People on Reddit were asked: “What things have you done ‘by the book’ just to piss off your boss?” These are some of the best answers.
1. I start work when I start work, not one second before
Back when I was working and attending classes I would go straight from campus to work, getting me there anywhere from 10-20 minutes early before my shift. On occasion my boss would ask me to help him out with something before I clock on, putting something away or answering the phone. Over the span of a couple months, this evolved from “occasionally” to “every day your shift starts when you get here”.
After doing this for a couple weeks (still clocking in at my usual 3pm) I decide that if I’m working for a few extra minutes each day, I’m gonna get paid for it. I did this ONCE, and I didn’t make it an hour into my shift before my boss is screaming at me and throwing down the employee handbook saying that I’m only allowed to clock in 5 minutes before and after my scheduled shift.
Needless to say, I made it a point to not check in until 5 minutes after my scheduled shift every day, no matter how early I was. Fast forward 3 months and my boss gets fired. He got what was coming to him.
2. Time to lawyer up!
While I was in the Navy it was recommended that I get a extensive surgery on my ankle. My command felt that I “didn’t deserve a bunch of time off for a surgery” so they said they would approve it but none of the convalescent leave. They refused to sign ANY paperwork.
First thing I did was hit them with the regulation stating that they were required to respond to all requests within a certain amount of time (3 days I think). They responded with a “no”. So then I had Navy legal draw up paperwork (with accordance to regulations) that my command would be responsible for 100% of my medical care if they did not abide by doctors orders. I then let them know that would mean that ALL of my medical care would then be handled by civilians and the command would be responsible for paying the bill out of their budget.
They approved my surgery, convalescent leave, and convalescent leave extension.
3. Once you get the customers involved, you always win
Worked at the front desk of a gym. Scanning key cards you know, being a watchdog as my boss liked to say. Only problem is when a dog gets hungry he doesn’t feel like doing much. Didn’t matter if it was a 12 hour shift or an 8 hour shift, no lunch break for the front desk, and of course no eating at the front. Well this dog happens to love sammiches, so I would tell all the people who asked me how I was doing that I was great, minus the fact that I haven’t eaten in 8 hours. I would proceed to tell them about the policy and encourage them to tell my boss to let me eat.
Well after I had told enough people, I began eating my sammiches at the front. First time boss caught me mid bite and said “What are you doing?” I said “Eating my sammich.” As luck would have it a daily member walks up and says “You know boss you should let him eat up here, it’s not hurting anyone.” Victory.
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4. Sometimes you just can’t win
In the Navy you must always have a white t-shirt under your uniform. I had a Senior Chief who constantly checked if your t-shirt was not visible and required that it bee seen. I checked the uniform regs and found that while in a working uniform you can wear a V-neck tee. Started wearing them and he took notice as soon as he saw me. I told him that the regs allowed it. He scowled and his only comment was, “One for the blue shirts” and walked away. Then he hammered me for every reg violation he could find. Smart [people] never win. At least not in today’s Navy.
5. Beggars can’t be choosers
Worked in one corporate kitchen where our GM didn’t like our music so he would put on children’s music, so we all started singing a long at the top of our lungs…We won that war of attrition.
Years later in another kitchen we had surround sound in a closed kitchen where the uppity GM did not like our music and started passing draconian censorship rules about the music…so we switched it to children’s music for a week.
6. All the rebelling!
Well, I like to make memes illustrating my frustration with certain customers and then share them with my co-workers (hanging them up on our bulletin board, or on people’s mailboxes) just to vent and have a little fun. The boss decided this was inappropriate and could somehow affect our customer service scores (still trying to figure out his logic on that one), but told us “work appropriate” memes are fine. So, we did the only rational thing and made a metric [ton] of overly positive memes and plastered them everywhere around the back office. I work at a hotel. My personal favorite is the “all the things” meme saying “Love all the guests!”
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7. Do it by the book and you’ll always come out on top
Used to work at a TV station. Absolutely awful management and horrible bosses. Complained about it to friends all the time. Some would even ask me on Facebook about my job and I would reply- but I knew I could get fired for speaking ill of the company. So I read the HR Handbook and found out as long as I don’t specifically name the company, I can’t be fired for it.
So, about a month later, I realize I can’t take this [crap] anymore and post on Facebook how terrible my job is, never mentioning the company by name. They fire me a day later, I gladly walk out of that building and into a lawyer’s office- got $17,800-my yearly salary (seriously). Feels good man.
8. They asked for it…
Working at Big 5 there was a policy that men had to be clean shaven or have a mustache; no beards or goatees or star-burns. I can NOT wear a mustache without looking like either a pedophile or an 80’s porn star, but I hate shaving every day. So I grew out the biggest, creepiest Hulk Hogan stache ever witnessed and wore it proudly for the entire time I worked there.
9. This guy had it coming from the start
My boss is a huge douche. All he does all day long is walk around and make sure everyone has their shirt tucked in. (and generally be a negative prick who everyone hates)
So I come into work on my birthday the other day, and my friend runs up to me and yells “Happy birthday!” right in front of my bosses office. He looks up and I’m thinking he’s going to say happy birthday since he no doubt heard her. Instead he said “Yeah go ahead and tuck your shirt in k?” and he does the hand signal like he’s tucking in an imaginary shirt. So I say “ok no prob, I just have to put my stuff down real quick and I’ll take care of it.” So I walk over to my desk, which takes approx 7 seconds to get to. I go to put my stuff down, and as I am he comes up behind me again and says “I said to tuck in your shirt!” So I quickly tuck it in, and as he’s walking literally right by me I say “SorryIi just had to put my stuff down first” and he walks by like I never said a word.
Immediately, I bust out my HR manual, and check out the rule on tucked in shirts. Turns out you must tuck in all shirts EXCEPT a Hawaiian shirt or a “Guayabera” shirt. So I take [go] to Walmart, and buy 10 of those, and wear the most obnoxious Hawaiian looking shirt the next day. The second I walked in, he looked me up and down, glared, turned around and walked away. When everyone asked why I was wearing such a ridiculous shirt, I told them about the loophole, and now half my office is wearing Hawaiian shirts, and its driving my boss [wild]…all within the guidelines outlined by company policy.
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10. At this point it’s go big or go home
I worked at a chain American restaurant, and had this one manager that would always send me home to shave if I came to work with a 5 o’clock shadow. I was a busboy, and never even talked to the customers so I don’t know why she had it out for my facial hair (which I grow like Wolverine). Technically, we could be either clean-shaven or have a full-grown beard/goatee/mustache. So I took a week off, grew a beard, and came to work the next day to show it off. Suck it.
11. These rules are soooo stupid
In the [fast food restaurant] I used to work at in PA it was the norm to for the managers to not clock out for their lunch breaks which meant if you had this huge rush you HAD to get up and help. Well, according to da rules of da state we were entitled to a lunch break off the clock undisturbed. Well one day I had enough and clocked out, sat down and had some noms. The owner walked in and wanted to know why I wasn’t helping cause they were backed up so I put him on notice. And everyone left me alone after that and actually started doing it themselves.
12. Just so unnecessary
I used to work at a lingerie store as an assistant manager so I had to dress nice and look professional. All the other girls wore huge heels and always ended up complaining about how sore their feet were at the end of their shift and I always wore flats to avoid having sore feet. They were still nice, stylish shoes, but they didn’t have towering heels on them. My manager always used to get mad at me for not wearing heels and tried to claim it was part of the dress code.
I looked it up and showed her that it didn’t say anywhere that I had to wear heels, just that I had to wear acceptable work attire or something like that and she tried to tell me it was an out of date dress code or something so I would tell her that she should get an updated one then. Eventually, she brought head office into the argument and the provincial manager was trying to tell me to wear heels to work. I told them they would have to pay me more than minimum wage to ruin my feet. I did not get a raise and no one ever told me to wear heels to work again.
13. You betcha!
We were recently told we had to get non-slip/slip-resistant shoes, else risk being fired. Rather than buying the [unattractive] black kind all of my coworkers got, I got a bright purple pair of Doc Martens. All of the managers gave me a are those slip-resistant?” You bet.
14. One of the best responses so far. You go girl!
When I worked at [an electronics store], the dress code was black shoes, pants, belt and tucked in blue shirt. Never wore a belt nor tucked my shirt in. My boss would constantly freak on me for not having my shirt tucked in, and finally got on my case for not wearing a belt either. So I checked the dress code, found it said “belt if there are belt loops on the pants” or something, so I found an exacto knife, and cut off my belt loops. The next morning, I come in, and she says “WHERES YOUR BELT?” I grinned at her and said “WHERES MY BELT LOOPS?” and gave her the biggest grin I could muster. One of my finest moments.
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15. Classic “doing it just to piss them off”
At our store they wanted a minimum of 70% of our transactions to be a membership transaction. So either someone with a membership, or we sign someone up for a membership. I would for a few days in a row get 100% (by only ringing one person through on my whole shift and making them use or sign up for a membership) and then randomly I’d ring someone though and make sure I don’t use their membership card, so that day I would be at 0%. When they’d come to me and [complain] that my percentage was 0 I’d tell them that i’ve been 100% all week, and that it was only one transaction that I did that day and the person didn’t want to sign up.
They couldn’t get mad at me for 0% on 1 person (you can’t win em all) and they couldn’t get mad at me for only ringing in 1 person every other day because my numbers were 100%. It annoyed the hell out of them, but on paper it looked great.
16. These dress codes are getting way out of hand
I used to work at [an amusement park]. Our uniform consisted of a blue t-shirt, jeans or jean shorts, white socks, and white shoes. The “unofficial” dress code had all of us girls wearing jean shorts and white knee socks.
One day, I didn’t have any normal sized socks to wear, so I ended up wearing my white knee-highs, which looked RIDICULOUS with the Jungle costume. When I got to work, one of my managers flipped, told me my socks weren’t in compliance with “The Look” (the official policies on how to dress) and made me roll my socks down. It looked like I was wearing little white life preservers around my ankles, and looked more out of place than they looked originally.
I was annoyed, so when I went home, I scoured my Look booklet for the policies pertaining to socks. All I could find was that socks had to be long enough to cover the ankle bone. There was no maximum height. Hell, I could have worn white tights under my khaki shorts if I really wanted to.
The next day, I wore my knee-highs again, as a small act of rebellion. The same manager was there, and he flipped out. He actually pulled me into the office to write me up, but before he could get me to sign the paperwork, I pulled out my copy of The Look and showed him that, while incredibly silly looking, my socks were perfectly acceptable, and that I would continue wearing them like that.
And so I did. I looked stupid, but I didn’t care. Working for [the park] wasn’t a pleasant experience in my opinion, and it was very liberating to know that I could at least wear my socks however the hell I wanted to.
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17. SORRY WHAT? I CANT HEAR YOU
I used to work [at] a warehouse on the order picking line. The line is divided into sections for efficiencies sake, and the rules said you could have a radio in your section (no mention of volume control). This lead to radio wars. You have yours turned up, so I have to turn mine up louder to hear my music, and it escalates from there. I don’t particularly care for pop/metal/hip-hop/top 40/classic rock, but I suffered it until the volume wars started. I tried to talk to the radio owners, no luck. I tried the supervisors, no luck. I tried actual office dwellers, no luck.
On my day off, I went to the pawn shop and bought the biggest, loudest, portable radio I could find. I went in to work a little early, and got set up (unwritten rule was whoever got there first picked the music). Work starts, and I turned on the public radio talk stuff. Not loud, just on. The section on either side of mine started turning their radios up a bit at a time until it got too loud. I got to my radio, turned it to AM, and found static. I then turned my radio up as loud as it would go, almost drowning out the other radios in my area. “WTF?” “Hey, you like death metal, I like white noise. It relaxes me.” About 15 min after I turned on my “music,” here comes the supervisor. I explained that what I was doing was no different than anything anyone else was doing, and within the “rules.”
18. Taking one for the team
At a former workplace, the dress code was changed. Men were no longer allowed to wear shorts. Women could wear skirts. I started wearing a kilt, because skirts were ok in the rulebook.
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19. What a party-pooper!
My boss went away for about 3-4 weeks for a conference, and while he was away, a workmate and I had an idea… a George Foreman grill, and then we’d go to the deli and grab stuff for lunch: hamburgers, lamb chops, pork, steaks etc.
We did this every day for over a month, and when the boss got back he put a stop to it, with the exact words “I don’t want that thing inside the office”. So we took it to the shared kitchen area on our floor. We rented a suite.
When he got angry at that, and said “I DONT WANT IT ON THIS FLOOR”, we took it down to the underground parking area and used the power outlet at his parking space while he was out at lunch. He caught us because he was coming back from lunch with a business partner (in the car with him) and we were hunched over a tiny George Foreman grill making hamburger patties. Imagine 3 IT guys, crouching on the ground like cavemen, in a poorly lit underground parking lot, cooking hamburger on the concrete floor. Yeah, it went over about as well as you would think.
If he didn’t specifically use the words “Take that home or I will break it and throw it in the trash” our next step was to use the power point in the parking lot of the church directly opposite the building (and facing his office)
20. If there’s a will, there’s a way
I worked in the warehouse. For whatever reason, they had a strict dress policy of khaki pants, this awful collar shirt that also had to be tucked in. This went for everyone, even warehouse. I discovered through an old warehouse employee guide (shoved in a draw years ago and forgotten about) That as long as warehouse employees had khaki colored shorts, with no cargo pockets, and a t shirt with [the company] logo there would be no problem.
[The company] stopped making [company] t-shirts long before I started, but thanks to a local Salvation Army, I was able to pick up, two [company] t-shirts, and a quick trip to Target for some shorts, and my new uniform was set. My mangers were not happy about my appearance, claiming I looked sloppy and unkempt.
Even better, when the dude (who hated his job, and just slept in the back, and talked on his cell phone all day) from the warehouse found out about this, he too had some old [company] t-shirts, and joined in. Management hated us working together.
21. And then there’s the career ruiners…. This sucks
I used to work for this small town, twice weekly newspaper. The editor/publisher, mayor, county commissioner and a few other people were skimming tax dollars. When I confronted my boss about it, he told me he’d blackball me if I said anything.
So I went to the local television station, tipped them off and they uncovered the story. When they won their awards, my name was added to the list of reporters. I still can’t get a job as a journalist, but damn if it didn’t feel good.
22. This is the bawsest thing ever
Boss told me “You have to cover X this upcoming weekend, both days, since everybody else said no.” I said “How do you know I’ll say yes?” He said “You have to, there’s nobody left.” I said, “You’re wrong, I’m left. But I quit. Now there’s nobody left.” He was speechless, his expression was priceless, I stood there about 10 seconds and said, “I’m walking away now” and left.
Thank God this happened the day after I had (secretly) secured a better job. Probably one of my fondest memories.
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23. Let the feet be free!
Company dress code allows women to wear open-toed shoes, so long as they are leather. The dress code does not allow men to do the same. A few years back, I started wearing leather sandals during the warmer months. A few managers mentioned to me that I was in violation of the dress code and I pointed out that my shoes would be considered acceptable if I were a woman and that it’s gender discrimination to deny me the ability to wear something that is considered ok on someone of the other gender. Haven’t heard any comments or problems since.
24. “I’m all about equality, sir”
10 years ago, I was the only employee who didn’t smoke. Needless to say, everyone in the building took a 15 min smoke break 2-3 times a shift, and I got squat. One day, I asked the manager if I could have a “Clean Air Break”, and he was confused. I explained that since smokers can have their 15 min breaks 2-3 times a shift, I should be able to step outside and do the same without having to smoke. Irked my manager, but he knew he had to let me to avoid any discrimination.