12 People Share Stories About Folks Who Took Advantage of Small Amounts of Power

You really never know how a person will react when they’re given even the smallest amount of power.

Some people don’t change at all but then there are some folks who let it go to their head and they become dictators…with limited powers.

Check out these stories from AskReddit users about people who were on some ridiculous power trips.

1. Time to come clean.

“Sadly, me as a 4th grade volunteer crosswalk guard.

I would literally make the kids wait until there was a car I could stop.

I really thought I had legal authority when I put that vest on.

2. City Hall.

“When my husband and I were getting married, we had to go to city hall to submit the legal paperwork. We were living in a country where we were both conversational speakers in the language.

The secretary of the official we had to meet asked me what my marital status was. I explained I’ve never been married. She repeated the question. I translated “single” from English. She continued to be displeased and repeated the question. I explained to her that if there was a specific word to describe “a single female” in this language, I didn’t know it, citing that it’s not our first language.

We went in circles like this for at least 3 minutes. She berated us saying that we shouldn’t be getting married in that country if we didn’t know the right words.

Eventually she told me the word I should have been using. She turned to my husband and asked his marital status. He used the masculine form of the word she just told me to use. It was not the correct word. She just shook her head, corrected him, and stamped our documents.

We went in to see the official, who looked over the paperwork we had filled out, signed it, and sent us on our way without any further issues.”

3. Makin’ copies.

“I once taught English in an international school in Egypt.

The school was run by an Army General in the Egyptian government, and was pretty poorly mismanaged. We had a guy there who was responsible for some general maintenance around the school, but happened to have his office in the same room as the copy machine.

Every day, teachers would bring their papers to his room to copy them for class, and every day the man would tell us to “leave it on his desk,” where there’d be a pile of teacher copies needing to be made. He wanted to make the copies himself. It was not technically his job, but the machine was in his office, and by forcing people to copy through him, he seemed to kept some level of necessary status at school.

Copies would always be late, sometimes not being available until the next day. Just depended on how the dude felt at that moment.”

4. Loser.

“A coworker from a temp agency (we worked for the same one) got the slightest promotion and immediately let it go to her head and kept “correcting” the time sheets even getting one guy fired for leaving early twice despite the guy having permission to do so.”

5. I’m in charge now.

“Call center supervisors. This is one of our greater turnover positions where we have to fire people who can’t handle the little bit of authority.

It happens so often when we promote a tech to a supervisor position that I prefer to have management and HR hire supervisors out of house now.”

6. Jerk.

“A hostel is Queenstown new Zealand had a strict no drinking after 10 pm in the common room. A German girl walked in as night manager she got free accommodation the days she worked.

A couple in there late thirties had two half drunk bottles of beer as they were having their dinner. The German girl picked up the two bottle and poured them down the sink without saying a word. I was the only other person in the common room.”

7. It happens.

“Simply being a customer makes people d**nk on power.

People will say horrible things to minimum wage workers just because they can.”

8. Bring him down a peg.

“I was part of a group who was brought in to try and save a flagship store of a now defunct UK sportswear retailer.

It was a thankless task, the writing had been on the wall long before we arrived and it was pretty much a case of waiting it out until we were either made redundant or they pulled the plug. A few weeks after we arrived another guy was transferred from another store to be the Assistant to the Assistant Manager.

He was 21, weighed 150 lbs soaking wet, had glasses about 2 inch thick and clearly thought he was God’s Gift to retail who had been brought in to carry the store single handed. He would march around the store barking out orders while doing nothing himself and would constantly make references to ‘when you’ve been doing this as long as I have’ or ‘once you’ve reached my level’ and just generally being condescending to anyone he deemed below him.

I kept quiet, letting him bank up enough embarrassment for a few weeks until he went on one of his tangents, acting as if he was some 50 year old grizzled veteran of retail. It was then I decided to quietly tell him that I was actually a few years older than him, had been a retail manager since I was 18 and was on a higher level/salary than him. I’ve never seen someone shrivel up so fast.

Needless to say, none of it ultimately mattered as one by one we were all picked off as a result of cost cutting until the business shut down permanently the next year, but it was nice to bring him down a peg or two.”

9. Not cool.

“My third grade teacher had a power-trip issue, he would single out a child and make their school life hell.

I was that child.

He made it a habit of saying “I’m not your mother Aracnel” after I made a comment about my mother helping me out when he refused to do so when other students were making fun of me.

After that, He made it his life’s purpose to bully me that year while making sure the other kids in my class did so too.

He once went around smelling the classroom saying something stank, he then proceeded make a show out of it before finally stopping at my desk and saying I stunk and to go sit in the back of the room behind a room divider facing the wall instead of the board while getting other students to make comments about how disgustingly smelly I was throughout the day.”

10. On the border.

“Border Agent wouldn’t let me use a pen to fill in an item on the transfer papers that I’d missed. Straight up wouldn’t.

Gave me and my wife some huge spiel about how it’s his work tool and he can’t just let anyone else use it willy nilly. Dude, it’s a f**king pen. Instead we all had to wait while we dug in our backpacks to fish out a pen to fill in one line item.

Nevermind me taking care of these two kids after an 18 hour flight. TSA guy from Texas, if you’re out there, go f**k yourself with your pen.”

11. That didn’t take long.

“Just happened at work yesterday.

This guy just got promoted to a supervisor role and is learning how to use the program that I have been trained to use. He normally meets with me for about 30 minutes a day to ask questions about the program.

Yesterday he said, “Can’t we just do X?”

Me: “No, per the operating instructions we can’t do X.”

Him: “But look, it seems like we’ve been doing X because it’s been done a lot of times on this page.”

Me: “Yeah, Department E does it all the time because it is helpful sometimes and they haven’t been through the full training I went through. It’s not a huge deal but it’s against the instructions so I don’t do it.”

Him: “Hm… I’ll ask (guy who trained me) about it.

Minutes later, my friend in Department E sent me a screenshot of an email he sent to them, absolutely berating them for doing X and telling them to stop immediately.

I was just like, “Dude… you’ve known that a rule existed for 5 minutes and you’re going to go off like that?””

12. Uh oh.

“A couple of years ago I worked in a warehouse as a lift driver.

The job sucked but I worked alone, at my own pace, and got to listen to music while making $12 an hour (I was rich babyyyy). There was this woman around my age named Jessi who was a complete b**ch to everyone in my department. Her role was to pick items from shelves to fulfill orders.

She would try and boss people around, especially newer people since they didn’t know she had zero authority. It was tough to watch and I was always pulling people aside to tell them not to listen to her. Our paths never really crossed, but when they did, we didn’t get along.

One day, our boss had an emergency and had to dip out for a few hours because his kid had an accident and needed stitches. On his way out, he told the first person he saw that they were in charge and to just let people do their thing.

That person was Jessi.

Instantly it felt like Thanos getting the final Mind stone. There instantly was a chill in the air. Babes began to cry. Wildlife fleeing into the horizon. I knew it was going to be a rough night.

Jessi immediately starts pulling people away from their jobs to do random, stupid bulls**t. People who picked items were now suddenly sweeping isles despite lifts coming in and out of them.

Within an hour, all synergy was out the window. I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched from afar.

Suddenly, her gaze reached upon me. I looked across the warehouse and saw her rapidly approaching me. I sighed, lowered my lift and prepared to be kind but stern.

She gets right up to me and asks “What are you working on??” as if I don’t do the same s**t every day, five days a week, for the past year and a half being there. She didn’t like my answer and states how far behind we are with orders for the night. No s**t dude, you pulled everyone from their normal jobs for no reason.

She tells me to get off my lift and start picking orders. I tell her I only pick orders once MY work is done and I still have s**t to do that if I don’t get done, will f**k third shift over. She starts to say something and I just take off.

She has a f**king meltdown dude. She’s screaming at me as I’m 30 feet in my lift, laughing. She storms off and calls MY BOSS WHO IS IN THE HOSPITAL WITH HIS SON to tattle that I’m not doing my job.

I don’t know what was said, but she started crying, hangs up the phone, and goes home. The rest of the night everyone did their normal jobs, we got everything done, and team morale was high due to everyone bonding over their hatred for Jessi.

The next day she was sent to another department.”

Now we want to hear from you.

Tell us some of your power trip stories in the comments.

Thanks a bunch!