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Employee maliciously complies with company to save $80 on flight, ends up losing $1k.

Employee maliciously complies with company to save $80 on flight, ends up losing $1k.


Companies are always looking for ways to cut costs. Whether putting the costs on their customers, finding ways to underpay staff, or even cutting corners to save a buck. It doesn't always work out in favor of the company, though.

On a popular Reddit thread in the Malicious Compliance Subreddit, a man is asked to take a worse flight to save his company some money, which costs the company much more in accommodation costs.

He writes:

I (56M in the UK) worked in Africa as an operations manager for a large global security company from 2009 to 2014. The country I worked in had been through a long civil war and was underdeveloped. At the time, I'd been working there for ten weeks in the country, then two weeks at home, rotating for about four years.

I'd flown to and from work so often that I had the journey down to the bare minimum travel time, and it worked out as the cheapest option for the company because travel days were paid from when I left home. The shorter my journey, the cheaper it worked out for the company.

Someone in the head office had considered cutting travel costs to make themselves look good and get promoted.

As a result, I got an email after a week at home saying they had changed my normal flight, which was 5 pm on Sunday from my nearest UK airport via Amsterdam, then on to Nairobi, connecting with a 9 AM flight to the country I was working in on Monday morning. The change was from a 5 PM departure to a 5 AM departure the same day, same route, saving about £80.

To clarify, the 9 AM flight from Nairobi was the first flight available to my work country because the destination airport was the only surfaced runway in the country. It had no runway lights or radar, so all flights had to be in daylight.

Anyway, I agreed to the flight time change, but they had to move it to Monday so I don't lose a day at home (All will become clear). They agreed because they still saved £80 on the ticket, with no skin off their nose.

Once I got the flight confirmation, I contacted the travel desk for hotel and taxi bookings. When they asked why I needed these, I explained that to make a 5 AM departure required check-in at 3 AM, so I needed a hotel at the airport on Sunday night because no trains were running to get me the three hours to the airport from home for that time of the morning.

The flights they booked would get me into Nairobi at 7 pm - after dark - so I'd need a hotel there and a taxi each way to and from the hotel to get me onto the 9 am flight on Tuesday - the same flight I would have been on if I'd left at 5 pm but a day later.

A few days passed, and I got a phone call from the company travel desk telling me the travel plan was confirmed. I was on the 5 am flight with a hotel reservation at my UK airport the night before, a hotel in Nairobi after landing, and the taxi would collect me in Nairobi and drop me at the airport for my final connection.

I asked about the cost-saving; they said £80. I then asked about the hotels and taxis. They replied, 'oh, they don't come out of our budget. That's the operations budget, so you're fine.' I was happy. I was arriving back at work a day later, still paid the same amount with a night out in Nairobi to sweeten the deal. My boss, on the other hand, went nuts! Nobody had told him of the changes.

My deputy flew out on the plane I flew in on, meaning I didn't get to hand over the work I was working on. On top of that, the cost of hotels, taxis, and extra day's pay had all come out of my boss's operational budget. The total amount added was almost £1000, but they saved £80 on the flight cost!

People love watching a company suffer.

CriticalStation595 says:

So many penny-wise pound foolish stories of companies doing stupid sh*t like this.

Ceico_ says:

This is why the travel budget in my company dissolved into operational budgets for individual services. No more stupid savings that cost 10x more somewhere else.

aDvious1 says:

I feel like I'm very fortunate to be able to book my travel accommodation with no oversight. I do what makes sense based on when/where I need to be, without much regard for economically driven 'savings.' For example, if I find out that a customer needs me in San Francisco on Monday, and I'm in Charlotte on Friday, the only available seats are first class, it's first class.

No one ever questions that for me. Thankfully. My bosses understand the impact and appreciation from our customers for the level of service we provide. That has been instrumental in increasing our market share, and it's visible and communicated.

OP, I hope you got some great room service meals while you stayed at the hotel!

Sources: Reddit
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