People Spill The Deets About Their Eccentric Revenge
11. Can't Do The Job Right? Lose It
Why hire someone who doesn’t want to do what’s expected of them?
“Most people, including myself, have lived in an apartment at least one time or another over the course of their lives and can attest to the nuances and annoyances that come from a poorly designed building: thin walls, loud neighbors, circuit breakers tripping, poor air conditioning, lackluster lighting, abysmal parking, etc. I have personally experienced all of these, and in my college years, I was also part of the problem (loud parties, loud music, etc.
– we upset many of our neighbors). So, after getting the partying out of my system, putting my nose to the books, and graduating with a degree in electrical engineering, I found myself several years later working with a developer of multifamily housing. Hoping to right some wrongs from the past, I pledged to make the experience for the people who would be living in the community a bit better than my own.
I couldn’t control the building materials or aesthetics of the complex, but I did have control of the design of the electrical system from the utility transformer to the outlet you plug your hairdryer into.
I, therefore, set out to design a robust system with more circuits per apartment, better lighting, better materials, and better access than what was typical for the building construction at the time.
My first step was to tackle the exterior lighting for the complex.
Instead of using Metal Halides (those large shoebox lights that buzz at night), I persuaded the developer to install an LED pole and building-mounted lights. These were designed to increase the light output of the parking area and walkways (for safety), while maintaining cut-off, so it wouldn’t intrude into someone’s bedroom window. They looked good, saved energy, and had a higher color rendering index (80) than the standard Metal Halides (70).
It took a while to get the calculations correct, but in the end, I was happy with it.
Moving onto the apartment units, my design philosophy was such that no one, at any time, should be overloading any circuit within the apartment under normal use. No lights should dim when appliances (vacuums, for example) were plugged in, every room had access to plugs on every wall, every room should have a light, and every light should be controlled by a switch, and every switch should be within arm’s length of any entry point into the room.
I spent several weeks refining the project template, and after some back and forth with our client (the developer), some items were cut, but the majority remained as per the design intention, which was spelled out to the “T.” I was happy, they were happy, and after the drawings made their way through permitting, the developer hired the contractors, and the project was underway.
Everything was going great until the general contractor hired the electrical sub-contractor… For the purpose of this story, we shall call this electrical contractor “Eddie” (not his real name).
As a contractor, you sign a contract stating that you’ll build what is shown on the drawings for a certain price.
If the client accepts your offer, you win the contract. In doing so, you’re obligated to provide what was shown on the drawings unless an addendum, revision, or substitute modifies the original contract (all of which must be approved by the engineer).
It all started when I started receiving his submittals. For those not in the industry, this is a standard practice between the contractor and engineer where the contractor will submit the materials he intends to use on the project to the engineer for approval.
It is typical to see deviations from the design here and there as contractors will typically source most of the billing materials from a select number of vendors (a single vendor being ideal). The vendors will provide alternates to the design, and it’s up to the engineer to determine if these substitutes are acceptable or not.
The first submittal was for the exterior lighting, which was complete garbage.
Eddie submitted Metal Halide lighting, which was not only the wrong type of light, but the wrong distribution (which would cause back-lighting into the residents’ windows at night), the wrong color temperature, and the wrong output (too dim). I rejected the submittal outright and told him to provide the light fixtures shown on the plans, which specifically indicated that no substitutions were allowed due to the calculations that were involved in the design (photometrics).
I gave him a call to explain this fact and told him to resubmit per the plans. Eddie wasn’t happy.
Not happy at all. However, Eddie does submit another fixture which was slightly better but still not on par with the design. Again, I reject the submittal and state that unless he can prove that the fixture he submitted is similar to, or superior than, the photometrics shown in the drawings, it will not be accepted.
It is not the engineer’s responsibility to prove a substitute, and if he wants to use this fixture, he’ll need to submit his own photometric calculations as well to prove the point.
So, Eddie does this. The calculations look good, really good. So good that I get suspicious and run his light fixture in my own model…. And nothing matches at all. It’s not even close, which means he forged information on a contractual document, and now I had leverage for what happens next.
The client calls and asks what is holding up the project. I call my boss and explain the situation, he agrees and backs my case to the client, which leaves Eddie with no choice but to provide the fixtures he agreed to when he signed the contract.
This back and forth continues with several other submittals, which become shorter and show less information. I call Eddie to tell him he’s missing items, and he responds with excuses, and after some time, ends up not returning calls or emails.
Time passes and I move on to other projects.
Then I get a call from our client that some of the buildings are ready for a walk-thru and he would like me to do a site visit to check the work before drywall is installed. We set a date, and I’m off to check it out.
I arrive and see the site lighting that started our feud. It’s correct and looks good, and I feel optimistic hoping he learned his lesson.
That was until I entered the first of the apartment units.
The first thing I notice is the wiring is white. This is typical for smaller gauge Romex wire (#14), and our drawings show #12 wire (12/2 Romex – typically yellow) which was our office standard. I take a closer look and confirm this is the case. Now usually I don’t take issue with this if it’s brought to our attention ahead of time and if it’s used for lighting circuits only.
14/2 Romex is perfectly acceptable to use regardless, it’s industry standard, and code compliant; it just doesn’t match our drawings and would require an unnecessary revision on our part to match what Eddie had his guys install to save himself from money without first discussing it with us (me and my client).
Then I look around at the circuiting, and I’m dumbfounded. Except for a few dedicated circuits, the drawings weren’t followed at all.
Lights and power circuits were combined as were the rooms. As it stood, it would have been just another crappy apartment with the same problems I had spent so much time working to rectify in the first place. Again, we could have discussed this ahead of time, bounced ideas off each other, and worked it out. I worked as an electrician to pay for college for years, so I know the nuances of wiring methods well and enjoy troubleshooting problems with electricians.
Except this was Eddie, and Eddie screwed up. Instead of working through the problem, he went off the radar and went rogue. Eddie was about to pay for his transgressions.
I wrote my report along with my pictures and copies of the plans. It looked like a murder scene with redlines, strike-throughs, captions, and comments which illustrated clearly and definitively the stark differences between what was designed and the dumpster fire that was installed.
It was sent to our client and my best buddy Eddie, which is standard. The client was livid. We got on a call, and Eddie got chewed out for his poor communication and decision to abandon the plans and do his own thing. However, Eddie did have something on his side, which was the electrical code. Even though the plans were completely ignored, he was still in compliance, and he made that point clear.
Except, I had an ace up my sleeve.
When I sent out the report, I didn’t just send it to Eddie and the client.
I also sent it to the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction), which in this case was the building official for the county, we’ll call him “Mark” for the purpose of this story. Mark and I had gotten to know each other well over the course of the project. We discussed theory, code, restrictions, etc. to make sure that he knew what I was doing before the drawings were sent out for review.
During our talks, he made it abundantly clear that whatever the drawings stated (as long as there weren’t conflicts between the drawings and the code requirements) was EXACTLY how the project should be built. Period.
Looping back to the phone call between myself, the client, and Eddie I suggested we add another person to the call, who was the Project Superintendent (we’ll call him “Steve”). Steve and I had previously discussed Eddie’s failure to follow the drawings while I was on-site, and I had pointed out to him that Mark had said any deviations from the plans would mean that the project wouldn’t pass inspection unless the drawings stated otherwise.
I asked Steve about this on the call and he acknowledged the discussion and agreed with what had been said.
Eddie, at this point, was fuming and said he had spoken to Mark as well and that this was not true. “Really?” I said, “Is that a fact? Well, let’s get him on the phone as well then, shall we?”
So we called Mark, and thank everything that is holy he answered. I filled him in on the discussion, my conversation with Steve, and he confirmed everything right there in front of the client, Eddie, and Steve. The drawings MUST be followed, and deviations would not be allowed, or he would shut down the project. I was stoked! Finally, no one could hide, and everything was out in the open.”
10. Sorry, Grounded Children Can't Run Errands
Parents’ rules, after all!
“Before you start, know that this is way longer than I expected. I tried to summarize as much as possible but there are a lot of relevant details. Before deciding if you want to read, this is my perspective of an incident when I was a teenager where my parent very much regretted grounding me.
So, this was back in the early 2000s. I was 17 and had very interesting parents; at least my psychologists have said so.
I got my license on my 16th birthday and became responsible for many of my parents’ house management responsibilities. I dropped off bill payments (before online payments were a thing, you had to drive to their offices if you didn’t mail the checks in time), did the grocery shopping, and taxied my sibling to school and Dr. appointments and friends’ houses. I was completely on board as I loved driving, and I’d always get an extra couple bucks for gas.
But I also spent the previous year homeschooling, so I could commute to my mother’s company an hour away and work for 40 hours a week…for free, so any freedom I got was like scraps at a starving dog. At that point, I pretty much was an adult but was allowed to go to public school my senior year and reconnect with my old friends from grade school.
It was kinda like being half teen, half adult with the entitlement of a teenager who thinks they’re an adult.
My family’s dynamic was interesting, to say the least. I was the oldest, and my younger sister was the obvious favorite. Each developmental milestone was met with resistance, and as I grew into new interests like makeup, music, and social activities, my parents insisted on getting the same things for both of us and giving us the same freedoms at the same time…
She was 3 years younger. But, the rules were strict for me but never enforced for her (I wasn’t allowed to date till I was 18; she was allowed to date at 14). They also brought her shopping all the time, but I was the responsible one, so they signed me up for free work with their social group to increase their social standing. My sister never had to work, but, “We’re so proud of you; you’re the only child we can trust with the credit card.” “Yeah, because I’ve been contributing to this household since I was 14; it’s called child labor.”
I counted the days till I’d be free of my family, but while I was stuck, I found ways to have fun and I had a lot of friends.
At 17, I was randomly given a curfew. I never actually had a curfew until that month and was used to being out until 2 or 3 am, but in their words, “You’re going to be home by 10 pm every night because you keep coming in late and waking us up when you brush your teeth.” Yeah, neglect is kinda funny when you look back on it.
I especially love that I was a teen who still brushed her teeth every day, and it inconvenienced my parents enough to notice me. An additional background tidbit is that my younger sister had been caught with pot in our Evangelical Christian family’s home. She was in the most trouble she’d ever seen, one month grounded, but they let her off the hook after 2 weeks.
This occurred the month before the following story.
So within a month of my new curfew, I was 5, yes, 5 minutes late getting home. I didn’t rush home; I figured it wasn’t a big deal, after all, I made their house run, and I actually never got in trouble because aside from brushing my teeth too late, I pretty much was an adult with adult responsibilities.
I could literally ask my mom to call me in sick for school because I didn’t feel like going…AND SHE WOULD!
Boy, was I wrong. They went nuclear. I was screamed at for an hour and grounded for 2 weeks from the car. Well, growing up in that house, it kind of rolled off my back, lol, but I was pretty angry that my punishment for being 5 minutes late was equal to my sister’s punishment for storing and smoking stuff in our house.
I also knew that my parents were about to regret this punishment. I have quite the mean streak when I’m pushed, and I’m ashamed to admit, I loved torturing them at every opportunity. I know they were expecting me to beg for the car and apologize, but I did not. I knew exactly what was coming and how little they thought this one through.
There’s a phrase, don’t kill the golden goose, well, when your entire household runs on the shoulders of a 17-year-old, you’ve made some bad life choices.
Especially when that 17-year-old is as smart and reliable as the adults are supposed to be. The next day, yes, the very next day, my mother comes into my room and asks me to drop off a bill she forgot to mail. This isn’t word for word but the gist.
Mom: “I have to meet with a client and don’t have time. I need you to run this to local utility company.” (Yes, she never asks, she demands.)
Me: (Looking up from my book) “Sorry, I’m grounded.”
Mom: “Well, we’ll make an exception.”
Me: “No, because then I’ll never learn to not be 5 minutes late for curfew.” (Yes, my smart-aleck-ness was the main reason I wasn’t the favorite child, as they explained to me many times.
I apparently had an “attitude problem” from the age of 4.)
Mom: “Well, I really need to you take this to local utility. If you don’t, we’ll have to pay a late fee.”
Me: “Well, if I’m grounded from the car, I’m grounded from the car. I won’t be doing any errands until it’s over.”
She huffed off, realizing her mistake. I never followed up with how that one turned out for her.
Over the next week, I started acting like a normal teenager.
I walked to my friend’s houses (I was only grounded from the car), would call my parents when I needed a ride home, lol, that was my favorite, “I can’t be late for curfew, and you don’t want me walking home in the dark.” I actually walked so much and so far that my thighs were rock hard at the end of that week.
During that week, my parents looked a mess.
They had to drive my sister everywhere and learned how exhausting it really was. They had to actually plan their errands and watch their own kids. I was on vacation. During that week, the requests went from, “We’ll make an exception,” to “We never meant you couldn’t run errands,” to “These errands are the only reason we let you drive that car,” to “Please, just this once.
We only grounded you because we love you,” to “You’re so ungrateful. You’re supposed to be the responsible one.” Basically, the whole gambit of manipulation. At this point, I’m gaslight-proof, and I had actively hated my mom for over 3 years. I was enjoying myself so much that I sometimes wonder why I enjoyed being a psychopath to her when I’m actually not one at all, I have diagnostic proof that I’m not a psychopath, lol.
By the end of the first week, I was called out to have a talk with them.
My mother was the tougher of the two, my dad was pretty cool but always sided with her.
Mom: “We’ve decided you’ve learned your lesson, so we’re letting you off your punishment early, but you have to start running your errands again and driving your siblings.”
Me: “No, I’m good with the current system.”
Mom: “I insist, we don’t have time to run errands.”
Me: Smiling because finally… “Well, maybe you should have thought about that before you took away my car.”
Mom: “Well, if you don’t run the errands, you can’t have the car back.”
Me: “Fine with me,” I walked out of the room like a proud peacock.
After the 2 weeks were up, they assumed I’d be back to normal, nope.
I basically told them that I’d rather walk as the number of responsibilities far outweighed the benefits of driving. They were not happy, but what could they really do?
They lasted one more week. I went carless for a total of 3 weeks. Finally, my mom broke down and did the unthinkable, and she begged. Well, the words were begging, the tone was sucking up, but I truly enjoyed it.
It took all my energy not to beam with self-pride. Now, my mother was a saleswoman, and she had been inadvertently training me for years. At that moment…I opened negotiations.
In the end, I got an extra $10 a week in gas money on top of the $3 bucks here or there for unscheduled errands. I still had the curfew, but I got a few minutes grace period from then on.
They never even dared to threaten to take my car or license away again. But the cherry on top, my sister’s personal taxi service was closed. Apparently, she treated them the same way she treated me during her frequent and unnecessary rides, and from then on, she had to be nice if she wanted a ride. There were a few incidences where she tried to get my parents to force me to take her or tell her where I was going, but they didn’t.
They knew better than to kill their golden goose of home management and for the rest of the year, I finally had a great childhood because I was left alone on my own terms.”
Another User Comments:
“Parents giving kids curfews must be careful that they don’t set up the system of consequences to give kids incentives to take unnecessary risks just to get home before an arbitrary time. Big consequences for five minute-missed deadlines are a terrible idea that can incentivize teens to speed or break traffic laws to beat the clock.” hcn1mm
9. Think You Have To Wait Long Now? How About Try Waiting Hours
“This happened last summer.
I am a waiter at one of the nicest restaurants in my home town. I am pretty personable and always end up striking friendly conversations with my tables. I have a million and a half stories about people who were seemingly very friendly but ended up stiffing me on my tips, but this is a revenge story, so I’m going to tell you why you shouldn’t be a jerk to your server until AFTER you receive your food.
It’s a beautiful day, and the restaurant is on the water.
Every nice day is absolutely packed.
My restaurant does not take reservations of any kind ever, so people have to go in person, request a table, leave, then come back later to eat. Normally, locals understand and expect this. There is no problem, but we are a tourist town. When newcomers try to get tables, there is always trouble (this is important in a second).
Now I am SWAMPED.
I have had my section full for the entire day and hadn’t had time to go on a single 5-minute break since the start of my double shift at 10 am, and it’s now around 6pm.
A couple lands at one of my tables in the corner, and they are already upset because they had to wait to get a table after a new girl had tried to make a reservation for them over the phone, and they had to be called back and told that they had to come in to reserve a spot.
I nod to them, acknowledging that I see them after I notice them GLARING DAGGERS at me as if to say get your butt over here now.
(I was dealing with a particularly crappy table at the time. Any server reading this will know the type.) Every freaking time you come back they need something else. They ask for ketchup, you bring ketchup, then once your back, they ask for refills on drinks, you run and do that, and then they need salt, and they want to order more food blah blah blah.
Now at this point, there are two things you need to understand: one, they had sat around waiting for a table for over an hour before being sat, and two, our restaurant has food runners…
For those of you who are not familiar with this, it is a group of high school kids that (for around 6% of all tips the restaurant receives) will take care of running your food to your table for you.
Now I was also the only person that treated the food runners like human beings instead of pack mules. Because of this, my food runners were very well organized and would happily help me out when I was swamped.
A food runner had gone to my table, offered them water, brought them silverware, and told them I would be over shortly.
5 minutes later, I roll up and start my speech.
“Hello, my name is Gray, and welcome to the restaurant! Sorry for that wait as you can tell I’m really busy and…” the man cuts me off, “What’s your name?” he asks condescendingly. “Gray,” I reply.
“Gray,” he starts up again, “why is this the first time you are coming to the table?” “We have been here waiting for over 45 minutes” They had literally gotten there no more than 8 minutes ago and thought I hadn’t noticed them walk in.
“You are by far the worst waiter I have ever seen; you should have greeted us and walked us to our table” — another lie, as I saw the hostess do this as she does for every other person that eats here.
Now I was already having a bad day, and I was on my second part of a double shift that I knew would go well past midnight, so I was having none of it.
This guy goes on to insult my posture, my accent, my clothing (I’m wearing a freaking uniform), and a myriad of other things.
At this point, I’m staring straight through him, not listening to a single word.
Finally, he says, “We want another server NOW. You should be fired for your incompetence,” I smile; he would not have asked for that. He basically just gave me the green light to mess up the rest of his evening.
I’m friends with everyone in the restaurant, when I have a request, it can usually be handled almost instantly.
But this time was going to be different.
I walk to the hostess’s table and see one of my best friends (let’s call her Emma) crying under the counter. Emma is a 4’6″, an adorable Hispanic girl who was 20 years old. She was just a tiny little thing, and she needed a step stool to address people at the front desk. She had a cabinet that she could literally sit in and take naps, and she was in there crying.
I gave her a big hug and asked her what was wrong. She said a couple had chewed her out for 10 minutes straight about how terrible she was, and guess who it was? My freaking table!
I asked her if she wanted some revenge, and she said heck yes. I told her apparently, I was not good enough, and they wanted a new table. She smiled; she knew what was going to happen.
I told my water buddy John that Emma was going to send him a table in an hour or so and went back to work.
That couple watched 3 tables sit down, order their food, eat, pay, and leave before they even got to order. They sat and waited the entire time just to try and stick it to me.
The look on their faces as I happily and efficiently took care of all my tables right in front of them was priceless. Since they were not my table anymore, I didn’t visit them once.
After they were moved, ate, and left, I asked the waiter who took their table how they were. He said they were very polite and patient with him. I think that will be the last time they treat wait staff so horribly.”
Another User Comments:
“This is why even if service isn’t the best at a place, I’ll generally just take it as a bad day or a tired waiter/waitress.
My tips also go up for better service but never down for service that isn’t very good. You’re human; you won’t be the best there is every single hour of every day, and that’s ok. Working-class solidarity is important. If you look overworked, I’ll compliment you to your manager if I think it might help you out somehow. If the food has an issue, I’ll ask for something to be changed but end it with a statement that I appreciate your hard work and service. I’ve been in the military, done various forms of manual labor, and I wouldn’t work food service, not because it’s “beneath me” but because I couldn’t do it; I wouldn’t make it in that industry.” einherjar907
8. Engage In Six Years Worth Of Illegal Practices? I'll Turn You In
“This is six years’ worth of illegal practices and abuse. It’s super cathartic for me to write this. And I’m going to spare no expense on the dirt.
I’ve now been out of the company long enough that I feel safe and secure enough to post about how I left my six-year-long career at a famous chain sub shop. I’ve always posted stories about entitled customers/parents from there.
But this one will be about my super entitled, jerk of a boss, and how I got my sweet revenge when I finally left the company.
How it started: When I was 25, I was in a pretty weird situation where I needed a job, and I could not afford to be picky about which one I got. I just happened to be in a local sub shop asking the manager if they were hiring, and the owner was there that day.
He hired me on the spot, and I started working the next day. Training went quickly, and I was working 40 hours a week and finally earning some coin.
My first red flag that something here was not exactly normal was the fact that the manager quit less than a month after I had been hired. She had asked for weekends off to be with her children, and the owner told her no.
She actually made a fully functional schedule that worked for everyone that gave her Saturdays off. He put her back to Wednesdays off, so she just walked out. I was promoted to manager with less than a month of training under me. But I was determined to stay with the job, and I was going to enjoy the dollar raise that came with it.
So I taught myself how to do inventory and food orders.
I taught myself how to make schedules and do all the other things that a sub shop manager does. I actually got pretty good at it. After a year of doing it, I had expedited the inventory process and made it so functional, the owner had me teach other managers that he hired at his other franchise locations. He owned six shops total. They were scattered all over the place, and two of them (one I worked at) were less than a mile from each other.
He decided he wanted to have a monopoly in the city and bought the last sub shop in the area. He made me area manager and put me at the new location.
Basically, my daily job was this: show up at 11 AM to relieve the store opener. Make sure that everything was functioning. Work until 7 PM when I would be relieved by the closer. Then I would drive to the other two locations to check and make sure everything was OK.
Some days I will drive to location a in the morning before my shift started, and I would drive to location b after my shift started. On Tuesdays, I did inventories. And on Wednesdays, I did three stores worth of delivery orders.
The store I was working at was slow enough that it technically only needed one person working at a time with a little overlap during the lunch and dinner ‘rush’.
It kind of sucked sometimes. If it got busy, you were doing it all on your own. You had to help customers during your lunch break. And you didn’t technically get breaks. Going to the bathroom was a gamble. I still dread hearing that doorbell go off when I was mid-stream.
At first, it was a perfectly reasonable job. I had the stores operating effectively. Everything was organized, inventory counts were very accurate and there was very little shrink.
Customers were happy. That lasted about six months before things started getting… Illegal.
I think my boss was having some kind of personal/marriage problems and was taking it out on his staff. Both he and his woman came from super-rich families. (Millionaires. I have been to their mansion one time for a birthday party. Indoor and outdoor pool, private movie theater complete with bar and popcorn maker… They had cash to burn.) The first illegal thing happened when our store got broken into.
A thief broke the window with a rock and tried to find the cash box. As it was locked in the safe, he didn’t get anything. But he did pry open the till drawer to find it empty. The police called me since my number was on the whiteboard marked as “emergency contact.” I showed up and took inventory and told the police the thief had stolen nothing.
I even gave them video footage of the thief. A few days later, a cop came back and asked me to confirm how much had been stolen from the store. I told him $0. It turns out… My boss had reported a loss of $500 from the cash box. I’m not sure if he got fined for filing a false police report. But he showed up at work the next day and yelled at me.
He told me, “You don’t tell the cops anything unless I give you permission next time.”
Over the next couple of months, he also started becoming a penny pincher at all of his locations. He would jack up the price of the subs to the maximum amount he was allowed to by the franchise. He would skimp on the veggies and would yell at us if we put on the recommended amount.
(if the recipe called for eight slices of turkey he told us to put on 6). Basically angering all my regulars. it killed our business. Which meant we were earning less, which made him more of a penny pincher.
Things started breaking in the store and he wouldn’t hire professionals to fix it. He would bring in “friends“ and pay them in beer. I remember his mechanic friend coming in to ‘fix’ our freezer over 10 times in a year.
It never properly kept the food at freezing temperatures and leaked water into the freezer. When health inspectors would come in, they would point it out and my boss would say, “Yeah, I’m getting it fixed next week“ I was so nervous getting frozen food out of the freezer that was basically 33° all the time. Our frozen bread was floppy half the time.
I dealt with this for multiple years.
I know I’m an idiot. I should’ve run away long ago. But I was literally living hand to mouth, and me and my partner were trying to keep a roof over our head. We were both working 60+ hours a week. We just didn’t have our lives together enough to be picky. If I was going to leave that store, I would need to find a job that paid 1.5 times the minimum wage as a starter pay to make the same amount I was doing 60 hours a week as the area manager.
It was when my boss started doing illegal labor law practices that I begin seriously looking to leave.
I handled faxing in the payroll at the end of every week. There’s always a little star next to your clock in/out when the time has been altered. (I’ll fix it if somebody forgets to clock in, forgets to clock out, etc.) I started noticing that everybody’s hours have been adjusted multiple times on multiple days. The boss was cutting people’s hours back by half an hour+.
If they clocked in at six, he would change it to 6:30. I pointed this out to him. He usef the excuse that “they just stand around and waste time every shift. So I take that time away.” He installed video cameras. He would literally watch them from home with a stopwatch and send me a text at the end of the day telling me to retract certain amounts of time off of everybody’s shift.
I told him no. If he wanted this done, he could do it himself. It was crazy illegal, and I wanted no part of it.
I also discovered something one year when he was showing me how to do the year end reports for tax filing. Even though the stores were a franchise, and were all owned and operated by him and his woman. Each individual store he had registered under a different business name and a different bank.
I.e. you worked at store A, you got a paycheck from “Waldo and sons LLC” and if you covered somebody shift at store B the same week, you got a second paycheck from “Waldo inc” ect. I asked him why he did this; as it seemed incredibly unnecessary and complicated. He told me it was for tax purposes. He paid less taxes if he registered each store as its own individual franchise.
(Edit: he also had them registered under different peoples names) I pointed out that this was illegal. He said he could get away with it by claiming that each store was owned by somebody else in his family. I.e. the store was owned by his woman, the store was in his name, this store was in his brothers name etc…. It was super shady.
I had already been here six years dealing with this crap.
I was fixing to leave very soon. I had enough saved up to cover bills for at least three months to give me time to find a new job. I kept telling him that if he pushed me too far I would leave him high and dry with no area manager and he would have to come all the way out to man the stores himself.
(he showed up to the stores maybe once a week. He mostly went to the stores closest to his house. he hated having to drive the hour long drive from where he lived to my 3 Stores Way out in the boondocks) The day finally came where he pushed me to my breaking point.
Inspectors of the franchise came monthly. They were technically required to find three things wrong at every location, because nobody could be perfect.
There was minor moderate and major errors that they could find. Major errors got the owner fined. I had only had one major error found between my three stores in the six years there. But one day the boss called yelling at me because of a burnt out lightbulb in the oven. It was a minor error; but he laid into me like I had just gotten the store shut down.
It was so bad, my mother and father heard him yelling at me the phone speaker. My dad promised to cover my rent until I can get a new job. I just sat silently and let him yell. When it was over I said “ok. I’ll do better tomorrow” then hung up.
That night, I stayed up super late finding all the phone numbers for L&I, OSHA and all the legal resources I could.
The next day I didn’t go into work. I stayed home making phone calls. I still had texts from the boss telling me to adjust peoples hours. I had recordings from our security cameras of him changing the dates on the prepped food so we didn’t throw it away as soon. I even had five years plus worth of pay stubs from Three different business names, owned by three different people, but all signed by him.
L&I was incredibly interested to hear about the time clock adjustments.
They happily excepted emailed copies of all my text logs. And several dozen pages of faxed paystubs. I also learned that he should have been paying me overtime for working 20 hours extra each week. He told me I was salary. Yet he classified my pay as hourly…
I ended up speaking to a couple of different people about his fraudulent tax practices. Every single one of them wanted copies of my paystubs and proof that they were owned by the same person.
The best call I saved for last: A call to the local health inspector.
I informed them about the leaky freezer. The changing of dates on prepped food. The disgusting practice of keeping food far past its expiration date. The temp log book that we literally just wrote down random numbers instead of actually taking the temps because “it takes too long to do that every two hours“ Or my personal favorite… The time a plumber was fixing the toilet and it literally exploded poopy water out into our lobby.
The boss made us keep the store open and mop it up quickly… Right in front of customers…The health inspector was VERY interested.
All of these calls I did while getting dozens of angry voicemails/texts from my boss asking me where the heck I was. Since I was literally supposed to be working a shift and didn’t show up, the poor opener had to stay late and the closer had to come in early.
I felt a little bad about that. But I knew the next day the boss himself would have to come in to cover the shift unless he hired somebody and trained them overnight. I ignored every single one of his phone calls.
I just never went back. Not even for my last paycheck. I never heard back about getting all that unpaid overtime. But I did hear through the grapevine about the fallout of what happened the next few months.
Two of my bosses stores were completely shut down.
As in health inspectors put a red warning label on the doors and gave him one month to fix all of the problems before they would let him open again. He lost his franchise rights with the company. He had to sell all of his stores to other franchisees. Since he was still paying back loans on a couple of them he had to sell them at a loss.
Almost every single one of his employees working for him at the time got huge payouts for the missing time that he had removed from their time clock. One former employee I met up almost a year later told me that he got a $5000 check. He had only been there a year… I also learned that my boss got put on two years probation in Lou of prison time.
And apparently, he failed his first surprise substance test….. so he ended up spending a couple of weeks behind bars anyway.
I found out through social media that my boss’s woman left him for a year to “let him get his head screwed on right,“ and when they got back together, she made him be a stay at home dad while she went out and ran the stores that were still in her name.
I know it’s not as climatic as some pro revenge stories on this site.
But it felt SO GOOD to basically flipped him the bird and let him sleep in the bed that he had made. I’ve got another job now; and I get paid the same amount that I was earning from him but I only work 40 hours a week. I get actual lunch breaks now. I get overtime now. I actually didn’t realize how illegal his practices had been until I started working a normal 9-to-5 job. To this day the idea of taking a lunch break without having to help customers in the middle of it is just… Wonderful!
Sorry for how long the story was. But I hope some people enjoy the absolute craziness that was my jerk boss. And now you all know why I will probably never eat at another chain/franchise sub shop again LOL.”
7. Don't Clock Out Early To Save You Money On Overtime? Fine, I'll Stay
“I work for a popular grocery chain that operates in the southeastern United States where shopping at is supposedly a great time. I’ve been with the company for 18 years: four of them as a department manager before I stepped down due to being a salaried worker that worked ridiculous amounts of overtime without compensation (that was recently dealt with via a class action lawsuit). I still work in the same department in which I was once a manager, so I know just about everything there is to know.
If anything goes wrong, I can make it right. If anything breaks, I can fix it.
My current manager is an awesome boss that I’d do anything to help out.
He understands that his employees are people and not just minions to do his bidding. He’s willing to work with us on any scheduling needs, so we’re all willing to do the same. That being said, about two years ago, we were short-handed on employees that were able to close the department, particularly those that could close the kitchen.
We talked, and I agreed to close every night for a while until we could get more people on board and trained in the different areas of the department. This went on longer than expected, and he apologized, but I told him not to worry, as I was actually enjoying having a regular schedule even though the hours weren’t ideal.
Fast forwards a few months, and we’re finally staffed properly, and my manager thanks me for my help, and we agree that I’ll continue working nights because I like the consistency, and he knows that I’ll always make sure everything is set up well for the next morning, and I make his job easier for doing so.
During this time, we’ve picked a lot of great workers and a couple of awful ones.
The great workers were amazing to work with (I called them my A-team), and we’d often get off work 30-45 minutes early because we helped each other out and got stuff done. The awful workers took note of their willingness to help out and would neglect parts of their closing duties because they knew the A-team would get it done in order to get off ASAP.
This goes on for a while and gets worse, reaching a point where the other A-teamers and I talk to our boss and say that we don’t mind helping people out, but we’re done doing other people’s jobs for them.
He agrees and changes the policy so that once we’re done with our sections, we can clock out and leave after being checked out by the manager-in-charge (MIC).
Things have been going pretty well and as long as two or more of my A-team workers are closing with me, we’re still able to get out early as a team. We always make sure to set up any other closers for success and do any general work like taking out the trash, adjusting inventories, etc. before leaving, but we’re still able to leave a little early.
This is important because we never have to worry about getting overtime (OT). We have a STRICT no OT policy; even one minute of OT will earn a write-up for the employee and my manager unless approved ahead of time.
Then it happens: 3 out of the 4 other A-teamers quit within two weeks of each other. One found a better job, one had a family crisis to handle, another moved.
I went from working with coworkers that had years of experience in the department to coworkers that have been with the company for less than six months for the most part. There are a few coworkers that are approaching their one-year mark, but I still have more experience than all my fellow closers combined, probably tenfold. Suddenly, instead of getting out early, I’m having to work past my scheduled times on a bad night and barely getting out on time on good nights.
I try to manage my own time in order to not have to leave early or come in late, but I’ve been cutting it close.
Three weeks ago, a particular MIC (there are 7 MICs that each have a set night to close) is closing. I’m closing with newbies, and I’m in danger of going into OT. This is a Thursday night and while I do close Friday (the final day of our week cycle), I make sure to keep some wiggle room in case anything goes wrong on Friday night that keeps me from leaving on time.
I finish closing my section, take the trash, adjust inventory, and generally help out as much as I can until it’s my scheduled time off at which point I clock out and page my MIC to check me out.
I’d have paged sooner, but I knew that my section was clear (again, I’ve been doing this for a long time) and wasn’t going to be asked to work off the clock.
The following conversation occurs:
MIC: “Why are you paging me over here? The others are clearly not finished, and you should be helping them.”
Me: “I paged you to clear my section so that I can leave and not worry about OT. I did XYZ to help them out, and all they have left shouldn’t take more than ten minutes or so.”
Her: “Do you work tomorrow?”
Me: “Yes, but I’m closing Kitchen and always come in early on those days to ensure a smooth transition and make sure I don’t fall behind.
The little bit of wiggle room I have left to avoid OT is going to be used for that.”
Her: “You can’t be in danger of OT if you still have another day to work.
You know that the entire department is supposed to leave as a team. You leaving before your coworkers isn’t right. I’ll let you leave this time, but from now on, you leave with your team.”
Side note, this MIC came in from a sister store after the fiasco mentioned in the setup.
The next day, I talk to my direct manager and ask him how he wants me to handle the situation.
He assures me that I did the right thing and was just managing my own time in order to avoid OT.
He knows that I always try to set everyone up for success. The entire reason I’m still closing 5 nights a week is for this very purpose after all.
I should also mention that on this particular night with said MIC, I left the department a fair number of times to do extra work (get trucks from the back, clean up the back room of cardboard and trash, take out old grease to the canister outside, etc.), and she came looking for me while I was doing the side jobs on two occasions.
On the second occasion, she told me that she wanted me to alert her any time I’m going to leave the department, so she’d know my whereabouts.
I thought it was odd since no one else had to do this, but whatever. I later learned that she told my manager that I was taking entirely too many smoke breaks (I take two a day, as per company policy) and said that I wasn’t doing what I said I was doing for the side work and just using them for extra breaks.
I sighed internally and had an idea. It was time for some malicious compliance.
Every night that this MIC has closed, I’ve had a great time complying with her wishes. First, every time I leave the department, she knows. Going to the restroom, paged. Lunch break, paged. Taking cardboard to the bailer? Running trash? Have to help a customer outside of my department? Paged, paged, and paged.
She’s gotta know where I am, right?
Secondly, I still refuse to put myself in danger of overtime while also refusing to work off the clock.
So what happens? I punch out at my scheduled time no matter what and then I’m on my own time. I sit down at my manager’s desk, pull up other malicious compliance stories from this sub on YouTube, and start enjoying his malicious compliance posts at full volume while my coworkers continue to finish up around me. Last week she sees me on my phone.
Her: “What exactly are you doing? There’s still more work to be done! Don’t you see your coworkers still working? Why are you just sitting there?”
Me: “I’ve already done my work, helped out as much as I could, but still had to clock out on time.
I’m just here waiting for them to finish, so we can leave as a team.
That’s what you wanted, right?”
Nothing spectacular happened yet. She gives me the stink-eye every now and again when she sees me and simply smirk back at her. She tried complaining to my manager, but he always has my back. I even shared with him that I’ve considered further malicious compliance if she keeps pushing me by keeping her updated on my whereabouts, even when she’s not the MIC. I’m keeping that one up my sleeve for the time being. She never stated that my updates were needed only when she was MIC, so I’m just waiting for her to try something else.”
6. Might Not Want To Threaten Me When I'm Already Quitting
“I work at a well know huge grocery store in the bakery/deli. I’ve been in the general area now for 3 years, been in management, and recently stepped down this year to focus on college. In early July, I turned in my letter of resignation letting them know that August 13th would be my last day.
It’s now about mid-July now, and we’ve got an audit going on.
Basically, everything has to be perfect. They ask you questions about your job, everything has to be on code, etc.
Up till this point, we’ve been having an issue with staffing because instead of hiring employees full-time they hire everyone part-time. I am the only full-time employee in my department. Because of this, there’s never enough people to work, and they’ll schedule 4 people working 3- or 4-hour shifts one night, and then the next one person will be closing alone the entire night, usually me.
I’m fine with that.
I enjoy working alone, but this night was extra stressful with all the extra work I had to do because of the audit.
I was all alone the night in question and working a shorter shift than usual. We tend to close the deli around 8 p.m and have 2 hours to clean up. I was scheduled till 8:30 p.m and spoke to my managers about it and got permission to close at 5, so I could take a lunch break and have 2 hours to close up.
My managers also said that I would be sent someone around 7:30 p.m to help me close on time.
Around 7 p.m, a woman comes up to the meet slicers asking for some sliced meat. I tell her I’m sorry, but we are closed for the night. She goes off on me for a moment, complains that she comes here every other night and how we are always open, and I explain to her that we are low on staffing, and I’ve already cleaned the slicers for the night, and she leaves.
About 5 to 10 minutes later, my assistant manager walks up and asked me what the problem was.
She had gone to management and demanded we slice her the meat. I explained the situation, and his response was to berate me for closing the deli down early and tell me to help her and just clean it again. “Just stop being difficult,” is what he said.
After slicing her some meat, we ended up being out of a different kind, and she walked out of the store leaving everything behind and meaning I had created more cleaning for nothing.
I was livid.
I took a walk to cool down and went to find my buddy who was supposed to come over at 7:30 p.m and ask when he was coming over. When I found him, he told me he wouldn’t be able to come over because the assistant manager had come over and given him a long list of stuff to do for the rest of the night.
That made me mad even more.
I found the assistant manager and was like, dude, what the heck and reiterated that I was leaving at 8:30 p.m and needed assistance, and he told me to once again stop being difficult and just to get it all done.
I told him there was no way I was getting it done in time and said that my schedule says I leave at 8:30, so I’m leaving at 8:30, regardless of how much is left to do.
I guess he hadn’t gotten the memo that I was quitting soon, and so, in response, he tells me that if I can’t do my job well enough, that maybe I should start looking for another job.
That was my breaking point.
After 3 years of working with crappy management and their backward ways, I decided I didn’t need to do it anymore.
I told him ok, found some of my favorite coworkers, and told them goodbye and that it was nice working with them, and walked out. Haven’t gone back since.
They failed their audit, 6 other employees in my general area quit shortly after time due to most of them traveling out for college.
The rest are planning on leaving as well. As far as I know, the entire area is jacked up. Hope the manager got his butt chewed out, but I doubt it. I’ve reported some of the managers there for serious issues (telling me they were too busy to help women whose lives were being threatened in store, retaliation, threatening to fire people if they didn’t work overtime causing someone to lose Medicare and ration their insulin and be hospitalized for a few weeks) and they never went anywhere.
Screw that place.”
5. Want Us To Do Everything? We'll Play Dumb
“This happened not too long ago, and the whole thing is about to end soon.
I was hired as an English teacher at an academy (not a school teacher), along with two other teachers. I’ll call them Melody and Karen (you can guess which one I’m pulling malicious compliance to, lol).
Melody is just an absolute sweetest person and a teacher from one of the European countries. Melody and I were interviewed at the same time just after Karen was interviewed.
We were told that all three of us would be building a curriculum and teaching plan in accordance with the said curriculum. Our boss then told us that all three of us would be teaching, but since Karen needs to take phone calls and whatnot, Karen would be responsible for only 20% of the classes while Melody and I would each teach about 40% of the classes.
Fair enough, right?
Well, Karen is a bit older than Melody and I and thinks that she can boss everyone around due to the fact that our boss would be running other branches, and it would be up to three of us to take care of our branch. She would always pull, “But I’m older than you; therefore, you need to respect me” card whenever we contest whatever she gives us.
On top of coming up with our lesson plans, Karen slowly but surely put more responsibilities on us.
During our probation months (2 months), things got heated up when Karen would blatantly give her responsibilities to us, and we contested about it. She wanted to act like a headteacher while contradict herself by not doing any difficult work herself and giving it to us. Technically, all Melody and I had to do was coming up with a lesson plan and teach kids, but our responsibilities became unbearable when Karen basically told us to start doing designs, making a guidebook, helping her out with other stuff that she had to do herself.
She would schedule meetings and mock lessons (which were super unnecessary) when we just simply didn’t have any time to do them.
Towards the end of the probationary months, Melody and Karen decided that this academy simply isn’t for them and gave a month’s notice of resignation. I was transferred to a different branch, and the workload has gotten a bit easier but had to participate in lessons nonetheless.
Despite Melody announcing that she would no longer work any more than she was told to, Karen has dumped essentially all of her responsibilities and workload to Melody; this REALLY made Melody mad, and we get into a discussion.
One of the things that Karen asked us to do was to basically make a whole book out of our lessons, with graphical designs and charts and whatnot. Now, this is TOTALLY unnecessary, and we could have made it simpler. But no, Karen insists that we actually make a lesson book for the students to use. I would’ve been fine with this idea only if we had a professional person who could do this for us, but no, this was our job apparently.
Melody and I were burnt out from all the workload and decided that it’s time for us to play dumb.
Any time Karen comes up to us and tell us about the book, the conversation would go as such:
Karen: “Melody, I need you to include this idea in this chapter”
Melody: “Okay, but how do you want me to write this on this chapter?”
Karen: “Well, you need to specifically add (insert grammar rules) here in this chapter.”
Melody: “Sorry, I’m not with you.
Can you explain what you want me to write?”
Karen: “It’s simple enough, just make some questions about (same grammar rules) on this chapter.”
Melody: “I’m still not with you. Can you write down the questions so that I can put it in?”
Karen: “So you want me to do this for you?”
Melody: “Well, yes, apparently I’m not understanding what you’re asking me, and since you clearly know what you want on this chapter, why don’t you tell me the question itself, and I’ll insert it?”
So Karen ended up writing the questions, and all we had to do was copy/paste the questions onto the chapter.
Whenever any of her workloads came to us, we would just dodge them by playing dumb, and Karen caught the wind of our plan and confronted us and said that she’s only here to manage the place, not to act like a teacher. Her defense of giving us her workload was that these are directly related to our teaching lessons therefore we had to do it.
We reminded her that she’s also hired as a teacher and was suppose to do 20% of the lessons (of which she did none so far). She realized that there’s no way out of this and eventually pulled her, “I’m far older than any of you, so respect me” card again, and we told us to go eat a bag of poop.
On my last day at this branch, I told my boss that since Karen managed and handled all the teaching materials and knows my stuff, she should start teaching my classes as a replacement teacher.
Karen objected with the idea and contested it by saying that Melody should be the one teaching the entire classes since Karen’s too busy talking to the parents and whatnot. I kindly reminded Karen that Melody only knows what she planned and that Karen has already seen my mock lessons and has all of my lesson plans. I also reminded our boss that she has not taught a single class over the course of 2 months and should probably teach some classes. Boss agrees with me and assigns her to all of my classes.
Now Karen’s left with my students up until September and won’t be able to give anything to Melody since she’ll be working remotely from her home.”
4. Not Happy With A $50 Discount I Didn't Have To Give You? Here's $15 Off, Then
“I used to work at a call center for a large Canadian telecommunications company. They are a service provider for tv, internet, home phones, and cellphones. I was a customer care agent, and at the time, I was working at the end of the promotions department. I’d be the person you speak with when your 1- or 2-year discount was set to expire.
I had been through many different departments before I was moved to the end of the promotion team, so I had access to multiple discounts a regular care agent wouldn’t have access to because they never changed my authorization when I was moved to the new department.
This allowed me to bend the rules quite a bit when it came to renewing promotions for some customers.
Now, most care agents have limited discounts they can give, typically the system would generate a discount for a customers account “based on their tenure and services with us” (that’s what the company claimed which I find to be nonsense, as I have seen accounts that were created back in 1999 that would be tagged for only $10 off, and sometimes nothing at all, and they would have to pay in-market rates).
This is where my access level came in handy.
If I spoke with a customer who was super polite and gave me no trouble or stress, I would apply a better discount than what was originally tagged, especially if I see they’ve been with us for years and even sometimes decades.
(ex: tagged for $20 off, give $35 or $40 off instead)
Now the company always claimed they keep track if we apply discounts that a customer wouldn’t be eligible for, but I think that was also nonsense because I did this to many accounts, and it never came up during meetings with my manager.
So one day, I get a call, a customer that’s been with the company for a year or two.
Let’s call him Mark.
So Marks’s promotion is coming to an end pretty soon, and he is looking to get a new one and at the same time upgrade his services. He was on a mid-tier TV package and had 500mbps unlimited internet. If I recall, he was probably paying around $140 a month.
He wanted to move up to our highest TV package and our gigabit internet plan, which is the highest you can get for both tv and internet with this company.
And this said company is not a budget service provider, so typically that combination of products would cost around $180 BEFORE taxes, and the price just climbs up depending on how many boxes you have for the tv if you have a home phone and if you have any extra TV add-ons.
So I tell him I will gladly look into it and place him on hold.
Since he was very polite and I was in a good mood, I was happy to bend the rules for him, especially after seeing he was only tagged for a $15 discount.
He had a $25 discount before, so he would’ve been paying $10 more if he wanted to keep his services the same and definitely a whole lot more if he upgraded to the highest packages.
So eventually I come back to him with a $50 discount for 1 year. He will still be paying more for making that change, but it’s a whole lot better than the $15 off that he was supposed to get initially.
Now all of the sudden, his attitude and tone do a complete 180.
He starts getting angry and starts getting rude.
He was talking as if he thought I was joking when I said $50 is the most we could give him. He went on a rant about how he’s been with us for SOOOO many years and how he deserves to pay less than what he was paying before and on top of that get upgraded services. I explained that unfortunately because he is upgrading to our highest packages, then the increase in price is inevitable.
I informed him that if he wanted to, this same discount could be applied to his current services, and he’d be saving $25 more than what he’s been paying.
Then he pulls the same card I hear so often like, “Well, my friend has that package and is only paying $80,” or “I see newer customers getting it for so much less,” which in most cases, sure, it can happen, but with the combination of products he has, I know 100% he was just pulling these prices out of his behind.
He got angrier and was demanding that he gets a better discount, and on top of that, he wanted the Crave/Movies/HBO add-on (costs $19.99) for free for a year on top of that for “wasting his time.”
I start to get frustrated and explain once again that it is not something we can do and that the $50 is the best we can offer.
He asks to speak to retention – which at the time was the end of the promotion department – and I explain that he is already speaking with them.
He starts to lose it and says he wants to speak to a manager because he wants to pay what he feels like he should pay based on his tenure (which again was only around 2 years, which may seem like a long time, but in this kind of industry, it doesn’t mean much).
We do have a dedicated team of managers that take calls when a customer is going wild, their primary goal is just to defuse the situation, but they are not there to give better discounts if we already went through the best options, and they always made that very clear.
I explain that a manager cannot provide a better discount, but I can still transfer him to one, as it is company policy to get them to a manager if they request one no matter what.
So I place him on hold, and what we do is speak to the manager on the line first to explain the situation and the options we as an agent went through before escalating, and then they take the call from there.
Usually, you’re supposed to disconnect from the call once you patch the customer through, but sometimes, I like to stick around and mute myself just to listen to the manager tell the customer the exact same thing I already told them.
Their reactions are usually priceless.
So I explain to the manager, we’ll call him Fred, that I had already offered the customer a way better discount than what he had before (I was worried they would question why or how I gave them more than what they were tagged for, but this manager didn’t seem to care). I explained how now he wanted to pay less than what he used to pay while upgrading to our highest package and now on top of that have a $20 add-on given to him for free for a year.
Fred scoffs because they understood how ridiculous that was and told me to patch him through.
I add Mark to the call, introduce him to Fred, and explain they will take the call from there. Now all of a sudden, he’s acting very polite again and says, “Ohhh, thank you so much, OP. I hope you have a good rest of your day. Take care” and continues this act while he talks to the manager as if he wasn’t just screaming at the top of his lungs at me moments ago.
I stick around to hear the conversation play out.
Fred does a quick rundown of what Mark was asking us to do just to make sure nothing was missed, and Mark says, “Yep, that all sounds right to me.” Then Fred pretty much tells him what he is asking for cannot be done and that I had already offered the best discount we can provide and explain that most customers pay way more for what he is being upgraded to.
He starts getting angry again and starts yelling that he is being mistreated as a long-term customer and is threatening to cancel all of his services with us and move to a competitor.
Fred says he is sorry he feels that way and that if he would like, they can start the cancellation procedure for him.
Mark had enough and hung up right after.
I got a kick from hearing that and went on with my day.
A month goes by, I’m taking calls and having a good day. It’s slow, not a lot of callers, but the ones I do get have been very nice, and suddenly a call comes in.
The account pops up, I do a quick look over the account summary and see the customer’s name, and it looks familiar.
I check the account’s previous interactions and see mine and Fred’s from a month ago.
A big smile goes across my face as I am speaking to none other than Mark, calling us back again.
Now, this kind of thing is very rare with a company this big we typically have a lot of callers and a lot of employees, so it’s extremely uncommon that I speak to the same person more than once.
I’m thinking because it was a slow day, they had given early leave to the agents who wanted it, so there must not have been a lot of agents online taking calls, thus having this call routed to me since I was available.
I do the standard greeting, “Thank you for calling, how can I help,” but on the inside, I’ve got a poop-eating grin on my face because I know he is most likely calling us back because his discount had expired and his price has gone up.
He is either calling to cancel or try and get a discount again.
I was right on the nose with that one – he calls saying that his discount has expired, and he is looking to get a new one.
Now Mark didn’t seem to recognize that he was talking to me again; he thought I was just a different agent because he mentioned he was given an offer from someone about a month ago that he was looking to accept.
Here’s where the malicious compliance comes in.
As per our last call, you said you wanted a discount based on your tenure? Sure thing, as a matter of fact, the system has already generated a whopping $15 off based on that.
I explain that unfortunately because he is calling after his discount has ended, the original discount we had offered is now expired, and now we only have a $15 discount available.
He starts to lose it again – now in some cases, this actually does happen, where if a discount isn’t accepted before the other one expires, the new offer also expires and cannot be added.
I can agree it’s some slimy nonsense that this company does, so they get more moolah.
In this case, because the original $50 discount was never supposed to be given in the first place, I was able to say this and only offer what he was really tagged for. Once again, he begins to lose it. It plays out the same as it did last time. I explain that this is the best we can offer, he throws a fit, wants to speak to a manager.
Again, managers are not there to apply better discounts.
Sometimes we do have something called a documented promise where if in the notes someone was offered something, say $50 off and it didn’t go through, we can still apply it.
He could have lied and said he accepted it and it never went through, and the documented promise policy would’ve made it so we had to give him that discount.
In this case, because Fred and I both wrote in the notes that he declined that offer; it was gone for good.
I once again transfer him to a manager and stick around to hear the fallout. The manager did not budge, told him the same thing, that $15 off was the only option, and once again it ends with him hanging up.
I unfortunately never figured out what happened with Marks’s account, but here’s what could’ve happened.
He is still paying the in-market price for his services, which is a lot more than what he was paying before.
He accepted the $15 off and is still paying more than before.
He canceled with us and moved to a competitor – one less problematic, rude, and entitled customer.
The moral of the story is, be nice to the other person on the phone.
- If you’re nice, an agent will most likely be more willing to go above and beyond for you. If you’re a jerk, in my case at least, I’m doing the bare minimum for you and definitely will not bend the rules for you. Again, most agents can’t do that anyways, and in this case, I had access to these discounts most likely by mistake, you should still be nice to the person on the other end of the phone regardless.”
3. Don't Ask Any Questions While On The Job? Fine, But It'll Ruin Our Production Line
Don’t expect a positive outcome if you don’t want your employees to seek help.
“A few years back, I was working in a food manufacturing facility. I was a newer hire and basically what you’d call a grunt. I was only there because they hadn’t figured out how to automate my job yet.
This particular company was a great place to work and our sanitation programs and general cleanliness were world-class.
In addition to doing our normal daily equipment cleanings, we would be doing scheduled heat treatments a few times per year on every piece of equipment.
The thought was that some pathogens could start to become chemical resistant, so every so often we would cook the crap out of the equipment in an oven. Nothing would survive, it would be like starting over. Not a bad idea.
Many companies do this, particularly meat packaging plants.
My foreman was a bitter woman. She was the worst ball buster there was.
She would throw you under the bus and berate you every chance she got.
Unless that is, you were one of her friends. They got a free pass.
She was tasked with helping spearhead this heat treatment project. We had a temporary enclosure made out of very heavy mil plastic sheeting and a steam wand teed off the plant’s steam boiler piping.
We tossed a couple of temperature probes in the enclosure. This whole thing was a proof of concept before the owner dropped a fortune on a gigantic oven big enough to fit a few medium-sized cars in, for heat-treating equipment.
So my foreman delegated the task of trialing the heat treatment process even though it was her project. She wasn’t very bright, so she made me do it because I was the new guy.
We had an entire production line shut down for a week. I had to move every single piece of equipment across the building and steam cook them one at a time. Some of these machines weighed as much as two tons.
I was lucky to get a couple of pieces of equipment done per day.
I told my foreman that the heat was too much for the food-grade grease in the bearings, the hydraulic systems, and the moisture from the steam would destroy electrical components.
She didn’t care. Very rudely she told me not to ask any questions and just do what I was told.
Being a foreman in an industrial environment, I could not believe how mechanically inept she was.
This was not the first time she had directed us to make bad decisions with expensive equipment.
“OK,” I said.
I spent the next 4 days getting paid over $20 an hour to destroy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
All the bearing shields blew out, all of the seals on the hydraulic motors failed, and I destroyed the contents of a few electrical panels along the way.
The problem was that the temperature probes were placed on stainless steel pieces of equipment. If the surface of that equipment was 175*F, the air inside the enclosure was well over 250*F near the top of the enclosure.
Heat rises bro!
The maintenance department was absolutely livid.
A dozen pieces of equipment needed total overhauls. Sensors were damaged, electrical contacts were corroded. Everything was covered in hydraulic oil from the fluid expanding and rupturing the housing and disconnect seals.
It was a nightmare.
Our plant manager was understandably upset and wondered why my foreman didn’t call him after I ruined the first piece of equipment so we could stop and reevaluate the process.
I didn’t catch any heat for it.
….And my foreman, later on, was let go for personal misconduct.
(A bunch of us were questioned by upper management about some other incidents, namely having a relationship with a subordinate.) I’m sure destroying a bunch of equipment and incurring a week or so of lost production time didn’t look good on her resume either.
For those of you asking, I did my due diligence and I felt guilty about what I did, but I wasn’t risking being fired for insubordination.
I talked to a foreman on another shift and our maintenance supervisor but my orders remained the same.
I was a new employee and I had no idea how to get in touch with the owner or other people in higher management. It was a huge company that employed thousands.
I don’t know the exact way it panned out they obviously don’t tell us why our boss is gone.
I am sure this incident didn’t do her any favors.”
2. Boss Wishes He Never Messed With Me
“I took a finance job for a moderately sized public company right out of college. The company was not performing well. Lots of debt and selling off assets. It was a dinosaur and had been in a state of slow decline since before I had joined. Radical change was needed to turn the ship around. But my boss and the CEO didn’t want anything to do with change, as they had lucrative contracts and had a long-term plan to sell the company.
While they were still in charge, they were partying like it was 1999, jetsetting around the country, throwing lavish parties, and giving kickbacks to government officials. To me, a recent college graduate, it did not register immediately what I had gotten myself into. I looked around at the extravagance despite withering performance and saw it as the perks of putting up with late nights and short tempers.
Fast forward 3 years and I have made myself a staple at the company. I was executing on senior management’s strategy and sourcing my own deals. To be fair, I was not singlehandedly upholding the company. We were still dipping. In fact, activist investors had flipped a few board seats and were trying to oust the chairman of the board, which is the equivalent of a coup.
But even with all of that, I was definitely playing an outsized role in the corporate machine and thought it was time to get compensated.
I went to my boss with a request for promotion and a pay raise well in advance of my annual review. The day of my review my boss calls me into their office and tells me to close the door and have a seat.
Once seated, they say “I have something very important to ask you: can you get me a double scoop of pb ice cream from the place downstairs?” I was dumbfounded that they could trivialize something that meant so much to me but after a while I realized this was the price for putting my faith in questionable people for so long. Never ended up having my review, didn’t get promoted and was handed a slip that had a modest raise, but half of what I asked for.
Let me tell you something: I am a vindictive person. I decided right then and there I was going to get even with these guys. I thought getting even would look like finding a new job and satisfaction in my career. Little did I know that I would get much more than that. My actions were about to bring on a chain reaction of comeuppance.
I immediately began to look for new jobs.
Contacted a recruiter, who lined me up with several interviews, one of which was at a great boutique firm. Within 14 days, I had accepted the firm’s offer.
I then backed up data I had compiled over the past several years, containing records of my boss and the CEO’s exploits, including receipts, email chains and voicemails. Most not illegal, but definitely unethical. I definitely knew where the bodies were buried and I was going to keep as contingency, just in case I needed a trump card.
I gave my notice (which was awesome, I’ll never forget the look on my boss’s face) and left with a modest going away party.
That could have been it. It could have ended there and I would have been happy. But the universe had other plans.
Before starting at the new company, I received a call from an unknown number. It turned out it was one of the activist board members.
They had heard about me from a mutual friend and that I was leaving the company. They wanted me to meet at their office so they could learn why I was leaving. I told them I could meet them the next day. Sure enough, I sit down with them for hours, telling them about what’s going on at the company. At first, they nodded along in understanding but as I went deeper, their mouth shot open, aghast at the events I described.
At the end of our meeting, they said they wanted to connect me with a friend who would love to hear the story. That friend was the activist investor. We also met for hours, discussing the same events I had described to the board member. However, I brought along a prop to this meeting: the backed up folders supporting my claims. At the end of the meeting, they kept the files, which were added to their case against the current board.
Even with the information I supplied, the activist investor was a small time guy trying to take down a seasoned and well-connected chairman of a public company.
Nothing was going to happen. But everything changed with the 2019 “bug.” The company went into free fall, while management refused to adapt to the drastically changed circumstances.
Meanwhile, I kept in contact with the activist investor as they met with other investors, sharing snippets of the information I provided. I would clarify items as needed and was happy to do it, as I had made this my crusade at this point.
I’m doing all of this while working a new job, which I liked, but it paled in comparison to the thrill I was getting from actively participating in a proxy battle.
They were able to convince enough power players so that on the morning of the annual investor meeting, the chairman was voted out and the board was reconstituted under the board member who had initially reached out to me.
I got a thank you call and thought that was the end of my part in all this mess.
However, a few weeks later, the CEO was fired and was replaced by the new chairman. I get a call from them a few weeks into their tenure asking my opinion on members of the executive team. We get into it and after 3 hours we had outlined a complete restructuring plan. As I am about to wrap the conversation up, they say “but there’s one more piece to this: where do you want to fit in all of this?” Needless to say I was pretty stoked.
All in all, I got a substantial promotion and raise, which was more than enough to throw myself back into the belly of the beast.
I walk back into that office on my first day and no one knew it was coming. It was like they saw a ghost. But after my former and new coworkers recovered, they came by my office to piece together how I had managed to come back in a significantly improved position.
Everyone was in a great mood, at least for the first week.
The second week, we had layoffs. I watched people I had known, some that I had liked and some that were terrible, get called into the conference room by HR and get handed bankers boxes. I was not happy about complicating these people’s lives, especially during the 2019-bug.
All except my former boss. They had it coming.
When they walked back to their office to start clearing out, I got a look of recognition from him that I will remember to my last day. To me, it felt like they were thinking all of the ways they could have been a better boss, as to avoid this moment. To see this stoic person show so much emotion was jarring. I had been waiting for the better part of a year for this level of recognition, and the moment had arrived.
My new job has been even more than I expected! Things have continued to work out and I have been able to do even more for the company since I was empowered. And best of all, I don’t have to get ice cream anymore.”
1. Tattletale To The Police? He'll Find A Legal Loophole
“This happened a long time ago somewhere around 2012-2013.
Had a good friend with who I smoke with, and he had a friend named Jim. I didn’t see Jim very often because we lived in different cities, but every time I visited, we would smoke in the park. Well, near the park.
Jim was probably about the smartest guy that I’ve ever met, and if I met Einstein, it might be eenie meenie miney moe.
We called him Subsection 6 because he was always finding loopholes for absolutely everything. He’s the kind of guy that would read all the tax laws and interpretation bulletins and mold his life to that. He was one of the first people who was working from home. He had his printer in a different room than where he had his office so that he could claim more square footage as the home office.
He was that kind of guy. And he wasn’t an accountant or anything. He was an IT guy. He just read a lot.
One day, the three of us went down to the beach to smoke. In parks, you’re not allowed to smoke, but we grabbed our chairs and went anyways. The tide was low, so we went down just past the rocks where the sand started and smoked away.
That’s where I heard this story.
So remember Einstein told a story about if he had one hour to solve a problem to save his life, he would think of the proper question for 58 minutes? Well, Jim’s one of those kinds of guys that ask questions that we don’t think about. He looked around the park because he was busted one time, and he asked himself this question.
I can see the property line where the road is, I can see the property line where there’s a house next door, and he can see the property line where there was a hotel next. But where is the property line when you’re looking out at the ocean?
He did his homework, and he found out that while the city owned the foreshore, it was DFO that owns the ocean from the high tide line down.
That is crown land, and they don’t have a prohibition for smoking on the ocean. That is where we had our chairs the day he told me the story.
So he lives in a retirement city with lots of old ladies who have their morning walks the same time he has his morning cig. That’s how he got busted in the first place but he was ready after he did his research.
He used that printer that was in the other room, and he printed out the laws. He also made a phone call to one of his buddies who was a lawyer who knew a lawyer that did property stuff. I’m not talking about real estate transactions when you buy a house; I’m talking about property rights, air rights, things like that. A lot higher up in the food chain.
Top floor corner office kind of guy.
So depending on cigar you’re looking at 45 minutes to smoke a robusto to an hour and a half for a Churchill or anything bigger than that. Soon thereafter, the Karens came by complaining about him smoking in the park even though he was in the ocean. This was even years before anyone was called Karen!
So the Karens started bugging him and threatened to call police or bylaw, and he told them to go ahead.
He just started his cig, so he had plenty of time. He sent a message to his lawyer friend of a friend to give him a heads up he might be calling later. No problem.
Well, the Karens didn’t just call bylaw; they called the police. So Jim continued smoking a cig while he handed over the printout regarding foreshore ownership. It’s not fault of the police because they’re used to speeding and stuff like that, but they didn’t know this law.
Bylaw comes by and pretty much the same, so he gets on his phone shows them the lawyer’s website and makes the call.
Meanwhile, the cops and bylaw are phoning their supervisors about this as well.
Of course, the Karens are not happy, so they start complaining about the second-hand smoke, but they don’t have any legal basis.
Jim talks to the property rights lawyer on speakerphone, and he says for the police and bylaw supervisors to give him a shout, and he will enlighten them about where park property begins and end.
And of course, the best part of the story is that we were smoking a 10 year old Punch Churchill when he told me the story.
So the epilogue is that whenever he’s smoking at low tide and bylaw comes by (not just for him but for dogs and drinking and other stuff like that), they always shake their head and wave.
They told him they’ve had complaints about him smoking in the park, and they now ask where is the guy? In the park or down on the sand?
Because the sand isn’t the park. It’s the ocean.
So I just wanted to do a quick edit for a bunch of reasons.
As far as the printer and taxes go, I don’t know the whole story. What I do know is that he was Subsection 6, and not only did he discover the law that said below high tide was not the park, but he also read a lot of the interpretation bulletins from the tax authority.
He wouldn’t commit any tax fraud. He would use the rules to the full extent. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm what happened. I do know at this point he hasn’t been audited.
I’m a semi newbi,e and I got some anonymous awards, and it keeps telling me chat is not available so I can’t thank those people. I’ll keep trying.
Sometimes in your life, you meet someone, and you just go wow.
Jim was that guy. There’s a lot of things he didn’t have in his life, IE a woman and kids, but he lived his life like a how-to textbook. Everything was well thought out and structured. He was gregarious and kind and giving. That’s all I’m going to say.
So it appears that there are two flashpoints in the story, and I’d like to address both of those.
As far as taxes go, and I mentioned it before not only did Jim read the interpretive bulletins but knowing his thoroughness, he would have confirmed this.
I don’t know the whole story, but I do know we called him Subsection 6 for a reason. I know I just mentioned it above on my first edit, but there are still Americans saying that this is tax fraud, and I’m sorry, but I am not American, even though I live in North America. People around the world have different tax laws than you.
As far as secondhand smoke, anyone who lives on an ocean can tell you low tide can be a large area.
We didn’t get a GPS to figure out where the high tide line was and smoke right on the edge thumbing our noses to the people walking by on the path. We were far away from people because whether you are legally correct or not there’s always going to be people yapping and why wreck a nice peaceful cig by having people bother you?
Now if I’m on an inland lake, and I’m standing in water just below full bowl, that’s a lot closer to the park.
I’ve never actually done this on a lake because you have physical proximity.
I don’t like the smell of cigs, but if someone walks by my house smoking a cig, and I’m in the front yard, I have no legal recourse. That’s just the way it is. Would that person walking by on the road smoking a cig be a jerk? Not specifically. I would just move away even though it’s my property.
So one more little fact.
Jim lived in a apartment condo and smoking on his balcony, although legal, did cause complaints. In the wintertime, he smoked in his truck (yes, Febreze works; I’ve tried it myself), and in the summer, went to the park. In each situation, he was further away from people than if it was smoking on his balcony in the summertime.”
Another Users Comments:
“I worry that with all the people working from home, lots of people are going to get absolutely screwed by IRS audits of home offices.
I’m not a CPA or a lawyer, but from what I understand, putting your printer in another room is not enough to claim an expanded home office. You don’t get to put your computer in your living room, then claim the entire room as a home office. You’re supposed to use the area exclusively for work to claim a home office deduction. If you use it recreationally, you can’t claim it.
So sure, if he put the printer in a closet and doesn’t use the closet for anything else, including storage, then there’s probably an argument there, but just throwing it in another room and claiming both rooms as a home office probably will get you messed over, especially if it adds a significant amount of square footage to your home office to raise a red flag and get you audited in the first place.” ERRORMONSTER