People Charm Us With Their Greatest Malicious Compliance Revenge
15. Want Us To Redo The Store Display Based On An Outdated Plan? You Got It!
There’s a reason things change.
“The store I was working at had deals with suppliers, where we not only sold their products but they were also paying us for a certain space where their products would be displayed. We had the responsibility of restocking it and keeping it in order so it would look nice as stuff was sold out and new stuff was coming in.
Roughly once a week a representative from each brand/supplier would come, made it look extra nice, take a picture for his report, chatted with us for a bit, and maybe asked us to change a few things here and there. Most of them were nice and chill people and we had a good relationship with them.
Well, not this new guy whom we shall call Bruce.
Bruce was from a company that had rented an entire shelf (think ~8m wide, 2m tall) in our TV section for every cable you can think of. HDMIs, coax, aux, and many others in various lengths and prices including some very premium (read needlessly expensive) options.
When he came in, it wasn’t super tidy since it was in the middle of a busy day but it was in no way a mess or anything. Just a normal “people bought some stuff so it’s not beautifully aligned and one or two things are on the wrong hook” look.
He started chewing up one of my underlings which I overheard and came over right after I finished with my customer.
“Hi, is something wrong?”
“The heck it is! This is not what we agreed upon! It’s all a mess!”
“It doesn’t look that bad to me, it just needs to be restocked a bit.”
“No it’s all wrong! Look!” He said pointing at the layout on his phone.
“This doesn’t belong here, this doesn’t belong here, this should be over there instead of that.” He was yelling while pulling all the stock from the hooks and dropping it on the ground.
“Ok stop, hold on, STOP! Let’s figure this out.
Show me the plan.”
He handed me his phone, I took a bit to go through it and realized it was not updated for years as we did not carry most of the products listed there anymore. (This was common as these layouts were more like a guide for us on how things should look like, at least with the other suppliers)
“See? You no longer send us these ones, or these ones, or these.
We do what we can to make it nice, we want to sell too. And do you see these? And these? Those are not listed in here, we needed to put them somewhere and here it makes sense since it’s next to these cables.
Where else should we put them?”
“All items not listed here go in this misc. bin. Are you new here or something? We send you these layouts for a reason. We expect them to be followed. Is that something you are capable of doing?”
Can you send me the layout via email again with maybe some exceptions if you want us to make any? I might have displaced it.” (I didn’t but I wanted it in writing).
Sigh. “Suuure…Here you go. I don’t want to make you guys look bad so I’m not gonna take the photo today, but I need to send my report tomorrow.
I will stop by in the morning, can you fix it by then?”
“We will get right on that. Sorry about that.”
He left and I went to my office to check the email. My plot worked perfectly as the email read: “Please follow the attached layout plan.
Just to be sure, I called my boss, told him what happened, and told him how dumb it is to follow the outdated plan (he knew) but we agreed that that’s exactly what he wanted us to do. He approved extra hours for two part-time colleagues and we got to work.
First, we fixed what he threw on the ground and made it look nice the way we usually do, took a picture, and then started redoing it according to his wishes. The entire process took about 8-10 man hours and in the end, two-thirds of the shelf was bare as a baby’s bottom.
The “misc bin” was overflowing and a complete mess and we still had to put a few huge boxes of stock back in the warehouse. We took a picture, closed the store, and went home awaiting the upcoming crapshow.
The next day, both my boss and I had a shift scheduled and when Bruce arrived, he lost it.
My boss politely asked him to deal with it in his office otherwise he would have him removed from the store. Apparently, he kept blaming us and in his rage, this dumb-dumb with a brain so dense, that it could only be examined by a geologist, decided to storm out of the store and placed a complaint on us to his corporate.
Needless to say that my boss explained the story to them really well, forwarded Bruce’s email, and attached pictures of the “before and after” that we made the day before. Within two hours, three guys from the company came and started redoing the whole thing pretty much the same way we had it before.
(We helped when we didn’t have any customers to tend to)
They promised to draft and send us a new updated layout but made it clear that we are welcome to adjust it as we see fit based on the current stock. We never heard from Bruce again nor had any issues with this company.”
14. Ask Where My Staff Are? Reread The Email From Corporate
“I used to work on a cruise ship. (If you remember back at the height of 2020, I was the American that was trapped on the ship and they wouldn’t let me reenter the country.)
In my job, I was paid daily a set rate, regardless of how many hours I worked.
If I worked 4 hours, great. If I worked 12 hours, not so great. I managed the children’s facilities. It was a great job on the low-hour days. I’d go on lots of complimentary tours via the ship, so parasailing, swimming with sea lions, salsa dance classes, dog sledding in Alaska, snorkeling in the Pacific islands, etc., etc.
There was a long-standing issue with the company where if people needed extra hands, they’d come to the children’s club and grab us. After all, we did no “actual” work. We colored and watched Disney movies all day. This really annoyed me, because I did not get hired to run bingo/decorate the ship’s common areas for Halloween/run sports for Adults, I was hired to be the manager of the children’s area.
Very early on in my tenure, I shot a message to corporate with a list of activities that ship management was trying to force on me. Corporate came back with a lovely list of tasks I could and could not be forced to do.
From then on, whenever I’d be asked to do something, I’d pull out my handy dandy “corporate override email” as I called it that would squash the extra expectations.
There is a process on days when the ship cannot park directly at the port.
The ship anchors down a distance away from the island, and then sends “tender boats” (lifeboats) with passengers to the island. Each tender can fit ~75 people (150 in an emergency).
Historically, guest services (the front desk of the ship) would run tendering in conjunction with entertainment (which I fell under).
They’d set up a table in a public area and pass out tender tickets to guests. Without a ticket, you can’t get off the ship. This solves the problem of everyone trying to stand in line down hallways and clogging staircases.
Some of us would work the table passing out numbers, some would stand around and provide general instructions, and some would be posted at key points around the ship to direct traffic.
The children’s club staff would inevitably have to get up at the crack of dawn to work these tendering shifts.
My staff member or I would work (for example) 6 am to 9:30 am tendering, 11:45 am to 4:15 pm kids club, then 7 pm to 11 pm kids club. That is a very long day. Plus, if it was your day off (only having to work at night), you’d miss being able to go on most tours as they all start fairly early.
The entertainment manager would buy us a nice latte from the ship cafe as a thank you/apology.
Then hallelujah! Guest services were supposed to take the whole thing over. Emails were sent out, duties were reassigned. I diligently printed the email and added it stapled to the back of my “corporate override email”.
But it didn’t stop them. They kept asking me to come to work extra tendering shifts for them. The first time, I agreed because I am a team player, but I told the entertainment manager that I was still expecting a coffee as payment.
The guest services manager agreed. I rock up at 5:45 am and asked for the code to charge my coffee under, to be told that I can just have the regular guest coffee from the station they set up. I was seething.
The next shift, they did not ask, they just assumed I’d show up. I didn’t show up, because they didn’t ask, it’s not in my job description, and they’d shafted me on coffee the week before. They called me at 6:30 am when I’d gotten off at midnight the night before.
“I’m not tendering today.” Click and roll over. More furious emails, but they hadn’t asked me, so how could I have known to show up? It’s their job now.
The next week, they tried to book us in advance. “Ahh ahh ahh,” I said, “I’m scheduled for a tour.” The tour department onboard would give out free tours to crew, with an emphasis on crew, that volunteered to help them.
Assist in putting together the brochures, a weekly task? More likely to get a tour. They also asked that you arrive at the ship meeting place 20-30 minutes early to help with traffic control.
They sent my manager a furious email, back and forth, back and forth.
It escalated to corporate again. They felt it wasn’t fair that they had to run it by themselves. I felt it wasn’t fair to make my staff work extra hours when we’re paid a pittance to begin with.
Corporate fired back with: “if staff is free, they should help out on this particular task to be good team members.
If staff is working or assisting around the ship in some capacity, they do not have to help tender.” I stapled that to my file.
Cue malicious compliance. I gathered my team. At dinner that night, we went to eat early so we’d catch the shore excursions team.
They were a great bunch of people and had heard about our tendering woes (and more importantly, how I’d been shafted on coffee, which really burned me up).
Shore tours manager: “I’ll make you a deal. What if you guys just come to help us every tender day? You’ll get a tour, we’ll get help, and we’ll even throw in cafe coffee.”
The next tendering day, my two staff went to help the tour team while I worked for the children’s club. Staff member A got to go on a tour that day (swim with dolphins) while Staff member B got hers deferred to her next off afternoon (tequila tasting).
I get an angry call at 8 in the morning on the children’s club phone.
Guest services: “Why aren’t your staff here, you aren’t all up in the children’s club right now!”
Me: “I am currently working and my staff is currently assisting elsewhere on the ship.
Someone from guest services showed up at the kid’s club. “But we need you to help!” the supervisor whined. I handed her my growing file of “things OP won’t do”, and told her to check the last page about “working or assisting elsewhere.”
After that, they’d still call us every week to complain we weren’t helping.
And every week, we’d fire back with “sorry, we’re assisting in another capacity as per corporate!” They stopped calling me directly because they weren’t getting anywhere. They called my manager, the shore tours manager, and the big bad hotel manager (basically third in control of the entire ship). It went nowhere. I had the email from corporate, and I was following it to a T.”
13. I Can Still Get A Raise If I Reduce My Performance? Sounds Like A Plan
“I used to work at a department store where the majority of sales volume came from clothing, and the primary target customer was women in their 30s and 40s. The raises there were based on a performance review, and at my first one I got a 3% raise.
So for the next year, I busted my butt in hopes of getting the maximum possible raise of 5% at my next review. Well, when the time came, despite having a very good review (I probably had the highest scores out of the 5 or so people in my department, the customer service desk), I still only received a 3% raise.
I was devastated!
After leaving the office I headed up to the break room, and looked over the metrics in more detail. That’s when I noticed that a full 30% of my review score came from the store’s average score on the customer satisfaction surveys that print out with every receipt.
Now, this particular company does not offer any incentive whatsoever to its customers (like “Five random respondents each month will win a $50 gift card”) to take the surveys, and you had to fill them out within a fairly short time period after your trip (I think it was 24 or 48 hours), so even though we had hundreds of customers come through the store every single day, we only received around 20-25 survey responses per week (so 3 or 4 per day), and of course, without any incentive to complete them, a customer who’d had a bad experience would be far more likely to submit a survey than usual.
(In fact, I remember once or twice having a manager, who’d just denied a grumpy Karen’s demands, discreetly tell me “Don’t give her the survey slip.”) So although we delivered a “5 out of 5” experience to 99% of all customers, the store’s “Customer service score” frequently fell in the range of 60-80%, varying wildly from one week to the next.
Sure, there were times when our rolling weekly average would hit 100% for a few days, but I could never bring myself to reach the level of excitement over these occurrences that the managers tried to drum up in our morning huddles, knowing that it really just boiled down to us being lucky that whoever hadn’t been 100% satisfied during that time period had just not bothered to fill out the survey.
In statistics terms, the sample size of this survey was far too small to produce anything resembling an accurate representation of our true customer service performance. While I’ve never taken a statistics class, I have a passing interest in the subject, and based on the limited knowledge I’ve acquired throughout my life, I’d speculate that the margin of error for this survey score was probably on the order of 10-20 percentage points.
This meant that nearly a third of my total review score was based on what was, essentially, a random number.
So, I continued to look over the various factors of the performance review score and their associated weights, and I reached a few enlightening conclusions:
- First, even if I got a perfect score on everything that I could directly control (all of the factors related to individual performance), the only way I could reach that 5% tier was for the store’s survey scores for the year to average 90% or more (an annual average of anything under 75% would earn just 2 out of 5 points on the review; our store’s annual average was usually in the low eighties).
- Secondly, as hard as I had worked on perfecting all of my individual performance metrics over the past year, I had gotten 4 out of 5 points on most of them, with only a couple of 5 out of 5s.
This still left me several points short of the threshold for even the 4% raise.
- So I did some calculations and determined that even if, over the next year, I discontinued all attempts to impress my managers, put forth only as much effort as the employees that were college students, and just showed up on time for all my shifts; I’d end up with all 2s and 3s on my next review, but the store’s survey score would actually help my score enough to still qualify for a 3% raise.
So that’s exactly what I did.
I stopped trying to do things as quickly as possible and instead worked at a pace that would avoid breaking a sweat (and mind you, for some reason the store was always around 76-78°F, so this meant I actually moved even more slowly than my natural inclination – which tends to be a bit faster than your average person).
When working a cashier shift, I stopped proactively scanning the spare copies of the coupons that were kept at each register for the various “15% off everything” coupons that were constantly sent out in the mail, for every customer who came through my line (we were allowed, mildly encouraged, but certainly not required, to do this), instead only scanning it for folks who explicitly asked me if I had it.
If I wasn’t working at a register, where it would be blatantly obvious, I’d spend 20-25 minutes on my 15-minute breaks. When working a shift on the sales floor, instead of working diligently and methodically to straighten up every shelf and table, I’d spend just enough time on the worst ones to get them looking reasonably decent, then spend an hour or two just walking laps around the store, looking like I was on my way somewhere, stopping only when a customer flagged me down.
Whenever I was working directly with a customer, I’d still provide great customer service, but for everything else, I was just phoning it in.
Sure enough, a year later, the comments on my review were a lot more critical than they’d ever been, and yet I once again had a 3% raise.
That raise was oh-so-much more rewarding than any of the previous ones had been. This became my status quo for the rest of the time I worked there until I landed a full-time tech-support job and said sayonara to retail once and for all.
I distinctly remember when I turned in my notice, the store manager said “Well, we’ll miss you. If you ever want to come back for some extra bucks around the holidays or anything, we’ll bring you back on at the same rate you have now.” I was making $8.43, while the state minimum was $7.25. My new job was paying me $11/hr. I said “Yeah… that’s not going to happen.””
12. Hide All Big Bills In The Register? If You Say So
If you’re going to ask for something to be done, then you should probably remember what you said later on.
“Hospitality isn’t known for its amazing personalities but no one could take the cake of a boss and his wife that I worked for about a decade ago.
They took over a beautiful pub/restaurant in a mountain range that the locals loved to visit, it would have taken almost no effort at all to have a very successful business as there was no real competition and the area was very affluent, on weekends there was always a queue of customers.
Unfortunately for all the staff and the locals mentioned the owners were on a massive ego trip having moved from the city to set up this restaurant as a way to ‘settle down’ which they clearly were not capable of in the slightest, the wife boss will now be known as Karen.
They were so highly strung that the hairs would stand up on the back of your neck when they came into the building, I learned to expect that every word that came out of their mouths to be either barking orders or criticizing even the pettiest of details, I kid you not, Karen yelled at me once because I hadn’t turned all the coffee cups handles so that they were pointing in the same direction.
I started working there part-time and managed to put up with their antics much better than the countless other part-timers that came and went. For one I was content to just do whatever they told me as deep down I knew it would come back to bite them in the end.
Being their longest staff member (after just 4 months I kid you not) I got the best pick of shifts. Also by being one of the only fully trained members of staff I never really worked directly with them as I would cover the shifts on their days off.
Every day they seemed to be getting more and more stressed and micromanaging to the point they decided to just install cameras everywhere so they could sit at home and monitor the staff. I would get calls multiple times an hour telling me things like one of the tables needed to be cleared (the customers had barely left).
Or that I was standing and talking to a local too long and should be sweeping or something.
Unfortunately, this kind of corporate-Mcdonalds style ethos didn’t really work when the majority of your customers were regulars who wanted a coffee, a meal, and a 10-minute chat with a friendly face.
One thing they were really hung up on was the till, such was their paranoia about the till that only the bosses, myself, and one other girl (Jessica) could operate it no matter what or how busy we were, which of course led to multiple situations of inconvenience.
Also, we had to count out the till several times a day and deposit the bucks in the safe even if we had only made $20. After a particularly busy day, I was closing and had received new instructions just that day from Karen that from now on we would keep all big denominations ($50 or more – cue eye roll) hidden under the main compartment of the till.
From the moment she said it I knew it was another nit-picky rule that she’d forget about straight away, so of course what else should I do but follow orders?
The next morning when I finally checked my phone around 10 am, I saw that I had 10 missed calls from work and also worryingly from Jessica – the other staff member who I got on with really well.
I called Jessica first to hear her tell me that Karen had come in and counted the till and when she couldn’t find $50 accused Jessica of stealing it and fired her on the spot! (no I’m not joking) Jessica had called me from the carpark to say goodbye and while I immediately knew what happened and told her about it, (as well as saying sorry to her) we were both glad she didn’t have to work in that nightmare place anymore.
I was angry that the owners had treated Jessica like that, I knew they were crazy but to fire someone accusing them of stealing was a new low.
However, I did get great satisfaction from calling them and putting on my best facade of being nonplussed.
The conversation went like this…
Karen: “I’ve just had to fire Jessica as she was caught stealing, the till is missing $50.” (I still couldn’t believe that they didn’t ask me first as I was the last one to actually count the bills the night before.
Why did they even think it was Jessica and not me? They were completely nuts!)
Me (in my best malicious compliance voice): “Oh that’s weird, I definitely counted it correctly and put all the bills just as you told me with the $50 notes in the bottom compartment as you explained just yesterday…”
I’m not going to lie the following pause brought me great glee as I could practically hear the buzzing in Karen’s head as she opened the till and found the ‘missing’ $50 note right where it should be.
Having just fired the second-longest staff member they had (me still being the first) meant they had to work all of Jessica’s shifts before we could hire and train another, saying goodbye to all their time off for weeks. Also, I made sure to tell our regular customers, who took the time to get to know the staff by name, what had happened when they asked where lovely Jessica had gone.
Many stopped coming in unless it was my shift having seen the real personalities of the bosses, and they tipped the staff more too. I stayed there for a short while longer and was happy to hear that Jessica had found a job in a much nicer cafe soon after leaving.
I left after I had saved up to go traveling and found out that the restaurant closed just a few weeks later, I don’t think they even lasted a year in total. Whatever they did next I do hope it didn’t involve employing anyone else as they definitely do not have the personalities to manage staff!”
11. Change Or Leave? Guess I'll Be Leaving Then
“Around 2007-2008 I was in the process of changing my full-time job. Retail to banking. I also had a part-time job in a village pub. Every weekend we would have live music acts on. Some were good, others not so much.
This story relates to probably the best band we had play.
Bit of a setup: The landlord of the pub had recently acquired another well-established pub in another nearby village. This pub was different, it had a restaurant and rooms for hire.
He was an alright kind of guy, likable but hard-nosed if it came to it. He would help anyone if he could but with his business, it was his way or the highway. He also had fingers in a lot of pies.
This was from the pubs he had to creating awards for dog shows.
In the pub he acquired, the staff had a uniform, purchased by the previous owner before he sold up, in our pub, we wore jeans and drinks company-branded t-shirts – think Stella, Carling, Smirnoff, etc.
Some of the other pub staff came to my pub to help, as the landlord had decided OUR quaint little watering hole should start doing more food options than just crisps and peanuts. We had a new kitchen fitted, and a menu drawn up.
Rumors went about that we would be getting a uniform so that we fit in with the new ‘restaurant feel’ of the pub. The issue we found, me and the 2 barmaids, was that we did our own cleaning after a shift, whereas the other pub had a professional cleaning crew come on every weekend.
Our cleaning entailed, bleach-mopping the floors as well as the toilets. We didn’t care usually, part of the job and all that jazz, because the landlord sourced us seemingly endless supplies of t-shirts which could result, and cheaply be replaced. Did I mention that we found out that the uniform would have to be supplied by ourselves.
The uniform? Black suits for us men, white shirts and black ties, dress shoes obviously. Ladies? Black shirts, white blouses. My problem was that the 4 suits that I owned, were all ‘high-end’ and weren’t cheap.
I asked if we were seriously being asked to wear these kinds of things, and to supply them ourselves – we were.
He didn’t mention when this would be starting but that it would be soon. I asked if he could supply even a very cheap pair of black trousers and a shirt, due to the cleaning we would still be doing at the end of our shift.
Flat out NO.
I had a week’s holiday booked, so I left it in his hands to come up with a solution whilst I was away. I came back on the Friday night, and the band we had on had arrived early to set up, as is normal.
People had already started to arrive as this group was liked by so many that people would turn up to hear them sound check and practice. I turned up in jeans and a t-shirt to see the 2 barmaids in black skirts etc.
Nobody had told me that the uniform change had been instigated. The landlord came through the bar and asked where my suit was. I said that I hadn’t been informed and I still wouldn’t have worn it as I was not going to be using bleach whilst wearing it.
This is where the hard-nosed side came out, and also where the MC appeared. He said you can go home and change, or you can hand in your till key and leave.
Sooooo. I handed him my full key, apologized to the 2 barmaids for leaving them in the lurch, got my coat, and went home.
A good later, I was back in the pub, but this time with a few mates, listening to an awesome night of rock cover versions of classic feel-good songs. The best part was seeing the landlord behind the bar, trying to cope with a full 40ft bar, 3 customers deep.
He was supposed to have been taking his wife and daughter out to a new restaurant in the next big town that had opened. He had to cancel his plans and work.
I felt sorry for the ladies I left there to work, but I did get a huge kick out of seeing him work.
I stayed until closing time then as they started to clean I left. The cherry on top? When I came back in, I was wearing one of my suits.
This isn’t a massive MC, but one I took great pleasure in carrying out.
I loved that job, and as it turns out, I left at the right time. He sold that pub within a year as business tanked. Our village, as it turns out, did not want a restaurant. They were quite happy with their quaint little out-of-the-way watering home, just as it was.”
10. You Were Hired To Work Weekends But Now Refuse To? Then See You Never
Employees like these are such a drag.
“A couple of years ago, I was working as a manager in an electronics store. The management team consisted of 4 people but due to rapid change, I went from the newbie to the main manager in about 4 months.
We were looking to hire to cover Friday – Sunday as some of our staff had started attending University and were looking to have the weekends off for downtime.
The hiring process began and honestly… It was a mess. Candidate after candidate would fall apart in the interview, show no interest in the position, attempt to change the dates from the weekend to another day (even though the advert specified weekends) or my favorite, a guy who screamed at me when I told him the pay and demanded triple or the interview was over.
We pay over the minimum wage and what he was demanding would put him close to a trained professional in most situations.
I had given up, I began to contemplate the ethics of cloning my existing staff rather than hire anyone else.
Then he arrived. We shall call him Moist, as I dislike the word and I dislike him. Moist was perfect. Great conversationalist, knew about our products and had a serious interest in the company. I was delighted. After review, he was offered the position.
His first day went brilliantly, he listened to instructions well and completed tasks in perfect order.
I had time off booked for the next day and was confident in my team’s ability to train him.
Now I know the whole ‘we’re like a family’ is frowned on when discussing jobs but our team was fantastic, a really close group who all enjoyed the same things (please read this as ‘big ol nerds’) so team synergy was really important to us all.
My day off and I start getting messages from darn near everyone about what this guy is doing, I can’t remember everything but here are a few highlights.
One of our female members of staff said he was ignoring work to talk to her and wouldn’t stop even after she requested it (I asked if she wanted to take this further and I would support it if she did but she didn’t feel it warranted that but wanted me to know).
One of our long-timers said he was smoking behind the shop on his break and was blazed for his whole shift and laughed at him when he brought it up and called him a narc. Finally, one of our staff members who handles a very specific role in the job and is bloody brilliant at it (who openly admits that he is autistic and as such likes his work area to be just how he likes it), states that he came over to his area, messed it up looking for something and then when called on it, said ‘isn’t it YOUR job to keep this area clean’ and walked away.
He also used someone’s personal cup for a cup of tea, smashed it by accident, and just kicked the shards under a desk (CCTV caught him in that one a couple of weeks later). The staff member was distraught as the cup was a gift.
Within 24 hours I was convinced that this guy was getting fired. I had everything I needed and then some.
The other manager didn’t feel comfortable firing him so I said I would do it. There’s a lot of paperwork to fill out for firing someone so the Sunday I sat and began completing it.
Due to the shift schedule, he finished roughly 1 hour after I started so I knew I wouldn’t have it completed by the end of his shift and if he kicked up a fuss with HR and I didn’t have everything completed then my butt was getting kicked, so I knew he would be getting fired at the start of his shift on Friday coming.
Just before he leaves he comes into my office and the conversation went something like this:
Moist – ‘hey mate, I need to change my shift patterns to work Monday – Wednesday.’
Me – you were hired to work weekends.
Moist – Yeah but you could give me X’s days and she can do mine.
Me – No, she asked for those days, which is why we hired you.
Moist – Well I want my weekends and it’s my right to work the days I want and it is your job to accommodate that.
He stands up.
Moist – I will be here next Monday for my shift, I won’t be here on the weekend.
And walks out.
Now as I said I was new so I was completely dumbstruck at this entitlement.
After calming down I realized… He wanted his weekends off… So he’s going to get them.
I completed the paperwork faster than a bullet train and sat back and waited.
The weekend rolled around and, true to his word, he didn’t show. I messaged him to let him know he was considered absent and he didn’t reply. Fine.
Then Monday rolled around. Everyone in the store knew. I hadn’t told anyone anything but they knew.
There was an air of satisfaction around the team that day.
He strolled in, started getting signed in and I stopped him.
Me – You have failed your probation and no longer work here, here are the forms… I hope you enjoy your weekends.
His face fell. He started looking confused, then angry. He kicked off. Telling me that HR would hear about this and he was going to the papers.
Luckily the paperwork was immaculate and I had made sure that everyone who had told me issues about him had made a formal complaint and it was all logged accordingly.
Nothing came of it.
I bought everyone doughnuts that day to apologize for the heck I had brought upon the store.”
Another User Comments:
“Next time maybe, maybe, consider sticking with what’s on your contract and what you were hired for and being currently paid for; before making a red face over your boss when he tells you that you’re fired basically the day after.
If you want to come here and work free, for the days you were not scheduled, and at the same time receive salary decreases, up to zero, for when you don’t show up until I finally decide to fire you; if I was a manager I would gladly accept that.” bryanpedini
9. Want Me To Violate Safety Procedures? No Way
“This happened about 15 years ago at a large manufacturing plant, at which I was one of 120 industrial electricians, and this happened in the department in which I was primarily responsible. These jobs pay upwards of $30/hr, and I was making $34/hr at the time.
This was my career for decades before I retired last year. I now get a pension from them and fully-paid health care. This wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill job. This was something to take very, very seriously.
Our safety administrator retired, so a new guy started and decided to audit all of the lock-out tag-out procedures (LOTO) everywhere in the facility.
This place employed 4000 people and was over 1.5 million square feet, so it was a massive undertaking. Many of the machines in my department were large, multi-station transfer machines, where the part goes into several drilling/milling/tapping/boring operations, and are transferred to the next station in turn between operations.
Basically, the operator loads a raw part into it, and once it comes back around to him/her, it’s finished. The cycle time for this machine was about one minute and was a key part of expensive final products, costing upwards of $50,000 each.
It was made clear to me that the company lost $50,000 for every minute the machine was idle, as a way of instilling urgency as if I needed it.
As I said, these machines had multiple stations that each had its own specialized operation to accomplish, all automatically.
This, of course, involved many switches, buttons, computers, motors, encoders, drives; all of which are used in industrial automation and sequencing. Usually, when an electrical part broke on a particular station, I would shut down the electrical power for that one station to perform my repairs and replacements.
All was good, and I could usually perform just about any repair within 15 minutes or less. The management people usually didn’t even know anything unusual happened, as the operators were on piecework and would often skip a break to make up the shortfall.
Until the new LOTO procedures were released for those machines. The new procedure required anyone performing repairs to LOTO EVERY station, for EVERY kind of energy potential. This includes electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, and gravity. Since this was a union facility, this required the services of an electrician, a plumber, a mechanic, and a millwright.
It also required something like 38 individual locks to be applied by the aforementioned skilled tradespersons. It also required about 4 – 8 hours of work to complete this task. Keep in mind these were huge machines that would take up an area the size of a gymnasium, and cost tens of millions of dollars to buy.
When I saw the new LOTO procedure, I grabbed my boss and the production supervisor and showed it to them and explained, in detail, why this was ridiculous, unnecessary, and unworkable. my boss got the safety administrator, and we all had a conference, and I was told, basically, that’s the way it is.
The very next day a type of switch called a proximity switch failed on one of these machines. Normally, a 5 – 10 minute repair.
Cue malicious compliance.
I dutifully informed the production supervisor that he lost his machine for the rest of the shift and half the following shift.
He chuckled and said, “Yeah, sure.” I said, “Dude, I’m dead serious.”
I got my boss and told him I needed 38 LOTO locks, a plumber, a mechanic, and a millwright. He looked at me like I had 3 heads. “Remember the conversation we had yesterday? It just got real.”
“Show me why you need 38 locks!” Ok, and I brought him to the machine, pulled the 10-page illustrated, notated, laminated, LOTO procedure off the machine, and counted where each and every lock needs to go.
38. “And I need the other tradesmen here as well. I figure the machine will be rendered safe by the end of the shift, Matt can do the repair, and another 4 hours to remove the locks and set the machine up to be ready to run by their lunchtime.” Also, keep in mind that there will be cribbing to make the gravity potential safe, and most locks need a special kind of hardware to apply to valves and other devices to be able to function correctly.
“Just fix it the way you usually fix it,” my boss told me. “Put it in writing,” I said. “Just fix the darn thing,” was his unhelpful reply. “I think you need to give it to me in writing, or you need to get my union rep here.
Those are your two choices. I’m NOT gonna get fired over this.”
About this time, several men in suits and ties showed up to find out what the problem is, called into action by the production supervisor I previously mentioned. He and I had a great working relationship, and he knew what was going down, so he started making phone calls when I let him know his machine was broken.
To make a long story short, an hour-long meeting was held which included my union rep, after which I was provided written permission to make the repairs as I always had. The new safety administrator had been properly scolded and learned a lesson, management learned to just let me do my job, and the machine was running 10 minutes after I received the paper.
That was a “loss” of $3.5 million according to their math. It would have been $24 million lost if I had followed their procedures to the letter.
All new procedures were put in place with much input from my colleagues and me.
This was a test case for how the other 500 skilled tradespeople were going to be proceeding with the new safety guy, as they had also been provided with new, ridiculous LOTO procedures. It just turned out that I was the first to have to implement them.”
8. Treat Every Injury As If It Were Real? Well, Now We're All Out Of Medical Supplies
Doesn’t sound very… smart.
“My country has conscription. That means that every able male between the age of 18 to 35 has to serve in the Armed Forces for a time. I did mine in the Navy. My specialty was Medic, finishing as a Petty Officer.
After you finish the service, you’re put on the active reserve list and they can call you in an emergency and for “refresh courses.” Those can last between a day to a month. This happened during my first such “course.” Also important, despite servicing in the Navy, due to being an “essential” specialty, I could be called by any branch.
The first time was in the Army. On to the story.
I receive a letter to present myself on a certain date in a certain Army base for a “refresher course”. I knew it would be annoying, but I arrived on that date with my backpack and wearing my Navy blue garrison utilities with chevrons on.
Immediately I had a problem when a corporal tried to order me to sign for a rifle (medics carry handguns or don’t carry arms at all). After that was shorted, I fell in with the rest of the “retrainees” (as they called us).
We’re twenty people, ranging in age from 22 to 45. I notice that except for me, only one other person is wearing different utilities (light blue of the Airforce) and he happens to be a doctor. The rest are Army, mostly infantry.
After three days of basically doing nothing, orders came down that the doc and I would have to join the senior class of officer cadets on their wargames. We go to request equipment and they hand us two First Aid bags (medium size) with some basic supplies.
The doc asked for more supplies. The quartermaster said those supplies were all we were going to get according to regulations. The doc asked for that in writing before he signed anything out, which was provided.
So, Saturday comes, the doc and I get a ride with the cadets to the exercise area.
We set up post in the “neutral” zone and wait. Our job was to provide First Aid if something happened and “treat” and record any “casualties” of the wargames. Almost immediately, the cadet that was Acting Captain (Captain from now on) tried to boss us around, complaining about our setup, our lack of “discipline” (we were civilians), and our lack of polish (we were there just for legal reasons).
The Acting Captain of the other team was much more relaxed with us.
The next morning the wargames begin. Around noon, our first “casualties” start trickling in. Each “casualty” tells us the nature of their injury, we record it and the doc decides if it’s a “walking wounded,” needs to spend time in the infirmary, or is off for the rest of the games (which meant staying in the stage area).
Due to not being a live ammo exercise and our small amount of supplies, we pretty much give them a paper with their new status. The next day, first thing in the morning, the Captain bursts in and he is in a mood.
He starts shouting about not doing our job. The following exchange happens.
Doc: Calm down and explain.
Captain: You’re not doing your jobs! I don’t know who my casualties are!
Doc: We gave them a paper about their status.
Captain: That’s not good enough! You have to dress their wounds! Do I have to tell you how to be a doctor?
Doc: I don’t think it’s a good use of our little resources.
Captain: No! You have to use it, so I can know who my casualties are!
Doc: I still think it’s a bad use of resources…
Captain: I gave you an order! I’m Acting Captain and you’re just a Warrant Officer!
Doc: Ok, but it’s your problem if something happens.
The Captain stormed off after that.
The Malicious Compliance
A couple of hours later, the first casualties of the day start coming in. I ask the Doc what we should do.
Doc: You heard the man. Full trauma protocol.
We exchange evil grins and open up the bags.
Anyone coming in gets the full treatment. “Bullet wound” to the leg: cut the pants open, sterilize the area, pad and bandage, and medevac. “Head wound”: full concussion protocol. “Surface head wound”: sterilize the area, three pads, and a couple of bandages to keep them in place.
Our supplies are out on the tenth casualty.
And then, karma strikes. They bring in the Captain with a legit sprained ankle. He goes on a rant about bandaging him, so he can go back to command.
Doc: I’m sorry. We are out of supplies.
We have to call in for resupply.
Captain: What? How can you be out of supplies?
Doc: Despite me telling you we have very few supplies, you ordered us to treat every “casualty” as if it was real. The supplies are finished.
The Captain started spouting threats, while Doc put in for resupply.
A couple of the umpires (two lieutenants) and the quartermaster (sergeant) brought more supplies. The Captain tried, and failed miserably, to pin the blame on us. The umpires, after hearing his “order,” shook their heads and removed him immediately from command.
According to the quartermaster, the Captain was kind of a jerk during training but got the post because of family connections. For the next three days, we went back to our original plan (papers) and treated a couple of real injuries. I don’t know what happened to the Captain afterward, but for the rest of the “refresher course” we had a good time.”
7. Force Us To Move All Our Furniture Out So You Can Put In New Carpet? We'll Move It Alright But Won't Being Moving Back
“I don’t like moving, I’ve never not paid a bill on time, and I take decent care of things because I don’t like living in a place that’s a craphole. My SO is tidy and responsible as well. I’m the one who deals with things like leases in the relationship but he’s happy to go along or push issues if needed.
Because of this, we make pretty good and loyal tenants. So much so that our most recent landlord regularly praised us as his least annoying tenants, and during 2020ish when house prices were going up, offered to sell us the house at a discount (more than he paid by a lot, but a lot less than adjacent houses were selling and we’re still well ahead at the current market).
Anyway, 15 years ago, (the place before this) I moved into an apartment with my S.O. for about $700/ month. It was 2 bedrooms and had huge closets…so big I threatened to make a guest room out of one for my mom when she visited since I was pretty sure I could fit a twin bed in.
(That got vetoed). It was pretty decent but the carpet was some super cheap stuff that was only meant to last 3-5 years since they replaced it after every move-out.
No big complaints for the first 4 or so years. There were some roaches thanks to neighbors but they dealt with it and the water heater broke in the closet, but I didn’t have anything too important there and they fixed the damage from that too.
Meanwhile, the rent went up every year. Plus there were added fees for upgrades. We agreed to pay for access to the new gym…for a monthly fee. I got a shaded parking spot…for a monthly fee. We got a cat and paid additional pet rent.
Whatever, but I was up to about $900/month by year 4.
The 5th year was ending and the carpet was indeed looking a bit rough. I’d paid myself to have it cleaned twice but it was wearing. So when it came time to renew the lease, I mentioned it and they said they’d look into replacing it for me, so I signed.
I did remind them a few times that year and so did my SO…he got them to give us another carpet cleaning for free but no action.
End of year 6… this time I say we need them to replace the carpet and that I’ll move the furniture from each room as they’re ready.
They verbally agree and I sign.
No action. I remind them and they tell me they can’t do one room at a time… they can only do it all at once and I’ll have to move out all my furniture. They can rent us another apartment in the building that’s for short-term use for a couple of weeks for like $500…what?!
I know that’s a lie that they can’t do one room at a time.
Not only does that not make sense but remember when the water heater broke? It ruined the carpet in the closet and mold grew since it took about 2 days to notice. They had come in and replaced the carpet… only in that closet.
Plus they HAD verbally agreed.
Got another carpet cleaning.
End of year 7. New management.
I told them about the prior years and they made lots of understanding noises and said ofc they could replace the carpet given it’d been so long compared to the other units (it was near a military base…most tenants stayed just a year or two.) I wrote that on the contract which they didn’t like but we all signed for another year…
rent is now about $1100.
So about a month later, I remind them.
Somehow I get the same story as the old management had that sure they can do it, and will honor what was on the agreement that I wrote on but only if they do it all at once rather than room by room, and we move out all the furniture for a week or two.
This time I don’t even get an offer to rent a second apartment to temp move into. I have no idea where they thought we’d magically store furniture and ourselves for a week.
Try again later that year, the same answer.
I warn them if we have to move all our furniture out to get new carpet, we won’t be moving it back in.
Nearing the end of year 7. The lease renews in February, renewal due in January. December, my SO starts looking at houses for rent and we start checking them out on the weekends.
Because why not? We find a nice 4 bedroom for only $1,150/ month ($50 over my current place for close to 2x the space) and spend a few weeks moving in. And guess what? It has brand new high-quality carpet.
The last day to renew our lease or give move-out notice comes.
We give notice. We and the cat are already sleeping at the new place.
Immediately, I get asked why we’re leaving and what they can do to make us stay?
I bring up we’ve been here 8 years and for the last 3 we were promised new carpet and ended up being told I could only have it if we moved all the furniture out at once.
They had the gall to claim they were under new management (again!!) and hated to lose a good tenant that was one of their longest. They’d knock some fees off the rent and would absolutely replace the carpet (sure…) Pretty sure they’d have to do all that and a lot more to get a new tenant in.
I told them we’d already moved most of the furniture out, would finish by the end of the month, and they could do the carpet whenever they’d like because I no longer cared.
They even gave me an offer in writing a week later that included 2 months free on the next lease, but we were already very much enjoying our nice new place and happily locked into a lease there.
As promised, if we had to move all the furniture somewhere else to get new carpet, we would not be moving it back. I only wish I’d made and kept that threat sooner.”
6. Want Things To Be Plated Your Way? So Be It
“At the time, I was working in the kitchen as an “assembler”. This can be one of the most clutch positions on the line, as you take all the food being prepared by the other cooks and organize it into tickets that can be taken out into the dining room.
Accordingly, it is often a bottleneck for food leaving the kitchen – if you have a slow assembler, cooked food dies under the heating lamps. Grilled salmon dries out, fries become soggy, linguini alfredo hardens into concrete, really horrific crap. It is imperative that food not sit in the window.
I was working a weekday lunch shift, which is normally pretty slow. We must have provoked the wrath of the restaurant gods on this day though because out of nowhere the store got hit with a tsunami of customers.
I could just barely make out the other cooks through the clouds of shrimp scampi, fryer grease, and cheddar bay biscuits flying through the air.
I knew the crap blizzard was headed in my direction and began putting empty plates up in the window with the “shape” of each ticket that was to leave the kitchen, a technique I had learned to help survive bullcrap like this.
On the other side of the window, coordinating the servers, was my manager, Jerkface. Shouldn’t use his real name, actually, let’s call him “Bob” instead.
Bob was a bit hyperactive and had an irritating tendency to micromanage kitchen processes, a problem compounded by his not knowing how the crap to run a kitchen.
When I began putting empty plates in the window so that the incoming, Interstellar-sized wave of seafood had something to land on, he stopped me.
“What are you doing?” Bob asked.
“I’m putting the plates and their sides in the window because we’re about to have a very high volume of food coming through,” I replied.
“Well, this is Red Lobster, and here we do the things the Red Lobster Way. We plate the food when the food is ready, and we don’t put sides on early.”
I tried explaining that the Red Lobster Way was designed by sentient suits and ties physically incapable of holding a spatula; that our sacred Way (as dictated in the Good Book of Employee Training) had died in the trenches of last year’s endless shrimp special; that, while I appreciated the job, I wasn’t prepared for an honorable death at the hands of this rush to uphold its most obscure tenets – but he wasn’t having any of it.
Bob insisted that I take the plates out of the window and only pass him plates and tickets that were 100% completed.
Knowing full well that Bob was flying us by the book into a storm of crap, I put on a feces-resistant raincoat, rubbed some Vick’s under my nose, and braced for impact.
30 minutes later, the window was chaos. Finished food was left dying in the wings of the window, while I – swiftly enough to avoid reprimand, but with the fatalistic, mechanical motion of a flood pump removing water at a fraction of the rate at which it’s arriving – plated up one finished ticket at a time.
Bob was equal parts confused and furious, like a toddler whose toy was suddenly taken away. “What’s this food waiting on?!” he cried, gesturing towards a shriveled-up steak and its associated sides.
“Well, that order is waiting on some fried shrimp, and I need to wait for the ticket to be complete before I plate it up.”
“Why is the ticket missing fried shrimp??”
“Unfortunately, I’m not manning the fryer, sir, so I don’t know.”
This continued for the better part of an hour.
It seemed like every ticket was missing one little thing that kept it from leaving the kitchen.
After the rush had passed and I was dumping its precipitated, liquid crap from my galoshes, Bob approached me with the twitchy, nervous energy of a wild boxer.
Well, that, or a hyper-caffeinated, insecure manager who needed to assert his dominance over the underpaid crew of some bunk seafood restaurant.
“Can I, uh, speak to you in the walk-in for a moment?”
We walked to the cooler as I struggled to remember how to fight off an attacker armed with a kitchen knife from my days in dish.
“So…what happened back there?” Bob asked, arms folded, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
“You said we should follow the system, and we did,” I replied, mentally noting that he was standing in front of the walk-in’s only exit.
“But there were a lot of missed items on those tickets. We had food dying in the window.”
“I saw it, yeah. It was pretty bad.”
“So why was the food missing?”
“I don’t know, I wasn’t cooking the food, I was assembling it.
I am the assembler.”
This line of questioning continued, with Bob trying to somehow pin the catastro-crap of the last hour on my willingness to comply with his orders, while I blithely insisted that I did exactly what was asked of me.
After not being able to move past this point for several minutes, Bob made some sweeping statements about “doing better next time” and left.
Incidentally, the next time I was assembling and Bob was on the other side of the window, nothing was said about the Red Lobster Way, and the rush went smoother, albeit with some hotter plates and servers having to return for delayed items. I guess we ended up doing better, after all.”
5. The Cookies Are Too Hard? I'll Handle It
“I am a prep cook at a nursing home that works 5 am-1:30 pm. I deal with making desserts, putting them on plates/bowls, and wrapping/lidding them. I also run the breakfast tray line and am involved in the breakfast dish room.
Note that our previous two directors (basically managers) have quit with very little warning and we have someone in from corporate filling in right now. Let’s call her Karen.
On this particular day, I had dished out red velvet cookies the day before.
I was dishing out sugar cookies before the breakfast tray line. Everything seemed normal, with no large arguments or problems.
After dishing out the sugar cookies, I started the breakfast tray line and served breakfast. Note that the sugar cookies are not for breakfast, they’re just a dessert that I did before the tray line so that I wouldn’t have to do it later.
The red velvet cookies were for the day of the story, and the sugar cookies were for the next day.
After the breakfast tray line, I took a 15-minute break to eat breakfast. I then came back and participated in the breakfast dish room.
No issues so far except for a different story. I then took my 30-minute break at 10:30. This is my assigned time to take my break. The cook starts the tray line at 10:45, while I’m on break. This will be important in just a minute.
I was in the break room eating lunch, and there were a few people from the nursing floor in there. We got to just talking about life. Eventually, my break ended and I went back to the kitchen. I entered the kitchen, washed my hands, and started walking over to my counter.
I was past the bottom of the tray line, where one of the dietary aides has the cart of sugar cookies out and is handing those out instead of the red velvet cookies. I asked why she wasn’t using the red velvet cookies, but this was answered by just looking around.
The red velvet cookies I had plated and wrapped were nowhere to be seen. Instead, there were over 100 plates waiting to be sent through the dish machine and like 6 trays of red velvet cookies fresh from the oven just thrown everywhere.
These trays were set on my prep counter, on the cook’s counter, on a plastic cart next to the oven (somehow didn’t melt the surface of the plastic), you get the idea.
I ask Karen what was going on and she said that my cookies were hard.
She informed me that she had unwrapped all my cookies and baked another batch. I now had to wash all of those plates and plate up a whole new batch of cookies. However, this couldn’t be done just yet. Not only were the cookies still too hot to deal with, but I was halfway through a fruit dessert that I started right before I went on break.
We’re allowed to do this as long as nothing is left out without a lid.
I moved her trays and staggered them on top of each other so that the cookies didn’t get smashed. I then finished my fruit dessert as quickly as I could.
Then, I washed over 100 dessert plates and began plating and wrapping the new cookies. As soon as I picked up the first one, I noticed that they were just as hard as the ones I had made.
I didn’t fully yell, but I was very loud when I said this.
“Karen, these cookies are hard! Even the white chocolate chunks are browned!” I could see from across the kitchen that she just shut off for a moment. I had to put forth a genuine effort to not laugh.
Karen came over to my counter and picked up a cookie without wearing any gloves, broke it in half, ate one half, and threw away the other half.
Note that she reached for a tray full of exposed cookies without gloves, and took off her mask to eat while she was right next to me. Not to mention that she was eating over my prep. I didn’t say anything about this.
This type of not following her own rules has happened many times before.
She told me they were fine and returned to her office. I started putting on a glove, elbowed her window gently to get her attention and not dirty my gloves, and snapped my glove on my wrist like a doctor.
I did this to show her that I was wearing gloves, and to silently remind her that she was not. She just stared at me. This caused a 2 1/2-minute staring match through her office window. Neither of us was getting anything done, and I ended up losing bc I was genuinely crying from laughing and had to blink because my eyes were burning.
I plated and wrapped the cookies and informed the administrator of all the wasted supplies and utilities thanks to Karen’s behavior.
The losses were 120 red velvet cookies, over 30 minutes of each of our time that she had to pay me overtime for, and all the water gas, and electric needed to wash all the plates and make another batch of cookies.
Oh yeah, and probably about 150 feet of plastic wrap.
Upper management didn’t do anything about this bc Karen was from corporate. I am now looking for another job and the place in this story will be completely screwed with only half a prep cook when I leave.
I say this bc the other prep cook is only there on my days off, and fills in for the cook when I am there. There will be no way to have a prep cook on the schedule every day and make sure people get their guaranteed days off.
I wrote this story now instead of waiting to see what happens to the company when I leave bc I don’t really care anymore. The company is headed downhill so fast that literally, anyone leaving could cause a lot of fallout, so I don’t see how the story of me leaving would be very unique.”
4. No More Overtime Without Approval? No Problem
“This one dates back a while to ~2017.
I was in my 3rd year of an accounting job I absolutely hated, but I also hated the industry as a whole and was essentially using the position to bide my time as I learned a new skill to eventually jump to an entirely new career.
My boss at the time, who I’ll call Tia, was the shining example of the specific flavor of toxicity that I’d found sinking its teeth into most of the accounting departments I’ve worked in (imagine the power trip of middle management + the prestige of managing multi-million dollar transactions).
She was the first accountant for the company when it started and had become the de-facto choice for ‘new highest position in the department’ every time the company’s growth called for a departmental restructuring. The only thing I could determine was earning her these positions was her confidence and conviction in the way she’d determined things needed to be done, which C-suite just ate right up, even paying for her to get whatever training/certification she needed to qualify for the new roles presented to her.
In the meantime, she’d given me 3 consecutive annual reviews scoring a solid 0% satisfaction rate each time, which was always enough to justify a 0% raise but never enough to justify actually letting me go and putting me out of my misery, so at this point, I was fully checked out, especially after finding out I’d become the lowest paid employee out of ~100 (including interns and the front desk clerk).
In the latest restructuring, Tia was not promoted to the new CFO role as the board wanted real experience, but was given a Controller role while a new level of management was added between us. HR had also become its own department, no longer falling under accounting’s purview.
Tia didn’t seem to like simultaneously becoming 2nd in accounting’s command while also losing control of HR. She convinced the company to send her to law school so she could eventually transition into some kind of frankenstein-esque accounting/legal/HR position that would oversee essentially everything the company did outside of actual production.
This required her to leave the office around 2-3 pm every afternoon to attend classes, making her unreachable until the evenings.
The new management position that opened between us saw 3-4 employees join and leave for greener pastures over the course of a year and a half, but the story takes place while I was under the only manager I actually liked, who I’ll call Kevin.
I could see him doing what he could to advocate for me while still being forced by Tia to treat me the way she had previously treated me, and I could tell it made him feel awkward handing these decisions down my way.
I respected his attempts to work with us and he actually helped us create a functional/efficient department for a few glorious but short-lived months.
Suddenly, a bill was passed in the U.S. stating that salaried employees making less than 40k/yr would be eligible for overtime pay, taking effect later in the year.
After 3 years of no raises, I was sitting at around $37,500/yr, making me eligible for the eventual overtime.
Working in accounting, it’s pretty much expected that you’ll be working 50-60 hours a week, especially when closing out the monthly/quarterly/annual financials. However, after being shafted for so long and still being stuck with crap work that had little effect on the actual financials, I was actively giving them as close to 40 hours a week as possible, only staying behind if we’d gotten an important request towards the end of the day that Kevin begged me to take care of before leaving.
I knew it would look a bit off if I suddenly started working a bunch of overtime after this change took place, so I planned on very slowly ramping up my hours over the preceding months to eventually take advantage of the extra pay.
After 1-2 months I was regularly putting in 45-55 hours a week (with most extra hours spent remoting into my home computer to practice programming) and looking forward to the income this new workflow would provide me.
I guess they eventually caught on, as Kevin pulled me into a conference room and presented me with a contract to sign stating that I wasn’t to work any overtime without Tia’s approval.
For reasons you’ll see below, I quickly recognized this as a way to never have to work an extra hour for the rest of my tenure at the company. I signed it and immediately cut out all overtime, leaving at 4 pm that day as I’d worked through lunch.
The next day I stopped showing up early, started taking actual lunches, and could be heard peeling out of the lot at 5:01 every day.
Kevin noticed my sudden lack of hours and tried to mention the contract not being in effect until the bill kicked in.
I reminded him that we had a signed contract that failed to list a start or end date so I considered it fully in effect. I could see the “oh crap” realization hit but he begrudgingly accepted the loss. (I’ll mention again that he was great and this action had obviously come from Tia and he was now stuck dealing with the repercussions the same as I was, so he really didn’t fight me too hard on it).
Later that week, an important client request came in around 4:45. He asked if I could stay behind to work on it and I asked if he had Tia’s approval. This was his second ‘Oh crap” moment, as unfortunately, due to her classes, Tia had become unreachable between 2-8 pm every weekday for the foreseeable future and he didn’t usually know he’d need extra work from me until after 4.
Everything went exactly to plan as I got to enjoy a comfortable 40-hour week, throwing the contract back at them any time they tried to squeeze even an extra minute out of my time.
Now for the real kicker. Before the new bill took effect, a judge blocked it and shut it down entirely, meaning no more overtime pay for salaried employees.
A crippling loss for the workforce but I at least still got to enjoy my new schedule. Management tried to claw back my hours but, hey, I still have a contract that says I can’t, sorry guys.
I was finally pulled into Tia’s office, who tried to explain the lack of necessity for the overtime approval now that the overtime bill wouldn’t be coming into play.
I again reminded her we had a signed contract with no dates and no mention of this being in relation to impending overtime law.
Then came my favorite part of the conversation:
So, yes, this is still a valid contract, but I want to be clear that it doesn’t override your original employment contract here with us.
You mean the employment contract that states 40 hours a week?
And that was that.
I was eventually let go a few months later after replying “Because I don’t” when the CFO mentioned people saying I look like I don’t care about my job, but I’d finally built up my skills enough to find a position in my new industry while still enjoying my severance, so I consider it a win. 4 years later, I’m doing work I enjoy from home, hanging out with my dogs with a calmer mind and a fatter wallet, all while they’re still stressing over someone else’s money.”
3. The Apartment Isn't Good Enough For You? Okay, Then Bye
“This all happened 5 years ago while some of my friends were still in tourism college. How it works in my country is that you need to take a practical exam to literally spend your summer vacation working as a semi-intern paid under minimum wage, tho it’s tourism so they got to work on vacation kind of.
Their job title was something along the lines of “house representative,” the agency would make contracts with small apartment owners, usually, 5-15 rooms and they would resell their apartments in some tourist arrangements. The job of my friends was to basically show guests around and be on 24/7 call if any of the guests ever needed anything.
So in perspective houses were scattered around the city/even cities and it was sometimes very hard to get by them, especially as the agency was run by (as always is) a fat, greedy guy who didn’t really care about providing (or rarely provided) any means of transportation, so when just two guests would need something it would take you an hour just to walk from point A to point B.
So how one day-to-day operation would look for them is they had “new guests” come in 2 times a week. I think an agency would usually transport people by plane and busses so it would be just one big group, “This is your apartment, there is a store, there is a beach, call me if you need anything,” easy as that 90% of the time.
Though there was another more damaging group or “self-transport group” as they called them. Those people were coming with their own cars or whatever, and they would usually have time windows like in hotels “check-in time” from “12 PM to 4 PM,” the only difference was those houses don’t have receptions; my friends were basically one.
So time table was kinda more for them so they know they will be welcoming guests from 12 to 4.
I know all of this as my friends invited me to get there as it was a tourist location with a sea, and it was really nice.
Free stay as they had a spare bed in their apartment. I only had to spend money on food and nightlife, also I was kinda shadowing my friends while they were doing their work and usually eavesdropping just from pure boredom.
So one day they had to welcome guests at a very nice villa resort, it’s on the outskirts of the city, a beautiful place, expensive as heck, and some parts were still developing as it was kinda brand new, they had one villa finished and polished, the other was missing some cosmetic/trivial things on the outside but the rooms were amazing.
It’s 12 to 4 check-in time and we are waiting for 12 families, all of them are in their rooms till 2 AM and we are waiting just for one more so we can go on our ways and have something to eat, as the resort was so expensive we could not afford to eat there.
It’s 8 PM, and the last family did not provide their mobile phone. The only contract is a landline number from a different country 1400 KM/900 miles away (Again this is a story from 2016). My friend and I were hungry like street dogs at that point.
A 3rd friend joins us and he has a vehicle this time as he is transporting some goods to another city, so he invited us to go with him so we can buy something to eat out of the resort. Of course the moment we took the 1st bite of food we were called by the 12th family that arrived kinda shortly after.
We get back to the resort where they are waiting outside of their room in their SUV. (So one thing about the SUV: it was really expensive as you can imagine, brand new but registration read that it was registered in a small town, and if you know that place you kind of immediately know they are a bunch of jerks.)
Before my friend was even able to say “Hi how are you doing” complaints started firing from top to bottom all around, insults, horrible language.
The dude looks like you took a construction worker to Versace and gave him Mr. Beast’s credit card. His wife was even worse than a generic Karen in combination it was doomsday. They had a complaint about everything. How everything is half/done (and that’s not true), how there are (and this is important) “cables hanging everywhere that their kid might touch and die” those are their own words.
How the fence around the villa was unfinished and there was a concrete machine next to it. (This was only true tho, who cares? They were not working at that time it was just chilling in the back). Then he started talking about how he was working contracts his whole life (It was obvious as those people are notorious for selling their father’s land and living large after) and how he doesn’t want to see construction equipment anywhere near him.
After all of that, my friend asked him if he can show us where are those cables sticking. Those aren’t cables by the way, it was radiator pipes not connected to the radiator as you are on summer vacation I’m pretty sure it will be hot enough without those, and yeah “Kid that can touch them and die” was actually a teen in her 13-15ish, she was just sitting in the car and we didn’t see her while they were bombing us with insults, even me who was just a bystander and told him I had nothing to do with this.
MC moment: The conclusion for them is that they were robbed, and that “This apartment is not good enough by our luxury lifestyle standard,” they want a full refund, but we can’t do anything about that and the agency office is in another city 1 – 1.5 hours drive.
They forced us to drive there so they could follow us to speak with the owner. The moment we get there, they start with the same lunatic behavior, yelling, and insulting everything, tho this time in the middle of a very crowded city.
What we failed to mention was that 2016 was a heck of a vacation year, everything was booked for 2017 and we saw people begging for a literal shed!
We left the agency office before them. We had enough, but one of my friend’s colleagues saw them sleeping in the tent beside the beach for the next few days and we were sure they failed to find anything so they probably had to turn around and go back home for another 1400 KM ride with 2 borders.”
2. HR Won't Do Anything About Bullying? Then Let's Get The Police Involved
“I used to work at a hotel that is part of a very large hotel chain. The management at my hotel, as well as more senior management, was all about nepotism. If you were related to or friends with someone in upper management then you had some amazing career prospects ahead.
We got a new Food & Beverage Manager who was a golf buddy of the General Manager and the Executive Chef. We’ll call him Houston. Houston had previously managed a number of top restaurants in the city including a Michelin Star restaurant.
Strangely though, he seemed to change jobs every six to twelve months. We soon found out why.
The position he moved into oversaw three F&B departments with around 300 staff all up. Very quickly we found that as well as not realizing that we weren’t fine dining, Houston was the most horrible pig of a man that I’ve ever had to work with.
He was a very tall, large man who would use his size to physically intimidate other staff and managers. He would shout at anyone for any perceived mistake, real or imagined, that he saw. He was very handsy and often made seedy comments to the attractive young waitresses.
Management would often attend events and eat and drink with guests while also making sure nothing went wrong. At one of these events, he got one of the young women in sales so intoxicated that an ambulance had to be called and she had her stomach pumped.
He was just a horrible human being.
As you can imagine, everyone from kitchen staff to waiters to managers was making complaints about him. I know that one manager had gone over the head of our GM and was slowly elevating the issue to higher and higher levels of management, heading toward the national level.
The response that our HR department was sticking to was that Houston had been hired to shake things up. Apparently, they had expected a certain amount of friction to occur and had essentially been told to ignore any complaints that came their way.
They had taken things through the proper channels and followed the correct procedures. There was nothing they could do. Their hands were tied.
Enter our story’s hero.
So the bar in this hotel was well-run by a short Filipino man. We’ll call him Jon.
Because there were rarely any real issues at the bar, Jon had mostly been left alone by Houston. Jon had never seen Houston’s bad side come out and never personally had a problem with him.
One day an issue did come up with the bar.
It eventually turned out to be a management miscommunication, which was a very common thing. Thanks, management. But that was irrelevant at the time.
So Houston decides that the problem is Jon’s fault, storms into the bar, and while Jon is serving in front of staff, customers, and a supervisor, Houston absolutely lays into Jon, just like he has to every other supervisor and manager in his department already.
“WHAT THE CRAP HAPPENED YESTERDAY? A GROUP COMPLAINED TO ME THIS MORNING THAT WE HADN’T CHARGED THEIR ACCOUNT PROPERLY. SORT YOUR CRAP OUT AND DO YOUR JOB PROPERLY NEXT TIME!”
And picture this with a large six-foot-tall man getting right in the face of a five-foot-tall Filipino while yelling crap at absolutely the top of his voice.
Houston stormed back to his office. Jon didn’t take anyone’s crap and he followed Houston back to his office while they shouted at each other in front of even more staff, supervisors, and another manager. Houston obviously didn’t back down or apologize because this is how he had operated for the last six months without any consequences.
Jon went straight up to HR and told them exactly what had happened and as usual, they told him there was nothing they could do. That seemed like it was going to be the end of it.
That night Jon went home and got some legal advice from a friend.
Following the advice, he typed up an objective account of exactly what had happened and included the names of all staff who had witnessed the encounter. This showed how many people there were able to confirm his story. He emailed this to the entire management team including team leaders, supervisors, and other departments, as well as each person in HR.
This eliminated deniability in anyone’s account, as well as kept the whole hotel in the loop of what was going on.
The next day Jon took his written account down to the police station to file charges of workplace assault. He received a document from the police to confirm that he had filed charges.
He then sent that document to the same mailing list of management and HR.
By the time he arrived at work that afternoon, the GM had started an inquiry into the issue that he had previously been “completely unaware of”. HR was claiming that they had no idea what had been going on either.
This was definitely the first they were hearing of problems with Houston. Over the next few days, everyone in the F&B department from the team leader up was called into a meeting to discuss their experiences with Houston.
At the end of the week, Houston was notified that he was to attend a meeting with the upper management and HR teams the next day.
The next day came and Houston went into his office, packed up his things, walked into the meeting, and slammed his note of resignation onto the desk. HR agreed to an immediate termination of his contract and he walked out of the job that afternoon.
After he left my hotel he got a job at a small very average Mexican restaurant as a sommelier. He lasted about three months there.
A few months later, one of the waitresses caught an Uber home after a night out. Guess who was the driver.”
Another User Comments:
“Remember, it’s human resources, not human relations. Never trust HR, they are for record keeping only, and if they aren’t keeping a record of everything they send you, then trust them even less.” kangarooneroo
1. Want Us To Deliver The Sofa Up A Spiral Staircase? Take A Look At The Contract
“About 30 or so years ago, I dropped out of high school. My first job was as a truck jockey for a bloke who owned his own removal truck and had a delivery contract with a local chain of furniture stores.
The work was hard, and days were usually pretty long (I have an old payslip somewhere for an 84-hour week), but I was young, fit, and healthy, and the work saved me from needing a gym membership. Plus the pay was really good for a 16-year-old kid.
One long, reasonably warm Saturday, we’re heading to our last delivery before going home. It was close to 6 pm, and we’d still have a ~45-60min drive home after, so the boss was in no mood for screwing around. The delivery was in Melbourne’s (at the time – probably still is) wealthiest suburb: Toorak.
Lots of big houses and old money.
Anyway, we rock up at this place and the boss heaves a sigh of relief: massive double entry doors at the front. We were delivering a 3-seater sofa bed. Freaking things were heavy, with the metal fold-out bed inside, so anything that made the delivery that little bit easier was seen as a positive.
As usual, the boss hops into the back of the truck and starts unwrapping the load to get it onto the tailgate, while I go knock on the door, clipboard in hand.
I ring the bell (old-fashioned turn-the-brass handle thing) and a butler(?) opens the door.
I see just over his shoulder a massive entry hall, with a big, wide staircase leading up to the second story. Awesome.
Me: “G’day – we’re here to deliver a sofa bed for” -checks clipboard- “Mrs. Richwitch” (name changed to protect the rich witch, and coz I can’t remember/don’t care).
Him (gesturing around to the right of the house): “Delivery entrance is around the side.”
Me: “Oh, OK.”
I trot around to the side door, thinking it would be a straight-up delivery into a room nearer to that door. I wait, and he (eventually) opens the door.
Per our SOP, I ask him to show me where the furniture was going, so I could map the route out for the boss. He gestures to (I’m genuinely not. Freaking. Kidding.) a gosh darn spiral freaking staircase.
Me: “Up those stairs?
Me: “But I noticed there’s a lot more room at the front doors, plus the bigger staircase there.
Can we deliver via that route instead?”
Him: “The lady of the house wishes for it to be delivered via the rear staircase.”
Me: “Really? There’s no way we’re getting that sofa bed up there without hurting ourselves, or the furniture or house.
Why can’t we deliver via the front?”
Him: “The lady of the house simply will not permit it.”
Me: “Oooookaaaaay. I’ll go let my boss know.”
By the time I get back to the truck, the boss has the sofa sitting on the tailgate, ready for us to carry it in.
Me: “Not quite. You’re not gonna believe it, but they want us to deliver via a side entrance and up a spiral staircase.”
Him: “The crap they do!”
Me: “Yep – old mate in the suit and tie said so.”
Him: “How many times did you ask him?”
Me (unsure why): “A couple – wasn’t sure I heard him right the first time, but he said the customer won’t allow it.”
Him: “Nah – bullcrap.
The boss strides up to the front door and rings the bell, perhaps a little aggressively. Butler opens it, words are exchanged, the boss gets pretty heated and demands to see the customer – Mrs. Richwitch.
RW: “What’s all this nonsense?”
Boss: “Your fella here said we can’t deliver through these doors and up that staircase behind you.
The other way is too narrow – we’ll bust our backs trying to get it up there!”
RW: “That’s not my concern. My desire is for the furniture to be delivered via the side entrance.”
Boss: “Nah – we’re not doing that. Just let us go this way and we’ll be out of your hair in no time.”
RW: “I insist that you deliver the furniture in accordance with the terms of the contract.”
The boss straightens up, squares his shoulders.
“Ok. Sure. No worries. We’ll get it done, as you said, in accordance with the delivery contract.”
He walks back towards me, a massive freaking grin on his face, and tells me to grab the highlighter (fluorescent marker) from the cab.
I go grab it and hand it to him. He highlights something on the delivery docket on the clipboard, tosses it onto the sofa, and gestures at me to grab my end. I’m wondering what the crap is about to go down, but I know my boss well enough to know we aren’t about to carry this bloody thing through a side door and up a spiral staircase.
As we get near the front doors, the boss tells me we’re putting the sofa bed down. He grabs the clipboard and politely asks RW to sign for delivery.
RW: “I’m not signing anything yet – you haven’t delivered it to where I want it.”
Boss: “Ah, but we have now.
Please read the section I’ve highlighted.”
RW (reading said bit): “Oh, well that changes things. Through the front doors will be fine.”
Boss: “Sorry – please read the second highlighted section.”
RW (reading second said bit): “But I’ve changed my mind.”
Boss: “Sorry – as you can see, it says that deliveries must be made the safest way possible without risking injury to us, and if we still disagree after three attempts at making delivery, the customer takes responsibility for completing the delivery from the front of the premises.
We asked four times so, as you requested, I’m delivering per the terms of the delivery contract you signed.”
RW (going red): “But how am I supposed to get this upstairs?”
Boss: “I’m afraid that’s no longer my problem ma’am. Please sign the delivery docket so we can get out of your hair.”
I took that as my cue to screw off, pack up the wraps and straps, and prep the truck for departure.
We managed to hold in our laughter until the end of the driveway.”
Another User Comments:
“That’s a pretty sketchy definition of “3 attempted deliveries” – not quite in the territory of “my knuckles touched your door 3 times over the course of a second and a half (so that’s our three attempts) then I immediately bolted for my truck only stopping to toss the pre-filled out ‘sorry we missed you’ card in your letterbox,” but it’s definitely up there.” Considered_Dissent