People Reveal Their Whimsical Revenge Story
18. Tuck In Our Shirts While We're Massively Pregnant? Okay, But It Will Backfire
“Years ago, I worked at a certain big-box pet store with employees in blue shirts and poorly maintained fish tanks. Back then employees were required to tuck their uniform shirts into their khakis, with an exemption for pregnant female employees (which I was at the time of this occurrence).
I worked the registers with my untucked shirt with no issues for months while I was preggo. When I was about 8 months pregnant and just a few weeks shy of going on maternity leave, we got a new manager that was painfully clueless and stupid (isn’t that always the way?)
So one day, this manager calls me and the other main cashier (who was ALSO just as preggo as I was) into the office (with another manager as a witness) to tell us that we are fine cashiers, but our uniforms are lacking.
The other cashier and I are just “????” because we both had our khakis, uniform shirts, and black sneakers. Everything was neat and clean, so we both had no clue what he was talking about. I ask him what he is referring to, he replies that our shirts have to be tucked in. The other cashier and I have both been with the company for a while, and we are both SUPER familiar with the uniform policy, so she and I both object and let him know that pregnant employees are exempt from the tucking policy.
He waves his hand at us and says that we are incorrect and that all employees must tuck their shirts. The other manager that is there acting as a witness chimes in that we are correct, but our clueless manager cuts the witness manager off and says he knows what the policy is and that previous management was just being lax (they weren’t, pregnant employees were actually exempt). The other cashier and I shrug and leave the office to go tuck our shirts in.
The clueless manager left for the day right after talking to us.
Here’s where the malicious compliance comes in:
We tucked our shirts in for sure, but if you aren’t familiar with pregnant fashion, you essentially have two options for pants. Option 1 is using a belly band on your existing pants or using pants with a belly band attached already. A belly band is essentially a VERY wide elastic strap that goes around the baby bump to hold your pants up, which essentially puts the top edge of your pants at your ribs.
Option 2 is to do the hairband trick, which is to take an elastic hair tie and loop it through the buttonhole of your pants and around the button of the pants. This gives you a few extra inches of waist room in your pants to accommodate the baby bump (and also exposing your underwear/ lower abdomen since you cannot zip your fly). Both options look absolutely ridiculous and are meant to be concealed under a shirt, and they only get more ridiculous the more pregnant you are (which we were both HEAVILY pregnant by this time).
For those unfamiliar- by 8 months pregnant, you are basically Violet from Willy Wonka with an internal Oompa Loompa kicking you in the bladder every 20 mins.
So we both emerge (waddle gloriously) from the back room where we tucked in our shirts looking absurd. I had my shirt tucked into my belly band just below my chest, and the other cashier had hers tucked into her hairband-closed pants, below her belly, and with her leopard print underwear exposed.
Clueless Manager was already gone for the day so he was not present to see our magnificent uniform compliance. He wasn’t in for another two days, so he didn’t see our dutiful compliance, but all of our customers and coworkers sure did. Our regulars asked why we had our shirts tucked like that and of course, we obliged them and explained that the clueless manager insisted we tuck our shirts in to comply with the uniform policy.
For two full days (and part of that first shift after clueless manager left for the day), customer complaints to corporate about our treatment rolled in and coworkers called the employee hotline to report clueless manager. District manager is LIVID about the whole thing (which we found out on day 3).
On day 3 (return of clueless manager), he enters the store, sees the other cashier and me with our beautifully ridiculous uniforms, and asks why we are dressed like that.
“You told us to tuck our shirts in”. He gets red in the face and beelines to the office. He calls us into the office IMMEDIATELY and starts going off on us for not taking the uniform policy seriously. Mid-tirade the district manager arrives, FURIOUS. She turned to us preggo eggos and nicely told us to untuck our shirts and head back out to the floor before turning to the clueless manager and going ballistic on him for enforcing something that we preggos were exempt from.
Turns out that the clueless manager ruined our district manager’s days off because of all the complaints that came in about the two pregnant employees forced by a male manager to show their underwear/pregnancy attire in public due to an absurd uniform policy.
The complaints weren’t just about the manager, they were about the company uniform policy as well (the customers didn’t know the real policy). AND the employee hotline complaints as well. ALL of these had to be handled by the district manager ASAP because the sheer number of complaints in such a short time meant that the regional manager was breathing down the district manager’s neck to resolve the issue.
The district manager forced an apology to us out of clueless manager and treated us to lunch.
We also got our stools to sit on at the registers back (clueless manager took our stools away because “if you can lean, you can clean”). Clueless manager was sent to back HR training and fired shortly after for another similar violation (I was on maternity leave so I didn’t get to wish him farewell).”
Another User Comments:
“As a currently pregnant woman myself, I cannot applaud you more! This is just the most perfect malicious compliance. And cheers to your district manager for tearing clueless manager a new one. And cheers for your regular customers kicking up a storm on your behalf.
Pregnancy is a protected class, and this dimwit was opening the company up to a MASSIVE lawsuit. (He took your stools??? HE —TOOK— YOUR STOOLS??!?!??!!) Ugh, I am so glad he got fired, and you don’t have to work with him anymore.” hereeves2
17. Talk Bad To Your Woman? Get A Bad Potato
“I work as a server at a very large restaurant chain that serves unlimited soup and salad as an entree. I was seated with an older married couple during a lunch shift.
The woman was very sweet, but the man was very clearly on a power trip. He didn’t allow his partner to change her order, picked her drink for her, and interrupted her special salad request by stopping her mid-sentence and having her present her face to him so he could pick off an imaginary piece of lint.
She was embarrassed but was keeping the peace.
Because we are a high volume restaurant, our production line is a well-oiled machine that requires all food to be run through the computer and turns tickets for us in less than 10 minutes. However, servers build salads and portion out soups on their own to accommodate the demand for bottomless refills. The soup the man ordered for both of them sometimes comes with large slices of potato and can be one of our prettiest meals if plated properly.
The first round of soup I served to them had all of the ingredients but was missing the large pieces of the pretty potato because it was closer to the end of the soup.
After serving them their first round, he began to make sideways comments about the composition of the soups. Asking if we had a new cook, insisting that the recipe had changed, telling his woman to take a look at her bowl because she had potatoes “this time” on their second round.
I approached their table to see if they wanted a third round, and before I could speak he turned and barked “YES.” and rolled his eyes.
Cue petty revenge. All of my questions for the table were direct to her, and I prompted her with extra options, toppings from the salad bar, different drinks. A new cistern of this soup was brought out by the time I was pulling their third round. His lady received the largest slices of potato, plated high and beautiful, and he received the chopped bits every time. The man was disgruntled, but she was happy to engage.
He ended up stealing my favorite blue pen, but she left a nice tip under her last soup bowl. I can only hope that she felt seen during my short period of time waiting on her.”
16. Sure, We Can Clean Better
Can’t be perfect, buddy.
“I used to work at Best Buy in Geek Squad and usually, the people working the closing shifts had to clean up their departments and such. We had just gotten a new manager who was an outside hire from Circuit City.
He was trying to be tough and flex his management powers by being a meticulous jerk about cleaning during closing duties asking stuff like, “Did you clean UNDER the registers and Windex and dust, etc.” about every little thing.
A buddy of mine I was working with and I started our closing duties a little early since the store was pretty dead that night in order to be able to leave at a reasonable hour. We pretty much wrapped up 15 minutes after the store closed so we got the manager to do a walkthrough so we could leave. He’s looking around and everything seems to be in order until he looks behind some signage on a shelf and runs his finger through picking up some dust.
He has this poop-eating grin on his face and lets out a little weasely laugh and says, “Looks like you guys still have some work to do.” My buddy and I looked at each other and we both just knew what had to be done.
We cleaned the entire department top to bottom, inside and out. Every drawer was emptied, dusted, wiped down, brochures organized. Every computer in the back was moved and the shelves were dusted and wiped, floors were vacuumed twice, the top stock was neatly arranged, every inch of the department was gone over with a fine-tooth comb, twice in some spots just to take longer.
10 pm turned into midnight, everyone else was long gone except for us 3.
He was looking weary and tired. Midnight turned into 2 am and we were still going at it when he finally came out of the office red-eyed and exhausted and said: “Guys, let’s go.” “But we still haven’t dusted under the counters and…” “It’s fine, let’s go.” Buddy and I took our sweet time gathering our things and clocking out. We both were also off the next day and our manager had to be in early for a conference call, so it made it all that much better.
Every time he was the closing manager after that night, he never gave us trouble again, simply asking us if we were ready to go when the store closed. Justice prevails.”
15. Landlord Makes Up Lies To Keep My Deposit, So I Make Him File Bankruptcy
“I found this guy on Craigslist a few years ago. I like renting condos from private owners as opposed to renting apartments. Typically by renting a condo, it’s safer, you have more caring residents, you get to have a luxury apartment-style home with all the amenities, and you can negotiate the pricing, etc.
I am an excellent tenant, and anyone who I have rented from will tell you that. I paid a $1,000 deposit to move into this guy’s condo.
I was on a year lease. He lives in another state, but we were in the same time zone.
On month 8 of my lease, I came home to a door that wouldn’t open. I couldn’t get the door unlocked for anything! I had two keys on me. As much as I tried to turn them, I couldn’t. One of the keys even broke in the lock.
I waited two hours. I called, texted, and emailed my landlord, and he did not pick up! I thought maybe he had someone to change the locks for some reason.
I honestly didn’t know what to think and had no one to help me.
The lady who lived across from me saw me in distress as she was going into her apartment. I had never seen her, but she asked me if I was okay, and I explained to her that I couldn’t get into the apartment. She told me that she knows of an on-call locksmith. She gives me his number. I tell her thanks and reach out to my landlord a few more times.
No response. I had no choice but to call the locksmith; plus, I really had to use the restroom!
The locksmith arrives and could not get the door unlocked with my key. He says he can replace the lock for like $100. I told him I was renting a condo and couldn’t get in touch with the owner and didn’t know when would be the next time I could get in touch with him. After he took the lock off, he told me it was faulty.
So he replaced the lock.
I told the landlord this via email and text and voicemail and told him that I could send him copies of the keys if he wanted.
Ok, so fast forward to the end of my lease.
I demand that he does a walk-through with me. He said he wouldn’t. I told him that if he didn’t do a walk-through, I would be notifying the condo office (as he did not have permission to sublease by the association). He then had a friend to serve as his “proxy” to come to meet me and walk through the unit.
The place was SPOTLESS! I know how to clean. I took multiple photos and videos and showed his proxy (who is a police officer) the unit.
Actually, they are both police officers who used to work together. We both literally tested ALL the appliances, faucets, checked the blinds, carpets, hardwood… EVERYTHING!
His proxy gave me the “okay” and said that everything looked great.
I give his proxy the keys and later that night left for my new city.
So, fast forward to a month later, I haven’t heard from him about my deposit. He ignored all my emails and phone calls.
He finally gets back to me two months after I moved out and has all this ridiculous, made-up stuff about how I damaged his unit:
Scratches on the hardwood floor.
He made it seem like I damaged his door by getting the lock replaced.
He said there were scratches on the outside of his door.
Rust here and there.
Oven was broken.
Shake my head: just all straight-up lies! I would NEVER leave a unit in that condition! He sent me an “itemized” list of all the “charges” that magically came out to be $1,000.
The same as my deposit!
He was always planning to keep my money. He wanted that money to either ball on it or upgrade his condo.
I hated him!
I decided I wasn’t going to go to court because I had moved to a different state and live alone, but I thought of something… He rented to me under the table and likely didn’t claim my rent payments as earned income. I had all my wire transfers on my bank statement.
I had his routing and account number and a copy of his driver’s license as we agreed to swap IDs when I signed the lease to make sure I wasn’t getting scammed. I found his out-of-state address online, gathered all my bank statements, gathered his bank account numbers, and made a report with the IRS!
About a few years later, I check up on things and that jerk lost his condo and lost everything he owned in bankruptcy! I paid for and downloaded his court records and saw proof that he lost everything including his condo and cars and had his bank accounts seized.
I’m not sure if he has gone to jail or anything, but I’m so glad he finally got his karma!
Ironically, he stole money from me that I gave him to rent a condo, and he ends up losing that same condo to bankruptcy.
Screw him and anyone who calls him a friend! He can rot for all I care.”
14. Not Allowed To Drive The Rental? Looks Like I Can't Be The Designated Driver After All!
Wouldn’t want to cause any problems with your insurance!
“I had a group of very fun, and very nerdy college friends. One of them lived 11 hours away by car and had grown up attending a local Renn Faire with their family. Their family was also gracious enough that they liked to invite my friend’s friends down for Faire each year and host everyone! The first time I went with them there were four of us in one little car.
Very simple. The second time I went with everyone, there were 9 of us total. Our host friend had their own vehicle by that point, so 4 of us rode in there. Our other friend decided to rent a really nice SUV to take the last 5. I was one of the lucky ones to ride in the SUV.
Because this was such a long drive, before we set out, I spoke with my friend who had the rental.
We’ll call her Christina.
Me: “Hey Christina! It’s going to be a super long drive. I’m very comfortable driving on the freeway, so if you get tired, I’m more than happy to take the wheel if needed!”
I don’t remember her exact words, but I do remember that her tone implied that she thought the suggestion was the stupidest she’d ever heard.
Christina: “Oh, absolutely not, Kitharion. My insurance only covers me. Nobody else can drive the rental. Period.
End of conversation. I need you to ride shotgun and attend to my every whim while I drive, though. Nobody else coming with us is used to long road trips.”
I’ll be honest, I was caught off guard but also understood where she was coming from. If the worst-case scenario happened, and I was driving, that would be really bad, so I agreed.
Fast forward, we have about 4 hours left until our destination. Over the walkie-talkie, the other car lets us know their driver needs a break, but unfortunately, nobody else in that car has a license.
We page back, I’ll be taking over for them at the next rest stop! I can tell Christina is dying to take a break. She looks completely miserable. I had kept her supplied with snacks and water and was very attentive to her song requests. But 7 straight hours of driving is tough!
But, nobody else is allowed to drive the rental so I don’t say anything.
One of the more awake passengers takes my place as copilot, I take over as driver in the other car, and we successfully make it to our destination!
We have dinner, go to bed and the next day carpool to the Faire grounds in our host’s parents’ SUV (seated 6) and Christina’s rental (seated 8) along with the 3 extras we picked up from our host family.
Christina drove and reiterated to our host mom that nobody else was allowed to drive her rental.
We have a full day of fun and medieval debauchery and then head back to the house. Upon arriving and getting changed into modern clothing, we learn that our host’s father’s band was playing at a small pub a few miles away! Hurrah! We’re all over 21 and excited to do some public drinking with a bunch of other plague nerds! We start to discuss driving arrangements.
8 of us want to attend the festivities. Great! We can all fit in the rental!
Christina looks at me. I can see the weariness in her eyes. She says to another friend who was accompanying us “Wow. I would love to have a couple of drinks tonight.” She’s exhausted. She drove all day yesterday, and spent the whole day in a corset and hoops under the hot sun today! She looks at me again.
“Hey, Kitharion… Do you think you could DD tonight?”
Cue Malicious Compliance.
“Oh, no! Christina, you made it very clear that nobody else can drive the rental! I wouldn’t want to mess up your insurance premiums if something went wrong!”
And so, Christina drove everybody to the show and I proceeded to get good and intoxicated nice and fast so that she wouldn’t have a chance to ask me again. She was very sober and very angry and made me ride in the other car on the long drive back to campus the next day. The end!”
13. You're Sure You Want No Salt Whatsoever? Whatever The Customer Wants!
“So this was a while ago, so I might be fuzzy on the details, as this was back when I worked at a burger joint in the middle of a small city. A small one, but it gave me a chuckle.
Some dude walks in, with the most condescending look on his face as he looks around our establishment. We advertised as a place that catered to dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, organic, and religious diets, and this dude at least doesn’t look like the type such a place caters to, but I don’t get paid to judge.
He orders a typical burger (the joint’s default) but with no salt on the patties. Not a problem — people have done this before; we easily prepare an unsalted double patty burger.
This time, however, when he bites it his face is a look of disgust.
Me: Is something wrong, sir?
Customer: There’s way too much salt on this burger!
Me: That’s strange. We didn’t put any salt on your burger, as you asked.
Customer: As if! When I say no salt, I MEAN IT! I am on a no-salt diet as per my doctor’s orders!
Me: Oh, really? Well, why didn’t you say that to begin with? Let me just make a new burger for you.
Our place had special policies the moment a medical history or specific diet was mentioned.
(4 minutes later, handing him a lettuce-wrapped double patty with no pickles or bacon)
Customer: What on Earth is this? This isn’t a burger!
Me: Actually sir, it is a properly salt-free burger, as you requested.
Customer: But there’s not even a bun!
Me: Our burger buns are made with salt.
Customer (now studying the burger closely): Where are the toppings I asked for?!
Me: Our bacon and pickles are both heavily salted.
Since your salt-free request is a result of a dietary restriction, not just a request, we are obligated to remove any instances of the ingredient in question. Don’t worry; we didn’t charge you for the bacon.
The customer then bit into the burger, stating that it was terrible. Not just that the lettuce wrap was far inferior but that the meat was tasteless. Well, I’m sorry sir, but not only did you ask for no salt (hence the tasteless), you triggered our establishment’s dietary policy by making your request based on a medical need.
My manager had to explain to him that if he wanted a new burger, he would have to pay for it.
To clarify, yes we took dietary restrictions seriously; it wasn’t just some nonsense for marketing.
That’s why we had to change the order so drastically; otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered. Yes, we were aware that salt dietary restrictions are very serious for some people — that’s why as I stated when someone did mention it as being a dietary restriction, we typically asked for more details, like if bread was still okay. Some people even switched to vegetarian or vegan burgers. I usually tried to warn them when that happened because our veggie burgers weren’t Impossible burgers or anything; they were literal vegetable patties, and they weren’t that good in my opinion.
However, we’d dealt with enough malingerers (people making up diagnoses for attention) that we were pretty sure about this guy.
No, we did not normally treat customers like this, people were generally much nicer than this, and those that weren’t were usually easily spotted & caught malingerers. We’d comp’d or remade meals for people plenty of times because we screwed up the dietary needs on their order.
No, I do not think this particular customer really had the restriction because 1.
he was surprised to hear that bacon and pickles were super salty, and 2. he got angry with us for trying to adhere to his restriction.
If he really did, I wish him the best in that endeavor, and I hope we didn’t turn him away from adhering to the restriction, but don’t be a jerk to the people trying to help you. This wasn’t a malicious confrontation until he started getting angry because of the taste of the first burger.
No, you cannot visit (or boycott) the place now because both locations in my state already went bankrupt.
Turns out, the places had never made a cent in profit in the 6 years they were open because advertising a $7 burger primarily to people who don’t want to eat at other burger places is a terrible business model. There are other locations open but only a couple in California and like a dozen in the Middle East. I can’t speak for them.”
Another User Comments:
“We once had a guy who claimed all kinds of different allergies (three different times in 15 minutes, the allergens kept changing) and was enough of a jerk with specific and frankly not possible changes.
He eventually changed his tone, and “it wasn’t an allergy after all, more of a preference” once we couldn’t, not just wouldn’t, fulfill his requests. Unfortunately for him, we heard “allergy,” we couldn’t just accommodate and take that risk of triggering his allergies after that.
Maybe he shouldn’t have been such a jerk about it…” Mydaskyng
12. Just Do It Myself Since I Care So Much About It? I Sure Will!
And you won’t get any credit since you don’t want to help.
“To start the semester, we were put in assigned teams for two group projects, then one massive final project that was nearly half our grade and was made up of a presentation and a final report (to be submitted after the presentation with edits made based on feedback). The premise of the presentation was that we research a company, identify strategic challenges, then present our recommendations.
Of course, we had to include background analysis, and our recommendations couldn’t just be basic ones if we wanted high grades, but when I read it I thought, “Man, a 5 person team can do this easily.”
If only I knew the power of the jinx I unloaded on myself.
To start, one team member (Clueless) never responded when I sent emails asking for phone numbers to make a group chat. Then another (Ghost) did absolutely nothing for the two group projects.
My kind of friend and Imposter, however, did participate in those with me, and in one case they actually did more of the work. (I will say however that the project they did more work on was a 1-2 page paper, so it wasn’t exactly a challenge).
Despite Ghost and Clueless doing ghost and clueless things, I felt good about the final project. Imposter and Kinda Friend appeared to be competent team members capable of doing a decent amount of work.
This was great since Kinda Friend and I were both seniors so our motivation levels were approaching 0. Having another helping hand who was more motivated would help motivate us.
I knew we were in trouble when we started working on a rough draft of the report. In my eternal wisdom, I thought “Making the 20-minute final presentation will be easier if we do all of the gritty work of the report first, so let’s make a rough draft and then go from there.”
I initially didn’t want to do too much, but the annoyance in my soul at Ghost and Clueless powered me to work for 2-3 hours for a week straight on the project.
I was able to finish 2/3 of our rough draft paper, leaving 1/3 for 4 other people. I also completed the most difficult parts of our paper, so I assumed that my team could easily handle the rest.
At the same time, I also started our presentation. I created a theme and set out the framework for how things should be ordered to make it easier on my team.
Despite my efforts, Kinda Friend suffered what I would call the being lazy disease, and claimed she couldn’t figure out how to do her section of the paper.
Feeling generous, I wrote it for her and then created the slides for it.
Imposter finally did his single section and then created his slides. The only problem, however, was that his information was completely wrong, looked like it was written by my 3-year old cousin, and was arguing against our main argument. Feeling befuddled, I asked him to correct, well, everything.
His edits sucked. I then did it myself.
At this point, we were t-minus 3 days from the final presentation.
Clueless finally remembers that he has work to do in a team, and frantically reaches out. I graciously allow him to complete a single slide so that he feels welcomed. Ghost hasn’t been heard from in weeks.
At this point, the anger in my soul is immense. What should have been a breeze to the end of my time in university was becoming a grind that I did not care for. I’m a perfectionist, however, and I was shooting for grade honors at my school, so I would not accept less than an A in this dumb class when I had tougher classes to worry about.
I also am a petty and vengeful human when I feel wronged, and I felt pretty wrong. The idea for a master plan was beginning to form, but my team could still redeem themselves.
Ghost then no-showed our final presentation. My teammates all didn’t remember anything from their slides despite me trying to organize practice time (and being ignored) and one even forgot the order of his three slides. Cue frantically flicking through to find the info he wanted to talk about.
I was now approaching critical mass.
My team did no work despite their responsibilities being painfully easy, and they nearly botched the entire presentation that I spent hours working on. The idea of my team receiving any credit for the work I did was a thorn in my side.
It finally boiled over when we were making the final report edits. Clueless was writing something just magnificently bad, not relevant, and not needed. I politely asked him to fix this, but he refused, telling me to worry about my own sections.
Considering I was the only person who actually knew anything, I was angry. When he signs off, I fix his awful work and then move on with my life.
The next day, I wake up to a quite angry message, signed off with a message telling me that, “If you care so much about this report, then just do it all yourself. I’m done!”
That is when the volcanic eruption of my anger and pettiness exploded.
The compliance was actually easy- too easy.
I’d already done 2/3 of the work myself, and the remaining 1/3 of the work was stupidly easy.
I created a new final presentation document with my name alone and began swapping my new and improved edits to it. I also included all the graphics, charts, and tables I’d made for our PowerPoint.
Writing my team members’ sections was easy, as it was simply busywork. In one day I did it all, and I went all out. I’ve never grinded so hard in my life at an assignment, and that’s including the grind I’d already done.
The report was due three weeks after our presentation.
I spent one week straight working on it, each day double checking my work and including layers and layers of citations, appendices, etc. The second week I spent reviewing and fact-checking. I spent the third week drinking with my friends.
When it came to submission time, I easily sent mine in when it opened. I made sure to include a note as well to my professor about how it was my report, and mine alone.
During this time, my team occasionally texted in the group chat, but not a single person noticed my lack of texting or messaging.
When it came submission time, no one said a thing until two hours after the deadline, when a team member asked me if I’d submitted it. I said yes.
Several days after the due date, I receive an email from my professor. He asks me to come in for a meeting.
At this meeting, he grills me about my submission, my team’s work, basically everything to see if I was lying. I explained the entire thing to him, as well as showing how I’d done basically everything (the platform we used for the PowerPoint and report shows who made what edits, so it was very clear that I’d done everything).
I get a bit of a lecture about how I should’ve come forward sooner, but he tells me that my report was the best one he’s seen in years, and combined with how good I performed during the presentation, he was giving me an A.
After that, he told me not to worry about the team anymore and to have a good graduation.
Eventually, I found out that my entire team, barring myself, received a 0. Ghost and Clueless would have to retake the class, meaning that they were not graduating. I felt bad about Kinda Friend getting a 0 but I gave her all the chances in the world to do literally anything. It always turned into “BurritoDeleter23 I just can’t think of how to do this! Can you?” She also was already taking summer classes to graduate, so whatever.
I got some mean messages from Ghost, Clueless, and Imposter, and I’m not sorry to say that I responded in kind. I know some of you may disagree with my actions, but I felt it was warranted and do not care.
If you’re ever in a team for class, always try to be nice and attempt to do some work. I wouldn’t have done this if my team did the bare minimum and acknowledged the work I did, but they chose to do neither.”
11. Don't Tell You "How To Do Your Job?" Get Caught By The Boss
“I work for a company that gets hired to do the grunt work at large concerts. Basically, we set the gig up in the morning then tear it back down at night.
Two things you need to know first that are relevant to this story; Firstly this is a job that has the potential to be inherently dangerous. You’re working with very heavy equipment, and sometimes at a decent height off the ground, so there is always the possibility that you’ll either fall off of something and do some damage, or something will fall on you and do some damage.
To give you an example, one load-in we were working on, one of the trucks was packed from top to bottom, side to side, and front to back with flight-cases. This is dangerous since it gives the people unloading the truck no breathing space to unload. While trying to get the first case off the truck, one of my co-workers lost his balance and fell off the ramp. Luckily, I was standing in the perfect place to catch him and cushion his fall.
If I hadn’t have been there, he’d have fallen just over five feet and landed flat on his back on solid concrete, which could have done serious damage to his back. So, as you can imagine, health and safety are quite a big deal to our boss. We’re required to wear a hard hat and steel toe-capped boots when we’re working, and when we first apply for the job, we’re given a sizeable document on health and safety to read, and we go through a health and safety briefing before we start our first shift.
Secondly, we start every shift by unloading trucks.
Depending on the size of the show we’re working on, we have anywhere from five to thirty trucks to unload. Generally, we’ll start unloading the trucks, and bit by bit, some of us will be called to start assembling some freshly unloaded staging or rigging.
This story involves a gentleman we’ll call Kevin. Kevin’s an older guy, maybe in his early sixties, and started working for the company at the same time I did, although he worked similar jobs when he was my age, in the late ’70s and early ’60s.
Kevin’s a perfectly affable guy, and it’s always entertaining hearing about his experiences from working back in the day. However, Kevin is a little bit lax when it comes to health and safety. He’s compliant with most of our guidelines, but some things he’s a little bit less compliant with. The one thing he does that annoys everyone is sending down flight-cases without checking that someone is on the ramp to take the case from him.
A little bit of flight-case etiquette; when you send a small-ish flight-case down a ramp (one that one person can wheel along the floor to its destination), you make sure there’s one person on the ramp to grab the case and make sure it doesn’t speed down the ramp and go flying into the middle of the arena floor, and at least one person on each side to guide the case down the ramp. These cases might be light enough that one person can wheel one across the floor solo, but they’re heavy enough that it’s gonna hurt if a runaway one hits your leg.
Kevin doesn’t do this with the smaller cases, and this annoys everyone else. We’ve told him several times, but it goes in one ear and out the other.
In one particular show, we had ten trucks to unload, and by the time we were on truck number nine, everyone else bars me, Kevin and a few others had been allocated a job setting up a part of the show. The last truck was late, it had broken down en route to the venue.
After we were finished with truck number nine, we were allowed to take a smoke break while we waited for the last truck to arrive. We confronted Kevin outside, and he told us;
“Stop telling me how to do my job. I know what I’m doing”
So we all nodded and went to smoke. The final truck arrived not long after, and we went to go and gut it. We opened the trailer doors, put the ramp in place, and Kevin and another co-worker got on the truck and started unloading the cases.
Our boss, John, walked over to our truck, and one of us said;
“Hey John, would you mind helping us unload, we’re a man down?”
John obliged, and walked up to the ramp to get the first case. Just as he stepped foot on the ramp, Kevin launched his first middle. John caught the case, then told Kevin to go with him for a chat. I jumped on the truck and took Kevin’s place. We gutted the truck in about twenty minutes, then we were delegated to setting up the drum risers for the stage that we’d just unloaded. Kevin came back to join us, and we heard later that John had given Kevin a warning, and if he was ever caught breaking health and safety rules again, he’d be fired.”
10. Straighten My Priorities? I Will... By Quitting
“I always thought about this awful job I had, and I just knew I had to have a malicious compliance story from it. Crazy how I never thought of it until now…
So in 2018, I was a freshman in college, and after being unemployed for a month, I took a job at a major sports department store where they don’t wear blue. So my store manager, who we’ll call Daniel, was a major jerk. He’d make crude jokes that get him reported to HQ, gossip about employees to other ones, and generally favor men over women (which I’ll explain).
So I worked at this store for nearly a year, and the turnover rate was abysmal.
They’d hire many people who were still in high school and expected them to devote 20 hours a week, which, of course, was not what they’d sign up for as many wanted about 12-15 since they were involved in extracurricular activities. However, Daniel showed no remorse and would even drive people to quit by either dropping their hours to less than 5 or hiking them up to 30, knowing that they couldn’t work them, which often left us understaffed.
The store was attached to a mall, so we got a lot of petty traffic that would turn into actual sales.
However, due to the lack of training by Daniel and his poor oversight in appointing people to train new hires, the customer service in the store was falling dramatically, which halted sales, which led to a decrease in merchandising. The store was a $12,000,000 store when I started but had fallen to $8,000,000 in a few months because HQ was losing money by stocking a poorly managed store. Daniel took out his frustration on the staff, and here is where the malicious compliance starts:
Daniel was on a “good reviews” crusade and often demanded us to comply with the customer, even if they were dead wrong, just so they’d leave a good review.
I worked in footwear, and there is nothing like the anger that arises when telling someone that the oh-so-popular shoe that they desire is out of stock in their size. Because a customer got upset with me over their size being out of stock, I was charged with cleaning the bathrooms. I never did this, because, like the overachiever I am, I learned how to work in multiple departments without getting a raise. Thus, Daniel was a wee bit appreciative and never asked me to clean it.
Now, I am easily disgusted. The mere thought of rotten food or bugs or anything I deem ungodly deplorable with gets me dry heaving. And I explained this to Danny boy, but he replied with “just get it done.” So, I and Brent went to clean the men’s bathroom (since it was a two-person job), and might I mention that Brent’s disgust-o-meter is also not tolerant. So we sprayed Febreeze, took out the trash, and ran out of there for our lives.
Leaving the dirtied mirrors, toilet paper floors, and feces-stained walls untouched.
I came in the next day and was told that I did an awful job and that I was never to clean the bathrooms again. So when Daniel asked me to do it a few weeks later, I reminded him of his instructions, and we all watched in marvel as a manager cleaned it (which he said was a big deal since it was not in his job description but yet it wasn’t in any of ours either since he had told many of us that the store had janitors in our interviews).
But, that’s just a mini malicious compliance.
See, I had grown tired of Daniel in my waiting months at the store. Many of my friends had quit or found better jobs, the hires got worse, and Daniel got much ruder. He attempted to show dominance at any chance he could and even forced a “do we have a problem here” convo with me when I didn’t rush to change into the new company uniform, which was not my size, because I was helping a customer.
Which then resulted in me getting chewed out because my “chest was popping out” and my “figure was showing too much” as a result of the medium shirt I was forced to wear. But Daniel committed to his paladin-esque crusade and denied us basic human rights in the spirit of good customer service. A pregnant coworker with a doctor’s note was denied a chair while working at the register, a coworker with seething cramps was not allowed to go home though she couldn’t stand, and another was barred from taking off to witness her daughter’s prom send-off.
But in contrast, a guy left his phone at home and he was allowed to not only get it but take the rest of the day off. Another called in because of a hangover and was told to rest up and that he wouldn’t receive a strike. And his favorite star boy was allowed to disappear often and be on his phone right in front of Daniel, and he didn’t even bat an eye. Even the men there were obliged to the notion that they were treated far better than the female staff.
And one day, Daniel chose to single me out.
Not to toot my own horn, but I am a very hard worker. And Daniel abused that by scheduling me my shifts in different departments and speed training me, knowing I’d catch on quickly. I even had to train new employees though I wasn’t a lead, because I “got good reviews, and conducted the most footwear services last year.” And after I demanded a raise, my $11 an hour; 35-45 hours a week summer paychecks were looking nice in spite of the horrible managing.
But school started up again, and I informed Daniel that I needed to return to the somber 15 hour weeks that I had last semester. He said that I was lying and that he never gave me such little hours, till I hit him with a pic of the schedule that I had from March. He didn’t like that chin tap, and replied with, “I’ll see what I can do.”
So next week, I see the schedule and see that not only was I scheduled from 12 am-6 am for inventory, but those also were my only hours.
6. Hours. But I think, “Oh, they ain’t doing you dirty, KV; this is obviously a mistake.” So I seek out Danly the Manly and tell him of his mistake and responds with:
Daniel: “That wasn’t a mistake; you said you needed fewer hours.”
KV: “Yes, but I can’t work past 10 because I have school, and I just wanted to drop to about 15-20 hours. Which is more than I did last semester.”
Daniel: “Well, everybody has to work inventory.”
KV: “But Lindy and Richy don’t have it because they also have school.
Plus, Lindy, Richy, and Michael all have more hours than me, but they’re all in high school and just started working here.”
Daniel: (noticing he is running out of excuses) “Well, they are more available than you, and we award availability. If you can free up some time, then maybe we can talk in a month. But you need to get your priorities straight.”
You got it, dude!
So as someone who takes disrespect with a pillar of salt.
I considered quitting right then and there, but my anxiety kicked in, and began to worry about cash flow. So I went home on my break and complained to my family, and my mom so eloquently expressed:
“Just quit the job if it got you this stressed out! It ain’t like you got a family to feed.”
So I took my single, no child-having, empty-bellied behind up there and worked the last two hours of my shift. The air in the building hit differently knowing I wouldn’t have to spend more time in it awake than I did my own home.
I was calm, cleaned the footwear deck efficiently, and made sure I was the last to clock out. As I approached Daniel at the exit I said:
“So yeah, this will be my last day here. I got my priorities straight, and school is my number 1. I recently got an internship there, and I’ll just go there because they are more accommodating to my needs as a student. Thanks for the time here, sucks that we couldn’t work it out”
And with that, I watched his face turn white, and he said something about not being able to work for the company again due to my lack of a two weeks notice. Didn’t care, was never going to work there again, and now every time I come to the mall and he happens to see me, he doesn’t look me in the eyes, speak to me, and rushes away from the counter so he doesn’t have to ring me up.
You got what you wanted Dan.”
9. Force A Co-Worker To Stop A Difficult Job? Get Put In Their Place
“Early last year, I started working as a contractor supporting one of the many government agencies here in the U.S. My job description was pretty simple: act as administrative support for a particular Federal employee. In effect, I’m a glorified secretary. I push papers, schedule and file things, and act as a gofer whenever necessary. The job wasn’t particularly difficult, but it really helped that the Fed and I got along like a house on fire.
The problem is, the Fed I work for doesn’t get along with another Fed who works in the same office. Their job descriptions have nothing to do with each other, and there is really very little need for them to interact with each other, but for some reason (which I still don’t know) there was bad blood between them.
Our office went from a steady workload to a maximum telework position, and just like that, there was no work for the contractors to do.
No more pushing papers. No more scheduling or filing things. And no more acting as a gofer. Just long days sitting in my cubicle reading Reddit on my phone.
The Fed I support decides that we’ll take the opportunity to clean out two offices in another building that haven’t been used for years, so they can be repurposed. They’d sat idle for years because no one wanted to clean them. These rooms are filthy, with electronics that were old in the ’90s, old breakroom food, cables everywhere…the works.
As we get started, I’m happy to be there, as cleaning these rooms means I finally have something to do. Better yet, the Fed I worked for was right there with me, elbow-deep in garbage. After the first day, we have made solid progress on one of the rooms, but it took eight hours of hard labor to get there. I go back to my cubicle to gather my things to go home and find the other Fed waiting for me.
“Where have you been all day?”
“I’ve been in the other building helping my Fed clean out a room.”
That’s not in your job description. You don’t need to be helping this person do that.”
“I really don’t mind. It’s better than sitting around on the government’s dime, doing nothing. And besides, my job is to support this person. If they want me to help clean out a room, I’m more than happy to help.”
“No, you can’t be doing that. If it’s not in your job description, then it’s not your job. This Fed should know better than to take advantage of your good nature and make you do work that you weren’t hired for.”
You’re going to have to take that up with my Fed. As far as I know, my job is to support this person in whatever way they need, including physical labor.”
“We’ll see about that.”
The next day, my Fed and I go back to the other building to work. We’re ten minutes into cleaning when the other Fed shows up with a member of the Union in tow. The Fed then rips into my Fed for ‘forcing’ me to do work outside of the scope of my duties, and brought the Union representative to back up this opinion.
The funny thing was, the Union rep had no idea what he was doing there: neither my Fed nor I are members of the Union, and his opinion really had nothing to do with the situation. The other Fed brought him in to use as a prop. To his credit, he seemed to know that, because he just gave us an uncomfortable shrug with a look like “I have no idea why I’m here either” and said nothing at all.
Rather than fight about it, my Fed surrenders gracefully, and the two of us reluctantly leave the uncleaned rooms behind.
A week later, I was sent home after guidance came down from Washington saying that since there was no work being done, contractors were no longer needed to support the Feds on staff. I sat home for about a day, before getting a call from my company telling me another division needed me. This would be a permanent change of office, I could start immediately.
Fast forward several months to November. I’m happily working away in my new office when the Fed who had a problem with my helping clean the rooms comes in to speak with some of the employees in my new office.
This person is absolutely livid, because the two rooms had finally been reassigned, but still needed to be cleaned before they could be turned over to their new owners. This Fed was called into work specifically to clean the rooms–despite still being on maximum telework status–because there was no one else they could call. All of the contractors who had supported them had already been reassigned, and there was nothing in this person’s job description that said they couldn’t be assigned this particular duty.
Apparently, it took almost two weeks of backbreaking labor to clean out the rooms until they were good enough to transfer. The best part was, this person seems to have completely forgotten what part I had to play in this little drama, because when they came to my office to complain about the injustice of it all to anyone who would listen… They stood right in front of my desk to do so. I got to hear every word of the story right from the horse’s mouth.”
8. Don't Screw Me Out Of My Holiday Pay
“When I was hired for the job which I currently work, I was hired to work on Tuesday through Saturday from 2 PM to 10 PM.
This had been my schedule for months, never changing (as I was verbally told that this was my set schedule, I even clarified this because I had to arrange childcare). For example, one week I was accidentally left off the schedule entirely and was told to just work my normal schedule.
Around Thanksgiving time, we closed down for a week. The company policy is that you have to work your last scheduled shift before the break and your first scheduled shift after in order to get your holiday pay.
On the Monday following Thanksgiving (remember I’m normally off on Mondays), I got a call saying I was scheduled to work and that because I didn’t come in I wouldn’t get my holiday pay. This kind of angered me because I had been told I would work Tuesday-Saturday and thus had only arranged childcare those days, so I couldn’t come in that day if I wanted to.
The exact phrase I was told over the phone was “It is your responsibility to check the schedule every week because we don’t have set schedules.”
Fast forward to this week.
While checking the schedule, I noticed that my schedule is the same as normal with the exception that I am off the schedule on Saturday. So, I decided to not look a gift horse in the mouth and just take the 3 day weekend and don’t mention to my boss that she left me off.
So Saturday (which I normally would work), I don’t go in since I’m not scheduled. I got a call from work and didn’t answer (no voicemail left).
Then I receive a text from my boss saying that my schedule “never changes” and it will be a no call/no show on my attendance record for not coming in to work. I reply that I am not on the schedule and so I’m not required to come in, as it is my responsibility to check the schedule every week because we don’t have set schedules.
I received no further reply and am looking forward to seeing how work goes on Tuesday.
Forgot to mention this, but I took a picture of the schedule to make sure that I can prove I was off on the schedule in case my boss tries to write me up. I do have a new job lined up and am just waiting for my start date before I quit this one.
Before work today, I had a follow-up interview yesterday for the new job I mentioned.
I was offered the position I wanted and was told I can start as soon as I want. I came into work today intending to work the shift today before leaving as it’s the last day of the pay period.
When I got to work today, I clocked in and didn’t see any managers or anything, so I started working. After 15 minutes or so, my boss came out and asked, “the803project, you really couldn’t come in on Saturday?” Obviously, they knew the answer and I said no.
They then asked me what I was doing that I couldn’t work my usual shift; I replied that it wasn’t their concern what I do on a day I’m not at work. They simply nodded quietly and walked away.
About an hour later, the boss came over and asked to see me for a minute. I go to their office and there is a manager (they are above me and lower than the boss) sitting in there as well.
A condensed version of the discussion: Boss has a write-up and gives me a spiel about the attendance policy and said I have to get written up for a no call/no show. I refused to sign the write-up, as I wasn’t scheduled, so I couldn’t NC/NS a shift is not scheduled for. Manager seemed a little confused (I don’t think they were told that boss didn’t put me on the schedule and that’s why I didn’t show up), so I pull the picture up of the schedule on my phone and show it to manager, who then agrees with me that it isn’t an NC/NS.
Boss said I know what my normal schedule is as a full-time employee and so I should have clarified that it wasn’t a mistake. I said it wasn’t my responsibility to double-check the schedule they put out and reminded them that I was told my responsibility was to check the schedule every week because we don’t have set schedules. Boss said something about “for future reference…” about working my normal schedule and I said okay and asked if I could go now.
I debated whether or not to stay the rest of the shift before deciding to go ahead and leave, so I wrote and signed (and documented) a note saying I was quitting effective immediately and I left it on the boss’ desk and told a manager on my way to the time clock.
This is the first and only time I’ve quit without giving two weeks’ notice.”
7. Think You Can Bully Me? I'll Literally Throw You
“Little bit of backstory. I was a bit on the heavy side back then.
And by bit, I mean I was the biggest guy in size in school. So got bullied a lot. Mostly verbal. The few times it got physical, I didn’t retaliate. So almost everyone knew how much of a softy I am. Which made me a prime target for the whole school. Also, the school was an all-exclusive boys’ school.
On to the story. I was called a lot of names back then.
Chubby, fatty, big lorry. Anything big in size gets associated with my name. There’s this one guy, who I’ve known since the first grade, let’s call him DB (he’s a total d-bag), who has been relentlessly bullying me since the first time he laid eyes on me.
I am kind of a nerd. Just love computers and anything related to technology. Which DB didn’t like. Because his IQ is mostly a double-digit and he had trouble figuring things out.
So at the start of 8th grade, we could take an extra class that taught us current technology and stuff. DB stayed at the back of the class and got in a lot of trouble with the teacher because he was disruptive. The technology department is located on the first floor of the school. This will be important later.
I had already complained a lot to the school administration about the bullying and even had my parents involved during the 4th grade.
He only got a slap on the wrist. Because his father was a friend of the School’s VP (Vice Principal). VP had filed numerous reports about DB but had never taken any action. Oh and the time my parents got involved, he said, ‘boys will be boys. They’re just having fun. They’ll grow up and look back to those moments and have a laugh. Who knows. Your kid might even lose weight just to impress them.’ My parents were helpless in this situation.
So at the start of 8th grade, the bullying started. And this time it was mostly physical. Punching me on the arm. Slapping the back of my head. My father had always taught me to turn the other cheek and always to respect others. Even if they do something wrong to you.
Exactly one month after the start of the school year, my father couldn’t bear it anymore. That was the day my father gave me the best advice that he has given me.
‘Son. You have the size and strength to overcome many things. Next time anyone that even thinks of bullying you physically, mess him up bad. You’ll never have any trouble with anyone if you stand up and fight back against them.’ I had been bottling up everything up till that day.
My father’s words unleashed that rage beautifully.
I went back to school the next day and I was fuming. 8 years of pent-up rage ready to demolish DB.
My first class for that day was technology class. The teacher still hadn’t come to class so we were all just waiting outside. DB saw me and started going on and on about my size. I didn’t say anything. The moment he punched on my arm was the breaking point. I simply grabbed onto his shoulders and said the words I was waiting to say all day long. ‘This is for all the years of you punching and calling me names.’
I threw him over the railing.
From the first floor. He landed on the ground with a sickening thud onto the ground. What followed was the most girlish scream I have ever heard. The rest of the class had to pick up their jaws from the floor. VP came running to his aid looked up. He saw me smiling with the biggest grin I have ever had during the 8 years I spent in that nightmare.
Parents were called, and what followed was a big show.
DB’s father tried to punch me in the office in front of everyone (Principal, Vice Principal, 4 head teachers of the school, and the president of the school board who just happened to be on a visit to the school). Police were called and he was arrested for trying to assault a minor. VP was fired because he had never taken any action against DB’s action even though he knew the whole story.
After the whole fiasco was sorted out, my father gave me some new advice, ‘Just punch their lights out.
Don’t throw them from balconies.’ I never had any more troubles with bullies. They were scared of me.
My next goal was to protect the other kids who were getting bullied. If I saw anyone bullying anybody, I would stand next to the kid and ask what’s the problem. They would always apologize and leave.
I could proudly say that I solved the bullying problem in our school barehanded.”
Another User Comments:
“I wish my parents had your father’s wisdom when I was a kid. Sadly, most parents tell their kids to avoid trouble and not defend themselves.” niteray
6. Shouldn't Have Given Me A Hard Time On The Job
“I once found myself in a situation where I was forced to take a job at Blockbuster video. I had previously come from working in an independent store with lots of freedom, working with my closest friends, that eventually went out of business (go figure).
Anywho, my need for money outstripped my pride so I succumbed to the corporate machine that was Blockbuster video. Every day I put on that uniform it stripped away from a new layer of my soul.
Regardless, I’m an amiable fella that tends to get along with everybody so the new folks I worked with became fast friends – save for management. The managers there were the stereotypical management archetypes we all love to hate from every film we’ve ever seen.
So, while being amicable, I just couldn’t really get along with these two people – the Assistant Manager in particular. That being said, I always did my job and did it well – I just didn’t let those two push me around.
In hindsight, I was likely out of line sometimes but there’s no fixing that today.
It’s probably worth noting at this point that before taking the job at Blockbuster I had also sent out my resume to an agency in the video game industry that I was woefully under-qualified for. I somehow got an interview there but nothing ever came of it.
Fast forward a few months. I’m working the mid-day shift at work on a Tuesday afternoon.
This was at the height of the time where, if a new release wasn’t in, you could get a rain check to get it for free the next time around. A couple had come in to rent a film that I thought was completely rented out when in actuality it wasn’t out yet (it was the “coming soon” boxes that were out on the shelves). I apologized to the couple and scanned the appropriate barcode to credit them for the film on their next visit.
The whole while the Assistant Manager is watching this unfold.
When the couple leaves she explains the error that I had made and tells me that she is going to have to write me up for theft against the company. I’m obviously a bit upset by this as I’ve never stolen anything in my life. I explained that I didn’t see it as theft but she won’t hear any of it and proceeds to write me up on a pink slip.
Once she’s done she says I’ll have to sign the slip as an admission that I was aware that what I had done was wrong.
Needless to say, I refused to do it. There was no way I was going to label myself as a thief when I had made a simple mistake in which my manager could have intervened and stopped.
As we’re arguing over the slip the phone in the store rings. The Assistant Manager picks up the phone and tells me it’s for me.
The voice on the other end is unfamiliar to me but rings some bells in the back of my mind. It turns out it’s the man I had interviewed with months before for the job I was woefully underqualified for.
He explains that he had called my house (I was still living at home at the time) and my parents told him I was working. When he heard I was working at Blockbuster he decided I shouldn’t have to endure that for one more second (he was the best boss ever) so he asked for the local number there (he lived in Philly – I was in Canada) and called the store immediately to tell me I had the job if I wanted it.
Obviously, I said yes. I hang up the phone with a grin on my face. The Assistant Manager says that if I don’t sign the slip right away she’ll be forced to send me home without pay pending likely being fired. I say that I have a better idea and take my stupid Blockbuster shirt off there on the spot and tell her that she can kindly go away, leaving her there to work the rest of the shift by herself with her stupid pink slip dangling in her hand.
I went in a couple of years later to rent a movie. She was serving me at the counter. The only thing I said to her was, “So, still working at Blockbuster eh?”
5. Want Exact Change? I'll Give You Exact Change
“This happened like 5 years ago when I worked in a grocery store, so I might be paraphrasing a little since I don’t remember exactly what was said.
It was a quiet Saturday morning in the store; there were hardly any customers in the store. I was just hanging around the mail checkout (In my country, you pick up parcels and big letters at your local grocery store since we don’t have post offices anymore) preparing parcels for return, stocking stamps and envelopes whilst keeping an eye out for customers.
We were understaffed that day.
Usually, at least 2 people were out in the store, stocking shelves, helping customers, etc. One always answers calls from the checkout and opens the second checkout in case there were a lot of customers, and the other one was supposed to be out in the store helping customers and being available in the mail checkout. But on this day, I was to only staff on the floor. It wasn’t a big deal since the store was fairly quiet.
I was just minding my own business and enjoyed the quietness of the store, but then Karen appeared.
I saw her slowly approach the mail checkout. She was one of the regulars, she was a grumpy troublesome customer, she acted like she hated the world and everyone in it, she was rude to staff and managers and other customers, was very demanding, always complained about the most ridiculous things… If I’m going to mention everything that was wrong about her, we’d be here all day. Simply put, when you saw her in the store, you knew that she had some nonsense on her mind.
Karen comes up to me grumpy as usual, starts violently ringing the bell by the mail checkout even though I was right there in front of her.
And then the following conversation ensued.
K: Hello! Service, please!
Me: Yes, hi. What can I help you with?
K: I wanna buy a stamp.
Me: Yes, do you want a stamp with a certain postage amount or a quantity stamp? (I need to ask this because she didn’t specify which kind of stamp she wanted.)
K: -sigh- How am I supposed to know!? You’re the one working here! A regular stamp: how hard is it to understand?!
Me: Okay, so a quantity stamp? Is the letter under 50 grams? (I did know that she probably wanted a quantity stamp, but still, I have to ask.)
K: -sigh- Yes! How hard is it to understand?!
I picked up a stamp and registered it in the checkout as you do.
Me: Yes, that would be $1.09.
Karen gives me the money, and I open the checkout box, and I see that we’re out of dimes, and in my head, I was like, “Oh shoot.
She’s gonna make a fuss out of this.”
Me: I’m sorry, but we’re out of dimes. Do you have another dollar?
K: But why!? I want my 10 cents back! Nothing else! You need to go get more change! That’s your job! You’re just too lazy to go get me my change!
I might sound like I was lazy as she said, but for some context, all the extra cash was stored in a safe in a different building.
In order to get more change, you would need to walk to the other end of the store, down to the basement, out to the street, round a corner, and got down another set of stairs, and there’s the safe. The safe was also super annoying to open, the combination was long and tricky, and it had a timer, so if you didn’t manage to get the combination right in a certain time, the safe would reset the combination, and you had to wait a minute before you could try again.
I wasn’t that used to opening that safe since I rarely needed to open it.
Other coworkers would normally do it. I knew the combination, but since I wasn’t used to putting it in, it would take some time, like I got the wrong combination the first time, so I needed to wait and try again.
Bear in mind that we were understaffed that day, so I didn’t wanna leave the store unsupervised just because some Karen wanted a dime when I even saw that she had more dimes in her wallet.
Me: (explaining how inconvenient it is to get more change and that we’re understaffed)
Karen: Unacceptable! I WANT MY CHANGE! Now go get it, you lazy brat!
Me: I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but if you work with me we’re gonna solve it.
I noticed that you actually had dimes in your wallet- (she cut me off)
Karen: Why are you looking in my wallet!? It’s none of your business what I have in MY wallet! Are you going to get me my change or not!?
I just hatched a plan… I’m gonna give her the EXACT change, just a dime…
Me: Oh, I’m so sorry. Yes, of course. I’m gonna get your EXACT change; the customers always right (with my biggest service smile).
You wait here.
Karen: Well, finally…
So, I walked through the store, out the back, down to the safe, struggled with the combination, got it wrong twice, but I did eventually get it open. So I took a tube of dimes, and I opened it, took out 1 coin, and put the rest of the tube in my pocket.
I then proceeded to walk back to the store. I walked through the whole store whilst holding a single dime, arm extended right in front of my face, walking towards Karen by the mail checkout.
A small line had formed behind Karen, and you could hear the line sigh when they saw me coming with a single dime.
I gave the coin to Karen with a big smile and said, “Here’s your change. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience” She looked at me dumbfounded and said…
K: Thanks, but you didn’t have to embarrass me in front of all the other customers! Worst customer service ever! I’m never coming back here ever again!
Me: Thank you.
Have a nice day.
She then left with a huff.
After she had left, I picked up the dime tube out of my pocket and filled the cashbox with the rest of the coins.
How’s that bad customer service? I did EXACTLY what she told me to do. She wanted the change, and she got the change.
But to be honest, what the heck is wrong with some people? A normal person would have just given me extra money if they had it, or if they didn’t have it, they would just say, ‘Screw it; it’s just a dime.'”
Another User Comments:
“I’ve never understood why people think it’s a potent threat to say they’re never coming back. Like, do they really believe business is going to fail because of losing one customer, who was a problem to begin with? Do they honestly think the business will sorely miss their patronage? The egos of some people…” AceBlazewing
4. Suck It Up Or Leave? Remember, I Basically Run The Office
“I worked in the service industry (well, to some extent) for about 2 years.
When I say “to some extent,” what I mean is I wasn’t really “serving” anyone. I worked in a department called “back office” or BO for short. This is where goods come and go. Our department has 2 jobs: to “check” and to “input;” therefore, we called them “Checker” and “Data.” The checker’s job is to make sure that all orders are eligible.
This included Quality and Quantity. After a checker has confirmed the order, the Data will then input the information regarding said order in the system, after which the merchandise is ours and will not be eligible for a return. Therefore, our department was extremely important, the work was stressful and more often than not heavily supervised. We used to have 8 people working at full capacity during the normal days and barely managed to get by.
There were weeks when we had to work overtime almost every day just to get everything running in order.
Because of these overtime hours, we got paid more than other departments, nearly 30-40%. Of course, this sparked controversy. Other supervisors argued that we’re using our workload to exploit the company. Mine was having none of it. There were audits, sessions, supervision from the higher office, and they found nothing. They even tried to bring in another crew from another store that’s closely related, they quit as a whole after 1 month.
When we got back in control, we even requested more hours to cover the stuff that they had left behind.
Eventually, the store stopped trying to change us. Instead, they tried to limit our hours. We used to request 2 or 3 hours on busy days before, but then even when the store was practically buried under mountains of goods they only let us do 1, very rarely 2. We tolerated it at first. Normally we would stay past the requested hours to see things done, not because we loved the job, god no, but because we’re responsible workers and if we didn’t finish the work that day there were chances we’d get consumed by the flow of goods the very next day.
But it was usually 30 to 45 minutes of those extra, 1 hour top. When the change happened there are days we had to do 2 hours extra with no pay.
Yes, we should have said “see ya” to their faces, but my supervisor asked us to stay and he’d try to fix things. He’s a super cool dude and because I liked him very much, I agreed. The others weren’t so cheerful, 3 left after a month, so we’re down to 5.
Our HC then was 3 Checkers, 1 Data, and the cool dude.
Us checkers suffered, yes, but the Data was on the verge of collapsing. She would be the first to enter the office, and usually the last to leave. Her shift was 8 hours, but she worked 12 or more every day. More often than not 2 or 3 of them were unpaid. We tried to share the workload with her, but we couldn’t even cover our own most of the days.
His objection to the work hours came to no avail.
They were aware that we deserved those hours, so they simply ignore his request and response with something general. He’s angry. It was July, and the heat should not have come from the company as well. He requested a full audit, threatening to leave if things didn’t change. They basically told him to “either suck it up or go home.” So he just left.
He’s the 3rd person they’ve hired in 3 years to manage that office, so they thought he’s just as disposable as the others.
What they didn’t know was, he’s the only reason I and Miss. Data stayed, so when we knew what happened, we immediately noticed the HR that we’ll also be leaving. They threatened us with penalties for unlawfully terminating our contracts because we hadn’t given them 2 weeks’ notice, but we laughed it off and reminded them that being the special department, the BO was given an extra 3 days off each year, which totaled in 15 days.
Also, our contracts stated specifically that if someone quit, they could choose to either use their remaining days off and leave early or get them converted into payment. They were so surprised when they found out that we all had our days off FULLY INTACT (it’s almost as if we had been too busy to use them or something, I don’t know), so they couldn’t do anything about it. We then left the office with everyone’s eyes shooting daggers.
Of course, everything plunged into chaos.
Did I mention that we’re the most important department in the whole chain? Because we were, and they found it out the very, very hard way. The other 2 guys managed to last a week before also leaving, citing something like “total madness” or “absolutely out of control.” After they left, the store brought in a team of 10, but they couldn’t have covered half our work despite being twice in number.
Honestly, I didn’t care about it that much, but it’s not something that flew by.
There were days when their store had nothing on the shelves, so people started to go to the other store in town to shop. When they got things back to somewhat normal, it was after 5 months and the damage had already been done. They closed last month, and the place is now rented to some small business.
Not as interesting as some of these stories, I just thought about it when Cool Dude called me last week.
We were still friends. I’m out of town, but we kept in touch. Apparently, after the other 2 guys quit, they called him and tried to get him back to work, but he’s a free agent then and said he was gonna charge them twice for “consulting fees” (not sure if it’s a thing). Also, he would only work with us, citing “familiarity to the environment” and if not then he’d do exactly as stated in the contract, which would be sitting around and ordering everyone to do their jobs (seriously, he’s supervisor, he didn’t have to do anything, he helped us because we’re head to toe in work, and he’s a Cool Dude). He asked if they tried to contact me after that. They never did.”
3. Okay, I'll Quit, But It Looks Like You'll Have To Shut Your Business Down Again
“This happened earlier this year around the beginning of February. A friend who I hadn’t talked to in a little while asked me if I was interested in applying to a food service job where they had also been working at the time. Boy, was I in for it.
I agreed because I needed a little extra cash, and it wouldn’t hurt to have some job experience before I started college (this would be my first job ever).
According to my friend, their establishment had been understaffed lately and really needed the extra help. Not having worked before, I didn’t realize that there was probably a reason why they were so understaffed. I contacted the manager, and he told me to come in for an interview. I was psyched, but a tad nervous because I have social anxiety. Here comes red flag number one.
On the day of the interview, I was asked to adhere to a specific dress code (which I would later realize was the establishment’s employee dress code).
I then met the manager and he brought me to the backroom to “ask me a few questions.” I had brought him a physical copy of my resume, which he said he didn’t need to look at. After a few very basic questions (my name, what school I go to), he told me I was going straight to work.
“Um, so is this the start of the training, then? Did I get the job?”
“Oh, no. We don’t actually have official training, so I’m just gonna throw you in the kitchen to see how you do.
You’ll work for a few weeks and then we can determine if you are a good fit for _____ establishment and vice versa.”
Suddenly, this manager who was supposedly welcoming and excited to have me join their “family” began to show his true colors. Not only did he display blatant favoritism toward his more experienced employees, but he also berated me on multiple instances (in front of my other coworkers) for not being able to learn how to make our products correctly/quickly enough/to his satisfaction and get them out to the customers.
I was new, not stupid. Not to mention, you literally did not train me. It got to the point where I dreaded going to work.
One day, specifically, my coworker had asked me to refill the canister of lemonade, as he was about to make an order for a customer. There were no other customers waiting for their product, so I helped him finish his task. This was a mistake, as my manager walked in right as I had finished pouring the lemonade.
“G8trr, the customer always comes first. Why are you filling up the lemonade when you should be making orders? You aren’t taking this job seriously. X employee and Y employee are doing this right. Why is this so hard for you?” He left the kitchen, and my coworker who had asked me to fill the lemonade came up to me and apologized, telling me to ignore him. It was becoming obvious that my other coworkers were scared of screwing up in front of him, too.
This happened on various other occasions that I’ll spare you the details of, but here comes the malicious compliance:
It was my second to last shift of the week, falling on Saturday, which was often our busiest day.
My other friend had just been hired, and we had our first shift together. I was pumped. The manager was in that day, as construction workers were setting up cameras in the front of the store and in the kitchen, so he could be able to keep an eye on not only his customers but his beloved employees.
I don’t exactly remember the specifics of what led up to this, but in the middle of my shift, he came up to me (with my coworkers watching) and proceeded to yell at me, saying I was too timid with the customers and how this would cost him good reviews.
He said that any time he put me on shift, he was worried he’d have to babysit me while I made the orders or did my tasks, and if I couldn’t handle the job, it’s best that I quit. I was livid.
None of it made sense. I always greeted customers when they walked in, took their orders, and told them to have a nice day after handing them the product. Did this guy expect me to strike up a conversation with each customer like we were old friends during a rush? I wasn’t even allowed to work the register yet.
Also, aren’t I supposed to be in the back making the order (which you so desperately need me to make), anyway? None of my coworkers have filed complaints about my work being sloppy or me not being able to handle my tasks. I was doing everything right.
So, I did exactly as he asked me to. When I got home (I do have quite a problem with defying authority face to face because of my social anxiety), I messaged my manager privately that I would be showing up to my shift tomorrow because I didn’t like the idea of abandoning my coworkers on such short notice but not to put me on the schedule anymore because I would be quitting.
He thanked me for “being honest with myself.”
I came in for my last shift and told my coworkers what happened. They offered their condolences, and I actually had fun for the last few hours I spent at that dreaded job. My manager closed that night and told them I was leaving because of school (complete bull), but my coworkers and I knew the real reason. I have not stepped foot into that place since but may be so inclined in the future just to gloat a little.
Here are some fun little updates on the current state of their establishment:
Before I quit, three other people had also left the previous week for various reasons, and after I quit, the numbers escalated.
They now have a total of three employees (not including the manager and his family members whom he forces to work to make up for losses). I ran into one of my old coworkers at school and he told me he was also quitting to work somewhere else he had just been hired. It was great to see him again.
They have been forced to cut their open hours from 8 am-8 pm on weekdays (8 am-6 pm weekends) to 10 am-6 pm on weekdays and entirely closed on weekends.
A “now hiring, need employees” sign is permanently situated in front of their store.
I live in a smallish town, so word gets around quickly about certain awful managers at certain awful establishments. It’s no surprise that people know to avoid working there.
And here are some other red flags that I probably should’ve paid more attention to before jumping into the job:
Employees were not required to get food handler’s licenses until two weeks after I had started working there.
I’m pretty sure that’s actually illegal. I got one beforehand, of course.
The friend who had encouraged me to take the job quit a few days after I was hired.
We were constantly out of some ingredients and my coworkers and even my manager would lie to customers about what was in their order.
Allegedly, a competing chain establishment of the same food service variation was set to open up across the road and so our manager told us that if a customer were to ever order something that sounded like it was off their menu, then to switch tabs to the other establishment’s menu and make one of their products instead (and still charge them for it).
Our products were way overpriced for something anyone could easily make at home.
That pretty much wraps it up! Anyone who’s worked a minimum wage job is braver than our troops, and I would personally like to applaud you because you are my hero. Please have a wonderful day.”
2. I WILL Play On The Monkey Bars
“When I was in elementary school our playground had an old set of monkey bars that were away from the newer jungle gyms. Not many people cared for it because it was just four log posts with metal rods. I loved it though and spent many recesses before sitting on top of it with my best friend.
One day I was at the monkey bars as usual. A few other kids were there as well, one of them was a girl I considered my friend.
She was with another boy who decided it would be funny to push people. People asked them to stop and they would just laugh and do it again. I was mad that my friend was pushing me even when I asked her to stop. I wasn’t physically hurt, but my feelings were.
Growing up I wasn’t usually confrontational with others. Half of me was upset, but the other half just wanted to fit in and thought if that’s how they want to play, then I’ll do it too.
I went up behind the boy and pushed him. He fell but was okay. Instead of laughing, he was angry at me. That’s when it changed from trying to fit in into getting my “revenge.” It wasn’t fair that they could push others but didn’t like to be pushed themselves. I was going to stick up for myself and show them both what it felt like.
Next was the girl. That’s where things went horribly wrong. I pushed her just like I did the boy.
She fell a lot harder than I thought she would, but unlike the boy, she didn’t get up. She cried and cried but wouldn’t get up. What happened next is a blur. Teachers ran over and surrounded her. We were told to stay back.
Another teacher took my class to her room. She tried to distract us by reading a story but that didn’t cover up the sounds of the ambulance. I could hear the kids whispering, trying to find out what happened.
I felt like everybody was talking about me. I wanted to tell them it was an accident. I didn’t mean for things to happen this way. Instead, I just sat there quietly, full of guilt, wondering what was going to happen next.
When I went home that day my mother asked me how school was. That’s the first time I ever lied to her. To this day I don’t know if the school ever called her to let her know what happened.
Later that week we made “get well soon” cards.
It was February and I had special heart-shaped confetti that I glued onto mine. When someone asked if they could use them too I told them no. Mine had to be extra special. She has to know that I’m sorry and didn’t mean it.
What felt like an eternity later, she finally returned to school. Everybody wanted to talk to her to find out what happened. When I couldn’t avoid her anymore she told me that I was going to pay for what happened and her parents were going to sue me.
So forget that. Forget nobody else intervening when she was pushing other kids. Forget sitting in a room wondering if she was going to be okay.
Forget me feeling like I had to lie to my mother about school that day. Forget using my favorite heart confetti for her get-well card.
Kids can be mean and accidents happen.
The monkey bars are now long gone and now that girl and I talk about which kind of apple juice we give our own kids. The incident hasn’t been brought up since elementary school and we have grown up and moved on. She didn’t deserve what happened and I didn’t deserve live in guilt over an accident.”
1. Yes, I WILL Be Reporting You
“This happened a few years ago. Some friends of my family visited the US from abroad. The father was an amateur photographer and posted their travels on social media. One of their stops was a hike somewhere in, I think, Utah. There was a picture of his partner lying across the railroad tracks in some sort of pose. Now, trespassing on railroad tracks is illegal – yes, you can cross of course, but lingering or playing on the tracks is definitely a no-no.
Being in the rail industry, I know a couple of drivers (engineers) who have been unfortunate enough to do irreparable damage to inattentive or deliberate trespassers. Trains cannot stop on a sixpence or steer out of the way. So I said something along the lines of, “Hey, nice photo, but please don’t do it on railroad tracks” and thought that would be the end of it.
Instead, he went into full meltdown about how it was none of my business, that he was perfectly safe, there’s nothing wrong with it, etc etc, but also (being fully public on social media) my rail friends and even his friends started to chime in, pointing out the error of his ways.
And so it went on: a silly argument that could have been solved with an “oops, won’t do that again” but instead, he started making up lies about me and my family. Yes, it’s petty, and I should have backed off too.
But it came to a head and he snapped. “Fine, report me if you’re that bothered.”
Oh. Insult my family and dare me to report you? Okay, challenge accepted, malicious compliance here I come. So I emailed the big yellow Western railroad company that does not particularly like trainspotters/foamers generally, and trespassers especially (or those they think are trespassing) with the photo evidence, lat/lon/date/time/subdivision (thanks, EXIF) – and their hotel and room number in Las Vegas which is where they were by now.
Goodness knows why you would post your room number in public, but there you go.
Within an hour the big yellow railroad company responded and thanked me for the information. They had looked into the couple’s profiles, but by that time, the evidence had gone – lucky, I had downloaded the image beforehand. They said they can’t really do anymore, but what they did do was add them to their database of “known individuals,” so if there was a future incident, they’d go down on them like a ton of bricks. All that for an awful photo. I’m now blocked from their social media and so is my partner for some bizarre reason, despite having nothing to do with the entire conversation.”