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Employee's clever response makes boss instantly regret enforcing new clock-out rule


Jun. 1 2024, Published 6:31 p.m. ET

Having a toxic boss can make going to work a nightmare. They always seem to get a power trip from micromanaging employees. One retail employee shared on Reddit how her manager suddenly imposed a rule that she could only leave work with managerial permission, despite it never being a rule before. She then explained how she cleverly turned the tables on her manager.

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"So I work at a store that sells kitchen appliances and other kitchen-related stuff. Normally when we’re supposed to leave or go on break, we’re supposed to tell our manager, I was helping a long line at cash and had already been there for 8 hours and assumed they had someone to cover me," she wrote. "I wasn’t allowed to use the walkies to ask to be covered to go home, so I quickly found my manager and told her my shift was done."

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Her manager wasn't too amused that she had asked to leave work and reportedly asked her to seek permission from a manager every time. "She got really pissy at me and said 'could you really not stay a few more minutes.' I tried to tell her 'I thought you had someone to cover me, I can stay if you want.' She then replied 'no, no just go, but next time you need to wait for a manager to let you go home,'” she wrote. She was surprised by what her manager told her and decided to check with others about it. "This was never a rule, I asked other people who’ve worked there for years and they agreed that it wasn’t a rule. I worked again a few days later and the store was empty, my shift was over, and was about to ask to go home then I remember what my manager told me," she wrote. "Cue malicious compliance."

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She decided to follow her manager's instructions to the letter and pocketed a little extra money. "I continued to wander the store and slightly fix shelves, making sure I was near my manager. After about 2 and a half hours she said 'you’re still here, why haven’t you gone home?' I replied 'you said I need to wait to be told to go home.' My manager looked at me as though she was mentally kicking herself 'just go,' she said. I clocked out and that’s how I got paid an extra $30 for doing literally nothing." When some people asked if she didn't value her own time, she replied, "Nah, this company is very stingy with hours for everyone and the way I see it I got paid while barely helping the company, so I don’t care."

The Reddit post went viral with many people praising her. "She still hasn't specifically told you that you don't have to follow this rule. Malicious Compliance is still in effect," wrote one person. She confirmed to Bored Panda that the rule was scrapped shortly after. “The rule was dropped and I pretty much went back to asking to go home when my shift was over. This was what we normally did and my manager has never made a comment about it since,” she said. "The thing is, if she had had a real conversation with you the first thing, you probably wouldn't have even thought of it again. It always pays off to treat your employees like people and with respect... although sometimes you don't see the things like this that don't happen," wrote another user. Another user explained how they pocketed some money through malicious compliance. "Our retail store had a rule that employees could not leave the store until their bag was checked by a manager. This could take a very long time, particularly during the holidays. You’d clock out and then wait 20 minutes for your bag check. So I stopped clocking out until after the bag check and pocketed some extra holiday pay," they wrote.

This article was written with assistance from artificial intelligence. Megaphone creates content primarily driven by people but aims for full transparency in how our storytelling is produced. To learn more about our policy on artificial intelligence, click here.


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