June 7, 2024 at 5:48 pm

Grocery Store Worker Got Yelled At For Refusing A Customer At Closing Time, But They Couldn’t Clock Overtime. So They Showed Why They Couldn’t Follow Both Rules At Once.

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Okay, boss! You got it!

Well, I’m only doing what you asked!

That’s how I imagine this conversation going from the story you’re about to read.

Check out how this worker maliciously complied with a boss that just couldn’t stay out of the way.

My boss demanded I serve all customers and fill all shelves no matter how far past closing hours it was.

“So my first job I ever worked at for a few years was a grocery retail store, with several different departments, including a deli for lunch meat and cheese, which is where I worked.

One night I was working 1pm – 9pm. 9pm is when the deli and other special departments closed and we’re expected to be done and clocked out, but the rest of the store remained open 24/7 for general groceries.

It was me and one other guy, we had an especially busy night, and we were a little behind on our cleaning as a result but we had our meat slicing machines already coated with sanitizer after working for 15 minutes to get all the little meat chunks and shavings out of every corner, as we were pretty serious about making sure those things were clean as can be.

It’s about 8:55 at this point, we’re almost late to leave and the store we worked for did NOT like overtime, if you were getting any amount of overtime you would get chewed out the next day for it, even for a little amount.

You know what’s about to happen…

A woman walks up to the counter and starts looking through the product, as we had a glass case filled with a bunch of types of our lunch meats pre-sliced and ready to go for bagging up.

She looks at one and says “I want this turkey right here, but I want it freshly sliced.”

I of course look to my coworker and we both can see the 2 slicers we have are still covered in the sanitizer we use and are drying, as per the food safety protocol written on the bottle that says to allow 20-30 minutes MINIMUM for the sanitizer to dry after application.

I tell her “Well ma’am we really can’t do that right now, our slicers are both being cleaned at the moment as the department is closed in 5 minutes but i’d be glad to get you something here from our cold case”.

“So you’re not gonna slice it fresh for me, that’s what you’re saying?”

I replied, “That’s correct, I apologize”.

Without another word she walks away and myself and my coworker go back to what we were doing, and we finish cleaning and go home after about 5 more minutes, narrowly clocking out on time.

Here it comes…

Fast forward 2 days later, me and the same coworker come in and start getting to work like a normal day.

About 3pm (two hours into my shift) I personally get called into the head honchos office. The “Store Director” as they’re titled.

I think nothing of it and head on upstairs and go inside the office and sit down, the Store Director hands me a piece of paper and says “tell me what caused this”.


I look at the paper and its a printed out screenshot of a Google review for our store, 1 star out of 5, and a full paragraph from that lady of 2 nights before complaining that she didn’t get her freshly sliced meat from “the rude employee” and then described specifically me.

I explained exactly what happened two nights prior, as clearly as i’m typing it out here.

The director is getting heated and begins to cut me off while im speaking, asking “Why would slicers be covered in sanitizer at 8:55? You’re scheduled to work until 9pm.”

I said yes I am, but seeing as I’m constantly being reminded not to get any overtime so I usually start cleaning them around 8:30 pm.

The director gets even more upset and raises her voice, “I don’t CARE, that’s not how it works! If you have a customer you SERVE them. And you’d better start making sure those shelves are FILLED before you leave or you won’t be working here anymore, now get out”.

I’m pretty salty at this point, I go back down to the dept and my coworker asked what happened, and I told him.

He says, so they want everything done before we leave?

I said yep!

And without another word he knew what we needed to do.

9pm hits as usual and our shelves are at the usual standard of half full, but seeing as we’ve been given a new standard, we decided to stay and make sure we did what I was instructed to do.

This might take a while…

We spent next next several hours past closing time slicing, and slicing, and slicing until every single tray of meat and cheese was FULL.

We had plastic totes in the big fridge full of cheese that we sliced that were wrapped up in half pound blocks for ease of sale, so we decided to fill that tub over the brim with every single type of cheese we had available.

We cut up around 70 lbs of cheese and wrapped it up in the fridge.

We also had a Subway style sandwich counter, where we made sandwiches to-order and also pre made on the shelves for sale.

We made double the usual amount of sandwiches and filled the shelves, as per requested. Not a single shelf had a single empty spot on it by the time we were done.

After every single possible item and shelf was as full as it could be, we finally started to clean and close.

That took a while!

It was around 3 AM when we finally left. The department opens at 5 am.

We were exhausted but our spiteful overtime venture made us feel pretty good. We got about 6 hours overtime in.

They didn’t like anyone getting even 5 to 10 minutes of overtime.

We both came in the next day at 1 pm as usual, expecting complete retaliation.

But nope, instead, our dept manager of the Deli kinda saunters over to us and says “Hey uh…you should be good to start cleaning up at 8:30 like usual.. I think she (The Director) got the point you made.”

Normally overtime would be asked to be taken care of by clocking out for lunches or coming in later than usual, but they let us keep all 6 hours of that overtime.

They never said anything to us about overtime again after that. I accepted a job that paid almost double about 6 months after this incident, and never ever went back to retail hell.”

Here’s how folks reacted.

This person shared their thoughts.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Another individual spoke up.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

This Reddit user thinks they did the right thing.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

One individual can relate…

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

And this Reddit user shared their own story.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

That showed ’em!

Nice work!

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.