Everybody knows that working in customer service is a thankless job at the very best and horrific at the very worst. But sometimes, it’s not the customer who is the problem—it’s the employees. The following retail, service, and office employees dealt with screeching Karens at the counter, only to turn around and find out the disturbing truth about their own co-workers in the backroom.
1. Stranger Than Fiction
Many years ago, the bookshop I worked at in the UK hired a new employee with terminal cancer. It was very sad since she was quite young. She wasn’t around too much due to the chemotherapy, but when she was in, she worked in the children’s department, and she was actually a pretty good salesperson. She was also was a huge fan of a fairly major American children’s author.
She ran the UK branch of his fan club and knew him personally. He occasionally flew her out to the States for events. One day, she wasn’t in, and all employees were called to a staff meeting. We were informed that she had passed. There was a lot of sadness, and her close colleagues were devastated. Then, we found out the jaw-dropping truth.
A few days later, one of our staff happened to go into a branch of McDonald’s in a nearby town. Guess who was working behind the counter? Go on, guess. Turns out, she was never ill. She had made the whole cancer thing up and also faked her own passing for reasons that we never really fully understood. The general consensus was that it started out as a way to connect with her favorite author and kind of spiraled from there.
In the end, she couldn’t handle living the lie anymore and so… she had her mother tell people that she’d passed. Then she got a job at McDonald’s a few miles down the road and was surprised when she got found out. That was a pretty what-the-heck sort of experience for us all.
2. I’m Special
Early in my Navy career, there was this kid whose after-hours stunts were absolutely legendary. He was a nice guy who always seemed to be smiling, but the stories about his off-duty antics were just insane. Nothing crazy dark, just WILD. For example, he solicited a contract marriage on Craigslist, with benefits. He also paid his “wife” an allowance as part of the contract.
He loved to pay for intimacy while he drove around with someone else in the back seat— he’d pay them to sit there, too. He has a big, weird list of bedroom proclivities. Anyway, it finally got to the point where his supervisor was concerned enough to refer him to a mental health specialist. By the way, that does not happen in the Navy. Usually, you’d be hung out to dry or end up behind bars LONG before anyone ever considers the mental health option.
He ended up being the only guy I’ve ever known to be a medically diagnosed psychopath. As he put it, smiling, “They said I have an inability to experience human empathy!” He had to go home.
3. The Tip Of The Iceberg
The finance director was having an affair with his assistant, who was married to a different employee in the company. That’s not the insane part, though. What’s insane is how we found out. I was the HR director at the time, and a court investigation is still underway, so some details have been changed. One day, the CEO approached me about rumors of the finance director’s affair.
In retrospect, maybe I should’ve dug into it, but things were busy enough, so I discouraged him from listening to scuttlebutt. I said we should only worry if we thought there was an operational impact. Private lives are private, in my opinion. A few weeks later, our auditors got in touch to point out that a subcontractor had the same company name as a dormant business owned by the finance director.
A quick call to him followed and he confirmed that it was a mere coincidence. “That’s funny,” said the auditor, “Because it has the same tax number, too.” Whoops! Things happened quickly after that. The finance director, who was on holiday, resigned before we could push him with extreme prejudice. But at the end of the investigation, it turned out that he had set up a pal to work as a subcontractor so he could cream the profits off work sent his way.
Plus, he’d also been making creative use of the company credit card and had authorized a company loan to himself. A check of the company cell phone records showed that there had been communication between his ex-assistant and him since he jumped. So we recovered her phone, examined the SMS history, and found out not only that she was telling him about the progress of our internal investigation, but also the full history of their affair, with explicit detail.
The assistant’s marriage imploded. She resigned. In the end, the whole affair swept up multiple employees who’d been involved in the fraud, gutted the finance team, and taught us all some valuable lessons.
4. We’re All Friends Here
I was the head night auditor at an upscale airport hotel. We had a young night auditor who put a room into “out of order” status and let his friends party in it…for an “intimate group event” that he joined during his lunch break. He got caught because of a noise complaint. We called the authorities, and he was fired and blacklisted from being hired back.
5. Do You Know Who I Am?
I was working in a bank. We had a teller who was about 19 years old and he got really angry at the way a customer would send in her deposits at the drive-up window. He ended up complaining about the customer on a public Facebook post. But, oh, that was far from all. He also tagged the lady, as well as her store, in the post!
The customer, who was furious of course, called the bank and told me. I told the customer we would investigate, and then I asked the teller. He straight-up admitted it, saying, “What’s she going to do about it? My grandfather is friends with the bank president.” I called HR and the bank president on a conference call.
The girl lost her job in less than 15 minutes of me receiving the call from the customer. Breach of customer confidentiality in banking is a MAJOR law violation.
6. Power Plays
I worked in a factory. There was a kid whose father was the regional manager, so he felt like he could do whatever he wanted. This kid was maybe 18 years old and went around flashing a knife at people he didn’t like…which was basically everyone. It had a six-inch blade and he kept it under his shirt in a holster. He also harassed all the women, never did any work and blamed the temps for his failures.
He would constantly be pushing up against women and telling them what he wanted to do to them, and he even took personal information from the computers for employee records to get their phone numbers and addresses. How he got access was easy—the manager above him let him use the computer with his password whenever he wanted because he always pulled the “I can do what I want because my dad is the regional manager” card.
He had tons of complaints against him. The authorities even showed up once and detained him at work, but nothing ever came of it. They took his knife as far as I know, but he had a new one a week later. Before I left, he was made a full manager, and whenever anyone went directly to his dad, his dad just sighed and kind of zoned out, acting like he couldn’t hear.
It was a messed up place, but luckily it closed down a few years back. I don’t know where he’s at now. A funny detail to add is some girl there did actually date him for like a month for some reason. She said it was literally the worst intimacy she ever had, so we got to have a laugh at him for a few days. That said, they had a massive argument and she was “let go” the next day when they broke up.
7. A Shady Past
We hired a guy on a trial basis. He was super polite and careful when speaking to me, but several of my female employees told me that he was creepy when I wasn’t around. After his first five days, one of them came to me and said almost verbatim: “I think he’s a molester.” She just had a gut feeling about him. So I ran a background check on him and…yep, he was convicted.
For what it’s worth, this was almost 20 years ago when it was not standard procedure to run background checks, and I was not in charge of that regardless. In this case, I requested it specifically from HR because the safety of my employees appeared to be at risk, but not one other time in my career did I feel the need to ask for one.
8. In The Money
I knew a guy who worked at Subway back when they gave out stamps. Basically, for every six inches of sub you bought, you earned a stamp. Once you filled a card with eight stamps, you could get a free six-inch sub. So this guy started only giving stamps to customers who asked for them. If they didn’t ask, he pocketed their stamps and grew a sizeable stack of complete stamp cards. Then he set his brilliant plan into motion.
Over time, he started cashing them in. Like, when a customer paid with cash, he would ring it in as a freebie, place his own completed stamp card in the till, and pocket the cash. The customer got their sub, the till was balanced, and he had an extra five to 10 bucks in his pocket. He worked there for a few years, and the word was he racked up a few thousand dollars running this scheme.
I have no idea if anybody complained or if he was ever caught, but he did buy a motorbike.
9. Every Dog Has Its Day
There was this guy named Gus who worked in retail with me. My boss told me, “Hey, this guy’s got anxiety, go easy on him OK?” So I was like, okay, that’s cool, I can relate. I did everything I could to help him make sense of the infernal godforsaken hellscape that is retail. He started off with little mistakes that were forgivable things—forgetting a task, accidentally giving the wrong information…things like that.
However, he quickly devolved in popularity as his complacency grew over time and his helpful attitude shrank. Gus started screwing around during his shift, getting caught on his phone while ignoring backup cashier calls, etc. He would also make stabbing motions behind the manager’s back to other employees, then and play it all off like he was some innocent dope who didn’t know any better.
None of this got him fired. Day after day, there was a new complaint from a different employee about some responsibilities he shirked. He also got reported for telling customers blatantly wrong info, saying stuff like, “Oh yeah, we have another location up on the hill” when we didn’t. We had no idea whose son he was or whatever because that was apparently all kosher. What ACTUALLY got him fired was a doozy.
One day, he brought a dog wearing a super-expensive dog collar into work. He claimed he almost hit the dog on the way to work and it was running around wild, etc. He then tried to sell the dog collar to a customer, and even pushed to “adopt out” the dog to a co-worker. This co-worker was competent enough to take the dog to a vet, whereupon they found a microchip and contacted the actual owners.
THAT’S where the fun started. It came out that Gus never found the dog at all. He straight up KIDNAPPED this dog from his neighbor and tried to pawn it off, knowing full well what he was doing. The guy lawyered up immediately, tried to sue Gus, and threatened to sue the store and the store manager if Gus wasn’t fired. Suffice to say, Gus was gone the very same evening. We talked about him for years and years.
10. Mental Health Check
He was a new hire. He was kind of weird and definitely suffering from a lack of social skills, but whatever. Well, fast forward a few days—a customer came back to return a piece of merchandise, claiming that when they got home, there was blood on it. We looked. Yeah, there was blood. We looked up the transaction, which was only made about 45 minutes earlier.
The new hire had set it up. We went to find him, but he wasn’t in his department. But that was not necessarily a big deal, since we had to go back into the warehouse for stuff all the time. So now we went to find him in the back and there he was, in the warehouse, cutting his wrists with a razor blade and bleeding all over the place.
11. Work Is A Four-Letter Word
I was a supervisor at a movie theatre. We had a new hire, who had been on the job less than a week, throw a very loud, unbelievably childish tantrum in front of a lobby full of customers. Why? All because her direct supervisor asked her to sweep up some popcorn that a customer spilled. She kept screaming, “I ain’t cleaning up someone else’s mess! Make them do it!”
She was 24 years old. The meltdown she had when she got fired for her tantrum was nuclear, with lots of screaming and threats about how her parents were going to “call the company and get everyone fired!” The next day, someone claiming to be her dad did call and told us that we were “going to rehire my daughter and apologize to her or else.”
But nothing more came of it—the top manager just laughed and hung up. I’ve never seen such an epic, entitled tantrum before or since.
12. Oh, Poop
Our construction worker took a dump in the toilet of a vacant apartment that didn’t have running water and then left without saying anything. All the workers were aware that they are supposed to use the bathrooms in the offices and clubhouses because the vacant units never have running water. The complex didn’t find it until three days later when they brought in a potential tenant for a walkthrough.
It had been over 100 degrees all week. The woman I spoke to said there wasn’t any toilet paper, either.
13. An Acquired Taste
I had a co-worker who always had a really strong stench, and I thought it was just bad BO. Turns out, she was addicted to mothballs and she was licking them during working hours. The chemicals gave off an unbelievably strong smell through the skin. We got complaints about her odor but didn’t take them seriously since we thought people were just being jerks.
That is until someone saw her actively licking mothballs on the job. I was leaving my job when this was discovered and I was sworn to secrecy because it’s not the kind of thing we can advertise around our office. It was the kind of smell where you could never really quite put a finger on what it was, but once we figured it out, it made a lot of sense.
It doesn’t smell exactly like the real thing…more like it’s been processed through the body and skin.
14. Phoning It In
I’m an HR head. I once got a call from a “private chat administrator” informing us that our official account was unpaid. They said they would take court action if we didn’t pay immediately. I thought it was a joke. And then we got an official notice! At that point, HR investigated, and the “chat” company sent us a copy of the phone calls.
As soon I played it, my co-worker’s face went white. She screamed, “I know this guy, he works in the supply chain!” Apparently, he had been making these chat calls using our company landline. We politely told him to pay up and settle the matter, and then we issued him a final warning letter. He’s lucky he didn’t lose his job that day.
15. Why Can’t We Be Friends?
I work the night shift at a packing line. We had two new temps in, and they were polar opposites. One was a super bubbly religious guy who was pretty emotional. Like, he cried during his favorite songs. The other guy was grungy, pretty cynical, but a darned good worker. Well, they both ended up working on adjacent lines and I was training them.
Things were great until the bubbly guy decided it was his mission to befriend the grunge guy. The grunge dude wanted to be left alone so he could work, but the bubbly guy kept going to our team lead to tell her he couldn’t understand why the grunge guy wouldn’t be his friend. My team lead, who was oblivious and despised by most of our crew, came down and told them to play nice and be friends.
I told her that bubbles needed to leave grunge alone, but she wouldn’t have it. Grunge walked out, and bubbles cried for two nights straight. He never came back.
16. You Think You Know Someone
We had this guy as a delivery driver. He was super nice, quiet, and never showed any signs of anger even in stressful situations. Then we started getting calls, mainly from older women, saying that our delivery driver was cutting them off, flipping them off, and calling them names. I didn’t believe it at first. I thought maybe they cut him off, he honked, and they wanted him fired so made up some big story.
Then I saw that the back window got busted out of the vehicle and the radio looked like it got punched out for whatever reason. Everything came together and we found out he had huge anger issues. He stopped showing up so it resolved itself, but it was crazy how good of a front he put on.
17. Long And Strong
This girl left an unbelievable and non-flushable gigantic poop both in and out of the toilet. I went into the bathroom to deal with what I thought was surely an exaggeration and probably just a standard, nasty diarrhea mess. But no. There was a single, unbroken, enormous log that was hanging down over the outside of the toilet seat, going up over the seat and back down through the hole into the drain, as far as the eye could see.
All in one piece. Flushing it had no effect. None. It didn’t budge, it didn’t wiggle. Nothing. Gravity didn’t even pull it apart when it hung over the side of the bowl halfway to the ground. It was…well, it was unbelievable. No one knew what to do. No one wanted to clean it up. Someone wondered aloud if we should send her to the hospital. Honestly, I can’t remember what happened next, only that there were tools involved, but I can still see that monster poop like it was yesterday.
It was in 1997. I could never look her in the face again. I just kept wondering HOW? Mattie, wherever you are, I hope you’re doing better.
18. Drive Me Crazy
This happened recently at my driving job. I got this person through our training process and we set him out to train. The trainer came in, exasperated. Apparently, this dude couldn’t even drive, which was supposed to be the easy part of the job. He also couldn’t secure cargo, which was more challenging, but still a relatively straightforward task.
He started crying while driving, and he ignored instructions. This went on for a week. Eventually, the trainer said he was not going to be able to pass the guy. I told my boss his options were to have him retrain under another trainer, do a ride-along with him so he could draw his own conclusions, or just terminate the guy. Eventually, my boss opted to do the ride-along with him.
The guy nearly caused a wreck, all while doing exactly what I told him not to do just three minutes before. During his ride-along, he ran two stop signs and nearly had a head-on collision. My boss wanted to give him another week as long as he didn’t mess up his paperwork…but then he proceeded to back out of the lot with both hands off the wheel. Yeah, that was it.
19. Fake It Till You Break It
I got hired as a long-term temp with one other person to do some basic data entry work at a major brand that pretty much everyone has heard of. It was at their corporate headquarters too, so pretty prestigious. Anyway, we went through all of this on-boarding stuff in the morning that required us to get photo IDs and figure out parking and all that stuff.
Then, after two or three hours, we were introduced to one of the employees in the new department. They began telling us what we were going to be doing. None of it seemed overly difficult and I figured that while it was a new system I had never used before, I’d be able to work it out in a few days as long as I asked questions and took notes.
And that was the thing that made me realize that the other person who got hired with me probably lied on her resume. She was completely out of her depth—she didn’t take any notes or ask any questions. And whenever I glanced at her, I could see flashes of panic on her face. Well, lunchtime came and when we came back, she said that another company had called her and offered her a permanent position so she couldn’t work with us any longer.
Both myself and the person training us knew what was going on, but I’ll give the other lady credit for finding a way out without losing face too badly. The takeaway here is: Yes, “Fake It Until You Make it” can and does work. But you gotta be able to fake it. You can’t fake faking it.
20. Best Friends For Never
I had a co-worker who was adamant about being my friend, and I did not reciprocate. It got to the point where I went to the owner of the company and straight up told them, “Please tell this guy I am here to work. I don’t want to be friends. I just want to work my job and then go home.” I had told him several times before that that he was making my job difficult and I didn’t want to be friends.
I thought it was finally resolved when I went to the owners. I was so, so wrong. The next day, he came in and told me, “Even if you don’t want to be friends, I still see you as my best friend.” Eventually, I went in to quit, and instead, they called me into the office to let me go. They said even though I was their hardest worker and got the most customer satisfaction the atmosphere was “too tense” when we both were working.
See, he had anger issues and would curse up a storm if I didn’t respond kindly to friendly banter. In front of customers. He would literally ignore customers to ask me things like, “What’s your favorite movie?” making me have to stop what I was doing to help the customer. He’d then go into the backroom and kick something or spew just tons of profanity that you could hear if I didn’t answer his question.
He even had a habit of yelling at and harassing customers. Anyway, the owners decided it was my fault for not wanting to be his friend. So they let me go. Really. Then they handed me a paycheck for $20 and told me not to worry, they hadn’t taken the taxes out. I heard they made him a manager and then later fired him after finding out he was taking merchandise.
I liked that job until he was hired.
21. Thank You, Next
My document-processing clerk was getting married and going on his honeymoon, so I got a short-term temp. It wasn’t a temp-to-hire, and everything was out in the open through a legit temp agency that generally performed thorough screening. Well, on the temp’s very first day, he showed up with a box of things: photos, mugs, office equipment, and stuff to decorate a cubicle with.
I advised them not to unpack since we were getting right into training. Within two hours after I cut him loose on a computer and told him, “Let me know if you need anything or have any questions,” he said, “This mouse is hurting my wrist. It gave me carpal tunnel. I’m going to need worker’s comp paperwork.” I made an immediate call to the agency to end this contract.
I then told the temp, “Your paperwork is at the temp agency office. Go ahead and go see your rep there.” He left their box of stuff behind and I had to have the temp agency pick it up.
22. Working For The Weekend
My co-worker at a sandwich shop when I was 17 would “steal hours” by coming back to the store to clock himself out a couple of hours after he left. We made minimum wage and he was canned after the fourth time he did it. He took, at most, 40 dollars with that brilliant strategy.
23. Red Redemption
I had a horrible supervisor once. I was working in the snack bar at a local Target, and we’d gone through a handful of employees who just didn’t work out for whatever reason. Then, they hired this guy—I’ll call him Red because he had reddish hair. He was to be a supervisor. He was probably in his late 20s, early 30s, somewhere around there. He was also a total jerk.
In case you don’t know, all the department leads at Target had walkie-talkies and headsets. Red had neither because we just didn’t need them in the snack bar. Red, however, insisted that we did and threw a fit to multiple department leads, including the customer service lead, about it. Because of the store’s location, we often had construction workers come in to grab a quick breakfast.
One of the construction workers who came in regularly for about two to three weeks was a lady, and Red decided to try and hit on her. When she told him she was married, he upped the ante. One day, she came in, and before she could even walk up to the counter, he reached out and grabbed her hand, trying to pull her towards him. Baaaad idea.
The next day, her husband, who was several inches taller, heavier, and more muscular than Red, came in and told him to leave his wife alone or he was gonna get it. Another time, Red started hitting on one of the pharmacists. She didn’t want anything to do with him, so he followed her out to her car. When she locked the door and told him to get lost, he walked to the back of the car and started pushing up and down on the bumper.
This obviously freaked her out and she called the authorities. The absolute last straw was when he pulled a no-call, no-show. I’d left a note for our lead supervisor about his no-call, no-show and Red became absolutely furious at me. Like, screaming in my face, threatening to hit me. THAT got him fired. Why his other creepy behavior didn’t, I’ll never know.
24. It’s Always The Quiet Ones
We had an employee that was actively robbing local banks on his days off. I believe he hit eight to nine different banks before he got caught, and we only found out about it during an early morning FBI raid of the employee locker/break rooms, which was done in conjunction with a raid of his house. To say it was a shock was an understatement. He wasn’t even top 20 of my list of potential felonious employees.
25. What Goes Around Comes Around
My boss at a tech company was incredibly awful to me. Among many other things, she made me do push-ups for every minute I was late due to public transportation delays—even though the delays were somewhat normal for the commute I had. For “team bonding,” she would take us out to drinks and proceed to get blacked out. She was also sleeping with two of the other people on my team.
There were multiple times at said “team bonding” events where she and one of my other colleagues disappeared into a bathroom…I brought up some of this with HR when I quit, but no one ever looked into it. All the same, she ended up getting fired a few years later due to harassment. Worst boss EVER.
26. The Jewel Mule
The critical items at our jewelry counter were anything over $500 and they had to be counted at the start and end of each shift. Well, items kept going missing, and one of the other employees complained that it was a certain lady stuffing it up her hot pocket. Security took her to the bathroom. It was true. She had a men’s necklace shoved up there.
I can’t imagine who she was going to give that to.
27. No Really, Pick On Somebody Your Own Size
I worked at a huge, well-known international company. There was this young, straight-out-of-college guy who we had just hired—as in, his first day had been the same week. He had moved from Eastern Europe to our corporate location. Cue company ski trip, with lots of free booze—some of his new colleagues who he thought were his “friends” told him that this woman was checking him out.
He started hitting on her, and mind you, he was already tipsy at that point. She told him to knock it off and that she wasn’t interested. He kept being pushy. This large, scary dude beside the woman also told him to knock it off. He swung at the large, scary dude, and promptly found himself face first in the snow. The woman in question? Head of global HR. The large, scary dude? Head of global corporate security. The young schmuck? Fired.
28. Watch Your Mouth
I was a shift lead at a gas station. I had a customer tell me that one of my guys, who was like 80 years old, told him to “screw off” after the customer rolled his eyes at the price of an item. I talked to my guy because I was sure that, at the very least, the circumstances were different than the customer had claimed. Nope. It happened just like the customer said.
My guy apparently didn’t realize his speaker was still turned on and said his spiel as soon as the customer’s back was turned. The guy turned around and that started an even bigger verbal fight. I was mulling over what to do about it, but the very next morning, the employee showed up to work wasted, yelling about a bonus check that we owed him. That’s when he got fired.
29. Party On, Sue
I used to work as a night auditor at a hotel, and one day I was told that one of the daytime workers was fired. She was this really sweet older lady who worked part-time. It was really hard to get fired there, so I was very curious. I soon regretted finding out the answer. Several customers had complained about her, concerned that there was something very off.
She was slurring and just seemed very off that day. Management was also concerned, at first thinking there was a medical issue. After a few more incidents, they checked the cameras and found out she was taking shots of straight Smirnoff throughout her shift. Like, an absurd number of shots. I can’t remember how much, but I remember being rather impressed that she could function in any capacity.
30. Out To Lunch
I worked for a staffing agency early in my career. One day, we got a call that one of our placements was taking his lunch break and not clocking out for it. Oh, and he was taking two-hour lunch breaks. Also, he brought in his George Foreman grill and cooked for himself in a highly flammable warehouse. So many crazy stories from that place…
31. The Wrong Man
My boss lost an internal power struggle and was soon fired. The official reason given was that he was submitting doctored expense reports. I wasn’t promoted, but was still given all of his responsibilities…plus I inherited his administrative assistant. Suddenly, charges for car service, local hotels, and local stores appeared on my corporate credit card.
I asked the assistant about the charges and she gave me an explanation that was plausible but that I knew wasn’t accurate. So I called the credit card company and contested the charges until they provided more information. I also started doing some of my own research on the charges. That’s when it all became frighteningly clear. Turns out, the assistant was a drinker who lived with her dog in the local hotel—a hotel that I was getting charged for.
She was also having the car service pick up her booze at the local store and deliver it to her at the hotel. Why? Apparently, her dog had a nervous condition and he liked that hotel. He would get upset if she went out to the store after she got back from work, so she used the car service so she wouldn’t leave and upset the dog. She charged the expenses to our corporate cards because we “owed” her for making her come to work and leave her dog alone.
I got her fired and successfully fought the credit card charges. Even though I found the person actually committing the expense report problems, my boss was still considered “fired for cause” because he signed those expense reports.
32. A Bad Egg
I just fired an intern because he thought it’d be funny to smack one of the girls on the butt…except, that was just the tip of the iceberg. Upon further investigation, she had been having anxiety coming to work because he would ask all sorts of ridiculously inappropriate questions. For example, he once asked her if she had a good weekend.
When she told him yes or some plain answer, he then asked her if it was because she slept with her boyfriend a lot. Needless to say, her anxiety was warranted and we fired him as soon as we could. The mood in my group seems a bit more relaxed this week…
33. Everybody Has A Breaking Point
This was shortly before I joined the company. I’m the dispatcher for a local food delivery service. Anyway, we had this driver and she apparently decided enough was enough one day. The complaint was that she was an hour late and was very confrontational and messy. While being sternly reprimanded, we got another call from the customer.
They had opened the order, only to find mashed up a French fry and ketchup soup that she had made of a kid’s meal in the order. The chicken fingers were also eaten down to the burnt ends. They got a full refund and were offered a fresh meal brought by another driver, but they refused. When we confronted the original driver, her reply was “What? I was hungry. The fat little porker who answered the door could have missed a meal or two. What are you going to do? Fire me?”
She then tried to sue for discrimination because she claimed she was fired because she was gay.
34. It’s Not A Good Fit
I ran an in-house training course, and an apprentice from another department was sent along to see if she’d be a good fit for the job. It was a small room lined with computers along three walls, with me and a projector at the front. We had lots of practical examples to work on throughout the day, so each person sat at a computer for the duration.
We all agreed on a 30-minute lunch break, but she demanded a longer lunch as she had “things to do.” I declined her 1.5-hour lunch break, and she took it anyway. She then used her computer to apply for another job during the practical part of the course. She had chosen a computer at the back, so I couldn’t see what was on her screen from my position at the front—or, at least, she thought.
I paused to get everyone’s attention but she was so engrossed in what she was doing that she didn’t notice. I let the silence hang, which usually works to get people looking up sheepishly, but she still didn’t notice. Everyone in the course was now looking at her screen and we could all see she was applying for another job. We got through the course and I reported her to her manager, who fired her.
She left the company a negative Facebook review naming me as someone who harassed her because of her mental health.
35. Full Of Hot Air
I’m a mechanic. I had a co-worker who would poke a hole into customers’ tires just so they would come back and buy more—yes, he did it to new tires as well. We finally caught him one day after I found it odd that it was only the customers he put tires on that kept coming back for more tires. At first, I thought maybe he wasn’t putting enough air into them, so I kind of hawk-eyed him without him knowing.
Sure enough, he would put the tire on the rim, and then he would put a small slit with his pocket knife into the tread on the tire. Caught him red-handed. Fired on the spot. Screw you, Brett.
36. All Signs Point To “Fired”
I managed a girl who was a loose cannon. She was a drinker who had multiple appointments every week. Psych, physio, solicitors, all of it. She was constantly disappearing from work at random hours for like half a day, and as her drinking intensified, she would show up stinking of booze. I’m a former drinker and the same age, so I tried my best with her.
Anyway, she was on the long stretch towards getting performance-managed, but she sped it up herself. We shared a building with the council and knew all of the staff, including the council rangers who patrol the streets and give tickets, etc. One morning, on her way to work, she saw a street sign she wanted to take to give to a friend (I cannot tell you why).
She pulled a screwdriver from her bag (why she had it, again, I cannot say) and unscrewed it while standing on a milk crate…in front of one of the rangers. She then brought it into the office, told everyone, and asked another staff member to hide it for her in case a ranger came looking for it. Then she also put photos of it on Instagram with the office and company signage in the background.
We had a meeting planned that day about her absenteeism and she told me about her little crime too because she thought it was a good laugh. Anyway, it took a few days, but she quit when HR started investigating.
37. High On Your Own Supply
I worked an administrative job and a new hire came in. We thought something was up with him as he was always spaced out, but we decided maybe he was just settling in. Then, one day, he called in sick only to turn up five minutes later…having no recollection of our conversation, he went up the stairs to the office and walked straight into a wall.
When he got to his desk, he watched sports on his computer which facing the whole office. We asked him to highlight some lines on a page and he colored the whole page in instead. We told our boss we thought he was on something. The boss thought we were exaggerating—that is until he kept doing things like this and we had to let him go.
We later found out he was a dealer selling out of his bedroom.
38. Wasn’t Me
I only know of this because it involved myself. I was a new hire at a security company, and I’d only been there about four months, give or take. One week, I was given a new assignment with a couple of other guys on rotation. Someone who got hired a week or so before I did gave me the obligatory tour of the site and pointed out some hot spots.
They showed me some key equipment that needed an eye on them, etc. Less than a week of shifts go by, and the same guy offered me a bump. I declined. Then, just over a month later, I had a perfectly fine shift with no issues. About an hour before my next shift started, my boss called me up, furious at me. Obviously confused, I got to the place early.
Well, the place had been turned over. The equipment is gone, the fence is busted wide open, the works. One of the on-site trailers has been broken into where just over a grand was taken from a safe I knew nothing about because it was always locked. Still, I was blamed as the culprit. It took less than five minutes of conversation with the boss to get it ironed out.
See, not only had stuff gone missing from this place, but other stuff had gone missing from other sites the other guy had been to before. For example, one of the things that were taken was towable, and they found it in the guy’s driveway. He might as well have dipped his hands in red paint. Needless to say, he didn’t work for that company after that.
39. Don’t Mix Business With Pleasure
I was working for an agency in New York City, and we went to a series of client meetings for starting a new project in Boston. One of the project managers who worked for the same agency in the LA office flew in and joined us for the week-long meetings with the customer. He was a super nice guy who did his homework and gave really good presentations.
Everyone liked him. After wrapping the meetings the whole week, I flew back to New York that Friday. The next week, there were supposed to be video conferences with the client, but they sent an email at the last minute saying that they are canceling all the meetings. Well, none of us thought much about it and carried on with the day. Until we found out the chilling reason for the drop.
In the evening, we learned from our boss that this “super nice” guy had sent his intimate photos to one of the female members of our client group. None of us could believe this, but it turned out to be completely true.
40. You Can’t Hide
I was a production control analyst in a call center about 10 years ago. I saw and heard more than you’d probably believe, and helped to term out more people than I will ever be comfortable with. The most insane but true complaint came from the housekeeping staff. The janitor walked up to me one day and said, “I got to close the men’s restroom for a bit. I don’t know who done it, but you need to find him.”
Someone had smeared poop all over the walls in there. It took some detective work, but we found him; a guy had been hiding his mental issues when he started work there, and apparently, he hadn’t been taking his medications in a while because he didn’t want us to find out, even though he had insurance through us. So he went nuts and started smearing his own poop all over the restrooms.
There were apparently some other aberrations that led us to him and were listed as the actual behavioral reasons for his termination, but I never got the details.
41. Hope It Was Worth It
When I worked at Sam’s Club, one of the cashiers pocketed a few grand from his drawer and put it on Facebook. We were a new club, so if that much money went missing, it would have taken them a while to figure it out. Or so I was told. However, one of the managers overheard and they put two and two together. He was fired and then put behind bars.
42. Five Second Rule
One of my current co-workers told me this story the other day: He used to be a manager at a fast-food restaurant. He said that one night, after a busy rush, a woman called his store to complain that her fried food item had hair all over it. The manager denied this claim and assured the lady that the food items had never been in contact with hair, and would never have left the store in a dirty manner.
He backed his store and employees all the way and insisted that the woman was mistaken. Upon further investigation, one of the kitchen employees admitted that she had dropped a food item on the floor that night and didn’t want to risk having the customer wait an extra five minutes to make a new one. So yeah, very hairy burger, order up.
43. Feedback Welcome
I was reviewing employee evaluations at a Fortune 500 company, and one of them complimented an employee for improving as “he hadn’t yet eaten any glue this quarter.” I thought it was a mean joke about his intelligence, so I went to the manager and asked if there was a way she could cut the insults. Manager: “It’s not an insult. I caught him eating glue twice last year. Wrote him up for it, too. He’s the reason the folks in documents have had to switch to different glue types.”
In these same comment evaluations, I found a comment card in our suggestions box that said, “Improve your seafood selection! Your trout made me sick!” We were a hardware store. The boss mentioned it at the next store meeting, laughing and taking bets on which customer left it and which store she’d mistaken us for. Marko, one of the assistant managers, went white as a sheet.
Boss: “What’s the matter, Marko? Trout got your tongue?” Marko: “Umm, no, but that might have been me. I told a couple of customers about all the fish I caught on my vacation, and one of them asked if I’d caught any trout.” So he sold them some trout.
44. Surf And Turfed
I once had a co-worker selling our shrimp from the dumpster. He picked them out after brunches, popped a few on a skewer, and then sold them in the bars that night. He eventually got caught in a bar with the manager, and the CCTV caught him dumpster diving.
45. A Hard Day’s Work
I spent my summers in college working as a laborer for a construction company. We were doing a bunch of renovations in an active hospital, so noise and dust were a huge concern. We were a small crew and just starting renovations on an area with a super tight schedule, so the company hired a subcontractor for some of the work. Enter these two clowns who showed up to do some demolition work.
The foreman gave them the talk about how they may be used to doing things a certain way, but as they would be working in an active hospital, he’d rather the work take longer than for them to make a huge mess or a lot of noise. An hour later, we apparently got multiple complaints about the noise and the mess, so the foreman called me up and told me to go over there and clean up. He also said he’d be by shortly to see what the heck was going on.
These dudes had dust and broken pieces of wall everywhere. I could hear them halfway down the hall, just smashing away without a care in the world. The foreman showed up and we walked into the room to witness this dude standing on a pile of rubble, swinging a sledgehammer over his head at a brick wall that he’d removed the bottom. Somehow, the rest of the wall was still hanging from the ceiling…I have no idea how.
The guy wasn’t even wearing a hard hat, apparently oblivious that at any moment that wall might give way and crush him. The foreman lost his mind on these guys. He kicked them out immediately and got on the phone with their company and told them he didn’t want to see these guys on-site again. Lots of choice four-letter words were used, and he even threatened to fire the subcontractor entirely and get someone else to do the work.
46. Toxic Environment
I had a number of complaints about a new member of staff soon after she started. They said that she kept taking off her shoes, pulling dry skin from her feet, and eating it. I thought the other staff was lying and being mean about her just because they didn’t like her…Until I saw her do it. She didn’t finish the week, but not because we fired her.
She quit about a week later. She didn’t really get on with the other staff because they all thought she was a bit gross, and she quickly got into a bad mood because of it. That said, I’m not entirely blaming her. It’s a small group of staff, and they all collectively decide pretty quickly if they like or dislike someone. If they decide they like you, you’re golden.
If they decide they don’t like you, however, you are shut out. By all of them. It’s quite a brutal environment psychologically. She got cold-shouldered pretty quickly, and left before the week was out.
47. You Don’t Need It Where You’re Going
The cemetery director was selling plots, pocketing the money ($750), then selling the same plots to other families. The other families would show up ready to bury their deceased, only to find the graves already being used. He got away with it for a year.
48. Let’s Go To The Tape
A colleague checked out of the mediocre but adequate hotel where we were having a conference and checked into a 5-star luxury resort. She then submitted an expense report for her stay. She claimed that she felt unsafe in the original hotel, but did not elaborate. Someone called the hotel, which checked the security camera footage. We all thought she was crazy, but we were proven way wrong.
At least four separate men tried to enter her room that first night. No wonder she left.
49. Imperfect Strangers
I found out that this guy was stalking a female employee. We worked at a 24-hour retailer and she was a morning shift worker while he was a night shift worker. Basically, there was no way they knew each other. Then, one day, I was filling in for a different manager and he came into the break room, taking pictures of the morning shift schedule.
I asked him why and he told me some story about another employee who just wanted him to send their schedule to them. I came in on my day off later that week during the day shift and caught him staring at her from a different aisle while she was stocking. She had no idea. The full story was so creepy, though. He would follow her home and watch her house and all that.
She was 17, he was 38. I called the authorities and had him escorted off the property. I also helped her get in touch with the right resources for a restraining order. He ended up violating the order multiple times and the last I heard, he’s behind bars.
50. The Doctor Is Out
I used to work at a rural hospital in Texas. We had a surgeon who was always asking the assisting nurses to leave the OR to get some random supplies. Fun fact: you are never supposed to have only one person in the OR, but he would always figure out some way. These were minimally invasive surgeries that just required sedation, so there were no other assists besides nurses.
He was the only physician. The door would also “mysteriously” lock and the nurse would have to knock to get back in. One of our nurses got fed up and knew something was going on, so she set up her phone to video him. That footage still haunts me to this day. It turned out he had been taking his, uh, “manhood” out around the patient. He was of course fired, but horrifically, he did not lose his license.
51. I Don’t Like The Cut Of His Jib
This guy was teasing another employee really, really badly. Like, American high school movies in the ’80s badly. The reason? He was from out of town. That was it. I thought there HAD to be more to the drama, so I went to the location, interviewed a few people, watched it happen myself, and…yeah, it seemed like this guy could NOT take the fact that this kid was from another state.
I was absolutely expecting the sort of drama that location was more famous for—like baby daddies, sleeping with someone’s wife, etc. But nope…