People Break Down How A Stupid Rule In Their Life Backfired In The Best Way
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Rules, rules, rules... we all need them yes, but some are just plain ridiculous.

Of course life would be chaos without order, well more chaotic but let's not micro-manage every little thing.

Of course every once and a while an unintentionally good surprise can spring from nonsense.

Rule makers should really think long and hard before they implement anything severe.

You never know when it's gonna bite you.

Redditor TabblespoonFarmer3 wanted to know how we could apply all "the rules" into our own lives by asking:

"People of Reddit, What stupid rule at your work/school backfired beautifully?"

I love karma.

And I love to say "I told you so!"

And nothing is sweeter than when that action and that intention meet. Then you get to revel in the crestfallen face of your oppressor.

OK, I'm being dramatic but I've earned a bit of it. The people on this thread no of which I speak.

Free Time

My boss started putting "all staff required to start 15 mins earlier than indicated" on the roster. I started keeping track of my unpaid overtime and stung her for 3 paid days off. That's not required anymore.



The Drive

I was working as a medical assistant at a private practice medical clinic. Our clinic manager wouldn't allow the new receptionist to drive to the bank to deposit cash. Made her walk carrying the money bag so that she couldn't "drive away with the money."

Bizarre. I know. That went on for a few weeks. Then the receptionist was mugged and over $1000 in cash was stolen. She was allowed to drive after that.


Bad Policies

Back in the early 00s, my high school implemented a policy that you had to wear your ID tag at all times. If you didn't have it on, you were sent home.

So many students "lost" their ID tag to go grab food or skip a class. We were the only graduating class to wear them all four years. The policy ended soon after.


Just Google

Not mine, but an old roommate of mine was a senior developer for a small company. It was an open secret that one of the other senior devs, a guy who had been there since the beginning, would sometimes spend time looking at plastic surgery photos--before/after shots, photos of active procedures, etc.

He did it enough that people would poke fun at him about it, but he didn't seem embarrassed about it, and it wasn't harming anyone.

Well, one day a project manager said something to the CEO about this guy's ongoing plastic surgery obsession, and the CEO flipped. He said that, going forward, no one was allowed to use their work computers to access external websites AT ALL.

Anyone who's ever been a developer knows that half the job is googling stuff, so this policy pretty much halted productivity in its tracks. It only lasted a day before the CEO retracted the rule, but let everyone know that their browser history would be monitored going forward.

After that, no one really changed their behavior, they just started remotely accessing their home computers to browse instead.


When at Starbucks

I worked at Starbucks for like 5+ years before and during undergrad and at one point our district manager thought it was a good idea to implement a "just say yes" policy, where we literally weren't allowed to tell the customer no.

Lasted for about 3 months and in that three months our unaccounted product and waste went up over 300% because when the POS didn't have a way to punch in a customer request we had to just do it anyways.

We also got complaints from stores in surrounding districts because they had angry customers who were requesting things that were against local food service code, and told them that we did it for them at our store.

I knew exactly how that policy was going to play out and I just laughed every time management was freaking out about the problems it was causing.


I once had a boss who was a punctuality obsessed sadist. They insisted... INSISTED we always be five minutes early. Otherwise, you're late and that's a strike on your records. And strikes add up to consequences... blah, blah, blah.

The staff always made sure to clock in for those five minutes. I'll be here but my time isn't free. After a while all those five minutes added up. And guess who got a strike from corporate because of a bloated payroll? I'll just sit here and sip my tea while you guess. ;)

Extra Laps

The bottom floor of my secondary school was a square that had corridor all the way around. After some incident where a kid got knocked over, they implemented a one-way system. Unfortunately, they were Very Strict on enforcing it.

If you accidentally walked past your class, you couldn't just turn around. They seemed very proud of their new rule... until everyone started showing up late for class because they had to do extra laps of the bottom floor.



Missed Calls

I worked on this company that had mandatory 1 hour lunch breaks. Since we ate on the premises, our lunch break was often 15 minutes or so. We tried negotiating having shorter lunch breaks so we could leave earlier and beat traffic.

Next day an e-mail was sent from the own stating the fixed work and break hours for the whole team, and they were to be followed no exceptions.

Cool! Next week, a big client called about half way through our lunch, and nobody moved. It rang and rang until said owner took the call, talked to them, and immediately came to scold us. "Sorry, boss, as per your rules, we are off until 1PM, no exceptions."

A couple of weeks later, we did some work on site for the same client. They were, to be honest, one of the coolest clients I ever had in my life. They took us out to lunch, and while talking we ended up relaying the owner's rule.

They had a big chuckle over it, and while the project lasted, they made a point to always call while we were at lunch break just to annoy owner.


Making Contact

A place I used to work had a rule that executive-level staff needed to be contactable when on leave, so they had a section on the leave form for the address of where you'd be staying and a contact number.

Some knuckle-shuffler in HR decided it applied to all staff and the shenanigans began. People would put down the address and phone number of sex shops, sports grounds, medical clinics.

I gave the latitude and longitude of the place I was going camping and the UHF channel my radio would be tuned to.


In a Mini...

Late 80's high school- rule was no shorts. Classmate came for an exam with basketball shorts on that were below her knees. Teacher made her go home to change. She came back in a micro mini skirt and wrote her exam.


The Good Gang

A long while back, but my school banned the color pink because a bunch of students were wearing it one October and they thought it was a "gang" thing.

It was for breast cancer awareness month. The rule didn't go well for them.



Rules were made to be broken.

Unless of course they work in your favor.

If a rigid rule annoys you... always look for the loophole.

The people here just showed you how.

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