It can be difficult to watch a new boss come in and try to shake things up, especially if you know what they’re doing won’t work. This woman chose to maliciously comply in order to teach her new boss a valuable lesson when he wouldn’t listen to advice.
A Recruiter for the Military
Suze had always been proud of her work as a recruiter for the military. Even though she was bodily impaired, she had found a way to serve her country in an important capacity. She interviewed countless applicants every week, hoping to find the best and most qualified individuals to join the ranks of the military. Unfortunately, a few bad apples always slipped through the cracks.
One day, Suze’s boss got promoted to a higher position within the military hierarchy, meaning her team got a new boss. This replacement’s promotion was dependent on filling open positions quickly and producing few complaints.
In an effort to achieve these goals, he made a decision that would ultimately lead to disaster.
New Boss, New Ways
Before inviting applicants to an interview, Suze and her colleagues usually conducted a thorough background check and screening of the applicants’ CVs. However, the new boss vetoed each and every screening rejection without even looking at it. He held firm on this decision despite being advised that this would cause the number of complaints to rise.
As a result, the number of rejected applicants in person skyrocketed, and so did the number of complaints from those they had rejected. In response, the boss decided they should bring every disappointed applicant to him to calm the complaints. He believed that he would be better at it than trained psychologists, even though he had no background in HR or psychology.
Did He Think He Was a Psychologist?
Suze was incredulous. Did her boss expect her to bring every rejected applicant to him? Even the racist individual she had found on pictures of illegal demonstrations sporting swastikas? Even the drunken guy who reeked so badly she became dizzy just being in the same room? Even the very loud and very angry convict who was on day release from doing his sentence for grievous bodily harm at that time? Even the dedicated homophobe? Even the blubbering depressive who couldn’t stop crying and had her eyes swollen shut and snot hanging on her sweater?
Suze decided to take matters into her own hands. With a mischievous grin, she began bringing every single rejected applicant to her boss. She didn’t discriminate – every single person that they turned away from the military got to meet with the boss.
She Did Exactly As He Asked
As it turned out, Suze was very good at her job. She was known among her colleagues for being friendly and courteous. If she received a complaint, it was never because she had been rude or hadn’t tried to exhaust every option. With her four children and years of work experience in HR, education, rehab, psychiatric, and forensic settings, Suze knew how to get along with people from all walks of life respectfully.
So Suze brought every rejected applicant to her boss. The racist individual, the drunken guy, the very loud and very angry convict, the dedicated homophobe, and the blubbering depressive were all brought to the boss’s office. Suze took advantage of the situation, using the time that she would have spent arguing with the applicants to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Everyone Followed Suit
It wasn’t long before Suze’s colleagues caught on. They saw how helpful Suze’s input was and how magnificently she stopped the complaints against her. They began following her lead, bringing every rejected applicant to the boss’s office. They were talking about two to four people a day, which took up half of the boss’s workday. He soon realized that this wasn’t sustainable.
After two weeks of this madness, the boss’s orders changed. He no longer wanted to see every rejected applicant and stopped vetoing the department’s screening choices. Suze and her boss got along splendidly ever since, and she was able to continue doing her job with the same level of dedication and professionalism as before.
A New Found Appreciation
The lesson of the story is that sometimes, it takes a little malicious compliance to get the job done. In this case, her boss’s lack of background in HR or psychology led him to make decisions that ultimately harmed the organization, despite his good intentions.
Suze’s approach of complying with her boss’s orders while also bringing every rejected applicant to him allowed him to see firsthand the consequences of his decisions and ultimately led to a change in policy.
Redditors enjoyed her tale. One user said, “Credit where credit is due; at least he was willing to put himself in the line of fire rather than make it 100% everyone else’s problem. Aaaaaaand, that’s all the credit I could come up with. Know-nothing micromanagers are going to micromanage while knowing nothing.”
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to comply with orders that went against your better judgment? How did you handle it?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Mix and Match Studio. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.