Going to the same job day in and day out gets old quickly. Once in a while, though, the universe steps in, and—for better or worse—breaks up that routine. Keep reading to hear some of the most unforgettable days at work people have ever experienced.
1. This Penguin Was Flipping Me Out
I worked at an aquarium. One time, the penguin keeper needed help with a baby penguin, who was about the size of a cat. The penguin keeper's hands were full, so it was my job to hold the baby penguin and make sure she didn't get hurt while I went down this steep stairwell. It was so cute, I thought I was so lucky! Then the keeper turned around and said utterly terrifying: "Make sure you don't let go of her neck, or she'll rip your eyeball out in less than a second.”
She added, “Don't be afraid of choking her; wring her neck out if you have to. It won't hurt her, and it's just for the stairwell." The little gal did indeed try her hardest to take my eye out, and because I didn't want to hurt her, I was afraid of choking her. Then it became an all-out fight. Luckily, I still have both eyes, and the penguin still pecked away at that aquarium.
2. Seeds Of Doubt
I was working the customer service booth at a grocery store. I had an elderly woman call multiple times, cuss me out, and call my credibility into question because she purchased oranges that did not meet her highest standards. Not only was she upset that the oranges were not tasty, but she accused me of pulling a bait and switch on her.
I had offered her a total refund or exchange, but she wasn’t having it. She said, "What is this? You put out the good oranges, and then when someone tells all their friends to buy them, you put out the bad ones?!" I replied, "I'm sorry, ma'am, that you had a negative citrus experience, but I can assure you there was no intent to trick or deceive you." She didn’t believe me.
3. Up In Smoke
I was looking out the window toward a shop area where two men were getting ready to set up for their annual summer picnic. I suddenly heard a deafening “Bang!” I saw one of the men swiping at his face while the other guy stood there. Then they both walked away, and I found out later that the propane exploded in his face. He went to the hospital with second-degree burns. Needless to say, they weren’t going to be using propane for the BBQ.
4. I Couldn’t Cut Him Loose
I was working in the sporting goods department of a large retail chain that sold munitions. A man and his significant other came to the counter and told me they wished to purchase a rifle. After inspecting it, he declared that he would like to purchase it. I filed the usual paperwork and called the FBI hotline, only to find out that he was a convict.
I informed him that there was an issue and I couldn’t sell it to him. I gave him the hotline number and the request code, which was “SOP” for this store chain. He told me that his wife would purchase it. I told him that, per the law, that was not an option because she was with him during his attempt to buy it. I just wanted him to leave, but his next question was even more deranged: He asked for two machetes out of the case.
He was VERY upset at that point, so I told him I needed my manager’s approval for the sale. I called the manager over, and the guy went ballistic on the manager because I wouldn't sell him the machetes without approval. The manager sold them to him and wrote me up for "poor customer service."
5. Saved By Some Famous Last Words
I worked as a background actor in TV and films. It was a minimum wage job where talking to an actor on set could get you fired. One day, I was sitting next to Jimmy Smits in a bar scene and tried to keep to myself. The next thing I knew, my brand new and completely silenced phone was ringing. I didn't know the alarm could go off even if everything was set to silent.
I ran out of the room, only to return to one of the other actors in the scene saying I should be let go. I was nearly in tears, then a miracle happened. Jimmy Smits then stood up and announced to the room, "I'm sorry my phone rang, everyone, but I had to take it. It was my agent." He gave me a little nod as he sat down and saved my job. It just goes to show there are nice celebrities out there.
6. Not For Sale!
I worked at a restaurant that was like a regional IHOP. In our front display case with fresh pies, we also had a tray of caramel pecan cinnamon rolls that were at least four years old. They had been sprayed with food preservatives and other stuff and were hardened. We had a host who sold one of those rolls to a customer.
A lady asked him for a roll and pointed at the one in the display case. Instead of telling her that those rolls were for display purposes only, he took the tray into the back of the kitchen—how no one noticed is beyond me—and hacked at it with a steak knife. He boxed it up and sold it to the lady. Meanwhile, no one had noticed that the tray of rolls in the front display case was gone.
Several hours later, this lady called back and demanded to speak with a manager. She had microwaved it, and it started burning. She didn’t know if she should call the health department, the authorities, or what. Needless to say, we gave her a full refund, as well as a free pack of cinnamon rolls. You'd think the guy cutting into it would have realized that if it takes that much effort to cut into the rolls, there was probably something amiss.
7. Full Steam Ahead
We had a staff shortage, and I ended up working in the fore-end of a submarine firing torpedoes worth over $6.5 million. In the movies, it looks like the captain fires a torpedo by pressing a button in the control room, but in fact, it only sends a signal to the forward torpedo room. There, a guy—in this case, me—operates a handle with a small button on the top that propels it out of the tube with a burst of compressed air. It was really cool, and definitely not my usual job description.
8. These Customers Were Whey Out Of Line
I worked at a frozen yogurt shop. One afternoon, the shop was moderately busy. A man came in, joked around with my coworker, and asked her if he could leave a bag behind the counter for "like ten minutes." She said yes. He left the backpack and exited. Five minutes later, a woman at least 10–15 years older than the guy came in and said, "My husband left a bag behind the counter, I just need to put something in it, and I'll bring it right back".
It was a little odd, but you couldn’t see the bag from the front of the shop, so she had to have known it was there. I saw her come in from across the parking lot; therefore, she couldn't have been watching the exchange between the man and my coworker. I said, “Sure.” She took the bag and went over to a table. I was helping someone, but I heard her say thanks and put the bag back.
She then went to the bathroom and got some yogurt. About ten minutes later, she was still back by the yogurt machines when the man came back in. This is when all hell broke loose. He was furious. He came through the doors cursing at the woman. They argued for a moment, then he grabbed her arm, dragged her back to the counter, and grabbed the bag. I said, "Excuse me," but they were arguing again, and this time she hit him across the face.
I'm still not sure what this dude was doing, and as they started to leave, I yelled, "EXCUSE ME!" The man turned around, snarled, and cursed at me loudly in front of my 15 other customers—three of whom were under the age of six—and left. An old man who was in line yelled, "Hey!" and some college kids who had just paid stood up from their chairs.
A moment later, the wife of the old man said, "Hold onto these, we're just going to go check on that." She handed me their yogurt, and she, the old man, and the college kids went out after the guy in the parking lot. At first, they were lecturing him, and then he went to punch the old man, so the college kids got the guy in a headlock. Then, the old man said something that made the dude go pale and something to the woman, who went equally pale. Afterward, they came back inside and paid for their yogurt as if nothing had happened.
9. One Two Too Many
I overcharged a guy $20,000 on a credit card. He had a bill for $2,222, and I charged him $22,222. I had no idea a credit card machine would accept that much, let alone that anybody had a spending limit over $20,000 on a credit card. After I found out from the accounting department, I called the guy, told him what had happened, and that we were going to reimburse the $20K. His reply was, "Oh, that's embarrassing. I didn't even notice it was missing."
10. Sticky-Fingered Granny Was Being A Ham
A friend of mine was a manager in a supermarket. It seems elderly people shoplift more than young people. He once witnessed an older woman hiding a ham under her dress and trying to walk out of the store. He stopped her and went to call the authorities. She ended up pooping herself. He was so surprised that he just let her go. However, this is apparently the "go-to" strategy when old people get caught pilfering stuff.
11. What A Novel Idea!
I was a government employee, and for some reason, the amount of work required by me was about one-eighth of the hours I was contracted to be at work. So, I wrote a novel during work hours using a work PC. I researched it using work internet access and printed draft copies for line editing on the work printers. I then started working on my second novel in the same cubicle and even got a 5% pay raise.
12. My Career Experienced Excessive Storm Damage
When I was in college, I used to work at Sears and was on commission in the lawn and garden section. One month we had a MASSIVE storm, with trees down all over town. It was going to be weeks for some people to get out of their driveways because they had to wait on the city to clear the area. So, they would get out onto the main road and get a ride down to our place, figuring they could buy some chains to yank the trees out of the way or get a chainsaw to cut them up.
However, once they got home, they realized their Honda Civic wasn't going to pull that 40-foot tree anywhere or that they didn't actually know how to use a chainsaw. Therefore, most of that stuff got returned to me. I came into work and clocked in one weekend, and I was already at negative $1,500 on my numbers. No one had ever seen someone start that much in the hole on a single day.
13. A Shiny New Addition
I worked for a car dealership. The lot porter was doing inventory and moving new cars around. They used those lockboxes that you roll the window up on so the keys are with the car, and he couldn't get the lockbox open. They ran the VIN on inventory and found the dealership never took delivery of the car, yet there it was. An hour later, we found out the vehicle was reported missing from a dealer...200 miles away. Someone had taken the car, drove to my town, parked it on the lot, and left it where it sat for over a month.
14. We Thought He Was A Total Fake
I worked at a dealership. A guy came in with an OBVIOUSLY fake driver's license to purchase a car. Identity theft was a big deal, so we called the authorities to see if we should send him packing or let them come pick him up. We had a squad car at the store within 10 minutes, and the customer was sitting in the back seat. When the truth came out, it was so much more ridiculous than I'd thought.
The officers ran his ID through their database and found out this guy actually made a fake copy of his own driver’s license because he lost his real one. So, they let the guy go and told him to go to the DMV, and he said, "Can I still buy the car?"
15. Something Did Not Compute
I was a bank teller and one day when balancing out my drawer I came up $30 short. Our policy stated that any outage over $25, long or short, would result in a write-up. I was frantically looking, hoping to find the cash, as I had only been at my job for three months, and I didn't want to be written up. After 30 minutes of searching every possible reason for why I would be short $30, I pulled up what my computer read. It said I had $980—in fifties. I brought that to my boss's attention so we could correct it. She confirmed that was the reason I was short.
16. I Had To Make The Dreaded Call
I once was left as the only manager of a warehouse with 14 miles of conveyor and about 300 employees working that day. My senior manager had called me to let me know that my boss and my two counterparts had all called off that day. At the end of the phone call, he said, "Don't call me unless the building is on fire." Well, I actually got to make that very call later that day.
17. Frankly My Dear, They Didn’t Give A Darn
When I was working at a busy 20-screen theater, we had an electrical fire in one of the projection booths. All of the employees had to go around to the individual cinemas to announce that there was a fire in the building, to stay calm, and to follow evacuation instructions. No one really moved. The films were still running except for the one with the fire in the projection booth. People were extremely reluctant to leave; they wanted to see the end of their movies. It was so bizarre.
18. Gone For A Joy Ride
A couple came in and took a car for a test drive at the dealership I worked at. Some people are gone for 10 to 15 minutes, 30 minutes tops, but these guys were gone for longer. A salesman called their cell phone number, but there was no answer. One, two, then five hours passed and still there was nothing. At the end of the day, the sales department called the authorities to report the car missing.
However, the authorities told them that it wasn’t taken because "we gave them the car to test drive and didn't put a time or distance limit on the car." The car was returned the next morning with some 500 miles on it and an empty tank. We never saw the couple again.
19. Spun Out Of Control
I was a lifeguard at a pool. We used to have those machines that dry out your swimsuit. You would put the suit in, press down the lid, and it would vibrate/spin the swimsuit dry. The one in the women's locker room didn't shut off right away when you opened the lid. Most people had the sense not to stick their appendages in the machine right when the top opened. That is, except for this one old lady. She stuck her hand in, and her suit wrapped around her finger, cutting it right off. Not going to forget that day at work any time soon...
20. He Needed To Lay Off The Bottle
I had picked up an addicted patient who managed to cram his whole johnson into the mouth of a 20-ounce Coke bottle, then pass out for 32 hours after the narcotics wore off. I didn't think it was possible to do something like that. The ER staff looked at the fairly deceased-looking organ and said he'd probably lose it. Cutting off most of the blood supply to your junk is a bad idea. Every once in a while, a patient will do something that makes me scratch my head and wonder, "How did they even do that?" That one was burned into my brain.
21. Five-Alarm Fired!
When I was going through college, I worked nights as a security guard on a factory site. The afternoon shift workers left at 11 PM, and I would be alone the rest of the night. I had a week unlike any other. On Monday night, which was my first shift, there was a factory fire at midnight. The fire department thought someone may have triggered a fire with welding sparks.
On Tuesday night, a grass fire broke out at the back of the factory at 1 AM. The fire department thought it might have been kids puffing away near the railway line. On Wednesday evening, five minutes after I started my shift, a car caught fire in the staff parking lot. On Thursday night, there was a fire in the lunchroom just after staff left at 11 PM. Then, on Friday morning, I got a call that they didn’t want me back because they believed I liked fires—but it wasn’t me.
22. He Couldn’t Cut The Mustard
I worked at a Subway, and a guy ordered mustard on his meatball sub. I thought that was the weirdest thing ever until I got a customer who wanted every kind of sauce on his meatball sub. He got mustard, spicy mustard, sweet onion sauce, vinaigrette—literally EVERYTHING. I didn't think it was possible for someone's taste buds to malfunction so severely.
23. He Was One ToughCustomer
I worked at a grocery store. One day, an elderly man was cashing out his groceries. In the middle of the process, he grabbed his chest, proceeded to have a minor heart attack, and fainted on the ground. As the paramedics were putting him on the stretcher, he started to get up and insisted on paying for his groceries. He was the most dedicated customer I had encountered.
24. Who Was Behind The Wheel?
Our service department manager came in one morning and saw a customer's car in the parking lot, on a jack, with a wheel missing. Someone had taken the wheel—only one rim was gone. Towards the end of the day, someone saw a guy putting the wheel back on the car. It turned out some random guy had a blowout on his car, walked down the road during the night, took a random wheel off a car, and put it on his car. Then, later on in the day, he got a new tire for his car and came back to return the "borrowed" wheel he had taken.
25. Get A Room—And A Cab!
I worked at a restaurant and had a couple in their late 40s come in one night and stay in the bar area for hours making out. They were totally sloshed, and their idiot server continued to serve them, which was a big no-no. My boss was having issues with the computer system that night and wasn't aware of the situation, so I told her.
This couple was just disgusting. You could tell they had money but no class at all. The woman was all over the guy, and he was falling backward into the window, getting tangled up in the blinds. The two of them started to leave without paying, and my boss stopped them. She had them sit on a bench outside while she called a cab.
The man insisted he was good to drive, even though he was absolutely not. My boss informed them that she was responsible for making sure the two of them left safely. They argued with her but eventually accepted their fate, and she forced them to pay their tab too.
26. The Sixty-Million Dollar Man
I worked in merchant processing for a company that ran credit cards. One day, a business called and said that their credit card batch wouldn't settle. This would happen fairly often for a variety of reasons, the biggest being unstable internet. I looked into the situation, and there was a card that had a $10 charge but a $60 million tip. It was obviously wrong and didn't go through but showed up as a pending transaction on the customer’s bank account for three days.
27. She Was A Wild Card
I worked at a Hallmark store. No one under the age of 55 EVER comes in, and the most expensive things I sold were Christmas ornaments. One day, a lady in her mid-80s paused from yelling at me about using a coupon to tell me that I had "an extremely beautiful complexion." I blinked and said, “Thank you,” then she kept yelling at me.
28. We Got Boxed Into A Corner
While working at an electronics store, my coworker and I accidentally left a table outside on the sidewalk with a number of display boxes of various electronic goods, all of which were empty. The authorities came by that night and took them all, thinking they were helping out because they didn't realize they were empty. The next day we had to pay a fee to get them all back.
29. She Threw In The Towel
One night, a woman carrying a Pomeranian came into my coffee shop thirty seconds before closing. We were walking towards the door to lock it when she pushed past us and made a beeline for the restroom. She doubled back, grabbed the key, and sprinted in. We couldn’t lock the doors or start closing tasks until she was out. Meanwhile, we had to field people trying to come in and get coffee who wouldn’t believe we were closed because the door was still open.
Fifteen minutes passed, and my supervisor went to knock on the bathroom door. Suddenly we heard the dog bark like mad, “YIP YIP YIP.” My supervisor didn't realize that there was a dog until that moment, and he started to flip out. A half-hour after closing, she opened the door and sprinted out of the store. I went to check the damage, and the toilet was overflowing all over the floor, stuffed completely full of paper towels. But that wasn't the horrifying part.
There was blood everywhere. We did a quick search for needles, but there weren’t any. The floor was oddly damp, and the whole women's room smelled like death. After unclogging the toilet, we concluded that the dog was spooked by us knocking on the door and spewed bloody diarrhea on our floor. We then started hiding our bathroom keys five minutes before we locked up.
30. He Caused A Major Brewhaha
I worked at The Beer Store in a city in Ontario. One day, I witnessed a man accidentally drive through our store wall. He had half his car in our lobby, yet, he proceeded to get out of the vehicle and stood in line to order a drink. I cannot explain how baffled everyone was at what was going on.
31. Keep On Truckin’
The company I worked for had an inventory stocking system set up where each part had a unique code of two letters followed by four numbers. My buddy was adjusting some returned parts back into our inventory and meant to add a particular part back in. However, he entered a letter wrong. The part he meant to put in the system was about $12, and the part that was one letter off was a $5 million truck.
He ended up adding that one to our warehouse inventory. Company policy was that we could only adjust up to $500 in inventory and had to report all adjustments over $300. Anything higher had to be done by people in the front office. Needless to say, everyone kind of threw a fit when they saw a random extra $5 million in inventory with no explanation. In the end, we had a good laugh about it.
32. Looks Can Be Deceiving
My first job at a restaurant was as a dishwasher. That meant I was also on bathroom duty. A guy came in and did a bunch of magic tricks for the servers and some nearby children while eating. It wasn't disturbing, and the customers loved him. Twenty minutes later, I had to go see why the men’s bathroom door wouldn't open. Nothing could have prepared me for what I found.
I pushed it open and found the man bloodied on the floor with a puddle next to him like he hit his head on the sink. We called for help, and the hospital told us that he had odd abrasions on his head that didn’t match up. I was given the job of digging through the trash, where I found a broken tape dispenser—just the cutter part. Apparently, the guy had poured water on the floor to look like he slipped, cut his head with the dispenser part, and lay there waiting to collect his cash.
33. Never Underestimate Someone
I used to work at a mechanic shop. I would also fix and sell cars on the side. I had an old Dodge Caravan for sale but had no bites on it for almost a year. Throughout that year, there was a homeless man who would push his cart by the shop and ask for pop cans and scrap metal. One day this homeless man pushed his cart as usual and asked me if he could buy my van.
I jokingly said, "Sure, bring me $1,500, and I'll give you the keys." I forgot about him as soon as he left because the idea of a homeless guy buying a van seemed impossible to me. He returned about an hour later and handed me $1,500 in assorted wrinkled-up bills. I was so surprised and impressed at the same time. I signed a bill of sale, gave him keys, and he drove off without plates.
34. Lucky Mistake!
Years ago, I was running the lottery machine in a 7-Eleven store. One day, I was punching in the numbers of a regular customer who was also very superstitious. I can't remember what the number was that I was supposed to put in, but I accidentally put in “3333” ten times for $1. Because the guy was superstitious—he didn't want his tickets ripped apart—he bought the mistake tickets. That night, “3333” was drawn, and he won enough money to pay off his house.
35. What Are The Odds?
When I was a waiter, we all had to save our credit slips until the end of the shift. We had to enter tips into the computer based on cost, card carrier, last four digits, time, and table/seat number. Once, I had a table split a check with two Visa cards, so both of them had the same table and seat number. Naturally, both paid at the same time because they were splitting the check and paid the same amount. Both had the same last four digits on their cards. They tipped different amounts, and I was 100% unable to determine who tipped which amount. The odds were staggering.
36. I Was Part Of The Jet Set
It was the first week of my job as an intern at a Fortune 500 company. The long-time intern I was working with had taken the week off. However, they needed one of us for a meeting which was on the other side of the country. I got to fly with some of the top engineers and executives to their East Coast branch for a day on the company jet.
37. An Accident Waiting To Happen
I was walking into work and found a piece of paper on the ground. I went to reach for it and ended up getting a paper cut. I thought, "Well, that stinks. Now it's going to be irritated all day." I got to work, and as I was climbing the stairs, wouldn't you know it, I tripped and skinned my shin. I thought, "Well, this just isn't my lucky day." I went to the bathroom to clean up the scrape—but my trials weren't over.
As I was walking out, I slipped and hit my head on the sink. Now, I had a paper cut, a skinned knee, and a massive bump on my forehead. I thought, "Wow, I don't know how this day will get any worse." Well, it did. I went to my desk to do some work when I realized I needed to copy something. As I was copying, I leaned over into the paper intake, and it sucked up my tie, ripping it clean off.
I sat down in defeat and tried to continue my work but didn't get much done. It was almost the end of the day when I got a letter. I reached for my letter opener and started opening it when the letter opener slipped and cut my thumb right open. There was a hospital across the street, so I decided to walk over. As I was doing so, I tripped on the curb and fell into the street. As I was stumbling back to my feet, a dumb teenage girl driving wasn’t paying attention and slammed right into me. All I could think of at that point was, “Accidents happen.”
38. Hiding In Plain Sight
When I was in the Marines, I was offloading some new generators with a forklift. The generators were painted in camouflage, and two of them were on the truck's bed, stacked side by side. I couldn’t differentiate that there were two and thought there was only one large one. I knocked a 30K generator off the truck and destroyed it. They did a small investigation and I was scared for days, but luckily, all I got was chewed out.
39. I Wasn’t Loving It
At the McDonald's I worked at, the doors to the bathroom were extremely heavy and horribly engineered in that they would slam extraordinarily fast. Some kid didn't read the warning sign and didn't move her hand out of the doorway fast enough. The top of her finger got cleanly cut off. I immediately got her a cup of ice to put her finger bit in. I was about to call the ambulance when her mother said they could not afford one, so she immediately drove her to the hospital. There was blood everywhere, and I had to clean it up.
40. This Was Not In My Job Description
My boss and his wife asked me to write a completely made-up letter of recommendation for his entitled son to get back into college after he was booted out for cheating. This earned me the title of "Marketing Analyst" on my resume, despite the fact that I was an administrative assistant. Then when the said wife was in a "pain clinic" for three weeks, my boss had me overnight her a package filled with magazines. Before I sealed it up, he made sure to carefully hide pills between the pages.
41. I Had To Deal With More Than Just Sneakers
I used to work at Foot Locker. One day, a former Green Bay Packers player came into the store. The store wasn't busy, so I was the only associate on the sales floor. After repeatedly being sent to the back to get a different shoe style, I started complaining for this guy to make up his mind. My concerned manager—who was in back stock doing some paperwork—decided to pop out on the floor and make sure everything was okay.
When he saw the player, he became starstruck and asked the dude if everything was cool and if he needed anything just to let him know. Seconds later, the customer sent my manager to the back stock with me. After getting the styles and sizes the Packer requested, my manager and I came out together. That's when I finally realized what was happening: The guy was gone along with all the shoes.
I said, "We need to call security, you know the guy's name," and my manager was like, "No way, man, he's a Packer! I ain't reporting him for anything!" A few days later, Corey Williams of the Packers came in with a couple of other dudes. He and the other guys were doing the same thing, asking for multiple sizes and styles of shoes. I thought they were pulling the same nonsense the last guy did.
So, I politely asked for the shoes on the bench so that I could put the unneeded sizes away. Corey Williams glared at me, demanded I leave ALL the shoes on the bench, and go "fetch" his other sizes while giving me a gentle gesture to scurry along. I held my ground and apologized as we had a six shoe to a bench limit policy, which we really didn’t, but I was worried.
I told him I, unfortunately, couldn't bring any more pairs out until the unneeded sizes were put back into stock. Corey looked straight ahead for about five seconds, then swiftly reached into his right pocket, pulling out a wad of cash wrapped in a rubber band. He pushed it directly into my chest, causing the rubber band to break and cash to fly everywhere, and yelled, “I got money!”
Before I could brace myself with a backstep from the impact, he scooped the money off the bench and floor, wrapped it up the front of his shirt, and scowled at me. In a matter of seconds, he and his friend kicked off the shoes and stormed out of the store. My manager was asked what happened, and as I was telling him the story, we heard a violent knocking on our glass front window.
It was Corey Williams holding a bag from Champs, flipping me off, and screaming something along the effect of "Competition gets your money now!" Footlocker owned Champs, so at the end of the day, the Champs manager brought down Corey Williams’ money to us, and I deposited it in our safe.
42. Looking Good Until The End
I had to spend three days cleaning a condemned building. It was bookmarked for demolition in the coming weeks. I had to sweep, mop, and clean a structure that was going to be destroyed because a general was coming through in a few days. He was going to inspect the progress of the demolition of the buildings in that area, and they didn't want it to be dirty for him.
43. Put On The Brakes!
I worked at a camp for kids with disabilities. One of my coworkers was at the top of the stairs with her camper in a wheelchair. She turned her back for two seconds to get a hat for her camper WITHOUT putting the brakes on the wheelchair. There was a slight slope and the kid rolled down the cement steps, head first, splitting his head wide open. It was just awful. I will never get that sight out of my head.
44. The Lone Wolf
I worked at a fabric store not far from where I lived, stocking merchandise. Some years back, I had a customer—a furry in a wolf costume—who was showing me what he wanted without saying anything. I went ahead and showed him where to locate what he wanted, and he thanked me by honking his nose while making a very soft, high-pitched squeaking noise. It was odd.
45. Trying To Talk Trash
I was at work and came across a guy who couldn't figure out how to use a trash can. It might have been dementia, but he walked around and around it and didn't seem to be able to see the hole in the can. So, I grabbed some trash off of my floorboard to sort of demonstrate where the trash can hole was, but regardless, he still didn’t seem to figure it out.
46. Bathroom Bungle
I was working late one day and thought I was the only one still in the building. I was nervous being there alone because there was a prior incident in the building where two women who came in on a Saturday had been murdered. I was in the women’s restroom when a person I thought was a man suddenly walked in. I said, “Hey, this is the women’s room. Get out!” It turns out it was a woman. She replied, “I’m sorry, what did you say?” I just excused myself and left.
47. Copy That!
I used to manage a copy and print store. One day, I had this very innocent-looking lady in her 70s come in. She had me copy several covers to cleaning/repair manuals for various armaments and heavy-duty munitions. This wasn't too out of the ordinary since my store was the closest copy place to our county fairgrounds, where we had gun shows about every month.
Less than a week later, she came back with a slightly odder print job. I looked them over, and my blood ran cold: covers for about a half dozen homemade explosives manuals, tactical tags for maps—marking IEDs, enemy/friendly units, rally and objective points—and detailed maps of our local air force base. This clearly sent up a few red flags, but for some reason, refusing to copy them for her just didn't seem safe.
After she left, I notified my regional manager and the FBI. Two agents were at my store in less than 15 minutes. They erased all the hard drives on my copiers, and I spent the next two hours answering questions. I got a call from one of the agents a few days later with a few final questions and the standard, "Thanks for doing this service to your country." I never heard anything more related to that incident.
48. That Punk Took A Bite Out Of My Paycheck
I was bartending on Thanksgiving eve. The place was packed. My boss was cheap and refused to let anyone work but myself and my 5-foot co-bartender. This turned me into a bouncer/bartender. I had a very unruly, punk kid come down to my end, obviously overserved, and demand that I give him free drinks for the place being so packed.
I calmly explained to him that he was more than welcome to leave or buy a drink. He decided to buy himself and his three friends drinks. Before I gave them their drinks, I asked them to see their stamps or IDs. When none of them showed me any proof, I asked them all to leave, as, per the law, anyone without valid 21 proof was not allowed at the bar.
The other three agreed; however, the young man, who demanded free drinks, refused to leave. This is where things got messy. After a loud disagreement, he finally figured the best way to resolve the situation was to spit on me. After being spat on, I put him in a headlock and dragged him out of the bar. While I was holding him—kindly asking him if he was going to be calm—he proceeded to bite through my skin between my thumb and index finger.
When I finally had my wits together, I searched for the kid, but he was gone. I decided I had had enough and threw everyone out. By the time I had finished closing, it was 6 AM. The bite wound was deep, and I needed to go to the hospital. I got nine stitches in my hand, had to be tested to see if I contracted anything, and didn't get home until 9:30 am Thanksgiving morning. But it wasn't even over.
Then at 8 pm, I had to go open the bar for the evening. I arrived to find a town officer sitting waiting for me. It turns out this officer was the father of the kid who bit me. He wrote me four citations for allowing underage kids into the bar, called my boss, and had me taken off for the night. The tickets cost me everything I made on Thanksgiving eve, and I lost roughly $700 from not working.
49. This Job Stung Like A Bee
I worked for a landscaper. Upon mowing a new client's back lawn one day, I discovered a large hole in the ground with bees flying in and out of it. They appeared perturbed by the mower. Wanting to avoid a righteous stinging, I pointed this out to my boss. His "solution" was absolutely insane. He wanted to pour gasoline down the hole and ignite it! And I did it!
After I tossed the match, the hole indeed lit up. Then I noticed something was wrong... The fire pushed the entire underground colony out through the other six or seven previously undiscovered holes around the lawn, surrounding us with thousands of angry bees. I should have quit that day, but it took a tree almost falling on me and getting paid in gas RC cars to make me finally look elsewhere.
50. We Were On A Roll
I worked at a restaurant. We were short-staffed, and the oven steamer was broken. As a result, I had to cook everything, including a lobster tail, in the microwave. The bartender called my coworker and me out into the dining room so the customer could tell us it was the best lobster he had ever eaten. He said, "Red Lobster has nothing on you!"
51. Best Buds No More
This guy at work started at the same time I did and we become buds. We hang out, play some Xbox, the whole nine yards. We worked together for two and a half years at this store and eventually were the two most senior associates.
A promotion comes up to become a Director's Assistant and basically get an automatic pay-rate bump plus full-time. We are both interviewed, and we agreed that we would put our best foot forward and not hold any regrets.
The dude beat me out in the end, and I congratulated him on his victory. He acts a little off but tells me it was a close run, and he knew I was a good candidate. Then I discovered his brutal betrayal. A week after the promotion, the store director calls me in for a serious sit-down.
He says, "I hear you have been cheating the time clock, possibly stealing, and giving discounts to friends". I deny, deny, deny that and ask for proof, or I was going to sue. I’m given a "forced three days off" while it is investigated by corporate.
I’m called in a week after suspension for a sit-down with the big shot. They apologized and promoted me to the DA position. They tell me that my buddy was caught on tape several times stealing, his electronic journal showed consistent unwarranted discounts, and other activities—even though he had “tipped” them off to my supposed activities.
When they confronted him, he broke down, apologized, and returned some stuff he planned to swipe after his shift. This jerk tried to frame me to get ahead.
52. What He Does In The Shadows
I worked for an online banking help desk and this 18-year-old boy phoned up, saying he had seen a transaction for $7 to “allpay” and because he didn't recognize it, he decided the bank was robbing him of $7 and that I was in on it and I was a "thieving little jerk”. Then he gets his dad on the phone who stuck up for his idiot of a son, saying I was a pathetic idiot stealing off an 18-year-old boy, even though it was a debit card transaction and I simply worked in the department that helped people use online banking.
But anyway, I phoned our debit card services to see if they could give any more information, and boy could they. I then had the pleasure of relaying back to this little brat’s equally bratty father the following.
"Hi sir, thanks for holding. I've checked with our debit card services team and I now understand why your son would not have recognized the payee “allpay”. That's a deliberately vague term used for discretion when the customer has subscribed to online adult images. That's what it was for. Your son has been paying for online videos of that nature. Would you like to pop him back on the phone so I can tell him it's a payment for this, or will you pass on the information?"
The father just muttered that the issue did not require any further investigation, thanked me for looking into it, and hung up.
53. Check Out This Piece Of Work
This happened a couple of times over many years when I was a cashier. Every time, I would scan her 1,000 items and hit total, then she decides to start digging in her purse to find her checkbook. After a few minutes, she finds it, and then starts to slowly fill it out. Of course, a line has built and people looked like their life was slowly draining out of them. I felt it too.
I ran the check through the register (it scanned it or whatever) then put it in the bottom of the cash drawer. I hand her the receipt then she held her hand back out. I am not entirely sure why, because I wanted her to go, not give me a high five. She just went ahem at me and said "Where is my check"? I looked at her confused, "In the drawer, where I just put it after the transaction".
"I want my check back," she yelled. "Ma'am we have to keep the check in to deposit in the bank, in case there are any transaction errors". She was shaking her head no the entire time, "No, I have to get it back, otherwise somebody could steal my identity”. I tried to assure her that from the register we put it in the safe at night, then in the morning, and the armed guard takes it to the bank for deposit.
She would not accept it and said that if she could not get it back then she would return her purchase and get it back to buy things elsewhere. This must have been a power play for her, but she messed up. You see I was on my last week at that job. I asked for her receipt, which I got, pulled up her transaction, and hit void previous transaction.
I grabbed her check, the receipt, and the void receipt, then handed it to her, "There, I have voided the transaction and returned your check. Good luck at the next store”. I then started removing her items from the bags and making a stack beside me on the floor. She looked dumbfounded, jaw dropped. "NO, I purchased those, those are mine”.
I kindly, with the most customer service voice I could muster replied, "You told me that if you could not have your check back, you would buy things elsewhere, and I had already told you we were not able to give it back, so I voided your purchase and now you have your check back. " I looked at the next person in line, "I can help the next person".
That beautiful customer stepped forward, right next to the lady, and started a conversation about some cereal she bought. By that time the manager had come over, and the lady began yelling at him. He ended up ringing her items back up in the aisle next to mine and she paid by check but was again unable to keep the check. I could hear it all well, in fact, half the aisle was watching their show of an interaction.
The BEST part was when she was demanding her check back (again) he asked if she wanted him to void it out so she could go elsewhere. She nearly exploded, ripped the receipt out of his hand, threw the bags in her cart, and breaking things by the sound, and stormed out yelling. The cherry on top was that on her way out she turned back to yell more at us and ran into the door frame with her cart.
Laughter erupted from a few kids nearby. What a great day.
54. That’s On You
I film and edit promotional videos, then post them on my company’s YouTube channel. The day after I uploaded a particular run-of-the-mill video, my manager called me into his office because one of our directors, who hates our department and loves undermining me in particular, sent an email to my manager and a few higher-ups. That's when it got cringey.
In the email, he stated that I had messed up the promo video, because there were “all of these other disgusting videos attached to it.” As proof, he included a screenshot of the end of the video, where all of the recommended videos appeared to star scantily-clad Asian women in suggestive poses. Neither he nor my manager knew how YouTube algorithms worked.
He didn’t realize that the videos were suggested because he, or someone on his account, viewed that kind of content before. I have no idea how my manager explained this to him.
55. No Connection
A very grumpy high-society woman came to the store saying her brand new 3,000-dollar Microsoft surface bought by her husband was defective because she could not get internet when she was on the move. I quickly realized she was talking about Wi-Fi, so I tried explaining to her how Wi-Fi actually works. Boy, was that a mistake!
I told her that she could not use her Wi-Fi outside her house, but that she could share her smartphone internet connection. She would have none of it. She said I was lying to her and making fun of her. She even asked to speak to my manager, who then proceeded to tell her the exact same thing, almost to the word. She left screaming.
56. Hey, I Know You
Former Uber driver here. I picked up a very well-dressed lady from one side of town who was heading to a very rich neighborhood on the other side of town. During the ride, she made a series of calls and it became clear she was a "working girl" with quite a few customers. It also became clear that I was delivering her to her biggest client.
He was an accident and injury attorney who is known for extremely extensive advertising in my local area. Anybody around here would know his name...and he was supposed to be married with a family and everything. Ah. Well. My passenger indicated otherwise. His house was a very nice mansion by the beach. Law must pay well.
57. All Good Things Come To An End
I woke up without an alarm, had breakfast, took a bath, and drove half hour to my work feeling great. I even thought to myself on the way, "Lucky me, the traffic is very nice today." Just when I arrived, the security greeted me with the worst words possible: "Good morning, sir, working even over the holiday?" I drove all the way home and had a nap.
58. Overwhelming Toxicity
I visited this one Brazilian family weekly. The couple had a tumultuous relationship—he ran around on her all the time and was known to give her a smack every now and then. Any time she spoke up, he threatened to kick her out. She was undocumented and he wasn’t, so she and her kids would have been homeless or worse.
The social worker and I had been secretly working with her for a while, trying to get the authorities involved, etc. Then, one day, I was doing therapy with the baby when the husband came out to show me the revolver he just bought. His next words were appalling—he said he got it so that he could “deal with anyone who messed with his family.”
I felt terrible because they pulled me out of the home right away and left the baby there. I don’t know what happened to that family. Worst of all, our Brazilian translator just brushed it off, saying, “Eh, that’s just how Brazilian marriages are. “ It broke my heart.