People Narrate Their Notable Revenge Stories
40. Noisy Neighbors Sent Us An Apologetic Note
“When I was in my 30s I lived in a flat in a 2 up/2 down block. All 4 flat owners were about my age. The 2 guys who lived immediately above me worked on the radio and came home very late at night. They kept turning on their radio at a super loud volume and stayed up until late morning, causing me and my other two neighbors to constantly be kept awake.
They were pleasant guys, and when we mentioned the noise, they would keep it down for a few nights, and then it would escalate again. So the three of us exhausted neighbors got together and came up with a plan.
One morning, just before we all left for work at 7.00 a.m. we all turned our radios on full blast, and left them on for the whole day, while these lads were sleeping, and of course, we could only turn them off when we came home around 7.00 p.m. We all received a lovely bouquet of flowers from the guys, with an apologetic note, and they never played loud music through the night again. I guess they just hadn’t understood how annoying it was until they faced the same during their sleeping time. We all remained good friends until the last one of us moved out to pastures new.”
39. He Gave Me A Check In Exchange For The Laptops
“After the dotcom crash, I got hired by a small software company. They didn’t really have a good product and it was obvious they were on the way down. One day the owner called in with instructions to fire all the salespeople as they weren’t making any sales anyway. OK so at the end of the month he calls to ask how sales were going. I said about as good as can be expected with no salespeople.
A week later the hammer comes down and we’re all let go and given our severance checks. I immediately go to the bank branch that check was drawn on to cash it and it bounced!
So since I still had the keys to the office, I went back and grabbed a bunch of high-end laptops and took them home. Another week goes by and he calls to ask about these laptops that have gone missing.
I said they’re not missing, I’m holding on to them until you make good on the bounced check. I was told that was theft and they would be pressing charges. I said great, I’ll be contacting the Labour Relations Board about your trashy practices and also the Police about knowingly passing a bad check for thousands of dollars.
Needless to say, I was asked to stop by his office to exchange the laptops for another check.
Owner: Do you have the laptops?
Me: They’re close by. Do you have my check?
He gave me the check and I went and cashed it and then went back and gave him his laptops.”
38. I Sent The Beeper Back To Them
“In 1995 I worked for a Publishing house in Gaithersburg MD. I had worked for them for 10 years and was now a Director of the Company. During the negotiations for a large mainframe computer purchase, I was told I would be required to lie to the seller and tell them that they had agreed to include a particular subsystem ‘free’ in the overall purchase of the system.
Now I had JUST completed the negotiation of THAT subsystem the DAY BEFORE they asked me to do this so there was NO WAY the seller was going to believe this. I informed the owners that I couldn’t do that and this began the beginning of the termination of my employment with the publishing house.
They were sure I was going to have difficulty getting a replacement job and offered me 30 days severance pay on the condition that I accept a ‘beeper’ and be on call if they needed me until I accepted a job at another company.
I accepted and required everything in writing. My last day of work was to be that Friday.
Unbeknownst to them, I had already interviewed with America Online (AOL), accepted a job, and they easily arranged for me to begin work on the following Monday. On that Monday my new boss and I put the beeper in a Courier bag emblazoned with AOL’s LOGO and sent it over to my old company.
An old friend of mine in the old company said the beeper was still going off as the package was carried through the office to the owner’s desk.
I REALLY enjoyed that double-dipping last month of extra pay while I was getting paid from AOL too!
Karma says they shouldn’t have asked me to blatantly lie when it would have been so obvious…
Good thing I’d gotten my severance terms in writing too.”
37. I Told Them What Kind Of Boss He Is
“My first job in finance was in private banking at a large Swiss bank in New York. I was laid off after two years, and honestly, I detested my boss. He lied to clients and made promises he never intended to keep. Very unethical.
A couple of years later I was working at a large German bank in New York, also in private banking. I was more senior there, but as I also have a Ph.D.
I was accorded a lot more respect by the Germans I worked with, who practically worship doctorates.
We had a client who was a very prominent German family trust, and for some reason never articulated to me the trust needed to place $200 million in custody outside of our bank. We were the trustee. They suggested the Swiss bank that I had previously worked for, and they approached the New York office to discuss the deal.
One of my German colleagues remembered that I had worked for this very bank, and as part of their due diligence asked me, knowing what I know about the New York branch, would I recommend them as custodian for our client. I asked who was the Swiss banker they were speaking to.
You guessed it — my ex-boss.
I simply responded honestly, that he was untrustworthy and unethical, and told them a few instances where I knew for a fact that he had lied to our clients.
My German colleague took notes, thanked me for my insights, and went back to the client to report. The next day he told me they intended to partner with an American bank.
Later that day a former Swiss colleague of mine called me ‘to say hello.’ Along the way, he wondered if I had heard about a custody deal between my current bank and my old employer. ‘Sure,’ I told him. ‘I killed it.’
That was followed by about ten seconds of dead silence before my friend burst out laughing. He thanked me for my honesty, and noted that this was a good lesson towards treating people ethically in business at all times because, in the end, global finance is a very small world.”
36. Awful Boss Is A Jerk To Underaged Staff
“I was about fifteen, working in the concession of a local recreation center. It was my first job.
My boss, Julie, was extremely tough to please and had a high staff turnover rate. I knew this when I applied for the job, but I needed the money as I was going on a trip with the local travel club in March and I wanted to spend a lot.
She was made aware of this when she hired me in September.
It was February 14 when I reminded Julie that I was taking my trip with the travel club during spring break (March 19–21). This was more than a month’s notice that I would need that week off, not that she had any protocol in place for requesting time off anyways as she was so disorganized (we never got paychecks on time).
I showed up for my shift on Feb 17. It was a Friday night and there were two hockey tournaments, as well as a curling tournament that long weekend (Monday was a holiday). It was really, really hectic and there were only three of us working: me, Julie, and a cantankerous older lady who used to be my neighbor. It was so busy that I didn’t get a chance to have anything to eat for supper.
At 10 pm, there was a lull. So I decided to throw a chicken burger into the deep fryer so it would cook while I was mopping the floor.
Julie came running up to me and yelled that I was not to eat anything until I had finished mopping. I tried to explain to her that I was hungry as I hadn’t eaten since lunch at school (12 pm) and that I was cooking it while I mopped the floors, trying to be efficient.
She continued to yell that I was being disrespectful and lazy (even though we had all worked like dogs for the last six hours) and that I was not to eat any of ‘her’ food until I had earned it (this was a bit rich, considering that she only managed the kitchen for the Rec Board, who actually paid for the food). I was spitting mad, but I clenched that mop handle and went back to work without saying anything further.
I was already planning to ask my parents for help with a resignation letter. I was wondering how I was going to survive two more weeks of this misery after I gave my two weeks notice.
I hadn’t checked on my chicken burger, but then Julie put a paper plate in front of me with the chicken burger on it, smiling sweetly. I said nothing, but when her back was turned, I threw the burger in the garbage.
I decided that I wasn’t going to eat any of ‘her’ food. Probably a good thing, as I wouldn’t put it past this immature forty-something woman to spit on my food.
I continued my chore list and close-up duties, which meant that I did not get out of there until 12:30 am. This made me groan in frustration as I was scheduled to work at 7:30 the next morning.
As I was walking out the door, Julie handed me an envelope.
I said nothing and waited out in the snow for my Dad to arrive to pick me up. I opened the envelope and found a letter of dismissal, where she stated that I was being let go for taking too much time off, not being able to count back change (which as an honors math student made me laugh), and for talking back to authority.
It also stated that my last day was to be February 20, the holiday Monday and the last day of the tournament. My coworkers (aside from my ex-neighbor) were both out of town for the weekend and I was the only one available to work the busy weekend tournament.
I was laughing when my dad picked me up. He asked me what was so funny.
I explained, ‘It was super busy and Julie wouldn’t let me eat supper.
She yelled at me for cooking a chicken burger at 10 pm while I was mopping the floors. Then she gave me this as I walked out the door.’
I handed him the letter.
His eyes narrowed as he read it. Then he looked at me and asked me what the change was if he gave me $20 for a meal that cost $7.25. I answered back: $12.75.
Having proven that I could count change, Dad was satisfied that the rest of the letter was nonsense. He and Mom knew that I had informed Julie of the time off that I needed for my trip at the time I was hired and earlier in the week and he knew that I was not disrespectful to my elders. I had never had any trouble at school and I was always fairly compliant with them and any of my other relatives.
He then asked if Julie was still at the Rec Center. I said, ‘No, she locked up and went home.’
His eyebrows went up and he asked, ‘At 12:30 in the morning while it’s snowing with wasted hockey players in the lounge?’
‘Yeah,’ I answered and I could see the little vein twitch in his forehead in the light of the dashboard lights as we sat with the truck running by the Rec Center doors.
Dad was pretty laid back, but I suppose any father would be angry that his fifteen-year-old daughter was denied food, left out in the cold in the middle of the night, and then fired.
He was quiet as he put the truck into reverse and started driving home. It was only a five-minute drive. When we got home, I began to make my way downstairs to my room.
Dad stopped me. He went and woke up Mom and gave her the dismissal letter. Mom was always more quickly to anger than Dad. She began ranting about labor standards and government regulations on underage workers.
At some point, I said, ‘Well, can we talk about it tomorrow? I have to get up to go to work at 7:30.’
Both of my parents looked at me like I had grown two heads and Mom said, ‘You’re not going back there!’
Dad added, ‘Julie’s an idiot if she thinks that she can give you this tonight and expect you to work the next three days.
If she had any kind of brain, she would’ve given you this on Monday after you worked the weekend.’
Hope was bubbling up inside me as I asked, ‘So I don’t have to work this weekend? I’m done? I don’t need to give my two weeks?’
‘She fired you. We’ll take care of it,’ my parents assured me.
At 7:35 the next morning, the phone was ringing. Dad had it answered on the first ring.
I eagerly hopped out of bed to listen as my dad asked, ‘Why should she come into work when you’ve already fired her?’
I didn’t hear the reply, but then Dad said, ‘Her last day was the moment you gave her the letter. And given how you treated her last night, I wouldn’t have let her go back there even if you hadn’t given her that damn letter.
It’s against labor standards to have an underage worker not have at least eight hours of rest between shifts. It is also against labor standards for an underage worker to go more than six hours without a meal break, especially if that worker had been in school beforehand.’
I didn’t hear the reply again, but Dad said, ‘Well, you’ll have to deal with it. It is your job… but as President of the Rec Board, I shouldn’t have to tell you that.’
He hung up the phone and I gleefully went back to bed.
I later found out that Julie had tried to bully my coworkers into coming back into town. When they refused, Julie and my ex-neighbor had to work the entire busy weekend.
And at the next Rec Board meeting a month later, my dad took the pitiful dismissal letter and told his fellow members of how Julie was treating underage staff, getting testimony from former staff who had either quit or had been fired as well as talking to the members of the Rec Board whose daughters still worked for Julie.
They unanimously agreed to fire Julie and make my ex-neighbor interim manager until someone else could be hired.
Meanwhile, I enjoyed my trip to Europe with enough spending money to have a great time. When I returned, I got a job at the local convenience store where my new boss praised my change counting skills. I worked there until I moved away to go to post-secondary school and even now, 15 years on, I still talk about how awesome my second boss was.”
35. Computer Support Didn't Want To Help The Trashy Company
“It was my first real job, and I helped the company install a new computer system to replace the punch cards and ribbons monster they had used before. The new system used state-of-the-art floppy discs!
So, I had been there for 50 weeks when they fired me (Unfair Dismissal laws apply from 52 weeks on). I had seen it coming and had another job lined up, but I was determined that I would leave everything in such good order that whoever came after me could see how good I was at my job and didn’t believe any slander about me.
My handwriting is pretty terrible, which didn’t matter when I was the only one reading it, but for the sake of my successor, I took all the floppy disks and relabeled them with clear, color-coded labels and legible handwriting.
Then I left and started a much better job the following week.
Later, I heard that the boss’s wife got suspicious of my new labels – AND TOOK THEM ALL OFF ALL THE DISCS.
All the payroll discs, ledgers, creditors and bank accounts, end-of-month totals, and master discs, all sitting in a pile with no labels and no one in the company with enough computer knowledge to know which was which.
They got onto their computer support company in Dublin, but since they had screwed them over the last time they had worked, the IT people were in no hurry to sort them out.
They didn’t ask me.
By the time they found someone, the company had gone bust.
And the thing was, I had no intention of getting revenge, it was the company’s own practices which had resulted in it.”
34. I Fought Noise With Noise
“I had neighbors move in next door who loved to party all the night long into the wee hours of 2 and 3 AM. They had their soundbar up against the wall of my apartment and I had to endure the bass booming and shivering the wall. I know that living in an apartment where you can’t demand total silence, it’s never going to happen. I also know that on weekends that young people like to party and that’s fine, I have no problem with it, but EVERY night it was the same thing.
All my older neighbors and I, as older people, didn’t want to rat them out to management because if you get three complaints, you are out, and no one wants to be a Karen. I talked with other neighbors and they all said they could hear them all night too.
After I was woken up and couldn’t get back to sleep one night I snapped. I have a vintage Pioneer stereo system with mega amps, (I told you I was rather aged).
I selected an appropriate record to play, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly. I put toilet paper in my ears and I played that record, but what was glorious was the drum solo that I love so much that I just had to turn it up even more! I shivered the timbers! I played it to the end.
After the album finished, there was blest silence!!! I’m sure all my neighbors in the whole building could hear that ancient gem and everyone knew what I was trying to accomplish.
They kept it down afterward but it took a few times for the lesson to really sink in. Don’t bring a puny soundbar to a noise war against a mega amp Pioneer. I wasn’t a total Karen, I let them have their fun on weekends because I was up anyway. If you want to share your music with me at 3 AM, I’ll share with you mine.”
33. New Neighbor Loves Parties
“My neighbors, who I love dearly and get along great with – when they first moved in all was great. Fast forward a bunch of years and the parties and music and kids screaming in the pool would go until 3–4 am, that’s when I would wake up around 7:30 am, have my cup of coffee, then out to the pool. I have a 1000 watt outdoor speaker system with 10 speakers positioned around the pool and yard.
First, I start with Painkiller by Judas Priest, at around 7–8 volume. Then I’ll head into Kill em All by Metallica on 8–9, then the dessert, Manowar’s Battle Hymns on 10, that’s usually when my neighbor will come out and say, really? 9 am? And I say well, being as I was awake until 4 am listening to rap music and kids screaming, I figured I would let you listen to some REAL music! Now, the noise stops at 1 am, and I don’t start until 11 am.”
32. I Refused To Return To Rebuild The Company Systems
“After 5 years working for a large German construction company designing their management systems and running their safety department, whilst the company grew to nearly 5 times their size when I joined, I had the temerity to ask for an assistant to help with the massively increased workload. After a lot of arguing they agreed to take someone on and was informed discretely by our office manager that the Managing Director (MD) intended that I train up this new manager with the intention that they were to fire me and replace me with this man after I had trained him into the company systems.
I immediately found another position with a 20% uplift in my wages and tendered my resignation and left 4 weeks later, 3 weeks after the new manager started, leaving everything in place and updated before leaving.
6 weeks after leaving, I received a call from one of the other Directors who informed me that the MD had upset the new Manager by demanding he cover all the work I used to do on his own or he would find someone else who would.
This new manager then proceeded to delete all company management systems on all PCs and server backups before resigning and walking out the door.
The director then asked me if I would consider returning and reinstating/rebuilding the company systems back to the previous standards as the 3 subsequent managers they had employed had all walked out within days if not hours due to the MD’s unreasonable demands.
I politely declined and told him I was quite happy where I was and that I could never work with their MD again. I subsequently heard it cost them tens of thousands of pounds to sort the mess out and the MD was asked to take early retirement!”
31. Off The Air? Not My Problem Anymore
“I worked at a radio station for 5 years, filled in at one point as a temp. Operations Manager for a few months until the guy they wanted could run out of his contract. At one point, I unknowingly amassed the paperwork trail needed to get a Production Manager fired for moonlighting on company time. At management’s request.
One day we got a new hire that never worked in the business before.
They asked I train her. Ok, no problem, right? (Well, I know better now). She burns through all her vacation and PTO within 3 months of hire. In the 4th month, it’s announced she will be the new Operations Manager. I expressed my displeasure at the position never have been posted as being open and never interviewed it despite having done the job previously while the new guy they just hired quit within the year.
I was told I should quit. No way. I would be leaving on my own accord when I was ready. I was told to think about it overnight and hand in my resignation the next day. Told them it wasn’t going to happen. The next day I’m asked for my resignation letter. Told them I wasn’t doing it. They said they would fire me and contest any unemployment claim.
I told them they could do what they wanted, there was no record of poor work performance, no bad reviews, and my paper trail as acting OM and the copies of the work I did that led to the PM getting fired would speak for itself. They fired me on the spot.
Went back into the control booth with the new girl to gather my belongings. The program tape (way before the digital age) currently on-air runs out.
Dead Air. A HUGE no-no if you don’t know the business. She looks at me and asks what to do next, what program is next, where is it, etc. I just look at her and say, ‘It’s not my problem anymore since I don’t work here. It’s your problem now.’ Phones start ringing off the hook. Front office staff come back, ‘Why are we off the air?’ ‘Is there a problem with the equipment?’ I point to her.
‘Ask her, she’s in charge now, I no longer work here.’ Sales staff start freaking out. Now commercials aren’t running either. I take my leave.
I found out later from an ex-co-worker she screwed everything up for the next hour and a half. Guess she wasn’t paying attention to the day-to-day stuff I had been showing her and was busy with the outgoing OM trying to learn his job too since that was the plan all along.
She also messed up all the procedures I had in place to keep the stations on-air to implement her way of getting things done and caused other problems with distributors and shows not getting aired at all. Violation of contracts that cost the station even more. She also hired a friend to replace me, who ended up stealing very expensive microphones from the studios as well as other things that went missing.
I don’t believe she lasted 6 months after I was fired.”
30. The Sales Invoices Are In The Trash
“While in processing for the military, I worked at a radio station selling air time in a town of 30,000. When I took over my route a retired Army major was occasionally hitting $6,000. That was pretty good in 1979. I took billings over $8000. Three months later, I was fired (I was the only man), and a young cutesy 22-year-old girl was hired. She had zero experience.
My sales manager/station owner’s wife told me to ‘clean out my desk.’ I did just that, trashing everything including sales invoices for the month. She made a big point of letting me know I wouldn’t be getting my commissions. I waited patiently for my salary check ($1,500 at the time) at my desk, then walked to the bank and withdrew it.
Two days later I got the call. ‘Where are all the sales invoices for August?’
‘In the trash.’
‘You said to clean out my desk. I did.’ Then I hung up.
I heard later the young girl didn’t work out, and the station went bankrupt.
Sad, isn’t it?”
29. Neighbors Negotiated A Noise Agreement
“This happened after I had left home, but my younger sister was still living with our mother (a real character). One night the downstairs neighbors had a loud obnoxious party. Mother suffered through it until midnight, as it was a weekend night. Then she went downstairs and informed them she had a young child trying unsuccessfully to sleep. She asked them to quiet down. They did for a short time but then the volume went back up.
About 3 am Mother and my sister was still awake because of the noise. She decided to take my sister out for an early breakfast. But first, she put on some marching band music (she loved John Philip Sousa). Then she took her excellent speakers down and laid them on the floor directing the sound down.
Perhaps at first, it wasn’t noticed, but when the guests left, the tired and wasted residents downstairs wanted to sleep.
Mother had a long leisurely breakfast. After they finished eating, as there were few customers in the cafe, she purchased a newspaper. She and my sister read the paper fully while drinking decaf coffee. When they got home a small cadre of repentant, hung-over residents were awaiting her in the parking lot. They negotiated a noise agreement (10 pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends). Peace reigned after that.”
28. I Asked My Brother To Play The Trumpet For My Neighbor
“In the 1970s when I was working nights. Every morning when I was just going to bed at about 7 am the man that rented rooms in the house next door upon waking up would play music and sing very loudly directly on the other side of my bedroom wall. I asked him to stop politely explaining the situation. He lived alone, worked in the theatre, and was a highly-strung sort of person easily offended that always wanted to get his own way, so totally ignored me.
I tried everything: blocks of wood against my side of the wall, drilling holes in blocks with a power hammer drill when the music started, hitting with a hammer at the same time! Nothing would stop him.
He always went to bed about 11 pm to midnight when I could not hear any sound from next door when I was going to work.
One Sunday night when I knew he would be up at 7 am for work on Monday I invited my brother around who could play the trumpet.
I locked the front door and windows of the terraced house. Closed curtains so the house was completely dark. I waited with my brother for it all to go quiet next door. Between about 12-1 am my brother let rip with Bugle calls directly in front of the wall for about 2 mins. Then stopped so as not to upset anyone else nearby.
We heard him scream and a sound like falling out of bed or knocking over furniture.
He ran down the stairs and into the street, came to my front door, slamming on it and shouting abuse. This was a quiet London suburb residential area with no shops or pubs nearby. Quite a few neighbors must have called the police as cars came from all directions, sort of response you would get for robbery or murder at that period.
We kept very quiet in the house no lights or anything to show anyone home.
We could hear him through the front door telling police about noise screaming and shouting but we did not answer police knocking and they had no reason to force a way in as other neighbors said they hadn’t seen or heard anything. He was told to go back inside and keep quiet or would be arrested for a breach of the peace. My brother crept out about an hour later and drove home when all was quiet. Never heard or saw the man again or anything from neighbors. He left about 2 weeks later.”
27. Traitor Cook Erupted And Showed Her True Colors
“I started working as an entry-level BQT cook, about 6 months after the grand opening. My previous 6 years of experience at two 4-Diamond resorts in Central Florida, along with my own creativity, raised the quality level of the product, while my head for numbers helped keep food cost and waste down. This was good, since the 2 major owners treated the F&B Department as their private kitchen, running up personal tabs for private parties and giving friends and business associates huge discounts on functions.
(Any kitchen denizens can tell you how that affected food costs!)
Within a year, I was promoted to Lead, and five years later, our Banquet operations moved from the hotel kitchen to a larger, purpose-built facility in our hotel’s new Event Center. For the next 2 years, I was the Banquet Chef in all but name, since our actual Banquet Chef spent most of his time at the hotel, helping the Executive Chef and the Restaurant Chef do their work (another story for another time).
During that time, I kept a brand-new kitchen spotless and organized, and staff of three-and-me punched out meals for anywhere from ten to 1500 people, in a kitchen that did around 2 million in sales. Our Executive Chef was eventually promoted to F&B Director, the BQT Chef got his position, and I was promoted to BQT Sous Chef. Everything was really looking up.
Three months later, the majority owner died.
He was the billionaire founder of a major pharmaceutical company. His stake in the hotel, along with the rest of his estate, was taken over by his private trust, which was run by his daughter. An audit of the hotel’s books showed that our operation was running at a loss (not shocking, considering the discounts the owners handed out to their cronies). The Foundation was not having it, so a round of austerity was imposed: Open positions were eliminated, wages were frozen, and cost-cutting was demanded of every department in the hotel.
Now that I had full control over BQT kitchen operations, I started making changes that brought food cost, waste, and inventory to the lowest levels since the hotel opened while keeping quality high. The Foundation and hotel management were happy with my changes, and I was told to keep up the good work.
Then, the F&B Director ‘resigned’ (I had told him on several occasions that I believed he would be the first person ever sentenced to death for harassment, so you can probably guess why he left) and a replacement was brought in, and her first objective was to ‘get the kitchens put on a paying basis.’
Madeline didn’t like me, at all.
I still don’t know why. A major problem, as she saw it, was I was spending too much time in my office instead of the kitchen (I was in there for exactly long enough to take off my jacket and check my phone messages and company emails, maybe 20 minutes each morning). I was also not getting enough productivity out of my staff (there were 3 of us now, and we were still doing all the work, which was up to about 2.5 million a year).
I was taking too long on purchasing ‘since Brad (the Exec Chef) and I do your ordering for you’ (which was kind of true, in that they gave the completed order to the salesman for input, while I had to do the inventory and read the Event Orders to figure out what was needed, which made her claim sound like a car salesman asking a potential customer if they’d like to take a test drive ‘in that Mustang that I built.’)
Too late, I discovered that one of my own cooks (the Lead Cook, whose promotion I had pushed for!) was regularly going to her office and telling her how I left the kitchen for hours at a time, while she and the other cook were left to do all the work themselves.
The FOH staff, the Sales staff, the other cook, and my own boss, all knew this wasn’t true, but she believed it, I suspect, because it fit the narrative she had written.
Eventually, she decided that the solution was to eliminate the position of Executive Chef, send Brad back to the BQT Kitchen (at no reduction in salary), and offer me the chance to apply for a newly-created position of Lead Cook (because a kitchen with 3 cooks and a couple of part-time dishwashers needs 2 of them to be Leads).
After all that talk about how the problems were everywhere in the kitchens, the solution was to demote me and cut my wages by 40%.
I immediately handed in my two weeks’ notice, which was made effective the following Monday (we had a big function that weekend, so I was allowed to finish that, lackadaisical do-nothing that I was). On my last day, I told Brad that I was content to let Madeline find out just how much I did around there, by not being there to do it anymore.
She was there as I cleaned out my office. As I was leaving, she said ‘This wasn’t personal, it was just business.’ Without turning, I stopped and replied, ‘Maybe not, but like I told Brad, I’m happy to let you find out the truth for yourself.’
June is a busy month in Banquets since that’s the biggest month for weddings. Now, the woman who did all the work, while I stood around with my hands in my pockets, had to step up and let Madeline see what she was capable of.
She folded like a wet rag. Seems there were problems in executing the 4-course menu of scratch-made items that I’d created for one bride and groom. The bride was not happy and wanted to know why I wasn’t able to give her party the same quality of food that she’d gotten at the tasting. She ended up getting a substantial reduction in price for her 400+ person reception, which didn’t go over well with Cathy, the Catering Director.
Madeline made the idle observation to Brad that ‘I guess I got rid of the wrong person,’ to which Brad replied, ‘Yeah, you did.’
This pattern of mediocrity repeated itself over the next months, as all my changes (like replacing pre-made foods with foods made from scratch, keeping inventories tight, and freezing leftover fruits for use in homemade desserts) were done away with, and all the work I wasn’t there to do suddenly required an increase in hours for the remaining cooks, more work time for Brad, and the increased use of restaurant cooks, at overtime wages.
It all came to a head during December, aka Christmas Party Season. Our largest client, the late owner’s pharmaceutical company, scheduled 2 parties per year, one for hourly staff, and one for management. During the elaborate and very expensive management party, my traitor cook finally imploded in spectacular fashion, by taking substances and getting into a loud argument with the client contact.
She was fired that night. Madeline was gone before New Year. I went to work for the local university and, 2 years ago, became a truck driver.”
26. It's About Time I Get My Water Cleaner
“I was moving out of a rental property in a short period of time. I’d never really spoken to the neighbors or had any issues with them. Their house was very close to my boundary fence that was made of metal sheeting.
One Saturday night before I moved out they decided to throw a party, a large and noisy affair in their backyard. No problem.
About 10 pm when I was trying to sleep the party was still going strong, with loud music, loud voices.
No problem, I can deal with it, they are having fun.
Midnight with my bedroom window and every window in the house shut, they are still going strong. Music is still loud, people are getting even louder. No problem, I have earplugs.
2 in the morning they are still going, 3 in the morning, things spilled out onto the front yard and cars revved as they left, people were fighting in the street.
Lots of yelling. No problem, at least things seem to be winding up.
At 6 am, things have quieted down next door. The music has finally been turned off. It is Sunday morning and I am enjoying a coffee outside after a sleepless night and planning my day cleaning the rental in preparation for leaving.
9 am rolls around, time to get started. The neighborhood is awake, noise is permitted at this time.
I collect my high-pressure water cleaner and choose the portion of the fence closest to the neighbor’s bedroom window.
I am sure that high-pressure water cleaning the metal sheeting fences was above and beyond the cleaning I had to complete before moving out but the sound of windows next door slamming shut one after the other as I moved along the fence line was highly satisfying.”
25. I Bought The Company That Fired Me
“I was fired from a job at a small web development company that was run by a felon (found out after). I was fired around noon on a Friday and at 1 PM found out that my monthly paycheck had bounced. When I would make regular calls to the office asking about my paycheck he would not take my calls so I’d explain the situation to whoever did answer.
The company went from 20 employees to less than a dozen in under a week. Then, the owner sued everyone who quit claiming that someone hacked their servers. I counter sued for my missing wages (until I needed a lawyer I was planning to drop the issue). When we showed up in court he had no evidence of anything so he dropped his suit, but my counter-suit stuck.
We got a judgment against him and the business which they never paid.
After some legal work, we got the local police to enforce the judgment. We showed up at the office with the police and the police told everyone to leave the office and then the police put a padlock on the door. That got me a check for my missing wages to reopen their doors, but the company was liable for the court costs and fees which meant another judgment and eventually another padlocking. After the second time, they didn’t reopen. In order to secure the balance due for the fees, we seized one of the company’s domain names (which was three letters long) which went to a county sheriff’s auction. No one else showed up at the auction so I bought it for the price of paying my remaining court fees and later resold it.”
24. Toxic Management Fired All Of The Workers
“I worked for a small engineered polymer plastics manufacturer that also did some military aircraft parts contracting. I was in sales. Our company got bought by a multinational company that had another division that made the heat-deflecting tiles on the space shuttles. They billed themselves as a materials science company, but after the buy-out, we were also making airplane parts for the C5A airplane and compressor parts for the domestic industry, and commercial markets.
One day I was looking for C5A parts contracts in the Commerce Business Daily, a report the feds used to show open opportunities for contractors. In the same way, I found all the other opportunities that added around $2 million net profit to the bottom line. The big boss walked by, saw me looking in the print version we got in the mail. He asked me ‘What are you doing reading the paper?’ Told him it wasn’t ‘the paper’, it was where we got our contracts for airplane parts.
He says ‘we don’t sell airplane parts.’ I was so shocked I just sat there for a second, then started to explain. The sales manager came rapidly out of his office, escorted the GM away, and told me to go back to what I was doing. A few minutes later he comes back alone and says the GM has no idea what is going in the last shop bay, where we made the airplane parts.
He told me he’d school the GM.
A couple of weeks later got a pink slip. Laid off. Just got married, just signed on the dotted line for a house and a truck and my wife got pregnant. I was livid. The sales manager helped me pack. He said GM got furious when he was told we were making airplane parts. Called the SM a liar when he told him how much they added to the bottom line.
They fired all the workers in the back bay, sold all the equipment, and told the Air Force we were no longer interested in their business. They gave back the molds we were using that belonged to the Feds. Had to pay for the wear and tear on them, too. So, they are out of cash and chopped off a major revenue stream. I found another job pretty quickly. Within a year Morris Compressor Supply was suffering in Houston. Within 2 they were gone. GM never had a clue he’d killed the golden egg-laying goose. Stupid hillbilly.”
23. Homophobic Manager Gets Surprised In The Office
“I was the Executive Chef for a group of high-end bars. Sounds like a demotion from my high-pressure, highly competitive fine dining experience but I had 11 kitchens under my supervision, was actually paid accordingly, was given bonuses every time the kitchens turned a profit which was every quarter, and was well-liked and appreciated by the owner. (Spiros. What a doll!)
I was of equal or higher rank than the General Manager of the clubs.
How I managed my staff, menus, and food service operations was my business. Running a bar, managing entertainment, etc was a GM job. There were areas of overlap, like server training.
The GM of the flagship club, where I officed out of and was my ‘home’ kitchen, was a Fred Flintstone-looking weasel named Greg… who loathed the fact that he had no say in my part of the company.
He hated that I hired an overweight assistant (female) and a gay (male) sous chef. He hated me. Everything about me galled him. But the owner loved me, and the food was beautiful and profitable and Greg was wise enough to keep out of my way. He knew the owner would not choose him if a choice was to be made.
One day I was rendered unable to function.
My man died on the side of the highway 22 miles from home. It was a beautiful day. I had kissed him goodbye that morning. He wore his new helmet, on his new Deuce.
And was dead. Boom. Outta the pool.
I called work as a courtesy, to inform old Greg I was taking some time off, and he said, ‘For what?’ I responded that he didn’t have any reason to ask, but since he did, well my spouse was dead on the side of a highway and I was handling the arrangements.
Not even an insincere ‘I am sorry,’ from Greg. He launched into a speech along these lines,
‘I think you need to cover your shifts before I can allow that. He’s dead, huh? Are you sure? Because if I find out you’re lying, I can’t protect you from the consequences. So are you telling me the truth?’
I calmly told him to go screw himself in no uncertain terms.
I asked my wonderful sous chef, a former hacker, to take Greg down in the most public way possible. I called my beloved boss, Spiros, and told him I had to quit for the foreseeable future. He cried about my man. He told me to come back whenever I was ready.
Greg called me the next day FURIOUS.
When he typed in his code to the company intranet hardcore gay male adult videos flooded every screen in the company with the origin being Greg listed in the corner. Greg was a homophobic jerk so it was very offensive to him.
Spiros fired him for it. I think he heard about what Greg had said to me, and he used the video content as his reason.
Love you, Spiros.”
22. Previous Employer Tries To Keep Me From Getting Another Job
“I was called to the conference room. My boss, my supervisor, and a loss prevention manager were there. The loss prevention manager was the most pleasant person I have ever had the opportunity to meet, and he kept it up during this meeting; explaining things and being genuinely calm and pleasant. The other two, however, started being confrontational after every calm answer that I gave to the LP manager.
They tried to paint a picture of the situation that just was not true. The LP manager just ignored their taunts, as I should have, and kept up his interview. I was not told that this was an exit interview. They tried to lead me to believe that I was being suspended for a couple of days and (although they didn’t say so), demoted from management.
My direct supervisor even set me up by telling me to change anything that I desired in her store. At the end of the interview, the LP manager shook my hand and thanked me. I thanked him for being so cordial. I walked over to my direct supervisor and held out my hand. She gave me such a look, I figured that she thought I was going to bite her head off or something.
I merely shook her hand and said thank you. – THAT WAS MY BEST REVENGE NUMBER ONE.
After two days my manager called to tell me that I had been let go. I figured he would have asked me to come in. I wanted a chance to shake his hand and thank him for the last 8 years. Instead, I had to suffice with telling him over the phone how much I appreciated his leadership and the professional way he handled things (he didn’t handle this professionally, but I wasn’t trying to be sarcastic, just genuinely gentlemanly).
– THAT WAS THE BEST REVENGE NUMBER TWO
Kill them with kindness, they don’t know what to do.
After searching for jobs, I was told by an interviewer that my previous employer fired me for theft. I was taken aback. I went home, and my denial letter from the unemployment office was there. I took it back to the interviewer and showed her what it said. So, my previous employer was trying to keep me from getting another job. I didn’t get that job, but I took the unemployment denial letter with me to every interview. I landed a better job than the one which I got denied because of my employer’s actions. I now earn more than my last supervisor, and I have started my own business. – THAT is the best revenge number three.”
21. I Got The Job My Old Boss Came To Bid For
“When I was about 21 or 22, I worked for this remodeling contractor. My dad does remodel and has rental properties, and I’ve always been a DIY type of guy, so I learned young and had about 10 years of experience at the time. Anyway, one day I was at work, and the boss nor the crew lead could figure out how to solve a problem with some vinyl flooring and the customer was there watching them for a good half hour or so.
I repeatedly tried to make suggestions but just kept getting ignored. Finally, I just stepped up and tried something and it worked.
The next day the owner told me that work was slow and he didn’t need me to come in. That same afternoon he called me and let me go due to ‘not having the quality of work that his company is known for.’ I’m sure he was just upset that I made him look like an idiot in front of a customer.
Anyway, fast forward to a week later, this customer had a family member that was also gonna get some work done by the same company. The previous customer gave the family member my social media info and she contacted me and asked if I could do a job for her. About 3 days in, my old boss came and the look on his face when he saw me doing the job he came to bid for was priceless.”
20. Neighbor Lied About His Drinking Problem
“My ex-husband and I moved into a brand new semi-detached home the same day as our neighbor. We were in our 20s and he was in his 50s and we got on ok in a neighborly way. Our neighbor, Rod had told us he used to have a drinking problem but didn’t drink anymore.
After a couple of months of living beside him with no problems we were in bed one night and he was in his garden with music on quite loud.
We had to get up early for work so we’re really trying hard to sleep with the music blasting. I opened the bedroom window and tried to shout to ask him to turn it down but I could not see him and he could not hear me. After another couple of hours, I decided I was going to see him. I knocked loudly on his front door, no reply so I went round to his garden.
The patio doors were wide open and Rod was snoring loudly on the sofa with an empty whiskey bottle on the table. I didn’t want to wander around his house but I needed the music off if I was to get any sleep that night. All the houses had a box on the front wall with the electric meter in, locked with a key but all keys were the same.
I shut Rod’s patio doors then went home for my electric box key, opened his box, and turned his electricity off at the mains before going back to bed.
The next day I came home for lunch and saw an electric company van leaving his house, he told me he had woken up to no power and had called them and they fixed his problem quickly. I just acted like a concerned neighbor and never told him about what actually happened for the 2 years we lived there.”
19. They Won't Get Away Without Paying Me Completely
“My direct supervisor made working at my job impossible unless one was in her circle of friends. The day after I left I started getting calls from that office, asking about various things. I told them that I would get back to them, and sent an e-mail to corporate and the management in our area. I let them know that from that time forward that I would be happy to help but my fee was $150.00 per hour with a minimum four hours charge and that the clock started ticking the minute that I answered a call or opened an e-mail.
So the next day I got a call and helped the caller with their issues. I then sent an electronic invoice to corporate. They called and said it was only a ten-minute call and they were willing to pay me twenty dollars. I reminded them of the e-mail and told them if I didn’t receive payment in full ($600.00) within thirty days I would notify the credit reporting agencies and start legal proceedings. Three days later a check arrived, FedEx next-day delivery, signature required, and strangely enough, I have yet to receive another call or e-mail from any of their employees. I can’t imagine why.”
18. Good Thing I Made A Copy Of My Files
“I had been working at this company for 13 years and one day, near the end of the day, my boss asked me to write out the process for completing a certain task. It required some Excel knowledge. He told me he was going to give it to one of the BI teams to automate. So I stayed late, past my regular shift to write it up.
Afterward, he tested it in his office with me standing there to make sure it worked. It did, so I went home.
The next day started normal but just before lunch, the HR girl called one of my co-workers away, which the rest of us thought was weird. He never returned and someone came by and dropped off an empty box. Then another co-worker was called away.
I immediately started backing up personal files on the computer onto a flash drive and sure enough, I was called next. We all were let go because of downsizing.
I reached out to my coworkers who weren’t let go a few weeks later and found out my boss didn’t do something in the process correctly so the whole thing was ‘broken.’ It was a critical reporting process that I built.
It wasn’t intentional but I think it was a nice bit of karma.”
17. They Asked Me To Come Back But I Said "No"
“While I was in college, I worked for a well-known car rental company that caters to people on a ‘budget.’ I worked there the fall of 1983 until the spring/summer of 1987, taking off during times school wasn’t in session and I went home to Vermont.
I had finished college around this exact time in mid-May. I had worked part-time after school and on weekends but now was able to work more hours since my days were now free.
I also began as a guy who cleaned the cars, gassed them up, and drove them to various locations that needed a particular type of vehicle, like a station wagon, minivan, town car, compact, etc.
Later I became a rental agent. So I was able to fill many scheduling gaps in the offices that fell under that particular franchisee. There were around ten offices, but I belonged to one and had filled in another five locations.
I could fill in as either a rental agent or if they needed someone to clean and transport cars.
I was a working fool through May and into June. Several days, I left one location and went to work at another. I was going to stop in mid-July because I was entering active duty at the end of July. I needed time to move my stuff from college to my parents’ home.
I was probably averaging 50–60 hours a week by then. Many of the offices were competing with one another for me to fill a shift. There were a couple of times that I was double scheduled for two different locations at the same time.
I would go to the location I preferred and let the other know I wouldn’t be there. Then it was up to that branch manager to fill the void, usually with their own body pulling that shift.
I didn’t like one location and I tended to not choose to work there if I had an option of putting hours elsewhere. I was still only a part-time employee at one particular location. Working at the other locations was doing those offices a favor, but it was mutually beneficial; they had an extra person and I got more hours.
I did not like that location because it was farther away from my college.
It was in a part of Long Island I was not familiar with and to me, seemed like a sketchy area. I did not have a good vibe there and the office manager had an attitude if I did pull a shift there.
I’d hear comments like, ‘nice of you to grace us with your presence’ and other condescending remarks. And I’m thinking, I’m doing you a favor.
I’m not required to work here.
My college friends had scheduled a barbecue for the end of the month. It was the last get-together for many of us who were leaving school for the Army and many of the ones still in school. In the grand scheme of things, it was no big deal; just a last blast of camaraderie before we go our separate ways.
To attend, I scheduled the weekend off with my manager from my location.
That’s all that was required. But since I didn’t show up on that location’s schedule, other locations thought I was available. Other managers are supposed to ask an agent from another location before scheduling them, but it didn’t always happen.
The location I disliked jumped at the opportunity to schedule me for one day. I never bothered to check the schedule at the other locations because I had the days off.
Of course, I missed that day, which was a Saturday and I had been scheduled for the entire day. I also didn’t work on Sunday because I had that day off as well. No one had scheduled me for Sunday though.
I show up for work Monday afternoon and I find out I’ve been fired because I didn’t show up for work on Saturday. I was fired by the main office because the branch manager at the other location was mad that I didn’t show up to work and reported me.
So I leave that location (not my ‘home’ location) and when I get back to my dorm room, I call my home location. My manager is unaware I’ve been fired and knows I had the weekend scheduled off that she approved.
She says she is going to fix it. I tell her not to bother, I’ll just take the next few weeks off and head home to Vermont.
That’s when things went down. I was scheduled about 45 hours that week at multiple locations. Now the managers all have to scramble to replace me at short notice.
I got a call that week from one of the higher-ups from the main office asking if I’d come back, but I told him, no, and to mail me my final check. I’d be in the Army in a month and didn’t need the job any longer.
My manager did call me at the end of the week to pick up my check, which I did. She said everyone was mad at the one branch manager and mad at the guy from the main office who called me. He was the one who made the decision to fire me. I don’t know what his function was there, I do remember his name was Nigel. He remains the only Nigel I’ve ever met.”
16. Friend Left With Her Redundancy Payment
“This didn’t happen to me but a friend of mine.
She transferred from the IT department to a small marketing team which she felt was a better match for her skills and talents.
After a while, it became quite unpleasant. The other team member (I did say it was a small team!) did not pull her weight and was hostile. No use complaining to the boss because he was having an affair with the other team member!
Anyway, my friend quietly looked around for another job and was offered a post elsewhere at a much higher salary. She wrote out her resignation letter and took it to work the next day. She delayed handing it in, perhaps not wanting a confrontation. During the morning the boss called her into the office and told her she was being made redundant! She took her remaining holiday time and left with a hefty redundancy payment, straight into her new job!”
15. They Tried To Bypass My Password But Couldn't
“I had been working with someone for almost a year as a temporary employee and was told again and again that when the job officially came open, it would be mine. This was mostly data type entry, but some of it was sensitive material so it had to be password protected. This is before some of the newer firewalls etc.
I interviewed for the job, but they brought in someone from out of state.
Strange, since it wasn’t a high-paying job or anything. My immediate supervisor was furious when she found out that they hired someone else. She liked working with me and knew I did a good job. So, when I tried to give her my password, she refused to take it and I didn’t bother to give it to anyone else.
They had to bring in someone to hack their own computer, and to top it off the company then had a hiring freeze, and the person they wanted couldn’t be hired.
My supervisor laughed when she told me they were now without someone working the position, and they had spent quite a bit to have someone come in to bypass my password. Funny, they never even bothered to call to ask what the password was.
In the end, after all of that, they asked me to take the position. I did, but only with a pay raise and additional hours. It was just a stepping stone job, and I liked my immediate supervisor.”
14. I Spilled Oil On His Driveway
“I’m a painter and was working on commercial properties, I was fired and I was told I had to drive to the owner’s house to pick up my check and he didn’t live close. Anyway, I got there and pulled into his driveway, went to the door, and when he answered he had a smirk on his face and handed me my check then told me he had to deduct for tools he lent me.
I told him I don’t have them, your foreman has them. He smiled and said well I’m not going to get into all of that here is your check, goodbye. I got in my car and backed out then I heard a scream from him. I stopped and the look on his face was complete horror. He just had his driveway resurfaced with concrete, it was dry but turns out I had the oil leak from the underworld. I dumped at least a quart of the blackest, dirtiest oil right in the middle of his brand new driveway.”
13. Company Lost $800,000 Because A Manager Didn't Answer An Email
“I worked Customer Service for a company who has contracts with several electric power companies in the southeast part of the country. The job was enjoyable enough and I had been moved into a Supervisor job. (there were 5 supervisors in our division)
The manager was nice enough and I liked working for her. She had a son with special needs and had to leave 30 minutes early on Fridays and I had started doing a weekly report for her to help her out.
The report listed the number of calls we had taken that week and broke them down into categories. (high bills, power outages, etc.) I was verifying our data with the electric power company’s data, making sure we had taken the number of calls we were contracted to take weekly. The company I worked for was paid a bonus for every thousand calls we exceeded in the contract.
It was a simple report, cut and paste and email, and took 5 minutes to do, did not affect payroll, it just had to be submitted the last 30 minutes on Friday.
My manager quit for greener pastures and the new manager was a jerk. He made no effort to learn what his supervisors did or the electric power company’s rules and regulations. I thought he needed to know about this report and see if he wanted me to keep submitting it for him.
Each email I sent him was ignored, so I just kept on submitting the report on Friday.
The manager started hiring assistants for his supervisors even though we really did not need them. He expected the assistant to learn everything the supervisor did and would fire the supervisor after 2 weeks and move the assistant into the job. I quietly kept my head down and continued to do my job.
My assistant arrived unannounced and I knew I was going to be let go. I taught her my job but never mentioned the Friday report to her as it really was not part of my job (I did it as a courtesy for the old manager and had tried to set up a meeting with the new manager to discuss this report and had been ignored).
I end up getting let go and walked away from a job/people I really loved.
A VP with the company called me a month later and wanted to know if I knew anything about this report. I replied yes, I do, and told him that while it was not my responsibility, I had been sending it as a courtesy to the old manager. He wanted to know why I had not shown it to my assistant, and I again told him it really was not our responsibility, I was doing it as a courtesy for the old manager.
I asked him if he could still get into my company email, he said he could, and I asked him to look at how many emails I had sent to the new manager with the subject ‘Reports’. They found 6 emails and they read them and realized I had asked the new manager for a meeting to go over this and that the new manager had ignored me each time.
The company lost over $800,000 in bonus earnings all because a manager would not answer an email. The manager was fired. (YEAH!!!)”
12. I Grew My Own Business And Visited My Old Job
“Big John hired me… but his son, Little Johnny was a jerk. Even his father said, ‘Little Johnny is a jerk.’
I worked in a place full of salesmen. The top sales guy was selling twice as much as anyone else… except me. I was the only guy that beat his sales, occasionally. So between the two of us, we made half the sales in the entire outfit.
But the top sales guy did nothing else. He never lifted a finger to do anything but sales. Whenever I wasn’t busy I made myself useful. Stuff that needed doing, but I hadn’t been asked.
For some reason, Little Johnny decided he could be a bully to everyone except the top sales guy.
One day he walks in the back of me and bumps me with his shoulder.
I passed it off, but it was odd. There was plenty of room for him to pass by without being that close to me. It happened again… and I decided to pay attention and see if it would happen again.
When it did… I turned around and started to follow Little Johnny as closely as I could. Right on his heels, within a foot from his back.
So close we had to be in lock-step or one of us would have tripped. Little Johnny, of course, was immediately aware and accelerated, but still walking. I accelerated and matched his pace. The customers watching thought it was funny, but the employees knew something serious was going on. Johnny tried to get away, making some turns and walking fast and I was right on his tail.
Finally, he made a break for the office. He tried to close the door on me. I stuck my foot in the door and forced him to confront me. We had a few words. Johnny was scared. I wasn’t going to pop him, but I let him think it.
The next day Big John called me into the office. ‘Blood is thicker than water’ is how he put it, as he fired me.
I liked Big John, but he enabled his son the jerk.
On the way out the door, Little Johnny made sure he was close enough to say, ‘You’ll never know what it’s like to own a business.’
I hesitated and I think Johnny was a little nervous.
I said… ‘I’ll have my doors open in two weeks.’
And I opened my doors in two weeks on a new retail business.
The only thing not completely finished was the sign. I had to wait another couple of weeks.
The business was in the red $300 bucks the first month, and after that, it was far enough in the black that I paid myself as much as I made in the job I’d been fired from… and the business grew.
Of course, I visited my old job to let them know where they could shop. Johnny had this funny look come over his face every time I visited. He always managed to disappear when I was in the store.
That was a long time ago, and I’m betting Johnny is still a jerk.”
11. The Whole Management Is Now Gone
“A Japanese steel company wanted me to rebuild their operation. Given their history of turnover with US managers, it took eighteen months and I negotiated a five-year deal with incentives. Four years later, we’ve gone from 70 million per year to 135 million per year and I’m earning the same as the Japanese president serving as the figurehead of our company. I also crossed the CEO of our holding company, demonstrating to the Mitsubishi board why his expansion plans were economically unfeasible with a detailed market study.
Career-wise the latter was a huge mistake. I was trying to protect our local workforce. In retaliation, he forced our president into retirement and installed his protege from Japan. Protege institutes his own plan and alienates every customer we have. We lose more profit in one year than we made in two years prior, going from top performer to the bottom ten. His response was to lay off 35% of our hourly employees and fire the entire management group.
My deal has been up for several months. They keep me for a few more, pump me for everything they can get, and then make me the last one to be fired.
The only time I have ever been canned. Yet, if that doesn’t happen I would never realize my ridiculous current success. I run the sales/purchasing/logistics, go to work in jeans and steel toes every day instead of a suit, don’t travel 150 days a year anymore, and enjoy a much better income.
So, one year ago I attend a large meeting in Chicago and run into an old friend. He’s been named to rebuild my old company; we were colleagues at the same level way back then. The Japanese president that tossed me out has been fired, the CEO, his mentor, has been forced to take early retirement because they’ve run the company into the ground. Folks, this rarely happens in Japanese companies. If you’re Japanese you get transferred. You don’t get fired. Early retirement is a loss of face as well.
My friend asked me if I would consider coming back and trying to do it again…
10. This Is Not Part Of My Job Description
“I had been working at a game company as a tech support person. They were high-flying for a while, producing really sophisticated educational games for children. But then they ran out of money and started cutting – and cutting and cutting. Eventually they ‘merged’ with another educational game company, but after the merger was complete it turned out BOTH companies had been ‘less than forthcoming’ (to put it mildly) about their financial status – and the newly merged company sunk even faster.
They fired most of the staff and most of the programmers, then brought in an ‘ax lady’ CEO to basically screw over everybody as much as possible and close out the company.
So, on the last day, with very few employees left, the CEO showed me an adjacent warehouse stacked high with PCs (they had all been leased, and needed to be returned), and told me I needed to wipe them to ‘government zero.’ Not sure that was an actual thing, but the gist was that I should boot every single PC, and run a program to completely erase the hard disk (after setting it up with a monitor, etc) taking a couple of hours for each one.
It would have taken me all night and probably the weekend to do this alone (I was the only tech person left) – and I wouldn’t have been paid for the time.
She left, and I looked at the huge pile of PCs and thought no WAY am I going to waste my time on such a stupid task. So, instead of going through that work, I simply opened each PC and pulled the hard disk from each one.
In a couple of hours, I had a big pile of hard disks, and loaded them into the drawers of my desk, and went home.
I got a call a couple of months later. Eventually, the leasing company noticed these PCs didn’t have hard disks and had called some executive at the company who called me. It wasn’t the CEO – probably she took her bonus and was long gone. I told them they were at the desk (who knows if the desk was even still there). They said ‘ok thanks’ – and I never heard from them again.”
9. If You Don't Follow The Standards You Risk Getting Caught
“I was an automotive tech for a few years. The last position I held with that title was at a crappy little locally-owned oil shop. Now after a few years in the industry, I had accumulated quite the knowledge of OSHA AND EPA standards that the automotive industry has in place.
The owner of this business is not a good man. We’re talking big game hunting trips to Africa, only gave charity for tax-breaks, and somehow ZERO empathy for people as a whole.
His holiday bonuses were 25$ gift cards… to his own store.
Now the manager of this particular location happened to be the nephew of the owner. This guy’s favorite line was ‘(if you don’t do XYZ) you can take it to the house (fired).’
I guess he could tell that every employee was turning against him, as we were all one day pulled one by one into the office to have a ‘talk about morale.’ Two of us mechanics were already talking about starting our own small shop, taking our loyal customers with us (they would tell us that whenever we left they would stay with us).
I guess Nephew found out and was not too happy about it. The talks were really him just trying to weasel out of anyone if we (myself and mechanic #2) were stealing business from the company (not yet!). The next day we both received a call informing us that we were suspended for two weeks due to the smell of ‘whiskey’ on our breath (which there wasn’t).
This was their way of not having to pay unemployment.
Immediately I got on the horn with the EPA, informing them that this idiot instructed us to dump oil and oil filters, antifreeze, differential fluid, and transmission fluid into the dumpster. Then a call to OSHA to let them know about all the standing oil in the bays exposed electrical components and shoddy additions to the building.
I got a text from my friend that still worked there two days ago to let me know OSHA showed up and they had to degrease the entire garage, fix the awnings, and electricians were wrapping up the wires.
A day later found out that the EPA had hit this idiot with a huge fine.
Two months later all locations were sold off.”
8. Getting Fired Was The Best Thing That Happened To Me
“My boss found out that I had taken the law school admissions test. I did pretty well on it but was really taking it for the experience. I was several years out of college and did not even really study for the test. Just trying it out. And actually, it was my wife who was planning on going to law school, not me (though I had always wanted to go, it just did not seem to be in the cards after the time that had passed by).
So I was taking the test to give her an idea of what it was going to be like if she took it.
Anyway, when the boss found out, he called me into his office. He offered me two options: I could quit and get two weeks severance pay or he would fire me immediately. Now, my having taken the law school admissions test was not the sole cause of the showdown as we had butted heads on a few things.
This was just the final straw as far as he was concerned.
I left the office and immediately went to the unemployment office which was just a few blocks away. I explained my options to them and questioned what impact the options might have on my drawing unemployment. They said it would have no impact. Making it an option to quit or get fired just meant that I had been fired, so I could apply for unemployment either way.
I called the now-former boss and said that I would take the two weeks’ severance and quit. So, I got the severance check and immediately applied for unemployment benefits, which were granted. I am sure that the boss thought that by getting me to quit he was going to save on the unemployment issue, but it did not work out for him.
I also decided to go ahead and send in applications for law school.
However, because of the time period, I would not be able to actually begin law school for several months. I was fired after the admissions application period for the spring semester and the summer semester was not an option for new students, so I would have to wait until fall. I got into law school. But while waiting to start, I did freelance work. To keep the unemployment benefits coming in, I was required to apply for permanent employment.
And I did, with every company that I freelanced for while also pointing out that I would be starting law school in x number of months. Therefore, they would not hire me, even if they wanted to, because they knew I would be a short-timer. But it stretched out my unemployment benefits from my previous employer until the benefits were fully exhausted.
That is one aspect of revenge.
The second aspect of the revenge was that I went to law school, graduated, became a lawyer, and made it a career paying a lot more than I would have ever made doing the job that I got fired from no matter how long I stayed there. Heck, I think I might have tripled my previous salary or more just in the first year after law school.
So actually, getting fired was perhaps the best thing that could have happened because, as I pointed out, I really had no intention of going to law school when I took the test.”
7. Company Asks Me To Fix Some Gear They Couldn't Figure Out
“I worked at an AV company that REALLY deserved revenge. When I started, I was desperate for work as I was unemployed and my first son was on the way, so I accepted whatever I was offered and didn’t think twice. Especially when they offered $20/hr and the local minimum wage at the time was $11.50/hr. Being desperate, I didn’t pay attention to the details and signed on as a contractor.
In California, there was this shady practice of hiring people on as contractors and treating them as employees so the business could avoid paying taxes as well as overtime and holiday pay. It’s illegal now. Initially, they lured me in by saying Saturdays were time and a half, Sundays were double time. Great! I’ll work all weekend for you if you want! So that’s what I did.
That went on for a few months.
One day I get called into my manager’s office. They tell me I have to pay back all the overtime and double time as it wasn’t in my contract. I put my foot down on that and won the round, but incidents like that kept happening throughout my time there. I worked my butt off at that job. I started at the bottom, learned to pull the cable, terminate XLR, BNC, rj45, punch down keystones, all the grunt work.
Eventually being able to do my own walkthroughs on my own client’s job sites, design my systems, lead my crew to install that system, train my client and hand it off. I learned how to configure servers, networking, CISCO, and Juniper programming, IP security cameras, access control, NVR deployment, IT Support, and blah blah blah blah. A LOT HAPPENED IN A YEAR AND A HALF!!!
Now, I’ll admit it.
I have a problem with authority. I get my stuff done with flying colors and I don’t need rules to slow me down. You wanna throw up a roadblock? Cool. I’ll go around. Find a different path. I don’t need you. Haha. HR departments HATE me. So anyway this other company notices me and offers a promotion to the position I’ve been asking for. Big pay bump too.
I was going from earning 35k/year to 90k/year with fewer hours and a more focused responsibility. Needless to say, I was feeling underpaid at my current job.
So HR plays their usual excuses of trying to get me to bend to their will. The plan goes south for them as I’ve got my ace in the hole. I give them a chance to counter offer and at that point, I would have accepted anything from them.
I hadn’t received a raise in the year and a half I’d been working there so I figured this would be the moment they would bump me up a few bucks. Nada. They counter-offer with zero. Now, a few big projects are coming up. Projects of which I know more than anybody else about. I felt no sympathy for management when I gave my notice and I honestly warned the others about the issues they were going to face on a few projects but nobody listened.
I walked out of there as things started to crash and burn and people began to realize they needed me. I was literally getting calls from them asking me to come in and fix some gear they couldn’t figure out as I was clocking out on my final day. It was insane.
I’m sure they lost MUCH more than the 60k they refused to match. Heck! I would have stayed for less! It was the flat-out refusal to even bump me up a little bit that pushed me to leave.
I think the management didn’t have the technical knowledge needed to understand the decision they were making. To them, I was just a wire puller that slacked off at the office too much. Anyway, I did the math once. They lost a few million in contracts when I walked. Things really imploded on those job sites. There was just NOBODY around that knew how to do the job. The same guys and gals that got in my way and refused to give me a raise, refused me a promotion, made me think I couldn’t do it and wasn’t good enough to deserve better for my family, were the same ones coming around less than a year later asking ME for work. Sweet, sweet Victory with a capital V.”
6. They Couldn't Get The Company Out Of My Hands
“I founded the company in 1996 and new management took over in 2005. We were financially solvent and self-funding growth sustainably in a way that would, as the kids say, ‘scale.’ The problem was that I was extremely burnt out after ten years of 100-hour weeks and I was deeply passionate about the industry but had no idea how to run a company.
Immediately, management had trouble separating their tastes and wants from the best interest of the organization.
Tremendous savings were decimated in a few years. Then massive debts were accumulated. I tried to level with management to establish a budget and pay off the debts. Instead, they believed that I was the problem and I was asked to leave. I agreed and within another 8 months, the company was in dire straits. Instead of budgeting, they slashed their own salaries until they were earning below minimum wage.
By the point when they couldn’t even pay themselves, they gave up.
Nobody tried to strip me of my ownership in 2006. By 2012, it was basically worthless. Still, they didn’t want the risk of buying out my remaining ownership and so they jumped ship.
I became the sole manager and owner in 2012. With a few years to recover, I learned how to manage people, and had learned a ton in those six years.
I watched so many former competitors get bought out and decimated or just disappear completely. That was incredibly motivating to right the ship.
I paid off their debts in another year by budgeting and taking on tons of freelance work. Now we own our own building and have increased sales and wages by 600% in 8 years. We still use a system of owner/managers but the volatility and personality clashes are gone. The team is much more skilled and focuses on their job duties. The former management moved out of state and started a new company, which tanked almost immediately. Maybe they blame me for that one too.
The important thing is that I am happy doing this every single day.”
5. I Got Back And Went Back To The Airforce
“My employers fired me because I spent more money on a job than what the contract originally called for, I had told them it was way underbid and that we couldn’t do it for the price they agreed on. They wouldn’t listen at the beginning of the contract, and they wouldn’t listen when I kept coming to them trying to explain why we couldn’t pull the contract off.
So I finally did what had to be done to get the job done. And when the bill came in I had no job. When I got fired I went back into the Airforce. It was 1979 soon to be 1980 and jobs were hard to find. The owners of the business I was fired from called me up saying they had made a mistake. They even offered me a raise.
The problem was I had already reenlisted. Because I was what was holding that company together, they soon went out of business. I had constantly scrambled to make one contract after another hold together, stayed up late at night working out problems or smoothing over situations. When I left it was in good health. I put two hundred percent into the business. I had a newborn daughter and I needed the job so I worked hard to keep the company going.
When I was fired a lot of my contacts and outside resources went with me.
The owners had no clue how to hold the company together, and the people who worked so hard to get rid of me were less than useless. They still blame me for the company falling apart. I guess in a way that’s true because without me they couldn’t hold it together. The sad part was that I constantly tried to get my bosses to pay attention to what I was doing and what was going on with the company.
It wasn’t like I hid anything from them, I wanted them involved and to participate. But they were too busy with other things to pay attention and I was told not to bother them with petty things.
So when they fired me they had no clue what to do and it didn’t take them long to figure it out. It took them even less time to figure out the people who got me fired didn’t have a clue what to do.
If it hadn’t been for my daughter being born I might have told them to go stick it earlier on. But like I said, jobs were hard to find and I needed the work. I was way over my head on that job, I was constantly having to learn on the fly and I wasn’t getting any help from the people that were supposed to know what they were doing.
Being fired and not having a clue what I was going to do, and with a newborn daughter, I was scrambling to look for work. I had not even thought of going back into the Airforce but when I got fired it was the best option at the time. When I found out that I could reenlist it was like a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders. When my ex-employers called me up to come back it was just icing on the cake.”
4. Terrible Boss Lost His Business And Ruined His Reputation
“The business was earning at an all-time high but my boss wasn’t paying us well for months so when I approached and asked him if he can raise our salary to meet the legal minimum he said: ‘You can quit if you like. I can always find someone who can replace you.’ So I said, ‘Thank you for your time, sir. This will be my last day.’
When I went outside the boss’ office, fellow employees asked what happened so I just told them the truth and that I’m quitting.
So the day I resigned was the day the company closed because the entire employee population resigned. The employer was literally begging us all to stay. Too late Jose. Your company is replaceable too.
His business was gone, his reputation ruined. He decided to move to the U.S. to start over after trying for a year to restart his business.
As for us employees: all of us found good jobs, good pay, and led good lives. Don’t allow yourselves to be abused. You have the power to change your life. It wasn’t revenge. He hired a jinx.”
3. I Reported The Oven Cleaning Process To OSHA
“I worked for a grocery store in the bakery. This store had horrible managers. They would call their employees names and make the atmosphere untenable. Lots of things went on. One of these things that was my job was cleaning the ovens. These ovens were the walk-in ones. How I was trained to clean these was to turn the oven on high and squirt the walls down with this acid oven cleaner and then wash it down with a water hose.
A couple of times this acid got through my shoes and socks and burnt my feet. The company told me to tape plastic grocery bags to my feet the next time I cleaned out the oven. Ok, does anyone know what happens when your plastic-covered feet come in contact with a wet floor? You slip…
One day, the manager gave the store manager a trumped-up charge that I didn’t mop out the refrigerator.
Even though I had two witnesses that I indeed mopped (One was an assistant store manager). The store manager let me go. Honestly, I could’ve fought it, but I was so happy to finally be free!
Anyway, the next day I called OSHA and reported the oven cleaning process (and the fact that they had no PPEs or cleaning gloves or boots). I know OSHA showed up, management was mad and they suspected it was me. I am not exactly sure what the final result was. But this grocery store is no longer in business in Texas.”
2. Karma Caught Up With The CEO
“I had worked for a prominent charity for seven years when our CEO retired. Her replacement wanted to appoint friends into the senior positions, and wilfully alienated senior and middle management.
I had developed a sophisticated accounting system, which fed all the data into Excel, generating the management accounts, statutory accounts, and lead schedules.
In the run-up to the day that the entire senior management team left the organization, I brought the books up to date (four weeks before the year-end) and did a full handover to my successor.
Because I am a professional and take pride in my work.
I hear that four months later, my replacement deferred the audit because he hadn’t completed the last four weeks of the year’s accounts. He didn’t really understand Excel or the accounting system. He was let go.
The new CEO, having lost/shed her entire senior management team, was unable to win over middle management, who were as unhappy with her cronyism as we had been.
Within six weeks, she was fired on the spot and marched out of the office. Her number two, who was on holiday, was told not to return.
In the space of around 18 months, a great charity – an exemplar of best practice – was trashed. Three years later, it finally finished running down its reserves, but it didn’t wind up in a dignified manner: it somehow contrived to spend a load of money it didn’t have.
Staff was suddenly dumped out on their ear just before Christmas and left out of pocket by £¼m of notice/holiday pay and a supplier (a one-man band) was stiffed for £140k.
You might think that having alerted the Trustees about what was going on, I would feel smug about being proved right. But I feel terribly sad for my former colleagues who lived through this car crash. Karma may have caught up with the CEO, but the collateral damage was widespread.”
1. Good Thing I Read My Contracts
“I was lowly an insurance assistant admin for a regional medium-sized brokerage firm in SF (known among the local industry network as just ‘DL’) in the early 80s. I handled mostly the mundane clerical stuff that involved servicing commercial insurance clients. About a year into my job, one of the programs I was working on called ‘Special Hazard’ insurance was given to me to handle entirely because none of the account execs wanted it.
It was a strange policy and required too much ‘clerical’ administration like giving quotes to clients, binding coverage, and then sending invoices. Still, this program netted the company some $100k in commissions, which was small potatoes to them and not terribly impressive like the big fortune 500 accounts the executives of the firm managed. Through the second year of my stint with this brokerage firm, I became pregnant.
To make a long story short, my employer’s intention all along was to lay me off after my maternity leave to their overhead expenses and just simply hand my program over to one of the bosses’ secretaries. After working so hard to make moolah for them and making sure the clients were happy with my service so we wouldn’t lose them, I felt betrayed, and quite frankly discriminated against.
After my maternity leave, I was easily able to find another job, this time with one of the largest brokerage firms in the world doing pretty much the same stuff, assisting account execs in servicing commercial insurance clients. Shortly after getting hired at my job, my old special hazard clients started calling me after finding out that DL had let me go and that I was rehired at a big famous brokerage.
Apparently, they were unhappy with my replacement, and could they use me and my new firm as their new broker for this special hazard insurance. I had a conversation with the senior leadership at my new firm, and after assuring them that I did not sign any non-compete agreements with my former employer (because I was a lowly assistant) and that the special hazard insurance program was not exclusive to DL, they set about supporting me in stealing away all my former clients including the program.
Needless to say, it stunned DL that lowly personnel like me could steal a 6-figure commission account away from them.
To sum it up, I got promoted to full account exec, my salary doubled in a year, I got to do a lot of business travel, and eventually got relocated to work at the corporate headquarters in NYC. Revenge never felt so sweet that when I bought a new car, I had vanity plates made that read ‘EX DLer.'”