Nothing is more satisfying than getting revenge on someone who thrives off of making people miserable. These people detail how they used their smarts to get back at their horrible bullies. Content has been edited for clarity.
He Took Down The Whole Town
“As a background, I grew up in a conservative little town in a conservative rural area heavily dominated by religion. This makes people put great stock on moral purity and appearances. Keeping up the facade is the most important thing. Everyone must go to church weekly and people are heavily judged for appearing sinful. This was a bad thing for me as the cards were heavily stacked against me from birth.
You see, I’m an abuse baby. My mother lost her parents when she was young and was taken in by her uncle and aunt. The uncle had an important position in the local religious hierarchy. So when he and a couple of his friends started abusing my mom, it was ignored by everyone. When she got pregnant, it was painted at showing that she’s a harlot running around seducing married men so no one believed her when she said it was her uncle’s baby. She was cast out. Why she didn’t move out of town, I don’t know, but yeah. There I became into the picture, born out of wedlock and with no father, branded as a sinful outcast.
My childhood was bad. I won’t go into details, but enough to say that by the time I started going to school, I was quite damaged. School made it worse. I was bullied relentlessly. Teachers were part of it, since they were all part of the religious community, which saw me as stained. Imagine being the only black kid in a town run by KKK and you get close to how it was.
So yeah, in school I became that trenchcoat kid or its local cultural equivalent. I became weird and hostile on purpose to turn people off. People were casting me into the mold of being damaged and stained, so yeah, I took it and turned it into something to protect myself with.
Despite all this opposition, I managed to graduate with decent grades. A distant aunt, my only decent relative, helped me get into a college in an actual city. She was the black sheep of the family and saw herself in me, maybe? Around this time my mother drank herself to death. Can’t blame her for it. She had a life insurance policy that helped me study. City life liberated me. I went into therapy and managed to treat the wounds that town had sliced into me. I got rid of that stupid town, but I guess some part of it never left me.
Years went by. I became a sort of… analytical consultant. I work for an international company that does sort of out of the box analysis for other companies. I won’t go into details to protect my identity, but we assist in solving all kinds of situations. Well, in my line of work, I’m sometimes called in to help downsizing operations. This sucks, I feel for the people who get fired, but if I wouldn’t do it, someone else would. A couple of years ago I got an assignment to go into three different factories and assess their wholesale, then come with a suggestion on which of them to move abroad. My home town was among those three factories.
You see, the town I grew up in was one of those ‘one smoke stack towns’ like we say in my country. There was one factory and some agriculture – everyone worked in those jobs, like 60% of people in the factory. Rest of the economy rolled around supporting the factory and the people working there. Most of the people were looking forward at nothing but a job at the factory after getting out of school. The religious community running the town ran the factory as well. The big shots in the community tended to be bosses in the factory. This meant that the factory wasn’t run that well; promotions were based on ‘holiness’, not on merit or skill.
The trip back to the home town was glorious. Most people didn’t recognize me at first. The chubby outcast had become outwards just another corporate drone. I inspected all the paperwork, listened all their speeches and lies, audited the processes. In the process I dropped hints and finally they got who I was.
The factory people threw a party for me then for the old times sake. Many of my old school ‘buddies’ were there. We remembered fake good times together. I threw shadow on every part by pulling up some certain event of bullying I had endured, just see the atmosphere turn awkward. Then I laughed at it like it was always a joke and I had grown out of it. Inside I was seething with hatred and enjoying this all. I really loved seeing their faces, seeing what they had become, because forget it, I was going to take it all away from them. In the end they seemed relieved, believing that they were lucky it was me doing the audit, that the hometown boy would protect them.
After my visit – lasting a couple of days – was over I cruised around the town in my rented car, just to see how the people lived and to remember what it was like. I had never understood why people pursue positions of power, but yeah, now I understood.
The rest is, as they say, history. I wrote a really scathing report, documenting every little flaw and mistake ever done in the town plant. I didn’t need to lie or fabricate – I simply took things that existed and polished them till they looked even worse than they were. The factory was shut down and in the following three years, the town died. No business venture ever came to replace it. Illegal substance use spiked, as did crime and domestic violence. Lives fell apart, families fell apart. They still haven’t recovered, save for a few brighter souls who moved away.
I still stalk them on social media sometimes, enjoying how horrible their lives are, how they all finally got to pay for what they did to me and my mom. I don’t feel a slight bit of remorse. If I could do it all again I would – only I’d first make it so I could be present to watch when they received the news about the factory being shut down. In my fantasy version of the events, I’d stay in town for a year just to see everyone fall apart.
In reality, I will only go there back once – when my uncle finally dies, I’m going to go and pee on his grave.”
He Dug His Own Grave
“A few years ago, I was working in a job I really enjoyed with a team I really gelled well with. There were about five of us working on the same portfolio of projects in different roles, and every single team member was just cream-of-the-crop, incredibly good at what they do. I can’t overemphasize how satisfying it was to work with such an incredibly competent, likable group of people. In this job, instead of getting the Sunday night blues, I would get excited thinking about the work I would be doing the next day and planning how we would solve the complex problems together. It was like a series of logic puzzles. (Yes, I realize I’m a huge nerd. I promise I also had a life outside of work.)
The one downside (there’s always a downside) to this job was Steve. Steve was not in the supervisory line for me or any of my team members, but he was about three levels above us and very senior. He’d been there for years and was tight with senior leadership. Steve was also a mega-creep. He said extremely inappropriate things to young women in the office, and he apparently wasn’t averse to being handsy, though as far as anyone knew, that was as bad as it had gotten. The women in the office all knew to steer clear of him. My first week on the job, the whisper network made sure I knew: never be alone with Steve. Harassment is difficult to document, and no one wanted to risk their career and put a target on their back going after a big guy like Steve, so he just got away with it for years.
So for a couple of years, I followed this advice. There were a few instances of Steve saying incredibly uncomfortable things to me in passing, but for the most part, I managed to avoid him. Then I found out that my teammate Rob had gotten on Steve’s radar. For context, Rob is non-neurotypical and has some minor tic-ish behavior. He’s also shy and easily spirals into social anxiety when put in uncomfortable situations.
So one evening at our team’s informal weekly happy hour after work, Rob lets it slip that Steve’s been giving him a hard time. The rest of us are like, ‘whoa, wait, what?’ because Steve never interacts with staff at our level, except to creep on women, and we basically make Rob tell us everything.
Basically for the last few weeks, Steve has been bullying Rob, making fun of his tics, and mimicking his way of speaking back to him. He’s also been asking Rob how he can possibly be competent to do his job and implying he’s a pity hire. Once he called him the R word. It’s clear Steve is seeking out Rob for this, because, again, there’s really no reason for him to interact with our team. Rob has been having horrible anxiety over this situation, and has had bad insomnia and stomach issues since Steve started targeting him. And not that it bears repeating, but just to reiterate, Rob is a freaking beast at his job. And a genuinely good guy.
At this point, I’m seeing red. (We all were.) We tell Rob to go to HR, that his neurological issues put him in a protected ADA class, that he could get Steve in big trouble. Rob panics and says he can’t do that, begs us not to tell anyone at work, and says he wishes he hadn’t said anything. We assure him we won’t say anything if that’s what he wants, but we’re all very distressed.
I leave the bar fuming just thinking, OK, that’s it. Forget you, Steve. You’re going down.
I can’t tell anyone about what’s happening to Rob, because I promised him as much, so I start my own paper trail. I start baiting Steve. And I don’t mean I behave in any suggestive manner or lead him on: I just stop avoiding him, and I even initiate contact myself.
I IM him through the company’s IM system very professionally/politely asking if a big client will be staying on through the next project cycle, and the floodgates open. He starts sending me outrageously inappropriate IMs. I mostly don’t respond, but I occasionally keep him going by sending extremely literal responses to his innuendo-laden questions or pretending not to understand something suggestive he’s saying. Sometimes when he clarifies, I’ll outright say, ‘This isn’t appropriate’ or ‘This is making me uncomfortable,’ or ‘Please don’t say things like that, Steve,’ but he steamrolls right over me. During this time, I’ve also been seeing him more in person around the office, and he often says gross stuff to me in person as well, a lot of it not just inappropriate, but bizarre and nonsensical (‘Is it legal to have an butt like that in that skirt?’) Every time this happens, I immediately go back to my desk and write down what he said, the date and time, and the names of any witnesses.
After about a month and change of this, I compile my creep journal with printouts of the IM conversations and take them to my HR rep. I ask to file a harassment complaint against Steve. As soon as the words ‘harassment’ leave my mouth, my rep instantly gets the head of HR and two other reps, and they go through my evidence with me, and ask me a ton of questions. The head of HR assures me they’ll take my complaints very seriously, and asks if I know of any women around the office who have had similar issues with Steve. I’m able to give them several names.
They send me on my way, and two weeks later, my rep formally reaches out to me and lets me know Steve has been let go. Much jubilation is had around the office!
It took a couple of months for me to piece together the whole story, but basically after my complaint, HR started following up with the names I gave them, both the witnesses to my in-person encounters with Steve, and the other women he’d harassed. They corroborated what I’d told HR, and then through them, word started spreading around the office that HR was conducting a harassment investigation against Steve. This emboldened at least 15 different women who’d been biting their tongues about Steve for ages to come forward and tell their own Steve stories. The worst story was from a junior staff member who Steve had assaulted at a company party the year prior.
During all of this, IT had been asked to go through Steve’s emails and IMs, and this had not only been used to validate my print outs as legitimate, but IT had found a ton of additional incriminating stuff in Steve’s correspondences.
Somewhat frustrating: Steve received an extremely generous severance package as part of his termination. But on the bright side, word got around the industry quickly, and Steve was poison at that point. No company would touch him with a 10-foot pole. The last time I thought to snoop on his public social media pages, he was listing himself as an ‘independent consultant’ in our industry, which I seriously doubt he’s actually doing, and based on his public Facebook page, he’s doing a couple of MLMs, so that should kill off whatever savings he has in short order.
I don’t work with Rob anymore, but I did recently attend his wedding! He’s extremely happy with his new wife (who is a sweet and lovely woman) and he’s doing really well in his career.”
“Cut Off The Main Head”
“My sister was bullied relentlessly in high school for something she had literally zero control over; a certain part of her anatomy. Without going into details, she felt terrible about it and it more or less ruined her life as an insecure fifteen-year-old girl. The girl responsible for most of the cruel bullying and the one who gave her a particularly cruel nickname related to her physical issue, was called Nadia. Nadia was a foreign exchange student at our school.
Nadia was beautiful. She was cruel. And she didn’t care about anyone but herself. I wasn’t Miss Popularity myself but I had to protect my sister from having her life ruined and I felt a very strong urge to get back at her tormentors. They say to kill a dragon with many heads, you got to cut off the main head. So that’s what I did.
I learned that the father of Nadia was very conservative. Her whole family back home was. So, I started spreading rumors about her being very promiscuous and ensured these rumors reached the family she was staying with. This apparently caused her some trouble, but I wasn’t done… I threw a party one night when my parents were gone. I invited Nadia, who gladly came as I was a ‘cooler older girl’ somehow and she never said no to a chance to get hammered. Because yes, there was a LOT of drinks. I made sure of that. Took pictures of everyone drinking and having fun. That same night when everyone left, I put it on my Facebook. Tagged Nadia on it, she was my FB friend. She had this option turned on where everything she is tagged in is automatically allowed on her timeline… so a picture of her, wasted and very skimpily dressed, made its way to her page. Because of it being the middle of the night, she must not have noticed until the next day in the morning so it stayed on for hours. But due to her parent’s time zone being vastly different, I was sure they would see it before she had a chance to take it down…
They did. I wasn’t there to see the fallout, obviously, but she was gone the next week from school and flown back to her home country. Apparently, her parents had to ‘save her from being corrupted’ or something. So, she was gone. And my sister safe from ridicule as word of my involvement spread and lets just say people didn’t really want to mess with her after seeing how far I was willing to go to protect my little sister.”
Got The Bullies Banned
“On New Year’s Day of 2018, I resolved to get in shape. I was never overweight, but growing up in Russia and spending my very early adulthood there, I smoked like a chimney and my cardio was garbage. Going to college in America didn’t help matters because I started drinking to go along with my smoking.
I decided to start going to spin class. I work at a marketing firm and chose a particular spin class because I received a free, year-long membership as a holiday office party present that year. It was a generous gift because it was a trendy, pricey boutique spin studio.
I’ve ridden bikes my whole life so I thought how hard can it be to ride a bike that doesn’t go anywhere, but my first day in class was a rude awakening. It was clear that the class that I was attending (an early morning class for people to attend before work) was an advanced one where a majority seemed to already be part of the culture and very fit. It was obvious I couldn’t keep up.
The instructor was really nice and told me that since I’m new, it’s a good idea for me to ride up front so that I can watch him and copy what he does more accurately, or alternatively he can easily see what I’m doing and offer alternatives if I’m not doing things right. I thought, what a great guy, and what a great class.
There were these two other students in the class, though, who gradually made my morning spin classes suck. ‘Valerie’ was obviously very fit. She looked like a model and obviously worked hard to look as good as she did. ‘Boris’ was her male equivalent. They were both about my age, maybe a few years older but it was clear they were far more fit than me. They were obviously very invested in that particular gym’s culture, in that they were always decked out in the store brand athletic wear. I’m not going to lie; they looked good wearing it.
They weren’t a couple but it was obvious that Boris had a thing for Valerie, and Valerie was aware of it and not reciprocating. Whatever they were doing, it wasn’t my business.
That thing about both of them being far more fit than me? They didn’t let me forget it. For some reason, they seemed to take offense to the fact that I was riding up front. I can see why. The front two rows were filled with the very strongest, fittest people. The ‘let’s take a selfie’ sort of gym people, except these ones seemed actually fit. At the same time, all the other super-hot girls and guys (especially the guys) were very nice to me and didn’t seem to care that I rode up front, whereas Valerie and Boris would always shoot these sideward, disgusted glances at me, or smirk. I’m not a confrontational person, so I wouldn’t do the thing most would do in that situation (such as say, ‘the heck is your problem?’). I always got to class super early to dress up and adjust my bike. The gym has a policy, first come, first serve when it comes to choosing one of the thirty bikes in the studio.
I noticed a lot of other people show up early who were also clearly less fit than the ‘stars’ that occupied the first couple of rows, but they seemed to self-segregate into the very back. I was still new as it was my first couple of weeks, so I sat up front because I was still finding my rhythm. I’d sit right up front where the instructor told me, so that I could watch him, and he could watch me. Every time he would come in, he would greet me enthusiastically and praise me for my commitment to fitness. It was little wonder his class was so popular. Everyone held him in high regard.
Sometimes in class, he would shout encouragements to the class as a whole, but also give personal shout outs to certain students. Despite the darkness of the room, when the instructor said ‘great job there OP, you’re KILLIN’ it!’ I noticed both Boris and Valerie give each other a look and shake their heads, laughing.
I never knew for sure why Valerie hated me, but I think it might be because we were both Russian and no one else who went to that early class seemed to be, and she wanted to be the only East Euro girl? Who knows. As for Boris, he followed Valerie because he wanted to get in her pants.
Boris and Valerie usually showed up right when class was starting and the whole place was packed, and yet they were so entitled that there were always two bikes up front, right next to each other reserved for them. Despite the crowd, at 5:30am there were still a couple of empty bikes in the middle or back, but that wasn’t good enough for them. I’d be right in the front row, too. I got there early, and it was my right to sit wherever I please. And yet, despite them showing up at the last second, they shake their heads at ME like I’m the one whose got a lot of nerve.
Well this goes on day after day for a whole month, and despite the fact that I’m no longer new and I’m starting to get more fit and don’t really need the instructor so much just to survive the hour on the bike, I still sit right up front. I thought maybe the particular bike that I was selecting had some significance to Valerie or Boris and that’s why they copped such an attitude all the time. I always rode on the same bike. By this time, I was a bit chummy with a lot of the other women and knew their names and we’d hug in the morning. I thought I should make peace with Valerie, if not Boris, who always sort of gave me a ‘I hate you because Valerie hates you, but if there was no Valerie I’d totally go out with you’ vibe. So, when I saw Valerie that morning (as usual she showed up right when the class started and sat next to me), I politely asked, ‘Was this your bike before and you were used to it? We can trade if you like.’
She rolls her eyes at me and gives Boris a look, and like a donkey he smirks, too.
She actually says, ‘You should sit in the back. We’re motivating people up here and you’re hogging the mirror space.’
(there was a whole wall mirror in front of the classroom)
I’m thinking, what is this, high school? What the heck, you’ve got to be thirty freaking years old and you’re acting like this? And seriously, you may be fitter than me, but I’m just as tall and don’t weigh any more than you do or take up any more space in the mirror and it wouldn’t matter even if I did. We’re adults, or at least I am.
Sigh. That’s what I wish I said. Instead, I just put my head down and went on with my class.
Eventually I got so familiar with the other students because the same regulars would come to class every day that we all became social media friends. I even became social media friends with the instructor.
I don’t post much on social media. I don’t show where I work or every single thing I do or my random brain farts. I just post the occasional photo.
On one of these rare photos, where I was admittedly begging for approval because I was proud of developing abs, the spin instructor himself commented how proud he was of me. A lot of people from spin class also said nice things.
I was friends neither with Valerie nor Boris on social media, but they both ‘liked’ the instructor’s comment on my photo, and my guess is it’s because they both liked to kiss his butt. They certainly never showed me any kindness in class, unlike everyone else who was supportive of me.
I clicked on their names, and my suspicions were confirmed. Both of them practically lived on social media and took endless selfies, showed off their bodies, humble bragged nonstop. They also made no secret of who their employers were. Valerie tried to claim she was a ‘model’ even though it was clear her only real job was being a sales rep for a beauty brand. Valerie was only a model in the ‘take a picture of yourself using your Iphone in front of the bathroom mirror’ sense. So Valerie I guess that makes me a ‘model’ too?
These two were such idiots that they’d post really dumb things on each other’s walls. It didn’t seem like they really had lives other than to talk trash against people. I saw that they had one exchange where they were clearly talking about me. How do I know? Because they actually said my name and said that I was ugly and a wannabe and skinnyfat and all this other horrible stuff. They also talked a lot about other people in the class and said horrible things and actually named names. It doesn’t seem like they were friendly with the other people, even the very fit people who in some cases were even FITTER. In terms of the class, they were social media friends with the instructor and some of the other teachers on the schedule, and with each other, but not with anyone else. Anyway I actually confirmed my suspicion that Boris was lowkey thirsty.
After the spin instructor made a nice comment on my picture and Boris saw that I existed online, he sent me a private message asking me to go for coffee sometime. I ignored the message, which is just as well, because the next time in class he ignored me and just followed Valerie’s normal smirk and ‘pssssh’ routine.
I don’t like to start drama, but I don’t like being bullied and trashed, either. I screen captured and saved a lot of both Valerie’s and Boris’ comments where they trashed at least a dozen people in our class, and then made a dummy Facebook account. I fired off every screen capture to the owner of the studio. Not just the manager of that particular branch, but the owner of the whole company in ADDITION to the branch manager. I let them know that these two cretins were trashing many people in the morning class and creating a hostile, unwelcome environment.
I was also nice enough to send the appropriate screen captures where Boris and Valerie named specific people in the class to those actual people, if their accounts weren’t set to where only friends could message them or post on their feeds.
In less than a week, Boris and Valerie were gone. Both had their memberships revoked and were banned from every one of the brand’s studios. Several of the people that Valerie insulted were sufficiently offended that they sent emails to Valerie’s employer (Valerie, as previously mentioned, made no secret of where she worked) about what a hateful, body shaming person she was and how such a person should not be any kind of brand ambassador. From what the other girls in the studio tell me, Valerie got fired from her job. Don’t worry Valerie, you still have your modeling career of taking selfies in your panties next to your toilet in your apartment.
I had the pleasure of seeing some of the less patient, ripped buff dudes in class who didn’t find it amusing that Boris was telling Valerie on Facebook that he could ‘kick anyone’s butt in class,’ openly offer to let him test his theory, anytime, anywhere. Unfortunately Boris was too occupied up front getting his membership canceled and being refunded and being told to ‘never come back, please’ to make such arrangements. See ya, prick.
Boris had a wannabe, unlicensed personal training business that he talked about on Facebook, and several of the men in class who had legit training certificates shut him down with a quickness. There’s always Starbucks. Maybe I’ll go for coffee sometime and buy it from you, Boris-ista.”