People Leave Us Fascinated With Their Malicious Compliance Revenge
14. Want To Wait To Speak To The Owner? You'll Be Here For A While Then
“I was attending grad school at the time to finish my doctoral degree (which I’m only mentioning as relevant bc the customer made a crack about intelligence) while working at my father’s business, an auto salvage yard. Our yard was located in New Jersey and this event occurred in August so it was hot and very humid.
I was generally very dirty when I was at work with grease and grime all over my arms and clothes. If you washed your hands and arms every time they looked dirty, your skin would just get dry and irritated so with the exception of stopping to eat, I was absolutely filthy all day long.
Our yard mostly dealt with shops and small independent mechanics who came in looking just as dirty as I was so it was completely normal. Another point relevant to this story is this: I look absolutely nothing like my father. He is 5’8 and weighs at most 140 pounds and I am 6’2″, and back then, I was powerlifting and weighed right around 220 pounds.
So here’s my story. A guy comes in to pick up something he bought when I was not there that had to be taken out of a car. I don’t even remember what it was now but it was something fairly heavy (for him, not for me) and dirty.
If we had parts in our warehouse, they’d get scrubbed and cleaned (by me) before being labeled and cataloged but parts coming right off a car just had the loose grime knocked off. So, the guy comes in looking very out of place for our yard wearing a button-down shirt, khakis, and dress shoes.
He hands me his receipt and I tell him I’ll bring it out the side door. I walk out with his item on a hand truck and the only vehicle I see parked is an Acura sedan (very unlike the beat-up shop vehicles most of our customers drove).
The guy is walking around the front of his car talking on his phone but the trunk is open so I bring the hand truck around and leave his item on the ground with a piece of cardboard to keep his trunk clean and go back inside.
A few minutes later the customer comes inside wanting to know what he is supposed to do with the part to which I facetiously reply “Install it, I imagine.” He wants to know why the part is dirty. I reply “it’s used.” He wants to know how he is supposed to get it home.
I reply “in your car.” He wants to know why I didn’t put the item in his trunk and I point to the sign behind him (which admittedly is partially obscured by the open door) which says that we are not responsible for loading parts due to liability for possible damage to the customer’s vehicle.
He turns around looking livid and shouts “What am I supposed to do now, genius?” (because I must be dumb if I’m dirty, right?). There are now two other customers by the office and I know them both well so I tell them I’ll be right with them and walk around outside to the guy’s car because I just want him gone.
I throw a blanket over the rear bumper of his car, remind him that I’m not liable for damage and I lift the piece up and gently put it on the cardboard in his car. To do this without damaging anything, I had to put one of my hands on the side of the trunk and I left a huge greasy handprint (largely on purpose).
While I’m loading he is standing so close to me “supervising” that my arm bumps his arm and his sleeve gets dirty. The entire time this exchange has been going on, he has been on his phone and he is now ranting into his phone about our interaction, and he calls me “genius” again and I reply, “You came to a salvage yard to pick up a heavy, dirty used part in dress clothes with a luxury car.
Who’s the genius?” At that point, he also noticed the grease on his car and his dirty sleeve and he wants to know if the owner is here, and I tell him Bob is working out in the yard. He demands to speak to him and I say fine.
We walk back around to the office and I point to Bob who is way out in the yard on the forklift moving cars that are going to the crusher. This is time sensitive because the truck will come to pick them up and block the entire street while we load so we have to be ready.
He starts to walk into the yard and I try to stop him and tell him it is too dangerous. He keeps walking so I point out that our Dobermann is trotting along behind the forklift. She was actually our dog from home and very friendly but we brought her with us every day because we couldn’t get home to let her out.
He sees the dog and stops and I tell the guy he has to wait until Bob is finished moving vehicles and it will be awhile which he says is fine because he is going to tell Bob exactly how his customers are being treated.
Over the next 40 minutes, I walk past the guy multiple times helping customers and each time I pass him, he mutters something about me being fired and me being sorry. Finally, the forklift shuts down and Bob stands up, and my new friend seems ecstatic, banging on the counter and telling me that Bob is done and he wants to speak to him immediately.
I walk outside with my new friend right next to me, climb up on a car’s fender and wave my arms to get Bob’s attention, and scream, “Hey Dad, this guy wants to talk to you!” And with that my new buddy says “screw you” turns and walks out, hops in his car, and guns it up the street.”
13. Force Me To Take This History Course Or I Don't Graduate? Fine By Me
“To start, keep in mind that policies and rules might have changed since when I was in school. I should also preface this by saying my middle and high schools were very poor, very small, and right next door to each other, less than a block away.
The counselor also worked for both schools, and many teachers taught at both. The graduating class was less than 50 students, most years closer to 30.
So I moved from another state to Washington State during the last month of my 8th-grade year.
As such, when I showed up to school in Washington, I was told I was going to be exempted from the State History requirement. I was told the requirement was needed for Middle School graduation, but since I showed up so late, they weren’t gonna hold it against me.
So I go through 2 years of high school without any issues. During my junior and senior years, Washington offered a program that let me attend a community college full-time, instead of taking high school classes. I would get my college credits, and the high school would award me high school credits as well.
That way, I’d be able to graduate with both my diploma and an Associates by the end of my senior year. The tuition was all paid for by the state, so I only had to pay a few minor fees.
Junior year goes by without a hitch.
I attend college and rack up 50 credits. Come to the end of my junior year, I’m meeting with the new high school counselor to discuss my next term of classes before the school year ends and everyone goes on summer break.
The old one just resigned because she just had a child. So we’re having a pleasant discussion about what I’m going to do in the future, and out of left field, she says “Oh by the way, you still need to do that Washington State History if you want to graduate.
I’m gonna go ahead and enroll you for that.”
Washington State History is a 7th-grade class. So we go back and forth on this, as I insisted that I was given an exemption due to my late arrival in 8th Grade. Basically, she was expecting me to go to the middle school for an hour, right in the middle of the day, to take this 7th-grade history class.
And I wasn’t having it. Not only would it make my college classes impossible to get to (since the commute was half an hour each way) but it was also right when all the important classes were held (Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry for my Fall, Winter, and Spring terms, respectively).
To say I was upset would be an understatement, as I would’ve had to have taken standard high school courses (no AP since I didn’t do the summer projects) that fit around that time frame. So I went home and rang my college counselor, who was so unbelievably helpful throughout this whole endeavor.
As it turned out, I didn’t need to graduate from my high school. As long as I was enrolled in high school, I could attend the college tuition free. And if I achieved all the requirements necessary to receive my Associate’s Degree, then the college would actually award me a Washington State Diploma (which I guess is different than a GED?) in addition to my Degree.
So I return to my high school the next day to speak with her again. I told her what I had learned from the college counselor, and basically, here are the highlights of what was said:
“No, that’s wrong. You have to graduate from (insert high school name).
You don’t get to graduate from (insert college name).” -Counselor
“Why not? The program only says I have to meet the requirements for my Associates. It doesn’t make any mention about meeting the state high school requirements, nor (insert high school)’s requirements, nor even getting the diploma from here.” -Me
“Well, we won’t let you graduate.
So either take this history course, or you won’t graduate.” -Counselor
“Then I won’t graduate.” -Me
“Well that’s your choice then.” -Counselor
I leave and go on summer break. Fall semester begins, and on the first day the middle and high school are back, I get a call from the office (College courses started 4 weeks after public schools).
“Hi OP, so I noticed you were absent from class today. Any reason why you didn’t show up?” Oh, it’s my high school counselor.
“What do you mean? I’m not taking any classes at the high school.” -Me
“Well, you’re supposed to be at the Middle School taking your history course.
We talked about this already.” -Counselor
“Yeah, and I said I wasn’t doing it. I don’t need to.” -Me
“You don’t get to say what you do and don’t have to do. This is a requirement, you know. You don’t get to graduate if you don’t take it, which means you’ll have to be here a 5th year.” -Counselor
Not wanting to deal with their crap, I hung up on her.
I spoke with my college counselor once again, and she reaffirmed that I was totally in the right and that as long as I managed to get another 35 college credits before the end of the school year, I would graduate in June with both.
But of course, my high school continued to play their games with me. Thursday morning, about 2 weeks after hanging up on my counselor, I get an automated message from the school for a “truancy infraction,” saying that I needed to come in and have a meeting with the principal about my attendance.
At this point, I was fed up with my high school. So like any reasonable person, I decided I was going to drop out. Meeting with my college counselor once more, I had a lengthy discussion about what exactly was going on with my high school.
Being the amazing woman she was, she helped me figure out how I could drop out and still attend college. She even pulled some strings to help me get last-minute scholarships, which covered like 95% of the costs. Thank you, Ms.
Allen, you were a lifesaver.
With my future plans better secured, I arranged for a meeting with the high school the following week. Here’s the gist of what happened.
“Hi, OP. So (counselor) tells me that you’ve been skipping class for the last 2 weeks.
What’s up with that?” -Principal
“Well see, I-” -Me
“He’s trying to get out of having to do his history course. The one I’ve been telling you about. He said that he doesn’t actually have to do it if he doesn’t want to.” -Counselor, with a crap-eating grin.
“No, I was-” -Me
“Well look here OP, you need to take your education seriously. How do you think it reflects on the school if you’re skipping all the time?” -Principal
So the conversation continued like this for a while, the Principal and Counselor exchanging opportunities to cut me off as I’m trying to explain myself, as well as lecturing me on the importance of education and whatnot.
So while they continued blabbering on about nonsense, I slide them a manila folder across the desk.
“… a good colle… What is this?” -Counselor
“Drop out forms. You told me that ‘you can’t graduate unless you do this history class.’ So I won’t graduate.” -Me
And we all sat in silence for a good 30 seconds as they went from staring at each other, to me, to the folder, and back.
I guess they weren’t expecting me to call their bluff, at least not like that.
Now, as I prefaced, my graduating class was tiny, and we were in a poor area. Most every student graduated (probably the staff manipulating grades to get everyone to pass) but the average GPA was not very high amongst my friends, and I was on track to being valedictorian easily.
I had a 3.9ish GPA, was on the Varsity Track team for 3 years, even as a Freshman, and went to regional twice (not state, unfortunately). Not to toot my own horn any more than I already have, but I was also President of my high school’s honors society (president over all 5 members), I was set to go to UW, and I made the front page of the local paper for winning $1,000 talent show the previous year.
So needless to say, I think I was pretty good for the school’s image.
So after sitting in stunned silence for what felt like an eternity, the principal and counselor started fumbling over their own words while simultaneously trying to talk to me, and over one another.
That went on until they both ran out of breath, to the point where I think the office windows began fogging up. Finally, I was able to say my piece.
“You threatened to not let me graduate unless I took this class.
Then you threatened me with this truancy thing. I get that you’re trying to force me to graduate from your school so y’all look better. At least, I think that’s what’s going on. But my decision is final, and that’s your copy of my papers.
I’ll be getting my GED this month.”
And yeah, that’s about it. I got my GED, and Associates by the end of the year without any issues. I didn’t get to attend my graduation, but I didn’t really care. I’m not gonna attend the ceremony for my Associates either. I did get to go to my senior prom though, as a guest. All-in-all, I think it worked out alright.”
12. Do Whatever My Supervisor Says? Will Do!
“This happened more than 10 years ago, so while it isn’t as detailed as it could have been, it’s very much burned into my memory.
2-3 months into my first job out of education, I am working as a croupier. Enjoying it (that didn’t last), fitting in nicely, etc.
One day I am dealing a game, give a payout and carry on. My supervisor questions me whether I paid out correctly – I say I think I did and went over my calculations which were correct. I am at the stage where people can see I am picking everything up quickly so I have been afforded just enough respect where the supervisor isn’t sure himself.
He got it checked on the cameras with the pit boss and even though my calculations were correct, the chips I got out were not – paid out slightly too much. Not a big deal to be honest but I did get taken aside by the pit boss a while after and basically told that, if the supervisor says I am wrong in these situations, to just go along with it (the chain of command in casinos is very rigid, to the point where to question something a superior says or does can be treated with contempt in most circumstances).
It was a very informal chat, and I get along with both the supervisor and pit boss, but the message is clear – do as the supervisor says under any circumstance. This is no problem to me, it was my error and yeah, these guys are going to be right over me at this stage in my career far more than the other way around.
The very next night, I am dealing a far bigger game with the only big punter of note in the building. Realistically, I shouldn’t have been on this game with my experience level but what the heck, I’m being trusted enough to do it so let’s have a good time.
First big payout comes, I’m slightly hesitant but get my chips out and ask the supervisor to check the payout. Different guy from the night previous, but someone else I really get along with. He has a brief look and exclaims “You’re short 10 pinks mate”.
A pink in the casino is a £100 chip, so I’m a grand short. I have a look, there is no way I am that far out (at this point I’m not 100% sure I’m right, but I AM 100% sure he is wrong).
My personality is definitely the one where I would try to go through this with him to see if we can reach an agreement. However, the words of the previous night are ringing in my ears – do not go against the supervisor, just do what they say.
Ok no problem, I get a grand more, get the check, supervisor is happy and the bucks get paid out. This happens roughly 5 or 6 more times (ranging from £500 more to a whopping £2,500 more one spin). Each time I do as I am told.
I get replaced a while later with the punter delighted to be leaving with a healthy profit and I go on break.
While on my break, the guy who I considered my mentor at the time (RIP) is also there, and I go through the spins with him.
His immediate reaction is ‘crap, son, every one of those has been overpaid, I would talk to the pit boss when you go back down’. Head back down, the casino is basically completely empty, so before I go stand at a game with no punters, I ask the pit boss for a word.
I explain what I believe has happened and ask just for a quick check on the cameras as, yeah I might be wrong, but I don’t think I am. The reaction of the pit boss was essentially ‘Don’t worry about it mate, I was watching the whole game, and everything looked above board to me, even though you lost some bucks, good job on keeping the game moving.’ I plead one last time to just have a look, nothing is going on right now.
He sends me on my way to a table directly facing him at the desk and he does have a look. The next 10 minutes I can only describe as the soul of a man sloooowly draining out of his body.
With each spin he watches, the corners of his lips drop little by little, the color of his face lightening second by second and his posture hunching with each view. Of course, I am standing there just watching him as he gets the manager over, followed by the deputy manager (who was also there and definitely keeping an eye on the game).
Towards the end of the shift, the pit boss informs me that, yes, I was right, and I have paid out roughly £7.5k more than I should have. This was a significant amount of bucks for the casino at the time (fairly quiet, but a big chain of casinos so nothing catastrophic).
Internally I am freaking out, but calm as a cucumber on the outside, I say to him exactly what he said to me the night before – I was just paying out what the supervisor told me to (for the record, the chances of the supervisor working with the punter were slim to none, he was just distracted by the totty on the other table trying to chat them up).
The investigation comes up with a neutral manager who wasn’t present at the time, and although most of the details have left my memory, the key part of the investigation boiled down to:
Manager: On the games in question, you got the payout right every single time (internally dancing at hearing this bit!) but every time, your supervisor tells you to add more and you do and pay out.
Were you aware that you may be right and he may be wrong in these instances?
Me: I was aware I may be right, but I was by no means 100% and I trusted someone with 20+ years of experience to be right over me.
Manager: If you thought you may have been right, why not question it at the time?
Me: Weeeeeeeeell, the night before I was explicitly told to do as my supervisor says under all circumstances, not to even think about arguing the toss, and nothing bad can happen.
Not to mention that this would not have even been brought to anyone’s attention if I hadn’t said anything, considering the supervisor, pit boss, manager, or even the deputy general manager didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.
Definitely a good half a minute of silence following this.
I’m in this weird mental state where I am scared as heck they are just going to sack me but also thinking wow, I’m actually the only competent person in this whole situation. What follows was a verbal warning for myself (definitely shouldn’t have even got that, and should have appealed, but was happy to just take it and prove myself from thereon) with everyone else involved getting written warnings and more.
However, I was essentially rewarded with being able to learn a new game (which helped push my wage up a decent amount) and got a fair bit of respect from the boys for, basically, showing everyone else up.
Oh, and I never saw that punter again!”
11. Want Me To Always Go By The Book? It Won't Work, But If That's What You Want
“So a few years ago I used to work for a mid-sized traffic control company (think detours, lane closures, and the like). The training was 3-5 days of safety, first-aid, CPR, BBP (Blood Borne Pathogens), and flagging (Those guys with the stop/slow paddles).
You would be assigned with a senior TCS (Traffic Control Specialist) until such time they considered you to be senior enough to be one yourself. For me, this ended up being 3 months after hire. More training included all of the possible traffic control setups under various conditions and was a State DOT (Department of Transportation) licensed and administered class.
They also taught you defensive driving and how to safely drive with a trailer (arrow board, light tower, portable air compressor, or generator.)
I used to be hounded daily by my supervisors that my work zones were never “in compliance” with the material we were trained to do.
I was told that I can’t fill out a “non-typical work zone” form any longer and had to comply with DOT regulations in all of my work zones. Anyone that has worked in this field or with crews that had people that do this job knows it is impossible to strictly adhere to the zone setups in the DOT handbook.
Distances are exact, sign packages are exact, and since they are all DOT-mandated, you can’t make any changes to their layouts. I have all of my supervisor’s complaints on my phone since they use text messages as their main way of communication.
In comes Malicious Compliance.
I let my foreman know that my supervisors are not happy with my work and want me to start adhering to the DOT manual for all of my zones and that will completely delay and even possibly prevent work from being done for up to 2 hours while I set up a zone in compliance with DOT standards.
He’s on board because he’s never had an issue with my work and would love for a “safer” work environment. We hatch the plan that should my set up time take longer than 1 hour (My usual set up time is between 10-30 minutes), he’ll call my supervisor down and say that I’m taking too long to get set up and they are losing time on their job sites.
The first day I start doing this, I get the zone set up in compliance in just under an hour. They start working and are done within 15 minutes and I’m given the address to the next work site. I start breaking down my work zone as the book tells us to do, this takes me nearly 30 minutes to collect everything, and then another 20 minutes to get to the new work zone.
Repeat the setup, another hour. They work for 30 minutes, a new address is given, and I take 30 minutes to tear it down. This goes on for the whole 10-hour shift.
Day 2 rolls along and I’ve been informed by my supervisor that my metrics (based on paperwork and work truck GPS logs) that I’m taking too long at each site when setting up and breaking down each work zone and that I need to speed it up to where I was pre-MC.
I informed them that I can not go any faster as I was told by them, in writing (text message), that I can no longer set up zones out of compliance with how I was trained. For some reason, this didn’t set off any alarm bells in their head and I resume the day as normal.
Taking over an hour this day to set up each zone, with 30-minute breakdowns as we go from place to place. My foreman is starting to get a little twitchy as his boss is starting to get on his case about not getting as many tickets done as normal.
He lets his boss know what is going on and his boss has a good laugh and says “Carry on then, I know the TCS guy you’re working with, and he’s not intentionally trying to slow us down, he’s just doing his job.”
We get to the third day, and now my foreman is extremely “angry” at me because he’s being delayed at each work zone when he doesn’t have to be and calls my supervisor to complain about “how long I take setting up zones than I was I used to.” About 15 minutes later my supervisor comes down and starts shadowing me.
I’m setting up my zones with 100% compliance with DOT regulations, and it takes me an hour to do so. 30-minute breakdown and we’re off to the next work zone. At this zone, we have an intersection, and they are working in it.
Normally, this isn’t an issue and I can get things done with just my partner, but since I’m doing MC, I tell my foreman we can’t set up here until he calls my supervisor and has 2 more TCS come to assist in controlling the traffic.
DOT mandate says one flagger for each direction at an intersection and I have to be in 100% compliance. He calls my supervisor, who is right up the road witnessing everything I’ve been doing. They arrive while still on the phone and start chewing me out for milking hours and purposely slowing down the crew I’m assigned to and that I don’t need more TCS to control the traffic at this intersection.
I calmly tell them that THEY told me to be 100% compliant with my work zones, and that’s what I was doing. They tell me to go back to the office and wait for them there while they assign a new crew to pick up where I left off.
So I head back to the office and wait. I start chatting with the HR manager that I might need them in a few minutes to file a complaint if I get written up (I don’t tell them exactly why, but they’ll find out soon enough).
My supervisor gets back and we start having a chat about my work performance. I was called a “corner cutter” for always setting up the minimum zones needed and that they wanted me to go above and beyond that and be 100% compliant.
And when I started doing that, they noticed my productivity (aka their profit margins) had been cut in half. They accused me of being a malingerer, purposely working slowly, impeding the work crew I was assigned to, and generally being unsafe.
So, I was written up for it and when they handed me the paperwork to sign for the formal write-up I started questioning them about it. I’m not about to sign paperwork that will impact my employment (and bonuses) for doing my job as instructed by them.
My first question was to have the HR manager in the office because I may have to file a complaint against my supervisor. They did not like this but legally couldn’t prevent it.
So the HR manager comes in and we start talking about the write-up.
I explain that I was told to stop using “non-typical work zone” forms by my supervisor and to start making my zones 100% compliant. The HR manager laughs, they know full well what 100% compliance means, and that it will take more than double the time for me to set up and tear down each zone.
I also explain that I told my foreman that things were going to be different since my supervisor told me to become 100% compliant. Which is why the 3 of us are talking right now, I’m being written up for following the instructions I was given and I refuse to sign a write-up punishing me for doing what I was instructed to do.
I request that I would like to file a complaint against my supervisor for harassment and “moving the goalposts.” The HR manager’s smile disappears and my supervisor’s crap-eating grin turns into a face of horror. Not only was I right, as evidence would show in my complaint, but this kind of write-up could get my supervisor transferred or even fired.
My supervisor quickly tried to get the write-up into the paper shredder but it was in my hands and all it required me to do was attach my signature and my case would be bulletproof. We came to a compromise, my supervisor would let me run my work sites as I used to, because in the real world, you can’t always go by the book and I wouldn’t file the complaint against them for sabotaging me.”
10. Don't Like My Bluntness? It'll Only Hurt You In The End
“I worked for a major government contractor for a government agency (if I named the agency or location, it’d be pretty obvious to people with long memories and an axe to grind). I’d risen up through the ranks because I have good technical knowledge and I have a knack for seeing a big-picture view of big projects and seeing potential problems.
I was very good at what I did.
Many managers didn’t like me because I pointed out problem areas (over 75% accuracy) and I stated facts without regard for management politics. I didn’t ‘suck up’. Some managers gave Fair-Haired-Boy (a suck-up) credit for my work (which I’d done before Fair-Haired-Boy was even working on the project!).
Then they desperately needed my technical expertise on a very large procurement (8 digits). I wrote most of the technical specifications, identifying risk areas and the consequences of bad procurement decisions. Fair-Haired-Boy dismissed my arguments as “no big deal” and “we can work around that” so management ignored me and ended up buying inadequate equipment.
I was reassigned (again) and Fair-Haired-Boy was given what should have been my job (with a promotion and big raise). My parting gift to the project managers was a detailed memo highlighting every technical problem that I foresaw in that development and how it could be avoided.
(It was a very long list of nearly a hundred ‘watch items’, and they ended up hitting almost all of them.) As usual, management ignored me.
Due to company rules and a lot of prior excellent personnel performance reviews, management couldn’t fire me immediately, but I could tell I was being set up for termination.
I was assigned a job to work directly with the customer as a liaison, actually sitting on the customer site. Management figured I’d be an irritant and distract the customer from the company’s issues. In the meantime, I’d keep our company informed about what the customer was saying behind closed doors, and I was supposed to tell the customer what management wanted me to say was happening in the company.
Management intended it to be a do-nothing job to keep me ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ I don’t do “do nothing” jobs; I took it seriously. But after a couple of months, management told me in no uncertain terms that I was not permitted to answer the customer’s questions about what was going on inside the company on the project, and that I was not permitted to talk at internal company meetings where the customer’s needs were being discussed.
I was muzzled and set up for failure – or so they thought.
Now comes the malicious compliance that ended up with revenge.
When asked by the customer, instead of “X or Y is happening,” my responses were pretty much like, “I am not permitted to tell you whether the project is significantly over budget”, and, “Management won’t let me tell you whether or not the company is dropping design requirements for features A and B.” I explicitly complied with management’s directive of not answering the customer’s questions, but I slipped in enough hints in my non-answers that the customer knew where to look and what questions to ask.
The customer also kept meeting minutes and often recordings which always reflected that I did not answer questions about the subject under discussion, which was technically the truth. This was very critical later.
Eventually, management couldn’t hide that the project was way late and way over budget, which didn’t surprise the customer thanks to my hints.
The customer ripped the company a new one in their periodic contract performance review. (Note – on government contracts, it’s very difficult to get a low-performance score. Really difficult.) The company got a very low-performance score. It was ugly and the company lost a lot of contract bonuses which would have been a big part of profits and management bonuses.
And Fair-Haired Boy was under such stress trying to solve the problems that I’d warned him about that he had a major heart attack and retired for medical disability (at the age of 42. It was a bad heart attack.)
Naturally, management wanted me to be the scapegoat so they’d get to fire me, but the customer liked how I worked, and they protected me with very careful language in the performance appraisals – basically, that the task I was doing was the only task in the company that was performing effectively and everything else stank to high heaven.
Upper management didn’t dare fire me or they’d anger the customer even more than they already had (possibly to the point of having the contract taken away for non-performance). One particularly nasty manager who really hated me had to give me a significant pay raise and bonus because of my work.
The fallout from the review was bad enough that corporate headquarters did some management shuffling and a few of my antagonists were suddenly gone.
The raise and promotion ended up not mattering because the customer hired me directly to work on the same project but on the government side.
This caused management to crap their pants because I knew all their dirty secrets and tricks. But I never ratted on any of the manager’s or the company’s dirty laundry. I didn’t have to. My new co-workers had previously figured out where to focus their attention and what questions to ask to get past the company’s bullcrap.
I complied strictly with the terms of my separation from the company and gave away no secrets after I left the company. One of the best parts was that in meetings, all I had to do was put on an evil grin and the company managers would practically crap themselves, wondering if I was going to unearth one of their skeletons.
(I never did – I just liked watching them squirm!) They got paranoid about being caught trying to lie to the government that they were admitting bad news up front.
Because of bad performance, that management admitted, it got even worse for the company.
They decided to try letting their legal hounds on me for violating company non-disclosure agreements, but the customer’s meeting minutes proved that I hadn’t. The contract was restructured to eliminate several blind spots the company had used to its advantage. The customer’s oversight of the company rose significantly.
Profit margins on the contract shrank. Several of management’s favorite employees suddenly had resumes on the street because their ‘protection’ was disappearing. Even more managers retired or found other jobs. It was glorious to watch, doubly so because I let them do it to themselves.
And I was extremely happy in my new job, where I still work.”
9. Demand A Cheesesteak You Never Ordered? Coming Right Up!
“I worked at a small-ish Mcdonald’s in and around 2005 which was situated in the parking lot of a big box store complex. I covered mainly lunch shifts during the summer before transitioning to night shifts after school started back up.
I hated all the other part-timers because they were lazy butts, while the lunch crew was a bunch of retired old ladies who needed extra funds for bridge gambling. But that’s another story.
It was a rainy Tuesday when a guy wearing a blue and red jacket stormed in and ordered 32 cheeseburgers.
If you’ve ever worked in fast food you know that the fryer (flat-top grill) is only so big. You can fry (grill) about twelve regular burger patties at once if you absolutely jam them in there, but at the McDonald’s I worked at, we segregated our friers so we had one dedicated to chicken and fish products, one dedicated to meats – and a third of the meat fryer (also called the flat-top grill) was dedicated to ‘no salt and pepper.’ Normally burgers come with salt and pepper put on during the frying process, but some people who frequented our store were allergic, so we had a separate off area for that.
This meant we could only do eight patties at a time.
To further cause issues, this guy arrived in the middle of our dinner rush, so we already had orders frying up, and our stock of existing burgers was already out. I’m in the Kitchen and I immediately threw more burgers on the fryer – but after that, it was just a waiting game.
I can hear this irate burger man ranting at the staff. Our manager would’ve beat his butt if she’d been there, but we only had a supervisor, and after the man made her cry I, as the most experienced worker on shift stepped in to keep things going.
I went out front and told the man that we were making the burgers as fast as we could, but obviously, there are limits – limits he told us to screw ourselves with. He then went on a rant about how he needs these burgers to feed his kid’s soccer team, and they’re waiting on the bus for their dinner.
I indicated that we did do catering orders, but we have a phone number precisely for that. He continued to rant at me about how he needed his burgers now and we should have just already had 32 burgers already cooked and ready because didn’t we know that sometimes people just need 32 burgers and blah blah blah.
So I went back and made his burgers, loaded them all up, and handed them over. He took the burgers and then fixed me with a smirk and went “Where’s my Philly Cheesesteak?” This was at the time we had a deli counter, something that has long since been phased out.
This ingrate did not order a Philly Cheesesteak, and we both knew it, but he kept circling back to a ‘The Customer is always right’ comment and demanded he had and we’d just forgotten it and he demanded that he MUST GET HIS CHEESESTEAK.
That he didn’t pay for. He threatened that he’d demand his money back if we didn’t get him his cheesesteak.
I was the only one in the store who could make Deli sandwiches. It was super simple, everyone else was just inept or lazy or both.
Normally we take two buns, run them through the toaster, throw on lettuce, take a packet of pre-mix Philly cheesesteak, put it in the microwave, nuke for 2 minutes, then drop it on top, sauce it, and go. This time I went through all the steps without nuking it, wrapped it all up nicely, and handed it off to the guy with a smile.
I’d even heated the bun like normal, so it looked just like a regular Philly, but the meat and cheese were an ice-cold brick.
The guy headed off jauntily, got into his bus, and presumably distributed his cheeseburgers, then drove off. I headed to the back to see how the supervisor was getting on – better, but she wanted to go home for the night.
Now, while I was senior in the sense that I took on a lot of responsibility and had experience with this kind of stuff, I was actually quite new to that store. I just had a reputation for not taking crap and being responsible.
So I wasn’t actually authorized to close up the store.
Still, I conferred with the other staff, and we rang up the actual manager – and got approval to close early. So we get everything ready and done, pack up, and begin closing up the front – and the bus and a very angry man in a red and blue jacket pull in.
He practically leaps down from the bus and races across the parking lot toward our door.
At which point I smile at him, lock the door, and turn the open sign off. Then closed the blinds and we all filed out the back.
He was still beating on the door as we got into our cars and left.”
8. Bug Me When I'm Not At Work? But I Can't Help You; I Don't Even Work Here Anymore!
“Back at the beginning of 2021, I worked at a small community health nonprofit with an insane CEO. She would constantly call team meetings to put down and belittle employees in front of the entire staff. Often, she would throw around some variation of “do I have to do everything around here?!” and call everyone on staff incompetent.
When we did do something right, she never gave us credit and always took the credit for herself. She threatened to fire everyone constantly and would randomly call us to gossip and make petty remarks about each other, pitting staff against each other.
One day, the CEO called a team meeting. In a group text chat between some of the more chill employees, we immediately begin sending snake and eye roll emojis. Sure enough, we get on the call and she begins by bringing to our attention how “Louise” does not dress appropriately for work.
Louise, who is also upper management (the COO), looks about ready to smack the CEO. The CEO viciously tears into Louise, commenting on everything from her hairstyle to her lipstick shade to how it’s inappropriate for Louise to wear off-the-shoulder blouses that show her collar bone.
She then tells everyone that we all had better start dressing more formally or there would be consequences.
The next day, the CEO calls another meeting. We all join and Louise turns on her camera. I immediately had to turn off mine because I did not want to be caught laughing my butt off.
Louise was dressed from head to toe in what looked like something someone would wear to prom. Her hair was immaculately styled into an elaborate updo, her makeup was professionally done with lash extensions and everything. She was dripping with (what I assume were) fake diamonds…
tiara, earrings, necklace, bracelets, and rings. And she wore the most ridiculous navy blue satin and tulle formal gown with a faux fur shoulder shrug to cover her collarbone. My best guess is that it was an old bridesmaid dress, but she never did say where she got it.
The CEO was immediately fuming. “Why are you dressed like that?!” she screeched.
“You told us to dress more formally. This is formal wear. Is something wrong?”
“That’s not professional for work!”
“Oh, I’m sorry, I must have been confused! You said we needed to dress formally, but I think what you meant to say was professional.” The CEO was livid, but Louise continued to rock the prom outfit all day, meeting with patients and clients and everything.
Later that week, “Tina” texts our group chat and says the CEO is requiring her to submit a detailed time sheet with what she was doing and working on down to the minute for her entire day. She was going to bcc us on the email.
Sure enough, it pops into our inboxes a few minutes later.
Tina had literally detailed her entire past 24-hour day down to the minute. 6:45 AM, awoken by husband’s flatulence. 7:00 AM, peed and changed menstrual pad. 7:02 AM, began bowel movement.
7:10 AM, completed bowel movement. 7:12 AM, turned on shower. 7:13 AM, tested water temperature with hand. You get the idea. Apparently, the CEO called her on her cell phone and berated her for sending such a detailed timesheet. Tina reminded her that she had requested her entire day down to the minute, and didn’t specify she meant her work day only.
Finally, my turn. My job was in IT and most of my work was as a database administrator, but I often helped with other tech problems. One morning, the CEO called me repeatedly at 2 AM. My phone settings have it so that if I miss five calls in a row from the same person, the do not disturb mode is turned off and the phone rings.
I see who it is, silence my phone, and refuse to answer.
At 6 AM, she calls again. Again, I refuse to answer. 7 AM, refuse to answer. 8 AM, refuse to answer. Finally, at 9 AM, I call her back. She asks to hop on a video call.
“I’ve been trying to get ahold of you all morning! Where have you been?!”
“(Loud sigh) Can I help you with something?” I asked, not even trying to hide my irritation. I literally rubbed my temples and slurped my coffee loudly.
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“And I’m not going to.
I was off the clock at the time you called.”
“You’re salaried, right? That means it doesn’t matter if you work 100 hours or 1 hour, you get paid the same. So I expect you to be available when I need you.”
“What do you need?”
“I need you to reset all of our company usernames and passwords.
We’re letting someone go today and it’s company policy to change all of that.”
At the same time, Louise texts me that she is being let go. So I read the company handbook and make a copy of the page that says the IT person must update the usernames and passwords and give the information to the COO.
I changed all of the usernames and passwords to everything, from social media accounts to bank accounts to QuickBooks and emails. I send the usernames and passwords in an encrypted email to Louise and then send the CEO my two-week notice.
Two weeks go by. It’s the last hour of my last day. So what do I do? Change all those usernames and passwords again and send them to Louise, who was also celebrating her last day. I log out of my email, put my company phone and laptop in the mail, and spend the evening cackling at my malicious compliance.
The very next day, on Saturday, the CEO calls me repeatedly. Finally, she leaves me a long and howling voicemail to say what I did was unprofessional and she would make sure my reputation suffered and I would never work in that industry again.
I wait until Monday to call her back.
“Hey, CEO, I saw you called?”
“I need the usernames and passwords to everything!”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t work there anymore. You will have to contact your IT person to help with that.”
“You are the IT person!”
“No, I was the IT person.
Now I’m a private consultant and I would be happy to provide my services at a rate of $100 an hour.”
“You changed all the usernames and passwords and didn’t provide them to me!”
“Correct. Per company policy, when an employee leaves the organization, the IT person is supposed to update everything and send the new info to the COO.
I was leaving, so I updated everything. I provided all the usernames and passwords to Louise.”
“You knew she was quitting too! Why would you give them to her?”
“Because the company policy says to transfer the new username and passwords to the COO, not the CEO.
Louise was the COO when I left.”
Caught in her own bureaucracy, she then had to spend weeks trying to gain access to all of the company accounts.
On Louise’s and my last day, Tina and another employee quit. Another person announced her retirement.
Once the five of us were gone, we were followed by several other employees. In total, 11 people on the 14-person staff quit within a few weeks. The best part? I got a new job making the same amount I did at the crappy nonprofit, but part-time in a government position and with full-time benefits.
So much for my reputation suffering! I stayed in touch with one of the employees who stayed behind (she’s only three years away from retirement and is basically Stan from the office). She said they’ve hired at least a dozen people, and all of them quit as soon as they could find another job.”
7. Quit If I Don't Like The Job? Goodbye!
“A bit of context here: I’m originally from Syria and I spent around 7-8 months in Sudan, Africa, and that country being a third-world country and super poor didn’t have any good jobs, but at the same time, prices were so cheap you can live with only around 100USD a month (rent, bills, food, and water) BUT Gasoline was expensive to the point you might need around 50~100USD just for commuting to work (so it comes to around 200 per month if you’re going to work by any kind of transportation).
As for jobs, the best you can do without prior experience is either work in a restaurant or a factory for at most $100 which meant you had to be close to the job or get them to cover transportation.
So, around 5 months ago, I got in contact with a restaurant owner and talked with him about a job offer I saw.
The job we talked about was being a warehouse manager for the restaurant, my shift starts at 8 am and ends at 6 pm, 7 days a week with only 1 vacation day per month, and I get 1 Sandwich per day as lunch and 1 meal per week to take home, I asked about the salary and he said we will discuss it later, I asked how I will organize the warehouse and he said he will provide me with a Laptop to work on later, I agreed to work a trial period of a week and then we will discuss the salary and see if it works out.
The first day on the job, he hands me the keys to their warehouse, and when I open it I find a GLORIOUS MESS. I ask my co-workers about it and they said, “no one has worked as a warehouse manager for the past few months.”
I go in and start looking at what we had in the warehouse and taking notes then I started a new Google account on my phone and made a new Excel Sheet on it and sorted everything there, by the end of day one I had gone through most of the things in the Warehouse, and I only have two words to describe what I saw there: “HOLY CRAP.” It was such a mess the workers didn’t even know what they have in that warehouse, i.e.
they need Mustard and they don’t find it the moment they look at the shelves? They buy a new box. And I can say for sure the Warehouse was left like this for more than a year, Because I found meat in the freezer that was EXPIRED SINCE MORE THAN 2 YEARS AGO.
(I’m never gonna eat anything with meat in it from that restaurant)
2nd day on the job, I started actually doing my job by ordering new supplies, sorting the list I made on my phone by type so we can find items in it quickly, putting away the expired products, etc.
During my second day and out of nowhere, the boss comes to the Warehouse and gives me a list of everyone in the restaurant and tells me to take their attendance because the guy responsible for this is busy with other things in the kitchen, I tell him I still don’t know anyone in the restaurant but he insists that I can just “learn their names while doing my job.” Okay whatever, I’m trying to impress him the first few days so I will do it.
By the end of day 2, I had finished inputting everything into my phone, throwing away all expired ingredients and even taking attendance, all that’s left is physically sorting out the warehouse to make it look better and I will have done a great job and was hoping for a good answer from the boss.
I go to discuss things with him at the end of my shift, I show him how I sorted everything on my phone and tell him that once he brings over a laptop we can just move the file there and it’s easy for anyone to check the inventory since it’s on Google and all that stuff, then I explained to him the state of the Warehouse when I came and how much I worked to make it better, and he was really impressed and praised me for a job well done, then I asked how much my salary will be.
Him: your salary will start at 60USD and then as you work I will improve it and maybe in a few months you will reach $120.
Me: What? I can’t afford to even stay alive until then, transportation between here and my house alone is $50, are you telling me to not eat or pay rent during this month? At least-
Him: (cuts me off with an angry voice.) If you don’t like it, then you can just leave.
I figured that he wasn’t someone to be reasoned with so I immediately answered “Okay” and left. (Bullet successfully dodged.)
The next day one of the co-workers there calls me asking where I keep the list of their inventory because he didn’t find it and I answered that there is no list, he was surprised and asked about the list I showed the boss and I said “oh that, it was actually on my phone” and he asked me to send it to him to which I reply with, “I’m sorry, but since I quit, I just removed the file from my phone, have fun sorting through that mess,” and I hang up.
It wasn’t that big of a victory but at least I didn’t give them the results of my efforts for free (because it happened like that my 2 days of work there were unpaid).”
6. Expect Us To Show Up An Hour Early? No Thanks
“I’m a second-year veterinary student. This is the time when we start our live surgery labs. We work in teams of three students (a surgeon, an assistant, and an anesthetist), and are obviously overseen by certified specialists (anesthesiologists and surgeons) and many experienced vet nurses as well.
We have lectures from 7 am to 11 am. Lunch is from 11-12. Our lab begins at 12pm sharp. However, we were told we have the “option” to come to the lab early and begin. It became VERY clear after the first week this is an expectation (not an “option”) that we will skip lunch, or eat during lecture, and come straight to the OR.
During one lab, at 11:50 am the anesthesiologist yelled at a student for a few minutes in the pharmacy area, while getting substances for lab, for not having his patient ready and waiting in the induction room… 10 minutes before lab even begins.
And this group was set to induce during the last wave (normally 1 to 1.5+ hours into lab). There’s no reason to be an hour early when your group is final wave, being on time is sufficient, and they were actually still early.
Our class has been getting berated by this anesthesiologist as well as some of the surgeons in this lab. Just as one example, a student surgeon asked for help. A surgical resident came over from another patient to help, and she was now not sterile.
The resident told the student she was holding her forceps wrong, proceeded to grab them from her hands, and then made the student leave her patient on the table to re-scrub, re-gown, and re-glove, and open a new instrument pack. All because she wanted to ask a question.
This is a common technique they will use on us when we’ve done something incorrect to “get us to remember it next time.”
Well, the entire class is fed up with this. Our class called a meeting about it, and we all decided we are all going to start showing up to lab from 11:50 to 11:55 am.
Only 5 to 10 minutes early. Not for petty reasons either, but it’s a matter of patient safety as well. Several students have fainted from skipping lunch to go and operate instead. We were given 11-12 for lunch and we’re going to take all of our time.
So, that’s what we did. At 11:40 am one of the surgeons came to our lecture hall, where the majority of us stay and eat lunch, and asked us why we were not in lab yet. A student at the front of the room said simply, “lab begins at 12 noon.” The surgeon gave us a long spell about professionalism and how we are being inappropriate and putting our patients at risk, and she left.
The OR is a 2-minute walk from the lecture hall, so we finished lunch and all showed up around 11:55.
The clinicians were very mad about it and reported our class to the dean, and so the dean called a school-wide meeting about it.
Some of our classmates spoke eloquently about our reasons and our actual patient safety concern, turning it right back on the clinicians citing patient safety. And, the school claims to care immensely about student mental health, and cutting our break/lunch is no way to support us.
Beyond that, the schedule says we begin at 12, and we are still showing up a few minutes early to ensure we can begin right at 12.
Ultimately, the dean just released a statement saying they cannot force us to begin lab an hour early, and we will start at 12 when the dean’s office scheduled lab to begin.
It’s a small win for us, certainly we will face backlash, but we have a break to eat at least. Our class is known for not putting up with nonsense from the school, we got a dinosaur of a professor fired for racist comments she made to a student in the middle of a lecture, after she had terrorized students at this school for decades, she forgot our lectures were automatically recorded on zoom. We’re hated by the clinicians, but at least the classes behind us are having a slightly better time.”
5. Do My Job Without Thinking? Okay, I Guess
“So I work in a relatively small company, that does data erasing and recycling of IT equipment. I was the first man hired on the ground and I am now 2 years later the “go-to guy” if my own boss is out of office.
Which is to say, anything wrong with the program my boss wrote, anything wrong with a computer, or someone not knowing what or how to proceed with anything, you go to me. For some time it had been just put to be to decided where I was mostly needed if we didn’t have anything that needed to go out of the store (ordered shipment that was to be packed and a delivery ordered) and it was up to myself to set up working hours, (I usually did 9-5, with overtime later or at Saturdays) and there was balance in the universe.
Then a good two months ago, part of the company was finally sold, we lost access to the old mother company and their resources (tech support and general support staff that had the knowledge I never knew existed), and with them some contracts that really hurt.
Oh well I was doing my job (in my mind quite well, but I am also very biased) and tried keeping us up to date, but I slowly realized that me having to do 3 different things meant we got more and more behind in my main section (data erasing), and if I pushed there to keep up to date, the location where units are cleaned and graded for future reselling was behind, aka the position I was not at, wasn’t doing too hot.
All the while we had a guy (doing very well) registering new units that needed to be erased or at the very least tested, so we had an issue.
I contacted my boss, first to inform him that we had an issue and that our weekly output wouldn’t match what we had expected initially if I was to start helping with the other sections.
He looked at me tiredly and just told me to do my best and focus on “my” position while sighing. (again I cover everything, but I am hired to make sure units get erased).
I started putting out units and what is meant to be a 24h (max 48h) wait after the bearing is erased before they are started in the next section is quickly getting out of hand, we are talking about 100units that are on hold after a few days (this is bad).
I start being told by my boss that the line is backed up and he wants me to do something about it starting next Monday. I say, sure thing.
Now everyone knows if you move someone from one position to another he clearly can’t function in both, right? Wrong, my boss seems to expect me to have arms like Mr.
Fantastic, cause he starts whining to me the following week that we are not erasing enough units. I am trying to explain the issue, but I don’t know if he is having a rough day, or he is stressed out of his mind, but I am met with the oh-so-famous, “don’t think, just do your job.” Geez okay, I mean you sure? If you give me an order I will follow it, and this job while nice isn’t paying me enough to warrant carrying, so yeah okay.
For the last two weeks (I am writing this on Saturday 11/12/2021) I have been focusing only on erasing, have we had sick people that meant the other locations have had issues, not my problem, I focused on my station. Was the boss seemingly doing something that was important, well sorry Co-worker, I think you need to either talk with the bossman or send him a mail.
I am told to prep an outgoing delivery and order its shipment, I write a confirmation mail and don’t start until I have it in writing that I am to leave my station to do this (this actually causes my boss to scratch his head, as I never do this).
Friday the 10th of December my boss called me over, and he ask me if everything is well. I ask why, and he tells me, that while we are erasing enough units, our line is super backed up, and asks me if I hadn’t noticed.
(OFC I had, I am standing next to it.) Apparently, we had units that were about 3 weeks overdue in the system, as they hadn’t moved from when my station gave it the “clear”. And we had about 1100 units (mostly laptops) waiting to be cleaned and erased.
Why had I not done anything about it? I just said, well… I was told to do my job. He made a surprised Pikachu face. I could see he was getting annoyed and he told me to go back to work, so he could “think about a solution.” And after about 30 min he came over to me, and my main co-worker and told us that on Monday we would have to really make an effort and get something done with the units down there.
My co-worker who I trained has never had to do that section, he will be able to, especially if we both go down there, but he will be slow and ineffective. And it will just remove the output in our main section.
If I go down there, I will only be able to keep the boat afloat so to speak, as I won’t out phase my co-worker (nature of the station), and he won’t produce enough. So we are caught in a sort of ouroboros loop.
I have and am in compliance with my boss’ work orders and I will continue to be so, until he apologizes or/and gives me autonomy back to fix his screw-up.”
4. Require Us To Fill Out A Health And Wellness Survey Daily? We'll Print Them Out Instead Of Doing Them Online
“Like many other companies, our leadership recently released news of upcoming changes that even though profits for our company are up they are eliminating most of the remaining ‘perks’ that are still standing.
Company-supplied phones for anyone except the tops of the departments – gone.
Reimbursements for things like safety shoes, and eyeglasses for those of us in the metals and fabrication areas – gone.
All 401k matches, merit increases and/or bonuses – frozen until “figures reflect previous levels” I.E. much larger profit margins even though the workload has increased.
Our direct area has had a few manpower losses due to a few folks deciding to retire and a few that decided to pursue WFH opportunities. Hiring freeze to replace anyone.
All of this while the majority of the higher-ups and anyone who works with a computer and argued they can WFH are, you know, working from home – which in our eyes is essentially a substantial raise/savings for those lucky individuals that can WFH (Fuel, daycare, etc.)
With the cases on the rise again they decided to implement a Health and Wellness Screening that MUST be completed every shift within 24 hours of the start of that shift and presented at the security checkpoint.
There is even a nice link to where you can complete it on your phone via an APP for our convenience.
Already annoyed at the above-mentioned cuts and now they are wanting me to use my personal phone and data to complete a survey before working hours, I read the requirements again – it just had to be within 24 hours of the start of the shift and presented at the security checkpoint.
We were working on average between 12 and 14-hour days, so I was easily able to complete and print a physical copy of the survey at the end of the day for the following day’s requirement.
That next day I showed up to security and gave them the paper – she just kind of looked at it and asked what it was.
Told her it was the wellness screening so I can enter the building for my shift.
She replied ‘Oh, well it has to be done before your shift this has yesterday’s date on it.’ I pointed at the disclaimer that said it just had to be within 24 hours of the start of the shift, which it was.
(Which in her defense is kind of silly because a lot can happen between the day prior and the start of the new shift). Looking slightly annoyed she said ‘Oh okay. You can just use your phone going forward so you don’t have to print it out.’ Thanked her and said it was actually easier for me to just do it at the end of my shift so I didn’t have to think about it in the morning especially since I didn’t have access to the WiFi until I was already past the security checkpoint.
The third morning I did the same thing, she rolled her eyes and put the paper to the side (Didn’t realize it at the time but I was informed afterward if we didn’t use the APP version it didn’t have a digital record so they had to save ALL physical papers in a folder and retain them in their office).
The fourth morning the head of security was at the door and as soon as I showed the paper he asked why I was choosing to do the physical paper instead of the APP. Didn’t want to get too in-depth but told him it was easier for me to print it out at the end of the prior work day and these guys do not pay my phone bill so I was not going to use my personal phone and data to do a redundant survey off the clock every morning.
He tried to argue the paper option was really only for the plants and not for the offices and I was the only person printing them out in lieu of using the APP. Told him I did not see where it said plant use only on the form and if that was the case HR would need to update the verbiage.
A couple of co-workers in the area caught part of the interaction and how the guy was complaining to my boss as soon as he hit the door about ten minutes later. I filled them in on what I was doing and they decided to follow suit – all fifteen of us completed the survey at the end of the day to bring in the following morning.
Friday morning arrives, and I am sitting in my car watching as a line forms and everyone has a paper in their hand. Can make out the security guard’s face – she looks livid. Finally get out and go to walk in, big poop-eating grin on my face and say good morning.
She doesn’t say a word just does the temperature check and snatches the paper out of my hand.
Around the first break, I see our HR rep walk into the shop and talk to my boss. He looks over at me and points in my direction (Oh boy) and she walks over and introduces herself, we’ll call her HRQB because she looks like she can play for a minor league.
HRQB – Good morning. I am HRQB with Human Resources. We received a call from the head of security and they are saying you’re giving them printouts of the new health surveys – do you need help with setting up the APP?
PettyMe – Oh no that’s not necessary – I actually already told him it is easier for me to do it at the end of my shift the day prior instead of doing it on my personal phone in the morning.
I don’t get very good reception here until I am on the WIFI and that’s past security.
HRQB – Well you don’t need to be on the WIFI here to complete the survey on the APP, you can even do it at home before leaving for work and take a screenshot of the confirmation.
That way you won’t have to waste paper and the security team member at the door won’t have to keep it in a folder and drop it off at the office every day – it will save a lot of time and energy.
PettyMe – Ah well unfortunately the company has taken away all of the company-issued phones except for select individuals and I am not going to do the survey on my personal phone or during non-work hours. I agree doing this survey every single day is a bit redundant and wasteful, but it isn’t my paper, and proof is required for me to enter the building – While it is tedious, I am pretty sure that security is on their phone for 7 out of the 8 hours that they are stationed at the door – think they can take 2 minutes to walk down the hall to drop off the papers at the office.
Pretty sure I could have poked the vein on the side of her head and caused a stroke. I thanked her for her time and my team lead came to pull me to help him with a job/save me.
The first few days of the following week most of my co-workers kept printing out the physical copies which I thought was hilarious but it was pretty short-lived.
HRQB must have worked harder than she’s ever worked in her life because wouldn’t you know it, come that following week an email came out with a link to a new survey that only had to be completed one time online and if after that at any point you had ‘flu-like symptoms,’ tested positive, or were near anyone that tested positive, they held you to the honor system to report it to supervision/HR.”
3. Make A Bad Decision? That's Your Call, But It'll Blow Back Up Later (Literally)
“I work in the wastewater industry. My previous employment was at a water reclamation plant (poo poo plant) for a county. We processed up to 32 million gallons of wastewater a day and I worked midnights Tuesday to Saturday right as the heavy flows came in.
The company had 7 wastewater operators retiring in a span of 6 months and the department manager, we will call him “Warmaster Horus” as he ruled with an “iron fist,” refused to allow more than 1 person from other departments to train at a time for a period of 9 months so needless to say we were short-handed.
My plant manager, who we will call “Little Horace” was very arrogant, a bully, and an unpleasant person to be around. He also had a tendency to target one person to blame all the problems of the plant until that person transferred out to another plant or quit and went somewhere else.
My shift partner was the last target and she left to go to another plant. So I pulled 278 hours of OT that year since no one else wanted to work graveyard shift and the guy they hired 4 months later quit after 8 days because of this guy.
So I knew how the plant ran inside and out, plus having a background in industrial maintenance, I knew when things were not running at optimal and when equipment had gone down. Unfortunately for me, I was the new target.
Little Horace started out by asking how I ran my shift.
Over the course of a few weeks, he would ask me how I got certain numbers on tests I ran. One day he came at me as I was getting into my vehicle to leave saying that I didn’t put enough information about potential problems into the log for the next shift.
Tired, angry from being on my 14th day in a row, and having experience in leaving detailed explanations from having to write a 6-page essay on how to drink out of a canteen when I was in the Marines, I obliged him.
So the next night I made a 1631-word log into the notes for the next shift. I described the weather outside, smells at each station, how the equipment ran and sounded as I checked all 18 stations, each test with color, pH, temperature, consistency, texture, and potential issues that might arise from the stages based on what each test showed, etc.
I got called into his office the next morning to ask if I was trying to be funny with what I wrote. I told him, “No, you wanted detailed notes about potential problems in the log for the next shift so that is what I did.
You know from our training classes for our state licenses that part of making changes is by visual inspections and odors. He told me that I was correct but leaving notes like that is considered insubordination and that if I left more like that, I would be written up.
Dead-faced, I just said “okay” and left.
The next night while making my first sample pulls for process control testing, I noticed the alkalinity was lower than the SOP limit, so in order to get it to go up, we use Sodium Hydroxide.
Sodium hydroxide is very corrosive, it makes PVC brittle and can even dissolve certain metals. So I went to go to our chemical room to start up the hydroxide pump. The cpvc piping in the chemical room was a mess of pipes running in and out, crossing over others and all connected to other lines for redundancy in case one pump fails, another can be started.
I started the first pump and it immediately starts spewing hydroxide out of the top of it all over the containment area. So I close the 6 valves piped to it and open the 6 other valves to run to the second pump.
I start it up and run it in auto so the computer program can adjust according to the flow coming in. It immediately starts running at 100% and all the pipes start shaking and pulling on the clamps holding it to the unistrut in the wall.
Too much hydroxide is bad as it will kill the bacteria we use to eat the organic wastes. So I switch the pump in manual and do some quick algebra to match pump speed to flow coming into the plant to settle at around 50 pump strokes a minute.
In auto, it was pumping 160 strokes a minute. I make a note in the computer of what I find and in bold letters, “Do not run the pump in auto, scada is running it at 100% regardless of influent plant flow.” The next shift comes in and I inform them of what I found and that they need to get the PLC programmer on staff in to check scada.
The next day I see a note on the SOP board stating, “Do not run hydroxide pumps in hand. Only run them in auto.” I just shake my head in disbelief. So I run the pump in auto and just watch as the pump shakes all of the piping and leave to finish my rounds.
After 4 hours I can turn the pump off. I make my notes and eventually leave for a much-needed 4 day weekend.
I come in the next Tuesday and feel my blood pressure rise about 20 points as my body crossed the threshold into the main office door.
I walk into the control room to the outgoing shift telling me that we can’t run hydroxide as the only other pump we have blew out the cpvc lines and it dumped 10,000 gallons of hydroxide into the containment area. About $16,000 in cost.
It blew out on the shift after me as no one check it for 2 hours after they started up the pump. Nearly the whole tank drained into the containment area, which the valve was open there and it was going into the raw sewage well.
Needless to say, it slugged the plant pretty bad for 3 days as it killed a portion of our bacteria. They also said Little Horace was cussing my name for being the one who broke it. So I knew what was coming.
Sure enough, 7 hours and 45 minutes later I am in Warmaster Horus’ office with Little Horace interrogating me as to why I didn’t say anything about the piping being broken. I said, ” I didn’t break the pipes. In fact, I left a note last week in the logs that the pump needs to be run in hand as in auto it is running 100% regardless of flow.
I even told day shift we needed the PLC guy. I came in the next night and you had written on the SOP board to only run the remaining pump in auto.” Warmaster Horus looked at Little Horace and asked what day so he could review them.
So I pointed it out in my notes and I was dismissed from the office while Little Horace had to stay and the door was shut. The next morning Little Horace apologized to me, at the orders of the Warmaster, for saying I am the one who broke the piping.
He quickly shifted the subject to how I was still partly responsible for poor communication. It was a rather enjoyable moment, though little did they know I was in the process of being hired onto another job in the same industry.”
2. Think About Whether I Want To Work Here? Actually, I Don't
“Context, I work in IT in a very small area where everybody knows each other in one way or another so networking with people is very important. I got a new job in a private school, partly because I knew the consultant acting as hiring manager at the time, but also because he knew I had skills in Azure and its many cloud components, which was the direction he envisioned the school going.
Great stuff, I can do the migration no problem as I’ve gone through it twice at previous companies.
I started just before the summer holidays (which were 9 weeks at this school, god darn that sounds bliss) so I spent a bit of time getting to grips with the equipment, network, and just generally settling in.
It was a small team of myself, 2 desktop guys (one part-time), and the consultant/manager who worked 3 part days, usually about 10 am-2/3 pm. After about 3 months, the school hired a permanent manager and dropped the consultant after he had handed over all of his responsibilities.
Things continued as normal, I worked away on getting the prerequisites in place while juggling some other projects like managed printing and network upgrades. Everything seemed great, although I was being pulled away from my cloud tasks more than I’d liked but figured it was just how things were here with such a small team.
Jump forward to December, my 6-month probation was due so I asked the manager (let’s call her D) when we could have a meeting to discuss how things have been and sign off on my probation. She kept putting it off with generic excuses and it ended up happening in mid-Jan, where she absolutely destroyed me.
Instead of talking to me like a reasonable human being, she held up all these micro-aggressions and spent over 30m unloading them onto me, absolutely crushing my motivation. She also said she doesn’t believe the cloud is the right way to go (lol) and that I needed to be better at on-premise infrastructure and networking.
I had specifically said during my interviews that networking is my weakest area and that I specialize in cloud computing, so essentially the role I am supposed to be doing has changed entirely to one that I’m not good at. She used this as a way to suggest extending my probation while she creates a new role for me that’s more fitting as I don’t have the networking skills she was looking for.
I was visibly upset and she left me for a minute, but just before she left she said: “You need to think long and hard about if you want this job because right now you’re not performing well enough to keep it”.
I sat there for about 20 minutes, alone in a side room near our office. Thoughts went through my head doubting myself, worrying about losing the apartment I bought just 6 months ago if I lost this job. Worrying what my family would think and just generally how I’d deal with what I felt like was an inevitability.
I’d tried my best with everything I did and she STILL wasn’t happy. So I thought about what she said – do I want this job? No.
So that night I signed up with all the local job agencies, frequently checked job sites and all the time I was at work, I acted like she’d helped me see my ‘errors’ and that I was working on them to prove myself to her.
Actually, I hated her guts and couldn’t stand being in the same room as her. I hadn’t taken any of my annual leave days as I had no money after spending all my savings on my apartment so I didn’t see the point in taking time off to sit around.
She nagged me about this CONSTANTLY saying I’d lose it if it wasn’t taken blah blah blah (like I didn’t already know how holidays work?) I booked a big block of 3 weeks at the end of May as we had family coming to visit – this is relevant later.
About 2 months later, I booked a couple of days’ holiday to attend an interview, obviously, I just told her I fancied a long weekend. I got the job, not only was it more engaging and relevant to my area of expertise, but it was a tasty 7k pay rise with a bonus scheme of up to 25% annually.
Sweet, I come back in on Monday ready to hand my notice in but she’s booked a meeting with me while I was off for 10 am to “discuss my new role”. I have my notice in an envelope and bring that to the meeting.
She starts with pretty much saying “you’ve gotten a bit better but still not good enough for this job so I’d like to propose-” I cut her off and hand her the envelope. She opens it, reads it, and says, “Oh.
Okay, erm. Huh.” She says, “Okay well your notice period is a month, so your final day will be the 8th of June”.
I counter with “Actually, I think you’ll find that while on my probation period, it’s actually only 2 weeks which brings it to the 25th of May, which is also a public holiday, as is the 24th so my last day is actually the 23rd of May.”
She tries to say I’d passed probation but I remind her of the letter I signed agreeing to the extension and that I hadn’t signed any contract for this new role yet.
A bit of back and forth and she finally concedes. I also remind her that I had almost the entirety of my annual leave which has to be paid to me when I leave as my finish date was before they were to be taken.
As the school was going through a big cost-saving exercise, this would look really bad on her. She asked me to take them instead of working my notice, which I declined. I’d rather tolerate her for 8 more days and get paid for a full month’s pay on top of my normal salary.
She reluctantly agreed and said she’s going to go talk to HR and let them know.
On the way out of the meeting, I thanked her for helping me out in January. She looked at me confused so I reminded her that I “needed to think long and hard about whether I wanted this job” and I decided that no, I didn’t and found a much better package elsewhere.
Now I have my own office complete with a coffee machine and mini-fridge, staff who work with me on projects, and time to work on Azure features like I’m supposed to. All while getting paid considerably more. Thanks D!
PS – she got the boot 3 months after I left, apparently she clashed with a lot of the teaching staff with her management style. Guess I wasn’t the only one who didn’t get on with her.”
1. Won't Let Me Take Time Off When I Want? Okay, Then I'll Take Time Off When You Don't Want
“In 2019 I started working for a big accounting firm right after college. I already had a bit of experience because of a few internships and I always worked part-time since I was 16, but I was mainly hired because I spoke 4 languages and they had business with a lot of foreign clients.
I was hired as a consultant, but I did a lot of things, I really enjoyed organizing big files and I had a lot of experience with Excel since I had paid for a professional course during college, so besides my usual work of handling some clients and doing my reports, I was also doing a lot of things like sales reports, clients reports, basically most of the excel files and a lot of computer-based tasks.
When crap hit and we started to work from home, I was able to automate most of my tasks for 2 or 3 months, I was able to program a code that would basically do the sales reports (most important file) and a few more automatically and I could update it if needed.
My boss was over the moon with the update part but I did not tell him that it was being done automatically, I did not tell anyone as a matter of fact. This gave me a lot of extra time to talk to clients and pick up a few extra new ones which gave me a considerable pay rise since I was highly appraised during the meetings with my direct boss and a few higher-ups.
Whenever I did take time off I had to delegate all of my tasks and clients meetings to anyone I trusted which was mostly Jimmy (fake name), Jimmy was a good personal friend of mine and was married to my cousin, so we would occasionally take time off at the same time for a vacation or family gathering.
I was saving my vacation days for summer and winter, and in the only days I took during 2020, I let my tasks run automatically, and I told Jimmy that he didn’t need to do that, and he really didn’t ask questions since it was less work for him.
However, Jimmy and I took a few days off at the same time to go to a wedding in another country and I was told by my boss that he would let it happen but to not make it a habit to take our vacation at the same time and that I would have to work a bit harder to thank him for his good deed and that my sales weren’t getting any bigger in the last few months.
I reminded him that I had the higher number of sales in all the departments and that I was the only one with the extra tasks, but he just told me that it wasn’t a big deal and that anyone could have done that.
So when I went on vacation, I turned off all of my automated tasks, and this was a big deal since it was the end of the month and my boss would need all my reports completely updated. Apparently, they had to put 5 people to do my tasks so that they could finish the reports, which delayed the work of that team, and the reports were late and lacked a few things that mine had.
This was huge since all the higher-ups weren’t happy with my boss since he showed them the reports late, and they were clearly a downgrade from mine, and they also commented that there was a team failing a lot of deadlines that month (which was the team assigned to do my tasks).
As soon as I got back to work I got a call from my boss apologizing for not appreciating my work with the tasks, offering me a bonus, and asking me to not take time off at the end of the month ever again.
I told him that it was an unreasonable request and I reminded him that he already approved my week off in 2 months which apparently was still under approval and he straight up told me that it wasn’t going to be approved.
I am not an angry person per usual but I got really upset about that, and they told me that as long as it wasn’t at the end of the month, I could take time off whenever I wanted. Ok fine.
As soon as I got out of the call I started looking for other jobs and I scheduled all of my time off (about 3 weeks) for the next month (the busiest month for us). This was a big deal since most of the big clients didn’t speak English or our native tongue and they only wanted to talk to me, but nevertheless, my boss approved.
Subsequently, Jimmy also scheduled time off at the same time so despite not being the end of the month, someone had to do my tasks since I would once again turn them off.
Apparently, they weren’t able to handle my clients or my tasks and they just ignored the tasks until I got back, but some of the clients were really angry since no one could really assist them as well as I could, and I actually got a call on my personal phone from one of them asking him to assist him in my personal time and that he would be really appreciative of my time.
This was a huge client, and he was actually a great person that had huge respect for me, so I said it was fine as long as he came to my location (I was on vacation with my family). So long story short he came with a yacht and invited all of my family to go there and to the villa he rented, I spent a whole day helping him and setting all of his orders and requests, and he was more than happy to offer me a job once he knew I was looking for other jobs, since apparently, I sent my curriculum to one of his buddy’s company.
It was a huge offer with lots of benefits, and the offer would also extend to Jimmy, who was actually going to work for me, with a great salary also. In my country, you don’t have to give 2 weeks’ notice to your boss, so I just quit when I returned and told him that I wouldn’t do any of the sales reports, and he was mad, but there was nothing he could do.
I am still in the same company, but with a higher position now, I actually manage a huge team and I don’t really have a schedule, I just have to travel a lot which is fine by me.
Last I checked with a few friends that still work in my old company they had to hire a whole team to handle my tasks and a few of the clients quit because they weren’t satisfied with how they were being handled.
Next time you should also value your employees more.”
Another User Comments:
This person has a different take on the malicious compliance story.
“Personally, I wouldn’t want OP working at my company. I hate when people try to hide what they do so that only they can accomplish specific tasks.
His vacation woes are 100% his own fault. And his vacation crackdown after he screwed over his boss is also his fault. He made himself indispensable… That cuts both ways.
His employer is also stupid. Not for the way they treated him (which yes, isn’t great either), but for not realizing they could hire a temporary IT consultant to automate a large part of their work for probably a month of this guy’s salary. As a software developer, I find automation natural and not really anything clever or worth hoarding to yourself… But then again, that’s literally my job.” shaddowdemon