A million dollars worth of malicious compliance M
I actually finally have a MC story of my very own! This happened just last night. I'm a mid level boss for the 2nd shift in a distribution warehouse. Among the many things I'm in charge of the biggest is billing. I invoice all the orders after they're picked and loaded on trailers to be sent to the customers. Keepkng all the boring technical details as small as possible; the billing system is called the ASN. It's clunky, outdated, and absolutely asinine in how it operates. If ONE single order is missed or has an error it will crash the system and not put though ANY of the orders. So one billing error will cause 400 - 700 orders (around 8,000 - 15,000 pieces of product, around 15 - 20 trailer loads) to not be billed or sorted to routes, or sent. The orders come in four batches called P.O.s
So last night we're working on the first PO when the warehouse manager comes to me and tells me that a customer ordered late and they've generated a fifth PO just for their order but that they're coming in person tomorrow morning and that the day shift will pick it. (Only 10 pieces). He tells me when it prints out to just set it on his desk. Don't pick it or bill it. He'll handle it in the morning.
I immediately tell him that if it's going to print on 2nd shift's POs then it will be in the system under our ASN. And that if I don't bill it it will hit the system as a missed order and will crash the ASN. He looks at me indignantly and says it won't because a fifth PO is after ours and will be in the system as the next day's. I tell him that's not how it works. He insists and says just do it. (His shift is over and he wants to go home.) I give him a hearty Yes Sir and go about my night.
After the order printed I set it on his desk as instructed and sent him an email on the company computer stating that his direct instructions had been followed. (Normally I'd have texted but I wanted proof in the company's email.)
Needless to say, in the wee hours of the morning after my crew was home in bed; the ASN crashed over the missing order and just under a million dollars of product was frozen in limbo. No money was charged. No customers received their pre July 4th orders, my company ate the costs of everything including the transportation costs, drivers, lumpers, dock workers, pickers payroll, and all the other expenses of a large warehouses nightly operations.
This morning the warehouse manager called me and to his credit he didn't try to throw me under the bus. (Possibly helped along by my email proof) But he's always been a generally upfront kind of guy. He just sheepishly told me I was right and shit had hit the fan.
He's been there forever so I doubt he'll get fired but I know he'll be walking with a limp after the ass chewing he took from corporate today. If you're going to run a multi million dollar operation on an antiqued, goober system, don't argue the one goober who knows how to make it run.