July 3, 2024 at 4:47 pm

Boss Told His Team They Had To Be At Their Desk At 8:30AM, So They Followed Orders Exactly And It Caused Big Problems For The Company

by Michael Levanduski

Source: Reddit/AITA/ Lukas/Pexels

With some jobs, having a strict start and end time is important to maintain coverage and service.

For many professional jobs, however, flexibility is key to getting things done properly.

In this story, a manager demanded that employees be at their desks exactly when the workday started, and it backfired spectacularly.

Check out the details below.

Want strict work hours? Ok, can do.

I used to work in a mid-sized company in the engineering department.

Ugh, there are few things worse than a micromanager.

One of the managers started to get upset because if he walked around at exactly 8:30 (our start time) everyone was not in their seats.

He felt that engineers were being too lax with their time.

The edict went out that all engineers had to be in their seats exactly at start time.

Good for OP, this is likely what I would have said as well.

I told my boss that I was not planning on complying because I was a salaried professional and expected to be treated as such and that if they didn’t trust me to put in an honest week’s work then they should fire me instead of micro-manage me.

The older (and much wiser) engineers took a different approach.

Oh, this is going to be good. True malicious compliance.

They all showed up 5 minutes early to make sure they were in their seats at 8:30, but also set an alarm for 5pm and would literally drop everything they were doing exactly at 5pm and leave the building.

The manager is having a meeting that was supposed to end at 5 but is running a little late?

No, at 5pm a series of alarms would go off and everyone would stand up in the middle of the meeting to leave.

Does operations need technical support at 4:55?

They have exactly 5 minutes on the phone with the engineer before he will have to get off the phone.

Is someone trying to discuss a work-related issue at 8:28?

Better wait a couple minutes because no one in the engineering department is answering work-related questions for another 2 minutes.

And the best part is there isn’t much the manager could do.

Needless to say the policy didn’t last very long.

This is a great example of true malicious compliance.

Take a look at what other Redditors had to say about this fun story.

Most people had similar experiences.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Any company that ends all work from home for the IT teams will quickly regret it.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Yes! Engineers know how to make things work (for themselves).

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

It is such a simple concept. Flexibility works well for everyone.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Yes! Getting everyone to comply with terrible policies is sometimes the only way to get them changed.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

When will companies realize that micromanaging never works?

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.