People Reveal The Most Spiteful Way They Complied To Get Revenge
20. Your Party, You Say? You Can Pay
“I used to wait tables at an upscale restaurant that was known to be the place to have your holiday or office parties. Great pay if you got the right group. The menus were pre-set, the drinks were pre-set, and it was all auto-grated at 18%.
All of it was in the contract the host signed pre-event. Usually, the host would make themselves known fairly early on so you would know who to talk to if there was an issue and who to give the check to at the end of the night.
One night, I am splitting a party of 30-40 with another server. This event had top-tier food and mid-level drinks. Very nice. A small group of 5-6 people arrives a bit ahead of schedule.
2 guys and 3-4 women. Not a problem, it’s actually nicer if they slowly roll in so we can get drinks started. I walk over, introduce myself and the other waiter, and ask for drinks.
Now this was back in the early 2000s and Chads weren’t a thing yet, but the 2 guys were the Chaddiest Chads. If they could have popped their collars in their suits, I’m sure these guys would have found a way.
Superchad1 – “Me and my bro are going to start with a round of Johnnie Walker blue, and these ladies are going to have (expensive drinks).”
Superchad2- (turning to the girls) “Once you have Johnnie Blue, you just can’t drink anything else.
It changes you, bro.”
Me- “If you like, I can put those on a separate tab, the event contract has Johnnie Walker Black, but not blue, and the drink selection for tonight is (less expensive drink).”
Superchad1 – “This is our party, just get me what I ordered, and don’t question me again!”
Superchad2- “Who do you think you are? You’re just some waiter, we have MBAs. Just get us our drinks!”
I walk over to the other waiter and tell him we are in for quite a night, but the check should be nice.
For those that don’t know, Johnnie Walker blue is 3-4x the cost of Johnnie Black. So one round of drinks for these people is over $100. The whole night goes exactly as we thought. Nothing was good enough, the appetizers were bad, the food was horrible, not enough bread, too many bread plates, drinks were taking too long, why do some people have food and others don’t (it’s 40 people man, it takes a minute to get that much food out).
To make it worse, Chads and co are all over the place, moving seats and making others move so they can talk to who they want. This makes serving a nightmare because we did everything by seat number.
Surprisingly, most of the table was normal, not entitled people and who knew that waiters are people too. They were impressed by the food, and graciously ordered the drinks that were in the contract.
One older gentleman at the other end of the table from the Chads apologized for their behavior, saying “they might have fancy degrees and good jobs, but you can’t teach class.” Love that guy.
Finally, they are winding down and after drinking almost a full bottle of Johnnie Blue along with all the other food and drinks they have a VERY hefty check, and the other waiter and I are excited to get paid.
We start picking up the dessert plates and asking for last drink requests.
The nice older guy at the end of the table says to bring him the check. Not wanting any more interaction with the Chads than necessary, I bring it to him.
I tell him I can take care of it whenever and go about clearing the table. A few minutes later he calls me over
Nice guy – “Maybe there was a mistake in ringing up the drinks? There is almost $600 for Johnnie blue when the contract I signed only included Johnnie Black.
And there are some single glasses of booze that are different from what we agreed upon.”
Me – “No mistake sir, that is what was ordered and drank.” (He is being awesome, and I feel bad)
Nice guy – “Why did you give the drinks to them when we clearly had a contract?”
Me – “I apologize, sir, they told me that this was their party and since I was just a waiter to shut up and do as I was told.
So I did. I’m sorry, I took them at their word.”
I point them out and he calls them over. What follows was the singularly greatest butt-chewing I have ever been witness to. He goes on about how he was doing something nice but apparently, that wasn’t enough. About how horrible their behavior was that night and how he is ashamed of them. But my favorite line was how you see a person’s true colors in how they treat people that work for them and they had shown theirs.
Then he calls me back over.
Nice guy – “Apparently I thought this was my party. I guess I was wrong. This is their party and they will be taking care of the check. Oh, and up the gratuity to 25%. You earned it.”
He turns around and walks off, leaving the Chads with the check. All in all, it was about $3K. I have never seen 2 grown men look so defeated.”
19. Have To Work Despite A Health Problem? Sure, Let's See How Well I Can Work
“This happened about 15 years ago. I was working as a server in a chain restaurant during the summer while I was home from college. I had gone to a party one night, got hammered, and wound up passing out near the bonfire in the brush by a treeline of this big field.
I woke up the next morning feeling pretty rough and gradually saw large patches of poison ivy popping up all over my body.
By the end of the day, it was absolutely horrendous – head to toe – and I realized I had slept in a patch of poison ivy. I could barely move. I went to the doctor, who put me on steroids and bed rest. I was scheduled to work the next day and called my supervisor to let him know that aside from not being able to move my limbs because of the swelling, itching, and pain, I looked AWFUL and should NOT be serving food to customers.
He was a jerk about it, asked me questions trying to poke holes in my ‘story’, and then demanded a doctor’s note. I called my doctor and had one sent to him. The note cleared me from work for at least a week.
A few days later I get a call from my manager. They are slammed on a busy weekend night and need me to come in.
I remind him that I have a doctor’s note, it hasn’t been a week, and while I’m feeling better, I am covered in oozing sores. He tells me, ‘You’ve had long enough. Come in now or you’ll be fired.’
I put on shorts, my polo shirt with company logo, name tag, and apron and head to the restaurant. I get to the hostess stand and everyone around me stares at my skin with their jaws dropped.
I tell the hostess I was called into work and would like to check with the manager about where my section will be. She tells me he is busy in the party room helping out with a VERY large group and that I probably shouldn’t go in there. She offers to go get him and tries to get me to move to a less conspicuous place.
‘NO.’ I insisted. ‘I was told I would be fired if I didn’t come to work today.’ I walked straight back to the party room, tapped my manager on the shoulder, and cheerily said, ‘Hi Manager! I’m here for my shift! How can I help??’
His eyes opened wide in horror and he told me immediately to go back home. I loudly protested that I was feeling better, that my sores weren’t THAT bad and I was worried about being fired, like he told me on the phone. He told me to go home, which I did. This was not the first incident where the manager was an absolute jerk, and I called to quit the morning of the next legitimate shift I was scheduled for after the poison ivy cleared up.”
18. Demand I Take Your Order Even Though I Don't Work Here? I Will
“A few months ago, I was looking for a job. I spent most of my day walking downtown in interviews. At this point, I’m in a horrible mood. The only interviews that showed any interest were the ones that looked very swifty. Most of the day is gone, the whole thing was just a farce, and I’m starving. It was one of these days that nothing goes right.
After I was done, I chose to grab a bite.
I chose a big, local chain of fast food as they make decent food at a low price.
As I enter, the first thing I notice is that it’s kind of full, but the register was empty. I sighed as that usually means they have a lot of orders in the back, and my food would be kind of late.
I walk there, and the employees (teenagers, probably part-timers or their first job) were giggling on the phone. One of them glances at me and says one moment. Alright, I have no problem with that. And I wait. And wait. And wait. At some point, I look at the clock behind them. I was waiting awkwardly in front of two giggling teenagers for four minutes.
I decided not to make a big deal out of it.
I politely and discreetly clear my throat.
The same teen rolls her eyes at me, evidently very annoyed that I interrupted again. The irritation of the day starts creeping out, but as I have worked retail most of my life, I hold it in. “What do you want to order?” She asks in a very rude manner. At this point, I’m quite sure I have a vein popping out, anime style.
I swallow my temper (I have to point out; I am generally very polite in my social interactions especially towards employees, having worked retail most of my life) and order my food (2 small burgers and a cola, totaling something like $6.30).
She rolls her eyes again, “Wow, spending the big bucks aren’t we?” in the most condescending, annoyingly bratty voice you can imagine.
At this point, I just shrug my shoulders.
My upbringing prevented me to make the remarks my brain was screening at me.
I move on a corner on one of those tall bar tables on the side to wait for my order, and I take out my small notebook to write some notes on the last interview. (I keep notes on the owners’ attitudes and other small details I notice during interviews)
As I mind my business, a wild Karen encroaches on my personal space!
“Excuse me? Are you listening to me? I’m speaking to you!”
I turn around, and I’m like what?
“Are you gonna take our order now, or are you gonna keep pretending to work?”
Then it hit me. I was wearing similar attire to the employees (a red polo t-shirt and dark blue jeans).
Of course, one could mention the fact that my red shirt was a different shade than the store uniform and that mine lacked the store logo and the name tag, not to mention a big leather bag hanging from my side, but my years of experience taught me that Karen cells cannot co-exist with brain cells.
I tried to tell her that I don’t work here and that she must go to the register. (Something to point here: the way ordering works in big franchises here is, you go to the register, you make your order, you pay, and a server brings it to you. Very rarely would a server go to your table, usually if you take a while to order.) After a while of demanding, I said screw this, and I complied.
I took her order.
“Alright, ma’am, where is your table?” She points at the 5 Karen table, and I nod.
“I will be right there.”
“Freaking kids, all you know is how to avoid working. You should get fired, you lazy thing.” She says as she leaves. I’m 30. No longer a kid (but I do look very young, 24-26 with a beard, around 20 shaved, which I was at that time).
I would not have it. I was hungry, in a horrible mood, and years of self-discipline were crumbling as I was hungry for blood.
I went to the nightmare table that consisted of not one, not two, but six whole Karens. I put on my biggest, fakest of smiles, and I took the order. I even suggested a few non-existent dishes, while ghostwriting on my notebook.
I then pointed out that it was a big order, and it’ll take a while.
I then left the Nightmare on Karen Table and went back in a corner and waited for my order in a far better mood. While waiting, a server went to their table and asked if they had ordered.
“Yes, we have. Are all the staff here as lazy as you?”
At this point, I started grinning. She had a chance to fully undo my master plan, and she failed to grasp it. I wait for 5 more minutes for my order. I take and leave a happy man.
Granted, after calming down a bit, I did feel kind of bad for feeding a couple of inexperienced part-timers to the Karensharks, but I was caught in the moment.”
17. School Tries To Punish Me For Filing A Lawsuit, So I Use It To Get Into My Dream College
“In 2008, I was involved in a federal lawsuit when my rural Texas high school tried to suspend me for wearing a shirt supporting then democratic hopeful John Edwards. (Hindsight is 20/20.) They said it was a violation of the dress code, which was only ever selectively enforced. My parents had my back and agreed that it was, to quote my very white dad, “redneck cracker nonsense.”
I’ll never forget during the initial meeting when my principal called in a school board member.
He said that if I got suspended, I would probably get kicked off the football team and that could hurt me getting into college. It didn’t matter; I was a miserable player and a smart kid, so it wasn’t gonna be what took me to college. But the slimy fake concern as he tried to leverage my future against my speech is something I’ll never forget.
Anyway, as the case goes on, the squeeze gets tighter.
First, they have the football coaches try to get me to drop it, having the football coach talk about how my “selfishness” means that they can’t wear Fellowship of Christian Athlete shirts anymore, trying to embarrass me in front of the team.
I’m a fat kid who openly plays Magic the Gathering in high school, hit me with your best shot; I have no shame.
Next, they host a meeting with all the teachers telling them I’m a “problem” and that they need to keep an eye on me in case I “slip up.” I found this out years after the fact when I bumped into my English teacher at a friend’s wedding.
Finally, they just start pulling in students from my classes to get them to say bad stuff about me.
I was a class clown, so this turns into every single dirty joke, rude comment, or loud fart I ever made getting reported to school administration. Which then leads to this awful little toady vice-principal calling me and my parents in and reading them back in front of my mother. That one stung. My parents still knew it was nonsense but who wants their locker room jokes aired in front of their mom.
They used this as a pretext to expel me for 6 weeks, citing “inappropriate conduct.” They shove me into the Disciplinary Alternative Education Program, and I am steaming.
The program is basically where they warehouse kids with emotional problems they can’t handle; you just sit in a room in a refurbished insane asylum and can’t do anything but read or use the computer for monitored educational purposes. You also get booted from extracurriculars while you’re in there. I know at this point, they want me to make a scene so they can punish me further, so I do the exact opposite.
I channel all my rage and new free time into my school work doing homework I would usually ignore because I knew I could ace the test.
Now I’m doing both and my GPA is climbing. I start looking into scholarships and find a bunch that are really interested in political activism, and guess who now knows a little bit about that? I apply and rip my school a new butthole in every one. Then, I work with my dad, and we find an attorney who will take our case pro bono, which means while the school bleeds fees, it doesn’t cost us anything to keep it in court.
I spent those weeks like a monk, motivated entirely by spite, doing everything I could to make their nonsense work for me.
I got out, got back on all my teams, and ended up applying for a prestigious honors program at my dream school. Not only did I get in but I got way more financial support than I thought I would. Eventually, we lost the case, but the school had to abolish the dress code anyway because they couldn’t afford to get sued over it again. I don’t like the idea that a school lost money, but man, they made the choice they could have backed down whenever. Now I’ve graduated law school, am taking the bar in two weeks, and already have a job investigating government corruption. I’m getting paid to be a pain in the butt of petty authority, and it’s pretty sweet.”
16. Refuse To Be A Decent Aunt? Okay, We'll Install A Dishwasher For You... Our Special Way
She still got exactly what she wanted.
“So, a little backstory:
My dad’s older sister (my aunt) is a hard person to nail down. Sometimes she is the sweetest person you’ve ever met, but other times, she is a total Karen.
Well, a few months back, her husband (my uncle) passed away (RIP), and it was a total shock to everyone. Then right after, the world stopped, leaving her with only my cousin, which has brought out much more of her Karen side.
So, with everything starting to reopen and it being ok to have small gatherings again, my dad and I went down to visit my aunt. She had gotten a new dishwasher, and my dad nearly flipped when he found out she was going to pay someone a ridiculous amount. (I don’t remember the exact amount, but it was a few hundred more than when my mom got hers installed.) So, we drove down to her house, so my dad could install it for free.
We get there, and the fun begins right away. My aunt complains about where I parked. (It was next to her car. I drove because my car is newer than my dad’s.) So, I moved.
Then she complained about parking there because the guy she had paid to cut her lawn was coming, so I moved again. (All this time, she isn’t telling me where she wants me to park either.
She’s just telling me I picked bad places despite her enormous driveway.) After two or three more times of playing Simon Says, I end up on the other side of her car, which she decides is perfect.
So, we go in, and I greet my cousin who I haven’t seen for about a year due to her being in college. (She’s awesome and not entitled at all.) She and I sit around and chat for a while, and my dad gets to work on the dishwasher.
At first, my aunt was super nice offering me snacks, trying to make my dad sit down and have coffee, etc. But dad wanted to get the job done because he lives 2 hours away, and I live 2 hours north of him but was staying with him for the weekend which was how I got roped into this.
My aunt starts going on about how she is so happy to finally have a dishwasher that will be flat against the counter, starts questioning if my dad is doing it right, and overall slowly turns from Dr.
Jekyll to Mr. Hyde.
Then she comes in and interrupts my cousin’s and I’s conversation to ask me about my job and stuff while only half listening when I answer her questions.
I knew she was only half listening because I’d talk about something, and then immediately after I’d stop talking, she would ask me a question about what I just told her, so it was a lot of repeating myself.
Then she starts in on my looks, how I’ve gained weight, how my hair would be so much prettier if I straightened it and brushed it properly (my hair is straight and long, and I brush it just fine; it’s just a little frizzy sometimes), and so on.
I’m self-conscious about my looks, especially because my cousin is a pageant queen. (Explains a lot about my aunt, huh?) And I’m not exactly skinny; I’m squishy but not fat.
So, instantly my self-esteem is going down, and my cousin steps in to the rescue and starts changing the subject to lunch.
My aunt is distracted and instantly tells us we are ordering Chinese food (knowing I hate the Chinese place that she always orders from, and my dad only eats Chinese food on my birthday).
She goes in telling my cousin to get lunch specials. My cousin explains that due to them only doing curbside that they’re not doing lunch specials.
My aunt doesn’t like this answer and tells my cousin to check their website. This starts a whole argument where my cousin has to check not only their website but their social media page AND has to call them and ask about lunch specials just to appease my aunt who even went as far as to demand my cousin to ask them to “make an exception.”
I tell her it’s fine because that place typically had lunch specials with shellfish in them, which I’m allergic to.
I’ve told my aunt this a thousand times, and every time is like groundhogs day, and the same conversation always ensues.
“Are you sure? You ate it when you were little. Could it have been something else you reacted to? What about lobster? Are you sure it’s all shellfish?”
Yeah, I hate that conversation. So, we decided what to order, and shocker, my aunt got shellfish. They make these crab things that look exactly like their chicken fingers, so immediately that’s out for me.
I ordered fried rice and beef teriyaki for me and my dad. My cousin goes to get it and comes back. My aunt immediately dumps most everything on a plate including the chicken fingers and the fried crab things together ON TOP of the beef teriyaki, so I can’t tell which is which.
I ended up eating most of the fried rice which, of course, I heard about from my aunt.
At this point through lunch, my aunt is laying into my cousin about everything that’s “bothering her” that day. Her attitude, how lazy she is, her man, and how lazy he is (in front of me and my dad!) I tried to change the subject, but it always looped around to my cousin. My dad was angry, and when we finished lunch, my cousin wrapped up the leftovers and said she was taking them to her man because he was doing summer work and hadn’t eaten today.
She then looked at me and invited me along. I don’t think I’ve ever run out the door so fast in my life, and I felt bad for ditching my dad.
Then this happened while we were gone, so I heard it second hand…
My aunt then laid into my dad about the dishwasher again, and my dad had the horrible realization that he was missing a hose that my aunt forgot to buy separately, so now my dad had to go to the store with my aunt.
The entire way there, she complained about my cousin, my other aunt in Florida, my dad’s attitude, and how my brother never comes with us for visits. (He can’t stand aunt.)
They get to the store, and my dad thinks he knows where the part is, but my aunt demands help from the cashier. She goes full-blown Karen, being rude to this poor girl who is just a cashier and doesn’t know much about the stuff they sell, and my aunt berated her almost the entire time calling her names even I won’t repeat to keep this clean, but they sounded similar to “Cupid dumb bass.”
My dad is stunned to silence as he witnesses this, and just as this girl is about to cry, he finally finds his voice and cuts in, stepping between the girl and my aunt, hands the girl a ten, thanks her for her help, and tells her she can let them be now.
The girl practically runs for the hills at this point, and my dad turns and lays into my aunt now.
Dad: What is your problem?!
Dad: Why are you being so mean to everyone!?
Aunt: W-well I’m not meaning to be. My husband did just die after all.
Dad: (Aunt’s name), you were a witch (not a witch but a word sounding similar) before that, so don’t pull that on me!
My dad then walks off and finds the part, he buys it with my aunt being strangely quiet the entire time, and my dad is even careful not to go to the same cashier that helped them.
My aunt drove back to the house after like a maniac and yelled at my dad, which he says he tuned out.
When they got back to the house, my cousin and I had also just gotten back, and my aunt began yelling about how my dad embarrassed her. My dad had enough at this point, and they started arguing. My cousin and I escaped to the den to watch Disney movies.
My aunt uttered the famous words, “Just finish the dishwasher!”
Insert evil laugh as my dad remembers her bragging about how her dishwasher will be flat against the counter.
My dad agrees and goes about installing the dishwasher, except he puts the brackets in backward on purpose, so when he is done an hour or two later, it sticks out of the counter by about an inch (not enough to walk into and hurt yourself but enough to really irritate my aunt).
She starts yelling at my dad that he did it wrong, and my dad shrugs and says that if we don’t leave now, we will probably hit rush hour traffic so he grabs me while my aunt is still complaining, and we run for the car. My cousin texted me on the way home saying my aunt hadn’t stopped grumbling about it since we had left, and she thought it was hilarious.
Please don’t be a Karen, guys, particularly not to my dad. He’s a jerk in all the best ways. So, it really bugs her THAT much.”
15. Don't Come Back? Okay, Mom
“This happened when I was 15.
My mom was (let’s be real, she probably still is) a mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive narcissist.
Some highlights are when she was teaching my twin sister and me to read at the age of 4 or so. It was around 2 am, and my sister was having trouble learning, so my mother’s solution was to beat her with a sandal every time she got a flashcard wrong.
The same thing happened when my mother had me transcribe an essay she had written to my handwriting when I was 7. Every time I started a letter from the wrong position (like starting a capital M from the bottom line) she would beat me with one of her Birkenstocks.
This too happened later at night, so when I got too delirious for the exhaustion and pain, she would drag me, by the neck, and literally throw me into a cold shower to wake me up, so we could more easily continue the waking nightmare.
When I was 13, I told her I wanted to live with my dad (they were divorced), and she told me she didn’t care what I did after I turned 18. I later figured out that this was because the child support stopped at age 18.
Fast forward to age 15. Our relationship was understandably strained. We had had guests, and she liked to use guests as a way of controlling our behavior through shame.
It’s easier to be an angsty teenager when your grown-up friends from church aren’t watching and judging everything you do.
This makes it easier for her to pretend to be a firm but loving mother all while slipping in sideways comments like velvet daggers.
Well, I decided I wasn’t going to subject myself to the whole thing and spent the day outside in the woods nearby (we lived in the mountains at the time, so it was less than 100 feet from the house).
When I saw our guests had left, I went to go back inside. My mother, perhaps unhappy at being denied a day-long emotional abuse routine, told me I wasn’t welcome and that I should leave.
My 15-year-old brain heard her words and knew that she only meant for a little while, but it also recognized that she failed to specify any timeframe at all.
So, I hiked a couple of miles to a friend’s house and asked if I could spend a couple of days there.
When my friend’s dad found out why I was there, he was angry and said I could stay as long as I needed.
I didn’t go home that evening or the next. My mom became concerned and contacted law enforcement (LE) to report me missing. This is a big deal for several reasons. We lived in the mountains on a national park, so it was a very real possibility that I had been attacked by a wild animal, become injured while hiking, drowned, or been kidnapped.
Nobody knew of my mother’s abusive tendencies or the squalor and neglect my sister and I lived in.
Most importantly the law enforcement was the local park rangers with which she worked daily.
LE immediately contacted my dad’s side of the family to see if I had turned up there or contacted them. They promptly freaked out and came to my house with lawyers on standby. LE then hired dogs to track my scent and then everyone freaked out because the dogs tracked me to a nearby river where my trail died because the dogs couldn’t pick up any more scent.
Over the next couple of days, there were people going in and out of my house: Rangers, lawyers, my family, etc. And several noticed the overpowering scent of cleaning chemicals, but only the lawyer considered why a ‘clean’ house would reek of chemicals.
LE started to canvas the nearby woods and ‘neighborhood.’ My friend’s dad came to me and asked if there was somewhere else I could stay.
He told me that he wouldn’t kick me out and didn’t want to have to lie to the police or let the dogs on his property. My friend and I figured we’d just go camping for a week or so, but instead, I looked up my dad’s side of the family and called, and they picked me up right away.
Understandably, everyone had questions. When I told them what was happening the lawyers, horrified, pounced.
A judge issued an emergency change of custody and prevented her from gaining custody until she underwent a psych eval and therapy (which my mother would never allow).
The rangers, equally horrified, completely shunned my mother, and she eventually lost her job. Since she was only allowed to live in the park because she worked there, she was kicked out of her house. My friend’s father and the trackers were members of the local community and churches, and they, too, shunned my mother.
She lost her job, her house, her church, and her friends all because she told me to leave and I did.”
Another User Comments:
“I’m actually worried about both you and your sister, even after not living with your mother any longer.
Please spend time with professionals to fully decompress what happened to both you and your sister.
I’m saying this because that emotional scar could affect you for the rest of your life. It affects your relationships with friends as well as your family and children.
The cycle of abuse is hard to break and at your age, but it is easier to resolve now than 20 years in your future when you start having kids.” tankerdudeucsc
14. I Almost Get Kicked Out Of A Paid Course, So I Ruin It For Everyone Else Instead
“This is a more recent occurrence from college. I attended a four-year school and wound up graduating with a BA in Mass Communications, but like all schools, I had to take general education courses as part of my graduation requirement. That much I was fine with. Although the selection was limited, we got to pick our poison, so it wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
One of the gen-eds we had to do was Humanities, and I chose a course titled ‘Theory as Practice’ as my humanities class. This course was taken in addition to five other unrelated courses, which limited the free time I had on any day that wasn’t a weekend. Bookmark this because we’re coming back to it soon.
So Theory as Practice is… whatever. It’s a dumb, easy credit, nonsense course.
Not a hard class by any stretch of the imagination. The basic premise was that we would take theological principles and apply them to the real world to see if they worked in practice. The only theological concept I actually remembered had to do with something called the gestalt… or some such nonsense.
And you may be wondering why, in a course entirely about theology, I can only muster up one theological concept? Well, that’s because, despite what I told you, it wasn’t a theology class.
Bear with me.
The course began as a theology course, but halfway into the semester, we abruptly shifted gears, and the class turned into what amounts to ‘Post-Modern Art Appreciation.’ This was a problem for me because I generally have one rule when it comes to post-modern art – I don’t appreciate it.
Now, it started innocent enough, I suppose.
We were told about some French dude named Pierre Jerk who put a urinal in an art gallery and proclaimed it as art because of the idea it represented, not the effort or skill it took to create. This might be divisive, but I don’t consider abstract concepts to be art, and during the class discussion and in my class journal, I said as much. I didn’t think this to be a big deal, as I was just saying that I don’t think the theory operates well in practice, which was the whole essence of the course.
My instructor disagreed.
She asked me to stay behind in class one day and told me that she was concerned about what I had written in my class journal about Mr.
Jerk’s edgy Deviant-Art level thinking and that my opinion was wrong. In order to ensure I had the right opinion, she was mandating that I meet with her TA for a couple of weeks after class hours.
…And that brings us back to my class load, with which I had very little free time. On a related note, want to know a fun fact about TA’s? They’re students too.
They have class loads that limit their free time like anyone else. Amazing. Knowledge is power.
I try to set up meetings with this guy because I spent however much on the course, so I might as well try passing it. The issue was that the guy would only meet during his office hours. With my schedule, that amounted to roughly once a week in a half-hour window, if I hauled butt across campus after my weight training course.
Long story short, the TA was a flake three times, and I was in the infirmary for the fourth.
Now, while all this was happening, the class was going on, and I kept getting more and more passive-aggressive notes in my journal because I continued to have the wrong opinion about art gallery urinals.
The instructor had reached her boiling point with me regarding the matter and sent a letter to me saying that she was kicking me out of class for failing to make an effort and meet her flaky TA. To add insult to injury, she sent me this letter three weeks before the semester was over… Meaning that I spent a lot of time and money doing everything I was supposed to do, only to have her say “lol, no” and kick me out.
I won’t lie; I was a bit angry and may have called her more than a few unkind names to my roommate at the time.
But after my venting session, I set up a meeting with the instructor and a mediator in the central office to discuss what should happen next.
The meeting was mostly business, but in essence, I was told that in order to not get booted from the course, I had to “envelop myself in the essence of the coursework” and “try to understand the theoretical principles we’ve gone over in class.” Or, in normal-person, “agree with everything I say, kiss my butt, and learn to love art gallery urinals.”
Liberal arts school, eh?
So I agree and a mediator watches as we both sign a contract that details what we discussed.
And I’m a man of my word, so I comply and do exactly what I agreed to. As opposed to bringing up valid arguments regarding the course topics and starting meaningful discussions, I just go full brownnoser in my class journal. I mean, I start talking about how I’m having dreams about urinals, how I’ve learned to appreciate urinals, how they relate to society’s crumbing morality, etc.
…It was all very urinal-focused.
And it wasn’t just limited to my journal – I went hard on every concept and would literally ramble in class for several minutes, effectively filibustering the entire class, talking about society’s moral decay that was depicted in the art we were observing, but I always made sure to bring it right on back to urinals.
It got to the point where one of my classmates had a hard time keeping a straight face, as I would inevitably turn any topic back to the urinal. He would sometimes even set me up by bringing up Pierre Jerk, from which point I would start ranting again, wasting everyone’s time.
About two days before the last week of class, I get told to stay after again, and my instructor informs me that she’s not appreciating the tone I’m taking during discussions and in my journal.
“What’s the problem?” I asked.
“You’re obviously being sarcastic and acting as a disruption during discussions.”
“I’m just doing what you asked me to,” I told her.
“I asked you to take the course seriously, and you’re not doing that.”
“That’s not true,” I argued.
“You told me to envelop myself in the coursework and to understand the undertones of what we’re talking about. I genuinely believe that all these artists we’re discussing are ripping off Duchamp’s grand genius and repackaging it as some kind of false expression of creativity.”
She became angry, “No, you’re being disruptive. Plain and simple.”
“You know, I’m sure that people also thought Duchamp and his statement with the urinal were disruptive-“
She interrupted, “I’m going to have to ask you to leave and not come back.
You’re not taking any of this seriously.”
“No,” I stated. “I followed every term we agreed upon in that contract both of us signed. You can’t kick me out.”
“We’ll see,” She told me, before asking the people gathering at the door for her next class to enter.
I left for my next class and was on pretty high alert for any letters I might be getting for the next few days.
To my surprise, nothing came. However, I was certainly given less opportunity to speak during the subsequent courses as they turned less into class discussions about the reading, and more into lectures. I still wrote about urinals in my journal, though.
Finally, the last day of class arrives. It was basically us presenting our final projects to everyone, and I’m sure you can guess who and what I mentioned in my presentation.
Unfortunately, there was a time limit, so I was brief. At the end of class, she gave a warm thank you to “Those of you who took this class seriously,” while staring daggers at me. She then returned our journals, in which she told us she left “heartfelt” notes about our final entries and our time in class. Then she sent us on our way.
What did my note say, you may be wondering?
No clue – threw that thing in the garbage the nanosecond it touched my hands.
Told her thanks for the credit. I never took a course from that crazy woman again and made it my mission to tell anyone who would listen what kind of teacher she was.”
13. Steal My Fishing Spot? Fine, But Good Luck Catching Anything
“So back in high school I was in what you might call a “problem class” just about everyone was rowdy, rude, and didn’t listen to the teachers. I, on the other hand, was an introvert who liked to keep to himself, but that didn’t exempt me from the collective punishment our class frequently got, so I tended to resent not only the class that got me in trouble for doing nothing but the teachers who enacted it as well.
One day the school decided to take a new direction in punishment and started what they called “enrichment activities.” Instead of giving us extra homework or detention, they’d send us on field trips to local areas to do different activities like cleaning up litter or volunteering at a soup kitchen. I loved this because not only was I getting less homework, but I often didn’t need to be around my classmates, who would take this time to goof off with their own friend groups
Eventually, our enrichment activity took us to a park outside our small city where a nature center put on a show of all the rescue animals they were allowed to bring (a big snake that was a pet but was released into the wild, a red-tailed hawk they were nursing back to health, etc.) and after that, we had a choice, we could either go on a long hike, or we could go fishing.
I love nature, and I visit my cousin’s cabin once every summer, so I chose to go fishing. I even asked beforehand if I could bring my own rod and tackle. I was told yes, especially since the school was footing the bill for the rest of the rods and the bait
So when they separated us into the two groups for our activities I was kind of surprised at how small the fishing group was, it was just me and 5 others, but I figured it was for the best since fewer people meant less noise to scare the fish away, right? Nope.
As soon as I noticed who else signed up for fishing I realized that it was a group of the loudest most rambunctious group of teenage boys in the school, who thought they’d be the only ones to sign up so they could just hang out, but unfortunately, I did sign up and actually wanted to fish so they were stuck fishing.
And they let me know, as soon as my hook hit the water they were loudly complaining about how boring this was and trying to get the chaperones to let them go somewhere else, but to no avail.
Eventually, I got sick of them and told a chaperone I was going further down the lake to try and find a better spot, but really I was just trying to get away from the noise. Once I found a nice spot I pulled out my best lure and spent some time fishing, and fairly quickly caught something. I reeled it in and I had caught a pretty nice-sized smallmouth bass.
I ran back to the group to show everyone, (mostly because the chaperones always insisted on getting pictures of these events) and the boys went from complete disinterest to excitement very quickly. Now that they saw someone could actually catch something they wanted to catch something too. I felt a fair amount of pride, for about 5 seconds.
As soon as I released the bass and went back to my spot the whole group followed me, staying as loud as they were before.
I tried to tell them that they’d scare off the fish but they didn’t listen, so I tried to go to a new spot and they followed me there too. At this point, I just wanted to fish in peace. I asked a chaperone to get them to stop following me but she chastised me for getting them interested then not teaching them how to fish better.
Eventually, I got sick of them and hatched an idea.
I swapped out my lure for a regular hook and marched over to a spot with a lot of reeds and lily pads. I told everyone that fish like to hide in the reeds from predators (true) and that the best way to catch fish during the daytime is to try and get their hooks in the middle of the reeds (not true) and they believed me.
Pretty soon they were getting frustrated as their hooks got caught on reeds. One guy cast his line so far it got caught on a branch, another pulled so hard trying to get his lone out of the reeds that he broke the rod the school bought, and eventually, they all gave up and went back to the first spot to hang out again. I got to spend the rest of the trip fishing in peace.”
12. Can't Charge My Phone In Class? There's Always An Alternative
“In college, I needed to be able to charge my phone in order to take pictures of the board. I had a Razr V3 at the time. Cameras on phones were still quite new, but it was better than trying to copy the contents of the board to paper at the rate the teacher liked to go.
Though this course was held in a computer lab, we weren’t allowed to use the PCs at that point as they were still being configured, though their USB ports worked fine.
That said, we weren’t allowed to use the outlets, computers (even for charging), or anything else. It was policy to allow cell phones to be used for note-taking via cameras, but my ancient little Razr only lasted an hour or so before the battery died when in camera mode.
This particular instructor was sour and generally annoyed about the existence of tools that let his students take notes effectively as he took apparent pleasure in watching students panic and trying to take down notes as fast as he could copy his own to the board.
I outright refused to play that game, and my phone was the only option left to me.
The “professor” was the one denying the use of USB ports/wall outlets, and while I would have loved a USB power bank, they didn’t exist yet – at least not that I was aware of.
What I did have, however, was a hand-crank USB charger that I had borrowed from my dad.
He had bought a few of them for an emergency kit and had given me one to use in the dorm should an emergency occur that involved extended power loss.
Now, while the rest of the class wasn’t in on what I planned to do, I freely distributed notes in the form of pictures I had taken. Note-taking in that teacher’s class was infamously terrible, so I was generally popular for sharing so openly.
In the next class period, I sat right up front, so the early digital camera could actually capture images well enough to read.
I had been told that while the phone was permitted, any form of charging that used the classroom’s resources was not, so I brought my own.
Halfway through the class period, in the middle of a lecture, I pulled out the crank, set it up on my desk, and halfway through a sentence…
The professor winced and turned around.
I was just sitting there, cranking away. My phone was pinned between two enormous textbooks to keep it in place and aimed at the board. My desk was a mess of cables and plug adapters that were needed to convert hand-crank to USB power.
After a few moments of just staring at me, he asked, “Can… I help you with something?” I just shook my head and informed him that I was good and that I just needed to try to keep my phone charged, so I could keep taking notes.
Most of the other students just giggled.
The teacher looked around, but no one objected. Most of us just smiled up at him.
Magically, the power outlets and USB ports alike suddenly became available.”
11. Don't Need My Help? Don't Say I Didn't Offer
“A few years ago, I worked at a school as a preschool teacher. The majority of my students spoke languages besides English, and many had never been away from their parents before. The first few weeks of school tended to be challenging to say the least. With a lot of gestures, pictures, and, most importantly, a predictable routine and environment, the students would acclimate to school, and the learning would begin.
One year, I had a student who was particularly slow to warm up. I’ll call her Sarah. When her mother would drop her off at school, she would scream and cry like a banshee.
Thankfully, her older brother was also in my class (mixed ages, grouping 3 to 5-year-olds), and Sarah treated him as a security blanket. Her brother would hold her hand, and they would do the routine of signing in their names and choosing a quiet activity together.
That was the only way to get her to calm down and join in.
A few weeks into the school year, picture day arrived. Now picture day can be rough in a preschool classroom, especially if the kids don’t understand what’s happening and have never seen cameras on tripods and bright light umbrella things before. We did what we could in the classroom to prepare them (taking a “field trip” to the auditorium to see the space before the equipment arrived, talking about what happens during picture day, etc), but it tended to be a tear-filled day regardless.
When it was our turn for pictures, we lined up and walked to the auditorium. I could tell from Sarah’s face that she was already uncomfortable. We sat the kids in the chairs, reminded them to keep their fingers away from the hinges, and passed out books to pass the time.
The photographer started calling kids, and I would walk them up, hand her their envelope, and for a couple of students, give her some tips.
(e.g., “So and so doesn’t speak English, so he may need you to show him what you want him to do.”) Apparently, the photographer was in a rush because she did not like me giving her tips. After a couple of kids, she got frustrated and told me, “I don’t need your help. Stay over there.”
That’s when the malicious compliance kicked in. A couple of students later, she called Sarah.
I ignored her request and walked Sarah over to her and handed her the envelope. She told me to go back by the chairs. I complied knowing exactly what was going to happen.
Not five seconds after I walked away, Sarah started screaming and crying at the top of her lungs. The whole room turned to look at her (the other 2 photographers, the kindergarteners taking pictures on the stage, the kindergarten teacher, and the clerk). The photographer looked nervous and sheepishly asked if I could help. I sent Sarah’s brother to hold her hand, and she managed to calm down. After that, the photographer let me give her tips, and we finished up quickly and went back to class.”
10. Can't Walk For Graduation If I Don't Do The Senior Project? Still Don't Care
“Back in 2013, I was a senior at a high school I had just transferred to. I had moved earlier in the year because my parents got divorced, and I made the deliberate choice to leave my old high school and move in with my dad, attending a new high school. I won’t go into much detail about the why, but it was my decision to leave my mom, my old school, and my hometown in the Bay Area, and move into a small apartment with my dad.
This comes up later.
Normally, switching schools isn’t a huge deal, but it was sort of an abrupt move; I wasn’t able to take any of the AP classes I normally would have taken because they all had mandatory summer projects that I wouldn’t have been able to do in a week. Additionally, a week into the school year, we were told about this stupid senior project they wanted us to do.
In a nutshell, there was some acronym like IMPACT or something, and each letter represented a value of the school.
They wanted us to write about how IMPACT had influenced us in our time at the school. We were then told that, should we not do the senior project, we wouldn’t be able to walk for graduation.
I heard this and thought it was stupid for a number of reasons – not the least of which being that I had only just gotten there, so their dumb acronym didn’t mean anything to me.
I brought this concern up to the lady telling us about the project, and her response was that I just “figure something out, or don’t walk.”
Well, okay then.
I brought it up with my dad, asked if he gave a damn or not if I walked for high school graduation. He did not. So I just figured that I wouldn’t do the project. End of story, right?
Ya see, a few months into this senior project, they did a checkup on every senior.
We just lined up in our homeroom to talk to some lady from the principal’s office and told her how close we were to being done. When I walked up, I told her that I wasn’t doing it.
She was confused. “You’re not going to do it? You have to. It’s non-negotiable.”
“No, it’s not. I don’t have to do it.”
“But you won’t walk if you don’t do it.”
Then we just sorta stared at each other, and she wrote my name down and shooed me away.
I correctly assumed that this would not be the last interaction I had regarding this non-issue. Several weeks later, my suspicions were confirmed when I was pulled out of class and brought into the main office.
They ushered me into the vice-principal’s personal office, where she made a bit of a show of pulling out some papers. She told me that the meeting was regarding a misunderstanding I may have had regarding the senior project.
She was apparently told that I didn’t know what to do for the assignment, and I chose to boycott the whole thing as a result. I quickly corrected her and explained that I very clearly understood what they wanted me to do but that I thought it was stupid and wasn’t going to do it. I also explained that I understood the penalty and was fine with it.
She, like the first lady, seemed confused by this course of action and just let me leave since there wasn’t really much of a conversation to be had.
A few more weeks later, I get pulled out of yet another class for this same thing. Again, I’m brought up to the vice-principal for a one-on-one. When I get there, she looks like the cat that ate the canary.
She begins, “So, I know you were in here awhile ago, and you said you didn’t want to do your senior project…”
“No,” I interrupted, “I said I wasn’t doing the project.”
“Well,” she continued, “we had a chat with your mother over the phone earlier this week.
She told us that she really wants you to walk on your graduation.”
I was quiet for a moment.
“Um… I live with my dad.”
“Right, but your mom said she’d like to attend the ceremony and see you walk.”
“I don’t think you get it,” I stated, “I live with my dad for a reason.“
If ever there was an expression that perfectly exemplified the dial-up tone, that’s the face she made. After she collected herself, I was released and headed back to class.
By this point, I was mostly just not doing the project because it was dumb.
But them calling a family member to strong-arm me was crossing a line. On top of that, they tried to strong-arm me using a parent with whom I was no contact. I decided right then that, no matter what, I wasn’t caving into their nonsense. Screw the project, screw the school, screw the weird tactics they were trying to use. Though, in my anger was also confusion.
Why did these people care so damn much about one guy not doing an optional assignment? Also, I made myself very clear, so was that the end of it?
Spoiler: It wasn’t.
A few more weeks later, I got pulled into the actual principal’s office. The principal, for reference, was one of those guys that tried to make a show of being overly friendly and goofy, but to the point where it came off as superficial.
When I got to his office, he was his usual extroverted self, greeted me, and sat me down.
“So, I’ve heard about this whole senior project problem you’ve had going on. And I get it. Trust me, I really do – you’re new here, so our motto hasn’t had as much of an impression. So, after talking about it with the folks grading the projects, we think it’d be just fine if you had a modified project.
Just do a project on one letter of IMPACT, and you’re golden.” He gave me a big warm smile.
“Sorry?” He asked, still smiling.
“I’m not doing it.”
His smile was slowly fading, “But you only have to do one letter. It’s really not that much.”
“Yeah, I got that. I’m still not going to do it.” I stated.
“But you won’t be able to walk on graduation day.”
“So what’s the issue, exactly?”
“You called my mom.”
His mouth was open like he was going to say something, but I guess nothing came to mind, as we sat in silence for a good twenty seconds – him trying to formulate an argument, and me making a Jim Halpert face.
I told him if that was everything he needed to talk about, I would be heading back to class.
He didn’t protest, so I just left.
It was after this meeting that I eventually got some context. Apparently, California schools will shuffle principals around every few years for some reason that probably makes sense, but I don’t care enough to research. Our principal was going to be switching schools after the 2013 semester had ended, and one of his big plans was to leave that high school with 100% participation in the senior projects that would otherwise not affect any final grade…
He used the threat of preventing students from walking at graduation to bully everyone into doing the dumb project.
…Almost everyone – I stuck to my guns and refused to do it. And sure enough, after the deadline had passed, they made a big deal about how happy they were that 99.6% of students completed their senior projects, even though they were hoping for 100%.
And the absolute dumbest part about this exercise? After everything was said and done, I was called in one last time to the VP’s office.
She told me that despite my refusal to do the senior project, they were still going to let me walk, and gave me five tickets for friends and family. I laughed, walked out without the tickets, and didn’t attend my own graduation.”
Another User Comments:
“There are some people who think everything that happens in high school is massively significant and others who just want to see the butt end of the place, so they can get on with life. The former is always deeply confused by the indifference of the latter.” HammerOfTheHeretics
9. Hold Me Back A Year Over 1 Credit? I'll Quit And Go To College Instead
“I hated gym class, not because of the physical activity (I was in hockey and football), but the fact there wasn’t enough time to shower before the bell. So you stink to high heaven for the rest of the day.
So I would walk the track with all the girls. Angered my coaches. So they flunk me in my junior year and won’t let me double up my senior year, so I would have to stay back.
I had already picked out my college and was accepted (tech school).
Just had to finish my senior year. So I figured I could work out something with the guidance counselor and the coach. Nope, neither would budge.
Ok, I walk away thinking I’m screwed and have to basically take one class my 2nd senior year. Then it dawns on me – can I just start going to college now? Are there other alternatives?
So I call my college admissions and college guidance counselor.
I explain my situation and what other options are available? Since this is a non-traditional college (No SATs) you can start without a diploma. The caveat is you must have one (or equivalent) to get your diploma. The state I’m from, they don’t distinguish between the two, so it won’t be an issue later on.
So I called another meeting hoping the high school admin would change their minds.
No joy – they stuck to their guns. Thinking they had me cornered, I stood up and said, “Well, I’m just going to have to drop out then. I can’t see missing a year of college to just do gym class.”
The coach thinks he’s all cute and is like, “You can’t go to college without a diploma.” I relay what the tech school admin/guidance told me of their policy on this.
Faces dropped. It set into the guidance counselor that a dropout looks bad on her and the school (small school) when the state audits. She starts backpedaling, and I wasn’t hearing any of it. Later on that night, the principal and vice-principal call to talk.
I wasn’t interested; I was all excited about starting classes in the fall.”
8. Mad That I'm Not Taking Notes? I Will But My Way
“This happened in 1982 when I was in college. At the time, I was studying Systems Analysis, learning all the new computer languages (COBOL, Fortran, Pascal, et al) and putting them into practice. Most of the teachers were great, though they all seemed to be reluctant to teach us too much for fear we’d end up taking their jobs. (I discovered that out quite quickly.) Anyway, the teacher who taught us Fortran was lazy.
Lazy to the point where he wasn’t actually teaching us at all; he was just writing parts of a program on the board and having us copy it down.
Now then, I freakin’ hate writing notes. I always have and I always will. In college every single class I had, except for his, I was able to use a mini-recorder to tape lectures. I then had someone transcribe the notes for me, and I was golden.
Only one teacher required handwritten notes, which they clearly mentioned in the syllabus they handed out in the first class. He was not that one. This matters later.
So, as I said, my Fortran teacher just wrote parts of a program on the blackboard. It was a 90-minute class, and he was able to do this about 5 times during class. Like the good college students that we all were, we diligently copied down what he wrote, and just before class ended he gave us our reading assignment (read chapters 1-3, etc.).
By the time the second class ended, I knew there was no way I was going to do this all year long.
Here’s where the malicious compliance comes in.
Before the next class, I went out and bought a few disposable cameras. As class settles in, he comes in and just starts writing on the board. People start writing. I’m sitting there waiting. Once he finishes and sits at his desk, I take a picture of the board.
He didn’t notice the first couple of times I did this, but with the third picture, he asked me what I was doing. I said I didn’t want to make any mistakes (lie), and I decided to take notes this way. He fumed, but there was nothing he could do about it.
Fast forward to the week before winter break. He informs us that he wants to review all our notes on our final class before the break (3 classes from that point) and, looking directly at me, they all must be “written out.” I knew he was specifically trying to jerk me around as this was not in the syllabus, but I was ok with it.
By that point, with the exception of these final classes, I already had my notes ready to go.
What he didn’t know, the person who transcribed my notes was my mother. She had been a legal secretary for most of her adult life and typed, on average, 80 words a minute. It took her about 20 minutes to do a class worth of notes for me and she was happy to do so since it meant I’d do well in class since I had good notes.
The final day before break, we all hand in our notes for him to review and I made sure mine was the one on top of the pile.
Everyone else had their written out notes, except for me. He looked at my notes and tossed them aside saying they were unacceptable.
Teacher: “These need to be handwritten!”
Me: “You never said HAND written; you just said that they had to be written out, and they are.”
We went back and forth a bit before one of the other students piped up and said that her notes were also typed out and that he definitely said “written” not “handwritten.”
If plumes of smoke could come out of his ears like in the cartoons, that’s what would’ve happened at that point.
He rambled on a bit, but then reluctantly acquiesced. Since his syllabus didn’t specify “handwritten” notes, other students followed suit the rest of the year and started doing notes the way I did it. His system had been beaten.
One final note: The final two weeks of the semester, we’re supposed to now run the program he’s been writing down and see what happens. This was his “final exam.” People do tend to make mistakes when writing down notes, so he gives us two weeks to do this because inevitably, there will be errors, and he wants us to learn how to correct errors. I ran the program correctly the first time (the program noted how many times a student ran it to come to its proper conclusion), and I essentially had 2 weeks off then. I should’ve gotten a solid A+ in the class, but he knocked it down to a B+ for being deceitful. No, I followed your rules to the letter.”
7. Need My Birth Certificate? Okay, But It'll Be In Another Language
“When I first graduated from college, I moved to a nearby state for a new job. (I’m in the US.) Because I am a civic-minded person — and because a presidential election was coming up — I wanted to register to vote in my new state.
In those days (before internet), you had to go to the city hall of the town/city in which you resided and fill out the paperwork at the office of the Registrar of Voters.
I only needed my driver’s license and/or social security card to do so.
The election came and went (and I voted), so all was fine. Or so I thought. About two weeks after the national presidential election, I received a phone call. It was the Registrar of Voters from the city in which I lived. She had apparently finally gotten around to actually reading my voter registration and now had decided that she needed more information.
She informed me that I was not eligible to vote, as I had been born in another country.
I explained to her that, while I was indeed born in another country, I was born to two American parents, and thus — by birth — was an American citizen.
She paused, then told me I had to bring in my naturalization papers to show her. I explained to her that I have no naturalization papers because I have never been naturalized.
I’m an American citizen at birth. (Remember that the registrar of voters is supposedly a person whose job it is to know the rules about voter eligibility.) She insisted that I needed naturalization papers. I reminded her that children born to an American parent (only one is actually needed to be a citizen) are automatically American citizens. (Moreover, while some countries of one’s birth might provide dual citizenship, the country of my birth — Switzerland — does not.)
So, we went back and forth for a while.
She doubled down and kept insisting that I needed naturalization papers while I tried to explain US citizenship laws. (I also pointed out to her that if she believed voter fraud had occurred, it was too late anyway, as I had already voted.)
Finally, she said I had to bring in those papers or my birth certificate within two weeks, or I’d be expunged from the voter rolls.
Here’s where malicious compliance comes in. When an American baby is born abroad, his/her parents are supposed to report the birth at the nearest US embassy or consulate so that a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) can be issued as an official record of the child’s claim to U.S. citizenship or nationality.
I have one of those. It’s written in English. But the Registrar of Voters didn’t ask for my CRBA.
Nope. She demanded my birth certificate.
So, that’s what I brought in to her. The beautiful birth certificate is written entirely in French (which I was pretty sure she could not read). I gave it to her, just as she had asked. As I did, I asked her if she knew French, and — no surprise — she did not. And then I watched her try to read it.
She studied that piece of paper for about two minutes, and knowing that I had complied with her ridiculous request, finally just stammered out an, “Uh, OK. This is fine.”
It’s not much, but I enjoyed her reaction.
She had no way of knowing what it was that I presented to her, but I gave her exactly what she demanded.
In retrospect, who knows what I could have shown to her? But that’s what happens when bureaucrats get a little taste of power, more than their small-minded brains can handle.”
6. Won't Let Me Take An Advanced Course? I'll Pass The Exam And Get Credit For It
They really showed that guidance counselor!
“All these bad experiences with guidance counselors reminded me of mine from a couple of years ago.
First, a little background on myself. I’m a first-generation Mexican-American who speaks fluent Spanish. Both my parents understand English but prefer that we speak Spanish at home, and I go back to visit my extended family in Mexico on a semi-frequent basis. My mom was a teacher in Mexico before I was born and made sure to teach us “proper” Spanish and everything.
Towards the end of my junior year of high school, I was registering for classes for my first semester of senior year and decided to sign up for AP Spanish.
I had taken French up until then and was decent at it but had no intention of taking the AP French exam so decided to sign up for AP Spanish to freshen up on things (reminder on where accent marks go and things like that), take the AP Spanish exam at the end of the semester for college credit, and then not have to worry about a cultural enrichment credit when I get to college.
So I finish my schedule, submit it online, and think nothing of it.
A week goes by, and I get called into the guidance counselor’s office. She informs me that I can’t take the AP Spanish class since I had not taken the Spanish 1, Spanish 2, or Spanish 3 classes. I can either sign up for Spanish 1 or AP French. Spanish 1 made no sense since there is no way I would learn anything useful in that class, and I also was not going to be a senior sitting in a class with a whole bunch of freshmen (I know this last thing doesn’t really matter, but it did for me at the time).
As for AP French, I just had no intention/interest in taking it. Our conversation went roughly as follows:
Me: Well, I’m definitely not taking Spanish 1. Is there any way I can test into AP Spanish or something?
Guidance counselor: Well, you could theoretically test into it if you pass the Spanish 3 final exam, but I see that highly unlikely as you have never taken a single Spanish class.
Me: Ok, well sign me up for the Spanish 3 exam then.
I think I should be ok. I’m fluent in Spanish and just want to take this class as a refresher.
Guidance counselor: Ok, if you insist. You’ll have to take it in the summer when all of our placement tests take place. Your options are July XX, July XX, or August XX.
Me: Oh, actually, I am going to be in Mexico all summer with my family literally speaking Spanish every day.
Is there any other day I can take it? I’ll literally take it right now if you have it.
Guidance counselor, completely straight-faced: Oh, well that’s ironic. But no, those are your only options. If you can’t test in, you can’t take that class.
Me: Ok, well, do I need to take a foreign language class then? And do I need to take AP Spanish to take the AP Spanish college exam?
Guidance counselor: You need to take 3 foreign language classes to graduate.
And anybody can take the AP exam, but it is really difficult, and you wouldn’t be able to pass without the class. There is an oral and a written segment in the exam.
Me (realizes I had already taken 3 French classes and didn’t need to take another language class at all): Ok, well, just give me a free period then and sign me up to take the AP Spanish exam at the end of next semester.
Guidance counselor: Really? You would rather just not learn anything? And you’ll just be wasting your time with that exam.
Half the people that take the class don’t even pass it.
Summer goes by, I spend it all in Mexico with my extended family, and I come back a couple of weeks before school starts with a couple of college acceptance letters. I decide on the one I want and find that they only require me to get a 4 out of 6 on the AP exam to get the cultural enrichment credit (might be out of 7 points – I don’t remember exactly).
I enjoy my slightly lighter semester, and a couple of days before the exam, I just do some refreshers with my mom and call it good.
The time comes along, and I get called in to take the exam. Overall, went fairly simple. For the oral portion, the facilitator ran out of questions to ask, so we just ended up talking about soccer in Spanish and having a normal conversation. I was the first one to finish the exam and ended up leaving early.
A couple of weeks later, I have to go and pick up my test results, so I have something to send to my college certifying that I passed.
The look on the guidance counselor’s face when she had to be the one to hand me the paper and tell me that I got a 6/6 and the highest score for the school was amazing.
In hindsight, I should probably be grateful for her that I didn’t take a class as it turns out I didn’t actually need to take it anyway.”
Another User Comments:
“Glad that worked out for you.
I’ve heard several horror stories of Mexican Immigrants taking a high school Spanish class for an easy grade, only to barely pass it as the high school Spanish was in Castilian Spanish, so all of their completely correct answers have slight technical problems, making them wrong. Nothing that’d stop an actual conversation, just not technically correct. But that was also years ago – maybe they’ve finally wised up and started teaching Mexican Spanish.” SecondTalon
5. Act Out And Tell ME To Call The Cops? You Won't Like It
“Australian here. To set the scene, I had minor surgery in the morning (Kidney stones aren’t fun) and decided that it would probably be best to Uber to an appointment instead of drive.
For most of the Uber drive, everything goes relatively peacefully, we’re about 2 minutes out and everything has been going as expected. What I wasn’t expecting was for some ‘roided up stress head in a 4WD to have an insecure masculinity meltdown.
Traffic is a little backed up, and my Uber driver does a socially frowned upon, but not illegal maneuver, as we are stopped to let turning traffic have unrestricted access to a side road (not something we have to do, as it’s not an actual intersection).
Uber driver notices that the guy in the right lane has done the same because the gap in front of him is too small for his giant 4WD.
She indicates, takes that opening, and then is immediately honked at by the 4WD. She looks confused at me and asks if she did anything wrong, I shook my head.
We are approaching the lights that caused the backup, and our emotionally stunted 4WD owner speeds violently into the lights right turning lane, screaming at us through his car, giving us the finger, the works.
I laugh, the Uber driver ignores.
As we continue up to the lights going straight on, 4WD owner slams his 4WD into the straight lane with no warning or indication and slams his brakes on. It’s worth noting, that this was done at a well-surveilled set of lights.
He’s in front of us, and brake checks us again as we cross over the lights, and then he turns off onto the next side street… the side street I was going to get my Uber driver to drop me off on.
I get her to go one street further up, and U-turn, so as to not antagonize the clearly angry driver and give him time to get ahead. She agrees, does the U-turn, then turns onto the side street.
Only guess what is at the entrance to the street? The 4WD. My eyes roll into the back of my head as I realize there is a pretty solid likelihood this dude is going to come over and try and abuse us.
The Uber driver drops me off and asks nervously, “do you want me to hang around?” but I shake my head.
I get my phone out and hit record just in case, and sure enough, as my first steps down the street happen, Mr.
I purchase large cars to make up for deficiencies elsewhere is coming over.
He’s Greek or Lebanese. I can tell right away. The clothes, the annoyed strut, the glasses, the skin tone.
Sure enough, he starts right away being verbally aggressive, and his accent confirms my suspicions. For 8 minutes, I let him go, complaining all about her driving… but when I bring up his own actually illegal actions saying ‘so what?’
He tells me he doesn’t care if I’m recording, does the short man syndrome thing of entering my personal space and calling me “tough because I’m big” and telling me how tough he is for doing “4 years in prison” and then makes a fatal mistake, he tells me to call the cops.
So I do.
He’s standing there, riled up, a mixture of nervous and self-righteous energy. Except I tell the police immediately that I arrived at the location via an Uber, and was being harassed.
When I mention the word Uber, his head tilts, and when I explain his actions, as well as him admitting to them on camera… he looks surprised and then concerned, and then he runs to his car, but not before I can relay to the operator his license plate.
Police arrive later, and I show them the video footage of the altercation. I didn’t think anything serious would happen, most likely just a fine unless he’d done this kind of thing before.
Turned out he had done worse, he had been involved in a nonfatal hit and run where the police were only able to get a description of the vehicle and of the driver.
He was sentenced just last week, 6 months. Not much, as it was his first offense… at least now when he tells folks he’s spent time in prison he won’t actually be lying.”
4. I Should Go To The Principal If I Don't Like Your Late Policy? Will Do!
“Over a decade ago, I was in my half credit, required civics course in high school. It went over the essentials of how my country’s and province’s government works, what the various ministers’ roles were, and other things like that. The teacher of this class was a woman who started the semester very aggressively with all of the students. Our first class was entirely her lecturing about the rules of her classroom.
Once the bell rings, the class starts, and she locks the door. If you’re late, you’re not going to her class that day.
If you miss class without a sick note, she won’t help you catch up on what you missed, including not giving handouts or what the text readings were for the day.
She is an adult, and we were teenagers, so we will respect her.
If we don’t like it, we can go to the principal.
She enforced all of these to the letter.
Even more so if you had the misfortune of having had a sibling go through her class before that she did not like, just as I did. But I made sure to try and stay on her if not good, at least non-antagonistic side.
I lived in the country outside of the town where the school was, and my bus was notorious for only letting you get to your morning class on time by the skin of your teeth, and you could forget being on time if you had to go to your locker for books or drop off winter gear.
So I drove to school every morning in a truck that was older than me, ran on hope and desperation, and had a hole where the radio used to be a decade ago that would occasionally spark at you if the road was too bumpy. This way, I was always not only on time for her class but early. I sat in the front, paid as much attention as I could, wrote notes, answered questions, did great on her quizzes.
I was determined in my teenage mind that I could change her opinion of me and show that I wasn’t my brother.
But none of that mattered, I was knocked points off of quizzes because of my poor handwriting (I would later as an adult find out I have dysgraphia), I would only be selected to answer a question if mine was the only hand, and even then if I was wrong I’d be berated instead of corrected.
She did not like me, and over the course of that half-semester, made it very clear that she would only ever view me with malevolence, and if I was lucky, I’d get to the point of ambivalence.
Come to the end of the course, we just had to write an in-class written exam. Lo and behold, this was also the day that my hope and desperation gave out, my truck broke down, and the bus passed while I was trying the normal fixes to get it running again.
I was lucky that my brother had some of his business to take care of in town that morning, so he gave me a ride in. But I still got to class a couple of minutes after the bell. So I knocked, in my pure and innocent mind, I thought that my perfect attendance and obvious willingness to learn the material of the class would be worth something.
To my surprise, it was! She actually opened the door, a first of the semester, and told me that I was late and obviously didn’t have any respect for her or the rest of my class to interrupt their exam like this. I didn’t like that, so I followed her word and went to the principal about it.
Turns out, most people did not follow that last rule of hers and instead would take the period as free, and when they got called into the office the next day for skipping class, would be given a free pass because of the secretary’s general opinion of this particular teacher.
But I was one of the first to actually come and complain about being locked out. Even better, I was coming to complain that she was refusing to allow me to write my final exam for the class! The office secretary told me to just wait there for a minute and went to talk to the principal. She came back with a look of schadenfreudian joy on her face, and with the largest Cheshire smile, picked up her phone and dialed the PA in the teacher’s room.
Over the phone she said, quite loud enough for the whole office to hear, “Ms. Redacted, Mr. Principal-Name is asking that you not force a student to fail and allow Mr. My-Last-Name in to write his exam.”
With that, I marched back to class, at this point only having about half the period left to write the exam. She let me into the room with a glare that would make a more godly man think he was seeing the face of demonic possession.
Not only had I subverted her rules, but I had also gotten her called out about it on loudspeaker in front of the whole class and made her lose face in front of those teenagers she demanded so much respect from. I wrote, and finished the exam, handing it in with little time to spare at the end of the period, and ended up passing the class with what I think was a much poorer grade than I deserved. I followed up with my cousin who took her class a few years later, and apparently, her policy of locking students out of class for being late was gone by the time she took the class. I don’t know if it was because of me, but I like to think it was.”
3. Try To Get Our Fence Removed? Since You Wanna Play That Way...
“Alright, this occurred years ago and is somewhat of a long one.
I grew up in a bit of a strict state and the town I lived in was pretty into everyone’s business. Please remember this detail a bit later since it’s going to play a very vital role in my story. When I moved to the house I grew up in, we had neighbors who lived in a house right next to our backyard but technically on a different street.
This fact will also play a vital role. For this story, we’re going to call the neighbors the Murrays.
The Murrays seemed nice when we first met. I played with their daughter as she was close to a year younger than me and their son who was five years older than me. Their dad became friendly with my dad since it was an extra hand to help with major construction projects.
We were friendly enough that when we wouldn’t play in my backyard, we’d let the children and their friends or family play there.
However, as the years went on we started to see their true colors. Anytime I would get a major item like a guitar or a dune buggy, even getting a major role in the school play, their daughter would try to copy me such as getting a dirt bike or a guitar and join the drama club only to then quit when seeing how much work was involved.
The dad would borrow my dad’s woodworking tools and never return them, the mother had a few screws loose and I remember bringing an art kit over only for it to be banned since ‘it made a mess.’ The brother probably was the only decent one in the family but had some of his own issues (that’s a different story) and they developed a hatred for my mother when they discovered her religious heritage.
Now here’s where the revenge story comes in: I was in my backyard driving my dune buggy and just refreshing some dirt tracks for the spring, I was about twelve at the time and as I was driving my dune buggy, I noticed a party going on at my neighbor’s house. It turned out it was their daughter’s 12th birthday party. I remember we gave her a gift to celebrate it but I wasn’t invited.
I told my parents and they were annoyed.
Mainly because we bought her a nice gift for her birthday and the fact that her family didn’t have the decency to invite me made my family livid, especially my dad. My parents confronted The Murrays who apologized and bought me a birthday gift to make up for it since my birthday was in the same month as their daughter’s.
A few weeks after that occurred, Mrs. Murray had trees put up around the border of our properties so they could have their privacy but still use our land.
My dad was furious. One thing about my dad needs to be made clear here everyone: he’s a 2 tour combat war veteran with SEVERE PTSD. And when you anger my father to a certain extent, that anger will stay for DECADES! Since both my parents were sick of their treatment of us, my parents hired a local contractor and had them create a fence to completely fence off our properties.
Not even a single door to allow them in our backyard.
The Murray’s were enraged we did this since it wasn’t on Mrs. Murray’s terms of privacy and cut their ‘friendship’ with us. Well, remember when I said I grew up in a town that had its nose in everyone’s business? A few days after this, an official from my town paid us a visit and told us they had a report of an illegal fence being made onto our property without ‘proper documentation.’ My dad knew immediately who called and in the fashion of my dad, showed the official paperwork which was not only ten years old; but had one major loophole: it never had an expiration date.
Because of this, the town official couldn’t argue with this and approved there wasn’t an issue with the fence. However, right before he left, dad gave the official a ‘tip’ on the Murrays since it was them who called on us (Mr. Murray even confirmed he called the town on us weeks later). The tip? The Murrays have a small above-ground pool. One of those trashy ‘build your own above grounds’ you can buy at your local warehouse store or wherever.
Now as heavily stated, my town had a lot of regulations in order to live there and if you didn’t follow them, they’d be all over you like a bee on sugar until it met the town’s standards. My dad always found a way to get what he wanted and it turns out The Murrays had hedges surrounding the area where their pool was and dad tipped the official off that it was actually against town regulations.
Lo and behold, dad was right. The town was all over the Murrays afterward and told them to either cough up the expenses to get a proper fence in within a month or tear the pool down. The Murrays were forced to tear their pool down, their only source of outdoor entertainment.
Since then, Mr. Murray ‘made up’ with my dad but it didn’t last long at all.
We moved away from that neighborhood three years ago and mainly get along with our current neighbors.
After I told my dad about this story, he openly admitted he forced The Murrays to have the trees they planted to be dug up and moved farther back since the fence was going on the property line. One of the subjects my dad studied in college was horticulture and since the trees couldn’t get direct sunlight, the trees died.
Basically, this is my dad for you!
My dad also recently revealed to me that those trees they placed were technically on our end of the property line. I wasn’t aware of this at the time and he told me years later. If I recall correctly, since they technically built on our property without our permission, the trees were illegal. My dad wanted the fence on that spot and it was technically our land right there so that’s why he made the Murrays move their trees.”
2. Want Me To Talk Less? You've Got It
Haven’t we all done this to a parent before? But for a whole week? Dang!
“So this is a pretty old story; I was probably around 9 or 10. That being said, I was a spiteful little pest when I felt wronged.
So I was a pretty loud kid. Energetic, hyper, chatty, you get it. I would talk and talk and talk, and apparently, I had no sense of volume.
Well, after ages and ages of my family telling me I was being too loud, I thought, “Maybe they’re right. I’ll work on speaking at a better volume so that I don’t annoy anyone.” So I began speaking more quietly. I wasn’t whispering by any means. I just wasn’t being super loud anymore. Apparently, this didn’t work either. My family would constantly ignore or mishear me and tell me to speak up and raise my voice because they couldn’t hear me.
I tried, but whenever I raised my voice, it was like suddenly I was being too loud again and so I continued speaking quietly and getting ignored.
One day, this sparked something in me after going about 10 minutes trying to talk to my mom and being drowned out by my brother. I thought, “Fine, you don’t want me to be loud, and you don’t want me to be too quiet? If I can’t speak at a volume that will make you listen to me, I just won’t speak at all.”
So I began learning sign language.
For about a week, I would say absolutely nothing, only nodding or shaking my head while I attempted (and failed) to learn sign language.
“What do you want for dinner?” grunts of indifference “Do you want peas?” nod
She caught on and asked me what was up. I muttered a grumpy, “You didn’t listen to me, so now I just won’t speak at all!” She basically just said, “Okay, well, write stuff down if you need to say anything.”
And so came the notebook.
I would walk around with this little notebook and scribble my various demands on it throughout the day. “When are we having dinner?” I would write, and my mom would glance at it and say, “5 O’clock. Do you want some carrots until then?” to which I would nod solemnly, disappointed at the lack of chaos I was causing.
I’ll admit, my mom was (and is) a smart woman.
She very much believed in the “my kid will get sick of annoying me as long as I don’t react.”
She was right, but I knew her game. I had no intention of being the first to break.
And then we went to church. My mother noticed pretty quickly that I wasn’t speaking to ANYONE, not even the elderly folk interested in chatting to me. I would just scribble down a little, “I don’t talk anymore because I’m mad at Mom” on my notebook and flash it like a badge of honor whenever someone questioned me.
She was not pleased.
It didn’t take long after that for my mom to hatch the magnificent plan to basically bribe me with dessert to get me out of my silence phase, I held strong for a few days but then she pulled out the big guns (cupcakes) and I had to surrender.
Once I had admitted (vocally) that I felt like they never listened to me so “why should I even talk?” It was pretty easy to talk through my anger with her.
My subtle act of rebellion may not have toppled the monarchy, but I got a lot of satisfaction out of driving my mother nuts for a week or so, plus free cupcakes.
And then I promptly went back to yelling everything I said.”
Another User Comments:
“I was a loud kiddo too, and nobody realized why until I was 13, and a hearing test revealed a rather complex, undiagnosed hearing impairment. Once we found out the why my parents worked on helping me learn to modulate my voice. Today I read lips and am told I am very soft-spoken.” Waifer2016
1. Need A Number Right Now? I'll Give You A Random One
You said you needed a number.
“Long ago, at a Fortune 500 company far away…
I had a consulting gig with Giganto Corp., helping them code their Java 1.0 web app.
My first task was to update the app’s UML diagrams, which were manually maintained and required per “the process.” I got out of that task as quickly as I could by just putting it off and writing code instead, and nobody ever complained that the diagrams which had been out-of-date when I was hired continued to be out-of-date.
But I think that since they had given someone the task, my boss was able to check it off and claim compliance with the process. Not malicious compliance, but that’s just setting the scene for what kind of workplace this was.
Giganto liked to rotate their middle managers around routinely whether things were going well or not. I never knew whether this was to give them more experience in different departments or limit the damage that any one manager could do in one place, or what.
But partway through the gig, our middle manager got rotated out, and New Manager decided what we had to have was a Gantt chart. UML diagrams and Gantt charts, a clear recipe for success, and the project would be a shining beacon of New Manager’s abilities.
One of the things you have to have for a Gantt chart is numbers. New Manager needed (or at least his Gantt chart software required), for every task we had done, its estimate, and the actual time it took.
He also needed estimates for incomplete tasks. And, of course, the dependencies between tasks. Now, for all the processes this place had, they didn’t have any tracking of the time taken on a task, not on software, not in a spreadsheet, not on index cards.
Nothing. Programming led assigned tasks, we did tasks, moved on to the next one. So where was New Manager going to get his numbers? In a meeting, of course.
We all gathered for the Meeting of Numbers. For each task, New Manager would name the task, and then the developer who did it would say how long it took. “DB component for account table?” “1 week.” “UI component for account selection?” “In progress for 2 days, 4 days left.” And so it went until New Manager impaled me on a task from my past:
“Controller for account configuration?”
“Uh, I did that, but I don’t know how long it took.”
“No, that was months ago.
I really don’t remember.”
“But I need a number.”
“I’m sorry, any number I gave you would be made up. You probably don’t want a made-up number, do you?”
His frustration was starting to show. “No, of course not. But I have to have a number.”
His face turned red, and he hit the table with a closed fist. (I thought that only happened in movies; I’ve never seen it in any business setting before or since.)
“I just need a number!”
Finally, the light bulb went off in my poor, confused brain.
Having only once said he wouldn’t accept a made-up number, he had said three times (and loudly) that he needed a number. Three is more than one, so:
“Four point five, three days!”
The other, smarter developers were probably making up many of their numbers also, just with less fuss than I made out of it.
Gantt charts are of questionable usefulness in software, and with the data he was getting, probably even less useful. I think it’s a sure bet that the Gantt chart was useless in predicting when the project would be done. But contractors being expensive jettisonable pods, I left the project before it was finished and never found out for sure how it turned out.”