They say it takes 20 years to build a good reputation and only five minutes to destroy it. But some people managed to completely ruin their lives in even less time. These people took to Reddit to share the craziest stories of people going off the rails. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
1. Stuck In The Past
There was a manager who was high up at my previous company who had worked there for over twenty-five years. He was very good at what he did but it was discovered that he made certain “films” with men while he was going to school.
When people found out, it spread like a wild-fire, everyone began referring to him behind his back by his old stage name, a few people also mentioned it to him face-to-face and the videos spread around the workplace.
He was a normal guy with a wife and kids, however that decision will likely follow him for the rest of his career. Plus the guy's favorite quote was something along the lines of "you are only as good as your last day worked".
2. No Kidding
I used to work for a humanitarian aid non-profit. My old boss was the sweetest, most wholesome, super Christian woman I had ever met. A year after I left that job, I read an article that made my jaw DROP.
Apparently, she'd abducted two kids from an event she worked at because she thought the father was a Satanist or something (he was an atheist). I would've never pegged her as "that kind of Christian".
3. The Wrong Crowd
My mom's childhood friend ruined his whole family’s lives. He was generally very nice and hardworking guy. He had a steady job at a large factory as a superintendent, making okay money, enough to support his wife and a kid, a house and everything. He had the occasional drink. Nothing harmful.
But then he started hanging out with a bunch of sketchy friends he met at a late night diner that he frequented after work. Those guys meet regularly for high-stake poker games and going to the diner at night was their pre-game ritual. One night, they invited said guy to join them for a game.
He is a bad player, loses 9 out of 10 games. But he is persistent, he will not stop until "I get my money back". But he never got his money back, that's not how gambling works. In three months, he gambled away his entire life savings, including tuition for his daughter and the retirement plan for him and his wife.
On top of being penniless, he is a quarter million in debt to those sketchy guys who no one in their right mind would mess with.
4. Don’t Mess With The Mouse
At my old company, one guy messed up BAD. We produced consumer goods and licensed lots of high-end pop culture brands. On a call with a team representing a very popular and iconic space movie franchise owned by the mouse, one of our senior partners decided to pipe up.
He thought he was on mute and said something to the effect of, “How much longer do we have to listen to this obese idiot talking about this stuff anyhow!?!" The call was abruptly ended. All follow-ups were ignored. But that wasn't all.
Maybe a week or two later we got a letter terminating all current and developing licensing deals for cause citing contract violations and the company was effectively quietly banned from ever doing business with any brand under that massive mouse umbrella.
That dude lost them hundreds of millions in future business in about 15 seconds. When you first start, you’re told never to suggest pitching anything owned by the mouse and then get told the story. Their company was the worst job and culture I've ever had. I’m amazed it stays in business.
5. A Sore Loser
My former boss in politics who was hugely respected within his party, and a secretly recovering drinker, got so angry about the opposite party winning the election that he fell off the wagon. And then when he was sloshed, he sent an email to what would be his new boss making fun of his Mormon religion and calling him names.
He was fired. And went on a bender for sometime after that. He ended up having to leave the area and move to the east coast in order to get work.
6. Mommy Dearest
This happened to me. I was the one in my family known for being the person who loved everyone, who gave so much, helped people, was supportive, and a great big sister. I raised my siblings because my mother was fighting addiction and is a diagnosed borderline.
But it was a lot of pressure and my mum really targeted me. I ended up cutting contact with her because I just couldn’t handle her meanness and moods. As a result, she spread a nasty rumor about me: that I was this dirty person who left garbage around the house, that I was violent and mean, that they were all scared of me.
As a result, my entire extended family abandoned me. They all cut me off. Thankfully, I later had an Aunty get in touch with me because she had heard about it through the grapevine. She was also an outcast in the family and my mum had spread those EXACT same rumors about her 30 years prior.
But yes, over the course of about three days I lost every family connection I had due to gossip.
7. No Complaints
This is how I ruined my life in the space of one conversation.
I was living with my dad and his new wife and her kids and I was utterly miserable. I was about 15 and having to start a new life with new people I'd never met before dad moved in with them. During the first couple of weeks, my dad and his wife went on holiday and they sent me back to stay with my mum and sisters, who lived an eight-hour drive down south.
My mum, in contrast to my dad, is extremely poor, and at the time was living in a motel, so I stayed in the motel with her. Despite the poor living conditions, on the night before I was supposed to go back to dad, I complained to mum how miserable I was living with dad because his new wife and her sons hated me and I didn't really want to go back.
Against my wishes, and without my knowledge, my mum canceled my flight and told my dad I'd be staying with her a few days longer. In the same phone conversation, my dad decided I would never come back home and said I would live with my mum from now on.
When I woke up and heard about this I called my dad and begged him to take me back, because mum is living in a motel she's about to get kicked out of, and I was certain I would be on the street if I stayed with her much longer. As much as I hated living with dad's new family, it was better than living with mum.
He rejected me, because he assumed I was being dramatic, and I wouldn't see him again until I was 21. I was right, me and mum and my sister were living on the streets in the next few days, and I was homeless on-and-off until dad divorced his wife and let me move in with him when I was 21.
During these years, I was forced to drop out of school, I lost contact with all of my friends, and at the age of 26, I'm still trying to undo all the psychological damage this period of life did to me. My life was ruined because I complained once to my mother.
8. Rough Diamond
I believe there was a cheap jewelry company back in the 80s in the UK whose whole schtick was that its stuff was just as good as the high end stuff, but just cheaper. They had a decent chunk of market share and were on their way to being the largest jewelry store in the UK.
Then their CEO has a big meeting with the shareholders and one of them asks how they keep their stuff so cheap. The CEO said the worst thing possible. He jokingly remarked "because our gems are all cheap junk" or something to that effect. That remark got out to the press out of context and it ruined the company within the year I believe.
Here’s the actual comment: "We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, “How can you sell this for such a low price?" I say, “because it's total junk".
He also said this about another product: "It’s cheaper than a prawn sandwich from Marks and Spencer’s, but I have to say the sandwich will probably last longer than the earrings".
The company was called "Ratner Group" and is now "Signet Group". This all happened in 1992, they lost around 500 million dollars in share valuation basically overnight and had to shut down over 300 stores. They bounced back though, and Signet is now the largest distributor of diamond jewelry in the world.
9. No Winner Here
I work in emergency medicine. I'll never forget this high school kid, who was out on a Saturday night racing cars with friends. Officers tried to pull them over. One friend stops but the other kid keeps going. Not long after, he flips the vehicle, ending the life of the passenger on impact, while the other passenger ends up in critical condition.
The driver, however? Not a single scratch. End of story. This kid's life was forever changed because he ended up responsible for the fates of his two deceased friends. He faced multiple charges.
10. Out Of Order
This is a personal story that happened recently. It's about someone who I looked up to, who I considered an older brother for as long as I can remember. I always respected him and his opinions—he looked out for me and respected me (despite me being younger), and I am still grateful for the things he has done to this day. But despite all this, he betrayed me in the worst way.
When I got engaged, I was excited to ask him to be one of my groomsmen. He accepted, and all was well. That is, until he asked what the order the groomsmen would be standing up at the altar. I hadn't really made a decision at the time, but to prevent any sort of "bias" towards my other groomsmen, I decided to just order it by height, as my wife had done the same.
Using this method (by height) would put him third in line, which was a big problem for him. Big enough to the point where he declined to be a part of my wedding and chose not to attend at all. I was in disbelief that he would do this over something I thought was so minuscule.
I suppose I could have changed the order around, but it was something my wife and I had both decided, so I chose to be firm on our decision. I tried to explain the situation, that it was not even an order that had any meaning (and even if it did, I feel like being asked to be a groomsman in and of itself is an honor), but he refused to listen and would guilt trip me about all the things he had done for me.
I think I was mostly surprised at how he was making my wedding day about him and was being so stubborn about it all. Anyway, it's been about two months now since the wedding. I wouldn't say it was instant, but a lifetime of respect was lost over a few days' time.
11. Born In A Barn?
I had a friend a while ago that was messing around in the woods, 100 feet away from a barn, setting stuff on fire with gasoline just for the heck of it. He ended up putting out most of the fire, except a tiny one that he did not see.
Next thing you know, 30 minutes later, the fire grows huge due to the fact that it was an extremely hot and dry day and the wind was blowing in the right direction.
The barn burned down, which was a part of our city's heritage and had an old, historical jeep in it. He is still waiting on a trial. He is turning 18 in a few months, and if they don't sentence him soon enough he might have to be charged as an adult.
The sad thing is, if he would have taken virtually any other day to do it, he probably would have been fine. During this season the weather is cold and everything is super damp like 90% of the time.
12. PR Nightmare
I knew a guy who sold his old company truck to a used car dealer and ended up seeing it in the news with some terrorists in the middle east driving it. Mounted weapons and everything on that thing with his business and his name painted on the side. Great advertising. The consequences were brutal.
He was forced to close shop after because of the bad rap. It’s sad when you think about it since he didn't deserve it.
13. Working Double Time
My father went from hero to zero in my eyes. I grew up believing he was an honest, hardworking, and loyal man. While he was absolutely a hard working man, finding out when I was 21 that he had another house, woman and child 20 minutes down the street that he went to on his frequent “business trips” dispelled the notion that he was honest and loyal.
14. Junk Mail
The director of a place I worked at sent an employee an inappropriate picture as a "long shot". The employee was at a party where she promptly showed other people wondering, "What the heck just happened?" He had access to her phone number, but she had never willingly given it out to the director for any social engagements. Obviously, he went through files and found it and thought it was a good idea.
The worst part was that it was a picture of someone else that he was claiming to be himself. The guy was a larger dude, and the pic he sent with a leg shot was someone vastly more fit. Anyway, he came in after his weekend and, after a brief HR visit, walked out. Oh, his wife worked there too and had just had a baby.
The workplace is like high school, so everyone knew what happened about two hours after he was walked out. His marriage and career ended in the speed of sending a text. He worked in a big industry, and the news got around fast about the whole ordeal.
At the time, the place I worked at was in California, and the place where this happened was on the East Coast. It wasn't even a former co-worker who told me the story, but my new manager who had never even worked at my old place. I then asked a mutual friend, my ex-husband, if the rumors were true.
He confirmed them as he was right next to the employee who received the text and unfortunately saw it with his own eyes.
15. Live Stream
I had an online training session for Azure. There was this Russian guy that ignored the tutor’s request to put all questions in the chat, and he kept coming off mute to ask questions, constantly interrupting the class.
On the lunch break, he went to the bathroom, off mute, flushed and I didn’t hear a tap/hand washing. I left the headset around this time. Apparently, he ate lunch noisily and when asked to mute, he told someone “No”. I think he felt he was asserting masculine dominance or something.
Anyway, a year later, karma came around him to bite him in the behind. I was in a meeting and the manager showed a list of shortlisted names for a role we were interviewing for. He was there. I told them about the incident and said I’d rather not have a tool like that for a team mate. They agreed and canceled the interview.
16. No Child Left Behind
My Mom ran a daycare for almost 20+ years. It was her own business that she built up. Not only did I attend it, it was my first real job. And I fell in love with childcare because of it.
We were very accommodating, we weren’t too strict. Our goal wasn’t to get a three-year-old to read at a 4th grade level, but really just to give parents what they needed, making sure the kids were safe and well cared for. We also helped out along the way with potty training and weaning and such.
We had such a long wait list. But we still found a way to get the children who really needed it care. Then my mother sold it to a larger chain daycare when she retired. They made a bunch of changes, made a bunch of promises that kids would be reading, potty trained by 2-3, perfect little angels.
Every child is different. You know why every child was potty trained by three? Because if they weren’t, they were kicked out. There were no comfort items at nap time, because they were making little adults instead of babies.
It took about six months and their wait list was zero. They were offering incentives to sign your child up. They couldn’t bring on workers. I think it downsized, before eventually closing.
17. Too Late To Apologize
I worked at the same company for ten years and had an excellent reputation. Some wild stuff went down and all the managers except for me had to be replaced. My reputation was fine at that point. Then we hired this crazy guy who had a penchant for lying and saying some super strange things. On one occasion, he was super inappropriate with a customer.
I reported all of this to my boss—but then everything took a distressing turn. This crazy guy made up even bigger and more compelling lies… about me. They believed him. I didn’t do anything fireable, but they transferred me to a different location. I was told that I needed to “shape up to save my job” despite ten years of maximum raises and promotions and glowing feedback.
Two days later, the guy was fired by HR because a customer reported him for harassment and inappropriate behavior. Nobody said a word to me, no apology, nothing.
I quit in January. Screw them!
18. Guitar Zero
It was my third year in the army. I was making rank faster than average. I actually thought I might stay in. After working the night shift, I was called in at 9 am the next morning by the senior sergeant in command.
I got over to the unit, and they said a woman who was a telephone operator had accused me of bringing an electric guitar and amplifier to work and playing it at full volume all night! We were the only two people in the building. Of course, this was a case where the accusers wondered, "...why in heck would anyone make this up?"
Well, she did. I was threatened with a court-martial. I figured it out later. There was a lifer who outranked me who had not made rank that hated my guts. He used to whisper under his breath, "I will get you". I had seen him finagling with the woman in the parking lot. She was very mousy and submissive-acting. I feel he intimidated her into doing it.
Someone will say, "...well, why didn't you start up an investigation to ferret out the truth?" The army does not work like that. They told me to never speak to her again, and I didn't. I had never spoken to her in the first place—I didn't know her. This obviously put a stink on me.
It actually turned out to be a lucky thing, because it convinced me to get out and achieve a whole lot more than would have been possible had I stayed in.
19. Team Takedown
My old boss was INCREDIBLY good at his job. I don't mean that he did well. He was great at it. He was constantly being offered jobs by competitors, but turned them down because of loyalty to our company, which he had been with for almost 20 years and had pushed him up through the ranks.
He seemed like a great guy. He did a ton for my career, and I wouldn't be where I am today without the work he put into cultivating me into what I am. I say this as someone with a decent amount of bitterness towards it because I feel like I'm unable to hate him for the stuff he pulled.
He promoted a woman to a supervisor position, and took everyone in supervisor/manager positions in our department out for dinner. There were five of us there that night. Him, her, me, and two others. I didn't think anything of it until the next day at work.
She pulled me aside and told me that he was rubbing his hand up her thigh the entire time at dinner and she had to physically stop him from putting it under her dress at one point. I immediately took her to HR and we all had to give statements on what happened.
Our HR director and my boss were on the same tier in terms of authority within the building, so she couldn't be the one investigating. They had to bring in someone from corporate to conduct the investigation and it took them several weeks, during which time he was placed on leave.
They interviewed all kinds of people as character witnesses, and even video called previous employees who had worked directly with him. It turns out, this wasn't the first time this claim had been made, but the last time it happened, the woman had talked about it all over the place and he claimed it was a hostile work environment, and it got dropped.
So as all of this is happening, he's keeping in touch with me and one other guy at our job. He said he's busted his butt for the company and this is how they treat him, and now he's going to join one of the other companies that's always reaching out. He wants us to come along, and we're both SUPER against it.
He keeps telling us it's not true and that we'll see when they drop the investigation. But there was something he didn't realize. He did not expect the manager under him, the woman that he's been working side by side with for 10 years, to have a LIST of texts from him all talking super inappropriately to her.
She turned a drive over to the corporate HR woman and that sealed it all. She had saved every text he'd ever sent her and they completely ruined his reputation. He was fired, and she was promoted into his place. He went to apply for a couple of the firms that had been trying to recruit him, but our HR department had "accidentally" let slip exactly why he was no longer with the company.
Nobody wanted to touch him at all anymore, and he ended up having to leave the state to get back into our field.
20. Zero To Hero
My cousin actually managed to ruin his bad reputation! So, my cousin is on the spectrum, and as such, he got sheltered as a child and teenager by his mother and came into adulthood as a spoiled, sheltered manchild who could barely function socially and spent his money on stupid stuff.
He went incognito from 90% of the family when he was like 23, 10 years ago and did his own thing away from the rest of us and nobody complained about that. We heard about him getting and losing jobs, getting into fights with people, substance use etc...but turns out it was exclusively the bad stuff that got around.
Last Christmas, as it turns out, he was clean—no pills, and that spoiled, mean attitude he used to have was gone, and he was cooking burgers for everyone at the family Christmas dinner. They were delicious.
He'd apparently been holding down a steady job the last six years, hadn't been in a fight for about that long and refers to his prior years as long behind him, and even jokes about them. But the five minutes that really turned his reputation around?
My sister started choking on an unchewed piece of burger. We were all talking amongst ourselves and didn't notice, but he did. He left the stove, ran over, started palm-striking her in the back and got her to cough up the big lump of unchewed burger and bun. We didn't notice anything was wrong till the first strike.
Once she coughed it up he just says nonchalantly "yeah see there's your problem" like a mechanic noticing something wrong in an engine, gesturing to the lump. He showed us all up that day and proved to all of us that we were completely wrong about him. Or at the very least what we knew about him was severely outdated and negatively biased.
There was a social media influencer who was doing quite well with promoting her fitness wear brand. She was even working on deals with companies like Underarmour and Nike. She was set to move into the million dollar income bracket...until she made a single post.
She showed a picture of her and her family eating tacos with a caption that included a really awful word for Mexican people. She was instantly canceled by pretty much everyone (and rightfully so). Brand deals shut down immediately. Followers left in droves. It pretty much ended her career.
22. Flew Too High
This happened to a guy I worked with in a super niche industry but on the sales side. We're the market leader by a huge margin and pretty much own the market—think infotech/networking.
The guy I worked with worked his way up from inside sales to President of New Projects/Acquisitions/Mergers/etc. Basically he was the show pony for the company. He would go out and woo an existing client base; sweet talk companies into licensing features to us or outright purchasing them, etc.
This guy had it made—made huge money, stock options, golden parachute, the whole nine yards. He would vacation with the rich and famous in Dubai, Monaco, etc.
His downfall was he got greedy and greenlit some projects and single sourced them to his friends and family, and he was involved in the side companies in a "consultant" facility—we're not talking small deals either—less than $1-3M, but like 40-50 such projects.
Ultimately what brought him down was due diligence; some clerk noticed his name in the wrong spot on some paperwork; that opened a can of worms and got him booted out of the company and blacklisted in the industry. They got him on a conflict of interest.
He's doing fine though; guys like that always land on their feet, but nowhere near where he was before.
23. The Lowe Road
My Uncle was a surgeon but was pretty bad at it so he transitioned over to be a medical director at the hospital. In 2018, he started to really just slack off and be rude to people and just be a miserable person. He got fired and went on a horrible rampage of how he resents it, the CEO is a cow, etc. He was well known in the city and everybody heard about it.
He now works at Lowes, lives at his 84-year-old mother's house, and lost his kid due to his wife leaving him. He's an Ivy League surgeon, and even has a PhD on top of his MD, and works at Lowe’s. Super sad.
24. Elon Husk
A few years ago, Elon Musk was a keynote speaker at the annual American Geophysical Union conference. There were 25,000 scientists and engineers in attendance and everyone wanted to hear him speak. Bear in mind that at the time, he was broadly perceived as a brilliant visionary who was going to save the world and, even more astonishingly, do it using his own money.
So the room is packed to standing room only and he has the floor for like two hours, speaking first and then taking questions from the floor. And it was amazing. Then the room just...deflated. These people, mostly PhDs, listened to him talk and, most significantly, heard him respond to questions.
With every word, it became more and more clear that he was an egotistical, arrogant moron who believed so strongly in his own genius that he believed anything he said must be true. He walked into a room full of fans, but he left a room full of critics who would never trust him again.
It didn't take too long for the rest of the world to see it too. Well, most of us, anyway.
25. Hot-Headed And Heavy
When I was in college, I worked at a restaurant. Two of the hosts started dating each other, and it turns out one of them was downright unhinged. It escalated over time, but ended with him confronting her about her cheating, and her trying to run him over with her car, crashing into a river in the process.
A decade later, she applied for a role at my company. She actually made it far enough for a second interview. I told the hiring manager I couldn't be on her interview committee, and also quietly pulled him aside and said, "Last I saw her, she was being detained at work for trying to run my coworker over with her car".
Thankfully, she never found out it was me, because my shins are not car-proof.
26. Lost In Translation
Myself and a great group of foreigners were working diligently for months/years post 3/11 earthquakes in Japan’s Tohoku region trying to help restore areas through charity work. We made neighbors and helped build trust in foreigners working/living in Japan with our continued work in the north.
Enter a famous YouTube personality who made a viral video in Japan. He thought it would be funny to go to a forest famous for people taking their lives and make a video there. And he also did a bunch of other dumb stuff within the city, all of which made the local news. Essentially, our work helping our neighbors did not make the news because of him.
He made us foreigners look like trash after just a few days in the country. That stupid rich jerk will never understand what it means to be an outsider in a country. You are constantly judged for just existing there. And when you are trying to do good, someone comes along and smashes that good faith down a peg.
27. Not So Quiet
A guy was literally a 20-year veteran at a previous job. He knew the industry better than anyone and his reputation for professionalism was unsurpassed. He was respected by virtually everyone as a true expert in his field, a very rare breed.
One day, he stayed late at the office to put out some fires that had erupted with a client—nothing he hadn't done a thousand times before. Except this time, things weren't going well. The client was so uncooperative as to be intractable.
A passerby heard him shout at the client and say a bunch of unsavory, prejudiced things to them, who was Black, and then slam the phone down in anger. The passerby who overheard him was the HR director. Who had just been hired. And was also Black. And who sort of wanted to know what he meant by that.
Ordinarily, this is the sort of thing that would get taken care of quietly. But unfortunately, someone (also Black) in my department had taken it upon himself to stay late too and do some DIY IT work on his laptop.
So, he heard everything even though nobody else knew he was there. So, the story spread pretty quickly in spite of HR's efforts to keep it under wraps. The company would've wanted to fire the guy while keeping the whole ugly incident as quiet as possible. They were not able to do so. Which they considered to be unfortunate.
28. Equality Of Numbers
I used to work for a large bank, which for hypothetical purposes we'll call Bar Clays. One woman worked her way up from near minimum wage level to a very high up managerial position...and then she held a conference about equality.
She said that if she had a team of 15 men and 15 women and one of the women left, she would only replace her with another woman to keep it even. That comment was met with hushed disapproval and I was tempted to challenge it but wasn't brave enough. Someone else did though.
He asked, "So if I applied for the role and was the most qualified applicant, would you refuse me the job over a less qualified female applicant just because she was female?" And this manager said, "Absolutely. That's what equality is all about". Another senior member subtly took the microphone off her and said we could all go and get a coffee.
Following that, a number of employees filed discrimination claims for not being promoted due to gender and the manager who made that silly comment resigned before being fired. From what I've seen on Facebook she was high up enough for other banks to know who she was so they wouldn't employ her and she now works in a call center.
29. Class A
A few years back, one of the students attending the university I work at got caught trying to sneak a ton of pills into a local nightclub. The first we found out about it was when some officers turned up with a warrant to go through his room, and I was the lucky person chosen to go let them in.
So I opened the door—and I couldn't believe my eyes. There were pills everywhere. If you've ever seen one of those old-timey pick-n-mix shops with all the sweets in big glass jars, imagine that but with pills and wraps of powder instead.
Everything else was all super neat and tidy and it was one of the cleanest student rooms I'd ever been in, just that every flat surface had a container full of substances or some other sort of paraphernalia on it.
This student was in his 4th year of a masters degree, and due to finish in three months. He ended up being charged and—since a lot of the stuff he had in there was Class A—is now going to be behind bars for a decade or two.
He was also expelled of course, and will still be on the hook for £60k of student debt afterwards.
30. Princess Pilfer
I went to school with a girl I'll call Princess Everything because she pretty much was. Homecoming Queen, check. Cheerleader, check, honor society, check. She was very pretty, smart, athletic and all the boys loved her. All the girls wanted to be her.
Right out of high school, she gets a job at the bank (in a very small town, where getting a job at the bank is huge). Six months in and she embezzles money from her boyfriend's grandmother's account. Her boyfriend broke it off and she pretty much disappeared after that.
31. The Grosser Grocer
A supermarket boss in my hometown had some sort of monopoly going. He always offered everything you'd get everywhere else, had a catering service, and even delivered things to people who couldn't go shopping (mostly elderly).
Then a concerned customer told the authorities that they saw him inappropriately touching young female co-workers every now and then, which was "kinda weird" (duh) since he was married and all.
It turned out that he threatened to "ruin the rest of their lousy career and make sure they'd never get a job again" if they'd ever report him for "just touching them a little".
You can probably imagine what happened.
I knew a highschool football player who had full ride offers from multiple schools including OU, OSU, UT, and Alabama. In the second to the last game of the regular season, he messes up so bad—it's unforgettable.
He gets into an argument with the strength coach over the radio station playing in the weight room, and ends up hitting the coach with his helmet. He was expelled from school and had all of his offers rescinded.
33. Programmed To Fail
After going to school for machining, I graduated and went into Computers and electronics for a few years. I moved through companies troubleshooting, operating, repairing machines, and learning G-code in my spare time. I eventually found a job where I ran the machining department and made my name known.
After years, I moved up to programming and trained a group of machinists to take my place on the floor. It only took one guy who had a competitiveness issue to break it. Rather than listen to me and realize he'd be my replacement on the floor, he trashed me and picked my work apart.
I developed brain lesions due to an autoimmune issue and between all of the babying, corrections, and catching others mistakes...something got overlooked. I was asked to leave and apply for disability after many years and now no longer know if I'm actually competent enough to work a job. Fun.
34. Born To Be Wild
A born-again Christian teen I know met a user who got her into substances, wound up pregnant, and decided to get married as it was the “right” thing. Neither of them could hold down a job and they had six more kids. They decided to find God again and move around doing ministry work while homeschooling their kids.
Unfortunately the “finding God” was not a saving grace for them. It was the only way they could come up with childcare for their family. They are still using.
35. That Taught Him A Lesson
I once knew someone who swapped university courses mid-way through so that he could become a teacher in a subject he was more passionate about. We were pleased for him, he was really excited, and it all got off to a great start. He eventually completed his degree and qualified as a teacher in that subject.
However, he is no longer a teacher. Why is that? Well, turns out he had inappropriate relationships with two students and verbally berated them afterwards. There was a failed third attempt. He then fled to Italy for some reason (he has no connection there as far as I know) to escape justice. He eventually turned himself in and was caught when he arrived back in the UK.
He spent just shy of three years behind bars and is banned from teaching for life. Apparently, that wasn't all. I heard more gossip about his behavior in the classroom which was deeply troubling, but not against the law so nothing was done.
I have no idea what he does now. People have seen him, spoken to him, but he doesn't speak of what happened. I have no idea what he was thinking or what he initially set out to achieve—did he go into teaching so that he could do these things? Or did his mind somehow warp a bit later on?
36. Wake-Up Call
The sweetest, kindest 32-year-old woman I've ever met who's in the top 5 list of fun people in my 62-year life, got messed up with Tramadol, dozed off while driving, hit and seriously injured another driver. She also let her lesbian lover that she broke off her engagement to back into her life. Nothing but drama...but it gets worse.
Her lover eventually dumped her and married somebody else. She had some pre-existing issues, but her personal decision making skills were awful.
37. Out Of House And Home
This is a long and complicated story, but here's a short summary...This all happened in the span of about six months.
A friend of a friend started dating a new lady immediately after his divorce. She was clearly more interested in his money than anything else, and was generally mean and an instigator of problems. But he didn't see that, regardless of how many times people warned him.
They'd been dating for a bit and because she had young children, they were older (her late 30s, him late 50s), and his lease was up soon, she convinced him that they needed to buy a house together. She got him to give her his portion of the "down payment" on the house in cash.
He handed over 80K, which was actually most of the total cost. Then she didn't put his name on anything because his "credit wasn't as good as hers". She convinced him to buy all of the furniture, painting, flooring, and other stuff.
Her excuse for that was claiming that she was going to pay for some remodeling and a new roof, which the house didn't need but she lied about. She also convinced him to give her the money for all of those things in cash. When the house was nice and ready, he lived there for about two days before she dumped him.
She said all this face-to-face. There's nothing in writing between them. There's no paper trail. There's no text messages. There's no witnesses. It just looks like she paid for the house which is in her name, and that's the end of it. He has no recourse.
He lost all of his savings, sunk into depression, which led to a lost job. He even had to move back in with his ex-wife.
38. It’s Never Just One
I'm going to go ahead and say me. At 19, I gave up drinking, had a child at 24, and became a successful Sales Manager at a car dealership. I had full custody of my son and had a civil relationship with his father. At 29, I stopped going to meetings, and after being in the ICU for three weeks, decided I could pick up a drink and just have one.
When I drink, I get depressed. I decided I wasn't happy and wanted to end my life while my son was at his father’s house. Long story short, the authorities were called to do a welfare check and I blacked out. From what I have been told, I tried to lunge at multiple officers.
Within 24 hours, I had been detained for five charges, my ex got emergency custody of our son, and I was placed behind bars for 10 months, meaning I lost my job and my home.
As of July 4, I've been clean for two years. I am now able to have my son on overnight visits and see him as much as his dad lets me. I have found though that it is very hard, even with continuous clean time, to get a stable job with a record. Due to the circumstances, all but one charge was dropped, but I'm still ashamed of my actions.
In 24 hours, I lost everything that meant so much to me, but in all honesty, I gave it all up because I was having a bad day and just wanted one drink.
39. I’m Lovin’ It
A kid who graduated high school the year after me robbed the local McDonald’s with some other guy. We live in a small-ish town (about 9,000 people) so it didn’t take long at all for them to be caught. He was only about 17.
He was in for around four years. While I did my undergrad, he was behind bars, so I think about that long. He was doing a program where he got time off of his sentence for working in a factory-type setting. There was some kind of deal about hours worked turning into time served. This is when he messed up again.
He was very close to getting out when he went out to a car with a female correctional officer and got caught sleeping with her. His sentence got extended by quite a bit and now she’s behind bars, too.
40. Biting The Hand That Feeds You
My Dad one day woke up and decided to “walk out” on my Mom because she didn’t “love him enough”. He hasn’t held a job in over 15 years now and my Mom pays for EVERYTHING for him. He’s also diabetic and has a lot of physical/mental health issues. He didn’t tell my Mom that he was leaving either.
He just packed his stuff and left while she was at work. I had to tell her when she got off work. He went from having a nice home to living a miserable existence in his brother’s basement.
41. There Goes College
I knew a kid in high school. He was always kind of a jerk, but extremely intelligent. He got straight As and had been offered full academic scholarships to about a dozen different colleges. His mom was a teacher at a local elementary school.
So, Mr Genius decides that the $10 a week his parents give him for allowance isn’t enough, and he thinks he’s too good to get an after school job. So, he does the unthinkable. He uses his mom’s key to break into the elementary school, and takes a bunch of valuables.
The next day, he’s selling computers, cameras, TVs and stuff like that out of the back of his car. The “property of elementary school” stickers on the side of the equipment didn’t deter him. The authorities showed up later that afternoon and nabbed him.
Needless to say, he lost all the scholarships and was expelled from school. He had enough credits to graduate, and he did, but never amounted to much as far as I know. It’s been 15 years since I’ve seen or heard from him.
42. Instant Karma
At one of my high school basketball games there was a stand set up collecting donations for Hurricane Katrina victims. This kid in my grade grabbed the giant container of money in front of his peers and teachers and started running out of the gym and across the football field. Luckily, karma got to him before he could get away.
He suffered an asthma attack half way across and was easily taken down and then detained and expelled. It was a pretty large sum of money too.
43. Rocky Road Bandits
I swear this is a true story...it happened in Lynchburg, Virginia. My middle sister got involved with a guy she met at the plasma center who had just gotten out of the clinker. She always romanticized the "thug" lifestyle so she fell quickly in love with him.
They moved in together, she lost her good paying job, and she then started driving an ice cream truck to make money. He went back to his old ways of selling on street corners to make money but he started using more than he was selling.
Their first bright idea was to stage a heist of the ice cream truck. My sister beat herself up and claimed someone jumped her and took all the money. A week later, these two idiots decide they need to do something bigger, so they go to a freaking drive thru window at a convenience store, in the icecream truck, on my sister's shift, and held them up.
They literally held up a drive thru in an ice cream truck! A few days later they were sent behind bars. All this took place over the course of a few weeks. She did two years behind bars and her boyfriend got 12. Her life has been screwed up ever since and she didn't learn a single thing.
44. The Wolf Of Wall Street
I knew a Wall Street banker with two Ivy League degrees, earning around a quarter million a year before this happened. This was right before the 2008 financial crisis. Her team would buy hundreds of mortgages from around the country and group them into mortgage bonds.
Before you could sell mortgage bonds to investors, you had to get them rated by a “rating agency” like Moody’s that figures out how risky they are and gives them a rating like AA or BBB+ or whatever. They were working on a mortgage bond and before they could get it rated, the rating agency made its rules tougher, so they knew it would get a bad rating and they’d never sell it.
So they sent one group of mortgages to the rating agency, but used a different group for the actual bond. The financial crisis hit, many of the mortgages in the actual bond defaulted, making the bond worthless. Her bank got sued by angry investors who were expecting a safe, high-rated bond, and because of the lawsuit the SEC found out about how they lied to the rating agency.
She and two other bankers on her team were banned for life from the financial industry, and had to pay huge fines, and last I saw, she moved back to her hometown and lives with her parents.
45. Not Worth It
My cousin's boyfriend at the time decided to drag race in his beat-up old truck from what I heard, and somehow ended up flipping it in the race and banged himself up pretty bad. A few days later I heard from my family that he didn't make it.
I had just seen the guy at my workplace a week before this, giving my cousin some flowers. He didn't seem like the type to put himself in so much danger, and probably was drinking beforehand too. Pretty wild.
46. One Wrong Move
A friend in high school—not the brightest but fairly smart—could have done well for herself. She always dreamed of joining the Coast Guard after graduation—but made one life decision that ruined everything. She decided to follow a friend and move to Montana.
She didn’t go to college. Instead, she met a guy who ended up infertile after a rodeo accident. She now has three kids from two different guys (two of the kids are from the “infertile” guy) and works at Wal-Mart. We had a falling out a few years ago, so I don’t know exactly how she’s doing, but my mom is friends with her on Facebook, so I hear what’s going on.
I don’t really know why she made that initial move to Montana, and I probably never will. I just hope she’s happy.
47. Hand It Over
My friend got married right after high school. He left for boot camp and deployed soon after. He gave his wife power of attorney. Biggest mistake of his life. She destroyed his credit and put him $200k in debt in eight months.
They divorced but his council advised him to just “give her whatever she wants” to keep her quiet. So now he's also paying alimony. It sucks because he only joined the army to pay for college. But now he's afraid he won't be able to afford it even with a GI Bill.
48. Call Security
I was working on Manas AB in Kyrgyzstan. A contractor showed up to the Network Shop and on his first day, he got fired.
He showed up and asked where the snack room was. He got very upset when he was told there isn't a snack room. "Well, Google has a snack room!" Dude, you're on an army base in the middle of nowhere. Walk literally next door to the chow hall and grab a candy bar if you need one. But that wasn't the worst part.
About an hour later, he asked where the nap room was. Again, he got very upset when he was told there isn't a nap room—so upset that he started throwing things around and we had to call the Security Forces. He was forcibly removed from the base and banned by the Commander his first day.
I can't even imagine how hard that destroyed his IT career since the company had to fly him home the day after they flew him in. No one was gonna hire that guy after that.
49. Because I Got High
This happened to my friend in high school. He was a popular, good-looking (dude could have been a model) and really really smart. He got accepted to an Ivy League school and all he had to do was make sure he passed all his classes and he was in. Simple, right? WRONG.
Well, the last week of senior year he had a math exam and all he had to do was just show up and write his name on the exam. The teacher had it set up where you get at least a 40% just by writing your name. He just couldn’t get a 0% or else he wouldn’t pass.
The genius decided to skip his exam and go get high instead. He failed the exam and the class and couldn’t attend the Ivy League school. He eventually spiraled over the years into addiction. It’s been 15 years since high school and last I heard he’s still living at home. He could have gone places in life.
50. Oh, Snap!
This happened to a couple I know. The husband was a city alderman/real estate agent and his father was a former mayor so their surname and family were very well known. The wife was a beloved teacher and cheer coach/sponsor at the high school.
Apparently, she was trying to snap someone explicit pics on Snapchat—and made a chilling mistake. She accidentally sent them to everyone on her snap including students, friends, family, fellow church members, etc. She was fired and her husband divorced her because he wasn’t on Snapchat and wasn’t the intended recipient of her spicy pics.