People Engross Us With Their Malicious Compliance Revenge
18. I Can Only Put Jam On One Piece Of Toast? I Have An Idea
That’s one clever kid!
“This is a small & stupid yet very lengthy example of malicious compliance, but it felt like a huge win for me at the time & still does (I was a child, maybe 9 or 10).
I’m an only child, not much extended family, and both parents were certainly doing their best (having themselves been poorly treated growing up), but sometimes a person’s best is still not ideal.
I grew up with the kind of parenting style where the kid can never win, there was always some sort of power trip. E.g., physical punishments for no clear reason, that would increase in severity if I so much as asked what I’d actually done wrong (‘you are never to question me’).
I had to follow weird rules to the absolute letter that didn’t make logical sense but only applied to me. My dad was the most controlling, and would often try to intimidate me (someone once said he had ‘small man syndrome’ and at the time I guess I was the only one smaller than him).
I would cop it if I did not do exactly what he had said, in exactly the way he said it. Being pretty bright, I learned to find loopholes in his rules and he couldn’t say anything about it if I exploited them because I’d technically done what he’d asked.
This story is about one of those times. I was careful not to do so too often in case he stopped being super literal.
To set the scene some more: I was a neglected child.
My parents were the right-wing Christian hippy type, in the sense that I was ‘homoeopathically immunized’ (but honestly they wouldn’t make sure I took the full course of what’s essentially sugar pills, so I didn’t even have the claim of being ‘homoeopathically immunized’ to my name).
With the ironic exception of homeopathy, sugar in all its forms was the devil, and at some points, I remember not even being allowed things like apple juice because it apparently made me hyper and run around a lot.
I grew up on goat and soy milk, not cow’s milk because it ‘leaches calcium from the bones’. I couldn’t be myself (I’ve since learned I’m naturally peppy, so you have to understand I was fed in a way that discouraged this).
Our house was so quiet you could hear a pin drop on the other side of the house. I had high anxiety and was depressed at a fundamental level. I wasn’t encouraged to go on play dates with school friends.
I wasn’t allowed Barbies. I wasn’t allowed to watch Sesame Street because ‘Oscar the grouch has a bad attitude and it might rub off’ onto me. I would get asked by kids in my class if I was anorexic and I didn’t even know what that meant.
On the rare occasions I received lollies or chocolate as a gift or prize, they’d go up to the very top of the pantry out of reach (but within eyesight) for a time when I deserved to enjoy something a little special.
They stayed up there for years, typically that pile was only ever added to. Maybe a couple of times I remember being allowed to select a single item (literally, a single lolly from a party favor lolly bag kind of thing).
Occasionally on holiday, I’d get to have something yummy as a treat, but it was usually my mother sharing something with me in a close and secret way and my dad would never know.
One morning on holiday, we were having toast for breakfast. I had two pieces of toast on my plate. On the table was a nice proper jam, as well as the usuals (eg Marmite, despite being Australian).
As expected, I was not permitted jam in everyday life, and I knew never to ask. But we were on holiday, and it was proper jam, and I hadn’t done anything wrong lately, and I thought not being allowed to have jam once was stupid.
I asked and was told no. I asked again, adding ‘but we’re on holiday, and I never get to have jam, please?’ My mother conceded, saying something like ‘oh come on, we rarely go away and it’s lovely jam with real fruit’ but it was my dad that decided this stuff.
Eventually, he conceded. ‘Yes, okay. But you can only put jam on ONE piece of toast’. I thanked him and repeated, ‘I can only –put? the jam –on one piece of toast? –with my knife?’ He said yes.
I clarified again and he said yes. So I did. But he hadn’t specified the quantity or the manner in which I had to eat it. I grinned. This big, crap-eating grin.
I put heaps of jam on that one piece of toast. He tried to stop me but I reminded him what he’d said. I took the other in my hand and smooshed them both together.
His eyes bugged out of his head. When I pulled them apart, both pieces had the perfect amount of jam. I said ‘oh wow! I thought I wanted to have my toast as a sandwich actually, but I changed my mind.
Oh well.’ I was then able to enjoy two delicious jam toasts.
The look on his face was magical. He was angry and tried to tell me off. I reminded him that he’d already confirmed a few times that I could only use the knife, to put jam on only the one toast.
He was flustered because I’d beaten him. My mother had a very amused look on her face and I think she was a little proud. He couldn’t punish me directly for having too much jam as he hadn’t specified the quantity.
Technically I was within the rules.
I can’t remember what happened afterward, I wouldn’t be surprised if I somehow copped extra for an unrelated thing. Most of my childhood is a weird blur.
But there is always a silver lining. I learned to be very quick-witted. I am very good at noticing discrepancies, logical gaps, and loopholes. I only exploit them if I think the person/their stance is objectively ridiculous, and even then, rarely – it’s a power that should only be used for good.”
17. Refuse To Give Me My Overtime Pay? That's Not What The Law Says
“In 2021 I worked in a company as an IT specialist. Actually, I was promoted to a more responsible Tier 2 position a few months before all this happened. We supported one of Microsoft’s products.
I was working with the company for more than 5 years with this one client. This client was a source of prestige for the company. The cherry on top.
I am a very humble person but what happened next made me less humble.
This was a nontypical helpdesk that had 3 lines. Tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3. About 5 workers on tier 1, two on tier 2, and one on tier 3.
All helpdesk workers including me working on this project were saying that the project is actually great. Management on the other hand was terrible. We were understaffed all the time. Plenty of poor decisions which I will spare you from.
The point is. We as technicians working directly with the client knew that this support is not working well and things are getting worse and worse. The END is coming.
So the story starts with strike one which was fighting for pay.
When I was promoted to tier 2 my agreement did not change. I was still receiving the same amount of pay as I did when working as a tier 1 technician.
That is not a promotion is it?
But what I did receive is more responsibilities. As an example: Part of my new job was helping all tier 1s by being available after work.
They could call me anytime if there was an issue they were not able to handle by themselves. Let’s call that “on-call.” The “on-call” lasted the whole week 24/7 and it happened twice per month.
I did receive an additional 1000 for each week spent on-call. Since it happened 2 times in a month then it is an additional 2000 per month. But of course, Greg the marketing manager considered that as a good argument to not increase my pay due to my promotion.
To him, I was earning X before. Now I am earning X + 2000.
If that is a promotion I’m a polar bear model. So I continued fighting for my raise but nothing ever changed.
It was just talking.
The big thing that changed everything was a project that needed to be done for the client. It was I think somewhere around October 2021. The project was a new configuration of clients’ IT environment.
I talked with Andrew (the only tier 3 engineer on our project) about this and he told me that this is too big and our agreement with the client does not cover this so it should be paid additionally.
So I called Greg to sort this out.
The job is big and due to its nature I would need to work mostly on weekends….so will I get compensated for that? That is where he made the promise that I will be paid for my overtime.
So I took the job and started working on it.
Negotiations with the client about technical things and preparing to implement the new configuration took time especially due to the December holidays and New Year’s.
But eventually, the client and I came to understand how to do the configuration.
After the new year of 2022, I started doing the actual work of implementing the new configuration.
Without getting into technical details the implementation did not go smoothly.
The tools that I had to use were not working properly which caused a lot of issues. More issues? More overtime.
I worked every weekend (sometimes less, sometimes more). As far as I remember I had about 80 hours of overtime for January/February.
That is when it hit me. I need to get some insurance that I will get paid. Despite that it was promised to me by Greg that I will be paid for my overtime, I personally started doubting that.
Everyone working in my company knew that the company hates paying overtime…Scratch that. DOES NOT PAY OVERTIME….and knowing how my so-called promotion was handled, I started to worry.
Then I realized. My overtime is not actually registered.
I did not ask, I trusted Greg and no one told me how to do this. I’m new as tier 2 and it was the first time I was doing a job like this.
So I called Greg and asked how I should register my overtime. He instructed me and so I did register my time.
When he saw how much time it took me what I was afraid of happened.
He tried to back down from his promise and I won’t get paid.
That means now:
- I am not getting a raise due to my promotion
- I am not getting paid for my overtime.
But I did not give up.
So I went to the newly hired Greg’s boss – Slawomir.
Slawomir was hired when I was already working on this project and we did not know him as much but he was Greg’s boss so I went to him.
Slawomir took Greg’s side so it seemed that I was out of options.
During this whole project since it began in October 2021, Greg’s decisions were getting more stupid and worse. The End was getting closer and closer and all technicians felt it.
But neither did Greg or Slawomir. Decisions were so stupid that I even started thinking that it was intentional sabotage.
Slawomir was hired to help and make the helpdesk work. Which means sorting out issues with management.
But he did nothing of sort. All the time he was standing with Greg who was mostly responsible for the situation we were in. Then I found out that it was actually Greg who interviewed Slawomir for this job.
YES! Subordinate choosing who to hire for his boss!
Slawomir quickly showed how spineless he was and then we understood what happened. Greg hired himself a boss that would listen to everything he says to keep control.
No way Slawomir will help fix anything.
So what about my overtime or my raise? Negotiations were ongoing.
I did not change my position. I was promised paid overtime and that is what I wanted.
I am stubborn. Greg and Slawomir’s position was that they won’t pay me BUT they will give me days off for my work.
I don’t really use days off. Employers always had to force me to go on vacation so that solution did not work for me.
I was livid. He promised and now I will make him keep his promise. I had also a second reason. Money was one of the reasons why our helpdesk was not working as it should and I cared about the client so this situation was a perfect opportunity to teach the management a lesson that if they want to keep the client then they need to pay.
It was March 2022 at this point. Negotiations regarding my overtime produced no results. So I started doing something I did not want to do which was check what the law says.
I spent hours on Google. I even paid for advice from a lawyer and the result was bad.
The employer was right. He could force me to take days off instead of getting paid for my overtime.
That is what is written in the law…BUT…I think Greg did not know about this, but there was a second part to that paragraph. Yes, the employer can force me to take days off instead of paying overtime but it had to be in the same fiscal quarter.
For example, if I worked overtime in February, and it is now April which is a new fiscal quarter then the employer can’t force me anymore to take days off for my overtime in the former fiscal quarter.
He MUST pay. Let me remind you that it was March at this point. So a plan started to emerge… How to win? Simple …wait…keep talking, stall, and when April comes, they will pay me for my overtime.
All this time, they were stalling to not pay me, but in fact, they were doing harm only to themselves.
And that is what I started to do. But then THIS happened.
When working on the project on Sunday, I noticed that there was something wrong. Unless I’ll fix it by tomorrow, plenty of users won’t be able to work. It was not as much as my mistake.
As I said the tools were not working properly and that caused the issue. It was Sunday almost night, so there is no one to call or notify so I made a call and fixed it without notifying the client.
That was the only way users next day will be able to work.
And that is how strike 2 happened.
Since I was a tier 2 now, with Andrew and Dominik (second tier 2 engineer) I had to participate in weekly calls with the client.
Sharing news, IT talks, and discussing things. Normal stuff. But this time the big Boss Mr. B was angry at me. It was because I made the call to fix what was wrong on Sunday and did not notify anyone that I was doing anything.
Ok, this is the client’s environment, no one wants to come home and see that someone rearranged the furniture so I kind of understand that but as I explained to him there was no other way to do it and it had to be done, not fixing it would cause a lot more issues than fixing it and it was Sunday night so too late to notify anyone.
Mr. B was actually a reasonable person but for some reason, that explanation did not work which felt kind of strange. Well, I said ok and apologized. That was all I could say to Mr.
After that incident, it did not take long for Slawomir (AKA Greg’s minion boss) and Greg to take that as an argument in the “talks” about my overtime.
After the meeting with Mr.
B, I spoke with Andrew and I won’t share the results of that talk but also later Dominik called me. The call started with “You do know it was a set-up, right?” Oh yea.
Because I did not accept Greg’s terms and take days off for my overtime Greg used his pal Mr. B to set me up as the worst employee of the month in order to force me to accept his terms.
That made me more negotiable and actually a few days after that I send an email that either they will pay or I quit. Now you would think that due to END IS COMING, they would have some brains to pay? Well, they didn’t, so I handed them my resignation.
Guess what – even after sending the email Greg and Slawomir were surprised.
The second part of March already started so I need to stall for a few days more to win my overtime payment.
So what I did is take sick leave until the end of the month. Not that it was a lie, but I have been neglecting myself and had issues I needed to sort out.
And this was it. I won. They had to pay now for my overtime.
Now when an employee resigns there is a period of time when he still must work before he leaves completely.
That period was 3 months for me starting from the end of March. After my resignation, I had to work for 3 more months, but you see, as I mentioned I do not do off days, so I had so many days off that for more than a month during that period to avoid paying additionally for all the days off I did not use the company had to send me on vacation.
I used that time to start working in my new job.
During the period I was still working Slawomir asked me if there was an option for me to come to work and they will pay instead of taking days off.
I replied with a smile – I already have an onboarding in another company so no.
When I saw the pay for all my overtime reaching my bank account, I smiled and enjoyed my victory.
Too bad I had to spend so much time reading the law to do it.
After I left the company for good I found out that a month after the client left the company, Andrew also left the company (I did not know, but he resigned before me) and plenty of new shenanigans with paying employees emerged.
I am so glad I made the right call and not only that…I won. I don’t think Mr. G ever actually looked into the law until he was forced by the CEO but that is just my guess.
The CEO of course was shocked that the client left the company.
There is a saying in Poland and it goes “workers come to the company but leave because of the boss.””
16. Won't Let Me Return A Broken Controller Without A Cable? I'll Get You A Cable Alright
“So in the UK, we have a store called Game. I’ll spare explaining what they sell. So anyway I was looking through the second-hand cabinet and found an Xbox elite controller I liked the look of.
I ended up buying it and took it home. (About an hour’s drive away because I live in the middle of nowhere.) Plugged it in excited to make use of the extra features of my new controller only to find the ‘A’ button was mushed in and wouldn’t register any input.
Clearly broken as soon as you tried to press it, it didn’t click. Annoyed that nobody had checked this before putting it on sale I traveled back the next day to return it for a working controller.
I handed over the controller in the case it came with and explained the situation.
Cashier (C), “Have you got the charging cable?”
This is where I messed up. I left the micro USB cable plugged into my pc.
Me, “No, very sorry left it at home but you can clearly tell this button is not clicking and is broken.”
C struggled to hide his grin and proceeded to tell me there was no way of testing the controller to see if it was faulty without the cable.
Me, “Surely there’s a micro USB cable lying around you can use?”
C, “I still can’t return it without the cable.”
This I get but I’m asking for a simple swap like for like.
Don’t need the accessories just the controller. He was getting a mad control ego trip over condescendingly explaining the technicalities of store policy.
Annoyed with the fact it was going to be another 2-hour round trip I left with my tail between my legs passing that same second-hand cabinet on my way out.
That’s when the light bulb moment hit. I looked at the elite controller they had put in the cabinet to replace the one I bought the previous day and looked back at ol’ smuggins back at the checkout who was just elated he had won.
Or so he thought.
I walked confidently back to the checkout, waited in line, and got to the smirking cashier who now had a confused slightly worried look on his face.
Me: “I’d like to buy one Xbox elite controller from your second-hand cabinet please.” I said in my most polite voice as if it was the first time meeting C.
Looking like I’d just asked him for his grandma’s ashes he tilted his head, puzzled, and went and fetched it for me.
I paid for my controller, cable and all, and marched out of the store.
A little cable swap later and I walked immediately back into the store.
This is where C and I locked eye contact from across the store. His face even more puzzled than before.
I got to the front of the line and was served by the manager as C was busy with another customer.
Me: “I bought this controller from you yesterday and as you can see the ‘A’ button is smashed in and broken.” This is where the penny dropped for C and he figured out what I was up to.
After handling the controller the manager confirmed that, “yes it is, very sorry about that sir. We’ll get that refunded for you no problem. Do you have all the accessories it came with?”
Me locking eyes with C at the adjacent checkout who was clearly listening and trying to involve himself in the transaction: “As a matter of fact, I do! Charging cable and all!”
At this point, C was spitting feathers trying to interject and exclaim I had just swapped out the cable 30 seconds prior but was too busy with a customer who was asking questions about something.
Manager: “Do you want the money going back onto the card that paid initially?”
Me: “Yes please but don’t you need to check to see if it’s faulty by plugging it in first?” Still holding eye contact with C.
Manager: “No that’s not necessary, the ‘A’ button is clearly broken.”
As C got redder in the face my grin widened until I looked like a Cheshire cat. I thanked the manager for his help and gave a nod to C and left with my head held high and my new working controller.
To some, this isn’t anything to write home about, but for me, it was extremely satisfying to see C’s face at the end of the ordeal.”
15. Dare Me To File A Claim Against You? Watch Me Go
“This story takes place in Australia back in 2011. I’m American but I was in Australia at the time on a Working Holiday Visa. Considered a backpacker, the idea was I would work to supplement my travel expenses.
Prior to this story, I spent several months working as a server at a restaurant in Sydney. After saving some money, I was able to travel the country for a couple of months before eventually ending up in Cairns where I planned to replenish my funds.
I found the hospitality industry the easiest to work in because I had serving experience and it paid well. You don’t get many tips in Australia but the hourly wage was around $18/hr + at the time, depending on which state you were in.
In Australia, it’s not uncommon for a restaurant to have you come in for a “trial” before they hire you. It’s usually just a couple of hours to see if you can handle waiting tables or that you didn’t lie about prior experience.
Technically, you are supposed to be paid during a trial but that doesn’t always happen. The first trial I did in Sydney was only 1.5 hours and they provided the work attire.
I didn’t get paid but felt for such a short period of time, it was no skin off my back. I did another trial in Sydney at a different restaurant and ended up getting paid for it on my first paycheck after they hired me.
The story: When I arrived in Cairns I was down to my last two hundred dollars. I needed to find a job immediately. I walked around with copies of my CV (resume) dropping them off at different restaurants.
There was a nice little restaurant on the water where I spoke to the owner. We’ll call her Susan. I made it explicitly clear that I was only looking for a serving job.
Susan and I agreed that I would come in the following day at 6 pm for a trial. I needed to wear a solid white button-down shirt and black pants. Having lived out of a backpack for the past couple of months, I didn’t have these.
So I spent $60 on the required clothing just to attend the trial.
Now the restaurant was pretty small, maybe 12 tables total. When I arrived it was just Susan and two female servers.
She immediately tells me to grab an apron and man the bar. I told her that I thought this was a trial for a server position and that I had zero bartending experience.
I couldn’t even make a simple cocktail let alone man the bar by myself. She was having none of it. Reluctantly, I agreed to try in hopes that after seeing how bad I was, she would give me some tables.
Needless to say, it was a disaster. Other than pouring beer/wine I was useless. One of the female servers kept having to take time away from her tables to make the drinks.
It turns out, the server that was helping me had several years of bartending experience but Susan wouldn’t let her bartend because “it looks better to have a man behind the bar.” Meanwhile, Susan herself never lifted a finger.
She spent the whole night at one of the tables drinking wine with two of her friends.
Around 9 pm Susan announces she’s leaving. I ask her if that concludes the trial.
She told me no, that I should stick around until close and we’d talk tomorrow. At this point, I knew the whole trial was nonsense. Her normal bartender had the night off and she just needed someone to fill in for the night.
Even so, I ended up staying until 11 pm helping the two servers with the closing duties. I felt bad leaving them short-handed, it wasn’t their fault after all. During that time, I learned what type of person Susan was.
One of the servers told me Susan once took funds out of the tip jar to pay a check that a table had skipped out on. I decided then that Susan wasn’t getting any free labor out of me.
I wasn’t going to spend 5 hours of my time and $60 out of pocket on clothing to help her.
The next day Susan called and surprise, I didn’t get the job.
I told her that’s fine, just let me know how I go about getting paid for the trial. She says “oh we don’t pay for trials.” I nicely told her that she was legally obligated to pay me for my time and if she didn’t, I would be forced to file a claim with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Her response was “do what you gotta do”. So I did. I called the Fair Work Ombudsman who confirmed that yes, I was entitled to 5 hours of compensation at the minimum wage of $18/hr.
I first had to write a letter to Susan asking for the funds. If she still didn’t comply after 30 days, I could file a claim. I wrote a very courteous letter requesting $90 and sent it to Susan via certified mail.
Of course, I never heard back. So after 30 days, I filed the claim. I ended up finding a great serving job at a hotel restaurant and soon forgot about the whole ordeal.
Fast forward 6 months and I’m back in the US. I randomly get a call from an Australian number who happens to be the HR/Accountant for Susan’s restaurant. She asks me for some information in order to get me set up in their system as an employee so I can get paid.
Within a couple of days, I had $134 transferred to my bank account. Not only did I get the $90 but I was paid some backend things like the employer’s superannuation contribution (similar to a 401K) and paid leave accrual.
I don’t know exactly what happened on her end with the Fair Work Ombudsman but I imagine Susan was facing some hefty fines if she didn’t pay me. In the end, it wasn’t a lot of pay but rather the principle of the matter.
I wasn’t going to let Susan get away with free labor in my case (as I’m sure she did with other trials). Hopefully, she thought twice the next time her bartender took a night off.”
14. The Answer Is Always Yes? If You Say So
“Years ago, I used to work as a Hardware Manager for a (now defunct) retail company in Canada, whose name started with an “S” and ended with “ears.”
In the springtime, we were setting up for the inevitable warmer weather, and we unveiled this absolutely amazing BBQ.
Kenmore made by Charbroil, 5 burner 75000 BTU, with a 10000 BTU side burner, stainless steel construction with cast iron grill, all for the low low price of $499.
The exact same Charbroil sold for $899 at the time, so as you can imagine, it was very popular.
Maybe sold…..12 to 1 of it vs any other BBQ in my department.
Also, due to that, I rarely if ever had any on hand, and would have to special order them for customers.
I begged and pleaded with my District and Logistical Managers to send me 100 of the things, because I know I would have been able to sell them, but they refused.
Now, at this point in the company (2012) the Canadian operations of the company were going through some transitions, and they had recently initiated a “Say Yes!” policy. Say “YES!” to the customer, whenever possible to complete the sale, and secure that excellent, salesman/customer relationship.
The customer buys a BBQ and asks if we can throw in a cover for free? YES! The customer doesn’t have tools at home, and asks if we can build it in-store for them? YES!
You get the point.
So, June rolls around. BBQs are flying out of my department at an alarming rate, with a majority of them, being this Kenmore BBQ. It’s Wednesday, and a customer comes in, after hearing about the price, and his BBQ had just broken on him the day prior, and he’s got family coming this weekend.
Me: “Well I can order it in, we’ve got another truck arriving Friday, so it may be on there, but I cannot confirm. If it’s not on this Friday’s truck, it’ll be on the following Tuesday truck for sure.”
Customer: “I can’t take that risk man.
Is there any way that I can buy the floor model?”
Now, to note, selling floor model BBQs wasn’t really allowed during the traditional BBQ season, but since the customer asked….
Me: “Yeah for sure man!”
Customer: “Do I get any discount for the floor model??”
Me: “Ordinarily there would be if it were closer to clearance time, but with it being pre-built and ready to go right now, I think you’re getting a decent deal, with no extra hassles.” (Utter nonsense, but w/e that’s neither here nor there.)
C: “Alright man, I’ll take it.”
So I get it packed up, wheel it out, and walk by Store Manager (SM), and she gives me The Look.
You know the one. The “You weren’t supposed to do that” Look. Hey, I was just saying ‘Yes’.
I’m sitting in the central office, stuck on a conference call that could have been an email, listening to the ramblings of sales numbers and things I’m not too concerned about, because I was good at my job and my numbers were good.
(At that point, I was up 25% over the previous year.)
Then something jerks me out of my lulled state of boredom. It’s District Manager (DM), with whom I don’t get along with at the best of times.
DM: “Just going over hardware sales, OP, I noticed that you sold your floor model Kenmore BBQ. That’s our #1 selling BBQ right now, why would you take it off the floor before clearance?”
Me: “Well DM, I had a customer come in, and they were in a bind, family coming in from out of town for a huge get-together, and his previous BBQ had just died on him.
I attempted to show him other models, but he was set on this one for obvious reasons. I told him I could order one in, but I couldn’t guarantee that it’d arrive on my Friday truck.
He then asked if he could purchase the floor model, and I, remembering the last few conference calls and your guys’ introduction of our new “Say Yes!” Policy, looked at the customer, and I freaking said YES!”
I immediately heard roughly 7 people laugh and then mute their call.
DM: “Appliances, we have a new Bosch dishwasher arriving…….” At this point, I tuned out.
5 minutes later, the call ends. I grab my notes, walk towards my department, and then there’s an announcement over the intercom….
SM: “OP, please report to SM’s office.”
Oh this is gonna be good….
Me: “You wanted to see me?”
SM: “Why is DM calling me literally as soon as your conference call has ended?”
Me: recounts story for SM.
SM: “You know she doesn’t want you on any conference calls from now on, right? The CEO and COO were on that call.”
Me: “Whoops…but also not whoops, because you know I hate conference calls…”
SM is just glaring at me, but smirking at the same time.
Me: “Soooooo can I go sell some BBQs now?”
SM: “You’re lucky you can sell…” (She was joking around)
So I headed back to my sales floor and continued to sell 3 more of the BBQs without them even being on display.
Aftermath – They were serious about me never being on any more conference calls, they were all handled by the ASM from then on, and he just gave me notes, and the gist of what the call was about, but even that, could have been an email.
CEO & COO remembered me when they made a visit to my store a few weeks later. DM tried to rush them past my department when she saw I was working, but the CEO made a point to stop and say “So THIS is the Outspoken Hardware Salesman that I’ve been hearing so much about.” He and I laughed, while DM looked like she wanted to murder me.
I also finished that quarter, 33% up for the period, the best increase in sales the company had ever seen in our district at that time. I left the company in October 2012 after 4.5 years, and the whole company shut down roughly 5 years later.”
13. Can't Plan Accordingly? It'll Come Back To Bite You In The Butt, But It's Not Our Problem
“So I work in customer service in the automotive industry. As part of the services we offer guests we perform a state-mandated car inspection so people can register their car with the state.
It’s a simple process that can take about 15min if you book an appointment with us. But every month we get flooded with people who forgot to do the inspection on the last week of each month.
It is a mad dash for last-minute appointments to fit people in before they’re late. Now, we don’t make a buck off this type of service, in fact, it’s a State set fee and we realistically lose money doing this inspection on labor costs.
I preface this to state that doing these state inspections DOES NOT benefit my shop, but we do it because it helps our customers.
The front door opens to a male Karen coming in on a Friday afternoon mid-day.
This distinguished gentleman, we’ll call him Tim, walks in at around 1 pm in the afternoon and slaps his keys on the countertop informing my front counter teammate that he needs an inspection now.
Now understand that even though all of our appointments were booked up days ago we will still bend over backward to help someone out. We totally get that things don’t always go according to plan in life, so we do what we can to help.
That is….as long as you’re a nice person. When you start trying to dictate how we’re going to help you that does not fly at my store. Tim decided that today he was going to do exactly that.
After we advised him he can either wait almost two hours to try to work him into a slot as we process our already scheduled appointments, or book an appointment for him next week.
Tim let us know that booking an appointment the following week after the deadline was not an option for him. But he’s got time right now so he’s going to generously give us two hours of his time and we need to figure out how to get him in.
Cue Malicious Compliance: I stepped in to take over the conversation for my front counter staff who have been dealing with him up till now. “Okay sir! We’re happy to help! I’ll get your keys out to the technician, you just have a seat and make yourself comfortable!”
Immediately I walked the keys out to my technician with explicit instructions.
After explaining to my tech that Tim is acting like a dirty trash can full of poop. I gave the express instructions that we will not even touch his vehicle until 2hrs have passed.
Mind you as Tim sits in the lobby stewing, I have the pleasure of servicing several other customers who set their appointments days ahead of time. 15 min here, 20 min there, and even a 7-minute inspection for an all-electric car.
Things are flowing so so smoothly for all of the appointments who did things the right way and it’s showing on Tim’s face. After the first hour, Tim finally has the courage to speak up.
“I really appreciate y’all trying to work me in, but do you know how long it’s going to be?” No Tim, you don’t get to be nice now and try to expedite your vehicle.
You don’t get to be nasty to my staff and still get your way. “Sorry Tim, we’re still trying to get it fit in, like I said about two hours before we can see the truck.” Mind you the lobby’s totally empty and all customers have already been serviced early.
It’s perfect. Fast forward another hour and his multiple attempts to make small talk to amend his horrible manners/treatment of one of my staffers. And his car’s finally being brought into the shop bays.
Then moments later my technician walks into the lobby with a giddy smile, “Boss, his truck needs wipers to pass inspection, they’re torn and fail the vehicle”. Passing on this wonderful news to Tim, he agrees to have the tech install some because he of course did not bring any of his own.
At this point, I feel quite satisfied that Tim’s learned his lesson with a little additional help from the universe in him needing to also replace wiper blades. But apparently, the universe was not quite done teaching Tim a lesson.
HIS CAR STILL FAILED THE INSPECTION!!! The last part of the test is run by a computer that reads the internal control modules of the car. It’s a totally automated process that can’t be tampered with or affected by the inspector.
The only thing that can interfere is if the car’s had the battery replaced and those control modules have been reset! But that’s exactly what Tim did. Hours before coming to see me he replaced the battery and cleared those exact modules.
So at the end of the day, Tim was his own worst enemy and failed his own car. Having to book an appointment for the following week. But with a little help from the universe, he hopefully learned a very valuable lesson, that service workers are not your slaves. And to always tip your waiters.”
12. Sell Me A Car More Than What It's Worth? I'll Comply With Your Ultimatum
“This was about 7-10 years ago. I needed a cheap commuter car and knew my budget. I had saved up $3,500 and was ready to buy. The car would give my wife and me some freedom in not having to juggle the car for our two busy schedules between two jobs and unfortunately, very different class schedules in a state that is pretty spread out i.e.
public transportation wasn’t really effective at that time; it’s gotten LOADS better now in the larger cities (medium-sized compared to the coastal big cities). I digress.
There was a dealership on a busy road in the city I lived in at the time.
They didn’t have the greatest reputation (I had heard a few stories over the years), but they had an inexpensive car – a first-generation Hyundai Tiburon that had lowish miles (about 75k or so, if memory serves me well), a manual transmission, and it looked pretty clean.
It was white in the online pictures, which isn’t my fav color, but the paint looked to be in excellent condition. Overall looked pretty nice. It was listed for $4K. Figured I could manage a small loan for that, and should be able to negotiate a price.
Before going, I did my research. I compared dealership price estimating from several sites using all features listed on their ad (KBB, NADA, Edmunds, etc.) and also compared comparable cars across the country and locally being sold by owners.
The highest price I could find from estimations and websites was $4K for a similarly clean car with lower miles. So I felt armed with the info I needed and had copies on my phone ready to go.
I got there and noticed that the car was actually painted with a pearlescent paint job. The most visible color was white, but in certain light, it was actually sparkly pink.
That would have to be painted over – no thank you. But that was just more negotiating material since I doubted that’s a popular color scheme for a car.
The test drive went well – nothing major noted.
My visual inspection of the car inside and out didn’t find anything, so I was feeling pretty good about the state of the car. I felt confident the car was worth the higher end of the estimates I had found but wanted to negotiate down a few hundred dollars for a new paint job I would do elsewhere.
Let the negotiations begin, I thought.
The salesperson “didn’t know” what the price was and went to the financial person to get that data – I told them what their online price was, and wanted to start there.
He seemed new and unsure – that he really needed to go talk to the finance person first (which maybe should have been a red flag). I shook my head and waited.
He came back saying the car was $6K because they “had to replace the transmission, so they needed to get their money back for that work,” and started down that path.
I’m like “Nope. Here’s my research” and laid it all out. Made the sales guy super nervous.
After an hour of banter, I ended up getting the dealership manager or whatever their title was.
Telling me that the car was worth $6K (not “out the door” price either) blah blah blah. I got frustrated and told her that “congratulations. Your work on the transmission earned the car the top end of what it can be worth with the options, mileage, make and model we’re talking about.
That’s $4K, and I’m happy to pay that. But not a penny more on the car before taxes, title, or licensing is figured.”
To which she snapped back “take it or leave it.” And the clouds of frustration parted.
The skies cleared, and the angelic courses of malicious compliance sang through the air and my mind.
“You’re right. Good luck selling it. I’m out,” and I walked away
She tried to tell me I was obligated, that they had already gotten my verbal agreement to buy the car because I had started negotiations, blah, blah, blah.
I just laughed as maniacally as I could muster (imagine Vizzini from “The Princess Bride”), & kept walking. They threatened to get their lawyers involved, and I gave them the finger as I drove away in our car toward home.
And guess what? Never got a call from their lawyer or served any papers. The dealership actually went out of business a few months later. So unexpected!
I later learned how lucky I was when I talked to my dad about the dealership.
He had apparently tried to trade a car in with them a while before then, but they had handled things a little differently with him. Asked for his car keys to evaluate his car, then refused to give him his keys back when they tried to spring on extra fees to his sale & he wanted to walk.
Dad had to start dialing 911 before they gave up and returned his keys.”
Another User Comments:
“You did the right thing. You could have also threatened to inform the local authorities (here it would be the city attorney’s office) that they are committing fraud by listing a car for sale at one price and then refusing to sell it at that price.” IgnotusPeverill
11. Pester Me About Turning In An Essay While I'm In The ICU? I'll Handwrite It
What an inconsiderate jerk.
“So back in early December, I started to feel sick. Not sick sick, but I have not been able to eat a lot and lost around 17 pounds of weight in 10 days.
(I will admit that I am fat and was kinda happy that I just magically dropped weight.) I was blaming it on “too little rest,” “I just didn’t get used to the food here in the US (I came here from another country for college),” or “I might have digestive problems, might need to check them out.” It was on the 13th that everything just suddenly went downhill.
I woke up exhausted, sweating, and not being able to eat anything other than drinking bottles and bottles of water. It lasted for the entire day until 10 pm ish I started to feel like I’m about to pass out, so I went to an ER nearby with my roommate.
Well, in short, I had a viral sickness, as well as a certain life-threatening thing going on. (I’m not going to name it, but some of you might be able to tell from above.) I had immediately a bunch of IVs put in and was moved to one of the ICUs.
I lost consciousness as soon as I arrived in the ICU and didn’t wake up until the next morning, and for the next 48 hours or so, I have been slipping in and out of consciousness.
My doctor wanted me to sit in a chair instead of laying down all day, so pretty much all day, I was just passed out in a chair. I can vaguely remember dropping my phone on the floor, and I didn’t even have the energy to pick it up.
Now all that was the buildup. On the third day when I finally felt better, I went on my school portal and saw a new message from one of my professors, telling me that I’m late for turning in my essay for the final project.
(Cause it was finals week, duh.) I know I had the essay 80% completed and it was on my laptop, which was packed and sent to a friend’s place by my roommate because we were moving out of our dorm room at the time.
And that friend happened to be out of town in NY celebrating the new year. AND even if my roommate got the laptop somehow from the friend’s place, they wouldn’t have been able to hand it to me because I was really sick, and they didn’t allow visiting.
So ya, everything was screwed. I explained the entire situation to the Professor in a long, fully written out message, and they never responded.
Fast forward a few days, and the Professor contacted me again, this time via email, to ask about my assignment.
Their entire message was like “(my name), where is your project?”
I was triggered. I was mad. Well, to be honest, I wasn’t in my best mental state because of what happened in the past few days.
So I pasted the entire message that I sent to her in my email responding to that, just in case she hadn’t read it on the school portal website.
She went something like “well too bad I’m going to have to fail you on this project, cause it had been assigned two weeks ago and you should’ve done it then.”
Ma’am, I could have totally finished it before the deadline IF I HADN’T BEEN IN THE ICU AND IN A COMA FOR TWO DAYS WITHOUT MY LAPTOP.
The doctors ended up deciding to keep me for a few more days after I’m no longer in danger, and dang did I make good use of that.
I asked for a bunch of paper that of course, had the hospital’s name printed on them.
I wrote my entire essay again, BY HAND, on them. When you write the same piece of text the second time, trust me, it becomes way easier than the first time.
I made sure to write as neatly as I can, trying my best to guilt them in every way possible. Then as I promised in my response, I took a picture of it (making sure that I accidentally included my hand that is swollen with the IV plugged in and a bit of my hospital robe (they call it a johnny?)) and sent it away.
I sent the assignment to them on December 17th. Wasn’t until yesterday, way after the semester ended, that they called and kinda sorta apologized (“I was too busy to check my messages because finals coming up so I barely looked at your explanation, blah blah blah”).
I’ve no idea where they got my number, but fine. I’ll take it.
As of now, I have decided to gap the spring semester and go back to my home country for a bit.
My health has been greatly affected by what happened and going back home to take some rest might be good for me. I also get to spend some time with my mom who has been very anxious since the first day I had the medical incident.”
Another User Comments:
“They PHONED you hoping to avoid disciplinary action against them.
Sending you emails without actually reading your responses is not okay.
Saying you should have completed an assignment within the first week of a 2-week assignment is only valid if you have a planned issue, like a family trip. You were in the hospital. In ICU.
You need to pass on your email to higher-ups… INCLUDING THE PHOTOS WITH IV!” VanillaCookieMonster
10. Need Me To Answer Honestly? I Am
“So I currently work in a petrol station. I came full circle when I left that job to try for something else (and other reasons) but in the end, did not work out, and landed a job at another petrol station.
This story is about the previous one I worked at which is part of a supermarket during the winter. I arrive at work at 5:45 am and just as I walk across the forecourt, the next thing I’m like Bambi while I try not to fall on my butt.
Whilst doing this alongside our Duty Manager, I said to him “hey can you request the gritters, who we just past gritting the main store car park, to maybe give us some love over here too? This could be dangerous for cars coming and going but in the meantime, I’ll just warn cars to drive slow and careful until the gritters come around.”
He says that’s a good call and he’ll do that….
Well of course he didn’t… so here’s what happened next…
After a good hour of standing outside in the cold warning cars to drive slowly and carefully, I had to come back inside from the cold to help my co-worker hold the fort while she went to the bathroom.
While it was quiet, I got on my phone to the duty manager to ask him why he has not sent gritters, but of course, no one answers the phone, then I noticed a customer making his way in while shouting “are you okay mate?!”
I look out the window and I see a man mounted on his motorcycle fuelling up and giving a thumbs up and I thought ah man here we go!
I asked the customer what happened and he tells me how he rode his bike over the ice and came off his bike, of course, this happened so fast, and I was distracted calling the manager that I didn’t see the man fall, but I thought CCTV caught this.
So the guy who came off his bike enters and there I am apologizing profusely!
Me: I just heard you came off your bike, are you okay?
Biker: just scraped my knee a little and my elbow really hurts…..
but I’ll be fine!
Me: are you sure? Look just come into the back with me I’ll get first aid to check you over and coffee is on me!
Biker: hey…. Relax! I’m not going to make a claim… all is fine.
Me: Okay just I’m really sorry this has happened to you and it’s part of my job to make sure you’re okay.
Biker: I’m okay and don’t worry about the coffee.
So the biker leaves, but bear in mind he wasn’t really wearing “Biker protection” gear.
In the end, we found bags of salt in some storage and we took it upon ourselves to grit the forecourt ourselves considering this was not our job to do so.
A week later my boss calls me on my day off to tell me there was a statement form I needed to fill out when I come into work next. I straight up ask “this is about the guy who came off his bike isn’t it?” She says “yeeeaah… he’s making a claim.” I rolled my eyes and laughed and told my boss how the guy told me he wasn’t going to claim, but of course, I didn’t blame him.
I head into work the next day and write a full statement of what happened, what I saw, well I didn’t see him fall but footage showed he did indeed fall, and also wrote the exact conversation we had and left it at that and just got on with the day.
I come home and later that night my boss calls me to ask me a very important question regarding if this guy will get his claim or not…. And the question was….
“The morning the guy fell off his bike, did you notice if there was ice before he arrived?”
I straight up said, “yes, I noticed there was ice, I noticed it when I walked over it and almost slipped and fell myself!”
There was a pause then I was asked “are you sure!? You need to answer this honestly!” And I said of course I’m sure and I am being honest! Did (co-worker’s name) lie and say no?! And if I’m honest here I don’t really care if the biker gets his claim or not, I requested a gritter that morning and no one turned up! I even called DM to not ask but tell him we needed a gritter! And I know that what happened isn’t personally my fault as I tried as far as my duties are to prevent accidents such as this from happening!”
The boss cuts me off and says “your answer here is very important here (emphasizing the words “your answer” and “important”).
You’re saying you did notice ice?”
Then I said “I’m not going to lie to possibly prevent a guy to win some “I hurt myself” funds, that’s my answer and I’m sticking with it, goodnight!” Hangs up.
Don’t know if that guy got his claim or not but all this would have been prevented if someone did their job right.”
9. Won't Let Me Touch Your Customers' Vehicles? Fine By Me
“This happened about 5 years ago. I used to work at a dealership, I was part of the detailing crew. There were about 5 of us in that department but only 3 of us on-site at a time.
For context, when a sales rep makes a sale on a vehicle they bring it to us to get it detailed along with stickers removed from windows, nothing too serious as they are already fairly clean.
Now the way this dealership works is, there’s only 1 detailing department for 5 different dealerships. So we would detail cars for Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan, GMC, and Hyundai. So yes a fairly small detailing squad for 5 different dealerships.
It sounds like a lot but surprisingly it wasn’t too bad. This specific sales rep, we’ll call him Jake. Jake was married to this other sales rep we’ll call Mary.
For whatever reason Jake HATED my guts for almost the entire time I was employed there, no idea why.
My assumption is that one day he saw me talking to his wife which I didn’t know was his wife at the time. But that’s because I was getting some info on a trade-in that came in and I was thinking about purchasing that car, it was a 2016 Nissan 370z NISMO.
No, I never ended up buying it, I just wanted to get more information about the car, how much the monthly payments would be, etc. I guess he didn’t like me talking to her so he held a grudge against me.
Again this is just speculation.
Also, I want to note that I have been in the detailing field for about 6 years at the time, So I had my fair share of experience and I was actually one of the best detailers in that department.
One day Jake came up to our department with a sold unit. And I kind of overheard him talking to one of my coworkers about me… He was talking behind my back and I mean he was saying rude stuff about me but I was able to make out most of the things he was saying.
One particular line I did understand was “Hey I have this car here, the customer wants you to just remove the stickers, nothing else. Also, make sure OP NEVER touches the cars I bring up ok? Do I make myself clear? He doesn’t know what he’s doing and he’s an idiot.” Me acting like I didn’t just hear what he said, I continued working on my own stuff and thought to myself “what did I do to the guy that he doesn’t like me? But whatever I guess, if he doesn’t want me to touch his car then so be it.” Cue Malicious Compliance!
One day I was the only one that showed up.
One guy called out and the other said he’ll be really late. I didn’t mind. That day was also the day that Jake brought a sold unit first thing in the morning to us for a cleaning and I was the ONLY one there! He didn’t know that.
He thought the other guys were here working on another car or whatnot. He dropped the car there, left the keys on a board where we keep the other keys and he walked away.
Little did he know I was alone.
I did NOT touch his car as per his request. The car sat there for 4 HOURS! He came up to pick up the car and noticed that it hasn’t been touched at all! He came to me LIVID and said “Why hasn’t my car been touched? Did no one touch it?” I said “No Jake, No one touched the car” to which he replied with “Why??? The customer is waiting! What the heck, why didn’t you do it?” and I said “Oh no, I can’t; YOU said not to let me touch whatever car you bring us because I don’t know what I am doing and I am an idiot, and sadly, I am the only one here at the moment so I guess you’ll have to wait for the next guy to show up.
Assuming he does show up today.” He looked shocked and started apologizing because he said, “I didn’t mean any of that.” I just ignored him and went back to doing what I was doing.
He had to explain to his customers that he had to reschedule them for another date, our boss later found out about what happened and he had a long talk with him about treating his fellow colleagues with respect and to not discriminate against anyone for any reason at all.
I know the ending wasn’t too satisfying, but I felt good that day when he found out I heard everything he said about me.”
Another User Comments:
“The ending was quite satisfying. You quietly and politely got back at him in a way better way than throwing a fit or other reaction would have.” algy888
8. Leave If We Don't Like That You're Not Giving Us Our Tips? We'll Be Gone Immediately
“I worked as a waiter at this Italian restaurant in NYC in the early 2000s. The restaurant is now closed, and we’ll get to that.
I (22m at the time) was in my fifth year working there, and new ownership took over.
The restaurant wasn’t doing as well as it used to, but it still had a loyal base, 40 plus-year history, and a good location. The old owners were just getting older and built a new restaurant in NJ closer to home.
The new owners were Mike and Jerry (names changed blah blah). Jerry was the one with the restaurant experience and was taciturn, a bit of a nerd, and by the books.
Mike was a mechanic and somewhat mercurial, but also fun to be around, for the most part.
Most of our client base at this restaurant were families, older couples, and basically middle-class people from the neighborhood.
Honestly, it was the best Italian food in the borough for the price IMO.
I loved it as someone who worked there in his early twenties because I worked 5 pm-10 Friday and Saturday, and Monday all day and made around $300-$400 a week (back when the minimum wage was about $5.50 an hour).
Pretty darn good for a college kid with few to no bills.
Now, there were only a few other waiters and waitresses:
- James, who left because he just became a teacher
- Tom, who just left bc he became a fireman
- Will, who was just about to leave to become a court officer or something
- Erika, cute new girl
- Agnes, older housewife who worked there for 25+ years
- Jill, another older -and beloved- waitress who worked 25+ years there.
So, we had new owners and some key spots needed filling.
We were on a skeleton crew and I was picking up extra shifts as was Erika. Most of these waiters who were leaving were there for like 6+ years. The customers liked seeing the same faces.
Well, Mike and Jerry, the new owners, decided they want all young waiters and waitresses so they fire Agnes and Jill. The customers were jolted and unhappy.
Now, context aside, Erika and I were working a party of about 22 people.
It was the last table of the night. When the bill was settled and Erika and I cleaned up we asked Jerry for the tip.
“There isn’t a tip,” he said without lifting his face from his paperwork.
Now, for parties of 5+, I always included the tip unless it was a customer I knew and trusted. I made the bill and I knew there was a tip. I asked again and Jerry meekly said “No tip.”
Now, Erika and I were privately discussing how this is nonsense, and in comes Mike.
He begins screaming at us.
“You think we stole from you!?” He yelled, red-faced. “We don’t steal, you accusing us of theft??” He continued aggressively yelling the same crap over and over until he said “If you don’t like it then quit.” He stormed off.
Now, I should mention that my best friends all moved to California months before this and I had plans and moving there with them the next month. I didn’t give my two weeks yet bc it was 4 weeks out.
I told Erika this.
“Yeah, screw this place,” she said.
As we were packing up to leave, Jerry came over and gave us our tip with no explanation. Weird. Then Mike calmly asked, “So see you tomorrow?”
“No,” I said calmly.
“Me too,” Erika said.
“Ok,” Mike said, deadpan.
Well, it wasn’t ok. They now had no waiters in a restaurant that needed at least 4-5 to function. Even if you pulled someone off the street they don’t know the system, the menu, the customer base, the wine list, etc.
they were screwed.
They called me incessantly for days afterward, begging me to come back. I considered it because I could use more money before my trip to San Diego but screw them.
They even called me throughout the summer asking if I could come in.
“Sorry, I’m 2,000 miles away,” I said. I’m not sure if they believed me, but I was gone.
The restaurant only lasted a few more months and it saddens me bc I loved the place, but if you buy an old Italian restaurant with a built-in clientele, don’t scare them off by making stupid changes.
Now, if I stayed there would the restaurant have been saved? No. I doubt it. But a lot of customers would have had better dining experiences those last few months instead of the 15-year-old busboys being their new waiters.”
7. Make Me Buy My Own Equipment? Since I'm Buying, You'll Be Paying Me A Fee
“I’m an orthodontist, have my own practice, but I needed to supplement my income by working for this one corporate orthodontic practice several years ago to help pay off some debt (dental school and residency put me in a massive hole).
This company was sold to the corporation by an older orthodontist who hadn’t invested in this office for years prior to the sale. After they acquired the practice, it was subject to their investors’ thumbs.
So, we really operated on a lean, mostly old technology infrastructure. It was a miracle I convinced them to upgrade their IT infrastructure and patient record software early on. They still went cheap with it, but at least the software was full-featured, HIPAA compliant, faster than the old garbage, and had the things I needed to ensure proper scheduling and record keeping.
After working for them for a few years I asked for a digital intraoral scanner – that wand that scans your mouth to make a digital copy of your teeth and bite on a computer.
For those of you not too familiar with dentistry in general, back in the day when we need to get an impression of your teeth and bite we used alginate (an algae-based powder with which you add water to make a goopy putty that firms up after about 2 minutes).
This office never left those old days, and it made the patient experience terrible. Alginate is messy, gets all over your lips and cheeks, is slimy in your mouth, and feels like it’s going down your throat.
Cue gag reflexes in many, many patients (especially those on the spectrum). Additionally, it adds a lot of lab work, appliance turnaround is slower, and it takes away from the available schedule time due to setup and cleanup.
Any imperfections in the impression required a retake. Oh yeah, it also needs to have dental stone poured into it within several hours and is a one-shot deal (hope it’s accurately poured up, cause if it breaks or fails, you’re out of luck and need another alginate impression).
My personal practice has had these scanners for a few years by this point, and I kept preaching to the company how positive the feedback from patients and staff efficiencies alone would provide a good ROI with numbers to back it up for the bean counters.
Still, they didn’t want to purchase a digital scanner. Meanwhile, being a terribly run corporate orthodontic office we had quite a bit of turnover with assistants. New assistants would usually know how to take a good digital scan, but alginate impressions were so-so.
Teaching new assistants how to take digital scans is also relatively easy compared to alginate impressions. So, I’m getting tired of this constant training, the long-time assistant is getting tired of the constant training, and I tell them they really need to get a scanner or we’re going to start ticking off a lot of people, myself included.
Again, they say no and to drop the issue. “If you want a scanner so bad, why don’t you buy one yourself?”
Fine. I take a business loan out to buy a scanner, start up an LLC for a dental lab, and I charge this company a monthly fee to use any digital lab project.
Any digital scan was charged a flat fee on top of a monthly digital workflow fee. I didn’t really try to gouge them on the fees. Still below market rate, but still very handsome.
I looped my accountant in on my new “business”, and they set up all the books to ensure I wasn’t exposing myself to the IRS. Patients are now oohing and aahing at this new gadget and how high-tech we finally are, and I start seeing things trending the way I predicted.
Staff are happier, patients are definitely happier (especially the oral-sensitive ones), mistakes are down, appliances fit way better with fewer remakes, patients are able to get things done on their schedule as we have more chair time available AND appliances are coming back faster from the labs…
and best of all I’m making earning more off this miserly company because rather than buy their own scanner and use it as a tax deduction, they’re paying me way more than it would’ve cost them instead.
Sure, they can deduct my lab fee as an expense, but it still cost them more, in the long run, to do that than bring 2019 technology into the office on their own. Even better, when I left that office I took that scanner with me since it was legally mine.”
6. Force Me To Attend When I Don't Need To Take The Exam? See You There
What a waste of time!
“I grew up in a small town less than ten minutes drive from a state university with a good, hands-on engineering program. In the summer following my graduation, I signed up to attend the first available orientation session.
I was an excellent student who did very well on the national standardized exams (ACT & SAT) – especially the math portion – and was of the first in my high school to earn A.P.
credits in calculus (my cohort was the first year calculus was offered and only five students took the course).
When I first received my orientation materials, I pored over them like a good overachiever.
I noticed that one day included a significant block of time for a “math placement exam”. According to university policy, my math scores on the standardized tests ensured that I would be allowed to begin with Calculus I no matter how I did on the exam.
Moreover, I already had A.P. credit for Calculus I, so I would start college in Calculus II.
I was very excited about the opening in my schedule and hoped I could use that time to visit a laboratory or meet with a future professor.
I called the number provided in the documentation to see what could be arranged during that time. The conversation went something like this:
Me: “Hello, I just reviewed the orientation schedule and noted that – because of my standardized test scores and A.P.
credit – I will start my freshman year in calculus II. I was wondering what I would be doing during the math placement exam time. Can I go meet a professor or visit a laboratory?”
Them: “You need to take the exam to see what math you place into.”
Me (politely, but matter-of-factly): “It doesn’t matter what math I place into, I am going to take Calculus II in the fall.”
Them: “OK, but you still need to take the exam to find out what math you would place into.”
Me (now clearly agitated): “You have two policies in place that ensure that no matter how I do on the placement exam, I can take calculus II next fall.”
Me: “So what is the purpose of taking this exam?”
Them: “To see the highest level of math you can take this fall.”
At this point, I cannot let this point go.
The logic fail is too much for me. I’m angry that they’re wasting my time and I have already developed a healthy distrust of authority. I’m also starting to believe that this is a money-making endeavor for the math department: students take the exam, mess up on some math they haven’t seen in three years, and end up taking four semesters of remedial mathematics before they start their two-year calculus sequence.
I’m having none of it.
Me: “I’m not taking that exam.”
Them (incredulous): “Why not!?!”
Me: “You are too adamant that I take it even though I have no reason. I’ve earned the right to take calculus II next fall.
I’m not going to give you a reason to deny me that right. If I take the test and do poorly, I’m afraid that you will force me into remedial geometry and I’ll take more than four years to graduate.
I’ll take responsibility to arrange appointments with my future department; I’m sorry I called and wasted your time.”
Them: “If you don’t go to the exam, your absence will be noted. You will have not completed your orientation and will be required to sign up for another session.”
Me: “Will I need to go to the test during that orientation session?”
We cannot just allow students to go where they want during orientation. They need to be where we want them to be when we want them to be there. No exceptions.”
Me: “Wait! You said I needed to attend the examination session.
Do I actually need to take the exam?”
Them: “No, but..”
Me: “Great! I’ll go, but I won’t take the exam.”
Them: “Why would you do that?”
Me: “It’s a waste of my time.”
Them: “What will you do instead? You’ll be a distraction!”
Me: “Why would I be a distraction? Other students are taking a test.
I’ll sit there quietly and read a book (this is long before cell phones accessed the internet)”.
After arguing with me for a little while longer, the person finally gave up and conceded that – while I had to attend the examination – I was under no obligation to take the exam.
They also mentioned that no one had ever questioned them on this before.
When I finally got to the exam itself, the proctor (who had been forewarned) and later many curious students (who noticed me reading The Lord of the Rings rather than taking the exam) all agreed that this university policy was stupid.”
5. Assign Me Duties I Can't Perform Due To My Injuries? I'll Do My Best But No Promises
“Basically I was working casually for a pizza chain (The one that you can’t out pizza) and I had to call out for a shift to go to the hospital as I was the victim of some domestic violence and injured my arm.
The managers were fine with it although out of the four I spoke to none of them asked if I was ok but that’s a different matter.
I went to the hospital and the doctor looked at it and just put a Band-Aid over the wounds in my arm and said not to do any heavy lifting and use my arm as little as possible for a couple of days.
I questioned whether he could just glue the wound or stitch it but he refused (I have no idea why it 100% needed to be glued and my regular doctor said much the same when I showed the injuries to him nearly 2 weeks later as they still hadn’t healed) but after I got to my house from the hospital I rang my store manager and told him I would only be able to do light duties for a couple of weeks (knowing the doctor at the hospital was wrong) and he said that was not a problem and that he appreciated that I was still willing to work.
Anyways I went back to work 2 days after the injuries occurred (yeah I probably shouldn’t have been going to work but I needed money and wasn’t going to have any otherwise.) As soon as I got there the manager (not the store manager) let’s call them Tammy, told me I would be on dispatch (Cutting and boxing all the pizzas and sides).
I apologized and explained I wouldn’t be able to do that as the pans can get quite heavy and the doctor had asked me to not use that arm. I also showed her the bandage I had wrapped my arm in.
Tammy asked why I even came to work then and I explained that I had told the store manager about my circumstances and they had been happy for me to do light duties.
Tammy rolled her eyes and told me to answer the phones and serve customers instead which I was happy to do.
We got quite busy and dishes started piling up and Tammy told me to get on wash up.
I reminded her of my arm and suggested it probably wasn’t a good idea to put a fresh wound that was still bleeding slightly in water that was being used to clean dishes.
Tammy rolled her eyes and said she was going to the office, that she would be back in 20 minutes and that I had better have done all the dishes and put them away.
I tried to explain that I wouldn’t be able to lift the fresh-out-of-the-oven pans into the sink to wash but she ignored me and said my arm couldn’t be that bad or the doctor would have glued the wound or given me stitches and that she wanted the work done.
Cue the malicious compliance. I started doing the dishes and was very careful to only lift an amount that I could handle with one hand despite it not being very safe.
10 minutes later Tammy yelled out that I wasn’t moving fast enough and that I need to use two hands so I lifted up a larger pile that I could usually carry quite easily with two hands but in this case, my arm went numb and I dropped them and in reflex tried to catch them which completely busted the wounds open and blood started dripping everywhere.
I quickly bandaged my arm again and cleaned up the blood but one of the customers started yelling that I needed help. Tammy came and told me to move out of her way.
She then spent the rest of the night cleaning the dishes as the store manager had checked the cameras and seen me doing the dishes and told her they needed to be redone with clean water and I continued doing the light duties I’d been assigned aside from a number of admin tasks that I normally did which she for some reason refused to allow me to do.
I found out later Tammy didn’t go home until 1 am and kept two other staff there to help her when we closed at 10 because she wasn’t able to get her work (plus the work she refused to let me do) done on time.”
4. Assign Me A Task Without Listening To My Input First? Let's See What The Shop Owner Has To Say
“I’ve been in the motorcycle industry for 20+ years. This story is around 13 years old, so not super precise about the language used in the convos, but I will be as accurate as I can remember.
I once worked in a shop in a large city. There were about 8 technicians, split into two shifts. We had four days on, two off, then six on and two off.
The other shift had the reverse days. The shop was run by a service department manager, and the shop owner was often not in the building.
One day I come in after my two days off.
On my lift bench is a brand new Harley-Davidson Dyna model, an “Obese Robert”. At the end of the bench is a brand new Jim’s performance engine, on the floor still in the box.
It was apparent that one of the other techs had loaded this bike on my bench, and then began the process of disassembling the bike to swap the engines. Dynas at that time came in different models, but also two different powertrain finishes.
Silver/chrome and Black/chrome. We sometimes called the silver ones “blonde” and the black engined ones “brunettes”. (Don’t ask me, I didn’t start the trend of using this slang). Engine, transmissions, and primary covers are all the same color.
We were in a bit slower season (the industry is somewhat seasonal because of winter in some northern climes) so this project belongs to the shop owner and is a good job to get done while there are fewer customer units present to be worked on.
One quick look at the motorcycle and the engine reveals that the motorcycle is “blonde” and the engine is “brunette.”
Before my shift starts, I talk to the service manager. He confirms that my job for the day is to complete the engine swap that is already underway in my workspace.
I try to ask a few questions, “Are you sure, because…” the service manager quickly interrupts me with “Quit asking questions and do what I tell you!” At this point, I know I won’t get fired, and I don’t care to indulge the service manager’s crappy behavior.
I start working on the engine swap on my bench, thinking I’ll probably get stopped before the point of no return when someone realizes what is actually going on.
I should probably point out that swapping an engine out of a 96” Dyna is not a quick job, and I am dragging my feet a bit to give anyone else in the shop a chance to clue in the service manager.
Stock engine comes out, the service manager is not present for me to check if he has anything to say about the job, so I carry on. It’s getting to the end of the day, I’m mostly done putting the black engine into the bike, the bike with the silver transmission case and silver primary right beside it.
This brand new 20K+ bike with a 5k+ engine looks really junky.
At this time, the shop owner (“W”) pays a visit to the service department. “W” sees me working on his new bike, and comes over to see it.
I watch the smile melt off his face as he gets about 8 feet away.
I should probably mention that I have the male version of a resting witch face. I have a bit of a scowl whenever I’m in my own head.
I guess it makes for a good poker face sometimes in social situations. My face remains “dark” as the shop owner comes over to me, and stays that way through this interaction, internally though, I’m smirking.
“W”: Hey, uh, what are you doing here?
Me: Putting the Jim’s engine into this bike
“W”: Uh, why? (getting ticked off) Couldn’t you see that this engine is black and the rest of the bike is silver?!?
Me: Yes I can.
“W”: Then why would you do this?
Me: When I tried to mention it to the service manager he told me ‘stop asking questions and go do as you’re told.’
“W” pursed his face and walked away from me.
I carried on with the job, now approximately 90% complete.
The service manager appeared about 10 minutes later. He lacked his previous bluster when he told me “uhh, so…go ahead and take that engine back out of that bike and put it back in the box.” Since it was near the end of the day, taking the engine back out took me most of the next day.
Epilogue: The bike did belong to the shop owner, and he had a different engine coming for this bike. The black engine was meant for a different project. I wasted 2 days for zero progress in the shop, the shop lost money because they had to pay my wages and had nothing to bill out for my time.
I can’t really say if the service manager learned a lesson or not, not long after this, the economic housing bubble collapse of the US hit my country, and the morale of the shop tanked overnight.
Nothing really changed, but when people heard there would not be any raises or bonuses for a year, they fled like rats from a sinking ship. At the peak, we lost 7 staff in one day.
Some ended up changing industries and making less money, some pursued passion projects, and some went on to better things with more money and better benefits. (I fell into the latter). The shop was sold and I don’t think I know anyone working there anymore.”
3. Don't Say A Single Word To Them? Even When They Mess Up, I'll Keep My Mouth Shut
“Many years ago, I was the junior manager at a restaurant known for sausage and older customers. A few weeks into my training, one of the senior VPs at the company decided to hire his mistress to redesign the decor in the stores in my area.
Y’all, never ever let your side piece take part in your job. She had no qualifications and the worst taste. Truly abominable color and pattern combinations. Picture pink floral wallpaper, geometric orange carpet, and baby crap brown/green on the chairs and booths.
I cannot adequately describe the atrocity of her designs. She also was moving display cases, where things were in the kitchen and grill areas, and more.
All of this was to be done at night so that we didn’t have to close during operational hours.
I was the one who had to stay all night while they made all these changes. 2 weeks of working all night supervising. I was horrified at the plans and told my boss, who agreed with me.
Then he told me to just read a book or something so I couldn’t be accused of sabotaging the design (this had just happened at the 2 stores that were remodeled before ours was).
My manager then told me I was not to even speak to the workmen unless they were taking food or restaurant supplies out of the building. I clarified that he meant not saying “Hi” or anything else to them for any reason, including good manners or work that had a serious problem.
Another manager got fired for talking “too much” with the workmen and then objecting to the hideous new decor. Because corporate was that awful to managers.
A couple of nights later I notice that the workmen are obviously not doing things right.
Not because things looked hideous, but because they were doing a crap job of it. They had to move some of the electric outlets and several of them were smoking after they put the outlet covers on.
They also shot sparks when you plugged anything in. I didn’t say a word. After all, I wasn’t allowed to talk to the workers unless they were stealing food or restaurant supplies.
So I ignored it.
When the GM came in, he tried to plug in the calculator in the office that the workmen moved. It shot out sparks. He then asked me why I didn’t inspect everything the electrician did and insist he redo the outlets because of the shoddy workmanship.
He also got upset the day the wallpaper was hung. A couple of strips were upside down, the edges were curling and overall it just looked horrible. The trim that they painted had lots of drips and splatters and missed spots.
It was just a mess.
Boss was far from happy that I didn’t monitor the quality of the work (that I had no authority to do anything about – I was just there to keep them from stealing).
I told Boss that he said I was not to talk to the workers unless they were stealing food or other restaurant supplies. I also mentioned that I was not a building or electrical inspector, so how should I know if they did a bad job? I didn’t tell him that my parents taught me to redecorate and remodel – Dad was a shop teacher and does not see gender as a reason not to learn life skills.
In our family, fixing it yourself is a life skill.
When the District Manager came in to see the final results (nothing was fixed because even my GM didn’t have the authority to make the workers redo anything for any reason), he was furious.
It really looked that bad. We had the CEO coming in to inspect later that day. It was awesome! I got called onto the carpet for “allowing” the workmen to do such a bad job.
My GM’s head exploded when I told the District Manager that I was not even supposed to say “Hi!” to the workmen, much less criticize anything they were doing, per a direct statement from my GM.
I did not get into any trouble and the District Manager thought it was hilarious except for the part where we were left with a store that looked atrocious and had entire sections where the electric work was bad enough that we were afraid the store would burn down (It legit was that bad).
We got a new crew of workers and I got to spend 10 more days “supervising” the workers. Easiest month on that job. Getting paid to read and chill and nap, well, who wouldn’t want that?”
2. Can't Give Me Sundays Off? Let Me Change My Availability
“I was a teenager (under 18) and working for a fast food joint, and was tired of going to school 5 days a week and then working both weekend days. It just felt like I never had a day off to do anything.
So I went to my manager and asked them to stop working me on every Sunday, that I needed a break from time to time to relax. The manager said no problem, and then the next Sunday I had the day off.
But then every Sunday after that I was scheduled again. So I talked to the manager again, and he said that he needed me and that as long as my availability showed I was available on Sunday, I needed to work Sundays.
Sooo, cue the malicious compliance.
I went and filled out a new availability form, indicating that I was no longer able to work on Sundays at all. And I filed it with HR.
I knew that all their scheduling was done on a computer and once I changed my availability they wouldn’t be able to schedule me in the computer anymore.
My manager immediately noticed and had a talk with me.
Asked me why I had done it, and I told him, and he was just mad. So then he said, “Well, if you are going to do that, then I can’t guarantee the 28 hours a week you’ve been getting (the max a person under 18 could get at the time).” I said fine.
So the next week the schedule came out, I was off Sunday, but only scheduled for like 3 other days totaling 16 hours. Then the next week came out, and lo and behold, 28 hours, just more days during the week, which I was fine with.
Ended up being I worked 28 hours a week every week after that because we were always short-staffed.
Once in a while, the manager would ask me if I could possibly work a Sunday to cover someone, and unless I had plans I would. But other than that I had every Sunday off while working there.”
1. Still Make Me Wait For The Repair? I Will, But Meanwhile, I'll Start Looking At My Legal Options
“I leased a new car from a common, cheaply manufactured dealership in the US. Now, the car is 18 months old, and I brought it to the dealership before work to be checked because it was driving a bit sloppy.
I get a phone call while I’m at work, and it turns out to be a major component and they would not let me drive it home because it wasn’t safe.
The part was also on back order with no estimated return. The manager informed me there were no loaner cars I could use because they had to sell them all due to the car shortage.
They offered to reimburse me $50 a day for a rental, but a rental would cost me over double that. I couldn’t use my insurance to cover any rentals because my car hadn’t been in an accident.
I called my mom in a panic, and she came to the dealership with me after work. We walk in at closing time and ask to speak with the manager. A man excitedly announced that he is the manager.
So my mom explains the situation and that they need to provide me with a rental. All of a sudden the manager gets an attitude and says, “well, you need to speak to the manager about that!” Confused, we reminded him that he said he was the manager.
He tells us, “oh I’m just the manager of sales, you need to speak to the manager of service, and he already left for the day.” Since there is no public transportation in the area and I need to get back and forth to work, we ask him to get the service manager on the phone.
By the time my mom ended the conversation with him, he assured me he would find a loaner car for me to use. And they ended up being able to find one for me the next day.
After this rough start, I decided to call corporate. I get transferred back and forth between departments and customer service reps dumber than the last. I was so worked up that I decided to go full Karen on them, and eventually got my case escalated to a regional manager in corporate.
It was over 3 weeks later by the time I ended up getting the email address for the regional manager. I respectfully asked corporate to cover my lease payment while the car was in the shop.
After a few emails, corporate ended up saying there was nothing they could do and I needed to wait until the part came in.
Cue malicious compliance.
While I waited I researched the Lemon Law for my state, and it seemed like if the repair took longer than 30 days I could actually have a case against them.
I was already 20 days in and since I had a loaner car I decided to wait it out. I did everything by the book, sent official letters, and kept track of all my communications with the company.
2 months in I end up speaking with the corporate legal department and they immediately offered me a settlement. I dragged out the process by asking dumb questions and spending long periods of time considering their offers.
I was happy using the loaner car and actually liked it better than my lease. I was getting free mileage and free EZ-pass/tolls. And it was a car that would have a much higher monthly payment had I been leasing it.
Overall I was happy with the situation and content knowing I’d be getting something out of this deal.
It took over 3 months for my lease to get fixed, and 4 months to come to a settlement with corporate.
Since they made me so mad in the beginning and refused to just cover my lease payments while the car wasn’t operable, I decided to really make them pay. I ended up having to be my own lawyer (because none would take my case) and cost them thousands.
A check for $4000, a 5-year additional extended warranty (No way I’ll even be keeping this car), and I put on almost 6,000 miles on the dealership’s loaner car. (Which I really needed because I was starting to use more than my allowed amount on my lease.) All because they would not agree to cover my lease payments while the car was in the shop.”