If you've ever had a lousy coworker, then you know just how quickly they can wear you down and make life a living nightmare. And for one man, who we'll call Richard, this was an unfortunate reality that he knew all too well.
Richard worked for a small, family-owned hardware company. As one of only four employees in the office, including the owner, he worked closely - and in close quarters - with everyone. According to Richard, he got along fine with the cheap and lazy owner Ray, the sweet as pie receptionist Sara...and then there was Ingrid. As Richard put it, she "was a living nightmare sent to punish all mankind for our hubris. She had the personality of a one dimensional Stephen King character that would be whipping an unruly mob into a frenzy. She was trash, plain and simple."
In case you couldn't tell, Richard really hated Ingrid, as he went on to say, "She was also the most spiteful, hate-filled, vindictive gorgon to ever walk gods green earth." Despite how she talked about and treated others, Richard revealed that Ingrid was a born-against Christina and felt like she could do no wrong, or was even better than others since she went to Church every Sunday. And she clearly saw herself better than Richard. "Ingrid, for whatever reason, disliked me from my first day. I don't know if she saw me as a threat or was just having a mood swing (I'm no psychologist but I'm 98% sure she was bipolar) but she was not happy about my joining the company."
Despite all of that, Richard tried to keep his head down and focus on work, until he just couldn't anymore. This story is about that moment. The moment Ingrid tried to ruin Richard's job and instead, Richard ruined her whole life. It's a tale of revenge that is just too sweet to pass up!
As Richard put it, the "downward spiral" began in the beginning, though he didn't recognize it at the time as, despite Ingrid being "vile and mean-spirited," she at least kept things civil at first. Being in such close quarters, Richard was in the unfortunate spot of listening to all her awful gossip and her complaining about literally anything and everything.
"She would complain about which actresses she didn't like because they were too fat (Ingrid was easily north of the 300 lb mark) or had an annoying voice (Ingrid had a slight lisp). She would thump her Bible to the tune of how the gays were trying to destroy the sanctity of marriage (she was twice divorced) and complain about how Obamacare was costing her too much money (she had no insurance for herself or her kids, and had a handful of pre-existing conditions, she just hated Obama). She would tell stories about how she was with her son at the grocery store and he yelled at a polish woman to speak American or get out of the country LIKE SHE WAS PROUD OF IT. All in just the worst person I've ever had to work with."
Before long though, Ingrid turned her vengeful gaze towards Richard. She became very easily offended and took everything personally, basically as a slight against her. For example, if Richard didn't say "good morning," she "would complain to Ray that I was being rude," Richard said. That was minor stuff though, and Ray just chose to brush it off.
Once Ingrid realized this type of behavior was just going to be ignored by Ray, she started to step it up a notch - she started trying to sabotage Richard's job and make him look incompetent.
"She started trying to frame me for not entering orders that she claimed to have given me a week ago," Richard wrote.
That is serious stuff. That is the kind of thing that could potentially get someone fired. This was starting to look it was going beyond the petty office politics kind of stuff and veering into the as yet uncharted territory of job sabotage. Ingrid was letting her personal feelings for Richard get the best of her and she was getting nasty.
Richard, to his credit, tried to stay above it. He tried to take the high road. Rather than try to one-up Ingrid or take petty shots at her work, he simply implemented a new system that showed what Ingrid was saying was a lie. But Ingrid doubled down. As Richard explained, "Every time something went wrong her instant reaction was to blame me and throw me under the bus." But he stayed calm and just continued to carry out his duties. Ray knew Ingrid was a little crazy, so he ignored it too.
This went on until finally Ingrid crossed the line and went too far.
First, Richard provides a little background that led to the "breaking point" for him.
Ingrid had brought in one of the companies biggest customers. As a result, Ray gave Ingrid a commission when that customer made purchases. Obviously, something like that happens all the time in business. Ray was notoriously cheap but this was something he was happy to do. Richard wasn't bitter about it, and he did realize that there was potential for his own income to go up with a similar deal. As luck would have it, Richard remarks, "I had met through a friend of a friend the purchaser from another large manufacturing company that uses products very similar to ours. Ray told me if I could get them to submit a sample order he would give me the same kind of commission, but that it was all on me because drumming up new business was extra work that he didn't want to do," Richard said.
Richard jumped at the opportunity. "I rode my desk hard, my phone, my email, chasing this lead like a hungry dog. Finally, I got the purchaser to agree to submit the order." It had worked! Richard had brought in a big customer and he was going to be compensated handsomely for it. He was, as he put it, "over the moon."
But then Ingrid got involved and everything fell apart.
Ingrid was determined to mess this up for Richard. According to Richard, she was "pouring doubt and skepticism over the entire venture; really she just didn't want anybody else to achieve what she had." As fate would have it, she was also on "front desk duty" as Sara, the receptionist, was on vacation, so Ingrid was answering the phones that week for the office.
Richard had submitted the bid to the customer and was waiting on the customer to return the order. But day after day went by and Richard heard nothing. There was no communication from the customer at all. What had happened?
It was worse than Richard could have imagined.
Eventually, Richard got through to the customer. It had been a month and the order had never come in. Everything Richard had worked so diligently for seemed to vanish into thin air.
But that isn't what happened. What happened, was Ingrid.
Richard asked his customer why the order had never come through and the response was incredible. The customer, according to Richard, "told me that he had called a few weeks back and that the lady he spoke to said that our company didn't have the capacity to supply what they wanted."
Richard was stunned and asked what day his customer had called. The customer called on one of the days that Ingrid was answering the phone. The customer moved on and left Richard, who didn't even know it at the time, high and dry.
Richard stayed calm at the moment, but knew he had to get revenge. "Try to make me look bad at work, I'll rise above it. Sabotage my chance for a substantial raise? Now you've awoken the dragon. I was trying to save up for a down payment on a house, and Ingrid thinks she can put my future on hold? Nope. Not happening. I vowed that vengeance would be mine."
Ingrid, it turned out, in addition to being an insufferable co-worker, had big plans of her own. She wanted to become a therapist (shudder) and was enrolled at a local community college working towards her associate's degree. Of course, Richard thought this was bizarre, saying, "Ingrid was about as smart as she was skinny, kind-hearted, and pleasant."
So, she wasn't smart. But she was taking these classes and she did want to pass, so she started studying a lot at work. Eventually, though, it became clear that Ingrid wasn't doing well. The first clue was when she asked Richard to take an online quiz for her. Why someone who had been so nasty to a co-worker would ask that same co-worker to help her in school is a little hard to understand, but there she was, asking Richard for help.
Now Richard was hesitant at first, because, he was "still furious at her for tanking my commission so I'm not about to do her any favors. But then she says something that I'm sure I've never heard her say before: Please."
A simple "please." Ingrid must really have been desperate.
And desperate she was. Ingrid needed on her Earth Science quiz, and she told Richard, "I can't lie." Richard needed a minute to process this. Can't lie?! Like she lied to his customer and ruined his sale? Like she was fine lying to the school and teacher that "she" took this quiz? All of that was lost on Ingrid, and Richard knew what she really meant was: "I can't lie and deny my faith on an Earth Science quiz because I believe that the earth was created in literally seven days and is only about 6000 years old and humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs."
"And just like that, I had my plan on a silver platter," Richard said.
It was time. The revenge plan is a go.
The obvious move was that Richard could "tank the test and she would have to repeat the class and that would be inconvenient," but he wanted more.
Richard "told her that (he) would take that test, and any other for 20 bucks. Earth Science 101, Spanish 101, Intro to Psychology. Quizzes, tests, (he) ended up making $200 by the end of the semester." And he passed them all with flying colors. Richard was making the long play, the long con, the LONG revenge.
Because of all this work, he had laid the perfect trap for Ingrid, and made some cash doing it! The trap was the final paper. Ingrid was assigned a final research paper. This would be it, this would be Richard's Coup de Grâce, his headshot.
Ingrid gave Richard $50 and the assignment. Richard couldn't believe his luck, saying, "it's laughable, 5 pages, double spaced, doesn't even need to be AMA sourced. An eight grader could pound it out in an hour or two."
But Richard had no intention of writing it. You see, Richard had just gotten a job offer from another company and had accepted. He was ready to put in his notice at his job but hadn't yet. As far as Ingrid knew, everything was on the up and up. But it wasn't, not by a long shot. Richard: "I had an opportunity to ruin her life and had an exit strategy."
Everything was falling into place.
Richard got to work on his plan and the first thing he did was "literally googled 'research paper for [class name]' and grab the first one that popped up. I change nothing but the name and the date." He printed the paper, then "I put in my two weeks, and the week before I leave I give Ingrid 'her' paper."
It was a complete copy job. Plagerisism 101.
Ingrid, of course, was none the wiser as she grabbed the paper from him and later turned it in.
And that was it for Ingrid.
After the paper was turned in, Richard soon left for his new job. It took a second-hand account from Sara to find out what happened. She told him his plan worked.
As he put it: "The professor immediately knew it was plagiarized and got the dean involved. Ingrid was so stupid that she even tried to use the truth as an excuse. 'I didn't plagiarize that paper, the guy I had been paying to do all my course work did it!'"
It's safe to say that telling the truth wasn't any better for her.
Richard continued, "She was expelled from the institution for academic dishonesty and plagiarism, barred from any of the satellite schools or affiliate programs, and refused a refund on her tuition. Her dream of becoming a therapist shattered into dust as all of the nearby community colleges were part of the affiliate program."
Ingrid was truly and well finished at that point. Richard said, "She was financially ruined, left with no savings and a semester of student loan debt."
He ruined her for her pettiness. And he knew it was going to be good. On his last day in the office, before Ingrid's world came crashing down, Richard stopped by her office and sais, "Thank you, Ingrid, for everything I learned from you while working here. I hope you learned something from me as well."
And that was that. Richard had won.