Horrible Workers 

August 25, 2023 | Sammy Tran

Horrible Workers 

We all have office stories, some hilarious and some…downright dangerous. These Redditors share some of the bizarre and horrible things they’ve seen their co-workers do. Buckle up, because the workplace can be a wild place.

1. The Worst Trigger

A coworker jumped out from behind a door at my husband, who is a disabled combat veteran with PTSD, dressed as if he was from the Middle East. He was literally trying to trigger a flashback. There were no repercussions, as he was the boss’s friend. Oh, but Karma took care of him in the end.

Two weeks later, he fell down some icy steps and broke both legs.

horrible workers

2. Worker’s Compensation

It was winter time and she was helping a customer by carrying something they had purchased out for them. Once outside (but still on the store property), she slipped and sustained an injury. She threatened to sue the business.

She also tried to claim worker’s compensation—she’d come into work every day with a sling on her arm, constantly wincing and being in pain. Anywayyyyyyyys.

One day HR and the store manager call her into a meeting, sit her down, and show her the video surveillance from OUTSIDE (which she obviously didn't know was there).

The video showed her faking her fall. I don't know everything but she got called out hard and she broke down and admitted everything. For some reason, they kept her on. But the story doesn't end there.

She then tried it AGAIN like six months later. This time claiming that a customer had something from their cart hit her or fall on her or something. Again, she tried to claim workers comp and had this whole show about being injured. They pull up security footage AGAIN and disprove her injury/claims.

She still wasn't fired. It blew my mind.

Horrible Workers Flickr, MTSOfan

3. Just Girl Talk

Our HR rep found out about a person’s elective surgery and made fun of her with a former employee. Yes, that’s right. This person knew about an employee’s private medical information because she worked with our healthcare plan in her role as HR.

She then shared that private information with another person for the sole purpose of mocking the employee. Somehow, she was not fired.

Horrible Workers Pexels

4. The Fish’pocalypse

I worked at a pet store for a long time. We had a Cyanobacteria outbreak and were bleaching individual tanks (once separated from the main sump) and then dechlorinating the tanks and testing them before putting them back in with the main sump system.

We had been undergoing this process for about a week at that point, but apparently Ole Red hadn't been paying attention at all during that time period. She reattached a tank half-full of bleach to the main tank system.

As I walked into the store (it was my day off; I was just there for lizard food), I saw the majority of the fish moving around listlessly. Then they started spiraling. I point this out to my coworkers and they start freaking out.

One of them starts dumping bottles of de-chlorinator into the system. Meanwhile, Ole Red fishes out her favorite fish, blood parrot cichlids, and starts blowing into their gills, trying to do a bad approximation of CPR. She ends up throwing them into a separate sick tank in hopes of saving them.

Anyway, she destroyed 99% of the fish and I had to help shovel out their corpses while crying the entire time. She didn't get fired and never took responsibility for the event.

I was there for almost six years and the entire time all of us "originals" who worked there openly shunned her. However, to this day, she still doesn't understand that the fishpocalypse was her fault. So it made it really hard to directly give her a hard time about it...That was the weirdest part.

In a similar vein, I think, one of my coworkers gave her his three-year-old Jack Dempsey because it was no longer compatible in his tank. She apparently didn't realize how aggressive it'd be in her tank, so she released it in a native waterway.

I got super irritated because I loved Jack "Jackie" Dempsey. I decided to passive-aggressively bring up in conversation with her how much I hate people that release exotics like that. Without batting an eye, she started agreeing with me in earnest. She's not all there.

Horrible Workers Pexels

5. Corporations Saying “Thank You”

This time the coworker was actually me. I still have no idea what I was thinking. The owners of the company all showed up for a company meeting and gave this 30-minute long speech about how much they value our work and they wanted to reward us.

They started handing out checks, I opened mine up and saw $2,000. Now, I didn't make a ton of money and I was having health issues. I’d been to the ER a few times in the past few months. So this money would literally save me.

Everyone is all excited and very surprised our management who were known to be penny pinchers that didn't care at all about employees would do this. Then I see it. The checks were all dated two years from then.

They said if we stayed with the company with no write-ups and never missed a day of work we could cash those checks in two years. I just lost it.

I walked up to the front of the presentation, held my check up, ripped it into shreds, and said, "This is some serious bull," and threw the shreds at the owners. Surprisingly, I wasn't fired. Probably because I was the highest-producing employee in the company. Or maybe they realized toying with people like that really wasn't a good idea.

Who knows.

Horrible Workers Freepik, KamranAydinov

6. Prank On The New Girl

So I work on a therapeutic campus. I run a unit that specializes in patients with severe learning difficulties, psychosis, paranoid schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses. Some of our patients are known for being quite aggressive and extremely dangerous when they are unsettled.

We found out one shift that we would be having a new nurse with us on shift. We were also told she wasn't familiar with the patients/staff at all. How the shift works is this: each staff gets given a patient that they stick with for a few hours before everyone rotates to different patients.

My coworker had just got his patient into the bath, so in the meantime, he was cleaning that patient's room. That's when the new nurse came into the room with that patient's morning medication. Having not seen the patients or the staff before, she thought that the staff member cleaning the room was the patient she was supposed to be giving meds to.

My coworker quickly realized that she was confused and started playing along, answering all of her questions and trying to imitate the patient's behavior. When she approached my coworker to give him the patient's meds, he put his arms up in the air and screamed "GET AWAY FROM ME" and started to run at her (which is something this patient used to do all the time).

She instantly screams and drops the medication, she turns around and runs down the corridor screaming whilst my coworker was still chasing her. After management had heard about all of this, he just had to apologize and luckily she saw the funny side of it.

But wow, places of care are usually super strict with that kind of thing. I'm surprised I'm still working with him to this day, hahah!

Horrible Workers Pexels

7. Boyfriend For The Win

As an assistant manager at a Valvoline Instant Oil Change, I was dealing with an unreasonable customer. He had just hawked at a female employee that he didn’t want working on his car. But there was something he didn't know.

He didn’t realize that the guy under his car was her boyfriend. The boyfriend comes up the steps, grabs an oil pump, and starts pumping 10W30 All Climate into the guy’s window as he’s frantically trying to start the car and roll up the window.

The employee was reprimanded pretty hard, but it was understood why he did it. No charges were filed, the franchise owner paid a lot of money to have the guy’s car cleaned. Obviously, I never saw the customer again. The boyfriend was suspended for a week.

Horrible Workers Pexels

8. Drinking On The Job

I used to work for a company that did inventory audits. We frequently traveled all over the state to do audits. There was that guy EVERYBODY hated because he was a giant jerk who I will call JD.

Well, one night, we had an audit in a city around three hours away in the evening. We got done at around 1 am-2 am and pretty much everyone was tired.

Only certain people are allowed to drive the company vehicles we take to out-of-town audits. All the other people who were approved to drive were too tired to do so. JD said he would and after about half an hour on the road, everyone in the van fell asleep. That's when chaos ensued.

JD thought it would be the perfect time to pull out the bottle of spirits he bought when he was filling up on gas and start lining up shots on the passenger seat. Fast forward an hour and everyone in the van gets woken up by JD swerving back and forth on the road and nearly hitting the guard rail ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD.

As predicted, everyone in the van calmly and politely asked JD to pull over. Then two guys politely pulled JD out of the van and attempted to calmly kick his head in.

When we got back to the office no one waited for even a second to call our District Manager and try to get JD fired/imprisoned, only everyone in the van was telling different stories with each person exaggerating the events more than the previous person in the attempt to make his punishment worse.

But since the stories were so different our DM couldn't use this as grounds for termination. JD did eventually get fired because he would show up to audits and refuse to work because he had an injured shoulder. He injured his shoulder when the two guys in the van from the incident jumped him after work and dislocated his shoulder. But that's not the only story I have in my arsenal.

I also used to work retail. I worked at a store that specialized in selling video games but basically has since turned into a toy store. Like everywhere else, Black Friday is a super busy day, and this year especially since we had some really good deals.

So the idea was to have three people working throughout the day so we don't get overwhelmed by the number of customers. One of our supervisors, who I call Tony, was supposed to be on the opening shift at 6 am and decided that it would be a great idea to go out drinking all night on Thanksgiving with his brother until 5 am.

Well, when Tony's 6 am shift came around he stumbled into work still completely incapacitated. As expected, the store was nonstop busy from opening till closing. To make matters worse, the 3rd person on that shift decided he would rather sleep in and go shopping instead of coming to work, so the shift was only being covered by our Store Manager and a woozy supervisor.

My shift was meant to be from 2 pm to closing but they begged me to come in early so they could send Tony home. When I got there, the Store Manager was talking about how he tried to see if Tony could work in that condition because there was no way he could run the Store by himself.

The Store Manager told me that Tony would frequently just stare at the customer if they asked him a question, got "lost" in our tiny backroom looking for an Xbox, fell asleep on the toilet for 10 minutes, and tried to sell multiple customers the 100-mile warranty for their games.

He finally sent Tony home once he got the Assistant Manager to come in at 8 am. Tony and the Store Manager were fired a few months later when they got caught padding store numbers.

Horrible Workers Freepik, stockking

9. Money-Making Piece Of Dirt

I work for a small company. The owner brought in a friend when they started because he had connections, no conscience, and knew how to sell.

He had gone so far as to let this guy claim to be a co-owner, despite never putting a dime into the place. But he brings in people. And he mostly deals with the clientele which is something the owner didn't want to do.

This guy had been the cause of pretty much every single employee who has ever worked there quitting. And he has all the employees who are there now, including me, wanting to quit. Basically, he's a walking nightmare.

He lies pretty much every time he opens his mouth, never admits fault, and always places the blame on other people who were never even involved. He is mean when he drinks and has been known to show up to work in that state.

He is never there when he is supposed to be, which most people find a blessing. But customers always want him so we're always having to cover. He may be good at bringing in people, but he gets bored of them quickly and they end up feeling neglected and stop being customers sooner or later.

He's really a double-edged sword and I think he's going to end up tanking the place eventually. Oh, I didn't even mention... Since this COVID thing started he thinks it's funny to run around coughing on people's workstations or breathing heavily behind them.

He and the boss refuse to wear masks while insisting customers wear them. He is just evil.

Horrible Workers Pexels

10. Careless Caretaker

I work at a psychiatric hospital and we had a patient who was blind. He was admitted for substance-induced psychosis along with visual and auditory hallucinations.

See, at this hospital, we only accept the people who are an immediate danger to themselves or others. When a patient first comes to us they are put on a check sheet. This means every 10 minutes a staff member needs to see that the patient is breathing and safe.

But sometimes we need to do a one-to-one (1:1) which means a staff member needs to be with this person at all times, either for their safety or the safety of other patients.

We also have little body alarms and floor alarms for patients (mostly geriatrics) who are unsteady while walking and need assistance. These devices let us know when they get up so we can assist them.

So the blind patient was on a 1:1 and was taking a nap in their room. The staff had a laptop to do some charting while sitting on the 1:1. Well this staff member put the laptop on the floor and left the room. All while neglecting to hook up any of the body or floor alarms. It was a recipe for disaster.

While the staff member was out of the room, our patient got up from their bed and tripped over the laptop, and face-planted. Another staff member noticed and we ran down to take vitals and make sure the patient was okay. Thank goodness the patient wasn't injured, but we were furious with our coworker for leaving.

Their excuse was they needed to get some paperwork they had been putting off. All in all, this person didn't get fired (Lord doesn't even know why) but did get a small notice. My coworkers and I were enraged! You do not leave a patient while on 1:1. Not even if they are asleep!

Horrible Workers Pexels

11. Bold Or Dumb?

I worked for an organization that had a small maintenance department. It only consisted of two guys. They both hated their jobs and felt underpaid, and were applying to other jobs. They did something I would never dream of doing.

They both left work without telling anyone they were leaving to go to the same job interview. On the clock. The job interview also happened to be for a job at a sister location for our office. And they both used our manager as a reference. Not a smart move.

The manager got a phone call within minutes of their interviews, and collected their unstamped time cards before they even got back to the office. She had them caught for wage theft.

But it also took two months to fill any position at our organization because of the crushing bureaucracy for job postings. And the lawn needed to be mowed before the weekend. So they both got to keep their jobs. They were still working there six months later when I left.

I was completely sure they were both getting fired. But the boss couldn't get by without at least one of them, and couldn't get rid of just one of them when they both did the exact same thing.

Horrible Workers Freepik, wayhomestudio

12. But That’s What Servers Are For

I had a boss storing pictures of himself wearing only his wide-open bathrobe on company servers. It was reported to HR but he wasn’t fired for it. Later he was put behind bars as part of an undercover sting where he thought he was meeting a fifteen-year-old girl about 500 miles away. Here are the details.

The images were stored in a shared folder used by a few employees. The guy was our IT manager so he should have known better than storing them there. I assume the pictures were taken using a work camera because digital cameras were very expensive at that time and the company had a few.

Before he left for the weekend to meet “the girl” he had asked to use the digital camcorder I had for work. He told me he needed it to make a video of his home possessions for insurance purposes. I was suspicious of that so I told him I needed it for work.

We found out he was in trouble when he called the computer room through a collect call from prison. This was later in the evening after he did not show up for work that day. We didn’t accept the charges but called back later to see what he was charged with.

At that time we were told it was for solicitation of a minor. The whole story came out later when he was on the local news station.

Horrible Workers Pexels

13. Behind The Reception

I work in a private country club-style dining/banquet event space. A manager drank too much—and did the unthinkable. He pinned an hourly server against the wall during a nighttime wedding reception. She punched him in the ribs. She tried pushing him off of her. We all saw it. We all reported to HR.

Another manager had to physically remove him from her. This was about four months ago and he’s still in his position. She quit due to him telling everyone she lied about the entire situation.

Horrible Workers Pexels

14. Third Time’s The Charm

I worked with a guy who punctured the main gas line to our shop three separate times. We were a construction company and he was somehow still my superintendent. Never mind the fact that he could have blown up the shop.

Our lot was made of sand and needed a lot of maintenance and wasn’t close to town. He punctured the gas line by digging holes in the lot.

After the first time, the gas company came and marked it. He later removed the markers because he thought they were in the wrong place. He punctured the line two more times. The company probably got billed but the company was large enough that it didn’t cause that much of a problem.

But I still don’t know why he wasn’t fired.

Horrible Workers Flickr , MTA Construction & Development Mega Projects

15. At Least This Guy Had A Reason

I had a coworker at the last restaurant I worked at who was terrible to work with. He actually got fired on three occasions. The first was for a no-call/no-show on New Year's Eve, then for getting frustrated and yelling at a guest, and lastly for being overly sarcastic with multiple guests to the point where they called corporate to complain.

He was also just the worst person to work with: lazy, annoying, etc. Yet he kept getting hired back within a week. I didn't understand. But then one night a bunch of us were hanging out together after work. He was a little tipsy so I just straight up asked how he still had a job. His response floored me.

So, he pulled out his phone and showed me pics of our general manager doing lines at a party. I was surprised and yet somehow relieved at the same time.

Horrible Workers Pexels

16. The Sociopath

I had a telemarketing coworker who was very obviously a psycho or sociopath. He had quite a temper with authority figures but would often just cause trouble out of boredom, by his own admission.

The most controversial thing he did one particular day was address every client he spoke to with prejudiced slurs. Once the manager heard him, he yelled at him outside for 20 minutes and that was the end of it. I'm not sure why he wasn't fired, and if I had been the manager at the time, I certainly would have fired him on the spot.

A week later, this co-worker denied it had ever happened before going on a tangent about how he liked to start arguments with his girlfriend just to see her cry. An utter sociopath. I've studied psychology and the current opinion seems to be that psychopaths are born with a lack of empathy.

Sociopaths, on the other hand, learn to lose their empathy because of their life situation. I believe he may be it.

Horrible Workers Pexels

17. A Very Expensive Accident

This would have been 12 years ago now. I was working as an assistant manager at Valvoline Instant Oil Change. The locks on our oil pumps never worked properly, so for the most part we always had to hold the trigger arm down to pump in the oil. No big deal, probably better anyway.

But the locks were also there to prevent accidentally opening the valve—and one time, this caused a serious disaster. They got caught on the rack…facing the passenger side of a car…with a woman's brand new $4000 bridal dress sitting uncovered in the front seat.

It was a complete accident and thankfully the manager was there when it happened. I took the top guy who was visibly upset (verge of tears, guilty feeling) out the back door. I talked him down and told him to take a long lunch on the clock.

The customer's fiancé came up later that day to apologize for his future bride being rightfully mad at us. Two days later the corporate maintenance guy for our chain was replacing and testing every single machine on the rack.

We had to suspend the guy for not "following procedures" (Area Manager had to do it because the chain managers forced him to) and he quit while on suspension. But it could have been literally anybody in the store that day.

Horrible Workers Shutterstock

18. A Simple Case Of Ageism

So, I got my buddy CJ a job at my gas station and it's his first day. He was working a register and was doing pretty well. My manager was messing with something behind us.

I hear CJ say from his register, "C'mon, Grandma, hurry up. You've used a debit card before". My manager looked like a deer in headlights. Both of us just look at him. I'm incredibly FURIOUS that he just messed up the job that I vouched for him to get.

He looks confused for a second, then starts to chuckle. It was his actual grandmother. We all had a good laugh and it was a good day.

Horrible Workers Pexels

19. Watch Your Mouth

I worked with a team at a tech support center a couple of years ago. They were some of the best and worst coworkers I ever had. For some perspective, I was a mid-twenties female, and the five workstations that touched mine were occupied by four similarly aged Black guys and one hilarious Hispanic dude in his 40s.

As much fun as they were to hang with, they were also the worst background noise imaginable. Especially the two youngest boys. One of them would just transfer people for no real reason except not to have to do his job. The other was actually not very good at his job and I'm still not sure how he passed the knowledge test to get hired.

I would constantly overhear him give the most incorrect instructions or just say the most unprofessional things. And those two would have the raciest conversations with each other like four feet away from my headset.

The rest weren't bad if the other two didn't drag them into a conversation. I basically mastered single-handed computer use because I had to always keep one hand up to my mouthpiece to muffle their dirty mouths and talk of substances and other unprofessional discussions.

They both did eventually end up fired but it took months, one for the transferring and call dropping and one in a batch of layoffs simply because of his hire date.

It was easy work and I enjoyed it but it wasn't going anywhere as a career or anything so I also didn’t care too much. But I did pride myself on providing accurate information and being friendly and personable so having them near me made that difficult sometimes.

They were great guys, outside of work we'd have easily been pals. But as table mates, they were the absolute worst.

Horrible Workers Pexels

20. When Work Is Optional

I had an analyst who joined the team from an acquisition. Our deliverables were quarterly. All is fine for about a year. Then I start getting the occasional escalation about overdue work or missing work. I address it and the employee assures me they’re working on it. No big deal. We all get behind.

But after another full quarter and more frequent issues, I decided to look into all her customers—and made an infuriating discovery. Turns out the analyst wasn’t doing anything until the customer asked for it.

They played dumb. They said they “didn’t know they had to do it” despite my training them. Plus, they had no issues for the first year. HR required a performance improvement period. The employee overcompensated and got all their backlog done in the 60-day period and was not fired.

Fast forward to another six months and it all starts over. They quit before I could get authorization to fire them.

Horrible Workers Pexels

21. The Village Idiot

At my old job, there was a guy that was the company (village) idiot. Let's call him Bob.

His dad used to be the president of the company. That's how he got a job there. Bob was put in charge of safety at a company of around 60 people and remained in that position for 20 years.

Looking back, I think he was put in this position because that's where he was assumed to do the least amount of damage. He was kept away from manufacturing and customers as best as they could.

They gave him senseless tasks: Things like driving around town to get free pallets and moving products around on a forklift. His wife also worked at this same company. She pretty much had the same rap as he did.

The rest of the employees avoided them as best as they could. They were very weird people. When the president eventually retired, they brought in a much younger guy and gave him the title of general manager. He was told that in one year, and with a majority of votes from the shareholders, he would be promoted to president.

Guess who had voted to get him voted in? Bob's dad and Bob's wife. This new general manager knew he needed their votes so he chummed up to them right away. Bob and his wife would spend hours in his office every day trying to win him over.

They saw this as an opportunity to gain traction in the company with someone who didn't know the real them. Bob would constantly listen in on conversations, try to get people to hold a meeting to explain things to him, and then take what he learned to the new general manager and pass it off as his own ideas.

He also did things like print off hundreds of sheets of paper on the topic when he had a meeting with the general manager. To make it look like he had it all together. He would get back to his office and throw it all away. After a year passed, the general manager was voted in as the new president by the shareholders.

The reward to Bob for helping vote him in was for him to get a supervisor job over the machine shop and engineering, including me. He was now communicating with customers daily. Listening to him talk on the phone was among the most cringeworthy moments of my life.

Every time he would get on the phone I would get up and walk out. The consequences were laughable. He took a successful machine shop with $30,000- $40,000 a month in sales and drove it down to $5,000 every month for over a year. He had driven multiple customers away, taking away thousands in business.

I had customers not answer my phone calls because they thought it was him. At one point, he was the reason for four different people looking for different jobs. Two actually left. Myself and another guy that had been there 33 years.

The current president has now seen him for who he really is but somehow he is still employed there. He is now in a sales position which is the worst place he could be.

Horrible Workers Pexels

22. The Credit-Mooch

My worst coworker ever was the credit mooch. He would constantly jump in on other people’s projects and get his name added to them to make it look like he was doing something. When he actually wasn't.

If people tried to assign him any work on said project he would have “a personal emergency” or “a virus would make him lose all his work”. Sometimes “his schedule would be booked with another project”. Or, worst of all, he would pull some sucker in to “help” him with it, and said sucker would end up doing it all in utter frustration.

But because he was so good at stealing credit, he managed to get top marks on his reviews. This, despite doing absolutely zero actual work for the company. I know at least four people who quit due to this guy getting better raises than they did. As far as I know they never actually got rid of him.

Horrible Workers Shutterstock

23. I Guess I Did It…

A co-worker took a bunch of marked tools—the mark was painted white. He then made the dumbest mistake possible. He showed everyone in the shop pictures of his deer with said tools in the background.

When he got reported, the boss called him on it. His response was, “Haha you got me, I took a gallon of white paint!" I’d never heard the boss laughing so hard.

A year or so later, he gets promoted.

Horrible Workers Pexels

24. All Is Fair In The Pursuit Of The Check

I had a coworker falsely condemn furnaces in winter in an effort to pressure homeowners into buying new systems and pad his commission check. He did this as his standard business practice.

I couldn’t do anything as I had no direct proof, but he would joke about it all the time. Luckily, karma came for him eventually. One customer smelled his lies from afar and called other companies with advanced testing machines.

The customer took those results and sued the heck out of him. I ended up working for that second company and haven’t looked back.

Horrible Workers Shutterstock

25. The Apprentice

Within my first few months out of college, working as a design engineer, I copy and pasted what I later realized was a confidential, proprietary design that we created for a competitor of the client. My boss took the blame. He had signed off and certified it without realizing I’d copied it from a proprietary job.

It wasn’t until I told him that was my reference material after the job was issued. We have a big database of industry-standard reference material we use, but he also said I could use previous jobs as reference designs. I was unaware at the time that some of our corporate designs were proprietary.

We agreed that, at the level of experience I was at and the training I was given, I wasn't fully expected to know that at that stage. Needless to say, I've not done it again.

Horrible Workers Pexels

26. The Unfireable Fighter

My wife had a coworker that literally punched a customer and wasn't fired. He later got into a physical altercation with another coworker. Still wasn't fired.

Then he wrapped my wife's hair around her throat and pretended to choke her. Still not fired. Finally, he got into yet another altercation with a coworker and pulled a shooter on him, all while on the clock.

Then he was fired.

Horrible Workers Freepik, master1305

27. Finders Keepers

This dude I work with walks a server out of the server room every six months or so to sell on eBay. We have literally no security except the front door, but the owner is so ancient and out of touch I doubt she even remembers these things are being swiped.

Horrible Workers Flickr, novas0x2a

28. Million Dollar Mistake

I work in a medical marijuana state. One guy neglected to check a dry room for a few days assuming all was well. All was not well, at all.

The dehumidifier broke down while the plants were being hung to dry. So they sat in a warm, dark room for three days before it was someone else's responsibility to check it.

By that point, every single plant was coated in mold and we had to throw out a little over a million dollars worth of product. I had never done the math to see what he cost us until now. I am mad all over again.

Oh, and he didn’t get fired. His only punishment was to be denied moving to the day shift but other than that it was forgotten about.

Horrible Workers Freepik, drobotdean

29. Healthcare At Its Worse

Once I claimed harassment while working in the Providence Medical Center Anchorage. I did this because in the records department, a few ladies I worked with would always look at the pictures from operations and then stick them in your face while you were working.

The pictures were specifically of the male reproductive organs. We had a subway down the hall in the basement and they’d always say stuff like, “You think it is a subway 6” or footlong?” And then the other would chime in on cue, “I wish they’d meet me in the middle at 9”.

Nothing ever came of my complaint even after the whistleblower complaint. I feel I should’ve been paid because what they did was weird. But I was a twenty-year-old male so I was told, “ya right kid". EEOC even declined to investigate.

Horrible Workers Flickr, Expert Infantry

30. Free Coffee

When I was a barista, we would get weekly mark outs where we could take home a bag of coffee or tea for free. Just one though. My coworker was this fat, evil, compulsive lying witch that everyone hated.

One day she got caught trying to grab one of our other coworker's weekly mark out at one of our stores in another town. The fat witch was white; the awesome coworker she was trying to take from was Asian.

So when her name popped up in the system after the fat witch gave them "her" employee numbers they knew she wasn't who she said she was. She threw a huge hissy fit and one of the workers there took video of it. We only found out about it when the general manager of that store came to our store and showed our manager the video.

Still wasn't fired.

Horrible Workers Pexels

31. The Strict Librarian

A coworker got onto the library board, and where she’d been pushy before, she suddenly became super entitled. Here are some examples of her weirdness.

She reported me and another employee to our boss for "ignoring and mistreating an employee" even though we were just joking around with the patron while we were helping her, and she was playing along.

She gave one employee an anxiety attack because she berated him every time she saw him for "not doing his job properly," even though he was a perfectly good employee.

She kept asking pretty much everyone on the staff to give out other patrons' information, even though that's strictly against the confidentiality policy. And she was just generally a mean, miserly old witch hiding behind a thin veneer of a sweet old lady.

So I got excited when I didn't see her for a while and I thought they finally got her off the board. But then she came back from an illness and it turns out all of the staff's legitimate complaints can't unseat age, especially with a scarcity of other people wanting to be on the board.

Horrible Workers Pexels

32. Sprinkles—An Origin Story

I have one about myself.  Nineteen-year-old me back in 2008 got a job at a pharmaceutical company as a tablet coater. I had been there maybe four or five months and work was slow. A guy in another department asked me to help move some pallets of calcium tablets with an electric pallet jack.

Being the young, curious man I was, I decided to see how high the jack went after double-stacking some pallets. I was pretty impressed with how high up this thing went. So impressed and distracted, I forgot to bring it back down before moving. BIG MISTAKE.

After going forward like five feet, I took out a sprinkler head and was shocked when I got hit in the face and upper body with dirty water that hadn't been purged in ten years (at a pharmaceutical company, which is questionable).

Anyway, water just kept coming out. The maintenance guy told me after the fact that it was spraying 90-110 gallons per minute. I ended up losing the company around $200,000 dollars by shutting down several packaging lines and one manufacturing process.

There were two inches of water on the ground. It took me and two other guys three full hours to direct the water into the drains placed throughout the plant. This was all from 6 pm to about 11 pm.

At the end of it, I sent a huge apology email to the directors of manufacturing and packaging who were one level below the president. They wrote me up and let me keep my job. I have no clue how because I was on probation from being a new hire. The only thing that changed was the training on the electric pallet jack.

It now includes checking the height of your load, not just the width of the load for any obstructions. I earned the nickname "sprinkles" due to the incident and everyone joked with me for the remainder of my time there.

Myself and about 55 other people were laid off two months later because the company cut corners on an unrelated project and lost a ton of money. They also got hit hard by the FDA for the issues with that project.

Horrible Workers Picryl

33. The Useless Supervisor

I work with this woman who should have been fired over a year ago, based on the company's policies. She was hired by her friend (surprise) and quickly figured out she doesn't have to do anything because of it. We work in an express restaurant, so there are lots of rules for good reason.

Just in the past six months, she has caused multiple customers to complain about her specifically on surveys. She’s also caused other customers to call corporate to complain about her rudeness. She broke a fryer, two thermometers, a sink, and four blades. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

She opened the store with no paper towels or sanitizer (a huge no-no, we could have been shut down if the inspector came). Oh, and she left the safe wide open and the doors unlocked for one entire night. This all happened when she was actually working. Now she just hides in the back texting or talking on the phone.

No one knows how she isn't fired let alone demoted. Another coworker and I were "promoted" to her spot with the promise that we would take her place when she was fired. We happily took on the responsibilities and waited for the actual promotion so we could have the titles and matching pay. Yeah, she's still here.

We haven't gotten that raise or any of the others promised, and are still technically ranked under her. I just saw I have to work with her tomorrow and I'm angry.

Horrible Workers Flickr, ILO Asia-Pacific

34. The Absentee Worker

There's a girl at work who calls out for almost every single one of her shifts. When she doesn't call out she begs everyone to take her shifts. Out of every 10 shifts she is given, she's only ever shown up for one or two.

Whenever she does show up she almost always asks to leave early anyway for any of the many excuses she has up her sleeve. She has received seven serious write-ups for her attendance/reliability. Most people are sacked after three serious write-ups. Somehow, she keeps sneaking on by.

Every time she gets another one I think, "Okay this will be the one," but she still somehow works here. She was actually fired once in the past for these very same patterns but for some reason they let her come back only for her to pull the same stuff all over again.

Anyway, right in the middle of our busy season this most recent summer, she asked for three weeks off. She was told that they would give her one week but anything more than that would be considered her resignation. So she took the three weeks off anyway, and during that time all of her scheduled shifts were left uncovered.

That's at least 15+ no-call no-shows and we were always left understaffed and screwed because of it. Yet after her little vacation, she resumed working with no repercussions. Nothing was ever said about it. We've had to let people go for far, far less. I don't understand it.

I like her as a person and when she is here she is a great worker but that's the problem, she's never actually here.

Horrible Workers Getty Images

35. Refuse Supervision

I worked in a really small department (four people) and was the youngest by 30 years. I was also the newest employee but I picked up fast. This wasn't hard as two or three of my coworkers could barely run a computer.

So about six months in, my manager goes on a two-week vacation. During that time my boss has a sit-down talk with me and the other two guys. I had to leave about six times to answer the phone/counter. Every time I walked back in, things were more and more tense.

I finally pieced together that the meeting was my boss telling these two guys three times my age (and with seniority to me) that I was in charge of them. Even when the manager came back.

One of them, Jay, was grumbling and cursing and my boss called him out on it. Jay told him he didn't want me in charge and if he and Ralph, the other guy, were such failures to just fire him because he was not going to get any better and he certainly wasn't going to listen to me.

I could see the words about to come out of my boss's mouth, but he refrained and didn't fire Jay. Jay did get fired for being incompetent a few months down the road though.

Horrible Workers Pexels

36. This Daycare’s Priorities

I work in child care. One day we had a fire emergency during naptime where all the rooms started smelling like gas.

We wake the kids up, get them outside and wait for the all-clear. Five minutes pass and the firefighters are carrying out a preschooler that had been left asleep on her cot and completely forgotten about by not one, but two teachers.

Everyone was sure they were going to get fired, you know, for endangering a child's life in a fire emergency? But no. Just got "retrained" and moved from that room.

The next week someone else got fired for talking back to a manager, but you know, who cares about the safety of the children? Just don't question the managers!

Horrible Workers Flickr, Todd Lappin

37. Honesty Is The Best Policy

I once blew up a fairly expensive phase converter in my second month as an apprentice electrician, through equal parts sloppiness and ignorance.

My boss came in the next day and asked why there was a burnt-up frequency drive in the shop and I told him exactly what happened. He just kinda gave me a little warning and told me not to do it again. It turns out, the journeyman had told him what happened already.

If I'd said anything besides what I said he was gonna can me on the spot. Own your messes, it's generally the best policy.

Horrible Workers Picryl

38. The Clueless Manager

I was on a big project where the Clueless Manager (CM) was required to coordinate the delivery of cement to a remote site. The remote site had its own deep water jetty but otherwise all of the equipment required to pump the cement off the ship needed to be in place so that the cement could be received.

The ship shows up. Trucks, crews, pumps, and storage containers are either not ready, still in transit, or sitting around on site not ready for unloading. The ship captain is having a fit and they're charging $25,000/day for demurrage on the cargo. 11 days pass.

The owner of the shipping line calls our Project Director, screams at him a bit, and threatens to pump the cement out and dump it off the ship if the unloading doesn't start within 36 hours. Several plane flights of equipment and crew later, the unloading commences within 36 hours.

The total cost to the project was over $1,000,000. The same or similar event happened three more times. A final settlement went to lawyers and mediation for over $4,000,000. The CM was never sacked. Figured he must have had pictures of the Project Director screwing goats or something...

Horrible Workers Freepik,8photo

39. Keep It Casual And Cool

Let me start by saying I used to work for an extraction company. We worked with flammable gasses. If safety procedures are followed, it's safe. If you mess up it could lead to an explosion.

We had a guy who should have been fired ten times over, but these are the worst. He showed up hours late on days when we had time-sensitive work that couldn't be completed without him, still crazy from the night before.

We know that not only from the smell but because he TOLD us (including his bosses, the owners)! One of those times he thought it was okay because 'hey it was Cinco De Mayo' (it fell on a Monday that year). This happened three freaking times and he didn't even get written up.

Then another time, he left for a delivery that should have taken an hour and fifteen tops. After a couple of hours, we started to get worried so we gave him a call, no answer. We even checked traffic accident reports because we were so concerned.

Then, we called the dispensary he delivered to and they said he made it and had left long ago. So I’m thinking: okay so he's not answering his phone. He has $14,000 in cash and a company debit card. He better have a great excuse or (hopefully) he'll definitely be fired.

Five hours later, he calls our boss back and says that he had some personal things to work out so he took off for the day. Like it was no big deal. They decide that's worth writing up, but decide not to fire him since he dropped off the cash and card at like eight at night in their home mailbox.

Finally, a few days later they 'fired' him when he just didn't show up ever again. He told them he was looking for another job, but not quitting yet.

Horrible Workers Shutterstock

40. Smooth Radio Host

I worked at a small radio station. The guy who was on air before me would record the local news for me to play at 6 pm. It was recorded so if he messed up he would just start over and edit that part out.

Well, one day he forgets that he messed up so he doesn't edit it. I play the news on-air at six and in the middle, I hear, "OH GOD NOW I HAVE TO DO THIS WHOLE THING AGAIN...(then in his pleasant radio voice) Hi I'm Jim Thomas with your 6 o'clock news update".

I’m not sure why he didn't get fired.

Horrible Workers Hippopx

41. Hustlers Gotta Hustle

He was caught selling white powder on work premises. Everyone was talking about how he was going to get fired. For a week. Then everybody seemed to have forgotten. It probably helps that the owner is this kid's godmother.

Horrible Workers Flickr, Marco Verch Professional Photographer

42. It Was An Accident, I Promise!

A guy accidentally sent the last three years of account details/bank statements from one company to their direct competitor.

Horrible Workers Shutterstock

43. Alarm Malfunction

I know someone who managed to close an entire supermarket early for the first time in its history, costing the company several thousands of pounds. This was all because they tried to set a clock on a computer back an hour to avoid missing some deadline for a daily routine.

He said it seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Horrible Workers Shutterstock

44. Unhappy Wife

My dad's foreman once put gasoline in something that needed water and ruined an entire asphalt driveway. He's old and forgetful and only works to get away from his wife.

Horrible Workers Picryl

45. The Manual Is There For A Reason

A guy at the plant I work at scrapped $360,000 in airplane parts. Because he didn't even bother to look at the work instructions.

He just drives a forklift now.

Horrible Workers Wikimedia Commons, Alan Wilson

46. The Perfect Salesman

A guy I worked with got pulled over in a company-owned car with used car dealer plates on it. He was plastered and doing 75 in a 35 with five people in the car.

He is now the used car manager.

Horrible Workers Flickr, woodleywonderworks

47. Whatever Gets The Job Done

I had a coworker named Ron. Ron was a laid-back guy and you could tell that right away when talking with him. He was a very likable guy and to this day I'm pretty sure that's the only reason he was able to stick around.

Anyway, Ron loved to talk. Like, non-stop. It was all or nothing for him: either he sat there quietly or he just kept on going until somebody stopped him. Well, our manager was the micromanagement type and would constantly get irritated with Ron, not only for talking but for distracting the rest of us.

She would yell at any of us for talking but she always let Ron get away with it a little bit more. One day, Ron was feeling especially chatty. He loudly admitted that he was high on his medicine. After a few of us laughed, he told us that he gets high every single morning before work. He told us that we had never seen him clean.

Cue my manager walking over. She tells us to keep it down and get back to work, making no mention of Ron's comments. But Ron just keeps on talking about superhero movies, Netflix docs, and Michael Jordan. Basically just a bunch of stuff that had no relation to our work.

The manager comes back over, and tells him to be quiet again. This happened three more times before lunchtime finally rolled around. Ron gathered his things and went to lunch. After 30 minutes, he hadn't come back. After an hour, he still hadn't come back. In fact, he still hadn't come back by the time I was ready to leave.

After clocking out and walking downstairs, I see Ron passed out on one of the tables in the cafeteria. Showed up to work the next day and my manager never said a word, and everything went back to normal. I no longer work that job but just before I left, I got the biggest surprise yet. Ron had been promoted. My mind was blown.

Horrible Workers Pexels

48. The Smart Girl

One of my former coworkers (she’s since been fired for taking customers' lottery winnings) told an elderly woman that she was stupid for not knowing how to pump gas.

This woman’s husband had recently passed and he had always pumped the gas for her, so she never learned. I had horrible secondhand embarrassment when the woman came in and told us (we relayed it to the manager).

Horrible Workers Flickr, Peretz Partensky

49. Hit And Try To  Run

One of my co-workers tried to run over a security officer with his car when the security officer told him he couldn’t park where he wanted to park. He almost succeeded, too!

He was not fired.

However, he did have to meet with HR, so I’m assuming he has a note in his file. But no further action was taken. To my knowledge, he never even apologized!

Horrible Workers Shutterstock

50. Covert Robin Hood

A coworker accidentally emailed the salaries of about 1,000 employees to those employees, so everyone got to see how much more money the new guy who was worse than them made. It cost a lot of money to level all those salaries.

Horrible Workers Pexels

Sources: Reddit,

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