No one likes doing thankless jobs, but horrible co-workers and bosses can really make a day at the office a living nightmare. From the office dunce to a rival cubicle mate, no paycheck is worth these terrible on-the-job experiences.
I Guess It’s Just Me and You
I was promoted to VP of my company. The company was in trouble, and the CEO had asked me to figure out why and fix it. I arranged for a random drug test. All employees, the CEO, me, everyone. All on the same day and everyone went down at the same time. Even said I would ignore weed but anyone with anything stronger would be gone.
We get the results back and I fired everyone who had tested positive for any drug other than weed. The CEO and myself were the only two people left working for the company.
About a month after this lady started, she ran into the building bawling, saying she had breast cancer and would need one day off every two weeks for treatment. Our director complied—until it was revealed that the lady had been caught shoplifting and was taking the time off to go to meetings with her parole officer. She then got fired.
By Popular Vote
I worked in an office with four other men. One day, after a mass shooting, I wondered out loud which one of us was most likely to come in one day and harm the other four. For fun, we cast ballots, each of us writing down who we thought would do it. All five of us wrote down Pete—which means Pete even voted for himself.
Don’t Take Your Work Home
My boss would show up at my house after work hours to discuss work stuff. When I asked him to stop, he tried to fire me. When at the HR meeting the following day, I explained my story and showed them the video from my door camera. But something even creepier came out of the conversation. They literally go “John, we’ve talked about this” to him.
They asked me to leave the room. Two hours later, he walks out and announces that he’s leaving.
I’m on to You
I was working late one day and my dumb co-worker, “Stacy,” and another co-worker who work later than me were both there. Stacy was a few feet from me and the other co-worker didn’t know I was working late that day. So she comes out of the break room and says “Oh, you’re still here?” I jokingly say “No, I left!”
Honest to god, Stacy jumps out of her seat and says “HE’S LYING, HE’S STILL HERE.”
In Bed With the Enemy
One of my co-workers was a 20-some-year-old girl who initially seemed nice. Then she made a dark confession. She took the liberty of informing me that she had previously been detained in Korea—for trying to kill someone. Apparently she attacked a woman with the end of her stiletto heel. Obviously, I tried to be extremely nice to her even though she was an incompetent fool because I didn’t want a repeat of her incident to happen to me.
She began dating our boss (who was well into his 50s) and, unsolicited, shared graphic details of their bedroom life with me. All the time. She couldn’t properly work our computer system, and whenever she’d fill out paperwork, she’d mess it up…and everyone else somehow got blamed for her errors. Thankfully, after she and my boss broke up, she left.
I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me
I worked at an office supply store, and one day I saw that one of my co-workers had a picture of me. In the picture, I was standing at the register, so it was taken at work. I asked why he had it, and he just tried laughing it off like it was funny. Later on, he tells me he’s been putting his own memory card in the store display cameras and taking pictures of me. He goes on to inform me he has more pictures of me saved on his computer at home.
Like Taking Milk From a Baby
I worked at a preschool. A lady in the infant room and was lying about feeding the babies. She was just dumping their bottles down the drain and making up numbers for telling the parents how many ounces they were “eating.” She got fired.
Many Swings, Many Misses
He asked literally every female in the office to go out with him. The married ones were told that he was great for problem marriages. Lesbian women were told he could “straighten them out.” The office at that time was fairly strict. His behavior was so over the top, it went past unacceptable and into parody. Everyone was just too stunned to really take him seriously.
Several of the women joked about what they were offered to date him and mockingly feigned insult at how “low” they ranked on his date-meter. HR finally took action when he started aggressively pursuing one woman. He had flowers delivered to the office with a note. The note’s contents got him fired. It said: “I can make you happier than your husband.”
Once, at a company party, my coworker grabbed a wedge of Brie cheese and took a bite out of it. I later asked and pointed it out to him and he said, “This cheesecake tastes really weird.”
I Left You a “Present”
There was a fellow sales associate at my work who was a bad employee in general—taking items and cash from us repeatedly, not respecting our boss, not showing up for shifts, etc. All that stuff. If she had worked anywhere else, she would have been fired. But I will never, ever forgive her for what she did last month.
Our store is only open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday right now. On Saturday night, she took a McPoop in the bathroom and didn’t flush it. It sat in the HEAT of the store with the bathroom door open all weekend. When my boss and I walked into the store on Tuesday morning, I literally threw up in my mouth.
This Girl Is on Fire
I used to work for a landscaping company and over the course of a summer, I witnessed one of my co-workers accidentally set three different things on fire: a hedge trimmer, a truck, and himself.
Small Business, Big Problems
Small business. 20 employees +/-. Boss made a big speech about austerity measures and no raises this year. A week and a half later he drives up in a brand new Silverado with all the bells and whistles. Expensed to the business of course. He would hate to have to pay taxes on those profits. One of the less subtle members of the staff took a literal dump in front of his office door.
Did I Do That?
My boss was trying and trying to save data to a thumb drive and eventually asked me to try on my computer because hers wasn’t recognizing it as a storage device. She gave me the device. It was an external battery pack. This is only one of so many stupid things she’s done. She is usually too stupid to even realize that her problems are because of her own mistakes.
The Dating Game
I worked as a barista for a while, and I had this one customer who came in a few times a week. He was awkward, not in a cute way, but I didn’t think much of it. He’d try to start a conversation and I’d be polite but I wouldn’t necessarily encourage him. He mentioned where he lived, and I noted that my chain had a coffee shop in his town, but he drove a couple of towns over to mine, which I thought was odd.
One day I’m at work and he orders a coffee. As I’m making it, he starts talking about how cool and pretty I am and asks if we could go out sometime. I was pretty annoyed and I politely declined, saying I had a boyfriend—which I did at the time—and he said “He’s lucky, I wish I had a girl like you,” which creeped me out.
That was on a Friday. I come in for my shift on Monday. What I see chills me to the bone. He’s behind the counter in a uniform. Excitedly tells me he got a job here. I didn’t really know what to do. Not only did he continue to hit on me and constantly try to get my social media from me, he was absolutely incompetent, and a health hazard.
He came in with a disgusting rash on his arm once and he would scratch it and then handle people’s food. I told the manager if she didn’t fire him I’d quit—I was the longest working employee there by far, so I figured she’d fire him. She didn’t, so I left.
My Boss Is a Heartbreaker
I had a doctor that constantly ignored patients in serious pain. He thought all of them were faking it to get pain medication. After a senior director at Microsoft passed on from a heart attack in our ER that he refused to do an EKG on, I went to management and told them what I had seen.
I Wash My Hands of You
I worked in a bookstore. We had a café, and the cafe manager was my worst co-worker ever. She was nice and all but sooooo unhygienic. We’d had to discuss more than once not using the dish sink in the café’s backroom to bathe (???) herself in. She always smelled slightly sour, just like all the freaking time. Then we made a horrific discovery.
One day while covering the cafe manager’s break, an employee found a pair of freshly stained underwear that she’d washed in the dish sink hanging off the counter in the café’s back room. She finally got fired for that one.
My old boss tried firing me because I was better than them at their job. I tricked them into saying it out loud, in front of the CEO. Let’s just say they don’t need to worry about me being better than them anymore.
Tie One on
I used to work with Brian—about 230 pounds of pure software geek. He had a full beard like Grizzly Adams. Baths and showers were not on his list of important things to do. Once, we flew him to the client site to help solve a pesky problem. I reminded him to dress for the occasion. I greeted him at the front lobby and was shocked to see him with a collared shirt that had never been ironed. But that’s not all.
His tie was TIED DIRECTLY TO HIS NECK! Not under the collar, just wrapped around his neck. When I mentioned it to him he said, “If that’s my only problem then we’re in good shape.”
A Close Shave
Working in an open-concept office where we used an instant messenger to communicate. One day working late, it’s only me and That Guy. He disappeared for 20 minutes then came back, but I didn’t notice much. He types to me, “Hey do you like my haircut?” and I look over and he has just LOCKED eyes with me after shaving his head with a razor in the bathroom.
Respect Where It’s Due
I used to work in an air traffic control tower. We would fairly often have new pilots visit and see the airport and what happens from the air traffic control side of things. I was on a break when a particular pilot was visiting, and I was the only female air traffic controller in that workplace. The visiting pilot finishes his cup of coffee, hands me his mug and says, “Wash that would you, love.”
By the time he’d returned to his aircraft, my break was over. He, unfortunately, found himself at the back of a rather long departure queue. I wanted him to have some time listening to the frequency and absorbing the fact that if a woman is in a professional environment, she’s probably not the freaking tea lady.
I worked with an awful boss. He would always flirt with the young female staff and make us all uncomfortable, even though he was 50 years old. We all knew his wife and two young children, but about six months into me working there he began to “date” a 22-year-old customer. By date, I mean he used to go downstairs to his office and sleep with her—all while he was on shift.
No one was allowed to talk about it but we all knew. He knocked her up quite quickly and ended up breaking up with his wife, but he still flirted with his staff relentlessly even when his new baby was born. He once told a male employee that he liked asking female staff to pick up things from low shelves so we would bend over and he could check out our butts.
He always broke health and safety rules if he could get out of doing a task he didn’t want to. He was prolific at asking staff to clean human waste—vomit/poop customers had done on the floor—even though anyone cleaning that stuff needed to have passed a certain health and safety qualification. I spoke to my assistant manager about this and she confirmed that only management can do it, and I should refuse next time.
One day he demanded I cleaned up vomit in the male toilets, and I refused, repeating what the assistant manager told me. My boss went absolutely mad—he wasn’t used to people standing up to him. He told me to come downstairs to his office to speak about it. At that moment I knew I wanted to quit. So I let him know it in the best way possible.
I told him I won’t be going downstairs with him, and when he asked me why, and I replied: “The last girl who went down there with you ended up getting pregnant.” I lost my job instantly but it was totally worth it.
The Cheese Stands Alone
After not getting a promotion after his review even though there were no positions for him to move into, nor was he anywhere near qualified, this guy created a petition to have our sales manager fired and went around to everyone in each department and asked them to sign it to support him. Nobody signed it except for him.
Read the Room
We were interviewing candidates for an open position and had it down to two people, one was white and the other was black. We were at a meeting discussing the two candidates when our guy was asked how he felt about them. Mind you, our Director and CIO were there, plus the whole team of IT staff. His response was incredibly disturbing.
“Well it depends on if I have Jungle Fever.” The room went quiet, and one person just said, “I think I need to leave now.”
Sometimes It’s Best to Keep Your Mouth Shut
The company consisted of something like 1,200 employees at the time, and rented out a big conference center for a Christmas party. At the opening of the party, the CFO was giving opening remarks, and asked—expecting cheers—if everyone liked their Christmas bonuses. He got booed. See, of that 1,200 people, a bit over a thousand were in customer service.
No one in customer service got bonuses, only people in the “corporate” departments got bonuses. And our awesome CFO decided to rub everyone’s noses in it because clearly, the Chief Financial Officer of a company would have no idea that 80%+ of his company didn’t get bonuses. At the same party, the CEO made an announcement that the company would be closed on Friday (Christmas that year was on a Thursday), and everyone got a day off.
Now, he had literally just finished making a speech about how everyone was important, and everyone was part of the company, no matter the department. He had shoveled it hard, trying to make CS happier. The next day, we all got a memo that Customer Service still had to work on that Friday. We apparently didn’t count as “everyone” and the CEO just hadn’t realized that the announcement wouldn’t apply to anyone. January saw a 60% attrition rate.
It’s Lucky He’s Good-Looking
Years ago I worked retail at The Sharper Image. Paul was another sales guy who had really phenomenal genetics. He was in his late 30s and looked to be in his 20s, contrasted by another 24-year-old coworker who looked 40. Anyway, Paul lived with his wealthy parents and aspired to nothing more than going out clubbing after work.
He was not particularly smart, but very well-off. One time, Paul apparently lost his cell phone at a club. He didn’t bother reporting it or anything, and later got a $4,000 bill. He just paid it—wasn’t worth the trouble. We had a dehumidifier for sale on display. On a slow day, we convinced Paul to drink the water out of the dehumidifier.
Our manager found out later and just sighed, shaking his head and muttering, “Paul…” That was just the kind of guy he was.
The Bad Scientist
I had a girl starting her PhD in the lab I worked in. She was the embodiment of entitled, lazy, and spoiled. She’d come late, leave early, do next to no work, and constantly complained she needed more money. After a while, we all just hated her, mostly due to the fact that while we all worked our butts off, she did nothing.
However, the bosses didn’t seem to care at all and just let her hang around in the lab for years. When the time came to hand in her thesis, we were all curious what she’d hand in, since she basically hadn’t done any work. I was convinced she’d somehow weasel her way out of it, like she had done all the times before.
I was convinced that when you can pull off being in a lab for years doing no work but no one fires you, you must be somehow a bit clever to pull that off. But she got what was coming to her. She failed so spectacularly. I’d never seen anyone fail like that before or since. So note to everyone: you can’t be lazy and stupid; you can only be one of the two.
A Clear-cut Issue
My co-worker who was recently fired once filed a lawsuit against Papa John’s seeking $350 in damages. He ordered his pizza to be cut into squares not wedges, they didn’t listen to him the first or second time ordering. He got the manager on the phone the third time, who said he was going to personally do it.
When it wasn’t done, he called and raised heck and the manager told him off, so he sued.
Jan the Scammer
I worked in data entry with her at a debt settlement office. She got suspended for a few days for actually tossing the mail rather than processing it. This included settlement offers, up-to-date balances, and letters from debtors. But that’s not what made her the worst co-worker. Like I mentioned, this was a debt settlement office.
We took monthly payments from people in order to settle their debt, so we had sensitive banking information to process their payments. Well, she got caught using their information to buy things online. That’s right, this woman literally took money from the poor! People who are already in debt and she took from them! The lowest of the low. She went into HR crying and begging them not to fire her.
They told her they didn’t call her in to fire her, they called her in because the authorities were outside to arrest her, and they escorted her out of the building.
I used to work with a gentleman who pooped himself on a regular basis. We used to time how long he had between washing, sometimes it was up to three months, we could smell him at the opposite end of the building. He once had what could only be described as a “Poosplosion” in the bathroom, and attempted to clean up after himself.
When I heard what he’d done in there, I wanted to puke. What he actually achieved was to further smear the matter around with a filthy toilet brush. He would have gotten away with it, except he was the only person in the loo, and we work in a high-security building, with access passes to get in everywhere, and the next person in was a manager, who just looked up who was last in the bathroom.
He admitted it, and they made him clean it properly this time around. He also once requested to go home and change after pooping himself when he sneezed. He was told to wash, change, and come back, but didn’t return all day. The next day, when he returned, he still hadn’t washed, as he stunk and his hair was still greasy.
When asked why he didn’t return to work, it turned out that he had sneezed in the car, pooped himself again, and it shot out the top of his trousers and up the seat, and he spent all day cleaning the car.
This Lady Gives Me Bad Vibes
My sister is a school psych and every week, there is a stupid-long meeting of just the psychs in the district. “That lady” is into some mystical, energy-related religious bent and she carries on her this crystal, on the end of a ribbon, on the end of a wand. So someone will be talking in the meeting, venting their frustrations or explaining a work-related headache, and the woman will start twirling the wand-ed crystal at the person. AT them.
A “resume speaking while I lasso up your negative energy” sort of service. Doesn’t matter if the person wants it or thinks it’s weird as heck, she just sits there twirling the crystal at you, and then after much a-twirl, she’ll lightly touch it to the person and be done. Negative energy demolished!!
Standing up to the Boss
I had a boss who kept on getting angry at me because, “I wasn’t doing what he told me to do.” So I came up with an ingenious plan. I decided to start writing down exactly what he told me, dated it, and kept record of it. Then one day came where inevitably, “WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?!” “Exactly what you told me to do.” “I NEVER TOLD YOU TO DO THAT!”
“Well, I have it written here…” pulls out note card “On 5/22/16 — you told me specifically to do this task, exactly like this, and never do it any other way.” I finally won. I started standing up for myself a bit more in the office, and I was respected for it.
Stan the Man
I used to work in sales. There was a guy there named Stan. Stan was money. He tried so hard to be social but didn’t quite know what he was doing, which often led to hilarity. Stan and I were at a co-worker’s place with a few other guys and were having some beers while watching a hockey game, just relaxing.
It was second intermission and Stan was a wreck—he doesn’t handle his beer well. He was making samosas in our co-worker’s oven and decided he wanted to make himself a caesar. He took the cap off the mix, turned to talk to me about something, and while talking to me started to shake the juice…with the lid off.
Juice everywhere, but he cleaned it all up and had a mound of paper towels on top of the stove. But don’t worry—Stan’s insanity was just getting started. The oven dings, his samosas are ready. He opens the oven door, but needs to clear off the paper towels from the stovetop so he can put the cookie sheet down. He stood there staring at the situation for well over a minute, totally confused as to how he was going to get out of this pickle.
I gave him a plastic bag to put the dirty paper towels in, so the stovetop would be cleaned off, problem solved. “Good idea, thanks man,” says Stan. Nope. Stan then used the plastic bag as an oven mitt and picked up the hot cookie sheet out of the oven with nothing but a thin plastic bag between his hand and the hot metal.
The bag instantly melted to his hands and he burned himself pretty bad, smashing the sheet against the wall. Samosas everywhere. We had to take him to the hospital, but we were all way too out of it to drive, so we all walked 15 minutes to the ER.
I worked in a restaurant with a guy, let’s call him Don. He was a germaphobe. Once while Don was on break, he ordered bacon and eggs. He was watching when one of the cooks picked up the bacon with his hands and put it on Don’s plate. Don then took the bacon off the plate, found a bottle of Purell, and covered his bacon in it.
Then he poorly rinsed the bacon in the sink before eating it. Complained about it tasting funny. Don was standing next to where we throw the cutlery into the dish pit. One of the girls threw a butter knife in, and it almost hit Don. He accused her of trying to stab him for weeks, and never talked to her again for the rest of his time there.
Don got fired for taking a poop in a garbage can during his shift and leaving it there. The garbage can was inside the staff washroom not even a foot from the toilet. This one still bewilders me.
Your Reputation Precedes You
Caleb. He was a software developer, he was very very smart and stupendously incompetent in the ways that only really intelligent people can be without everything collapsing around them. Everyone hated him. We cheered when he finally left. He was condescending to the point where he would stand behind people and tell them what to type on their computers.
He was a colossal jerk. Years later, another co-worker was getting his security clearance. I got interviewed as a reference. One of the questions was “Did the applicant get along with everyone?” I said, “Yes, except for one guy.” I couldn’t believe the interviewer’s reply. She just said, “I’ve heard all about Caleb, and I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a more universally despised person in my life.”
Crazy Dave Rides Again
When I worked at Costco, one of my co-workers was “Crazy Dave.” The guy was the earthly incarnation of the emotion of suppressed rage. If you had a break scheduled for the same time as Crazy Dave, you would wait until later to take it, because otherwise you’d be forced to sit there and listen to this man spit profanity and hatred through clenched teeth toward the company, the managers, the co-workers, anything else you could possibly discuss.
One of Crazy Dave’s jobs was to use the floor cleaner every night; it was basically a riding mower where the blades had been replaced with a floor buffer. You’d be standing there, re-stocking after closing time, and eventually he’d wander by on this thing at 30 km/h muttering under his breath through clenched teeth wearing an expression of pure rage.
A Running Start
When I was 16 years old, I worked at the public library in Miami. We had a girl, let’s call her “Nancy,” who worked there. Every day at 5 o’clock, her dad would park outside the front door and honk once. Nancy would come out and they’d leave. One day, good ol’ dad parked and honked. Nancy was nowhere to be seen.
So dad honked again, and again and again. I was sitting at the checkout desk. Suddenly, I see Nancy dashing towards the automatic doors. As I see her running at that high rate of speed, I know there is no way that the doors will open in time. As I look on, a train wreck happens. Nancy does not slow down, and hits the door at full force.
The doors don’t break, and she bounces back about six feet right to the floor. We were all speechless. She gets up like nothing happened, says, “See you guys tomorrow!” and leaves casually.
Joke’s on Him
Halloween. Dude dressed up as a mushroom cloud. Funny right? Then proceeds to force five visiting Japanese business dudes to take a picture with him…in front of his boss.
Going Down in a Blaze of Glory
I had an issue where our district manager was purposely not correcting my pay to reflect the raise I’d been promised, so after six weeks of him blowing me off I called corporate HR. They came down on him like the fires of Mount Doom. He drove to my store and tore into me in front of customers for “not being a team player” and going over his head.
Six months later, we’re informed our store is closing and the employees can transfer to other stores. Oh, but not me, I was told I’d never be welcome in the company again because I “wasn’t a team player” so I would just be laid off after the store closed. I was devastated, and it felt so, so unfair. But I got my revenge.
This boss also told me he needed me to oversee shipping our product out to other stores based on a list he had. Yeah, none of those stores got what he wanted on that list. I spent three weeks shipping whatever to whoever, playing my own music over the store speakers, and telling customers about a whole bunch of exploitable loopholes in store policies and systems. What was he going to do? Fire me?
It’s the Little Things
I work at a domestic shelter, and our ex-executive director was asked to resign because she had embezzled over 25 grand worth of our grant funding. She was a garbage human, doing things to the employees that were the same things that clients are escaping from. I never did stick up for myself, because it was easier to let her curse and scream and be done. Until one day, she pushed me over the edge.
She has been skirting the blame in our small town since she resigned. The other day, she sent a mass text out to all current and past employees, once again passing the blame on to our current director and our board. I had had enough of this drama and her, and finally told her that she could politely “lose my number.” That one small thing made me feel SO empowered.
At my first professional job, I worked with a 28-year-old woman who might as well have been 10. Her parents picked her up and dropped her off, she had to have them constantly reassure her, and her mom handled most of her affairs for her. I honestly never really understood why the office tolerated her incredible childish nature.
The top moment for me: She got really emotional because a baby bird fell out of a tree outside. Her mom had to come pick her up, while her dad tried to put the bird back in the nest. Then, I shared that my family dog was going to be put down, as he was 19 years old and his quality of life was nearly zero. This caused her to enter a screaming fit where she locked herself in the bathroom, and then she couldn’t figure out how to unlock herself. We had to call a locksmith via building management.
Karma Comes for us All
I had an awful group project teammate in college. Didn’t do any work, didn’t care, basically flaunted his laziness in front of us. But karma got him soon after. He applied for the company I worked for about a year after college. My bosses asked if I knew him and I took so much glee in saying: “Yes, and do NOT hire him.” It was the ultimate peer review revenge.
Naughty Naughty Lulu
I had a co-worker who knew every episode of the Teletubbies by heart. He was like 30 years old with no children.
Nobody Likes a Snitch
I worked with this girl who just stopped caring about certain aspects of her appearance. Every single day she wore makeup, but she didn’t appear to wash the makeup from the day before off before applying today’s. She stopped combing her hair and ended up with a massive dreadlock on top of her head (she was white).
When she leaned over you, dandruff would fall all over the place. She’d wear flip flops daily and you could see the dark marks around the straps from where she hadn’t washed her feet in a couple days. Once her feet were purple for three days. But that’s not even the weirdest part. On top of all that, she would go shopping and buy all these nice outfits and wear them into work.
So she cared about her appearance somewhat—except one day a week when she’d wear a too-small white tank top that had dirt stains on it. She also kept a log in Excel of when people would come and go throughout the day and use it to try to get others in trouble; she would email my boss every day to let him know that I had come in “late.” Once I wore glitter nail polish and she reported me…we had no rules about nails or their colors.
It’s Not Me, It’s You
When I left a job I was invited to meet with the CEO because he was unhappy I was leaving and wanted to understand why. I explained that I was not being paid enough and the recently announced pay rise was not good enough. His reaction stunned me. Instead of taking the feedback, he got irritated and in a patronizing tone started trying to lecture me on how I should have handled that situation better.
I interrupted him. Well, he didn’t like that. Just for good measure, I added “I’m leaving, I have nothing to lose” and then informed him that I had already been let down over pay multiple times, had witnessed others trying to get more pay and being refused, so I had no interest in begging to be paid what I already deserved to be paid.
Digging for Gold
Current co-worker. She does a lot of weird stuff that is mildly annoying. But the one thing I cannot handle is she always has her fingers up her nose. You’ll be talking to her and she has her hands on her face (on her cheeks Home Alone-style), then her pinky starts moving towards her nose and then…fully inside and poking around.
I worked with this guy in the kitchen of my college who we called “Bicycle Bill.” Bill was a non-traditional student, mid-40s, lived with his mom when he wasn’t at school, short, and a bit stocky. He lived in the dorms his freshman year with an 18-year-old dude—who was shocked, to say the least, when he saw his new roomie.
We called him “Bicycle Bill” because he had a muscular issue that caused him to randomly lose control of his limbs, yet he still chose to ride a bike everywhere. He wrecked it at least a couple of times a week. He also wrecked his car, his mom’s car, and his roommate’s car, in a matter of one month. Bad month for Bill.
However, the weirdest thing about Bill was he would carry around a 64 oz jar of peanut butter around to eat with his hand. His hand was constantly covered in peanut butter goo.
A Man of Few Words
I worked briefly with this guy, Alan, at an insurance company who literally never spoke, except for his first day when he announced to the office that he’d been in a movie as a zombie extra. After that: not a word. Even when we had to drive around together for 8+ hours trying to sell insurance, he never talked once.
To make things weirder, sometimes he would just wander around the office looking at a blank folder. Then he got fired, making him probably the first person ever to get fired from a pyramid scheme company. Sorry Alan: your experience as a zombie is not relevant in the real world.
No Going Back From This
For me, it was a girl who was really quiet most of the time. Then one morning, she phoned in saying her son had passed on. We were devastated—until we found out the dark truth. We called her mom hoping to get an address to send flowers. Instead, we found out the grandmother didn’t know he passed on. She phoned back about 10 minutes later saying the son was alive and well and the girl just wanted a day off. We never saw her again.
Do You Know Who My Father Is?
The boss’s daughter. She was a piece of work. Horribly entitled? You bet. Bad attitude towards everyone? Goodness yes. She made it clear that she thought everyone who worked there was lazy, stupid, and taking advantage of her father. Also, she was thoroughly convinced that she should be running the business because she would do it better than anyone else, including her father!
She had an uncanny talent for sniffing out problems, areas where things weren’t being done right. At one point, when asked to provide a professional reference for her, I mentioned this in a positive light. The problem was that her idea of a solution to the problems she found was “do it right” or “do it better.” The idea that she should help solve the problems she uncovered seemed utterly alien to her.
She worked for her dad’s business because no one else would hire her. She kept that job because her dad would never fire her. When her father hired her older brother, and was openly grooming him to take over the business, then she finally left, after securing a generous severance package. I quit a while after that, but last I heard, she was back working at the family business again…
I worked at a summer camp during college and had one fellow counselor who turned out to be weird as heck. One day, we’re taking the kids on a hike up a mountain to camp out for the night in a big lean-to. Just as we get there, I tripped and gashed my knee open on a rock. It was deep, and immediately started pouring blood.
I ask around to find out who has the first aid kit, and it turns out to be this guy who I haven’t worked with before, let’s call him Dave. So Dave, rather than giving me the first aid kit, insists on treating my wound. Blood is flowing all the way down my leg at this point, so rather than argue I just sit down so he can take care of it. This, ladies and gentlemen, is where it gets disturbing.
He takes a wad of cotton, wipes the blood off my leg, and then puts it up to his nose. He takes a deep whiff of the blood-soaked fabric, his eyes closed in what appeared to be pleasure. That in itself was bad enough, but then he opens his eyes and looks directly at me. I’ll never forget what he said next: “The smell of blood is beautiful.”
The Bald-Faced Truth
We hired this girl. She was completely bald. No biggie, I assumed cancer. Well, one of my other co-workers took the plunge and asked. Her answer? “I woke up one day with a bad hair day and said that since I make as much money as my husband, I shouldn’t have to deal with this.” And then she shaved it off herself. She was fired a few months later for offering to sleep with the owner of the company for favors.
Don’t You Dare Be Good at Your Job
My first job out of college, I worked in an HR department. We hired a new VP of HR, so, technically, my boss’s new boss. Before Day 1, I scheduled a flight of hers and forwarded her all the information along with a friendly email saying that I was very excited that she was starting at our company. I told her to let me know if she needed anything.
Very typical email for me to send, didn’t matter your role at the company. Day 1, she walks in and asks for me specifically. I stood up and smiled and went to shake her hand warmly, because who asks for the lowest on the totem pole? She refused to shake my hand and showed me an email. The email I sent her with her flight information.
She asked what was wrong with it. I was alarmed and read through it again, then had to sheepishly admit I wasn’t sure, but I’d love to know for next time. What she said next made my blood run cold. She told me, “You come across as SUCH a brown noser! I came to talk to you first so you could rub your face in my butt now and we could get it over with.” Ummm.
I told her that’s how I talk to everyone at the company, I see us all as a team and that’s how I work. She guffawed and handed me a piece of paper she had shoved in her pocket. “Here, good to know you are for real! You can get started, then.” My list of tasks included getting her computer set up (already done), her email up and running (already done), her new passwords (already done), and a few other things for comfort around her office, which I could complete in about five minutes.
I did so and returned promptly. She slapped the piece of paper out of my hand and called me a liar. I told her making sure that she was comfortable on her first day was part of my job and I accomplish many of the tasks before new employees arrive. She asked me to escort another employee into her office, so I went and got that employee and brought them down to the new VP’s office.
That employee was promptly fired, no reason given, and the two had never spoken before…and I was asked to escort that employee out. It was at that moment I decided to start looking for new roles. The new VP basically made me her gofer for the next three months while I looked. I was denied any vacation requests, sick leave, breaks, whereas my peers in my department could do whatever, whenever.
About one month into her tenure, she pulled all of us into a room and made sure we were sitting down. She then told us that a department member of ours had passed from suicide over the weekend. We were shocked and saddened and obviously emotional. VP then did two things: she didn’t let us go home to mourn in peace and we weren’t allowed to tell anyone that this employee had passed, only that they were no longer at the company.
I could only apologize when people asked, say I was not allowed to talk about it, and quietly suggest that they Google her and that they could come to me with any concerns. Her obituary was public and one of the first things you would see on a cursory Google search. VP went to the funeral on the company’s behalf and forbade us from going. We ended up putting a picture of her up and paying our respects that way in a corner of the office.
I finally got an offer and went to resign with my two weeks’ notice. I told my direct boss first, who congratulated me, and he also said he’d tell the VP for me since he was so worried about her reaction. The new VP came in screaming about how working for her was the opportunity of a lifetime, how could I pass that up, I am an idiot, that’s why nobody can be trusted. I was so glad to get out of there.
I was let go from a non-profit basically because I wasn’t rich enough to socialize in circles that had big money to donate to the organization. I then got a job at a large funder for non-profits. My old job eventually came knocking, and I had the ear of the CEO. It was one of the most satisfying moments in my life to have that power and a friendly reminder to treat all people well.
Oh man, where do I begin. I worked for a medical supply company that specialized in oxygen therapy and other supplies. I worked with this guy, we’ll call him John. John was very religious and was a part of one of those cult-like churches who speak in tongues and force their beliefs on you. One day, he went too far. He tried to get into a religious discussion about homosexuality.
I politely passed and told him that I didn’t have a problem with it and what two consenting adults did in the privacy of their own bedroom was none of my business nor his. After while he saw that I wouldn’t play into these discussions at work or any other time, and this made him angry. John would act very Christian until something made him angry.
He would throw things around the warehouse for having to do his job. One time, he decided to throw an oxygen tank, filled with 2000 psi. He regretted this decision when it hit one of the tank carts, sheared off the top, and took off like a homing missile right back at his shin. The aftermath was truly disgusting. I believe his shin was like a jigsaw puzzle that had to be put back together, because it looked like a bag of Legos between his knee and ankle.
What’s even better is that since he was such a jerk to me and everyone else he worked with, I decided to let the manager know how this happened. John spent months out of work and fought the company to get workman’s comp, but when they found out how it happened…he was denied. I’m assuming because he was an idiot with a short fuse. Instant karma.
The Leisure Lawyer
I was supposed to train a new junior at my firm. He showed up at 11:30 AM when the workday starts at 8:00. On his first day. When he sat down, I asked him what was up. He said “Am I late?” and I said everyone gets in at 8:00. “Oh, I’m so sorry, but I won’t be able to come in earlier than ten.” What the heck? No reason was given.
Sadly, I do not have the authority to fire someone, and my boss was out for the day, so I stuck with him. At lunch, he arrives back half an hour late. At three, he starts packing his bag. I ask where he’s going. He said home. I told him that he had to work the full eight hours. He refused and left. He said no one still works an eight-hour day.
I promptly left my boss a voicemail, and when new guy strolled in the next day (at 10:30), the boss fired him on the spot. Apparently, this 22-year-old guy has never worked a day in his life. It was shocking. He thought that working less than three hours was appropriate.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
As I walk into the bathroom one day, all I see is my co-worker pooping in a urinal. He sees me and we just awkwardly stare at each other for a few seconds before I walk out.
The Customer Is Always Wrong
We’ll call her Anne, because that was the insane woman’s name. Anne, as she loved to remind me, worked in bookshops for 25 years. And yet somehow in all that time she had not learned how to 1) be polite or helpful to customers, 2) keep track of stock properly or use the computer ordering system, 3) answer the freaking phone.
I once saw her make a customer cry, she was so rude to them. She once complained to the manager about me because people would ask me questions instead of her—this was apparently my fault, silly me for being nice instead of belittling people for daring to not know something. She attempted to blame me for other screw-ups she was responsible for, one of them on a day when I wasn’t even in.
During her time at the shop, three other workers left because they “Couldn’t work with that [bleep] any more” (direct quote). Her hair was reminiscent in style and color of a WW1 pith helmet.
I worked in a doctor’s office and we had a maternity leave that was being covered by help. Well, one person who came to help cover the office had been passed from office to office because she couldn’t do anything right, she couldn’t take a patient back in under 20 minutes, she couldn’t file paperwork, it was just bad. Then one day, she did the stupidest thing I’ve ever witnessed.
So she arrives at our office and we put her answering phone calls, she answered the phone, “This is doctor X’s office, can I take your order.” My manager lost it and told her to leave and never come back. The worst part is, she called the boss and asked for a new assignment, he had to repeat 3 times that she was fired and there was no new assignment. She genuinely did not understand what “you’re fired” meant.
A guy at my work, let’s call him Roger, claimed you can get “high octane racing fuel” by mixing 89 Octane and 93 Octane gas in your tank. Roger told me, on my first day here, seven years ago, that if I wanted to know any good Asian massage parlors nearby, he’d recommend the “good” ones with the happy endings. First day at work.
He used to watch webcam girls from the Philippines on his desktop at work—stripping, doing other unsavory things, etc. Then he went over and married one, and now she lives here. She’s half his age and probably less than half his size. He took a Filipino co-worker to see his buddy’s band at a local bar—turns out it was a biker bar frequented by a lot of some kind of supremacist-style bikers.
The co-worker told me that there were signs up extolling the virtues of ahh let’s say, what he thought of as the master race, and that everyone was glaring at him the entire time he was in the bar. When he pointed it out, Roger just laughed and said, “I come here all the time, it’s no big deal.”
Roger snores through meetings. Roger at one time had some kind of narcolepsy or something and would fall asleep in his cube. Co-workers frequently threw things at him to wake him up. The weird thing is, he’s actually a pretty nice guy. If you were in trouble or something and called him at 3 am to come bail you out, he’d do it, even if he’d only met you once, for like 10 minutes. He’s very friendly and sociable—he’s just really strange.
One day, I phoned my boss to tell him I won’t be at work for the rest of the week, as my mom is terminally ill in hospital. The next day, about an hour after she passed on, he phoned and asked why I wasn’t at work. I just hung up on him so I wouldn’t say anything that would get me in trouble. Then I came up with a plan to get even.
The next day, I sent the area-manager a WhatsApp message explaining what my boss had done, and also attached a video of him breaking the freezer door while having a tantrum, which cost the store nearly $5,000 in lost stock. It worked so beautifully. That jerk got fired that day, all while I got two weeks off with full pay.
I work in ER registration. This co-worker smelled bad. She never shut up and always talked at max volume. Very very stupid. Needed a Chevy’s waiter to read and explain the menu to her. She needed to keep a list by her work station to remember how to spell basic words like “stomach” and “heart” and “emergency.” She also insulted others based on their appearance.
She asked me how much I would pay for a laptop. When I asked what kind, she replied: “A stolen one.” During a snowstorm, she bragged that she was a better driver than everyone else and that everyone else is stupid. The next day, we hear that she got her car stuck blocking her apartment’s parking lot. When she got out of the car, she fell and couldn’t get back up.
A man tried to help her up, but couldn’t lift her. After a second man came to help, she insulted the first guy and said he wasn’t a man because he was too weak to lift her. She weighed at least 300 pounds. She was eventually fired for sending a person with weakness and chest pain home to get his insurance card.
Luckily, the hospital’s shuttle bus driver recognized him coming back out of the ER and was like “Wait, weren’t you having a heart attack?” She was suspected of taking co-pays. She supposedly marched elderly ER patients to the ATM in the lobby and forced them to pay cash so she could pocket it. This is unconfirmed and we only heard about it after she was fired. I fully believe it, knowing her.
Big Boss Is Watching You
My manager wanted to prove I was slacking off so he could write me up. So, he watched CCTV footage then wrote, printed out, and SIGNED a detailed 17-page Word document what I did in the past two days. With timestamps like, 07:59 arriving, 08:01 speaking with co-worker A and B, 08:07 sitting down to my desk, etc.
He told me that he’s not happy with my work ethics, and if I won’t improve my efficiency, I’m fired. I took the papers and showed to his boss and told her that I’m not happy with my manager’s work ethics and his efficiency might be better if he wouldn’t watch 17 hours of CCTV footage to spy on an employee. She was terrified. It would’ve been a rock-solid lawsuit for me, We had to search for a new manager and I got a raise.
It Runs in the Family
I’m not even sure where to start. We have “that family” working in our warehouse. It’s a mother and her son and daughter. The son was recently fired for reasons that I will get to in a moment. They are as white trash as you can possibly be. Think of all the stereotypes and you will have thought of them. So here’s the laundry list.
The Mother: Married to a guy that has dementia and 13 stints in his heart. They have filed medical bankruptcy three times. Most recently, her husband tried to off himself but ended up only shooting himself in the shoulder. She always wears t-shirts with sayings that she thinks are clever like, God Don’t Make No Trash and My Give a Darn is Busted.
To really put the icing on the white trash cake, she smokes Pall Malls. She and her children commute to work together but every other month their car gets repossessed, so they end up getting a new bad vehicle. No one is sure how they pull that off, what with all the bankruptcies and other bad credit issues.
She watches EVERY reality show and wants to talk about them with anyone who will listen and doesn’t understand when you tell her that you don’t watch whatever it is she’s talking about. Sounds like a piece of work right? Well strap in—we’re just getting started. The Daughter: She smoked through all four of her pregnancies, claiming that her mother smoked when she was pregnant with her and she turned out fine.
She lives in a trailer but gets angry if you call it a trailer because it’s on a permanent foundation. She has a Tourette’s-type head twitch and blinking thing going on, kind of like Jose Canseco. Come to think of it, she sort of looks like Canseco. She has no neck; just a head that suddenly becomes shoulders.
She is constantly broke but spends every available penny on sending her two daughters to beauty pageants and then makes everyone in the company look at the pageant photos. Surprisingly, they have actually won a few. I would hate to see what the rest of the competition looked like. We know she has some sort of psychosis because she has to be medicated at all times. When she doesn’t take her meds, things get scary fast.
She sees and hears stuff that isn’t there. This has led to her hiding under her desk, screaming and crying. She also has some other medical condition that causes her to always to be on her period. We know this because she makes us uncomfortable by talking about it all the time. Once, her husband showed up at our office and while he was waiting for her, he told us that if he had known how crazy she was, he would have never married her, let alone had kids.
To boot, she has four wiener dogs. One of which she claims is an attack dog that actually fended off a burglar. It was a very elaborate story that ended with a wiener dog launching himself off of the couch and into the burglar’s face, drawing blood. No one was apprehended so if you see anyone with the tell-tale signs of wienie dog attack please notify the authorities.
And after all that, somehow, the Son is the worst: He always has the worst gas known to man. He was inside of a shipping container unloading products with some of our other employees when he kept farting, which ultimately made them all throw up. It was that ghastly! While talking to him one day, he stuck his hand down the back of his pants and said watch this.
He then stuck his finger under his mom’s nose and told her to sniff. He had apparently stuck his finger in his butt because his mom threw up. He then repeated the process with his sister before she could be warned. He had to miss a month of work due to a riding lawn mower explosion. He claimed he had been “blowed up.”
He lives in a trailer on his mom’s property but doesn’t have electricity, so they just run extension cords from her trailer. He had a boil on his arm that was believed to be a staph infection and his mother lanced it with a box cutter. It was disgusting! He had a habit of wrecking our forklift and one day drove it off the loading dock.
The forks went into the asphalt about 10 inches and we had to get a special wrecker to come pull it out. A short time after that, he backed into one of the support beams in the warehouse, knocking it completely out from under the roof. The beam was at least 30 feet long and it’s amazing that no one was injured. Sometimes I would find him sleeping, hidden behind pallets in our warehouse during work hours.
Eventually, his sister ratted him out for being drunk on the job all the time, which explained all the forklift mishaps—and that’s when he finally went too far. When confronted by his mother about the drinking, he went crazy and tried to beat her and his sister with a baseball bat. Other employees intervened and we called the authorities. He took off on foot and was apprehended later that day, vowing to get even with all of us. Needless to say, he doesn’t work here anymore.
An employee at my office got drunk, called a friend to complain about her boss, and didn’t realize she was on the intercom and not on a private phone call. The boss was me. I fired her immediately. Awful day.
Reply All Regrets
My current boss is a moron. I’m really not sure how he made it to the director level. My company typically makes very good hiring decisions. He asked me to prepare a presentation for the whole company to roll out a newly instituted policy. THREE DAYS later I deliver the presentation to him and he had forgotten about it.
He replied to me (and CC’d his boss because he’s that dumb) saying, “I don’t know who gave you the authority to write your own policies, but nothing leads me to believe that we would embrace this type of policy any time in the near future. Please consult with me prior to wasting any resources on these types of projects.”
His boss replied to both of us and said, “Is this some sort of inside joke between you two? Good job, we will roll this out immediately.” Also, he doesn’t use they’re, their, and there. In his world, there is only one spelling….”there.”
Screw Me Twice, Shame on You
Our desks were separated by a 5-foot cubicle wall. He was under the mistaken impression that it totally blocked sound. Thus, I got to hear all his loud phone conversations, primarily his booty calls including those with his boss’s fiancé. I figured it was none of my business and tried to ignore it. Well, there was a position in another department that I was interested in and as per procedure, I handed in an application to my talkative boss.
I didn’t hear anything further and followed up a couple of days later, only to be told that something must have happened to the application. I filled out another one and handed it in. As I return to my desk, I hear the boss on the phone with a friend laughing about how he had just trashed my application again and how he was never going to let go of me.
I go to my boss’s boss and angrily offer my resignation, telling him what I had just overheard, explaining that I was constantly hearing his phone calls like his booty calls like with <woman’s name> and <woman’s name> and <boss’s boss’s fiance’s name>. He got very quiet and told me to go back to my desk and he’ll take care of everything. The next day I come in and boss is gone.
The day after, I have an interview with the other department (got the position). I tend to avoid office drama, but really, he should have stuck to screwing his boss’s fiancé, and not tried to screw me as well.
They canceled the Christmas party and Christmas bonuses for the whole company because we “didn’t have the money for it.” I found out later the CEO and the CTO used company funds to take a week-long ski vacation in Whistler instead of doing something nice for the employees. You better believe I spread that evidence around the office.
Pass It on
Oh, sweet Jesus. I used to work at a women’s clothing store. One of my first shifts, I was closing with a young supervisor. She seemed okay until the manager left. Then she sat on the floor, took out her phone, and started texting people. Whatever. We weren’t busy. After about 20 minutes of this, she suddenly stops texting, looks at me, and asks me if I’m “Okay with intimate stuff.”
I didn’t really know what she meant at first, so I just kind of shrugged and tried to keep myself busy. She asks me again, only the second time she actually elaborates and asks me if I’m okay with talking about bedroom stuff. Once again, first time I’ve EVER MET HER. Being the new girl, I didn’t want to rock the boat, so I tell her that yeah, that talk doesn’t bother me.
Turns out, I had made an awful mistake. As soon as I tell her I’m okay with it she starts loudly talking about how she recently got intimate with a friend of hers, and now she has chlamydia. This was her favorite topic of discussion for the next four weeks or so. Her chlamydia. She made it total common knowledge.
She even told some of our customers—which two of us found out one afternoon when an older woman approached us and asked us if we could help her instead because “that girl over there won’t stop talking about her STDs.”
Pulling His Way out
Someone at my office pulled down a male coworker’s pants in the office, during business hours, while said coworker was talking to two female peers. The poor guy wasn’t wearing underwear. The pants-puller was escorted out of the office within that hour. We were all in our 30s and this was at a publicly-traded multinational.
Cell Phone Games
I worked as a temp in IT at a nurse’s college, and the ground floor was the student loan department. My coworker found an iPhone in one of the student bathrooms upstairs during lunch and subsequently just put it in her desk. A few hours later, the owner came to us (for some reason Lost and Found was in the IT office), reported it missing, and said that she had accidentally left in the women’s room after calling her boyfriend.
My boss found the phone by simply calling the number (it had a unique ringtone, of course). Department head walked in my coworker’s office, opened the drawer and confirmed it was the missing phone, and fired her in the middle of a conference with a student. I overheard him say, “if you can’t do the right thing in a simple situation like this, how can I trust you to do your job ethically?”
To clarify: Since she HAD to walk past the Lost and Found to get back to her office, it seems likely she intended to keep the phone. Also, instead of saying she would return it, when confronted she used the old chestnut, “if they wanted it, they wouldn’t have left it there.” There had been other minor thefts of personal belongings in the building previously, and they stopped after she left. I believe they had been suspicious of her for awhile.
Loyal to the Bitter End
My dog became very ill quite suddenly and needed to be put down. I was at work and I asked to leave half an hour early so I could be there for him. I asked my manager and she got annoyed. She said there was “no way” and that I should have told her earlier. I said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize my dog was going to die,” in the most sarcastic way possible, then walked away knowing she’d follow me.
I then stood at my desk and began typing my resignation up in front of her. She gave me the time off. No one was going to stop me from being there for my boy.
This was at the current company I work at, about 6 years ago: dude starts on a Monday, and on Tuesday, we have our department holiday party and the dude gets pretty lit up. During a group photo, for whatever reason, this guy gets the brilliant idea to reach his arm around the woman standing next to him and grab and honk her boob.
When she loudly protested, he claimed he was just joking . She was not who he thought she was. Who she was was the CMO of the company, and despite his repeated protestations that it was “all a joke,” he was promptly informed that he would have to leave the party immediately, and to not bother coming back to work the next day. I will never forget that example of sheer idiocy till the day I die.
A department manager asked to go home early because of snow flurries. We said she and anyone else who was worried about getting home safely could leave, but if the roads are open the next day we expect them to come in. Next day comes and her ENTIRE department called in. They all have variations of, “I can’t get my car out of the driveway.” Day three comes.
One of her underlings admits that on the day of the flurries, the Department Manager told all her people to meet in a local parking lot, and told them that they all better call in the next day or she would make their lives horrible. This was apparently to “teach the owner a lesson.” Once we got another employee to confirm the story, she was fired on the spot.
Headcase at the Head of It
I was working maintenance at an ice rink. The rule for anyone who knows how an ice rink works is if the Zamboni doors open, you get the heck off the ice. Some jerk decided to ignore the fact that they were open, and that I was standing in the doorway, and decided to rip off one last slap-shot. The puck bounced off the glass and hit me in the head.
I was okay, but reported it to my boss, because we have to fill out an incident report for things like that. The boss asked, “Are you okay?” I said I feel okay, then he responded with “Well, we don’t really have to report it then do we?” I reminded him of the protocol, but it was clear he didn’t want to do it. Since he wouldn’t do it, I sent a descriptive email of the incident. The boss was fired by my next shift.
Should Have Focused on Your Own To-Do List
The CEO of my company publicly praised me for completing a task that my boss had struggled with, so my boss retaliated by forwarding all of his tasks to me in an effort to overwhelm me with work. This did not go the way he intended it. I actually found his job pretty manageable, which the CEO also noticed and fired him, giving me his job and office.
She Walked Right Into That One…
My boyfriend used to work the third shift at a popular gas station on the East coast. He worked with one of those notoriously terrible coworkers who calls in sick all the time with a ton of wild excuses. Well, one night, she called in saying that she was sick, that she was vomiting and feverish, and that she was sorry, but there was no way that she could come in.
The only person available to take her shift that night was the district manager, who happened to be in the area for a meeting. So, the district manager comes in and works the cash register with my boyfriend. At around 3 in the morning, who should walk in but the supposedly sick coworker! Oh, but it gets even better than that.
She was clearly wasted beyond belief and had innocently come in to buy two rolls of Tums, thinking that one of her friends would be there filling in for her. When she reached the front of the checkout line to discover that the district manager was the one who had actually taken her shift that night, she was fired on the spot.
The Long Game
The trainer intentionally trained people how to make errors when filling out paperwork. Errors counted heavily at this company. So while trainees thought that they were doing a perfect job, they were actually making huge mistakes. This sabotage ultimately cost many trainees their job…and got the trainer promoted, “Since she was the only one who learned how to fill out the paperwork perfectly.”
The Wind That Broke the Camel’s Back
I have two who actually tie into each other. I worked at Walmart when I was 20-ish and worked in the back, receiving, sorting, and staging products as they came off the truck. There were four of us: the lead Robert, myself, and two kids. We also had the three folks from the team who processed returns to merchants. One of those was a middle- to late-aged man named Jan.
We all reported to one boss in the back who was never actually there, and none of us really knew when he’d be around. To start off with, I had worked at a Walmart previously, so I had experience coming in. You’d think I’d be on a track to promotion, and so did I…til Robert just vanished. Robert was gone for two months in total.
During this time, the boss had been notified and he asked me to step into Robert’s role as lead, which consisted of a bit of scheduling and mostly making sure the others didn’t mess around all day. I did this with no problem for two months. Then, as quietly as he disappeared, Robert came back. No notes, no doctors’ explanations, no anything.
He was immediately handed his old vest and the boss told him he’d “sort out the re-hire later.” Just like that, the interview I had for Robert’s position as a lead was closed, and Robert was re-hired without any penalty despite two months’ of no-shows. But this was only the beginning of my long, long nightmare.
On that particular day, it was 110F and I was already absolutely fuming when a truck that we had been waiting on rolled up. Turns out, the driver had tried to drive in overnight and was going to exceed his driving allowance so had pulled over at 6 am and slept till 1 pm. The trailer had sat in the sun and was HOT. I’m talking “open the door and heat just blasts you.”
But we needed to get it unloaded, so me and one of the boys dove in and started pitching everything we could out. Robert got a pallet jack and was trying to arrange some stuff to make the two 7-foot high pallets of dog food easier to get out, but had got them stuck instead and called Jan over to help. Jan is a big guy.
He’s German, complains loudly and often, and ate sauerkraut without fail for lunch every day. Jan and Robert are working away trying to get these pallets out while me and the kid were basically stuck in the sweltering trailer. Suddenly, I hear Robert cough and Jan goes “Oof. Ohhh…Ooh” and Robert backs slowly away from the truck while Jan just gets back into it and keeps working away.
Then the smell hit. We’re in a trailer that’s easily 120 in the sun, baking, sweating, and barely able to breathe, and Jan just let out the most god-awful silent toot. Sauerkraut and Sausage. We had fans blowing into the trailer over the dog food pallets to keep me and this poor kid from dying of heat exhaustion, and suddenly we’re ground zero of this nuclear fart.
I can taste it, my eyes are watering. The poor kid next to me is dry heaving and we’re ABSOLUTELY STUCK because Robert jammed the goddarned pallets together at a messed up angle. I slice the shrink-wrap and just start chucking bags of dog food behind us. The kid starts helping while he’s gagging and finally we clear about four rows out and I boost him up and crawl up myself and out into the warehouse.
I ripped my vest off and walked into the office where the boss was and chuck it in his face and walk out. As I leave, I can hear him asking Robert what happened and a “Christ. What’s that smell?”
Drinking and Deceiving
My boss is faking going through an alcohol recovery program. In the meantime, she hit her ex-husband with a car. She is never going to change or get fired because she’s the owner’s daughter, who “can’t do anything about her.”
Letting It Slip
I had an employee who was brought into the office for doodling on product packaging. The other manager in the room said, “Do you know why we have you in here?” His reply stunned us. He suddenly confesses, “Because I was stealing.” Yep, fired on the spot.
My colleague threatened to destroy the server room if he wasn’t made my peer rather than my subordinate. He was a year older and we were hyper-competitive over a promotion that I ended up winning. I thought it was all in a healthy way, but I might have thought differently if I hadn’t got it, I guess. I don’t think for a second he meant what he said, but my boss was left with no choice but to assume he did.
I used to run a small team, and one of them was a notorious screw-up. I asked him to go to the post office and send off some important documents through the classified post, AKA next-day delivery. He comes back after a while and reports that all is good. I get a frantic phone call the next day asking where the docs are.
Guy says it’s all good, he posted them fine, must be a post issue. This stuff carries on for a while until I ask him to explain every step of what he did. He bought a stamp, licked his thumb, touched the stamp with his thumb, then posted the letter. Of course, stamps are sticky…and it turns out the stamp got stuck to his thumb and ended up in his pocket.
Your Safety Is Our Number Two Priority
I told my supervisors, manager, and safety department about severe issues at work, including broken equipment and more. They didn’t do anything. I told the union and they didn’t do anything either. I reported the issues for SEVERAL months—nothing. So, I finally said forget it, and reported them to the government.
Suddenly, I had my supervisor freak out and ask if I called them. I told him straight up, “Yes, you’re darn right I did.” He threatened to fire me. I told him about the whistleblower laws and how that would be the stupidest decision he could ever make. I told him to please do it, as I would love the easy $200k I would easily win from the lawsuit. I haven’t had any issues at work since.
Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds
God, she was a piece of work. Never worked. Called out 2 weekends in a row lying about broken legs or her car not starting. Lied to get other employees in trouble for her mess ups. Bragged about how much work she got out of to the owner’s son, who also worked there. We couldn’t convince the GM to fire this lazy little girl. He had a soft spot for her. Until she dealt him a cold-hearted betrayal.
Finally, someone showed the GM a Facebook post she made public absolutely trash-talking him, the only person at work who didn’t hate her guts, and lying about how much she works and how the entire store is incompetent except her. He wrote her up for poor conduct, unexcused callouts, etc. She refused to sign the write up because she said she was right that he was worthless and he fired her right there.
Less Is More
My office purposely messes up people’s wages on their paychecks to see if A) they’re honest about receiving extra or B) they can save money by not paying people the full amount. It’s such a scum thing to do, and I’m just glad it never happened to me. Yet, at least…
I used to intern at a TV station. It was really small and sometimes if too many interns were booked for a show there would be a few with nothing more to do than be an extra set of hands. When this happened, this job was often assigned to a particular intern named M, who was notorious for not caring and for being rather oblivious.
Basically, the wheel was spinning, but the hamster was dead. I have never in my life met anyone as stupid as M. I honestly could not tell if she was faking it for attention or if it was genuine. M was also a rather “thick” girl and was constantly snacking, taking extra long lunch breaks, etc. One day, we were overbooked for interns and once again, M got the duty “help the guests on/off the show, stand there, and shut up.”
This segment had a baker. Most of our cooking guests would prep their meals on the kitchen set while the rest of the show was being filmed. The baker finished her prep early, leaving a gorgeous set of cupcakes on the counter of the set, placing them perfectly for the camera. We take a few minutes to let our floor cameras set up for the next segment, and all of us in the control room relax and chit chat.
We are interrupted with about five minutes to go by the director poking her head in. She notifies us, in disgust and bewilderment, that M was eating the cupcakes. The only cupcakes the baker had. The cupcakes that were set up PERFECTLY for the shot. With 5 minutes until filming. Then I saw something that made my jaw drop to the floor.
All I see is M literally stuffing cupcake down her gullet, wiping off the fondant, and slapping it on the counter only to grab at more. Our producer lost her mind. She practically dragged M up the stairs and chewed her out in front of the entire staff. M was whisked away to be reprimanded by the intern coordinator, and the rest of us helped the baker with the remaining cupcakes, trying to hide the ruined fondant bunnies that had now been smeared all over the set.
The cleanup created a half an hour delay. The worst part is? The staff gets to eat the food brought by the cooks and bakers anyway. If she had just waited twenty minutes for the segment to end, she would have gotten to have as many cupcakes as she pleased.
Take a Chill Pill
I work at a consulting firm. The boss’s daughter, who shall be referred to henceforth as Captain Incapable, was working for the summer. Being a superhero whose only power is to screw everything sideways that I ever gave her to work on, ever. One day, she came into my office DEMANDING something to occupy her time.
I gave her a menial task and further asked for her to bring me some Advil. She disappeared for nearly an hour, forgot to complete the task I had asked her to do, and handed me two pills, which I later identified as heartburn medication. I didn’t yell, although I wanted to, I just stared at her holding the pills in my hand until she left my office.
Petty Power-Play Falls Flat
I had put in my two weeks notice at a job and they suddenly had me working bizarre split shifts when they found out that I was training for my new job around my previously set schedule. My schedule that had not changed in months. I finally had my fill and decided to leave. As I was leaving, one of the supervisors said I had to check in with a manager. I told them: “No, I don’t work here anymore.”
Summary of Un-Qualification
When I was out of work for a long time, I interviewed at this tech firm to do sales for them. The Marketing Director came from sales and was the typical “I can sell ice to an Eskimo” kind of salesperson. Very Type A, my way is the only way. The product was the same as many other products and, having a technical background, I knew that if we sold the way he was describing, it wouldn’t really work.
I have a degree in Marketing and Computer Science. I expressed my concern about this. Well, he goes off on me. I try to gracefully leave, and he starts yelling at me as I’m walking out and all the way out the building. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I bring a guy in for an interview to work as one of my reps. The office manager brings him in. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I look up from the desk, and it’s him. He doesn’t remember me, but it stuck in my memory so strong because nothing like that had ever happened to me before or since. Being the bigger person, I just do the interview, and was going to be fair and not make anything of it. Finally, I give in. I say, “I’ve met you before. Do you remember me?” Him: “No.”
Me: “I interviewed with you a few years back, you were very rude to me. You yelled some of the most awful vitriol at me I have ever heard. At this time, I’m not going to hold it against you. But I do have significant concerns that you will not be able to hold your temper in difficult situations with our clients. If you want to be at all considered for this job, you better allay those concerns and impress me.”
He looks very confused you can see him reliving his past, then the look of enlightenment hits him. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Not so much the revenge, but the realization that when you put bad into the world, it can come back to bite you. He said some things to try to save the interview and apologized. I accepted his apology graciously.
But the discomfort was clear for him. The reality of it is if he was actually qualified for the position, I probably would have still hired him, but he had no experience in relational sales. He was a hard sales kind of guy and that gets you a reputation and nowhere in the healthcare industry.
I worked for a corrupt business owner of a business that had a reputation for being bad. I had to work for him because I didn’t have another job. After years of watching him rip off his clients, I finally caught him in the act. I quit. He threatened to sue me for breach of contract and taking clients (I hadn’t poached anyone).
He went so far as to have papers served on me and my new employer. I called his attorney and reminded him I knew what my boss had done and would love to have the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his billing practices. The lawyer said he’d call back. Half an hour later, the lawyer told me it was over.
I was on a team of two, and when the lady I worked with quit, they decided not to replace her. This meant that if I needed to use my paid overtime (PTO) to take time off, which I often did because I have a young child who gets sick every now and again, it was a real problem. I would give my manager, who worked at a remote office, lots of ways to fix this issue, but she never would hear any of it.
She finally sent me a very angry email basically telling me I could not use my PTO when my son got sick. I wrote back a long, detailed list of every method I suggested to fix the issue, along with the fact that I was the only person in my position for months, and that our company policy states in bold letters that using PTO because a loved one is sick is not only acceptable but encouraged.
My manager responded to my email by stating she would forward my concerns to HR and that I should probably polish up my resume. But HR was in our office that day. For the first time in six months. Great coincidence, right? So, I went in, asked if I could speak about an issue concerning my manager, and explained everything as it happened.
The HR rep had this look on her face like she was going to harm someone. She then asked me to forward the entire email chain to her, which I did. She called me back with incredible news. Apparently, everyone told the HR rep that the entire office can’t function without me and that I’ve been doing the work of three people for nine months.
Later that day, my manager sent me a very angry message saying I was fired because I was causing a hostile work environment. I forwarded this to the HR rep who looked at me, and in a single, sweet sentence said, “Not a chance, she’s royally screwed.” And that’s basically how my manager went from making $80k a year to being fired on a Wednesday with no compensation, no benefits, and no way to collect unemployment.
It was an all-around productive day.
I once worked with a girl who thought the world was flat. There was an Australian guy who just started work with us and someone made a reference to “down under.” She asked why Australia was called Down Under and someone reasoned that it was because it was “down and under the other side of the planet.” She was confused and said that you can’t go under the other side of the world because you will fall off.
Everyone in earshot was taken aback and thought she was joking, but she continued to insist that she was right and explained how the world was flat. We told her about gravity and about how it pulls things towards the center of the Earth, and she countered that this could not be true as she “was once on a roller coaster and when it suddenly dropped, she felt herself go up.”
I asked her; “If the world is flat, how do you explain the oceans still being there?” To which she replied; “The water just goes up to the edge.”
What a Beautiful Sight
Over the course of six months, through countless phone calls to different union offices and the department of labor, I eventually got my boss fired for changing people’s time-keeping information to take overtime from them. During those months I was treated like dirt by this guy, but I never actually did anything wrong so I couldn’t be punished.
At one point, management—against contract rules—denied my time off request to be at my best friend’s wedding and my boss brought me into his office and threatened to fire me. At this point, I had called the northeast district business associate on him, and I will never forget the look on my boss’s face when he realized I knew he couldn’t do anything to me.
IRL Dwight Schrute
My co-worker has been vying for promotions for years, but he never gets them. Then, after just a few months, I got promoted ahead of him. When he found out, he went ballistic. He turned bright purple and violently stormed out of the building. When he came back 30 minutes later, he walked into my cubicle and rubbed my back while telling me he wasn’t mad at me, just mad at the system. I was so uncomfortable, I wouldn’t even look him in the eye.
Then later, I heard him on the phone, applying for yet another promotion, and I finally understood why he got rejected every time—it was the most brutal conversation I’ve ever heard. This was his opening line: “Yes, is this Pam? This is Gary, you probably don’t remember me, but I interviewed for you a couple of months ago for the _____ position. I must have been a bad boy [said like you would say if you had a baby talk kink] though, because I didn’t get a callback. Do you remember me? No? Oh…well, anyway, I was calling to set up an interview for the _____ position you have open over there.”
All Out of Spite
I worked very briefly with a woman who showed herself to be both an idiot and a jerk. Her grandmother passed and she and her relatives discovered that the man she’d known as her step-grandfather had never even been married to her grandmother. She bragged about the family throwing him out of the only home he’d known for three decades because, “If he wasn’t good enough for my grandma to marry, he’s not good enough for us.”
He was an elderly man who lived as this woman’s husband and had everything taken from him out of pettiness and spite. It showed me how stupid she was, and I was right. She was fired a week later.
When I was younger, I worked at a movie theater. One of my coworkers asked me out and I said no. A few days later, when I was working alone, I opened the door to the office and made a truly chilling discovery. He had poured popcorn salt all over the office desk and shaped it to say “DIE,” followed by my full name. Just super romantic, don’t you think?