We've all dreamed about getting sweet, sweet revenge on our jerk of a boss, but let's be honest here, the universe rarely seems to punish the worst among us. That's why, every once in a while, when it does happen, when the worst get the worst of things, it feels so amazingly awesome.
This is the story of Mike, who set a revenge trap for his horrible boss and the boss, like the idiot he seemed to be, fell right in it. The fall was hard and the ending is so incredibly satisfying that you might find yourself daydreaming at the office about how to do the same to your horrible boss.
Bill wasn't happy with Mike's refusal to travel, he was, in fact, "enraged." Bill's anger only grew, maybe from embarrassment, when he discovered that Mike was grandfathered into the old travel policies, which meant Mike flew Business or First Class. As he put it: "I was racking up tens of thousands of dollars on airfare and hotels, while other PM's had to fly cattle class. Bill had no idea, and his power play had backfired. He was livid."
That's when things started to come into full focus for Mike. And it started at home with his pregnant wife.
Mike's wife was pregnant the whole time this work drama was unfolding, and it was due to the pregnancy that Mike started to formulate his revenge plan. In Mike's country (which he doesn't identify), they have very liberal maternity and paternity leave laws. Mike explained: "Parents can take 12 months leave. The company pays the first 3 months and the state pays you like 50% of full salary the last 9 months. Usually, dads take like a month, and moms take 11 months." But since Mike's wife wasn't working, he was entitled to take the whole 12, even though he had "requested just 3 months, at the time."
Mike soon changed his mind as his relationship with Bill continued to deteriorate and his plan for revenge came into clear focus.
A few weeks before Mike is set to go on Paternity leave, Bill realized what the implications were. Mike was one his best managers and Bill is angry. Really angry. Mike was already running at 120% with all the extra projects he had to manage, and Bill knew the load would fall back on him with Mike gone. As Mike explained: "I had given notice to this like 6 months earlier but for some reason, it had escaped his attention. I had done everything right with HR and the team lead. He was ticked. We had a meeting where he basically said he did not want me to come back. But didn't fire me."
That last part is key. Bill didn't fire Mike. The reason? "Firing someone during leave is like the biggest no-no with employer law in our country. The fines are huge and the courts always side with employees on this stuff." Bill knew he couldn't fire Mike now.
Mike knew he couldn't be fired, but he also knew the writing was on the wall and he won't have his current position for long when he returned from leave. Instead, Mike worked out a plan to use the system to not only help himself in a big way, but to really mess up Bill too.
Here's how Mike did it.
In the days leading up to his leave, he changed his request with HR from 3 months to 12 months. Again, all perfectly legal in Mike's country. HR approves the change and a week or so later, Mike is out on leave.
But Mike being on leave didn't slow Bill down. According to Mike: "During the first month, I get a million emails and calls about all sorts of extra things I was handling (outside my actual job description) and I helped colleagues and generally ignored managers. They had no right to contact me, but I was nice about it."
So he's working, but he's not paying much attention to Bill, who clearly got upset over the situation, which led to a Mike receiving a phone call from HR, requesting a meeting, and he couldn't comprehend what went down.