People Share The Smallest Amount Of Power They’ve Seen Go To Someone’s Head.
If you give someone an inch, they'll take a mile. Here, people share the smallest amount of power they've seen go to someone's head.
1. Would you like a salute with that?
Rob got promoted from barista to team lead at a coffee shop (a difference of 30 pence extra an hour back in 2006) and the next day he abruptly asked us to call him "sir".
2. The sergeant is in the building.
One of the older ladies who has worked retail for years (on checkouts) was asked to cover for a supervisor for 5 minutes while the supervisor went to the bathroom. She proceeded to march up and down the line of registers watching all the staff like a hawk, and then "reported" back to the supervisor once they'd returned. We were all a bit "wtf?" She had this smug smile on her face for the rest of her shift.
3. The all-powerful plaster.
When I was 5 I broke my leg, so I had to go to school in a little purple wheelchair for several weeks. I became an instant celebrity and everybody wanted to be the one chosen to push me around in my wheelchair for the day. Quickly I realized that I could control the minds of my fellow 5-year-olds, simply by hinting that I might let them have the privilege of wheeling me to the water fountain.
After a while I had the cutest boy in class as my personal chauffeur, and the rest of the unwashed masses that I deemed unworthy were always clamoring to get on my good side. I ruled that first grade classroom.
When my cast was removed, so was my power.
4. Eating the reward - that'll show her.
My three-year-old yelled at my dog because she wouldn't sit on his command. He ate her dog treat in front of her.
5. The wrath of the vegetables.
My supervisor at my old job. It was super laid back, and everyone was a college student. I had been there 4 years, and was 22 at the time. My supervisor was 18, and had been working six months. She was promoted because we "absolutely needed" one female supervisor.
She instantly sets out trying to prove herself. We had to walk around campus and test the emergency lights out. She'd yell at us for testing them in the "wrong order" (there was no order). I worked with three of my best friends, so pretty soon we made it our goal to piss her off.
She tried to get us written up for everything, so I'll just ramble a few off; watching the Super Bowl while on break, challenging her boyfriend to arm wrestling contests while on shift, eating a whole cucumber in the office while she talked to us, and eating an onion like it was an apple while she tried to hold a meeting. For some reason eating the fruits and veggies really pissed her off, so every meeting one of us would pull out a new vegetable and start chomping. Every time she tried to write us up, and every time our head boss would tell her to stop her power trip.
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6. It's my name or the highway.
The moderator of a very large college football team fanbase named the message board after himself.
He will scour other team's boards and ban you from his site if you bring up this issue.
7. How dare you disgrace the Safety Patrol.
I was elected Safety Patrol Captain in 5th grade and had quite the thirst for justice. My patrol people were late, they were fired. They talked back, they were fired. I ran such a tight ship, I don't know why...any of you who were affected by my firing you, I apologize for being a jerk.
8. This guy put Napoleon to shame.
This was in Kindergarten. The class was playing a game wherein we'd all sit on the floor and one student each round would stand up and be the leader, complete with the ultimate privilege of holding our teacher's long pointer stick.
One round, this kid whose name started with a V got to be leader, and man, I've never seen anyone go full Napoleon so quickly. He ruled like a tyrant. The game started with a chant, and I was being goofy so I put the inflection on the wrong words, which made my voice stand out.
V was having none of this. He called me out in front of the entire class, and spat at me to go to my seat and think about what I'd done. So I went and sat at my seat like an exile and promptly started sobbing. V continued bossing everyone like crazy - I wasn't listening anymore because I was too busy suffering the greatest humiliation of my young life.
I'd just gotten glasses a couple of weeks before, and I took them off as I was crying. So there I am, head on my desk in abject misery, when suddenly V comes marching over to me and says, "And YOU! PUT THESE ON!" as he shoves my glasses in my face.
Where was the teacher? Why was no adult interceding as this five-year-old bullied the rest of the room? I don't know, but THAT was the smallest amount of power I've seen go to someone's head, ever.
9. Why would you lie?
My "boss" is horrible. I work in an after school program, and one of the women who had worked there for years got promoted to manager and she went ballistic. She's an anal-retentive maniac. She tries to micromanage everything, and is constantly paranoid of having people "challenge her authority," especially in front of the parents.
Here's a good example.
Recently, a parent came to pick up their kid. Now, I work during the school day too so I see a lot more of the kids' families than the other After School staff. Our policy is: If you know a parent, and a different staff member doesn't, you can vouch for them and they can sign out their kid without showing ID. She did not recognize this kid's parent.
She starts in with her prepared rap of "Do you have ID?" and I walked over and said, "It's cool, I know him." She then (almost shouted) said, "EXCUSE ME!" and literally put her hand in my face, like a 6-year-old in 1994. She then made this man go downstairs and check his ID, instead of just letting him pick up his kids.
Afterwards, she chewed me out for overstepping my boundaries in front of parents. I reminded her of the policy, and she insisted that the policy had changed. When I asked her if our shared boss (the program director) had changed the policy, she deflected. I asked her why we hadn't been told of the change. She used her usual excuse when she was caught pulling some BS like this: "Since I'm a manager, there are things that I know about that you don't know about."
I told her that if she wanted to avoid things like that happening in the future, she should tell us about stuff like that.
Checked with my boss's boss the next day. There was, of course, no policy change. I was totally right.
She is constantly finding ways to assert her authority over us.
10. Why so serious?
The dude who runs my Home Owners Association is a tyrant. I believe that he thinks the death penalty would be justified if people don't power wash the curb.
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11. Call me Uncle Pennybags.
Monopoly bankers are always huge power fiends. They feel like they have already won because they have all the money and you are just playing on their board.
12. Making something out of nothing.
I made someone my assistant on a project because I liked them, the position meant nothing in itself but I figured I'd let them shadow me and learn a thing or two.
He started acting like he ran the place, asking people to do his work, telling people off. Everyone basically took the piss and told him to go away, it was absolutely hilarious.
13. It's all a bit counterintuitive.
Musicians. After developing a following that can bring 100 people to a show. Somehow that makes them the next Bruno Mars and that of course, give them the right to be jerks to everyone that helped then along the way, and worse, jerks to the small group of fans they have. It's weird.
14. No breathing in the halls!
College RA's. I don't even feel the need to tell a story, if you have lived in a dorm and had any kind of fun, you have run in to the fun gestapo at least once.
15. What happened to you?
There is a great coffee/donut shop by my house. The "barista" is/was this really nice, pleasant guy. Made great coffee and was very personable. I stopped in yesterday and he had evidently been promoted to manager.
He came in swinging his keys, loudly told the other two employees what needed to be done, and (also loudly) told one of the employees how bad the other guy had messed up someone's order. He then made two huge fruit smoothies for himself and left.
I ratted him out to the corporate office.
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16. Just stare and blink.
I used to work at a department store as a cashier. At the time, I worked there for about two years. It was my first job so I worked my butt off. Top credit card sales and near-top customer satisfaction. This mid-20s girl started working there.
She instantly started bragging that she is making more than us because she "has leadership experience she can share". She starts off each of her shifts telling us that we need to sell more credit and ask for more surveys.
She tries to tell me to what to do and I just stared at her and blink. She didn't really like me, but about the 1st month in she got fired cause she stole hundreds of dollars out of the cash register.
17. Now that's just too far.
At a former employer, one of my coworkers was told to run a daily conference call. The call was supposed to last half an hour and consist of quick updates from about 10 people on various trouble tickets. The company was an IT vendor for fortune 500 companies.
My coworker was a holier than thou, ultra, super, over the top religious, with a double helping of nuts. The first call he demanded that everyone pray for 10 minutes (TEN FREAKING MINUTES) before giving their updates. By the end of the first week the call was well over 90 minutes, as he always started with a prayer and constantly interrupted people, while they were giving their updates, with inane questions.
When the second week started, several people complained and he was booted off and yours truly was put in charge of the call. He still had to be on the call, as he had deliverables to it as well. For the first week he still tried his BS, but I shut him down and he then accused ME of being on a power trip. The call was back to under 30 minutes though.
18. From 0 to 100.
My teacher left the classroom for a minute and left me in charge. He returned to the fourth reich.
19. Move over, Kim Jong Un.
Some kid I knew, was given a pity position of leadership in school club. This position was made for him because no one had voted for him as president, and the teacher felt bad.
He then proceeded to take his title to demand changes, boss everyone around, and he then says he had more power than the President. He became a total despot. Unfortunately the club disbanded because no one showed up to meetings in order to avoid him.
20. When in doubt, ignore.
Someone studying music technology in university. They were in their first year and came back to sixth form for work experience. For a week there was an 18-year-old talking down to a group of 17-year-olds like he was trying to explain fire to cavemen. In the end we just ignored him and his terrible advice.
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21. Andrew, why are you so extra?
Andrew the line leader. I was trying to hang my coat and he thought I was trying to "budge" him. So he pushed me and made me cry. That was the worst day of my life.
22. There's only one Red.
The Deli manager at the grocery store I work at seems to be under the impression that she is Red from Orange Is The New Black.
23. Hell on earth.
I used to work at a small non-profit counseling agency for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. When the executive director and human resources director each had to take extended leaves of absence one winter, the domestic violence program manager was the acting executive director.
Although she was only in charge of about 15 employees, she quickly began releasing new rules and regulations memos and issuing demerits and warnings to staff members for doing things "wrong."
In her month-long reign as the supreme she managed to earn 9 resignations, 1 walk-out-and-never-come-back, and 1 veteran social worker crying in a bathroom for an hour. I was the front desk manager and recorded every single incident. The entire staff filed a grievance report against her and called for her termination.
Somehow, she STILL managed to keep her job after all was said and done. I resigned along with 2 other co-workers. They just hired all new staff when the air had cleared. I wonder if she's still there making hell on earth for the new folks.
24. Apologies for taking care of myself.
My former French teacher kept me behind after class for drinking from my water bottle without her express permission. She demanded I apologise for the apparently heinous crime of hydrating myself. I mustered the most insincere apology I could muster and left.
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25. Ten years later and still power tripping.
A classmate of mine listed that he had been elected "class president" in high school as a merit rather high up on his resume. He was 26 and applying for jobs as a medical doctor, and just refused to understand why the rest of us politely suggested he remove the class president thing.
26. Way to make things awkward, Nicole.
A girl I went to high school with became the assistant trainee manager at a local fast food joint. It was right as I started my foray into the professional world, and I had just quit my job at another fast food restaurant. A friend put in a good word and I was hired on as a cook.
At my first job, we were regularly scheduled for 5:45 shifts (length) so that we wouldn't have to be given a lunch break. If we went over that time, breaks weren't given much planning in terms of schedule, so most people would volunteer to go just to make it easy on the managers. I picked that up as a habit whenever a manager showed up and asked about breaks.
During my second-ish week at my new place, the assistant manager with extra wheels, let's call her Nicole, had been left all alone for her first time on the night shift. She had been "managing" with another manager there, so this was her big night by herself. She came to the back and asked my friend Jeff to go on break. Jeff, being the renegade stallion he was, said he didn't want to go. I instinctively volunteered.
Her face twisted into a look of sheer violated horror. She demanded that Jeff go, and at the end of the shift I was to report promptly to her office.
Once there, she explained to me that she didn't need anyone, and quote, "undermining [her] authority". I literally couldn't hold it in. I sort of snort laughed and told her about my previous job and why I volunteered. She obviously didn't care and just told me to never let it happen again.
Needless to say, AP Biology was awkward from then on.
27. Get a load of McDreamy over here.
My friend took a CPR class for work.
Now he thinks he's a combat medic.
28. What have we created?
This one is a co-worker in a small business environment. Her entire position was created because the CEO and COO did not want to do the additional paperwork requirement for a new business deal (which was an entire packet with every property we serviced).
She was hired and couldn't keep up on her duties. Several times she was almost fired. Fast forward a year, and she has been in a cube. We expand our offices and several of us get real desks, albeit not always in an actual office. She is still in a cube because no one wanted her near them due to her exceedingly loud nature and inability to stay out of other peoples' work.
One of the sprinkler heads in the cube above her desk begins to leak, so they move her into a small spare office near the CEO and COO. It was the beginning of the end.
She completely redecorated the office. Paint, paintings, rugs, chairs, all while complaining until the company paid for them. She has consistently told the CIO, Senior Engineer, and VP of operations how to do their jobs. The CIO incident required a formal apology or termination.
Soon she almost quit when we hired a retained lawyer. He was given the office immediately and she was forced out. She blatantly refused to go back to her cube, and is currently sitting in another department's area that she does not interact with professionally.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.