Nobody really likes speaking with their bosses, even the best ones. We get nervous, we automatically think we’ve messed up, we start worrying they know something we don’t. But the worst day with our mediocre boss is nothing compared to what these Redditors had to deal with when it came to their crazy supervisors—and occasionally their own co-workers.
1. Time Is Of The Essence
My boss once accused me of "time clock thievery" while I was doing volunteer work. It was a simple volunteer gig, like it wasn’t a major organization and nobody was keeping track of hours for anything. My volunteer work was also not court-mandated. We were cleaning up at the end of the day and I answered a phone call. The supervisor got all angry at me, saying "Get off the phone! That's time clock thievery!"
2. They Are Out To Get You
After working at Subway for five years, three of those being a manager, I was accused of turning off the cameras in the store and getting high in the cooler. It was absolutely untrue, and I quit shortly after. But then I found out the chilling truth. In the end, it turned out the owner, who hated me for no reason, was just trying to set me up to fire me.
3. Watch Your Language
I once used the phrase "more than one way to skin a cat" around a manager who had never heard the phrase. She called me into her office later to ask why I was saying such disgusting things, accused me of being a sicko who kills animals, and then threatened to fire me if she heard anything like it ever again. She had never heard the phrase before.
4. A High Price To Pay
At my last job, I must have been fired 30-40 times. Each time I left, knowing that I would be called back the next morning with my boss begging to have me meet him for breakfast. In most cases, I was paid $100 just to accept my old job back. Other times, I was given a raise or a paid day off, which are both unheard of in my industry. You'd think this crazy guy would just learn to mind his temper, but I guess he liked paying (literally) for each of his mistakes.
5. An Honest Day’s Work
Last night, my manager called me stupid and uneducated. Her reasons were mind-blowing. It was for not cheating a customer out of 15 dollars due to a computer error. She thought it was obvious I should lie about the error and garner another whopping 15 dollars from the struggling hospitality industry. Today I go in for a meeting to get scolded for not lying, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to burst into tears.
6. The Perfect Revenge
My first job with the state was awful. My supervisor was an idiot in every sense of the word. I remember once, I was called into a meeting with our bureau chief. He asked us some questions about office matters, and my supervisor flat-out made up lies about me that were completely against my character. I couldn't hold in my frustration and blew up at her.
I told my bureau chief I wasn't there to play childish games, and then walked out of the meeting. I ended up winning that one and got a promotion that paid twice as much as that terrible supervisor. It was one of those awesome revenge moments where nobody got hurt.
7. Stay Hydrated For The Haters
I'm on a diet that requires me to drink a metric ton of water, so I carry around a 1 liter Nalgene bottle at all times. I'm a mid-level manager at a 60-person company. At the end of the work day, on my way out I pass the water cooler and fill my bottle up for the commute home. I thought this was no big deal—I was extremely mistaken about that.
Yesterday I was doing just that when our office manager walked up and said the following: "You're leaving for the day, water is for employees to drink when they are working in the office only". I laughed it off, finished filling my bottle, and headed home. I thought she was kidding, or at the very worst having a bad day and lashing out.
Well, she wasn't. Today I get into the office with an email from her to myself, my boss (our CEO/founder), and our HR person saying that I am stealing from the company, that I didn't stop filling my water bottle and immediately apologize when confronted, and that she is officially reporting this behavior and asking to have it documented.
Needless to say, we all had a pretty good laugh about it, my boss/CEO called me in an absolute fit of laughter—he could barely form a sentence he was laughing so hard. Someone else wrote "Is proper hydration good for the company?" on my water bottle. Our office manager, however, is just walking by my office and glaring at me this morning.
8. Drawing A Line In The Store
I was working retail at Best Buy at the time, and they had me working in MP3 players and cell phones department, despite the fact that DVDs/video games were really more my wheelhouse. But I worked where they told me and I did my job well. During Christmas season, it got really busy so everyone was running around helping every department.
I was hanging out in my own section when a woman comes over, asks about some headphones, and I help her. She then asks me if the Dance Revolution mat she bought for her daughter is any good. I ask if she has any of the games (she didn't) and showed her a slightly more expensive (but better) copy of a Konami mat with a game.
She thanked me since she didn't even know it needed a game to go with it and went off. I thought I’d done a good thing—but my boss’s response was ridiculous. My department manager comes up behind me, tells me to meet him in the breakroom in five minutes, and then rips into me for selling something related to video games.
He says that the department with the best revenue gets bonuses (only true for him, not for the rest of us below him) and we shouldn't be helping customers who are in other sections to get more expensive things. He says he'd be shocked if I made it past the winter. I just say "Yes, sir," and go back to work. Come January, I get fired by "department manager recommendation".
So, when you go to Best Buy, know that all the departments have their own agendas with you.
9. What A Load Of Garbage
I had an employer of mine write me up for stealing trash. In reality, at the end of my shift, one of my duties was to gather all the trash. Oftentimes, I would pick through the trash and sort all the paper, pop cans, and water bottles into our company's recycle bin. We had a special promotion with our trash company in which our company would get money based on the number of pounds we recycled.
It ended up being $1,500 per month AND we didn't pay our trash bill. So long story short, I got a final write-up for stealing company time for sorting our recyclables. But it gets worse. So I stopped, and the following month, our manager was angry that she had to pay a trash bill. She called the trash company and the company told her that the past two years she didn't pay for trash because our company would recycle so much.
Like, we would get a $1,500 check AND free trash service. Apparently, my boss thought that the checks were a bonus for her. Anyhow, the district manager was reviewing the write-ups and saw I got written up for stealing trash, so he called me up and asked me what was going on. I told him the story about the trash company and their promotion.
He congratulated me for a job well done. Then it got so, so good. The next day he flew in to talk to my manager. He asked my manager what happened to the $20,000 that she got from the trash company. Apparently, she tried to pin it back on me, and our district manager promptly fired her. After escorting her out, he called me into the office.
He told me what happened in that meeting and offered me a promotion to Assistant Manager.
10. Back-End Shrimp Deals
I worked in a restaurant for a couple of years as a day supervisor. One of my duties was doing the twice-weekly ordering. When the deliveries came in, I would have to verify that we actually got everything on the invoice and reconcile it with the driver if there were any problems. One day there's a case of shrimp missing. I note this with the driver, he marks it on the invoice, removes it, and updates the total.
About a month or two later the same situation happens again, with the same result. As a quick aside, I had almost no power to do anything as a "supervisor". I didn't make hiring decisions, I couldn't fire anybody, and nobody would really listen to me since my other coworkers were all in their 40s or older and I was some 19-year-old kid in college with a better position than they had.
Despite all that, I still had a good relationship with everyone. So anyway, one of the cleaning people would drink during their shift CONSTANTLY. I complained to the head chef, I complained to the general manager, and nobody cared. Finally, one day, it became a big deal because she no-call/no-showed or something like that. That’s when I found out what a snake she was.
She accused me of stealing stuff to get some heat off of her. Shortly after this, I'm approached by the HR/finance lady about these missing cases of shrimp that we didn't pay for and never got. She comes out acting very suspicious of me, saying, "Somebody sure likes shrimp!" suggesting that I was in cahoots with the delivery driver to take shrimp.
I HATE seafood, so naturally, I laughed at first, but got really angry when I found out she was serious. After that, it was tense between everybody I used to have good relationships with because they thought I sold this other person up the river to save my own shrimp-stealing butt. I quit shortly after. Still one of the most ridiculous sagas of my life.
11. Nickle And Diming
I got accused of pilfering a salad when I worked as a cashier at a grocery store while in high school. Because they had scheduled me for 6.5 hours, I only qualified for a 15-minute break, not a 30-minute. So I spend the first eight or so minutes of my break on the phone with a mechanic working out issues with my car. I then run back to the little cafe near the back of the store.
It has a salad bar and I make a quick salad, which you weigh and price there. By this time, I had about five minutes left on break, and the manager was very strict about not going over your 15 minutes. So I stand at the cafe register for a good minute, and no one is to be found. I quickly eat my salad, and then take the sticker up to the front registers to pay for the $1.99 salad.
I go back on the clock, and about 20 minutes later I am called into the office. Their words are super ominous. They say a "situation" has occurred, but don't tell me what. They said they are sending me home for the day. So I come back in the next day for my shift, and they call me into the office again. In the office is the store manager, the assistant manager, the office manager, the cafe manager, and my shift supervisor.
Mind you, I am a 16-year-old kid at their first job who had never been in any sort of trouble. This is when they accuse me of stealing the salad because, "Despite purchasing the salad, as our records do indicate, you consumed the salad before the purchase". WHAT. I explained to them how the cashier at the cafe was nowhere to be found at the time.
I said how if I wanted to eat during my break at that point, I would have had to eat it back in the cafe and then pay for it upfront. They tell me to go home, and that they will contact me tomorrow regarding if I keep my job or not. I left in tears, but then got really angry at the severe overreaction, so I came back in an hour later and told them I quit. Still glad I did.
12. The Stuffed Elephant In The Room
I worked in a souvenir shop at an amusement park. It was the fourth of July, AKA one of the busiest days because of the park's fireworks show. We were also understaffed. The shop was just inside the gate, so it would get swamped just before closing, as people bought the stuff they didn't want to walk around with all day.
I was left alone in the shop just before closing time, running the cash register as people flowed in. It was utter chaos. While closing out the register that night, someone noticed that a large stuffed animal had been stolen. My trouble started here. The manager simply could not fathom that one person manning a swamped store can't prevent theft because not all the displays are within sight of the register.
I think it must have been a team effort, with one or two people getting my attention in one area while the other walked off with the toy, but I didn't say that because I really didn't know when or how it happened. But my boss then accused me of being in on it and looking the other way while a friend took it so we could profit later. I didn't even know what to say.
I was 17, it was my first job, and I cried for days under the assumption that every job I'd ever hold would be like that one.
13. Pick Up The Phone
My former boss kept odd working hours, popped a lot of sleeping pills, would work for two days straight, and then not show up for a day. Stuff like that. A real piece of work, and definitely manic. We would have the same meetings and go over the same items multiple times. I don't know what demons caused all this behavior, they seemed to be manifestations of something larger.
Anyway, the dude was also a horrible driver and had outstanding tickets out the wazoo. But he was never late for a scheduled meeting, no matter what mental state he was in. Until one day it all changed. A meeting comes up and he is nowhere to be found. We all find this strange and I make the comment to a couple of co-workers, "I bet he is behind bars".
No sooner had these words left my lips then the phone rings on the desk of one the co-workers. His practice is to never take a call from an unknown number, but he takes a look at the caller ID and the abbreviated text alludes to the local county lock-up. I say, "Told you so, he is making his one phone call!" 10 seconds later, the other co-worker's phone rings, he picks it up.
The man was picked up sleep-driving and eating a bag of cheese puffs wearing nothing but a bathrobe. Classic.
14. The Thief Is Coming From Inside The House
When I worked at Circuit City, I had an 80 GB iPod that my dad had given me because he no longer needed it (it was practically brand new). When I first plugged it into my computer, it came up as "Richard's iPod". Well, one day it's in my purse that I kept under my counter while I was working. It goes missing. I couldn't understand how it had gotten taken.
It had been one of the slowest days ever. Nonetheless, I was pretty freaking bummed out about it. Additionally, this happened during a time when the case we kept iPods at work in was broken and it was terribly easy to take them, and many had gone missing. Fast-forward a few weeks later, my co-worker tells me my former department manager, who had recently left for another job, thought I was the one taking iPods.
Apparently, he got into my purse when I wasn't looking and took it to check the serial number, but never gave it back because I was flipping out and causing a bit of scene, walking around asking everyone if they'd seen anyone take it. I was so mad.
15. Covering His Butt
In one of my darker life periods, I was doing part-time tech support for a dinky computer shop here in town. The owner was a pill-popping nutjob that kept a loaded piece in a drawer in the front desk, and regularly cheated his customers. Anyway, I'm working one day, and one of the other techs who had been there forever and a half tells me to go install a modem in some guy's computer.
I'm shaking my head, because this is in 2009 and I can't believe anyone would be requesting a modem. I ask him if he's sure before I go out there. He said he was. So, I go out, and sure enough, he doesn't need a modem at all. He needs a wireless card or adapter. I call, go back to the store, get the card, head back to the customer’s, install it, head back, and yell at the guy for being a jerk.
After all, common sense would tell anyone reasonably competent that he didn't need a modem. This came back to bite me—hard. Next week the boss comes in and fires me because the other guy made up some absolute garbage about me drilling a hole in a motherboard to fix a PC, which made no sense whatsoever. On my way out, I rolled my eyes and said "Fine, whatever".
I grabbed my stuff and left. The owner freaks out and follows me into the parking lot, yelling and screaming and ranting and raving and trying to pick a fight. I just calmly walked to my car, went home, and had a drink. I found out later that shortly thereafter the other guy was busted for stealing and the owner went bankrupt. Which, I could have seen that coming.
16. Big Swings, Big Misses
Several years ago, I was working for a sporting goods store as the customer service desk guy. Mostly what I did was returns and some special stuff with Ticketmaster and hunting/fishing licenses. While it wasn't a glamorous job, I liked it because I'm an outdoors guy, and so the clientele were fun to talk to. One day, we were informed we were getting a new general manager.
The old one—who decent guy, but distant—was being transferred. The new manager was a raving harpy. She enjoyed making employees upset, didn't care at all about our customers, did nothing to improve anything about the store, and kept the other managers in her office with endless meetings about "improving" the store. After a few months of this, and seeing some of the teens hired to work crying after her ranting at them, I had enough.
I wrote a rather eloquent letter to corporate about her behavior and actions, and had several employees sign it. Two days later, several regional higher-ups arrived and proceeded to chew her out big time. She was suspended for two weeks and told that if the store didn't improve within the next quarter, she'd be fired. But that's just the beginning of the story.
I thought I had won. But no, I had not. Apparently, she found out it was me who wrote the letter and wanted revenge. So she got into the computer system and started to fake records showing I had been selling gift cards to myself, pocketing the cash difference, and then buying merchandise with those cards. It was mostly candy/pop/small stuff, which she was probably pocketing since our counts weren't ever off.
She then called in loss prevention, who weren't doing their jobs too well, because they didn't look closely at the files because they believed it and called in the county sheriffs. Two deputies came and looked over the evidence. To their credit, they asked "Are you sure?" and "Can you explain this?" several times, and I got the feeling they were unsure about the whole mess.
Nice guys, too, they offered to take me out through the back instead of parading me past customers, and were generally courteous and respectful. Still, the hammer came down hard. They ended up arresting me on theft charges. Taken to the pokey, booked, the whole shebang. I was in tears for pretty much three days. But I knew this was garbage, so I got my parents to help hire a lawyer for me.
I told him the whole story, and said under no circumstance were we pleading out to anything. He said ok and set up a meeting with the DA to talk about motions and such. When we arrived, the DA was all smiles and very polite. His response made me want to burst out laughing. He informed me that the paperwork wasn't quite done yet, but that they were dropping all charges and filing False Report charges against my old manager.
The investigators had looked over the evidence, and found that A) the files for almost three months’ worth of "thefts" had all been edited on two days, both of which I had not been present for, but that she had, B) they had all been edited from her computer, a computer I did not have access to, and C) several of the "thefts" occurred on days when I was in the system as being out of state on vacation.
I felt a lot happier after that, and felt even better when my ex-boss was found to have fled the state. She had checked herself into a mental hospital for a "nervous breakdown". She was eventually brought back, charged, and convicted. Last I saw she was an assistant manager at a gas station, while I'm now a federal firefighter and in school. It's only after I saw her pumping gas that I could claim victory over her.
17. A Kindred Spirit
I worked in retail as a cashier at a pet store for a long time, and occasionally when there was nothing going on I would just grab a couple of tennis balls and juggle them to keep myself amused. I'm pretty good at it, can do three in all sorts of weird ways without looking at it or thinking about it, so I converse with customers perfectly normally when I need to.
Most of them find it funny. If I didn’t think they would, I'd stop before they even made it close to conversation range, and I'd done it long enough that I was a pretty good judge of that kind of thing. Cue a day such as that, I'm bored and juggling while I watch the front door. A family comes in with little kids, and they laugh at the juggling and come talk to me for a little while.
They talk about reptiles (and juggling) while I try to teach one of their sons (five or six years old) how to juggle because he asked me to. Good times were had by all. They walk off and do their shopping with their little son trying to juggle the mini tennis balls I gave him. Immediately I get called into the back by the assistant manager who decides he's going to rip me a new one.
Apparently, I was being disrespectful to the customers by juggling and not giving them my full attention. I respectfully (perhaps sarcastically, no promises) disagree, and when he looks to the other manager in the room to back him up, you could just tell the guy was completely uninterested in getting involved, and he basically had nothing bad to say.
The assistant manager continues to lay into me a bit more, says he's going to work with me on not being disrespectful like that and if it continued we'd have to have a talk about my employment. I leave. A month later, a new store manager gets hired, walks to the front with the assistant manager, and sees me juggling. The assistant manager gets the look like he's about to rip me a new one.
But the store manager laughs, compliments me on my juggling, goes and grabs his own tennis balls, and starts juggling too. Ah man, the look on the assistant manager's face...priceless.
18. On To Bigger, Better Things
A year after I started working for a company as a designer, my wife got pregnant with our first child. This was an office filled mostly with middle-aged women (I was in my mid-late 20s) and they were all excited. They even threw us a baby shower. All goes well and my son is born. I take two weeks’ vacation time to be with my wife and child.
It was two weeks that I had saved up. I come back to a nightmare. First, my boss is suddenly very aloof and non-communicative with me where previously she and I were pretty close. This goes on for several months…until I learn budget cuts have eliminated my position effective in six months from the time I found out. Except…that wasn’t the real reason.
Through my co-workers, I found out that my boss was angry that I had a baby and that I "wasn't dedicated to the cause". She was also at the budget meeting and initially, there were no cuts to our division, but she threw me under the bus saying my work was non-essential. So here I am with a young family and staring down the barrel of unemployment.
Turns out, though, that another company had been following my work and were eager to sign me on. Needless to say, I didn't do anything for the next six months and am now happy at my current position and making more moolah to boot. Their company is now failing and I poached one of their biggest clients on the way out.
19. A Penny Pincher
A friend of mine used to work for a well-known communications company. One day, the CEO of the company visited the office. He went into the break room and counted the supplies. He then announced that he could tell from the proportion of coffee to sweetener that people were taking the sweetener and taking it home. He then ordered the discontinuation of coffee service for all company offices.
20. An Interesting Accusation
I worked at Sears, and I gave someone 0% financing for six months on their Sears card on a purchase. I thought we were running a promotion at the time, though it turned out we were not. Later, they threatened to fire me for stealing, saying I had taken the money they might have made on the interest if the person had not made payments.
21. Take An Umbrella, Cause A Ruckus
My friend works at a very large pharmaceutical company at the San Diego office. Now, in San Diego it hardly ever rains, so very few people have umbrellas. Well, on the day of the company Christmas party, it happened to be raining. In the lobby at the security desk they have a pool of umbrellas to loan out to people that don't have umbrellas. Great!
So my friend borrowed one, went to his car, and drove off to the Christmas party. A good time was had by all. At about 10 pm, after leaving the Christmas party, he gets a phone call from his department manager. "Did you take an umbrella?" "Huh?" "Did you take an umbrella from the lobby today?" "Oh…yeah". "Dude, return the umbrella".
"Yeah, I will bring it back tomorrow". He couldn’t believe his boss’s next reply. "No…I need you to go bring it back. Right. Now. You can’t imagine the trouble this has caused". Well, it turns out that the understanding on the umbrellas is, you return them on the same day. Like, you are supposed to take the umbrella, go to your car, then come back to the front and run in to return the umbrella.
Someone who I can only imagine is both a huge witch was having a bad day, needed an umbrella, and went to get on from the front desk to find there were none there. She asked where they all were and the security guard, who I imagine was also having a bad day and is a huge jerk, told her "Well, this guy borrowed one hours ago and never brought it back".
This woman then went on a rampage, calling HR and the manager of the entire site, and my friend's boss, and everyone else she could think of to complain about the sanctity of the shared umbrellas being ruined. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and nothing came of it, but for a few hours, the fact my friend borrowed an umbrella was treated by many people at the pharma company as if he had pilfered the recipe for the cure for cancer.
22. Slow Your Roll
I used to work for a Kroger in Little Rock, Arkansas as a cake decorator part-time. I was never actually trained for the job except how to properly put frosting on the cake or how to make a shell border. Everything else was pretty much self-taught. I used what artist skills I have to not only do a shell border, but also add art nouveau style borders with it, as well as create custom character cakes for birthdays if our store didn't have the cake kit to make it with.
I had created cakes that were unique. I created a "premium" chocolate cake by using chocolate frosting, then using malt balls to create grape vines all over it. It sold 15 minutes after I put it on the cooler, so I had to make another. Also, you know those little "cupcake cakes" where they take a bunch of cupcakes and make a character? Yeah, I did Goombas and Mario mushrooms from those.
After working there for about three months, the bakery manager called me over to the side and told me that the "head cake designer" complained that I was too slow at making the cakes, and because of that, I was now required to stand up for seven hours straight making sandwiches until they feel I can become fast enough to make cakes again.
I later found out from other employees that it wasn't that I was slow…it was because no one was buying the cakes she was making.
23. You’ve Got The Wrong Idea
In high school, I got into a fist fight at a party, and my opponent popped me in the nose. There was no bruising to my face, so there were no obvious signs of the altercation. I worked at a grocery store, and the next day I was helping my manager pull cases of toilet paper off a high-stock room shelf. I was up on the rack, tossing the cases down to him.
While doing this, my nose started bleeding again and dripped blood on his pristine white shirt. He got incredibly angry, pulled me into his office, and accused me of doing substances on the job. He suspended me right then and there. Also, I was in a "work program" with my high school, and it nearly caused me to fail that portion of the class. But I had a plan to get him back.
Fortunately, I was in a union, and filed a grievance. I got paid for the time lost, and had my grade for the work program class restored. But none of this was easy, and I was being accused of being an addict the entire time. I experienced several nail-biting weeks where I wondered if I was going to be able to graduate, all because this guy made a huge assumption.
24. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
I was living in Boston at the time, and the city got hit with an epic snowstorm/Nor'easter. Like the good little worker bee I am, though, I shovel out and brave the "state of emergency" to limp up the highway to work. "State of Emergency" means that many businesses (and sometimes the highways) are shut down. An Adult Snow Day, if you will.
When I get there, I just get to work, but my manager feels the need to castigate me for being 20 minutes late. I give him a "you're an interesting specimen" look and get back to work. That night, I had a previous engagement planned. I had already cleared leaving early with my manager, and by the way, I'm a salaried employee. When the end of the day neared, I packed up to go home.
It was a whopping 30 minutes early. I wanted to leave early, knowing that I would probably be a bit late due to the snow—but also knowing that the company is very sensitive about "clocking out early". So I walk out and am trudging to my car, when, you guessed it, my manager comes running out again. He asks me why I am leaving early.
I gently remind him about my prior engagement, and the conversation we had about it. He says, "Yeah, but you came in LATE this morning. You have to make up that time or you are STEALING from the company". I just looked at him. Then I turned around and left anyway. What a small person he is. Needless to say probably, I don't work there anymore.
25. Taking A Little Off The Top
I worked at this expensive little supermarket in an uppity part of Connecticut. I got called to the service desk/floor management office and it turns out exactly $50 dollars was missing from my till. I didn't take it and a low-level manager whom everyone disliked actually rationalized, in my defense, the loss by saying that it's possible that some bills could have stuck together.
That in itself is unlikely because bills over $20 go in the part of the tray with the checks. Anyway, flash forward a few weeks and I'm starting to know how things typically work in that supermarket. At closing, all our till trays go in a large safe and when the last tray is in it gets locked right after that. But that one generally disliked manager seemed to take her time at the end of the night when locking up the safe and closing the store down.
Every time she would do this, within the next few days another person would get pulled aside for discrepancies. I get called in the office again because now $80 went missing, and I get a talking to and a warning. I quit sometime later, but the truth eventually came out. It turns out this manager would dip into the tills at the end of the night and pinch a few bills.
I don't know if it was exactly what it appeared she was doing, but I know she did get caught taking money nonetheless, in the same manner. Apparently, this manager would also, every few weeks, shop at the place she worked at and barely pay a thing. She would hand in dozens of receipts for bottle returns each time and coupons. The coupons weren't suspicious in itself.
It was the bottle return receipts. Nearly every one of them were from different times of the day, different days of the week. I even recognized a few. She eventually got caught stealing by reusing bottle return receipts from the tills.
26. You Should Have Known Better
At my work, they found a girl in the bathroom huffing hairspray. They watched the tape and accused me of selling it to her knowingly. I told them I'm not going to card people buying hairspray.
27. To Infinity And Below
I was a chemist working for the government. To measure density, we used to use "pyncometers", which were defined volume vessels with a hole for a thermometer. We would then perform our analysis on an old balance. In short, it was a total mess and very hard to work with. We had extra money in the budget, so I bought an electronic density apparatus for a new balance.
Anyway, my team leader, who was in his 70s, had no idea how it worked—so he forbid me from using it. But he didn’t stop there. He then ends up telling the lab director that I was "making up science with the balances". Concerned, the lab director walked me into the wet lab and I showed him how this new piece of equipment would save us hours of work.
I did not get the response I wanted. He just laughed and said this is the government, what’s the hurry? Pretty sad.
28. Honesty Apparently Isn’t The Best Policy
I work as an editor in television. Once, I did a series for a production company and was told many times by the big bosses how wonderful my storytelling was. After the show ended, they asked me to stay and help edit some shows they had been doing for years. Day one of the new gig, the show's producer asks me what I think about the new show".
Honest opinion?" I ask. "Of course" she says. "It's too slow, every episode feels the same and I learn nothing about the subject matter. With a little massaging we could make it a much more interesting show", I reply. I was fired two weeks later because my "editorial pacing" is off. I can't prove it, but I know that witch producer whined about me bagging on her precious show.
One of the heads of the company actually had tears in her eyes when she let me go because I was giving her a "what the heck" look the whole time. Silver lining: My next gig doubled my salary and got me an Emmy for editing! Suck it!
29. It Doesn’t Cut The Mustard
I worked as a shift supervisor for a sandwich shop. We had a girl come in and order a number of sandwiches. It was obvious that they weren't all for her, because she wasn't sure what the rest of the people wanted. Well, she ordered a sandwich with Dijon mustard on it. She only specified "mustard" but I'd been working here for a few years and knew the routine.
I asked her repeatedly if DIJON MUSTARD would be ok, she said that it would be fine. This turned out to be a horrible mistake. About 20 minutes later, one of my employees says to me that there is a customer on the phone who would like to speak with a manager. The minute I pick up the phone I hear somebody shout, literally at full volume, "WHY IS THERE DIJON MUSTARD ON MY SANDWICH?"
I asked him what he had ordered. His answer was " I DON'T KNOW MY DAUGHTER ORDERED IT FOR ME". I remember the young girl who was in the store earlier and say, "Oh, that's because she ordered the #8 for you, it comes with Dijon mustard". He began screaming again "I DIDN'T WANT DIJON MUSTARD, WHAT THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT DINNER?"
I kind of stammer now, because after all, a grown man is asking me what he should do for dinner. Once I began to talk, he exclaims, "WHAT ABOUT MY DINNER?" and every time I try to speak he begins yelling. I knew just what to do. I sit in silence. About 30 seconds of silence goes by and then he asks condescendingly, "Oh, nothing to say, huh?"
To this I reply, "Sir, if you are going to cut me off and yell at me I cannot help you". Well, he hung up. I thought it was all over…until he calls back even madder. "LET ME SPEAK TO THE MANAGER" "Sir, I am the manager" "NO YOU’RE NOT YOU'RE A KID" "I don't believe my age has any relevance to my ability to run a sandwich shop" "WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT MY DINNER, IT'S RUINED!?"
"Sir, that is the sandwich your daughter ordered, I will gladly give you a new sandwich if you return the defective one" "OK I WANT IT DELIVERED" "Sure thing, where do you live?" Whatever he said was WAYYY out of our delivery range. "Sir, I cannot have our driver go that far, but if you would come back, I would gladly make you a new sandwich".
Incoherent screaming from that point on. I called the store owners and warned them that a corporate complaint was about to be lodged against me. I told them the story. They laughed, and said "good job". The rest of the night I thought at any moment there would be a very angry man who hates Dijon bust through the door and fight me. I felt really bad for his daughter, too.
30. Looking For Trouble
When I was 16, I worked at McDonald’s. I always volunteered for the early morning shift of the weekends because no one else wanted it. So, I would show up to work at 5:30 AM to open the store. One morning, I got a phone call at 5:00 AM in the morning as I was getting ready for work. Turns out, the manager was reviewing my timecards.
Apparently, it looked like SIX MONTHS AGO, instead of taking a 30-minute lunch break, I took a 26-minute lunch break, which is against company policy. I explained that it was because the store was really busy and my manager asked me to clock in early to help out during the lunch rush. The manager on the phone said, "Doesn't matter".
"You should have known the rules and just because someone asks you to break a rule, you should know better than to listen. We cannot employ someone who knowingly breaks company rules". And I was fired with less than 30 minutes' notice. The real reason was infuriating. Turns out, since I had worked at the store since I was 14, I was owed a significant pay bump once I hit my two-year mark and they wanted to get rid of me before that happened.
31. The Cards Are Stacked Against You
I was fired for being late to work. Except, here’s the thing. They would schedule me for a 12-hour shift during the holidays, only to have me come back to work five hours later. It was a 30-minute drive to and from work. So at most, I'd be able to get three hours of sleep, and that was if I was lucky to fall asleep immediately. They did this several times.
I tried to make it back on time, but I would be anywhere from a half hour to an hour late. I would always get the work done that needed to be done as well.
32. Putting The Passive In Aggressive
An old boss of mine fired me by leaving a note under my windshield wiper. He was always conflict avoidant—not a great thing for a boss to be—but that was a new low.
33. No Sweater Weather For You
I was yelled at, like a child, in front of my officemates, for like three minutes. And the reason why baffles me to this day. It was for wearing a sweater. My boss accused me of using it to agitate my allergies and make me sneeze. I have no idea what me sneezing would accomplish to benefit me, but there you have it. Mind you, this was in Hawaii, and AC in buildings has two settings: broken and walk-in freezer... guess what ours was set to?
She was demoted a month later and transferred, so the story has a happy ending.
34. Working Hard Or Hardly Working?
I've worked as a city worker before. But I swear to God, it was one of the most annoying jobs ever. I was constantly told that I was working too hard and needed to be lazier. See, these old guys don't want to look bad as they sit around all day making lewd comments about girls that are too young for them, so they get mad at me for actually doing stuff.
I almost got fired a few times because of it. It just made the days take forever, and made me so angry.
35. One Giant Headache
I was accused by my general manager of stealing toilet paper…because I had a cold and was blowing my nose in the bathroom after I ran out of Kleenex. Yep, that was it. That same general manager also threw a stapler at my head once, just to give you an idea of the specimen we are dealing with. I should have gotten him fired, but I was happy just to leave.
36. One Button For All Your Woes
Many years ago (we're talking late 80s) there was another recession, and I had resorted to the lowest of the low to pay the rent: Data entry. The company I worked for used IBM terminals. My job was to take a paper invoice, enter all the details into the computer-based version of the handwritten form, and then send it off to have the next step of the process done.
Since this was being done for a single location, there were three or four bits of information that were specific to our location—these were the same, for every form. I came up with a genius plan. I used the terminal's basic macro capabilities that allowed me to press a function key when a new form came up to prefill those bits of data and then jump to the first row of text input for a form.
It makes things super easy. Well, my supervisor sees this in action one morning and nearly gave live birth to a bovine mammal right then and there. Literally screeching at me that I was doing something wrong, and refusing all my explanations. The next thing I knew I was being written up for "reprogramming the mainframe computer" and being hauled in front of the vice president for our division and the division IT guy to explain myself.
I did. They looked at my supervisor. The IT guy said, "This is like programming the TAB key on a typewriter for a form". He then stared at her for an uncomfortable amount of time before simply walking out with the vice president. The two of us were left in the conference room staring at each other. All she said was "just get back to work" before hurrying out of the room.
I never had another problem with her again. In fact, I don't think she ever said more than two words to me or looked in my direction again.
37. And That’s The Tea
I had worked in a cafe for about three years when my (lovely) boss sold it to what I can only describe as the most mental creature I have ever met. The new owner lost about 80% of regular customers in a month, all while cutting quality and raising prices. She made the cafe into a tea shop and bought hideously, and I mean hideously, expensive new crockery and decorations.
The crockery was mostly antique and very fragile, and thus had no place in a cafe where it must be durable. Enter me: Hardworking, sincere, and friendly…but incredibly clumsy. I first met her rage for breaking a $40 cup that I was trying to wash quickly. We were busy and understaffed, and of course, her antique tea sets were far too delicate for the dishwasher, so the wait staff had to do it.
In the course of about a year, she hired and promptly fired about 15 members of staff, both waiting and kitchen. She would hire them and create an idea in her head of what she wanted, and when they didn't match up, she would scream at them in front of customers and tell them to get out of her sight. She gave me the title of "Saturday supervisor".
I only worked there for eight hours on a Saturday for a bit of spending money, and there were many customers who would only come in to see me. She would constantly go over my head over decisions I'd made and intentionally make me appear thick and slow in front of customers. When the last chef walked out, she had to go into the kitchen and I was left to run front of house with no extra training.
The two members of staff under me—which was not enough as it was—were usually only there for about two or three weeks, and often with no waiting on experience whatsoever. It was an absolute nightmare. I would often go home in tears, and when the mental new owner bumped into the back of my dad's car and didn't apologize, I had to physically restrain him from going after her there on the street.
She literally told me the reason her business was failing was due to my "inability to cater to customers’ needs, and the service I provide is downright abysmal". Blatant, blatant lies. I only worked there for eight hours on a Saturday! During the summer, she put me in charge of the takeaway service, a job I was terrible at, something I repeatedly told her.
When she eventually fired me, she said I couldn't hold her back anymore, and I would only do half a job. She listed the tasks I didn't perform, which I was not EVER told I had to do. In fact, they were tasks SHE should have done. She had no clue. I tried to tell her what I thought, but I was so angry and frustrated that all I could do in the moment was cry.
The business shut down two weeks later. I currently work in a similar job, where I am often praised for my skills as a waitress, and am looking forward to fast promotion.
38. Facing The Music
I was accused of "bringing down" my entire department of 40+ people for what the folks in charge consider "excessive internet usage". Let me explain—it is outrageous. My company is very strict as to what sites you can and cannot visit on the Internet. Apparently, every time you go to a site that isn't considered work-related, the site you go to is logged as well as the amount of bandwidth it "wastes".
Some other sites just get banned altogether and are usually sites that stream videos, gambling, stuff like that. Up until last year, I had a subscription to Sirius radio which included an internet subscription. So one day I tried to get on Sirius to see if it could be streamed. To my surprise/delight, I could not only access the site, but also the radio feature.
So for two weeks, I was streaming Sirius non-stop during my eight-hour workday. Fast forward to the Monday after those two weeks are up, and it all comes crashing down. I get a phone call from the head of my department asking me to come into her office. I figured it can't be all that bad as she and I speak on an almost regular basis.
So I try to log onto Sirius before I go to her office and it won't do it. In fact, I can't even access the site now. I didn't think anything of it until I went into my meeting. Apparently, the company chief technology officer contacted the head of my department and told her that I myself was the NUMBER ONE "abuser" of non-work-related internet usage for that particular month.
Evidently, I used 2.8gigs of bandwidth just from streaming music. I was given a pretty serious pep talk and was told that my actions not only hurt myself but also that the entire department is now suffering because of me. I was also told that my department is lucky to even still be existing after what I've done and that if she had her way in regards to the incident I’d never work here again.
Thankfully, all that happened was I was put on final warning (step three in the three-step warning process before being canned) and that my non-work-related internet was blocked for a month. Well, not one week later I found myself a job in a different department and that written warning went away. Needless to say, my boss was furious.
39. Don’t Put The Blame On Me
I worked at a pizza place for about two months before quitting. I was pretty bad at the job, but to top it off, the owners found the most random things to blame on me. We write a "K" or "Q" for King- or Queen-sized pizzas on the order ticket. These customers wanted a King but the cooks made a Queen by accident. The owner told everyone it was my fault for "using the wrong pen" on the ticket.
I ended up quitting because the cooks moved a ticket to the "in the oven" spot before they made it. Honest mistake. However, my family was in the restaurant that day and overheard the owners telling the customers that it was my fault for putting the ticket in the wrong spot. When I asked the owner if she said that, she said no. I quit right then.
I made a lot of money, but it was a terrible experience.
40. It’s A Dog-Eat-Dog World Out There
I worked at Office Depot as a salesman. What you might not realize about these stores—or anything that sells electronics—is usually they are "loss leading" with their electronics sales. At Office Depot, if we sold a laptop at a regular price, chances are we were losing 10% on that transaction. So if we sold it for $500, chances are we would lose $50.
Now how is this a sustainable business model? Protection plans! You buy it for almost half the laptop's (or other electronic device’s) value and it is effectively worthless, even if you are one of the roughly 1/3 of people who even REMEMBER that they own the policy. Anyway, you can do no right when you are in the position to sell these things.
I'd say 1/5 of customers who came in to buy a laptop would purchase one. Two others would just buy a laptop and I'd get yelled at for not offering it enough times. According to Office Depot, research shows a consumer has not definitively said "no" until offered something five times. Or else they’d get mad at me for me down-selling them to a lower-cost laptop that would lose us less money if we sold it to them off the books.
One of the other customers would buy the downsell and I'd get yelled at for not selling a protection plan...again. The fifth customer would demand to talk to my manager, who would then publicly scream at me for trying to force the plan on the customer. There was also a running thing where if you knew you were going to sell something off the books, you told them your store was out of stock but the one a few miles away had it.
I refused to do this—and thank God, because the store got into a bunch of trouble later for this practice—and would get yelled at on a near daily basis. Also, it was easy to tell when the other store pulled this on us. We saw all store’s inventory on our computer. There was no winning when this happened. If we were out of stock (the other store did this A LOT) I got in trouble from the customer. If we had it in stock, I got in trouble for the sale the other guy just pushed on me.
Then, the manager would scream at me for not telling the customer what the other store had done. One time I told them that we were in fact out of stock and informed them the other store had five units...almost got fired.
41. You Had One Job
I work in sales and my co-worker, who is quite paranoid, accused me of going in and making returns on his sales and then transferring the sales to my name. This is a complete lie—and he was covering up something bigger. He was just trying to save face when he realized that most of his customers were actually returning their products because he had done a horrible job of getting them the right sizes, colors, etc.
He was fired shortly afterward for incompetence.
42. Not A Temporary Grudge
Just recently, I was assigned to a one-day temp gig through the People Bank in Toronto. I showed up early, but it turned out they didn't have work for me and sent me home. The agency then sent me an email accusing me of showing up late, and because of that they were going to only pay me a half day. I pointed out that a) I showed up early, and it was the person who hired me who was late, b) I had in writing that if I were being sent home, they'd pay me for the full day.
They begrudgingly agreed. To make it up to me, they stuck me with a gig moving banker's boxes around for three weeks, and appear to be no longer offering me work. This is an agency I had a relationship with for 12 years, both as a worker and as a contractor.
43. Take A Square, Leave A Square
Office managers, gotta love them. I work in a small office, and we have a second office, even smaller, across the street. Whenever we would get supplies (paper towels, toilet paper, soap, etc.) someone from the other office would walk over and get what they needed. Our office manager didn't buy enough toilet paper one day, and when she was leaving to go home that afternoon, she noticed that all the toilet paper she had bought was gone.
She went back up to her desk and sent an email out basically saying that someone was taking the toilet paper. What had actually happened was people from across the street came and got most of it for their office. My boss, and everyone else, had a good laugh. A few weeks later he asked me to hang a picture up. I went to get some nails out of the closet and couldn't find any.
I went and got some, then told him that we were out. He immediately fired off an email to our office manager saying that someone had been taking nails, and he wanted her to get to the bottom of it. Some people never learn.
44. In The Eye Of The Beholder
I was told by my supervisor that I shouldn't wear jeans, meaning the "jeans" I was wearing. There was just one big problem. I was sporting brown khakis. I said as much. They were brown cotton and total khaki construction—not anywhere near jeans. She said that because other people had complained and said they were jeans, she had to say something to me.
45. Getting Their Wires Crossed
I briefly worked at a cooking school doing some administrative work during the days and helping out with the classes in the evening. The owner was an old-fashioned stubborn old goat who refused to modernize in any way. I was in working on a bank holiday, so nobody was phoning in to book classes because everybody thought we were closed.
So I'm sorting dishes and putting them away when my boss says from across the room that he's going out for lunch and that I could go home when I was finished. Great, I think, I'm bored out of my mind. I finish my stuff and go home. I run into him on the stairs on the way out and cheerfully say that I'm finished everything and that I'm going home now.
He looks vaguely puzzled and says ok. The next morning I get a phone call where he asks me "what happened yesterday?" I'm running through every phone call I made the day before wondering if there was some sort of a problem with a customer that I forgot to mention. I can't think of anything and ask what he means. His answer stunned me.
He says, "Why did you leave?" I reply it's because he said that I could go home when I was done my work. He says, no he didn't say that. I apologize for mishearing him. And here's where it gets really, unbelievably stupid. He just keeps repeating over and over how he never said that and that I was making it up and that he had more work for me to do in the afternoon.
He tells me to come into the office later. I'm confused and angry at this point because has he never heard of a misunderstanding before? And if he had more work for me to do, why in the heck didn’t he say anything when I ran into him in the stairway on the way out? I get there and he says very somberly that he had thought about it and had to let me go because I was a liar and he couldn't have untrustworthy people working for him.
I said that's fine because I didn't want to work for anyone so rigid, who couldn't fathom that his words could be misheard.
46. Life Isn’t So Sweet
At my old job, I worked at a candy store. There were many reasons why I quit, but mostly I just got too old (I was 18, and it was more of a teenager thing). Anyway, my boss at the time didn't understand that she's supposed to have boss duties. She'd complain about having to come in, she’d complain when "nobody told her something was broken" even though we'd text and tell her about it.
She wanted an only-female crew basically, and the only exception she made was her nephew for a month. "Boys don't know how to do anything", she'd say. All around, she had no clue what she was doing. The worst part is she over-bought a lot of things and "forgot" pay the fee to have the delivery guy to bring it into the store. So we basically had to spend an hour running back and forth down the street to bring huge boxes in.
Ice cream and candy would come on the same day, so that was extra stressful. Myself and two other girls were the only employees who actually closed and opened properly, who cleaned and put candy away, and who overall knew what we were doing. We worked really hard trying to get the rest of the girls to do something, but they sat in the back of the store ignoring customers.
I opened a lot so I'd walk into everything being a mess and having to spend an hour cleaning up so I can continue with the day. She would complain about the wrong people, though, so most of us older girls just left. The rest of them were at least 16 and younger. I really hope she understands why it's a circus, because she can't come in once a week expecting 16 and younger girls to manage the store by themselves. So glad I quit.
47. Gonna Be Hard No
One time, I traveled to LA with my boss. I was drinking with him at the hotel bar relatively early. He gets pretty tipsy quickly and begins engaging in a conversation with a woman who looked like she was at a bar to take a man upstairs and make some money. Here’s where it got weird. See, the only problem was that my boss’s son came to LA to visit him, so he is asleep upstairs in the boss' room.
Solution? Ask me, his employee and 30 years his junior, if he can "use my room".
48. I’ll Believe It When I See It
One period during my job, my boss thought I was goofing off in the restroom for some reason. His solution? For a few months there, he wouldn't let me flush the toilet until he came in and made sure I actually used it. Like I was a toddler.
49. It’s Payback Time
Back when I was in high school, I worked for my town's parks department. One time, my boss—who was a total sleazeball and hated me mostly for not being female—calls me into his office. While there, he accuses me of taking a $3 check, and then says that I have to be let go. I tell him point-blank that if I was to take from the department, it would be something a lot more than a measly three-dollar check.
I mean, what the heck would I do with that anyway? Later on, I find out from a friend of mine that he found the check underneath his desk, and then a month later someone finally reported him for harassment, and he got fired too. Karma's a witch.
50. Something Smells Fishy Here
I was accused of sticking a note on a fellow employee’s desk that read "your desk smells like onions". Management deemed this serious harassment because the victim said that she felt intimidated by the offense. A handwriting analysis was done (by management) and I was one of two matches. I did not do it and lost a bit of respect for management that day.
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