Whether you're a student or a professional, you've likely experienced the implementation of a new rule. Usually, bosses and teachers implement them with their employees' or students' best interests in mind, but sometimes it's hard to imagine how they came up with such a ridiculous idea in the first place. From no water in classrooms to getting fired if you take a sick day, these are some of the most backwards rules people have seen implemented at their school or work.
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#1 How Do You Say ‘Stupid’ in French?
I had a crazy French teacher who banned getting out of your seat during class for any reason. She was constantly handing out detentions for things as inconsequential as walking to the trash can to throw away a piece of paper. She absolutely could not deal with the fact that we periodically might need to actually leave our chairs for a perfectly valid and harmless reason. One day, she accidentally locked herself out of the classroom and nobody would let her back in. "Sorry! We aren't allowed to get out of our seats!"
#2 The Ban
My company tried a policy of absolutely no adult beverages on site, even for parties, picnics or anything. It stopped after just a few weeks when some employees demanded that the almost weekly parties for the directors and important managers be free of all adult beverages too, or they would report them.
#3 No Sick Days
Work wanted everyone to come in even when they were sick so that the boss could inspect us if we could work or not. Doctors note not accepted "since they could be fake." I threw up on his desk over important papers. No regrets.
#4 No Water
My high school was trying to prevent a senior prank since the class before us had got a little out of hand. They basically told us not to have one, that they would get anyone who did anything in a lot of trouble, yada yada
So somebody has an idea. What if we do an "anti prank". The idea had floated around the halls and everyone knew what we were going to do. For an entire week, every senior was going to bring a potentially intimidating item for a senior prank, and do nothing with it.
The week starts and that Monday, nearly the entire senior class carries a banana with them to every class. This is a school of 2600 students, 650 graduating class. So there are hundreds of bananas being carried through the halls, teachers and assistant principals freaking out. By noon, an announcement was made that all bananas needed to be eaten or thrown away or they would be confiscated. So by that afternoon, every banana was taken away from the student.
The next day got even better. Somebody has the idea that we should all bring a gallon jug of water with us to class. And to no one's surprise, again there is an announcement that they are going to start taking up the water jugs for fear of what we are going to do with them. But this time, the students got creative. People are resentful now and not wanting to give up their precious water. Students are getting creative, hiding them in backpacks, avoiding teachers in the hallways, whatever it took to keep their water jugs. But alas, most of the jugs had been confiscated.
So the students start taking to social media. Tons of tweets and mentions are going out to local news stations, TMZ, Oprah, Ellen, you name it, they got mentioned. All of these messages are going out along the lines of "School is confiscating all water, not allowing students to drink water #highschooldrought2kxx #weredying #sendhelp. You get the picture. Before the end of the day, two different news reporters were at our school. Guess we had the last laugh after all.
#5 Only Do What Boss Tells You To
"Don't do anything unless directed by your boss, any deviation from this will result in write-up/termination." This was a very literal directive from upper management that took place after an office incident. Our work is very fluid, and our team alone contained 20 people. Needless to say, productivity hit unfounded lows.
#6 Dangers of Grilled Cheese
In my dorm, if you did something that triggered the smoke/fire alarm, you had to do a safety presentation for everyone on your floor. This was intended to deter pranksters from pulling the alarm. A guy on our floor was making grilled cheese in the kitchenette, and burned it, which legitimately triggered the fire alarm. Afterwards, he explained, assuming that since it had been a legitimate alarm, and not a prank, that he wouldn't have to do a presentation. He was, of course, wrong.
So, the next Wednesday night, the entire floor assembled, and we were treated to a thirty-minute safety presentation on the dangers of grilled cheese sandwiches. It contained literally nothing about fire safety. It was all choking hazards and cholesterol. Our RA was furious, but the student pointed out that the write-up that he'd been given just said "safety presentation." We didn't get any more presentations after that.
#7 No Gum
They started a "no gum" rule that made a lot of junior high kids start a black market for gum.
#8 Dress Code Policy
If you violated the dress code policy, you had to wear these really big gray sweatpants or sweatshirts that said DCV in big orange letters (Dress Code Breach). It became a thing to get caught because they were apparently really comfortable. When the admin finally caught on that people were trying to get them on purpose, they changed it so that you got in-school suspension. Jokes on them for that too. Lots of kids preferred that over being in class.
#9 Free Overtime
Overtime is paid in free time instead of money. Three people quit so far, more people planning to. No new hires to be found. It's probably just a matter of time before this shop closes down.
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#10 Don't Leave Your Seats
Well, it wasn't a school-wide policy, but I had a super mean French teacher who would constantly hand out detentions for things as inconsequential as walking to the trash can to throw away a piece of paper. She absolutely could not deal with the fact that we periodically might need to actually leave our chairs for a perfectly valid reason. One day she locked herself out of the classroom and nobody would let her back in. "Sorry! We aren't allowed to get out of our seats!" She had to get the janitor.
#11 Dress Code Violator
My high school made students wear these neon t-shirts that read "Dress Code Violator" if their outfit didn't adhere to the school's policy. They became so popular the school began selling them one week later.
#12 No Parking
There was a rule they put in place my freshman year of high school, that if you arrived late, like after first bell, you couldn't park in the parking lot. You'd have to park at the gas station down the highway and walk to school, making you even more late. It stopped after 20 or so people intentionally showed up late to school and made a mass exodus along the highway.
#13 Buddy Bench
We implemented the Buddy Bench for lonely people to sit on and make friends. It was pretty darn expensive and nicely decorated. Someone took it.
#14 Banned Balls
My School banned all balls over a couple of inches in diameter because someone kicked a football through a window during lunch. Most of us that walked home walked past the woods by the golf course and had a ready supply of golf balls as a result. Golf balls were allowed under the new rules due to their size. Three broken windows and one lunch period later, they weren't.
#15 No Stall Doors
High school took all the stall doors off the boy's bathrooms because of graffiti or something. So I started pooping in the bathroom near the office. After a couple of times of the superintendent coming in while I was doing that, all the doors were put back on.
#16 No Rocks in Snowballs
When I was in kindergarten, the morning announcements came on and said, "And please no throwing snowballs. There is a chance you might accidentally get some rocks in them." You could see on the faces of all 20-some students the realization that "OMG we could put rocks in them!"
#17 No Yik Yak
The school I attended emailed the entire student body to not use Yik Yak because students were being tormented on it. All of the students, myself included, who hadn't heard of the app immediately downloaded it and began using it.
#18 Feature Requests
I'm a programmer. On a previous job, the developers and teams were measured by the number of feature requests they completed. We determined how to divide everything into the maximum number of feature requests possible. A manager might request a new report. We'd set up separate feature tickets for "create button", "make button blue", "make button respond when clicked", "implement business logic", "display results in grid", "allow sorting of grid", and so on. We'd subdivide a one-day task into 20 one-hour tasks. Management loved it! Our team looked twenty times as productive, despite deliberately slowing ourselves down with red tape.
#19 Foosball at 4:30
At a former job (software development), there was a foosball table. People would play reasonably often, but just 1 game to take a break. One day, management came down to the software engineering floor and saw people playing foosball in the middle of the afternoon. They declared "no foosball until 4:30 p.m." That ended up making it so that everybody knew when there would be other people wanting to play foosball, so it was much easier to find somebody willing to play and significantly increased the amount of foosball played at work.
#20 Shoe String Belts
I went to a private school for elementary, where uniforms were strict. If you didnt wear a belt you'd go to the principles office and he would make you use a shoe string. Well, when he opened the drawer there were like 6 different colors and everybody thought it was really neat so for a short period of time there was a bunch of kids coming to school with no belt so they could wear their lime green shoestring belt.
#21 Assigned Parking
The school had assigned parking spaces and if you didn't get your tag for your car (and which space was yours) at the beginning of the year during registration, it was a nightmare to get. If I didn't get to school 45 minutes before classes started, my parking spot was always taken. I think overall between grades 11 and 12, I got to park in my designated space maybe... nine times. Complaints were made and notices were sent in the school paper, but all they ever did was give a tap on the wrist as it continued.
#22 No Naps
The new manager got rid of the sofa in the break room so people couldn't nap on their hour-long lunch break. No one overslept but it was good to have the option on a tough day. A stoner guy started sleeping in other places, including in-between walls and in the warehouse. That's when we started losing him and couldn't find him as he'd go into a deeper sleep and was less likely to be disturbed. He didn't lose his job somehow, that place had a hard time hiring.
#23 League Table
The school was so hopelessly obsessed with League Table standings that any kids getting A-grades were untouchable. They made the school look good, so they could treat who they liked how they liked. Tormenting sky-rocketed, the school's reputation plummeted, attendance dropped, and their precious League Table results followed. They put winning points ahead of the duty of care to the children.
#24 Ask or Don't Go
They made a new rule where we had to ask permission to use the restroom during lunch. We all coordinated and the whole cafeteria would raise their hands at once to request to go. They responded by sending us two at a time. We did this for a few days then changed our procedure to everyone just getting up at once and going to the restroom without permission. They didn't ever officially do away with the rule, but the teachers on duty in the lunchroom eventually just stopped enforcing it.
#25 Black Market Goods
My college didn't allow younger years to leave the grounds and go to the shops during lunch. They just asked the older years to buy stuff for them. The college banned energy drinks so a black market sprung up with the older years being "dealers."
#26 No Running
No running during recess. It was made because some kid in the second grade ran and tripped. So for whatever reason, they restricted running for all grades K to 5th. Everyone should know that when you ask a five to 10-year-old to not do something, that's the next thing they're going to do. They started running in the halls, the cafeteria, the classrooms, and you bet they ran outside. After a week, the teachers stopped enforcing it and everyone stopped caring.
#27 You're Fired
My work just recently tried to implement a new attendance policy that didn't last 24 hours. They changed it so that after two unexcused absences in a year you were fired. An unexcused absence is any absence or tardiness (I think you were allowed four tardies...) when you didn't give your boss more than 24 hours notice.
#28 No Headbands
My senior year of high school some guy in my class got an in-school suspension for wearing a headband (he had long, curly hair) so the next couple weeks almost every guy on the football team started wearing headbands in protest. Keep in mind that girls could wear headbands, just not guys. No one really understood this rule
#29 Inside Sales
I worked for a software company that routed all sales under $100K to "inside sales," while larger orders went to the outside sales teams that worked directly with the customers. Until one of the inside sales guys convinced the customer that they didn't need the $2 million software, and only needed a $99K upgrade.
#30 Expensive Parking Pass
A school in my area jacked up the cost of the parking pass. People protested by not buying the pass. Instead, they rode the bus. Funny thing is the county really relies on juniors and seniors driving because they don’t have enough buses for all the students. The parking pass fee dropped. People drove again. Don’t ever let them tell you driving to school is a privilege. They NEED you to drive to school.
#31 Friendship Station
'Friendship Station' for people to find someone to play with in primary school. Turned out as you'd expect, a place to torment people on their own. Removed quickly.
#32 No Dodgeball
Our school made it so you couldn't play dodgeball anymore. So what happened was is that the gym teachers came up with this new game called "Fireball." The rules were basically the same as dodgeball. Then fireball was banned. So now there's this new game called "Pinball". Which isn't involving the machines unfortunately but it's basically dodgeball/fireball but there's bowling pins that need to be knocked over as well. I think they just gave up after a while.
#33 Yoga Pants
No short skirts rule at my high school resulted in a sharp increase in yoga pants. All the guys at my school saw this as a net gain and did a good job of not advertising our collective appreciation for fear of ruining a good thing.
#34 Zero Tolerance Policy
Zero tolerance, which means if you are involved with fighting, you will be kicked out. No questions asked. They think it would mean no more fighting. Nope. It means if the tormentor is hurting a kid, no one would step in, for fear of involving and getting kicked out. No one would snitch because it means the tormentor will target you next, and now you are involved in fighting and get kicked out. It is a terrible policy.
#35 Pyjamas in Class
Our school has this day where you can wear pyjamas to school but have to pay a dollar to do it. Everyone started wearing pyjamas to class anyway saying it's what they normally wear and didn't pay. The school got rid of PJ day.
#36 No Loitering
My junior high school adopted a policy to not allow kids to loiter in groups of five or more in attempts to crack down on "gang mentality." This was freaking junior high. Anyway me and my group of misfits (six of us) were always hanging out during free times, and the principal eventually stopped us and asked us to separate. I had to casually explain to him that were we not a group of six, but two groups of three that were inter-mingling. People caught wind and that rule was basically gone.
#37 Short Ties
I've told this story before, but my high school tried to crack down on people wearing their ties too short, as was the fashion. It got to the stage where anything except completely pristine uniforms would get you a detention -- which, coming up to exam season, was one more thing we didn't want to deal with. In protest at what was widely seen as a ridiculous rule, ties started getting longer and longer -- one foot, two feet, two and a half feet, as long as people could get them.
It culminated in one girl sewing two ties together into a five-foot beast that trailed on the floor as she walked and resulted in the Deputy Head having a screaming fit one day about how disrespectful we all were to the uniform codes. After that, the teachers quietly gave up on the new hardline approach to uniforms, and everything went back to normal.
#38 No Lockers, No Restrooms, No Football
My high school had a really bad problem with students showing up to class five minutes late every day, so they tried three different solutions. First, they stopped letting us use lockers. They quickly found out that just meant that nobody brought their books to class. Next, they decided to ban the use of the restrooms between class periods. Teachers started complaining about everyone asking for a bathroom pass as soon as class started so that was abandoned after a week or so.
Lastly, one week, they made a ton of announcements Monday through Wednesday that all students were to be on time for class. Then on Thursday, they suspended any student who was late for "insubordination." Turns out that included half the football team. This occurred right before the biggest game of the year.
#39 No Gossipers
My school tried to enforce a "no standing still or sitting" policy at recess because if we weren't moving, we were surely spreading gossip.
#40 Tests Only
My sophomore year, my school decided to make tests count for 100 percent of the grade, and homework count for 0 percent (but it was still assigned). And as you'd expect, kids did absolutely no homework. The ones that didn't retain information well (or were bad test takers) struggled pretty hard to make the grade without homework padding it. Our failure rate was pretty high that year.
#41 The Policy
My company, as part of its adult beverages policy, said you should not drink for at least four hours before coming to work. When engineers got called about production problems over the weekend, they all "just had a drink" but could be there in about four or five hours.
#42 Late Books
If you return a library book late, your parents would have to return it and explain why it's late. It worked about as well as you would think. The rule lasted a few months before they figured it wasn't worth the cost of replacing all the books.
#43 No Pants
My high school attempted to ban Tripp pants and the like. However, due to a hilariously overlooked typo, the student handbook (that got sent to students and parents) just said, "Students may not wear pants." We had a good laugh and it made the local news. Unfortunately, this does show the quality of high school I went to... I wasn't ready for college.
#44 Physical Harassment!
Not sure if it was exactly a rule but my middle school once encouraged kids to not touch each other at all to reduce physical harassment cases, even friendly gestures among friends. All that did was get the kids running around touching each either around campus for about a month and a half screaming, "physical harassment!" as they did so. To add insult to injury they did it twice as often in front of the admin who made the presentation about it.
#45 Boys Can Wear Skirts, Too
This was actually in the news a couple of months ago. We had a really hot summer last year, and the boys at my little brother's secondary school were mad that they couldn't wear shorts but the girls could wear skirts. The Junior Leadership Team brought it up at a meeting, and the headteacher jokingly went, "Alright, if the boys want to wear skirts, then let them." A group of boys went to school wearing skirts the next day. Then all the boys did.