July 9, 2024 at 11:22 pm

School Headmistress Told An Employee He Wasn’t Allowed To Unlock A Gate Anymore, So He Followed Orders And It Was Incredibly Costly

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/Pexels

Ask and you shall receive…

Sometimes, that’s all you can do when you receive your marching orders from the person in charge.

Take a look at how this guy maliciously complied with a boss who didn’t seem to have her act together…

Do not open that gate; you’re doing thousands of pounds worth of damage!

“This story belongs to my dad, who served some time as a caretaker serving two schools in the UK, one really good and another not so much. No prizes for guessing where this starts.

The school previously had a regular gate that would be left open during the day; there were fences in the main ground to keep visitors away from the main body of the school, so there were no safety concerns, but the new headmistress decided that they needed a more secure front gate.

It was time for an upgrade.

When all was done, a new code-operated gate was installed in the vehicle-width alley leading into the grounds; you’d drive close to one side, tap in the code, hydraulic pistons would open both sides for around 30 seconds, then close again.

There was a pedestrian access gate right next to it on a second keypad, powered by a maglock. My dad never liked technology that much, especially unnecessary technology, but the whole thing wasn’t so bad, so things carried on as normal.

Now, the school itself is accessed via the wide alley from the (residential) road it’s on. Because it’s also a less-affluent area, very few have gardens big enough for driveways, so there are always cars parked down both sides.

As a result, it’s not that wide; if two cars were to come across each other, one would have to pull in to the gaps where the rare driveways existed, to let the other pass.

Then, the gate starts malfunctioning. Every now and then, it’d just not open for some reason.

My dad would hear about this, have to walk over to the gate, climb up the side, unlock a panel and disable the hydraulics, then press a button to unlock the mechanism, at which point he could just push it open.

Over and over again.

Once whoever needed it has passed through, he’d close it up, enable the mechanism, then re-enable the hydraulics, and it’d be working again, at least until the next time.

This went on for several months, with the headmistress not really responding to the requests to have the gate looked at, as it “always kept on working” once it was reset, so obviously it can’t be that bad.

He got a call…

Then, one day, after my dad’s manually opened and closed the gate for someone, he receives a message to see the headmistress in her office, coincidentally within range of the treasurer and the secretary, at which he’s told “I understand you’ve been unlocking the main gate manually. You’re doing thousands of pounds worth of damage, and you’re not to do it.”

The usual protests go through, but the end result is the same: No more manually unlocking the gate. No problemo.

(We all see where this is going).

You got it!

The fateful day rolls around: my dad turns up to work at around 6:45am, having a 7am start, and the gate won’t open.

No problem, he’ll just- oh, he’s not supposed to, so knowing exactly what’s going to happen later, he parks on the road, enters via the pedestrian gate, opens the school, and gets on with his usual duties.

It’s also raining; not too heavy but certainly where you’d not want to be without cover. This only serves to add to his sense of well-being.

Over the next couple of hours, he encounters the arriving teachers and kitchen staff, who tell him the gate won’t open and can he please come over and let them in.

No can do!

Sorry, he says, the headmistress has had a meeting with him and explained he’s no longer to open it, so there’s nothing he can do.

They’re a little put out by this, but he has a good relationship with most people there, so it’s just accepted, and he goes back to his duties.

At some point, someone who left their car at the gate to go and get it opened, has come back to find someone else behind them, and so on.

By around 8am, the alley has around five cars in it, and the rest are spilling over down the road. In the middle of all this, being a Monday, a delivery truck has turned up, and in all the fuss, the teachers have had to unload it and store the contents in their cars, to let the driver escape to their next drop-off (which would have been a challenge in itself).

Just doing my job!

My dad, while expecting this, is blissfully soldiering on with his duties, until a certain headmistress manages to track him down as he winds his way back towards the front.

This poor woman has been out in the rain for about ten minutes looking for him, and her appearance shows it. Make-up running, hair bedraggled, she informs him that the gate won’t open, to which he replies “Yes, I noticed that, so I parked on the road today”.

As they turn a corner on the way to the gate, he’s now faced with the massive congregation of teachers, parents and kids, all of which have had to “park” down the road and walk up in the rain, all standing around angrily.

No doubt the entire road is blocked at this point, with around 300 students’ worth of parents trying to deliver their spawn as well.

Time to let her have it!

This is where he chooses to make his stand, and in full view and earshot of everyone, completely deadpan, declares: “Well, the last time I opened it, you told me I’m doing thousands of pounds worth of damage, and I’m not to do it”. (I will never forget that exact phrase and tone of voice; this exact imitation is thoroughly enjoyed in our household).

She looks gobsmacked, and in this pause, he also adds: “I think I need to have it in writing: when I can open it, and when I can’t, as this is all very confusing.”

This snaps her out of it, and trying to ignore the obvious glances and whispers of the onlookers, looks him dead in the eye and responds very curtly, “I think you and I need to have a discussion”, to which he replies “Yes, I think you’re right”.

Took care of that!

He then happily ambles over to the gate, climbs up and opens it, deciding to come back later to close it when the small army of disgruntleds has dissipated.

While he never did tell us the exact outcome of that meeting, it’s clear that, while rocky anyway, their relationship did not blossom at all after that.

Luckily, he retired a couple of years later, and often ponders the fate of his successor.”

Check out what folks had to say on Reddit.

One reader chimed in.

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Another reader knows people like this.

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One individual shared their thoughts.

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Another person had a lot to say.

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Just following orders, boss!

If you liked that post, check out this one about an employee that got revenge on HR when they refused to reimburse his travel.