June 26, 2024 at 1:15 pm

Her Boss Told Her That She Cannot Work Any Overtime, So She Complied And Upset A Major Client In The Process

by Michael Levanduski

Source: Debbest

Managing a department takes a lot of work, and being able to do it well is not as common as many people would think.

Unfortunately, upper management steps in to try to ‘fix’ things all too often, which usually just causes more problems.

That is what happened in this story, but when she complied with the new zero overtime policy, things fell apart.

Read on to see how her malicious compliance not only got her bosses boss in trouble, but earned her a raise as well.

You want me to work ZERO overtime? Sure thing boss.

I work as a manager in a call center.

I am nowhere near the phones, and generally do not interact with customers.

Rather I am a knowledge repository for my staff, and handle communication between our team and the client company which we provide support for.

We are a technical support team, not a sales or order support, and the devices which we support are very complex consumer electronics.

Most of our support time goes to professional installers, and we rarely speak to customers first hand.

The best kind of managers are usually the ones who know the job really well, like she seems to.

In short, my job is to know our policies like the back of my hand, and to know the products we support better than anyone except the designers that engineered them.

A secondary part of my job is to coordinate our online chat team, which is generally pretty hands off other than right as the shift ends when I generally jump in to monitor any active chats and make sure they close up quickly.

I don’t want to keep my guys here any longer than necessary.

They like it better and it cuts down on Overtime hours for the entire line of business by a lot.

Surely management knows this…right?

This means I generally rack up 15-20 min of overtime a day, though some days it can be as little as 0 and others as much as an hour.

My direct boss knows all about this and is generally all for it.

Here we go. Upper management stepping in to ‘fix’ things.

One day however, the guy who was in charge of all the support teams (we work with many brands) sent out a memo that management should never be getting overtime.

I brought this up with my boss as this would seriously impact my team, who arranged a meeting with the big boss.

Big Boss proceeds to tell my boss that no, I cannot rack up any overtime hours.

Fine. I get out at a reasonable time every day. I have zero issue with this.

So, the next Monday, I log out right when my shift ends. Turns out 3 of my guys were there for an extra hour with last minute chats. Tuesday, nearly the same story.

This continues all through the week. We are bleeding Overtime Hours for support staff, with most of my team getting nearly an hour of OT per day!!!

Big boss is finally realizing that his actions have consequences.

This goes on for a pay period when Big Boss comes back and tells us we were told to reduce OT hours and that we had somehow racked up even more than we had before.

My Boss backed me up and told the Big Boss that no, we were told to reduce Management OT hours, and that I had indeed not racked up any overtime.

Big Boss asks why OT hours increased and I mentioned I stayed to make sure my team had support they needed to get out as early as possible.

I’m not sure if the company can legally make her use her overtime hours at lunch, but it sounds like she is willing to do it anyway.

Big Boss goes “Well that makes sense, keep doing that, but add any overtime to your Friday Lunch so you don’t rack up overtime.

I explain that I can do this, but will still probably get a bit of OT on Fridays since the end of the shift is obviously after lunch.

Again, cool. Long lunches are nice. This works well for a few weeks. I am making sure I zero out my OT.

But I knew it was only a matter of time before they regretted doing any of this. We were approaching the busy season and getting more and more long chats and calls.

I made sure to get Big Boss to email and CC me and my boss this instruction directly.

Sure enough, a few weeks later, Monday, I’m there for a whopping hour and 30 min trying to get one guy out the door. Tuesday for an hour, Wednesday for an hour 15, and to top it off, 2 whole hours on Thursday.

It was a TERRIBLE week for the last minute chats. I tally up my make up time for my lunch. 5 hours and 45 minutes, plus an hour for my normal lunch.

I normally worked 4 hours, 1 hour lunch, then another 4 hours. So that Friday, I came in and explained the situation to my boss, he was cool with me working for only 2 hours and 15 min the whole day, because I was doing exactly what the big boss said to do.

I have to admit, having an almost 7 hour lunch does sound kind of nice.

So an hour into my shift, I go on my 6 hour and 45 minute lunch.

While I’m enjoying my most of day siesta, the entire line of business is burning down.

Chat is so busy we have people waiting 30 min to speak with someone. Calls are so busy we have 15 calls waiting. On days like this I normally jump in the queues as I do not need to document every case like our Tier 1s have to, and I’m very good at my job.

I can usually knock out a 15-20 min call for a Tier 1 in 5 minutes or less. I can easily handle 4-5 chats at one time, seriously taking a load off that team.

Now I alone could not save this shift, no way.

We were due for a hiring class, and were working on onboarding new tier 1s at the time.

But, man does it look bad to the Client when one of your key players is absent all but 2 hours an 15 min of one of the busiest days ever for our LOB.

I get back in, settle down at my desk, right as the rush is clearing up.

The damage was already done, and we were manageable for the rest of the day. Right at the end of my shift, I look and notice that there is no one on a chat, and no queue, so I immediately log out and thank my team for working hard that day.

Then Monday comes. I get to meet with the Client, Big Boss and my Boss for our weekly meeting.

Why am I not surprised that Big Boss tried to throw OP under the bus.

The Client is furious about how on Friday, one our best assets was on a super long lunch break, and Big Boss puts me on the spot and asks why that was.

My response was rehearsed.

“According to Company policy established and agreed upon on (date we met with the Big Boss), I am not to accrue overtime hours. Any hours over 8 worked within the work week must be made up during my lunch break on Fridays.”

Big Boss began denying it, when my boss stepped in, and was like, wait, I got an email about this. He pulls up the email Big Boss sent, and shares it on screen in the meeting.

Client is pissed, and the Corporate Rep begins ripping Big Boss a new one on the phone.

After Ripping into Big Boss, the Corp Rep speaks to me, telling me to accrue as many hours as needed to make sure my job is done, and that if my company wants to retain this line of business, Big Boss is not to interfere with my generally very successful management without consulting them and myself.

Since then, Big Boss has continued to try to interfere and change how I run my line, however every time so far, the Corporate Rep has had my back.

They are extremely happy with my work, and know I do a great job. Heck, they even pushed through a large raise for me when Big Boss was blocking my Boss’s attempts to get me more money.

I would like to believe that someday, upper management will realize that they do not, in fact, know everything.

Let’s take a look at what some of the Redditors had to say about this situation.

This is a great point that I didn’t even consider. I bet this comment is spot on.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

It would be so satisfying to do this, even though I’m sure the Big Boss would get so mad.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

I think this type of thing happens in any profession.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

OP should absolutely do this. His behavior was unacceptable.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

This is a really good point. Big Boss is going to be targeting her for sure.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Come on Big Boss, remember that actions have consequences.

It’s really not that hard.

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.