About ten years ago, I owned a property preservation company. Property preservation doesn't mean upgrading it. Literally just maintaining it in whatever condition it was currently in. We closed the company because federal rules kept changing and were impossible to keep up with.
Our favorite was "The Winterizing Rule."
Every year we had to go around to all of our properties and complete this whole "winter readiness" process that included things like making sure snow shovels are easily accessible, treating the pipes, having plant blankets ready in case of frost, etc. It was a decently time consuming and expensive process.
Oh, by the way did I mention I live in South Florida and most of these properties were in Miami?
Yeah, no matter how many times we explained that we don't need to winterize and that we can't even GET snow shovels most of the time, we couldn't get the banks to understand. You have no idea how many half-panicked people we have spoken to on the phone about this.
It never mattered. The answer was always the same. No we could not, in any way, skip or cut back on winterizing. Hard rule. Must prepare for winter. What will you do when it snows??!?
WINTER IS COMING!
Reddit user IAmHungryAndTired (us too, homie) asked:
Yeah... it's looking like quite a few of us have had to deal with wave after wave of rules that made no sense. Kick back and enjoy some people who had to deal with their own personal "winter."
Every Half Hour
A personal favourite of mine was having to clean supermarket toilets every half-hour.
Since we weren't allowed to start until the bathroom was empty, it always took at least 10 minutes to get started.
From there, we had to restock soap & roll, brush and mop the floor and wipe toilets, urinals and sinks (different cloths), which took a minimum of 15 minutes if you half-assed it.
Finally, you weren't allowed to let people in for 10 minutes after mopping to allow the floor to dry.
After being pulled up for not cleaning them every 30 minutes and explaining the problem, I got an official written warning. Naturally, I then closed the toilets to make sure they were empty and did everything as instructed, which got easier as the day progressed since the toilets never actually opened for use.
New rules at the restaurant I work at.
We are no longer allowed to order food while clocked in and can only get our employee discount after working at least 5 hrs. Also, we can't eat in the break room anymore. Or in the lobby.
Where and when am i supposed to eat? Also, I should add that I close at the restaurant I work at, so kitchen is closed by the time I clock out. Functionally they just told me I'm not allowed to eat on days I work.
The middle School I went to has a rule that if you have an F, then they will lock your school-issued laptop to only be able to access email and classroom. This means that the research paper due tonight can't be done since you cant access the internet to research it or a word processing program to write it - thus lowering your grade further.
At my last job we technically weren't allowed to have conversations with co-workers. Upper upper management said it was because customers might get anxious about interrupting conversations. Lower management (my immediate bosses) never actually enforced that rule.
The Front Door
When I was a kid, my parents had a rule that we weren't allowed to use the front door of the house. My parents weren't the kind of people who explained themselves to their children, so to this day I have no idea why this was the rule.
One day while climbing a tree, I was stung by a venomous caterpillar and it was both extremely painful and I had a bad allergic reaction. The front door to the house was locked, so I pounded on it until my sister came and she refused to open the door. she kept saying "go around...go around" as I was crying and gasping for air.
The last thing I remember is collapsing and looking up at my sister through the window who was smiling smugly.
apparently a neighbor saw my lying there and called 911 and I was taken to the hospital and recovered just fine. But my sister never so much as apologized, even as an adult she defends her action as "we weren't supposed to use the front door".
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The Forbidden Hallway
Our vice principal in high school had some kind of obsession with stopping "loitering." I guess she forgot things called "breaks" and "spare periods" for seniors exist. In her infinite wisdom she decided that the best way to combat this loitering epidemic was to first close the front hallway by the office to any student traffic from 9am when class starts to 3pm when it ended.
The presents a few problems.
One, some people have lockers in this hall and need to get stuff in between classes.
Two, the way our school was built if you couldn't use this hallway you literally had to go outside to get from one wing of the school into the rest of the school.
Also if you got sent to the office for any reason not only were you in trouble for that, but also now you're in trouble for using the hallway as well which was an automatic detention for anyone caught using the hallway.
It later escalated to essentially not being allowed to be inside the school unless you were in class or in the cafeteria at lunch time. So if you had a spare period you were pretty much stuck sitting up at McDonald's or driving around aimlessly. Students had to start renting out the trunks of their cars as lockers since the risk of using your own locker was too high.
Eventually the entire staff had enough of this, including our school cop who all this time had been refusing to actually charge anyone with loitering, hence the detention punishment, because in his own words "this is the stupidest f*cking rule I have ever heard this woman is insane." They got the school board involved and she was relieved of her duties.
When I worked in China they had a rule that you had to keep your desk in a way that was "harmonious". Stuff like your stapler had to be at a right angle to your keyboard, stuff like that.
In my middle school we weren't allowed to high five each other because it was "like hitting."
I used to work at a big oil company, the one which very fittingly rhymes with hell. We were not allowed to use "adult scissors" without proper training. Until someone had completed said training, only the brightly colored plastic and extremely dull "children scissors" could be used.
If the fire alarms go off at our school we have to wait for an announcement or for relief before we can either do the drill or run for our lives.
Everyone thinks it's dumb and our teachers were told that it's because of school shootings and they want to make sure it's a legitimate emergency; but if there is an honest fire then that's more dangerous I'd think. Plus it's hell for the kids with auditory triggers involving loud noises or sirens.