AIBU for this being my hill to die on?

I’ll preface this by saying after being laid off in 2020 I’m no longer as much of a rule follower at work as I used to be. I’ve worked many jobs in retail and office settings, and I’ve encountered too many power-hungry managers that try to control every aspect of my life. I’m also quick to burn out. I’ve been at this job (grocery store) since August and I’m already looking for another one. So I need to know if this is a stupid hill to die on, because I’m reaching my limit.

The back of the store is a long hallway that goes behind a few departments with access to the upstairs (storage and break room) from one side.

The issue is the store manager had an argument with ONE person over a drink being left in their department while they work. So now EVERYONE has to keep their drinks upstairs. There’s a small table in the back right next to the door of my department where I put my water bottle. Everyone else has been hiding theirs but I’m sick of managers thinking they can control me unnecessarily. Plus its uncomfortable to squat down every time I drink, as though hydrating is shameful. AIBU if I refuse to walk upstairs every time I want water?

Nope you aren’t been unreasonable. The manager is.


Managers generally get to set rules, but this rule is pretty ridiculous – and probably discriminatory, because it’d be an added difficulty for anyone who can’t climb stairs as easily.

That said, there are less death-on-hill ways to fight this than simply breaking the rule. If you think you could stomach the conversation, you – or a group of you – could bring it up to your manager or that manager’s own boss and ask if the rule could be changed to simply forbidding drinks in customer areas, because of course nobody should be required to tell their boss if they have a non-disability medical issue that’s making it difficult for them to climb stairs on any given day, or be forced to climb stairs painfully in order to get a drink of water, or to have to take thrice as long to get a drink if they are on a medication that requires them to push fluids or whatever.

Thanks for the advice! I forgot to mention there’s also an elevator but it’s slow.
When the store manager announced the rule in a meeting with all the department heads they all tried to fight him on it but he didn’t care. He also doesn’t care if we call HR.
I was also thinking this could work using malicious compliance and go upsairs like 5 times per hour so I don’t get as much work done. I’d rather not do that though because then someone else will have to pick up my slack.

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