The old saying goes that revenge is a dish best served cold. Well, some people think revenge is a great dish no matter how you serve it. These writers got the sweetest revenge of their lives in these tell all tales. Some have been edited for clarity.
“I worked in a restaurant on 72nd street between Central Park West and Columbus ave. It was a huge restaurant that served barbecue and was very affordable, very busy and all kinds of people would come and dine there. I mean a half-chicken was $7.95 and a plate of Ribs was like $12.95. The owner of the restaurant was the biggest a-hole. He treated everyone around him like they were serfs and just walked around the restaurant ignoring his employees. He never acknowledged our existence and I doubt he knew any of our names. God forbid he walked in and saw you standing around, he would just start screaming at you at the top of his lungs. His favorite line was, ‘Are you working? Or are you jerking?’ One of the bartenders told me he was a slumlord and in the winter his tenants would call up and cry because they had no heat. He never said a word to me the entire time I worked there, I guess I and my fellow employees just didn’t matter to him, never got a Christmas bonus, nothing. Management was allowed to throw some pretty wild Christmas parties but that was about it.
After working there for about two and a half years one of our fellow waiters gets everyone together and informs us that we are being shorted on our time sheets. The state minimum wage for waiters was $2.90 an hour. We were only getting $2.00 an hour. Apparently this was being implemented on all employees hourly wages, whether you were a waiter bartender, expediter, etc. I can tell you there were about 120 people working in this restaurant, so he was skimming large amounts of money off people’s checks weekly. And the funny thing is when we cashed out at the end of our shift, if we were a penny short, it was grounds for dismissal. Anyway, the waiter who exposed this suggests all the waiters get together the next morning at the corner of 72nd and CPW, so we could take the train to Brooklyn to the Dept. of Labor. Everyone agreed to go.
Of course at the end of our shift, which was around 2 am, a bunch of us went out drinking and carousing. The next morning I was the only one to show up at 9 am at the corner of 72nd and CPW. I thought everyone was simply running late, so I waited for about a half-hour then jumped on the train and headed out to Brooklyn. When I get to the Dept. of Labor I explain the situation to a gentleman there, and he lets me know that it would take time perhaps a year to process a claim. That my employer would know that it was I that had processed the claim and that I would most likely lose my job. I was like, ‘cool.’ He then asks if I had any pay stubs to show proof, I had actually saved every pay stub I had ever gotten from them and after working there for several months had started being issued checks for 0 dollars and 0 cents. I thought it was because I was earning tips, but did think it was a tad strange.
So I pull out one of the checks for 0 dollars and 0 cents and hand it to the guy, he looks at the check with this incredulous look on his face looks back at me and asks, ‘do you have any more of these?’ I respond yes and pull out a stack of checks for 0 dollars and 0 cents. The guy just starts laughing hysterically picks up the phone and calls everyone in the building to come and take a look. 5 minutes later I’m surrounded by people laughing and holding up the checks to look at them. I politely ask if I have a case, and the guy says, ‘You bet your sweet butt you got a case!!!’ Anyway I ended up going to Europe for several months and when I got back I got a sweet check from the dept of labor, my mom was so proud that I, ‘stuck it to the man’. One night I go to the old job for a drink, the general manager, a prick named Barry comes up to me literally in tears and asks, ‘Why did you do this to us?’ I was like, ‘Do what?’
Barry replies, ‘You reported us to the dept of labor, we were investigated and after that the IRS audited us!!’
I was like, ‘Oh well, stop messing with people’s money.’
I bet the owner knows my name now…”
Don’t Mess With Her
“In 2001, I met this gorgeous Italian guy. He had dark hair, dark eyes, tan, and was well-built.
We were together only 6 months before he introduced me to illicit substances. I had never even smoked pot before. I actually threatened to call the cops on him and his friends for smoking weed in my house- AFTER I flushed the joint down the toilet.
Fast-forward to a year. We were heavily into them. Name it, I didn’t discriminate. He started to become verbally abusive- more so when he was high. Then came the isolation of family and friends and of course, he began beating me.
I had never experienced anything like that, and I was also a little confused and embarrassed. I didn’t know what to do.
After about a year of abuse of every kind and on every level, I decided to fight back. I wasn’t the type to take anyone’s grief.
On a Friday night, he explained that he was going out to the clubs but wasn’t taking me with him. We had just gotten a place together under his name, (I moved out of the house I was renting and wanted to keep my credit score high) and I was angry. I knew he cheated on me with other girls, ‘but I loved him’. Ugh.
He went out and I started hatching plans. I found an old bottle of Nair (for getting rid of excess hair on your body) and dumped it into his expensive shampoo. I wasn’t done though.
I saw his contact case sitting on the dresser. Hmmm. I wasn’t sure of what I was looking for, but I stumbled upon a bottle of Clorox. So, yeah I did it. I replaced the contact solution with bleach. I looked around and couldn’t find anything else to do.
So I hacked his voicemail. Took only 20 minutes to do this. (This was in days when if you called someone’s phone and got their voicemail, you could opt to change the greeting by dialing their password.) His passcode was 6969. Gee, that was hard.
I left a new greeting. It was similar to this: ‘Hi, you’ve reached Ethan’s voicemail. I’m sorry I couldn’t get to take your call, but I caught Syphilis while running a train on a street woman. I’m getting it looked at, but my johnson is so small, the doctor is unable to find it. When I get done at the clinic, I’ll probably go home and beat my girlfriend because I pick fights only with females that I know I can overpower. If you wanted to go on a date, my only request is that you bring money, because I’m not man enough to pay myself. If you still can’t reach me, call the local crack dealer. I may be there. Thanks, bye!’
I invited a friend of mine over that I worked at the club with, (don’t ask how we both managed to be off on the same night) and she stayed with me until Ethan came home @ 4am. He was FURIOUS! His mother heard the voicemail and so did a bunch of his friends. I did a terrible job containing myself. He wouldn’t hit me in front of Savannah though.
The next morning, I awoke to screams coming from the bathroom. As it turns out, big chunks of his precious hair were gone. I played that one and acted innocent but my friend almost threw up trying not to laugh. Her face stayed in the pillow.
Five minutes later, MORE screams. He put one of his contacts in, and was yelling about how much it burned. Maybe I took it to far, but I needed revenge. I wanted to see his karma. His friend came to pick him up and together, they went to a local ER.
I’d had enough of this relationship. While he was at the hospital, my friend and I gathered all of my things as I was going to stay with her. When I grabbed the last of my stuff, I plugged up the bathtub so it would get full, (both bathrooms) and locked the door behind me so it would flood the house. As I said, this was all in his name, so what did I care?”
Freezing A Demon
“Back in the 90s, a new neighbor moved into the house just down the block. He was a single guy in his early 40s, seemed to be one of those guys who worked with his hands and kept mainly to himself. But… it wasn’t very long before we (as in the ENTIRE block) found out that he was a prick.
He had a beautiful vintage ‘69 Ford Mustang GT 500, with (what I found out later) one of the fastest engines ever commercially made.
Well, the neighbor in question definitely thought so as well, especially the over-powered engine. But in a suburb, where can you show off the power of the engine, really?
How about EVERY MORNING AT 5 AM when he went to work.
Every morning, that lunatic would pull out of his driveway, rev up the engine and demonstrate why that car could go 0–60 in 3.3 seconds! That car (and he) would go straight down the length of the block in practically 2 seconds and burst out onto the cross streets until he disappeared in a tell-tale cloud of smoke and exhaust. Our neighborhood had become a 5 AM RACE TRACK.
To put it lightly, the entire neighborhood was NOT impressed. The sound of that car engine could be heard from two blocks away. I think practically all the residents went to him in the period of a week asking him to not drive so recklessly and dangerously and wake up the entire block every weekday (and some weekend) mornings.
He would fake concern, and assure everyone he won’t do it again. And of course, he did it again and again. We complained to the cops, and they gave him a warning several times, but at the time there were no laws on the books in Montreal about sound decibels between 11 PM and 5 AM. Needless to say, we were stuck.
This went on for about two months until winter set in, and I and several neighbors were assembling the local outdoor hockey rink. As we were filling in the rink, making the ice and so on, we were talking about the prick when an inspired idea suddenly flashed in our heads. Looking at the wooden boards that we used to make the ice rink, a devious plan came to mind. We rushed back to my kitchen as soon as we could, and started to work on the math. Later, we went door to door to see who we could conscript to help with our evil plans.
A few more weeks we all waited (by this time, the secret neighborhood revenge task force grew to about 30 households) for an ESPECIALLY cold day in Montreal (-20C and below) and waited for the chance to execute our plan… and then the forecast came of one especially cold night and day. The time had come.
Seeing as the neighbor always went to work at 5 AM, he almost always went to bed around 9 PM. Assuming that he would take about an hour to get ready for work, that gave us a window of around midnight to 3 AM for our plan. And like clockwork, at the stroke of midnight, 30 people came out, with small shovels, wood brackets (the ones we use to make local rinks), buckets and several hoses from the houses surrounding the target house. We all worked efficiently and effectively seeing as we never did anything like this before. Brackets went up. Snow got piled in. Water poured in.
Did I forget to mention again that it was -24C that night?
By 3 AM, we were all done. Our act of vengeance was complete, and had a few more hours still to harden and solidify. And yes, you’ve probably guessed what we did… and at 5 AM, we heard a very loud man ranting and raving, wanting revenge on whomever that did this, screaming that he was going to do horrible things to the people that did THIS to his beloved car.
Yes, we turned his car into A HUGE ICE CUBE.
Needless to say, when life resumed on the street around 7 to 8 AM as people were going to work, we were greeted to a pretty angry guy hammering at iron-strong ice walls surrounding his car. He wouldn’t even look at anyone as people passed by, and only kept muttering to himself something pretty nasty.
It was about three days before he managed to get his car completely free, and that involved a LOT of hot water, hours of labour and god knows what else he had to do. Add on that he had to get back to work each day, the mornings were peaceful as there was nary a roar or sound of anything.
The cops came and asked for statements from everyone in the area to find out who could have done something so terrible, but no one pointed at anyone, and everyone reiterated about how that neighbor had been a prick from day two. He even went door to door, absolutely furious and demanded that someone tell him who did this. I think someone must have called the cops on him because he was threatening too many people. Needless to say, his complaints fell on deaf ears, and even the cops, who I think figured out that this was a group event, brushed his rantings away and threatened him with arrest and told him to calm down or else. Overall, a pretty satisfactory conclusion.
Well, there was a slight miscalculation though… the hot water (then cold) had to drain somewhere, and went down the street turning half the block into an ice rink for a while. Still, aside from a few bags of sand and ice, plus the help of the city and ANOTHER warning from the cops about how he was endangering the street, it was still a successful operation with only a minor inconvenience.
For the next few months, the mornings were quite peaceful. No more 5 AM revving or barreling out of the neighborhood like a demon. And in the spring, a For Sale sign popped up on his lawn. By the summer, we greeted a brand new family to the neighborhood, and life went on in a sleepy (no longer sleep-deprived) suburban neighborhood in Canada.”
Revenge Of Fate
“Some years ago I was recruited by a local company to fill an open executive position, a job with really quite significant responsibilities. I took a day off from my then current job and spent the day with my prospective new employer. Remember, they came to me and asked me to leave a good job to come work with them.
The day went great. We toured facilities, met people, had lunch with senior executives and negotiated a fair and appropriate compensation and benefits package. We toured what would be my department and took a look at what would be my office.
The last meeting of the day was with their Chief Financial Officer. I would be technically operating under his supervision, but from a practical standpoint I would have little need to deal with him, and he would have practically nothing to do with my operations, except at budget time. As soon as I sat down he told me that it was most irregular that I would be offered an executive job without his approval. I pointed out that senior executives of his company had recruited me. He repeated that it was most irregular and that he was not pleased. We talked for a very few minutes when he stood up, walked to his office door and opened it. He looked at me and said, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out.’ He nodded toward the door and I, pretty good at taking a hint, stood up, grabbed my briefcase and left.
Fast forward five or six years. I was working on restaffing a company that my company had acquired. We had cleaned house when we assumed control, it was exceedingly clear that their existing corporate staff was incompetent at best, corrupt at worst.
Our Human Resources department emailed me a resume for a prospective Chief Financial Officer. I read it and found that the candidate had extensive experience in our industry, was qualified and a was Certified Public Accountant with lots of audit experience. Seemed to fit the bill. I ask HR to set up an appointment for him to come see me.
I had not recognized his name, but when he walked into my office I realized that he was the guy that told me that I wasn’t going to ‘work out…’ at the interview five or six years ago. I generally let things go, I don’t carry a grudge or worry about minor insults. But my treatment at his hands those years ago still kind of stung.
I greeted him, interviewed him for an hour and a half, introduced him to a few people, showed him the accounting floor of our building and had a coke with him in the break room.
I asked him to wait in my office for a few minutes. I went and visited with some folks in the operations office for about a half hour. Then I returned to my office. I opened the door, stepped just inside and stopped. He was sitting comfortably in the visitor chair in front of my desk. I looked him right in the eyes, paused for dramatic effect, and said, ‘I just don’t think this is going to work out.’ I stepped back and nodded at the door.
He left. I was told sometime later that it took a couple days for him to remember who I was and how we had been connected. My informant told me he referred to me as ‘That rotten prick.’ That was fine with me, I guess I was a bit of a S.O.B. in that particular relationship.
Don’t Mess With Lawyers
“My wife of seven years had me served with divorce papers at my office. She’d been in a downward spiral and was out of control. Not only had she been sleeping around with a list of people, she’d been spending money at an alarming rate, forged my name on bank loan documents, and set up house with one man she’d been sleeping with. She decided that she was going to come after the 50% interest I had in my family’s company. I’d been given 33% prior to marriage, and inherited another 17% when my mother died.
She’d racked up tens of thousands of dollars in debt, much of which I had no idea about, and as a final act, rented a U-Haul in my name to use to move out of our house and then failed to return it on time… nice…
She hired an attorney known in Dallas for doing high-profile divorces and I had to hire a better one in kind. This was 20+ years ago, and his rate was $350 an hour. His legal assistant was over $200 an hour, so I hired a personal secretary for 1.5 years and she assisted him and me (and his legal assistant) in creating boxes of documentation to refute all her crazy assertions.
When I was served with papers, I was smart enough not to open them, and called an attorney friend. She suggested that prior to opening the papers that I move all the money left in our joint accounts and shut down all the credit cards.
I did this immediately, and THEN opened the papers which included a restraining order that then told me that, as of reading the documents, I could not make any changes in finances, including my salary. I had multiple witnesses to attest to what time I opened the envelope.
We went to mediation and I won on all fronts, as her accusations were INSANE and refutable. Thankfully, the only real asset that we had was my interest in the family business, as I was able to prove that our home had all kinds of structural issues and was not worth what she claimed. As the family business was property prior to marriage and the rest I inherited, her claim was denied.
After everything was said and done, I owed her around $45,000 (I can’t recall the exact amount, but it wasn’t any more than this), as I’d paid off my 50% on all shared credit cards, bought her 6 months of car insurance and packed up what stuff she’d not been able to take the day she moved and rented a storage unit and paid 90 days of rent on it, and then sent her a certified letter as to where it was.
We were to meet at her attorney’s office a few days after the mediation; she failed to show up in time, which was normal for her as she had an ‘everyone can wait for me’ attitude… Her attorney was beside himself… and was MAD. Here we are in this very upscale law firm, and she’s gotten around $45,000 in the mediation… She told them there was HUGE money involved, and they were set to get a percentage. An hour into the wait, he blurted out, ‘I hate this WOMAN’… which caused me to smile, but I had to remind him that, while I totally understood and agreed, he was representing her…. his response was to inform me how much she owed his firm, and that they feared that she was going to jib them out of their fee.
HERE’S THE GOOD PART…
I looked at him and asked him if he’d like me to make the check out for the amount I owed her to his firm, so I could leave.
He asked ‘Would you do that?’ at which point I’m stupefied… I told him flat out that anything I could do to get him 100% paid and stop her from getting a dime was fine by me.
He accepted. I wrote the check, he disappeared and came back with a check for the balance. She called him telling him she was on her way, so I waited. I was able to be there when she arrived, told her that I’d made a check out to her attorney and that I was leaving.
I had enough time to get to my car and make it to the front of the building to see her standing on the sidewalk bawling her eyes out.
In 20 years her life doesn’t appear to have been all that prosperous, but she’s still married to the guy she was sleeping with. He turned out to be a major underachiever and has gotten in trouble with the IRS for attempting to refuse to pay taxes.
My life on the other hand came out GREAT! Remarried, successful beyond my wildest dreams, parlayed the family business into a much bigger business opportunity and doing very well.
She would have come out so much better off if she’d not forced me to spend over $100,000 in legal fees… oh well…”
“It wasn’t me, but a college buddy. But it was so sweet.
There was a really beautiful, popular girl my friend, call him Mike, had a serious crush on. He asked her out several times, but she was always ‘busy.’ She never really discouraged him though, I think she liked the attention.
One day Mike got a hold of two tickets to a sold out U2 concert. He bought them from a friend who had to go out of town for an emergency.
Mike immediately called the girl of his dreams and of course she accepted. He was thrilled and everything seemed fine.
The night of the concert they’re at the arena waiting for the show to begin, and she suddenly says, ‘Oh, I see my friend, I’ll be right back!’
You guessed it, she never returned. Mike stayed at the seats since that’s the only place she would logically look for him. When the show ended, Mike ever the gentleman, waited for a long time, so he could drive her home. But saw no sign of her. She didn’t answer her phone or texts. So he left feeling so hurt.
By the next morning he was rightfully angry! She called him around noon apologizing and saying she ran into her ex they had a long talk and worked out a lot of stuff and lost track of time. She had actually missed the concert and blah, blah, blah.
He accepted her apology and asked if they could try again. She accepted and told him how very nice and forgiving he was. She had underestimated him!
So the next Saturday evening he took her to a very expensive seafood restaurant about an hour up the coast. He was polite and chatty the whole way up there. He made the reservation in her name.
They were seated, ordered a nice bottle, some expensive appetizers and entrees, then Mike excused himself to go to the men’s room. He very deliberately said, ‘I’ll be right back.’
He walked out to the parking lot and drove away. And became the hero of every person who’s been treated badly because the other person just didn’t give care about their feelings.”
A Web Of Revenge
“So had planned to go on a date with my then girlfriend (Hannah). I had been saving up to do something super special with her. We would start off with a movie, then lunch at a fancy restaurant, then go for a jewelry fitting and get some sterling silver lock chains made and then end the day with dinner at my parents’ house to introduce her to the family.
On the day of the date she called to cancel saying her aunt had died. I was disappointed but also felt sorry for her and knew it was a tough time for her family. I then decided to go out and look for something to do. I went to the cinema alone. Now as I was waiting to get my ticket, guess who I see wrapped in some other dude’s hands giggling and smooching. It was the devil’s toenail herself: my girlfriend. Big smile, dressed all nicely and joking around.
Unless her aunt’s funeral was being held while watching Ironman 1, unless they wore butt-riders and crop tops at funerals in their family, and unless they greeted each other with kisses and giggles it was obvious the witch was cheating on me. I was soooooo mad.
I stared at her for a while feeling awful.
But then I figured causing drama will just cause more embarrassment for me and truth be told I could tell by the size of the dude, he could easily whoop my butt. I walked up to them casually and greeted the demon and her boytoy. The panic look on her face was priceless. For a minute I was worried she might just pass out. There was silence for something like eight weeks (well it felt like eight weeks but it was more like eight seconds).
Figuring she had lost her speaking ability I went ahead and introduced myself to her boytoy as an old friend of hers. He smiled and extended his hand. I just casually told them it was nice to see them. I started to walk away but after a few steps I heard a voice inside of me say to me, ‘You are such a wussie. So you just gonna let her walk all over you like that?’ I turned around and returned to them and asked the dude if he was a fan of video games. He agreed enthusiastically. I then continued to ask him if he’d wanna swap phone numbers, and we could link up and play FIFA some time.
We swapped numbers and I left them. I didn’t bother going to watch the movie. I walked home heart in pieces but mind busy calculating her demise and the levels of pettiness I would unleash upon her. The following day the dude sent a text and after a few messages he was at my house, and we were playing FIFA. Careful probing of information from him revealed that he and that spawn of Judas had been dating for months. I thought of telling him that I had been dating her too but I got lost in playing the game and before you know it I discovered the dude was a decent person. We played games, and he stayed for dinner with my family and drove home after.
We hung out more as the days went by and became good friends. All this while he didn’t know the creature he was dating was my ex, and she didn’t tell him despite knowing I was hanging out with him. Ladies and gentlemen this was the best revenge ever. For weeks, she was always on her toes anticipating I am going to tell him. Each time he would appear moody she would assume it’s because I told him and become hysterical asking him to tell her what’s wrong. She began making up conspiracy theories like assuming her boyfriend knows the truth, and he’s only dating her so that he can hurt her later.
She tip-toed around me and being super nice to me. But I wasn’t done with her yet. There was the next phase of vengeance. I introduced one of her friends (Sheila) to the dude. Sheila didn’t know the dude was dating Hannah. Before you know it Sheila and the dude are hitting it off, and they start dating behind Hannah’s back. Yes, the dude is now cheating. Someone in my shoes would have made sure Hannah found out but I didn’t. I was now John Kramer a.k.a. the Jigsaw in this game.
So Sheila and the dude hit it off deeply. They became inseparable. The dude caught serious feelings for Sheila. He confessed to me and asked what he must do. Being a good friend I told him to follow his heart. He went and told Hannah she should move on because she had changed and was suddenly acting weird.
Hannah’s paranoia about me hanging with her boyfriend had turned her into a psycho. She asked the dude if he was dumping her because of me. He asked her why he would do that though and it hit her that he didn’t know. He was actually dumping her because he had found someone else, her friend.
Years down the line the dude is actually my best-friend, and he still with Sheila. The finale was when Hannah bumped into me, my new girlfriend, the dude and his fiancée, Sheila on a double date. The look she had was priceless.”
“Early in my police service, my sergeant gave me a mediocre appraisal. He didn’t follow the appraisal guidelines (discuss it with me first) but sent it on without my knowledge. I had received very good, if not glowing, appraisals until then. The mediocre appraisal prevented me from applying for promotion that year.
My favorite quote for that sergeant was; ‘His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity.’ Google cannot enlighten me who first used that phrase, but it seems to crop up in a lot of different occupations.
It was even more galling that my sergeant wasn’t interested in the job or competent – but he was desperate for further promotion.
When my chief inspector showed me the appraisal he had received from my sergeant it wasn’t long before I questioned some of the bland remarks, typical of an unimaginative manager regurgitating standard phrases.
The feeling I got remained with me throughout my service and was one reason I took great care over appraisals when it became my job to complete them for my officers. I felt they were important in acknowledging people for their efforts and that a good appraisal could motivate people to do their best.
I went to see my sergeant.
‘Sergeant, can I see you regarding my appraisal?’
‘Oh! I did that. It’s submitted,’ he said.
‘Yes. That’s the problem.’
I had a long conversation with my sergeant. It was a conversation we should have had at the start of the process and not after my appraisal had made its way from him, through my inspector to my chief inspector. Our conversation included me asking:
‘You have given me a C grade for ‘investigatory ability’ how do you explain that?’
‘Um, well that’s quite good.’
‘I’ve had A grades for investigatory ability since my leaving my probation. I spent two years in the CID and have detected more cases than anyone else in the division. What have I not done that has caused the apparent decline in my investigatory ability this year?’
He looked at me somewhat confused. ‘I didn’t know you had detected more cases than anyone else in the division.’
‘Well perhaps that is something you should know given your supervisory rank and it would be something I would have brought up if you had followed the proper procedure and discussed it with me before submission.’
‘Um… a C grade is still good though. I can’t change it now,’ was all he could summon as an excuse.
After going through the entire appraisal and pointing out similar issues he agreed to re-assess it.
I’m still waiting.
I asked for a transfer and thrived in another area. In due course, I received my promotion, then another and became an inspector.
They later transferred me to an area where I had responsibility for many police officers, sergeants and civilians. One of those civilians was my old sergeant who had retired and became an office clerk.
I remained professional in all my dealings with him.
The saying: Revenge is a dish best served cold, but it in my experience it is a dish best not served at all. Poison can kill the cook just the same as the diner.
Then I received a complaint.
My old sergeant was bullying other civilian staff in the office. When I investigated I discovered that it had been going on for some time and they had ignored previous complaints.
I called my old sergeant into the office, explained the complaints I had received and asked him to stop.
I was reasonable and reserved.
I expected that to be the end. He had been a police sergeant and knew the consequences of his behaviour. He knew the process.
Yet, he didn’t stop.
Instead of bullying his colleagues he refused to talk to them.
He also became obstructive to other police officers and declined to do his job or if he did he worked interminably slow.
Other inspectors had known what was going on but had done nothing to prevent it.
I discussed it with my boss to see if I could pass this over to our HR department to deal with. He, quite rightly, asked that I deal with it myself. He felt confident I would be impartial and appropriate. I also thought to myself, ‘well – that is what they are paying me for’.
I raised discipline papers. Went through due process and warned my old sergeant that if he didn’t behave properly it would be taken a stage further.
At the appeal hearing, I cited the evidence against him. There was so much evidence HR was appalled that nothing had been done until then.
Rather than change his behavior my old sergeant resigned his position as a civilian office clerk.
Two years after I retired an ex-colleague made me privy to information that my old sergeant had been secretly recording all conversations he had with me and intended to take the police to an industrial tribunal and call me out. The fact that I had acted properly at every turn scuppered him.
After publishing my first police procedural book I received many five-star reviews and a single one-star review – the author of the one-star review was my old sergeant.
Rather than let this worry me I wrote another book, made him a character – then killed him off (not literally but I included all the stories that had made him infamous for being followed out of morbid curiosity).
He doesn’t talk to me when he sees me in the street, he pointedly ignores me.
I nod and say hello. I never receive an answer, but I will always be professional in my dealings with him – no matter what.”
Racism Has No Place Here
“Mine was in the Air Force. I had a racist for an immediate supervisor who always gave me average ratings on my performance. I didn’t realize how bad I was getting worked over until one of my counterparts (who was a total slacker) was shocked that he higher ratings than myself. A ‘3’ is considered average (which I was getting on my reviews). This ‘slacker’ was getting 5’s which is the highest score. I was thinking ‘how the HECK did he get a 5??’ This dude missed time, came to work hammered, was reprimanded for fights….been to jail….etc. My record was SPOTLESS. Always the first on the job and the last to leave. Kept my uniform spotless. So I realized that I’m working twice as hard as this other dude and getting a much lower score.
This was in the 1990’s. I overheard a conversation with my racist supervisor one day about what he wanted to be when he left the military. He stated that he wanted to be a highway patrol officer ‘so that he can legally hit minorities.’ He always made crude jokes about Mexicans and blacks. As an African American myself I hated this dude’s guts. His leadership skills were the worst. I hated every day that I had to work with him.
One day it was his last day of work. The shop was going to throw a going away party for this racist pig. There was an option to donate $10.00 to the potluck to participate in the party or miss out and work. I chose to work. I’m not donating a DIME to this dude’s going away party.
After he gracefully disappeared from the job I thought that would be the last I’ve heard of him. NOPE! I was wrong. Found out later that he did apply for the state highway patrol position.
The timing on this particular day couldn’t have been more perfect. Two men from the highway patrol were visiting our unit and I happened to be the ONLY person there. They asked me ‘who’s in charge?’ Well, I’m the only airman in the shop so I was actually in charge. I asked them what’s going on? They told me that they are doing a follow up on a gentleman who applied for highway patrol who used to work at this unit. I told them I have detailed files on this person. What made this even better was the fact that one highway patrol officer was black, the other was Hispanic. I was so nervous in hopes that our main supervisor didn’t show up because he would give this guy a decent feedback. I wanted them to hear the DARK side of this scumbag.
I told them that he was a decent worker at best but here are some documents I wanted to share. Luckily I kept my old floppy disk handy with all the stuff I wrote to the higher chain of command about this racist. The statements had dates and times I written down of his racist comments over the years. Too many to write in this essay. But let’s just say it was two pages worth (front and back).
The look of disgust was very apparent on their faces. One of them asked me ‘people like him still exist in the military?’ I replied ‘shockingly, yes.’ They asked me, ‘did you ever want to knock this dude out?’ (Many Times I did).
To make a long story short, months went by and I didn’t hear anything. Then one day I overheard a conversation about my former supervisor being turned down for his highway patrol job and was working at a Wal-Mart as a warehouse worker. In all honesty, I take GREAT pleasure in feeling that my sneaky swift actions were the reason.”
Judging Too Soon
“I once got revenge on the CEO of a company for which I used to be employed. I didn’t cause him any of the detriment that he caused me. Instead, I was given the opportunity to teach him a very valuable lesson.
Here’s the story:
I was 16, and was given the opportunity to work at the grocery store in the small town where I lived. It was basically the only place for a teenager to work in town, so I was lucky to have the job. I never worked past 10:30 PM, my boss made sure my work didn’t interfere with my school activities, and the work made me happy. In the beginning, my duties included stocking shelves at night, and cleaning the entire store. My boss quickly recognized and rewarded my hard work with more responsibilities. I went from stock boy/cleaner, to cashier, to evening manager (once I graduated high school). My duties as the evening manager included running the store at night, reconciling sales, taking deposits to the bank, and locking up after work. I had a great relationship with my store manager, and the regional manager over our area of stores.
The store was one of a few dozen in a chain started by the owner of an oil company as a way to distribute his gasoline. The employees held a high regard for the owner. In the few times he visited the store he was kind, and thanked us for our work. He was working toward his retirement, and his son-in-law was transitioning into the CEO role.
As many teenagers in the 90s did, I grew out my hair. As my hair was growing longer, my regional manager asked me kindly to keep my hair out of my eyes (either in a store cap or in a pony tail). There were no rules for appearance in the small company, but he wanted me to be as professional and approachable as possible since I was in a position of management. I was happy to oblige.
In the late 90s, the store was being remodeled and ownership and C-level folks in the company were coming around more often. Evidently, one of the ‘good-ole’ boy higher-ups in the company didn’t like my appearance, and said something about it to my regional manager. I was a valued employee, and my regional manager made it clear that my appearance was a non-issue. He reminded him that there were no rules against my long hair in the company guidelines. Nevertheless, my regional manager made me aware of the situation, and warned me that this higher-up might be around again and to be on my toes if he said something.
A couple of weeks later, this ‘good-ole’ boy came back to the store with some paperwork to deliver to the store manager. I had been instructed ahead of time to take the paperwork on her behalf, but she did not know who would be delivering it. I had just cut off my long hair days before, and pierced both ears. The same guy-with-long-hair-hating guy walked up to the counter where I was checking groceries, and asked for the manager. I told him that I was the manager on duty and I was expecting some paperwork to be delivered. I don’t remember the exact words, but they were something like:
‘You couldn’t be in charge. Our company would never put someone that looked like you in charge.’
I was completely caught off-guard. I asked him what he meant.
He said that I looked like a girl with my ears pierced, and that there’s no place for that here. He said that I had to take off the earrings. I respectfully defended myself. I told him that there were no rules established for appearance. I had been a model employee for several years, and was entrusted with the store every evening that I worked.
He reprimanded me in front of some of our regular customers for talking back to him. He left the paperwork and walked out of the store. I saw him pull out his cell phone to make a call as he was leaving.
It was only a few minutes later when my regional manager called the store to talk with me. He wanted to hear my side of the story. He apologized, but told me this guy was bent on making an issue of my appearance.
A week went by and I saw that I was scheduled for a Saturday morning. That was unusual since I was the night manager. I arrived for work and the regional manager was there. He talked with me in the office and told me how sorry he was to have to let me go. I asked on what grounds. He replied with insubordination.
I was at a loss. Even to this day I’ve never been so much as ‘written up’ at any place of employment. I told my regional manager that I was going to fight this. He even did me the courtesy of writing the number down for the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) from the poster in the office.
I went home (which was with my parents as I was home from college for the summer), and explained to my dad what was happening. He didn’t really want me to pursue the EEOC thing, but I was determined to stand up for myself against the ‘good-ole’ boy corporate bully. After speaking with someone at the EEOC office, she believed I had a case for wrongful termination. They offered to see me that afternoon.
Before driving to Dallas to meet with someone about my case, I decided to give the company a chance to rescind the firing. I really liked my job. I loved the people at the store, and all the customers I got to interact with every day. I didn’t think I would be able to find another job that gave me the flexibility to work weekends through music school and give me full hours at every break. I really wanted to make this work. So, I called the corporate offices.
After some time on hold I was actually passed along to the CEO of the company (remember, the son-in-law) who was now fully in charge after the wonderful owner had retired.
He was aware of the firing (because he likely approved it), but had only heard the side of the story that came from his entrusted bigoted corporate bully friend.
I respectfully told the CEO that I would love to meet with him and have the opportunity to share my side of the story. I wanted to give him the whole picture of who I was, not some idea based on my appearance. He told me that he didn’t need to meet with me to understand that I was a brat trying to get away with being disrespectful to an administrator in the company. I told him that I was planning on meeting with the EEOC that afternoon, and thanked him for his time.
After my meeting, the person in charge of my case filed paperwork for wrongful termination. She said it would take a little time, but that the company would likely have to pay me an average salary for the next six months. I wish I could remember all the details of this. It was a pretty sweet deal. I got to take a semester off from working and fully focus on my college studies, while getting a paycheck in the mail. It was great!
Then came the lawsuit. The company stood by their claim that one instance of insubordination was a legal grounds to fire me, and that I was being insubordinate by not complying with the demands of a high level employee.
I received a letter in the mail that the company was suing me for a sum equal to the pay they had given me over the six month period. I don’t remember exactly everything from that letter, but I do remember something about there being so many labor lawsuits that they did their best to handle them over the phone. I was to call in to a number at a specific time to have a conference call hearing with a labor judge.
I had to tell one of my professors that I would miss class one day for the hearing. I sat on my bed in the my college apartment while I listened over the phone to two attorneys for the company argue their case against me. The CEO of the company was on the line as well. The judge had a copy of the employee handbook from my time at the company, which had no mention of employee appearance. My manager and regional manager had given positive testimony on my behalf.
The judge essentially told the company that this was petty. That their legal costs far exceeded the six months of pay they had given me. He told them it appeared they were making this personal. His ruling was that I would keep the six months of pay (thank goodness because I had been spending it)!
But that wasn’t my revenge.
After my job-free semester of college, it was time to get a holiday job that I could hopefully keep on the weekends and change to full time during my last summer before student teaching and graduating. I applied at a retail giant that had an extensive electronics section. I wanted to sell electronics.
During my final interview the human resources agent asked about my firing. She had a great time listening to the story! She asked if I would mind taking off my earrings for work there as it was against corporate policy for men. I told her that I would absolutely take off my earrings for work. Not only was it against their policy, I was planning to be a teacher soon anyway (male teachers in Texas just didn’t wear earrings at that time).
I did well at this store. HDTV had just become a thing, and projection big screens were selling like hotcakes. I was working on commission, and the paychecks were great. I worked with a lot of folks that didn’t understand all the facets of the transition to HDTV, and really couldn’t answer important questions for customers. HDTVs weren’t priced like they are today. Most of the name brands were $4,000 and up at that time. Consumers desired a lot of confidence with purchases of that amount. I quickly became the go-to guy on this. Happy customers would send friends and family to me. I loved this job!
I was lucky to make one of my best sales to a retired couple that had means to buy the best of everything. They wanted the best, but they wanted to understand all of the details and be confident in their purchase. They had been to a few places that weren’t able to answer their questions, then they came to me. There was something familiar about the gentleman. I felt like I knew him from somewhere, but I couldn’t quite place it.
When making the purchase, customers had to give me their name and address for delivery. I was absolutely stunned to hear his name…former owner/now retired of the grocery store chain where I used to work. I hadn’t recognized him in casual clothes and out of the store environment.
His wife was wonderfully sweet, and very complimentary of me. She said that she was about to give her family some monetary gifts for the holidays so that they could have HDTVs at their homes. She was going to recommend that they come to see me for the purchase.
I still remember how I felt the day the son-in-law CEO came to my store, and asked for Greg (only our first names were on our name tags). He didn’t really visit the grocery store like his father-in-law, and ran the company from the company headquarters. I had only seen him once in my years at the company, but I knew it was him when I shook his hand and he told me his name.
I actually trembled with nervousness (and probably a little anger), as I answered his questions. I must have seemed strange before I composed myself. I smiled as he mentioned how much his in-laws thought of me. I got him set up with his needs. He thanked me profusely, and told me that it was hard to find reliable information and good service these days.
I told him that if he needed anything to come back and see me. I rarely used them (because I was only going to be there for a year), but I pulled out a business card and handed it to him. I told him to ask for Greg, Greg Hamilton. He looked at the card and slowly looked up at my eyes.
‘Yes sir, Greg Hamilton. I’m so happy I was able to help you today. I take a lot of pride in my work, and I hope that it shows.’
There was long awkward stare before he walked away. He actually turned back and took another look at me before leaving the store. I’ll never know what he was thinking. But I like to think that he realized that he fired a respectable young man that took pride in his work, solely based on bias.
The best revenge doesn’t come from hurting someone. Deep down, what we really desire is to help someone learn a lesson. I’m so thankful that I had the chance as a young man to teach an important lesson to this CEO.”