We can’t all have our dream jobs. Sometimes, you’ve just got to roll up your sleeves and do what you need to do for that paycheck—but there’s a limit. Infuriating co-workers, nightmare bosses, and entitled customers can make a bad job totally unbearable. These people have shared their worst moments, and we’re thinking no paycheck is worth putting up with this stuff.
1. Stranger Than Fiction
Many years ago, the bookshop I worked at in the UK hired a new employee with terminal cancer. It was very sad since she was quite young. She wasn’t around too much due to the chemotherapy, but when she was in, she worked in the children’s department, and she was actually a pretty good salesperson. She was also was a huge fan of a fairly major American children’s author.
She ran the UK branch of his fan club and knew him personally. He occasionally flew her out to the States for events. One day, she wasn’t in, and all employees were called to a staff meeting. We were informed that she had passed. There was a lot of sadness, and her close colleagues were devastated. Then, we found out the jaw-dropping truth.
A few days later, one of our staff happened to go into a branch of McDonald’s in a nearby town. Guess who was working behind the counter? Go on, guess. Turns out, she was never ill. She had made the whole cancer thing up and also faked her own passing for reasons that we never really fully understood. The general consensus was that it started out as a way to connect with her favorite author and kind of spiraled from there.
In the end, she couldn’t handle living the lie anymore and so… she had her mother tell people that she’d passed. Then she got a job at McDonald’s a few miles down the road and was surprised when she got found out. That was a pretty what-the-heck sort of experience for us all.
2. I’m Special
Early in my Navy career, there was this kid whose after-hours stunts were absolutely legendary. He was a nice guy who always seemed to be smiling, but the stories about his off-duty antics were just insane. Nothing crazy dark, just WILD. For example, he solicited a contract marriage on Craigslist, with benefits. He also paid his “wife” an allowance as part of the contract.
He loved to pay for intimacy while he drove around with someone else in the back seat— he’d pay them to sit there, too. He has a big, weird list of bedroom proclivities. Anyway, it finally got to the point where his supervisor was concerned enough to refer him to a mental health specialist. By the way, that does not happen in the Navy. Usually, you’d be hung out to dry or end up behind bars LONG before anyone ever considers the mental health option.
He ended up being the only guy I’ve ever known to be a medically diagnosed psychopath. As he put it, smiling, “They said I have an inability to experience human empathy!” He had to go home.
3. The Tip Of The Iceberg
The finance director was having an affair with his assistant, who was married to a different employee in the company. That’s not the insane part, though. What’s insane is how we found out. I was the HR director at the time, and a court investigation is still underway, so some details have been changed. One day, the CEO approached me about rumors of the finance director’s affair.
In retrospect, maybe I should’ve dug into it, but things were busy enough, so I discouraged him from listening to scuttlebutt. I said we should only worry if we thought there was an operational impact. Private lives are private, in my opinion. A few weeks later, our auditors got in touch to point out that a subcontractor had the same company name as a dormant business owned by the finance director.
A quick call to him followed and he confirmed that it was a mere coincidence. “That’s funny,” said the auditor, “Because it has the same tax number, too.” Whoops! Things happened quickly after that. The finance director, who was on holiday, resigned before we could push him with extreme prejudice. But at the end of the investigation, it turned out that he had set up a pal to work as a subcontractor so he could cream the profits off work sent his way.
Plus, he’d also been making creative use of the company credit card and had authorized a company loan to himself. A check of the company cell phone records showed that there had been communication between his ex-assistant and him since he jumped. So we recovered her phone, examined the SMS history, and found out not only that she was telling him about the progress of our internal investigation, but also the full history of their affair, with explicit detail.
The assistant’s marriage imploded. She resigned. In the end, the whole affair swept up multiple employees who’d been involved in the fraud, gutted the finance team, and taught us all some valuable lessons.
4. We’re All Friends Here
I was the head night auditor at an upscale airport hotel. We had a young night auditor who put a room into “out of order” status and let his friends party in it…for an “intimate group event” that he joined during his lunch break. He got caught because of a noise complaint. We called the authorities, and he was fired and blacklisted from being hired back.
5. Do You Know Who I Am?
I was working in a bank. We had a teller who was about 19 years old and he got really angry at the way a customer would send in her deposits at the drive-up window. He ended up complaining about the customer on a public Facebook post. But, oh, that was far from all. He also tagged the lady, as well as her store, in the post!
The customer, who was furious of course, called the bank and told me. I told the customer we would investigate, and then I asked the teller. He straight-up admitted it, saying, “What’s she going to do about it? My grandfather is friends with the bank president.” I called HR and the bank president on a conference call.
The girl lost her job in less than 15 minutes of me receiving the call from the customer. Breach of customer confidentiality in banking is a MAJOR law violation.
6. Anon, Please
My company’s HR department hired consultants to run morale-building sessions for employees. Basically, they told us, “We’re not from the company. You can tell us all the things you don’t like about working here and what you would like to see changed. We’ll put it all into a report for management. Don’t worry, everything is anonymous, we just need material for our report and you guys get to have your say in improving things around here.”
Turns out, HR and the consultants recorded all the sessions and played the highlights for management. People were disciplined for criticizing the company or their immediate superiors, and any shred of faith or trust in management that the employees may have had was instantly incinerated. Managers now complain that they don’t know what’s going on in their teams because nobody tells them anything. I wonder why.
7. Straight To The Top
We introduced a new performance-based bonus system at work, where if you exceeded expectations on the goals set for the year, you’d get a good percentage bonus. So everyone worked really hard in my department, and things got done above and beyond. I worked 45+ hours a week, came in overnight; all that jazz. It all went so wrong.
Eventually, we had a huge meeting—HR said that because everyone worked so hard, EVERY employee in the department would be downgraded from the highest or second-highest levels. We were fuming…and then we found out a few weeks later that management still got their percentage bonus. I quit about six months later.
8. Loose Lips Sink Your Ship
I worked at a small company that grew big enough to hire an HR person. Her office was down from mine so in the mornings I’d swing by and say hi. That turned into grabbing a cup of coffee from the pot she had just made, then into splitting a pastry and talking about life. I found that if I mentioned someone’s name in passing, a few minutes later she would spill the beans about that person’s life.
She’d spill on what work issues they had, their health issues, family issues, etc. I learned really quickly that if I had any issues, I should not take them to her. She made it like six months before she got fired.
9. Sometimes It’s Best to Keep Your Mouth Shut
Company consisted of something like 1,200 employees at the time, and rented out a big conference center for a Christmas party. At the opening of the party, the CFO was giving opening remarks, and asked—expecting cheers—if everyone liked their Christmas bonuses. He got booed. See, of that 1,200 people, a bit over a thousand were in customer service.
No one in customer service got bonuses, only people in the “corporate” departments got bonuses. And our awesome CFO decided to rub everyone’s noses in it, because clearly the Chief Financial Officer of a company would have no idea that 80%+ of his company didn’t get bonuses. At the same party, the CEO made an announcement that the company would be closed on Friday (Christmas that year was on a Thursday), and everyone got a day off.
Now, he had literally just finished making a speech about how everyone was important, and everyone was part of the company, no matter the department. He had put up with so much, trying to make CS happier. The next day, we all got a memo that Customer Service still had to work on that Friday. We apparently didn’t count as “everyone” and the CEO just hadn’t realized that the announcement wouldn’t apply to anyone. January saw a 60% attrition rate.
10. Lady, Get Over Him Already
I used to manage a group home for developmentally disabled adults. I was in charge of hiring the staff that we needed to make the house run properly. I saw a name come across my desk that I had to interview and I instantly looked them up. Turns out, this was a girl that had an obsessive crush on me from years ago and, based on her social media, she still did.
I was in a panic, because she was basically stalking everything I did, and I really couldn’t back out because it was five minutes before the interview. She came in, and it was so weird… she acted normal. We interviewed in a professional manner for about 15 minutes, I showed her around, and I thought, “Wow, maybe she has done some maturing and just let it go.”
Then we got back to my office. I started a sentence like, “Well, (name), it’s been a pleasure having you here and I-……” “Oh, no no no, we aren’t done yet. You think you can ignore everything like you don’t know what’s going on?! I know where you work, now. I know where you live, and I’m going to keep calling.” There was more she was saying along the lines of me telling her to kindly leave, but a phone call to the police, as well as a restraining order, kept her away from work and my life.
11. Some Sleight Of Hand
We had one employee, Johnny, who just didn’t want to do any work. He was in the kitchen so his duties were to cook, prep, clean, and restock. His favorite thing to do was prep. Ask the man to make a Big Mac and you’d get the worst sandwich ever. Ask him to slice tomatoes and you’d get perfection. Anyways, one day Johnny comes to me—and when I saw him, my blood ran cold.
His hand is sliced, bad. It’s down to the bone, he’s bleeding everywhere. It looked like he put his hand in the tomato slicer and just smashed it onto his hand. Thing is, he was so calm. He looked pleased with himself. We sent him home thinking that was that. He strolled out, said goodbye to his co-workers and we never saw or heard from him again.
That night, I was sorting out all the tills to take the dailies to the safe drop at the bank. We were missing nearly $5,000 in cash from the manager’s safe. Never happened before. Never happened again. Don’t know how he did it.
12. A Not-So-Sweet Story
My co-worker was in his 50s, had uncontrolled diabetes, and was 6’4” tall. I was 24, and a full foot shorter. Normally, he was a teddy bear, but when his blood sugar got low, he would get violent. He tried throwing punches at me for suggesting he get a coke from the vending machine in the hall. It was a good thing that he was slow and clumsy in that state.
When we were in the truck together once, and it started making a weird sound, I wanted to take it into the shop, but he insisted we didn’t need to by yelling at me and pounding his fists on the dash. We were going to a remote area and I didn’t want to have to try and find help if the truck broke down and the radio didn’t work.
I had to call search and rescue on him once because he didn’t come back to the truck after doing a job related to biology. You guessed it, he had low blood sugar and was not able to find his way back to the truck. He had no education or experience in biology, but he just couldn’t be fired from his job, which was just driving a plow.
13. Covert Operations
I’d been working as a front desk agent for about a week. It was my first time working at a hotel, so I was still learning the ropes even though I’d previously worked as a check-in agent for a cruise line. I was working the afternoon shift and things were pretty slow, with a couple of check-ins here and there. Then, at 7 pm, this lady came in.
After talking things out at the valet, she made her way over to me. We exchanged greetings and she told me she would like to reserve a room but “only for a couple of hours.” I let her know that the minimum of time she could reserve a room for would be a full night. After asking what the price would be ($240, which is way too much for the kind of hotel I work at, by the way) she agreed and handed me her credit card.
This is where things got… weird. As soon as I asked her for ID to make the reservation, she backtracked and says that she didn’t want her name anywhere on the reservation and would like to make it out under the name of the guy who would be joining her later instead. I paused for a moment, and after asking her again if she was planning on using the room as well, I told her that I at least needed to put her name into the accompanying list for the room.
I reassured her that only the employees would be able to see the list and that the guy she was planning to meet wouldn’t see it. Throughout this whole interaction, the woman was super composed, kind, and understanding. At this point, however, I was just thinking she came by for a one-night stand and didn’t want the dude to know anything about her because she was probably married or something.
I just thought, why not just actually get a motel, lady? This theory of mine was further solidified when she asked me to make a note on the reservation saying that if at any point we needed to address her by name around the dude, we wouldn’t call her by her real name. Instead, she gave me a fake name (or so I thought) to address her by.
I was obviously bewildered, but I was still trying to be accommodating. I tried not to let it show how much I was trying to figure out what the heck was going on. We got through the rest of the check-in process and she even went as far as showing me a picture of the dude so I’d know who he was when he came in.
I handed her the key and she headed over to her room. About an hour later, the mystery dude walked in. My co-worker (who had no clue of anything) ended up checking him in, so I didn’t really get to see much of him. To be honest, I still wasn’t giving the whole thing much thought other than, “That’s a bit weird.” Not even 30 minutes had passed since the guy went up when the woman came back down and handed me BOTH their keys.
She said “Thank you” in the most serious yet cordial way, then walked off. Multiple thoughts went through my mind as she made her way to the valet: “That was way too fast even for a quickie,” or “Why the heck did she give me two keys? Where’s the guy?” or “Please tell me she didn’t off him somehow.” Security was standing behind me staring her down and probably had the same thoughts.
My co-worker and I were whispering with each other, still trying to figure out what the heck happened because that did not look like a lady who had just had a pleasant romp in the sheets. Cue the guy coming down the stairs—we were like, “Okay, we can breathe, he’s not a goner.” Suddenly, though, we had an onslaught of distressed clients, so I never got to find out what really happened…
…Until the worker from the valet came over. Boy, did he have some tea to spill. It turned out, that the woman asked the valet guy to park her car in a way that hid her license plate from plain view. Apparently, the guy she had been talking to me about was her husband. You might be asking yourself by this point, “Why has this lady gone through so much trouble to hide anything that might give her identity away to her husband?”
Well, dear reader, the name woman gave me just so happened to be the name of the girl her husband was cheating on her with. This woman somehow got her cheating husband to believe that his “girlfriend” had booked them a sweet, sweet night at the hotel, only for him to show up and find his wife sitting on the bed instead.
The woman came back downstairs after probably ruining the heck out of him, with not a hair out of place I might add. She then patiently waited for the husband to get his sorry butt back to the lobby so that she could extend her hand and demand their house keys from him.
She later got into her car and just drove away. The only thing that would’ve made this even better was if the dude’s “girlfriend” had also been there to tear into him as well. I’d like to think she had a part to play in this whole thing, since how else would the wife have managed to trick him into getting to the hotel? Point is, this woman is all I aspire to be.
14. Not In My Rented Room
I worked in a hostel in Miami. I’ve learned to deal with a lot of different people. Some are eccentric, some are reserved, and some are just plain stupid. I’ve had a guest the past few nights who is obviously gay and sometimes tries to flirt with me. I personally have nothing against this—I actually find it flattering that he’s attracted to me.
But I do find it a little odd that he knows I’m straight and he still finds the need to flirt with me. I am a 6’1″ straight male and happily engaged to the love of my life. I am comfortable enough with myself and my own sexuality to not be at all bothered by this…but this other guest clearly struggles with that. At one point, the gay man came by and complimented my beard before heading into the guest-area kitchen.
Soon after, a man with a Scottish accent came to me with a complaint: “What the heck was that, mate? That queer just got all feely on you and you don’t have a problem?” I responded, “I’m sorry, sir, but how is that your business?” He said angrily, “Because a man like yourself shouldn’t have to be flirted with like you’re a pixie, mate.”
I stood back a bit, then told him, “I’m sorry that that bothers you, sir, but that is none of your concern. Please, enjoy the rest of your night.” That’s when things got really heated. “Oh, so you ARE gay,” he blurted out loudly. At that point, I just give him the ultimatum. “Sir, here we tolerate people of all backgrounds and sexualities. If you do not respect that, then you are welcome to find other accommodations for your stay here in Miami.”
He proceeded to flip me the bird and walk away to the guest area. Moments later, the man who was being a flirt came out and said that the guest came to the kitchen and called him and his friends’ names before he went to his room. I went after the guest to kick his dumb butt out, and he told me: “It’s fine, you queer-lover. I’m leaving anyway. This place doesn’t deserve my money.”
I proceeded to get his passport photo from our system and uploaded it to the group chat I was in with the other night auditors in the area. My new gay friend bought me some pizza and wings, so that was cool. After that, the rude guest tried to check into other hostels in the proximity and got rejected.
15. Power Plays
I worked in a factory. There was a kid whose father was the regional manager, so he felt like he could do whatever he wanted. This kid was maybe 18 years old and went around flashing a knife at people he didn’t like…which was basically everyone. It had a six-inch blade and he kept it under his shirt in a holster. He also harassed all the women, never did any work and blamed the temps for his failures.
He would constantly be pushing up against women and telling them what he wanted to do to them, and he even took personal information from the computers for employee records to get their phone numbers and addresses. How he got access was easy—the manager above him let him use the computer with his password whenever he wanted because he always pulled the “I can do what I want because my dad is the regional manager” card.
He had tons of complaints against him. The authorities even showed up once and detained him at work, but nothing ever came of it. They took his knife as far as I know, but he had a new one a week later. Before I left, he was made a full manager, and whenever anyone went directly to his dad, his dad just sighed and kind of zoned out, acting like he couldn’t hear.
It was a messed up place, but luckily it closed down a few years back. I don’t know where he’s at now. A funny detail to add is some girl there did actually date him for like a month for some reason. She said it was literally the worst intimacy she ever had, so we got to have a laugh at him for a few days. That said, they had a massive argument and she was “let go” the next day when they broke up.
16. A Shady Past
We hired a guy on a trial basis. He was super polite and careful when speaking to me, but several of my female employees told me that he was creepy when I wasn’t around. After his first five days, one of them came to me and said almost verbatim: “I think he’s a molester.” She just had a gut feeling about him. So I ran a background check on him and…yep, he was convicted.
For what it’s worth, this was almost 20 years ago when it was not standard procedure to run background checks, and I was not in charge of that regardless. In this case, I requested it specifically from HR because the safety of my employees appeared to be at risk, but not one other time in my career did I feel the need to ask for one.
17. In The Money
I knew a guy who worked at Subway back when they gave out stamps. Basically, for every six inches of sub you bought, you earned a stamp. Once you filled a card with eight stamps, you could get a free six-inch sub. So this guy started only giving stamps to customers who asked for them. If they didn’t ask, he pocketed their stamps and grew a sizeable stack of complete stamp cards. Then he set his brilliant plan into motion.
Over time, he started cashing them in. Like, when a customer paid with cash, he would ring it in as a freebie, place his own completed stamp card in the till, and pocket the cash. The customer got their sub, the till was balanced, and he had an extra five to 10 bucks in his pocket. He worked there for a few years, and the word was he racked up a few thousand dollars running this scheme.
I have no idea if anybody complained or if he was ever caught, but he did buy a motorbike.
18. Every Dog Has Its Day
There was this guy named Gus who worked in retail with me. My boss told me, “Hey, this guy’s got anxiety, go easy on him OK?” So I was like, okay, that’s cool, I can relate. I did everything I could to help him make sense of the infernal godforsaken hellscape that is retail. He started off with little mistakes that were forgivable things—forgetting a task, accidentally giving the wrong information…things like that.
However, he quickly devolved in popularity as his complacency grew over time and his helpful attitude shrank. Gus started screwing around during his shift, getting caught on his phone while ignoring backup cashier calls, etc. He would also make stabbing motions behind the manager’s back to other employees, then and play it all off like he was some innocent dope who didn’t know any better.
None of this got him fired. Day after day, there was a new complaint from a different employee about some responsibilities he shirked. He also got reported for telling customers blatantly wrong info, saying stuff like, “Oh yeah, we have another location up on the hill” when we didn’t. We had no idea whose son he was or whatever because that was apparently all kosher. What ACTUALLY got him fired was a doozy.
One day, he brought a dog wearing a super-expensive dog collar into work. He claimed he almost hit the dog on the way to work and it was running around wild, etc. He then tried to sell the dog collar to a customer, and even pushed to “adopt out” the dog to a co-worker. This co-worker was competent enough to take the dog to a vet, whereupon they found a microchip and contacted the actual owners.
THAT’S where the fun started. It came out that Gus never found the dog at all. He straight up KIDNAPPED this dog from his neighbor and tried to pawn it off, knowing full well what he was doing. The guy lawyered up immediately, tried to sue Gus, and threatened to sue the store and the store manager if Gus wasn’t fired. Suffice to say, Gus was gone the very same evening. We talked about him for years and years.
19. Mental Health Check
He was a new hire. He was kind of weird and definitely suffering from a lack of social skills, but whatever. Well, fast forward a few days—a customer came back to return a piece of merchandise, claiming that when they got home, there was blood on it. We looked. Yeah, there was blood. We looked up the transaction, which was only made about 45 minutes earlier.
The new hire had set it up. We went to find him, but he wasn’t in his department. But that was not necessarily a big deal, since we had to go back into the warehouse for stuff all the time. So now we went to find him in the back and there he was, in the warehouse, cutting his wrists with a razor blade and bleeding all over the place.
20. Playing Dirty
I went to HR to report that my team’s manager was shorting all of our paychecks. HR’s response was to adopt a new company-wide policy addressing the paycheck issue and back-paying most people for a certain amount…That sounded like a decent solution, but then they got revenge on me. They framed me for “work avoidance” because I was the whistleblower.
HR and IT then disabled part of my login account to a tool we used, preventing me from doing my job properly. They then fired me a few months later despite not doing anything to help me fix the issue. They tried to deny my unemployment claim afterward as well. They told the unemployment representative that they “had logs” showing that I did something to break the tool, which was nonsense.
Thankfully, they didn’t think to disable my email access in a timely manner, so I was able to back up all my emails with IT documenting exactly what went down. Unemployment approved my claim and hit them with a major penalty to their insurance.
21. When Time Is An Enigma
My one co-worker told the General Manager that he might be a bit late for a shift due to his second job. When the GM reluctantly said OK, he apparently took this as thinking he had free reign to come and go as he pleased. He’d show up anywhere from 7:30 to 8:30 for his 7:00 shift. Then, when the doors closed, he’d insist he had to “head out.”
Apparently, he had an early morning the following morning, leaving everyone else to do the closing work. He also had other issues like being rude to customers and other employees. People mostly kept quiet until one day, a higher-level manager had to sub in on the night shift. When he went to leave early, the manager flipped.
He said, “If you lay a FINGER on that money before this work is COMPLETELY DONE, don’t bother coming back.” The guy insisted he “had permission” and left anyway. When our GM returned and he tried to come back, our manager said, “You warned me you were going to be late ONE TIME, and I never once gave you permission to otherwise start late or leave early. Clean out your locker NOW.”
22. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
She was our neighbor, a young mother whose husband was a truck driver. I knew they struggled with finances, had been evicted from past apartments, gone to their church for help with food and utilities, etc. When she told me she was laid off from her job at a bank, I hired her at the store I managed. What a horrible mistake.
It was the beginning of the busy season, and I figured that would give her a few months to get back on her feet while she looked for something back in banking. Instead, she worked for me for less than two weeks. In that time, she took from the register and another employee, was late twice, and quit by leaving her uniforms balled up in a grocery bag with a note saying she “just couldn’t do it anymore.”
That chick was an A1 scam artist and I held a grudge against her for a long time.
23. Work Is A Four-Letter Word
I was a supervisor at a movie theatre. We had a new hire, who had been on the job less than a week, throw a very loud, unbelievably childish tantrum in front of a lobby full of customers. Why? All because her direct supervisor asked her to sweep up some popcorn that a customer spilled. She kept screaming, “I ain’t cleaning up someone else’s mess! Make them do it!”
She was 24 years old. The meltdown she had when she got fired for her tantrum was nuclear, with lots of screaming and threats about how her parents were going to “call the company and get everyone fired!” The next day, someone claiming to be her dad did call and told us that we were “going to rehire my daughter and apologize to her or else.”
But nothing more came of it—the top manager just laughed and hung up. I’ve never seen such an epic, entitled tantrum before or since.
24. Oh, Poop
Our construction worker took a dump in the toilet of a vacant apartment that didn’t have running water and then left without saying anything. All the workers were aware that they are supposed to use the bathrooms in the offices and clubhouses because the vacant units never have running water. The complex didn’t find it until three days later when they brought in a potential tenant for a walkthrough.
It had been over 100 degrees all week. The woman I spoke to said there wasn’t any toilet paper, either.
25. An Acquired Taste
I had a co-worker who always had a really strong stench, and I thought it was just bad BO. Turns out, she was addicted to mothballs and she was licking them during working hours. The chemicals gave off an unbelievably strong smell through the skin. We got complaints about her odor but didn’t take them seriously since we thought people were just being jerks.
That is until someone saw her actively licking mothballs on the job. I was leaving my job when this was discovered and I was sworn to secrecy because it’s not the kind of thing we can advertise around our office. It was the kind of smell where you could never really quite put a finger on what it was, but once we figured it out, it made a lot of sense.
It doesn’t smell exactly like the real thing…more like it’s been processed through the body and skin.
26. Phoning It In
I’m an HR head. I once got a call from a “private chat administrator” informing us that our official account was unpaid. They said they would take court action if we didn’t pay immediately. I thought it was a joke. And then we got an official notice! At that point, HR investigated, and the “chat” company sent us a copy of the phone calls.
As soon I played it, my co-worker’s face went white. She screamed, “I know this guy, he works in the supply chain!” Apparently, he had been making these chat calls using our company landline. We politely told him to pay up and settle the matter, and then we issued him a final warning letter. He’s lucky he didn’t lose his job that day.
27. Why Can’t We Be Friends?
I work the night shift at a packing line. We had two new temps in, and they were polar opposites. One was a super bubbly religious guy who was pretty emotional. Like, he cried during his favorite songs. The other guy was grungy, pretty cynical, but a darned good worker. Well, they both ended up working on adjacent lines and I was training them.
Things were great until the bubbly guy decided it was his mission to befriend the grunge guy. The grunge dude wanted to be left alone so he could work, but the bubbly guy kept going to our team lead to tell her he couldn’t understand why the grunge guy wouldn’t be his friend. My team lead, who was oblivious and despised by most of our crew, came down and told them to play nice and be friends.
I told her that bubbles needed to leave grunge alone, but she wouldn’t have it. Grunge walked out, and bubbles cried for two nights straight. He never came back.
28. You Think You Know Someone
We had this guy as a delivery driver. He was super nice, quiet, and never showed any signs of anger even in stressful situations. Then we started getting calls, mainly from older women, saying that our delivery driver was cutting them off, flipping them off, and calling them names. I didn’t believe it at first. I thought maybe they cut him off, he honked, and they wanted him fired so made up some big story.
Then I saw that the back window got busted out of the vehicle and the radio looked like it got punched out for whatever reason. Everything came together and we found out he had huge anger issues. He stopped showing up so it resolved itself, but it was crazy how good of a front he put on.
29. Bait And Switch
This happened back in April. Around mid-morning, an attractive young woman came into the lobby and asked for a key to her cousin’s room, who we’ll call “Shi-Shi Garcia.” Cousin: “Can I get a key to room 206?” Me: “Is Ms. Garcia here with you?” She sighed loudly and immediately lost her patience. Zero to sixty.
She badgered me for half an hour. She called someone who she said was Shi-Shi and put that person on speakerphone. Together, they badgered me in stereo. Eventually, I offered to check the camera footage to see if she was present at check-in. I thought this was a very generous solution to her problem; a definite grey-area loophole—but they didn’t see it that way.
The person on the phone said, “You’re really going to be that petty? Why can’t you just do your job and let my cousin into our room.” Finally, I snapped back: “Doing my job means your cousin plops down on that couch and waits for you to get back here to let her in. What I’m doing is extra. It’s special treatment. I’m being nice, and I don’t appreciate this.”
The cousin took the key, sighed loudly, and walked back to her room without even so much as a sarcastic “Thank you.” That could have been the end of it. It wasn’t. Five minutes later, Shi-Shi came into the lobby. This struck me as odd because I was told she was “hours away.” Never looking up from her phone, she asked for my name and my supervisor’s name and took the opportunity to slip in a few more derisive remarks.
After I said, “Have a nice day,” with perhaps too much bite, she told me she was going to get me fired. “What you did is illegal,” she said. I think she was trying to say that I shouldn’t have let the person in. Then, while I was speechless, she smugly turned on a dime like a model on the runway and strutted back to her room.
I called my manager. She was very sympathetic and laughed it off, reassuringly. I puzzled over it for a while, then grabbed my cell phone. I set it to record, took a deep breath, and knocked on Shi-Shi’s door. That conversation went like this:
Me: “Front desk here.” (Shi-Shi opens the door, holding her cell phone up to her ear, saying something inaudible into it).
Me: “Do you want me to call the authorities and oust this person from your room?”
Shi-Shi: “No no no—she’s actually in the restroom.”
Me: “Is it okay that she’s in here?”
Shi-Shi (innocently): “Yeah. That’s fine.”
Me: “Then why are you upset that I let her in?”
Shi-Shi (talking into the phone): “Hold on, can I—is there a way I can call you back or put this on hold or something?”
My goal was to bait her into saying that it was okay for the cousin to be in that room. She walked right into it. At the moment I knocked, she was actually on the phone with the hotel, filing a complaint about me—which is why she said, “Can I call you back?” She got off the phone as soon as I start asking questions. She followed me back to the desk where we talked a little longer.
I asked her to clarify why she was threatening me and she replied, “I’m just doing it to be a witch.” That conversation went like this:
Shi-Shi: “Okay.” (long pause)
Me: “So it’s okay that that person’s in the room?”
Shi-Shi: “That is correct.”
Me: “Then what’s the problem?”
Shi-Shi: “The problem is… your… customer relations.”
Me: “So it’s not that I let her into the room as you threatened me with earlier?”
Shi-Shi: “No, not necessarily… I’m doing it to be a witch if you want me to be honest with you.” The only reason I recorded this stuff was to defend myself against a write-up or worse. I was content to let the whole thing go. She had her key and filed her complaint, but my manager was on my side. Great.
The next day, after they checked out, housekeeping discovered that Shi-Shi and her cousin had taken all our pillows and left their own raggedy, old pillows in the pillowcases. Naturally, her card declined for the theft. Fine. At least that would be the end of it…Nope! Two days later, I saw Shi-Shi Garcia’s name on our arrivals list. Two adults. Oh, dear.
I called the phone number on file, expecting to have it out with her, but it was a man who answered. I told him we’d have to cancel the reservation because Shi-Shi and her cousin were not welcome at our hotel. He asked why and I told him the whole story—the key, the mistreatment, the “I’m just doing it to be a witch” comment, and the pillow swap. I did not mention the recordings.
He apologized profusely. He said they put their employees at our hotel all the time and we’d always been great. He thanked me, said he’d “talk to her,” and ended the call. The next day, I learned that man had been her boss’s boss. He called her supervisor, who called the hotel, and spoke with my manager.
My manager told him the whole story and mentioned the recordings. Ladies and gentlemen, it saddens me to tell you: Shi-Shi and her pretty cousin were let go. They were fired in a strange city, a thousand miles from home, in the middle of a business trip. Sad.
30. The Littlest Woman-Hater
I’ve worked with children in care and I feel as a disclosure that many come from severely dysfunctional families, and it’s our job to raise these children. I trained, tested and got a degree in this so I knew what I was getting myself into. There was one child who was particularly violent towards women; kicking, biting, spitting and inappropriate touching.
We were all paid minimum wage and severely unsupported by management. On one occasion, this particular child overpowered me. I just could not contain the behavior and I was alone (which should not have happened anyway) I did my best to protect myself, but I was absolutely covered in bruises, scratches and bitten on my arm. After shakily writing up my report I vowed never to be in a situation like that again. I left a week later.
31. On Repeat
At my last “real” job before striking out on my own, I had an exit interview with the HR lady. Well, actually, she was just someone who was friends with the company president who was filling in, because the actual HR lady with a degree in the field had quit. As it happened, a lot of people at this place quit. It was a terrible place to work.
Management was out of touch with delusions of grandeur, limping along and building websites for a business niche that consisted mostly of old people who thought the Internet was magic. During the exit interview, this woman asked me why I was leaving. I told her I liked my co-workers a lot but I hated the company. Her reply made me deeply uncomfortable.
She got this exasperated look on her face and seemed genuinely upset. She then told me that she’d been getting that same line from everybody else who quit and had their exit interview recently. It boggled my mind that she could hear the same thing over and over again from so many people and yet they still haven’t stopped to think that they should change something.
32. Mr. Noodle
I worked at an Americanized Japanese fast-casual restaurant. We used to cook these gigantic pots of noodles. Like, you better use proper lifting procedures or you’ll hurt yourself. It was a daily affair. From the stove, they get tossed in an ice bath and then portioned into roughly one million individual bags. Obviously nobody liked doing it, but it had to be done.
This one kid, who always sucked, (slow, late, dumb, complained, just generally bad) decided that if he just poured them down the garbage disposal, he wouldn’t have to portion them. Not including the water, it was probably 40 pounds of noodles. This was a bad idea. It clogged the pipes to such an extent that the floor drains across the back of house started flooding and we couldn’t use the dishwasher or drain sinks.
And guess what?! We just cooked more frickin’ noodles! The selfishness required to destroy product/property, screw our shift over, REALLY screw the next shift over, and the stupidity to think nobody would notice, just to escape some tedium just boggles my mind.
33. What A Day
I just came from the craziest shift I have EVER worked in a hotel. That’s an understatement. I work mid shifts for my hotel. When I went in the morning, my manager notified me that our system was down. I couldn’t check people in or out, give receipts, make reservations, etc. He was already on the phone with IT creating a ticket to get it back up and going.
An hour later, it started working. At that point, I was backpedaling and checking people out, helping the executive housekeeper change room statuses, etc. Out of nowhere, my system shut down again. I was locked out and couldn’t do anything. As this happened, the maintenance guy came to the desk with a bloody hand and said, “I just cut my hand on the roof. I’m going to the hospital to get it stitched up and I’ll be back.”
My whole management team had also gone to our sister property next door for a meeting so it was just me manning the desk. I texted my direct manager and let him know that everything had shut down again and that I’d been calling IT to get it back up. I called IT on the hotel phone so we could get rolling again. As I was on the phone, a guy walked in and said, “I have the meeting space booked, could you let me in?”
I switched to the handheld phone and walked over to the meeting space to open the door with my master key. It didn’t blink. Oh, God. Our maintenance guy was at the hospital. All of our managers were gone. IT was talking my ear off and the next thing I knew, the executive housekeeper called me on the walkie and said, “None of our doors are opening.”
So, at that point, I had: A guest trying to get into the meeting space, a broken system, and no master keys for opening doors. My next move was to call our sister property’s maintenance guy next door for help. He came by and immediately started working on the meeting space door. My managers then came back and also started helping where they could.
After about another hour, we finally got our system back up and in another 30 minutes, our doors were working. Great. I started playing catch up at 2:30 in the afternoon, trying to get everything done before the 3 pm check-in. Here’s where things went CRAZY. I was replenishing the coffee (this is important), then I went to check in a few guests.
This guy walked into the lobby and said, “Hi, I need to check on the status of my application.” I told him to wait a moment and grab the manager. She then explained to me that a homeless man named “Bob” often came in posing as an applicant so he could come in and take our cookies, breakfast cereal, bananas, coffee, etc.
He’d already been removed from the property multiple times and banned from returning, so at that point, he was blatantly trespassing. She came out and asked him to leave while she was on the phone with the authorities. He tried to argue back and forth with her until the officers arrived. They told him that he could not be on the property.
The man flipped out. He threw the coffee I had just made AT A GUEST. There were cookies and bananas all over my lobby floor, and a soda hit the lobby wall. Officers restrained him and took him away. I was about ready to pull out my hair in frustration, so I went outside. Just as I was exiting the door, my other manager came in on the walkie and said there was a man wearing jeans, a grey hoodie, and a grey hat on the property who just tried to attack a housekeeper on the elevator.
She told me to take one flight of stairs up while others were outside checking the parking lot and the first-floor common areas. By the time I made it to the third floor, my manager got on the walkie and said that the man had been restrained and that we could go back to our regular duties.
The maintenance guy and I happened to be on the same floor, so we both got on the elevator to go back down to the first floor. As it was going down, it stopped to let someone on. When I saw him, I nearly gasped. The man was wearing jeans, a grey hoodie, and a grey hat. The maintenance guy and I were looking at each other in disbelief. I just stood there thinking, “This has to be a coincidence.”
I asked the maintenance guy if they were sure they got the right guy and that’s when the worst happened—THE FREAKING ELEVATOR GOT STUCK. Right then and there, the grey hoodie man started chanting: “The United States. Suicide. Suicide. Suicide.” I LITERALLY CANNOT MAKE THIS UP.
So, of course, the maintenance guy grabbed me and pinned me in a corner in case the guy tried to attack. The maintenance guy was tall and well-built, so I knew that if grey hoodie man were to attack, he was going to have to go through him first. I got on the walkie and said the elevator was shut down and that the officers had the wrong guy.
Then, all hell broke loose. The manager was now freaked out and standing outside the door trying to pry it open. We were on the elevator with this guy for 45 MINUTES while the fire department tried to get us out. Grey hoodie man sat there and chanted the same statement over and over again. He never moved, he never looked at us. The man didn’t even know we were there.
I have NEVER been genuinely afraid of a guest. FINALLY, they got us off and I bolted to the back office to have the freaking panic attack I’d been holding in for the last hour. At that point, I had an hour left of my shift to go. I definitely needed the freaking hours, so I collected myself and went back to the desk.
Grey hoodie man was escorted off the property. We all assumed he was going to be taken to a hospital to be checked out because there was genuinely something wrong with him, but nope. I didn’t know this. Neither did the other staff members. We kept working, just trying to wrap things up so we could all go the heck home. Near the end of the night, I went to use the bathroom.
Y’all. I opened the freaking bathroom door and the grey hoodie man was SITTING ON THE BATHROOM SINK chanting the SAME statement. He came in the back door this time so the front desk did not see him. Needless to say, I lost my mind. I walked back to the lobby to find it FULL of high school students who had arrived for a school function.
All I could think of was, “Great, let’s call the authorities and freak out a bunch of teenagers.” I grabbed the maintenance guy again and told him that the grey hoodie man was back in the bathroom. He went to guard it while I called 9-1-e. in the back office. Finally, they came by and took the man to a hospital.
It turned out, grey hoodie man was a veteran who had just undergone a severe PTSD episode. My heart broke for this him. Thankfully, officers were able to take him to get the help he needed. Overall, I am done with today. I will be taking a very hot bath, drinking a full bottle of red, and then getting back up in the morning to go back to a literal dumpster fire.
34. Long And Strong
My co-worker girl left an unbelievable and non-flushable gigantic poop both in and out of the toilet. I went into the bathroom to deal with what I thought was surely an exaggeration and probably just a standard, nasty diarrhea mess. But no. There was a single, unbroken, enormous log that was hanging down over the outside of the toilet seat, going up over the seat and back down through the hole into the drain, as far as the eye could see.
All in one piece. Flushing it had no effect. None. It didn’t budge, it didn’t wiggle. Nothing. Gravity didn’t even pull it apart when it hung over the side of the bowl halfway to the ground. It was…well, it was unbelievable. No one knew what to do. No one wanted to clean it up. Someone wondered aloud if we should send her to the hospital. Honestly, I can’t remember what happened next, only that there were tools involved, but I can still see that monster poop like it was yesterday.
It was in 1997. I could never look her in the face again. I just kept wondering HOW? Mattie, wherever you are, I hope you’re doing better.
35. Drive Me Crazy
This happened recently at my driving job. I got this person through our training process and we set him out to train. The trainer came in, exasperated. Apparently, this dude couldn’t even drive, which was supposed to be the easy part of the job. He also couldn’t secure cargo, which was more challenging, but still a relatively straightforward task.
He started crying while driving, and he ignored instructions. This went on for a week. Eventually, the trainer said he was not going to be able to pass the guy. I told my boss his options were to have him retrain under another trainer, do a ride-along with him so he could draw his own conclusions, or just terminate the guy. Eventually, my boss opted to do the ride-along with him.
The guy nearly caused a wreck, all while doing exactly what I told him not to do just three minutes before. During his ride-along, he ran two stop signs and nearly had a head-on collision. My boss wanted to give him another week as long as he didn’t mess up his paperwork…but then he proceeded to back out of the lot with both hands off the wheel. Yeah, that was it.
36. Calling All Hotheads
I asked my boss for a desk phone with a speaker function because sometimes I need to hold conferences with people on the other line and the people in my office. All we had were these old, yellow phones that made doing that impossible. So he told me to make a request to him in an email CCing our office manager, and he’d send it to the HR department of our region.
SI put forth a nice e-mail outlining what I was requesting and why I needed it. My office manager replied to everyone in the email and asked HR, “Per the request, should I order the phone through the same channels I have used before, or is there a new policy?” HR responded with a livid message. She demanded to know why I needed this phone (despite the reason having already been explained in the e-mail) and then accused my office manager of going behind her back to order phones without approval.
My office manager told my boss, who then called HR and chewed her out. He came out of his office and yelled at me, saying, “See what you’ve caused?!” HR had to apologize to the office manager for her accusations, and it turns out, after everybody yelled their lungs out for an hour, the speaker I needed was literally free and we had boxes of them in storage.
I had that phone for a month before HR rolled out new fancy phones that were actually expensive and convoluted, requiring training to set up and use…At the company picnic, we had to wear name tags, and I had never met the HR lady face to face before. She came up to me and said, “Oh we haven’t met, what’s your name?” I tried to hide my nametag but it didn’t work. She read it and didn’t seem happy to see me.
37. Above My Pay Grade
I was pulled into a meeting with two HR reps in the middle of my shift. They took me to this really nice boardroom, which was confusing because I was just a grunt and they were located literally floors above where I should ever be. They sat me down and asked me, “What do you have to say for yourself?” I told them that I had no idea what they were talking about.
Everyone was really quiet and I started to get scared. They then said, “You know what you did—this is cause for termination,” blah, blah, blah. I was literally thinking to myself, this is really excessive of them if they’re punishing me for being a few minutes late sometimes. I insisted that I didn’t know what was going on. One of them then realized something was wrong because they flipped open a file and said, “Uhh, you’re Jason, right?”
Turns out, they got me mixed up with someone else who had the same name. On the elevator ride down by myself, I was still sweating. I don’t know what that other person did but man, HR does not play.
38. Be Careful What You Wish For
I had a winner today. You know a customer is going to give you trouble when they strut in wearing a shirt that reads: “Public Land Owner.” My hotel is located inside a national park, so people like that always think they own the place. He went up to me and said: “I know the county has a burn ban going on right now, but since the lodge is on federal land, it doesn’t apply. So I can start a fire on the grass just outside my cabin, right?”
Me: “NO. NO, YOU MAY NOT. I’m not selling you any firewood now that you’ve established yourself as a fire risk in the middle of the forest.” Him: “WHAT?! I WANT TO SEE A MANAGER.” Me: “Well, I am manager, so it’s still no” Him: “Y’know, since this is federal land, I shouldn’t have to pay state and county sales tax. Take it off, or get me a manager who can.”
Me: “I’ve already told you—I’m the only manager on duty right now. If you look on that wall behind me, you’ll see that our business license is from the county, so you do need to pay sales tax because we are required to charge it.” Him: “But I’m from Oregon and we don’t pay sales tax there.” Me: “Well, you’re not in Oregon right now.”
Him: “Well, Washington State lets businesses waive sales tax for Oregon residents! Can you do that for me?” Me: “Do you have a tax-free ID from the US State Department?” Him: “No.” Me: “Then that’ll be $98.73. Will you be paying at the register, or charging this to your room?” Him: “Actually, I’m just checking out early. I don’t care what the policy is, just give me my deposit back. This place is a dump in the woods. I want something classy and this place is just embarrassing.” I was already annoyed at this point, but it just got worse.
Me: “Well, I can definitely break the cancellation policy for you, sir. I sincerely hope you find a hotel that meets your standards. But, uh, there’s an agricultural festival, a big bicycle charity ride, a baseball game, and a fishing tournament this weekend. It’s not like any other hotel the area would have rooms available on a summer weekend.”
I told him to have fun searching for another place that would have him. I guessed that the next available place was probably a two-hour drive away, but I may have forgotten to mention that to him. So anyway, four hours later, he came storming back in, demanding to know why his keys weren’t working. He demanded I give him his room back.
Unfortunately for him, I had already sold that room 15 minutes after housekeeping cleared it. I told him to get out before I called security. There was nothing else he could do, so he finally left me alone and that was that.
39. The Early Bird Special
I work at a two-star family hotel. In the winter, we close only for Christmas, which is when we get our three-week paid leave. During the colder months, there are times when there are local events, and since the surrounding islands have no good infrastructure, many guests book at city center hotels like ours.
It was almost November when this happened—we had no rooms available on one particular night, but a guest came in. For the sake of the post, let’s call him Greg. A thin, tall, businessman type of guy with a mafia mustache and glasses. He looked to be in his mid-50s with grey hair. From the way he spoke, I could tell he was very educated. He walked in just half an hour before my shift ended.
Greg: “Good evening, I have a room booked for me and I know I’m early but I can wait.” Me: “Not at all, the check-in desk is 24/7.” Greg: “Magnificent, I can check in now then?” Me: “Of course, your name please?” Greg: “Greg McGregor.” Me: “Hmmm, I can’t seem to find your name…” Greg: “Oh, it’s there for sure, I booked just an hour ago while I was waiting at the bus terminal at the airport.”
At that point, I vaguely remembered the fax that was sent in. Me: “Oh of course, but your reservation is for… tomorrow?” Greg: “That’s correct, that’s why I asked if I could check in now.” Me: “I’m afraid you cannot check-in now, as the reservation is for tomorrow, and I don’t have any rooms for tonight to extend your reservation.” Greg: “It doesn’t matter, I can wait a few hours until it’s ready then! Can you point me to an outlet so I can plug in my laptop while I wait?”
Me: “Sir… the check-in time is after 2 o’clock of the day you have reserved. Not midnight the day before.” Greg: “I respectfully disagree. I am taking the room at 1:01 am just like you promised me.” At the time, I did not fathom what he was trying to say. I have had guests that believed they were entitled to the room at midnight…but why 1:01 am?
After much thought, I decided to check his reservation form directly. The request was auto-approved as we have configured auto-approvals for non-chargeable check-in or check-out times, but they are strictly for checking-in after midnight of the next day, not the previous.
Me: “This is an auto-approval message. It clearly states here and here that it’s for the next day, not the previous.” Greg: “No problem, I can check in at 2:01 am then.” Me: “I’m not sure you understand what I mean.” This is when he started getting spicy. Greg: “You think that you’re the manager here?” Me: “Actually, I am.” Greg: “I will post a negative review then for not keeping your word.”
Me: “Please exit the hotel now or I will call the authorities.” Greg: “Well, okay…I’m afraid you lost ONE MORE GUEST NOW. You may cancel my reservation for tomorrow.” He left as if he thought that all was well. Well, needless to say, he is not getting a refund. Don’t tick off the front desk, people.
40. Fake It Till You Break It
I got hired as a long-term temp with one other person to do some basic data entry work at a major brand that pretty much everyone has heard of. It was at their corporate headquarters too, so pretty prestigious. Anyway, we went through all of this on-boarding stuff in the morning that required us to get photo IDs and figure out parking and all that stuff.
Then, after two or three hours, we were introduced to one of the employees in the new department. They began telling us what we were going to be doing. None of it seemed overly difficult and I figured that while it was a new system I had never used before, I’d be able to work it out in a few days as long as I asked questions and took notes.
And that was the thing that made me realize that the other person who got hired with me probably lied on her resume. She was completely out of her depth—she didn’t take any notes or ask any questions. And whenever I glanced at her, I could see flashes of panic on her face. Well, lunchtime came and when we came back, she said that another company had called her and offered her a permanent position so she couldn’t work with us any longer.
Both myself and the person training us knew what was going on, but I’ll give the other lady credit for finding a way out without losing face too badly. The takeaway here is: Yes, “Fake It Until You Make it” can and does work. But you gotta be able to fake it. You can’t fake faking it.
41. Best Friends For Never
I had a co-worker who was adamant about being my friend, and I did not reciprocate. It got to the point where I went to the owner of the company and straight up told them, “Please tell this guy I am here to work. I don’t want to be friends. I just want to work my job and then go home.” I had told him several times before that that he was making my job difficult and I didn’t want to be friends.
I thought it was finally resolved when I went to the owners. I was so, so wrong. The next day, he came in and told me, “Even if you don’t want to be friends, I still see you as my best friend.” Eventually, I went in to quit, and instead, they called me into the office to let me go. They said even though I was their hardest worker and got the most customer satisfaction the atmosphere was “too tense” when we both were working.
See, he had anger issues and would curse up a storm if I didn’t respond kindly to friendly banter. In front of customers. He would literally ignore customers to ask me things like, “What’s your favorite movie?” making me have to stop what I was doing to help the customer. He’d then go into the backroom and kick something or spew just tons of profanity that you could hear if I didn’t answer his question.
He even had a habit of yelling at and harassing customers. Anyway, the owners decided it was my fault for not wanting to be his friend. So they let me go. Really. Then they handed me a paycheck for $20 and told me not to worry, they hadn’t taken the taxes out. I heard they made him a manager and then later fired him after finding out he was taking merchandise.
I liked that job until he was hired.
42. Thank You, Next
My document-processing clerk was getting married and going on his honeymoon, so I got a short-term temp. It wasn’t a temp-to-hire, and everything was out in the open through a legit temp agency that generally performed thorough screening. Well, on the temp’s very first day, he showed up with a box of things: photos, mugs, office equipment, and stuff to decorate a cubicle with.
I advised them not to unpack since we were getting right into training. Within two hours after I cut him loose on a computer and told him, “Let me know if you need anything or have any questions,” he said, “This mouse is hurting my wrist. It gave me carpal tunnel. I’m going to need worker’s comp paperwork.” I made an immediate call to the agency to end this contract.
I then told the temp, “Your paperwork is at the temp agency office. Go ahead and go see your rep there.” He left their box of stuff behind and I had to have the temp agency pick it up.
43. Honesty Isn’t The Best Policy
During a performance review cycle one year, my manager at the time opened with, “Just so everyone is aware before I start performance reviews, I will put ‘Needs improvement’ for at least one field for everyone. This is from upper management and I don’t personally agree with that, so don’t take it personally.” This was in a private department Slack channel so that all my co-workers could see, but our up-lines weren’t in the channel.
When he actually got around to my performance review, he started with: “Firstly, I’ve been advised to retract my statement about the mandatory “Needs improvement” before going into the review.” I figured someone ratted him out. I’m really wondering who the rat was. Personally, I’d rather have an honesty about things like that, but I can see why HR and the up-line managers wouldn’t.
44. Deny, Deny, Deny
I put in some honest opinions about a member of my team—they were fair criticisms of a system he designed that was not working as promised. I had little involvement with it, but my concerns still seemed reasonable to me. Ultimately, I was demoted for this. A position was created above me and a colleague who was my equal was turned into my manager.
This happened the same week my husband passed away and the management felt horrible because of the timing. But still, on my return to work, I was basically called out during a company meeting, where the higher-ups said anyone who thought the system didn’t work was stupid.
Cut to two years later. The person above me quit, partly because he was scared to tell the company that things had gone wrong because of how I was treated. So they now had to promote me to his position as I was the only one who was qualified for it. At the next company meeting, they admitted that the system wasn’t working and they finally hired consultants to find out why”
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. I had to leave the room.
45. Bonus Revenge
The HR manager at a small hospital I worked at had a bad habit of not paying out the sign-on bonus that was given incrementally in three payments through the course of a year, as well as the sign-on bonuses for picking up extra shifts. After repeated requests to be belatedly compensated, I took it to corporate. While they addressed my issue immediately, they also got their revenge on me.
A couple of weeks later, they fired me because of a technicality. I forgot my badge one shift and my relief was late to take over, causing me to receive more points against me than if I had called out for that shift. When I was called in to receive my notification, the director of nursing was shocked, but she couldn’t do anything.
46. Mother Knows Best
I was working as night manager at a large hotel. We had four overnight staff: me, a cleaner, the night auditor, and a security guard. The guard’s duty is to continuously walk the 10 floors and listen for noise incidents. Our hotel is very close to a plaza that is FILLED with bars, including a very sketchy country bar that is known for over-serving and not checking IDs.
We saw three or four ladies in their late 40s and a younger girl leave shortly after 11, clearly dressed for the country bar. I thought it was a little weird to go clubbing with your mom and her friends, but whatever. Just before 1 am, the younger girl and one of the older ladies returned.
It was pretty obvious that the younger girl was quite out of it, but they were being quiet, so I didn’t hassle them on their way to the elevators. 20 minutes later, the older lady was heading back out to continue the party with her friends. Then, 20 minutes after that, we got a call from the security guard that a woman was passed out on the floor in the hallway.
I headed up to the floor in question and sure enough, slumped against a room door was the young lady from earlier. She was unresponsive to our verbal commands until she started throwing up. We rolled her into the recovery position and called an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance, the mother and her friends returned to their rooms.
We informed the mother that we called an ambulance for her unconscious, unresponsive daughter, who was throwing up. Her reply was wild. She started SCREAMING! “How DARE you call an ambulance? What are they going to think? My husband is a first responder and will find out!”
Now, the cleaner arrived with the EMTs, who started making sure the young woman could breathe. They loaded her onto a stretcher to take her to the hospital. One of them did in fact know the mother and that is when we found out the daughter was only 16!!!! The mother then walked off with the ambulance crew, crying.
That was, by far, the weirdest and most stressful night I’d ever worked.
47. Red Redemption
I had a horrible supervisor once. I was working in the snack bar at a local Target, and we’d gone through a handful of employees who just didn’t work out for whatever reason. Then, they hired this guy—I’ll call him Red because he had reddish hair. He was to be a supervisor. He was probably in his late 20s, early 30s, somewhere around there. He was also a total jerk.
In case you don’t know, all the department leads at Target had walkie-talkies and headsets. Red had neither because we just didn’t need them in the snack bar. Red, however, insisted that we did and threw a fit to multiple department leads, including the customer service lead, about it. Because of the store’s location, we often had construction workers come in to grab a quick breakfast.
One of the construction workers who came in regularly for about two to three weeks was a lady, and Red decided to try and hit on her. When she told him she was married, he upped the ante. One day, she came in, and before she could even walk up to the counter, he reached out and grabbed her hand, trying to pull her towards him. Baaaad idea.
The next day, her husband, who was several inches taller, heavier, and more muscular than Red, came in and told him to leave his wife alone or he was gonna get it. Another time, Red started hitting on one of the pharmacists. She didn’t want anything to do with him, so he followed her out to her car. When she locked the door and told him to get lost, he walked to the back of the car and started pushing up and down on the bumper.
This obviously freaked her out and she called the authorities. The absolute last straw was when he pulled a no-call, no-show. I’d left a note for our lead supervisor about his no-call, no-show and Red became absolutely furious at me. Like, screaming in my face, threatening to hit me. THAT got him fired. Why his other creepy behavior didn’t, I’ll never know.
48. What Goes Around Comes Around
My boss at a tech company was incredibly awful to me. Among many other things, she made me do push-ups for every minute I was late due to public transportation delays—even though the delays were somewhat normal for the commute I had. For “team bonding,” she would take us out to drinks and proceed to get blacked out. She was also sleeping with two of the other people on my team.
There were multiple times at said “team bonding” events where she and one of my other colleagues disappeared into a bathroom…I brought up some of this with HR when I quit, but no one ever looked into it. All the same, she ended up getting fired a few years later due to harassment. Worst boss EVER.
49. No Really, Pick On Somebody Your Own Size
I worked at a huge, well-known international company. There was this young, straight-out-of-college guy who we had just hired—as in, his first day had been the same week. He had moved from Eastern Europe to our corporate location. Cue company ski trip, with lots of free booze—some of his new colleagues who he thought were his “friends” told him that this woman was checking him out.
He started hitting on her, and mind you, he was already tipsy at that point. She told him to knock it off and that she wasn’t interested. He kept being pushy. This large, scary dude beside the woman also told him to knock it off. He swung at the large, scary dude, and promptly found himself face first in the snow. The woman in question? Head of global HR. The large, scary dude? Head of global corporate security. The young schmuck? Fired.
50. Watch Your Mouth
I was a shift lead at a gas station. I had a customer tell me that one of my guys, who was like 80 years old, told him to “screw off” after the customer rolled his eyes at the price of an item. I talked to my guy because I was sure that, at the very least, the circumstances were different than the customer had claimed. Nope. It happened just like the customer said.
My guy apparently didn’t realize his speaker was still turned on and said his spiel as soon as the customer’s back was turned. The guy turned around and that started an even bigger verbal fight. I was mulling over what to do about it, but the very next morning, the employee showed up to work wasted, yelling about a bonus check that we owed him. That’s when he got fired.
51. Party On, Sue
I used to work as a night auditor at a hotel, and one day I was told that one of the daytime workers was fired. She was this really sweet older lady who worked part-time. It was really hard to get fired there, so I was very curious. I soon regretted finding out the answer. Several customers had complained about her, concerned that there was something very off.
She was slurring and just seemed very off that day. Management was also concerned, at first thinking there was a medical issue. After a few more incidents, they checked the cameras and found out she was taking shots of straight Smirnoff throughout her shift. Like, an absurd number of shots. I can’t remember how much, but I remember being rather impressed that she could function in any capacity.
52. The Wrong Man
My boss lost an internal power struggle and was soon fired. The official reason given was that he was submitting doctored expense reports. I wasn’t promoted, but was still given all of his responsibilities…plus I inherited his administrative assistant. Suddenly, charges for car service, local hotels, and local stores appeared on my corporate credit card.
I asked the assistant about the charges and she gave me an explanation that was plausible but that I knew wasn’t accurate. So I called the credit card company and contested the charges until they provided more information. I also started doing some of my own research on the charges. That’s when it all became frighteningly clear. Turns out, the assistant was a drinker who lived with her dog in the local hotel—a hotel that I was getting charged for.
She was also having the car service pick up her booze at the local store and deliver it to her at the hotel. Why? Apparently, her dog had a nervous condition and he liked that hotel. He would get upset if she went out to the store after she got back from work, so she used the car service so she wouldn’t leave and upset the dog. She charged the expenses to our corporate cards because we “owed” her for making her come to work and leave her dog alone.
I got her fired and successfully fought the credit card charges. Even though I found the person actually committing the expense report problems, my boss was still considered “fired for cause” because he signed those expense reports.
53. The Buck Stops Here
I hate people who try to pressure me into kissing their butt over things I have no control over. Ain’t gonna happen. I’m probably in the wrong industry, but that’s why I’ll never be in management. This woman called down twice last night with noise complaints, telling me it sounded like people were in the hallway. I sent security up and he confirmed that her neighbors were being pretty loud. He proceeded to give them a warning.
The second time we received a complaint, he said it might have just been their noisy TV because they got really defensive that they weren’t doing anything. We also have a “three strikes, you’re out” policy, so one more call and they would have been removed. I got the feeling this lady was being a little fussy, but I didn’t hear from her the rest of the night…until she checked out.
Here was the interaction: Me: “Okay, you should be good to go.” Her: “Okay…pretty noisy on the third floor last night, huh?” Me: “Oh yeah, I’m sorry about that. I sent my security guy up when you called and it seemed to just be the neighbors.” Her: “Well it’s a shame. The property is nice but I might have to leave a bad review.” (Side note: No you don’t. Grow up.)
Me: “Yeah. Well, ya know there’s not much that can be done.” Her: “You can kick them out, that’s an option.” Me: “Yes, but we have to give them a chance, we can’t kick them out right away.” Her: “Well, it’s just a shame. I’ve been up for two hours already because of that and now I’m going to the airport.” Me: “Mhmm. Well, that’s just how it is sometimes.”
54. The Ballad Of Sam And Dale
On one Friday, two guys walked into my lobby asking how much a room would be for the night. They explained that they’d come from the bar and their ride had failed to show, so they were stuck for the night. One was sober and the other was clearly tipsy but not incoherent. We’ll call the sober one Sam and the tipsy one Dale.
As I was looking up rates and availability for the night, Dale was going on and on about finding Jimmy—”Where is Jimmy? Have you heard from him? I texted him a bunch of times. Maybe we should call Jimmy”—and he was clearly annoying Sam. At about the same time, I quoted them a price, Sam told Dale to go outside and call Jimmy to see if he could figure out where he is.
Dale stepped outside the lobby, dialing up their friend on his phone. Sam forked over his license and credit card. “Can we do this as quickly as possible?” I gave him the normal canned response; “I’ll get you into your room as quickly as I can.” The next thing he said stunned me. “I don’t want him to know which room I’m in,” he said, gesturing toward Dale outside the door.
“I see. I’m glad you said something; I would’ve given him keys too since you’re checking in together.” Sam stressed it again. “No, I really don’t want him to know what room I’m in. Can you please not tell him?” I responded, “If you tell me not to tell him, then I can’t tell him. It’s your room and you’re paying for it, that’s between you and the hotel.”
During this exchange, I was executing the check-in as fast as I could. I super compressed my spiel into a few seconds, stripping out all but the bare basics. I gave him his keys and, grabbing them hurriedly from my hand, he sprinted across the lobby to his room via the alternate exit.
A mere 30 seconds later, Dale came back in, noticed that Sam was gone, and asked me where he went. I said, “He’s not with you? Hmm, I wouldn’t know sir.” Confused, he asked, “Did he buy a room or not? Where is he?” Remembering what Sam told me, I just said, “I’m sorry sir, I’m afraid I wouldn’t know where he is right now. Maybe try calling him?”
He was not buying my lies: “I know he bought a room. Did. You. Give. Sam. A. Room. Or. Not?” I shrugged: “I’m sorry, if I had I wouldn’t be able to divulge that information.” This kicked off a literal five-minute back-and-forth of Dale repeatedly asking me which room Sam was in, and me repeatedly refusing to give him any details.
I don’t know why he fled from this guy, but it was my job to defend his privacy, so the dude didn’t get anything from me. During this exchange, a cab pulled up in front of the lobby and in came Jimmy who smelled terrible. The cabbie was also with him—we’ll call him Cabbie. Cabbie came to the desk and informed me as impolitely as possible that I needed to contact Sam and let him know his ride had arrived.
This gave me an imperceptible moment of pause because I knew that Sam was, in fact, waiting for a ride, but I also knew that he had expressly forbidden release of his whereabouts to these disreputable characters. I decided to keep my mouth shut about Sam’s whereabouts. Cabbie laid into her own demands that I released Sam’s information, which I refused to do.
At some point, she started cussing me out. She informed me that Sam had no money and couldn’t pay for his room anyway. “That card he gave you is no good!” Of course, this was laughable because no guest could check-in without their cards being authorized. When this tactic failed to scare me, she demanded to speak to a manager. I replied with my favorite showstopper: I am the manager.
She then stormed out while shouting profanities at me. “Come on, let’s go.” They pulled slowly out of my driveway and made a slow lap around the building before speeding off into the night. For a moment, I debated calling Sam to let him know I just saw his ride.
I decided against it because he’d already bought the room and I didn’t want to serve as an intermediary between him and his reprehensible friends. I thought it would be over here. It wasn’t. 40 minutes later, Sam came running back into the lobby with his button-up shirt still mostly off and his shoes in hand.
He was still putting his clothes on when he told me, “Hey, my ride is here. Since I’m not staying here tonight, I’ll need a refund for my room, okay?” I laughed and said, “I’m afraid I cannot refund your room since you’ve already bought the room and occupied it.”
“That’s ridiculous! I’m not even staying here tonight, why should I have to pay for the room?” I calmly explained, “You’ve occupied the room for 40 minutes now. You’ve consumed the product, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to refund you.” “He still wasn’t satisfied. “What about your cancellation fee? Can’t I just pay the cancellation fee and be refunded the rest? I’ll be happy to just pay the cancellation fee.”
“Unfortunately, our cancellation fee is one night’s stay, and since you’re only here for one night anyway, the cancellation fee is your room rate. I will not be refunding your room.” During this conversation, the cab showed up again and Cabbie, seeing Sam arguing with me, came storming back into the lobby. Jimmy and Dale were presumably still in the car.
A split-second before I got aggressive about putting a stop to that intolerable nonsense, Cabbie did it for me by yelling “Knock it off!” out of my lobby door. Sam quickly explained that he couldn’t get a refund for his room, which triggered an almost verbatim repeat of the immediately preceding conversation, this time between me and Cabbie who was much more profane about it.
While Sam has retreated across the room to put his boots on, propping them up on my sofa, Cabbie informed me that I was being extremely rude and that her friend worked at the same hotel in the next town over. She said she has never heard of them not giving a refund before. I was a few words into the “Each hotel is independent…” when she cut me off.
“I don’t care what your stupid policy is, you’re going to be refunding Sam’s room because he isn’t staying here tonight!” I held my own and said, “I’m afraid I won’t be doing that. He has occupied the room and will be charged for tonight.” Cabbie then said, “Then I want to speak to your manager. Get them on the phone right now.” I just replied, “I already told you, I am the manager.”
“No, I want to speak to YOUR supervisor! You’re gonna get me the district manager or corporate on the phone or I’ll have you fired!” I just scoffed and said, “I’m afraid it’s not up to them, and they would tell you the same thing anyway. I won’t be calling anyone at 12:30 in the morning. I’m the manager here, and the decision is final.”
“You said your cancellation policy is one night’s stay?” “That’s correct.” “Can I have that in writing?” “No ma’am.” “Why not?” “Because you are not a guest here.” This really ticked her off. She went wide-eyed and spluttered for a moment before shouting, “What is your problem!?” At this moment, Sam finished tying his boots, took his feet off of my upholstery, and stomped over to the desk.
He took over the conversation now. “I don’t consent to pay for the room because I’m not staying here tonight. You can’t charge me for something I’m not even using.” “Unfortunately sir, when you signed the papers, you purchased the room and agreed to pay for it.” “Can I see those papers then?” I pulled out his papers from the bucket where they had been filed an hour earlier and, stepping back from the desk so I would be out of his reach, I unfolded his registration card to show him that his signature was on the document exactly where he put it.
Reaching out for it, he demanded that I hand it over. “No sir, I’ll be keeping this. You signed for the room.” “I am entitled to any document I’ve signed! Now give me the form! I promise I’m not going to tear it up or anything.” “I will not be giving this to you.” “Can I have a copy then?” A moment’s thought passes as I try to imagine what the authorities would say if they were called for my refusal to provide a copy of the form that this guest did indeed sign.
“Yes sir, I’ll make a copy for you right away.” I had no idea if what he said was true. I didn’t think he was entitled to a copy after he left the transaction, but I couldn’t think of a good reason not to give him one. In any case, refusing to give him a copy of his agreement—especially one that was in dispute—would be dishonest. I made him a copy and but kept the original, which I slipped into a locked drawer under the desk.
I pointed out on the copied document the critical bits of information—the room rate and tax, the arrival and departure date, and his signature. After a moment, Cabbie snatched the paper out of Sam’s hand and read it over. She looked at me sternly and informed me that she’d be calling corporate tomorrow. Then she stormed out of the lobby.
Sam sighed and addressed me in a plaintive tone as he turned to leave. “Well, I hope you have another job because you’re not gonna be working here tomorrow. Good luck.” “Have a good night.” They sped away again. I waited for a moment, then caught my breath. I quickly wrote myself a key to turn off Sam’s door and ran up to his room.
Sure enough, the bed was turned out, the toiletries were opened, and someone had obviously taken a shower. How that qualified as “not using the room” evaded me completely. The story does end here, at last, with me adding the guest to our DNR list and double-checking the authorization on his card.
I still work here, and we have not refunded his room.
55. A Bad Egg
I just fired an intern because he thought it’d be funny to smack one of the girls on the butt…except, that was just the tip of the iceberg. Upon further investigation, she had been having anxiety coming to work because he would ask all sorts of ridiculously inappropriate questions. For example, he once asked her if she had a good weekend.
When she told him yes or some plain answer, he then asked her if it was because she slept with her boyfriend a lot. Needless to say, her anxiety was warranted and we fired him as soon as we could. The mood in my group seems a bit more relaxed this week…
56. Everybody Has A Breaking Point
This was shortly before I joined the company. I’m the dispatcher for a local food delivery service. Anyway, we had this driver and she apparently decided enough was enough one day. The complaint was that she was an hour late and was very confrontational and messy. While being sternly reprimanded, we got another call from the customer.
They had opened the order, only to find mashed up a French fry and ketchup soup that she had made of a kid’s meal in the order. The chicken fingers were also eaten down to the burnt ends. They got a full refund and were offered a fresh meal brought by another driver, but they refused. When we confronted the original driver, her reply was “What? I was hungry. The fat little porker who answered the door could have missed a meal or two. What are you going to do? Fire me?”
She then tried to sue for discrimination because she claimed she was fired because she was gay.
57. It’s Not A Good Fit
I ran an in-house training course, and an apprentice from another department was sent along to see if she’d be a good fit for the job. It was a small room lined with computers along three walls, with me and a projector at the front. We had lots of practical examples to work on throughout the day, so each person sat at a computer for the duration.
We all agreed on a 30-minute lunch break, but she demanded a longer lunch as she had “things to do.” I declined her 1.5-hour lunch break, and she took it anyway. She then used her computer to apply for another job during the practical part of the course. She had chosen a computer at the back, so I couldn’t see what was on her screen from my position at the front—or, at least, she thought.
I paused to get everyone’s attention but she was so engrossed in what she was doing that she didn’t notice. I let the silence hang, which usually works to get people looking up sheepishly, but she still didn’t notice. Everyone in the course was now looking at her screen and we could all see she was applying for another job. We got through the course and I reported her to her manager, who fired her.
She left the company a negative Facebook review naming me as someone who harassed her because of her mental health.
58. Full Of Hot Air
I’m a mechanic. I had a co-worker who would poke a hole into customers’ tires just so they would come back and buy more—yes, he did it to new tires as well. We finally caught him one day after I found it odd that it was only the customers he put tires on that kept coming back for more tires. At first, I thought maybe he wasn’t putting enough air into them, so I kind of hawk-eyed him without him knowing.
Sure enough, he would put the tire on the rim, and then he would put a small slit with his pocket knife into the tread on the tire. Caught him red-handed. Fired on the spot. Screw you, Brett.
59. All Signs Point To “Fired”
I managed a girl who was a loose cannon. She was a drinker who had multiple appointments every week. Psych, physio, solicitors, all of it. She was constantly disappearing from work at random hours for like half a day, and as her drinking intensified, she would show up stinking of booze. I’m a former drinker and the same age, so I tried my best with her.
Anyway, she was on the long stretch towards getting performance-managed, but she sped it up herself. We shared a building with the council and knew all of the staff, including the council rangers who patrol the streets and give tickets, etc. One morning, on her way to work, she saw a street sign she wanted to take to give to a friend (I cannot tell you why).
She pulled a screwdriver from her bag (why she had it, again, I cannot say) and unscrewed it while standing on a milk crate…in front of one of the rangers. She then brought it into the office, told everyone, and asked another staff member to hide it for her in case a ranger came looking for it. Then she also put photos of it on Instagram with the office and company signage in the background.
We had a meeting planned that day about her absenteeism and she told me about her little crime too because she thought it was a good laugh. Anyway, it took a few days, but she quit when HR started investigating.
60. High On Your Own Supply
I worked an administrative job and a new hire came in. We thought something was up with him as he was always spaced out, but we decided maybe he was just settling in. Then, one day, he called in sick only to turn up five minutes later…having no recollection of our conversation, he went up the stairs to the office and walked straight into a wall.
When he got to his desk, he watched sports on his computer which facing the whole office. We asked him to highlight some lines on a page and he colored the whole page in instead. We told our boss we thought he was on something. The boss thought we were exaggerating—that is until he kept doing things like this and we had to let him go.
We later found out he was a dealer selling out of his bedroom.
61. Wasn’t Me
I only know of this because it involved myself. I was a new hire at a security company, and I’d only been there about four months, give or take. One week, I was given a new assignment with a couple of other guys on rotation. Someone who got hired a week or so before I did gave me the obligatory tour of the site and pointed out some hot spots.
They showed me some key equipment that needed an eye on them, etc. Less than a week of shifts go by, and the same guy offered me a bump. I declined. Then, just over a month later, I had a perfectly fine shift with no issues. About an hour before my next shift started, my boss called me up, furious at me. Obviously confused, I got to the place early.
Well, the place had been turned over. The equipment is gone, the fence is busted wide open, the works. One of the on-site trailers has been broken into where just over a grand was taken from a safe I knew nothing about because it was always locked. Still, I was blamed as the culprit. It took less than five minutes of conversation with the boss to get it ironed out.
See, not only had stuff gone missing from this place, but other stuff had gone missing from other sites the other guy had been to before. For example, one of the things that were taken was towable, and they found it in the guy’s driveway. He might as well have dipped his hands in red paint. Needless to say, he didn’t work for that company after that.
62. Coming Clean
I will always remember this one scam artist I dealt with. I was working in Corporate Guest Relations and I received a VERY long email from a guest about their stay at our resort property in Mexico. It was a very nice, all-inclusive beachfront resort. She put a lot of effort into the email, which ended up being like a day-by-day account of her eight-night stay. It listed every possible complaint and included a huge collection of pictures as “evidence.”
It was several pages long, and it looked something like this: Day 1: The shuttle driver was rude. We had to wait 30 minutes to get checked in. The view was horrible, we couldn’t see the ocean. The sheets were dirty. The A/C was so loud I couldn’t sleep. There was a crack in the sidewalk outside our room.
My dinner was cold and there wasn’t any salt or pepper on the table. The shower has no water pressure. Day 2: We had breakfast and they were out of pancakes. My daughter’s favorite cereal wasn’t available. There were loud children playing in the pool all day. There was a light out on the pathway. I called the front desk to ask for more towels and no one answered.
I think housekeeping took money out of my purse. The chairs in the lobby were uncomfortable. One of the electrical plugs in my room didn’t work. Imagine a list with 100 more things from her eight-night stay. Now, some of the complaints seemed reasonable, but really, who spends their entire vacation making a log of everything they think is wrong with a resort? I contacted the manager to discuss the guest, assuming their system (which I could not access) would have all the logs from this woman’s complaints.
But there was nothing there. In fact, the entire time she was at the hotel, she never voiced any complaints. She merely logged them in her little “complaint diary” and went about her business. Many of her issues were extremely petty. For example, the “crack in the sidewalk” was about three inches long and flat on both sides. It wasn’t a tripping hazard, just a small crack.
The light out in the path—even in the picture, I could see that the area was still very well lit because they have lights everywhere in that area. Her room didn’t have an ocean view because she booked a courtyard view. The picture of the dirty sheets showed one tiny little black spot in the corner…Like, if you tapped the sheet with the tip of a pen or fine marker.
It took 30 minutes to check her in because she showed up three hours early and they had to get a room ready. The shower in her room was fine and the A/C unit was not loud at all. We looked into everything, talked to all of the department heads, and had the room she stayed in fully inspected. While the list made it seem like she had a horrible stay, there really wasn’t any substance behind her complaints.
Since this all seemed a bit fishy to everyone, I called the guest and spoke with her about her complaints. I told her that I had been in contact with the hotel and that we couldn’t find any record of her complaints. When I asked her who at the hotel she had spoken with while she was there, she confessed the shocking truth. She admitted she talked to absolutely no one.
I gave her my apologies and suggested that next time, she should express her complaints while on the property so that they could be immediately addressed. For example, housekeeping would have been happy to change out the “dirty sheets.” Keep in mind she was there for eight nights, at an all-inclusive resort with seven different restaurants, four bars, multiple pools, etc.
She probably never left the hotel, but she also never said a word about all the “problems” she was having. Note: 100% of the employees speak English, which is a requirement because it is an American hotel chain. So, in the name of customer service, I told her that we would like an opportunity to make things right. I offered her three FREE nights to come back in the future.
Nope, that was not good enough. She wanted a FULL refund ($6,500) and nothing less. I told her that I would get back to her. The next day, I informed her that the hotel would not offer a refund, but they were willing to add in another night, for a total of four free nights. Nope, unacceptable, she continued to demand a full refund.
We went back and forth. She wanted my manager, who then told her the same thing. The guest hung up on my boss after things got a bit heated. A few days later, she called again and wanted to know the status of her refund. Um, how do you give someone an update on something that’s never going to happen? She then said she was going to contact corporate.
I rolled my eyes and explained to her that I was the Corporate Guest Relations Coordinator. I am corporate. I spent forever on the phone talking with this woman, who just refused to accept the free nights and was bent on getting her money back. She just kept going back to her list… “Well, what about this” or “What are you going to do about that?”
I wouldn’t budge. It was four free future nights or nothing. Then, the unimaginable happened. In all my years of customer service, I have never had a scammer resort to telling me the TRUTH. When she finally realized she wasn’t getting a refund, she cried, “I can’t afford to pay for this, I don’t have the money! I don’t know what to do…You have to help me!”
I was like, “You… can’t afford to pay? Weren’t you planning on paying for your stay when you made the reservation? It’s not like we were charging you more than you agreed to…and we are still offering you free nights for your next visit…” She responded, completely broken and weeping: “I didn’t think I would have to pay!! I thought I would get my money back! I don’t know what I’m going to do… Please…You have to help me…I can’t pay for this…I’ve got kids…I need you to give me a refund. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I can’t get that money back…I can’t pay for this…”
The woman just admitted she planned all of this, thinking she was just going to complain her way into a $6,500 refund. Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but there is nothing I can do.” She replied, “I’ve got to get that money back, I’ve got to do something… you’ve got to help me out here…I don’t know what else to do…I don’t have the money…I can’t pay for this…”
Me: “Ma’am, you should have thought about that before you went on a vacation you couldn’t afford.” Yeah, I shouldn’t have said this, but I was just DONE with this woman. She had wasted enough of my time already, not to mention all the people at the hotel who looked into her entire list. She cried some more, then she started screaming, so I hung up on her.
Everything was noted. The call was recorded, so I went ahead and attached that file. She did send some hate mail to our corporate offices, but due to the fact that I had a RECORDING of her admitting she was trying to scam us, they ignored her letters. Oh, and her “frequent guest” membership was flagged and banned from all properties. We did not send her the free night certificates, either.
63. Don’t Mix Business With Pleasure
I was working for an agency in New York City, and we went to a series of client meetings for starting a new project in Boston. One of the project managers who worked for the same agency in the LA office flew in and joined us for the week-long meetings with the customer. He was a super nice guy who did his homework and gave really good presentations.
Everyone liked him. After wrapping the meetings the whole week, I flew back to New York that Friday. The next week, there were supposed to be video conferences with the client, but they sent an email at the last minute saying that they are canceling all the meetings. Well, none of us thought much about it and carried on with the day. Until we found out the chilling reason for the drop.
In the evening, we learned from our boss that this “super nice” guy had sent his intimate photos to one of the female members of our client group. None of us could believe this, but it turned out to be completely true.
64. You Can’t Hide
I was a production control analyst in a call center about 10 years ago. I saw and heard more than you’d probably believe, and helped to term out more people than I will ever be comfortable with. The most insane but true complaint came from the housekeeping staff. The janitor walked up to me one day and said, “I got to close the men’s restroom for a bit. I don’t know who done it, but you need to find him.”
Someone had smeared poop all over the walls in there. It took some detective work, but we found him; a guy had been hiding his mental issues when he started work there, and apparently, he hadn’t been taking his medications in a while because he didn’t want us to find out, even though he had insurance through us. So he went nuts and started smearing his own poop all over the restrooms.
There were apparently some other aberrations that led us to him and were listed as the actual behavioral reasons for his termination, but I never got the details.
65. Caught Red-Handed
This co-worker would regularly ignore her phone because she “didn’t feel like taking calls,” and would spend all her time on social media. One day, she told the staff she was going in for a major operation and would be off for two weeks. Although she wasn’t the most popular staff member at this point, everyone still got her a card and put money in to buy her some gifts for when she was off work.
About three days into her absence, and during what would have been her surgery time, another girl spotted her shopping for makeup with friends, and then took photos of her. So we came up with a plan. When the girl came back in, she was met with stares from 100 colleagues, and when asked how her operation was, she hammed it up and said she was still in pain.
The manager immediately screamed at her to get in his office, and was so loud that the rest of us could hear every word. HR got involved and she was gone in 24 hours, which was followed by her attempt to sue for unfair dismissal. Thankfully, she didn’t get far.
66. Tone Deaf
Each Sunday, the hotel hosts an afternoon tea for the grey set. This started after my shift ended. All was well when I left, but when I came in the next day, I heard about an older lady who had a heart attack and passed at the afternoon tea. My manager called me into her office, I assume to ask if I was okay, etc. Nope, screw that.
She actually said, with all seriousness, “Why did you leave so early yesterday? We could have used your help with the medical emergency. The other manager struggled to cope.” I was SHOCKED. I bluntly said, “Are you serious? How was I to know someone was planning on having a heart attack and passing an hour after my shift ended?!”
She responded, “Well, you could try and make a habit of staying back a little in case we need help…” I noped out of that and walked out. I finished my shift exactly on time that day.
67. Listen To Your Gut
Recently, I was working as a bather for a groomer. My hands were getting extremely cracked and dried, and I asked my co-worker if I could borrow some lotion. I put it on, and by the time I was done, she had a dog in the bath. Instead of interrupting her, I went and dropped it in her purse. I purposefully stood to the side of it and dropped it in from about six inches up.
I did this so if she tried to say I took anything, the camera that was back there could clearly see that all I did was drop it in and walk away. I didn’t linger or put my hand anywhere near it. Of course, after I left for the day, she accused me of stealing, and the boss called me. I denied I even touched her purse and told her to watch the cameras if she needed proof. My boss believed me and told the girl.
The girl ended up making a huge scene and the authorities were called. She was told to leave and not come back. I was livid, but I’m so glad I thought ahead to take the exact steps I did just in case something like that did happen. I had a bad feeling about her and had a gut feeling she would try something shady at some point.
68. Unhelpful Overconfidence
My current tool buddy at work is more “tool” than “buddy.” She’s by far the worst person I’ve ever worked with at any job or on any project. We’ve been running conduit on this job site for about seven months now. She refuses to use a level when bending, or do any calculations because “When you’ve been in this business as long as I have, you can do it all by eye.”
Except her pipes are always wrong. And when they’re a little bit off, rather than just adjusting what we’ve already made, she insists on one of us just smashing away at it until it fits. I got stuck working with her because literally everyone else on our site refused to after about three days of being around her, and they all have seniority.
69. Watch Out from Below!
I am a caregiver for the elderly. Now cleaning up poo and pee is part of my job, I do it every day, but last week was a whole new level. I woke a lady up to give her personal care (shower and whatnot). She goes to the bathroom and sits on the toilet first. Stands up and wipes and then instead of putting the tissue in the toilet and flushing, she puts it in the sink.
Okay. No big deal, I’ll put it in the toilet for her. Then she takes her clothes off and sits in the shower. I start washing her. I ask her to stand so I can do her bum and back of her legs. She stands and I kneel down to do what I need to do, as I’m cleaning her bum, she decides it’s a great time to take a dump. All over my arm and the floor.
I then have to clean all this up, all the while she’s moaning at me, “What’s taking so long, I’m cold.”
70. No Show, All Idiot
I work at a big name hotel in a beach town. In the summer, our rates skyrocket to almost $300 a night and we are usually sold out. Someone booked two rooms for a long weekend and decided not to show up. Our no-show policy is pretty standard—a night’s cost for each room booked. So this gentleman was charged over $500 total for his two no-show rooms.
It sucks, and it’s a lot of money, but it’s 100% his fault. The gentleman called me a couple of weeks later when he got his credit card bill. I explained to him our policy and that he wouldn’t be getting a refund. He went off. “You don’t know who you’re messing with,” he told me. “I’m not paying you, idiot.” Eventually, he told me he was just going to dispute it with his credit card company.
This is basically what I said to him: “If you want to dispute the charge with your bank, you have every right to do that. I would not personally recommend it though. If this was a case of a stolen credit card, I would agree with you, but we have documentation showing you were informed of the no-show policy. However, if you wish to pass this issue along to the bank, I will gladly deal with them.”
When you dispute a charge, the bank will front you the money while they investigate. When he got money from the bank right after he filed a dispute, he called me to GLOAT. He told me how stupid I was, etc. What I don’t think he understood is that the money is pretty much a loan, under the assumption that his charges really were genuine…which they weren’t.
I easily won the dispute, proving that he wilfully did purchase these rooms and that he was informed of the no-show policy. Then the bank billed him back for the money they fronted him. He called me again. Lucky me. He told me that the bank was billing him and that I had to pay it. He claimed that because it all started with my hotel, it was our responsibility to pay his bank bill.
At this point, I didn’t even know what more to say. I just said, “No, have a good day” and hung up. Later on, he called AGAIN, saying that his credit card company was threatening to turn over the bill to collections if he didn’t pay. Now he wanted us to pay $800 because of the interest. I told him that his personal finances were his own business and to stop calling. I tried to warn him in the beginning.
71. Like A Dog With A Bone
I’ve worked in a hotel for over a decade. The other night, I had a guest come down to the lobby and listen to music on her phone. She didn’t have headphones and the music was very loud with explicit lyrics, but it was a fairly slow night and I didn’t want to give her trouble, so I let it go on for about 10 minutes.
Eventually, the lounge closed and three stragglers came walking through the lobby back to their rooms. A few glanced between me and her with a strange look. I just raised my eyebrows to them in acknowledgment, but at this point, it still didn’t seem like a huge problem and it wasn’t bothering me. Minutes later, one of my last arrivals came in.
It was an older lady with the air of someone who would definitely leave a review with nothing but complaints. Right off the bat, the music from the phone got ridiculously explicit. I started hurrying to check this woman in as fast as possible while she was evil-eyeing the lady on the couch and shaking her head in disappointment at me.
I finally got her checked in and she left for her room, but at this point, I realized I had to do something. I politely addressed the lady on the couch. “Ma’am, I’m sorry but the sound on the phone will have to be off while you’re in the lobby.” She shrugged, got up, and walked to her room. That actually went well, right? Cut to the next night.
I ran to the kitchen for about five minutes to help the restaurant staff close a few things down for the night, and as I was walking back to the desk, I noticed the same girl sitting on the couch with a guy about her age on the couch next to her. They both appeared to be in their mid-20s—way too old for childish behavior—but I immediately knew that’s what I was about to get.
As I said hi to them, I noticed the girl look at the guy and nod. He nodded in return. It was obviously an attempt at clandestinely saying, “Yep, that’s the guy.” Oh good, what’s this gonna be? I got behind the desk and braced for what these two were about to do. The guy asked the girl something along the lines of, “Hey, have you heard of such and such song?”
He was saying it loud enough for me to hear, in a tone that was so obviously planned and staged. He then told her he’d play it for her, and immediately started blasting some weird song from a genre of music I can only describe as circus-themed EDM. I was not going to let this get to the point it did the night before, so I immediately told the guy the sound had to be turned off.
He replied, “I’m not going to turn it off, but I’ll turn it down some.” After some back and forth, he obliged to fully turn it off, then began having a conversation with the girl that was, again, aimed at me. They were basically throwing backhanded insults my way just loud enough for me to hear.
At one point, the girl actually called her mom on her cell phone and began talking about badly the hotel was mistreating her. Whatever, I was not easily offended and I’d seen my fair share of jerks. Eventually, someone coming from the lounge passed through the lobby while talking to someone on his cell phone. The girl yells at him and told him he was being too loud on his phone and was going to get kicked out.
That was enough for me…at that point, she was messing with business, so she had to go. I told them both that they were going to need to go to their rooms for the night, but they ignored me and acted like they didn’t hear. So I picked up the phone and pretended to dial security. Security doesn’t actually have a phone, but I was hoping the bluff alone would work.
It did, and they both got up quickly and scurried off to their room. But that wasn’t the end of the story. I got a call from my manager the next day asking me what had happened with these guests. He said that the girl’s mom drove to the hotel, demanded to see a manager, and screamed for 15 minutes about how rude I had been.
I told my manager what had happened and we shared a laugh. He told me if that if I had any more issues, I can go straight to the authorities and have them escorted off the property. Then came night three. The girl came back down to the lobby holding hands with another girl. They both made sure to hold their hands up so that I could see it and shoot me a passive-aggressive grin. I currently live up north, but I’m from the South and have a thick accent that most people immediately pick up on. I honestly believed that they were trying to bait me into saying or doing something homophobic, assuming that I must be a stereotypical southern Christian gay-hatin’ person or something.
They stood at our local brochure cabinet and “browsed” while talking under their breath. Not loud enough for me to hear, but I’m sure it was aimed at me. A few minutes later, the guy joined them and the conversation became loud enough for me to hear. It was definitely more insults thrown my way. At that point, I decided it was enough.
I told them they were going to need to return to their rooms or I would have security escort them off the premises. They demanded to know why, and I told them the truth as best as I could put it. “Because none of you have emotionally matured past middle school and I won’t sit here and be disrespected for a second night because you fail to understand why we can’t have curse words blaring in a place of business.”
The girl said something along the lines of, “Did you not learn your lesson yesterday? I guess I’ll have to call my mom again.” I told her to go ahead, her mom could be escorted off the property as well, and they stormed off to their room. I got a call from my manager the next day saying the mom came back for another go. He had promptly ended their reservation a day early. I love my manager.
72. Do As You’re Told
The HR guy who helped tabulate these customer service test results admitted that even though the passing score was 70%, he loved the company so much that he had taken it upon himself to only pass people scoring above 95% up the chain. To make matters worse, these were personality tests designed to detect how subservient you were to others.
73. Pure Of Heart
Every second Friday of the month, people in my office would get drinks after work. One time, it happened to fall on my birthday. Because they let me pick the bar, I figured I would just invite some friends there too to meet up with me after. Usually, my co-workers would only stay from 4 pm to 5:30 pm and then leave. Well…one co-worker, who was generally a bit odd, stayed and sort of stuck to me and my friends.
I didn’t really want her there, but she couldn’t take a hint and I was three drinks in, so I just gave up and didn’t say anything. At some point, one of my friends started talking about intimate activities. Nothing particularly vulgar, or even about our personal lives—it was more abstract; about the politics of it and stuff. The following Tuesday, I got an email that made my blood run cold.
It was from HR, and it was about having “inappropriate conversations” with co-workers. I tried to explain what happened, and even though I think the person believed me and other workers corroborated my story, I was written up for misconduct. I obviously did not want that on my record, so I escalated it all the way up the company. That…did not go well.
Eventually, we had a four-hour meeting with a regional HR person where my co-worker just cried and caved. Then afterward, she got a bunch of people in trouble for allegedly promoting a “toxic work environment” because nobody wanted to be around her and she was never invited to any social events. It was the stupidest thing I’d ever experienced. Of course, that doesn’t mean all HR reports of harassment or misconduct are false and unwarranted. Still…
Like I said, she was odd…not so much a Karen, but like a former Jehovah’s Witness who was homeschooled and did not know how to function in the real world.
74. An Inside Job
I worked in HR, and the workers’ compensation lady at my work refused to train anyone on how to provide payment information in order to get their benefits. She had also accrued enough PTO to be out five and six weeks at a stretch, leaving injured employees to twist in the wind. I only spent a couple of years in HR. It was a couple of years too many.
I will sweep streets and clean sewers before I will ever work with such psychopathic people again.
75. Full Disclosure
One day, this stupid, absorbed, airheaded HR person made the WORST mistake I’ve ever seen at my company. She replied to an actual spam email that said it was from the boss. In so doing, she leaked the personal information of all 400 employees. Everything on their job profiles was sent to con artists. Thanks, Kathy, you idiot.
76. No Boys Allowed
My former assistant manager was terrible to work with. She got caught talking with her boyfriend for several hours, never leaving our department desk, and got in serious trouble. Like, “Do it again and you’re demoted back to part-time” type of trouble. In retaliation, she forbade me from speaking to my boyfriend at all when we were working.
One day, a month or so before I got the offer for my new and current job, I asked to take the recycling bin to the back where he happened to work, and she said no. A little later, she got annoyed at me for only facing shelves, and told me to find something else to do. So I took the recycling back and brought freight up. She came to the back aisle screaming her head off at me.
The reason why I got dressed-down was that she told me not to go back there, and I defended myself saying, “Well, you told me to do something else, so I was doing something else!” I turned around and I guess she flipped me the bird before walking away while calling me some choice names. One of my co-workers went to HR about it as it wasn’t the first time she’s gone off on me.
Up until then, I was just ignoring it, but they were fed up with her general treatment of everyone. We both got called back to write statements, and I wrote that I saw neither the finger nor heard her call me any names, but did go on about everything else. There were no punishments, however. About a week after I left, I got a text from a former co-worker with an update.
She said that the manager was with a customer when HR called her on the store phone. The manager answered, asked her to hold, and DIDN’T PRESS THE HOLD BUTTON! She then called a guest stupid while HR was on the phone. Bam. Cue demotion. It made my life suck when we worked together, but it was satisfying to hear karma had caught up to her.
77. Hatred At First Sight
I had a manager whose opening line when I first met him was, “I don’t like you already.” He had a major pickle up his you-know-what and even threw a cabinet door at me once. It got me square in the back, but I witnessed him get put into his place by the old lady I was helping. She gave me a good tip too, so that was nice.
78. HR’s Oopsie Run Amok
This co-worker was a nurse that apparently had her license taken away prior to her being hired at my work. Our HR didn’t bother checking, I guess. The first care meeting we had with her, she started accusing the Black staff of stealing. She had been there a week, and didn’t know what she was talking about. Our team actually ran the best out of the whole company.
She was determined to make everyone feel uncomfortable. She’d stand near the bathroom, pretending to wait to go inside, while listening to people chat in the kitchen/staff room She’d chase staff down the hallways, screaming at them for stealing. Then, when they showed her they had nothing in their hands, she’d say “OH, I WASN’T YELLING AT YOU, I WAS YELLING AT MYSELF.”
79. A Paws-itively Horrible Time
A vet’s office I worked for hired a girl to work as a tech, whose only relevant experience was working in a non-medical boarding facility. She thought she was hot stuff. She expected to waltz right in with zero medical experience and get promoted to management, above techs that had been working there for years, by sucking up to the bosses.
Problem was, not only did she not have the experience, she also lacked the work ethic and desire to actually do any of the tech stuff. She just wanted to be able to cuddle puppies, sit at a computer, and boss peons around. So, instead of learning how to do the job better, or actually putting in any effort, she decided the best way to get promoted is to make everyone else look bad and feel miserable.
When things didn’t go her way, she would make vague, meritless complaints that her co-workers were being mean to her. Every week, someone was brought into the office about it. The thing is, the other 20-odd employees pointed out that, maybe, just maybe, if she was the one having problems with everybody, it could have been HER.
In the end, we lost about half the staff because of this chick. We ended up having to hire folks with no veterinary experience to replace people that had been there for over seven years. So, it wasn’t just the staff that suffered. Quality of care took a noticeable hit. I stuck around for another year, but finally, between her and the, by then, obvious management problems, I had enough.
After I left, things for worse. She got bold enough to send threatening text messages to a couple of co-workers, since we all had each other’s numbers to coordinate weekend duties. They reported her to the authorities, and they took her away while she was at work. If not for that, she’d probably still be there sucking up to management while running off staff.
80. Does Not Compute
I was working a 3 pm to 11 pm shift last week. The hotel’s restaurant and bar close early on Sundays in the winter because it’s so quiet. Around 9:30 pm during my shift, this girl and her friend (a big bulky guy) came out of the hotel. He must have been the designated driver because he was stone-cold sober, but she looked like she had been drinking. As they walked for the door, I said, “Have a good night!”
She waved as she walked past the desk. “Heyyy hot guy!” She stopped, then looks at me. “You’re hot!” Me: “Well thank you, that’s very nice of you!” After a long pause, she staggered over to the desk. “So um…do you…have a girlfriend?” Me: “No, I do not!” Girl: “Oh! Well hey, I don’t have a boyfriend!”
Me: “I do!” Cue the most hilarious five or six seconds of the week—she attempted to process the words I just said. You could almost see the “ERROR” message flashing in her brain. Finally, it clicked. Girl: “Oh! Oh, I’m…oops…I hope you and him are happy!” Me: “We are, thanks!” She staggered out of the hotel and her friend laughed. “Pay her no mind, have a good one man!”
Just too dang funny.
81. Double Booked
A large part of my job is answering phones and dealing with people who want to rent out our large function room. In our town, our room is one of the very few places available to hold wedding receptions, birthday parties, etc. The process for renting the room is quite simple. People ring up all the time and ask if the date they want is free.
If it is, we place a hold on the requested date for 14 days. If we don’t hear back from them, it opens up to anyone else that wants it. If they do decide they want it, they have to come in for an appointment with either me or my boss. We go through the booking form and help them fill it in. They then pay their deposit and the function gets written in the diary.
We don’t take deposits without a booking form, and we don’t take booking forms without a deposit. You have to physically come in and hand both over. None of this can be done online since we don’t have a website. Fast forward to this morning, when a bridezilla walked in with her mother. Me: “Hi, can I help?” Bride: “I’m here to pay the deposit for my wedding.”
Me: “Okay. Let me get you a form and we’ll go through it. What date did you book?” Bride: “Tomorrow.” The smile on my face dropped. Me: “We have a birthday party booked in tomorrow.” There was no way she could have her wedding at our venue that day. Me: “Tomorrow isn’t available. We already have a booking.” Mother: “You double booked? You’ll have to cancel the other booking.”
Me: “We haven’t double booked. If you haven’t filled out a form or paid a deposit, then you haven’t booked the room. When did you ask about the date?” Mother: “Last July. I remember because we came in before we went for my birthday lunch.” Me: “We only hold the date for two weeks. Someone must have told you that at the time.”
Bride: “Yeah, but it’s a wedding.” Me: “The same rules apply. If you don’t fill in a form and pay the deposit within two weeks, we open it up to everyone else. Unfortunately, someone else has booked the room.” Bride: “I did it all online.” Me: “You did what online?” Bride: “Paid for the room.” Me: “Then why are you here today trying to pay for it now?”
Bride: “Uh…” Me: “We don’t have a website, so you can’t do anything online.” Mother: “She can’t have the wedding here?” Me: “Nope, sorry.” They left. There was no shouting and no anger at me. Nothing. She just casually shrugged her shoulders and walked away.
I was fully expecting the wedding party to turn up all kitted out. However, my boss saw her throwing a huge tantrum on the road outside of our building.
82. Dog Eat Dog World
Nothing grinds my gears more than when people try to exploit the service dogs loophole. This lady came in and wouldn’t answer the two legal questions we are required to ask them about their service dogs. She kept mouthing off that it was wrong to ask, which was a major red flag. She kept going off about how much trouble I was going to be in. Little did she know the tables would be turned…
Sure lady. So I went ahead and printed out the rules about them. She refused to read them even though I highlighted the parts where it says I am allowed to ask these questions. She kept saying “I have papers, here read them.” Finally, she let it slip that it was a “comfort” thing. I was being respectful the whole time, but also stern.
“But I got let inside a courthouse before. I have a vest and certificate to show. I paid $40 dollars for it!” This was another red flag since training for a service dog is expensive! Yes, ma’am, you got let in because you purposely misidentified your dog as a service dog. She then said she forgot her charger in the car and never came back. People like her ruin it for real service dogs.
83. Hope It Was Worth It
When I worked at Sam’s Club, one of the cashiers pocketed a few grand from his drawer and put it on Facebook. We were a new club, so if that much money went missing, it would have taken them a while to figure it out. Or so I was told. However, one of the managers overheard and they put two and two together. He was fired and then put behind bars.
84. Five Second Rule
One of my current co-workers told me this story the other day: He used to be a manager at a fast-food restaurant. He said that one night, after a busy rush, a woman called his store to complain that her fried food item had hair all over it. The manager denied this claim and assured the lady that the food items had never been in contact with hair, and would never have left the store in a dirty manner.
He backed his store and employees all the way and insisted that the woman was mistaken. Upon further investigation, one of the kitchen employees admitted that she had dropped a food item on the floor that night and didn’t want to risk having the customer wait an extra five minutes to make a new one. So yeah, very hairy burger, order up.
85. A Hard Day’s Work
I spent my summers in college working as a laborer for a construction company. We were doing a bunch of renovations in an active hospital, so noise and dust were a huge concern. We were a small crew and just starting renovations on an area with a super tight schedule, so the company hired a subcontractor for some of the work. Enter these two clowns who showed up to do some demolition work.
The foreman gave them the talk about how they may be used to doing things a certain way, but as they would be working in an active hospital, he’d rather the work take longer than for them to make a huge mess or a lot of noise. An hour later, we apparently got multiple complaints about the noise and the mess, so the foreman called me up and told me to go over there and clean up. He also said he’d be by shortly to see what the heck was going on.
These dudes had dust and broken pieces of wall everywhere. I could hear them halfway down the hall, just smashing away without a care in the world. The foreman showed up and we walked into the room to witness this dude standing on a pile of rubble, swinging a sledgehammer over his head at a brick wall that he’d removed the bottom. Somehow, the rest of the wall was still hanging from the ceiling…I have no idea how.
The guy wasn’t even wearing a hard hat, apparently oblivious that at any moment that wall might give way and crush him. The foreman lost his mind on these guys. He kicked them out immediately and got on the phone with their company and told them he didn’t want to see these guys on-site again. Lots of choice four-letter words were used, and he even threatened to fire the subcontractor entirely and get someone else to do the work.
86. Toxic Environment
I had a number of complaints about a new member of staff soon after she started. They said that she kept taking off her shoes, pulling dry skin from her feet, and eating it. I thought the other staff was lying and being mean about her just because they didn’t like her…Until I saw her do it. She didn’t finish the week, but not because we fired her.
She quit about a week later. She didn’t really get on with the other staff because they all thought she was a bit gross, and she quickly got into a bad mood because of it. That said, I’m not entirely blaming her. It’s a small group of staff, and they all collectively decide pretty quickly if they like or dislike someone. If they decide they like you, you’re golden.
If they decide they don’t like you, however, you are shut out. By all of them. It’s quite a brutal environment psychologically. She got cold-shouldered pretty quickly, and left before the week was out.
87. Zero-Sum Game
I worked in HR for a time, and it soured my view of HR more than any stories I’d heard. One incident that stands out in my memory involved a young, casual worker who accused her boss of harassment. I dutifully brought it up the chain, but the higher-ups did not care if the boss had done anything or not. It cost the company nothing to no longer give her any hours, so that’s what they did.
That’s just one case that I dealt with, but you’d see it on a daily basis. There were literally pop-up notifications on phone calls and emails from people deemed too high up to refuse. You’re a part-time employee who’s done everything right, hasn’t been paid in two months, and can’t make rent? Oh well, out of luck. Nothing we can do. Meanwhile, their boss who forgot to put in a timesheet? Of course sir; an expedited payment will be in your account by close of business sir.
HR is there to protect the business. Do you want protection? Join a union.
88. Bait And Switch
At my job, we used to hire a few special needs individuals who would do some cleaning and light duties around the office. One day, one of them did something wrong. Although I can’t remember the exact specifics, it was definitely very minor. The manager’s words gave me a huge chill. The manager said out loud, right next to this guy, “Why do we keep hiring these retards?”
One of the girls who saw this whole thing happen was rightfully angry about it and reported it to HR. The next day, she was put on unpaid leave for “creating a hostile work environment.” The same manager is still here… she is not.
89. Hello, Nurse!
I work in ER registration. This co-worker smelled bad. She never shut up and always talked at max volume. Very very stupid. Needed a Chevy’s waiter to read and explain the menu to her. She needed to keep a list by her work station to remember how to spell basic words like “stomach” and “heart” and “emergency.” She also insulted others based on their appearance.
She asked me how much I would pay for a laptop. When I asked what kind, she replied: “A stolen one.” During a snowstorm, she bragged that she was a better driver than everyone else and that everyone else is stupid. The next day, we hear that she got her car stuck blocking her apartment’s parking lot. When she got out of the car, she fell and couldn’t get back up.
A man tried to help her up, but couldn’t lift her. After a second man came to help, she insulted the first guy and said he wasn’t a man because he was too weak to lift her. She weighed at least 300 pounds. She was eventually fired for sending a person with weakness and chest pain home to get his insurance card.
Luckily, the hospital’s shuttle bus driver recognized him coming back out of the ER and was like “Wait, weren’t you having a heart attack?” She was suspected of stealing co-pays. She supposedly marched elderly ER patients to the ATM in the lobby and forced them to pay cash so she could pocket it. This is unconfirmed and we only heard about it after she was fired.
I fully believe it, knowing her.
90. I Can’t Live With or Without You
I work with a “rockstar” employee. This means they’re brilliant, but a nightmare to work with. They frequently forget to attend meetings, work hours that tick off everyone else, they’re a complete hypocrite when it comes to working standards, complain about everyone else, annoy their co-workers with their constant complaining, and can’t follow the simple rules everyone else in the company has to follow.
Unfortunately, they’re absolutely amazing at their core job and we’d be screwed without them because our workplace is obsessed with hiring cheap over qualified. So we suck it up and have them contribute in a different way to our already stupidly toxic environment.
91. This Sounds Like A “You” Problem
My co-worker won’t ever actually ask for people to do things. Hypothetical: Instead of turning on a light switch, or asking someone to turn on a light switch, he would just sit there and say, “Man, kinda dark in here. Wish someone could get that light.” Then he just stares at everyone else, waiting for one of them to turn on the light.
If there’s a problem, he won’t do anything about it. Do you need a return or exchange? Sorry, he doesn’t care. Something defective? Don’t call him, you’ll never get an answer, much less a replacement part. I dread going to work every day just because I don’t want to clean up after the messes he leaves for customers every day.
92. A Terrible Scheme
We worked in a store that sold specific and fairly expensive products, and there were four of us working there, including the owner. The woman in question was basically his second-in-command. She seemed totally cool at the time, but then I got fired. And then a month later, our other co-worker got fired. So it was just the two of them, and, when the owner was busy, it was often just her.
It wasn’t long before he realized her scheme. She was stealing hundreds if not thousands of dollars’ worth of products when he wasn’t around, and that she’d manipulated him into firing his two other employees so she could have the store to herself. He has new employees now and they’re awesome. I plan on visiting a lot more when I can.
93. A Sneaky Thief
I was a cashier at a chain store years ago. One day a manager, who I got along with really well, admitted they’d been watching me on surveillance cameras for a few months because my drawer kept coming up short. I told her they can go on watching me then because I hadn’t taken anything. Probably a year later, after I’d quit and moved away, I found out what was really happening.
An old co-worker told me that the accountant got fired for stealing thousands of dollars. She was just taking money out of my drawer to try and pin it on me…and probably did it to someone else after I left.
94. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
I worked in the bakery at a Fred Meyers store for about six months when I was freshly 19. There was this 45-year-old guy in the meat and seafood section who was super creepy. All of the women in my department, including a previous employee who had moved because of him, warned me about this man from day one.
Any time I was on my break, he would “coincidentally” be on his break too. He’d follow me into the break room and try to flirt with me the entire time. If I had to walk to another part of the store to get anything, he would run to catch up to me and walk with me. He also followed me to my car a few times after I got off shift.
The scariest time was when I was closing by myself and he came into the back of the bakery, following me around the long table. He kept telling me how much he liked me and how badly he wanted to be with me. When he got too touchy, I told him no and to leave me alone. But that’s not even the worst part—the managers who were there to witness the situation just shrugged and said “that’s just how he is.”
My boyfriend threatened him when he got off work one time. Heck, even my father came in and threatened him because NO ONE was doing ANYTHING. The final straw for me was one night when I was closing alone again. He came into the back area, followed me into the freezer, and tried to kiss me. He also grabbed my butt. I pushed him away and ran to the closing manager who also functioned as HR.
He said he’d “watch the store footage” and talk to me the next day. When I came to work the following morning, he pulled me into his office. He said that he saw the video and had already “talked” to him about his behavior. Apparently, the creepy co-worker responded that it was just a “misunderstanding,” and that was good enough for HR.
I replied that this had been going on for months and that I wasn’t going to take it anymore. He then had the NERVE to tell me that, “He just does this to all the new girls. As soon as another girl gets hired, he’ll leave you alone.” I quit on the spot—but I soon found out the disturbing truth. Turns out, the creep was the brother of the store’s owner.
This guy had been behind bars in the past for assault but was now “cleaning his life up.”
95. Come Closer, Little Girl
As I pulled up to work last night, I saw the girl who worked the swing shift being led to our second building by a very creepy-looking dude. She was young and petite and he had the look of a spider who had just caught himself a nice, juicy fly. Her eyes were wide with fear and she kept trying to make excuses, but he was insistent that he couldn’t get into his room and needed her to help him.
Reading the situation, even though I was still in my motorcycle gear and not yet technically in uniform, I told her that I’d escort him down. He still insisted that she do it, though he couldn’t give a good reason why. I said fine, but I stayed right behind them. At one point, he actually put his hand on her lower back and I politely but firmly asked him not to touch our employees.
He took his hand off of her, but he was obviously not happy about my presence. We finally got to his door and he made a half-baked attempt to use his key card as if to prove he wasn’t lying about not being able to get in. I could tell he was about to ask her to do it for him, so I stepped in and said, “Allow me, sir.” I took the card from him and what do you know—the door unlocked on my first try.
He gave me a half-hearted “Thanks, buddy.” Then he went into his room, slamming the door behind him. She thanked me and told me he’d been creeping her out for a while. Maybe I was reading too much into the situation, but I shudder to think what might have happened if I’d shown up just a couple of minutes later. I considered calling the authorities but I figured they couldn’t really do anything because they can’t detain someone for being a creep.
96. Bait and Switch
I used to be a hostess in a pizzeria chain. I’ll never forget this family of eight who gave me—THE HOSTESS—a $25 tip on a $50 bill, all because they hated their waitress and I was the one who kept refilling their drinks. The waitress was beyond peeved, but my manager said to her: “Should have been paying more attention…the tip is hers.” Best day ever.
97. Peer Pressure
During an exit interview with my last job, HR asked me where I was going to next. HR: So, what’s the name of the company you are moving to next? Me: I’m not really comfortable disclosing that. HR: Are you sure? It would really help us out. Me: I’d rather not say. HR: It’s company policy. You need to tell us. This is where I snapped.
Me: I said NO, and if you continue further you’ll be hearing from my lawyer. I told my old boss this after I left and he was absolutely shocked. HR has no right to know anything about the next place you are moving to. It’s literally none of their business but they tried to press it out of me anyway, more than likely to call them up and talk bad about me.
98. Disappear This Miss, Please
I may or may not have carried a heavily intoxicated girlfriend and a large amount of substances out of my boss’s house (CEO of a very large company) while she was covered in her own filth so his wife wouldn’t catch him as she arrived home from her sister’s house a day early. How did this happen, you ask?
My old boss regularly cheated on his wife with any number of women. Well, he calls me one day, because we are friends away from work, and asks me to come to his apartment ASAP. I drive over there, and he’s blitzed, and this chick is laying naked in her own filth mumbling about something. He says he has to shower and clean up because his wife is ten minutes away so please “Get that out of here.”
I grab the girl and help her to her feet and cover her up with a t-shirt. As I’m walking her out, he yells for me to grab the party bag. The only bag is a Dopp kit. I grab it, jump in my car and drive off. This girl is blasted! She doesn’t know where she lives and is sure she’s having a heart attack. So, I calm her down somewhat and reach in her purse and find her ID.
Luckily, she has her current address on it, and I take her home. I drive back to my house and pull into the driveway and remember the Dopp kit. I open it up and there’s a LOT of illegal substances in there. I got a steak dinner and a few beers later that week from the boss. Needless to say, I no longer work there.
99. The Doctor Is Out
I used to work at a rural hospital in Texas. We had a surgeon who was always asking the assisting nurses to leave the OR to get some random supplies. Fun fact: you are never supposed to have only one person in the OR, but he would always figure out some way. These were minimally invasive surgeries that just required sedation, so there were no other assists besides nurses.
He was the only physician. The door would also “mysteriously” lock and the nurse would have to knock to get back in. One of our nurses got fed up and knew something was going on, so she set up her phone to video him. That footage still haunts me to this day. It turned out he had been taking his, uh, “manhood” out around the patient. He was of course fired, but horrifically, he did not lose his license.
100. Let’s Go To The Tape
A colleague checked out of the mediocre but adequate hotel where we were having a conference and checked into a 5-star luxury resort. She then submitted an expense report for her stay. She claimed that she felt unsafe in the original hotel, but did not elaborate. Someone called the hotel, which checked the security camera footage. We all thought she was crazy, but we were proven way wrong.
At least four separate men tried to enter her room that first night. No wonder she left.