People Pass On Their Greatest Malicious Compliance Revenge
17. Sample Our Products Without Buying Them? I'm Sorry, I'll Have To Charge You And Then Refund You
The entitlement of some people, I swear.
“From 2017-2020, I worked at a particular West Coast grocery store. We offered low prices to customers because we bought overstocked goods and items that were rejected by major chains because they had funny labels such as the entire production line of a frosting can that had black and white labels.
It was owned by a local couple where the husband had come from a grocery department background and the wife was head of Non-foods (vitamins, health & beauty, toys, and office supplies) from the respective store they originated from. For retail work, this was an incredible store to work for.
The employees were treated as humans and pizza parties were not a moral booster. Problem customers were asked to not return and creeps were reported to the police. It was a safe place.
For customers, it was a place where you could get items you never thought you needed and food products that would be beyond the average man’s paycheck had they bought it at the store that usually carried it.
Think delicious cheeses, expensive wines, and organic health foods. One of our selling points was that we had 100% money back on anything you returned so long as we had sold it to you in the past 30 days. It meant you could eat 80% of a container of ice cream, claim you didn’t like it, and return it.
This never bothered me as most people didn’t take advantage of the situation and those who did – it wasn’t me losing a penny, and I couldn’t get in trouble for their silly returns.
To the story.
After three months of being there, they put me in the non-foods department.
I loved working the aisles, but with it came one stress: people sampling our products. There were notices posted by the lotions, hairsprays/gels, and deodorants that you could not sample a product but if you didn’t like a product you could return it no questions asked.
If these hadn’t been posted when I started working or had it not been a rule, I would have never been mad about it. I think you should get to sample creams you’re going to purchase prior to buying in case you don’t like the smell, but the rule was in place and my OCD made me internally irritated when people would sample.
At work, I’m a strict rule follower but could give two rusty nickels about what my coworkers do. It’s their dime and the company’s time – not mine. Furthermore, spraying scented products to sample was seen as incredibly rude because it made people with bad allergies avoid the aisle.
Don’t spray fragrances at the store, you could be making someone very sick.
So after a fashion of wrestling with my OCD and internal screams, I decided to enact malicious compliance and petty revenge with the rule, especially when it was a long-time customer who knew about the rule.
Whenever someone would sample a product I would walk up very quietly and greet them with doe eyes and say, “I’m very sorry, but we don’t offer samples on any of our products,” to which they would almost always reply “Oh I am sorry, I didn’t know,” and then proceed to leave said product on the shelf and walk further down the aisle.
I would snag said bottle and walk with them for a minute with the product displayed in my hand like a Deal or No Deal showcase model and say, “I’m sorry but since you technically opened and used the product you’re going to have to purchase it – but don’t worry, if you didn’t like it you can always return it!” They would grimace and reluctantly place it in their basket and walk away.
If they tried to pull a fast one and leave it in another aisle or flat out ignore what I said it would magically appear at the register they checked out on. They would then be forced to purchase it at checkout.
And of course, if they truly didn’t want it they were allowed to return it right then and there which was a whole separate process from their original purchase. They would have to complete their transaction first and then open a return ticket following payment.
Mind you we had no customer service desk, our registers were full service.
We had to write out the reason for the return on a return ledger, and they had to sign it with their full legal name and phone number as well as electronically process the return where a manager would come and punch in their code to accept the return.
This could take anywhere from three to ten minutes depending on lunch breaks, what time of day it was, and how busy we were. It never failed to make the people behind them angry but not at me because the whole time I was communicating with the line that formed what was going on and why and calling a backup cashier as needed (three is a crowd rule).
By the time the customer was done, they were either defeated or fuming but silent because they knew they messed up and were the ones causing a disruption of customer flow and eating their own time and because I was a chatty, upbeat cashier most of the time people stayed in my line so they could be checked by me and would glare at the person returning something the entire time.
We didn’t have many repeat offenders of the “no samples” rule.”
16. Threaten To Fire Me? Offer Accepted!
“In January 2021 I began working for a very big American company (in Europe), that was (and is) in the energy sector. At the Factory Plant I began working at, the parts of it have turbines getting assessed for restoration and reworked so they can get used again.
Every single part would cost several thousand when produced new, and hold for like a decade or so. Reworking costs like 1/4 of that and the part would be good for another 8-10 years, with more inspections of course for safety.
The customers would pay like half or 3/4 of the cost of a new part, and since we talk 2-8K per single part, and a Gas turbine containing thousands of pieces we speak several million for each gas turbine. The customer would save a good chunk, and of course, the company was sitting on a golden goose.
Over the decades that meant that the Facility where the stuff was reworked, had an absolutely uncontested income, without much competition (since the parts were their own design and production), and a “win-win” for the customer and the company. Over time that led to the problem, that competence, invention, or even honesty, were not needed by the management of the facility anymore.
As long as the workers stuck to the already developed and tested processes and did their job, finances would keep flowing in regardless of what the office did or did not…you can see where this is going.
Setup (somewhat important):
So I was hired there as part of Quality Control, specifically, I was to operate a 3D computer-managed measuring machine.
Gas turbines get, as you can imagine, pretty hot and spin fast. And a decade of heat combined with dynamic stress has the nasty habit to deform stuff. Can’t have that for sure so, you have to measure the stuff really precisely so that the production knows what section of which piece needs reworking, or if a piece is too out of form to be used again at all.
The Operation of such a machine is not too complicated. Put the piece into the bracket, clamp it down, load the correct model and start the program. You get the measurement report then as a text file, an Excel as well as a PDF.
The Pieces (usually rotary blades) nearly always came in sets (24-216, depending on the size). When all are measured you compile all the reports the machine made into one Excel with a somewhat complicated method. Wasn’t hard, I learned all that in a week.
That machine was immensely important for the facility, running in 2-3 shifts per day, 6 days per week. Like 80% of all pieces that went through the reworking process had to be measured at least twice.
As nearly anyone with a technical background can guess, operating a machine and understanding what it is actually doing are two big different shoes.
When I started there were only 3 guys that understood the machine properly, as well as a technician, Vladimir, who could actually fix codes, or reprogram a 3D model, if there was a problem. Vladimir, however, was the technician for the entire Facility (a very busy guy) and when he had to come over, his time would need to be paid by the department, something the bosses didn’t encourage so to say…
Of the 3 guys who knew the machine, Antonio is important. He had been working there for a few centuries at least, knew every nook and cranny and, while being a simple worker, if crap went wrong, he was the guy you turn to.
He had a bit of a short temper and very…blunt language, but he was honest, open, and very fair.
I, myself am not the most social person: always held back, with brutal honesty, and I take my professional “cold” attitude a bit too seriously I guess.
In general, if people share my principles of honesty, fairness, and taking responsibilities seriously, then we get along great, but with people that are less…trustworthy, I basically turn to an iceblock. Not perfect I know, but hey I don’t work in retail for good reason…
So thing is, despite some heated arguments, Antonio and I really got along swimmingly. What no one knew was, that Antonio had, over the decades, collected such a backlog of days off, overtime, and whatnot, that he could retire two years early…and he was 63.
He had decided to groom me as his successor and began teaching me every little detail about the Measuring Machine, how to fix stuff, how to do proper maintenance, why it did certain stuff, and so on. He was a perfectionist, but so am I, so I really appreciated it.
What I noticed in my first week in the company, was the biggest problem there. The Facility had a massive problem with Cliques, clans, and little circles. If you were part of the correct Clique, you could do what you want and remain untouchable.
If you aren’t, well your credit goes to anyone but you, and you are a fine scapegoat. I didn’t care much about it to be honest. I am a bit of a rule fanatic and stick to them even when everyone else ignores them.
For me, this was a well-paying job, with a horrible commute (1 3/4 hours in one direction), so I wanted to stay there for as long as I could, earn my bucks and then just take the next job.
There was a 4th guy who was “operating” the machine, I don’t remember his name, so let’s call him Igor.
Igor was part of the same clique as my Boss (Manuel), my Boss’s boss (Freddy), and of course his own Boss (Boris), who was also his brother. He was working the measuring machine, simply because it was the most comfortable job he could perform.
He was usually doing the Night shift, as those paid extra. He occasionally took the Late shift, while I always took the early one (was the least popular, due to start at 6 am, but I liked going home at 3 pm).
Igor was… well as a light bulb; he was like a wet match in a dark basement somewhere in a black hole. I might be a bit too harsh with him now, but that was all I ever got to see from him.
He was also pretty lazy, rude, and arrogant, after all, he had an untouchable status due to his brother’s best friend being the boss of the entire assessment department.
The Actual Story (long build-up, I know):
A good 6 months after I started there was the first incident with the Measuring Machine.
We received the Material in Palettes and it was the firm rule that the Rotary Blades had to be sorted in numerical order. Each had a serial number and a Set-Number. Stuff went a ton faster and easier if all was sorted clean 1-82 (or whatever the set went up to).
Occasionally an order (which was usually 2-4 pallets) would arrive unsorted at the Measuring Machine, then we had to sort them. Since we had to lift the blades out one by one anyway to measure them, it was not that big of a deal, just a tad bit annoying.
Igor never finished a set if he could help it, leaving just one or two blades left for measuring, and even when he had to finish a set and start a new one, he would never compile the reports into one excel, I am pretty sure he didn’t even know how that worked.
One morning I came to work, and like so often, there were just 3 blades left to measure, I shrugged without care and wanted to just finish the order and start the next. Problem was, the Palettes were a complete mess, completely unsorted, despite them being measured.
Igor had worked the late shift the day before, and would also work the late shift that day, so I would actually get to see him for a few minutes when I handed my shift over. This of course meant that I would have to sort all of the palettes, while also operating the machine with the next order as to avoid a delay (the machine was a bit of a bottleneck in the facility).
Usually, this is a chill post. The blades are never heavier than 22 kilograms, and you had like 6-14 minutes between the measurement cycles to lift them out and exchange them with the last measured blade. Sorting the last order took me 2 hours of quite sweaty work while also operating the machine nearby, so I was somewhat annoyed.
When Igor came in in the afternoon, I asked him in a polite manner, why he had not sorted that one order. He replied in quite a rude tone, that he wouldn’t do that. I was a bit baffled and asked if he didn’t know that it was mandatory to do that.
He simply replied, in a pretty rude tone again, that he wouldn’t speak about that. Outright refusing to speak about a problem? What the heck? I told him, that if he didn’t want to speak about it, I would have to speak about it with my boss.
He just smiled in a smug fashion and told me to do that.
Well, I did just that. Asked my boss about it, in the fashion of “hey, I thought we were supposed to sort that stuff, or did we change that?” This led to a four-way talk with my Boss, Igor, as well as Boris.
Boris was not happy at all, and my boss was rather embarrassed, because it was all clear, that I was correct, but neither of them wanted to admit that their friend had done anything wrong. I did my usual Ice-block impression, showing a blank face, replying in very accurate and short words, and staying all polite and professional.
It came out rather inconclusive with a kind “request” that we should please sort the Palettes if they came in as a mess. Igor just shrugged and it was clear that he didn’t care. It happened 3 more times that stuff came in unsorted, but Igor managed to avoid doing it ever.
6 weeks later, there was the second incident. Every morning before I started, I would maintain the machine like Antonio had shown me to do, cleaning everything and rubbing a special liquid into the stone tread on the machine’s arch as it ran back and forth on.
One morning I came in and turned the machine into manual mode like every morning so that I could run the arch to the end of the thread for maintenance. A second thereafter I heard a grinding noise and instantly stopped the machine.
The arch was an air-cushion-based runner, kinda like a hovercraft where the bottom of the arch would always remain a tiny bit above the surface to ensure minimum vibration. So a grinding sound is really, really bad.
I quickly inspected the thread and found quite a deep crater in the stone surface, maybe 2-3 cm deep (an inch) and wide, that was enough for the air cushion to lose pressure so the arch was sliding over the stone surface of the thread.
This inspection also revealed scratches along nearly the entire length of the tread, so it was pretty clear, that the machine had been running with this crater for a good bit. Immediately shut down the machine and informed Vladimir as well as my boss, that some big stuff was going on there.
I also took pictures of the damage with time stamps, just out of my usual paranoia…
The Machine was put out of commission, as the arch had taken damage, the entire stone tread had to be reworked and the machine needed recalibration.
It was out for over a month due to that crater. That crater, by the way, looked exactly like the bottom corner of one of the blades… as if one had been dropped onto the stone tread…and the previous shift before me had -drumrolls- Igor! Of course, he denied that he had done anything wrong, and he could also not recall seeing any scratches or hearing any grinding noise during his shift…
He tried to blame it on me, but I had reported the stuff like 5 minutes into my shift, with the last blade Igor had measured still in the machine. Again it was clear to all who had screwed up, but again not even a harsh word to him.
While the machine was getting fixed and reworked, we were put to different work, I got into the Pre-assessment team, where the pieces get their first evaluation. I made good friends there who would serve as my ears later on.
After the machine got fixed a good month later, we had collected a massive backlog, to the point that the other departments, who did the repair, were struggling to find something to do, that didn’t need measurements. The machine was supposed to work in 3 shifts, but Antonio had left for his 2-year vacation when the machine had been put out for repairs, and the other two colleagues, who knew how to run (and maintain) the machine, had left for better jobs.
So it was only me and Igor by then, with me working quite some overtime for good pay (all bullcrap aside, the hourly wage was really proper).
One morning I noticed something pretty weird, the order I had just started the previous afternoon was still not finished, again with just two blades remaining.
Every measurement report has a timestamp, which I quickly had a look into. The Measurement cycle for these was like 3 minutes + 1 minute exchanging one blade for the next. For some reason, the Measurement reports from Igor’s shift had like 10-15 minutes gaps in between, some even half an hour.
Igor was still around, as he had had the night shift. I knew he was a bit of a slacker, but these gaps were quite big, so I first thought there had been trouble with the machine.
I asked him if he had had any trouble with the machine last night and he snapped at me, that all had been fine.
I asked if he was sure and he in return inquired why I ask. I told him that there were quite some heavy gaps in between the measurement report and that I couldn’t find any error messages of sudden stops or such.
Igor looked at those timestamps for a moment, back at me, and just shrugged before he went home.
That would have been the end of it if it wouldn’t have been even stranger the next shift (Monday). I had, for once, not worked on Saturday, so Igor had 3 shifts in since I had last clocked out.
I came in as usual, did the maintenance and cleaning, and wanted to check how far he had gotten. 4 orders had gone through since my last shift, so I assumed that, as usual, I would have to compile the reports.
But there were none. I was pretty confused, searching the order’s numbers, checking the machine protocol, and all. The Measuring Machine had been running over the weekend with no shutdown or restart visible in the log, but also no measurement reports at all.
I called in Vladimir, as well 4 orders worth of reports missing is a big deal. According to the rules, I also informed my boss, that the machine was standstill due to technical issues. Both Vladimir and my boss came into the measuring room and we three searched for the problem.
It took us a while to figure it out, simple to it being absolutely not expected…Someone had turned off the output of the machine, maybe to avoid the timestamps.
This again caused quite some ruckus, as all 4 orders had to be measured again with reports, and production was really struggling now to have something to work on.
Again, all clear who had messed up…and finally Freddy had enough but not of Igor.
Here comes the malicious compliance.
The afternoon of the same day, Freddy, the Boss of the entire Assessment department came into my measuring room, in a nice expensive suit, tie, and polished shoes and went straight into my face.
I was currently sitting in my chair, compiling the results of the remeasured first order, when he stood before me, giving me no room to get up. He looked down on me and snapped at me, that he was sick and tired of me bullying my co-workers.
He handed me a letter, which was the signed papers of the termination of my contract, signed by him of course. He informed me, that I had exactly two options now.
I could either promise to do better, apologize to my Co-worker Igor, and admit I was at fault.
Or I would be fired immediately.
Well, the good thing about being bullied and terrorized for most of your childhood is, you learn to keep a cool head under stress. So I reined in my first urge, to discuss with him or to tell him, that such was illegal.
Instead, I took the letter and read through it before nodding a few times. Due to my cold, professional attitude, I was known for often remaining silent, so he took my nods as my compliance. He informed me, that he awaited my written apology before 2 pm (all of the bosses went home by 2 pm, and came in around 8 or 9).
Well, when he turned around and marched out with a smug grin, he left me with the termination letter…with his signature on it. Fun fact, when both parties agree to it, a contract can be canceled immediately, without any further responsibilities, besides paying for already issued hours (which go directly through Human Resources, via the electronic timestamps of our clocking.)
I had two hours left until his deadline, and I spent it carefully cleaning my workplace, making a backup of my work laptop (according to the rules), and then, also according to the rules, cleaning the hard drive completely.
The backup was put into the assigned server with all data correctly named and compiled. But of course, the server for backup data is marked as “unsearchable” to avoid your search list getting cluttered, after all the same parts types came in again and again, with the same material numbers of course.
If you know the rules, and knew where to search, you would find the stuff within 20 seconds, if not, well, good luck mate; it’s only like 10 TB or so…
I made a copy of the termination paper (signed by me now, too) and send them to my email (which was allowed), put the original back into the envelope, and packed my things up.
Then I went up to the office, envelope in hand. The big boss showed his smug smile again the moment he saw me but was quickly confused when he saw me with my laptop, work phone, and all that, too. I handed him the letter, offered a polite nod, and turned around again.
He shouted, where the heck I was going, him still holding the envelope in his hand.
“You terminated my contract, according to the rules, I am to hand over all personal equipment I had been handed by the company before leaving. An exception according to Paragraph B is safety shoes and safety glasses.
I bid you a fine day Mister Freddy.” I said that with a cold, calculated voice, trying my best to sound like a lawyer, simply because I knew he hated my professional attitude. Then I went to my own boss and piled my Stuff on his desk.
My boss was confused as heck, asking me what was up. I briefly informed him, that my contract was terminated and that I once more quoted the rule.
My boss was a smug jerk, too but he wasn’t all dumb. His eyes went big as he immediately realized that I was the only person he had left who actually knew how to maintain and properly operate the Measuring Machine.
And that he had such a backlog already, that other departments, relying on the measurements, had started to enforce short-time work. He was first lost for words and then rushed into Freddy’s office to see that termination letter.
Meanwhile, I changed my clothes in the locker room, went to the gate, and asked the security guards to please have a full inspection of my person and my backpack.
This was likewise a regulation for personnel that was terminated on short notice, and while the security guards were pretty baffled that I asked to be searched, they complied. They searched me fully and handed me a written confirmation that I had nothing on me that belonged to the company.
My now Ex-Boss tried to call me all the time on my way home, but I dislike having phone calls on public transport, so I simply muted them and continued reading my book until I got home. There, 4 pm by now, so well past his own time to go home, I finally answered his call.
He tried to convince me, that I needed this job and that all this could be sorted. My Reply: “I will have a new job within a week, you will need to take at least a month to train someone new on the machine….if you had anyone that could train a new person.
I tell you what. Give me a solid contract with triple the pay and I come back, oh and I want a written apology from Freddy, too as well as my peace when working.”
He told me that I was completely unreasonable with such demands, again me: “So to get this clear..
Three times I discover massive bullcrap happening, three times you guys try to heap the blame on me, and then you guys literally try to humiliate me and Freddy does actually fire me… and you want me to be reasonable? Well, guess it would be reasonable then to just ignore you.
Please be well!”
I hung up then and blocked his number, as well as any other number with which he would try to call me later on.
Here comes the aftermath.
As I had mentioned before, I still had ears in the company, so I have a good idea of what followed.
The facility suddenly had its most sensitive bottleneck tightened even further and then clogged full of concrete soon after. No one maintained or cleaned the Measuring Machine anymore, and being a precision machine, it didn’t take that lightly. Vladimir was soon called in multiple times a day to fix a problem, which in return built up a backlog for him in other places.
Things I (or previously Antonio) had fixed within a minute now took hours, just for Vladimir to find time to come over and fix it (in a minute). He tried explaining stuff to Igor but yeah…didn’t work well…
Other departments ran completely dry of work, and of course, they didn’t want to bear the blame for missed deadlines, so the whole issue was pretty quickly reported up the Ladder…and with no one wanting to take the hit, it climbed higher and higher, before it eventually got onto the Desk of the National CEO of the Company, the highest Entity of the Company this side of the great pond.
(found that out via a friend in HR).
What followed was the arrival of the proverbial “Kill-Squad”, you know the modern equivalent to an Executer: a bunch of Guys in very tight suits, no sense of humor, cold eyes, and the strict command to find someone’s head to put on a silver plate.
As far as I heard, even a prosecutor from the USA was among them.
I was called by the company a month later, asking if I could come in for an interview, not a job interview mind you, but they asked me to give my statement on the whole affair.
This wasn’t a legal thing, and they had no way to force me to make a statement, as it was an internal investigation, but I still happily complied and even gave my signature that I told the truth. Gave them the entire story, as accurately as I could, and openly admitted what I didn’t know or where I was only guessing.
They thanked me and apologized (honestly I felt), that they could not pay me for the time they took from me due to legal reasons. I was all fine with that and went home.
Igor got fired for “careless negligence,” and his brother Boris likewise got the immediate boot in the butt.
My boss went down under as well, he and Boris were fired for mismanagement. Their Boss, however, Freddy, got not only fired but dragged in front of court, no idea how that went on, as he was dragged to the US.
But given how ridiculous that justice system is and that he had been designated as a scapegoat by one of the biggest companies worldwide, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had to hold very tightly on the soap for a good while.
The entire facility went firmly in the reds for that year, due to nearly all contracted reworks missing deadlines, which meant a daily fee of tens of thousands per contract.
My ears in the company soon sought new jobs, despite in one case being there for 20 years.
Last I heard, is that the Company had to contact the producer of the Measurement Machine to train new employees how to operate it properly. I had asked for triple my pay, well those guys were more like “Triple the Zeros at the end.”
Oh! and I did find a new job within 1 day.
I was “fired” on Monday, had the Interview on Tuesday, and a test work day the Thursday. I was asked at the end of that day when I could start. which was the next Monday. I do manual measurements now, in an incoming quality control department.
The Boss is a blast, the team is all friendly and my commute is 18 minutes with an electric scooter. I’ve worked there for 9 months now, and I already am the de-facto team leader for first sample stuff, and best of all, I am appreciated for the work I do, too.”
15. Want Me To Take A Break Right Now? Fine, But Good Luck With That Long Line
This manager sounds like a total jerk.
“I currently work at a Mexican chain in Australia. A few months back, we had this really bad manager who was doing a placement at our store while her store was undergoing repairs from flooding.
She’s the type of person who looks down on you because you’re a worker and she’s a manager.
When I first started, I did an opening shift with her. I hadn’t done one before, and I kept asking questions which she kept getting annoyed at and kept acting like I should know what I was doing and kept leaving me alone.
She belittled me for not getting the meats out ‘on time,’ AKA, two minutes past opening. She yelled at me because I didn’t put coriander in our salsa when we were out of coriander. She yelled at me for putting too many beans on one burrito despite me following the build guide.
She had been yelling at me and treating me really badly all day to the point I’d almost walked out and left her, but I kept my cool.
Now I’d like to add, it’s well known in the store that I have hip dysplasia which in turn really hurts my lower back, so I have to sit down for a few minutes and rest it, afterward I’m usually fine.
It’s on my file, and the store manager has always been fine with it as long as it’s not during a rush. That day was an especially bad day, so after around five hours on my feet, my back was really starting to ache, so I asked her if I could sit down for a few minutes to rest as the busy period had passed.
Manager: Why? Can’t you just work?
Me: I have hip dysplasia, so I just need to sit for five minutes. (Store manager) has always been fine with it.
Manager: That doesn’t even make any sense. No, you can’t sit down.
Me: I’m in a lot of pain, all I need is five minutes; I’ll come back out if it gets busy.
Manager: No, I don’t pay you to sit down. Go take your break instead (30 minutes), and don’t come back until you’re done complaining.
So, I made myself some lunch and sat down in our dining room. About five minutes later, the busiest rush of a lifetime came through the door.
We were still a reasonably new store and the hype was high, so I’m talking a line going out the door and it kept growing. My manager’s face turned white as she started serving people who are ordering large amounts of food per person.
She gave me these looks of distress asking for my help with her eyes. Cue my malicious compliance.
I sat back on my phone, looking as relaxed as humanly possible, taking very big and dramatic mouthfuls of my food while watching youtube very loudly.
I had customers ask me if I could hop back behind the counter, but I simply said ‘I’m sorry. My manager sent me on my break and said not to come back until I’m done complaining about my back problems, and I’m still very sore.’ She stares daggers at me, but I just kept eating my lunch.
Customers start getting angry at her for not moving fast enough to keep up with the demand, but she knows she can’t blame me because of what she said earlier, so she just keeps apologizing. She was running around the back to get salads from the fridge, swapping meats around, getting new sauces, basically things that a second employee is meant to be there to help with, all while customers kept complaining.
I just sat and watched, smirking as she clearly regretted not just letting me sit down for five minutes, otherwise, I would’ve been there to help. When the rush finally ended about 40 minutes later, I clocked back on and said:
‘Thanks for the extended break.
My back feels so much better now.’ Which incited many glares in my direction.
I didn’t have to serve even one of the probably 40-50 customers that came through the door. She treated me better after that and is now always her kindest self when she’s around me, so I call that a win.
Luckily, her store was repaired and she went back there. People said I was a jerk for this, but I don’t care. Next week will be my final shift at that store, and I’m very thankful I’ll never have to be under her management again.”
Another User Comments:
“I don’t know what the laws are in Australia, but here in the US we have something called the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The manager would be legally required to let you sit down here or there for a disability such as yours. If she refused, the company would be opened to a large lawsuit. Maybe look into seeing if your country has something similar.” Atomic_Furball
14. Force Me To Either Reimburse You Or Get The Police Involved? The Police, It Is
“So I work in customer support for a mobile network provider. The way our company works is that after training, you enter a 1-month testing period where you answer phone calls under close supervision. At the end of the testing period, they either let you go or transfer you to a permanent position on one of the teams.
I was a few days away from the end of the testing period when I get one heck of a phone call. I spent more than an hour on that one, it hurt my final score at the end of the month.
The customer told a tall tale about how when she was trying to pay her debt to the company (she racked up hundreds of shekels worth of debt in unincluded uses), the sales representative was rude to her and refused to let her pay so she took a picture of him and left.
The reason the call took so long is because she kept telling the story out of order, adding and changing details, and going on tangents and rants. It was very difficult to get the story straight. I felt like a detective trying to piece together the clues to what actually happened.
Every time I read the story back to her chronologically she added or changed something in the middle or went on a tangent about how she’s “a polite British woman” and we shouldn’t hire people like that representative to represent our company.
Eventually, I got her to settle down on a version of what happened.
I looked through the records and saw that according to the representative (who was a lot more concise than her), she was the one being rude, yelling at him in English (a language he barely spoke) and taking his picture without his consent.
I didn’t tell her that, I just politely instructed her on how to pay her debt via the phone. She sounded nervous. I told her that until the debt is paid I cannot make the changes in the account including adding a report.
So reluctantly she gave me her credit card details and the debt was paid in full. I reported on what she told me and moved it along to my superiors.
A few days later my testing period was over and despite that tragedy of a call I aced it and got transferred to the illustrious email department, which is what I wanted.
It’s much more chill here and I can work at my own pace, not having to rely on the customer or the supervisor to work faster. Also, I could take my breaks whenever I felt like it.
Everything is fine for a couple of weeks until I receive a new email telling a familiar tale.
It was an enraged recounting of the same story I heard on the phone, except much more elaborate, with more details I never heard before, such as the involvement of another person, or that the representative assaulted the customer by trying to impede her exit from the store.
The customer complained that she’s been conned, and expected the representative to be fired, but she saw him again at the store and was outraged. She was under the impression that her paying her debt meant we will listen to her and fire the representative.
The email ends with the following demands:
- Fire the representative
- Reimburse her for the funds we “stole from her under false pretenses”
- Apologize to her in the form of extra compensation and a personal phone call from a high-ranking manager
- If we did not comply, the police will get involved.
So I complied with the second part, and we got the police involved.
You see, while reading the email I noticed that the address she emailed us from had a different surname than her account or the credit card information she provided. And lo and behold, the email was actually her real name, while the other details were fake.
Turns out she was indeed a “polite” British woman, a British woman overstaying her visa for over a year that was now using a fake identity in Israel.
How’s that for false pretenses, witch?
As we discovered later, she was also wanted for numerous accounts of fraud where she didn’t pay for services or claimed compensation for stories that later turned out to be false.
Just like she tried to do with us.
We called the police but they couldn’t find her since the physical address she registered on our site was also fake.
So we called her back to the store to apologize personally. She gladly obliged.
The police were waiting for her.
Neither I nor the representative she implicated was there that day, unfortunately, so we didn’t get to see the look on her face.
She was fined a hefty amount and then deported back to the UK.”
13. Fail To Understand How The Second Part Of My Plan Will Be Necessary? Deal With The Consequences
“So I volunteered with a non-profit service club for almost 2 decades. We had a fundraiser that would gross $1.5mil per year. There were only a dozen members, so we didn’t do much except hang out, volunteer for other charities, and re-donate the funds with a big presentation check.
In 2019, we fired one of the two employees for our fundraiser. I agreed to work for 3 months as a contractor at $25 an hour until they found a replacement. I found ways to improve the fundraiser and turned $1.5 million in annual sales into $8 million after only 9 months.
Then worldwide hardships happened, and I revamped everything again to get us $15 million in annual sales ($10 million net profit) in 6 months.
I was working my butt off putting in 50-60 hour weeks sometimes. The club was pressuring me to submit an invoice, as I hadn’t been paid the entire time.
I wasn’t motivated to charge anything since my original intent was to work for free for 3 months, but finally submitted a discounted invoice for $52K for the past 15 months after we all agreed I’d been working too long and they dropped the ball in their intention to hire a replacement.
They paid, but freaked out on me and accused me of greed, fraud, incompetence, etc. A combination of their behavior and them being greedy (pushing for massive donations that would get them ahead in their professions, spending bucks on fancy gala dinners and golf tournaments with the rich elite of the community, etc) and I was frustrated and livid beyond belief.
I stuck around (and sometimes got guilted by members into staying after multiple attempts to quit) for another year out of loyalty to my staff (almost 2 dozen at that point) and the charities I was involved with for decades. But I finally broke and walked away at the end of 2021.
Here’s where the malicious compliance comes in. Before leaving, I was implementing a two-part plan for another revamp of the fundraiser to keep up with the huge sales and prizes. Each part had benefits and consequences individually, so they had to be implemented together to balance each other out.
The first part took a long time to plan before I left, and once it was ready it was easy to put the second part into action right away. I reported what I was doing to the club, and they accused me of being incompetent once again for not understanding the consequences of the second part of the plan.
They didn’t understand the big picture, but I was tired of arguing with them. I implemented the first part as they had approved because everything was already changed over and impossible to revert back. I didn’t try to convince them at all about the second part being necessary and left them to deal with the consequences after quitting.
A year later they are accusing me of sabotaging them, and not explaining the need for the second part. The fundraiser has fallen apart this past year with less than $2 million in sales but still with massive expenses, as well as a lazily revamped system bleeding big bucks.
They’ve reportedly lost funds this year, and have no idea what went wrong. I deleted all my documents and plans when I returned the work laptop to them, also as malicious compliance because they asked for it in original condition and ready for someone new to use.”
12. Is It Okay If You Fire Me? Go For It, Boss!
“This is a story of MC that a previous boss had done, but involved me directly as will be explained. The timeframe is the early 2000s for reference.
In my late high school/early college years, I had a job doing telemarketing work during winter and summer breaks.
While it was boiler room cold calling, we primarily were soliciting donations for agencies that had contracted us to do the work, so felt less scuzzy. Think police departments, fire departments, etc. We kept a portion of donations for operating expenses, everything over a certain threshold went directly to the receiving party.
I enjoyed the job as the scripts were simple, I was allowed to read a book and such between calls, and a number of my friends were also employed there so we could hang out during lunch breaks. The pay was a decent chunk above minimum wage at that time, so it was a good gig.
I also had a knack for it, and at one point was 5th in “sales” across all the sites they had in operation, 2nd in our building.
One summer, while driving to work, my car promptly dies with no warning and I’m left stranded on the road.
As you do in this situation back before cell phones for poor college students were a thing, I walk to the nearest house and ask to use the phone. I call my dad who starts driving to get me and call my work to let them know I’ll be late.
My boss says fine and that he will chat with me when I get in.
Father shows up with my mother in two cars, I take the extra and he begins the arduous process of “towing” my car back to the house.
This involved tying a rope to the front of the car and to the back of his vehicle and crawling back home so he could fix it himself. I’ve been in that back car and did not envy my father being in the back car with only 10 feet of space between him and the car my mother was driving, but I’m off to work.
I arrive to work, clock in almost an hour after the start of my shift, and am promptly told by the front receptionist that my boss would like to see me in his office. So I head on back.
Beginning details completed.
Cue the start of the MC story.
My boss and I have always had a good rapport. I’m a good worker, get good reviews, and he and I have some similar interests outside of work we can chat about occasionally. When I arrive in his office, he’s shuffling some papers around and has laid out a few documents facing me.
As close as I can recall, this is the conversation that followed.
Boss – “Hope everything worked out with the car, glad to have you here. Couple of things I need to discuss with you. First of all, as I’m sure you are aware, being more than 30 minutes late to work is considered a class C violation (3 classes, from C to A, C being the least egregious) if insufficient time is given prior to the occurrence.
This is your first violation, so I’d like to talk to you about what happens next.”
I’m sweating at this point. I’ve never even been talked to about being out of order on anything while working here and getting my first violation scared the heck out of me.
So I’m sitting there, white-faced, and he continues.
Boss – “No official writeup or anything occurs for a first violation or even the first few Class C violations, but it is manager’s discretion on the punishment depending on past behaviors. Now, you are a good employee and I’ve put in to corporate a few times to give you a raise, but because you only work during your school breaks, it is denied as you aren’t considered ‘full time’.
So the papers I have here are your termination papers and an offer letter I’d like to extend to you to hire you back on again. So, in short, before I file these, I’d like to ask. Is it ok if I fire you?”
So we go through the process of him “firing” me, which then allowed him to extend an offer to rehire me at roughly a 25% increase in pay since he could justify to corporate the bump as he was hiring someone with experience.
In talking with him, he let me know it was something he occasionally did to the high school and college workers to get around the corporate’s policy of not allowing raises to people that didn’t work 1,000+ hours in a year.
It was his own way of being maliciously compliant with a policy that didn’t allow him to reward some people whom he thought deserved it. He had been apparently waiting for me to do something that he could technically fire me for.
The way their back-end systems worked, it wouldn’t even show up as a break in service, since the firing and hiring happened on the same day, and since I never worked more than the minimum 1,000 hours each year I didn’t have any tenure or anything to be worried about losing.
The laugh he and the receptionist had when he walked me back to the front to introduce her to the new employee was enjoyable, and I’ve had a fun story to tell ever since.”
11. Nobody Can Fire Her? She'll Fire Herself
“Years ago, I used to work at a state government agency where my boss was a political appointee. Her mom was a bigwig in our governor’s party who wrangled a political appointment for her daughter, which meant she had some clout behind her.
Let’s call her Shannon.
Shannon was not good at her job. At all. She was frequently out of the office for “meetings” (e.g., two-hour lunches, coffee with friends, a bit of shopping).
She was also a bully and a tyrant. She bullied her staff and would hold the threat of firing over everyone’s heads to get them to do what she wanted.
She wasn’t a micromanager because she was never around enough to actually micromanage anything.
And she was widely disliked throughout the entire building. This was a large agency, so to have a building where almost everyone disliked you took a lot of work.
The problem is that, as a political appointee, she was untouchable. The people who had the power to fire her couldn’t because of her family. Even the number three person in the agency couldn’t do it, and he was a political appointee as well.
But after a year of mystery meetings and time out of the office, her excuses were catching up to her. The agency director removed her from her job and put her in charge of “special projects.” Anyone who’s worked in a corporate job knows that people get put in charge of special projects because they were largely incapable of doing their previous job.
They didn’t get fired, but they no longer had any power.
This was Shannon’s case.
For a while, she seemed to get the message. She shaped up, didn’t have any more mystery meetings, didn’t disappear from the building for two hours, and treated people somewhat nicely.
Of course, it didn’t last and Shannon returned to her old ways.
Around that time, we got a new assistant director — we’ll call her Tricia — who was also a political appointee. She was the number two person in the whole agency, and she was great to work for.
She was very serious about her job.
She had access to Shannon’s electronic calendar and saw what Shannon had been up to. She then cross-checked the security logs to see when Shannon was in and out of the building.
After her brief investigation, Tricia emailed Shannon with a list of dates and said, “Can you tell me more about these different meetings you were having? And why they took so long?” (I’m paraphrasing.)
Well, Shannon wasn’t having any of that! How dare Tricia call her character into question?! This was an outrage! It was so outrageous, in fact, that Shannon wrote a resignation letter and slammed it down on Tricia’s desk! That’ll show her!
After a few hours, Shannon had time to think about what she had done.
She remembered that she had a 1-year-old at home. She also remembered that her husband was an unskilled truck driver who made $8 an hour. (Edit: He was a local delivery driver for a construction firm, NOT a CDL driver.) And she remembered that she was the primary breadwinner for her family.
She went back, hat in hand, and apologized for her attitude, she said she was willing to try harder, and she asked Tricia if she could please possibly have her letter back, pretty please?
Tricia said, “Oh, I’m sorry, you’re too late.
I already processed the letter and sent it off to HR. I’m afraid I can’t undo that.”
Do you remember in the movie, The Incredibles, when Mr. Incredible fought the giant ball with legs? The ball was so indestructible and powerful, the only thing that could beat it was itself?
This was that moment.
The previously untouchable political appointee had just been fired by the only political appointee who had that power: herself. And rather than protect her or do her a solid, Tricia would not undo her self-termination. She just let Shannon be her own undoing.
When news of Shannon’s self-firing raced through the building, you could hear the cries of “What? Are you serious?” followed by howls of laughter as each new person heard the story.
Shannon was out and everyone who had to deal with her was much happier than they had ever been in that job.”
10. Won't Give Me A Raise? I'll Resign, So You Can Focus On Your "Investments" Instead
Their priorities were all wrong.
“I am an electronics engineer, currently working in the comm industry. I started my job as an intern at the company of one of my professors. Here in Iran, employers are mandated to pay 80 percent of so-called “insurance” which is a flimsy health insurance and retirement fund.
Another one of my professors introduced us and having seen how passionate he was when teaching, I assumed my employer would be honest and treat me well as I learned the ropes.
My whole interview with the project manager of that company (in which my professor was the chairman and CEO) lasted around 15 minutes and they immediately put me on writing a driver for a rather complicated IC.
After a lot of self-study which I didn’t expect I finally finished the project and got a contract for getting hired. However, no insurance for a year and an hourly wage which was less than half the mandated amount. I dismissed my worries by telling myself I was just learning and I enjoy electronics so no worries.
I brought this up once with my project manager, yet he laughed at my face by telling me that I still haven’t made any “profit” and they would compensate my low wage with “bonuses” when they see fit. Unfortunately… I complied.
Months passed until I got my first big assignment. It was a heavy project which had me write drivers for memory peripherals, ADCs, etc., and implement a whole signal processing chain all by myself. At first, I was excited, but a month into the project, I was burnt out.
I worked on holidays and overtime, and in the meantime, I was getting fined for small mistakes.
I brought this up with the management, and they said they won’t give me a raise and I have to wait for the end of the “phase” (which meant a milestone in the project).
This phase thingy was a holy grail that made employees at that company burn themselves out in hopes of the juicy bonus. By that time I was seeing the chain of events and how a pattern of maltreatment was being formed.
Excuse me for the language, burn out the employee with hope, bleed em dry with reductions, and throw them a small bonus like a bone for the good doggie. Every time we asked for a raise, they would tell us that they are “making investments” by buying new equipment and hiring more employees.
I decided to resign. At first, I asked to leave on good terms yet my manager told me that I’ve signed a contract so I have to abide by it. I sneered and said OK, cue malicious compliance. Then I pushed hard….
like very hard. I even did side hardware projects and handled everything related to the project without complaining. They asked me to document my codes and designs but I excused myself by doing more work.
With one month remaining until the end of my contract, I wrote a resignation letter.
This letter legally allowed me to leave my job at the end of my contract without allowing my employer to make me work to deliver the project. Of course, seeing how timid I was, they dismissed it as a whim and decided to accept it without bringing it up later.
When the deadline for my contract came, it coincided with a demonstration to the client. After this demo, the client was immensely satisfied and told us that they would like to invest a lot in it, making the prototype a full product.
Now here came my moment, I packed up the next day and left. Just left. By working as a multi-role engineer I’ve gained enough experience to land a good job at another company and all this time I excused myself from documenting my codes and designs.
This made all my designs unusable for the company as they couldn’t just give them to someone else so that they could continue my work, meanwhile, they all thought how good and obedient worker I was and made me an example to everyone.
A week or so later after I left (all these days, my phone was constantly ringing), I got a call from my manager. He had just wired me a bonus to bring me back to the project, yet I answered, “Well Professor, your “investments” can surely do what I always struggled to do,” and I hung up. Currently, I am enjoying a salary 8 times more than the amount he was paying me with no overtime or penalties. Needless to say, the multi-million dollar project failed and was scrapped.”
9. Bring It Up To HR If I Have A Problem With You? That's A Great Idea!
“So a little backstory. I work for a warehouse that specializes in computer equipment. It’s generally very uneventful, everyone is mostly nice to each other, save for one….. unsavory Engineer. He had a reputation for being very belligerent, and almost impossible to work with, but with a couple of months left till his retirement, people tended to leave him alone.
I know all too well he would be gone by Summer, so I decided not to engage with him till he was gone.
Cue this morning when I went to the warehouse to do some small inventory.
And up comes the Engineer huffing and puffing.
Without evidence, he started accusing me of messing around with some pallets he was working on. Calmly, I explained to him that I did not, and he can check the camera HE INSTALLED IN THE WAREHOUSE to see that I did no such thing.
He kept on insisting that I did, growing increasingly angrier, and started cussing me out in a warehouse full of people. But I did not waver, and calmly insisted he can just check the security footage that he has access to, but the swearing just kept coming out.
At this point, I calmly told to him to breathe, cause he was getting out of control.
And this is where it went from bad, to worse.
He started screaming and cussing even louder, that he is “50 years older than me”, and I can “not freaking tell him to do crap.” I said nothing and watched as the Engineer got redder and redder in the face.
Eventually, he yelled “If you have a freaking problem with how I act, bring it up to HR or the Boss” and stomped away.
So… I did just that.
I made a quick note of who was in the warehouse, noted the time, and asked 3 people to be my witnesses of what happened.
So up to HR I went and poured out every exhaustive detail I can remember. I explained that I’ve been in enough companies to know that kind of treatment and verbal maltreatment borderlines harassment, if not pure threatening behavior. I explained, very calmly, I am not comfortable working in that environment, and I do not wish to escalate the situation anymore.
I just wanted the incident documented and on record in case the Engineer tried to twist the story to management.
HR said they would take care of it.
Two hours later, I found out the Engineer was told to go home. And not even twenty minutes later after that, he had been made “permanently working from home.” And not even twenty minutes after that, I found out all the Engineer’s credentials had been revoked, his remote access to the company network was disabled, and his day-to-day duties were divided among other people. His final project is now to write up his tasks and how to do them.
With 7 months left to his retirement, it’s not looking very good that he’ll be around till then.”
8. Terminate Me? Since I No Longer Represent The Company, I Can't Give You Access To Our Website Or Socials
“I am no longer a minister in a Christian church of about 300 people on the east coast as of YESTERDAY (1/24/22). Things have been really tough over the last several years for the church and me personally. You experience people and circumstances at their best AND worst in the ministry.
I decided to step down from my role as the preacher at the end of November in 2021. In years past, the ministers have left on bad terms and it hurt the church, so I wanted to rise above that and be the person I preached about.
So in reality, I wasn’t doing anything special, just trying to be a respectful and kind guy.
I gave the church like a 4 weeks notice with my resignation on 12/1 (only two weeks required though). I was also due a 4 week paid sabbatical (just a rest period), but I was willing to forgo that for a shorter period of “rest” at the beginning of the year and I would help the church out however I could.
This is important for later.
It’s also important to know that times are tough to find good ministers right now. No one wants to deal with church drama anymore. There is a MASSIVE exodus of preachers and I’ve officially joined the ranks.
The leaders asked me to help them formulate a “what’s next plan.” So, I tried to be as helpful as possible. Here is the plan I submitted on 12/6.
I would become the “interim preacher” on 1/1/22.
I would take a “rest” from 1/1/22-1/23/22 instead of a full sabbatical.
(Note: vacation resets at the beginning of the year; I have four weeks. So, I could have been a jerk and kept quiet in Jan, took vacation in Feb., and then peaced out.)
I would return to preach on 1/30, help lead the church, help find a backfill, help hand off my other duties— I oversaw the website, social media, and pretty much ran everything (very important for later).
I overworked myself which led to my wrecked marriage, burnout, and resignation.
I had some vacation left in 2021, so I saved it for the last week in December. The church was closed anyways, so no big deal. I just really needed a break from preaching and church from 1/2-1/23.
Unfortunately, I got called back from vacation to preach on 1/2 because the other two ministers “got sick” and couldn’t preach. So, again, trying to be the good guy I sacrificed my vacation to prepare a sermon and preached on 1/2.
Payday comes around on 1/21/22 and I don’t get a deposit. I email the leaders, who haven’t spoken to me since 1/2, “what is going on?”
They decided I didn’t deserve my sabbatical pay (even though I do AND I could have made it worse) and all they would give me is minimum wage for the time I worked beginning in Feb.
I said “NO!” Despite the disrespect and unloving nature, I gave them an offer: pay out my due sabbatical and I’ll direct charge my time in February at my current hourly rate.
What was their response on 1/23/22? “We have decided to terminate our professional relationship.
Clean out your office and hand in your keys.”
Now, I made financial plans based on getting paid by the church. I told them this. I told them that I sacrificed my sabbatical in 2020.
AT THIS POINT, I feel angry. I AM LIVID.
I started my new job on 1/3, but I also was planning on the income from the church for the first few weeks until I got paid by my new job AND I had been telling lots of people I would be returning soon to preach again.
I’m not bragging, but I was really well-liked and loved by many people and I helped lead the church through a difficult time to have the best year it has ever had since 2013.
So, as of 1/23/22, I am “no longer an acting representative of the church.” TRIGGER MALICIOUS COMPLIANCE.
I am the admin on all the social media, website, app, web plugins, and more. I receive a text today on 1/24/21 from one of the leaders “I got an email you removed yourself from the planning center. Which then brings up what other accounts do you hold, especially at the admin level, or more importantly are the only admin on.
I believe you are the only admin on Weebly. Would you assign me as admin on any accounts you are the only admin on? Appreciate it.”
Sorry former boss man, I am no longer an acting representative of the church. Maybe you should have honored the plan I laid out last month? Figure out how to run the app, edit the website, and log into all the socials! Lol!
But I did everything I could to make things, not just right, but GOOD for the church. Where did that get me? Kicked to the curb. But, I have to admit that the Bible promised me such things… and if this is the worst of life I have MUCH to be thankful for.
LESSONS I learned:
Don’t think for a MOMENT people won’t be selfish and act in their own self-interest.
Am I guilty of doing the same thing to others?
Life is messy inside and outside the church.
Accept that all people, especially Christians, are broken people. ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS and act accordingly.
7. Like To Micromanage The Heck Out Of Us? Go For It
“This was a few years ago, but it’s my favorite (double) malicious compliance I’ve ever done. I work in wireless sales and they use a social media-style texting app to attempt to keep employees engaged with all other sales associates company-wide.
When they introduced it, they did so under the assumption that using it would be completely optional. That pretty much backfired because almost nobody was using it, or they weren’t using it as it was intended. At this point, I had a real blowhard district manager who thought he should be idolized by the management and sales associates below him.
When he noticed nobody was really using it, he decided to put pressure on all his store managers by saying if their employees didn’t use it, it showed “a lack of inspirational leadership” on the part of the store managers as a way of guilting us all into using it so he would become number 1 in usage.
At this point, my store manager just asked us to use it so he would be left alone. Fine.
Malicious compliance number 1.
I HATED (and still hate) the expectation that I should be required to shout out sales from my store. To me, it’s like we were all hired to do a job, management doesn’t think we can do said job we were interviewed and hired for, so they need constant visibility on sales.
Fine. I created a generic shoutout.
“(Employee) sold (item)” and then accompanied the message with the most condescending “good job” gif I could find. That part worked and our district manager was mostly off our butt about that for the remainder of his tenure with us, which thankfully wasn’t much longer after this all started.
From that point, we all thought we were in the clear from constantly needing to use the app. We were wrong. The interim district manager (a store manager who was trying to get the position so he was doing the work of a store manager for his store and the district manager for our district) was SO MUCH WORSE.
He found a way to run a report that would break down each individual’s app usage and the number of messages they would put in the chat. He began putting that info out in district-wide emails calling out the lower 25% as needing to do better with engagement.
Of course, I was almost always on the bottom because I only put my generic message and gif into the chat when sales happened, I was never engaged with other people in threads or direct chats because I didn’t care.
Cue malicious compliance 2.
Since now it became purely a numbers game to the interim DM, I played the numbers. After the first few weeks of those emails where I was at the bottom, I decided to try something. I found a chat message that nobody replied to from earlier in a week that the report wasn’t run for and then picked a lyrically heavy song (in my first attempt it was Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody) and proceeded to reply to that chat in an individual thread 1 word per message at a time until the entire song was put into the thread.
Sure enough at the end of that week, I jumped from nearly dead last in usage to exponentially more than anyone else in usage. The interim DM never questioned it or checked why I jumped so high, so fast. Every week, I’d pick a new song and type it out word by word in a blank chat thread, and every week I would be shouted out for my exemplary app usage and how more people should be engaged as much as I was.
We still use a chat app and we are still voluntold that we have to be engaging in it, but I’m back to my generic message with the same gif over and over any time there’s a sale since that interim never became our DM and the new ones since don’t check the usage report anymore.
Sales are dumb. Metrics are dumber. When the metric becomes the goal over the actual sale, the metric is the problem.”
6. Claim You Know More About Hair Products Than A Professional? Don't Say He Didn't Warn You
“This is a fairly minor one from over 20 years ago, but I was recently reminded of it.
So my family owns a costume store, and as a teenager, I of course helped run it. Now, having grown up with this place, I actually knew WAY more about makeup than any heterosexual teenage boy should know.
It’s a Friday afternoon in October, and people are coming through to get their Halloween costumes and makeup. I’m answering the phone and running around helping people find things after getting out of school when in walks… Well, picture a dried-up, old, barfly of a woman with way too much plastic surgery and the most bleached platinum blonde hair you can imagine (down to nearly her butt) carrying an expensive purse.
I’m sure the image you have in your head is kinder than what she actually looked like, but we’ll have to work with what we’ve got.
So she’s picking out her stuff, and asks if we have colored hair spray. “Yes ma’am, it’s right over here, but I wouldn’t recommend it for…”
“I DON’T NEED SOME BOY TELLING ME HOW TO DO MY MAKEUP! I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING! JUST GIVE ME THAT!” and grabs the can of green hairspray I was holding out of my hand.
Okay, great. I was about to tell you “This hairspray will stain,” but you said you know what you’re doing. Yes, have a nice day, ma’am!
Fast forward to the evening of the following Monday, and here comes the Platinum Blonde, only now her hair absolutely freaking MINT GREEN! She launches into an absolute hissy fit over how she had washed her hair three whole times and it still wasn’t coming out.
She points me out saying how I’m responsible for all this.
I mentioned this was a family business, right? The “manager” she was screaming at was my mother. Who also happened to have been upfront running the register the previous Friday and had heard the entire exchange.
“Well ma’am, as my son tried to tell you on Friday, this brand of colored hair spray is known to cause stains if your hair is damaged or over-treated. You said you were aware of how it worked and to just let you have it, so we did.”
See folks, normally hair that is healthy has these little flaps that lay down, it’s why hair is slick if you run a finger down it one way, but rougher if you run it up the other way.
If you bleach your hair and treat it badly, those little flaps curl up, meaning any kind of dye you put on them ABSOLUTELY sinks in and will NOT come back out.
Normal “permanent” hair dye has got NOTHING on what happens when you try to put what is basically colored varnish in messed up hair.
And her hair was bleached WHITE. Not silver but “sheet of notebook paper” white. Don’t know if it ever came out, but to this day, it gives me warm fuzzies just thinking about how I hope she tried to “fix” it with more bleaching and watched her long hair freaking dissolve.”
5. Complain About Us "Loitering"? They'll Make Some Changes To Their Shop
“Got this card shop I’ve been going to for probably a decade or so now. About 6-7 years ago, they were in this small plaza, just a bunch of storefronts next to each other off a major road with a shared tiny (like 20 spaces total) parking lot.
A lot of people liked to hang around the shop for hours, playing card games, board games, and minis games. We didn’t buy things on the daily but would drop serious bucks on stuff every so often.
Not sure why it started but the other stores, mainly the restaurants that were there started complaining we were taking up “their parking” spaces, which was causing them to lose customers, then complained we were loitering since we didn’t buy anything.
Even coming into the shop in person to complain. We rarely parked too far from the card storefront since we kept our stuff in our cars. Want to play Warhammer? Let me get my army from the car. MTG? Need to grab my deck from the car.
But the shops even started giving us ‘tickets’ for loitering in the plaza putting them onto our cars.
Card Shop owner or CSO, who I know well from many games and hanging around, responded with “ok, we can’t have loiterers” and made some changes to the shop.
We have a game library, like a floor to ceiling of shelves of a wall in the back full of board games for people like kids to grab and play that kind of grew over the years. To use the wall now, you needed to pay $5 BUT with that, you also get $5 credit for the store.
Which included a newly installed mini fridge full of $1 cans of pop and snacks like chocolate bars and chips. We kept the receipts in our pockets or on the table next to us to display when they came around to complain.
The tickets were stopped after a while since the landlord heard about it and had a talking to with the owners since he wasn’t behind it. Also made it a point, the parking lot was for the plaza, not any specific storefront.
We kept the receipts on hand still almost like an inside joke, even newcomers did it after a while.
According to CSO, the restaurants kept bugging him about things from something he threw in the dumpsters to parking his car in the back, basically trying to push him out because the customers weren’t the right kind, pretty sure more stereotyping than factual for reasons I’ll get into.
So when the lease was up, he was out and moved to another plaza about 10 mins ride away from the first location he had secured months before the lease ended.
Here’s the thing about this card shop, it was very family-friendly.
We may get loud but we never cursed and just ushered people who got riled up outside for cooldown. We had kids playing games in the back often, I sometimes was DMing a game for them. Why did we have kids in the shop? Because the parents were doing what got them together in the front area, trying to drop each other’s life points to zero.
We have several families who came to the shop from all kinds of fields. You think a rule lawyer is tiring, try to argue with a real lawyer about rules.
When the shop moved, so did these customers but not sure why these restaurants didn’t know or notice, and so did their most frequent customers.
Many of us bought our meals from these restaurants due to the convenience of it and the selection of foods was decent (the food itself wasn’t that good but this was before food deliveries like uber eats were a thing).
Nowadays, when I drive by the plaza en route to the shop, I chuckle.
They definitely don’t need to worry about a full lot, maybe a 1/4 full nowadays. The old card shop location seems to rotate between shops currently “for lease.” Other shops also moved away from the plaza.
Of the restaurants, one has closed down and boarded up with no sign changed as of this week, and the other three seem to have upped their gimmicks based on windows full of “deals”. Food Deliveries apps wise, they’re not liked citing poor quality, time and/or gouged prices.”
4. Someone Must Be On Call At All Times? Fine, But It Will Lead To More Downtime
“Where I live, appointments with some medical professionals are hard to get. A few days ago, my coworker, Bob was supposed to have dental work done. He was lucky to get his appointment in a very short time because his dentist had a cancellation.
We are both the only members of our two people bureau (we do the same job and are the only ones doing it in the company), and this was supposed to happen during my first day of vacation. He advised HR that he had an appointment, but he scheduled it during his lunch break.
It would perhaps make his break one hour longer than usual, but given the very low amount of actual work to do, that should not be a problem. And he can also stay later if needed. All seems good. Until I get a call from HR guy Cowboy Jerk, asking me if I can work on Monday to cover for my colleague.
I’m not very happy about it because I already knew about the appointment: we usually check that kind of stuff between ourselves before going to HR since there are only two of us, and it is Friday already. I planned to start my vacation with an extended weekend.
I know covering for Bob is useless.
When he learns that, Bob writes an email (standard cover-your-butt procedure) to Jerk, stating that the workload is historically low and that covering for an eventual maximum of one hour is useless. I’ll summarize the next email exchanges :
Cowboy Jerk: “There must be someone on call at all times so OP has to come in.”
Bob: “It is useless since I will be away for one hour at most.”
Cowboy Jerk: “There must be someone on call at all times, just in case, I remind you that it is company policy.”
Bob: “Again, it is useless since I will be away for one hour at most, during the slowest part of the day.
I can also stay later to compensate if needed, and ultimately our actual workload is almost nonexistent.”
Cowboy Jerk: “Calamity Karen (billing service old-timer) says she is slammed under estimates and that the amount of prep to do Monday will be huge, so we definitely need to have someone on call!”
See, we all know that Calamity Karen is always slammed with utterly hard estimates for clients from heck.
Or so she says. She is the kind to accept last-minute jobs even when the production team has already so much to do they are on shifted schedules and maxing their overtime. She will still leave five minutes early because today is her aqua zumba/CrossFit yoga/motionless stretching day.
Unfortunately, she is also considered the interim production leader by our boss, so in his absence, her word is law as far as Cowboy Jerk is concerned. But there is no way we would be under the water this Monday. We know it, she knows it, HR knows it, and everyone knows that everyone knows it.
So my coworker does what you all guess he would and answers:
Bob: “Okay then, I’ll cancel my appointment so OP can go on with his vacation”.
Someone is on call and I can have my vacation, thanks Bob for complying to the letter of company policy.
This fateful Monday, he had a grand total of three projects to prep for printing. We usually average twenty a day, each, so you see why being on call at all times was really essential…
Well, later this same week, Bob had to go to the dentist anyway, since his tooth actually broke.
So while I was at home in a hostile place without cell reception, he was gone for almost three hours, the time needed for the dentist to do an emergency dental dressing. Since then he had a second appointment to get another dressing, which can last until his third appointment, in a few days, when he will finally have the initially planned work done. And since it is now a more urgent matter, he is not able to schedule those appointments as easily as before, and they all “unfortunately” happen during work hours!”
3. I Have To Prove Myself If I Want To Progress? But You Won't Give Me The Opportunity
“This goes back to 2016, I’d been working in a textile mill for nearly 10yrs. I started out at the bottom of the chain but after about a year I was promoted to one of the main operators in my department.
While I was still undergoing my training in the new role the company went into administration and 70% of the workforce was laid off. Miraculously I managed to survive the cut. I suspect that, on a balance sheet, I was still one of the lowest-paid people in our department due to being on a trainee’s wage.
Well, after a massive restructuring of the company, we carried on with a skeleton staff. I kept on with my shifts and continued to learn along the way. Fast forward about 8 years, I’m bored and chronically underpaid. This job was so dull and I wanted to learn something new.
Now, when I get bored, I get lazy. I like to be learning.
My annual assessment rolls around and they ask me how I want to progress. I say that I would like to learn more about what goes on in the looms.
My job was prep work for the looms. I explained that there were still some things that I didn’t understand why they were done a certain way and felt that if I was allowed to learn the other side of the job it may make more sense to me.
I was told that I did not put enough effort into my current role to be given the extra training yet. I needed to prove myself if I wanted to progress. I tried to explain that I was bored and that if they just gave me the opportunity to try something new they would see the renewed passion in me.
Nope. They said I had to prove myself.
I went away from that meeting feeling pretty disillusioned. I didn’t care about the job anymore. I wanted to learn but they weren’t prepared to teach me. I spoke to my sister and she suggested I look at retraining.
I wanted a trade but I was in my 30s and wasn’t sure anyone would be willing to give me an apprenticeship. I fancied being an electrician and started looking into my options.
My old mate was a sparky so asked his opinion on it all.
He immediately said that if I was to do it properly through an apprenticeship he would take me on and train me. I was amazed he would do that for me. I got my college application filled in ASAP. Sent it off and it was not long before I was called for an interview.
The guy who interviewed me loved me, plus I ticked a few boxes (mature student, female, etc.) He offered me a place on the spot and I gladly accepted.
My interview was at 11 in the morning and I was done by 11.30.
I was working the late shift that week so didn’t start till 2. I went to my regular haunt in the town center for lunch before going to work. While I was waiting for my lunch I wrote my letter of resignation, put it in an envelope, and sealed it.
This was a big moment. I had been there almost 10yrs, after all.
The first thing I did when I got to work that day was find the production manager and hand him my resignation. He read it and asked where I was going.
I simply said, “You said I needed to prove myself, I can’t think of any better way to do that than to retrain as a sparky.” He was gobsmacked.
I gave them a long notice period so they had plenty of time to find someone else.
When I finally left I had worked there for 10 years and 2 weeks.
Not a huge fallout on this but it was very satisfying when I heard much later on that they had never managed to replace me because the job was so boring no one wanted it.”
2. Write A Biography On A Person Who Doesn't Exist? Guess I'll Make Up A Story
“A little while ago, I was taking this one ethics course that was required for my major, and it had the most insufferable professor. First of all, it was a college ethics course, so there’s your first red flag right there.
Secondly, it was only taught by one professor who used his own textbook for the course. For the first half of the semester, I thought he was a bit of a pain, but tolerable (it helped that my expectations were low).
Then the midterm came up.
It was an online course, so we were allowed and expected to use notes/the internet during the exam. I eventually got to this one question, which went something like this: “According to (name of person), ‘(quote by person).’ Do you agree and why? Give a brief biography on the person.” Having never heard of him before, I looked him up, getting exactly three relevant results.
The first was just the question verbatim, the other two were questions on q/a sites asking who this person was; one had no activity, the other had one answer: “He doesn’t exist. Well, he exists just not by that name. If you’re asking this question, you already know who he is.”
The. Actual. Crap. I would learn later that this person’s name was literally an anagram of our professor’s name (which is why I’m censoring that in addition to his real name), so I can only assume the question was both asked and answered by him in advance, but I didn’t know that at the time.
While this would have been a funny joke if it was framed as an extra credit bonus question, it wasn’t; it was a serious, graded question on our midterm, with no indication whatsoever that the biography portion of the question wasn’t serious.
At a complete loss for words, I decided “Fine, you want a biography for a person who doesn’t exist? I’ll give you one!” After my actual, serious response to the quote, I ended up writing this masterpiece of bullcrap:
(Fake anagram name), born as Lucas Schmidt (which was a random name I made up) was born in the backwater alleyways of Ursprung, Germany in 1954.
Impoverished and orphaned by the age of four, he was taken in by the German mafia for his pickpocketing skills. Raised to be merely a tool for the mafia, he scored his first kill by the age of six. This would perhaps be the origin story of some sociopathic serial killer, but everything changed for young Schmidt in 1964 when he stumbled upon a copy of Dr.
Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! Touched by its inspiring words, Schmidt had, for the first time, experienced actual, human emotion, and now that he had a taste, he knew he could never go back. He fled from the German mafia and hid away in Switzerland, studying literature and philosophy.
He began to write about (our course’s specific branch of ethics) under the pen name (fake anagram name) so as to avoid recognition by the German mafia, with hopes of indirectly undermining them without drawing attention to himself. And while this story may seem fantastical, it is at least more interesting than “he doesn’t exist.”
This ended up being longer than the serious answer I gave in my response to the quote. My professor ended up giving me extra points for making him laugh, so at least he had a sense of humor.”
1. I Make People Feel Uncomfortable? I Guess I'll Just Stay Silent
“About 10 years ago I worked in a team of scientists (which is almost enough the drop the mic right here) when one day, our boss told me others perceived me as “contemptuous.” I was shocked beyond words. I certainly did not feel superior or feel contempt for anyone.
I was so flabbergasted I was silent for probably 2 solid minutes.
I asked for an example of when something I had said or done gave someone that feeling. He said he couldn’t divulge that information. OK. Then I asked for an example he had experienced or observed himself.
He said he had none. I said, “Since I have no clue what I’ve done, how am I supposed to adjust my behavior?” He said he didn’t know.
I said, “Basically then, I just need to not talk?” He said he wasn’t sure.
I knew right then what to do.
I am pretty introverted, and as a child, I didn’t talk for years. I rarely spoke until I was about 13 years old. Got lots of notes from teachers about how quiet I was. I would answer questions when directly asked but rarely spoke otherwise.
So, my malicious compliance in this situation was easy for me. I just stopped talking except when asked a question. I made a point of smiling, showing I was listening, nodding in agreement, etc. I was extremely polite and agreeable.
Pretty soon some big issues came up that I had specific knowledge about.
I knew how to solve them, but no one else asked. A huge conflict came up between two of our labs because one group wanted it one way and the other group had a different opinion. They fought and fought. People were having secret meetings in their offices to try to win.
And when they finally arrived at the action they chose it was wrong. In fact, both groups were wrong. And the whole experiment failed.
It’s important to know no one was hurt, no property damage or anything like that. Just a LOT of wasted time and expense on materials.
But I never said a word. This went on for three weeks. The lab’s budget had to be revised. They had to cut travel expenses, which I was ok with because I didn’t want to travel anyway.
So, no conferences for anyone.
This is a big deal for a lot of researchers because it’s how we gain notoriety to be able to get grants, among other things.
Finally, a colleague asked me why I hadn’t spoken for so long, why I was so quiet.
Was something wrong? I explained about being told others perceive me as contemptuous. She had the same expression I did when I was told. She said she didn’t believe anyone had said that about me.
I honestly was surprised again because I believed our boss.
Then she asked me what I thought about the experiment design and why it was failing. I told her about the solution I believed would work, which was actually surprisingly simple. She recognized it had a good chance of succeeding and asked me to share the idea at the next department meeting.
At that meeting, she asked me again in front of everyone and I repeated what I told her. Several people asked why I hadn’t spoken up sooner. I explained I had been given feedback that indicated I caused others to feel uncomfortable.
The whole table of colleagues also looked stunned at me. I said I was committed to not causing such bad feelings and couldn’t figure out how to communicate because the feedback didn’t give me any specific guidance.
Everyone looked at the Director at that point and he said, we shouldn’t discuss personnel issues.
Ha! It was my issue, so I said, “If anyone here perceives me as contemptuous and said as much to our boss, that’s the reason I haven’t been talking. If you don’t feel that way about me, let me know and I will stop being silent.”
Someone else said we needed to hold a vote so there wouldn’t be any more confusion or talking behind anyone’s back.
They voted 100% for me to talk normally and that they didn’t agree that I was ever contemptuous.
That director slowly stopped coming to work, month by month after this episode, until he was only showing up 1 day a week. Finally, he took a lab position elsewhere and one of my colleagues was promoted to Director.
And… the experiment was a success. The next year I got a grant to keep the research going and paid for two people to be able to travel to the related conference to present our findings.”
Another User Comments:
Another perspective on the malicious compliance…
“So you were doing research that would be important enough to receive a government grant eventually. You had a co-worker feel like you were contemptuous enough to file a complaint. Probably more than one co-worker. At that point, you decide to purposely sabotage or a minimum hinder this important research.
You said there was a problem only you knew how to solve. And you knew none of your co-workers could solve it. So you let them fail. Halted research, wasted company funding that could’ve been used on other important research. Because someone recommended you adjust your attitude in a professional manner but not reveal details of who filed it.
Then you tried outing anyone who may have made the complaint in front of the entire team. When no one came forward you decided it was probably the director.
That’s great. You delayed important research, halted multiple people’s career progress, and refused to help mentor, all because you had 1 negative comment from your boss.
You realized they could’ve pulled funding for your team. People lose jobs. Research abandoned all because you didn’t want to take a little advice? Also, who did you ‘get back at?’ Your boss would’ve preferred not to say anything. Your co-workers I’m sure would’ve liked to not lose a year of research, miss important conferences, and have the general stress of the whole situation. But good job, you got back at the boss who seemed to get the better end of the deal anyways…or made a co-worker feel attacked because you probably were being contemptuous.” Barkleyslakjssrtqwe