June 3, 2024 at 8:43 pm

They Were Promised A Bilingual Bonus At Work, And When It Didn’t Materialize, They Refused To Help Out With Customers Who Needed A Translator

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Are you ready for a tale of malicious compliance that will make you smile?

Of course, you are!

That’s why you’re here!

And we think you’re gonna like this one…get started now!

“Sorry boss, I don’t speak spanish”.

“I work at a hotel as a night auditor, and this malicious compliance begins with a small bit of information I was told when I was initially hired for this position.

When I interviewed for the position, and this is very important later on, I was told by the HR lady that the hotel paid a bonus ($100) for each foreign language I spoke well enough to serve our guests.

Management cleared my $100 for speaking english after I passed through their evaluation period (my main language is portuguese).

It worked just fine…

At first, I was glad to be working in the night shift, mostly because my colleague then, Mr. Castillo was from Guatemala, so whenever any guests that spoke spanish showed up, he handled it and in turn, I handled any english speaking foreigners.

Naturally, he did a lot more work since the amount of spanish speaking guests we receive is significantly larger than our english speaking ones.

Meanwhile, Mr. Castillo was in the process of learning english and I had taken an interest in spanish so we helped each other out.

Not long after, Mr. Castillo got himself a job paying several times over what the hotel did and sadly, left me.

My new colleague, a newly promoted bellboy didn’t speak english (though he could understand some) and didn’t speak spanish at all.

In fact, he didn’t even try to improve any of his language skills while I slowly kept improving my spanish, trying to use more and more of it everyday to serve our dear guests.

As of the start of this month, I spoke to our front desk manager and asked him in plain spanish, what did I have to do exactly to receive the $100 bonus for speaking spanish.

It sounded like they were in luck.

He was surprised but said nothing more since the front desk got busy with check-outs and my shift was up, but a few days later he mentioned he spoke to HR and informed them I was speaking spanish well enough to receive my bonus, and now he was just waiting to hear back from them.

A few days later, the HR lady asked me what size shirt I wore since they were going to be ordering new uniforms in the coming weeks, and took the opportunity to ask her about my bonus for spanish and she mentioned they were talking with our director about it.

Then, they got the news…

A day later she informed me they wouldn’t be paying me the bonus for a foreign language since it was on file that I was already receiving it.

I replied I was receiving a bonus for english, not spanish and she said she would speak to the director again and within a few days, all would be made well.

Now I’m not really in a hurry to get my bonus, but it would be nice if they had cleared it already, as it would show up in my next paycheck, but guess what?

They didn’t.

Our director talked to HR again, and my boss and told them that, even though I am serving our dear spanish speaking guests, in spanish, I don’t in fact, speak spanish.


I’m far from fluent, but I can explain how the hotel works, direct guests to where they need to be and assist them with what they need, be it finding a pharmacy at 3 am, getting a cab to go out and get drinks, or even hire an escort (yep), but apparently it isn’t good enough for our director and my manager said he can’t really afford to fight him on it.

Okay, no biggie I guess, maybe we’ll try again next year when I can speak a little better I thought.

However, the cruel and unforgiving gods of the hotel industry gave me the perfect opportunity to strike back…

Earlier last week we received a large group of 30+ spanish speaking tourists, which in addition to our normal occupancy, meant we were effectively sold out for the week.

Big groups are usually a minor inconvenience when you’re checking them in, but an even bigger problem when checking them out.

Especially if they’re 1 person per room, which means you basically have a huge load of rooms to check-out, one by one, while an endless line forms in front of the front desk. 80+ checkouts aren’t unusual for our hotel on friday mornings, but 110+ is a problem.

Normally when the morning shift has a workload this big, our front desk manager comes in early to help, but he couldn’t this time since he took a personal day since his mother fell ill.

That left our director with only one choice, to ask the night audit to stay late and help until our reservations people clocked in and could then replace us at the front desk.

See, my colleague doesn’t like staying late, especially since he works at a second job with his father in the afternoon, meaning he only has the morning and early afternoon to sleep.

Well, isn’t that a coincidence?

I don’t like staying late on fridays because of the amount of check-outs, which means it’ll be forever before you can take a breath and even more so before you can leave.

However this time our director didn’t even ask my colleague and instead told me to stay late because we would have a sizeable workload and about a third of it would require someone that spoke spanish, or it would slow down everything to a crawl.

I told him I would not be staying late that morning and before I could get another word him, he started yammering about how I’m wrong and I should be more of a team player and the he would be very grateful for it.

Wanting to get back to my sleep, I told him to ask my colleague and he said he couldn’t, that they needed me and when I asked him why, he clearly stated “We need 2 spanish speakers that morning to make sure everything goes OK with the checkouts.”

Not one for missing an opportunity to get payback, I replied “Sorry boss, I don’t speak spanish”, turned off my phone and went back to sleep.”

Now let’s see how people responded.

One person asked a good question…

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Another individual had another idea.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

This Reddit user offered some advice.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

This reader was impressed.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

And one person said they need to look for another job.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

No hablo Espanol!

Sorry about that!

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.