April 18, 2024 at 8:27 pm

Employee Had The Greatest Job Ever, But A Bad Boss Arrived And Ruined Everything. So They Got Revenge By Quiet Quitting.

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/Shutterstock

If you’ve ever found a job you loved, working for a company (or at least a boss) who appreciated you, with coworkers you enjoyed, well.

You know what an absolute unicorn that is these days.

This guy had that.

I worked for this tech company for almost 7 years. It was my first job out of college.

Great company, huge growth, great benefits and most importantly an incredible boss.

The Boss was super helpful and responsive, always had the team’s back, goes out of his way to not micromanage, didn’t care as long as the work got done.

Borderline forced people to take PTO (we have unlimited and I averaged 30-40 days off a year).

Believed in giving good workers big raises and promotions (last 3 years I got 9%, 13% and a promotion and 7% raises).

We worked remote through Covid and I asked to change my contract to fully remote so I could leave the HCOL city where the office was based to go back to my hometown.

Boss approved the change and when HR tried to do a COL adjustment to my salary, boss told them no because I’ll be doing the same work in my new location.

There was nothing he loved more than going into work in the morning.

The boss was so good that on our team of 16 people the lowest tenured was 3.5 years.

I’d been offered several other jobs with salary increases throughout the years but could never bring myself to leave.

Myself and one other person on my team had specialized into working on very complex and involved projects.

These were significantly different than the team’s normal day to day work.

We’d been doing the complex projects for 4+ years and were the knowledge base for the company in that area. Boss left that area completely to us to manage.

As the volume picked up we added and trained 2 more people to our little sub-team to help out.

None of these projects went out to the customers without one of us 4 being involved.

Super complex ($100ks to millions lost if a mistake was made) And since it was the fastest growing part of the business by far, we were super busy.

Then, a new boss arrived and started to change things.

Now around 2 years ago, boss’s boss gets promoted from his VP role up to an SVP spot. And hires a new VP.

This new VP comes in and tries to change a lot very quickly. Tries to make everything a trackable metric…. Even where it really doesn’t make sense.

I.E tracking the number of “projects” each person on my team did every month.

Counted as 1 even if it was super complex and took 2 weeks or if it was very simple with an existing customer and took an hour.

Wanted each project to go out faster (even if they weren’t due for a week we were supposed to get them out in under 3 days).

Tried to force my boss to assign work to the team instead of us all picking up from a central queue as we could. Ect ect.

Boss pushed back as much as possible but was getting shit on constantly by new VP because the useless metrics VP wanted us tracked by did not meet his super unrealistic expectations.

Despite my Boss’s team being the most experienced and efficient in the company and doing significantly more volume and more complex work than any other team.

People started leaving, processes started slowing.

About 9 months ago Boss had enough of just getting consistently crap on by VP and took a new job and left.

(Boss had been with the company for 13 years and was one of the first few 100 employees)

My whole team was devastated.

We all instantly started lobbying for the most tenured person on our team to get promoted into that roll as she would have the same philosophy as the Boss that just left.

VP interviews most tenured, and a bunch of external candidates. And goes with someone from his previous company.

Now this lady will be referred to as Bad Boss from here on out for soon to be obvious reasons.

She came in and completely destroyed the team from top to bottom.

Changed processes that had been perfected for years, did not listen or care about what anyone else had to say.

Started micromanaging to the extreme. Team morale dropped like a rock.

It took less than a month for the team’s output to crater due to all of her changes.

The team from the best in the company to the worst.

It took Bad Boss about 2 months to get to my smaller sub-team and try to rework our processes.

Bad Boss started micromanaging projects (having no idea what she’s doing) and causing all kinds of issues and delays.

She started getting on us 4 about our “metrics” being the worst on the team.

Despite us working on the super complex projects that took 10-100 times longer on average than most of the work the rest of the team did.

She threatened to put them all on Performance Improvement Plans if they didn’t do what she said.

Bad Boss told us that if we didn’t meet the expected Metrics we would be put on PIPs.

So we decided to comply and focused all of our efforts on simple projects to meet the metric (X number of projects completed per month per person) and left the complex ones sitting in the queue.

This caused CHAOS as my small sub-team suddenly stopped picking up complex projects

Just focused on completing simple projects to get our metrics up.

Very quickly the sales team is freaking out because deals are getting delayed and their huge commission checks from the complex projects are being put in jeopardy.

When they came to us to ask when we were going to complete the complex projects we all gave the same response.

“Bad Boss has told us we have to focus all of our efforts on meeting Metric X so we will only be doing that. Unfortunately that means we can no longer complete the complex projects. Please contact Bad Boss for help getting them completed”

This did not go over well with her or VP as he started to get complaints as well.

They called a meeting and told us we had to go back to doing the complex projects.

We refused as that made it impossible to meet the metrics they created to measure our performance.

They refused to drop the metric but still insisted we work on the complex ones as we were the only ones with the knowledge.

We still refused.

This resulted in a lot more complaints from sales until the SVP got involved.

The SVP was the one who created the complex sub-team to begin with and sided with us against the VP and Bad Boss.

He said we were not to be measured by the metrics and can go back to managing the complex stuff without fear of being put on a PIP.

So we did.

Once she tried to cancel his time off for his wedding, he was fed up.

At this point the other 3 people on the sub-team had seen the writing on the wall and were all actively applying and trying to leave ASAP.

They were all office based in the HCOL area still. Bad Boss changed the team from come in 1-2 days a week as needed to mandatory 3 days in the office (most company policy would let her).

So they got a lot more of her BS than I did remote.

I had not been applying because I was distracted, my old boss had approved 2 weeks of vacation for my wedding/honeymoon before he left.

This happened to occur about 3 months after Bad Boss started. And about a month after the whole PIP blowup.

Bad Boss was MAD at how we showed her up in front of the SVP and was doing everything she could to make our life miserable.

In that month, the other super experienced guy and my best friend on the sub-team got a new job and left (no notice) and one of the other guys on the sub-team has put in his notice and only had a week left.

We were already slammed and still behind from the PIP fiasco so losing half the sub-team just made that worse.

Plus with morale so low we didn’t bother to put in any extra effort anymore.

In fact the whole team was significantly behind as 6 of the 16 people had left or were on their notice periods at that point.

So Bad Boss decided that she was canceling my already approved wedding leave because of how far the team was behind.

She told me over Zoom. I told her there was no chance I’m missing my wedding and honeymoon for work and I’m taking the full leave.

It’s up to her if she wants to lose another person from the sub-team for 2 weeks or permanently.

She BSed, yelled and threatened until I just left the zoom call.

She followed up with an email officially notifying me my leave was canceled and if I didn’t show up it would be considered job abandonment.

I called her bluff and replied CCing VP and SVP and some other sales VPs who I worked with regularly, explaining the situation (it’s my wedding honeymoon) and that I appreciated the opportunity but was quitting immediately with no notice due to the disrespect from Bad Boss.

The managed to convince him not to quit.

I got slack messages from SVP and several of the sales VPs almost immediately asking me not to quit.

The email chain itself blew up with complaints about how my team was mismanaged by Bad Boss and how now more complex deals were going to get lost because I wouldn’t be there at all to work on them ect..

SVP eventually shut it down but it was a fun read.

I didn’t reply to the slack messages or do any work the rest of that day. Just turned everything off and went to a bar and had a good time.

I woke up the next day late in the morning, and very hungover, to a few voicemails on my phone from SVP asking me to call him.

I called back in the early afternoon and talked to the SVP. He was very understanding, asked me to come back. Listened to all my complaints and eventually made an offer.

Basically if I came back and worked the rest of the week and tried to train a few team members to work on complex stuff to cover while I was gone, he would give me a $3000 wedding bonus.

I would get my full PTO, and when I got back Bad Boss would leave me alone and let me manage the complex stuff and pick 2 more people to permanently train back onto the sub-team to back-fill what we had lost.

I accepted (weddings are expensive).

So I tried to train people to cover for me (impossible task) then leave on my PTO.

I had a great wedding and honeymoon. (VP called me a few times when the 4th guy from my sub-team quit with no notice about 1.5 weeks in) but I ignored him and didn’t respond.

After she informed him there would be no raise that year and only a small bonus, he was pretty much done.

I come back refreshed and ready for the shitshow I know is waiting.

It was CHAOS.

All the sales people were slacking and emailing me about all the complex things they needed done 2 weeks ago.

The people I quickly trained before leaving hadn’t be able to do almost anything.

There was a huge backlog for the entire team as half of the original 16 person team was gone at this point.

I turned off my slack and emailed the sales VPs directly asking them to give me a prioritized list of all the complex deals they needed done.

Got the list and started working through it in my normal working hours, nothing more.

Bad Boss never tried to talk to me or interfere. VP did a few times.

At one point he tried to make me work weekends to catch up (I refused).

This went on for about a month or so.

Bad Boss never mentioned me training people to replace my sub-team and I never brought it up.

They did however have the larger team try some of the smaller complex projects to help get them out.

They also hired some new people for the larger team. The normal 4-6 month training process my old boss developed was ignored and the new hires were just thrown in the deep end.

Which resulted in new hires making mistakes that cost the company alot of money.

This brought us to annual bonus and raise time.

I had started frantically job hunting as soon as I got back from the honeymoon. I got some interviews, was in same later stages but no offers yet.

I had a zoom meeting invite from B***h Boss to go over my bonus / raise.

She decided it would be a great idea to give me 80% of my expected bonus (lowest possible) and a 0% raise.

Justified it with a bunch of BS, not a team player, metrics bad, blaming me for mistakes made by new hires, ect ect.

I didn’t really argue or care at that point.

He made a big demand, knowing he held all the cards.

At that point I really quiet quit.

Cut my daily output to below half, just did the bare, bare minimum and waited for the bonus to come in with my next paycheck 2 weeks later.

At this point the sales team is getting pissed because the complex stuff basically isn’t getting done.

I had almost caught up on the important ones before the raise/bonus but with me barely working everything was falling behind again.

Bad Boss smelled weakness and showed up on one of the progress calls I had with sales.

The project was running about 1.5 weeks behind at that point.

She started chewing me out on the call in front of everyone saying I was lazy and not doing my job ect…

I let her rant then just said “If you give me the lowest bonus possible and a 0% raise you get 0% effort in return. You can complete this project since I’m so terrible at my job” and left the call.

She tried a few more times on email chains ect to call me out for not working and I just replied with the same thing.

I refused to join her Zoom calls or respond to her on slack. And just responded with the 0% effort blurb on every email. This infuriated her.

I still hadn’t gotten another job offer but was really confident I was about to get one soon.

So when VP set up a zoom call with me I joined.

He tried to play nice and ask what the problems were and pretended to be on my side.

I told him for a 0% raise I’m giving 0% effort and he pretended like he had no idea how I ended up with that raise/bonus (he has to approve the bonus/raise amounts).

I called him out on his BS and told him he gets what he pays for. He then threatened to fire me if I didn’t go back my old level of output and said the people I had been training in complex projects could take over for me soon so I wasn’t as necessary as I thought.

I laughed and asked him what he was talking about, I hadn’t been training anyone.

He went quiet and muted.

He was clearly messaging Bad Boss asking about the training. Because he unmuted a few minutes later and changed his entire attitude.

Agreed it was awful of Bad Boss to do that to my bonus/raise and asked what he could do to make it right.

I didn’t care at that point and knew he needed me more than I needed him so I told him I need a 25% raise and 150% of the bonus on that new salary or I was quitting immediately.

He tried to say that was ridiculous and could never happen ect ect.

So I bluffed and told him I already had another job offer and was leaving anyway.

They farted around, so he quit for real.

He asked me to wait and he’d bring SVP onto the call.

SVP tried to talk my demand down.

At that point I realized it wasn’t worth it. I refused the significantly lower counter offer, thanked the SVP for everything he did for me and said I was quitting immediately.

VP tried to say I’ll never get a good reference if I don’t at least work a notice period.

I just told him my ex-Boss would give me a glowing recommendation of my time here so I didn’t care and logged off.

SVP tried to get me to come back a few times over the next week or so but I refused.

A few weeks later I got a job offer and accepted.

Things are still wild back there, and even though he’s moved on, he’s not as happy.

I’ve been working at the new company for a while now and it’s pretty bad.

Better than the old company but no where close to what I had before with my old Boss.

Although old boss reached out and said he might have a position opening up in his new company in a month or two that I should apply for.

So I’m looking forward to that.

I’ve heard from people who are still on my old team that it’s complete disaster at my old job.

They are losing millions from not having the knowledge base to correctly complete the complex projects.

They reached out to the other experienced guy from the sub-team and offered him a huge raise to come back after I quit.

He refused.

Everyone left on my old team is trying to leave ASAP and everything even the simple stuff is weeks overdue.

Apparently Bad Boss is getting thrown under the bus by VP and will be fired soon.

Does Reddit think there was a way to have saved it all?

They’re wondering how his previous boss let it come to this.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

This person thinks he could have been a little more proactive.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Metrics are only as good as the people who read them.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

The customers always know.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Eventually the people responsible actually have to BE responsible.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

I guess good things never last.

But maybe having a unicorn for a bit is better than never having one at all.

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.