People Keep Us Engaged With Their Malicious Compliance Revenge
16. Want Me To Keep You In The Loop About Your Son's Behavior? Easy Peasy!
“I teach and have done so for the past 13 years now. Most parents are just fine. They care for and love their child(ren) and treat me and my colleagues with respect. You have the occasional parent you don’t see because they don’t care, the helicopter or curling parent and the parent who doesn’t believe they’re raising Satan’s offspring.
The latter is the one I had the misfortune to deal with for 2 fluffing years.
I was the mentor of 20 kids in their first 2 years of secondary school. It has its ups and downs with the biggest up being that you knew every fibre of every kid and 2 years of relative heck if you had kids who were a nightmare.
The kid started secondary school with me as a mentor. He started out all right. There were some minor things that were normal for teenagers trying to fit in.
It all started after the Christmas holidays of that first year.
Nothing special happened, it’s like a switch just flipped inside this kid. Bullying classmates and other students, pushing around, being extremely disruptive in class, cursing at teachers, and grabbing things up to the point we suspected he stole things from teachers and students alike but the lack of security cameras were a problem.
Mom and Dad were invited many times. The school counsellor and my boss sat in on many of these conversations. The mother denied it and that her son didn’t do such things. We didn’t get any further but had no grounds for expelling the son.
Summer break came and due to the fact that a lot of things went “missing” cameras were set up.
Classes started in year 2 and the first day he let me know he was there and had changed…for the worse.
We had 5 calls with Mom in that first week alone. Mom was invited once more and she then was “surprised” that I was the only teacher complaining. Like what the actual heck lady? Did you not listen that MULTIPLE teachers complained through me and that I told you MULTIPLE times what they said TO you.
No no no. She demanded that she got a call or email from the teachers herself if her son did do anything… and I quote ‘But I highly doubt that since I know my son won’t ever do the things you said’.
Fuming at this point I said I would talk to my colleagues.
Cue the malicious compliance. Mommy wanted a call or email from the teacher who saw her son doing/saying things he shouldn’t? You ask and we get it.
The kid was being such a jerk by now that he was well-known throughout the school. So in the next schoolwide meeting, I told her the demand. Some frowns here and there, but then I saw it. Eyes glistening, evil grins started to come along with the evil laughter of teachers.
By this time, the kid had set a record in the digital student entry system. 20 entries A DAY from him alone.
It all started the next day. The kid came onto the school’s property, walked up to a classmate and started insulting him and his mother with cancer.
2 teachers heard and saw him do that, so 2 teachers sent an email to Mommy dearest. 3 periods of lessons with a variety of terrible behaviour and 3 emails were sent yet again. During the first break, Kid threw a bin through the canteen.
3 teachers and the custodian saw it. 4 emails about that. Then the custodian emailed again, telling that he refused to clean up after him and threw a chair before leaving. Another 5 periods for that day with 6 teachers (Science had 2 teachers) so you guessed it, 6 emails and 3 phone calls to Mommy dearest.
So on average, Mommy got 15 emails a day from the teachers alone. I had the immense pleasure to call or email every day to give a recap. Every email was sent with a ‘read notification’ so every email Mommy had to click on that message every single time.
After 2 weeks, Mom called and the conversation went like this:
Mom: ‘Yeah I saw the emails. This is getting a bit much now.’
Me: ‘Is it? But the last time we spoke here at school, you demanded that every teacher and another worker at school would call and/or send you an email about the goings-on of Kid.
We are simply adhering to your request to be kept up to date and that you hear from my colleagues personally.’
Mom: ‘you can stop now.’
Me: ‘Unfortunately we can’t. Since Kid does all these things, it is our duty to keep parents up to date on what their child does at this school.
Also, you requested it and we don’t want you to get upset by not knowing what is going on with Kid.’
Mom: ‘This is getting out of hand.’
Me: ‘Is it? I don’t think so. My colleagues even said they like it so much that you are such an involved parent and that you like to hear from them.
Thank you for that. Bye now.’ Click.
This went on for another 8 weeks. Mom called or emailed a couple of times a week and got the same response from me and other teachers and personnel. It went like this until Kid screwed up on a big scale.
While we were busy getting all kinds of help around Kid he finally bombed every chance to stay at our school. Kid decided that shouting, cursing, insulting and wishing the worst possible diseases upon my colleagues and myself weren’t enough anymore.
When I wanted to talk to him yet again about his behaviour, he picked up a chair and decided to hit me with it…in full view of the class, a colleague and the cameras. The kid was tackled and pinned down by classmates, a colleague called the cops who have their lovely station across the street, and the peers of Kid and I managed to get away with no broken bones but some big bruises.
The school filed charges for me. The fun part is that I got to sit with Mommy dearest and Dad and even then she tried to deny that her son would do such a thing….until she and Dad got to see the footage…
the look on their faces was priceless. I wish I had the permission to record it so that I could watch it time and again with a soda and some popcorn. Kid was expelled, got some hefty community service, and a fine (normal here).
Got a juvenile record as well.
To answer a likely question, where was Dad in all this? Dad was apparently kept in the dark about what Kid did. The emails were sent to a shared email account but since email on phones wasn’t a thing back then he never saw the emails as she hid them.
Dad divorced Mom as apparently, she had been spinning a lot of lies about a lot of things. Good part? Dad felt so sorry for what his son had done that he sent care packages for all personnel at the school.
Best part? We didn’t have to deal with Kid or Mom ever again. We got his brother though and we continued the emails and calls with Dad.. to tell him what a wonderful kid this boy was.
ETA: I’m getting a lot of crap that I did nothing to help this kid.
I left out what I did as this is malicious compliance.
I talked with the school counsellor, therapists and even CPS. We had our suspicions about his behaviour. I just had my degree for 3 years and I know this sudden change is a huge red flag.
CPS did an investigation and concluded no reason for further action. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that the parents agreed to a visit from CPS but not accept anything else even though CPS suggested they talk with us about some tests and getting Kid some help.
We kept reporting to CPS and asking for their help.
The only thing Mom kept saying was ‘My son wouldn’t do that. He isn’t like that.’ Did she know something? Maybe.
I talked with this Kid, treated him fair and honest, and tried to see what was going on.
Referred him to people who he can turn to who, although they are mandated reporters, have confidentiality clause meaning I don’t hear anything he doesn’t want me to know. They went to talk to him. He just told them to screw off.
School administration had my back and helped where they could. I jumped through every hoop possible just to see how and if I could help him.
So please, cut me some slack. I did what I could and still, I wonder if I could have done something more.
Was it maltreatment? Could be. I hope not but it’s possible. Maybe some mental health issues that reared their head? Also a possibility. Did mom know something if something happened? Who knows. Or was she just a mother who loves her child so much that she is willing to oversee every wrongdoing of her son? I don’t know.
To get certain help you need a paper trail, one part is that parents know about the issues. We may have gone far but we didn’t want that Mom would say that we didn’t contact her in any form.
He was a good kid, he just did wrong things and there was no stopping him. He had a mother who defended his every action.
I just hope that he has a decent life now, a healthy life with happiness in it.”
15. Get The Pendant Mom Really Wants? Got It, But It'll Come At A Hefty Cost
But it was the one she really wanted.
“My mom loves Hershey kisses. They’re her absolute favorite candy. So much so, one year, Mom was immediately in love with a specific pendant Macy’s was selling. Think a beautiful half-inch tall white gold Hershey kiss studded in teeny tiny diamonds.
Mom wanted nothing else but that pendant for Christmas.
Dad didn’t want to buy it. It was pretty expensive. Then he saw in their magazine that they also sold a silver version that looked like it was made using the studded pendant as a mold.
To be frank, it was ugly. A small Hershey’s kiss that looked like it had silver eczema. But it was really 200 bucks cheaper than the diamond version.
Dad didn’t want to go to the store to buy it.
He hates crowds and Christmas shopping was his bane. He gave me, his newly 18yo daughter, his credit card and told me to go get the pendant. I knew which one he meant but I clarified anyway.
Me: “Oh the Hershey kiss one she really wants?”
Dad: “Yes, that one.
You know what it looks like. Please buy it with my card for your mom.”
Me: “Roger dodger! ”
So off I went to the store. When I got to the jewelry case, I saw both versions side by side, and remembering that Dad told me to get the pendant Mom really wanted, immediately chose the better more expensive one.
Got it all prettily wrapped up and came home. Gave dad his card back and he was none the wiser.
Until Christmas morning came. When mom unwrapped her present she was nearly in tears. She was so happy! She told dad she thought he’d get the cheaper one.
Dad just kinda quietly muttered, “so did I.”
He confronted me about it later and asked why that one. I just smiled and said “you told me to get the one mom really wanted. So I did. Are you really gonna complain though? It is much prettier than the other one and she’s very happy that YOU bought it for her.”
He just grumbled a bit about it and let it go.
A few months later, dad accidentally let slip to mom that he wanted to get the cheaper one, but that I dupped him by doing exactly what he said and not what he intended. My mom still laughs about it.
She says to never give me the card again unless he’s very specific about what he wants. She still wears that pendant every day 12 years later and laughs at the story every time.
I think I made the right call.”
14. She Might As Well Do An Exit Interview, You Say? Oh, She Will
“This happened about thirty-odd years ago, and my mother recounted it recently during a family dinner.
So back in the 1990s, my mom worked for this big-time company (we’ll call it Company W) as an accountant. Her boss, the Head of Finance was a sleazy guy, and despite being semi-wealthy (it was a BIG company) and married with kids, he always tried to pick up younger women in the office.
Eventually, after a few years, my mom, being the amazing accountant that she is, noticed small irregularities in several statements. I don’t know the technical terms, but Mom realized that someone was embezzling the company’s finances for at least a couple of decades.
Concerned, she brought it up to the Head of Finance… who proceeded to demean her, call her names, botch her claim, and basically threatened to fire her if she brought it up again.
My mother is not one to start crying and instead sought to prove him wrong.
However, a couple of months later Head of Finance brought in a new lady (young, she was a legit blonde, fresh out of college) to train under Mom. My mother instantly knew what this was, and started putting out feelers for a new job.
In the meanwhile, she trained the younger lady, who, to quote my Mom, was “not the brightest bulb”.
Now, Company W had a policy when an employee was going to be fired. If the employee was being fired (for reasons other than rule-breaking, violations, etc) they would be allowed to say that they ‘quit’ to be able to give their week’s notice and get paid.
A fair policy.
So one day Mom was summoned by the Head of Finance and told that he was firing her. She quickly counteracted and used the policy to her advantage, which angered the Head of Finance but he had to comply.
The Malicious Compliance I know you’re waiting for?
The Head of Finance told my mother in a rather rude way, that since she was going about it that way, she might as well do an exit interview. My mother literally had a lightbulb moment and said to him that in that case, she would.
(To note: an exit interview is a formal way of leaving a job, akin to an interview for getting the job. It’s a way for employees to share their experience, and why they’re leaving for records, including HR (Human Resources).
You can see where this is going).
So, she was scheduled for the exit interview. When she went in, my mother had to, of course, bring in files relating to her work (I can’t recall the exact reason, other than it having to be relevant to her reason for leaving), and show it to the interviewer.
My mom brought in three large boxes of files, each one containing evidence of the embezzlement. She then presented it to the interviewer, who my mother told me was rather stunned, and proceeded to hand over all the evidence and proceed with her exit.
Including talking about the Head of Finance’s reaction and how not long after the new lady was brought in to replace her. Mom then left the company that day, got new employment, and moved on.
It was a decade later that she learned what happened.
My Dad was a delivery driver at the time and actually made a delivery to Company W. While there he talked with an employee, mentioned my Mom had worked there and how she left, and the employee told him quite the juicy story…
In the year following my mother’s departure and interview, her evidence was brought to HR and the CEO, who ordered an internal investigation. Hidden cameras were placed in the accounting division, every file made was screened and photocopied, tiny details scrutinized, and bank records triple-checked…
I think you can see where this is going. Yup, the Head of Finance was embezzling from Company W. But… it gets better. They got him, on camera, making out with the new lady inside the main office after hours.
To add insult to injury, the cameras also caught him being cruel to those under him, touching other women, etc. But the biggest thing was still the embezzlement. Head of Finance managed to, in over thirty years, steal over a million dollars in Company W’s earnings.
From his days as a mere accountant and all through his promotions. Now the exact way he was able to get that much over time wasn’t told to my dad (I doubt the employee knew), but he did know the fallout.
The Head of Finance was summoned to the Big Cheese’s office the day after the evidence complied… and let’s just say the Head of Finance wished he had simply been fired. He was arrested for embezzlement, and for misconduct (or something like that), as well as a few other things my mom can’t recall.
The new lady who came in actually revealed that he had brought her in after starting to see her and even revealed to her what he was doing. Her job basically had been to help him cover it up so they could live the rich life.
She didn’t even know what exactly accounting was, other than managing finances. The perfect cover, so to speak. And if the now ex-Head of Finance thought being arrested and charged was bad enough, when his wife found out…
The employee who told my dad this hadn’t been present when the wife had come in while the ex-Head of Finance had been led out, but a friend of his had seen what happened. She had just gone up, smacked the now ex-Head of Finance, and screamed obscenities at him, before saying she’ll be seeing him in court for a divorce.
While my dad couldn’t learn what exactly happened next, what was clear was that the guy’s life was ruined. And my mom, while not a vindictive person by any means, did feel somewhat joyful over the outcome.
Lesson to be learned here: never screw with an accountant who actually knows what they’re doing.”
Another User Comments:
“Your mom didn’t ruin anyone’s life, he ruined his own life by being an absolute tool.
Also, if anyone reading this has aspirations of being a dirtbag, when someone brings evidence to you of your misdeeds, don’t shout at them and threaten them and tell them to never speak of this again. Say something like, “oh my gosh, this is very concerning. I will launch an investigation right away.”” badgramajama
13. Don't Trust Me? Okay, You Can Have Your Vehicle Back
“Quite a few years ago, I worked in commercial parks/grounds maintenance. (Think industrial sized ride on lawn mowers) It was a good place to work, reasonable salary, good conditions, plenty of optional overtime, it could at times be quite labor intensive but mostly a pretty cruisy job.
We had a condition of employment that included commuter use of the work vehicle. (use of the work vehicle to and from work at no monetary cost to us) The provision of this condition was that we started and finished on the job.
(7 am – 4 pm) This really suited me as I geographically lived a reasonable distance from our main depot, I often drove past our worksites to get to the depot, it was a win-win. Special note the truck had to be parked off the street for insurance reasons, which I could accommodate.
This condition meant my employer gained on average an hour’s more work from me every day.
This worked fine for a few years, my team leader and I were good friends, he trusted me unconditionally, I was a good worker, and always maintained my areas to a very high standard.
Always helped out my colleagues if and when they needed. I always finished a job even if it went over my finish time, and never put in for overtime.
My TL retired, I get moved under a different TL.
New TL and I didn’t really see eye to eye on a lot of things. He always seemed out to get me for anything he could. I don’t remember any specific reason for him not liking me, it was just one of those situations I guessed, he didn’t like me, and I didn’t like him.
A few months later it’s springtime, grass is growing like crazy. I took a sick day and did some work around my house. During the spring season, I would also take the mower home as I had the parking space, but a lot of other workers didn’t.
This was agreed upon by my employer.
On my day off I had parked the work truck and mower out the front of my house so I had access to my backyard (still off the street mind you). I moved it back a few hours later.
I got to work the following day and received a phone call at about 9:30 am, TL and the coordinator want to talk to me about a “work issue”. They come out on-site and the conversation went something like this.
TL: as a condition of maintaining commuter use of the work vehicle you must park the vehicle off the street.
Me: I can, and I do. Have done it for years.
TL: We have reason to believe that you don’t.
Me: what evidence do you have to support your claim?
TL: (pulled out some photos of the truck parked outside my house. On my day off.)
Me: who took these?
TL: I’m not at liberty to disclose that for privacy reasons.
Me: Ok, that’s bullcrap, but whatever. I was on sick leave that day. I needed access to my backyard, the vehicle was there for 2-3 hours maximum, was parked off-street when I was finished in my yard. Whoever took those pictures must have taken them during that time.
It was parked securely overnight as it is every night.
TL: as you can see, these photos don’t show that. We don’t trust that you’re doing the right thing so we are giving you a first warning for breaking the vehicle policy and you’ll need to drop the mower and truck back at the depot after you finish work.
You no longer have access to bringing the truck home.
Me: I dispute your warning, it’s complete bullcrap. I’m finishing work now, I can’t work like this knowing “someone” is spying on me taking opportunistic photos. I’m dropping the mower back at the depot.
I need the truck to get home tonight but you can make arrangements for someone to pick it up tomorrow from my place. It seems “someone” knows my address. I’m going to call HR on my way home to set up a meeting tomorrow.
I have nothing more to say to you two.
I packed up and left.
I have CCTV cameras so went straight home to investigate. The photos were time and date stamped. Lo and behold the photographer was my TL with the coordinator in tow.
The next day, I met with HR and told them the story, they didn’t know anything about my supposed warning. I provided my own photos of the TL and coordinator taking photos outside my house. Followed by the vehicle properly parked on my property.
Malicious Compliance. A meeting is called between all parties.
HR: Mr. Green, we apologize for the way you’ve been treated. Etc etc etc (another story for another day)
HR: you have not been issued any kind of warning and you can maintain your existing vehicle condition as you’ve shown you’ve done nothing wrong.
Me: No thanks, I’m happy to use my own vehicle to get to and from work from now on. Despite being innocent, I have no trust in these two so I’ll start and finish at the depot from now on.
I won’t be doing 1 minute of extra work for you guys ever again. Thanks.
2 weeks later, the TL put out a call for OT as we were so far behind and getting non-compliance warnings for the grass being too high in high-priority public parks.
My colleagues and I said we couldn’t work any OT. They all hated how I had been treated and dug in behind me.
My employer had to pay a contractor to come and mow the grass on a weekend at a huge cost to them.
I left shortly after that.”
12. Are You Sure You Want Me To Cancel All Your Subscriptions? Will Do
And you guessed it, they reactivated them later.
“I used to work at a call center for one of the biggest tele providers in our country. Mobile subscriptions, internet, landlines, all that. The call center I worked at was also only for business clients and not private customers.
So it was not unusual for a client to have a lot of mobile subscriptions.
One thing to note. I am not sure how changing mobile providers in other countries works, but in my country, you have to get the other company you want to transfer to, to order the numbers from where you are now to them.
You cannot cancel your subscription and then have it transferred. If you cancel your subscription, it stops working right away. If you want to transfer after that, then you need to order a reopening of the subscription on that phone number, for it to be able to transfer to the other teleprovider.
And the reopening is treated as a new order and a new subscription. So it’s an ordeal to go through. Also, this is important for the story. If you have a debt collection case for an invoice with the tele provider you are currently at, you will then no longer be able to get new subscriptions with that company until the debt collection is paid in full.
Now on to my story.
I get a call from a customer who had maybe 10-15 mobile subscriptions with us as well as an internet subscription, and apparently, they worked with sales. The customer was very angry on the phone.
He tells me that they have received a debt collection case from us, for an invoice they had not paid. Which was true. There was an invoice in our systems that they had not paid, and it had indeed gone to debt collection.
He then told me that he knew about the invoice, but had just not bothered to pay it (what did you expect to happen if you didn’t pay it?). He then proceeded to berate me for sending them a debt collection and demanded that we cancel it, immediately.
One other thing to note is that none of the people that worked on the floor of the call center have the authority to cancel debt collection cases. We need to send a case to another department for that.
He would not let me send a case, nor would he let me call a supervisor to maybe expedite things. He said that I should cancel it right away or he would cancel all of their subscriptions right this second.
Normally when people threaten to cancel their subscriptions because of reasons, they mean they want to transfer to another provider, and I usually refer them to contact that other provider so they can start the process. This time, however, since the customer was being a jerk, I did not do that.
I asked point-blank.
me: “Do you want to cancel your subscriptions with us immediately?”
me: “Are you sure?”
me: “Ok then, I will cancel all your subscriptions right this second.”
Customer: “GOOD! JERK!” then he hung up
I logged the call, with every detail that he had said and asked me to, and added an extra line of “if any doubts, just listen to the recording of the call.”
I got at it and went ahead and canceled all of the subscriptions this client had with us, all of them, even their internet subscription.
After about an hour one of my coworkers got a very angry call from the client (who was forced to call from another phone, because guess what? Their subscription was canceled). I was done for the day so I just went home, but my coworker filled me in the next day.
The client had yelled and screamed that they were no longer able to call out or receive calls, as well as their internet was down. He had read the log I created and informed the client that they had terminated our services, so of course they would not receive any calls, nor make them.
They demanded that we open up the subscriptions again so that they could do their work, but again my coworker had to inform them that it would not be possible since they had a debt collection case that needed to be paid first.
Or else none of the orders they put in would go through.
After more screaming and profanities, my coworker had to end the call.
The next day, I had the evening shift, but I saved the client’s information to see if anything else had happened.
Apparently, the debt collection got paid, and the subscriptions reopened. They also had ordered a transfer to another provider.
I have no idea how much finances were lost, but for a sales team to not be able to work for over 24 hours, I can only guess that it was a lot.
Also as a cherry on top of things, they were in a contract period with us. Which means that they get a small discount on their subscriptions if they are with us for a set period of time.
If they break that contract (which they did when they told me to cancel their subscription as well as transfer to another provider afterward), they had to pay a fee of over $300 per subscription. That was at least $4500, on top of what they lost the 24h they couldn’t do anything.
All because they didn’t want to pay a $30 late fee.”
11. Transfer Me To Work In The Front As Punishment? I'd Actually Be Delighted To!
“I was in high school (’90s) and working part-time in a grocery store. I was hired for the produce department, all my friends worked the front line (mostly bagging for cashiers and retrieving shopping carts.)
I have always been an overachiever at work, and I actually liked my job.
my supervisors were all cool and I was doing the job for extra spending money after school so I wasn’t heavily invested in it because I also delivered newspapers in the morning (like I said, overachiever). The only thing that sucked was having to work weekends.
One day I forgot my hat (or maybe I just didn’t feel like wearing it that day because I recently dyed my hair green and wanted to show it off I don’t remember) but I do know there was no specific code about hair color in the handbook and hats were only required if you were prepping food or in a section like the deli.
My direct supervisor liked my hair and said I fit in great with all the veggies and I should focus on stocking all the green stuff that shift. She was sure the customers would enjoy it. We both laughed and I did my job.
Anywho, a couple of hours later towards the end of my shift, this grumpy general manager (let’s call him Bob) was not happy I forgot my hat and decided to grill me about it. We happened to be in front of the customer service desk at the time.
He went on and on for a while about young people and their poor work ethics.
He was really on it about how lazy kids are and so on and so forth.
Now keep in mind I always did my job well, never had any complaints or anything like that.
This was my first time EVER getting a speech from a boss like this.
Eventually, he got around to it and flat-out asked me “where’s your hat?”
“Oh, well, uh, gee Bob, I think I forgot it at home.”
“You forgot it at home? How could you forget it? You see this is what I’m talking about.
What if I took your paycheck home and forgot it there?
Now I was not sure if he wanted an answer. So, I stood there for what just felt like an eternity. Just looking at him while my teenage brain was processing everything.
“Well?” Bob asked again.
Now I knew he actually expected me to answer. So…I said: “Excuse me Bob, um I don’t understand.”
His face started to crinkle with anger. The customer service ladies were watching intently enjoying the show.
“What don’t you understand?”
“Well, doesn’t accounting handle the checks? I mean you don’t actually do anything with them.”
He started to look even angrier at this point.
But I was too dumb to care. So I went on … “I mean that’s my understanding so I don’t know how my check could even get to your house unless you stole it or something from the accounting people.”
The customer service ladies bust out laughing, he looked at them sharply and told me to go home and think about what I did.
And I would be lucky if I still had a job.
I wasn’t sure if I was being fired or not. I really was in some kind of shock. So I asked, “You mean I get to go home early tonight?”
Again the customer service ladies chuckled while trying to look busy.
I went home a little upset but tried to look on the bright side. I got home early, did my homework, and relaxed.
I went in for my shift the following day only to find out I was taken off of the schedule.
“Sorry I don’t see you on here it looks like Bob changed the schedule you’re not on until next week.”
Just then Bob strolls over with this I got you now look on his face and I knew his game so I smiled and said, “Oh my gosh, that’s great; it will be so nice to have a little vacation.” I said smiling then I thanked him.
This really worked him over. I guess he couldn’t actually fire me. So he was trying to make things worse for me. So he said, “Oh one more thing, I don’t think produce is right for you. I’ve decided to move you to the front as punishment for insubordination.
I’ve already filed the paperwork.”
“Bob really? The front? Are you sure?”
He had a smile. Thinking he won.
“Well, that’s fantastic. All my friends work over there and that’s the position I originally applied for! Thank you so much! I’ll see you in a week!” I left with the biggest smile on my face.
When I finally came back all the front managers officially welcomed me to their team. I was already quite friendly with many of them because I would help out up there from time to time. I was still getting my higher pay rate from produce and best of all, Bob never bothered me again, I got to goof off and work way less than before.
Some of my fondest memories of that place are when I would just hang out in the parking lot with the other baggers generally having a good time. Never got any other complaints there either.”
Another User Comments:
“Bob should have known not to mess with a teenager, let alone the one that’s brave enough to dye their hair green…” LadderChemical7937
10. Make Me Take My Vacation Days? You Got It
“Recently I got a message from HR that I still had a lot of holiday hours open, many of which would lapse as of July first, as a matter of law. I was aware of this, but in the past, I was always able to sell them.
In the past few years, I’ve hardly been away for mostly obvious reasons, and I’m getting 32 days per annum.
In other words, my vacation days had piled up and my current balance was a grand total of 390 hours, and that’s excluding the new 32 days from 2023.
So, that’s almost 10 weeks of holiday. Of these, I had to finish roughly 200 hours, or 5 weeks before July 1. Possible of course, but hardly ideal. Not for my employer, our customer, or for myself. Which is why I thought it wouldn’t be a problem to “sell” these hours for extra salary, as I had done before.
But I was quite wrong. HR told me to contact my manager, who denied my request. I explained to him exactly how many days I had still open. He’d ask the CEO but the CEO sent me a message about how they care about work-life balance and mental health etc.
For the record, I fully agree with this stance in principle, and frankly, I think the measly amount of holidays people in the US get is shameful. And the culture in which it’s sort of “not done” to actually take your holidays, I find outright toxic.
I’m glad I’m working in a country and for an employer where this situation is much better.
But on the other hand, one has to be practical. The wrath of 2020 was inflicted upon us all, and you can’t compensate for a lack of holidays taken in the past, by taking copious amounts of holidays now or in the near future.
I love to travel and to socialize, but I/we couldn’t go anywhere or do much, and I didn’t see the point in taking holidays just to sit at home more. In fact, my work provided me with some much-needed structure during the difficult past few years.
And working from home meant that work was actually much more stress-free than it was in the office.
So anyway, I brought up my situation and my reasoning but it was still denied. I was just told it’s good to take off some days and to go on holiday, and so on.
Again, I’m not opposed to this at all, but the scale of the “problem” seemed to have just escaped the manager and the CEO. I had and have already planned on traveling for 2 weeks (to Sicily and Greece, if anyone’s interested, maybe also mainland Italy again), but after that, I’d still have 3 weeks which I’d need to finish..
I also have a long weekend planned to Iceland, but that only takes several paid holidays because of the weekend in the middle.
It is then that I decided to start complying maliciously. Instead of trying to argue the point again with my CEO, I planned a meeting with my line manager and the account manager of the customer I am working for.
I told them I wanted/needed to take every Friday off basically until July or my days would lapse. I didn’t ask for permission because whilst paying out holidays is voluntary, they need a very good excuse to deny leave requests (such as denying requests for key figures last minute when you’re in the middle of a big project with deadlines, etc.), but my request wasn’t one of those, and obviously, they’re not allowed to deny a payout AND my leave request anyway.
It’d be super hypocritical too.
So as a good and diligent employee, I wanted to make sure that our customer was aware of my sustained de facto reduction in capacity and wanted to discuss how we could best bring up this potentially touchy subject with them.
After all, this structural reduction of capacity is different from a normal 2-week vacation or just some days off here and there, which is a pretty normal situation here, even for contractors. Since they’re a key account and I’m working for them as a senior DevOps/Cloud Engineer, I had anticipated having a slightly awkward meeting with my manager and the account manager to discuss the details, after which I already half expected they’d U-turn at some point and decide to pay out my vacation days after all.
But they exceeded expectations because when I entered the meeting, not a word was spoken about my 2 denied requests for converting my holidays, or about the framing I had given this meeting about how and who wanted the honor of telling the big customer they’d be losing 20% of my capacity (and my employer would get to charge 20% less).
Instead, the account manager just asked for how many days I still had open, which we were easily able to see in the system. He then proposed to just pay out all my open holidays from 2022 and before (so 10 weeks instead of the requested 5), so the “backlog” would be cleared and this situation wouldn’t occur again.
Happy days, I have already received 2,5 months extra in salary and I still have all my 32 days from this year, so I have more than enough days for my holidays and for general, so my work-life balance is really not in danger.”
Another User Comments:
“So here is the thing you probably didn’t want to hear: they’ve been doing you a great favor by paying out those hours because it is legally not allowed.
Only the hours which you get on top of the legal leave (4 weeks) is allowed to be paid out, the so-called above legal leave where I work (NL as well). That above legal leave lapses after 5 years and not in July, so that wasn’t the case here.
Paying those hours to you is only allowed at the end of your employment (when you quit your job) or when you were sick for a long time.
You can google it to see a whole load of sources confirming this.
I’m happy you got paid, as you wanted, but please make sure you take care of yourself and take the rest you need. And know they used the wrong argument to say ‘no,’ but it was the legally correct answer.” Appolflap
9. Lay Me Off After Illness And Then Try To Rehire Me? That's Okay, You Didn't Want Me
“Worked myself into very poor health for a small PCB design and manufacturing shop in the early 00s. It was a very small company, recently acquired by a startup to combine some very complimentary IP.
I worked very hard with customers to meet all their supplier needs; about 80%+ of our output went to one very large industry leader (Big Customer).
This included weekly and monthly calls and reports on manufacturing and field performance/failure rates, engineering change requests, corrective actions, etc. Very boring, very technical, but critically important.
Big Customer had retained my employer as a small supplier without a formal supplier contract.
After a couple of years, their policies changed and they required my employer to sign a supplier contract. At that time, we’d just enjoyed getting a new General Manager (GM) forced on us by the parent startup, and he was a grievous jerk.
There was a whole section of the proposed supplier contract dealing with reporting requirements. The GM called me into his office and assigned me the task of writing up why each of their reporting requirements could not be met.
I told him (after reading the entire contract) I am/we are already fully in compliance with every single reporting requirement documented. He about fell out of his chair and asked how that could be possible.
It was possible because Big Customer’s supplier manager had provided all their data/reporting needs to me about a year prior and I established everything needed to support them and keep them happy.
I told my GM he’s copied on every single report I email out – weekly and monthly – with all the attachments that cover every single thing. In short, nothing extra needed, it’s all been good for at least a year.
And, GM doesn’t look at emails from me. I sorta knew that already…
I (we all) knew the GM was there to change the business model – from a supplier to a design shop – it was a poorly kept secret.
That is, we were going to stop designing, manufacturing, and selling completed specialized products, just design the boards and license the customers to go find their own contract manufacturers. I knew this strategy meant I would eventually be laid off, I just didn’t expect it so fast.
So….I’m so stressed out doing so many things I get a bad internal infection and end up in the hospital for a week (Sunday-Friday). I’d never had it before, didn’t know what it was or how serious it was until I passed out at home.
Got better and went back to work the next Monday.
Got laid off about 10 am that first day back.
This was 2009, right at the start of the “Great Recession.” I was screwed but didn’t show it as I was getting laid off.
I just smiled, refused to sign anything until I had 24 hours to review the terms, stood up, shook hands, and walked out.
Thankfully, I found employment again about a month after. That was amazing, given my career choices and specialties at the time.
One day shortly after starting my new work, I received a call from my old boss. He was asking questions about those reports. I actually felt sorry for him – he’d cried at my layoff, something even I hadn’t done.
(Side note: I so wanted to tell him “There’s no crying in baseball!”, but I was in too foul a mood to be humorous at my layoff.)
I answered his questions fully, but I did not offer anything additional…knowing that he was hopelessly lost.
Perhaps it’s good to mention here – he was from a completely separate profession than me; he had no clue what I did, just that I kept Big Customer happy.
Sure enough, a week following, my old boss calls me back and says the company wants to rescind my layoff and hire me back.
I say, “Thanks, no thanks.”
Three days after that, the GM who laid me off calls me and offers me my job back. I tell him “Thanks, no thanks.” He “reminds” me that I forfeit unemployment benefits if he files paperwork to the state telling them they offered me my job back and I refuse.
I tell him, “Thanks, no thanks.” I refused to be threatened or intimidated by him – especially because I had a new job that was covering my butt, albeit at lower pay. Through it all, I stayed professional and polite.
I also did not let on that I didn’t need unemployment benefits at that time.
I can’t remember how many days later, my former boss calls me back, says he was authorized to offer me my job back, bridging my service immediately, re-allocating all my unvested stock options at their original vesting schedule, and re-establishing my paid time off hours that were cashed out when I was laid off.
It was tempting because my new job was about a 25% pay cut. But I said, “Thanks, no thanks.” My boss asked me to sign a statement of refusal. I said, “Thanks, no thanks.” and hung up.
A week later I heard from a colleague the GM was gone.
No explanation, just gone. About a month after that, the company was sold (by the larger startup) to a similar – but quite large and well-established – company, which was a supplier to Big Company. The good news was all the employees that weren’t in senior management were retained, including all my colleagues and my boss.
The best revenge is a life well lived.”
8. Don't Want Me To Touch The iPad? Fine Then
“Until recently, I worked at a fine dining restaurant. I was there for three and a half years, and for the majority of that time I was a busser. By the time I left, I was the most tenured person in the front of house by a fair margin (including managers, which we burned through ridiculously quickly), and everyone I directly worked with had good things to say about my work ethic and how I was with the guests.
I could be abrasive as a person, but if I was in your section, you’d have a smooth night, professionally.
Some background: our restaurant was 90% reservation. One wasn’t required, but if you wanted a table at a certain time, you made one.
On occasion, we’d have walk-ins or someone wouldn’t show up to their reservation, but the number of covers (people) you walked into was usually pretty spot on to what you’d end up doing. Most of them were for two, but we’d also take larger tables.
If the night was all 2 tops, we wouldn’t set up for anything else, and for anything bigger than a 4 top we’d have to push tables together. Not an issue, but a little time-consuming to make sure every server was cool with the placement.
Set up took between two and three hours, depending on how busy we were. Lastly, you’d figure out how busy we were from an iPad the hosts used (or, that’s how I did it).
One winter, we had a shake-up; we had a new manager from our corporate parent take an open spot for a short-term contract (we’ll call him Dave), and he quickly became one of my favorite managers.
He was pretty no-nonsense and respected that he didn’t know how our restaurant ran. Thus, he was open to talking through our reasoning and basically expected that we were good at what we did unless we proved otherwise.
Our hosts were mostly young women or old girls (like, still in/just out of high school). In several instances, it was a first job ever, because the compensation was (and still is) pretty crappy. You’d get what you pay for, and many of them didn’t have the refinement one would expect when paying over a hundred dollars a head before tax, tip, and drinks.
One, who we’ll call Kay, was pretty protective of the iPad, at least when it came to me. When I came in, I would breeze up to the host stand, look at the numbers for a minute, then go set up.
She, apparently, brought up that I would do this for no reason to Dave and to his boss, who told Dave to get me to knock it off so HR wouldn’t have to mediate (that would’ve looked bad for basically everyone).
She never got upset when anyone else looked at the spread of tables, but I digress.
He asked why I was touching the iPad. I responded that I was looking at the numbers, the big tops, special requests for tables, and stuff like that.
He asked why I wouldn’t wait until preshift for that. I told him that was fifteen minutes before service; I might be able to change things in time if that happened, but I’d miss the rest of preshift and if I had to put together tables, the restaurant would be at least partially not set.
He asked, specifically, what I needed, and I told him a breakdown of the tables by time. He said he’d make sure I had one when I came in and told me not to touch the iPad again.
Cool, works for me.
The next day, I come in and it’s waiting for me. Handwritten, because the app we use doesn’t play well with printers. The day after, I ask him for it and he said he had forgotten, he’d get it to me.
Took him half an hour to write it out and double-check that he didn’t miss anything.
The malicious compliance here is twofold: at some point between days two and three, Dave realizes that he has other stuff to do rather than write out the spread of tables every day.
He’s been asked to not let me touch the iPad, and I’ve told him I won’t. So, he talks to Kay and tells her she needs to write it out, and it needs to be done by the time I get in (about half an hour after she does).
She, like Dave, realizes it’s a lot of work for something I’ll look at for thirty seconds and asks him to let me look at the iPad again. Sorry, no can do, we’ve gotten complaints, and we don’t want HR to get involved.
Kay comes to me and offers me the iPad when I get in. Sorry, I’ve been given a direct order; I’ll take the spread when you’re done writing it up, though.
I’d planned on relenting after a week, but the servers ended up loving seeing what was coming in when, and it became a staple of the host’s job from then on. Kay ended up quitting after getting into it with another manager, but her contribution of a handwritten spread by the host is still going strong, as far as I know.”
7. Sue You If I Don't Like It? That's A Great Idea!
“I was a dumb college kid and in a mixer met the cousin of a classmate, we hit it off, started seeing each other, and when the red flags started going up, was looking for a way out.
Except, we weren’t as careful as we should have been, and she wound up getting pregnant.
Was not super excited about the news, but figured I had to take responsibility and at least try to make it work. Stuck with her throughout her pregnancy, was there when my kid was born, and would wake up at ungodly hours to feed/change her, but still, the writing was on the wall.
Things came to a head and I finally told her I could not take it anymore, I’d happily take responsibility for my kid, but no way in heck was I spending any more of my time with her.
She took it about as well as one could expect, and I didn’t see my kid for a few months. All this while I was working 12/36 hour shifts. I just gave zero craps.
Got a lawyer involved, got a child support agreement in writing, and could see my kid on the one weekend off a month I got, and that was that.
Years go by, kid grows, I change jobs, but we still adhere to the old agreement. Except that when mom gets mad or is in a bad mood, she won’t bring my kid. Or starts just spewing crap through messages, and at first I took it, but as the years went on, it started to get really old and very annoying.
So my kid is now 5 and 2020 hits, and the mom starts saying how she’s not gonna bring my kid because of the risk, and I agree. Except, I eventually find out she’s taking her out to parties and playdates and stuff, so it’s not so much about her not exposing my kid as it is me not seeing my kid.
I confront her, an argument ensues, and she says those magic words.
“I’m not taking her (my kid) to see you, and if you don’t like it, SUE ME.”
I get a lawyer who specializes in family matters, and even though in my country it is very difficult to gain custody from the mother, I have a pretty strong case.
Mind you at this point I didn’t want full custody, since her maternal grandparents obviously loved and cared very much for her, and she for them, and I had no intention of putting her through that, but it could be used as a leverage point.
So we go ahead with the custody battle, and her mom just absolutely loses her crap, telling me how could I do this and why am I not thinking about our kid, to which I just reply with a screenshot of her telling me to sue her.
So during the time that the custody battle goes on, my kid is remanded to my care, and her mother cannot take her or visit. And let me tell you all, those months were great. Our relationship definitely got stronger.
Got to teach her the alphabet (yes she did not know it when I saw her), got to show her my musical tastes (some heavy metal stuck, which is something she would have never been exposed to), it was great.
The hearings were dragging on, and even though there were screenshots and photos of her being terrible and denying visitation, my lawyer told me it was not likely to go my way, but we got to leverage that for a better, iron-clad agreement and decided to not prolong it further (apparently custody battles can go on for months or upwards of a year.
So now, instead of once a month, I see her every other week, plus school vacations, plus holidays (she lives in a different city 3 hours away, so seeing her more often was not feasible), plus guaranteed video calls, plus being informed of anything that goes on with her development (doctor, dentist, school).
Now, my kid and I share stuff with each other that we did not do before, and she is much more excited to spend time with me
As for her mother, she is much more civil now, takes great care of what she does and says, and I doubt will dare me to do anything ever again.”
Another User Comments:
“I hate parents that use their children as weapons.
I understand that separations are difficult but a child deserves to have a relationship with both parents (if both are willing and able – I’m not suggesting forcing a child into an unsafe situation with a parent who makes it clear they don’t want them).
Also, to be clear, I don’t mean that as a jab that you shouldn’t have sued for better parental rights because your ex was clearly abusing her power just because she could and because she is selfish, with no consideration for how her actions were negatively impacting her child.
I’m really glad you’re able to have a closer relationship with your daughter now and that you get to play a more active role in her life.” SteampunkCupcake_
6. Do Two Jobs In One? But It's Against Our Client's Instructions
“This was years ago when I worked at a call center for a cell phone company working customer service.
We were an inbound call center for customer service. On the floor, there were several teams of like 10-20 people each with a Team lead.
There was this one Team leader who was always trying to over-perform to get her manager’s favor. They got bonuses for certain things and the better her team did the more she would make. I hated this manager.
Let’s call her Shirley. Shirley was always trying to get us to do stuff beyond the job description to try to impress her boss. She always insisted on blasting crappy music right next to our cubicles to try to get us hyped.
Our job was to answer phone calls and it made it very hard to have to try to hear customers with this music blasting. She also would be constantly shouting out metrics, and just losing it when someone got a sale.
It made it VERY distracting. My job was just a simple customer service rep. answering phones.
Shirley was kind of like the main boss’s pet. She could get away with doing things differently because she always whipped her team into over-performing and was very strict on the team to perform.
She is the type of boss who would be staring over your shoulder breathing down your neck watching everything you are doing and criticizing every move. This was VERY patronizing to me as I was a top performer.
I did not need to be babysat and corralled around, I knew how to do the job.
I was put on her team at one point. She was driving us hard, making us do crazy things to try to get sales or improve various metrics.
Micromanaging the living crap out of us. I put up with most of it because I needed that job at the time. But one day she pushed me too hard. We were general customer service so we handled billing issues, new service, account maintenance, etc.
If you ever worked in a call center you know there are a bunch of departments. We didn’t handle cancellations because this was the department “Retention’s” job. If a customer ever threatened to cancel, switch providers, or started mentioning other providers’ deals we were to transfer them immediately to Retention.
Retention was specially trained to try to curb cancellations. They were a higher level department than customer service and had special deals, discounts, and promotions to try to work with upset customers looking to cancel to keep them.
As customer service one of our metrics is transfers. Keeps tabs on how many times each employee sent a transfer to another department. Getting too many of these looked bad but sometimes was unavoidable. We are trained to “own the call” to try to prevent transfers and resolve the customer’s issue on YOUR call, but certain situations are beyond the scope of my job.
I simply don’t have the tools to effectively do some things, such as retain customers and curb churn. Shirley wasn’t having this though.
I guess the team’s transfers were high or something but on one call she was plugged into my headset listening as I worked.
Customer calls in SUPER irate, LIVID about his billing. I am trying to work the call and review his account and discuss options but nothing we can offer is satisfactory. He is threatening to go to another provider which will get him a way better deal and pay off his cancellation fees.
At this point per our manual from the cell phone company itself, I was to IMMEDIATELY transfer this customer to Retention in order to try to save his business. They had better deals than I was able to give and it explicitly states in our manual/rule book to transfer them as soon as they mention cancellation.
Well, where I worked at we did not work directly for the cell phone company itself. We were a third-party company that was contracted to do work for the cell phone company as our client. As such part of the contract, the cell phone company provides us with an online manual on how to handle situations and what we are supposed to be doing.
If we are found to be not in compliance with how the client wants us to handle situations it could be terms for cancellation of the contract. This was a VERY BIG deal because if the site lost the client’s contract it means EVERYONE working that call center would be out of a job.
So this customer is cussing and yelling at me about canceling his service. Shirley mutes my phone and is telling me NOT to transfer this caller. She wants me to go above and beyond and do another department’s job that I wasn’t trained in and didn’t have access to their deals or resources.
Shirley used to work in retention and was saying she could show me how to handle this and save the customer and not get a transfer. I don’t make enough to be doing two departments’ roles in one.
Screw this. Plus this customer was cussing me out I am done trying. I unmute the call and tell the customer I am transferring him and transfer him to retention. Shirley LOSES it. Freaks out, storms off into her manager’s office determined to write me up for non-compliance.
A few hours later I get the notice that she has written me up and I get the email to confirm my write-up for refusing to listen to her. Screw this, I did exactly as our rule book states.
I don’t sign it. She threatens me by saying we will be having a meeting with HR by the end of the day because I didn’t sign it. Whatever.
We get into HR and they are pulling up the write up and we are talking about it.
Shirley is in the meeting with us thinking I am about to get fired. I always stood up for my rights and would challenge a lot of the questionable tactics she used as a Team lead. She was excited it was the day she was going to get rid of me so she thought.
Well HR is reviewing the situation.
HR lady: “Well in most instances we review the write-up and compare it to what policy is.”
Shirley: “He was disobedient and needs to be punished he directly disobeyed my directions and transferred a call when I told him not to.”
Me: “Per our rule book provided by the client themselves it specifically states to immediately transfer the caller in this situation.
You can find the policy on XYZ page.”
HR lady: “The client specifically stated to transfer and this is per policy. Since he followed policy to a T we cannot do anything here we are dismissing this write-up.”
Shirley then got a talking to from HR about compliance with the client’s wishes and how disregarding this could cost the site their contract and everyone’s job. Satisfying to say the least. She backed down and stopped messing with me after that until I eventually got to transfer into another team.”
5. Want 20 Lawns Cut Again? That's Not A Good Idea, But I Can Make It Happen
“So this happened a summer ago. I’m a college student and in the summer, when I’m home, I typically work in landscaping and landscape design as a laborer (think laying sod and bricks, building fences and decks, or cutting grass).
I also live in Mississippi so it’s hot as balls and humid as heck in the summer. This particular summer I was working on the landscaping side so I was cutting grass, pulling weeds, upkeep sort of stuff.
When it came time to cut grass I was on weed-eater duty, my job was to do trim work basically cut grass the mower can’t reach.
The day: So this Thursday was a particularly hot one, just after a good rain and so it was excessively hot and humid.
To add on to this the job for that day was a contract place that was 20 or so houses arranged in a circle around 2 ponds and a walking path making the humidity even higher because of the ponds and lack of airflow (tall trees around and in the place).
The lots themselves weren’t particularly big but the place took 9-11 hours to do well and most of the houses also had the super cranky old people in them that would complain over the most minor things, I’m talking one weed in a flower box under a bush.
So we arrive at like 6:15 and get to cutting and all that good stuff. I grab my weedeater, throw my earbuds in, and do my thing. While I weedeat I am continually walking and occasionally will bump the weedeater with my leg, raising it up a little bit and making the grass slightly uneven every so often maybe half an inch at the most.
This usually isn’t noticeable but if it happens up against a house or structure you can tell if you look for it. So I will typically go back and try to level it out the best I can if I notice it happen.
I do the whole place’s front yards and backyards. We then weed the whole place front and back.
We are getting ready to pack up and head home, it’s like 4 o’clock by now, when our manager Incompetent Rick comes to the job site and starts looking around.
He finishes up and pulls my foreman John aside and shows him around the place then leaves, this process took an hour or so, so myself, John, and my coworker L have just burnt an hour on overtime doing nothing (by this point in the week it was typical for us to be running on overtime).
John comes over to L and me telling us that we missed a ton of stuff and to grab the weedeaters and a bucket. We then walk around the place and John starts pointing out groups of like 4 blades of grass that are fractions of an inch higher than the others, barely noticeable crap like you really gotta look for this stuff hard.
Furthermore, if you try to cut some of these with a weedeater they bend from the downwash of the spinning strings, so you risk gouging a nice 5-12 inch circle in the grass trying to cut like 4 blades of grass.
We begin to redo the whole place front and back pulling small weeds here and there from under bushes and doing our best to cut the offending blades of grass.
By the second house, L and I are complaining to John we are hot and tired; it’s like 5:30 and we know this will take us 2 more hours.
John tells us he knows this is stupid and it’s not his fault he understands the stupidity and our anger. Cue malicious compliance. L and I decide we are going to make sure all offending blades of grass are cut to the same height, that new height dirt.
The thing is if you cut grass too low, it can die, we knew this but Incompetent Rick and the cranky old people wanted it the same height exactly and that’s what they were going to get. We rewalk the place and cut any grass that is against something and over the height of dirt.
We also made sure to hold our weedeaters in a way that when we cut the offending grass we hit the surrounding grass with the full 12in diameter of the weedeater, leaving a nice 12in circle spot that you couldn’t see now but would when the grass died in a few days.
We leveled all the grass against any structure leaving a nice gouge where walls, fences, and flowerbeds met the lawn. We finished around 7:30 and headed home. And didn’t hear a peep the next day.
The next week the lawns had 12in brown circles of grass everywhere.
By Tuesday Incompetent Rick talked to John about it, John just told him the offending blades had been cut as he asked and something along the lines of it was all now uniform in height, we couldn’t help that some of the grass didn’t survive the new stringent height regulations.
Incompetent Rick never talked to L, John, or myself about it again.
A few notes and fallout: This wasn’t the first time and wouldn’t be the last time Incompetent Rick came to nitpick our work at the end of a day, which would sometimes result in us having to drive across the city or walk a mile or two up a road at the end of a day to fix bullcrap little things that weren’t messed up, adding hours to already long hot days.
Though it was the last time we ever had problems at that place. We also got the satisfaction of knowing that Incompetent Rick had to take numerous calls from cranky old people about their lawns for a few weeks.
These people would cuss us out, even before this incident so I don’t want to imagine what they told him. The lawns still had pretty noticeable dead spots and scars when I left towards the end of the summer.
Also, Incompetent Rick saw himself as better than any of the filthy laborers (L and me) and would avoid critiquing us to our faces. This is primarily because the few times he nitpicked us directly we either told him why it was stupid or handed him our equipment and told him to do it himself, which he would then proceed to screw up.
This was a common sentiment he held towards all of the crews under his supervision, and their reactions when he critiqued them were similar to ours. In the mornings at the shop, he would sometimes talk about how we needed to be more respectful to him bc he was our boss to which people would reply something about him respecting our quality work (which it was 99% of the time), not nitpicking stupid crap, and not showing up at the end of a day to give us more dumb crap to do (such as chop a tree down and then drive off expecting us to load it up when he had an empty open top trailer and we had a full box truck).
What we did made its way to other crews and they carried out similar antics which led to him getting a tough time from his bosses who held him responsible for these events. The effects of this general disdain eventually got to him so much that you could see it just by the way he carried himself and the stress on his face.”
4. Refuse To Fix Your Buggy Software? Pay These Bills Then
“I am the AV supervisor for a large company that hosts events.
Specifically, I look after quotes for the technical side of corporate events – giving clients access to projectors, microphones, speakers, etc, etc for their large corporate presentations, meetings, and whatnot.
I also manage and brief the floor crew who actively run the events.
We use a program to book our equipment which, while powerful, is a bit laggy on the average computer and is also extremely expensive per year (About $2000 per user per year and there are about 30 of us in the company that uses it).
Relative to how much our company makes per year, it’s a pretty hefty cost. It’s a good program when leveraged properly, but sometimes it can drive you mad with its weird way of doing things.
One important feature of the program is that it tracks the booking of all equipment everywhere, including time for packing it into a room and packing it out of the room.
This is useful because it prevents our team from overbooking equipment. If it’s not available, the system won’t let you book it – there’s no way around that. If I am short on equipment, I can book extra equipment from another rental company and on-charge that to the client – when I know in advance that I need to do that.
Anyway, cue a big presentation from the booking company showing their latest version of the booking software. “It’s great, it’s faster! It’s better than ever!”
We have a busy week coming up and I am flat-out floored with paperwork, pulling a 60-hour week (Our company is fantastic with overtime.
We don’t get overtime pay but we do get time in lieu. Our bosses are totally cool about it. So if I work 1hr overtime, I get 1hr off the following week. Do a 60 hr week and you get 20hrs off later).
Anyway, one of my floor crew comes to me…
Floor Crew: Hey OP? This equipment isn’t available… We’ve already got it out on another event.
Me: What? It should be available.
Floor Crew: No, it’s definitely not. I just set it up for another event two hours ago and that event is running for three days.
Cue me running back to my desk and rechecking all my paperwork. FYI, equipment lists going out for events is often over one hundred lines long – hence why we don’t do manual checks for over-bookings. The system should do it.
As it turns out, all our equipment was overbooked multiple times – in many cases, overbooked on three events or more.
I make multiple phone calls to rental companies and bring in rental equipment on short notice. That’s expensive – and I can’t charge it to the client on such short notice.
If you took our expected profits for that week, you could add a negative symbol onto the front and that’d be our new profit.
I log a job with the company that makes our booking software and then proceed to double-check all our upcoming events.
Hooo boy… a lotta overbooked equipment. (Note: These events are often independently created by multiple people at different times of the year, there’s no way they’d themselves check if the equipment was available, it’s just not feasible. Hence why we rely on the system that up until now, worked.)
The booking software company is extremely dismissive, saying that it’s a rare glitch and that they’d “look into it”.
Cue one month later and still no fix. I’m now spending significantly more time double-checking all our events for overbooking. The booking software company still doesn’t care about a small-ish company like us.
Frustrated, I ask my boss for a copy of our service agreement with the company.
He’s as annoyed with the situation as I am so we go through it together. Turns out, there’s a clause in there saying that the booking company would provide compensation in the event of total system failure (In the event that the system can’t even be accessed).
Well… we’d definitely call this a system failure… of sorts. Its failure is costing us a lot. So we send the bills for all our rentals that cover over-bookings to the booking software company. That gets their attention quickly when the total bill amounts to more than triple how much they make off us each year.
Booking Software Company: Hey OP, what’s with these bills?
Me: Here’s the job reference you still haven’t responded to after two months now, and here’s the link between each rental and each event that’s overbooked.
Booking Software Company: Uhh… there’s no way the system is letting you overbook equipment.
And you can’t send the bills to us for every event that’s overbooked.
Me: (Shares screen) Alright… let’s test it.
The Booking Software Company shares their screen as well, logging into our version of the booking system. They proceed to book some equipment that should 100% not be available.
True to their word, the system doesn’t let them do it. I then book the exact same equipment for the exact same event but from my computer. My boss was a witness, and the system let me do it without any alarm.
This surprises them and they start talking about potential fixes. They also say they’re willing to pay for the rentals up until now.
Two months later, we’re still billing them for every rented piece of equipment, they’re still paying without questioning and we still don’t have a fix. I’ve changed the procedures to check for overbooked equipment though, so we aren’t running around like madmen trying to fix things last minute anymore.”
3. Want Me To Text More Customers While Still Making More Calls? I Can Do That
“This is from when I worked for my former employer as a personal auto claims adjuster. After 2020 we had a staffing shortage and it was very hard to be able to return calls (like literally I was on the phone and would have three voicemails when I got off, and it would continue).
My company announced they were going to start allowing us to enroll customers in text message communication; in fact, they were going to encourage it as they wanted to move towards a more digital option to streamline things (like many customers).
I was thrilled. With all my first time calling on my new claims, I would sign people up. It was great! I responded to people’s texts when they had questions and would send them follow-up texts through the claim asking if they had any questions about how the repairs went, etc.
I loved it! My customers loved it! I got good surveys!
The month after our first month doing this we have a regionwide town hall meeting and I had the most outbound text messages in that month by over 200 (I think my total was like 280 and the next person after me was 30) from the next person.
I got a gift card and recognition from the regional manager at an office-wide town hall. My team got lauded as well since now our team was the one using the new text message system the most (since I was using it more than anyone else).
I was happy! My boss was happy! My team was happy! My customers were happy! The regional manager was happy because it was making our region look good! The other managers were happy! Everyone was happy, happy, happy! You get it.
Now simple logic would say that since I was using texting to follow up each one of those messages could have been a phone call but instead was a text. Right?
Well, the higher-ups over my regional manager (the same ones who allegedly pointed to my text messaging numbers and were thrilled the new method was working) didn’t think so.
My boss called me aside to discuss my numbers and told me he had some concerns about how I had the least number of outbound calls the prior month, the same amount I had all of the text messages.
He showed me my numbers and where I ranked. Now, I wasn’t the lowest in the region mind you nor even the lowest on the team but I was below the peer average. It was clear that number was not taking into consideration the number of outbound texts I had done.
I agreed it was low but pointed out that if you added that number of outbound calls for each performer to each performer’s number of outbound texts my number of those combined would be higher than anyone else.
He said he agreed but that the higher-ups wanted a reason for why I was not making as many outbound calls.
I thought this was a joke question at first and when I realized he wasn’t joking I said, “Because instead of making outbound calls, I am texting customers which is what the customers signed up for (Note: we can’t text a customer who doesn’t sign up for it).
So logic should say that for each of my text messages that should be one less outbound call that I would be making.”
My boss said once again he understood but this had gone to the higher-ups over my regional manager and they wanted me to be making more outbound calls.
So I realized this whole, texting people more didn’t mean they expected us to make fewer outbound calls and essentially have the same workload, they were looking for us to make the same number of outbound calls on top of texting people, essentially increasing our workload.
I told him, I would focus on making sure I had more outbound calls on the next report.
Now here is the thing about our phones and how they worked with measuring metrics: they can see how many calls we have coming in, how many calls we make going out, how many calls we answer, and the average length of each call.
But the report for the metrics doesn’t show what numbers we are dialing…
So each time I sent a text message I would first call my cell phone, when my voicemail picked up I would type the response of the customer in our text message application, and once I had finished typing I’d hit send.
I would then hang up the phone.
This ensured two things: I was making an outbound call and the length would still fall into the average length for each call.
The next month, my boss pulled me aside to congratulate me on a job well done with improving my outbound calls while still maintaining my high text messages.
Of course, when my annual performance review came around they still used that low outbound call month as an excuse not to promote me and only offer me a pathetic 3% raise so that was the final straw in a long list of reasons as to why I moved onto a different company.
Note: I kept in touch with several coworkers a few of whom still work there and from what they have told me it has just gotten worse and a lot of high turnover, so I made the right choice.”
2. Re-Feed The Labels? I'm Sorry, But I Can't
“I work as a Network Administrator at a Food Processing Plant. I cover a lot of bases in the I.T. field within the company to ensure our Infrastructure is maintained for all to do their jobs well.
So let me just say that this was years in the making due to how many avenues we’ve had to cover to avoid getting to this point, which I’ll cover here shortly.
So to break it down, in the Production area, there are machines we utilize that weigh products and print out labels appropriate to said product (drumsticks have their own product code, tenders, thighs, etc..). From time to time, we get a garden variety of issues called on to check out; some that are legit a concern we need to check out such as Software/Hardware concerns.
Then…there are the ones that don’t take a rocket scientist to figure out; the most notorious being that labels are Misfed by a country mile.
There are other ones such as:
- The USB cable that connects to the rear of the label printer being unplugged
- Power-related issues (because they honestly want to believe IT doubles as electricians..)
- Issues that relate to SKUs themselves (Those get handled by QA)
Over the last couple of years, we’ve tried to inform management that there are “Dos” and “Don’ts” that I.T.
can support, but unfortunately, most fall victim to the “I Don’t Remember” Curse. Last week was ultimately the straw that broke the camel’s back for me; having to witness not 1, not 2, not even 3..but 5 printers out on the floor that all had some of those issues, most notably being the labels.
So we, the I.T. Department, decided it was time to have a sit-down with Management and pretty much lay down the law on this.
What was said was, “We’ve provided you the training materials, I’ve stayed behind after work and early for both shifts to cover said training materials.” That “if we are called on to check out a printer from now on and it fits any of the criteria we deem is something the User can investigate, we will walk away until that condition is met first.” My Boss had already signed off on this as well, emailing the Head Honchos themselves of the same discussion.
Having agreed to the terms, I made sure to have every last one of the Production Management sign off on the agreement of the terms to ensure everyone follows the same sheet of music.
Wouldn’t you know, however, that not even a week after the sit-down, I’ve already encountered my first one.
The user called me over the radio, informing me that they are having issues getting the printer to generate any labels with their machine. Having asked over the radio if they’d inspected the printer, I was informed that they did and proceeded to make my way down there.
What I found…was well beyond what I had thought.
Inspecting the device, I encountered the following:
- The USB cable was unplugged
- The Touchscreen needed Calibration
- The printer itself had its default settings restored
- And the most obvious of all…The Label was misfed by a country mile.
I called the Lead over to investigate and asked if she was aware of this, to which she said without hesitation, “no”.
Heaving a sigh, I told her that the only things I will do is calibrate the touchscreen and restore the proper settings to the printer. She would need to have to do the rest. Here’s how the rest of the convo went:
User: Well you’re here now, why don’t you do it?
Me: Because I won’t, it’s that simple.
User: Well why not?!
Me: Because it was part of that agreement that you and the others signed off on, remember?
User: Well it’s only one time! I’ll remember for next time.
Me: There isn’t gonna be a next time because there won’t be a this time.
You signed the agreement knowing what I outlined for you all.
User: So you’re just gonna leave this as is?!
Me: Pretty much. You can either set it back as-is or leave it, but ultimately this falls on you.
User: You’re being unprofessional, you know that?! I’ll inform your boss about this.
Me: You go right ahead. I already have pictures of what I encountered and since you signed the agreement, I promise this will fall back on you in the end.
The user ultimately caved and went ahead and corrected the two discrepancies and just like that, the printer started feeding the labels it was backed up on because of the error. In the end, our department did as best we could to assist our users but there’s gotta be a line drawn somewhere for these sorts of things.”
1. My Malicious Compliance Failed When My Teacher Caught On To What I Was Doing
“A bit of context. In my country, we have 5 years of grade school (AKA primary education) and 6 years of high school (secondary education). Not quite sure how that correlates to other countries, but there you are.
During my schooling years, I was blessed with plenty of teachers who actually cared about students and their education both academic and in values. Strict, demanding but benevolent and nurturing. Some were brilliant in their own way, like the chem teacher who the last week of our final year taught us how to use raisins, rum, and a wooden barrel to make a passable facsimile of whisky (despite being terrible at chem, I did learn that lesson), or the ethics teacher who actually motivated us enough to dedicate half our Saturdays to alphabetize the less fortunate population of our local town, opening our eyes to the world around us and what “needful” really means, and then buying us beer as a reward (again, final year, most of us were of legal drinking age and those who weren’t were weeks away – different times).
There were indeed mean teachers, bad teachers, and “phoning it in” teachers, but from those, I chose to take what I can use and ignore the rest.
Paraphrasing my most beloved teacher, I have always been “an annoying little crap,” blowing off classes and then passing the tests, sometimes acing them, doing the bare minimum to pass except when the topic engaged me.
When it did, here come the questions, the counter-points, and the general inquisitive jerk-ery. That was just a phase though, and it’s bound to end any moment now – or so I keep telling my wife.
So, on to the story.
Many moons ago, when dragons roamed the earth, to be more precise, in the year of our Lord of 1991 I was enrolled in my 4th year of high school (2 years before the beers and the rum – don’t worry).
The high school I was in had a dress code that bordered on criminal. Every day boys were supposed to wear this horrible short-sleeved yellow shirt with green stripes around the arm openings and neck, black pants (dudes and dudettes, black in a rainforest climate is no joke) with a black belt, yellow socks, and black shoes.
Gym day was a little better. Green t-shirt with yellow stripes, and a grey band around the left arm (for pizzazz I guess), yellow sweatpants with green lines down the legs, yellow socks, and white trainers. I think the principal had a thing for lemons and limes, I can find no other explanation.
A teacher would stand at the door checking every student for violations and sending students home for non-compliance.
So, me being me, I tried to get sent home as often as possible for dress violations, as initially those didn’t count as absences and I could claim my (carefully cultivated and to this day nurtured) legendary lack of memory as the reason.
I could then spend the day reading, fishing, or swimming in the local river, not a lot, unlike Tom Sawyer. On this particular day, I decided to blow off school on the day of the end-of-quarter assembly and I approached this by wearing socks of two different yellows.
My left sock was almost neon and my right a very muted yellow. To make it all the more obvious I went with the previous year’s pants, a little tighter around the waist, but more importantly, almost 2 inches short, showing plenty of sock.
In hindsight, the pants should have been enough to get me sent home, but that fateful day, our prefect of discipline, Mr. Absalon (real name) had door duty. He is one of the good ones, always finding teachable moments.
So I went by Mr. Absalon and to make sure he saw me I bid him good morning. He greeted me back and smiled. What the heck? I was sure to be stopped and sent back, so I went back out and entered again, very, very slowly and joking around with schoolmates, calling attention to the idiot in the bright and muted yellow socks and short tight pants.
He just waved me through. I went out a second time, and right before I reached him I bent down to “tie my shoes”, which were moccasins. He mentioned the nonmatching socks, to which I just said “so? they’re both yellow”.
He just laughed and said “You know what, you’re right. I’m letting you go through. Who knows, you might get an education today.” In other words, “I see your malicious compliance, and I raise the stakes. How many cards?”
That in itself was awful, condemned to be all day in tight pants and stupid-looking yellow socks (stupider looking anyway), but during the assembly, right before the principal made the opening remarks, Mr.
Absalon took the microphone and announced that on that assembly we would have a special helper, assisting the speakers with speech notes, microphone, and water and would dear Mr. OP please come up on stage to claim the role?
Folks, I’m not a public person.
I enjoy being anonymous and flying under the radar. That non-punishment was in a word, brilliant and artfully applied. After the assembly, in which I conducted myself with as much dignity as can be commanded by one in “pig-catching pants” and two different socks, I was approached by Mr.
Absalon. He just said “I trust you will be more aware of your uniform in the future, yes?” smiled and gave me a light slap on my shoulder. From that day, I made absolutely sure I could live with whatever I chose to wear, whether I meant to be sent home or not.
And that, as the pig said, is it folks.”