Workers Quitting En Masse 

August 8, 2023 | Luke Miles

Workers Quitting En Masse 

Some managers are just no good at running their companies—and that can have huge consequences. Like, for example, pushing several employees to up and quit their jobs at the same time. These Redditors share their stories of times when awful managers got what was coming to them.

1. Employee Survey Gone Wrong

Company did a survey of employee happiness. It had super limited answers. We filled it out and tried to explain that, internally, our team was doing well and we were happy yet just about everyone had problems with two other employees in important positions outside the team who were incredibly mean to everyone. When I saw the company's response, I wanted to scream: They asked us instead what we could do better so the awful ones would treat us with more respect...

Over half the team quit within a month, which is unheard of at that company and our team was/is a cornerstone of the entire business.


2. Ruining The Business

I wish businesses would realize just how much a jerk really costs them. Very often this employee is quite good at what they do—in a vacuum. When you consider how many customers or other good employees they’ve run off, their better-than-average skills don’t usually make up for the losses they invariably cause. I saw a company run itself into the ground firsthand. It was a sight to behold.

We had 50 employees and were growing fast—then they promoted an egomaniac to a high position. He instantly threw his weight around with a major client, lost the contract, and torpedoed the business inside about three months.

Workers quitting Pexels

3. Missing Paychecks

Not my work, but close friend’s. Restaurant owner wasn’t paying his staff and checks kept bouncing. So one night, they all said “forget this,” closed up shop together, and left. But Karma wasn't finished with the owner. He got run out of town after social media and regular media took over. He closed down both of his places (the second also had a staff walkout the week prior to the first) and sold the buildings.

This was in Maryland. And the “second place” was his second restaurant (Indian place) that had kitchen staff walk out a week prior, but the walkout didn’t close the restaurant. He closed it and sold it after his first restaurant was shuttered. Good riddance.

Workers quitting Pexels

4. Gave Them A Hard Time

I worked at a KFC in the 80s. We had a really cool manager. I was assistant manager along with another, and lots of other great young people worked there. Our manager was hired to turn around the store and he was given a budget to buy new equipment. He also saved money on paper products and got the store really clean with our help. At the end of the year, he was fired by the upper management for “spending too much.”

They then brought in a new manager who immediately set about giving us all a hard time. Everyone walked. The store had to shut down for several days and the new guy brought in his family to help run it. The store shut down permanently a few years later. The district manager offered me a job in management, but I just didn’t trust them at that point.

Workers quitting Pexels

5. Holding The Workplace Together

I worked at a bakery a while back, and while enjoyable at times, it was generally a nightmare. There was one highlight, though—and that was our second manager. We had three managers. The first and third were okay, but they never really motivated people and at times could be very rude. Our second manager, however, was amazing.

She was always encouraging, kind, understanding, and I never heard her get angry. She was the type of person who was meant to be a leader, and she did her job well. Too well. Corporate decided to transfer her to another location, since that one was failing. Pretty much everyone quit the moment we found out she was leaving. She was the glue that held us together and I still remember her as one of the best bosses I’ve ever had.

Workers quittingPexels

6. Taking Employees For Granted

Worked at a chain pizza place. The manager didn’t approve of how well we cleaned and prepped for the next day, so we all came into a note saying something to the effect of “you are all replaceable.” Calling his bluff was so satisfying. We all said “okay,” took off the uniform, and left. We didn’t even lock up or close up shop. Just walked off. Phones were ringing for orders; there were people coming into the dining area, but nobody was there working. Once she realized nobody was there, she was calling everyone going nuts, telling us to come to work or we’re fired.

One person went back and tried to save it. I just reminded her that I was replaceable, and so was the person who signed my check, then hung up. They had to close for about a week or two to replace the staff. The location completely closed and filed bankruptcy less than a year later partially due to her leadership. The location is a Verizon store now.

Workers quitting Pexels

7. From Burgers To Pizza

I worked at a Burger King for three LONG years with a whole lot of other people who worked there even longer. Our favorite manager was getting the shaft from the DM, so he found a job at a pizza place and left. They bring in this joke of a guy who is okay selling food that is really old and should have been trashed, etc...

Just a real circus act to cut corners. He was just awful and our quality suffered. One of the guys went to the pizza place to talk to our old manager. He said he’d hire all of us. So that’s how the entire first AND second shift at that Burger King gave a very short notice on the same day, and how we went on to making pizzas. They begged us to stay, but it was too little too late. They bulldozed that location a few years later.

Workers quitting Pexels

8. Consequences For A Bad Manager

This reminded me of a time when this also backfired on the person. I worked at a fried chicken fast food kitchen in high school and the company was known for having a really great culture. I liked most of our managers right up until we hired this one. She was skin and bone, a hundred pounds soaking wet, and a raging pain in the rear. One day we were running a little behind in the drive-thru.

Any other place, this wouldn’t be an issue, but at this restaurant times were everything. She came out and told us that we were all replaceable and then proceeded to hide back in the office rather than help us. Well, another manager caught wind and told our general manager, who pulled the camera footage with our DM...who fired her on the spot. Wherever you are, I hope you are miserable, Katie.

Workers quitting Pxhere

9. Health Concern

I was fired from the Subway that I used to manage for reporting black mold growing in the wall to my district manager. When the calls and texts from my employees started coming in and I told them what happened, everyone quit except for my assistant manager (he tried to have me fired before, so he could take my job—he still doesn’t have it). It took the store two months to get fully staffed again.

Workers quitting Wikimedia Commons

10. The Cost Of Dishonesty

I worked in one of those MLM sales offices. Even though I hit all my requirements, my boss was fixing the numbers to keep from promoting me. So I contacted the company we were selling for, got my own office, took my best team members with me, and said peace out. Lots of people quit right then, and the office was shut down within three months. Last I heard, my old boss, who was bringing in $12,000 a week, is now living on someone’s couch.

Workers quitting Pexels

11. Compared To A Baseball Team

I used to work at a university in the states. A new office manager was hired and, within a week, all of our staff received an email from someone in HR likening us to a baseball team—meaning any one of us could be traded at any moment. Within six months, all but one of us had moved to other departments, as the constant threat of being fired, weekly staff meetings that literally left everyone in tears, and having playground/Speaking with the boss put up around the office so the office manager could see us from her office were just the last straws.

Workers quitting Pexels

12. Exploiting A Loophole

Worked at a cheap clothing retail store while I was in college. 15 to 20 hours per week for the first several months, as was most of the staff. Then we got a new manager who decided that the state-mandated paid breaks (15 minutes after four hours) were a waste of money. So he changed everyone’s shifts to three hours, 45 minutes or less so no one would get a paid break.

Then people complained, so he hired a bunch of new people and reduced the old staff to about one shift a week. Lost pretty much everyone who actually knew what they were doing in less than a month. I heard most of the new people also quit pretty quickly, once they figured out how dumbly the place was run.

Workers quitting Wikimedia Commons

13. Overbooked, Understaffed, and Overworked

We didn’t all quit at once, but within a week or two of the event. It was an optometrist’s office, and I was one of just four employees. The doctor invited another practice to move in and share space with us in our already cramped and disorganized office. We had to do all the work to make room for them; the doctor never broke from her usual routine to help us with the transition or stayed late like we all did. But it was going to get even worse.

Next, the new doctor arrived having let all of his staff go, assuming that we would work for him (without being paid by him—the practices weren’t merging in any way). He hired only one person, who was barely out of high school, who had no idea what they were doing. Guess who had to train them? And the doctor never reduced the number of appointments we took. We had our usual heavy workload all along.

Our patients shared a waiting room with theirs. They were not prompt in taking their patients back, but we were. Their patients threw us dirty looks and sometimes yelled at us for ignoring them. It was miserable, but we were forbidden from saying anything to them about why we only helped half the people who came in the door, or why we couldn’t answer their questions and had to redirect them to the least knowledgeable person in the room (the other doctor’s ONE employee).

The doctor refused point-blank to listen to any of our concerns. We all quit, and the practice sold out to one of the eyeglass chains a few months later.

Workers quitting Flickr, daryl_mitchell

14. If It Isn’t Broken, Don’t Fix It

I worked at the largest apartment complex in my area (~800 units) with maintenance. The office crew had about 10 people and maintenance had nine. Had a great group with an amazing property manager and maintenance supervisor. The property manager took an offer managing a beautiful resort property. In comes the new property manager, who had next to no experience, and she starts to try to change things even though it ran fine like it was.

She also became a mouthpiece for corporate. Everything they suggested, she put straight back out to us. Within a month, seven of nine maintenance employees put in their two weeks’ notice, including the maintenance supervisor. The next month, five office workers had their two weeks’ in. A few months later, I heard that the new property manager shut down the entire office and maintenance department to take them all to some golf tournament and got herself fired for it.

Workers quitting Pexels

15. When Ego Takes Over

Business largely worked because the owner trusted his employees to do a good job, so the employees did a good job. The business was doing really well and the owner assumed it was all because of him. That's when everything changed. He started micromanaging everyone’s job. People started dropping off like flies because the working conditions became intolerable. The company didn’t last very long after that.

Workers quitting Pexels

16. Be Careful Who You Fire

Back around 2000, SQL server was a hot skill to have and “big data” was a license to write your own salary. Despite this, a new CEO came into the company where I worked and decided to show that he was boss by immediately firing the server team manager. It backfired so spectacularly. The manager had a new job with our main competitor the same day and immediately got the entire server team positions and a significant pay raise. The entire team handed in their resignation the very next day.

Workers quitting Pexels

17. Unaccommodating Bosses

It was way back in my high school days. I had a part-time job at a coffee shop. The entire precinct (it was a fisherman’s wharf kind of set up) was managed by the same company, so the bar, the restaurant, the coffee shop…we were all employed by the same bosses. Started off great, then a change of ownership happened, and the new owners were awful.

They cut back hours, tried to drop wages, all the usual stuff—so the staff was already primed to mutiny when a busy Friday night rolled around.

I had a friend who worked with me in the coffee shop. She was a dishwasher, but her duties also included collecting leftover plates from the outdoor dining areas. She also had spina bifida, which meant she wasn’t always steady on her feet. Well, the new owners decided it wasn’t a “good look” that she collected the dishes with a trolley and told her she had to use a tray instead.

I bet you can guess what happened. This led inevitably to her dropping a whole tray of dishes on her way back to the coffee shop. (Okay, she might have done it intentionally, but they certainly couldn’t prove that).

She got yelled at in front of both staff and customers. And all the staff from the restaurant, the coffee shop, and the bar walked out on the spot. The place went under soon after, because I’m guessing they didn’t treat the next lot of staff any better than they’d treated us.

Workers quitting Pexels

18. Don’t Get Greedy

Not quite everyone, but three of us handed our notices over within a few days of each other in response to having our wages cut by 20% for 18 months previously to help the business, which was really struggling, only for the managing director to roll up to work one morning in a shiny new Jaguar. We had already overlooked the extension on his house that was being built. Financial director was no better and spent every waking minute telling us about the skiing holiday he was so looking forward to.

They waved goodbye to the IT manager, production manager, and head designer all because the company directors got greedy.

Workers quitting Pexels

19. Ice Cream Shop

This wasn’t everyone, but it was close. In a famous park, there are ice cream shops. When bringing a new container, the employees are required to take a sample to verify it’s still good. On top of this, it was very common that the staff would give other staff free ice cream. Now, this is pretty normal most years. This year, however, we had a new manager. And she thought it was a good idea to fire anyone who had received free ice cream.

After this, about one-third of our staff was fired. Since many people came to work there with a buddy, they quit too. By the end of the mass leaving, we had about one-fifth of the staffing we needed to run the kitchens and hotels effectively, so the manager decided we would work seven days a week and reject all vacations. Many of the workers were not from the USA, so they were unsure about labor laws. The company banned the websites for labor industries, health departments, and most other government-beneficial services.

It got so bad that one girl was so overworked (she worked 6 am to 2 am, seven days a week) that she just left to go on a week-long vacation, but out of fear of being fired and deported, just didn’t tell anyone. They had to call the rangers and get search and rescue involved since she disappeared for about eight days. I’m talking dozens of people searching the woods and helicopters searching.

Eventually, she walked back into the dorm well-rested and much happier. Thankfully she did not get fired. The manager was fired for breaching multiple state and federal laws on labor after the rangers talked with her. The company was sued and the workers got an okay payout.

Workers quitting Pexels

20. Respect Those Time Off Requests

I work at a cold storage distribution warehouse for a major grocery chain. The work is labor-intensive, so the majority of our order selectors are young males who are either finishing high school or moving on to postsecondary. A couple years back, the manager in charge of putting the weekly schedule together decided to deny all time off requests for anyone asking to take time off for prom, as well as after grad, in an effort to keep productivity up that weekend.

When confronted by several workers as to why, he simply told them to quit if they didn’t like it. We lost 20 to 30 people in less than 24 hours, and that manager no longer does scheduling.

Workers quitting Pexels

21. Profit Over Employees

Poor pay, for laborious work. Passing highly qualified people up for promotions and giving that spot to someone from outside with no experience or training in the field because they’re connected personally with someone in management. It happened over about a month. Me leaving was the breaking point for most people—I was the one maintenance guy that would actually answer calls and get things done.

I left after getting turned down for an R and D position (which I did at my previous job in a more technical field). Within a week, two warehouse guys left, along with three production people, which was half of that department. Then shortly after that, even the HR girl left, along with the maintenance manager. It’s not a big company, but a very popular one in the RVing and towing products trade. Too bad the owners only care about profit and not employees being able to afford housing.

Workers quitting Pexels

22. Cost Cutting

I worked in a skilled nursing facility that was amazing, with many employees who had worked there for over five years. It got taken over by a new management company who did not care about the patients or staff at the beginning of Covid. They tried to cut pay down and force us to work longer hours than we already were.

They fired our amazing Director of Nursing for standing up to them, demanding they stop rationing our PPE. They told us we used too much, they couldn’t afford it, and we would just have to wear the same PPE the whole shift between positive and negative patients and deal with the outbreaks.

We had outbreaks and many patients did not survive. It was a nightmare. Every staff member called and reported to the state then quit. They called a lot of us demanding us to come back, threatening to report us to the state for patient abandonment and telling us they would take action to make us lose our licenses. Nobody came back.

They had to scramble and fill our positions with registry staff that they ended up having to pay way more than they were paying us. They ended up being investigated by the state and shut down for having so many safety violations. Luckily the remaining patients got transferred to safer facilities.

Workers quitting Pexels

23. Getting The Short-Thrift

I had a manager at a thrift store that I won’t name. She was the type of woman that genuinely cared about her employees. She gave us a break if we were having a rough time or, if it was serious, she sent us home—and she NEVER questioned if you needed to call out. Even if you just said you were having a depressive episode, it was ALWAYS, “I understand. I’ll try to find someone to cover and if not, one person down won’t end the world.”

Anyway, this thrift store sent their higher-ups in from corporate one day and I guess they didn’t like how the store was being run. Even though we genuinely always got our work done as a store. We just lived in a crummy area and the customers would wreck the store a lot.

Anyway, they ended up demoting the manager and putting in this brown-nosing woman who was the type to write you up when you were two minutes late from your break. About 35 people worked at that location and, I’m not joking, about 20 quit in the span of three to five days. They had to consider closing the location because they were so short-staffed.

Workers quitting Flickr, U.S. Army IMCOM

24. Ready To Resign

This is my brother’s story. Several years ago, he worked as a team lead for a company that was extremely dysfunctional. Overworked the staff and cut corners on the products. Not long after he started, there he was already job hunting, but not finding anything, so he was sticking it out. One day they reduced the department by two-thirds. My brother and the ones kept on staff watched their former coworkers clean out their desks smiling because they were out of the terrible company, with severance.

Those left behind were going to be stuck with about four people’s-worth of work for each team member. My brother typed up a resignation letter to hand in at the next instance of mistreatment. He didn’t have to wait long. The next day, the manager and VP called him into a meeting and yelled at him for not being a true leader and told him he’d better get his worthless team in line. Did this in earshot of said team, by the way. He had the right where he wanted them...

“You’re absolutely right,” my brother said. “I’m going to be the leader my team needs starting now.” He pulled his resignation out of his back pocket, threw it on the table, and walked out. His remaining teammates all got up and walked out with him, leaving the manager and VP with no engineers at all in the company. As you can imagine, the company didn’t last long after that.

Workers quitting Wikimedia Commons

25. Clothing Store Drama

Got a job at a retail clothing store in January of this year. Everything was good—except for the fact that the manager was CRAZY. She would yell at employees in front of customers for not running clothes fast enough, would threaten to fire people over closing tasks not being completed (i.e. piece of LINT on the carpet, missing a spot while mopping, or not running clothes that were meant for the opening crew to run out).

May comes around and I just have been keeping to myself and working hard, and even picked up a few shifts for my co-workers (who were all lovely, by the way). I get scheduled for Memorial Day. Weird, considering most stores are closed on that day, but I get overtime pay, so I weather it.

I arrived that day—and my stomach dropped. I’m alone. The manager who hired me no-called-no-showed and the other two employees scheduled for that day called in for “personal reasons.” I work for about an hour or two and I’m so overwhelmed by the volume of shoppers and tasks I had to do, I started having a panic attack and run to the breakroom to try and calm down.

Maybe 10 minutes later, I get a call from the owner yelling at me to get back out on the floor and help customers. I was already shocked that she didn’t even offer to come in or try to find covers for my missing coworkers, but then I found out from a friend at the job a month later that SHE WAS AT HER KID’S basketball tournament and was watching the cameras while I basically slaved away doing four people’s jobs at once…

Anyway, I injured my thumb trying to run clothes back out from the dressing rooms and just broke. I walked out with probably a good 40 to 50 people in the store, dropped my key and nametag in the parking lot, and went home to sleep. Get a dozen calls and at least 30 texts from my owner, after I’d turned on DND on my phone, of her insulting me and calling me the "worst worker I ever had."

Let a few of my coworkers know what had happened and, last I heard, the entire staff had quit and she was struggling to find workers because of the reviews they’d left when they quit. Haven’t checked in with what happened in a while since I moved states for college (was 16 years old at the time). But if you ever see this…SCREW YOU, Angelique.

Workers quitting Pexels

26. Couldn’t Take It Anymore

Not so much at once, but within a few weeks’ time. Used to work in the admissions department at a major for-profit college. Our supervisor was an extreme narcissist and made a lot of people miserable. Even in my interview, she mentioned that there was a revolving door with employees. In hindsight, that was the first red flag.

A year later, it was an absolute nightmare, but the catalyst was during our team meeting one morning where we were given another one of her ultimatum lectures. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Landed another job and handed in my resignation. A coworker handed hers over less than an hour after me. A week after we left, three more employees left.

It was already a small team, but now it was down to less than half. The only ones that remained were the handful of lifers that just didn’t care enough to want better. One of the ones that left still keeps in touch with me. She has thanked me several times, citing that me leaving gave her the courage to walk out as well, and she’s happier than ever before.

Workers quitting Pexels

27. Mixed Signals

On a small scale, I briefly worked at a company made of four people: the owner, the sales guy, the warehouse guy, and myself (the admin lady). The business was struggling due to cheaper competitors, and the owner was desperate to save it. He was starting to get a bit unhinged. He’d tell us (admin and sales) to do something one moment, then yell at us for doing it the next.

For example, “ring all the wholesale customers to try to drum up some business”, and the next morning “why are you ringing wholesalers? You need to ring the retail customers”. He’d yell at us if we asked him before doing something—“why are you asking me? Can’t you think for yourself? Do I need to tell you everything”? But if we used our initiative, it was, “How dare you do that without my permission! Who told you to do that”?

He trash-talked the customers and the competition. He wrote rude emails to customers using my email signature and pretending to be me (and saying, “Sorry, I’m an idiot, I don’t know what I’m doing!”). The sales guy, who was lovely and hardworking, was getting depressed. In the three months I was there, he went from confident and personable to timid and full of doubts. On days the owner was away, we’d talk about how badly he treated us, and we both quit on the same day. Only two of us, but we were half the company.

Workers quitting Pexels

28. Pickle Factory

I used to work at a pickle factory in Michigan. When the new owners took over, they insisted they change the recipe that had been the same for over 50 years without consulting the workers. Some of the employees’ parents and grandparents had worked there and apparently felt so strongly about the recipe that 13 people quit. The majority of those left were outside with signs the next days until eventually they switched it [almost] all the way back. None of those who quit came back.

For my part, I didn’t quit, and actually enjoyed both recipes. But now I can’t tolerate the smell or taste of pickles. I used to love them.

Workers quitting Wikimedia Commons

29. Overestimated Their Value

I work in local government for an urban county. One of the IT departments reclassified all their employees as “exempt” (a designation designed for political appointments), fired them all (only exempt employees can be fired without cause), and asked them to submit resumes if they wanted their jobs back. Their goal was to get rid of some employees they felt were dead weight.

But it turns out, the most valued employees, the ones with readily marketable skills in the prime of their careers, just shook their heads and had jobs elsewhere by the end of the week. Furthermore, when you pull a stunt like that, word gets out and resumes don’t come flooding in. They are still trying to recover.

Workers quitting Flickr, US Department of Education

30. Something Wrong With The Paychecks

Worked in a bar in a nightclub. Restaurant by day, club by night. Five bartenders behind the bar on any given Friday and Saturday, plus barbacks. I got the feeling something was wrong. Our credit card tips just didn't add up, so I went to the bar manager. We collect receipts and checkouts plus paychecks for a few weeks, and examine them. Someone is withholding quite a bit of our tips.

Fast forward to a Friday night, busy as heck. Owner comes in to see how things are going, bar manager confronts him. Owner denies wrongdoing, claims what he’s doing is legal (it wasn't, he was pocketing the withheld tips).

Bar manager signals for me to come over, threatens to quit if the owner doesn’t return the money he took. Owner more or less says “tough luck”. Bar manager walks out. I lean into the bar long enough to tell one of the other bartenders what happened, give the owner a snarky wave, and follow him out.

Five minutes later, the rest of the bar staff joins us, and we wander down the road to another bar to commiserate over the nonsense. Left over 500 people in the club with no bar staff. Zero cares given. Found out a few days later that the daytime serving staff heard what happened and quit too. Last I heard, they had to shut down for a few weeks to restaff.

Still overly proud of myself for that. Screw that guy.

Workers quitting Pexels

31. Ripple Effect

My mom used to work for a college. She started there as a secretary guard when the college was just starting out and gradually moved up until she was running the whole business department. Without her knowing, the college ran interviews and hired a woman to be her superior. They never asked my mom to apply for the position and never mentioned it to her until the day this woman is introduced to her, and my mom’s boss informed my mom she was supposed to train this woman to be her boss for the department.

My mom was clearly hurt and upset, but she needed her job and just couldn’t quit, so she sucked it up and trained this woman while putting on her best face and being cordial. All the rest of the people who worked under my mom in the department could not stand this new woman and were incredibly upset by the situation, as well.

One morning, my mom walks through the doors, and the boss of the college is waiting for her. He brings her into his office and fires her. Within the month, the rest of the department all quit, as well, leaving them to hire and train all new people right before fall semester started. Six months later, the woman they hired to replace my mom quit, and they had the balls to call my mom and ask her back. You can guess where she told them to shove it.

Workers quitting Pexels

32. Nepotism Baby

I worked in the corporate headquarters for a large national retailer. After 20 years in business, the company was sold to an arrogant billionaire who put his son in charge (his first job after completing his MBA). The son decided to relocate headquarters 500 miles away, close to his daddy’s headquarters. He gave us 30 days’ notice to move with no moving compensation or we would lose our jobs.

Out of 300 employees, one moved. I had already been looking for a job, the writing was on the wall. I accepted a new position the day after the announcement and gave two weeks’ notice. My boss went ballistic, said, “What are we supposed to do!? No one can fill your job here and we won’t have anyone new until we move. You’re not a team player!”

Bonus: The company was out of business within 60 days after the move, four months after the acquisition. They had spent $50 million to buy it.

Workers quitting Pexels

33. The Pink Slip

I was the lead cook in a million-dollar kitchen at a multimillion-dollar high-end restaurant. The executive chef had been there since they’d opened and worked his way from the bottom to the top in four years. That place was his whole life and he was completely dedicated to it. The absentee owners had hired a “do nothing, know nothing” manager.

After weeks of complaining, the owners had a meeting with the manager and gave him a week to get on top of his job. The chef went on vacation that week, the manager saw that as an opportunity to buddy up with owners. A week and two rounds of golf later, the chef comes back to work to a pink slip. 27 out of 30 employees came in and resigned immediately after.

Workers quitting Flickr, Pan Pacific

34. Management Was Incompetent

Not an en-masse walkout, but sort of a snowball effect. I worked for a helpdesk that had pretty awful management. It didn’t seem too bad when I was a grunt. After I got promoted to a “Tier 2” was when it became abundantly clear that management had no idea what they were doing.

It started pretty simply, when I asked if I would get any training on how to do my new position. I was told that it was “on-the-job” training. Which would have been fine, if that’s what they actually gave me. What they meant was “figure it out on your own”. That was annoying, but if that was the only issue, I wouldn’t be posting this. It got MUCH worse.

The wheels slowly started coming off. A couple people left, then another got promoted out of the department. They never hired people to fill those spaces. Instead, they blamed my team for the lowered productivity. After about six months of declining productivity and management convinced the issue was with the team (which was now down to half its original size), they instituted a policy where we had to report everything we did to management, in real time. This was the beginning of the end for me.

The proverbial straw came when they instituted a “No Talking” policy in which we had to ask permission from a supervisor to speak. I left the company shortly after that and so did about 80% of my team. Last I heard, they’d only replaced one of the five people that left around the same time as me.

Workers quitting Pexels

35. Packed Like Sardines

Last year, I briefly worked as a caterer. I only managed to work three gigs before I quit. The reason being that my “boss” tried to fit 12 people into one minivan. He did this because he was charging everyone $10, so he benefitted from it. At one point, we all decided that it was stupid and reckless for 12 people to be inside a minivan, especially since we were all sitting in the back on the floor. After arguing with him to get another car, we still went to work. After that day, I and a bunch of other people decided never to work there again.

Workers quitting Pexels

36. The Battle Between Two Grocery Stores

I will admit, this is going to come off as egotistical. In college, I worked for two grocery stores so that I could get full-time hours. One was a much bigger retailer, and the other was a smaller store that only had a couple dozen locations in the state. The first job will always go down as the worst job I ever had. It was dehumanizing.

Do not talk, do not move from this spot. They dictated what you could say to customers, and the head manager spent his entire shift in the office watching the cameras. From the day I was hired until the day I quit, I never said six words to him.

I had to get the second job because, due to the economic downturn, the store began cutting hours to the point I went from 39 hours to 10 (if I was lucky). Worse than that, I was only ever scheduled for three or four hours and they’d tell me to be “on call” as if I were a doctor or firefighter. They’d call during school hours (which they knew) and when I couldn’t come in, they’d use that as proof I didn’t really want the hours.

The second job didn’t have enough hours to go around, but the manager was a really good guy, easily the best manager I’ve had. He would try to pencil people in where he could. Things changed at the start of the new year, where the second store had seen higher profits and better performance than other stores in the area—and, as a result, was getting better funding and attention from corporate.

Suddenly we had more hours to spare and the money to hire more help. They offered me a management position and I took it, but my first job was suddenly determined to make me see through my two weeks’ notice, so I tried to honor that. I had been at the first job for two years and knew all of my coworkers. I had a good reputation because I kept people laughing, made the shifts go faster, and just got along well with everyone.

When I put in my two weeks, I had a lot of them asking where I was going and if they were hiring, so I went to my other manager with their names and applications to see if there was anything he could do. He hired thirteen new employees straight from the competition. I worked that job until I graduated and some of those employees are still there. At one point, the first job offered me a position in management with a pay raise. I told them I’d call them and let them know. Told my other manager what they offered me. He did a dollar better.

Workers quitting Pexels

37. Don’t Mess With The Line Cook

I worked at a locally owned pizza shop and I can say a combination of poor management and me quitting caused the business to go under completely. When I worked there (this was years ago), I was maybe 15 or 16. I got paid $5.35 an hour. I worked almost every day after school plus the “rush” nights (Thursday to Sunday) every week. I worked hard there, in a terrible sweaty, hot, smelly environment to get stuff right and get it to the customers. I came in early on days when I didn’t have school to make sauce, make dough, do kitchen prep, etc.

After a while of this, I went to my lazy boss and said, “Hey Pat, I do an awful lot of the work around here and I think I deserve a raise.” Pat said, “Okay, we’ll see what we can do.” Fast forward to next paycheck. Sure enough, I got a raise. It was like a slap in the face. Five whole cents per hour. FIVE CENTS.

I said enough of this, went to Pat again to put in my two weeks. She told me how entitled I was acting and how my job title of “line cook” was a minimum-wage position. I might as well have been the manager considering she took off promptly at 6 pm every night (her eight hours were 10 to 6 weekdays, didn’t work weekends), leaving me and the crew to handle the dinner rush.

Anyway, long story short, I quit on the spot after the “entitlement” comment, walked inside to grab my things, told the rest of the crew what happened, and everyone else walked out with me. Everyone. Both her drivers, both the other line cooks, and even the loopy one who was our dishwasher. Within six months that pizza shop, which had been in my town for at least a decade, possibly longer, was a hair salon with a new owner.

Workers quitting Flickr, Dodo Pizza World

38. No More Summer Camp

I was working at a local Christian summer camp. Both the executive director and the summer camp director left. We had a new executive director take over that everyone hated, and a summer camp director everyone knew and already liked. So everyone made it through the summer for the sake of the kids, but there was a ton of nonsense.

Working 100+ hours a week for absolutely trash pay (150 a week plus a cabin with six other people and camp food). We were constantly yelled at by the executive director and told we were doing a terrible job. Absolutely no one came back the next year, and most of these staff had been there for five to six summers before this.

Workers quitting Wikimedia Commons

39. Gutted Magazine

I used to work for a magazine that had about 50% of the staff quit on the same day. Mostly down to the fact the CEO gutted our magazine a week before launch, and also the fact she launched two new magazines and a book she wrote all at the same time. None of them copyedited, none of them worth any substance.

I was promoted to editor-in-chief because I was the only one left, and I just did work up until the point I realized none of the remaining staff knew what they were doing and were just all “yes men” for the CEO. I stayed a few more months, we stopped printing and moved to digital, and then that became infrequent.

Workers quitting Pexels

40. Too Many Hours

Back when I was 17, I worked at a miserable gas station for less than minimum wage. Less than, because I didn’t realize I was being paid so little. Overworked and started my first year of college, the 50-hour weeks were killing me when my boss went away for two weeks to go to a wedding. Me and the other couple who worked there all decided the job wasn’t worth it after that nightmare of an experience.

We all dropped our keys off with the manager when he got back. Not a lot of people, but still all of his yeah.

Workers quitting Pexels

41. Twilight Screening

I worked at AMC Theatres. It was the Friday that Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 came out. Busiest time ever. Hundreds of women. So managers decide to have me (male) on restroom duty, and the only person on said duty. I wasn’t allowed to clean restrooms when ladies were in there, and seeing that the whole theater was packed with them, I couldn’t get much done.

The managers complained that restrooms were not getting cleaned fast/well enough. I quit on the spot. Found a much better job.

Workers quitting Wikimedia Commons


42. Changing Their Nursing Staff Model

I work at a hospital that drastically changed its nursing staff model at the same time as shift start times. They held meetings for staff to express their opinions, and most of us pleaded with them to draw the process out longer and roll it out slowly. Instead, they started both the new model and start times on the same day. So many people quit that I’m one of the most senior nurses despite having worked on my floor for only a year and a half.

For a while, we were routinely working incredibly short-staffed and sometimes multiple people on the floor would be forced to stay for a 16-hour shift. It’s slightly better now, but they had to hire agency nurses at (what I assume) is an insane wage to staff our hospital while they frantically hire more staff. It’s been an interesting year.

Workers quitting Pexels

43. Pointless Consultation Period

My old workplace decided to do a complete overhaul of everyone’s job. They went through an entire consultation period, asking people what they could and couldn’t work, then completely ignored everyone’s preferences and allocated shifts and jobs entirely based on the company’s needs, completely invalidating the entire consultation period.

People were being asked/expected to work more unsociable hours and weekends, and nobody was pleased by these changes. A lot of people left.

Workers quitting Pexels

44. From Bad To Worse

This didn’t happen to me; however, when I was in college, two of my professors worked at CORE Entertainment (an Animation/special FX company). One day the owner gathered the top people into a board room and basically said, “We are in a bit of a financial situation, so we can’t pay anyone for this month.” Just about all the senior people quit that day, and within a week, my two professors had jobs elsewhere.

Workers quitting Pexels

45. Dysfunction At The Daycare

While being interviewed to work at a daycare, the owner informed me she had cleaned house due to drama-filled employees. I completely missed that HUGE red flag. Fast forward a few weeks and I realize the owner was the one who stirs up all the drama. Fine, I’ll ignore it. Then I started to see things go on that should not be happening at a daycare—skimping on formula scoops to save money is just one example. I mentioned this and she acted oblivious, but stated to do the right scoops.

A few days later, DHS shows up (surprise). Turns out none of us had physicals or background checks done. On Friday at 4 pm, she announces we have until Monday to get our physical and by Tuesday to get our fingerprints taken down at the police station, which we had to pay for. This was also the week before finals. Most staff couldn’t get their physicals completed considering most doctors are not open on the weekend and many had insurance, so walk-in clinics would be extremely expensive. People quit and the daycare was shut down.

Workers quitting Pexels

46. Not Up To Code

Worked as an apprentice electrician many years back. Company I worked for was doing some shady work. Using cheap materials, saying “the inspector won’t see it, so just do it this way,” and stuff like that. As an apprentice, I wanted to learn the right way. I complained that I didn’t like doing things that weren’t up to code

A couple days later, pink slip. A few months later at another job, I saw a guy that I used to work with. Said that everyone that worked there walked off a week or so after I left because they kept pushing the “it’s not up to code, but the inspector won’t see it” BS. No one wanted to lose their cards, so they left. Contractor was no more within a year.

Workers quitting Pexels

47. Call Center Trouble

Worked in a call center offering free public transport brochures to people living in a city. The place was poorly managed; it was contracted out by the local government and only cared about numbers. Then, on the worst shift of my life, we all finally broke. Several people lost their lives after a coordinated attack on public transport.

After a few calls of getting yelled at by people aghast—we were trying to get their details to send them bus/train timetables, etc.—we collectively stopped making calls. We assumed management would pause the project for that week at least, maybe longer, out of respect for what had happened.

Our manager put her foot down and told us we must continue calling that morning or, as we were only on temporary contracts, anyone who refused may face being replaced. Then she stormed off. She came back to a HUGE surprise. The entire team quit on the spot. We just got up and left without speaking to her again.

We called up the work agency to let them know and they did not blame us. We were all replaced, but the local government office heard what had happened and pulled the plug on the contract with that call center within a month.

Workers quitting Pexels

48. Disappearing Money In Dairy Queen

Worked at Dairy Queen. Someone was pocketing money regularly during the closing shift. Many of us had a suspicion of who it was and I’m pretty sure most of us told our manager for fear of being blamed ourselves. Then one day, things hit the fan.

Our manager started randomly firing younger staff members for any minor discretion and blaming the missing money on them. When they fired me, it was the last straw and several of my coworkers walked out in solidarity. But there was another huge twist: It was the manager all along. I ended up threatening to go to the labor board and they kind of…paid me off?

This was about 15 years ago. I’m very much over it. It was my first real job in high school and I was there for almost two years. I’m Canadian, it was a DQ in Ontario, and my boss knew she was in for a world of trouble if I disclosed some of their practices. I did not sign an NDA; I think my manager was afraid to let anything get to a higher level.

They added, like, $1,000 to my final paycheck that had no real explanation why it was there. In all honesty, it could have been that I was young and didn’t quite understand how loose ends get tied up after someone is fired. Maybe their version of “severance,” I really don’t know. That’s just how my 17-year-old brain made sense of it at the time.

Anyway, I see that manager out and about all the time and after all this time, she still can’t look in my direction.

Workers quitting Pexels

49. Shady CEO

Smallish company with a very necessary programming team of five people. CEO spent several hundred thousand dollars repainting and refurbishing the building, deciding he didn’t like the color, then getting the painting redone in the same month. Then lockdown hit and the company was suddenly struggling for money. CEO decided to retrench two of our team members. At first, we thought that he picked those two because they were less familiar with the systems.

But the CEO revealed his disgusting plan. He revealed to me that those two were in the roughest positions financially, and one was expecting another kid in a few weeks. This meant that they could hire them back as contractors for cheap because they’d be desperate. In the next week, the three of us chatted among ourselves, all resigned—so management had to keep the other two devs on with their standard paychecks for longer, all while they were looking for new places to work.

Workers quitting Pexels

50. Horror Show At KFC

At KFC. It was my second week there and I noticed a smell coming from the potato wedge warmer. Nobody else noticed it, and I asked if it could be moved to clean. Everyone said no, but the manager kind of looked surprised and said, “Yeah it does move, has no one cleaned it?” So we moved it maybe a few inches...What I saw behind it will haunt me forever.

What seemed like a million maggots crawled out of it. We closed the store immediately and we were all told to clean it. Eventually, every inch of the kitchen floor was covered in maggots. You couldn’t walk without hearing the awful crunch/squish. Most people left, but me and one other person stayed. So not everyone quit, but most did.

Also, the store opened the next day. Don’t eat there.

Workers quitting Wikimedia Commons

Sources: , ,

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