Worker Praised Over Petty Revenge on Boss Who Made Him Ask to Use Bathroom

A man claiming to be a former Air Force worker has regaled the internet with the story of how he was able to exact brilliantly petty revenge on an overbearing boss.

Having a bad boss makes a huge difference whatever your line of work. In fact, research shows it can be the difference between staying with one employer or seeking new opportunities elsewhere.

According to a poll by global staffing firm Robert Half, around 49 percent of the professionals they polled admitted to leaving a job due to a bad boss.

Social media is awash with stories about difficult employers. From bosses gifting terrible presents in the annual secret Santa to managers texting workers demanding they cover shifts at the last minute.

Inattentive bosses can be a nightmare - but so are overattentive ones as the story shared to Reddit by a user posting as WaveLindsay demonstrates.

According to the post, WaveLindsay spent many happy years working for the Air Force in communications security. It wasn't exactly your run-of-the-mill office job, as he explains in the post.

"We had Top Secret clearances, and handled collateral secret equipment and sensitive encryption key material on a regular basis," he wrote. "They assumed we were adults and generally treated us as such."

Things ran smoothly enough in the role, save for an incident he remembered from when they were working out of a temporary facility. He was sharing an office with his supervisor, while his manager was in a room nearby.

"One day, I did what all civilized humans do at least once a day, and went to use the restroom," he said. "I came back, my supervisor said Sergeant Smith [his manager] was looking for you."

He then found himself facing an interrogation of sorts with his manager asking: "Why weren't you at your desk?"

When he explained he was "just using the restroom," his manager responded: "You need to be at your desk at all times, and when you're not, you need to let me know." Evidently frustrated at the over-officious nature of her demand, he decided to take things a little further.

Doing Just as He Was Ordered

"I made sure to let her know every time I left my desk using Skype - just as she ordered me to," he wrote. "Every bathroom break. Every drink from the water fountain. I even notified her I was leaving my desk to come talk to her after she told me to come talk to her. Every. Single. Time. I left my desk, she was notified."

The final straw came when he told her he was grabbing a form from the printer.

"Why are you using a printer in a different room?" she asked. "I'm not," he replied. "But I have to leave my desk to retrieve it."

After that she ordered him to stop telling her when he left his desk except for when he was on lunch. A small, but important victory, the man earned plenty of praise from his fellow Redditors.

"Haha I love seeing stuff like this," chiparrific wrote. Tomtarnowski added: "Thanks for the chuckle."

"This is gold. Well done," Njb42 commented.

For others, like RedBenzo, the story brought back painful memories.

"My manager took it a step further and said I need to ask permission before I go," they wrote. "To this day I still beat myself up for not recording that interaction and getting a slam-dunk lawsuit."

Akiba89 responded: "I wish I did this when my supervisor was straight up harassing me at my old job. She would regularly and loudly tell me how long I was in the bathroom in front of people. She did this even after I told her I had stomach issues."

Zeraphyre concluded that while only a minor win, the story nevertheless made for "pretty satisfying" reading for anyone who has ever had a boss like that.

Newsweek has reached out to WaveLindsay for comment.

A bathroom sign and an angry boss.
File photos of a bathroom sign and an angry boss. A man who was ordered to ask his boss for permission every time he took a bathroom break found the perfect way to hit back. David Tran/AntonioGuillem/Getty