June 8, 2024 at 12:50 am

When The Boss Forces Muralists To Paint In Precarious Conditions, They Make Sure The Work Is Ruined By The Weather

by Laura Ornella

Source: Reddit/Unsplash

Monetizing art requires a delicate dance in preserving the quality of the pieces being created.

But where’s the line between business and beauty?

When these muralists encounter a boss tipping that scale, they have their own plan for the business.

Let’s dive into this Reddit post below and see what’s going on.

Don’t stop painting the mural? sure thing, boss

For the last three years, I have worked as a muralist for a mural company. It’s hard work, but also rewarding, as I was beautifying public spaces.

I had a good boss. He was a skilled painter who worked alongside us on big projects in addition to providing us with plenty of financial incentives and encouragements.

Unfortunately, he retired last year and gave full control of the company to his business partner.

It immediately became a ****show.

Can this previous boss become un-retired, please??

The business partner controlled the administration side of the company. He was not a painter and didn’t understand the work it took.

He would overbook clients and overpromise on completion dates.

He never offered us incentives and would only berate us for not getting jobs done quick enough.

We tried to tell him that the old boss have always encouraged us to take our time and deliver the best mural, as the company’s reputation rested on the quality of our work.

We also tried to explain that as artists, we want to be proud of the work that we put out there.

Ah, yes, this is the classic artist struggle.

He brushed it off with: “You’re paid to finish jobs. Just get it done.”

This was incredibly demoralizing, and after two months of churning out rushed work, we were burned out. One of our four muralists quit.

The final straw came three months later; our company won a huge bid to paint the side of a five-stories-tall building using my design.

I told the boss that it would take us five weeks to complete; however, a week before the project was due to start, he told us that we had three weeks.

Hopefully, he added staff to compensate.

We protested, citing that we’re down one muralist, safety issues, weather changes, and the complexity of the design.

He, of course, told us that the contract has been signed and brushed off our concerns.

He did, however, offer us financial incentives for overtime work this time, and knowing that there was nothing we could do, we accepted it.

I simplified the design and we planned to stay late.

It’s not ideal, but at least it’s a plan that could work.

The weather got bad, as predicted. There were a few days of rain where we barely got work done.

We fell behind and told the boss that he had to get us an extension.

Our client was nice enough to grant another week, but our boss was pissed. He would show up to the job site regularly just to rush us.

On the third week, we were working when a light drizzle started. We were waiting in our cars hoping that it would pass when the boss showed up.

The moment he saw us, he started accusing us of being lazy.

To quote: “This is why we’re falling behind!.”

One of my coworker said through gritted teeth “Can’t you see it’s raining?.”

But before we could explain why we couldn’t paint in the rain, the boss yelled: “If you’re scared of a little drizzle, you shouldn’t be a muralist. Get back to work.”

Painting in the rain? Sounds like a great idea, boss.

My coworker shot me a look and I knew immediately: the malicious compliance was on.

The three of us got back on the scaffolding and began working.

The boss smugly said “see, that wasn’t so hard” and drove off. We kept our smiles to ourselves.

When the boss returned that afternoon, he was horrified. The rain had washed the wet paint down the building, leaving paint streaks dripping onto the rest of the mural.

Ok, so you’re saying it turned into modern art, then?

Basically, the whole mural — three weeks-worth of work — was ruined. We noticed him staring slack-jawed, but we just kept painting.

Then he called us down and cursed us out with all sorts of profanity. When asked “What the f*** were you guys thinking???”

My coworker replied: “Well… you were the one who told us to do it.”

My boss’ face turned beet-red. Then he asked “Well how are we going to fix this???”

My coworker simply replied, “You mean, how are you going to fix it. We’ve decided to all quit.”

Ok, wow. The way they all banned together…

And indeed we had while we were working in that rain.

We packed up our tools as the boss went from yelling to begging to yelling again.

We just ignored him. That was the last day that we were on site. I felt so relieved the moment I got home.

The Aftermath:

I got a call a week later from my old boss.

I was ready to tell him that I won’t come back to work, but it turned out that he just wanted to check in on me.

He apologized for what happened. He also told me that my new boss lost the contract, and had to fork out the money to repaint the whole wall blank again so that another muralist can take over.

The company is floundering now.

Yeah, muralists aren’t a dime a dozen, dude.

The new boss can’t find anyone to replace us, and he probably never will.

What he didn’t realize was that finding even one good muralist willing to work for a company is difficult, let alone a team.

Most muralists are more than happy to self employ.

More importantly, not many people have the skills and patience, as well as physical abilities to create beautiful largescale artworks from great heights.

I give it another few months before the company completely shuts down.

Oof, that’s a harsh reality to face. But what happened to the team?

My coworkers and I still keep in touch. They got a few mural projects in the work from clients that they knew during their time with the company.

I help out now and then, but I’m still pretty burnt from the experience so I think I’ll look for other jobs for now.

Sometimes, even if you have a talent, it’s just not the best thing to have as your day job — as it can easily lead to burnout.

Let’s see what Reddit has to say about all this.

One Redditor takes it back to the basics.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Another Redditor pitches an even better business plan.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Another Redditor applauded how on point this post is for the subreddit.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

All in all, the artists did the right thing by standing up for the quality of their work.

And truly, any boss should know better than to put them through all this.

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.