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‘They’d rather have you sitting there 9-5 doing nothing’: Manager has worker clock-in all day rather than paying a salary. It backfires

'That was exactly what I did.'


Grace Rampaul


Posted on Feb 24, 2024   Updated on Feb 24, 2024, 5:28 am CST

Best quoted by Albert Einstein, “time is an illusion.” But in relation to the taboo talking point of salaries, many have come to believe the exact opposite. 

Trying to normalize glassdoor conversations, influencer and author Robyn Garrett has resorted to TikTok, where she encourages open dialog about workplace equality and fair competition in today’s business sphere. 

As a part of her upcoming digital segment, “Bad Boss Story Time,” Robyn (@courageousleadership) posted a story exposing one company for its mathematical error by accidentally paying an employee more after efforts to try and reduce his pay rate. 

With over 239,400 views and 16,000 likes, the video posted on Feb.18 features Robyn sitting in front of a green-screened article as she narrates what she believes to be a foolish decision made by the company’s management team.  

“On today’s Bad Boss Story time,” Robyn begins. “[A] boss demands employee punch in all work hours, expects to pay him less, but he gets a 30% raise instead.”

Side-barring, Robyn looks toward the audience and exclaims her alliance with the employee, rooting for his success. She then proceeds into the narrative, prefacing that the plot has been both abridged for clarity and that this occurred outside of the United States. 

The story begins with a 31-year-old man who has worked alongside his uncle for 2 years. Working directly under him, the man had learned how to run the business while being a personal assistant as well. 

“‘We settled on a contract in which I’d receive a fixed monthly amount with a bonus of an additional salary by the end of every year,’” the man said, according to Robyn’s narration. 

“I had total control of my work schedule, and by total I meant total where I just come to the job just three days a week as long as I delivered results,” the man said.

Once again, Robyn pulled away from the story and stood in alliance with the unnamed man, stating her belief that he had a relatively respectable situation going for him.

“I’d work 60 to 65 hours a week, I also worked during a holiday, and I was available on call pretty much 24/7,” the man said. 

It wasn’t until September that the man’s work culture began to shift. As per Robyn’s storytelling, the plot began to take a turn when the man’s uncle decided to travel for work, at which point one of his associates took charge.

This associate, referred to under the name “Gordan,” investigated the man’s lackadaisical work schedule after said man decided to take an early leave on the first day of Gordan’s leadership. 

“After having worked a full 14-hour shift the day before travel, and also having worked two 12-hour shifts the week before, I was tired, and since we had little to no work to pile up, I took an early leave the first day he was there,” the man said. 

Once the man arrived at work after lunch the next day, it was clear to him that Gordan was not only disapproving of his attitude, but downright furious. 

Robyn underscored the situation with a pair of hand air quotes. 

“He demanded that I punch in my working hours and if I didn’t meet the quota, those would be deducted from my monthly pay,” the man said. 

And when this was brought to the uncle’s attention, his only remark was that according to the law, his nephew must also get paid overtime if need be. So, the company’s supervisors agreed that from October forward, the man would punch in his hours and receive an hourly wage. 

“Cue the malicious compliance, that was exactly what I did,” the man allegedly exclaimed. 

For those who may not know, malicious compliance is a passive-aggressive behavior that allows a person to retaliate against another through explicitly following the rules, knowing it will have an unexpected or negative result. 

“Gordan was expecting a decrease in my pay,” the man said. “In fact, I usually pull a crapload of overtime, [and now] my monthly income is now 30% higher due to the overtime I start receiving, sometimes it’s even closer to 50% higher, even though I am actually working a little less than before.”

And since all business partners had already approved this transaction, the company is unable to go back on its word and is now paying the man more than ever intended. 

At this point in her storytelling, Robyn looks toward the camera and praises the man for standing firm.

@courageousleadership Bad boss story time where the employee gets PAID as a result of boss’s foolish decision #badbossstorytime #maliciouscompliance #corporatehumor ♬ original sound – Robyn L Garrett

“This is a classic example of where the manager thinks that the person is doing almost nothing till they actually have to pay them for all the incredible amount of work that they are doing, ” Robin exclaims. 

While it is unclear where the man is today, or if there has been a final outcome for his endeavors, it is clear that by sticking to his guns, the man was able to receive more monetary praise than he had ever imagined.

We’ve reached out to Robyn for comment.

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*First Published: Feb 24, 2024, 7:00 am CST