This story of malicious compliance comes to us from Reddit! It’s an interesting story about the dynamics of the workplace. Enjoy!
A Workplace Drama
The Original Poster (OP), a part-time event organizer for his university, has been working on student events for a while.
He gained experience by participating in these events as a student, assisting under someone else as part of his scholarship, and running events himself as a staff member.
His New Boss Caused Problems
However, when a new college head, who was much older, joined the team, she dismissed OP’s experience and knowledge. Despite being new, the college head refused to observe how things worked or listen to those on the team who had been there for years.
She Was Arrogant and Wouldn’t Listen to the Team
The college head’s pigheadedness and arrogance were apparent, and she always insisted that she knew best because she was older.
Mistakes Were Always Someone Else’s Fault
She disregarded any input from others, even if it was technically illegal or would cause problems. Mistakes were always someone else’s fault, and she swept them under the carpet.
She Ignored Suggestions
During event planning, OP noticed that the college head hadn’t allocated the team properly.
Asking the whole team to come in an hour before the event was not necessary and would result in most of them standing around doing nothing.
It Led to Some Problems for Her
OP suggested having five or so people in for setup, most of the team in for running the event, and holding back another 3-4 for cleanup.
However, the college head dismissed the suggestion and insisted that everyone should help out equally an hour before the event.
He Set Her Up
OP decided to maliciously comply and agreed to the college head’s plan but informed her that he had some personal business to attend to right after the event. The college head agreed, and on the day of the event, the whole team showed up an hour before for setup.
Most of the Team Stood Around on Their Phones
As expected, five or so team members did all the setup work while most of the team stood around on their phones, and some even wandered off.
She Didn’t Understand What Was Going to Happen
Ten minutes before the event, the college head showed up, and everything was running smoothly. Some team members continued to wander off, while some ran the events, and some participated.
And She Took All the Credit
OP ran around like a gopher, letting the college head take credit for the event in front of everyone. He made sure to remind her that he had to leave right at the end of the event for “personal business” in front of other colleague heads several times.
He Was Making It Worse for Her
To be extra spiteful, OP neglected to stop several team members from wandering off, who had done no work other than standing around talking/eating.
He Encouraged People to Call It a Night
He also encouraged several people who had definitely done 2 hours’ worth of work to call it a night and thanked them for their help. He forgot to tell team members standing around during events to start cleaning up as things were finishing.
Then She Realized She Was Alone
All the free food was gone, all the games were over, and both students and team members were wandering off into the night.
She Had to Do Everything on Her Own
The college head suddenly realized that there was so much mess and that they had to put away all the tables and tidy up all the different games. However, everyone had left, and the college head had to do everything on her own.
Malicious Compliance in Action
When the college head asked OP where he was going, he simply reminded her that he had personal business to attend to and left her to clean up the mess alone.
She put in a formal complaint against OP for leaving, but it didn’t go anywhere, as he forwarded the email exchange to management.
A Culture of Toxicity
Sadly, some people are pigheaded and refuse to learn no matter what. OP eventually quit, and a few months later, he met his replacement’s replacement, who was also ready to quit.
The college head’s arrogance and refusal to listen to others had created a toxic work environment that nobody wanted to be a part of.
He Knew What Was Going On
His story is a prime example of malicious compliance – where he followed the college head’s instructions to the letter, knowing it would result in chaos and prove his point.
Despite his best efforts to provide input and suggest better ways of doing things, the college head’s arrogance and refusal to listen led to unnecessary stress and poor event planning.
He Learned a Valuable Lesson
While OP ultimately moved on from the situation, he learned a valuable lesson about dealing with stubborn individuals in the workplace.
She’s Still Struggling
As for the college head, she continues to struggle with her management style, causing dissatisfaction among her team members and a revolving door of replacements!
The moral of the story? Sometimes, experience really is the best teacher, and age doesn’t always equal wisdom.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / George Dolgikh. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.