People Unfold Their Malicious Compliance Revenge Stories To Us
17. Don't Listen To Me And Mess With The Cat Anyway? Go For It, But She'll Strike Back
“This happened about 4 years ago, and I still laugh about it to this day. My older cousin had a cat named Tara when she was younger. Tara was a total loose screw, and she would bite and scratch anyone who so much looked at her funny.
And don’t get me started when you dare disturb her sleeping. Never mess with Tara when she’s sleeping. Tara only really felt comfortable around my cousin and me. (She liked me because I usually helped my cousin feed her because I wanted to know what it was like taking care of a cat as I want my own.
Plus, I was already close with my cousin.)
Now here’s where it gets good. My aunt and uncle were having a little family gathering, and they decided to invite some of their close friends. Among them were their demonic kids mini Bigfoot (6) and Mini Yeti (5).
Those two couldn’t sit still or shut up for at least 1 second. And the parents just let it all happen. They would use the excuse, “They don’t know any better.” They probably would if you set a boundary or something at least.
So while they’re downstairs terrorizing the adults and anyone else who was brave and patient enough to be in the same rooms as them, my cousin, her friend, and I all just chill upstairs.
They both are talking about some stuff with school and all that nonsense that I didn’t bother listening to. They both leave the room to go run a few errands and buy some more cat toys as Tara had demolished the previous ones.
I’m left in the room alone with a little furball that’s curled up on the bed having a darn good nap. Then I hear the sounds of rapid footsteps, and I didn’t need to peek out to see what it was.
Both gremlins walk in the room and immediately point out all the drawings on the walls of Nintendo characters (my cousin LOVES Nintendo) then little mini Bigfoot has to point out that there’s a “fluffy kitty!” on the bed.
They reach over to pet her and I inch their hands away and tell them to not disturb her.
For some background, I already had bad beef with these two because when they were at our house, Mini Yeti pulled my dog’s ears and tail constantly and wouldn’t stop.
Mini Yeti starts to whine about how much she loves cats and she wants to cuddle the itty bitty kitty. I told her that Tara hates when her sleep is disturbed, but they still wouldn’t go away.
They went downstairs to tell their parents and they told me, “Let them pet the cat; it’s not even yours, and it’s just a cat.” I tried reasoning with them, and even my aunt and uncle sided with me, but they still wouldn’t understand as they swore it was just a regular house cat.
I walked back up the stairs, and suddenly I got a huge grin on my face. I told the kids that they can go play with the cat and they started laughing at me and taunting me, but soon the tables would turn.
They went inside the room, and I camped outside the door. For about 5 seconds, I could just hear the “wowwww” from one of the kids. Then it finally came. An ear-piercing hiss and loud meow followed by a distant sound of clothes stretching and gremlins screaming.
They both sprinted out of the room crying, and Mini Bigfoot had a BIG scratch going down his right arm. Little Yeti had it worse as her nice, pink T-shirt was absolutely ripped, and there were more scars going down her arm.
Their parents were furious at me and commanded me downstairs to scold me. They asked how could I let that cat scratch their children like that and not do anything about it. I was gonna say something, but then my dad’s face went white as he pointed at the stairs.
We looked and guess what we saw? At the top of the stairs, Tara was right there with her tail hunched back and her ears folded flat against her head. To add to that, the lights upstairs were off, so her eyes were glowing.
The dad of the 2 kids thought it’d be a good idea to punish a cat that wasn’t his, so he marched up the stairs while staring down Tara. Bad move because Tara then leaped off the stairs and landed right on the dude’s back and cut a huge gash in his shirt in the process.
She then climbed off and just went back up the stairs and slept again like she didn’t just almost murder a whole family.
When my cousin got back, we told her about the story and she was mad at first. She started to laugh when we mentioned her cat wasn’t injured. Tara got a nice plate of tuna for dinner and a good back rub as a reward.”
16. Insist I Prove You Wrong? Oh, I Will
“When I was in my first year at university, the first semester of mechanics, pretty early on we were doing exercises on distance/speed/acceleration and how each is the derivative of the previous.
As an example, if the distance was x^2, speed was 2x and acceleration was 2 (not gonna get much more in-depth, so it’s accessible to everyone that doesn’t care about the math).
So every week, we get a home mini project, as in a big exercise to solve, and each one is different. They had about 60 slightly different variations. I loved the subject and math, so I do it immediately when given to me.
(Unfortunately, I was that kid that does everything either when received or when it has to be submitted – mainly laziness.)
I ask whether I can submit it that week, so I don’t have to think about it till the next week, and I get a negative response.
All is well.
Next week, during the normal time (first 15 minutes), I go with the rest to submit my work.
The first step was to calculate the second derivative of 2x^2 (which would be 4).
The professor’s assistant (PA) stops me and tells me that is incorrect yet won’t even look at the rest of the exercise. I debate, and she tells me NO. I bring it back home to rethink and plan to come back later in the week with another group to submit it with them.
(Ok, it’s Tuesday; I have time.)
I go the next day, again NO, after being baffled the entire night.
Thursday is the last group for the week, and after that, I lose extra time, and it will not be graded but still must be submitted for passing the course.
Thursday group was considered the “good students” group. She says NO; I say YES. We butt heads, nothing. I insist, and she asks the class, to make fun of me, whether my “wrong solution is correct.” 100% of them hesitantly say that it indeed is.
Even a girl comes up and says that she had the same variant as me and that her project was accepted with that exact same solution less than 10 minutes earlier. PA tells her to sit down and turns to me and tells me to take it back home and rethink it.
I am going mad at that point and I ask her what she considers the correct answer to be and she says ‘4x’ which is the first derivative. We argue some more and she insists on me to “prove her wrong, because she isn’t.”
Next Monday, I walk in with my version of the project and hers both solved on two different papers.
I first submit hers, and she takes a look and tells me the end result is wrong. I say of course it is because that is not the correct second derivative (again, that would be ‘4’ not ‘4x).
And I take out my version of it with the actual correct solution. She says yes and then sees the second derivative and comes back to NO.
At that point, I lost the grade on that project (and I am actually trying to get a full 100% on everything because I want to transfer), but I can still get a 98% on the subject, which still is like an A, over 95%, if I manage to submit the work.
She tells me to prepare proof of my claim, and she will come and watch me prove it in our next lecture with the professor. Keep in mind lab groups have less than 15 students, and the lecture has 210, about 160 of whom show up!
Next week, I show up at the lecture having prepared the mathematical proof for how you get the second derivative as well as the most detailed solution to the project I can come up with.
I go to the professor before the start and ask him when should I present my work. He is dumbfounded about this (but he is an extremely cool guy – full nerd at heart – my kind of person).
He takes a look for about 3 seconds and says that my project is correct and asks what the problem is. I try to explain to him the claim of the PA, but he doesn’t believe me as it is so elementary.
I tell him that has been going on for 2 weeks, and he looks to me like an alien.
He says that he will accept this, and if the PA confirms I have been submitting this from the first week, he will give me the grade as well.
In the third hour of the lecture, the PA actually shows up, and I go to her saying I’m ready, but the professor interferes and says he will accept my work. “Can you confirm when OP first showed you this solution to you?”
She goes to the professor and DEMANDS he allows me to prove my work.
He is a nerd and a kind-hearted man and doesn’t oppose her.
I am there, in front of at least 150 students, proving how you mathematically get a second derivative and explaining everything to HER specifically and addressing her in front of everyone.
Also, there are another 2 or 3 PAs that always sit in on the lectures watching.
I prove everything on the big blackboard, and she comes up, picks the chalk from my hand, and just writes in her solution where she uses the first derivative where the second one needs to go.
She continues to solve it all the way to the end, and after that, she gets the same result as I got in my second paper (that I had made specifically for her).
I say, “Yes, Ms.
X. That is what I got on the solution I had to prepare specifically for you, and back then, you again realized that it was the wrong result. If you look to your right here, this is the correct result.” She starts mumbling and says, “But, But I am Ms.
X. I cannot be wrong on this. You will listen to…” and just stops talking. Full silence in the auditorium.
The professor stands up after a long silence and confirms my solution and just says, “let’s consider the topic closed, everyone, and move on.
We spent a lot of time. At least you may learn this is how two intellectuals discuss a topic,” which I believe was him trying to cover for her.
It had become obvious to those that didn’t even understand the math behind it who was correct.
She got ridiculed a lot I believe, because weeks later, I was walking in the corridors of their department, and I overheard two of her colleagues discussing that event.
Next year, she quit her teaching position at the university.
A nasty rumor came out about her. There was a hearing about her that next year, and the rumor was NOT confirmed or proved, but some discussed her qualifications for her position after that event with a student (me, I believe), and she apparently submitted her resignation the very next day…
So I may have played a role in her leaving the university!
To be fair, she got me back at the end of the semester on the exam when I solved 7 questions perfectly and did half of the 8th (out of 8), and she forced the professor to give me a B- on the exam, forcing me to retake it.
I would have gotten an A- otherwise, and with the grades of the mini projects, I would have gotten a 96% or higher, which was acceptable to me.
Heh, I went and studied more and passed it with 100%, and I still found her at the professor’s office after the retake, pleading with him to lower my grade because I ridiculed her… I wasn’t angry or vindictive as there was nothing they (mainly she) could do with my work on a paper graded at 100%.”
15. Load A Wet Trailer? Not Unless Quality Signs It Off
“I used to work in quality assurance/control at a flour mill.
For you to sink your teeth into your sandwich of delicious fresh bread, three things have to happen:
- Flour has to be made – this happens at a flour mill.
- Flour has to get to the bakery – this usually happens by trailer/truck.
The trucking company (usually a separate company/business from the flour mill) has to pull their trailer up to the scale and get loaded. They then drive it to the bakery.
- Bakery. Where they make that high-carb goodness with crusts that your kids hate.
One day I get a call from one of the bakeries we serve –
“Um, we unloaded the flour today, and our cameras got a bunch of dough balls going into the silo.
How can this happen? Trucks have to be washed every 3-4 weeks. If the trailer is not dried properly, then it retains some water from the final rinse. It mixes with the flour, creates dough, and delivers a subpar product.
It causes a fermentation reaction. For some reason, since I’m quality control at the mill, everyone looked to me to fix this problem… which is really a problem with the trucking company and the wash stations they use.
But I rose to the challenge. I called a meeting of the trucking company, the mill, and the bakery. I told them what was going on, explained that it was unacceptable, and came up with a plan.
Before loading, every freshly washed trailer has to be inspected by me or someone else on quality control. We will not load trailers that the mill quality control does not release for loading.
They all quickly agreed.
“Great idea!” I got many congratulations on fixing the problem.
Until one Monday morning. We were supposed to load a trailer at 3 am. I was not supposed to be working then, but I came in just to inspect and sign off on the trailer.
Delivery was at 7 am. It’s a 3-hour drive to the bakery. Bob, the driver, was running late.
I was getting mad – kept thinking of my bed and how I should be sleeping…
Bob shows up at 3:30 am with the trailer.
“Darn traffic. Let’s load this quick maybe I can still make it.”
“Hold on; I have to inspect it.”
“No, you don’t. I have to make this delivery.”
“Bob, I’m inspecting the trailer before we load it.”
He starts making colorful accusations about my mother and my entire ancestral line.
I ignore him. I climb up on top of the trailer. Soaking wet. I can see water on the bottom. The entire trailer was damp.
I come down.
“Bob, we can’t load this trailer. It’s wet. You need to dry it.”
(Drying takes about 25-40 minutes depending on the weather.)
More cursing. Finally, he says, “No. I’m not losing my job to bureaucrats who have no idea what traffic is like.
I’m not drying this trailer. You’re going to load the trailer, and I’m going to be on my way. Like I’ve been doing for years.”
I was so tired. And I had a short fuse.
“Bob, are you going to dry the trailer?”
I went to the head miller on-site. I told him that the trucking company is refusing to dry the trailer.
“I’m not wasting any more time here. I’ve done my job, I inspected the trailer.
I’m going home. And I’m going to sleep.”
Bob found out I had left, and he said to the loaders, “Great! Now you can load me up.”
They informed him that they couldn’t load freshly washed trailers without Quality signing off…and now no one is here to sign off.
So sorry, you’re going to miss the delivery.
Bob called his boss. He complained that we were refusing to load his trailer. His boss called the head miller, who explained, per our agreement, quality couldn’t sign off on a wet trailer.
And since Bob refused to dry the trailer, Quality’s job was done. They inspected the trailer. There wasn’t going to be another inspection, since the trailer was not going to be dry, so Quality left.
The trucking company: “You need to call the bakery and tell them.”
They wanted the mill to take the blame.
“Oh, don’t worry. We will be sure to call.”
And the head miller told the bakery what happened.
The bakery fired the trucking company. Bob got fired from the trucking company. I got promoted. Just kidding. I didn’t get promoted.
Somehow my manager still blamed me for it. Something about using creative solutions, but nothing ever happened to me because of this incident.
I don’t care. No regrets.”
14. Make Me Lift After Surgery Because You Think My Doctor's Note Is Fake? Fine, But The Aftermath Won't Be Pretty
“I worked at the mart of walls and had a supervisor from heck. I swear she thought she was a god among paupers and peasants. She and I never really got along and I was usually the employee sent to do all the odd jobs like greeter or unloading a truck.
Well my health has always been an issue and one day I had a few cysts rupture on the outside of my ovaries causing internal bleeding and my doctor told me I would need surgery.
I told my supervisor AND manager that I was going in for surgery and would be unable to work at all for three or four days after. They both said they hoped things went well and thanked me for telling them and that they’d take care of the schedule.
Well, the surgery went great and after three days I was given the ok to go back to work with a few restrictions. I turned in the doctor’s orders that say no lifting of any kind and that I shouldn’t be on my feet for an extended period of time (I was supposed to sit as much as possible), again I turn it in to both my super and manager.
The next day, my supervisor calls me into the office with her and one of the other managers, not the one that was actually in charge of the section I worked in, to give me an attendance warning because apparently, my supervisor had scheduled me for the week before including the day of my actual surgery.
I try to remind them she and my manager knew I’d be out and said they wouldn’t schedule me but she says she did no such thing and then tells me I’d been picked for truck duty so I better run over there… I pulled out a copy of my dr order that I’d stashed in my locker and show her that I cannot lift anything.
The witch had the nerve to say “well you clearly CAN lift some things otherwise how did you get dressed, you think I’m so stupid that I can’t tell you made that whole thing up?” Before saying that if I didn’t get over to the truck, I’d be getting another official warning.
Well, I walked over to the loading dock and noticed she hadn’t followed me and one of the other managers was supervising the unloading. I went up to him and explained who sent me before handing him my copy of the doctor’s orders.
That manager was at least competent and sent me back out to my section and instructed me to get someone to pull over a stool from photo over to the register and take over as cashier.
At this point, I think all the stupidity is over and that the rest of my shift would be uneventful and I’d take up the accusations from my supervisor with MY manager the next day.
I’m sure by now, you can guess that the stupidity of the day was far from over.
As I’m sitting on the stool checking a customer out and simultaneously helping one of my coworkers set up a straight talk phone the store phone starts ringing and when I answer it I hear my supervisor telling me off for daring to move a stool over to the register and threatening my employment because it had been clearly stated that we weren’t allowed to sit while on the floor.
Apparently, she was up with loss prevention and saw me “sitting on the job.” Before I knew it, the raving lunatic of a woman had marched her way back to my section and told me to get off my lazy butt and follow her because she found a task for me that I couldn’t possibly weasel my way out of.
The witch all but pushed me into a room where they kept overflow inventory for health and beauty, the place was one giant rats-nest of chaos with boxes upon boxes of shampoo and feminine hygiene products stacked with no semblance of organization.
I don’t remember exactly what she said verbatim but I got the gist of it “since I supposedly had problems with my own ovaries, I should be more than able to work with pads and tampons.” I was instructed that I was not to leave that room until it was organized, my shift was over, or I was bleeding out.
I told the idiot lady again that I could not lift and wasn’t willing to risk it to which she said I WOULD either do as I was told or I’d be looking for a new job so I better figure something out.
She slammed the door and left, leaving me alone surrounded by all these heavy boxes in an un-air-conditioned room.
Here’s where my malicious compliance and inability to tolerate that woman one more day come in.
Now I really wasn’t willing to go against doctor’s orders/and I definitely had no remorse for what I was about to do. This wasn’t my first time having a surgery like this, the four incisions were small but two had overlapped with old scar tissue from the previous operation and those two had a habit of oozing still.
It’s funny how adding heat and moisture can make other fluids spread farther, with substances like blood it can make it appear as if there is much more present than there actually is. I’d checked my incisions earlier in my shift so I knew the gauze definitely had some blood and my plan was set.
I looked around for a few minutes and sat down on the floor in the room to sweat and waited (I think I should mention that at this point I had already decided to quit).
About 15 minutes before my shift ended and about an hour since I’d been put in the room, I got up and left looking for the world’s worst supervisor. When I found her she was in the back and snapped that I’d better have finished already if I was “out and about” this far ahead of schedule.
I calmly told her I had just come back to get some fresh gauze from my locker. She rolled her eyes and told me to give up with the whole “surgery” bit because there was no way it was true, the woman followed me to my locker and stood by me literally tapping her foot.
What I hadn’t quite expected was her following me to the bathroom, apparently, she didn’t expect to see what appeared to be blood-soaked gauze when I lifted my shirt. The heat and my sweat worked magnificently and it looked like I’d been bleeding heavily, there were a few trails where beads of sweat had taken some of the dried oozing stuff with it.
She almost immediately began backpedaling saying she didn’t know I’d had any restrictions from surgery and demanded I go before the store manager. I showed him the dr note, she said she didn’t get one, I told him to ask one of the three managers who had seen said note, she says I only showed them & didn’t inform her, the manager that gave me my attendance warning says otherwise.
She says she didn’t ask me to do anything that went against it anyhow, manager that supervised the truck unloading calls her bluff. He explains what he told me to do and she tries to say I didn’t do what he said, I remind her that she called from the LP office and said I’d be fired if she saw me sitting again.
Then came the finale, I tell the store manager where I’d spent the last hour and how I was instructed not to leave until I’d organized it unless my shift was over or I was bleeding out at the risk of losing my job.
I then informed them all that I was quitting immediately since I’d clearly left the room early and I would rather leave on my own terms. The store manager tried apologizing, but I politely told him that I wasn’t comfortable working beneath supervisors who not only ignored authentic medical restrictions but accused their employees of lying about and forging the documentation of those medically necessary requirements.”
Another User Comments:
“OSHA, or maybe even ACLU might be interested in your story. They each have plenty of trained, experienced attorneys on staff.
All employers are required to make reasonable accommodations regarding physical ability.” JetScreamerBaby
13. Just Worry About My Own Work? I'll Let You Figure Out Your Mistake On Your Own
“This was my first job in manufacturing, making lasers in my 20s. The company was hiring a bunch of folks, so they could start a 2nd shift to make the order deadline, plus they had a new line coming into production so they wanted senior staff on that and the new folks on the older line.
I was around the 1st new people to get hired. I’m not a dumb person and take pride in my work. I also like helping others because… well… I’m not a jerk, but I’m also ok with letting people get what they deserve when they are not nice people.
Anyway, a new guy gets hired to work next to me, and of course, it’s someone much older. Late 50s to early 60s who “worked at (insert big company name here) and didn’t need to be told by me when he was messing up.” He would make obvious mistakes that to fix would require you to disassemble it to fix it if you caught it later.
I would see him make these mistakes and point them out to avoid the time needed later to take it apart and fix it. After a few times of pointing out his mistakes, he freaks out and says it was because of me that he was making these mistakes and that I should just worry about my work.
And now the malicious compliance.
I eventually started working at the next step, where you filled the laser with gas and run it. The other guy built them, and I ran them. Well, he was much slower at building them than I was, so naturally, we would have to wait.
One day, I had no work and was told to just wait till he built the next laser for me, so I did. But here is the kicker. The step before him built it wrong (there were different features depending on the type of laser it was), and I could see that from a distance…well…
I waited… over an hour for him to build this thing. He could see me and knew I was waiting on him. Finally, he finishes the laser and moves it to the shelf where I get them from.
He doesn’t say a word to me but looks right at me like, “Here you go, you can finally do some work.”
I stand up, grab a yellow failure sheet, and start filling it out.
I walk over to the laser, put the sheet in there, and walk away. Mind you, he was watching me the whole time. He gets up, reads the paper, turns to me, and goes, “YOU KNEW THIS WAS WRONG THE WHOLE TIME DIDN’T YOU!!!” Which I replied, “I’m just minding my own business, worrying about me.”
The lasers need water to cool them and had hoses that were attached to the laser and the other to a quick-release end.
We didn’t have air in our area to purge the lasers, so we needed to bring them to another area to do so. This was important if they needed to be taken apart because there would still be water in there under pressure.
Well, my cell lead failed a laser and just put it on the self to be taken apart. Now, I always would check the lines for water by pushing the nipple into a trash can because it’s the smart thing to do.
Well, guess who didn’t check when taking it apart? I got to watch water explode all over him as he took the water manifold apart. He turned to me (laughing of course) and goes, “YOU KNEW ABOUT THIS THE WHOLE TIME DIDN’T YOU.” To which I replied, “Again, I’m just worrying about me and minding my own business.”
He didn’t see who failed the unit so he immediately grabbed the sheet (I assume to see if it was me and try to get me in trouble) only to find out it was the cell lead and couldn’t do anything about it.
Just because you’re more than twice my age doesn’t mean you know it all and can’t make mistakes.
The fallout.. I got tired of working at a place that seemed to think older people were better than younger people when every mistake was his and not mine. I got a different job.”
12. Give Us Very Specific Instructions For Our Drive? It Won't Be The Best Way To Get Home
“Everyone appreciates saving money at the pump. Gas isn’t cheap, but it wasn’t quite so bad 20-odd years ago. But still, why pay more than you have to pay? Some folks will wait hours at a Costco; others have a favorite station that they use when they pass by even if it isn’t close to home or work.
In fact, some truck stops are known for having GREAT PRICES and are conveniently just off the freeway. As a college student and licensed driver, the Wise Old Man needed a ride to the airport.
Now, my dad was pretty particular; he was a fan of Rules. Nothing was simple enough that it couldn’t be improved by a specific formula of rules and instructions.
For example, a reasonably easy 30-minute drive to the airport could definitely benefit from specific instructions, plus a side mission involving its very own specific additional instructions.
Because the Best Deal in Gas is just off the freeway at a truck stop along the route. There were also a couple of other younger kids over – kids of friends of my mom who were having a get-together.
They thought it would be fun to hang out with the older kid who could drive. They did not plan on a road trip – but, as you will see, a road trip they would get.
To set a clear example, maybe even a standard or bar, that would show me just how easy this airport run would be, the Wise Old Man would drive TO the airport detailing the truck stop where I would be responsible for maximizing value and getting the best deal when I filled up on the way back.
With no additional stops or deviations to be allowed on this very clear, very simple mission.
So we loaded up from the southeast of downtown and hopped on the freeway, and upon nearing the big city we hopped on the beltway that rings this city in the center of the US state in which this happened.
The Wise Old Man made sure to note as we approached the Blessed and Preferred truck stop. The exit number, the road name, and the truck stop name. This was easily remembered because it was all very close to home.
In fact, it was a drive I made regularly on my runs to and from the state university in the north of the state in my own car.
But this wasn’t my car, my gas, my gas money, or my choice.
I would get off at that exit and take that highway back home. Now mind you, we did not take that highway to the airport because it is slower. Much slower. There are stoplights.
But I was NOT to get back on the freeway (interstate). I was to proceed straight home using only that road. No. Other. Stops. No. Other. Routes.
The rules and instructions were reviewed as we approached the airport.
We got there with enough time before his flight to do a quick pop quiz to make sure I knew all the pertinent details and rules.
“You got it, the kids are in good hands.
Have a great flight!”
But he was quizzing me. He wasn’t asking for my suggestions. He wasn’t even asking if I had any doubts, concerns, or questions. It really was just as simple as following the rules.
Now if it was him or anyone else, the correct answer would be to save time and fuel by taking the same exact route home. OR. OR. Hear me out – to get back on the freeway for about 2 more miles to take the next highway which would also have a ton of stop lights over 20 miles but would in fact get us home.
And so back to the blessed and preferred truck stop, we headed to maximize our value and get the best deal. Funds were exchanged, and premium unleaded fuel was pumped.
Now, rather than saving time or money with an efficient return trip, I did exactly as the Wise Old Man directed.
We would take the next 20 miles going stoplight to stoplight down the highway. Just not the right highway.
I passed a quiz and knew the rules, and the rules I would follow. Unfortunately, the very clear rules did not allow for getting back to the town where we lived.
However, because we were now 20 miles south (actually southwest) I would have to turn off the highway and make another 15-mile drive east through some very twisty farm county. The rules expressly forbade this.
So I pressed on hoping for the best. That’s actually a lie unless you silently add (hoping for the best road trip). Because we were absolutely not heading home.
The kids in the back were having a blast, going on a trip with the college kid driving.
Everyone’s laughing. It was a genuinely good time. Though as we nipped into the western edge of the correct county, we all knew we were not going to make it without breaking the Rules and deviating from the Very Clear Directions.
Everyone in the car could have passed the quiz at the end.
As elementary-aged kids of maybe 10? They were very excited to get a vote: do we follow the rules or do we turn? Nobody thought it was worth breaking the rules so onward we continued.
And so, we stopped heading toward home altogether.
Having taken this highway more than once on the way to visit friends at the state university in the south of the US state hosting this road trip, I knew we could definitely make it there, but I would have to go out of pocket for gas to get us home.
As with all good things, this road trip had to come to an end. So at a certain point roughly calculated by a falling fuel gauge, we turned around. We laughed and continued having a great time.
We laughed even harder when we got back to the one crucial step the Wise Old Man, my dad, left out. Turning for the long and somewhat perilous farmland connector to get us back to where we lived.
Were the kids willing co-conspirators in this performative act of Malicious Compliance, were they my audience, or were they to be my downfall?
As we get out, the kids were laughing, and the moms were happy the kids had fun, but we were asked, “what took so long?”
“Oh sorry, Dad had specific instructions on how to get home and we tried following them but ended up going out of our way.” My audience just laughed and said they had fun.
Since the car was on E my mom topped it off long before my dad returned. So the Wise Old Man had no idea that his rules and very clear instructions ended up paying for us to have a really nice road trip despite his best efforts.
My mom has been dead for years and I’ve never told my dad. But the Wise Old Man is no longer as weird about rules.”
11. Think You Know The Union Contract Better Than Me? Try Me
There’s no way; they literally STUDY it.
“I previously worked a customer service/sales job that oddly enough, was repped by a large union (think truck drivers and Hoffa). The CBA had normal stuff in it about schedules, wages, time off requests, etc.
Well, we were open 365 days a year, so there were shift bids for holidays. The way they were SUPPOSED to work is a manager would write the schedules for that day (including any off spots since the holidays were slower).
We got holiday pay regardless if we worked the day, and paid extra if we did work the day. The holiday bid was supposed to be posted in advance (I can’t remember the exact amount of time, I want to say it was like two weeks).
Everyone that was normally scheduled for the holiday had to bid, if it was different than your normal shift too bad, but if it was your day off, then you got to have it off.
I was lower in seniority, but the first holiday that rolled around was on my day off so I’m like cool, I’ll be home, yay me.
Well, the manager that was supposed to do the bid was non-traditionally smart, and missed the posting date and put the bid up like a few days before and sees my name on the list of people that have to bid.
I ask why, and they’re like you’re lower in seniority than these people and they bid it off. I pointed out the rule in the CBA. Was told I was wrong, and I could file a grievance with the union if I disagreed, but the thing is if your boss breaks the CBA our union rep told us we have to follow their direction and grieve it later.
So I bid and complain to the shop steward. She tells me she forwarded it in, but since it’s so close, we likely won’t have a decision before the holiday. Find out after from the union, I was right, the manager was wrong, but I got the extra pay so there was nothing they could do.
The following year, the new manager and holiday falls on my scheduled day. I see the holiday bid, I’ve been there long enough to move up in the seniority list, and don’t you know there is EXACTLY the number of off spots for me to have the day off.
Then I look at the bid list, and a coworker we’ll call Bitter Brandy is now showing as one spot higher than me on the seniority list when previously she was right below me.
We were hired and started on the same day as each other, but due to the technicality of me showing up for my interview before her and receiving my offer first, I had more seniority.
Turns out, she had complained about it, somehow convinced a manager and the union she was right, and got bumped ahead of me, and I was never told. I end up being forced to work a second holiday, and now I’m livid.
I make it my mission to know the CBA backward and forward. I read it on every bit of downtime at work. I spend so much time reading it, one of the managers complains to their manager, and I’m told not to read it on my break.
I complain to the union, union tells them it’s the contract THEY signed, not only can I read it on break, I can read it on the clock as long as there is no work to be done.
My studying time increases. I bust management’s balls about little crap like the timing of breaks, when schedules are posted, etc.
Then I get my opportunity for real revenge. We were open 24 hours, and our graveyard person called out.
No one would take the OT, managers couldn’t reach anyone by phone because our overnight guy texted most of them to let them know, and the lowest seniority guy on shift looked our manager dead in the eye and told if he mandatories the OT he’d walk off the job and we were already short staffed.
The manager begs me to stay. I agree. On two conditions, I get an extra paid day off at my choosing and I get the next day off unpaid. The manager jumps at it.
Our CBA says any hours worked over 8 in one day are all OT. So I only work my 40 hours (my normal days plus one 16-hour day) and get paid 32 hours of regular pay, plus 8 hours of OT.
This happens a few more times in the following months, and each time I get the manager to agree.
The higher manager finds out, tries to put a stop to it. I argue successfully, that since it’s happened so often, it’s now “past practice” and can’t be changed, the union agrees.
I now regularly work 40 hours getting OT for 8 of them, plus an extra vacation day.
Then my wife gets pregnant. I realize I can bank a crap ton of vacation for when the baby comes and leverage the heck out of this situation.
Then one of our graveyard people quit. The company won’t approve another hire, but there are not enough people to cover the shift and they have to post for more OT. I try my negotiation and they say that this is preplanned and it’s not the same.
Ok fine. One other person and I split the extra shifts and we agree to the following. I work my normal Monday, then on my Tuesday I work a double and get 8 hours of OT.
I come in late on my Wednesday by 4 hours and work 12 hours with 4 being OT. I work 36 instead of 40 hours, but with the daily OT accrual, I get paid 5% more than I would working 40 regular hours.
I now have three days off a week instead of two and can spend more time with my pregnant wife, go to all appointments, and it leaves me free to pick up more OT on an emergency basis and get my negotiated extra vacation day.
And the best part is, it’s all because of the rules they agreed to in the CBA and I only figured it out by memorizing the contract.
Baby comes along, I take my FMLA leave and the manager asks when I’ll be back.
Tell him I’m taking a month. A month?! It’s unpaid leave, how are you going to pay your bills? Remember all those extra vacation days I negotiated on emergency OT? Yep, gave me a month paid off to stay home with my wife and son.”
10. Keep Overbilling My Client? Let Me Prove It By Bringing In The Numbers
“5 years ago my little consulting firm took a new client, an e-commerce company that sells DIY tools, inflatable/above-ground pools, wood fences, etc. In the end, they sell things that can weigh a few grams or one and a half metric tons (about 3.000 lbs).
One day I was walking through the account payable office when I saw the courier’s monthly invoice lying on the desk. Just to give you an idea, the company fulfilled and shipped something like 200-250.000 orders per year, so every invoice had more than 10.000 records (may-sept invoices were well above 20.000 and sometimes 30.000).
Every shipment was detailed in a single line record that showed a bunch of data like the date of shipping, order number, tracking number, place of delivery, actual weight, volumetric weight, base price, and surcharges.
Volumetric weight is the weight calculated by a formula that multiplies volume (in cubic meters) by a constant (300 Kg but every courier has its own) and they use volumetric weight, instead of actual weight, to bill shipping.
Just in the first records, I noticed something odd. A couple of orders billed something like € 1.000 weighed a few kilograms but had a volumetric weight of 2.000 Kg (4.000ish lbs). Well, I knew the company was selling bulky goods but those usually weighed a lot.
My 6th sense told me something was wrong, so I searched the orders in the database and… I was right. The orders were for some electric DIY tool (a drill and something else) and there was no chance they could have a volumetric weight of tons.
I talked with management and asked if they knew anything about these discrepancies. Nope, they told me, but the average cost of shipping per order was consistent throughout last year, so I shouldn’t have had to worry.
In my head, it was a big no. I talked with top executives and agreed to be invited to the upcoming quarter meeting with the courier.
A couple of weeks later I attended the meeting but stayed almost silent for a couple of hours.
When they were almost done, I just passed a little dossier to everyone. The first sheets were copies of a few pages of their last invoice, where I’d highlighted some records, and behind there was the copy of corresponding orders with goods’ descriptions.
Obviously, the weights didn’t match. I pointed out that those were just a few examples of the billing errors I found. I acknowledged that errors were in favor of both parties (sometimes they billed less than they should’ve had) but the sample I analyzed (1 month, about 15.000 shippings) gave me a ~5% average overbilling.
To cut it short, I asked them for a 5% discount on the previous year’s invoices (in total 100/125k euros) and a review of contract terms taking out volumetric weight, surcharges, etc. Obviously, they asked for my files – which I immediately sent – and we agreed to discuss it in a week.
The week passed and I got an e-mail from the area manager. Basically, they rejected my offer cause they did their math taking into account the last 3 years and I was wrong. On the contrary, their company underbilled thousands of shipments but, since my client was very valuable to them, they wouldn’t ask for anything.
Last but not least, they were willing to send me the shipping data from the last 3 years (more than 600.000 single records, each one made of more than 40 single pieces of information) if I really wanted to do a complete analysis.
Needless to say, this didn’t make a good impression on company executives and owners cause I’d already told them I was sure they were owed funds.
It took me a month to clean 36 .csv files full of data I didn’t need, involve IT to extract from the company database what I needed (basically the weight of the articles of every single order and their destination), and build a model that, taking into account contract terms, could estimate the precise cost of shipping for each and every order.
I can’t explain how difficult it was. Mind that the shipping cost mainly depended on weight, region (State), and province (County), but there were 3 different surcharges and a crap ton of exceptions (you know, small towns on the Alps, islands, orders with multiple shippings, full or partial returns, etc.).
It was excruciating and painful going through all that, double-checking every result that showed an odd peak, etc. On top of this, I had to buy a more powerful laptop cause mine took too much time to apply tens of thousands of formulas.
All in all, it took me more than 2 months to get a correct evaluation, just in time for the next quarter meeting but this time just the CEO knew what I found cause I had to get him involved as well as a lawyer.
I was the first to speak and it went more or less this way:
Hey, do you remember that when you turned down my settlement offer cause “we did our math,” you also said I could go through 3 years of shipping? Well, it took me 2 months but I actually did, and guess what? You were darn right.
In fact, your company did not overbill my client by 5% on average…
(I said this with a calm and low voice, trying to fake some sort of defeat in my eyes.)
But by 10%. Period.
I’ve just sent you an e-mail with a link to download half a GB of files and, as I know you’ll want to do a sample check, the IT team created an account so you can access the database and check every single order, its articles, weight, etc.
Obviously, the previous offer is no longer on the table. Now we demand a full refund of 600ish thousand euros plus the full cost of my work within 10 days and since we’re confident you were in good faith, a complete review of the contract.
Otherwise, the person next to me, who happens to be a lawyer, will file a civil lawsuit demanding damages, interests, and legal expenses among with a fraud report to the prosecutor. As far as we are concerned, this is the end of today’s meeting but I’m sure you’ll get back…
once you’ve ACTUALLY done your math.
A week later, they got back and offered 550k plus the full refund of my cost, and in one month, my client had a brand new and much simpler contract without volumetric weight and surcharges, tens of exceptions, etc.”
9. Refuse To Pay Me For Working Overtime? I'll Stop Volunteering Extra Hours
“When I was fresh out of high school, I moved from my small town to be near my family. Initially, I worked at Walmart but I got an offer for $10 an hour for a window factory which was almost a dollar more than I was making so I agreed and signed an employment contract through a temp agency.
All was well for a couple of weeks until one payday when I saw that I was only making 9.50 (I had not checked before) and checked with the HR for the factory. They said that I had to check with the temp agency since I wasn’t full-time.
They had a representative for the temp agency in the building so I went and talked to her. She told me harshly that they deducted a part of my check in return for employing me there.
I said no I specifically asked what I would be making hourly and you told me 10 an hour and that you would deduct a flat fee for employment. There was no agreement to take from my hourly wage because that would be way more than the agreed-upon fee and I know the factory pays you a fee for finding employees.
She shrugged and said there was nothing I could do; it was in the contract.
The next day I returned to the temp agency with my copy of the contract and told them to show me where I agreed to a deduction from my hourly wage.
They said that if I didn’t like it I could quit.
I WAS LIVID. I had been working long hours, volunteering for extra hours, and I still worked but I was trying to think of what to do.
Apparently, I looked angry so when one of the higher-ups came by for their safety walks, this big biker-looking guy, I told him what was up. He told me there was nothing he could do since I was a temp and I hadn’t been there long enough to warrant early employment and that the temp agency would have to agree.
I said I could quit. He said yes I could but that wouldn’t do anything besides make me unemployed and that I’d have to wait 6 months to a year to re-apply. He said he knew I was a good worker and that I went out of my way to learn as much as possible to help out as much as possible.
He asked if I had kids. I said no, he asked about my living situation and at the time I was staying with my grandma. He then smiled and said why don’t you just work normal hours.
I asked what he meant and he told me that per the temp contract, I only had to work as needed so if I quit volunteering for overtime they wouldn’t make as much (they paid a normal wage for anything over 40 hours).
I asked if that would affect my chances of getting hired on and he assured me he’d make sure it wouldn’t.
So the next few weeks I didn’t volunteer for overtime and left early when I could.
My direct supervisor noticed and when asked why I told him and directed him to talk to the biker guy. At first, it didn’t seem that the temp agency noticed. After 3 weeks they asked me why I didn’t sign up for overtime (they had a paper you wrote your name on in their office when you went to pick up your paycheck).
I asked why should I when not only did I not get the time and a half for overtime but that they lied to me about my wage and deducted more than agreed. They mentioned the contract and I reminded them that I have been working the agreed hours and only went home when the factory didn’t need me.
They got annoyed saying they’d have to see what their office supervisor says and that I should sign up for overtime in case they said to fire me as it would help save my job.
I said no thanks I’ll roll the dice and left. The next day I talk to the biker guy and let him know what was going on. He was livid that they threatened my job and told me not to worry as I hadn’t done anything to warrant termination.
So I continued to work at a normal pace (they had a set time every job would take if you went over you would be let go, before the drama I was getting it done in 1/8 the time after I was at the exact time limit.)
Every week I’d go in for my paycheck they’d ask if I’d sign up for overtime, I’d say no, take my check, and leave.
For a month nothing happened but then one day when I went to pick up my check I was pulled into the office with the temp agency supervisor. He was nice at first, small talk, but eventually asked me why I quit working overtime.
I said why would I if I’m not getting time and a half and the more I work the more you take?
He said that’s how it worked there was nothing he could do. I said that sucks.
He said I signed a contract and that was when I told him the contract was for $10 an hour you take .50 an hour and a sizeable deduction for employing me why should I work more for you to get more?
He told me if I felt that way I could quit.
I agreed but reminded him per the contract I only had a month left before I would be signing for full-time and wouldn’t have to deal with the agency anymore and when that happens I’ll go back to working overtime.
He turned red and said he could fire me before then. I laughed and said yes you could but I don’t think the factory I was employed at through them would like that.
He smiled and said they’d handle that and that the factory didn’t need to know the reason.
I smiled bigger and said they already knew and name-dropped the biker guy. I told him that the biker guy assured me that what I was doing wasn’t worthy of termination and that if he did want to fire me my first step would be a call to biker guy and let him know (biker guy was well connected in the factory and temp agency and had a say in whether or not the contract with the temp agency got renewed).
He stood there stewing for several minutes before telling me I could leave. I asked if I was fired and he shouted no so I left. I spent the next month working at my new pace and when it was time to get full time the temp agency tried to delay it saying that since I left early I still owed them some hours but one call from biker guy shut that down.
Once I was full-time I volunteered for all the overtime I could get and went back to running around the factory helping wherever I could. I know this wasn’t really much of a revenge story but the look the temp lady gave me every day as I went in for more overtime was so satisfying.”
Another User Comments:
“My friend told me about a job he loved until he realized the temp agency was getting 60% of what the company he was working for paid the temp agency.
He lost all motivation and stopped showing up on time. Got reprimanded, said he would improve, eventually his last day (they let him go), he called in, said he was too comfortable to get out of bed. I worked with him, a hard worker and smart. The greed of the temp agency lost themselves some bucks.” 1purenoiz
8. Want To Pay To Have Reports Done Weekly When You Can Get Them In Seconds? Whatever, Your Call
Not a smart move.
“Starting 5 years ago, the supply chain team claims to be tracking ‘performance metrics’ to target areas for improvement. Translation: Everyone is going to be asked to push out a bunch of new reports in addition to our regular duties to go to management, which they’re going to do nothing with.
One of the metrics my team’s management chose to track for performance was the number of weekly backorders our vendors are hitting us with for the supplies that inevitably go into caring for patients.
Now, to be clear – the performance being tracked is not the vendor’s. That would be silly. Instead, it’s supposed to track whether or not the guy following up on backorders is doing his job chasing them, and can be used to terminate him if he’s not resolving backorders fast enough.
That’s me by the way.
The original metric was to publish the stock status report I work off of to provide the entire department a snapshot of what’s coming in, when, and how close to stocking out we are.
So far, so good.
However, for reference, at any one time, the average number of open items en route to us is between 400 to 600 products, of which 20% are usually back-ordered for some reason or another.
So between 100 and 120 line items per week.
However, completely out of thin air, management decided that it was apparently fair for the target to be set to an average of 10 backorders per week.
Most likely, most of you have figured out the problem with this target. You can’t track our performance based on the actions of our vendors. I literally cannot force suppliers to maintain supply on their items, and since we have a policy of not canceling backorders when they occur (because our ERP system doesn’t have subs set up properly for 99% of the items in it), it would be impossible to prevent that number from routinely being over 10 on a weekly basis.
It could maybe be done if we did cancel backorders and replaced them with substitute products, not on backorder, but that’s not allowed.
I pointed this out in a meeting with them, so they agreed that the report would be pared down to looking at items that were only going to stock out in the next 3 days (according to forecasting).
They then asked if it’d be possible to report less than 10 backorders when only looking at that three-day window.
I said sure, I can report 10 backorders or less each week based on that scope, but that wouldn’t mean I’m not doing my job if it goes over.
It just meant that our vendors were having a rougher time. And this is especially prevalent for periods of economic hardship, like now. Where supply of anything is hard to come by, and backorders are everywhere.
None of which is the buyer’s fault, as long as they’re resolving those problems in a timely manner.
I then suggested a different solution – why not, instead, track the average number of items ending up in a defined number of days on hand (a low stock range) on a weekly basis, and use that as the metric for improvement, not the number of backorders.
This way they could ensure I’m chasing the backorders and resolving them in a timely manner, but also in the cases where we were carrying so little stock on hand that it was impossible to keep them out of the ‘low stock’ status, that would be an indicator that we needed to be ordering and holding more on the shelf.
That way, the goal would be to reduce the report to zero items, as stock levels were adjusted to account for delays. Then, if anything slipped onto the report, it meant the guy chasing backorders was at fault if they didn’t get resolved before stocking out because he had plenty of time to respond to the backorders.
Did I mention management sets the shelf qualities, and they do it exclusively based on what they have in the budget, not how long it takes items to arrive or our usage rate?
The blank stare I got from my boss when I pointed this out went to show that she had no idea what I was talking about, and I was just told to leave reporting to status quo, and they’d track the number of backorders across a 3-day period.
So I did and pumped out a report twice a week detailing what items are running out in the next three days. And for the first 6 months of this nonsense, we never went above the backorder target once.
Because while we may have 30 items down to 3 days of stock on hand, half of those will be because we literally carry less than 3 days on hand at any one time and haven’t even generated an order yet.
And they’ll stock out before the vendor delivers them.
Another 10 will be simply caused by the turnaround time for a vendor to process an order we placed, like, yesterday, or shipping errors where something got screwed up, which causes things to stock out.
And the last 5 are backorders that need to be resolved or have already been resolved, and we’re just waiting for the solution to arrive at our doorstep.
My management thought this was going so well after 6 months they decided to expand the scope of the report I produce to 5 days into the future (so everything on shelf stocking out in the next 5 days), without shifting the target to accommodate the new increased scope.
They also didn’t take into account the fact that recent world events have massively impacted supply chains, meaning the report now starts at closer to 50 items at a time vs the 30 it was before, with three times as many backorders.
So now it takes roughly 2 hours per issue to siphon through and confirm exactly what’s going on with each item and ensure 100% they’ll arrive before stocking out.
So to recap – my management is paying roughly a hundred bucks a week in wages to receive a personalized report they could print raw from the system in 30 seconds, that tells them nothing they don’t already know, and upon which they can’t enact any performance improvements because they’re tracking the one item on the report that is by and large outside our control, while ignoring the ones that would be a quick in-system fix if they’d take 10 seconds to look at them.
I pity our patients.”
7. Make Me Have You Check My Emails Before I Send Them? If That's What You Really Want
“This was years ago; I’d say 2014-ish.
For some reason, my boss very, very much, and unlike any other boss before and after, disliked me. I am somebody who wants to understand everything so that I can work well, organize myself, and prioritize better.
She did not like people who are this way. She was more of a chaotic spirit, and that is generally fine. But business is business.
I had a bunch of projects, some bigger and some smaller, but because this was a large international company, many things had to be communicated through email because of time zones.
It just made it easier to work smoothly. Obviously, having several projects with stakeholders all over the planet, I wrote a lot of emails (duh). I have a very clear and detailed way of writing business emails, which so far, everybody had liked because there were never questions left to ask.
On the rare occasions that questions were left, I was more than happy to explain or go into more depth. No issue there, but it really didn’t happen much.
This manager however always had questions.
The reason for this was that she had absolutely no grasp of the subject matter and made no effort to understand the projects or explanations. She generally didn’t understand the field of work for which she was managing, unfortunately.
And again, everybody else in my team, everybody who would just be in such an email chain for visibility, but not directly involved, would understand. I really need to drive this home to avoid misunderstandings before I move on.
I was not the only person on the team that she would pick on, but I was the one she picked on so much more that other people noticed it.
Well, one day, we had one of those 121 meetings, and she told me that “everybody always” had questions, and I need to write emails clearer, nothing made sense, etc., blah, blah, blah.
She went on about it for about 25 of the 30 minutes. I tried to probe with questions to find out more because no questions had ever reached me, and people there tended to ask me lots of questions, so there wasn’t an issue with people not asking if they had a question.
My probing was completely ignored, no examples were given, it was just another rant of hers. She ended the meeting by demanding that from now on, every time I wanted to send an email, I was to let her check the email before I would be permitted to send it out.
Malicious compliance so extremely engaged. You can imagine what happened next, I suppose.
Starting immediately, every time I wrote an email, any email – to anybody – for any reason, I would have her come to my desk and read it.
She never found anything to correct other than write a different greeting – very literally just that. I continued that whether she was in a meeting, busy, talking to somebody, etc.; no email was sent from my computer unless she would come over physically to come to check.
Once or twice, she did not come over, trying to ignore me, and I made a screenshot and sent it to her through the chat to check.
It took her two days until she came back to me, clearly more than slightly annoyed, and told me I did not have to make her check all my emails anymore.
And by the way, she continued to ask questions in email threads I started, even when the answer was already in the email, and people started getting more and more annoyed with it because she still clearly made no effort to understand the projects we, as her team, were working on, and very especially my projects.
I ended up quitting after 2 years of her bullying.”
6. Want A Refund For An Old, Broken Backpack You Claim You Recently Bought? Here's A Measly $6
“I used to work in a Cath Kidston shop in London, which for those that don’t know the brand, CK is very floral vibes: bags, accessories, and very classically “British” style.
When I moved to London, I joined a CK store from a different one, having already been a supervisor.
This was a busier shop though, so I started as a sales assistant until the following year when I was a supervisor again.
The day in question was a Sunday, and I was the only manager on shift.
A woman came in with steep sense of purpose radiating off of her. She came to the till and laid down a quite frankly, manky child’s backpack. CK does these quite cute child-sized backpacks in all sorts of patterns like flowers, dinosaurs, anything.
This one had looked into the abyss and stared back. It was so discolored. There was also some brown stuff scraped along the side as well, which was delightful.
The woman proceeds to tell me that the bag is broken, and she wrongly assumes I am going to be extremely happy to help her.
Even I cannot work miracles and return a bag that is definitely a few years old. It roughly goes like this:
Me: I’m sorry, this is quite an old pattern, so I won’t be able to do a return or exchange for you today.
Her: But I just bought this a few months ago; it shouldn’t have broken already!
Me: It’s quite possible you bought this at an outlet store, in which case you need to go to an outlet store to return it as the prices would not match.
Her: No, I bought this at full price, it was $36.
Me: I’m sure this pattern is from 2014 or so, so it would not have been in the store recently.
Her: No, I need a refund or exchange.
I bought it very recently.
Me: Do you have a receipt for a refund?
Her: No, I bought it recently, but I don’t keep receipts. Can’t you just take my word for it?
Me: I cannot process a refund without a receipt, unfortunately; it’s policy.
At this point, I realize this bag is going to come out to pennies if I find the code for it somewhere inside.
Me: But… without a receipt, I can offer you an exchange or gift card.
Her: Why didn’t you say that earlier?
Me: Okay, well, for an exchange that you say is broken, I need to take the bag and record it as faulty.
Her: Wait, you’re taking it?
Me: If it is faulty, it needs to go to the warehouse to be looked at, and I can find the product code to find out how much you can get for your exchange.
Her: Well, okay. If this gets me an exchange. you can take it.
At this point, I gingerly take this bag that is literally disgusting and open it up to try and find an SKU code on the label.
This is the only way to get an accurate record of what the bag is when there is no receipt. Luckily, this bag had an SKU code, and by the first number, I already knew it was an old bag.
I type in the SKU into the register, and this bag comes in at a whopping $6. She literally does not believe me that it is only $6. She walks around to my side and looks at me typing it in, she looks at the bag to read the numbers and tells me I can’t read numbers.
I type it in at least 20 times and each time it comes out at $6.
The lady literally stands there debating with me for another five minutes about the price. She is clearly fuming it’s only $6 and is trying to figure out whether she wants to even do the exchange.
She ends up buying two packets of hair clips and complains to me that this will make her daughter cry. I say thank you so much for coming and then proceed to show everyone I work with the backpack covered in poo.
Note: And yes, with CK customer service style, I did have to offer her an exchange. This ended up in a lot of customers being annoyed at the price now being changed, but they were always the ones who had no receipt and expected somehow to get $60 worth of an exchange when they bought a bag 2 years ago. That is not how time works!”
5. I Have To Call IT? Okay!
“Many years ago, I worked in a call center for a major credit provider. When I started, I was trained in certain aspects, but because I was saving for a house at the time, I put my hand up for further product training.
Six months into my employment, I was one of the more highly skilled agents on the floor. I was able to take calls from any queue about any product, as well as being trained to take escalations and complaints.
A team nicknamed ‘the clockwatchers’ ran the floor, telling the agents when to take breaks and controlling the queues as well as checking on any agent who was offline too long after a call.
One of our systems was a DOS-like program. (This was in the days when a Motorola flip phone was considered cutting edge.) It was pretty reliable, but when it crashed, the only way to get it working again was by rebooting the computer.
After working there long enough, you got to know by the time of day when the IT support guys would be around, and if you knew there’d be a wait, it was quicker to just reboot than to call them and have them tell you to.
About ten months into my employment there, I could reboot the computer and get all the necessary programs open and logged in again within three minutes. During lunchtime, for example, the hold for IT could be up to ten minutes (due to break overlaps).
So when this program went down, I would flick my status to unavailable and perform the quick reboot.
I bet you can guess where this is going.
One busy day, the program crashed, but I was able to help the customer using other systems, and once I was off the call, I flicked into unavailable and performed the necessary reboot.
As I was logging in again, I got a tap on the shoulder and turned to see one of the clockwatchers pointing at her watch impatiently.
Me: “My system crashed. I am rebooting as fast as I can.”
Her: “You need to call IT if you have an issue.
You can’t just sit in unavailable.”
Me: “It will take longer-”
Her: “CALL IT FOR SYSTEM ISSUES. Otherwise, you are required to be taking calls.”
Now I knew their KPIs were based on calls taken and customer hold times, but she did not want to listen.
I called IT and told them I had performed a reboot, and by the time my call was answered, I was back up and running. I didn’t think much more of it until two days later when a mandatory coaching session showed up on my schedule.
My team leader listened to my reasoning, but basically, had her hands tied and went through the coaching with me.
Fine. You want me to call IT for system issues? No problem. Two of our other programs had what we called ‘floor workarounds’ where if the correct procedure didn’t work, you could get around it.
Not me, not anymore. Error? Put the customer on hold and call IT. System crash? Call IT. Program taking too long? Call IT. My stats went down the toilet.
Then I had a night shift.
Our IT guys went home at 8 pm, but we had a team in another time zone. The wait times were horrendous. So at 8:30 pm one night, my program went down, and I called IT.
After 20 minutes on hold, the clockwatcher on duty came to my desk to ask what was going on. I explained. She asked if I could just reboot because I was one of only three escalations-trained agents on duty that night.
I apologized and said I would get straight on it… as soon as I’d spoken to IT. Just like I was coached to. I was on hold for just under an hour, and the IT agent sounded as exasperated as I felt.
My next shift, I was given a memo stating that agents who had seniority could try rebooting before calling IT.
(Escalations is who you get when you ask to speak to a manager. In my experience the longer the hold to get an escalation answered, the nastier the customer gets.)”
Another User Comments:
“Call center jobs are the absolute worst and “clockwatcher” type positions were the worst of the worst. Was it required to sell your soul and all sense of empathy to get those positions?” narrauko
4. Want Me To Use Icebreakers On Customers As A Sales Tactic? Okay, I'll Flirt
“This story is over a decade old, back when I was fresh out of college and dedicated to doing nothing important for as long as possible. I worked for an electronics store, a big one and I lasted there for about 18 months before I realized I was wasting my time on garbage pay that I ended up blowing on games/movies.
My manager (Bob, but not really) was a pretty decent guy, and I never had too many complaints about him, although he was wasted in that particular store because he was a pretty good manager.
I could tell he was getting a lot of flack from the GM (Jim, but not really) because Home Theatre (me!) sales were stagnant (clarification: GOOD but not growing) and not hitting our ridiculous quotas.
I worked in the mornings until afternoons when there were maybe 10 people visiting the department in total, and you could tell that 8 of them were just watching TV waiting for their spouse’s cell phone plan to be activated.
Unfortunately, since there was so little foot traffic, management’s decision was to drill into us how to use every marketing/customer manipulation tactic to encourage people to buy things.
I was a good salesperson, and I could sell the crap out of home theatre using tactics such as “getting customers to use their imagination about their options” or “presenting new options in ways they hadn’t considered”.
I listened, I learned about their needs and what they were looking for, and they frequently left the store with something completely different than what they thought they needed. I recall that the number of returns I had was so small that I could probably count them on both hands over 18 months.
I, however, was completely disinterested in marketing tactics, sales tactics, or manipulating customers for upsales. This meant upselling, or changing how I communicated with them to “speak their language” in a way that marketing showed increased sales, but was blatantly manipulative.
So when “Jim” tells “Bob” about their new push to encourage customers to buy things they normally wouldn’t buy, he knows I’m going to be a challenge, but he does a pretty good job at trying to convince me.
He comes to me, and we have a floor meeting, and he asks me to try “breaking the ice” with the customers by chatting them up a little about topics unrelated to their viewing habits, home theatre, etc.
to get them to “like me” enough to want to make a purchase.
I was ready to quit and move on, and I was no longer interested in playing the game.
He wanted me to try breaking the ice with people, so I started flirting with all the customers.
Black, white, guy, girl, rich, not rich, old, not old. Everyone got a smile and a compliment about their outfit and I’d compare them to a celebrity they reminded me of (if possible). I was GOOD at it too.
I kept it completely mild and inoffensive, our uniforms were blah, and I wasn’t really trying, but on more than one occasion, a bored older woman or housewife gave me their phone number.
Our overall numbers started going down because I was busy chatting with customers than making sales, so eventually, I got hit with a secret shopper and the jig was up.
“Bob” finds out about this from “Jim” and I can hear him laughing from across the store before coming to my department to ask me to go to the back of the store for a private meeting.
He wrote me up for “inappropriate” communications with customers.
I told him I wouldn’t sign the write-up report because I received no directives saying I couldn’t flirt with customers. I wasn’t violating the employee handbook, (I made sure) and I never said anything that was offensive or suggestive (even though several customers took it in that direction), but more importantly, I was giving my two weeks’ notice, but if the write-up was a deal-breaker, I could leave now.
“Bob” was sad that I was leaving but understood. “Jim” was livid that I was leaving because I was a good earner, even though the department goals were ridiculous.
There’s not a lesson from this for managers out there, so don’t read into it. I was an acerbic jerk.”
3. Make Me Give You Access To Open Net? Okay, But What You Do On Your Computer Can Be Used Against You
Disturbing is the best word for this story.
“Ok so a while ago, the resident doctor at Mr. Tato’s tato plant resigned to go for greener pastures, which is a shame cause he was the nicest guy.
A couple of weeks later Mr. Tato’s medical wing sent us a replacement doctor, and I almost instantly didn’t like the guy (who we will call Dr. M) I like to think I have a pretty sharp intuition but I don’t really let it drive my behavior in front of people I just met, but holy crap, did he ever work to deserve it.
During the course of his first couple of months at the Plant, Dr. M:
- Lost the documentation for my contractors several times, then denied them entry because they had no documentation. This caused several vital repairs to our network infrastructure to go behind schedule, and Francis the plant director to get on my butt about it.
- Was especially demanding of my time, most of the time for petty things I can’t control or address.
Didn’t even get a ticket or anything, he would just call me over to look at his computer, demanding I fix it. Not his work computer, his personal computer.
- Also somehow made enemies of most of the departments.
This will come into play later.
Then THE incident. Due to electrical equipment failure, for quite some time all the networking infrastructure had to be powered with a diesel engine. I don’t really want to go into the specifics cause it will fill this story with clutter, but either Gas goes in or the plant stops, and Mr.
Tato loses a buttload of bucks. So my contractors came in to fill the critically empty engine. At this time we were about an hour away from a dry engine and doom. Francis, the plant director, personally approves and escalates the entrance of my people as an emergency.
Then Dr. M stops the whole thing, citing a health risk. My people can’t work. And the power plot will stop. Eventually, Francis, the maintenance department, and I got around it by asking maintenance to pump the gas themselves, but this move earned him the Ire of Francis and got the Doc into my crap list.
But that wasn’t the thing that earned him my grudge.
One day Priscilla asks for my help. She’s the head of her own department, a very nice older lady who knows not a darn thing about computers and is constantly asking me for help.
Because she warrants about half of my support tickets a year you can say she’s my primary source of income. Well, I’m working on her email cause it won’t load. Then Dr. M comes in asking for whatever.
And let me tell you, he was not just rude. He was dismissive and called her worthless. When I ask her about it after the guy left she tells me he’s like this every time.
This is the moment that gave me Casus Belli.
I started collecting information, discovered some very interesting tidbits, and waited for my time. This will come into play later.
One day, Dr. M calls me into his office.
He demands that I give him access to the open net because at the moment, he can’t browse freely. This was my time.
“Well, I can’t really do that, you have to create a support ticket and a request.
This could take weeks or a month.” Technically true, it took a couple of days most of the time.
“It will also have a cost for your area.” This was also true. It would cost about 1 dollar a month.
He stood there, for a couple of seconds, thinking.
“But you have internet access on your desk, you can browse anything, right? Give me access.”
And there it was. “I can do that, but you have to keep it confidential, cause it’s outside of the corporate network.
There’s no surveillance.”
“Do it.” And I did.
Usually, in a corporate setting employees have access to the heavily monitored and restricted corporate network. Mr. Tato’s network has a team of people that block all the fun stuff and watch your every move.
The network he asked me to route to his office is basically what you would find in a home. I mostly use it for things that need access to an outside network, and it only has MY eyes on it.
Yes, this was a trap.
The moment I finished routing the cable to the Doc’s office, I set up a small backup laptop with surveillance software and started the capture. Called the doctor, and told him his private internet is installed, and I reiterated how he should consider this an olive branch and he should tell nobody about it.
Now, a couple of very interesting tidbits of information.
Surveillance software is SO COOL. Basically, it sees and logs traffic on your network. You see what every computer or device is doing on your network, what sites you are browsing, and at what times.
During the course of my investigation, I learned that Dr. M was a serious creep. He earned infamy with his female staff with lewd and uncomfortable comments. Several female workers also complained, but due to the way HR works Pete, the head of HR couldn’t do anything about it without hard evidence.
But I knew what the capture would find, and the Doc delivered fast.
After a whole day of data capture, I showed the logs to Pete. And I was honestly almost impressed. Several different adult sites at 10 am, traffic to these various sites for about an hour.
We asked the staff at the medical office and at this time he was shut into his office. Another visit, different site this time, at 1 pm lunchtime. Guess he was having a cheeseburger.
And a third one at 5 pm, one hour away from closing time. Dude watched adult content at work on his work computer three times in one day.
It was kinda hard to explain to Pete how data capture works, but that was it, hard evidence.
I apologized to Pete for giving him extra work, but he dismissed it and said he was happy to have a cause. Called the head of Medical nationwide immediately.
Dr. M was escorted out by security the next day and my days improved.”
2. Follow Your Calls To The Letter? Okay, But It Won't Be What You Expect
“I worked at a small market TV station. It’s common to have fewer people doing the same job as you’d find in bigger markets since smaller stations just can’t support the larger staff. For example, we often handled newscasts with just two people in the control room, with a director calling camera shots, operating the video switcher, and rolling tapes (this was about twenty-five years ago, we still used videotape), while the engineer ran audio, loaded tapes, and kept the program log.
It could get a little hairy.
It was common for the director to occasionally miss calling a command. One day for the six PM news, the meteorologist teased the forecast going into the commercial break by saying something like “Will it snow tomorrow? I’ll let you know when we come back!” The director rolled the commercial reel, which had a three-second preroll, so the meteorologist had to stand there and wait for the director to fade to black.
The director had multiple things happening at the same time and never called for the mic to be clipped, so I, the engineer, brought up the level of the bumper music (also not called) and clipped the mic.
Just then, for some odd reason, the meteorologist decided to add, “Stay tuned!” but because his mic was already off, he was just mouthing the words on camera.
After the news was done, the meteorologist was a bit irritated.
The director reamed me out, pointing out he had not called for the mic to be clipped. I noted how such calls were often missed, and he just as likely would have called for the mic to be clipped if he had been able to pay close enough attention.
I wasn’t faulting him, just noting that it happened to have been me that got fooled by the double tease.
He wouldn’t have it. “In the future, I want you to follow my calls to the letter.
Don’t clip a mic unless I call for you to clip a mic.” I pointed out that this was going to result in a lot more errors, but he was insistent. “It’s my responsibility.
If I call it wrong, I’ll take the blame.” Okay, you got it, Mr. Director, Sir.
Less than four hours later. Ten PM news. The director fails to call for mics to be clipped going into the break.
Since it was not up to him to call what level the mics were at, I brought them down to just above zero. Still technically on, but for all intents and purposes inaudible. I waited.
The speakers in the studio will automatically toggle off if a mic channel is open to prevent feedback, so after about ten seconds into the break, the camera crew softly called over their headsets that the mics were still on.
The director, busy setting up for the next segment, said, “What? Mr. Engineer, why didn’t you clip the mics?” I calmly replied, “You haven’t called for the mics to be clipped.” “Oh, okay,” came the distracted response.
The mics remained on. After another ten seconds, the crew whispered, “The mics are still on!”
Director: “Why haven’t you clipped the mics?!?!?”
Me: “You haven’t called for the mics to be clipped.”
Director: “CLIP THE GOSH DARN MICS!!!!”
I clipped the mics.
After the block, he was seething. “Just what kind of game do you think you’re playing?”
I just responded, “Just doing exactly what you insisted I do, less than four hours ago. You swore to me that you’d take the blame for a missed call.
The aircheck tape that records the headset audio on one channel will bear me out that you failed to call for the mics to be clipped, not once, but twice. Now, do you still want a robot or someone who’ll think for themselves and occasionally make a mistake?”
Instead of taking responsibility as he had promised, he tried to throw me under the bus.
I got called into the news VP’s office the next day. I explained exactly what happened. The VP shook his head. “Jeezuz, whatcha gonna do with kids these days?” We agreed that I was to go back to clipping a mic if a mic needed to be clipped and if the director had a problem with that to see him. Fortunately, the director quit shortly thereafter.”
1. Demand EV Charging For Your Car? Okay, But It'll Be A Lengthy Process
“I live in an apartment block in Europe with about 100 apartments in total. Every year, we have an election for what could be compared to an American HOA where we elect a president and a couple of board members to manage the general expenses and daily maintenance tasks (fixing garage port, cleaning common areas, security cameras…).
While we do have a rulebook of sorts, nobody on the board has ever been too bothered by neighbors going their own way as long as there are no complaints.
I am the president of this HOA as of today, and I have had my fair share of interesting neighbors, but this one takes the cake.
He bought a fancy Tesla, which he made an effort to flash around the neighbors (kind of condescending on how useless “old cars” are, how we live in the past…). Thing is, we don’t have a charging station in the garage, so he has to go to the gas station to fill up the battery.
There was no charger when he came in, so that shouldn’t come as a surprise here. But as soon as he got the car, he started pestering the board asking about the EV charger (we need to keep up with the modern times, you know?) We repeatedly answered that it is in our plans and that we would love to get him on board to help us, as he was the main interested person for the task.
This should make the process much more efficient.
He never responded to the invitation to join and help, even though there is a small payment for the board members, and we are slammed with other higher priority tasks that have suddenly popped up such as fire alarm upgrades, changing parts of the sprinklers, etc., so we really cannot use much time in EV charging, although we all agree that we have to get that going.
Suddenly, I got a phone call from an electrician reading from the law that we cannot deny an EV charger in the garage and that he would come the following week at our earliest convenience.
I just asked him for some time to read the law and make sure we were on the same page, and in the conversation, he slipped the name of the person who had ordered the charger.
To no surprise, it was the Tesla man! There are others with EVs in the garage, and we have had fluent communication with them about this matter. They prefer to wait than work on the case, which is fine by me.
So, I re-read all the laws and our internal regulations to make sure that we were following everything to the letter. It turns out that the law forces an HOA to facilitate the infrastructure for EV charging, not the stations themselves, as long as there is not a force majeure reason against it, like economical reasons.
And our internal regulations state that changing the essential infrastructure of the building needs to be done under the approval of the general assembly, which happens once a year.
I talked to our finance manager, and he argued strongly against such an expense without getting a loan to partially finance it, as it would destabilize the economy of the community.
With all that, we decided to comply with the regulations fully:
- We won’t decide on any structural changes to the building until the next general assembly.
- We need a person dedicated to following the steps of finding providers, comparing offers, and presenting them first to the board and then to the rest of the neighbors.
This also includes safety measurements for the upgraded infrastructure.
- Once we have a budget, we will find bank offers for the loan that we will have to take most likely.
- We need to hire a lawyer to update the rulebook to account for the use of chargers in the garage.
As steps 1 and 3 are dependent on general assemblies, the process will inevitably be prolonged in time, and we know that neighbors are generally against taking up a loan that will increase their monthly costs.
So he will have to fight an uphill battle for being a pain in the butt.
The best part of this is that before all this happened, we were considering setting up a temporary charging station for everyone instead of the “ideal” solution of everyone being free to set their charger on their spot that would not require a loan and was planned to be done during 2022.
Now, we will have to ask the assembly if this is an interesting way forward and abide by the response.
I feel bad for the EV owners, because when the Tesla guy invoked the rules, the game changed, and now they have to wait for all the official processes instead of having a temporary, just a-ok solution while we got the rest in place.”