We all have a limit, but what happens when we reach that limit? People share the moment when they were pushed over the edge.
The visit to the DMV
For me it was my trip to the DMV where I tried to reinstate my license. The agents always scrutinize my paperwork and each time manage to find something “wrong” and would send me away to fix it.
On this 7th trip, they told me that, “you have no proof that you ever had a license,” despite my piles of paperwork showing my driving record, among other things.
I refused to leave the seat and said, “you people are monsters.”
A manager was called. We argued, and the whole thing went round in circles.
Anyway, I finally got my license back.
The wet music
I had things all set up to play piano with a string quartet for a wedding ceremony in church.
The grand piano was up front, near the couple, and the organ in the rear to be used later.
When I entered the church, I found that the florist had placed a large vase of roses on the grand piano, using the sheet music for the string quartet underneath the vase to absorb water.
Rarely do I lose my cool, but I did that time. Members of the string quartet told him in no uncertain terms where he could stick those roses as they tried to salvage their soaked music scores.
An annoying kid
I was always a really quiet kid, even as a toddler apparently. So one of the first times I remember losing my cool was when a 3rd grader kept picking on me on the bus. I was in kindergarten and this kid kept popping his head over my seat and poking me. I timed it out and the next time he did I punched him straight in the nose. His nose began to bleed and he cried.
It was halloween. I was sitting out the front of my house watching my sister take my niece trick or treating. Suddenly the people who lived above us shot some fireworks down at my sister and my niece as they left the house. I ushered my sister and niece inside the house and saw that my sister had a few light burns on her arm. I was just so angry, so I went upstairs to their front door and starting banging on it, demanding they come out. They didnt answer, so I starting trying to kick the door in. Eventually my mum and brother dragged me away and back inside our house to calm me down. Half an hour later the police arrived because the neighbours had called them about me. Luckily after we explained what had actually happened I didnt get in any trouble. But neither did they.
The nearly missed birth
My wife was due to give birth on a date I had a trial (I'm an attorney). The State's Attorney's Office(SAO) refused to consent to a continuance, insisting they were going to be ready for trial that day.
When the date arrived, I went to the courthouse only to find out that the SAO was missing one of their witnesses and was asking for a continuance.
My wife gave birth the next day, and I've never been back to the jurisdiction. The State ultimately dropped charges against my client because they didn't have a critical witness.
When someone's kid at Golden Corral decided to put their hands in food containers and they did nothing about it.
The sales pitch
When they brought the third sales manager in, 4 hours into my 90 minute time share presentation.
This guy at work was "cleaning" out the work break room. Basically, he was throwing out people's personal belongings. So, when I saw my new coffee mug that I bought specifically for work in the trash and lost my mind. I started yelling at him and told him that what he was doing was morally wrong and it's not his stuff to throw out. I went to my HR manager and complained to him about the "principle" of the thing. I took all of the coffee mugs in the trash out and washed each of them.
The wrong product
As a junior developer, I spent three weeks trying to fix a custom system. Alone, as by a bizarre confluence of circumstances the rest of my team was absent the entire time.
I finally got to the end of it, battered, bruised, half insane from the stress, but still calm and smiling, not least because I had somehow pulled it off.
And then the product owner asked me how I'd implemented support for multiple signatories using the system simultaneously.
There was no mention of that on any of the tickets. Not anywhere. I must have read every one of those tickets a hundred times.
So I'd spent 3 weeks building something very impressive out of a pile of broken garbage, and then with just hours left on the clock, I found out that what I'd built, while impressive, was not what the customer wanted. All because the PO can't write a ticket, and never checked on my progress.
I lost it. Emails were written, some by me, some by superiors from different sections of the business defending me. The PO was fired unceremoniously and new policies were put into place to prevent this from happening ever again. Overnight, I became the precautionary tale for anyone wanting to break from protocol.
The sick patient
Another unit lied to me about the condition of a patient I was also caring for. I stormed into the supply room and vented by screaming at another nurse. The poor girl remains the only person at work to ever see me lose my cool.
A kid bit me on the chest in kindergarten. I waited till after nap time to run him over with my tricycle.
Back in middle school, one kid broke all of my markers. I told the teacher and he got in trouble, but it wasn't over. Another time at a concert, I was holding my trumpet and he kept messing with my hair and touching me. At one point, he kicked me and I grabbed his leg as he did it and flipped him to the ground. He never messed with me after that.
Those dumb cows
I grew up on a farm. One day when I was young, several cows decided to push their bodies through a small hole in a gate. This resulted in a broken gate, a cow stuck in the broken gate, and several cows roaming freely in a field. I lost it.
I now work in IT. Cows are dumb.
My Dad was in hospital after having a stroke, I was 14 at the time and still in school. This awful kid kept going on about how my dad was going to die, and that he deserved it.
I put up with it all morning, but at lunch he cornered me. Normally I took all the beatings and bullying, but not that day. I lost it. I don't remember what happened, but apparently it took 3 adults to pull my 14 year old, 100lb self off him.
He didn't mess with me after that.
The cheapskate dad
I worked at a theatre. I saw a father pressing his child's head down to get him below the minimum height so he did not have to pay for the child's ticket. The child was in pain. I ended up in a screaming match with the dad.
Football isn't for everyone
I never liked playing football because I wasn't an aggressive person. But in 5th grade I had a teammate who during practice scrimmages would always line up across from me. At the snap he would grab me by my facemask and pull me to the ground. I let it go on for most of the season until I started having neck issues and pains (and still do)
During one of out final practices I was getting water across the field and decided enough was enough. I sprinted full charge across the field, sacked him with all my weight, and I pinned him down under me while grabbing his facemask and repeatedly slammed his head into the dirt until my coaches pulled me off him.
After practice I was running laps until my mom came to get me and when the season ended I decided to switch to basketball.
When my boyfriend and I were breaking up over the phone and I asked to come by to get a dress I left at his place. He informed me he “accidentally threw it out”. This and a combination of him telling me he didn’t want a relationship anymore after telling me 2 days ago we were fine...I lost it. I saw red and have never yelled so much in my life.
The wrestling match
In the 8th grade I decide to join the school wrestling team. I was overweight and not very good at wrestling, but I still tried. Every day after practice, while waiting for parents to pick us up, I would get picked on by any of a number of the other team members.
One day one of the guys decided to take it to the next level, and punched me in the face three times. I stood there stunned with my ears ringing, and then rage took over. He was wearing a hoodie sweat shirt, and with my left hand I reached over and grabbed the hood, pulling it over his head so his face was pointing down, and held tight while delivering uppercuts to his face in rapid succession, while he tried to escape running backwards. I held on tight and kept hitting his face while the crowd watched me in amazement. After what seemed like around 15 straight punches to his face I finally let go and he continued to run backward. He stopped running backward after a few seconds, then came running back towards me. I’m thinking “oh great, here we go again”. He got about halfway back to me and let out a wail than sounded like a combined scream and wolf howl, and then dropped to the ground crying. I turned around to a crowd of wide eyed and stunned bystanders, and walked to the door, while they tended to him.
The next day he came to school with two black eyes swollen shut and bruises all over his face. The wrestling coach basically told the team to stop messing with me, and that was literally the last time I ever got into a physical fight. That was nearly 40 years ago.
I lost my cool one time when I was little, somewhere in the 5-10 range. That doesn't sound out of the ordinary, but I was a quiet reserved kid who didn't do much out of line. Anyway, I have an older brother who tormented me all the time. This day he had been particularly bad, but I still just took it and coped.
My mom made burritos for dinner. I love burritos, but only if its well put together. Sloppy sandwiches drive me nuts. Anyway, my brother and I are sitting down, waiting for my parents to sit at the dinner table too. My brother sees that I'm excited and knows about my sandwich pet peeve, so he takes just his index finger and smashes it down on my burrito as hard as he can. I get upset, so then he just open palm smashes the burrito on my plate into an absolute mess. I lose it and whip the burrito at him, missing and nailing the wall. Parents walked in just when I threw the burrito on the wall. They freeze, and then instead of yelling at me, they immediately ask my brother, "What did you do to him?" Hearing that I would not be punished and that they knew it was my brothers fault without seeing what happened made it a little bit better. I don't think I ever ended up getting a burrito that night, though.
Just this week when two pitbulls forced their way under my fence and mauled my dog. I always worried that if this happened and I had to act in an emergency I would freeze up, but that didn't happen. I called 911 screaming at the dispatcher that they were killing my dog, begging the police to get there. After the incident was over, I asked one of the officers to apologize to the dispatch lady for me.
I lost my cool after I was late for work because my colleague asked me to cover their shift but gave me the wrong start time. According to the company it was my fault.
The evil cat lady
This lady came to the shelter where I work to see the cats. She asked if she could give them treats and I said yes. It's a shelter were most of the cats are free. So the lady gets the bag out, and the cats are getting wild with anticipation, but she just stood there laughing and tempting them without giving them anything. She looked like she was enjoying their anxiety and her laugh sounded like a crazy person.
I lost it, grabbed the bag out of her hands, gave treats to the cats and ask her to leave. Those cats are already stressed out, don't give them more anxiety.
The fallen cigarettes
When I was at college I was at a party with a bunch of friends. My friend Emma and I took a break from the hot mess inside and went out for a smoke. I went over by this one group of friends that I knew and Emma went off by herself to talk to other people.
About a minute later she comes up to me and asks me if she could bum a cigarette. I asked her how she managed to finish so quickly, since I was usually the one that was done first. She pointed over to this one guy and said he knocked hers out of her hand and told her she was too pretty to smoke. I recognized the guy from earlier in the night, he was in town visiting one of the guys that lived in the house where the party was being held. The guy he was visiting was a guy I liked to play beer pong with, so I decided to hold my tongue and just give her another cigarette.
She came back again very soon after and asked me for another cigarette. The guy apparently did it again to her even though she wasn't even trying to talk to him and was standing 5 feet away from him. Emma was a very close friend of mine and I just got fed up, so I went over to the guy and said, "Hey man, what's your problem?" He replied by saying that smoking was bad for you and he was looking out for her. I told him, "Look man, she is capable of making her own decisions. I know you're here visiting Luke and I like Luke, so I don't want any problems. But, if you knock her cigarette from her hand one more time, we are going to have a problem."
He backed off and left her alone for the rest of the night. I'm sure in his head he had this idea that what he was doing was a cute way of flirting, but he was just being an idiot. The next day he found me and apologized for the way he acted, and wanted me to pass along his apology to Emma too because he couldn't find her.
When I was growing up my dad discouraged me from showing any emotion that wasn't "manly". When we left my cousins funeral he asked me on the drive home "why were you crying like that back there?" That was the first funeral that I remember going to and I had been heaving/ crying not any louder than anyone else. He did this with any emotion that could have been "embarassing."
I was in line at a grocery store when a guy in front of me started yelling at the cashier because she wouldn't sell him alcohol without an ID. I spoke up and told him to calm down a little, it wasn't her fault it's the rules. He started poking me in the chest, shoving me back, and shouting insults at me (he actually hit a couple nerves). The cashier lady started to move back, but the dude saw her and turned away from me to grab her arm.
I don't know what snapped inside of me, but the tear-stained look on the cashiers face made me feel like I had to protect her. I found what rage tasted like. The hatred I felt for this man was so much I couldn't stop myself from reaching out, grabbing him, and beginning to repeatedly punch him in the face until I he was on the ground (and even then I kept swinging for a couple seconds).
I fell down on my kness, next to him, and completely broke down crying. I'm talking ugly boogers dripping down the front of my sadness shattered face. At this point other people came over and an officer was quickly behind them. I didn't stop crying. I cried so much I got a headache. I finally stopped crying just long enough to tell my story to the officers as my statement.
I don't know what broke in me that day, but it hasn't happened again. I cry a little more often now (like during sad tv show moments or during movies), but I can never cry in front of other people.
The vending machine
I had a job filling vending machines in my mid 30's, and was servicing one of my larger accounts that we called "full service." Basically they had soda, snack, and cold food machines. Most of the customers , while on their break, would come over to me and request certain items. That was not a problem. But there was this one guy, that would take it too far. A 21-year-old, know-it-all. He would stand next to me during his break, and he would constantly tell me how to do my job better and tell me about complaints other employees had, but they were not telling me in person. Those complaints almost seemed made up, just so he can have something to say.
So one day , while I had the food machine door open and I was checking the expiration dates of the milk, he kept interrupting me and telling me to not miss the dates on the milk, and to make sure there is an even amount of chocolate and whole milk...I lost it!
I stood up, and I got right in his face. I didn't yell, but I said loudly enough for others to hear, "why do you always come over here and nudge me while I'm trying to do my job? How would you like it if I went and started jumping up and down on the bed while your mom was trying to do her job?!" He got extremely red, and looked like he wanted to hit me. Then he walked away. I immediately shut and locked all of my machines and left. I called my really good friend who was a supervisor at the time and told him to be expecting a phone call because I'm probably going to get fired. Never got the call, and the kid finally left me alone.
Parking ticket anger
My college made us buy parking passes for guests in the parking lot which was only ever maybe 60% full even on weekends.
My girlfriend came to visit and we bought the 8 dollar pass and the front desk girl gave us a pencil to fill it out with our license plate and arrival time etc.
When she went to leave Sunday there were 3 parking tickets (one for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) for 25 dollars each because we wrote the parking pass in pencil.
Rage inducing. As if we aren't already paying enough money.
I’m a soccer referee, and known for being calm no matter how heated a player/coach/fan gets.
About 6 months ago I was officiating a girls U16 game and when a player from team A fouled a player from team B, the B players mom jumped up and said “don’t touch my daughter, b*$%^”
I threw out the parent and stopped the game for 2 minutes to lecture the entire group of spectators, at one point using the phrase “my job is to babysit your daughters, not some out of shape middle-aged mom who’s drinking wine out of her coffee cup at 9 in the morning.”
Not a peep from the sidelines the rest of the game.
Don't kick my dog
A guy kicked my dog. I had never hit anyone before that moment. Almost got charged, but I'd do it again.
Yelling at dad
At the time of this incident, I was a generally quiet, respectful 14-year old girl. My mom had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and she was preparing to embark on a very tough 6 months of treatment. My dad came over for some reason (my parents are divorced) and he lost his temper over something (this was not uncommon). He starts standing over my mom and yelling at her while she is crying on the couch. I'd never gotten involved before, but I got right in his face and shouted at him to get out. I escorted him to the door, reminded him that my mom is dealing with a lot more than whatever petty thing he's angry about, and slammed the door behind him.
The knock on the door
About ten or eleven years ago, I was going through a bad period of my life, and part of this was having great difficulty sleeping. One late afternoon, totally exhausted, I tried to take a nap, and after a while it actually worked and I fell into a deep sleep.
It can only have been a few minutes later that the doorbell rang. I woke up, knowing that was the end of the nap, but worried it might be some emergency or something. So I opened the door to find a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses standing their with their leaflets, wanting to try to convert me.
I lost it. It was strange, I felt detached, like a bystander watching my own rant, massively surprised by how articulate and authoritative I sounded (I normally take my time forming sentences, and I'm certainly not used to being authoritative).
Now I can't remember exactly what I said, but the gist was that they had no right interrupting people's lives just because they have opinions that they think are better than those people's, and that they should be ashamed of their arrogance. And does my being an atheist give me a right to knock on their doors at times of my own choosing in order to try to change their opinions?
I'd lost my temper now and again as a younger man (many years previous to this, by which time I was in my 40s), but this was an isolated incident, and certainly the most focussed and directed outburst that I've ever delivered.
Sticks and stones
In 10 years of marriage, the one and only time I yelled at my wife was last year. She'd called me a bad name in front of our kids and I lost it. Weird, honestly - I'm usually very good at keeping control, losing my temper for any reason really never happens. But for some reason that just rubbed me the wrong way.
Keep in line
There have been multiple times where someone has cut me in line where I’ve freaked out. I’m the calmest, chillest person I know. I don’t have a lot of nagging stress in my life so it’s pretty hard to get me angry, but when someone cuts me in line I just can’t help but get mad. I’m following society’s rules. I’m waiting in line, everyone else is waiting in line. Why can’t YOU wait in line? I don’t care what age, race, or gender someone is, I will fully flip if someone cuts me in line. Not at first though. First I’ll inform them there’s a line. If they ignore me or tell me they don’t care, I’ll calmly explain to them that they have to wait in line just like everyone else. If they continue their behavior I will just blatantly cut in front of them (unless they’re further up in the group and not directly ahead of me because I won’t cut other people, then it just goes straight to verbal assault). If all has failed with my normal tone of voice, every person who cuts in front of me sees me go insane.
Quiet in yoga!
Two incredibly oblivious and annoying women who loudly talked their way through a yoga class hosted at Red Rocks Amphitheater amongst 2,000 other yogis.
They sat on their mats, talked and took selfies for the hour long class. They talked their way through shavasana - the end portion of the class where it is silent, it’s the ultimate reward for finishing a class and what many look forward to.
When sleep is interrupted
Just finished a two/three week run of work and school every day and was first Saturday to sleep in. For the record I can generally sleep through a tornado. 7am sharp a construction crew starts busting up the street right outside my window. The incessant beep of the front end loader backing up, swear they had to be teaching a new guy how to operate the damn thing it went on so long, and I had enough. Put on enough clothes to not freeze to death and proceeded to unload years of whatever built-up anger I had on every hard hat within ear shot. Not one of my best moments.
My wife decided to go to Ikea and forced me to come along during the back to school rush.
I got hit by 3 carts when people didn't look where they were going and she couldn't decide if she wanted the 0.5L jar or the 0.75L jar.
She's an angel but you've gotta draw the line somewhere.
The complaining mother
My mother spent my wedding reception complaining to my best friend that I should’ve married her.
We had a dry reception, but she spent a lot of it out in the parking lot. Time comes and goes for the mother/son dance, she’s nowhere to be found. She comes back in as we are cleaning up and getting ready to leave.
She proceeds to complain that I ignored her and she felt disrespected. At this point, I couldn’t take it anymore. I threw a table against the wall, and my new wife and I left for our hotel.
This girl purposefully snapped my ruler for no reason, then just laughed and waved it around to her friends. It really got to me and I just felt so angry and really wanted to punch her in the face. Then later the teacher saw my snapped ruler and asked what happened. I sort of looked at the girl and she just said 'it was an accident' and then the teacher just said 'oh ok' and walked off. Just when the girl started laughing again I was absolutely fuming.
Don't interupt the music
Some idiots on my bus were using a dog whistle app on their phone to make a really annoying high pitched tone. Just about everyone was mad at them, so I decided I was sick of not being able to listen to my music, so I stood up and yelled: they stopped. My friends were all really surprised at me yelling.
The crazy pregnant lady
I lost it the day that a big white pick-up truck tailgated me, then cut me off in traffic, and then threw a cup full of soda at my car when we pulled up to the red light. I was 7 months pregnant at the time and I lost my cool and popped open my car door, grabbed the crowbar under my drivers seat and proceeded to wave it about and cuss him out. I have never seen a man roll up his window so fast, and start staring out his windshield. I personified the crazy white woman, and crazy pregnant lady all at once. It was truly grand.
I was driving to Michigan with my girlfriend to visit my family when a car full of girls tried to run me off the road while we were in a construction zone. After they got in front of me the passenger got out and started throwing glass bottles at my Jeep. My windows were down so I chucked my full iced coffee at their car. It went right into their open sunroof and exploded all over the inside of their car. I don't think I could do it again if I tried.
The kick in the face
Back in secondary school there was a kid who would constantly crawl under my desk and try to steal my wallet. The teacher was always oblivious to the situation even though I would tell him multiple times. One day I had enough and kicked him in the face while he was under the desk, never had any trouble with him after that.