Strange / silly rules at work

(325 Posts)
melpomene Fri 21-Jan-11 19:15:53

What strange or silly rules do you have in your workplace?

Here are some examples from the office where I work:

- My colleagues asked if we could have a small bookcase, because we have heaps of reference books on the desks and a bookcase would make it much easier to store and find them. We were told that it is against the policy to have bookcases or shelves, and that "if we got a book case then people would put things on it".

- They provide pencils but not pencil sharpeners, so when your pencil gets blunt you have to throw it away and get a new one.

- In the canteen, they sometimes serve vegetable curry. They also serve rice.
However, you are not allowed to have vegetable curry with rice. You are allowed to have vegetable curry with a baked potato, or chicken curry with rice, but not vegetable curry with rice confused.

Has anyone else got any silly rules?

KenDoddsDadsDog Fri 21-Jan-11 19:18:56

When our clients are on site they can eat and drink what they like free of charge. Apart from lattes. Fuck knows why, as a cappuccino costs the same.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 21-Jan-11 19:22:13

KennDoddsDadsDog - I used to work somewhere that had that rule too. It was freakish hmm grin

My old office you had to bring an old broken pen to get a new one but if you said your laptop was broken you'd have a new one within a few hours no questions asked confused

ChippingInSmellyCheeseFreak Fri 21-Jan-11 19:22:30

Mel - sounds like a typical office! Full of stupid rules!! You do wonder who the hell thinks them up and why they think they are reasonable?!

Ken - that would piss me off, I only drink Latte! (well no, I drink lots of things, but the only coffee I drink is a Latte and as you say if it's not a cost thing why?)

I love where I work now, no stupid rules and a FAB boss grin

ChippingInSmellyCheeseFreak Fri 21-Jan-11 19:23:36

WMMC - we had to do that too when I first started working! Madness itself isn't it!! Mind you, also having had staff myself since then I can kind of see how it comes about grin

Ripeberry Fri 21-Jan-11 19:23:52

Women NOT allowed to wear trousers, but that was back in the late 1980s and I soon left. It was an office no real reason for it angry

stewmaker Fri 21-Jan-11 19:24:10

we were once told we were not allowed tip-ex because we weren't allowed to make mistakes!!

nymphadora Fri 21-Jan-11 19:25:58

Our admin staff who aren't seen by the public aren't allowed jeans but the public facing staff are.

ModreB Fri 21-Jan-11 19:26:19

We don't really have official stupid rules, just a stupid manager who micromanages everything and makes up stupid rules if anyone challenges her!

One I remember is that she insisted that everyone cc her into every single email that they sent, "just in case they were off so she would know what was going on" I kid you not - but then complained about the amount of emails that she was getting grin

Flisspaps Fri 21-Jan-11 19:26:55

Mel You can't choose veg curry and rice? What kind of place tells you what you can and can't eat confused

I'd take in my own pencil sharpener though.

gregssausageroll Fri 21-Jan-11 19:27:21

Again, back in the late 80's we had a dress policy. On that policy was a flesh factor. Women were not allowed to wear any blouse/top with sleeves above the elbow. Tights had to be navy, black or neutral. You were only allowed to wear a coat or a jacket - barbour or casual jackets were not allowed.

Skirts had to be on or below the knee and nail varnish had to be neutral.

The men were the same with coats. Suits had to match and the guys were not allowed to use a rucksack too and from work. Briefcases only.

Madness!

whomovedmychocolate Fri 21-Jan-11 19:27:48

I worked in an office once where (for security reasons) you were only allowed to print on your allocated printer. But they had taken no steps to secure the printer network and as printers got broken and the tech guys were too fucking lazy to walk upstairs to help, we got taught how to map to another printer.

Of course it eventually got to the point where people were randomly printing out 'New org charts' (made up ones) at multiple printers across the aisle just to laugh at the face of the person collecting what they thought was their stuff grin

ChunkyBrewster Fri 21-Jan-11 19:31:50

At my old job, you had to use red elastc bands to pile your post together. And letters had to be in groups of 10. If you used any other colour, post wouldn't be sent. Of course I found out this rule after sorting out 240 enveloped into groups of 10 and fastening with plain old brown elastic bands.

agedknees Fri 21-Jan-11 19:33:49

Mine will win, surely. Having to wear a stupid frilly cap on your head in the 80's. Had no use or ornament.

If a patient arrested first you would run and call the cardiac arrest team. Then you would rip the cap off your head, and get rid of the stupid ornamental very tight belt from around your waist before jumping on the poor patient to start CPR.

So glad they got rid of those things.

lal123 Fri 21-Jan-11 19:34:58

whomovedmychocolate - that is genius! A couple of our senior managers are being very overdramatic about some impending changes - an accidentally printed confidential proposed integrated management structure would go down a treat!

We don't have any odd rules - unless the secretaries allowed to eat anything but chips at their desk counts?

KenDoddsDadsDog Fri 21-Jan-11 19:38:05

The reason is that we got a Costa Coffee and some clients (from a now bankrupt tv company) went berserk with Lattes having about 5 a day. But that was about three years ago and the ban is still in place!

Portofino Fri 21-Jan-11 19:40:20

I work for a phone/internet provider. Every year we are given a new mobile phone as we are supposed to show off the latest technology. However, we are not allowed to download the software so we can update the phones/use the functionality. And the company does not support Push email. It is ludicrous.

BecauseItoldYouSo Fri 21-Jan-11 19:42:35

When I worked as cabin crew for a particular airline we had the UNIFORM POLICE! You would line up against a wall (like common criminals, put out your hands in front of you and they would 'inspect' you.

Silly rules included: You could not wear sunglasses while in uniform unless driving on a sunny day

You could not wear your jacket with the buttons undone. Either it had to be on with buttons done up or off.

You could not be seen eating food off of the aircraft in uniform

You could only wear 1 of 2 brands of red lipstick.

You could not wear earrings more than 5mm in size and they had to be ball shaped.

You could only use an umbrella the same colour as your coat/uniform on rainy days, even when coming or going from work.

You could not wear bracelets.

If your hair was past the nape of your neck you had to wear a hair net.

These were just some of the many...

hmm confused hmm

TheCrackFox Fri 21-Jan-11 19:43:31

I used to be a receptionist for a hotel and they implemented a rule that we had to buy our own pens (that the guests used for checking in and out!). The reason "management" gave was that chefs bought their own knives. Er, they last for ever but ball point pens run out and are often absent mindedly stolen by guests. I left before I had a chance to see if they stuck to their new rule.

<It was Malmaison if anyone is interested - still riles me 15 yrs later>

lololizzy Fri 21-Jan-11 19:51:04

i think i can beat all these for strangeness. Had to walk clockwise round the building with burning sage to cleanse any negative energies. This was done first thing every morning. Also in a room where we had cushions -all cushions plumped daily and the zip part of the cover to be placed at the bottom out of view! This was even written down to ensure i did the plumping routine correctly
hmm

Another ex travel employee here.

Stupid revolting ugly black "wedge" shoes and specific horrid run DMC style adidas trainers to be bought in UK before getting to resort. £60!! for trainers! To be worn when getting thrown into a swimming pool!

lololizzy Fri 21-Jan-11 19:54:03

i worked for the most hideous bullying woman once (different company to other one i've mentioned) who wouldnt let us wear trousers (in the 90's) and wanted us to use the same washing powder for our uniforms then they would all 'fade the same way'
If she sent me out to buy tea/coffee/biscuits i would get a bollocking if ever got 'own brand'. She was a proper Hyacinth Bouquet. she loved perfectly manicured red nails. I always did mine blue to piss her off. I wasnt even on view to the public!

southeastastra Fri 21-Jan-11 19:54:15

becauseitoldyou - which brands?

BecauseItoldYouSo Fri 21-Jan-11 20:12:58

Southeastastra - Can't remember which brands, twas many years ago. Just remember the red's had an orange base and thus did not suit my skin tone (or many others for that matter).

JazzieJeff Fri 21-Jan-11 20:19:00

I work for the military so I've got a list smile

when it was snowing only the officers' entrance to the building gets gritted. Only the officers may enter through the officers entrance... I got pulled into the boss for disobeying this; my reason being I was pregnant. The boss looked at me and said; "your point being?"

No one can walk across the parade ground. EVER.

Every Tuesday morning, you must be on the parade ground by 0645 to stand still for an hour and a half listening to a military band played through an industrial tape player. In all weathers... I know the playlist off by heart and it is a regular feature in my nightmares.

God help you if you walk on the right hand side of a corridor. Or if you haven't ironed a box shape in the back of your shirt. Anyone in a higher rank has the right to ask you to remove your jumper in order to check the creases are all present and correct.

It is an offence (you can be court martialled) to have sun burn or to not eat breakfast.

You must declare all of your tattoos upon entry to the service. They are checked upon leaving the service. If you haven't declared any additions to your body art, this is also an offence.

I'm sure I'll think of some more, but I'm too busy cleaning the soles of my boots grin

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