People Who Abused The Smallest Amount of Power.
Power inevitably changes people, some for better, some for worse. This is an important lesson to remember if you ever find yourself in a position of power - DO NOT ABUSE IT.
These Reddit users below got a taste of exactly what happens when someone they knew let a small amount of power go right to their head.
As usual, the teacher had everyone in the class make a card. Now my Dad died when I was one, and previous teachers had been sensitive to this and let me make a card for my Mums birthday which falls a few weeks later. Not this one though.
She was adamant that I had to make a Father's Day card, despite knowing the situation and despite me clearly being very upset. She said that she wasn't going to make me a special case as it wouldn't be fair to everyone else, and that if I didn't have anyone to give the card to then I could give it to one of my friends so their Dad could have two cards. I hope she enjoyed watching me make it.
He would order me around and give me extra work on top of the work I'm trying to do and give me crap later for not having it all done. He'd make me do unsafe stuff and work in areas I haven't been officially trained in.
Someone let it slip that he's just an office clerk and not a supervisor, so the next time he walked up to me giving me extra work, I told him to get a real supervisor to okay it and he paused, looked at me, took the paperwork back and went back to the office. Didn't see him for the rest of that day.
There was no queue, so 'I skipped the line.' This doofus at the desk made me walk back and zigzag all around the fences, where nobody was standing. Afterwards, he and a colleague just laughed at me, because he knew that he could use his power like that. Ugh.
While I was sitting there, the secretary asked how I was enjoying missing recess. I said, "It's OK." So she made me come back the following day because I didn't hate it enough.
I was training a new guy and brought leftovers since I wasn't interested in pizza. The new guy was about to take lunch and I told him if he wanted a couple slices of pizza he could have mine.
The guy who ran the pizza party said no way, even after explaining to him I wasn't eating, and he hid the leftover pizza in his office. "Only people who worked on this project are allowed to eat the pizza." I went into his office and grabbed it and gave it to my guy.
It was always understood that if you were working a double you weren't shaving before the second shift.
A low level manager wanted Eric to go home and shave before his night shift. Eric got stuck with a table that wouldn't leave and he didn't have enough time. The manager made him shave with a random disposable razor that they had in the back office. They didn't even have shaving cream.
Someone called up. Their return was late so they had a $100 fine. He also owed some tax, not a lot, but enough.
So he calls up, and he's telling me about how he hadn't been working this year and things were tight. And I'm sat there filling in a form to put him on a payment plan.
And then I realized this was a kid that bullied me at school.
So I told him tough break and he had 30 days to pay before we added another fine. Then I closed the form and ended the call.
One of the other volunteers had been there for years and had in fact been there longer than some of the actual paid staff. She believed that this gave her some measure of authority and man did she abuse it. I saw her berate young kids about overdue books to the point of tears and scream at a boy for re-shelving a book instead of putting it on the cart. My worst experience with her was when she lectured me because some of my date stamps were crooked; not wrong, but just not perfectly aligned to the ruling on the card.
I was just a teenager at the time but I should have reminded her she actually had no authority over anyone.
It doesn't matter how much traffic gets backed up behind the bus. She just talks away as if she owns the road - and to hell with the long line of cars and any delays that her lengthy "chat sessions" create.
When it was my son's turn, I had left them alone for a while and came back to the girls complaining that he was ordering them to punch each other.
No one was allowed to talk or get up until the teacher came back. To be honest, my class was pretty rowdy, and given the chance we could get really loud. Which is why the teacher didn't want us talking if she was gone. If you talked or got up, your name went on the board and you'd lose five minutes of recess. Then tally marks would be added if you talked or got up again, and you'd lose an additional five minutes, and if you got enough you'd start losing time on the next day's recess.
One day she picked this one kid, we'll call him Cole. Cole gets up there and he's slowly looking back and forth between each of us, and if he thought someone was going to talk, he'd put their name on the board. They didn't have to do anything, and he'd put their name on the board and cost them five minutes of recess. He then offered those with their names on the board that he'd take their name off before the teacher got back if they held their breath until he said they could breathe.
The class was divided into 2 sides - Republican and Democrat, and they each had to purpose a bill to our mock subcommittee. I was named the chairman of the subcommittee. One of the the leaders of the republicans, Danny, shared the same 1st period with me. Our 1st period teacher was really strict about being late, but if someone in the class said that you showed up and went to the bathroom she would not mark you late.
So the first thing I did was make an alliance with Danny. He covered for my lateness and I pushed his bill through the subcommittee. And we learned about real politics.
Not bad words mind you but 'shoe' was one of them, and I specifically remember being sent to my room without dinner for saying it. My brother ended up busting me out and we locked her out of the house.
Viva la revolution!
When people used to quit at my old company, I'd let them click the mouse button to deactivate their Active Directory account on the last day.
Everyone loved it because it was a single act that meant closure.
Ok cool, no issues. The guy didn't know how to code, so we offered to teach him. But he didn't want to. He wanted to delegate and then sit on his butt. So the 3 of us coded this flight management program while he organized meetings and set deadlines for us. He raged when we didn't finish said task within the time limit and went off on ridiculous rants.
The kicker was that we had to include our names (as comments) on which part of the code we did and got graded on that. We continuously bugged him to learn just a bit, to at least create the front interface or the help section. But he straight out refused. Since he didn't write a single piece of code, he ended up getting a zero in the project. He started blaming us for not putting his name on the code and went and complained to the professor. The professor laughed in his face after he heard our story.
When the kids called her out on it she would deny it and say that she was a teacher and whatever she did was allowed in the game. Her entire self esteem seemed to be dependent on winning games designed for preschoolers.
The device was actually medical equipment. After I explained that to him he told me he didn't care because I had still broken a school rule.
Needless to say I didn't get in trouble.
Whenever responsibilities were given out of who was supposed to do what for that day, one of my co-workers would suck up to the supervisors so that they would give him the clipboard for him to decide who did what. Naturally he never assigned himself anything. After handing out the jobs, he'd go and sit in the little office inside the stand and do nothing while the rest of us worked.
One time he assigned me the job of cleaning the boardwalk. I was to take a broom and dust pan and walk the entire length of the boardwalk looking for litter to sweep up. The idiot didnt know that the cleaning of the boardwalk wasnt the responsibility of us concession stand workers. That job belonged to the workers employed by the state. We concession stand workers were responsible for the cleanliness of only the small cement patio area directly in the front of our stand. Not the boardwalk too.
I took advantage of his stupidity and I walked down the boardwalk long enough to be out of sight of my concession stand and sat down on a bench for a couple hours or so, resting and relaxing while he was doing the same in the office.
At least once every few months, my friend gets purposefully run into or over by some old fart with an overinflated sense of their own power and worth because they've got a vehicle and she's wearing a uniform and therefore they're allowed to abuse her.
Every year they had a book sale to help raise money for events. $0.25 for paperbacks and $0.50 for hardbacks. I was also working retail at this time so I decided being cashier would be pretty appropriate.
It was going pretty well. I kept the line moving and was used to the small talk of being at a register. The head librarian was busy organizing and she had one of the mom volunteers keep an eye on things. Not too long after she starter 'supervising,' she came over to me and told me she didn't think it was a good idea for me to be on register.
I was pretty confused by this. No one had complained, there was hardly ever a wait, there was no reason for her to think I wasn't capable. I told her it was fine, that I was used to this with my part time job. She was still visibly uneasy and insisted I help with something else. It got to the point where she was practically demanding me to go somewhere else. Not wanting to cause a scene, I went to assist elsewhere.
I found out later she thought the math of calculating the totals was too hard for 'children' to be responsible for. Seriously? I was in AP Calc and she didn't think I could add $0.25 and $0.50 increments? The best part of it all was that my mom went to the book sale a few years after and the same lady was on register. She had a cheat sheet for adding up the book totals.
I'm still bitter.
So we have a kitchen where we have lunch - we're all highly qualified professionals - there's usually about 8-10 of us sitting there having lunch. All the other managers will sit with us but she never does. When my manager walks in she always turns off the light stating something like "why do we have the lights on, no need to be burning electricity!" (it has a window but no sunlight comes in so it's pretty dark). One day she walks in and does this and notices one of the other managers sitting there and says "oh, OtherManager, I didn't notice you were here" and immediately turns the light back on. It's just one of many little things she does to intimidate people.
A new supervisor was hired from outside of the company to manage a certain department and it quickly became a fiasco. She tried walking around with a box and demanding people put their cellphones in it, and they could have them back during lunch or at the end of the day. Everyone refused.
In an effort to show cost savings she started ordering the worst plastic utensils for the break room. The knives and forks might as well been made out of al dente pasta for all the good it did. She quickly became the memo queen and soon every part of the break room was wallpapered in her asinine letters.
She tried to impose a two cup limit on break room coffee. That's right, you read that sentence correctly.
She'd play favorites and give special treatment to certain individuals.
It got so bad that the turn around in that department became horrendous, no amount of butt kissing or people tossed under the bus by her could cover the fact that she was as toxic as they come. She was quietly moved to a non-management role in a completely different department.
All she had to do was order office supplies and deal with vacation and sick time requests for payroll. Before she came in her department was like a group of seasoned NCOs that needed little or no guidance. By the time she left it was a smoking ruin.
Acting boss (who's only responsibility was to sign the time cards on Friday) decided to send an email to the staff, outlining the changes he was going to make to the boss' existing office policies. As a senior guy, I called this acting boss and read him the riot act. The other coworkers found out, and as a result, I didn't have to pay for lunch for a month.
Bought a ticket and confirmed with the airline beforehand. Ticket had a comment that said: "authorized to travel with a rabbit in the cargo hold." Paid extra.
On the day of my flight, after security checks, some lady who's the "chief service officer" which basically was a 50 year old flight attendant, said we're not flying. The rabbit will escape, and chew electrical wiring and kill us all, apparently. Also, she had "no superior" and reported to no one.
It took lots of tears from my SO, lots of shouting from me, and 1 hour, to get her to get "special approval from the captain."
I don't think I could ever take the little guy back now. Stuck in Germany for a few more years.
That lady made the day of starting a new life extremely traumatic.
The manager loved me. The assistant manager loved me some days and hated me others.
One day, when the assistant manager was in a particularly hateful mood, she threatened to recommend to the manager that I be fired. I said, "why? The manager loves me and I'm a good, reliable worker. She would never fire me."
And she said, "yeah, I know she wouldn't, but as assistant manager, I have the power to recommend you get fired!"
We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."
This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.