People Hand Over Their Witty Revenge Stories
11. Have A Problem With Our Shed? We'll Replace It With A Composting Pile
“For nearly 10 years, my family has lived next door to a gentleman who lived alone. Ours is a historic neighborhood, double city lots with lots of hedges, bushes, and trees to provide privacy. Also, I tend to be fairly easygoing about what others do on their own property.
I really didn’t care when our neighbor began illegally storing his large “toys” in his backyard. Due to the screening, I was the only neighbor who had to see his boats, ice house, and teepee (yes, a full-sized authentic teepee – I never asked why he put one up).
And so I never complained. And when he turned his home into a duplex, without the benefit of building permits or inspections and in violation of current zoning, again, I never complained. I guessed he was now retired and needed the rent. In any event, we’ve never had a problem with any of his tenants.
Similarly, we never heard a peep out of him regarding our property. Not that we had any code violations or anything, but we did have a yard full of loud children and dogs for many years. And there was that one winter when we built a luge for the neighborhood kids that ran the entire fence line of our yards.
Then our neighbor got a new partner. I’m going to call my neighbor D. His girl will hereinafter be referred to as “Martha,” as she was a Martha Stewart wannabe. Martha quickly moved into my neighbor’s home and began altering it as she saw fit.
The first thing we noticed was that D’s neon sign collection was no longer visible through his windows. Ahh – those bygone bachelor days.
Then D’s backyard toys were all sold. No more carefree days spent fishing for D. I’m guessing the proceeds went to the new patio furniture that soon appeared.
Also, a second new patio was built onto the side of the house because the backyard patio got too much sun for Martha’s taste. And since Martha didn’t want D’s cat spraying the new patio furniture, she made D give the cat away to his son.
That last one made me a little sad; the cat had been dumped in our neighborhood a few years back, and D had seemed happy to have his little friend. But, again, not our business. Finally, new landscaping was installed throughout their backyard. That also made me sad because the historic plantings that helped make our neighborhood unique were ripped out and replaced with McMansion-style beds filled with wood shavings and Japanese maples.
If that was all Martha did, I’d have no real problem. If D was willing to put up with it, why should I care, right? But then she turned her attention to our yard.
First, she asked us to replace the historic wire fencing between our yards.
D offered to split the cost, so we agreed. The old fencing had seen better days and the new chain link fence was quickly hidden by ivy and lilac bushes. Good neighbors, OK?
Then Martha decided that we weren’t cleaning up after our dog quickly enough and called out the compliance officer.
In fact, we picked up after our dog daily – but at the end of each day, not after each dump. (That’s a personal ick-factor of mine. I can’t stand picking up warm poop.) The compliance officer told Martha we hadn’t violated any laws while giving me a heads up on my new neighbor.
A few weeks later, I had a knock at the front door. It was the landscaper who had done D’s yard. Martha had called them out to my address, without my knowledge or consent, to provide us with an estimate! Estimate for what, you ask? Well, Martha had suggestions for new flower beds, as well as some trees she thought I should remove because they cast too much shadow on the back half of her yard.
These were two-story tall, 80+-year-old oak trees! I apologized to the landscaper and sent him on his way. And my husband grumbled to D that our yard was our business, not Martha’s. Strike two.
Finally, Martha decided our gardening shed, tucked behind our garage, had to go.
I’ll admit, it was a rather utilitarian shed, but it was in good shape, with fresh paint, and was heavily screened on all three sides by tall bushes. In fact, I only learned about Martha’s complaint because I found a city inspector wandering around my yard looking for the shed.
Because of the way it was situated, the only way someone not actually in my house could see it was if they were hanging out by D’s second-story bathroom window. I kicked the inspector off my property and called my councilman to put a stop to the city’s ‘partnership’ with Martha.
It was then I found out why Martha wanted the shed gone.
Turns out, Martha really just wanted the screening bushes gone. She had plans for a third patio (!) and fire pit for the back half of D’s yard. Martha was worried, however, that the heavy bushes on the back half of our yard were encouraging mosquitoes, and she and D wouldn’t be able to properly enjoy their evenings by the fire.
She figured that if she forced us to tear down our shed, we’d then also tear down the screening bushes, and her mosquito problem would be solved. Strike three, Martha, so time for some pro-revenge.
Since we really didn’t use the shed any longer, we tore it down.
We also removed the screening bushes. Then we watched Martha spend a few days harassing a couple of handymen who built her patio and fire pit. It was snugged up right against our fence and looked really lovely. Then we decided that, as good citizens of planet Earth, we needed to be more environmentally proactive.
So we installed a composting pile right where the shed and screening bushes had been located. After all, it’s at the back of our yard and tucked behind the garage, so it really doesn’t impact our enjoyment of our yard.
And now every evening, we take all our food scraps, potato peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, watermelon rinds, etc., and add them to our large, healthy compost heap.
Every month or so, we add some goat manure from our friend’s farm. Turns out, goat manure is a “can’t miss” addition to nitrogen-rich compost. Some shredded newspaper doesn’t really look good, but it does help balance the carbon content. Late afternoons and early evenings, about whenever Martha lights a fire, really, one of us heads out to the composting and gives it a good turning.
After all, a well-aired compost heap is a happy compost heap. D and Martha never said anything, even though compost heaps do add to mosquito populations.”
Another User Comments:
“I recommend you add a little fish emulsion to your compost pile.
It smells wonderful and will really help.” awhq
10. Treat Your Stepdaughter Like Trash? Lose Everything At Once
This gave me Parent Trap vibes big time.
“After 20 years of marriage, my parents got divorced. It sucked. I was 17 and chose to live with my dad. About a year later, Dad decides to start seeing women again. He meets this lady who we’ll oh-so-creatively call Witchface.
I like Witchface on the spot. She’s pretty, she’s friendly, she’s funny, and we both love Disney movies, cats, and tea. Her kids and grandkids are pretty awesome, too. Witchface has a minimum wage job as a stocker at a chain store that uses a bullseye as its logo.
She loves this job and REFUSES to get another. (This will be important later.) It’s a whirlwind courtship, and she and Dad get married after three months. I’m iffy on that, but Dad’s happy, so I grin and bear it.
We move out of our cozy apartment and into a nice trailer with Witchface.
It’s going okay until she decides she wants a dog. Dad does not like dogs, and I’m admittedly more of a cat person, but Witchface wants her puppy, and we agree. She goes to the pound and picks the ugliest Chiweenie I have ever seen in my life.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Chiweenies, but this one just looked… off. We’ll call this dog Cuddlebug because she was one.
The clerk who sold Cuddlebug told Dad and Witchface she was well-behaved, housebroken, and just wonderful. I didn’t have a job, so I stayed home taking care of things.
That’s how I found Cuddlebug was not, in fact, housebroken. She also liked to raid the trash. She didn’t like to play either. She was sweet, she liked to run, she liked to cuddle, but that was it.
I got tired of cleaning up trash and dog poop/pee in the trailer, so I took Witchface aside and told her, nicely, what was going on with Cuddlebug.
Suddenly, Witchface did not find me an ideal roomie. I was admittedly lazy, but rather than take me aside and say, “OP, quit the bullcrap, and do your share of the housework” like a regular, sane person (or even resort to a decent revenge, like putting the dirty dishes in my bed), she decides to let the irritation build up until she explodes.
Almost literally. Screaming and swearing at me at the absolute top of her witchfaced banshee lungs, attacking my personality, my intelligence, and my mental health issues. And there’s nothing wrong with her baby; I’m just acting like a spoiled brat because I didn’t get to choose the dog myself.
Trying to reason with her is pointless. Anything I try to say in my defense, she twists into an attack on her or her precious ugly garbage-chomping mutt. The first time, I was shocked. The second time on, I started crying. Not noisy sobbing like I was prone to, just terrified, utterly silent tears.
One time, I grabbed my purse and ran out of the trailer in a panic because I couldn’t take any more of her crap.
My dad is non-confrontational, so he just sat there in silence for the most part when Witchface flew off the handle, slowly getting fed up.
Eventually, we’d both had enough. Witchface starts shrieking at me again (over what, I forget), and when I try (again, fruitlessly) to reason with her, she cuts me off, accusing me of not letting her talk during these “discussions.” I (foolishly) reply as gently as I could, “I’m letting you talk now.” Her response? “Oh! You’re letting me talk now?! I don’t need your freaking permission to speak!” and more insults.
Screw. THIS. I’ve had enough. Now, I’m a polite person, but I was politer back then. The worst swear word I would say was heck. I looked Witchface dead in the eye and yelled out as loud as I could, “Would you stop screeching at me?! My word choices aren’t going to be perfect! I’m not a freaking diplomat!!” She actually shuts up and stands there bug-eyed as I unload the bitterness of months of maltreatment onto her, calling her out on her atrocious treatment of me, and admittedly a few choice names as well.
When I stop, she looks at Dad and says, “I’ve had enough of this disrespect. Kick her out, or we’re getting a divorce.” Dad looks at her, then me, and says, “Grab a change of clothes and your medication, kid. We’re out of here. See you in court, Witchface.” She just stares at him stupidly, in complete disbelief, as he walks to the bedroom to pack.
She literally could not fathom that he would choose his daughter of 18 years over his significant other of 6 months. We pack, grab my cat, and get the heck out.
As we’re looking for a motel, I demand to know why Dad didn’t tell her to get the heck out, as there’s NO way she can afford that trailer at minimum wage.
He told me, “Part of it is I just wanted out. I couldn’t take her yelling at you anymore. If you hadn’t yelled at her tonight, I would have. The other part? You’re right. She can’t afford that trailer by herself, and we all know it.” I…
what? Holy crap. My dad is a nice person and hates confrontation. Tries to resolve everything as peacefully as he can, even if it means grabbing the short end of the stick, and by doing just that, he screwed her over. After maybe a week at most, we’ll be moving back into our cozy little apartment complex that’s close to everything and where the staff loves us, while she’s going to try to stay afloat out of pride and fail.
And fail she did. When we came to get the rest of our stuff a few days later, we found a very unhappy Cuddlebug in a kennel. Witchface did not like for Cuddlebug to be kenneled. We also noticed that the kennel had a removable bottom for easy cleaning.
Cuddlebug had shoved it out and pooped on the floor. A few months after the (incredibly volatile on her part) divorce, Witchface was unable to keep up with her bills and had to quit her much-loved crappy job to move in with her son, his wife, and their 3 kids (all under 7), over 300 miles away.
A year later, she sent Dad an email telling him she was doing well. His response: “Why the heck do you think I would care?”
She never responded.
I love my daddy.”
9. Talk With My Chick While I Let You Have A Place To Stay? I'll Kick You Out Right Here, Right Now
“A few years ago, having just come out of a long-term relationship, I was seeing a girl who was a bit crazy; let’s call her Sarah. I also had a very long-term (female) friend who had just broken up with her long-term partner; let’s call him Grant.
Whilst Grant had been unfaithful to and gaslighting my friend, the two of them for some reason decided to stay friendly. Grant had lived with her (more like loafed off her) and needed somewhere to live now that they had broken up. I got a call fairly late at night asking if he could stay with me, to which I said yes.
I’d never particularly liked Grant, but I figured that anything between my friend and him was none of my business, and I needed someone to split the rent with. Grant moved in, and we got on relatively well.
One evening, Sarah, Grant, and I went to the pub, and we had a few drinks and then headed back to mine.
Grant knew that Sarah and I were involved.
Fast-forward about a week, and Grant borrowed my laptop and got chatting with Sarah online as an MSN message popped up with her saying hello – he said that it was him, not me, and they chatted. No problems here.
A few days later, Grant asks to borrow my computer one evening whilst I’m out. I tell him the password, joke about using incognito mode if he’s being naughty, and forget about it. When I get home, I ask him for the computer so that I can use it in the morning.
First thing in the morning, I open the computer, which had run out of battery in the middle of Grant using it. Grant had been talking to Sarah on MSN, and the last few lines of their conversation were visible. It seemed somewhat inappropriate, but I thought it must be innocent.
I scrolled up to investigate and discovered that the two of them had been sending photos/videos to each other, culminating in a video from Grant to Sarah of a “tribute” nature (thankfully the pictures/videos had all been sent via phones, so I wasn’t subjected to seeing any of them, but I was pretty narked that he had arranged all of this using my computer!)
I was furious but said nothing.
Grant had a key to my house and owed me a good chunk in back rent, which I wanted to get. I talked to my calm, collected, Neapolitan colleague about the situation to make sure I wasn’t overreacting, and he said, “You know what you have to do, OP…”.
I planned my revenge carefully, being nice to Grant the whole time…
By a strange twist of fate, that very evening, Grant managed to break his door key in the slightly dodgy lock. I immediately took both keys off him and said I’d get a new one cut the next day and not to worry about it.
I also casually asked if he could sort out the back rent and made up a white lie about the landlord pestering me.
The next morning, Grant calls out to me whilst I’m in the shower that he’s just popping to the ATM (100m from the house) to get what he owes me.
Like a flash, I’m out of the shower, dressed, and grab a pack of smokes. I run out to the front of the house and sit outside casually smoking. Grant returns, pays me the rent, and I offer him something to smoke, which he takes.
I swiftly finish mine (I was about halfway through when he lit up), and say that I’m going inside to put the kettle on, but could he finish smoking outside, so the house doesn’t smell. I go in, the door locks behind me. I count what he gave me and double-check I have his key.
A minute or so later, the doorbell rings, and I lean out of the upstairs window and ask him (loudly), “I was just wondering when it became OK to send videos of yourself to the girl your housemate’s seeing?” He asks if we can talk about this indoors, and I coldly say, “No, if you crap on your doorstep, sometimes you get crap on your shoes! Find somewhere else to sleep tonight; you’re not coming back in here!”
I ask him if there’s anything he needs for the day, then go and get him some clean work clothes, his antidepressants (I’m not totally heartless), and a few other necessities, which I bag up and pass to him out of the window.
He has a few hours before he needs to be at work, and I just leave him sitting on the wall outside, whilst I go out the back exit to go to work myself. I tell him that he can send me a message to arrange to pick up the rest of his stuff once he’s sorted out a place to live.
He ended up staying with friends that night and collecting his stuff a few days later. I have no idea what happened to him afterward. I never spoke to him again just cold, hard cut him out. Sarah sent me a message later that day saying that she thought I was massively overreacting and to get in contact if I had ‘calmed down’ enough.
I just ignored it.
I bumped into her a year or so later, and she apologized for her actions, and we decided to forgive and forget. I helped her with some academic stuff and we parted on better terms, although it’s been several years now since I’ve seen her.
All in all, I was actually more upset with Grant than I was with Sarah; although, I thought it was pretty crappy behavior all around.
I later found out that all the time Grant was with my friend, he had been sending similar videos, unsolicited, to girls he worked with.
Revenge was sweet, especially being so cold about it.”
8. Be Unfaithful To Me Yet Ask For Help When Your House Burns Down? I'll Send You A Special Package
“In the summer after my freshman year of college, I met this girl (25) who was older than me (19), but she and I had a lot of mutual interests, especially the games we played, so we started talking.
She always seemed like the hard exterior type, and I assumed that she had no interest in me.
But then we started talking more and more, and I realized she was definitely attracted to me. She told me about her divorce, how he beat her and had an affair, and my heart just melted. She was such a good person, and no one deserves that kind of treatment.
Even after this whole ordeal, I still would never wish that upon her, because that’s freaking demoralizing and awful.
We started to get closer as we talked about our pasts, our interests, etc. We connected a lot. It had been ~6 months since the divorce, and she was just starting to feel good again, and knowing that I was a part of that made me happy to help her.
Soon enough, we realized we had true feelings for each other and wanted to pursue something more than just friendship. So, we did.
Now, here’s one thing that I’m going to be honest about. This was my first SERIOUS relationship. In the past, I have been with girls and only said yes to the relationship label because they wanted to.
I was just looking for some fun, but I was fine with moving forward if it meant that we could still have fun. Ironically, I’d actually start to get feelings, and then the relationship would wind up ending. So, naturally, I had my walls up and decided to just start playing it safe.
And then I met this girl. For once, it didn’t start physical; it started emotional. I was getting feelings, and THEN I started getting physical. It felt like things were going right.
Freaking. Heck. No. Let’s call this girl Witch. So, Witch and I started off amazingly well.
We’d have phone convos at night that ended with us falling asleep together, we’d have video chat hangs, and we’d game together. It was getting awesome, and I felt so close to her, but now here’s where I should mention one thing: We never made our relationship public.
She wanted to keep it low-key since she was “still getting over her divorce.” Well, after the breakup, I realized that she was ashamed of me, and I’m guessing it had to do with the age difference. The funny thing is, she and I talked about meeting each other’s parents a lot, and how it would be awesome for each of us, given our personalities.
She meant so much to me, and I would talk her through all the panic attacks she’d have and try to be the best guy for her. I screwed up in my previous relationships, but this time, I refused. I wanted to be the good guy.
The sweet guy. The great partner. Heck, I remember one time she posted one of those pictures with the quote “A good guy wakes you up at 3 AM to tell you he loves you” and had the “he loves you” crossed out and above it saying “with cookies and ice cream.” So, for our three-month anniversary, I sent her a box of cookies and a gift card to an ice cream shop, and she was so happy and whatnot about it.
Okay, enough of this sappy crap. It’s time to get to the bad parts. First of all, around five months into the relationship, she just stopped talking to me. I got really confused but assumed that she needed her space. I would still reach out every now and then.
Then, on Thanksgiving, she tells me that she was relapsing with memories from her ex, and I understood and told her that we’d take a break. The day after New Year’s, she called me crying, saying how she wanted me in her life and how she loves me, so naturally, I felt great again and said yes.
1-2 months into this new relationship, I started realizing that one of the guys that used to game with us (we played GW, GW2, WoW, etc., for proper context) would always be extra raunchy with her. And she would giggle about it and be the same way back.
Naturally, I wouldn’t say, “Hey, screw off talking to my girl like that,” because we still hadn’t made our relationship public yet. I would talk to her about it in private, and she told me that he was just like a brother to her and that’s all.
I had some apprehension because I’ve been in messed up situations in my past with unfaithfulness, but I trusted her. So, I’d tolerate everything that happened and just take it on the chin.
Another 3 months later, she broke up with me. I was planning on studying abroad at that point, so her breaking up with me definitely set me off on a “screw this crap” note, and I left for London with a downtrodden state of mind.
I hated the world and didn’t give a crap about anyone. Once I started deciding to work out, I made friends with other guys who made it their summer goal to help me through this by showing me the proper techniques for the exercises I was doing and even helped me gain my confidence back through this.
I started meeting girls, even had some fun throughout this, and things were going well. I was finally starting to wake up in the mornings in a neutral state, rather than “screw the world.”
But then, I found out. Turns out that Witch got together with that “brother” friend of hers, and less than a week after I left, he actually drove down to where she lived to spend quite a lot of time with her.
I hear from him directly how this had been going on for quite some time and that he was having a great time with her. (He saw me as a friend and had no idea of my relationship with Witch. I hope.)
So now, I was back to screw everything.
My friends at the gym still helped me, but this time, I was lost. I was empty. I was worthless. I thought that I was never meant to have a serious relationship. I thought this was all for nothing.
And then, I get a call closer to the end of the summer.
I had been working while studying abroad and had been making quite a bit of profit doing it. It was helping me to know that while learning a lot, I was saving a LOT too. I had talked to her well before our breakup when we were talking about the possibility of moving in, and I said how I’d wanted to save up during the summer anyways, so at least it’s for something meaningful.
She was living with a relative, so she was excited at the thought of us living together.
So, this call was from her, telling me how her house wound up getting burned down from some electrical issue (I think a loose wire or something?), and she was upset and didn’t know what to do.
She even told me how her dog died (that dog was adorable and amazing, I actually felt bad for her because she was a good girl). I was just shocked. I wanted to feel terrible for her, but I was just… not. The caring part of me wanted to help her.
But after all of this crap, with her going behind my back and talking to this guy while taking gifts from me and ignoring me. (Oh, one thing I should mention. My grandfather died during our relationship, and she didn’t really console me. Like, all she did was tell me how it was much worse for her when her grandfather died and start crying and get me to console her.) Whenever I truly needed her, and oh, she never freaking told any of her friends or family about me.
I just couldn’t bring myself to care. I wanted to show that I was truly freaking done with her and that after ALL that she’s done to me, she doesn’t deserve any of my love and caring.
She asked me if I could help in a financial way.
When I told her, I’d think about it, she said that if possible, a check would be best and that she’d really appreciate it. That’s when I realized what I could do. I wanted to be slightly subtle, vindictive, and spiteful all at the same time.
While I definitely loved her dog, I know that Witch loved her dog SO much more. So, I asked her for her address and told her I’d send a check. She said thank you and then said she had to go and hung up. Yes, exactly like that.
She didn’t even say bye, she literally said, “I have to go now, thank you” and hung the heck up. So, I sent her a huge package of dog food with an attached note saying, “I’m sorry for your loss.” I blocked her on my phone, social media, and gaming platform after that.”
7. Keep Complaining About Me At Work? I'll Give You Something To Complain About
“When I was a sophomore in college, I got a job as a waitress at a restaurant near campus. It was a pretty small place, so servers often helped out with other things, like dishwashing and cleaning. There were a lot of call-outs (it was a restaurant after all), and I was willing to pick up the hours because I needed them, so, within a few months, I had gotten used to doing everything.
And I do mean everything. Seating tables, dish pit, running the register, even some prep and other things on the line. I had gotten so good at other things that I was put on the schedule for other stations if there were any gaps. I busted my ever-loving butt for that place, all without ever losing my smile, and after a while, it began to show.
The managers loved me, my co-workers loved me, the customers loved me… it seemed like just about everyone enjoyed working with me.
Well, almost everyone.
The kitchen manager, henceforth known as Crazy Witch, was not my biggest fan, to put it mildly. She was nice enough at first but began to grow cold and distant as time wore on and eventually became outright hostile.
She was mean to everyone but seemed to take pleasure in going above and beyond with me.
A few examples of what she did to me include, but are not limited to:
- Throwing dishes into the pit while I was washing, breaking them. She ran to the manager and tried to blame me.
- Telling the front-end manager to stay in the office with me when I counted my drawer (my drawer was never off the whole time I worked there).
- Telling new hires to “watch out” for me.
- Constantly dissing me behind my back to others, which I always found out about because people liked me.
- Forcing me to stay later than I already did to “deep clean” various things in the kitchen.
- Throwing away my time-off requests when she thought no one was watching.
In general, this woman did everything she could to tarnish my name and make my life unpleasant.
She was the only bad thing about working at this restaurant, and at times, it got so frustrating that I went home and cried.
The only person she didn’t whine to about me was the owner, and that’s only because she was scared of him. He had five other locations around town, and he just went around to each one throughout the week.
This will come into play later on.
I’ve always been an introvert who shied away from confrontation, and this resulted in me keeping my mouth shut and putting up with Crazy Witch’s antics far longer than I should have. Now, ten years later, I would have told her where to go from day one, but college sophomore me was shy.
Besides, this was a temporary job, and I just kept reminding myself that I was going to get a degree and move on eventually.
To set the scene– Crazy Witch had been particularly nasty to me over the past week, and I was extra-stressed because it was midterms.
I think it was these two factors that led to me finally snapping at Crazy Witch.
I had just walked in for my shift and was chatting with some co-workers when Crazy Witch walked up to me. She asked me why under the ovens weren’t clean.
I said I didn’t know. She said that she had asked me to clean under them last night, which absolutely wasn’t true because I had left two hours before closing the previous night.
I could feel the rage building inside me. I was about to blow up.
Not wanting a confrontation, I just shrugged my shoulders. “Well,” Crazy Witch said, “I wish you would do a better job of cleaning around here.”
Something inside me snapped. I screamed “YOU MOTHERFREAKING PIECE OF CRAP” as loud as I could. Crazy Witch jumped about ten feet in the air and had eyes as big as saucers when she landed.
It was now dead quiet in the kitchen– you could hear a pin drop– and all eyes were on me and Crazy Witch. I jabbed my finger into her chest and said, “If you complain about me one more time, I will give you something to complain about!”
“Well, it’s true!” Crazy Witch replied.
“Alright then. I quit.” I flung my name tag and apron in her face, walked out of the kitchen, and walked straight out the door, never to return. The kicker– I was scheduled to do the dish pit that evening. With me gone, Crazy Witch would have no choice but to either pull someone off the line and screw up the whole dinner service, or to do it herself.
Perhaps the story would have ended there, but things were about to go from petty to pro.
I got a slew of phone calls that evening from former co-workers (this was long before social media) asking me what happened, telling me how much they would miss me, and/or congratulating me on finally standing up to Crazy Witch.
One phone call was the manager asking me what happened, and I gave my side of things (and apologized for quitting in such an abrupt fashion).
I heard what happened the next day from my former co-workers. It just so happened that it was the day that the owner was due to stop by and check on things.
Upon arriving and looking around, he asked where I was since I had worked almost every day for nearly a year. He was informed that I had quit and that naturally led to him asking why. Well, everyone told him.
Crazy Witch was due to come in for her shift a little after the owner arrived.
When she showed up, he was waiting for her by the time clock. He told her that under no circumstances was she to punch in. Effective immediately, she was suspended. She had three days to give him a written letter offering an explanation regarding her behavior towards “one of the best employees he’s ever had” (his words, not mine), and if he didn’t find it sufficient, she was barred from ever working at a location he owned ever again.
So, Crazy Witch goes home, writes up an explanation (I still sometimes wonder what she wrote), and brings it in the next day. The owner reviewed it and told Crazy Witch that, after a week’s suspension without pay, she was allowed to come back and work for him…
as a dishwasher.
I don’t know which is funnier, the fact that she was demoted, or the fact that she was desperate enough for a job that she took him up on the offer. Crazy Witch went from being in charge of everyone behind the kitchen doors to being a minimum-wage dishwasher.
It gets better– a few months later, sales were down, and in the restaurant business, it is notoriously hard to turn a profit. The owner decided to close the location next to campus, but was kind enough to offer everyone positions at his other locations…
well, everyone except one.
There is an epilogue of sorts to this story. A few years later, I was shopping at the grocery store when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and felt my stomach drop when I saw who it was.
It was Crazy Witch! To my surprise, she apologized for how she had treated me. She said she was going through a divorce at the time and didn’t handle it very well, taking it out on the people she worked with. I accepted her apology, and she gave me an awkward little hug before going on her way. So, I guess despite the awful crap she pulled towards me, she wasn’t so bad after all.”
6. Illegally Dump Your Garbage? Your Yard Is Going To Get Trashed Big Time
Act trashy? Get your yard trashed.
“My father is a shy and quiet man. Growing up, he and I weren’t close. He didn’t quite understand my overly dramatic responses to everything. We didn’t “connect” on any level. The only time he generally spoke to me was when he was angry with me because I was arguing with my mom.
However, when I was 11, I was able to form a special secret bond with my father. We did a very bad thing, and then kept the secret from my mother, and in my mind, the authorities. This secret (which will now no longer be a secret) has bonded us together ever since.
To this day, we still talk about the time when we practically broke the law. My dad still beams with pride, as if it was his crowning moment. It’s a story I treasure because it’s ours.
Sunday was obligatory church day in our house. My mother taught Sunday school, my brother attended Sunday school, I sang in the children’s choir and my dad was a deacon or some such ranking official.
After church, my mother would stay in town and pick up greeting cards at the Hallmark store or refill prescriptions. On this particular Sunday, my parents had driven separately to church so my father wouldn’t have to partake in card shopping. My brother was going with my mom.
I weighed my options and decided to forego shopping and hopped in my father’s pickup truck.
“We have to stop off at the shop,” my father said.
My father was the owner and operator of the town’s only garbage removal company, Waste-Away Disposal Service (“A Refuse You Can’t Offer”).
We didn’t have a city-funded garbage service in our tiny village, and my father had trucks, employees, a shop/garage, and offices, and he also managed the city dump. As a child, I was always embarrassed by his work. Kids would pick on me about being a garbage picker or “always having enough to eat.” Later in life, I would come to appreciate the financial benefits of being the daughter of a “garbage picker” and have since been quite proud of my father’s business.
As we pulled up to the shop, I noticed two garbage trucks parked in front of the garage. My dad immediately started swearing.
“That freaking son of a witch! I’m gosh darned tired of his bullcrap! He’s stealing from me. Seven FREAKING dollars a month, and he’s stealing from me! Gosh darned son of a witch! Emily, get in the gosh-darned garbage truck!”
This was probably more words than my father had ever spoken to me, and the first time I’d heard him swear.
I was alarmed. As I climbed into the garbage truck, my father explained. An angry guy who lived around the corner refused to pay his garbage bill and had gotten upset with my father about the fee of $7.00 a month for garbage service. After some yelling, he promptly canceled his service with my father.
Then, the guy started sneaking his garbage over to the shop at night and throwing it in the back of the garbage trucks that weren’t parked inside. He was, in fact, stealing from my father.
My father continued on to say the guy wasn’t terribly smart as he always threw away his mail with his name and address and was easily identified.
As we pulled up, he noticed new garbage thrown in the back of the truck (not compressed) including letters and magazines.
“I’ve had 6 conversations with that guy about throwing his garbage in here. I told him I was going to take him to court if he didn’t quit.”
I didn’t know what was going on, but I was quite afraid of how angry my dad was.
I’d never seen that part of him before. I thought maybe we were going to drive over to the guy’s house and fight him. I was truly scared of what might happen because I didn’t consider my dad a good fighter; he was too shy and nice.
My dad backed the full garbage truck onto the street and turned the corner. We soon pulled up to a ranch-style home with a sizeable front yard. I could only assume this was the angry guy’s house, but I was still completely unsure what my dad had in mind.
Instead of pulling into the driveway, my father swore a few more times and backed the garbage truck through the front yard, stopping precisely at the moment the back of the truck touched the cement set of porch stairs. There were deep tire tracks in the grass and mud troughs had formed where grass once grew.
Crime 1: Destruction of Property.
I was only able to observe what was going on outside through the side mirror, but from inside the truck, I noticed my father pushing buttons and pulling levers. Then I realized what was happening. My father was dumping the entire garbage truck filled with trash onto the man’s front steps and porch.
This was all the trash that the truck had picked up and compacted in a day. This was much much more than the angry man’s trash. It was half the town’s trash! As we pulled away, my father exclaimed, “I bet he doesn’t dump his garbage in my trucks again!”
I looked back as we drove off to see a mountain and a half of garbage propped perfectly in front of the house, piled high on the cement patio.
The wrought iron railing held it all neatly in place, and the front door was no longer visible behind the wall of refuse. Crime 2: Littering, Crime 3: Front Yard Invasion.
I kept imagining the angry guy walking out his front door in his bathrobe, bleary-eyed and searching for his Sunday paper, only to find a mountain of trash he would have no way of removing.
I imagined him taking a few seconds to realize who had done the deed and then calling the police to have us arrested. My dad just smiled. I think he was imagining the man in his bathrobe standing in a pile of garbage too.
Then, in typical father form, my father said, “Don’t tell your mother.
That was probably illegal.”
In that instant, I knew I was special. My dad trusted me with his illegal activities, and now I had something in common with him, a connection I’d never had before. Although I was somewhat horrified by the whole incident, I was excited to have something to talk about with my dad when I visited him in jail.
I also was secretly proud that my dad was such a baddie.
We quickly drove back to the shop and got into my dad’s pickup and headed home. I was speechless, and my father was too busy beaming to say a word. When we arrived 4 minutes later, I didn’t look my mother in the eye.
I feared she would see the crimes written in my pupils. I knew the police would soon be taking me away. Based on what I had learned about jail from TV, I determined I was an accomplice. I’d most likely be going to jail for 10-15 years and my father would certainly get life.
I tried not to cry as I sat on the couch searching out the window, waiting for the police to come. I was afraid for weeks, always fearful when a car pulled down our street.
The police never came and my father and I kept our secret.
One day, years later, he told me the guy started coming to the dump religiously after that and paid to dump his trash there instead. He never said a word to my dad about the mountain of trash, and apparently, no witnesses ever put me at the scene of the crime.
Now, every time I bring up that story, my dad laughs so hard he cries. He’s still so proud of the day he took down the man who stole from him. He always finishes the story with, “he never did dump his trash in my trucks again.”
Then, he always says, between tears, ”I guess we really did have a refuse he couldn’t offer.”
I never did understand that slogan, but I too laugh until I cry just the same.”
5. Refuse To Help With Our Group Project? I'll Take You Down With Me
Every ounce of evidence counts.
“My university career is a marred one, tainted with a lot of personal issues between two courses, but this story is not about any personal issue. It is, however, about how my first course came to a close.
I spent my entire time at university in a highly-ranked university in England; my first course being Mechanical Engineering.
First-year was a doozy with one of my modules, Computing (Programming in Python essentially), finishing at 98%, with a first in the module being at 70%. I only lost the 2% because of one unclear comment in a bit of code, and this was public knowledge among my year group.
This put me quite comfortably at the top of the class for the module and would put me in everyone’s crosshairs every time they had a programming issue.
Then roll around the second year. Right at the beginning of the year, we were informed that there will be a group project throughout the year, and we had a choice between a number of projects, all but two of them geared more towards the other Engineering disciplines, one of which was building a Robot to compete, which was the popular option.
Competing is cool! Robots are cool! What could possibly go wrong?
We were bunched into groups of 4 – or 5 where there weren’t enough people to make another group of 4. I was put into one of the fours, and upon the first meeting; I already had my suspicions that things were going to go south.
The first meeting was to introduce ourselves, get to know any specialisms that anyone might have, and ideas to tackle the tasks that we were given regarding robot design and implementation of our ideas. Girl Power was quick to inform us that they had little practical experience in creating a robot, and their programming scores weren’t so hot, but they’d be more than happy to chip in the design process and do a larger chunk of the paperwork.
I was initially skeptical but took everything they said on board. Then Rugby Guy chimed in, saying he’s done this project before. All heads immediately snapped in his direction. He explained that he failed the year last year, and thus was repeating this year. This is important information.
So I asked him if he knew how to program, do electronics, and design and he said a very short “Yeah.” He was mostly silent during the rest of the discussion, even when Girl Power and I tried to include him and get his ideas.
We eventually agree by majority vote on what we planned to do and delegated design responsibilities using CAD software to design the components and make a prototype. The professor informed us that we must have all of our design work done before we attempted to implement any of it and that everyone must contribute in some way.
In several weeks’ time, we were to present our prototype and how we designed it.
I, of course, did my chunk of the design components. Girl Power’s combined efforts also pushed forward their CAD design flawlessly. I was over the moon with just how slick their teamwork was.
You couldn’t name a more iconic duo. My mood came crashing down to earth, however; with the complete lack of anything from Rugby. Without his contribution, we couldn’t get any further. We plead our case to the professor, but he didn’t budge on this ruling.
I did, however; take the time to do Rugby Guy’s responsibilities by myself, and even what software design I could envision at the time in an attempt to make sure we wouldn’t fall too far behind.
Come the presentation, we had absolutely no robot, not even a block of wood, to present.
The professor lambasted us ruthlessly. It was clear he was disappointed and quite angry by the sheer lack of productivity our team presented. Girl Power came prepared for this, however, and had printed evidence of the work they did. I had printed evidence too, compiled of the work they did under their names, the official work I did under mine, and Rugby Guy’s responsibilities which I also did.
The Professor then took us outside, a grave look on his face; and told us that every year there was one problem group, and with every year he made an offer. To split them into two small groups, or keep the group as is.
Girl Power was immediately against the idea, citing they would be sticking together if they were to split, and “they weren’t going to split unless they could take me with them.” This is the only time I have been popular with women, clearly.
The professor asked me, and I just said the evidence says everything that needed to be said. He rejected the evidence, claiming that anyone could put their name on something, which is technically true.
We left the initial presentation with a failing grade, with a 2.1 (upper second) final mark only being possible with an absolutely flawless final result.
With the group project having such a large bearing on the final grade of the course, a poor grade there would spell trouble for the remainder of the course. The Professor encouraged us to stick as a team to get the final product done as well as we can; as well as the necessary paperwork discussing our allocation of responsibilities, CAD and software design, time management, materials…
all the works.
After pleading again with the professor, he allows us to go forward with the implementation of the project regardless of Rugby Guy’s lack of contribution. I inform the professor that I shall be thoroughly documenting all meetings, all correspondence via social media, text, and other messaging systems, and who’s been submitting work.
Then, an idea struck me. I had friends in Computer Science/Software Engineering, and they’d often talk about stuff they were doing. That’s when I found out that the university had its own Git system.
For those who don’t know what Git is, it’s a source versioning software, so people could push their own contributions to the development of a project (pushing commits).
In short, you could bundle up files you’ve created/edited, add a comment to the bundle, usually to summarise what you’ve done and other notes, and push it through for someone to authorize. This allows collaboration on a project from many people. This is just a very basic summary of Git, but it’ll suffice.
I inquire more and find out that although it’s mainly used by the faculty that my friends were in, the entire university could create projects in this software using their university email. I bring this up with the professor, asking if it’s okay to use this software during the development of the robot and its paperwork.
He says, “That’s the first time anyone’s suggested it to me, but if it helps you keep on top of things, go ahead! I’m interested in how this turns out.”
I contact the group on social media that I have devised a way to keep all our work managed without having to constantly exchange files via social media or email and that I requested they all contact me privately, so I could “show them the way.” Girl Power both individually messaged me, and I introduced them to the wonderful world of Git.
Rugby Guy read the message in the group chat, but never got in touch with me.
I insisted that every little thing we’ve done, every time we’ve created or made a change to any file related to the project, we commit and push what we’ve done to our Git repository.
Whether it was whole pages of text or code, or a single sentence or line, it got committed.
The team was also to have meetings. Every meeting was arranged via our social media group and an email sent to each team member via university email with the time, location, and purpose of the meeting.
After some convincing during each social media discussion to arrange a meeting, each meeting ended up being held in a different room than the previous meetings. At the beginning of each meeting, I insisted on taking a group picture on my phone; which I insisted on pulling silly faces for.
I also placed a dictaphone at the center of the table for each meeting, so we had an audio recording of each meeting.
Meetings mainly consisted of how much progress I made on the development side, how much progress Girl Power made on the documentation side and Rugby Guy…
not really present. He only turned up to two meetings, promising to do some work on the hardware side of things.
At the end of the day of each meeting, I would send everyone on the team an email with the meeting minutes, an attachment of the group picture, and the audio recording.
After a few meetings, Girl Power pulled me to the side and asked me what all the picture taking was about and why I insisted on a change to a different room every time. I answered, “I like the change of locale, and memories are always nice.” They gave an unsure, “Okay…”, a quizzical expression, and just left it at that.
Then came the actual creation of the robot. As Girl Power was in charge of most of the Documentation, the onus lay on me and Rugby Guy to do the development side; with me supposed to handle mostly the software side. Upon each arrival to the workshop, I would take a selfie of myself outside the workshop, and also a selfie with random people in the workshop each time.
I would ask for their university email to send the selfie to them as “quirky memories.” I also took pictures of the robot before and after each time I was in the workshop. Rugby Guy showed up once to cut a base out of wood.
So we fell worryingly behind, Girl Power did their best with their limited practical ability to help, but sadly, the vast majority of electronics and getting labor work done fell to me. As a result, I ended up having to skip out on numerous lectures and seminars to get the implementation work done.
The situation was so dire that I knew that there was no way I was going to catch up on all the learning missed. I knew I was doomed, so I rejected all of the Girl’s help so they could at least study and help themselves, and I’ll ensure the project got sorted.
By the final presentation and competition, my team had somehow managed to win our university’s little robot tournament by a very slim margin. Rugby guy (who actually turned up to the competition and presentation) breathed a sigh of relief, got hugs from Girl Power, and the professor took us to the side to offer his congratulations and he honestly didn’t think we’d make it.
We all smiled and laughed. Including the Rugby Guy, who had no idea the crapstorm that was about to hit him.
After all was said and done, each person in the class was given a form to evaluate their teammates anonymously, rating the contribution of each named teammate from 0 to 4 for participation, the quantity of contribution, quality of contribution, and general teamwork, with 0 being absolutely nothing, nil, zero.
At the bottom was a box for comments. I, of course, gave the Girls solid 4s across the board, as they were an absolute godsend, and I love them for it. They took me aside and revealed to me that they were both giving each other and me 4’s, and it turned out we all agreed to give Rugby Guy solid 0s for contributions and teamwork.
They gave him a 0 for participation; I gave him a 1 because he did technically turn up to two meetings. In the comments, I simply wrote. “See evidence,” handed in the form to the professor directly, and left before he could get a word in edgewise.
Then I got home, booted up my laptop, and opened up Word. I also opened up the webpage for our git repository, our social media group messaging, and my university email. Remember the group used source versioning software to keep on top of the project? Each committee had the name of the committee and their email address.
Screenshot every single commit and its message. Then, the social media messages, with all group discussions, and also Girl Power messaging me privately to learn about “the way.” Screenshot. Every workshop selfie and selfie with random individuals? Insert into document. Robot pictures for each session? Insert into document.
Group selfies? Insert into document. Sound recordings of meetings, and meeting minutes? Compile all into a zip file, complete with text copy and paste of each email regarding meetings, and selfie emails.
I then proceed to sit on all of this, until I got the email I figured was coming.
The professor sent an email to me asking me to meet him in his office to discuss the scores I had given to my colleagues.
The day of the meeting, two hours before it, I went to the university library to print off my word document of pictures.
While the document was printing, I went onto the git repository and created a link to join the project. I then opened my email and sent the professor the zip file I had compiled, writing, “Please find attached audio recordings of each meeting, emails I have sent to people I’ve taken selfies with, and a link allowing you into our git repository.”
I treasury tag my document pages together, carefully place them in my backpack, and head to the professor’s office.
I knock, stating that I’m here for the meeting. I’m asked to come in, and I see Girl Power looking somewhat grim and the professor with a look of thorough annoyance. I close the door, and he immediately starts with, “You’ve sent me worrying scores for your colleague.
Do you understand that the scores you give your colleagues will reflect the mark they get for this module?”
We all nod.
“So you understand that the scores you give to Rugby Guy will reward him next to no marks, so he will fail the module outright and cannot pass the year?”
We all nod.
“Did you know that Rugby Guy is repeating the year?”
We all nod.
“Do you know the university’s policy regarding retaking the year?” I state that I’m not sure what policy he is referring to. He states that essentially, barring extraordinary circumstances like personal issues or major illness, you cannot repeat the same year a third time; i.e.
if you fail the second time, you’re out. Finished.
He then pulls out my form in particular. “It says in your comments “See evidence,” but you forgot to give any evidence. Before I ask why, exactly, you’re giving him such poor scores, do you have your evidence with you, OP?” At this point, I was smiling so hard, my cheeks were hurting.
and the poor man trying to help his failing student had a look of consternation on his face. I slid the backpack off my shoulders, opened it up wide, and pulled out hundreds of pages all bound by tags. I said,
“I have sent you an email with a zip file.
In it is the sound recording of every meeting, as well as many emails regarding meetings, as well as selfies sent to other people. In it, you will also find a link that will allow you into our git repository, so you can see it for yourself.
Before you do so, please take a look at this…”
I place the document next to the textbook on his desk. The document is thicker than the textbook. I explain the nature of each set of pictures included in the document, with the professor dead silent throughout the entire explanation.
This included the group selfies, so the penny suddenly dropped for the girls, and an audible “Ohhhhhh…” came from one of them. Once I finished explaining, there was just silence in the room for two minutes as everyone just stared at the pile of paper on this guy’s desk.
The professor then just told us that we could leave.
A couple of days later, we get another email from the professor. “Evidence accepted. Scores accepted. Initial mark for final project: 80%. Mark will be adjusted due to unbalanced contribution.”
I just passed a number of my other modules but failed one too badly to continue to the next year. Girl Power did great, though, and was super happy that our group grade was miraculously bumped up to a 2.1. I dropped Mechanical Engineering and transferred to Computer Science at the end of that year.”
4. Try To Cut My Team In Half? I'll Outsource Your Entire Department
“This tale takes place over the course of many months and resulted in over 150 layoffs, all to save 22 IT Techs from losing their jobs.
I learned a long time ago that no one cares about the IT team at our company. They see us as “those useless employees always complaining about rules.”
We are a mortgage company, and those rules are the rules everyone follows to protect customer data privacy and prevent theft.
When your company suddenly loses 2 full payments for a house to some scammer in Nigeria and the FTC has questions for you, then it is time to change your policies.
This meant cutting legacy access, revoking unnecessary access, and correctly coding job titles in active directory to prevent people from granting their own access.
What this boiled down to was a meeting that I phoned into a year ago. This was one of those meetings where I did not need to be there. Budget meetings.
In this meeting, the VP of the accounting department played a recording showing times when someone in the IT Tech team provided “subpar service.” She tried using this as a reason to fire half of the tech team.
The trouble was, that all of the people she played recordings of were already fired for giving terrible customer service. These people were replaced by 5-star techs who know what they are doing and give excellent customer service.
This started the whole chain of events that led to last week.
Since this meeting was every 2 months, VP has tried to use her position and influence to grow her team while shrinking ours.
At every budget meeting, I would show up and VP, who shall hence be referred to as Karen, would target my team. I would pull out the numbers, and pull out the logs showing how my team received a little over 3/4s of that team’s call volume.
I show how my team of 22 techs personally receives more phone calls than every other inbound call employee by more than double the number.
I show how with the call volume we receive we still maintain a 98 percent satisfaction rating.
At the 3rd budget meeting, the COO had been tired of “hearing the same excuses” and wanted hard data.
He had a point. I was merely throwing out basic numbers without providing real data.
Our company was in the middle of a budget crisis and someone needed to be cut. These budget meetings were basically a way to defend our own department from the chopping block.
Karen believed that the best defense was a good offense. She was right, but not in the way she thought.
When it became clear that the IT support team was on the chopping block, Karen starts to have her employees call into the tech center and have them make requests that she knows we can not assist with as that is handled by another company entirely.
We are not able to transfer calls to an external line so the only thing we can do is give the number to call and hang up.
The negative CSATs start to flood in after this. Every single call from that team regarding a vendor’s password reset gets a negative csat.
Our approval rating tanked to 72 percent in one day. I instantly took action.
First I contact a few of the users, on recorded calls, and ask them why they called the IT Tech team when they know we are not capable of resetting the vendor’s password.
She replied that she was told it was policy to do that now. I asked why she left a negative satisfaction rating and she said that those no longer count against the employee. That those are only used for macro metrics.
I walked over to Karen’s office and walked in.
“Karen, why are you having your team call mine to reset the vendor’s password?” Karen looked confused and stated that she did no such thing. She said she would talk to her team and make sure that they call the correct number in the future.
The calls did not stop. Now a few of her team were calling in with personal machines that were not an asset of our company. They were wanting things done that would violate license agreements with Microsoft or Dell. Each of these was refused, and each of these was leaving a negative CSAT.
It became clear that Karen was trying to tank our stats before the next budget meeting.
I let my boss know and he just gives me a sly smile. “The leash is off. Sick her.” This is an inside joke between us as I am someone who is very detail oriented when I am focused.
When you try and get my team fired because you want to grow your useless team, I am very focused on you now.
The first thing I do is enable call recording for every corporate employee so as to not arouse her suspicions. Her team did not have call recording enabled because her team “handles CDP” on a daily basis.
I pull a live call and listen in.
“This is Employee with our company may I have your account number or your name?” The customer gives the name. “OK I have your account pulled up, are you wanting to make a payment?” The customer says yes.
“Are you authorizing me to go ahead and make the withdraw from the bank account we have on file?” Customer agrees. “OK payment is processing. You will be notified in X days when it is complete. Your next due date is this date.” The customer thanks her and he hangs up.
The entire phone call was 1:22. Short phone call so I listen to another. Similar situation. I listen to another and get the same thing. I start seeing a pattern here so I go through the rapidly building log and see that all of the phone calls are usually less than 1 minute and 20 seconds long.
It takes well over an hour before an anomaly occurs, and I see a 5-minute phone call.
The customer needed an extension and the employee was authorized to give her a 30-day extension to avoid a late fee if she would make a double payment next month.
The person on the phone agreed.
At this point, I also turn on the CSAT for her team only. I expected a largely similar rating as my team. I was not prepared for the nearly instant 50 percent rating that steadily dropped.
My boss comes over to my desk as he was getting the email notifications for the sub 75 percent csat rating and was flabbergasted at the sheer volume of negative reports.
It’s now clear that there is no choice but to examine this further. I assign 4 people to review the negative calls from the other team and have them all. The number of employees being downright rude to customers, not other employees but paying customers, over the phone was shocking.
The negative tones in their voice, the unwillingness to fully answer questions, the extreme lack of empathy, and the shocking lack of mute button use was too much.
Then came another shocker. The number of customer-facing employees was ridiculous. 152 employees to handle roughly 30 percent more calls than my team of 22.
I call the CIO.
CIO – What you got for me?
ME – I have something for you. It’s incredibly evil, depressingly accurate, and can probably save the company a ridiculous amount of money.
CIO – You know this is the second time you have said those exact words to me right?
ME – Yup.
But there is something I need to know first. I am not currently authorized to know it, and I need to request it in a way that would not set off any red flags.
CIO – What is that?
ME – The starting pay scale for all account employees.
CIO – Tell me your plan.
The next budget meeting was not a budget meeting. It was an IT Tech defend yourself meeting. The COO directed it and let Karen speak first.
Karen pulled out the same stuff as before. Calls upon calls to our group that were cherry-picked as well as listing off dead zone times when we had people working but no one calling in.
Then went on about how they could cut our group in half and hire more Account employees to reduce the workflow.
Instead of defending myself or my department, I played 4 of the short call recordings from Karen’s department. I then pulled up the excel sheet that was color coded showing how many phone calls each account rep received and the length of time they were on each call, and the customer satisfaction rating.
I explained the lack of high csat with my own little recording I liked to call a fail-tage. It’s a montage of fail, and her team was the star. Before you ask, I did put music to it.
The recording starts off with an employee saying.
“Yeah, I guess I can take your payment.” Then goes straight into one where a customer accidentally gave the wrong bank account info and said don’t use that one. The rep responded with “Christ. What is the actual account number?” It only got worse from there.
This group was unmanaged for so long that they were filled with rude and useless employees.
I then showed them a side-by-side comparison of each tech who received a call. I showed how my techs were receiving more than 4 times the number of calls, per rep, than her team was getting per day.
I showed how we all were on the phone for well over 7 times the amount of time her team was on the phone for, and I demonstrated how each tech had double or triple the satisfaction rating over all of her group.
Half the room that was uninterested in the conversation was suddenly interested when I closed out my presentation.
“In short, I saw no reason to defend the IT team today as I have successfully done so in every prior meeting. Since the last meeting, however, Karen has crossed the line and has had her team call mine in regards to things we have no access to.”
I played the recording of me calling her minion.
“As you can see here, she directed her team to call mine and to leave bad satisfaction ratings on my guys because of it. I have since deleted those CSATs as they served no purpose whatsoever.” I then pulled out my next flowchart.
“This is the monthly expense, taken from the last 9 meetings, that our company spends on IT and Servicing departments.” I look at the COO who was looking at me intently.
“Before today I was on the defensive as I saw no reason to attack another group. But it is clear to me now that my team has a target on its back. That is why I now show you this.”
It was a graph showing the starting pay scale for each IT and Servicing employee code as well as their average daily workflow.
There was one glaring anomaly on this list. The account department had the highest starting pay scale with the least amount of work.
“So basically in laymen’s terms, the Account department can reduce to one-tenth of its current size, and we can reduce the pay scale to a little over one-half as this department requires very little in the way of problem-solving and critical thinking.” I saw a few raised eyebrows as well as one impressed smile from the CIO.
The COO ushers everyone out of the room except for me, my direct supervisor, and the CIO. He looked at me and said, “Continue.”
“Further, we can cut this department entirely and outsource THEM instead of IT. Since this group merely takes payments and sometimes allows extensions, we do not have to worry too much about technical ability.
Outside of simply using Windows, we can hire high schoolers if we wanted to.” This got a laugh from the CIO. Karen was staring through the window with this smug grin on her face the entire time.
“Now for my final bit for this meeting, I am going to play two cherry-picked phone calls.
These are the two most technical phone calls I could find from the last month for both departments.”
I play a call where a payment fails to process and the rep realizes she typed in the wrong number.
I then play a call where it starts out with a user stating that her customer submitted a payment to the wrong CD.
The tech breaks out into our procedure to prevent wire fraud. Thanks to the quick action of this tech we were able to reverse the CD and save this customer from losing their down payment.
The final masterful stroke was playing my final card. “As you all know, Karen has been coming after my team for months.
She has been grinding her axe against us because she, like everyone else, has made the mistake that we are incompetent, inept, and useless to the company. What she did not know was that I have all of the logs showing the truth. The smoke she has been blowing for years is so thick that it’s ridiculous.
Her team is highly replaceable, and we both know my team would require extensive training and effort to replace.”
The CIO spoke up. “With just 30 people, we can outsource her entire department and save the company millions a year. The next time we have a major IT issue, you will be regretting outsourcing us.” He then pointed to the graphs and flow charts brought by both myself and Karen.
“Her team is useless.”
The next day I watched in pure joy as a term request came in for Karen. To be done and coordinated with the person who will inform her of the termination.
Over the next two months, the account team was shuttered. First, they came for anyone with disciplinary issues or attendance issues.
Then they laid off anyone who had been there a really long time. Then the newest employees.
The smart ones applied for other positions in the company or left before getting laid off. All the while, the calls for payments were slowly shunted to the call center in India.
By the end of last week, we only have 4 domestic accounts people who take escalations that the India call center is not authorized to take.
Do I feel guilty about being integral for 148 people being laid off? Yes quite. But I know it was necessary to keep my job and my health insurance.
Without my health insurance, I am a dead man.
The entire reason why this happened though, was because a division was slated to be cut and sent to India from the outset. Thanks to the actions of myself and my direct supervisor, we prevented it from being a sure thing that our team was going to get cut.
On top of that, we cut out a festering wound in the company that was slowing it down and costing it a lot of money.
My team has not been brought up in the budgetary meetings since.”
Another User Comments:
“The only thing missing from this story is a delicious description of Karen when she found out her department would be cut instead of IT.” IvoryDragonoid
3. Be A Garbage Landlord? I'll Make Sure Your Rental Gets Condemned
“I needed a place to stay and did not have much of a choice in the matter. The price and location were right, so I had to rent from this slumlord.
The landlord: He is a self-proclaimed “Handy Man.” He drove a gutted-out crapball of a van filled with cheeseburger wrappers and junk.
Acted less than interested in any of my problems as a tenant. (I went through 3 fridges – used ones, not new of course.) I lost hundreds in groceries and a bunch of clothing and furniture when the house flooded twice in one week. There was a faint but constant smell of natural gas, the furnace only worked when you lit the pilot light (which you had to do every time you wanted heat in the winter), and half a freaking tree that landed on the roof during a storm but was never removed.
Me: Minnesotan (tend to be too gosh darn nice at times), ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS paid my rent on time, took care of all of the utilities and general upkeep (mowed, shoveled snow, cleaned the lawn, etc., etc.) of the property during my tenancy. Good tenant.
I have too many stories about this cat, but I’ll get to the revenge part of this. I had finally had enough, and I had decided to move out of this slum. I had lost thousands of my own bucks to use on the upkeep of the property (since the landlord had no intention of helping me ever).
I had found a new place and had told my landlord the news when I handed him a check for a month and a half and told him that I would be moving out in a set number of days. We agreed, and it seemed to go quite well.
This is when all of the crap really started running downhill. He showed up in my apartment one day, unannounced, and was looking for something. To this day, I don’t know what, but I confronted him, and he ran out of my apartment like he had been just caught snooping in a woman’s drawer.
Then when I am at work, he starts leaving me these really creepy messages, saying I didn’t pay him rent and that I have been destroying the property. I brush it off, take a few days off of work, and move out of my place after I call my new landlord to explain my dilemma.
My new landlord agrees to let me move in early free of charge. AWESOME. I move out and get a couple of friends to help me DEEP clean the place (it’s amazing what you can buy with a case of drinks and some pizza). We clean the place, and it’s spotless.
After we finish, I get this weird feeling, and I take pictures. Tons and tons of pictures of every room. Feeling content, we pack up the rest, lock the doors, and leave. We had a good night, and I bought pizza and drinks for my friends that came out to help.
A couple of days go by and Slumlord Larry calls and asks where I went. I explained that I really wanted to move, and I worked out a situation with my new landlord that would allow me to move in early. He started shouting at me on the phone, going off about how I still owe him rent and that I couldn’t terminate my lease (which there was no such thing, by the way – just a verbal agreement and the exchange of checks).
I had enough of his business, and I hung up.
A month goes by, I hear nothing from the Slumlord. Then, all of a sudden, I get a certified letter from him in the mail along with some pictures (how in the HECK did he get my new address, I think to myself).
I open the letter, and the dude is going to try and freaking sue me, stating that I damaged his property (with supposed pictorial evidence), and for the neat sum of $5,000, it would all go away, and we would not need to take it to court.
I say screw this, and I call up my parents to get the number for their lawyer. I explain everything to him and tell him about the pictures I saved. I ask my lawyer if there is anything that I could do about this. I’m steaming, and I want blood.
My lawyer laughed it off and told me to go check and see if the property was listed under a rental property in the city that I lived in.
The next day, I go down to the government center, and I find out that the slumlord does not have it listed as anything other than residential.
I turn him in, and I also find out that the property cannot be rented, and a permit for someone to even come look at the property to make sure it was up to code (in the county I lived in) was $5,000. Jubilant would not even begin to describe my mood at this time.
I call my lawyer as I am leaving the government center and tell him the good news. As I am leaving town, I decide to drive past my place and see if anyone is living there. As I pass, I can’t believe my freaking eyeballs.
I see the slumlord and a buddy of his, “Toothless Dave,” outside the house DESTROYING the siding. I also see that they had screwed up every exterior part of the house to try and pin their misdeeds on me.
MONTHS go by, I hear nothing, and my lawyer hears nothing (despite multiple tries to contact Slumlord).
At this point, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of joy as I stuck it to that loser.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!! I was telling this story to a buddy of mine at work one day, and he knew exactly what house I was talking about.
His dad is the county building inspector, and he was telling me about how his dad had stated that the property was so damaged that the house was to be condemned. All I’m left thinking about is what did he do to that freaking place to condemn it after I moved out.”
2. Straight Up Use Me? I'll Make You Think You Lost Out On Thousands Of Bucks
“I’ve been a real estate broker in Chicago for nearly 20 years. I started at a very small independent brokerage. It was my first week there when the broker/owner gave me a lead. He was older and wasn’t in very good health, so he passed a lot of his leads to his agents.
One of the broker’s friends passed away, and the friend’s son wanted to sell the house. I call the son who tells me he’s known the broker for 30-plus years and how close their families were. He seems like a really nice guy. I go over and check out the house.
I work up a gorgeous comparative market analysis. I have other brokers check my numbers (I was new and wanted to do a perfect job for my new client). I rehearse my presentation, have my stuff professionally printed, prepare for any possible questions, have responses ready for objections, and head out.
I dazzle this guy with my presentation. He likes the $135,000 list price I recommended. He’s fine with the commission. He has no objections, but he asks me to give him 2 months to clean out the house, give his siblings a chance to go through everything, and then repaint.
Now, I know how to handle this, but at the time, I just said I’d call him in 2 months to get it listed… Bad move, but I trusted him because he and his deceased father were so close with my broker. I didn’t expect what would come next.
Three days later, I’m driving through town and I see a “For Sale By Owner” sign in the yard. That’s when I realized that I wasted several hours doing work for him, and he completely bluffed me and used me. I didn’t call him back then.
Nowadays, I wouldn’t either, but that’s only because I’d have the listing before he had a chance to put that FSBO sign in the yard. Experience counts for a lot.
Anyway, my broker was at city hall about 5-6 weeks later paying for transfer stamps when he just happened to notice in the registry that the previous customer was the son.
The son had just paid for transfer stamps earlier which essentially meant that the house had sold.
I waited until the prescribed “2 months” and called the son for my revenge. I played stupid and the conversation went something like this…
ME: Hey Len, it’s OP over at ABC Realty.
I figured I’d give you a call to see if you got the house cleaned out and repainted because I had a relocation company call me with info from a doctor looking to move to the area. When I talked to the guy, I thought about your house and mentioned it to him.
Since it’s only 2 blocks from the hospital where he’s going to be working, and I told him how nice it was. He basically told me to make you an offer sight unseen. I couldn’t remember what I said the house was worth, but I told him $215,000.
He couldn’t believe how inexpensive it was, but he’s living in New York. He said your house sounds like it’s three times the size of his and half the price of what he’d pay in New York City. So, I don’t remember what I told you it was worth, but he wants to buy it out of pocket and wants to be able to move in in 3 weeks, so, would $215,000 work for you because I can write it up, fax it over to him for signatures, and get you done…?
(There was a long silence before he exploded.)
LEN: YOU FREAKING BUTTHOLE! YOU TOLD ME IT WAS WORTH $135,000!
ME: Well, we didn’t even list yet, and it looks like I just got you $80,000 more! What are you all upset about?!?!
LEN: I JUST SOLD THAT FREAKING HOUSE! I SOLD IT FOR $130,000 BECAUSE YOU FREAKING TOLD ME THAT WAS WHAT I SHOULD EXPECT TO GET!
ME: Oh darn, you sold it? That’s good for you and good to know that my estimate on the sale price was spot on.
Well, no problem, I’m sure I can find something else for my buyer.
LEN: SCREW YOUR BUYER! I WANT $80,000!
ME: I don’t know where you’re going with this. You sold your house for a price you were happy with. I just happened to get an out-of-towner on a fluke who was willing to pay more.
But hey, you sold it and you got fair market value, so you did great!
LEN: SCREW YOU, YOU JERK! I WANT THAT $80,000!
ME: I’ve never heard of this before, but if you can get the house back, I can talk to my buyer and see if he’ll wait for you to close again.
I don’t know if that’s even a possibility.
LEN: NO! YOU’RE GOING TO PAY ME $80,000!
ME: Well, that’s not going to happen. I can just hire a professional appraiser to show that you got market value for the house. My mistake was quoting my buyer the wrong price, not you.
LEN: YOU CAN EXPECT TO HEAR FROM MY ATTORNEY!
ME: That’s fine. But I’m going to have to let you go now, Len. I’ve got to get over to your old house to see if the new owners would be willing to give me a copy of their appraisal and see if they might want to sell it for a quick profit.
Do you know if they moved in already?
LEN: MOTHER FUDGER!
And that’s when he slammed the phone down.
I would never do this now even though I have plenty of people who waste my time. It comes with the job and getting upset doesn’t make it better.
However, I still think about that call today and while part of me feels like a jerk, I still get a little smile thinking about him kicking himself for screwing me over.
Here’s a little more to the story…
Something I do to drum up business is offer help finding tax comparables for people so they can try to get a tax reduction from the county.
I actually went to meet the new owners of that house and offered to help them dispute their taxes free of charge. They were actually a really nice couple and they ended up using me to sell that house 8 years later just before the market crash.
So, they’d done some really nice stuff to the house, had a top-notch price, and they ended up getting $345,000 for it. They were doing a back-to-back closing (sell one and buy the new one on the same day). The house they were buying burned down, but they still sold theirs and moved in with relatives while they looked for something new.
The market literally crashed two months later while they were living with the wife’s grandparents. They stayed there for two more years and then I helped them buy a huge 4000 square foot foreclosure for $130,000. New construction that hadn’t been completed. Just needed trim, a garage, some light fixtures, and a kitchen which they were happy to install on their own considering the price and location.
It’s currently worth about $550,000 since that area is just booming again. They’ve been very happy with me and have sent me a few referrals.
As a side note, I told them about Len (a very watered-down version that didn’t make me look like a jerk), and they happily gave me a copy of their appraisal just in case he decided to call a lawyer.
They said he was a jerk to deal with and got into a huge fight with his siblings at the closing saying he should get $20,000 more because he had to handle the sale “and that’s what the realtor would have charged!” (No… Since his dad was close with my broker, we were only charging him 4.5% – $5,850 on $130,000.)
Did he ever call a lawyer? Yes. About a year later, he called the only lawyer he knew. Another family friend. My broker’s brother. The brother talked to my broker, who then talked to me. I gave him the market analysis and the appraisal. We never heard another thing about it.”
1. Threaten My Pregnant Wife Over A Parking Spot? Good Luck With Your Misdemeanor
“This was last year. I just sold my home in my HOA.
About 5 years ago, I bought a 1,500 sq ft townhome condo in an up-and-coming town. Right in the downtown area. This is a valuable property with home prices having increased 35% since I purchased.
This was a wonderful area in walking distance of everything I loved as a single bachelor. When I moved in, all my neighbors were wonderful. We all got along great except for one person. She belonged to the HOA board but was moving on because you can only serve 8 years.
We’ll call her Gimpy J.
Gimpy J is a 65+year old widow whose husband died unexpectedly from a heart attack. She doesn’t have much to do. She met a man online and moved on. and I was happy for her. Talking to my passive neighbors, I hear bits and pieces of why things are at the HOA because of Gimpy J and another woman who had to move because of age.
On the board, the two of them bully residents. They change the landscaping from mulch to pine needles, and they stop upkeep on the pool deck because they hate kids. They reported one house for anything and everything because their kids were too loud. She bullied a woman with MS because Gimpy J was feeding feral cats and attracting raccoons and possums near our homes, and Animal control was called.
Residents did not like her.
I got married, and my wife has been living with me for 2 years now, at this point. We are very happy.
During this time Gimpy J began spending more and more time with her new partner. He lives about an hour away from our house in the country.
She would initially spend the weekend, then a week there, until she began living there all the time with very little time spent here. Maybe 15 minutes to 2 hours a month would be at our complex.
Now at our complex, there is only 1 rule on parking.
Each resident is entitled to two spots close to their building but not necessarily in front of your unit and there is no limit to parking spots you may occupy. CLOSE to it is the keyword. We have new folks on the board who are all under 40 years of age, and the place is starting to get spruced up.
We have some friends over regularly, and they park in front of our unit. Gimpy J had 2 hip replacements done, and we had not seen her in about 7 months. Our little area of the complex consists of 8 townhomes that face each other, 4 on one side and 4 on the other.
There are 8 spots for three homes and a handicapped spot for one of our neighbors.
Gimpy J started coming back around in January for longer periods – a day on the weekend to go out downtown or to visit friends. She started complaining that we were in her spots.
Again, there are no assigned spots. We were willing to move our friends’ vehicles for her to another empty spot, that is until she started occupying two spots at a time with her vehicle.
This behavior continued as she would come in taking 2 spots any time she was here.
The rules in the Master Deed say no vehicle can take more than one spot without written permission from the Board of Directors or Property Management group and cannot continue for more than 2 days with permission. This was to account for residents moving in and out.
Suddenly that spring, my wife had a medical issue and was hospitalized for 4 days and on disability for 8 weeks. My mom was the only family member on both sides that had the capability of coming down to where we live to help us out.
She drove down and we needed to occupy 3 spots. I promptly let our property management company know and the Board of Directors know what was happening providing them with my mom’s make, model, and plate number and that she would be here for 6-8 weeks, just in case anyone had an issue.
Gimpy J’s first time home in 6 weeks, we had a car in front of her house, but she had room for her vehicle. She marched over and banged, and I mean it was loud, on the door demanding we move the car and tried to open my front door and walk into my home.
Yes, she tried to ENTER MY HOME. It shook my dog who peed herself; it was that loud, who in turn growled and chased her out. I promptly told her there was no assigned parking, and the rule is 1 car, 1 spot. We would move a car out of respect one last time and saw she occupied 2 spots with it, per usual.
The next time it happened, 2 weeks later, we refused to move our vehicle. We also began taking pictures for our records and communicating with our HOA about Gimpy J’s erratic behavior. She continued to arrive, bang on our door, and scream at us for having a car parked “in her spot.”
One time banging on the door, she dented the frame with her keys.
A few additional times when we were not home, she would come in and park occupying two spots. I would take more pictures, for my records in case something happened because of her erratic behavior.
Finally, it happened. About this time last year, I was at the gym, and I get a call from my mom and my wife, frantic that someone is going to tow my wife’s car.
I drive home as fast as I can, and it’s Gimpy J’s partner’s son and his girl, whom we have never met. This cracker jack, who doesn’t live here and has no business here, is screaming at us and insulting my pregnant wife and mother.
“MA MOTHER-IN-LAW PAYS $XXX A MONTH FOR THESE SPOTS! YOU IDIOTS ARE BREAKING THE RULES! IMMA TOW THAT THERE SUV!!!!!” All while drinking booze. Now we know he can’t do anything except scream and try to intimidate us outside. He calls his “mother-in-law” (who is not married to his father) about the situation.
Gimpy J drives an hour to our complex. When she gets here she parks her car behind all three of ours and gets out blocking us in, and I had enough. I quickly snap some pictures. I called the police. I will not feel unsafe or be harassed in my neighborhood by people who do not live there or are barely there.
Gimpy J realizes I called the police and moves her car.
I print out all my documentation, pictures, and communication from the HOA. I shower quickly because I’m disgusting from the gym and throw on a nice polo shirt and shorts. My pregnant wife sits in her rocking chair, and my mother sits calmly at the kitchen table.
The police arrive, and we can see them hollering, waving arms widely, and screaming. The police come to the door, and we kindly open up. Gimpy J tries to walk in before I block her and ask her to leave my property and invite the police officers inside.
We apologized that we even have to call them over something so petty, but our neighbor is acting crazy and her behavior has been escalating. We explain what is happening, show them communication from the HOA, show them pictures. The officer quickly had enough of these white trash pieces of crap.
He imposes a no-trespass order on my porch and will not let her near my property. If she steps foot on our walkway she is in violation of the order and she will be arrested.
We watch him go back out and explain calmly to her and she starts screaming along with her partner’s kid and his chick.
This goes on for a while, and the officer calls for backup, and a second car arrives promptly. Gimpy J promptly declares it’s her property too; she pays her fees and that he can’t do that because everything is community property outside of a home.
She goes and marches up to my stoop, and he arrests her. Charges her with disorderly conduct and harassment.
The police then tell Gimpy J’s partner’s son to go home. He gets in his truck with his white trash girl, and they drive off. As soon as he hits the road outside of our complex, the 2nd police officer pulls him over, for DUI!!! That’s right, the intoxicated guy screaming at my wife and mother had been drinking the entire time and was loaded.
Police couldn’t do anything in the complex but could when he hit the main road. Both of them were hauled off to jail, and we stopped hearing from them about parking.
2 days later, Gimpy J and her man show up to the complex, and they park her man’s car in our lot and leave it, parked in one spot to ensure it’s “hers.” Well, they drive off, and we don’t hear from them for a week, and no one is home.
Since Gimpy J’s man does not live here and his car is abandoned, I called the HOA to report it. They came and towed his SUV.
Gimpy J put her house on the market 8 weeks later.
Another User Comments:
“What is it with all these HOAs and idiotic rules about parking? Can you people not learn to just live with each other and to have some respect.” IndianaClones