People Express How They Got Greasy Revenge By Obeying The Rules
19. Think YOU Deserve A Salute Because Your Husband Was In The Military? We'll Salute Alright
“There are a handful of rules to saluting in the American military. The when, why, and how are drilled into you from boot camp until the day you leave. Even the order in which the salutes are rendered has meaning. When it comes to vehicles, there are helpful insignia and stickers to indicate if it’s an officer such as a colored sticker located on the front windshield.
My base was small enough that it was everyone’s job at some point to do sentry duty at the front gate which had housing for military families. Sentry duty was pretty basic. You’d stop every vehicle, check IDs, and then wave them through. If they were an officer, you’d see it coming with those colored stickers, and after verifying the identity of the officer, you’d salute and send them on their way.
One day while on duty, I approached a vehicle with an officer’s sticker, and there was only the officer’s wife driving in the vehicle.
I returned her ID, wished her a nice day, and waved her through. Pausing with a stern look, “Where’s my salute, Petty Officer OP?” Now, Karen here was wife to a higher ranking officer and has clearly fallen under the impression people are saluting her somewhere along the way.
Some of the junior enlisted might’ve even been saluting her as they’re pretty easy to bully and more prone mess ups.
I politely replied, “Ma’am, salutes are only rendered to commissioned officers.” Angrily pointing her chubby little fingers at the front of her windshield towards her husband’s officer sticker, “I have a sticker, and you need to salute the sticker.” Curtly I continued, “I’m afraid that sticker is not an officer either.”
Frustrated, she pulled through and left my post. My cover guy (the guy keeping me safe with a big gun) and I watched her drive down the street and pull right into the administrative building with the top brass and huffed into the building as quickly as her soft, poopy body would take her.
We exchange a look between us with wry smiles knowing exactly where this is probably going.
Later that day, we get a new official base-wide mandate. From here forward all enlisted will salute vehicle stickers of officers regardless of who’s in the vehicle. Roger that. This is where the malicious compliance comes in. It’s worth noting that when you salute an officer as enlisted, you do it first, and you hold that salute until you are saluted in return, and they lower theirs.
Only then do you lower your salute. It signals that you’re saluting them, and they’re replying.
Additionally, when saluting a group of officers, you generally direct your salute and greeting to the highest-ranking individual. Now as far as I know, this stupid sticker salute order has no accommodation for how a 2004 Toyota Camry fits into the officers pecking order. Additionally, if the car is unoccupied, it’s not like that sticker is removed.
After that order came through, we all began saluting stickers.
Personally, I’d direct my salute to the sticker. I would also prioritize sticker salutes over officers. Let me tell you, walking through parking lots was a blast as I saluted empty cars on my way to where ever. More and more people saw me doing it, and more and more people started doing it.
Not long after the order was publicly rescinded, which hilariously had the balancing effect of never rendering a salute to anyone but a clearly known officer cementing Karen never getting her unearned salutes.”
18. It's Hard To Be An Employee When You Aren't Allowed To Move Anything In The Store
Looks like nothing will be getting done around here unless they speak with the owner first.
“4 years ago, I worked in a store for a large, well-known, and well-hated telecom in Canada. I started out as a sales rep, then was quickly promoted to assistant manager because I’m a fast learner. I constantly crushed sales targets and always offered to train staff for new store openings.
Joe, the regional manager, seemed to like me and was nice, which I thought was because I’m the only woman in a store with all men. But tenured sales reps warned me that he was always nice to sales reps and rude to managers. One day, our store manager (SM) Rick gets fired for skipping work to watch a hockey game. He was actually seen on TV in the front row stands cheering after calling in “too sick to move,” and a few coworkers went out with him afterward where he bragged about calling in sick to see said hockey game.
Joe didn’t hire a new SM because of the cost, so he asked me to run the store but without the title or pay. No problem; I love my job and the staff. I even come in on my days off to make sure the staff are okay and check on supplies. I’m also the first black ASM in the region in ages, so I felt like I had something to prove.
A few months go by, and a customer comes in wanting to open up a small business account with 6 lines. I verify the company is real, credit check, HST number, etc., and process the sale for her: 4 black iPhone 7s, a rose gold iPhone 7 Plus, and a Blackberry. It’s a massive commission for me and an even bigger commission for Joe.
Joe comes to the store the next day wanting to talk about the sale.
I thought I messed up along the way, or it got flagged for fraud. Nope. He was mad that I sold the store’s last rose gold iPhone 7 Plus instead of holding onto it because he wanted to take it out of inventory to give it to his daughter.
For free. Which is against company policy. And the rose gold iPhone 7 Plus was on backorder. I tell him that it’s better for us to sell the phone, and I didn’t know he wanted to take it out of inventory to give away and it’s against company policy anyway.
What happens next is this 6’5” man throws a tantrum. I’m talking fists balled up at the sides, shrieking, “YOU DON’T RUN ANYTHING HERE. THIS IS MY STORE. YOU’RE NOT THE STORE MANAGER. MY NAME IS ON FILE AS STORE MANAGER AND REGIONAL MANAGER. NOTHING HAPPENS IN THIS STORE WITHOUT MY SAY. NOBODY BREATHES UNLESS I SAY SO.”
I calmly straighten out my uniform and nod, thinking, you run all this, and I just work here.
Got it. Alright, Denzel, you gon’ learn today.
Cue malicious compliance. He leaves, and the other staff asks what the heck that yelling was about. I say, “Well, boys, I don’t run anything. I just work here. If you need anything, and I literally mean anything at any time, call Joe.” I stopped ordering, scheduling, etc., and did nothing for the next 2 days before my previously scheduled upcoming 4 days off.
Day 1 of my day off, and one of the staff call me in a panic “OP, I noticed there’s only 1 roll of toilet paper left… Can you stop by and order more?” I said, “Nope, sorry. Call Joe if you need anything, and don’t call me on my days off anymore.” Click.
My staff support me and ring Joe’s phone nonstop for those 4 days with the most mundane crap.
“Hey Joe, we’re out of toilet paper. Can you get us some?”
“Hi Joe, ummm, the windows are dirty. What should I do?”
“Yo, Joe, what’s the schedule for next week? OP didn’t make one.”
“Yeah, Joe? We’re trying to process a bring-your-own-device (COAM) monthly plan, but I don’t remember what the dummy IMEI is, and I can’t continue in the system without it. What is it?”
“Hey Joe, we’re out of SIM cards, so we can’t process any more sales involving phones at all.”
“Hey Joe, we’re on our last few sheets of printing paper, so we can’t print contracts.”
“Hey Joe, I came in early to set up the new marketing, but I noticed there’s a lightbulb out in one of the fixtures.
What do I do?”
“Joe? Andy left roast chicken bones and cake in the break area out overnight, and now the store is overrun by ants. Please send help.”
Joe calls and texts me nonstop, but I’m off for the next 4 days, so I ignore everything, sit at home, bake some cookies, spend time with my partner (now husband), hit another mall and go shopping, get my nails done, get my hair done, and relish in the thought of Joe’s stupid face stressed the heck out at an ant infestation and his stupid eyes bulging out of his head every time my staff call asking for toilet paper.
I come in for my next shift, relaxed, fresh silk-pressed hair, and killer nails, and Joe is already waiting for me in the back.
“OP, why is the staff calling and asking me ridiculous questions the last few days? Why are we running out of critical supplies that halt sales?”
Me: “Well, Joe, you told me that nothing moves without your say-so and that I don’t run anything in the store, you do.
So, I told them if they need anything, to call you, the person who runs the store.”
Cue the confused Pikachu look on his face. “Uhh…not like that, I mean like…just please…please run the store as you see fit. There are ants everywhere, and the floors are sticky. And I brought you guys some SIM cards.” He scurries out of the store.
I graduated from university that year and applied for a role at head office.
Joe got upset and said he didn’t want to lose me at the store and dangled the thought of making me store manager if I stayed. Oh well, at that point, I just wanted out. I aced the interviews and got hired. I’ve been here ever since, and I never have to interact with Joe. Screw you and the ants, Joe.”
17. If The Cheerleaders Can Break Dress Code, Then So Can I
“Waaaaay back in 2013, I was a sophomore in high school, and there was a tradition that on Fridays, the cheerleaders, football players (without their pads of course), band members, and the other groups performing wore their uniforms to class. This wasn’t a written tradition, and only the cheerleaders and dance team’s uniforms broke “dress code;” nobody really batted an eye to it.
I wasn’t a skirt person, but I liked dresses once and in a while.
As one can tell by my user, I grew up in Texas, and it’s still significantly hot in August/September. So one time while wearing a casual sundress in September, I was pulled out of class and reprimanded because the end of my dress was 4 inches above the knee when the dress code said no shorter than 2. I pointed out the cheerleaders’ and dance teams’ uniforms every Friday and how they reached mid-thigh at their longest but was told that was okay because “students can wear official school uniforms.” And was sent home to change.
Clearly, somehow someone had forgotten I was on the golf team.
Immediately, my mind was turning to the next Friday.
The school had recently upgraded the golf team uniforms the year prior, and the girls’ team uniforms consisted of a short sleeve collared polo shirt and a skort. If you don’t know what a skort is, it’s essentially a skirt and short shorts combined. It looks like a skirt, but they essentially act like built-in bike shorts, and these guys were SHORT.
I’d argue shorter than the average cheerleader skirt.
So that next Friday (about 3 days later) to my parent’s surprise, I was ready to go that morning in my golf uniform, as compared to taking a bag to keep the clothes in to change into after school. But I just said, “Fridays, we can wear our uniforms to class,” and they accepted without question and took me to school.
Well, by the second period, I was sent to the office yet again, and the first thing the assistant principal asked me was why I would “deliberately disobey her right after our last conversation” and threatened in-school suspension and that I’ll never get anywhere in life by not listening, yadda yadda yadda.
When I finally had a chance to get a word in, I said, “But this is my school golf uniform,” and I pointed to our school’s logo that was sewn into my polo shirt.
“You said students can wear official school uniforms to class, so why are the cheerleader uniforms okay and mine isn’t? This isn’t even a skirt; it’s a skort. It has pants!”
I still remember how frustrated she was. She stared me down for what seemed like a millennium. Then she snapped and told me to get out of her office and go sit in the lobby area.
That I knew what she meant and she would be calling my parents about this blatant disrespect. So I waited and played on my iPod and chatted with the nice secretary, trying to keep myself distracted, because in reality, I had been really trying not to cry. I had massive anxiety when it came to authority, but I still had my naive sense of injustice, and I didn’t just want to let this go.
After about 20 minutes, she popped her head out, and in a very monotone voice, told me I could go back to class and to let teachers know I had gotten permission from the front office to wear my uniform.
Then she went back in and closed the door before I could even think to respond. I spent the rest of my day dealing with teachers questioning me about my outfit and 1 or 2 calling the front office to double-check my claim that I had in fact gotten permission and went to practice after school as normal before being carpooled back home.
My dad met me at the front door with a small smirk and I asked him what in the world happened because I knew he was the go-to contact for my school, so I knew she called him.
He explained that when she called and tried to get him to come to the school and get me and talked about punishments for my insubordination, he immediately began to argue with her and admitted he raised his voice quite a bit, asking why I wasn’t allowed to wear my sports uniform that the school provided to me as a dress requirement at my golf practice and mentioned taking this all the way to the school board and resolving this “obvious favoritism.”
He then asked me not to do that again but that he was proud of me and told me, “I know I had told you never to start a fight but to always fight back. I always thought physically, but you sure took the advice.””
16. Even Karen Will Get ID'ed
“When I was in college I used to work for my local movie theatre.
The job was amazing most of the time. You had a lot of freedom from the managers if you did your job right.
On a busy night, this was the situation: I was working behind the bar. We had a system where we would sell tickets and concessions at the same registers. Most of the time this would work just fine, but on a busy Saturday night, it would take a lot of time to take ticket orders, discuss seating in the theatre and get all the food and drinks.
On this evening everything was running smoothly. It was a buddy night, but the team was well prepared and we had everything under control. I was taking an order from a longtime customer (let’s call her Linda). Linda was a nice woman and we always had a nice chat with her. She was 25 and had a subscription to our theatre. This would mean it would show her picture on the app with her date of birth and a QR code.
This way we could see that the person was old enough to see the movie.
Linda was ordering some nachos and two drinks. Now I know that Linda is well above the legal drinking age (in my county 18) and had already scanned her QR code (you would get points for free stuff when you bought drinks and foods).
I already knew her age was alright. So no reason to ask for any form of ID.
So I’m here getting the order ready and when I say the total to Linda a lady behind her (let’s call her Karen for obvious reasons) starts yelling.
Karen: “You didn’t check her ID!” Linda looks over her shoulder probably wondering why this woman is meddling and turns back to me: “Do you really need to see my ID? I could grab it if you want to?”
So I’m here thinking: “Karen should shut up and mind her own business.”
Me: “No, need to, Linda.
I know you’re older than 18 and it also says so on the app.”
Karen: “No, you need to check it! You need to check everyone who buys booze!”
Me: “Miss, I already verified her age and…”
Karen: “NO! Only a legal ID or passport is good to verify age!”
Sure, this is the case in a normal situation. But when a customer has a subscription at our theatre, they already have to verify their age and name with a legal ID.
So we accept the app as a legal form of verification.
At this point, I’m already losing my patience. Why is Karen meddling in this situation when Linda is clearly over the age of 18?
Me: “Miss, thanks for bringing this to my attention but this woman is a loyal customer and we already know her age because…”
Karen: “NO! This is unacceptable and you should check her ID!”
I’m really starting to get annoyed and Linda is noticing as well.
Luckily Linda is a chill woman en smiles at me while grabbing her ID.
Linda: “Here it is, all good right?”
Me: “Sorry about this and thanks for showing. It’s still not necessary though.”
Linda: “No problem at all and good luck with her,” she says while smiling and giving me a wink.
I finalize the purchase and get ready to enjoy serving Karen. Karen has a major attitude and the order takes ages.
She doesn’t like the seats and changes them a couple of times.
She also demands a student discount (which we don’t have on Saturdays and she is clearly older).
Finally she orders her food and last but not least she orders a red wine.
This triggers me instantly. I’m standing there with a big smile on my face like a kid in a candy store. You all see where this is going.
I grab the wine and put it on the counter. Then I say with my most polite voice.
Me: “Can I see your ID, miss?”
Karen: “Excuse me?”
Me: ” Well miss, as you pointed out to me I should check everyone for ID.”
Karen: “Well I’m obviously older than 18!”
Sure Karen wasn’t looking anywhere near 18.
But she didn’t hit prime Karen age either. I would say she was early thirties but with all that plaster on her face, she could pass for a 25-year-old.
Me: “Miss, the woman I asked before you was well over the age of 18. You insisted I follow the rules. If you don’t have your ID with you I can’t sell you the booze.”
Karen: “Preposterous! I demand to speak to the manager!”
Me: “Sure, I will get him.”
Now the manager this evening was Bob.
Bob hated types like Karen and I knew he would stand by my side.
So I go grab Bob and inform him of the whole situation. When I explained it all Bob smiled at me with a huge grin on his face.
Bob: “Let’s go have some fun.”
So Bob walks with me to the registers and Karen yelled the whole story. Bob listens carefully and then reminds her of the rules and that she needs to have some ID or she won’t get her wine.
Karen is done with the situation, I could clearly tell. The previews already started so she grabs her wallet and pulls out a public transport card.
Karen: “Here you go! It states I’m old enough!”
Bob: “Sorry, miss. This isn’t a legal form of ID.”
Karen at this point is bright red and I thought she would burst out in anger.
Karen: “I DEMAND YOU SELL ME THIS WINE! THIS IS RIDICULOUS AND I’M ABOUT TO MISS THE MOVIE!”
Bob: “Nothing I can do for you without ID miss.
I should also note that when the previews are over (usually after 15 minutes after starting time) we can’t let you go inside the theatre because this will cause a disturbance for the other visitors.”
At this point, I wish I could have taken a picture of Karen’s face. The utter face of defeat was amazing to see.
Karen: “Fine! Just keep the wine! I’m going to see the movie and then I’m never coming back here!”
Bob: “That’s a shame miss. That will be XXX please.”
After the whole incident, I got a compliment from Bob for sticking to the rules and for defeating a Karen in her own game.”
15. Say He Can Take You To Court? Oh, But He Will
“This incident took place in India in the early 90s.
The school where my sister and I studied was in my hometown. We knew almost all the teachers since they were practically our neighbors.
When it came time for me to graduate, the principal had retired, and the vice principal took over as the principal.
The new principal was also from the same town, and for some unknown reason, had some sort of grudge against my father.
In local gatherings, etc., he would always try to belittle my father at all chances he could get. My father would normally let it pass since he knows that getting into silly arguments with such a bully is totally unproductive.
When my sister and I joined the school, my father was required to pay a refundable deposit of $70 per child, which would be returned back at the time each child graduated from the school.
$78 was a large amount back then.
In my country, it was the equivalent of about $1,300 today.
I graduated in 1989. When my father inquired about the refund, the principal informed him that since my sister would be graduating in 1 year’s time, both the deposits would be returned together.
So, when my sister graduated from school, my father requested the school refund both deposits. There was no response even after two weeks and my father personally went to the school to demand a refund.
The principal, being an egotistical bully, started arguing with my father stating that the school can’t refund the deposits. The argument became very heated, and he outright refused point blank and said, “We are not returning the deposits. Do what you can. You can take us to court if you want!”
My father went silent, got up and left the school, came home, sat down with Mom, and went through all the school-related documents she had kept (my mom had a very meticulous documentation system.
She used to save every receipt, bill, stub, etc.)
He found the receipts for the deposits. He took them to his lawyer friend. My dad informed his friends (whose children were in the same school) about the issue.
The lawyer filed the case and took the school to court. The school couldn’t provide any reason for withholding the deposits and fighting with my dad. My dad won.
The school was instructed to pay back the deposits with interest and court dues.
My father’s friends, who were in the PTA, took up the issue in the subsequent PTA meeting and got the school’s trustee board to ensure that such issues won’t be dealt with in the same manner and that all deposits would be refunded in time and strictly warned the principal not to bring personal grudges into school business. Other parents who were owed deposits but had forgotten about it started claiming them. It cost the school a lot to pay back the deposits.”
14. Don't Know What I'm Doing? Okay, Then Make A $50,000 Mistake
“So this is my mother’s story and an old one, but I still remember it fondly.
My mother was a potting/coating specialist and did special soldering work for a major defense contractor. While she couldn’t afford to go to college she has a solid 35-year career and knew her stuff. This happened about 10 years before she retired.
In the early 90s, her company decided to do a big push where they wanted all managers to have a degree, any degree.
This resulted in her manager who had years of shop experience being replaced not by my mother or one of her coworkers but by a 22-year-old with a BA in interior design.
My mother as well as her coworkers were fairly vocal about this but management insisted.
Fast forward a few months and a circuit board arrive in the shop.
My mother reviews the instructions and realizes they checked the wrong box.
Now I’m no coating expert but generally, there are 2 main ways to protect: to carefully spot cost the areas that need coating or to ‘pot’ it by filling any open spaces with resin. This type of board needed coating but they checked the potting box.
Now my mother is actually a pretty nice lady so she goes to the manager and tells her they need to get the paperwork corrected so she can coat it and the manager can sign off on it.
The manager proceeded to berate my mother that she had no place to question what the form said, that it’s filled out by engineers who are way smarter than her and actually know what they’re doing and to do what she’s told. My mother goes back to her workstation, carefully solders on the pieces, grab a mold, and pots the board.
She put this circuit board into a solid cube of potting resin like it was suspended in a cube of ice.
Perfectly visible and untouchable. She slaps the paperwork on top, gets the manager to sign off, sends it down the line at 4 pm, and picked me up from school with the biggest poop-eating grin.
The next day she comes home with the next part of the story. Turns out that wasn’t just a circuit board (hence the hand-filled out form) it was a prototype.
That board costs $50k to replace in straight manufacturing costs and put them 2 weeks behind on their defense contract.
And while yes the engineer did make the initial mistake my mother was more than happy to explain to upper management that actually the mistake had been noticed and caught but that the shop manager refused to address it.
The manager lasted for about another month. They replaced her with someone with a completely unnecessary electrical degree who cost a ton more than just getting someone who knew coating or heaven forbid would listen to those who did.”
13. Eat All My Breakfast? Sure Thang
“I went out with my first partner when we were in high school (me 15 and him 16). We were long-distance, and neither of us could drive initially, so that meant every time I came to visit him or he came to visit me, one of our parents would have to tag along, and we’d make a day of it. Maybe a little awkward, but I really liked his mom, so no biggie.
One day, he came to my city, and we decided to hit up a breakfast joint I liked and then go see a movie.
Now, this was one of those breakfast joints – you know the type. They serve pancakes a foot and a half in diameter. They obviously take up an entire skillet to make. The max is a stack of three, and you will have leftovers. These things are HUGE.
I got two chocolate chip pancakes because I wanted to have some left for later.
They arrive, and I’m about to dig in when my partner looks me in the eye and goes, “No way you can finish those pancakes.” Finishing those pancakes was never my plan, but I’m very stubborn, and I didn’t like his tone, so I told him I could if I wanted to.
“Okay,” he said, “then do it.”
He clearly didn’t think I could swing it, but I have always been a prideful creature, and I wasn’t about to back down from a challenge.
So I started eating. And I kept eating. I got full. I kept eating. I got EXTREMELY full. And I kept eating. I ate until I got so full that I couldn’t take another bite without risking getting sick.
But there were still about two-thirds of those pancakes left. And my partner was looking a little too smug for my liking.
So I sat at the table and allowed myself to digest.
This was not a quick process, but he never gave me a time limit, so I decided to give my stomach plenty of time to relax. And when I was good and ready – which was about the time my partner and his mom were finishing their meals – I resumed my toil.
At the one-hour mark, his mom begged us to give up, so she wouldn’t have to sit there any longer, but neither of us was willing to admit defeat.
It was now a matter of pride. I continued eating my pancakes. I had to get up and go to the bathroom a few times to excrete any non-pancakes still hogging space in my digestive tract. I almost got sick a couple of times.
But the wait was worth it. For after at least two hours of struggle and boredom, I had utterly demolished those pancakes, officially proving my partner incorrect in his assessment of how many carbohydrates I could realistically pack away.
A bit of a mundane story, I know, but it’s a memory I will always cherish. How I managed to do all that and still eat a bag of gummy bears at the movie theater afterward is beyond me.”
12. I Can't Take A Phone Call Unless It's On Speaker? You Got It
“Back in my college days, I was taking an Ancient History class with a notoriously grouchy professor that we will just call Prof.
He was super old school and a ripe sack of horse apples. He hated technology and insisted on using an analog projector with actual film slides because they were “more reliable,” despite the fact that he regularly had to replace the bulbs, sometimes in the middle of a lecture.
Just so you can understand how awful this guy was, we once had to write a three-page essay on why a certain breed of ancient dogs (I think it was a Basenji) was the “superior breed of K9.” Oh, and he just so happened to have two Basenjis. We literally were writing papers on why his dogs were cool and why he was so cool for owning them…
Anyway, this butthead was a creep, and he hated phones in his class, particularly texting.
We had to physically turn off our phones in front of him unless it was an “absolute emergency.” And even then, it had to be a phone call as, again, he had a righteous fury reserved for texts. It was tornado season in my state, and we had several tornado warnings for the area. At the time, I was engaged, and I had a lot of friends and future in-laws in the area.
So, before class, I told several of them to call or text me when their area was safe just for my own peace of mind.
No biggie. I honestly thought Prof wouldn’t have an issue with me keeping my phone on since, ya know, massive, mobile, swirling, natural disasters were roaming the city.
I should have never doubted the depths of his sliminess, but he should have never doubted the depths of my pettiness.
I told him that I had family and a fiancée and asked if I could keep my phone on my desk just in case. He has this awful goblin-esque scowl on his face and says, “If you want to take calls during a lecture and interrupt my class, you can do it for the whole class to hear.” By this, he means speakerphone.
He had said the same thing before with other people, and most of them just turned off their phones.
I’m a boat rocker though. I’ll stir a pot of poop like my life depends on it. Naturally, I cheerily agree and thank him profusely as I text several friends before class begins, telling them to call me at certain times with “the most ridiculous emergencies they can conceive, but keep them plausible.”
We aren’t five minutes into the lecture before I get a call from my cousin.
As the ring tone cuts through the classroom, the professor rolls his eyes and gestures for me to answer it.
“The ‘naders sucked up the entire chicken coop,” says the voice in quivering tones as if the caller is on the brink of tears. I finish the call and wish him and his fictional farm well.
Ten minutes pass, and I get another call from a friend, “The results just came in.
It’s definitely erectile dysfunction, emphasis on dysfunction.” Brownie points to him for getting creative. I don’t think the professor could hear the contents of the calls from his podium, but the surrounding students could, which results in either face of pure confusion or holding back cackles.
Another call like this rings in, and I am told to take any future calls out in the hallway.
I spend essentially the entire period sitting down at my desk, getting a call, walking out in the hallway, consoling the caller for whatever absurd malady has befallen them, and walking back to my desk. Luckily, I always sat right next to the door. I don’t think I could have gotten away with this if I had to walk across the entire classroom.
Afterward, Prof let us keep our phones on our desks to check them for emergencies. We still couldn’t text, but it was a step in the right direction.”
11. Call 911 Or Get You My Supervisor? I Can Do That!
“Around 2008, I was working in a call center for a major cell phone company in the USA. The job was soul-sucking, and the entitled customers were the worst. I tried to go above and beyond on every call, but some people will never be satisfied. Enter a particular customer; let’s call her Karen because the stereotype fit her to a T.
Here’s a rundown of how our call went that glorious day:
Me: Thank you for calling Cell Phone Company.
My name is OP. How can I help you?
Karen: MY HOUSE IS ON FIRE, AND YOU NEED TO CALL 911 RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!
Me: Oh my goodness. I’m terribly sorry for what you are going through! I recommend you hang up right now and dial 911, so they can send the fire department to save your house!
Karen: I pay my phone bill every month; you work for me! You better call 911 before my house is completely gone!
Me: I really wish I could do that for you, but 911 is alerted based on your location.
I’m 1,000 miles away from you, and if I dial 911, then the cops are going to show up at my location, not yours. I don’t even have the ability to access the internet to look up your local emergency services. I don’t want to waste your time while your house is burning, so please hang up and call them right now!
Karen: What kind of customer service is this! The customer is always right, and now it is your fault that my house is still on fire! You better call 911 right now OR GET ME YOUR SUPERVISOR!
Malicious compliance time!
Me: Yes ma’am.
Since I am unable to dial 911 on your behalf, please hold while I see if my supervisor is available to discuss this matter with you further.
Per company policy, we were not allowed to keep customers on hold for longer than 2 minutes without checking in with them. It took me about 10 seconds to explain the situation to my supervisor. He had dealt with his fair share of these idiots, so he told me to keep her on hold for the full 2 minutes before transferring the call.
At exactly the 2-minute mark, I get back on the line.
Me: Thank you for holding. I’m connecting you with my supervisor, John Doe, right now.
Karen: It’s about freaking time! You are going to pay me for all the damage you’ve caused!
Me: (in my most pleasantly fake customer service voice): Thanks for your call today. Have a fantastic day!
The fallout: I put her back on hold to transfer her to John.
This caused the 2-minute hold allowance to start over again. He made her stay on hold for the full 2 minutes before he picked up the line. Why she hadn’t hung up at this point is beyond me, but she was not going to lose “the customer is always right” argument, even at the loss of her home. John essentially repeated exactly what I said to her, and (shocker!) she did not take it very well at all! In fact, she was so mad that she escalated to his supervisor! Back on hold she went while her house is burning to the ground because she’s too stubborn to call 911 for herself.
Legend has it, she is still on hold to this day waiting for someone to call 911 for her… Just joking. She disconnected the call before she got to John’s supervisor.
Out of curiosity, John pulled the call to listen to it because she was an absolute raging nut job. The calls are all recorded including what the customer is saying while they are on hold. Turns out that while she had been screaming at us and escalating, one of her neighbors did end up calling 911.
So while she was on hold waiting for John’s supervisor, you could hear sirens in the background, and Karen says, “It’s about freaking time! These idiots took long enough to send help!” and hung up.”
Another User Comments:
“It’d be a shame if that recorded call record made it to her homeowner’s insurance company.” EarlOfButtholes
Another User Comments:
“Who calls the phone company to call 911?! Must be a special kinda stupid!” Duijinn
“Somebody whose IQ is less than the sum of 9 + 1 + 1.
It’s like when people were putting 911 on speed dial. It’s 3 digits for a reason, people…” Rampage_Rick
10. Steal Chocolate Again And See What Happens
“Before I get into the story, a bit about my dad needs to be made clear here. My dad is a two-combat-tour Vietnam war veteran from Brooklyn who has the classic Brooklyn attitude: a blunt, honest smart alec who will always make sure you get what’s coming to you if you wrong him.
Now this story he told me took place around the late 60s or early 70s around the height of the war.
My dad was NSA/Navy during the war, and his job was to check any of the locals who came through the camp to see if they had weapons as well as converse with them since he was one of the only men in his company fluent in the Vietnamese language.
During this time, my dad’s fellow soldiers began to report that their stuff was going missing at their desks: things such as food, bullets, small items that were prized possessions, etc.
They would be there one minute and gone the next. No one in my dad’s company had a history of theft, but there was one person who did. Her name was “Mama-San” (obviously not her real name, but according to dad, that’s all they knew her as.)
Mama-San was a local woman whose job was to clean the work area Dad and his fellow soldiers would work in.
Dad was suspicious of her being the thief for a while, but it became heavily confirmed when he caught her snatching something while on the job.
This is where the revenge kicks in. After my dad’s suspicions were confirmed, he began to do a tiny bit of digging into Mama-San and discovered something: she was a big fan of chocolate. And by a big fan, I mean a HUGE fan.
The woman couldn’t get enough of it, especially Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars that the soldiers would manage to get their hands on.
Learning this little fun fact, my dad went to the exchange store and bought a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar and then an Ex-Lax chocolate bar; a chocolate bar that if you’re constipated, one small piece of that, and it’s Niagara Falls right out the back door!
Dad carefully removed the Hershey bar from its wrapper, doing his best not to damage the wrapper, and then broke open the Ex-Lax bar and carefully placed it inside the Hershey wrapper.
Despite the minor size difference, you couldn’t really tell much of a difference.
After dad’s “chocolate bar” was finished, he placed the bar on the desk and began to work. Mama-San arrived to work and saw the bar. She asked Dad for a piece only for him to decline her. When she walked away, Dad saw in the corner of his eye her taking the bar. Dad’s plan was set.
After she took the bar, no one saw hide or tail of Mama-San for a week. Dad remembered his bunker was across a rice patty field, which eventually led to Mama-San’s house. He remembers seeing Mama-San in the fields and running constantly back and forth to her house.
When the week ended, Mama-San came back to work, my dad asked her in her mother tongue where she’s been only for her to tell him she “was sick all week.” She never stole again after that.”
9. Can't Get A Bacon Cheeseburger? He'll Order A Bacon Burger And A Cheeseburger Then
Like, is it really that hard?
“So to start off, this isn’t my story; it’s my husband’s malicious compliance. Posted with his permission. I promise this 100% did happen.
Time-wise, it happened 10 years ago in a cheap all-inclusive hotel in Ibiza. My husband was on his ‘stag do’ (bachelor party for any US peeps) with a group of pals. There were 8 guys, and they did the whole trip on the cheap.
A 2 star all you can eat and drink hotel that costs a crazy low amount of dollars. So basically, service was never going to be exceptional.
The incident takes place at the poolside burger bar, where there was staff on hand cooking up burgers throughout the day. The menu was limited – specifically, you could opt for either a cheeseburger or a bacon burger.
My husband, being the rebel that he is (!) decides that what he really fancied was a cheese AND bacon burger.
He approached the counter, and asked very politely, “If you don’t mind, can I have a cheeseburger with bacon?’
The man behind the counter is incredulous like this question has never been asked before! ‘A cheese AND bacon burger’ he says that it’s ‘not possible. We only serve cheese OR bacon burgers.’ At this point, my husband starts to see red. This is an all-inclusive hotel; he can literally have 10 of each type of each burger for free, but they won’t combine the two?! He points this out to the burger man, who angrily sticks to his guns, ‘Yes sir, you can have multiple burgers, but you CAN NOT have a cheese and bacon burger.’
I’m pretty sure at this point you can all guess where this story is heading…
‘Ok,’ says Hubby. ‘Then I’ll take one cheeseburger and one bacon burger.’ Man cooks them and passes them over. Very slowly, and quite deliberately, my husband makes a show of opening both burgers on the countertop. He slowly removes the bacon and places it on top of the cheese in the cheeseburger.
He closes the bun, picks up his now bacon and cheeseburger, and calmly walks away, leaving a now plain hamburger on the countertop.
At this point, the burger guy is incensed! My husband told me that at the time, he honestly thought the guy was going to lean over the counter and punch him in the face, that’s how angry he looked. As my husband is walking away, he screams after him, ‘YOU CAN NOT DO THAT!!!!!’ To which my husband replies, ‘I think I just did.’
Every time we eat burgers, me and my husband end up laughing our heads off at the story of the most dramatic burger he ever ate.”
8. My Best Work Still Isn't Good Enough? I'll Try "Better" Next Time
“So, the situation I’m about to describe is from a food service job that I no longer work at.
I absolutely loved it at the time and was pretty darn good at it (since I got promoted from regular crew to HR manager and 3rd in charge of the store within like a year). I ended up quitting due to some issues with the GM, but that’s neither here nor there.
At the time of this story, I was a manager in training and knew my way around the store very well. I had the respect of my coworkers and of customers and got along with pretty much everyone. My specialty at the time was working the drive-thru.
I was working back at the first drive-thru window, which we called back booth, where the worker confirms the drive-thru order and collects payment.
We had recently been told by franchise management that we don’t ask customers if they want a receipt; we just hand it to them, and they have the ability to refuse it. Seems harmless enough, but in this case, it would have helped the situation. A side note: while most people took orders and left drive-thru one at a time, I was able to do both simultaneously to cut down on time.
A customer comes through in a large diesel truck, which anyone who’s worked drive-thru will know, can cause issues with hearing the order. This guy had to shout over his truck what he wanted and then pulled ahead before I could confirm his order. When he got to the window, he pulled out his card and handed it to me before I could confirm again.
As I was taking another order, I quickly walked him through his order and total while I was swiping his card, then continued to take another order as I handed him his card and receipt.
He grabbed the card, but not the receipt, and continued to the next window. As this was common, I simply threw away the receipt to prevent clutter.
Apparently, I entered one of his items wrong, and he called later to complain, and specifically said, “If she hadn’t been talking to someone else the whole time, maybe she would have been able to do her job!”
My manager, who knew how I worked and placed me in the back booth for that reason, came back and let me explain the situation to him before judging.
He then said, “How about you try and do things one at a time? That way you won’t have any more complaints.”
A few things to note: 1- We all get complaints for stupid reasons because we can do things perfectly and still be wrong. Cause that’s what people do. 2- Our company takes drive-thru time very seriously. If we went over, say, 150 seconds for a person to start an order to when they left our drive-thru, we weren’t being fast enough.
3- My manager knew both of those things and placed me in back booth because, frankly, I was the best. I was able to multitask with little to no error, and therefore, extremely decreased our drive-thru times.
But you know what? I said fine.
I wasn’t going to argue during a busy weekend lunch period, so I just did as he said. I would take an order, then confirm, and complete the order at my window, one at a time, without any crossover.
Our times tanked. We went from a happy 150-160 to over 400 with like 10 minutes. People began complaining left and right that their food was cold, they waited too long, why did they have to be parked for a 2-item order, etc. And once the times tank, it’s near impossible to get them back up for a good 4-5 hours, especially on the weekends.
My manager came back and looked at me.
I maintained eye contact with him as I took a large order, then felt him watch me as I carefully went over an even larger order at my window to confirm and pay.
I then looked over at him and said, “You said to do them one at a time” with a big smile.
Him, being a guy with a great sense of humor, just laughed and told me to shut up and do my job.
The times went down pretty quickly after that.
7. Using A Salesman's Toxic Masculinity Against Him
“My wife and I have used a salesman’s toxic masculinity against him, and it was so satisfying. It was when we bought our first new car. We were nervous that we didn’t know what we were doing, so we did a lot of research (it helps that my wife is a librarian).
When we got to the dealer, the salesman would only talk to me. I was all buddy-buddy with the guy, too, but he completely ignored my wife.
We went along.
The dealer was running a promotion where they would give you $X for your trade-in, no matter what condition. “If you can drive it on the lot…” kind of deal. Of course, they just don’t discount off of MSRP in those cases, so it’s a gimmick. When we walked in, the salesman asked which car was ours parked outside and then asked if we were trading it in.
I said no, we weren’t trading that car in. You can see where this was going.
As I said, we had done our research and knew what a fair price was for the car we wanted. At the time, Edmunds had detailed dealer-level price information for many new cars, including all the various ways a dealer gets paid and what their true costs are (the “invoice price” is not their true cost).
I negotiated the price (since he wouldn’t talk to my wife), and we arrived at a number I thought was fair, actually. We got a good deal at that point. Everything was going smoothly as he wrote up our agreement until he confirmed that we didn’t have a trade-in. I said, no, we were trading in a car, just not the one we drove into the dealer in.
He literally froze for a few seconds looking down at the form, his hand hovering over the page.
He asked the make, model, and year of our trade-in, and when I told him, he sputtered and balked. The car we were trading in was on its last legs. I’d had it all during college, and it was old before I bought it. It was definitely past its prime.
I said, “I thought you were running a promotion where the quality of the trade-in doesn’t matter.” I asked him if he would have given us a higher price if he knew we had a trade-in? My wife said under her breath, “That’s sleazy.” He heard, as she intended him to.
He then tried to renegotiate the price. We knew from our research that if they gave us the price we had already agreed on, and honored the trade-in deal, they would be losing out.
So we were willing to move a bit, but we wanted to take our time. He was visibly nervous. Every time he tried a new way of asking for a higher price, I would say something like, “I understand what you’re saying” with a sympathetic look. Then I would look at my wife, and she would look back at me and silently shake her head no.
I’d then look back at the salesman and shrug and say, “I don’t think that’s going to work.”
He was stuck. She was the one standing in the way of him getting out of his predicament, but he hadn’t talked to her at all. He had barely even acknowledged her presence. He just couldn’t start talking to her now when we were negotiating. Oh, and I even got to use the classic car salesman line, “What do I have to do for you to put me in this car today?”
We finally agreed to raise the price to an amount that, after figuring in the trade-in, was what we had thought was their break-even price.
We hadn’t expected to get that low of a price, and we also got them to install a nice after-market sound system. It’s the best deal we’ve ever gotten on a new car. Honestly, we’re not the best negotiators individually, but that day we made one heck of a team.”
Another User Comments:
“When I worked in car sales, one of the top rules we were taught in training was to always acknowledge all people in the group equally, especially in a spouse situation, assuming the decision-maker was a nail in the coffin for any deal.” guldilox
6. Can't Stay Past My Clock Out Time, Even During A Rush? I'm Out-ski
And now you’re understaffed for the day.
“This is a story from about 6 years ago back when I worked as a waitress.
The summer between grades 11 and 12, I worked at a small family-owned restaurant about a 20-minute drive from my house.
I lived fairly middle of nowhere, so this restaurant and 2 others served basically the whole county. So, even during the dead time of winter, we were often busy.
But, we’re also directly on a path from a big city to a large lake, so we’re especially busy in summer.
The people that ran the restaurant were a married couple. The wife, Sandra, was generally lovely, but the husband, Marvin, had a very short temper. I think I can count the number of times he talked to me without yelling on one hand.
I picked up on the job easily enough.
I’m very extroverted and friendly, so a lot of the customers loved me. Sandra decided to train me to do the opening shift at the restaurant.
She would stay in the back and help me with prep and other things as I got used to the setting. Marvin was against this from the onset, saying I wasn’t there long enough to be taking on this commitment.
This malicious compliance took place about midway through June.
After two weeks with Sandra helping me out, she stops coming by, so I was there with a singular cook until lunch when I got relieved by another staff member.
It just so happens that the next few weeks were going to be gorgeous weather, so my first week without Sandra, we get slammed. The waitress that relieves me, Bonnie, is my senior. So, as Sandra and Marvin have told me, Bonnie can ask me to stay to help out, and it’s like them asking me to stay.
Bonnie asks me to stay and help out every day that week.
Marvin sees my time clocked in and out and freaks out, saying he knew I wasn’t trained enough and that I was using that excuse to get more hours (even though I was getting 25+ every week and had a second job). I knew better than to say anything back, and then he told me I wasn’t allowed to stay past my time anymore.
I confirm with him that, no matter what, I shouldn’t stay past my time. He yells that, unless he or Sandra specifically tell me to stay, I can’t stay past my time. I smile and tell him no problem.
So, I’m opening all of next week and like the week before we’re slammed.
It looks like there’s going to be no reprieve as my time to clock out comes.
I tell Bonnie I’m leaving, and, like usual, she asks me to stay. I shrug and said Marvin told me explicitly I couldn’t take her word for asking me to stay. Bonnie is angry. She agrees that I can leave, and she phones Sandra and Marvin. Sandra phones me and asks me if I can come back, but I’m already at home at this point, and I refuse.
So, she and Marvin have to leave their house to go help out.
I come into work the next morning to open, and both Sandra and Marvin are there. Marvin starts yelling at me about how I just left when it was so busy.
And I calmly remind him I was told to leave unless he or Sandra specifically requested it. He’s grumpy and says I should know what he meant.
So, I ask if I can take the relieving waitstaff’s word for asking me to stay. He disagrees, and instead, I have to phone him before I leave. Sandra starts arguing with him, saying that’s ridiculous and to just let us make the judgment call as we’re the ones out there and know what’s happening. But Marvin is sticking to his guns, and Sandra just rolls her eyes and walks away.
So, obviously, here comes malicious compliance part two. I phone him at the end of every one of my shifts, even when I have to close, or it’s dead.
I always said I just wanted to be sure this time since he was so upset last time.
This lasts for a little over a week before he finally gives up and says it’s fine if I or another waitstaff make a judgment call to stay past the time if it’s busy.”
Another User Comments:
“I so wish I had done this! I used to work for somebody who would give us an unfeasibly large amount of work per shift, and we would have to account for any work which didn’t get done during our shift by writing a handover note explaining why we couldn’t complete the task (which just wasted more time).
The boss would often then call me towards the end of my shift and give me additional tasks that had to be completed THAT NIGHT. Obviously, this meant I had to stay longer to complete those tasks.
At the end of the month, she asked to speak to me about my timesheets. She explained that she’d had to ‘correct’ it for me because I’d put the wrong hours in (I’d put my end time later to account for the jobs she’d asked me to do).
She had literally gone through my timesheets and put the usual finish time for all the times I’d worked over, and since I hadn’t noted the time anywhere else, I lost over 7 hours of overtime. This technically meant I got paid less than minimum wage that month.
I explained that the times I’d worked late were the times she’d specifically asked me to complete certain tasks before going home, but she still said she hadn’t authorized overtime.” RoofPreader
5. No Need To Evict Me Because I'm Already Gone
“So, I just moved apartments because my previous landlady/roommate/leaser was absolutely crazy and broke a TON of laws. I could have escalated this situation and most likely gotten my landlady (40+F) in trouble, but I’m pretty young (21F), so I decided to go the malicious compliance route.
Where to begin… From the moment I moved into the apartment, things were going awry. The landlady hadn’t moved her stuff out of my unit yet, so I had to help her do that before moving my stuff in.
(Of course, she didn’t help me move my stuff in, just wanted help moving her stuff.) Now I’m a pretty laid-back person, arguably to the point of me being a borderline doormat, so whatever, cool, cool; I’ll help you move your stuff. Then after helping her, she decided to then tell me AFTER I moved in and AFTER the lease is signed that my cat might not be able to stay because of her daughter’s (30F) alleged allergy that she apparently didn’t know about when she agreed to allow my cat in the unit.
The landlady had three very aggressive and loud chihuahuas as well as constantly babysitting her 9-month-old grandson who stomped and screamed the entirety of his visits.
Once again, it’s ya girl the doormat, and I just kind of ignored the annoyance I had towards the loud dogs and child because I’m renting, so like, what did I expect? I notified her that if the cat hair became a problem, then I would temporarily house him until I could find a pet-friendly new place, and the landlady agreed this was the best route.
Upon later conversations with her daughter; the allergy was super low grade, and her daughter would routinely pet and loved my cat without issue when she came down to do laundry, so I don’t know why her mother made a huge deal of it.
So, now that I’ve painted a picture of my move-in, let me just add that I had three dealbreakers:
1. the unit had to be pet friendly, 2.
the unit had to have a separate entrance, and 3. if shared laundry, the washer and dryer were to be separated from my unit. It’s totally my fault for choosing this place as the entrance was shared, and my unit had NO lock, and I couldn’t install one. The washer and dryer were in my unit, which meant if the landlady or her daughter wanted to do laundry, they would have to walk through my ENTIRE apartment, and now with the daughter’s new allergy, things were looking grim.
But whatever, I chose this as a favor to my landlady because she couldn’t find anyone else (big red flag retrospectively, lol), and I worked with her, so I figured it would be okay since we could carpool.
Spoiler alert: it wasn’t okay, lol. So, shortly after my turbulent move-in day, things were tense as my landlady lost her father the previous year, and this was her first holiday season without him.
I suppose that during my holiday to my parents, my landlady entered my unit without permission (she wrote a laundry schedule, so I knew when she was supposed to be down there; this was not one of those times) and took a disliking to my cat’s litterbox.
Now I have one adult, male tabby cat that MAYBE poops/pees once a day, so I would clean the litterbox 2-3 times a week which had never been an issue before.
Upon my return home, my landlady screamed at me in her car about my lack of hygiene for my animal and accused me of neglecting him while also claiming her son said he smelled dirty litter in her unit when he was over for Christmas.
She demanded that I clean the litter box every day/every other day (which I was basically doing already as it was cleaned every 2-3 days), or she would move, and thus, terminate her lease and furthermore result in mine being terminated because I was leasing from her.
Okay, cool, cool, cool. I totally thought she was out of line, but I’m a broke college student, so moving again after only being there for a few months was not ideal. Whatever, I apologize for the issue and any smell they smelled and let her know that I would handle it. My partner was in charge of that chore, so he abided by her demands just to keep the peace as well as taking it further by adding deodorizers to the litter.
Some more backstory is that both she and her daughter are smokers and would smoke in the house and right by the entrance. All of my guests have verified that they do not smell any litter even if they are standing right next to the box. The only thing they could smell was smoke. (This was after I would slyly prompt them by saying, “I think I smell cat litter; do you? I think I may be desensitized.”)
A month later, she sends a text stating that the litter is still an issue and that if it happens again, she is going to evict us as we are “endangering the health” of her grandson.
At this point, she had begun terrorizing me at work and at home due to this issue; she was my HR rep, so I was kind of SOL when it came to work because she would be the one that would handle that kind of situation.
(She’s terrible at her job mostly because she’s crazy and can’t understand that her personal feelings have no place in the professional sphere.)
At this point, I’m like whatever I give up; I have jumped through fiery hoops for this woman, and she still isn’t happy.
So, we respond to her eviction threat with our 60-day notice of termination of our lease. The landlady did not take it well at all, and the atmosphere became tenser because now she had to move as well as she couldn’t afford the place on her own and could not get any other roommate, hence me moving in.
During this period before I moved to my new unit, she repeatedly entered my unit to do laundry despite it not being her day on the schedule she wrote, and after I gave explicit notification that she is to wait until I get home to enter my unit to do laundry.
(I never said no, just not while I’m not home because my cat can get skittish if I’m not there and strangers enter his space.) She ignored my request citing that it “didn’t work for her” and would enter my unit. She would also enter my unit early in the morning after I had left for work and would enter my unit to do laundry when I WAS SLEEPING.
Anyways, my leaving the lease early really messed her up because she wasn’t prepared to move; she was making baseless threats, and I called her bluff. She couldn’t find a new roommate, she couldn’t afford the place on her own, and she was struggling to find a place to live because she’s crazy and had super weird stipulations like there cannot be a speck of green in her unit and stuff like that.
She wanted her niece to move in, but that would require kicking us out a night before we could move into our new place, which she tried to do, but I informed her of the law and said it wasn’t happening unless we got a refund for the nights we left early.
Ultimately, my parents are amazing and were able to loan me some extra funds, so I could move into my new place sooner than the first of the month, so I did that.
My landlady’s niece had already found other accommodations, so she got messed up there because she was going to have to front rent entirely on her own now since she didn’t want to refund us for the nights we would have had to forfeit for her niece.
Her terribly mannered dogs had done plenty of damage to the unit before we moved in that the owner of the property charged her $400, which she promptly tried to blame on us even though it was her dogs who chewed the baseboards and her own negligence that resulted in her dogs peeing and saturating a wooden door in their urine.
I switched companies due to her harassment, and as of late, my replacement is messing up the job so badly that the company can’t even function day-to-day operations. My replacement was my landlady/HR rep’s best friend, so it looks terrible on her. They had to hire an additional person to cover the work that I was doing.
I, on the other hand, got a new job in the field in which I’m studying.
A bonus was that this new job had better hours, double the pay, less work, and was full-time with benefits NONE of which I was getting from my previous employer. My new unit is amazing, and my new landlords are so incredible. My unit is separated from the laundry and is pet friendly, AND it has a separate entrance. I’m allowed to burn incense and candles again, which is super nice.”
4. Clean The Fryer During A Rush? Whatever You Say
“As my current job begins to start back operation, my memory brought me back to my previous years as a long-suffering line cook.
For those of you who have worked this job, you know it is simultaneously the best and worst job in the world. The people are great, but if it wasn’t for the low pay, long hours, working conditions, stress… anyway!
I was in management training at this time, and this was used constantly to coerce me into doing many downright dangerous things such as in this story.
But this time, it bit them in the rear.
On this particular Friday, I was working what we called “salad side,” which meant I was in control of the salads, pizza oven, and fryer. While it could be a lot to juggle during busy hours, I managed to get into a pretty good groove through the morning shift.
With no orders in the window, no tables on the floor but a bar regular, the day’s prep all finished, and the area cleaned and restocked, I was looking at a good thirty-minute break between my shifts.
(We didn’t get one scheduled nor were you guaranteed a meal on a double shift; you only got one if you finished on time.)
I figured that I, for once, had a good chance at a break. After checking with the other line cook on duty, I let the General Manager or GM know I was ready to go on break and to check my part of the kitchen.
From now on, she will be referred to as Lazy Daisy because that is what she was, lazy.
She is the source of many terrible events in this building, and her nickname used here comes from these. She walks and immediately goes to the deep fryer which had been forgotten about by the previous night’s crew as is tradition.
Lazy Daisy: “Why hasn’t this been cleaned out?”
Me: “Because it’s in the middle of the day.
We can only clean it out at the end of the night shift, and the night cook didn’t do it last night like it is scheduled. I can do it after we close tonight, though.”
The oil was too viscous in the morning when I arrived, and the sickly pump could not cycle the thick oil through the “gunk trap” properly. Therefore, the oil must be heated up first, but it has to be allowed to cool down enough to safely cycle the oil.
Even if we tried anyway, the time spent cleaning the fryer prevented a lot of essential prep work to be done before opening and then you had to hope the fryer would be ready before opening.
While this may not be a problem with some fryers, this old girl has seen better days and took forever to get started. Often, the opening manager coming in at 8 am had to turn it on to make sure it was alive for the 11 am opening.
The current roster managers usually refused to allow it to be taken offline during normal hours as they didn’t want to have to deal with the “but my nuggets” problems, so I didn’t think to come to her about it.
No idea what possessed her to want it done now of all times.
Lazy Daisy: “Quit being lazy and swap out the oil and clean this fryer out.
It’s disgusting. This is not the attitude I want in future management!”
Me: “And good future management would know not to change out fryer oil that is currently sitting at almost 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). I could lose a hand doing that! It will take a while to cool and clean.”
Lazy Daisy: “If you don’t change the oil and clean it up right now, I will have a talk with (area director) and discuss this promotion of yours.”
She then proceeded to strut back to the office to ignore her job and eat her lunch.
This was doubly insulting as I have not had a chance to have my own lunch now.
I sat there for a moment, kind of just seething until the other line cook came over and said, “Don’t. It’s not safe. Mucho Caliente.” I nodded in agreement trying to figure out what to do. I have ignored her in the past on these kinds of things, but it never ended up with me on top.
We stood there for a moment silently trying to figure out what to do. He was a good man and very concerned for my safety and was adamant I not even try since I had a bit of an injury reputation. That’s when light bulbs popped up in my head. Oh, I’ll make sure the fryer is clean alright, and I’ll make sure that oil is replaced.
Me: “You know, the rush starts not too long from now. And since my night shift starts in a few minutes, no need to it do it quickly.”
The other line cook stood there for a moment looking at me like I was crazy, then smiled, eyes closed, shaking his head at me as if to say, You are an idiot, and you are gonna hurt yourself.
He then shouted out. “Heard. Servers, 86 fried!” (him letting the servers know we couldn’t do fried items)
I put no effort into doing the next steps swiftly. I cut the heat then headed out to the back dock and grabbed this metal tube on wheels we used to transport the old grease. While the grease typically was not insanely hot when transporting it out, it was still at a mean temperature and needed a lot of precautions as it would quickly heat up the metal.
I won’t bore you with the steps required of changing and cycling grease, but know that several times hot speckles of oil popped onto my face and arms. It was painful, but I knew this sacrifice will be worth it.
As I am perfecting the art of gunk poking, several tables walked into the door including a 12-top (12-person table) of mostly little kids. I was able to see them because the majority of the kitchen was visible from the dining room and vice versa because of the open-concept design of the restaurant.
One server’s section groaned because the night shift was still several minutes away from arriving, and she hadn’t even finished looking at her snaps. Oh, how fortuitous.
Lazy Daisy began to stir in her office, so I knew I had to rush this next step. I pulled the gunk trap out, slid in the wheeled grease tube, and began to drain it, making extra sure the flow wasn’t strong enough to splash and burn my feet off.
Since it was only a two-slot fryer, this happened very quickly, just quickly enough that she arrived as the last drop went into the tube. The distant childish chorus calling out, “I want cheese sticks!” could be heard in the background.
Lazy Daisy: “What is taking so long! We have customers now, and the grease isn’t swapped out. Why did you waste so much time cleaning!”
I simply shrugged as the night shift began to walk in.
“It takes time to clean it out with it being so hot. I had to be extra careful. You demanded I clean it, and I haven’t even had time to wipe it with the towel yet. But it’s still too hot. I would need to wait.”
I wasn’t lying, the metal was still extremely hot, and she knew that. As if on cue, I heard a ticket print, and despite my pretty bad eyesight, I could see plain as day what was on the ticket.
Three orders of the best mozzarella sticks on this side of the Balcones. I guess the server was too busy playing on her phone to hear the other line cook call 86. Oh well, that is not my problem.
Lazy Daisy turned and looked at the ticket then gave me a death glare. “How long?”
I shrugged again. “Usually takes a bit. The left fryer is still acting up, but I can crank up the right.
Still gonna take a bit with the new grease.”
Lazy Daisy puts her hand to her forehead frustrated. “Just put the old grease back in.”
Because of the rapidly rising heat of the wheeled grease tube and lack of hand grips beside the one next to the opening and the significant number of obstacles in the cramped kitchen, it was now impossible to put the grease back in without severe risk to anyone nearby, and she knew that.
Me: “No can do. If I try, the grease will be spilling everywhere, and I will probably have to go to the hospital if I try. Even if it doesn’t spill, I will still have burned hands. And do you really want all these guests seeing me pour grease from this dirty, grease-encrusted tube?”
Lazy Daisy had this look of absolute defeat, and she marched over to deal with the table as I dumped the cold, thick new grease into the fryer and then poured the old grease into the grease bin on the back dock.
The left fryer took forever to heat back up and wasn’t ready until well after the rush was in full swing. The right side was much quicker but still took quite a while anyway. Aging and broken equipment were common in this building, and commercial grease fryers are not often prized for their turn-on speed.
The parents of the little kid army were complete and total Karens and began shouting obscenities at Lazy Daisy which could easily be heard over the growing bustle of the restaurant and the snickering of the line cooks.
The other morning, the line cook even found an excuse to stay a few extra minutes to watch before he headed out for the night. Lazy Daisy then spent a good part of the night going from table to table explaining that there were no fried items as servers never pay attention to any ‘86’ call no matter how many times it is repeated. (And as a current server, I admit to doing this far too often to be this judgmental.) This only infuriated and stressed her out even more.
Once the right side fryer had finally heated up, she spent even more of the night explaining why all the chicken parms, eggplant parms, nuggets, wings, fries, mozzarella sticks, etc. were running so far behind. After all, we only had half the usual frying capacity. She ended up having to buy a lot of food for the tables and stay late to “put out fires” as the other manager Lucy was terrible with tables, all of which were in perfect view of me.
Thank you, open concept kitchen.
After closing, I got a stern talking-to from Lazy Daisy and Lucy, but they knew I had won this round and knew that Lazy Daisy was the one who demanded I clean the fryer so soon before the night began.
I never ended up eating lunch that day, but before I turned off the fryer for the night, I made sure to sneak out with one quick item: a batch of five delicious mozzarella sticks.”
3. You Clearly Don't Want Me Here, So I'll Just Fire Myself
“This happened about a year ago now, but I still think back to it from time to time and appreciate how well it unfolded.
I work in software and took a job at a small, medium-sized software company in 2018. The company was family-owned, and I went to high school with the CEO’s daughter. The place itself was rampant with nepotism, and the company culture wasn’t great.
Chauvinist comments and “humorous” racist remarks were common, but I needed a job, and this was one of the few options I had.
My title was Project Coordinator, but I was quickly relegated to buying lunches for the team and such. At one point when the lottery reached 500 million, the CTO asked me to dress like Randy Savage and get a pool together. I spent a whole day buying lottery tickets.
I hated it but kept thinking if I paid my dues, I’d get a shot at some real work and growth.
Eventually, I got a chance to handle recruiting and doing intro calls for new hires. It was brutal, but yet again, I kept pushing through.
I realized that I HATE IT HERE.
It was a 6-month contract-to-hire situation and they made me an offer which I was able to negotiate from 40k to 55k which felt like validation finally.
Sadly, nothing changed after this.
I kept buying lunches and setting up calls that I wouldn’t be included in. Around this time, 1:1s essentially ended for me. What was a monthly cadence with my boss (the CTO) turned to once every 3 months, and finally, he had me reporting to the CEO’s daughter who would then conduct my 1:1s.
I was open about my frustrations, and I was promised that in January 2020, they would move me out of hiring.
January came and went.
February, and I finally had a meeting with the CTO. I got to his office only to be told that there was no other role for me, and now that we had hired more people, we didn’t have a need for my services anymore on the tech team. I pushed harder and essentially the CEO’s daughter didn’t have faith in me and that was that.
He politely suggested I resign and they’d give me a letter of recommendation.
We went back and forth, and he finally mentioned that there was another opening on another team, but he thought that would be a bad role for me.
This is where the malicious compliance comes in. He showed all his hands at that point, and I knew I could make this work for me. The next day, I updated my dice profile and within 24 hours had 2 interviews set up.
I then told him I needed a few days to think things over and that I was taking PTO.
I went home and waited, watched Nacho Libre, and prepped for interviews. That day, he texted me asking me general work questions. Day 2, he finally broke down and asked over text if I wanted to be let go or resign. He actually wrote that in text form.
I told him I was still thinking about the other role and hadn’t made a decision.
I then had dinner with the founder of the company (the other role was on his team). He was the CEO’s husband, and he and I always got along. I laid out everything I went through.
That night, I emptied most of my office, and the next day, the CTO called livid telling me I was handling this the wrong way, and this was making it difficult for them.
2 days later (after using some of my PTO), I walked into the VP of HR’s office and told her to fire me.
She looked at me confused and said that a manager normally needs to tell her that. I showed her printed-out screenshots of our texts and a log of my 1:1s. Siting that if they were firing me for cause, then you’d think this would look more consistent.
I was fired, and at this point, I had a job lined up already. The shutdown hit and that offer was delayed, but because I was fired, I could claim unemployment.
This hit them, and they even tried to claim they gave me severance, but I had all my paystubs and proved otherwise.
The CEO’s daughter straight up stopped talking to me, and they ended up giving up their office and moving into a co-working space.
I got a job as a legit PM at a fortune 50 software company. I bought a Lincoln. My life is 100x better.
My parents voted for the first time this year, and I went with them.
They live close to that co-working space, and with as much salt as possible, I linked up with a few folks I actually liked at the company, and they told me to come over. I spent a half-day working in the same space as them with the biggest grin on my face.
And that’s how I left my previous company. As a kid, they tell you don’t get fired, but as an adult, sometimes it’s the smartest option.”
2. Fill The Page? I Can Do That
Technically, he did exactly as he was told.
“Back in high school, about 15 years ago (that hurt to type), I had a run-in with a PE teacher who was known to have a bit of a power trip on occasion. For some background, when I was 13, I injured my knee in a quad bike accident 2 days into the summer holidays (a passenger sitting on the sign saying that being a passenger may result in injury or death a week before Ozzy nearly died on a quad).
When I returned to school after the summer, there was a standing agreement with the PE teachers that if my knee was sore, I didn’t take part. This continued to be the case for the rest of the time PE was a mandatory class.
There was a teacher who joined the school a year after my injury who was passively aware of the agreement, but I always felt that he thought it was just an excuse for the fat kid to sit out of PE.
Before the accident, I was on the basketball team and enjoyed gymnastics, so it wasn’t like I hated the subject, even if I wasn’t great at it either.
One day, my knee was particularly bad, so I didn’t back my PE kit because I knew there was no way I’d be in any state to take part. Normally, the “punishment” was to walk laps of the playing field, which I was fine with as low-impact activities never caused any issues.
This day, Mr.
McCrackin (who we all tried desperately not to make jokes about his name to his face) decided my punishment would be to write lines, despite me explaining why there was no way I could take part.
“Take this sheet of paper, and fill it with, ‘I must not forget my PE kit.'”
Fill it? No mention of how many times I had to write it? No problem!
I filled that piece of paper by writing in my largest legible script 8 times.
He was not happy.
T “What is this?”
M “You told me to fill the page, so I did.”
T “This is insulting to my intelligence.”
M “I just did what you told me to.”
T “That’s it. You’re going to do this tonight: 100 lines of, ‘I must not insult the teacher’s intelligence,’ and I want it first thing tomorrow.”
I never did hand that in, and I made sure to forget my kit every time I knew I had that loser for PE.”
1. Backpedal After Promising To Pay Overtime For My Extended Shift? You'll Get Outplayed
“I was working in a top Asian brand factory in the engineering department. One of my main (and many) tasks was giving support to production with new models and also training staff when product rework was needed. At this point, I’m a year into my engineering position and am sick of my work environment, as it was hostile in many ways, and was common for me to work 65+ hours almost every week (overtime was paid; this is relevant later).
For reference, my work schedule (in paper) was 5 workdays with 10.2 hours each day (including breaks and lunch), but I ended up also going most Saturdays and staying late on weekdays also.
One Friday morning, my team manager (Jeff, not real name, obviously) requested me to go home and return during the second shift because there was rework needed on some product, and they need 2 members from our team during said rework.
Jeff’s instructions were as follows:
“Go home, get some sleep, come back at the beginning of second shift, give rework instructions to staff members, supervise until they finish, and then send me a report with the outcome via email. Stay overtime if needed.”
Simple enough. I just asked about my morning hours, and he states that the time I worked that morning would be added to my overtime hours and that I work second shift as normal hours (from 7:30 p.m.
to 4:20 a.m.) and to stay longer if necessary to ensure everything was OK (paid overtime also). This whole exchange was done verbally but in front of the department manager, so no worries. After talking to me, he went to a coworker (we will call him Jim) to ask him to also do the same as me. Cool, we agreed, and I clocked out at exactly 10 a.m.
(2.5 hours into our shift), and then headed out to the parking lot. Jim stayed 2 more hours due to another pending issue.
Here comes the first problem: I go out to the parking lot, and it’s pouring (like Jumanji flooded house pouring), I get to my car, and it’s blocked by many other cars parked in prohibited positions (we were having big issues with this, not enough parking space) and can’t get out to head home.
I return to the security guard’s post to get out of the rain and call Jeff.
He doesn’t pick up (was in a meeting, or so he says), so I call my supervisor (Brad) instead, telling him that I can’t leave due to the parking issue. Minutes pass, and Brad comes to the parking lot and has a little flash of genius. He sees his car is not blocked and proposes we switch cars and exchange back on Monday. I agree and go on my way back home, somewhat tired, hungry, and soaking from all the rain.
A second problem occurs.
The day passes, and I head back to the factory just in time for the second shift, only to find out that rework will start only after 11 p.m. due to some production delays. For me, it’s cool; I get time to do other pending work. As the hour draws near, the product that needed rework was not ready nor would it be ready by 11 p.m., so Jim called Jeff, told him the situation, to which he stated, “If you believe the beginning of rework delays too much, go home, and please come back on Saturday morning.” No additional comment was given from us; we just agreed, and he hung up.
Jeff was a fan of people following his instructions to the letter, and as you can imagine, this new statement angered both of us, because Jeff was trying to avoid paying overtime for us just “waiting idly” and not doing this task (even though we had more activities to do anyway).
Also, he was very known for having a silver tongue for making promises and getting out of them for petty reasons (happened to me already), and I also was kind of annoyed because of the parking lot incident that morning (I lost like 45 minutes in the rain just trying to get out).
At the moment, I only had 2.5 clocked hours in the morning and 3 more into the evening.
Meaning that even though he said those first 2.5 hours were overtime, I knew that wasn’t in writing, so the next 5 or so clocked hours of Saturday morning would not be overtime, and if I didn’t go, I wasn’t going to have the total regular hours needed that week, and HR would just deduct them from my overtime hours.
At this point, Jim and I looked at each other, and I asked him to repeat what Jeff said on the phone…
cue malicious compliance. Jeff said, “If you believe…” meaning that his words gave us free will, and we were going to follow his instructions to the letter.
We were told by staff that at midnight, rework process would start, and at ten minutes before midnight, they would procure the people for us to train. We “believed” this wasn’t a big delay, so we roll the dice. We train the staff, but the product was delayed again, and when we asked for a new ETA, it was 1 a.m.
That was perfect. Again, we “believed” it wasn’t a big delay. By the second time we asked, the production supervisor got wind of what we were doing and played along.
These 30-60 minute delays continued until 4 a.m. when finally the rework process started, but we only had 20 minutes on shift, to which I remembered the first instrucción Jeff said: “…supervise until they finish and… stay overtime if needed.” So us being the model employees, we complied.
Rework was done by 7:10 a.m. Jim took off as soon as we finished (he had worked more hours in the morning).
Just as I was sitting to make the report and send it via email (per request), Brad arrives for his overtime shift and was livid when he learned we didn’t go home and started until 4 a.m. and called Jeff to let him know the status of both Jim and me.
I explained to Jeff via phone about how we complied exactly how he told us to and that we were given small delays each time that we didn’t “believe” to be too much (I also told him that Jim already left to sleep, but I could stay if he needed me to).
Jeff was not vengeful (just a pain to work with), so nothing bad came out of this.
He saw that I had outplayed him in his own game and with his own rules, so he admitted defeat and told me to clock out for the weekend and not come in until Monday. I got my normal hours plus extra 6 hours after that whole thing. Bonus: I exchanged back cars with Brad that same Saturday morning instead of Monday, which was nice.
Oh, and the rework that was done that Friday night had to be redone again on Sunday because someone unrelated to us messed up and Jeff had to go himself to supervise because no one was available from our team.”