June 19, 2024 at 5:33 pm

Boss Ordered Him To Take A Holiday But Also Be Available On Email, So He Kept Roaming Charges On The Entire Time And Cost Them Dearly

by Heide Lazaro

Source: Reddit/MaliciousComplaince/Canva

No one likes micromanagers.

They’re like detectives with a magnifying lens, always checking on you and examining every detail of your work.

How can you ever do your work according to your strategy if someone is always telling you what to do and how they want it done?

In this story, the poster deals with a toxic micromanager boss who wouldn’t even give him the opportunity to explain himself and the work that he does.

What the boss wants is for him to strictly follow what he says.

And this is exactly what happens. Read the full story below.

Do exactly and only as told. Ok. Take holiday asap. Ok. Check emails on holiday… OK … but it’ll cost you in the long run

To set the scene: I was recently direct employed at UK HQ for a sizeable national B2B company that I’d contracted for.

“Me” is me, your OP.

“Bob” is my new micromanaging boss.

“Jim” is my nice hiring manager, the guy who talked me into joining rather than continuing on contracts.

I only mentioned him as his warning to cover my rear with Bob made this possible.

Here’s he and Bob’s first encounter.

So, here’s the story before you lose interest…

Bob started our relationship with a request for one-on-one meeting to understand my role as it was one they’d never experienced, except as an end stakeholder.

It seems promising, so I prepare a concise but thorough briefing presentation to outline core deliverables and resource allocations as they stood.

And here’s a blow-by-blow account of how the conversation went.

Dear reader, I lie not.

The 2nd slide showing the period spread of legal and corporate compliance activities was up for 3 seconds when I was instructed to cease presenting and dressed down as follows.

Bob: “Do you presume to instruct me, a board of director, your superior in all aspects, and your direct manager, on how to run my subordinates?”

Me: “No, I presumed that you called this meeting to familiarise the key deliverables and legal requirements of a business area that was hitherto the exclusive remit of Jim.”

“If this was a misinterpretation on my part, I apologise and…”

Bob cut him off while he was speaking for the second time.

Bob (cutting me off): “That’s quite enough. You are here to be told what, how, and when to do your job.”

I’m having a mental replay of overheard break room conversations about Bob’s need to control everything.

Bob continuing (as I settle into the at-ease pose adopted by frequently disciplined grammar school boys and military recruits):  “I am in charge.”

“I give the instructions, and you treat anything that could be construed as a request as a direct order.”

“The only time I want to hear from you is for clarifications, authorisations, or to confirm that you have received, understood, and actioned my orders.”

Obviously, the rudeness of his boss was getting on his nerves, but he had to stay calm.

My blood was rushing in my ears.

The nails on both my hands were close to splitting my palms, but I knew anything I said would end badly for my salary, and I’d have to play nice.

Me (almost gritting my teeth): “Understood. May I clarify one thing please?”

Bob (with a look of utter contempt): “What exactly was unclear from what I just said!?”

Me (reverting to a customer service developed crap-eating tone): “Nothing was unclear. Only, you omitted to reveal how and when I am to receive orders.”

Bob (turning crimson): “Email, when it hits your inbox. My PA will have minutes of this meeting ready before you’ve made it back to your desk.”

“Now out, I am too senior to waste more time on this.”

Bob once again invited him for a one-on-one meeting.

About 6 months later, after fastidious compliance with directives issued to me (mostly via Bob’s nice but very timid PA), and careful CoverMyRear archiving of all comms and backups to keep us legal.

And I add, all whilst discreetly exploring alternative career options both within and outside the company, I am in receipt of a meeting “invitation” to attend Bob’s office.

At last, the order came forth with opportunity for MC that started the avalanche.

Bob (not looking up from their monitor): “OP, I need you to book 2 weeks holiday to be taken ASAP. This off the record request is your #1 priority.”

Klaxons was going off in my head.

I’m about to be stood up to take the fall for the state our compliance submissions had fallen into.

Luckily, I did everything required legally required of me.

I’m not responsible under policy or law for the compliance, only what I am told to do.

Of course, he responded and complied.

Me (deciding this is my chance to goad Bob’s ego): “2 weeks asap. Gladly, I can hand over everything by end of this week, and I did get ahead of the monthlies, in case you forgot to request them, so I could start with next week and the week after.”

Bob (looking oddly relieved and making eye contact): “PA will process and authorise. Those monthlies better be perfect. You are dismissed.”

He received last-minute instructions from Bob before his trip.

Friday comes, and the anticipated flurry of last minute “requests” and instructions come through.

Amongst the laundry-list was the utter gem I had hoped for. A direct email (not PA acting as) with instruction to keep company phone with me at all times, and to keep regular TWICE DAILY contact throughout the 2 weeks.

No one asked what I was doing with my impromptu 2 weeks away from the office.

And so he did what was instructed: 2 weeks of holiday and stay online throughout the trip.

I was fortunate to have the chance to fly 1/2 way around the world to stay with my brother. 20 mins booking flights, no luggage or hotel costs to worry over.

Remember that order to be online?

Early 20-teens data costs were insane. Add roaming.

You get where this goes: I dutifully followed orders, and ate roaming data like a social media obsessed teenager.

I logged hours and dutifully submitted them to payroll. I drank like a fish, and had the best time with my brother.

When he got back to the office, Bob summoned him to his office and was very upset.

End of the month, I’m back, and being a good person with my head down and keyboard clicking, when the calendar entry pings in.

Seems I am to be favoured with another face-to-face. I have an idea of what is coming but, ohhh, boy!

Bob (appearing to be in the middle of a meltdown): “WHAT THE H*** HAVE YOU DONE!? You have caused incalculable damage to my reputation in this company.”

“The other board and Jim were laughing at me saying I can’t control you. You’re out, you’re over, you’re…”

This time, it was his turn to cut him off.

Me (interrupting in parade ground voice, standing to my full 6’4): “I’m covered, your hubris and ineptitude are laughable. If I’m out, it’ll be by my choosing and with a clean sheet.”

“Jim knows full well that I wouldn’t drop the ball on compliance, regardless of you meddling in things you’re not even aware of.”

“Everything you forgot is covered except your own backside. You’re not even peerworthy, let alone superior to me, even though you may be higher ranking (yes, I got that from a film I can’t remember, but this part is crystal clear).”

“I bid you good day.”

He walked away and never looked back.

I turned 180 degrees, and walked out of the office into stunned silence across the open plan 100-seat floor, and back down to my desk.

The fallout—I enjoyed the inevitable HR session chaired by Jim.

I promised not to use any manner that might be deemed threatening for 6 months.

Finally, he’s out of Bob’s supervision.

I was also returned to reporting to Jim who reinstated my OT, plus TIL for the time I worked on holiday, and let me get back to keeping things compliant.

Bob did indeed have a full meltdown soon after.

My show of assertion crumbled the empire of fear. They left to enjoy early retirement and faded into memory.

Let’s see what the commenters have to say about this situation.

There, somebody pointed out what movie the quote was from.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Yup! This summarizes everything.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

This one wanted more explanation.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

It would have been fun to know the roaming charges.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

This should serve as a lesson to all toxic bosses out there.

Micromanaging pushes the good employees away.

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.