His Demanding Boss Insisted He Print Out the Entire Internet. So He Complied, Albeit Maliciously!

This Redditor’s tale of malicious compliance went viral recently and it’s a hilarious read.

He Worked for the Government

Meet our original poster (OP), a technical writer for the government. This incident was a decade ago, but still well within the realm of the internet.

He had been slowly transferring their old employee handbook, think government bureaucracy from the 1940s, into a modern and actually useful document.

He had been working hard on this project, turning it into a document with policies and links to useful websites such as the Office of Personnel Management and forms for workman’s comp.

A Strange Request

His boss requested that he print out everything and leave it on her desk the next morning. It was Monday of the Thanksgiving weekend, and OP had plans for the long weekend.

Nevertheless, he spent an hour printing the 200 pages out, with links to useful websites in bold, and he left it on her desk before going home.

On Tuesday afternoon, his boss called him into her office and proceeded to yell at him for how stupid he was!

She told him that people could not just go to a website when it was on paper and that everything he needed to print out everything!

OP calmly explained to her that these sites are dense and deep; printing everything out would be about 10,000 pages. She didn’t care and insisted that it needed to be on her desk first thing Monday morning!

He knew that he had other work to do, but his boss was his boss, and she could make his life miserable. So, he spent the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday printing out everything, going from one website to the next, printing and clicking.

By Wednesday, he had to go to the site, print, click on the next link, print, and so on.

He Complied, But Was Wasting His Time

He was aware he had real work and real deadlines to attend to. His clients were teams that put together engineering plans, biological assessments, scientific journal articles, reports to Congress, etc., that had real-world deadlines.

On some of these projects, if he missed the publication date, his agency would pay $100,000 a day in delay fees. Or he would anger a congressperson, which is never a good idea. But at the end of the day, his boss had told him to do this, so it was her fault!

He carried on tirelessly, spending hours and hours printing. But then they received a congressional letter that was actually important.

Had they not received it, OP might not have done what he did next. He got overtime approved pronto to take care of his boss’s request. So he worked on Thanksgiving, printing, and printing. And printing some more.

He used up every sheet of paper in their 14-story building, researching the response for the congressional letter, printing, going to the next floor to carefully get that packet of paper to tuck under the appropriate page, and so on. He had pieces of paper in about 20 different conference rooms!

He estimated that it would take him about 8 hours to do the congressional letter,  but it was not due until Monday. So he kept printing for a good 24 hours until he had two stacks of paper, each about 6 feet high.

He was way under his estimate of 10,000 pages, as it was more like 30,000. He had at least five printers going at once for four days straight.

A 30,000 Page Tower

When he finally finished, he put the stacks of paper in his boss’s office. The office was already none too clean and pristine, and now it was even more of a mess. But he had finished, and he had done what his boss had asked for.

Unfortunately, his boss wasn’t happy, and things didn’t go to plan. She wrote him up and called for a disciplinary hearing – the charge?… malicious compliance! OP found it hilarious! He had worked so hard to complete this task, and he had done it to the best of his ability. He ended up keeping his job because he had her request in an email.

OP couldn’t help but feel a little bit pleased with himself. He had taken his boss’s request to the extreme and came out on top. He had printed out the entire internet, and he had done it with a smile on his face.

Reddit users enjoyed his tale. One user said, “That’s dumb. She requested it, but you got in trouble. I understand it was years ago. But the fact that she didn’t understand she could just look at anything and everything on the computer and didn’t need a physical copy? If it was some HR thing? That would be malicious compliance on her part. But government jobs think differently. So it is what it is.”

What do you think about this man’s tale? Using all that paper, he cost the taxpayer a pretty penny, but was it justified?

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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Elnur. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story

Source: Reddit