People Tell Us Their Wacky Malicious Compliance Revenge
21. Don't Believe Him? Fine, Come Get Proof Yourself
“This is about my grandfather, from waaaay back in the early 90s. He got a kick out of this story for years after it happened. Two things about Gramps:
- He was very much a DIY kind of person.
He would not pay for things if he could do them himself, and by God, he was determined to do them himself.
- He bought his house to retire in, and though he lived in a desert where even the winters are often warm enough to walk around in short sleeves, he wanted a hot tub.
Combine these, and he built himself a deck on the side of the house with lattice walls for privacy, where he could have himself a nice private hot tub.
This was his pride and joy. We live a good 20-minute drive from the city, so we could sit on the deck to see the lights, or lounge in the hot tub and enjoy the fragrance of the wisteria vines he grew into the lattice.
Honestly, it was rather lovely.
Fast forward a couple of years.
Family had a dog who liked to chew things. He ended up chewing through the base of every single wisteria, killing the lot of them, but they were so wound into the lattice that it would’ve been a pain to get it all out.
Gramps had wanted a garden in the back corner of the yard. He built a grape arbor, plant beds, all that jazz. But he did not have a green thumb. He tried, don’t get me wrong, but his usual determination didn’t win against the desert, and he eventually gave that up.
And the hot tub… Oh man, that poor thing. One day, Gramps went out to sit in it. When he got out, he forgot to turn off the heater. Every single drop of water evaporated, and the whole thing was just absolutely ruined.
There’s no way it could have been repaired. So Gramps, in his usual DIY fashion (and probably a bit of spite) took a chainsaw to the thing.
He cut it into bits. Then, because his poor, beloved hot tub has gone to the sauna in the sky, he finally took down the lattice, with the long-dead wisteria vines still entangled.
Then he tore down and ripped up his failed garden. All in all, he was left with a massive pile of rubbish and debris in the driveway.
Gramps had this little Volkswagen pickup truck. Tiny little thing.
The closest trash dump was roughly 30ish miles away. Gramps loaded the back of his truck with refuse, strapped it down, drove it to the dump, unloaded it all, and headed back for another.
Being retired and having little else to do, Gramps didn’t mind having to go back and forth, doing all this labor.
But after the fourth or fifth delivery, the guys running the dump realized he had more than they thought. They tried to tell him he couldn’t keep bringing it all there since they don’t take commercial trash, only residential.
He insisted it was from his own home, he just had a lot of it.
They refused to believe him and said that if he wanted to keep using their site, he’d have to let them follow him ‘home’ to confirm.
Sure thing, no skin off Gramps’ nose.
Now, one final bit of important information: This house is in the middle of nowhere. The roads were still dirt, except for the three or four main throughways. The neighborhood is surrounded by undeveloped land, and back then, there were a lot of people in the area with horses.
The city would come through and grade the roads occasionally to smooth them out, but it always developed ruts, divots, and loose rocks, and generally with horse droppings everywhere. It was either late spring or early summer, so it’s hot, dry, dusty, and smelly.
Gramps, in his sturdy little truck, didn’t care. He led those guys up the main road, down the dirt back roads, driving nice and slow to avoid the rocks and divots and kicking up too much dust (and manure).
He made it to his house, waved the boys back, and carefully backed into the side gate, where the massive pile of deconstruction waited.
The guys parked their vehicle on the side of the fence, got out, came around the gate, and just stared.
Gramps asked them if he can keep dropping off his trash. The guys took in the pile of detritus in the driveway, the nice two-story house, the two-car garage, and the well-manicured lawn.
“Yep, that’s fine.”
They left to drive down those dusty, rocky, devoted, poop-covered back roads, then the 30ish miles back to the dump. It took quite a few trips, and several days, before Gramps finally cleared all the rubbish, but on each trip, he gave those boys a cheerful wave.”
20. Make Me Email You Throughout The Day? Bring It On
“I recently left a job where I had a really toxic relationship with my boss. He was old school, and prioritized work over everything else, expecting everyone to do the same. His expectations were so high it disrupted my work-life balance significantly, I have two young kids and at this point in my life, I’m not doing late-night meetings or weekend reports.
The company worked from home 50%, except my boss “didn’t believe in working from home,” so we were 100% in the office, and the city was flooded, and the commute was dangerous. We were the only team of about 50 in the office.
I told him I was overwhelmed, that I had too much work to meet all deadlines, and he told me that I have to prioritize everything because everything is urgent. When I asked what is most urgent, what should I do first, he told me “everything”.
You get the idea of his approach.
The company worked with flexitime, as long as your hours equal 37.5 each week, 7.5 hours per day average. It’s all good to work anytime between 7 am and 7 pm, I could do a 10-hour day, then a 5-hour day, as long as it balanced out.
My boss, however, demanded those hours be worked between 9 am and 5 pm, and if on any day I was to work 15 minutes over that 7.25 hours then he wanted to be told what I was using that time for and to have his approval first.
I used to start work at 7 am and hit the gym in the morning around 9:30 am for 45 minutes. When I joined his team he didn’t like this. He set up a meeting with me every morning at 9:30 am, which he mostly didn’t show up to, but certainly put an end to my morning sessions.
I told him I found it detrimental to my mental health, he told me I needed to find another time (the reason I went in this time is that I have two young kids and my wife works shifts).
My boss, meanwhile, has a fantastic work-life balance, would often start at 9:30-10:00 am, and finish early, or randomly decide to work from home.
He then asked that I send him multiple emails, throughout the day, every day, telling him what I’m working on and seeking his approval for stuff, stuff that has never required approval previously.
I obliged. I sent him 5 emails a day, every day, waffling on about what I was doing, I’d also ask questions in those emails, forcing him to read and respond to them all, after a while I start to make the questions more subtle, not dot pointing them but sneaking them into the body of the text.
I’d ask the same question multiple times, knowing by this point he was bored of reading my emails, and then when he didn’t give me the answer I’d let the repercussions happen, the repercussions that didn’t exist until he demanded I seek approval.
These repercussions were usually raised by my boss’s boss, I knew they were happening, but I let them happen. I’d then respond to the group emails where my boss would blame me, and include the emails I sent him seeking approval as he’d requested.
This became a fairly frequent occurrence since I was sending 25 or more emails a day, which seriously was a huge chore on top of my high-pressure (about $200m of contracts annually) role. I had a really good reputation in the office for my work, everyone seemed to respect me but him.
His manner with people wasn’t always appreciated.
He would set arbitrary deadlines, and then half them for seemingly no reason, when I refused to enact those (I often had to hand those deadlines on) citing anti-bullying policy, he’d tell me to just get it done.
I understand that I wasn’t the best most obedient employee, but he made me this way with his micro-management.
Eventually, I found a new role elsewhere. I demanded an exit interview where I explained how I don’t believe he managed his team in accordance with the company’s intentions, how I’d expressed concern for my mental health and he offered no compromise, how he purposely booked meetings to disrupt my day and how he demanded I email him over and over, and asked approval for 15 minutes of flexibility on start and finish times.
The lady from HR had recently encountered my boss, and it wasn’t pleasant, he was abusive to her and she already had his cross-hairs on him.
I recently met up with a colleague from that team, a week after I left my now ex-boss was demoted, no longer manages anybody, and has a much stricter schedule himself, now that he reports to someone.
My old team is now much happier and much more productive.
I’m thinking about applying for the now vacant role as his boss.”
Another User Comments:
“On more than one occasion, I had to tell my superiors that if everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.” Pimp_Daddy_Patty
19. Search For A Flavor We Don't Even Have? I Can Do That!
For the last time, we don’t have your stinkin’ muffins, ma’am.
“3 years ago, I was working in a popular local cafe in the middle of a big city. Obviously, there were a lot of customers during rush hour.
And of course, the usual Karens.
At the time of this story, I was just finishing my training to be fully hired. The manager, “Steve”, was an utterly obnoxious person who was overall very disturbing. He’d tell us to do something and then change his mind while we were halfway through it.
Anyways, he wasn’t exactly competent, but we were low on staff and the Owner desperately needed a manager.
So this one day, I’m just clocking in, and I see my first clients are a bunch of kids and their Karen of a mom.
(Yes, she had the haircut.) The following conversation ensued.
Karen: What are your muffin flavors?
Me: We have (naming all the muffin flavors)-
Karen, interrupting me: No no, I’ll just take one of those special edition muffins. (Points to the back of the kitchen, like she’s expecting me to make them for her.)
Me: Oh, sorry.
Those are limited-edition muffins. We don’t have them anymore.
Karen, rolling her eyes: Yeah I know, just give me 5 of them.
Me, a bit louder thinking she didn’t hear me: We don’t have those anymore ma’am. I’m sorry.
Karen: JUST GIVE ME THEM! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU!? GET ME YOUR MANAGER!!
Now at this point, I’m pretty livid because this woman is screaming at me at the top of her lungs and gathering all the attention towards her.
So, I do as she asked and get her the manager.
Steve looks mad as soon as I disturb him. He goes to see the Karen and comes back to me.
Steve: Just give her the muffins, now.
Me: We don’t have any of those muffins left, I already explained that to her.
Steve: There are some left, just find them.
Me: Where are they? I’m pretty positive we don’t have any left.
Steve: I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR OPINION, JUST FIND THEM ALREADY! ASK OTHERS TO HELP YOU FIND THEM IF YOU’RE THAT DUMB.
AND DON’T GO BACK TO THAT LADY OR ANY OTHER CLIENTS UNTIL YOU FIND THOSE MUFFINS!!
Me, thinking about what he just said: Ok sir. I’ll give her the muffins.
Steve: THAT’S BETTER!
So I go and try to find them everywhere in the store.
Of course, there are none left as the muffins are seasonal items and since none arrived in stock, there ARE NO SPECIAL EDITION MUFFINS LEFT.
Since Steve told me to “NOT GO BACK TO THAT LADY OR ANY OTHER CLIENTS UNTIL I FOUND THE MUFFINS,” I do exactly that.
Since he ALSO told me to ask others for help, I make sure to let EVERY EMPLOYEE know my desperate need for help in finding the muffins. In the end, since no one liked Steve anyways, we all went searching for the muffins.
For several hours, clients kept pouring in until one of them dared to ask what we were all doing running around. I calmly explained that our manager sent us searching for something and we couldn’t work until we found it.
I insisted that our hands were tied and we couldn’t serve them until our manager said so.
Every single client went banging on Steve’s door demanding to talk to him. As soon as he opened the door, everyone started yelling at him to let the employees serve them.
Visibly confused by so many people in the cafe and in front of him, he shouted my name. I wasn’t allowed to stop searching, so I replied by yelling back too. He eventually came in front of me and asked me what the heck was going on.
The following conversation was priceless.
Me: Oh, I was just searching for the muffins.
Steve, looking like he was about to pass out: WHAT!? WHY!?
Me: Well, you asked me to find them and to get help if needed.
You insisted I shouldn’t go serve anyone UNTIL I find them. Since we never found them, we never got to work again.
Steve, realizing he just lost hours of profits: SERIOUSLY ??? GO BACK TO WORK, NOW!
Me, with a smug look on my face: But we didn’t find the muffins yet sir.
Would you like to search with us?
Steve went ballistic on me saying this was insubordination, that I had the IQ of a slug, etc. Meanwhile, the Karen sent multiple complaints to the owner about the manager. At the end of the day, the owner personally came in to announce to Steve he was fired and replaced by one of my coworkers.
We never had any other seasonal muffins after that.”
18. Oh You Wanted A Working Microphone? You Should've Said So!
“I work as an Audio-Visual tech at a community college. Basically deal with sound systems, projectors, microphones, etc. I joke that “anything that plugs in on campus that’s not a computer, that’s my gig.”
We get occasional requests for sound systems in bigger classrooms and common areas.
Not hard set-ups at all. Someone wants to make a presentation, and they want to be heard clearly, so we’ll set up a Microphone on a floor stand, usually above a podium or desk, and run cables to the actual sound system, which is usually an all-in-one unit that has the amp, equalizer, and speaker altogether.
Set up on a tripod in the corner of a room, it can easily be loud enough for a room of 100 people or so. Anything bigger and we adjust, by adding a second speaker or giving them a beefier system with separate components (Amp, equalizer, input boxes, etc.) on a cart.
Even for bigger sound systems, they still don’t really take up that much space in an area if you know what you’re doing.
This happened years ago, got a request from a Communication Arts instructor (a speech class).
She wanted her classes to experience what it would be like to speak in front of a larger audience, so she requested a microphone for a larger classroom that we had, an older, simple Lecture Hall that held about 140 people.
She was having a few different classes all show up at the same time and place, so the room would be packed. I called and talked with “Speech Lady” about the specifics of her request, letting her know what the setup involved.
“This isn’t that big of a deal; I just need a microphone. One microphone,” she said, a little snotty. I started to explain that for a room that size, with possibly over 100 people attending, she might want to make sure they’re heard and go with the bigger system.
“Oh, we don’t need all that other stuff! Just a microphone! ONE MICROPHONE! That’s it, nothing more!” I was getting instructions for my job from someone who actually taught how to give a speech! I hesitated one last time, starting to tell her that for a sound system to work, you actually NEED things like speakers and cables and…
“NOTHING ELSE! JUST THE MICROPHONE!” with a slightly shouty Karen-esque voice.
(is this where I say “Cue Malicious Compliance?”)
Day of the event arrives. I walk into the room, weaving in and out of students to get to the instructor, who was standing at a desk at the front of the class.
I walked up, smiling. “Are you Ms. Speech Lady?”
“Oh yes! Did you have our mic?” She said in an excited voice, ready to excite her students with SOUND!
I held out a hand-held microphone to her “here you go!”
She took the microphone a bit gingerly, then I turned and started to make my way out.
But I looked behind me and saw Speech Lady (a person with a Doctorate, mind you), looking at the microphone like it was some weird alien device. She started tapping on it, speaking into it, looking at the sides and bottom, then slapping it with her hand, blowing onto it, and finally yelling into it.
I could tell a few of the students knew what sound systems were (they’re not that hard) when I saw some giggles from the seats at the confused teacher’s reaction. I turned back around as I was about to leave the room to see her waving me back over (still a lot of students filing in).
I go back over.
“How do you work this? I don’t see any switches or anything, and don’t hear my voice getting louder.” She actually said this all trying to speak into the microphone, as if the sound would magically be amplified in mid-air.
I smirked “Oh, you want it to make you LOUDER? Well, for that, you’re going to need (I actually did air quotes) “all that other stuff.”” She STILL looked confused, but I could tell light was starting to creep into her brain.
I turned and again started on my way out while she called out “wait! Um… I guess I need… wait!”
I could have been a jerk and just walked out from there, but the students didn’t deserve any bad because of their stupid teacher.
I had brought one of our portable sound systems with me to the lecture hall but kept it outside the room. I walked back in and set it up in about 3 minutes, placing the unit on a Tripod, the mic on a boom stand, and an XLR cable connecting the mic to the system.
I gave it the briefest of sound checks by simply saying “LOUD NOISES!” (thanks, Anchorman) and turned to go for good this time. During the quick set-up, Speech Lady was apologizing to me until she was blue in the face, but then she gained her composure quickly after my sound check.
She turned out to be cool, writing me an e-mail apology of sorts and thanking me for my help after her super-sized class.”
Another User Comments:
“Great ending. I assume she doesn’t have to pay for anything no matter the size, so I really wonder why she was so daft about the whole thing.” mcgripit
17. Force Me To Take Leave? Sounds Good To Me
“During my time in the Navy, I was posted to a shore-based workshop with more people than it needed. Micromanagement ensues.
So on this given day in the workshop at our morning muster, the Chief announces, “Anyone with more than 30 days annual leave needs to start taking leave to get their leave balance down.”
Me with 75 days at this time: “Why?”
Chief: “It’s a directive from Chief of Navy.”
So me being me, I go look up the books.
Specifically the Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN)
Fast forward three days. I get called into the Chief’s office:
Chief: Why haven’t you put leave in?
Me: I don’t want to.
Chief: Didn’t you hear me say it was a directive from the Chief of Navy?
Me: Yes but that directive isn’t lawful.
Chief (his blood pressure visibly rising): What the HECK do you mean?
Me: In accordance with PACMAN (I quoted the specific reference) I can not be compelled to take annual leave.
Chief: Get out!
TBH by this stage I was just seeing how many buttons I could push.
In that workshop, we had to make our own entertainment.
Two hours later I was called up by my Divisional Officer (DO). The conversation was more or less a carbon copy of the conversation I had with my Chief.
Perhaps a bit less four-letter anglo-Saxon verbiage.
For the next week, I don’t hear a peep. I know this isn’t over. I have planned the next few things I can and will do depending on how my chain of command proceeds.
The next week one of my Petty Officers (Being from NZ originally we naturally called him Kiwi) came back from leave. We had worked together a few times and had a good rapport as a result.
So of course my Chief sent him to try and thwart my evil plans.
PO: OP we need to chat.
Me: Hi Kiwi. They sending in the big guns to beat me down now huh?
PO: So you know what this is about.
PO: You do realize they are talking about charging you.
Me: What’s the charge?
PO: Failure to comply with a lawful general order.
Me: The order isn’t lawful. The charge wouldn’t stick. Even if it did. What would the punishment be? Stoppage of leave?
PO: You are just doing this to cause problems aren’t you?
I genuinely don’t want to take leave. I can’t really afford to go anywhere so I’d just be spending a week sitting on my butt, bored to death. I can do that here and not lose any of my accrued leave.
PO: OK. You don’t have to take all of your leave at once. Just start taking some. It will take the heat off the entire chain of command and those above might be less inclined to launch you into space without the benefit of a spacesuit.
Me: OK Kiwi. I’ll think about it.
I had actually thought about it.
When posted ashore we accrue approximately 0.8 days of annual leave per fortnight which works out to be a bit over 1.6 days a month.
So a few days later. I put in a leave request through the online system. For the first Monday of the next month. My leave dates were the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday so A. It looks like I am taking three days but am only taking one and B.
So I couldn’t get rostered for duty on that weekend. Leave approved. I enjoy my three-day weekend.
The next month. Same thing.
The sharper ones in the crowd see what is happening. My leave balance is still going up.
Not down. Just slower than it was before.
After about three months I get asked why I am not putting anything in the “Reason for leave” section of the online form. I point to the line on the form that says quite clearly that reasons don’t need to be provided for annual leave requests.
“Please just put something in that space.”
So the next month. Reason for leave: Mental Health Day.
Two months of that. Then… “Please don’t put that in.”
So the next month. Reason for leave: They are making me do this.
I don’t want to.
That made them angry.
The ear blistering I got for that one is definitely not PG. But the point was made on both sides.
From then on my one day off a month was “Leave management.”
They were so happy when I got a sea posting later that year.
I still wonder if they ever realized that I wasn’t actually getting my leave balance down.”
16. Want The Place Spotless? We'll See What A Team Of Short-Staffed Cleaners Can Do
“I heard this story at a union conference about 5 years ago. It was presented as one of the union victories for the year. There was a company that employed around twenty or so cleaners. The award agreement for the number of cleaners worked by square feet of floor space, number of toilets, number of hand basins, number of staff kitchens, bins, etc.
Both union and management had got to the same number and the staff was worked fairly.
After a couple of years, new management takes over and stops using casual cleaners for backfill for leave, etc. This means each day they are basically short staffed not making the agreement terms.
Then a couple of staff leave and are not replaced. Management starts complaining that the place isn’t up to standard and customers had complained. They threaten the staff with punishment etc. One of the cleaners calls the union and the union calls an industrial dispute with the employer.
In the dispute, the employer has nowhere to go on this. The award spells out the formula for staffing and the union basically says if you don’t like we will take you to court and you lose after spending a heap of finances.
HR argues but basically agrees to employ more staff and put some casuals on. They say well it may take a few weeks to advertise and interview etc., etc., so you will have to be patient.
There was a real feeling that they were not going to try too hard.
The union says sure on these conditions 1. You can no longer threaten punishment about work due to the short staffing 2. you try your best to get staff 3.
That cleaners will clean only the amount covered by the award each day 4. any complaints to be given to the union, not the staff during this time.
The third point becomes the sticking point but HR agrees on the condition that cleaners make the customer side of the business a priority.
It’s agreed upon. The union leaves with the distinct impression HR will drag its feet on employing new staff. The union goes to the staff and says what’s happened and the staff are unhappy about not getting staff immediately.
The union organizer says you only have to clean so much space so focus on the customer side of the business and we ask you not to clean any of The HR staff offices, tea room, or toilets.
The same goes for the executive staff area of any department manager’s office. Don’t even empty a bin there. Be completely compliant with the offer.
So after a week HR hasn’t advertised or employed any new staff but the cleaners report that all the office kitchens in HR and executive look untidy and the bathrooms smell a bit.
Bins are filling up fast etc. At the beginning of the second week, the union gets a phone call about cleaners not doing their work from HR. The union asks if the customer side is clean and they agree it is very clean.
Well, the union says this is our agreement. Still, HR doesn’t advertise for jobs. By the end of the second week, the CEO asks the cleaners why the offices look terrible. The cleaners say to ring the union.
There are complaints coming from everywhere in the company about the state of staff amenities etc and the CEO is unhappy. The CEO rings and organizes a meeting with the union for the next day.
By this stage, the executive office bins are overflowing, and the managers’ offices are dusty.
The bathrooms are far from clean and since no cleaner has been in there, there is no soap or toilet paper. In the meeting, the CEO asks what’s going on with your union members. The union organizer explains their deal with HR and the short staffing.
The union organizer states we have been completely compliant with what was asked of us. The CEO claims he was unaware. The CEO is livid. HR is rang and asked to explain. HR gets blasted and jobs get advertised that day.
A deal is struck for overtime for any cleaner who will clean the offices of the executives.
The union had the extra staff employed within two weeks (plus a casual pool). Some of the union members picked up some handy overtime pay too. Every meeting with the company after that was highly productive for the union and its members.”
15. Claim The Delivery Will Be Here In 4 Weeks Instead Of 6 Weeks? It'll Backfire
“I used to work in manufacturing and was part of a process engineering (PE) team. The team would create areas for members to work in with specific equipment for the job. My job was to price up and order and install the equipment.
The equipment was in kit form, and every area needed a version of the kit. (Like a jigsaw, some needed a 200 piece, some needed a 1,000, but it was all the same bits.)
We were tasked with a new process, the PEs figured out what they wanted, and I set about pricing it all up, using what I already had, and created an order, receipt, and install plan.
The new process was 12 weeks away, and the stuff I needed had a 6-week lead time. No problem!
That was until the finance men pulled all funding, and the new directive was to install a new process with zero cost.
So, at 12 weeks to go, I told all the PEs there’s gonna be no new equipment. I moved on to other tasks, abandoning all the kit work.
We have weekly meetings, where I report, every week, “Well, I have no money, so no new kits!”
At 5 weeks to go, all the PEs and manufacturing teams eventually realize they are in trouble.
Without the kits, they have massive increases in their process times, and won’t achieve the process.
So they all go, en masse, to the finance men, “We need these kits!”
After a few days, one of my bosses (I had loads) comes to me and says, “Got you the money! Order them kits!”
“Well, it’s a bit useless to ask now.” I reply, “All the kit plans are from 12 weeks ago, and apart from the fact most of the PE’s plans will have changed; the kits won’t get here in time anyway, as it’s 4 weeks left to go, and the stuff needed to be ordered 6 weeks before.”
“Just order it anyway, we’ll sort it…” he demands.
“There’s no point Boss! That ship has sailed; the supplier won’t be able to deliver.”
“Right, let’s go talk to the supplier.”
So off we go (3 hour drive) where my boss asks the supplier, “What can we do to get the kits on time?”
“Order it when OP told you to (I could’ve kissed him), but whatever we do now, I cannot guarantee when you will get it, so plan for 6 weeks.”
I was asked to leave the room, where I assume they discussed finances.
I believe (not certain) the original cost I had priced up was nearly doubled.
So. Back in the office the next day, with 4 weeks to go, Boss comes to me and says, “Can you create a receiving plan for the kits please.”
So I do, with a 6-week lead time, to arrive 2 weeks later than we need it.
I show the boss.
“Change the receiving date to 4 weeks, not 6.”
“But that’s not correct, Boss?”
“Just do it. I’ll lean on the supplier, get it sorted.”
I redo the plan, 4 week lead time, not 6. I print off a couple of copies.
Give one to Boss (1), then go straight to another boss (2) and inform him of what’s going on. Boss2 thanks me for the info and follows Boss1 into a manager meeting, where sure enough, Boss1 tells everyone the kits will be here in 4 weeks.
Lots of “well dones” and “good jobs” are slapped upon Boss1…
In the next 4 weeks, Boss1 rings the supplier every day, and reports back everything is peachy. Boss2 gets me to follow up daily with the supplier, and it’s far from peachy.
They are in chaos, trying to get multiple kits together with zero prep and short lead time.
Install day arrives. Supplier has not been ready. Boss1 insists they send what they have. Boss1 feeds back that there’s a delay.
Upper management is furious. “Who told you that it would be ready?”
Boss1, “I was just going off the receiving schedule.”
Boss2 interjects, “excuse me, but my equipment guy gave me a plan that did say 6 weeks!”
Upper management “who is doing 2 different schedules?”
Boss1 “there’s obviously been a mistake, I’ll investigate.”
UM, “Where did you get that schedule?”
Boss1 “let’s take this outside this meeting and I’ll fully brief you.”
Anyway, So remember I said it’s like a jigsaw? The first delivery, Supplier sent the corner pieces…
for every kit.
The next day, the bottom edge pieces, for every kit.
The next, the top edge pieces, for every kit.
Basically, we ended up receiving a bit of every jigsaw every day.
For 2 weeks.
So 6 weeks after ordering, all the jigsaws were in, exactly like I told them they would be…
Thanks to a bit of jiggery-pokery on my part, we managed (with my excellent team) to install kits daily, by using the new stuff and lowering the quality of the old stuff. I was kind of the face of the kits, so I wanted it in to save face really.
No one ever asked me about the schedules, and Boss2 tells me that the right people found out what happened. Boss1 was told that he needed to relocate to another country, or there wasn’t a position for him anymore.
So he basically was forced to leave our site.
I eventually had my fill too, I left soon after. Who wants to be in a job where the very thing they employ you to do, they tell you you are wrong and ignore you, then ask you to pick up the pieces of the wreckage afterward?”
14. Get You Some Barbecue Sauce? Sure, I'll Get You SOME
“This happened back in 2004, but I felt like sharing because of how personally satisfying it felt. To understand why, you will need to know that the manager who stars in this tale wasn’t just bad at his job, he was a bad person and a stain on humanity.
He, a middle-aged man, would constantly harass the female wait staff. Everything from inappropriate comments, to scheduling manipulation for those who didn’t play ball. It wasn’t uncommon for him to cause one of the girls to cry at work.
Fortunately for me, his lecherous proclivities kept him out of the back of the house because the kitchen staff was 98% dudes.
One night, we had the displeasure of his presence on the expo line (plate presentation, condiments, order verification, and staging for food runners) because we got randomly slammed on a weeknight for reasons we never understood.
There weren’t any events or conferences or sports on TV, it just got busy out of nowhere. We were staffed for a normal weeknight.
Normally, I covered the prep kitchen, which is where anything not grilled or deep-fried is made.
This night I was in the “dish tank” because prep is mostly a morning thing during the week and the line cooks cover it at night. Not this night. I could easily keep up on Dish on all but the busiest nights when working alone, so I did the line cooks a solid and ran prep at the same time.
The line cooks were my friends, so the help wasn’t because I felt a duty to the restaurant, I just didn’t like seeing them get screwed. They only had one cook running both the hot grill (900°) and the cold grill (450°) and one cook running 4 deep fryers and the panini press.
Enter Manager Handsy. Handsy was not what you would call good under pressure. Within 20 minutes, he was already as frantic as a squirrel on substances, rushing from here to there, disrupting everything, accomplishing nothing.
Manager Handsy sees me doing prep for the line cooks and automatically assumes that I’m inclined to help him as well.
I’m not. This dude basically assaults my server friends on the reg. However, he IS a manager and I’m a low man on the totem pole.
One of the things that the expo line is responsible for is all the little portion cups of salad dressing, bbq, etc.
We stored all this stuff in these neat little pitchers called drip cups (picture a larger version of a syrup dispenser at IHOP or Denny’s). When full, those things could last for hours during a rush.
Manager Handsy realizes he’s pretty much out of barbeque sauce, which is a real problem with this place’s menu. Handsy then barks at me “Go get me some barbeque sauce!”
Not liking him OR his tone OR his attitude, I set off in search of the magical tomato goo.
This place goes through a LOT of this stuff, so we receive it in 35lb jugs (about the size of a five-gallon container). When the containers get low, we flip them over on a small saucepan and let the last bit drain out so nothing goes to waste.
It’s a long wait, so we usually just flip and come back to it later. I walk around the corner with the empty drip cup and what do you know? No “new” jug in sight, just the catch pan.
Since the full jugs are stored at the exact opposite end of the kitchen, I decided that the contents of the catch pan constituted “some” barbeque sauce. I’d say I filled about an inch and a half of the 7″ drip cup jar.
I then returned “some” barbeque sauce back to the expo line and went back to my dishly duties.
About 10 minutes later, Manager Handsy bellows in my general direction “I thought I told you to get me some barbeque sauce!” I replied, “I did get you some barbeque sauce, Handsy, I just didn’t get you a lot”.
Cue the laughter from the line cooks who were already beyond tired of his micromanaging. Manager Handsy hears them laughing, despite the loud radio and tall stack of plates between them. In an unusual moment of self-awareness, he realizes he’s only been 3/5 of an asset so far that night and immediately changes his tone, asking much more cordially, almost sheepishly, “Well, could you get me more?” I say “Sure, Handsy, what’s the magic word?” Cue more laughter.
“Please?” “Sure, Handsy, since you asked me so nicely, I’d be happy to get you more.”
Manager Handsy stayed on the peg he’d been knocked down to for the duration of the rush that night. The line cooks were so grateful that they hooked me up that night when it came time to dispose of excess prepared food.
It all got recorded on the waste sheet, but it was my waist it really went to.
Screw you, Manager Handsy, I’m glad you didn’t get offered a position at one of the franchisee’s other restaurants when that one closed.”
13. Sign This? Okay, But I'm Not Paying
“Working in an IT division of Da Biz. The division was inventing itself as it went along, slowly going from mainframe to smarter smaller boxes, automating all manner of processes. The programmers needed software. The rule was that software must be ordered through the Purchasing Department, which had sweetheart deals with certain specified providers.
If some poor soul needed a compiler, Purchasing would go to their designated providers. Six weeks later the programmer would get a different program ‘just as good’ or ‘does the same thing’ which was unusable, and the division would get a bill for full sticker price.
They wouldn’t let us return it, either.
The Division Manager (hereinafter known as that spoiled bully the DM) got really tired of this. It was screwing up his delivery dates. Purchasing would not be moved. This was the way they had always done it.
They would only order from approved sources, who mostly provided office supplies. If those kickback buddies didn’t carry what we needed, then a substitution would be made. Those are the rules, live with them.
Finally, the DM decided to do his own purchasing and expense it.
He handed me a bunch of catalogs that sold software at deep discounts with guaranteed overnight shipping. My mission was to provide our people with the tools they needed, when they needed them, and send the receipts over to Purchasing for reimbursement.
All very neat, and a beartrap beyond compare. Because Da Biz couldn’t be trusted, neither could the DM, and I was getting airdropped between two divisions at war. Garbage alarm falls smoking off the wall and rolls around the floor queeping.
“How do I pay for the software we need?”
“Use your credit card.”
“Oh heck no. I can’t afford it.” (Engl. trans. of this one; The lake is one mile east. Enjoy your swim.)
“Fine, we’ll get you a company credit card.”
And he brings me an application for a company credit card.
“Sign this,” says he, and off he goes to brighten someone else’s day.
I am a suspicious person. Da Biz has previously demonstrated it can’t be trusted around a glass corner. I read every word of the form.
Which said, in dense legalese, that I was personally liable for the card’s charges. If Purchasing decided to retaliate by delaying or refusing reimbursement, I’d be out of the funds and my credit rating destroyed. In short, it was exactly the same as using my own credit card.
DM is trying to use my personal savings for company purchases which Da Biz may refuse to reimburse. This is a little slimy even for Da Biz.
Malice ensues. It is a quiet unassuming malice, but sufficient unto the day.
I went through this piece of self-serving viciousness and crossed out every line that preyed on my personal credit and income. I initialed every deletion. Then I signed it and sent it back to him, and got on with my work.
Sure enough, here he comes tromping down the aisle; this is a man who does not like to be thwarted. He splutters in rage. He waves the form around. I ask him, “Have you actually read that contract? Whatever made you think I would sign it unedited?”
And he stops.
It occurs to him that I can read, spell, write a simple declarative sentence, and learn a software program from its manual in two days from a standing start. The current graduates of the local schools can’t.
One of the secretaries had just proudly presented her High School Graduate to Da Biz for employment, and the kid needed a year of private tutoring to qualify as a file clerk. Yes, I’m too smart for his own good.
Yes, I’m defying him. But just maybe he shouldn’t be creating a situation where I would quit in self-defense and tell HR why. Questions might be asked. Embarrassing questions, using ugly words like ‘extortion’ and ‘attempt to defraud.’
Also he really, really wants to do Purchasing one in the eye.
I have no problem at all with that, as long as he’s not expecting me to bankroll him.
He huffs. “Okay. Fine. You’ll use my business card.” This is perfect, and what he should have said in the first place.
He’s too well-paid to be inconvenienced and too high-ranking to be stiffed.
“Agreed,” I say. “I’ll keep a spreadsheet of what we buy. I’ll show what we pay and what Purchasing would have charged us, with a total of how much you’ve saved the Division.
It should refute any argument that Purchasing brings to Upper Management.”
Over the next year, I saved our division something over $30K on software purchases, which was quite a respectable amount back then. The DM was covered with glory. Purchasing was covered with shame and some less definable substances. My butt was merely covered, which is all I asked.”
12. Take Things To Tier 3 Customer Support? Let's Go
“I worked in customer support for a tech firm, and if I may say so, the company is good at it and I am good at it. We have customer satisfaction stories and data to prove it.
Our customer support is what gives us a competitive advantage in our marketplace and makes us very profitable.
One day, I get a phone call from a customer. I say “hello,” and his response is, “I want to talk to 3rd tier support”.
“Okay. We have a process for that. What seems to be the problem?”
“No, you don’t understand. I don’t want to talk to you, I want to talk to 3rd tier support.”
“Actually, I -do- understand. You want to talk to 3rd tier support.
I’m setting that up. But there are a few questions I have to ask you and if I don’t know the answers to those questions. then they aren’t going to call you, they are going to ask me to call you back and get those answers.
So, what seems to be the problem?”
He explains to me the problem.
“Have you tried this?”
“No, you don’t understand. I don’t want to talk to you. I want to talk to 3rd tier support, you know, the guys who aren’t working from a script.”
“I assure you, sir, I am not working from a script.
Have you tried this?”
“Yes, I did, now may I talk to 3rd tier support?”
“Have you tried that?”
“Yes, I did, now may I talk to 3rd tier support? My problem isn’t on your script.”
“There is no script for this problem.
I am asking you this question because I thoroughly understand our device and I know, from previous experience, that that might solve your problem”.
“Have you tried this other thing?”
“What makes you think that this other thing is going to solve the problem?”
“Well, I’ve been doing this work for a couple of years now, and I have a pretty good idea of how these things work.
So I thought this other thing might solve the problem.”
“Look, I have a master’s degree in computer science. I want to talk to somebody in 3rd tier support”.
Now, I do not want to disrespect computer scientists, because CS is a hard field to get into.
But everybody should understand that there is a big difference between computer scientists, computer programmers, system administrators, database administrators, network administrators, cyber security analysts, program managers, and customer support people. Computer scientists do research on artificial intelligence, algorithms, compiler design, large databases, and other theoretical topics.
Those are important topics. Computer programmers, by way of contrast, write computer programs. They need to know about computer science topics, but computer science is a means not an end. The same is true for all of the other specialties that I mentioned.
He may be a really good computer scientist, but that doesn’t mean he is a network administrator or a system administrator – those are different specialties. Somebody who says, “I have a master’s degree in computer science, I don’t need to talk to you” knows a great deal about what he knows, but doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.
I’ve been around long enough to know that there is a great deal I don’t know.
“Just try this other thing, and if that doesn’t work, then I will give you to 3rd tier support.”
I can hear him typing away in the background, swearing, and cursing.
I can hear when he hits the return key because he hits it hard. Then he picks up the phone and says:
“It’s working now”.
“Great. You still want me to escalate to 3rd tier support?”
Then I get a torrential outpouring of expletives.
Since this is a family channel, I won’t give the details but rather leave it to your imagination, gentle reader. Then he hung up on me.
Wouldn’t you know it? He got a customer satisfaction survey and I got straight zeroes.
I got called into my boss’s office and we had a conversation about the call. He was upset, and I can’t say I blame him because he also gets graded on our survey scores. He called in some 3rd tier support people to listen to the recording (“For training and quality assurance purposes”) and they said I did everything right – he (me) did not deserve that rating.
They also said that there was no way I deserved that maltreatment and that the survey should be tossed out. Unfortunately, the rules are the rules and that score counted. So I lost my quarterly bonus, a couple of thousand bucks.
However, the big boss felt awful about the whole affair, so he and his wife took my wife and me out to dinner at the most expensive restaurant in town. We had a lovely time. At the end of the evening, I noticed that he paid for the meal with his personal, not his corporate credit card.
I asked him about that. His response was golden: “I’m in a position where I could probably get away with it, but that wouldn’t be right. What happened to you wasn’t right either. This dinner is my way of making it up to you as best I can, and I figured if I am going to do that, I might as well take my wife and your wife along.
Why not?” (He knew I was married because I have the ring). I love that guy. Worked for him for years.
I would have liked the couple of thousand dollars, but the acknowledgment that I had been screwed was a good second place.”
11. Are You Sure You Want Three Burritos? Okay, Fine
“Around 6 months ago I was going through a 3-month-long culinary school. The first 2 months were lots of power points and lectures, so class ended around 2 then we had the rest of the day to ourselves.
The last month of the course had us cook food serving line-style starting at 3 am for breakfast and lunch with a break around 1. After that, our class would go back in to clean up the unused equipment and a dinner team would take over.
Our class was pretty small, only 4 people including me, and on average we made food for 250 people every meal, with help from 2 or 3 instructors.
We would be dead tired every day after cleaning so going out wasn’t crossing our minds.
We knew this early on in the course, so we used our free time early on to explore the town. Our class consisted of myself, Boomer (he wasn’t that old, we just teased him about the age gap between the others), Colette (the best one in the class grade-wise and experience-wise), and Goofball (love the guy to death, but he’s today’s offender for delicious compliance.)
After class one day, Boomer said he needed to get a new phone because the one he had previously was cracked.
I thought why not and thought we’d be in and out. That day was kind of tiring, but I’m a nice guy, and I was the only one with a car. Goofball and Colette caught wind of our trip and decided we should all grab dinner somewhere in town after the phone trip.
We get to the store and Boomer goes inside to wait on the new Samsung Galaxy A21 – now with lemon-scented cupholders, and the rest of us are in the car scrolling through memes. I’m chatting food stuff with Colette and Goofball is kind of just spacing out.
I grab his attention and he just goes “Ah, shoot.” Confused, I ask, “what’s up?”
Goofball – I knew I was supposed to go into town today for something. I also need a new phone, this one is acting slow.
Me – Dude, we’ve waited on Boomer for nearly 30 mins for his phone to be turned on. Now you need a new one? You couldn’t have gone in with him?
Goofball – I’m sorry, I’ll try to make it quick.
I know y’all are hungry, but I want to get this before we go into our last month.
Goofball rushes in as soon as Boomer is walking out with his new phone. Boomer gets in the car and asks-
Boomer – What’s he doing?
Colette – Apparently getting a phone now of all times.
Boomer – Heaven’s to Betsy (he had a knack for saying old sayings like that).
After a few minutes, Goofball calls me and tells us to just go get food now and pick him up after. I ask how long he’s gonna be, and he says another 30 minutes if not longer since he’s switching providers.
I’m tired and just want to eat, so here’s where the malicious-delicious compliance comes in.
Goofball – Just go get food and bring me some back, I’ll pay you for my order.
Me – Fine whatever, we are going to a Mexican food truck.
What do you want?
Goofball – Can I get 3 burritos?
Me – ….uh, are you sure? You really want 3 burritos?
Goofball – I’m paying for mine anyways, it doesn’t matter. Pick me up a bottled soda as well.
Me – (with a huge grin on my face) Sure buddy, 3 burritos coming up.
I hang up and just start giggling to myself. Colette and Boomer are confused and ask why I’m laughing. All I say is, “You’ll see here in a bit.”
We drive 5 minutes down the road and get to the truck.
The other two make their orders first, and then it’s my turn. As the order leaves my lips, both of them know exactly why I was laughing, and they just face-palm themselves.
I’ve been here before and know exactly how big these things are.
Have you ever seen a tube of tennis balls before? Take that length and then wrap both hands around your calves. That’s how big they were: all three of them. Oh, I also made sure to get his soda, so he could wash it all down.
We get back to the shop to wait another 15 minutes until he finally comes out. The rest of us are eating already in the car, and Goofball asks for his food. We all smile, and each of us hands him a burrito.
His eyes widen and he has the face of Shaquille O’Neil on hot ones.
Me – This is what you ordered, right?
Goofball – yeah, I just didn’t think they’d be so huge.
Me – I’ll just give you your drink now, don’t want you to choke.
Goofball – You know what, screw it, I’m eating all of them before we get back.
What follows was what can only be described as a burrito massacre. Sour cream and rice were being demolished by the second.
Tortillas were ripped to shreds as Goofball went through each individual burrito. Unfortunately, after only 20 minutes, he wasn’t able to down the last one. He went through 2 1/2 of them to be fair. He may have waged a battle, but I still won the war.”
10. Request More Paperwork? Here Ya Go
“When I was transitioned out of the military I naturally went back down to my home state. This meant I had a lot of adulting to do setting up my new life. So I get up early one morning and start knocking things out on my to-do list.
License renewal, medical stuffs, change of address, etc, etc. Due to this, I was rolling around town with every scrap of paperwork about me in existence.
Well, the day is going great and I’m down to my last task…registering my car with the tag office.
I pull up to the place with 30 minutes to spare. Grab the few necessary documents (I googled the process before and knew exactly what I would need) and head inside.
There are only two others in line and I’m at the counter in no time.
I explain to the lady at the counter that I’m transferring my car back to my home state and am looking to get a veterans tag. She (kind of rudely might I add) tells me how much it costs but their card reader is down and I need exact change.
She then tells me where an ATM is. It’s about a 10-minute walk and still wouldn’t give the exact change I needed. Not having change on hand, I shrug and walk out the door.
I get two steps out and remember, this type of transaction is free for veterans in my state.
I walk right back in and explain this. She starts the process but appears very agitated. We get to the part where she starts asking for documents and I start providing. After seeing everything I have she starts claiming my proof of residence isn’t enough and I need at least 2 different utility bills and the cable bill I had in my hand wouldn’t work.
Which was total nonsense.
At this point, I figure out what she’s trying to do. She just doesn’t want to deal with me and is trying to run the clock down until they close by giving me arbitrary demands for paperwork I shouldn’t be able to dig up in the next 20 minutes.
“Very well,” I respond
Cue malicious compliance.
I walk back to my car, grab my file full of neatly organized documents and spend the next 5 minutes shuffling them like playing cards. Wait until 5 minutes before they close and walk back in.
Accordion folder of chaos in hand. I slowly walk up to her counter yet again.
She is not happy to see me back.
I set my folder onto the counter and ask. “What were those documents you needed?”
She tells me but tries to double down and names off more stuff this time.
Bad idea on her part.
I start thumbing through my folder as slowly as I possibly can. Going from A-Z, flipping past every piece of paper in this thing. Removing documents as I find them and start organizing them into sections on the countertop.
It took forever.
Once finished I slowly and carefully explain each section.
“So over here you have 2 months’ worth of cable bills, a power bill, a water bill, a phone bill with associated receipts for payments rendered.
Here you have my birth certificate, social security card, two separate passports, state-issued id, and driver’s license. That’s followed by original discharge papers, military id, and a copy of my original orders. Now here is my leasing agreement for my apartment along with 4 paystubs and receipts for the past four months of rent paid.
Lastly over here we have a bill of sale for my car, proof of insurance, 5 years’ worth of vehicle registrations, and a vehicle title. Is there anything I’ve missed?”
Without a word, she starts banging away at her keyboard.
A minute later asks me what type of license plate I want. I tell her. The one I was getting was supposed to display an award I received while in the military. She smugly tells me I need proof I earned said award.
Cue five more minutes of slowly digging through paperwork. I pull out the completely unnecessary awards sheet and then point out it’s also listed on my discharge paperwork already in her hand.
5 minutes spent updating my info in the system (without even looking at the paperwork I provided) and I left with a brand new tag in hand…30 minutes after they were supposed to have closed.
I still laugh about it to this day.”
9. Don't Let Him Know We're Over Budget? Gotcha
“Several years ago I worked in the purchasing department of a large semiconductor company in the US. Mostly I handled all the nonproduction purchases and contracts like office equipment, building management, travel contracts, and that sort of stuff but my biggest role was negotiating and approving temp staffing contracts for our US factories.
One day a director, we’ll call him Bill, sends me a request for $150k for temp workers at a small facility in the middle of nowhere Florida. The news was that a couple of local businesses had closed and he had this great idea to save the company money by moving some production down there and snatching up those now desperate workers on the cheap.
It seemed like a bit of a dumb idea at the time but it was clearly his pet project and $150k was within his right to spend without additional approval so I rubber-stamped it and off he went.
I hadn’t had much interaction with Bill but he was a pompous jerk so I was glad to get rid of him.
Now it’s important to this story to understand that our company’s finances were super tightly controlled.
Not a bad thing but if you wanted to spend a dollar over your role’s limit you better have your supervisor’s signature in triplicate. Directors like Bill could spend up to $250k, VPs $500k, and anything over $500k had to go all the way up to our CEO for approval.
About 3 months later the trouble starts when Bill suddenly turns back up asking for more money. Turns out rural Florida doesn’t have a lot of people with the skills to work in an industrial clean room and the people who do don’t come cheap.
The finances that were supposed to last a year are already gone but Bill is certain that he just needs a little more time and asks me to approve another $250k without telling our VP (his boss).
I straight up refuse since it’s my literal job to stop this but Bill, being god’s gift to this company, throws an absolute fit. It got ugly and long story short my boss directly ordered me to approve Bill’s request without escalating it.
I got this all in writing since it was sketchy as heck and absolutely something I could get fired for. Finally, Bill’s gone and I don’t have to see his smug short balding head anymore.
Or so I thought.
Having disrespected the great and powerful Bill, I was now the target of his displeasure. For the next four months, I get at least three emails or phone calls a day from him or his secretary about something they don’t like about the building, the landscaping, the guy who brings the bottled water, the snack selection in the machine, the equipment in the C-level gym, on and on.
I’m getting openly berated for things that have nothing to do with me but I’m stuck having to deal with them because my boss keeps caving to Bill’s whims. And none of my paperwork is getting past his office either.
I managed the purchasing for 12 facilities in the US and Europe but if it needs his signature I’ve got to personally bring it to him and stand there while he reviews it or he’s refusing to sign.
It was somewhere between humiliating and infuriating and I increasingly wished he’d fall down a staircase.
After months of this, finally, my chance for malicious compliance arrived. Shockingly Bill hasn’t managed to turn his pet project around and what do you know, just needs a quarter million to get him through the year.
I sign off, add the funds to the purchase order which now totals a cool $650k, and shoot off an email to both him and my boss to remind them that this won’t be shown to the VP.
Then I print everything out, including the direct order not to show it to the VP, and march over to the CEO’s office for him to sign. After all, it was now over the $500k required limit and Bill never asked for him not to see it.
All heck broke loose when they realized Bill’s little project was half a million dollars over budget. He didn’t lose his job but he refused to speak to me after that which was exactly what I wanted.
The Florida project was scrapped and was retasked to make basic electrical components. My boss was initially livid, but once he realized my insistence on getting Bill’s order in writing had probably saved both our butts, the whole thing went away.
I was there for another year and thankfully Bill never made an appearance at my office ever again.”
Another User Comments:
“When he started to micro-manage you, I guaran-TEE he wanted you to quit, and then he could try to cover his tracks, and then blame you for not informing the CEO of the overages. It couldn’t stay secret forever, and he always had a loose-knit plan of sorts.” series_hybrid
8. Do Things Your Way Or The Highway? Let's See How Well Your Idea Plays Out
Manager aren’t always right.
“So here’s the context: some years ago I worked at a cruise ship doing souvenir photography. It was my second summer there and we had a new manager that year that was finishing her master’s in photography (standard, not digital).
The pay was based on a group split commission, so if the day photographers did terribly but the night photographers did amazing, the day photographers benefited and vice versa.
My first year, the owner stopped by to train us and gave us specific instructions on how we should photograph guests and why we should be doing it, and saw an increase in sales as a result of it.
The owner has been doing it for years and ran multiple locations, so I just listened and did what I was told.
Fast forward to year two, we have this new manager who had not been trained yet, but only received basic instructions and was told to defer to the returning employees for things she didn’t understand.
For the first couple of weeks, it was fine. Slow start to the season, so sales of course weren’t crazy. Come week 5 when the night cruise started, I noticed that I and my only male coworker are both only being scheduled for mornings.
At first, I thought “whatever, free at night, no big deal.” I figured since the new manager was working with a returning employee things would be okay for commission on the night cruise days.
The first week of night cruises goes by, and I notice I made drastically less than last year for the number of hours I worked.
I checked the sales spreadsheet (every employee needed to update this at the end of their shifts) and noticed that day sales were the same as night sales. I ran up to the ticket office to check the passenger list for the days they ran night cruises assuming there just weren’t many passengers.
Not only were there way more passengers at night than during the day, but I noticed way more waste.
The second week, I have a split shift that overlaps with the manager. She pulls me to the side at the beginning of the shift and explains her expectations for photos.
She shows me an example of hers and then shows me one I took. She told me that the way I took photos was unacceptable and I had to shoot them the way she did. These photos, by the way, get put into 8×6 sheets and small wallet-sized photos.
Her photo was uhh, highly technical let’s say. The entire top half of the photo was “negative space” and “showing off the location.” Yeah, sure, I kind of got what she was saying because I was in school for photography too.
Too bad we’re selling pictures of people and not space. I explained to her that myself and my coworkers have been shooting the way the owner himself instructed us to and she said “I’m the manager here, not you, I don’t know what he told you to do and that’s not what we’re doing.
Do it the way I tell you to, okay?”
The third week, I explained to my coworker that this is what the manager wanted, and he was confused as well. So we do it. We take these photos where the passengers are barely visible in the wallet photos and half of the photos are “negative space”.
Sales plummeted to no surprise from anyone but the manager and owner.
I got a phone call from the owner asking if there were fewer passengers or something, and told him that it was normal. He asked why sales were down at night as well to which I told him I had no idea because I was never scheduled to work at night anymore.
He wasn’t sure how to take that, but we left it at that.
The next week, the owner called me to inform me that the new manager had agreed to mutually terminate her employment there, and then asked why we were having so much trouble.
I told him everything she told us to do and that scheduling was bad since it left us understaffed for night cruises. It turns out, she was instructed to hire new employees for the season, and she ignored every single applicant because they had no formal photography education.
So, basically, knowing full well it would hurt sales to not tell the owner that the manager just wasn’t good at sales photography, I just waited until she got in trouble for turning up losses because she pulled “you do what I say I don’t care”. Sorry, J!”
7. Make Me Move Out If I Don't Give Up My Career? See You Never
“So about 2 weeks ago my best friend (22) called me (23) asking if he could be my roommate if I find a place. I was looking for a place to stay while going to college, I told him “sure, but why?” but he said he’d tell me later.
We both meet up a few days later and drive about an hour away from our hometown to move into the place. We spent a few hours setting everything up and unpacking yet he never said anything about why he wanted to move in with me so suddenly; after we were done, he sat down and explained the situation at home.
He and his parents had been at each others’ throats recently because he had landed a remote job after our summer internship and they thought he was “wasting his life playing on the computer”; his parents have always done factory and physical labor jobs and look down on people who work from their computers because “they don’t know what real work is”.
(Sidenote: his dad actually does his auto shop’s taxes and other functions from his office and rarely does any mechanic work himself, so it’s kinda hypocritical.) He continues to tell me that the day before he called and asked me they had a huge blowout that resulted in his parents giving him the ultimatum of “Get a real job or get out” and he says he just went to his room and started packing.
I’m guessing even if I said no he was moving out regardless. That brings us to him telling the story to me, when he was done he looked so relieved, I believe the reason he kept so quiet during the move was because he was holding it in and trying not to go crazy.
After that, we both spent the rest of the day hanging out to try and keep his mind off of things.
Fast forward 3 days later, his parents call him asking why his stuff’s not in his room, they were gone a few days to “give him time to come to his senses” thinking he’d give up his roughly 4 years of college and internships to get a job as a mechanic starting from scratch; there’s nothing wrong with mechanics or people who work labor jobs but he’s been working his butt off these last few years only for them to basically tell him to drop all that and get a job they want him to get.
I leave the apartment to give him and them some privacy and take a quick walk, when I get back, 20 minutes later, he’s got a wide smile on his face and he tells me the long and short of it.
He apparently left a few details out before and this time told me the whole story: roughly around the time we started working at that paid internship, his parents have been charging him rent ($350) every month as motivation for him to get a real job and the blow-out they had was about him being able to pay it, despite not having a “real job” they had picked out; they said he needed to grow up, get real work experience, and even went as far as accusing him of stealing to get finances, so he had had enough and packed up while they were gone.
The phone call they had was him basically telling them he can’t go back home because he’s not gonna change his major, current job, or career path so he was staying at the apartment with me.
I asked him if he’s gonna be okay, and he assured me that he had already explained everything to his other relatives and that they’re gonna try and talk to his family to see if they could convince them to understand why he wants this job and how computer work is still work.
This is gonna be our last 2 semesters and the tuition is already paid off so we’re good atm, as the only thing we gotta worry about is the rent, which we can both cover pretty well.
Honestly, I was gonna ask him to split this apartment with me regardless because I found a good apartment complex that had a shuttle to our college and had 2 rooms open, but I’m still glad I could help him. He says he’ll eventually start talking to his parents again, but I don’t think that’ll happen until after they come to their senses or else they might lose their only son.”
6. Charge Me Extra And Refuse To Return My Deposit? Good Thing I Have Receipts
“The contract of the apartment I’ve been living in for the past year recently ended. I had however forgotten of the 60 days written move-out notice until I was reminded by management 10 days before I turned in my notice.
Though it is specified in the contract and it is my responsibility as a tenant to maintain them, I was still livid by the fact that they didn’t have the courtesy to remind me all three times they contacted me about renewing my contract and me verbally declining.
All three times, they said they’re taking a note of it and me being the fool that I am believed them.
Since I did not provide the 60-day move-out notice in writing, I was forced to pay an extra month of rent that regardless of my moaning and crying was not waived.
Throughout my panic, they kept reminding me that it was in the contract and that they couldn’t do anything.
Since I had to pay an extra month, I decided I was going to do everything in my power to get my deposit back, cueing the malicious compliance.
I went through the entire contract.
The contract specified that I was allowed to be present during the inspection as long as I provided a written notice in advance (no date specified) and that I had the right to any information extracted from the inspection.
The contract also specified that the apartment has to be left in the same condition it was received and that I was responsible for any cleaning fees from services they’d have to use.
Before I actually start the juicy part of the story I have to mention that I took detailed pictures and videos of the apartment when I moved in.
Unfortunately, mine was incredibly dirty, even with food on the carpets. I requested it to be cleaned but they never did anything so I took care of it since I am terrified of confrontation lol but I still saved and recorded anything that was not okay regardless of how mild it was.
The day I read the contract, I emailed them requesting to be present during the inspection and that I wanted a copy of everything obtained from that inspection to compare with my notes. They didn’t respond that day so I took it upon myself to email them every day for the next 4 days until they got back to me with the following reply:
“Per the rental agreement section ## Move-out inspection, you may be present at the move-out inspection if you notify us in advance in writing of your request.
(my name), you turned your keys into the drop box on 5/30/22 and never requested a walk thru. The walk-thru inspection was already completed this morning.”
So I obviously forwarded all of my previous emails asking if those were not considered “in writing.” They then offered to “re-do” the inspection with me present but I was out of town so I requested all the data they obtained from it instead to which they agreed.
To this day I have not received anything from the inspection but I did find out that they didn’t actually do it until three days after they stated they did on that email via the bill they sent charging me cleaning fees and no deposit back.
I was like, okay… since you’re not going to send me what I asked for I’m going to send you what I have…
I highlighted the part where they lied to me about the inspection date, attached pictures of how I received the apartment compared to how I left it (very clean) – and made sure to include their time stamps.
Advised that per the contract there is no reason for them to charge me cleaning fees since it was in better condition than received. I also demanded my deposit back and sent them receipts of all products I used to clean the apartment, including a new vacuum so they could refund me at their earliest convenience or I’d contact corporate directly.
I also advised that I’d send them all the communication we’d ever had, the lies they’d told me, and the rest of the images and videos I have of the apartment. I honestly have no idea if I would’ve gotten anywhere contacting corporate but it doesn’t matter because within three days I got my deposit back and got refunded for everything I spent on cleaning supplies.
I did leave a review on every site I could find but the Google one got removed for some reason.”
5. Refuse To Give Me The Product I Ordered? Fine Then
“I was out of town with my wife on vacation and she forgot to pack her curling iron. We’d been out for a couple of days, but she wanted to look nice for a dinner party we were going to (or something like that, which is irrelevant to the story).
She wanted to buy a new one anyways so I started searching for options online to see if a local store had one she liked. To our surprise, not only was the one she wanted in stock, it had a huge discount and was available for pickup at a nearby store.
I won’t get into details of where the store is or what its name is but it’s a large enough chain to have stores in all major cities across the country. So we place the order and drive to the store, go to the hair products section where we’re supposed to pick it up and this rude lady who seems to be in a hurry says (in a fast and annoyed tone) we can’t pick it up yet as they need to send it from the warehouse that’s exclusive for online orders.
We can see there’s a bunch of them on the shelf next to her. Also, I’m aware that some stores do work under this stupid process where they need to receive online product purchases first and give you those instead of what they have in stock for various reasons, but this wasn’t the case.
We’ve done this before and they’ll just grab one from a shelf and give it to us. There’s no serial number or anything that could make this one different from what they would’ve received to fulfill the order so this lady was just being rude.
She said there was nothing she could do even though she could see our order as confirmed for pickup.
At this point, we would’ve canceled the online order and purchased it in the store but this lady really made us mad, and it didn’t have a discount there.
So here’s the malicious compliance part. We told this lady we’d cancel the online order and that we wanted to buy one from the shelf. She immediately changed her attitude and sold it to us without complaining.
We went back to our Airbnb, my wife used it for that particular event and for the next few days. Then I called the store to confirm that our online order was ready and they said it was, so we went back to the store and guess who was there again? So we go to the counter, ask for our order and she gets it for us.
She didn’t seem to recognize us so as soon as she gives us the online order package, I tell her that we need to return this too and give her the curling iron we bought from her.
She then recognized us and just stood there watching for a few seconds. Then she goes back to her witchy tone and asks why we’re returning it. “We don’t need it anymore”. She calls her manager and tells him that we are asking to return a product that doesn’t have a problem and that we are returning it because we don’t need it anymore, like expecting him to tell her not to proceed with the return.
He obviously tells her that as long as it’s within their stated 30-day period after the purchase, it’s returnable for any reason unless we damaged it. The manager leaves and the lady doesn’t say a thing after that, but we can clearly see she’s livid.
We get a full refund and leave with a brand-new curling iron again.
We later found out that they can in fact just grab any product they have in stock if they confirm an order but they need to do some extra steps to match it to their inventory later and that they don’t get a commission, so this lady was probably expecting to pass it on to the next shift.
So in short, there was no reason for her to not fulfill our order other than wanting a commission and being lazy. In the end, she wasted more time and didn’t get a commission from our purchase.”
Another User Comments:
“And this here is one reason commission sales are trash, especially for small-ticket items.
This lady’s personal financial vested interest was not in giving you the best customer service, it was in misleading you in such a manner as to secure her own financial well-being.
That is, as they say, a “conflict of interest.”” ShadowDragon8685
4. Don't Work? Don't Come Crying To Me Later
“So this happened several years ago when I used to work for a national used car dealer. I worked in their inventory department at the time. One of our responsibilities was customer prep. A prep was when a customer was buying a car and in the process of signing paperwork, we would grab the car from the sales lot, gas it up and clean it up, then park it in the drive aisle where the customer would come out to see their car ready to go after they finished signing paperwork.
Typically, this is a straightforward task. Whoever has a free hand can grab a prep. We all carried radios to communicate which each other and the sales managers had radios as well to notify us when there was a prep or other customer service issues that we were responsible for helping out with.
When the sales managers called back for a prep, we acknowledged them to let them know we heard them and that someone would be on it.
To set the scene for this instance of malicious compliance, I have to briefly describe the situation.
Our department (along with detailers and technicians) was having one of our quarterly meetings. Now, these meetings were totally void of any useful information. They consisted of a 15-minute video from some corporate bigwigs bragging about how great business is, then another 30 minutes or more of the managers in store (and sometimes some district managers) crowing about how great we are doing and keep it up.
They did provide free sub sandwiches for everyone and this was all done on the clock. I, personally, found these meetings to be overly pretentious and obnoxious, so I always skipped out on them and continued working, most times on my own.
I know, shocking no one else wanted to give up free food and a paid break just to keep working!
Eventually, one particular manager was not happy that I always skipped out on those meetings. He told me I had to attend and could not leave until it was over.
I asked, “what about preps?” He said, “don’t worry about those, we’ll deal with any of them after the meeting.”
Well, ok then, I’ve been told what I needed to do. I can into the break room at the start of the meeting, got my sandwich, propped my feet up, and turned off my radio.
One of my coworkers sat beside me and had his radio on, but had the volume turned down really low. During our meeting, sales apparently had a good streak of selling cars. Every few minutes, my coworker told me there was a prep.
As time passed, more preps were called back and there was no one responding to the sales managers calling them back. My coworker asked what was I going to do. I said “finish my sandwich and sit here.
I have my orders.” One of the sales managers was beginning to get pretty irate. We could tell by his tone over the radio. About 30 minutes into the meeting, that sales manager poked his head in the door and said there were several preps waiting and asked if someone was going to get them.
The manager that made me come to the meeting picked a couple of other guys to leave the meeting early to get the preps. He knew I would have left long ago to take care of the preps, but this was his way of punishing me for working instead of taking a paid break and listening to a group of braggarts during the past meetings.
By this time, there were 6 or 7 preps waiting and a drive aisle full of customers and salespeople waiting on their cars to be brought around. Some were waiting close to an hour before they had their cars brought around.
Later that night, I was passing through the showroom and the manager that had been irate earlier stopped me to ask me what was going on. We had a good working relationship and I was kind of his go-to person when there was a serious customer service issue, so he valued my word.
I told him everything that was said to me about not working during the meeting, and how they wouldn’t worry about preps during the meeting. Of course, that didn’t go over too well, and there was a big meeting the next day between sales managers and operations managers.
Following that meeting, it was decided that during any future meetings, a specific person (or persons) from my department would be designated to listen for and grab any preps that were called back. I was never chosen for that role.
I just had to sit back and eat my sandwich, while still getting paid. They really taught me a lesson!”
Another User Comments:
“I love that kind of meeting. “Look how awesome business is! You don’t get anything extra, but man, we’re making so much; you should really care about that!” Like screw off as long as I keep my paycheck, I don’t care how crappy business is.” zilaran
3. Want Me To Take The Test? But I Told You I'm Not Fluent In German
“So in 2018, I started my job as an Au Pair in Germany. I went to a second host family due to that even though I got along with my first host family, I was let go.
Now, when I went to my second host family, there was nothing wrong I got along great with the kids and parents, but then the host mother was demanding more rules.
Now normally, when you are an Au Pair, you need to know the contract or agreement with the family.
I had at first five days work and the weekend free, that was the deal, she changed and I only had one day of free time, no worries.
So, I explain to the host mother that I am not fluent in German and that I wanted to understand and speak fluent German with my grandma.
My dad’s side of the family is German, some thought I learned German from my dad but I never actually learned it. It was only after I stayed in China (again as an Au Pair) that I realized I could learn German.
To those who are curious, my initial plan was to finish learning mandarin Chinese and then go to Germany to learn german, but sadly while I was in China my older brother passed away. So I moved back home to Switzerland, stayed a few months, and then moved to Germany to learn German.
Anyway back to the story.
The host mother just nodded her head and say “Okay, well you must take a test to see how far is your German.” At first, I thought she was joking but she was dead serious.
I told her again, that I am not fluent in German and that I am a beginner.
She just smiles and says, “Sure, okay.” And initially points out that my family is in Germany, so I understand German.
I told her again and I thought she understand.
I say to myself, ‘Okay great, she understands’.
I was wrong…
The host mother and I went to a school or a place where people can do classes for learning hobbies, etc.
I thought great, I’ll be signed up for a beginner class. The host mother talked to a lady, and I was led into a room without anyone, and she places papers. The lady explains in German and I try to understand, but I couldn’t, and I realized that the host mother either didn’t understand or lied to the lady that I am fluent in German.
I was lost and worried, I thought I should tell the lady right away, only then I had a lightbulb light up and I smile. Remember when the host mother said ‘I must take the test’?
I decided to do it since she did want to see if I am fluent.
I read what it is written, and I put answers that could be wrong, there were answers where I had to circle the ‘abcd,’ so I first put the A and then the B, you get the idea.
And then it said something that I should write something, so I wrote in German and put a word that said in German “I don’t speak German”. And I decided to add gibberish answers as well.
When it was done, I smile widely from the inside. And I waited, the lady came back. I understood a bit that she asked if everything is okay, and with a smile, I said “Yeah.” The lady picked up the paper and was about to leave but stopped, she read the answers I wrote down, she turned around and asked me in English.
“You don’t understand German.” I told her ‘no,’ and explained that I am only a beginner in German.
The lady smiled at me but I could tell that she was annoyed. So, she and I went to the host mother.
And I tell you, the moment she talked to the mother, she was embarrassed and had a wide-eyed expression. She looked at me and said ‘why didn’t I say anything’.
I just looked at her and said “You wanted me to take a test, so I did.”
I did manage to learn German, but I left the host family after six months because I couldn’t get along anymore with the host mother. I lived with my grandmother for a year in Germany, and I finally understand German.”
2. You Want Every Single Record Faxed? Okay, But There Are Over 1,000 Pages!
“All of them” is a big ask.
“I worked in medical records and one day we had a doctor’s office send over a request for a client’s medical records…they were requesting ALL of them. The client had been a client for quite some time and there were a lot of medical records.
We called the doctor’s office to let them know there were a lot of records and asked if maybe they just wanted the last year or two, or maybe even just the medication notes. We let them know that the client had been a client for quite some time.
The lady that answered the phone said, “No, we need ALL records.” We reiterated again, there would be A LOT. But again were told they needed all of them.
Cue malicious compliance…
We pulled the records and there were over 1,000 pages.
Our records and faxing are both electronic. We proceeded to FAX the records as requested. A couple of hours later we receive a frantic call from the lady we spoke to previously asking us to make it stop because the fax machine hadn’t stopped for the last couple of hours.
We let her know that we couldn’t stop it because once it’s sent, it’s sent. They would have to wait it out until they received it all. She was so distraught because they were a small office and only had a small fax machine!
We tried to warn her but she didn’t listen! I still sometimes wonder how long it took to receive all the records on that small fax machine.”
1. Steal The Cook Away From Me? Watch Me Follow The Company Rules To A T
“I use to work for the dirty bird (KFC for anyone that doesn’t do Aussie Slang) and after maybe 2 years of hounding my immediate management team that you can’t operate a kitchen, especially one that works with raw chicken, with just the one person and still expect everything to be done in a timely, food-safe manner, they finally decided to listen to me and allowed me to start training some of the staff that were available to work school hours out there.
I was told to make sure I taught them properly, and that they would be able to pass a Restaurant Operations Compliance Check (ROCC) which wasn’t the problem, I knew I could do that, I’d been working that kitchen for about 10 years… I know I said I’d been hounding at them for 2 years but we had gone through the restaurant being purchased by another company and they changed quite a few things and started trying to enforce insane requirements related to sales being made vs staff on shift (we went from 3 front, 3 drive-thru lane, 1 burger, 2 cooks and a person floating wherever needed on our busiest nights to 1, 2, 1, 1, 0 respectively).
The malicious compliance comes in around here, the day I was supposed to train the first person (we’ll call Tina). I was only given a half hour on either side of lunch rush and lunch rush itself.
The first half hour goes fine, I get them acquainted with the kitchen, how things should run and what’s expected of them over lunch. As we start getting into lunch rush, every few minutes my manager on is yelling out that they need Tina to help out with the drive-thru, Tina tried to argue this, as did I, they had the normal staff they’d have any other day, plus it was one of the quieter days so really they should’ve been fine.
Eventually, the manager comes out to the kitchen and tells me they’re taking Tina and putting her on burgers. I’ve had it by now and I just say alright, fine, but you better make yourself available to come out here and help because I’m not breaking your instructions about training them.
So normally I could prepare a full run of chook in under 10 minutes, the fastest in the store, had even gone to a silly little event referred to as “KFC games” where they just see who can do the job the best, followed by the fastest and I absolutely smashed that.
But not today, today I was gonna painstakingly examine every piece of chicken, make sure there wasn’t anything left on them at all, bruised piece? In the bin. A knob on the thigh full of feathers? Normally I’d tear the knob off and save myself a few minutes, but not today, I’m supposed to pluck every last feather off that knob.
Eventually, my manager comes out of the office because the person serving front counter has started whining at them because I had the cookers going off and wasn’t doing anything about them, they ask what was going on and I told them “sorry, I’m red cook today, company policies are red cook doesn’t lift product up for any reason, besides, as you can see, I’m still preparing the last run you gave me and I can’t leave raw chicken unattended.”
You could practically see the steam coming off them but I didn’t care, I could hear the hangry customers yelling at my manager because their food was taking so long, I had a point to prove and I was sticking to my guns.
The manager finally gives up, comes out to the kitchen defeated, and starts dealing with the cooked product instead of sitting in the office on their phone. I never did get it through to them that if they want a kitchen to run in a food-safe manner with the speed of a fast food restaurant they needed more people on, but that wasn’t my problem, a few months later I’d quit the place anyways and they struggled to get anyone that was willing to pull 7 am-6 pm shifts because all the school kids would never show up on time but that’s a different story.”