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Malicious Compliance: Fed-Up Employee Gives Micromanaging Boss Exactly What He Asked For
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Malicious Compliance: Fed-Up Employee Gives Micromanaging Boss Exactly What He Asked For

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Micromanaging comes in many shapes, forms and sizes. More often than not, all at the same time. And this one’s no different.

A Redditor shared a story of malicious compliance where their micromanaging boss asked—nae, demanded—to be included in every bit and piece of correspondence as an expression of transparency. And you know what? That they got. Maliciously.

It’s just the worst when your boss doesn’t trust you and insists on micromanaging every single thing. Including emails

Image credits: s_kawee/Envato elements (not the actual photo)

Just like it happened with this employee, who oh so maliciously complied with the request to CC the boss in every email

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Image credits: cottonbro studio/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Image credits: baconflavourednipple

In turn, the manager now had to deal with 20 to 30 pointless emails. But, hey, no more transparency issues

Image credits: Torsten Dettlaff/Pexels (not the actual photo)

An employee was excited to be promoted to the position of senior project manager. However, that came at a cost—a change in higher ups. This one ended up being a bit of a micromanager. With “a penchant” for it, actually.

This manifested itself in the form of being asked to inform them of all the times OP logs on and off, is available and not, filling out the Outlook calendar hour by hour of what they’re up to, stuff like that. It all culminated when the manager asked to be included in all email correspondence too. At this point OP was distressed that there’s something wrong with them. There wasn’t.

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But that was an open invitation for malicious compliance. As a result, the manager now gets anywhere from 20 to 30 absolutely pointless emails. You’re welcome, Mr. Manager.

Folks online agreed that malicious compliance was the best course of action. After all, managers ought to help and empower their employees to do their job, and not… well… watch it paranoid-like. And one commenter elaborated best: “micromanagement, the bane of insecure and mediocre managers.”

It goes without saying that micromanagement has no place in modern-day business because of how negative it is

Image credits: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels (not the actual photo)

A man of many talents, including auditing, entrepreneurship and data engineering, Patrick Mutabazi elaborated on this in a LinkedIn post of his.

Micromanagement significantly affects employee autonomy and creativity, affects their morale and motivation, time management and efficiency goes whack and it might also affect personal growth. This is besides the employee living the idea that they are not trusted to do a job.

All of that is important because it ultimately dominoes into a bottom line problem. Folks start to quit, so training new employees costs a lot. Those who stay don’t do an efficient job, so product delivery lags and that costs too. Nobody wants to innovate because what’s the point? Nobody wants to collaborate because of simple fear. And then burnout kicks in.

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To avoid that, management ought to have a more hands-off approach: empower employees to take ownership, encourage autonomy, creativity, let them experiment and work together. That ensures sustainability and fosters a more positive approach to anything, really. So, managers, take notes.

So, what are your thoughts on all of this? How would you have one-upped the malicious compliance? Share your takes and stories in the comment section below!

Folks agreed that malicious compliance was the correct reaction to the micromanager, though the volume was a bit lightweight

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Other shared stories from their own corporate experiences

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madeleinefitzsimons avatar
madeleine f
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Middle managers are the worst. They need to justify their incompetence by micro managing instead of seeing everyone's potential and develop the team and projects for the better. Just because you are a manager it doesn't mean you know every person's jobs better. A common issue.

zgutrnrkqijpbykmpl avatar
ZGutr
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Reminds me of the time l led a small IT team. On every email we got I looked at the CC first. IF there where two or more managers in there, I just deleted the email. It was always an attempt to raise importance of an absolute non-issue/request. It never back-fired. Not even once. Not even a little.

johnsmith_118 avatar
John Smith (he/him/xy/️)
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Even after the complaint I would just keep sending mails until they apologized.

Load More Comments
madeleinefitzsimons avatar
madeleine f
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Middle managers are the worst. They need to justify their incompetence by micro managing instead of seeing everyone's potential and develop the team and projects for the better. Just because you are a manager it doesn't mean you know every person's jobs better. A common issue.

zgutrnrkqijpbykmpl avatar
ZGutr
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Reminds me of the time l led a small IT team. On every email we got I looked at the CC first. IF there where two or more managers in there, I just deleted the email. It was always an attempt to raise importance of an absolute non-issue/request. It never back-fired. Not even once. Not even a little.

johnsmith_118 avatar
John Smith (he/him/xy/️)
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Even after the complaint I would just keep sending mails until they apologized.

Load More Comments
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