June 23, 2024 at 2:48 am

Employee Got Fired For Explicitly Following Their Boss’s Rules, But They Had The Receipts To Show Their Boss Was A Massive Fraud And Got Them Fired Too

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/Unsplash/@timmykp

Always leave a paper trail

That sounds like pretty good advice, don’t you think?

You better believe it!

And this story will convince you to do just that in your professional and personal life.

Take a look at what happened!

Manager gets me fired; doesn’t realize there’s a paper trail.

“I worked as a writer and editor for over a decade, and in that time I had my fair share of bad bosses—like anyone.

But there is one that completely takes the cake. I worked for a large media company that had dealings with a number of other companies and subsidiaries ranging from publishing to fashion to sports to tech.

You name it, they did it. How our writing department worked was each writer would have specific areas that they would write for, kind of like how journalists have “beats” they cover.

So if you were assigned to the fashion arm of the company or one of its partners/subsidiaries, you wrote or edited everything for that arm.

A new manager showed up…

I worked for this company for about a year and a half before a new manager was hired. She was the second in command of our department. Part of her and our department director’s job was to update our internal style guide when necessary.

For those that don’t know, a style guide is a reference document for how to either refer to things or how to format things for the company/partners.

Before her tenure as manager, this was only done maybe once or twice a year, and the changes were relatively minimal since the style guide was very well established in the company and had been in place for a number of years.

This doesn’t sound good…

After she came on, it was being updated at least once a week, if not multiple times a week. It legitimately became an obsession for her.

Aside from the general annoyance of keeping up with it, it didn’t take long for me and my coworkers to reach the conclusion that our new manager didn’t have the faintest idea what she was doing. Each new version had more and more glaring errors.

At first, we all ignored these changes, giving her the benefit of the doubt and hoping, albeit naively, that these new directives were mistakes.

That was until people started getting reprimanded for not following the style guide. I was the first to get a one-on-one, closed door talk.

One of the departments I wrote for was sports, and she had seen that I had not been following the new rule of how I was to refer to the men’s and women’s teams I covered.

Oh, boy…

Truthfully, I had willfully ignored it hoping that it was just a mistake. To my horror, however, it appeared my new writing manager didn’t understand basic grammar. You see, the change she implemented removed the apostrophe from “men’s” and “women’s”.

So, for example, if I was covering “men’s basketball”, I was to refer to it as “mens basketball”. Her rationale was that the men didn’t own the team; therefore, it should not be possessive.

Apparently, her understanding of the English language didn’t evolve past grade school explanations.

I was honestly pretty dumbfounded at first. But once I got over the initial shock that the second in command of our department didn’t realize “mens” was not a word, I tried bleakly to explain that men is already plural and that a possessive “‘s” doesn’t always denote direct ownership (read: men’s bathroom).

She stared blankly at me for a few seconds, and for the briefest of moments, I thought maybe I was seeing the cogs in her head turn. She however, doubled down. Realizing the fight was lost, I told her that I would implement the changes going forward.

Now, here’s where my malicious compliance comes in: We worked for, and with, some very high profile companies, and mistakes were not tolerated for things that were outward facing.

Let’s get this in writing.

Realizing her idiocy could cost me my job, I made a simple request: Could you please email me the exact style guide rule you’re referencing and how exactly you’d like me to implement it, with examples of where I messed up?

She looked at me like I was stupid for not understanding what was being asked of me, but she still wrote it all down in an email for me.

I also made sure any further style changes were referenced in an email and specifically asked that if there were further changes to please cite how I had done them in the past, along with how she would like them to be done from now on.

Sure enough, within about 6 months of this, I was fired.

And at my exit interview, I handed HR a folder containing every written communication regarding the style changes, along with quite a bit of evidence that she was passing off her projects to other members of the dept and changing people’s work behind their back.

She was fired three months after me, along with our department director three months after that.

Well, what do you know?

Turned out, my little folder sparked a full investigation by HR, and after interviewing other coworkers in the department, they realized she had done all of it to have grounds to fire people within the department she didn’t like.

I just happened to be the first on the chopping block.

The projects she was passing off to other people?

She was taking the credit for what they were doing to make herself look good.

Those changes she was making to other people’s work?

HR realized that she was changing things to make it explicitly incorrect. You gotta love software that tracks changes and timestamps and lists the user.

On top of all of this, they also discovered that she had, at best, exaggerated (and, at worst, fabricated) large swaths of her resume.

By the time she was fired, I had already found another job in a different department at the same company. It was a good gig, and my new manager wasn’t a complete jerk.

Eventually, I moved on from that company, but if anything, my time there taught me a very valuable lesson: document, document, and document some more.”

Here’s how people reacted.

This person shared their thoughts.

Source: Reddit


Source: Reddit

Another individual told a story.

Source: Reddit

This person was impressed.

Source: Reddit

Another Reddit user spoke up.

Source: Reddit

Always keep the receipts!

It’ll pay off in the end!

If you liked this post, check out this story about an employee who got revenge on a co-worker who kept grading their work suspiciously low.