Unfortunately, the world is full of rude, entitled, power-mad brats who think others should bend over backward to satisfy their every whim. Whether it be awful bosses, toxic family members or customers from hell, these people like to take every opportunity to exert whatever influence they think they possess with abandon, and they often get away with it. But there is some justice in the world, and occasionally their petty efforts to establish dominance blow up spectacularly in their smug faces. Sometimes, a glorious “You have no power here” moment presents itself, and these Redditors have gleefully shared their favorites.
42. Family First
I coached gymnastics at a very highly competitive gym. One of my duties was to select and train the youngest talent for compulsory team training. Parents caught on to what I was doing when I pulled kids from rec classes and got all nail biting excited, but never confronted me if I didn’t pursue a kid for higher training.
Until one high powered exec mom did: yelling in the lobby that I was blind, couldn’t see Suzy’s talent, her somersault (!) is better than all the other five-year-olds in class, we should be training her for free because did we know her soccer coach thinks she’s a STAR? A STAR. I told her competitive gymnastics is a family commitment, and while Suzy is great, her family is what didn’t make the cut.
41. Sweet, Sweet Hush Money
I had found another job and was just waiting it out to get my bonus. For about three months I was free to express myself in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise. I had noticed that my vacation time had not been approved and normally would have asked about it but decided to see how it might play out. My manager called me in about two weeks before my vacation to inform me that it was denied.
I wasn’t the least upset but I informed her I was going anyway. She threatened me every way under the sun which only made me laugh at her. Everyone was surprised when I left her office smiling as they had heard her. I went to my desk, printed off my resignation and gave it to her.
Got my bonus, got my vacation, and also got an extra two weeks paid because I was going to a competitor and they didn’t want me sharing information.
40. As If Rocks Grow On Trees
Had a client freak out on us and harass us with phone calls every few minutes because we couldn’t accommodate her needs (She wanted to make her countertops larger than the actual slab of granite. You can’t grow rock…) so we just refused her deposit and told her to not call us anymore. She was speechless, she was trying to get a discount and now she’s gotta start the whole process elsewhere.
We don’t abide by “the customer is always right.”
39. At Ease, Soldier
Got out of the Army and joined the Air Force National Guard in my home state. 20 minutes after leaving my new base for the first time, I receive a phone call from a guy introducing himself as a sergeant first class from the army reserve informing me that his system shows my name had been pulled from the reserve pool to deploy to Iraq within three months and congratulated me. I kindly informed him that: 1) I had just returned from deployment before getting out and was still guaranteed more than three months stateside, and 2) I had enlisted with the air guard and was therefore exempt.
He got irritated, raised his tone of voice and said “well you better get that paperwork to me ASAP because my system says you’re going.” Told him I signed a contract which binds me to that, not your system. So, I told him, it’s not my job to update to ensure your system for you. I gave him the name of the organization I was now affiliated with, the city and state it was in, my recruiter’s name, rank and personal phone number. I said: “Now you have several different ways to contact who you need to in order to get your system updated,” and hung up on him.
38. A Little Out Of Your Price Range, Sir
My boss sold the company and about a week after the official switch to the new owners he called me up to ask me to do something. I told him my consulting fees were $120/hr. He didn’t take me up on it, unfortunately.
37. Sucks For Them
I once worked for a shady company that sold and repaired expensive American vacuum cleaners. I was the service manager. I had been planning a six-week scuba diving trip with a mate for two years. They were well aware of this and said it was fine. When the time came close, I put in my application for six weeks leave.
I was called into the husband/wife owners’ office and told that I could only take three weeks (I had saved the time up with their permission). I pointed this out but they were adamant that three weeks was the most they were prepared to authorize. I even tried to negotiate five weeks but that was firmly rejected. So I walked from the office, wrote my resignation letter and left. Had a great holiday diving the Great Barrier Reef. They rang me weekly for a solid three months offering all sorts of incentives to come back but by then I had landed a great government job.
36. No Means No Means No Means No
I was working in retail and a customer walked up and asked if, since the ATM was broken, she could buy something then return it for cash. I had no clue so I called over another employee who had been there a while and they said no. Furious, she demanded to speak to our manager. We called over the supervisor of our section and he listened to her question and said no. Furious, she demanded his manager. He calls the manager and she shows up. Surprise, the answer is no.
Customer is red in the face and demands another manager. We call over another “manager.” She asks again, he says no. When she said she wanted HIS manager he, the owner, said “I’m the owner of this store, the answer is no. It’s against company policy.” She stormed out, surprisingly not asking for the CEO of the company.
She didn’t take no from two employees, one supervisor, one manager or the owner. When you have five people of increasing power lined up telling you no, and there is a line of bored customers behind you, you need to stop.
35. Cherish This Moment
I worked at a Dominos, and there was this old lady who ordered from us a lot and was always unpleasant. One day she calls and makes an order that she must make a lot because she knew exactly how much it was supposed to cost, down to the penny. I put her order in and tell her how much it is and she starts getting upset because the order was two cents more than what it usually is and starts accusing me of trying to steal money from her. She asks “how much money do you make stealing two cents from every customer.” Well if I was trying to steal money and I did it to 100 customers I would have made a whole two dollars.
I didn’t know what to do because she wouldn’t accept the order unless it was exactly how much she thought it should be and there’s nothing I can do to remove two cents from an order, so I ask the manager and she just tells me to hang up. I was new at that time and I’m guessing this wasn’t the first time that store got messed with by her. It felt amazing, that was the only time I ever got to do that to a customer.
34. Youth In Revolt
When I realized I could just hang up on my sister when she wanted to yell at me on the phone. As a twelve-year-old, that was a powerful moment.
33. You Won’t Be Missed
I’m a librarian. A patron was mad about her fines and yelled, “And I’m never coming back!” as she left. I said, “We’re a non-profit!”
32. Democracy Gone Mad
I’m a teacher. Whenever students threaten me, or whenever students try to convince me to do something by saying all the students want it. I especially love “We Have Rights!” but can’t describe what rights are or how they have them part.
I’ll listen and consider if students actually use logic and reason about delaying a test or doing something a different way, but the whole “this is a democracy” thing I always just laugh at.
31. Going Down In A Blaze Of Glory
I had an issue where our district manager was purposely not correcting my pay to reflect the raise I’d been promised, so after six weeks of him blowing me off I called corporate HR and they came down on him like the fires of Mount Doom. He drove to my store and tore into me in front of customers for “not being a team player” and going over his head.
Six months later, we’re informed our store is closing and the employees can transfer to other stores. Oh, but not me, I was told I’d never be welcome in the company again because I “wasn’t a team player” so I would just be laid off after the store closed… Then he told me he also needed me to oversee shipping our product out to other stores based on a list he had of what store gets what.
Yeah, none of those stores got what he wanted on that list. I spent three weeks shipping whatever to whoever, playing my own music over the store speakers, and telling customers about a whole bunch of exploitable loopholes in store policies and systems.
What was he going to do? Fire me?
30. It’s Not Me, It’s You
When I left a job I was invited to meet with the CEO because he was unhappy I was leaving and wanted to understand why.
I explained that I was not being paid enough and the recently announced pay rise was not good enough. He got irritated and in a patronizing tone started trying to lecture me on how I should have handled that situation better. I interrupted him, he didn’t like that, so I added “I’m leaving, I have nothing to lose” and then informed him that I had already been let down over pay multiple times, had witnessed others trying to get more pay and being refused, so I had no interest in begging to be paid what I already deserved to be paid.
29. Short But Oh So Sweet
When the kid who picked on me in high school applied to work in my store.
28. You’re Under My Roof Now
When mom got ridiculously nasty & rude with me in my own home I had just moved into—I told her if she doesn’t like my food, furniture, clothes, the location of where my apartment is & the A/C; there’s the door, I’ll gladly lock the top & bottom locks. She changed her tune when I opened the door and she realized I was dead serious.
27. Google Can’t Help You Here, Miss
There was a wrong price tag on a pair of shoes at the store I managed. It wasn’t priced incorrectly, someone had taken the sticker off another shoe and put it on that one. I had a customer tell me that by law I had to sell her the shoe for the price marked. I explained to her that in fact, I didn’t HAVE to do anything. She paid the full price but then spent 20 minutes out the front of the store googling consumer laws.
26. It’s The Little Things
I work at a domestic violence shelter, and our ex-executive director was asked to resign because she had embezzled over 25 grand worth of our grant funding. She was a verbally abusive garbage human, doing things to the employees that were the same things that clients are escaping from. I never did stick up for myself, because it was easier to let her curse and scream about thermostats and cat litter and be done.
She has been skirting the blame in our small town since she resigned and the other day sent a mass text out to all current and past employees once again passing the blame on to our current director and our board. I had had enough of this drama and her, and finally told her that she could politely “lose my number.” It’s just a small text, but that was literally my declaration of independence from her, and I have NEVER FELT MORE EMPOWERED IN MY LIFE.
25. Show Them Who’s Boss
I work for a pipeline company, one of our lines brings fuel into a refinery. We needed something changed out on our line, and needed it done ASAP.
Timing was critical, because after a few days of not being about to deliver into the refinery, it would back up our system and shut down the WHOLE PIPELINE. Big problem.
The refinery guys were total jerks, and were obviously used to being in charge, and definitely didn’t take orders from a young female.
For two days, I got to remind them that I FUEL YOUR GODDAMN REFINERY. Oh, you don’t think you can get to this today? I hope you don’t mind explaining this when our pipeline is down and your refinery shuts down…
Felt so good, man.
24. Barking Up The Wrong Tree
Girls try to get me to buy them drinks at bars a lot. I make sure to introduce them to my boyfriend very politely as I decline.
23. Reap What You Sow
I work at a call center and a customer asked to speak to a supervisor today. Of course, I had to be that supervisor. Being in my position, I have a lot more leeway with procedures than frontline customer service specialists do. I was a hair from fixing this man’s problem and drastically cutting down the call time… Until he started to insult me.
I literally chose to make this customers life more difficult and take the traditional route with the call instead of making a special exception JUST because of his attitude. The customer wound up hanging up on me after refusing our number, so he’ll probably call back, get transferred 500 times (my department is kind of niche), and have to do the same thing all over. Be nice to customer service and customer service will be nice to you.
22. Not as Senior As You Think
“I’m the most senior employee here so I’m technically the boss.”
No, you’re covering from another department… regardless of how long you’ve worked here, you’re only filling in and are not employed by us. You are technically the least senior, according to company policy. Even less senior than the girl who started twenty minutes before you got here.
21. Strip Clubs Don’t Mess Around
I was a manager at a strip club for around ten years, and we always loved the customers who complain about nonsense and think something will happen because the world has taught them the customer is always right. I used to give them a piece of paper and a pen, and tell them to write it all down and I’ll put it in the suggestion box. When they were done and handed me the paper, I’d ball it up and throw it right in the garbage can, and tell them their complaint had been filed.
20. Karma Comes For Us All
Don’t know if this counts. I had a crappy group project teammate in college. Didn’t do any work. He applied for the company I worked for about a year after college. My bosses asked if I knew him and I said: “yup, don’t hire him.”
Was the ultimate peer review revenge.
19. That’s Rich
I was let go from a non-profit for no reason (re: wasn’t in “rich” enough circles to be able to attract money to the org).
I then got a job at a large funder for non-profits. The non-profit eventually came knocking and I had the ear of the CEO.
I didn’t end up saying anything, but it was one of the most satisfying moments in my life to have that power and a friendly reminder to treat all people well.
18. Exposure Doesn’t Pay The Bills
An ex-client tried to make out that he never said he agreed to pay me after creating him a complex website, graphics and marketing materials and that it was just “work experience.”
This was untrue, he even agreed a price via email exchange and I’m not exactly going to waste my time working for “experience” when I have bills to pay and an established skillset in my field.
Anyway, a swift screenshot of the emails and talks of lawyers soon changed his tune.
17. Fake I.D. Fail
Over and over when I worked as a nightclub doorman:
“This ID is fake. You can’t come in, and I’m keeping the fake ID.”
“You can’t take my driver’s license. I’m calling the cops.”
“This is Officer Local Police Department working an approved off duty security shift. You can talk to him.”
16. That Ain’t Gonna Fly
Turned in my two weeks. Fly many states away for what will be my final customer. Sit down with the guy and right off he is demanding and threatening. I forget the actual sentence he dropped but I was just like “nope.”
So I just flat told him: This is the last time I’ll be working for this company, turned in my notice right before I flew here. A bit unprofessional I guess, but meh. I didn’t even have to tell him to drop the attitude and chill, he figured out it wasn’t going to be the most productive way to deal with me and immediately changed his tone.
15. When Reason Goes Out The Window
When I was at school I was having trouble with this one guy—not a bully, exactly, but we didn’t get on (we were later put in separate houses). Anyway, during one shouting match, he made a big thing about how he was whatever rank in the army cadets.
I stopped for a second, and just said: “But, I’m not in the cadets.”
“But I outrank you!”
“I don’t have a rank. I’m not in the army, so you’re not above me.”
And then he said, “But if martial law were declared…”
And I couldn’t really carry on after that.
14. Sort Out Your Priorities
I am 5’4″ male who looks less muscular than I am. I was in line for priority boarding and it had just started when the woman behind me said “Excuse me, this is for priority boarding. You need to wait with everyone else.”
I ignored her and presented my boarding pass with my active duty ID. My only revenge was when the attendant said “thank you for your service,” I turned to the woman behind me, grinned, and said “thanks!” Before boarding.
13. Hypocrite Much?
A few years ago a water main burst at the end of our street, causing traffic to be detoured for a few days through the parking lot of a retirement community two blocks from my house. It ironically was a bit of a shortcut on my way home from work, but I’d never taken it before because it was private property. A few days after they fixed the break and opened the road again, traffic was super jammed up and I turned off early to take the shortcut through the parking lot, just because.
On that day, a resident of the retirement place who was parking saw me, and followed me home. She pulled in to my building’s parking lot right behind me, and as I stepped out after parking she yelled from her window that I’d trespassed on private property, and I shouldn’t ever do that again. I looked her dead in the eye, pointed to the private property sign she’d driven past as she pulled into our lot, and said, “Sounds like a deal.”
12. Out You Go
Had a nursing home patient call 911 themselves and the nurse told us (EMS) to leave before we saw the patient. No, once an active emergency scene is established the competent patient and the emergency service providers call the shots. The police removed him from the patient’s room. His boss removed him from his job later.
11. Engineer Your Way Out Of That One, Boss
I have always had a pretty good relationship with my bosses and they’re usually reasonable. It’s an engineering position and occasionally some people have to travel. I was asked to cover for someone for a relatively trivial meeting on the west coast. It was not my project and the only justification was to send a warm body to show that we were present.
Boss told me to go, I said no. He said “this won’t look good on your performance appraisal.” I said “the only way you can hurt me with a performance appraisal is to roll it up and poke me in the eye.”
I did not go to the meeting.
10. It’s A Family Guy Affair
Middle school, we were stupid edgy kids who wanted nothing more in this world than Call of Duty and Family Guy.
Teacher found out we were watching Family Guy, tried to get the school to ban it/phone our parents and tell them we were watching it. Plot twist: most parents know their kids are watching it, and don’t care because around the age of 13 you’re typically responsible enough to not repeat the stuff you hear when it’s not appropriate.
Whoever would have guessed schools can’t control what you do at home!
9. Sound Logic
Watched a woman try to get speedy boarding on an easyJet flight because “I’ve had a British Airways Gold Card for twenty years.”
8. Trouble With The In-Laws
When my ex FINALLY stood up to his mother (She was 90% of the reason for divorce) about our custody schedule and told her, “We have it figured out. Myself, their mother, and their stepdad. We do not need your advice or opinion.”
I just wish I had been able to witness it.
7. Trouble-Free Toking
When my Mom comes over unexpectedly to my house and sees my weed and weed smoking devices.
6. Petty Power-Play Falls Flat
I had put in my two weeks notice at a job and they suddenly had me working bizarre split shifts when they found out that I was training for my new job around my previously set schedule. My schedule which had not changed in months. The schedule which was preventing me from finishing college.
I finally had my fill and decided to leave. As I was leaving, one of the supervisors said I had to check in with a manager and I said, “Naw, I don’t work here anymore.”
5. Seniority Squabble
My job has a system based on seniority if you are doing the same job. For example: promotions are handed out to the people who’ve been there the longest, or if the job is overstaffed the seniors gets first dibs to leave. In the interview they ask if you are comfortable if a 20-year-old is your senior and can boss you around (assuming you are a 50-year-old), if you answer you have problem with it, they won’t hire you…
So I’m 22 and this 45 year old was telling me what to do, I am his senior by two years. He was telling me how to do my job on his first month. Hell nah, tried to throw the “I’m old enough to be your grandfather/dad” card. He told the supervisor that I was being disrespectful and rude and threatened to call HR…
HR fired him.
4. Good Riddance
A (heading towards abusive) ex told me that he would leave me if I didn’t lose ten pounds in the two weeks before his friend’s wedding. He was blown away when I said “okay” and walked away.
3. What A Beautiful Sight
Over the course of six months, through countless phone calls to different union offices and the department of labor, I eventually got my boss fired for changing people’s time-keeping information to steal overtime from them. During those months I was treated like dirt by this guy, but I never actually did anything wrong so I couldn’t be punished. At one point, management—against contract rules—denied my time off request to be at my best friend’s wedding and my boss brought me into his office and threatened to fire me. At this point, I had called the northeast district business associate on him, and I will never forget the look on my boss’s face when he realized I knew he couldn’t do anything to me.
2. Ain’t Gonna Happen, Bud
I’m an ICU nurse, the last two nights I’ve been taking care of a large strong man going through withdrawals. It involves four-point restraints.
This morning I was trying to put elbow pads on him and he swung at me, but of course, the restraints prevented this.
He was furious as I just stood there and slow blinked at him.
1. How About No?
I was in a wedding party and there was a brief lull in between scheduled parts and we were all just milling around waiting. The maid of honor, known for being obnoxiously bossy, starts barking out orders to every single person. As soon as she’s finished, the wedding planner who was standing behind her chimes in with ‘”nobody do any of that” and then told us to sit tight. It was great.