June 9, 2024 at 5:27 am

Employee Was Given Horrible Instructions By His Supervisor, So He Did What He Asked But Made Sure The Big Boss Was Watching

by Heide Lazaro

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance/Pexels/Mandiri Abadi

As employees, we just want to do our jobs well. And we are always reminded to ask if there is anything unclear about our jobs, right?

But, what if you asked and you were given a lousy answer?

This Reddit user found themselves in a situation that many of us have faced… and figured out a clever solution to make sure they didn’t get in trouble.

Find out how the story continues.

I’ll make sure your boss is watching when I do what you’ve asked

About a year ago, I had a temp contract as a material handler/forklift driver at an oil refinery. My job was primarily to move stuff around their on-site warehouse.

The company that owned the refinery, we’ll call them $Pod, contracts their inventory and warehousing to the company that hired me. We’ll call them $GermanCo.

This is what the structure looks like.

What this means is that almost everybody I reported to in my day-to-day was $GermanCo, but they were subordinate to $Pod.

Specifically, we had a $Pod representative who mostly hung around as an observer, and once in a while, some big-wig would come around to check in on us, and make sure we were complying with site rules and see how we were doing.

OP faces a problem at work and asks for his supervisor’s help.

My first week on the job, I’m on a stand-up forklift, moving pallets from one side of the warehouse to the other, and I get to one pallet with a big valve on it.

The pallet is slightly too small to fit the forks in, and with the lift I’m on, you can’t adjust the width of the forks.

Normally, I’d move it with a hand jack but we don’t have any that are narrow enough. Moving by hand is out of the question as these valves are basically solid steel. They weigh a ton, and all I’d end up doing is breaking my spine trying to lift it.

So, I flag over my supervisor, and explain the problem, and ask if we have any narrower hand trucks.

He’s not really sure if his supervisor’s reply was the best idea.

“Just lift it with one of the forks. No need to use both,” he says. Now, I know I’m not supposed to do this.

I also know that very little can go wrong as long as I just drag it along the floor, but three or four separate orientation sessions have drilled into me that $Pod is very strict about safety and SOPs.

I ask my supervisor if he’s sure he wants me to do that. He scoffs, and says yeah it’s fine, then goes off to do something else.

He’s just following orders.

“Something else,” in this case, is to intercept the $Pod big-wig who’s just walked into the warehouse. My supervisor heads over to talk about whatever he’s come in to discuss.

They have this discussion right in front of the pallet I’m about to move.

Having just been told by my immediate superior that “it’s okay” to lift a pallet with only one fork inserted, I roll the forklift over, making sure that I’m in the big-wig’s direct line of sight, and proceed to lift a pallet carrying an expensive valve using only one fork.

Seriously, I saw an inventory sheet once, these things cost more than I make in a month.

The supervisor suddenly changes his mind.

The big-wig sees me do this, stops talking in mid-sentence, and just watches in silence. My supervisor notices that he’s stopped talking, and he turns around and watches.

I smile, and reverse slowly away.

As I’m moving away, I hear my supervisor sheepishly say, “Uh yeah, he asked if it was okay to do that… I said it was… but maybe, we should get some narrower hand trucks in or something…”

Let’s see what the comments say.

This user commends the supervisor for being honest.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Because if it were someone else, they might have blamed OP right then and there, says this user.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

This one calls OP a “forklift hero”.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Thumbs up for the single-forking hero!

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

At least, the supervisor owned up to his mistake.

Then again, if he had made a wiser decision, he wouldn’t have been caught by their boss.

If you liked that story, check out this post about an oblivious CEO who tells a web developer to “act his wage”… and it results in 30% of the workforce being laid off.