Your Personal Stories of Malicious Compliance

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Fnord
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05 May 2024, 10:30 pm

Malicious Compliance: "The behavior of strictly following the orders of a superior despite knowing that compliance with the orders will have an unintended or negative result."

There is a thread on WP that explains Malicious Compliance ("MalComp").  There is also a Sub-Reddit thread that contains personal accounts of MalComp -- maybe WP could have one of its own.  Just stories, not debates over the ethics, legality, or morality of MalComp.

So, here it is.


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05 May 2024, 10:31 pm

She Gets the House, and Then Completely Loses It

tl;dr: Ex-wife cheats on me. I get my revenge in a perfectly legal way.

• • •

Ex-wife cheats on me with an insurance agent who had 'connections' with my employer. He gets me fired and pays for her divorce. I sign a "Quit Claim" document on the house, which she receives as her settlement in lieu of alimony. The divorce is finalized, and I enlist in the military.

Que the Malicious Compliance :twisted:

The bank forecloses on the house due to her defaulting on the mortgage payments. I am not at fault because of the "Quit Claim". She cannot get alimony because the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940[a] prohibits this while I am on active duty. She pressures her boyfriend into marrying her. I leave the military (Honorably), and she still can not get alimony from me because she has remarried. He repeatedly cheats on her, but she won't divorce him because she is afraid of poverty. She now lives in quiet desperation with a man who does not respect her. Nobody listens to her sad sob stories, either.


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Fnord
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05 May 2024, 10:36 pm

Revenge of The Nerd

tl;dr: My ranking Non-Com screws me over. My compliance with her orders leads to her eventual humiliation.

• • •

I make Pay Grade E5 in near-record time.  My second ranking Non-Com dresses me down in front of our duty section for "crimes" I did not commit. When corrected, she tells me (in private) she will make it up for me if I let her pitch one of my ideas to the command.

Cue the Malicious Compliance :twisted:

I dig up a suggestion that had been shot down in flames a few months before she reported to the command, polished it up, and present it to her. Her lack of knowledge regarding history of the command -- as well as her overall lack of technical knowledge -- led her to present the rejected and unpopular idea as her own, too. She received a stern reprimand from the CO for wasting his time and insulting his intelligence. Later that day, I received a Sailor of The Year award (for which I was nominated before she reported to the command), and she has to stand by as the CO presented it to me, shook my hand, and congratulated me ("Bravo Zulu!") for a job well done.


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Last edited by Fnord on 05 May 2024, 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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05 May 2024, 10:37 pm

Power Corrupts

tl;dr: Good guy gets fed up with bad boss's demands, follows them to the letter, and the employer discovers just how incompetent the bad boss really is.

• • •

I become the "Go-To Guy" for any and all technical problems related to my place of employment. Old supervisor retires. New supervisor is a "Boss-Zilla", and demands all my notes on everything immediately.

Cue the Malicious Compliance :twisted:

All my documents are in an obsolete and rarely-used format (and "Worded Perfectly", I might add). I submit them "as is" without converting them to the more modern and readable format used by my most other employees. Boss-Zilla does not look at them until a few weeks later, when he opens them up on his home computer, which shows a lot of seemingly random characters and "puppy feet" on every document. He then demands that I "fix" them. I ask what he did to corrupt them. We argue back-and-forth until Boss-Zilla threatens legal action. I call the bluff. Boss-zilla then has to explain to Human Resources, Corporate Legal, and The Big Boss At The Top what happened. I get to tell my side of the story, including just about every other of his screw-ups that I could remember (with full documentation, of course). Boss-Zilla ends up looking like an idiot to the employer, and is eventually dismissed.

It takes me only an hour or so to convert all the "corrupted" files to the company's "official" format and make them all readable. I end up looking like a hero, and the company promotes me to my old supervisor's position (not much of a bump; I was already senior to all the technicians). I take a mostly hands-off approach to management, and everyone is happy.

Everyone except for Boss-Zilla.


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Fnord
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05 May 2024, 10:39 pm

So those are three of my favorites.  I have many more.  Being already at risk of a reprimand for "Spamming", I'll stop here for now so that other people can post theirs.  Please try to keep to the same format.  Thank you.


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Edna3362
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06 May 2024, 2:07 am

I got nothing clever or elaborate.
Only countless small ones like that may repeat at any point;

-A person told me to say something; as they literally will say "Say XYZ to this person" and instead I'll say "Another person says XYZ to you" when they meant I'm saying "XYZ" only. It'll result outting them; never specified to not say it's them.

-Someone may tell me to shut up. I won't speak all day. Not out of hurt, but our of glee since it meant no more thinking of words. :lol: Wait until someone complains that I'm not saying anything...

-Write my name they say; but won't say where or how. I may write my name on a wall with a crayon, with a blue pen on someone else's folder, etc...

-Same vein as someone telling me to sit. I'd sit on the floor or on the table instead of whatever designated chair. Happened a lot at school.

-Someone may force me to sing. I'll deliberately sing in low monotone with wrong melodies. Reactions may range to a good laugh to WTFs...

-Playing clumsy. Someone told me to grab something; I may handle it wrong, or not-so gentle. Hopefully it meant not to bother me to grab stuff again.




I'm dealing with language processing issues since childhood.
Might be why I can't do anything that elaborate.

But this may also meant I'd get certain passes -- they won't know if I'd do it right or wrong, intentionally or unintentionally.

I may or may not commit more or these, intentionally or not. Conversely, also unintentionally not comply out of sheer misinterpretation making compliance itself a gamble.

Might as well a fact of my life, and had to just make do with it whatever outcome I get from it.


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__Elijahahahaho
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06 May 2024, 2:40 am

I don't support this strategy unless absolutely necessary and you have tried honest confrontation, since it
is passive aggressive.

I have been on the receiving end of this when asking for basic respect of need for sleep and a clean communal environment,
and it just came across as really immature, nasty and destroyed our relationship.



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06 May 2024, 5:21 am

__Elijahahahaho wrote:
I don't support this strategy unless absolutely necessary and you have tried honest confrontation, since it is passive aggressive.
People engage in MalComp because confrontation with a "Boss-Zilla" usually leads to termination and a bad reputation.

Passive-Agression has received a bum rap because it is an effective method for oppressed and exploited people (e.g., "Labor") to expose those who would oppress and exploit them (e.g., "Management").  If you can make Boss-Zilla look like a fool by following orders as stated (and not as you assume they were meant), you cannot be blamed for following orders when things go ker-flooie.

Just be sure to get all orders in writing, first.  That way, you have a record of who gave the order and when they did it.


"Pack 20 units into a case that is designed to hold only 16?  If I remove half of the packing material, we can just barely make it fit.  And if we tell the delivery driver to go real slow, only a couple of the units will be damaged upon arrival.  Do it anyway?  Yes, sir!  Right away, sir!  No problem, sir!"
...
"Damaged upon arrival?  Well, sir, these were his orders, and I did try to warn him . . . back to work?  Yes, sir!"



Now, does anyone have their own stories of MalComp to pass along to the rest of us, or should I ask the mods to make this thread go away?


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Edna3362
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06 May 2024, 5:49 am

I just remembered one -- and it's actually more recent that I thought...


Once upon a time, my boss wanted me to smile more -- regardless what I feel, she say -- just 'smile' even if I'm angry.

She's a huge proponent for positivity and optimism. That one just had to 'believe' and things will come true. All that simplistic crap.

I've been working with her for years already.
She should know better that I'm autistic and asocial.

She thinks I could just 'outgrow' my asociality.
That I'd stop and be more NT-like. :roll: She knew me enough that I'm not an optimist nor a positive person.

So she said to me that showing anger is not allowed, don't talk in blunt like tone, don't show your frustrations, because it's not appropriate, etc.

And I'm somewhat on a certain edge of mental threshold for different reasons.
Really, my job then was playing by my weaknesses; barely any of those practice improved me.
Of course, I'd be frustrated half the time, on top of other personal things that had less to do with the topic.

And yeah, I did as she told me alright.
No matter what -- even if she's utterly pissed, I'm still smiling, talking in a soft polite tone. :lol:

She can't say I'm being rude when she insists me smiling regardless of what I feel. She can't tell me to stop smiling and talk in a cheerful tone.

She doesn't know the magnitude of nuisances required for socializing when it's not so simple as 'smiling all the time'.

She wants me to mask -- and she'll get it.

She regretted it.
Everytime she gets pissed at me for doing something she knew better that I won't perform well -- I'm still smiling, cheerfully.

Forcefully into a sarcastic like manner. It made her walk away pissed every time it happens.
She really should know better and I'm frankly disappointed.


I'm capable of masking.
I just really, really hate it. And I refuse for such performance to be a baseline expectation of any of my relationship I'm into.


Hmmm...
Now that I realized it; I quit few weeks after that for different reasons.


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07 May 2024, 6:42 am

Silent Accessory

tl;dr: Told to shut up, then the church was burglarized.

• • •

I was elected to the Board of Elders at my former church.  My first goal was to improve the security of the building; but to do that, I had to ally with the Building and Grounds committee.  They gave me permission to have a commercial/industrial alarm service survey the building.  The cost estimate came in at the upper five-figure range.  The chair of the B&G committee told me she would present the estimate.

At the next board meeting, the B&G chair presented a higher cost (about 20% higher).  When I tried to correct her, she told me to wait until she could talk to me.  After the meeting, she told me in no uncertain terms that I was to shut up and tell no one what I knew because she was "handling" it through her own committee.

Cue the Malicious Compliance

I kept quiet, even though I felt something funny was going on because (1) the vendor's name was never mentioned, and (2) any discussion of budgeting was done behind closed doors -- you know . . . business as usual . . .

Her proposal (a watered-down version of mine) was accepted.  The vendor was a relative of hers whose real profession was hanging and painting drywall.  He installed a cheap system from a "big-box" store, and walked away with a "big fat" payoff.

About 5 weeks later (give or take a few days), the church was burglarized.  The sound system, some computers, and nearly all the musical instruments were taken.  The alarms never went off, and the system was found to have been disabled.

When the police learned the details behind the installation of the security system, they obtained search warrants and found some of the stolen goods in a storage locker rented out to the relative of the B&G committee chair.  The rest had already been fenced.

I had my "told you so" moment when I re-submitted my original proposal.

"Why didn't you submit this sooner?"

"I did!  The B&G chair substituted her own proposal and told me to keep quiet about it."


Internal audits turned up several other B&G projects (from before my tenure) that had been done "on the cheap".  Where did the extra money go?  The B&G chair was vague and evasive: "Can't find the receipts" . . . "Don't recall the contractor's name" . . . and so forth.

She was dismissed and essentially "defrocked" as an elder.  No charges were brought against her, however.

I quit that church and moved out of the state soon after that.


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08 May 2024, 6:27 pm

Does this count?

I wasn't trying to be malicious but it was the only way to comply.


When my husband and I broke up many moons ago, my car was leased but in his name. We made the payments from a joint account with both our names on it but it was my car and he had his own.

When he left he stole over $100K from our joint line of credit and closed that account, leaving me to repay it. I made sure his name was off all my other bank accounts so that wouldn't happen again.

When I tried to pay my car payment for that month it was refused from the car dealer because the bank account I'd used to pay it was in my name instead of his. You'd think they would take money from anyone, but they said it had to be his name since the lease was in his name.

I asked him what to do. I gave options. I said maybe he could continue to pay from his account (risky, I know) and I would transfer him the money every month or else deduct it from what he was supposed to pay in child support.

He said no.

I asked if he would transfer the car into my name instead of it being in his name.

He said no.

I asked if he wanted the car, and I'd get another car.

He said no.

I asked the dealer if they would switch title.

They said no.

This went on for about a month with everyone telling me no.

I didn't want to keep driving a car that wasn't paid for, because I'd get arrested for theft.

I had no idea what to do.

I finally drove to the dealer one night and parked the car in their lot.

I put the keys in their service drop box with a note that they could keep the car.

I went to another dealer across the street and got my own car in my own name.

My ex got penalized for defaulting on the car loan + interest, years before it was due.

He was furious.



Not my circus, not my monkeys.


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09 May 2024, 6:27 pm

I had to flog my memory to think of a story, but finally remembered one.

Dad had started to arrive home from work in a filthy mood. I made him a cup of tea, and he berated me because it wasn't strong enough - "I'd like some tea in my water," he shouted. Next time, it wasn't hot enough, and he yelled at me for that. So the following time, I warmed the cup, heated up the milk to boiling point, and made him an extremely hot cup of tea. It probably scalded his mouth a bit. Definitely malicious compliance. I don't think he ever realised it had been deliberate.

I was only about 10 years old, and didn't know what else to do apart from accepting a clearly unfair situation, and I've never been good at that. Neither of my parents were either. And whatever his problem was, he was old enough to know better than to take his anger out on his children. He wasn't usually like that. It seems I grew out of the trait, but I can't say I disapprove of it under all circumstances. Sometimes it's important to fight back against authority figures who overstep the mark, and if that's the only way, so be it.



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09 May 2024, 7:03 pm

↑ ↑↑ Both good examples.


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12 May 2024, 5:01 am

There's some good examples here :mrgreen: I like the idea of malicious compliance but I don't remember ever intentionally doing this myself. There's been various times others assumed I intentionally had because I got directions confused or I took something they said literally. It caused me to be punished &/or to be treated even more negatively. I'd be afraid of potential backlash for malicious compliance. It's better for me if I try to remain calm & focus on just doing what they want how they want till I cant deal with it anymore. Then I quit the job or get into an argument with the person & that's the end of our friendship/relationship.


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12 May 2024, 5:34 am

MalComp should be about improving a bad situation, but revenge always seems to be a collateral effect.

All you have to do is one of the things aspies do best -- just follow orders as they were literally stated, and not as you think (or know) they were actually intended.

:twisted:


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ToughDiamond
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13 May 2024, 12:35 pm

Hope this isn't too off-topic:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ma ... rcna151928

It's not a personal story about me, but it is malicious compliance, or at least a "light-hearted jibe at officialdom" as the article would have it.