Rules are stupid. Okay, maybe not always—plenty of rules exist for a good reason. However, everybody knows that there is nothing worse than a dumb rule, especially when it's at school or work. From the cringe-worthy to the downright creepy, here are the most idiotic rules people on Reddit have experienced.
1. Do The Right Thing
In my junior year in high school a teacher collapsed in class and went into full cardiac arrest. The student who called the emergency number was suspended because school policy stated an administrator had to make that decision. It was truly one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. It took them half an hour to approve an emergency call for a student in my class the same year who cracked his skull open during a seizure.
2. We Jammin
We are not allowed to refer to the Xerox Machine as "Bob Marley" anymore even though it still jams way more than it Xeroxes. This is because apparently, the CEO had a tween daughter come one day and she got very upset when she thought the staff was keeping her from seeing Bob Marley in real life. She did not know that Bob Marley is not alive. This stressed out the CEO and he yelled at us about the nickname, no now, the Xerox machine is just "the Xerox machine."
3. Trees Have Feelings Too
At my elementary school, we had a very strict no snowball policy. This doesn't mean “no throwing snowballs at people”; this means picking up snow and forming a ball is not allowed. So anyway, in Grade 6, my friends and I were throwing snowballs at a tree for fun one day. We got caught in the act and had to write a letter apologizing and explaining why it was wrong and whose feelings we hurt. I wrote the tree.
4. The Importance Of Shorts
I went to a catholic school from first to eighth grade and I think the worst was when we got a male principal and he made a rule that we were no longer allowed to wear shorts under our skirts. At the time I was only upset about it because it made no sense to me since no one could even see the shorts but once I got older, I realized just how sick it was.
5. Take A Seat
I was on vacation with my girlfriend at the time, and her dad had a no peeing standing up rule. Literally, I was not allowed to pee standing up in his house. He said this to me at the beginning of the vacation, and I thought he meant to make sure the toilet seat was down after I used it since he only had daughters and wanted to protect them or something. But no—it was so much weirder than I thought.
So, one time when I was peeing standing up, as any man would, my girlfriend's mom says from outside the door that she can hear someone peeing while standing up. Still taking this as a joke, I admitted that it was me. I then got a 30-minute lecture on how I should obey his rules and not pee standing up. Still one of my biggest WTF moments in a relationship.
6. Don’t Stop To Smell The Flowers
My very first job at 15 was at a florist. I was paid under the table, and as a result, didn't really have any rights as a worker. The hours were normal full-time hours, 8 per day, but I wasn't allowed to take any breaks. I could only use the restroom once during my entire shift. I wasn't allowed to speak to anyone besides the owner, and I couldn't look at the flowers.
Breaking one of these rules would result in $15 taken off my "paycheck" (per incident) at the end of the week. I was making $5/hour at the time, so the penalties were huge. Sometimes I'd get paid for the week and would only get around $50. When I asked why, she'd say she caught me looking at the flowers for too long while I was sweeping or cleaning.
7. The Tardy Table
At my high school, when someone was late, they would just have the teacher mark "tardy" on their computer. Most students were never more than a minute late. They just couldn't get to class fast enough and would walk in 30 seconds late or so. Our principal had the brilliant idea of instead having a "Tardy Table" all the way across the school where students would go, line up, and register as being tardy.
If you were late to class, the teacher would send you to the tardy table instead of just marking you late themselves. Instead of having a teacher mark the one or two people who showed up tardy to their class, you had late students from ALL classes lining up to register as tardy with only one person to process them at the tardy table.
The result was students ending up 15-30 minutes late to class because they were waiting in line to register as tardy. The parents were not pleased, but the principal insisted that it would reduce the number of students who were late overall. I'm not sure if they kept it or not. The tardy table was started just a few months before I quit school.
8. The Company That Aims For Less Efficiency
I was temping for a company in a data entry role. They had some standardized input on their website for inquiries and it got parsed into an excel spreadsheet for some reason. I wrote a macro that sucked all of the data out, which meant you could zip through about ninety forms a minute. What a relief it was.
The people the company employed FULL TIME to deal with these forms complained to the IT manager (one of them was married to the IT manager), and I was lectured about how my efficiency would cost people their jobs and had my internet access restricted for six weeks. A little bit too backward for my taste.
9. The Dangers Of Circles
In my elementary school in Canada, we were not allowed to form circles. During recess and such as you get older, you kind of get into that whole "oh look at me I’m getting older and cooler and I just stand around and talk with people instead of messing around in the snow" type of thing, and apparently, us forming circles was a safety hazard because supervising teachers couldn’t see anything going on in the middle of the circle
I mean, god forbid, what if we were making a circle inside of THAT circle?
10. That’s Just Plain Dangerous
I am an EMS helicopter pilot. I fly with Night Vision Goggles. Problem: The FAA rules for using NVG's state that the aircraft must also be equipped with a working radar altimeter. So, if I am flying over the Sierra Nevada mountains on a pitch-black night and the radar altimeter fails…I have to remove the night vision goggles.
11. Teachers Everywhere
When I was in high school there was a rule that students were not allowed to grow facial hair in any form. If a student tried to grow facial hair or just plain didn't have the time to shave before getting to class, which started at 7 in the morning, he was sent to the disciplinary office to be scolded by the vice-principal. But that's not even the worst part.
The vice-principal then forced them to shave with a single-blade disposable razor and no shaving cream. I asked several teachers why this rule was in effect, and most of them simply stated that they didn't know. I got one answer out of the dozen teachers I asked, and that was, "It's so that the students don't look like they're older and get mistaken as faculty. This would allow them to roam the halls and not get sent back to class."
I was dumbfounded. Like, really? I responded the only way I knew, and said, "Why don't you just learn what your coworkers look like?" Let’s just say that the football coach was not very happy with me after that.
12. In The Name Of Security
At my former company, much of my work depended on being able to send and receive email; yet no one except management level was allowed to have their own email address, or even access the outside internet through the company LAN. I was inside an office and had to surreptitiously filch a phone line and get on my own personal dialup account to do my job. Protests to management, of course, proved fruitless; it was all in the name of "security."
13. Step-Grandmommy Dearest
When I was about 10, my stepfather's mother would babysit us for several days or sometimes even weeks at a time because my mother wasn't in the picture and my step-father had many business trips. Alright, that’s life. It wouldn’t have been so bad...if she wasn’t completely crazy. She had a rule that if we weren't eating a meal or sleeping, we weren't allowed to be in the house.
This was normally fine, but we were living in Virginia at the time. There was a bad snow storm one winter, and we were out of school for three weeks. This rule still applied then, even with several feet of snow on the ground. Luckily, my best friend's mother was really awesome and would let us come down to her house every day. She fed us lunch and let us watch movies.
14. Pushing Their Employees To Breakdown
I worked for an inbound call center dealing with the mental health benefits of a certain health insurance company. They had these things called alerts on various accounts, which would give us important instructions like "this group has NO inpatient benefits!" or "this employer does not want us using the word 'eligibility' under ANY circumstances!"
You didn't have to work there very long to familiarize yourself with the alerts for most of the regular accounts that called in. The crazy rule was that you still had to READ the alerts FOR EVERY CALL. Not just click the link and immediately click away–they actually monitored your screen and counted how long you stayed on that page, whether you scrolled down, etc. and expected you to actually re-read every single alert for every single account on every single call.
When upwards of 10 calls every day are coming from the same account, this gets to be EXTREMELY ANNOYING AND STUPID. Of course, this place had a THIRTY-SEVEN step call flow process (as in, 37 things that you had to do for every call), so every call was full of superfluous bureaucratic stuff like this, but the alerts thing was the worst.
I ended up having to go on short-term disability from stress because of all the stuff they made us go through, and eventually I quit after a few months of passive-aggressively refusing to do the parts of the call process that I found pointless/redundant/stupid, and simply taking the hits on my audit scores.
15. Chinese No Take-Out
Once I worked at a Chinese restaurant where if you forgot to put rice on each customer's table–white or brown rice that was free–the owner expected you to buy the entire table's meal. He implemented this rule by taking the money out of your paycheck. It happened to me once in the six months I was there.
The one time that it actually happened to me, they told me to pay the $50 tab for the table. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. That’s a crazy amount of money when you consider the job I was working. I told them if they enforce that rule, I'd walk out in the middle of service. They didn't enforce the rule. I continued my shift.
16. Sway Loose
In my high school, students would link arms and sway side to side to show school support when the school song was played. One year, we got a new principal who immediately banned swaying due to its suggestive nature. “Any student caught swaying will be suspended.” And we WERE! This was 1972. He was fired in 1973.
Fast Forward to 2002, and my oldest child had this "weird substitute" teacher in one of her high school classes. She thought he was peculiar, commenting about how strange his rules were and that he had a bad attitude. When she said his name, all I could do was laugh. I couldn’t believe it. It was my old principal!
17. NO TOAST!
Working for a 600+ employee marcomms group in the UK: They did free breakfasts for all employees but absolutely no toast was allowed (including toasters) because the CEO hated the smell of toast and thought it made people look unprofessional. This has since been relaxed, I believe, but it was that way for years.
18. Watch Your Step
In our student handbook at my high school, I found this gem: “Any step measuring longer than 2 feet is to be considered running indoors and to be punished appropriately.” As a 6-foot-tall person with knee problems, basically every step I take is more like 3 feet. The school gave me an in-school suspension for 2 days. Logically, I then organized a 'long step' protest and got about 70 people to take large, exaggerated steps down the main hallway.
19. It Was A State-Sponsored Cult
I was in Katimavik, which is a Canadian program that is basically a government-sanctioned cult, where youth 17-22 get to travel to three places in Canada doing volunteer work. They cover your transportation, housing, and activities, and you get an "allowance" of $3 a day. It sounds great if you want to travel and have no savings.
However! They have some bizarre rules, which make it sort of like a hippie commune where everyone is supposed to love everyone else equally. You are not allowed to have close friends, OR love partners. At all. So here we were, a bunch of 17-22-year olds, stuck in rural Manitoba in -45 degree winter, no TV or recreation at the house, except lots of snow. And cows. What do you think happened?
Out of 11 people, 8 of them hooked up. We had to meet each other in secret because we would get disciplined if it was found out. On our "weekend off" a bunch of us decided to get hotel rooms, and GASP!, couples shared rooms. Our group leader disciplined us, and gave us "strikes." I already had two strikes for insignificant things, so I was told to leave the program.
I was also disciplined because I spent too much time hanging out with a female friend, instead of like, six people at once singing in a circle like they wanted us to do. It was a pretty bizarre social experiment, kind of like Big Brother. Except nobody wins.
20. Hunting Privileges
All you city folk might think that this is idiotic, but I think it's pretty sweet. At my redneck high school out in the sticks, there were three categories on the attendance sheet. Present, absent, and hunting. For a month in the fall, students would not get in trouble for being absent if they were out hunting!
21. Cornering The Cashiers
I worked at a grocery store in Missouri where we got a new front-end manager who was an absolute tyrant. We had to stand in front of our registers with our hands crossed and were not allowed to speak to any of the other cashiers (whether there were customers or not) and if we spoke to the baggers we were written up.
After about 5 write-ups (I treated the baggers like they were actually humans) I contacted the union and she was torn apart.
22. Desks Need Loving Too
As a public school teacher, we have what is referred to as "desk warming" where we have to come into school during vacation time to literally sit at our desks. The students are gone, nothing is going on. Our contracts only give a limited amount of vacation time so when our vacation time is up, we must be back in school...students or not.
23. There Is Time For Juice
My dad had some insane rules but my favorite one is regarding juice. He goes crazy on me whenever I drink fresh fruit juice after midday because according to him “fresh juice is for breakfast.” I’ve never really gotten that one, but now that I've moved out, I can enjoy orange juice whenever I want. Oh yeahhhh!
24. Taking Clapping Seriously
I went to a private Baptist school during my freshman year of high school. Whenever we had an assembly and it was time to clap our hands for someone who had just spoken or performed, we would have to all clap our hands in unison. It would be led by the insane pastor's wife. She felt normal clapping was too chaotic. It was the weirdest thing I've ever witnessed.
25. Not Appreciating Pidgin
I worked in an international organization for a few years and spoke to people from pretty much every European country, generally in English. Afterward, I was in the UK and got hired by a company there to help them expand their European business. When I started to call people in other European countries from the new job my new bosses started to look oddly at me, then afterward took me aside and told me I had to stop talking to people in a patronizing way.
I was pretty confused but I worked out after a bit that, like most people that have worked in multinational situations, I spoke "International English" when with non-natives. That is to say, speaking a little more clearly, with more obvious gaps between words, a tiny bit slower, and with a slightly smaller vocabulary.
By slowing things down and speaking this way, it makes it much easier for people to understand than if speaking rapid English as I would down the pub. Having been told off for it, I tried to explain, but my bosses were adamant it was a bad thing to do. Apparently, they believed that people were being made to feel dumb.
I accidentally slipped into it several times and got told off each time until I trained myself back out of it, after which many clients asked me to speak more slowly because they couldn't understand me anymore.
26. Look At Our Shiny Signatures
I used to work as a developer for a web content firm. Our marketing manager was obsessed with two things–awards and email signatures. She managed to combine the two into a hideous mess. We had won a few big awards at a national level. We had also won lots of magazine "Best Of" type awards for garnering lots of positive reviews from blogs and personal websites.
Every time we got a new award or positive review, we had to add that to our email signatures, along with the award or blog logo. 25 images later I told the marketing manager it was getting out of hand and that big email signatures were the internet equivalent of pooping into the mouth of your friends firstborn whilst suffering from dysentery and nasty gut parasites.
She didn't care. Her response was, "We have to blow our own trumpet and let people know how great we are." To enforce the email signature rule, we had to send her two emails each day proving that our signature was correct and to her satisfaction.
27. Redefining Lunch Time
Our school messed up the periods so the students who were assigned fourth-period lunch had to eat at 9.40 am. Apparently, the school is not allowed to serve lunch before 10. So, the genius administration decided to ban eating during the period until it hit 10. This included the students who packed their own lunch.
It was extra stupid because they allowed eating during study halls, so if I had a third-period study hall and wanted to have part of my lunch, it was no problem. However, as soon as I moved to the lunchroom the very next period…NO EATING. Talk about dumb!
28. Fear The Ghost
I work for a very superstitious man. He has quite a crazy set of rules. They go like this: No red pens, no shaking your legs, and no whistling after the sun goes down. These rules are not “official” but he gets stern and incredibly serious about these things. Oh yeah, and he also doesn't allow any joking about ghosts or the supernatural.
29. Not Believing In The Power Of Women
Women aren't allowed to lift anything at my job. Literally, anything. I was going to dump a trash can full of shredded paper in the dumpster last week and my boss caught me, made me put the trash can down, and go find someone to dump it for me. I was lifting the thing with one hand. It was all so ridiculous and patronizing.
As my job requires a lot of lifting and I hate asking for help constantly, I have mastered the art of picking up 50-plus pound boxes and running with them so no one catches me.
30. Please Be Warned
I work construction. We're not allowed to tell the new guys how many newbies tragically lost their lives in their first week. I hate it. Young guys don't naturally think about safety, many of them think that they'll live forever. Yeah, gravity doesn't care what you think, please stay away from the ledges, and open elevator shafts.
31. How Many Nurses Does It Take To Screw In A Lightbulb?
I'm entrusted with the care of mentally handicapped clients, including being trained in first aid, CPR, and the Heimlich Maneuver. Yet, apparently changing a light bulb or adjusting the thermostat in the group home where I work is too big of a responsibility for me to be allowed to do. Instead, I have to call someone else in for the simple task.
32. The Consequences Of A Nap
We weren't allowed to sit at my old job. That is ridiculous enough, but even more when you understand that our job didn't require us to walk, or stand for any particular reason. We weren't allowed to sit because a worker in the past once pushed two chairs together and took a nap. Luckily for him it was a glorious nap.
33. Winter Wonder Classroom
We couldn’t wear winter clothing in class—whether it was coats, gloves, hats. All the same. The thing was, even with the heat on, it got cold inside the school during the winter because we lived in a farm town in Wisconsin. So, we just had to freeze. They said it was because winter clothing was gang clothing. Again, this was a farm town in Wisconsin.
34. Dr. Pepper Takes On A New Meaning
No one was allowed to have nor say the word "Dr. Pepper" because it was the password to a shared Brazzers account that the administration found out about.
35. My Crazy Dad
If I was in the house, I had to be in the same room as my dad. This continued until high school. I couldn't be downstairs when he was upstairs. If he was downstairs, I had to be downstairs. If he was in the back room, I couldn't be in the front room for too long. I couldn't even nap for years (unless I was sick).
When I got a dog, I started going outside more (she was my best friend). We went everywhere together and I taught her lots of tricks and talked to her regularly. So, he also made a rule that I couldn't teach her any "tricks" if she wasn't going to listen to him when he "ordered her to do them." I also wasn't allowed to greet the dog before greeting him when I came back from school.
36. Still Using Floppy Discs
In the English class of my Junior year of high school, we had a paper that we needed to make look nice and spiffy, with pictures and such. Floppy disks were the only "school-approved" type of storage. My paper with the pictures didn't fit on the floppy disk. I didn't even have a floppy drive in my desktop at home at the time, so a USB flash drive or email were my only options.
Accessing your personal email from school is a bad idea, so I picked up a 128mb flash drive for about $50, and started using that. The school wasn't happy at all about me installing software on the heavily restricted computers, so I was suspended for three days—at least I scored well on the stupid paper.
Then I got mentioned during an assembly a few weeks later about how people are constantly trying to install software on the school computers to benefit them. The next year, USB flash drives were necessary, and the school made that very clear.
37. Word Trauma
I used to work at a Frisch’s, and the manager there was a total witch. She would nitpick every little thing, but one thing in specific comes to mind. She would not allow anyone to call a hand towel a rag. She policed the usage of the term religiously and if you called a towel a rag, you better be ready to get chewed out.
38. Taking Video Games Seriously
We were told we could not place stuffed dolls (video game characters mostly) on top of our cubicles because it looks "unprofessional" and "people might be able to see them through the windows from outside." You would imagine that I work in a professional, corporate office. Nope. I work at a video game company.
39. Simpson Hater
In 2nd grade circa 1990, I had a teacher that looked like Tammy Faye Baker ask the class to raise their hands if they watched The Simpsons. I raised my hand because my parents were "with it" and I noticed about half did the same. What happened next still blows my mind to this day. She gave the declaration that those with your hands down receive extra credit and will for each week they don't watch that show.
She then went further, extending the extra credit to us watchers if we stopped watching. I told my mother and we didn't abide by it, but I'm sure a few kids did. No idea how she could prove this though to award the credit. But it was pretty much the most prime example in my life of anyone having a cow, man.
40. Painting The Unpaintable
For a brief point in my life, I was an apprentice in the union of operating engineers in Chicago. I had a temp job in an office building where I was supposed to repaint the equipment in the boiler room. Pipes and such, and even the concrete walls thereof. The building management wanted this and even had butt-ugly colors picked out.
The building engineers thought this was ridiculous, especially when I was told to paint even though there weren't any painting supplies or paint! To make it even worse, the corner of the ceiling had water leaking in, and apparently this happened long enough to erode the concrete and make it look like coral reef. How do you paint that when the water keeps flowing over it?
41. Walk This Way
I went to a junior high school with all the lockers in a big circular hallway that branched out to the rest of the school. There was a rule that you could only walk around the hallway counterclockwise. This was supposed to promote order and prevent bumping and jostling, or something like that. Good idea, right?
My locker was about 5 feet to the left of the hallway that led to my homeroom (clockwise direction). Nominally, I had to walk a full circuit of the center of the school each time I went to my locker, which I could have spat on from the first pass. I got busted for walking clockwise several times by the VP–the final straw was when I walked to my locker, backward, while holding eye contact with him.
I received a punishment and I had a meeting with the principal and my parents. The principal had a fun time explaining to my parents the rule that I had broken and even harder time convincing them of the need for further punishment. They asked me if I wanted to go to another school. Easy decision.
42. Not A Strong Enough Punishment
At my high school, a female assistant principal was literally pulling girls aside before they entered a dance in order to check what kind of underwear they were wearing. Apparently, she didn't want students wearing thongs. I don't know if it was an official rule or not, but I have to assume it wasn't. It made national news and the principal only got demoted to a teaching position.
43. Creeping The Facebook
I went to a private Christian school and they just recently introduced a new rule after I graduated. Now, everyone in 7th grade to 12th grade is required to "friend" at least two staff members on Facebook so they can basically keep tabs on you and whether or not you're bad-mouthing the school or any teachers.
44. If You’re Late, Don’t Come At All
In one of my college courses we are only allowed to be late three times without our grade being docked but allowed to miss class 6 times without our grade being docked. I'm notorious for being late, so I surpassed my 3 tardies quickly when my professor pulled me aside and told me that if I'm late again my grade will be docked—but I hadn't missed any classes yet.
So now, whenever I'm running late, I go and get a coffee instead, hang out, skip class, because overall that's better for my grade.
45. One In The Bush
I was in 2nd grade and when it came time for recess, we were all let out onto the playground field area. Well, being a dumb little kid, I didn’t realize that while on an hour-plus recess period I would have to pee. The school didn’t allow students back into the building at ALL while recess was going on. All the doors were locked and there wasn't a supervising teacher around.
Being the enterprising kid I went to the far edge of the field, found a bush, and urinated on it. Well some little witch told the teachers that I had peed on the playground (Technically true because the whole frigging field was the playground.) I was immediately marched to the principal’s office and she convened the school leadership to begin expulsion proceedings immediately.
That would have been the end of it except one little detail that they required my parents to be notified. My mom stormed into the room 10 minutes later and proceeded to yell at them about how stupid it was to not provide bathroom access to a child and then punish the child for finding a solution to the problem that wouldn't hurt anybody.
She took me home that day and we stopped for ice cream So I was happy. Shortly after this the no bathroom rule was rescinded and the principal was fired, presumably from stupidity.
46. Playing It Safe Against The Rules
In high school I drove a truck, a 4-door F-250. A big truck, but it wasn't raised or anything. So, one day apparently some students were hanging out in the parking lot during break (which is verboten, apparently) and they were hiding behind my truck. Now, I always back into spaces, it makes it much safer leaving the space so I don't accidentally crush someone in a little car who cannot seem to see reverse lights.
It was one of the rules that if I drove the truck to school, I had to back in. Now, the vice principal assumed that I did this so other students could hide behind my truck during break. He brought me into the office and forbade me from backing into parking spaces at school. I explained to him why I did it, and he dismissed it, telling me "I'd have to learn how to back out of spaces someday." Actual quote. He dismissed the idea that I was actually being safer to other students and cars by backing in.
47. Lunch Silence
In middle school, we were allowed to talk for the first twenty minutes of our half-hour lunch, and then required to sit in absolute silence for the last ten minutes. I'm an adult now, and able to think logistically and objectively about rules that middle schoolers may get indignant about but may also be completely necessary…and I still can't figure out why that rule was in place.
48. Undermining Authority
During my junior year of high school, we had an assistant principal come into my math class to lecture the students on their behavior. I'll admit that the class did have behavioral issues, but myself and a handful of others weren't being problematic students. The assistant principal decided to ask everyone in the room to sign a piece of paper with a list of new rules that this class will be enforcing.
A great many of these rules were pretty ridiculous and threatening suspension for any rule violators. A few that I can still recall were: No leaving your seat under any circumstances without permission; No turning your head or breaking eye contact with the teacher; No talking to another student at any time without permission; Absolutely no speaking out in class without permission.
The entire time the assistant principal is reading off this list, I can't help but feel like I'm being unfairly punished because of the conduct problems of others. It felt to me like I was being drilled by a staff sergeant for something that I didn't do, forced to follow a ridiculously strict set of rules. Even though I really wanted to criticize this new regimen, I continued to hold my tongue.
Finally, the AP asks if anyone in the class disagrees with the new rules or feels as if they are overly harsh. Well, what do you say? Just as I had been hoping. Naturally, my hand shoots straight into the air, and I'm called on by the assistant principal. It's my time to shine—and it was amazing. I dramatically clear my throat and proceed to say:
"Please Mrs. _____, tell me if I'm reading all of this correctly...So, in the event that I needed to borrow a pencil from another student, I would first have to raise my hand to get the teacher's attention, then ask the teacher for permission to turn my head and speak with another student, and again that student would have to raise his hand and ask for permission to turn his head, next I would have to ask that student for permission to borrow his pencil, and after I would have to raise my hand and ask for the teacher's permission to sharpen said pencil…does that sound about right to you?"
The class, which had earlier been pretty somber, bursts into laughter. I'm told to immediately report to the principal's office for my statement, and I'm later suspended for two days because of it for "undermining authority."
49. Too Small A Slice!
Only use one square of toilet paper. You read that right! I always spent the summer with my dad and step-mom, and one year she decided I was using too much toilet paper when I peed. Her solution was to inform me to only use one square of toilet paper, and hung post-it notes in each bathroom directly in front of the toilet so I couldn't miss it.
I don’t know about most of you ladies, but one square just doesn't cut it. I prefer to be reasonably dry down there!
50. No No
I was asked to always use the word "mustn't" instead of the word "no" around a friend's child. Their reasoning? They thought it would lessen the chances of their child defiantly asserting "no!" when she got older–the age of 2 seemed to foreshadow doom in their family. I was a teenager at the time and the couple were friends of my parents.
They admonished us if we used the word "no" while they were frequently objecting "mustn't!" when the child did something they didn't like. It looked as ridiculous as it sounds but my parents didn't say anything so I just tried to keep my distance. I still think about it to this day and can’t really believe it.
51. Plato’s Homework
I used to work at Plato's Closet (which is a used clothing store for teens) and they treated us pretty badly. I always felt like I was being treated like a child who is bound to misbehave at any moment. It was the first job I managed to get after graduating from college, which made it so much worse when our manager tried to make us do homework.
One day our manager comes in and tells us that our sales have been lower than usual lately, and tells us to write a two-page essay about why, what our part in it is, and what we can do to fix it. (Note—this is for a job where we were all making minimum wage, no benefits, etc.) I was livid.
52. Grade School Paranoia
I remember in Grade 5 our new principal forbade us from playing in this little wooded area immediately adjacent to our playground. The school claimed the reason ostensibly to be poison ivy but no student had ever seen any in there ever. This had been a thing Grade 4 and 5 students had always done through the years.
There was a little governing body set up by the students and everything. This principal also took away all the swings on the playground and prevented us from sledding down the very small hill (think 15-foot-long slope, no obstacles) on school property, to give you some idea of his paranoia.
53. The Fear Of Hoodies Needs To Stop
At my high school, they introduced a hoodie ban. Nobody was allowed to wear hoodies. Why? Because I guess it can conceal your face if you do something bad... Even though most people don't have more than a few appropriate sweaters, everybody has a hoodie, and we weren't allowed to wear big jackets either even though the place was freezing in the winter.
Except they made the exception that if it was school-related (zero clubs/teams stopped making hoodies as a result of the rule) or if it was a college hoodie, it was okay on Fridays. WHAT?! There were a few incidents where large numbers of people wearing whatever hoodies whenever they wished led to banning them on Fridays as well temporarily. Since I graduated, they banned them altogether.
54. There’s Always An Exception To The Rule
Effective this year, my school banned all hats. For starters, this is difficult to maintain with 4,000+ students. They also didn't give out a mass announcement on this rule change. Before class started, I wore my hat walking to our south building but took it off out of respect when I entered. As I was putting it in my backpack, one of the assistant principals saw me and quickly confiscated it.
I asked him why this was a rule and he responded with "to prevent gang activity." My hat was an old Little League hat of mine that has sentimental value and just plain looks cool. Nothing dangerous about it, no threats involved. He later told me that I would get detention on that week's Friday morning. Which was crazy.
The flip side to this is that I am what is known as a Men in Black at my school (no, not like Will Smith). Which is basically eight guys selected to be student section leaders and flag runners during football games. We're allowed to wear our special "MIB" hats on Fridays or any hat with our mascot on it.
So, I sat in the assistant principal’s office that Friday wearing my MIB hat just grinning at him the entire hour while he refused to mutter a word or make eye contact with me out of shame of my own school administration's hypocrisy.
55. Attack Of The Colors
In my sophomore year of high school, our old principal got a promotion to the district office. He was replaced by someone who had literally just moved to the area and knew next to nothing of the well-established culture of our small town. After a few weeks, he noticed a "problem" around the campus. This is where the fun starts.
He saw many people wearing purple and gold in copious amounts, often in ridiculous ways every Friday, and he was sure it had to be related to gang involvement. Rather than ask anyone about it, he called an "emergency assembly" in which he lectured us all about the seriousness of this issue.
He informed us that, from that point on, if anyone were to wear either of these colors at school, they would be put in detention for the remainder of the day, and their parent or guardian would have to come to pick them up. People laughed and rebelled, wearing more purple and gold on more days, and the detention room was overflowing almost every day.
Two months later, he found out that purple and gold were our school colors. People were dressing up like that on Fridays to show support and pride for whatever sports team had a game that day, as was the tradition of our town for the past 60 years or so. To show how stupid he felt, he called another emergency assembly to apologize, to which he wore a purple and gold clown suit and a dunce cap.
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