People Wake Us Up With Their Malicious Compliance Revenge
27. Want Me To Spell Your Name "Correctly"? Fair Enough
“I was working remotely in a company with coworkers from all over the world and the culture there was actually quite nice. I really enjoyed everyone I got in contact with and in all my time there I’d never experienced any bad blood between anyone.
To put it simply, everyone was very understanding of each other and open-minded.
Enter a guy who I’ll call José for simplicity. You see, José had a special character in his name, something that I’d noticed but never really addressed because… why would I? When emailing him, tagging him in different places, etc, his name obviously didn’t carry that special character, but he still used it on our messaging platform.
One day, I needed to send him a private message and I started off with a simple ‘Hey Jose!’
He did mention that he’d like me to spell his name correctly, and I honestly thought it was all in good fun, but I explained that I’d never used that character before in writing, my keyboard wasn’t set up for it, etc.
I thought that was the end of that, but apparently no. I wasn’t immediately pulled aside by a higher-up, but during a 1:1 meeting later on, I was told I should be mindful of peoples’ names. I could tell that the person delivering this news wasn’t thrilled about it, but the issue had escalated nonetheless, so they had to remind me.
I thought nothing of it since I had very little to do with José anyway.
But, lo and behold, a couple of months later I had to message him again, this time in a group setting. After a little back and forth I thanked everyone individually for their input and because I’d forgotten about the name incident before I simply said “thank you, Jose.”
You can imagine that during my next 1:1, this issue was brought up again.
This time I was a little miffed, but I said ‘you know what, you’re right. I’m clearly in the wrong here’… cue malicious compliance.
You see, my name also has a special character, but it’s not a frequently seen one since I’m from an Eastern European country.
Safe to say that nobody else in the company even knew of its existence. I’d also assured people that they can call me by my ‘English’ name, which is much easier to pronounce. Well, not anymore. During that same 1:1, I told my higher-up that I now expect everyone to call me by my correct name, special character, and all.
Would you be surprised if I told you that José was one of the first to complain that MY special character isn’t easily accessible on his keyboards? He actually had the audacity to contact me privately to complain that his name was a special case since it’s more widely used, and the special character is “well known” whereas mine isn’t, and I shouldn’t feel “special” about it.
To make matters worse, the next time I had to write down his name, and I made sure I did it often, I didn’t actually type it down and instead copied and pasted it from google, and it would always, without fail paste the Wikipedia article about his name too, so my messages looked clunky as all heck.
Nobody judged me for it, and José avoided me like the plague whenever he could. Trouble was, he needed me more than I needed him, so he was forced to suffer by writing out my name properly far, far more often than I guess he expected!
Edit: someone mentioned my name might actually be relevant to the story, it’s Ștefania.”
26. Not A Good Fit For The Company? Maybe You're Right
“My first ever job in high school was working concessions at a movie theatre. The work environment was awful. Concessions are already a stressful and thankless minimum-wage position. I was spending hours at a time sweltering in front of an industrial popcorn popper splattering hot oil everywhere (I still have a couple of small scars from drops that landed on my arms) or getting chastised for not meeting the average transaction time benchmark of 45 seconds.
All while getting yelled at by customers who were (justifiably) angry about the absurdly high concessions prices.
But beyond that, they were WAY understaffed (like, 26 filled positions out of 54, with a very high turnover). So they were constantly overscheduling us, even though we were mostly high schoolers (this was late spring, during the school year).
In my second week, I was given a 16-hour schedule, 5-9 pm Tuesday-Friday. I barely had time to do any homework. The next week they gave me a 22-hour schedule, 5:30-11 pm. I went to my supervisor and said that I couldn’t work that late on school nights.
Half an hour later I was called off the line and into the manager’s office. Two supervisors and an upper manager were there across from me and started in on me about how I needed to be a team player, how everybody needed to pitch in until they could hire more people, and how none of my peers were complaining about the extra hours.
I insisted that I needed to have time to do school work on school nights and that it was made pretty clear when I was hired that students wouldn’t be given more than 15 hours per week during the school year.
Then the manager leaned forward and said, in that awful patronizing voice that I’m sure everyone knows, “Well in that case, it sounds like you might not be a good fit for this company.”
I was like, is this guy trying to scare me with the threat of getting fired? It’s not like I have rent to pay or mouths to feed or health insurance to maintain.
I’m just a high-schooler working part-time for spending money. They’re the ones that are desperate for workers. It felt like a stupid bluff from someone who was used to bossing around inexperienced kids who didn’t know any better.
So I nodded and said, “Yeah, I guess you’re probably right.” He looked confused for a second, so I clarified.
“I don’t think I’m a good fit for this company.” The three of them were just sort of sitting there staring at me, so I stood up and said “So… will you mail my last check to me, or do I have to come in to pick it up?” (I wasn’t being snarky; this was my first job and I had no idea what the protocol was for this sort of thing.)
Then the manager said something about how I should finish the rest of my shift (it was only 7 pm, and the rush was just starting) and take a day to think about it before I made any rash decisions, but I was already super done with this place.
So I said “that’s okay, I’ve made up my mind”, clocked out, and left.
Three days later I got a job literally across the street as a cashier at a fast-casual place (way less stressful and it came with a free meal every shift!), where I worked until I graduated.
The theatre continued to hemorrhage workers. I honestly don’t know how they stayed open that spring. Needless to say, I did not include that first two weeks of work experience on any resumes.”
Another User Comments:
“I love how he tried to bully you and you just noped on out. That’s awesome.” Sufficient_Display
25. Want Me To Fax Out Documents Until 5:30? I Can Do That
Talk about being picky with clock-out times.
“So, this job was from several years ago. I was the last person to leave, I worked until 5:30 pm. When we faxed out documents they were time-stamped. Well, the last documents I faxed were usually timed stamped at 5:20 pm.
Because…for one, when we faxed documents, we usually did several at once, probably 5 or so. After faxing, you have to go back to your computer, log them out in two different programs, initial them with the times, and then file them.
This takes time, especially when you have, say five documents.
Me being the last person in the department, I then have to not only log off the five programs I use, shut down my computer, turn off my lamp, check the lamps of the 7 cubicles around me, lock the files, make sure the fax machine has paper for incoming faxes, make sure all the inboxes have a blank paper on top so when security walks by they don’t see the confidential information underneath (not like they can’t flip over a piece of paper if they really wanted to, right?) I gather my things, mark my timesheet, yeah we had time sheets, and head out.
Now, if anyone leaves the building after 5:15 you have to sign out at the security desk, so I usually signed out at about 5:35ish. My schedule is until 5:30….I WORK until 5:30.
Well, review time comes, and my manager tells me I need to be faxing documents all the way up until 5:30.
We’re there until 5:30. I explain to him what I actually do when I “close up” the department. He says “whatever, I want to see time stamps up to 5:30 pm” OK. I start doing that. I’m in no rush, I don’t slow down mind you, but I don’t rush myself out.
Now I’m signing my timesheet at 5:40 and signing out at security at 5:45.
Roll around to the week after next, on Monday, the manager approaches me after going over the time sheets, of course, he asks, why am I signing out so late? My schedule is 5:30? And security has me signing out at 5:45? I tell him he told me I had to fax out up until 5:30.
I can’t do that and close up by 5:30. He says fine, fax until 5:25; Margo can file them in the morning, so make a folder and let her know. Now filing takes only about two minutes.
Ok, now I’m signing out at 5:32 and security at 5:36 (times are important per sensitive material).
He’s good with this. However, Margo now has an additional task when she comes in, because….per long-standing protocol, if you finish someone else’s job, yes that includes filing, you must verify their final step. So, she has to go into both programs of those files and double check I logged them out in those programs.
Adding another maybe 10 minutes to her load of work BEFORE she can start her daily jobs.
On the second day of this, the manager is asking her why he hasn’t gotten any files from her by a certain time like he usually does.
She tells him exactly why. Of course Margo, and I have talked about this way before and knew all of this was going to happen and knew the final outcome long before he did. FINALLY, with great exasperation, he looks at me and says “final fax time 5:20. I don’t want to hear another word about this” and walks out. She and I just look and each other and don’t need to say a word.”
24. Refuse To Listen To Me? Not My Problem, I Guess
“Some background. I’m an audio engineer for one of the military bands in the US. Even though I’ve been working professionally in the music industry for many years prior to entering the military, my lower rank (E4 for those who care) is often a barrier to communicating with higher-ups.
Some superiors see the value in my experience and advice, but many others see the rank and disregard my opinions. It’s not uncommon for me to be “loaned out” to non-band events to provide guidance. Also, this story takes place in 2020, when the military was under work-from-home orders.
Onto the malicious compliance.
I was in my barracks room, mixing some tunes on an average weekday when I get a call from my First Sergeant (1SG). He’s essentially the head honcho in my unit, just under the commander.
“Hey OP, (unit) is having a battalion-level change of command ceremony today, and they’ve had issues with their PA system in the past.
Can you go help out and make things go smoothly?”
Totally! This was a fairly high-level change of command ceremony at the Lieutenant Colonel level, and the past few ceremonies had gone poorly due to technical problems. I was happy to help.
I get prepped and make my way over to the location to start poking around the system. The gear being used is pretty beat up, and looks like they chuck it all in a dirty closet. Whatever, still turns on for now.
I notice some people setting up the speakers behind the lectern, in a way that would feedback as soon as the mic was unmuted. Also, the cable runs were prime tripping hazards with no cable ramps or gaffer tape to hold them down.
This isn’t just a safety risk, it’s also a good way to rip out all the connections from gear. There were a few other minor issues that needed fixing, but those were the most mission-critical problems.
I go to find the person in charge and spot a Sergeant Major overseeing.
I make my way over to him and introduce myself as the sound technician for the band, here to help and advise with sound stuff. Off the bat, he’s a little short with me.
“What can I do for you, OP? We’re a bit busy here.”
I reiterate I’m here to help with the PA and condense my observations into words.
I’m partway into explaining the dangers of his speaker placement when he cuts me off.
“This isn’t our first rodeo, so we know what we’re doing.”
At this point, I’m still going to give it my best shot before this event trainwrecks. I make my way over to the Staff Sergeant plugging in speakers and we start talking about placement and feedback.
A minute or two later, the Sergeant Major comes over and interrupts us.
“Hey, didn’t you hear me earlier? We don’t need you here. You can screw off.”
Roger that, Sergeant Major.
So I go home and report why I wasn’t able to help.
The next day, my 1SG tells me how horribly the system was feeding back, along with crackles and pops. Totally derailed the vibe, to the point where the new Lieutenant Colonel chose to leave the lectern and just talk loudly instead of using the mic.
Moreover, the Commanding General of the base (a 3-star) had attended and was apparently very unhappy with the whole thing. And lo, the next week a memo comes down to me from the office of the Commanding General to upgrade the sound system and put together a training on how to run it. Still makes me laugh thinking what that Sergeant Major’s face must’ve looked like when they figured out that the only person qualified enough to advise them was the one he had told to screw off.”
23. Only Do Accounting Tasks During My Last Two Weeks? That's All I'll Get Done
“After working at a toxic office job for a few years, I decided it was time for me to leave. I gave my (a bit more than) 2-week notice and started to organize my myriad of tasks to hand off. I was an account payable assistant, and the company had created my position and added various tasks with other departments over the years.
I helped with accounting, inventory, audits, customer service, marketing, sales, and events. My primary manager, we’ll call her Barb, was the accounting manager and there was always a struggle because she assigned the extra work to me but then refused to acknowledge that I did jobs for other departments than hers.
She was the primary reason for my leaving.
Every day I ask her if we can have a meeting to discuss my different tasks, how I’ve organized them, and how to complete them as no one does these tasks in the company but me.
She refuses to meet with me and reminds me to keep up with deadlines. No problem.
For the next two weeks, Barb doesn’t remove a single task from my plate. She refuses to meet with me for any reason and consistently sends condescending emails about the lack of work effort she’s seeing from me.
I don’t have the emails saved anymore but they all included the same message, “I’m the boss, just do your job.” I brought this to the owner’s attention since I worked closely with her. About how I felt like there was no bridge to the next person in my position.
I was told, “Barb runs the accounting department so do what she says.” Yes ma’am.
I showed up every day and worked as if I wasn’t leaving. Other managers asked me who was taking over tasks I handled for them. I referred them to Barb, who told them she handled ACCOUNTING, not their departments, and to stop wasting her time.
She then told me to only work on accounting-related tasks as that was my position, regardless of the last few years of my tasks being spread across the company. I got this in writing and printed a few copies to cover myself.
On my last day, Barb called me into her office and scolded me for ignoring 75% of my duties. Specifically, inventory was due that day and I hadn’t begun it. I reminded her of her accounting-work-only demand, which she claimed she “wasn’t referring to inventory too”.
She told me to compile a list of all of the nonaccounting jobs I handled, to which I was prepared with a list. Many of these had deadlines missed or coming soon, but I had ignored them per her instructions. I was told that if I didn’t meet my deadlines for the week, she would not give me a good reference.
She also told me to “stay as late as I needed to finish up.” I didn’t need her reference, and I wasn’t staying late on my last day.
I forwarded the email of her telling me to not complete any other jobs to the owner, along with the list of missed or closed deadlines that wouldn’t be met now. Then I clocked out and left, and never returned.
This was years ago, and from what I’ve heard she still runs the accounting department for them. I was the one blamed for tasks not being completed. Oh well.”
22. Refuse To Let Me Be Alone With The Kids? I'll Always Be In Your Sight
What else did she expect?
“This was in the mid-90s so some of the memories are a little on the fuzzy side. I was 15 years old and able to finally work my first job. I took a job to work in the local daycare center in our town during the summer.
I worked with some awesome preschool teachers but there was one, that we can call Nancy cause I don’t remember her name. She was a complete and total witch. She would always chew me out for not moving fast enough with getting a snack out to the kids or being fast enough with taking a child to the bathroom.
The playground was above ground and the preschool room was below ground. There were huge windows that even though the walkway was partially blocking the view of the playground, you could still look down into the preschool room and see everything that was going on.
The kids usually went out to play after nap time, so usually, around 3 or 4 pm before parent pick up. We had a little one that was about 2 or 3 that was still in pull-ups and was potty training.
She would have accidents sometimes so she would have to be escorted to the bathroom. Nancy’s favorite thing to complain to me about was that I had to take this little girl to the bathroom to get changed, but I wasn’t allowed to be by myself with her.
I asked her why she didn’t go and take her down to the bathroom herself then, and her response to me was “I can’t leave you alone with the kids on the playground.” I get it, a safety issue. So Nancy would send me to take a little girl to the bathroom but then would yell at me because she couldn’t see me with her.
She would yell at me every day about this. My teenage brain was like, “What the crap, lady??? How am I supposed to do my job???” So, I came up with a plan.
One day she asked me to take a little girl to the bathroom and she “kindly” reminded me that I couldn’t be out of view while taking her to the bathroom.
Fine, no problem. So, I took the little girl to the bathroom. I kept the bathroom door wide open, gave the little girl verbal instructions within earshot easy enough for a 2/3-year-old to understand, and stood out in the classroom so she could see me.
I told the little girl to pull off the wet pants and throw away the pull-up, which she did like a “bid gurl” (her words). Then I told her to come to me. She walked out into the empty classroom within eyesight of Nancy on the playground standing and staring down watching me.
I helped her get her clean pull-up and pants on and took her back up to the playground. Nancy was LIVID!! “Why did you do that?? She needed to be taken care of in the bathroom!!” I just looked her in the eye all innocent, “But you told me that I wasn’t allowed to be alone with the kids, and you had to see me at all times.
So, that’s what I did.” I didn’t get fired. The director of the preschool asked me what happened and I don’t remember her exact response, but I do remember there was a chuckle. Probably not very malicious, but malicious enough for a teenage girl that was super shy in the mid to late 90s.”
21. Refuse To Buy My Pokemon Cards? I'll Sell To Your Competition
They lost their shot.
“First of all, I live in Japan, where Pokemon is still very much a huge deal. Cards, Merchandise; anything really. Just like the rest of the world, card scalping is a huge thing. Personally, I feel the game is for kids and do my best to allow kids to enjoy it, etc.
I also despise scalpers and only ask people to pay what I paid with no markup.
I recently offered my services to a group on social media and was flooded with people who wanted Japanese cards. Okay, no problem, I can help.
So I start helping people when in pops Mr. Ran. Now, Mr. Ran introduced himself to me as a card shop owner who wanted 20-50 boxes of the latest set (retail is around 50US, secondary market is around 70US).
I say, sure why not and start searching for boxes in his price range.
I found around 20 or so, asked several times “are you sure this is what you want” “is this price okay for you” I’m going to buy them now” all the while he vehemently says “Yes please, I’ll pay you once you’ve bought them!”
Now, call me naive, but I did.
To the tune of $2600.
When I told him the final cost with shipping he immediately said: “Hey man, do you have references” “I haven’t seen you in the group before, I want security.” “I’ll pay the admins as an escrow and you’ll get it once the product arrives.”
Now, I’ve actually just spent $2,600 on cards I don’t want/need, with money I don’t actually have, and now this guy wants to not pay me until they arrive (2-3 week wait).
So I give him way too much information (my address in Japan, social media pages, etc.), not enough. I tell him we actually share common friends on social media, not enough. I tell him the names of people who I’m currently selling to, not enough.
I was cold sweating, I’m about to be thrown for $2600 under the bus, by someone who reached out to me, and despite several checks, etc refuses to back down.
I finally said, “mate, do you want these or not?”
“No thanks, too many red flags, sell to someone else.” Right, cue M.C
I google his card shop, turns out it’s competing with another shop just down the road.
I message the owner, he is also looking for the same cards and will pay the same price (again, I’m not selling these at a markup, selling at resell market price) and tell him the only condition is that he sells the boxes for $5 less than Mr.
Ran. Done deal.
So now Mr. Ran has to deal with the competing card shop getting 20-something boxes of the latest and most wanted stock and under-selling him. All because he wanted to take advantage of someone trying to help him out, by refusing to pay until cards in hand. This would of course mean a situation like “I’m sorry man, ##boxes were damaged in transit, I’ll only pay you $$ less, etc.”
20. Rely On Computer Projections When Ordering Inventory? Alrightie Then
“I used to work for a guy who claimed he was a king and we sold burgers. I made hourly/shift manager in under a year and they gave me inventory duty. I loved inventory. I was really good at estimating waste, figuring out trends, looking back at past months and years to find ebbs and peaks during the busiest months of the year.
The store was a corporate store, it was a training store and pulled in nearly two million a year in the mid-nineties. This was the time when the signature sandwich came in a meal with a med. drink, and medium fry for $2.99, so we did a huge volume to make money.
At the time Disney was having a Renaissance of animation. Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid and on and on. This all took place leading up to the release of Pocahontas.
I’m being a good little shift manager and keep the teams going.
I pitch in where I’m needed, handing out breaks and making the inventory orders. The District Manager gets word that our orders are varying greatly from week to week so he comes in to see why. I explain I look at past volume of sales, the weather, any local events or promotions going on and adjust it.
He demands the waste logs. I show him. We were in the top 20% of kitchens for the least waste in his district. He talks to the General Manager. I am then told to go back to ordering the way we used to because the distributor doesn’t like the way the order changes.
It was noted in my file.
Sir, yes, sir!
I realized that Pocahontas was releasing that next week so we’d need more kid meal bags, more cups, as many toys as we could get, and on top of that they had special plastic cups for the extra-sized meals.
But, alas. I had new orders from the GM. I complied and placed the order we historically placed for that week. As soon as the Pocahontas items were in the store, we started selling them as per corporate’s direction.
The carnage was delicious.
The delivery was Tuesday. By Thursday lunch, we were out of:
- Kid’s meal bags
- Kid’s meal cups and lids
- The toys everyone was insane over
- The 44 oz collectible plastic cups
Now, I placed the order. Crap rolls downhill. The DM got tons of complaints so he yelled at Dave, our GM, who in turn yelled at me.
He asked me what I was thinking, not loading up on everything ahead of such a huge event.
And I said, “But Dave, you and GM told me not to order anything more than the usual order for the week based on past sales and you even added it in my file.
I was only doing what I was told.”
After that, I was given free rein over the ordering again. Dave was reassigned to a much smaller store. The GM got placed on leave for a month or so, may or may not have been related to the store failing so hard.
Sadly they soon transferred me to a really bad store in a terrible neighborhood and it was a 45-minute commute in traffic. I ended up quitting a few weeks later and found a much better job for much better pay plus benefits.
Still, it felt good to screw with them that way. Especially since I had been offered a .50 raise to take the night shift but they “forgot” to put it in the system for over a month and then “couldn’t do” backpay. (This was before the ordering issue).”
19. No More Smartphones Allowed? Gotcha
“I’ve been working with an automotive assembly plant for the past 2 years. My job is to coordinate the breakdown maintenance work, corrective jobs, and maintenance work requests on the plant. If you ever worked in a maintenance job on-site, you know how it is.
On some days there is like no work at all and on other days the work will test your nerves. Most of the corrective maintenance I coordinate with different departments and shops is through WhatsApp groups. I’ve created WhatsApp groups with every shop team leader and my team and whenever there is an issue my team gets a message with the problem described by the production staff and then they attend to it immediately.
The facility is pretty big and complex and you definitely need phones to find someone if a maintenance breakdown occurs. Smart Phones were allowed communication until a new Admin Manager joined.
The new Admin manager within a week sent an email on Saturday (the facility is off on weekends and most of the preventive activities are carried out) that as per company policy and to protect the company trade secrets no smartphone is allowed on the site except for managers.
I called my manager after reading the email and told him to please allow phones for maintenance staff, but he said he can’t do crap about the decision and I have to follow what management decides. Actually, he also said that “You can’t challenge the company policy and will oblige like others”.
I said ok and hung up.
Here comes my malicious compliance. I took a screenshot of the email and sent it to all of my team on WhatsApp that smartphones are no longer allowed; we all are requested to leave our phones in our lockers.
On Monday morning, all of the systems started again, and usually, the corrective complaints are high on most Mondays. I asked my maintenance team of every shop to continue the preventive maintenance activities as per plan and attend to the complaints when somebody from production approaches them.
I also left my phone in my office drawer and left for a visit to the plant. When I was on around someone from the production staff saw me, they approached and described their problem and I told them every time that someone from the team will be here soon.
But no one did as the team was scattered on the plant. The whole day the team attended to only problems they saw or were informed about in person. Result? The breakdown time percentage rose from 0.5% to 16% in one production phase (8 AM to 12 PM).
I came to the office at 12 PM after I visited every shop and my manager asked where the heck I’d been as he has been calling my phone for hours and there was chaos on the production floor. I showed him my dirty greasy hands that I’ve been personally attending many complaints from different shops and didn’t even sit for one minute.
I reminded him “Sir, phones are no more allowed on the production floor that is why the complaints attendance time skyrocketed.” He was speechless and left.
The whole day went like heck for the production staff in almost all the shops, and the next morning, the presentation by maintenance was without any pictures (pics of corrective and preventive jobs attended on the previous day.
Without pictures you will never know about what corrective job the presenter is talking about) and the graph of the maintenance breakdown time was exponential. The next morning during the presentation, GM and CEO both were livid, and around 10 AM, I got a call on my desktop telephone from my manager that from now on smartphones are allowed for the maintenance team.”
18. Fire Me On The Spot? I Won't Hesitate To Leave
“I used to work at a bar, as the only female security (They’d had some very bad things happen when a man followed a woman to the bathroom, so they needed a woman that could keep an eye on what happened in there).
This bar got in legal trouble all the time. The bathroom thing above, the fire marshal closing them on some busy weekend nights for being way over capacity, the liquor board had pulled their license once already for overserving/serving minors with pretty obvious fake IDs.
I was one of the new security hired to help resolve all this. It was so bad, we had to be trained by a government ATF person and get a card to prove we knew how to spot and stop overserves and spot fake IDs.
I think the real reason they hired us, was to have scapegoats on the ready for the next time they did this.
So, I worked there for a while, doing my best. The owner’s wife was the worst. She was always intoxicated, always had her friends in the bar, and bent the rules for them.
She thought she was Lady Jesus and we should all be kissing her feet because she was the owner’s wife. I mostly stayed out of her way and had no issues, but many coworkers complained about her.
One night, some dude gets sick on the way to the bathroom, I cut him off, and he ends up getting escorted out by his friends.
I notice a man sitting at the bar watching this. He had creased slacks, a jacket indoors on a summer night, and no drink in his hand – at a busy meat-market dance club. I started watching him, and notice the badge under his jacket.
Ah-ha! He was here to watch for overserving.
A little later, a woman came to the bathroom, intoxicated enough to need to hold onto the walls for dear life. I cut her off. She screams at me, then goes into the bathroom and tries to wash off the giant black Sharpie Xs from the back of both hands.
I warn her that she will be kicked out of the club if she continues. She screams again and staggers out of the bathroom.
About 5 minutes later, the owner’s wife is in my face, screaming. The woman I had cut off was one of her friends, attending a bachelorette party in the VIP section, and I was supposed to somehow magically know she was VIP.
I was also apparently supposed to break the law for her because she was VIP. So, she and I start a screaming match, where I inform her that HER HUSBAND had hired me to make sure the law was followed. I also started to inform her about the police officer at the bar, but she screamed in my face to ‘shut your mouth and get out of my bar’.
She fired me on the spot. I didn’t bother waiting to see if her husband agreed, it was known she wore the pants.
I complied. I shut my mouth and got out of her bar. I walked past the cop, still sitting at the end of the bar near the bathrooms, where the screaming match had taken place.
I made eye contact with him, gave a slight nod, to which he responded by looking at the boss’s wife, rolling his eyes, and smiling at me as I left.
They got shut down that night for overserving the bachelorette party. This time, they went out of business because of too many strikes against them.”
17. Don't Want Me Doing Normal Things Around The Guests? Okay, I'll Stay Away From Them
“I work in the hotel industry in a busy city. This specific property was completely run down, and EVERYONE left except one person so EVERYONE there is new to the property, most even new to hospitality. Even managers. Even HR. A few of the “rules” set by the new management were that:
1. We can’t even have as much as a bottle of water behind the front desk to drink between guests or when there’s a lull in check-ins or checkouts.
We have to put it in the bell closet that is nowhere near the front desk. I have to exit my pod, go around the corner out of sight into the lobby, and go in the closet to take a sip of water.
Sweet. Got it.
2) We cannot use the public restrooms on the main floor because it is “unprofessional” to guests. We have to go down to the basement (which is around the corner from the front desk, down 2 flights of stairs, into the security office, down a long hallway— next to the housekeeping office.
This bathroom is the housekeepers’ bathroom. All their clothes are in there. They have a shower. They’re always getting ready in there at the sink and every stall is always taken. Ok. Got it. Sweet.
Mind you, not even two months ago I was hospitalized for dehydration so drinking water is vital for me.
Therefore I require a lot of fluids, and a lot of bathroom trips follow. (ESPECIALLY during that time of that month.) So what could’ve easily been gulps of water between groups of guests at the desk and simple 3-minute bathroom trips on the same level as me, are now 15-minute ordeals each time I am thirsty or have to use the bathroom combined.
So I got it. Full line of guests arriving that need to get into their rooms? Full line of guests leaving that need to catch their taxis to get to the airport? I’m sorry, I need water and to use the bathroom, be back in 15.
My manager quickly realizes that I am gone for more than 2 minutes and the lines are building as they’re watching from the cameras downstairs and scolding me when I come up. He tells me that we don’t get breaks, only 1 unpaid lunch during our shift and I am abusing time paid.
That I need to save those activities for my unpaid meal. I tell him, “I am sorry, I was told it looks unprofessional to use this bathroom around the corner in the lobby and also told I cannot keep a water bottle with me.
My only option is to go where you tell me to go and with those instructions, it takes me 10-15 minutes to drink some water, make the trek to the basement bathroom and wait for a stall to open, and then wait for a sink to open, and then make my way upstairs again.” He knew he couldn’t tell me I can’t drink water during my shift or that I can’t use the bathroom on the clock, and he sticks by his crappy rules.
So he now has to keep his mouth shut when I’m gone for whatever time I please.
Other employees have followed suit and reviews pointing out long wait times are pouring in. As my managers sit their butts in their offices and don’t assist with the lines in any way.
We’re just doing what we’re told, sir. We poor working slaves cannot be seen with the big spenders in their fancy bathroom quarters and under no circumstances can the card swipers see us lowlife associates hydrate with water. Got it!”
Another User Comments:
“This will never make sense to me, the attitude of: “doing normal human things like sitting, eating, drinking, and peeing is unprofessional.” And then somehow thinking that a hard rule actually hurting productivity/morale/professionalism/customer satisfaction is the solution.
They’re right, peeing isn’t professional; it’s essential. Just let people freaking pee. Why is this even a freaking thing, gosh darn it.” TJamesV
16. Want To Update The Computer's Operating System Despite Me Warning You Not To? Okay
“I was working at an electronics distribution company that also had “middleman” contracts with several big box stores. I had an ever-ignorant manager so I was the only person for about 4 years to handle more than 15 major retail outlets’ setups.
The setups were basically what you would see on, let’s say, BestBuy.com if you were looking to buy a tv. Whatever TV you clicked for the particular brand there was a BIG chance I was responsible for it. The images, tech specs, dimensions, and other technical information were input by me and me alone.
As I said, I was the only person in my company that knew how to do my job for these specific companies, and for years I asked for some support from my manager as well as the CEO, whom I worked closely with because of the urgency of some parts of my job.
Every time I requested a review for a raise the goalpost kept being moved. I became bitter with the job but I needed it for the pay, even though I was being severely and grossly underpaid according to the salary average for the job to the tune of about 20k for the state and 40k for the nation.
Onto the malicious compliance. My job required me to use a computer. My company was insanely cheap and for some reason would buy refurbished and old computers for IT to fix and install an illegal version of Windows on. Whatever.
One day IT sends an email saying to download and install Windows 10 from the link they sent.
My computer was especially old and could not handle having this loaded onto it. I informed IT. They told me that I should speak to my manager and CEO about a new computer. I did. They said no and to install the program anyway.
So guess what the crap I did?! Installed Windows 10 on that old work computer and watched as the madness began.
The first major issue was that my PC said it would take 48 hours to finish. The second was that my pc was the only one in the entire company with the information necessary to complete my job functions.
The third being a HUGE business partner’s first order was to be finished set up by me with a deadline of 24 hours. 48-24=24 so yea…. That didn’t get done and the relationship was dissolved by the partner company and my company missed out on a bunch of money.
CEO and manager ask me why I did this and I tell them they both instructed me to do the same thing after I gave them numerous DOCUMENTED updates and requests for better equipment or support which they denied. There was nothing they could do as I was following their direction.
I left the company shortly after when my HR, CEO, and manager didn’t believe or acknowledge my multitude of complaints about a coworker that constantly made racist and prejudiced statements in the workplace about black people. (I’m black for the record)
They were racist, inconsiderate, people mistreaters that loved pizza parties but were not happy employees and I’m happy they missed the money. About 20 million.
15. Only Want Certified Mail Sent To You? Okay
“I once worked for a company that provides therapy to children. The company owner was not licensed/credentialed to do this but I am so he hired me. I got hired, did my job, supervised the other workers, kept all files electronically, and kept the data up to date.
(Everything was HIPAA compliant.)
As time passed I found out he was committing insurance fraud. I knew I wanted to report him and quit. However, due to the type of therapy I do, I didn’t want to leave the clients without therapy.
They didn’t do anything wrong. I decided to give my boss 4 weeks’ notice so he could hire someone else and I could transfer care properly. My boss didn’t like this plan or the fact that I wanted to quit so he terminated me on the spot.
I thought this was reckless of him seeing that now he had NO ONE on his staff who could legally supervise the therapy and sign off on clinical notes. I was the only one who could.
When he fired me he started slandering my name and telling lies about me.
I work in a small area where everyone in my field knows of everyone else in the field and I wasn’t about to have my reputation tarnished due to his lies. I hired an attorney to write a cease and desist letter.
It was sent to him by certified mail. He didn’t like this either. He reached out to me and said the company needed all of their materials back as well as client data. He said he would only accept it in certified mail.
Of course, I wanted to send the books and materials I had back to him as well as transfer the data to him, but it didn’t make sense to send hard copies of the data. It would be a lot easier to securely email the graphed data I had.
It would also make it easier on whoever took over my caseload as the data system and graphs would already be set up for them. I tried to explain this in my email reply but he wasn’t having it. He replied “I will no longer reply to you.
I told you to send all materials in certified mail and that’s what I expect to happen.”
Cue malicious compliance. I printed all of the raw data and graphs I had. This ended up being about 200 pages worth of information. When it printed it looked all wonky and extremely difficult to read across that many pages.
As I was packing the books, materials, and 200 pages of printed data into the box to be sent, I accidentally dropped it and the papers scattered everywhere. I picked them up but they were all out of order and impossible to tell how to put them back in order, so I just boxed everything up out of order and sent it to him by certified mail with my signature.
I know he received the package. I don’t know what he had the person he hired after me do because what was sent to him was unusable, hard-to-read prints of the data. The only thing that I think could have been done was to have the new person recreate the entire system, decipher the order of the 200 pages of data, and input it manually.
This would take many months!
Maybe next time he won’t be such a jerk, and he’ll listen when his employee says it doesn’t make sense to send hard copies of the data.
EDIT: I did report him to insurance fraud investigators. From what I’ve gathered after the fact his old company no longer exists. A few years later he opened a new company. I don’t know what he was doing for the 3-4 years in between and I don’t know how he runs his new company now.”
14. I Can Only Take My Break When You Tell Me To? If You Say So
I wouldn’t stay at a toxic job like this.
“This malicious compliance happened years ago. At the time, I was either in or just out of high school and I made money by bagging groceries at the local supermarket.
This job was very interesting, and there was a slew of terrible people employed at my location, but this story only has a cast of 2 people: Me, the overworked, underpaid grocery bagger, and my butthole of a supervisor, let’s call him Ray.
Ray was an absolute jerk to everyone in the store, and nobody liked him. His shenanigans actually birthed my first romantic relationship, but that’s a story for another day.
The way my days at this job worked, was I’d show up for a shift, clock in, and go up to whoever was supervising the front end that day (we had a rotation of 3-4 supes, and I was cool with almost all of them because I actually did my job) and ask them what the roster for the day looked like (who’s here, when are they going home, if anyone’s coming in, and breaks.
I was particularly interested in my break time according to the roster, so I can plan my shift accordingly).
Ray was one of those supervisors, and for some reason, he hated when people would ask when their break was. Somebody would ask, and then he’d scream about ‘when it’s your break time, I’ll let you know.’ Which might’ve worked for the cashiers, but not us baggers as we’d be all over the store and also out getting carts.
One day, I asked him when I’m supposed to go on my break and he blew up saying he’ll let me know when it was time for my break. I work the rest of my shift and tell someone else I’m going on my break at a reasonable time and while there’s coverage.
I come back from this break and he stopped me again to tell me he was in charge of the breaks. I say nothing and finish my shift.
Cue Malicious Compliance.
A few days later, he and I are working again. I know he’s gonna scream about breaks again, so I just don’t ask.
After all, he’ll let me know, right?
So instead of talking to the supervisor, who that day was Ray, and letting him know I’m here, I just start working.
And I continue working.
And then I work some more.
Finally, I realize 7 of my 8 hours have gone by and I haven’t had a single break.
But Ray never did let me know it was time for my break. A few minutes after I thought this, Ray somehow finds out I’ve been working 7 hours today with no break and he comes running up SCREAMING at me about how I didn’t take a break and how dare I and the company’s gonna get into major trouble because they worked me 7 hours without a break (Im 90% sure I was under 18, so I was still a minor) and then asked why I never took my break.
I responded with, “Well, Ray, you said you’ll let me know when it was time for my break. And you never let me know, so I never took a break.”
He exploded again and screamed at me to ‘take my freaking break, NOW,’ and I finally took my 15-minute break and worked another half hour before clocking out to go home.
Ray kept being a butthole about everything, but he always gave me my break times in advance for the next few months until he threw another fit at someone else and walked out of that store for good. Everyone else was completely amicable, and after Ray left, I had no problems with breaks again.
Edit: I have had a few people inquire about the romantic relationship I mentioned, so I’m gonna post the story of the relationship here. (We were together for a year and then she dumped me.)
She and I met while working at this job, and we both hated Ray, for good reason.
We started going to Taco Bell on our days off together to vent about Ray and his bullcrap. Those Taco Bell trips turned into a friendship, then a relationship. We had a good time, I went with her to her games (she was a Special Olympics gold medalist) and she came to my graduation.
There was also talk (jokingly) about us getting married.
We went out for about a year and then she broke up with me via a messaging app after telling me she was unfaithful to me. That was also years ago, and she’s reached out asking if I want to get back together a few times, but I’d honestly rather be single.
Her family absolutely loved me though, and they called her an idiot for breaking up with me.”
13. Require Oversight Of Every Penny Spent? Yes, Sir
“This happened a couple or three decades ago in the military. I was in charge of the squadron budget and made sure all unit expenditures were proper (right funds account) and funds were available. I was also to make sure that our budget lasted the whole fiscal year.
We got a new commander who was the worst micro manager I saw in my 20-year career. I made an appointment for my initial budget brief and proceeded to lay out our current expenditures, funding available, and the plans to spend it all by the end of the fiscal year.
My new commander then tells me that he wants oversight on every penny spent in the squadron. I said I could do that but I needed some clarification. He said very condescendingly “Did you not hear me, sergeant? I said every penny.
I will approve every penny spent in this squadron before it is spent!” I said yes sir! Do you want me to send paper requests or email them to you? He said email would be sufficient and dismissed me.
I knew exactly what to do.
I called all the bosses who ran the different shops and told them what the commander had said and that I had no choice but to comply. None of them were happy and a couple of them caught the tone in my voice and figured out what I was doing.
I even told the Squadron Chief what was going to happen and he told me that he would have my back. So I took all 27 spending accounts down to zero dollars available. Even the most critical aircraft parts couldn’t be ordered until they sent me an email which I forwarded to the commander.
He never once responded. It took two weeks for everything to hit the fan. It was longer than I thought it would take and I was starting to get nervous.
We were in a staff meeting and the commander was livid. He had just gotten his butt chewed by the Colonel because of all the broke airplanes waiting on parts to be bought.
He turned to the first flight Chief and asked him why he had so much equipment that wasn’t getting fixed. The Chief said with a straight dead poker face, “Sgt. ______ won’t approve us buying any parts.” The commander whipped his head toward me and angrily asked what the problem was.
I looked him straight in the eye and said “Sir, I sent those requests to you two weeks ago.” You could see the color drain from his face as he quickly looked down. “We’ll talk about this after the meeting.” I kept my straight face and I swear that I heard more than one muffled chuckle from the Chiefs at the conference table.
When the meeting was over, the commander told me to meet him in his office. The Chief that “threw me under the bus” winked at me and smiled. I walked in right behind the boss and reported formally. We normally only do this if we were in trouble or getting praise but this guy insisted on it from everyone every time.
“Mike (apparently I was now on a first-name basis) you seem to have a pretty firm grasp on the budget and what the flights need. I think you can approve the normal day-to-day stuff and just bring the big things to me.” “Yessir” was all I could say without busting out in laughter. Every request was approved and ordered within an hour and I was never questioned again.”
12. Take Advantage Of Me? Good Thing The Dirty Dishes Are Not My Job!
“So I work in a hospital that has a union. For those who don’t know union jobs are great in terms of pay and benefits, but accountability is the shortcoming of being part of a union.
I basically tell people a union is infinite get out of jail free cards for people who don’t deserve the job they have.
After two years of working at this job, I got a position where I kept the cafeteria clean and stocked on weekdays and worked dishwashing and patient tray line on weekends.
Though my department is awesome now compared to when I first started there, for the longest time we had the most toxic and dramatic department.
The collective catchphrase/response to everything for the department was “that’s not my job!”
This is popular because the union will back anyone up who uses that phrase and requires each position to have a dedicated task list to make it “fair.”
I do my best to be a hard worker, team player, be fair, and go above and beyond my duties.
However, when I feel I’m being taken advantage of the catchphrase will kick in full swing for me.
This one time on Christmas Eve I was working the dish room for the afternoon. I noticed a giant pan with a bunch of burnt-on scrambled eggs on the sides and bottom which hasn’t been soaked.
I didn’t think anything of it as the AM dishwasher is usually finishing up the breakfast stuff by the time I get there and figure they will get to it or have a plan for how to get it off easily.
I do notice that my sink is full of oatmeal and noodles, which does annoy me since it’s really not hard for them to just scrape the food into the trash before soaking instead of risking clogging the drains (which has happened before).
AM dish person washes all the cookware and service equipment while PM does the patient trays, plates, cups, and bowls. Business as usual (so I think) and AM shift ends at 2:30 pm. My coworker decided to disappear before 2 until it was time to clock out leaving me by myself.
I continue on and try to let it go and see that same pan of burnt egg just sitting in there. I get really mad and decide they’re pushing it WAY too much with me today.
Before I continue on with washing the dishes I check the work schedule and see that the same coworker who took advantage of me is scheduled to come in for the same shift the next day on Christmas and I decide it’s time for a little malicious compliance.
Since the breakfast dishes are the AM dish person’s responsibility it’s pretty much “not my job” to wash that egg-crusted pan and I put the pan to the side and tell my coworkers not to touch it. When we close for the night I put the pan back into the sink and just leave it without soaking it in water as an extra little gift.
I was off the next day on Christmas.
They found my present and were not pleased to put it in nicely from what I heard.
If you have ever tried to get burnt scrambled egg off the sides of a pan especially if it sat for a full 24 hours without soaking, then you will know that you would have an easier time separating two legos super-glued together.
After that, it was never an issue again and management had my back.”
11. Photocopy Several Incorrect Induction Forms? Will Do
“So I work security at a place I won’t name. One of our duties is to make sure any contractors working on-site are inducted. This is done by having them fill in a pretty basic multiple-choice question sheet which takes a couple of minutes.
It’s not much of an induction but it covers basic safety stuff. Anyway, our security office is pretty small so normally we give people the paperwork and send them away to fill it out, they can even e-mail it to us if they want.
Of course, the contractors love this as non-English-speaking workers are pretty common and we tend to get stacks of inductions coming back with eerily similar handwriting and sometimes the same mistakes. I’ve raised the issue before, but if management doesn’t care then why should I, believe me, I’ve gotten into scraps with my immediate manager before about how lazily things are run and nothing is ever done.
So I’ve stopped caring as long as it doesn’t get TOO insultingly obvious.
So yeah one day it got pretty insulting.
We get a guy coming in who’s a little ballsier than usual. He’s got an induction sheet already filled out and asks me to photocopy it 20 times.
To be clear, all the questions have already been answered. He basically just wants his crew to sign their names on it. I obviously say no because even I have some standards but my manager insists that I just do it.
We get into a little argument. My manager takes me aside and basically gives me a rundown of how sick and tired of my crap he is. “My crap” being that apparently I’m the only one who complains about the low standards of our work and how it would make everyone on the team liable if anything ever went wrong.
He tells me to just photocopy them and that’s that.
Okay, so I give up. Go to photocopy the inductions. As I do I realize that it’s actually the wrong induction sheet. I don’t know where he got this particular form from but it has 14 questions instead of 12, and on top of that, 4 questions, a full third of this very simple induction, are incorrect.
Nice. So I photocopy the inductions and hand them over. Sometime later, we get 20 inductions scanned and e-mailed to us. Holding in my laughter I reply to the e-mail, CCing in our higher-up manager as is a procedure. Informing them that not only is every single induction riddled with a large number of errors, but that they also appear to be identical, AND that it’s not even the right form to begin with.
Within minutes we get a call from our higher manager wanting to speak to my immediate manager. I can’t hear what’s being said on the other side but my immediate manager says that he photocopied the inductions and I hear muffled screaming coming over the phone.
My manager then nervously backtracks and says that I photocopied them.
The phone is passed over to me and I tell my higher-up manager exactly what happened. The phone goes back to my immediate manager and the screaming resumes. My manager ends up taking the phone call in the back room for about ten minutes.
When he comes out he’s obviously shaken and passes on to me that that group of 20 contractors will now be instructed to come in one at a time and fill in the paperwork in person while my immediate manager supervises them.
Since then my manager seems to have suddenly become very concerned with occupational health and safety.”
10. Ask For The Police? Oh, They'll Show Up Alright
“This happened about a month ago and while I wasn’t actually a participant, I did get front-row seats (literally) to witnessing this go down.
I was in New York with my family and one of the things we love to do is see Broadway plays.
The final play we got to see was Jersey Boys.
Now you got to understand one thing about plays in NYC right now. You have to sign a waiver saying you will wear a mask the entire show except to take a drink or eat.
So going into the theater you already knew that this was the case.
So my family had the pleasure of sitting behind an older couple let’s call them Karen and Ken because yep. As soon as the production started they ripped off their masks.
Three times the ushers had to come and tell them to put their masks back on.
The second time was pretty memorable because Karen loudly yelled “what?!?!?!?!” When the usher told her to please put her mask back on and wear it properly and then she shoved her hand in her face and said “go away and leave me alone!” Again pretty loudly.
And as soon as she left again, the mask came down
Side note: I didn’t see this but my mom also saw them taking pictures of the play and maybe videos.
So intermission comes around. They were muttering to themselves about “if they come and tell us to put our darn masks on one more time…” At that moment security and who I presume was the manager came over and said “Gather your things, we need to have a talk.” Now because the manager came unrequested I don’t think Karen liked that.
Karen – “Why should we? We haven’t don’t anything wrong.”
M – “Ma’am we are not going to have this talk out here. Please gather your stuff and come with me.”
Karen – “I have no problem having this talk out here. Why do we need to talk?”
Ken – “if it’s the masks we have had them on the entire show.”
M – “that’s not what I was told.”
To keep things short, it went back and forth like this for a while.
Karen and Ken insisted they wore their masks, security and the manager insisted on taking this outside, and then Karen said the magic words:
“If you want us to leave, you will have to get the police. Otherwise, we are staying here.”
Ken – “Yeah.
That’s right. Get the police.”
The manager was gone for maybe two seconds. He came back with two of New York’s finest. And responded, “Ma’am, you got your wish. The police are here. Now grab your stuff, you need to go!”
At that moment, they finally begrudgingly grabbed their stuff and started to leave.
I kid you not, everyone started applauding them out. Karen then yelled “Ask anyone, we had them on the whole time” to which the man behind us yelled back “no you didn’t.” My parents did have a chuckle at that one.
It was really nice to watch the entire second act of a truly fantastic show peacefully. And I got a great story to post.”
9. Just Be A Nurse Only? Guess I Won't Be A DSP Like I Was Asked
“So this happened just recently. I work in a group home and we have DSPs (those not familiar, direct support professional = caregivers). I’m a nurse there. I’ll give some chain of command and title explanations first, if you’re familiar with the group home dynamics (or just don’t care) feel free to skip down a few paragraphs.
The hiring manager is also the manager of the house managers, so I’ll call them the boss. The Administrator is the main boss so I’ll call them the grand boss.
The chain of command is DSP –>coordinator–> house manager–> boss–> grand boss
Nurse–>charge nurse–>grand boss
Ok, now that we have that, I’ll share my MC.
I went to have a conversation with my boss and grand boss about a medication issue at a house. That conversation led to a somewhat heated conversation about a different house the boss is the temporary house manager of.
The boss is angry at several of us because a coordinator quit recently and boss feels we (nursing and another staff) ran them off.
Said the coordinator was not following any of the things they were taught when they were trained. Mostly on my part, doctor’s orders regarding nutrition and exercise, as well as several other things. They were awful and gaslighting us and the regular staff.
Trying to control every aspect, not working as part of the team, etc.
Since boss can’t really punish the rest of the staff they are angry with, they are targeting and punishing (trying to at least) me.
During the conversation, the boss tells me to stay in my lane, do the nursing role, and nothing else.
I said, ‘Ok, fine, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you only want me to be the nurse then do not ask me to be a DSP, that’s not my role (it is in my scope of practice to do).
I won’t be picking up shifts.’
We are severely short-staffed and all of us have been working in houses as DSPs. Because of this and a few other things, none of us are now.
Fallout: Boss, who is salary and doesn’t get OT has to now work shifts, including this weekend, that the rest of us were willing to work, as well as doing their own job, with no extra pay.
Bonus: grand boss never said a word during this whole thing, just sat back and listened. However, the next day, I stopped to apologize for getting so upset (I was so angry I cried) and they stopped me, gave me a hug (which totally shocked me), and told me I was a good nurse and did a good job and care for my client, however, I did have a few things I could work on.
I agreed, we all have things to work on.
Either the grand boss is genuine or is terrified I will leave and they will have to find another nurse. I’m leaning more toward the latter. He’s not usually that nice.
Anyhow, they lost having 4 staff that would pick up empty shifts and are just standing back to watch the fallout of the boss’s actions.”
8. Want Me To Work During The Day? If That's What You Want
“A few jobs back I was a callow youth on my second proper IT job. The place was quite relaxed and being somewhat of a night owl I worked the late shift (usually about midday to 9 pm) and got quite a lot of things done when there were fewer users around to complain about interruptions.
Especially server upgrades – we had Solaris file servers in various places throughout the town and I would generally publicize an upgrade that would take the system down at 5 pm and it would be back up by 9 the next morning.
This included the time to back up the data in single-user mode ‘cos dump/dumpfs preferred that, upgrade any hardware (usually none ‘cos while they were relaxed, they were also underfunded), re-install the OS, restore the data, and tidy things up.
I would generally work through the night to get this done, clocking off at about 4 am when the user data restore was happening, and be back at 1000-1030 to pick up any immediate issues.
So I’d got into an email ding with one of my colleagues (he was wrong, of course) and it had expanded to include the boss who told us to sort it out. I proved my point with data and then it all went quiet.
A couple of days later the boss says he’s had complaints about my timekeeping and he’d like to see me in at 0900 from now on. I guessed that the colleague had complained, and so I asked the boss directly, and he said he couldn’t tell me that, but his facial expression made it obvious.
So, I said OK and shifted my life around for the new schedule.
About 3 weeks after this I was due to upgrade the IT department server and I’d said that it would take a little longer ‘cos I was only doing 9-5 and nobody really commented…
So, Monday morning I take the system down to single-user mode and start the user data backups – to Exabyte tapes using dump (1m) (it _was_ pre-2000 and I think the upgrade was from Solaris 2.5.1 to 2.6) and let it run for most of the day.
Around about 3 pm, I change tapes and start the OS and utils backups, and at 5 pm I go home.
9 am the next day, I roll in with a coffee and start the re-install (from CD media!), and then sit down and check the console occasionally.
Starting about 10:30, there’s a stream of people asking when the server will be back up. “maybe towards the end of today, maybe early tomorrow – depends on tape speed restores,” I say.
People are not getting their work done – those machines that didn’t boot off the server (Sun diskless clients) and had PCs or Macs still had their email and home directories on the server (to ensure backups amirite?!) so the entire department is sitting round doing not a lot – mainly answering phone calls, creating local documents, surfing the web – such as it was back then….
At about 4ish, the boss turns up and says, “OK, you’ve made your point. When will the server be back up?”
“Depends – I can have it all working when people come in tomorrow, or I can start working on it again tomorrow morning at 0900.
What’s your call?”
And that’s how I got my new 1030-1100 start time negotiated.
I should say that boss was a reasonable dude – we generally got on, and he admitted the benefit of me working those hours in our subsequent conversations. He was also kind enough to only schedule meetings involving me in the afternoons.”
7. Want Me To Speak To Your Insurance? Get An At-Fault Claim On Your Policy
“I work as an auto insurance adjuster for simple claims. For some background, one of the most complicated types of claims that I deal with is backing claims. (Like a person backing out of space or similar). This is because backing claims have a potential for shared responsibility depending on the location of damage, statements, and so on.
Typically for backing claims it is crucial to take a very specific statement from both drivers, to see the scene, and review the damage on both cars to determine liability.
I received a claim (CV backed into IV) which means the claimant, or other person, backed into my person.
Usually, in most backing claims, there is a claim opened on both insurance companies so they can each do their own investigation. Additionally, there’s a process for billing the other company once liability has been determined. So insurance companies often speak during this process.
It was day 5 for me and I haven’t been able to reach either my insured or the claimant after several texts, calls, and emails to both parties. My last call attempt for the day to the claimant and I got an answer.
I was immediately cut off before I could even finish introducing myself. She essentially stated that she will not speak to me at all and that I will have to speak to her insurance. I asked if she had an open claim and a claim number (to save me the trouble) and she stated “I am not in a place to provide you that at this time.” I briefly mentioned just wanting to take her statement and that her insurance would want to do the same but she doubled down and told me she will absolutely not speak to me before disconnecting the call.
Ok fine. I then found her insurance company, confirmed she hadn’t opened a claim yet, then opened a claim on her behalf. I disclosed the information that I knew (location of damage on both cars), and the original facts of loss (claimant backed into my insured).
Her insurance agreed with me over the phone that it sounded like the claimant was most likely at fault (but obviously they will do their investigation). Location of damage alone paints a very clear picture. Damage on the claimant’s rear bumper and damage to my insured’s rear door is typically always 100% at fault on the backing party because they owe the greater duty to yield right of way and to maintain a proper lookout.
Fast forward an hour and I got a call from my insured. She told me she had been speaking with the claimant for several days and they were negotiating an out-of-pocket solution. Now, this is normal and some people do this.
But if the claimant had just told me that in the first place, I wouldn’t have had to file an (at fault) claim on her insurance. If you know anything about insurance, the claimant’s ultimate goal was to avoid her premiums from going up, but now she will have an at-fault claim on her policy that will certainly taint her records. Enjoy!”
6. Want A Detailed Timecard? You Got It
“My first job was as a process engineer coming out of university. I worked at a company where I did a few internships during Uni, and it was a small company, so I knew the job well, and I knew the entire team as well.
Because I was an engineer, I was paid weekly, so my hours were not required for the job.
My boss’s boss didn’t really care when or for how long we were in the office, so long as the work was getting done.
But my direct boss turned out to be a jerk about this. For context, I was usually the first one in the office (7 AM, to avoid traffic) and left around the same time as other engineers (4 PM). He, on the other hand, came in at 10 AM and was usually out before I was.
We couldn’t figure out exactly what work he was doing either.
Anyway, there comes a week when my father was visiting me on the Friday. I told my boss early enough that I would be leaving at 4 PM on that day no matter what in order to spend time with my father (he lives 5 hours away).
Boss said nothing, so I thought all was good.
Friday comes, and 4 PM comes, and I leave for home as intended. We receive a call from one of our clients to whom we had shipped some spare parts, and he needed information about some of the components (border crossing, needed to know if there were dangerous materials).
Our receptionist tries to reach my phone and called my boss when she couldn’t reach me.
Monday comes, and he’s in the office when I come in. Turns out he wanted to have a talk and gave me so much crap for leaving at 4 PM on a Friday when we received a call and he had to answer it instead of me.
He basically told me that from now on, he needed a detailed account of my time spent at work. He also provided me with this in an email, the fool. This is where my malicious compliance started.
I filled in the most detailed timecard most people have probably seen in their work life.
It was detailed to the minute, and I included all my breaks to the bathroom and detailed if it was for peeing or pooping, my lunches, every little detail I worked on, and questions I answered from clients or from other people in the company.
I even included 30 minutes each day to complete my timecard (that’s actually how long it took me to fill the timecard). Did this for 2 weeks and then submitted it to him.
He was furious with it, and it turns out that he was owing me more hours than he was paying me.
When he confronted me with it, I showed him the email and said: “look man, you asked for a detailed account of all my time during the day. Do you need me to actually include the seconds as well?” He tried to involve HR, but I had paper proof of what he was asking. He left shortly after, and it was my small victory over him.”
5. Ask You For Something To Do If We Can't Find Anything To Do? We Will
“At one point in the military, I was in between major postings (finished the training program, but was waiting for reassignment to a regular station), and was working a cleaning gig in the admin building as a holding station in the meantime.
I was in a technical field that was eternally undermanned, so we had decent (for the military) monetary incentives to sign on and reenlist and often were exempted from a lot of the duties other servicemembers had to deal with because of our required schedule.
The admin department was made up of personnel who were… not. Naturally, this engendered some resentment from them.
So we’d show up at 7 am, clean the building for 2-3 hours, literally run out of things to clean because there were around 5 times as many people cleaning it as it needed, and then have to “clean” for another 5-6 hours (plus lunch) until the “end of the normal work day.” The admin guys in charge of us every morning ordered “If you don’t have something to do, ask us and we will find something.
Don’t just pretend to clean.”
So we did. We cleaned until there wasn’t anything left to clean, and then asked the Admin guy what else we could do.
And, invariably, we were told something along the lines of “I don’t know, find something.”
And so the Commanding Officer (CO) (if the President of the US is the military’s CEO, the CO would be a regional or district manager) eventually noticed that we didn’t really have anything productive to do after 10 am.
Because of that, in public, he ordered the admin guys “If the techy guys don’t have anything left to do for the day, then send them home. There’s no point in keeping them here unnecessarily.”
And the next day, we showed up, cleaned for three hours, and then asked what else needed doing.
“I don’t know, count the holes in the ceiling tiles.” (Literally, that was what the admin guy said.)
So, we did. We knew it was bullcrap, but it was an order.
Naturally, being on ordered activity, we didn’t try to hide what we were doing.
Including around 11 am when the CO walked past one of us staring at the ceiling with a pencil and a sheet of paper, obviously counting something. CO asked what we were doing. “Oh, Petty Officer so-and-so ordered us to count holes in the ceiling tiles when we asked what else we could help with, sir!” my coworker answered earnestly.
CO asks “How long does it usually take you guys to clean the building?” Coworker answers with enthusiastic forthrightness, “Oh, we usually have to start asking for things to do around 10 am, sir!”
CO is not happy. CO is very not happy.
Not only did that mean that he was dealing with the insubordination of at least one Admin guy, but the nature of the admin guy’s order started into Hazing territory, which was regulated to heck. COs had been canned in recent years for Hazing incidents.
And it was being done almost literally in his face.
The next day, we cleaned until we ran out of things for most of us to clean. We ask the admin guy what else we can help with. Admin guy answers “I don’t know, find something to do!” So we do.
CO leaves his office at 12, heading to lunch. He walks past my coworker (the same one he’d talked to the day before) wiping a wall with a rag. Coworker greets CO, “Good morning, sir!” CO stops and sees the coworker. Sees the coworker apparently only looks like he’s cleaning. CO is very, very not happy.
We go to lunch, get back, and get told to go home. It was no longer an issue after that”
4. Change Your Overtime Policy? Hello Three Day Weekends!
“A few years back I was working for a work truck manufacturing company. I really enjoyed the work I was doing and I was good at it. Unfortunately, this place had and still does have a reputation as a “revolving door” due to the disposable view they have of their techs.
We were referred to as “a heartbeat and tools” at one point by the GM. The turnover led to a severe imbalance in experienced vs inexperienced workforce and it was compounded by their answer to production slowdowns. They fired the bottom 20% every winter and would hire new techs with zero experience and mandatory overtime every summer.
The latter is the point of my story. I have always stood by the adage “I work to live. I don’t live to work,” meaning I don’t care for overtime. I budgeted my life to be able to turn down OT when offered.
I’m a team player and will always do my part when needed. However, this pattern of seasonal forced overtime was starting to wear thin.
At one point the company was bought out by a large corporation and some of our HR policies changed.
One change was overtime being calculated on a daily basis instead of weekly. Another change was having 10 unpaid personal days with no reason or notice required to use them. Of course, the average underpaid tech living paycheck to paycheck would never use an unpaid personal day.
The company knew that and it was strictly for PR. They could claim that employees had personal days even though they never intended for us to use them.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that with a forced 9.5-hour day (if they worked us 10 they would be required to give us another paid break) and OT calculated daily, I could call in on Fridays and use my unpaid personal day but still come out ahead.
32 regular hours plus 6 OT hours equals the equivalent of 41 regular hours. I decided I had enough and I was going to enjoy 10, 3-day weekends for my summer. After my third Friday off I was called into my manager’s office.
My manager, his manager, and the HR director were waiting for me. I was confronted about taking three Fridays off in a row and they demanded an explanation or excuse as to why I was taking them off. I calmly referred to our employee handbook which explains that no excuse or reason is required for personal days.
They asked how I could afford to use these unpaid personal days. I had nothing to hide, so I explained the math, much to their surprise. I was then lectured by management who told me I was abusing the system and I needed to stop or else.
The HR director immediately corrected them and told management there was nothing they could do because I was not breaking any rules. At that point, I was pretty heated. I told them “I’m one of your top performers and I know it.
If I am disciplined or fired I will assume it’s because of this meeting and I will seek legal counsel. I have not broken any rules and you should be grateful I haven’t pointed out this loophole to the other techs.”
I got one more Friday off before mandatory OT was discontinued.
I found out later that the general manager was reprimanded when he tried taking the issue to corporate. They found out he was forcing OT which was against the corporate policy. The following year the 10 unpaid days were turned into two extra vacation days.”
Another User Comments:
“It sounds like you need a labor union.
In your case, you could have refused a meeting with your manager until you had a representative from the union with you to advocate for you. Or your manager probably wouldn’t have messed with you in the first place.” Joscoglobal
3. Think You Can School Me About Ireland? Fine, But I Can Speak Irish, And You Can't
“Ok, so I’m born and raised in the U.S. and have always had a fascination with Ireland. I do have Irish ancestry, but my family has never been one to be vocal about it. We didn’t do the stereotypical Irish-American St.
Patrick’s Day stuff, hang Irish flags, or put Irish blessings on the wall.
I guess I got my love for Ireland by looking through books. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was younger, and they had a set of books about different countries.
I would spend all day looking through the one on Ireland. The gorgeous landscapes, the stone walls, the cottages – it all fascinated me.
When I was around 4, my grandparents, knowing my fascination with Ireland, gave me an illustrated book of Irish legends as a birthday gift, and it quickly became my favorite book of all.
I would always ask them to read me stories from it, and my favorite was the story of Tír na nÓg.
As I got older, my interest in Irish history and culture never waned, and I was determined to make it over there one day, and I’m happy to say I have accomplished that goal many times over now.
Many of my friends there are like family to me, and we keep in close contact.
Now, this was over a decade ago, but one weekend a friend and I were just grabbing some lunch and drinks at a local pub, and he was asking me about places to see in Ireland because I had just gotten back from there the previous week.
I named a few spots and this guy on the other side of me who is old enough to be my dad decides to butt in.
Him: Have you even been to Ireland? (said with a tone that suggests I have no business giving my friend advice on the subject).
Him: How many times? Once?
Him: Ohhh! (throws up his hands in mock surprise) Why don’t we sit at one of the tables here, and I can school you on Ireland?
I smile and happily comply by getting down from my bar stool and sitting in a chair at the low table behind us.
As he walks over to the table, I say “As Gaeilge, ceart?” (“In Irish, right?”)
He looks at me like I’ve got three heads. I decided to start throwing some of his own shade back at him and say it more slowly, “As…Gaeilge…CEART?!”
Now, one of the things that I did before my first trip was take Irish language classes at our local Irish cultural center.
The classes were taught by a woman who was a native speaker from Connemara. I also made a lot of friends with native speakers from west Kerry and Galway from my trips there, and they helped me with my Irish.
He still stands there clueless, so with casual sarcasm, I say “Oh, I figured that since you were about to school me on Ireland, it would only be fitting that we have the conversation in Irish! Certainly, an expert such as yourself would have no trouble with that!”
The look of defeat on his face was priceless! The condescending attitude quickly disappeared like the air escaping a deflating balloon.
His shoulders drooped, and he hung his head as he walked away without saying a word. My friend laughed his butt off, and we went back to our conversation. I’ve made five more trips to Ireland in the years since then, and the only disappointing part of any of it is not being able to stay longer.”
2. Want Us To Mow The Lawn? Can't Mow What You Don't Have
What a silly request!
“In college, I rented a house with a couple of roommates. We probably should have looked into the landlord a bit further before renting. But it was a bit of a small college town where the college had outgrown the available housing, so we were desperate for whatever we could get.
Shortly after signing the lease, a family member sent me an article about what a slumlord the landlord was. But there wasn’t much to do about it at that point. In the end, they were slow and cheap about fixing things, but they pretty much left us alone, unlike some of the other college town landlords.
So it wasn’t too bad.
The house had a small backyard. I believe that the yard had once contained a lawn. But one of the consequences of the landlords refusing to put any time or money into the place was that, when we moved in, the whole backyard was just a sea of tall weeds.
This didn’t really bother us, so we just left it. But apparently, it bothered one of our neighbors because they went to our landlord, who sent us a letter telling us that, according to the lease, it was our responsibility to take care of it.
I feel a bit bad for the neighbor here because they did have to live near this eyesore. But we didn’t create the problem. And we didn’t feel like it was our job to do something about it. So we took a look at the lease and found that it said (I’m paraphrasing here; this was a while ago), “It is the tenant’s responsibility to mow the lawn”.
After spending some time thinking about this, we came to the conclusion that what we had couldn’t rightly be called a lawn. And the lease only specified that we were responsible for mowing the lawn. So we sent back a letter saying, “We would be happy to mow the lawn if you would provide us with one”.
We really didn’t want to have to mow a lawn. We didn’t have a mower, and I’m sure that the landlord would not have provided us with one. But, by that point, we had become familiar with how cheap and lazy they were, and we bet that they would rather ignore our neighbor than either argue with us about it or replace the weeds with a lawn.
And we appear to have been correct because we lived there for probably another 3 and a half years and we never heard another word about it.
There are a couple of other funny stories about them, so here’s another quick bonus story: They were trying to sell most of their properties out from under their tenants.
At one point they brought someone in to tour our house while we were living in it. And the landlord, while giving the tour, had the audacity to ask US how the house was heated. When we pointed to the crappy furnace (not the HVAC kind – basically just a box that got hot), they asked “Aren’t there baseboard heaters in the bedrooms?” Which there was. In just one bedroom. Upstairs. Which never needed it, because it was upstairs and all the heat ended up there anyways.”
1. Continue Using The Old Template And Formula? Okay, But Calculations Won't Make Sense
“For those of you reading this that have never worked in audit let me give you some background. Each job is run by an audit manager, and basically, their word goes.
Now the first rule of audit is you start with the walkthroughs – going through the entire process with an example transaction, technically in case you need to make any changes to the testing approach or risk assessment, but practically its mostly so that you know what you’re doing for the testing.
But for this particular job, ‘Debra’ booked me in for a week of testing offsite before visiting the client for a walkthrough. And the working paper (spreadsheet we record test results on) was atrocious. I have 6 different reports for each sample transaction and the WP doesn’t detail which report the information is from.
The formula used to calculate errors is a mess, full of hard-coded figures. It’s a nightmare to follow.
As I’m working through the WP I’m making little changes. Adding in the report name. Moving columns around so they follow the order you encounter them on the report.
Changing the error calculations. I get it to a place I’m satisfied with it and hand it to Debra for review.
Well, Debra is not at all happy. She’s been doing this job for years and she liked it the way it was.
I explained why I made changes and asked which bits weren’t working for them and I could go back over those parts. As an example, there were parts of the paper that used different methods to display errors. I liked one better so I used it across the paper.
Debra surely couldn’t state that they liked it one way in one place but disliked it in another place, right?
Wrong. It was easier before, Debra says, she had to spend time trying to understand the changes, which meant it took longer to review.
And then Debra gives me the following instructions:
Just use last year’s template and enter this year’s data. Don’t change the template at all or any of the formula.
So I did exactly that.
It took about half an hour and the result was absolute nonsense.
Even a glance over it would reveal that the error calculations were glaringly incorrect.
I was hoping she’d immediately see this and we could have an adult discussion about how to change it.
A couple of months go by and nothing. I take a look at the file and the WP is completely different.
It’s not the same as last year’s and it’s not mine and at this point I’m livid. I drop in a feedback meeting because I tried to hand in work I was proud of and if it’s not good enough I want her to at least tell me how I can improve.
I just want Debra to engage with me at this stage.
It turns out Debra handed the job to someone else to redo. When they came back, Debra was still unhappy and redid it again herself; making many of the same changes I’d made initially.
As we run through I realize that Debra’s using a different report for the first section. So when she came to review it, she couldn’t tie my figures up to the correct report, gave up after the first section, and instead of explaining the problem in a way that I could go through and fix it, just asked it to be redone in the prior year’s format.
Of course, when I redid it I used the wrong numbers again.
Moreover, if Debra had booked the walkthrough before I did the work initially I’d have known which report to use and could have avoided the mess altogether.
The budget is blown out of the water with all the additional time on the job, but hey, unlike Debra, I’m not graded on that.”