From finding a way to work through heavy snow, to not using any forms of social media at a radio station, people share the most pointless rule at their workplace.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
Constant cash register errors.
I work in a clothing store, and we have tills which are electronic, can scan items easily and we are only allowed to cancel three items on the receipts per day. Often we have customers who change their minds or don’t want a plastic bag (in the UK it’s mandatory now to pay 5 pence for a bag), therefore I get on average nine cancels per day, giving me a cash error. Too many cash errors result in a ban from being on tills, which is 60% of my day.
This makes no sense.
I work customer service for a utility company. We get to the office at 8 AM to do paperwork, but we’re not open to the public until 9 AM. Our hours are clearly posted on our door. However, our boss makes us unlock the front doors when we arrive at 8 AM, so instead of having that hour to get paperwork done, we’re dealing with customers that come before we’re technically supposed to be open.
No forming lunch cliques.
My previous manager had a rule that we weren’t allowed to go out to lunch together unless the whole office (5 or so of us) was invited. She didn’t like that people were forming cliques by some people going to lunch together.
Her downfall began when she called out one of my male coworkers for violating this rule by frequently going out to lunch with a female coworker of ours.
“What would your wife say about this?” Our manager queried.
“Uhh…nothing? She knows we go out to lunch and I’ve had her over to my house to have dinner with my wife and kids.”
The guy proceeded directly to HR and said he felt threatened as if our manager might be trying to blackmail him into compliance. She was required to recant her policy, undergo training about things managers can and cannot do and stop trying to police our unpaid lunch hour.
That began her downward spiral where she just behaved more and more erratically until she eventually disappeared and we got a sane boss (ironically, the woman that male coworker was going out to lunch with). Everybody won.
Only allowed to use ONE bathroom.
I used to work in a coroner’s office. The main bathroom smelled like the autopsy room drain. I found a private, one stall bathroom around the corner (still in the building). My boss was at my desk one day, asking where I was and acting like he had caught me doing something illegal. I explained and he insisted I was only allowed to use the coroner’s office bathroom.
I was seeing red; started applying for jobs the same day, on company time.
No reason to be physically present at work.
I live 40+ miles from work. I was able to work from home for 2 years.Then out of the blue, they said that I had to start coming in to work. No reason was given. While working from home, I always got my work done and was far more efficient. I saved tons of money on gas and car maintenance while not having to spend two hours a day in the car. Now, I drive an hour to work and basically do exactly what I could do from home, or any remote location with an internet connection. There is absolutely no reason for me to physically be here at work.
This confusing facial hair rule.
Directly quoting from the employee handbook here:
“Employees without facial hair must be clean-shaven.”
So people who have facial hair do not have to shave it off. But people who do not have facial hair have to shave the facial hair that they do not have. In practice, you can grow a beard but there is an expectation of professionalism that you keep it trimmed to a reasonable or tidy length. Why they don’t just put that in the handbook, I have no idea.
No strict dress code in place.
Our dress code, it’s pointless because no one follows it.
We had our HR quit and not long after the office manager quit as well, we never filled the positions after they left so it became a free-for-all of bad hires within the other positions. Last week we had an important new customer come into work to get their account set up within our facility. The individual handling their account came to work in wrinkled, rolled up pajama pants and a dingy long sleeve graphic t-shirt that also looked like a pajama shirt. Her hair was unbrushed, and she was wearing flip-flops.
She was a walking dress code violation and everybody knew it, including the important customer within the facility. Nobody said anything.
That’s no fun!
I work in a hotel. We aren’t allowed to bring food in because someone stole one of my manager’s burritos out of the fridge. She keeps a mini fridge in her office for her personal use now.
We also aren’t allowed to use the vending machines because a guest gave us a negative review because our snack machine was out of Kit Kats.
Difficult to keep up with these company policies.
I’m a valet. It’s against company policy to ever reverse a vehicle without a spotter. I’m the only employee from my company on the property.
Also, it’s company policy to back every vehicle into a parking space, unless it’s angled parking.
I don’t have angled parking on my property.
I break company policy by showing up to work and doing my job every day.
The combination of sick days and vacations days.
We have sick days and vacation days. But if I call in sick, the first day comes out of my vacation days and then starts using sick days. I also have to take a whole day even if I just need a little time off. I never get sick, let alone for more than a day, so I have weeks of sick time saved up I can never use. So one time I had a 5 minuted doctor’s appointment to get a flu shot. I had to take the whole day off out of my vacation days, then I took the next day off cause it came out of sick days, so a free day off. All their policy does is encourage everyone to take two days off to get back at them.
No accidents on that intersection for YEARS
I worked in an office on an intersection. The traffic lights were abominable. They would take minutes to change, and then you could not physically get more than half way across before the lights changed again and you got stuck on the island. You could waste your entire break just trying to cross the street, and most of the time there were no cars or anything. So… why not just ignore the lights and cross anyway? Well…
The company had a sign at the front door, and on the Intranet, and in the elevator that read: “If you choose not to follow the intersection rules, you choose not to work at.”
They were so mental about it that in addition to the above, we had to discuss it at the beginning of every meeting, and a safety briefing on the subject was held twice a year. They also set up a camera, and from 12 to 2pm, one of the security guards would go and stand out there and just watch everyone.
I asked around, figuring that six or seven people must have been run over or something through the years… but nope. Never a single incident in the 40 years the building had been there.
The most strict work place.
I worked on a hospital switchboard for 4.5 years. We were not allowed to get sick. Accrued “earned time” could be used for sick days, but if you called out of work, you were written up. I had coworkers whose pets/family members became unexpectedly ill or some other type of emergency came up, and they would be written up for missing work. Came down with the stomach flu at 4 AM? You have to choose between being written up or puking in the trashcan under the desk.
No one was allowed to do anything other than sit and wait for the phone to ring, either. Even on the weekends when we’d get less than 100 calls, it was no books, no smart devices of any kind, no internet. Just you, your weird co-workers, and Microsoft Solitaire for 8 hours. Same went for the overnight shift as well.
No texting or browsing the web.
When I worked as a secretary, they expected me to never text or browse the internet. They said it was because they wanted me to be ready for when someone walked in. Since my bosses and coworkers all used the back or side entrances, no one ever walked in the front door. So I sat for 90% of my week doing nothing. The other 10% of my week was small tasks and maybe a meeting of outside professionals coming in that no one ever told me to be prepared for. So 90% of the time I was expected to sit and wait like a robot, and 10% they sprung meetings on me and got upset when I didn’t know which meeting room to send the visitors to.
No playing around with the signs.
We have a new initiative for cleanliness and organization, and this includes having “landlords” for all the labs and offices. These landlords have their names posted on each of the doors. Someone has been turning these nametags upside down, and the person who is running this initiative is really pissed.
So now if someone is caught flipping a name tag, they will be fired. They’re considering it horseplay.
I should probably stop flipping the signs, but I already put in my resignation notice, so what’s the point.
Literally no point in going to work those days.
When I taught English at a Korean public school, we had to stay at the school from 8 to 4 every day regardless of whether or not we were actually teaching. Worst of all, we had two weeks of vacation per year, which was much less than the students got. So on the days that weren’t officially our vacation time, we still had to come to school even though there were no students. They didn’t even try to keep me busy with other work at these times, or to justify it in any way other than “that’s the rule.” I would get up, go to work, sit there surfing the Internet all day, and then go home again.
Sorry for not being a slob!
You can’t smoke on grounds if you don’t have a car (I walk). There’s no receptacle for butts off-grounds. I used to carry mine to the garbage can to throw them away. Store director saw this, was written up for “smoking on grounds.” Fine, I’ll be a slob and leave my butts all over the ground.
Then comes a store-wide email. “Smokers need to clean up after themselves, stop leaving butts everywhere.” I’m the only smoker who has to stand off-grounds, literally had a meeting where I defended my actions (because I’m not a slob) and now how am I supposed to clean up after myself but not use the garbage can?
All these rules without any outside company interaction.
The dress code at a prominent, nation-wide payroll processing company used to be draconian; even if you didn’t interface with customers, you had to wear at least dress pants with a WHITE button down dress shirt. Blue was not acceptable. Stripes were not acceptable. Pink, green, purple, lavender, whatever, were right out: it had to be WHITE.
Women had to wear skirts or dresses. No pant-suits.
Facial hair was NOT allowed. A few of the executives were exempted because they had mustaches. But if you came into work on a Friday without having shaved that day, you were sent home to shave.
Again, no customer interaction – nobody from outside the company saw you. It was just you being seen by your fellow co-workers.
How to connect with their listeners without the use of social media?
I used to work for a radio station where I was told that my use of Facebook/Twitter was seen to be distracting me from my work. So I was told to stop using them during my core hours. That’s right, I was told to stop using social media – that thing that kept us connected to our listeners and which kept us literally up-to-date with breaking news – because it was distracting me from my actual work duties, which consisted of connecting with our listeners and keeping up-to-date with breaking news. Loved that job. Hated the management team.
Any object can be used to steal information.
I used to work in a company where they would make you leave everything in a locker and then go through a security check with a security guard and a metal detector. Rules were: no phones, no watches, no pens, no makeup, no papers, no wallet, no coins, no bottles, nothing… You couldn’t bring ANYTHING to your desk. My colleagues used to joke that they might as well to force us to work naked. Their argument? That any object could be used to steal information. The worst thing about it was that we didn’t even have much access to client’s information. It was not a bank.
Just sit there and do nothing.
I used to work for an auto parts company. It was a small operation, maybe 20 people. I ran their online sales, and despite having a company laptop and no real cause to be at the office, I always had to be there. I showed up to work one day and the power was out. It was a small town, and when the power went out it tended to be hours, sometimes days before it was back. But it wasn’t out at my house, so I went back home and got my work done. The next day I came into the office and got chewed out for that. The power was still out. He paid 20 people to sit and do nothing for two straight days.
Everything has to match; from scrubs to jackets.
I work at a hospital. Every department has to wear specific colors of scrubs. For example, nurses wear navy blue, nurse aides and techs wear hunter green, x-ray/diagnostic imaging wears like an olive green, phlebotomists wear red, etc. They recently implemented a rule that if we are cold, we have to wear a jacket the same exact color as our scrubs, and it has to have the company logo on it. I once wore a jacket that wasn’t the same exact shade of my scrubs, but was still the same color, and they told me to take it off and not wear a jacket until I bought one from their e-store. And yes, we pay for it ourselves.
This manager is so heartless!
Last month I tore my MCL. I work retail, so it’s a lot of standing. I still can’t stand for more than 10-15 minutes, let alone a 7-9 hour shift. However, 75% of the time I can do my job sitting or at least sit in-between customers.
My boss comes back from vacation. He doesn’t allow me to do the exact same job in a different bodily position. Can’t stand? Too bad. Can’t walk? Too bad. No sitting. Doesn’t matter that I can do the job just fine. No. Sitting.
Yes, I know this is illegal. But that same week I took myself to the hospital for a psych evaluation as my mental health plummeted. He called the next day and asked why I wasn’t at work. So I quit. I don’t need such heartless people in my life.
Office noise complaints.
There are 3 of us that have the same position at my job. We have an open area with desks. We get complaints all the time about being loud. We are sure they all come from the same woman. The thing is that this woman has an office with a door that she could close and fix the problem. She and her coworkers make a lot of noise and nobody does anything about it.
Finding a way to work through heavy snow.
I once worked for a place where if it snowed super badly you had to make every attempt to get into work. If you couldn’t get out of your subdivision with a car, you had to go wait for a bus. You had to wait for TWO HOURS to ensure no bus would come. This basically ensured that you spend your whole entire work day trying to get to work: first by shoveling yourself out, and if that didn’t work, by waiting for transit. They absolutely did not want you enjoying a snow day at all. If you refused to do this, you were marked as absent without just cause.
To be clear, I think it’s a good idea to make a concerted effort to get into work. But this policy encouraged people to drive when they probably shouldn’t have been driving. And waiting for a bus for 2 hours is absolutely ridiculous.