January 16, 2024 at 4:45 am

Strict Boss Insists That Contractor Follow The Rules To The Letter, So They Maliciously Comply And The Business Ends Up Suffering

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA

It can take months or sometimes years for everyone at a company to come together and work seamlessly on a project.

All of that productiveness can disappear in less than a day if a new boss starts making changes they don’t understand.

OP had a new boss show up with long, detailed contracts he expected them all to sign.

Enter “Mr. Grayson,” the firm’s new operations head.

Now, this guy had a reputation for being a stickler for rules, often to the point of absurdity.

Shortly after his arrival, contractors like myself were handed these freshly inked contracts.

It was verbose, to say the least.

But one clause stood out: “All contractors shall adhere strictly to the tasks outlined in their contract. Any deviation will result in immediate termination.”

He didn’t seem to think cross-departmental collaboration would be needed.

This was Mr. Grayson’s baby – his attempt to ensure we stayed in our “designated lanes.” For context, the firm had a history of a collaborative environment.

Developers would occasionally assist with design queries, and designers (like me) would sometimes offer input on usability to the developers.

But Grayson, oh, he wanted none of that cross-departmental “nonsense.”

When it was, OP sat back and let the chaos unfold.

Now, onto the malicious compliance.

A big project was on the horizon, and midway, the development team hit a snag. They identified a design flaw, something my team could’ve fixed in an hour or two.

However, helping them wasn’t “in my contract.” So, I sat back, sipped my coffee, and watched the drama unfold.

The developers, bound by their contracts, spent days trying to engineer their way around a problem that wasn’t theirs to solve.

The project timeline got stretched, costs increased, and frustrations bubbled.

And he just pointed to his new contract when the higher ups asked him about it.

The climax?

A big meeting with higher-ups where Grayson had to explain the delays. When the design flaw was brought up, all eyes turned to me.

I simply slid a copy of my contract across the table and highlighted the strict adherence clause.

I recall the deafening silence in the room, broken only by Grayson’s stammering.

Things went back to normal.

In the aftermath, Grayson’s “strict contract” idea was trashed.

Collaboration resumed, the project got back on track, and our dear Mr. Grayson?

He was “reassigned” to a different department, far away from meddling with contracts.

All is well…and I bet this story made Reddit smile.

Sometimes you have to let the world burn.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Good managers get it.

Source: Reddit/AITA

First you have to observe. Then change.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Take heed.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This guy played it perfectly.

No one could possibly blame him!

If you liked that post, check out this one about an employee that got revenge on HR when they refused to reimburse his travel.