Sometimes I wish people were better listeners. If someone tells you that you’re incorrect, why not listen and consider their perspective? Listening and dropping your ego is sometimes the best thing you can do. It might just save you from extra trouble that you would otherwise land in if you decided to do things in your incorrect way.
It appears to me, though, that people would just rather have things done their way. I mean, whatever floats your boat, I guess. Assume that the customer wearing a red polo shirt is an employee and force him to take your order? Tell your employee to “stop acting like the manager,” yet expect them to do manager things without a pay raise, and that if they don’t like it, tell them that they can quit? Want everyone to follow company policy very closely, despite that it will cost the company a lot more in the long-run? Well, since you refuse to listen, they might just comply, and you won’t like the end results.
I’m loving these malicious compliance stories, and I know you’ll love them just as much!
23. Car Mechanic Tries To Belittle Me, So I Go Far To Prove Otherwise
“A couple of years ago, my car trunk was badly dented after someone hit me from behind.
(He was texting and didn’t realize I stopped at an intersection.) Obviously, his insurance agreed to cover all damages.
So, I brought my car, which was merely 4 months old, back to the original dealership for repairs. Important for later, the repair center is right next to a big lot where they stored the cars that were not on display. Fast forward a few weeks later, the repairs were done, and they called me to pick up the car.
During an inspection to make sure everything was fixed, I discovered that the trunk lock latch was not working properly. I mentioned this to the mechanic who was inspecting my car with me, and I will never forget what he said to me. Quoting his exact words, he said, “Ma’am with your 4 doors shut and all your windows up, it creates a pressure which makes it difficult to open your trunk door.” I was speechless for a few seconds then told him I may be clueless about cars, but that’s not how my trunk door functioned prior to the accident.
He kept trying to convince me that I was wrong and that nothing was wrong with the latch, and I kept insisting there was something wrong.
The supervisor saw us arguing and came over to ask what’s wrong. The mechanic explained to him that I refuse to accept that nothing is wrong with the door latch. The supervisor then told me I can walk around the storage lot and open some of the trunks of the same model car as mine to “feel” that mine works the same. He then asked the mechanic to walk with me and added, “As a matter of fact, she can pop open every trunk.”
Malicious compliance ensues. It took a while, but I opened every trunk, and with each car, the mechanic would say, “See? Same as yours,” and I would reply with, “NO.”
Needless to say, after our little adventure, the mechanic was getting quite impatient with me.
We walk back to the supervisor, and the mechanic annoyingly explained that I was still not convinced. The supervisor then suggested that the mechanic take apart the lock and show me the working mechanism to prove that everything is fine. From the surprised look on his face when I said yes, I believe he was expecting me to back down and just agree everything was fine.
Well, with the locking mechanism exposed, the mechanic pressed the open button once, and the latch moves like normal. He looks at me with a smug face. He tried it again to prove me wrong a second time, and behold, THE LATCH JAMS. He tried again a third time and no movement. He had to jimmy it a bit in order to get it to function again.
All of a sudden, he just walks off. Of course, I asked him where he’s going. He turns and tells me he’s going to order me a new lock. Being disgusting, I replied with, “But why do that when with my 4 doors shut and…” Before I can finish, he told me to please stop and that he’s already doing what needs to be done. I smugly smiled and kept my mouth shut.” Pam_ali
22. Make Us Cut Our Hair? Time To Get Creative
“This was while I was serving my drafted army duty (one-year conscription in my country). My hair was a bit long before entering, and I had to cut it, so it didn’t reach or cover my ears or the top of the shirt at the back of my neck.
At first, I didn’t mind much and neither did my fellow draftees.
After basic training, however, things started to change. I got some officers who were on power trips and were very meticulous about all the most minute rules. It didn’t take long before we got tired of it. At one inspection, some of my fellow draftees were told their hair had grown too long, and they needed a haircut before the platoon would be given weekend leave. ‘A soldier must always look tidy and spotless, especially when mingling with civilians,’ they said.
At almost every weekend we had leave, they managed to find something that needed improving before they let us go. We were always the last platoon to leave camp, and we found we had reached and crossed a line, and something had to be done.
A fellow draftee had a buzz-cutter, a small machine that could cut our hair really short. He charged us a small amount to cut our hair if we wanted, but few had used his services until now. So, most of us had a regular but short, civilian haircut. Almost none had gone for the army look or buzz-cut.
We read up on the regulations and found that the only relevant points were that hair should not cover even the top of our ears nor touch the shirt in the back of our necks. We also couldn’t use bright colors in our hair. Cue malicious compliance.
Almost everybody in our platoon decided to join in on the fun, and we got creative. There were mohawks aplenty, not all of them symmetrical or straight, weird patterns were cut, sporadic long and short hair all over our heads.
One even made sure to shave a big bald spot in the back, leaving only two dots and a horizontal line of hair at the back of his head.
The officers were impatient as we took our time getting this done, but they had said something to the likes of, ‘Don’t show yourselves here until your hair complies with the regulations!’ So, we let them simmer a bit.
We eventually formed up on the parade ground with our berets on, mostly covering our creativity. A few smirks and snickers could be felt among us as we waited for the command to bare our heads for inspection.
I will never forget the look on my officers’ faces when they realized what we had done, and it dawned on them that we were all compliant with the regulations.
About half of us kept it up for the rest of our service, trying out various patterns and looks every month or so. It was always a pleasure to see the regret in the eyes of our officers whenever we were indoors, and regulations had us go bareheaded without our berets. Particularly after getting a new cut showing of our new patterns and unbridled creativity, it was like constantly rubbing our malicious compliance in their faces.
When we finally had finished our year of service, one of the officers complimented us on our creativity and perseverance.” PugC
21. Wanna Call My Parents? Sure, But You’re The One Gonna Be Scolded
“Just remembered this story from junior high. In 9th grade, I was a little bit of a sh*t.
I have pretty severe ADHD and made it a habit of messing with teachers. I never really did anything bad per se but was constantly disruptive and talked back a lot. My grades were solid, though, so mostly I just ended up with a lot of lunch detentions. One teacher in particular, Ms. On-Time, really did not like me, and after my malicious compliance, she basically didn’t speak directly to me the remainder of the school year.
Ms. On-Time hated students being late to class. Anyone even a minute late would be sent to in-school suspension for the rest of the class and then would receive 1 day of detention for the first infraction, a week for the second, and 2 weeks for the 3rd.
About halfway through the school year, she made an adjustment to the rule. Nobody was quite sure why, but the rumor was the front office had a talk with her about her policies for sending so many kids to detention. The new policy was that if you were able to complete a task, you would be allowed into the classroom. These ranged from doing a math problem on the board in front of the class to collecting trash around the room before you could sit. Well, I took this as a free way to show up whenever I wanted.
After showing up late for the 4th or 5th time in two weeks, Ms. On-Time started to get mad, and the tasks started becoming more and more difficult.
The next time I showed up late, I had 15 seconds to recite the alphabet backwards; otherwise, she threatened detention for 2 weeks. This is where the malicious compliance comes in.
After she had implemented this new rule, I started asking friends from her class what tasks she had been assigning during the other periods. I had collected a pretty long list of these tasks and made sure I was able to do any of them when asked. Fortunately for me, she had used the reverse alphabet on another student in the previous term. Without breaking stride towards my desk, I rattled off the reverse alphabet and sat down without another word. Ms. On-Time was livid. It was pretty obvious I had practiced with how quickly I had been able to respond.
After staring at me for a few seconds, she announced to the class, “It appears Mr. Jumper doesn’t take me or the rules of my classroom seriously, but maybe he’ll listen to his parents.”
She called me up to the front of the room, put her phone on speaker, and asked me to call my dad. Everyone in the room was ooohing and aaahing at me as I made my way up. I called up my dad, and this is a basic summary of how the call went. One important thing to note is that Ms. On-Time never let my dad know he was on speaker in front of the rest of the class.
Ms. On-Time – ‘Hello, Mr. Jumper. This is Ms. On-Time, and I have jibjumper on the line, and he has something to tell you.’
Dad – ‘What’d you do, jibjumper?’
Me – ‘I was late to class. The rule is you have to complete a task to not get detention. Ms. On-Time told me to say the alphabet backward, and I did. Then she had me call you.’
Dad – ‘Ms. On-Time, is what Jibjumper saying true?’
Ms. On-Time – ‘Yes, but he’s leaving out that he’s been late 5 times in two weeks and has a disrespectful attitude.’
Dad – ‘Is that true, Jibjumper?’
Me – ‘It’s true I was late, but I finished the task every time. I’m just following the rules Ms. On-Time put in place. I don’t get how that’s disrespectful.’
Ms. On-Time – ‘Don’t lie and act like that you know you were being disruptive and disrespectful for ignoring the ..”
Dad cutting off Ms. On-Time mid-sentence – ‘Now wait a second. You’re calling him a liar, but you put the rule in place that he could do a task to get out of detention?’
Ms. On-Time – ‘Yes, but…’
Dad – ‘And he completes the tasks as requested?’
Ms. On-Time – ‘Yes, but…’
Dad – ‘Then what’s the problem here? It sounds like he’s following the rules YOU established for your classroom. Don’t call me at my office again unless he actually does something worth calling me for.’
And then he hung up.
I just walked back to my desk without saying another word. Ms. On-Time just stood there for about 30 seconds with a look of pure outrage on her face. Most of the class was trying to suppress giggles.
I’ll never forget the sh*t eating grins on my two friends’ faces as I walked past them in the aisle.” Jibjumper
20. Mistake Me For Working Here? Sure, I’ll Take Your Order
“A few months ago, I was looking for a job. I spent most of my day walking downtown in interviews. At this point, I’m in a horrible mood. The only interviews that showed any interest were the ones that looked swifty as f*ck. Most of the day is gone, the whole thing was just a farce, and I’m starving. It was one of these days that nothing goes right. After I was done, I chose to grab a bite.
I chose a big, local chain of fast food as they make decent food at a low price.
As I enter, the first thing I notice is that it’s kind of full, but the register was empty. I sighed as that usually means they have a lot of orders in the back, and my food would be kind of late. I walk there, and the employees (teenagers, probably part-timers or their first job) were giggling on the phone. One of them glances at me and says one moment. Alright, I have no problem with that. And I wait. And wait. And wait. At some point, I look at the clock behind them. I was waiting awkwardly in front of two giggling teenagers for four minutes.
I decided not to make a big deal out of it. I politely and discreetly clear my throat.
The same teen rolls her eyes at me, evidently very annoyed that I interrupted again. The irritation of the day starts creeping out, but as I have worked retail most of my life, I hold it in. “What do you want to order?” She asks in a very rude manner. At this point, I’m quite sure I have a vein popping out, anime style. I swallow my temper (I have to point out; I am generally very polite in my social interactions especially towards employees, having worked retail most of my life) and order my food (2 small burgers and a cola, totaling something like $6.30).
She rolls her eyes again, “Wow, spending the big bucks aren’t we?” in the most condescending, annoyingly bratty voice you can imagine.
At this point, I just shrug my shoulders. My upbringing preventing me to make the remarks my brain was screening at me.
I move on a corner on one of those tall bar tables on the side to wait for my order, and I take out my small notebook to write some notes on the last interview. (I keep notes on the owners’ attitudes and other small details I notice during interviews)
As I mind my business, a wild Karen encroaches on my personal space!
“Excuse me? Are you listening to me? I’m speaking to you!”
I turn around, and I’m like what?
“Are you gonna take our order now, or are you gonna keep pretending to work?”
I blinked. Then it hit me. I was wearing similar attire to the employees (a red polo t-shirt and dark blue jeans).
Of course, one could mention the fact that my red shirt was a different shade than the store uniform and that mine lacked the store logo and the name tag, not to mention a big leather bag hanging from my side, but my years of experience taught me that Karen cells cannot co-exist with brain cells.
I tried to tell her that I don’t work here and that she must go to the register. (Something to point here: the way ordering works in big franchises here is, you go to the register, you make your order, you pay, and a server brings it to you. Very rarely would a server go to your table, usually if you take a while to order.) After a while of demanding, I said screw this, and I complied.
I took her order.
“Alright, ma’am, where is your table?” She points at the 5 Karen table, and I nod.
“I will be right there.”
“F*cking kids, all you know is how to avoid working. You should get fired, you lazy thing.” She says as she leaves. I’m 30. No longer a kid (but I do look very young, 24-26 with a beard, around 20 shaved, which I was at that time).
I would not have it. I was hungry, in a horrible mood, and years of self-discipline were crumbling as I was hungry for blood.
I went to the nightmare table that consisted of not one, not two, but six whole Karens. I put my biggest, fakest of smiles, and I took the order. I even suggested a few non-existent dishes, while ghostwriting on my notebook.
I then pointed out that it was a big order, and it’ll take a while. I then left the Nightmare on Karen Table and went back in a corner and waited my order in a far better mood. While waiting, a server went to their table and asked if they had ordered.
“Yes we have. Are all the staff here as lazy as you?”
At this point, I started grinning. She had a chance to fully undo my masterplan, and she failed to grasp it. I wait for 5 more minutes for my order. I take and leave a happy man.
Granted, after calming down a bit, I did felt kind of bad for feeding a couple of inexperienced part-timers to the Karensharks, but I was caught in the moment.” vgeov
Another User Comments:
“The one thing that would have made this absolutely PERFECT would have been if you charged them money by saying that the credit card reader was broken, and you have to have their payment in cash.
Or (since someone pointed out that this might be slightly illegal, whatever), ask for a very small amount of cash money saying you are discounting their meals due to them waiting and give it to the rude employees as a “tip.” Imagine the ensuing battle between old and young Karens.” 2125mike
19. Can’t Spell My Name Correctly? Guess I Won’t Pay Taxes
“So, this one dates back from years ago when you would fill your income statement manually, like with a pen on a form. In those days, in my country, we didn’t have a withholding tax system, but you would pay in a year, say 2007, the taxes on your income of the year 2006.
Of course, the form would come by mail pre-filled with name and details and also some quite accurate amounts because the state knows already pretty well how much you make.
My family name is a bit complex, being multipart, and with unusual letter clusters in the middle. Mistakes are understandable, but you would expect the Revenue Service to be exact on that matter. Unfortunately, they weren’t. They kept misspelling it every year on the form, and on all the subsequent forms (tax statement, tax returns, etc.), they would mail me, despite my correcting it manually every year on my income statement. In black. Then in red. Then the following year with neon red Sharpies. Then one year later, adding a sticky note. Then adding a whole letter. Then adding a letter and copies of my ID as proof, etc. But they weren’t budging.
It was quite irritating because the tax statement has to be shown on several occasions when you interact with the state administration or justice.
Everybody would notice the discrepancy. Everyone was understanding that it was obviously a mistake from the Revenue Service, but it was still annoying on so many levels, the most basic of which being a matter of respect for my identity.
After ten or twelve years of them not taking notice of my notes and corrections, upon receiving a payment notice still misspelled, I went in person to my local Revenue Service office and asked to speak with someone about that issue. I made it very clear to the clerk that they were wrong. He was adamant that they were correct (like I wouldn’t know my own name…) and added, for good measure, that he couldn’t change my name in their systems because he didn’t have access to that, blah, blah.
I was having none of it, so: cue malicious compliance.
Me: ‘So, you said you were positively, absolutely right, about my name’s spelling?’
Me: ‘I shall, therefore, stop paying my taxes. I am not the person on your forms. And there’s no way you can come to me asking for that tax money since the person on your forms doesn’t live at that address, and in fact, does not exist.’
Clerk: *mouth is gaping, eyes are so wide open they’re going to pop out*
Me: ‘But in case you need that tax money, you know how to write my actual name.’
And I left with a smirk.
I actually did not pay that tax installment (in those days, you paid your taxes in three installments over the year).
2 weeks later, I got a reminder letter without the 10% penalty normally owed for late payment and with my name correctly spelled. Shouldn’t have wasted so many Sharpies over the years.” Thornpudding
18. Won’t Allow Her To Play The Part? We’ll Switch Places
“So, I was reminiscing about the good ole’ days with my friends the other night, and we got onto the topic of my best friend Mandy’s ex-girlfriend. Now this girl was, I guess you could say, a bit of a control freak. We’ll call her Heather for this story. She and Mandy dated for around a year or just over a year in secondary school, and she was a teeny bit possessive.
Heather desperately tried to keep Mandy to herself, she’d grab Mandy’s hand all the time, practically sit on her lap when they were around other people, and was just generally really clingy.
Now she wasn’t clingy because she thought Mandy would leave her; it was more like she was marking her territory.
Mandy and I have a running joke that we’re like a little married couple. We’ve known each other since we were little kids and are both hella gay (gay male here by the way, hi!) So, we never saw each other in a romantic/sexual way, though this didn’t stop Heather from being super jealous. She hated me for it. Eventually, Mandy broke up with her, and she did not take it well. She only screamed at Mandy twice. The first was the day after they broke up (in front of everyone in the cafeteria), and the second will come later.
Heather became occupied with spreading rumors about how Mandy and I were dating and how SHE broke up with Mandy because she caught us in bed together.
She’d go out of her way to make Mandy miserable (though, honestly, she was just more annoying than anything else).
Anyway, Mandy and I were both musical theatre kids and were in the same theatre group (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights). We had decided to do a show that was a mash-up of a bunch of different songs from a bunch of different musicals. There were kids doing songs from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hairspray, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Rent, pretty much all the big, popular musicals. Mandy and I requested to do a duet and were immediately allowed. I was also playing Corny Collins for the Hairspray section whilst Mandy was a backing dancer for the Hairspray part and Magenta for the Rocky Horror segment.
We decided on “Dead Girl Walking” from the Heathers musical (hence her ex’s name) as no one had suggested that one, and it’s a hella fun song to sing. So, we were pretty excited to start practicing when it happened.
Heather actually sends a link to the Broadway version of the song (where it’s pretty obvious that the characters JD and Veronica are getting it on) to Mandy’s dad. He was not happy with his daughter being ‘topless’ (wearing just her underwear and a short skirt) on stage, and it led to a whole argument with her parents that I’m not gonna get into. All you guys need to know is that Mandy’s mom didn’t have any issue with it and thought her dad was overreacting.
To stop it from escalating, Mandy reluctantly agreed not to go through with our original plan. Heather loved this and made comments about how she was buying a ticket to see the show just to “make sure you kids are behaving” and threatened to report back to Mandy’s dad if we did our original routine. I believe her dad’s words were along the line of, “Under no circumstances will my daughter be on stage in a bra and panties,” which was a bummer, and we thought it’d be pretty funny, and the song just kinda doesn’t seem the same if you’re just standing there singing it.
Then we had an idea. A very amusing, very petty idea. And we started planning.
We talked it through with the drama teacher, and Mandy’s mom and they both thought it was great, as long as we could change out of our costumes and clothes in time for our other performances, and we agreed.
Mandy’s dad had said that he didn’t want Mandy on stage in a bra and skirt; he didn’t say anything about me.
We were just doing what her dad said, after all. He’d been insistent that she switch places with someone and, well, she kinda did.
We planned it for weeks. Mandy worked on getting a skin-toned vest and chest binder that she could wear when she played JD (even going as far as drawing on some abs to make it look more realistic), and I set about choosing makeup, finding padding, and getting my skirt sorted for playing Veronica. We’ve both done drag a couple of times for plays and Halloween events, so we were quite familiar with it. We were kindly reminded by Heather that she had her ticket bought and “couldn’t wait to see the show.”
It was gonna be great.
Heather got mad when she saw someone standing too close to Mandy. So, imagine her surprise when she came to a show, expecting to see Mandy and I standing awkwardly singing at opposite sides of the stage but instead saw us in drag pretending to be getting it on whilst singing a pretty d*mn suggestive song. I should point out that we had both not long turned 18, and this was not a school event, so it wasn’t exactly as if we were minors or breaking any school rules.
Thankfully, we had around three or four songs between our Dead Girl Walking performance and our other songs, so we had plenty of time to get changed. When the time came, we were absolutely giddy.
We peeked out from behind the curtain and, sure enough, Heather was there looking absolutely smug as she thought she’d ruined the performance for us.
The curtain came up, and I stepped on the stage in my skirt and blazer and began singing Veronica’s part of the song, having to contain my laughter at the look of confusion on Heather’s face. It was even more of a struggle when her face turned from confusion to anger when I strutted over to where Mandy was, straddling her, and we both struggled to not laugh at the look of horror that was no doubt on Heather’s face. I’m a lot shorter than Mandy, and our makeup and costumes were done really well so to the people in the back, we probably would’ve passed as the opposite gender.
We savored every single second of that performance. Even looking over to Heather with a smug look every now and then and made sure to exaggerate yeah’s at the end, which left Heather looking absolutely mortified. Her face was priceless.
After the performance, we rushed off to get changed for the next song, pretty easy seeing as we’d taken off most of our clothes on stage. The show went absolutely perfectly, and we enjoyed a little drink afterward (again, we were both 18; no underage drinking here).
I later found out that once Mandy got home, she received a furious call from Heather calling her a sl*t and asking how she could do this to her. Mandy just replied that she was on stage in a pair of shorts and a vest; how was that sl*tty? She reminded her that they weren’t a couple anymore.
We got a lot of death glares from Heather after that, but she seemed to have stopped with the rumors, and we haven’t spoken to her after we left school.” ThatRandomGayKid
Another User Comments:
“Did Mandy’s dad ever catch wind of it? If he did, what were his thoughts?” fat_angry_wombat
“Yeah, Heather attempted to snitch on Mandy for it. He was surprisingly chill. He didn’t see any issues with her wearing boxers and a vest as that’s more “modest,” I guess. He was kinda p*ssed that she went ahead and did the performance without telling him, though.” ThatRandomGayKid
17. Won’t Hurry And Fix Your Mistake? Free Phone For Me Then
“In late 2008, AT&T sold refurbished iPhones for cheap, just in time for the holiday season.
I heard they’d be doing this a few months ahead of time, so I saved some money to get myself one. (The rest of the story will highlight my fiscal irresponsibility, so I’ll make the disclaimer here that I was a dumb kid, yadda, yadda, yadda.) The caveat was that you had to pay in full, but the phone was only $350ish.
So, my phone ships, and the money leaves my bank account. I had maybe $50 left in my account at the time, but my next check would be in a week later, plus Christmas money was coming from family soon after so not too big a deal.
Until! The day my phone arrives, there’s a second charge for a second phone.
I contact AT&T about it, but there’s nothing they can do until I get the phone and ship it back to them and only if they receive it in the exact same condition will they refund my money and only a week after they get it.
Here I am now with this pending transaction, a second phone en route, and staring down overdraft fees I can’t really afford. The second phone arrives. I call AT&T to see if I could just drop it off at a local store and get my money back. No go. I “Karen” out, asking for higher and higher managers, all to get told by all of them the same thing – nothing they can do, etc.
Until I reach “Brad” who tells me the reason they can’t do anything is because they don’t know why I got a second shipment since their records show only one order.
A light goes off in my head. I get Brad’s direct number and head to the bank.
I talked to my bank’s manager (I knew him socially) and give him the rundown of what I’m planning to do. He’s in. I call Brad, get him on speakerphone with the bank manager in the room, and do this:
Me: ‘Hey Brad, is there still nothing you can do?’
Brad: ‘No, Kyroko. You have to mail it back to us before we can do anything. ‘
M: ‘But you only have the one order on record, right? ‘
B: ‘That’s right.’
M: ‘$350.99 for a phone which y’all charged me for on 12/2/2008? ‘
B: ‘Correct. ‘
M: ‘And no order data for this pending charge? ‘
B: ‘Correct. ‘
M: ‘Well, I’m sitting with (bank manager) at (bank), and he’s ready to dispute the charges and refund me the money.
Since you’ve admitted you don’t have an order to back up the charges, it’s a dispute you won’t win. Plus, I’ll just keep this extra phone, free of charge unless you can let me return it to a store today for an immediate refund? ‘
B: ‘Let me double-check. ‘
A few minutes later, Brad begrudgingly okayed the immediate refund, I brought the second device to a store and was refunded the money. There were no overdraft fees since the refund and the charge went through the same day.” kyroko
16. Demand My Birth Certificate? It’ll Be In A Langauge You Don’t Know
“When I first graduated from college, I moved to a nearby state for a new job. (I’m in the US.) Because I am a civic-minded person — and because a presidential election was coming up — I wanted to register to vote in my new state.
In those days (before internet), you had to go to the city hall of the town/city in which you resided and fill out the paperwork at the office of the Registrar of Voters. I only needed my driver’s license and/or social security card to do so.
The election came and went (and I voted), so all was fine. Or so I thought. About two weeks after the national presidential election, I received a phone call. It was the Registrar of Voters from the city in which I lived. She had apparently finally gotten around to actually reading my voter registration and now had decided that she needed more information. She informed me that I was not eligible to vote, as I had been born in another country.
I explained to her that, while I was indeed born in another country, I was born to two American parents, and thus — by birth — was an American citizen.
She paused, then told me I had to bring in my naturalization papers to show her. I explained to her that I have no naturalization papers because I have never been naturalized. I’m an American citizen at birth. (Remember that the registrar of voters is supposedly a person whose job it is to know the rules about voter eligibility.) She insisted that I needed naturalization papers. I reminded her that children born to an American parent (only one is actually needed to be a citizen) are automatically American citizens. (Moreover, while some countries of one’s birth might provide dual citizenship, the country of my birth — Switzerland — does not.)
So, we went back and forth for a while.
She doubled down and kept insisting that I needed naturalization papers while I tried to explain US citizenship laws. (I also pointed out to her that if she believed voter fraud had occurred, it was too late anyway, as I had already voted.)
Finally, she said I had to bring in those papers or my birth certificate within two weeks, or I’d be expunged from the voter rolls. Here’s where malicious compliance comes in. When an American baby is born abroad, his/her parents are supposed to report the birth at the nearest US embassy or consulate so that a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) can be issued as an official record of the child’s claim to U.S. citizenship or nationality.
I have one of those. It’s written in English. But the Registrar of Voters didn’t ask for my CRBA. Nope. She demanded my birth certificate.
So, that’s what I brought in to her. The beautiful birth certificate is written entirely in French (which I was pretty sure she could not read). I gave it to her, just as she had asked. As I did, I asked her if she knew French and — no surprise — she did not. And then I watched her try to read it. She studied that piece of paper for about two minutes, and knowing that I had complied with her ridiculous request, finally just stammered out an, “Uh, OK. This is fine.”
It’s not much, but I enjoyed her reaction.
She had no way of knowing what it was that I presented to her, but I gave her exactly what she demanded.
In retrospect, who knows what I could have shown to her? But that’s what happens when bureaucrats get a little taste of power, more than their small-minded brains can handle.” JinkyBeans
15. Refuse A Delivery Before A Holiday Weekend? You’ll Have To Wait Until Tuesday Then
“I was talking with an old boss that I used to work for (I’m at a different company now but left on good terms) and remembered this.
I drive semi, and at the time, I worked delivering milk and other products to grocery stores. All days were the same except for Saturday. On Saturday, my last stop was at a Walmart, and I didn’t like dealing with one of the people who checked in deliveries.
They had three people who rotated being in charge on Saturday.
So, this happened early on a Saturday morning over Labor Day weekend in 2009. Because of the holiday weekend, stores took larger amounts than normal because of the holiday on Monday. Everything went smoothly at the first 3 stops, but the last didn’t. When I arrived at the docks that normally had one or 2 open, there was a line of trucks waiting. I wasn’t surprised and don’t mind waiting because I get paid for waiting.
About a half-hour later, it was my turn to get a dock. So, I backed in and then went inside to see “the witch” as people called her. She was busy with a soda delivery, and I went about collecting the empty crates and put on my trailer after pulling the incoming dairy to the trailer tail.
(Walmart loads of cooler or frozen items are temperature checked before being accepted. So, you leave it on the trailer until they are ready to check your load in.)
So, it’s finally my turn to be checked in, and I open the trailer door and start pulling there order out.
Witch: ‘Put that back on your truck. I have beer and soda that need to go in first.’
Me: ‘I’m not leaving until you check it or refuse it. *holding the invoice out to her*’
She signed and dated it refused with no reason for refusing. I put everything back on and secured it. Then pulled off the dock and parked out of the way then took a picture of the invoice and texted my boss it before calling her.
I told her what happened, and I already know that store will be out of milk this afternoon.
Boss: ‘So, it was never tempted?’
Me: ‘Correct, so when they call later looking for the milk, I’ll tell them it was refused for no reason and check the cameras.’
Boss: ‘Well, they’re are not getting any till Tuesday now. Don’t worry; you’re covered.’
So, I took and put the product back into the plant cooler in the good product return area.
I didn’t hear anything until Tuesday when I returned from that day’s route.
Boss: ‘You were right; they ran out about 2 in the afternoon and called in a panic. I told them what happened, and I’m not paying a driver double- time to fix their mistake and check the security cameras.’
So, Saturday comes, and I expect to be cussed at both by the dock people and the management of the Walmart because of last weekend’s disaster.
Instead, I was greeted with smiles and thanks. The manager showed up also. It seems that that was the mistake that he was waiting for to fire the witch.” snaptech
14. Don’t Trust The Groceries I Picked Up For You? I’ll Take Them For Myself… For Free
“I lost my job due to pretty annoying circumstances we all are aware of, and I’ve been struggling since it started, eating less and less every day to make food last.
I happened to find my old bike and decided that I could maybe start working doing delivery services. Business was slow at first, but my contact managed to land on some nice people that thought they could help me out, and I don’t charge a lot, just the exact amount of money I need to buy whatever they want plus the delivery fee, which is basically nothing in my country.
Normally, I charge the delivery fee after I’ve delivered the food.
Today, a new lady called me asking if could buy her groceries, like 2 weeks’ worth of groceries for a family of 4. This is a lot of money. At first, she refused me to pay me the amount for the groceries, but after I explained to her that my only income was going to be the delivery fee and her calling me an “untrustable b*tch” a few times, she finally figured out how my system works and how I will not be able to steal from her. She agreed. In other circumstances, I wouldn’t have argued and just let her go the moment she became rude, but I needed the money.
So, off I went to buy her items.
My bike doesn’t have a place for me to put a basket or something, so I have to carry all of my deliveries in a backpack. It normally isn’t a problem, but today, I had to carry around maybe 110 pounds (maybe more – not sure; it was heavy as f*ck) worth of food in my backpack and on the bike’s handles for 2 hours while biking around the city.
When I finally make it to this lady’s house (which was not in an easy route), I took some minutes to just lay down on the sidewalk in front of the building and texted the lady. When she came down, she expected me to carry her stuff up to her apartment too.
I said sorry and that I was too tired, and it was too much weight. Also, unless they really need me to help, I do not carry the stuff up to their apartments; it makes me uncomfortable, especially if they have a family that can help, but I was unable to answer her fully because I was still trying to catch my breath.
“If you can’t deal with it, then don’t work as a delivery worker. Ugh, whatever. I’ll call my husband. Is it going to be five?” She said
“I need to sort that out with you. I normally charge 5, but due to this delivery being particularly hard for me, is 7 okay for you? This was a 2-hour trip biking with around 11o pounds of stuff.”
I am not paying you that. You charged my friends 5.”
“Yes, I charged them 5 because they asked for less stuff, and the trip was shorter. It was easier. In reality, I should’ve charged double for this, but I think 7 is a good com…” and as I was talking, I sneezed. Oh no.
I have allergies. I am supposedly allergic to dust, but honestly, my allergies trigger with everything. Today was a cold morning, so I already had a runny nose, and the mask wasn’t helping a lot with keeping stuff out of my nose.
“WHAT? YOU HAVE THE V? I SHOULDVE KNOWN SINCE YOU GO AROUND WITH THAT BIKE. NOW YOU’VE CONTAMINATED MY FOOD AND WANT TO OVERCHARGE ME? OH NO, YOU LITLLE B*TCH! I’M CALLING THE COPS ON YOU.
GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK.”
“No no no, wait, I’m just allergic to…”
“IM PROBABLY INFECTED TOO NOW. YOU SHOULD’VE TOLD ME, AND NOW YOU ARE GOING TO BRING IT INTO MY HOME! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?” She was also wearing a mask and had a bottle of hand sanitizer which she was now rubbing frantically in her hands while still rabbling about how I was a horrible person and a b*tch and a scammer and a thief and a threat to her and her children…. The insults were growing more and more. She even demanded that I go to my house, disinfect her food, and then deliver it back because “it’s the least I could do.” (My house is an hour away.)
“Ma’am, I can’t do that.
I assure you it’s fine. I’ve been isolated the full 4 months; I’ve only been working on this for around 2 weeks and…”
“THAT IS ENOUGH TIME TO GET IT. YOU ARE GOING TO LEAVE MY CHILDREN WITHOUT A MOTHER! OH GOD.”
I tried to argue but it got extremely ridiculous. I couldn’t give her back the money of her groceries; I couldn’t disinfect them either (too broke to buy my own hand sanitizer, lmao). She wouldn’t take the food nor pay me the delivery fee, and I wasn’t going to leave without giving her the food and without being paid. But she wasn’t even arguing or finding a solution; she just wanted me to “take this v away from her and her house.” D*mn, she screamed so much that other neighbors started to come down, and she wouldn’t even let me explain and accused me of coming to infect them all.
Her husband even came down and ended up threatening me with the police too. I asked them if they wanted the food or not, and at this point being fed up with the whole situation, and they said they didn’t want anything from me and to just leave.
Now I’m home with a backpack full of 2 weeks worth of food for 4 people. It’s too much for me, but I’ll probably gift half of it to my boyfriend who also needs it.
I am sad all of this happened, and I feel like I stole from those people, but in the moment, it was so ridiculous. I tried to give them the food many times. Hell, at one point, I just didn’t care about being paid even though I needed it, but they were just so rude to me.
I still got more food than what I could’ve bought with the delivery fee, so I guess it was worth it.” ixythings
Another User Comments:
“$7 to ride for 2 hours to get stuff and then deliver? You’re way undercharging.” amazinghl
“I know I probably am, but I need the money and so do other people, so I’m going for a lower rate to secure clients because I know they will prefer to pay less. Also, that’s not exactly a small amount in my country, Venezuela. Our monthly minimum wage is around 4.50 USD.” ixythings
13. Tell Me To Quit Since I Can’t Be Manager? Bye, Then
“So, when I was freshly out of high school, I hadn’t decided on what I wanted to do with my life, so I got a job at a pizza place near where I lived.
I’ve always been the type of person who would rather work than sit at home, and I didn’t/don’t have a ton of friends to hang out with.
They started out having me just making the food deliveries once or twice a week, but that quickly turned into them calling me in daily about an hour after they opened because the managers/owners didn’t want to make the deliveries, and they were the only ones working the front of the house. Like I mentioned previously, I didn’t mind coming in to work and would always say that it wasn’t a problem.
About two weeks into my working at the pizza shop, the owners INSISTED that I learn register because they were no longer willing to do it themselves during the week.
Okay, sure, no problem; it’s just more money for me. They continued training me in every aspect of running the physical business over the next month.
Every once in a while, the owners would say they want to make me a manager, so they can leave whenever they want. Great, I thought. As time went on, I would work anywhere between 60-80 hours PER WEEK because other employees would call out or not show, and the owners didn’t want to stick around to deal with it. They even trusted me to hire a server and a delivery driver/cashier.
About 8 months into working there, running myself ragged for them and never getting so much as a thank you for everything I did for them, I decided to sit down with one of the owners and express the way I felt to them.
Me: ‘Hey, Boss 1, I know you keep saying you want to make me a manager. Is there any reason you haven’t yet?’
Boss 1: ‘Just haven’t found the time or reason to train you for it yet.’
Me: ‘What do you mean? I already know how to do everything from taking orders to ordering supplies when we’re running low on something.’
Boss 1: ‘Yes, but it’s not your place to do all those things yet.’
Me: ‘What do you mean?’
Boss 1: ‘You’re NOT a manager; you should not be doing manager tasks!’
Alright, that’s how you want to play it? Then consider it done.
For the next 2 weeks, I didn’t do anything aside from what they hired me to do: make deliveries and only work on my scheduled days.
This went on for about two days and really upset the owners because now at least one of them had to be there at all times to make sure everything else was getting done.
Eventually, Boss 1 called me into his back office to “talk.”
Boss 1: ‘OP, what has gotten into you?!’
Me: ‘What do you mean?’
Boss 1: ‘You KNOW you need to put in orders for supplies, yet were running out of flour and out of soda syrup, and no orders have been placed!’
Me: ‘I’m sorry, Boss 1, but you told me that I’m not a manager, and I shouldn’t be acting like one, so I stopped.’
Boss 1: ‘Stop being a child, OP. You know your responsibilities here, and you need to do your job!’
Me: ‘I AM doing my job and only my job.
If you want to make me a manager, I’ll be happy to do those things.’
Boss 1: ‘You really think I’m going to make you a manager after this!’
Me: ‘If I’m not a manager, then I won’t do a manager’s job.’
Boss 1: ‘Fine, then just quit. You need to get over yourself.’
Me: ‘Okay, I quit. As of right now, I’m done.’
Boss 1: ‘FINE!’
So, I left. I was scheduled to work all week which meant that they were out of basically a manager. I ended up getting a call the following afternoon from Boss 1 demanding to know why I was so late for work, but I just reminded him that I no longer worked there.
Now, I was and still am very close friends with some old coworkers and heard all the drama as it unfolded.
Turns out, most of the employees ended up refusing to work because the owners had to be there full time now, and they were awful. In my time working there, I hired about 5 people, and all 5 left because I wasn’t there to play manager anymore. They ended up closing about 6 months after I left because they couldn’t get anyone to stay longer than about 2 weeks.” cranky_throw_away
12. Want Me To Play A Song Without Cussing? VeggieTales It Is
“My mom asked me to take her to the doctor this morning for a checkup. I (21m) hate driving her around because she makes car rides difficult. She hates my taste in music; it’s a mix of lo-fi, hip hop, and alt-rock that always seems to be too loud for her ‘sensitive ears.’ Today’s playlist had a selection of Chance the Rapper, Tobi Lou, and Smino (great artists if you’re trying to get into new music).
My mom is a devout Christian woman, and I am her b*stard of a gay son. Needless to say, I have a higher tolerance for cussing in music. I just listen to the beat and bounce around.
My mom and I were bopping our heads along to ‘Amphetamine’ by Smino (one of my all-time favorites), so I turned the volume up… Just in time for an f-bomb.
Mom: ‘Nope. I can’t listen to that.’
Me: (shuts off the music) ‘Fine.’
Mom: (after an awkward silence) ‘It’s just that I’m praying. You know your step-dad is going to chemo today… Can you please find something with no cussing in it?’
Me: ‘Sure. Not a problem.’
Now I’m a little ticked off. Here’s the thing, I don’t see how her praying or pop’s chemo had anything to do with my music selection or why my music would interfere.
But, as a mischievous grin came across my face, I did as I was told. You want clean music? Well, do I have a show for you!
I quickly tapped through my phone and found a VeggieTales playlist. Suddenly the lyrics to The Water Buffalo song played through the speaker, inciting rapturous laughter from my mom and I as we sped along the interstate to our destination.
Me: ‘Well, you did say no cussing!’
We laughed about it on the way back from the doctor’s office. It’s nice seeing her smile despite all the craziness going on in our lives right now.
I came out to my parents when I was 14. My mom took it especially hard. It’s been a long road, but she’s starting to accept my choices.
I love these moments because looking back to all our fights and arguments, small things like “music with swear words” is small potatoes. Younger me would have made it an argument, but I’ve learned to just adjust and try to make her laugh. I considered today a small win of many in our relationship.
I make music and tend to play things kinda loud, so my hearing is definitely less sensitive to intensity than my mother’s. However, the issue this time was her hearing swear words, not that I made it too loud. I know this because I played this Christian alternative song later called “Tendons” by Bellarive (love this track because of an awesome spoken word that got me through many dark nights growing up), and it got to an extremely loud bit, which I usually headbang through.
She instinctively covered her ears. She didn’t want it off, just turned down.” ctc_cloudy
11. Don’t Want My Help? You’re Gonna Need It, But Fine
“A few years ago, I worked at a school as a preschool teacher. The majority of my students spoke languages besides English, and many had never been away from their parents before. The first few weeks of school tended to be challenging to say the least. With a lot of gestures, pictures, and, most importantly, a predictable routine and environment, the students would acclimate to school, and the learning would begin.
One year, I had a student who was particularly slow to warm up. I’ll call her Sarah. When her mother would drop her off at school, she would scream and cry like a banshee.
Thankfully, her older brother was also in my class (mixed ages, grouping 3- to 5-year-olds), and Sarah treated him as a security blanket. Her brother would hold her hand, and they would do the routine of signing in their names and choosing a quiet activity together. That was the only way to get her to calm down and join in.
A few weeks into the school year, picture day arrived. Now picture day can be rough in a preschool classroom, especially if the kids don’t understand what’s happening and have never seen cameras on tripods and bright light umbrella things before. We did what we could in the classroom to prepare them (taking a “field trip” to the auditorium to see the space before the equipment arrived, talking about what happens during picture day, etc), but it tended to be a tear-filled day regardless.
When it was our turn for pictures, we lined up and walked to the auditorium. I could tell from Sarah’s face that she was already uncomfortable. We sat the kids in the chairs, reminded them to keep their fingers away from the hinges, and passed out books to pass the time.
The photographer started calling kids, and I would walk them up, hand her their envelope, and for a couple of students, gave her some tips. (e.g., “So and so doesn’t speak English, so he may need you to show him what you want him to do.”) Apparently, the photographer was in a rush because she did not like me giving her tips. After a couple of kids, she got frustrated and told me, “I don’t need your help.
Stay over there.”
That’s when the malicious compliance kicked in. A couple of students later, she called Sarah. I ignored her request and walked Sarah over to her and handed her the envelope. She told me to go back by the chairs. I complied knowing exactly what was going to happen.
Not five seconds after I walked away, Sarah started screaming and crying at the top of her lungs. The whole room turned to look at her (the other 2 photographers, the kindergarteners taking pictures on the stage, the kindergarten teacher and clerk). The photographer looked nervous and sheepishly asked if I could help. I sent Sarah’s brother to hold her hand, and she managed to calm down. After that, the photographer let me give her tips, and we finished up quickly and went back to class.” Lifow2589
10. I’m Sorry For Forgetting Your Discount, I’ll Double It Next Time
“This happened just last night as I was about to empty out my register, and it made my night, my supervisor’s night, and that of my other clerk.
I work in the gift shop of an average-sized casino and most of what we sell is overpriced clothes, costume jewelry, and cigarettes. For the last two and a half years I’ve worked here, I have not worked a Tuesday. On Tuesday, we offer a 10% discount on all non-tobacco products, and it’s a discount I always forget about unless a guest asks about it because it’s not something I think about.
Last night, two elderly women came in and made a mess of everything they touched. Magnets knocked off their display, our mugs shuffled around, clothes knocked off hangers, our ice cream freezer left wide open. My other clerk and I were basically following them around and cleaning up after children.
Eventually, they split up, and one went to look at greeting cards, and one looked at our ring display. I helped them find the right size and buy her ring which came out to $25.01, but I didn’t give her a discount. Her friend was rung up by my other co-worker, and she asked about the discount, so he gave it to her.
My guest slammed her receipt down on the counter and asked me why I didn’t give her the discount if it’s Tuesday. I apologized and told her I honestly forgot; I explained it wasn’t my normal shift, and I didn’t think about applying it, which is the honest truth. So, she leaned over the counter, pulled down her mask, and asked me, “What are you going to do to fix this?”
As the senior clerk with a trusting supervisor, I have a tiny amount of ability in the shop.
So, I offered her two free candy bars, which would have been $3.50 where her discount would have been $2.50. She didn’t like that offer. So, I offered her a free soda or juice, she got mad that I offered her a drink when she was already carrying one. After a few more attempts (ice cream, pens, clearance items, etc.), I just called my supervisor who came up and spoke with her.
With the current “global situation” situation, we cannot accept any returns or exchanges. To make sure this does not happen, supervisors and below have had this access temporarily revoked from the point of sales system. The guest wanted my supervisor to void the transaction and charge it again. She got more upset when he explained to her that he couldn’t.
There is literally nothing he can do to change a transaction once it’s been completed. He doesn’t have the access, and she was choosing to not understand what he was saying. So, she started to insult us, calling us incompetent, asking how many other guests I’ve screwed over today, saying I’d be fired if I wasn’t a native (I’m not). Then she demanded my supervisor give her a note saying that she gets her 10% off on her next purchase, and he laughed at her because nobody would honor that.
Not willing to leave without some victory, she asked if she could just have a 20% discount on the next item she bought. My supervisor agreed to say, “If it gets you out of my shop sooner, I’ll make it 25% off.” We don’t have a way to apply a 20% discount, and we can’t stack the 10%, but we have a 25% House Discount usually used for employees or guests we really like.
After a few more insults directed at me and some under the breath comments from my supervisor, she returned with a pair of earrings that rang up for $16.30-ish and got them with their discount which I took a highlighter to so there would be no confusion on her receipt that she “owned” us retail employees. I wished her a fantastic evening, and she made some comment about me not scalping anyone in the parking lot.
She spent $38 to get a $3 and some change discount just because I forgot to give her a discount on a sh*tty piece of costume jewelry. My only regret is that I won’t be there to see when/if reality hits her.” DispencerW
9. You Just Need A Number? How About A Made Up One?
“Long ago, at a Fortune 500 company far away…
I had a consulting gig with Giganto Corp., helping them code their Java 1.0 web app.
My first task was to update the app’s UML diagrams, which were manually maintained and required per “the process.” I got out of that task as quickly as I could by just putting it off and writing code instead, and nobody ever complained that the diagrams which had been out-of-date when I was hired continued to be out-of-date. But I think that since they had given someone the task, my boss was able to check it off and claim compliance with the process. Not malicious compliance, but that’s just setting the scene for what kind of workplace this was.
Giganto liked to rotate their middle managers around routinely whether things were going well or not. I never knew whether this was to give them more experience in different departments or limit the damage that any one manager could do in one place, or what.
But partway through the gig, our middle manager got rotated out, and New Manager decided what we had to have was a Gantt chart. UML diagrams and Gantt charts, a clear recipe for success, and the project would be a shining beacon of New Manager’s abilities.
One of the things you have to have for a Gantt chart is numbers. New Manager needed (or at least his Gantt chart software required), for every task we had done, its estimate, and the actual time it took. He also needed estimates for incomplete tasks. And, of course, the dependencies between tasks. Now, for all the processes this place had, they didn’t have any tracking of the time taken on a task, not on software, not in a spreadsheet, not on index cards.
Nothing. Programming led assigned tasks, we did tasks, moved on to the next one. So where was New Manager going to get his numbers? In a meeting, of course.
We all gathered for the Meeting of Numbers. For each task, New Manager would name the task, and then the developer who did it would say how long it took. “DB component for account table?” “1 week.” “UI component for account selection?” “in progress for 2 days, 4 days left.” And so it went until New Manager impaled me on a task from my past:
“Controller for account configuration?”
“Uh, I did that, but I don’t know how long it took.”
“No, that was months ago. I really don’t remember.”
“But I need a number.”
“I’m sorry, any number I gave you would be made up.
You probably don’t want a made-up number, do you?”
His frustration was starting to show. “No, of course not. But I have to have a number.”
His face turned red, and he hit the table with a closed fist. (I thought that only happened in movies; I’ve never seen it in any business setting before or since.)
“I just need a number!”
Finally, the light bulb went off in my poor, confused brain. Having only once said he wouldn’t accept a made-up number, he had said three times (and loudly) that he needed a number. Three is more than one, so:
“Four point five, three days!”
The other, smarter developers were probably making up many of their numbers also, just with less fuss than I made out of it.
Gantt charts are of questionable usefulness in software, and with the data he was getting, probably even less useful. I think it’s a sure bet that the Gantt chart was useless in predicting when the project would be done. But contractors being expensive jettisonable pods, I left the project before it was finished and never found out for sure how it turned out.” WayneConrad
8. Say You’ll See Me In Court? Yes You Will Because I’m Taking You First
“A couple of years ago, I was in an apartment with my friend and younger sister. My sister was violent towards my friend and I, and I ended up having to get a restraining order against her. She brought in a dog without permission, which caused some damage to the unit.
I informed my landlord of the incidences of violence and the damage and sent him pictures. He basically told me to deal with it myself, which I did by getting the protective order. After this, my roommate questioned the legality of holding us responsible for her portion of rent. (I told her it was, but she asked our landlord for a copy of the lease to show her uncle anyway, which admittedly was pretty stupid.) Up until this point, our landlord had not asked us to leave due to my sister’s actions, but he did after the lease was brought into it. We were out by the date he specified on the notice to quit (the first step in the eviction process before the eviction actually occurs).
My roommate was there until midnight making sure the place was spotless.
We moved to an apartment across the street. Two weeks had passed since he was informed that we had vacated the unit, and we had not gotten anything regarding our security deposit. In our state, a landlord is required by law to either return the remainder of a security deposit within two weeks or provide a letter itemizing what the deposit was used for. If they don’t, the tenant is owed the entire deposit. If the withholding is willful, the tenant is owed double the original deposit. The landlord had actually told me that he would be going on vacation immediately after we vacated, so I returned our keys to him and waited to see if he would send anything.
He never did. After consulting with a tenant’s rights group to be sure I was in the right, I sent a pre-formatted letter 16 days after we vacated, which stated the specific laws regarding security deposits and gave him our current address to send either the deposit or receipt to.
The day after I sent this letter, I see him across the street, frantically running into the apartment for the first time since we moved out. I receive a text from him saying that he would return what’s left of our deposit “if he could get the apartment rented by the first of next month.” I respond by telling him that, as the letter I sent explained, he forfeits the right to keep any of the deposit after the two weeks is up.
He responded saying that he would “see us in court” and that we were “nightmare tenants” and that “this will be fun.” He said he would also be taking us to court for the costs to re-list and rent the apartment, which he claimed exceeded the amount of our deposit.
After about a month or two of hearing nothing back, we decided to say “f*ck it” and file a small claims suit against him as he clearly wasn’t going to follow through on his threats. As the person who had almost all communication with him, I was the plaintiff in the case. He brought a “letter” that was dated for the day he texted me, where he arbitrarily wrote in what he used the deposit on and claimed he sent us the letter.
That obviously didn’t add up (which I thoroughly explained to the judge), as he had texted me that day saying that we would get some of the deposit returned and that he had no proof that he actually sent that letter. He clearly just wrote it and printed it out for the court hearing.
During the court hearing, he also said a lot of false and victim-blaming sh*t, such as implying that I participated in the violence that occurred, saying we caused damages that were definitely there when we moved in, and just attacking my character in general.
The judge ruled that the withholding of the security deposit was willful and awarded us double the deposit. But of course, that wasn’t the end of it, and a few days before his deadline to pay us the money, he sends me a text just “letting me know that the decision has been appealed.” I didn’t answer and showed up to court again, and lo and behold, it’s more mud-slinging and arguing about things that we already established in the first hearing.
The judge upheld the original decision, and he eventually mailed me the check for double the deposit. In the memo line on the check where you can write the reason for the payment, he wrote, “for gaining twenty pounds.” But hey, I cashed that check and spent my half on a new gaming laptop, so I’d say I got the last laugh. I desperately wanted to text him and ask him if it was as fun as he thought it would be but resisted the urge.
Also, apparently I didn’t make this clear enough, but yes, violence occurred towards me as well. I could do without the victim-blaming. And the dog that she brought in without permission that chewed a tiny chunk off of the window sill.
In court, the falsified deposit receipt letter was mostly comprised of “cleaning fees,” and damages that were there when we moved in.” bripotato
7. You Said You Wanted A Baby Picture, And Now You Have It
“In high school, senior year, my graduating class was a wild ride. Our class song was an original from one of us, and our class flower was a cactus, we just went all out on the weird and original. Something a bit less original was the yearbook club who was going to put together a “before and after slideshow” pretty much a baby photo of everyone followed by their graduation photo.
Well, I was a bit late submitting my picture, and they found me and told me, “Send us a baby photo, or we are going to Google ‘Asian baby,’ and the first thing that comes up is yours.” Now that by itself is funny simply for the fact that I’m not Asian, and nobody in my school was even Asian (small school, less than like 30 in my graduating class).
Now, I don’t like pictures of myself, so I don’t tend to keep any of them. My mom, however, has a ton of baby photos as a mother would. I get ahold of her, and before I even ask to see any, I know which one I want. My mom is laughing so much about the picture I chose and is loving the idea of it being part of the slide show.
I told all my friends and family who were going to graduation. Nobody else knew. In the yearbook’s credit, they didn’t say a thing about the picture.
The day of graduation we (the class) are all sitting on stage without diplomas, and they bring down the projector for the audience.
(They also rolled out an old tv, so we could watch as well.) And the cooing begins!
All of the family’s in the auditorium are oo-ing and ah-ing at all the baby photos. Two guys behind me are trying to guess who everybody is before they come up and to their credit getting most of them right. I know the pictures aren’t in alphabetical order, so it’s going to be a surprise when it comes up.
Suddenly all the cooing stopped, and there was a moment of silence before the audience went, “Eeeeewwhhh” with confusion and discomfort, and the boys behind me went, “Who the f*ck?!”
Me and my friends are all laughing their hearts out.
It changes to my graduation photo, the audience is murmuring, and the boys behind me go, “Of course” angrily.
I found out later that over both photos, my mom wanted to hoot and holler but physically couldn’t cause she was spending too much effort to not pee her pants from laughing so hard.
Now the picture. I don’t still have a copy of it, but I can describe it. It was my first ever picture still in the hospital. The background is dark and faded. I am beet red, screaming, and there is just this skin and bones pale hand reaching over me like that of the grim reaper. (I call it the crypt keeper hand; she was the nurse.) That photo was super random among normal baby photos that were meant to be cute.
Honestly, it was my greatest highschool achievement.
I don’t like pictures being taken of myself, and I don’t like seeing pictures of myself, and now everyone who bought a yearbook has to live with that demon picture.” AcePaisly
6. Threaten To Evict Me? I’ll Leave On My Own
“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’ve 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 boyfriend was in charge of that chore, so he abides 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 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 working 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 f*ck it. 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. Y’all. Y’ALL.
Anyways, my leaving the lease early really f*cked 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 cash, 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 f*cked 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.” MelloMike311
5. Want Us To Take The Fake Contract Seriously? Will Do
“This story occurs about 6 years ago in my high school chemistry class. I don’t know what made me think of it or why I had never thought of it before, but here you go.
My high school was a project-based high school, meaning that most of my classes were centered around group projects.
This meant working with students that we normally didn’t want to work with to do projects we didn’t want to do. Most classes had a rewritten general contract that protected students if they were the only ones to do work as well as giving general rolls to each member of the group, but still, most project contracts were generally ignored.
In the first week of my sophomore year, I’m taking a chemistry class with my best friend, and we are given the opportunity to choose a partner to do a very quick project. My best friend and I quickly agreed to knock this project out together. I believe the project was as simple as finding an at-home science experiment and recreating it while describing the very basic chemistry principles.
Think using heat to change states or using baking as an example to describe how combining different elements can create a new compound.
The chemistry teacher didn’t have a preset contract like other professors and instructed us that the rest of the day, we would be writing up our contracts and sending them to her by the end of the period. Now one thing to know about my best friend and I was that we constantly were doing random, fun projects outside of school without a problem and both agreed that the project contracts were generally dumb. So, when the teacher told us to create our contract, we didn’t take it seriously. We had three stipulations in our contract and our signatures at the bottom with a very brief sentence stating that a failure to follow the stipulations would result in a removal of the group.
Our three stipulations were as follows:
Don’t be annoying.
Don’t get annoyed.
Get the work done.
Signed, me and best friend.
We sent the contract to the teacher roughly ten minutes after she gave us all instructions, and we began to bullcrap the rest of the class period away.
The teacher then proceeds to print our contract with a handful of other groups and walked down the hall to get the contracts. I don’t know if she didn’t look at it before she printed, but when she gets back to the classroom, she has a look of pure disgust. “OP and Best Friend…Are you serious? This isn’t a real contract. You need to take this seriously. Send me a new group contract by the beginning of class tomorrow.”
And that’s what we did.
If she wanted a real contract, she was getting a real contract. I went to my best friend’s house after school that day, and we proceeded to write up a 20-page contract with all the bells and whistles. I’m talking preamble, definitions, group member rights, obligations, provisions, action steps, steps of removal, signatures, as well as random articles, sections, and clauses. The whole 9 yards. If there was a remote chance of it happening, we included it. We emailed her the new contract that night and awaited the next class.
The next day, we walk into her class ready for whatever reaction came our way. We sit down, and after explaining to all the other groups what we were doing that day, she walks over to our desks, plops the contract on the table, and says, “You guys are ridiculous.
That contract was used for every group project the rest of high school, whether we were given a rewritten one or not. After all, we needed to take it seriously, didn’t we?” CMChiles98
4. Notate The Account Thoroughly? I’m On It!
“I work at a call center for health insurance. One of the things that people really seem to get mad about is when we tell them we can’t do something because it would break HIPAA, which is a federal privacy law that specifically protects health and medical information.
So, a few days ago, a gent calls in on behalf of a provider’s office (provider in this case meaning doctor) wanting to check eligibility and benefits for a patient.
He gives me the NPI (National Provider Identifier) number for the practice, and per HIPAA and all my training, I ask him to verify the address in the system.
He gives me an address that is decidedly NOT the one in the system, and when I politely explain that, he says he doesn’t know any other address.
So, I told him that because we couldn’t properly verify him (we’re required to verify the following 3 things for a doctor’s office or facility: NPI or tax ID number, name of the practice/facility/individual provider, and address as it appears in the system), I couldn’t give specific benefits for a patient, but I could give general plan information.
The gentleman just kept sitting on the phone line, demanding specifics, while I kept patiently explaining why I couldn’t do that. He finally goes off on me, telling me that he’s been doing this for years, and he knows he can do it and to transfer him to my supervisor and make it quick.
A little irked at that particular demand because a transfer takes more than a few seconds to set up these days due to working from home, I politely said that I would need a minute or two at least to set it up and put a note in the system.
Provider rep says, “Yes, please put a nice, long note in the system.”
AYE, AYE MOTHERF*CKER!
Into the transfer notes went the following:
The name of the caller The NPI number used the request to speak to a supervisor. Why he requested a supervisor: the address he gave that WASN’T in the system. What he had initially requested: what I offered to give him. What I had explained to him about why I couldn’t do as he asked: his admission that he didn’t know the address in the system.
We have room for 4,000 characters in the transfer notes.
I used all but 25 of them.
I transferred him and took more calls but got curious during my break and took a look to see what happened.
Noted onto the account were multiple notes, from multiple supervisors, that he was unable to be verified and that we couldn’t give him the requested info AS EXPLAINED TO HIM BY THE INITIAL REP WHO TOOK HIS CALL.
The final supervisor note said that he was requesting a call back from someone higher than that supervisor but that he got mad and hung up before giving them his number after the supervisor requested a minute to get the callback note together.
So, as a result of him telling me to put a long note in the system, he got none of the information he requested, he got nobody who would break HIPAA for him, and he is getting zero callbacks because he refused to be patient and wait for the request to be completed properly.
Don’t ask call center reps to break HIPAA, folks. We WILL rat you out to the other reps, and you WILL get zero of what you requested.” PopeGnomeyTheFirst
3. Want Me To Follow Company Policy To The Letter? Okay
“My former employer was a very large global enterprise with several offices in almost every country. It was a requirement of my position that maybe once a month, I would need to travel either domestically or internationally to service equipment at various sites/sea vessels. As you can imagine, I was a very frequent traveler with lots of rewards cards for many airlines and hotel chains.
One day (I would say six months into the job), I was supposed to return home from working in a different country.
The company travel agent had planned for me to catch a plane with a stop at another destination for the night, then fly home the next day on a second plane. (I thought this may be because there wasn’t a direct flight maybe.) When I got to the desk of the airline, the person said something along the lines of, “There is a direct flight instead of leaving in two hours if you want to take that instead?” The difference was this flight was a 12ish hour flight meaning I would get home at maybe 4 am rather than the two flights over two days and being home at the afternoon the next day.
To me and my innocent, new-to-the-company brain, this meant I could save the company cash on hotels, field pay, food, and the cost of the second plane (including all my excess baggage fees with the mountain of tools I carry).
This also meant I could be home earlier and wouldn’t have to stuff around, win/win right? I said yes and took the flight home… This was my mistake.
I landed, took a taxi, got home, and received a phone call from my manager. It went something along these lines:
Manager: “How did your flight go? About ready to fly home on the second flight?”
Me: “No, I am home. I took a direct flight overnight, and I am about to crash in bed. Been on flights for 12 hours after 8-hour workday”
Manager: “No, if you are in the city, you need to be in the office.”
Me: “I don’t think so; I need sleep.”
Manager: “Ok, we will discuss tomorrow.”
So, I went to sleep thinking nothing of it.
The next day, I go into the office and was called for a meeting with my manager who said I had to put in a day of personal leave because I wasn’t in the office. This lead to a very heated argument about how I took the initiative to save the company lots of dollars and just fly direct, not to mention I would not have been in the office anyway that day because I would have been on that second plane, so what would the difference be?
Eventually, my manager simply opened the employee handbook and pointed to the company policy that said you can only travel inside of business hours… He was not going to back down from this argument, and I had to use my personal leave, end of discussion.
This very, very much p*ssed me off (having never been told this policy and not having read the handbook I guess). So, I thought to myself, “OK, company policy is company policy, and I am clearly a pleb who has to follow it.”
From that day on, I would not travel outside of 9-5 on weekdays. This meant, no flying at night, no driving at night, no weekends, no public holidays, no nothing. If it took four days to travel with four planes which could have otherwise taken one, that’s what I did…. on full-field pay with other travel allowances for every minute of it (doubled on weekends). I was really was trying to be a team player so to speak.
But after that argument (on top of the travel policy compliance), I insisted on doing all work personally and wouldn’t book any hotel anywhere that wasn’t five stars or more.
I put all expenses on the company bill, including room service, alcohol, and anything else I felt like. This went on for eight years with no one questioning my expenses or choices until I moved onto a different job at a different company. I would hate to think of the Scrooge McDuck vault of dollars a year this one argument with my boss cost my company.” Drop-Disastrous
2. Make Me Redo A Perfect PowerPoint? I’ll Make A Horrible One Instead
“I was at my old job for 2.5 years. In the beginning, I really loved it since I got along really, really well with my boss (Sarah) and my coworkers, and I also adored the students I worked with. Sarah’s the coordinator (#1 boss), and when our old supervisor (#2 boss) quit, they hired in our new supervisor, Lydia.
Lydia seemed okay at first, just kind of a regular new supervisor, learning the ropes, getting to know the other staff….. When she started, she didn’t even know how to copy and paste on a computer. A good portion (in fact, I’d say probably like 85%) of her supervisor position is to create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoints for the students to use. This includes handouts we use in group lessons, too. Lydia relied on me a LOT when she first started and still does/did.
As time went on, Lydia started getting worse. My coworker–another staff member like me–started f*cking hating her. I thought it was because Lydia could be SO f*rcking annoying, and it was that at first. She would constantly undermine me/us in front of students and went out of her way to prove something we said wrong… pretty harmless, but then she started saying racial microaggressions to our students and staff, which were not as harmless.
SO……we moved remotely earlier this year, and it was pretty nice to not have to see her constantly. The only thing we (me and our only other staff member) had assigned to us was busywork, but it was editing the handouts that we have all edited to f*cking death. She wanted these put into Sway. For those unfamiliar, Sway is like a sh*tty, defunct PowerPoint creator where you have a lot fewer options and no usability.
At this point, here’s the process for these handouts:
1. Assigned to various staff members to create
2. Rough draft
3. Go to Sarah and Lydia and get feedback
5. Make a Sway, at which point 2-4 get repeated……numerously.
This cycle continues for at least 3-6 times before they decide the handout is okay.
Me and Lydia have a small disagreement over Sway, wherein I ask her why exactly we’re using this program (it’s easier than PowerPoint ???? was her reason, but okay) and that I wasn’t sure how students could access it since I was having trouble getting her to access it. She then informs me that this won’t be used by students. No, no, no, what?? What was I thinking?? They’re for her to use in her videos, which were a substitution for our group lessons we used the handouts with. So…..I put in all this f*cking work for her to use in these videos that maybe 3 students will ever see, maybe.
Eventually, I get this f*cking Sway done. I, again, do it to the best of my abilities.
The next assignment I get a week or so later is to………take a different handout from the one previously and make another Sway, or PowerPoint if I wanted. I actually put in a bit of effort because there’s nothing else really to do, and I end up making a pretty nice PowerPoint! Lydia links up with me to discuss the PowerPoint. She’s been trying to change the theme, but it won’t change. I’m confused but tell her it’s probably because that’s an imported template, so I don’t think Google Slides knows really what to do since it didn’t start off blank; it started off with an uploaded template.
She continues to kinda click around and then says she doesn’t like it because of the color in the background that’s….the defining picture of this template, and I had spent a while making the whole PowerPoint a perfect ombre, so I’m pretty annoyed at this point.
She decides that, hmm……maybe we can just copy this PowerPoint into a new one and edit that one. I explain to her, again, why that won’t happen; I’ve already copied it over from my own drive. Copying it won’t do sh*t.
So then….she asks me to keep this PowerPoint, but maybe we could make a new one that we could edit? This means that I would have to copy each slide, individually, and redo the entire f*cking PowerPoint. I’m truly at my limit at this point. I clarify this for her: “You want me to copy and paste every slide onto a new PowerPoint?” She says yeah, so we can edit that one but have this one just in case. Let me remind you that, at this point, this handout has gone through that entire editing process originally, then transcription into a DIFFERENT video/PowerPoint, and finally onto THIS PowerPoint that I guess she’s going to have on the video that she reads off of? I truly don’t know.
Then she asks…… “When’s your last day again?” to which I tell her that it was the following week.
She LAUGHS and goes, “Oh, you’ll have enough time. What are you talking about!” So, I say…. “Sure. I can do that. Let me go ahead and make a whole new one for ya, Boss. Lemme go ahead, and I can comply to this one, Bub.”
So…….I made a new PowerPoint. I enlisted the help of an aforementioned coworker who absolutely hated Lydia, as well as my best friend who are both very good at being petty, and we just went to f*cking work. I used the template Lydia had picked out, which was pretty ugly to begin with, and it has all the same information.
I copied the information, slide by slide, into the new one.
The thing is that this thing is f*cking unable to be edited. Text boxes on top of text boxes that have text, small headers in completely different hidden text boxes, try to click on a bullet point and it takes you to a text box nowhere near it… It’s truly a sight to behold. This thing is so wretched that even I have a hard time editing it. It’s unusable unless you can excuse the poor alignment, text color differences, slightly different fonts.
My shift ended at 5 PM, and I handed that sucker in at ~4:45. I emailed her earlier that day to let her know I’d been having some editing issues, but I was working hard on it and just wanted to make sure it was up to my standards.
Then I submitted my timesheet and logged out of my email for the very last time, but to get the full understanding and full picture, let me give y’all the rest of the reasons why this was soooo delicious:
When I left, there were two staff: me and my coworker Lisa. Things had started to pick up, and she and I were consistently getting appointments, and because I’m not there, only Lisa can take these appointments and won’t have time for any other projects. So, this means Lydia will be forced to edit this or use my other perfectly good pp.
I’m chronically nice, especially in my job. I stayed out of the drama and just kind of did my job and had fun where I could.
Malice from me is incredibly unexpected.
I don’t need a reference from her and never will.
Anyone that knows me and the level of work I put into projects could tell that this PowerPoint was obviously purposely constructed, but I told Lydia that I was having editing issues with it, Not technically untrue, again, because I was having issues editing it.
I’m a little bummed that I won’t be able to witness the fallout from this as I don’t have access to that email anymore and am also unwilling to blow up my spot just yet. I’ll update if I do get anything back!!” fattyghoul
1. Join Our Club And Act Like A Jerk? You Can Run It Yourself
“Some years ago, I was finally out of debt and ready to start investing for my future.
But I didn’t have a clue how.
That’s when I heard about a national organization that promoted “investment clubs,” offering support and tools to help people like me learn about investing by doing it. I liked the idea – get smarter, play low stakes, and maybe have a drink or two while you do it. So, I told a few friends, they talked to their friends, and pretty soon, we had a budding investment club.
Since we were all friends of friends, organizing went smoothly. We elected officers and adopted a simple charter, based on the national group’s templates. Minimum monthly dues were set at $10, an amount any one of us could afford to throw away. But any member could contribute more than the minimum if they liked and, to build up our investing pot, most of us did.
Individual contributions bought “shares” in the club’s holdings, like stock in a corporation. Higher contributions meant more shares meant more voting power when we made club decisions.
As we got rolling, a few more people heard about the club and expressed interest. So, we created a little process: Attend three meetings as the guest of a member. Then, if you’re still interested, club members decide whether to offer an invitation. We always did. Sign the charter, pay this month’s dues, and you’re in. Most new members paid extra for at least a while to catch up to the voting power of the founding members. So, everyone stood on more or less equal footing.
By year two, we had settled into a friendly routine, holding monthly meetings that were one part socializing, one part learning, and one part considering what to do with our growing little pot of cash.
We picked a few stocks, starting buying a few shares at a time, and portfolio performance was added to the monthly treasurer’s report. We cheered each modest gain and learned from our small losses.
Then came Pat.
Pat was an outlier in our friend group. Most of us knew her, but few knew her well. She had a reputation for being a little too loud, a little too blunt, a little too arrogant, and a little too rude. But she was also known to be smart. In a club focused on learning, smarter couldn’t hurt, right? Besides, our well-respected president had brought her in.
And right away, Pat proved she was smart. She had reviewed our charter and our past minutes before she came to her first meeting.
She asked solid questions about past decisions and our reasoning. She listened respectfully to the education and stock study presentations, probing politely, and made mostly appreciative comments after each meeting. Just a bit of smart-a** thrown in once in a while, but we could handle a bit.
After her third meeting, we sent her to the next room while we discussed inviting her to join us. There were a few misgivings expressed – we had all heard stories about Pat’s capacity for unpleasantness, after all. But President said, “I warned her pretty bluntly that she needs to behave when she’s here. We’re all friends, but this is business. Money is serious. So, I told her, keep yourself in check. Leave your attitude outside.” Ultimately, everyone agreed; she had indeed behaved.
We had no reason to doubt her sincere interest.
So, we called Pat back in and President said, “Congratulations, Pat. Just pay your dues and sign here.” With a flourish, Pat handed Treasurer a $10 bill, and everyone applauded as she signed the charter.
Then she said, “Thank you, all, thank you. But frankly, you really don’t have any way to keep me out.”
The room got quieter.
Then she turned to Treasurer and said, “Now, next month, if I’m interpreting your little reports correctly, all I have to do is give you $XXX, and I’ll have equal voting rights, is that right?”
“That’s about right, yes,” came the answer.
“And if I were to give you that, plus…” and here, she pointed at the bottom line of the club’s total holdings, “… $X,XXX, I’d become the new majority shareholder, right?”
“I suppose …”
“And then I’d be in charge of all club decisions,” declared Pat.
“That’s right. Unless you all can keep ponying up more cash than I can, there’s nothing you can do to stop me from running this club like my own private account with nearly double my money to play with, is there? And now that I’ve signed your silly charter, you don’t even have any way to kick me out. So, see you all next month.”
She smirked, turned, and left. The door had just barely closed when the room exploded.
“She was joking, right?”
“Ah, hell no…”
“The nerve … could she really do that?”
“That can’t be real!?”
“How big a mistake did we just make?”
“Wow, what a class A b*tch!”
But as we looked over our template-based charter, we found she was right. There were requirements for tax reporting, officer fiscal responsibilities, bank and brokerage relationships, conflicts of interest … and a host of other issues we’d never faced and never expected to face.
There was boilerplate language about how to buy out a voluntarily withdrawing member. There was a provision allowing us to involuntarily withdraw someone who didn’t keep up with dues and/or attendance.
But we had no cap on individual member contributions and no provision allowing us to kick out a stakeholder as long as they continued to pay their dues and attend meetings. And we now realized that if she could make good on her threat to buy majority holding, Pat could simply outvote any attempt to amend our charter.
A more elegant solution probably existed, but within 20 minutes, someone came up with the nuclear option. Two minutes later, we agreed to launch it. We accepted assignments, then went our separate ways to prepare for next month’s meeting.
That evening, everyone arrived a bit more promptly and settled a lot more quietly than usual. Pat looked smug as she took a seat, seeming not to care that no one spoke to her. She was ostentatiously fanning herself with a personal check. Too bad we never saw it, so we’ll never know if she really was ready to put her money where her loudmouth had been.
President took the floor. “Before I call the meeting to order, I have a personal announcement to make. I made a really poor recommendation for all of you last month. I feel the bad judgment I showed means I am not fit to be your president. I’m presenting my letter of resignation and my voluntary withdrawal from the club.” And solemnly gave the letter to the Secretary.
Pat looked like she’d been slapped, but she said nothing.
Treasurer spoke up. “Just so you all know, President spoke to me earlier about this decision, so I’ve already calculated withdrawal payout and have it ready, according to the terms of our charter.” And President took the check.
Vice President spoke next. “President, you weren’t alone in that decision. I voted with you, and I also regret my poor judgment. Here is my letter of resignation and withdrawal.”
Treasurer said, “And here is your withdrawal payout, prepared as we discussed.”
And on it went. In small clusters at first, then all in a rush, each club member declared they’d made a terrible decision, presented a letter, and collected an already prepared check. Sometime during the rush, Pat stopped being silent.
“OK, I see. Yeah, yeah, I get it. Seriously, you’ve made your point. That’s enough, now. You don’t have to keep up this act. KNOCK IT OFF ALREADY, YOU F*CKERS!”
But we didn’t. With all the letters collected, Secretary added them to the back of a fat binder containing copies of all the club minutes and gave the binder to Pat. “Your next club secretary will need this.”
Treasurer was right behind with a similar binder of financial records, a $10 bill on top. “Here are all your club’s accounting records and remaining assets.”
President added the signed charter to the stack. “So, Pat, looks like you’re now a club of one. You win. Good luck. And goodbye.” We all stood and stared silently until she shoved the stack to the floor and saw herself, sputtering, to the door.
Within 10 minutes, we had signed our newly upgraded charter, re-elected our officers, torn up all our payout checks, and put our “new” club back to business as usual. OK, maybe just a bit more giggly and a little more pleased with ourselves than usual.
Never saw Pat again. Didn’t care.” peakcomm
Being a great listener is a vital skill and one that I think is missing in a lot of people. Next time, maybe these people will think before they bark out orders that won’t work or ask things to be done in an incorrect manner!