March 12, 2024 at 4:32 am

Manager Told Employees To Dress For The Job They Want, So They Maliciously Complied And Made Them Look Silly

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AITA/Pexels

Have you ever heard this phrase before?

It’s an old classic and it’s usually thrown out there by people who like to micromanage others…

And that’s exactly what happened in this story from Reddit’s “Malicious Compliance” page!

But this manager was in for a surprise.

Check out what happened!

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

“I work for a family business with 30+ employees. This is a company that has friends and family members as top-tiered Management and often made up rules whenever they felt like it.

When new employees join the company, they sign a basic employment contract stating the compensation, benefits and work hours. The company does not have a written code of conduct.

Meet Sally…

One particular manager is a friend of the President. Let’s call her Sally. Sally manages a team of 8 employees, including myself. We aren’t allowed to make small talk WHILE working and we are required to let her know when we start taking our breaks, and when we return from breaks. Sally interjects whenever a team member is asking another team member questions because Sally is a micromanager.

It gets worse…

Sally also makes us come to work early once a week for 30 minutes (unpaid) so that she can recap the previous week and often uses this time to tell us what we’re doing wrong. She made it clear that that this weekly meeting is mandatory.

During one meeting,she brought up expectations for continued employment at the workplace – no swearing, no talking bad about customers amongst ourselves, no personal phones on desks, no music during work hours, no talking to other departments unless it’s work related etc.


Then she brought up dress code. It’s important to note that we’ve never heard of a dress code at work and our jobs do not require face to face interactions with customers. Most of our dealings are via phones or e-mails.

We may see a customer drop by once or twice a year. Most of the team members wear hoodies/ long-sleeved t-shirts with jeans or leggings. I usually wear a simple top with pants with my hair neatly blow-dried. Apparently, that’s not appropriate enough.

Oh, Sally…

Sally said we should try to dress better and more professionally to keep up with the company’s image. Her sell was “Dress not for the job you have, but the job you want”. She made us all sign a document citing the topic of discussion at the meeting.

You asked for it!

You want us to dress for the job we want? Okay.

A few of my colleagues and I decided to maliciously comply the following day. I put my hair in a messy bun, wore my Costco leggings and my husband’s old t-shirt. That was my everyday look when I was unemployed.

Sally saw me when I walked through the door and asked why I was underdressed. I said “you asked us to dress for the job I want. I want to go back to being a stay-at-home-mom. I loved staying at home.”

She said “That’s not what I meant. I meant bigger aspirations and goals” as she looked at me with exasperation.

Shortly after, my other colleagues showed up one after the other -two wearing full workout gear and one wore her Anime costume. One guy wore a t-shirt with expletives.

The President noticed and asked us if Halloween came early and we told him what Sally said. I don’t know what happened but safe to say, there was no mention of any dress code since.”

Check out how folks reacted.

One Reddit user thought this was a good response.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual said they need to get in touch with the labor department.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This reader had their mind blown.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person has another idea…

Source: Reddit/AITA

And this person shared a funny story.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Ha! That’ll show them!

Thought that was satisfying? Check out what this employee did when their manager refused to pay for their time while they were traveling for business.