HOW EMPLOYEES HAVE DEALT WITH OFFICE JERKS
Most of the time we only get to daydream about getting revenge on office jerks, but these six people acted out those daydreams in real life and reported back. (The stories were only adjusted for length and grammar.)
Of course, to really drive employee engagement, office conflicts should always try to be resolved without going to these extremes, but sometimes it’s fun to think about taking matters into your own hands. And as one person in this list of stories reports, living happily ever after is usually the best revenge of all.
Taking One for the Entire Office Team
“The absolute funniest revenge tale I have personally seen occurred back in the early 1980s when I was working for the headquarters of a major drug store chain in Southern California. We were a great company to work for, and the president was an amazing leader. Unfortunately, after the sale, the new board of directors cleaned out our quality leadership and installed an uneducated sycophant as our new president. At our annual meeting this knucklehead had to give a State of the Company address to 500 people, and he was terrified of public speaking.
“He wrote his speech on 3 x 5 note cards and handed them to someone who shall remain nameless for safekeeping while he went to have a few drinks to steel his courage. This unnamed person ‘accidently’ shuffled the 3 x 5 notecards not once but three times. ensuring that they were now in random order. The knucklehead was not even smart enough to number the cards.
“He took the podium slightly inebriated and proceeded to read his entire speech off the cards even though the order now made absolutely no sense. He was mercifully terminated soon after.”
Poltergeist Their Playlist
“This morning I overheard a woman explaining to her friend that the boss who fired her months ago was still using her Spotify premium account. He was actually using it while they talked. So the woman had her phone out and kept switching his music from, say, Eminem to The Wiggles.”
Nothing Says Revenge Like a Book Deal
“Start an anonymous parody Twitter account called ‘S—t My Jerk Boss Says.’ At the very least, it will make you feel better.
“Or you can also do like I did.
- Write a book about your jerk boss
- Turn it into a best seller
“That will definitely make you feel a lot better. It will also make your jerk boss feel miserable.”
Be the Jim Halpert to Their Dwight Schrutes
“I used to work with a reporter who was superintense and would type on his keyboard really hard. He would come into the office, sit down, and immediately just start typing really loud and fast. Every single day. He also acted like he was the most important guy at the newspaper.
“One day, I went around the office and collected every marker and pen I could find and stood them up on end all over his desk — on his phone, on top of his monitor, on the keys of his keyboard, etc. So when he came into the office that day, all these falling pens and markers would just completely disrupt his routine. I also stacked a bunch of markers on top of the cubicle edge, so every once in a while, if he was typing hard enough, one of them would fall on him. We were actually really good friends, though. Another time I turned everything on his desk upside down — computer monitor, chair, keyboard, phone, notebooks …”
Spam Filters Aren’t What They Used to Be
“My worst boss was a horrible manager, but not in the he-berated-and-belittled-me fashion. He was just incompetent, and his incompetence created a horrifying number of unnecessary hours for the team.
“Apart from summer jobs as a kid, it was the shortest I’ve worked for an employer in my professional career. I commit to companies, and if there’s a problem, I try to change things for the better. But occasionally, there’s a bad culture in place that’s built from the top down, and you’re not changing it.
“At this particular place, as I departed, I signed up my boss for a mail-order bride website. The important thing here is not that they would send him daily emails with a list of Ukranian women that wanted to marry an American (which they would do), but that signing up for a site like that guarantees that every sort of marketer that preys on hopeless losers would buy that mailing list. Erectile dysfunction? Check. Multilevel marketing scams? Check. Expensive weekend seminars on how to be a Man’s Man? Check.
“I told no one that I did this for many years. When I finally did, I wasn’t expecting stories — I figured it had been a mild annoyance that had blown over, but no. It had ballooned into catastrophic proportions and been a source of intense amusement for the rest of the team for quite some time as they heard him daily cursing from his office and complaining about all the weird offers he got in his email. Spam filters have gotten so much better now that I’m almost certain it wouldn’t be nearly as effective any more, but back in the late ’90s it was stunning.”
Revenge? More Like Happily Ever After
“Your happiness is the best revenge. Get a new job that makes you happy, make new friends, stay active. Forget about those from the past, and if you should run into them, act like you barely remember them. Get their kids’ names and genders wrong. Move on, let the past go, and embrace as much love, peace, and joy as you possibly can. If the person that got you fired wants to see you be miserable, this should just about kill them.”