People Get Real About Their Malicious Compliance Revenge Stories
24. I Can Only Choose One Job? Yeah, I'm Definitely Not Choosing This One...
“About 16 years ago, I was working as a greeter at Olive Garden as a second job just to make ends meet. The day before Mother’s Day I was about 10 minutes late punching into work.
I was coming from my primary job, changed clothes when I got there, and punched in. The manager immediately pulled me aside and said that I needed to be more courteous to my coworkers and show up on time as my being late affects other people.
I responded that I was aware and I did call in to let them know I would be late and that the person who answered was the person I was taking over for and that she said to take my time because she was just going home and spending the night in alone, no big deal.
The manager laid into me. She told me that I’m not the type of person that can hack having 2 jobs, that I was too inconsiderate to work 2 jobs, and that maybe I should choose which job I value more and quit the other one and that if I quit the Olive Garden that I would NOT be welcomed back.
Initially, I thought ‘well I’m not going to let you chase me away.’ But then I realized, this is a second job. I don’t have to be here. I don’t have to let her talk to me that way.
I went home and told my s/o (who also worked there as a second job) what was said. We mutually decided that I should quit the Olive Garden.
So I went in for my morning Mother’s Day shift wearing my street clothes, went to the back office to find the manager, and said ‘so, I put a lot of thought into what you said and have decided that you were right and working here, for you, is not for me anymore.’ She looked stunned and said ‘Well you’re going to work today, right? You know Mother’s Day is our busiest day of the year, you can’t just up and quit, today of all days!’ I said ‘Well maybe this will be a lesson for you on how to speak to your employees and how to be a decent human being. Besides, you said yourself I’m too inconsiderate to work here,’ and I walked out. Have not set foot in another Olive Garden since.”
23. I Need To Do My Job? No Problem, I'll Stop Doing You Favors
“I am an Assistant manager who works in the medical field. We have a patient that requires referrals to get treatment with us for some permanent injuries that require ongoing care (for pain management).
The doctor’s office that manages his case is really bad about communicating with us. I often had to call up to 4 times starting several times weeks ahead of time to make sure that his next referral would be in place and ready to go so he had no gaps in his treatment.
I have been doing this for him for over 2 years now.
A few weeks ago he comes in already in a foul mood. The person that is doing his treatment comes in the door right on time, sets her stuff down, and gets him started about a min and a half ‘after the start time’ of his appointment.
When the appointment finishes, from my seat at the front desk, I can hear him from all the way in the back of our office (about 100 yards away) yelling about her being late and her shorting him on treatment time.
(this was untrue she had actually given him just short of an extra 5 min since she didn’t have another person right after him). So I went back to try to calm him down.
He screamed at both of us for about 10min and then he started to get in my face. At that point, we both just start walking away from him (her to the back and me to the front) and he follows me screaming at me about how I need to do my job and make sure his referrals are ready to go and I am just not engaging anymore.
He finally leaves. This was the 3rd incident like this.
So a few weeks go by and he continues to come in (he never apologized to either of us for his behavior). Today I got to inform him that he is out of visits and there is no new referral in place.
He asks what the issue is and I calmly tell him that I have simply been doing my job which is to receive the referral, schedule the treatment and inform the referring office AFTER the final visit has been used.
It is not by job to stay on top of his Doctor’s office and make sure they do their job. I let him know since he was so insistent about it this is what I will be doing from now on. If he had issues with how his doctor’s office was managing his referrals he would need to speak to them about it. He left without saying anything.”
22. Don't Want Me Wearing A Kilt? Fine, I'll Wear Something More "Appropriate"
“I worked in a design firm, and I was lucky to have my own office, as this was a fairly small company (11 people). I am of Scottish origins and I am a lifelong Kilt wearer.
A Kilt is an article of clothing, much like pants, trousers, shirts, etc.
I’d managed to make the case to the company about letting me wear my kilts to work, as I would continue to dress ‘professionally’ and basically not make a fool of anyone.
They knew my work ethic and my professionalism… or so I thought.
This went on for a couple of years until one time there was this sort of fancy company dinner, it wasn’t really a black tie sort of affair but we were expected to attend very well dressed in formal attire, coat, ties, the works.
So I sent an email detailing how this would be a great opportunity to show the dressier side of a kilt with all the trimmings. What followed took me by surprise, as one of the bosses came directly to my office and asked me not to wear the kilt as it would be ‘unprofessional.’ I reminded him that I had been wearing my kilt to work, I had interacted with clients, etc.
and my professionalism had never been in question. By anyone. So I told him thanks for the suggestion but I will wear my kilt, it can be really dressy.
So he came back with ‘well, let me put it this way if you show up with your kilt you will put your position here in jeopardy.
This dinner is not the time to wear a costume.’
I blew my lid off and had a nice back and forth with him about how a kilt is an article of clothing, not a costume, not a skirt, not anything extravagant, and finally, it is my cultural attire.
So if you don’t want to face an EEOE (Equal Employment Opportunity Employer) for national origin discrimination, we could go ahead and threaten me with my job because you personally don’t like my kilt.
The tone changed immediately, no longer was I threatened with losing my job over a kilt, but the excuse now was that we would start keeping a close watch on what I do here.
And that was enough for me, I showed up to the dinner wearing vintage clothes, obviously so, as in mid-1960s Scottish Harris tweed jacket, whale corduroy pants, an also vintage 1950s woven necktie, and to top it off, I wore my 1930s paperboy hat.
I looked dapper and dressed to the nines, man did I look good.
Of course, that was not what the one boss was expecting and he was visibly annoyed, so much so that he called me for an aside and basically asked me WHAT?! I told him this was my formal attire, my dude, this is how I dress, I love vintage British style so I wore it since you objected to my kilt.
He was fuming the rest of the night, and by the way, no one batted an eye, in fact, a couple of compliments were received.
It was my way to say ‘screw you’ to the man.
By the way, I continued wearing my kilt at work until I was there no more.”
21. Don't Pay Me For My Extra Hours? I'll Let The Entire System Collapse
“I was a programmer working to build up a new department, where I was the only staff member other than my manager. My manager would talk to clients and I did everything else.
I had about 40 clients with websites getting information from 80ish satellite-communication sensor arrays with up-to-the-minute updates on those web pages (which I also built). I built a whole monitoring system to text or email me if there was an issue.
As more clients came online, the notifications of systems being unresponsive or missing data retrieval windows became more frequent, and I had to often log in after hours to fix things. I was mostly doing this because I cared about my work and I knew we were still ironing out issues.
When I would fix things after hours my manager was very stingy and told me unless it was more than an hour of work at once I should not get paid for that time.
I told him that it was getting to be a lot of little intervals in the evenings and weekends, and I should be paid to be on-call. He refused to discuss on-call, and even the few times he did get some of the evening time paid out it was my regular hourly rate – no extra pay for overtime.
I also found out a few months later that I was paid over $10k less than the salespeople selling the services I created.
So, I confront my manager about the on-call and overtime again.
I tell him that my time outside of work is being significantly affected by these after-hours issues (and waking me and my partner up in the middle of the night) and that he needs to pay me to do on-call.
I had done this for over a year now, with literally no breaks.
‘Well, it’s not really on-call,’ he says.
‘If something breaks in the evening, if I’m watching for it and then fixing it, what is that?’ I ask calmly.
‘You just… occasionally see if things are working and fix them if they’re broken, but that is not on-call. That’s just caring about your job while we get things working. We’re not paying you for after-hours work,’ he says.
‘Okay. I understand.’
That weekend, I turn off my phone, since I am not on call. A system that my system relied on goes down, and all of the data flow stops. Everything comes crashing down.
I turn on my phone Monday morning, and my phone tries to process over 1,100 text notifications and even more emails and freezes. I get to work and my manager’s phone is ringing off the hook and I can hear clients yelling at him on the phone.
He’s red like a tomato and freaking out. He demands to know what happened and why it has not been fixed yet.
I reply: ‘I don’t know. I wasn’t on-call.’ And I walk out of his office to leave him with the angry clients. I quit a month later.”
20. Blame Us For Your Badly-Behaved Kid? We Won't Let Her Do Anything Without Your Supervision
“I used to work at a camp as a children’s entertainer. (Animatieteam for the Dutch people).
One day, we had this girl come join us for archery. You had to pay €10 to join the archery activity.
We had one dude come over to teach it, my job was to basically babysit the kids (which is 90% of that job anyway, so that is all fine and well).
Now, this girl would not listen to me, or to the archery dude, whenever we said ‘wait until everyone has shot all their arrows and then go pick up your arrows’.
She would just shoot her arrows and immediately get them, while the other kids were still shooting. This is obviously very dangerous. After warning her multiple times, I decided that enough was enough and I told her to leave the activity.
Fast forward a couple of hours. I just finished another activity and I see her and her mom coming toward me. Now I’ve seen this before, and generally, I get the ‘Now what do you say’ ‘Sorry’ ‘What? I can’t hear you’ ‘Ugh…
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case here. It was the opposite. The mom wanted me to apologize to her daughter, and then also give her her money back. Neither of which obviously was gonna happen.
But it gets worse. Apparently, this girl stole €50 from her mom’s purse, then decided to pay for her archery thing at the service desk, and with the leftover €40 she went to the shop and bought €40 worth of candy.
And the mom wasn’t mad at her, she was mad at us, for allowing her to buy that much candy and buy a ticket to the archery thing without her permission. It was all our fault.
So we all came together and decided that if that was the case, she would not be allowed to do anything without her mom’s permission.
Going to buy some bread at the little shop in the morning? Better get your mom.
Want to join the arts and craft hour? Not without your mom’s permission. Want to pay a 1 euro deposit on a locker for the swimming pool? Nope.
They quickly tried to backtrack, but we didn’t. The mom had to constantly supervise her daughter. Which means she was also witnessing all her bad behavior. It was still all our fault though.”
19. Not Allowed To Help Customers? You'll Regret That
“So about 10 years ago I worked at a supermarket, was working there for half a year or so already. Now I’m one of those people that remembers exactly where stuff is and can direct people there the fastest way possible.
Customers at one point started to recognize me and come to me when they wanted to find something cause well I was the fastest to help and also the most eager and friendly according to customer reports.
One day I was working the same evening shift I always work but there was a different floor manager (FM) who was either new or didn’t work that shift before and didn’t know who I am.
She seemed friendly at the start but at one point I figured out she was really controlling and constantly checking what the employees were doing.
So I was filling a rack with new products, when you’re done you’re supposed to straighten them and put everything in FIFO (for first in, first out) order.
While I got done with the filling I wasn’t done with FIFOing yet when a customer came to me and asked where a certain product was, I helped them get it and was maybe gone for less than a minute.
Got back to where I was working and got an angry FM in my face that I should finish the rack before I go on to do different stuff, tried to explain I was helping a customer but she wouldn’t hear anything of it and I got written up.
Cue malicious compliance.
The next night she was there again as the FM and seeing as it was a slow night there were only two other fillers there, me and a 16-year-old who started working there 3 days before.
That night I got one of the largest aisles to fill so I was quite busy filling, straightening, and sorting stuff out. Multiple customers came to me to ask for help. I just replied that I’m not allowed to do that by the FM and that they should ask someone else, 2 of the customers went to the 16-year-old, who didn’t know where stuff was and it took him 5 min trying to figure it out before he asked FM for help.
All the others went to the service desk to ask for help. But most of them complained to the FM or the service desk that they thought it was ridiculous that I couldn’t help them.
Apparently, the store manager got wind of it because a week later the same FM was back but she told me to help customers whenever I can and she mostly stayed away from me.
The next night the store manager was there too and he told me that he explained to her that customers always come first before finishing whatever I’m working on. After that, I never saw her on my shifts again and apparently, she left/was fired (I don’t know) a month later because I heard she didn’t work there anymore. Also, a store-wide memo was sent out that a new rule would be added to the rulebook: customers should always come first.”
18. Insist On Calling Me On My Days Off? Then I Insist On Getting Paid For Them
“Years ago, I worked in the energy industry. My location was manned by a single person, working 10-hour days, with 8 days on and 6 days off. In the off hours, automation kept things running.
During those 8 days, I was on call, so if there was a problem at the location, I was required to drop what I was doing and either log in to fix some issues or drive the 50 miles out to the facility to fix the problem.
Company policy stated that if there was a call, regardless if it warranted a response to drive out, or if we could handle it remotely through our computer, we got paid for a minimum of 2 hours at a time and a half.
After a particularly rough shift with lots of nights spent on location, I went on a much-needed set of days off. On my first day off, my counterpart on the other shift called with questions about the problems I had had.
I answered and went about resting. The next day, I decided to take a break and go off-grid for the day. When I returned, I had a number of calls from my boss.
When I called him back, he reprimanded me and told me that I was an on-call employee so I need to answer when called. Annoyed, I just said ok but asked him to follow that up with an email which he did.
We talked more about the problems for about 10 minutes and hung up. That evening, my counterpart called 3 more times, and we talked through some ideas for fixing it. Over the next 4 days I had off, he, my boss, and others working on the issue called many times.
Now, remember when my boss said I was an on-call employee and I was required to answer? I added each call to my timesheet. At the end of my 6 days off, I had made just as many hours as I would in my 8-day shift.
At the end of the pay period, I was called into the office where he and the district manager demanded that I explain the ‘Excessive callouts’. I provided the email sent to me by my boss as well as the company policy for calls.
They said that was a pretty wide interpretation of both. I countered and said that I had been called and I answered as required by my boss’s email, so per policy, I was entitled to callout pay.
They disagreed and called in the Vice President and HR who surprisingly, agreed with me. I was paid out for the time, and the rule became that you were only to call off-duty employees in dire emergencies. I was never called on my days off again.”
17. I'm Sorry, I Don't Talk To Strangers
“This happened when I was like 13. My niece and nephew’s grandma was over at my sister’s while I was there as well (I was staying a week). Their grandma was a sweet woman but very particular about only gifting things to ‘her grandkids’ but also expecting everyone to do anything she asked.
I was raised to respect my elders and be helpful so I bit my tongue when she took the kids for ice cream but left me out. I was helpful and put away her dishes from lunch even when she came back with toys for them and still nothing for me.
I kept telling myself not to expect anything from anyone because I’m not entitled to anything. I played with my niece and nephew for hours with their new toys and was so excited for them.
I was glad they got spoiled for the day.
When she started asking me if I liked parks and swings I got hopeful, they talked with my sister and BIL about taking the kids to the park the next day.
My sister asked the grandma if she was gonna take me along since I had said I liked the park. She said ‘oh of course not, she’s not my family.’ That hurt. I knew it was true but it hurt.
And I got mad.
So the next morning when she came for the kids and I was making my BIL coffee she asked me to put 2 sugars in hers. She never asked me to make her a cup so I just ignored her and brought my BIL his and sat down.
She asked where hers was and I just told her ‘oh I only make coffee for family.’ She knew what I meant and tried to backtrack and say that we are family and that she hadn’t meant what she said the night before.
I just replied ‘I’m sorry I don’t talk to strangers’ and I walked out of the room. My BIL laughed so hard and told his mom ‘well what do you think she’s gonna say when you go around saying she’s not your family?’ For the whole 3 days she visited, that’s all I would say or respond with till my sister finally asked me to knock it off.”
16. I Need To Talk To That Employee? Sure, I'll Just Direct Her Back To You
“I work in security for a major US manufacturer which, despite all its flaws, is a much better job than any I’ve held in the past. After I was hired, my manager warned me that HR has an outsized role in the company compared to others I may have encountered.
I haven’t necessarily noticed this myself, but I’ve only been with the company for a short time. Regardless, I always take HR concerns to heart, because I like this job and don’t want to jeopardize it.
Now the strangest thing about this job, to my mind, is that employees do not have access to the company’s policies. I have asked for a copy of the employee policy manual more than once, and have been repeatedly told that such a thing doesn’t exist.
One day, I was working at the front security desk when the HR Manager, Karen (not her real name, but her real temperament), approaches and starts chatting with me. Everything was pleasant until an employee entered the building wearing pajamas.
Karen starts fuming and tells me that I need to go say something to the young lady about her pajamas. I ask why and Karen turns her jerkiness towards me with ‘because it’s against company policy, and I said so.’
OK, got it.
No problem. I go and flag down the young lady and tell her ‘Those pajamas look very comfortable, but the HR manager would like to have a word with you about them,’ and point to Karen.
I go back to my chair and the young lady approaches Karen, who is acting flabbergasted that she’s going to have to deal with this. Karen manages to mumble her way by telling the young lady that her clothes are inappropriate and against policy.
The young lady asks to see said policy. The pair head back toward, presumably, the HR offices, and I go back to whatever it was I was doing.
The next day, my big boss (who is my manager’s manager, and is about three levels higher than Karen in the corporate structure) calls me into his office and asks why Karen wants me written up for ‘insubordination.’ Having only had one interaction with Karen that day, I tell him about what happened.
He basically tells me not to worry about anything, that he will handle it, and that I will not be written up.
The next day, the security office and every security post has a memo posted from my big boss.
I don’t remember it word for word, but the gist of it said ‘We are paid to handle security and emergencies only. We do not handle policy enforcement. If you are approached about a policy violation, you are to direct that person to their manager or HR.’
I’ve only seen Karen a few times since that day, but every time I have, she has flat-out ignored me.”
15. Want To Know What's Wrong With Your Restaurant? You Won't Like My Answer
“I just started at a new restaurant. I’ve come from several corporate companies, but this place was a second store of a mom-and-pop company. I’ve always been a server, but I was hired as a bartender (important for later).
In the interview, the two owners tell me that they’re looking to make the place more professional and turn some things around. Get hired on the spot to come in the next day.
I come in, no one knows anything. I’m not on the schedule, my trainer is late, there isn’t a manager, and the owners are nowhere to be found. When I actually start working, I’m just thrown in, expected to make drinks, take orders, know the kitchen, everything.
No biggie, I jump in and do what I gotta do. Some highlights: the staff is drinking on the job, not measuring any liquor, giving out free drinks, not checking IDs, and closing the restaurant 2 hours early, etc.
The next day, the only server scheduled for the dinner shift is running late. The morning server asks me to fill in until he gets there, so I end up just covering the entire floor (about 10 tables) by myself on my second day in training.
The owners tell me (over the phone) how awesome I am for jumping in and covering this, and I’m exactly what they need to fix the restaurant.
On day 3, they call me into the office to check in and see how everything is going.
I tell them that I’m confused and I need recipes for the drinks since only one bartender knows any recipes. They ask me what I’ve noticed is wrong and tell them what the other bartenders are doing that’s not supposed to happen.
I tell them honestly about the lack of controls, the lack of recipe cards, and the closing early. They blame it all on the bartenders and thank me. Tell me that I need to keep an eye out and stay in touch with what’s going wrong in the bar.
Cue malicious compliance. I tell them straight up that the problem is the lack of management. That if they want recipe cards, training procedures, or drink standards, they either need to do it themselves or pay a bartender manager wages to do it.
That it isn’t the bartender’s fault that these things are wrong, and they needed to step up. After a long, unproductive, unprofessional conversation, the owner told me to get out of his restaurant right now and never come back.
So I did. And I took the other two bartenders on shift with me, leaving them with no one in the restaurant to serve. They wanted to tell me that I’m ‘too ignorant’ about running a restaurant, but they get to figure out how to run their own restaurant now.”
14. Don't Want To Accept The Discounted Price? Hope You Like Paying More!
“Once upon a time, I was working a seasonal retail job at a craft store chain. It is important to note that for the purposes of their sales, Lighted Tree Toppers, Lighted Decorations, String Lights, etc., were all separate categories.
On this fateful day, Lighted Tree Toppers were on sale for 30% off. The rest of the lighted decor on that aisle was not. The sales were VERY clearly marked and the sections were designated clearly as well as the category printed on the package itself.
It is even listed in the email that Karen was using to present her coupon.
Karen approaches my register with her tree topper. The register recognizes the discounts and applies them automatically in most instances, this being no exception.
The 30% applies itself.
‘Your total will be $18.90.’
Karen then presents her 20% off coupon.
‘I’m sorry ma’am. This coupon is not applicable to sale items.’
‘Those aren’t on sale. The lights aren’t on sale this week.’
I show the copy of our sale bulletin on my counter.
‘I apologize for the confusion ma’am. This actually falls under the tree-topper category. You’ll see here it’s 30% off. I won’t be able to apply the coupon, but you will be getting the already discounted sale price.’
‘I am telling you I don’t want any sale! You are going to take my coupon!’
I should probably mention she was in at least once weekly, yelled about sales and coupons every single time, and then declared she was never coming back.
Only to be back the following week to do the same.
‘Ma’am. I would have to manually override the sale price and apply the coupon manually as well.’
‘Then do it! I’m telling you it is not on sale and I am using my coupon or I am reporting you!’
If you insist.’
I got visual confirmation from my supervisor in the way of a hand signal we used to mean, ‘Go ahead.’ She was not too happy when I did exactly as she demanded…
and her total came to $21.60
‘You’re stealing from me! I demand to speak to a manager! I’m never coming back here again.’
My shift supervisor had been on the next register over the whole time to combat the afternoon rush.
That’s how she managed to give the visual approval at the moment. She took great joy herself in telling Karen, ‘You have the exact discounted price you demanded. You can pay for it or leave. Oh, you’re never coming back? Do you promise?’
Karen paid her $21.60 with her head hung.
She was back next week.”
13. Wear Clothes That Are Too Small On Me? Hope Everyone Enjoys The Fashion Show
“My mother and stepfather got married more than 10 years ago, and the stepfamily has been really awful to me since day one. Why? They’re all into various types of sports ball, and I’m into all kinds of music.
I’ve stopped trying to be a part of whatever they do because they’ve actively kept me out of their plans and I’m just sick of trying.
My stepfather occasionally buys me stuff to keep the uneasy peace, but he just never listens.
I went from scrawny to skinny over the past few years, which means I went from wearing a size M shirt to XL for the last 4 years. I’ve told him this, and my mom’s told him this, but again, listening is an issue.
So he always buys shirts that are waaaaaay too small for me, and I never wear them.
A few years back he got me a few t-shirts for Christmas, all a size too small.
A few months later my mom mentioned that my stepfather was unhappy with the fact that I don’t wear what he bought me. I told her it was too small, and she doesn’t believe it, so I maliciously complied:
Stepfather’s birthday comes around, and we’re all going out to dinner to celebrate.
All the immediate family will be there, so guess what I’m wearing to the dinner? As soon as I walked into the restaurant I knew I’d struck a home run. Not a word was said about my appearance during the dinner, but on the way out my mom approached me and said ‘You don’t have to wear those shirts again, they don’t look good on you.’ Who’d’ve guessed it…
Here’s the ongoing part: Stepfather took a tour abroad a few weeks back and brought back some souvenirs. Surprise surprise, I got t-shirts. And they’re 2 sizes too small this time. Guess what I’m wearing to our next family get-together?”
12. Fine, I'll Process This Return
“I worked at a blue electronics retailer in the early 2000s. One of our managers, Jim, was an all-around garbage person, but especially known for tearing down employees in front of angry customers to ‘defuse’ the situation.
I worked in computers but was helping customer service process returns during a busy period.
Returns are opened, checked out, and tagged with a discount, which varied depending on if parts, manuals, etc. were missing.
The return is then sealed with tamper-resistant tape with the store logo. A customer from further back in the line sees me go through this process, and asks in a shaky voice, ‘Uhhh…
do you check every item?’ I replied that yes, we do.
Moments later, it was his turn. He was returning a DVD burner. I opened the box to find no product, no packing materials, no manual, nothing…
except a half-empty jar of peanut butter, presumably for weight.
I informed him – politely – that I could not process the return. He stated that it was ‘like that’ when he bought it.
I explained calmly that not only do we check and reseal all returns, as he’d just seen, but that this was a new product, and we had only ever sold one. Specifically, I sold it – to him.
This was confirmed on the receipt and store records, which I showed him.
He proceeded to have the most forced and unconvincing Karen meltdown of my career, which is saying something. I made no insinuation that he had essentially stolen the item, but the angry customers behind him were doing a fine job of that for me.
Eventually, he yells, ‘This is nonsense! I want to speak to a m–‘
And right on time, here comes Jim out of the back. He makes a big show about how sorry he is, and how rude and incompetent I am.
The other customers are losing it, and throwing out jabs like, ‘I have to pay for my items, why doesn’t he?’ Jim ignores this, as he knows I’ll have to deal with them, and he won’t.
He then processes the return himself, continues to talk trash about me to the ‘customer,’ issues a full refund, and throws the box in the trash.
After I handle the rest of the line, I retrieve the box.
After all, this was a returned item and is now in-store inventory. As per policy, I seal the box and label it with a detailed tag: NO DVD BURNER, NO CABLES, NO SOFTWARE, NO MANUALS, NO PACKING MATERIALS.
EMPTY BOX CONTAINING A HALF-EMPTY JAR OF PEANUT BUTTER. PRICE: 10¢. I place the box back on the shelf.
Now back in computers, it doesn’t take long before a customer approaches me with the box.
He had not read my carefully prepared open item tag, so I explain the entire story to him, and that ‘in accordance with company policy…’ I may have relayed some of Jim’s commentary regarding my character.
He is understandably upset and asks for our corporate number. Right away, sir!
That afternoon, I had a very interesting meeting with Jim, my store manager, and my district manager. I wish I could tell you that Jim got fired, but he didn’t. He did have his bonus ‘adjusted,’ and attended a few weeks of customer service training, and a mandatory training seminar on sensitivity training.
Jim never spoke one word to me again.”
11. Can't Quit Until My Uniform Is Returned? Here Ya Go!
“So back when I was a teenager around 14 years old I worked for the shop down the road as their weekend ‘baker’ which was mainly just defrosting pre-cooked items or browning pre-cooked bread in the ovens.
My boss’s daughter also worked there as a checkout staff, however, she would just call in sick/hungover every weekend so, of course, her dad would let her off the hook and make me cover her shift, so I would work 5 am to 7 pm most weekends.
After a couple of years, I decided I was quitting and gave them my 2 weeks’ notice. My boss asked me to stay an extra week to train the new weekend baker which I agreed to.
At the end of the 3rd week, I went into my boss’s office and did the usual ‘Well it’s been great working with you’ to which he replies ‘So OP the extra week you worked to train the new baker means you have been here two years, which means according to the policy you need to work 4 weeks notice instead so I’ll see you next week.
Also, you need to give us back your uniform on your last shift, and it needs to be freshly cleaned.’
Being a petulant teenager who was tired of waking up at 4 am I stared at him in disbelief for a couple of seconds waiting for the menacing grin on his face to laugh and say ‘just kidding have a good one’.
That moment didn’t come.
So I walked out of the office, stripped down to my boxers, folded up my baker’s whites, my trousers, and even the little mesh fedora on top, walked into his office again and dropped the uniform on his desk, and walked home.
He followed me downstairs and through the shop shouting about how I would never work anywhere again. Thinking back that must have been a strange thing for customers to see. (it was a 10-minute home walk in the summer sun nothing arduous) Apparently according who his daughter who got back in touch with me a couple of years later I’m now one of the stories my old boss tells people when he’s had a few drinks (Not in a nice funny story way).”
10. You Told Us It's Break Time, So I'm Taking My Break
“I worked the 3rd shift at a beverage manufacturing facility as a maintenance tech. Now, 3rd shift didn’t always run production, but when it did you best believe we had to be on top of any calls that came in.
Very high pressure to keep the lines running.
We were pretty laid back on third and got along well. So whenever possible, we techs took our breaks at the same time so we could have some kind of camaraderie.
Stayed on top of calls, kept up on PM work, and basically did what we had to to keep the plant going. We often did our paperwork on break as well, just to save time and keep caught up.
Well, apparently the day shift production boss came in early one day and didn’t like seeing us all in the breakroom together. Now, mind you that the break room is literally just off of the production floor, up one flight of steps, and has windows.
We KNEW when a call came in, and one of us would be Johnny on the Spot and catch the call.
The next week, however, a nice policy came out that we now had assigned break times, neatly listed on a sheet of paper.
Of course, no one was scheduled at the same time. We were pretty honked off about it and protested that calls were handled in a timely fashion, and that 3rd is bad enough without having someone to chat with.
Nope, management didn’t want to hear it. (For the record, our immediate manager had no problem with us taking breaks together. He knew that we were on the job, but it was out of his hands.)
Now, I’m sure you can see where this is going already, and if so, you are way ahead of management.
Oh yes, cue the Malicious Compliance with a smile!
It only took till the second day for everyone to be tied up on a call.
I’m elbows deep in a machine that has the entire bottling line down.
I look at the clock and literally DROP my tools and walk off, with the production supervisor asking me where I’m going.
‘It’s my assigned break time, I’ll be back in 15 minutes!’
Over the next couple of days, the other guys had the opportunity to do the same. We absolutely loved every minute of it. We also stopped doing paperwork on breaks, if we were on break we were not doing ANYTHING else.
We got a ‘talking to’ at the end of the week, but we were firm about ‘if it’s break time, we’re taking a break. You TOLD us we HAVE to.’
Next week the sheet wasn’t up, and the boss told us to carry on as usual. He DID ask that we try not to be all in the breakroom at the same time, but whatever. We never did the paperwork again on break either. Good times.”
9. Don't Approve My Overtime? I'll Just Go Home Early
“This took place in the 1990s when a T1 (1.5 Mbps data connection) would run you over $500 a month and only the phone company and a few very large, data-centric companies would even dream of having a T3 (43 Mbps).
I was working for one of those telephone companies in the central office where we provisioned and trouble-shot those very lucrative services. There were 4 people in my department, making it one of the larger such offices in the state.
One day there was one person on vacation, and another one out of the office for some other reason, tech #3 called in sick. I was alone for 8 hours with the workload of 4 technicians.
Well, as a good employee, I prioritized and got all the trouble tickets done, and all of the most urgent new services installed. Everything due that day was done. But in the process, I missed my two 15-minute breaks and worked through lunch.
My supervisor came down at the end of the day to congratulate me for my good work, and he was watching me fill out my timesheet for 9 hours. He started to get a little panicky and said he couldn’t approve overtime.
He would get in trouble. I reminded him that I had just spent 9 hours doing the work of 4 people (32 hours worth of work) but he said it wasn’t approved. I said, what can we do then? I worked it, I need to get paid.
He suggested I leave an hour early on Friday. So I agreed.
Come Friday, I decided to take full advantage and only take a half-hour lunch so I could leave at 3:30 instead of 4:00.
Well guess what? The vacationer and the sick person had not returned so it was just two of us. The other person disappeared at 1:30 or so. I found out later she was interviewing for a management position.
At 3:00 I got paged for a ticket on one of those very expensive T3s ‘down hard.’ I was to join a conference bridge to assist in troubleshooting. I joined the call, then at 3:25, I said, sorry, I have to drop off.
I’m not approved for any overtime. The night shift person will be here in half an hour to help. I dropped off, knowing the night person on duty had never worked on a T3 before.
I hadn’t even reached my car when the pager started blowing up. Overtime is approved, please stay on. But I had already clocked out and so I just smiled and got into my car. Drove home and took my wife out for a long overdue date night.”
8. Don't Think My Art Is Good? Watch It Get Featured In The Biggest Gallery In The Country
“The school I go to is well respected in my country, so it was not uncommon for venues to request to display a student’s work or to ask for students to sing live for them.
On the occasion in question, the largest art gallery in the country (gallery X) had asked my school to submit ‘inspired art’ to be out on display. The school agreed and said that they would submit 5 pieces of work (one piece per year for years 9-13).
I hated art growing up but it was a mandatory subject until you got to choose your subjects in year 10. Needless to say, I dropped the subject ASAP. Despite hating the subject, I still put effort into my work and some of it wasn’t that bad.
However, at the same time, I would not hide away from expressing my views when we were given a task that I didn’t see a point to, even if the teacher was in earshot.
Needless to say, my relationship with the art department faculty wasn’t the best. My teacher at the time particularly had it in for me. He was one of those teachers that has the view that their subject should be your most important subject, regardless of your future ambitions.
If he thought that you weren’t prioritizing art then he would make your life heck. Yet again, I hated art as a subject, he knew this, but I would still do any work to the best of my ability.
We had just finished a project where we had to mix different pigments to create our own unique color. Being color-blind I struggled a lot as I literally could not differentiate between half of the pigments.
I gave it my all but ended up giving up halfway through the project. My teacher hated me for giving up. In his defense, he had tried to make it as easy as possible for me, but I hated the subject and saw a way out so I took it.
My teacher was beyond mad. When we went to hand the project in he gave me a lecture about how I need to put in more effort and work harder because the quality of my work was unacceptable.
Remember, I literally couldn’t see half of the project.
Once that project was finished, my teacher told us that gallery X has asked that we create some ‘inspired art’. We were basically shown 5 different paintings that we were supposed to recreate in our own way.
There was a big fuss about this. People were saying that art schools would be giving out scholarships, that there was a $10,000 reward and other nonsense that 14-year-olds make up. But nevertheless, everyone wanted to be the one to have their painting in gallery X.
So for the next month and a half in my art classes we would work on our piece. After the first week of working on my piece, the excitement of the new project wore off and so did my eagerness in lessons.
My teacher noticed this and went from complimenting my work to yelling at me about what I was doing wrong. By the 4th week, I was over the project and just wanted to be done with this.
With 2 weeks left on the project, my teacher pulls me aside to tell me that my work isn’t good enough and I need to improve it. I tried to improve but he kept on belittling me.
So out of arrogance and spite, I made art my most important subject until the end of this project.
I drag myself to each lesson, quietly working myself to the bone, counting down the days until the deadline of the project.
After what seemed like a year to 14yo me, the second last lesson arrives. This lesson was not for final touches or anything like that. My teacher had decided that he should review what each student has done well and where they could have improved.
He walks around the classroom, complementing everyone’s work, until he gets to mine.
I don’t remember exactly what he said but I’m pretty sure none of it was positive. I do remember however how he finished talking about mine.
‘You can tell that OP hasn’t given this any thought and hasn’t taken this seriously.’ That stung because yes I had lost interest in it, but I had still worked hard in lessons and given it my best shot.
The bell then went and I sulked out of the class with my tail between my legs.
The last lesson finally comes and I can’t wait to be over with this stupid project. This lesson was the big one too, the judges from gallery X were coming to school to judge all of the work.
They come into our class, do all the formalities, ‘These all look so good! I have no idea how we can decide on only one!’ etc… Then they start walking around the room muttering to each other.
The whole class is stood silently at the back trying to hear what they are saying. They do a full lap of the room, then walk back over to my spot. I don’t even notice this as I had tuned out after they had looked at the second painting.
They then ask the teacher whose work they are standing over, he looks at them almost in disbelief as he gestures to me. I snap out of my daydream and just smile politely with no idea what is going on.
The judges then confer for a while, whilst my teacher and I frantically try and figure out what is going on. Finally, after about 5 minutes of mumbling, they say that they want to shortlist it to potentially be shown in gallery X.
I look on at them in shock, then yet again smile politely and say thank you. I cannot begin to describe the look on my teacher’s face. I don’t think I have ever seen someone more confused, angry, and disappointed all at the same time.
My teacher then begrudgingly thanks the judges and walks them to the door. He thanks them again as they leave then stumbles back to the class. He doesn’t even congratulate me on my work he just defeatedly says, ‘Good work everyone.
As a reward, I’ll put on a documentary for you all to watch.’ And he did just that not saying another thing until the end of class.
Later on that week I got an email from gallery X asking for my permission to display my work, to which I happily said yes.
To sum it up, the work that he disrespected and said that no effort went into, was selected from 192 others, and got featured in the biggest art gallery in the country.”
7. Can't Price Match? Luckily, There's A Way Around That
“Back in mid-October 2019, I purchased a new Microsoft Surface Pro 7 from a warehouse club known for great food samples. The awesome computer still works just as great to this day. When the sales flyer came out for November, my new computer was going to be on sale for $200 off the purchase price.
Sweet, I’ve still got the receipt, I’ll just get $200 back.
I go into customer service with my receipt and the flyer. The CS rep looks at them, looks it up on the computer, and says she can’t do it.
I’m a little surprised, I’ve had the computer for 2 weeks. The rep asks her manager to come over, who explains to me that due to fraud issues they’ve had, they cannot price match their flyer.
The manager states that he can process a return for the item. I tell him that I really don’t want to return the item because 1) all my personal info is now stored in it and 2) it was a waste for the company to have to take back my used computer and sell me a new one at a lower price.
I explain this to the manager but tell him for $200, I’m not going to just let this go without a resolution. He reiterates ‘I can process a return for A laptop’. He really emphasized the ‘a’, and did not say ‘your’.
The lightbulb goes off. I look at my receipt and realize that they do not track serial numbers with purchases. I thank the manager for his time and walk inside the store. I get an exact duplicate of my new computer and purchase it for $200 less than what I originally paid.
I then take the new-unwrapped computer and get back in the return line. I get a different rep altogether and tell her I’d like to return this laptop. I hand her the unit I just purchased, with my receipt for the more expensive computer.
She looks it up and realizes that I’ve bought 2 of the computers, including one just minutes before. She calls over the manager who looks at me, nods, smiles, and processes the return for the higher-priced computer.
I got a refund for the more expensive price, didn’t have to turn in my computer with personal information, and because I never opened the new one, the company didn’t get screwed out of a new computer and was able to put it right back into their new stick.”
6. Need Proof I Attended A Funeral? Here You Go, And Also, I Quit
“My boss Bob was a jerk to me on a good day. I was the only woman working in the warehouse, and he always treated me differently even though my work ethic was no different than my other two coworkers.
The two other guys I worked with called him ‘old fashioned’ which I think was code for ‘racist, sexist, and homophobic, but he’s old so we’ll give him a pass.’
Anyway, when you have a big Irish Catholic family, sometimes you just have bad years where it seems like more people pass away than normal.
2014 was one of those years for me. Two of my relatives passed away in two weeks, and we lost others that year too, but it just so happened that those two funerals were on consecutive Fridays.
The first funeral was for my Mom’s cousin K who passed out of nowhere from a heart attack. We were all surprised and hurt by her passing, and I get news that her service will be that Friday.
Okay, cool. I go to my boss and tell him I’ll have to use one of my bereavement days to attend a funeral. This is where the nonsense starts.
He asks me who passed, and I tell him.
He then tells me (very rudely I might add) that if I had even read the employee handbook I would know that bereavement days are only for if the employee’s parents, grandparents, and children die.
I say ok, no problem, sorry I didn’t know the policy. I then tell him I’ll be taking a vacation day then. He tells me that if I’m requesting a vacation day for a funeral, I have to provide HIM (not HR) with a copy of the obituary.
Not knowing any better, I say okay. That night, I go home, take a photo of the obit my ma had clipped, emailed it to him, got my day off, and I thought all was well.
But that weekend, my Aunt L passed away. L wasn’t my biological aunt, she was actually my cousin’s grandmother. BUT, my cousin and I were very close growing up and we spent a ton of time at each other’s houses.
Aunt L was around a ton when I was growing up, and she passed after battling cancer. I was devastated.
I went into work that Monday a complete emotional mess, and let my boss know that unfortunately, my family had experienced another loss and that we didn’t know yet when the service would be but I just wanted to let him and my team know that I might have to take another vacation day this week.
As I’m telling my boss this I am crying, and he sort of watches me blurt all this stuff out stony-faced. He just says ‘okay’ and sends me on my way.
Later that day I get an email from him, with a request for a copy of an obituary.
I go into his office and tell him I don’t have a picture of the obituary in the paper, but I have the funeral home’s website that I can show him since my cousin shared it on his social media which also announced that her funeral service would be that Friday.
He loses his crap. He starts throwing these insane accusations at me, like that Aunt L has a different last name than me, so clearly I’m not actually related to her and don’t know who she is.
He said that he won’t believe a post on social media about someone I don’t even know dying, and that there was no way he was going to give me two Fridays off in a row to ‘go to funerals’ (he did air quotes at that, what a crap face).
It’s the beginning of busy season there and we are don’t-have-time-to-take-a-pee swamped and he says I’m taking this time off to screw over the business and my coworkers because I’m a lazy millennial.
He accuses me of making fake posts to try and get a three-day weekend, instead of just… requesting vacation time like a normal human being?
I just walked out crying, I’m sad to say I didn’t have the mentality then to defend myself or tell Bob to go screw himself.
Later that day I went and explained to HR what was happening and she got everything straightened out and I got my Friday off, as a bereavement day no less. But I was angry and upset, and I formulated a plan fueled entirely by pettiness.
Firstly, I dug out my childhood photo albums and took out every picture with Aunt L, myself, my brother, and my cousin. My nan loves scrapbooking so luckily she always took a ton of pictures at family events and gave us disposable cameras all the time.
Secondly, I bought a newspaper that had her obituary in it. Third, I took screenshots of her social media page, with a ton of people with my last name writing ‘goodbye’ posts on her wall, including my own post.
Then, on the Friday of her funeral, I took an extra prayer card.
That following Monday, I went into work with my folder full of Aunt L. I made copies of everything on the work copiers (which was a fireable offense at that job) and put it all into a binder (that I took from the supply closet for maximum petty points).
Then I walked into my boss’s office.
I had had all weekend to think about this epic speech I was going to give him about what a jerk he was, but when I got in there I sadly lost some steam and just awkwardly said, ‘Bob, I quit.
You’re a jerk, dude.’ I put the binder on his desk, walked to my desk, packed my things, and left.
I got calls from the HR Lady for weeks asking me to come back, but eventually, I stopped answering her calls.
I heard they hired two temporary workers for the summer to help out.
Even though it was dumb for me to quit with nothing else lined up, I found another job pretty quickly, and I no longer had to work for a complete jerk.
I actually really like my boss now.
Just this year, I found out from a former coworker that the company had gone under and was bought by another company. And that my old jerk boss was forced into early retirement because the new company looked through his records and saw he had several complaints over the decades he worked there and decided they didn’t want to deal with him.”
5. I Can't Eat Here? Well, There Is One Place I Can, But You Won't Like It
“I have 2 part-time jobs as a library assistant for two separate libraries in my area. The first one is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had! It’s a small library but super fun, love my co-workers and my trustees are usually pretty cool.
The second one….. Well, it’s a larger library, my co-workers are super nice but one of my trustees does NOT like me. I’ve been here almost a year and she seems like she is out to get me, well yesterday kind of proved it.
So one of our most frequently broken rules is that you’re not allowed to eat in the library, you can have food in the conference room if there is an event or you’re staff.
Here’s the problem, I only work solo shifts and the conference room is on the exact opposite side of the library (seriously the front desk is in the front left side of the building and the conference room is on the back right side.) So if I go to eat my dinner in there and a patron (how we refer to customers because they don’t really purchase anything) comes in then it takes me a minute to reach them or I risk them having to come find me because I didn’t hear the Bell on the door so typically I eat my dinner at the desk for maximum customer service.
My boss (head librarian) understands this and has no problem with this as long as I clean up.
Well, yesterday one of my favorite patrons came in, he is super nice and owns an old-fashioned candy shop up the road.
Now he’s tried to tip me before but I have told him I can’t because I’ll get in trouble so the last couple of times he has been in he has given me a candy bar as a thank you.
Sometimes it’ll be one he made (his caramel pretzels are AMAZING) but sometimes he just brings me a Snickers or something (he will only bring me the pretzels and homemade stuff if they’re fresh, seriously he makes the pretzels by hand and everything).
Well, yesterday I helped him out and per usual he gives me a huge crispy heart chocolate because Valentine’s is coming up and he knows I’m quirky and love holidays (I come to work every day wearing a crocheted burger hat that my mom made me and typically a nerdy dress or shirt, I’m not the kind of person who hides my geekiness).
So he leaves and I sit at the desk to eat my candy, one happy little nerd, when in comes my trustee who we will now refer to as ‘entitled woman.’
I’ve just taken a large bite of my candy when she comes in and turns to the desk where I’m sitting and levels me with her glare and a smile worthy of a Batman villain because she thinks she’s got me.
Entitled woman: what are you doing?!
Me, after swallowing my chocolate: oh I finished putting the books away and I was just about-
Entitled woman: you can’t eat out here! You have to eat in the conference room it’s policy!!
Me, internally going what the heck it’s just a candy bar.
Entitled woman: are you arguing with me? All food must be eaten in the conference room it’s policy!
Me: but I eat at the desk all the time, Sue (head librarian, not her real name) said it was ok because I work alone, and that way I’m not running from the other side of the library.
Entitled woman: you’ve done this before?
Me: yes, Sue knows.
Entitled woman: well then.
She sounds totally offended and walks off to find a book and I think it’s over.
If it were over would I be here? I come in the next afternoon to find a written warning from her and Sue, Sue apologized and said she has to sign it to show it’s been seen and ‘dealt with’ and tells me not to worry too much about it.
Oh no, I’m not worried about it I’m so mad. Well I began to sit and stew about this until I saw the note about the trustee meeting tomorrow night, Sue leaves me a note to remind me every month so I know that I can’t get to the microwave in the conference room and to bring a sandwich instead of something hot.
I’m fairly mischievous and my dad is the king of malicious compliance so I know EXACTLY what I have to do.
So last night, before I come in I get all the fixings from the grocery store to make loaded nachos for dinner.
Chili, cheese, the works. So I get into work and the trustee meeting has just started and I know Entitled Woman has a big presentation for the meeting so I sit and wait, when I start to get hungry I politely knock on the conference room door and enter, Entitled Woman had just started her presentation.
Me: sorry to interrupt I just need to make dinner since I’m not allowed to eat at the desk.
Sue immediately clues into what’s about to happen and shakes her head with a smile, I take it as my go-ahead for what I’m doing.
Entitled woman: whatever just hurry up.
So I go to the microwave and start my work, heat up the chili first and while that’s cooking in our very loud microwave I start fussing with the chips making as much racket as I can and even though I have my back to her I can feel the glare.
Once my chili is done I put the nachos in and microwave those next while mixing in some chopped peppers from the supermarket with the chili for a bit of extra crunch. Nachos beep loudly and I take them out, whoops not enough cheese and not melted enough, add more, and in they go.
This goes on a bit and I finally am done with my nachos. Entitled Woman is fuming at how loud I am and it doesn’t stop there. I sit in her vacant seat next to Sue who is red in the face trying not to laugh and I then start eating my nachos, so they’re loud and crunchy as it is but I typically don’t eat crunchy food because I’m a loud chewer due to a click in my jaw from an old injury so it’s extra loud and annoying.
Entitled Woman is red with anger and I just sit happily eating the sweetest nachos I’ve ever tasted until EW’s presentation is over and my plate is empty. I clean the dishes and go back to the desk with a smug grin.
Fast forward to today when I come in and Sue tells me that from now on the trustees would prefer me to eat my dinner at the front desk.
4. Insist I Come In While Sick? You Won't Be Happy When I Shut The Whole Pool Down
“A few years ago, I used to work as a swim instructor while I was in college. It was an exhausting job being in the water all day but I liked it for the most part because I got to interact with and teach kids.
Seeing someone completely scared of even getting their hair wet to being able to swim across the pool was very rewarding. As much as I liked the job, I absolutely despised management. They demanded too much and refused to compensate their employees for any of these demands.
For example, I gave them my availability of when I can work because I was also a full-time student and had another job. They took this as a light suggestion and scheduled me to become a sub for other instructors as they pleased, even going as far as to schedule me during my class hours.
I would remind them (firmly) that my availability was the ONLY time I can work. They can utilize it as they pleased but I wouldn’t be able to give them more than that.
I already worked 30 hours a week. They always gave me the same nonsense of ‘if you can’t be flexible with work then we’re going to have to go with someone who is.’ I put up with it because I had to pay for rent and for some of my tuition that financial aid did not cover.
However, the last straw was when I had to call in sick to work (for a time I shouldn’t have been scheduled to come in anyway) because I was throwing up. I had severe food poisoning and was throwing up and had to constantly take runny craps (sorry, I know it’s TMI) every few hours or so.
I was definitely not in a state to be going out. I emailed my professors and called in to my other job for the next day and they all didn’t give me a hard time and just wanted me to recover and feel better.
Then, I called my manager for the swim school I worked at.
Me: I see that you have me scheduled for today. I’m sorry but I really can’t come in. I’ve been throwing up all day.
I think I have food poisoning. I’m going to see a doctor today. I can bring a note if you want. (They demanded it anytime anyone called in sick)
Manager: you can’t do that.
No one else can come in to cover you.
Mind you, I was already covering for someone else WITHOUT being asked.
Me: I normally can’t work on Thursdays anyway. I really can’t be there today.
I don’t want to throw up in the middle of a lesson.
Manager: just don’t eat anything and throw it all up before you get here. You have to show up. There’s nobody else.
If you don’t it will be another citation for you on top of the one you got last week.
Me: but I have already scheduled to see a doctor today.
Manager: doesn’t sound like my problem.
(Side note: I got a citation because I was TWO minutes late to work because there was an emergency vehicle covering the only entrance to work. You can clearly see it from the building.
At least half of the employees were late that morning and every single one got written up.)
I really should’ve just not shown up but I was stupid and haven’t found another job to replace that one.
I managed to show up to work on time. I was clearly sick. My other co-workers could tell as soon as I walked in and asked me rather incredulously as to why I showed up to work.
I just laughed it off and told them I had bills to pay.
It was around 3 pm. I was waiting in the water for my class to show up when I could feel my mouth salivate and could feel the vomit coming up my throat.
I jumped out of the water and ran into the nearest restroom to throw up. While I was emptying the contents of my stomach, my manager was banging on the door, yelling at me because I was late for my class.
I told him I don’t think I can make it in between vomits. He told me he wouldn’t give me any more hours (which was his way of firing anyone) if I didn’t show up to my class.
I hurriedly rinsed off my mouth and went back to the pool. I went to my lane and saw that it was empty. I asked my co-worker next to me if any of my kids have shown up yet.
He told me that one of them called out and that the other two weren’t there yet. I was absolutely LIVID. My manager was harassing me while I was throwing up when none of my kids were even there yet.
It was then that I felt more throw-up (probably left over from when I was rudely interrupted) climb up my throat. I didn’t even bother getting up. At that point, I just said screw it and threw up in the pool.
It was honestly disgusting and yes I was sitting in my own throw-up but I felt like crap and I did not care. I did what I was told and showed up to my (nonexistent) class ON TIME.
The pool was immediately cleared and shut down. Thankfully, the lane next to me was doing laps and was nowhere close to where the throw-up was. My manager was LIVID. He began to yell at me in front of my co-workers, the kids, and their parents for throwing up in the pool.
Manager: why would you do that? You couldn’t at least have gotten up???
Me: I have no control over it! I told you I was sick.
Manager: help them clean this up and come see me in the office after!
He then stormed out to go to the office to wait for me.
My co-workers could see that I was feeling worse and told me to not worry about cleaning up as they’ve got it covered. One of them told me to sit down and gave me some water to drink as I was getting really dizzy.
I guess it was at that moment that I felt completely disgusted with how they were treating me and decided that I’ve had enough. I got up and walked to the office to confront my manager.
When I walked in, he was glaring at me with his arms crossed.
Manager: I’m gonna have to write you up for this one.
Me: Forget it. I quit.
Manager: you can’t do that. You have to at least give us a two-week notice.
Who’s gonna cover your classes?
Me: doesn’t sound like my problem.
I excused myself and clocked out for the last time. I will always remember that stupid look on his face when I told him I wasn’t dealing with his crap anymore.
My co-workers texted me later on telling me that they had to shut down the pool for the whole day and cancel classes to clean up. I felt really bad because the receptionists had to send emails and re-schedule classes but they told me not to worry about it because everyone else got the rest of the day off.
And it wasn’t my fault I was forced to show up to work. My manager got an earful from upper management about having to shut down the place. They also heard him talking to the district manager about me.
He said that I was throwing up because I was hungover from partying the night before. The district manager did call me the next day to ask my side of the story which I appreciated.
I told him everything and he was very understanding about it. I told him I had a doctor’s note clearly stating that I was in no condition to be teaching. I also told him about the complete disrespect for my time and all the times my manager asked me to come in when I was clearly not available.
He asked me if he could talk to me in person and if I would like to come back. I told him that I appreciate him reaching out to me but that I wouldn’t be coming back anymore.
I honestly would rather chew on my leg than work for that guy again. Similar incidents happened to other co-workers who were forced to show up to work while they were sick. One of them had an ear infection and was told by his doctor that he’s not allowed to be in the pool and the other had pink eye.
My manager wanted her to teach a class to kids with freaking pink eye! He had complete disregard for not only his employees but also for the kids we were teaching. It didn’t take long before he was fired by upper management.
There was a high turnover rate with the employees and people who’ve been working there for years either left or we’re talking about leaving. They’ve had several complaints from parents because the instructors had to keep changing and just for the overall quality of the services they provided.
He really brought the whole place down. By the time they replaced him, I had already found a better-paying job with more flexible hours. However, I would never forget the satisfaction I got for being right about being sick and shutting down the pool, indirectly exposing his mistreatment of the staff to upper management.”
3. Force Me To Attend Saturday Detention? Ok, But I'll Have To Bring My Son
“Backstory: I was a teen dad when I started high school. As such, Mamma told me that I had to be home to take care of my son on the weekends. She did say that during the week, if I could not find a babysitter for him, then she would watch him while I was at school for the cost of extra chores.
But I had to try to find a babysitter first. Because she was not going to raise any grandchildren. If I can make the baby, then I can raise the baby. So, I did the best I could, by asking at church on Sunday if one of the ladies would be willing to watch my son during the week while I was at school.
But there were some days, the sitter I had lined up, canceled last minute. Leaving me no choice, but to ask Mamma to help me out, causing me to be late to school and costing me more chores.
For the first 3 months, I dealt with ISS (In School Suspension) and lunch detention. And each time I tried to explain, the explanation fell on deaf ears. This time was going to be different.
Story: I woke up every morning at 4:30, and did my chores, got ready for school, and got my son ready to go to the sitter’s. I went to the sitter’s with my son at about 7:30, only to be told that my son could not stay for that day for some reason or another.
That went on every day since day one. So I drove all the way back home to ask Mamma if she could watch my son for the day. It took 15 minutes one way, so 30 minutes round trip.
Me: ‘Mamma can you watch son for me?’
Mamma: ‘OP, why are you not at school? Did you take him to the sitter’s?’
Me: ‘Yes Ma’am. But she said that she has an appointment in ‘State Capital’, and she could not watch him today.
Please Mamma, I’m already late.’
Mamma: ‘Okay, OP. I’ll do it, but you are doing dishes tonight.’
I gave baby to Mamma, and drove the 20 minutes to school. (Every day the sitter had a different excuse, and it wound up costing me some extra chores to pay Mamma for watching the baby.
First night, dishes. Second night, laundry. Third night, cooking supper. Fourth night, more dishes. 5th night, cooking supper.) By the time I got to school, it was almost 9, and first period was almost over.
I go into the office to get my pass to go to class, Monday – Thursday nothing happened. I got my pass and went to class. I gave the pass to the teacher and accepted the scolding from the teacher.
Friday morning, however, when I went into the office to get the pass, the Principal called me into his office. I walked into his office, Principal, Assistant Principal, and Teacher are in there waiting for me.
Principal: ‘OP, please have a seat.’ I do and he continues, ‘OP, Teacher tells me that you have been late to class all week. You know that all students must be here at or before 8:00.
We have had this discussion before, have we not? Now, do you care to explain why you are late, every day?’
Me: ‘Yes sir, we have had this discussion before. And every time we have, I have told you every time, that I have a hard time getting a sitter…’
Assistant Principal: (interrupting me) ‘That is no excuse.
What does you needing a sitter for your siblings, have to do with you being late every day?’
Teacher: ‘Yeah, I am tired of hearing that excuse. Now, you be in my class Monday morning on time, or you will be sorry.
Do I make myself clear?’ Then he walks out before I could answer him.
Assistant Principal: ‘Well, I’m waiting! (Tapping her foot) You better answer me now, young man!’
Me: ‘Well ma’am. I don’t need a sitter for my siblings, I need a sitter for my son.
Had you not interrupted me, I would have told you that.’
Assistant Principal was mad, that I had the nerve to talk to her like that. However, Principal spoke up, before Assistant Principal could get her words out.
Principal: ‘OP! Watch how you speak to Assistant Principal! I think since you want to be late all week, then lie about it and speak so rudely to Assistant Principal, you can have Saturday detention for the next 4 weeks.
You will not be late. You will not make excuses. And you will apologize to Assistant Principal for your rude behavior. Do I make myself clear?’
Me: ‘Yes, sir. I understand.’ To Assistant Principal: ‘Assistant Principal, I’m sorry for being rude and disrespectful.’
Principal: ‘Good! Be here at 7:45 in the morning.
1 minute late and you will have to deal with the Truancy Officer. Am I clear? Good, now get out of my office and get to class!’
I got up and left. I started to hatch a plan, to show them how unreasonable they were being and that I was not lying about having a child.
So when I got home, I told Mamma what happened and my whole plan. After taking the punishment for getting in trouble at school, she laughed, and told me to be careful; and not raise the hornet’s nest too badly.
The Malicious Compliance Part 1:
Since I had to spend all day Saturday and Sunday with my son, well you can see where this is going. I packed my son’s diaper bag with everything he would need for 5 hours, grabbed my bag that I put together the night before, loaded up in the car, then had my brother drop us off at the school at 7:30.
(Detention started at 8:00) I told my brother the plan on the way and we had a good laugh all the way there. Since my son and I were 15 minutes early, we sat on the bench outside the front door of the school.
We really didn’t have to wait long, (10 minutes) Assistant and Principal came walking up carrying their Dunkin’ Doughnut coffee. They saw my son and me, then Principal said.
Principal: ‘OP, I said 7:45, what are you doing here early? And why do you have your baby brother here? No children allowed.
Take him home and get back here by 8:00. Now!’
Me: ‘Sir, you did say that I have to be here by 7:45. I didn’t want to be late for detention for being late, so I got here at 7:30.
He is not my brother, he is my son. (I pulled out the unofficial copy of his birth certificate, with ‘Father’s Name’ section highlighted, and showed him.) See, sir, it says right here: ‘Father’s Name: OP.’ It takes 20 minutes to get home, 5 minutes to drop him off, 60 minutes to explain to Mamma why he is not with me, 20 minutes to get back, and on top of that, I would have to wait 30 minutes for my brother to come get me, so I can take him home.
So all in all, 2 hours 15 minutes round trip to comply with your orders; it is 7:40 now sir. By the time I do all of that, it will be 9:55, so no sir, I can not follow that order.
As I would be 1 hour 55 minutes late getting back. Sorry, sir.’
Principal was livid that I had the nerve to talk back to authority, he stomped off and unlocked the doors of the school.
Assistant Principal: ‘We will be calling Mamma to come get the child! Don’t think you can get away with this sort of behavior!’
We go in, they call Mamma and told her how rude and disrespectful I was being and that she needed to come get my son.
To which Mamma told them: (relayed to me by Mamma after I got home)
Mamma: ‘Really? That sounds like a you problem. It also sounds to me like you are the ones that are being rude and disrespectful.
That is OP’s child, it is his time to spend with his son. If you don’t like it that OP brought his son with him, then maybe believe him when he tells you something.
Don’t bother me again over some nonsense, because you get your feelings hurt. Grow a spine and grow up.’
That was that. They didn’t bother me or my son for the rest of the detention time.
I brought my son with me for the whole 4 Saturday detentions. After that, I never received another Saturday detention.
The Malicious Compliance Part 2:
Teacher had told me the Friday before the first Saturday detention, that I had better be on time for his class, that next Monday.
So step 2 of my plan, ACTIVATED! I called all of my other teachers Sunday and told them what I was going to do for the rest of the term. (It was about 8 weeks before Christmas break.) They were on board with it but told me that if my son started to disrupt class then they would have to ask me to abandon the Malicious Compliance.
I agreed and the next morning, hahahaha. (I also told the lady at church, who kept leaving me stranded without a sitter, I would no longer be asking or paying for her as a babysitter.
She was mad. But I don’t care.) I did the normal stuff. Woke at 4:30, did my chores, ate breakfast, got ready for school, got my son ready (with enough things for 10 hours, as I figured I would have ASD (After School Detention)), got in the car, and instead of going to the sitter’s, went to school.
I was on time! (7:40)
I go into the office with my son (who was asleep) and got him a visitor’s pass. The receptionist laughed when I told her why I needed a visitor’s pass instead of a tardy slip.
I took the pass and go to first period, Physical Science. (The class that I was always late for.) I walk in, take my seat and wait for the first bell. (Of course, all the girls and some of the guys in the class are going ga-ga over my son.
Even some of the snobby girls are talking to me.) First bell rings (8:00). Teacher walks in and starts taking attendance, gets to my name:
Teacher: ‘OP! Well, I guess he doesn’t care about my class again! That’s it, I’m done with his tardiness! Class, I’ll be back!’ Before he can get out the door:
Me: ‘Present, Sir!’
Teacher: ‘Well, you decided to be on time after all! So, what’s your excuse this time? Why have you decided today of all days, to grace us with you being on time?’
Me: ‘Well, sir, if you care to remember Friday in Principal’s office, you wanted me here on time, no excuses.
Then you left before I could acknowledge your order, sir. So, sir, I am here on time as you ordered with my son since you did not believe me when I said that I could not find a babysitter, sir.’
His face turned blood red.
He was livid by my answer. He continued to take attendance, then turned to me and started barking something. All I could make out was: office, how dare you, call, baby, and detention.
All his yelling woke up my son, who started crying. I stood up, got my things and son, and said:
Me: ‘Sir, look what you went and done. You woke up the baby. I hope you are happy now, sir.’ Then I went into the hall, but not before hearing all my classmates agreeing with me.
After I got my son calmed down, Teacher came out in the hall and with a calmer tone:
Teacher: ‘OP, please explain why you brought your brother with you to my class. I told you that I wanted you on time, not your whole darn family.’
Me: ‘Sir, he is not my brother.
He is my son. (Shows copy of birth certificate) The sitter has not helped me at all. That is the reason I’m always late. By the time I turn around and convince Mamma to help me with him, I’m late for your class.
But please sir, if you want to give me detention or any other punishment, that’s fine and I will take it. But please, sir, please don’t shout or cuss. It’s not good for you.
It’s not good for us. And more importantly, it’s not good for my son, who will be joining us for the rest of the term.’
Teacher: ‘WHAT! (through gritted teeth) OFFICE NOW!’
So, I, my son, and Teacher make our way to Principal’s office.
Teacher goes in and tells Principal something, Principal comes out, sees me, and sighs.
Principal: ‘OP, come in. Leave your child there.’
Me: ‘Yes sir, I’ll come in. But no sir, I will not leave my son unattended.’ I go in, pushing my son’s stroller.
Principal: ‘OP, Teacher said that while you were on time, you were being disrespectful and insubordinate. Not to mention that you think it is okay for a child to come to school, what for the rest of the term! You, young man, are about to learn a lesson.
That children do not belong in school and that you can not get away with disrespecting authority or rules! Now, what do you have to say for yourself!’
Me: ‘Sir, if children do not belong in school, then why in the heck are we forced to come? I have no other choice but to bring my son with me.
I don’t have a babysitter. Mamma won’t help me out (remember she said she would, but only in extreme cases and for me doing more chores), and have run out of options. Now if you are going to punish me for something, then I think it best to wait until my attorney gets here, to make sure that the punishment fits the charges and is a fair carry of Justice.
Or you can proceed and have a lawsuit and lose your position with the Board of Education. Your choice, sir. I know my rights as a citizen of ‘Country.” Teacher was shocked.
Principal: (after much thought) ‘OP, let’s not get attorneys involved.
Let’s go back to where you said that you have no choice but to bring him with you. Do you care to expand on that? Why does he not live with his mother and her family?’
Me: ‘Yes sir, the reason I have no choice but to bring him with me is because the babysitter I hired is useless, Mamma is too busy and I can’t afford to pay her to watch him.
The reason he doesn’t live with his mom or her family is because she and her family gave up their rights and claim of him. Her family said that they don’t want him, and she is in ‘State’ Women’s Facility.
So, you see there is no other choice.’
Teacher: ‘OP, if that is true about his mother, then why is he not in the care of Child Protection Services? Why do you have custody?’
Me: ‘Because, sir, the same reason why I have an attorney on retainer.
If you have any further questions about the matter, you can contact my attorney.’ Teacher was silent after that. After a really long discussion, I went on about my day. (The other teachers were okay with my son being in their class.)
I contacted my attorney when I got home from school.
He contacted the Board of Education and got them to agree that my son could indeed attend classes with me until I either found a babysitter or finished the term, due to my situation.
I ended up changing schools before we went back after New Year’s. I did find a wonderful babysitter who was available when I needed her, for a really great rate. Also, I ended up having to retake Physical Science, as I had failed at the first school, but ended up passing the class with an 87 (B).
People think it is hard to be an adult, married, and have a child. Ha, I only wish I could have complained about that. That is easy compared to my experience in high school.”
2. Think I'm Going To "Girl Up" The Office? Watch Me
“I recently received a promotion that came with an office that was shared with two other people. The room has two desks on each side of a door into the hall. Another staff member spent a healthy amount of time in this office but it wasn’t their office.
They had made a comment about now that a female had been promoted I was going to ‘girl up’ the office and I had jokingly said, ‘yeah let’s make the whole thing pink’.
He laughed and said, ‘yeah right, you won’t do that’.
Oh, won’t I?
With approval from my boss, I bought $100 worth of pink paint (with my own money). Think Pepto Pink. Painted exactly half the office, my side, that color.
Like a line down the middle. The clock was on my side of the office so I replaced it with a pink clock. Rose gold stapler? Check. Vinal-wrapped drawers in pink? Check. Table on my side of the room painted pink? Check.
If it could be pink, I made it pink. It was useful that my coworker was on vacation during all of this. Bought a pack of pretty pink flower stickers and put them anywhere I could.
Tried to keep it classy.
I was in the office when my coworker returned from vacation. It was very, very quiet. I was typing up a report and the keystrokes were so loud. I told him about a couple of things that had happened while he was gone, and he was polite.
Finally, I asked him what he thought of the new decorations. He looked at me and said, ‘oh someone already told me what you did’. I laughed and said that didn’t answer my question.
‘Oh, you don’t want my opinion’.
He then grabbed his stuff and went to his own office.
How’s that for girling it up?
Just to clarify there were a lot more jokes on my behalf from them telling me it was good that there was a woman in the office now and the office needed a woman’s touch.
Also, my coworker and I are friends and this was a really funny thing between all of us. I openly tease him about it now and the other half of the office had already been blue so now everyone calls it the gender reveal office. He is a great guy and definitely still visits the office.”
1. We'll Make Sure That All Injuries Are Reported
“My grandmother worked in a local factory for over three decades. This story took place in the nineties when a young manager started who’d only just joined the company.
One of her first orders of business was to ensure, quite arbitrarily, that specific clerical tasks related to minor injuries be taken care of.
Every time, without fail. Her intention was that everything would warrant a nurse visit, as well as the completion of a form. There was no apparent reason, as my grandmother told me occasional moderate-to-severe injuries happened, but there were no notable lapses in reporting.
It was a brewery/bottling plant; minor injuries were beyond common.
My grandmother’s work team was a lot of rotating staff, all of whom communicated freely with the shifts before and after. Most of whom had been there a long time, knew their crap, and knew the chaos that would erupt from genuinely following those ridiculous instructions.
Cue mass malicious compliance: in the coming days, every single minor injury would be enthusiastically reported. Need a bandaid, or have a small splinter? No, you need a nurse visit and a form to complete.
Whole plant lines ground to a halt. Staff overwhelmed the nurse’s waiting room for every single injury, as demanded, even when the offending ‘wound’ was a small scratch or tiny burn. Forms flew out the door even more quickly than minor first aid supplies, and it wasn’t long before upper management reassessed the situation.
It costs a lot to have repeated shutdowns because so many of your staff are sitting in a waiting room, I guess because that process was removed as quickly as it appeared.
The new manager didn’t try to act ‘too big for her britches’ anymore, as my grandmother would put it, and it was back to business as usual.
I’ve always loved this story; in the telling my grandmother imitates the men holding their fingers with small cuts, gushing about how mangled they are and how badly they need the nurse. My favorite – and I always love to laugh when I think of what the nurses must have thought for those days.
ETA: We aren’t American, healthcare is free, and we have forms we fill out – not ones directly from or for the company. This practice was purely safety theatre.”