The Most Miserable Jobs

August 16, 2022 | Sammy Tran

The Most Miserable Jobs

From the retail floor to corporate offices, everybody has a story about something unbelievable that happened at work. Whether it’s a weird coworker, a crazy boss, or a customer who just doesn’t understand something simple, these stories from Reddit will make anyone grateful for the dull moments.

1. Literacy Is Important

A lady phoned in, affirming she was one of our clients. However, the account number she provided didn't match our established format, and I couldn't locate her account. We attempted searching by her name, residence, phone number, as well as her husband's details, but all in vain. I gently proposed that she might be a patron of our rival company, which she responded to negatively. Things just continued to go downhill with her.

She asserted she had our invoice right there with her, and it certainly did not bear the competitor's name. At this point, realization dawned on me. I asked her politely to narrate all the information on the bill, starting from the upper left-hand corner. Within just a minute, she exclaimed our competitor's name. Afterward, in sheer mortification, she abruptly disconnected the call.

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2. She Wanted That $2

As soon as this lady entered, I felt an instant dread. This was not just any difficult customer, she was what we'd call "a grade-A Karen." I used to work at a retail job with a loyalty program. This woman was certain she had our loyalty card and there were points from her "huge" purchase a month ago that should be available for her current purchase. But neither her surname nor her phone number showed up in our system when the cashier looked her up.

I was called over to help and moved the transaction to a free register to avoid causing a queue. I inquired if she might've registered under a different surname or phone number. She was adamant that she only used her cell number and had no alternate surnames.

Then, I asked if she might have given her landline number by mistake and it caused her to become very offensive. Her rudeness was so decimating that I was reluctant to go out of my way to assist her further. Eventually, I asked her if she recalled her previous purchase, secretly hoping she'd mention something with a unique SKU that I could use to find her transaction. Instead, she told me all the stuff was delivered last time.

That was a stroke of luck! Deliveries have a unique SKU code. After combing through roughly 80 transactions with that code, I found a possibility. The first name seemed to match and upon checking the address linked to the card, it was hers! Frustratingly though, the surname and phone number were far from what she told me.

When I broke the news that her points were under 'Jones,' she nonchalantly confirmed, “Yeah, that's my maiden name.” I was fighting the urge to yell. I remember asking her half an hour ago if there might be other last names and she had said a firm 'no.' All this drama just to get her loyalty points to use on her purchase...which led to an astounding discount of just two dollars.

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3. Never Hurts To Check

Once, I was handling customer service at a library when I had a phone call with a lady who was absolutely certain she had returned her books. Typically, I'd ask: “Did you check under your beds, or in various places around your house?” When I proposed "Have you checked the trunk of your car?" She lost her temper, yelling, "I'm not an idiot!"

However, she must have been searching while we spoke, because she suddenly fell silent. The books were exactly where I suggested—in the trunk of her car.

Customer Service IIPexels

4. Did She Think She’d Get Away?

One of my team members missed work for three days straight, which led to me firing her. I had this belief it was our final interaction, but I was mistaken. Prior to her dismissal, she had been mentioning her interest in the two little ponies we had on site. The day after her termination, she appeared with a trailer, claiming she was there to collect "her" ponies.

She tried confronting me as well as the barn owners, and we didn't have any written consent from the real pony owners to let the ponies go. But this is what really made my blood boil—she was insistent that she had the necessary permission and threatened to sue me and the barn if we didn't let her take the ponies. 

Moreover, she threatened to report us to the authorities. I stood my ground and asked her to go ahead. At this point, I had asked the barn owners to dial 911 on my behalf and everything was settled by the time the police arrived. For a moment there, I thought it was gonna turn into a proper fight.

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5. Mamma Mia

My first paying gig was dishwashing at an Italian restaurant and event space. I worked intense evening shifts which lasted until late at night, or sometimes early morning, depending on the number of events we had. The working conditions were tough; it felt like I was constantly in panic mode, situated in a stifling corner of the kitchen, splattered with food and gunk. It was less than enjoyable. And, believe it or not, it could get even worse.

The kitchen had a back door that led to the bar, which we visited to grab a soft drink during a short break. This routine wasn't a problem until the day the original owner showed up unexpectedly. When he inquired what I was up to, I explained I was getting a soda. Instead of understanding, he directed me to use the vending machine for my drinks. That was the final straw for me.

In response, I walked off, punched out, headed straight to my vehicle, and drove off. There was some satisfaction in knowing that the restaurant was swamped that evening and they were short of dishwashers. As a result, the 80-year-old man whose comments pushed me away, himself had to roll up his sleeves and wash dishes all night.

Miserable JobsShutterstock

6. He Went That Way!

I'm someone who values honesty and integrity above all else. In the mid-90s, I worked in a rather shady computer store. I found myself wrongfully accused by one of our suppliers of attempting to steal a massive 27-inch CRT monitor—you know, the ones that weigh more than 50 pounds.

The proprietor of the store, my boss, insisted on personally driving me back to confront these accusations, a trip which involved both the supplier's management and the police grilling me. Throughout the entire ordeal, my boss kept nudging me to confess, even though I was completely innocent.

After a few hours, the person who reported me came back, and to everyone's surprise, admitted that he had identified the wrong guy. After that revelation, we left. The drive back was a long and silent one and a half hours. I pretty much knew how this was going to play out.

Back at the store, I informed my boss about how much he owed me and that I'd be back the following week to collect my pay. I then resigned. He pleaded with me to return over the next several days, but I held my ground and stuck to my decision.

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7. Extra Crunch?

Usually, in the breakfast joint where I worked, we chose to use pre-made liquid eggs to cook up our scrambled eggs because of the sheer volume we had to produce. I once asked one of the new guys for six scrambled eggs. You wouldn't believe the sight that came out of that kitchen next. 

Instead of simply reaching for individual eggs and breaking them open, this guy decided to crush the whole eggs, shells and all, right into the mix. That day, I took a hit to my patience and my overall optimism.

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8. Saving Dough

While I was serving at a popular buffet, a customer asked me not to put dinner rolls on his table since he wouldn't eat them and didn't want to cause food waste. I thought his request made sense, so I went along with it. However, when my boss noticed the absence of rolls on his table, she called me over to fix the situation.

I explained the customer's request to my boss. Her response really got under my skin: "Your job includes placing rolls on the tables. Please put the rolls on the table." Sure enough, after I obeyed and informed the customer about my boss's orders, he still gave me a lecture about the hungry children in Africa.

Fast Food Employees StoriesShutterstock

9. Off and On Again

Our high school decided to create a number of computers, I think they were Intel Pentium 2. Primarily, to save some cash, we utilized preexisting computer equipment, like old casings and screens. As a teaching assistant in an electronics class, my role involved providing technical support. One day, the teacher mentioned her computer wouldn't start up, appearing quite agitated, so I fetched a replacement. I ended up carrying it about 200 yards to her.

I decided to inspect her seemingly non-functioning computer. Turns out, she had simply not turned on the monitor. I reported this back to my teacher. His response was, "Welcome to the wonderful world of IT."

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10. Ensure Your Insurance

I'm employed at a doctor's office, and the most challenging patient I've interacted with was a woman who refused to settle her bill. She was completely convinced that her insurance was going to foot the entire bill as her card erroneously stated "$0 copay." We dialed her insurance firm numerous times to reassert that they wouldn't take care of her appointment fee, and we even mailed her the paperwork from her insurance provider as evidence.

Despite all this, she persisted in not paying, even after having a heated argument with me for five minutes. The only advice I could offer was for her to consult her insurance provider if she was averse to settling the amount. Subsequent to her fiery tirade, she hurled accusations at me, calling me unprofessional and thoughtless before she stormed off.

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11. The Fine Print

Our job was to craft one report packet quarterly for each senior-level staff member. Each of these packets was stocked with 80 or so reports, totaling four or five pages each. I needed to assemble 15 of these packets, amounting to roughly 3,000 double-sided pages in total. The data analyst's job was to finalize the reports while the task of printing fell to the administrator.

My administrator, unfortunately, was not the sharpest tool in the shed. She practically couldn't accomplish any task independently without additional assistance. She devoted the whole day to printing these packets out. Yet, when I looked over the finished product, I was flabbergasted: the packets were far too bulky. She didn't have the foresight to print the reports double-sided, nor did she think to do a trial print beforehand, resulting in a whopping 6,000 pages.

By early afternoon, I instructed her to reprint all of the packets, but this time, to make sure they were double-sided. Around 4pm, I inspected the packets once more. They were double-sided, but incorrectly so. The front side of each page was correctly placed, but the backside was upside down.

It felt like some slapstick comedy skit at this point. She informed me that she couldn't stay late due to her son's sport event, leaving me to fix the blunder. I had no choice but to finalize the task myself, staying until 8pm to finish the print job. I was aware of her limitations, yet I somehow still overestimated her printing skills.

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12. Delicious Revenge

One of my teammates was expecting and all the others secretly arranged a baby shower for her. Somehow, they excluded me from the guest list. The reason? Heck, I'm still trying to figure it out myself. Then I overheard someone inadvertently drop a word about it, and boom! I immediately knew—and it was a doozy.

So I phoned up my mom and sister and asked if they could whip up an irresistible baked delicacy. I wanted to arrive with it at the party.

You should have seen the stunned looks on everyone's faces when I turned up at the doorstep holding a delightful gift and a tray full of baby stroller-themed cookies. It was a mix of surprise, confusion, and yes, a bit of jealousy too. Were they concerned I'd steal the show with my wonderful present and group treat?

Workplace Suck-Ups FactsFlickr, Personal Creations

13. There’s a “Honk” Pun Somewhere In Here

Once upon a time, my manager rescued an injured goose. He then placed it in a carton and instructed me to carry it to a veterinary clinic. While on the expressway, the goose suddenly started waving its wings wildly and managed to escape from the box. 

I was absolutely clueless about how to handle it and way too frightened to touch the bird. Consequently, I ended up driving all the way to the clinic with the goose chilling out on the passenger's seat.

World of Airports factsPixabay

14. Waste Of Time

In my line of work, I often have to send invoices to clients via email. Certain businesses have quite unconventional demands about how they receive these invoices. There's this one firm that only settles their dues when the invoice is posted to them. Then there's another one which prefers having just one scanned page per attachment and only one attachment in each email. So, if an invoice happens to be five pages long, I'd have to scan and email each page separately. On days like these, I find myself reevaluating my career decisions.

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15. Justice for All

Imagine this scene: Four adult men decided to covertly use a changing room in a clothes shop as a place to indulge in some cannabis use. This might already seem pretty ridiculous, but just wait until you know which store it happened in—Justice! To those not familiar, Justice is a store that specifically caters to preteen girls. Not a single item made for men could be found in there, making it completely impossible for these gents to go unnoticed!

What's more, with the fitting room stalls designed for children, the men weren’t too hard to spot. The tops of their heads were hilariously visible over these pint-sized curtains. Naturally, we had no choice but to call security and these four men were swiftly escorted out. Afterwards, we had to temporarily close to ventilate the shop. I'm really at a loss as to how they thought this plan was going to work!

Creepy StoriesShutterstock

16. Is That Allowed?

Once, I was in a classroom serving as a sign language interpreter. The assistant teacher chose to place herself directly in front of me, obstructing the student's line of sight. When I requested her to shift her position, her reply was utterly surprising. She deliberately stood there to make the student less dependent on me—a clear illustration of the silly things educators can sometimes do.

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17. Just Why

A few weeks back, we received an email from a very disgruntled lady who was upset because she hadn't received a response from us. I tried to find her in our system, but her name wasn't there. When my manager and their manager also couldn't find her, we approached our CRM manager who was also at a loss. Then came the revelation that had me pulling my hair out.

Turns out, the lady had changed both her first and last names just a week before, and altered her email to boot. Mind you, none of this information was shared in her rather heated email! Luckily, I managed to trace her old name on an attendance list from a few weeks prior, but goodness, assisting people can be a real challenge sometimes.

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18. Careful Who You Hire

I was working remotely because I was under the weather, overseeing some guys at the warehouse. It wasn't too busy, so I allowed one guy to leave early, keeping an eye on the other using surveillance cameras. He was tasked with using our box truck to grab some items from a vendor and then pack orders for our delivery route.

He left around 1 pm. By 3 pm, when I checked the cameras, he hadn't returned. I kept calling him to no avail, and saw that the orders hadn't been packed either. I was starting to worry. After multiple failed attempts to reach him, I decided to drive to the office. No sign of him or the truck, both of which had vanished for four hours. I thought perhaps the truck had broken down and he'd lost his phone. I decided to drive along our usual routes in search of the missing truck but found nothing.

My worry grew as this employee had a history of stealing, had just broken up with his girlfriend, and was without a personal vehicle. I thought he might have taken off with the truck. I reached out to the boss for advice, but I was told to give it a bit more time before reporting a theft. So I focussed on packing the orders while anxiously waiting for his call.

Just as I was finishing up, he finally rang, asking me to pick him up. He wouldn't tell me why he disappeared. When I found him, he revealed that he had fainted, the truck was out of gas, and he'd woken up due to the stifling summer heat (since the A/C was off). I drove him back to the office where his ex was due to pick him up. But when I let him go, he got aggressive.

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19. Save the Date

I work at a library. There was an instance when a patron got really upset when I told him he was charged 30 cents for returning a DVD late. He was adamant that he had returned it on time. Without a word, he walked away from the counter, went straight to the section where DVDs are kept, brought back the DVD in question, and confidently said, "Look, I did return it!" I had to take a moment before explaining to him. 

"Sorry for the misunderstanding, sir. The problem isn't that you didn't return the DVD. It's that you returned it a day late." He simply fell silent before reaching for his wallet.

Helicopter ParentsPexels

20. Some Assembly Required

During my time working at IKEA, I handled customer returns. One day, an upset customer came in because they'd cut their assembly instruction manual in half while opening the box of their new piece of furniture. They were under the impression that this mishap would prevent them from successfully putting together the furniture, so they decided to return it. I kindly let them know that all our assembly guides are available on our website.

However, this information seemed to aggravate her even more. Eventually, she took it to the next level—she demanded to speak with the manager. To ease the situation, my manager handed her some gift vouchers. 

Bizarrely, she was under the impression that tearing her manual in half rendered her incapable of assembling her furniture—although she had both halves and could have simply pieced them back together to read the instructions. That's a scene I'll always remember laughing about!

Customer Questions FactsShutterstock

21. Not-So-Happy Hour

During a company social event, things went a little overboard and someone ended up getting sick all over the office. No one was keen on dealing with it, so an HR intern and I ended up having to relay the messy details to the senior management—oddly enough, neither of us had been present at the event. Since that day, both of us have been assigned the task of keeping things under control during social events.

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22. Turn the Brightness Down

The lighting in the office was intensely bright, leading several colleagues to voice out their complaints and request a reduction in brightness. But their pleas fell on deaf ears for a few days. In response, one coworker creatively attached a used pizza box to his desk with push pins, fashioning it somewhat like an umbrella. I was engrossed in work and didn't initially notice his unusual solution.

While showing a customer representative around the office, our branch manager spotted this makeshift cover. Post the office tour, he returned to our space, seething with anger. He took his frustration out on the pizza box with visible vehemence, all the while glaring at me.

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23. Someone’s Salty

I used to work at a sports bar where we served huge pretzels as a starter. Each pretzel came with its own packet of salt, which typically had more than enough to season a single pretzel. What we'd do is open a couple of packets, dump the salt into a pan, and sprinkle it on the pretzels as needed. You wouldn't believe it, but one small packet of salt could season about five or six pretzels.

Opening the bar each day was a task handled by my coworker and me. And, without fail, we'd find the salt pan empty and placed back on the rack every morning. Both of us were puzzled, wondering, "Where on earth does the salt go every night?" After about a week of this mystery, we decided to ask the night crew. 

After some inquiry, the person responsible stepped up. We casually asked them why they'd been trashing the salt each night. To our astonishment, she responded, in all seriousness, "I throw it away because the salt goes bad and it's unsafe."

Medieval Beliefs factsShutterstock

24. The Importance of Childcare

I ended up caring for a colleague's child. Being the sole female in the management group, I was assigned this task when our team member had to bring her little girl to work due to a family crisis. It was actually crazy—my duties were halted as I was asked to keep the child company in the office. It moved me deeply. Our work was during the night shift. The father of the child was away and the mother didn't have any paid leave or funds for a babysitter.

The young girl insisted on staying awake to wait for her mom. I fetched a blanket from my car that I always keep handy and purchased a snack for her. I also let her watch some videos on YouTube. She dozed off after an hour. What stood out most to me was that her mother didn't earn enough to afford childcare, the fact that I was the first choice to mind her, and the failure of my own supervisors to give the mother time off.

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25. Need for Speed

Let me share what happened in a conversation I had with someone from accounts payable. Today's noteworthy encounter was: "Why did he take an Uber on June 22nd if his flight was on June 21st?" Well, the answer is simple—his flight arrived just before midnight at 11:58pm, and usually, people can't instantaneously warp from their airplane to an Uber. But hey, what would I know? I'm only the budget manager after all.

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26. Should’ve Canceled

Back when I was working at a spa, there was an incident where I had to give a massage to a lady who had clearly had a few too many drinks. Initially, she was booked in for a facial treatment plus a massage, but feeling tipsy, she decided to drop one of the services to avoid paying cancellation fees for both. So, she ended up only getting the massage.

Unfortunately, during the session, she wet the massage table. I only became aware of it from the smell after she left.

On top of that, she dozed off after the massage and wouldn't get up to dress. I found myself continuously knocking on the door having to remind her. And it just happened to be my final appointment for the day.

Despite the chaos, my supervisors seemed unperturbed, since they were mainly concerned about her settling the bill.

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27. Not What It Looks Like

A couple of weeks into my new job, I was tasked with opening one of our affiliate stores all by myself. Unexpectedly, the previous shift's employee hadn't locked the main entrance. He simply activated the alarm and exited through the back door. Fast forward eight hours, a family walks in planning to shop but finds themselves in a dimly lit room with an alarm sounding. Unsettled, they turn around and leave.

Fast forward another hour, there I am, just starting my shift, and part of my opening routine involves tallying up the cash register. Suddenly, law enforcement officials arrive, alerted by the tripped alarm. They find me standing there, cash in hand. Let's just say, sorting that situation out surely was an interesting experience.

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28. Charge the Rich

My boss once was okay with a really shady practice—it was what we called hidden fees. These are additional charges that are so difficult to identify in your bill, they're almost always overlooked. 

There wasn't a policy against this, but it left me feeling disheartened. He's a good guy, but working with wealthy clients can sometimes lead you to believe you can quietly add more fees without them noticing.

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29. That’s How Deliveries Work

One day while manning the phones at a call center, a lady rang me up absolutely irate. Why, you ask? She was upset over having to put pen to paper for a package she herself had requested. 

There wasn't a single problem to speak of—her order was shipped promptly, it was indeed hers, and it contained exactly what she had ordered. But the mere inconvenience of answering the door and signing for it made her so furious that she chose to give me an earful.

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30. Take the Stairs

I'm a flooring installer, and I was recently working on the top floor of a house that was still being built. To cut the story short, while I was fitting flooring in the upstairs bathrooms, some builders were supposed to fix the staircase from the ground floor to the second. Unfortunately, no one told me. I went down to get something, and boy, was I in for a shock: the whole downstairs was gone!

The team had ripped out the entire staircase without even checking to see if anyone was still on the upper floors. I was stuck on the second floor for a bit until somebody helped me out by bringing a ladder.

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31. That’s Fishy

In the midst of a bustling dinner service at a restaurant, we had a newbie on board. He was tasked with delivering a salad to a customer's table, however, he forgot to add the salmon topping. I requested him to grab the salmon, apologize to the customer, and rectify his mistake, which he did. But then, the customer gestured towards her salad, and I discovered what the newbie had done—he physically lifted the salmon using his bare hand and placed it on the salad.

Yes, it was slightly flopping around as he held it uncomfortably for a few moments, and then he proceeded to place it on the visibly shocked lady's salad. Everyone around was left dumbfounded. I swiftly fetched the contaminated salad, and the customer unexpectedly chuckled when my manager had the greenhorn apologize. Perhaps the degree of shock made the situation comically absurd for her, and surprisingly, the rookie ended up with a generous tip.

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32. Came Back to Life

I requested to take Friday off to attend my wife's grandmother's funeral. Despite the deadline pressure we were under at work, my wife's grief was significant and she needed my support. Given that I was pulling over 50 hours a week at the company (for a fixed salary, no overtime pay), often including weekends and holidays, I felt this was justified...but then things took a turn.

There was a job that required my attention on that Friday morning, and I was the best fit to handle it. After discussing with my wife, she was okay about me going into the office for a short while in the morning to complete the task. So there I was, at my desk early on a day I had asked to be exempted from work, dressed in my funeral suit.

When my boss spotted me, he approached me and sarcastically remarked, "So, I guess they canceled that funeral, huh?"

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33. Anything For Cash

I'm employed in the television and film industry. We found ourselves filming in a rather posh neighborhood, next to a house inhabited by a particularly unamused woman who believed she should be compensated more. Regrettably, she was the epitome of a wicked character. A couple of hours into our shoot, she began to blare opera music from her wide-open windows. Loudly. This went on for a couple of hours.

After exhausting her playlist, she decided lawn mowing was next. After finishing, she parked herself on the boundary of her property, keeping the noisy mower running until one of our producers approached her, hoping she might cease this noisy disruption. I'm not privy to the details of their conversation, but whatever she wanted was a bit too steep because my colleague left the scene, shaking his head. There was nothing he could do, he shared with our sound team.

When nightfall came, my superior chose to play the game at her own level. We directed some of our high-intensity lighting rigs right into her living room, simulating the brightness of a mid-day sun at 10 in the evening. This prompted her to reach out to the law enforcement, alleging we were filming illegally. The truth was we had all the necessary permissions and even on-duty officers present to manage the traffic.

A police officer arrived, checked the scene, noting his colleagues were already present. He treated himself to a snack at our craft table and then exited the scene. By 1 a.m., we decided to turn the lights off her house—after all, we're not monsters.

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34. ‘Tis But A Scratch

I'm a member of the EMS community, and one of my biggest pet peeves is being treated as a mere ride to the hospital. It's a scenario that unfolds more often than you might imagine. Folks call us claiming to have a severe health crisis. Yet, when we arrive, they stonewall any attempts to glean more information beyond vague complaints of stomach or chest discomfort.

They resist letting us measure their vital signs or conduct any meaningful examination. Our hands are tied in these situations since we are prohibited from denying anyone a transport to the hospital. So we end up chauffeuring them there, only for them to skip out under two minutes later. This kind of behavior is utterly frustrating as it takes up an ambulance that could be used for someone in genuine need.

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35. Daddy’s Money

A few years back, I was employed by a well-known 'As Seen On TV' brand. The fact that the owner was also the spokesperson and CEO gave me an inkling of what I was stepping into. During my time there, I was instrumental in establishing two whole departments, significantly boosting sales, and setting the stage for the company to enter a major retail chain. 

However, the owner decided to appoint his 25-year-old son, who possessed zero professional experience and a failed business attempt using his father's funds, as my supervisor. Within a year, I resigned, and my decision was echoed by the majority of my team.

Caution to the Wind factsShutterstock

36. An Outlet for His Anger

Over at the call center, a guy gave me a hard time because the shorts he bought were from an outlet store. The shorts were a clearance item online, but the fact they were from such a store really infuriated him. I couldn't believe his behavior—he talked my ear off for five minutes, ranting about how the quality had dropped or something along those lines. 

I honestly felt bad for the outlet store he was headed to, where he intended to return those shorts.

Creepy StoriesShutterstock

37. Not a Doctor

While giving eco-friendly tours in Colorado, a little girl from the Big Apple experienced some bug bites which resulted in a mild allergic response. To be specific, she had three mosquito-sized raised bumps on her leg. She handled it well. However, her mother went into instant panic mode. She started hysterically begging me to use an EpiPen on her daughter, even after I reassured her that it wasn't the safe or appropriate response. The situation escalated to her trying to physically overpower me for my first aid kit and she also threatened to take legal action for malpractice. I calmly told her she could proceed.

Her daughter was more frightened by her mom's outburst than the bug bites themselves. That was the moment when I really understood my father's advice—he's a doctor—and why he steered me away from pursuing a career in medicine.

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38. It Adds Up

I used to work in a call center for a large retail establishment. A customer was annoyed as they bought a 36-pack of paper towels which had been marketed with a certain number of sheets per roll. The issue was that the final towel on each roll was stuck to the roll's cardboard interior, making it impossible to use. To appease the customer, the company sent them a gift card for 18 cents through the mail, even though the mailing cost at that time was 40 cents.

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39. Why 10 Smoothies?

So, someone put in a really big online order – a bunch of different food and 10 smoothies. We normally see people come in quickly to collect their orders, so we set all the items in the open lockers that are ready for pick-up. Time went by – about 20 minutes – and nobody claimed the order, so we figured it was best to keep the smoothies chilled in the fridge.

Fast forward an hour and a half, this guy strolls in explaining that he got held up and tardy for his pick-up. He wanted us to whip up his whole order again, right in the middle of peak hour, no less. Of course, we did that, but it took us a little longer since we were serving customers who were already waiting. Naturally, this led to him complaining about our appalling service, even asking to speak with the manager.

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40. Manage Your Expectations

Hi, I'm an ESL teacher. I had an interesting encounter where an upset mom approached my supervisor to express her dissatisfaction with the marks I had given her child. The twist? I'd actually awarded her daughter an A+ because she was exceptionally diligent, aced her monthly tests, and was actively involved in class discussions. 

Funnily enough, the mom seemed upset that her daughter was performing remarkably well. But, that's the truth—she genuinely was an outstanding student.

Parent-Teacher Night factsShutterstock

41. Anger Management

I once shared an office with a colleague who had quite a temper. I didn't directly collaborate with him so he always seemed fine around me. That is, until the day his volatile temper came to light. We faced a minor job of storing some textual information in a database. However, a disagreement arose between us concerning how best to take on the task. His temper spiraled when he found himself being opposed, and, in a fit, he started shouting at me and slamming doors.

Our office is designed as a long hallway with numerous small rooms on each side. The sound of his shouting pierced through the closed doors, alerting around 30 co-workers to the discord. Since that explosive day, and up until I left my job, we didn't exchange a single word, greeting, or even meet each other's gaze. Even though we bumped into one another multiple times a day, this awkward silence endured.

Sweetest Revenge factsShutterstock

42. What Did She Think Would Happen?

Some time back when I was working at a gas station, one lady's credit card signature got blurred—pretty common, so I requested to check her ID. After finishing up the sale, she remarked I had been impolite to her and departed. This left me perplexed.

There was another incident where a woman had a blurred signature on her credit card. As before, I asked for her ID. When we were done, she wanted to know my name. Her reason? Apparently, I was "unpleasant" to her. Turns out, it was the same woman from before. Up to this day, I'm at a loss to comprehend what I did or said that was deemed rude.

Worst People On Earth factsShutterstock

43. Credit Card Wars

In my eatery, I served a big family group. The son expressed his wish to cover the bill, but his dad had already handed me his card to settle it. Upon learning his dad had taken care of bill, the son was not pleased. 

I've experienced similar situations before, but this time, the son shockingly threatened to harm me with a gun due to his frustration. I was momentarily stunned. After regaining my composure, I managed to laugh it off. I then sought the help of the manager to escort them out of the premises.

Fast Food Employees StoriesShutterstock

44. If It Ain’t Broke…

During my time in the military, I noticed that the paper towel dispenser was barely clinging to the wall, so I quickly tightened it back with my handy multi-tool. The head officer wanted to know who had fixed it without going through the usual bureaucratic procedures. I confessed—and paid the price for doing so.

He then instructed me to unfasten the dispenser from the wall and complete the required forms so that the designated team could re-attach it. In retrospect, I feel his leadership was flawed and ineffective. Chances are, he's not very successful in his personal life either.

Medical Mistake Horror StoriesShutterstock

45. Time Is Money

In the past, I was in charge of coordinating volunteers, and our responsibility was to set up a certain amount of private meetings with prospective volunteers every week to recruit them. There was this one week when I only managed to arrange one such meeting. 

Seeing this, my boss thought it would be a good idea to have a chat with me about how I could improve these numbers. Ironically, she scheduled this meeting at the same time as the only meeting I had already set up.

Miserable JobsPexels

46. Don’t Look Back

During my training period, my boss used to scold me frequently about tasks that I hadn't mastered yet. Every week, he'd bring me into his office and berate me over something minor. It got so bad that I nearly walked out during a shift because it was seriously affecting my mental health and creating severe anxiety.

One Friday, after a particularly intense scolding, I was so riddled with anxiety that by Monday I just couldn't face going back in. I sent them an email instead, outlining my reasons for quitting. Interestingly enough, a year later, the HR representative reached out via email inviting me back, as the manager who caused all the issues had left.

How Affairs Start factsPixabay

47. Murphy Python

Over one summer, I had a job at Petco. At work, we'd often have a pet with us, whether it was a chameleon, a gecko, or even a tiny bird. Basically, any animal that was happy to hang out on your shoulder or arm. My favorite snake friend was Murphy, an albino ball python, who would lazily coil around my forearm as I worked at the checkout counter.

Suddenly, an incredibly loud scream echoed across the store one day. It turns out a person who was deeply afraid of snakes had come in and was panicking. I couldn't grasp the reason behind visiting a pet store that sells snakes if you have such a deep-seated fear of them. But regardless of my confusion, corporate decided to change the policy. The rule stated that animals should remain in their "homes" unless a customer, interested in buying, asked to see them.

Banned For Life FactsWikimedia Commons

48. Problem-Solving Skills

The time when I worked at a deli, we incorrectly labeled a packet of deli cheese with a price that was clearly off—about 50 bucks or so. Instead of handling it calmly, the customer, who hadn't even paid for it yet, thought it was okay to instead commit an outrageous act—throw it at me while I was at the cash register. 

Although someone could have easily fixed the label, that incident was the final straw for me, and I decided to quit my job in retail.

Miserable JobsShutterstock

49. But Was The Lunch Tasty?

I once had an internship at a lab focused on substance discovery—and everyone there hailed either from Ukraine or Eastern Russia, remnants of the Soviet Union era. They all held PhDs and were incredibly friendly despite our language differences. An interesting aspect of our shared meals was a tradition carried over from their USSR days: daily lunch-making for the whole team of seven.

Interestingly, everything—even raw meatballs—was cooked in the microwave. One particular scientist, let's call her Mila, was tasked with cultivating the E. coli we needed for research. My responsibilities were mostly centered around examining the bacteria through a software program, alongside some occasional lab work. The team had a peculiar habit of reusing gloves by flipping them inside out and puffing them back with their breath.

When Mila planned a vacation, she taught me how to grow the bacteria to ensure the continuity of our experiments in her absence. One unique thing about Mila—every day at lunchtime, she'd create quite a racket in the washroom, conveniently located right next to our dining area. There I was, trying to keep a straight face as a 20-year-old guy amid the symphony of noises during our lunch hours.

What really baffled me was when our E. coli batch got contaminated—and guess who took the fall? The new guy! I tried to argue that the glove-reusing habit could be the real culprit. But, guess who doesn’t win arguments against a room full of PhDs when you're still working on your bachelor's degree? Me. In retrospect, blowing into the gloves for reuse now seems downright absurd.

Work DramaShutterstock

50. No Supervision

I was once employed at Rogers Communications in a customer service role, answering calls. The job paid me minimum wage and often involved dealing with upset callers over issues I had no sway on. We were repeatedly promised opportunities for growth within the company, but it turned out to be far from the truth. Our immediate manager would often pretend to be busy on an unoccupied computer, in an unconvincing manner.

One day, a particularly difficult call came in. When I sought assistance from the supervisor, I was met with the retort, "stop wasting his time." I took my lunch break, after which I called in to announce I wouldn't be returning to work.

Miserable Jobs Shutterstock

51. He Learned His Lesson

Someone was mysteriously munching on my meals and I couldn't pinpoint the perpetrator. So, I concocted a sneaky strategy. To catch the food filcher, I laced my food with laxatives for several days, making sure to avoid eating it myself. One day, the guy ended up spending a good two hours in the restroom. As he emerged, irate, he insisted on confronting me. He seemed to think he had grounds to sue, but it took a while for him to comprehend that HE was the one pilfering MY food. He conveniently overlooked the fact that he was the one who took it without my consent.

Of course, I asked him directly, "What gives you the right to munch on my meals?" He tried to argue he wasn't aware the food was mine. “If so, then why are you threatening to sue me? How is it that you're aware the food was mine to warrant a lawsuit, yet claim ignorance about whose it was? My name was clearly printed on the lunchbox.” The guy ended up teary-eyed and ran off to complain to the boss. Whether he was fired or just quit, I never found out. But he certainly didn’t come back.


HOA NightmaresShutterstock

52. Not All Influencers Are Stupid, But…

I'm in the business of influencer marketing, and recently we signed up an Instagram influencer for a specific yogurt brand campaign. To add a bit of pizzazz, we even provided a tie-dye kit and some merchandise and suggested they create their own tie-dyed t-shirts, caps, and so on, possibly with friends or family. It sounded like a pretty straightforward plan. But to our surprise, it took an unexpected turn.

One influencer mistakenly used the tie-dye from the kit on her yogurt bowl, instead of a t-shirt. She then filmed herself eating from this dyed yogurt bowl and shared the video with her audience. Some of her followers were quick to point out that tie-dye ink is not meant for consumption. It was indeed our oversight, as the agency, to fail to specify that the tie-dye kit was for clothing, not for food.


Phone Calls Gone WrongShutterstock

53. At Least She Tipped Well

I'm employed at a pet resort/spa. One early morning, around seven, a pleasant lady comes in with her Australian shepherd. But before I can take him to his kennel pre-grooming, she makes a rather unusual request: she wants the dog's shaved fur sorted into separate bags by color and texture.

The reason for her odd request? The lady crafts jewelry from her pet's hair. By the end of the day, when I bring out her dog and a handful of baggies each filled with a different type of dog hair, she is positively thrilled. She leaves me a generous tip so I really can't grumble, but I must admit, it's definitely the strangest request I've come across in my entire tenure there.


Miserable JobsShutterstock

54. Not Enough Compensation

When I was a teen, I had a frightening experience in my cashier job. Two men threatened me at gunpoint, their Glocks inches from my face. After this horrifying event, our boss and a corporate representative arrived, right on the heels of the police. They both attempted to convince me and my fellow employees to keep the shop open for the rest of our shift. I was in such shock that I couldn't find the words to respond.

Despite my persistent shaking, they seemed to think it was acceptable for me, a teenager, to keep working until midnight. Naturally, my coworkers and I asked if we could go home. In exchange for our terrifying ordeal, the bosses agreed to pay us for the rest of our shift, but insisted we show up for our next scheduled shifts. I was astounded by the lack of sensitivity displayed by those in charge.

Miserable JobsShutterstock

Sources: Reddit,

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