Rules were made to be broken
Rule are the foundation of a functioning society.
Without them—and without their enforcement—most philosophers agree we would fall into chaos. Would there be property? Security? What current and unspeakable crimes would become commonplace?
That being said, we all know how annoying rules, blue tape, and bureaucracy can be. This is especially true when we’re positive nobody would suffer at all from our bending the rules, but hey, that’s life.
Right along with our intentions, however, rules can come and go. Whether through obsolescence or policy changes, no rule is forever.
Redditors were asked to share the stories of the rules from school or work that were put in place for very good reasons, only to go on to horrible backfire, and they are spectacular.
Do any of these sound familiar?
At a former job (software development), there was a foosball table. People would play reasonably often, but just 1 game to take a break. One day, management came down to the software engineering floor and saw people playing foosball in the middle of the afternoon. They declared “no foosball until 4:30 PM”. That ended up making it so that everybody know when there would be other people wanting to play foosball, so it was much easier to find somebody willing to play and significantly increased the amount of foosball played at work. (nojonojo)
This was just one kid, but it was hilarious.
In the late 90’s, humorous graphic tees became a popular thing and the mall had a few stores that sold “questionable taste” shirts. Shits that said porn star, orgasm, donor, a headless guy holding a sign that says “will work for head”… That type of thing.
The school made a rule that if your shirt was in appropriate, you would have to turn it inside out.
A kid in my class shows up to school with a shirt that says “I’d rather be masturbating”. The teacher sends him to the bathroom to turn it inside out. He returns with an inside out shirt that says “I put the FU in fun”. The teacher doesn’t realize it’s the same shirt. So he takes it off in class and shows her both sides. (he had a few shirts custom made with prints on both sides).
She asks him if he has another shirt in his locker and he says “I have my gym clothes.” She told him to go get the other shirt and change. He walks back into the class with a shirt that says “You’re driving me nucking futs.” The teacher said “just go to the office”.
So he goes to the office and tells them that he was sent there because of his shirt. So they say “turn it inside out” and go back to class. So he turns his shirt inside out and walks back into the class with a shirt that says “free mustache rides”.
She said “did you go to the office?” and he said “they told me to flip it inside out and come back to class”. The teacher sighed and said “just sit down”. She went about teaching and we thought he won. But he ended up getting suspended for 3 days.
When he returned from suspension, he wore shirts for probably a whole week that said: I love teachers, support your local teachers union, cops are the good guys, drugs are bad, wash behind your ears, etc.
It was funny because he made these overtly positive shirts and the teachers (and students) would try to read into it too much to see what they really meant. As if it was just a tongue in cheek thing that they didn’t get. Eventually one of his positive shirts that he found said “support single moms” but he claims he didn’t realize that there was a silhouette of a stripper on a pole. He says he thought it was “just a woman”. So he got suspended again.
As a side note, the same kid bought a blowup doll and took her to every football game, basketball game, pep rally, etc. And gradually worked her into official school functions and brought her to school several times. For whatever reason, the teachers just gave up on that one. We passed her around over our heads at graduation. He even bought her a cap and gown. (B0h1c4)
The Fine Print
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. 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.
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.
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. EarhornJones