People Spill Their Most Captivating Malicious Compliance Revenge
18. Need Me To "Fix" Your So-Called Broken Keycard? I Can Do That
It definitely backfired for her.
“I’m the facility manager for my building. Everything that happens and goes wrong, is my responsibility. So I make sure everything runs smoothly. My boss had made it clear: It’s MY building and I was hired to not only keep people in line but run everything.
I’m not a jerk, but I hold people accountable, forcibly but politely. There was no facility manager for a long time before I came along and both clients and employees ran amok, with no order.
In the 4 months I’ve been here, my boss has praised my performance and has gone to bat for me countless times, she’s the best boss I’ve ever had. I’ve got a firm but fair approach and my reputation reflects that.
I’ve got a Karen in the building and trust me, the name stereotype applies, who’s just a counselor for family services, and has nothing to do with our group. She likes to complain about everything and gives my boss a headache almost daily.
She shares an office with another woman, who’s unfortunately, picking up on her Karen tendencies (Karen In Training), I’ve been doing a keycard audit all week and I knew to leave Karen’s keycard alone because she’s the only Karen in the building, so her name stands out.
I am missing 75 keycards, lots of former employees having all-door access, dating all the way back to 2015. Can’t have that so I deleted a lot of them, especially if they had a wacky name or just a room number.
However, I did delete “KIT’s” card information because it wasn’t under her name. She just came to tell me her keycard wasn’t working and Karen happened to be passing by and overheard it.
I went and fixed “KIT’s” keycard and we went to go check to see if it worked or not.
We found Karen outside the office waiting, complaining to my boss that her keycard didn’t work either. Karen wandered away and my boss rolled her eyes, and I smiled and I told her I would take care of it.
After checking to make sure “KIT’s” keycard worked, I went downstairs to check the system, looked up Karen, and wouldn’t you know it, her keycard was completely fine. In fact, it showed she had a MASTER keycard.
So I changed all of her permissions and limited her back to just her room ONLY.
I went upstairs and got my boss’s attention because her office is next door to the ladies and I mouthed LISTEN and pointed.
I opened their door and was all, “hey Karen! I went and checked your keycard in the system. Everything is good to go. In fact, it said you had a MASTER key to the building and per the company orders, since you’re not a contractor or a company employee, I can’t give you that access.
So I had to revoke your status to just this room ONLY. Can’t have you bugging people on official business (Wink). Thanks for bringing your keycard to my attention.” She started to object that she needed the master keycard because XYZ and I was all, “yeah sorry.
Maybe before but I’m the facility manager and you don’t need access to everything except this office and if you do, it’s outside your pay grade, so you’ll have to come to get me. Ok? Cool thanks byyeeeeeee…” And then just closed the door on her mid-sentence. My boss was quietly laughing her butt off in her office and gave me an air high five.”
17. We Must Call If We're Sick? I Will, But The Times I Call Might Not Be Convenient For You
“Our department management in their infinite wisdom introduced a new rule that if you were sick, you had to call and speak to your Team Leader (TL) at least three hours before your shift started, no exceptions.
Ever. Such was their intelligence, they announced this new super-well-thought-out™ rule in one of their email blasts containing so much drivel that no one ever actually read them. They were akin to internal spam, and we joked amongst ourselves that if the company’s spam filters were any good (like our marketing team spins them to be) they’d get blocked!
I’ll admit, ignorance is no excuse, but I was definitely one of those people who ignored these emails so I had no idea about the rule until a few days later when I woke up feeling unwell.
Now, my shifts that week started at 6 am which meant I usually woke around 4:30 am, so once I knew I was too unwell, I sent a “sorry but I’m unwell today, etc.” email to my TL.
I should mention here that prior to this new rule, an email was perfectly okay, though there was never a firm rule about a method, just as long as it was reasonable notice.
On the few occasions I’d had to call off sick before (never for a 6 am start) I’d always made a phone call, an expectation from previous jobs which I’ve always carried with me.
This one time though, I figured hey it’s 4:30 am, an email would be better received by my TL than waking up at stupid o’clock!
Nope. Wrong. Turns out my 4:30 am email wasn’t good enough and I got my butt hauled into a meeting with HR and my TL when I was back at work the next day.
Of course, I accepted that I didn’t read the email with the new rule (my bad), but when I tried to put forward my point about the unreasonable time to call I was told that it was “absolutely no excuse”, that I “should have been more responsible and called on time”, that I “was not being asked for my opinion on rules or policies” and that I had to “follow them to the letter” or else I’d face a formal warning, etc.
They weren’t going to budge and I wasn’t going to make this my hill to die on, so I let them have their moment and afterward went back to my desk.
I joked with a few colleagues that I would just set an extra alarm for 2:50 am from then on, just in case, but my knuckles now red from their slapping and my butt now sore from their kicking, I figured I really would play HR’s game if that’s what they wanted.
I figured if I felt sick I’d call in by 3 am, or else I’d go back to sleep and wake up at my usual time. Stupid, yes, but that’s the rule.
A few days later I woke up to my first alarm feeling unwell again and knew I wasn’t going to be fit for work come my scheduled start at 6 am.
I certainly wouldn’t admit to being happy and certainly wasn’t uncontrollably smiling as I picked up my phone, called up my TL, and waited for an answer. Didn’t get her the first time (surprise, surprise) so I figured I’d call again, you know, just to be sure.
This time I got lucky and heard a groggy “hello?” on the other end. I gave the formalities, told her I was off sick again, and hung up. I could tell she was positively thrilled to be woken so early, but hey, it’s what they wanted!
The next day I was fine and was back at work without drama, but the next day a stomach bug hit the office and my entire team, TL included, all rostered on for 6 am starts that week, ended up leaving early.
I’m sure you can paint the rest of this picture.
Cue two days of 3 am phone calls from every one of the ten people on my team.
Cue my TL getting more mad with each one.
Cue HR adding a small bit to the next week’s usual drive email (I was sure to read this one), not rescinding the rule but instead patting themselves on the back for coming up with the addition of “sending a short email to your TL is now also a suitable form of advising illness”.
I worked there for another four months before moving onto much greener pastures and was sick only on a few more occasions during that period. All of which were for 6 am starts, and all of which I was sure to ring at 3 am.
Hey, that’s what the rule said!”
Another User Comments:
“You continued to call your TL after being informed an email is acceptable? Good! That three-hour notification is important. You never know when an email will be read; truly better to call and know your TL is well informed.” Iisszzttadda
16. Consider Me A Renter? I Guess I'm Not Responsible For All These Things Anymore
“So let’s start with some context. My mom and I moved into my grandma’s house when I was 5. My godmother already lived with my grandma so she was also part of the household.
Firstly, my aunt has never done anything with her life. She liked to say she had to take care of my grandma but my grandma was a feisty old Mexican lady who happily handled everything herself all the way until she got cancer in her very last year of life.
She used my grandma as a crutch to never get a job or really any source of income ever. My mom and grandma paid for this house every year and kept it up and running.
Fast forward to me being 22. My mom died of cancer. We knew my grandma wouldn’t be able to afford the house herself so my wife and I stood to help because we felt bad leaving right after my mom died.
So for 2-3 years, we handled the house taxes, the electricity bill, when the air conditioner broke we paid to fix that, and I also gave my grandma my old car when I got a new one so my aunt could take her to her doctor appointments and whatnot.
I did all of this because I was taught to be there for my family by my mom.
After those 2-3 years, my grandma died. So now it was only our income and my aunt needing to be supported by us.
Again, this is how I was taught family takes care of each other. We felt bad leaving my aunt after my grandma died so we stayed again. Bought food for her, cooked for her, and even handled all the dishes and house cleaning.
I mowed the lawn, handled any insect issues the house was having, and even gave her our recyclables so she could have at least a little money for stuff. So it finally gets to a point where I confront her and say “look, my mom helped pay for this house, and now I am too.
My wife and I want to HELP you (notice I said help and not take the house away from you) make the house nice again. We want to get new carpet, fix the broken windows, etc.
For this though, we’d need you to co-own the house with us. We aren’t gonna put our savings into it just for you to sell it and we end up screwed over. Or also, if you just happened to die young, the house would just go to the bank (that’s a whole other long story, but it’s what will happen).”
She of course said no but only because she wants the house to herself and I’m her ownership.
She’s very very greedy and selfish like that about everything. So we end up arguing and I say how we stayed because we cared and wanted to help. We want to continue helping however, we can’t just blindly funnel savings into YOUR home when we need to make sure our living situation is secure.
During said argument, I say how we’ve been nothing but caring and don’t want to take the house. We just want to work with her. Again no.
So I start to get frustrated and I say how can you be like this to me especially when both my mother and I have paid for this house.
We put more into it than she ever has. I don’t feel owed, but I feel that us working together and owning the house together would be fair since she doesn’t even pay for any of it.
I said how we stayed after grandma died to help her. Her exact words were “well you should have just left.” That hurt a lot because all that was just for nothing. Not even appreciation.
Fast forward to another argument and I bring up how I feel it was wrong of her to take advantage of my mom the way she did (there’s way more context to that than above but again, whole other long story).
When I say I think it was wrong, her words were “well take it up with your mother.” That broke me because I was super close to my mom and she had only been dead for like 2 years so it was still very painful.
That was my breaking point. I could not help somebody this selfish and hurtful. I told her that was awful of her to say that. That this house is ours just as much as it is hers.
She says “Christian, you guys are renters.”
I say “oh, we’re RENTERS?” Ok. So I started going by doing exactly what I and my grandmother agreed upon when we moved in. I paid the electric bill and the house taxes.
That’s it. Mowing the lawn? Sorry, wasn’t part of my “lease.” Handling the insect infestation? Nope, landlord’s issue. Cleaning your dishes and the 800 pictures you have on the walls filled with dust? Yeah, not my problem.
My wife and I care for ourselves now. Her house is going more and more to ruin. Windows have broken more, the air conditioning broke again, the shower broke, the water heater broke and damaged the living room and walls, and termites in ALL the wood.
All, not my problem.
My wife and I are currently in the process of finding a place and moving out. We might not even tell her when we do move and just up and leave, letting her sit in her own filth. I mean, it’s not in my lease that I need to give notice?”
15. You Don't Mind Eating Outside In the Rain? Things Might Get A Little Soaked Though!
All of our actions have consequences.
“I worked at a restaurant all through college and then for a bit afterward because it was good pay, and it’s hard to make the leap out of restaurants when you’re used to that type of work.
I was at a slightly elevated American-style restaurant (i.e. $21 burgers with some sort of aioli, giant salads with ingredients like wonton crisps instead of croutons – that kind of thing) and it was honestly a lot better working environment than some restaurants and you could sometimes make a decent living.
However upper management was veryyy much about “the customer is always right” (except we were required to call them “guests”) and that we should be the ultimate pinnacle of hospitality no matter what. This led to things like a group arriving 4 minutes before we closed and our managers insisting that we seat and serve them, even though the kitchen had been fully cleaned, sidework completed, etc.
(I can’t imagine keeping a server, a bartender, two line cooks, and a chef on for an extra hour was worth $40 in profit…)
Anyways, we had a fairly nice patio, at least for a city, since we were right on the ocean, and you could see boats come in and get a view of the city skyline.
One day, it had started to drizzle a bit, and a table arrived and asked to sit outside. The host initially said no, as it was raining, and the server (me) would need to be out in the rain, and the guests go “oh, we don’t mind! We’ll be under umbrellas!” When the host explained again that the server would get wet, they said “no really, it’s okay! We don’t mind!” (wow, so nice, thanks for not minding if I’m wet while I’m serving you in the rain!)
As everyone always says in these stories, cue the malicious compliance.
What they didn’t realize was that both doors leading into the restaurant were on the opposite end of the patio, which was technically a wooden dock over the ocean, and that there was no umbrella or awning between here and there.
And while it wasn’t a huge downpour, it definitely started to rain harder than it had before.
From that point on, I gave their table lots of extra attention. I made sure to bring them out new silverware wrapped in cloth napkins, holding it all on a tray in front of me.
I brought them the bread for the table, their cocktails, and all their entrees one by one – I told the food runner that he didn’t need to worry about going out and getting wet, I would just take everything.
And every time I went out, I made sure not to rush, which meant I was walking slowly and carefully in the rain. Every single thing that got to their table was damp. Their food, their silverware, their check at the end.
When I wrote down their order, I even had to go back in to get more paper, since my notepad was soaked.
It ended up also working in my favor, as several of my other tables I had during this felt bad for me and tipped well enough.
When they asked why I was wet, I just smiled and said “I have a table outside right now, and they said they don’t mind being under the umbrella.”
I wish I had some dramatic resolution, like they tipped me $100 for going out there, or my manager got in trouble for letting them sit out there because they called to complain about their food, but unfortunately, nothing super wild happened.
However, as requested, they were served their entire meal on the patio, and every single dish was soaked. I didn’t skip a single step of service, I just made sure not to rush getting there (after all, I didn’t want to slip!) and I guarantee they regretted it.
Damp burgers and fries just aren’t worth sitting outside for! Especially when they realized they were seated directly next to giant windows where they could have easily seen the exact same view and stayed dry!!
Plus (and it’s messed up that this is a “win” vs just the bare minimum), but the manager bought me dinner and I got a brand new uniform (which we had to spend like $80 on), so honestly, it meant I got to do laundry one fewer day a week, which wasn’t bad for a poor recent college grad haha.”
14. Get Staff In Trouble For Taking Multiple Non-Consecutive Sick Days Off In A Row? I'll Take Them Consecutively Then
“The job I am currently working is not the best atmosphere and a lot of people do not like it for various reasons. It is very obvious like most places that they do not care about you and treat you as a number.
Well, about a month ago, I got sick (allergies and changing weather) which typically happens this time of year for me. I missed a day of work and because it was not scheduled UTO or PTO I had to take an “occurrence” which basically is a point against me and if I get to 5, I will face disciplinary action all the way from a write-up to termination.
This number resets on the anniversary of you starting. Well, I am the only programmer because the previous programmer quit. Well, when I missed that day, I received an occurrence, came to work because my supervisor needed me to show a company who bought our old machine how I programmed it.
I still did not feel 100% but was no longer running a fever so I obliged. Big mistake, by the end of my 12-hour shift I felt like crap and felt worse. I told my supervisor and he said, well take tomorrow off but it will be another occurrence.
This kind of made me mad because due to their rules, you can miss 3 days in a row and it is only 1 occurrence. But if you miss Monday, Wednesday, Friday and go to work Tuesday and Thursday, that is 3 separate occurrences because you came back.
So I said screw that and came to work the next day feeling sick but not getting another occurrence. (I could have used UTO or PTO, but I had recently passed my 90 days and therefore had maybe 4 hours of both which would not cover my shift anyways.) So fast forward to the present, as in a week ago, and I probably got a stomach bug.
(My immune system is not that good and my wife works in pediatrics so she is always bringing me new things to help try and build my immune system).
So the week that I got the stomach bug, we got a new machine to replace the one we sold to another company.
A representative came out to train the operators and show the new software. Unfortunately, that morning he came I had my head in the toilet. So I called out which now makes it my second occurrence.
The next day, still not feeling the best, I did not go to work, still only 1 occurrence. On the third day, I really could have gone to work, but after 2 days of feeling like crap, I really wanted to get rest and be well recovered.
So I come back on the fourth day to find out that they had to pay this representative a good bit to keep him here until I came back so I could learn the new software.
Which made my boss (plant manager) mad. He actually came to me and asked why I was sick for 3 days and was it really 3 days of sickness. I told him the truth, I could have come back 1 day to get that training but was afraid the next day I would have had to miss.
Which means I would get 2 occurrences. So instead, I took the safe route and gave my body 3 full days of recovery so I don’t risk it. This obviously made him upset, and now he and my supervisor are aware if I am out sick, it will always be 3 days (if I can afford it reasonably).
He even tried to pull the “well, we are a family around here” card, but that changed nothing in my eyes.
The company I work for is owned by another company that owns 14 other companies like ours.
They are the ones that control 99% of the rules so by me doing this, the plant manager has no way of stopping me. Corporate would have to pass a new rule. I also starting January will receive enough UTO and PTO to cover a sick day here and there as well as get a long weekend of paid vacation.”
13. Think You Can Give Us Failing Grades? Let's Take Out The Manual
“My humanities classes were taught by three professors (team teaching, lectures, small groups, etc.) and that worked out most of the time. However, our final project was a classroom-simulated society and they split the class in half to do this.
They told us all that we had to stay in the rooms in a portable and couldn’t leave. The rules for the project were that the students were split into upper-class, middle-class, and lower-class groups with each group having an irregular amount of “tickets” for travel, finances, and food/drinks.
The upper class got 10 tickets for almost every category, the middle class got 5, and the lower class got two. Each of the three had to decide how to spend their tickets and could give them away if they chose.
The upper class was the only one that had travel tickets and the lower class was the only one that had entertainment tickets (TV time).
In the first of the two sections of the group project, all the students stayed the whole 4 hours and the project went about how you would expect it to go, with the upper class “ruling” the other two and taxing them in tickets.
That section of the project was during the school day, between lunch and dinner. Our section was directly following them, so we couldn’t go to the dining hall for dinner. We also couldn’t bring outside food or drinks.
I had to eat on a schedule for medical reasons but was told that I would only be allowed to do so if I bought food/drink with our group’s tickets. I was put into the upper class, so we had enough tickets for me to be able to do that but then there were none for others to have anything.
We (the 5 of us in the upper class) ended up splitting a can of pop and a small bag of chips.
The people in our section of the project were mostly missionary kids (I’m not, though), so we were mostly an idealistic bunch to begin with.
All but one of the lower-class group left the building to go eat dinner because they knew they weren’t going to get fed otherwise. They weren’t allowed back in and got failing grades because they didn’t follow the rules for the project.
The rest of us followed the rules to the letter but did it our own way within the confines of those rules. The tickets got spread around mostly evenly so everyone could travel, have at least one food or drink for their class to split, and have entertainment tickets.
When it got to be hour 3 of 4, our class started singing, “Show me the way to go home.” We then started singing all the most annoying songs we could think of for the last hour.
We absolutely drove the profs up a wall, but they couldn’t tell us to leave because then they would have not followed the project rules, either.
We knew we were playing with fire with this one because the project counted for a good chunk of our final grade, but we didn’t care after finding out that the profs weren’t going to allow any exceptions to the rules even for medical reasons.
(After we were done, we went to see if there was any way we could still get dinner, and the cafeteria stayed open for us a half-hour after it was supposed to close so we could eat.
It was on a Friday night.)
On Monday afternoon, we all came into the lecture hall buzzing about the two extremes of the project. The people who ran off knew that they were going to fail, but the rest of us in both sections were sure we were going to get passing grades.
We were all told that the first section, the one that imploded, would get passing grades and the second section, the one that shared more equitably, would fail. One of my friends worked at the campus bookstore and knew that each stack of the project ticket/rule books came with a teacher’s manual.
Since these profs did this project for all their humanities classes at this level, they didn’t get a new teacher’s manual each year unless the project changed drastically, so the rest of the teacher’s manuals were sitting in the back of the bookstore (locked up, though).
The friend told his boss what happened and his boss gave him a teacher’s manual.
Those of us who had completed the “failed” section of the project had the professors’ words on tape because we were allowed to record lectures.
We took that and the manual and made an appointment as a group with the dean. The dean thought that the profs had been utterly ridiculous and we got passing grades for the project.
The profs tried to argue that there was no way that the project could ever have had that outcome, but the dean didn’t go along with that. His answer? “You teach at a Christian university and expect that your students aren’t going to follow their beliefs?” The profs had to change the syllabus so the next year had the simulated society project removed and something else put in its place with better rules.”
Another User Comments:
“I find it appalling that food was not allowed in for medical reasons. That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen if there were any adverse reactions to that rule. I’m surprised the Dean didn’t pick up on that.” hollyjazzy
12. Refuse To Do Anything About Wasted Inventory? Fine, But Just Know You're Throwing Thousands Of Bucks Away
Stubbornness doesn’t get you too far.
“So I work at a gas station as a cashier usually early mornings on weekends.
Our station has a lot of food in store that’s packaged like chocolate bars, drinks, etc.
but since the prices are so high, most of our stock expires before we can sell it and we have to throw it away.
Besides the packaged foods and drinks, we also serve premade sandwiches and other pastry which can only be made and sold in one day and needs to be thrown away at the end of the day.
Unsurprisingly, prices for those items are even higher and so they are rarely sold and we throw away kilograms of food every single evening.
I asked my boss if we could just eat it after it needs to be thrown away because it’s still good food but health regulations just say we can’t sell them after a couple of hours laying in the fridge.
My boss said no because he doesn’t trust us to not make food in the evening just for us to eat.
I countered with the idea of just putting these items on sale before we throw them out so we don’t have to pay half of our hourly wage or more on a sandwich and customers could save it for a less price.
My boss declined again saying that we can’t do that either for some reason.
I asked if we could donate everything in the evening to homeless people in the area.
My boss said no…
Cue my malicious compliance…
I’ve made it my duty to now remove everything from the store as soon as it expires and even made a list for my colleagues to look up when things expire. (No we didn’t do that before, it just laid there on the shelves until someone found it) With that, every shelf has now empty holes without stock, and my boss’s office is full of expired stuff because he “Needs to check every item to make sure none of us is eating it.”
I’ve taken my time to add up the amount of food we threw out in just a week (10kg of fresh sandwiches, 6kg of small packaged snacks, and over 20 bottles of soft drinks) and calculated that over $400 worth of food went to the trash in half a week because we didn’t discount them.
I’ve asked a lot of customers about their opinion to implement such a discount to reduce the waste of food and I just got positive responses!
My boss however was not happy that I talked about problems with customers and got pretty mad at me.
I showed him the numbers I calculated and what we could potentially earn with a discount of 20% based on the customer’s opinions I got when talking to them. The majority of them would buy more to save food and with a discount, they’d much rather buy something.
My boss was too stunned to speak when I told him that he was losing thousands of dollars a month to the trashcan, but since it wasn’t his idea, he’d rather lose the profit than admit I’m right…”
11. I Can Only Work For 8 Hours? Sorry, I Can't Help You Once My 8 Hours Is Up
“I was in my first full-time job for 5 years. I liked it. I worked overtime weekly and I had no problem with it. The company was producing banks’ backend systems, and my job was to test their quality and deploy them to the customer site.
Today is normally a job for two plus people. We delivered to several banks. The job was made like any of us could deliver to any bank needed. I worked on three banks. One local and two in different countries, different time zones (+5 & -3 hours).
If you were “lucky,” you delivered to three banks a day. And delivering to the bank meant you had to wait until the end of the bank’s business hours. Set bank unavailable with proper customer notice, wait for all customers to leave, set maintenance, and deliver the update.
Install, test, and set everything as production, labels, and so on. If you worked on patches, it means you will deliver at 3 pm, 8 pm & 11 pm in my case. In our team, we made a plan of doing it during work time and sometimes from the home office, if the time of leaving the building may be too late for us.
We made a policy that if we work too late, we are entitled to enter the office later the next day. The policy was like: “Between your yesterday shift and today’s shift must be at least 12 hours.” And as expected, our company has its own business hours from 9 am to 3 pm and every day, you have to work for 8 hours plus in your “free time,” you can leave for lunch, which may not be longer than 30 minutes and not earlier than after 4 hours of your previously logged time in the office system, collecting data from on wall device reading your badge.
And if somebody opened the doors for you…your badge wasn’t logged. By the way, our company doesn’t pay overtime.
Our department was working on developing a new bank with a very famous guy at that time and in the end, he bought all the colleagues dedicated to the project for his own and made an earthquake in our team, department & whole company.
We lost our main architect and all the most experienced guys in the whole company by this. And from that day I was the most experienced guy for all the banks in the blink of an eye.
Our new department manager decided to send an email:
“Hello, in these terrible circumstances, if you have any idea on how to help us stabilize the product, please let me know.”
I was young and dumb.
I replied that I only know everything about how to deploy on high-budget customers and I want to share the knowledge and if needed I can mentor others. Well, I think I wrote that as the most experienced.
Now, I am a good fit to grow into a manager position, too.
I never got an email back and nobody was talking to me. Next month, we got a new manager placed without any word.
The new manager was a Karen-like woman in her early thirties and actively started to make 121 meetings with everybody in our reduced team. I was the last one.
Karen: Hi OP, how are you?
Me: Hi Karen I am fine and you?
K: Well, I am fine, but I think you will not be.
K: I looked at your presence and you do not work 8 hours a day. Only last week, you worked one day only for 4 hours. Today, you arrived at 12 pm! May I continue?
M: Well, you can continue, if you want, but what is it all about? Just, are you aware I work from home to deliver to the customers’ sites sometimes? And the same as I worked only 4 hours one day, I worked 16 the previous one, because it was needed.
K: No proof, no logs from your badge. If your work and time are not logged, you didn’t work. Long story short, you are incompetent, you do not deliver good work, and we will penalize you for your fewer work hours.
And by the way, no, you are not allowed to work from home anymore.
M: Well, ok? The main problem is..?
K: You have to arrive at the workplace before 9 am, and you have to stay for 8 hours!
M: Well I mostly do.
On Monday, I arrived at 7 am and left at 3 pm. Which is exactly 8 hours, isn’t it?
K: Well, that is not correct, you have to have a lunch break according to the republic law and you must have it for a maximum of 30 minutes.
So you are allowed to leave at 3:30 pm.
M: Ok, I had no lunch, but yes, I will do it next time.
K: Sure, sure, you will. So do you have any questions?
M: No? Do you?
I just have one more notice for you. You may consider your leave because with all the timesheet reports, we can press charges and downgrade your salary and fire you.
M: Oh? Really?
K: Sure, we can! And I will happily sign your resignation.
Or may I write it for you?
M: No. It’s fine. I will try my best to comply with the law.
K: Ok, you are in probation period again!
The next day, I arrived at 6:30, take a 30 minutes break, and left at 3 pm.
I exactly stay by the on-wall device to touch my badge to it to be logged properly. I did it for a week and then Product Manager approaches me. We had some hard times, but I comply.
In person, he was very good. Just he tried to squeeze the time sheets as possible to get the work done. Banks are very strong in their decisions that something is mandatory to make asap or they will not pay more per the contract.
PM: Hey OP, today is a patch for a bank (11 pm). Everything is prepared. Today we will deliver a fix for a small issue, so just test it and deploy it by the customer.
Can you do that?
M: Well, I can test it, but since I arrived at 6:30 am, I will be leaving at 3 pm and I am not allowed to work from home according to my new manager Karen.
There is no more I can do for you.
PM: Well, this is nonsense, you have to deliver, nobody else who can do it is here! What may I do? What will I tell the customer?
M: I don’t know.
I am not allowed to do this; I am on probation.
PM looked at me shocked and left. An hour later PM approached me again asking me if I changed my mind. I told him again there is nothing I can do, since I may comply with Karen’s new rules.
Another hour later about 2 pm, I was approached by PM and Karen.
PM: OP can you tell me exactly what you said to me earlier?
M: Well, I said: I am not allowed to stay longer in the office and I am not allowed to work from home according to my probation period set by Karen.
And if I work and time is not logged, I didn’t work.
K: That is not true. You have to stay here between 9 am to 3 pm and do your job for at least 8 hours a day, so you have 2 more hours to spend! And if PM needs you, you have to comply and deliver the patch!
M: Ok, PM the patch is at…?
PM: 11 pm
M: Since I am not allowed work from home and I arrived at 6:30 am, I don’t see any time window to fit for me to make it done today.
K: Well, that may look like that, but you must comply and deliver.
M: But it will contradict my probation.
K: How? You are on probation because you work less than you have to work!
M: Well, I told you I work on delivering patches from home and it takes 2 hours of work and it is in a time frame out of our business hours, so I don’t see any fit to make it done, since I can work only from office and I really don’t see as fit to sit here from 11 pm to 1 am next day to deliver to the customer and be here next day at 9 am because I will need my sleep.
And I will again cross the line of employment policies in our country.
K: I can make an exception.
M: Well, you are not allowed to make exceptions to the law. And as I know you are not allowed to force me to work overtime since the company does not pay overtime.
And the overtime is like 25% up, and the night shift is another 25% up… if I count it. Can you write me the resignation letter you offered me?
K: Well, yes I can write it, but we have important things to do now!
M: Well, consider me saying no to your generous offer of exceptions since I have a life to live out of this office, and now it’s 2:58 pm, and I have to go shut my computer down and leave to make it just on time dedicated by the law and to stay out of your penalties.
The next day, I went to HR with some papers to sign. Around 7 am.
HR: Why are you leaving? Are you one of the “new bank” wimps?
M: No, I am not. Karen made me consider my resignation since I am a big disappointment to your company.
Because If I work and time is not logged I didn’t work.
HR: What? Karen? The new one who’s been here like for one month?
M: Yes, this one.
HR: Ok, so, as I see in your record.
You have a bunch of vacation, and with the three months quit period, it makes you work here for the next…
M: I know, it’s only today.
HR: Go to the IT guys, and put back the computer you have.
M: Sure, right on my way.
I come to my space and make a quick “deleting” process to make the HDD empty for the new colleague and call the IT guys to take my computer.
They arrived in 5 minutes with PM. Around 9 am.
IT: Hey OP, this is the computer?
PM: Are you able to help today…?
M: (pointing to the resignation and note from HR that I can stay only one more hour in the office).
I am leaving as Karen asked me.
PM: Who will deliver?
M: Not me!
PM: OP, can you share the access information with Kevin? (Kevin is a new guy, not very clever).
M: Well, I am not allowed to share anything like that, since it was my access, and how will that look if it will be used after my resignation?
IT: Do you have anything on the computer, for safe?
M: No I purged it just before you arrived.
PM: OK, sure, I will ask Karen about the delivery. No problem be fine OP.
M: I am fine! Have a nice life.
Just when I went around Kevin he looked at me with a smile: “You are fired, you idiot! Next time, consider not trying to grow to a manager’s position if you are just a loser.”
When I left around 9:30, Karen wasn’t in the office yet.
I just smiled back and left. A colleague who was leaving a week later from the same position sent me on the same day an SMS: KEVIN IS DELIVERING THE BANK, NOBODY KNOWS HOW.
To my knowledge, Karen was loudly arguing running around the office and trying her best to finish things. But! After eight hours without lunch, she left the office, too, at 6 pm. Which seems to me a little out of the “policy” because she arrived at 10 am, but who cares.
As I had friends at work, I have some info about…after my leaving. Since it happened years ago, I can say they survived. PM resigned as quickly as I did and left “the company in trouble” too.
He became a nice manager at a different company.
Karen was the manager for three more months and then she moved to a different city closer to her partner who earns much more than she ever did.
She became a professional mother.
Kevin was taking my position and made the company pay some high thousands of dollars in penalties because his experience wasn’t enough strong. He once dropped a whole bank database of customers and transactions.
There is a backup, but recovery makes it unavailable from hours to days. A lot of people without a dime on their cards.
The company still exists. Different people, different approaches, and the boss sending an email to us at beginning of the story became the owner.
I don’t want to say they were bad people, but their imaginations and experiences same as mine at the time about how things have to work were radically different.
From that time I worked for three more companies and I left them “quickly” too.
Like two years for a company since I realized the same managers’ micromanagement practices. And because I am bad at going on vacations, I mostly drop resignations as quickly as my badge. Companies here do not like to pay any extra salary.
Now I work for a nicer company, starting my 3rd year. We have some problems, but people are great here. Fingers crossed.”
10. Take The Promotion Without Benefits? I'll Take It But Keep My Original Title
“The entry-level position at my old company is a revolving door. The pay is low, the work is unrewarding, and the expectations are unattainably high for the vast majority of the staff. The average time in that position is 6 months.
This is by design. It’s a position that requires minimal training and there are plenty of applicants willing to work for minimum wage. It’s actually a really great entry into the field and uses all of the industry standard practices and tools.
Most people use it as a launching point for a successful career and move on to a higher-paying job after half a year.
One of the cool things about the position is that they offer a great perk for paid time off.
You get 1 hour of PTO for every 30 hours worked. There are no caps on accrual or limits on usage.
It’s a great way to attract recent college grads to the position. They feel like they’re getting a great benefit, and the company knows that they’ll be gone in 6 months anyway, so they don’t end up paying for a lot of time off.
I took the job fully expecting to be gone within a year, but I ended up thriving in the position. My bosses were impressed, and they offered me raises if I would stay with the company and increase my scope of responsibility.
Every time I started to think that my career was stagnating, they would make staying in that position worth it.
After a couple of years, I had learned enough that I felt confident in my ability to take on a mid-level role, so I asked for consideration.
The mid-level role comes with benefits and a salary, along with a title that would look great on my resume. The drawback was that this position has a cap of 4 days of PTO usage per year.
Still, it would be a great stepping stone in my career, so I was eager to move up.
The only problem is that the mid-level position hires from a pool of candidates with an MBA, which I don’t have.
My boss told me that they would love to have me work on that team, and would give me a good raise, but I wouldn’t get the title, salary, or benefits without an MBA.
Works for me. I know how to write a resume and present myself in an interview, so the title is meaningless as long as I’m doing the work of that role. The pay increase would be great leverage while I search for a new job.
And I don’t need the benefits. I don’t need to be on the company’s healthcare plan because I get free healthcare from the VA. I don’t need their 401k plan because my wife’s company has a better one.
I don’t need their student loan repayment benefits because the GI bill paid for my degree.
So I took the promotion, but I kept my original title. I don’t think they realized that this means I also kept my original PTO structure, and at my new pay rate, giving me that much PTO would be kind of expensive.
After about a year in that position, I was ready to move on. I told my boss I wanted to use all of my available PTO and he said, “No problem! Enjoy your 4 days!”
“No, you don’t understand.
I’m still an (entry-level job title). I’m off for the next 6 weeks.”
I actually did take a month off and had a great time. Then I started job hunting full-time and quickly got offers.
When my PTO was over, I came back to the company with my two-weeks’ notice.
The timing was bad for the company because they didn’t plan on spending that much on PTO that quarter. I hope they’ve revisited their decision to tell me that I was capable of doing a job but not qualified for the benefits of that job.”
9. Pick It Up RIGHT NOW? Will Do
“Let me (25M) introduce you to the key players in this story. First, we have my dog. She is a service animal, and as a result, is very well-trained.
Up next, my annoying and petty neighbors.
I live in a small duplex, with an even smaller front yard that isn’t fenced in. The only thing separating the duplex and the neighbor’s house is a very narrow driveway. It’s important to note that when I refer to “the neighbors,” I am NOT referring to the residents of the connecting unit of the duplex, but the owners of the house a driveway over.
My neighbors have a history of annoying behavior. For starters, they are extremely socially awkward. They watch over us like hawks, have never been able to hold a conversation with us despite us being friendly and trying, and are some of the most passive-aggressive people on Earth.
Maybe it’s because we’re college-aged and they have something against the yutes, but whatever the reason, they have it out for us.
The neighbors have called our landlords to tell them that we are partying at all hours of the night.
The family (with infants) in the connecting unit… the unit that shares a wall with us… has never once complained. When the landlord asked them about these complaints, they always denied them. For reference, aside from me, none of the other residents of the house even drink.
I drink on occasion (once every few months), but never at the house, out of respect for the sober people.
The neighbors called the city over the course of several months and got one side of the street turned into a “no parking zone,” because we have 4 cars in total (one for each person that lives in our unit) and have to park on the street.
This obstructed their view.
As a result, we started parking in front of their house on the legal side of the street. One day, while we were gone, they moved their truck from their driveway (which has ample parking) to the street to block us from parking there.
Their truck didn’t move for ~6 months.
Any time my dog goes #2 in the yard and it sits for more than a few hours, they call the landlord to report it. Because of my disability, I can’t always get to it immediately.
My landlord understands this and understands how the neighbors are, so she had stopped saying anything aside from laughing with me about how ridiculous/annoying these people are.
This is just a short list of my grievances with our neighbors.
I could go on, but by now you get the point.
Well, yesterday morning, I let my dog out as per usual. I was in my undergarments, which are thin and tight-fitting, as I had just rolled out of bed.
Let’s just say that they don’t hide much of anything. I’m standing in the doorway where my neighbor’s house is blocked from my view. As my dog is sniffing around in our yard, I look down at my phone.
A few seconds later, I hear our neighbor (the wife) shout “No! No! Don’t do that here! Get out of our yard! Stop that!” in a very panicked voice. Turns out, they were all sitting outside.
By the time the neighbor had shouted, it was too late to call my dog back over, she was in the process of gifting them a big present.
I shout “Hey, I’m sorry about that.
I’ll come to get it, give me a minute,” and call my dog back inside.
About 15 seconds go by. I was on my way to my room to throw on some pants and a shirt, when I hear a muffled shout from the husband, “COME PICK THIS UP RIGHT NOW!”
I chuckled to myself and shouted “OK!” with a huge grin on my face.
I knew what I had to do.
I dropped the pants that I had grabbed, I turn right around, picked up a doggie bag by the door, and made my way out of the door and into view of the husband (who is standing cross-armed near the pile of poop with a rude expression and posture), the wife, and the daughter.
Watching the look of anger turn into shock was so satisfying. He was truly speechless, as was the rest of the family.
I’m just happy to have a story I can finally share. I also think the family is LDS (Mormon) so that is probably the most graphic display of private bits they have ever seen, at least in the non-marital sense.”
8. Want Me To Work For Free? Fine, But Only In Line With The Law
“In the institution where I worked, there were 4 levels of bosses. And let’s call them this:
- boss #1 – this is my direct boss. The man who hired me because he knew he needed someone exactly like me.
He was in control of his department and his immediate superior did not have the authority to give him any instructions. And while he might require certain things from him, he could not make changes to his department without Boss#1 approval.
- boss #2 – controlled several units, such as the one in which I worked.
He could give orders from above, but he could not interfere with the work of individual teams.
- boss #3 – controlled a large number of bosses. So, without his (and boss’s 2) approval, nothing could have happened.
Still – he could not directly interfere with the work of individual teams (like those in control of boss #1).
- boss 4 – ruled everyone, could omit all others in their decisions, but after making decisions – boss no.
3 “did them” – in the way he wanted. As long as he kept the goal and the effect of the boss’s 4 decision it was ok.
So – here I am!
Boss No. 1, with whom I worked in another field, asked me to work for him in this idiotic institution.
OKAY. I agreed because I respected and admired him a lot. Besides, I wanted to help. It quickly turned out that with my involvement I jumped directly into a black hole of bureaucracy and mutual personal arrangements.
Full of mobbing, humiliation, and ridicule of people. Things I have never met before.
In addition, I quickly understood that boss 2 and boss 3 were having an affair and whatever I did – it was immediately distorted and twisted and the opinion about me went to boss number 3 in the worst possible form.
It got to the point where I cried for hours hiding in the toilets. And I had panic attacks when the phone rang or I got an e-mail. I felt so threatened that I didn’t sleep or eat.
I have become the wreckage of a woman.
Boss # 1 got angry and went straight to boss # 4. He said I had competencies and skills well beyond my job. That this is some kind of a mockery and a joke, that I perform the idiotic tasks for boss No.
2 for a minimum wage and I still don’t get any of the recognition I should get. And he demanded a promotion for me so that I would not be dependent on this stupid woman and her boss-lover anymore…
(such words were not spoken, of course, it was a way more cultured conversation).
Boss # 4 agreed.
Well, but… how could I be promoted?!? Boss 2 and 3 couldn’t take it!
So instead of promoting me – they terminated my employment contract and organized a new competition for my new position, which I was forced to enter…
The whole procedure was humiliating for me and other recruitment participants. And it lasted three months. During which I had no job. Sooo… no fee at all.
But I was the only one who could deal with some particular tasks, so if I was to quit my job (my job for free!) I would have to destroy the work of a huge number of other people who depended on me.
So I kept working.
No pay, no position.
With the hope that “maybe” I will win the competition….
And here I come to the point. What was my way of malicious compliance, you may ask? I based it on the Personal Data Protection Act!
Since Boss 2 and 3 put me in such a situation – I decided that I would do everything to prevent the people below me from getting hurt.
That I will allow everyone else to do their work.
But … For 3 months I did not accept any bill, no contract, and I did not reply to any e-mail with personal data that I received from bosses 2 and 3.
If I am not an employee, I must not do such a thing!
I did everything for boss number 1 and gave him all the documents to sign. He could approve anything that concerned us and our work.
But nothing else.
Bosses 2 and 3 would come to me and shout, threaten me, and get angry. And I was smiling, waving my hands and saying – after all, according to the law, I am not allowed to do this.
I will, of course, do this if you send me an official instruction in writing that I must carry it out. Or – if you sign an employment contract with me.
I made it as difficult as I literally could.
And after 3 months, I was accepted into a new position anyway and I freed myself from them.”
7. Can't Afford To Pay Me Overtime? Fine, But Watch The Workload Pile Up
“So, this happened more than 14 years ago, but I don’t remember exactly how long ago. It involves myself, and a Canadian/American office supply chain store that almost rhymes with maple syrup. A little bit of backstory is necessary before we get to the meat though.
It’s lengthy, so I hope you don’t mind.
Way back when, in the stone age of my IT career, I was hired as a floor associate for this office supply store. It wasn’t the position I’d applied for, but that’ll change later.
I applied for a position as an in-store computer tech. It wasn’t long before my aptitude for the internal workings of computers became apparent, and one day, the store manager asked me into the tech office to help deal with the massive backlog of computers in for service that the actual tech, who only worked a few hours a week, couldn’t handle.
I went through these tickets in relatively short order, turning the machines around, and clearing the bench, so to speak. At this point, the store decided to make me the full-time tech. That was fine by me, that’s what I wanted in the first place.
Unfortunately, when you let computers languish as long as this store had, and never do any marketing, the business doesn’t come in very fast. I’d already moved to have some aggressive in-store marketing done by floor associates, along with enforcing certain company policies that were lax before, and things started to slowly turn around.
Not fast enough for the store, though, who cut my hours back to three days a week. I applied for and worked other jobs to make up for the difference.
Over the next several months, I gradually built the store’s tech services up from being bottom of the barrel to one of the top-grossing stores in the region, edging out larger and more well-established stores.
We had a reputation for fast and efficient service, along with saving the customer time and money by handling anything that didn’t require the warranty department in-store. This further increased our store profits, and it wasn’t long before the district management took notice and gave recognition to me personally.
Of course, all this effort comes at a cost, and it wasn’t long before my day was full, from beginning to end. I was still working the other part-time job, which offered higher pay, but fewer hours (so it balanced out to being equal to the store job on fewer days), so I couldn’t add more days to my store schedule, without sacrificing my weekend, something I was unwilling to do.
I started working extra hours, usually clocking in a shift anywhere from 10 to 14 hours. Business continued to explode, and it wasn’t long before I was working lunches at my workbench too. Throughout all this, the store never bothered to hire a second tech.
I didn’t mind, I got paid, and it averaged out to a full five-day job, and it was pennies compared to the profit I was directly making the store.
Here’s where the malicious compliance comes in.
After about 6 months of this, the department manager came to me and stated that they could no longer afford to pay me overtime, despite tech work sales being higher than that store had ever seen, and my pay still being less than or equal to what they’d have to pay me to work full time for them.
They didn’t even offer to put me back to full-time and/or raise my pay, just told me to clock out at my scheduled time.
So I did.
I clocked out and went home, right when I was scheduled.
Computer on the bench? It got left until my next work day. Ticket not updated? Maybe the notes are on my desk and I clocked out before entering them into the system. I was ALWAYS gone by my scheduled time, not a minute later.
I also stopped working on my lunch break.
Work times on the bench WENT THROUGH THE ROOF, and it wasn’t long before management started getting complaints from floor associates, who had to deal with angry customers not having their computers within a respectable length of time.
One even called head office to complain, after their computer was sitting with no news for two weeks.
It was only three weeks and a huge disaster later that they finally relented and said I could work as long as I wanted.
It didn’t last, and a few months later, I transferred stores before quitting for greener fields entirely. I still drive by that store and wonder how well they are doing without me, and it’s been 11 years.”
6. Make Me Engage In Unethical Acts As A Teacher? Fine, But A Fallout Is Coming
“I’m a teacher and have been teaching 5th-grade reading and social studies in Texas for 5 years at this school. I’ve been a teacher for 7. For reference, the standardized test in Texas is currently known as the STAAR, and 5th (and 8th) grade is considered for all intents and purposes to be “pass the test or get held back.”
As far as my teaching record, I’ve gotten to be very good at my job.
Every year I’ve taught a STAAR-tested subject (Reading, aka ELAR), I have gotten the highest average student scores in my tiny charter district. I love my students, my classroom is a welcoming place based on mutual respect, and I refuse to “drill and kill”.
I teach reading in a way that integrates all subjects and makes it enjoyable for students and make sure they know it’s a silly test and not indicative of their actual skills or ability.
Well, our school had been in “Improvement Required” status the year I started teaching Reading. To meet TEA requirements, our district brought in instructional coaches and hired new personnel at the district level. Some did help, others not so much.
One woman hired to be the ELAR facilitator for the district was the vilest of creatures. I called her Umbridge in private because not only did she look like the movie character, she sounded like her and had the same mannerisms.
This woman picked out her “favorite” teachers and treated them like her pets. She decided to do this to me. Umbridge was constantly in my classroom for observations, would pick me out to demonstrate for professional development, and it creeped me out.
Somehow she managed to run off the most amazing director of Teaching and Learning for the district.
Last year during our end-of-year PD, she sent out an email to some of the ELAR teachers that due to them inputting lesson plans correctly, they didn’t have to attend this workshop to plan for the next year.
I knew about this because I have good friends that shared it with me. When I asked her why and shared an example of the lesson plans that I’ve put in consistently and thoroughly throughout the year, she said I didn’t use the correct template (I used the one my Dean of instruction requested and approved) that the district required.
It was bullcrap and I went back to my campus looking like I was ready to murder someone.
My principal noticed right away that something was off, and I explained what Umbridge had said. She told me I didn’t have to go to that PD and she’d take care of it.
I spent the day cleaning out my classroom for the summer instead, and found out later she wasn’t even at the PD.
Fast forward to the beginning of this school year, she was promoted to the position of the guy she ran off.
She lasted two months, then suddenly mysteriously resigned. We figure someone discovered how truly incompetent this woman was. Even though she resigned, I was still stressed out because she was the reason the district decided we needed to use a newly purchased online reading program “with fidelity” and they wanted it done during our Social Studies (SS) time.
SS was to be “integrated” into ELAR.
That might not have been a problem for me had it not been for the fact that my homeroom contained all of the SPED (Special Education) students in our grade.
Three of those students didn’t have me for reading, they went to Resource with Ms. Ignorant (SPED Resource teacher) during my reading block.
I asked the powers that be how I was supposed to give them SS instruction and grades.
I was told that I was to provide lesson plans and assignments to Ms. Ignorant, and she’d give me grades to put in the grade book. This is highly unethical, so I asked for it in writing.
Sure enough, I get an email detailing this directive. I warned them that this was a bad idea, and that it would bite them in the butt eventually. No dice.
The Malicious Compliance
I did exactly what I was told.
Like I said before, I write detailed lesson plans that anyone could follow, provided the assignments (all online through Google Classroom so I got grades immediately from the student), and suggestions for accommodations. Included Ms.
Ignorant on my Google Drive folders for SS, and emailed her regularly to remind her of what each week’s lessons were.
She didn’t do a darned thing, and those three students’ grades dropped from barely passing to in the teens.
I sent out regular reminders for parents to check their child’s grades and turn in their assignments. We sent out report cards that I required parents to sign and send back.
It took until the last 6 weeks (April) for them to realize just how screwed up their child’s SS grades were, and by that time those parents were livid.
I was happy to share exactly why their kids had such low grades, and how I can’t do much of anything when I only saw the kids for 30 minutes a week during reading intervention time and was not allowed to teach the subject they’re supposed to be in my classroom for.
The crap hit the fan, district SPED dept realized they then had to hold “Failure IEP meetings” to address how this happened, Ms. Ignorant tried to throw me under the bus, and I was able to provide all of my documentation.
My AP told me I should have just given them passing grades because they’re SPED (what the heck?), and had the inclusion teacher give them “supplemental” assignments and grades to replace the missing or low grades.
I made sure to make notes the parent could see on each of those grades that they were provided by the inclusion teacher. There’s no way they actually know the material, you can’t make up for 7 months of instruction in 2 weeks.
My principal knows I was about to quit, and honored my request to become the music teacher. Now I no longer have to teach a STAAR-tested subject, and will be doing something I truly enjoy.
Ms. Ignorant will now be an inclusion teacher, and will no longer have her own classroom or be a teacher of record. My awesome principal is doing her best to “clean house” of bad teachers, and the district realized the errors of their ways and will now have that reading program integrated into ELAR like it’s supposed to be.”
5. Want Me To Leave? Goodbye Then
“So, this probably happened around 10 years ago, maybe a bit less than that. I’m living in Europe and I was a uni student at that time. No regular job, so I used to work with some temp job agencies which used to let me know when any work came up to see if I’m up for it.
Nothing too interesting, most of the time it was a company that had to do a yearly inventory and needed extra workers to do some repetitive, soul-crushing tasks like counting the number of screws in the bins and segregating them into said bins based on their type (quite literally that to be honest, lol).
The main problem was that for small locations it often lasted only a day or even a couple of hours, so the pay was… poor at best. But hey, as long as they pay something it’s a step forward for a young student.
One time I got a comfortable offer to participate in a preparation for such inventory and a good aspect of it was that preparation was planned for 2 weeks as they had quite an extensive stock.
And it wasn’t just me who was hired, there probably were like two dozen extra little helpers. Boy, we’re gonna get rich! For a few first days, it was going pretty well, we were usually working in pairs for various departments around the store.
Each of those departments had a supervisor or two who… well, supervised our work and gave us tasks. During those first few days, I was working for some nice guys – the same department all the time.
And let me digress for a second here – for the purpose of the story you should know that I pay great attention to details and am pretty hard-working. So, whatever it is I’m doing, I’m always giving my best even if the task is tedious.
And it was no different at this job.
However, let’s get back to the topic. So, I’m working for this department and after a few hours or so, I asked the guys (supervisors) if they have anything against me listening to some music on my earphones.
They were cool with that as I was not engaging with any other employees unless I was reporting that I finished a certain task and I’m ready for the next one. If a customer approached me, I was to direct him to an ‘actual’ worker from the given department.
So, that’s how a few days went by. Supervisors were very happy with the work I did and I was happy I could make the time fly faster with the help of my white mp3 player which seems ancient nowadays.
Honestly, still after those years, it feels nice to remember daily compliments from these very guys – good feedback, good guidance, good managerial material might I add now when I have much more work experience in various roles.
But obviously, all good things come to an end and I started to get transferred between various departments after a few days. We had quite a lot of extra workers, so once the main departments were more or less done with, we were just moved around to help where we were needed.
And this is where I realized that most of the helpers didn’t really bother to work as well as the others. There’s been some of us who played ball in the stores’ alleys and some were just chilling 15 minutes after every task since they were so exhausted from all the work they haven’t done yet.
Well, screw them, I’m just gonna do my thing and keep looking for work – time flies faster that way anyway, so why wouldn’t I.
And this is where I met the crappy supervisor that set the bar for the next few years.
This guy clearly was just given too much power and he liked to remind others that he is the one in charge here (i.e., in his one single department in a huge store). I was working for his department doing just as good of a job as before while listening to music.
He didn’t seem to mind that (other helpers often did the same) but what he couldn’t stand is when we were idle for even a second – quite literally. We had to be focused on our tasks all the time.
And at his department, we had to walk around a lot, so while walking he expected us to plan ahead our next actions and evaluate how said action should be performed… I wish I was exaggerating but sadly I’m not.
I had a couple of unpleasant remarks from him before – all of them were ridiculous, but still, I was trying to work even harder to appease him. But I just had enough when he approached me another time…
I was walking between ‘stations’ in order to pick up some price tags that I needed to stick to the shelves in another part of the department.
And WHILE I was walking, I dared to take out my mp3 player and skip a song I didn’t like. This is when he went too far and started yelling at me saying that I’m not paid to screw around and I’m supposed to work.
He was kinda aggressive and we ended up yelling a bit at each other as I was feeling angry having seen what other helpers were doing compared to me. He said he called me out multiple times and that I should just leave if that’s my attitude towards this work.
So, I did. I just turned around, walked to the break room to sign out on the timesheet, and left the store without hesitation.
Still, we were only halfway through my ‘employment’ there and I was waging my options after I stormed out.
Not showing up at work on the following day would be admitting that I was to blame. Similarly, if I contacted the temp agency or the company trying to sort it out it would feel like I need to explain myself even though I don’t believe I did anything wrong.
And to top that I could be blacklisted by the agency, so no more work for me after the company reports my behavior. So, I did what I thought was best… just showed up at work at 8 as every other day before.
As usual, all of the helpers formed a neat line in a breakroom to get their assignments for the beginning of the day and I was in the middle of the line. Assignments were given by another supervisor who was responsible for all the extra helpers brought in through temp agency.
You could tell that all the other helpers were eager to see what are they gonna do to me since the news spread yesterday – I expected to be ‘fired’ on the spot. Honestly, I was just hoping that they wouldn’t try to screw with my pay thus far.
Anyway, briefing goes on and the supervisor lady gets to me, stops for a second, and clearly hesitates.
Supervisor Lady: Didn’t you leave yesterday?
Me: I did as I was told by my department supervisor. But it’s not me who has reasons to not show up for work today.
I still have a contract for another week and I’m not planning to abandon it.
The lady stood there for a few more seconds, then just nodded, gave me my assignment, and carried on with the briefing.
For the remaining week, I was working in various departments but never in the one with crappy supervisor. Not just that but I was also assigned to my original department a couple more times and for some reason, they had even more good things to say about my performance than before…”
4. I'm Not Being Helpful? Okay, Let Me Revise My Resignation Then
“I’m an IT Director (m51), though I’m the only IT person in a nonprofit with 45+ employees. The place I work is a toxic nightmare only because of the CEO. Everyone else is awesome.
I didn’t want to leave my job and my coworkers, but I was left with no choice.
I was “quiet quitting” for several weeks while I interviewed for new positions. I took home all personal items from my office.
The job market for an IT person of my caliber is like candy land right now. I quickly found a new position, and the day they officially welcomed me to the new company, I submitted my two weeks’ notice.
Granted, I had been considering giving no notice and leaving with a “fire and brimstone” approach, but I read a lot of articles about resignation letters and avoiding any negativity, so I backed off and just gave a boilerplate, two-weeks notice resignation letter – nothing positive, nothing negative.
A coworker who wears several hats was tapped to be the interim director. I met with that person and the COO to develop a transition plan to avoid as much chaos as possible. They mostly work in social media and marketing, but a few years back, I trained them to be an emergency IT replacement in case anything happened to me.
Though they will be okay for a few weeks, they simply do not have the experience to do all of the things I do: network administration, systems administration, help desk, web development, app development, etc.
I happen to be a unicorn of sorts: an IT generalist that has done it all.
We met with the CEO in a cramped office to review the transition plan. We immediately stated that the interim IT director would not be able to do their old job while they are running IT.
The CEO is a complete narcissist, and deeply arrogant, while also being completely incompetent and lacking in the most basic IT skills. She immediately pushed back on the plan as basically this was not her idea (she rejects everyone else’s ideas 100% of the time).
I tried to speak up and advocate for the COO and the interim IT Director as I’ve been doing the job for 5+ years, so I know the reality – there’s no way they could possibly do IT and their old job.
She literally wouldn’t let me finish a sentence. She wanted to see a “checklist” of my job duties. There are literally hundreds of pages of documentation for my role, which is not really possible to summarize into a “checklist”.
Everyone in the meeting had been emailed a disaster recovery/business continuity document that I wrote for my role. We referred her to the doc that everyone else was looking at. She complained that it hadn’t been printed out for her.
M’lady, everyone else in the meeting had their laptops open with the doc. I simply turned my laptop around and gently pushed it toward her. She flew off the handle; she wanted a printed copy.
Also, she said, “You are NOT being helpful.” I was literally in the meeting to be helpful.
There are hyperlinks galore in this doc, so a printed copy would be useless, but I tried to oblige by taking my laptop back and started to print it.
Before I could finish, she was standing next to my chair and was saying “ARE YOU GOING TO MOVE???” I guess she was trying to get past me to go to the printer? (I said “I think what you meant to say was “Excuse me” as I scooted my chair forward.)
Not being helpful? You have no idea what that looks like from your IT guy.
I said “Ok I’m done” and went back to my office, wrote a new resignation letter, went right back to the meeting, and handed it in. “Instead of leaving in two weeks, I will be leaving in one week.” The CEO’s jaw dropped to the floor; she was speechless; she just sputtered as I closed the door behind me.
They already begged me to go back to 2 weeks’ notice out of “courtesy and professionalism”. I just told them that courtesy and professionalism are a two-way street, and they hadn’t earned it.
I’m going to barely work for this last week – instead of tying up loose ends, I’ll just not quite get around to finishing stuff while I watch them scramble.
Good luck installing new software or updates on all of the computers that require an administrative password. Good luck handling the media coordinator who regularly creates network storms with his antiquated studio equipment. Good luck onboarding new staff with their accounts, passwords, and equipment needs.
Good luck helping the CEO use her smartphone every day, and helping her search for emails in her inbox with over 25k unread messages. Good luck with the security systems that I installed and maintained for 3 years.
Good luck maintaining ten websites (seven of which I personally developed and maintained). I will just sit back and watch the show.
Malicious compliance is now the main course in a delicious meal, seasoned with the tears of a bitter, incompetent CEO.”
3. Wander Where You're Not Supposed To Be? Go Ahead, But Pay The Price
“About 15 years ago I was an Army ROTC cadet heading through the Basic Officer’s Leadership Course. It was three weeks of extended testing on the skills we were supposed to have learned over the last 3 years, mostly about receiving, interpreting, and implementing orders.
The largest part of the course was STX, Situational Training Exercises. These were small missions with blanks or paintball guns. Only the cadets in leadership positions were evaluated during exercises, and we were given strict and repeated instructions to follow our orders as briefed.
If you improvised and completed a mission by going against orders the leader being evaluated would receive poor marks. This led to some hilariously bad decisions that no one contradicted, the worst being when we were ordered to wear glowing chem lights on our uniforms during a night mission to help us stay together.
I’m sure even without any military training most readers can guess how a shootout goes at night when one side has bright glowing targets attached to their chests.
The instructors took a lot of effort to make us think and observe.
It wasn’t just force on force, we were also taught to deal with civilian checkpoints, work through interpreters, handle embedded media, and a lot of other complex scenarios. Many of our opposing forces were special forces guys taking an opportunity to instruct (and possibly torment) new officer candidates and make things as close to real life as possible.
After two weeks of these constant drills, we finally reached our final graduation mission: The dawn raid. We would be trucked to a starting location, night march for about an hour to get into position, then have a pitched battle in the mock town.
There were multiple extra safety briefings because the raid was to start with an explosive breach on the largest building. As we were loading up we got two final and very important pieces of information.
First, this was our graduation mission and there was a very high probability that there would be VIPs coming to observe. They all had been instructed not to interfere or intrude, but we should be on the lookout anyway.
Second, this was a free-fire mission. The town was considered free of civilians and “Every military-age male is to be considered hostile”.
After three weeks of bad food, poor sleep, and constant pressure, we were all due for a dose of catharsis.
This was our final mission and we had just been told the gloves were off, and we had strict instructions to follow all orders – especially rules of engagement – to the letter.
As my squad got into position for the opening assault there was a ripple of silent hand signals going up and down the line.
Target sighted, hold fire. The morning was just starting to lighten and I could just make out a human silhouette about 50 feet away, leaning up against a dark but definitely civilian model truck.
There were 15 of us lined up and primed for violence when on the far side of the town we heard the sharp crack of a door being explosively removed from its frame. This was followed immediately by an impressive stream of expletives from our target as 15 paintball guns opened fire from painfully close range.
I can’t say just how much pain(t) my squad unleashed in those few seconds, but I put out a full hopper of about 100 rounds.
The rest of the mission went mostly by the book, rushing to good defensive positions and clearing buildings room to room.
At the end, the base commander, a full colonel, came out of his truck (sadly paint-free) to congratulate us with some words of wisdom. After his short congratulatory speech he turned to address a young lieutenant that had come out of the woods covered head to toe in yellow paint and with large bruises on his neck and face and berated him up and down for not wearing protective equipment.
The next day, as we were in the barracks cleaning our field gear for a turn in the same LT, drove up in a truck that had once been a dark green but was now painted yellow on one side.
We had shot it up enough that the original paint had been stripped off in places. He had cleaned up but it would take weeks for the black eye and other bruises to fade. He stepped out, looked at us with clearly faked confidence, and ordered us to wash his truck.”
2. Want Me To Recruit More People For The Job? I'll Even Recruit Those Who Are Unqualified!
“I used to work at a home health facility that did some pretty terrible things but that’s another story. I was hired as a caregiver but my role was more of a combined performing the tasks of a caregiver and administrative tasks such as payroll, filing documents, contacting people of importance for our clients and facility, etc.
all for minimum wage I might add, but this was my first job so I wanted to do the most so I could use them as a reference in the future.
My boss is not very tech-savvy and doesn’t really understand the most efficient way to go about things.
For example, she had us clock in and out using an Excel sheet rather than using a payroll system because it was “too complicated to set up.” Nonetheless, one of the tasks she gave me was to send out requests for work to people applying on a certain job website.
Rather than post the business on the website, she would just send requests to people that labeled themselves as looking for work. She thought this could save the company money and that this was faster than waiting for people to apply.
If you’ve applied through a job listing website and received those prewritten, “check out this job opportunity at X company!” We were basically doing that.
I thought that it would be more beneficial to sort the potential recruits into certain categories by using the site’s keyword finder to look for applicants with terms like “caregiver” or “behavioral health” to yield a better pool of candidates.
Doing this method of mindlessly sending out emails I would pump out around 4-5 hundred emails to qualified candidates and we’d receive maybe 5-6 interested applicants and of those applicants, no one was interested in the job because of the abysmal amount of work that we had to put in.
My boss was not happy and asked me to show her how I’d been doing this process. She told me I had to pick up the pace because “I didn’t hire you to slack off” but I wasn’t, I was making sure we only got applicants that I thought would be either interested in this line of work or were experienced to give the residents the care they needed.
She wanted more applicants? Fine. I turned off the filter and started sending out requests to ALL available people. Had a degree in engineering? Here’s a request. Past work experience as a line chef in a 5-star restaurant? Here’s a request.
I sent out over 2 thousand of those pre-written emails in a day and before anyone asks, the site had this function that allowed us to put in a prewritten job description as well as my boss’ contact information so all I had to do was hit send.
My boss came back near the end of my shift and asked how many emails I was able to send out, I told her “a little over 2 thousand.” She smiled and said, “do you see what you can do when you put your mind to things.” I rolled my eyes and clocked out.
The next day my boss looked drained. Remember when I said her contact information was on those prewritten job descriptions? It turns out she had been receiving notifications non-stop either through email when people reject or accept the job request or when people call her to inquire about the job.
She told me “why do I keep getting calls from people who have no experience in healthcare about this job? I just got a call from a security guard asking if the position was still available.” Keep in mind she can’t just put her phone on do not disturb because she’s literally running a home health facility so a call from a doctor or pharmacist regarding a change in patient care cannot be ignored.
I guess she didn’t get a lot of sleep that night but that’s not my problem so I continued to send more requests that day. By the end of the day, I had to apply a filter that screened candidates who had not been active on the site for over a month just to get some new names to send to.
I left shortly after this and I still have that prewritten email that was sent to me before I started working there. I hope they are still as short-staffed as ever.”
Another User Comments:
“So that finally explains why I got these bizarre emails saying it looked like I was a “great fit” for a job that I was obviously not qualified for.
I mean some were ridiculous. Apparently, with a Master’s in Nursing, I am a great fit for a Physics, Biochemist, Admin Assistant, Medical Doctor, and even one for a nuclear power plant, and more! LOL, I always wondered how this happened. Seems like you were not the only one doing this!” Special-Parsnip9057
1. Think We'll Screw Up The Project? You Keep Thinking That
“This all happened about a decade ago, so I will be very light on the dialogue so the details are somewhat fuzzy. I did my IT apprenticeship at a vocational school. We were 8 ppl in our year, 7 guys and a girl.
3 of us are relevant for this Jane, Joe, and me (names changed of course). We were supposed to do a project, basically designing a school lesson with a presentation and a test. We were split into teams of 2 and were informed about 6 weeks before.
Joe and I were a team, don’t ask me why someone thought this was a good idea, we were not known for our discipline or work ethics.
All the other teams were on and off working on this when time allowed.
And Jane always said things like “You’ll never get this done” or “You will screw this up” and her worst mistake was “Prove me wrong.” We just ignored her, for the most part, but that last one, now that stuck.
She was always a bit abrasive, and being one of 2 girls around a bunch of nerds (across all 3 years in our big office) I get why.
So one day Joe has a brainwave and asks “Hey, OP, when do we have our presentation?” I had no idea at that point, luckily our instructor informed us: “Tomorrow.” First, we panicked and had no idea what to do while Jane was laughing.
So after Joe and I calmed down a bit we went for a mad scramble. Joe went for the content side of the project and scratched together everything that might be relevant to our presentation.
I went for a room and a projector. The projector was easy, that was already reserved 6 weeks ago, because the guy dealing with lending those out just reserved them for the days of our presentations beforehand, he didn’t want any problems or work laid at his feet.
So, the room then. I ran to the admin office, bc at this point it was like 15 minutes before they would close. I went in, begging and apologizing, I needed a room for the next day.
The lady was somewhat shocked but willing to help, though hope was basically nonexistent. And by some cosmic intervention, our English teacher came in, all around good guy, willing and able to help. We had a room.
So, for the next trick, I sprinted across the campus to find the people who we were supposed to hold the presentation for and inform them of the location. They were doing some stuff outside and were somewhat surprised to see a 250lb IT guy sprinting across a hill.
And then back to the office, informing Joe that I have worked several miracles. Jane was still not convinced we could pull it off, and let us know as much.
The next part was creating a presentation and test with all the accouterments.
We were done by 3 AM and had created a masterpiece (or so we thought in our delirium) but it was all done to the requirements we had.
The next day, at 8 AM, we start.
The first round was of course a bit rough around the edges, but bribing the group with cookies and whatnot helped. So we went through our 4 planned events over the next 3-ish weeks.
All the while Jane threw shade every chance she got. At this point, it was somewhat annoying. Things like “I’m sure it’s bad” and “You will never get a good grade.” We had pulled out all the stops, there was no way we would fail this.
We knew what we had to do, and we did it.
The last part was creating a package containing all the fun stuff like the presentation, the test, test scores, attendance lists, evaluation and I’m sure some things I forgot.
So a day after our last presentation we went to work on all that, with Jane in the background with her usual comments. After a few hours of polishing and me finding some of the good folders.
Joe and I were the guys who usually were out and about the campus to fix computer problems, so we knew just about everyone and with a little sweet talk to the office communications ppl we had those folders and pretty excel tables.
So just before lunch, we dropped the packages off with our instructor who was baffled and thought he wouldn’t see our package for at least 4 weeks and it would be garbage.
After lunch, it all came together.
Jane thought we must’ve handed in some sub-par junk, reflecting our lack of work. Then our instructor called us all together holding one of our packages. Joe and I thought “this can’t be good” and Jane said as much, smiling from ear to ear.
First, he passed the package around, so we sat there, sweating bullets. I mean, yeah, we did the work and all, but we also were convinced we barely got a passing grade. Jane and her partner passed it over “I don’t have to look at it to know that it’s garbage.” Then our instructor said the most beautiful words Joe and I had heard throughout the entire thing: “This is how it is supposed to be done.” Jane had a minor breakdown.
The grand finale was 2 weeks later, after our department director had reviewed all of the packages and the groups we held the presentations for had had their say. Joe and I got 100%.
We were the first ones to ever do that (we also were only the 5th years to have to do it in the first place). Jane had another minor breakdown with her and her partner only having scored 90%.”