These “You Have No Power Here” Moments Are Incredibly Satisfying
There are few things more satisfying than stopping a jerk in their tracks, and these triumphant acts prove it. Next time someone gets uppity with you or tries to pull a power move, channel these stories and you’ll know exactly what to do.
#1 Good Riddance
An abusive ex told me that he would leave me if I didn’t lose ten pounds in the two weeks before his friend’s wedding. He was blown away when I said “okay” and walked away.
#2 How About No?
I was in a wedding party and there was a brief lull in between scheduled parts and we were all just milling around waiting. The maid of honor, known for being obnoxiously bossy, starts barking out orders to every single person. As soon as she’s finished, the wedding planner who was standing behind her chimes in with ‘”Nobody do any of that” and then told us to sit tight. It was great.
#3 Blast off
Neil Armstrong’s nephew or grandson or whatever was attending Space Camp the same week I was. There were many rumors of him being a little brat. It was confirmed true that almost every day he was at risk of getting kicked out. The last day of camp Neil actually spoke to a huge crowd of space nerds, and something magical happened.
Minutes before the speech, that little brat got kicked out, publicly, in front of mostly everyone at the camp. Neil must have been so embarrassed.
#4 Sold out of Love
Wife was pilfering money from the marriage, to the tune of about $1,000 per month. It had gone on for a few years before I figured it out. (I thought she was saving the money, she was really stashing it in her dad’s accounts.) Not satisfied to simply stash away her own salary, she began to buy stuff on the joint charge card, then sell it on eBay.
I paid the card. I started the divorce without telling her. During this time, I took my name off the joint card without telling her and began using my own credit card. When the bills came in for that month, I informed her that I would not pay the credit card bills anymore, that she had her own job and her own money and she could pay her own bills.
#5 Crossing the Line
I had a lady cuss me out when I worked as a customer service manager for a big retail store. She then went on to tell me how my mom didn’t raise me right and should have done better. My mom passed on a few weeks previously, so I then told her, thanks ma’am but she did a great job and recently passed. I then immediately told her to leave or I’d call the authorities and she would be trespassing.
#6 A Boneheaded Play
I sat in on a personal injury case where the plaintiff broke their leg in an accident and had a doctor on the stand as an expert. The woman’s lawyer begins questioning the doctor about his experience with leg injuries (he was a well known orthopedic surgeon in the area). She asks if he’s ever treated a tibula fracture.
He simply answers “no.” So, she starts grilling him with questions about the tibula. After about six or seven questions, she asks “How did you get a medical license if you’ve never treated a tibula fracture?” She launches into a huge rant trying to discredit his credentials. He only had to speak seven words to completely shut her down.
He simply responded: “There is no bone called the tibula.” The lawyer became beet red and everyone in the room tried their best to keep from laughing, including the judge.
#7 Mouthing off to an Inventor
A customer of mine asked me a question. I answered the question, and it wasn’t the answer they wanted. They suggested something impossible for the machine process. I explained why it wouldn’t work and again explained the proper way to do it. They then replied, “What makes you the expert?” all snarky and indignant.
To which I replied, “Take a look at Patent Number #xxxxxxxx. It lists me as the inventor.”
#8 Cheaters Never Prosper
I knew my ex wife was cheating but didn’t tell her that I knew. Took her out for a dinner date and I casually asked questions about who she had been spending time with while I was at sea, she barely worked so she had to spend her time doing something. She failed to mention the guy that had been staying at my house for nearly two months.
This was the same guy she had to call the authorities on just to get to leave because I was coming home in two days…soooo I slid her a copy of the precinct report that was filed for the incident and watched as she crumbled over the fact she had been caught, and I didn’t have to say a word.
#9 When Your Choice in Music Is Too Cool
I was at a party filled with people in boring IT jobs, myself included. People in those parties had this tendency to showcase how insanely cool their life was. This one guy (long hair, beard, tattoo) decided to have an argument with me and started telling me that my taste in music sucks and that I should start listening to some of the non-mainstream stuff.
When I asked him to name a few artists, he mentioned a few names. I told him to look up the guitar player for one of those bands he mentioned. When he did, he was shocked. That guitar player was me.
#10 Pray for Her
I ran into our local vet and her very religious younger sister. As the vet and I talked, her sister looked out into the store parking lot and saw an older man staggering to his truck. The little sister said, very primly, “There but for the grace of God go I.” I said, “Actually, he is a very well-respected man.” She replied, “He is obviously drunk before noon.”
My next words totally crushed her. “No,” I said, “He has MS. He’s my father, and your sister’s pastor.” Big sister just looked embarrassed.
#11 Eat Your Words
A while ago I decided to treat myself to some Burger King. I was having a bad day and had a headache coming on. So I was waiting in line at the BK, when suddenly this woman comes in with a monster of a child. He was out of control, screaming, punching his mother, throwing things around. The mother didn’t pay any attention to him and he continued yelling, “I want a PIE.”
My headache turned into a full-blown migraine. I calmly turned and asked if she could please calm her child down. Immediately she got up in my face, telling me to mind my own business. I nodded and turned around, when the child cried out again how he wants a pie. I then decided to ruin their day in the most devious way I could think of.
When I got to the front of the line I asked the person at the register how many apple pies they have left. They told me and I bought all of them. I ate one and made sure the kid saw me throw the rest in the trash.
#12 Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say
I was in an accident a few years ago. The guy who hit me got a ticket for an unsafe left turn, and I got a ticket because I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt. In the section on the ticket, the cop inadvertently wrote “Did wear seatbelt while operating the motor vehicle” instead of “did not.” When I got to court, the judge asked how I wanted to plead.
I asked the judge if I could clarify something first, and he said “Sure”. I stated that “The ticket says I did wear my seatbelt while operating my motor vehicle. If that’s the case, I want to plead guilty.” The judge looks down at the ticket, looks back at me, and says “Case dismissed! Have a good day!”
#13 Be Courteous to Everyone
I used to work in an air traffic control tower. We would fairly often have new pilots visit and see the airport and what happens from the air traffic control side of things. I was on a break when a particular pilot was visiting, and I was the only female air traffic controller in that workplace. The visiting pilot finishes his cup of coffee, hands me his mug and says, “Wash that would you, love.”
By the time he’d returned to his aircraft, my break was over. He, unfortunately, found himself at the back of a rather long departure queue. I wanted him to have some time listening to the frequency and absorbing the fact that if a woman is in a professional environment, she’s probably not the freaking tea lady.
#14 Not Your Average Loophole
My uncle represented this guy getting a divorce from his wife of 15 years. Super toxic breakup and they split everything 50/50, even the land that the house they lived in sat upon. Well she decides to build a house right behind the other house, mind you this was a lot of land probably 200 yards separating both home sites, so that the back of the houses faced each other.
The house gets built and my uncle gets a call from his client asking about the situation he had gotten himself into. Apparently his ex wife would spend a lot of time in her backyard, so he saw her all the time. What he did was buy a female dog and name it the same name as his ex-wife. I think you can guess where this is going.
Anytime he would let his dog back in from letting her out he would yell “Susan you [female dog]! Get in here!” He would also yell if she was peeing on the flowers,”Susan! Quit pissing on the flowers!” or “Susan! Quit digging in the dirt!” The ex-wife called the authorities on him a couple of times, but there was nothing they could do because the dog was registered under the name of Susan, and it was in fact a female dog, so there you go.
#15 This Lady’s Common Sense Went AWOL
A woman at a snooty scholarship dinner was telling me how she was doing the “boot camp”-type workouts and how they are EXACTLY like what they do in the US army and just as difficult. I was fine with her thinking that, but I mentioned it’s easy to workout hard for one hour and then go home to a warm house.
She asked, “What do you even know about it, did you get second-hand info from your boyfriend?” I asked her to open her event program. When she flipped to the first page, her mouth dropped open. I was actually the key speaker on female veteran experiences, and my topic was “lack of visibility of the female veteran.”
#16 Mind Games
My old boss tried firing me because I was better than them at their job. I tricked them into saying it out loud, in front of the CEO. Let’s just say they don’t need to worry about me being better than them anymore.
#17 You Can’t Hide Your Lying Eyes
I work at a daycare. If a child is sick they will be sent home cause we don’t want to risk infecting the whole class. A lot parents don’t agree with this policy, which leads to parents arguing with us that their kid isn’t sick when they obviously are. So one time this happened was when a mother dropped her little boy off in an eye patch.
Yep, the toddler was wearing a darn eye patch. I ask what happened and she says he hit his eye or something. Which I didn’t really believe. She says whatever I do, don’t take off his eye patch. So I knew what I had to do. I pick him up and immediately lift up his eye patch. When I saw his face, I almost dropped him in horror. The worst case of pink eye I’ve ever seen.
She was sooooo mad at me for doing that. And she was shocked I did it. That kid did NOT go to daycare that day.
#18 Wake-Up Wars
One time my sister wouldn’t stop waking me up early on the weekends for no reason for like three months straight. I finally had enough, and started waking her up on weeknights, so at like 3 am on school nights. Every time she would start to fall back asleep, I’d wake her up again. After two weeks she told me that if I didn’t stop, she’d tell mom.
I went, “Then I’ll tell her about the weekends.” We both stopped after that but MAN was she angry.
#19 No Thanks
I had a client freak out on us and harass us with phone calls every few minutes because we couldn’t accommodate her insane needs. But guess what? We don’t abide by “The customer is always right.” We just refused her deposit and told her to not call us anymore. She was speechless, she was trying to get a discount and now she has to start the whole process elsewhere.
#20 A Little out of Your Price Range, Sir
My boss sold the company, and about a week after the official switch to the new owners, he called me up to ask me to do something. I told him my consulting fees were $120/hr. He didn’t take me up on it, unfortunately.
#21 Sucks for Them
I once worked for a shady company that sold and repaired expensive American vacuum cleaners. I was the service manager. I had been planning a six-week scuba diving trip with a friend for two years. My bosses were well aware of this and said it was fine. When the time came close, I put in my application for six weeks leave. Their response was chilling.
I was called into the owners’ office, where they told me that I could only take three weeks. I pointed out how long they had known about this trip, but they were adamant that three weeks was the most they were prepared to authorize. I even tried to negotiate five weeks, but that was firmly rejected. I knew what I had to do.
I walked from the office, wrote my resignation letter, and left. Had a great holiday diving the Great Barrier Reef. They rang me weekly for a solid three months offering all sorts of incentives to come back, but by then I had landed a great government job.
My dad divorced his first wife and promptly took his name off of all the credit cards. She proceeded to buy all kinds of stuff, thinking she’d stick him with the bill. She was not happy to hear she was the only one on the account.
#23 Photo Evidence
When I was stationed in Korea, my sergeant threatened to tell command that I was drinking underage. Unfortunately for him, I had pictures of our squad drinking, and my sergeant was present in all of them. So, I told him I would show them to command if he told on me. He backed off very quickly after that.
#24 Family First
I coached gymnastics at a very highly competitive gym. One of my duties was to select and train the youngest talent for compulsory team training. Parents caught on to what I was doing when I pulled kids from classes and got all nail biting excited, but never confronted me if I didn’t pursue a kid for higher training. Until the worst woman I’ve ever med had a huge meltdown.
She was a high-powered executive mom. Yelled at me in the lobby that I was blind, couldn’t see Suzy’s talent, her somersault (!) is better than all the other five-year-olds in class, we should be training her for free because did we know her soccer coach thinks she’s a STAR? A STAR. I gave her a response that made her face turn white.
I told her competitive gymnastics is a family commitment, and while Suzy is great, her family is what didn’t make the cut.
#25 Small Fry
When I was four and my brother was six we were on our way to my great-grandfather’s funeral. My parents stop at McDonald’s and out of my brother’s small fry bag he pulls an 11″ fry. Impossible right? He yells to my parents to witness this awesome fry but before they can turn around I snatch it and eat it. He is upset. Whatever, that’s the end of it…or so I thought.
Cut to 12 years later. My brother and I are at the table and our friends are in the other part of the kitchen. Out of this bag of Wavy Lays, I pull a potato chip that is literally the size of my skull. No idea how this thing didn’t break in transit. I’m like, Oh my God! Guys, look at this chip! Before anyone can even turn their heads, my brother reaches across with his right hand and crushes the chip to crumbs.
I have crazy eyes bearing down on him and he simply says, “That’s for the fry.” 12 years later, he got his revenge.
#26 The Nutty Professor
When I was in University, I did a six-month exchange program in Spain. I was getting As in all of my classes, except one class where I was really struggling. The professor was the worst. It was an intermediate Spanish class, but he was marking us like he thought we should all be writing Shakespeare. Everyone hated him. It was easily the worst class I ever took.
A couple of days before the final exam, teacher evaluation forms came around, and I could tell by how long it took all of us to turn them in that I wasn’t the only one in the class unloading on this guy. This was his first semester teaching at the university, so if his teacher evaluations didn’t go well, he wouldn’t be invited back.
After we got our final marks back (I passed, but just barely), the professor was allowed to see his teacher evaluations. He sent an email to the entire class that night and lost his freaking mind. We’re talking sections with all caps, multiple exclamation marks, telling us how stupid we all are, and how we don’t know what we’re talking about.
Complete meltdown. The next morning, I found another email. It was from the university this time, stating that the professor is no longer with the university. That email felt so good, I can’t even tell you.
#27 No Means No Means No Means No
I was working in retail and a customer walked up and asked if, since the ATM was broken, she could buy something then return it for cash. I had no clue so I called over another employee who had been there a while, and they said no. She suddenly got furious and demanded to speak to our manager. We called over the supervisor of our section and he listened to her question…and said no.
Even more furious, she demanded his manager. He calls the manager and she shows up. Surprise, the answer is still no. Customer is red in the face and demands another manager. We call over another “manager.” She asks again, he says no. At this point, there is a huge line of people behind her waiting to actually buy things.
When she said she wanted HIS manager he, the owner had enough. He said “I’m the owner of this store, the answer is no. It’s against company policy.” She stormed out, surprisingly not asking for the CEO of the company. She didn’t take no from two employees, one supervisor, one manager or the owner. When you have five people of increasing power lined up telling you no, and there is a line of bored customers behind you, you need to stop.
#28 Cherish This Moment
I worked at a Dominos, and there was this old lady who ordered from us a lot and was always unpleasant. One day she calls and makes an order that she must make a lot because she knew exactly how much it was supposed to cost, down to the penny. I put her order in and tell her how much it is. She starts getting upset because the order was two cents more than what it usually is. But then she took it up a notch.
She starts accusing me of trying to take money from her. She asks “How much money do you make taking two cents from every customer?” Well, if I was trying to take money and I did it to 100 customers I would have made a whole two dollars. I didn’t know what to do because she wouldn’t accept the order unless it was exactly how much she thought it should be.
You see, there’s absolutely nothing I can do to remove two cents from an order. So I ask the manager pretty frantically what to do. She just tells me to hang up. I was new at that time and I’m guessing this wasn’t the first time that store got messed with by her. It felt amazing, that was the only time I ever got to do that to a customer.
#29 You Won’t Be Missed
I’m a librarian. A patron was mad about her fines and yelled, “And I’m never coming back!” as she left. I just yelled back, “We’re a non-profit!”
#30 Going Down in a Blaze of Glory
I had an issue where our district manager was purposely not correcting my pay to reflect the raise I’d been promised, so after six weeks of him blowing me off I called corporate HR. They came down on him like the fires of Mount Doom. He drove to my store and tore into me in front of customers for “not being a team player” and going over his head.
Six months later, we’re informed our store is closing and the employees can transfer to other stores. Oh, but not me, I was told I’d never be welcome in the company again because I “wasn’t a team player” so I would just be laid off after the store closed. I was devastated, and it felt so, so unfair. But I got my revenge.
This boss also told me he needed me to oversee shipping our product out to other stores based on a list he had. Yeah, none of those stores got what he wanted on that list. I spent three weeks shipping whatever to whoever, playing my own music over the store speakers, and telling customers about a whole bunch of exploitable loopholes in store policies and systems. What was he going to do? Fire me?
#31 Dine, Dash, and Dump
I had been going through a rough patch with my girlfriend at the time. We both worked at the same large chain grocery store and a lot of co-workers knew we were dating. One of the girls comes up to me when I’m closing and asks, “Are you still dating so-and-so? Because I just saw her in a coffee shop parking lot making out with some guy.”
I trusted this source, and she was very upset when she found out she provided very hurtful news. Being an evil jerk, I began to plan my revenge. So, I told her we should go for a romantic getaway an hour and a half from home. We went to a nice restaurant and it was actually a good time. At the end of the meal I excuse myself to use the bathroom, I have a long drive ahead of me.
I go up to our waiter and ask him to tell her that I know. Give him a $20 as a tip; she was dead broke because she just paid for school, which I helped her pay. After the bathroom, I snuck out of the place, got in my car, and drove home. Her friend had to drive up, pay for the meal, and drive her home. We haven’t talked since. Her friend told me I went a bit too far, but did I?
#32 It’s Not Me, It’s You
When I left a job I was invited to meet with the CEO because he was unhappy I was leaving and wanted to understand why. I explained that I was not being paid enough and the recently announced pay rise was not good enough. His reaction stunned me. Instead of taking the feedback, he got irritated and in a patronizing tone started trying to lecture me on how I should have handled that situation better.
I interrupted him. Well, he didn’t like that. Just for good measure, I added “I’m leaving, I have nothing to lose” and then informed him that I had already been let down over pay multiple times, had witnessed others trying to get more pay and being refused, so I had no interest in begging to be paid what I already deserved to be paid.
#33 Google Can’t Help You Here, Miss
There was a wrong price tag on a pair of shoes at the store I managed. It wasn’t priced incorrectly; someone had taken the sticker off another shoe and put it on that one. I had a customer tell me that by law I had to sell her the shoe for the price marked. I explained to her that in fact, I didn’t HAVE to do anything. She paid the full price, but then spent 20 minutes out the front of the store googling consumer laws.
#34 Revenge Is a Dish Best Served…Cheap?
Not me, but a guy I worked with 10 years ago. I worked with a guy who really stuck it to his ex wife. When I met him he was working in a sporting goods store making 8 dollars an hour. He was not really like the other retail monkeys. He was older, well groomed, well spoken, clearly educated, all of that stuff. I soon learned the truth about him.
One night after work he gets into his car, and I couldn’t help but notice that it was a very very nice newish Jaguar. I asked him how he could afford it and he explained it to me: He had been an SVP at a well known fortune 50 company, pulling in 300k with bonuses and stock options. He was married but the marriage fell apart and in the divorce, she demanded that she get the house and 40% of his wages.
He and his lawyer somehow managed to get her to agree to let him keep the house in exchange for 75% of his pay. As soon as she took the settlement he quit his job and looked for a minimum wage job. He said to me that “She gets 75% of nearly nothing now.” He had other money stashed away, so he didn’t even need the job and he had the house and its equity as well.
Also, no kids, so there was no child support. Just alimony. She was furious of course, and tried to re-sue him but failed at least once and when she claimed that the settlement was not keeping her in the life style she was accustomed to, he simply told the judge that the divorce was traumatic to him and he could no longer do his old job as a result.
At least at that time, she did not manage to get out of the deal. Not sure how it all ended. But I thought it was brilliant if not crazy-level spiteful. He was a good employee too…good with customers, showed up on time, no absenteeism or anything like that. He claimed he loved each payday because it reminded him how little she was getting.
#35 It’s the Little Things
I work at a domestic violence shelter, and our ex-executive director was asked to resign because she had embezzled over 25 grand worth of our grant funding. She was a garbage human, doing things to the employees that were the same things that clients are escaping from. I never did stick up for myself, because it was easier to let her curse and scream and be done. Until one day, she pushed me over the edge.
She has been skirting the blame in our small town since she resigned. The other day, she sent a mass text out to all current and past employees, once again passing the blame on to our current director and our board. I had had enough of this drama and her, and finally told her that she could politely “lose my number.” That one small thing made me feel SO empowered.
#36 Family Values
My mother is a terrible person. And I don’t say that lightly. She has taken medication from me after I had oral surgery. On two occasions (a decade apart from each other), she took my identity and my sibling’s, opened several credit card accounts in our names, maxed them out (tens of thousands of dollars), and never made a single payment.
She tells people that she’s a nurse when she barely even finished high school. She also often makes up extravagant and potentially damaging lies, all of which she believes she’ll never be caught for. Yes, she’s a terrible person, but my dad isn’t—so when my now-adult daughter was an adolescent, my mother was allowed to spend time with her.
A few years ago, I’d lost my job, was having trouble finding employment, and had to trade in my sports car for a Sedan so that I could drive rideshare to make ends meet. My mother told my daughter and several relatives that my car had been repossessed for nonpayment. It was upsetting, but I knew just what I had to do.
I took great satisfaction in clearing by name by showing the dealership papers to my daughter, my relatives, and yes, the shrewish, lying old jerk herself as well. The aftermath was both hilarious and sad, as she tends to have a vile temper.
#37 Show Them Who’s Boss
I work for a pipeline company, one of our lines brings fuel into a refinery. We needed something changed out on our line, and needed it done ASAP. Timing was critical, because after a few days of not being about to deliver into the refinery, it would back up our system and shut down the WHOLE PIPELINE. Big problem.
The refinery guys were total jerks, and were obviously used to being in charge, and definitely didn’t take orders from a young female. For two days, I got to remind them that I FUEL YOUR GODDARN REFINERY. Oh, you don’t think you can get to this today? I hope you don’t mind explaining this when our pipeline is down and your refinery shuts down…Felt so good, man.
#38 Karma Comes for us All
I had an awful group project teammate in college. Didn’t do any work, didn’t care, basically flaunted his laziness in front of us. But karma got him soon after. He applied for the company I worked for about a year after college. My bosses asked if I knew him and I took so much glee in saying: “Yes, and do NOT hire him.” It was the ultimate peer review revenge.
#39 Who Are You Gonna Believe, Me or Your Own Eyes?
Go to the gym, no headphones! That’s cool, house is five minutes away. Pull up in front of my house and see work buddie’s car out front. Walk in house through open garage. Son coloring at kitchen table. Ask him “Hey bud, where’s your mom?” He points at the stairs. Walk to stairs to hear moans and movement. Up to this point I had suspected the worst but never had proof.
Knew I had to go look and catch her or she would say I was overreacting and tell me it wasn’t what I thought. Walk upstairs and hear them in the spare bedroom. Walk in the room and say “well this is awkward.” They freak out and try to grab clothes and tell me nothing is happening. I walk out to my car and have ex-buddy chase me out and tell me to hit him.
I go to my command (I’m in the military) the next day. Report him and have the command force him to call his wife that day and let her know. I am now divorced and much happier!
#40 Better Luck Next Time
I work as a parking attendant. Though I don’t remember all the bad customers, I’ll never forget my most satisfying clapback. A guy asked why he couldn’t park in the school bus area, and I explained why. He wheedled and said there was no other parking, and I explained that there was, it was just further from the ski lift.
He said, “But I don’t want to,” and I replied “Too bad.” I leave for the bathroom and come back finding the guy and his family getting ready where I told them not to park. The guy smirked at me, so I filled out a parking ticket and place it on his windshield in front of him. He acted surprised, so I topped it off by saying: “Move your car now, or I’ll have it towed too.”
#41 That’s Rich
I was let go from a non-profit basically because I wasn’t rich enough to socialize in circles that had big money to donate to the organization. I then got a job at a large funder for non-profits. My old job eventually came knocking, and I had the ear of the CEO. It was one of the most satisfying moments in my life to have that power and a friendly reminder to treat all people well.
#42 Gimme Gimme Never Gets
I work at a small breakfast cafe in Florida and we get a lot of older people who are mostly from up north and can really have a bad attitude about not getting what they want immediately. One old lady rudely exclaimed asking what she had to do to get some coffee around here and without skipping a beat I responded with “You ask politely.”
All the people sitting with her at her table got a good laugh in and I felt pretty smug about putting her in her place.
#43 Summary of Un-Qualification
When I was out of work for a long time, I interviewed at this tech firm to do sales for them. The Marketing Director came from sales and was the typical “I can sell ice to an Eskimo” kind of salesperson. Very Type A, my way is the only way. The product was the same as many other products and, having a technical background, I knew that if we sold the way he was describing, it wouldn’t really work.
I have a degree in Marketing and Computer Science. I expressed my concern about this. Well, he goes off on me. I try to gracefully leave, and he starts yelling at me as I’m walking out and all the way out the building. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I bring a guy in for an interview to work as one of my reps. The office manager brings him in. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I look up from the desk, and it’s him. He doesn’t remember me, but it stuck in my memory so strong because nothing like that had ever happened to me before or since. Being the bigger person, I just do the interview, and was going to be fair and not make anything of it. Finally, I give in. I say, “I’ve met you before. Do you remember me?” Him: “No.”
Me: “I interviewed with you a few years back, you were very rude to me. You yelled some of the most awful vitriol at me I have ever heard. At this time, I’m not going to hold it against you. But I do have significant concerns that you will not be able to hold your temper in difficult situations with our clients. If you want to be at all considered for this job, you better allay those concerns and impress me.”
He looks very confused you can see him reliving his past, then the look of enlightenment hits him. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Not so much the revenge, but the realization that when you put bad into the world, it can come back to bite you. He said some things to try to save the interview and apologized. I accepted his apology graciously.
But the discomfort was clear for him. The reality of it is if he was actually qualified for the position, I probably would have still hired him, but he had no experience in relational sales. He was a hard sales kind of guy and that gets you a reputation and nowhere in the healthcare industry.
#44 Show Me the Receipts
An ex-client tried to make out that he never said he agreed to pay me after creating him a complex website, graphics and marketing materials and that it was just “work experience.” This was untrue, he even agreed a price via email exchange. But I knew the perfect way to get him to pay up. A swift screenshot of the emails and talks of lawyers soon changed his tune.
#45 Yes, I Do Know Who Your Mom Is
I used to work at a pony camp that catered to rich kids from a very nice neighborhood. We would have really spoiled kids all the time. While annoying, the most frustrating part is trying to maintain authority just so the little brats don’t get themselves hurt by 1,000 lb animals. Anyway, we had a maybe 10 yr old kid from some mildly famous sportscaster one week.
The kid was just downright awful. She ignored everything we told her and was mean to the other kids in camp. At one point she started a physical fight with another girl and when she felt like she was getting beaten she started yelling “Do you know who my mom is?! I’m going to tell her!” The other kid got scared and started crying.
My coworker replied “Actually, I do know your mom and I know she wouldn’t like to hear about this. Why don’t I call her right now?” Little brat didn’t believe her, so my coworker did it. Turns out, my coworker worked with her mom many times over the years. That brat was much easier to deal with the rest of the week.
#46 When Reason Goes out the Window
When I was at school, I was having trouble with this one guy. We just really didn’t get along. During one shouting match, he made a big thing about how he was whatever rank in the army cadets. I stopped for a second, and just said: “But, I’m not in the cadets.” His face was shocked. “But I outrank you!” My reply was perfect.
“I don’t have a rank. I’m not in the army, so you’re not above me.” And then he said, “But if martial law were declared…” And I couldn’t really carry on after that.
#47 A Serious Case of Eating Your Words
On the first day of a two-week vacation, I saw my spoiled 10-year-old cousin tell his mother, his older female cousin, his aunt, and his grandmother that he wasn’t going to clear his place or rinse his dishes because “that’s women’s work.” For the rest of that two-week vacation, nobody had to lift a finger to clear a plate, rinse a dish or wash a pot because it was his job.
At times there were over a dozen of us there.
#48 Hunting for Problems
Brother of mine caught his wife cheating. Her phone would always be going off and she would hide it. He got curious, looked into it, and found some guy had been texting her for a few months. She said she was going to stay home because she had to catch up on homework over the weekend. My brother and I went on our hunting trip and he told me about it.
We never left the city, we went to my house and stayed there till it got dark, then drove back to his neighborhood in my neighbor’s car. She sent him a picture of her at home saying she was going to go to bed early that night. Well, we snuck close to the house after a car parked down the street and a guy walked to the house and let himself in.
My brother was fuming at this point and wanted to beat the daylights out of the guy. I settled him down and told him to think about the long run. We snuck up to the house and using the night vision camera got video of them bumping uglies in the living room. My brother wanted to confront this guy at this point so…I did something messed up.
I called the authorities. I said I heard a lot of yelling from the house and asked if they could go check. It kept my brother from messing with the dude (a coworker of hers). They show up, take statements. We leave and the next day he pulls her iMessages off the email account and talks to a lawyer. We give the lawyer the messages and when we show up five days later from our “hunting trip,” he calls her and says he got something wild and wants her to come out and see it.
When she comes out he gives her divorce papers and kicks her out of the house. She had the authorities do a civil stand by while she got her stuff a few days later. House was his before they got married so all she got to keep was some stuff they bought together and her car. No kids and the prenup nullified the alimony she could have gotten as he made way more money than her.
The guy she was sleeping with had a record. We saw her a few months later, she tried talking to my wife and said she missed my brother and she was sorry, the guy and her broke up shortly after the divorce.
#49 Sort out Your Priorities
I am 5’4″ male who looks less muscular than I am. I was in line for priority boarding and it had just started when the woman behind me said “Excuse me, this is for priority boarding. You need to wait with everyone else.” I ignored her and presented my boarding pass with my active duty ID. But then my revenge got sweet.
As I passed, the attendant said “thank you for your service.” I turned to the woman behind me, grinned, and said “Thanks!” before boarding.
#50 Trying to Teach the Performer
A man tried to tell me what the strings on the violin I was holding should be tuned to. I told him I knew what they were supposed to be tuned to, because it was my violin, and I’ve been playing for 16 years. I then proceeded to go play the concert that he had bought a ticket to see.
#51 Out You Go
I’m an EMT. We had a nursing home patient call 9-1-1 themselves, but when we got there. Um, no dude, once an active emergency scene is established, the competent patient and the emergency service providers call the shots. The authorities removed him from the patient’s room. His boss removed him from his job later.
#52 A Wheel-y Good Defense
A friend’s sister went to court over a moving violation. She’s an engine tuner and had built herself a beautiful first gen Mitsubishi Eclipse with 6-700 horsepower at the wheels. This car, inevitably, attracted the attention of local law enforcement, who pulled her over with no fewer than eight cruisers after some slightly aggressive acceleration around a left turn.
During cross-examination, she asked the officer who’d made the call why exactly she had been pulled over. “I heard the engine revving, and I saw you spinning the tires and sliding around the corner.” “To be clear, officer, which tires were spinning?” “The rear tires.” “So I was spinning the rear tires, and it was the back end that swung out?” “Yes ma’am, that’s correct.”
“And you’re sure that’s what you saw?” “Clear as day, ma’am. The light turned green, you stepped on the gas, and the rear tires broke loose under power.” “The rear tires broke loose under power? There’s no doubt in your mind that that’s exactly what happened?” “None at all.” There was silence in the court before her huge reveal.
“Your honor, this officer is either lying or hallucinating. My car is front wheel drive.”
#53 Trouble With the In-Laws
My ex husband had an awful mother. In fact, she was 90% of the reason we divorced. We were working through our custody schedule, and she WOULDN’T stop sticking her nose. This was his breaking point. He finally stood up to her, telling her “We have it figured out. Myself, their mother, and their stepdad. We do not need your advice or opinion.” It was glorious and a long time coming.
#54 Gentle Reminder to Not Talk Down to People at the Gym
One of the first times I worked out in a new gym, I had some guy try to tell me how I was doing an exercise wrong (I wasn’t). After listening to his very poor explanation of how to do it “right” (of which he still was incorrect), I set him straight, broke down his biomechanics of why he was wrong, dropped some more science on him, and then made my big reveal.
I informed him that not only did I have a Master’s degree in exercise science, I was a certified personal trainer and trained for a living. Bottom line: just because I’m a girl in a gym, don’t assume I don’t know what I’m doing.
#55 Typical Karen
When I was a server I would always record my tables’ orders. Even though my memory is good, my handwriting is bad so I didn’t want to take the risk of getting something wrong. My manager said it was ok and he even put a sign up stating that some of the staff may record your order for accuracy purposes. Seems normal, right?
At the beginning, I ask each person for their name before I take any drinks or food orders. One of the people at the table orders a steak well done, which is gross but whatever. Food comes and she said her steak was not medium rare like she wanted and I apologized and told her that she did order it well done. Here we go…
This sparked a big rant, lots of cussing, a call for the manager, etc. Again, I apologize…and say let’s go to the tape. It contents made her turn white. The look on her face when I played back the recording of “And Karen how would you like your steak?” was priceless. She tried to play off that it wasn’t her but nobody else ordered a steak at her table. Her friends just laughed at her.
#56 Petty Power-Play Falls Flat
I had put in my two weeks notice at a job and they suddenly had me working bizarre split shifts when they found out that I was training for my new job around my previously set schedule. My schedule that had not changed in months. I finally had my fill and decided to leave. As I was leaving, one of the supervisors said I had to check in with a manager. I told them: “No, I don’t work here anymore.”
#57 That Was Slick
A woman complained about her cocktail, saying she couldn’t taste the alcohol and asked if we could make it stronger. It was already a double, but we added a splash. She still couldn’t taste it, could we add more? She was obviously drunk when she arrived and angling to get more drunk as cheap as possible. That’s when I came up with the perfect plan. I took her cocktail, apologized that it wasn’t to her liking, and said I’d take it off her bill, effectively cutting her off for the night.
#58 Academic Dishonesty
Wasn’t me, but a professor caught a student plagiarizing an essay… as she [the student] was reading it aloud to the class. “That’s an excellent essay by my friend, Dr._____ you’re reading. Please keep reading it until the end.” He made her stand in front of us and kept going until “her presentation” was over. It was amazing and horrible all at the same time.
#59 Honest Mistake on Purpose
The host sat me at a table with a couple and their toddler. The two sat on the same side of the booth, kissed, etc., so I knew they were a couple, but the woman looked much older. Like she looked terrible. I’m sure it was substances of some kind, but it was noticeable. So she’s super rude to me the entire time. She asked for her eggs over easy hard.
I explained to her that her eggs could either be over easy and over hard, and what both meant. She then got really patronizing, saying things like “Bless your heart” and asking for a real server. I told her that I know how eggs are cooked, and asked if she meant over medium. That’s when she got loud asked “How hard is your job? Honestly, how hard is it to just serve people eggs?”
I’d had it. I gave her order to the cook, and of course, he asked me what she meant. I told him to just make them over medium, as I felt like that was what she meant. I gave her the eggs and she sighed real heavy. She said, “I’m sorry, was my order too hard? Did you not understand me? What the heck kind of place is this that nobody can make me eggs?”
I took a deep breath, and went all in with a brutal insult. I said, “Ma’am, I apologize to you, your son, and your grandson. Let me go ahead and comp your meal.” Her face twisted up and got so red I thought it was going to pop off of her face. She yelled, “THIS IS MY HUSBAND AND THAT’S MY SON!” Oh boy, it was so worth it. She began screaming for my manager.
I got my manager. He yelled at me in the office, but couldn’t prove that I was purposefully disingenuous. So I didn’t even get written up. It was awesome.
#60 That’s Exactly What He’s Saying
Years ago I worked at a small hardware store where they were constantly getting huge rolls of copper wire taken. One day, this guy and his girlfriend come in to return a roll. I was a few months in on the returns counter. They had no receipt and when I scanned the item for the return it was only doing the price per foot. I couldn’t figure out how to get the SKU or the price for the whole roll.
I called the manager and he comes out and right away knows there’s no way these people bought a roll and returned it. So he asks when they bought it and they say two weeks ago—the common response—and my manager tells them, “Oh really, because the last time we sold an entire roll was over 3 months ago”. The guy starts to get brave and tells him, “So, you’re saying I took it?!”
And my manager says yes. They end up leaving and left the roll behind. Before they leave the store the guy says, “I’m coming back and bringing the authorities,” and the manager says, “Go ahead, that way you can explain to them how you took the roll.”
#61 It’s the Small Victories
I a waitress. One day, I walk right up to this customer’s table, and before I can even say hello and spit out my name, I am greeted with “I want the Reuben with fries. I want some ranch to dip them in too, but I’m not going to pay that ridiculous $.50 charge. My server charged me last time, and I haven’t been back for more than a month!” So I did exactly what she asked—and she lived to regret it.
Reuben, fries, and ranch… at an inflated cost of $.75 due to us making the ranch now instead of buying it. It was worth not getting her tip.
#62 A Serving of Superiority
When I was in high school, I dated a guy who repeatedly cheated on me with his ex. I found out after we’d broken up, and I told him off and broke off contact. A few years later, I’d finished college and started working at a publishing company where I often get free tickets to cultural events in town. My boss gave me tickets to the opera and also tickets to the little VIP events where they serve free food and wine at intermission and after the show.
The first time I’d seen the girl my ex cheated with was at the little VIP intermission gathering. I was sitting there munching on hors d’oeuvres and sipping wine when I saw her. She was clearing tables with the catering crew. She made eye contact for one second and then immediately turned away and was obviously avoiding me for the rest of the night. It was perfect.
#63 Didn’t Sign up for Homework
My boss would show up at my house after work hours to discuss work stuff. When I asked him to stop, he tried to fire me. When at the HR meeting the following day, I explained my story and showed them the video from my door camera. But something even creepier came out of the conversation. They literally go “John, we’ve talked about this” to him.
They asked me to leave leave the room. Two hours later, he walks out and announces that he’s leaving.
#64 Self-Burn, Those Are Rare
I worked part-time at a thrift store. I got cursed out by a customer yelling, “Why don’t you get a REAL job?!” I replied with, “Why don’t you go yell at a real store?” in the most tired, deadpan voice. This happened a few times.
#65 Think Fast!
I was on the bus a year or 2 back and a kid and his mom were seated in front of me. The kid kept screeching about wanting to ”press the button” (you press a button to notify the bus driver that you need to get off at the next stop) because he liked the beep it made. Every. Single. Bus stop. This little brat screeched asking if he could press it yet.
Finally his mom said he could press the button. I pressed it. It only beeps for the first person to press it. The little brat cried.
#66 Telling Rumors
I was in a bar having some beers when I feel a tap on my shoulder. It was a guy I went to school with. I didn’t really hang out with him back then, but decided to catch up and share stories anyways. At one point he mentions sleeping with a girl I knew very well, a girl I knew for a fact was a virgin until after she graduated. I just kind of nodded and let him go on for a bit.
Then, I said something along the lines of “Oh, I actually know her very well, we’ll have to hit her up, she comes out and drinks with me all the time!” He turned white. The look of horror in his eyes was great.
#67 Rock Solid Triumph
I’m a (female) competitive rock climber. One day, a few college-aged guys came into the gym I train at and clearly thought they were hot stuff. They knew a handful of climbing-specific vernacular, and that was it. They, however, thought they could “help” me on a route I was on. I wasn’t climbing at the time, I was just doing an exercise, but they were oblivious to that.
The two guys kept talking about what I should do. I kept nodding and saying okay. Then things turned: one of the guys said, “Hey don’t feel bad though, girls just aren’t good at rock climbing,” and that was something I couldn’t abide. I waited about an hour till they were working on one specific route and asked if I could hop in.
The same guy as earlier was like, “Don’t feel bad if you can’t get it, this one’s hard.” Naturally, I flew up the route. The guy just stood there baffled. I just walked away. But that wasn’t even the best part. The best part was that might be the most technically balanced and flawless climbing I have ever done.
#68 My Boss Is a Heartbreaker
I had a doctor that constantly ignored patients in serious pain. He thought all of them were faking it to get pain medication. After a senior director at Microsoft passed on from a heart attack in our ER that he refused to do an EKG on, I went to management and told them what I had seen.
#69 What Goes Around Comes Around
My ex-wife had cheated on me in 1998 just a little over a year after we married. I stayed with her, we had a daughter in 2000, then in 2007 after she graduated with her master’s degree and secured a job, she kicked me out of the house because she “found someone better” while in school. I kept my cool, was the bigger person as an example to my daughter.
My ex got re-married in March 2010. The guy she married has been cheating on her with three other women and she is in the process of divorcing him. I have been a shoulder for her and just listening to her talk about it until she said this the other day, “There is no excuse for anyone to cheat in a marriage. Absolutely no reason!”
I calmly looked at her and said, “You know all this pain and hurt he has caused you? This is what you put me through…twice. Be thankful he can’t take your child from you.” She just stared at me as it sunk in and I felt like it was all worth it as she realized this was her just due.
#70 Teach Yourself
I had two students once write on their TA evaluation of me that I was the “worst TA ever,” that they were majors in the subject and were “highly concerned if this was the quality of education the department provides,” and one was “considering transferring.” Basically, they tried to get me in trouble/ fired, not knowing I’m the only one who sees them.
A few terms later, I was teaching a class they were in (not as their TA), and I had the pleasure of watching them fail. One of them had my lab mate for a TA, and I got to hear her complain about how stuck up she was, considering her “stupidity” (lab mate isn’t as nice as I am). I took way too much pleasure in grading their exams.
#71 Standing up to the Boss
I had a boss who kept on getting angry at me because, “I wasn’t doing what he told me to do.” So I came up with an ingenious plan. I decided to start writing down exactly what he told me, dated it, and kept record of it. Then one day came where inevitably, “WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?!” “Exactly what you told me to do.” “I NEVER TOLD YOU TO DO THAT!”
“Well, I have it written here…” pulls out note card “On 5/22/16 — you told me specifically to do this task, exactly like this, and never do it any other way.” I finally won. I started standing up for myself a bit more in the office, and I was respected for it.
#72 “Ref, You Suck!”
I was coaching a girl’s basketball team in an entirely unimportant high school tournament that solely existed for the kids to have fun playing basketball. Before the game, the referee made a huge fuss about what kind of hair ties and scrunchies the girls could and couldn’t wear, asking several of my players to remove their hair ties “because the official rules don’t allow that kind of material.”
Two of my players were close to tears. I told the ref to please change his socks. He looked at me all dumbfounded and blurted out “What?!” I said, “You’re wearing white socks. The official rules require the ref to wear black socks.” He didn’t believe me, so I whipped out the rulebook and pointed out the relevant rule. He turned bright red and we started the game with everybody wearing their original hair ties and socks.
#73 Big Boss Is Watching You
My manager wanted to prove I was slacking off so he could write me up. So, he watched CCTV footage then wrote, printed out, and SIGNED a detailed 17-page Word document what I did in the past two days. With timestamps like, 07:59 arriving, 08:01 speaking with co-worker A and B, 08:07 sitting down to my desk, etc.
He told me that he’s not happy with my work ethics, and if I won’t improve my efficiency, I’m fired. I took the papers and showed to his boss and told her that I’m not happy with my manager’s work ethics and his efficiency might be better if he wouldn’t watch 17 hours of CCTV footage to spy on an employee. She was terrified. It would’ve been a rock-solid lawsuit for me, We had to search for a new manager and I got a raise.
#74 Pinch Parent
I was seated next to a Texan once on a flight, with an entire family behind us. The 9-year-old kid, who was seated directly behind him, would not stop kicking and pushing the seat as if nobody else mattered or even existed. After a while, the Texan turns around, looks right at the kid, and says, “You keep kicking my seat kid, and we’re gonna have problems”.
Kid stares at him blankly for a second, and the Texan continues “You understand what I’m saying? Keep your feet off my darn seat or I’ll beat you to smithereens.” He stares him down for a full 10 seconds. Never looked at the parents once, and the kid looked petrified. It was clearly the first time he had ever been talked back to, and he didn’t know how to react.
The Texan then turns back around, looks at me, and winks. It was pretty classic. The parents never said a thing, and the kid was like a mummy for the rest of the flight.
#75 Bad Grief
One day, I phoned my boss to tell him I won’t be at work for the rest of the week, as my mom is terminally ill in hospital. The next day, about an hour after she passed on, he phoned and asked why I wasn’t at work. I just hung up on him so I wouldn’t say anything that would get me in trouble. Then I came up with a plan to get even.
The next day, I sent the area-manager a WhatsApp message explaining what my boss had done, and also attached a video of him breaking the freezer door while having a tantrum, which cost the store nearly $5,000 in lost stock. It worked so beautifully. That jerk got fired that day, all while I got two weeks off with full pay.
#76 Parting Gifts
My soon-to-be-finalized ex-wife got a DUI while out with the dude she left me for, less than a week after she dropped the news and moved out. Also, within a week of the charge, I enjoyed giving her the news that I’ll get to keep the house, both vehicles, and am not required to pay her back anything from the $10k her parents gave me for the house down-payment years ago.
Within a month, she went from married with a great combined income in a nice house in a nice neighborhood driving a 2010 Jetta to living with her parents at age 31, lacking any vehicle, and credit card debt almost equal to her meager public teacher annual salary. Ahhh, too bad…
#77 Screw Me Twice, Shame on You
Our desks were separated by a 5-foot cubicle wall. He was under the mistaken impression that it totally blocked sound. Thus, I got to hear all his loud phone conversations, primarily his booty calls including those with his boss’s fiancé. I figured it was none of my business and tried to ignore it. Well, there was a position in another department that I was interested in and as per procedure, I handed in an application to my talkative boss.
I didn’t hear anything further and followed up a couple of days later, only to be told that something must have happened to the application. I filled out another one and handed it in. As I return to my desk, I hear the boss on the phone with a friend laughing about how he had just trashed my application again and how he was never going to let go of me.
I go to my boss’s boss and angrily offer my resignation, telling him what I had just overheard, explaining that I was constantly hearing his phone calls like his booty calls like with <woman’s name> and <woman’s name> and <boss’s boss’s fiance’s name>. He got very quiet and told me to go back to my desk and he’ll take care of everything. The next day I come in and boss is gone.
The day after, I have an interview with the other department (got the position). I tend to avoid office drama, but really, he should have stuck to screwing his boss’s fiancé, and not tried to screw me as well.
#78 Headcase at the Head of It
I was working maintenance at an ice rink. The rule for anyone who knows how an ice rink works is if the Zamboni doors open, you get the heck off the ice. Some jerk decided to ignore the fact that they were open, and that I was standing in the doorway, and decided to rip off one last slap-shot. The puck bounced off the glass and hit me in the head.
I was okay, but reported it to my boss, because we have to fill out an incident report for things like that. The boss asked, “Are you okay?” I said I feel okay, then he responded with “Well, we don’t really have to report it then do we?” I reminded him of the protocol, but it was clear he didn’t want to do it. Since he wouldn’t do it, I sent a descriptive email of the incident. The boss was fired by my next shift.
#79 One for You, One for Me
I had a girl order a Pina Colada and then complain about the coconut. She didn’t like coconut. So I got her another drink and she goes, “What are you going to do with that one? Will you throw it away?” I just looked at her, told her that I liked coconut and took a sip.
#80 You’re Not Special
I worked at a ski resort when I was younger, fitting boots and sizing skis, etc. My first year I worked at basically the Walmart of rentals, the cheapest option and the biggest store. So the week of Christmas, there are lines out the door every single day. I remember seeing my two-week paycheck after the two weeks around Xmas and I worked 119 hours.
It was absolute insanity. For another reference, the closest town had a permanent residency of fewer than 10,000 people, but during Christmas, it jumped up to 70,000 people trying to enjoy their vacation in the same spot. So, one of these days it’s business as usual, a quarter mile line out the door, non-stop craziness.
I’m at the bench closest to the door helping a lady when this kid walks up to my bench. I asked if I could help him and he said he had reserved rentals online and he wanted to pick them up. I said this is our store name if that’s where you reserved you’ll need to get in the back of the line and we’ll help you as soon as we can. The kid’s response made my blood run cold.
He starts swearing, saying awful words, not to me but to the other customers. I told him that quite literally every piece of equipment in our store was reserved, every single person in front of you has a reservation as well and we have to help everyone. He then started insulting me personally, saying I was stupid and that he was going to report us.
I think what angered him most is that I’m 6’3” tall and big. He was maybe 5’0” tall and 54 kg (120 lbs) so when he called me stupid, I literally laughed in his face. I was at no point threatened by this child, and at first, it was funny. The first lady left, I’m ignoring/laughing at this kid and asking the next person to come up and he starts yelling cuss words at me because I’m not helping him.
Up until this point, my manager had been a complete jerk and I was not a fan of him. But he’d had enough of the Christmas rush as well, and this kid was a perfect person to let off some steam on. I went and got my manager and told him this kid was personally attacking me and yelling cuss words in front of customers, so he walks up to the kid and says, “I’m sorry for the confusion, what’s your name so I can take a look at your reservation?”
And the kid lights up, thinking he finally beat the system and got in front of everyone for throwing a fit. My manager goes and finds his reservation—it’s digital, but I’m pretty sure he printed it off for the added dramatic effect—comes back and says, “ I found it.” Then he did the best thing I’ve ever seen.
He rips it in half in front of his face, telling him “Don’t ever treat someone that’s trying to help you like that, you are never allowed in our store again. Good luck skiing this week.” I still didn’t like the guy very much, but after that I respected him one point more for the rest of the season for standing up for me.
#81 Not Moved by His Excuse
Our executive director was moving and took my practicum student and a low-level employee to his house to help him move furniture. I told him that was unacceptable, both from a respect and a liability perspective. His response to me was, “You know since I hired you, I can fire you, right?” I told him to go ahead and try it, then promptly called our board, who dismissed him that week.
#82 You’re Talking to the Expert
So I have a PhD in musicology. The number of random people I encounter who give me unsolicited music advice and deign to explain to me the nuances of their favorite band that I’ve never heard of is UNREAL. Like, it happens so often that I now don’t tell people the field in which I have my degree if that tidbit of info is at all possible to avoid.
So one time, I had this dude who worked at a record shop going on and on and on about some 70s band I’d never heard of, and I grew tired of it and tried to politely excuse myself. He then got super grumpy and increasingly volatile until he said, “It’s not like you’re a music professor at Harvard and I’m not!” To which I got to reply, while leaving: “Actually, I was invited to teach for a semester at Harvard recently. Have a nice day.”
#83 She Walked Right Into That One…
My boyfriend used to work the third shift at a popular gas station on the East coast. He worked with one of those notoriously terrible coworkers who calls in sick all the time with a ton of wild excuses. Well, one night, she called in saying that she was sick, that she was vomiting and feverish, and that she was sorry, but there was no way that she could come in.
The only person available to take her shift that night was the district manager, who happened to be in the area for a meeting. So, the district manager comes in and works the cash register with my boyfriend. At around 3 in the morning, who should walk in but the supposedly sick coworker! Oh, but it gets even better than that.
She was clearly wasted beyond belief and had innocently come in to buy two rolls of Tums, thinking that one of her friends would be there filling in for her. When she reached the front of the checkout line to discover that the district manager was the one who had actually taken her shift that night, she was fired on the spot.
#84 Should Have Focused on Your Own To-Do List
The CEO of my company publicly praised me for completing a task that my boss had struggled with, so my boss retaliated by forwarding all of his tasks to me in an effort to overwhelm me with work. This did not go the way he intended it. I actually found his job pretty manageable, which the CEO also noticed and fired him, giving me his job and office.
#85 An F for Effort
Oh man, when I was in school, I got teamed up with a girl to do a presentation on a country of our choosing for a government class. She wouldn’t let me choose the country or even compromise, she insisted on choosing. She then did nothing. Not one single thing, but dodge my attempts to work on the project with her. Finally, I did it all myself.
I silently seethed and let it go. A few days before it was due, she asked, “What’s going on with the project?” She almost died when I told her it was done and didn’t need her help anymore. I watched for days as she got more nervous knowing she was going to have to stand in front of everyone and not know a single thing that was going on.
The day before, I gave her a copy of the report, presentation, and notes for her to go over. We were the first people called in class. I thought she was going to puke she was so nervous. It was bad for her. I was breezing through the presentation when the teacher noticed my partner hadn’t said anything. She started asking her questions, and it went downhill fast.
She was questioned why she knew nothing, what did she contribute exactly, etc. The entire class squirmed in their seats; it was so uncomfortable. I said nothing, just smiled and watched her crash and burn. I got an A, she did not.
#86 You Used to Call Me on My Cell Phone
My ex-husband: “No, I am not having an affair!” Me: “Well then why do I have two hundred pages worth of IMs, texts, and emails with explicit content sent between you and this girl?” Him: “I, uh, I was hacked!” Me: “For 4 and a half years?” Him: “Y…yes?” Me: “How did the hackers get these 37 photos of you in the buff?”
Him: (and I kid you not, he really said this): “That’s not me.” Spoiler: it was definitely him. It clearly showed his unique birthmark, his pasty fatness, and every other distinguishing feature about him. Nice try, hubby!
#87 Terrible Teacher
In high school, I had an absolute jerk of a teacher. He gave me a binder that had the name, address, phone, of every student in the entire district including the names off all of their siblings. I was to type this in, even though it was already printed out. I asked if it was already printed, why was I typing it? It didn’t make sense to me.
He said they paid an outside firm a bunch of money to do it but the state pulled the funding and the firm refused to provide the files and now the district didn’t have the money to do it again but they still needed the data. I was super peeved about how tedious of a job I was given and complained to no end about it.
He knew that I was the winner of a typing contest and agreed that this one project would be my entire grade for the semester. If I could manage to get it all entered into the computer by the end of the year, I’d get a passing grade, if not I’d fail. After about two hours of data entry, I decided it was a stupid job and downloaded OCR software, scanned the whole thing in and spent a day or two correcting scanning mistakes.
My plan was to spend the rest of the semester goofing off and pretending to work. It probably would have worked beautifully, but it actually only lasted about a week before the teacher caught on. He then proceeded to start giving me more stupid tedious work and said the previous deal was now off. Then I learned his dark secret.
I found out that part of the reason the deal with the consulting firm ended badly was his fault and told him I was going to the school board with this information. We decided on a new plan. My grade for the semester would pass as an A. But I had free time to take on other classes the teacher offered. I used this free time to complete one and a half other courses.
#88 The Law Won
Was driving when another driver merged into my lane without yielding (ignoring the yield sign) and he almost clipped the front of my car. There was an officer right behind me, who immediately turned on his lights and flagged the guy down. My friends and I celebrated by yelling justice. It honestly made my day.
#89 An Unconvincing Performance
When video stores were a thing that existed, I assistant-managed one under this real witch who, frankly, didn’t have any business managing anything more complicated than a curling iron. One night, she convinced her thuggy husband to fake-rob her after closing. To make a long story short, they didn’t get away with it, and they both went to the clinker. THE END.
#90 No Salad for You!
We had a customer who got a salad and when she was finished she placed one of her hairs in the bowl to try to get it refunded. She got the complimentary “I’m sorry” free bakery item. She did this every day. Finally, the manager sat down at her table and told her this was her last day eating in the cafe, as they would refuse her refund today and refuse her service in the future.
She started to say something about the customer always being right. He just put up a hand to cut her off, and dropped the cold, hard truth on her: “You cause us to lose money every day. You’re absolutely not our customer, you are a liability, and you are no longer welcome here.” It was so, so satisfying, I’ll never forget it.
#91 Major Facepalm
My mom is a lawyer and was representing a black woman. My mother is also black and this is how it went down. Plaintiff’s lawyer: “Please point out the accused.” Officer: *points at my mom* Mom: “I’m the lawyer, officer.” Judge: dismisses case.
#92 The Ties That Bind Us
I created a binder for a hotel that my company owns and filled it with forms and templates. I highlighted and wrote clear explanations of everything on each page. About a month later, I go over to the property to assist with some things, and the GM brings out the binder and says, “Yeah, I just put this together as a tool for us here.”
I immediately tell him, “No, you didn’t. I made that and gave it to you.” His face went white as he tried to recover by saying, “Well, I added a few things.” He didn’t. I definitely loved the faces of my colleagues when I went back to the office and told them all about it!
#93 Win Win for Us
I live in a small town and worked in a Fish and Chip shop—one of two in the town. We were a tourist town, and one of the main attractions was the award-winning fish and chips. People in the town believed we were in massive competition with the other shop, but we weren’t. We had 25 plus staff and they had around seven, so we were serving thousands more customers than them.
So, on the rare occasion whenever a customer got angry, they would simply exclaim “Well I’m going to [insert competitor’s name here] AND I WON’T BE BACK.” Like it was a big deal and would really hurt our feelings and business. We would simply tell them that we don’t want them back, and they should enjoy the food from the other shop. But even better, the truth was that we owned both shops.
#94 HR Nightmare
I was on a team of two, and when the lady I worked with quit, they decided not to replace her. This meant that if I needed to use my paid overtime (PTO) to take time off, which I often did because I have a young child who gets sick every now and again, it was a real problem. I would give my manager, who worked at a remote office, lots of ways to fix this issue, but she never would hear any of it.
She finally sent me a very angry email basically telling me I could not use my PTO when my son got sick. I wrote back a long, detailed list of every method I suggested to fix the issue, along with the fact that I was the only person in my position for months, and that our company policy states in bold letters that using PTO because a loved one is sick is not only acceptable but encouraged.
My manager responded to my email by stating she would forward my concerns to HR and that I should probably polish up my resume. But HR was in our office that day. For the first time in six months. Great coincidence, right? So, I went in, asked if I could speak about an issue concerning my manager, and explained everything as it happened.
The HR rep had this look on her face like she was going to harm someone. She then asked me to forward the entire email chain to her, which I did. She called me back with incredible news. Apparently, everyone told the HR rep that the entire office can’t function without me and that I’ve been doing the work of three people for nine months.
Later that day, my manager sent me a very angry message saying I was fired because I was causing a hostile work environment. I forwarded this to the HR rep who looked at me, and in a single, sweet sentence said, “Not a chance, she’s royally screwed.” And that’s basically how my manager went from making $80k a year to being fired on a Wednesday with no compensation, no benefits, and no way to collect unemployment.
It was an all-around productive day.
#95 Lawyer up
I worked for a corrupt business owner of a business that had a reputation for being bad. I had to work for him because I didn’t have another job. After years of watching him rip off his clients, I finally caught him in the act. I quit. He threatened to sue me for breach of contract and taking clients (I hadn’t poached anyone).
He went so far as to have papers served on me and my new employer. I called his attorney and reminded him I knew what my boss had done and would love to have the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his billing practices. The lawyer said he’d call back. Half an hour later, the lawyer told me it was over.
#96 It’s in the Description
I had a customer harassing me over a product he bought and wanted to return. There was no receipt, it was over the return date, and he claimed he paid for it in cash. I told him that the return policy was within 30 days and he had to have a receipt. He said, “You’re just paid to say that.” I replied, “As a matter of fact, I am paid to say that. That’s how jobs work.” I never saw his scamming face again.
#97 Fighting a Good Fight
This is going to sound crazy, but in college, I got a ticket every day of the week for parking in my driveway. Same cop every day. My girlfriend’s car, too. It was a small apartment building, which had a blacktop parking lot along the side of the building. The officers ticketed every vehicle parked in our assigned parking spots for “blocking the sidewalk.”
There was no sidewalk. It was a blacktop parking lot. I was an aspiring student of the law and knew I could argue this. Plus, I didn’t have the money to pay all these tickets. I plead not guilty, got a court date, and continued to collect the tickets. I got the cop on the stand and showed him a series of pictures and asked questions about this “invisible sidewalk.”
He contradicted himself several times and then admitted he ticketed every car he saw parked there whether it was blocking the invisible sidewalk or not. I was up there for about half an hour. For parking tickets. The judge was laughing a bit and finally asked me to approach. He asked me if he dismissed all the tickets and told the cop to stop, would I stop asking questions and leave the court. I agreed.
The next week my girlfriend went in with her stack of tickets and I tagged along. It was the same judge and the same cop. They were both looking at me. As we walked in, I said, “Watch this, baby. I’m going to make the judge dismiss the tickets.” When it was her turn to argue, I walked up with her. She said, “Your Honor, I…” Before she could finish, the judge said “Tickets are void. Next case.”
I was proud. She was baffled at the black magic I’d just sprinkled on her.
#98 What a Beautiful Sight
Over the course of six months, through countless phone calls to different union offices and the department of labor, I eventually got my boss fired for changing people’s time-keeping information to take overtime from them. During those months I was treated like dirt by this guy, but I never actually did anything wrong so I couldn’t be punished.
At one point, management—against contract rules—denied my time off request to be at my best friend’s wedding and my boss brought me into his office and threatened to fire me. At this point, I had called the northeast district business associate on him, and I will never forget the look on my boss’s face when he realized I knew he couldn’t do anything to me.
#99 Ain’t Gonna Happen, Bud
I’m an ICU nurse, the last two nights I’ve been taking care of a large strong man going through withdrawals. It involves four-point restraints. This morning I was trying to put elbow pads on him and he swung at me, but of course, the restraints prevented this. He was furious as I just stood there and slow blinked at him.
#100 Don’t Stop Believing
My dad is out of state on business driving through some no-name town when he goes through an intersection. Suddenly, a cop pulls him over and tickets him—stating that he ran a stop sign. My dad insisted that there was not any stop sign, but the cop did not listen. Angry, he went back to the intersection and saw that there was indeed a stop sign hidden behind a tree.
More that that, it was twisted in the wrong direction! Even more angry, he went into a convenience store and bought a disposable camera. The clerk laughed because he saw what happened and knew what was up. Luckily, my dad had to be back there in a few weeks for work. The cop assumed that someone with out of state plates would just pay the ticket.
So he was shocked when my dad turned up in court, calmly presented his evidence to the judge, and strolled out in five minutes scot-free.