People Share The Times Work Or School Rules Backfired Horribly

Ashley Hunte
A red, octagonal stop sign.
Unsplash | Joshua Hoehne

Rules are made to keep people safe and orderly. At least, that's what they're supposed to do. But a lot of rules out there cause more harm than they do good.

So when Redditors were asked about the times their schools or workplaces had implemented rules that backfired, they couldn't pass up the chance to tell their stories.

"My senior year of high school we got moved into a new school building across from a grocery store." - julia_noelle95

Several opaque, reusable water bottles.
Unsplash | quokkabottles

"The builders put walls up over the plumbing for water fountains by accident so there was a huge increase in reusable water bottles, and the school put up a vending machine entirely full of water.

"Now I suppose it’s time to mention that this was in Washington state, where you can sell liquor in grocery stores along with anything else."

"SO some freshman got the bright idea to start stealing vodka from the store [across] the street, fill disposable water bottles with it, and sell it to other students."

A bottle of Smirnoff vodka. Remember, underaged drinking is bad.
Unsplash | William Warby

"This caused a huge problem with a large population of drunk underclassmen wandering the halls of the school and getting into trouble. Finally the staff got together for a meeting about what to do. Someone suggested banning water bottles."

"So now students had NO access to water during school hours, and everyone was enraged."

A woman texting while also holding a water bottle.
Unsplash | Bluewater Sweden

"There were articles written about it and parents complaining. People all over town were talking about how we had a ban on water. They eventually lifted the ban, and the vodka problem resumed."

Sounds like a no-win situation to me.

"Not sure if it was exactly a rule but my middle school once encouraged kids to not touch each other at all to reduce physical harassment cases, even friendly gestures among friends." - Nafemp

Two young siblings hugging.
Unsplash | Patty Brito

"All that did was get the kids running around touching each either around campus for about a month and a half screaming 'physical harassment' as they did so. To add insult to injury they did it twice as often in front of the admin who made the presentation about it."

"In my dorm, if you did something that triggered the smoke/fire alarm, you had to do a safety presentation for everyone on your floor." - EarhornJones

Fire alarms are important for warning you about a fire.
Unsplash | Jalen Hueser

"This was intended to deter pranksters from pulling the alarm.

"A guy on our floor was making grilled cheese in the kitchenette, and burned it, which legitimately triggered the fire alarm."

"Afterwards, he explained, assuming that since it had been a legitimate alarm, and not a prank, that he wouldn't have to do a presentation. He was, of course, wrong."

A grilled cheese sandwich.
Unsplash | Pixzolo Photography

"So, the next Wednesday night, the entire floor assembled, and we were treated to a thirty minute safety presentation on the dangers of grilled cheese sandwiches."

"It contained literally nothing about fire safety. It was all choking hazards and cholesterol."

Cholesterol aside, grilled cheese is good.
Unsplash | Scott Eckersley

"Our RA was furious, but the student pointed out that the write-up that he'd been given just said 'safety presentation.'

We didn't get any more presentations after that."

Imagine getting in trouble because the smoke alarm did what it was supposed to.

"We got a new manager for our office - she was an outside hire and was trying to prove herself quickly, and she was obsessed with efficiency." - therealmrthomas

A fruit bowl on top of some books on a desk.
Unsplash | Brooke Lark

"So, her first week here she sent out this very rudely worded email about employees eating at our desks (we have a very small break area - 4 tables and we have about 300 employees here) and that we all had to stop eating at our desks, because 'it was not efficient to eat and try to work at the same time.'"

"Through a coordinated effort by some of the more sassy people at the office they all had their lunches at the same time and filled the break room with about 90 people."

A restaurant/café filled with a few patrons.
Unsplash | Redd

"Elbow to elbow and they all ate standing up. Literally, the next day after that happened, she sent out a follow-up email saying that we could eat at our desks but she advised us to take a break from our work from time to time."

"My High School made students wear these neon t-shirts that read 'Dress Code Violator' if their outfit didn't adhere to the school's policy." - justinmoore34

A bunch of brightly colored shits.
Unsplash | Lena Kudryavtseva

"They became so popular the school began selling them one week later."

It looks like the school turned the backfired rule into their favor (also I wish I had one).

"School I attended emailed the entire student body to not use Yik Yak because students were being bullied on it." - Anidma

A person on a phone, probably not using the app Yik Yak.
Unsplash | Jae Park

"All of the students, myself included, who hadn't heard of the app immediately downloaded it and began using it."

"A school in my area jacked up the cost of the parking pass. People protested by not buying the pass. Instead they rode the bus." - Myfourcats1

The inside of a public transit bus.
Unsplash | Mitchell Johnson

"Funny thing is the county really relies on juniors and seniors driving because they don’t have enough busses for all the students. The parking pass fee dropped. People drove again.

"Don’t ever let them tell you driving to school is a privilege. They NEED you to drive to school."

"My senior year of high school some guy in my class got an in school suspension for wearing a headband (he had long, curly hair)." - Nova297

A man wearing an orange headband.
Unsplash | Curology

"So the next couple weeks almost every guy on the football team started wearing headbands in protest. Keep in mind that girls could wear headbands, just not guys. No one really understood this rule."

The user then explained that their school ended up getting rid of the rule because of football season.

A man wearing a bandana as a headband.
Unsplash | Amir Esrafili

"They tried suspending a couple of the guys on the football team but, as with most places, football was so important that they couldn't suspend everyone because this took place right in the heart of football season, so they eventually gave up."

"My Jr. high school adopted a policy to not allow kids to loiter in groups of 5 or more, in attempts to crack down on 'gang mentality.'"

A group of five kids running around while wearing rain ponchos.
Unsplash | Vitolda Klein

"Me and my group of misfits (6 of us) were always hanging out during free times, and the principal eventually stopped us and asked us to separate."

"I had to casually explain to him that were we not a group of 6, but 2 groups of 3 that were inter-mingling."

A large group of kids in an assembly.
Unsplash | Rachel Coyne

"People caught wind and that rule was basically dead.

"That was one of the few times I had to explain to my father why he was called into the principals office with me."

"An insane amount of time and hand wringing went into my office's dress code policy." - admiralfilgbo

A store filled with different outfits and clothing pieces.
Unsplash | Burgess Milner

"When the final draft was ultimately released, every department head had a valid reason why their staff should be exempted. So the policy wound up only affecting myself and the guy that insisted on making the policy. I violate this policy on a daily basis."

"Our school made it so you couldn't play dodgeball anymore." - Oscer7

Some kids playing dodgeball, a game that isn't really that dangerous.
Unsplash | Wan San Yip

"So what happened was is that the gym teachers came up with this new game called 'Fireball.' The rules are there are balls in the middle of the gym people go on two separate teams go for and if you get hit you're out, if you catch a ball you- okay so it was basically dodgeball."

"Then fireball was banned."

A kid picking up a ball during a dodgeball game.
Unsplash | Wan San Yip

"So now there's this new game called 'Pinball.' Which isn't involving the machines unfortunately but it's basically dodgeball/ Fireball but there's bowling pins that need to be knocked over as well. I think they just gave up after a while."

"'Don't do anything unless directed by your Boss, any deviation from this will result in write-up/termination.'" - squeeeeenis

Adam Sandler holding a dodgeball and saying, "Now you're all in big, big trouble" as he throws it.

"This was a very literal directive from upper management that took place after an office incident. Our work is very fluid, and our team alone contained 20 people. Needless to say productivity hit unfounded lows."