Workplace Horror Stories Told By Disgruntled Employees 

Workplace Horror Stories Told By Disgruntled Employees 


We've all had jobs that tested our patience, but some jobs just aren’t worth the paycheck. These workplace horror stories are truly horrendous, from nightmare bosses to customers who thought they were always right. Hopefully these employees all put in their two weeks notice pretty quickly! 

Closing Shift


In high school, I got a job working in a family-owned sporting goods/shoe store. The second day, I worked the closing shift with the owner’s daughter. The register didn’t balance, and the owner said that half of the shortage was coming out of my paycheck because “who knows who was really responsible?” I had only processed two sales, both credit card sales.

I didn’t even touch the cash. 17-year-old me didn’t know that that was illegal, but I did know that it was complete nonsense. I quit on the spot.


Like a Horror Scene


I started working at a by-the-hour motel when I was 14. It was owned by a woman who didn’t bother with hazardous waste procedures. One night, she told me to clean up one of the rooms, and when I opened the door, my blood ran cold. I walked into what looked like a horror scene. There was blood everywhere, and she had only supplied me with bleach and kitchen gloves.

I was absolutely positive that when I pulled the shower curtain open there was going to be a body in the bathtub. Thankfully there wasn’t, just blood everywhere. The owner refused to let me report it and I didn’t want to get into trouble for bleaching a potential scene at 14, so I never did call the authorities.


Day One


10 years ago, I was in between career paths and I got a job in a hospital as a telemonitor. I was responsible for monitoring heart rhythms all night and looking for signs of heart attacks or problems. During orientation, they told us that if they paged “Dr. Strong” to a specific part of the hospital, that meant a patient was being combative.

Being that it was a small rural hospital, each floor would have to send two employees to attend the call. On my first day, a “Dr. Strong” was called overhead and my new coworkers thought “dive in head first” was the way to go. So they sent me to deal with it. Now, after years at that place, I’ve attended thousands of those calls.

Sometimes they are nothing, and sometimes it’s like Fight Club at work…but the very first one I ever took was so insane, I’ll never forget it. Me and my co-worker, a CNA named Shawn, were headed down to the ER when a scrappy woman who was clearly addicted to substances decided to go into one of the trauma rooms and rip the morphine line directly out of what I can only describe as a giant Valkyrie of a woman.

She then shoved the needle into her own arm, hoping to get her “fix”. Well, Valkyrie was not pleased to wake up that way. She saw what was happening, stood up, and took all the staff by surprise with her next move—she just started beating the ever-loving heck out of the woman. But the addict was not going to go down without a fight.

She clambered onto her back like a spider monkey and started wailing on the back of her head like it was a speed bag. Both of them had blood all over them, from the ripped-out IVs and punches to the face. Valkyrie had a black eye and cut lip, but the addict’s eyes were both swollen shut from the beating by the time we pried them off each other.

We restrained them, called 9-1-1, and gave our statements. Day 1 of my healthcare journey.


Taking Some Time Off


I had an inside hint from HR that there were about to be mass layoffs and my name was on the list. I scheduled my week-long vacation and return date the day before layoffs were presumed to be happening. My boss REAMED me out for daring to take a vacation. She said I would never advance in the company if I chose such a formative time in a project to take a vacation.

She told me I would never be an executive producer if I went on a vacation before project launch (even though I wouldn’t be able to touch it for the week I was away anyway) and that I would always be known in the television industry as “lazy”. I chilled, took my vacation, and returned. She was mad and said that she was upset with me for having left.

She said I “made her” take care of my project for me—chewed me out in front of the entire company in the conference room. I didn’t care, because I had the perfect response to get back at her: “Aren’t you laying off a bunch of us tomorrow? I’m just waiting for you to fire me so I can collect unemployment”. The entire room literally starts panicking all over the place and I went home.



It's Either Me or Her


I had worked for a cleaning company and I had a total disaster of a person named Tina as my manager for about four months. Tina would work the night shift with a crew and basically did nothing. She would leave the majority of the work for me to do during the day when it was a lot harder to do, as I had my own list of duties as well as whatever she left for me from her own list.

I was teetering on the edge of quitting but I hadn’t found a replacement when one day I got a call from head office that Tina had quit. For about a month, the job was exceptionally better and I effectively was my own boss. Things were going remarkably smooth again—then I got a text that made me want to scream. It was from Tina asking me to do a bunch of extra stuff.

I called the owner and they told me that Tina had approached them about coming back and that they were rehiring her in her former position and I literally just packed up and walked out about an hour into my shift. I had zero intention of working another minute for that woman and held to it.


Talking Her Into It


I worked a retail job as a cashier at larger store. One part of that job is to sign customers up for our (rather predatory) credit card. We were supposed to ask every customer, no matter the dollar amount of the transaction. Well, I was helping a woman, and told her she could save $x if she signed up for the credit card.

She seemed interested, but I could clearly tell that English was not her first language. I grabbed one of our pamphlets and made it abundantly clear to her that this is a CREDIT CARD, not a rewards account or something of that nature. When she understood, she said, “Oh no, not today”. Understandable. Well, I didn’t know one of my supervisors was standing behind me.

After she left, he asked why I did all of that, and if I try to talk every interested customer out of signing up. When I explained myself, he said, “Next time, sign them up. They don’t know any better”. Handed him my vest. That was it.


Caught Off Guard


My brother and I owned a restaurant together for seven years. One night, a lady came up to pay her bill and my brother was helping her while I was standing next to him making small talk as we did with all our regulars. Out of the blue, she told us she was so sorry—then, before we could even ask her what was wrong, she caught us off-guard with a truly disgusting display…

She fully projectile-vomited through her fingers into my brother’s face. I let out a scream and ran to the hills while my brother was screaming, “Oh no, oh no” repeatedly. He ran into the kitchen and started pouring soap into his mouth. He still gags when I bring up that story.


Urgent Care


I am a physician’s assistant and took a job at an urgent care center. After working there for about a month I noticed some irregularities, such as some medications being expired and sometimes a lack of supplies. I wrote that off as the office manager not being as astute as she should have been and brought it up to the doctor who owned the place.

He said he would talk to her and straighten it out. Then one of the medical assistants came to me and said, “You know this has been going on forever, right?” She then said that things would never change and to get used to it because the expired medications had been on the shelf for months and they were told to never throw them out.

She then also told me that the autoclave (the machine that sterilizes instruments) was broken and all they did was wash the instruments in soap and water and put them in the autoclave anyway to get them as clean as possible. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. That was the end of that. I made out a formal complaint to the state medical board and never showed up again.

The state actually came in the very next day and raided the place. They shut him down immediately. They found so many things wrong that not only did they keep the place out of business, they suspended his license. He was also prosecuted on federal charges because he was running a scam for truck driver physical exams.


Work On Your People Skills


I worked at a very popular sandwich shop that is known for its “fresh” eating. The owner of the store hired me and within a month, I was made the store’s main closer. I ended up getting all the responsibility of a manager without any of the authority or recognition. One day, a guy walked in and asked to speak to a manager.

Being the only one there with anything close to that responsibility, I asked him what I could help him with. He told me that the sandwich that he ordered online was messed up and that he needed a refund. I informed him we couldn’t do refunds, but I could give him credit for next time, or make him a new sandwich right away.

His reaction was absolutely deranged. He proceeded to start screaming, saying that if I didn’t give him his money back, I’d regret it. I warned him that I’d call 9-1-1 if he didn’t calm down, and that just made everything worse. He attempted to climb over the makeline to grab me, but luckily I was able to back away and stay out of his grasp.

He ended up throwing his phone, which hit me in the face and cut my eyebrow open. Luckily, another customer had called the authorities a while before and they walked in just then. I think it goes without saying that he got apprehended and I pressed charges. The worst part? My owner berated me, saying I needed to work on my people skills.


Not Today


I was getting married while working a temp job, and I told them on my first day that I needed a weekend off in a couple of months for my wedding. I reminded them every couple of weeks, had it on the calendar, and even reminded them that Monday. That weekend came, and I was on the schedule. I told my boss that I needed it off for my wedding.

She said, “You’re just a kid, can’t you move it? We really need the help”. Admittedly, I was 21 marrying my 19-year-old girlfriend, but still. I laughed at her and left. I was scheduled Saturday and Sunday, and two “bad attendance points” and I’m fired, so I assumed that I’d be job hunting on Monday after my wedding.

I went to another temp agency on Monday and had a job lined up by Monday evening. On Tuesday, the temp job called and asked if I was coming back. I told the temp agency lady what they’d done to me, she was upset that they’d done that, but still tried to get me to go back. I liked the new job better and stayed there.



Weapon of Choice


One of my co-workers went after another employee with a letter opener. The guy didn’t make it. The attacker fled the building, but was caught by officers later that day. No one understood why he would do such a thing…until we heard the shocking full story later that day. Apparently, his wife cheated on him with that co-worker. It was in my first week on the job, so I didn’t really know either of them.

The company even had to offer trauma counseling for the other employees who knew them well.


Cheesy Situation


I worked at McDonald’s when I was 16. We used to get a free sandwich with a small fries and drink for our lunch break. One day, when I went on break, the franchise owner was there. When he noticed that I had asked for cheese on my burger and he attempted to make me pay for the whole meal because cheese wasn’t free.

I thought he was joking so I laughed and started walking towards the break room. That’s when it got awkward. He yelled at me not to walk away from him, in front of customers and my coworkers. I couldn’t believe it, this grown successful businessman was hounding at 16-year-old for a slice of cheese. I told him I wasn’t gonna pay, put the food down, and walked out.

They tried calling me to come to work that weekend I told them no thanks and never went back


Kids Say The Darndest Things


Teacher here. One day, during lunch duty, a four-year-old raised her hand. She cried that the boy next to her said he was going to go to her house, kill her mom, and bury her in the yard while the girl watched. I knew I needed to report the incident immediately, but first, I tried to console the girl. I said: “That would upset me too if someone said that, but sometimes people say things they don’t mean to hurt us”.

At that moment, I was cut off by the boy in question, whose reply sent shivers down my spine. “I did mean it. I’m going to kill her mom!” Of course, when I reported it, it was brushed off. The kid had a known behavioral problem, one that actually led another teacher to quit, and the school’s disciplinary action against him was always, “Don’t pay attention to him, but when he’s good, reward him”.

I couldn’t even hug the girl to make her feel better.


Work Harder, Not Smarter


Long ago, I sold European rail passes and tickets over the phone. It started out as a great job, booking itineraries, talking about traveling in Europe, of which I’d done a lot. Then a new manager took over and we were given a list of questions we had to ask every caller. When someone called and said, “I need to go from Paris to Brussels for work, and that’s it,” I was still required to go down this list of 20 up-sale questions about rail passes, travel insurance, other side trips, etc.

People would get rightfully furiously annoyed because their 2-minute call time would end up being 10 minutes of them saying, “No, I told you I don’t need any of that”. And us saying, “I know but I need to ask you anyway”. This of course increased hold times when calling to 40+ minutes in the peak season because every call took 5-10 times longer than they should.

I quit within the month and within 6 months, the owners, who were Swiss, found out what was happening and the branch manager was canned.


Creepy Crawly


I used to work in low-volt integration, wiring smart homes. Being the lead pre-wire technician, I was in charge of all pre-wire installations unless a more experienced tech was on the scene. Being just 24 at the time of my employment, I was usually the one to go into crawlspaces and attics since most of the older guys didn’t want to do it.

On more than one occasion, I’ve met my worst fear up close and personal. I’ve been bitten by two brown recluse spiders and one black widow spider. I still have a scar of one of the brown recluse spiders that bit me on my side. The scary part? The brown recluse spider has NO anti-venom in the entire United States.


That's How It Works


I walked into the interview, everything went well, accepted the job offer. Went to the front desk to do the paperwork and noticed that the contract had a different pay amount, and that I would be “interning” for the first month for $100/week. I asked first about the amount difference, was told, “Oh, this is the standard contract”.

They continued, “It just hasn’t been updated for your specific offer”. I told them they’d need to edit and initial the changes before I would sign. “Oh…that’s not how things work here”. I thanked them for their time and left without signing anything. They called me back on the day I was supposed to have started asking where I was.

I told them because I didn’t sign the contract, I was never an employee. If they wanted to provide an amended contract for me to sign, I’d be right over.



Big Impact


A few weeks back, I was filming a football match where a young lad collided with the other team’s goalkeeper. He got winded and was lying on the floor, freaking out. I figured he just needed to catch his breath and that he’d be just fine. After a few minutes, he was helped off the pitch and he got substituted. I saw him a while later and he was gingerly walking around.

It turned out, he was not okay; far from it, actually. He was taken to hospital that evening and the doctor dropped a huge diagnosis on him—an exploded liver! The poor lad spent hours in surgery and nearly lost his life. He lost 30% of his body weight and was held together by an obscene amount of staples.

He eventually got released. I have slow-motion footage of the entire thing. I hope he makes it back to where he was.


The Fine Print


Back in 2012, I was looking for a job in anything other than food but got desperate. This burger place had just opened up and really needed workers. They advertised on their window $11.75 an hour starting for all positions. I applied, had an interview basically the second I turned in my application, and got hired 20 minutes later.

At the end of my first shift (which was about 3 hours), they said they would start me at minimum wage, “Because you haven’t finished your bachelor’s degree yet”. I was speechless. If I had finished my bachelor’s degree, why would I be working here?! And for such low pay! I told them to cash out my pay immediately and I would not be returning because of their deceit.

There weren’t any stipulations anywhere on the sign that said anything about needing an undergrad degree for that much pay. They cashed me out at $11.25 per hour and I left. They closed down back in 2018 and a seasonal Halloween store took over the location.


Dark Ritual


As a paramedic, I am required to go into the filthiest places imaginable to drag people out. One time, I showed up at a scene and there was an officer waiting in front of a trailer. As I walked up, he just smiled and said, “Be prepared”. I anxiously walked in and my jaw dropped. There was blood, guts, and chicken feathers EVERYWHERE.

Inside was a dude with pure crazy in his eyes waiting for me. I asked him what was going on and he explained that he was demonstrating to his children how to make a proper sacrifice. The dude had taken his kids’ pet chickens and beheaded them. Needless to say, that was one nerve-wracking ride to the hospital.


A Messy Situation


Barista here. There was this one old woman who would come in several times per week. She’d stay for hours at a time and never buy anything. She’d just ask for a glass of water and a place to sit. She was at least 90 and was clearly losing her memory, so I felt bad for her and let her stay. Little did I know that she would end up being a nightmare.

The first few times, she’d just drink her water and leave, but then she started using the restroom. Now, I can only assume this woman used diapers, and perhaps she didn’t quite remember when it was time for a fresh one. Because every time she’d use our bathroom, there’d be poop. Not in the toilet. On the walls, floor, door, trash can…any combination of these.

She’d obviously tried at least a little to clean it up, but her poop persisted. We started calling her Poop Granny in secret. I have spent hours of my actual life cleaning this woman’s poop off various surfaces; so many hours that my manager eventually had to ban her.


Pool Bandit


I was a lifeguard. One evening, during a closing shift with my manager, I headed inside to the pool house to clean up when I heard shouting. I briskly walked out to the pool deck to find my manager yelling at a single guy to get out of the pool. The man refused, so I thought he was on something…but when he replied, he revealed the disturbing truth.

He started yelling back that he couldn’t get out…because it felt too good. The individual had been getting frisky with the pool jets. My manager yelled at me, a 17-year-old female at the time, to go back to the office and call 9-1-1. When we told him that officers were on the way, he jumped out, hopped the fence, and ran away.

This happened at a nice, family neighborhood pool. He was immediately banned.


You Can’t Make Me


I was at a company for about a year and a half as an assistant project manager. In that year and a half, I had 3 different bosses. The newest one being a heavy micromanager, I was getting paid about 20% below the standard salary for the position, overworked without any additional compensation, and the overall culture of the company was just flawed.

My boss started nitpicking my work at the end of every day, I told her I had plenty of time to get it done before the end of the day, but she kept pushing and escalating. She was borderline screaming and I just cut her off and said, “I’m not doing this anymore, I quit”. She yelled back, “WELL I WILL NEED IT IN WRITING!”

I said back with the straightest face, “I don’t have to do anything you say because I’ve already quit”. I quietly packed all my stuff up, said good luck to my coworkers, and left. A year later, I accepted a Project Manager position with a competing company and make almost twice as much as I was making at the previous job.



Scum Of The Earth


I traveled with my boss a lot. He wasn’t the greatest guy, but he was really good at his job. One time, we got to the hotel and a woman walked across the road without looking. It was annoying but not too dangerous as we were only doing 5 mph. My boss, ever easy to anger, started raging. I was usually unaffected by his tantrums, but this one was different.

He started saying really disturbing things: “Man, I’m going to find her room and end that witch. She’s asking for it, you know what I mean?” That was bad enough, but then he took it to the next level. He asked the clerk at the desk: “Who was that woman who just signed in?” The clerk obviously was like, “Err. No”. I was horrified by his comments and actions.

He said all of those things in a company car that had dash cams and mics. When I checked in, I got room service for the night, trying to forget about what I’d heard. Later that week, I went to the big boss to talk the incident through. She said she’d get to the bottom of it. Recordings subsequently disappeared and I was told to drop the issue.

I resigned fairly soon after and got a new role. I couldn’t stand by a company that would protect someone who made statements like that. The guy got the boot a few years later, but not before he’d earned his stack of cash. I’m still mad about this.


Do It Yourself


I worked at a large banquet hall as a busboy. I expressed my needing to leave at 8 pm to the owners. 7:50 comes and the manager is barking orders at me to do things that would take another hour. I told him I was done at 8 pm and he said, “You’re not going anywhere until this party is over!” (Most receptions went past 10 pm).

I said, “Fine, I quit”. His response was, “That’s fine, you’re outta here as soon as you can find a replacement”. I replied, “No man… if I quit, I’m leaving now. See ya”. He followed me through the entire reception room, the back hall, the kitchen, and to the parking lot repeatedly yelling, “No one talk to him! He quit—he’s gone for good!” Owners called me back into the business to pick up my check.

They asked me if I would please come back. I lied and told them I already had another job just to avoid any potential begging. The manager was their uncle and they clearly weren’t happy with him, but were afraid to fire him. From what I was told he continued shouting at workers and eating food meant for guests all while having a heart attack every couple years.


Warning! Danger Ahead


I was working in a production lab that had very strict cleaning protocols. Shower in, shower out, respirator required at times; that kind of stuff. One time, I was in the lab by myself, just doing my work when all of a sudden, the most intense fire alarm I had ever heard in my life went off. Like, there were sirens blaring, lights flashing, and a robotic voice saying, “Evacuate the building immediately, this is not a drill”.

I panicked because if I went out the fire door in the lab, I was going to contaminate the entire production wing, but also, I didn’t want to lose my life, and the alarm seemed to make it pretty clear that was imminent. Luckily, my coworker busted into the room to get me and we evacuated through another airlock that was made for that kind of thing.

Turns out, the situation was incredibly dire—someone had dropped a 50-gallon drum of some nasty chemical in the wing and they had to shut down the entire production floor for a day.


Now Is Really Not The Time


My grandfather, who I considered like a father, passed after a long stay in hospital. We were closer than he was with his own kids, and our bond was quite special. I spoke to my manager about getting the day of his funeral off, since I was organizing part of the arrangements, and having a day or two of bereavement leave, and he agreed.

The day of the funeral finally comes and the staff start calling me, leaving me messages asking why I’m not at my shift, and telling me, while I’m in a suit hosting family members at the funeral home, that I have to find someone to replace me or face repercussions. Needless to say, I told them to figure it out, and never looked back.


The Takeover


I worked a job a few years ago for a company that was sold to new ownership unexpectedly. One day, a bunch of guys in suits walked in and announced that everyone in upper management was fired. Everyone else was required to do job interviews and substance tests to see if they would get to keep their jobs. It was absolute chaos.

Upper management started packing their offices and calling their significant others, crying. Middle management was running around trying to keep things functioning while preparing for their job interviews. Meanwhile, about four employees were very focused on the substance tests—one of them even went to hide in a shed on the property with a five-gallon jug of water from the water machine.

He drank the entire thing too fast and ended up going into a seizure during his interview from desalinating his body. Another guy went home for lunch and came back with his infant’s urine in a bag taped to his thigh. But the worst part was when they told me that I failed my test. I have never done substances in my life, so I was naturally angry.

I made them test me again and the results came back clean; however, it took two weeks before I was allowed to return to work. I stayed for like three more months after that, then I bounced. The new management was terrible and lazy. They blamed everything on the original employees and would say stuff like, “If you all were so good at your jobs, why did we have to buy the company?”

This was in 2008 when the market was in shambles from the housing collapse. Our original owner was a wealthy guy who had a dream of making it big, but he couldn’t sustain the losses forever and eventually sold the company.


Not Good Enough


A long time ago, not long after getting my papers as a chef, I had an interview at a hotel for a position in the kitchen. The Executive Chef and I chatted in his office for about 20 mins, at the time I remember him coming off as very arrogant, which is quite common in this field. I didn’t think much of it at the time as the pay was decent and the shift was what I wanted. Turns out, that was a huge mistake.

As I was leaving his office, I turned to leave through the dining room (the way I had come in), which was closed at the time. It was another hour or so before service started and he says to me, “No, not that way, go through the kitchen, you’re not good enough to go through the dining room”. I was so surprised by what he said, I just did what he asked without a word.

Later on, after I had got home, I phoned him up and said that after having a close look, I decided that his menu wasn’t good enough and that I wouldn’t be accepting his offer.


A Near Miss


One night, I was doing night time delivery of bread all around Melbourne, to both stores and markets. I took my usual shortcut through the back of Brighton which involved going up a driveway and then turning through a grass park that led into the next main street. As I was driving towards the end of the road, I saw heaps of blue and red flashing lights.

I assumed it was a booze bus, but it was 3 am on a Tuesday morning, which was kind of unusual. As I got closer, I was confronted by a ton of officers arming themselves in my direction. I came to a stop and held my hands up out of just instinct. I approached one officer who told me to pull over on the left and not move until I was told to.

When they finally told me what all the fuss was about, my face turned white. Turns out, I subverted a complete lockdown of the street during an active shooter incident. I straight-up told them that I had simply cut through the park to make my deliveries. At that very moment, I heard a huge bang back down the road from where I came from.

I was told to get the heck out of there immediately. I found out when I got home at 6 am that I had driven right through a terrorist attack. The suspect managed to end a homeowner’s life during his rampage.


Manager, Not Owner


I worked for a custom cabinet shop as an installer. So, I would go install my cabinets, come back, load up for the next day, and head home. I only had one car so my girlfriend who was pregnant at the time would come and wait for me when I was about to get off. Well one day I got in just a tad early and completed my work and proceeded to clock out.

The general manager stopped me and said, “Oh no, we need you in the shop building cabinets”. I replied my pregnant girlfriend is in the car with no AC waiting and I’m leaving because I’ve finished my work. She told me she owned me from 7:30 am to 5 pm and that she didn’t give a hoot who was waiting for me. I told her she didn’t own a single thing and walked out.


An Unbearable Pain


I work in a hospital. A dad was co-sleeping with his new baby in a comfy chair in their room on postpartum. I was told that dad stumbled out to the nurses’ station cradling his lifeless child. We coded for an hour and we were able to get ROSC before shipping out via helicopter, but that baby was mostly gone by that point. The most heartbreaking thing is how it actually happened.

The baby got malpositioned and suffocated with its face pressed up against the dad. They ended up donating the organs a few days later. I’ve seen way worse things happen to babies, but this will always stick in my memory because of that dad. He was broken in a way that I’m not sure can ever be healed. Utterly, inescapably, indescribably, and permanently devastated.

I hope dad is okay. I hope that the postpartum nurse is okay. Practice safe sleep.


We Must Value Each Other


The boss wanted my team to work extra shifts over the weekend to finish the next project milestone, so we can show the client that we are capable of finishing before the due date. We worked 14 hours daily for four weeks with no weekends, and the last two days we worked for 36 hours straight with no breaks since the due date was a day away.

Everyone was exhausted and on edge; no smiles, no small talk, nothing. And we don’t get paid overtime. After finishing the milestone, he thanked us and called us for a meeting saying we have to continue working like this for an unknown period until they hire new staff members. I refused, as did another few of my colleagues.

We said that we will work for what we get paid for, which is 9 hours per day, five days a week. He didn’t take us seriously, but we were absolutely beyond caring at that moment. We worked the next two weeks accordingly; he called us and said that he was extremely disappointed and that we don’t value the company. I walked out, collected my stuff, gave my resignation letter to HR, and said, “See yah!”


The Dressing Room Vandal

resizeJCPenney_at_Jamestown_Mall.jpg.optimal.jpgWikimedia Commons

In the ’90s, I worked at a JC Penney Catalog Outlet. The catalog sold wedding dresses, so the ones that didn’t sell would be sent to the outlet. Typically, the fitting rooms were staffed by women, as you could only go into the fitting room of the opposite gender when it was empty. Since men tried on fewer clothes than women, it made pretty sense to have female staff there.

Please remember this was the ’90s, so people were not aware of gender identity and LGBTQ issues. A gentleman came in, informed the staff that he and his partner were having a ceremony, and that he wanted to wear a wedding dress. He reported to the staff that he identified as a female and he asked to use the women’s dressing room.

Due to the time period, and store regulations we were unable to comply. We did offer him the male fitting rooms though. The customer took the six dresses to try on in the men’s fitting rooms and we were unable to check on him. After three hours, we called security. They checked in on him and he said he was almost done.

When he finally came out, comes out, he said none of the dresses was his type. He left them in the dressing room for a staff member to collect. When she went inside, she was absolutely mortified. Every. Single. One. Was. Soiled.


Technology Isn’t That Scary


My older in age boss didn’t understand how an excel spreadsheet worked. Fresh out of graduate school, I did some calculations for him as he requested, printed them out, and he proceeded to freak out on me because I didn’t do them by hand. Yelling, he berated me in front of everyone in the office. Then he took it up a notch. He took my water glass and threw it against a wall, breaking it to pieces.

Then a coworker looked over my work and said everything was done correctly. I applied for a new job after work that day where I’ve worked for over seven years now. I can deal with lots of garbage but I’m not dealing with a boss with the emotional capacity of a two-year-old.


Cast Iron Catastrophe


I used to work at this restaurant where we had seafood platters that were served on cast iron skillets on top of wooden planks. They were heavy to carry, needless to say. I was an experienced server and would carry those huge trays on my shoulder no problem. Well, one day, my table ordered six seafood platters, so I put them on a tray and hoisted it onto my shoulder.

At the time, I was 5’5″ and 100 lbs, so it was a lot for me. But I still got to the table without issues, with the tray over my shoulder and a tray stand in my hand. I put the tray stand down, but when I went to set the tray on top of it, I lost my balance. It was bad enough that I dropped six cast iron skillets, but then I realized where I had dropped them—right on top of this three-year-old kid, knocking him out of his seat.

Luckily he wasn’t injured; just covered in pounds of greasy fried seafood, fries, and sauce. He screamed, I screamed, and the parents screamed. It was pure chaos. Obviously, they got a free meal and a gift card. No tip for me, but I wasn’t even mad about it. I’m just glad I didn’t kill the poor toddler.


Don’t Mind If You Do


I was already there 3 hours past the time my shift was supposed to end—along with everyone else who was on my shift. We were all very irate and tired. I get that you often have to stay late when you work in food service, but everyone from the next shift was already there and there was zero reason for us to be there for three extra hours.

Finally, someone asked to go home. What happened next is burned in my memory. In the middle of the restaurant floor, the managed absolutely lost it: “JUST BECAUSE YOUR SHIFT IS SUPPOSED TO END AT 10 DOESNT MEAN YOU GET TO LEAVE THEN. I TELL YOU WHEN YOU GET TO LEAVE. YOU ARE ALL JUST NUMBERS ON A SPREADSHEET TO US, WE CAN REPLACE YOU IN A HEARTBEAT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE HERE!”

So, I dropped all the tip money on the table in front of her and said, “Replace me then”. Found out later that they lost nearly half their staff that night because most others followed my lead. There was a huge football game the next day right across the street and they got to deal with that with no servers. I went to the game and had the time of my life.


Let It Burn


About 13 years ago, I worked at a Saskatchewan oil patch. I was on the last day of my seven-day hitch, and about 13 hours in. I hadn’t been sleeping much as I had lots of personal stuff going on. At some point, I got complacent—I’d been doing the same run for over two years and I knew each location and tank by heart, from which ones were finicky to which ones were likely to sand off, etc.

I was looking forward to my days off as my parents were on their way to visit me for their anniversary. My brain fell out of my head for two seconds, but that’s all it took for disaster to strike. I ended up pulling my hose off the valve without closing it first. Keep in mind, in Saskatchewan, they heat their tanks to help with the water and oil separation…

So I got doused in 160-degree water through a four-inch hole in the side of the tank. They had also just chemically treated the tank with defoamer, so the burns were partially chemical as well. I went to the local hospital where I was given a prescription for Tylenol 3 and a sick note for four days off work. When I went to another hospital nearer to where I lived (about an hour away), they told me I’d be off for at least two months.

It was too late for skin grafts, but I got lucky. I came away with one barely visible scar and, well, my life.


Just Not Right


I worked for a placement agency at a manufacturing facility. I had worked 7 hours of my 8-hour day when one of the supervisors came by to ask anyone on the crew if they would stay for another 4 hours. We all looked at each other and politely declined. They came back one more time a little while later to ask and again, we declined.

Then they came back and demanded that one of us stay behind for the 4-hour shift or ALL of us were going to be written up for attendance. This angered everyone but because we were work placement instead of employees, we were unsure who to talk to. Some of the other crew told the supervisor they can’t because they have to pick up their kids, etc.

When the supervisor left, the crew had multiple people saying they can’t get written up again or they would lose their job. I had scheduled a dinner with my in-laws so I called the husband and told him the situation and that I would stay. Told the crew, I’ll stay—don’t worry. Told the supervisor, and got put on another crew.

I ended up only having to work for 1 hour but was required to stay for the full 4 hours. But that wasn’t the end…Next day, I called the main office and explained the situation. They said they had a representative on-site due to this manufacturer being such a large client. Called the onsite representative, and explained the situation. I was told they have a lot of attendance issues.

Again, I explained I had never had attendance issues and everyone on my crew was threatened with being written up for not staying 4 hours AFTER their scheduled shift. The on-site representative still defended the actions of the supervisor and threw attitude at me. Fine, I don’t need you—I quit. And that’s the story of how I learned about my worker’s rights and workplace harassment!


Stage Fright


I used to be a stagehand. In the theatre, the lights and scenery are set up by lowering a bar on a pulley system to the floor. Panels are hung on the bar while people on a catwalk in the rafters load metal bricks on a counterweight. One night, we were preparing for a show and the bar came down, but it was brought down too low to hang the lights.

We told the operator and he pulled the break off. It seemed fine until we realized that the counterweight had already been loaded. When he cut the break off, it was too late—the bar went flying. The stage manager grabbed the rope, trying to slow the fall. Big mistake. The rope quickly ripped through his glove and took off the top few layers of his skin.

A guy on the loading bridge did the same thing and got his hand sucked into the pulley. He lost a few fingers.


It’s Called Common Courtesy


I worked in retail. Our store had recently promoted our assistant manager to store manager. She told me my asking off for my grandmother-in-law’s funeral was “too short notice” and I would have to leave, drive across town for the funeral and immediately return—no graveside service. No staying to comfort my husband (whose family is very small to begin with).

We had several other employees scheduled that day, and it wasn’t a busy day. I think she was using me as an example. I went back in that day, and that was the last shift I worked. I ended up quitting and got a call from her that I sent straight to voicemail. She told me that I had to put in a two-week’s notice. Maybe I would have out of courtesy, which she obviously didn’t show me.


A Beautiful Mind


I worked at this place for years and it was a great family-run manufacturing company. We had a brilliant engineer who was smart, funny, good-looking, and personable, but something just wasn’t right with him. I was usually the last to leave the office, but on this one Friday night at 7 pm, he was still feverishly working away in his cube. I said good night to him and left.

The following week, on Monday morning, the whole office was in turmoil. I went around the office and what I saw sent chills up my spine. The guy basically went all Beautiful Mind on us. He spent the entire weekend in the office hiding files, hacking into emails, and doing all kinds of weird stuff. To top it all off, he turned it all into a game, leaving clues all over the place.

For example, on the president’s desk, he left a note with a riddle that led to the next clue. Overall, he had set up like 50 sequential clues. It was brilliant. I mean I love puzzles and I enjoyed the challenge, but the bosses were livid. Many of us spent the entire day trying to solve the clues and puzzles to get our stuff back. Every clue was impressive, but nothing beats the last clue.

It led us to his resignation letter. Because some of the clues had threatening statements directed to his boss and the head of engineering, the local authorities were called. It turned out that he suffered from a mental illness, but he had managed it for a long time with medication. His new girlfriend was Muslim or something she and was fasting for some religious holiday, so he had joined her.

Not eating had messed up his medication. He ended up hospitalized for a couple of weeks and tried to get his job back when he was released from the hospital. They did hire him back, but he didn’t last long after that. I think the stigma was too hard for him to deal with and he left for a fresh start.


He’ll Figure It Out


I’d been left on my own to do packing up multiple times; it was a fancy fish shop with a window display that was 100% a two-person job but the chef/manager was super lazy. I burnt the absolute heck out of my forearm one day while cooking some items we sold, as the batter plopped into the deep fryer harder than I expected. It was the most painful moment of my life—but it was about to get worse.

I had staff from other stores coming to help (with first aid, cold towels) and my manager sauntered past with a salad he’d made for the lunch rush and told me to hurry up because he was heading out early. Again. He knew I’d just burnt my arm and was in no shape to close up. I grabbed the keys, slapped them down, and told him to do it himself.

He had the audacity to ask me how he was supposed to close on his own as if I hadn’t had to close the thing on my own for countless shifts before.


A Pianist’s Panic


I’m a jazz and classical pianist. One time, while playing at a pretty high-end cocktail bar, I noticed an older man collapse at his table out of the corner of my eye. He was sitting alone, and either very few people noticed, or no one cared. Either way, nobody made a scene. I ended up speaking into the mic: “Do we have a doctor on the floor?”

One woman came up thinking something was wrong with me, so I promptly pointed her to the other section where the man was sitting. At that point, the staff was gathering around. Later on, we found out the scary truth about his predicament—he had a heart attack, but he was okay. It’s crazy to me that he was in a crowded venue and no other patrons cared enough or paid enough attention to get him some help.


Not Good Enough


It was Thanksgiving Day at Kmart and I had been working nonstop for five hours because of all the “good deals”. I had a drink under my register and I took one drink of it. The assistant manager looked at me but didn’t say anything. Ten minutes later it was time for my much-needed 30-minute lunch. I proceeded to ask for coverage for my break.

The assistant manager told me I didn’t get a lunch since I took a drink of my water. I then proceeded to tell her too bad and walked away and got all of my stuff out of my locker and started walking out to the parking lot. Then the store managers all rushed out begging me to come back and work and apologized. They said I could take my lunch.

They even had the assistant manager (pathetically) apologize to me. But it was too little, too late. I was tired and thirsty so I went home and had an ice-cold glass of water while sitting on my couch.


Triple Tragedy


We had three people lose their lives on one job site. One fall and two confined space deaths. This happened in 2008 in Idaho, while we were working hazmat at an acid plant turn-around. The confined space deaths were from asphyxiation—one guy went in a tank to see how dirty it was and he collapsed. But what happened to the other guy was more devastating.

He bravely went in to rescue the first guy, but he didn’t make it back out. Turns out, they were not permitted to enter the tank yet, but they went anyway. The third guy fell from the top of a platform where the safety rails had been removed. He took a 70-foot header and the sound on impact is the type you never forget.


Just Do It


I worked as a mechanic back in college. A kid came in with some pretty big issues with his car. As a tire shop, we mostly dealt with small repairs and simple maintenance. I told the kid it might be best if he goes to the dealership or a shop that specializes larger repairs like what he needed. A new manager had recently taken over our store.

The customer and I went into the office to tell him what I found while inspecting the car. I didn’t know this manager very well, but I did know him long enough to know that he was more of a salesman than a mechanic. This manager started selling this college kid on replacing all kinds of things to fix his issues, and since financial aid just dropped the kid was considering it.

It would be one thing if the manager knew that what he was selling was going to fix the kid’s car, but he had only ever seen it through the office window in the parking lot. He only knew what I told him, which was that the kid needed more than we usually handle. This guy was just selling a kid thousands of dollars worth of repairs on a car that might not even be worth that much. I was so furious—I had to do something.

Finally, I butted into the conversation with, “Um, we’re not sure all this will fix the issues, and we don’t even have the equipment necessary to do some of these repairs”. The manager gave the kid a printout of his estimate and then dragged me into the back to give me a Batman voice saying, “If you ever jeopardize a sale of mine again then it will be the last thing you ever do!”

I promptly locked up my toolbox, and wished him luck on doing mechanical work without a mechanic, and went home. Called around town and found another mechanic job the same day.


He Let His Guard Down


I used to work at this cabinetry place that had this big industrial saw know as a “beam saw”. To use it, you lay material—in this case, sheets of particleboard or MDF—onto some rollers and the machine clamps the ends while drawing the piece inside the machine. A guard then comes down and a large blade makes cuts that have been entered into a program.

Well, one time, an operator put a piece down, hit start, and the machine started pulling the board in. At the last moment, he noticed that the piece wasn’t “square” and tried to push it in quickly. Big mistake. The metal guard came down and trapped his hand. The program then started and the blade ran through the middle of his knuckles, completely cutting off four fingers.


Don’t Poke The Bear

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Before I started working at Dollar Tree, I asked if I could have a day off on Sunday and they said sure and that they promise to give me that day off. During my first week working there, I ask every single day for a work schedule and remind them that they promised that I’d get Sunday off. That entire week, they refuse to give me a schedule.

They also called me at random times of the day to work, which was ridiculous because at the time I had college classes to attend, but I wanted to make a good impression so I made it work. When Sunday came, I was at a carnival with my husband (he bought tickets for that day and it was his only day off to spend time with me) and we were having a very nice day.

My boss called and told me to come to work. I was baffled and reminded her that she and the others promised that I could have the day off since I worked all six days at random times without complaint. In a very mean way, she said that she never promised such a thing to me and demanded I absolutely had to come to the store now.

In that moment, I told her to get over herself, and I quit over the phone. Within the next day, I made a complaint to the company on how unprofessional she and the others were with me and gave them pictures proving how unsafe the environment was for our younger workers there.


Karma Comes Back Around


This woman named Cheryl thought she was hot stuff because she was married to a retired football player. One day, she came in and started beating on one of our plant vendors. When we told her we were calling 9-1-1, she tried to angrily drive her SUV away. Thankfully, karma was on our side that day—she accidentally backed into a pallet of ceramic pots and then hit the front end of an officer’s car when she pulled forward.

The best part? The officers immediately did a search of her car and they found a flask of Jack in her purse. She was subsequently apprehended and charged.


Instructions Unclear


I worked as a pizza delivery driver for about two years. The area coach liked to change the schedule halfway through the week and then get mad when we didn’t show up. Final straw was him having the new (sixth one at this point) restaurant manager call me and tell me if I wasn’t there by noon, I’d be fired. I freaked out.

I got there on time thanks to my mom (wife had my car for her job at that time) and the manager said he was still going to write me up for not being there on a “scheduled date” even though I wasn’t scheduled and had a picture of the schedule to prove it. He accused me of always doing this, not checking the schedule after he’d changed it, and told no one.

I decided to quit at that exact moment, took off my vest and hat, put them on the counter, and left. Being unemployed was less than fun, but it was better than being harassed. Never looked back, got a new job, and am actually moving up. So…good for me.


Thrashed Around


In another job, a roofer was carrying a sheet of plywood on top of a four-story beach house. It was windy, so it was dumb for him to be up there in the first place. All of a sudden, a big gust of wind got underneath the plywood, and, for some reason, he held on. The events that followed made me wince. He ended up falling off the roof and hitting his head on the concrete.

The corner of the sheet of plywood also went through his chest. It was gory; so much so that the owners were traumatized and ended up selling the unfinished house.


I Came To Work, Not Read


I got a job at an office supply store in a big town during my university degree. The manager gave me a tour of the shop and introduced me to my new co-workers. Well, every time she introduced me to someone, she also told them they messed up or did something wrong. Maybe it was true, but that was the first red flag for me regardless.

She then sent me upstairs to read about the company’s values (50–70-page document). The more I read, the more I thought this was not worth my energy. So, I quit after an hour and told them to not bother paying me. She asked me if something happened upstairs and I just told her I realized I wasn’t a good fit for the job.

I landed my first librarian job a month later, so to this day it’s still one of the best decisions I made. My girlfriend was surprised to see me back home so soon, but she was fully supportive. Father was worried, mother was proud.


Corporate Wolves


One of my managers was having an affair with one of her subordinates. They got caught making out while at work by another associate, who then reported them to HR. The manager convinced HR that she caught the associate stealing and that she made the story up to cover for herself. HR sided with the manager and they fired the reporting associate on the spot, despite having no proof.

Two months later, she got caught again with a different subordinate, but HR refused to take action because it would mean they would have to admit that they fired the first employee wrongfully. That was bad enough, but it gets even worse—they ended up promoting the manager to an unfilled position in a different department. I left shortly after all that.


Do Better


My Dad was in hospice and for three days he was up and down. We had been told several times that he was close to dying. Well on the third day his breathing was extremely shallow and his systems were shutting down. I got the call at work that I needed to come down while they were preparing end-of-life care. I went to my HR person and told her the situation.

Her response was, hands down, the worst thing anyone has ever said to me: “Did he come back to life and die again, because I’m pretty sure you’ve used that excuse before”. I told her she could go up a creek without a paddle.


What A Shocker


My co-worker was removing the top of a tree. He was using a rigging system, but the guy on the ground let it run too far down. The tip of the tree ended up on top of a primary power line, and the bottom got wedged into the crotch of another tree, creating a nonstop current of electricity. It wasn’t too scary at first…but then the worst-case scenario happened. After the first few initial blue explosions, the tree started catching fire.

The poor climber had to stay at the very tippy-top of a spar and hang out there for two hours, breathing in smoke because he did not want to move and risk being electrocuted. The fire department eventually came, and the whole neighborhood went pitch black, but luckily no one got hurt.


He Took Her At Her Word


At 17, I was a young line cook at an upscale Italian restaurant. I was picking everything up so quickly, I knew all the stations on the line within 10 months of getting hired. I was getting minimum wage (at the time $7.25/hour) and asked for a $1/hour raise to reflect my diverse capabilities. Got denied and asked the chef when I could get it then.

She said, “You’re too young for a raise, just be happy with minimum wage”. In response, I said I may have to start looking elsewhere for a job that’ll pay me what I’m worth. Her response made my blood boil: “Don’t you know how expendable cooks are? If you leave, I can replace you on the spot”. It was Sunday evening dinner service, at the height of the night, I took off my apron and walked off the line.

I headed right out the front door. A friend quit with me in solidarity, plus I was his ride home. Felt good for a day or two, but I’ve never quit that way ever since. I’ve been in the service industry for 23 years now, and that was by far the worst experience.


Maintenance Mishap


I used to work in retail at a big box store. We had a maintenance guy who was an immigrant from eastern Europe. He was always nice to everyone and was able to fix practically anything. One day, I came into work and saw the whole office and locker area was wet and they had these carpet drying fans everywhere. I asked what happened and my manager told me a pipe broke in the sprinkler room and flooded the front.

I was buddies with one of the security guys there and I asked him what caused the pipe to break. His revelation shook me to my core. He told me that the maintenance guy had hung himself in the sprinkler room by the pipe and it broke under his weight. It was really disturbing to find that out. The place was never the same after that.


Communication Is Key


I worked at a very dysfunctional family-owned company. They put me on probation because the family member (my boss) in charge of IT convinced everyone else he was a genius and could do no wrong, so whenever something bad happened related to IT, he’d just blame his underlings and everyone in power just agreed with him.

A few weeks later when I got the dream job I have now, I said in the exit interview one of the main reasons I was leaving was because I was tired of being on probation for 3+ months. They’d actually taken me off probation but never told me. I still would’ve left regardless, but the fact that they never got around to saying, “Hey we’re not about to fire you” blows my mind.


Code Yellow


I’m a psych nurse in a psych unit. There was this one female patient who hated female nurses. When one of them brought the patient her medication, the patient screamed at the nurse and refused to take her meds. As the nurse left, the patient did the unexpected—she jumped on the nurse and tried to pull her eyes out.  Luckily, one of the staff saw this and screamed out, “Code Yellow!”

The entire staff grabbed the patient and medicated her before she could do any real harm.


Getting Paid Requires Work


I worked at a restaurant as a server. We’d just catered a large wedding reception. The owner’s wife was chatting with the wedding party all night and occasionally getting the drinks. At the end of the night, she said she’s taking her share of the tips since she helped so much. I say fine even though that’s against the law in our state.

An hour and a half after the party ends, the restaurant is still a mess and the owner’s wife is just standing around talking while we were supposed to clean up. It was almost midnight and I’d worked my other job earlier that day and I could have used her help. I walked out without saying a word. They ended up giving me all of my tips on my last check.


All The Rewards


At my work, we have a rewards program where we need to ask for people’s addresses to sign them up. Some customers don’t want to give their address, so my manager told me to just enter a fake address she uses: 123 Tree Rd or something like that. Well, the other day, we got a call from a very confused man, and as he was explaining his situation, my eyes widened.

He said he got hundreds of coupons from us, all addressed to different people. Turns out, 123 Tree Rd is a real address, and the poor man was signed up for hundreds of rewards programs. Luckily, he was a good sport about it. When my manager got off the phone with him, we laughed about it for the rest of the day.


Double Standards


Had a job where the people were awful, the management was awful, and the other techs made themselves look better by making other techs look bad. I had two guys on my shift who would go behind me during maintenance or repairs and undo stuff I did and call it out over the radio for all to hear, so I started recording myself making the repairs.

When I got called out and showed my boss the video, I was told, “You’re not supposed to have your phone out on the floor” and got wrote up. I walked out with no warning in the middle of the busiest weeks of the year leaving them shorthanded with only two idiots to handle calls.


A Dark Realization


I used to be an officer back in the day. I did collision reconstruction and substance enforcement. I responded to a fatal accident once—the victim was 12 years old and it was her birthday. A lady made an unsafe left into the parking lot at Amazing Jakes. The worst part was having to inform that lady the stone-cold truth—that she was responsible for her own daughter’s demise.

Turns out, when she turned into the parking lot, she fatally hit her daughter. I can literally still hear this woman and her husband screaming in my head.


Broken Bones And Severed Ties

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I worked at Walmart for a short time. I worked as hard as I possibly could to unload their pallets of merchandise. I always thought I was so fast; I studied the process and I believed I perfected it. EVERY SINGLE DAY, my manager came up to me and told me I needed to be faster. So, I did, and the fast pace made me lose a little focus, causing me to break a finger.

I let management know that I might be a little slower due to my injury and they straight up told me, “We won’t tolerate any laziness,” and wrote me up when I didn’t meet their ridiculous standards. So I went home after my shift and never returned. Never called, never formally quit. I just never came back.


Instant Regret


I was working in a kitchen at a local restaurant. The staff usually cut corners to get more work done. I was working with this one dude and we were flipping the fryers at the end of the night, doing it hot. This dude was letting it drain into a dutch oven while texting with one hand and, at some point, the phone slipped into the dutch oven. That’s when things went immediately downhill.

His instant reaction was to reach in and grab it…He screamed, then pulled his arm out. I rushed over to take a look and I almost fainted at the sight. His skin was instantly peeling from intense third-degree burns. We hurried him to the hospital and the rest was history (and by history, I mean months of agonizing pain and skin grafts).


The Menu Is Too Secret


I worked at a sushi restaurant and we had secret menu items that no one went over with me. The owner was sitting with a guest (I guess they were friends) and he ordered one of the secret menu items and I said, “I’m sorry we don’t have that”. She immediately stands up and started to scream at me and called me a “bumbling fool”.

She then snapped her fingers saying, “Servants!” calling the other servers over. At this point, I was already taking my apron off and grabbing my keys to walk right out of there.


Gone Too Soon


My colleague went to the toilet. When she didn’t come back, we checked on her. She clearly needed an ambulance. Everyone downstairs was told to stay inside as she was taken down from our floor. The blinds were shut, so no one from the main floor had a clue about what happened. The paramedics continued working on her in the middle of the car park, but it was too late. Less than an hour later, she passed.

When the hospital told us what had happened to her, we were all shocked. They said it was a blood clot, which was surprising because she was still so young and healthy. It was the worst day I’ve ever had at work.


That’s A Little Much


I started a job and asked to work morning shifts because my dad would have to pick me up and mornings worked better with his schedule. They put me for night shifts instead of what I asked for and put me for 39 hours a week for a month. I applied for part-time and what they wanted me to work was full-time without any benefits.

I asked them if they could put me for fewer hours because it was too much and they told me they hired me to work those hours, so I could either quit or work the schedule they had made for the next month. I quit after four days because that’s not what I signed up for and I didn’t feel like missing my ride and walking home.


Pre-Grave Digger


The body of my co-worker was discovered in one of our warehouses by our supervisor. Instead of calling 9-1-1, he took the wallet off the body. We know this because the deceased’s wife came up asking for the wallet as it was nowhere to be found. They had already cleared his locker out but the supervisor showed up and said he found it in the locker during a “second” check.

Needless to say, he doesn’t work here anymore.


It’s A Special Sale


I used to work at a craft store as a cashier, which was awful, but quit when I moved. I ended up going back a couple of years later to make some extra cash, but this time in the framing department. During the interview they swore up and down I would only ever be a backup cashier because I said I refused to have full cashier shifts.

The first shift after the interview is listed as framing, but I’m put on cash and told that actually most of my shifts would be cash since they’d found someone else for framing. I spent the next six hours giving everyone who came to my register 20% off of everything and then never went back.


So Heartless


A guy literally had a seizure and fell down the stairs. Instead of getting help or having someone else get help, our dirtbag supervisor made the most appalling accusation: “Oh, we need to test him for substances. He’s obviously faking”. Honestly, it made me feel not so bad when the dude faked certain situations to get me fired later.

He just honestly was such a horrible piece of garbage.


Show A Little Compassion


Whilst closing the cafe, a large man came up to the thankfully locked front door and stared me down. He refused to leave and didn’t say a word. Just stared at me. It was the only way to exit the shop at that hour so I called my boss telling her I’m about to call the authorities unless you know who this weird creepy guy is?

She just told me it’s something I’m going to have to deal with as the coffee shop is next to a train station so there are a lot of vagrants in the area. I called security who escorted me to my car. The guy was screaming into the garbage when I drove away. I got right out of there, real fast.


It’s Raining Planes


I used to work in air traffic control. This didn’t happen to me, but I was working that day and I heard the replay. Some planes took off in bad weather and got more ice on their wings than they could handle.  By the time they got in the air, it was too late—they dropped like rocks, but that’s not even the worst part…

You could hear the passengers screaming for their lives on the frequency the whole way down.


Whose Responsibility Is It Then?


I was right out of high school, and working at a job for the last 2 years. One of my close friends had passed. I told the owner that I needed Sunday off to go to the funeral and memorial service. He said, “I totally understand. Find someone to cover your shift. I would, but Sunday is sabbath and it’s not my responsibility to find someone”.

This is the same owner who would randomly come “help” work the lunch rush and collect tips because he earned them.


Giving Up


I spent three months doing an internship at a mining company. A guy fell from a 30-meter ridge and lost his life on the spot. They ruled it an accident, but a lot of us aren’t convinced. Rumor has it that he actually jumped because he fell headfirst—if you’re not looking to end it all, you always try to fall feet first, or at least instinctively use your arms to break the fall (for all the good it will do you).

But nope, eye-witnesses said that they saw him crashing down with his head. I never saw the scene or the aftermath, but apparently, it wasn’t pretty. The company gave two weeks of paid leave to those who witnessed it.


He Can’t Do Anything About It From That Position


The place I worked at had almost zero safety precautions and only allowed 10-minute lunch breaks. They even chained up the fridge so we couldn’t get water out. The day I quit was when a stack of boxes waiting to go to a store fell on a guy and instead of helping him or asking if he was okay, they proceeded to yell at him while he was laying on the ground.

They told him that he was costing the company money by slowing down the line, not to mention the lost product if anything broke. I walked up, clocked out, and went out the door. I didn’t even come back for my final check; I figured it wasn’t worth it.


Blood On My Hands


I got notified that someone was cut in half on a system that I designed several years prior. I felt sick to my stomach. I kept thinking, “How could this happen?” Well, when I found out what happened, I couldn’t help but just shake my head in disappointment. The guy willfully bypassed several safety devices and super-manned the system while it was running.

Since I had all of the risk assessments in order and all risks properly mitigated according to ISO 13849, it was determined to be a willful circumvention of an otherwise safe system. However, knowing that something I worked on essentially ended somebody’s life was not a great feeling.


Maybe He Wanted To Get Caught


I was hired to do payroll and accounts at a small welding/engineering firm. I was entering the timesheets and checking them against rosters and I realized that the tight-wad owner had been shorting employees almost 3 hours each week by not paying them for toolbox talks and all that stuff. I printed the proof, told the boys in the workshop, and walked straight out. Emailed the resignation from my car.


Totally Helpless


I drive a school bus for a school district. A co-worker I used to work with every day had a severe heart attack one time. She wasn’t on the bus; she had gotten in her personal car. Because she was one of the last to make it back to the base lot, nobody realized she was suffering. Her car was in park and she had her foot on the gas while she was literally dying.

They got her to the hospital, but she was too far gone. School bus drivers are at high risk for heart attacks, given that we are often sleep-deprived and overweight. I’m one of the youngest in my company and I’m still terrified.


That’s Not How This Is Going To Go


I worked at a Persian restaurant. I overcooked a steak slightly, the owner came back threw a plate at us, then a hot meat skewer, before storming off to his office. I dropped my apron, grabbed my bag, and told him I was leaving. He responded, “Okay at the end of the night you can go”. I said, “Clearly you don’t understand. I’m leaving right now, here’s my parking pass, I’ll expect my cheque in the mail”.


Caught Red-Handed


I work at a bar. One night, after closing and finishing up my cleaning, the supervisor made a round to check the premises. There was a locked stall in the washroom, so he got the master key thinking he’d need to wake someone up who had passed out inside. Upon opening the door, the supervisor was confronted with a startling sight.

It was a guy, with his pants down, making out with a woman. But here’s the kicker—the supervisor knew who the woman was. She was married to one of his friends…and the guy she was within the stall was NOT her husband!


Promises Are Cheap


I had asked for a raise and was told okay, no problem. Friday morning, I was told by the same person who agreed with the raise that I should put a few more years in and then we’ll talk again. Locked my toolbox at the end of the day and called my wife to come to pick me up. Shop manager was shocked on Monday to find an empty spot where my tools were and couldn’t understand why I left.


Dangerous Obsession


I work at a high school. One time, a student pulled a revolver on one of the teachers in the parking lot after school. Initially, we thought his motives were rooted in revenge, but the truth was much more shocking—he made her give him the undergarments she had on. When local authorities caught him later that day, he told them he did it simply because she was hot.


A Multi-Leveled Opportunity


Answered an ad in the paper for what seemed to be an office job making sales calls. I did a phone interview and was called back for an in-person interview. When I go to the interview, I’m led into a room with about 50 other people and a small stage at the front of the room. We’re all somewhat confused as to what is going on.

Finally, a guy gets on the stage and informs us that we’ve been selected for the opportunity to sell essential oils. Me and the majority of the others stood up and walked out.


Lost Appetite


I was a waitress a few years ago and someone placed a metal bottle cooler on top of a cupboard. When I opened the cupboard, the cooler fell on my forehead and split open between my eyes. I didn’t realize it was bleeding until I went out to serve someone. He was like, “Are you OK? Your head is bleeding”. I simply said, “What do you want to eat?” and his reply made me burst out laughing. He said: “I’m not hungry anymore”.


Loyalty Is Earned


Worked as a waiter at a place that promised me full-time hours but only gave me part-time hours. They expected me to be at the top of my game despite not paying me enough and barely giving me enough hours to survive. They scheduled me to work on the day I was taking my girlfriend, who was visiting from out of town, to the train station.

And when I asked for one hour off so I could take her to the station, they said no and lectured me on how I was no more special than anyone else who worked there. It was raining and there was a food festival in town, so the restaurant was empty all week. I left that day and never went back.


Hospital Chaos


I work as a nurse in an ICU. Two of my coworkers found out while on their shifts that they were “with” the same guy. They proceeded to physically fight each other in the hallway. That was chaotic enough, but then, out of nowhere, a patient started coding down the hallway and a family in another room set the trash can on fire. It was a wild, wild night shift.


Leroy The Wise


I used to cut grass in a cemetery. I used a push lawnmower and had to lift it up onto the elevated graves, and then back down and on to the next one. Over and over and over. Minimum wage was $4.25 an hour. After an hour of cutting grass in the August heat, I sit down for my break, and this guy named Leroy asks, “Was that worth $4.25 to you?” I quit the next day. Thanks Leroy.


Burnt To A Crisp


Real estate appraiser here. I’ve seen all kinds of screwed-up stuff. The worst one for me though was when I found a guy in the basement of a vacant, foreclosed house, flat on his back and a little charred. Apparently, he tried to take the electrical wiring (to add to his copper plumbing stash) and the electricity was still on. I’ll never forget the smell.


Solid Logic


I worked in a call center in the UK and was phoning people about buying porcelain cats on the day of the London bombings (07/07/05). A man that I rang told me he was waiting for his daughter to call to tell him she was OK and that it was immoral that I was ringing when so many people were waiting to hear from family. I couldn’t argue with that and walked out after that call.


I Regret Nothing


I worked as a pizza delivery driver. You see everything in my line of work. Our store is right on the edge of the city, so we deliver to the country towns a lot. The weirdest delivery I made involved a guy who paid me $150 to feed him a slice while he was in black leather from head to toe, tied to a door. I regret nothing.


Next Time, Bring A Shovel


Summer job working for a landscape architect. Got to the job site and he asked me to dig a hole in some rocky dirt. I asked for a shovel. He didn’t have one. I asked for a hand spade. He didn’t have one. Then he said something that actually made me laugh. He told me to just dig the hole with my bare hands and then he drove off to another site leaving me completely alone.

I dug for a little bit and then said, “Nope” and left. Had the job specified that I needed to supply my own tools, I could’ve but it didn’t and I wasn’t going to work for somebody that expected folks to dig through hard, rocky soil with their hands.


That’s Going To Be A No


I worked for a privately owned bakery for exactly one week. The owner’s son comes in, walks past the counter and into the bathroom. He comes out a few minutes later without acknowledging me or my coworker, gets into his car, and drives away. We both looked at each other, then opened the door. I wasn’t prepared for what we found inside. This guy made a disgusting mess all over the toilet seat and the toilet paper holder.

I called the owner, told her what happened and she said, “Deal with it”. I asked my coworker if she wanted to clean it up because I wasn’t going to. She declined and I told her I was walking out. She did as well. We locked up the store and told the owner we quit but would reconsider staying if her son came back to clean up his own mess. She yelled and berated us for 20 seconds before I said goodbye and hung up.


Behind The Door


My colleague was absent from work for a couple of days and she wasn’t answering their phone, so my boss and I went to her home. The building manager gave us a key to her apartment (which was totally against the law, I know), and we opened her unit. What we saw shook us to our cores—there she was, on the floor, completely lifeless.

Even before we entered, I had already smelled something sickly sweet and I just knew it wasn’t good. We had to wait for the ambulance service to come to declare her dead…Turns out, she was sick for days and she didn’t contact a doctor or anyone else. She just slowly wasted away at home. I will never forget that first look into the apartment.


Breach Of Privacy


I used to be a math tutor for high school kids back when I was in university. I was teaching this one 15-year-old kid, Chris, who had a 20-year-old sister who still lived at home. I was going over a geometry problem with him one day when his father started screaming in the living room, calling for the daughter to come out. They had an epic fight, with the father calling her every name in the book.

Chris and I were cowering in his room trying to figure out what was happening. Later on, we found out what really happened and our jaws dropped. Turns out, his sister had cheated on her ex-boyfriend and he found out a few months after the break-up. Instead of being the bigger man, her ex decided to mail them all the intimate pictures he had amassed of her during their time together.

He also sent a note confirming that he had found out about the cheating. Usually, our lessons last one hour, but I ended up staying three hours that time because the fight lasted so long. I ended up sneaking out because I didn’t want to trouble them about paying me that time. I mean, they already had enough issues.


Overwhelming Toxicity


I visited this one Brazilian family weekly. The couple had a tumultuous relationship—he ran around on her all the time and was known to give her a smack every now and then. Any time she spoke up, he threatened to kick her out. She was undocumented and he wasn’t, so she and her kids would have been homeless or worse.

The social worker and I had been secretly working with her for a while, trying to get the authorities involved, etc. Then, one day, I was doing therapy with the baby when the husband came out to show me the revolver he just bought. His next words were appalling—he said he got it so that he could “deal with anyone who messed with his family”.

I felt terrible because they pulled me out of the home right away and left the baby there. I don’t know what happened to that family. Worst of all, our Brazilian translator just brushed it off, saying, “Eh, that’s just how Brazilian marriages are. “ It broke my heart.


Doing Him Right


I used to work at a restaurant and one of the servers was having an affair with the general manager. I’m pretty sure she was literally a butt-kisser. She was awful to work with and a total snob. She got paid more than everyone else and she didn’t have the minimum wage that servers got. Her paycheck said she was a cook and she made an extra $2/hour plus tips.

She always got the “good” section of the restaurant. It was a seat yourself kind of place so some sections were consistently better than others for tips and she refused to pull her weight or help anyone when they were busy but would expect help from others when she was busy and even when she wasn’t busy she’d expect people to help her like bus her tables or make her drinks for her which was part of the server’s job.

And she was allowed to do that because she was literally doing the boss in the office during work. And that’s how everyone knew.


The Call Is Coming From Inside The Pool


I worked as a night auditor at an old hotel. One night at around 2am, I got a phone call from the pool room, which was supposed to be closed. I picked up the phone to answer and all I heard was very heavy breathing. I hung up the phone to check the cameras, and all the lights are on in the pool room. So I go down the hallway to kick out whoever it is in there.

As I get close to the glass door, it’s so cold that I can see my breath, the door is completely fogged over, and all the lights are out. I open the door and the light above me comes on, because they’re motion sensor lights. I am looking around but I don’t see anything. Then the light comes on across the pool from me, but again, nothing is there.

Then every light in a path begins to light up around one side of the pool as if something is walking towards me. I ran out of there so fast and locked myself in my manager’s office and stayed until sunrise—but the worst was yet to come. I had played it off in my head as insects causing the motion sensor lights to go off.

I was telling my manager about my whole spooky experience, thinking he would get a good laugh. When I told him about the phone call from the pool, he didn’t laugh at all. He asked me if I was 100% positive the caller ID said the pool room, and I said yeah. Then he told me there hasn’t been a phone in the pool room for 30 years.

I told him there was no way, because that would be impossible. I knew what I saw on the call display. He told me to go look for myself. I looked and there was no phone. I didn’t believe in the supernatural at all before that. But to this day, no matter how many ways I try to rationalize it, I just can’t. It is completely unexplainable.


Throwing The Baby Out With The Bathwater


I’m a retired paramedic. I’ve seen a lot of messed up stuff—but one moment was worse than all the rest. I was once told to immediately place a freshly delivered newborn baby back inside of its mother’s body. She delivered in a transport ambulance en route to the Weill Cornell Medical Center. She then lost her mind over the fact that her baby wasn’t born in a hospital and, furthermore, not born in a good hospital.

As a result, the mother then told me to “hold the baby in with your freaking hand!” I explained that this wouldn’t work and that we were having this child on 3rd Avenue. She completely flipped out and started yelling at me like a complete lunatic. Finally, she and I made an agreement that I would say that the baby was still inside her body until we backed up at the hospital driveway.

I guess this satisfied her requirement of her kid being born at a hospital versus next to a dry cleaner’s on 3rd Avenue. So, as far as that kid knows, she was born in the Weill Cornell Emergency Room Ambulance Bay. She will never have any idea how much turmoil surrounded her birth, and how unreasonable a request I was given in the process.


So Much for Privacy Settings


I was interviewing for a big promotion at my old job. I had put in the time, the hours, and the effort for this promotion, and I had been passed up a few times, so I was sending out resumes while trying to get this promotion. I go through the first interview, and everything seemed great. They invited me for the second interview.

I was so excited. Flash forward two days, and I go in for the interview. The interview is with the regional and site managers. Everything is going great, they are asking me, “What are your priorities, goals, etc”. At the end, the site manager changes his posture and says, “Would you say that you’re a loyal employee?”

Taken aback, I say, of course, I’ve been here almost two years, etc. And like a shark circling his prey, this dude turns his computer monitor around, and shows me my PRIVATE Facebook posts that I posted that I was in the market for a job in the same field. Now, there’s no way he could have seen this, as it was a friends-only post.

Someone I work with had to have tattled on me here. He then proceeds to read them to me out loud, not only the posts about my job search, but personal posts about my health situation and questions that I didn’t bring up to anybody other than personal friends. I look at the regional manager and this guy won’t look me in the eyes, he is shifting, obviously uncomfortable.

I tried to say that I was looking just in case this promotion didn’t work out, as I am a college student paying my way through school, but he kept interrupting me and saying, “Loyalty is key”. He then tells me, “We will think about it,” and points toward the door. The regional manager kind of coughs and goes to shake my hand, but by that point, I was already out the door.

So I said “Thanks anyway,” and then proceed to have the most uncomfortable walk back to my desk—I was wearing heels for the first time in like a year so I stumbled on my way out the door—with coworkers asking for the details if I got the promotion. I didn’t get the job. I think the whole thing was just an “in your face” type deal.

I went on to get a promotion in a different department. I worked there for about another year and a half, and then I moved on to work for Netflix, actually. So, it all worked out! That manager was unfortunately promoted to regional, but the replacement manager was much nicer and not a huge jerk.


Blame Game


These last couple of weeks I have been under quite a lot of stress. This is not because it is busy but because apparently when I had a cash strip on my register, rather than it being sent up in the aerocom tube system we have, it was apparently found on top of the till. This was even though I never put it there, and very clearly put it in our tube system and was sending it up.

It struck me as odd because I would never leave money lying about. The only place that I would put it would be under the till if I didn’t have the tube system available, and even then I would try to notify management about the strip. Since the money was found on top of the till and my name was associated to the strip, this got taken up all the way to management.

As a result, they were trying to figure out what happened since this was nearly $3,000 left on top of the till. I was naturally confused because I know I put that money in the tube. Then it went from bad to worse. Just a few days after I had received my final warning, I had forgotten that I put money under my till and it was found later that day.

The management, of course, wondered how this would happen twice. For the latter half, I take responsibility as I simply forgot the money was there. But for the former I vehemently claim that I put the money in the tube to be sent up. Then management reviewed the video evidence of the first time about how the money was found on top of the till.

It turns out that a cashier took the money out of the tube system because the tube failed to go up, and had left the money there on top of the till. However, because my name was on the receipt of cash strip it was therefore on me. So even if it wasn’t my fault, because someone moved the money on top of the till, they still nearly got me fired from my job.

As my managers were discussing things, they talked to HR to more or less approve a termination, but HR was saying a couple things didn’t really add up, and that it was more of lack of understanding/mastery of the procedures/policies than negligence or malice. At that point, management looked at me and said, “Don’t do it again, or else we will fire you”.

That is completely fine with me as I have no intent of doing so. But I still can’t help but feel awful that someone may or may not have intentionally tried to get me fired from my job when it could have been as simple as pressing the button to send the strip up to the vault. I do my best to own up to my mistakes, and as mentioned in the latter half, I take full responsibility for that.


Mystery Man


I worked in McDonald’s before I went to university. There was this one man who came through the drive-thru—he was in his late 30s and was clearly a farmer from the look of his vehicle and his dog in the back. He was always pretty quiet, but I remember a couple of times that he tried to make nice small talk. When I worked on New Year’s, he asked me how things were and said I should be out having fun my age.

I remember thinking he always seemed really lonely or sad when he drove through since he’d always try to carry a conversation with me. I felt bad having to be quick with him because he just seemed like he wanted someone to talk to. Long story short, he drove through one day and asked if my last name was what he thought it was. After a sideways glance from my manager, I said it was.

He looked really sad and took his hat off. Then he said something that shocked me to my core. He told me that he was my dad. My biological mother didn’t know who my dad was, so it was possible. My manager let me go on break to speak with him. He then explained that he slept with my mother around the time that she got pregnant, and he was only 16. He was really apologetic and also seemed ashamed of what he did.

He told me he was sorry he didn’t seek me out. He was from a town about an hour’s drive away, so that was a part of it. And no one ever showed up to tell him he was a dad or anything. I told him I was happy with my life, but I still gave him my number and told him to give me a ring sometime. So yeah, that’s how I met my dad. My biological dad, I should say.

After a few years when I heard from my biological mother again, she agreed that he was who she thought the father was. We went out for coffee three or four times, but we didn’t have much to talk about. He and I never really maintained contact—the last time we spoke, he told me he’d been diagnosed with MS. He had a couple of sons, but I was his only daughter and he said that he was grateful we had met.


Really Guys?


I was promoted to VP of a struggling company. There were tons of employee issues, so I arranged for a random drug test. All employees, including the CEO. When we got the results back, we were shocked. We had to fire everybody in the company except for myself and the CEO, because we learned that we were the only clean people on the entire team. Goodbye team.


Right In The Shredder


I’m a small business owner and was interviewing applicants for a sales position when a guy in his mid-20s came in with an older woman. I had a pretty good idea it was his mother but before I could even ask, she started telling me about her son’s best qualities. I stopped her, told her she would have to wait in her car, and she started yelling that she had every right to be there.

Her son turned bright pink. I again told her she had to wait outside and had one of my employees escort her out. He seemed like a nice enough kid and went to an excellent college but there was no way I was going to hire an adult who showed up to a job interview with his mother and I told him so. It was also pretty clear that he was extremely shy.

I told him I would continue the interview so he could get some experience but he needs to leave his mother home and learn to speak up for himself. Once he started talking, I became more impressed by him and my business was growing pretty well so I told him I would hold on to his resume and consider him if another position opened up. I thought it went well—but I didn’t know what was coming next.

I was in with the next applicant when his mother came storming in, yelling like a lunatic. Her son just stood next to her with a look of defeat as she screamed that she would be suing if her son wasn’t hired. I again had to have an employee walk them out then I threw his resume in the garbage.


Let’s Go To The Tape


A colleague checked out of the mediocre but adequate hotel where we were having a conference and checked into a 5-star luxury resort. She then submitted an expense report for her stay. She claimed that she felt unsafe in the original hotel, but did not elaborate. Someone called the hotel, which checked the security camera footage. We all thought she was crazy, but we were proven way wrong.

At least four separate men tried to enter her room that first night. No wonder she left.


Echoes of a Screaming Mailbox


Working from home had been a blessing, until the day my boss saw me during a video call, comfortably dressed in my 'regular clothes'. His reaction was shockingly disproportionate. He went batshit crazy, questioning my professionalism and my respect for the job. The rage in his eyes was so intense it felt like I was arguing with a wall. He spat out an ultimatum, 'Tomorrow, you'll wear what I told you to wear or you're fired.'

The next day, as I logged into the morning call, wearing my usual comfortable attire, I was greeted by my boss's irate face. He snapped, 'I thought we were clear?!' I nodded calmly, 'Yes, but first, check your email.' The screen went blank as he minimized the call window. A moment of silence passed before his voice filled my ears, this time with an even higher pitch. His screams were like music to my ears. It was the sound of justice. His email held my resignation letter, attached with a detailed explanation about the human rights violation due to his unreasonable demands. His power was nullified in an instant. His reign of tyranny was over, at least over me.

Karen - The Savior


Karen tried to set our store on fire. She had recently bought a phone from our store and a few days later she came in, screaming, “What kind of phone is this?! I keep getting messages from you every 30 minutes!!” My manager and I looked at each other in disbelief. No one had sent her any messages so I took the phone. I ran a diagnostic. The phone started heating up and I got a message on my phone, “Stop.” from an unknown number. Suddenly, my boss runs in, “I need to go home, my wife texted me.” and ran out. It took me a minute but I realized it wasn’t his wife who texted him. I tried to call him, but it was too late. We immediately called the police and informed them of a hacker attack on our company and that our boss was most likely in danger. Luckily they got to his house first, where a white van was waiting outside his house. Likely people that were willing to rob him or do god knows what. We gave Karen a free replacement phone and a discount for the rest of the year.




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