Sometimes, revenge doesn’t look quite like we might think. Sure, there are flashy ways of showing someone that karma exists, but these people managed to get their revenge in the most passive aggressive ways possible.


1. Time To Face The Music

I was talking to some friends from undergrad and this story from my freshman year came up again. The second semester of my freshman year, I was taking a music theory course. The professor was very serious about her job and this class was a bit of a weed-out class for students who wanted to pursue Music Education (I was taking it for fun).

By the time the end of the semester rolled around, I got the feeling she didn’t really like me much because I didn’t pay attention in class but still got As on the homework/exams/playing tests (I’d played piano for a decade by this point), so she couldn’t really punish me for anything since I wasn’t disrupting the class, but I was just a thorn in her side through lack of participation.

Our final project was to find a poem we liked and craft a song using the poem as the lyrics. As she passes out the requirement sheet, she announced that she would be playing these for the class, so we need to put in effort so that we don’t feel embarrassed by what she plays in front of everyone. She shoots a glance at me—the least involved student—as she says that. I took it as a challenge.

I found a poem called “A Minor Bird” and decided to craft my masterpiece in the key of E-flat minor. The reasoning: 6 of the 7 notes are lowered a half-step. So it’s not a matter of thinking “everything I see is lowered,” it’s “everything but one note is lowered,” which is fairly hard to keep track of while sight-reading something that utilizes both hands on the piano.

We were to hand them in at the beginning of class and she would go through the stack and play them, without practicing first. It’s a freshman-level class. How hard could it be? I spent weeks working on this because I wanted to make sure it was both well-written and an absolute plonker for her to play. I had upperclassmen take a look at it to make sure everything was labeled correctly, and they told me I was the most magnificent jerk ever.

Apparently, this prof had irked most of the students in the department who had taken her class. Then the day comes. We all turn our papers in, and I’m visibly excited by everything. The prof comes in and goes full Dolores Umbridge: “I certainly hope everyone met the requirements and put care into their work. If not, we’ll soon find out!” She goes to the piano and pulls the first paper off of the stack.

She makes some comments about it that aren’t negative but are a bit goading, regarding the amount of effort it seemed to take to write it. She pulls mine up about 2/3 of the way, sits down to play it, and stops at the first chord. Then my moment came. She looks around, makes eye contact with me, and straight-up glares before regaining her composure and plunking through my piece.

There are several chords that make a nice crunch before she corrects herself (that darn NOT-flat note tripped her up every time), and it sounds like whoever wrote this piece did an awful job because of how it sounded. At the end, the meek international student—who has perfect pitch—raises her hand, and goes “Excuse me, Dr. ? That piece just played…it has 6 flats in the key, yes?”

Prof: “Yes, it did. I didn’t quite expect that”. Student: “You…didn’t play all 6 flats, it didn’t sound”. Prof turns, glares at me, and goes, “No, no I did not”. I got a 97% because she marked a chord label incorrect. I went back in and showed her that she missed the not-flat note in the chord, and that it was actually labeled correctly; got it changed to a 100%.

camomcg

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