait, I’m just allergic to…”
“I’M PROBABLY INFECTED TOO NOW. YOU SHOULD’VE TOLD ME, AND NOW YOU ARE GOING TO BRING IT INTO MY HOME! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?” She was also wearing a mask and had a bottle of hand sanitizer which she was now rubbing frantically in her hands while still rabbling about how I was a horrible person and a jerk and a scammer and a thief and a threat to her and her children….
The insults were growing more and more. She even demanded that I go to my house, disinfect her food, and then deliver it back because “it’s the least I could do.” (My house is an hour away.)
“Ma’am, I can’t do that. I assure you it’s fine. I’ve been isolated the full 4 months; I’ve only been working on this for around 2 weeks and…”
“THAT IS ENOUGH TIME TO GET IT.
YOU ARE GOING TO LEAVE MY CHILDREN WITHOUT A MOTHER! OH GOD.”
I tried to argue but it got extremely ridiculous. I couldn’t pay her back for her groceries; I couldn’t disinfect them either (too broke to buy my own hand sanitizer, lol). She wouldn’t take the food nor pay me the delivery fee, and I wasn’t going to leave without giving her the food and without being paid.
But she wasn’t even arguing or finding a solution; she just wanted me to “take these germs away from her and her house.” Dang, she screamed so much that other neighbors started to come down, and she wouldn’t even let me explain and accused me of coming to infect them all.
Her husband even came down and ended up threatening me with the police too. I asked them if they wanted the food or not, and at this point being fed up with the whole situation, and they said they didn’t want anything from me and to just leave.
Now I’m home with a backpack full of 2 weeks worth of food for 4 people. It’s too much for me, but I’ll probably gift half of it to my partner who also needs it.
I am sad all of this happened, and I feel like I stole from those people, but at the moment, it was so ridiculous. I tried to give them the food many times. Heck, at one point, I just didn’t care about being paid even though I needed it, but they were just so rude to me.
I still got more food than what I could’ve bought with the delivery fee, so I guess it was worth it.”
Another User Comments:
“I think this is a blessing in disguise! Joke’s on them, you have food!” Laanuei_art
8. Joke's On Her, She Spent $38 To Get A $3 Discount
Yeah, nice move, Karen…
“This happened just last night as I was about to empty out my register, and it made my night, my supervisor’s night, and that of my other clerk.
I work in the gift shop of an average-sized casino and most of what we sell is overpriced clothes, costume jewelry, and smokes. For the last two and a half years I’ve worked here, I have not worked a Tuesday.
On Tuesday, we offer a 10% discount on all products, and it’s a discount I always forget about unless a guest asks about it because it’s not something I think about.
Last night, two elderly women came in and made a mess of everything they touched. Magnets knocked off their display, our mugs shuffled around, clothes knocked off hangers, our ice cream freezer left wide open. My other clerk and I were basically following them around and cleaning up after children.
Eventually, they split up, and one went to look at greeting cards, and one looked at our ring display. I helped them find the right size and buy her ring which came out to $25.01, but I didn’t give her a discount. Her friend was rung up by my other co-worker, and she asked about the discount, so he gave it to her.
My guest slammed her receipt down on the counter and asked me why I didn’t give her the discount if it’s Tuesday.
I apologized and told her I honestly forgot; I explained it wasn’t my normal shift, and I didn’t think about applying it, which is the honest truth. So, she leaned over the counter, pulled down her mask, and asked me, “What are you going to do to fix this?”
As the senior clerk with a trusting supervisor, I have a tiny amount of ability in the shop.
So, I offered her two free candy bars, which would have been $3.50 where her discount would have been $2.50. She didn’t like that offer. So, I offered her a free soda or juice, she got mad that I offered her a drink when she was already carrying one. After a few more attempts (ice cream, pens, clearance items, etc.), I just called my supervisor who came up and spoke with her.
We cannot accept any returns or exchanges. To make sure this does not happen, supervisors and below have had this access temporarily revoked from the point of sales system. The guest wanted my supervisor to void the transaction and charge it again. She got more upset when he explained to her that he couldn’t.
There is literally nothing he can do to change a transaction once it’s been completed.
He doesn’t have access, and she was choosing to not understand what he was saying. So, she started to insult us, calling us incompetent, asking how many other guests I’ve screwed over today, saying I’d be fired if I wasn’t a native (I’m not). Then she demanded my supervisor give her a note saying that she gets her 10% off on her next purchase, and he laughed at her because nobody would honor that.
Not willing to leave without some victory, she asked if she could just have a 20% discount on the next item she bought. My supervisor agreed to say, “If it gets you out of my shop sooner, I’ll make it 25% off.” We don’t have a way to apply a 20% discount, and we can’t stack the 10%, but we have a 25% House Discount usually used for employees or guests we really like.
After a few more insults directed at me and some under the breath comments from my supervisor, she returned with a pair of earrings that rang up for $16.30-ish and got them with their discount which I took a highlighter to so there would be no confusion on her receipt that she “owned” us retail employees. I wished her a fantastic evening, and she made some comment about me not scalping anyone in the parking lot.
She spent $38 to get a $3 and some change discount just because I forgot to give her a discount on a trashy piece of costume jewelry. My only regret is that I won’t be there to see when/if reality hits her.”
7. Have To Work During My Vacation? Not If I'm In The Middle Of Nowhere!
“I work for a small company in the trades as head of the IT department (aka the only IT person). Truthfully, the gig is pretty great. Good pay, benefits, and I can come and go as I please within reason. The two people I have to answer to are the VP and CEO and as is par for the course they know nothing about anything to do with technology and generally leave me be as I’m good at my job and everything runs smoothly.
Being a small company a lot of us don’t take vacations due to A) building the company and B) not having replacements for the time we’re gone but after two years vacationless (we’re in the US) my wife convinces me to use the time I’m given to decompress and take a small, one week, getaway. I talk to VP and he gives me the thumbs up to take the time barring I get everything in order and do some minor teaching to other staff in case of an emergency.
Enter FOD (Field Operations Director) a man who is an attack dog for the VP for no reason as the VP is nothing but polite and reasonable. FOD loves giving everyone a hard time, adding steps to tasks to make himself look like he’s part of the process, reminding everyone how much of a ‘boss’ he is to the rest of us in management, and calling me a nerd any chance he gets.
Fair to say, I dislike FOD immensely.
After making my rounds with other staff it’s FODs time to do some scary computer-related learning. FOD refuses to look weak under any circumstances and gets very aggressive when learning new things because ‘I’m the boss, I already know.’ In the midst of learning, it dawns on him to ask why he has to learn this stuff anyway, I’m the nerd and it’s my job to do this.
I clue him in on the week I’m taking off and this stuff is just precautionary. This worries FOD as he’ll have to retain information, answer questions and do some minor troubleshooting.
The conversation went something like this, and I wish I could tell you that this guy isn’t this much of a jerk, but he is.
Boss: ‘Who approved your vacation?’
Me: ‘VP did as long as I could get you guys comfortable with some small maintenance.’
Boss: ‘I only approve vacation time, I’m your boss.’
(Side note: he does THIS so much that VP actually wrote out the hierarchy in chart form and we all carry a digital copy with us to remind him who he’s actually in charge of)
Me: ‘You’re not.’ (shows chart)
Boss: ‘Well fine! But you’re salary so you have to work during your vacation.
You’ll bring your laptop and work phone with you.’
Me: ‘When YOU vacation you make it very clear you’re unreachable and can’t be bothered even if it’s an emergency.’
Boss: ‘That’s because I go to places without service and unless you’re going to the mountains you have to work! You’re salary!’
Malicious Compliance initiated.
Me: ‘Just to be clear; if I go to a place without service I won’t be expected to work, yeah?’
Boss: ‘That’s right, but you’re a nerd you don’t do anything outdoorsy.’
Me: ‘Great, thanks for clearing that up.’
Fast forward 3 weeks later and it’s vacation time.
All my ducks are in a row, people are comfortable with me being gone for the week and are all encouraging me to just disconnect.
A close coworker of mine knows of the conversation FOD and I had and asks what I plan to do about it so I shared my easy but effective plan.
The wife and I rented a cabin in the woods, 2 hours from the nearest town and it doesn’t have service.
I set up automatic email replies that have all IT questions and concerns forwarded to the Boss since ‘he’s the boss, he knows.’ I leave my work phone on the charger in my office with the ringer on, the door locked so he has to hear it, and voicemail changed to have FOD become IT for the week.
Coworker loves the idea of flooding FOD with questions he can’t answer so much that he gets other coworkers in on it.
Midway through the week, I get a call from a coworker with an update: FOD loses it. He can’t keep up with any requests for help and didn’t bother to memorize the simple tasks I showed him so he does what any good ‘boss’ does and puts in a request to take a vacation until I get back. A retreat is always an option. Nothing screams leader more than retreat.
It’s not weakness and failure if he’s not there!
My coworkers were able to manage and FOD got his 3-day vacation, unfortunately.
After the week off I’m called to VP’s office to catch up and get things back on track. VP obviously heard of the hardships FOD faced in my absence and laughed at my MC surprisingly. VP struck a deal with me moving forward since it was made clear to him no one else knew how to do my job: I can go on vacation wherever I’d like as long as I bring my laptop and phone and check it once a week. They’ll refund my vacation time for that day even if I only work for 5 minutes.
I took that but with the caveat of making FOD actually learn some of my duties just in case.
VP agreed. Now I do an hour of teaching a week to a very surly FOD. After all, he’s ‘the boss’ he’s gotta know.”
6. Don't Pay Me To Be On Call? Then I Won't Be Available
Just like that, they’re gone like Houdini.
“I work in a support role for a global insurance/investment company. Over the last 6 months, I’ve lost many an evening and weekend to unexpected work problems, with not even a thank you, let alone any financial compensation. As an example, being called at 21:30 and asked if you can log on when you’ve met friends for a drink.
Where a job needs to provide out-of-hours support, a supplement is meant to be paid for being on call, with additional payment if you‘re required to actually work.
My contract is based on annual salary, where additional work might be required for no extra pay/overtime if it’s considered business as usual (BAU) or known in advance (this bit is important). However, the work I’ve been asked to do on weekends/evenings is not BAU. BAU assumes processes work. If something goes wrong, someone needs to step in to fix it and it’s no longer BAU.
A couple of months ago, I had a conversation with my manager about being paid for being on call. I was told the work I was covering actually fell under BAU, and as I was always given advance notice (I wasn’t) I wouldn’t be paid for being on call. The manager wouldn’t budge on this, so I made it clear I would not be taking my laptop home/available unless I was given advance notice I might be required to log on, to which my manager agreed.
On this glorious day, I received a call from my manager asking me to log on as some critical data was missing from a file, causing significant problems with several admin systems.
Trying to sound as sincere as I could, I apologized and said as I was not made aware in advance, and I’m not on call, my laptop was left at the office.
This was met by an ‘Ah.’ To which I responded, ‘Good luck, and I’ll see you tomorrow.’
So, after the call to me, my manager rang around and finally got hold of a manager from P Team (the Team I provide support to).
Over several hours, between them, they figured out that somehow a group in the system had not been run for the day (controls are in place so this shouldn’t be possible). To fix it, they had to run the missed group, validate the movements, and then rerun processes to send the data to the admin systems.
After looking into it this morning, this is for Team P to look into how they’ve managed to done goof on such a scale, a ‘near miss’ recorded with governance, who they’ll need to explain it to.
This caused several issues with admin systems and a lot of verifying everything is as it should be this morning.
Following this, a group email has been sent around, to remind people that laptops should be taken home, as in the event of the building being unavailable/inaccessible, recovery plans are for people to use their laptops to work from home/alternate site.
It seems the manager had trouble contacting someone with a laptop able to log on.
I’m positive they’ll have no issues finding someone to drop everything at a moments notice going forward . . .
I fear that should I receive a similar call in the future, I’ll not be in a position to access my laptop. Work-life balance is important, and I’m going to enforce those boundaries. The trouble is, it starts as a one-off here and there, and you do it to be nice with the best of intentions, but give an inch and they’ll take a mile if you’re not careful.
For some of those asking, I‘m already looking at other jobs. Although there are definitely issues with the management in my current area, and employees being taken for granted (not just me), the company as a whole does have a good ethos.”
5. Under Our Agreement, I'm Not Supposed To Talk About It, Remember?
“I’m a proofreader/editor by trade; I do all kinds of work from instruction manuals to essays to books. It’s pretty fun and I get to set my own hours as long as the job gets done.
Late last year I get an email from a man (let’s call him Martin Von Madeupnametoprotectidentity).
Martin has written a book, and he wants an editor.
Before the job began (in fact, before we’d even negotiated my fee), Martin asks to meet up.
I didn’t have a problem with this; he lived locally and I quite like coffee, so we met in a local cafe. The man swaggers in like Johnny Depp in the Pirates franchise; before introductions are over he slaps a sheet of paper on the table and says ‘I need you to sign this.’ I take a glance at it, and it’s an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement).
Martin, like a lot of people who’ve never completed a book before, believed his book was the best book in the universe, an idea that needed to be protected from all the idea thieves out there.
Now, I don’t judge literary merit, that’s not my job, I’m just here to make sure that the manuscript is polished and well presented, I also don’t usually discuss any project with anyone who isn’t directly involved with the project itself.
I read the NDA thoroughly but didn’t mind signing it. It forbade me from EVER discussing his project with anyone. I wouldn’t even be allowed to mention his name. I thought it a little extreme, but the fee for the job we’d negotiated was good enough. Who knows? Maybe he had written the next bestseller.
SPOILER ALERT: Martin’s book was not the best book in the universe.
Who could have guessed? It was terrible. It also had an adult scene in it that was the most excruciating bit of drivel I’ve ever read. I won’t give you a direct quote, but imagine a whole chapter devoted to naughty-time that had sentences like, ‘He put his hand on her and it was nice’ and you’re halfway there.
Martin was also one of the worst clients I’ve ever had.
Ignoring the petty stuff like the daily phone calls to see how I was doing (seriously, we set a deadline, it’ll be done by the deadline), he did some things that really angered me.
Firstly, I’d edited half the manuscript when he decided that he had rewritten the first two chapters himself. That’s right, I had to cast out a lot of the work I’d already done in order to re-rectify his mistakes.
Not a big deal in itself, but this sort of thing happened so often that the book ended up eighty pages longer than when I received it, and a lot of the work was doubled up because of his ‘visionary rewrites.’ This led to the second problem.
This job was priced at a certain amount per page. Every time he added pages, I reminded him that the price was going to go up.
He assured me this was fine, and I kept a careful note of the extra work (always a good idea). I’m sure that you, dear reader, will be as surprised as I am by what happened next…
I complete the job (a week before the deadline, he added smugly) and send Martin an invoice for the final bill. A bill that he knows has been growing steadily from all the daily updates he’s been demanding.
People in the creative industry will be well aware that getting paid can be difficult, but Martin was determined to turn non-payment into a creative industry all by itself.
He shouted, begged, pleaded, and threatened me with a lawsuit unless he got his manuscript back. My reply each time was that he’d get his manuscript when he paid the bill, the bill that he’d agreed to on many occasions.
He demanded a PDF of his project first: I sent him one with ‘SAMPLE, CLIENT HAS NOT PAID’ watermarked on every single page. This goes on for so long that I have to issue an ultimatum: either he pays or I delete the entire manuscript at midnight the next day. He did pay (at 23:35), and I send him the completed manuscript and think that that’s that.
Nope: he suddenly phones me up and asks me to get the book listed on a print-on-demand service that gives you a free ISBN (and will list the book on Amazon for you). Normally, I do this for free for nice people (it’s nice to be nice), but I told Martin it’d cost him. He actually paid me within the hour and I list the book for him.
So where’s the malicious compliance? A couple of weeks ago, Martin sends me a text. It turns out that his book, despite being listed on Amazon, somehow isn’t number one on the bestseller list.
Not my problem (I’m not a literary agent) so my response was simple: ‘Okay.’ Martin then, after all the insults and the irritations and the barely disguised attempt to steal my services, asks me if I could ‘tell all my friends, and maybe get them to buy a copy to get the ball rolling?’ It felt incredibly satisfying to send this reply:
‘I’m sorry, Martin; under the terms of the NDA I signed I’m not at liberty to discuss the book with anyone.’
I know it’s petty, I know it’s not as spectacular as most of the stories on here, but I hope someone gets a kick out of my story – I know I did.
Also (just to make something clear in case I get questions about it) I am a man of my word; not even my closest friends know who this guy is or the title/contents of the book. Unlike some clients I could mention, I won’t try to break a contract!”
4. Slash All My Tires? Let's Play Dirty
“I was invited to play poker at a friend of a friend’s house. I’d never met the host and had never been there before, but I knew most of the people. The house was only a fifteen-minute walk or two-minute drive from my place, but I’d never been on that cul de sac before.
At about 3:00 in the morning, the last of us poured out of the house and into our cars.
I felt something was off the moment I sat in my little car, but it didn’t register. I was very tired. Everyone else left and the host house went dark as I let my car warm up. It was very cold outside. When I tried to pull away I knew something was wrong. My car wasn’t moving normally.
Having hardly moved from my spot I stopped and stepped out of my car.
That’s when I noticed I was too close to the ground. By the moonlight, I could see all my tires were flattened. My car was sitting on the ground.
I sat back inside my car to collect my thoughts and keep warm. That’s when I noticed writing in the dew in my rear window. It read Screw You. I got out and stood over my rear window, reading it in disbelief.
I looked around my car for other evidence but found none.
The cul de sac was mostly empty but had been full when all the poker players were there. I reasoned it was a resident who thought they owned the road and didn’t like us taking up their spots. This was a Saturday night. We all showed up around 9:00 in the evening. Now it’s 3:20 in the morning.
It’s a public dead-end road.
Not wanting to leave my car in this place where it had been vandalized, I drove ever so slowly on flat tires back to my place and parked in my spot. When I got out again I saw the tires were destroyed from driving on them. It’s possible the perps only let the air out the valves. If that was the case I had finished the job of completely destroying them and costing myself hundreds to replace them.
After a rest at home, I resolved I could not live with this offense and I reasoned the perp must’ve been the home I had parked in front of. So I grabbed a pocket knife and hiked back to that neighborhood.
At the house I’d been parked in front of, there were three vehicles in the driveway. A car, then a pickup truck that looked like a dirty well used work vehicle, then another car that looked like it didn’t move.
Starting with the pickup truck I used my pocket knife to flatten all four tires and then the car in front of it. I walked off quickly.
I never had a reason to return to that particular piece of the road again.
Fast forward a week later, I see my friend who rented a room at the poker house. I asked about parking on his cul de sac.
He revealed there were neighbors across the road who battled over parking. He said they went at it fairly often over the previous year.
Fast forward two months later still. I see my friend and again ask about parking on his road. This time he wants to know why. So I tell him the above story. He says, oh that’s why. I asked what happened. He said the street has been silent and there hasn’t been any fighting for parking in a couple of months. A year later my friend said that night must’ve been the end of it as he’d never seen or heard fighting again.”
3. Want All Your Accounts Closed? I Will Do It With No Regrets!
“I used to work for a bank on their contact center. I literally have hundreds of stories about that place and its customers, but today I’d like to share a story that has always bought a smile to many a suffering customer service co-worker’s faces about the time we got one back for the good guys.
Backstory: I was employed as a Customer Service Officer. I’d been with the bank for about 18 months at this point, mostly working afternoon shifts, but recently the bank had moved to a 24-hour customer service model, so while most of the bank would be closed (Head office, Complaints, Credit, etc) — we were still open.
Let me set the scene: ~10 pm, midweek, fluorescent lights flicker overhead, the call board empty and I’m literally counting the seconds left in my shift, ready to go home.
Phone call pops onto my screen. I think ‘Darn! I always get a call just before I finish…’
Me (mustering my best customer service voice): ‘Hi, thanks for calling (bank), you’re speaking with u/Absurd-n-Nihilistic, how can I help you?’
I hear nothing but dead air, so I start to repeat myself.
‘Hi, you’re speaking wi—’
When I hear the tone of voice and words every contact center worker has heard at some point. It just lets you know you’re in for a great call (not!).
Customer: (loud sigh) ‘Yes! I’m here! God, what takes YOU people so long to answer?! What are you doing?’
As noted before, there were no calls on the board, this customer didn’t wait in a queue.
He would have dialed, gone through to the IVR to enter his customer number and pin before being put through to me. Max 60 seconds.
Me (trying to not provoke any further and get this customer off the phone as quickly as I can so I can go home): ‘Oh, I’m sorry about that. Our system doesn’t show a queue, but I’m sorry that you had to wait.
What can I do for you this evening?’
The customer seems to settle down and starts explaining that the reason for the call was the interest charges on the most recent credit card bill. He was sure they were a mistake because ‘I always pay my bills on time’ and ‘I don’t like paying you bloodsuckers anymore than I have to.’ Charming, I know.
So I place him on hold to look at his account.
I started looking at the payment history, when payments were due/received, what the balances were etc. Then, I quickly looked at the customer’s interaction notes. This is where the bank records any contact with the customer as well as, any fee waivers, special interest rates, etc., and I see an interesting series of notes from colleagues of mine stating things like ‘Customer advised interest was charged due to full payment not received by the due date.
Customer threatened to close all accounts with the bank. The manager approved the interest waiver.’ Notes like this went on for months until there was a note from the head of customer relations and retentions stating ‘if customer threatens to close accounts to seek a waiver of fees, interest or other charges, please process immediately. No retention authorized.’
I was a bit shocked because usually, the bank would do a lot to keep existing customers like they told us in training, ‘it’s cheaper to keep a customer than it’s to gain a new one.’
So I call over my night manager to read the notes and give him a heads up I’ve got a feeling the customer is going to be demanding another interest waiver.
My cool night manager said, ‘well if he does, do what the note says.’
Total hold time: maybe 2 minutes.
I take the customer off hold and thank him for waiting.
Customer: ‘About time! My time is very valuable, you know. So have you fixed it yet?’
I start explaining that the interest charges are valid because he didn’t pay off his balance before the due date.
He goes ballistic!
He starts calling me every conceivable name under the sun and mid-sentence stops, he plays it like he’s just had an idea.
‘Fine. If the interest charges are valid, I’m going to close my accounts. I want to close my accounts with you now!’
At this point, I’m excited about putting him in his place but I also want to cover my butt, so I ask:
Me: ‘So, just to be certain. You are instructing me to close all of your accounts with us, including your credit card, savings account, and transactional account?’
Customer: ‘Are you stupid? That’s what I said!’
Ladies and Gentlemen: We got him!
Me (Grinning my butt off): ‘Okay no problem.
I’ll just place you on hold to do that for you.’
I hit the hold button fast just as I heard him say, ‘No I—…’
With my night manager’s help, we close his accounts.
His savings account was a term deposit so by breaking the term early he had to pay an early access fee of 10% of the balance. We used the funds in his transactional account to cover the outstanding balance in his credit card (including the interest) and sent a request for a cheque to be issued for what remained.
I took the customer off hold.
Me: ‘Again thank you for your patience. As requested your accounts are now closed. Was there anything else I can help with tonight?’
If I thought the customer went ballistic before, oh boy! There was talk of suing the bank, suing me, suing my night manager, suing the head of customer relations and retentions.
That we were guilty of discrimination. That I didn’t have the authority to do what I did.
He’s going to call the police. We’re thieves. Some other ways of telling me how useless I am and how I can kill myself. You get the picture.
Me (still smiling because I know I nor anyone else at my bank will have to deal with this again): ‘Sir I understand you are upset. However, on a recorded phone call, you instructed me to close your accounts.
I’ve complied with your wishes. As there is nothing else for us to speak about tonight. Thank you for calling (bank) have a good night!’ And hung up on him before he could say another word.
My night manager created an incident report and sent it to the head of customer relations and retentions with an attached copy of the call recording. I later found out the head of customer relations and retentions sent the customer a letter telling him he was banned from our bank for life due to the ‘vile and disgusting’ way he had spoken to me! We would never do business with him ever again and if he called or visited a branch, we would be the ones calling the police.
Do you want to know what the total interest charges were that started all this? ~$30.
His term deposit had $20,000 in it. He cost himself $2,000 in early exit fees because he thought he could bully his way out of ~$30 in interest.”
2. You Said You Wanted Your Cheese Cut As Thick As Possible
“I work in a grocery store deli. Normally it isn’t busy and most of the customers are friendly but there’s always that one old lady who has a vendetta with anyone behind the counter. Unfortunately, I just so happened to be the only person behind the counter.
‘Good evening ma’am. Is there anything I can help you find tod –’ before I can even finish, she, the customer, cuts me off (A personal pet peeve and immediate red flag).
‘Give me a half-pound of yellow American cheese!’ she demanded. ‘And cut it as thick as you can get it!’ (‘give me’ is red flag #2)
That’s when the gears in my head start turning. As thick as I can? Okay! We have a dedicated cheese slicer and it can cut chunks up to an inch and a half thick! So without even speaking I retrieve the cheese, turn the dial to as high as it’ll go (and then back some cause the slicer turns itself off from the strain if you cut it too thick), and slice off that gold brick before placing it on the scale.
By this point, the brick weighs about 4/5 of a pound and K is absolutely flabbergasted.
With that all too familiar customer service smile, I print the label, place it in the bag and say, ‘Is there anything else I can get for you today?’ She responds, ‘No,’ and takes the bag and leaves in a huff.
About 10 minutes later, after I assumed she went to harass the meat department and whoever else before going to the customer service center, the store manager head honcho and total bro, came back to the deli and asked what happened.
Apparently, she complained about me!
He says, ‘Hey OP, a woman just came upfront and complained about some cheese you cut for her?’
To which I reply, ‘She said she wanted it cut as thick as I could get it.’
We shared a laugh for a few seconds and just told me not to do it again.”
Another User Comments:
“Lol, when I worked at a meat department, we had somebody bring us a whole ham and do the same “cut it as thick as you can” thing. We cut it in half and handed it back.” Reddit user
“Set it to the thinnest setting, slice it once, and then hand them everything that isn’t the one slice.” DirkBabypunch
1. Report To HR About A Harmless Social Media Post? I'll Get You In Deeper Trouble At Work
“So to preface this, I need to clarify that I’m not 100% sure that what I did got this worker fired. I’m pretty sure it was a combination of what I did (among other coworkers), and this person just generally being bad at their job. We’ve only been told that the person is no longer at our workplace, not that they were fired, or whatever happened.
Now you might think, threatening this person’s livelihood by getting them fired? Isn’t that just as bad as them reporting you? I don’t know for sure that what I did caused them to leave. They could have lost a laptop or something completely unrelated as far as I know. But this person was toxic and affecting our team negatively by bringing everyone down, and using up people’s time because they didn’t want to get better at their job.
I really do hope this person gets a job that they can do, and I wish them no harm, but they just weren’t a good fit for this team.
I work in IT and this person isn’t great at their job despite having experience in corporate and having worked for us in the past as a contractor. Now I’m always willing to help someone willing to help themselves because I was a rookie myself a few years ago and relied on help from others many times.
But it got to a point with them that they’d rely on everyone for help, and if they had problems doing something, they’d just give up and not even do anything. No critical thinking skills whatsoever.
It got to be exhausting helping this person out, but I still did because pretty much nobody else did and the customer still needed to be up and running. I didn’t feel the need to report that to my supervisors as it wasn’t interfering with my workload, and the only thing they were guilty of was ignorance.
It wasn’t until after I heard through the grapevine that they reported me to HR over a social media post that was not work-related, not posted during work hours, and wasn’t even something I’d deem offensive. That’s when my attitude with them completely changed. I spoke with my coworker who was bothered by her, and he said that our boss already told him to document every time they would ask for help and to only point them in the direction of documentation or help and to stop doing anything for them.
We decided that I would start doing that as well and try to get coworkers in as well. And since they just loved asking me for help, this helped fuel the fire without them ever knowing it.
After a few months of being told the news, and nothing happening from it, not even a meeting with my own supervisor, I started to think that they’d just get away with the report with no consequences, and continue to work there. Then, one week they weren’t there. Everyone around the office talked about how they might just be sick or have unexpected surgery, but I never heard anything official. One week turned into three weeks of them being out and everyone pretty much forgetting this person. On the following Monday of that fourth week, we receive an email that they’re no longer with our workplace.”