Employees Share 18 Of The Most Ridiculous Office Rules

Receptionist, Girl, Working, On the phone

Recently a 16-year old was arrested for a science experiment that went wrong. The excessive nature of the punishment for something harmless had people questioning the school’s rules. 

question raised on Reddit asked users to chime in and give examples of harsh or absurd rules from work and school, and thousands of responses came pouring in. 

We’ve picked out our favourite ridiculous rules from the thread, including stringent beard regulations to one policy requiring workers to wear goggles when operating a stapler.  

No water bottles for this worker. Only small cups of water that must be immediately thrown out.

'My place of employment only lets staff drink water from small cups, and you must drink the whole cup immediately, then dispose of the cup. You are not allowed to have water bottles on shift, no matter which part of the store you are working in. If you are on break (unpaid time) you cannot purchase a bottle of water, even if you drink all of it and dispose of the bottle before you come back on shift.'

Source: Reddit

Outside sodas are banned from one office to preserve a vending machine monopoly.

'I can't bring in soda to share with other employees because there is a vending machine.'

Source: Reddit

Every email must have a purpose like 'casual memo' or 'request for time off' at one office.

'We are incapable of sending emails from our work accounts without selecting what the email is for. To send it, we have to select from a drop-down menu things like 'casual memo' or 'request for time off...It's relatively new, so I think they're going to revert it, because everyone, especially lower management is going nuts over how absurd it is.'

Source: Reddit

Union rules prohibit workers from moving a desk across the office. You have to schedule movers.

'Want to slide a desk across the room? Can't. That is violating union rules...You have to call and schedule the movers.'

Source: Reddit

One office doesn't trust workers to operate a stapler without eye protection.

'You have to wear safety goggles when using a stapler at work.'

Source: Reddit

In an environmentally unfriendly move, one workplace prohibits workers from turning their printer off.

'At my work there are signs on the printers that say the warranty will be void if the printer is turned off.'

Source: Reddit

One attorney has to tell the receptionist where he's going every time he leaves the office.

'I need to tell the receptionist where I'm going when I leave the office and inform her of my return as I walk past her. I'm an attorney for Christ's sake; I had more autonomy in undergrad.'

Source: Reddit

Servers at one ritzy cafe had not one, but five different rules governing beard maintenance.

'I used to work for a ritzy cafe that had five separate and distinct beard rules. Beards had to be between a certain length or you had to shave it. No mutton chops. There were rules about mustache/beard combos. If you wanted to grow a beard, you were not allowed back into work for two weeks until you grew it out to a 'respectable length.''

Source: Reddit

At another user's former job, growing facial hair on the job was entirely forbidden.

'At my former job we weren't allowed to 'grow' facial hair. So we were allowed to either have no facial hair at all, or have a FULLY grown moustache. Our manager told us if we wanted to have a moustache, we would have to go on vacation, grow a stash, and come back from our vacation with a fully grown moustache. So on the next day we all showed up wearing fake mustaches.'

Source: Reddit

A worker was forced to spit out half of a cookie taken from an unguarded cart.

'My office was near a large meeting room, and one day I passed by an unguarded cart. Half an hour later, I passed by it in the other direction. An hour later, I saw it was still there, untouched. So I went an snatched a cookie. This tiny little woman made me spit out the half of a cookie I already had in my mouth into a napkin in her hand like a I was a 4-year-old spitting out a bug or something.'

Source: Reddit

At one insurance company, workers are written up if they're one minute late coming back from either of their 15 minute breaks or lunch.

'I used to work at Elephant Auto Insurance, and they are ridiculous about their timestamps. ... You are allowed one fifteen minute break at 10:30. You are allowed your lunch at 1:00, and you are allowed one more fifteen minute break at 3:30. If you are ONE MINUTE late coming back from any of those three things, you are immediately written up.'

Source: Reddit

Messengers at a law firm can't carry even a single box without a dolly.

'When working as a messenger at a law firm we had to use a dolly for everything. Moving a single box without a dolly was breaking the rules. Well, since I am not a tiny girl. ... I would carry several boxes of paper around with me when resupplying the copy and fax machines. They eventually fired me over it.'

Source: Reddit

A sometimes chilly warehouse forbids hats for its workers. Even the bald ones.

'I work in a warehouse. No hats. It's cold here in the winter and the poor bald guys can't wear hats.'

Source: Reddit

A strangely strict no popcorn rule is enforced at one office.

'Where I started working about two months ago, there's a serious, strict 'no popcorn' rule. This applies to popcorn that's cooked elsewhere and brought in (such as movie theatre) and popcorn cooked in the microwave. There was a strongly worded email from the big boss that circulated two years ago outlawing popcorn. I was informed in my first two weeks when said email was forwarded to me by a colleague. The reason given in the email was 'has anyone ever tried to talk on the phone and eat popcorn?''

Source: Reddit

One company bans even cell phone shaped objects in your pockets.

'No cell phone shaped objects in your pockets at work. At first I thought it was a typo, then they started to write people up for wallets, packs of gum, and other rectangular shapes in our pockets.'

Source: Reddit

Desks have to be completely empty except for one personal item at one government department.

'I used to work in a government department, and people used to keep snacks on their desk while working, because we're human. The employer implemented 'lean working' so every desk had to be totally empty, except for select items that had to be arranged in a certain way (pens had to be to the upper left of the keyboard, I think). This rule forbid food items, but allowed one 'personal item.' One staff member had a banana in a banana case as her personal item. She was told to put it away.'

Source: Reddit

'Someone at work sneezed and another one said 'bless you!' A third party heard it and complained to HR about it. Guy who said 'bless you' was given a warning and had to take a course in professionalism.'

Source: Reddit

Smoking was prohibited when this user was travelling in their own personal vehicle between locations.

'No smoking in your own personal vehicle while travelling between locations.'

Source: Reddit

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