People Share the Oddly Specific Rules They’ve Run Into Because of Somebody’s Dumb Mistake

Ever have one of those jobs that you don’t really like and they’ve got a bunch of strange rules that you’re not even sure how they came up with them?

Yeah, pretty much all of us have.

I remember one job I had people weren’t allowed to go out on a perfectly nice patio to eat lunch. The reason? Because somebody tried to do a handstand on the railing and fell over and killed themselves.

Yeah. I mean, I feel for that guy and his family… but that was a nice patio and those would have been some nice lunches (PS… I did it anyway).

Let’s take a look at some people who ran into similar situations!

1. The things we do for love!

In rehab our cottons swabs were taken away because a guy decided to jam one into his eardrum to get sent to the hospital and get painkillers.

Every seemingly dumb rule we had in there had a backstory to it.

2. Prisoners are so ingenous!

Used to work in a prison, and they had to ban Marmite spread, because the inmates used the yeast to ferment alcohol.

And Kit Kats, because they used the foil wrappers for heroin.

3. Students are sneaky AF

My Professor had a system where he said “Homework Due by 12:00.”. I turned it in about ten minutes early…then realized I’d made a mistake, so I fixed it and uploaded the new one, which hit at 12:00:23 or so.

The next day he talked about how various people knew that if they opened the submission page, they could submit their homework after the deadline because the system only stopped you from accessing the page at the given time. He told us that such homework was going to be given a zero despite being submitted.

He then said “There was one submission however that was submitted at 23 seconds past midnight…I will allow this one as I had not specified to the second that the homework had to be submitted. Henceforth, all homework MUST be submitted by 12:00:00.” and gave me a smirk.

I just gave him a cringy little salute and we had a chuckle.

4. Well, these people are no fun!

“Absolutely no roller skates in the lab”

My husband worked for a private lab startup and half the women there did roller derby. The lab was (as many are) a repurposed warehouse with nice smooth concrete floors. One of the women thought it would be fun to skate between machines. She got a lot done but the boss figured osha wouldn’t be too thrilled so the sign went up a few days later.

You could still wear your skates in the break room.

5. Taking snacking seriously

On an AirFrance flight from Morocco to Mauritania, the flight attendant gave the safety brief in French at first. My french is not good but my ears pricked up when I heard the words “feu de camp.” I obviously discounted my translation as misunderstanding the brief until she went into the brief in English.

We were given the standard safety brief on all aircraft, but at the end we were specifically reminded that there are to be no cooking or camp fires lit on the plane at any time.

Can you imagine your seat mate getting hungry and deciding to start a fire on an airplane to cook up some snacks?!?!?

6. Now THAT is a specific rule!

My father’s hometown, Marion, Ohio, had a rule that you couldn’t eat a donut while walking backwards.

If I remember correctly, it had something to do with attracting police horses to lure them away from the police.

Cops are weird.

7. Count on Walmart for the sage wisdom.

“Do not put 14 rolls of toilet paper in the toilet”

– Walmart 2019


In my lease, I had a clause to properly dispose of my used tampons.

I asked why and apparently my landlord had a tenant that caused $50,000 of damage because she threw her used tampons into the cabinet under the sink. She rented the apartment for years and there were 3+ years worth of used, bloody tampons in there.

The, uh, blood caused a bunch of damage akin to water damage to the bathroom. The floor under the cabinet was rotted through. From bloody tampon storage.

The thought of a steamy, gelatinous glob of blood gooping through the sh**ty linoleum and blooming a bloody Clicker from The Last of Us makes me want to actively die.

9. Trash panda circus!

At my last job, we had a sign on the back door that said “you must walk trash all the way to the dumpster; DO NOT TRAIN THE RACCOONS!!!”

The story behind that is the facility I worked at does dog daycare and training, and Darcy the Human (not to be confused with Darcy the Poodle) didn’t like having to walk all the way across the parking lot at the end of the night to take out the trash, and trained about three raccoons to drag the bags to the dumpster because he couldn’t be bothered to walk 50ft to it.

He got away with it for about a year, and even named them. The manager only found out when she opened the back door to throw out some boxes and saw a bunch of raccoons immediately run up and cart them off.

10. A spite rule!

The ten-bin bowling alley in Geelong implemented a “Patrons must not play blindfolded” rule.

The manager claims it was for safety reasons… but I will always know in my heart it was solely because I beat him three games in a row wearing a blindfold.

Geelong is an awesome city on the bottom of the Australian mainland. Lived there 18 years. Sadly, the bowling alley was demolished around 2001.

11. This had to be a rule?

My all time favorite, in the Taco Bell i frequented as a teenager:

“Please do not spit on the managers.”

It wasn’t even a f**king paper, it was a plaque, someone got spit on enough times to go out and pay for a plaque.

12. These employees were outlaws!

I worked for a company that would send us out of town and put us up in hotels for weeks.

We had per diem for food but they told us we could absolutely not use it on alcohol.

Found out the company use to have an open bar at the hotel for employees until some former employees got so drunk they hired prostitutes and ended up doing cocaine and were kicked out of the hotel and arrested.

13. A reasonable set of rules!

Wish I had a picture but in EVERY restroom stall at my work there is a sign that says

THREE COURTESY FLUSH Flush once to prepare for elimination Flush between “the go” and the paper Flush upon completion

Wonder who put that together in their head and said “I have a solution.. hear me out guys”.

14. You’d think this would be obvious?

Back in the 90s, I used to work in a convenience store in New Jersey. Once a year I’d have to go to the health department and get certified as a food handler.

It is in this capacity that I learned that there is a law on the books in the state of New Jersey that you cannot store food under a leaking sewage pipe.

You just know health inspector went into a store and said “what the hell?! You can’t store food under leaking sewer pipe!”

And the store owner said “cite the statute!”


There was this one residence hall on campus where we had to inform students on move-in day not to twist their apartment room key a certain way into their bathroom door otherwise they could possibly get locked in if closed.

They were encouraged just to use the inner lock bolt body system. Students got charged $5, after one free pass, if a staff member got a call and had to rescue them from trapping themselves in their own bathroom.

Working in that hall for two years, I rescued students 7 times and 4 of those times it was the same girl.

Jeez… that last one sounds like quite the fire hazard, right? Hope they got it all sorted out.

Okay, which one of these rules did you find the strangest?

Let us know in the comments!

Thanks, fam!