May 6, 2023

People Share Their Best “You Have No Power Here” Stories

As human beings, we try our best to be kind – at least, when people deserve it. We all know a person or two (or six) who really deserves to be put in their place.

When that is done well, it can really be a thing of beauty.

The guy who bought you dinner.

I got married two years ago overseas, because my wife is from Europe, and they have cool castles. My (Canadian) family and friends all came over because most had never been. We’re a little older, and well off, so we splurged.

Wedding was awesome, dinner amazing, reception is in full swing, and quite frankly, its a little warm. Warm for us Canadians… It was around 10 C, in Early November. When you mix in wool suits, drinking, and lots of dancing, some of us Colonists were working up a bit of a sweat. Thankfully, the venue had a balcony, with huge doors.

I kept going over and opening them, as some folks were inside, some were outside, and there was a nice breeze… but… I had to keep going over, because they were shut whenever I looked back.

Finally, after the 5th or 6th time, this guy followed me, and demanded I keep the doors shut because it was cold inside. I didn’t know who he was, so he must have been a +1 of someone on my wife’s side, so I was mighty confused when he said, and I quote “Who the hell do you think you are keeping these doors open, and the temperature so low inside.”

“I’m the guy who bought you dinner.”

I watched him go over to my now cousin-in-law and grab his coat and almost pull her out the front door.

I thought one of my Groomsmen was going to burst he laughed so hard.

Quiet but effective.

I used to work for a super c**ty manager when I worked at McDonalds. This guy was horrible to us. He was constantly bullying us, smack talking us TO CUSTOMERS, and doing everything in his power to make us miserable. Well, so many people complained about him that he ended up getting fired.

New manager was great. He was super chill and understanding with us all. A couple weeks after he took over, the old douchebag comes in and starts talking about how terrible the store looks, how our service is worse than ever, and how much this store needs him. The new manager looked at him and said “If you don’t leave, then the cops are gonna make you”

When the douchebag didn’t move, new awesome manager stuck to his guns and called the cops. The douchebag is no longer allowed on ANY McDonalds property in the city and has a restraining order against him.


I was waiting for a friend to finish work – she worked at a restaurant so fancy they had someone vetting guests at a podium outside.

The place was glitzy and the folks were glam so the great and good would descend in droves. Those with a reservation were sent in; prosepective walk-ins had to queue.

A car sweeps up, the driver jumps out and holds the door open to unleash a hat and dress. The woman accompanying said finery – a C-list actress from a regional daytime TV show – looked through everyone present and moved to enter. She froze, appalled, when the guest-vetter intercepted, asking “Do you have a reservation?”

She mustn’t have heard the question because she didn’t respond. Instead she drew herself up to the full height of her couture and demanded “Do you know who I am?”

“Yes” said the maitre d’, “Back of the queue.”


A liberating moment.

The first time I had dinner at my parents house after I got my own apartment. My dad was giving me grief as usual. Finally, I stood up and said, “ I don’t live here anymore. I don’t have to put up with you this way any longer. I’m going home.”

And walked out.

Most liberating moment of my life.

The moment of true fear.

This is a bit silly, but gave me a great feeling of satisfaction. Due to the bad economy and poor money management, my parents have moved into the spare room of the house my husband and I bought a year ago. Things are mostly smooth, tho I’m not the closest to them for several reasons I won’t go into here.

The other evening I was out gardening (because it’s hot during the day and we have the luck of having a streetlight right next to our front yard, keeping it pretty well illuminated even after sundown, I mostly garden at night), and I thought I had gotten the hose twisted, as it kept getting stuck. This went on for a bit, when I realized that it wasn’t stuck, but being pulled. I looked into the dim area just past the illumination of the street light and spied my father, crouched over and tugging the hose. Well I did the only reasonable thing to do, and I sprayed him. He yelled and ran inside with me chasing.

Once he got inside he made a face and goes “You can’t get me now! I’m inside!!” In that father-to-daughter-don’t-you-make-a-mess tone of voice.

I readied my hose, looked him in the eye and said, “It’s my house.” And just f**king let loose with the hose. He was soaked. Worth cleaning up the mess for that moment of true fear in his eyes.

He found his voice.

Well, this might be a long one.

I grew up around a mother with dissociative disorder as well as narcissism. She was addicted to opiates as far back as I can remember, and would do anything to get them, and I mean anything.

Growing up, it wasn’t rare for her to have a tantrum during one of her highs and beat the hell out of me, break me down by picking apart every little thing she knew I was afraid or self-conscious of, and actively sabotage my relationship with my father and siblings.

She would be up for days at a time, pass out standing up with her eyes glazed over and back hunched, and when she festered once again start moving and otherwise destroying everything in the house.

There were times where I’d leave and the house would be clean, and come home and it would look as though a pissed off tornado had run through the house i.e. broken glass, animal feces, dirty clothes, roaches, empty pill bottles, ground-up pill residue, and other miscellaneous things littering the house. On particularly bad nights she would hallucinate, and during those times it wouldn’t be uncommon to find pools of her blood on the ground from running through glass.

I remember being up for days at a time because her and my father would scream at each other for days at a time without stopping; actively trying to get me to pick one side or the other even if it meant barging into my room at 4 am to begin their screaming match where I could watch.

She manipulated me, abandoned me at times in the middle of nowhere when she’d meet up with her various sugar daddies (she was still with my dad during this), and never once apologized during her brief moments of mental clarity. If anything, she would blame everything but herself. In her mind she was infallible.

Money was always a big issue since she couldn’t work in such a state. She sold some of her pills, yes, but ultimately those funds were used to buy more drugs anyway. Because of this, we were homeless frequently, without power and water for literally years at a time, and barely ever had any food. It was almost every night I went to sleep with the only thing I’d have eaten that day being a school lunch. On weekends, sometimes I didn’t eat at all.

The rest of my family had no clue this was happening. During the summer when I was 16, my aunt whom I hadn’t talked much with since I was a lot younger got in touch. She asked if I’d like to come to stay with them in Texas for a few weeks during the summer.

Of course I said yes, and I was absolutely ecstatic. I didn’t bother asking my parents since I’d be very much surprised if they even noticed I was gone so they were unaware. My aunt drove up all the way to Iowa and stayed the afternoon with us.

My parents seemed to lack the cognition to recognize she was even there out of the blue so they didn’t come out of their room. As I stated before would happen frequently, when she arrived our house was fairly clean. We left for a bit to go get food, and when we returned the tornado had already passed.

As she told me when we were on our way to Texas: the thing that bothered her the most wasn’t that our house had suddenly gone to hell, it was that I didn’t even react to it. Instead, I tiptoed around the debris and started packing my things without a word.

This deeply unsettled her, and ultimately she asked me if I was safe where I lived. I said yes, as it was all I had ever known. She told me that what she saw frightened her, and she wanted me to come live with her in Texas. Thinking that she was joking, I brushed it off. After a few days down there though, I knew I had to do it. They showed me love, compassion, and care that I’d never even known existed prior to this and it shook me to my core.

So we decided, I was going to get emancipated from my parents and move in with them. Ultimately, this involved sitting in a courthouse across from my parents and their lawyer.

The judge asked why I wanted to leave, and I explained the above. I expressed the love and compassion I’d experienced for the first time in my life, and that I wanted to, for once, live in peace.

Their lawyer rebutted, “To me, it seems as though you have no respect for your parents. Is it because of their financial situation? It looks as though you’re attached to the perks of living in a family that makes a reasonable amount of money, and not that you want to leave because they’re unfit parents.”

My mother and father joined in, hooting and hollering actively trying to break me down as they have so many times before.

I let him speak, I let them speak, and I held my tongue until it was my turn. They tried to goad me on, tried to break me as they had so many times before, but I wouldn’t let them.

Finally, the judge asked me to speak.

With as level a stare as I could muster, I looked at mother, my father, and their lawyer across from me and said “If you’re asking me if I have no respect for my parents, then you are correct. However, to say it’s simply financially motivated is incorrect. I no longer have respect for them because they have-”

As I was nearly finished, my mother, as she had so many times in the past began to squirm and scream at me from across the table. “HE’S LYING THE LITTLE BASTARD IS JUS-”

Until the Judge slammed his gavel down and cut the room; my mother staring up at him in complete and utter disbelief.

I looked at her, keeping the tears I knew were right behind the corner at bay and said, “For once in your life; for once in my life, behave as an adult. You can’t stop me by simply yelling over me anymore, you have nothing to hold over me now. You can do nothing.”

As I spoke, the judge motioned to his officer who moved towards my mother. Her expression still frozen in complete bewilderment as the officer aggressively told her to get up out of her chair and escorted her out of the room.

The judge looked to me, my aunt, my father, and his lawyer with one sweeping glance and then spoke.

“I am sorry that you have had to deal with this for so long young man. There’s nothing more that you or anyone else needs to say. You deserve to live a normal life as a normal kid and it’s obvious to me now that your parents are unfit to produce that kind of environment. You will go back to Texas with your Aunt, and we will regularly have our social workers in touch to check in on how you are doing. Make the most of this second chance, good luck young man. Adjourned.”

Though the bang of his gavel was the only noise that permeated the room, all I could hear was the ringing in my ears. My father and his lawyer were escorted out of the room and the tears I had held back all this time came gushing out like a tidal wave.

It’s been 7 years since that day and I am happy to say that I’ve managed to grow up and become a well-adjusted adult. I have a great career, great friends, and an amazing girlfriend. I’ve been in therapy ever since we got back to Texas, and I no longer have trouble sleeping or terrible bouts of anxiety and depression as I used to.

Life is good.


Mother is a narcissist with dissociative personality disorder addicted to opiates. Father kind of just went with the flow and didn’t really do much. Aunt came down to take me to Texas, saw how horrible everything was and asked me if I wanted to live with them. After some time I said yes, went to court against my parents under the pretense of emancipation, and got to stare them down and layout all the trauma, pain, and fear they’ve caused me. My mother was escorted out of the room when she tried to cut over me, and the judge sided with us and I was emancipated. Now I’m doing really well.

Not even god.

Woman complained we wouldn’t fill her clearly fraudulent C2 prescription, brought the brand new store manager back to the pharmacy to “make us fill it.”

“She says you have to fill it.”

“God himself cannot make us fill anything if it fails the checks. No.”

Score one for the judge.

I told my ex I was getting remarried. He told me he was going to stop me and put a lein on my house (which I bought with my money six years after the divorce).

My son would come home from visitations telling me how his dad was going to stop the wedding and I’d have to pay him all of this money, la di da. Get to court. His attorney goes blah blah blah for what felt like forever.

My lawyer (yes, I had to freaking get one) stands up and simply hands the judge the divorce papers showing the disbursement of funds and how my ex isn’t owed anything. Judge looks at ex’s lawyer and basically asks, “did you even ask for this document before filing?” and dismisses the case.

A happy life.

The guy that i’d gone on a few dates with introduced me to his parents, things went well, or so i thought.

he drives me home, we end up talking and drinking a few beers, i didn’t want him on the road with any alcohol in his system, and i enjoyed his company, so we end up hanging out until 3am.

His mom starts blowing up his phone, demanding that he comes home, so he drives himself home to find that he’s been locked out of his house. His mom said that he can sleep outside, he shouldn’t be spending time with someone like me (still don’t know what she meant by that), and that i’m “just another stop on the p**sy train”.

He tells her not to talk about me like that, to which she says “when you’re under my roof, i’ll say whatever i want about whoever i want!” so he picks up his phone, calls me, asks if he can stay at my place for a little while.

It’s been seven years, we’re engaged, have a dog, a cat, and a happy life.

i also plan on throwing some subtle train themes into the wedding/celebration after the end of the plague.

Utterly delightful.

A while back, I got a job as a popcorn monkey in the local cinema, as a temporary thing while I figured out what the f**k I was doing with my life.

There was a supervisor that had worked there since the site opened (around 5 years) who was a total bitch and had had numerous complaints about her from countless staff.

In the first week, I nearly quit because of her attitude – as an example one night I was on a close, and basically cleaned the entirety of the front of house on my own. I stopped to take a drink of water and she marched up to me going “WE DON’T PAY YOU TO STAND AROUND DRINKING YOU KNOW!” to which I calmly responded that I was thirsty, and needed a drink of water, and if she wanted to tell me I wasn’t allowed to have a glass of water then good luck, but I’m pretty sure health and safety would have something to say about that. She huffed about not having had a break all day, which I ignored cos not my f**king problem, but internally I was put out about it, because it was totally f**king pointless to be such a twat about things.

About 2 weeks in I get promoted to Supervisor as I was clearly extremely competent by their usual standards (I could walk and fart at the same time) but she also gets promoted to Floor Manager, so she continues to work her little power trips and try and lord it over me (and everyone else)

4 weeks after that, I get another promotion to Floor Manager, and at this point we’re equals, so she can’t boss me around anymore. So instead, she tries a different tack, which is to try and lord it over me with her superior knowledge of processes, where to find stuff etc.

My response is to go (saccharine sweet) “Oh thanks! That’s so helpful, I mean you know how things work so much better than me, because you’ve been here 5 years, and I’ve only been here 6 weeks…”

She had a face like a smacked arse. It was delightful 🙂

Just silent.

I had a short stint as private investigator who specialized in providing investigative services to public defenders.

We had this one county that was notorious for a sheriff’s department that would make BS traffic stops as a pretext to search vehicles. One deputy in particular came up time and time again for this kind of thing.

I was asked to interview this deputy for a defense attorney. Deputy had some of the worse report writing skills I’ve ever seen. Riddled with grammar and spelling errors. Quite often, deputy wouldn’t even include the reason he pulls people over in his reports.

So I go to interview the guy. As part of the process, there’s a senior sheriff’s rep there that basically is suppose to protect deputies from people like me and keep them from saying things they shouldn’t.

We sit down and I pull out his report he wrote on the stop he made on my client’s defendant. I’ve already marked it up, English teacher style with a red pen and start with, “I had some trouble understanding your report.” I proceeded to go error by error for the purpose of “clarifying” the report. He’s getting redder and redder. I then go into trying to determine why he pulled over the defendant because it’s unclear in the report. He’s not able to give a definitive response.

All the while, the sheriff’s rep, whom I’ve worked with a lot and who I have seen be very vocal protecting deputies in interviews like this in the past, is silent. Ultimately, charges against client are dropped.

Months later, I’m driving through the area on the way home from camping, not speeding or breaking any traffic laws. I get pulled over by a deputy. It’s the same deputy. He recognizes me immediately, stammers and manages to say, “Uhhhh, it’s almost dusk, turn on your headlights.” He gets back in his vehicle and takes off before I’ve even started my engine.

That moment when you realize…

ex and i were moving out after a breakup. cleaning out garage. she was being critical of my post-breakup plan of moving in with a coworker until i could find a better place to live, as most options weren’t great.

i took a deep breath and laughed. this puzzled her. why are you laughing, she asked? i collected myself and said “because this is the last time i have to listen to this. you don’t get to be critical of anything i ever do, ever again!”

it was a really great feeling, because i literally thought of the “you have no power here” as i laughed.

Mind your manners.

I grew up with my parents having screaming arguments over every little thing (they do love each other – over 50 years of marriage so far testifies to that) and it always upset me.

A couple of days ago, they popped into my house to visit for a coffee on their way to stay with friends a few miles away. Within minutes, they were yelling at each other.

I took great pleasure in telling them that I would not stand for such behaviour in MY house and, if they didn’t lower their voices, they could stand outside until they learned some manners.

The meek apologies tasted so sweet. As did the coffee.


TL;DR a pair of angry moms threatened legal action if I fired their useless kids.

I work for a trampoline park franchise. We opened a sister location that I ran for about a year and a half before moving back to take over the old location.

When I got back, a lot needed fixing but in particular there were 2 teenage employees that had been fired/suspended on numerous occasions. They were generally lazy, rude idiots that shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. Problem was, they both had aggressive helicopter moms that intimidated the manager into rescinding any punishments.

Once I came back, I took stock of our employees and had a long talk with the entire leadership team. I learned which employees caused which problems, who was unreliable, who had a regular habit of skipping shifts, texting on shift, etc. I fired about a half dozen that first week, including those two I mentioned.

That night, both moms called my personal cell to scream at me (our numbers are listed in the online scheduling tool so employees can find shift covers more easily). They demanded to know why I fired them, threatened to sue, have me arrested, accused me of discrimination (against their white middle-class sons), etc.

I simply asked, “Is your son over 18? Yes? So you’re demanding I illegally release personal information regarding a former adult employee? Bye”

Name and job title, please.

Some secretary of some branch of a state agency would go on a power trip and stamp, “Do not copy” on things that she sent to local agencies. Well, I work for an oversight agency and I needed a copy. Locals were terrified so I rolled my eyes and called to explain that the locals and I were basically the same entity.

Woman started to have a conniption fit, but she got real quiet when I cut her off and said, “Fine, I’ll issue a subpoena. What’s your name and job title?” She answered, and the sheriff served her a subpoena for what I wanted.

Guess she wasn’t used to that.

He laughed in her face.

Not me, but a story my dad used to tell me all the time.

So my biological grandmother was very emotionally abusive. She was very controlling and tried to keep people within her sphere of influence. There’s a reason why my grandfather divorced her.

In high school my dad had a job washing airplanes at an airport in our area, which he absolutely loved (he’s a huge fan of aircraft in general). He had classes until roughly 10am and then he’d be off to work until around 10pm (it was what he loved, he didn’t mind long hours being around aircraft all day). But one day he came home a little too late for his mom’s liking. She said she’d take his keys to his motorcycle and that he’d lost privileges to it.

The fact of the matter is that he bought the motorcycle himself and he needed it to get to school as well as work. He laughed in her face and she didn’t do anything. She couldn’t do anything.

In all likelihood.

IT services for a client of mine. They paid for me to come to their office and address a problem. 8 hrs minimum time. The issue was resolved in about 45 minutes, they’d set up something incorrectly and it was pretty obvious once I got into the system.

I was packing up to leave and the client stopped me.

“What are you doing?”

“The system is fixed so I’m headed out back to my office.”

“No, I paid for 8 hours, you’ll do your 8 hours. If I tell you to wash my car for 8 hours that’s what you’ll be doing.”

“Right…so anyway, I’m leaving. I’ll notify the office to send you the invoice and in all likelihood we’ll no longer be working with you and withdrawing your lease on our equipment.”

Big man in a small town.

I’m a high school teacher who teaches a lot of senior grades and so has to deal with graduation grades, references for university, all that jazz.

I had a parent of a graduating kid in my classroom in June (after final marks were given to students but not formally reported) who was a dental surgeon in town, ran a large operation, donated a lot to local sports…big man in a small town.

I had given his kid a mark in the high B range, and so he marched into my office and started off with the “there must be some mistake” line, which moved swiftly into the “you’re going to change it because I tell you too” to “how much will it cost to get him the A”. When I refused the bribe he went to “you’re FIRED!!!1!1!”. Not “I’m going to get you fired” but “you’re fired, clean out your desk”. I just asked him to leave.

Ended badly, he threatened violence, I reported him to the school admin, he’s now banned from the property.

Mr. “I pay your salary so you work for me you lousy piece of s*it” was threatened with the cops by Mr RandomActPG.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single one of these.

In fact, I might go back and read them again.

twistedsifter on facebook People Share Their Best You Have No Power Here Stories