The only thing better than seeing someone get what they deserve is seeing them get what they deserve...immediately. That's what we call instant karma, baby. Whether it’s seeing that guy who just cut us off get pulled over by the authorities or watching the class clown get a taste of their own medicine, it just doesn’t get much better. If you don’t believe in karma now, you will after reading this list.
#1 Grand Slam
This idiot who harasses me because I’m a bit of an outcast in my high school said something awful me today: "The only reason why you're here is because your grandma was a hoe who gave birth to a hoe mother!" Well, my grandmother passed yesterday. But I got my revenge. The principal overheard her, and now she can’t walk on graduation.
I was stopped at a red light waiting to turn right. I couldn't see if there was any traffic coming because of how the intersection was set up and there was a bus in the left-turn lane, so I was just waiting for a green. The person behind me clearly wanted me to turn because she was honking, yelling, and giving me the finger. After a couple of seconds, she decided to drive around me...and was immediately T-boned.
#3 Late Vacation
As the low man on the totem pole at work, I got to do all of the grunt labor and random tasks that required working on weekends and such. I was a master engineer working in a 9-5 job, but being paid less than a pizza delivery driver. Then it got even worse. My boss decided that I no longer got compensation time, so basically I was working overtime all the time.
The reason behind this was that I was salaried and "it was part of the job." Well, I found a brutal way to get back at them. When I quit to go get my PhD, they realized that I hadn't used any vacation time at all. This ultra-penny pincher had to write me a check for two extra months' worth of pay as I walked out the door. Never have I tasted a sweeter payday.
#4 I Oughta Wash Your Mouth out
I used to be a zookeeper. This idiot was making fun of our llama for looking ugly. The llama was a rescue who had corrective jaw surgery. She was not ugly, she was adorable. Yet the rude woman pointed and laughed at our llama. In return, the llama spat right in her mouth. I gave the llama a treat and told her that she was a good girl.
#5 Watch and Learn
My stepdad is a driving instructor. I went to get my license pretty late in the game, when I was 22 years old. One day, he was giving me a lesson and we were going over one of the possible courses that the test takes. While we're driving down a street in the suburbs, a guy is tailgating the life out of me, and he's a really scary looking dude.
Every time I come to a stop sign, I do a full stop, obviously. When I do, he throws his hands in the air and yells. It's starting to stress me out, but my stepdad comes up with an ingenious plan. He says, "Don't worry about it, watch this." As we're going down the street, he says, "Okay, now in about 50 feet I want you to start slowing down a little bit and right when you are in front of that school zone, pull over to the right."
So I do it. Right after I pull over, the scary-looking, furious guy takes off from behind me like a speeding bullet. Aaaannd about five seconds later, a patrol car pulls out from behind a tree and waves him over for going probably double the speed limit in a school zone. We laughed. Hard. Don’t tussle with the driving instructor.
#6 Rubber, Meet Glue
My friend Collin and I were playing Mario Kart once and I kart-slammed him in the last corner and won. He pulls his arm back and punches me as hard as he can in the arm. The karma part: His hand bounced off my arm and made him hit himself in the eye with full force. Just about knocked himself unconscious, the idiot.
#7 Little Stinker
One time I saw a truck swerve to purposefully hit a cat. It was the type of truck that you see where the dude is clearly compensating for something—huge tires, lifted, with the balls on the back hitch. Well, he successfully hit the cat, and it splattered all over his truck. Only it wasn't a cat, it was a skunk.
#8 Your Loss
My ex-wife screwed around and got pregnant. I took my son and moved out, and the new dude moved in with her. Without doing anything vindictive at all, I got to watch as the two of them wrecked each others' lives. They were so thorough about it, I wound up feeling bad for them. Turns out the best punishment for a man who wants to take your wife is to let him have her.
#9 Join the Line
My dad told me this story. He was driving back from the shore when traffic got really bad. About a mile ahead, there was an accident that had brought traffic to a crawl. Stuff happens, and my dad decides to be patient about it. Others...weren’t so patient. People even began driving on the shoulder in order to get ahead of the traffic.
This ticks my dad off. We all know how this goes. We do the right thing and are punished for it, whereas these jerks are skipping in front of traffic and will probably get away with it. He thought about following this stream of cars onto the shoulder, but he decided he’d do the right thing and wait. Then suddenly, karma came along.
As he got closer, he saw two uniformed officers waiting around in a parking lot. One officer was directing all of the shoulder drivers into the parking lot, while the other wrote all of those drivers tickets. My dad describes it as one of the most satisfying things he’s ever seen. Definitely a great call by my dad.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Stories that matter — delivered straight to your inbox.
#10 Phoney Foiled
This dumb kid in middle school kept trying to take my cellphone. Our school had a rule that you couldn't have your phone out in class, and when the teacher left the classroom for a second to have a brief word with an administrator, the jerk kid grabbed my phone. Except the teacher came back in a second later and caught him red-handed. She wouldn't believe it wasn't his phone. He got detention.
#11 Boxed in
My little sister's friend was being a real jerk to me. Following me around, mocking everything I said, making rude commentary on everything I did. I told her she shouldn't do things like that to someone older than her, because it could have dire consequences. Some time later, they convinced me to play hide-and-seek with them, and the rules were to STAY IN THE HOUSE.
I searched high and low for that little brat and couldn't find her anywhere. My sister had no clue either, and neither of us heard the doors open, so we didn't think she could be outside. Well, we were wrong. Turns out, the kid decided to say screw the rules and go outside. She hid in the back of my mom's truck, which has a camper shell that can be locked from the outside.
I guess someone saw that it was open, closed it, and locked it while the kid was hiding inside. Oops. She ended up peeing in her pants because she was so scared. I volunteered to unlock it, but I took my sweet time doing so, staring at her with this smug-as-anything grin. It was a truly great moment of instant karma.
#12 Sock It to 'Em
I was 17. I went to a party where there were kids from two different high schools. When I went inside, I took off my brand new Nike Air Mada shoes that I had just bought for $140. Hours later, when I went to leave, my new shoes were gone. We had an idea of who took them, a guy from the other school, but didn’t have proof.
I was so sad and so embarrassed. I had to drive home in my socks. But a week later, the girl who threw the party shows up on my doorstep holding something behind her back...turns out she went to a party and saw the guy who took my shoes wearing them! When he took them off after a smoke break, she snagged them. She told me the best part was watching him look for them (just like I had) and then leave in his socks.
I worked for Goodwill quite a few years back as a supervisor because my mother and I had really fond memories of treasure hunting there and I wanted to try and build up some management experience with a reputable company. I thought it would be my dream gig for a while even though I knew it would be hard work. Except it was a total nightmare.
The manager was an all-right lady, but her assistant manager was a tyrant. Every day, she would threaten to fire the employees if they didn't do their work right. I took offense to this because as a supervisor, I wanted my team to be in good spirits and wanted them to love coming in to work and doing good things for the mission.
Yet because every single day they were being told they could be fired, morale was rock bottom. People were afraid for their jobs every day. It got so bad, I had a meeting with the manager and I said, "I don't want to step on any toes, but I would appreciate it if you could ask the assistant manager to tone down the firing threats."
She said she understood and I felt good about the conversation. The next day, she called me into her office where her and the assistant manager were both waiting for me. They asked me to lock the door. As soon as I did, I got the most hate-filled verbal lashing of my entire life. I truly wasn't prepared for what they said.
“You think you can turn us against each other? You are worthless. You just do your freaking job and don't tell us how to do ours. Who do you think you are??” This went on for about 20 minutes. I'm a grown man and I nearly started bawling right then and there. Finally, I told them to take this terrible job and shove it. Well, they got their comeuppance.
I was the only supervisor they had on a team that required at least two. The manager and assistant manager were already working 60-hour weeks to make things work on a skeleton crew, and when I quit they were going to be working 80 hours each with no weekends until they had at least a month to find someone else. I wasn't really concerned about it at that point.
#14 A Tumble and a Laugh
Back in high school, I was kind of being a jerk to a girl I was friends with. Nothing too bad, just some friendly teasing, but still not a great move. Then I turned around and fell down a big flight of stairs immediately after. Even mid-fall, the karma and the justice did not escape me, trust me. We both found it pretty hilarious.
#15 Karma’s Cold Slap
I was working with this complete jerk at the sandwich shop where I work. She was 17, I was 18. I was telling a coworker about how my boyfriend had proposed to me, and she comes up behind me and says, "I bet he only proposed because the condom broke." It caused me to burst into tears—because she didn't know the dark truth.
I'd actually just recently found out that there was only a 2% chance that I could have kids, and I was still very sensitive about it. After coming out of the supply room (I went in there to cry) I asked her to come out the back door with me so I could have a word with her. I didn't want customers to hear us, because we likely would have ended up yelling.
I told her to keep her nose in her own business. She then decided to slap me. Pretty hard, too. I didn't hit her back...because we were directly in front of a camera. So, I went inside and called my boss. He had seen it on the live feed at home and had recorded it. He was already on his way. He came in and dragged her out the back again and fired her.
#16 When You Sling Mud…
I was in the eighth grade. I was standing on a bench when I watched some girl fall over in the yard. I started laughing and pointing, and then went to lean back onto the fence that was behind the bench. Turns out it had broken off where I was standing, and I fell straight through and into the mud. Yep, I had that one coming.
#17 Sweeping the Legs
When I was a teenager, I was in a van with a bunch of my friends. We stopped for gas at a place on a busy intersection. One of my friends points out some action happening in a car parked next to the street and says, "He's beating the tar out of her!" Sure enough, some horrible guy is bouncing his girlfriend's head off the dashboard.
Now, we were no innocent teenagers, and this van was our mailbox-baseball-mobile. We grabbed our bats and prepared to intervene. But just as we were getting out, the girl grabs the keys out of the guy's ignition and throws them into the street. I can see the rest in slow motion, clear as day, even though it happened more than 20 years ago.
The guy races out of the car in a huff, runs into the street, bends to pick up his keys. He gets back up, points at the car, and starts to yell something, his face red with rage. Just then, a little sports sedan turns the corner at speed, and hits him straight on in the legs. Dude does a flip over the car and falls into a limp pile. Girlfriend runs to him, crying in remorse...
At the time, we were in no way prepared to stick around and talk to the authorities, so this was the last I knew of things...that is, until a few years later. One night, back from college on winter break, I was telling this story at a party. A girl looks at me funny, and starts asking me some date and location questions.
She was really freaking out. Turns out, she was the driver who hit the dude, only she didn't know he was a jerk. No one at the scene, including the girlfriend, said anything about the incident. The driver had felt guilty for years about running down some innocent guy, crippling him for life. My chance retelling of the story took a huge burden off her.
I was targeted to be fired from work. It had nothing to do with my performance, and everything to do with my manager who took a disliking to me. I walked the line of perfection for about a month until I found another job, then I handed in my two weeks' notice. That was victory number one. But I had even more wins up my sleeve.
I then took about a half-dozen of their employees and got them hired into my new company. That was victory number two. I'd like to think that victory number three was the 30 or 40 employees they lost in the following year, but I can’t claim direct responsibility for that. Thing is, when you have employees with high-demand skills like software engineering, you'd best treat them right.
#19 Classy Action
I worked for a small lottery chain for the better part of a year back around 2008. It was a single employee operation, so I worked a 10-hour shift with no breaks or a lunch. All in all, it wasn't a bad job and had good tips. Then one day, out of the blue, the regional manager calls me into the store and tells me that I'm suspended.
I was given no warning whatsoever. I asked her why. Her reply made my blood run cold. She flat-out tells me that I'm frightening away the patrons because I’m gay. The next day, she calls me to say that I'm no longer needed. I tried for a lawsuit, but it was a he-said-she-said kind of thing. Not really that much that I could do about it, unfortunately.
Flash forward to last month. I get a call from a lawyer asking me if I want to take part in a class-action lawsuit against this company for discrimination and unfair wage compensation practices. I told them my story, and now I'm a class representative for the case. I'm so ready for this court case, you don’t even know.
#20 Eye for an Eye
When I was a kid, I was the youngest of all the kids on my block. The other kids, including my sister, would have fun tormenting me. They would try and exclude me from things on the basis of my age. The worst of them was Marcus, who would always be a complete jerk. One day Marcus and I, along with some of the other kids, went to a nearby school to ride around on our scooters.
Marcus convinced me that to be "cool" I had to jump down a flight of five stairs. I succeeded, but broke my scooter in the process. As the kids rode off, laughing at me for not being able to join them, Marcus' front wheel caught in a crack in the concrete. He FLEW over the handlebars, straight into a flagpole. I nearly keeled over laughing. I broke my scooter; he broke his face.
#21 No Tow for You
My boyfriend has a big GMC, and one winter it was really snowy and a bunch of cars had gone into the ditch, as you do. Because he's a nice guy, he was spending his day off pulling people out for free. At one point, while he was helping someone, some jerk FLEW by him, wailing on the horn and flipping him off out of the window.
He got done pulling the car out and headed up the road in the direction that idiot had gone. That's when he witnessed an incredible sight. A mile up the road, they found the jerk standing outside of his car, which was now plowed into a giant freaking tree. Boyfriend honked his horn, waved, and kept driving. Dude just hung his head like a scolded dog. Truly beautiful.
#22 Oh Snapple
I go to New York City about once a year to visit family. While there, I always crave the "Grandma's Sicilian" pizza, and the best slice in the city is served near my cousin's place. Well, it's New York, and naturally the joint is crowded as anything. Across from the register you can grab drinks, and paying for them basically comes down to the honor system.
I've never really taken anything before, but my cousin just nonchalantly took a drink and nobody said a word! I do love me some Peach Snapple so I got greedy and took two of them. I paid for the food and we were on our way out. By then, I was on an adrenaline rush. Did I mention my craving for the pizza was so large that I also got an entire pizza instead of just one or two slices?
Yep, an entire pie for myself. So, as we are walking back to the subway station, I trip on the curb and fall. I land on the pizza with my stomach, covering my clothes in sauce. Both Snapples shatter and the glass lodges itself in my knuckles, palms, and legs. The brand new $60 jeans I purchased the day before got ripped and stained. Yeah, karma came for me hard.
#23 Playing Engineer
I was trying to sell my apple-seed biodiesel processor. One guy came by who seemed genuinely interested. He said he would pay me $100 to give a demonstration of the whole process. Apparently, he was some big shot with a garage and a fleet of heavy equipment. I demoed the first 90% of the process and explained the rest.
A few weeks go by and I haven't seen my $100 or the guy who wanted to buy the processor. That's when I found out he had tried to make his own processor and failed miserably. He ruined two very expensive dump trucks in the process. They are still sitting behind his house. Yeah, thank you, karma. I may not get my $100, but at least I get some satisfaction.
#24 Bossing Around
I worked for a tech company that moved out over a weekend, because the landlords were locking us out that Monday. I'd told my boss we'd want to get the internet set up before the move, since we were, you know, a tech company and it was important the internet worked. He didn't listen. We tried to get someone out on a weekend from the phone company instead.
Got everything hooked up, and gosh, no internet. So, my boss called me in on Sunday to talk to tech support. I'm a family man, and we had a very nice dinner planned. But no, work was more important to my boss. Told him okay, but he'd need to meet me at the office. I did the tech support call, and still no boss. Called him again and told him I really needed him in the office.
When he got there, I handed him my key, the list of passwords to the server, and wrapped them in my resignation letter. Told him I had a family, and being pulled away from Easter Sunday dinner to talk to tech support was the last straw. Told him that I was sure he could find tech administrator on short notice, or he could figure it out himself.
#25 A Close Shave
My girlfriend (now fiancée) and I moved into an apartment together. Things were going great until a buddy of hers needed a place to stay as he was going through a divorce with his wife. I had never met "Saul" before but we got along fine. I worked at a PC repair shop that had a LAN Center in it that we'd have LAN parties at all the time, and apparently he had seen me there.
So, we talk about gaming, beer, etc. He tells me he's looking for work as he was working at his father-in-law’s shop and got canned because of the divorce. No problem, just help out around the house and pay us rent when you can. Two months later nothing, and this was before the economic downturn. There were companies hiring right and left, besides Taco Bell and McDonald's.
Somehow, he scrapes together $200 bucks. He immediately goes out and blows it on finishing up a demonic sleeve tattoo. Fantastic, that's gonna help him getting a job. He uses the kitchen and leaves dirty dishes everywhere. We are washing his clothes and he's using my toiletries...which is where sweet karma comes in.
I inform him at the end of month three that we were sorry, but he needed to either pay the back-rent owed and have a job by the end of the week or he would have to leave. Astonishingly, he asked, "How can you kick me out after all I've done for you?" I was so flabbergasted. Like really dude, what have you actually done except mooch off our generosity?
"Fine! Screw you! I'll get my junk out of your apartment by the end of the day" he finally says. I go to work, come back home, and my significant other tells me that Saul was furious and had packed his stuff. I hear him in the bathroom. He's finally showering after about four weeks of taking a break from hygiene, and I hear my electric razor.
He comes out clean shaven, flips me off, grabs his stuff, and splits. As soon as the door shuts, I'm in tears from laughter. My SO is ticked since she feels like she lost a friend over the deal. I then inform her that he'll get over it. She then goes in to see the wreck he left in the bathroom and sees the razor on the sink. "Saul shaved didn't he?" "Yup." "Isn't that the...?" "Shaver I use to trim 'down there'? Yep."
Both of us are in freaking tears by this point. We find out later he moved to Arkansas, where he was promptly detained for assault. Served time, released, and immediately got hung up on another charge, but was released due to lack of evidence. Saw him the other day, kicking a scraggly beard. I wanted to offer him that shaver.
#26 Your Train Can Wait
I'm in the New York City subway. A guy elbows me out of the way to get into the turnstile, first yelling vaguely that he "has a train to catch." No way, really?. He goes through the turnstile, turns the corner, and there are a few uniformed officers set up near a folding table. The dude gets pulled to have his bag searched. I think he missed that train.
#27 Baseketball IRL
This idiot I knew in high school was trying to get a mentally handicapped kid to do stuff for a video in a very nasty cruel way behind the gym. Meanwhile, I’m sitting behind a car in the parking lot. Special kid is not dumb enough to play this game, so the idiot decides to get him to hold the camera for him instead.
People are heckling and calling out suggestions, nothing interesting happens, then someone comes out with a basketball, puts it on the concrete sidewalk, then hands idiot an aluminum baseball bat and mimes hitting the basketball, like splitting a log with an ax. Idiot winds up, brings it down, and I hear blaWHANK.
His head shoots back, blood everywhere. Honestly, from where I was I even thought he smashed his skull. Bat clatters like 20 feet behind him and he goes down backward. The bat bounced, nailed him in the eyebrow, split it open, and knocked him straight out. He was okay but had a scar and a wild black eye for a few weeks. But that's not even the best part.
The best part is that the whole time, the mentally handicapped kid he'd been trying to humiliate on camera is filming him and laughing so freaking hard that he's crying. You could tell he was so happy. Security didn’t believe no-one hit the idiot until he showed them the video. Yep, he was just that dumb, security found out.
#28 Getting Trumped
This kid used to mess with me while we all waited for class to start in middle school. He'd grab at my stuff, particularly the trumpet I played for this class, make fun of me, all the usual idiocy. We were all bored, so it must've been to fill time. Anyway, this one day I decided I’d had enough of his antics. It was time to act.
So, I swung the case for my trumpet right at his head. I didn't think I hit him that hard, but I heard later he went into his class crying. They made us go into some kind of mediation thing but it was too late. I got my revenge, and he didn't want to live it down. So, we basically never talked to each other again. I was absolutely okay with that.
#29 Knot Today
In the UK, kids wear blazers and ties to school and a common teasing tactic that jerks used was to run up to kids and pull their ties so they get really tightly knotted. On the bus ride home, the bus was really full, and I was standing in front of one such harasser. He grabbed my tie JUST as the bus had to brake sharply.
He lost his footing and the only thing keeping him upright was the fact that he was holding onto my tie. Except he had grabbed the wrong bit, and it wasn't knotted. I simply untied it and he fell on his bum in front of everyone on the bus. That was the last time I was knotted, and it was absolutely glorious. What a victory.
#30 Make Your Own Karma
When I was fresh out of high school and living with my buddy Brett, we wound up living month-to-month without a lease at a low-middle end apartment complex. The rent wasn't too bad, but me and Brett were 19 and had many more priorities other than rent and bills. So, we got a co-worker of Brett's to move in with us as well. We soon found out how bad an idea this was.
Long story short, the guy turned out to be a total idiot and a bit dangerous. After a couple of months of putting up with his garbage, we had a huge fight where he punched a hole in the wall and broke my computer. So, the next morning, as soon as the apartment complex office opened, me and my buddy Brett went down.
We signed a lease for the apartment, becoming the only two occupants. No more idiot friend, we just couldn’t deal. Then we called the authorities and had them kick the jerk out for trespassing. Authorities woke the jerk and his trashy girlfriend up out of a sound sleep to tell them they had to leave. I was so satisfied.
#31 A Move-Worthy Mistake
One time in middle school, this guy who was relatively new at our school was making fun of a girl in our class who fell in the hallway in-between classes. Coincidentally, this was a girl I had a crush on. The guy was a little bit of a class clown, and was mocking her, making her look stupid and clumsy. This did not bode well for him.
Apparently, he misjudged his footing, and while attempting to jokingly ape the way she had fallen, actually fell for real, and landed squarely on his back in front of everybody. He broke his arm in the process. Passing him by in the hallway, I saw him just lying there, surrounded by adults and staring up at the ceiling, face completely expressionless. Pretty sure he moved after that. I would have too.
#32 Getting Lit Quick
I was walking down a busy street and a guy shoulder-barged me as he walked past. Unbeknownst to him, though, I had a lit smoke in my hand and it burnt him pretty badly on the way by. I was about 10 feet away when I heard him scream out, but there was too many people and I never saw him again. Oh well, serves him right.
#33 Daughter Privilege
I worked at a coffee chain as my first job during high school. I worked a metric ton, and the customers loved me. The place was run by this super jerk of a GM who let her two daughters work there. One was a normal employee who got treated like an angel and always got the shifts she wanted, while the other was an incompetent shift leader who got the same treatment.
Well, one week this normal employee girl looks at her schedule then asks if she can trade two of her shifts with two of mine because she forgot about her mom's birthday. I said sure, no problem, because I was just trying to be nice. So, the next week when I get my schedule, I am only working one shift. I'm like, why the heck?
The GM only told me, "If you don't like the shifts I give you, then you won't get any." She didn't even care why I traded the shifts in the first place—for HER BIRTHDAY—so I immediately put my two weeks in. The last day I was supposed to work was a Saturday morning, which is always PACKED and if one person doesn't show up, it makes the whole morning awful.
Well, I forgot I had to work, and I was out super late that previous night. The next morning, I just kind of said "screw it" and just skipped work altogether. They called and texted me several times, begging to know where I was. I did not even begin to consider letting them know. It felt very, very good. I continue to chase that high.
#34 Not So Fast
A couple of years ago, a friend and I were going to a concert and the traffic was beyond snarled. There was only one entrance into the location and it was mucking up the traffic as you had to turn across a busy intersection. My friend thought that she could make it across, but someone coming from the other direction cut her off and made it so she was stopped in the intersection.
Cue some amazing jerk going from the light and screaming up to about an inch from the passenger side door. I really thought that he was going to hit us. He was screaming and flashing the finger and looked like he was going to get out of his car. Meanwhile, my friend is freaking out and trying to inch her way into the stadium parking lot.
Luckily, a uniformed officer had just wheeled up in time to see the jerk pull his stunt. He flashed his lights and angrily got out of his car and started yelling at the guy. As we finally got out of the intersection, he was writing him a ticket that included something to the effect of reckless driving, just for going about ten feet. It made the night for us.
#35 The Post Beckons
In elementary school, all the kids went to the bus stop together. As we walked, one of the second-graders ran into a lamp post. One of my classmates couldn’t stop laughing. We crossed the street and he was still laughing his butt off and didn’t look where he was going. You know what’s coming—he ran into a lamp post as well and instantly got laughed at.
#36 Make Like a Tree…
I was walking to the store with a friend when we were 13. We heard someone yelling at us and turned around to see some kid about 50 feet away. He was yelling and calling us every word you know at that age. As we started to walk over to confront him, he did a 180 to start running. Well, he spun around and ran face-first into a tree and hit it hard enough that he fell to the ground from the impact.
We couldn't stop laughing and hopefully, that was enough embarrassment for him to learn a lesson.
#37 Broken & Dumped
I was dating this awful girl for awhile, because you know, I was stupid. She had a temper and was always flying off the handle. One of those people who is never happy and complains about everything. We had a fight that morning about her irrational temper. Later that day, I called her to tell her I had to work late.
She freaked out and punched the wall as soon as our conversation ended. Turns out, though, she punched a part of the wall that was solid behind the drywall and shattered her hand. She was promptly dumped.
#38 A Little Something
I was working in a supermarket when a panicked customer came up to me and said he'd accidentally left his cash in the ATM. They wondered if anyone handed it in. I was about to say no when another customer appeared behind him and said he'd been trying to catch up to him. He'd been queuing behind him at the ATM and saw what happened.
He’d got the money for him. It was £200, so a decent amount. The original customer was super grateful and offered him some of the money, but the man wouldn't take it under any circumstances. The good samaritan then bought a scratch card, scratched it, and found he'd won £5. It was some nice instant karma for a change.
#39 Moving to the Dark Side
I was working 60-hour weeks, including being on-call 24/7 on weekends, for 12k/year. One night, I was at work alone until about 11:00 PM, and finally decided, "screw it." I locked up, threw my keys through the mail slot, wrote a resignation email, and turned my phone off. I woke up late the next morning to like 10 calls, texts, and emails from my (now-ex) boss begging me to come back.
So, I leisurely went back to pack up my stuff and give him a list of everything he still owed me. A couple of months later, after my remaining co-workers had full-on nervous breakdowns from sharing my workload and left the state for other jobs, he was down to one employee and had to move from his office in an awesome location to one of those sketchy office parks.
#40 A Hero Is Made
I was a lifeguard at a well-known chain of indoor waterpark hotels in the US, and a woman was letting her less-than-two-year-old daughter play in the shallow end all by herself while she sat in a chair and read a magazine. I walked up to her to let her know that it was not safe for a child that young to be by herself.
The mom started yelling at me, telling me that it was not my business how she parented and to leave her alone. At this point, everyone around her is staring. Then, as soon as she finishes her rant, her daughter loses her balance and falls face-first into the water, and is too young to know how to stand back up to get her face out of the water and breathe.
I run in, grab her daughter, and bring her back to her. Everyone around who was staring began to clap.
#41 Ice for an Ice
Three days ago, I went into a liquor store to buy a bag of ice. I put the bag on the checkout counter and waited while the woman in front of me completed her purchase. This reminded her that she also needed a bag of ice. "Here, take this one," I said, and grabbed another bag. "Is that all you're buying?" she asked me. "Yes." She looked at me and said, "You're done…bye-bye." Before I could figure out what she meant, she turned to the clerk and said, "Put his ice on my bill." Nice karma!
#42 Asking Too Much
At my last job, I had a new senior manager hired to run my division and our sister division. After working with him for six months, I had reached my breaking point. He would call at 5:01 to see if I was still there; he would email me at 1:00 a.m. (I had a company Blackberry) asking for amendments to his morning meeting’s presentations regarding my division.
He would ask my receptionist to take notes regarding the goings-on in my office, even though just three of us shared an office and he was down the hall. He was the worst boss I've ever worked for, but the job market was tight and this paid the bills. The final straw came, though, when I returned from a week off. He approached me and asked why I was quitting.
I hadn't submitted notice, nor notified anyone I was leaving. I told him I wasn't and that he'd be the first to know if I did. He called me a liar and walked away. I sent him an email that afternoon tendering my resignation with three weeks’ notice. In my exit interview, I told the HR team EVERYTHING, and I mean everything, about the junk he pulled. Four weeks later he was fired, along with my receptionist.
#43 Ignored No More
I worked selling shoes for two years on a weekend-only basis during school at a nationally-recognized chain. Never offered a raise, never offered to open the store, never given any recognition. When I asked for some more responsibilities, I was told I was unimportant, as two new outside managers were coming in.
One of these guys managed a section of PetSmart, and the other had no prior experience whatsoever. I put in my two weeks notice. Both people came in on my last day, so I showed them everything I learned and all the small quirks of the inventory that we had there. Both quit within a week, and the store closed within four months.
#44 Watching the World Burn
I was working for Krispy Kreme when it first came to my state. I was their primary "producer," meaning my eight-hour shift every night made about 80% of the product for the stores the next day, and it was usually just me who was making the product and sending it down the other end for a team to decorate and pack.
I was the one person who would take whatever shift they gave me, and always did the shift that had all the work, the "no time to chat" shift. The shift before me, without fail, screwed around and made my shift a nightmare. I called management out on it, saying it wasn't fair and. that if I left a shift without making yeast brews and such, I'd be sent packing.
The shift manager just laughed at me and tried to blame me for the yeast brews, which were meant to be running for four hours before my shift started, but I had to make myself straight away. I refused to take the guff. So she gave me a cruel punishment. She decided that what I really wanted was a week or two without shifts, effective the next night.
I went home, typed up my notice of resignation and addressed it to the full manager, saying I couldn't work for such an incompetent shift manager and that I need to work for a place that was willing to give me the commitment to shifts and pay that I was originally promised there. Less than two weeks later, I get a call.
"Our production line has completely halted. You're the only one who knows how to fix it. Can't pay you cash, but can give you a few dozen of the product for it." I enjoyed those few dozen donuts very nicely. A couple of months later, I see they've gone into administration. All stores closed, and now only selling out of gas stations. I know I didn't directly have a part in that, but it felt good.
#45 Paying Time
I was working a job where I was doing 90 hours a week but only getting paid for 40-45. My boss blew up at me over the phone, so I quit right then and there, effective end of day. I finished up all of my work and he tried to sweet talk me into staying, but I held strong. Turns out he had to work 18 hours a day for the next two weeks trying to find a replacement.
#46 Not Your Guy Anymore
I'm an IT consultant, and have a reputation of being really competent with Microsoft Exchange Server. A couple of years ago, I bid on but did not get a project. Multiple servers, multiple sites, and right up my alley. The firm that won the bid did so by pricing it extremely low, about 40% below my price, which was on the low end to begin with.
Totally unrealistic pricing, but they thought they could pull it off with their people. Their people were good generalists but did not have a handle on Exchange 2010. I told the customer—who I'd done work for before and who I'd had a good relationship with—that it was not going to end well for them. They took it as sour grapes on my part. I was so quickly proven right.
I had plenty of other things to do anyway, so I just moved on. Two weeks after they started the implementation phase of the job, the other consulting firm messed up big time. The entire email system stopped working. No mail coming in or out, no mail flowing between any of the Exchange servers, everything just still in the water.
I find this out when I get a call late one evening at my home from the other consulting company, begging me to pull them out of the fire. I told them "no thanks." An hour later, the owner of the other firm is at my front door trying to convince me to help them "for the sake of the customer." This is well after business hours. Then the conversation took a dark turn.
He ends up screaming at me and I slam the door, then call the authorities because I'm tired and afraid that I'll do something stupid if I continue to interact with the guy. Authorities come, he loses it, they detain him for disorderly conduct and I have his freaking car blocking mine in my driveway. I have it towed off, even though I had to pay for the privilege.
He spends the next 24 hours in the slammer. The customer called me the following day and I again declined to fix the mess. By this time, I'd decided I didn't want any of that junk on me, period. The customer then sues the other consulting firm, which promptly files for bankruptcy and closes its doors rather than dealing with it.
#47 Kindness: The Ultimate Knife-Repellant
I was flying cross-country on a space-available ticket and ended up having a layover in Chicago. I was walking around trying to find a restaurant close to my hotel and I passed this dude on the street, begging for some money to buy something to eat. Now, I'm used to seeing people with a cardboard sign or whatnot, but actually approaching people was pretty new to me.
I thought to myself, "Man, this guy is probably just looking for booze money and I'm going to call his bluff.” So, I walk up to him and say, "Tell you what: I won't give you any money, but I'm on my way to get a bite to eat and if you want, you can come along with me and I'll get you whatever you want." I did not expect his response.
I was feeling pretty cocky, and figured he would turn me down with some excuse. "Absolutely!" was what he said. So, he picks up his stuff and starts walking with me. We settle on some Ruby Tuesday or Applebee's-ish place. He says he can't decide between a big steak or ribs, and I wave him off with my hand and tell him I have no problem buying him both. But this is when things got truly weird.
As we eat, he pulls out the biggest knife I've ever seen in person. He puts it on the table and says to me, "I can't tell you how freaking hungry I was. Everybody was passing me on the street, some of them would glare or ignore me, some would talk smack. I told myself the next idiot who had something clever to say to me was getting cut."
I was freaking frozen. Conversation eventually moved on and we both finished our dinners, and I talked him into dessert. In the process, I told him I was extremely interested in his knife and was in the market for one, and I offered him 250 bucks for his. He was ecstatic and sold it to me. I just figured that dude really didn't need a knife on him like that.
I figured he could use the money more than the knife. I gave it to a uniformed officer and said I found it lying around on the street. Maybe someone’s life was saved that day, who knows. Life taught me a few lessons that night, though: Don't judge, because people aren't always who you think they are, and be nice.
#48 You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone
My first job out of high school was working for a rather famous and nation-wide guitar store chain. At first, I thought it would be fun, getting to be around guitars all day and talking music with fellow musicians. Turns out I was wrong. 10-hour shifts five to six days a week while listening to too-loud overhead music over and over again wasn't actually all that great.
But I stuck it out. I needed money and I have one of those "don't quit ever" attitudes. When I got hired, the store was in serious trouble. They had recently fired a huge chunk of the staff for skimming profits and selling substances out of the warehouse. Their numbers were really low, and corporate was breathing down their necks.
But, as it turns out, I have a penchant for selling stuff that I know about. I was the accessories guy and got really, really good at it. I was routinely rolling $30k or better a month out the door, and the most expensive thing I had in my department was only $500. I also had a file with several letters from happy customers saying how much help I had been.
Eventually, the store's numbers improved, especially my department. Suddenly, we were #1 for our district, and #3 on the West coast, behind Hollywood and San Francisco. However, NONE of that mattered to the GM or anyone from corporate. All they wanted was more from me. My numbers had to be better every month, or I'd get yelled at.
I was written up for having a low sales month one January because I went on vacation. I would get daily emails and phone calls from the district and regional managers, demanding to know why I hadn't hit $xxx in sales yet. My hours got bumped up to the point where my days consisted of sleeping, showering, eating, and working.
I had zero social life. My girlfriend at the time would go weeks without seeing me. Eventually, because of the stress, I developed an ulcer. So, I decided to quit. I threw myself into my last month, which just happened to be December, the month all retail workers hate. I worked extra hours, sold as much as I could, contacted old customers, you name it.
Blew everyone out of the water, rolling just shy of $80,000 in gear. My boss called me in to his office and said I was doing a good (not great, good) job, and to keep it up. I pointed to the sales numbers screen, pointed out how well I had been doing and how well-liked I was by the customers, and asked for a raise. His response chilled me to the bone.
He laughed and said no. That was it. So I handed him my resignation letter. Two weeks later, I was done and starting classes in college, something I'd had put off since work wouldn't allow me to cut hours for school. I came back to the store a couple of months later, as someone who had worked with me called and said they'd found a jacket of mine in the warehouse.
When I showed up, the GM wasn't there. I asked and finally found out the truth. Corporate HAD noticed me, and when my GM had failed to retain me, they'd fired him. Also, that department went from #1 to #9 in the district, out of 11 stores, when I left. The district managers were scrambling to recover. I laughed the laugh of the vindicated.
#49 Get Mature, Kid
I worked at a Kmart in high school. It was a small store, so I worked everything: electronics, stocking, cashier—you name it, I did it. One day, I asked a woman and her son, who was about 12 or 13, if they needed help finding anything as I was out on the floor. For some reason, the kid immediately calls me out for annoying him. I ignore it and go about my business, but I think he's a little jerk.
Right after that, I get called to checkout. As I'm working there, here comes the pair. The kid has gone all out back in the electronics area, with some EA sports titles and a GTA game. I'm checking them out when the age prompt comes up for the M-rated game. I decide to take a chance and show the jerk a little karma.
I flip the game over and inform the mother that "This game has been rated M for the following reasons" and read the list off the back of the case. There is a long, awkward silence, and then she angrily informs me that the son said it was only a "little violent," and he must have lied to her. Kid wasn't able to get anything that day.
#50 The Principle of the Thing
I worked as a database administrator for a community center one summer in university. Basically, I created a database for them to track who was donating to them and how much they were donating, as well a who was volunteering, and for how many hours. Very simple work and despite being the youngest person on staff, I got along well with my co-workers.
Well, except for my immediate boss, who was a total piece of work. The next spring, I was applying for jobs and e-mailed my old boss to ask for a letter of recommendation. Much to my surprise, she told me that she didn't write recommendation letters "out of principle." I was pretty ticked off about it because I was finding it very difficult to find a position.
Not being able to count on my most recent employer for a reference was a definite blemish on my resume. However, in spite of this, I managed to land a decent job. Lo and behold, I got to get revenge on day one of my new job. That day, my boss happened to email me about a problem at my old work with the database I had worked on.
She had moved some files around, rendering it impossible for her to access the database. She asked if I would come in. I had the perfect reply. I e-mailed her back and told her I already had a job and couldn't do it "out of principle." From the center's perspective, it effectively made my entire summer a waste of time. Hey, what can you do?