Have you had to deal with a boss who expects you to pick up the slack for others? If so, you may relate to the story of Walt, a former customer service representative who found himself in a frustrating workplace situation. Let’s take a look.
Doggy Day Care
Walt was a customer service representative at an independent dog boarding facility.
He Was Responsible for Closing Down the Office Work
He often worked the evening shift and was responsible for closing down the office work, including closing the register and making sure all the paperwork was in order.
After completing his primary tasks, he would then assist his coworkers with bigger tasks such as taking out the trash and laundry.
His Colleagues Role
However, animal care was supposed to be the other employees’ job, and Walt was not responsible for it. If his coworkers needed help with tasks like cleaning cages, dishes, or non-animal handling tasks, he was happy to help, but they needed to tell him, first.
The Small Dog Room
On a very busy night, a colleague called Michael was in charge of the small dog room. It could only hold about fifteen dogs, and so it took a lot less time than the big main building.
The person in the small dog room had to finish that room and then go out and finish with the rest of the dogs.
He Offered to Help
By the time Walt was done with his office work, Michael was up at the big building with their coworker. Walt asked whether there was anything they needed help with or whether he could focus on the trash and laundry and making sure doors got locked.
But He Got the All Clear
Michael said he’d done everything in the dog room, and there were no problems, so Walt moved on with his job, thinking Michael had taken care of everything.
But It Wasn’t the Truth
But the next morning, Walt got called into the small dog room by his manager, who angrily gestured at the sink.
It Wasn’t His Responsibility
There were four or five dog bowls sitting there that Michael hadn’t cleaned and put away.
He Had Told Him He Had Done Everything
She asked Walt why they weren’t clean, and he pointed out that the small dog room was Michael’s responsibility, and he had told him he had done everything.
It Wasn’t Even His Mistake
The manager then said that it was everyone’s responsibility to make sure every task was complete before they left, no matter who had been officially in charge of the task.
She Wrote Him Up!
Walt apologized, but he figured that he was merely getting a verbal warning. Michael had only forgotten four or five bowls. It’s easy enough to fix, and something Walt could make a note of for the future.
Time for Some Malicious Compliance
But instead of a verbal warning, all of them got an official mark on their records. This is where Walt’s malicious compliance started.
He Made Sure That His Coworkers Went Behind Him
From then on, Walt took his sweet time checking and double-checking that every job was complete and done well, no matter how small. He also made sure that his coworkers went behind him and did the same thing.
He Took Pedantic to a New Level
If they missed a small piece of debris while sweeping the floor, they had to do it again. If they didn’t wash the dog bowls properly, they had to wash them again. If the bed in an empty cage looked slightly askew, it had to get sorted out.
An Endless Door-Checking
Walt checked to make sure every door was closed and locked and then did it again two or more times.
They Spend Extra Time Checking Behind Everyone Else
Because the managers couldn’t be bothered to make the people responsible for doing their job actually responsible for their own job, Walt and his coworkers had to spend extra time checking behind everyone else.
He Knew He Had to Follow the Manager’s Orders
This meant that they added another fifteen to twenty minutes of time on top of actually doing the job. Walt was not happy about it, but he knew he had to follow the manager’s orders.
But at Least He Was Getting Paid!
Make Walt responsible for doing someone else’s job instead of expecting them to actually do their job? It was going to cost the managers an hour of overtime combined!
Petty but Worth It
Walt knew he was being petty, but he felt it was the only way to make his point. The managers needed to hold their employees accountable for their work instead of expecting everyone else to pick up the slack, and Walt was not going to do anyone else’s job for them anymore.
A Small Price to Pay
While the overtime might have been an inconvenience, it was a small price to pay for making a stand against poor management. Walt’s actions also ensured that every task got completed thoroughly, which ultimately benefited the animals in their care.
Employees should not have to bear the brunt of poor management. It is the responsibility of managers and supervisors to ensure that their employees have the resources and support they need to do their jobs well.
Otherwise, employees may take matters into their own hands, which can lead to unnecessary tension and conflict in the workplace.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / DisobeyArt. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.