Revenge at the Workplace
A lot of people have jobs. Some of these jobs are careers, something you’ll spend the majority of your life doing to earn an income and, hopefully, enjoy a respectable retirement. No matter which you have, at some point you’ll run into a bad boss, an uncaring company, or asshole coworkers.
Taking revenge on your company, deciding on the type of retaliation you’ll do to get your revenge, takes careful consideration. Generally speaking, if it’s more than someone stealing your lunch, or taking your designated parking space, you should contact an employment lawyer ASAP.
The Rules to Follow for Workplace Revenge
Always, ALWAYS, keep a journal of incidents, dates, times, people involved and witnesses. Ideally, you’ll follow up any incidents with witnesses by private email and discuss what happened. Their reply to your email will provide factual confirmation of the incident, which you may need later on.
Whether you have a job or a career, ultimately you’re replaceable and no one will look after you better than you.
The Rules Workplace Revenge
- Know your workplace rules. Ensure they are being violated when bad things happen to you at work. Deciding you need to retaliate without actually being denied something, or otherwise being abused at work, means you’re just a bully. And that means someone will come after you sooner or later.
- If you have an employment contract, re-read it with a fine-toothed comb and look for specific clauses that are being violated.
- Understand the employment regulations in your jurisdiction, as you gain insight to potential violations you will build your case for justified retaliation, whether you do this yourself or have outside help, such as legal representation.
Be Proactive Before Things Turn Bad
Your employment is your livelihood, The first thing you need to do is protect your income.
When a coworker is behaving badly towards you, try to cut it off quickly. Let them know what they are doing is not appreciated and could be perceived as something possibly contrary to workplace rules and/or criminal (depending on the incident).
If you do not get a satisfactory response, look to escalate the issue up the ladder and/or to human resources.
The potential for a lawsuit will depend on the seriousness of the incident and you should be comfortable speaking with a lawyer as needed.
And again, write everything down in a journal including incident details, dates, times, places and witnesses.
How to Get Revenge on a Coworker
There are a lot of reasons to retaliate against a coworker at work.
Is a coworker taking all of the recognition for a job well done and leaving you unrecognized despite your important contributions?
- Get documented proof of your contributions and keep records of how you’ve been shorted on any accolades and additional bonuses or opportunities missed out on because of this. HR or an employment lawyer will need this info.
Is a coworker stealing from you?
- This is a very common occurrence as far as lunches and snacks go. I like the “substitution revenge” such as replacing candy with chocolate Ex-lax or some other harmless but nasty tasting food. In the past people have put notes on their drinks in their work fridge only to have the drinks still be stolen. Changing the contents to be sour milk (as an example) in place of fresh milk while having a note on the container that says “Do not touch” absolves you of blame and lets the thief get their just desserts. The same can be done with stolen sandwiches, etc. If they are your property, you can include a hidden Apple Tag or other tracker to identify where your property went, whenever possible. If they are stealing your money, look for a place to hide a small video camera and catch them in the act.
- Give the annoyance right back to them. They are trying to get a rise out of you, so throw it right back that them, with a direct response. My favorite direct response, however, is “Why would you do that (say that) to me? What are you trying to accomplish?” Embarrassment works wonders as a revenge tactic. And having a spy camera/recorder in a pocket or sitting on your desk, or with you wherever you are, is a great to gather evidence of continued harassment.
Not doing their job and getting away with it? Or forcing you to do their work?
- The obvious solution is to do a poor job and let them take the blame for it. Or doing a great job and provide the documentation completed that has hidden text within it that identifies yourself as the actual author of the work. I’ve used this revenge tactic myself when needed. Steal the thunder from my hard work will you? I’ll put in very small text that I did the work and save a copy of the document for my eventual HR meeting so I can expose you.
- If they’re just lazy you can hope they will eventually get caught and flame out, but the best way to ensure they get what’s coming to them is to find ways to volunteer more work to them. I once spoke to my manager about the inherent brilliance of a coworker who then was assigned some of the tougher tasks, which they promptly bombed out on and were written up, demoted and eventually fired. It took a while and involved a few planning steps, but was worth it in the end.
How to Get Revenge on a Bad Boss
When you’re stuck with a bad manager or boss, getting revenge can be trickier. Their intimidation tactics that make you fear for your job, and income, can have lasting effects and will certainly take away from your job performance.
A big deal is being made of “Quiet Quitting” which I totally agree with. You’re paid for a certain job to be accomplished within certain business hours. Doing more work over and above you’re agreed on (or contracted) to do gives your workplace freebies that they’d otherwise have to pay more for, hire more for, and certainly would cost them more.
While it’s always a great idea for you to find ways to save your company money (any maybe earn some accolades or bonuses), there is absolutely no reason for these cost savings to be on the backs of the fellow employees at your workplace.
When you have a bad boss, you know the type, demanding, unreasonable, talks down to you like a child, shouts for no reason and wastes your time because he likes to hear his own voice… I could go on but you get the idea… you need to do two things:
- Protect yourself
- Protect those around you
This protection may involve hidden cameras and/or recorders. It will certainly require creating a journal for documenting the “bad boss incidents”. Direct retaliation may not be an option. Every case has its unique qualities and circumstances.
If your bad boss is picking on you, look for similarities for how he treats other employees. Many bosses are narcissists that thrive on setting up a hostile workplace, so your case may not be a one-off or unique actions on their part.
Here are some “Bad Boss” stories from the news:
How to Get Revenge on a Bad Workplace
Sometimes a workplace has a toxic environment that no amount of discussion or complaining or changes can fix. Until the sshake-up starts at the top and works its way down, nothing will ever change.
Threats of violence and intimidation from coworkers, managers and bosses should never be tolerated and you need to put your safety ahead of everything else in these cases. Look for a way out of your job that will also, potentially, provide a monetary settlement.
Revenge on bad businesses can take many forms, such as:
- Posting fake coupons to offer high discounts on products and services
- Posting negative reviews, not only on Google and such publicly available review sites, but also on job hunting sites to warn others of the business and the work environment there.
- Posting signs in the business’s neighborhood detailing issues with the business, staff, owners, services and products.
- Contacting local news outlets to share your story
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