A smoke break is something that can easily divide employees, especially the ones that don’t smoke. This story from the Malicious Compliance subreddit sheds a light on how companies decide who gets to use their quick break and who doesn’t, and just how little it sometimes makes sense.
“I first started working at 17 as a housekeeper cleaning condos in downtown Toronto,” the Redditor KhajiitKennedy wrote.
While at work, he made friends with the security guards and started hanging out with them. “They were all smokers and I noticed that they were taking small breaks so if I happened to be near them when they were taking a smoke break I would hang out with them,” the author explained.
However, it soon turned out that KhajiitKennedy was not allowed to simply take his quick break like the fellow smoker colleagues. So he came up with a maliciously compliant idea to get around it.
Boss didn’t let this employee to go on a smoke break with fellow workers because he didn’t smoke so he pulled a maliciously compliant move
Image credits: Geri Tech (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Mudassir Ali (not the actual photo)
Image credits: KhajiitKennedy
Bored Panda reached out to the author of this story, KhajiitKennedy, who told us that he got the idea to use sparklers for a maliciously compliant stunt at work from a cousin’s birthday that happened a few weeks earlier.
“They had these little birthday cake sparklers! I thought they were so neat, and when thinking of things I could light with a lighter other than a cigarette, that was the first thing to pop into my head,” the Redditor said.
Khajiit Kennedy’s relationship with the boss didn’t change much after the sparklers stunt. “He was always good to us from when I started all the way to the day I left that company for school. The whole job site relaxed a bit.” What did change, however, “was now we knew for sure our boss was on our side, despite company-wide rules,” the Redditor added.
Moreover, the author said that he was allowed to take breaks with the smokers as a non-smoker and he didn’t have to pretend to smoke. “As long as all my work was done by the end of the day he was fine with it.”
“Honestly I feel like all workers, regardless if they are a smoker or not, should get a ‘smoke break’. Work can get stressful, and sometimes 5 minutes outside in the fresh air can help immensely,” KhajiitKennedy said.
The Redditor believes that the fact that only smokers get that luxury is unfair. “And according to a lot of the comments on my post, many have picked up the nasty habit just to get those little breathers during the day.”
More people shared their own experiences in the comments