66 Ridiculous Rules From Entitled Bosses Who Deserve To Be Shamed Online

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Workplace rules are there for a reason, and few people likely have something against them when they make sense. Nonsensical rules, on the other hand, can really be a pain in the neck for employees; and unfortunately, there seems to be quite a few companies that have such a type of regulations in place.

Members of the ‘Ask Reddit’ community recently discussed rules that could be considered ridiculous at best, after the user ‘OkCommunication5404’ started a thread about it. If you’re curious what kind of absurd rules some people have had to follow at work, too, scroll down to find their stories on the list below and enjoy.


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.

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I was once told I wasn’t allowed to drink out of a water bottle while working without a doctors note saying that I needed to. I was a minimum wage cashier at a grocery store. Was a pretty funny Doctors appointment that followed.

Image credits: Denveckles


I got in trouble for having my 16 yo daughter walk behind me while having a zoom meeting. By my manager who had her 7 yo walk in, ask a question of said manager at which time she stopped the meeting to answer her daughters 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.

Image credits: Vivid-Soup-5636


No talking during lunch breaks.

Image credits: Racheltrysyew


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.

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I still think requiring a doctor’s note for an excused absence is stupid. I’m not going to waste money on a doctor’s appointment, if I have a cold or the flu.

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I once had a job where we had to ask permission to use the restroom, even during breaks.

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“We are going to need you to be on call every other weekend, but you will not be paid for that”

I left shortly after.

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Women had to 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.

Image credits: An0nymousAnal


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.

Image credits: Ready_Shock_7462


Thankfully this is from a friend and not me, but a friend who did office work explained to me this unwritten rule that nobody left the office before their boss did, despite them having set working hours.

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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*****d 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.


If someone was banging on the door before opening time we had to let them in. How about no: im getting my computer up and running, making sure the waiting room is tidy, getting my coffee and taking a s**t. That door isnt opening until our office hours begin.

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Tattoos had to be covered but our shirts were short sleeve. I have a tattoo on my right shoulder that you could see maybe the bottom 10mm of it with the shirt sleeve. I still had to wear a black armband to cover it. For 4 years I didn’t, no-one said a thing, no-one commented on the tattoo ever. That last year wearing the armband, without fail at least once a week a customer would ask me about it.

Image credits: Unusual-Afternoon837


I worked in an office where we were not allowed to take notes on yellow legal pads. Only spiral-bound notebooks were allowed.

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Had to wear a full saftey harness even though there was no where to attach it to at all.

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You cannot call the police, even when a client has already verbally threatened and physically assaulted another employee.

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Having to wear nylon stockings (aka panty hoses) with your dresses. No bare legs. Lol okay, I just dated myself. This was in the early 80’s.

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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.

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Worked at a soul sucking call center where your bathroom breaks were deducted from your 15s. And if you did get up and go to the restroom (this was a wfh gig) you’d get a teams message after 30 seconds saying “are you ok why aren’t you taking calls we have calls holding get back in ready”.

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A friend just told me 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.

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My last job was as a cleaner. It was a b******t job in a care home to supplement my real job there. The supervisor was a micromanaging old b***h.
Up to and including, no stopping for a coffee for one minute. It was so bizarre.

In my new job someone was making drinks for everyone and asked if I wanted one.  I was like “are we allowed?” and they looked at me like I was an alien.


When I was working at Ross as Loss Prevention we weren’t allowed to touch the shopping carts, ever. Even though we are stationed near where they go and plenty of idiots will just walk up to the front door, take their s**t and leave the cart blocking the entrance. If i took the 5 seconds to walk over there and put it away I get in trouble because i’m “leaving my post.”

Instead I have to tell the head cashier to either go move them or have another associate move them, even if it’s super busy. Ridiculous Lol.


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 then 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 like 2003, and the only reason they got away with it is because all of the employees were kids and 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 that what they were doing was hella illegal.


No personal phone calls allowed, even during breaks.


We had to directly confront shoplifters. Like go up and get in their faces

Shockingly, a coworker got stabbed.


The way we were “supposed” to answer the phones. My last job was at a hotel and while I won’t give the entire script it was supposed to say along the lines of “it’s a beautiful day at (hotel), when are you planning your wonderful vacation.”

No, I didn’t say that, plus more than half the time people already made reservations and likely had follow up questions or was calling about something else, it was so stupid to say that. I refused.


No microwave popcorn allowed because the owner of the company, who worked out of a different location several states away, did not like the smell.


Not a work rule but a rule in a place I do work at. I was giving a talk about awareness of violent crimes and what services exist to help victims (Aka the charity I work for). I was just getting set up in the hall when I realised I needed my anxiety meds and inhaler before I got started.  One teacher who had brought her class to the hall early, came up to me and demanded I put my inhaler away. I gave her a confused look and explained it’s for my asthma like no I’m obviously not putting it away it’s medicine. Also I’ll be not even 2 minutes chill love. She then said “the school has a strict no d***s policy” luckily the headteacher had come back at that point and saw the confusion and said to the teacher it was fine. But yeah that’s how a teacher wanted me to not have my inhaler because it obviously wasn’t medication and I’m obviously not an adult.

Edit: few folk are curious I’m 23 at the time I was 21 so I definitely looked young enough to be student. Only issue is here in the UK school uniform is really common. Also when giving talks I where my work ID lanyard around my neck. It’s bright orange and has my charities name on it so you’d be pretty thick to get it confused with a school ID badge.


No using the bathroom if there are patients waiting to register ( which was all the time)
We had to wear full strength pads and pee in them while sitting and registering patients.
No drinking anything ( even water ) in front of a patient registering …
Had to text the front desk to beg to go to the bathroom and it would take 20-30 minutes for a reply.
Yep .. turnover rate as a registration rep at a hospital is crazy.


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.


Was working at an Office Depot briefly (I quit after less than a week). One morning, not a single customer was in the store. I asked the store manager if I could straighten up the front of the store til a customer came in. “No. You have to stay behind the register so it looks like we’re prepared in the event a customer comes in.” Literally supposed to just stand there like a robot. I went to lean against the wall. Manager calls from the back room after seeing me on camera, “No leaning. You have to just stand there.”

With no customers even in the store. Just stand still, on concrete, behind a register, indefinitely. All for a measly $8 (back in 2007). I quit the next day. What a f*****g joke that job was.


I once came in late to work, by literally 1 minute. My manager called me at 9am on the dot, as I was walking up the stairs to enter the office. I got a warning for not answering her call to inform her I was walking up the stairs.


I worked for the Anaheim Ducks at one of their ice rinks. I was allowed to wear a hat but it had to be plain. I learned this rule when the manager told me to remove my Ducks hat. Again, I worked for the Ducks.


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?).


I worked for a store manager who “rounded by three.” I said, “no, you have to round by five. 0-4 is rounded down, 5-9 is rounded up.”

“No,” she insisted. “It doesn’t matter what number you round by as long as it’s the same number every time.”

“No, see, if you round by 3, then 0-2 gets rounded down, and 3-9 gets rounded up. That’s nearly twice as likely to get bad rounding errors.”

“Listen, I am a trained educator with two school-aged daughters. I know my math. You men think you know math so much better than women.”

Yet every Monday, when I called in the numbers, they didn’t match what the district manager had. That manager was eventually demoted to a penalty store. When I told the DM the “rounding by three” they said, “that’s technically fraud.” She was later fired from that penalty store in an audit.


When you are walking and have a cup of coffee, it will be in your left hand, you’re left arm will make a 90 degree angle while you are walking with your forearm parallel to the ground. Yoy can not drink the coffee while walking.


When I worked as a recruiter in the HR department of a major corporation, I spent hours a day “approving” and forwarding resumes of qualified candidates on to this one hiring manager. Just to create a paper trail of her “considering” them. Meanwhile, she had the people she wanted to hire, all totally unqualified friends or referrals of friends or relatives, also apply. She then would call me on the phone and give me the names of the unqualified dolts to ensure I also forwarded them for her consideration.

This was, fortunately, a 6 month consulting gig for me. I never encountered it that blatantly at any of the other Fortune 500 companies I consulted to. But I did have another gig where the Staffing Manager ordered me to violate multiple ethical and legal standards. I completely ignored those orders, and my contract was not renewed.


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.


Being obliged to always wear a suit, matching shoes and tie, even if you had to pick up some stuff from the office outside of normal working hours or in weekends. This rule was also enforced for customer visits. We had one customer which had a parking spot at 2km from their office, which required people to walk through some muddy field. Even then we were obliged to wear a suit, and matching shoes and tie.


I asked for a different calculator at work because the one I was using didn’t have all the functions I needed and the woman in charge of supplies denied me and told me the one I was using was fine. Then I left work and cried in my car and went to Walmart and bought a f*****g calculator.


If they ran short of people to work, and they managed to get you on the phone, you had no choice and had to come in if they asked. It was required. But if you didn’t pick up the phone, they couldn’t prove you got the voicemail and they would keep searching for someone. I was not on an “on call” shift at the time.


“No samurai swords on the floor “

Easy rule to follow, really, but ridiculous that it needs to exist.


I used to work at a daycare. The kids were not allowed to scribble. If they were going to color they had to be attempting to color inside the lines.

I did not enforce that rule. I’m not gonna stop a three year old from scribbling. .


I was working as a historian and we published government documents sorted by year, commented. I was done with 1974 and wanted to start 1975, my lazy boss told me I could not start until she finished her part of 1974, so I didn’t do anything but watch movies and write my thesis on paid time for 6 months.


Punching a timeclock for a salaried position. Ostensibly, it was because the clock was one of our products, and having everyone use it was part of the testing, but the owners were super old-school and were probably low-key using it to see when people were in the office.

Though I barely used it (and would occasionally forget to clock out and have like a 3-day shift in the records, lol), and that doesn’t seem to have been held against me.


I had a micromanaging GM who suddenly announced we could only have one nail per wall in our offices to hang up something. Some of us had been in our offices for years and they were highly personalized. It was crazy.


I used to work in a shop, and there we had to ask permission to use the bathroom, and even during breaks, when I think it should be normal to go to the toilet.


We weren’t allowed to leave at the end of our shift unless our replacement was there. So if I was working first shift and the guy working 2nd no called/no showed I had to stick around until they could find someone to replace me. Even worse is that the multiple times this happened the one that didn’t show up for work suffered no real consequences unlike I would have if I left them understaffed for some reason.



We deleted orders from the Screen and sent Cars to parking Lot without reason in Order to get better waiting time statistics.

Because of this Corporate b******t the real waiting time gets longer and there are more mistakes, but Nobody Cares.


I was banned from wearing headbands when I worked as a barista in a café. Owner saw me wearing it one day and made the manager take me aside later to tell me I couldn’t wear them anymore. Stated reason was it made me look too “ethnic.”.


At a manual job I had standing up for 7 hours per day in a hot and sweaty factory floor during a 10 minute unpaid break we were not allowed to sit down. We had to stand up right next to the seats provided for break use. The seats were only to be used for the later unpaid 20 minute lunch break.

Meanwhile the managers who created this rule sat down all day in an air-conditioned office drinking coffee.

Just one example of management logic and motivation of the workforce. Not the way to get the best from your staff.


Somebody somewhere was offended by how they were told that the store was closing, so we were no longer allowed to announce that the store was closing or closed. This led to some really long waits where occasionally a manager would eventually have to go over and help them along and possibly politely tell them we had closed and of course they’d be embarrassed because it was almost an hour past closing time and then we’d still have to wait for the till to be counted afterwards. Ugh.


I once worked in the call center of a large company where we were treated like s**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. Etc. 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.


I got written up for not tucking my shirt in. Same job, I had to cover my nose piercing with a bandaid.

Guaranteed not one customer cared if I had my shirt tucked in. I was behind a counter. And more people commented on the bandaid than ever would have on the piercing.


No headphones.

I was operating a reactor vessel which consisted of two very loud machines, and the monitoring station was right in between them. It was ear-splitting. So I bought a noise-canceling headset which cut the loud rumbling, but allowed me to hear my co-workers over the noise.

Management objected. They didn’t want people listening to music while on the job, so they had banned all types of earbuds, headphones, etc.

I explained that I was just using the noise-canceling function, and demonstrated it to the manager. He agreed that it was very helpful against the noise, and saw that I wasn’t listening to music or anything else.

But he still went with the “rules are rules” approach and the ban held – no headsets allowed. I’ll never understand how a person can manage with his head so far up his a*s.


No coats on the back of chairs. No bags near desks. We just worked at a desk on a computer.


Women were required to wear dresses and stockings. This was in the 1980’s. Also, I got into trouble for not walking quickly enough past the boss’s office.


No talking to each other unless its work related….we started calling out the boss and his son for talking about sports during work hours ,that rule lasted until lunch time.

Madatory shop meeting at 10 am every morning, on day 3 we were all there in the office while boss was on the phone talking about BS to someone , nobody was working for the whole time he was on the phone. Day 4 Boss wasnt in so we had the meeting just sitting around doing nothing for an hour. Day 5 mandatory meetings are cancelled.


Worked in an up market hotel, here’s some of the crazy rules I had to follow
1) always use a company pen to write anything down
2)If you need water you must crouch under the bar so guests dont see you drinking, you cant be seen to be tired.
3)Social media must always be private so guests cant look you up, you must not be seen to have a life outside the hotel, it was unprofessional.
4)Ice cream must always be scooped in professional style quinnels (none of us had restaurant experience, we were bartenders) or it couldn’t be served
5)Glasses from the bar couldn’t leave the bar unless they had liquid in or were dirty
6)We weren’t allowed to say no to a guest, to the point where someone spent a whole day building a flat pack bunk bed set for a guest because her kids wanted that instead of separate.
7)If they heard a guest discussing you, you were under investigation and if they heard a guest say anything negative, fired with immediate effect. They had to look pristine at all times. One afternoon I had to juggle 150 orders alone in 30C heat in tights and I forgot one, I got fired for it.
8)If you did get fired, they asked you not to discuss it with anyone, they asked me not to tell anyone about the rumours management spread about us, about how I was treated, etc. However I didn’t sign anything and it was years ago
9)This was a multi million chain, they had cruise ships, they had hotels, etc. But they were checking us all to the penny. I got caught putting 10p change in the tip jar from a guest and was written up for not giving it back to the company. I got chased out on my way home because they found that I gave a replacement cola bottle to a guest.

Theres probably loads more but those are things I can think of.


At my company years ago, you could go out for dinner on business travel – full dinner, including wine and dessert at the best restaurant in the city – and charge it all off on your expense account. No problem.

But if you just grabbed a $4 can of peanuts for dinner from the minibar at your hotel after work – expense denied.


For most of 2020 during Covid restrictions I had to clean all surfaces in the office three times daily and keep a log of it which I had to email to the district manager. I was the only one working there, who was I sanitizing it for?


I unfortunately worked at burger King during covid, I was the manager. In drive through we had to have customers put cash, coins, and credit cards into a random plastic container they gave us, when giving change back it had to go in the same plastic container. When handing food out it had to be in the container, even a single drink had to be handed out awkwardly in a plastic container.

The owner would sit at home watching security cameras and would damn near instantly call the store if someone didn’t use the f*****g container.

So their idea to prevent people getting sick was to make everyone reach into and touch the same plastic container, we were only required to clean it once every 6 hours.

Hated that job, district manager treated us all like s**t, f**k you Judy.


Whoever is late for a meeting needs to bring chocolates for all team members next day.


A college access nonprofit I used to work at has a culture of hugging for staff and students. They mentioned this at my interview, but I really didn’t think that it was a “rule”. Fast forward to when I had started, each morning, every employee had to go around the office and hug every staff member before sitting at your desk. If you were already sitting at your desk, you had to stand up and hug every other staff member as they arrived to work and walked to your desk. It was awful.


Don’t give receipts to homeless people.

I worked for an upscale grocery store in an area with a lot of homeless people. There was a lot of ready to eat food options including a salad/soup/hot food bar, sandwich counter, and pizza by the slice as well as a seating area. Obviously for someone without a place to cook who likely would get turned away from restauraunts this was perfect.

A lot of the local homeless population came in to get food and the vast majority were decent people, were polite and kept things clean. Even most of the ones with obvious serious mental illness. I even remember a (most likely) schizophrenic woman who would meticulously wipe every inch of the table and chair she used before and after.

Anyway they did a lot of stuff to try to deter homeless people just because they didn’t want them seen in the store. First they tried getting rid of reusable dishes and only having takeout boxes available to nudge people to leave the store with their food.

Then they took out all the chairs at the tables and made people ask a cashier for a chair with their purchase, but not let homeless people. Obviously it didn’t work, cashiers were too busy to deal with that and homeless people just stood at the tables or used a chair the cashiers didn’t have time to collect and lock up again.

Then they put code locks on the bathroom and put the code to enter on the bottom of the receipt. It changed daily. Staff weren’t to give it out to anyone, and we were told we’re not to provide receipts to the homeless when they purchase something and just give them a paid sticker so they can’t even take a p**s.

Needless to say I didn’t follow the rule at all.

Got written up for it once when I gave a receipt to a guy who was wearing dusty clothes covered in paint and the manager was right there. Funny thing was the guy was clearly some kind of contractor/tradesman who just got off work, not homeless.

Anyway I’d been taring the cardboard takeout containers as the heavy ceramic salad bowls that we no longer had for most of the homeless customers for a while because f**k da police, so I guess they were right to fire me in the end. They never caught onto the tare thing though.

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