What this boss says goes, so this employee just did exactly as his manager asked him. Some bosses just always have to be right, no matter what their employees say. U/oldman712 shared this excellent tale of malicious compliance, and commenters then shared their own tales below. As the OP wrote, he was a software prototype designer who usually worked with individual clients. He’d save their projects on various terabytes, which the actually bought with his own money!
While the OP cared about his clients, new management entered the picture, and they began cutting costs. Due to age discrimination, the OP was forced out of his job, and even had to train his replacement. But by following his company’s rules to the letter, he ended up having the last laugh.
Next up, this introvert just got a new coworker who’s friendly and talkative — and they have the exact same commute every single day.