Look, I’m not the only person ever to have had a terrible boss. I know that plenty of people have to deal with nasty, entitled snobs who parade fake Rolexes on their brittle wrists, judging their workers for their cheap clothes when they’re the one who sets the wages.
Others spend their days listening to crotchety old employers complain about the laziness of modern youth while they expect qualified interns to tend to their every whim.
Others spout off about how technology is “corrupting our minds” while sharing minion memes on Facebook on their work computer. I get it.
My boss, though? My boss was the worst. Mr. Rankin had a hot temper and a mean streak a mile long.
He enjoyed nothing more than screaming at his employees about meaningless things: deadlines missed that he had never actually set, non-existent dress code violations… really comic stuff.
He particularly liked trying to see how quickly he could get new employees to cry. Everyone hated him, but nobody knew what to do.
It wasn’t just the cruelty – he was also a drunk. Every day he would leave on an “extended lunch” and come back smelling of alcohol, slurring his insults as he retired to his office to waste the afternoon playing solitaire on his computer.
He loved to pass himself off as something of a connoisseur, spouting names of different fancy vodkas to show how cultured and wealthy he was. Personally, I thought they all tasted like paint stripper.
So, obviously, I had to get my revenge. The time came – about four years too late if you ask me – to move on from my cubicle-based purgatory to a whole new frontier of employment… I got a job in the building next door.
The pay was about the same, and the responsibilities were inconsequential, leaving me less of a cog in the machine and more of a useless screw left over at the end of construction when nobody could figure out why it was in the box, but it would be away from Sir Useless the Arrogant.
Though the concept of giving “two weeks’ notice” – enough time for any competent boss to find a suitable replacement for me, and for mine to grumble at length about how ungrateful I was for leaving – rubbed me the wrong way, it also provided me with an opportunity.
While Rankin wasted his time coming up with what he thought were witty insults, the effect ruined by how often he stumbled over the words, I concocted my plan.
It took a few days, a few favors, and a whole lot more cash than I could really afford to spend, but eventually, I was ready.
The whole “fill someone’s office floor with cups of water” prank has been done to death.
As much fun as it would have been to watch Rankin attempt to navigate his office without spilling anything, I knew that he would probably just force some intern to clean the mess up for him while he went to get drunk.
Instead, I designed a prank that played right into his worst qualities. While he was stalking around the office floor, filling the place with discomfort and body odor, I snuck into his room and made my move.
By the time I was done, there were hundreds of cups lining the place, but all were seemingly empty.
When Rankin got back from his daily tirade, I watched out of the corner of my eye as he took in the sight before him.
His blotchy skin cycled through a whole range of colors – going from his usual jaundiced pallor to a deep scarlet, then purple-ish, then completely white.
It was like he was an alien trying to figure out what the appropriate human response to this unfamiliar situation was.
Eventually, he settled on rage. This was what I had been banking on – the man had never learned how to manage his anger.
I sat at my computer, typing away to pretend to be busy (though secretly just writing out every foul insult I could think of for my soon-to-be-former-boss) as I watched the scene unfold. Rearing back with a warbled, throaty cry full of mucus and fury, he swung out his flabby leg to kick the cups.
They flung everywhere, with little other consequence, batting uselessly against the walls and his desk.
He huffed, stepping forwards towards the middle of the room through the haphazard path he had cleared and lashing out again.
This was where things got interesting. At the center of the room, practically invisible among their hundreds of identical brothers, five cups were not like the other.
Why? Because I had filled them to the brim with vodka. Not just any vodka, either – Rankin’s own supply, apathetically expensive brand that he kept displayed on his shelf as some kind of alcoholic status symbol.
I figured it would be two birds with one stone – let him deplete his own supply of his favorite drink and cause the whole room (and his fake designer suit) to smell of the stuff for weeks to come.
What I didn’t bank on was him kicking the cups so hard that they flung into his computer.
As the clear liquid splashed over the hardware, the hissing and smoke started up almost immediately.
Then, with a sickening crack, the whole set-up (including his saved games of solitaire, with a high score he’d been working on for months) powered down.
Rankin stood, mouth hanging open uselessly as his trouser leg dripped vodka and he attempted to process what happened.
I stood too, though he didn’t notice, and used the distraction to slip out of the building.
I left without a word, shooting a wink at the receptionist on my way. Technically, I guess I still had a day left of my two-weeks’ notice, but I figured he wouldn’t exactly be keen for me to come back.
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