His Boss Kept Asking for a Thorough Financial Report So He Decided to Maliciously Itemize EVERYTHING


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Angry boss shouting to an employee.

Bureaucracy can be unnecessarily petty and tiring. But you can have fun at it if you have the time and patience to take things around in circles. Or rather, you could take some lessons from OP (original poster), who decided to maliciously comply in writing a financial report he was supposed to submit at his job.

He made a post of this in the “Maliciously Compliant” subreddit.

You Can Do Better Than This

OP works for a charity organization that makes reusable sanitary pads for school girls in Liberia. They also sew sanitary towels for 3 other charities.

He was tasked with writing a financial report. He did and sent in the list of the charities and the total donations of materials in cash.

He thought that was good enough until he was contacted thrice to keep updating the report.

In the first call, he was asked to provide exact hours worked, supplies and cash donations. OP went ahead and updated the requested items in the report and resubmitted it.

Turns out this was still not good enough as he received a second call.

They now wanted a separate list for each charity organization. OP made the lists and sent them in.

Surprise, there was still more to be done. He received a third call that wanted the list itemized. And this is what triggered OP to reveal how petty he could be.

Down to the Last Detail

OP calculated the fabrics’ cost down to the last inch for each color. He added the cutting items, depreciation of scissors, thread per item, assembly, sewing time, and even time taken walking from the sewing area to the cutting area.

He did not stop there; he ensured to add the depreciation of the needles, shoe thread depreciation, shopping time, prep, and cost of lunch, not to mention everything.

It was the true definition of getting what you asked for. He says he included pie charts and graphs, which took him over 12 hours. The report was 30+ pages long. He adds that he had a great time doing it!

Later on, he received an email dismissing the overly compliant report he just made. It said, “While we appreciate the report’s thoroughness, we request a condensed version, following the parameters set forth in the law books.”

OP took that opportunity to resubmit the first report they had initially rejected.

As of his last update, he had received a form sent to all finance chairpersons, which needed him to fill out “to the best of your ability.”

The Masses Weigh In

Many users were impressed by OP’s malicious compliance and hoped he could have done more. One user said, “Did you include 15 hours documenting requested information for the report and three hours getting accurate information requests from POS POC?”

Another said, “I hope you billed for the time it took to create the report. Remember that for next time. Well, f**king done; this is how you get bureaucrats to leave you alone. But be warned: sometimes, someone will tell you you did a fantastic job and that this is precisely what they wanted. And then try to put you in charge of something.”

“That is some serious malicious compliance to a stupid bureaucratic request. You have far more patience than me.” Chimed in another user.

And lastly, “Petty bureaucracy or somebody’s got a 2×4 up the fundament. Even with all that detail, somebody’s going to be ticked off, upset, twisted out of shape enough to ask…how many breaths you took, how many liters of Oxygen you used, what the relative humidity in your office was, whether and you commuted to the said office or something like that. But I must say that was pretty good malicious compliance; you did well.”

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