Why do some employers need to treat employees like serfs? It's bad enough that we already live in a society that devalues labor, but being personally devalued feels pretty awful.
Here were some of the answers.
I'm a teacher, so I have a million stupid rules I have to follow. But the worst one is that my performance evaluation is based on student improvement on the STAR literacy test. I teach wood shop.
At my old job, HR held a meeting to tell us that there was too much swearing on the sales floor. Someone raised their hand and pointed out that swearing is very common in our industry and that is the way that our customers speak. HR later sent out a memo explaining that swearing should be limited to conversations with clients. It was amazing.
If you are stuck in traffic on the way to work, you must email the CEO. Phone calls and texts are not permitted, only email.
I used to work at a place in which my boss implemented a no more than 2 glasses a day water policy.
I ignored this rule and complained directly to our CEO and the matter ended later that day.
What was weird though was the majority of people actually followed the rule and some even shopped me up to HR about 'breaking the rules'.
I left not long after that because not only was my boss a bellend, but if my colleagues were going to HR over me drinking water, then I obviously couldn't trust them.
Had a workplace time our bathroom breaks and deduct them from our allotted 15 minute breaks or lunch. We had to go see the office manager to get a key to open the restroom. As soon as we left his office he would start a timer... when you got back he would stop the timer and tell you how much time you needed to deduct from your lunch or next break. They watched our breaks like a hawk.
Also, if you made a mistake they would stand over you and time you while you fixed it and deduct that from your lunch or breaks.
You couldn't bring anything "that smells" for lunch and they had no way of heating anything up.
I worked out my contract and split.
The VP of our company just held a mass meeting to tell all of us we can't have pictures or plants or food or any form of non office supplied object on our desk. Tons of coworkers have family pictures or their kids' finger paintings pinned up on the cubicle walls. All that has to be removed. People were pissed.
My dad told me this one a while back. He used to work for a PR firm... The way he described the office environment, think "The Office" but in the 1980's.
The company hired a "Corporate Efficiency Specialist" to come in and "improve" things. She came in and implemented all kinds of rules, which seemed to follow some sort of caste system.
Her philosophy was, the higher your office rank, the more "perks" you get...
Her idea of perks:
Number of pictures you are allowed in your cubicle.
Whether you are allowed to have a potted plant or not.
Coffee mugs were only allowed to senior employees. Others had to use paper cups.
Being allowed to leave the office for lunch was also considered a "perk"
Needless to say, a coup soon followed, and she was tossed out on her hiney.
Dress code policy is just dumb at my work. Different positions have different requirements. Even though we all work in the same office.
My favorite rule though is the one on shorts. We can wear shorts on Fridays between memorial day and labor day. However the shorts can't have pockets on the side. It was written to discourage ratty cargo shorts. But the way in which it is written allows me to wear gym shorts. So I do.
Not my current job but I used to work for some crazy people.
- you had to stand in a specific area while eating so they could see you on the camera
- don't talk to customers longer than 3 minutes unless you're making a big sale, even then, keep it short
- answer the phone within 2 rings, keep the conversation to less than 30 seconds
- you can't talk to your co workers outside of work
- you can't talk to your co workers while at work, even if there was not a single customer in the store
I'm sure there's more I just can't think of right now.
We got a new vacation policy where you could take UNLIMITED time off. All the while he assured us that if we wanted vacation, to take it. Really! A little bit afterward, he changed it to "discretionary" time off meaning that if your boss approved it, it was ok. Then it changed to "160 hours should be the max and if you go over 200 hours then you probably don't need to work here."
Former job. You couldn't eat at your desk. The team managers however were pretty tolerant, on a hot day they would sometimes even hand out popsicles. The regulation people (who were especially in charge on the weekends, when no teammanagers were around) were very strict with this. A colleague of mine was shouted at because she ate a small pretzel, which was her breakfast.
Then again, some colleagues would casually eat a whole pizza or kebab while making a huge mess.
Previous job: given a tablet and a locker, had to look for a desk to sit on every morning. Stupid, caused unnecessary friction, waste of time, inefficient, and many occupied the same desk everyday anyway, they piled junks on their desk so no one else dared to sit.
Once my manager had mental breakdown, he hid in another floor away from us. It was ridiculous having to walk that far to get to him multiple times a day.
For a while, we were going through a lot of bandaids and my manager was tired of buying them. So, she locked the last remaining bandaid in the safe (we had to have one; required by health inspector) and no one was allowed to use them if they cut themselves. I worked at a fast food joint where people could knick themselves on knives, tomato slicers, sharp edges, etc. If you cut yourself, you just dealt with it/openly bled. The rule changed pretty fast though when she cut herself while using a box cutter and we had no bandages in the store.
Old work place had assigned desk location for various things like phone and stapler. You were also only allowed 2 personal items on your desk. I was written up bc I brought my own red stapler and it didnt fit in between the lines put on the desk.
I wrote the ridiculous coffee-making rules for my workplace. But I had my reasons. I was a woman on the edge. The coffee was unbearable and every time it was bad I would have a parade of people through my office complaining and a deluge of emails wasting my time. So I wrote a guide, rules, if you will, on how to use the extremely simple drip coffee maker in our break room.
I emailed them to everyone, I put two copies in the break room - one of them in the cupboard where the ground coffee was kept. I went through it with people who didn't understand. Minutes of everyone's time was wasted. No improvement, endless complaints to me, more of my time wasted.
By this point I was fed up of even hearing the word coffee, the sound of the coffee maker caused me to flinch. So I ordered pre-packaged coffee grounds to take the measurement difficulty out of the equation. How can you get thatwrong? I thought, naively.
On the first day of what I was sure would be the new world, a coffee nirvana, I went to the coffee machine with high expectations. The senior partner had beaten me to it, she had put four sachets of coffee into the machine and added enough water to make six cups of coffee. The first mouthful nearly killed us. I went over it again with her and returned to my office, confident that this was a one-time problem.
After lunch I went back to try and get a cup of coffee. My expectations were not so high. I witnessed another senior partner carefully opening the sachet of grounds and reach for a teaspoon. She carefully spooned out a quarter of the sachet into the machine, filled the machine with enough water for 12 cups and triumphantly threw the rest of the sachet away. I waited, we tasted it together, she was appalled. She had no idea why it was so weak. I started a new pot, slowly filling with despair as it brewed. I couldn't shake one thought: I work for a doctors surgery. These people prescribe.
I went back to my office. I ordered a giant container of respectable instant coffee and a padlock. I keep the ground coffee locked in my desk. I brew four pots a day (this takes less time than the complaints!) and on my day off they make do with instant. We have a kettle, people are welcome to bring their own filter coffee and do with it what they will. Until someone can be trusted to make a pot of coffee which is not so awful as to inspire eight people to email me multiple times a day, each one of them hitting reply-all to create a small email firestorm in my inbox, this is the way things have to be.
No scotch tape. On anything. I was a teacher, and the principal wouldn't allow it in the building, threatening letters in your file for insubordination if she saw it on your desk. Only painter's tape, which by design, is meant to not stick very well. I hung posters in my room with circles of duct tape on the back side, with strips of painters tape on the front side just for show. Subtle, petty insubordination.
You weren't allowed to yawn if you were with a customer. Our shifts started pretty early in the morning and you can't really stop a yawn unless you do this weird teeth gritting, nose breathing thing I perfected. Because God forbid we take 3 seconds to yawn and continue helping the customer, "We must be alert and clearly awake at all times."
I work at a small cheap childcare center. The boss/owner's (who is a complete whacko) office is next to the preschool room, which consisted of 3-5 year olds. The kids are not allowed to be within arms length from the wall because they are too loud.... this is a childcare center.... I've never been in a childcare center that's not loud.
Oh. And also, her air control is linked with the infant and toddler room, so in the summer time, when it's hot as f---, we would turn on the air for the rooms because it's obviously hot as sh*t in the rooms. Plus, we're constantly moving! But because SHE gets cold in her small office we have to turn it off. To make matters worse, our changing room is in the middle of both room, so when the air is off, and our trash is filled with poopy diapers it stinks up both rooms, and with the wet diapers it makes the rooms so musty and humid. Its f*cking disgusting. The owner complains about the smell and YET refuse to turn in the air BECAUSE SHE'S COLD. Apparently she doesn't know what a jacket or coat is, even though we are in MN.
We get evaluations. Either annual, when departing the work place for an extended period of time, when receiving a different manager, when promoted, and a few other reasons.
The stupid thing is, unless you've royally f---ed up, these evaluations are usually just pieces of paper that has some generic copy and paste of why said individual did such a good job doing a certain thing at a certain time. However, if you actually did excel beyond what is expected, did jobs outside of your realm and succeeded, ensured others succeeded, etc this will be annotated but may not reflect the way you think it would/should. Yeah, it'll still be positive, but it won't put you too far ahead of your peers in most cases. Why?
Because your manager (the one writing the evaluation) has to maintain a certain tempo, grading, scaling, or whatever you want to call it based on the evaluation matrix. If he grades you too high, then he establishes a high baseline which he'll have to maintain even for sh*t evaluees. If he grades too low, then excellent workers will get sh*t scores. Because if his matrix is all over the place it reflects poorly on him as a manager. So, everyone is generally evaluated the same, no matter what (this does fluctuate in certain cases).
So, essentially, your promotion is based off of time and not effort.
I worked in an office where we couldn't drink coffee from an open cup/mug.
One of my coworkers, let's call her "Rebecca," claimed to have an allergy to coffee. If she smelled coffee or saw someone holding a mug with dark liquid in it (even black tea--yes, someone did this to test her) she would start coughing and run out of the office and take a break from the smell. When she came back to the office she'd proceed to loudly blow her nose and cough for a ridiculous amount of time to show her displeasure with the coffee. She eventually went as far as reporting a coworker to HR for having the audacity to drink coffee from a mug at his desk. The coworker called her bluff and asked for a doctor's note to prove she indeed had an allergy. What do you know? They never got one.
Manager ended up buying some tumblers off of amazon and giving them to employees to use since she wouldn't have this "allergic reaction" if tumblers were used. It became part of on-boarding.
PS - We all brought in Keurig pods to share so we could have a variety to use at the Keurig machine in the breakroom. I stayed late one night and caught her grabbing a handful of the pods on her way out and trashing them.
Also, she once got super cranky when someone forgot about her aversion to coffee and asked her if she knew where the nearest Starbucks was. You couldn't even mention coffee around her without her getting upset. What a weirdo.
After much deliberation I decide to go back to work after 2 years of maternity leave (my bro died tragically, too). Legislation means your job is safe in local government for two years. Half pay for 6 months, government $ for 5). Anyway, I'm a permanent salaried full-time Museum Director for Local Government. My manager says i can come back starting at 9am instead of 8.30 but not leaving at 5.30. I need to take half an hour annual leave a day if I want to start at 9. (something the HR manager had suggested, by the way). I go, yeah, woteves, then a couple of weeks in realise, this is TOTAL sh*t and totally against their policy. Bring it up with HR - well, you need to take it up with your manager. I'm livid! I have a postgraduate degree, have been doing the job for ten years not including leave, and wha? Not trusted to work alone for 30mins at the end of the day? WTF?
Needless to say, my main concerns about returning to work were to do with this idiot powermonger. then, blessed relief, she's taking time off on LSL, her replacement asks me if I'm able to get to work on time... I'll do my best. WTF. what is the getting to work on time sh*t? who cares unless you don't make it up at the end of the day, and even more so, who cares unless the job f*cking gets done? MADNESS.
A little late to the party, but here goes...
I used to work in a call center for a large financial services company. They were super strict about being off the phone. Basically, if you have to use the bathroom, you better hope that it hits during one of your two 15 minute breaks or 30 minute lunch. Outside of those times, you got 8 minutes a day to be out of the phone queue (including if you had a complex customer issue). Anything over the allotted time gave them grounds to fire you for "call avoidance".
I made it work until I ended up having medical issues. And as part of my medical treatment, I had to take a medication that had diarrhea as a side effect. You can probably tell that this went over well with my employer. Ultimately, I was told that I had to have a letter from my doctor certifying that I would need extra bathroom time. So I call my doctor and (even though they thought it was weird) they faxed me a letter.
Somehow the company decided that this was an issue that required the disability accommodation department of HR's involvement. At this point I think things are getting ridiculous, but for the sake of employment, whatever. Then I get an email from HR. The email advised me that me needing extra bathroom time would require me to use intermittent FMLA. I had to have my doctor fill out FMLA paperwork. Because I needed to be able to leave my desk to take an unscheduled shit. I get the doctor to fill it out (at this point they have decided that everyone in HR has lost their minds). I send it into HR, and I figure it's all good.
Nope. Not even close. After receiving the FMLA paperwork I get ANOTHER followup email with a spreadsheet attached. And I was instructed that I would have to TRACK how much time I spent in the bathroom each day and submit the spreadsheet to HR at the end of each month so it could be deducted from my FMLA time. Eventually I said enough is enough and resigned.
Last place i worked... You had to complete 40 hours of job related training in order to get a passing mark for that section on your yearly job review (which impacted how much of a raise you got) but because it wasn't "mandatory" and could be completed outside of office hours (I. E. If you took a class that related to the job, read a book, go to a conference, etc and that would count) they wouldn't give always give you time on the clock to complete this. Yet.... We were not supposed to do any work or access company resources (including the website that most of us used for training) when not on the clock.....
We had a mandatory training for a new ticketing system (technical support call center) that was developed by... People (this is a whole different story/complaint/general f--- up) and they scheduled us 4 hours of training time to complete this... Before it was even fully finished... They ended up with the lessons taking more than 10 hours of time to complete (per their system... Not actual real time, I might have to retake a test or read slower, etc issues)....
Several modules/lessons were added after about 50% or more of the room had already completed this training and we are getting emails from our time management lady and the woman that was in charge of the launch of this new program basically bitching at everyone for either not having the training completed (which is hard to do when things are added after you think you have it completed) or for taking too long to complete it.
Several of the lessons were auto play videos that you could not skip or jump through as their were tests at the end... And if you failed the test 5 times in a row, you had to retake the entire lesson and not just the test. Many of the questions were select multiple answers from these options, so you couldn't even do elimination for multiple choice.
So many things the changed in the almost 3 years that I was there that lead to me basically saying f--- it and end up getting fired. Call center... So metrics... My average handle time (which includes after call work) is almost 5 minutes below what it had to be... But I was on final warning because my after call work was about 15-20 seconds over what it was supposed to be. I literally have an award for customer service...but was being written up because I didn't think I needed to keep a doctor or nurse on the phone just so I could make sure my ticket was finished.
I worked at a small advertising agency. We had few people but were second most profitable firm in our city, having the right combination of talents.
One day the owner's wife decided she didn't want to be a dentist anymore and started taking business classes. Not one entire semester passes and she somehow convinced boss that she should work with him (and bossing us).
First day she changes the ambient radio to gospel, louder enough to hinder concentration. Then at the end of our day 5h59 asks a single mother to do a sales report that would take at least one hour. Poor kid panics. She has to go take her son at school. She says so, promises to deliver the next day and come early. Boss says "do it or you don't have to come back tomorrow". Knowing that the girl couldn't abandon her kid at school. I wanted to jump on her and punch her face.
I used to read at my lunch break (and ate at a small mall near work). Monday comes and suddenly they're making people show the content of our bags. I happen to have a book on Greek Mythology with Pan in the cover. She says that I can't enter work with that book and that I should leave it at the gate (exposed, outside, in the rain and anyone could just rob it). I call boss and say that what she's doing is highly illegal and that I didn't want to sue them but things needed to get better. Things didn't get better, I quit. Some time later a friend tells me that the agency closed. She killed it in less than a year.
We had a health and safety inspection in our office. We had a large store cupboard with a shelf dedicated to making teas and coffees. There were 7 of us in the tea club and would take it in turns to make a brew. We were told we couldn't have a kettle in case we spilled boiling water in ourselves. We'd used a kettle for several years prior to this without incident. Instead we had to go to the drinks machine and navigate back through 3 sets if double doors carrying several hot drinks! Oh, and like many others, we weren't allowed to walk whilst talking on our mobiles. Not even in the offices. And we got told off if we didn't hold on to the hand rail whilst going up and down stairs.
I work in lingerie design. The computer room that I work in isn't allowed a radio and the computers aren't allowed speakers. All other rooms are allowed speakers and radios except the room I work in...
I worked doing fundraising for an environmental group one summer in college. I forget the exact numbers, but if you met a certain $ quota each week, you got a set percentage of the money you raised. If you missed that quota by even $1, you just got minimum wage for that week. I usually didn't have a problem meeting quota, but once I had a bad week, and on Friday afternoon realized I was going to end up just under $20 short. I did some quick math, and realized that if I raised just $20 more, I would be paid a couple hundred more, so I just hit up an ATM, took out $20, and added that to my last donation. So, not exactly a terrible rule like some of these other examples, more of just a dumb loophole in their pay policy.
Everyone has to have a different name. If you're a new hire and someone is already using your name, even if it isn't their real name, you have to choose a new "work name". The boss's name is Allen, so when an employee named Allen came on, he had to use his middle name, Darrell. Then we hired another guy whose first name was Darrell, so he decided to go by his last name, Morgan. So the real Darrell had to use a different name even though that wasn't anyone else's actual name, because it was someone else's "work" name. No switching allowed. Now I'm just waiting for someone whose first name is "Morgan" to join up, and see where this goes next. (names have been changed to protect the innocent)
Once I was told to not leave the desk then got in trouble for not leaving the desk to run an errand for a customer.
We were told to forward calls about memorials to a certain department. The resident never informed us about the memorial, so when someone called to ask about the memorial I forwarded them to that department. I then got in trouble for forwarding to the department.
I got written up for telling a resident that packages had not been sorted yet because we had had fire alarms going off all day.
I literally got in trouble for doing what I was told and and then for answering a question. That was the last straw so I quit.
I work in sales.
Most insane rule is where I currently work.
We aren't allowed to give out price lists to customers.
The pricing recently changed and customers who are used to getting price lists (that's the way it has been done forever, 50+ years) are told they can't have a price list and please look it up in their computer system.
But every customer uses a different program and 75% have the wrong pricing.
Management's rationale is that they don't want the numbers in the hands of the competition. And they didn't trust anyone to not give out the lists so NO SALES REPS GOT PRICES LISTS EITHER.
I was getting phone calls asking how much something cost and I couldn't tell them because I didn't have a list. I ended up having to go through a 3rd party and sneak a copy.
After 4 months of this management acquiesced and grudgingly gave employees a list. Mostly because there were hundreds of calls coming in asking for prices and NOONE IN THE COMPANY COULD ANSWER.
Giving that price list is regarded as grounds for termination. And I have checked and the other reps are obeying the rule despite it all but eliminating their ability to sell.
I gave my notice last month - they insisted on 30 days just to be petty - and I am out of there in a week!
Not an "official" rule but one we still get in trouble for if we break it:
We can only use the restroom the first 15 or last 15 minutes of planning.
If you have to go during class, good luck getting someone to cover for you.
I worked for a supermarket in Ireland in which we personally had to provide pens for the customers to use to sign their receipts or whatever at the tills. The company wouldn't even order pens which we could then buy from them at cost. We had to go, on our own time, to buy pens for customers to use.
I worked there for six years and not once did I spent a single cent on a pen.
My company doesn't allow fraternizing of any kind between the different levels of employee (assistant manager to staff members, higher management to assistant management). It's to eliminate favoritism. Yet every other company in the world champions on community.
If you yourself come as a bagger in a completely different AD, we can't have a MBA and I've been trying not to all the marketing that goes wrong is so bad one time I was told I wasn't supposed to get them to confirm that there will be arrested.
Not a rule, per se, but you get in more trouble for calling in at the time your shift starts to let them know you'll be late than you do if you just arrive late with no warning.
When I was first recruited for the company, I was told that the dress code was relatively casual - as long as what you wear covers you sufficiently and isn't ripped/old and tired you were good.
Quickly I discovered that actually, teams kinda have their own individual dress codes. If you're not dressed to the correct standards for your team you won't make 'progress' in the company. I'm not sure who actually sets these standards - I'm assuming team leaders. This produces an odd situation where I, a programming gremlin who barely leaves her desk all day - I don't even have internal meetings more than once or twice a month - have to be dressed to the nines, while others who actually see clients, partners, suppliers, et cetera, will get away with jeans and a polo shirt.
You can not join the conversation if the people who are having the conversation are higher ranked than you. So everytime someone speaks, those who are lower ranked must shut up immediately.
I work in a restaurant where we have three ice machines. Now, in most restaurant the ice goes from the machine, into a bucket, into the soda tower or bar ice wells. But in my restaurant we have to put ice into bags, put those bags in the freezer over night, break up the ice in the morning, and then lug however many bags it takes to six different locations in the restaurant. Why, you ask? Apparently the double frozen ice makes your drink SIX DEGREES COOLER AND THAT IS SUPER IMPORTANT I GUESS.
I work at a car dealership where the morning meeting starts at 8:30 but if you are not there by 8:25 you will get sent home for the day. Also the management team (the ones in charge of the meeting) are almost exclusively 5 minutes late to the meeting.
I work at a medium sized company in a normal office environment. I have been here for a while and am good friends with several male coworkers, one in particular who shares a similar schedule with me so we often take breaks together.
People started noticing that we would leave and return together, and started to gossip (never mind that both of us are in committed relationships and our friendship is strictly platonic). My supervisor started watching on the cameras when I would leave, and one day when I returned she pulled me into a private office where she told me that male and female co workers would no longer be allowed to ride the elevator together if there was no one else in there with them... however, she meant that I was not allowed to ride in the elevator with said co worker.
That lasted all of about a minute, after multiple people were late due to having to time elevator rides so that they were on the elevator alone with a member of the opposite sex.
Business casual dress code even when i work at home. (They skype me to check). Reddit
Once worked at a place where some miniboss decided that since UPS trucks don't turn left, we shouldn't either.
I don't know or care how well that worked out for UPS, but this was a damned ambulance company with a 911 contract. I will turn left if and when I need to turn left. Monkeytuesday
Old job of mine in a warehouse. Our stations were pretty far apart, so when we'd listen to music we'd all usually have our own stuff playing. Not a problem since you could barely hear the neighbors music. Well, the CEO didn't like hearing multiple songs when walking through the warehouse. He made a rule that we all either had to listen to the same music, or none at all. Historiun
I once needed a pen. Figured this was a reasonable ask. Went to the supply closet on my floor, which was locked. Asked the floor's admin, she told me to go to the main supply room in the basement. Went to the basement and explained my situation of needing a pen. They told me all requests for supplies must be approved by my department head. Problem is, being new, I'd never met my department head. She also worked in San Francisco (I worked in Milwaukee), so I needed to send an email both introducing myself, and asking her if I had permission to get a pen from the supply closet. NicolasCage4eva
If you had to take a leave on Monday or Friday so that you have an extended weekend of 3 days instead of 2, it was counted as 3 days leave (counting in Saturday and Sunday). Deal with that! drvinaymuc
If you are 1 min late it is a tardy. If you take a half day nothing goes on your record. I was told to just take a half day if you are going to be late because they straight up fire you for tardies. Also if you clock out early it is a tardy. If you have to go to the doctor on lunch break and it is going to take and hour and ten min, take the rest of the day off. Weird. Whosyabobby
Fireman... our Risk Management department decided long ago that poles were too risky for us. So we use the stairs. We have poles. Anyway, now the newest rule is no free weights....as in NO free weights to work out, stay fit. Go into burning high rise- absolutely, walk around the station carrying 40lb dumbbells... too risky. Haligan74
We aren't allowed to wear jackets unless they are purchased from the resort gift shop with the hotel name logo on it. They are $50+ and we don't get reimbursed, but it's the price you pay to stay warm in the cold months. PhantomTaco84
McDonald's did this to us when I worked there. They paid half, but they were still like 50-60 bucks for a crappy fleece. I just wore my regular jacket and nobody said a thing. Slizzard_73
Former job: There was trouble when I (officially) moved desks and my new desk had a phone with call display. Apparently call display phones were allowed for people at a certain pay level. Your pay level also governed the height of your cubicle walls. My manager's solution was to promote me.
Another former job: We were mandated to work on a engineering related research project outside of work hours, because a responsible engineer always gives back to the engineering community. I could live with that. However, your project had to be related to the company's business. khendron
We have to do all of our paperwork at least three times. There is a copy of it in our personal folders, a copy online, and a copy in our store folders. Not only does it waste time and paper, but forgetting to do one has gotten people fired. They did the other two identical pieces of paperwork confirming that yes, they did take out the trash and yes, they did check the store voicemail, but how dare they forget to do the third piece of identical paperwork. Our weekly visits from corporate revolve around whether or not we've all done this paperwork. It's so redundant. quartpint
My workplace doesn't let you use the word "problems." Instead, we have to say "challenges" if something is wrong. As a problem is a negative word, and challenges promotes the fact that there is room to fix said problem. throwaWaY2113232444
Former job at a law office: One of the partners sent an email to the entire staff that employees were not allowed to gossip in the building. What was everyone gossiping about, you ask? Oh, said partner was divorcing his wife and sleeping with one of the associate attorneys in the firm. But, you know, don't gossip. kat_rob
All the extra toilet paper in the building has to stay in a single closet where it can be overseen by the toilet paper queen. I heard her shrieking the other day when she discovered someone had "hoarded" one spare roll of toilet paper upstairs so the people who work upstairs wouldn't have to walk down multiple flights of stairs when the toilet paper ran out. rhino43grr
I used to work for the now long defunct books, movies, and music store Media Play. Just one of the 285 reasons that poorly run business ran into the ground was the tardy/attendance policy.
If you were literally :01 seconds late clocking in, even hours before the store opened, it was a really, really big deal. You'd not only be formally written up, but lectured like a child often times berated even. If you were tardy three times, bye-bye. HOWEVER, if you no-showed and then called 2 hours later saying you were sick?—okay, thank you, feel better.
This trained everyone to just take a sick day instead of being half a second late to work. I can't tell you how many times you'd see a coworker screeching into the parking lot before work after fighting traffic from a wreck or whatever, noticing it was 8:01, and then slowly driving off to go home and feign being sick. This was particularly upsetting when it was a pulldown stock week when we needed every hand on deck but had unusually early shifts. SSmtb
Many years ago I was a vacuum cleaner salesman. There were songs about this particular brand of vacuum cleaner and how awesome it was. Every morning, we had to sing these songs as a group. In fairness, it was a pretty quality item.
It was Kirby. Didn't mean to be subversive, just didn't think anybody would care. Im_A_Boozehound
When I was in the military I saw a buddy of mine sitting outside crying. I went and consoled him best as I could- apparently he was just depressed and unhappy. After he was feeling a bit better I went to go and find someone to tell them what was happening. They knew. In fact, he had been crying so much lately that they had instituted a 'no crying at your desk' policy - which is why he was outside. TypewriterKey
If we want to take a full 5 day week off we need to use 2 vacation days, 1 personal, and 2 more vacation days. Can never use 3 vacation days straight!?!? icecreampopncereal
Our sick time is essentially useless. wetonred24
I drive valet. The company handbook says you're never allowed to back up. Ever. You absolutely cannot do the job without reverse. It's impossible.
It's in there because of liability and our insurance policy. This way it can always be the valets fault if an accident occurs ever.
Edit: Perhaps this will answer the most repeated question... If the rule says no reverse, yet you're expected to park a car, then how can you park the car?
Answer: Never hit anything, and always reverse despite the rules. Expect to be fired should you hit anything in reverse, but probably not. The rule only exists to cover the company's butt, but if they don't feel threatened by you working there and you're an asset, you still will not be fired. And yes, many people are questioning the legality of it and you're right. It wouldn't hold up in courts, but it's in the handbook and it's silly. So I posted it. ImJustSo
It's not like this any more, but for a while they attempted to have a dress code. Guys had to wear collared shirts, but "Hawaiian" style shirts were totally acceptable. You could not wear jean shorts, but jean overall shorts were ok.
I got sent home one day because my shorts weren't finger-tip length. We were tech support... no one EVER saw us, that was the best part. FuffyKitty
No accusing other staff members of being witches. (Yeah, it happened so we had to make a rule. I run a hostel in Uganda.) Reddit
Which is exactly the kind of rule a witch would create. Blovnt
Some years ago, I had to advise a college friend to stop chasing the girl he was interested in at the time. She'd already turned him down. Explicitly. At least two or three times.
He wouldn't take no for an answer and didn't see anything wrong with his behavior.
Perhaps he'd seen too many movies where the guy eventually breaks through the girl's defenses and essentially coerces her into going out with him?
Sadly, this is behavior that is tolerated and yes, normalized in our society.
People were keen to share other observations after Redditor EnoughSandwich_7057 asked the online community,
"What's toxic behavior that's considered socially acceptable?"
"Trying to make people..."
"Trying to make people drink/smoke or drink/smoke more when they have firmly declined the offer."
This is a big one that can have disastrous consequences. I am thankful I got a bunch of terrible nights out drinking out of my system by my early twenties.
Being drunk to the point that you're incoherent is horrible.
"I hate the whole prank thing..."
"I hate the whole prank thing, especially when it's done for likes. Scaring or humiliating people for attention just means you are a bad person."
I don't watch any of those videos and I don't understand what people see in them.
"Overworking yourself and then collectively judging others who don't do the same."
I had a coworker like that once, and she was a (minor) reason why I ended up leaving one job, but still a reason nonetheless.
"Taking your work with you..."
"Taking your work with you on vacation. I mean if you enjoy working then that's your thing, but I get sick of people like going through paperwork and having meetings while on vacation. Like dude, stop."
"Looking down on someone..."
"Looking down on someone because of their job."
When people say things like, "If fast food workers deserve $15 an hour..." that says a lot.
"Deliberately misunderstanding what someone is saying so as to make it easier to argue with them."
"People tend to give drunk people..."
"People tend to give drunk people misbehaving a pass if they regularly do it, 'Oh don't mind Tom, he's just drunk.' That just reinforces that toxic behavior."
You can say that again. How many times have you run into bad behavior like this while out and about, perhaps in a bar? It's not fun.
"The fact that we reward..."
"The fact that we reward customers for being wrong. The number of times my old manager would be so exhausted from arguing over the cost of a carton of milk with a customer that she would just give it to them is appalling."
"It reinforces this mentality because even if the customer KNOWS they're wrong they don't care because they will still win."
Annnnd this is why I don't miss retail. I'm fine where I am.
"Verbally abusing minimum wage employees who don't make the rules. If I could change the laws tomorrow I'd encourage businesses to ban pieces of garbage like these who can't operate in public."
"I'm here to do a job..."
"Toxic workplace behavior needs to be top of the list. I'm here to do a job and go home, not be harassed because you don't like some aspect of my personality. Managers who let this slide should be held personally liable."
When you stop and think about it, you realize we live in an imperfect society. It's astounding that some people just tolerate bad behavior and, in many cases, don't even see anything wrong with it.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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Parents make mistakes. We want to believe that parents are doing there very best to raise their kids, but sometimes they do more harm than good.
Research into childhood trauma didn't actually begin until the 1970s, so we don't have as much knowledge about our mental health as adults as we might like.
However, a study that followed 1,420 from 1992 to 2015 found conclusive results about childhood trauma:
"'It is a myth to believe that childhood trauma is a rare experience that only affects few,' the researchers say."
"Rather, their population sample suggests, 'it is a normative experience—it affects the majority of children at some point.'"
"A surprising 60 percent of those in the study were exposed to at least one trauma by age 16. Over 30 percent were exposed to multiple traumatic events."
Not all of the things our parents do that were not so helpful technically classify as trauma, but it definitely has an effect on us as we get older.
Redditor Gooncookies asked:
"What could your parents have done better when raising you?"
Here's some of the ways that these Redditor's parents could have done better.
Rules to maintain purity.
"Would've been nice if my dad hadn't convinced me I had to behave in certain ways to maintain my innocence and purity."
"Catholic? I can relate."
"Nope. He's an atheist. He's actually extremely upset that I practice my (non Christian) religion. He just has some really weird ideas about having female children. Like, if I wore spaghetti straps when I was a child he'd say it was like he was living in a brothel."
Becoming afraid of failure.
"Encourage me to do more. I was never pushed to do anything. I mean, I get why some athletes are like 'my parents pushed me too hard where I hated it.' But I was never encouraged to go out for it try anything new. I played little league baseball and decided I thought it was a good idea to try and be a pitcher. I told my mom, but got the response along the lines of 'That's a hard position, and the whole game kind of rides on you, and if you mess up, everyone is going to blame you.' As a 37 year old I now see how that kind of stuff screwed my self esteem up and why I'm so afraid of failure as an adult."
"Same here. Also when I wanted to try anything new my mom was like 'But that's too hard for you, are you really sure you wanna do this? I don't think that you want nor can.' What's even worse than just forbidding, in this way the kid won't 'protest doing it' and get too low self esteem to do it."
"I'm really happy now that I overcame this after I moved out. I started doing all those things I wanted to do as a kid and I freaking love it (but kinda hate the fact that I haven't started earlier)."
"But even if I have a good relationship to my mom I hide a lot of things I do from her, since she still does the same and tries to convince me that I actually don't wanna do what ever I planned."
"But dear mom, sometimes you just need to try new things. if it wont work out who cares!? Even got a tattoo with 'What if I fall? Honey what if you fly?' to remind me if I should ever forget. (And no, my mum doesn't know about it)."
We're allowed to feel our emotions.
"Allow me to express my emotions, treat me like an actually person, actually interact with me instead of just ignoring me and them just telling me to kill myself."
"Wow. I'm so sorry. I think a lot of parents forget that their children are actually human beings."
"Its okay. I'm trying to work through some of that trauma, its easier said than done."
Interest is nice.
"They could have shown more of an interest in my mental health and education."
"I didn't get help for my anxiety until after college and it's so frustrating to hear my parents acknowledge I was an anxious child yet nothing was done. I can look back and see how many things could have gone better for me."
"I had diagnosed ADHD and my mom thought that the meds made my brother and I zombies and decided she wanted us to just be kids. My parents never looked into any kind of non-medication help for my ADHD."
"I'll always wonder what school would've been like if I had the tools to properly manage it."
"I got an MFA, but I feel my entire life has been a whole lot of masking."
I also have comorbid sleep/circadian rhythm disorder which they also never did anything about. Going to the doctor for anything, physical or mental, was not prioritized. But, my parents definitely weren't well off financially, so I imagine that that was the biggest contributor."
Kids deserve autonomy.
"Taught me to question adults and trust myself."
"They thought they were doing the best thing by teaching my sister and I 'All adults are always right and you obey them no matter what,' but it made me a dysfunctional employee and vulnerable to abusive relationships."
"The good news is it can be unlearned. But I hope this new generation will teach our kids to assert themselves respectfully instead of blind obedience."
Why keep up the charade?
"My parents are great people who did a good job raising me, but there was one weird thing they did that still kind of annoys to this day (and I'm 44.)"
"Once I got old enough to figure out that things like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny weren't real they still wouldn't admit it for some reason; I think it was more my mom and my dad just went along with her. But even when I became a teenager and all my siblings were teenagers it's like they still thought it was funny and cute to keep pretending that Santa Claus was real. I don't know why."
"They missed the point of that sort of thing. It's a rite of passage for children to eventually get old enough to figure out that this sort of thing isn't real and for the parents to let them in on it. I was denied that and it still bugs me for some reason."
"I could imagine that being infuriating at 14-15 years old. At that age you're wanting to be seen as more of an adult and I can imagine them not acknowledging Santa as a way of not welcoming me into adulthood/making me feel like a little kid."
Yea that's weird. When I got older and looked back I realized that my folks never flat out said Santa was real. My mom would say something like, 'He's only real if you believe in him,' so she never technically lied to me. Maybe it stems from that, they don't want to admit they lied to you?"
"That could be, but I think it was more a matter of my parents (again, my mom especially) thinking that doing the whole Santa Claus thing on Christmas morning, and Easter Bunny thing on Easter was fun and something that she just didn't want to let go of when my sisters and I got older."
Healthy criticism is necessary sometimes.
"They lacked discipline and parental authority which led us to treat them like our friends, disrespect them. We also couldn't be academically successful because they didn't help us develop a healthy studying habit."
"Kids like it when a parent tells them what to do (I mean, parenting is about teaching a kid what to do, if you just leave it like that, it won't learn anything), help them when they can't get through it, never give negative criticism, but constructive criticism when they fail and appreciate them when they succeed."
"Negative criticism: this type only tells them what is wrong. e.g. 'you can't do this,' 'you are doing this badly.'"
"Constructive criticism: this type gives them an insight into what should they do, you can add what is lacking if necessary. e.g. '[...] is not good behaviour, please do [...] next time, then you would succeed,' 'it looks ok (if it is badly done, then don't say this), but if you do [...] it'd be better / [...] is the correct way.'"
Whatever the situation was with your parents or caretakers, there are ways to heal from this trauma.
Psychology Today says we need to process our emotions, especially if we were taught not to when we were children.
It's important that we break these generational curses.
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Breaking up is something that never gets easier.
That kind of thinking, however, does little to keep us from feeling dejected for days on end.
Curious to hear from heartbroken strangers on the internet, Redditor whitecheeks-24 asked:
What's your sad love story?
Death never comes at the right time.
A Difficult Decision
"The love of my life and soulmate who I was married to for 20 years and together for 24 passed away about 8 months ago. I feel alone and empty inside. I have nobody to love or to love me. My life is an empty waste of space now."
"I took her off of life support because I know that's what she wanted and I had to respect her wishes but I sometimes wish I was a little more greedy. I just want my doll face back."
"I am so sorry. I had to do the same thing with my love, married 40 years. It's been 28 months and I'm sinking deeper into despair. We had so many plans, did everything together, and I am honestly lost without him. I send you warmest regards."
The Shy Admirer
"I was a shy teenager, in love with a cute neighbor. His sister and my mom were friends. He died in a car accident. Nobody knew how I felt about him. I overheard his sister tell my mom that he was in love with me. We never got to share our feelings with each other."
"I think a guy I found on match.com died but I have no way of knowing. We had only been dating for 2 or 3 months and we were taking things slow. Then he got sick..tumors in his back and he needed surgery. We still hung out but he was in a lot of pain."
"At the time I was frustrated because I felt he was pushing me away. I just adored him and he was sending mixed messages. Now looking back.. I'm thinking he was just trying to survive. He went in for surgery and I never heard from him again. I didn't know his family and he didn't have social media."
"My mom would check the obituaries in the paper for me and I just always wondered. I hope he didn't know how to end things and just felt this was easier. It's been 5 years and I have a family of my own now but Michael..I hope you're okay."
It's hard for these Redditors to accept the fact their love was never meant to be.
Long Distance Fizzle
"I had to leave my first boyfriend behind because I moved out of state and didn't even get to say goodbye because I didn't know we were moving when I left. We left to see my aunt who had been traveling and was diagnosis with brain cancer in another state, she was too sick to travel home so they rented a house and stayed there essentially until she passed away."
"My mom liked the area better than my hometown tho so we ended up staying, our stuff was shipped to us so I never got to say goodbye to my boyfriend in person."
"We kept in contact for a couple years but being 16 and 18, it wasn't easy for me to just pack up and head back to move in somewhere with him. We both knew we weren't ready for that so we tried our best to keep the long distance romance going."
"Eventually he messaged me one day and told me that he can't do it anymore and he didn't want to hear from me again because he couldn't handle it."
"When I was in my early 20s, I've had a love at first sight experience. It completely broke me. He actually was into me too, but not in love like I was."
"I had never had a boyfriend before and I got so excited, I came in like a wrecking ball to cite a great poet. Long story short, I scared him off, he broke up, I couldn't get him out of my head and couldn't imagine a world without him, so I tried to kill myself."
"Though let me reassure you all, it's been years and I'm over him (as long as I don't see him IRL, I just know that I'd fall back in the spiral), I even had a long-term relationship after him."
Tough Reality Check
"I got left out of a 5 year relationship. I got injured, lost my job, and had to go take care of my dying mom. I was not in a good way. I come back from the ER and she calls our entire relationship off because I was not 'passionate' any longer. Right."
"My entire life fell apart. Lost the house we had gone in on. Lost the dog we had gotten together. And I lost my girl. She was my bestfriend, my first love."
"Huge reality check but at least I'm only 22. I'm glad I saw her true colors when things went bad. Easy to stand by someone when times are good. Saddest part is I would take her back in an instant. I lost a piece of my soul with her."
Some of the biggest heartbreaks come when someone shows their true colors.
"FOUND OUT MY BOYFRIEND WAS MARRIED WITH KIDS ON THE INTERNET. I was happy and in love for two years. One day while doing my research for a client work, I come across a research paper. The research paper matched what I was looking for, scrolling through it, I realized the owner had some names as my boyfriend."
"But this time he acknowledges his wife and two children for being patient with him as he was busy doing the thesis. I got curious, I took a screenshot and sent him a picture and asked if it's his paper."
"Also, I asked if it's true that he has two kids and a wife and he why didn't tell me. He answered 'DOES IT MATTER '. That was the end of my relationship. Never talked about it, never told any soul what happened."
"I finally got with my best friend and soul mate. He knows more about me then anyone and knows what I've been put thru my whole life. When we first got together he promised he would never do anything to me that others have."
"One year later he cheated, lied and and broke my spirit. Something i never thought was possible with me, yet he accomplished it. It's been a year since i left him and he still tries to get back into my life. The sad part is I know he doesn't love me and I can't stop loving him."
"After four years of supporting my lover through his depression and alcoholism, he announced tonight that he is leaving me. I'm pretty depressed."
A Devious Scheme
"Wife moves our small family across the country for a promotion at her company. When we arrive and settle into our house, she leaves me for her boss."
"The move was a scheme for her boss to leave his wife and kids, and for her to leave me, while being able to be close to all their children. So I unknowingly left my career, family and friends behind to move to a state where I don't know anyone so she could be with her new guy."
Unexpected tragedy will always be, to me, the saddest break up story.
A co-worker of mine used to date a young man who was a patron at the store where we both worked.
Their budding romance was new and exciting and absolutely adorable to watch.
He told me he planned to propose to her before he went away on a family vacation, but sadly, my friend never got the proposal. The guy drowned in a horrible boating accident during his trip.
Although my friend is now happily married with two kids, I wonder if she still thinks about him.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/Want to "know" more?
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On the outside, so many professions and careers look glamorous, financially enticing, and fun.
Often we sit back in our own lives and wallow in our dead-end jobs with that "wish I could do that for a living mentality!"
But if you look a little closer or, much like Dorothy Gale in OZ, just wait for a Toto to push the curtain back, you'll see that a lot more is going on behind the scenes.
And the shenanigans we don't see, make all that fun... evaporate.
So many careers and high power industries are built on a foundation of lies, backstabbing, and stress. And not in that fun "Dynasty" way.
That quiet, dead-end gig may not be so bad after all.
Redditor MethodicallyDeep wanted hear all the tea about certain careers, by asking:
What is a secret in your industry that should be talked about?
I swear if every single person was forced to work in the hospitality industry for at least one month in their life, y'all would be beside yourselves. The amount of craziness and laziness could keep you eating at home for every meal until death.
Play Bigmartin scorsese casino GIFGiphy
"Casino dealers really do want the players to win. We don't work for the house. We get paid crap hourly rates and rely on tips. Unless the player is super nice they only to tip if they win so we really do want you to win." ~ thedevilsgame
Not the Good Stuff...
"That you can take a gallon of paint and give it a different label, price point, and warranty depending on the store it is sold in." ~ big_d_usernametaken
"My professor told me the same thing. He was a job coach and erased the due dates on food products with I believe acetone or some product in nail polish remover."
"Would slap a new date on it, and the food would get shipped to poorer neighborhoods. That crap blew my mind." ~ Additional_Bar_2013
"Oh crap, I may actually go to jail."
"That if everyone being charged with a crime insisted on it going to trial, no plea bargaining, the system would crash." ~ mikenyle
"When I was a juror, the judge also commented before everything started that trial by jury is the only thing causing people to plea bargain and "getting the system moving."
"Many trials sit in limbo for years, and it's only the threat of "Oh crap, I may actually go to jail."
"That really negotiations start. That's exactly what happened in my case - jurors got selected, and that afternoon (after being 2 years in the system), the defendant pleads out." ~ zealeus
"Safety. It's not really about your health and well being. It's about saving the company money from medical expenses, lost time, lawyer costs, etc. Very rarely does your company actually give 2 craps about you, no matter how much they preach safety, they just don't want to pay if you get hurt/killed." ~ WhenThePiecesFit
"pen to paper"New Girl I Give Up GIFGiphy
"TV/screenwriter here. If you're established and well connected, it's very easy to coast and be a TV writer for YEARS and do very little actual writing. Most of TV writing is just talking in a room with other writers spitballing."
"This is why there's so many old, unfunny dudes still "writing" on TV shows. They're hired by their friends and in TV, a lot writers don't actually do much "pen to paper" writing. Plus everything gets rewritten to death." ~ GardenChic
So much mess. Someone hire me to write for TV. Why are you just giving away jobs to unqualified people? Life is so unfair. This list makes me mad. Let's continue...
Carbon Copiesmail GIF by RabbidsGiphy
"I work in the print industry, we print cheques for companies and there is so little security involved in hiring, or keeping the materials secure, or running the actual work, or shipping the work to customers. I'm shocked we haven't had a problem with stolen cheques." ~ Jeff_Cunningham
"Advertising. I keep reading that advertising is leading people to be more woke, or multicultural. Companies don't lead, they follow. They do lots of research and know where the future markets are."
"I worked for a very conservative global brand. 5 years before gay marriage became legal, they told us it would happen and we needed to start targeting the LBGTQ community." ~ leftside72
"Visa agent and I've seen people be refused because the manager didn't like their face." ~ Ok_Albatross9395
"Omg this happened to my sister. She couldn't start her semester in time because she kept being refused a visa even though she fulfilled all conditions."
"Finally my parents found a "connection" in embassy to see what's going on; turns out someone just didn't like her when she came to give her papers the first time. I never knew if I can fully believe that story." ~ animal7239
So much typing...
"I'm a writer, among other things. I used to ghostwrite. You'd be amazed how many popular books are partly or fully ghostwritten. I specialised in taking people's crappy first drafts and rewriting them so they were actually good. Not "good" according to people's taste, which is subjective."
"But objectively better in the sense of being properly spelled, not having gaping plot holes, making sure characters were consistent. By the time I was done there was often very little left of the draft the "writer" had created, but there was a marketable product."
"Pisses me off no end when I see all the bull the publishing industry comes out with about how writers submitting a manuscript must make sure it's perfect because only excellence will get you anywhere."
"I don't know how they can say that and still sleep at night, knowing full well that they're hiring people like me to do large-scale rewrites (or to take a half-baked plot and create a draft from scratch)." ~ iwillckingbiteyou
ThievesJoseline Hernandez Facepalm GIFGiphy
"I work in payroll. The number of payroll reports I see where people are conned out of their overtime is saddening."
"Also, taxes paid by a business shouldn't actively dissuade them from paying employees less. The system shouldn't be based on paying a percentage of employee salary in taxes (FICA, Workers Comp), in other words." ~ ThongofSekhmet
I think some investigations need to be launched. I always knew payroll departments were running a scam. Too many people are being ripped off. Time to expose some people.
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