Greedy Boss Steals Employee’s 20% Cut, Employee In Turn Maliciously Complies With Boss’ Request For What He Thinks Is Full Payout

“My grandfather always said to be nice to the people handling your money and your food,” — this one commenter, 2023.

Truer words could not be said. Though, people ought to be nice to folk in general, not just because they’re handling their money or food, but because you’re just digging your own grave at that point. But I digress.

Still, some people take a chance because greed is good and they think they can get away with it. But they forget that there are people who are just as smart, or mayhaps 25 times smarter than they are, who can turn it all against them. And they wouldn’t even know about it.

A story about these approximate descriptives and proportions has recently resurfaced on r/MaliciousCompliance, showing that you just don’t mess with neither employees, nor people in general, if you are willingly giving them money, because they know how to work it better.

More Info: Reddit

Yeah, sure, “greed is good”, but you gotta pick your battles as greed might also lead you into a malicious compliance pickle and you won’t even know it

Image credits: Lukas (not the actual image)

The story goes that Reddit user u/TheBreakUp2013 used to work as a business analyst for a big family-owned tech company back in the early ’90s. Said family was described as “quite neurotic”, “very moody”, and was ruthlessly greedy when it came to all things business.

Just like it did this one boss who entrusted his money to an employee so he’d invest with a 20% commission, but didn’t deliver that 20% the and hence lost a lot more

Image credits: u/TheBreakUp2013

OP worked there for quite a while—long enough to be seen by the higher-ups as more than just regular Joe around the water cooler. Having found out on a small-talk kind of occasion that OP does some investing, the boss decided to approach them with an investment side hustle.

The story goes that the author of the post used to work as an analyst for a very greedy boss who one day approached him with an investment proposal

Image credits: u/TheBreakUp2013

The deal was that OP would take Boss’ $1 million and do a high-risk/high-reward investment on his behalf. OP was hesitant, but still wanted to prove themselves, so they took them up on that offer. Despite being young, OP took all the wise necessary steps in making sure they wouldn’t be screwed over in the end, like keeping it all in writing and concluding an agreement.

Without getting into too much detail, OP did quite a bit of research, figured out the strengths and weaknesses of the market, got some leverage and decided on a very specific tactic and vertical to invest in. And it was a method that OP benefited greatly from, mainly because the boss was a greedy urchin and seemingly had no idea what was actually happening as long as he was gaining something from it. And that gain blinded him.

The idea was for the employee to invest $1M of the boss’ money, high-risk/high-reward style, since they knew the ropes of the game

Image credits: u/TheBreakUp2013

Image credits: Jason Briscoe (not the actual image)

In particular, given the changes in the market—a downturn—there was a portion of the money still circulating as an investment, and then $1.35M of the boss’ money, closed and yielded sitting quietly in the account. Initially, the boss had invested $1M, so there was already an increase of $350K.

At that moment, the boss actually asked about the investments. While OP was detailed in their explanation, the boss seemed to get fixated on $1.35M. And that’s it. Promptly asked for it all to be wired to his account. OP did remind him of the 20% from profits ($70K from said profit money), but the boss appealed to the whole market downturn argument and asked if he could just pocket it all.

The two agreed on a 20% cut of the profits for the employee, so they devised an intricately safe plan and got cracking

Image credits: u/TheBreakUp2013

“During the bubble that popped, their income was drying up, so I think he was quite happy to receive his original $1 million, plus some profit,” elaborated OP in an interview with Bored Panda. “Also, tech stocks were falling like a stone at that time, so I think he expected to lose money.”

Considering that they had agreed upon the commission in writing, and the boss was now backpedaling on it by channeling his inner greed with 200% effort, rushing the investments and asking for a specific $1.35M amount to be paid out right there and then, OP figured that they’d oblige through malicious compliance.

But when it came time to pay the 20%, the boss began with his excuses about how it’s hard for the company and bla-bla-bla. But OP knew better

Image credits: u/TheBreakUp2013

In short, the payout happened, and the boss didn’t even bat an eye about any further documentation, formalities, anything. In his eyes, business has been done. Little did he know, however, there were still investments maturing in OP’s name. Investments that were mostly funded by the boss himself.

Well, since the boss only wanted $1.35M, and never bothered with the rest, OP ended up waiting a bit more and pocketing $1.8M. In context, the $70K commission they let go previously was just nearly 4% of what he ended up with in the end.

The employee did exactly what the boss asked for, and that is to pay out a very particular sum, and not the remainder of the money that didn’t mature yet

Image credits: u/TheBreakUp2013

Now, OP was risking losing it all completely by giving up their commission. After all, the other money invested could have gone just like that because economy. But, as OP themselves explained, the risk was low. “If push came to shove and I had to give him the remainder of the profit back (between $1 million and $2 million depending on the day), I would have insisted on 20% of that, and risked my job,” added OP.

And so, what ended up happening is originally the employee was supposed to get $70K, but it got taken away by greed, so they had to make due with $1.8M that came later instead

Image credits: Pixabay (not the actual image)

For a bit of context, the tech industry is huge. But not huge huge, more like colossal colossal. Just estimated forecasts for 2021 in the global tech industry were at $5 trillion. That’s backed up by 4.6 million job postings in tech in 2019, with about 822,000 for emerging tech positions across 557,000 tech firms in the US alone.

And, at least today, the industry trends focus on things like AI and machine learning, cybersecurity, blockchain, and virtual and augmented reality. That alone says that great things are coming.

“I rely on professionals for my investments now. I may have an idea or two from time to time, but I don’t make major investments in the equity markets myself. Tech and its valuations are always changing, but it is always one of the most desired spaces. That hasn’t changed in the past 25 years,” added OP.

Image credits: u/TheBreakUp2013

Lastly, we’ve asked OP to share some advice on how best to deal with greedy bosses, and they had this to say: “I would say prove yourself, but always ask for and continually push for what you’re worth. With greedy people, they often like the fight, but respect someone who is willing to stand up for themselves, as long as they do good work.”

OP’s post managed to get a bit over 15,000 upvotes, and this is on top of the original post’s 17,000 upvotes that this was an update to.

You can check out the post here. But don’t go just yet—the comment section awaits your presence in the form of your thoughts and stories.

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