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Bizarre HR: The weirdest office rules

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Does your workplace ban snacks, forbid you from saying “bless you” to sneezers or force you to wear goggles when using a stapler? These ones do.

A thread on social media site Reddit asking users for the “dumbest” workplace rules has attracted more than 14,000 comments from disgruntled workers.

Those who have chimed in have shared stories about bosses who dictated the length of their beards, banned “cell phone-shaped objects” in workers’ pockets, or employers simply creating ridiculous rules “just because they can”.

These are some of the best:

Look in their pockets
One workplace, which attempted to ban cellphones, had to take it a step futher when younger workers got creative with finding ways around the ban.

“No cell phone shaped objects in your pockets at work,” wrote one employee. “At first I thought it was a typo, then they started to write people up for wallets, packs of gum, and other rectangular shapes in our pockets.”

The perils of saying “bless you”
“Someone at work sneezed and another one said ‘Bless You!’ A third party heard it and complained to HR about it,” one Reddit user wrote.

“Guy who said “bless you” was given a warning and had to take a course in professionalism.”

Don’t you dare move your own furniture
“Want to slide a desk across the room? Can’t. That is violating union rules, and taking work away from the facilities team. You have to call and schedule the movers. Then they charge you for it.”

Water bottles are the devil
“My place of employment only lets staff drink water from small cups, and you must drink the whole cup immediately, then dispose of the cup,” one person wrote.

“You are not allowed to have water bottles on shift, no matter which part of the store you are working in. If you are on break (unpaid time) you cannot purchase a bottle of water, even if you drink all of it and dispose of the bottle before you come back on shift. It’s the stupidest set of rules I’ve ever come across.”

The “inactive banana”
One user said their workplace implemented a “lean working” rule, meaning every desk must be empty except for select items and one personal item – food was forbidden.

“One staff member had a banana in a banana case as her personal item. She was told to put it away.

“She refused and took it further until it was ruled that because she wasn’t eating it and the skin hadn’t been broken, it was an “inactive banana” and thus a personal item. It only became active during the act of eating, at which point it became food.”

The magic moustache rule
A café ruled employees’ beards must be between a certain length or it must be shaved. If you wanted to grow a beard, you were not allowed back into work until it had grown to a “respectable length”.

“Our manager told us if we wanted to have a moustache, we would have to go on vacation, grow a ‘stash, and come back from our vacation with a fully grown moustache.”

Read the full thread here.

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