January 25, 2024 at 1:44 pm

Manager Insisted That Ill Employee Come In To Work To Hand In His Sick Notice, So He Does And Shakes Everybody’s Hand In The Process

by Addison Sartino

Source: Reddit/AITA/Pexels

A mean boss. A story as old as time.

Karma. Also, a story as old as time.

This man took to Reddit to share how he ended his manager’s power trip by simply listening.

This happened like 15 years ago in Germany.

I was in my apprenticeship in a big coal-mine, once the pride of Germany industry. We were 50 apprentices every year (here you have to do 3 years apprenticeship before you become an electrician for example) and my company employed around 4000 people at that time.

Business can be tricky, especially when there’s a pressure to prove yourself.

The coal sector in Germany was in decline and it was cheaper to import coal from China, Poland or Australia, so the company got big subsidies by the state and it showed.

Stuff wasn’t replaced, people had to do more shifts, all in all there was an atmosphere (especially in management) of‚having to prove you are still useful in a sense.

While most people were pretty chill, retirement plans for the older workers were solid and us younger people knew we weren’t going to work there long term from the beginning, the upper management still wanted to show they were the big shots.

So one day all apprentices called into a big meeting with the top manager of our section and he told us, that we had too much sick days.

In Germany you can have as many sick days as you need and you get paid for them in full.

(There are some other things about pay and sick days in Germany not important to this story, but if you want to nitpick or learn more, just read up on German labor laws. It’s fun, I promise.)

The higher ups went the whole nine yards to convince the staff they had good reason to set these rules in place.

He even had a full powerpoint presentation with how many days we had, what was the reason, there were charts and figures and such stuff. The whole management spiel.

In the end his idea was that from now on we all had to give our sick notice to him personally in his office at the first day of absence. This is kinda not 100% legal I guess ( I am no lawyer) but we were all young people and had little to no knowledge about this.

Why he wanted to do it this way was clear, he thought many of us were faking their sickness to get a long weekend or whatever. Up to then you only had to phone in when you were sick and could either send your doctors notice by mail or bring it in and leave it at the office receptionist. Wasn’t good enough anymore I guess.

Directly the week after the meeting I got a bad stomach bug. Don’t ask me what it was, maybe I ate something bad or it was just the season, no idea.

After I spray-painted my parents bathroom all night I got to my doctor first thing in the morning and I got a doctors notice and was instructed to not go under people for the next couple of days in case I was contagious.

So I went home and phoned the receptionist at the office to tell them I was sick and I couldn’t come in.

As predicted, the manager dug his heels in to the new rule.

He transferred me to the manager who told me I had to hand him the notice personally. No ifs or buts. If I didn’t I would get a write up or worse.

I knew he thought I was lying and that didn’t sit right with me, in all the time there I only missed work for one week and that was because I had a broken foot (yes, I worked in a coal mine with a broken foot, I am not nearly as tough as this makes me sound) and I didn’t like to be accused like that, even though it was only implied.

By law you are not forced to tell your employer why you are sick, only that you are sick.

Cue my malicious compliance. I said sure, I will be right there.

And so our loyal worker did as he was told.

I got into my car, drove to my workplace and got to the office. My manager was in a meeting with some higher-ups in the company and I was instructed to wait, but as he heard I was there, I was invited into the room full of people in expensive suites who looked like they had serious business to do (or whatever, maybe the cookies were good there, I don’t know).

He made me stand in front of all these important people in the company and made me introduce myself to everyone, with a handshake.

I didn’t protest, why would I? He insisted.

I shook the hands of the manager of production and finances and development, everyone who was there and I introduced myself. I am sure it was meant to scare me into not having any false sick days anymore.

Then with a triumphant smile he asked me why I was there and I pulled out my doctors notice, gave it to him and said. “As you instructed me I have to give you my doctors notice in person. I got a bad case of stomach flu this night and just wanted to let you know I will be sick for the rest of the week.”

Absolutely epic.

Their faces were priceless and he pushed me out way too fast for me to really cherish the situation.

My stomach was better by next week and the rule about our sick days was lifted.

Reddit users cheered for the writer in the comment section.

One reader shared a similar story.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

This person was complimentary of the writer’s english.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

And this reader came back with a witty remark.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Way to go, sir!

If you liked that story, check out this post about a group of employees who got together and why working from home was a good financial decision.