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Malicious Compliance: "If You Don't Like It, Then Leave!"


Malicious Compliance 1From u/ThrowinitawaymkayMaliciousCompliance

I work(ed) as a housekeeper at a small local hotel. At the beginning when I started (about three years ago), things were pretty peachy. I got above minimum wage and worked in an environment with a more relaxed working pace. We had more time than your average hotel to clean rooms and it showed in customer satisfaction. We had stellar reviews with customers raving about how there wasn't a speck of dust anywhere, how everything from the lamp shades to the bathroom drain was always scrubbed squeaky clean.

I loved my job and took pride in it, and when we had extra time, (which happened from time to time,) we would do some deeper cleaning like scrubbing all the walls inch by inch, disinfecting the whole bathroom, cleaning the blinds etc. Even though we all had some extra time, we used it to make sure the rooms were always up to a very high standard.

As a result of this, we got a reputation of being an affordable but very clean hotel, so our popularity spiked. Even before we got so popular (in our prime we were booked full about 90% of the days) our boss made a pretty nice amount of money. We don't have a reception, we're self-service (you just get a passcode for your room via text message) so he saved money with that. He drives an expensive car and seems very well off. We were never struggling financially.

Then things started changing. We're a very close-knitted team of cleaners who have been in the house for years. A couple of us left at the end of last year (one moved to another state, another became a housewife after having a kid), and we started expecting newcomers to our team. They never came. Our boss claimed that it's hard to find workers for this kind of job. We never had anyone interviewed and I never saw ads anywhere that we're hiring, so I'm not sure he was even planning on replacing them. So our work pace got tighter. We managed somehow but there was no longer time for thorough cleaning.

RHSEPT 299Then, the boss opened a restaurant so that the guests could have breakfast. Cleaning it daily got added to our workload (and that place is massive, it takes at least 1½ hours to clean daily). At the same time, he also opened a separate airbnb-style apartment (three bedrooms, kitchen, living room and bathroom) for larger groups who wanted to reside together. Cleaning that fell on us as well.

So suddenly, we were down two people (there were seven of us initially) and shoved two massive new responsibilities. We asked our boss again to hire more people, but he said no and that "we've been having it too easy" beforehand. He also refused to add another hour or two to our daily working hours (currently 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.). We have six hours and everything needs to be done at 3 p.m. sharp because that's when the new passcodes start working.

Understandably, we were stressed out. There was suddenly far too much to do and our boss also simultaneously expected that we would keep up our usual cleaning standard. But when our time per room plummets from 45 min to 25 min tops (usually closer to 15), obviously we're not able to clean everything the way we did before. We would get yelled at when we got bad feedback because there wasn't enough time to clean thoroughly enough, customers who came in after our clean rooms were disappointed and took their business elsewhere. Also, my coworkers started calling in sick because they were burnt out. It was a mess, but our boss maintained the outlook that if he just pushed a massive amount of work on us, we'd somehow magically find an extra pair of hands and get everything done 100%.

Last week, we had a meeting with my coworkers. We discussed the current situation and to my surprise, everyone was considering quitting. Out of loyalty to our long-time employer, the five of us agreed to have a meeting with our boss and try to persuade him to hire more staff to bring the hotel back to its earlier standard.

A couple of days later, we had the said meeting. Our boss was still in denial and said that we just need to up our pace and do things faster. He cited that most hotels give housekeepers about 20 minutes to do everything. We pointed out that it's true, but in that case he can't expect us to clean better than those hotels.

He scoffed and told us "If you don't like working here, then leave."

That was all we needed to hear. That night we had another meeting amongst us cleaners. We checked our contracts and realized there was no agreed on notice for resignation as we're at-will. So, we were all going to take his advice.

This morning, at 9 a.m. sharp, the five of us paid our boss a visit. The look on his face when we simultaneously slammed down our resignation letters and marched out, leaving no one to clean the whole hotel today, will warm my heart for the rest of my days. He was absolutely stunned.

He tried to call us to talk things over. Nuh uh, we just did what you told us to. Have fun replacing what was a motivated, loyal and dedicated team of cleaners who made your business bloom.





please tell me there is a follow up to this story.

i really hate bosses who use the "if you don't like it you can leave" excuse.

Spencer Snyder

God bless your beautiful soul.

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