People Disclose Their Stories Of Gritty Revenge
13. Jerk Thought His Loyal Employee Wouldn't Succeed
“I am a teacher, and when I was younger, I would take summer jobs to supplement my income. One summer, I worked for a bricklayer named Jerry and heard an amazing story! I worked for Jerry in the mid-’90s, so the story either happened in the early ’90s or the ’80s. Here goes:
The setting for the story was a community of small rural towns which had only one brick contractor.
Jerry began his career as a bricklayer working for this contractor, a real jerk. Jerk and Jerk’s son (an adult working the business with his father) would harass, belittle, and humiliate all their employees on a regular basis. No work was ever good enough and employees were told they weren’t worth what they were paid. Not only did Jerk mistreat his employees; but, he was equally rude to other subcontractors and to the general contractors who hired him.
Since he was the only bricklayer in the community, there was nothing anyone could do about it.
Needless to say, the turnover rate for the brick business was very high. The only person that stuck with Jerk and Company was Jerry. Jerry told me that his father had instilled self-confidence in him that Jerry could do anything he set his mind to do and that he should not evaluate himself according to what others said; but, rather by the facts.
Although Jerry was belittled by Jerk and Son as were all other employees; Jerry was becoming a very good bricklayer. Jerry knew he was good; Jerk knew Jerry was good; but, Jerk didn’t know that Jerry knew he was good. Not only was Jerry a good bricklayer; he was very respectful to the boss who disrespected him. Jerk thought that Jerry was a naive pushover who was buying his head games.
That would prove to be a HUGE mistake on his part.
One day, Jerry was doing an exceptionally good job of laying brick. Not only was his craftsmanship amazing, but he was also laying brick at a high rate of speed so that he was making his boss a lot of income. Of course, Jerk and Son were belittling his work as though he was doing the very opposite.
This scenario was being observed by the general contractor of the project. After work that day, the general contractor asked Jerry to stay behind so he could talk to him. As did every other construction worker in the community, General Contractor hated working with Jerk. General Contractor told Jerry that he had heard Jerk and Son belittling him, and told him that he disagreed with everything Jerk was saying.
He asked Jerry if he had ever considered going into business for himself. Jerry said that he would like to do that someday. General Contractor then said that he would loan Jerry the funds to buy a mixer (the most expensive piece of equipment needed to start a brick business) if Jerry would indeed start said business. The only hitch was that Jerry would need to pay for the mixer whenever he could and that he would subcontract under General Contractor.
Jerry agreed to those terms and prepared to begin his new venture.
Jerry respectfully told Jerk and Son his plans and gave his notice. The two mocked Jerry ruthlessly and laughed him to scorn. Jerk told Jerry, ‘You’ll be back in two months begging to return to your job—you’ll never make it as a subcontractor!’ Two months later, rather than collapsing as Jerk predicted, Jerry was still in business and going strong.
One year later, Jerry’s business was booming and a wasted Jerk showed up at Jerry’s house and begged him to come back to work with Jerk and Son. ‘Jerry, you’re the best employee I ever had.’ Jerry replied, ‘Why didn’t you ever tell me that when I was working for you?’ Jerk couldn’t answer the question; and, Jerry obviously didn’t accept the offer for employment. Two years after beginning his entrepreneurial adventure, Jerry heard that Jerk and Son went out of business.
Jerry said that he never intended to harm Jerk and Son when he accepted General Contractor’s offer. He said that looking back on things he realized that he had become Jerk’s greatest nightmare. I can’t say that General Contractor intended no harm!
I thought the most amazing thing about the story was how that Jerry maintained his self-esteem in spite of all the ridicule. I also gained respect for Jerry’s father who instilled an unshakable self-confidence in Jerry!
I contacted Jerry today (after 20 years) to let him know how highly people thought of him. He reminded me that his father was wheelchair-bound and accomplished so much in spite of his handicap. It was his father’s overcoming huge obstacles that made Jerk’s words seem to be such a minor obstacle to overcome.”
12. All She Had To Do Was Nothing
“I am a professional attorney wrangler for a big legal firm. If you’ve watched Suits, I’m Donna if she was wound tighter than a child’s music box. As a legal admin, I have to keep a tremendous amount of information straight. Every county in every US state has its court system, its own rules, and its idiosyncrasies.
I have five attorneys on my team. Despite the TV shows, it’s pretty unusual for a lawyer to have a special secretary all their own unless they are very important, so five is a solid number.
Last year, a secretary that left in January 2020 has not been replaced yet, and I’ve been babysitting one of the partners (Bingley) in the meantime. It’s been a fun learning opportunity, as Bingley works for an entirely different region and type of law than the rest of my team. Also, he has a case where a truck EXPLODED (was empty), which is AWESOME.
My manager (Lady Catherine) is the worst.
You know the type – she plays favorites, her best-loved word is no, she MUST be involved in every conversation because she is just that important and necessary. We don’t get along, because I am a stubborn know-it-all who’s been proven right a few too many times. Highlights include forbidding me from using the same resources other admins had access to, on her orders, including backup admins when my workload was too big and then denying my overtime requests.
I literally had no way to do my job some days.
It’s worth noting that the REASON Bingley’s secretary left was specifically because of Lady Catherine. In fact, four additional admins quit over the year explicitly because of her.
Anyway, at this point, I’d been working with Bingley for almost a year. It was November 2020, and we’d settled into a pretty good routine. I’d gotten used to filing pleadings in a different state, and no longer needed to double-check ALL my work for nuance.
Because Law still operates in the stone Age, a few US states still require hard-copy filing. Anything we want the judge to read has to be sent by actual mail, on actual paper, to arrive in the judge’s actual hands. It’s a pain, most states let you file electronically, but whatever. Bingley mostly only has cases in one of the hard-copy states.
Lady Catherine, in her excessive wisdom, butted in uninvited and instructed me to include a cover letter when mailing a new filing.
This confused me, as I had been filing for almost a year and no one, including the admin who originally trained me, had mentioned a cover letter. I told her this, and she basically told me to suck it up. I called the court admin to make sure I wasn’t crazy and that I hadn’t ruined a year-worth of filings, and the court admin literally LAUGHED and said to please not include a cover letter ever.
So I didn’t.
Imagine my surprise when Lady Catherine called me, writing me up for insubordination! Even knowing the court rules and the judge and the court admin explicitly said to NOT SEND A DAMN LETTER, she was right because she is ALWAYS right and I am, and I quote, ‘a disrespectful little jerk and she was tired of me’. A warning went into my employee file, pending disciplinary measures.
The next day, she emailed my team telling them to reduce my score on my yearly review, as she KNEW I had been rated too high for what my abilities REALLY are. It felt to me like she was preparing to fire me by creating a history of poor performance.
Well, if you’re so tired of me, Madam Manager, I can leave!
Within a week of looking, I found a new position.
Now, here’s the issue- I love my team. This is the BEST work team I’ve EVER been on. We take each other seriously and we genuinely love each other. A lot of times admins get pushed around because we don’t have fancy degrees, but not here. Calling in to quit, I cried. I cried a lot. I cried to the point that one of the partners (Bennet) asked if I wanted a counter offer.
I said no because that wouldn’t solve anything. He asked what I meant.
I told him. I told him about the write-up. I told him how she was trying to falsify my employee review after it had been submitted. I told him the reason five admins had left. I told him about how I wasn’t allowed to ask for help.
At this point, I had given myself hiccups from weeping, and one of the partners on my team (Gardner) was calling him asking if HE and his workload were the reasons I was leaving, so Bennet let me go do other things, like day drink and create a shrine out of legal forms.
I thought it was the end of it until a friend in another office (Charlotte) called me asking what I was doing, she doesn’t have TIME to train someone into being the new me, and I was the only admin she actually trusts in my office so WHY was I leaving her all alone??? I told her. And she told Gardner. And together they plotted.
First, Charlotte is the manager in her office, so she is on equal footing with Lady Catherine.
They also report to the same person. Charlotte called the district manager and told him that Lady Catherine was driving admins away and that the most recent quitter (me) was the only person who knows how to do a LOT of the work on my teams, and my loss was a serious blow. (Apparently, this is true, which is both heart-warming and terrifying).
Meanwhile, Gardner called up a fellow partner and told her that his world would collapse in on itself if I left.
He would go to the nearest bridge and jump off it, which would be pretty impressive in a land-locked state. They Had To Do Something.
I got a call the next day from Bennet, saying they had a counteroffer they were really hoping I’d take. Basically, instead of Lady Catherine, I would report directly to Gardner. Lady Catherine would be forbidden from interfering with me without first asking Gardner for his permission.
This solved the issue and I got to stay with my team, so I happily accepted. I thought the debacle was over.
The debacle was not over.
Unbeknownst to me, after looking at the evidence (exit interviews, emails, memos), Bennet put Lady Catherine on a performance improvement plan and she did not get an end-of-year bonus OR raise. Turns out I had been absolutely correct- Lady Catherine’s behavior and treatment had been the explicit cause that six secretaries quit in less than a year.
I got a call last week from Charlotte. I figured she wanted to gossip about coworkers or rant about how a shared client is a big ol’ headache, but it was actually to give me a heads up.
Lady Catherine had been stripped of her management duties.
I no longer had any contact with her, which was GREAT, but it also meant I didn’t see that her behavior had actually doubled down on the admins unfortunate enough to still be under her thumb.
She had missed EVERY SINGLE ONE of the benchmarks on her performance improvement plan. Charlotte had called me to ask my opinion on who should be the new manager, as I know everyone and she was helping cover some things as an outside manager.
Now, I know some of you are thinking ‘YES! Become the manager and fire Lady Catherine!’ But I am not a sadist. I want to stay on my team and do what I do best, which is being a cheerfully annoying RESPECTFUL little pain.
I told her one of the more senior admins would probably need some guidance but would be amazing at it.
NO ONE has to deal with Lady Catherine anymore. She is now a mere paralegal and not anyone’s manager at all. If she had just left me alone and not interfered where she wasn’t needed, none of this would have happened. All she had to do was nothing.”
11. Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Soiled
“I first met Sarah at a yoga class in the summer of 2016. Never in my life did I think I would see myself going to something like that… the silly spandex, the holier-than-thou attitude, the way everyone talked to each other like they were on cloud nine. It’s not something I ever imagined myself doing but when I hurt my back after falling from a first-floor roof at work, I decided to give it a shot on the recommendation of my back masseuse and found a hall in my city doing beginner yoga classes.
When the day to go came and I walked through the door I instantly stuck out like a sore thumb. Everyone was standing around talking dressed to the nines in their best yoga gear, while I sauntered in wearing bog-standard shorts and a t-shirt, looking like someone from a cowboy flick walking onto a sci-fi movie set.
I immediately wanted to about turn and leave of course, but the woman doing the class saw the look of pure terror in my eyes and came up to me and said hi.
I told her why I was there, and that I didn’t feel very comfortable but she insisted that I should give it a try, as she thought it would help my back problems, and if not, well no harm no foul.
I felt better at that point and thought screw it, might as well try and get my money’s worth, even if I do end up looking like a diseased pretzel.
It was then that I looked across the room and saw the same look of terror that I had no doubt been portraying… that was Sarah. She had not long found out she had scoliosis, after years of being misdiagnosed, and told that it was all in her head among other things. She was there with her mother, who was with her for emotional support and to see how she got on.
After seeing her I instinctively gravitated towards her in the same way that a drowning person gravitates towards a life ring thrown at them. After the yoga instructor had a chat with her, she shouted me over and said that it was Sarah’s first time too, so maybe we should sit next to one another and give each other a bit of support. I said that was cool with me and she also smiled and nodded so I walked over.
We hit it off right away, my emotions went from a bit of embarrassment to serious wonder as we both attempted to fit in with the rest of the class. After the class was over, we were still talking away and I felt a genuine connection and butterflies in my stomach, and as we said goodbye we caught each other’s gaze and she smiled at me with a purity that for the first time in my life made me feel weak at the knees.
I wouldn’t have gone back in a million years had I not met her, but I decided to go the next week and when I walked in the door, I got those butterflies in my stomach again and was hoping to see her face… but she wasn’t there. As I was sitting there I felt this feeling of pure dread and was sat thinking what am I even doing here? I felt this sadness that was hard to describe, it kinda reminded me of when I went to this holiday caravan park when I was about 12 with my gran and cousins and there was this big center with pool tables and recreational things and all that stuff.
I remember seeing this girl there every night for a week and I instantly fell in love with her, didn’t say a word to her right enough, but psyched myself up so that I was gonna try to speak to her on the last night at the disco, but when we went down she wasn’t there. I’ll never forget that feeling of sadness as we went home, that girl had walked out of my life, and she probably didn’t even know she walked into it.
I felt the same aching sadness when I didn’t see Sarah. I knew nothing about her, had no way of contacting her, and felt this surreal sadness that was hard to quantify.
About 4 months later I was working on a roof repairing a truss damaged in a storm when we decided to stop for a break, as we made our way back to the van the house owner came out and asked us if we wanted cups of coffee.
We accepted and she came out with coffee and biscuits. As soon as I had seen this woman, I just knew her face from somewhere, but couldn’t for the life of me place her. It wasn’t until that night after racking my brain that I realized it was at that yoga hall I had seen her before, and it was Sarah’s mother.
The next day I was back finishing the job and the same thing happened, we stopped for a break, went down towards the van and the woman came out asking if we wanted some coffee.
After we finished up I took the cups and biscuit wrappers back and as I was passing them over to her I asked how her daughter was and was she still having back problems? She looked surprised but smiled at me and said yes, then asked how I knew her? I replied that I’d spoken to her at a yoga class months back, she laughed and said she remembered me now.
I then gave her a card with my number written on it and asked if she could maybe get her daughter to text me as I wanted to get back in touch with her. Shoot my shot I thought, wish I hadn’t now.
I got a text message that night from Sarah asking how I was and that she had looked for me again at the yoga hall but I wasn’t there.
Turned out she had gone back the week after me as she thought it was bi-weekly. We met up soon after, really hit it off again and after 8 months she moved in with me. She was funny, smart, and sweet as well as being the most uniquely beautiful person I’d ever met. She had a whimsical beauty to her, pointed ears and defined features, she reminded me of she-elf or something, I truly thought I’d found my soul mate.
She had moved into my home and everything was going great guns. She was on disability and got personal independence payments, and was getting steroid injections for her scoliosis, which along with painkillers and exercises were keeping her pain at bay. We would alternate the cooking, while she has done the cleaning, and took care of our cat Mitzi. I was also making good money so we were in a comfortable position financially.
When I got back from work we’d always be doing things like going out for walks or the like, just always in each other’s company. It was at this point I was seriously contemplating proposing to her.
Things changed around Halloween 2019. Our intimate life was always very active, but there were times when she occasionally wasn’t up to it, and I was fine with that. We’d work around positions that were comfortable for her due to her back problems, but I’d say in general, she had a high drive.
Well around October she started complaining a lot about her back hurting more, especially just before the times we’d usually go to bed together. Anytime we did hook up after that, it wasn’t passionate or intense, it felt like we were going through the motions. She started complaining while we were in the middle of it, so at that point, I’d stop of course. I started feeling really frustrated, but I was positive that it was just a blip, and that we’d get through it together.
Thing is, she seemed fine in other aspects of her life, she seemed happy. The first real red flag for me came in December when she completely stopped showing me affection. She just became cold towards me, she seemed repulsed when I put my arms around her or tried to take her hand. She was the one who was so touchy-feely, hands in hair, constant reaffirming touches, kisses, and cuddles.
When we’d sit on the couch, she’d basically be on top of me. That all completely stopped… didn’t for Mitzi though, yes that’s right I ended up jealous of our cat.
At this point, we were in the new year and I suspected her of seeing another man. She had become downright hostile towards me, I started trying to up my workload around the house but nothing was good enough.
I ended up constantly being belittled and being super cautious, couldn’t do right for wrong, and was starting to become humorless protection of my witty former self. One night I got a hold of her phone and looked through it… nothing… was clean as a whistle. Wasn’t even any messages from her friends or her mother, which I found weird. Was then that my friend told me that if we were on the same plan then I could check on the website of the carrier and see all the activity from her phone.
We were on the same plan, and I paid for her phone. That night I logged into my BT account, navigated to mobile, then her number, started to sift through, and there it was, thousands of texts and calls to this one specific number. It had started six months previously, and it had dates, times, and how long the calls were. She’d be speaking to and texting this person for hours and hours while I was at work, deleting everything before I got home, then going cold turkey when I got back.
I googled the number and up came a local garage, one where she had got her car fixed previously. I remembered it taking a while for it to get fixed and her complaining about it a lot, the whole thing was a long-drawn-out affair, in more ways than one apparently. At this point I was ice cold, I already had got it into my head she was having an affair, so getting it confirmed was more of a relief than anything else.
I wanted to catch her in the act, rather than have her attempt to gaslight me and squirm out of the circumstantial, so I found out everything I could about this guy. I found out where he lived, that he had a young wife and child, found out what car he drove, even walked in asking about prices so I could look this guy in the eye and get a measure of him.
His name was Carl with a K.
I knew the affair was physical for lots of reasons, but the fact that their phone calls and texts stopped dead from 1 to 2 each day said to me that was the time they were meeting up. I came up with all sorts of silly plans, to loan my friend’s car and sit at the end of the street, then wait till she drove out, then follow her to the place she was meeting this guy and jump out of the car while they were in the act like ‘surprise!’ There were too many variables in that though, and I’m no private detective.
One day I decided to drive by his garage about half one and her car was just sitting there, and the place was locked up, so mystery solved.
I was at this point at the end of my tether, and ready to just tell her that I knew everything and get out of my house when she asked if it would be ok to go away to a spa place for the weekend…
Alone. She said she was depressed with everything with her back being so much worse, that this place would be great to help with that with all the things she could do. That she could come back refreshed and like a new person. She was right about that, cos I didn’t know who was standing in front of me anymore.
Obviously, she wasn’t going there alone, if she was even going there at all.
This would be a dirty weekend away with this guy. I said fine, now I had a new plan, and this would be the last thing I’d do for her. If you’re thinking this is all too much of a kerfuffle, then you’re right obviously, but my position is I wanted revenge, and I wanted to get her back with some style. I didn’t just want to have her cry at and gaslight me for days, then leave on her terms, with me the bad guy.
I would be the bad guy but it would be my terms she’d be leaving on alright.
The Friday came and the spa was a hundred or so miles down the road so she decided to get a train. I jokingly asked her if she couldn’t find something more local, umming and oohing followed till I told her I was only kidding. I got off work a couple of hours early and took her to the train station, despite her protests she would get a taxi, as I wanted to see her off.
We drive in and as I’m looking for a place to park wouldn’t you guess who’s car I spot? That’s right Carl with a K. I think screw it, I’m gonna have some fun and make her squirm so I park up directly next to him. They’re right next to each other door to door and she immediately becomes uneasy, not knowing where to look, I’m pretending to look for something trying to draw out the moment and the atmosphere is razor-sharp at that point.
What happened next genuinely caused me to do something out with my plan.
She started to silently giggle. You know when you go to church or someone dies or you go to church cos someone dies and something funny pops into your head? And it becomes mental torture desperately trying to think of something else and stop yourself from laughing maniacally? Well, she’s desperately trying not to laugh, I’m pretending not to notice, she’s tapping her hand on her trouser leg and from the corner of my eye, I can see him, with his head on the steering wheel.
She actually lets out a laugh then quickly disguises it as a cough and starts clearing her throat. I start doing the whole tapping of back thing and I’m just thinking to myself, I can’t wait to get you back. See we all go through life being the butt of the joke at least once, whether it be passive-aggressive work colleagues or when you get up and try and do a talk at school with a face redder than the devil himself.
But you never expect that nonsense from people who are supposed to have your back, even if you are conspiring against them at that point!
I helped her into the train station with her things, made sure she had her bearings, said goodbye and walked away. By the time I got out Carl with a K’s car was nowhere to be seen, so I went back home, composed myself, and carried out my plan.
My plan was simple but effective, I started by having a locksmith come out to change the locks. I then proceeded to pack all of her clothes and belongings into bin bags and put them around the side of the house. On Friday night, with the noise of her laughing at me ringing in my ears, I have done something I never imagined I could do.
I took Mitzi’s litter tray, walked around the side of the house with it, opened the bin bag with Sarah’s belongings in it and threw it in, gave the bag a good shake then tied it up again. The way I saw it at the time was that it’s cause and effect in action, she caused me to effectively put cat poop in with her things.
If you’re thinking I’m a jerk then you’re probably right, I’ll never win any awards for being the nicest neighbor on the block. If I don’t like you within 5 minutes of meeting you I probably never will, and the only time I’d ever take out your trash is if you are the trash. If you do break through those barriers though I think I am a loyal caring person, I didn’t do anything to deserve being lied to, except maybe putting cat litter in with her things but that was after the fact!
I spent the Saturday in a mire of depression, answering her texts with the only energy I could muster, which wasn’t a lot.
I complained of a severe headache from a hangover I never had and the texts dwindled. The reality of what was transpiring hit home and for the first time since before the new year, I took stock of my life, sitting in my swivel armchair with Mitzi in tow like a Bond villain.
Sunday came and I was ready to execute the final part of my plan.
Firstly I drove to Carl with a K’s house and put a letter through his door, It was addressed to his wife and basically said in block capitals IMPORTANT CARL WITH A K’S WIFE’S NAME OPEN IMMEDIATELY. Inside it was a letter outlining how her husband was having an affair with my significant other, copies of her phone calls and text log, as well as other information like that they were away together this weekend.
I put it through the door, rang the doorbell, and walked away. Got in my car and drove for a minute then parked up again, then I phoned Sarah. I genuinely can’t remember a lot of what I said to her but it was something along the lines of – me asking how everything was going, she started to gush about how much she enjoyed herself, that she feels like a new woman and that she could maybe see herself doing it 2 or 3 times a year, you know, to blow off the cobwebs…
At this point I blurt out, ‘how’s Carl?’ her yapping stops dead, silence fills the air until she finally says ‘who’s Carl?’… ‘You know’ I reply, ‘Carl… with a K’.
I then proceeded to tell her that I knew everything, that I’d changed the locks and all her stuff was around the side of the house. Instead of being apologetic, she goes on a thunderous diatribe, blaming me for everything, basically stabbing me in the back while complaining that my backbone was blunting her blade.
In the end, I told her how her stuff smelled of Mitzi’s poo and hung up.
I blocked her number and didn’t see her nor hear from her until the Wednesday when I came back from work she was sitting on the doorstep, all the bags had been moved. I ignored her, walked around the back, let myself in the back door, and locked it behind me.
Haven’t spoken to her since, although she’s made her attempts, including a letter.
In regards to Karl, I don’t know what happened between him and his wife. I do know that he said it wasn’t personal to a friend of mine. That made me angry like is that supposed to make it better? Someone saying something isn’t personal just means it isn’t personal to them, it was to me.
If someone smashes through your front room in a 4 by 4 obliterating everyone you’ve ever loved is it easier to get over if they didn’t personally mean it? Is it easier to pick up the pieces and put them back together again? No.
I heard that the health crisis hasn’t been kind to his business though but you won’t catch me shedding no tears for that, unless it’s tears of laughter, that is.”
10. Take My Tips And Pay Me Below Minimum Wage? See What Happens
“So this all happened years ago when I was still in college. I worked for a delivery joint. The company seemed super cool because they provided vehicles instead of forcing you to beat down your car. Huge perk right? Well in this case no. The owner of the company used this as justification to take a percentage of the driver’s tips. Often this would result in an employee making below minimum wage.
If you made below minimum wage, you would have to come and pick up your check-in person and sign a document attesting that ‘you did make minimum wage, due to undocumented tips’. Or some such nonsense.
Now, this was a problem for two reasons. Number one, in the state I was in, employee tips belonged to the employee unless part of an employee tip pooling agreement. This was plain as day on the Department of Labor website.
So that 20% gouge was already crossing a line. Number two, you cannot just hand wave and or force employees to say they made above minimum wage. So pretty shady, right?
Now, most people would see this situation and run for the hills (which probably explained the delivery driver turnover being so high). I on the other hand saw the potential. See I am pretty well versed in labor law and decided that I was gonna ride it out.
I wanted to see how long they would keep this thing up.
Here and there I would make comments to the managers about the legality of their practices and be often told ‘Our lawyers said it’s ok, so it’s ok’ (would love to meet these lawyers one day). So I patiently waited for a year, documenting every red cent they took from me and encouraging the other drivers to do so.
Every new driver that came through that door had a little convo with me, and I would give them the skinny. Unfortunately, my plan must have leaked because sooner than later the joint decided to fire me after making up three bogus infractions. This wasn’t a problem though, as my plan was already in action. See in this state, unpaid wages collect interest. So what was 20-40 dollars a night, 5 nights a week, over one year; quickly became a decent sum.
So I began collecting the names of current and previous employees who had been screwed over by the company and collected their documented data then sent it off to the department of labor. At the end of the day, it took a couple of months, but the company was eventually required to pay a decent chunk of change to all parties and a pretty hefty fine on top.
Overall I believe it came out to a little under 100k. I wasn’t done though. See those shady little documents they had us sign claiming we made over minimum wage affected how the company was reporting its payroll tax. The IRS eventually came in and hit them for a ton of back taxes, and I received a small portion of the settlement (the IRS used to pay people who tipped them off, don’t know if they still do).
Finally, I was increasingly aware of the company’s under-the-table agreement with their health inspector. Which I decided to go ahead and tip-off to the health department. This resulted in even more fines and a temporary closure for the joint.
All together it ended up costing this dumb little delivery joint a ton just to stay open, all cause they wanted 20 percent of their driver’s tips. The moral here is this.
Know your labor laws, it’s degenerates like these who profit off the ignorance or fear of a workforce. The more you know about your rights, the fewer idiots like these will be able to survive in the wild. Thanks for coming to my ted talk.
If you are in a situation that does not seem right. Document everything. Keep a little black notebook, and write down everything. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from nonsense in the workplace is document, document, document. If you are ever in question of something be it disability rights at work or earnings, you can always contact your state EEOC branch or DOL branch. They will gladly help you figure out what is and isn’t proper.”
9. Make A False Claim Of Me Faking An Injury? My Mom Will Mess With Your Career
“I, (15, F) have had a long and elaborate history with injuries, especially breaking my arm. Starting from literally the day I was born, my health has been complicated. I have a few conditions but none serious enough to impact my daily life as I know it. I have a very weak immune system and somewhat easy to break bones. On top of that, I am the definition of clumsy, and I’m also a huge idiot who gets herself into dangerous situations for fun.
My mom (40, F) has obviously known me from birth and knows just the extent of my weird bad luck and health issues. I’ve broken my arms a collective 13 times over my entire life, and almost every time I got injured or sick, it seems somebody had something to say about it. I don’t know why but teachers just love to say that students that get hurt often are attention-seeking fakers, and a lot of relationships with authority figures have been harmful because of this.
Every time it’s the same. For some reason a teacher doesn’t believe me, they call me a liar in front of everyone, I get bullied for a while, and then I have to try and prove that I’m not faking. I could post so many stories about teachers doing this but this is a story about the time my mom actually managed to get revenge.
This all took place around 7th grade.
I was 12 at the time and I had broken my wrist by climbing on top of something I wasn’t supposed to and then falling off. My wrist was in a velcro cast since I’m very allergic to the regular cast material (as they figured out through many cases of trial and error). My teacher… let’s call her Mrs. Tablet since this took place while we were learning about Egyptian tablets.
She taught history and our personalities clashed a bit.
I’m more of a creative, adventurous, free thinker type and she was very conservative, by-the-book, and proper. We hadn’t had any real issues before this but we just didn’t mesh well. She was absent one day and we had a sub in. I knew the sub as one of my teacher’s friends and one of my bullies’ mom.
I didn’t like her but I was still respectful in class and just tried to get my work done. She got me in trouble for doodling on my paper once or twice but other than that everything was fine, or so I thought.
The next day I went into class like usual. We were working on an assignment about Egypt and its tables when Mrs. Tablet called me over to her desk.
I went over, thinking she’d just get onto me for drawing on the back of my homework or something, only to get bombarded with a bunch of really weird questions. The interaction went something like this:
Teacher: So, OP, do you know why I’ve called you up here?
Me: No ma’am, I can’t say that I do.
Teacher: How long have you had that cast?
Me: About a week now…
Teacher: Do you really need that cast?
Me: Uh… yes?
Teacher: Well the substitute told me she saw you take it off.
Me: It’s a cast, I can’t take it off, it would hurt.
Teacher: So if I asked the class they’d say you need that cast.
Teacher: And if I called your parents right now they’d say the same thing.
Me: Yes, they were the ones who took me to the hospital.
And she did this in front of the WHOLE CLASS.
I was eventually dismissed and people looked at me weird for the rest of class. As I later learned, apparently the substitute had told Mrs. Tablet that I’d taken off my cast as soon as I left class, (I didn’t) and that I threw it in my locker like ‘hahaha, I’m getting away with doing less work.’
So basically she pretended I was a bad guy in a trashy high school movie.
I don’t know why she said this but it had my teacher convinced that I was a liar and a fake. I technically could remove my cast since it was velcro but that would’ve been extremely painful and it’s not like I could just walk around without it. I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it at the time but it turns out she was serious about calling my parents.
But she made the mistake of calling my mom.
Now my mother and I don’t have a perfect relationship (she has anger issues so we don’t always get along well), but she loves me very much and doesn’t let people like this mess with me if she can stop it. According to my mom, Mrs. Tablet called her all cocky and said things like ‘Apparently your daughter is wearing a cast, did you know that?’ And ‘Well we all know how dramatic teenage girls can be.
Especially unique kids like her.’ She apparently even threatened to have me suspended before my mom stopped her and tore her to shreds for talking about her child like that.
I don’t think I’m allowed to repeat what was said but by the end, Mrs. Tablet had to retreat with her tail tucked between her legs. She started being even colder to me after that day and started giving me unfair detentions for not sitting still and doodling on the side of my worksheets.
Even then, outside of school, we went to the same art studio sometimes. (Weird that someone who hates art so much likes to paint) and put the art director against me and got me placed into a lower class. When my mom found out about this, she started the real revenge.
My mom has never been a PTA mom. She honestly can’t stand most of the PTA members and their kids are chosen as favorites at my school and use this power to bully others, including me and my friends.
My mom is however friends with a very lovely woman on the county’s school board, which has more power than the PTA. She told her friend everything that had happened and supplied all the doctor’s notes needed to prove I needed my cast. Her friend managed to convince the rest of the board that Mrs. Tablet was discriminating against an impaired student (given her comments about me being slower at work and just wearing the cast to slack off) along with detentions related to me not sitting still when she knew I had nervous movements and slight ADHD.
At the art studio, my mother pulled me from the classes. I took it upon myself to inform the fellow kids about why, and rumors spread quickly. Soon enough kids were getting pulled left and right and my art teacher was pulling at strings to try and get the situation under control. I actually think the studio went into temporary closure before reopening again.
She was suspended for a week to go under investigation and it turns out she treated a lot of the ‘unique’, as she put it, students, in a similar way.
She was verbally reprimanded by two different departments, and instead of getting her standard raise over the next three years, she’ll only get half of that. Not only that but she had to retake a course on how to properly treat students, and if she’s ever caught crossing this line again, she’ll lose tenure. She’ll just be getting her bonus back at the start of next school year and I’d just like to say that I hope she learned her lesson.”
8. Treat Me Like Garbage? Lose Your 5 Years' Worth Of Salary
“A bit over 6 months before the start of this story, we had a changeup at the company I worked for. The old owner was a great guy that was retiring and handing the company off to his son, a real piece of work just out of business school type. The son, with the mentality that the company is now his, went about restructuring, namely reassigning teams to different projects, and leaving those that remained in their old positions to pick up double—if not triple—the workload.
He did this all in the name of saving a bit of the company’s bank. Unfortunately, my department (safety/engineering, of which I was the team lead) was not spared from this effort. In the end, I had it out with the boss and department head, ultimately costing the company 3 months of my entire department working 80+ hour weeks, and forcing a huge year-end bonus to be paid out to us.
Unfortunately, after my initial meeting with the new boss (i.e. the son), he took a liking to me (in a really bad way). Essentially he really liked me, and wanted to go out with me, or sleep with me, or however, you want to put it. He even enlisted his friends and secretaries to help him! It went on for months, just blatant harassment. They even made comments about me losing my late husband, that I should just get back on the horse (so to speak).
I kept everything—every email, every voice mail—and went to my best friend who happens to be a really good lawyer (a contract lawyer, to be exact; so not exactly their area of expertise, but they knew enough to help). This friend drafted a letter to the boss, essentially a ‘stop or we’re going to start a big case over this’ kind of thing, and yah everything stopped.
However, I was then moved from working in-office to a work-from-home arrangement. I knew what was coming: they were going to do their best to get rid of me, so I started documenting everything. But as luck would happen I received an email chain from the bosses—a good friend of mine in the office who was in the email chain added me to the cc list.
And wouldn’t you know, it was back-and-forth communication of them discussing how they would get rid of me and pin the blame on me.
The email chain was just disgusting. They hated me so badly and wanted me gone, but because of my contract, they would have to buy me out. But being the cheapskates they are you know they wanted me gone for free, so the company bosses started a campaign to try and torment me.
They first tried to say that because now I work from home they were required to install cameras in my home office to make sure I was being productive; luckily that did not work (you have to love contracts). They also tried assigning an impossible workload to me, but luckily my team and I were almost like family and they picked up the slack.
After 3 months of this nonsense, I get an email and a phone call from the HR department saying I was getting laid off indefinitely because there was just no work for me.
This was complete nonsense given that we had several dozen projects we were working on. (On a side note: in Ontario, there is no such thing as a layoff, as—in the court’s eyes—being laid off is considered an active dismissal, which is essentially the same as being fired.)
After this conversation with HR, I call my lawyer friend, almost in tears just shouting ‘look what they are doing to me! HELP!’
She calms me down and tells me ‘this is such a good thing: we have so much evidence against them.’ I had already forwarded and printed everything off that was sent to me, and it was lucky I did because a scant few hours after I was laid off my computer was remotely wiped clean; everything was gone, leaving just a blank desktop.
When I called the HR department to get copies of all my filed complaints, what do you know: everything was gone. In their place was a bunch of nonsense reprimands that never happened—that I never signed or saw—months and months back, and all signed by the new boss, even though they were dated before he ever took control of the company. It was clear they were total garbage, but I got copies of everything to add to my stack of records.
I texted all my old colleagues to let them know what was happening, and that I am basically gone. Like I said earlier, we were like family, and with me on the way out, they started looking for better employment. Not only that, but they contacted all their friends who worked for the company to do the same.
I was ‘laid off’ on a Monday, and on Thursday I walked into the office with my employment lawyer.
I swear, the main secretary was on the phone with security the second she saw me walk in, and they were at the door in a matter of a minute. My lawyer simply handed her a legal document: a summons to meet for mediation at his office the next Friday.
During the following week, I received so many calls and text messages from the bosses, friends, secretaries, and people I knew in the office to just be friendly with the owner, to just drop it, and that they wanted to bring me back and forget about everything (like I was going back to such a hostile work environment).
Friday finally comes and into my lawyer’s office my former boss walks in with a squad of 4 of his lawyers to settle the matter. And off the bat, he offers me 3 months severance to end all of this because I didn’t have any evidence to rebut the fake paperwork they had on file.
At this point, my lawyer starts to bring out all the paperwork we had, namely copies of every complaint I had ever filed which were all signed by the bosses, HR, and myself.
Luckily for our case, I had made sure to take a copy of each complaint when it was written up. They didn’t think I had anything? Oh, boy were they wrong.
My lawyer made the case that in court it’d be obvious that all the paperwork they had on their end were forgeries: nothing was signed by me, and he pointed out that there were dates with the boss’ signature where he wasn’t in the country, let alone working for the company yet.
At that point, the boss and his lawyers went to speak privately.
After about half an hour they came back with a much better offer: a full year’s salary. But my lawyer was like ‘Nah, we’ll just go with what the contract says plus go for damages in court’.
Given the recent change-over at the company, the lawyers seemed to know they couldn’t afford this going to court, not to mention it would be so bad for the company’s reputation.
So they basically rolled over and asked ‘what do you want?’ We demanded 5 years salary + the average bonus I would have made for each year + all the legal fees paid. It was a big big win. But it didn’t end there. I got a taste of blood and wanted more.
I made phone calls to several companies where I had contacts and found jobs for every member of my team (and several members of other teams).
By the end of a week, the company lost 10 of its most talented people. Not to mention most of those people had friends and colleagues that ended up following them to their new employers.
The fallout was pretty bad. Before all of this, they had the pick of the litter when new university students graduated. But now—because they lost almost all of their senior people—they had no one to mentor new employees.
Plus word got out fast how they treat workers like dirt, so no one with any talent would even think of getting near the company.
As of today, the company is just a tip of its former self. It’s still big, but it bleeds money. They also now have a problem with permanent staffing and are paying out the nose to hire subcontractors. Let’s just say they don’t earn like they used to. In fact, they have not started any new projects in something like 9 months. If something isn’t done on the side of management to improve things fast, they will likely be going bankrupt in the very near future.”
7. Make Us Work Overtime For Free? Try Opening The Store With No Employees
“I met Grumpy in an Anonymous group. He volunteered there after they helped him and became my sponsor. Seeing that I was trying to get myself together, he offered me my first job out of high school. Grumpy was the manager of a store for a company that sold everything you needed to build a house. From cement and bricks to custom-made cupboards. I started as a ‘loader’, filling the trucks that were making deliveries.
A little background for the company (it’s important for later). When they started, back in the early 80s, they sold everything you needed to build a brick and mortar home wholesale to professionals. During their first expansion, they got a really good reputation for their prices of power tools, custom cupboards, and landscaping (including custom-made garden furniture). The stores were basically big warehouses. In the mid-’90s, they opened their doors to the general public, which accompanied by a rising tent of DIY, skyrocketed their sales.
That brought a second, smaller wave of expansion and the opening of the online store (first only with phone orders and later with a proper site). When I joined, they were doing a third shift on their business plan. They had cut down on things that weren’t a big seller (like bricks and concrete) and were focusing more on the big sellers (custom-made furniture, landscaping, tools, and, for some weird reason, plumbing).
My first 8 months on the job were a dream. Grumpy was an excellent manager. Having started in the company roughly the same age I was and being promoted through the ranks, had developed a very distinct managerial style. His concept was simple: ‘if my employees are happy, they work better and provide better services, which leads to better sales’. That meant that while Grumpy managed one of the inner city stores, meaning medium to small size compared to others, we were fourth in revenue nationwide and first in customer happiness.
And then the reason for his nickname came to light. While everyone called him Grumpy (a nickname he was kind of proud of), he was far from it. The reason was he had a medical condition that affected his nerves and had left him with a permanent frown on his face. He had declined promotion due to that condition (knowing the extra stress would make his condition flair up, meaning he wouldn’t be as effective as he would like).
His medical condition flared up unexpectedly and Grumpy had to be hospitalized and be on sick leave for a time. HQ decided to not have one of Grumpy’s assistants be an Acting Manager for the duration, but bring in a regional manager to take over the store for the duration. Let’s call him Wilhelm.
Wilhelm was the exact opposite of Grumpy. He was younger than Grumpy (he was in his late 20s, Grumpy was in his late 30s), had a business degree and he hadn’t worked the floor at all.
He was hired from the beginning as an office drone and climbed his way to regional manager. The reason he was put in charge of our store had to do with the change of the business plan of the company.
You see, the change of focus had created a lot of space in the stores. A supermarket chain had approached the company with an offer to rent the space, especially for inner-city stores.
The company had accepted and placed regional managers in key stores to help with integration. The thing is, the supermarket chain had a reputation of being bad employers. That was reinforced by one of our tellers, who had worked for them for three years before quitting to join us.
Wilhelm didn’t help also. His managerial style was based on only one concept: make more income in any way possible.
He started by changing our schedule from monthly to weekly, raising the sales targets to unrealistic heights, and always demanded more. In the first two weeks, six experienced people had left (four quit and two fired) and were replaced by young, inexperienced people that were easier to manipulate.
And then, the integration happened. The floor was the first to feel the problem. The supermarket opened its doors and was understaffed.
Wilhelm started sending people over to “help” for four to six hours, while also demanding to work their regular shifts. If someone declined, he/she was written up. Two write-ups in six months and you were fired.
Then Wilhelm came to ‘lay the law’ in the loading bay. The loading bay was shared between the two stores. Wilhelm declared that we had to first help the two guys of the supermarket unload their trucks, because their products were ‘perishable’, and then start loading our trucks.
That would throw our delivery schedule to the wind. The loading crew worked from 05:00 to 13:00. We loaded first the trucks that had longer to travel, so they will be ready to leave at 07:00 at the latest (the company had a next-day delivery policy for a 150 miles radius). What Wilhelm declared meant we couldn’t start loading our trucks before 07:30 and they couldn’t start their route before 09:30.
We said as much, but Wilhelm didn’t care. He said we had to do both jobs. When someone inquired about overtime, Wilhelm said no. He said we already made too much with unsocial hours (05:00 to 08:00) and leaving ‘early’, so he wouldn’t approve overtime.
So, from a nice environment that you wanted to work for, we all started getting miserable. We lost ten people in the loading crew in a month because of the new rules.
The new hires didn’t last long. The floor was a mess also. Anyone who is staying is either looking for another job, is afraid of unemployment, or is too young to know better. The sales had a very small decline, but customer happiness is plummeting fast.
After almost six months, all the ‘Old Guard’ that was left, was ready to quit. But our ‘savior’ came back. Almost six months from the day he was hospitalized, Grumpy walks into the store to claim his rightful position.
He isn’t a knight in shining armor, riding a pure white horse, carrying a legendary sword. He is in normal attire, slightly limping and holding a cane. We have a ‘welcome back’ party and have a small glimmer of hope now he is back. We are informed that Grumpy will be on light duties for two weeks before he becomes the manager again. Despite Grumpy being back, Wilhelm remains the regional manager, which means he outranks Grumpy and makes it very clear in private meetings with all of us.
If he caught us complaining to Grumpy, we were as good as gone. Still, a few of us are planning to have a meeting with Grumpy after the weeks (letting him get his ‘sea legs’ back). But another department had other ideas.
During his ‘Reign of Terror’, the only department that Wilhelm couldn’t control was the workshop. He knew that if he treated them as bad as he did to us, they would quit and the sales would go from a small decline to the bottom of the barrel real quick (as I said, custom-made furniture was the number one seller).
So, the head carpenter has a meeting with Grumpy on his second day talking about ‘the future of the workshop’. In reality, the guy spilled the beans on Wilhelm.
With the pretext of ‘catching up’ with the changes, Grumpy has meetings with everyone, learning what Wilhelm had done and why we had so many new staff. You could feel he was getting angrier with every meeting. He had also had an eye-opening meeting with the manager of the supermarket.
Finally, the time had come that he is the manager again.
On his first day back as a manager, Grumpy notifies everyone of a mandatory meeting after the store is closed. He has a solution. So gather in the store after closing hours. And Grumpy lays out the plan. For the next couple of days, nobody except him is coming to the store. If anyone calls us, we should direct them to him.
Which we did, when we started getting calls about the store being closed.
Grumpy’s answer to the HQ was simple: the staff was working on a second job during their shifts, which is a breach of contract, so I had to fire them all and find new staff.
That caught HQ’s attention because nothing of the sort was reported in the past six months. They asked Grumpy for evidence, which he happily provided with our written testimonies.
Which brought a deadly storm on Wilhelm.
You see, Wilhelm had an ‘arrangement’ with the supermarket manager. He got a kickback from our unpaid labor for the supermarket and the manager offered the same thing to Grumpy. He also included that Wilhelm regularly declined to sign over time, which meant that if any one of us went to the Labor Department, the company would get a really huge fine.
Wilhelm quickly got fired. We all received calls to ‘interview’ with the company for an open position. We all received severance pay for our ‘firing’ plus most of the unpaid overtime (about 80% of it). Almost all of us went back to work with a small pay raise based on experience. The company took a long, hard look at the supermarket chain and distanced themselves from them (they stayed until their lease was over, but no shared employees anymore and a lot of theirs jumped ship to our side).
The next time Grumpy had to take time off, one of his assistants took over. Two did a stellar job, leading to being promoted to managers in other stores. Grumpy brought back his usual managerial style, leading again to a rise in sales and customer happiness.
I left the job three years later for a better paying position, but I still remember Grumpy as one of the best managers I ever had.”
6. Homeowner Gets What's Coming To Him After Daily Harassment
“I worked an engineering/construction job last year for a home builder and we had to deal with a bunch of jerks moving into one of our neighborhoods. Constant complaints about the construction, the noise, the debris, which made no sense because they chose to move into the neighborhood before construction was completed.
One man, in particular, would harass us daily, complain about the streetlights being too bright (they weren’t), and complain about a generator we had running about a block away from him to power the site temporarily until we had the infrastructure in.
The complaints ranged from the generator was damaging his hearing (the thing was almost completely silent) or that the fumes from the generator were coming into his house and causing him and his kids to have stunted development. They would come up with stuff that made little to no sense. It escalated to the point where he got the city and the mayor involved, and we got sued so we gave in to his requests and moved the generator to an inconvenient location & had to take the time and money to rewire to be able to power the areas needed (this was including important stuff like the streetlights, we had to leave off for a couple of nights until the move was complete, and you guessed it, he would call to complain.
The nerve of this man.)
So, here comes the revenge. We received an order from the city to install a 5g tower on-site to improve cellular connection because the area we were in had pretty bad service. Since my team and I were in charge of creating the plans to install the infrastructure, guess where we all simultaneously agreed to put the tower: right smack dab in front of the angry man’s house. We thought this was incredibly hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing every time he would call freaking out while the tower was being constructed. Got to the point he tried to file another lawsuit, got laughed away, and within a week we never heard from them again. Moved out faster than the wind.”
5. Stalker Boss Ends Up Regretting It
“I used to work in a convenience store, and the store manager was a real jerk. Misogynistic, offensive, (as in haha cancer is hilarious) creepy, and a downright bully. Sometime after I left, he was fired after he decided to turn a professional interview with a young woman into a conversation about her favorite adult video. She reported him and he got the sack. Awesome.
Anyway, this guy, we’ll call him Andy, fancied himself as a real ‘leader’.
I mean he wasn’t, he set impossible tasks and yelled instructions whilst doing absolutely nothing in the office in the meantime. I had a colleague called Gabby who, to be honest, I didn’t get on with. However, I knew that at the time she was having a really tough time at home with her 3-month-old son. One day in winter, it had snowed. Fairly heavily. Gabby rang in that morning and told Andy she couldn’t make it in as she was snowed in.
Everybody knew that wouldn’t have been true, and that it was likely she hadn’t slept well with the baby crying and whatnot. But you know what, who cares? She always worked hard and she deserved a break. It was only a 4-hour shift and the store was dead anyway, no customers were gonna walk over snow and ice for the morning paper. Plus we were actually OVER staffed.
However, Andy had a problem with women. He was always disrespectful and demeaning. Like the rest of us, he knew she wouldn’t be snowed in, but he didn’t let it lie. He wanted to catch her out.
Andy abandoned the store (serious gross misconduct) and got in his car. He made the 15-minute drive to Gab’s house and took pictures of her car, her front driveway, and the rest of the street, to prove she wasn’t snowed in.
He then called her into the office at the end of the week for a disciplinary. When she came out she was in tears, she was on a final warning. Andy wouldn’t want a dismissal on his quarterly record, so he basically just threatened her instead. This didn’t sit well with anybody. We hated him anyway, but he went too far making a single Mum cry over something so ridiculous.
Well, here’s the good part. What Andy didn’t realize, was that on the last work night out, he had revealed to the team that he constantly had affairs behind his wife’s back. He would regularly two-time his wife of 18 years. He also has two teenage sons. He would justify it as having ‘natural male hunger’ if you’ve ever heard a more disturbing quote.
Andy used to tell his wife that he finished at 23:00.
This was a lie, he never worked later than 21:00. After an evening shift, he’d go and hook up with whichever side piece he had going at the time. Well, one evening, he finished at 21:00 and he got in his car and started driving. What he didn’t realize, was that Gab, who wasn’t on shift that day, had dropped her son at her Mum’s house and had waited outside the store in her car for Andy to leave.
She tailed his car to his hook-up house and parked three houses down. She then proceeded to take pictures of Andy hugging and kissing this random woman, before pulling her inside and slamming the door. You can see where this is going.
Andy didn’t come into work for a week. When we saw him next he looked broken. His wife had been anonymously sent the pictures of him with another woman.
She’d kicked him out and had contacted a solicitor to start a divorce process. His sons had blocked his number and wanted nothing to do with him. Of course, he knew who sent the pictures. But he had no proof, no evidence.
Gabby stayed at the store for another 3 months before moving into a recruitment position for a pharmaceutical company. As far as I know, she’s still there today and doing well.
As for Andy, I have no idea whether the divorce went through or not, I blocked him on all social media after I left the company, about a month after this whole thing. What I do know is that he’s a disgusting, reprehensible human being who thought he was invincible. He thought he could walk all over people, bullying and belittling as he went. Well, he soon realized that nobody is invincible, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching his collapse.”
4. High School Jerk Fills Up My Tank Now
“There was a guy I went to high school with who was a massive jerk. He never picked on me but would constantly pick on one of my friends who was going out with a girl he had a thing for. My buddy was pretty small and wouldn’t defend himself from this guy. I saw him one day smashing a cupcake, one of those hostess ones with the white swirl on top, into his face with one hand and holding him down on the ground with the other.
He was doing it in the hallway and everyone that saw it was laughing at my buddy. I snapped and ripped him off my buddy and kicked the life out of him. We got hauled off to the vice principal/disciplinarian and after I explained the situation and he confirmed it with some witnesses, he let me off with a few detentions.
The bully ended up getting suspended.
After he was back in school a few days/week later he tried jumping me with his friends. Because he was a jerk bully, his friends were cowards and as soon as they saw I wasn’t going down easily they took off and I kicked his butt again. He skulked away and I told him I would mess him up every time I saw him picking on my friend or anyone else.
He was still a bully afterward but much less severe and he completely stopped picking on my friend.
Well, fast forward about 9 years and I pull into a gas station with a nice new car that I literally just bought that day. I walked into the gas station store and came out to see two guys admiring my car and talking about how nice it was.
Their backs were towards me and one guy turned around and told me how much he liked my car. The other guy started saying the same thing as he was turning around and then stopped mid-sentence. He was the same piece of work bully from high school. He had aged poorly, gained a bunch of weight, and lost a bunch of teeth. It was also pretty evident that he was a gas pumper at the gas station.
I had a huge smile on my face as I told him to fill it up with premium and not mess it up.
He looked super annoyed and looked miserable. He filled it up without saying a word. He finished up and I crumpled a dollar bill and threw it on the ground. All I said was, ‘looks like you’ve done great things with your life bro. Glad to see jerks get what they deserve’. He definitely looked like he was about to cry as I drove away.”
3. Too Lazy To Do Your Jobs? Take Care Of The Boxes
“This was during my time I was working in retail. Every day, my department would get pallets of merchandise that needed to be stocked, usually after my coworkers and I would leave for the day, just before closing (I would work closing one week, opening shift the following week, weekends off). During that time, we would have several groups of overnight coworkers, assigned to different departments to stock merchandise brought in on the delivery trucks, and then put any overstock in the back, clean up the cardboard boxes.
The opening shift would take care of any overstock pallets the overnights didn’t have time to get to. Every week, each group of overnight employees would be rotated to different departments. Unfortunately, there was one group of overnight employees that had a bit of a reputation for being lazy and those guys were assigned to my department for the week. At the time when this happened, I was working my opening shift, the wrongs being done during the week weren’t so much being done to just me, it was being done to my other coworkers in my entire department.
(so this was pretty much a group effort)
My coworkers and I get to our department to find 4 pallets of merchandise, saran wrapped, labeled as overstock. We double-checked the pallets, and the shelves, and find out that it needed to be worked. We were angry. By that time, the department manager and supervisor found out, and they were absolutely livid. So we ended up working the merchandise, putting them on the shelves, I was getting ready to start breaking down the boxes when I got this wicked idea.
My idea was to stack all of the empty boxes, like they were full, wrap them up, and label them as overstock, but I wanted to get approval from my supervisor first. When I talked to my supervisor, I mentioned what I wanted to do, my supervisor chuckled at the idea, approved it, and explained what had happened to him last year (apparently a year before, the overnight employees played a prank on him, on April 1st, they had left 2 pallets of ‘merchandise’ wrapped up and labeled as overstock, he said he double-checked, only to find out that all of the boxes on the pallets were empty).
He gathered all of us in the department, explained what we were doing, and we got to work.
The supervisor explained that if it should happen again, we should inform him, work the merchandise, restock the empty boxes as if they are full, wrap them, label them as overstock, and leave the pallets for the overnighters. Unfortunately, my opening coworkers and I were done for the day, we were at 2 pallets, fortunately, our closing coworkers were there, when the supervisor explained what he wanted to be done.
The next day, we walk in, more pallets of overstock merchandise, supervisor was informed, basically, to rinse and repeat for the rest of the week. On the last day of the week, however, we walk in, to our surprise, there was only one pallet, it had 7 pallets stacked on top of it, with a handwritten ‘go screw yourselves’ label on it. We informed the supervisor, he informed us that the overnight group assigned to our department was terminated by the store manager.”
2. Get Buried In The Giant Hole You Dug
“I was in my third and final year at uni, studying archaeology. Due to recurring and severe illness in the second semester of my second year, I had been unable to complete several core subjects and had to repeat them. This included an archaeological field school, held in the mid-year holidays, where you would implement the techniques you had already learned. This field school was compulsory IF you wished to enroll in a particular subject, but not everyone studying was headed in that direction.
I had successfully completed the previous year’s field school, but due to my illness, was unable to complete the associated course, so had to retake them both.
This university has a number of campuses dotted around the country (and some overseas). The field school is offered to students on 2 campuses – the main campus, located North of Capricorn, and one of its offshoots, located even further North of Capricorn.
The field schools are held in the area of the main campus, so those participating are required to travel to attend – for some, it’s across town. For others, it’s several hours in a car. Needless to say, those attending from the sister campus do not do so lightly, or cheaply.
My lecturer, whom we shall call Matt, was a bloody legend. He was a brilliant lecturer, has authored 2 books, and is still working in his field, albeit at a different university than the one in this story.
He knew his stuff, was easy-going, friendly, would sit and share a jug of beer with you on a Friday arvo, and I only ever saw him angry once. This is important for later.
Also note that grading went as follows, in descending order:
HD (Pass with High Distinction): 85-100%
D (Pass with Distinction): 75-84%
C (Pass with Credit): 65-74%
P (Pass): 50-64%
PC (Pass Conceded): 48-49%
N (Fail): <50%
Matt and his counterpart at the sister campus had been granted permission to conduct this particular year’s field school in a gully adjacent to a historic (and protected/listed) cemetery.
This gully actually split the cemetery in two and was used basically as a garbage midden. Due to the nature of the gully, there was only space permitted for a specified number of dig sites. Groups were to be allocated a site once they arrived on the first day after they had decided on their members. As I was living on-campus and had no car, I knew I’d be unable to arrive at the field school at the specified beginning times.
I’d be half an hour late on the Friday and Monday mornings, and a full hour late on the weekend. I’d spoken to Matt about this, and as we knew each other quite well (and had shared jugs of beer quite often), he agreed that I would not be penalized for arriving late, but that I’d most likely be allocated a group to make up numbers, rather than choose my own.
It couldn’t be helped, so I agreed. This is also important for later.
Friday rolls around, I arrive at the site a half-hour late, all good, and I’m introduced to my group. There are 4 of us; myself, the only female in the group, but experienced in how the field school is run due to my previous year; Gazza, an older, grizzled male geology student who was taking the course just as a matter of interest; Bazza, a young male geology student who, by all other indications, was heading towards a lucrative career in the mining sector; and Dazza, another young male geology student, good friends with Bazza, also heading towards a lucrative career in the mining sector.
All 3 of my counterparts were from the sister campus, so had traveled at some expense to attend. They’d already been allocated a dig-site, and when introduced, Matt tells them I’ve got field school experience, so to utilize my knowledge. Bazza and Dazza smile and nod, giving me a friendly wave. Gazza grunts, but a little later, while surveying our area, we get to chatting. He’s a nice enough bloke, just a bit miffed he’s been put in a group with a bunch of ‘young dummies’ and was worried he’d be carrying us or keeping us in line.
Nah mate, I’m here to get things done, get the data I’ll need for next semester, and hopefully enjoy myself as much as I had the previous year.
Now, let me tell you, Lara Croft and Indiana Jones have royally screwed the perception of the greater public when it comes to archaeology (no, Jurassic Park doesn’t count, as they’re paleontologists, dealing with animal remains; archaeology/archaeologists deal with human remains).
A lot of what happens on an archaeological dig is repetitive and monotonous; you survey your area using surveying equipment, sketch and take photos of your allocated site before measuring out your 1 meter by 1-meter dig pit. You take more pictures/sketches of the as-yet untouched pit, as well as take an initial soil sample. You take off a ‘spit’ of the earth (this is a layer of a predetermined depth; in this case, 5cm), and once done, you test the pH levels of the soil you’ve removed, documenting EVERYTHING that you’ve taken up (yep, more photos and sketches), before taking more photos/sketches of the pit and anything that may be lodged in there before scraping off another ‘spit’.
If you hit an object, you remove the soil from around it but don’t actually remove the object until you are removing the layer of soil from beneath it. It must remain in-situ to preserve the data.
Boring, I know, but is also very important for later. Also important to note is soil composition in relation to how deep you can safely dig your pit before extending the boundaries to prevent soil contamination or the walls collapsing.
Our dig site had quite loose, sandy soil, so it was announced that every 50cm down, we would have to extend the sides of the pit by 50cm on each side. It wasn’t anticipated that we’d get much beyond 1 meter down, definitely not further than 1.5 meters, so we’d only need to expand once, possibly twice. This was how they had divvied up the entire site to fit us all in.
It became very clear very quickly that neither Bazza nor Dazza had anticipated how monotonous the next 4 days were going to be. Both Gazza and I had to repeatedly call them over to assist us with surveying, and when it came to the soil scraping, they were excited at first, but then became bored as we had to yet again record every minute detail. As I was the only one who had thought to bring my camera along (one that require actual film, as this was before inexpensive digital cameras, smartphones were at least 10 years away, and I was a povvo uni student), I was the one responsible for taking photos.
This included ‘candid’ shots of the entire field school, other groups, the lecturers, and our dig site.
Day One of the field school ends, and we all head back to wherever for the night, to kick back, relax, and prepare for another day of toil. The next morning (Saturday), I arrive at the field school 1 hour late (so at 10 am), as per the bus schedule.
Seeing as how I’d already had this okayed by Matt, I’m not anticipating any issue with my tardiness. I get to the cemetery and seeing Matt, give him a cheery ‘Morning Matt, all good, yeah?’ Matt turns and GLOWERS at me. I mean, if looks could kill, I’d be right at home in that cemetery with all the other dead people. You know how I mentioned earlier how easy-going and laid-back Matt is, and I’ve only ever seen him angry once? Well, this was that time.
Matt was pacing, teeth grinding, fists clenched. He. Was. LIVID.
‘Just get to your group and get to work.’ Matt practically snarled at me. I’m worried now, that he’s angry with me for being late, even though we’d previously squared it. I’m nervous and worried because we’d had a really good rapport in the past, and now I’m thinking that I’ve done something that’s going to make my last semester at uni a nightmare.
‘Have I done something wrong? I know I was late, but as I told you before the field school, this was the first bus I could get out here. I’m really sorry if that’s a problem.’ Matt sighs and shook his head.
‘No OP, it’s not you, you’ve done nothing wrong. I just can’t deal with it right now, so just go to your dig site and get on with it.
I’ll talk to you later.’
I head to my dig site, and what I find there almost has me in tears. When we’d packed up the previous day, our pit was 1 meter by 1-meter square, with a depth of 30cm. I now stand before a 1 meter by 1-meter hole in the ground, dug down to a depth of approximately 3 meters. There are mounds of sandy dirt surrounding our pit, and I can see a multitude of objects that have been excavated just sitting there.
Other groups are staring at us, but trying to look as though they aren’t staring. Nobody will speak to us either. Gazza is livid, the dude is almost apoplectic. Bazza and Gazza are both looking VERY pale, and like they want to puke. I’m all ‘What the heck has happened here? Who did this?’
It turns out that after everyone had left the site on a Friday night, Bazza and Dazza, and another mate of theirs in another group, we’ll call him Kezza, got together and got intoxicated.
It was during this that they decided to ‘continue’ digging our pit, so they broke into the cemetery with a shovel and proceeded to dig down until one of them passed out wasted at the bottom. Of a 1 meter by 1-meter hole, in loose, sandy soil. The fact that the dude managed to wake up and make it out of the hole without the entire thing collapsing in on him is a miracle in itself.
Matt had been called out to the site at 3 am by the police, who had been called because one of the residents in the area saw something dodgy going on. Needless to say, Bazza, Dazza, and Kezza were all up wasted in a barbed wire canoe with a rusty teaspoon for a paddle. They couldn’t leave until they’d sobered up, but had been told that, in no uncertain terms, after the field school finished that day, they were to pack up and screw off.
Matt and his counterpart would deal with booting them from the archaeological program on Tuesday after the field school ended.
This left Gazza and me in a FUBAR situation. Luckily for him, Gazza was able to join the group that Kezza had been part of, especially since the group was all from the sister campus. I, on the other hand, was left hanging. There were no other groups that could take me, and besides, something had to be done about the disaster that was my dig site.
So, Saturday ended up with me trying to document whatever I could, and to keep Bazza and Dazza out of my hair, I gave them my camera and told them to take photographic documentation of every. Single. Piece. Of evidence that they had dug up. They had to use the scale measurement and a title board that was supposed to identify the item by day, location, spit level, etc., so off they went with a miniature whiteboard, whiteboard marker, scale measurement, and my camera.
This kept them occupied for most of the day, as there were in excess of 200 items that they’d unearthed in their sloppy dig for buried whatever-in-the-world-they-were-looking-for.
I ended up filling in that hole wishing with every shovelful of soil that Bazza and Dazza were still passed out wasted at the bottom, but such is life. Matt ended up tacking me onto another group in an ‘observational’ role, as the members of that group were all from my campus and would be in the same second-semester class as me.
Now, as I previously mentioned, the field school was linked to another class held during the second semester. This class essentially took all of the data and evidence that had been unearthed during the field school, and you examined, tested, collated, and then submitted a report based on those findings as your final assessment piece. Seeing as how I only had 1 day’s worth of actual data and evidence, I could not submit the field school report as required.
As this was a core class, and I didn’t want to have to retake it for the third year, I approached Matt to talk about how we could rectify this into a situation where I would be able to pass and continue with my studies. After some discussion, Matt agreed to allow me to do a field school critique, using what had happened to me as, essentially, a how-to on how NOT to conduct/participate in a field school.
I had the data from the first day to use in the class, and then the photos and sketches that were taken by myself and the Dodgy Brothers (Bazza and Dazza) of the objects we’d ‘excavated’.
After developing the film of the field school, I noticed some interesting things. The candid photos I took on Friday included shots of Bazza and Dazza not only behaving inappropriately, but interfering with the equipment we were using, and therefore possibly contaminating the data we had legitimately acquired.
They were also shown to be in areas that we weren’t allowed to be in, touching things that didn’t belong to them, and also damaging ornaments left on some of the historic graves closest to the dig site. Then, there were the photos that they had taken on Saturday. They had apparently decided that, because I wasn’t overjoyed by the fact that they’d completely screwed me over by digging that hole, they’d make the only photographs of the artifacts they’d unearthed unusable by writing inappropriate comments and cursing/slurs towards me on the title board.
One of the ones that have stuck in my head was a large clay/ceramic clam decoration, on which they’d written ‘Oh I do love a day beside the seaside – WITH A HAIRY CLAM’. This was the only photo of the clam that had been taken (when we filled the pits back in, we had to re-enter the artifacts, so I couldn’t just take a new picture.
Also, over 200 pieces had been unearthed, remember?), and Matt had told me to use everything I’d gathered to write my report. So I used Every. Single. Photo. Including the ones that said I was a jerk, and that alluded to wishing violence on me. At the end of the semester, I submitted my report, knowing full well that the best I could hope for was a Pass, but that was enough to get me through to my final year.
I found this out from Matt at the beginning of my final year at uni. So, it turns out that when Matt had booted the Dodgy Brothers from the archaeological program, they had been allowed to continue with their degree studying Geology, but that they were not allowed to have anything to do with archaeology, and were on very thin ice. When I submitted my report, and Matt saw the extent of what they had done (kindly documented by themselves on the most part), and just how badly they had screwed me over (Gazza was fine, as the group he’d been moved to had all the appropriate data, and had been able to submit a proper field report), he went ballistic.
He called a meeting with the Deans from both campuses, the Department of Tropical Environments and Societies (Geology Department), and the Department of Anthropology, Archaeology, and Society (Archaeology Department) for both campuses. He presented to them my field report, told them about how he’d been teaching me for the past 3 years, and had it not been for the illness affecting me during my second year, how I would have likely completed my degree at this point.
He also spoke about my previous field school, my behavior, and had I not been forced to withdraw due to my health, and based on previous work I’d submitted, I would have likely received a D or HD on my work. The fact that I averaged C and D during the time I was ill showed my academic prowess. The fact that the only grade he was able to give me for the report he currently had in his possession was a PC was a blow to my academic record that was wholly undeserved.
He said a lot of other things, but the result was that Bazza and Dazza were not only expelled from the archaeological program, but they were also now booted from the geological one as well. Furthermore, they were expelled and black-banned/blacklisted from the university itself, which meant they could never re-enroll, and any other universities they applied to would be able to see this and the reasons why.
Essentially, they were blocked from being able to obtain any university degree in that area, and to enroll in any university for a different career, they would have to wade through oceans of bureaucratic red tape and jump through so many hoops they’d make the Duracell Bunny jealous.
Unfortunately, this experience soured me on archaeology as a career path. Luckily for me, I was able to pick up a couple of extra courses in History and English, that I graduated with a BA with a Major in English Literature, and a minor in History and Archaeology. I went back to uni after a gap year and obtained my Grad. Dip. in Secondary Education.”
1. The Whole Team Stuck Together To Protect Their Own
“This tale was told to me as a warning when I started on my first post-college job. I am relating it exactly as it was told to me. This occurred in the early ’80s, so those of you who’ve grown up with the Internet may not understand how we did things in the olden days. There were no smartphone apps to show Q-codes for airline tickets.
They were paper. With red carbon mess. Reservations were done by phone. It was primitive by today’s standards.
This occurred in Salt Lake City, which if you don’t know, family was a HUGE part of the culture. Even at work, family matters took precedence, and local management knew this and allowed for it. Well, Bigshot’s office minions in another corporate location noticed some slight irregularities in timecards, like days off without pre-approved vacation requests.
So he got himself transferred to the Salt Lake City office to ‘straighten things out. He was pushy, and naturally, he was quickly hated. Bigshot ended up as a middle manager between Tom (at the top) and Fred.
One morning, the secretary Sandra got a call from her daughter who was unexpectedly in town and wanted to have lunch. Naturally, Fred and Tom gave her the okay.
Bigshot didn’t like that, although it wasn’t explained why. Maybe it wasn’t ‘by the book’, maybe he was upset that Sandra went over his head. In any event, he decided to stick his nose in. But rather than just say ‘no’, he dropped a last-minute urgent travel request on Sandra’s desk, and it had to be done because he expected to fly out that afternoon. Sandra was heartbroken that she wouldn’t get to see her daughter, but she had her work responsibilities.
Stopping by to drop off some paperwork, Al, the lead engineer on the team, noticed that Sandra looked a little down – a huge change from her normal chipper mood. He naturally asked why, and Sandra explained. Al told her (he had no authority, btw) to go have lunch and ‘we’ll take care of it.’
Bigshot got his travel packet, got on the plane that afternoon, and flew off to his meeting.
That’s when things started to go wrong. The rental car reservation was invalid, and there were no cars available at any of the agencies – all had a ‘hold’ on them pending confirmation from some clients. So Bigshot ended up getting a Rent-a-Wreck. (for those too young or not in the US, there really was a discount auto rental agency by that name! Quality was not job 1.) When Bigshot got to the hotel, he found that his reservation was no good.
He had to wait around until after the ‘tentative’ reservations expired – which was after 6 pm. Getting suspicious, Bigshot looked at his tickets – and found they were one-way. He had no flight home. To say Bigshot was incensed was probably an understatement.
The next morning, Tom flew in to join him, and he gave Bigshot a packet that was marked ‘extremely urgent’ that had been left on his desk with a note to take it to Bigshot; it was Bigshot’s return ticket.
On the way back, Bigshot was detoured by the corporate head office and got a very senior exec to come with him because of some ‘very serious personnel problems. The next morning, Bigshot led the senior exec and Tom into a meeting with all of Fred’s department and began publicly berating Sandra for incompetence and so on. When he got to the part about the tickets, Fred interrupted and told the senior exec that Sandra couldn’t have done that – she was on approved time off having lunch with her daughter.
This raised the senior exec’s eyebrows and got Bigshot even angrier. The senior exec said if Sandra didn’t mess up the tickets, who did? Fred stepped forward. Then Al. And one by one, every single member of Fred’s team stepped forward to take responsibility to protect Sandra from Bigshot’s wrath.
Tom and the senior exec knew instantly what had happened. Everyone on Fred’s team had burned up the phones making ‘tentative’ reservations for rental cars and hotel rooms – leaving Bigshot stuck with a one-way ticket, worthless reservations, and no alternatives.
Within the hour, Bigshot’s desk was empty and his badge had been turned in. It was never explained if Bigshot was fired or if he was just quickly relocated. The senior exec stuck around to get to know the team; he was very impressed with how the whole team stuck together and protected their own.
After he finished telling me the tale, the engineer said bluntly, ‘Don’t mess with Sandra.
We love her, and we WILL make you pay if you upset her.’ Message received loud and clear. As I worked with Fred’s team, I got to understand why everyone loved Sandra. She was an absolute gem in the organization – efficient, super-friendly, just an all-around wonderful person.
However, everything is from what I was told, because I wasn’t there, so I apologize for any possibly incorrect inferences I have made from the tale.
From what was said, Bigshot was NOT well-liked. He had a strict ‘by the book’ mentality and was a bully. Tom and Fred had told Sandra it was okay to take a long lunch with her daughter. Bigshot didn’t like that because it didn’t meet the ‘week advance approval’ policy. Just a guess, but it’s possible he got his panties in a bunch because the request went over his head, too. He couldn’t stop Sandra, but he could bully her and make her miss the lunch meeting because HE didn’t like the informality of approval in the SLC branch. He might have intended to demonstrate that HE was Fred’s superior and people needed to get HIS approval, and possibly to instill a little fear. Didn’t work out so well for him.”