To be early is to be on time. So when Reddit user One-Cardiologist-462 was working for a supermarket chain and was asked to help another location, he arrived there half an hour before the shift.
Continue scrolling to read how the encounter unfolded, which serves as a reminder that people aren’t always themselves in the wee hours of the morning.
This supermarket employee was sent to help another location
Image credits: Art Markiv / unsplash (not the actual photo)
But he was mistaken for a trespasser
Image credits: RossHelen / envato (not the actual photo)
Image source: One-Cardiologist-462
Luckily, this was an isolated incident rather than a systemic issue at the company
Image credits: Andrea Piacquadio / pexels (not the actual photo)
We managed to get in touch with the Redditor behind the post and he was kind enough to tell us more about it.
“I shared the story a few times with friends, and it always got a laugh,” he explained to Bored Panda. “It wasn’t until a few years later I realized that malicious compliance was a real thing and finally decided to tell what happened that day to a broader audience.”
Although this is an extreme(ly humorous) example, it illustrates the reality that many decision-makers were never taught how to communicate efficiently, effectively, or profitably.
This can be quite concerning since more than 80% of employees would rather work for an organization that values open communication than one that only offers perks like free meals and great health plans.
It helps teams feel seen, heard, and respected — nearly 90% of workers with clearly defined goals say they could see themselves working at their company for the next year.
On the other hand, if employees can’t trust leaders to have a plan and communicate it well, the whole organization’s ability to function suffers, leading to doubt and misalignment.
Luckily for this supermarket chain, this particular misunderstanding was just a one-time thing; the Redditor said their job “wasn’t bad.”
“Sure, it had its hard times, but me and my colleagues used to laugh most of the time. It was only an isolated incident,” which, considering the broader context, is a nice compliment to the company.
“As for why no one else mentioned it afterward, I don’t really think it went too far, other than myself and the manager of the different store. I kept quiet about it for a long while after I left that job.”
Deborah Tannen, who is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University in Washington, thinks that asking the right questions is one of the hallmarks of a good manager and that how and when questions are asked can send unintended signals about competence and power.
But maybe we can refrain from judging the one from the post? After all, it was before 6 a.m.!