A sudden bang in the boiler room. A hospital patient gone wild. A run-in with a wanted fugitive. Sometimes, the craziest things happen at work. Whether the following people love their jobs or not, they can at least say there was never a dull moment. Here are some of the worst moments that have happened on the job.
1. A Pianist’s Panic
I’m a jazz and classical pianist. One time, while playing at a pretty high-end cocktail bar, I noticed an older man collapse at his table out of the corner of my eye. He was sitting alone, and either very few people noticed, or no one cared. Either way, nobody made a scene. I ended up speaking into the mic: “Do we have a doctor on the floor?”
One woman came up thinking something was wrong with me, so I promptly pointed her to the other section where the man was sitting. At that point, the staff was gathering around. Later on, we found out the scary truth about his predicament—he had a heart attack, but he was okay. It’s crazy to me that he was in a crowded venue and no other patrons cared enough or paid enough attention to get him some help.
2. An Honest Review
My brother and I owned a restaurant together for seven years. One night, a lady came up to pay her bill and my brother was helping her while I was standing next to him making small talk as we did with all our regulars. Out of the blue, she told us she was so sorry—then, before we could even ask her what was wrong, she caught us off-guard with a truly disgusting display…
She fully projectile-vomited through her fingers into my brother’s face. I let out a scream and ran to the hills while my brother was screaming, “Oh no, oh no” repeatedly. He ran into the kitchen and started pouring soap into his mouth. He still gags when I bring up that story.
3. Triple Tragedy
We had three people lose their lives on one job site. One fall and two confined space deaths. This happened in 2008 in Idaho, while we were working hazmat at an acid plant turn-around. The confined space deaths were from asphyxiation—one guy went in a tank to see how dirty it was and he collapsed. But what happened to the other guy was more devastating.
He bravely went in to rescue the first guy, but he didn’t make it back out. Turns out, they were not permitted to enter the tank yet, but they went anyway. The third guy fell from the top of a platform where the safety rails had been removed. He took a 70-foot header and the sound on impact is the type you never forget.
4. Dangerous Obsession
I work at a high school. One time, a student pulled a revolver on one of the teachers in the parking lot after school. Initially, we thought his motives were rooted in revenge, but the truth was much more shocking—he made her give him the undergarments she had on. When local authorities caught him later that day, he told them he did it simply because she was hot.
5. It’s Raining Planes
I used to work in air traffic control. This didn’t happen to me, but I was working that day and I heard the replay. Some planes took off in bad weather and got more ice on their wings than they could handle. By the time they got in the air, it was too late—they dropped like rocks, but that’s not even the worst part…
You could hear the passengers screaming for their lives on the frequency the whole way down.
6. Temper Tantrum
I worked at a very popular sandwich shop that is known for its “fresh” eating. The owner of the store hired me and within a month, I was made the store’s main closer. I ended up getting all the responsibility of a manager without any of the authority or recognition. One day, a guy walked in and asked to speak to a manager.
Being the only one there with anything close to that responsibility, I asked him what I could help him with. He told me that the sandwich that he ordered online was messed up and that he needed a refund. I informed him we couldn’t do refunds, but I could give him credit for next time, or make him a new sandwich right away.
His reaction was absolutely deranged. He proceeded to start screaming, saying that if I didn’t give him his money back, I’d regret it. I warned him that I’d call 9-1-1 if he didn’t calm down, and that just made everything worse. He attempted to climb over the makeline to grab me, but luckily I was able to back away and stay out of his grasp.
He ended up throwing his phone, which hit me in the face and cut my eyebrow open. Luckily, another customer had called the authorities a while before and they walked in just then. I think it goes without saying that he got apprehended and I pressed charges. The worst part? My owner berated me, saying I needed to work on my people skills.
7. Lost Appetite
I was a waitress a few years ago and someone placed a metal bottle cooler on top of a cupboard. When I opened the cupboard, the cooler fell on my forehead and split open between my eyes. I didn’t realize it was bleeding until I went out to serve someone. He was like, “Are you OK? Your head is bleeding.” I simply said, “What do you want to eat?” and his reply made me burst out laughing. He said: “I’m not hungry anymore.”
8. Office Drama
One of my co-workers shanked another employee with a letter opener. The guy didn’t make it. The attacker fled the building, but was caught by officers later that day. No one understood why he would do such a thing…until we heard the shocking full story later that day—apparently, his wife cheated on him with that co-worker. It was in my first week on the job, so I didn’t really know either of them.
The company offered trauma counseling, but it was not needed for me.
9. Giving Up
I spent three months doing an internship at a mining company. A guy fell from a 30-meter ridge and lost his life on the spot. They ruled it an accident, but a lot of us aren’t convinced. Rumor has it that he actually jumped because he fell headfirst—if you’re not looking to end it all, you always try to fall feet first, or at least instinctively use your arms to break the fall (for all the good it will do you).
But nope, eye-witnesses said that they saw him crashing down with his head. I never saw the scene or the aftermath, but apparently, it wasn’t pretty. The company gave two weeks of paid leave to those who witnessed it.
10. Kids Say The Darndest Things
Teacher here. One day, during lunch duty, a four-year-old raised her hand. She cried that the boy next to her said he was going to go to her house, end her mom’s life, and bury her in the yard while the girl watched. I knew I needed to report the incident immediately, but first, I tried to console the girl. I said: “That would upset me too if someone said that, but sometimes people say things they don’t mean to hurt us.”
At that moment, I was cut off by the boy in question, whose reply sent shivers down my spine. “I did mean it. I’m going to end her mom’s life!” Of course, when I reported it, it was brushed off. The kid had a known behavioral problem, one that actually led another teacher to quit, and the school’s disciplinary action against him was always, “Don’t pay attention to him, but when he’s good, reward him.”
I couldn’t even hug the girl to make her feel better.
11. Creepy And Crawly
I used to work in low-volt integration, wiring smart homes. Being the lead pre-wire technician, I was in charge of all pre-wire installations unless a more experienced tech was on the scene. Being just 24 at the time of my employment, I was usually the one to go into crawlspaces and attics since most of the older guys didn’t want to do it.
On more than one occasion, I’ve met my worst fear up close and personal. I’ve been bitten by two brown recluse spiders and one black widow spider. I still have a scar of one of the brown recluse spiders that bit me on my side. The scary part? The brown recluse spider has NO anti-venom in the entire United States.
12. Hospital Chaos
I work as a nurse in an ICU. Two of my coworkers found out while on their shifts that they were “with” the same guy. They proceeded to physically fight each other in the hallway. That was chaotic enough, but then, out of nowhere, a patient started coding down the hallway and a family in another room set the trash can on fire. It was a wild, wild night shift.
13. A Big Impact
A few weeks back, I was filming a football match where a young lad collided with the other team’s goalkeeper. He got winded and was lying on the floor, freaking out. I figured he just needed to catch his breath and that he’d be just fine. After a few minutes, he was helped off the pitch and he got substituted. I saw him a while later and he was gingerly walking around.
It turned out, he was not okay; far from it, actually. He was taken to hospital that evening and the doctor dropped a bombshell diagnosis on him—an exploded liver! The poor lad spent hours in surgery and nearly lost his life. He lost 30% of his body weight and was held together by an obscene amount of staples.
He eventually got released. I have slow-motion footage of the entire thing. I hope he makes it back to where he was.
14. Burnt To A Crisp
Real estate appraiser here. I’ve seen all kinds of screwed-up stuff. The worst one for me though was when I found a guy in the basement of a vacant, foreclosed house, flat on his back and a little charred. Apparently, he tried to take the electrical wiring (to add to his copper plumbing stash) and the electricity was still on. I’ll never forget the smell.
I worked as a pizza delivery driver. You see everything in my line of work. Our store is right on the edge of the city, so we deliver to the country towns a lot. The weirdest delivery I made involved a guy who paid me $150 to feed him a slice while he was in black leather from head to toe, tied to a door. I regret nothing.
My dad is an electrician. A while back, he had a job testing the wiring in council properties. One time, he walked into a flat where the tenants kept way too many pets…cats, dogs, and birds were absolutely everywhere. Whilst he was testing a socket in the living room, he was caught off-guard with the most surprising sight—a freaking tortoise emerged from under the sofa and casually made its way past him. The tenants later told him that they had “forgotten” that they even owned the thing.
17. Dark Ritual
As a paramedic, I am required to go into the filthiest places imaginable to drag people out. One time, I showed up at a scene and there was an officer waiting in front of a trailer. As I walked up, he just smiled and said, “Be prepared.” I anxiously walked in and my jaw dropped. There was blood, guts, and chicken feathers EVERYWHERE.
Inside was a dude with pure crazy in his eyes waiting for me. I asked him what was going on and he explained that he was demonstrating to his children how to make a proper sacrifice. The dude had taken his kids’ pet chickens and beheaded them. Needless to say, that was one nerve-wracking ride to the hospital.
18. A Messy Situation
Barista here. There was this one old woman who would come in several times per week. She’d stay for hours at a time and never buy anything. She’d just ask for a glass of water and a place to sit. She was at least 90 and was clearly losing her memory, so I felt bad for her and let her stay. Little did I know that she would end up being a nightmare.
The first few times, she’d just drink her water and leave, but then she started using the restroom. Now, I can only assume this woman used diapers, and perhaps she didn’t quite remember when it was time for a fresh one. Because every time she’d use our bathroom, there’d be poop. Not in the toilet. On the walls, floor, door, trash can…any combination of these.
She’d obviously tried at least a little to clean it up, but her poop persisted. We started calling her Poop Granny in secret. I have spent hours of my actual life cleaning this woman’s poop off various surfaces; so many hours that my manager eventually had to ban her.
19. Pool Bandit
I was a lifeguard. One evening, during a closing shift with my manager, I headed inside to the pool house to clean up when I heard shouting. I briskly walked out to the pool deck to find my manager yelling at a single guy to get out of the pool. The man refused, so I thought he was on something…but when he replied, he revealed the disturbing truth.
He started yelling back that he couldn’t get out…because it felt too good. The individual had been getting frisky with the pool jets. My manager yelled at me, a 17-year-old female at the time, to go back to the office and call 9-1-1. When we told him that officers were on the way, he jumped out, hopped the fence, and ran away.
This happened at a nice, family neighborhood pool. He was immediately banned.
20. Blood On My Hands
I got notified that someone was cut in half on a system that I designed several years prior. I felt sick to my stomach. I kept thinking, “How could this happen?” Well, when I found out what happened, I couldn’t help but just shake my head in disappointment. The guy willfully bypassed several safety devices and super-manned the system while it was running.
Since I had all of the risk assessments in order and all risks properly mitigated according to ISO 13849, it was determined to be a willful circumvention of an otherwise safe system. However, knowing that something I worked on essentially ended somebody’s life was not a great feeling.
21. Scum Of The Earth
I travelled with my boss a lot. He wasn’t the greatest guy, but he was really good at his job. One time, we got to the hotel and a woman walked across the road without looking. It was annoying but not too dangerous as we were only doing 5 mph. My boss, ever easy to anger, started raging. I was usually unaffected by his tantrums, but this one was different.
He started saying really disturbing things: “Man, I’m going to find her room and end that witch. She’s asking for it, you know what I mean?” That was bad enough, but then he took it to the next level. He asked the clerk at the desk: “Who was that woman who just signed in?” The clerk obviously was like, “Err. No.” I was horrified by his comments and actions.
He said all of those things in a company car that had dash cams and mics. When I checked in, I got room service for the night, trying to forget about what I’d heard. Later that week, I went to the big boss to talk the incident through. She said she’d get to the bottom of it. Recordings subsequently disappeared and I was told to drop the issue.
I resigned fairly soon after and got a new role. I couldn’t stand by a company that would protect someone who made statements like that. The guy got the boot a few years later, but not before he’d earned his stack of cash. I’m still mad about this.
22. He Let His Guard Down
I used to work at this cabinetry place that had this big industrial saw know as a “beam saw.” To use it, you lay material—in this case, sheets of particleboard or MDF—onto some rollers and the machine clamps the ends while drawing the piece inside the machine. A guard then comes down and a large blade makes cuts that have been entered into a program.
Well, one time, an operator put a piece down, hit start, and the machine started pulling the board in. At the last moment, he noticed that the piece wasn’t “square” and tried to push it in quickly. Big mistake. The metal guard came down and trapped his hand. The program then started and the blade ran through the middle of his knuckles, completely cutting off four fingers.
23. Warning! Danger Ahead
I was working in a production lab that had very strict cleaning protocols. Shower in, shower out, respirator required at times; that kind of stuff. One time, I was in the lab by myself, just doing my work when all of a sudden, the most intense fire alarm I had ever heard in my life went off. Like, there were sirens blaring, lights flashing, and a robotic voice saying, “Evacuate the building immediately, this is not a drill.”
I panicked because if I went out the fire door in the lab, I was going to contaminate the entire production wing, but also, I didn’t want to lose my life, and the alarm seemed to make it pretty clear that was imminent. Luckily, my coworker busted into the room to get me and we evacuated through another airlock that was made for that kind of thing.
Turns out, the situation was incredibly dire—someone had dropped a 50-gallon drum of some nasty chemical in the wing and they had to shut down the entire production floor for a day.
24. Totally Helpless
I drive a school bus for a school district. A co-worker I used to work with every day had a severe heart attack one time. She wasn’t on the bus; she had gotten in her personal car. Because she was one of the last to make it back to the base lot, nobody realized she was suffering. Her car was in park and she had her foot on the gas while she was literally dying.
They got her to the hospital, but she was too far gone. School bus drivers are at high risk for heart attacks, given that we are often sleep-deprived and overweight. I’m one of the youngest in my company and I’m still terrified.
25. Karma Comes Back Around
This woman named Cheryl thought she was hot stuff because she was married to a retired football player. One day, she came in and started beating on one of our plant vendors. When we told her we were calling 9-1-1, she tried to angrily drive her SUV away. Thankfully, karma was on our side that day—she accidentally backed into a pallet of ceramic pots and then hit the front end of an officer’s car when she pulled forward.
The best part? The officers immediately did a search of her car and they found a flask of Jack in her purse. She was subsequently apprehended and charged.
26. Thrashed Around
In another job, a roofer was carrying a sheet of plywood on top of a four-story beach house. It was windy, so it was dumb for him to be up there in the first place. All of a sudden, a big gust of wind got underneath the plywood, and, for some reason, he held on. The events that followed made me wince. He ended up falling off the roof and hitting his head on the concrete.
The corner of the sheet of plywood also went through his chest. It was gory; so much so that the owners were traumatized and ended up selling the unfinished house.
27. Corporate Wolves
One of my managers was having an affair with one of her subordinates. They got caught making out while at work by another associate, who then reported them to HR. The manager convinced HR that she caught the associate stealing and that she made the story up to cover for herself. HR sided with the manager and they fired the reporting associate on the spot, despite having no proof.
Two months later, she got caught again with a different subordinate, but HR refused to take action because it would mean they would have to admit that they fired the first employee wrongfully. That was bad enough, but it gets even worse—they ended up promoting the manager to an unfilled position in a different department. I left shortly after all that.
28. The Takeover
I worked a job a few years ago for a company that was sold to new ownership unexpectedly. One day, a bunch of guys in suits walked in and announced that everyone in upper management was fired. Everyone else was required to do job interviews and substance tests to see if they would get to keep their jobs. It was absolute chaos.
Upper management started packing their offices and calling their significant others, crying. Middle management was running around trying to keep things functioning while preparing for their job interviews. Meanwhile, about four employees were very focused on the substance tests—one of them even went to hide in a shed on the property with a five-gallon jug of water from the water machine.
He drank the entire thing too fast and ended up going into a seizure during his interview from desalinating his body. Another guy went home for lunch and came back with his infant’s urine in a bag taped to his thigh. But the worst part was when they told me that I failed my test. I have never done substances in my life, so I was naturally angry.
I made them test me again and the results came back clean; however, it took two weeks before I was allowed to return to work. I stayed for like three more months after that, then I bounced. The new management was terrible and lazy. They blamed everything on the original employees and would say stuff like, “If you all were so good at your jobs, why did we have to buy the company?”
This was in 2008 when the market was in shambles from the housing collapse. Our original owner was a wealthy guy who had a dream of making it big, but he couldn’t sustain the losses forever and eventually sold the company.
29. A Near Miss
One night, I was doing night time delivery of bread all around Melbourne, to both stores and markets. I took my usual shortcut through the back of Brighton which involved going up a driveway and then turning through a grass park that led into the next main street. As I was driving towards the end of the road, I saw heaps of blue and red flashing lights.
I assumed it was a booze bus, but it was 3 am on a Tuesday morning, which was kind of unusual. As I got closer, I was confronted by a ton of officers pointing their weapons in my direction. I came to a stop and held my hands up out of just instinct. I approached one officer who told me to pull over on the left and not move until I was told to.
When they finally told me what all the fuss was about, my face turned white. Turns out, I subverted a complete lockdown of the street during an active shooter incident. I straight-up told them that I had simply cut through the park to make my deliveries. At that very moment, I heard a huge bang back down the road from where I came from.
I was told to get the heck out of there immediately. I found out when I got home at 6 am that I had driven right through a terrorist attack. The suspect managed to end a homeowner’s life during his rampage.
30. What A Shocker
My co-worker was removing the top of a tree. He was using a rigging system, but the guy on the ground let it run too far down. The tip of the tree ended up on top of a primary power line, and the bottom got wedged into the crotch of another tree, creating a nonstop current of electricity. It wasn’t too scary at first…but then the worst-case scenario happened. After the first few initial blue explosions, the tree started catching fire.
The poor climber had to stay at the very tippy-top of a spar and hang out there for two hours, breathing in smoke because he did not want to move and risk being electrocuted. The fire department eventually came, and the whole neighborhood went pitch black, but luckily no one got hurt.
31. An Unbearable Pain
A dad was co-sleeping with his new baby in a comfy chair in their room on postpartum. I was told that dad stumbled out to the nurses’ station cradling his cold dead child. We coded for an hour and we were able to get ROSC before shipping out via helicopter, but that baby was mostly brain dead by that point. The most heartbreaking thing is how it actually happened.
The baby got malpositioned and suffocated with its face pressed up against the dad. They ended up donating the organs a few days later. I’ve seen way worse things happen to babies, but this will always stick in my memory because of that dad. He was broken in a way that I’m not sure can ever be healed. Utterly, inescapably, indescribably, and permanently devastated.
I hope dad is okay. I hope that the postpartum nurse is okay. Practice safe sleep.
32. Maintenance Mishap
I used to work in retail at a big box store. We had a maintenance guy who was an immigrant from eastern Europe. He was always nice to everyone and was able to fix practically anything. One day, I came into work and saw the whole office and locker area was wet and they had these carpet drying fans everywhere. I asked what happened and my manager told me a pipe broke in the sprinkler room and flooded the front.
I was buddies with one of the security guys there and I asked him what caused the pipe to break. His revelation shook me to my core. He told me that the maintenance guy had hung himself in the sprinkler room by the pipe and it broke under his weight. It was really disturbing to find that out. The place was never the same after that.
33. Code Yellow
I’m a psych nurse in a psych unit. There was this one female patient who hated female nurses. When one of them brought the patient her medication, the patient screamed at the nurse and refused to take her meds. As the nurse left, the patient did the unexpected—she jumped on the nurse and tried to pull her eyes out. Luckily, one of the staff saw this and screamed out, “Code Yellow!”
The entire staff grabbed the patient and medicated her before she could do any real harm.
34. The Dressing Room Vandal
In the ’90s, I worked at a JC Penney Catalog Outlet. The catalog sold wedding dresses, so the ones that didn’t sell would be sent to the outlet. Typically, the fitting rooms were staffed by women, as you could only go into the fitting room of the opposite gender when it was empty. Since men tried on fewer clothes than women, it made pretty sense to have female staff there.
Please remember this was the ’90s, so people were not aware of gender identity and LGBTQ issues. A gentleman came in, informed the staff that he and his partner were having a ceremony, and that he wanted to wear a wedding dress. He reported to the staff that he identified as a female and he asked to use the women’s dressing room.
Due to the time period, and store regulations we were unable to comply. We did offer him the male fitting rooms though. The customer took the six dresses to try on in the men’s fitting rooms and we were unable to check on him. After three hours, we called security. They checked in on him and he said he was almost done.
When he finally came out, comes out, he said none of the dresses was his type. He left them in the dressing room for a staff member to collect. When she went inside, she was absolutely mortified. Every. Single. One. Was. Soiled.
35. Cast Iron Catastrophe
I used to work at this restaurant where we had seafood platters that were served on cast iron skillets on top of wooden planks. They were heavy to carry, needless to say. I was an experienced server and would carry those huge trays on my shoulder no problem. Well, one day, my table ordered six seafood platters, so I put them on a tray and hoisted it onto my shoulder.
At the time, I was 5’5″ and 100 lbs, so it was a lot for me. But I still got to the table without issues, with the tray over my shoulder and a tray stand in my hand. I put the tray stand down, but when I went to set the tray on top of it, I lost my balance. It was bad enough that I dropped six cast iron skillets, but then I realized where I had dropped them—right on top of this three-year-old kid, knocking him out of his seat.
Luckily he wasn’t injured; just covered in pounds of greasy fried seafood, fries, and sauce. He screamed, I screamed, and the parents screamed. It was pure chaos. Obviously, they got a free meal and a gift card. No tip for me, but I wasn’t even mad about it. I’m just glad I didn’t end the poor toddler.
36. Let It Burn
About 13 years ago, I worked at a Saskatchewan oil patch. I was on the last day of my seven-day hitch, and about 13 hours in. I hadn’t been sleeping much as I had lots of personal stuff going on. At some point, I got complacent—I’d been doing the same run for over two years and I knew each location and tank by heart, from which ones were finicky to which ones were likely to sand off, etc.
I was looking forward to my days off as my parents were on their way to visit me for their anniversary. My brain fell out of my head for two seconds, but that’s all it took for disaster to strike. I ended up pulling my hose off the valve without closing it first. Keep in mind, in Saskatchewan, they heat their tanks to help with the water and oil separation…
So I got doused in 160-degree water through a four-inch hole in the side of the tank. They had also just chemically treated the tank with defoamer, so the burns were partially chemical as well. I went to the local hospital where I was given a prescription for Tylenol 3 and a sick note for four days off work. When I went to another hospital nearer to where I lived (about an hour away), they told me I’d be off for at least two months.
It was too late for skin grafts, but I got lucky. I came away with one barely visible scar and, well, my life.
37. Caught Red-Handed
I work at a bar. One night, after closing and finishing up my cleaning, the supervisor made a round to check the premises. There was a locked stall in the washroom, so he got the master key thinking he’d need to wake someone up who had passed out inside. Upon opening the door, the supervisor was confronted with a startling sight.
It was a guy, with his pants down, making out with a woman. But here’s the kicker—the supervisor knew who the woman was. She was married to one of his friends…and the guy she was within the stall was NOT her husband!
38. All The Rewards
At my work, we have a rewards program where we need to ask for people’s addresses to sign them up. Some customers don’t want to give their address, so my manager told me to just enter a fake address she uses: 123 Tree Rd or something like that. Well, the other day, we got a call from a very confused man, and as he was explaining his situation, my eyes widened.
He said he got hundreds of coupons from us, all addressed to different people. Turns out, 123 Tree Rd is a real address, and the poor man was signed up for hundreds of rewards programs. Luckily, he was a good sport about it. When my manager got off the phone with him, we laughed about it for the rest of the day.
39. A Dark Realization
I used to be an officer back in the day. I did collision reconstruction and substance enforcement. I responded to a fatal accident once—the victim was 12 years old and it was her birthday. A lady made an unsafe left into the parking lot at Amazing Jakes. The worst part was having to inform that lady the stone-cold truth—that she was responsible for her own daughter’s demise.
Turns out, when she turned into the parking lot, she fatally hit her daughter. I can literally still hear this woman and her husband screaming in my head.
40. Instant Regret
I was working in a kitchen at a local restaurant. The staff usually cut corners to get more work done. I was working with this one dude and we were flipping the fryers at the end of the night, doing it hot. This dude was letting it drain into a pot while texting with one hand and, at some point, the phone slipped into the pot. That’s when things went immediately downhill.
His instant reaction was to reach in and grab it…He screamed, then pulled his arm out. I rushed over to take a look and I almost fainted at the sight. His skin was instantly peeling from intense third-degree burns. We hurried him to the hospital and the rest was history (and by history, I mean months of agonizing pain and skin grafts).
41. Stage Fright
I used to be a stagehand. In the theatre, the lights and scenery are set up by lowering a bar on a pulley system to the floor. Panels are hung on the bar while people on a catwalk in the rafters load metal bricks on a counterweight. One night, we were preparing for a show and the bar came down, but it was brought down too low to hang the lights.
We told the operator and he pulled the break off. It seemed fine until we realized that the counterweight had already been loaded. When he cut the break off, it was too late—the bar went flying. The stage manager grabbed the rope, trying to slow the fall. Big mistake. The rope quickly ripped through his glove and took off the top few layers of his skin.
A guy on the loading bridge did the same thing and got his hand sucked into the pulley. He lost a few fingers.
42. Gone Too Soon
My colleague went to the toilet. When she didn’t come back, we checked on her. She clearly needed an ambulance. Everyone downstairs was told to stay inside as she was taken down from our floor. The blinds were shut, so no one from the main floor had a clue about what happened. The paramedics continued working on her in the middle of the car park, but it was too late. Less than an hour later, she passed.
When the hospital told us what had happened to her, we were all shocked. They said it was a blood clot, which was surprising because she was still so young and healthy. It was the worst day I’ve ever had at work.
43. A Beautiful Mind
I worked at this place for years and it was a great family-run manufacturing company. We had a brilliant engineer who was smart, funny, good-looking, and personable, but something just wasn’t right with him. I was usually the last to leave the office, but on this one Friday night at 7 pm, he was still feverishly working away in his cube. I said good night to him and left.
The following week, on Monday morning, the whole office was in turmoil. I went around the office and what I saw sent chills up my spine. The guy basically went all Beautiful Mind on us. He spent the entire weekend in the office hiding files, hacking into emails, and doing all kinds of weird stuff. To top it all off, he turned it all into a game, leaving clues all over the place.
For example, on the president’s desk, he left a note with a riddle that led to the next clue. Overall, he had set up like 50 sequential clues. It was brilliant. I mean I love puzzles and I enjoyed the challenge, but the bosses were livid. Many of us spent the entire day trying to solve the clues and puzzles to get our stuff back. Every clue was impressive, but nothing beats the last clue.
It led us to his resignation letter. Because some of the clues had threatening statements directed to his boss and the head of engineering, the local authorities were called. It turned out that he suffered from a mental illness, but he had managed it for a long time with medication. His new girlfriend was Muslim or something she and was fasting for some religious holiday, so he had joined her.
Not eating had messed up his medication. He ended up hospitalized for a couple of weeks and tried to get his job back when he was released from the hospital. They did hire him back, but he didn’t last long after that. I think the stigma was too hard for him to deal with and he left for a fresh start.
44. Pre-Grave Digger
The body of my co-worker was discovered in one of our warehouses by our supervisor. Instead of calling 9-1-1, he took the wallet off the corpse. We know this because the deceased’s wife came up asking for the wallet as it was nowhere to be found. They had already cleared his locker out but the supervisor showed up and said he found it in the locker during a “second” check.
Needless to say, he doesn’t work here anymore.
45. So Heartless
A guy literally had a seizure and fell down the stairs. Instead of getting help or having someone else get help, our dirtbag supervisor made the most appalling accusation: “Oh, we need to test him for substances. He’s obviously faking.” Honestly, it made me feel not so bad when the dude faked certain situations to get me fired later.
He just honestly was such a horrible piece of garbage.
46. Bates Motel
I started working at a by-the-hour motel when I was 14. It was owned by a woman who didn’t bother with hazardous waste procedures. One night, she told me to clean up one of the rooms, and when I opened the door, my blood ran cold. I walked into what looked like a horror scene. There was blood everywhere, and she had only supplied me with bleach and kitchen gloves.
I was absolutely positive that when I pulled the shower curtain open there was going to be a body in the bathtub. Thankfully there wasn’t, just blood everywhere. The owner refused to let me report it and I didn’t want to get into trouble for bleaching a potential scene at 14, so I never did call the authorities.
47. Behind The Door
My colleague was absent from work for a couple of days and she wasn’t answering their phone, so my boss and I went to her home. The building manager gave us a key to her apartment (which was totally against the law, I know), and we opened her unit. What we saw shook us to our cores—there she was, on the floor, completely lifeless.
Even before we entered, I had already smelled something sickly sweet and I just knew it wasn’t good. We had to wait for the ambulance service to come to declare her dead…Turns out, she was sick for days and she didn’t contact a doctor or anyone else. She just slowly wasted away at home. I will never forget that first look into the apartment.
48. An Eventful First Day
10 years ago, I was in between career paths and I got a job in a hospital as a telemonitor. I was responsible for monitoring heart rhythms all night and looking for signs of heart attacks or problems. During orientation, they told us that if they paged “Dr. Strong” to a specific part of the hospital, that meant a patient was being combative.
Being that it was a small rural hospital, each floor would have to send two employees to attend the call. On my first day, a “Dr. Strong” was called overhead and my new coworkers thought “dive in head first” was the way to go. So they sent me to deal with it. Now, after years at that place, I’ve attended thousands of those calls.
Sometimes they are nothing, and sometimes it’s like Fight Club at work…but the very first one I ever took was so insane, I’ll never forget it. Me and my co-worker, a CNA named Shawn, were headed down to the ER when a scrappy woman who was clearly addicted to substances decided to go into one of the trauma rooms and rip the morphine line directly out of what I can only describe as a giant Valkyrie of a woman.
She then shoved the needle into her own arm, hoping to get her “fix.” Well, Valkyrie was not pleased to wake up that way. She saw what was happening, stood up, and took all the staff by surprise with her next move—she just started beating the ever-loving heck out of the woman. But the addict was not going to go down without a fight.
She clambered onto her back like a spider monkey and started wailing on the back of her head like it was a speed bag. Both of them had blood all over them, from the ripped-out IVs and punches to the face. Valkyrie had a black eye and cut lip, but the addict’s eyes were both swollen shut from the beating by the time we pried them off each other.
We restrained them, called 9-1-1, and gave our statements. Day 1 of my healthcare journey.
49. Breach Of Privacy
I used to be a math tutor for high school kids back when I was in university. I was teaching this one 15-year-old kid, Chris, who had a 20-year-old sister who still lived at home. I was going over a geometry problem with him one day when his father started screaming in the living room, calling for the daughter to come out. They had an epic fight, with the father calling her every name in the book.
Chris and I were cowering in his room trying to figure out what was happening. Later on, we found out what really happened and our jaws dropped. Turns out, his sister had cheated on her ex-boyfriend and he found out a few months after the break-up. Instead of being the bigger man, her ex decided to mail them all the intimate pictures he had amassed of her during their time together.
He also sent a note confirming that he had found out about the cheating. Usually, our lessons last one hour, but I ended up staying three hours that time because the fight lasted so long. I ended up sneaking out because I didn’t want to trouble them about paying me that time. I mean, they already had enough issues.
50. Overwhelming Toxicity
I visited this one Brazilian family weekly. The couple had a tumultuous relationship—he ran around on her all the time and was known to give her a smack every now and then. Any time she spoke up, he threatened to kick her out. She was undocumented and he wasn’t, so she and her kids would have been homeless or worse.
The social worker and I had been secretly working with her for a while, trying to get the authorities involved, etc. Then, one day, I was doing therapy with the baby when the husband came out to show me the revolver he just bought. His next words were appalling—he said he got it so that he could “deal with anyone who messed with his family.”
I felt terrible because they pulled me out of the home right away and left the baby there. I don’t know what happened to that family. Worst of all, our Brazilian translator just brushed it off, saying, “Eh, that’s just how Brazilian marriages are. “ It broke my heart.