Being in charge feels good, even if it’s just something small like choosing what snacks to bring to the party. There could be too many sweets and not enough salty treats or only one or the other! A small decision could make or break someone’s night depending on their preference. It seems like a silly example...until reading these true stories about the most ridiculous power trips people have seen happen. What goes up must come down, and these people go all the way down.
1. Winning The Pot
There was one woman in the office who was in charge of the coffee fund and had a list of rules for using the coffee machine. One was not to brew any after 1 PM even though there were a few people who enjoyed their coffee in the afternoon. When people weren’t following the rules, she stopped buying coffee with the fund.
So, someone else just bought coffee and brought it in. She didn’t like that either. I think eventually the people who clashed with her just brought in a new machine and started their own coffee fund.
2. Running The Show
I was helping with first aid at a half-marathon, and there was a guy who had a single job. He was supposed to stand at the bottom of a road and direct the runners down one of two roads. Since there were barriers across the road, it was a no-brainer and impossible to screw up in any way, shape, or form. And yet somehow…
He decided that, despite the road being closed to traffic and contrary to the very simple instructions he was given, the runners must run on the pavement. The road, according to him, meant cars, so people on foot had to stay on the paved sidewalk. His methods were...insane. He screamed and forced hundreds of people to squeeze along the pavement.
He even chased after anyone who put a foot on the road while yelling at them. People were tripping each other in the small space, and after a few first aid patients, I called around to see if I could get someone to stop him because he was exercising his zero power. Eventually, someone moved him and left no replacement.
There was not even a direction sign, and it all ran smoother than when he was there. Nobody took the wrong road, which showed that he was less effective than empty space.
3. Meet Your Maker
A woman created a hobby group on Facebook to organize meetups and such. She shared it around on other groups, and naturally, hundreds of other people joined. But things only went downhill after that. Nobody was allowed to post except her. Seemingly every comment, mostly related to the meetup details, would set her off.
She lashed out or banned members for just about anything. I was banned for responding to a meeting I couldn’t make, which prompted her to guilt-trip me. Eventually, she went off the deep end and deleted the group to "punish everyone." Someone made a new group, which everyone joined. It’s still going strong to this day.
4. Getting Trashed
At school, candy wrappers and juice boxes were littering the halls and classrooms. The principal first thought it was the students and blamed them. Then my friends and I noticed the school canteen lady scattering garbage around the school. She was the one who’d claimed that the students did it. It still makes me laugh.
5. Way To Go
When passing through Pensacola, Florida, I became confused about which turn I needed to take. I pulled just off the highway onto the edge of a massive empty parking lot and took out my large map. The nearest building was nearly a quarter of a mile away, and I was stopped just outside the gigantic, unfenced parking lot.
Security drove from the building in a golf cart, got out, and shouted at me, "No parking! This is a private lot! You can't park here!" I was in a car with California tags, the engine running, and a map on my lap, and this guy was telling me not to park there. I ignored him until I found the road I wanted and drove off.
6. A Minute More Experienced
Everyone hated the new lower-level employee who worked with us. When there was another employee hired who had the exact same job as her, she took it upon herself to boss the new employee around. I actually had authority, so I finally pulled the employee aside and reassured her that she was doing fine and to ignore her.
7. Exact Amount Only
I was filling my tank at a gas station when suddenly the pump stopped. I tried getting the attention of the cashier from the pump who was inside the station. With no success, I had no other choice but to go and wait in the already long lineup. I eventually got to the cashier and explained that the pump stopped working.
Her face twisted into a nasty glare as she told me that I was wrong because she’d turned it off. Put off, I asked her why. She told me that I already knew why. I wanted to scream. Confused and getting irritated, I asked her to explain it to me because I had no idea. Now yelling, the attendant told me that it was because I was on my phone.
At the time, there was a scare about mobile phones starting fires at gas stations. But I hadn’t been on my phone and told her that. She snapped back that my friend was on his. So, I told her that I didn’t know he was on the phone, and he was inside, which wasn’t likely to ignite a fire accidentally. She didn’t have it.
After I asked her to turn it back on, she told me that she’d need to reset it and I’d have to pay for what I already filled. So, I gave her a twenty, which made her sneer. She didn’t have any change for it. Tired of her petty attitude, I told her that I’d just fill $20 worth and left to finally finish pumping the rest.
After walking back to the car, I opened the door, and my passenger, who’d been watching the whole time, asked me what was going on. I explained her problem and asked him to put it away for her. She still waited a minute or two to turn on the pump. By then, I was reaching my patience limit and had trouble with the math. But the worst was yet to come.
I had to do quick math to even out the amount to $20. When I thought I was successful, I lined up again, got to the cashier, and handed her my bill. She told me that it wasn’t the right amount. I explained that it wasn’t easy given the situation that she had put me in. Scathingly, she told me that I was a dollar short.
Offended and without any more means of payment, I was forced to return to the car to ask my passenger for a single dollar. Then, for the third time, I lined up to give the lady her dollar. I gave it to her then told her how unnecessary she’d made everything. She just yelled back that I shouldn’t have been on the phone.
As I opened the door to leave, I yelled back that I wasn’t and maybe if she wasn’t such a stickler, everything would have been over a long time ago. Another person in the shop laughed, but I left absolutely furious.
8. Play No Games
When I was in my late teens, I got a job at the arcade inside my local mall. At first, I was so stoked because I thought it’d be the best place to work. Sadly, it was miserable due to the horrible store manager. This woman was the pettiest person I've ever met. She was so bitter that she found joy by ruining the lives of all of the young people who worked there.
She was mean, cranky, and condescending. She did anything to make sure you knew that it’s her way or the highway. She'd worked for the arcade for about 15 years. She assigned every worker a “little chore list,” as if we were her children. These chores often consisted of unnecessary busywork that took up a whole shift.
This was so that even if it got slow, all of us had something to do. According to her, if you’re on the clock, you had to be working no matter how pointless your work may seem. But the straw that broke the camel's back for me was when one of my duties on the chore list was cleaning the top of the 15-foot glass windows.
I remember asking why she felt that I should get on a ladder and risk falling just to clean windows that no one ever saw. She assured me that it was dirty and she’d know if I didn't do it. It was normal for her to accuse us of not doing any of her chores or only doing it half-heartedly. But we’d do it all without fail.
So, that night, I pulled the ladder out of the storage room and started cleaning the top of the windows. I couldn't believe what I found up there. At the very back corner of the store, I saw a set of small handprints. This crazy lady climbed up 15 feet to leave handprints so that she could confirm if the windows had been cleaned at some point during the day.
I could not fathom that level of power hunger pettiness. I called her out on it over the phone immediately. At first, she tried to deny it then said, "Well, I guess you actually do your chores after all,” and gave me a snarky little chuckle over the phone. My response to that was to tell her I quit and was going home.
There was nobody at the store but me, so I'm sure she had to leave whatever she was doing at home to close that night. A few years later, I went back to the arcade, and she was still there.
9. All About The Attitude
I’m a video engineer at a TV station. One producer got her husband hired as my assistant. He was menacing and barged into my office to try and catch me doing something wrong. He kept telling me that he was going to take my job. But he was previously unemployed for years, and I had a degree and ten years at the station.
He was so confident that he was going to take my job. The last straw was him screaming at me in the hall. He didn’t last two weeks. His wife was mortified.
10. Do You Copy?
I once taught English in an international school in Egypt, which was poorly managed. This guy there who was responsible for some general maintenance around the school happened to have his office in the same room as the copy machine. Every day, all of the teachers brought their papers to his room to copy them for class.
And every day, the man told us to, "leave it on his desk," where there’d be a bunch of teacher copies needing to be made. He wanted to make the copies himself. It was not technically his job, but the machine was in his office, and by making people copy through him, he kept his status as an essential part to the school.
Copies were always late, sometimes not being available until the next day. It all depended on how the guy felt at that moment.
11. How’d You Manage That
I frequented my local video game store for years, and one assistant manager fit the stereotype of the fat, greasy, and obnoxious gamer guy to a T. When the newest version of a console came out, I went to trade my old one and the controller. Both worked perfectly with minor wear. The guy tried screwing me in the deal—but he didn't know who he was messing with.
He told me that my controller was “damaged” so I couldn’t have the new one. But because the trade system needed it, he was going to open the new console and take the controller that came with it. In utter disbelief, I flipped out. So, he canceled the sale then banned me from the store because he was “manager on duty.”
I brought my issue to corporate and complained. That was when I learned that he had been promoted that very day. On top of that, I was one of three complaint calls about him in four hours. He was fired.
12. Official Report
I worked in an office, and one of my co-workers was married to somebody in HR. He was a bit of a tool and had only been with the company a few months. I had just been promoted and went back to my old area where a colleague and I were talking about how stupid some new company policy was. Then this guy walked over to us.
He told us to stop talking about it. I said okay but continued the conversation. After a couple of rounds of, “I’m serious,” he burst out that he was going to write me up for continuing to talk about the policy. I stopped mid-sentence mildly confused for a moment until I realized that I didn’t work in that department.
And even if I did, I didn’t work for him. Nobody did. I walked over to his desk and told him that I was ready and hoped the write-up wouldn’t affect my career prospects at the company. Or his. I suggested that we go to HR to speak to his wife about our respective roles in the company. He never tried to play boss again.
13. Location Matters
My husband was dropping off Styrofoam. He was walking back to the car when one of the workers yelled at him to move it to the other pile across the lot. No signs were indicting not to put anything in the pile. The man just waited there with his arms crossed until my husband finished making two trips to right the wrong.
14. Perks Of Being The Boss
I was a waitress at a large café where the owner was nice but never around. It was just the staff and baristas in our teens and early twenties and the manager—a middle-aged man who earned about 50 cents more an hour. I can't describe how disliked and incompetent he was. We weren't allowed to refer to him by his name.
It was, “The Boss,” and when he brought his son in once, we had to call him, “The Mini-Boss,” which he thought was really funny. My colleague, a teenage girl, had referred to him by his first name, and he yelled at her about, “respecting hierarchy.” He resigned after the owner found out his business degree wasn’t real.
But the worst was when he used up all the duct tape to tape off a corner of the cafe. There were no extra rooms for an office, so he’d just made his own, and we weren't allowed to cross the duct tape at any time. Even though the supply closet with all the cleaning equipment was there. I had to go buy more tape for him.
15. Stand Down
I parked in a 15-minute standing zone to get something from my house. This guy with cut-off gloves, a dollar store badge, cargo pants, and a utility belt came and wrote me a ticket for being in a standing zone. I didn’t even get inside because I was arguing with him. So, he ended up writing me three tickets! I was mad.
I took pictures, asked for his information, and took it to court. And he showed up! He made the same arguments to the judge who realized how much time he’d wasted and just dismissed the tickets apologizing to me.
16. Manners Matter
One day in middle school, we had a substitute teacher. At the end of the day, she dismissed us, so we stood up. She screamed at us about minding our manners. She told the boys to sit down because ladies first. Everyone was so stunned that we obeyed. She had been so nice to us during the day, so it was quite the change.
17. Learning Along The Way
Each year, a Nurse Manager emerges from her office on the floor, chooses one patient, and follows them on their journey from admission to discharge. This is to look for anything to improve the process along the way. It sounds great! But really, it’s just the Nurse Manager finding and implementing unnecessary practices.
There was even a time when a healthcare worker could get written up for not smiling while passing someone in the hallway. Nurse Managers love doing this to prove their worth at the hospital, which is very little.
18. Experienced Shopper
I was a part of a group that tried to save the flagship store just before the retailer went under. It was a thankless task. The writing had been on the wall long before. Our team was to run the store until we couldn’t. A few weeks in, a guy was brought in from another store to be the assistant to the assistant manager.
He was 21, weighed 150 lbs soaking wet, had glasses about 2 inches thick, and clearly thought he was God's gift to retail who had been brought in to save the store single-handedly. He marched around the store barking orders while doing nothing himself and always made references to his “many” years of retail experience.
So, he was condescending to anyone who he deemed below him. I kept quiet, letting him bank up embarrassment for a few weeks until he went on one of his tangents acting as if he was some 50-year-old grizzled veteran of retail. It was then that I decided to quietly tell him that I was not just a few years older than him.
But I also had been a retail manager since I was 18 and was on a higher level than him. I've never seen someone shrivel up so fast. But none of it ultimately mattered as one by one we were picked off as the result of cost-cutting until the business shut down permanently the next year. But it was nice bringing him down.
19. Aggressive Enforcer
The bouncers at one club were grade-A jerks. I watched as one threw a girl down a fire escape at closing because she took too long to get her things together. A crowd quickly formed around her when she hit the bottom, and the authorities were called. But the next time I went, I saw that the guy was still working there.
One time, I was wearing a sweater with my long sleeves covering my wristband deeming me of age to drink. While I was drinking, this bouncer walked up to me, grabbed my drink, and poured it on the floor as well as my leg without asking to see my wristband. I didn’t want to get banned, so I couldn’t do anything about it.
20. Handwriting On The Wall
In the 4th grade, I had a social studies teacher who most of the students at school hated. For no obvious reason, it seemed like she hated me a lot in particular. I have a disorder that causes my writing to be messy and doing so for a long time can cause wrist pain. But my teacher enjoyed forcing me to rewrite my work.
It was one of the ways she made my life miserable. And if I didn’t write neat enough or if my eraser didn’t erase to her standards, she’d make me to do it again. And that class was right before recess, so she kept me inside rewriting my work for as long as she felt since I didn’t need to be anywhere. I’ll never understand.
21. Official Refusal
I was a heavy drinker but had given up for years and only had light drinks just for a taste. That day, I decided that I deserved a treat after a very stressful shift. My new girlfriend came with me to grab my drinks as I didn’t trust myself to do so. So, we joined the long line to the counter with my four-pack in hand.
After ten minutes, she asked for our IDs. My girlfriend didn’t have hers, and I told her that minors were allowed to buy in our state. She refused to sell. By then, I was starting to crack. The guy behind me told the cashier that it was obvious that I was having a rough night and was clearly not buying it for the girl.
He noted that there was barely anything in my drinks to be a big issue and told her selling to minors was allowed. He even told me to put it in his cart, but the cashier was adamant that she would refuse the sale to him too. By that point, my options were to make everyone wait longer and get a manager or to just leave.
The whole interaction got to me, and I ended up buying a real 12-pack, breaking my sobriety. The same night, I called my best friend to complain. He happened to be the manager of the store where the cashier worked. When I told him that I caved and drank, he got mad. She had been getting many warnings about her behavior.
She tried stopping anyone from buying things that she didn’t approve from drinks to rap CDs. My friend told me that what happened with me was the final straw. In trying to enforce her morals, she’d actually pushed me off the right path. She lost her job, and I cheated myself for one night. So, both of us lost that day.
22. Penned Up Anger
A border agent refused to give me a pen to fill a line on our transfer papers. He gave me and my wife a long spiel about how it's his work tool and he couldn’t just let anyone use it. Instead, we had to take the time to dig in our backpacks to find a pen for the form. This was all after an 18-hour flight with two kids.
23. Doing Too Much
Our building owner went on vacation and took his mother who normally staffed the management office with him. He had his nephew Henry fill in while they were gone. It was an easy job. All he had to do was answer two phone calls, replace an access card, and play games for the rest of the time. That was NOT what happened.
Somehow Henry got it into his head that if he really “took charge,” his uncle would give him a permanent job. So, he started sending out insane emails on day two that said things like, “the dumpsters are almost full, so some employees must be illegally dumping in them!” No, it's Tuesday. They were emptied twice a week.
Another email said, “I noticed over the weekend that several employee vehicles were parked in the lot! We are not a car storage facility. Cars left in the lot over the weekend will be towed!” He did not consider that people worked weekends. The final straw was Henry going to the ground floor of one company after hours.
He took pictures of inside people’s offices because, “it looked messy from the street, so I was just documenting it for the inevitable eviction.” But this was a regular office that was cleaned every night. The most objectionable thing that he could have possibly found in there was a coffee mug left soaking in the sink.
The tenants put their heads together after that and tracked the owner down to a hotel in Ireland and woke him up in the middle of the night. The maintenance man escorted Henry out of the building about fifteen minutes later.
24. Rational Practice
There was a receptionist at an office where I worked who was extraordinarily concerned that we were spoiled on chocolate milk powder. She only bought one small canister a month for an office of 150 people. Whenever we wanted to have any, we needed permission, and she insisted on watching as we scooped it into our cups.
25. Time Will Tell
When I was teaching preschool, my boss delegated our daily schedules to an aide who wasn't qualified as a teacher or an assistant teacher. This made the woman mad with power. She was in charge of deciding when and who got their breaks and prep time as well as when different teachers were off for the day. It was a mess.
Weeks passed without certain teachers getting prep time, and if they brought it up to her, she retaliated by scheduling them for ten-hour workdays. The system made absolutely no sense, and eventually, everyone just stopped following her schedule and did what worked out best for each classroom. She left soon after that.
26. King Of My Castle
When I was just out of high school, I worked at a big box retail store with levels assigned to the staff. Level 1 was the cashiers and stock people. Level 3 staff ran the departments managing Level 1 staff and day-to-day problems. And the Level 2 position managed a small department alone with no authority over anyone.
I became a Level 2 because I was a decent worker and always came in. From time to time, I was asked to be in charge of closing a department and make sure the Level 1s did their job and didn't goof off too much. They were teenagers, so they were going to mess around, but I was only 19 and just had to keep them on track.
That was until someone else became a Level 2. They stayed in their tiny department and refused to help with normal closing duties. They belittled the Level 1s and walked around watching and getting on them for not working constantly all the while not doing their own job to help us go home. Finally, I closed with them one night. It was even worse than I'd feared.
We were both "in charge." They made sure to tell everyone where they were working for the night. We had two things to sort through before leaving. I said I'd take the hard one and they could have the other. They threw a fit and screamed, "You can’t tell me what to do,” before storming back to their tiny department.
We had to stay late that night because of their fit. And it happened all the time. I'll never forget that stupid, smug little look they always walked around with once they were promoted.
27. New User Error
This guy who had just been promoted to a supervisor role was learning how to use the program that I have been trained to use. He normally met with me for about 30 minutes a day to ask me questions about the program. One day, he asked we couldn’t do something one way. I told him no because of the operating instructions.
He went on to tell me that the practice was still done in our records. I explained that one department used the shortcut because it was helpful and they didn’t have the full training. I told him that it wasn’t that much of a deal, just against the instructions. He told me he’d ask the guy who trained me in the program.
A few minutes later, my friend from that department sent me a screenshot of an email they’d gotten for doing the shortcut. He berated them and said to stop immediately. I was in shock because he had just learned about the rule but went that hard on someone for no good reason.
28. New Wallpaper
A 17-year-old student at the boarding school where I used to work was appointed as a prefect and was given the authority to issue "punishment" essays to any of the younger boys. He got a bit carried away with the power move and issued so many of these essays that all four walls of his study room were papered with them.
29. Interim Mutiny
I was with a co-worker in the back unloading trucks for the retail store. Our supervisor had to leave mid-job, so his boss who didn’t like me told my co-worker that he was in charge of the seven of us that day. It was cold, and I was the only one with gloves. So, I offered to throw the stuff while everyone else sorted.
My co-worker demanded that everyone but me take turns throwing from the truck until their fingers were numb. I just ignored his yelling and switched with the guy in the truck. My co-worker didn’t like this but shut up after a few minutes when no one paid attention. The light was shining on my face, and I readjusted it. His reaction was deranged.
This guy came and pointed it straight in my face. This happened three times before I snapped, yelling at him to stop blinding me so I could actually work. He yelled back that it wasn’t for him but for the managers to see what he was doing. Our argument escalated, and I said a few choice words that he did not appreciate.
So, he said that he was going to tattle and get me fired. I yelled that I didn’t care. Then it was break time. But instead of clocking out, I went to the manager’s office to see her and my co-worker talking over their lunches. I told her that she needed to separate me and the co-worker because I’d already sworn at him.
That was already a fireable offense, and I told her that if she didn’t, there was going to be a fight if kept at it. She looked horrified and told me that the two of us would have to work it out because he wasn’t my boss. After that, we didn’t talk for the rest of the shift, and he stopped trying to control everything.
30. Sounds Crazy
I worked at a theme park once, and the teenagers used the lifeguard whistle all the time over everything. Once, one was complaining to me about a woman who jumped out of the inner tube too early on the ride. "I told this woman she had to go in time-out, and she wouldn’t! She just walked off! Can you believe the nerve?"
31. Pleased To Seat You
When I worked at a restaurant, one hostess told me that she felt so powerful on nights that she worked. She could seat too many or too few people to ruin a server’s day or mess up the whole kitchen by seating tables too fast and other things like that. She did this to the people she didn’t like and ruined their nights. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
I did not feel bad in the slightest when I notified my manager that she admitted to feeling that way, and I definitely didn’t feel bad when she never was put on that duty again.
32. Who’s Counting
There was a head girl at my school who shouted in your face if your uniform wasn't perfect. She introduced a stamp system so that you'd get detention after a number of "offenses." It lasted a few months before a parent brought up that it was against some rule to give after-school detention for such an arbitrary reason.
33. Reaching The Limit
I worked as a camp counselor when I was 22. The rule was that campers weren't allowed more than one popsicle a day. There was a popsicle that I really liked and went to buy one later in the day. The shop counselor said that the rule was one per day per person. I was an adult being held to the same rules as 9-year-olds.
34. Employing Tactics
An outside merchandiser at a store told me that I couldn't use the self-service key cutter after an actual store employee had told me to do so. The employee came back, and I told him what the guy told me. He rolled his eyes. I went back to cutting my keys, and the merchandiser walked back and asked me what I was doing.
I told him what I’d said earlier, and he got snippy with me. My daughter basically told him to screw off.
35. Close To The Cut
I was boarding a flight from Mexico and had already been through security and immigration, but another person was asking for a slip of paper from when I entered Mexico. I wasn't aware of this piece of paper, which must have fallen out of my passport along the way. So, I ran to an office where the guys were really nice.
They helped with the paperwork so I could get back to my boarding gate. As I was running to the gate, the flight attendant saw me, smirked, and pulled the rope across the end of the queue to board. She told me that boarding was closed even though people were an arm’s length away lined up with only a rope separating us.
36. Stay Starving
Every day at work, the crew got meal tickets for lunch. When they got the tickets, whoever issued them gave them out, and then people put them in their wallets for later. One guy took the opportunity to relish in his power. He spent the day trying to play people off each other to see who would get to go to lunch first.
37. Air Force Young
A friend of mine had bragged for years to practically everyone in university that he was class president of our high school. Except that he won by default since no one else ran. He considered himself to be an immensely important and influential figure in the school and immediately began dressing and acting differently.
He wore a cheap suit and tie every day, carried a fancy brass lighter, flask, and pair of aviators he had bought online, and began talking like he was some experienced politician up for re-election.
38. All Or Nothing
I went to renew my driver’s permit at the station, which usually just took telling whoever was there. That day, the guy behind the counter ungraciously said that there was nothing to do since the permit was expired. Technically, I needed to bring my social security number, birth certificate, as well as proof of residence.
But again, it usually wasn’t necessary. So, I came back the next day with everything, and the same guy asked me what I needed. I said that I wanted to renew my permit, so he asked for my paperwork. I passed it all to him then he asked to see my permit. After a quick glance, he handed it back along with everything else.
He told me that he couldn’t do anything for me because my permit was expired. Annoyed, I asked him what I needed to renew it. He told me what he’d said before but added a valid driver’s permit to the list, which made no sense seeing that I wanted to renew mine.I pointed this out, and he said that’s just how it worked. I was about to lose it.
So, we tried another location. I walked in with all my paperwork and my expired permit. When I told them what I needed to do, they said that they only needed my permit. They took it, and then after a couple of keystrokes, my renewal process was started. A week later, I got my valid permit in the mail. I hated that guy.
39. Reactive Measures
In the 90s, I worked the concession stand at the movies. A girl who was a grade above me had been promoted to a shift leader, which meant she kept the front counter clean. After just a week of her promotion, she came in on her day off. I was at the stand collecting tickets when she screamed at me from across the lobby.
“No chemical on the counter!” The lobby was full of people, and it just went silent. She came over, grabbed the spray bottle out of my hand, and threw it behind the counter. It broke and splashed all over the back of the concession stand. Then, she started to yell at me again about not leaving chemicals on the counter.
The general manager was present to watch what was happening and so kicked her out. He made sure she knew that she was not just unemployed but also banned from the theater for the next year. We had to close down the concession stand for an hour to clean up and get back to normal. People at school were not kind about it.
40. Good Bag, Bad Bag
I was going through security for a musical festival. The guy stopped me to tell me that my backpack was too big and not allowed. I pointed to everyone else coming in with the same or bigger bags as me. He shook his head and told me that theirs were good and mine wasn’t. He told me to toss it or take it back to the car.
Because I came by Uber and my bag was not cheap, neither were an option. So, my wife and I got out of line and waited 10 minutes. We got back in line but went through separately with her carrying the backpack. She got in with no problem. The guy was about to ruin my day over a backpack the other guy didn’t even notice.
41. Not Playing
My fiancé and I were on our campsite playing water pong with our retirement-aged parents sitting in lawn chairs a few feet away. Out of nowhere, a campground worker wearing an orange vest drove over to us yelling about how drinking games weren’t allowed and that we had to stop immediately. I told him it was just water.
He didn’t care. He told us that it was a family park, and although we were allowed to drink, drinking games were not allowed. So, we had to stop.
42. Time To Go
My old supervisor decided that only I had to ask to go to the toilet. I have kidney problems, so when I need to go, I have to go. She didn't like that and made me ask permission to use the toilet. It didn’t last long. We had a team meeting where our manager read out anonymous comments staff submitted. He read out mine.
I asked why I needed permission to use the toilet even though I have a medical condition. My supervisor said that we weren’t children and not expected to ask for permission. He said that if he found out anyone was enforcing the rule, they’d be fired as it was against a basic human right. Her face turned red with anger.
She asked me why I humiliated her that way, and I just told her that if she ever tried making me ask for permission again, I’d submit another complaint. She left soon after.
43. Towing The Line
When I went to my car after class, I found a ticket for, “parking outside the lines.” I checked, and my tire was less than half an inch on the white line. So, I went to dispute the ticket with the supervisor who scolded me for suggesting that these guys who were “laying their life on the line,” would do anything wrong.
44. I Am Hall Seeing
In fifth grade, the school tried implementing student hall monitors. Every day, a new student would have the chance to sit at a little desk outside the washrooms instead of being in class. Each student who went to the washroom had to “check in” with the hall monitor. This one kid who had no friends took it way too far.
Instead of just logging names and times, he was going into the washroom with the boys to make sure that they didn’t take too long, flushed, and washed their hands. He proudly gave in his notes with the names to the teacher at the end of the day. Shocked, the teacher told the principal right away. No more hall monitors.
45. Clean Up Shop
I worked at a pet store as a teen, and the overworked manager had left. The store hired someone from another retail store, not a pet store, who was just a menace. She patrolled the store of 3 to 4 employees like she was a drill sergeant. Then one day, I was mopping the floors before we opened the doors for the morning.
The manager came in and asked me if I had mopped the night before. Confused since the mop was in my hand, I told her that I hadn’t. When she asked why, I explained that it wasn’t a closing-shift duty but an opening-shift duty. Then she told me that she was going to write me up. Indignant, I asked her why she’d do that. Her response was absolutely insane.
She told me that I should have mopped the night before and then again in the morning. I was young and not aware that she couldn’t do that, and I became upset and walked off the job. She called me soon after to fire me, which ended up working for me. I filed for unemployment and had the voicemails to prove what she did.
46. A Waiting Game
I decided to apply to university from college. So, I confidently marched into the office and told the secretary that I needed to see someone to start the process. She lectured me about how irresponsible I was for waiting so late in the semester to put this on the counselor. Patiently, I waited there for over two hours.
The whole time, the secretary was reminding me about how it was my fault. The last counselor came out, and I got so excited. I said that I was applying and needed a few minutes to get the paperwork going. She looked at me blankly and said that I didn’t need her for that. She reached into a basket and pulled out a form.
She told me to just complete and submit it. I was confused but grateful. So, I took the paper and my backpack and walked out. On my way, I heard the counselor go to the secretary and yell, “how long has that student been sitting there, Nancy?!”
47. Following Along
A young couple brought a puppy into the store where I worked where only service animals are permitted. The manager did the standard service dog questioning, and the girl holding the puppy said it wasn't a service animal. So, the manager asked her apologetically to take the puppy out. The guy with the girl just lost it.
He started arguing, getting loud, and making a scene. His tantrum wasn't having his desired effect because everyone was just laughing. So, he spiraled into a "don’t you know who I am," speech, "I have 2 million followers! What do you have? You got nothing!” I was in awe of his bizarre social currency leverage meltdown.
48. Schoolyard Rules
For about a decade, I worked as a self-employed contractor for schools. I visited one small school a day to assist with their IT, do quick fixes, and plan for future projects. My schedule was full, my client waiting list all came from word-of-mouth. There was one large specialist school where I’d worked for five years.
The school catered to the students in the classroom who were deaf. It was a lovely place to work where staff genuinely cared about every student, and there was technology in every room. I worked over the summer to upgrade their system and had about 5-6 days to do the upgrades by the end of summer, which was no problem.
I did the same for several other schools every summer. Except a small school during the summer can be quite lonely. It was just me and the caretaker most days. I reported to the principal who also wasn’t present at the school while I did my work. That summer, the woman who worked in the office had received a promotion. That's where the nightmare started.
So, she decided to “work” the summer and took it upon herself to be my “boss.” Well, one day, I cycled in a few minutes after 9. She tried berating me about being late, but I just stared at her in dumb shock. She walked off quite proud of herself. I shrugged and carried on with my day. The next week, I cycled in later.
Again, I was subject to her lecture but ignored her. I arrived even later the next time I came in. Oblivious to the forming pattern, she berated me and threatened to report me to the headteacher. I politely told her to do so. But I was getting bored of waiting at the end of the road in the morning browsing on my phone.
Furious, she made good on her threat and phoned the headteacher, interrupting him on his holiday. He was much displeased and informed her that I was not just self-employed, but also had no contracted starting time, only hours. It didn’t matter when I arrived as long as the work was finished. But he wasn’t done with her.
He told her that it was always understood that my work hours be flexible as I had work at other schools. She also found out that even if I were employed by the school, she was not and would never be my boss. I reported to him only. He also said that it didn’t even matter if I didn’t complete my contracted hours to him.
He trusted that I’d get the work done. He let her know that I was too critical for the school to lose even after the updates, so her behavior towards me was not well received at all. He didn’t mention that I was also paid much, much more than she ever was. After that day, I came in on time. She never spoke to me again.
49. Higher Ups
I used to work in a warehouse as a lift driver. It sucked, but I worked alone and at my own pace. I also got to listen to music while making $12 an hour. There was this woman my age named Jessi who was a complete witch to everyone in the department. Except her role was to just pick items from shelves to fulfill orders.
She bossed people around and got to the new people fast since they didn’t know that she had no authority over them. It was hard to watch. I was always pulling people aside to tell them not to listen to her. Our paths didn’t cross often, but when they did, we didn't get along. Like the day our boss had an emergency.
His kid had an accident and needed stitches, so on his way out, he told the first person he saw that they were in charge and to let people do their thing. That person was Jessi. Instantly, a chill was in the air—I knew it was going to be a rough night. Jessi began pulling people away from their jobs to do random work.
People who picked items were now suddenly sweeping aisles despite lifts coming in and out of them. Within an hour, all synergy was gone. I couldn't help but laugh as I watched from afar. Then her gaze fell upon me. I watched her as she rapidly approached me. I sighed, lowered my lift, and prepared to be kind but stern.
She got right up to my face and demanded to know what I was working on as if I didn’t do the same thing every day, five days a week for the past year and a half. She didn't like my answer and told me how far behind we were with orders. I told her that I wasn’t surprised since she pulled everyone from their normal jobs.
She told me to get off my lift and start picking orders. I told her that I only did that when my work was finished. And I still had work to do that if I didn’t, would mess everything for the next shift. She started talking, and I took off. She had a meltdown and screamed at me as I was 30-feet high in my lift laughing.
She stormed off and called my boss who was at the hospital with his son to tattle on me. I don't know what was said, but she started crying, hung up, and went home. For the rest of the night, everyone did their jobs, we got everything finished, and team morale was high with everyone bonding over their hatred for Jessi.
50. Donut Regalities
I worked as the assistant general manager at a coffee shop and answered only to the general manager and the franchise owners, if they were there at all. Usually, it was the general manager who could tell me what to do. We did assign shift leaders who handled staff complaints and other issues like feeling sick and such.
The manager and I were often busy with the heavy lifting like baking and running the kitchen to make the front counter and drive-thru more efficient for the crew. One shift leader, Hannah, was a senior at the local high school. We were in one of the many small towns in the area, so everyone had connections to everyone.
Hannah was a good shift leader. She always made sure everyone was working. Her best skill was with customers, especially de-escalation. She just kept a good store. Once she graduated high school, we were planning to give her more responsibility. But we had to figure out why the whole crew had grown to hate her so much. I wasn't prepared for what I found.
One shift when Hannah requested time off, I called a staff meeting. The crew informed me that Hannah thought that her position as shift leader gave her the “power” to use over any crew member in public. They said that she was giving orders for the workday at school. But it didn’t stop in person. It was also online.
If she saw a crew member was online, she’d start giving them orders, and went as far as bugging other people in the crew while they were at church. I was shocked to find out that she was using her small amount of power to be like some Coffee Queen. The manager and I only learned this after two months of Hannah’s reign.
We thought the crew resented being told what to do and that the work wasn’t as “easy” as they’d thought. It’s easy to think that working in a coffee shop wouldn’t be so serious, but not at our store. There was an award for the nicest store from the corporate that would update our old equipment and maybe get a pay bump.
Hannah later apologized when we discussed it. And for two weeks, she was great. But then she began to retaliate against the crew for speaking out against her. So, we offered her two choices: be demoted to crew and still keep the three dollars pay raise from being shift leader as well as try to make peace with the crew.
Or she’d be fired. We had to fire her. She claimed going back down to crew was fine, but she didn't feel like she needed to apologize for anything. She said all that she was guilty of doing was trying to keep things running smoothly.