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Employees Reveal The Most Ridiculous Rules They Had To Follow At Work

office meeting
Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Reddit user OkCommunication5404 asked: 'What’s the most ridiculous rule you’ve had to follow at a job?'

Employee handbooks, guidance, rules and regulations in the workplace can help keep things running smoothly.

Or they can create chaos, delays, resentment and rework.


Reddit user OkCommunication5404 asked:

"What’s the most ridiculous rule you’ve had to follow at a job?"

Lunch Bell

"At one my earlier jobs, I had to follow a lunch bell like I was in school. Except I worked in the lab and sometimes the testing I had to do made me miss the lunch bell and so I would eat later."

"People reported me. So I ended up delaying testing to meet the lunch."

"Production went down a lot, but at least I followed the lunch bell."

~ curryp4n

Staying Hydrated

"I was once told I wasn’t allowed to drink out of a water bottle while working without a doctor's note saying that I needed to."

"I was a minimum wage cashier at a grocery store. Was a pretty funny doctor's appointment that followed."

~ Denveckles

"This happened to me but I was one of the managers! Been working with the company for a decade, always have a water bottle with me because staying hydrated helps with my migraines."

"Literally don't leave home without one ever. Got a new store manager, she bailed me up for it saying it set a poor standard because 'can you imagine how much productivity would be lost if everyone had a water bottle?'."

"That doesn't even make sense! I said I would encourage everyone to have one because it sets a positive example of healthy habits and she looked like a stunned fish."

"The doctor's note I had to give her was gloriously passive aggressive, including the gem me 'and ALL OTHER EMPLOYEES, should be ENCOURAGED to carry water at all times'."

"My doctor was f*ckin LIVID—it was great."

"My work was already pissing her off because I was on restricted duties after breaking my arm; it wasn't a comp, so the company was pushing to have me signed off ASAP and making things difficult."

"She's worth her weight in gold, that woman."

~ quokkafarts

Zoom Room

"I got in trouble for having my 16-year-old daughter walk behind me while having a Zoom meeting."

"By my manager who had her 7-year-old walk in, ask a question of said manager at which time she stopped the meeting to answer her daughter's question. I was actually written up for mine."

"I quit on the spot after being written up and went on a tirade against the manager. No regrets."

~ Vivid-Soup-5636

Off The Clock

"I worked at a skating rink when I was 14-18. Typical day shifts were from 12-7 when the place was open for birthday parties and such."

"Halfway through the shift, if they decided it wasn’t that busy and they might not need you for the second half, they’d ask you not to clock back on from your lunch break."

"Then you had to wait, off the clock, for up to an hour sometimes, for them to decide they for sure didn’t need you and you could go home. If you left without the manager okaying it, you were written up."

"This was back in 2003, and the only reason they got away with it is because all of the employees were kids. We were all friends with each other and with most of the regulars, and we all liked to skate, so most of us were there hanging out until the place closed, even when we weren’t on the clock."

"We didn’t know what they were doing was illegal."

~ stephanonymous

Safety First, Logic Last

"People who discover a spill have to stand next to the spot until maintenance comes back with a broom/mop."

"As the only one working maintenance I got b*tched at in this order: 'there's a spill, you need to go get the mop'. 'Why did you go get the mop? You are supposed to stand next to it'."

"When I said 'maybe you should hire a second maintenance person then'. The look on her face every time I said this was priceless."

~ RoseWould

Open Door Policy

"If someone was banging on the door before opening time we had to let them in."

"How about no: I'm getting my computer up and running, making sure the waiting room is tidy, getting my coffee and taking a sh*t. That door isn't opening until our office hours begin."

~ coreynj2461

Cake Break

"They would have cake in the break room for birthdays, but the time spent 'celebrating'—awkwardly standing around with a slice of cake—would have to be made up at the end of the day."

~ kit_kat_barcalounger

No Locks

"Worked at a bakery where if we were there, doors had to be unlocked."

"Even if the store was closed. Even if we had no food."

We also weren’t allowed to tell customers if the store was closed."

~ Ready_Shock_7462

"This seems like a safety issue…"

~ 25_timesthefine

"Oh absolutely, someone called the cops once because they thought we were being held hostage due to no one being in the front because we were cleaning in the back, the doors being unlocked, lights on, and it being two hours after the store closed."

"Had to explain to just about every cop in town that no, we weren’t being robbed, it’s just a really weird business practice."

~ Ready_Shock_7462

Standing Room Only

"I worked in an upscale flower shop during college and we weren’t allowed to sit, even when the store was empty, which it was for the majority of the day, since most people called in."

"So all the chairs were essentially decorative because we had to ‘look busy’ for the customer that wasn’t there I guess."

~ doseofsense

Work Order

"At one job, we had a rule where no one could adjust their own office chairs. If you needed it higher, lower, or tilted differently, you had to submit a maintenance request."

"This wasn’t just annoying; during busy periods, it could take days for someone to come adjust your chair."

"It felt absurd sitting uncomfortably while waiting for ‘authorized personnel’ to make a simple adjustment."

~ mikewalkwalk

Women Only

"I worked at a center that cold-called people on behalf of a two-year technical school. So basically telemarketing."

"In a room no one was in, but all of us making the calls. I hated it, but I was a broke kid and it paid $2 more per hour than anywhere else."

"Only women were hired to work there and, after I was hired, they told me there’s a dress code and I had to wear a skirt."

"I ended up quitting soon after because I became convinced someone had cameras or mirrors for upskirt pictures. It just gave me creepy vibes."

~ Lulu_42

Ink Colors

"Bank of Nova Scotia executives signed with different color pens."

"They tracked down and reprimanded some clerk who had used a color reserved for an executive."

~ oddlotz

Fire Drill

"I once worked in the call center of a large company where we were treated like sh*t and got none of the perks the other departments did."

"We had to work holidays. We were subject to a 'point system' where we got points for any lateness—even if it was 1 minute past your start time, or absence—even though technically we had 5 sick days a year, and could be fired at 5 points, etc... while the rest did not."

"The entire company except us was taken on all day picnics and other events at least twice a year."

"The icing on the cake though was the day the fire alarm went off in the 25 story building and as everyone started for the fire exits the department manager and head of HR yelled for everyone in the call center to return to their desks, as it was 'only a drill'."

"Half of us left anyway and likely would have been fired had the building manager not gotten furious and pointed out to the head of the company that it was illegal for us to remain in the building during a fire drill."

~ SunGreen70

Strong Salads Only

"In my very first adult type office job, I was responsible for ordering catering. The first time I ordered, I got sandwiches and salads."

"I got a green leafy salad and got chewed out by one of the VPs."

"She explained to me that eating greens in front of clients made us look weak and I was only to order macaroni and potato salads—which I guess show strength?"

~ seanofkelley

No Legal Pads

"I worked in an office where we were not allowed to take notes on yellow legal pads."

"Only spiral-bound notebooks were allowed."

~ dwenglish

Dress Code

"Women: wear foundation, lipstick, mascara, eye liner, eye shadow, blush, earrings, rings, bracelets/watch, hair flair, necklace, and manicured nails."

"Men: tucked in shirt, no neck beard, don't stink."

~ An0nymousAnal

What ridiculous rules have you had to follow?

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