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New Manager Demands Employees “Work On The Clock”, And One Malicious Compliance Later, They Rack Up 2,000 Extra Man Hours
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New Manager Demands Employees “Work On The Clock”, And One Malicious Compliance Later, They Rack Up 2,000 Extra Man Hours

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They never learn, do they? Obviously, they haven’t been on Reddit enough to know that if you’re the new manager who starts changing things as soon as you step through the door, it’s gonna end in tears.

It’s great that people want to bring in new ideas, optimize processes, and work for a better future. But starting by making changes without knowing the first thing of how things are actually done—this is besides following the if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it rule—is just begging for trouble.

The only way you can make the trouble even better is by maliciously complying to whatever orders the manager throws out into the ether. So, if you put all of that together, you end up with the recipe for this little story that’s recently popped up on r/MaliciousCompliance.

More Info: Reddit

How do you fight a micromanaging boss who just joined the party and is thinking of changing things? Yes, malicious compliance

Image credits: Liza (not the actual photo)

Reddit user u/The_jaan, with whom Bored Panda got in touch for an interview, recently shared how he (well, more his staff) have maliciously complied with a new manager’s orders to finish production on the clock. Seems reasonable, right? Not in context, no.

You see, Jaan works in a factory, has been for 4 years now. Since he kicked off his career here, it was always normal for people to clock out at 4 o’clock. This means people shut down the production machinery at around 3:30PM in order to clean their stations, shower, change clothes and otherwise wrap up before clocking out and leaving at 4PM.

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But someone, i.e. this new hot-shot factory manager, thought that this is unacceptable. He flipped when he found out people finish their production tasks 30 minutes early. This led to a meeting telling OP and his coworkers—the middlemen—to tell their subordinates that 4PM is actually the time to stop working, and not the time to leave.

Nope, it’s not about Elon Musk, but equally entertaining, as this guy shared how folks maliciously complied to one higher-up’s decision to extend production by 30 minutes

Image credits: The_jaan

Little did he know, there is a rule in place that employees clock out only when they actually leave the building. It’s a safety rule. The only unpaid thing is smoke breaks, and, by comparison, everything else is paid for.

The new manager did look a bit sus—he was new and not a familiar face—but Jaan thought little of it—it’s a huge company with thousands of employees, probably just got lost in the sea of hired folks. But:

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“His first impression was not good. All he was saying was how things are run in HQ, how things are done according to Six Sigma or Scrum, how it would be good if we implement Industry 4.0, and how it would be better if we do this and that,” elaborated OP. And, surprise, surprise, this is without even consulting anyone about any of the processes or how things are done at all.

So, cue malicious compliance.

The manager didn’t really think about what makes the cut when it comes to clocking in and out, and this cost the company €40,000 extra on salaries

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Image credits: The_jaan

For the past three weeks, folks have been doing just that—shutting down their machinery at 4PM sharp, and taking their sweet time doing everything else that they used to do within the old 30 minutes, except now it’s 40 to 60. It all immediately translates into overtime, and when everyone is doing it, you’re looking at over 100 people doing around 20 hours of overtime, costing an extra €40,000 (nearly $41,000). Oof.

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So, all of a sudden, the new guy was running around trying to somehow justify 2,000 man hours—a first in over 10 years. And since the post hit Reddit, OP told Bored Panda that the company had to roll back the dude’s decisions. Also, there will be a special audit because of this in a few days with an internal investigation and everything.

Image credits: Rinet IT Australia (not the actual photo)

“Part of the audit is also an internal investigation of how this person got such a high recommendation while being incompetent. There was a statement from the Owner that while he [knew] about the promotion, he acted directly on the recommendation,” explained Jaan.

“It is also important to mention that my division (500km [310mi] from HQ) has big autonomy and the impact of the screw-up was not discovered until the day I made the post when we were reporting to HQ. We are currently running directly under the owner who processes our requests late due to having other responsibilities, while the hotshot is just his mouth piece now without any executive power.”

By the way, this wasn’t the only thing he wanted to change. OP elaborated that all reports from middle managers will be done daily, not weekly. And, again, surprise, surprise, it went badly because micromanagement always does.

Folks online loved the story, which just goes to show nobody likes a micromanaging “know it all”

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Further in our interview with Jaan, we learned that there isn’t much left to optimize for greater efficiency. In his division, they get a 10% margin of error of sorts. But he rarely has to go down and help sort out issues because his team is responsible and often find ways to resolve an issue on their own through teamwork.

This is besides low turnover, with loads of people boasting 10 plus years of experience (some 20 and more), and mistakes don’t really happen at that point, all the while they make great trainers for new people. So, not much left to improve for this new “manager”.

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Jaan had to add two tiny updates after swarms of questions came in. Mostly, he elaborated on how HQ only ever learned of this once they saw the operational cost report because they don’t generate profit, but rather empower other divisions to make profit.

He also explained how the majority of the employees are unionized and listed all the sweet perks. Heck, now I want to work there. And I bet most folks who responded in the comments would agree.

Speaking of which, folks loved the story. This is evident from the many comments pointing out how you just don’t go fixing things that aren’t broken, or else you win a stupid prize. Goes to show what seagull managers are capable of. Oh, and also all the folks who praised a good story where workers collectively tell off a suit by unconventional means, i.e. malicious compliance.

The post got over 15,000 upvotes with a good handful of Reddit awards. You can check out all of said awards and how shiny they are here. Oh, you can also see the post too. But look at those awards, man!

And once you’re done looking, come back and share your thoughts on how you could have possibly one-upped the malicious compliance in the comment section below!

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johnhuynh avatar
John
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I swear some manager training routine should have rule "if you come to a new place that is running well, do not change anything within first few months. Learn how the place is operate before making changes". I think too many managers come in with a chip on their shoulder and a ego they need to be stroked which end up just making it worst.

lisahewes avatar
Lisa H
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I couldn't have said it better. I swear, every single new manager has to make unnecessary changes right away just to flex. They basically try to fix what isn't broken. It's different if it's a manager that has transferred to a new location but has still been with the company a number of years. Even then, they should still take the time to see how the new location runs and then make changes if necessary.

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micheldurinx avatar
Marcellus II
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I did not know the expression "seagull manager" (flies in, sh*ts on everything, hopefully flies out again) and will be using it. Big trouble with one at the moment.

corykent avatar
Cory Kent
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I mean, when you're new, you need to do some investigating to understand what's happening and who does what, so you can see in whatever way things can be improved. Ask a guy if he really has to take the boxes down the box flattening area, and then bring them back up and take them out to the dumpster. Could he just flatten them outside near the dumpster, or at least on the same floor, so you don't have to use the elevator. Or why is everyone stopping work and showering and cleaning up before the end of the work day? Then you can learn how that is actually saving money. Though I'm not sure I agree about showering on company time, maybe there's some special reason they should shower there and not at home like normal people. Either way, then you realize, we need to clean up the area, and reset the machines or whatever, before we leave each day, and that (of course) needs to be done on company time.

Load More Comments
johnhuynh avatar
John
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I swear some manager training routine should have rule "if you come to a new place that is running well, do not change anything within first few months. Learn how the place is operate before making changes". I think too many managers come in with a chip on their shoulder and a ego they need to be stroked which end up just making it worst.

lisahewes avatar
Lisa H
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I couldn't have said it better. I swear, every single new manager has to make unnecessary changes right away just to flex. They basically try to fix what isn't broken. It's different if it's a manager that has transferred to a new location but has still been with the company a number of years. Even then, they should still take the time to see how the new location runs and then make changes if necessary.

Load More Replies...
micheldurinx avatar
Marcellus II
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I did not know the expression "seagull manager" (flies in, sh*ts on everything, hopefully flies out again) and will be using it. Big trouble with one at the moment.

corykent avatar
Cory Kent
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I mean, when you're new, you need to do some investigating to understand what's happening and who does what, so you can see in whatever way things can be improved. Ask a guy if he really has to take the boxes down the box flattening area, and then bring them back up and take them out to the dumpster. Could he just flatten them outside near the dumpster, or at least on the same floor, so you don't have to use the elevator. Or why is everyone stopping work and showering and cleaning up before the end of the work day? Then you can learn how that is actually saving money. Though I'm not sure I agree about showering on company time, maybe there's some special reason they should shower there and not at home like normal people. Either way, then you realize, we need to clean up the area, and reset the machines or whatever, before we leave each day, and that (of course) needs to be done on company time.

Load More Comments
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