“The Whole School Was Absolutely Stinking”: Students Maliciously Comply With Poorly Thought-Out New Rule
As a kid, nothing was more satisfying than outsmarting an adult, and bonus points if they happened to be an authority figure, like a teacher. Even more impressive, is when kids can all organize to pull an even bigger fast one on a grown-up.
An internet user shared a clever bit of mass malicious compliance from their school days. After all the pupils were told to not touch the mangos that fell from the trees near the building, all the kids obediently followed the rules, until the mounds of mangos all started to rot in the damp heat. Netizens got a good chuckle out of the kid’s clever adherence to regulations passed by clueless adults.
Grown-ups sometimes think they know best and will create rules that everyone can see won’t work
Image credits: wayhomestudioo (not the actual photo)
A person told the tale of a new school rule that banned people from touching mangos that fell to the ground
The students quickly understood what would happen in a few weeks and patiently waited
Image credits: ckstockphoto (not the actual photo)
Image credits: PepperMintIceeed
Malicious compliance stories tend to tickle our brains, hence our love for them
Image credits: Monstera (not the actual photo)
OP later details that the story took place in Mexico. For those who don’t know, the rainy season is in fact more than just some spring showers. Rainfall in the wet season, which corresponds with summer, tends to be up to thirty times higher than in dryer times. So when OP speaks about humid weather it’s probably some of the most intense humidity a person can imagine. Add in the stench of rotting fruit and it’s hard to see how anyone got any studying done. Hot, humid air carries these sorts of smells very effectively, so there was likely no escape, proving that the kids were not being a nuisance, they were actually an active part of their local ecosystem.
In general, many of us love these sorts of stories, because they almost always automatically come with a “villain.” We can all imagine the overbearing boss, demanding customers, or clueless teachers making rules and demands that they think they want. We get to see their mistakes play out and rejoice in the “heroes” ability to, sometimes literally, go “I told you so,” which makes for a relatable tale. In truth, often enough, we are forced to go along with dumb or even counterproductive rules. People in leadership positions often can’t stand being told they are wrong, so they will “latch” onto an idea, and the only way to disprove them is to let the tale play out.
Sometimes bad leaders will only see their mistakes when they play out in front of them
Image credits: RDNE Stock project (not the actual photo)
Sometimes, in a more formal setting, this is referred to as “uncivil obedience,” a sort of passive-aggressive adherence to misguided rules. Almost always, this remains the last refuge of people unfortunate enough to have to deal with bad management and decision-makers who lack good information. Structures that don’t respect the ideas and thoughts of “lower” members will often have to achieve everything by trial and error, as the people at the top will have “brilliant” ideas that ultimately fail, but they can’t be convinced that something is a bad idea until they see it. This was quite common in the Soviet Union, where rampant mismanagement ran the economy into the ground, but can be just as true in a Mexican school, where teachers don’t even consider that students might have some good ideas.
Fortunately, the “conflict” in OP’s story seems to have been resolved effectively, with the students earning some side cash from harvested mangos and selling it to the adults who made the unreasonable rule. Though I am surprised how anyone could enjoy a mango-based snack after a whole season of smelling rotting mangoes. Personally, I myself would have given up the entire fruit already.