Unless you work for yourself, chances are that at some point, you’re going to run up against a boss who is less than amazing. The ones who are sticklers for the rules, who apply them without stopping to think about why, or who they’re helping, and honestly? They make going to work every day a slog.
May I recommend that, like these 14 people, you put on your creative cap and figure out how to get that boss’s goat without breaking any rules at all.
14. Being reasonable usually works.
On the flip side, I’m the boss enforcing policy: When I took over the department, the old boss told me that the reason the place looked like crap was because when he asked a sales associate (base pay + commission) to clean or put up stock, they claimed it wasn’t in their job description. The main boss backed them up, calling it a technicality.
I pulled out the description and read out “Other duties as assigned by the Manager” on the last line. Two out of nine quit. My department is now clean and stock is always up. Sales are consistently up. I’m cool with that.
13. Good on her for fighting back.
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to wear heels, just that I had to wear acceptable work attire or something like that and she tried to tell me it was an out of date dress code or something so I would tell her that she should get an updated one then.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.
12. Next time, specify a color.
I work at Panera, and we were recently told we had to get non-slip/slip-resistant shoes, else risk being fired.
Rather than buying the ugly black kind all of my coworkers got, I got a bright purple pair of Doc Martens. All of the managers gave me a “ಠ_ಠ are those slip-resistant?”
You bet, motherf*ckers.
11. There’s a feather in your cap.
At my old school, they had rules about hair length (guys), and our teacher got anal about it. The only actual rules were that they couldn’t pass our eyebrows or collar-area.
Being the witty douchebag I am, I used a shit ton of gel to slick up my hair and do obnoxious things with it. It was all raised, so it never crossed my eyebrows or collar.
I got away with it for 2 months, until the principal changed the rules! All just for me 😀
10. A wholesome tale.
My buddy and I came into the office, last day on the job.
We found there was no clause against taking the boxes from the shipping dept and turning them into armor, The Box Knights were born and died on that day.
No door was safe from our attacks.
9. I love her and her knee socks.
I used to work at the Jaws ride at Universal Studios Florida. 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 summer, I ended up working the Jaws ride and The Jungle Cruise at Walt Disney World simultaneously. I love Disney, and had always wanted to work there, but I ended up finding it stifling, with all sorts of silly and over the top rules.
At the Jungle Cruise, you wear a khaki shirt, khaki shorts or pants, white socks, and brown shoes. One day, I didn’t have any normal sized socks to wear to the Jungle Cruise, 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 his shit, told me my socks weren’t in compliance with “The Disney Look” (the official policies on how to dress at Disney) 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 Disney 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 Disney 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 Disney 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.
8. People latch onto the strangest things.
I worked at a Petsmart 5 or so years ago, in the “Pet Hotel” where animals were boarded while their “Pet Parents” (owners) went on vacation. Everything I did was in the back. No customers ever saw me. Just the dogs and kitties.
But my bitch boss would always get onto me for forgetting my belt. So one day she was particularly mad at me about not having a belt despite the fact that I was picking that shift up last minute for someone who was sick.
I pick up a dog leash, put it through my belt loops, and say “Well, it appears I now have a belt.”
7. And everyone just shook their heads.
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.
6. Maybe don’t try this in the military.
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 asses never win. At least not in today’s Navy.
5. This man is a hero.
I work in foodservice. My job created a rule one day that one’s hair can not touch one’s collar. I have rather long hair, but I always kept it in a braid and we wear hats, anyways. I was informed of this rule about two hours before the end of my shift, and told that I HAD to comply IMMEDIATELY because I was breaking health code.
I politely informed them that no, I was not. This was a store policy — but I would be happy to come in with my hair up the next day. I didn’t think this was unreasonable, it takes a while — not to mention pins/hair product/etc. to keep my hair up.
Not good enough! NOW!! So I punched out for a break, bought rubber bands and floral wire, made 8 braids with the wire woven in, and stuck them in every direction. Boss saw me and began screaming. I calmly told him my hair wasn’t touching my collar.
TL;DR: Long hair not allowed to touch collar, created obnoxious hairdo within regulations.
4. They’ve got no answer for that.
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.
3. Ah, the indignant walk out. Love it.
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.
2. This used to drive me nuts, too.
When I was working at an OfficeMax about 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.
1. Using homophobia for good.
Not a job, but a school.
I went to a Catholic college and they didn’t allow members of the opposite sex to spend the night in a dorm room.
I made a huge case that they were discriminating against heterosexuals, and that rule miraculously disappeared the next year.
I tip my hat to these folks!
Do you have a story to add to the bunch? Please share it with us in the comments!