Employee's Plan to Make Boss Eat His Words About Overtime Delights Internet

A man is being backed for refusing to take a longer lunch break to cut down on overtime after he was reprimanded for doing that very thing.

The now-viral Reddit post, titled, "No more long lunches," was shared to the subreddit "Malicious Compliance" on May 16 by Redditor @mattchica20, who is a 26-year-old third shift team lead at a retail store. The post has garnered 14,000 upvotes and over 600 comments since it was shared.

According to a QuickBooks Time survey of 15,000 employees in 27 different countries, the average break for lunch around the world lasted for 35 minutes. In addition, four out of six countries that have the longest lunch breaks on average are in Asia.

In the United States, 59 percent of respondents get a 30-minute lunch break, whereas 25 percent are given a one-hour break. In addition, 12 percent receive 15 minutes for their breaks, 3 percent have no lunch break, and 2 percent have more than an hour break.

Man eating food
An employee's plan to make his boss eat his words delights the Internet. Here, a man eating food in a restaurant. BOBEX- 73/GETTY

'Malicious Compliance'

Around a month ago, the Redditor was taken into the office by his supervisor and another person was also there acting as a witness. The main issue was that the original poster (OP) would take an additional 20 to 30 minutes for lunch every day on top of his hour-long break.

He also clarified that the employees have to clock out for lunch, and it's unpaid time. The choice is a "personal decision" that the OP has been doing for the last six years.

"When I explained I would do this to kill some of my OT [overtime] and was saving the company about two to three hours of time and a half pay, it didn't matter to my supervisor," the man said. "He stated that I needed to be more 'punctual' because he needs me on the floor. OK, that's understandable."

The OP replied back, "Well does that mean since I show up on time every day, I get to go home on time every day?"

The Redditor relayed that his supervisor didn't like the question as he had just told them all at the beginning of their shift how everything has to be completed before they leave. He put the conversation in their system under his work profile stating that they had the discussion and that "he knows I can do better."

"Oh, I did better," the man said.

Almost a month went by where the OP had been only taking an hour for lunch, and he still had to stay late to finish up work. However, his paycheck was the largest he's ever seen since taking the position a little over a year ago. He revealed he was "excited," but he knew why it was such a large check, because of overtime.

"Unfortunately for my supervisors, they got into some heat for how much OT I earned over the last month," the Redditor went on. "Needless to say, they were directed to address us three about how we can't get any OT anymore, and that we need to work our schedules as they are."

One of the Redditor's supervisors suggested, "Y'all can take a longer lunch to help cut down OT."

To that, the OP chimed in stating that he wouldn't be taking longer lunches as he was "formally sat down" in regard to the situation. He added that he "straight up refused to do it," and said the supervisor who oversaw that conversation just stared at the OP.

The man revealed it "felt super awesome" saying that to them and for the supervisors to see he was doing them a "favor" by taking the extra time previously. "I actually got sent home early today because I've already accrued a day's worth of OT," the OP concluded."

Redditor Reactions

The comments came rolling in, and people are on board with the worker's actions across the board. Others recounted their own stories of similar situations they've experienced.

One Redditor wouldn't take a longer lunch either, and they revealed that if a company wanted them to lose overtime, they would go "home early," adding, "I am not sticking around here an extra hour for lunch after I already stayed an extra hour. I'm definitely not getting screwed out of two hours of my life thank you very much."

While a user said if they were the OP they would "keep claiming overtime or go home on time. Really, this place sounds understaffed. They either need to pay more or hire more. Their choice."

Keep claiming overtime or go home on time. Really, this place sounds understaffed. They either need to pay more or hire more. Their choice.
Reddit comment

The OP replied back saying both comments are true, adding, "I don't work for free, and while I would love to go home on time, I don't mind getting cut early because that just means they have to do it again later in the week when I get even more time."

Words of advice were everywhere, and one Redditor called the store "greedy f**ks," insisting, "Any place that is so anal about paying the staff is a place you should sprint away from and never look back. As if the OT is going to cripple the business."

Some people tried to read between the lines and make their own assumptions. "Really what they wanted was for you to work the overtime hours but not claim the OT pay," a viewer said. "Standard employer BS."

Some praised the OP for his actions when dealing with such a surprising turn of events. "This is glorious," a Redditor wrote. "I wish I had the cajones (or Thatchers in my case) to stand up to HR like that."

One Reddit user admitted to loving "stories like this," adding, "middle managers are such short-sighted SOBs."

Ah, that warm, tingling feeling I get when reading that for once supervisors/managers have to lie in the uncomfortable bed they made for themselves.
Reddit comment

Others seemed to appreciate the situation for what it was. "Ah, that warm, tingling feeling I get when reading that for once supervisors/managers have to lie in the uncomfortable bed they made for themselves," a Redditor joked.

Newsweek reached out to Redditor @mattchica20 for comment.

This isn't the only viral post involving work.

A sign advertising discounts for images of employees using phones on the floor has sparked fury.

An employee was praised for refusing work until they were paid, and an employer's reward of donuts to employees went viral online.