People Chit Chat About Their Validating Revenge Stories
24. I Became More Successful Than Those Who Fired Me
“After graduating from the University of Belgrade, I was hired as an instructor in my old department while doing a master’s degree there. The system there works differently than in North America, and these positions (lector, assistant), which are real junior faculty jobs, are held while you do your master’s and Ph.D., at which point you are hired as a docent (assistant professor). Well, after ascertaining that I wasn’t sucking up to her sufficiently, my advisor, who pretended to be my good friend, (as I found out much later) stormed into the department chair’s office and demanded that either I be dismissed or she would leave.
So, the guy, who was a major pushover, called me the evening before the beginning of spring term, as I was prepping for a class, to tell me not to show up the next day.
My revenge has simply been to become more successful and better-known in my academic field than the people who had me fired. Fast forward about 17 years, I’m a tenured associate professor in the US, is a leading program in my field (on the global level), hold a Ph.D. and have postdoctoral training from two extremely well-regarded universities, have a strong publication and grant record, and have graduate students with more impactful research and publication records than the people who had me fired.
That’s all the revenge I need.”
23. I Told The Recruiters About My Old Company
“The first time I got fired from an IT job. I was relatively new to what I was doing. My supposed mentor was absolutely no help in getting me acclimated to the new company or some of the tech they used. I made a couple of mistakes that weren’t small but not disasters. That, along with me noticing that my mentor was actually trashy at his job and making suggestions to improve things to people other than him only, let me to getting fired.
I had only been there about 45 days and was still on probation. The company was privately held and as such did not have to adhere to certain workplace laws (this was 1999–2000 – they were still using Windows for Workgroups on workstations) if you had an office with a door, you could smoke in your office. I never interacted with customers and would on occasion have to crawl under desks and other such things but still had to wear a tie at all times (even while under desks).
I was quickly becoming not a fan of the company and work.
I got called into a VP office. In there were my manager, his manager, their VP, another VP (who I did get along with), and the head of security. They told me it was not working out and they were letting me go. My reaction was just ‘Ok’ and I asked to get my personal belongings but was told no, I would have to come back after 5 pm when everyone had gone home.
On the way home, I stopped at the recruiter who I worked with to get the job (who is a friend) and explained what happened. The company’s call to them after is another story.
I started job hunting. I explained to every recruiter exactly what happened and told them some of the things I endured. I told them not to refer people for my old job because the pain is not worth the and gave them my friend’s number (as well as a contractor who came in after me for 2 days before quitting who was also a friend and reference) so they could verify (which some did).
I found a job in 3 weeks. 6 months later I was at a conference and my old company had a booth there. I saw the VP I liked and we chatted. I asked if they found my replacement. He said they were having a tough time because recruiters were not very helpful these days. I never told him why that might be but laughed a lot inside.”
22. They Terminated Me So I Reported Them To OSHA
“I used to work as a manager for a small natural grocer that paid fairly well but had me pay a ton for health insurance for my family. After taxes and insurance, I was barely surviving and needed to pick up another job. Because I had hired most of the staff for two new stores I knew they did not have a policy on working for other grocers at the same time.
In fact, we were hiring meat cutters from other chains knowing full well they would be working at both companies. To offset my short income I picked up a part-time job stocking groceries at another chain. They found out about it and terminated me, and they immediately changed their policy. I, however, got even by reporting them to OSHA for several violations I knew they were doing. After the inspection, they were fined over $25,000 for it and were watched closely for several years after.”
21. I Made Random Deposits That Made The Company Insane
“I worked for a company and we did our own bank deposits vs having a carrier pick up the deposits.
The deposit had to match up perfectly or we would get an email from the corporate auditing team saying ‘Please research and reply with findings’.
I was offered a job from the competition and thus they would not let me work through my 2-week notice (Even though my start date for orientation was in 2 weeks) so I thought since they are not allowing me to have a paycheck for 2 weeks then it is time to have some fun.
I felt that the best revenge would be not to steal but to donate as I am against stealing.
I still had the bank account number so a few times a week I would make random deposits (4 cents one day, 11 cents another, but always less than a quarter).
Just knowing that they would be spending HOURS having to research those random deposits were worth the less than $3.00 I spent over the next 6 months.”
20. I Took Off My Apron And Told Them I'll Be Back
“After several jobs through my late teens and well into my twenties—working in a fancy restaurant, a bowling alley, a beachside theme park, and a college cafeteria—I finally ended up working in a pizza parlor owned by a high school buddy of mine and his first partner.
I had hoped to buy in when his partner eventually decided to get into a different business, but another high school ‘friend’ bought in instead because he had upfront (he was a rich ‘kid’—we were all in our late twenties at that point—the only reason he had the was that his dad gave it to him), and I was still working on securing a loan.
Anyway, the new partner—GB—was a jerk from day one. He pulled me aside and told me that if I ever crossed him he’d cut my nuts off (yeah—he actually said that—I think he felt threatened by my ‘lofty’ position in the business).
I told GB, ‘Fine, have a nice time hiring a new de facto manager then,’ (I was more or less running things because the owners were kind of lazy) and I was halfway down the block when my friend chased me down and begged me to come back.
He said he’d told his new partner to back off.
I sighed, and, against my better judgment, I agreed to come back… I knew things would eventually come to a head again. Sure enough, a year and a half, maybe two years later, the lid did come off… I don’t remember exactly what set GB off, but we got into a row and he threatened to fire me…
I just flipped him the bird, told him to get lost, and walked out the door.
A week later I was working at the pizza parlor across the street as a shift supervisor for the same pay.
Hold… The story’s not over yet.
I had been at the other pizza parlor for a month or two, when GB stormed in and challenged me to a fight, claiming that I had been badmouthing him.
He was just steamed because I was working for the competition.
Now, I’m more than a bit of a nerd—glasses and everything—and relatively mild-mannered. In school, I had always been one of the kids that other kids thought they could get away with bullying. I would let things slide for a bit because insults just roll right off my back. But whenever it got to the point that they got physical, they got a nasty surprise, because I never backed down from a fight.
But GB had only ever seen the nerdy relatively mild-mannered side of me (other than the row we had). So when GB challenged me, he thought I was going to cower with fright. The look on his face when I took off my apron and told the other employees that I would be right back was priceless.
But wait for it… the story is still not over.
As it turned out, the actual manager of the pizza shop came out from the kitchen and told GB that she had called security to escort him off the property. He left, seething with rage.
So I worked at the other pizza parlor for another year or so when my friend came into the shop and told me that GB was out because he had been caught having a (consensual) relationship with a younger girl.
GB wasn’t arrested or anything like that. The girl’s father and GB’s dad were apparently friends, so the worst that happened was that GB’s dad cut him off and told him to sell out and pay him back the amount he had given him.
No… stop… stop… come back!… It didn’t end there!
My friend had apparently decided to sell out too, and he bought a bigger pizza parlor across town with a new partner.
He wanted me to manage the place and offered me a big fat pay raise. So I parted ways amicably with the manager of the pizza shop I was currently working at and moved on.
A few months after that, on my way to work, I spotted a very weary-looking GB in grubby clothes and grease stains walking out of a petrol station just down the street from the pizza place.
The glare on his face when he saw me chuckling at him was the best revenge I’ve ever had.”
19. I Made Sure To Get The Car How I Wanted It
“So this happened last year when I was about to buy my very first car. My father had picked out the car for me just before he passed away, and therefore I felt like had to get exactly this car. Not the most logical decision but hey, it was a nice car. And it was kind of the last “gift” from my dad.
So I had checked out the car, tested it, written the contract to buy it and put in a few notes.
Since it was a used car, it did have some scratches in the paint and the “shelf” in the trunk had a huge hole in it. I had taken picture proof of each “flaw” so that I could document them and compare them to the potential fix. The contract also stated, that all scratches and “errors” would need to be fixed, else I could back out of the deal without problems.
Turns out this was all very necessary.
A week after signing the contract, they called me and told me the car was now ready for pick-up. I drove there alone and checked out the car. I quickly noticed that the trunk-shelf was now missing, and pointed this out. Afterwards I quickly realized that not a single scratch had been fixed and there was a NEW scratch on the hood of the car (Since I had written the contract, no-one else was supposed to drive the car.
So this new scratch was a scandal). I was furious, quickly took a picture and demanded that this was fixed. The sales rep agreed to have it fix, clearly embarrassed and we agreed that I would pick it up the week after.
The next week, when I came to pick up the car with my brother, we were met by a new sales rep. The trunk-shelf had been replaced and most scratches had been poorly fixed (you could still see where they had been, though now they were now painted white).
Except the one on the hood – which was huge and deep, by the way. I demanded, once again, that this was fixed and the sales rep quickly ran out to get the manager. My brother was outraged, going on about how terrible the service was here – that I had now come to pick up my car two times, and both times they had not lived up to the contract.
The manager came out – he was probably a mid 40s smug know-it-all who was used to “dealing” with young upset women. He looked at the scratch and then this happened:
Him: ‘You wanna cancel the contract over this? This is nothing!’
Me: ‘I expect you to fix this scratch, as we agreed in the contract.’
Him: ‘You could easily drive around with this. It’s not a problem.’
Me: ‘I want it fixed! This is a deep scratch – the car will start to rust from here.’
He rolls his eyes at me and then pulls out something that looks like Tipp-Ex fluid (something you use to correct spelling errors written with ink) and a safety pin.
I watched him silently as he dipped the tip of the pin into the white “paint” and carelessly covered up part of the scratch.
Me: ‘You don’t have to do it right now. I want it done properly!’
Him: ‘This is how it is done! (he yelled at me)’
I waited patiently and about 30 seconds later he was done with what looked like the crappiest fix ever. He had managed to cover the middle of a long scratch – but just a bit in the middle.
So now it just looked like two smaller scratches. Still deep and obvious to the eye. He asked if I was satisfied now, and I just left the store without my new car. When we got home, we sent the sales rep an email, saying we would like the cancel the deal, as we believed the car did not live up to the contract. The manager promptly responded, saying that the car lived up to the contract, and that if I backed out now, then I would have to pay for all the repairs and fixes they had done on the car.
At this point, I was done and I wanted this manager fired. So, I did what any sane person would do. I reached out to the owner. Turns out, the son of the owner (who by chance happened to actually run this and another of their dealerships) was an old friend of mine from childhood. So I sent my old friend an email with the copy of the contract, the email from the manager, the pictures of the damages and the pictures of the “fixes” – I naturally put the manager in CC of the email, so that he could see I had escalated the case.
Needless to say, the manager – once again – promptly responded saying he would personally make sure that my car was in pristine order and that I could pick it up 2 days later.
When I picked up the car, it was indeed in pristine order. Absolutely as new (still not convinced they didn’t give me a brand new car). The manager also gave me a few bottles of champagne, apologized for his previous behavior and gave me a few coupons to have my first few checks for free. After months of fighting I finally had my car – and I think that manager will think twice before trying to trick a young buyer again.”
18. I Was The Vice President So He Couldn't Do Anything
“In the early 2000s, I was working for an Army hospital as a civilian. My supervisor was an E-8. He came to me and said for me to grab a broom and sweep up the shop. I explained to him that because we are a union I could not do the job of another union member (housekeeping). He kept hounding me with ‘I am your supervisor and an E-8 in the army and you will do as I say.’ This kept up for the whole day.
Finally, I got tired of it and told him if he did not quit bothering me I would quit (I already had another job offer for a higher wage but liked this job because my wife also worked there). He kept up so I went over to my computer and wrote out my resignation effective immediately. He asked what I was doing and I told him ‘I quit’.
He then told me I cannot quit. ‘professionalism dictates I give him two weeks’ notice,’ I told him ‘you find me a professional and I’ll give him two weeks’ notice.’ The entire department was listening because we were getting loud and they all busted up laughing. He told me he would make sure that I never work anywhere in the area again. At the time, I was the VP of our local association so I knew he could do nothing.
Two years later, he was retiring and started looking for a civilian job. I let everyone know what a jerk he was and nobody would hire him. He ended up going to Hawaii to work there. I got a call from the staff there because he had been in charge there before he came to our shop and now he was low man on the totem pole. They made his life hateful.”
17. I Got Problems From Diet Cola Addiction
“I’m a trusts and estates paralegal. I left the large law firm I’d been at for over six years to go to a boutique law firm (big law firm had a new office administrator that was horrible… she’s since been fired, but I digress). After moving to a boutique law firm (BTL) I knew that they were not a great fit. They discussed politics, religion and other topics that I don’t believe should be discussed in the workplace.
At the first office holiday party, the receptionist brought brownies baked with magic leaf (legal in Washington). At least half of the staff partook and one of the partners hit it hard. In my mind, completely unprofessional. I was the first to leave the party. I typically would go into my office and other than pleasantries to everyone kept to myself.
Near the end of my first year with BTL I had health issues: insomnia, horrible back pain, foggy brain, and more.
This made it difficult for me to concentrate and bill hours (a law firm’s commodity is time so it’s a big deal if you’re not meeting billable hours). Eventually, I was diagnosed with Stage 3B Chronic Kidney Disease but wasn’t provided any advice for improving my life other than to limit my diet cola addiction (I should have been advised to stop diet cola immediately as it is horrible for the kidneys).
Anyhow, I let the paralegal in the office next to me and one of the partners know what was going on but was given zero consideration with respect to the hours required of me.
I struggled for about 8 more months after my diagnosis. I’d spent 16 days in February in Tanzania and Zanzibar on vacation. Two weeks after that I was called into the conference room and two of the partners were there.
They informed me that I was fired because they audited my computer and saw that I had recorded a Deed for someone outside the firm and scanned it on their system before forwarding it. There was zero conflict of interest and I recorded the Deed after I’d been at the Courthouse to open up new probate (the Assessor’s Office is across the street from the Courthouse).
I also took the 15 minutes of personal time I used to record the Deed from my lunch that day. As for using the scanner, I agree that it was firm property and I should not have done that but, let’s be real, every person in that office (or any office) will make the occasional personal copy or scan. They managed to use that as a reason to fire me with cause and made it clear that they would challenge any unemployment claim I would make.
They bullied me. They had never given me any warning or anything… just pack up your desk and get out.
My revenge is that I’m living a better life now and the time I was unemployed I used it for self-reflection and finding how to heal my body. I work at a large firm in another state, my adult children and I share a home (love them!), and my toxic mother is out of my life. In many ways, it was the best thing that could have happened at the time. Don’t get me wrong, unemployment sucked but I love my new job, my CKD is now down to Stage 2, and I have a new understanding for other people enduring hardships.”
16. The Company Should Have Been Keeping Backups
“I was working for a company where I became the only person who knew my job since everyone else had left who knew it as well. For six months I had let management know that we needed more people trained to do this work since I was the only one left. If I left or even took a vacation for a week or two, they would have problems.
Next, they were thinking about laying people off. So the management was shifting work over to me that single people handled so that I could do the work. This meant that I was the only one who had access to the data on my computer and knew where it was located. Anyway, it was a good sign the management was planning on keeping me around.
We knew the layoffs were coming, and we were told when it would happen, but not who.
The morning of the layoffs they informed us that the president of the company the night before decided that HR would handle them and the choice of who will be laid off. Of course, this was now done strictly by numbers in a book and not by what a person contributes.
So during the middle of the day, my manager gives me a tap on the shoulder to come with him to HR and power down my computer, right now.
Then sign the paperwork, pack my stuff up, and out the door I went.
So the work I was doing did not transfer to someone and was shut down in the middle and no records of where I was. Also no records of the work I was doing. No one knew how to do some of the work I was doing. There was a bunch of stuff that I only knew where it was located and what it was called when I left.
Plus the company had a habit of not making backups of information being deleted off a person’s computer and out of their network account. Some stuff they considered important or required for FAA was stored in a safe place, but most of my stuff did not fall into that category. It had to be kept separate to save space on those servers.
Let’s just say the people that I talked with after leaving were not happy that I was one of the people who got laid off. Laying me off cost them a lot of time and coin.”
15. Steal My Hard-Earned Coin? I'll Make Sure Your Car Doesn't Start
“My older brother is a huge piece of trash. Like puts 200 dollars of charges on my dad’s credit card piece of trash. One weekend, he decided he was going to drive to Chicago to see his friends. He is very irresponsible with his finances and spends the majority of a paycheck in one week, claiming it is for gas. So, he barged into my room asking if I could lend him money.
I refused, knowing full well I would never see it again. He kept prying at me. Trying to get me to agree. At the time, I had just gotten my first job (I was 14) and did not have a debit card or account yet. I only had cash. Sitting in my wallet was around 400 dollars I had earned from fixing computers for neighbors and friends.
I wasn’t going to give him any of it.
Later that night, I was lying in my bed, eyes were closed. I heard somebody walk into my room. I opened my eyes just a little bit. It was my brother. He grabbed all of them out of my wallet. I didn’t do anything. A few moments later, I heard him start his car. I figured he had just gone to Chicago and I was screwed.
Around 15 minutes later, I heard him come back. Revenge time. I heard him close his bedroom door. I waited around 2 hours, until it was around midnight. I snuck downstairs, grabbed a flashlight, and headed outside. He had locked his car, so I headed back inside, and searched through my mom’s purse for the spare. (Sorry mom. I didn’t steal anything tho). I headed back out and opened the car door.
I popped open the hood and took a look at what I could mess up. He was destined to leave the following morning. I didn’t just want to disconnect his battery. I opened up the fuse box that holds the relays for the starter, and just about anything that actually makes the car run. Using some pliers, I popped every single one out, took them to the driveway, and beat the crap out of them with a hammer.
I wanted to do something like put the bits on his seat, but he weighed like 210 and could easily break every bone in my 140-pound body.
Instead, I threw them out and waited to collect my reward the next morning.
I woke up early, only running on 6 hours of sleep. He walked down the stairs carrying some bags, grunted at me and walked out the door. I was on my phone nonchalantly browsing Reddit. Around 10 minutes later, I hear his car door shut. followed up by it opening, then the hood popping.
At this time, my brother was pretty illiterate on how cars worked. The battery was connected, so he figured it had died. At 6 AM. He storms into the house
Him: “MY CAR WON’T START IAKHSDGLIKAGDH!!!”
Me: “Oof. Maybe you could get mom to give you a jumpstart in a couple of hours?”
Him: “I CAN’T WAIT THAT LONG. I HAVE TO GO NOW!!!!!”
Though I was 14, I had a 2004 ford ranger with 14k miles on it that I had been working on for 2 years, that would be mine at 15.
He threw his keys down on the table next to me.
Him: “WHAT ABOUT THE RANGER? CAN THAT JUMPSTART IT?”
Me (getting more ideas on how to mess with him)
Him: “WELL HELP ME THEN.”
I got the keys and backed it out of my garage into the driveway. I purposefully came out at an angle, missing his car by about a ¼ of an inch. He was so sweaty and angry.
I backed up more and tried to drive around his car to get to a position where I could jumpstart his car. Just as I got behind it, I turned the car off. I pretended to be surprised. “Ummmmm…”
I popped the hood, and took the relay out so it wouldn’t start. My brother came over in a huff.
Me: “It died.”
He tried to start it 400 times. He never got to go to Chicago, and ended up towing his car to a shop, where they charged him 900 dollars to put in JUST NEW FUSES. I never got my back, but honestly, I’m okay with that.”
14. They Didn't Know What Was Happening To The Locks For Years
“Many years ago, when I first started building log homes, my two friends and I were working for an outfit just outside of Edmonton city limits. I won’t go into all the ways they were sketchy, but often enough the last guys at the bank would find that there wasn’t quite enough left in the account. Luckily, I had an old police car, so we’d do 100 miles an hour on the backroads to the city limits.
Always first to the bank…
It finally got to the point where the boss came out and told us that they couldn’t pay us at all that week, but if we could finish the cottage we were doing we would get a nice bonus at the end. We busted our butt to get it done early, but of course, there was no coin…
So for a couple of years afterward (until they went out of business) at random intervals, we would drop by and fill all the locks with urethane adhesive.
The office lock, the shop lock, the forklift lock, the gas tank lock, if it had a keyhole we gave it a good squirt of urethane – which is impervious to almost any solvent when cured overnight. It must have cost hundreds of dollars every time, in locksmith fees and lost productivity. I still look back and laugh; we could never get away with that today, what with all the cheap security cameras everywhere. Good times.”
13. I Bought An Expensive Plant From The Awful Manager
“I used to work at a garden center when I was 16, It was the first job I’d ever had. The assistant manager was very bipolar. One minute he would make jokes about me, the next he would shout at me so after about 4 months or so I’m on the shop floor with him and we’re talking about football, I made a joke about his team losing the night before and for some reason he took massive offense to it.
We ended up having a massive argument on the shop floor which resulted in him telling me to get lost and don’t bother coming in next week, obviously at the time I was pretty upset, I barely had anything at the time and didn’t know what to do with myself… about 2 days later I bought a lottery ticket and won £5,000.
I claimed the and went to the garden center the next day and bought the most expensive plant (It was a lemon tree worth £400 that’s growing in my garden right now) in the Garden center as a way of telling him to screw himself. Feels good even to this day lol.”
12. Got Fired From A Terrible Company But I Gained More
“Back somewhere around 2006 when offshoring was all the rage the company I worked for decided to outsource the software we were working on to Thailand.
They announced that we were being let go along with a severance package that actually wasn’t terrible. It gave me enough time to be reasonably comfortable I would find another job. They also specifically needed me to stick around to, drum roll, train my replacements.
The software stack was difficult, and they didn’t feel they could transition it successfully without my assistance. So on top of my severance, they offered me a large retention bonus to stick around and do the training.
About a month into that process the company decided they needed me and wanted me to stick around after all.
‘Nah I’m good I’ll take the severance and retention thanks.’
Turns out they felt they really needed me for reasons that, to be honest, I didn’t understand.
They really didn’t have a choice in the matter since everything was in writing and the date was coming up. So I told them sure I’ll stay, but I’m keeping the severance and retention bonus as agreed.
The severance was a bridge too far for them, but they did agree to let me keep the retention bonus which was substantial, something like 30–40% of my salary. I do wonder if I had held firm if they would have given me all of it.
That was a bit hard to do at the time because the software world was different then. You wouldn’t have 6 job offers in your lap within weeks.
In any case, I was fired, didn’t lose my job, and got a huge pile of coins for basically nothing. I loved that the whole fire someone and make them train their replacement trope backfired spectacularly, and I was the beneficiary.
It was still a terrible company and I left a few years later, but not without my parting gift. Thanks, guys!”
11. He Didn't Care That The Chimney Was Not Working
“A customer I had done work for in the past contacted me about installing a flue liner in an old chimney/fireplace. He had just purchased an old hunting cabin about an hour and a half away from where we live. This particular guy was what one may call, for lack of better words, a tight jerk. Penny Pincher. He has more than I will ever have in my lifetime, however, he always has a hard time digging in his pockets when payment time comes.
He always has to feel like he’s getting a deal and he gets one up on you. I believe it’s 100% a control thing. What I’m dealing with in the past with payment time…
He was leaving to go out of town for 2 weeks on vacation one time. I made it clear to have payment ready for my completion date, which was scheduled for the day he left for vacation.
I reminded him a couple of times leading up to the day, he acknowledged it, said it was taken care of. The morning he left, he told me to call him when I was done and he would have a check for me hidden somewhere in his home. This was at a summer cottage. When I called him, he said he forgot about me and I would have to wait until he returned.
Okay, bad things happen, he’s a busy man, not the end of the world. He then returned two weeks later, only to hand me a check for 250$ less because he claimed we did not agree with the way I finished something. He stated it’s fine, it’s done and over, just to leave it, but should be taken off the bill because he wanted it done differently.
This was complete nonsense. I agreed and moved on to keep him happy.
Next project, I give him a bid, he thought it was high, I told him to get a couple more bids, it’s a fair price. He said he did get one more and they were $500.00 lower. He threw the name of the other contractor out there, said if I match it, job’s mine.
I matched it. About 6 months later I ran into the said contractor, he never bid on the job. It was nonsense.
Next 2 jobs I gave a price but started it about $500.00 higher than I needed. I let him talk me down $300 on one and $250.00 on the other, letting him think he one-upped me and he was really happy. Just the satisfaction of thinking he got a deal was all it took for things to go smoothly.
Now the flue job came. The reason he called me was he had gotten a quote from a fireplace guy up in the area where the camp was located and they wanted $4000. 00. This was way too many coins in his eyes. There’s no way he was paying someone that kind of amount to do this. That’s where I come in to save the day because God forbid he pay a normal price for anything done in the construction world.
He has to hire people to do the work, obviously, he can’t. Yet he so blatantly disrespects and looks down on the people he hires as lesser humans. Quite irritating at times, but I understood how to deal with him through trial and error. So after taking a couple of hits from him, I now say game on, play ball.
I’m not a fireplace expert by any means, a matter of fact, I never even put a liner in before.
But it’s not rocket science, there’s always YouTube and I have a buddy who knows a thing or two about fireplace flues. So I told him yes I would do it under a few conditions. I wanted to be paid in full, he had to buy the kit himself, I was charging him extra for travel, and the price I give is it, no bartering. I gave him a total price for labor and travel at $1800.
00. With the kit, the total bill was like $2500.00 give or take a few bucks. The $4,000.00 price was a little high. He’s saving $1500.00 he’s really happy, and my buddy and I make $900.00 each for a good full day’s labor. Perfect, right? Should have been, but not with Cheapskate Charlie.
First, he started to talk that since I wasn’t licensed he should get a cheaper rate, not having any guarantee of it properly working, or any warranty.
I told him to get the $4,000.00 guy then. That wasn’t in his thoughts on any level. Then he asked how long I thought it would take because we could stay at the camp and save funds on lodging if that would knock some coins off. I told him with my friend I’m bringing with me, we should be out of there in one full day, thanks anyways.
This got him all bent out of shape, asking how I could charge so much for 2 guys for 1 day’s labor? I told him he was saving $1,500, my friend wasn’t free, I’m dropping what I’m in the middle of doing this for him an hour and a half away, and it was an inconvenience seeing as I’m not a fireplace guy. Again, I’m saving him fifteen hundred bucks.
Then he said he refused to pay until he knew it worked properly.
Since he could not get up there for about a week after the project would be complete I would have to wait for payment. This waiting is not a problem for me as a lot of times this is done through mail, or I allow customers to make payments in which the last one is received as much as a month later.
It’s the principal with this guy. There’s always an angle with him. I’m a small business owner. I keep things simple, with little overhead, no full-time employees. I do most things myself. It gets to be a personal relationship with most of my customers. I usually form quite a bond and trust with people. When I need help, I barter labor with a couple of friends on a regular basis.
I also have a couple of guys who give me a hand once in a while.
So I obviously understand the same thing, different day with Cheapskate Charlie. That being said I came up with a plan.
The day scheduled for the job came and went with no hiccups. I then told Cheapskate Charlie that I would meet him up there the following Saturday morning. He was going up there Friday night.
I told him to go ahead and start a fire Friday night and let me know how it goes.
As I knew I would, right on schedule, I received a phone call Friday from Cheapskate Charlie. As I also already knew, his undies were in a bundle. As soon as I said hi, he was raising his voice, and letting me know that the flue was not working and all attempts to get a fire going ended up with a room full of smoke and a smoldering fire.
I apologized for the situation and asked him if he had the $1800.00 on hand at the cabin? He mumbled in frustration that I’m not getting any payment until it works properly. I then told him it would be working properly when I get there in the morning. He argued a little bit and said he’s not paying a dime more for my travels and time tomorrow.
So finally I asked him if he would make me a promise? He asks what promise? I said if he gives me the $1800.00, without trying to take off or making excuses as to why he deserves a lower price, etc, I guarantee his flue would work perfectly before I left. He made excuses and questioned me as to how I can guarantee it will work, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I assured him he is just missing something and not using the flue correctly. It will work. So after a long debate, he agrees.
I’m there the next morning at 8 am. I might add I already had to go through this area that Saturday anyways for a family reunion. This worked out perfectly for me in every aspect of getting paid what was owed and hopefully teaching a lesson to someone who needs to realize the ignorance of his ways is not acceptable behavior.
If not, I get a laugh and someone else can play his games.
With pocket money, I then started a little fire in the fireplace. As soon as I had a little flame and smoke, I reached in my back pocket, pulled out a little ball pein hammer, reached up inside the chimney, and with one little swing of the wrist, the sound of glass breaking suddenly caused the smoke to rush up the chimney and the flames began to dance higher and brighter.
I then turned around with a smile and brought up the fact that the next time he thinks of me as a lesser of a man than him to the point of insulting me, he should just shut up for a second and think first. I made it clear that I will determine what amount is too much for my time because that’s my business. He needed to hire me to do work he obviously wasn’t capable of doing and also he wasn’t even capable of surviving if it would have been wintertime in a cabin, all because his arrogance gets in the way of common sense and troubleshooting such a simple problem.
Rather than investigate as to why the chimney is not working, he would rather make himself feel better about his insecurities by downgrading the hired help and scheming how to fool them out of moolah.
In confusion, he stared at me like a deer in the headlights as I walked out the door.
All I did was rig up a piece of thin glass over the liner/flue and finish around it.
Once I tapped the glass and it broke, everything was working properly. I then received my earnings with no backlash, he saved $1500.00 bucks. Win, win. I also earned his respect that day and made him at least think about how he treats people. Not sure that his mindset changed as much as he just goes through the fake motions. It’s funny though, his efforts to be nice are a struggle for him and he comes across as over the top. He honestly doesn’t understand how to view people as anything but below him. It’s fake and kisses butts more than anything genuine. But it works I guess for our relationship. I still do work for him.”
10. My 2-Week Notice Became A 2-Minute Notice
“I was working for a company which made tractor implements welding together the metal parts. One day I was told there wasn’t anything to weld and I would have to go paint some things. I had to repaint lines on the floor for the fork trucks, some shelving, etc. The next day there was more of this. This lasted for a couple of weeks and I thought I’d be back to the welding department soon enough.
One day I painted one of the barrels the welding wire came in. When we used up all the wire we would use these barrels for trash cans. I painted an anarchy sign on one of these and the plant manager approached me.
Plant manager: Why did you do this? Would you like me to paint your car?
Me: I’m going to have a problem if you paint my car but if you want to come over to my place and paint a trash can I got for free go ahead.
The plant manager went to the welding foreman in an attempt to fire me. I imagine the conversation went like this…
Plant manager: We have to fire Craig who painted graffiti on company property.
Welding foreman: We can’t fire Craig.
Plant manager: Why not?
The welding foreman then goes to the nearest computer to pull up my production rate in the welding department. The screen shows my name with a production rate of around 300%.
END OF DISCUSSION.
But wait… there is more
The next month or so I had been transferred to the paint department. I would be both doing wet paint and powder coating. I had never done powder coat and wasn’t real good at it. During this time the painters started complaining about the welders. They treated me like trash too and I soon found out why. They were training me to take their jobs.
I guess the company was going to keep their most valued assets, the welders at all costs. Things were slowing down and since finding good welders was complicated we kept our pay but did other work. This way the company would not have to hire new welders when things picked up.
Not only was I not good at powder coat painting but I was being paid more than the ones who could do it well.
Eventually, I was transferred to assembly in a building across the street. I wasn’t good at this either. Brad was the assembly plant manager. Brad would get frustrated with me for not getting the production rate. I would always tell him that this was not in my job description when I was hired as a welder but I would do my best. Brad also hounded on me for being a minute late, literally a minute late a few times.
Sometimes he complained that I was late when I was not. We would have to clock in twice. Once at the door and again at our workstations. He would often record my clock in at my workstation after it would take a few minutes to get there from the door.
Up until this point, I could be 10 minutes late and no one would say anything because we had a grace period of 10 minutes.
I was mostly there early but sometimes I would be late.
Brad had enough of me coming in 1 minute late from one of the few times I was late that month. Keeping in mind no one ever bothered me about punctuality until Brad. I assume Brad was also upset that I was not meeting the production rate for assembly. So one day the conversation about my termination began…
Brad: I have to fire you, Craig.
You are always late and you never get the work done on time. You will need to go see the plant manager across the street and he will get your termination processed.
Me: Ok. Later.
Not in the least bit worried about losing my job I walk across the street and go into the plant manager’s office. He asks why I am there and not working at the assembly plant.
So I let him know what Brad had told me.
The plant manager politely tells me to return to the assembly plant to do my job and ask Brad to come to see him. I do what I am told and imagine the conversation between my welding foreman and the plant manager is now being had with the plant manager and Brad.
After explaining to Brad that the company would have to hire 3 welders to replace me this ended a second attempt at firing me.
Both the plant manager and Brad could not stand me but still putting up with me ruining a free trash can as well as not being good at anything else other than welding was not enough for them to fire me and hire 3 more welders.
Brad returned and he was annoyed but could do nothing. The next day I was a little late to work, the entire grace period late.
It was on purpose too, lol. Brad could do nothing to me or the plant manager. My mad skills were just too valuable and I could have probably demanded a raise after the last attempt to fire me but I had other plans.
When I was welding there a lot of the other welders would watch me and try to imitate what I did to get the number I did.
The foreman one day shortly after hiring me asked how many baskets I had left to weld at the end of my shift. He thought it would take about 3 or 4 days to complete. I told him it’s done.
What? He asks shocked and surprised.
The baskets are finished. I told him.
He had to go look for himself as he could not believe I could do it that fast.
All of them passed inspections too. I never heard of any of my work being rejected in the welding department.
No one could ever touch my production rate no matter how hard they tried. The closest anyone got to my production rate was around 150% still only half of mine. Some of the welders were upset because I was raising the production rate expectations. I didn’t give a darn, I was going to work like I always had, fast and efficient.
A few weeks after this I was able to take vacation time. During this time I applied for another job out of state that utilized more of my skills and paid much better.
When returning to my old job I informed them that I would be leaving and I would not be doing any painting or my 2-week notice would turn into a 2-minute notice. I really dislike painting.
I got my way. I left for a better job.
Brad was angry the whole time I was there after he attempted to fire me and probably still gets salty to this day if reminded about me from 10 years ago. It probably really annoyed him when I came back after he attempted to fire me and now I am telling him I am quitting for a better job.
The thing is I was only there to weld and get paid for it. I didn’t care about who was angry if I came in late nor was I plotting my revenge for any attempts to fire me or anything else. These people did a fine job of passing themselves off over a free trash can and a man struggling to keep up production in a field outside of his profession.”
9. Old Company Sent Me A Job Offer
“I was with a company from 2013–2016. They were known as a sweatshop and because I did not put in all the extra hours they tried to demand, I was eventually dumped.
I got this job a couple of months later. Great people, generally 8 to 5 workday (we have some rare overtime for outages or emergencies, but it is paid), and a relaxed work environment.
I’m far happier here than I was there.
I have recruiters call me from time to time and I will listen to them if the job sounds interesting. I got one e-mail about a job that looked a lot like my resume and out of curiosity, I called about it. Turned out to be the old company. I had a good laugh and told them that I would not go back there for twice what I was getting at this job.
From what I hear, all of the people on the team I was on have moved on to other jobs.
In my first year at that job, the whole company had a 77% turnover. This was an IT software development and services firm, not a fast-food restaurant.”
8. I Deleted The Whole Company Process Off My Computer
“I’d self-financed for a career change and finished one job to complete my final studies full time for a year, my ex got a great job offer in another part of the country. When we moved my job opportunities shrunk from reasonable to almost zero but her salary more than doubled so the move made sense. After 18 months of scrabbling around doing low-skill temp jobs, I managed to get a firm to take me on; I was the lowest paid in the firm, even my secretary earned 40% more than me.
I worked hard, introduced new ways of using tech that we already had to speed up and simplify the job, and developed things like standard templates and using ‘the Internet’ to get contract documents compiled and sent out within an hour instead of two or three days.
A feature of this work was to keep track of each contract, although there were case management systems available they were costly and didn’t quite tie in with our particular corner of the market, one of the junior partners had been tasked with finding a solution.
My secretary mentioned at a meeting that I was using one… silence… I explained the system I was using was in its very early stages and was particular to my way of working, which I had presented months earlier and ignored (we always do it this way). This partner didn’t ask for more information, she ignored me and from that moment my days were numbered. I was about 18 months into this contract without any pay rise and my secretary fell ill, the firm brought in temps but they weren’t experienced in our specialty so I would do the technical part of their job as well, another big mistake.
The firm saw I was able to do pretty much two jobs so being the avaricious idiots they were they stopped using the temp. To cap it all, my dad was taken ill and twice a week I would drive 120 miles after work to visit him in hospital then drive home getting back about 10 pm, I took the day off when he was in surgery.
The next day at work, the partner pounced and said a client had complained because he wanted a contract to go in a certain way – I’d told him twice it would lead to serious financial exposure, nobody would progress a contract that way unless he gave specific written instructions acknowledging and accepting the risk. He claimed I didn’t tell him that. Yes, you guessed. With me doing two people’s work, I had misfiled that one memo…
she had me. Rather than accept the disciplinary route I handed in my notice.
My revenge? Because I was doing my and secretary’s work it accelerated the development of my case management system just so I could stay on top, during that process I worked out how to encompass the other aspects of our business, given another month or so we could have rolled it out. It would have been developed in-house, so no cost, and saved hundreds of hours of lost time.
Only I knew about it, only I had the only copy of the process (on three floppy disks… you may have to Google that) so during my notice period, I deleted everything off my computer that I had developed in addition to my case management system. I walked out on my last day with a smug feeling that they would still be working as they had done for the last forty years.
Three years later during the 2008 financial crash, the firm was hit badly, that partner was let go, my (ex) secretary told me with some glee that as partners buy into the firm her buy-in was returned but as the firm had been devalued it was at a much lower rate, oh dear.”
7. I Focused On My Work And Didn't Mind Their Illegal Works
“A few years back I was the head of an Australian IT startup in Sri Lanka. I did everything the company needed from Registering the company and hiring all employees to set up the processes. My Director who was an Australian was initially impressed with me but slowly but surely I grew out of favor. Partly because I would challenge his stupid orders and partly because he thought I was a threat.
In any case, I was prepared to resign as long as he asked me to, in a professional manner.
Instead, he tried to make my life miserable. From pitting employees against me and giving them confusing and contradicting orders to petty things like threatening me with legal action because one of my employees spoke up to him and finally demoted me. He was also very racist towards us.
But I put up with him because I was naive and genuinely thought he would change for the better.
After I found a new job and left the company I heard he was going to pitch his failure of a product to a Sri Lankan businessman. The product was never going to work and the Sri Lankan was sure to lose money. It was the Australians last-ditch effort to secure some easy money.
The Australian forgot to remove me from the company chat and I knew the deal had almost gone through. I kept to myself as it was none of my concern and because I was professional enough. That was until unbeknownst to the Australian, one of the Sri Lankan businessmen employees contacted me and enquired about the Australian. Needless to say, I told them the truth and nothing but the truth.
The next day I was removed from the chat and I heard from a colleague later the deal failed.
The company ran for a couple more years with failure after failure, eventually closing shop after a substantial financial loss.
Adding some bonus stuff related to my former Australian director:
When he interviewed me for the job, he told me that it was he who designed the targeting system for the American Patriot missile system.
Which turns out to be a monumental lie. I cringe at the thought of believing it. He once hired a part-time tour bus driver who barely spoke English as a software engineer and asked me to get work done through him. You didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand this wouldn’t work. But since I got an earful of classy Australian profanity I went with it.
In case you were wondering we fired him a month later. Turns out the dude was looking for a better job and was willing to work for free for a few months. Something my director couldn’t pass out on. He was racist towards everything to a point where he might not have been racist. At some point in my career I have heard him be racist against Sri Lankans, Indians, New Zealanders, Americans, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, German, Swedes, German Swedes, and fellow Australians.
And this is just the list I remember.
I once wrote a 37-page document detailing the processes of the company and received many compliments from him. The first thing he did after demoting me was asking my replacement to improve it. And when the new guy sent a company-wide email asking for suggestions for improvement. My director replies with, wow what a great document this is how you should take initiative blah…
blah… Blah. He had forgotten that the original author was me and thought the new guy came up with the process. I felt it was my obligation to remind him who the original author was. Didn’t get any replies to that email thread after that.
He often said, Dhanushka (me) … never lead the trail of bread crumbs to you. This is why he would get others (mostly me) to get his dirty work done.
So if he wanted someone fired he would tell me YOU SHOULD FIRE HIM. This led to confusion as I didn’t want to fire him. And further confusion when he got mad that I didn’t. Took me a while to get the breadcrumb thing.
My former manager (whom I replaced) was a young Australian dude. He only worked for a couple of weeks before he disappeared from the job.
We couldn’t contact him for months. But he was a nice dude and was a friend on social media. He eventually apologized for leaving us hanging but explained that he had a mental breakdown working with my director. I couldn’t understand how a person would get a mental breakdown until a few months into my new position.
One of our devices was streaming pirated content from a major Australian sports league.
I questioned my director about it and said, wouldn’t we be open to legal action cause of this. Among other profanity, his reply was for me to concentrate on software development and leave the legal aspects to his team of experts in Australia. A few months later he informs me of a cease and desist letter from the league and promptly asked me to remove the content from future updates.”
6. My Manager's Career Ended After Three Investigations
“I took a position with a new employer, leading a project that had been floundering. This company had just under 800 clinics nationwide, and the project was to roll out a hosted software supply chain solution to each of the clinics. This solution would bring about many benefits for the company and the clinics, but after one year of the rollout, only about 10% of the clinics were using it.
Out the door went the rather ineffective first guy tasked with the rollout, and in I came.
Now, I’ve been an industrial engineer in previous work lives, so knew all about the conflicts that can arise when work processes and procedures are changed. And this was a big change for the clinics; one that was accepted well by some, and not at all by others. Nine months later, on the date that I was given to have all clinics compliant, I had all but 2 on-boarded, (and the CEO made sure those 2 were in line within days).
I remember being asked by the president of the company, about a month before my target date, what my fallback plan was. I replied that I didn’t need a fallback plan because my team of three others and me were not going to fail, and we didn’t.
The accolades piled in after the completion of the project, from practitioners to the CEO. A common theme of the attaboys was that this was the first project in the company’s history that had been completed on time.
Considering the company was founded during the Civil War, that is a long time.
Because I was let go shortly after the completion of the project, with the reason being that at times I was ‘just too direct’. So the guy that rolled the software to 80 clinics in a year was fired for not getting more clinics in line during his time, and the guy that rolled it out to the remaining 720 clinics in 9 months was fired for doing exactly what he was hired to do.
The real reason behind me being let go was a very insecure manager, who couldn’t handle the accolades I was given, considering his involvement in the project was basically zero. The guy worked remote, flew in from time to time to strut around the office, and actually just got in the way. He couldn’t stand the fact that no one looked at him as driving the project.
I hesitate to call what I did ‘revenge’, but rather clear the air on my work while I was with the company, as well as letting that company know about some potential issues my former manager could be creating.
I sent an email to the VP of HR, (among others), in which I defended my MO while employed; it was never going to be a popularity contest.
In the email, I included a nice cross-section of quoted accolades, including who had sent them and when. Oddly enough, these accolades included some from the manager himself. And I also mentioned three verifiable instances of my former manager’s behavior that could potentially cause issues for the company. The first was him calling a member of my team an unflattering term, based on her hairstyle, on her very first day with the company.
The second was loudly implying, in an open office, that the manager of a team working closely with us was hiring only young attractive males; he called it ‘cougaring up the hiring practice’. And the last potential issue was this individual turning off some of the financial controls built into the hosted software we were rolling out.
Considering the company had failed a couple of SEC audits and was working to dig itself out of that mess, having this guy do what he did was kind of a big thing…
I only learned about this action after being called into a large meeting with the controller, who started off the meeting by lighting me up. After I told her that I was leaving the room, unless she changed her tone, followed by the fact that I had no idea what she was talking about, my manager literally raised his hand, like he was in grade school, and pled guilty.
My communications to the VP were not altogether altruistic; I was hoping to negotiate a better severance, for doing the right thing throughout, which included doing what I was brought in to do, and at the same time being a good corporate citizen. Of course, my request for better severance was declined, because of corporate life… I did learn later that the three incidents I mentioned were all investigated, and of course, found to be true. That was pretty much the end of my former manager’s career with that company, although he was allowed to skulk around for a while, with all of his direct reports removed, before he moved on.”
5. If You're Going To Steal, Steal Big
“Back in the 80s I worked for a financial planning company that didn’t plan its finances right. I was doing database entry of potential clients, and every night I backed up the database onto floppies. The database manager gave his notice and on his last day the backup crashed and three months of work were lost. He refused to even look at the problem.
I had been working under the table, but at this point, they hired me full-time to do clerical work.
The company’s business plan was this: they charged a thousand dollars (not an insignificant amount at the time) for a financial plan. When they presented the plan, they invariably noted that the client could have his or her funds better invested. Have you ever considered historic rehabs? Historic rehabs, what’s that? Well, I just happen to have a prospectus right here…
The company wasn’t doing well but the officers were earning hand over fist from their commissions.
In any case, the SEC was investigating them and they were told they could not use any moolah from commissions in the day-to-day operation of the company.
Previously I had been paid out of a separate bank account, but once I started full time I got paid from the same payroll account like everyone else. On my first payday, everyone received a check and immediately ran out of the office.
I was surprised by this behavior, waited a day or two, then went to deposit my paycheck at the bank.
After that, I made the payroll rush like everyone else, but the financial issues facing the company became more and more apparent. This was when I learned you could do stuff as a company that you could not get away with for two seconds as an individual.
They would contract with an office supply company, not pay their bills for a few months, then just get a new company when the old one cut off their credit. I used to answer the phone when the secretary was out to lunch and would regularly have conversations like this:
‘Hi is Bob in?’ (Bob was the Executive VP)
‘May I ask who’s calling?’
‘This is his Uncle Fred.’
‘Bob, your Uncle Fred is on the line.’
‘I don’t have an Uncle Fred.
Tell him I’m not here.’
‘I’m sorry, Bob is in a meeting. Can I take a message?’
‘YOU TELL THAT IDIOT IF WE DON’T GET OUR I’LL SUE HIM SO FAST HIS HEAD WILL SPIN’
When our office building threatened to evict us for non-payment of rent, they simply found nicer offices in a different building, with all new furniture.
It all came to a head one day when the secretary, like everyone else in the office, decided to look for a new job.
We were using a Word Processing system, so it was a daisywheel printer that took a significant amount of time to print out a single page. Rather than printing her resume once and getting it copied, she decided to print out fifty copies and left the printer running overnight. Bob came in the next day, found the printout, went ballistic, and fired everybody in the office except for a friend of mine who had clued me in to the job in the first place.
I signed up with a temp agency the next day and a few days later received a phone call from them. ‘We have the perfect position for you! It’s a small financial planning company where they need clerical work and word processing.’ My old company. I called my friend at the office and told her what had happened. She checked with Bob, who told her it would be weird to have me back, so I called the temp agency and told them it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to take the job, since it was my former employer.
I didn’t tell them that if they placed someone there, they’d never get paid. They found me a different position within a day or two, and then my friend called again: Bob had thought about it and it made sense for me to come back. I told her it was too late, I’d found something else.
A couple of weeks later, I dropped by the office to see if I could get my last paycheck out of them.
The lights were off and there was police tape everywhere. The people in the office next door said the SEC had shown up one day, seized all the computers and shut the place down for non-payment of employment taxes.
But there’s more! I never received a W2 from them and, an improvident artist that I am hadn’t a clue as to how much I’d made above or below the table.
I called the IRS with my problem; they were very interested and told me to make a good faith effort to get in touch with the officers of the company. I managed to track down Bob, who told me he only communicated with the president of the company through their lawyers, and gave me his last known address. I figured you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, so I sent the president a letter (I’m not going to mention his name because it’s rather unique and features later in the story):
I’m sorry to hear about the dissolution of ________ Financial Planning.
I just want you to know I bear you no ill will. I learned a lot on the job and I’m using that knowledge in my current position.
By the way, could you send me a W2?
A few days later, I received a hand-written W2 and a letter written on second-page letterhead:
As I sit here amid the ruins of my life, it’s nice to hear someone benefited from their time at _______ Financial.
This all happened nearly forty years ago. Just a few years ago I was thinking about this and I wondered, what happens if I Google this guy’s name? He had a rather unique name, which is why I didn’t mention it, and sure enough, when I hit Enter a picture of him came up looking tanned, rested, and relaxed. After his stint in Club Fed, he got a job with the PGA and is apparently doing all right for himself.”
4. Old Company And Boss Are Not A Big Shot Anymore
“Many years ago, around 1994, I was working as a product manager for the Italian distributor of several foreign brands in the field of lab equipment and analytical chemistry.
The company owner, after successfully growing the company and making it profitable, simply sat on his past success and ceased investing in personnel and technology. A colleague, who was an outstanding salesman resigned when refused a pay raise (or equivalent benefits) after nearly doubling sales in one year.
Instead, this ‘entrepreneur’ was constantly bragging about his new boat and improvements he was making to his seaside summer villa. He also bought a new luxury car and hired a very hot ‘personal assistant’.
The product lines I was managing at the time were relatively new to the company and still needed lots of effort to be effectively introduced in the market. I was doing it very passionately and with minimum resources.
Furthermore, I was also in charge of managing a product line from another company, in a joint venture agreement that was supposed to evolve into a merger among the two companies
Then something happened between the two companies at the financial corporate level that lead to breaking the JV and any plans for a merge. Nothing I was involved with, nor even informed about. The company owner came to me telling me that my position, without that other company’s product line, made no sense and I was free to go in a reasonable time.
In a couple of months, I found a new opportunity and left the company. The same day, I wrote a fax (emails were not a thing at the time) to the European Sales Manager of one of the (American) companies whose products I was responsible for in Italy. I simply wanted to say goodbye, and thank him for the good cooperation that we established. I also mentioned how I loved their products.
Two weeks later l received a letter (handwritten snail mail!) from the American HQ of this company. In short, they said that they were very sorry about my departure and that they wanted to keep doing business in Italy through me. Could I please inform them if my new employer could be interested in representing them after the termination of the present distribution contract?
Six months later I was again managing their products, and sales grew very quickly.
Actually, their products became over 40% of my sales, and by large the most profitable. For the next 6 years, they filled my breadbasket.
What about the old company? A few months after my departure, another experienced product manager left. Two years later the company ceased operations. I met the old company’s owner years later at a trade exhibition. He had started a new company but his car was worth half of the one he had back in 1995. And his secretary was… an elderly lady!”
3. She Sold A Lot But Never Made It Through Customs
“I walked away with a reference letter and my entitlements. I left because of the toxic culture which was encouraged by my store manager. She loved pitting staff against each other. It had been my sixth year in my first ‘real’ full-time job at a duty-free store. I was studying and working, but was also experiencing severe depressive episodes and struggled to manage my condition while working at the store, under her commands.
The manager believed that a competitive culture among staff was one of the best ways to drive and meet sales targets. There was female staff throwing things at each other and pulling each other’s hair in front of customers in a battle for the sale, bribes, double standards, and illegal sales, all of which were encouraged and looked over.
I gave my resignation as the last straw after the manager blamed my depression on what she thought or believed was a lack of self-care, including bad nutrition.
She also lectured me on how depression turns people into addicts and thieves. On my last day, she ordered the store security guard to escort me back to the locker room, carry out a possession search through my locker, and escort me out of the building. I felt sorry for the security guard, as we were close, and as he kept apologizing. After a week, I received my reference letter in the mail.
Approximately one and half months later, I heard from a colleague that she had sold commercial quantities of booze and smoke to one person, who ended up not making it through the customs (keeping it within the country), which triggered the suspicion of the customs officers, who raided and questioned the manager, which resulted in her getting fired. Without the entitlements she would’ve received, had it not been for her greed and toxic level of desire for success.
I didn’t have to lift a finger to serve my dish which is best served cold.”
2. Self-Centered Owners Lost Their Business
“I was in my mid-twenties working for a high-end jewelry store in a dying mall in 1998–99. I had been hired part-time in the fall of ‘98, and as Christmas closed in, naturally I saw an increase in my hours. The owner of the store also owned a second, somewhat larger store across from the one I worked at that sold his second-and third-tier jewelry, plus collectibles like Lladro, Giuseppe Armani, Swarovski, and (ugh) Precious Moments, and I was bounced back and forth between the two stores, as needed.
We got paid every two weeks, and I happened to notice that for one pay period where I had put in 45 hours one week, and 35 the next (which the paystub clearly showed), I was cut a check for 80 regular hours. I went to my immediate supervisor whom I had a lukewarm relationship, and she said to call the corporate office since they were the ones who cut the checks.
I did so, and the owner’s secretary told me she would pass the information on to the owner. A week goes by and I don’t hear anything, so I call corporate again asking what the holdup is. Again, I get the secretary, who has obviously been briefed to brush me off, and she tells me that they pay every two weeks, so it averages out. I counter this, citing, you know, federal overtime law that is printed on every required workplace poster in the country, including both of the stores in question, and her reply is, ‘well, that’s just how we do things!’ chipper as you please.
My assistant manager, whom I got along great with and am still friends with to this day suggested that I call the Dept. of Labor (or whatever the official title is, too lazy to look it up) and just make some anonymous inquiries about averaging overtime, writing down whom I spoke to, then calling back corporate and, innocently as I could, say something like, ‘well, I spoke with so-and-so at the Department of Labor and they said…’ to try and put the fear of God into them at corporate.
I called the Dept. of Labor that evening, and you would have thought I had just called the Maytag repairman with a broken washer when I asked a question about an employer averaging overtime. Being fairly young and caught off guard by a government agency so willing to listen to a problem and help, I kind of let things get out of hand when the guy who answered the phone said, ‘you know someone who’s averaging overtime??? Who is it???’.
I was also partially afraid that now that I had hinted at it, I would be in trouble for not disclosing everything he was asking me. I spilled the beans, gave them all the details and they assured me they would look into it and they would be in touch.
Having no idea how these things work, I was pretty shocked to find out that either the next day or the one after, the feds showed up at the jerkhead owner’s corporate headquarters, which was also his flagship retail store, and pretty much crawled up his butt with a flashlight.
They went through all of his payroll information for not just me, but everyone who had ever worked for him for however many years businesses were/are required to keep records, and it turns out I was the least of his worries. From what I was told, it is a violation of federal law each and every time a business owner does this, and he had been doing it a lot, so the fines really piled up.
All of this is just from a phone call! Satisfying, but a little scary at the same time. I hope they have better standards of proof now.
The crazy thing is, after telling both of my supervisors and calling the corporate office twice, no one could figure out it was me who blew the whistle! It turns out the owner had been in the habit of screwing people over for a very long time and had a long list of disgruntled employees who were potential candidates.
As far as the payouts, it turns out this wasn’t the first time he had pulled this on me, just the first time I had noticed it, so I got a check for something like $85 and change. One of the very nice ladies I worked with at the junk store (what we called the lower-end jewelry and collectibles place) who was in her 50s had been working for this for around 8 years, and got a reimbursement check for a couple thousand, as I recall.
She was pretty happy about that. To be honest, I was pretty flabbergasted that people like her and others who were decades older than me had let this go on for so long. I was a fairly disinterested, part-time 25-year-old, they had been full-time employees for years, but it took me to come along and put an end to this jerk’s mess. A couple of months into 1999, my hours dried up (as I said, this was a dying mall and that Christmas was its last gasp), so I put in my notice and told my manager what I had done.
My assistant manager and I tell this story every year to new people at his Christmas party.
On another job, I was head of security at a large nightclub and the owners, an older couple with adult children who worked there that were constantly fighting with one another, sometimes physically (a whole other post in itself), were idiots who knew nothing about running a business. Since this place was in a seedy part of town, my team and I were kept busy breaking up brawls and keeping order.
The pay sucked, but it was my first supervisory position, and you couldn’t beat the bragging rights.
Anyway, as the patronage started to dwindle due to the owners’ mismanagement, they were looking for a way to cut corners I guess, and they had their GM let me go for reasons he didn’t understand, just doing what he was told. I think the dummy owners had also gotten it into their heads that I wasn’t an aggressive, or intimidating-looking enough bouncer (strange, since I was their very first non-family employee, and they promoted me to head of security in the first place) to lead my team, the irony of which will become clear near the end of the story.
In truth, having had the position for over a year and a team around me that knew their jobs, I didn’t have much to do in the way of command and control. I handed out the radios and flashlights, kept them inventoried, made sure all the guys’ hours were straight when I turned in my payroll, and it was all pretty routine by then.
I called Kelvin (not his real name), my second-in-command, the next day (he had actually watched me getting fired on the sidewalk from a distance while he walked to his car the night before but didn’t know it) and told him what had happened.
Of course, he asked why and I told him his guess was as good as mine. Since that night was a normal work night for us, he insisted on all of us (me, him, and the other three guys on the security team) meeting at a coworker’s house before work and he would rally the troops to my cause. I told him not to make a big deal out of it, this was extra income for everybody and I wasn’t all that bothered by it (with these moron owners, I knew it was just a matter of time since they fired perfectly good employees for stupid things all the time).
However, he insisted, so he gave me the address to meet at Tank’s house that night (yes, his real nickname was Tank, so you can imagine what he looked like).
Kelvin must have called Tank to let him know we would be meeting at his house and a general idea of why, because I got a message on my answering machine later that day from him saying, ‘hey, Kelvin told me what happened.
We ain’t gonna let ’em do you like that; we a team, bro!’
Anyway, once everyone was at Tank’s house, Kelvin announced the reason he had called them all there by telling them, ‘OK guys, tonight we are all quitting’. Tank looked at him with a smile and said, ‘we are?’. Kelvin explained to everybody how the owners had treated me, that I had done nothing wrong, and we would give them a chance to atone for their error in judgment.
Once again, but to everybody this time, I gave my ‘don’t lose a source of income just for me’ speech, but by now these guys were not having it. ‘Aw, damn no, they ain’t gonna do you like that!’ became their rallying cry now too, so we waited until it was time for us to normally leave for work, and off we went, me choking back tears of gratitude the whole way.
I should note here that I did not know a single one of these guys before they took this job, and I had no hand in hiring any of them. It is one great feeling of validation, knowing that you earned your subordinates/coworkers’ respect and loyalty through the job that you do. What’s more, jobs like this that require watching one another’s backs in a dangerous environment create a bond that no office job can hope to match, so knowing that, in their eyes, I was worth quitting over was especially humbling.
When we got there, Kelvin went inside to grab the GM while the rest of us waited outside. When the two of them emerged, Kelvin told him, ‘look, I’ll get right to the point; we’re not here to make threats, but we think Phil is a good boss, and if he doesn’t work here, we don’t want to work here’. The GM’s reply was, ‘that’s fine’ (what else was he going to say to five 250+lb.
guys who handled violence for a living?), followed by ‘that’s just what I was told’, meaning he was just following the owners’ orders. At that, we all lined up, and one at a time shook his hand, told him it was nice working with him (which was true, the GM really was a decent guy to work with and we all liked him), and, feeling just a little bad that he was going to have to run this 25,000 square foot nightclub in the hood with no security that night, walked across the street to the sports bar where the drinks were all on me.
About two years later, at a corporate security job, I got to talking to a coworker and found out he and his crew were the ones hired to replace us after the walkout. It isn’t clear how much time had passed between us walking out and him being hired on, but he said the owners told him that the last security team left on bad terms, so to look out for them if they try to come in and cause trouble.
I laughed quite heartily at this since not only did we leave amicably (not that they would know since they were too cowardly to show up that night) none of us gave that place a second thought after leaving. That should tell you how self-important these idiots were.
Anyway, it was no surprise for me to hear they closed their doors for good about 4–5 months after we left.
I used to drive by the place every morning on my way to work many years later and the building (the nightclub owners had only leased the bottom floor) had been converted into a private school. That is long gone, and there is now a chic, modern museum in its place. No exhibits to honor the epic wars we fought to hold that hallowed ground, I am told.”
1. I'll Get You Back After 3 Years Of Tormenting Me
“I’ve always been good at dealing with bullies, and just not letting them bother me, I found it really easy to disassociate from the usual playground bullying. I’d make a joke and move on.
When I was about 9 years old I had to move house and schools due to my father losing his job. And in my new school, I made a couple of friends but this focuses on 1 in particular, my future bully.
We got on really well, he helped me get through junior school. As we moved into secondary school now at age 11, a new kid joined and remembering what my friend (bully) had done for me, I wanted to return the favour and showed the new kid around, helped him, and became good friends, he got me into Army Cadets in i different town which is where I met my (now ex) (this story basically hinges on her).
This is where my story starts.
My GF and I were together a year and a half (roughly) through that time we’d gone back and forth visiting each other meeting each other’s friend’s usual BF GF stuff. Well my friend (bully) took a particular shine to my GF and made all sorts of disgusting comments about her. About her chest, and femininity and our relations. At 11, this was kind of shocking for me to hear.
I’d asked him to stop numerous times.
It made me uncomfortable. She never heard some of the things he’d said. Didn’t want her to. Whenever the three of us were together he started pressuring and talking about inappropriate things. He kept this up for the last 3 months of our relationship, due to that and a few other stresses at the time. We mutually decided to end it. (we are still best friends and I’m happy with that).
This was a bit after I’d turned 13 and he started making comments along the lines of:
“You’ll never get someone like her again.”
“Shame you never got to be with her.”
“You’re going to die alone.” etc.
He did this every couple of weeks for 3 YEARS (As I said I can take a LOT of flak) he could always do this as we walked to school together, he’d helped settle into this new town. Part of me always saw him as a friend right up until the end. We also usually walked as a group as we’d both continued to make more friends and all lived close by.
To begin with I just said, “Yeah yeah whatever, we ended it on our terms, we’re still friends.
We just couldn’t deal with all this pressure we have at the moment and want to focus on exams,” or words to that effect, or just ignored him. After a few months, I realized he wasn’t gonna stop so I stopped asking him to stop, and started telling him, “You need to stop this. Otherwise I will go to the teachers and say something.” He didn’t stop at this point I just keep silent.
Maybe 8/9 months after us breaking up I go to the teachers say blah de blah is bullying me, saying about how I’m gonna die alone. They asked where it was happening, I said on the way to school.
“I’m afraid we cant do anything about it then.”
So on our walks to school now I just keep silent. Put music on, low enough to still hear the conversation.
But loud enough I could selectively drown him out. After a couple of weeks of this, he starts tapping me on the shoulder to get me to remove my headphones thinking I’d missed a bit of the conversation. And he uses that opportunity to say the same crap again. At this point, I stop taking the headphones out and just keep walking. Only takes a week for him to catch on, and he starts pulling my headphones out.
So I start walking on my own, away from my friends, this makes me a bit of a recluse at school. To this day I still only have 1 friend from that school (His ex who realized he was a waste of space).
For a month, everything was fine. I was happy. Then he changed the time that his group of friends walked to catch up with me.
At this point I started getting physical. I’d been doing army (cadet) training. But he was faster and stronger than me, so I stopped that real quick. It just ended with me on the floor his friends laughing at me stepping over or sometimes on me. I just put up with it.
By the time I was 15 I knew something had to be done, his words had sunken in, they started rattling around my head at night.
The teachers won’t/can’t help, nothing I said had helped, nothing I could do would help.
I got on with my work. And kept my head down. A couple of people had started talking to me, one in particular (his ex) and we were chatting on MSN one night. We got onto the subject of my bully:
His ex: “He thinks hes gods gift to women, well news flash, he’s not, he’s wayyyyyy too pushy, just wants his way no matter what, got cold hands, no idea what to do with girls and his bark is way worse than his bite.
He’s all talk and no game!”
And several other slants against his seductive prowess (something he is very proud of). Well, during this time we had an internal school e-mailing system, and you could send emails to EVERYONE in school, including teachers. A couple of people had used this system to message the usual chain mail (like what you get on now “like this puppy in 5 seconds or your heart will explode, PLEASE COMMENT AND SHARE”).
Now I was pretty computer savvy and had used that to help people with IT work from time to time, even using their log in to see what they’d done.
One of these people I’d helped was my bully, back before the bullying started. I’d just hoped he hadn’t changed his password. I’d taken a screenshot of the conversation with his ex, blanked out our names on Windows Paint.
Logged into his account from a computer in an unused IT room and sent an email to everyone in school, saying: my name is Blah de blah, I have sent you an attachment about how truly disgusting a human being I am. I have been bullying people for years and I am finally getting my comeuppance.
It took 2 months for them to find out it was me.
They only found out, because I went up to my bully and told him.
I wanted him to know it was me.
The punishment I got: a chat with the school police officer about what slander is and that I could go to jail for it, along with 3 dinner time detentions about 150 minutes of break time (I’d never set a foot wrong through school and had A-B grades so my punishment was reduced a lot). I still got my dinner, I just had to sit outside the heads office during break and catch up on homework.
I then had to have a meeting with my bully to try and “sort it out.”
As I went in he was crying. All I said was “That’s what you get for driving me and ex GF apart, for rubbing it in my face FOR 3 YEARS, I hope, no I PRAY that every woman in this school has read this and will stay away from you.
I’m going to quote YOU here: ‘You will die alone,'” and I left.
They didn’t punish me for swearing, didn’t punish me for shouting. I think they were so shocked by the change in me, I am usually a very quiet timid guy, but that day I dropped my voice about 3 octaves and drove all my hate for him into what I said.
To this day (about 7 years after) he still hasn’t had another (I like to keep tabs on him through social media).
He hasn’t spoken to me since. I haven’t been bullied since. I’ve also had several relationships since. And each one has helped me realize his words were vacuous crap, born from jealousy as she stopped talking to him altogether after we broke up.”