People conforming to the letter, but not the spirit, of a request is always funny, but the longer I’m in therapy the less satisfaction I get out of petty revenge.
Big emphasis on “less” though, because, hey, let’s face it, some people just have it coming to them. And sometimes, the best way to get back at those people is to maliciously comply with their requests.
Customers trying hot wings even professional eaters can’t handle? Sure!
The officer wants you to take off your “air pods” but doesn’t realize they’re hearing aids? You got it!
The concept of “malicious compliance” is so satisfying that there’s a whole subreddit dedicated to, as they put it, “People conforming to the letter, but not the spirit, of a request.”
Here are some of the most enjoyably awkward pro-revenge stories from people who were just doing what they were told:
1. I denied a cop the bathroom code at Subway.
So I was working at Subway a few years ago and a man came in with his wife and two children. I had all four sandwiches started when the man asked me for the code to the bathroom. The policy was you had to make a purchase to get the bathroom code, but by the way, he was doing the potty dance, it was pretty apparent this guy needed to go. Obviously, either he or his wife will pay for the four sandwiches I’ve already started.
The next day, my boss sits me down and lectures me about how the code is on the receipt for a reason. She watched the tape and see me give the man the code and tells me, “I don’t care who it’s for. Whether it’s your friend, family, whatever, you name it, you do NOT give it the code under any circumstances.”
Later on that night, I was working by myself when some guy in a trench coat and greasy long hair came in the side door and said, “Hey man, somebody got seriously f**** up outside.” A long line of customers waited for me while I subtly grabbed the bread knife (sharp af) and went around to check. It wasn’t the best part of town, so you never know with people.
Anyways, as the trenchcoat man stated, someone was seriously f**** up outside. His face was all bloody and he was just a mess. I called 911 and went back to making sandwiches.
Sometime later, a few cop cars and an ambulance showed up. They were doing their business outside and then one of the officers comes in and asks for the bathroom code. Like six hours earlier, my boss told me not to give it “under any circumstances” without a purchase.
I laughed a little and told him what I told all the other customers, “I’m sorry, you have to make a purchase first. You can get a cookie which is $0.?? and then it’ll be on the receipt.” He didn’t realize the laugh was really at myself and how awkward of a situation he unknowingly put me in, nor did I have a chance to explain it before the laugh and the rejection of the bathroom code caused the cop to become straight up furious.
He gives me three warnings to give him the code. Each time I tell him I’m not going to give it to him and the customers are on my side telling him I’m just doing my job. After his third warning, he shook his head and muttered “I can’t believe you’re interfering with an ongoing investigation,” and he uses the walkie on his shoulder to get some information.
About five minutes later, one of the cops handed me a phone. I answered and my manager said, “Are you f****ing serious???” Long story short, the cop got the bathroom code and a free bag of chips.
2. Customer wants to leave and take the recipe with them
So recently a customer at my work told us that they were no longer going to use us to manufacture their products for them – we felt this was quite out of the blue, as they had used us for 40 years without any problems. We got over this, however, they then asked us to give them the recipe for their product so they could take it to a competitor to make.
Now for context, when they started using us in the 70/80’s they provided us with their recipe to make their product the right texture, firmness, and look just how they wanted it. Over the years we’ve spent time and money finding new chemicals when certain ones have been discontinued, altering the mix of chemicals so that the products are still how they want them, and developing the recipe further to make it more efficient and provide better results. The way we were making their products now is completely different to how we were at the start.
Because of this, my boss was unhappy with what they were asking of us. But, complying with their request, he gave them the recipe to their products… the original recipe that is. It’s fair to say they’re not that happy that they’re going to have to spend their time and money to update it as we have over the last 40 years.
Edit: it’s not food lol (but I’m loving the guesses)
Edit: man you guys really like your dildos don’t you…
Edit to be clearer: We make X. We’ve made X for over 100 years and, except for small orders, it’s always to customers specification. For example, a matt blue color, with a soft texture. We don’t have contracts to supply X to customers, they just order it like you would order something online. This ex, the customer had come to us 40 years ago and asked to get X from us, and had given a recipe for how they had gotten it previously from someone else.
Over the years they kept coming back to us for X, but this recipe was no longer used. We still made X to their specification, but with different chemicals, dyes, pigments, and processes. Everyone was happy.
Now that they’re going to another business, they wanted to know exactly how we make X for them. We didn’t want to give this up, and instead gave them back the recipe they gave us 40 years ago and said that was all they’d get, as everything after was us. Because X is our main product, if we’d told the ex-customer how we made X for them they could give it to a competitor who could figure out how we make all of our X, and run us out of business.
Edit: I did not know X meant MDMA lol
3. “I want your boss’s number!” “OK”
So my dad used to own his own company that unfortunately went under and vanished due to the UK recession in the mid/late 2000s. He was a joiner and knows the trade inside and out. He has told me a few stories and one of them fits here.
So my dad and his team had a contract to do some work on someone’s kitchen. A very simple job for my dad. But there was an antagonist. The neighbor who we will call Karen. So it was 10am and Karen opens her window and shouts to my dad “I am back from the night shift and I have another tonight. You need to keep it down” My dad replies “I do apologize but we are currently within trading hours and I have a job to do” Karen just scoffs and walks away. Roughly 20 minutes later, Karen comes back. “I told you to keep it down. I have the nightshift.” My dad reiterates “As I have already stated, it is trading hours and we have a job to do” Karen comes out of her house and walks up to my dad. “I want your boss’s phone number” Now bare in mind. This was my dads company. As in, he owned it. He was the boss. But instead of playing the “I am the boss” card, he complied and gave Karen his business card with his work mobile number on it. My dad thought she was bluffing and he then got a call less than 10 minutes later and he answered. It was Karen. “I would like to make a complaint. You have workers here and they are making too much noise and I have the nightshift tonight and need some sleep. Also one of them was extremely rude to me and needs to be dealt with.” My dad replied with “As I have told you twice already, through your window, it is trading hours, we have a job to do and furthermore, your nightshift is of no concern to me or my team” Karen just swore at my dad and hung up and my dad was able to finish the work he was given. He told me that he was expecting Karen to come out and punch him in the face but that never happened
4. Won’t let me correct a spelling mistake? Good luck getting me to pay.
Reading another malicious compliance about phone companies reminded me of this. This was a good many years ago now. My husband’s phone bill had a spelling mistake. Never really paid any attention to it. Never really caused any issues. Until it did of course.
The mistake was simple. Think ‘Rod William’ instead of ‘Rod Williams’ type simple.
One day we moved states and put in for mail redirection. Now, where I am from, mail redirections have to be EXACT, so the bill never got forwarded. And in all that goes along with moving, it didn’t even cross our minds that the bill hadn’t arrived or been paid. And then inevitably the phone got cut off. Once we realised, we were all set to fix it up. Pay the bill. Change our address etc. But no, can’t be that simple. You see, to change the spelling mistake, we needed to provide proof of my husbands correct name. But for any name change, they need name change documents such as a wedding certificate or other official name change document, which he doesn’t have as it is not a name change – just a spelling mistake. For some reason, his licence or passport was not good enough evidence. We ask what we can do to get this fixed up and they offer no help or resolution. Just stonewalling that there is no possible way to fix the incorrect spelling.
Ok, cool. At this point we were cranky. Not going to help us with what should be a simple fix? We won’t pay the bill we told them.
They respond with details of the contract and our obligations, debt collectors etc. We simply replied, but who are you going to go after? They replied, ‘you of course’. My husband, looking comically confused, said ‘But my name is not Rod William and I am not going to pay HIS bill. Good luck finding him. If you happen to send me my own bill though, I would be happy to pay that.’
Shocked face and oh look, spelling mistake gets corrected immediately.
5. I kept getting written up for my hairstyle, so I cut all my hair off.
When I was in the fire academy, the women’s dress code said that hair had to be worn in a neat bun. I had layered, shoulder length hair so it was was difficult to keep it up neatly all day long. The shorter pieces would stick out of the bun, or fall out around my face, and my bangs weren’t long enough to pin back without using an entire bottle of hairspray.
Most of my instructors were understanding, and said that as long as my hair was up and my mask could seal to my face they would consider me to be in dress code. But there was one instructor who said there was no excuse. “We’re a paramilitary type school, so dress code is extremely important.” She acknowledged that it wasn’t a safety issue, but told me I had to follow it anyway, and that doing my best wasn’t good enough. She wrote me up three times, and then called me in for a meeting to inform me that another write up for the same issue would get me expelled from the program.
I looked into the dress code and saw that the men’s hair code was much more lenient. It just said that hair must not touch the collar of the shirt or the tops of the ears.
So the night after that meeting I went to a hair place and told the stylist to do whatever she wanted to my hair as long as it fit those requirements. She was stoked and gave me a really cute pixie cut.
The next day the same instructor tried to write me up, but since I was technically in dress code she couldn’t.
The next semester there was a man with long hair who wore it in a bun instead of cutting it, and the following semester the dress code was rewritten to be gender neutral.
6. “As per my NDA, I am not allowed to discuss this position with former employers. Since my firing is effective immediately you are now a former employer”
Gather round as I tell you the story of the time I got fired at the worst place I have ever worked.
From day one, it was a nightmare. There was 0 onboarding or training. I was simply given the log-in info for a couple of different websites and told to get to work. This company planned large conferences and I was in charge of speaker coordination. I was the only person in this role. The information solely resided with me.
Not a big deal, I say to myself. I’m good at thinking on my feet. I’ll just ask questions when I need clarification on something.
That turned out to be impossible. My manager’s first language wasn’t English. I’m all for learning new languages. I think it’s a great skill to have and it takes a lot of work and being able to speak multiple languages is impressive. The problem was that her English was so poor that it was often very hard to understand what she was trying to say.
I once asked if she had time to hop on a call and explain something to me and she responded with “No cranne. Self skills is a must. I am bird without head”. It took me a few days to figure out that she was trying to say that things were hectic, she was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, and she needed me to be self sufficent.
Regardless, I did my best in the position. Small mistakes happened here and there but overall all the speakers were very happy and felt well supported. I struggled on the communication with my manager, but I thought the company was happy with my work.
Until 4 months in when I was randomly pulled into a meeting with my manager, HR, and legal.
Effective immediately I was fired. I asked why I was being fired and why this was the first I had heard of any problems. Why wasn’t there a write up or a verbal warning?
My manager said it was because the ten minutes (I ran the analytics) it takes me to respond to an email was too slow.
That was a bullshit reason and we all knew it. If you don’t like me personally, fine but don’t try and make this seem like I was a bad employee. To be honest, I was furious.
We do the exit interview with HR and then she asks me to send over any documents I had (we worked on personal computers remotely) and describe where I was at in regards to our next event and our speakers. NDA’s are really common in this field, I’ve signed one at every job I’ve ever worked. But this employer’s NDA had a clause in it that worked to my advantage.
“As per my NDA, I am not to discuss intimate details or share documents relating to this position with any employer- past or future. Since this firing was effective immediately, you are now a former employer and I am bound by my NDA”
HR hemmed and hawed a little bit telling me that of course I could speak to them about it, this was about their event.
I pulled out my copy of the NDA (always save contracts) and pointed out the exact clause and said that it clearly stated that if I violated this NDA I would be sued, so no, I couldn’t talk to them about the position.
HR turned to Legal and Legal pointed out that I was technically correct. They were a former employer and I was bound by my NDA
They fired me 17 days before the event. They didn’t have time to start over from scratch. I still keep in contact with some of my coworkers and apparently the event was a shit show and manager nearly lost her job because of it. Over half the speakers pulled out once communication broke down.
All because I ~tAKe ToO lONg tO ResPoND tO EMaILS~
7. 50 grams over the weight limit at the airport? I guess I’ll eat them.
This happened a couple days ago, also mandatory English isn’t my first language.
For Americans: 50g=1.76oz 200g=7oz 23kg=50.7lb
So when I travel by plane (which happens about 2/3 times per year) I’m usually quite conscious about the weight of my luggage because of how much you have to pay if it exceeds the limit. This time I put a bit more stuff in because of gifts but I thought I was fine. I pass the police and get to the check-in, where a woman in her late 30’s/ early 40’s that reminded me of my old history teacher indicated me to proceed. I give my passeport, do the usual stuff, and I put my luggage on the scale which shows 23.05kg (the limit being 23). I was quite pleased with myself while looking at it, thinking I got it just right, but NO, the woman tells me I need to pay 50€ for excess baggage. I look at her confused, telling her it’s 50 grams, surely it doesn’t matter, she repeats herself and we start arguing until she says: “Either you pay 50€ or you somehow make the luggage 50g lighter”. (I didn’t have a carry on so I couldn’t take anything with me). At that moment I remember the 200g of chocolate that are sitting in the luggage and I start smiling. I open the luggage, take the chocolate out and start nibbling at it with a grin on my face while looking at the woman, who goes from pikachu face to annoyed. She tells me to hurry up (even though I was the only one in line) so I offered her some and she just stared at me. I ended up eating exactly a quarter of the 200g and lo and behlod the scale showed 23kg. The woman gives me my ticket while glaring at me, and I tell her to have a good day. TLDR: Lady tells me I need to pay because my luggage has 50g too many so I eat them (chocolate).
8. Want me to quote you on size instead of time? Okay you can pay more
I am a store front window painter. I typically give quotes for jobs based on supplies and time to do the job. I recently had a business owner ask for a mildly simple design on a small window and gave her the price of 150 and did the job. The business next door wanted a very simple design on bigger windows and so I did the job for 250. After I painted they didn’t like my price and wanted me to charge by square foot instead of complexity and time. I had them sign a contract stating the price per square foot regardless of design and that payment was due immediately. Then I measured the windows and the price came out to 500 dollars. Made for a nice Christmas bonus.
9. You want to book the hotel? Sure thing, babe!
Here’s a simple and fun husband and wife MC from yesterday for you. On mobile, tldr etc.
My wonderful family of four are on a trip to visit family and friends. Four years ago, on a trip with the same itinerary as this one, I (husband) booked our hotel as I usually do. I am what you would describe as “thrifty,” and I don’t like spending a ton on hotels when we are basically just sleeping there.
The hotel I booked for this leg of the journey was probably not the most high class and sure…it was not in the safest area of town. This was definitely a hotel where some acts of questionable legality and morality occur. In my defense, it was a VERY last minute booking as we were supposed to be staying with family and there were very few options available under $150 a night.
The stay there ended up being fine but it has been a long running joke between us for the past four years.
We are now visiting for the first time in four years. I went to book the hotel, and my wife said “No way! It’s my hometown, and I am doing it this time.” So, she pulls up Ye Olde Priceline and starts looking at places…specifically looking for a place with a pool for the littles. She looks at one, reads the reviews and details, and says it looks good…especially for the lower price! She even calls to make sure the pool is open because of Covid. I look at the photos, and look back at her thinking she was making a joke. She was not. I just smiled and said “whatever you think, babe!”
Yep, you know what’s coming.
As we approach the hotel, I see a look of confusion slowly wash over her face. She says “Wait, is this…” and trails off. I reply with a resounding “Yep! It sure is!!!” She booked us in the exact same hotel that she has been griefing me about for four years. I laughed and laughed and laughed. She cannot believe she did it, and also thinks it is hilarious. I am vindicated!
TLDR: wife gives me grief for four years for booking us at a shady hotel then proceeds to book us all herself at the same shady hotel.
EDIT: thanks for all the comments and awards! Glad this could bring you so much joy. Just finally told her that I posted it and people are loving it, and she wanted to thank you all for helping me revel in my rare opportunity of getting one over on her…because that is a rare occurrence with us. Pro tip: always marry someone smarter than you.
10. Want strict work hours? Ok, can do.
I used to work in a mid-sized company in the engineering department. One of the managers started to get upset because if he walked around at exactly 8:30 (our start time) everyone was not in their seats. He felt that engineers were being too lax with their time. The edict went out that all engineers had to be in their seats exactly at start time.
I told my boss that I was not planning on complying because I was a salaried professional and expected to be treated as such and that if they didn’t trust me to put in an honest week’s work then they should fire me instead of micro-manage me.
The older (and much wiser) engineers took a different approach. They all showed up 5 minutes early to make sure they were in their seats at 8:30, but also set an alarm for 5pm and would literally drop everything they were doing exactly at 5pm and leave the building.
Is the manager having a meeting that was supposed to end at 5 but is running a little late? No, at 5pm a series of alarms would go off and everyone would stand up in the middle of the meeting to leave.
Does operations need technical support at 4:55? They have exactly 5 minutes on the phone with the engineer before he will have to get off the phone.
Is someone trying to discuss a work-related issue at 8:28? Better wait a couple minutes because no one in the engineering department is answering work-related questions for another 2 minutes.
Needless to say the policy didn’t last very long.
11. Is this the hottest wing you have?
I used to own a wing joint. Nothing fancy, but a good selection of wing flavors and beer.
Inevitably we would have people come in and order the suicide wings (I like super spicy foods, so these were pretty damn hot). Of those people, about 5-10% would always start the joke/sarcastic conversation “These aren’t that hot. Can’t you do better?!?” Yuk, yuk, yuk.
One of my best regulars, a dentist who fancied himself a gardner, decided to help us out and planted a ghost pepper bush (at the time the hottest pepper in the world) and he could bring us the bounty of his harvest. And he would intentionally under water the bush so the peppers would be as hot as they could be…
When he would bring us the peppers, I would grind them (seeds and all) into a nice paste which I would combine with our suicide sauce and keep to the side for when our spicy wing coneseurs would show up and complain about the suicide sauce not being hot enough.
I would only serve them one Death Head wing (seemed a fitting name). I would make them wear gloves to eat it to prevent capsaicin burns on their skin. I would specifically tell them about the heat they were about to get into, trying to dissuade them from eating this culinary monstrosity.
By the time we got through all this, every single person always now viewed this as an insult to their manhood (never had a woman complain about heat, but would sometimes actually ask if there was another level they could try) and could not be stopped from eating this wing…
So they did… The fun thing about capsaicin oil is it can often take a few seconds to kick. Usually just enough time for the person to scarf down the wing and start to smuggly tell us how it wasn’t that hot…
And then the heat would begin. And once it started it was relentless.
The wing was free, but the cup of milk after was $20. I never had a single person ask for a second one.
12. Wife forced to give extra credit, assigns it to parents
My wife teaches a lovely group of kids in an area where parents are incredibly strict. The children are almost all operating within the ‘A’ grade range and their parents overwork them to ensure the A+.
Anyways, the new school year has some parents pestering my wife for extra credit assignments. She’s insisted that it is optional for her to assign extra credit and they’ve raised the issue up through administration to force her hand. Another teacher (who teaches the same class), gives loads of extra credit and they want their children to be on an even level. With the news that she’d have to match the amount of given extra credit opportunities, she has decided to involve the children’s parents.
5 page handwritten and legible essays about a historic event they were a part of.
20 minute video interview of their opinions and experiences about certain political events while growing up.
Her extra credit is just many different little assignments that take lots of time from the parents day for an extra couple points on the next exam. While she continues to assign these extra credit assignments, the participation rate has been zero.
13. Lazy group member wants us to do his part? Sure thing
I just finished a big group project worth about 30% of our total grade. The groups were selected for us so I didn’t know anyone beforehand. So like any other group theres always a slacker who just piggybacks off of everyone elses work. This project spanned the entire length of the term and this slacker just did the absolute bare minimum or nothing at all for each of our deliverables.
So here comes the end of the term and we have to submit our final report which had to include a video demo of our app and this made up a significant portion of the marks. Of course the slacker puts it off till the last possible min to tell us he’s not home and will be busy the day of submission. Our group was planning to record the last day cause the rest of the project had to be finished to demo it. So obviously im pissed cause this dude is just being a huge pain but I tell him “its all good man, we’ll just cover your part in the demo!”. He happily agrees as he wont have to do shit once again.
Here’s the kicker, in the requirements of the demo every member has to be in the recording or you wont get any marks for that portion. Clearly this guy didnt read the rubric and so he thinks hes getting a good deal. If you didn’t participate in the demo you get a zero for that portion. Bet this guy is gonna be confused why his marks are so much lower than the rest of us.
14. Get rid of my vacation? Have fun replacing me.
I originally posted this as a comment on another thread, but realized it needed its own limelight.
I worked at a company that gave out exorbitant amounts of vacation. Anyone who worked there for 25+ years received 8 weeks of vacation and 2 weeks of personal time. This was a family owned company, but rather large. We ran 3 shifts totaling 250+ people.
Enter Jimmy. Jimmy was a grissled old man, he started at the company when he was just 20, now he was 63 and gave absolutely zero shits. Jimmy also knew how to make a specific part for our product, him and one other higher up in the office.
One day the plant owner comes out and announces he’s selling to a corporation. He’s older and ready to retire, he promises that there will be very little change and wishes us all well.
The new company comes in and immediately goes after many of the great benefits we had. The first thing they do is cut everyone’s max vacation down to 4 weeks, and do completely away with personal time. Anyone who’s maxed out had until December 31st of that year to use it up, and they wouldn’t pay it out. They then go into the office and clean house, firing anyone who’s close to retirement. Including Jimmy’s back up.
But they also do away with one very important rule. You no longer have to get vacation approved, you can just call in and take it.
Jimmy is pissed, and they know it. They realize he’s the only one in the building that can do his job now. So they hire a new kid for him to train, most likely to permanently replace Jimmy. So Jimmy does what anyone would do. He calls in the first training day for the new hire, and lets us know he’s going to use all of his PTO at once, and promptly takes 10 weeks off.
We had a back stock of parts he had made, so it wasn’t too unnerving. But for 10 weeks, Jimmy went and applied to other jobs, found one, and started.
Fast forward 10 weeks, Its the day Jimmy is supposed to return. He doesn’t. For two days they try calling him, and even go to his house. He’s nowhere to be found. Finally on day three he calls and resigns, and they lose their shit. The parts he makes are specialized and patented by the original founder, you can’t just hire someone off the street to make them. What eventually happened was they had to contract the original owner to come in a teach some new hires how to make them, and when he found out what all they had done it pissed him off. The last I heard he charged them a 7 figure contract to teach them how to produce the parts, and they had to pony up, or close down.
Moral of the story, don’t fuck with people’s vacation time.
Edit: Jimmy made and electronic control module that was sealed and stayed fixed in a poured unit made of a two part epoxy.
Edit #2: Jimmy didn’t exactly “Miss out” on a seven figure contract and had zero chance to take one. He left, said fuck em and moved on. When they contacted the previous owner and explained the situation it was basically a “you need my help? It’ll cost 1mil.” Type of conversation.
Final update: Thank you everyone for all of the attention this received! I had no idea this would blow up like this. I have immediate family working with the company still, so if I hear of anymore rumblings I’ll fill you all in. Also, I worked here for four years. I have a few other Jimmy stories I may post at other times on the appropriate reddits. Thank you all again!
15. I can’t drive ANYWHERE without permission? OK, I’ll follow that rule…Maliciously.
This happened when I was 16 years old and just got my drivers’ License. My parents had me run to the store to pick up some groceries. I stopped by my friend’s house on the way back home for maybe 5 minutes to show him I got my license and I was out driving alone. It was a really fun moment in the life of a 16 year old.
My stepmom Mary Ann freaked out. “We did not give you permission to drive to Bill’s house! We told you to go to the store and that is ALL!” I told Mary Ann and my dad that they had let me drive to Matt’s house the day before, so I didn’t think it was a big deal.
They went unreasonable and laid down the unbendable rule that set up the Malicious Compliance. “You are not allowed to drive anywhere we do not give explicit permission for you to drive. Period, end of sentence. Just because you were allowed to do it previously does not ever give you permission another time. Ever.”
Fast forward three days later. My 13 year old stepsister has been a jerk to me all day, and I’m sick of her BS. She goes quiet for about 30 minutes and then comes out all sticky sweet. “Hey Brian, it’s time to take me to ballet.”
I have taken her to ballet 3 days a week since I got my license. It’s basically one of my chores. But I see my opportunity to say “Screw you!” to all three of them at once. “Sorry, Tina. I’m not allowed to take you to ballet. The parents didn’t tell me to take you, and I don’t want to get in trouble!”
She screams, she cries, she begs, she threatens. She calls her mom and leaves a message. She calls my dad and leaves a message. Just like Steve Miller says, “Time keeps on slippin’, into the future.” I’m not sure I’m brave enough to hang on to the bitter end and actually go through with it. I’m shaking, but I know I’ve got them dead to rights. No call back from the parents and the clock goes on past the start of her class.
Stepmom comes home and Tina runs to meet her. “Tina, what are you doing here? You’re supposed to be at ballet!”
I hear Tina tell her rendition of the story, leaving out how miserable she had been, and they go back and forth. Mary Ann comes pounding down the hall and yells (as God is my witness) “You just wait ’til your FATHER gets home!” I had to stifle a laugh because I never really believed people actually said that.
An hour later Dad comes home and the TWO of them go running out to meet him and tell him how horrible I was. I wait in my room for the hammer to fall. About 10 minutes later my dad calls down the hall, “Brian, would you please come here and talk to us?”
“Well, Brian, you did it.” “What do you mean, Dad?”
“You got us all, and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it. OK, let’s make this reasonable for everyone. ..”
And they did. They agreed that they were over-the-top. They recognized that Tina isn’t always very nice to me, and they spoke to her about that. I was allowed to have reasonable freedom if I was driving somewhere, since I had good grades and had never been in trouble. I walked down the hall back to my room, my back to my parents, with the world’s biggest grin on my face.
16. Manager forces me to get a doctor’s note despite it being illegal to do so. The doctor writes him the most passive-aggressive note signing me off for 2 weeks instead of 2 days to teach him a lesson.
I posted this but it got removed and I think it was maybe because I didn’t make the malicious compliance clear enough , so I’m going to try again and make it extra clear.
When I was in my early twenties, I worked at a supermarket. I should note that I was a pretty reliable employee. I was never late, in fact, I often got in early, and I rarely called in sick. At the time this happened, I had not called in sick for 9 months, and even then, the manager had sent me home.
I had been up all night, swinging between burning hot and freezing cold so I was obviously feverish, and I had been throwing up ‘at both ends’ shall we say. At one point at about 2 am I was on the toilet, with my head in the sink, utterly miserable. I must have passed out because the next thing I knew I was lifting my head off the sink and it was 7 am. I was due to start work at 12 that day but that obviously wasn’t going to happen.
So I called up the manager. Let’s call the manager Steve. Steve was known for being a real a-hole. He never believed anyone who called in sick except his best buds (usually other managers, never lowly staff), but often called in sick himself (a lot of the time we knew it was because he was hungover and not actually sick). The conversation went as follows:
Me: Hey Steve, sorry, I can’t come in. I’m sick.
Steve: With what?
Me: I don’t know. I think it might be the flu. I’ve been up all night being sick, and I have a fever.
Steve: Don’t be stupid. If you had the flu you’d be completely knocked out. I need you in. Come in or you’re fired.
Me: I can’t. I just told you I can’t stop vomiting. I passed out.
Steve: (growling angrily) Either come in or bring a doctors note, or you’re fired!
In the UK, you are legally allowed to self-certify for 5 days. This means you can tell your employer you are sick and you do not need a doctors note. If you’re sick for more than 5 days, you then need a note. It is also illegal to demand a doctors note during the self-certify period.
I knew this, but I was terrified. This was during the recession. I couldn’t afford to lose my job. So I got myself dressed. Almost passed out trying to do so. Then trudged to the doctors some 25 minutes walk away.
I end up sitting in the doctor’s office for a little over an hour, which for walk-in was pretty good. I get in to see the doctor and she is furious at me for coming in. You’re not supposed to come to the doctors when you have a cold or flue, and of course I knew I should be able to self certify. She told me as such, saying I shouldn’t be here and should have stayed at home.
I then explained what had happened with Steve and how he had threatened to fire me over this and I couldn’t afford to lose my job – I was struggling as it was. My doctor turned her anger towards my manager. She asked if I got sick pay from the company, and I said yes.
“He wants a sick note does he,” the doctor says. “Okay. I’ll give him a sick note.
Now, my manager just wanted a note confirming I was sick, but instead my doctor wrote something along the lines of this:
‘[My Name] has come to the surgery because [manager name] has insisted she come in, in spite of the fact that this is illegal and all employees are allowed to self certify. Due to being forced to make this unnecessary and highly dangerous trip when the patient is ill, has a fever of 39°C, and almost passed out in the waiting room, I am signing [my name] off for two full weeks to recover. Had [my name] been allowed to self certify as is the law, they might only have needed a few days, but due to straining themselves, they now require two full weeks. They are not to be permitted to work until [date 2 weeks later]’
The doctor said she would have signed me off longer but this was the longest she could do without requiring further evidence. So basically, instead of just being off for a few days, I was now signed off for a full two weeks, and I’d be paid for it.
I went to my place of work, at which point one of the duty managers saw me and asked me what the heck I was doing here, go home, I was obviously very unwell. I explained what happened. They agreed to help me downstairs to Steve’s office and went with me inside.
I handed Steve the note. He looked worried and tried to say ‘I wasn’t being serious about firing you.’
Well gee, when you angrily growled it down the phone it sure sounded like it.
The duty manager then declared that they were going to drive me home. It was clear Steve wanted to argue but had the sense to know he shouldn’t.
The duty manager then drove me home, made sure I was okay, then went back to work where they informed our union rep of what had happened.
Steve had a disciplinary hearing where he was given a severe reprimand and a warning. Steve tried to argue he never said I’d be fired and I was lying and just decided to go to the doctors, but the duty manager said they heard him admit to it when he said to me that he really didn’t mean it.
I felt better after a few days, and enjoyed my two weeks off, fully paid, and enjoyed the nice weather we had. Meanwhile, Steve was forced to work overtime because we were short-staffed. So thanks to the doctor, instead of being off for a few days, I ended up getting a nice two week paid vacation, and Steve was given a final warning, all because he insisted I get a doctors note.
TL;DR: Manager demands I get a doctor’s note or I’m fired, so the doctor signs me off sick for two weeks instead of 2 days to teach him a lesson.
Edit: To clarify the whole ‘you’re not supposed to come in when you are ill’. I should have been more specific – the rule is you’re not supposed to come in when you have a cold or flu. The reason is there’s nothing a doctor can really do except recommend you take over the counter cold and flu meds. So it is recommended that you do not come in if you have a cold or flu and instead take meds at home or pick some up at the pharmacy instead of risking infecting those waiting in the surgery. Even then, it’s not a hard core rule, more a common courtesy asked of people. If you really want to, you absolutely can.
17. Parent says it’s not our business what her son does on the community garden, so we let him get up to his neck in shit… literally.
Happened just a couple of hours ago, this story is so fresh you can still smell it!
On our community garden we get teams of kids from the local school come to help and it’s often the case that they turn up on a Saturday morning as well. They’re almost entirely well-behaved which is a good job as there’s not a lot we can do about bad behaviour beyond a stern voice (although one time a lad kicked one of our rabbits so a girl brained him with a shovel, rough but effective justice).
There’s this one lad who came for the first time last week, don’t know him but we made him very welcome. He only lasted half an hour before storming off in tears after his THIRD telling off for spinning round and round holding a tool and then letting it fly off at head height. This morning his mum (I assume) came with him, I saw him point out my friend and me, but he didn’t ask to join in so after shouting hello we let them be. After about ten minutes he started wandering and my friend shouted to him “don’t go round behind the greenhouse mate, it’s not safe round there”. Well, his mum had obviously been waiting for this because she went 0 to 100 in two seconds flat, demanding to know do we OWN this garden, and if not what business is it of ours where her son goes? We explained we just want him to be safe and she replied that she’s quite capable of taking care of that herself, thank you. Fine, on you go.
Off he went, exploring behind the greenhouse, which is not safe because it’s the compost heap, which is very unstable, and the muck mound, which is a giant pile of horse manure we get delivered every autumn. By the spring the inside is all nice and rotted down, and the outside is hard, crusty… and less strong than you think. After a minute there was a crunch, a squeal… and I think we did very well to drag him out without saying “I told you so” or breaking into guffaws. He was absolutely black from chest-height downwards, and although well-rotted manure doesn’t smell really bad it is very thick, and sticky, and slimy.
His mum grabbed him without a word and they headed for the gate, he started bawling as soon as the surprise wore off. My friend said “would you like some bin bags to spread out in your car” and to her credit she did say thanks when he handed them over.
I wonder if we’ll see them again next week?
Edit: to everyone saying we should have made a point of some kind – if you’re mean to kids or they think you’re making fun of them they just don’t come back. Kids (and adults!) do stupid shit all the time, and you quickly get into the habit of just dusting them down and getting on with things. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely laugh about it later – but how’s a little nobhead like this going to learn, if he doesn’t come back to the allotment and get his hands dirty?
18. HR tried to Get Rid of my Dad right before he was able to get his pension
My Father worked for a Forbes 500 company since the 70s. Moved up the ranks as a software engineer and management, has patents for the company that saved it millions of dollars. He’s almost to pension age and suddenly HR starts making his life miserable. He noticed this trend was happening to some of his coworkers when they were getting close to age 60 as well.
HR Lady calls him into the office and says that he was not punching in and out at the correct time. My Father, an engineer, is very very detail oriented. He knew that these were false accusations and asked HR to prove it. They came back a week later and couldn’t prove it. And he said, “Of course you can’t. I have been driving the corporate carpool bus from [A major city 40 miles away from the company] for the last 15 years. I always have 16 witnesses on my clock in time and I haven’t been late in 15 years.”
HR Lady came back a week later and they said that they were going to fire him for letting people into the building without badging. He asked to see when and where he was letting someone into the building without badging. They showed that he held the door for his best friend who had also been working there since the 70s who had his foot cut off after having type 2 diabetes. He was in a wheelchair.
Prior to this my dad took the chief of security out for lunch and told him about how this company wanted him to leave before he got his pension so he got some footage of his own. My dad said, “That is very interesting. You are going to fire me for holding the door for my best friend of 35 years after his foot was amputated and he was in a wheelchair? Fine then I hope you fire the CEO and yourself as well!!!” He then proceeded to show footage of the HR lady holding the door for his friend and the CEO holding the door for his friend.
My Father ended up staying there until he got his pension.
Edit: I don’t know his finances and he probably wouldn’t have lost the whole pension but there was a definite financial difference from being fired prior to reaching age 60 and making it to age 60.
Edit 2: So this blew up so much that my brother who didn’t know I was on Reddit texted me and said “You are reddit famous. That’s a story about Dad! I knew this was you.” Also some of you are wondering why a Software Engineer would have to clock in and out, well he didn’t. I meant to use the word badge in and out of the building, they went that far to talk with security to see his badge timestamps. There are more things that led to this getting bad and I didn’t want to write pages and pages but it definitely escalated to this point. Lastly for those of you that have been saying that my dad must have worked there as a child, this whole thing happened roughly 9 years ago. My father is 68 right now. If you want to know what company it was: this sentence is the most general hint I can give you but it may drive people from that company to be mad at me.
Final Update: Dad quit that job a while ago and made his own company in his retirement. He has used his own money to patent a new invention that desalinates seawater and provides clean solar energy. He has patents for this in America, India, and China and is looking for some capital to provide clean water and power to 3rd world countries. If interested in helping him build his first power plant please send me a message.
19. “Sure, I’ll do my job.”
I’m a young person working in a backroom position at a retail store. I’ve been working there for about a year now. My management when I started was excellent, and as a result, I am very well trained. I never got written up, am always on time, and I consistently do things well above my pay grade. I fill in for my supervisor in the backroom and can run it by myself if need be, and I trained our newest supervisor in her position (if you’re wondering, I didn’t take the supervisor job because it required changing my shift time.) I knew all the fine details and was a team trainer as well. Basically, I was a supervisor but without the pay raise.
My managers moved on to greener pastures and their positions were filled by new management. The new management doesn’t compare to the quality of the old management. Our store manager – I’ll call her Karen – is the worst manager ive had the displeasure of working for. She loves workplace politics, acting snakey, and micromanaging everything. When suggested solutions to problems, Karen would rather take a less effective route just to be the one in charge. When she messes up, instead of admitting it, Karen blames anyone but herself and makes it their responsibility to avoid looking dumb. Karen doesn’t help when she’s needed, rarely does her job, takes personal phone calls all day, and sits in her office on her computer. She’s rude, inconsiderate, and incompetent. All in all, Karen is an awful boss.
I tried to make peace with Karen at first, but we quickly started bumping heads and our relationship is shaky at best. We’re cordial with each other, but Karen wanted me to abandon 100% of my authority while still running the back, which couldn’t happen because others come to me for direction a lot. We don’t speak to each other when we don’t have to.
Well, Karen screwed up. One day in the back, we finished with a group activity. Simply put, I had to pee, so once we were done I told my supervisor I needed a quick bathroom break and headed out to the bathroom. The second I began my business, I got called on the intercom by Karen to come to the backroom. Sigh. I finished up quickly and got back to the stockroom. I was gone about 2-5 minutes tops.
When I walked in, Karen was immediately interrogating me on where I’d been and what I was doing. I told her I’d gone to the bathroom and she continued asking like the answer was gonna be different. Eventually, Karen said this absolute gem to me, which she couldn’t have known would change the course of our time at this company forever.
Karen says: “You need to use company time more wisely, and do your job.”
Remember how I said I was basically the backup stock supervisor at this institution? My list of self-appointed management duties was actually pretty long. Training new people, fixing damaged items, fixing packaging, training the supervisors, doing paperwork, delegating tasks, giving instructions to people, taking garbages out, cleaning the stockroom… the list goes on and on. When Karen said this to me, something clicked… you see where this is going.
I stopped all of it. All the managerial stuff went right out the window. Do my job? Okay, I’ll do MY job. Not your job, not her job, only mine. That’s what you asked, right? Direct your own team, do your own paperwork. Train your own supervisors. ’cause I’m just a lowly wage, right?
Yep, my stockroom fell apart quickly. Suddenly the entire room was in disarray, new people weren’t being trained, the faulty product was put out, my new supervisor had no idea what to do other than copy me so none of the paperwork got done. Garbages stopped being taken, people in the stockroom didn’t have direction, the floors were dirty, etc. I wonder why?
It was a MESS. And management couldn’t say anything about it, because those were management’s duties and not my problem. I know that Karen knew what I did, but all she could do was silently fume about it, suck it up, and actually do her job. She got pissy with me after this and tried giving me fewer shifts, but that didn’t last. Management finally got involved with the stockroom. I’ve never been so satisfied with myself, all because Karen couldn’t accept that I had to pee.
What are you gonna do? Fire me for doing my job? Lmao.
20. “On the receiving end of MC”
My Father in law is an interesting guy. For Halloween this last year, he send my family cards which is a totally normal thing. He sends cards for every holiday. We open the cards and my oldest gets $30, my middle gets $20 and my youngest gets $10.
I took $10 from my oldest to give to the youngest so everyone would have $20. My oldest was MAD. My youngest didn’t really care, but I wanted it to be fair. Then I got on the phone with my FIL and explained that I would prefer if he sent money to please send all the kids the same amount.
Fast forward to my oldest child’s birthday a week ago. He turned 11, so my FIL gave him a birthday card with $11. He said thank you and all was good.
Then he took out his wallet and handed each of my other kids $11 as well. I asked why he gave all 3 kids money for the oldest’s birthday, he said “you told me that I have to give all the kids the same amount of money.”
Well, I guess I walked into that one.
21. “Take off my earphones while you’re speaking to me? Sure, no problem officer.”
Happened this morning. Even though I made a complete and full stop at a 4 way stop, I get pulled over by a police vehicle, lights flashing, the works. I turn my dash cam around to face me and whomever goes in front of the driver side window.
I roll it down and ask “what seems to be the problem officer?” Officer looks at me the way one would look at a sticky piece of gum stuck to the bottom of one’s shoe. “You didn’t make a complete stop,” he says. I adjust one of my hearing aids (lost part of my hearing due to being a touring session musician previously) and before I could speak, he firmly orders “Sir, take off your earphones when I’m talking to you!”
I take both hearing aids off and look at him. I can read lips a little but we’re both masked so I can’t understand what he’s saying. I communicate in sign language simultaneously while speaking verbally “I’m deaf and I didn’t understand what you just said. Can you communicate to me in ASL (American Sign Language) please? He points at my hearing aids that look like Apple Air Pods, motioning me to put them on. I respond “Yes officer, without those I can only communicate in ASL. Please instruct me in ASL and I will be compliant in every possible way”.
He looks at the dashcam that’s neatly pointed squarely at us and mumbles “For fuck’s sake”. He then motions for me to go, giving me 2 thumbs up. Needless to say, I rolled up the window and drove away as fast as legally allowed.
Couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all day, Lol.