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Employees follow outdated company handbook as ordered by boss, severely affecting office productivity

Office productivity plummets as employees steadfastly follow an outdated handbook on boss' order, forcing company to revise handbook.

Employees follow outdated company handbook as ordered by boss, severely affecting office productivity
Representative Cover Image Source: (L) Pexels | Airam Dato-on, (R) Reddit | u/ConsciousFlight7402

Modern corporations often have extensive rules and policies to make sure that the company runs legally and efficiently. But sometimes, these rules can be outdated and impractical, making employees miserable. In such cases, they are forced to think of creative ways to bend the rules or flout them altogether. u/ConsciousFlight7402 shared their story of dealing with an outdated rulebook on Reddit. Their anecdote has gained 3K upvotes on the platform.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pixabay


The employee begins the post by saying that they work in a medium-sized office that has a very "meticulous manager." They mention that their company has a handbook that no employee has fully read because it was over 300 pages. The individual writes, "It has a lot of old and outdated rules, which we all ignore in favor of common sense." Everything was going okay till someone in their organization made a minor mistake that violated one of the "obscure" rules within the handbook.

Ideally, their boss should have just addressed the issue and rectified it on the spot, but instead, he decided to have a meeting. They write, "He proudly announced that from now on, we would follow the handbook rules to the absolute letter, no exceptions." The employee then shares a few rules from the handbook that they began to follow, which began to severely impact the company. The first rule was that all employees were allowed a 10-minute break for every hour that they worked.

All the employees began to take separate 10-minute breaks throughout the day instead of their usual one-hour lunch break and two 15-minute breaks. As a result of this, productivity was severely affected. The second absurd rule stated that ties were mandatory, but it didn't specify for whom. So, women in the workplace began to wear the most outrageous ties when they came to the office. The individual talks about them saying, "Neon, sequined, ties with cats on them - you name it."

The rulebook also had a rule that insisted that employees make three copies for every document they printed. After making so many copies, the printer began to malfunction and run out of ink frequently. They remark on it saying, "The office looked like a paper factory explosion." Another rule they began to strictly adhere to was CC'ing their supervisors on every mail. This resulted in supervisors' inboxes becoming overloaded with very irrelevant emails.

Finally, the employees would make announcements about any minor change that they made because the rulebook said so. Employees would send emails about the most mundane changes, such as moving a chair to the entire team, resulting in an absolutely hilarious situation. All of this went on for two days and by the third, the manager could not take it anymore. They write, "The entire office was barely functioning and he knew he was the cause."

The manager came to realize the flaws with sticking to the outdated rules and called a meeting to inform employees that they should use their "best judgment" when it came to following the rules. They conclude the post by saying, "The handbook is currently under revision." Individuals on the platform loved the tactful way the employees handled the situation and shared their thoughts in the comments section.

Image Source: Reddit/u/hotmessexpress44
Image Source: Reddit/u/hotmessexpress44
Image Source: Reddit/u/butterfly-garden
Image Source: Reddit/u/butterfly-garden


u/ThinkbigShrinktofit said, "Oh, I hope the women keep wearing the ties! Those sound fun!" u/Greengas1961 pointed out, "I'd give some credit to the boss for recognizing that he caused the chaos and reversing his directions. It takes a mature person to do that. He is probably not a bad leader, just idealistic. Maybe you guys cured him."

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