Sometimes the limiting atmosphere of the workplace can weigh down on a person. Having to follow certain guidelines and policies can result in frustrating inconvenience and debilitation of the human spirit. If only there was a way to work around these rules... Apparently, such cheats exist. The following stories come from employees who took advantage of loopholes they discovered at their jobs and shared the experience on Reddit. How about taking five and seeing what you can learn from? Content has been edited for clarity.
Most folks who worked at the store were middle-aged women who really couldn't give a darn and most of the stuff HomeGoods sold was garbage.
But then there was me, a starving, broke college kid who got paid crap. But I also worked in the back room unloading trucks and also was occasionally tasked with stocking shelves. In short, I was the only person who seemed to give a crap about this promotion and my bosses, who wanted to show their higher-ups that they were putting the corporate programs into effect, were happy to oblige each sticker I presented with a scratch-off ticket of my own.
HomeGoods, while normally a purveyor of fine garbage, occasionally had very nice, very-high end housewares on the cheap, comparatively. These items, like cookware, linens, comforters, etc. are usually much more expensive than the rest of the store's stock. They also take a while to sell. For me, the guy who unloaded the trucks, this meant that when I saw something absurdly nice, I could put it very high up into a loading bay and just let it sit for a while because the senior citizens I worked with would never go up to get it.
At the end of a four-month summer, I had amassed about $1,100 in these little gift cards. With them I bought a full set of AllClad copper core cookware, a Queen-sized down comforter with a duvet cover and sheets, pillows, nice flatware, plates and glasses, and a dozen useful kitchen tools. To this day, ten years later, I still have all the AllClad, which alone retails for $800, and some of the kitchen tools. All of it for free."
"I had an agreement with an employer for school reimbursement with additional pay. I had to agree to remain at the company until a certain date and they would pay for my schooling, plus additional pay for various things. If I left, I had to pay the money back.
I had already received about $20,000 in total when the parent company of my division changed after the agreement was signed. The parent company dissolved, two separate companies were created, and the divisions were reshuffled into either one based on their core business. When the time came for me to get the cash owed to me, the head of human relations refused to pay.
I went to him and asked why I wasn't getting the check we agreed to. He stated that the agreement was with the previous parent company and therefore was no longer valid. He had this smug look on his face, but then he noticed I had a big smile on my face. I could tell he couldn't figure out why. I asked him again if they were refusing to pay and he said yes.
I then stated that there was no longer anything binding me there. The contract stated that if I willfully left the company, I would have to repay the money. He agreed and asked what my point was. I then stated that if the parent company did change, then I did leave said company, but I did not willfully leave. Therefore, I did not owe any money if I left this company as it was not the company I signed the agreement with.
The expression on his face changed.
'If I, hypothetically, put my two weeks notice in now,' I continued, 'I would be able to leave without owing any money.'
It didn't take him long. He realized by stating that the agreement was no longer valid because the company changed that he gave me the information I needed to get out of the contract. He agreed to pay me the money. He was fired a few weeks later for various reasons. He was one of the worst HR directors I have ever seen."
"A few years ago, my company switched from a traditional insurance plan to a high-deductible HSA. You generally don't pay a premium for this type of account, unless you have a particularly crappy insurance, but it has a high deductible. Mine for a single person was $1,500 per year.
To compensate for this, my company put, I believe, $100 per month into the account. As an individual, I could also choose to put money in the account, pre-tax. I put a little bit in every month so that at any given time, the account had enough to cover the deductible and any copays. When you got this type of account, they would give you a debit card that functioned just like a regular debit card, except that it could only be used at merchants that were medical or pharmacy related.
Back in the day, weed dispensaries in California were able to take debit cards for a while. And, what do you know, most of them were classified as pharmacies, which means they took my HSA card. For a few years, my company was essentially buying me weed."
"My former workplace would tell us every Monday that we had to work overtime Saturday, then often cancel overtime at the last minute. That way, they didn't have to give us the minimum 24 hours notice of mandatory overtime and they could take as long as they wanted to decide if they needed us. They also got to play it off as if they were doing us a favor by giving us our weekend back.
It was a crap move, but it was certainly effective."
"A very old place of work of mine decided to have a Christmas party and provide everyone with a few vouchers each for free drinks. They had arranged with the venue that employees would hand over one tag for a drink of any size and would settle up the total bill in the days after the event.
The problem was that these vouchers were simply tags that you would put into a filing cabinet sleeve and write on with a colored sticky dot on them. They distributed the tickets half an hour before we closed for the party. Guess what was stocked in the stationery cabinet? Filing tags and sticky dots.
They had no idea how the bar bill was nearly £10,000."
"I was laid off from a job and my not-so-smart manager gave me my separation agreement with one additional pay check. He told me to take my time to sign it, show it to my lawyer, etc.
I went home and reviewed my actual contact. My manager had copied and pasted my contract from a vice president of sales contract, which stated that I was owed six months full salary, benefits, and any commissions derived from sales that I generated.
I went in the next day with a smug look on my face and asked the CEO, 'Have you read this?'
'No,' said the CEO, before proceeding to read it. His following response was music to my ears.