People Reel Us In With Their Malicious Compliance Revenge Stories
18. Fail To Appreciate Your Staff? Watch Your Company Lose Millions
“So this is a story from someone I know. I’ve known this person for years and while I don’t work with them I’ve seen this story play out more or less step by step. I know several people involved, but I’m going to tell it from the point of view of the person I know the best.
So many years ago this person, let’s just refer to them as Person. Person got a really great job working for a Fortune 500 company. Not going to give any more specifics. But the company offered many benefits for their employees.
They treated their employees like people and not like numbers. They offered a yearly raise to anyone who worked there. This was meant to do several things, first of all, it was meant to keep up with inflation so that employees wouldn’t have to stress about finances.
I’m sure a lot of you know the struggle, waiting for min wage to be updated so you can start saving to hold over till the next wage increase. No, the company was ahead of the curve.
On top of that when they did start hiring new employees for more they increased the wage of anyone with that specific position by the same amount to keep older employees from earning less than newer employees.
They offered many many other benefits as well. Basically, an awesome place to work for.
Unfortunately, it’s a small town and the company wanted to expand that specific branch of operations. They couldn’t do it here so they chose to move out.
They sold the branch office building along with the product that Person worked on to another smaller company. When it was sold the person went with it, the old company made the new company sign a contract that guaranteed that the yearly bonus would stay around along with several other similar benefits.
The new company wasn’t around very long and ended up expanding as well, they did the same thing, sold the location and product to another company. Unfortunately, they didn’t care as much about their employees and only treated them well because of contractual obligations.
So when they sold the location and product it did not come with a contract. New company did care a little bit about employees but ended raises and all of that. They would listen to employee complaints but that was about it.
They weren’t around long either before the scummiest company came in and bought them out.
So new company comes in and buys them out and immediately starts changing policies and shifting everything up to make everyone’s jobs harder. Person and their team members got used to it and kept going.
Now here’s the thing about Person. Person works on a team of specialists, there are only about 12 people on the team and a manager that’s over them. Well there was, I’ll get to that.
This team doesn’t require any special education or anything but it does require a several-week training course and several months of acclimation.
The product is extremely delicate, and the customers for this product are extremely demanding. They more or less require perfection, anything short and no pay. You must watch every single word that you say to these customers or they might write you off permanently.
However, this is an extremely valuable product and the company makes a lot of money from it. Or they did at least.
Let’s speed forward about 10-15 years The company has only found new ways to treat their employees less like humans since they took over and are somehow getting away with it.
Turnover is high, but as long as they have high-school grads looking for a job then they can keep their building full. Unfortunately, Person and their team have asked for a raise several times at this point, they were always being turned down because they are earning “at market value” for their position.
Looked it up and market value is determined by a simple equation that takes into account other people in your profession at your experience level and with your job title within about 100 miles and calculates the average wage for them.
Considering the extreme specialty of this position and being located in a remote region “market value” is determined by calculating the average wage of everyone on Person’s team. Basically, the company was saying “shut up we aren’t giving you a raise.”
Now, something to understand Person and their team members weren’t that disappointed not to get a raise every year.
However they were now making only a little more than a new hire with the company, and there are other companies that do similar but less specialized work in the area but start people out with a higher wage than Person is making at this point.
I literally knew high-school grads with 0 work experience that made more than Person did. Now at this point, Person has about 20+ years of experience working on this specific product. And the least experienced person on their team had been working it for 12+ years.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was an annual investors meeting that was streamed live to the entire company. Person, working on a small team, was invited to take a few hours off to watch the meeting. It was kind of a reward for them for performing so well.
The company shot itself in the foot with this one, though it was already starting to go south anyways, they just sped it up a little.
So to put this into perspective for you guys the company’s total profit for that year (profit not earnings) was a little over 1.2 billion.
Out of that 1.2 billion, Person’s team of 12 people (in a company hiring tens of thousands mind you) these twelve people (and a manager) brought in about 480 million. That’s a little over a third of the company’s total profits for the entire year.
For those that don’t like math, that’s about 40 million per person of pure profit. Person specifically earned a little over 60 million alone. The lowest earner on the team was over 20 million.
Seeing that they were single-handedly responsible for over a third of the company’s total profit for the year the entire team got together and demanded a raise.
The manager actually put that in before they even said anything, even their manager thought it was wrong. They demanded $20 an hour. They actually only wanted half of that, but since they were being lowballed and completely unappreciated by the company for the work that they did, they put in a higher number.
BTW $10 is about the amount they would have been making with their yearly bonus had it never been discontinued.
As you might expect the company being wealth hungry came back with the same response as usual, and didn’t even try to negotiate.
They asked several more times over the course of a few weeks threatening to quit if they didn’t get a raise and the company basically just said “Go on, anyone can do your Job.”
Cue malicious compliance. They didn’t all quit only 3 of the 12, which if you’ve been keeping up would add up to on average 120 million dollars over one year.
But that’s not all actually, what they did ended up turning out even worst for the company. The rest of the team agreed to only work their minimum requirements. The company had minimum requirements that everyone had to meet, this team up to this point being proud of the work they put in consistently exceeded the requirements many times over.
They would compete to see who could perform the best, the lowest earner on this team often exceeded minimum requirements by three times over.
At the end of the year, the company had to painfully explain to investors why their highest earning department was now performing at less than half what it did the previous year, they came up with some stupid explanations.
They still refused to give a raise though, instead what they decided to do was raise their minimum requirements. At first, the team kept up, but eventually out of aggravation when their constant requests for a raise were denied about half of the team requested transfer off.
They were transferred to other depts and replaced with brand new employees, the most experienced of which had been with this company for about a year. These new employees struggled to keep up with the minimum requirements, which kept getting raised to meet stockholder expectations.
Eventually, the original member of the team either quit or transferred to another dept, even the manager.
This left the team with only new employees who had absolutely no idea what they were doing, they completely alienated the vast majority of their former customers almost overnight and if that wasn’t enough, because they could not meet the extremely high demands of the company (still only a fraction of what the original team was performing) they were either let go or transferred to another dept and replaced after only a few months on the team.
Even hiring several times the number of employees on that team did nothing. When they reported earnings of 80 million from that team the company got so fed up with it that they just sold the product to another company for an enormous loss.
Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those “The company drove themselves out of business” stories but I still think it’s pretty funny and I like to tell it to all of my new friends. I also use it to warn anyone who might be considering going to this company to work. Honestly, you’d think that if someone earns that much profit for your company you’d at least try to keep them around.”
17. A Pizza With EVERYTHING? Got It!
Everything means everything.
“This happened about ten years ago when I was working at a Pizza restaurant as a waiter. I’ll not mention the name, but it is very popular in the U.S. This was in a small southern town and one of the versions of this restaurant that had a substantial dining room—for a pizza place.
Generally, I went out of my way to find my customers the best deals on their pizzas. I didn’t believe in running up a huge bill to try and milk a higher percentage. Well, one day this changed. I was waiting tables per usual and a customer came in with a very rude attitude.
I’ll call him Rudy. Among other things, he insisted I “hurry up” as soon as he ordered his drink and questioned why I, a male in my early 20s at the time, was a waiter since “waiting tables is a job for high school girls.” (To his credit, this small town didn’t have many sit-down restaurants, the majority of servers in the town were women and HS girls).
I took this particularly personally since I had worked hard for this job and I was darn good at it. It came time for Rudy to order his pizza. He wanted to order a “medium hand-tossed with everything.” Now I knew what Rudy meant.
People had, and I presume still have, various terms they use for specialty pizzas. When someone said “everything” or “combination” or some variation, they meant a supreme pizza (pepperoni, sausage, beef, mushrooms, peppers, and onions.” Every other time, I would seek clarity and ask if they meant our supreme pizza.
But not this time, this time I thought it was time for some malicious compliance. Here’s how it went.
Me: “You want one medium hand-tossed pizza, with EVERYTHING on it, is that correct sir?”
Rudy: “Did I stutter, it’s not a hard order.
Yes, I want a medium hand-tossed with everything. Think you can handle that?!”
Me: “Of course, sir, I will have that right out to you!”
What Rudy didn’t realize was, “supreme” pizzas did not have “everything,” not by half. In reality, we had almost 2 dozen different toppings at this place.
It’s been a while, but off the top of my head, I remember sausage, Italian sausage, pepperoni, bacon, Canadian bacon, chicken, bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, mushrooms, onions, black olives, green olives, pineapple, tomatoes, and anchovies. So I went to the computer and began building one medium pizza with “everything.” (I also made it a point to start from a blank base, and not build from a supreme reconfiguration, just for a little added maliciousness in my malicious compliance.
Once I was done inputting this monstrosity my shift lead noticed the ticket and came back to me and asked:
Shift Leader: “OP, what in the world is this?”
Me: “Customer asked for a pizza with everything on it Shift Leader.”
Shift Leader: “You know he probably meant a supreme right?”
Me: “I double-checked and verified, Shift Leader.
He told me multiple times he wanted a medium hand-tossed pizza with everything.”
Seemingly satisfied with this answer, my shift lead went back to the cooks and told them to make it. This thing turned out GROSS. It was so piled on with toppings the cooks literally had to press it down.
Because there were so many toppings, the standard amount of cheese did nothing to cover them like a traditional pizza should. It was effectively just a hot pile of meat and vegetables when it got out of the oven.
Once it was out, I put on my best “professional” smile and delivered the pizza to the table—I had to use two hands because it was so heavy! When he looked at his pizza he did not have the volatile reaction I expected, it was more a mix of confusion, disappointment, and bewilderment and then stern rejection.
Rudy: “What is this OP?”
Me: “Your pizza, sir, you asked for a pizza with ‘everything’ on it.”
Rudy: “That’s not what I wanted! I wanted a supreme!”
Me: “Sir, that’s not what you asked for, you asked for a pizza with everything on it.”
At this time, I honestly expected him to fight more and demand to see a manager.
But, seemingly realizing I had given him EXACTLY what he asked for, he just sort of begrudgingly accepted it. I asked him if I could get him anything else and he said no. I left and kept an eye on him.
He poked around at a slice for a few minutes but obviously found it unappetizing. The best part was when I got to bring him his ticket, with each of those toppings rang in individually. Rudy ended up being charged $45 for one medium pizza with everything.
I was like the cat that ate the canary for the rest of my shift!
I hate to disappoint anybody who may be wanting a huge fallout, but the man had effectively resigned himself to his fate. He paid the bill without incident, though he did stiff me on the tip, as I had expected. I never saw the man again. I later told my shift lead the full story. They laughed and acknowledged the guy deserved it, but told me not to make a habit of that. To which I agreed.”
16. Put The Domain Names On My Personal Credit Card? Then They're Technically Mine
“In 2000 I was hired by a company in the construction industry. In 2002 they asked me to help start a new division of the company. ‘They’ are the owners and the general manager. The general manager made it known he had a bug up his butt for me after my first year.
Intermittent little digs, flippant attitude, demeaning, etc. Cut to after we get the new division up and running and I request being able to start a web presence, ownership is all over the endeavor while the general manager brushes me off and says, “It’s your division, do what you want.”
My division functioned with a separate business name.
As I’m purchasing the domain name, my thoughts turned to the mothership and how it has zero web presence. Checked out and lined up the actual two business names and several close permutations so they would be somewhat secure in knowing their business names couldn’t be taken out from under them.
I go to the general manager and ask for a check from the main company to pay for the domain names and he, again, brushes me off, saying, “It’s your division (his favorite line), do what you want. You’ve got a credit card! Expense it like anything else!!” I did start to ask, ‘Are you sure you want me to put it on my personal…’ and was curtly cut off.
By 2004 my division was running at a %44 profit margin which netted $750,000.00 USD a year. In the first six months of its existence, I’d already paid back the build-out, training, machines, equipment, all the startup/setup… that is how successful this division was.
The general manager became jealous of my achievements and tried to seize control over operations citing he was the general manager of the entire company whereas prior, it was my division to do what I wanted. Each horn in by him, I’d deflect and defend my division.
By 2005 I’d had enough and ended up quitting as I heard he was preparing to fire me to fully seize the shiny penny as his own and take all the credit. I planned ahead, saved up, quit, and took six months off; it was a spring-to-fall extravaganza of doing whatever the heck I chose.
Good times. Good fricken times.
About a year later, I can’t remember exactly how long, a charge appeared on my credit card for my former company’s domain names; being for several, the amount stood out like a sore thumb. I called and verified the charge and who/what it was for and in my conversation with a very nice person, they said, “Yes, Mister X, all of these names are registered to you.”
About three years after I’d left the old company, my phone rings, and guess what number pops up on the screen? Oh, yeah, I let that go to voice mail.
The message was from the bookkeeper asking if I could return their call. The next day, here they try again but straight to voice mail they go. After a week of messages that were now pleading me to call them back, I return the bookkeeper’s call.
Well, the cat came out of the bag and the main company finally decided to build out a web presence and had shelled out a ton of bucks to do so. Think, online catalog, interactive webpage, all the things we expect now, but were ‘high tech’ then and were just coming into functional reality.
Lo and behold, when they went to get their beautiful dot com up and functioning, their exact name was taken as well as a string of similar ones they could have used had I not snatched them up.
The bookkeeper asked me to release the names to them.
I indicated that would be very easy to do. It’s a simple matter of signing them off, no? They agreed as their anxious web builder had prepped them for the chat with me. I said I’d be happy to turn the keys to the kingdom over to them, but I wanted a few things…
- Reimbursed for all expenses up until that point for owning the domain names.
- A finder’s fee… that made them mad, but what can I say, I was yelled at to put their domain names on my personal credit card.
- And the general manager himself would have to hand deliver the check.
That third line item was a sticking point, but dear mister manager was forced to bend the knee.
I mean, I certainly wasn’t going to budge.
The general manager shows up at the appointed place, hands me the check, and barks at me about returning THEIR DOMAIN NAMES TO THEM TODAY. He did this so loudly that people in the coffee shop we met at turned and stared.
I laughed and said, “After the check clears, sure, yeah.”
He balked and insisted I immediately transfer the names to them as I was holding up, “…the entire show.”
As I left, I smiled and said, “You’re to blame here. You yelled at me to put the domain names on my credit card.” He was absolutely fuming at this point. “Besides, I love taking your advice to ‘do what I want,’ remember? And I am.”
15. Only You Can Schedule Deliveries To Your Job? Fine
“While I usually work in the Structural Engineering side of our enterprise, occasionally I will assist with some of the generic civil projects. We are a design-build company (exactly what it sounds like). I have been working with a Project Manager who has been with the company since its founding nearly 30 years ago.
We will refer to him as Rob for this story. Important note: this project takes place near Fairbanks Alaska.
Well about 2 weeks ago, Rob asked me to look into what it would take to get a 40-yard bin dropped off on-site for scrap metal from an old tank that was being demoed.
He said we want the bin to arrive on Monday (so Monday last week). I get scrap pricing as well as a drop-off scheduled through a local scrap yard and inform Rob of the scrap price and mention that the delivery has been scheduled.
Fast forward to that Monday, and I get a call from Rob and he is just screaming, cursing, and chewing my butt out for scheduling the delivery of this bin. He says “I told you to look into it, not to schedule it.” Well to me that means schedule it, and I pointed out that I informed him via email that the bin would be dropped off.
Rob then says “I don’t care what the other PMs have you do, nobody schedules any delivery to my job but me.”
Alright, fine. I can do that. I send him an email that says something along the lines of “I understood from our conversation this morning that in the future I will not schedule any delivery for your projects.
Is this correct?” That evening, a one-word response, “Yes.”
Last Wednesday I get a call from the company which will be supplying the Crane for our project. They inform me that they would like to get the 60 RT Crane (pretty decent size) delivered to the job site on Friday.
I tell them that I cannot confirm that delivery and that I will need to get Rob in touch with them. I am informed that we need to get this handled ASAP because we are getting close to the delivery window.
For those unaware (I assume most everyone as I didn’t know this until the conversation), there is a time in the late spring in parts of Alaska when delivery of loads over a certain weight is not allowed due to the damage that the load will do to the roadways with subgrades that are recently unfrozen.
Apparently, this window changes from year to year but is in place starting this week. You can still transport heavy loads, but it takes additional permitting and has a fee (much like normal oversized loads).
I call Rob and leave a voicemail with him that he needs to call back, our crane supplier needs confirmation for delivery on Friday.
I follow up with an email.
I did not hear back on Wednesday, so I repeated the procedure on Thursday morning, again with no answer to either call or voicemail.
On Thursday right before I head out, I email Rob and cc our VP who heads all installation projects telling Rob that the crane supplier needs an answer immediately and that I have been trying to reach Rob since Wednesday to confirm this as I have been informed that I am not to schedule deliveries for your project.
Well, that got the ball rolling. Rob calls me in the morning on Friday and tells me to get the crane here today.
I call the crane guys and they inform me that there is no way that we can get the crane in that day and that it will have to come in on Monday during the restricted delivery window.
I end up transferring the crane supplier to our VP because I am not about to approve the additional price of this delivery, and the VP handles it. VP is a cool guy, he is a bit annoyed with me, but I forwarded him the email confirming that I am not allowed to get deliveries scheduled, and he is completely off my back about it.
Sounds like we are out about 10k due to the additional charges for this delivery, and guess who is allowed to schedule deliveries again?
I should note that the owner is in the office every day, and he is not the kind of guy to take lightly to the fact that he is out 10 grand because someone lost his cool about something stupid.”
14. You Want ALL The Boxes? You'll Get Every Single One
“This happened well over a decade ago and I am not going to get into any detail about what I do for my job, besides it’s changed dramatically from how it was done then as compared to how it’s done now.
Anyway, at this point in my job, I used to handle a lot of the retention work for my group. (Thankfully, this is no longer being done as we’re paperless.) Boxing everything up (lots of paper, faxes, signed docs, etc.), sending it off to where it’s stored offsite.
Each box usually held about 2 weeks’ worth of work, so you can imagine how much paperwork we had at the time. Like clockwork, every 2 years, Audit decides they want to make sure everyone is doing their job properly, so we have to jump when they ask.
Now at around this time I was getting close to having to take time off for a surgical procedure (neck fusion) that was supposed to keep me sidelined for a minimum of 6 weeks. Unfortunately, I still had to deal with their idiocy of looking for 1 page in a box that needed to be pulled from retention with an auditor present.
This went on for 2 weeks before I was now just over a week away from going on my medical leave. Knowing this, I sent an email out to audit, CC’ing not only my boss but his boss and his boss’s boss, to let me know exactly what they need so I can get it ordered before I’m off.
It was all about CYA. I sent it 8 days before my final day before the leave…
Got no response. So I follow up on the Tuesday before I leave. Again, no response. Wednesday I send one more, this one with a bit stronger wording to it.
I finally got a response…. the response was sent to me just before midnight. The response was only a few words: “Just send it all to us.”
All? To make sure, I verified that’s what they wanted and, lo and behold, I get back an immediate “YES!” response.
Ok. Got it. All it is.
Cue the malicious response.
Normally I would’ve needed to just send a form by fax to get any boxes delivered. At me, we’d get 10 boxes sent back. However, under these circumstances, I called, told them what I needed, and was met with stunned silence.
They asked if I was sure I wanted what I was asking. I told them I didn’t want them; Audit did. They asked if I could please put in an email and send it as soon as possible. I did. I also CC’d all the appropriate people who were on the other email.
Late that Friday, about 30 minutes before I was to leave, the boxes arrived. One of the gentlemen who was delivering them called me from the dock and asked where I wanted them to go. I said audit. Gave them the floor and the extension of the contact person.
176 retention boxes were delivered to Audit as they requested. They wanted them all, they got them all. So many boxes were delivered, that there was absolutely nowhere to put them in their area. They had to put them in hallways and people’s cubicles.
By that time I was gone and I had officially begun my leave. It wasn’t until I returned 8 weeks later that I found out about the fallout.
Apparently, Audit wasn’t too happy. Lots of threats were made, they wanted me to come back immediately, wanted me reprimanded, wanted me fired, etc., etc., etc.
My boss at the time was awesome and showed them the email where they said, “Just send it all to us.” The Lead auditor tried to explain it away, but my boss pointed out that I had emailed numerous times and they could’ve amended their request at any time.
In the end, they were forced to deal with it. My boss’s boss sent out a companywide memo saying that no one was to assist Audit in going through the boxes as they had requested them. My first day back in the office I was met by stone silence from Audit.
I got one email about a week or so after my return asking me to return the boxes to retention, but my boss responded first. He made sure that Audit had to handle sending everything back and he asked me to forward the form to them.
After that, Audit never asked for me to do anything for them over the years other than a clarification here and there. My only regret is I never got to see the look on the auditors’ faces when all the boxes started appearing.”
13. Count Out A Sack Of Living Crickets? If You Don't Mind The Losses, Of Course
“I (32F) work part-time at a pet store to supplement my income as my salary as a full-time teacher doesn’t always pay the bills – plus I have a few pets and 20% off of in-store purchases is rather helpful. Anyway, one of the things we supply is live and frozen feeder animals for things like reptiles, certain aquatic creatures, and invertebrates.
These include things like mice, rats, dubia roaches, blood worms, mealworms, waxworms, super worms, and crickets. The mice and rats are either frozen or live, but either way, they’re easy to count and box up for the customer. Dubia roaches, mealworms, waxworms, and super worms are prepackaged and price-marked, but the crickets are not.
Crickets are kept in these large containers with mesh tops, egg cartons for the crickets to climb and hide in, cricket food, and hydration. This means when customers ask for crickets, which we usually sell by the dozen, we have to count and retrieve them manually while putting them in a plastic bag we then fill with air and tie off to go with the customer.
Our method for transferring the crickets is to lightly tap the egg cartons over a funnel-like object that doesn’t have a hole at the bottom. We tap the crickets in, wrap the plastic bag around the mouth of the funnel, then tip it and lightly tap the crickets into the bag.
Some crickets jump in out of order or cling to others, so often customers are given bonus crickets, which we’re okay with, it’s better than shorting them. So, customers are always given the right amount or often more than what they asked for without an increase in price.
Most people get this… The customer in this story did not. A woman comes in and she asked for four-dozen crickets; 48 crickets total. I went to the back, tapped the crickets from the cartons into the funnel, and then counted them into the bag.
As per usual, the occasional extra cricket tumbled or hopped in, probably putting the total to a bit over 50 by the time I was done. I bagged them, tied the bag, then took them to the counter. Now, I don’t know if this woman was having a bad day or she had been stiffed by another store in the past, but she demanded that we count out the crickets in front of her before she pay for them.
I explained that it was likely that she got more than what she asked for and counting out 48 crickets individually would take a little while. She insisted, she wanted to be sure we weren’t “ripping her off”. So, I got one of those small, plastic critter-keepers and a pair of tongs.
I opened the bag, making it deflate and slightly more painful to work with, and inserted the tongs. I grabbed each one with the tongs and started counting slowly so as not to crush the crickets with the tongs or lose my place while counting (something I do struggle with), and dropped each individually counted cricket into the critter-keeper.
So after about five to ten minutes at the counter meticulously counting crickets with tongs, and maybe deliberately taking a little bit longer than I had to out of spite, a line was building up behind the woman and I was getting close to the end of my count.
Eventually, I hit the grand total of what she paid for; 48 crickets! And wouldn’t you believe it? There were 10 left over in the bag; almost a whole extra free dozen she would have gotten had she not asked me to count.
I said “Oh! Would you look at that, my mistake! You were right, I did miscount! I’ll put these other ones back and ring you up for the 48, I’ll be right back!” And before she could protest, I wandered off to dump the last 10 crickets back into the cricket container.
When I came back to check her out, she was silent, not looking at me, and did her best to ignore the irritated looks of the customers lining up behind her while I poured her 48 crickets back into a plastic bag.
She paid then slunk off sheepishly out the door without a thank you or a glance back. I then got through the rest of the line quickly and apologized to the customers in line for the wait. I sent them home with some free samples, thanked them for their patience, then continued along with my shift. She never complained, and she did return to the location several times after… She never asked anyone to count crickets again.”
12. Angry That Nobody Took Over Her Duties After She Was Fired? But You Never Delegated Those Tasks To Us
“I was working for a manufacturer years ago, it was a small operation run by a husband (CEO) and wife with a sister business of a front-end platform that was run by the wife’s brother. The husband’s mom and some cousins also worked there between the two businesses.
With an operation like this you had the typical micromanagement from the CEO, minimum wage pay for top dollar performance expectations, and the general nonsense you can expect in a setup like this. I had this job while in college and needed to build my resume, they let me have a flexible schedule so I could leave early for my night classes and when I had midterms and finals so I knew I had to stick it out.
After about 6 months of working there my job responsibilities grew tremendously, but my salary did not. There was a high turnover rate in the office from the “we’re a family” environment which meant actual family got special treatment and everyone else was expected to do a crazy amount of work without getting any credit.
One of my friends (we’ll call her Katy) was looking for work and my company was hiring, I told her what she was getting into but as a recent college grad looking for office experience, she decided to give it a shot.
First, my referral bonus never came even after she had worked there for 90 days and I was told that I shouldn’t inquire about it because I referred someone to help the company not to get the extra bucks. I wasn’t in a position to push so I didn’t.
I trained Katy in her role as she was taking on some of my old responsibilities. Well, the CEO and the wife didn’t like how much time the two of us spent talking to each other or how much time we spent away from our desks, which was genuinely us using the restroom and getting water.
This made no sense because I handled product onboarding and Katy suggested products for curated events so it was important that she knew what new products were coming out and when she could start promoting them so that stock wouldn’t sit in the warehouse.
We separately had meetings with the CEO and office manager putting us on probation for this behavior.
Cue malicious compliance, we stop talking as much in the office effectively cutting me off from curated events and making it impossible for Katy to use our new products on the upcoming events (events could be scheduled anywhere from a week to several months in advance so it was a great way to boost sales and visibility for our new items).
My friend ended up getting fired for having a brain and questioning some of the stupid policies. Also for doing something so outrageous as taking her unpaid lunch hour, showing up at 9 and leaving at 5. Normally I would’ve gone back into the platforms to curate events until they found someone to take over the role but I was petty.
I had been there for a little over a year, I was training employees, teaching myself the ins and outs of all our retailers’ back ends, to uploading products, coordinating with our factories overseas, the freight companies, and our warehouse so that products would be live as soon as we had stock and was still getting paid like I did for the minimal role I had when I got hired.
So not my job, not my problem.
Fast forward a few months, the CEO decides to show up to work on the office floor instead of working out of his private office (whenever he was on the floor he was always super loud and disruptive to the general flow).
I hear him talk about sales from the past few months specifically about sales from events, so naturally, my ears perk up. He starts getting louder “I don’t get it, there’s this huge decline in sales. None of our new products are getting any traction.” I haven’t been addressed so I keep tapping away at my computer and acting oblivious.
He calls over the office manager and they start hashing it out “six months ago the sales for our new items went down significantly.” (I’m thinking yeah duh that’s when you told me and Katy to stop talking. The initial data that was supplied with product photos and descriptions weren’t clear it would’ve been a very long process for Katy to sift through the new products to try and match them to events as opposed to what we used to do which was she would tell me the theme and what she was looking for and I’d get her data on a short list of items that she could review to match to said events as opposed to dumping 100 products on her.) “Then three months ago they became almost non-existent, sales have dropped almost 70% with these events.” (Three months ago is when Katy got fired.) Eventually, the two of them piece together that they need to blame whoever is curating events and the CEO starts asking everyone in the office “whose responsibility is it to work on events?”
Finally, it gets to a point where I can’t stay quiet, the office is too small and I play too big of a role in product management so I chime in “oh wasn’t that Katy’s responsibility?”
CEO replies “she hasn’t worked here in three months, you mean to tell me no one has been submitting products for three months!?” He is LIVID and it’s clear that I am now on the path of his rage.
“Why has no one been handling this?!” Everyone is kind of looking around and the office manager (let’s call her Karen) starts shifting the blame onto me since technically Katy was in “my department”. Once the finger-pointing started I was prepared to defend myself.
“Well Karen, I thought you were the one who was in charge of managing and keeping track of every employee’s role.”
So Karen replies “I am, but you knew this is an important part of our sales and marketing.”
I reply “the week before she was let go didn’t you specifically get all of her passwords and a complete list of all of her tasks?”
Karen replies “yes.” She is clearly concerned with where I’m going with this.
“And after she was let go did you communicate to me that those tasks were now my responsibility.”
Karen: “Well no but I shouldn’t have had to!”
Me: “but you’re in charge of delegating tasks and making sure all work is assigned to employees.
Are you implying that I was supposed to know that you had a list of tasks unassigned? Why would I assume that you didn’t delegate those to another team member when that’s an essential part of your role?”
Needless to say, while Karen was very annoyed with me, I wasn’t taking the fall.
They didn’t ask me to curate events, Karen handled that which got them to hire another person very quickly because it was too much work for her on top of her other duties.”
11. Fill Out A Timecard Even Though I'm Salaried? Fine, But It'll Cost You
“A few years ago I was employed by a relatively small but publicly traded company. I can pretty much guarantee you wouldn’t recognize the name if you weren’t in their specific little corner of the industry.
Well, this place went public and decided to use some of the finances to purchase an even smaller company, and suddenly we were in the DoD contracting business.
As you may or may not know, the US Department of Defense places restrictions on private sector contractors about how much profit they’re allowed to make, among other cost-control mechanisms. One such mechanism is that anyone working on DoD contracts has to charge their time to specific project codes so that they can compare your actual costs to the costs you estimated when you were awarded the contract.
Well, our genius company decided that instead of only having the personnel working on these projects (which was no more than 50 people out of over 1000), they would make every single salary person sign a time card every week. For 95%+ of us, we charged 100% of our labor to the commercial side of the business, which was one project code.
“Non-Defense Overhead” or something like that. Most people just charged 8 hours per day regardless of how many hours they actually worked, because no one tracks their time down to the minute.
Shortly after this happened, new state legislation went into effect requiring that all employers provide 1 hour of sick leave per 40 hours worked.
Nobody paid much attention to it. But I did, because I was in a fairly specialized engineering role, with only 2 of us at the whole company, and I trained the other guy, who also happened to live overseas to support another site.
This is important later.
I started charging my actual hours. I noticed that despite how many hours I charged, the amount of PTO I was accruing stayed the same. This happened 3 or 4 paychecks in a row, and then I approached HR.
They looked at me like I had two heads when I informed them they were not adjusting my PTO accruals based on hours worked. “But you’re salary. You’re paid for 40 hours regardless of how many hours you work,” they told me.
I explained how that didn’t really apply to the situation due to the new legislation. They again looked at me like I was completely crazy. They said they’d get back to me with an answer in a week or two.
Fast forward two months.
I’m still diligently filling out my time cards like a good little drone, and I’ve spoken with several of my work buddies who start doing the same. The thing about this particular group of folks was that we all traveled, internationally, oftentimes last minute, on a regular basis for work.
Well wouldn’t you know it, it turns out that travel time (per our state labor laws) is considered working time. Sixteen hours worth of flights to Germany? All working time. (I believe the language is “place of rest to place of rest”).
And while you’re there, you’re not exactly relaxing. It’s long days, handling customer concerns, multiple days in a row. A perfect storm of circumstances happened that fall, where we were all traveling around the same time, and we all booked 120+ hour weeks of work.
We all eagerly awaited our paystubs to see all that extra PTO accrued and… nope. We approached HR again. They told us they would escalate the issue to their attorney. We went back to work.
Well, not surprisingly, things started going downhill for all of us, we started complaining about things a bit, and we all end up quietly looking for jobs.
Within a 5 week period, all of us put in our notices… and I lost my patience. I wrote an email to HR detailing our contacts with them and informed them that I would be escalating to the labor board without a full accounting of all back-owed PTO that would need to be paid.
I got a panicked phone call within about 5 minutes.
HR Drone: “Why are you even recording your hours that way? You’re salary!”
Me: “Because we have to fill out timecards.”
HR Drone: “Why don’t you just put 8 hours per day like everyone else?”
Me: “I’m sorry, but it sounds like you’re asking me to falsify my timecard.
When I sign it, the timecard specifically asks me whether I’ve reported my time accurately, under threat of prosecution.”
HR Drone: “…no, I’m just… why haven’t you brought up this issue previously?”
Me: “I have. Twice. With you. I detailed those encounters in the email I just sent.
I’m sure the company’s attorney has informed you of your requirements by now.”
HR Drone: “They… haven’t gotten back to me.”
Me, grin now wide across my face: “Well, funny enough, I went ahead and emailed our general counsel. It turns out my email was the first they’ve heard about the concern.
I’ve put in my notice. I expect to be paid in full for all back-owed PTO, or I’ll be filing a report with L&I, who take accusations of wage theft fairly seriously. I believe they give you a week to remit payment or pay up to triple what’s owed?”
HR Drone: “…”
Me: “Please contact me via email only when you have decided on a path forward.” click
It turns out that not only did I get paid the full PTO I thought I was owed, there was a bit extra on there as well.
And one of my buddies went ahead and reported the company to the labor board anyway, which apparently caused quite the stir. Last I heard, the HR department (with the exception of a couple of recruiters) got completely turned over, all the way up to the VP.”
10. Refuse To Let Me Get More Fuel Right Now? I Guess I'll Wait To Fuel Up In Expensive California
Let’s just say he could’ve gotten the same thing for a much smaller price elsewhere. Go figure.
“This story is about my first trucking job, in my first six months as a trucker. The company I worked for was infamous because Every New Guy Lasts About Ninety Days.
This story is about that company and what got one of my managers fired, all because of a simple request to be fueled on a short-haul load.
This load was dog food coming over from Sparks, NV, and dropping at a distribution hub in Sacramento, CA.
My last load had been dropped a couple of days before and I’d been sitting there waiting because I’d requested home time… I lived in San Bernardino County, CA at the time, so yeah. Already in a bad mood from that since it killed my vacation days I’d saved up from that time.
Lots of stories from this company, but I’ll move on since this story is about me getting my payback on the guy.
So, I’ve been sitting for a couple of days. It’s late August, so it’s been hot and I’ve been running my rig for AC at night.
I finally get my dog food load and notice that it doesn’t have a fuel stop. The pickup is in 30 so I shoot a message over the Qualcomm unit to ask for a fuel stop.
‘Due to this being a short-haul load (<200 miles), you will not be assigned fuel for this load.’
My gauge is on 1/4, but I’m sure they know that, right? I shoot them that info just to be sure and get no response while I’m picking up my load and getting ready to leave. Finally, I call my manager.
(Note, it’s been ~ 10 years since then, so apologies for not having the conversation perfectly memorized.)
“Hey, boss, you know I’m heading into Cali right?” I asked. “I need a fuel solution.”
“You’re good dude, just get this load done and we can get you fuel.” He was, annoyingly as ever, ignoring my concerns.
“That’s just it. I’m in Nevada at the moment, as soon as I get to California the price will jump,” I tried explaining. “It’s only 2.50 over here, but my uncle said it was nearly $5 in Sacramento right now.”
“You just get rolling.
I’ll figure something out if it’s really bad.”
Well, I tried, and I was feeling particularly mad after the fiasco with my ‘home’ days. So, I set off, doing some mental math. I was loaded pretty heavy and going over one of the more annoying passes in the US.
If you’ve done Donner, you know. I get up to the top of the pass just fine, still a bit over 1/8 left. 200 gallons worth of tank, so ~20 gallons, at an expected 9 miles to the gallon on the downhill with jakes at full.
Let’s do this.
Sure enough, I roll down the mountain with just enough gas to get me to my drop on Sacramento’s harbor, then have down to the yard just enough gas to get to the 49’er truck stop, the only spot my company had for fuel at the time in the area.
My engine cuts in and out as I pull into the island. My manager is on for another 5 minutes or so, so I give him a call.
“Hey, just got to the truck stop and my rig is running on fumes.
Can I get some fuel?”
He was rushed and annoyed since he wanted to get home, just like I wanted at this point. I still didn’t expect what I got. “Yeah, just fill up. You’re authorized for 220 gallons so you can get the reefer too if you have a trailer.”
And with that, he hung up.
For those who don’t know, August 2012 saw prices through most of California going back up to just over $4 a gallon. The 49’er, who had somewhat of a monopoly because they were absolutely massive and the only major brand out there from what I knew at the time, were charging $6.50 or so per gallon.
I’d just been given carte blanche for a full tank. I still remember the gallons and price readout.
(203.89 Gal/ $1,309.55). Yep, 1300 on a fill-up that normally costs about 400 on the extreme high end in the rest of the country.
I went to bed, knowing there would be a storm of epic proportions the next day. I was 21, annoyed, and fully willing to roll with whatever was coming because I was spiteful. Sure enough, I got a call from the night manager before the sun even came up.
“OP, what the crap is this fuel bill?”
“Pull the Qualcomm messages, and the call log from last night,” I replied before hanging up and falling back asleep.
When the sun was up I had a message on my Qualcomm from my manager’s manager, along with a new route directly to my home terminal.
My manager had been fired and they wanted to see me in person to figure out just what was going on. I got there, and after a couple of meetings, they gave me a week off and transferred me to Relief/Recovery.
I have some horror stories from that, but those are for another time. For that day, I had just won against the single most annoying boss I’d ever known, and had finally gotten myself a bit of time with my parents and brother, which was good enough for me.”
9. Feeling Confident That She'll Get Nothing Out Of Going To The Authorities? Okay, Let's See What They Think
“This story took place back in the mid-90s. My wife and I were newly married and our daughter was still an infant. My wife worked in health care as a home care nurse, traveling from house to house looking after people.
However, after our daughter was born, she did not want a job that put her on the road so much and shifts in the evening. So, she applied to be a cleaner at the military base near our community. Two things about our situation that are noteworthy: one is that my wife is a visible minority, and second, as a health care worker, she logs everything as a force of habit.
The company that hired her was a national company. The base office usually had five employees. One had recently quit because her husband was moving with his military job to another part of the country. So, the local boss hired my wife to replace her.
The four other workers were tight. Louise was the boss, who hired her best friend Donna, Donna’s brother Dan, and Louise’s niece Tracy. My wife was a true outsider.
She immediately saw things were not quite on the level. Even though my wife was paid from 4 pm to midnight, she was home by 8 pm every night.
She was also excluded from cleaning the buildings that housed the engineering and tenancy offices. Occasionally, when she would clean those offices she saw her colleagues rifling through desks and filing cabinets, photocopying documents and other shady stuff. My wife also saw Louise threaten a soldier with extra duties for not opening doors fast enough (Louise’s husband was a senior NCO in the unit).
But jobs were hard to find at the time so my wife was willing to accept a little discomfort to her ethics.
However, after a few months, the racial epithets started. It started with a nickname. Then morphed into slurs and then rumors about her.
They started telling racial jokes without trying to hide it. When my wife complained to the four of them that she was uncomfortable, she got called weak, and they threatened her employment. My wife told them that she would go to the head office.
So, she called the head office from work. Stuart, from HR, dressed down my wife over “women’s talk” and she needed to thicken her skin and not be too sensitive. My wife countered that she would go to the authorities. Stuart said “no laws have been broken” so she should “go to the authorities.” Good luck.
Later that shift, she was fired for her attitude.
So, my wife went to the authorities. Just not the police. She went to the Human Rights Commission and to the military base headquarters.
She gave both photocopies of her logs. The Human Rights investigation determined that there was a work environment that tolerated racist behaviors.
That garnered an apology and an acknowledgment from Stuart with a smug comment that they will henceforth include a clause about racial sensitivity in their employee paperwork. He even made a comment to my wife that essentially, this was “nothing”.
However, behind the scenes, the base had been doing its own investigation:
- some of the people whose desks had been rifled in the tenancy buildings had reported that they suspected they had been snooped through.
The dates of some of their reports matched my wife’s logs on the dates she was there
- Louise threatening a soldier was followed up and it was discovered that Louise’s husband had chastised the soldier and arranged for him to do 2 weeks of extra duties.
A violation of an abuse of authority statute
- the contract with the base required 40 hours of service per day. The base pulled the security and key logs showing that work was always done by 8 pm. The base was paying for 40 hours per day and getting 20 hours of service
- there was a clause in the cleaning contract that stated that federal government human rights regulations needed to be followed.
The results of the Commission’s investigation determined that they were in violation
- other bases were contacted to see what was going on with this company, and they found out others were having similar issues
As a result, the base broke the contract with cause.
It was a 5 year contract broken after the 2nd year. Louise, Donna, Dan, and Tracy were suddenly out of work.
The next cleaning company came in. All personnel had to undergo vetting for security. All cleaning was done during the day (preventing people from rifling desks), 40 hours was 40 hours, and cleaners were not authorized to engage soldiers beyond casual “how are you” conversations.
My wife went back to health care. However, every once in a while she wonders what Stuart thinks of “women’s talk” now.”
Another User Comments:
“It’s actually a pretty significant penalty, never being able to work for any form of the military again.
Photocopying pages is at the absolute least an appalling violation of ethics; they were lucky they weren’t pursued further as (eg) personnel movement could be deemed significant if not classified, and that’s just one example. But it does sound like the changes put in place were sensible and they probably should have been standard practice anyway.” brianozm
8. Force Me To Work During My Vacation? I'll Make You Pay For It
“I’d been working at this company for about 3 years. I had been consistently growing in my role and eventually was given a project to own, with 1-2 other team members if needed, but it was a major project, with a quick turnaround.
I determined I could do it myself, though it would be tight, and since I was hoping for a promotion, I took on the project solo.
I was able to deliver the project slightly ahead of schedule, and with better quality than expected which allowed us to make a huge sale.
The head of the company gave me an award at an All Hands meeting for the work I did, and my boss let me know I was on track for an end-of-year promotion, with a nice pay raise and more responsibilities.
But I was needed in another part of the business, so I was going to have to transfer to a new manager that was notoriously hard to work with.
I transferred to this manager and at the first meeting we had to get on the same page, I brought up that I had a 3-week, planned vacation in 4 months.
I had never taken vacation, so had 6 weeks saved up and did not want to start losing it. He told me “of course,” that would be fine and we would be able to make it work.
About a week later, we have our first meeting with our product team.
They had a new, large project idea and wanted it to be released in just 3 months. As my team looked over the details, we knew this was a 6-8 month project at best, and it would be better to deliver it in smaller increments (so they still had something to show in 3 months), or we would need to push out the schedule.
My boss was adamantly against both, so throughout the next week he made us have last-minute 3-4 hour “brainstorming sessions” every day, but he would not even tell us until around 3 pm, forcing all of us to work late every day that week.
At the end of the week, there was no way we could figure out to deliver everything on the shorter timeline, and so my boss asked me to stay behind after the meeting. For another hour, he railed against me, saying I was failing at this project and that he could not see me getting a “good” annual review in 4 months, and that a promotion wasn’t even on the table.
This annual review would also include the project I had just received an award for and is supposed to encompass 12 months of work, but he was “basing” this off the first two weeks on this new team.
At this point, I knew he was ready to use me as a scapegoat for his bad management, and started applying elsewhere.
We continued working on the project and sure enough, at the end of 3 months, we were still far from being able to deliver and my boss was getting heat from up above. Right around this time, I received an offer from another company, that would be the promotion I wanted, and an even larger pay increase.
I accepted the offer and negotiated my start date to be after my vacation (now 3 weeks away).
That same day, my boss calls me into his office and tells me “we need to talk about this vacation”. I reminded him that we had talked about it months before and that everything is booked: flights, hotels, etc.
He would not let up and told me there was no way I could take 3 weeks off with how behind schedule we are. He told me I could go on my trip, but I could not take vacation and would be expected to be online during our business hours throughout the trip (4 am – 1 pm local time in my vacation spot).
Every morning while on vacation, I would log on at 4 am, check emails, answer questions on our internal chat, and do the minimum work expected, logging off as soon as it hit 1 pm, all without burning any vacation. With one week left in vacation, I requested a conference call with my boss, to give him my two weeks’ notice.
He was shocked and tried everything to get me to stay and finish out the project, including bringing back up a possible promotion. I told him I had already accepted a job with a start date upcoming. I worked my last two weeks, before moving on to my new job.
Because my boss required me not to take vacation, the company had to pay out all of my accrued vacation once I left (a little less than 7 weeks at this point), including the 3 weeks I had originally planned to take.
Now short-staffed, I heard from other coworkers that the project missed two more adjusted deadlines and eventually the manager was demoted before being let go from the company.
About 6 months later, the head of the first company asked me to lunch to offer me a role taking over my former boss’s old position. I negotiated an even higher pay increase, as well as company equity, and ended up going back there for 3 more years.”
7. Try To Penalize Me After I Give You My Notice To Leave? Take A Look At The Contract
Always refer back to the contract.
“I work for a multinational consulting company. I just recently finished my engineering degree and since I was already working there as an intern when they offered me a full-time job I figured I’d accept it while I looked for another job that I would enjoy more.
The project I was in was a complete crap show. The Client was always angry at us because we were late on our deliveries constantly, the PL was a good guy but didn’t have a clue about what we “pawns” were doing on a daily basis and would chew everyone out whenever things didn’t go as he planned, and the project itself was boring as heck, so there wasn’t really any challenge or opportunity for learning anything valuable.
To top it off, while most of my coworkers were cool guys, some of them were just slackers that tried to do the absolute minimum, and oftentimes not even that, which usually meant more work for me. There was a huge amount of turnover too (so high that I was one of the ‘vets’ despite having been there for only 6 months), so the project never really felt to be getting any traction.
To be fair though, they always treated me well and with respect, so nothing to complain about on a personal level.
After 2 months with my new contract in that sucky project, I finally found a job at another company that I really liked.
Salary and other benefits were far better than what I had at the moment and the project was much more interesting. I passed all the interviews with flying colors and they offered me the job, starting the following month. Great!
In my country, you usually need to give a 15-day notice before leaving your current job or you risk facing penalties.
Now, it was my first time switching jobs, so I called HR to confirm this, and they did. It’s also relevant that once you put in your leave notice, the company can actually let you go whenever they want before the 15 days are over.
This meant that if I would’ve told them right then that I was leaving next month, they easily could’ve let me go the next day and I would’ve been left without a job for the entire month.
With all this information, I decided to wait a couple of weeks before putting in my leave notice (about 17 days before the starting date at my new job) so I could at least guarantee myself half a month’s salary.
The day comes in, and I talk to HR to put in my notice. They are very polite, trying to convince me to stay, but give up when I tell them what my new conditions will be. Then, the conversation goes as follows:
HR: “Alright then, we’ll process your leave request…
your last day being 1st October, you will be deducted 6 days of salary…”
Me: “Wait, what? Why?”
HR: “Oh, you need to give us notice 15 labor days before leaving. It’s company policy.”
Me: “But I literally talked to you a couple of weeks ago and you never specified that they had to be labor days.
We always talked about natural days.”
HR: “I doubt that. It’s always been labor days, not natural days.”
This exchange goes on for a bit, and I start having the feeling that he is gaslighting me. So I try to think of another solution.
Me: “I still have 6 vacation days left over. Can’t I just take those right after I ‘leave’?”
HR: “No, sorry, can’t do. Company policy.”
So here I am, thinking these duplicitous, gaslighting, unhelpful jerks at HR have got me by the balls.
The only thing he does is remind me that company policy is set in stone. Finally, I tell them that I would look into my options and call back.
I start going through my contract to see if I could do anything about this and I gotta say, I struck gold.
The contract I signed was a regular, indefinite time contract – however, the first 3 months of it were probatory, which meant that the company could terminate it at any time without repercussions for any reason. I looked it up on Google and I confirmed my suspicions: the same was true for the employee.
It had been only 2 months since I signed, so I could leave whenever I wanted, no notice needed at all.
With the biggest crap-eating grin I could muster, I call HR back.
Me: “Hey, it’s me, OP, calling you back about my leave notice.
I just read my contract and since I’m still on probatory period, I take it I can leave whenever I want, with no penalties whatsoever. Like for instance, right now, at 12:39 in the afternoon. Is that correct?”
Silence for one, two, three, four, five seconds.
HR: “…I guess we can probably arrange it for you to leave right before 1st October if you wish.”
6. Go On The Tenancy Tribunal Website? Great Idea; I'll File A Complaint Against You!
“New Zealand has some particularly predatory property managers. Their prey is university students and young families who live in our bigger cities. There are stories in our news quite frequently about how poorly they treat tenants.
I spent my 20s living in rental properties in Wellington.
Most of the houses I lived in were super damp, mold-ridden crap heaps. They were also super expensive (they are even worse now). Fortunately, New Zealand has a fantastic tenancy tribunal that is sick of property managers preying on young people who do not have a lot of money.
When I was about 28, my (now) wife and I found a beautiful house in a suburb called Berhampore. Close to the city, quiet area, near a bus stop, with plenty of space including a pretty garden in the back and, most importantly, not expensive.
A perfect house. Just before we moved in I took about 200 photos of the house. I’d become very wary of how easily property managers could rake a tenant over the coals for damage, garbage, etc. the previous tenant left behind.
We spent a year and a half living there without incident. We had to report to the property manager that trash had been left under the house by the previous, and they dealt with it well. When we needed to install high-speed broadband they were easy to deal with and everything seemed to be going swimmingly.
About 4 months prior to the end of our lease, I was offered a brewing job in the United States. I informed our property manager that we would need to break our lease earlier than expected to which she replied, “no problem, let’s arrange a time to meet.”
Prior to meeting with her, I researched her company’s policy on moving out of rental properties prior to the agreed date.
The company policy was that if a tenant broke the agreement early then the tenant would have to pay $750 to the property manager. This was supposedly to cover the listing fee. I should mention at this point that listing properties in Wellington was not challenging, or expensive.
Most properties were filled within a week. Some property managers were even expecting people to show up with funds to cover Bond plus the first month’s rent when they were having viewings of the property. There was no way that $750 was going towards just the listing fee.
When I went into our meeting, I told her that we were willing to ensure the property was cleaner than when we arrived, and also we were willing to offer an extra $200 for moving out prior to the lease ending.
At that point, she showed me the company policy which stated leaving prior to the end of the agreed lease date would mean a $750 fee for us as the tenants.
I acted flabbergasted, as one would, to hear of this shocking news.
At this point, our property manager explained to me that the tenants before my wife and I were in a similar situation and had left prior to the agreed date. I explained to her that this was extortion and I thought it was incredibly unfair.
I repeated to her that we had offered her $200 to help with relisting the property and that we were willing to list it ourselves. I also said to her that it was ridiculous to think that it would cost more than $100 to list and fill that property.
She explained to me “that is what the tenants before you did (paid the $750) and that’s just what everyone does.” To which I replied, “just because everyone else does it doesn’t mean it’s right.”
We argued some more and left it unresolved.
On my way out of her office she said, “if this is still an issue, you should get in touch with the tenancy tribunal”. With the rage of a thousand suns, and the ability to bottle emotions like a true Catholic, I managed to respond, “I’ll do that.”
As soon as I got home, I went on to the tenancy tribunal website and filed a complaint against the company she represented.
Within a day, the tribunal agreed to help me and contacted the property manager. In turn, she emailed me begging for mercy. “If you agree to drop the complaint, we won’t charge you anything. The owner is very disappointed, but if you leave the house in a good state there will be no more issues”.
We’re not absolute trash, so of course we cleaned the place thoroughly. We moved out without paying them a dime. But the real reward came when I saw her in the city and greeted her with a big smile and wave. I didn’t think I had the power of invisibility but she didn’t seem to see me at all.”
5. Make Me Purchase My Own Uniforms? You Can't Complain If I Wear Old Ones
“This story is from a good 15+ years ago when I was a much more fit Marine. Here’s some background to set the stage. I graduated HS in 2001 and decided the best way to pay for college and get away from my family was to go into the military.
Being young and dumb I decided that if I was going to do it, I might as well do it right so I join the Marines. Well, I started the boot camp in Aug of 2001, 9/11 happened about a month after I got there.
My time in was filled with a bunch of stupid stories about people trying to flex their rank on us lowly Jr. Enlisted folks. I’m sure I have a bunch of other MC, but the one below stuck with me.
On to the MC.
In boot camp we were issued I think 4 or 5 sets of camouflage uniforms, after that we had a measly ~$100 or so a year for a uniform stipend. Well, 1 or 2 years into my enlistment the Marines decided to go high speed with new digital print camo and suede leather boots.
I think the first set of green and desert was provided, but we were expected to pay for anything else out of our stipend. Those things aren’t exactly cheap.
I enjoyed the new uniforms much more than the old style because they didn’t require ironing and we no longer had to polish our boots, but I was also more concerned with getting them stained and dirty.
Every year we had to do Rifle Qualification, the range was pretty nasty sometimes and you would often have to perform your prone shooting in nice mud puddles. I would always pull out my old cammies and iron them and polish my old jungle boots each year before going to the range.
Not a big deal for the first few years. The last range qualification of my 5-year contract was about 3 months before the old uniforms were to be retired, and about 2 months before I was going to be a civilian.
I had no more craps to give at that point. I showed up on the first day to the range and I was literally the only one out of several hundred Marines in old-school green camo. Nearly immediately, well we get there at like 4 am, so probably 6 am or so, I got chewed out by some First Sergeant for not being in proper uniform.
I explained to him that these were my issued cammies at boot camp and that I only had a couple of pairs of digitals, so I didn’t want to dirty them on the range. At first, he accused me of buying them and honestly thought there was no way that I was issued them.
He wasn’t persuaded by my explanation and I was told that I better show up in proper attire the next day.
As soon as I got home I pulled up the base regulations, including the recent guidance from the base commander outlining the last date that we could wear old cammies.
I printed off a copy and put it in my pocket and I went to the range the next day, still wearing my old cammies. Again, he comes over to me and makes me stand in parade rest and all that while he berates me for not following his orders.
I pulled out the base regulations and stated that the base commander says that this is proper attire for another few months. He tried to bring up some reason why everyone having the same uniform is required on the range, and that the range wasn’t under the jurisdiction of the base commander, it was.
He ended up asking for my superior’s info and called my Staff Sergeant. I thought I was going to have to cave in, but my Staff Sergeant actually had my back and thought it was kind of funny. So for the rest of the week, I remained the only Marine on the rifle range in non-digital camo.
It was nice to stick it to the man one last time before leaving.”
4. Want Us To Imitate You? Okay, But You Might Not Like It
“My 3rd-grade teacher, Mr. White, looked a lot like Stanley Tucci. Unlike the acting range that Stanley Tucci’s characters have, Mr. White had two modes: calm and insane. He was the first teacher I ever had that would scream at us.
And I don’t mean raise his voice and tell us to be quiet, I mean red-faced, crazy guy on the street corner at midnight screaming in your face. Being the naïve 8-9-year-olds that we were, we just fearfully went with it.
It was always over benign stuff, too. He loved to single kids out for minor things that irritated him. You talk while he’s talking, he would get right in your face and tell you how you’ve ruined the lesson, then have the class sit in silence for 20 minutes.
One time, two kids were having a “ruler fight”, holding their rulers like swords and pretending to battle in slow motion. Mr. White ran up, snatched both rulers from their hands, snapped them in half across his knee, and dropped the pieces to the floor.
Many children shed tears in his class.
My biggest mistake was letting a pencil accidentally roll off of my desk and hit the floor during a lesson. I vaguely remember him saying beforehand that we played too much with our pencils. Well, that set him off and I was sent outside, not to the principal’s, just outside the door to stand in the rain to “think about it.” Oh, and he threw a whiteboard eraser at my friend Jared, which we laugh about to this day, but I see a bit of repressed trauma in Jared’s poor lil eyes when we do.
Eventually, parents began to catch wind and wonder why their kids were coming home crying, so the principal was contacted (multiple times), and by the end of the year, Mr. White’s outbursts weren’t as frequent, but he was still super volatile.
So the last day of class comes and Mr. White says he has a fun treat for us. He’s going to sit in a chair at the front of the class and we get to line up, face the class, and do impressions of him! He says we can make fun of him and his funny little quirks.
He wasn’t a demon 24/7, he did little things like say “I’m not me until I’ve had my coffee!” and step outside to pass gas because “he didn’t want to poison us!” and he always had to wipe his glasses off but couldn’t find his lens cleaners! Ha, ha, how quirky.
And when the other kids got up and started pretending to be Mr. White, that’s mostly the kind of stuff they touched on in their fun little ways. He smiled, the kids laughed, how cute.
Well, I was about 10th in line and I had a different idea.
It was my turn, and when I got up to the front, I turned to one of the more mistreated kids in the class and screamed at the top of my lungs, “JARED! IF YOU DON’T PUT THAT CRAP DOWN YOU WILL BE OUT OF MY CLASS FOREVER! AND EMILIA YOU NEED TO SHUT YOUR FREAKING MOUTH NOW I’M SICK OF YOU” and just absolutely went off, pretending to throw crap, etc.
The class loooved it.
Mr. White immediately tuned into Mr. Red but he couldn’t say a darn thing about it because he was already on thin ice, plus we were moving on from his class anyway, and he knew it was all true.
I think the most surprising thing to him was that I was one of the quietest kids that whole year. All he could do was fake a smile, but gosh darn, he actually looked livid. The best part is, my imitation got such a kick that a few other kids that went after me did the same thing! Just imitating his insane rants and mannerisms, and he had to sit there and take it because it’s literally what he asked us to do – act like him.
In the final goodbye to his students, he didn’t say a word to me, and I was too scared to even approach him. I hope he isn’t teaching anymore because he is a truly terrifying presence to children. Maybe throwing his little fun exercise back in his face made him seek therapy, god knows he needed it.”
3. Have The Maintenance Guy Open The Gate Instead Of Giving Us Copies Of The Key? If You Insist
Seems inconvenient and counterproductive.
“Years ago, I lived in a trailer park (Manufactured Home Community – they were ‘nice’ trailers, but they were still trailers), and during a summer when I inherited my dad’s little fishing boat, I was informed I wasn’t allowed to park the boat in our driveway (it fit completely in the driveway and did not hang out onto the road).
When I mentioned that this rule was nowhere in my lease, they said “oh, the rule was just changed this year, it’ll be on your next lease” (and it was).
I asked what they expected me to do with my boat, and they said “there’s a community lot at the end of the block where tenants are expected to park their trailers and boats, you can park it there for free.” Great, that’ll free up space in my driveway, then.
I decided to play along instead of fighting it, and when I went to get my boat out of the lot that Saturday, the gate was locked. I impatiently stomp over to the office, telling them I wasn’t told the gate would be locked, and I wasn’t given a key to get my boat out.
“Oh, the residents don’t get keys to that gate.” Hold up. You’re requiring me to park my boat there, but you’re not giving me access to my boat? “All you have to do is call the park maintenance guy when you need to get something out, and he’ll come to open it up.”
Now, I tried to argue with her about how inconvenient that is for literally everyone involved, and how it’d be so much simpler to just make a bunch of copies of the key, and sign one over to each person who has to keep something there.
Crap, let me borrow the key right now, and I’ll go down to the hardware store and I will pay to get my own copy made! You could even make us all sign for the keys, with a fee if we lose it.
“Sir, we don’t do that for security reasons. If there are multiple keys floating around out there, anyone could get access to your boat!”
I decided to ignore how stupid that was (since if my boat was in my driveway, where I really wanted it, anyone could get access to it and that’s what tongue locks are for), smiled, and said “You know what, you’re right! I wasn’t thinking clearly.
Please give me the phone number for the maintenance guy, and I will just give him a call when I need to get my boat out.”
I went home and checked the weather for the weekend. Warm, sunny, and calm all Sunday.
Sounds like a perfect day for fishing! And you know what, I want to make the most out of my fishing trip, so I’m going to get an early start. I woke up at five in the morning, got myself all ready, packed my gear into the back of my truck, and drove on over to the trailer lot.
I then called the maintenance guy, who answers with a groggy, and clearly still half-asleep, “hello?”
Me: -in my best, crap-eating, chipper voice- “Good morning! I was told I have to call you to get my trailer out of the lot!”
Him: “It’s like five in the morning! You’re going to have to wait-”
Me: “No, sir.
I’ve got things to do today, and I need to get an early start, so I’m going to need to get into that lot now.”
Him: -with noticeable irritation in his voice- “Give me five minutes.”
About ten minutes later he pulls up to the gate, very visibly disgruntled about the whole thing.
I just give him a smile and a “good morning!”
Him: -as he’s unlocking the gate- “You need your trailer to move tree limbs or something?”
Me: “Oh, no, my boat’s on it, and I need it for fishing!”
Him: “That couldn’t wait until a decent hour?!”
My life doesn’t revolve around your sleep schedule. Of course, if I had my own key to this gate, you wouldn’t need to be here at all.”
I had a great day fishing. When I got back, the gate was no longer locked, and I never saw a lock on it again.”
2. Only Worry About My Quota? No Problem
“I started working at a chain supermarket in November 2019. I worked as a CAP 2 associate; stocking shelves, unloading trucks, stuff like that. My supervisor when I started was amazing. She had some higher expectations than possible for me only working there for a month but generally, I would get a quota say, 8 hours, and would have to get that section done in that timeframe.
Any time exceeding the 8-hour workday I had would warrant someone getting sent over from a smaller section of our department to help me wrap it up. Skip ahead another month and she has to go on leave for about a month, my average quota gets upped to about 14-16 hours a day, and our manager gets moved to the night shift.
In comes a new manager. This guy was a nightmare. I stopped getting help in the juice and water section where I worked and ended up with a few large pallets left at night for the overnight crews because like I said, I was getting 14-16 hour quotas to fulfill in my 8-hour shift.
Once the District Manager stopped helping him make the sheets and gave him control he started pulling me to the side and constantly told me to work faster, to which I would reply “I’m working as fast as I can, I’m getting double the amount of work to do in the same amount of time.” He doesn’t listen.
Then comes the first week of February. I check my department, still working in juice and water. Great, my specialty. I look over at the quota… it’s blank. I think nothing of it, get my usual amount of pallets and don’t finish them all.
This goes on for about a week before he comes up to me again.
“OP, you aren’t getting your quota done on time.”
“I can’t get it done on time if I can’t see the amount of time it’s supposed to take, plus it hasn’t changed in quantity since January, I’m still getting a bunch of freight to move to the floor.”
“You really need to start finishing your quota either way, overnights are complaining.”
“Can you at least send someone over from paper and chem?” (The fastest aisles, usually done in 4 hours)
“No, you have to do what you can do.”
Here comes the malicious compliance.
I still wasn’t getting my quotas printed but everyone else was. I timed how long it took me to unload and stock a pallet, and an Lcart (what they use to haul TVs to your vehicle and such). My average time was 1:30 for each pallet, which I had to move 2,500lb of liquids by myself onto the floor using a normal jack.
The carts took me about 30 minutes. My average night had 2 carts and 7 -8 pallets from the gm truck and the product that gets pulled in in the morning. Every day we had to unload trucks for a different department that worked at the same time as us, and take an hour lunch.
That takes up about 1:20 out of my 8-hour workday. We also had to pull everything unloaded from the gm truck to the floor for overnights an hour before closing.
From then on I started checking out the pallets and carts, then wrote in the time that it would take me on the quota sheets.
Still around 13 hours of labor on a light night, including unloading the other truck for the other department. I stop unloading the trucks that come in and take half lunches and no breaks. (They required 15-minute breaks two hours before and after lunch) I ask my friend in the aisle next to me if they can grab the coffee, tea, syrups, or anything else that was technically theirs that I still had to stock for them.
They had no problem with it and it took about a full pallet and a cart away from my time. I started staying late and stopped pulling gm freight for the overnight crew.
After a large check full of overtime and scolding from higher-ups on skipping my breaks, my manager finally says something.
“Why aren’t you helping out with the trucks?”
“You told me to just worry about my quota.”
“You need to start helping out your coworkers. And you can’t skip breaks and lunches and work late. That gets me in trouble and you.”
“Well, I need to get the quota done.
You told me that’s what I had to do no matter what.”
“You need to get it done and still help.”
“I can’t do that in the time I’m given.”
“I can see I’m getting nowhere just go.”
Every day after that I started getting not only quotas, but 2 additional people would be unloading juice and water pallets with me, and make me go to lunch with them and on breaks.
I quit in March to move to VA but I would never work there again.”
Another User Comments:
“Walmart/Kroger/any other grocery store. They’re all the freaking same. They don’t care about employees most of the time. All they do is up the work more and more but they won’t up the number of people doing that work until it literally affects almost everyone in the freaking store over a long period of time.
Like, cmon. If you’re gonna triple the amount of work, triple the amount of people doing it. Grocery stores can’t freaking lose money unless they shut down or crap breaks. They will always make good profits, but spend freaking next to nothing on doing so, and management will always rake in the dough. But the real people who rake it in are the annoying upper management who do nothing but run around scaring stores with inspections and next to no actual work.” Aetheldrake
1. I Don't Have To Take Crap From Them? Ok, I'll Just Skip This Meeting Then
And that was a good call.
“Long ago I had this Project Manager (Richard, for obvious reasons) who was quite a character. The project we were working on was, to be very honest, a crap show. The tiny mom-and-pop company was hired to take on a massive project with a big multinational engineering/construction firm.
We had a huge team of three (3) engineers and a rotating cast of PMs who typically didn’t last more than a few months before either of their contracts were renewed, Big Boss decided they were too expensive, or simply weren’t up to the task.
Anyway. We were expected to produce copious amounts of paperwork, from project schedules, engineering manuals, engineering datasheets, drawings, schematics, etc et al. The team was awesome – we got along well, and we worked hard. However there really was only so much we could do, and we were inexperienced in dealing with huge projects or the standards that multinational megacorps typically enforce with their paperwork, so that led to a lot of documents being returned with lots of comments, lots of recycle time, lots of frustration on both the clients’ and our side, and a lot of nasty language.
Still, my colleagues and I learned A LOT during this time, all three of us fresh from university. And to give due credit to the client, once we’d gotten to know some of their team and shared our situation with them, a few of their engineers were kind enough to spend many hours literally tutoring us on various things.
I spent a whole week, 9-5, every day, with one guy in particular who taught me how to draw P&ID diagrams professionally.
One particular day, we got a call from the client asking the team to go attend a “mediation/expediting” session, basically “go listen to the client cuss you out”.
We had this pretty often, like once or twice a month.
So Richard decided he simply didn’t want to go to this particular meeting. He said, “I am not going. If you want to go, go on your own.” I called the client to decline the meeting, only to get cussed out, and told in no uncertain terms to attend the meeting (mentioned me and Richard by name) or else there would be heck to pay.
Big Boss sighs and says “Just go.”
I consult Richard again, asking him what to tell the client. He said, I quote, “I don’t care. Tell them whatever you want.” Then kicks his feet up on his table, pulls out a newspaper, and starts reading it.
Dumbfounded, I left his room and went back to my desk seething.
The next morning, I turn up at the client’s office alone, get ushered into a big meeting room, and sat down in front of 8 people. 4 of whom I knew as the regulars we dealt with; and the rest were introduced to me as Senior GMs and a manager from the end user company.
Boy oh boy. Me, a lowly lowest-of-the-low peon, versus 4 mid-level bosses and 4 end-game bosses at the same time. Granted, they were professional when giving me a good earful about our company’s abysmal performance… And then they asked the golden question: “Why are you here alone? Where is your PM to address these concerns?”
“My PM declined to attend the meeting.”
“Richard said he doesn’t care and for me to tell you anything I like.”
The meeting ended shortly after that. But wait there’s more!
The 4 regulars then dragged me into another meeting room, giving me a God-awful verbal lashing, and cussed me out for another hour.
Then, 1 out of the 4, an “Expeditor” named Joe who had stayed silent throughout the 2nd meeting, dragged me off to ANOTHER meeting room, where I got cussed out again for another half hour over “why do you let (Client’s project team, the other 3 guys) verbally mistreat you during ALMOST EVERY meeting like this? You should walk out or decline to attend when it gets abusive.” Saying this whilst cussing me out.
Crawling back to my own office, I retold the events to my Big Boss (Richard had taken the rest of the day off). He just sighed and told me to go back to work.
That same afternoon, a nastygram came in requesting ANOTHER meeting the next morning, this time with a demand for my PM’s mandatory attendance.
I forwarded it to my Big Boss, who then called Richard and voluntold him to attend.
Richard then called me and angrily insisted I attend with him, then hung up before I could answer. OK, fine then… Cue the second dose of MC.
The next morning, I called in sick, texted Richard, and stayed home. Shortly after the meeting started, Joe calls me to ask why I wasn’t present – to which I replied, “You told me yesterday to walk out or decline if things get abusive – I thought today’s meeting likely wouldn’t be very amiable, so per your advice, I’ve declined to attend.” Joe simply laughed and said, “Fair enough.”
Richard got cussed out by the client for well over two hours that morning. Two glorious hours during which I lay in bed. Two weeks later, Richard got replaced by a new PM; who was much better and lasted till the end of the project.”