June 25, 2024 | Kaddy Gibson

These Petty Adults Are Shockingly Immature

It’s a common misconception that people mature as they get older. Even after they’ve long passed a respectable age for doing so, most folks are still prone to childish outbursts and petty antics when things don’t go their way. And, as the Redditors in the stories below can attest, some grown-ups are all too happy to take their frustrations out on the little guy.

1. Wakey, Wakey!

My dad was sleeping and, apparently, I made a noise when I went to take something from his room. So, his sleep got disturbed and he couldn't get back to sleep after that. The next morning, he came and poured a whole bottle of water on my face when I was sleeping. I still don't know what the heck he was thinking when he did that.

Maybe he was trying to get revenge or whatever, but that was such a petty and screwed-up thing for a grown adult to do to a kid.

Petty AdultsPexels

2. Keeping Score

I missed a math test because I was in the hospital. I had documentation and showed the teacher, but he was adamant that I couldn’t make up the test and said it was fine because he dropped the lowest score for everyone anyway. I wanted to take the test because I had studied and wanted my lowest score at the time—a 78—dropped.

I asked to make it up after school. It was still a no. Well, I got the last laugh. I took it to the guidance counselor and explained my situation and they made the teacher give me the test. It’s important to note that I had printed out my previous assignment grades to show to everyone when pleading my case. So, I finally took the test and got an A-.

I looked at my assignment grades and noticed my homework score. I was so mad I saw red. Before I went over the teacher’s head, it had shown that I’d turned in 100% of the assignments. It was now at 50%. I had to go to guidance again with both screenshots in order to get the teacher to fix my grade back.

Petty AdultsPexels

3. Curveball

When I was probably around eight or so, I was at a baseball game with my family. Naturally, I was hoping I’d be able to get a ball. One of the players saw me in the stands, looked directly at me, and threw a ball to me. Some guy, probably college-aged, proceeded to reach over my shoulder and snatch the ball before it got to me.

I turned around and he and all his friends were laughing and celebrating. Almost 20 years later, I’m still a bit salty about it.

Petty AdultsFlickr, camknows

4. Ball Hogs

In fifth grade, my bus stop was in a church parking lot with a basketball hoop. We would play basketball after school. I always brought my ball, and we would play with it. One day after school, this five-year-old bikes over to where we were playing and told me that we were using his ball that he’d left there. My ball was not unique, just the standard orange Spalding ball.

But it had my name on it. Just to make sure, I turned the ball over and found my name. Then I showed the kid. He ran away crying. I thought it was over—but I was so wrong. The little dude came back with his parents, and another five-year-old and his parents in a minivan. They were screaming at me and my friends about how we wrote my name on the kid’s ball to pretend it was ours.

We were in shock and gave them the ball. They kept screaming for 10 minutes about how we were picking on them and should all go to juvie. My friend, who happened to be Black, nervously muttered: “Umm, I think I see your ball under the bushes over by the church". The Angry Mom said, “Do YOU think you can trick ME, AFRO BOY”?! For the record, my friend didn’t even have an afro, he was just Black.

Anyway, the five-year-old ran over by the church with his friend. He said, "Look, mom, it IS my ball"! The four parents were stunned and embarrassed. They were silent for a bit, but then Angry Mom said, "Well, Colton, since they were so mean to us, I guess you have two basketballs now". They got in their car and drove away.

We couldn't believe it. It was the first time I noticed that an adult could be too prideful and still screw you over when they know they are wrong. And it’s just so they can "win". But guess who got revenge? We egged the house during the weekend. They knew it had to be me. They came to my house. My parents already knew what they had done to me, so my parents also knew it was me.

And I’d used all the eggs like an idiot, they were missing from the fridge. In any other situation, my parents would have made me fess up and apologize. But I was in for a surprise. They kept saying, "Welp, there is no proof", and shrugged. Angry Mom escalated until my parents yelled at them like she had yelled at me. Finally, my mom decided to end it.

She said, "Well, you can check my kitchen. I have no eggs. I normally buy eggs, but I am saving money to purchase my son a new basketball. He had one, but it was misplaced, I think. I even wrote my son's name on it myself so it could be returned if it was ever lost, but it must be gone for good". Oh, boy, was Angry Mom embarrassed. She just huffed and walked back into her car and drove off.

My faith in adults was restored by my parents. Angry Mom never returned my ball, though.

Petty AdultsPexels

5. Roll Call

For background purposes: my full official first name is Abby. Just Abby. Only those four letters, nothing more. One day, my sixth-grade social studies teacher kept calling out the name “Abigail”. That's not my name, so I didn’t respond and was looking for this new mystery person. My teacher got up and came to my desk. She asked me why I wasn’t answering her.

I said, “You called out 'Abigail', not 'Abby'". She said, “Abby is short for Abigail”. Go to the principal's office for being disrespectful". So, I went to the principal's office, and the principal asked why I had been sent. I told him, “My teacher called out for Abigail, and I didn't respond". He asked me why I didn’t respond, and I said, “My name is Abby. Just Abby".

The principal pulled up my record and confirmed that I am not and never have been an Abigail. Then, he sent me back to class, with no repercussions. My teacher never called on me again.

Petty AdultsPexels

6. The Gift Giver

When I was graduating high school, my aunt asked me which of my late grandfather's rings I'd like as a graduation gift, along with a card and a little cash. I told her I really appreciated the offer, but jewelry just wasn’t my thing and that I felt like it would be unappreciated on me. And I do have other items that were passed down from him.

My aunt said, “Okay, no problem”, and I thought that was that. Wrong. Graduation came and went and a couple of weeks later, a few family members were over for dinner. Well, I was standing and talking to another aunt—my aunt’s sister—when she walked over to us and handed me a little box. At this point, I knew what it was, and even though I had respectfully declined before, I decided I was going to open it and give a "Wow! Great, thank you”!

I opened the ring box and before I could get a word out, the aunt that I had been there talking to absolutely LOST IT. "Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME? You gave THAT ring to HIM"?! She was yelling at her sister, yelling at me, and just making a huge scene. I guess that specific ring was one that she had made known she wanted.

I looked to my aunt who gave me the ring and she just couldn't hide the little smile on her face. That’s when I made a disturbing realization. That extreme pettiness was really between my two aunts, and I felt like I was basically set up and used as a tool in the whole situation. I would have felt bad for my other aunt, but most of her anger was wrongfully directed toward me.

She did apologize days later, though. I should also mention that I had a few friends over and they witnessed the whole thing. I cringe when I think about it. It was just super embarrassing for me, especially since I had zero interest in the ring.

Petty AdultsPicryl

7. Collateral Damage

One of my uncles was in a years-long fight with my mom. To stir trouble, any time he greeted my sister and I, he would tell my sister how beautiful and wonderful she was. But to me, he’d just say, "Oh, you're here, too". He’d then promptly ignore me for the rest of the night. I used to adore him up to that point, so that ended up with me being extremely hurt.

I cried to my mom for hours about how I was ugly and not special. Sad to say, but he got his petty vengeance on my mother and crushed my self-esteem. To this day, I don't forgive him for it.

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8. Bookworm Blues

My sixth-grade teacher didn't like me. I had transferred into her class when the teacher for gifted students was needed elsewhere, and my new teacher was resentful. She was going to have the class read The Hobbit. I was excited because I had read it and the Lord of the Rings trilogy the year before. My teacher called me a liar in front of the whole class—but she didn’t stop there.

Then, she went on a rant about how kids like me were terrible and thought we were better than everyone else. I was a quiet, shy girl, so I cried. She mocked that too. The rest of the year was horrible, and she let her favorite students pick on me. I was never good enough. She couldn't fail me because I excelled at bookwork, but she picked on me at every turn. She was such a trashy human.

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9. The Mechanic

In Cub Scouts, we were doing the pinewood derby. I worked really hard on my car—my dad helped, of course. I had already won the first three rounds, and before the final round, one of the dads of the other kids picked up my car to hand it to me. It “slipped” out of his hand and the wheels broke when it hit the floor. I’m convinced it was not an accident, and he was sabotaging my car so his kid would win.

That was over 30 years ago, and I'm still mad about it.

Petty AdultsFlickr, Kenneth Lu

10. Patient Zero

I was feeling sick one day in grade three or four. The substitute teacher wouldn’t let me go to the nurse’s office because “I didn’t look sick enough”. I had strep throat.

Petty AdultsFlickr, woodleywonderworks

11. Inside Voices, Everyone

I was in middle school at a friend’s sleepover. Her parents scared the heck out of me. They were very strict and had pulled my friend and her siblings out of public school to send them to a Catholic school. Anyway, it was probably like 11pm at this sleepover, and my friend’s mom hesitantly let us watch the Disney movie Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.

I laughed at a part of the movie, and even though her parents were awake, they came into the living room to scold me for being too loud. Not long after, disaster struck. I took a drink of water, choked, and started coughing. They called my parents after 11pm to come pick me up because “I couldn’t behave”. They had no regard for my parents being asleep and having jobs to get to early in the morning.

They wanted me out for laughing and coughing in the span of about 10 minutes. My parents never let me stay the night at my friend’s house again and are still mad at them for doing that almost 20 years later.

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12. The Cash Fairy

When I was like nine or ten, I was rollerblading home from my mom's work. I was heading down Fourth Street, and I found something like 16 dollars—a ten, a five, and a single—on the ground. The money was just laying there on the sidewalk next to some outdoor seating at a cafe. Being the obnoxiously nice kid that I was, I picked it up and kind of looked around, wondering if anybody lost their money.

That's when this lady in a weird sweater vest came around the corner. We made eye contact, and I told her how I’d found the money. She went, "Huh. Let me see it". And my naive butt is like, "Oh, yeah, that makes sense. She's a grown-up, she can sort this out”. She looked around, handed me the single back, and put her finger to her mouth in a “Shhh”! gesture. THEN, SHE JUST FLITTED OFF, NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN.

Petty AdultsFlickr, Nenad Stojkovic

13. Don’t Cross The Queen Of Swords

My mom asked if I wanted to play 52-card pick up, while my friends were over. I asked her what that was, and she said that I either wanted to play or I didn’t. I told her I didn’t want to play anything if I didn’t know what it was. Her reaction was brutal. 

She got visibly irritated, threw the cards on the ground, and said, “This is 52-card pick up: pick them up”. She then threatened to ground me as she watched me pick the cards up and put them away nicely. I think it was worse because my friends were watching.

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14. Beware The Momma Bear

When I was in fifth grade, I didn't put a book cover on my math book. It required cutting up a paper bag or something similar and I just never did it. So, my math teacher took away my math book, so I couldn't do homework or follow along in class. Like, what the heck, who does that to a kid? When my mom found out, she went down to the school.

She went on a rampage about how they were interfering with my right to an education, or something like that. The school district was terrified of her until I graduated.

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15. By Any Means Necessary

I had a teacher in kindergarten who threatened to expel me because I was sick and didn’t show up to class the day before. She put me on the spot in front of the other kids, telling me not to lie about why I’d been absent and saying that she’d call the principal. I cried in front of the whole class, not knowing what to do.

Apparently, she wanted to win some attendance award and thought confronting a child was a good idea. Like, dude, I was five. I’m still angry about how she got away with it.

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16. Bragging Rights

At 16 years old, I had a job at a gas station after school. I did all the grunt work like sweeping garbage in the parking lot, emptying trash bins, etc. I was taking the trash out one day and a grown man in his 40s came up to me. I’ll never forget what he said to me.
It was something along the lines of, "I make more money in a week than you do in a whole year". All I could think at the time was, "Well, yeah, I sure hope you do, I'm in high school". It was such a petty thing to say to a kid just trying to make a little bit of money after school.

Petty AdultsPexels

17. Just A Flesh Wound

When I broke my ankle at school, the nurse said I was fine and just making it up. I have a ridiculously high pain threshold, so I wasn’t bawling my eyes out. I was on crutches for, I think, nearly a month. The same thing happened again when I literally broke my neck years later. School was honestly the worst time of my life.

It was so bad that it drove me to try taking my own life twice. On one of those occasions, I leaped off a second-floor balcony but landed in the woodchip garden mulch. I was badly bruised and dislocated one of my knees but was otherwise fairly unscathed. The principal gave me detention for “showing off” and walking in the garden.

Petty AdultsFlickr, Jackie

18. Rough Waters

My swimming teacher promised me a candy bar if I jumped off the board, even though I couldn't swim. When I did it, they said they forgot but I saw them eating one in the lounge. I was five and it was the first time I’d been betrayed. Another thing that teacher did instead of teaching me to swim was to try and teach the group how to keep their eyes open underwater and see.

We all had goggles and had to take them off to do this. Unsurprisingly, I didn't learn to swim there. I ended up learning a year later, when my sister taught me at a hotel on vacation.

Petty AdultsPexels

19. Illegible

I have horrible handwriting. I have forever, no amount of intervention or practice has helped. When I was in fifth grade, my social studies teacher seemed to take a lot of pleasure in constantly reminding me of how awful my handwriting was. We used to have to bring our notebooks up for her to check our homework. I dreaded that so much.

She would hold up my notebook so the whole class could laugh at my handwriting. I'm grown now, and that was a long time ago, but I still hate when I have to handwrite anything that other people will see.

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20. Double Scoop Dismay

We were almost out of ice cream, and I made myself the last bowl. I went into the living room to eat it and my dad took it and ate it all because I hadn’t offered him any. I was about eight. I’m 41 and I still hide while eating bowls of ice cream.

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21. Roadblock

My mother and stepfather allowed me to get my learner’s permit at 16. Then, at 17, they allowed me to sign up for driver’s ed classes. Yet, when it came time for road practice with an adult in the passenger seat, they absolutely refused to let me drive either of their vehicles. I even told the teacher, and she confronted my mother by asking her how she expected me to learn.

Thanks to my brother-in-law, I got maybe five hours of road time before I took my road test. It went as well as you can imagine. When I confronted my parents, their reaction was so cruel. They screamed at me for wanting my license and said their insurance rates went up enough when I turned 16. I had to wait until I was 18 and schedule extra road lessons with the instructor to get my license.

The best part is that my parents lied. 15 years later, I sell auto insurance. Unlicensed teenagers don't count on your policy, and licensed ones can be put down as “excluded”.

Petty AdultsFlickr, State Farm

22. Sic ‘Em!

I was a chubby kid, so when I was 12, I decided I would go for runs around the neighborhood. I went at dusk so people wouldn't stare at the fat kid so much. On the second or third run, some guy was walking his dog. He unleashed it and sent it after me for some giggles. He called it back just before it got to me. I stopped going for runs after that.

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23. He Chose The Wrong Rung

This happened when I was a teenager. For my Eagle Scout project, you had to have a proposal and get it through several levels of clearance. My proposal was very good. I was the only person in years to get through the initial level of clearance without having to revise it. Unfortunately, at the district level, there was a stick in the mud who believed that he wasn't doing his job unless he rejected every proposal at least once.

After an hour and a half of arguing, he rejected mine for not including "ladder safety measures". So I came up with a plan for revenge. I printed out a 150-page manual on ladders and put that in front of him. Unfortunately, it was not the same guy, so I didn't get to see his face. I told the other guy what happened when he asked why the proposal was so massive. He thought it was hilarious.

Petty AdultsPexels

24. One Man’s Truth Is Another Man’s Treason

I did a chore that my father had asked me to do. My mom got home and commented on how nicely the chore was done. My father took credit for it in front of me, so I fired back and said that I was the one who had done it. He then yelled at me and called me a traitor.

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25. That’s Cap

When I was young, my family had all our belongings taken while at the beach. Inside that stuff was my favorite cap, my only cap. I remember I loved that hat and wore it every day and everywhere. I was like six or seven and at that age, it held big-time sentimental value. This woman who was with us at the time started to antagonize me.

She made fun of how upset I was because my parents had lost more valuable things, like a digital camera. Which, as an adult I can understand. But as a kid trying to deal with this great injustice that not even my parents could make better, it was a big deal. This woman pushed and pushed until I yelled at her: " Go away, leave me alone”!

That was really out of character for me, but the woman reacted like a true Karen. She went to my mother and made up this whole story about how I had been rude and disrespectful. She claimed that I’d yelled at her and called her names. So, my mother punished me. That was, like, 20 years ago...no, I'm not holding a grudge.

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26. The Set-Up

I broke two fingers on my dominant hand in ninth grade and had a splint on them so I couldn't write. I had a test at school and the teacher made me write with my left hand, then marked my answers wrong because she couldn't read them.

Petty AdultsPexels

27. Did You Do Your Homework?

I got in trouble in sixth grade for reading during homeroom. Homeroom was like a random 30-minute period to work on homework but since I always did my homework the night before, I would just quietly read. For some reason, my homeroom teacher hated that—and one day, she snapped. 

She just yelled at me for always reading in her class and told me to do my homework. I told her that all of my homework was done. She told me to prove it, so I showed her all of my completed homework. Then, she confiscated my book and sent me to the principal’s office for being disrespectful. I’m still salty about it.

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28. Thirsty

My dad used to ask me for a sip of my drink and guzzle down half or more of it in a go. I was a dumb little moron, so I kept falling for it and he'd keep laughing. Today, I can share anything except my drinks. It doesn't matter what it is, I won't let anyone have a sip…Except for my wife because I love her and trust her.

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29. Daddy Dearest

I could fill up a book with stories about my petty dad, but I’ll leave you with just a few of the best ones. My high school required uniforms. This extended to PE class, but we had to wear one of two approved PE shirts and khaki shorts. I only had one PE shirt, and it had a hole in the armpit. As I walked past, my dad hooked his finger into the hole and yanked to rip it wider.

Then, he laughed at me when I said I had enough problems without him causing more for me. Another time, my dad took me fishing and told me to invite a buddy. Three hours in, we hadn't caught a single thing, but my buddy and I didn't say anything about it. My dad asked if we wanted to just go home. I said “yes”, and he reamed me out.

He called me a “mama's boy” and then dropped me off about two kilometers (a mile) from home so that I had to walk. He also told me the car had to be washed when he got back. My buddy backed me up when we got home. My mom did not. But the pettiest thing my dad’s done really teed me off. I came home from school and he randomly said, "Today, you're studying Spanish".

I told him I had other homework, but he didn't care. As soon as he left, I started doing my other homework. He came back and took away my book, grounded me, and made me study Spanish. My teacher didn't believe me when I told him that my dad wouldn't allow me to do my homework. I definitely don't blame the teacher—it made no sense.

Petty AdultsPexels

30. The Convenience Fee

When I was about 18, I lived in China for a year and spent a good amount of time traveling and staying in hostels. One day, I slept in and was just barely going to make it to the station in time for my train. Bear in mind, this was a 40-hour train that only ran once a day, and I didn't have the money for a new ticket.

The taxi driver got to the end of the street that the station was on and turned to me. He said, "It's ten kuai to drop you off here. If you want me to take you to the station entrance, it's 50”. I ended up paying because I needed to make that train, but I was upset and furious. I have met some of the kindest, most selfless people in China. Yet, like anywhere in the world, there are some absolute jerks too.

Petty AdultsFlickr, Michael McDonough

31. Tasty

I was a vegetarian at the time. I was at work and my boss got everyone egg rolls. She told me she had confirmed that they were meat-free and asked if I would like one. Then, after I ate half of the egg roll, she let loose. She told me with the most angelic voice and trash-eating grin: "Oopsie, you just ate the one with chicken in it".

That was 14 years ago and it still makes me furious.

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32. Lost In Translation

I wasn't working hard in my English class at school and still got good grades. It annoyed my English teacher to no end. One day, I was called to the principal's office and my teacher was there to complain about me. He said that I would never be good at English and that I should be downgraded to easier classes because I would end up failing.

The principal asked me what grade I got, and I told the truth—I had 89% at the time. I ended up staying where I was, with the same teacher. Today, I can say I’m not bad at English even though it’s my second language.

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33. The Pretender

My father-in-law waited until both of my parents died to become a total piece of garbage—and he’s seriously infuriating. Now, he talks badly about me to people but smiles in my face. The only reason I know about it is because my niece and nephew pulled me to the side and told me about it. I hope and pray, for my sake, that he never needs to move in with us when he gets older, because that ain't happening.

Is that petty of me?

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34. A Fresh Fade

I used to get haircuts at the army barber shop when I was younger. I went every two weeks. One time, I was tended to by a barber I never had before. I told him how I wanted my cut: low, faded, and a part on the left side of my head. The barber put the part near the middle of my head, so I told him that wasn't how I wanted it.

He told me verbatim, "That's too bad". I still had to pay him for my haircut, too. I never got a part in my head again, 23 years and counting.

Petty AdultsPicryl

35. Teacher Tantrum

A math teacher handed back our tests in class. They were graded and marked and all that. She was going over some of the questions that most people, myself included, got wrong. I was writing down some notes on my test so I could reference it later and remind myself why I got things wrong and what I was supposed to do instead. My teacher’s reaction was bloodcurdling. 

She ripped my test away from me and started screaming at me that cheating is absolutely not allowed and that I should be ashamed of myself. Confused and in shock, I started choking up and tried to explain that I was just trying to take notes. It was one of the most humiliating incidents in my childhood, and I still don’t understand why it happened.

Petty AdultsPexels

36. Nitpicking In The Newsroom

I was working in the newsroom of a newspaper and one of my duties was to take official reports and input them into the system so they could get printed in the paper. The paper’s official style rules said to use abbreviations like “VCR”, “CD player”, “TV”, etc. Some petty, power-tripping jerk browbeat and scolded me.

He said that I absolutely had to type “videocassette recorder”, “compact disc player”, “television”, etc. When the editor asked why I had done that, I said, “That guy told me I had to do it that way”. I assume the dude got in trouble afterward, but I didn’t really care. It serves him right for being so petty and uptight.

Petty AdultsFlickr, Bill Walsh

37. Solve The Equation

In high school, I was easily the best student in my class, especially when it came to math, physics, chemistry and the like. I was one of the fortunate ones to whom that stuff came very easily. However, I was pretty shy and didn't really participate in class, I just aced every test. My classmates obviously knew I was great at these subjects, so they'd often come to me for help instead of going to the teacher.

Most teachers didn’t really care, but there was one lady who did. It's been a while so I can't remember her name, but she taught geometry. One day, she came in determined to expose me, apparently. She drew a very convoluted problem on the board and gave us five minutes to solve for some angle. It was the kind of problem that would take me 20 minutes, at the very least.

The rest of the class would probably find it impossible to get through. Yet, as soon as the five minutes were up, the teacher ordered me to get up to the board and solve the problem for the class. I asked for a little more time, but she insisted I got up so we could "do it together". I didn't really have a choice, so I stood up and walked toward the board.

I suffered silently for a few moments, trying to think of how to approach the problem, until she finally relented and gave me pointers on how to solve it. After I did, she sent me back to my seat and told the class that if people had any questions, they should be going to her. I obviously got super angry and was on the verge of tears for the rest of the class.

I got her back later that same month, though: she had parked her car in a bit of a hidden space, so I peed on her door handle. I guess that’s even pettier than what she did to me but screw her.

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38. Mr. Misery

When I was in the seventh grade, I had a teacher who hated me. He always picked on me because I was a little slower than the rest of the class at getting math equations. He sent me to an after-school remedial class, which was for children with special educational needs. He did this even though I never had special needs.

I was just a very literal thinker who used to question why certain things had to be done in a certain way. I was once late handing in my homework project by 10 minutes because the teacher wasn't there at the time. I was on time, but he was late, and he gave me three months of detention. Every lunchtime, I had to write lines and if I didn't finish before lunch was over, I didn't eat.

I told my mum, obviously. She pretty much said to just deal with it because we were emigrating to the UK later that school year. She was kind of right. I never finished my detention because we left the country, so screw that prick.

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39. Pop Quiz

In grade four, a teacher gave us a few questions before lunch break and expected us to answer each of them correctly right after the break was over. One of my classmates couldn't get a few of the answers correct. So, the teacher made him walk to every bench and get a smack from each student that was present in the class.

Thinking about the incident now, I feel like going back in time and beating the snot out of that horrible teacher.

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40. The Cookie Monster

When I was in kindergarten, my dad packed a lunch for me. My school was very into “healthy eating” and “healthy snacks”. I was always very good with eating those foods but sometimes a kid just needs a cookie, specially packed into their lunch as a surprise from Dad. Now, my teacher saw I had a cookie in my lunch box, grabbed it from me and said, “WE DONT EAT COOKIES IN THIS CLASSROOM”!

The teacher then proceeded to EAT the cookie RIGHT in front of my little face. It scarred me for years. My dad set up an appointment with the principal. While we were there, he called the principal and the teacher un-American for not allowing him to put in his child’s lunch box the things he thinks she should be able to eat.

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41. Frosty’s Revenge

12 years ago, when I was in tenth grade, my sister built a giant snowman after an unusually heavy Pennsylvanian snow. She was eight at the time and she’d spent all day on this thing. It was actually pretty impressive. The town I'm from is a borough and it only has something like 7,000 people who live there, meaning high school classes were small and relatively tight-knit.

There was one particular kid—who I'll call Scotty—who drove me up the wall. He never did anything to me personally, but he just had a massively annoying way about him. To make matters worse, it seemed as if I had way too many classes with him to be statistically possible. One of Scotty's irritating behaviors is that he drove a loud, redneck-ish, John Deere green truck.

It was obnoxious and—important to the story later—had a huge brush guard on the front of it. Well, on the evening after my sister built her snowy sentinel, I heard the sound of Scotty's truck making its way down the street from inside our living room. Then, I heard the "pfft" of someone running over a snowman and laughing.

Unfortunately for my sister, she had built it close to the road and too easily within the range of this semi-guided jerk. She was rather upset to see her day's work splattered all over the street...Something needed to be done about this. So, the next morning, I woke up early and began building another snowman. It was glorious.

I made the classic, three-section, scarf-wearing, sticks-for-arms-and-vegetables-for-a-face snowman. However, this new snowman's cheery countenance betrayed a grim and dark secret. Frosty was built on top of a fire hydrant at the corner of our yard where there was no curb. For a good two days, I dreamt of Scotty wrapping his stupid truck around my masterpiece out in the yard.

But no dice. I didn't see him at all anywhere around town, so I thought I was out of luck. Then, on the evening of the fourth day, I heard it. My family was eating dinner and I heard the low grumble of fate's motors kicking from gear to gear. I thought to myself, “Will they find themselves abruptly halted in about 10 seconds? It all depends on you, Scotty boy”.

So, I started chewing my food really fast because, knowing the idiot, I knew what was going to happen next. The final acceleration sounded off like a chaotic crescendo as he plowed straight into—not through—the snowman with the deafening crunch of twisting metal. My family ran outside, and it took everything I had to not laugh before I got out there.

There stood Scotty, dazed and bewildered and caught off guard by a battle that he’d lost before he realized it had begun. Payback never tasted so sweet.

Petty AdultsFlickr, Stephen Harlan

42. For The Love Of Shrimp

I was the petty adult in this one. Last week, I was at this fancy lunch to celebrate my parents' anniversary. There was a lot of food and stuff, but because of problems with assigned seats, I ended up next to a seven-year-old spoiled kid that I can't stand. So, the little brat was being annoying during the whole meal, but I kept calm.

Now, for the important part. You have to know that I LOVE shrimp, but since it was a big lunch with a lot of appetizers, every dish had just a few things in it. I had been there since 12am and it was now 5pm. The shrimp arrived and, God, what a beautiful vision it was for my eyes. I could already taste all that goodness.

But wait! There was only one shrimp per person. Well, no big deal, each person eats their own shrimp, and I was saving mine for last since there was other stuff on the plate. As I started eating, the little brat said: "I WANT MORE SHRIMP". Everyone else said, "Well, Little Brat, there was only one per plate, and you ate yours".

You know what was about to happen. Yes, Little Brat looked at me like the solution was obvious all along: "HE STILL HAS ONE”! My brain took a few seconds to realize what was happening. Everyone was staring at me, and everyone expected me to do what everyone else would have done. I thought to myself, “No way, kid. You sat at the wrong freaking table. I waited almost six hours for this shrimp. You're not getting any more of it, especially since you ate yours already”.
So, I opened the shrimp with my utensils, carefully cleaned it, then took my fork and slowly raising the ready-to-be-eaten shrimp in the air. Then, without saying a word, I looked Little Brat right in the eyes and ate the whole thing in one smooth motion, slowly chewing it in his face. Nobody said a word, not even him.

It was probably the first time he couldn't get something by crying or because he was a kid. Everyone silently resumed eating. Even though they didn't say anything, I am pretty sure they were quite mad at me. But, in my defense: sometimes adults are petty for a reason.

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43. Prove It

I had a creative writing teacher in high school who, for whatever reason, hated me. One time, she accused me of plagiarizing a paper on the grounds that I had used words she didn't think a high school girl would know. Being poor, I always had to handwrite my papers and bring them to school to type because we didn't have a computer.

So, I showed her my handwritten copy. End of story, right? Nope. She “just knew” I plagiarized it. There was no proof, but she wasn’t budging. I said, "This is bull". Her reply was seriously disturbing. She told me "It really shows that you don't have a mother". I'd had enough, so I got up and left. She followed me out and started attacking the way I looked and dressed.

I went to the principal’s office in tears. He was a friend of my dad’s and had known me since I was a kid. He knew I didn't cry easily. The teacher’s story was that I was swearing at her, and she kicked me out of class. I went home and a friend stopped by and told me that the teacher had been talking badly about me during a play practice—and she had an ace up her sleeve.

My friend had recorded it. My dad finally got me to tell him what all had happened, and I don't think I've ever seen him so furious. He called the principal and set up a meeting with the principal and the teacher. We went to the meeting. The teacher came in denying everything and my dad just told her to shut up. He played the video for her and the principal.

Afterward, my dad told her that they had established that she was a liar. I ended up finishing out the year with the principal teaching the class for me. Now, as a grown woman, I just can't imagine letting a teenage girl get under my skin to the point that I'd keep thinking about her long after she was out of my sight.

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44. To The Letter

My science teacher demanded that everyone use capital letters on our matching quiz. So, question number one was “M” and so on. At the time, I made many of my capital letters large versions of lowercase letters. They were obviously meant to be uppercase, and I had been doing it that way the entire year. Many of the other girls in my class did it, too, because we all experimented with our handwriting.

My teacher tried to give me a very low grade even though I got all of the answers correct. I sat there and cried. I couldn't understand why he had given me a failing grade when I had correctly answered each question and clearly used capital letters. I guess that day, the letters just didn't look the way he felt they should.

But my letters were always fine before, and he’d never said anything. I think he was just being a jerk that day.

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45. The Intern

During my first internship, I was on a team that did something with real estate and corporate finance side. My dad got me the internship and basically forced me to take it. I was 20, had never taken a finance course or high-level business course, and had never had a white-collar job before. And I was going into an office at a competitive place where everyone on my team was over 10 years older than me.

I was 100% not ready for it, and not interested in going into that field. I probably wouldn't have even gotten the job if my boss was a nice guy. But he wasn't. The dude was, like, 40 years old and did NOT like me. Any attempt at small talk was denied aggressively, and all questions were answered dismissively. Everyone else was really nice to me, though.

I was very "proficient" at Word and Excel but had never used Outlook, so he bullied me constantly for that. He would give me extremely vague instructions and absolutely no guidance, and he forced me to schedule meetings to ask questions. So, learning how to do stuff took forever. I would ask a question, get an answer, figure out how to utilize that answer, and then naturally have another question, but then wait all day for him to be free.

Keep in mind, he was the head of a program that hadn't officially started yet, so his schedule wasn't exactly busy. I once caught him puffing on a Black and Mild while eating a burger on top of the parking garage during one of his "client meetings”. He would give me nothing to do most of the time, and then rip on me for not doing anything.

I would literally go around the cubicles asking for something to help with, do all of my co-workers’ grunt work, and then have four hours between getting that done and my meeting with my boss to ask questions. And he'd come rip on me for not doing anything or "trying" during those four hours. Sometimes, he'd sit at his desk till 7pm, just chilling on his iPhone.

I'd have to sit there staring at a blank screen because he'd stare at me if I took my phone out. During our 360-review process, my coworkers gave me an average score of 3.0 on a 0-4 scale. He gave me an average of 0.75. But it got worse. Later on in the internship, I was a team leader for a charity drive. Out of ten groups, my team was in second place.

I thought I was doing a really good job. The team that was beating us had significantly more members than us. They were also thousands of dollars ahead on the last day, so I figured, "Hey, whatever, we had a good run". Nope. I went in on the last day of the charity drive and that jerk had a janitor’s cart loaded with trays of breakfast tacos.

I tried to plead with him that it wouldn’t make the difference. I even offered to pay him back for the tacos if he’d change his mind. Nope. He made me go office to office, team to team selling tacos. It was my first interaction with 99% of the people I sold tacos to. They laughed at me. I've been a dishwasher. I've been a busboy. I was a pledge and got the snot hazed out of me. But I have never, ever felt so degraded in my life.

I probably would've quit if that wasn't a week or two from the end of the internship. On my last day, I spoke with everyone. Most of my coworkers said something along the lines of "we'll miss you, sorry your boss was a jerk".

And my boss basically ripped me apart. He told me that I should change majors and that this wasn't the right job for me. He said a ton of really hurtful stuff with little to no constructive aspects. At the end of it all, he said something along the lines of "well we'll miss you and I hope you learned a lot". But I’d had enough. 

You’ll remember that I got the job through connections. My dad worked for the company and was very close with the head of our entire division. I'm not normally one to play the "do you know who my dad is" card I because 99% of the time, it’s incredibly cheap, insecure, cringy, and unwarranted. I believe it was warranted here.

Nobody at the internship knew who my dad was and that was by design—I’d wanted to be treated without bias so I knew who I could trust and where I stood. I responded, with tears in my eyes, "Yeah, I had a great time. I can't wait to tell my dad about it". My boss asked, "Who’s your dad”? I tried not to sound to smug as I said, "Oh, he did such and such really important thing for the company for a while, but he's retired now. He's really good friends with your boss's boss's boss".

The dude went white in the face. He said, "Oh, I almost forgot your present". He went to his desk and got an extra company water bottle that he’d definitely just had sitting there. It was a complete change in his demeanor. All of a sudden, it was all smiles and chit-chat and "Well, if you ever come back, you'll always have a place to stay". But the story didn’t end there.

He ended up dying in a car accident five days later. Due to the optics, I couldn't really say anything to the company about how much of an absolute jerk and lazy employee he was. So, in the end, he got the last word. That really frustrated me.

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46. The Green-Eyed Monster

When I was young, my mum was best friends with one of the neighbors down the street, who also had a boy the same age as me. As a result, I played a lot with said boy and was encouraged to be best friends with him. Whenever my mum wasn't around, though, his mum became a terror. She would come out to where we were playing together and shout at me for some minor, trivial thing.

If we were both doing something a little mischievous, she would blame it all on me and never reprimand her son at all. This was all when I was around seven to 10 years old, so I couldn't process it at all and had no idea how to react. It really got to me. Years later, I found out the disturbing truth. It turns out that she was basically jealous because I was doing much better at school than her son and she wanted to “take me down a peg”.

Ultimately, her son and I ended up going to different secondary schools and drifted apart. Fortunately, that meant that I stopped having to interact with her. Our mums are still good friends, and she has always been pleasant to me as an adult. But even 30 years later, I still keep her at arm’s length because of how unfairly she treated me as a child.

Petty AdultsFreepik, master1305

47. Bottom Of The Food Chain

My second-grade science teacher taught us there was no food we eat that doesn't come from plants. He gave the example of a cow: it eats grass, so it comes from plants. He offered five dollars to anyone who could find anything that people eat that didn't come from plants. He said no one had ever claimed it. So, we all went home and thought about it.

In class the next day, kids were saying things like marshmallows, ice cream, candy...I put my hand up and said, "salt". My teacher was quiet for a moment and admitted that I was correct. He also said no one had ever thought about that before, not even him, and that millions of people around the world eat salt every day.

He still refused to give me the five dollars. It was so petty.

Petty AdultsPexels

48. The Name Game

My aunt was unpleasant or weird with everyone—but I got the worst of it. One day, I found out the ridiculous reason why. When I was about 14, she took me aside and said she'd held a grudge against me because of my name. She had wanted to call her first daughter that name, but my parents had a child first and used it—they had no idea she wanted the name and aren't the kind of people who would have done it on purpose.

My aunt said that she had tried really hard to get past it and had just about forgiven me for it. I just remember being baffled by it and then feeling sorry for her for being that spiteful. It was weird but, to be honest, it later paled in comparison with all the other crazy, horrible things she did to her own family.

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49. Finders Keepers

I was at an Easter egg hunt when I was around six years old. It was in a big park area with lots of rocks to hide the eggs. I saw a little chocolate egg foil glisten and ran over to pick it up. As I reached my hand out to pick it up, a man trod on my hand to stop me from getting it. Then, he called his kid over to come "find" it.

Petty AdultsPexels

50. Third Time’s The Charm

The day of my mom’s third wedding was the worst day of my life. I sat in my room alone crying because it was hard to accept. I didn’t want to upset my mom, so I made sure to remove myself. When my aunt came to check in on me and saw that I was crying, she went and told my mom. My mom went out of her way to stop hair and makeup so she could come into my room and yell at me.

She accused me of being selfish and trying to ruin her happy day, even though I had purposefully tried to not look upset in front of her in the first place. That wedding was rough to get through—but luckily, there was a happy ending. I’m grateful for it now because my mom’s husband ended up being great for her even though he had quite a rocky start with me.

My mom also finally went to therapy and was diagnosed properly and given the help she needs. I don’t live at home anymore but now we have a solid relationship, and she still regularly apologizes for the things she did while I was growing up. While I still have some childhood baggage, I’ve built a very happy life for myself and will definitely use what I learned from my childhood to be a better mom to my kids, if I ever have any.

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Sources: Reddit, ,



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