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    "Guess Who Anonymously Tipped Off The Health Department?": 15 Times When Petty People Got Even With Their Bad Bosses

    "Boss was fired. My good buddy was promoted to his place. I am an office legend now, especially since no one is 100% sure whether or not it was intentional."

    Most of us have had a bad boss at some point in our careers. And as much as we might want to get even with them, it's not always possible. So when I came across these tales of petty people getting delicious, ice-cold revenge on their dreadful bosses, they were just too good not to share:

    1. "I recently resigned from my job. I was tired and burnt out and my CEO kept pushing me hard. Enough was enough, I got so tired that I resigned. I didn't have another job lined up, but I was okay financially. As soon as I resigned, my CEO called me into the office and asked me to leave straight away. I was escorted off-site like a criminal and he wouldn't even let me say bye to people, touch my laptop, or clear my desk. It was like I was being fired. It was so embarrassing."

    woman leaving an office after being fired

    2. "Mid-pandemic my boss disappeared. Just as we were gearing up for our most challenging, time-intensive project in the last five years, he dropped off the face of the earth. We kept working for a week or so without him because we didn’t really need him. But some decisions were beyond our discretion, so we could not move forward on those aspects of the project until we received a response from him."

    empty desk in an office

    "Week eight. He finally reappears, logging into a morning meeting as though nothing happened. He looks well-rested, well-fed, and has a tan. He says something quickly to the effect of, 'Yeah, that was brutal. Glad to be better and glad to be back. Let’s get to work.' But doesn’t want to talk about what happened or answer any of our questions."

    "Fast forward to about four or five months after this. My sister sends me a promo for a fairly new reality show and says, 'Isn’t this guy a friend of yours or something?' I watch the trailer for this show, and lo and behold, there’s my boss. Participating as a contestant on a reality TV show.

    "It did not take long for me to put the pieces together and realize he took extended leave to go on TV and lied about it under the guise of a vicious disease that nearly all of us had lost a loved one to.

    "I sit and stew with this information, unsure of how to handle it. I slept on it a few nights and then the opportunity fell right in my lap. I got an email from corporate encouraging teams still working remotely to plan 'virtual social functions' to keep a collegial culture going and to stay in touch. Among the suggestions were: game night, trivia, and… watch party.

    "With the premier of the show only a couple weeks away, I got busy telling everyone how I’d been meaning to get into this show, laying the groundwork to guilt them into coming to a virtual watch party off-hours. Finally, I sent an e-vite to all my boss’s bosses, and any other members of corporate I could justify inviting without making a total ass of myself. Because this was entirely virtual, my boss was unable to overhear any of the chatter. He didn’t realize I was hyping up this show and planned a watch party for it.

    3. "I had worked really hard to get a job I loved, I was great at, and paid decently. My team loved me and everything was going great. I made the stupid decision to change departments. It was the same job but this department paid 5% more. I went to my first meeting in the new job and knew I had made a mistake. The operations manager made someone cry."

    mean boss yelling at an employee

    "So I left the department and started to work somewhere else in the same company. About six months later, that boss rings me in a panic and explains he has a big interview but can't find the project pack. I say I'll send it across.

    "I dig out the pack but put in a roles and responsibilities page before I send it. I had my name as lead on pretty much everything. I get a call later on from a coworker who said that boss had gone to his interview, explained he ran this project, did X, Y, and Z. 

    "And then he went through the pack which had the responsibilities and he looked like an Idiot. That rattled him and impacted the rest of his interview. Boss was fuming but my coworker backed me up.

    "Boss didn't end up getting the promotion and I like to think I played a small part in that."


    4. "I was an intern at a local magazine during college. A small office of three interns put the mag together, with an editor who will always be the most incompetent person I’ve ever worked with. Anyway, after months of petty bullshit, my car broke down over Thanksgiving. I called the editor, letting her know just in case I was ever late showing up, as I planned to take the bus and bum rides. Her response? 'Oh, your car broke down? You are no longer needed as an intern.' Click."

    my circumstances have changed and I can no longer afford to work for free

    5. "My boss (we'll call him Steve) is one of those guys who's always attached to his email. Whether he's at his desk or answering them from his phone, he will stop the conversation immediately and read the email. No warning. The sound will go off, he'll stop mid-sentence, read and reply to every email. This annoys me. A lot."

    "Steve's taking charge of the meeting, and I retreat to my office, where I can still clearly watch the presentation but don't have to participate. As he's talking to one particular VP, he gets an email, and in normal shit-lord fashion, he stops mid-conversation and reads it. The VP did not like this, not one bit. He interrupts Steve's email reply with a hand wave. This is where I get my second idea for revenge.

    "Eventually, Steve gets to the PowerPoint presentation, yammering on like he's the one who spent all the time on the fancy fly-ins, formatting, research, etc. Until he gets to slide seven. I can see him pause, break his jovial manner, and begin reading word for word what's on the slide. He's no longer chipper and poised, he's floundering. 

    "Little does Steve know that I'm about to launch an email war on his psyche that he is ill-prepared for. See, since I've been in my office, I've been collecting all the emails that came in that needed replies, drafted the replies, and have them sitting on my desktop. I've CC'd Steve on every one of them, because I'm just that good of an employee. 

    "As he skips to the next slide, I send the first email. I hear his phone jingle. He pauses and instinctively reaches for his phone, throwing him off his presentation. He looks around, and then continues. A minute later, I send the next email, then after a short pause, the next, and the next...

    6. "I was a data and reporting analyst and did all the ad hoc reports for the company. My boss, we'll call her Kerry, was useless. The only thing of value she did were all the regular reports: sales, revenue, etc. We suspected she got away with it because she was having an affair with her boss, we'll call him Stewart."

    woman leaning flirtatiously on a male colleague's desk

    7. "I had a manager who hated reading emails and would miss important issues and meetings because of it. I even suggested text to speech to make it less unpleasant but he told me off. He spent a lot of time 'playing golf with clients' and was mostly inaccessible. It got to the point where most of the team cc-ed me so I could grant approvals for stuff like expense reports and help out on projects my manager was supposed to work on."

    "I tell my team. They ask manager what to do with my duties and manger says he'll think about it, but doesn't do anything nor email anything out. Four weeks later, I get a call from my old boss, 'Are you planning on coming in this week? Stop messing around, get your ass in the office.'

    "'HR asked you to develop a transition plan and to attend my exit interview. It's not my fault you don't read all your emails.'

    "I hung up and blocked his number, but screenshotted the call log and sent it to the HR contact with an innocent, 'Should I be worried that he thinks I still work for him?'

    "Things went from bad to worse for my old manager. Apparently, I was doing most of his managerial duties, so he actually had to try and get stuff done himself. He also got into some legal issues (Those client golf outings? He played golf...but not with clients) that made his termination with cause, so no severance for him."


    8. "A few years back, I started my first job as a mechanic and was informed of a mandatory monthly kart race on the local track which was promoted by my boss and owner of the company. He didn’t care if you enjoyed it or not, he booked the time slot, and we all had to show up (after working hours and paying our own ticket to drive). It was supposed to be a team-building exercise."

    people racing go karts

    "On the evening of the event, I drive to the kart track and, upon arrival, I see my colleagues all in jeans and t-shirts and my boss in racing overalls, racing boots, gloves and even a custom helmet. It dawned on me the reason for the event and why so much attention was given to it: kart racing was his thing.

    "With about 15 racers, I asked to start dead last. Starting from last, I proceeded to overtake all other karts, including boss man on the outside of a fast corner (overtaking on the outside is often seen as a bold arrogant move). After just a few more laps, I reached him again and, as I was about to lap him, he went into the pits and stepped out.

    "I duly won the race and, as I left the track into the bar, someone told me that the boss had left. At the bar, the topic of the evening was how I had outraced everyone and how the boss, who had won all the races since forever, was livid with my performance.

    "After that, I was always courteously invited but never again required to show up to his events. I went a few times but arrived late on purpose so I would just take part in the bar thing and not the race."


    9. "We recently launched a project to a select group of beta testers. Late on a Sunday evening (I'm not paid to be on call or work on weekends), I get an email from the boss, cc'ing everyone involved in the project, that the entire site is down, please can I get it sorted urgently, as this makes the company look bad. Complete with a screenshot of the problem."

    10. "I used to work in a mid-sized company in the engineering department. One of the managers started to get upset because if he walked around at exactly 8:30 a.m. everyone was not in their seats. He felt that engineers were being too lax with their time. The edict went out that all engineers had to be in their seats exactly at start time."

    manager looking at his watch

    "Is the manager having a meeting that was supposed to end at five but is running a little late? A series of alarms would go off and everyone would stand up in the middle of the meeting to leave. Does operations need technical support at 4:55? They have exactly five minutes on the phone with the engineer before he will have to get off the phone.

    "Is someone trying to discuss a work-related issue at 8:28? Better wait a couple minutes because no one in the engineering department is answering work-related questions for another two minutes.

    "Needless to say, the policy didn't last very long."


    11. "I was working 50-plus hours weekly for a huge corporate bank on salary. My apartment was one mile to my office and both had rental bike stations I used regularly. My boss at the time was a time cruncher and regularly disregarded the overtime I was working to point out a few minutes here and there. One day I went home for lunch, walked my dog, got on my bike, and within 30 seconds was hit by a car."

    woman getting up after a bicycle accident

    "So I didn’t go home and change. I went right back to work where the head of the department immediately called me in seeing my ripped and bloody attire. I explained what happened and told them I would not take more than 60 minutes ever again, regardless of the circumstances. My boss was pleased but I was sent home to change.

    "A few weeks later, they asked me why I stopped working 50-hour weeks. Well if lunch is only 60 minutes, then work is only eight hours. And I haven’t worked overtime since."


    12. "I worked as a bartender at a bowling alley. My boss was a mean lady and it was difficult seeing morale drop on the team from the garbage she would say or do. So when I was closing the bar, I started setting things up for the next day. I would pre-make the coffee, and she always asked to make one a little different because it was for her."

    13. "When I was 18, I started working in an ice cream parlor. I worked there every spring and summer. My second season there I got 'promoted' to shift supervisor (more responsibilities, same pay). Every time they needed someone to pick up a shift or start earlier, that person would be me. Cut to my third season. I got a complaint filed against me from a customer because I refused to serve her once we were closed one evening."

    window sign that says sorry we are closed

    "This all kept happening until I got notice that they had overscheduled a shift and that I didn’t have to work that day. When I dropped by, imagine my surprise that there was someone working who wasn’t even scheduled because it was so busy!

    "I asked the owner to have a conversation with me, and they said, 'We don’t owe you any answers.' After this conversation I quit right there. Cue petty revenge.

    "I happened to know that their air conditioning was ridiculously dirty. They had not done anything about it, and when given the opportunity to get a new system at a VERY discounted price, they just laughed and said it was too expensive.

    "Guess who anonymously tipped off the health department. And guess who had to close for a week while their AC got replaced and got a pretty hefty fine?"


    14. "I work with a big company that lets me work four 10-hour-shifts a week with Fridays off. Occasionally, I would get a text on a Friday from my boss. Or a text when I’m off on vacation. These annoyed the hell out of me. Nothing about my job has that level of urgency."

    15. "I worked in a very busy, high end seafood restaurant in a resort town. I was a busser. I was trying to move up in the restaurant, but my manager kept giving me the runaround for over a year. By this point i had started a full time job in my chosen career path and the restaurant gig was just extra cash. I talked to the manager about it again and got another runaround, so I gave him my notice."

    H/T r/PettyRevenge and r/MaliciousCompliance

    Note: stories have been edited for length and clarity.

    Have you ever taken petty revenge on a bad boss? Share your story in the comments!