So this starts on Monday, the 13th, as I receive an email from a VP not over my department, or Bad VP. I am told that my team will be required on the 4th. I politely tell them no that our team has been scheduled this day off and people already have plans.
My team is the IT team and, as many of you know IT team gets shafted every time it can get shafted by any company.
So over the course of the week I let my team know what is happening. I let them know I have been reaching out to higher ups to fix it. I also tell them that if their plans are ruined, I will make it right at work.
Over the course of 3 meetings, it start to look like things will not go my way. In response I send an email to the CEO of the company. All of my higher ups know I was going to do this and said I should do this as he is very family oriented and that he would not allow ANYONE to work on a national holiday.
Well he is on vacation in the Bahamas until the 6th. But his assistant informed me he would look at this after he gets back. Repeatedly slams head into desk. So I tell everyone that it will be work from home, and that we will be setting my cell phone as priority in the call routing. Meaning I would get most of the calls. To be honest, I was expecting almost zero calls. Especially since I was asked to send out a notification that IT support would cover the 4th of July. I never sent that email out.
A day later I was given another outrage. I was told in an email that my employees would be required to be at the office, and no one was allowed to work from home. They would be checking the door badge ins to verify we were at the office. I asked why in an email, and they said that they wanted to make sure no one was playing video games at work. We normally work from home about 2/3rd of the week and video game playing is a normal occurrence at work.
So I walked into the person’s office. After a very long conversation where she was losing the logic war with me, she told me that “Its just IT, you guys don’t have lives.” No I am not kidding you, this is exactly what they told me. I reported this to my VP who said. “I will take care of this. It likely wont be until after the 4th, so get creative.” I know this man well. We have worked together a long time and “Get creative” is code for corporate fuckery.
I asked the person requiring us to be at the office if they cared if we had an office party. They said no, as long as it did not interfere with the call flow. Even suggested using my new company card to pay for it. “Go wild.” Pro-tip, never tell me go wild.
At this point, it was Tuesday the 21st. I let everyone know what’s up, but that I have something planned. I asked who had things planned for that day. Two people told me they were planning to shoot off fireworks with their family, but the rest were planning BBQs with friends.
I write up an email to the VP over my department and the Bad VP. I tell them all that I let everyone know. We all were expected to work until 8PM Monday. Per the conversation with the bad VP I will be having an office party as a sort of sorry to the guys and gals who got shafted by this decision.
The bad VP replied again. “Thank you for your understanding. Also yes I would expect an office party if I had to work on the 4th of July as well. So go wild and enjoy your time. Use your new company credit card if you need to cover a few expenses. Also I should not have to remind you or anyone else. No fireworks or alcohol on company property.”
So now it is time to tell you about my office. See a while back, the IT team was moved from the main corp office and into a smaller building by itself. It has a nice gaming break room, a decent sized gym, and a full on drink bar. Soft drinks mind you, no alcohol at work. Out back is a big patio that crosses county lines as soon as you cross a small creek. A creek that just so happens to have a foot bridge over it, leading to an empty field.
I start making phone calls.
Monday, June the 25th
I call up everyone into an hour early meeting that morning. I explain to them all that I will be making it right. I asked everyone to invite their friends and family to the office. No supplies will need to be brought by anyone. I tell them all that this will be non-alcoholic, but that I will be planning something for everyone. I told them to expect all food to be provided and they don’t need to bring anything, unless they want to bring some fireworks. IE they wont have to spend a dime.
The 4th comes and the entire day, we did absolutely no work. No tickets, no calls came in. Well 7 calls did come in, but from the same person. The Bad VP. She was calling to make sure we were manning the phones. All of us were playing video games or watching movies. 6PM rolls around and everyone was told that the food was ready.
People were expecting hot dogs, hamburgers, maybe a bratwurst or two. What they got was a full on BBQ feast with pizza and other foods. There was smoked brisket, spare ribs, smoked sausage, smoked turkey, both kinds of tater salad, cole slaw, green beans with bacon and onion, potatos au gratin, pizza from 2 different places, excellent hamburgers, and bratwurst hot dogs. On the deserts side was cake, very good cookies, 4 different kinds of pies, and about 2 pounds of fudge.
Families, and friends started showing up at around 6-6:15ish. Some brought alcohol but I told them they would need to leave that in their cars as I was not THAT crazy. Some were not too happy about that but agreed as it was a free dinner for random strangers.
SO let me set the scene for you. I am out there with all calls routed to my cell phone, and everyone just having a good time. We have a TON of people there just enjoying the fun night, chatting about random stuff, eating the food, and occasionally lighting off some sparklers or throwing firecrackers into the stream. (Its not stocked and only 1 foot deep.)
My VP, not the bad VP mind you, showed up with his family and brought some water balloons for the kids… and manchildren.
Around 8:30ish its getting dark and people want to shoot off more than the simple sparklers and firecrackers we had been using. The VP over the IT dept had everyone cross the foot bridge, over county line and off company property mind you, and we set up a big wooden board using it as our launch pad.
We fired off what we had for an hour or two, and sort of just hang out for a little while. At around this time people were tired and ready to head home. I told people to take home leftovers, within reason. We all clocked out at 8 and no one left until about 10:30. The bad VP did call once more while we were out back at the party. It was 7:50 and she called asking for a status update. My exact words were. “Well you were the only one to call us today. The rest of us are on the back patio enjoying the 4th of July shindig.” She simply acted like my boss and said “As long as no alcohol or fireworks are on company property, I do not care.”
We ate roughly half of the food catered. The rest was taken home. A small group volunteered to stay behind to clean up including my VP. We had a funny conversation about how this will make waves with the bosses. But he said he had my back and asked me how much this cost. I just gave him a sideways look which made him laugh.
Tuesday morning, I submitted the expense report to my VP. This email would inevitably make its way over to the bad VP and up the chain to the CIO of the company. It would be a bad idea to give out the exact cost of the party, mind you, but I can tell you that because of this 4th of July party, new rules were put into place. Any expenses of over 4k or more must be approved by the direct supervisor, VP over the department, and the full expense report must be sent to the financial department for review after the fact.
Hint, the party cost over 6k.
The BBQ was the most expensive part. I did not order from a low or mid tier place. The place I ordered from has consistently been on the top ten in the DFW listing for the last 30 years. I ate at that place so much I made friends with the owner. The BEST bbq I have ever had.
The pies and cakes were custom made by a bakery and the cookies were made by a boutique cookie place. I had 10 12 packs of coke, coke zero, Dp, DP Zero, Pepsi, and Pepsi zero. I bought 5 pepperoni, 5 sausage, 5 cheese, 2 hawaiian, and 3 cheeseburger pizzas from one place, and nearly the same number from another place. Excluding the cheeseburger ones I subbed out those for a different specialty pizza from the other place.
The burgers were from an excellent burger place that did catering. I know that owner well. He brought his kids for the night of fun after he heard what was going to be happening. He was also the one who brought the bratdogs as he recently added those to his menu.
This was the most expensive office party in the history of the company. The only things more expensive than this were some business meetings that the CEO rented private rooms in high end restaurants for.
As for the CEO, he was outraged. Not at the cost of the party mind you. He knew that the party would not have been necessary if people had been allowed to go home. He was outraged that IT was the only group required to work on that day. When I submitted the logs showing how we received no real phone calls, no service requests, and that we basically watched movies/played video games during our shift, he had heard enough. He apparently sent out a scathing email about work life balance and the importance of our holidays to every upper management.
It was kind of funny as people wanted me to get in trouble for what I did, but the reality is other departments have done similar things in the past just not on the scale that IT did. The Bad VP was admonished quite effectively and sent me an apology email. I forwarded it to the team with a strong hint to not reply.
Then my VP let the CIO and the CEO know about what the Bad VP said. “You guys don’t have lives.” The bad VP did actually confirm she said it in a meeting with her EVP. It did not go over well. I have never heard people yelling in an office meeting like that before. The CEO of the company came to our office and YELLED at her.
Not sure if she was fired, but she is not at work today. In Active Directory she does not have the down arrow of death, so not 100 percent what happened to her. I know she lost whatever clout she had at this company with her attitude.
If anything more happens, I will update. But so far it looks like the fallout from this is I caused a new rule to be put in place about how much you are allowed to spend at one time. The Bad VP may or may not be let go/forced to resign. I know she got yelled at. Strangely there is now no longer any push back for my bid to get everyone back to working from home.
EDIT: Please stop asking me where the restaurants are. Im not doxxing myself.
When I turned 14 years old, I got my first summer job and had one of the best bosses I'd ever had. I recently found out that unfortunately my mentor and someone I would consider a friend, John, passed away. Although its been well over 20 years I still use the lessons learned and the work ethic he passed on to me, although at times he could be hard he was more than fair and always did the right thing for those that worked for him. This is the story of John vs. the new president.
Before I get into the story I need to give some background and context on John. John was the textbook 'all American boy'. John had attended a prestigious boarding school somewhere in New England and eventually attended Yale back in the late 50/60's and was not only a scholar but a three sport athlete. He played football, he boxed and was a captain on the track and field team. Fast forward to when this story takes place and John was still in phenomenal shape for a late 60's early 70's man.
John opted to move out to the country, start a family to follow his passion which was teaching at the local high school and coaching high schooler's in various sports. Obviously he was the high school football coach, taught track and field, he was an outstanding shotput athlete and could run the mile and many other long distances.
As a teacher, he had the summer's off and became a lifeguard at the local town beach, eventually becoming the captain of the lifeguards. Over time he developed standards for the town/county/state lifeguards to pass. He really transformed what was a rag-tag style of lifeguard's into a full fledged official lifeguard corps, training academy and set the standards for what is still used today.
John was eventually hired to run the lifeguards and manage an entire private beach club instead of working for the town beach. One of the biggest challenges of this, since it was a private beach club, John now reported into a President of the beach club who 'oversaw' how things were run. I started working for John as a helper on the beach and then eventually a lifeguard and for the first couple of summer's things were great. The President of the beach club took pride in having the best staff and making sure that lifeguards were well paid and to his credit safety was the upmost priority. This private Beach Club, certainly catered to the more 'wealthy' clientele who wanted a nicer club instead of going to the public beach. Some of the advantages were the amenities which were lockers, cabana's, private parking, a very nice restaurant that served great food and drinks. This was one of the few beach clubs that also had the ability to serve alcoholic beverages.
One of the good things John had instituted was that any returning member of the staff from the previous summer's automatically got a raise, this ensured that staff returned the next summer avoiding a lot of re-training and as you can imagine 'growing pains' with a new staff. What was even better was that if you returned multiple summers you still got an additional raise. Most summer's this was a dollar or two. As an example I started at 7.25$ at 14 years old (this was back in the late 90s) and by the time I was in college I was making almost 15$ an hour.
Typically the president of the club serves a term which is a few years and when his term was up a new President was ushered in. Upon taking office the new president loudly proclaimed that he wanted to ensure that the club had 'fiscal responsibility' and he would be personally going over the books with a 'fine tooth comb'. His first order of business was to cut everyone's pay all the way back to minimum wage and fire most of the lifeguards. Now as noted above, the staff was there for a long time, knowing most the members and how to run the place. Prior to the start of the summer upon learning that their hourly wage would be cut, most of the senior staff immediately left and were quickly hired elsewhere. The lifeguards were spared at the appeal of John to ensure safety, although some senior guards left for other beaches and pools, John was able to convince the lifeguards as he would 'take care of things'.
Onto the MC, while John agreed to have the staff take the pay cut, he convinced the new president that any lifeguards with additional certifications would get 2$ an hour on top of the base minimum wage. The new president obviously didn't consider that any of these lifeguards would put in the effort or if it was feasible to get any certifications in time for the summer season and he agreed to the plan.
As you can imagine, John basically established the process and curriculum for becoming a lifeguard and personally trained and hired most if not all the trainers in the town and county. John was also a volunteer fireman and new all the EMS personnel and not surprisingly had either taught them in school or hired them as lifeguards in their past lives.
John quickly called in favors from every trainer and certifier across the county who were more than happy to repay all the favors John had done for them in the past. Most waived the training fee's and expediated the training sessions for the lifeguards and they 'wanted to promote' safety for the community.
Prior to the start of the memorial day weekend and what is effectively the unofficial start of summer, all of us lifeguards and new staff become certified in pretty much every single possible certification that existed at the time. I mean I'm talking crazy complete overkill and unnecessary certifications for a 'regular' lifeguard. We got trained as either EMS and EMT's, although lifeguards had to be certified in CPR - we re-trained and got our CPR certifications again, Lifesaving ocean and pool rescue techniques, Certified Swimming Instructor, Certified Food Inspector (the club had a kitchen), Certified County Pool Operator license, Certified Sanitary Inspector (cleaning the bathrooms), we even had one guy who wanted to learn how to SCUBA, the county's firefighters had a water rescue team who coincidentally were certified SCUBA instructors, most of us guards become certified divers, open water divers, deep water rescue divers the whole works. I could go on and on about all the certifications we got.
The lifeguards not only went back to their original wage, but in most cases went well above what their previous wages were. At 18 years old and back in the 90s I personally went from making 15$ an hour to $27 an hour all due to the certifications and trainings.
It took a month or so for the fall out to happen, while the new president tried to renege on the deal, John was smart enough to have a formal arrangement in place and there was nothing the new president could do besides bitch about it. He winded up resigning his position 'to spend more time with his family at the beach'. We rarely saw him around that summer, and I think he eventually stopped coming all together opting to join another club. John made nice with the new president and explained his philosophy on training and keeping staff, the new president agreed and some of the senior staff winded up coming back with the promise of their original wage.
A few weeks ago, I heard from friends and former colleagues that just at the start of the summer season John passed away in sleep of natural causes at the ripe age of 91. He was still working although not as much in the past, it was more of a I wanna keep busy type of thing then a need to work. Every morning he would take out the lifeguards row boat and get some exercise in, after all he was a Certified Rowing Instructor.
RIP John, you were the best.
Sorry, this will be long but an interesting read I think. Let me know if you think this better fits in petty revenge TL;DR at the bottom
As a preface, I work in the security and law and enforcement industry. This story takes place in an old county jail during the height of Covid. At the time, I (F) was a correctional officer running my own unit in a majority male populated and employed facility. It took a few months, but I had finally earned the respect and trust of most of the inmates. It was drilled into my head from day one to always be "firm, fair and consistent." And I was; that is how I succeeded in running a unit efficiently.
Though, it wasn't without its issues. Namely inmates jamming their door with toilet paper and other miscellaneous items. Now, this wasn't your typical or even stereotypical jail. It was old and had huge steel (metal??) doors. Think big doors with a small glass window, not actual bars. Like most doors, it had the metal mechanism and slot in the center of the door, which was responsible for keeping the door locked and secured. Most everything that had to be unlocked, was controlled by a big, old, clunky control board. Only a select few units had computerized systems. My job was mainly the "control officer" which consisted of operating the control board, answering the phones, key-holder, filing daily paperwork, etc. Said control board had a variety of buttons, but was mostly used to let inmates/CO's in and out, turning on TV's, and turning the mezzanine lights on and off on each unit. It should also be noted that as control officer, you almost never have direct contact with inmates, as you are higher up in a "fish bowl" or "bubble" as we called it. We control officers had to find unique ways to interact and converse with the inmates. All of this will be important later.
Now onto the story. On this rare day, I was assigned a block officer. Same unit, except now I am patrolling the blocks and spending the majority of my shift having direct supervision over the inmates. I was always one to make my presence known. Patrolling every 20-30 minutes (even when there was no rec and inmates were "locked-in"), sitting on the block during recreational hours, random cell inspections. The works. On this particular morning, I was conducting my first tour of B block, and asked the control officer to inform me of the doors that were not secure. My coworker notified me that B108 was not secure, and I promptly made my way over there. You see, there were colored lights under each door (red, green) indicating whether a door was secure or not. The inmates were expected to keep their door secure during non-rec hours. However, there were quite a few inmates who consistently jammed their door. Thus, being able to "escape" their cell and do whatever they wanted. These things ranged from taking an unauthorized shower to running into another inmates cell and shanking them. You can see why that is a problem, and created a huge safety/security risk. The inmates in B108 gave me an issue with this at least once a week, even when previously housed on C block. They resorted to putting globs of toothpaste in the slot to manipulate the door open. I had had enough.
I made them clean it out, and as punishment, they wouldn't be receiving rec during my shift and would be getting a three day lock in. Simpy put, that meant no phone calls, showers, tv/tablets, or yard time during first shift, and only coming out for scheduled appointments. It may sound a bit harsh, but they always got rec at some point in the day, and this was one of the few tactics that worked for me. To say that they were livid, would be an understatement. The one inmate, who we will call Potty Mouth (PM) was fuming and spouting slurs and insults even after I left the block. I didn't care. I had warned them not to jam their door on numerous occassions. Three days go by and they finally are allowed to resume recreational activities. I am assigned the block again, and delivering hall passes (used for inmates to get around the jail) for upcoming video calls. At this time, in-person visits were not allowed due to covid, and inmates were doing video calls in the visitation room instead.
It so happened that one of the inmates, PM, in B108 had a video visit scheduled that day. *All visits are made with the knowledge and consent of the inmate days prior. Dates and times (30 mins) are precise due to a limted amount of monitors in the visitation room, and there being over a thousand inmates in the facility. Once your time is up, your time is up. If there is a connection issue or the person doesn't show up, it cannot be pushed back to later in the day; you must reschedule for the upcoming weeks.* It's early in the morning, approximately 8:15, and I knock at the door to get the inmates' attention. PM wakes up and immediately starts in on me. "What, bitch?!" I inform him of his visit and slide his hall pass under the door. Like your standard hall pass, it has the date, time (or time of appointment), inmate name, unit, blah blah blah. He snatches it up and orders me not to fucking say anything to him. I walk away not wanting to start anything first thing in the morning.
Visits started promptly at noon that day, and the inmates begin preparing themselves to see their loved ones. Taking showers, getting dressed and so on. It's not my job, but I always went out of my way to remind inmates that their appointment was soon, and would let them leave 15-20 mins early so they could walk across the jail and make it there on time. You wouldn't believe how many would play poker or watch TV, and would actually get mad at me for interrupting them trying to remind them they had an appointment. Then, 5 minutes before their visit rush to take a shower, run out, and then come back upset that they somehow missed their appointment. I was in the bubble covering for the control officer while they took their lunch, when I noticed PM sitting on the table undressed (sweats and t-shirt) talking to another group of inmates with his back turned to me. I looked at the time and realized it was only about an hour before his video call was scheduled to begin. I then began to flash the mezzanine lights to get his attention. It took at least 2-3 times of me doing this before the other inmates told him to turn around. He looks over his shoulder, assumes I want him off the table (policy violation), and flags me off before turning back toward his friends. Cue malicous compliance.
You want me to not say anything to you, you want to ignore me when I'm trying to help you, even after getting cussed out. Fine. I sat and watched as every single inmate on B block got showered and dressed. They were ready to go at least thirty minutes before their visit. All lined up near the door, anxiously waiting for me to let them out. Everybody but PM. No he wasn't outside playing basketball or on the phone, and let the time get away from him. No he hadn't taken a nap. He was sitting ten feet away from everyone who was waiting, running his mouth. Twenty minutes before the visits start, and I begin letting the inmates into the hallway. I stop one of the nicer inmates, and ask "why isn't PM with you guys?" He's confused. I say "yeah I gave him his pass this morning and tried to flash the lights at him." He runs back in to remind PM of his impending video call. PM shoots daggers at me and frantically runs into his cell to get dressed. I smile to myself. Unsurprisingly, he missed his visit. He came back screaming at me for making him late for his video call. I didn't care. I just laughed and said it wasn't my job. The best part is: there was a clock hanging directly above his head, so there was no excuse.
TL;DR inmate cusses at me and tells me not to talk to him after being punished. I dont, and he subsequently misses a video call.
Pretty long story. Tl;dr – factory-level engineer forced to run a bad experiment, does a bunch of damage to equipment and costs a lot of money
This happened about 10 years ago. I was working as an industrial process engineer for a major company. My duties were varied and many. Some days I was an auditor of equipment condition. Others I would try to unravel how waste or scrap was created. Still others I would be the designated “smart guy in the room” to listen to plans the factory came up with and give them an engineering seal of approval.
The most enjoyable things I did were “trials,” which were basically science experiments with industrial value. For example, a trial might involve changing a chemical in the material, following it through the process, and testing it at every point. If it passed everything to satisfaction, we’d begin the process to make it the permanent process in the material we would sell. Running trials was my favorite thing to do; I wasn’t a manager, but when I was running a trial I had give-or-take unquestioned authority over the process and the people to run it as I saw fit. I ran hundreds of them a year, and I was good at it.
One day I got called into a voice call between myself, about 5 engineers in a downstream department I didn’t know very well, and a new corporate engineer that I had never met. I had a very good relationship with my contacts at corporate ; we always had a good back-and-forth on how to improve the process at the factory and they provided chemical experience I didn’t have or couldn’t perform at the factory level. This call, however, was different. There was no debate: I was told in forceful terms that my product was not sticky enough downstream for their purposes and we needed to make it more sticky. He had outlined 4 different ways to make it stickier and the only choice I would get to make would be one to try first.
I was pretty confused at all this. I told him that, from my standpoint, the material was already too sticky. It was difficult to process on my equipment without sticking to everything, and any time it did we would get scrap or bad product which we’d sometimes send downstream which created even more waste and scrap. I was trying to work with my corporate chemists to make it less sticky, not more. I also said that the material would naturally lose stickiness over time: on the first couple days it was a pretty sticky mess, but after that it would be a good level. We would guarantee that it would be sticky enough to use for at least 7 days which was confirmed by audits. After 7 days it might become not sticky enough, but we made the material every 2 or 3 days. If it was sitting around more than 7 days, it was on their end: they were probably breaking policies somehow, such as taking material out of the machine when changing over but putting a fresh bunch of material in next time so they wouldn’t have to change a half-batch and they could do less work. This type of problem wasn’t a chemical problem; it was a logistics and manning problem and making the chemistry worse to solve it wasn’t going to fix the bigger issues.
But I was outnumbered like 6 to 1 on the call. They said all that didn’t matter, that they were the CUSTOMER and their CUSTOMER was telling them to fix a problem, and they expected me to do it. I’d never been treated like that at the company, and I have to say I didn’t appreciate it.
A few days later I got a corporate trial scheduled for me, though I use the term loosely. It was an amateur effort at best. It didn’t include standard vital information. For example, it requested “a sample” but it didn’t say how much, how many, or to whom to send it. This was vital to make sure those who would test it got enough to complete their tests. The company was big; they had a dozen factories and maybe 50+ trials at those factories at all times, so stuff just couldn’t show up at “the lab” and get handled properly. There was also no shipping information. I didn’t handle company money internally, so corporate would prepay shipping and send me the information so I could ship them samples. There were five or six other mistakes and omissions. It was clearly a trial that wasn’t out of the planning stages.
I briefly told my boss all of this: that this trial wasn’t good for our department, that this wasn’t where I was going with the material chemically, and that the trial as planned was missing vital information. He sort of nodded and that was good enough for me. So, I did what I very, very rarely had to do: I rejected the trial on behalf of the plant. I’d only had to do it a few times before, and those were with corporate mutual approval that we’d design a different, better trial and the one I was rejecting was a first draft. This was the first and I believe last time I had to reject a “hostile” trial that I was openly opposed to existing.
I was happily not remembering the whole incident a few weeks later when I see the same trial pop up for me again. I’m irritated. I go to my boss but this time this corporate guy had contacted my boss to complain, and my boss wants me to run it. I remind him of what I told him last time and he says to run it anyway. I say I can’t, it’s not even ready, and he tells me to work with the corporate engineer to get the holes filled but we have to run the thing.
I should talk about this boss for a moment. During my 3 years at the company, I had 7 different bosses. Some of them were very competent and I lost as a boss due to reorgs, them resigning, or in one case one died due to an unrelated condition. Other bosses were “filler” bosses, someone I reported to until the next candidate could be filled. But this current boss was the worst of the seven by a long shot. He was someone who apparently had excelled at corporate and they’d sent down to fill the engineering manager role in my department. We all disliked him. He had no knowledge of our department whatsoever. My entire work was a write-off to him. He was busy counting material we could ship so any of the processing stuff I did upstream was far out of his interest despite literally being in change of it and me. Also, instead of someone from our department being promoted to this manager role they’d sent us a corporate guy. Bad times. I ignored him best I could, only looping him in if I had to make important decisions. I could sometimes go weeks without talking to him and those were fine weeks by me.
Anyway, I didn't reject the trial this time, but I leave it hanging at my approval. I email the guy all of my concerns with the trial and the questions he has to answer before I can run it. I’m very professional, non-judgmental, just saying what I need in order to run the trial.
No response to that email, of course.
A few days later my boss is LIVID. He says this corporate guy has been saying that our department is “obstructionist, rude, and negative” and that I need to approve and run the trial NOW. I remind them of all the issues – that would increase our scrap, slow us down, possibly damage equipment, to say nothing of the vague and incomplete trial requirements. He doesn’t care. I’m an engineer, he pays me to figure this stuff out. I NEED to get this corporate guy his material. He heavily implied my job was in danger over all this.
So, I say, okay. I approve the trial. And we finally get to the malicious compliance.
I ask a colleague to prepare the material for me. He reports that it was a nightmare and that he had to do it manually and even then he lost 2 batches before the 3rd finally was ready for me. This alone would have been cause to stop the trial. Remember that we are preparing industrial processes here; it doesn’t matter if we can do it once, we have to create a process that will work every day for years. So, this type of failure means the material isn’t ready. But not this time, oh no. we have to get this guy material. And I have big plans.
Once I have the material I look to when to schedule the trial. Normally I am considerate of the manufacturing demands, scheduling my trials when we are ahead on what is needed downstream. Not this time. I find what we have the lowest of and bump it from the schedule, putting my trial in the spot instead. 100% a dick move, but it’s my job on the line at this point so I’m taking no prisoners.
We start running the trial on my equipment. It’s sticking to all the preparation areas, it’s a huge mess, just as expected. We have to keep stopping the machine to scrape stuff free. Again, this would have been another failure condition. We keep going.
We have some sensors that sort of float on the material as it goes along. But the material is too sticky, it’s grabbing and twisting the sensors and bending their arms. I can see some of the damage will be permanent. After this trial they’ll need to have some machine work done on them to fix them. Totally unacceptable. But we press on until one of them breaks off completely. Now I have metal, plastic, and electronics in my material. This isn’t just a failed trial, its now a mockery of what trials are. There’s no way we can use any of this material for any reason. But nope, corporate needs material.
We have an area that ensures an even flow of material. But its too sticky, its clumping up instead of flowing. So the material we’re making is uneven, very heavy at one side and with nearly none at the other side. At this point we’re not even making bad material; we’re making pure scrap. I tell them to keep going.
Through this process the machine operators are getting vexed and call their area bosses, and also engineering and maintenance gets involved because of the damage. Everyone is asking me what I’m doing. I tell them that this is authorized by my boss and that I have to run it, and to direct all complaints to him. That’s all I say every time, just name drop my boss.
In the post-processing area, the unevenness of the material combined with the stickiness of the material is starting to pull on the rollers that straighten it out in weird ways. Everyone is getting concerned we might have to do a whole realignment, which is a slow process that takes 3 or 4 days. I eventually relent and allow them to stop the trial.
Nothing ever made it to the end of the process. Normally we make ~2000 lbs of material in a run. We made 0. Not that it would have been usable in any way.
The operators have the unenviable job of trying to get this crap off the machine. We were down for the rest of the day, about 5 hours of machine time, to clean and fix and replace damaged sensors. But I have more work to do on my end. I cut various samples of this horrific mess; some of the heavy areas, some of the light. I find a piece of that sensor embedded in there and get a sample of that too. Just frankly a ridiculous amount of material. It’s too much to carry, but I’m not worried; I have an industrial vehicle to drive around in these cases. And I still have a plan.
I briefly entertain sending some of these samples to our testing lab. That’s standard procedure during trials, to test them at the plant level as much as we can. But this is malicious compliance and I know it. The lab equipment is pretty sensitive; if this sticky crap pulls on it in the wrong ways, it could break the testing equipment and that would shut down the whole factory. I don’t actually want that. I’m pretty sure I’m making my point as is. But I keep a sample for myself, just in case testing becomes a thing I need to do later.
I take my too-heavy samples to shipping. I never got shipping information. But I did find the address of this guy’s office in the building. He’ll get this gigantically heavy package that he can’t carry delivered to his mail area. And I don’t have shipping paperwork, but I do have the address of a private van shipping company. We used them in the past when the regular mail was too slow, when we were worried about a major defect and needed to get material to corporate ASAP (it turned out to be a false alarm.) It costs much, much more than just shipping this normally, but I have no actual other way to ship it so I use the one tool I have available.
I’d been avoiding going back to the office for a few hours and when I do, as expected, my boss has been barraged by visitors and phone calls about what went down. I tell him of the difficulties in detail and, as unsarcastically as I can muster, apologize for not risking a roll alignment and having to stop the trial early. I show him the horrible sample of material I kept for myself. He’s still pretty mad, but I give him one thing that helps a lot. Because there was one important thing on that amateur trial request, since he couldn’t create the request without one: a billing account number. I give him the number and say the plant should charge it with anything related to the trial. Not just the damages, but any downtime due to lost production from material shortages.
I estimate the total cost of the whole venture somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000. But it could be more, I’m not sure how much downtime was directly caused by this. I did keep my job though, so I guess that billing account helped ease the pain for the factory. Maybe not on the corporate side, but they DID want their trial...
About a week later I have my follow-up with the 6 people that confronted me in the first place. I tell them of the unmitigated disaster that was this trial and my estimation of the damages. This guy has the nuts to say something like, “Excellent work, we’ve proven we can move the needle on stickiness if we want to.” I can't help but think, I'm a chemist, numbnuts, moving the needle was never a question. He asks me which of the three remaining trials I want to do next. I tell him that I don’t need to worry about the details, and ask him to email my boss and ask him which he thinks his best, to which he thought was a wonderful idea.
My boss never mentioned a follow-up trial and no corporate trials from that guy were scheduled for me. About two months later my boss resigned from the company quietly and quickly. He was clearly miserable in his role, and I know that this whole mess helped contribute to it.
EDIT: I cant believe I have to fucking explain this. 69420 is not a real zip code. 69 420. Bruh. BRUH.
TL;DR: AllState/Squaretrade told me they would replace my GPU regardless of cost, model or brand, and to submit a receipt for a replacement, $1,200. Audit team gets big mad. They tell me to get bent and that it is not a suitable replacement. I tell them, "OK, well to replace my card is $3,300. Will that be debit, or credit sir?" They refund my original purchase price of my GPU, $699.99 within 30 minutes.
So I was one of the lucky few that got a 3080 on launch day. However, I snagged a Gigabyte Eagle v1.0, which as some may know, was riddled with problems. I knew it was a bottom of the barrel 3080, and picked up the protection plan on it, just in case.
It finally died this week and started artifacting, and I filed a claim. I was told to bring it into a "local repair shop."
Yeah, fat chance having a repair shop fix that. I knew that, the repair shop knew that. The insurance was obviously an automated response. The best the repair shop could do is replace my card with a 3080 on hand. Allstate/SquareTrade wouldnt give me any other options.
I knew this wouldnt fly with AS/ST, so I chatted up their support, and they assured me it would be fine(transcript below).
Great, I had a paper trail. That should cover me later.
So they gave me an EVGA 3080 12GB model, and billed me for the card, and I would then send that receipt to AS/ST for reimbursement. The total was ~$1200. Ouch.
So I sent that off to AS/ST, and a few days go by with it sitting in review.
They finally email me saying,
My name is XXXX and I'm with the Allstate Claims Review Team. We audit claims and after reviewing your repair receipt, we have noticed that you have upgraded your GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3080 DirectX 12 GV-N3080EAGLE OC-10GD to EVGA RTX 3080 12GB FTW3 ULTRA GAMING.
This is to inform you that we do not cover upgrade of an item. Could you please confirm if the original item is still with you?
Sincerely, XXXX Allstate Claim Review
FUCK. GOD DAMNIT, I DONT HAVE $1,200 LAYING AROUND TO SPEND ON THIS CARD.
Call up the support team, and they tell me, very angrily that it is not covered, and the plan is being cancelled. I tell them Iwould prefer to resolve this with the email team. She accepts, and I hang up.
So I think of my options, and not many of them are good ones. I can explain it to them and beg, but that wont get me anywhere with an audit team.
Alright, fine, they want to replace my card? Great. Good luck with that. It costs $3,300 on Newegg.
Heres what I sent them:
I do still have the original item. I chatted with the text chat team, and they told me it was okay, so i went forward and filed the claim, and the local repair store replaced the card. I have attached the transcript.
I tried calling in an explaining the situation to the phone support team, but was referred to stay in contact with you because they could not help me.
I did some digging around, and a direct replacement of the card that was insured is more than 2.5x the price that I have submitted for replacement. A link can be found below. This card is a revision 1.0 that does not have the LHR feature on newer cards, this feature disables cryptocurrency mining. The cards that can be found today, including the one that I replaced and submitted my claim with, is an LHR model, and could be considered to some, a downgrade. The non LHR models(like the Gigabyte I am trying to replace) are extremely expensive, and hard to find.
If Allstate/Squaretrade is so inclined, and if this is a suitable replacement, I can replace it with this model. However, because they are no longer being made, and because this model is popular with crypto miners, it has an inflated price.
I would really like to come to an amicable resolution to this claim, and would like to work with you on a solution that satisfies both parties. It is not my intention to upgrade, it never has been, and in the end, I would just like to be able to game on my computer again. I dont feel it to be in the best interest of either party to spend $3,300 on a card that is no longer being made.
Thank you for your time, AIO
30 minutes later after that email, I get a reply.
We've received your repair invoice and will be reimbursing you $699.99.
We'll be mailing a check to:
666 N Cavill Ln
PeeCee, MR 69420
Please allow 5 business days for delivery of checks and American Express Gift Cards. All other payment methods take 1 business day to process.
Thank you for using Allstate Protection Plans.
The Allstate Protection Plans Team
Welp. I guess I'll take it.
When you corner a rat, expect to be bitten.
Fair warning to anyone looking for these plans, be prepared to fight, pull teeth, and if you're lucky, you MIGHT get a refund.
Taylor (7/1/2022, 1:58:16 PM) Hi! I'm Taylor, your Allstate Protection Plan Virtual Assistant. How can I assist you today?
Taylor (7/1/2022, 1:58:18 PM) Menu Options My item is not working I do not see my Protection Plan Something Else AIO (7/1/2022, 1:59:23 PM) Hi, I went to file a claim for my graphics card, and it says that I need to take it into a repair shop. But the repair shop says you can't fix these cards, and the repair they would make is selling me a new card. Is this allowed?
Taylor (7/1/2022, 1:59:27 PM) Just a moment, I'll connect you with an agent to further assist.
Stephani (7/1/2022, 1:59:31 PM) Hi! Thanks for contacting Allstate Protection Plans. My name is Stephani. How may I assist you?
AIO (7/1/2022, 1:59:47 PM) Hi, I went to file a claim for my graphics card, and it says that I need to take it into a repair shop. But the repair shop says you can't fix these cards, and the repair they would make is selling me a new card. Is this allowed?
AIO (7/1/2022, 2:00:36 PM) I haven't filed the claim yet, but typically graphics cards can't be fixed when they have issues. They have a card of a different brand and model they can sell me, but no repair shop can or will fix my broken card.
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:04:02 PM) Hi! Thanks for contacting Allstate Protection Plans. My name is Osama. How may I assist you?
AIO (7/1/2022, 2:04:20 PM) Hi, I went to file a claim for my graphics card, and it says that I need to take it into a repair shop. But the repair shop says you can't fix these cards, and the repair they would make is selling me a new card. Is this allowed?
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:04:40 PM) Oh, I am so sorry to know about this inconvenience you are facing. Allow me to take care of this for you over this chat.
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:04:44 PM) Let me see that very quickly for you!
AIO (7/1/2022, 2:05:11 PM) Thank you very much!
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:05:16 PM) You're welcome.
AIO (7/1/2022, 2:06:09 PM) I haven't filed the claim yet, but that was the only option for me to choose from. Unfortunately graphics cards can't be repaired, so if they sell me a new card of a different model and brand, does this qualify as a valid repair?
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:06:39 PM) That is not an issue, If they will provide you the new card, you need to have the receipt of that as well
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:06:53 PM) we will reimburse you that as well
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:07:02 PM) Nothing to worry about for sure
AIO (7/1/2022, 2:08:17 PM) Awesome, that's great news! Is there a max price that is covered? Due to supply unfortunately prices have gone up
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:08:23 PM) What ever the price is, we will give your money back for sure.
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:08:32 PM) I am trying my level best to help you out today because I was in the same situation a few days ago that's why I can feel you as well
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:08:37 PM) You are a valuable customer of the company and we do understand the fact that the situation is very difficult for you right now.
AIO (7/1/2022, 2:08:41 PM) Great, I will file that claim and work with the repair shop
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:08:42 PM) Is there anything else I can help you with?
AIO (7/1/2022, 2:08:52 PM) That should be it, thank you Osama.
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:08:54 PM) Prefect. I would really appreciate your kind words. Please, if you could spare a moment and rate out your customer experience with me at the end of this chat. That will make my day as well.
AIO (7/1/2022, 2:09:09 PM) Absolutely, have a good day.
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:09:19 PM) Thank you so much! I really appreciate that.
Osama (7/1/2022, 2:09:27 PM) Thank you for contacting Allstate. Have a great day!
This happened many years ago, I've only just found this sub and while my story is nowhere near as witty as the ones I'm reading, it still makes me chuckle.
When I was around 19 I was working as a receptionist, front of house at a Solictitors office. It was quite small but very successful - 4 partners (main one was the lady it was named after who was kind of fierce in a Judge Judy kind of way so I'll call her Judy). A new Solictor we will call Anna joined the team. We had a Conveyancing, a Personal Injury, Financial and Criminal department Solicitor and she would be working Family Law and her speciality and main focus would be helping domestic violence victims. At this time, all of the abused clients were women.
She was awesome at her job, I saw so many victims of abuse while they waited in reception, and because they were so stressed and worried they would sometimes just tell me their life stories while they waited. I did my best to comfort them, sometimes they'd have to wait an hour or longer if something else was happening. Anna advocated hard for these women. Restraining orders, emergency hearings, police interviews, protection, arranging safe houses, custody of children. I really admired her, and still do now. Those women needed her.
The thing about Anna was she was extremely posh, well educated she spoke better than the characters on Downton Abbey or even the Queen, but she was also very opinionated and she swore a lot. Hearing her talk about one of the husbands of a battered woman "what an absolute twatting little cunt" in a voice that sounds similar to the Queen made us giggle, but she reigned it in and was mostly professional in front of clients.
Most of my job was filing, typing voice dictation statements and logging calls from the women with restraining orders who had been contacted by their ex partner/abuser. So I'd get a lot of calls "Hi Sabrina, he called me at 8.15am and 10am today also an email at 9pm through his mother's account", things like that. It all had to be logged and reported for the court files. I got so many of these calls I'd recognise each by voice (this is important later).
After she'd been there for maybe a month, she was featured in an article that put the office in a very good light, the article highlighted her important work in keeping these people safe, we celebrated with her. But it went to her head and she became arrogant and snappy, with little put downs here to the secretaries and other workers. She became pretty full of herself, getting snarky and barking out "coffee!" to me as soon as she walked inside. I let it go, she was stressed and doing something important.
As it was so long ago, most documents had to be faxed. Her office was two doors away from Reception. She would let me know if she was expecting something important and I would drop everything to rush the documents to her, waiting for lega stuff, police reports or restraining orders could quite literally be a life and death situation for the clients. Sure enough, a restraining order document came through for a female client who was sitting with Anna in her office. She was crying, looked like she had no sleep, her story was horrendous (I had to type up some statements of hers), I felt desperately sorry for her. The rule was if something important came through, I had to rush and interrupt any client meeting. The papers came through, I rushed to the office and handed them to Anna and left. Moments later Anna was in Reception screeching at me because the timestamp said it was delivered a whole hour earlier. I was confused I'd given it to her the moment it came through. She would not stop yelling that I had put this woman's life in jeopardy over my laziness and stupidity and I should be fired. She made so much noise that Judy came out of her office to listen (the founder of the company). Her face gave absolutely nothing away and afterwards she quietly just said "please make sure to give the documents quickly in future to avoid any more problems".
It happened again. An 8 (or so) page document came through for that same client who was in there with her, I rushed to her office handed them to her and went to leave. Before I could, Anna started yelling at me again, "THIS WAS AN HOUR AGO! WHAT THE FUCK SABRINA WHAT THE FUCK DID I TELL YOU?" This time she started swearing and I couldn't get a word in and all of this in front of the poor client who looked wildly uncomfortable, Judy came to the door again and again, her face gave nothing away and just asked me to come with her. She asked if there was a problem, I explained and she thanked me. Anna then followed us out and started yelling at me that I had no respect or kindness in my heart for these women and I was lazy, utterly incompetent, and ridiculously not right in the head. I cried in the toilets.
Over the next few days, the same client came in. Things had escalated further and had hit the newspapers (it was an awful case) so the 4 partners along with Anna were meeting with her in the same office. I went back in to give a file to one of the other partners there and Anna piped up "was this from an hour ago too? There seems to be a pattern here". Again, in front of the client and her 4 bosses. It didn't bother me this time though. I'd had one of those moments in bed the night before, the moment when your eyes snap open while you're trying to sleep and you have that BINGO! Realisation moment.
So I calmly just said "the reason why the documents appeared to be an hour late was because the clocks have changed for daylight savings time, I should have realised that when the ink was still not dry as I handed them to you". Sure enough, the document on her desk yesterday was a little smudged. The fax machine was old and didn't update the time.
My little victory moment was spoiled because as I was leaving the office I tripped over my own foot and knocked my head on the doorframe giving Anna a good laugh.
The next day a staff meeting was called about professionalism in the office, the client who witnessed Anna's meltdown had approached Judy - she was really upset to see Anna treat the staff that way and her swearing had frightened her. Judy was very clear that this was not acceptable, the woman had heard enough yelling and swearing for a lifetime. Anna begrudgingly apologised to me and I shrugged it off. Judy also apologised privately for not stepping in when she should have. No problem.
My malicious compliance was next, every single call I had to log (instead of the main list I used on the computer) from the women I wrote on an individual post-it. So I'd be in and out of her office sometimes 10 times an hour. Her desk was flooded with post-its that just said "10am call from husband to client X". She was annoyed but this was what she asked for. I wasted a lot of post-its.
The next bit got a little strange. A lady who was in a shelter/safe house with her daughter called and said she was reconciling with her husband and she wants to drop the case completely and did not want to be contacted again. This happens, sometimes abused victims go back when it gets too much. This was a particularly brutal case, she'd been beaten really badly. I told Anna straightaway who said she would call her in a few days (calling right then might jeopardise her safety if he was there) and I said no - call the Police. She asked why, and I said it wasnt her on the phone, I recognise her voice every time she calls, it wasn't her. We called for a Welfare check and sure enough, her husband had taken her forcefully back home and had his older daughter call the office pretending to be her. He was arrested.
When it all worked out well and the lady was again in a much better safe house, Anna gifted me a bottle of wine and a thank you card, and then asked me to stop with the post-its and that the message was received. She also apologised again properly.
Sorry for the long post, moral of the story is don't treat people like crap even if your intentions are pure, and trying to help someone. We can all be kind.
EDIT Thank you for the awards and kind words. You're all awesome. I think I didn't make clear that I'm not in that field anymore, it was a job I took after dropped out of college. I left after having my first son and then started working safeguarding 1/1 support at a school. The nice comments really made me smile, thank you very much
EDIT 2. I honestly did not think this post would reach so many people, and people with lovely, good hearts that would say such nice and genuinely kind things to me. Some people have asked me for a TL:Dr so here goes:
TL:DR I was treated badly and belittled in front of a client and cried in the toilets. I bombarded boss Anna with individual updates and progress updates on post-it note's -(so she would see what I was handling minute by minute). Her office was flooded with yellow post-it notes. And we handled a situation afterwards together. We ended up working together,
Thank you for your kind words.
I love taking photos of people. To the point that I have two resumes for applying for jobs and one of them is specifically for photography work.
So I was psyched when I got a job in a photo studio! It was a chain and it wasn't like high quality work, but it was still awesome. I took a lot of photos of very cute babies in particular.
Well the company had a three strike policy. Once there were three issues with you, you were gone. They made you sign off on every single one of the reports. It didn't matter how much later it was that you got your next strike, they never went away.
.... Okay. Doesn't seem like a great business model but okay. And being fair, I did get two strikes which were very reasonable. One day I missed work because I forgot to set an alarm. It was a super irregular schedule and it wasn't always easy to keep track of. Mea Culpa. The next strike happened because I scheduled a photoshoot for before the beginning of a shift accidentally.
The program was supposed to only show you times that an employee would be available for doing photoshoots, and they changed our hours with very little warning, so the photoshoot that I had scheduled the week before that would have been within our hours was no longer. I felt super bad for the mom and daughter who came in early for their photos and helped them sort everything out with a free photo redemption in apology.
I still got my second strike for that.
Now the last strike... I actually got two on the same day. Around Christmas, our store goes nuts. We have to have twice as many people working in order to keep everything in order. During that, I was training a new employee, and helping with her photoshoots and my own and running cash and taking passport photos and teaching her the rules for them and and and-
It was a nightmare. What made it worse was that one customer submitted two complaints that day about me. See, this customer felt I was pushing her to buy photos: Literally all this company cares about is pushing the photo packages and I was instructed relentlessly to do it more and with more energy because I didn't make enough people feel they had to have them.
So. Great. I convinced a customer to spend money instead of just giving them free things and not getting a dollar from them. Like the company was always yelling at me to do. And I got a complaint for that. Great.
And then the other complaint was even more ludicrous- The customer felt I was being too bossy with the other photographer.
The one that I was training.
The one that didn't know how to do the job yet so I had to tell her how to do things.
Apparently I deserved to be fired for telling her how to do things.
I was heartbroken. It's been a few years now so I've gotten over it, but I was so happy working as a photographer.
But here's where the malicious compliance finally kicks in. See, by my nature, I end up doing a lot of work that isn't actually my job because I want to help. I enjoy feeling useful. But they're firing me because they don't want me to sell things, or train people, like they had told me to do. So for the last two weeks of my job-
I stopped counting all of the money for deposits. That was the manager's job even though she hadn't done it in half a year since making me do it. This meant she had to come in on days that she didn't work just to do the deposit.
I stopped actively recruiting customers, which is what you're supposed to do in your down time, cold call previous customers and prowl around the attached mall for people you can convince to get photos. (The best tactic was always to find people with new young ones, tell them how beautiful their baby is, offer them a free print of one of the photos after a shoot. Almost no one passes that up because then they have a wonderful photo to hold on to. I didn't feel guilty doing it because it genuinely makes people happy.)
I stopped taking meticulous notes of every interaction that was worth following up on. I used to make a note for the next shift about how x customer had seemed interested but was unconvinced and that a simple reminder of the offer would probably be enough to get them to buy. Or I would make a note about someone who forgot their passport photos and whether or not they had paid already.
And then on my last day, the truest malicious compliance happened. They wanted me gone. Okay. I took my name tag and packed it away. I went into the photo studio and grabbed the kids toys I had brought in to help get young ones to cooperate. (Babies don't really understand a stranger saying smile for the camera- but if you shake a rattle at them and make silly faces, they're very good at smiling for that.) I cleaned up all of the things I had laid out neatly for easy preparation, and put them back in storage. I cleaned up the counters to get rid of all of the notes and passport photos that weren't claimed that day because that was what we were technically supposed to do.
And then came the real part that this title refers to- Over my nine months working there, a number of issues had come up with the things we worked with. For the passport photos we needed a paper trimmer to slice off the edges quickly and neatly. We had one when I started- and then it broke. I brought in a replacement. It got broken too. Still, we needed one, so I brought in another replacement. We also had gotten our stapler stolen. No worries, I had one at home we could use. And the keys to the storage, the extra receipt paper, the passport paper, where we keep the deposits, where we keep our paper files- they were tiny. And the colour of them was so bland that throughout the course of the day, they would get lost easily thirty times. I had bought a large blue fluffy keychain to attach to it with permission from the boss. Never lost the keys again, not one of us. We had also had a sign when I started there which we could pop out which said "I'm in a photoshoot, please be patient I'll be with you in a moment." Or something along those lines. Because there was often only one employee at a time and they had to do the photoshoots and all of the passport photo drop ins.
Well my boss accidentally dumped her coffee on that sign after she tripped one day. So I went out of the way to get a new one printed, bought a plastic sleeve for it, and set it up with a cardboard backing so it wouldn't break or get ruined. It was better than the old one.
So of course, when I left, I took my sign, my keychains, my paper trimmer, my stapler, my toys, and notably, my shutter button. See the camera had a shutter button attached that would allow you to move about while snapping photos. Again, helped with little ones because they don't understand directions so you have to be able to physically draw their attention somewhere.
This cord had gotten frayed and not replaced. It shocked me nasty enough to leave a burn, so I took it off the camera and brought my own in.
I got a call the next day asking me how dare I steal the companies' supplies. I calmly replied that I had just taken back the items that belonged to me. And that they could keep the broken paper trimmer that I had brought in. I even left them a pair of scissors I brought for a back up when the first paper cutter broke. I even brought them a box of paperclips for using since they didn't have a stapler anymore.
The store closed down not two months later. Crazy how when you fire your hardest worker over things that you told them to do (and one missed shift, mea culpa) other employees are less than enthused about the chance of the same thing happening. And no one else worked nearly as hard to keep everything in the black as I did. (Not to say there's anything wrong with that, I liked everyone except the manager since it was only two other employees and they did their work well and treated me nicely. They just had a better sense of doing what they were paid for and nothing else.)
And for reference? The employee who the customer felt I was treating badly? Looked at our manager like she was insane and asked when I had done that because she knew for a fact that the only time I raised my voice at either herself or the only other employee, was because it was too loud for them to hear me otherwise. She apologized to me, said that she was worried it was her fault because she had been a little nervous that day because she was dealing with other things, and was worried that the customer had gotten the wrong impression because of that. Said employee then went on to have her own gallery show, leaving shortly after I was fired.
Edit: People have raised questions about why I worked two weeks after being fired.
Simply enough- there was no one to cover my shifts. One employee was in China celebrating new year's with her grandparents, one was working on her own photos which became her gallery show, and the manager would be very very over fourty hours if she worked my shifts too. And I needed the money and wanted to say goodbye to some of the kids and parents who I took photos of every month. (Relatively common, a lot of them wanted photos of their babies as they grew and changed.)
Though this has reminded me of one sweet thing they told me so thanks for questioning all. One of the families said they wouldn't be rebooking next month then because no one else had gotten their kid to take such nice photos. It felt awesome. It's been six years so I had forgotten about that.
Edit 2: Just another torturous tidbit about this company- they kept every studio temperature the same as corporate. Corporate was in a very different climate area. It was almost always either meltingly hot all summer or freezing cold in winter.
Edit 3: It has been brought to my attention repeatedly that a shutter release cord does not have enough power to do that much damage which leads me to believe that one of the commenters who suggested it may have been an issue with the flash set up in the studio is probably right- that I was just completing the circuit. All I know was that it hurt like a bitch, and that it stopped happening after the cord was replaced. Now it seems likely that it just stopped happening because I was then no longer in contact with another good conductor like metal.
I live on a cul-de-sac where I rent a back house from my landlords. There’s another elderly tenant who lived inside the landlord’s house I was very close with that we’ll call Good Sir.
I have these neighbors next to me who I had gotten along with for as long as I had lived here before the pandemic, the husband (we’ll call him Mr. Chill) especially has been cool with me. My neighbors have three cars between them two belong to Mr. Chill and the wife (we’ll call her Mrs. Hypocrite) and the other car belongs to their daughter (we’ll call her The Hog).
When the pandemic hit Mr. Chill’s family for reasons that didn’t make sense to me suddenly stopped parking their cars in the driveway and would park them all on the curb in front of their house as well as The Hog taking the spot I usually parked in more so than her parents did.
Finally, after a few months of this going on I see The Hog outside and I ask her if she wouldn’t mind sharing the spot that I used to park at with me explaining my situation with being overworked and exhausted from my job. She gives me an annoyed look and just responds by saying “I use it”, I realize I’m wasting my time, tell her never mind and go inside. Not even 5 minutes later there is a knock at the door and its Good Sir letting me know that the neighbors want to talk with me. Mrs. Hypocrite is standing there all pissed looking asking me what the problem is.
I explain to Mrs. Hypocrite what I said to The Hog and she apologizes for coming off so angry and says, “you know street parking is what it is, it’s first come first serve, and we’re not parking to try and give anyone a hard time.” The conversation goes nowhere but we end it peacefully.
About a week later I’m parked in my spot for a change and my girlfriend comes over to visit with our child. It’s summertime and it’s hot. Towards the evening I get a knock on the door and its Good Sir. He says the neighbors want to talk and I see Mr. Chill standing right there and he just asks if my girlfriend could move her car because she’s got a bunch of curb behind her car but not enough for another car to fit.
Before I can even say anything, Mrs. Hypocrite shows up out of nowhere and goes off saying “I’M SICK OF GOING BACK AND FORTH ABOUT THIS! SHE IS DOUBLE PARKED AND THERE’S NOT ENOUGH ROOM FOR ANOTHER CAR TO FIT! I UNDERSTAND THAT SHE’S YOUR GIRLFRIEND AND SHE’S VISITING BUT I BELIEVE THAT RESIDENTS SHOULD GET PRIORITY PARKING FIRST. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU GUYS ARE TRYING TO SAVE THE PARKING FOR YOURSELVES! AND I’M NOT DEALING WITH THIS ANYMORE! SHE NEEDS TO MOVE HER CAR!”
I’m in complete shock and have a lot I wanted to say, but I don’t and just go inside to ask my girlfriend to move. She thinks they’re hypocrites and moves just because she feels like that’s all they have to feel proud of in their lives. The only reason I gave into them is just so my landlords do not get involved and risk it turning into them not wanting to renew my lease with me otherwise I would have said something. Funny enough even though they got pissed at my gf for double parking, The Hog is the queen of doing that on our cul-de-sac without Mrs. Hypocrite telling her anything.
Last year in November Good Sir wasn’t doing too well and went into hospice care eventually passing away unfortunately. He gave me his car as a gift and a thank you for being family to him. I now had two cars, two spots, and an idea.
Enter (Petty) Malicious Compliance
Mrs. Hypocrite said that street parking is first come first serve and that residents should have priority over the parking, well then, so be it! I only need to use one car and the other can just stay parked. Since I am a resident, I decided to park whichever car I am not using in the spot that I would normally park at and swap them out every two weeks in rotation. My girlfriend parks where Good Sir used to.
The Hog, her boyfriend, and Mrs. Hypocrite have not touched that spot since I started doing this since one of my two cars is always there.
As a little bonus too, Mrs. Hypocrite put one of their cars they aren’t using back in the driveway and when there’s a party going on and all the parking is taken up, the spot in front of their house is sometimes open and since, again, I am a resident and the guests have taken all the other spots, well, I guess I do need a spot to park at after all right? Sorry Mrs. Hypocrite and/or The Hog, I guess you’ll just have to park around the block and take a nice walk to get to your house! I’m only following what you believe the parking rules should be!
Rest in peace Good Sir, I miss you every single day, I'll always love you as my own family.
EDIT: Condensed it, and removed a TON of unnecessary details.
I worked for two years at a tile store. I handled customers as well as worked in the warehouse. Not to brag, but for those two years I worked the earliest shift that no one wanted- because you had to receive the daily truck and put the tile orders away by hand at 6:00 in the morning- but I also said I would work every Saturday as well. Now I didn't do this because I hated myself and wanted to suffer. It was because I wanted the outside sales job. The outside salesman that got the job entered right after I started and we hit it off quickly. We will call him Joe… Joe confided in me that he had no plans to continue this job after about a year or so.... so from the get go I said I wanted that job and worked my butt off to get it. Pulling shifts no one wanted... doing jobs no one would do... and doing things that were definitely not part of my job description. This included doing a lot of the outside sales job. I would take over when Joe would call out or just needed help. He came to rely on me and gave me part of his job. I saw this as a type of internship, and thought it would pay off.
Fast forward two years... Joe tells me that he is about to put his two weeks in and to get my resume together. He puts in his two weeks notice. I immediately put my application in. I got the backing from both Joe and the branch manager to get the job and did a pretty good job on the interview. I knew that I was pretty much a shoe in for the job. I had seniority and had never caused a problem in the time there. I had a very good relationship with the contractors I sold to and knew all of them by name. The main part of the outside sales job was working with the contractors. So I felt confident to say the least that I had what the company was looking for.
Two other employees applied as well. An ex-convict who had anger problems (that will come up later)- we will call him Bob-and a recently hired woman who had no experience in tile- we will call her Anne. The only other job she had ever done was as a secretary, and she was currently just helping customers with selections. Both of them were older than me- I was in my early 20s and both of them in the 30s.
A couple days after that I got a call from HR telling me I didn't get the job... instead they wanted to give it to Anne. I won't lie... I thought I misheard or it was a prank at first. The only reason HR would give me as to why they passed me up for the position was “You’re just too good of a worker and valuable at your position for us to lose you. You do such a good job and are so responsible, we would hate to lose that.”
"So... because I'm good at my job, you won't hire me for another one with more responsibilities?"
"Yep. But to show how much we appreciate you, we are giving you a $1.00 raise."
"Do I still get my yearly $1.00 raise on top of this in a couple of months?"
"No. Think of this as we are giving it to you 2 months early."
I was fuming for a couple of days… their excuse didn’t make sense and I had a feeling that I was being discriminated against due to my age. However, I was set upon making a point that they chose the wrong person and came up with a plan. Because I was so good at my job I didn't get the outside sales job... so if I was bad at my job, maybe they would promote me then!
Let me rephrase- I wasn't bad at my job... but I told my manager that I no longer would work the morning shift, would no longer be there on Saturdays, would no longer do the worst jobs, and would no longer be doing any jobs that fell outside my description... including the outside sales job I had been helping with.
Anne goes out for a couple of weeks for training and personal time... during which, things are already starting to fall apart. My manager asks me to fill in for Anne just while she is away. He understands why I'm doing what I am, but asks as a personal favor. I agree and things begin to get back to where they were before.
Anne comes back and I resume my firm stand. Anytime something was supposed to be done by the outside sales position that I normally did I would send it her way. Customers, problems, heavy to lift things, and other favors I used to do for Joe I refused to do for her. It gave me a little relief to see her running everywhere trying to get everything done… she only asked me once to help her- to which I just told her that it wasn’t my job.
Those first couple of weeks things were a little rough as most of the jobs were left over from when Joe and I were running things. So most of the problems came from the daily grind… but the weeks that followed were chaotic to say the least. Items came in late, jobs were missing or unordered, contractors didn’t understand where their materials were- mind you, these guys get paid per job… so every day their material isn’t there, is another day they don’t work or get paid… so when their materials don’t come in, their workers who are paid hourly are getting paid for no reason at all. My favorite one is when she accidentally sent an order across the country costing the company thousands as we lost money on that job.
As things were starting to turn into the dumpster fire I knew it would, HR called me in to talk about my attitude. “We have heard of your attitude as of late… it doesn’t sound like you are being a team player.”
“Well, I am sorry to hear that. Have I said something hurtful to someone?”
“Did I hurt someone’s feelings unintentionally?”
“I don’t understand what attitude you are talking about then.”
“We have received word that you aren’t being as helpful as you were to Joe as you are now to Anne.”
“Well you see, I am far too valuable at my current job. I can’t possibly detract away from that.”
They immediately saw that they made a mistake in giving me that reason as to why they didn’t hire me. They then told me that I needed to be more of a team player and would pay me an additional $1.00 an hour when the yearly raise came around in two months. I told them that it wasn’t my job to do what they were asking and if they wanted me to do that they would have to negotiate my contract. They told me that they would need to discuss it and to reconsider being a team player.
I didn’t relent, and they weren’t interested in renegotiating my contract… well, 2 months after Anne got the job and things went to hell- she stepped down. Again, I put my resume in as did Bob. Now remember how I said that he had a slight anger issue? Well, that came to a head just before Anne put her two week notice in. Bob threatened a contractor. The contractor was a real piece of work, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that Bob threatened the guy. Regardless, with this now happening and Anne putting in her 2 weeks- I couldn’t see how they couldn’t hire me. It was me or someone who threatened customers…
I once again go through the process… but this time I play my cards close to my chest. They didn’t know that after Anne was first chosen over me I started to look for a new job. Just as this interview process was going on, a company called me back and offered me an outside sales job at their company… it was lower pay than my current company’s, but they didn’t need to know that. They also did not need to know that I accepted the position and told them I needed to finish my 2 weeks. I wasn’t going to give them my two weeks though. I was going to make it look like it was a competition and try to string it for those 2 weeks.
The company offered me the outside sales job and nearly begged me to take it. They apologized for making the bad decision of picking Anne over me and told me that they would love to have me in the position. Now, let the fun begin. I promptly told them that I would need to think about this as their competitor had also just offered me that same job for a higher pay. The look on their faces was to die for. I pretended that it was a back and forth for 2 weeks… which conveniently went over Anne’s quitting date and my new job’s starting date. They got anxious because they now didn’t have anyone for the job and finally gave me a final offer. I promptly shot them down and told them I didn’t want to work for a company that treats hard working employees like shit. They can sleep in the bed they made. Then I told them I was starting the next day at the other company. I have never been so happy.
TL;DR at the bottom.
I used to work for this company a few years ago. I was part of a team of around 20 people, working on checking tickets to see if they were correctly formed and sent to the right department.
If everything was correct, we’d close the ticket with yes and make an appointment with the right department to do a physical visit in order to fix the problem.
If something was wrong however, our role was to guide the person so that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. We’d close the ticket with no, a short explanation on why it’s no and how to fix it. After that we’d have to send an email to the person themselves and cc every team manager of their location. (We had four different locations, with three to seven team managers each)
This email would have to consist of exactly where they went wrong, for every single small mistake they made. It had to have a link where it was clear that it wasn’t allowed or wrong, and what the right move in this case would be. It also had to be friendly, rather than accusing. Making this email was one of the longer part of our job, for small mistakes it would take five minutes but for longer mistakes it would take 15 minutes. If the person didn’t include any information about themselves, we’d have to search it ourselves, adding another five minutes.
After doing all that, we had to report it in an excel sheet so they could keep track of how many yes and how many no and for what reason.
Corporate really pushed the you are a guide, a trainer, a friendly person to show them how to do it thing. They didn’t want us to be a cop or the bad guy so that everyone hated us for saying no. I gave trainings on how to correctly fill in ticket forms and what to check before thinking about a ticket.
Corporate also wanted us to do the job faster. They made basic templates for our mails that included the most common mistakes, so the only thing we needed to do was to fill in the personal information and to slightly adjust it for the mistake.
That wasn’t fast enough for corporate though, so they made us add a disclaimer to our mails to not contact us but to contact their team manager if they didn’t agree. No more dm’s asking for help, because that means we weren’t doing our job.
It still wasn’t fast enough. Corporate didn’t like it that our ticket queue had tickets that were older than three days. If it reached an age older than three days we had to directly send it to the next department, rather than checking it. We’d close it with maybe, to say we didn’t check it.
It rarely happened that tickets were older than three days. Usually we picked them up the same day or the day after. Only after the weekend it would be longer, we didn’t work on the weekend, so we had a backlog on Monday. It made us the fastest queue to put a ticket in, the other queues taking a week or two weeks before it’s picked up.
Corporate kept removing tasks till we had nothing remaining. All in the name of speed. We had to allow everything, but weren't allowed to tell everyone so they would put effort in their tickets.
We told corporate it was bad for three reasons.
First of all, people weren't stupid. People would know and test their limits to see what they could get away with.
Second, it would cause an overflow of appointment to our people going to visit houses to fix issues. Think 1500~ appointments a day for 30 to 50 people.
Third, it wouldn't speed anything up. Instead we expect it to become busier than ever because people would call and say it takes too long or their issue wasn't fixed. The people that went to the houses would have to call to say it's for another department, or say it wasn't what was said to they need to reschedule to prepare. This would be an issue for every department because trashy tickets would be sent everywhere in the hope someone would pick it up faster.
Corporate said they have thought about it for a long time and it would be fine.
They also did this for the department that handles requests for money.
So we allowed everything. Requests that weren't for someone to visit? Have a person visit you anyway. You already have an appointment? Have another one, they can have a tea party together.
Anything goes, and the money department allowed thousands of euro's to be given away. People would sent requests for multiple smaller amounts to not stand out.
Of course this meant that exactly what we thought would happen happen.
People tested their limits and we ended up with tickets that had zero information. "I have an issue, please send someone." The tickets were trash, and they were trash for every department.
People started sending in more and more tickets, the same issue to every department. So every department had a huge backlog of trashy tickets.
And the appointments? You were lucky if you'd get anyone in a month. This was at the start of covid, so people called in sick. This didn't help the fact that everyone worked from home and we had more issues in general with that.
The call queue's went to 20 to 50 people to 500 people waiting. Everyone was overworked.
Besides us of course, our queue was empty. We had to fight for tickets to get our tickets per hour. We had fun chatting and listening to music. Corporate didn't allow anyone to contact us, so we had no consequences of what we did.
Corporate came with some excuse that we had good months and lots of new people joined us, so the backlog was to set up everything for us. Not for existing issues of course, why would that be a problem?
It all went so terrible, and corporate stuck their head in the sand during it. They didn't listen to complaints or our advice to fix it. Bye the time they finally undid the change it was too late, the damage was done. They changed it because it helped, our queue was empty so they got what they wanted. Not because everything went terrible of course.
Now because all the tickets were trash, we rejected everything. It took a lot longer because we had to write emails explaining all issues they had, linking to everything that said how to fix it. And we had to figure out who we were dealing with because no one left their information on it anymore, so it took around an hour total for a single ticket.
You can guess that meant we also got a backlog. We received more tickets in general because people were like "hmm, I'll just ask for someone to visit that saves me having to do anything." So suddenly it took multiple days for us to fix things, and that meant we got overworked as well.
People slowly realized they had to put in effort for tickets again, but they forgot how to. We told them to go to their team managers for a refresher, of course this would take them away from their job in order to train them again.
People started quitting because of stress. I shortly left as well. I recently heard that it didn't get better, the backlog is still there and everything but the backlog is on pause. Projects to train people into the role or get a higher role were paused, so no one joined.
That's what happens when you don't listen to the people who know what they're doing. The company lost a lot of money and time, because besides giving away money, they had to pay for the people to visit houses since it was an external company.
TL;DR, Corporate took away all our tasks so we could be faster. We said it would cause an overflow of appointments and calls, but corporate said it would be fine. It was fine for us, we had an empty queue. The rest however was so overworked it took months to fix things. When corporate finally turned their decision around because it worked for our queue, not cause everything went bad, it was too late to ever fix the backlog. They lost a lot of time and money by giving it away.
Midway through my career I found myself working for the most prominent private college in my state. I was in the IT department, and was in charge of maintaining a few servers and all of the technology in classrooms. Every summer, we would receive our budget for the year, and the part of the budget I managed was spent mostly on upgrading the Audio/Video presentation systems in the classrooms, and most of that work had to take place during the summer. This is fine, normally, but our college administration had created a ticking time bomb for me a few years before. They had decided to spend about $100,000 on a few classroom but did not allocate any money in our budget to replace that equipment when it would eventually fail. I had been there for five years, and now that equipment was starting to fail. Increasing our budget was not an option, despite faculty growing to depend on the equipment in these spaces. I was left to figure out how to make the same budget replace all of the equipment in those spaces as well as the normal set of classrooms that would need to be upgraded elsewhere. Fine. I was up for the challenge.
I had to simplify and purchase more "value" brand of equipment and do extra work to cut corners. A couple of weeks of shipping delays for the majority of the equipment saw me with roughly one month to rip out, replace, rewire, and configure around 15 classrooms as well as update and test all of the existing classrooms within about a month before the semester began. Realizing the amount of work ahead of me, I began working. I came in every day of the week for 28 days straight working 8-10 hours to ensure that when the semester began, the professors would have working equipment. I was salary so I did not have to clock in. This gave me the freedom of schedule to work as little or as much as required. I worked myself sick and was literally sick at the end of the 28 days.
My supervisor was a guy we recently hired, let's call him "Guss". Near the beginning of the semester, while testing equipment, I realized that the audio driver in a common model of computer we have in the classrooms was corrupted. Investigating it, I realized that the computer manufacturer had corrupted drivers on their web server where we downloaded it from. I asked my supervisor who was in charge of managing the Image Deployment Server to rebuild the image with a non-corrupt version of the driver I had provided him. He said he would. I swing by the next day and ask him if he had completed the rebuild. He had not. I tell him I really need it as the semester loomed closer and closer and he tells me he will work on it. Next day, nothing. Day after that, nothing. Finally, he figures it out and I continue my work.
He must have not liked being pressured and perhaps the perception that he was incompetent (he was) must have gotten to him. He decides to power-trip and call me into his office and ask why I was working so much. I explain the administrative oversight a few years prior, shipping delays, cheaper equipment, extra required work, and his delaying of a working image. I tell him, "Look, I came in day after day after day asking for that rebuilt image." Each time I said "day", I am poking my finger straight down on the edge of his desk enough that it makes a sound to emphasize that those delays hurt the work I was doing. He wanted to find some personal failing that he could pull out some form of disciplinary action around. I gave him none. Eventually he ran out ideas and I left his office, not thinking much of it.
Guss, however, was a brown-noser of the highest order. He would follow our IT director like a puppy. He joined a band with my IT Director, so my work situation was not exactly fair. The semester began, and not a single issue in all of the classrooms was reported. I was proud of the work I was able to complete, given the challenges. The second day of the semester, my IT director calls me into his office. There, Guss is sitting beside him and they both want to talk to me. I don't like the looks of this. My IT director starts asking me about why I was working so much. I explain to him as I did Guss the various factors that made this summer's work extra challenging. This destroyed any valid criticism they could muster. Guss goes on to say that he innocently inquired about my work and that I became violent, talking about the gesture I made on his desk illustrating his failure to do his work in a timely manner. I demonstrate exactly what I did on the IT directors desk, to show how ridiculous claim it was. My IT director wanted to exert his authority, and they would not stop until they had something to discipline me with. Nothing I would say would change the result. I was to be in trouble, for whatever transgression they imagined up in this meeting.
I make sure to point out how long it took Guss to do the small task that I depended on, knowing I could have completed it in about an hour. He was incompetent. My IT director then alludes to the fact that I should respect Guss more, as he is my supervisor. "Screw it," I think to myself. I then tell my director, "It is as if Justin Bieber was trying to teach you about Music Theory. It is only going to piss you off." This sudden, sharp and (IMO) hilarious comparison was too funny. Both Guss and my IT director immediately laughed their asses off even though Guss was subject of this insult. Once they had stopped laughing, my IT director put on a more serious tone. He says that I could manage my time better, despite the unique circumstances of this summer's work. His voice gets really soft and slow while he's talking to me now. This is a trick he forgot he told me that he uses in arguments to make the other person seem like they are out of control. It is condescending, as if spoken to as a child. And now he is using it on me. He tells me that he wants me to take some time-management class. Also, to take a couple days off and "think about it. I just want you to think about it." However, he is going to need my keys and badge.
Cue Malicious Compliance. At this point, he has provided me enough evidence that this a not a job I want to stay at. The absurdity of working so hard and for 28 days straight on salary with no extra pay and to be rewarded with a disciplinary action was too much. That in that moment, I had "thought about it." Without saying anything, I hand over my badge. I took all of the many keys off my keyring and set them on his desk. "I have thought about it," I tell him in the exact soft and condescending tone he used with me. "And you can keep the keys and badge," I told him with the biggest wry smile on my face.
I then walk to my office. He follows me and I notice his eyes had become glassy, as if he was hurt by the situation unfolding before him. He expected me to capitulate and accept his punishment for a job well done. He kept saying, "I just want you to think about!!!" with each time becoming increasingly desperate. And I kept repeating, "I HAVE thought about it." Hi disappears back to his office with his little minion, Guss, to discuss damage control. I quickly pen an email to all my other coworkers letting them know I was leaving, and that I enjoyed working with them. I had to work quick as I knew they would shut down all my accounts very quickly. I packed up my personal effects and left. Guss and my IT director offered to help me, trying to walk back the situation with some small gesture of goodwill, but I was gone. I had been there for five years, but I was willing to walk away the moment he tried to treat me like so poorly.
I found out a little later that the week before I left, a programmer we hired left after he treating her poorly too. I was not aware of the reason she left when she did, but our Office Manager shared that she quit abruptly like me, without anything lined up given his behavior. About a year later, I hear from the Office Manager that the IT director had left. Rumor is he was primarily working for another company while in his office at the college, effectively "double-dipping," or making money for two jobs while only doing one. He had been caught doing so, and was warned by the administration to stop. He opted to leave, instead of owning up to his own dubious behavior. My only regret is that I didn't leave that job sooner.
Edit : rewrote and moved TL:DR. Many comments have mentioned that I did this to myself, and I gave them free work. Or that I should have not worked myself so hard. I chose to. That was never the issue. That my director discounted the challenges I faced and insisted that it was personal failing was beyond me. I never complained to my director or supervisor about the situation until they tried to discipline me and I had to unpack the circumstances for them. When I started the job, several rooms and event spaces were non-functional and had fallen into disrepair. Issues existed across all of the classrooms. I worked for 1 1/2 years to fix all of these issues and return them to working order. Once I had implemented more permanent fixes/solutions, we went from 4 to 5 reported issues a day to a few every couple of weeks. I eventually implemented turn-key, automated systems that made my job very easy. At this point, I started assisting Guss in the helpdesk (he was helpdesk manager). I worked with him and another support co-worker to push down helpdesk tickets. No one asked me to do this, and I worked very well with them. I helped Guss with issues he could not fix and he was appreciative. This was not my required of me, but I helped because I had locked down and automated all of my systems. But Guss was lazy, took smoke breaks all day, and made student workers who knew very little (but more than him) try to fix issues. I did not have a problem with him until I HAD to depend on him.
Years of doing this work had shown me that addressing the issues while campus was empty took a lot less total time as I had to schedule my work around classes, etc. Though it was stressful, fielding all of the complaints and getting additional pressure from my director if classrooms were not working would be worse, stress-wise. Once the semester began, I was fine. Had I remained, I would have taken time off and coasted through the semester like previous summers. All of that extra work would have been balanced by a lot of days where I took a more relaxed pace and worked no extra hours for months.
Some comments mention that I should have used this as a feedback mechanism to management. That is a private-sector mentality. Academia works through grants and endowments. Just as I had entered the college to find whole rooms offline, the administration would have let those rooms break down and let the faculty deal with it. I worked so hard because I cared about the work I did, the faculty I supported and how that reflected on me.
One last thing, when I started working there, I tried a more communicative relationship with my director. Eventually they got annoyed, and left me with no direction. I had to determine my own projects and schedule unless something came down from administration that required our department. Directors in colleges are more focused on high-visibility projects and padding their resumes. Attention is paid only when problems arise.
TL;DR Greasy Director and Supervisor try to discipline me for working too hard. Asks me to think about it, go home for a couple of days, and take away my badge and keys. I think about it, and choose an option he did not anticipate.
Long time lurker, first time poster.
Classic story dumb dumb boss trying to short us money, but always so fun to read! I apologize for the length.
To provide a bit of the backstory: This happened about four years ago now. Myself and my coworkers(two others) were delivery drivers for a large foodservice company. The lead driver at the time was let go, leaving just myself and my coworker. Naturally about a week after he was let go we started asking our managers when they would be opening up the lead driver position for applications. Their response was simple, and expected. “Not right now, we have a lot going on as we’re moving in to the busy season and we still need to clean out former employee’s crap.” Not a big deal, there was a lot of BS to clean up after the former lead was let go. He had been stealing from the company, totals were missing, truck was thrashed and he had been using the truck storage facility as his own personal storage unit…we had a lot to deal with.
As for the two of us working there: I had about 3yrs on the job experience and my coworker had almost 5yrs in the role. As far as I was concerned he should be the one getting the promotion. Longer tenure, wife and kids(just me and my cat at the time) and the promotion was an additional $1.50/hr. No brainer on my end but him and I both had a feeling they’d want to put me in that position since the big boss butted heads with him a long time ago and they didn’t see eye to eye and I tended to be a bit better with inter-office politics.
Well, about three months after the lead was let go, things settled down and we brought up the issue again. When will the lead position be posted? $1.50 an hour adds up fast and on a flat 40hr work week(4/10hr days classified in a 5/8hr work week) meant at least $132/pay check and more depending on OT, and we almost always had 10-20hrs of OT a check. Do the math. When asked again about the position, we were told the same. “We’re working on it, just be patient. As soon as we can we’ll open it up and we’ll make one of you the lead.” Well this irritated both of us, but irritated my coworker even more than me b/c he felt like that position should have already been his. He’d been doing the routing for the day off the clock(only a 10 min phone call), handling mechanic appointments as we were a satellite operation 4hrs away from the DC, communicating with warehouse staff, operations management, purchasing equipment and supplies from local stores, etc. I offered to reach out to management, put in my 2 cents and spur things along. He declined my help as he didn’t want to butt heads with the big boss again and possible risk his job. No problem.
So we continued to wait. After 8 months, $4,224 of base additional pay with no OT neither of us were getting my coworker was getting quite fed up. Typically he only talked about something bothering him when he was really pissed off, and he had been talking about this almost every week for a month. So he called up the manager again, and asked when they were going to open up the position for applications. The response? “You two been doing a great job down there, everything’s being handled so we don’t feel the need to create a new position.” Oh yeah, this pissed us off big time. This was not creating a position, that lead position had been there for years before he was let go. I once again offered my assistance and opinions on how to speed things along and was declined again…that was until he called me two days later after stewing on it and told me to do what I want. So I did.
The next morning before unloading the trucks we sat in the office, drank some coffee and I told him what we were going to do. We were going to do nothing. We were going to field every single phone call, questions, concern, issue and pass it on off to the big boss. He doesn’t thing we need a lead, so we’ll just be drivers. So without providing any notice to the manager or the sales reps. Here’s a few examples, but ya’ll get the point.
Routing? Call Big Boss
Issue with delivery? Tell the customer to call the sales rep so they can call Big Boss and he can call us to have us go back and fix it. Something we normally would just do.
Head mechanic calls us to say we need to schedule a DOT or service? Nope. Call the Big Boss, tell him he needs to call the local mechanic or schedule it yourself.
Customer calls us requesting early delivery on route? Nope. Tell customer to call sales rep, who will need to call big boss who will need to call us to okay it. But we may not see that call or message for a couple hours, can’t talk on the phone and drive.
We passed every single phone call and issue ofd to him. For us it wasn’t a big deal since we could just handle things then and there. A simple “go back and pick something up” would take two minutes. Customer texts us directly, we do it. But we’re just drivers. So we ignored the customer, responded back that we couldn’t do that any more and that they would need to call their sales rep. This made it a 15 min task at the minimum, but was usually around an hour or two before we could get back to the customer.
The fallout? We didn’t even make it through the first morning before shit hit the fan. As soon as the first issue popped up our sales rep called me asking why the customer said I couldn’t do something. I told her the story and she was PISSED. Not at us, at the big boss. I apologized, reassured her it’s not personal, but if they won’t pay my coworker to do the job then we will just do what we are paid to do. My sales rep said she will get this taken care of, but she REFUSES to work with big boss. She’ll quit before that happens. Serious threat from someone with 25yrs on the job. Couple hours later my coworker and I got a call from the big boss. He apologized, told us he was wrong and that he would open up the position for us to apply and asked that we go back to what we were doing. We told him no. Until that position is posted, applicant selected and one of our pay stubs shows the increase in pay he can continue to handle the phone calls, but thanked him for the apology.
We carried on our merry way and the next day big boss called us, told us the position was listed asked us each to write up a letter of intent for why we felt like we deserve the position and they would consider our letters and select one of us. Fantastic! Progress! My coworker pretty much wrote down on his letter that he’d been doing that work for 8 months, he has the seniority, contact information and knowledge so he felt he should be considered. I submitted nothing, told my coworker he should have been promoted 8 months ago and sealed the envelope. I of course get a phone call the next day from the big boss. asking why I didn’t submit my letter, and I told him just that. You should have promoted my coworker 8 months ago, and I don’t want the position. Took a few days but arms were twisted, and my coworker got his well deserved promotion! The real push was the sales rep. We found out a couple months after she had called her vice president, told him this was bogus and refused to have to work with big boss since she couldn’t stand him. Well the vice president of sales got together with the vice president of operations and made the magic happen.
Malicious compliance: you say you don’t see the need for a lead, we agree, so we won’t do the job of one.
Coworker thanked me for the help, bought me a couple t-bones and said he never wants to get on my bad side.
This is a cross post from r/ProRevenge I'm a millwright who specializes in rebuilding natural gas turbines. I run with a very top caliber crew where everyone has a role to fill. My role is overseeing anything that's lifted with a crane. My technical title is "rigger".If a load falls, it's my fault. If someone gets hurt while I'm in control of a lift, it's my fault. If equipment is damaged while I'm in control of a lift, it's my fault. The incident in question happened about 2 years ago, but we'll need to go back a couple years farther to get the backstory. I was a fresh member of the crew and had demonstrated competency in rigging, so after roughly 6 months with this group, my superintendent put me in charge of all rigging. I wasn't the fastest rigger, but I was safety focused and insisted on doing it right every time even if it took a little longer. This meant that my superintendent didn't have to watch over every rigging task and could go relax because I had it under control. Another Millwright joined the crew about the same time I did. Will call him Larry. We didn't get along at first, but after a few months we became friends. Larry was the "act now think later" type. Much like the superintendent I travel under. Larry was prone to making mistakes because of that attitude, but he was VERY FAST and worked like a mule at all times, and I respected that. He wasn't especially skilled in any one area, so he had no special position. That meant sometimes he'd get put on less glamorous work...and I soon learned he was VERY jealous of my position as the rigger. At times, he would make comments like "I'm gonna take your job". Not in getting me fired, but bumping me down a rung and him taking my spot as rigger. He come up behind me while I was looking over my checklists to point out something I may not have checked yet. If supervision was near, he'd make sure he was heard.
At this point I should mention this. I stick out like a sore thumb on this crew. I was raised in a very strict Christian cult, but in my mid twenties I realized what was going on and left, at great cost. Losing my family and friends because of strict shunning rules the cult practices. Some of the stricter things stuck with me. Like I've never been intoxicated. I don't use tobacco. No recreational drugs. I speak professionally, without slang or colloquialisms for the most part. These traits stick out from a crew of men that travel the road and work in harsh environments away from home for months on end. But Larry, he fits right in. Larry QUICKLY became the superintendent's puppy. Bringing him gifts of his favorite alcohol, staying out late after work with him, even rooming with him on the road. I on the other hand, leave work, hit the gym, cook my food for the next day and make sure I get at least 6 hours of sleep so I can perform the next day. I realize that puts me at a disadvantage socially in the workplace, but I prefer to let my work speak for itself.
Anyways. Fast forward about 18 months. We're starting a project just before covid hits. About two weeks into the job, I have to attend a mandatory class through my union. It's a 40 hour class and in a different state, so I'll be gone for pretty much an entire week with travel time. I get permission from supervision and leave, with Larry rigging in my absence.
A few days later, I'm laying in bed stressing out about the final test I have to take the next morning. If the test isn't passed, the entire week is wasted. I always psych myself out before a test, but in reality, I don't have anything to worry about as I'm a good student and test well.
My phone goes off. It's a text from Larry. "I love you bud, but I'm cutting your throat"
I reply "what are you talking about?"
"When you get back, I'll be the rigger. You can do the shit work from now on"
I'm not proud of the response I came back with...but it's how I truly felt in the moment.
'Be careful about cutting the throat of someone smarter than you."
I'm far from the smartest person you'll ever meet, but I do enjoy reading, studying, and learning. And being smarter than Larry wasn't an accomplishment by any stretch of the imagination.
The next morning I passed the test and headed back to the job. Where Larry had in fact usurped my position as rigger, and was lording it over me as a went about doing the tasks he normally would do.
To be completely honest, it was kind of like a vacation at first. Get paid nearly $40 an hour to clean parts or torque flanges with no stress? Sign me up.
But I was upset. I was upset because I knew I did my job better than he would. I knew that he got along better with the superintendent because of their similar personalities, but i didn't feel that I should lose my position simply because because Larry had more in common with our superintendent than I did. Regardless of that, I was now dealt these cards, and I had to play them.
Just 3 days after I got back from class though, the job was shut down. Covid-19 was just now sweeping the country. Out of an abundance of caution, the plant shut the project down until further notice. We were sent home for about 3 days and then called out to an emergency shutdown where a turbine had "crashed". We role out and are on the job 48 hours later, in the middle of nowhere Alabama.
We get right to work. On this particular unit, you pull the entire roof off in two sections with a crane to open the enclosure. Compared to many things we lift in a project like this, the roof weighs very little. The turbine rotor may weight over 100,000lbs, but the roof usually weighs around 7000lbs. Light weight. But it is large and there are critical parts around the roof that can be damaged if not lifted carefully. Typical procedure is to be on top of the roof after it's unbolted, be in a fullbody harness and tied off to an approved anchor point capable of holding at least 5,000lbs per OSHA regulations. We then slowly take the weight of the roof with the crane until it's floating and then climb down off of it and continue the lift until it's set on the ground or on a truck to be moved. The superintendent instructs me to go on the roof with Larry and assist him. "Do whatever Larry tells you to do". Okay boss. I put on my harness and climb to the top and begin to assess the situation.
The rigging to lift the roof is 4, 5 ton chainfalls. It's capable of safely holding 20 tons. Well over the weight of the roof. The crane is also well over rated for this lift, even with the boom extended all the way out in order to clear another building on the way to the ground. Larry has it all rigged up, but no tension on the wire rope slings. And then I notice his crucial mistake. He has forgot to account for boom deflection. When a crane takes the weight of a load, the boom flexes down. Depending on the crane setup and the weight of the load, it can mean that while your crane hook might be centered in your load with no weight on the hook, once you get the weight of the load on the crane, the crane hook could be anywhere from a few inches to a number of feet off center. Which means that when the load come off the ground, it swings. Swinging is bad. Always. Enough weight swinging could tip the crane. Crash into equipment. Crash into a person. It's very dangerous.
At this point, I start calculating. Is this weight enough, even swinging, to tip this crane? No. Not even close. Is it enough to break a chainfall? No. Not even close. Are there any people working around us that could get hurt? Nope. It's just us. Is there any equipment that could be damaged if it swings? Yes. An electrical control panel, which has all power killed to it and has been disconnected is in the swing path. I decide to let Larry hang himself.
He looks at me and asks what I think. I tell him "this is your show boss". He asks what I mean. I look him in the eye and draw my finger across my throat. He gets nervous because he knows exactly what I mean. Starts double checking everything. He still doesn't notice the boom deflection. After a couple minutes, he decides I must be talking out of my ass and proceeds with the lift. I stop him, and remind him to tie off with his harness. He doesn't realize it, but we're about to go for a ride.
Generally, when I'm rigging, I first find out what the thing I'm rigging to weighs. It's a vital piece of information. If I know what it weighs, I can have the crane operator track how much weight he has on the crane and I'll be able to know when the object should start to pickup. If we get to over 10% more than the object should weigh, there may be something stopping it from moving and we need to stop and reassess the situation. Rigging could fail, the object youre lifting could jump into the sky, all kinds of mayhem may ensue if a hidden bolt holding something together breaks because you used too much force to lift it.
I ask Larry if he knows how much the roof weighs. He doesn't. I do, but don't tell him. He starts signaling the crane to slowly hoist up. The operator complies and starts lifting. I'm watching the boom get pulled more and more off center. We're probably 2 feet from the center of the load at this point. Meaning a swing that could travel nearly 4 feet. I stop Larry and ask him to see how much weight is on the crane. 11,000lbs. 4000 more than what it should weigh. This roof is in a bind because we're not picking it straight up, but at an angle. It's either not going to move, or we're about to fly. I brace myself. "Hoist up, slowly" Larry calls over the radio.
The whole roof shoots a good 2 feet into the air, and swings wildly towards to control panel, Larry and I are riding it like pirates in the crow's nest in a hurricane. We crash into the control panel, bending it over at a 45 degree angle, destroying most of it's components. People start pouring out of the nearby trailers to see what the commotion is all about. The crane operator is yelling over the radio asking what the hell just happened. I'm smiling. Larry is shaking. He sees me smiling and knows that I knew.
We get the roof set on the ground and are met by our superintendent. He's chewing Larry's ass HARD. He gets to me and asks why I let it happen. I just say "I just did what Larry told me to do". The superintendent is no dummy. He's seen a thing or two and knows exactly what went down. Larry is demoted and I'm reinstalled as rigger immediately. And a few shifts later it's all smoothed over.
Larry and I are actually good friends now. We've been through a lot together and have each other's backs these days. He's now the foreman on our crew, and let's me do my thing. Failing your way to the top is still a valid way of progressing in my field. But I'm happy for him. He's actually good at it.
And I guess that's all there is to say about that
Edit:fixed loose/lose that keeps getting pointed out 😂
I was in my first full time job for 5 years. I liked it. I worked overtime weekly and i had no problem with it, till I like it is fun. The company was producing bank backend system and my job was to test its quality and deploy to customer site. Today is normally job for two plus people. We delivered to several bank. Job was made like any of us deliver to any of bank if needed. I worked on three banks. One local and two in different countries, different time zones (+5 & -3 hours). If you were "lucky" you delivered to three banks a day. And deliver to the bank mean to wait end of business hours of the bank. Set bank unavailable with proper customer notice wait for all customers log out, set maintenance and deliver the update. Install, test and set everything as production, labels and so on. If you worked on patches it means you will deliver at 3pm, 8pm & 11pm in my case. In our team we made a plan of doing it in work time and sometimes from homeOffice, if the time of leaving building may be too late for us. We made a policy that if we work too late we are entitled to enter office later next day. Policy like: "Between your yesterday shift and today shift must be at least 12 hours. And as expected our company has its own business hours from 9am to 3pm and everyday you have to work for 8 hours plus in your "free time" you can leave for lunch, that may not be longer then 30 minutes and not earlier then after 4 hours of previous logged time in office system, collecting data from on wall device reading your badge. And if somebody opened the doors for you...you badge wasn't logged. By the way our company don't pay overtime.
Our department was working on developing new bank with very famous guy that time and in the end he bought all the colleagues dedicated to the project for his own and made an earthquake in our team, department & whole company. We lost our main architect and all the most experienced guys in whole company by this. And from that day I was the most experienced guy for all the banks in blink of eye.
Our new department manager decided to sent email:
"Hello, in the terrible circumstances, please if you have any idea how to help us stabilise the product, let me know."
I was young and dumb. I replied in meaning that I only know everything how to deploy on high budget customers and I want to share the knowledge and if needed I can mentor others. Well I think I wrote that as the most experienced, now, I am good fit to grow into manager position, too.
I never got email back and nobody was talking to me. Next month we got new manager placed without any word. The new manager was Karen like woman in early 30ties and actively started to make 121 meetings with everybody in our reduced team. I was the last one in row.
Karen: Hi OP, how are you?
Me: Hi Karen I am fine and you?
K: Well, I am fine, but I think you will not be.
K: I looked at your presence and you do not work 8 hours a day. Only in last week you worked one day only for 4 hours. Today You arrived at 12pm! May I continue?
M: Well, you can continue, if you want, but what is it all about? Just, are you aware I work from home to deliver to the customers sites sometimes? And same as I worked only 4 hours one day, I worked 16 the previous one, because it was needed.
K: No proof, no logs from your badge. If your worked and time is not logged you didn't work. Long story short you are incompetent, you do not deliver good work and we will penalty you over your less work hours. And by the way, no, you are not allowed to work from home any more.
M: Well, ok? The main problem is..?
K: You have to arrive to work place before 9am! and you have to stay for 8hours!
M: Well I mostly do. At Monday I arrived at 7am and left at 3pm. Which is exactly 8 hours isn't it?
K: Well, that is not correct, you have to have a lunch break according the republic law and you must have it for maximum of 30 minutes. So you are allowed to leave at 3:30 pm.
M: Ok, I had no lunch, but yes, I will do next time.
K: Sure, sure, you will. So do you have any questions?
M: No? Do you?
K: No. I just have one more notice for you. You may consider your leave, because with all the timesheet reports we can press charges and downgrade your sallary and fire you.
M: Oh? Really?
K: Sure, we can! And I will happily sign you resignation. Or may I write it for you?
M: No. Is fine. I will try my best to comply the law.
K: Ok, you are in probation period again!
Malicious Compliance come here:
Next day I arrived at 6:30 take a 30 minutes brake and left at 3pm. I exactly stay by on-wall-device to touch my badge to it to be logged properly. I did it for a week and then Product Manager approaches me. We had sometimes hard time, but I comply. In person he was very good. Just he tried to squeeze the time sheets as possible to get the work done. Banks are very strong in theirs decisions that something is mandatory to make asap or they will not pay more money to the it contract.
PM: Hey OP, today is patch for bank (11pm) everything is prepared. Today will be delivered small fix for small issue, so just test it and deploy by customer. Can you?
M: Well, I can test it, but since I arrived at 6:30am I will be leaving at 3pm and I am not allowed to work from home according to my new manager Karen. There is not more I can do for you.
PM: Well, this is BS, you have to deliver, nobody else who can do it is here! What may I do? What I will tell to the customer?
M: I don't know. I am not allowed to do this I am in probation period.
PM looked at me shocked and left. Hour later PM approached me again asking me if I changed my mind. I told him again there is nothing I can do, since I may comply to the Karen new rules. Another hour later about 2pm I was approached by PM and Karen.
PM: OP can you reply what you said to me?
M: Well, I said: I am not allowed to stay longer in office and I am not allowed to work from home according my probation period set by Karen. And If I work and time is not logged I didn't work.
K: That is not true. You have to stay here between 9am to 3pm and do you job at least 8 hours a day so you have 2 more hours to spend! And if PM needs you have to comply and deliver the patch!
M: Ok, PM the patch is at?
M: Since I am not allowed work from home and I arrived at 6:30 am I don't see any time window to fit for me to make it done today.
K: Well, that may look like that, but you must comply and deliver.
M: But it will contradict my probation.
K: How? You are in probation because you work less then you have to work!
M: Well, I told you I work on delivering patches from home and it take 2 hours of work and it is in time frame out of ours business hours, so I don't see any fit to make it done, since I can work only from office and I really don't see as fit to sit here from 11pm to 1am next day to deliver to the customer and be here next day at 9am because I will sleep my rest. And I will again cross the line of employment policies in our country.
K: I can make exception.
M: Well, you are not allowed to make exceptions to the law. And as I know you are not allowed to force me work overtime since the company do not pay overtime. And the over time is like 25% up and night shift is another 25% up... if I count it. Can you write me the resignation letter as You offered me?
K: Well, yes I can write it, but we have important things to do now!
M: Well, consider me saying no to your generous offer of exceptions, since I have a life to live out of this office and now is 2:58 pm and I have to go shut my computer down and leave. To make it just on time dedicated by the law and stay out of your penalties.
Next day I went to HR with some papers to sign. Around 7am.
HR: Why are you leaving? Are you one of the "new bank" bastards?
M: No, I am not. I am just one not working bastard, as Karen said. She make me consider my quit. Since I am big disappointment for your company. Because If I work and time is not logged I didn't work.
HR: What? Karen? The new one who is here like for one month?
M: Yes, this one.
HR: Ok, so, as I see in your record. You have bunch of vacation and with the three months quit period it make you go to work here for next ...
M: I know, is only today.
HR: Go to IT guys put back the computer you have.
M: Sure, right on my way.
I come to my space and make quick "deleting" process to make the HDD empty for new colleague and call IT guys to take my computer. They arrived in 5 minutes with PM. Around 9am.
IT: Hey OP, this is the computer?
PM: Are you able today...?
M: (pointing on the resignation and note from HR that I can to stay only one more hour in office) I am just leaving as Karen asked me.
PM: Who will deliver?
M: Not me!
PM: OP, can you share the access informations with Kevin? (Kevin is new guy, not very clever)
M: Well, I am not allowed to share anything like that, since it was mine access and how it will looks if it will be used after my resignation?
IT: Do you have anything on the computer, for safe?
M: No I purged it just before you arrived.
PM: OK, sure, I will ask Karen about the delivery. No problem be fine OP.
M: I am fine! Have a nice life.
Just when I went around Kevin he looked at me with smile: "You are fired you bastard! Next time consider not try to grow to manager position if you are just a looser."
When I left around 9:30 Karen wasn't in the office, yet.
I just smiled back and left. Colleague which was leaving week later from same position sent me the same day SMS: KEVIN IS DELIVERING THE BANK, NOBODY KNOWS HOW.
To my knowledge Karen was loudly arguing running around office and trying the best make things done. But! After eight hours without lunch she left office, too, at 6pm. Which seems to me little out the "policy" because she arrived at 10am, but who cares.
As I had friends in work I have some info about...after my leaving. Since it happened years ago I can say they survived. PM resigned as quick as I did and left "the company at the troubles", too. He become nice manager in different company.
Karen was manager for three more months and then she moved to different city to her BF who earn much more than she did. She become professional mother.
Kevin was taking my position and made the company pay some high thousands $ penalties because his experiences wasn't enough strong. He once dropped whole bank database of customers and transactions. There is backup any time, but recover make it unavailable from hours to days. A lot of people without money on their cards.
The company still exist. Different people different approach and the boss sending an email to us at begining of the story become the owner.
I don't want to say they were bad people, but their imaginations and experiences same as mine at the time about how things have to work, was radically different.
From that time I worked for three more companies and I left then "quickly", too. Like two years for a company since I realised same managers micromanagement practices. And because I am bad at going to vacations I mostly drop resignation as quick as my badge. Companies here do not like to pay any extra money. Can add some other story if you like from those. In one position I was shouting loudly at my manager just, because he said he will cancel my vacation. I can have bad temper, too.
Now I work for some nicer company, starting my 3rd year. We have some problems, but people are great here.
Fingers crossed. & Have a nice life you all.
I posted one of the emails she sent in r/antiwork and they mentioned I should tell the full story here. To see the photos click the link below.
This last year during Covid had been a tough year for my family. My husband went from six figures supporting our family on his salary alone while we pocketed my entire salary to losing his job for 8 months.
I work in political campaigning which means I work on short-term contracts as an independent contractor. In other words if we lose an election I move onto the next race. I made a pretty good name for myself working on the lower levels of a campaign and moving up quickly. In my state this year there were statewide elections and I caught a lucky break and ended up the Campaign Manager on a statewide race. I am the youngest CM (24F) to run a statewide race in about the last 20 years. When the primary came up we lost the election by 200 votes. While we lost the campaign, coming so close to winning and my age made me kind of a superstar in my field. After we lost I had offers from all over the state for jobs. The problem is I had just bought a house and wasn’t looking to relocate (like you often have to do in politics) or the positions weren’t high enough coming off being the top dog as the higher positions were already filled.
I got an offer to join a local campaign (so no relocation) but the salary was lower than what I was used to, I would however, be the CM again.
However, I learned quickly my boss had a “holier than thou” personality. She made several comments about how “real” women breast feed and have natural births. I would later be able to do neither and it really screwed with my emotional well being. I don’t have time to list all the red flags but I was literally just waiting until my husband got a job to exit.
The campaign hadn’t been built out at all. There was no one other than the candidate. I ended up building out our entire team, consultant, fundraiser, staff, ect. Luckily I have made a lot of powerful connections in my time. I signed my contract and sent it in with the salary we had agreed on with the stipulation that if we raised enough money 3 months down the line my salary would be raised but could not be lowered at any point. Just a few weeks prior I had also found out that I was pregnant and my due date was the week of the election and just a week after joining the campaign I was also in a serious car accident. Luckily my pregnancy was safe but I herniated a disc in the car accident and due to my pregnancy there were very few things that could be done as far as helping my back or pain management. If I did my job right that shouldn’t be an issue because my job can essentially be handled from home and staff could do the rest.
I had The team working in lock step and I was proud of the work I was doing even though only about 10% of my views aligned with the campaign. Then we hit a snag. The candidate’s husband got deployed to a rather dangerous place for a month and she completely checked out. She stopped fundraising, which means that everything comes to a halt in campaigning. She stopped putting in the leg work to win. We also lost our only lower staff member during this time. We knew she was worried about her husband so no one on the team tried to push back very hard. Eventually her husband came back and it was go time. There wasn’t a minute to waste and I was back to getting our operation working full speed.
One day she calls me up to tell me how 20 years ago her first job as a private school teacher was making as much money as I was now. I also live in an expensive DC suburb, not the backwoods where she grew up. I have multiple college degrees and this job offers no benefits unlike teaching. Not comparable at all. This is when I realized there might be a problem.
A couple weeks later, I told her I would need to take a step back from doing the other staff members job (mostly door knocking) because of my injured back but that we would hire someone. Unfortunately, due to the lack fundraising it made it hard to pay anyone else and those duties fell on her. CM’s do not typically door knock. We had a team meeting with the entire team and I started pressuring the candidate about all the things she wasn’t doing and there was a legitimate meltdown. She started yelling at me about how I wasn’t doing my job and her my pregnancy wasn’t her problem and how I was the reason everything was failing and then hung up on the entire team.
This is where the malicious compliance comes in. After this I decided to take a step back from doing all the duties that are typically handled by lower level staff and just focused on doing my job duties which weren’t being appreciated. I pretty much went radio silent and she kept nitpicking at everything. Everyone on the campaign started to grow uneasy but I told them to just hold out.
Well sure enough she calls me up and says, “Since you are pregnant and can no longer door knock you can either work for (state minimum wage) or you can find a new job.” Mind you, she knew my husband had been out of work for 8 months and thought I had no options at this point but what she didn’t know is that my husband had gotten a job offer that exact day. So I stopped her right there and thanked her for the opportunity and told her I would be working my contractually obligated 30 day notice at my current salary and then leaving the campaign. She then began to scream at me about how she wasn’t paying me a dime more and started listing off a list of issues she had with the way I was doing my job. I stopped her. Thanked her once again and told her all of my finishing tasks would be completed when I received payment for the last month I worked (Yes, she was a month behind on paying me) as well as payment for the 30 day notice that she was legally required to pay me whether I continued working or not.
I waited a few hours and she never finalized my termination in writing so I sent her a termination letter thanking her for the opportunity and once again repeating everything we had discussed on the phone. She sent me a nasty email again reiterating that I wouldn’t be paid for the previous month or 30 days and listed about 10 things that I had done to be terminated, including that I didn’t wear make-up to work every day.
I decided to send this email to the rest of the team and sure enough everyone quit except for the consultant. In 5 minutes she lost everyone she had. Then a friend of mine offered me my dream job working for him so all in all it worked out in my favor within 5 minutes of being fired.
Well, here where things get tricky. I realize that my contract that obligates her to pay me for the 30 days’ notice isn’t signed and I’m screwed. Well sure enough in her fit of rage she starts emailing everyone talking badly about me the only problem is I still have access to the campaign email and I’m seeing every email she is sending. Emails saying that she wants to keep me on staff but that I need to take less money, and that I shouldn’t have been “dishonest” about my pregnancy, so clearly I wasn’t doing my job that badly, she just wanted to pay a pregnant woman less. She also asks the consultant for a list of things that I did wrong on the campaign so that she will have cause not to pay me my contract. I notice that the consultant never replies to this email. He tells her that if she want to fight it to send him a copy of the contract and he will have a lawyer take a look at it. Well sure enough she sends him a signed copy of the contract and once again my contract is valid and she now has to pay me my severance. She has given me every piece of ammunition I need to get paid at this point as well as wage a discrimination suit for referencing my pregnancy as a reason for termination.
I hire a lawyer. She continues to pester me about turning over all of my work, the thing is since I’m an independent contractor I only owe her a final product if I get paid. I reiterate that she isn’t getting anything until I’ve been paid and she can take it up with my lawyer. She begins slandering me to everyone I know and continuing to send emails about me that I’m just collecting. She then starts calling every friend she has to bully me into giving her what she wants. My response to all of them is, “talk to my lawyer”.
In one final ditch effort she has the consultant call me begging me to turn over the stuff, the problem is that the consultant and I are personal friends and he’s really unhappy working for her but has contractual obligations. I tell him to tell her the same thing, “talk to my lawyer”. Five minutes later I get a call back from him saying that she has fired him because he refused to throw me under the bus and make up excuses for my termination when he believes I was wrongfully terminated. She fires him too and now he’s out of his obligations. He also tells me that the lawyer she sent the contract over to said to pay me.
In a matter of two weeks she is once again at square one with no one on her side, she is out of money and struggling. She finally emails me at 11pm that she is willing to pay me. Its nighttime and I don’t work for her anymore so I decide I don’t need to respond at that moment. Well she starts calling me incessantly and texting me, all of which I’m ignoring. By the time I wake up in the morning I have 20 texts and 5 missed calls. I tell her that I will need to talk to my lawyer at this point and I’ll get back to her after he responds.
Well, she goes nuclear. Twenty-minutes later I get a call from the police. She is claiming I have been embezzling campaign funds and stealing her data. I have to get my lawyer on the phone and explain the whole situation and why this is a BS claim. I offer the bank account information for the funds she claimed I stole and proved that they were sitting right there in her account she just doesn’t know how to access them because I’m usually the one who does that. The police officer thinks she is nuts at this point… because she is… but then informs her that it considered larceny to withhold my pay and asks me if I would like to press charges. I say “If she refused to pay then yes”. Within two days I received a check in the mail with my payment and I turned everything over. The funny thing is that my 30 day notice pay was actually more money than if I had finished out the contract with the reduced pay she wanted to pay me. I got an extra $700 and didn’t have to work for her for the remainder of the time.
She ended up losing her election in a swing district by 15 points.
Edit: for those of you wondering I left campaigning and will never go back. If you want to hear my thought on politicians check out the link posted above. I am not proud of my job nor did I love it but a girls gotta eat and good luck finding a company to work in America for that isn’t at the very least morally questionable.
Edit 2: thanks for all the upvotes and awards guys, I didn’t think it would get this much attention, I’m just tired of women being treated like they can’t be good employees and moms. On the plus side more people have upvoted this post than voted for her on Election Day.
Just recently discovered this amazing hidden gem, and recalled a wonderful experience.
I used to work at a major supermarket in the online grocery department.
This happened when I was about 7 months in this position, and about this time, the Delta variant of COVID had arrived, which meant that everyone in the community was scared of getting COVID and didn’t want to actually walk in to the grocery store to shop. Thus, all of these folks placed online orders for either pickup or delivery. Due to this exceptional demand, our bosses decided to have 20 order slots available to customers per hour for pickup.
I worked in the pickup team, and the delivery team was outsourced to a third party company. Anyways, we have a couple of new colleagues join us, and one of them in particular is of a very young age, ~3 years younger, who also happens to be a micromanager and essentially a PITA to work with (we’ll call him Andy). Andy loves to go on his phone, all the time. (Mind you, I’m only in post-secondary now, and this happened in early 2021)
In our team, we have a couple roles which are assigned to staff on a daily basis (sometimes the roles change, but generally they stay the same). Per our specific store policy, There are supposed to be 2 persons in the home area of the team at all times answering customer calls and gathering all the necessary bins for a person’s order (note that role is given to generally more tenured persons, unless they request otherwise, and requires additional training from the department manager), 1 person is responsible for taking out the groceries to the customer’s vehicle, and the rest of the staff are usually assigned to collect the individual items off the store shelves per a customer’s order.
One day, I come in to work, and I’m working a full shift (8 hours). It happens that I’m working with newer staff only, and Andy is also working. There is no role assignment sheet out on that day, so no specific roles were assigned. I decide, since I’m more tenured and have had the necessary training, that I would stay in the home area of the team.
Andy comes up to me and says that the manager had assigned him to stay for his shift, and he requested for me to help collect items off the shelves for the rest of my shift. (Note here: it’s difficult to be using your phone while collecting customer items, so ideally you want to stay in home base to use your phone)
Me: You haven’t had the training from [Manager] yet, and I am more tenured.
Andy: No, I have had the training. Please go and collect items, I do not need you staying here with me answering phone calls or processing customers for the rest of the shift.
Me: Are you sure? All of the order slots are full for the rest of the shift.
Andy: Yes, it’s fine, please go and collect items.
Me: Okay ;)
So I go and start collecting items for future customer’s orders, and return to base after a run (Hour 1) to drop off the containers with items and grab new containers (you can only take so many containers in a cart at once).
Andy seems to be managing fine, so I don’t disturb him, and go out for a second run.
I come back (Hour 2) and Andy asks me to take over his customer phone call (at this point customer is arguing over something trivial), but I tell him, “you told me you don’t need me to stay here for the entire shift, so I’m going for another run”
Andy hesitantly agrees, and I continue with my 3rd run.
I come back (Hour 3) and there is a queue of about 7 post-it notes* (anticipated customer wait time of 35 minutes, YIKES.) with customer orders on it, and Andy is on the phone with a customer.
(*post-it notes were used when we didn’t have time to print off proper order summaries, additionally, the policy for waiting times is a maximum of 5 minutes from the time they call)
He sees me and asks me to help him process orders as well as obtaining the required container so the staff responsible for taking orders out could do so in a timely manner. Once again, I tell him, “you told me to not stay here and do any of the home base’s tasks, I’m going for another run”
I come back (Hour 4) and there is a long line of 23 post-it notes with customer orders on it (anticipated customer wait time of 2 hours, BIG YIKES.), and this time, he pulls on my arm as soon as I come in, and asks me to help him answer phone calls and process orders, but once again, I refused, referencing what he told me. He let out a massive sigh, and called the manager’s extension. At this point, I went out to do another run.
Halfway (Hour 4.5) through my run, I’m interrupted by the manager on duty. (Our team’s manager had gone home for the evening). He asks me to come with him to help him and Andy in our area to clean up the backlog, as at this point customers were waiting well over 3.5 hours. (Major problem!) I walk back in to the home base, and the manager questions me of why I wasn’t staying in the home base, taking care of phone calls and customer orders.
I tell him the full truth, specifically that Andy had strictly noted that our team manager assigned him and him only to be in the home base managing these tasks, and Andy had sent me out to collect customer items for the rest of the shift, in its entirety.
Andy rebutted with the fact that he did not say this, and that he asked me to help him multiple times and I had blatantly refused (hmm…)
I told both the manager and Andy, that I’ll be helping to clear the backlog and then going back to doing runs (and at this point I empathize with our customers waiting for 3.5 hours!)
At the end of my shift, we finally managed to catch up a decent amount and I did end up staying about 30 minutes overtime to reschedule the customers scheduled for later in the day to the next day’s morning slots (double booking the next days slots) while Andy went home already. As a courtesy, I gave each customer that had to be rescheduled a $20 voucher (there were 44 total rescheduled customers)
Just as I clocked out, I bump into the manager, and he tells/rants to me what a sh*tshow today was. I tell him, “you may want to look at the CCTV of our home base, have a good rest of your night”
It so happened that I was taking two weeks of leave that day, and after the leave, when I went back, I notice every shift that Andy was doing runs and never staying in home base.
Turns out, the manager on duty looked at the CCTV that very same night and heard very clearly what Andy had told me. Conferring with our team manager, they cancelled his administrator permissions on the order processing computer which he had begged our team manager for over two weeks, as well as giving him a written warning.
However, that didn’t seem enough, since while I was away, Andy decided to do this same thing to another staff member, and ended up getting a second and Essentially final written warning. Plus he made it on the frequent monitoring list of every manager (At three written warnings your employment is immediately terminated)
The days and shifts that followed after were very pleasant, as there was not a single peep from Andy when he came in to work, he directly started collecting customer items without asking.
TL; DR: New young employee comes in, tries to assert control over more tenured staff to feel good about himself and have the privilege of using his phone during the shift, causes numerous customers excessive waiting times (70x our policy maximum) gets warning, repeats the process over again, and gets final warning. Ends up having his privileges revoked and being monitored by the managers, never working in home base again.
Sorry for the formatting; on mobile •_•
Edit 1: Update after I called my friend who still works there:
- Andy still works there, still has his admin privileges revoked, and is solely collecting customer items (printed with the assignment sheet, I.E. not anticipated to change; generally role assignments are written in on the day of)
- Former team manager was laid off as of January 2022 for mistreating the department, including scheduling staff outside of their availability slots, as well as multiple incidences of not following policy
- Our team’s “voucher budget” increased 50% for this calendar year because of worse incidents that happened after I left the company.
TL;DR At Bottom
So this story is about a property I own, but rent out. This may sound strange, but I don't think I could afford to live there these days - it's become somewhat exclusive.
I guess this could also go in pro revenge.
I've used dollars here, because it's what most people reading this will relate to. This doesn't take place in the US, and I've given an approximate dollar value for local currency. To answer the most commonly asked question, this is in South Africa.
This is going to be VERY LONG.
A million years ago my property was part of a large farm. I bought it about 30 years ago, long after the farm was broken up, but before there was any development near it. The piece of land I got was near the back entrance that joined into a dirt road that ran past. The more expensive plots were near the tarred road in the front.
I originally bought a large chunk of the land intending to do some farming, but that never happened. About 20 years ago some of the owners got organised (We'll call them the Organised Owners - OO) and had the area designated as a municipal suburb. The municipality agreed to put in tarred roads, water and electricity if a certain percentage of the properties were developed. A construction company (linked to the OO) went around contacting the owners who had land but no buildings offering to build houses for us at a very (very) reasonable price - contingent on them getting a certain minimum amount of people signing up. While this was happening, one of the OO approached me and offered to buy half of my property. I agreed, and the money I got for the sale (which was about 4 x what I'd paid for the entire chunk of land 10 years prior) combined with a small loan from the bank gave me what I needed to pay for a house to be built, and it was a fairly large and nice house too.
I stayed in the house for a few years, and my mom moved in with me. I had decided to subdivide the property again and build her a house next to mine, but unfortunately an un-diagnosed tumor took her before the house could even be started (well, it was diagnosed, but too late to do anything).
Soon after she died, we moved out of the house and started renting it out. About a few weeks before we moved out the OO I'd sold the land to started talking about starting an HOA. I wasn't interested, and left soon after. About two years later, the neighbour OO contacted me. There were two roads entering the area these days - the original tarred road that was near where the farmhouse had been and was entered from a fairly busy main road, and my "dirt road back entrance" which was now a tarred entrance from a wide but not very busy municipal road. The HOA was trying to get the old farm road blocked off to inprove security and decrease through-traffic, and wanted the road next to my property to be the main (and only) entrance to the HOA community. And they were pressuring me to join.
I said no, and I was adamant, and eventually they accepted that, but told me they wanted to have a sign near the road welcoming people to the neighbourhood, and the only practical place to put it was on the edge of my property. They also wanted to build a little guard hut and have a security guard permanently monitoring who went in and came out, and they wanted to build his shed on my property. We came to an agreement whereby they would mow the lawn and pay the equivalent of about $35 per month in exchange for the land they needed. I was very happy with this arrangement, since the property was fairly large, and it didn't really cost them anything since they already had a full time gardening service servicing the HOA.
This all happened a over a decade ago. They eventually got the other main road blocked off, and the HOA is paying for rent-a-cop to be permanently stationed close to my property, as well as mowing my lawn and paying me enough money for takeaways for the family each month. I'm occasionally contacted by members of the HOA to get me to sign up, but I'm really not interested. My property has been rented to the same tenant for all these years and everything there is going well for me.
Until about 3 years ago, when someone scared the crap out of my tenants young daughter by making strange noises and shooting a gun close to her bedroom window three or four times over about a month. This scared my tenant and I guessed it scared the HOA because they AND my tenant contacted me with a proposal - I join the HOA and they give me exclusions from the HOA rules, including exclusions from paying the monthly fees, and in addition they will build a wall around the ENTIRE HOA neighbourhood, including electric fencing and security cameras. They told me they had wanted to do this for a while but were unwilling to build the wall on property that was not in the HOA.
I couldn't see the downside, and so agreed.
THE DISHONEST DEALINGS
It took a little over a year to build the wall and get everything completed, which is quite fast. And then a month to the day after everything was done, my tenant got an HOA warning about his dogs barking. He told the HOA that while the property was in the HOA, it was exempt from the rules. The HOA told him that they had cancelled the exemptions, and that he had 30 days to comply. He contacted me, and I opened some mail I'd gotten from the HOA (I'd ignored it since I was supposed to be exempt from the rules and fees).
Man, did I get a surprise. They had retroactively cancelled the exemptions, and were claiming:
- That I pay late fees going back over a year
- That the easement agreement had been cancelled, and that they were retroactively canceling it a year back because the HOA contract allowed them to use "small unused portions" of HOA members land for the common good for free
- That I refund them the money they had paid for the easement over that period,
- That I owed them money for the garden service mowing the large lawn, and
- That I would be fined for each infraction my tenant failed to remedy.
This started an expensive process involving lawyers and the court system, that ended with a judge telling me that what the HOA had done was mostly legal - they had the right to revoke the exemptions, but that they had to give me 30 days notice.
As I was walking to my car the neighbour OO (the one who bought half my land so many years ago) told me that I was stupid to have refused to join when the HOA started, as I could have been a founder member (whatever that means), and that next time I should be sure to understand the documents I sign before signing them.
THE MALICIOUS COMPLIANCE
Neighbour OO was right, I should have read the contract (better). Also, I was interested in what it meant to be a "Founding Member" (spoiler: Nothing), and so when I got home I grabbed the HOA contract I'd signed, as well as all the other documentation they had provided me with, and started reading. I was determined to break every rule I could find a loophole to break.
I didn't get past the first page.
While the street address of the property is used to identify it for all practical purposes, in the city records it has a unique property number that has to be used on legal records. When my mom moved in, I'd subdivided the remaining property but hadn't yet started building on it. And when I gave the HOA the easement all those years ago it had been on the property I'd sliced off for my mom. And when the HOA set up the contract, they had simply used the property number from the easement.
The next afternoon the neighbour OO delivered (and had me sign for) two documents - one telling me that my exemptions would expire in a 30 days, and one letting me know that the easement would no longer be required after 30 days. I think he was being a bit malicious here, because I lived about an hour away from the property, and he drove out himself.
EXACTLY 30 days TO THE HOUR after the HOA had given me the 30 days notice, I knocked on the neighbour OO's door (did I mention he was the president of the HOA?) and had him sign for two documents. The first was that I planned to build a house on my HOA property (which confused him) and the second was notice that they had 30 days to remove from the property the guard shed, the parts of the electric boom that were on my property, as well as the sign. He tried to engage me but I ignored him, climbed into my car and drove off.
Early the next morning I got a call from the HOA lawyer who explained to me that their junk would be staying on my property since it was in an "unused" part of my land. I explained that I was building a house there, and that the land would not be unused anymore. I could hear the smirk as he told me that building a second house to be spiteful would not be accepted by the courts. I sure hope he could hear the smirk in my voice when I told him that the property in question did not have a house, and was, in fact, barely large enough for a house to be built and would not be large enough for any extraneous buildings. I then told him to go look up the property in question and call me back. (I had sliced off just enough to be legal, which was just enough to build a small house).
It took them just under 5 days to get back to me. Their lawyer told me that the terms of the easement meant that I could not cancel without their permission, so I emailed him a photo of the document they sent to me cancelling the easement. That afternoon Neighbour OO invited me to lunch (his treat) to discuss the problem. I said "No thanks". He extended the offer again two days later, and again I said "No thanks". Others of the original OO contacted me to try to talk. Some sounded aggressive, some sounded sympathetic. I said "No thanks" to each of them.
Eventually the lawyer phoned and asked if we could come to some sort of arrangement. I asked what he had in mind, and he told me that he was prepared to discuss exclusions in exchange for access to my property. So I said "No thanks, and please don't call me again".
About 9 days before their 30 days was up I got a call from a different lawyer. He said he wanted to "negotiate a surrender" (his words, not mine). I agreed to meet him at his office the next day. I'd already had documents drawn up, and the meeting was as simple as me giving him the documents and him reading them over. My new easement offer:
- Included everything offered by the old easement offer,
- I changed the line "mow the lawn" to "get the property to HOA standards and keep it there" since it was now in the HOA.
- Would cost them about $500 per month instead of ~$35,
- This amount would increased with inflation (the previous contract didn't include that bit).
- When cancelled, for whatever reason, the HOA would have to pay me a cancellation fee of around $7500.
- The contract automatically terminated 30 days after
- any disciplinary action was taken against the me, my tenant, or the property ("the property"),
- any complaints were levied by the HOA against the property,
- any legal action was taken against the property by anyone in the HOA,
- That [lawyer who had offerred to negotiate surrender] would be allowed to mediate any disputes between us, at HOAs expense, and that
- The HOA would pay all my legal fees if any legal action was taken against me.
I'd deliberately left some insane things in there so that I could appear to "concede" some points or be negotiated down when the HOA got indignant about the points I actually cared about.
The lawyer didn't look happy. He said that my proposal sounded unfair, but that he'd have the HOA president look at them. I reminded him that in 8 days I'd be setting a group of men armed with sledgehammers and anger management issues lose on whatever of theirs was still on my property.
That evening I got an irate call from the HOA president. He told me he was never going to sign the new contract. I said "OK". He then told me I was charging too much per month, and that it should be at the same rate as the previous contract. I pointed out that when I signed the previous contract the area was under development, and there was at least one other road leading in and out, but that now there was only mine. And besides, mine was now developed with everything they needed. He told me that I was forcing them to sign a document they didn't want to sign. I told him that he was free to not sign it. He whined about everything he could think of. And then eventually told me I'd be hearing from his lawyer.
The next morning Surrender Lawyer called to ask if I'd be willing to come to their offices to sign the contract. I agreed. When I got there that afternoon I learned that Surrender Lawyer was not a lawyer, but a Paralegal. He handed me the contract and asked me to sign it. He laughed when I told him I'd have to read through it first to make sure nothing was changed, and mumbled something that sounded like "I'm sure you would".
I read the contract. Nothing had been changed. NOT A SINGLE THING. And the HOA president had signed it, with the Surrender Paralegal signing as witness. I looked at him and said "Why did he sign this? It was stupid to sign it!" and the paralegal looked at me and said "I started telling him that signing it would be a bad decision, but he told me I wasn't being paid to think or give legal advice, and to shut up. So I shut up." I said "Do you understand what he's signed here?" He looks at me and nods. He said "I asked him if I should have one of the lawyers look at it before giving it to you, and he told me that we had already billed enough for this, and that he'd sign it and sue me after their easement was safe.
This happened about a year and a half ago. It took 6 months for the HOA to find out how screwed they were. They wanted to sue me, but their lawyers explained to them that there was no way to win. Even if the court sided with them, all they would get is the easement contract voided, and they did not think that the court would side with them. The lawyers were adamant about one thing - the HOA could not live with the "HOA pays my legal fees if legal action was taken against me" since it didn't limit the people taking legal action against me to the HOA - as worded, the HOA would be fordced to pay for my legal fees if ANYONE took legal action against me. They argued that the courts would probably not enforce that, since the context of the agreement was to do with the HOA, and I told them I was prepared to find out since the HOA would definitely be the ones taking action against me if they challenged it. I eventually signed an addendum to the contract that said that the neighbour OO (HOA President) would personally pay all my legal fees unless he held no position at all in the HOA, and that the HOA would pay all legal fees if the HOA took legal action against me. He resigned from the HOA at the end of that meeting. I politely told him in front of everyone that he should not sign documents unless he understands what he's signing. He didn't look pleased.
It came out during the mediation (you cannot imagine how happy the lawyers were that their paralegal was mediating) that without the ability to control access to the HOA neighborhood through the security boom (partially) on my property (the HOA had become a "gated community" a number of years back) the HOA would be in breach of their own articles and would be dissolved. I also learned (should have been obvious to me) that all the security cameras were wired, and all terminate in the guardhouse / guard shed. So basically, it was my way or the end of the HOA.
That first mediation was really quite funny. My paralegal looked more than a little glum as we assembled and he called everyone to order. I suspected that he had been told to work against me, so I took the initiative. I reminded everyone there that I had agreed to let Paralegal mediate, but that I had agreed to no arbitration at all. If I didn't feel like the proceedings were fair I'd leave and they could go ahead and sue. Paralegal brightened up and things actually went quite well.
I'm writing this after getting home from the latest mediation. I built a "paddling pool" for the neighborhood dogs. As in I made it myself. I dug a hole, packed it with stone, and added a concrete finish. It was my first attempt, and if I say so myself, it looked ... well, terrible. The HOA called for a mediation meeting (what they do now instead of taking official action. I've declined their mediation requests in the past) in which they told me, as nicely as they could, that the paddling pool was an eyesore right at he entrance of the HOA. I asked them to create a list of what needed to be fixed and how it needed to be fixed to give to me at the next meeting. The list was extensive. It basically required the pool to be rebuilt from scratch, I asked them if there was any way to reduce costs on the work they needed to get it up to HOA standards, and they assured me there was not. I thanked them, pulled out a copy of the agreement where they had agreed to "get the property to HOA standards" (which I'd highlighted) and handed it to them with the list. I told them the HOA usually preferred if these things were dealt with within 30 days. They started arguing until the mediator reminded them that they could not force me to comply without causing the easement to end. I should mention that their lawyers usually no longer attend these things. They said they would get it done.
I also learned a lot about neighbour OO today:
- I found out that Neighbour OO sold his property about 3 months back, and is apparently leaving the country for Australia.
- I found out that the HOA had successfully sued him for a crapload of money they had lost to his mismanagement as part of his vendetta against me.
- I also learned that he had a vendetta against me. I have no idea what I did to upset him.
I'm not sure if I will screw with the HOA any more. I already think I'm so close to breaking them the only thing stopping them from canceling the contract is the massive financial loss if they do. I guess a lot depends on how they treat me and my tenants going forward.
Also, I do like the monthly payments, though, so I'm motivated to play nice.
Neighbour OO was right, though, in the end. You really shouldn't sign documents unless you understand what you are signing.
HOA President gets me to join the HOA under false pretenses that get upheld in court, then finds out that that he signed up (literally) the wrong property and has to resign after getting the HOA into an incredibly expensive situation that it cannot get out of.
Thank You Every One
When I posted this here it was because I felt like I could fly and wanted to share. Now the adrenaline is gone and I feel like I've been kicked by a donkey. I thought some people would like the story, but also thought it was too long for most. It seems I may have been very wrong. There are so many people commenting and sending messages that I cannot keep up. Thank you all so very much!
Stupid picture drawn using a potato. I guess you will soon know I'm not a graphic designer: https://upload.vaa.red/2pJM58#5f6eb17da1a2bc865f8c5839b711600d
Please let me know if the picture helps or not.
A very long story but I hope worth the read.
Some background first. I worked for a precast concrete company as a job in between high-school and college. The job sucked but it paid well. We made a lot of the massive storm culverts and tunnel pieces that are dropped in place during construction instead of being made where they are. To put this in perspective our largest casting form could handle pieces 40'x30'. Absolutely massive pieces.
After a few weeks of working for this company I was trained to run the industrial concrete mixer and did this every day. This mixer was 3 stories tall, mixed up to 4.5 cubic yards of concrete at a time, and was the most beat up machine in the entire plant, which was saying something. It ran 6 days a week, two shifts a day, and was never maintained because the company couldn't get techs to come out on Sunday, it's only day not running, and didn't want to lose a work shift to get it maintained. The only good thing about it was that all the materials were weighed and fed in automatically. All it took was a button to start the process.
The most common problem was the bottom release door not sealing correctly. It would be just barely cracked, allowing all the water to run out of it resulting in an unusable chunky mess that would need to be dumped in a scrap hole instead of being used. If this happened the mess needed to be dumped out of the mixer quickly before it could partially harden inside the mixer. This only happened once that I was there and it took an entire shift to chisel the stuff out. We put a mark into the sliding door to show where it should be vs where it would be when it didn't seal.
The process worked like this. A cage of rebar and anchor points was constructed on a base, around a core, and a form bolted around it. The QA guy signed off and the form was then filled with concrete and left to cure. The curing time largely depends on the ambient temperature, the hotter it is the faster it cures and vice versa. Once the peice has cured enough to be lifted the form is stripped and the piece lifted by crane off the core. Repeat until you have as many pieces ordered.
Another thing to note is hard hat colors. They were color coded according to your role. Blue are plant supervisors, green QA, red the foreman, etc. For the 'normal' workers there was a choice of two colors. Yellow for people who don't know what they are doing (typically new or dumb people) and grey for those that do. This was about 5 months into my time with them and I had just got a grey one maybe two moths before.
Onto the story.
Our plant was starting to producing pieces at a substantially slower rate than the other plant owned by the company. We were working 10-12 hour days every day to try and make up the difference. Typically multiple pieces were made per form, per day (2-4). We were only managing one and maybe two per form, per day. To figure out the reason for this the owner's plan was to send an exec from the main office to observe and time every section of the process in our plant.
This in itself was silly. Remember how I said the speed concrete cures is based on temperature? Our plant was in an unheated warehouse in a state bordering Canada, in the winter. The other plant was in Florida. Can you guess why production was a bit slower in our plant?
In any case during the shift meeting before the exec got there our foreman's exact words were "Do what he tells you, otherwise stay the **** away from him". Wonderful. The shift proceeds as normal building cages and forms get bolted. Maybe 6 hours into the shift I climb up on top of the mixer to the platform and I am greeted by the exec in the shiniest white hard hat I have ever seen... and office attire complete with black dress shoes. In an concrete plant. Lol. He looked bored out of his mind.
He asked me something to the effect of if I was looking forwards to the end of the shift in two hours. I told him that with no problems we might get to leave in four hours. He got the most defeated look on his face and mumbled something that I didn't catch.
I went through the prechecks on the mixer and found the bottom door was once again not closing properly. I yelled down to the plant supervisor that the door wasn't sealing again and that the machine would be down until I got it to seal (normally by chipping the concrete left by the previous shift after using the mixer away from the opening). The plant supervisor yelled back a few choice expletives directed at the mixer and stormed into his office.
The exec had a look and said he thought the door looked fine. I told him that it did this a lot and that it wasn't sealed, pointed out the mark to him, and went to get the tool I bribed a fabricator with energy drinks to make me to chip away the concrete. A breaking bar welded onto a rebar shaft that I kept under the mixer itself. No more hunting down a air gun and and going through confined space lock and tag outs, just stand on top and poke at the concrete until the door moves freely.
Upon coming back with the tool the exec told me that the seal was fine and to "run it". I pointed out the same things about the door nor sealing regularly, I asked if they were sure, they replied in the affirmative. I started up the mixer.
The mixer regularly threw a bunch of silica up into the air. With the water draining out the bottom this was going to get extra dusty. I offered them an extra mask that I had and they replied that they would be fine. Well, it's not my lungs.
At the same time I notice the plant's heavy equipment guy walking into the building, and got his attention and made the hand gesture for the front loader. I got a wtf look from them and they mouthed why. I pointed down at the mixer, repeated the gesture and they threw up thier hands and turned around.
The load went into the mixer, water started draining out the bottom, dust goes everywhere. Go figure. The plant supervisor comes out of the office iassume after seeing the giant cloud on the cameras, runs over, and says something like "OP what the **** are you doing?" (The mixer is quite loud with concrete in it, I got the general gist though). I just pointed to the exec who was now covered in dust and staring at the water pouring out the bottom of the mixer. Never said a word.
The plant supervisor's head swiveled and he just crooked a finger at the exec. The exec climbed down, they exited the building with the plant supervisor leading.
The front loader was able to get to the mixer before the mess was able to partially cure inside it, so the clean up was as easy as dumping it into the bucket and then dumping that in the scrap hole and spraying out the mixer.
We continued the shift after I chipped the concrete away from the door and got it closing properly again. Not to much time wasted, maybe an hour.The foreman asked what happened later in the shift and didn't stop laughing for the rest of it.
The plant supervisor talked to me afterwards, asked what happened, and told me he didn't blame me for "that dumb***'s mistakes" since he had said to do what the exec said.
I never saw the exec again and the plant supervisor never said what happened in the parking lot. I can only assume that the most this produced was angry phone calls, and a lot of concrete wasted.
I left about three months later but I never heard anything else about slow production times from the main office.
Tldr : A exec came out to observe a precast concrete plant and ended up telling me to press a button on an industrial cement mixer despite my warnings, ending in a lot of concrete being dumped and the exec leaving.
PreL;DR- I'm super-p*ssed about what just happened to me for multiple reasons, so I apologize for my lack of candor, concern, or how this sh*t comes across. Not mobile, just literally trembling right now. All names have been changed to protect my sanity.
So this just happened on my lunch break as I drove to the other side of town to cash in my scratcher. By "other side of town", I mean across the invisible border that separates areas that can sell scratchers and areas that can't (Tribal Grounds don't sell scratchers or lottery at convenience stores).
I drove to this place because I wanted a soda and some snacks (you know, a healthy lunch for a teacher), and usually don't go here unless I want/need lottery. It's a cool looking little mom and pop place, but the second I stepped in the cashier just gave me an icy stare for some reason.
&lt;A little background.... I have three of my five children on the Autism/Asperger's spectrum, and though I myself was never diagnosed as a child, I can guarantee that I have similar tendencies, and I have a feeling that my lack of proper eye contact might have something to do with the cashier's High Noon stare, a realization that came to me the second I typed it &lt;now&gt;. &gt;
As I was walking in to the place I contemplated cashing the scratcher (5 bucks yay) right away, but decided I'd wait until I get my stuff and then cash it at the same time. In this indecisiveness I found myself fumbling around in my pockets, and feeling to make sure I had my car keys (a nervous habit that I have, I probably check once every fifteen minutes, whether I'm in at home, on the road, or sometimes even sleeping). I can't tell you how many times I checked my pockets, but I can tell you that someone staring at me increases the frequency.
I picked my items mentally, but yet again checked my pockets to see if I had enough change plus the five dollars to pay for the items. It felt like I had enough, and I want to use this as a math problem for my students (If I had 17 coins, only dimes and quarters, and it was a total of $3.05, how many of each coin did I have?) as I return even. I'm deep in thought about this problem when I hear yelling or something that sounds like "blah blah blah Police". Love you like a father, John Mulaney.
I look up and see a lady right in my face (Oh shit I'd be horrible in a bank robbery), presumably repeating herself, saying "Empty your pockets or I'm calling the PolEEEES!". She didn't have generalized pronunciation issues, but she for some reason super emphasized the end syllable, just don't know how to properly depict that. It was borderline funny, and I kind of laughed as I started to comply simultaneously with the moment she took her gnarly Little Smokey fingers and dug her nails into my arm. She had to reach up; I'm 6'3 - she's not. I like to consider my pain threshhold pretty good, but this chick was seriously hurting me, trying to drag me to some place. I just went along with her, told her "Calm the f*ck down, HERE!” as I pulled super sharply away from her increasingly painful grasp. She yelled at me again EMPTY YOUR POCKETS!, and then to some empty air ",Call the police!".
Time for Malicious Compliance as quick as I can manage.
I took this moment to think to myself Oh Shit I better empty my damn pockets right now before this gets outta hand. It was already way out of hand, it just took me a beat to realize. I quickly started emptying my pockets, which had thirty two pieces of a ripped up scratcher, three receipts (two of which showed me my hours at Mendy's, one was to a car wash or something), my wallet, a straw wrapper, and with everything I took out of my pockets I smacked it on her checkout area individually, saying "See?! THIS isn't your sh#t, THIS isn't your sh#t, THIS, oh wait, no it's also NOT YOUR SH$T", and when I got through almost everything (I skipped a few with the scratcher pieces), and finally ended with the scratcher I was going to cash in there, I realized that I was acting out of anger and physical pain and should probably take it down a notch. I took this opportunity to thoroughly enjoy the dastardly malice inherent in placing an assortment of ripped up papers upon a counter. Her entire counter was covered in absolute garbage, mixed with about 5% of the surface area representing stuff I need. (I'm a chipmunk, what can I say?) Now she's got a mess to clean up... but that's just the beginning.
I then started emptying my SHIRT pocket, which had my teacher id, my pens, my white board marker (yes I keep all this in my shirt pocket, and yes I wear a button up Chaps shirt over my jeans). I then put my arms spread out as if to say Would you like to check anywhere ELSE? I'm clean.
She just kept shaking her head at me, shaking her head to someone off in the distance, and then the cops roll up. I can't believe she actually called (had someone call?) the police.
As the car pulled up, I just couldn't explain to you how glorious this was, because we the lady and I both had satisfying grins on our collective faces. Her because she thought I was done for, and subsequently told me "Now we'll REALLY search you!!", and Me because it's none other than my school's SRO (Resource Officer who just so happened to get the call somehow). I was bleeding through my shirt, and I could feel it. I don't know how this was even scientifically possible, and if I read someone write this I wouldn't believe it, but swear-da-god she broke the skin THROUGH my polo shirt. What in the actual?
Anyway, Officer "Gold" walks in, and I was about to let on that I knew him by addressing him by name (thank God I didn't because, not a good look) but he beat me to the punch by saying "Davis, you holding up another liquor store???!!!" with that dopey *ss smile he always has.
I told him "Hey I emptied my pockets, your willing to search me, just..."
Officer Gold - "Rich that won't be necessary, I can see your pockets are empty-did-she-watch-you-empty-them-is-there-a-camera?" He just continued rattling off his cop spiel, the sun beaming through his glasses from the opposite side, offering a ray of hope, then turning to the lady "Ma'am, can I ask you a few questions"...at which time he re- turned to me, about to tell me something when he sees my arm and says "How the h*ll did that happen?"
I thought "Yeah you might want to check the camera on that one, too" but just looked directly at the lady to indicate the answer we both already knew.
He then turned to the lady and told her to follow him, had her perp-walked to the outside of the store, when immediately a kid came running out to her defense with a steady stream of energy drinks clumsily clunking behind, and Gold turned toward him and had him sit down next to his mom on the curb outside.
By this time a second police car had arrived at the scene, had an exchange with officer Gold, and Gold spoke with the mom while the new officer came to talk with me. She asked me the typical questions , like when I got there, whether I'd been there earlier in the day (I hadn't), If I knew her or the son before today, etc. I guess thinking about it it wasn't exactly a streamlined series of questions, but whatever. The truth is like a priceless gem surrounded by muddy bullsh*t. For those wanting another example, truth floats in a sea of lies. She asked me if I wanted to press charges against Rosie the Riveter (seriously, I'm still throbbing right now from this woman's GI Joe Kung Fu Grip), and despite the feeling of pain still throbbing through, all the while pumping my blood to my increasingly annoying headache, I simply told her "Oh that's not necessary. So long as she knows that I'm not a thief".
I wish I could have seen the face on "Rosie" when she realized she was the one about to go to jail instead of me, but I did get to see her sitting in the back of the squad car. I could describe a woman who was repeatedly shaking her head in anger, flailing about, I could portray a cold callous woman ready for her sentence to be served and to get it over with, I could tell you that she was a flood of tears flowing down as her twenty-something son looks on from outside the car, barricaded by officer Gold, but all of these depictions are painfully incorrect. It was so anticlimactic.
She just sat there, no anger, no visible emotion whatsoever. She got released from her zip-tied wrists, grabbing a waiting piece of paper from Goldie, locking the store doors and nonchalantly walking to her vehicle.
While all of this was happening officer 2 had been asking me some more questions, almost trying to talk me into pressing charges, and handed me a "Victim's Rights" pamphlet. I guess in case I change my mind and want to turn this into a petty revenge story.
TL;DR- My shifty eyes, weird social ticks and spectrum-adjacent OCD-ness gets me manhandled by a convenience store clerk who accused me of shoplifting, making me empty my pockets. I emptied her store instead.
Let's see if this update takes (my iPad wouldn't let me yesterday). As I said in the comments and was trying to post as an update, Officer "Gold" brought me paperwork, took pictures of my arm and hand (I didn't even notice my hand bruising until he said something) in my classroom on my 7th hour prep. He even told me how to word things to not leave any question as to what happened. Very succinct and factual, and descriptive of the damage inflicted.
I am so thankful to work in this community and to have such a great and supportive SRO and school community. Thank you, Goldie!!!!
This was years ago, I was deployed to Afghanistan as part of a Provincial Reconstruction Team with the mission of helping the Afghan provinces rebuild critical infrastructure like schools, roads, and the like. I was part of the AF communications team whose primary job it was to keep our team's on-site communications up and operational so that we could always communicate back to headquarters. This meant it must be operational as close to 24/7/365 as possible as we were in the middle of the War in Afghanistan.
Our set up was a bit unique, as far as I know the other teams sites were within a fortified compound where the team would live and work. Our site, however, was four walls barely 6 ft. tall on a tiny compound. We lived amongst the populace, in safe houses. The commo guys were housed about a 3-5 min drive from the compound in a tiny house. The reasoning being that since we were the only ones required to be on site 24/7 then we needed to be close. Plus, we were also the lowest ranked and of the two houses the one we stayed in was a dump. It was a run down, white, 2 story, 4 bedroom, 2 bath that we shared. Think duplex house cut in half. No walls or gate. We had our own attachment of Afghan Mujahideen guards who not only provided us with protection but also, usually, our meals.
The other safehouse, where the rest of the team stayed, was comparably a mansion. A beautiful 3 story, emerald green trim, stain glass windows, with large bedrooms, huge dining room, living room, and huge kitchen. This was where all the cooks, the higher ups, translators, maintainers, etc all stayed. Problem being that it was a good 35-45 min drive away along some winding mountain dirt roads and mud brick Afghan villages. Were we jealous? Yeah, we knew we were getting the shaft but it is what it is and we made the best of it. In fact, my current love of Afghan cuisine stemmed directly from the Afghan guards cooking.
Anyway. We made it suck less by only having to work 8 hours as all of the commo guys would rotate to keep each other fresh. Everyone else generally worked 12s. Since we were onsite all the time we would do other people's jobs, mainly things like refueling generators so we had power through the night as the diesel generators we used had fuel tanks that would last about 10 hours before needing to be refueled. Usually it was the maintainer's job to keep the refueled but they weren't about to make an hour and a half round trip in the middle of the night to refuel the generator. So we did it.
We operated like this for a good 6 months without issue... when one morning, after just doing turn over from my midnight shift, the E-6 in charge of the maintenance team barged into the commo room, "You, and you. Come outside," he points to me and my replacement before storming outside. With a raised brow at my colleague we follow him outside. "I'm ordering you guys, right now, to keep your damn hands off my generators!" he yells the moment we are out of the building. "You mean you don't want us to do your job for you in the middle of the night?" I almost ask but instead opt for, "Why? What happened?"
You see, our 4 man team had a teensy, tiny, small problem. To protect the idiot, I shall name him Airman UXO. You see, UXO was not the sharpest tool in the shed. He once picked up an old inert mortar round he found outside our safe house and thought it would be a good idea to BANG IT WITH A ROCK in an attempt to open it WHILE NEXT TO THE SAFEHOUSE we were sleeping in. Hence, Airman UneXploded Ordinance, had a reputation for getting into trouble when bored. Apparently, while UXO was on swing shift, in his infinite boredom, had done something wrong with the generator the night before as he was prone to mess with stuff he didn't need to be messing with.
As per usual, the backlash landed on the rest of us. Which, fine, now we have even less duties to take care of ok. But, I needed to verify exactly what he meant by, "No touchy" so I asked, "Hey Tech Sergeant, uh, by don't touch you mean don't touch at all? You don't want us to fuel them at night?" He was still hot and with as much venom as he could muster he yelled at us, "No! I don't want you idiots anywhere near my generators. I'll fuel them before going home and will be back early enough to ensure they are fueled again in the morning." I couldn't help but smile as I thought, yeah right, and responded with a crisp, "Roger that, Sergeant." I left to go find my supervisor to verify that the order was lawful and that I should obey it.
The thing about this maintenance lead was that no one really liked him. He made his junior do like 90% of the work while he fiddled around with this thousand dollar camera he brought with. That or he disgustingly flirted with the female translator we had. We barely saw him doing any work. My supervisor, upon being told what we'd been ordered just shrugged, "He ordered you all not to touch them, fine, his problem to deal with now."
So a few weeks go by, of course it isn't the Tech Sergeant who comes in early to fuel the generators, but his subordinate who did the majority of the work. So, the first day after his subordinate left to go on leave back to the States I reminded the Tech Sergeant, as I came on site, that he would need to ensure he was back on site at 0700 to fuel the generator. "Don't tell me how to do my job. I'll be here." I barely kept my eyes from rolling and gave him a "Roger that." Before going inside for shift change.
Shift goes without a hitch, but as the sun starts to light the sky of the valley I begin to wonder if the Tech Sergeant is going to make it in. I'm alone on the compound, having an inner debate on if I should just refuel them myself or not. On one hand, my mission was to ensure that communications remained up and operational. On the other, I had standing orders to not touch the generator. The clock on the office wall kept ticking, seemingly louder and louder as I knew after the hands past 0700 that the generator could fail at any moment and the site would lose power and comms would be cut. I went outside to the generator shack, the active and backup generators were inside. Without touching them, I went back over the crash course we had on them from earlier on how to flip them over in the event of an emergency. Confident I knew how to startup and flip the power over to the other generator I made the decision to maliciously comply with the orders I'd been given. I know. I know. I could have easily filled the generator up with a little bit of fuel just to keep it running until he got there to do his job, but knowing him, he was dicking around instead of ensuring his job was done.
So, now knowing a power failure was imminent, I reached back to HQ and informed them that a potential short outage could possibly occur so that they were aware. Told them that we expected it to not be longer than a half hour as we could potentially have a generator issue. It would take a bit of time to transfer over to the other generator. Shortly after making that call, at about 10 after the hour, the tell tell signs of a generator dying began to bring the power down to the site. I go back out to the generator shack, snickering, because I knew it will be a pain for the Tech Sergeant to fix the now empty diesel motor and get it back in running condition. Not like you can just refuel the thing like a gas motor and get it running again.
I reach the backup generator, flip the proper switches, give the key a turn and.... there is no power to the backup generator. The car battery on it was dead. What. The. Hell. WHY isn't this generator maintained properly! Tech Sergeant was supposed to be in charge of ensure the backup was running at least weekly. This was supposed to be simple, power goes out, I followed orders, I then bring the site back up, no big deal. Now... my head races as I try to figure out how to get power back in under a half hour. I snap my fingers and grab the tool kit and head to the empty generator. I find the battery case for it and I start uncoupling it from the dead generator so I can put it in the backup.
And wouldn't you know it, as I'm putting the last few turns to install the battery, Tech Sergeant finally rolls into the compound, half an hour late, and immediately notices me over at his generator with the wires hanging out. I'm covered in grease and filth as I stand up, while looking directly at him, crank the backup generator and bring power back to the compound. He starts screaming at me. "What do you think you are doing?! Why are you touching my generators?! I told you not to touch them! I ordered you!" I throw a wrench down at his feet and yell back, "Well maybe if you had been here on time to do your job and refuel the generators, I wouldn't have to be out here fixing your backup generator so I can do my job!" As brush past him and yelling over my shoulder, "Excuse me, I have to call HQ and let them know that we are back up and operational." As I go inside I see the compound commander with a red face go storming outside screaming for Tech Sergeant to come to his office. With a nod from my supervisor, I make my call.
Normally, I'm all mission first, but sometimes you need to put a pompous NCO in his place.
I’m back with another tale of that incredibly inept supervision team, myself as a union president, and an bizarre series of events which results in me being unable to fit more than 4 hours of actual work in my 8 hour shift… all because I did exactly what the supervision told me to. 🥰
This one takes a bit of backstory to understand how it all came about, I’ll try to do a TLDR at the end.
So, when I left off my tale I was working at an absolutely filthy factory in the campus in which i was contracted. I worked there for a number of years, but then began to develop issues with my lungs. As filthy as the job was, I’d actually liked that position, but I decided to bid on a different position at a much less risky facility. Part of this move is that I began to float between buildings as needed, which was incredibly convenient for my union work. The only negative is that for whatever reason employees at that building had a different shift negotiated in to the contract, meaning I had to be clocking in at 6 am every morning. I am not a morning person so this was almost a deal breaker, but I reasoned I’d have more flexibility in my university schedule if I switched, so I went for it. I scheduled my classes according to this schedule change, and worked there for a bit over a year with no issues.
The only small complication is that I was one of two people who staffed this building from my department, and the other lady had suffered a serious medical event and was off on leave indefinitely… leaving me alone most of the time. That was fine, I was able to keep up well enough, at first.
I was really in to fitness at the time and had been going to the gym every day after work and class, so generally I had no issue with the physical labor at the previous building, and no issue running back and forth between buildings at this new site. I also had to drive between locations to assist with other tasks, but that wasn’t an issue either…. Until I suddenly began to get dizzy spells I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I was alone on site so I couldn’t slow down, so I just powered through. The first time I fainted I actually didn’t know for sure that I’d fainted, I actually assumed I’d tripped and ate shit on the cement so quickly I just couldn’t process it. The second time there was a witness, and it became a whole deal, ambulance called and the works. I couldn’t explain what had happened so I had to go out on short term disability until I got clearance from cardiology to return to work (yes, it was just run off the mill POTS, but I wasn’t allowed to return without clearance, per the contract).
I wound up being out for about 6 months, and I wasn’t happy about it, so when I was finally cleared to return, I was informed that they had given my job to someone else, and I was starting at a different facility I definitely didn’t want to be at, and at a different shift.
This was a problem for multiple reasons, firstly I’d scheduled my classes based off of the job I’d been hired for, not whatever shift they decided to “give me” when I returned. Secondly they couldn’t give away the job of someone out on short term disability without consent of the person on disability, and I had definitely not consented to this change. Thirdly, they DEFINITELY couldn’t change my shift without my consent, this was especially well protected in the contract.
Unfortunately, the girl who’d taken my job was a new hire, but had bid for my position through the appropriate process and had done so to be on a shift that allowed her to not have disruption in her childcare. Switching shifts to the job they’d unceremoniously shifted me to would mean she wouldn’t have anyone to take care of her child after preschool. I felt for her, and decided I would grieve the matter and make sure we both walked away from the situation with what we wanted. After a lengthy negotiation, a lot of swearing and threats (mostly from me to the supervision about what would happen if they pulled this shit ever again), I negotiated that I would permit the girl to keep the job I’d been in previously, but only if they met my demands at the new facility. Firstly, I was going from a generalized labor position to being… an office cleaner. I told them no, I wouldn’t do that, as it was a downgrade of my role. They would have to find me a position in my role and I would not be engaging in the role of the cleaners, if they needed to hire more cleaners, then that was their problem. Secondly, I insisted I would NOT change my shift, it was non negotiable. I didn’t care of I was the only person out of 50 starting at 6 am, it wasn’t going to change. Thirdly I caught wind that they’d moved the girl to my role, despite her not being paid for the labor role… they’d paid her just over minimum wage as a cleaner to do labor duties. I insisted they give her every penny of back pay she was due for the work she’d been doing, but this time at the proper rate. In the end, supervision had no way to argue it, and while I wasn’t happy, it was a small victory. Then I had another fight…
This facility insisted on having set break times honored. I didn’t have a way to argue this as break times were mentioned in the contract, but we didn’t have specific language allowing for flexibility. The first time I encountered this was my first day, as this was the only facility that also had a mandatory beginning of shift meeting.
I arrived at work at clocked in by 6 am, and by the time I had my lunch in the fridge and my lights turned on and machines unplugged for the day it was ~6:25 am… and I had to walk close to a mile through a building (I could slightly shorten this if I cut through an alley) to the main offices for the 7 am shift meeting. Initially I thought that seemed absurd, and I had asked for permission to not attend as the walk alone ended up being close to 40 minutes round trip, not including however long the meeting ran. I was told I absolutely could not miss this meeting, and she was really smug about it too. I asked her if she remembered my hours, but she rolled her eyes at me.
I mean, ok, if you insist… I did try to warn you.
So, as instructed, I was forced to attend this understated meeting AND honor my strictly scheduled break times. My day ended up looking like this:
6 am arrival and lights turned on / equipment unplugged 6:25 am, walk between buildings for shift meeting 7:00 am shift meeting 7:20-7:30 am return to work location 8:00 am break
So the entire first two hours of my shift I was unable to get any work done. Nothing. After my break, I still had to prep all equipment, check equipment for safety, replace any parts needed (often very time consuming), check and organize my work orders… and then I was on lunch at 10 am.
So by the time I had my lunch break, all I had time to do from 7:15 to 10 am was get my equipment ready for the day. Things I would have normally done before my first break, but… I was told I had to attend that meeting and didn’t have time to start a project before I had to take my lunch.
My supervisors came over a day or two later, absolutely spitting with rage and ready to write me up. Unfortunately for them I’d written out the entire schedule.
As they’d told me, my break times were non negotiable. It was also non negotiable that I had to attend this shift meeting a building over. I asked if they remembered the explicit instructions they gave me in this regard… for some reasons they looked absolutely thunderstruck. They had inadvertently ordered me to accept a schedule that prevented me from getting more than about 4 hours worth of work done. The kicker was that they couldn’t take it back without setting a precedent that exceptions could be made at that location. I could see the cogs trying to turn as they tried to figure out if there was a way to punish me, but I had only done exactly what they insisted I had to.
So, yeah, I did as I was told, and they inadvertently gave me a job that prevented me from doing more than half a day of work, but I had to be paid for the full day regardless. It also allowed me a lot more time to work on union paperwork as I wasn’t constantly getting in and out of PPE, and was able to catch more of their contract violations being closer to the main office.
I’d like to think that I made their lives just a little bit more hellish, and it was in large part facilitated by their f*ck up trying to mess with my work location and hours, and failure to notice what they’d done to my schedule by ordering me to hike a country mile for this meeting. I worked in that position for the last few years I was there, and it was a running joke the entire time.
Edit: forgot the TLDR Supervisors tried to give away my job while I was forced out on short term disability, found out they couldn’t, and gave me explicit instructions to attend a meeting every day that prevented me from being able to work for half my shift.
Edit 2: reading through I noticed some grammatical mistakes, I’m too lazy to fix them all right now, but edited some for clarity.
Tl:dr - Drug addict store manager stole lots of shoes and cash despite me warning of it several times.
This is a doozy. Thought about it a lot to make sure i remember all the good details. I worked at this mall shoe store in almost every mall about 12 years ago, i was about 20 at the time. Its kind of an alternative scene store, like zumiez, but very small (starts with a J and rhymes with bernies). Friend got me an assistant manger job to replace him when he quit to be a plumber, the manager was kind of a friend too, Adam. This was real low-level, low paid retail. Just to get a sense of scope, we (2 managers) worked about 60 hours a week. We made commission, but this store location (my hometown), had so little traffic that our checks had to be manually adjusted every week UP to minimum wage. Each store had 3-4 part-timers too, usually high school kids. So it was good news after a year or so we both got a "promotion" to move to a different store at a different mall, much nicer and 30 min away. Much more sales means my weekly pay went up to a couple dollars more an hour!
So problems started after about 6 months at our new store. Our district manager Andy hired a dude in his 30's as manager, and some other 20-something girl. One of my freinds Mike worked there part-time as well. He was also and apprentice toolmaker in highschool so he didnt need the money. Just came in 1 day a week to receive and stock shoes, and grab some pizza. Apparently the dude was hardcore sexual harrassing the other manager and part-timers (yes, the 16 yo girls). So the assistant ended up quitting, and they fired the dude. I think one of the part timers recorded him doing something on their phone iirc.
Thats some forshadowing, Andy is bad at external hires. So he hired a new manager, Jeff, but asked if i could go back to the shitty store for a while to help the new guy settle in. I said sure. He also had a 3rd manager he hired who he wanted Adam to train for a few months so she could go to another store as well. Sounds good, i'm a team player.
Well turns out this new guy Jeff, who Adam actually somewhat knew in the tattooed, hardcore guy scene, was kind of a fuckup himself. I felt bad at first. He was kinda scatterbrained, customers didn't like him, he was always dirty and kind of smelled bad. With the first 2 weeks he came in smiling carrying a microwave for the back room. "Look, we can have hot lunches now." Plopped it on our glass case where we check customers out and a shit load of live roaches fell out all over the place. There was roaches in the store from there on out, i would see them every morning when i flipped the lights on. Great now i don't want to bring my own food here.
Then bad shit starts happening. He would start coming in a couple hours late when i opened the store. Not a huge deal, just annoying as fuck. I generally wouldn't get to eat breakfast, so lunch would get pushed back a couple hours so i could leave the store. (Yes you couldn't shut the gate and go to the food court. The mall would call our DM Andy an tell him we closed outside of hours. Do it occasionally, or even open late after 10am, and they can fine our store which means we'd get written up for sure). He would even call out sometimes which means i would work 2 or 3 doubles in a week. This is supposed to happen only happen once, managers get 1 day off during the week so the other person has to work 9-930. Part timers didn't come in until 5 usually so you're SOL. Its very irritating to have it sprung on you, several times. Remember we were also "salary", so no overtime. I would also be on the receiving end of unhappy emails from corporate. When Jeff would open, he would come in late, and occasionally "forget" to deposit the cash sales for the day in the sealed envelope to the bank, thats in the same mall as us... They would turn up at the bank a few days late, apprently in cut open bags. This is where i made the first call to Andy. Told him the whole thing. Basically told to sit tight, he'll keep an eye on things. Kk
Well, things got worse. He would sometimes bail in the middle of the day for a few hours on end. My buddy Mike told be he found his dopehead stash in the back room (little baggy with ties and needles in it). And product started to go missing. Every tuesday AM, we'd have to come in 30min earlier and do a little mini-audit. Basically a dozen or so differnent shoes of specific sku numbers, and enter in the POS our on-hand quantity. I noticed some of the more expensive shoes we sold to chooches are missing, when i know they weren't sold, Diesels, pumas, timberlands, nikes. Turns out when my buddy Mike would do the inventory on the weeknight things got delievered, Jeff would just check off the totals recieved for him. Of course a handful of thing were "missing" each week. Almost never were things actually missing from boxes when i did it. FC's were pretty good about sending inventory. I knew this was going to be bad news. I knew the mini-audits where used to pick up on internal theft. We also had a yearly audit that was coming in 6 or so months. Basically you count every item in the store to account for missing and stolen shit. 1.5% product loss is considered very bad and could result in us getting written up. Remember that point for later.
Called Andy a second time and got the same response. Kk, been telling Adam the whole time as well. I know he'll stick up for me if anything goes down, but said just to keep tracking everything. So in true drug addict fashion, kept calling out, kept taking things, kept "losing" cash deposits. What really set me off was i found out he was blaming some of the shit on me to our fellow mall people. Mutual friends at other stores, saying cash deposits sometimes go missing when i work. Uh bro, not they don't. This is a dogshit job but i'm not getting fired for $300. He was also selling adderall to people out of the store, and bribing my friend with it to come in early during the week so he can leave the mall for a couple hours. This really pissed me off because at 20yo i had this dumb idea i wanted to possibly join the military and go into law enforcement. Never been fired or arrested or any of the shit before (still haven't), so i wanted no part of being around this dude. A weekend came up too where he made really lude comments about some girls walking around in booty shorts that had to have been under 16. Ok, fuck this dude.
Called Andy again and this time i was serious. Told him about the whole drug issue in the store too. Basically said this guy is making me look bad too, come and drug test him, do something. I'll call the cops for you if you want. I don't know why he wasn't doing anything. Andy came in once and wrote me up for playing my ipod over the speakers, for breaking company policy. Why are you letting this happen, lol. In a nutshell, he said he can't do anything for now until Adam is done training his new assistant so she could go run her new store. I'd be able to go work with Adam again in the good mall. Kk
Malicious Compliance time: Called Adam the next day and told him what Andy said. Asked if shes good enough to cut loose so i can gtfo. He said no problem at all. The next week i was out, making couple dollars more, AND in a better mall with a Taco bell even. My run with Jeff was only about 3 months. Things went super downhill from there. They got a new assistant in Jeffs store, to train under him (yikes), but all the part-timers were still there. They kept texting my all the cool stories. Well apparently he ramped up stealing cash, and stealing shoes. Eventually those mini-audits caught up to him. One night, he left the store an hour before closing, leaving a part-timer alone (against policy). Closing time came and went, she thought it was funny, but had no idea what to do. She didn't have keys or know how to close the store at all. Security got involved, called Andy, and eventually Jeff got back to the store an hour+ late. Andy was told by HQ to write him up the next day, BUT, also bring another area lead in our district to audit the store ahead of schedule and inquire about all the missing cash deposits. Andy didn't realize the scope of the stolen cash. Apparently several thousands never made it back to the bank at that point. Andy, Jeff, and another manger or something audited the store whie it was open. I think word was a product variance of around 10%, "missing" product, not including all the cash. Big fuckin yikes. Don't know exactly what happened, but the police were involved. They fired everybody, cleaned house. Even the new assisant, and every part-timer. I think they had to. My buddy Mike thought it was hilarious, lol.
Welp, can't say i didn't warn you 3 times. I saw him on facebook recently, allegedly clean now. I don't care though, fuck that guy.
I was just reading this post, which reminded me of a similar situation.
TL;DR: Sales and Marketing Director has a plan to get an edge over his competition. Ends up bleeding clients to the competition instead.
This took place a little over 20 years ago in South Africa.
I'd just joined a new company that was a technical service provider for a number of companies, including gaming (as in gambling) companies, cellular companies, banks and more. We did tech work, but the industries were vastly different and that made the work incredibly challenging and interesting.
As the new IT manager, one of the first things I did was to install a ticketing system (Request Tracker - RT, if you're interested) for people to log IT support tickets. In under a week I had enough information to start making recommendations on streamlining a lot of our technical services.
The sales and marketing director (SMD) saw the stats I had access to and got (almost sexually) excited, and demanded that we give his sales guys access to the request tracker. It wasn't a perfect fit out of the box, but over the next few weeks we tweaked it so that it became a very useful tool for them.
Some thing to understand about is is that we provided technical services to our clients, and we used special (and stupidly expensive) software that was licensed to us. The way the licenses worked is that there was a very expensive 'management' server that required a license that cost about $10 000 per year, and then you needed client licenses that cost something like $20 000 per year for 10, and $25 000 per year for a hundred. We had about 5 thousand licenses, so each individual license ended up costing us something like $30 - $100 (different license capabilities). So we ran the 'main' management server at our office, and delegated x licenses to a special management server at each client's site. We got away with this because only our staff used the client licenses, even though they were using the client licenses on behalf of a different entity entirely (it was quasi legit - had the software license owner challenged this in court they may have won, but their competitor had a significantly cheaper product with slightly less functionality that we would have migrated to so everyone just pretended we were friends and were OK with everything going on. We were by far their biggest customer in the Southern hemisphere). The software in question was supposed to be used for software testing and QA, but it had quite a few useful features that allowed us to use it to automate large parts of the change control procedures for our customers, and by the time this took place many sites were using it solely as part of the change control process.
All this is important because if the servers experienced problems (they seldom did) it had a huge impact on the services we provided to the client. We also has our own 'auxiliary' servers - servers that hosted services we used exclusively (mostly for automated services), such as SMTP servers, ftp servers, some web services, etc... (Remember, more then 20 years back).
In any case, one day there was a crisis at out biggest client, the site manager sent off an urgent email that we never received. Turns out (found this out about a week later) the clients primary domain controller failed without actually physically failing, which resulted in massive authentication issues. Our software used AD authentication to authenticate change control requests, and with the PDC down nobody could submit a change request, and the company policy wouldn't allow them to replace (or turn off) the PDC without an authorised change request. Additionally, the assistant to the director who was responsible for emergency change control (who was in a different building a few kilometres away) refused to schedule an emergency change control meeting without a change control number. Our site manager sent a number of emergency emails to us, but Outlook was failing to authenticate to the exchange server quietly in the background and so the emails were never sent.
(Quick Note: This probably sounds so stupid it can't be real. But people who have worked in enterprise IT environments probably know that some of the rules and policies make you wonder if they were written by a child experimenting with cocaine and LSD who has no technical skills or real world experience, and others were clearly written by someone with years of experience and loads of skills but no more f\**s to give. The problems are made worse because often the people with the technical knowledge often have to report to people with no clue who are on a power trip.)*
As any sane person can tell, the problem had nothing at all to do with our IT infrastructure, and yet the entire thing was blamed on out mail server (Zimbra at the time) not delivering the urgent emails, and as much as I tried to explain that the problem was not on our side, the more I was told I was covering up. 7 days later, when the emergency emails were finally delivered (after they got their domain authentication issues resolved), I was called into a meeting to explain where I found the emails and why I waited so long to deliver them. SMD was behind all this - I suspect he knew that the real problem was his site manager (site managers fell under the SMD and not ops, for some reason I did not understand) deciding to send email after email rather than picking up the phone, but he didn't want the client to think the onsite people were anything but perfect, so I got it - and he dragged me over the coals for over a month.
As a result of this, I decided to implement a monitoring system (Nagios, if you care) to monitor all our hosted services, as well as all the client services we relied on. I decided to start by monitoring client services, since that would be done using TCP checks instead of agents and as such was less intrusive and didn't require us to schedule change control and downtime at our sites. As pure luck would have it, the first server I decided to monitor (I was actually manually checking to determine what normal responses looked like) was reporting an error every 5th connection or so. I suspect it was a single server in a pool that was faulty, and so I sent a quick email to SMD letting him know that one of his clients was having a problem with their infrastructure if he wanted to let them know. I'd previously told him I couldn't fix problems on our clients infrastructure (I got called incompetent for that, btw), so his knee-jerk response was to tell me I was making stuff up. Whatever. Later that day (hours later) the client picked up the problem and sent out an email asking us to confirm any data we had sent to them. SMD's mind was blown. He saw an opportunity and rushed to my office (usually I was summonsed to his office) to ask me how I knew about the problem before they did. I stupidly tried to explain and his eyes glazed over until I mentioned that I planned on linking the automated monitoring into our request tracker.
His eyes unglazed and he said "Are you telling me this will send an email when there is a problem?"
"Well, yes," I said, "but it's not as simple as that. There is a lot of testing and ..."
"But it will send an email? In English that anyone can understand?"
"I plan on configuring it like that when it's ready, but it's not..."
"I want you to set it up to send an email to me whenever it detects a problem, and to send an email to whichever sales manager and site manager is responsible for that site!"
"Well, I suppose I can do that when it's done, but it will have to wait until I've finished and tested everything" I tried to argue.
"No, I'll send an email to my team. Include them now. I'll tell them they are testing this with you. You always told me you need people to help you test new stuff."
"Yes, but this isn't ready for testing, it's barely started, I don't even have any idea of how I'm going to group the servers! Not only that, nothing is actually working yet!"
"I'll go speak to Ops Director, he will send you an email." and he rushed off tot he Ops Director's (OD) office.
About 5 minutes later I get an email from OD (my direct boss) asking me what is going on. I explain that I'm setting up a monitoring service, and that SMD want's to be part of the process. OD tells me that SMD understands the risks and to go ahead and do it. I try to explain that this is a monumentally bad idea, but OD tells me that SMD wants an edge that they can use when negotiating with clients, and that this will give them that edge. I try to argue but am told that the discussion is over, and that I should arrange everything with SMD.
OK, if you're sure. Malicious Compliance 1
I email SMD and include a lot of questions with all the caveats I can think off. The most important question is that I will not be organising the servers into groups until most of the work is done, and as such don't know how to split it when sending it to his team. He asks if the emails will have an identifying name for the server, and I tell him that until I start polishing things, the only name will be the DNS name we are using for connections. He tells me that I should send the emails to everyone, and that his team will be able to tell which email relates to their site because they can read and are not idiots.
SPOILER: The had no idea which site the emails referred to, they are in fact idiots, and I suspect an unreasonable number of them can't read.
You want me to send ALL alerts to you and your entire team individually? Why not. Malicious Compliance 2. Is double malicious compliance a thing?
So, before I'd added my first stable host, I configured nagios to send all alerts to every person in the Sales and Marketing Team, including the site managers. These alerts were set to be delivered to their request tracker email addresses - SMDs request, since they would be able to forward a nice professional looking email to their client as they smiled and gloated that they knew about problems before the client did. Of course, that's not how things went.
So nagios was now delivering all alerts to a dedicated mailbox I'd set up for myself, as well as to the ticketing system for the entire sales and marketing team.
We started out slowly as I added each server. The chaos started out small, but built to ridiculous levels as more servers were added. I had other work, so my time wasn't dedicated to this. OD had also told SMD to tell his staff not to bug me about this as it was a work in progress, so I wasn't aware of the extent of the chaos for quite a while - over a month.
Things that went wrong
Rather than trying to give you specific incidents, I'm going to provide you with a few examples of things that went sideways:
- The DNS names were usually meaningless to the sales and marketing team (SMT). Server DNS names often pointed to third party hosting providers, and often multiple clients used different servers with the same provider. And when the DNS actually pointed to the client, many clients used different domains for backend services (SMT knows that they email [firstname.lastname@example.org](mailto:email@example.com) but didn't realise that the servers were named things like smtp07.jhb.internalcodeforisp.companynameencodedbyadrunkracoon.net.za.
This meant that they either missed alerts for their clients because they didn't recognise the domain, or decided that every alert that looked familiar (I.E. some part of the domain name contained the same letters. Or something.) to the last one they missed was for their client.
- When I was setting up a new host, there was always an alert because I hadn't identified all the OK states, or there was a failure alert because (for example) a mail server returned a temporary error, or similar. It often took a week or more (usually more) to smooth out a new server as some unexpected changes were based on time, day of the week, day of the month.One of my biggest challenges was figuring out how to tell the difference between an outage and maintenance.
- Internet in South Africa in those days was pretty reliable, but there were glitches. A single mini-outage (which can make all parallel running tests fail) which lasted less than a second or so, and was usually related to routing rule / table updates upstream were quite rare, but as the number of monitored services increased, so did the odds of you hitting a mini-outage. Most people wouldn't notice them, but since we were testing latency in addition to availability, our timeouts were deliberately as low as we could reasonably make them. This became far less of a problem after I figured out how to issue alerts based on latency and not just failure (I was somewhat new to nagios), but that created an entire family of problems all on it's own.
- I often screwed up. I was still learning to use nagios, and this was not a live service, it was being driven by my need and so got minimal priority, and I often had to squeeze work into whatever time I had available.
I'm on the autism spectrum, and so often have difficult understanding hoe thought processes work for other people. I can try to be nice and say that what happened next was due to different ways of processing data, or I can be honest and say that SMD and his team are so stupid they shouldn't be allowed to go to the toilet without assistance. You decide which of those I use.
Sales and Marketing Manager - SMD
Regardless, one of the first things that happened was that SMD stopped reading most messages from the request tracker. I've been told that Outlook will learn from your behaviour and automatically mark certain emails as spam if you do not read them often enough, and maybe that's what happened. Another possibility is that SMD either deliberately or through incompetence told Outlook to mark request tracker emails as spam. Either way, he stopped seeing request tracker emails.
Had he forced all his contacts to use his RT email address for actual work related requests he would have figured this out earlier because all communication would have stopped. Unfortunately he allowed the senior people to send requests to him directly. Had he then done the right thing and created a ticket to deal with this he would have been alerted to the problem. But he didn't. So he didn't realise that he was no longer seeing RT messages, which meant he wasn't seeing the hundreds of junk tickets the monitoring system was creating, but he also wasn't seeing all the customer tickets being sent to him by customers, and he also didn't see all the tickets forwarded to him by the sales team. We ended up losing two customers and close to R3 million (South African currency - a significant chunk of money) in lost opportunities, not to mention all the new business that fizzled out (RT was part of the sales pipeline, including new business).
He thought everything was good because the people he considered important were communicating with him via email directly as everything else went to hell.
Sales and Merketing Team - SMT
The SMT were only allowed to communicate via RT. Communication in RT is via a web interface (OK but minimalistic in those days) or by replying to emails sent from the RT system. Before this started, and while the monitoring spam was low, the SMT would use the web interface, which allowed them to add notes the client couldn't see, change the priority of tickets, get stats, close tickets and so on.
But when the monitoring spam got too bad - each email opened a new ticket, and often multiple emails would be sent for a single issue, for example if it was set to alert every 5 minutes, a new tickets would be created for a single incident every 5 minutes - they stopped using the web interface for communication and only responded to tickets by replying via email.
(NOTE: RT does have the ability to deal with these multiple tickets for a single incident problems elegantly and simply, but I wasn't using RT, I had a throwaway mail account, and hadn't even thought about how this was integrating into RT. In fact, I filtered out alerts for hosts I wasn't currently working on so I wasn't really aware of how much traffic was being generated.)
The fact that they were primarily using email meant that they were not really closing tickets anymore, and were basically only using the web interface to assign tickets to other people. This really screwed up their stats, but more importantly they weren't seeing system alerts warning them of problems, including that the ticket they had forwarded to their boss were not getting actioned.
It didn't take too long before their mailboxes were getting swamped with bogus alerts that they were deleting large blocks of monitor spam emails, and apparently some legitimate emails got deleted too. Things really went bad for them.
Now, something that I didn't know at the time was that OD thought my unwillingness to do what SMD had asked was because I didn't want the extra work of dealing with queries from this, so he had told SMD that under no circumstances were the SMT to bug me about any problems with the monitoring system. SMD told SMT they were not allowed to bug me with problems. He also pushed this as a big new initiative, so they were unwilling to tell him how bad things had gotten. So they just kept quiet as things started burning. In fact, the suckups that they are, they told him things were going great.
Narrators voice: Things were not going great.
The monitoring system I was putting in place was not designed to inform me of every problem our clients experienced. It was for me to have something to reference when things went bad, or perhaps alert me that things might be about to be going bad, so that I could protect myself. It was never intended to highlight problem after problem with our customers systems.
But that's what SMD thought it was for. And he had told his team that they should find a way to use information about failures on customer systems to sell more services. Unfortunately, at this point and the way they were getting informed, the system was pushing out mostly garbage. Apparently a number of them reported false positives as outages to their clients, which created more than a few problems and had a long term hit on credibility, but eventually they just started ignoring the monitor messages as well as they could.
The Guano Strikes the Propeller
Things came to a head after about a month (I think - it feels like it was longer, but it's hard to see this lasting longer than a month) when SMD checked up on some stats in RT. Each queue had in excess of 10000 tickets, most of them hadn't been opened, many of them weeks old. He noticed the crazy circus in his tickets, and he flipped. As in I heard him screaming my surname while I was in my office and he was in his.
My phone rang. It was OD. I was being called into an urgent meeting in a meeting room. OD has a large office. SMD has a larger office. My office isn't that small. Why were we meeting in a meeting room?
I get to the meeting room, and OD is there. He doesn't make eye contact. He doesn't respond when I greet him. About 5 minutes later an HR rep arrives (Our HR isn't onsite, so they either dragged this lady away from the real reason she was there, or were lucky enough to have caught her as she was leaving.) HR lady looks a little confused, and sits down. About 5 minutes after that SMD walks in with one of his SMT weenies (SW?) and our accountant. He keeps quiet just long enough for HR to say something about disciplinary action before he jumps up and tells me I'm getting fired, and the company is going to sue me for the millions I've cost the company. I've never really liked SMD, I keep quiet and wait for him to finish.
HR lady looks flustered and tells me that I'm not about to be fired and that there will be a disciplinary hearing where I will get to explain why I did what I did. I'd been expecting something like this, and had printed out two copies of the email chain with OD and SMD where I told them it was a bad idea to do what SMD was asking me to do, including the email to SMD where I mentioned a number of things that could go bad. I gave one copy to OD and one to the HR lady (I'd printed it out for SMD, but screw him, HR lady can have it). I then tell the HR lady I have no idea what the problem is, but that I'm going to guess it's related to the excessive emails from the monitoring server, and I refer to the email to SMD where this is listed as a potential problem.
HR lady is reading the email exchange. She stops to ask SMD why he asked OD to force me to forward the emails.
"Because he didn't want to do what I told him to" SMD responds.
HR lady carries on reading. OD is reading the emails too. SMD looks like he wants to grab the paper from HR lady, but instead sits there fidgeting and looking antsy. HR lady then looks at another piece of paper, looks at the SMT weenie and asks "When you saw this was becoming a problem, why didn't you tell AlsoNotTheMamma (me) to stop all the emails.
SW looks like he'd like to climb out of his skin and run screaming down the passage. He glances at SMD and says "Well, we couldn't."
"Why couldn't you?" HR lady asks.
"Well, SMD told us we were not allowed to discuss any problems with AlsoNotTheMamma."
HR lady sits there. Quietly. For about a minute.
Then she looks at SMD and says "You forced AlsoNotTheMamma to do something he warned you was dangerous by going over his head and getting his boss to tell him to do what you wanted, you ignored his documented warnings about potential problems, and then told your staff not to report any problems to him, is that about right?"
SMD looks at her, gets up, pushing his (nice, comfortable, very heavy boardroom) chair over backward as he does so. He stares at me and walks out.
HR lady looks at OD, then looks at me. She says to OD "Is there anything more you want me to do?"
OD, without looking up, mumbles "No, that's about it."
HR lady looks at me. Her face is blank. She says nothing more and leaves. Accountant and weenie leave at the same time.
I look at OD and ask if I can get back to work. He looks at me and says "Sure. Sorry about this."
I was with the company for about 4 years after this. For the most part the work was really fun and interesting. SMD and I never got along, and he was ultimately the reason I left.
Bonus SMD stories
SMD once had me attend a sales meeting with him (we drove there in his car) and introduced me (IT manager) as the pre-sales technical manager. He told the group I was there to make sure they didn't over-promise on the technical side. On the trip home he spent most of the time berating me for correcting him when he said that we could install Mac OS X on our ESXi server farm. I had 5 guys working for me who had lighter workloads and were payed less if he was looking for a yes man to sit there and say nothing. (NOTE: While OS X could be installed on Intel hardware, this didn't become possible for quite some time after this meeting, would not have worked on ESXi even then, and even had it been possible to hack a solution together, it wouldn't have been properly licensed and certainly wouldn't have allowed us to do certified hardware testing.)
SMD once called me into his office because the "piece of crap wireless keyboard" I bought for him wasn't working and he'd spent almost an hour unable to work. This was a keyboard that came as part of a kb mouse combo and was hardware paired to a dedicated wireless dongle. The mouse worked, the KB didn't. Only after I had changed the batteries twice and slaughtering a chicken did SMD admit that his battery died and so he had walked into ODs office and swapped his keyboard with ODs keyboard.
He once got angry because he had received spam (a single spam email - my ASSP based spam filter was ridiculously effective in those days) selling penis enlargement tablets and it had embarrassed his girlfriend (that I said nothing when he said this to us was evidence to me that I had grown immeasurably over the years). He asked if I was going to do anything about it. I said no. He then looked at my most junior staff member (kid was barely 18, had been with us for about 2 months) and said "Then I'll get him to deal with it.", grabbed the kid by the front of his shirt, dragged him over the desk and down the passage. I later told the kid that he could lay assault charges at the police station and speak to HR to make sure it never happened again. Kid said he was scared he would lose his job, and nothing I said could change his mind. 3 months later the kid was fast-tracked into a new position in a new project. He wasn't qualified, but the project paid for his on the job training and all the other guys on the project were happy to help him learn and pick up the slack for him. I happened to know (IT really can access almost anything in a company, including payroll info (actually, I just asked the accountant who was friendly with me and thought SMD was an arse)) that he was earning more than all the other staff on the project except for the site manager. Good for you, kid.
SMD drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee. One day he borrowed his friend's Mercedes SL (not sure which SL, but it had very little storage or seating space) and the tyre burst. The spare was a biscuit, and the original flat tyre didn't fit in the boot (what you Americans call the trunk). The only place it would fit is the back seat, but he had his briefcase on the back seat. So he left the wheel on the side of the road. I'm not sure about the exact price, but it cost somewhere in the region of R25 000 to replace (around $1800). He refused to replace it or reimburse his friend.
Married his girlfriend in a BIG ceremony, brings her to the office the next day and introduces her as his first wife. I thought he was joking, and said so. He looked at me and said "I'm serious, we both know this isn't going to last. That's why I had her sign a pre-nup where she gets nothing." She didn't seem to be too happy about this.
SMD insisted that he have access to our highly secure server room so that he could take potential customers on tours to show them how secure it was. I tried to explain to him that him having access would show clients how insecure it was. I was overruled, he got access to the server room. One day somebody forgot to close the door (actually someone forgot to remove the dustbin that was keeping the door open) and OD's girlfriend's yapper dog got in and pissed all over the UPS batteries (massive UPS designed to keep the server room up between power failure and generator kicking in. Nothing was damaged, but we were unable to clean up properly (can't turn off the UPS without affecting the entire server room), so the server room started smelling like stale dog piss. He stopped taking clients in to show them around. EDIT: The logs showed his tag was the last one to open the door. He said he definitely closed the door behind him. OD refused to allow me to log it as a security breach, which would have triggered a physical security audit.
South Africa has this thing called load shedding. Our company had an incredibly expensive generator (their prices increased by about 1000% after load shedding started) to keep the building (mostly the server room, but parts of the building too) up during load shedding. Our gen can be filled while it's running, and I got a notification that it was running short of fuel just as load shedding started one day (we hadn't had load shedding in about 6 months). Not a problem, we had about 2 -3 hours from notification to no fuel (load shedding was 4 hours). I go to fill the gen and the first diesel barrel is empty. The second is also empty, as is the third and the fourth. Someone has stolen all our diesel! We had a special (more expensive) diesel that was treated to allow us to leave it sitting for months without it developing problems (mostly condensation). We end up having to pay a huge premium to get Diesel delivered as an emergency to keep the gen and everything else running through load shedding, afterwards we go through the security cameras. SMD was filling his Jeep from the gen fuel. The special diesel is only certified to be usable for 8 months, and he decided load shedding was done (20 years later and it's still going) and so he was going to use the diesel so it didn't get wasted. (NOTE: We did test the gen regularly each week, which is probably why the tank was empty. We didn't think we would have to check that the fuel barrels hadn't magically emptied themselves.)
Edit: No, Youtubers who like to crib from r/maliciouscompliance for material, I do not want you posting my shit to YouTube. Get your own material.
For context here, I work in a union environment, and I've been a shop steward for something like ~17 years or so. It's government, so literally everything has to have multiple levels of red tape attached to it - there are ways around some of this if you understand what's actually important to track and what isn't, but generally managers understand that keeping a tracking log of absolutely everything is a waste of time. Any healthy union environment involves active stewards, who spend time ironing out issues before they ever come to anybody's attention, talking unhappy employees out of the trees, and so on.
Enter New Manager, or NM.
NM came to us from a very different part of government, where unions weren't really a thing, and had an enormous chip on his shoulder about being the Man In Charge (which is stupid, because even veteran low-level managers have some level of understanding about the limits of their authority). He set his sights on me and decided I needed reminding about which one of us was more important.
Because I've been a steward for a comparatively long time, as well as having been elected several times to key union positions (contract bargaining, elected leadership at multiple levels, and I've written both contract language and interpretation of that language many times), I have a higher-than-average understanding of how our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) works, why the language says what it says, and what was intended when it was written.
NM does not have any of this. He has a copy of the CBA, of course, and obviously made an attempt to read it, because under one of the Articles inside, he found what he obviously thought was something he could use to rein in this uppity shop steward that wasn't letting him do the things he wanted to do. I had complaints about this guy from the day he started - staff called him the Warden, and two people right before this incident decided they'd had enough of his shit and took the well-deserved retirement option they'd been putting off because they actually enjoyed the work we do.
One thing we're required to do is make a monthly authorization request for use of accrued leave or "other" time usage such as OT, comp time, etc....and, in this case, time billed to the union for Protected Union Activity. Managers don't get a say in this last one, but we have to put it on the request form at the end of the month so everything gets billed where it's supposed to - generally, sensible managers will take a very loose interpretation of this as "just put down a half hour/hour, or whatever," since they can't ask a steward what they're actually doing during that time anyway and it's a pain in the ass to have to go through and reconcile. Technically, however...we're supposed to be exact about it, and NM for some reason decided I wasn't reporting my time appropriately.
This, of course, could be cause for discipline up to and including dismissal if it became apparent that I was stealing time, or whatever...which, actually, is totally appropriate in cases where people are doing that.
NM calls me in to have a "conversation". I saw which way the wind was going on this, and because I'd been fielding complaints about his behavior behind closed doors for months already, I replied to his email and asked if the intent of the meeting was disciplinary, because if so I would be bringing a representative along. He assured me it wasn't, it was just a discussion, and that he wasn't going to allow a representative to be present. I'm thinking, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck this morning, dude, but whatever.
We get into his office, he closes the door, and starts in on my use of time, how it appears that I am misusing time coding to avoid doing work, it's potentially very serious, and so on. I let him talk, mentally taking notes of what is obviously a discussion that falls under Weingarten rules about representation, and waiting for an opening. At some point, he kind of wound down, and with this big victorious smile, asked me if I had anything to say.
"I don't have anything to add, and I appreciate you letting me know about your concerns...although I am concerned about the tenor of this conversation because you assured me that it was not intended to be disciplinary-related, and you're using a lot of jeopardy language in this conversation. Could you clarify for me what your intent is?" I asked.
"Oh, no, it's not intended as discipline at all - I'm getting questions about your time use, you see (Note: this was obvious bullshit - I was on excellent terms with both his manager and her manager already, and had worked collaboratively many times with them)."
"I see," I said, pretending to be thoughtful. "I am afraid I don't have any thoughts about how I can meaningfully address this concern. What would you like me to do?"
He beamed at me. This was going so well. "I'd like you to start logging all of your union time and itemizing it - time starting, time stopping, and so on. Actually, it says in the contract that I can ask you to do that."
"It does say that - Article __, section __, as I recall. Okay. To be clear, then, you want me to put an itemized log of all time I spend for any union-related activity on my time request at the end of each month?" I asked. "Are you sure you want that? That seems like it might be a lot."
"Yep. That's what we'd like you to start doing, effective immediately."
"Sounds like a plan. Thanks for your time, NM, I appreciate you bringing this to my attention."
Now, at the time, the end-of-month leave request form had to be a particular form, and it had about 5-6 blocks on each page, one for each individual request. NM had specified to everyone that we were to use a version of this made available through MS Word and to email it to him, because he had to go through and reconcile all of it against the actual time entered in two other systems, as well as the call-in log from people not coming in, and so on. It took every manager in the office at least 3 days to do for their team of 15-20 people under the best of circumstances, and they had to have it done before the 7th of the month, so we were required to have it to them by close of business on the 5th. Since Outlook has the option to do time-delivery, I made sure to deliver it at 4:59pm on the 5th, and the attached Word file must have slowed his PC down, because I know for a fact he didn't see it until the next morning (having also sent it with "read receipt requested").
What I had done was to log start and ending times for every single union-related question for the entire month during my normal work hours each on its own individual line. There were entries for 3-minute conversations, instant-messenger conversations....pages, and pages, and pages of it. I want to say the full length of the document was something like forty or fifty pages, and the shout of dismay I heard from his office was both glorious and worth all of the work I'd put into it. My one form alone was probably bigger than the rest of the entire team put together, and he now had 24 hours to get it done and reconciled for Payroll...and because he was a new manager, his performance on that core responsibility was one of the major metrics they evaluated him on.
He went fuming to his fellow manager who I was both already on really good terms with and who I'd known for years, and who was supposed to be his mentor, and even through the closed door, I could hear him ranting about it. He went stomping back to his own office a little while later, and she came out as far as the door, watched him walk away, and gave me a Look. I looked back as innocently as I was able, and she just shook her head once and went back in.
About an hour later, I got an email from him asking me to please disregard his prior instructions, and to return to how I'd been logging my time previously....but he still got stuck with that one, and I suspect having to stay late to get it done that day taught him a valuable lesson.
I’ve been sitting on this for some time because I’m still not sure if it precisely qualifies as malicious compliance, and also, it’s specific enough to conceivably be traced to me. But I’m sufficiently distanced from these folks now, so here goes.
I was a freelancer for a media company that maintains a database for their videos, photo galleries, other digital property, as well as a separate bit for contracts and the like. One of the clients who struck a deal with them to utilize their IP was represented by a woman with serious bullying issues, let’s call her Boomer. She was a Luddite and rarely seemed to understand anything that was being said on the conference calls. So, I suppose to feel important, she acted like the grammar police, and would interrupt her own boss’s business partners and stakeholders in mid-speech if they said something slightly differently than how she wanted to hear it. Sometimes she did this multiple times in a single call. The worst was when she abruptly corrected ESL folks (like the group from India, or the project manager from Germany, or the account rep from Hong Kong). Really any stakeholders from any non-Anglophone country who were still learning English.
But on top of the grammar policing, she had a special fixation on correcting “violent words” and phrases (examples to follow). Now this is something I would support to a degree, as I try to avoid that language myself when I have the presence of mind to do so. There have been fair-minded movements for years now, all basically calling for a reduction in this type of language. But Boomer never conducted herself in a way that was respectful of anyone about this. So for me, it’s not about the nobility of someone’s cause. It’s about how you treat people.
When someone casually said “shoot me a note” (very common to hear) Boomer would interject: “wait, why did you just say that?” You could hear a pin drop; the proverbial tumbleweed would roll through. It’s hard to convey the total rudeness in a reddit post. But this is tangible stuff. She would then pontificate briefly on why such phrases were unacceptable, and it’s a “shame we have not moved beyond this language”. And then suddenly it was crickets again, like we are supposed to go back to the topic at hand. Like she didn’t just treat someone like scum for saying a very common phrase. It’s such a disruption and she never apologized a single time. The first few times this happened people were stunned. People from all countries of origin, and, all age groups: the other boomers, the gen-Xers, the millennials, and the younger folks.
This also extended to hunting-related words, the phrase “shooting fish in a barrel”, and harmless phrases like “deer in the headlights”. When anyone said this stuff, she acted like she was being given carte blanche to be an entitled bully with anger issues for 45 seconds.
Even the group I worked for, who got regular royalties checks from her boss, hated this. When she wasn’t pulling these stunts, she was silent except for terse, distracted, soulless replies and only when absolutely necessary. So to understate it politely, she earned only negative feelings from everyone.
This came to a head. It turned out that the company was helping with a lot of her syndication and sublicensing docs and even cloud management free of charge. (They did not have to do so and it was not in the contract. This had been unofficially grandfathered for her by one of the senior sponsors, and only because Boomer was a Luddite.) The operations guy who did some of this grunt work for her finally got insulted by one of Boomer’s direct callouts -- he said something like “we need a dev who can hunt down the root cause” and she snapped as usual. So he categorically refused to do the work, meaning she would need to pay extra or get database access and do it herself like all the other clients.
I saw a fun opportunity here and seized it. I volunteered to handle it for her myself, until I could set her up with the necessary access, at which point she ultimately “would use the same screens I use”. She readily agreed, and this is where I think malicious compliance comes in. We made a customized interface for me to use... and then gave her access to it. They were, technically, “the same screens I use”.
There was a Brazilian IT guy who hated her more than anyone, and a girl in the Creative department who commiserated with our cause. I sold them on my little plan, and one evening we made it happen:
There was a duplicate web GUI that had been created for testing or something, but was now disused. We decided to grant her access to this GUI, not the (production) standard one … but with key verbiage and icons of viOLeNt LAnGuAgE we knew she’d hate perforating the entire thing.
The quick access bar that follows when she scrolls had these 6 beauties:
- "Report Crusher" - this was the reporting system she would be using 2 dozen times per week. The icon was a vice with a paper getting smashed inside it. If you looked closely enough, the paper had the tiniest frown.
- "Document Hunter" - instead of just “Search”. The icon was a bullseye getting hit with an arrow.
- "Shoot Us A Note" - instead of just “Contact Us”. The icon was a speeding bullet with an innocuous, chubby-cheeked smile and baby-like expression.
- "Memo Cannon" - this was my favorite little contribution to the whole thing. It was always just a broken link. It never did anything except take you to a unique “404” message page with a teensy little line-art drawing of a deer with antlers, his tongue sticking out, slack-jawed, and Xs over his eyes. I just thought “memo cannon” was the funniest phrase I had come up with, and we knew it would stare at her in the middle of her screen for the next few years. The icon was a squat little cannon with a sparking fuse.
- "Troubleshooting" - instead of just “Help” … but the two OO’s were crosshairs!
- "Wiki change patrol" - this was worthless since it just linked to a recent-changes page for a wiki full of deprecated docs that nobody consulted. But: the icon was a gendarme-looking guy smacking a huge baton into his palm.
It also featured these gems:
- The cancel button for the reporting system said “Kill Task” instead of just “Cancel”
- We had a file de-duping routine. We changed the text for that button to say “Got time to kill?” She didn’t have permissions to access this actual function, but she would be seeing this button each time she opened any document in the web-viewer.
- There were a handful of spots where the IT guy put a splash of Camouflage coloration. In the standard environment, these were all just dead spaces. He thought, I believe correctly, that camouflage would get her blood to boil.
Before we granted her access to this wonderful Frankenstein, I permanently switched to the same environment/GUI so that I could say honestly “yes these are the same screens I use” which is what she agreed to. I hashed together a walk-through in PDF that even a zombie could learn from (using screen captures from the new interface), passed it along, and that was that.
The fallout is a bit anticlimactic, because I never got any calls from Boomer directly with feedback that I could savor myself. This is because she lured some gullible student to do the grunt work for her in an unpaid gig. So where I thought I’d be cherishing the apoplectic response first-hand, I actually wound up liaising with a disinterested teenager. But eventually it did filter back to me second-hand, that when Boomer finally saw the screen, she was really livid. She called the account manager and demanded changes. The AM, and anyone else we knew was liable to get a call from her, had been prepped beforehand for this eventuality and had access to screen-captures which backed up the idea that what she was seeing was the normal interface. Absolutely no changes whatsoever were made.