Getting Back At Horrible Bosses
From full-blown revenge to quitting on the spot, these insulted employees have the perfect ways of getting back at their horrible bosses. Buckle up, because the workplace has never been such a battlefield.
1. Deserving More Credit
I asked my boss for a pay raise and was told there was just no money available. But I knew that was lie—a client let slip how much they were paying for me. I was stunned. In one month, they paid more than my annual salary. So I told my boss I’d give them six weeks to look for the money, and she laughed at me as I wasn’t “the type to give ultimatums”. That was the last straw.
I secured a better offer from another company and handed in my notice. That was when my boss’s boss offered me a 50% raise to stay.
2. Good News And Bad News
I used to work for this small town, twice-weekly newspaper. While there, I learned that the editor, publisher, mayor, county commissioner, and a few other people were skimming tax dollars. But when I confronted my boss about it, he told me he’d blackball me if I said anything. Clearly, he had no idea who he was messing with.
I went to the local television station, tipped them off about the situation, and they uncovered the whole story. When those journalists subsequently won awards for breaking that story, my name also got added to the list of reporters. I still can’t get a job as a journalist, but dang, if it didn’t feel good.
3. It Was Over The Top
Here’s the backstory: My boss is a real piece of work. All he does during his shift is walk around and yell at everyone to tuck their shirts in. He’s also just generally unpleasant to work with. So, I came into work on my birthday the other day, and my friend ran up to me and yelled, “Happy birthday!” right in front of my boss’s office.
My boss then looked at me. I thought he was going to wish me a happy birthday since he undoubtedly just heard my friend say it, but that’s not what he did. “Yeah, go ahead and tuck your shirt in, ‘kay?” he said to me. Then, he made a hand signal like he was tucking in an imaginary shirt.
I said, “Okay, no prob. I just have to put my stuff down real quick and I’ll take care of it”. So I walked over to my desk, which took approximately seven seconds, to put my stuff down. My boss immediately came up behind me and again barked, “I said to tuck in your shirt!” I quickly tucked it in.
As he literally walked right by me, I answered, “Sorry, I just had to put my stuff down first,” but my boss just kept walking as though I’d never said a word. He was acting all high and mighty, but I shut him down real quick.
I immediately busted out my HR manual and checked the rule on tucked-in shirts. It turned out that employees must tuck in all types of shirts—EXCEPT for Hawaiian or guayabera shirts. So, I took myself to Walmart, bought 10, and defiantly wore the most obnoxious-looking Hawaiian shirt the next day.
Of course, the second I walked in, my boss looked me up and down and glared at me—but there was nothing he could do. He turned around and walked away. Then, afterward, when everyone asked me why I was wearing such a ridiculous shirt, I gleefully told them about the loophole.
Now half my office is wearing Hawaiian shirts, and it’s driving my boss crazy…But it’s all within the guidelines as outlined by company policy.
4. The Relieving Of The Guard
I worked at a waterpark, and our supervisor was a witch who wouldn’t let the lead guards at the top of the tallest slide go to the bathroom.
One day, one of the guards at the top began radioing that he needed to go #2 but she wouldn’t let him. Mind you, the boss would allow the lead guards to ride down the slide every once in a while to make sure that none of the tubes had gotten stuck.
Anyway, this poor lead guard was about to soil his pants in front of a ton of guests. So, with no other option, he came up with a shocking alternative—he went into the utility closet and did the deed in a bucket of cat litter we kept to clean up vomit.
He then proceeded to ride down the slide to clean himself off and left the supervisor to clean up his bucket.
5. Overseas Exit Plan
I had a bunch of awful bosses who were looking all school year for reasons to fire me. It got to the point where I was turning in three times the number of lesson plans despite already having less freedom to do my job than any other teacher at that school. It was all personal too.
Very unprofessional stuff like “my son is in this guy’s class and he does it this way, so you should do it that way also”. Meanwhile, I’d walk by that same teacher’s class and he’d be showing the Peanuts Christmas Special.
They said my lesson plans weren’t detailed enough, so I asked for their best lesson plan from any other teacher to compare, and mine were clearly more detailed, a fact that shocked even me. They spent so much time telling me I was a bad teacher that I actually began to believe it.
Now, this school had a free year’s license to Rosetta Stone, so I switched my language to Korean and learned Hangul. Almost weekly, there would be someone who would say, “Korean!? Who the heck knows Korean!? What would you ever do with that?”
At the end of the year, they told me not to come back, but all I could do was smile. I said, “Thank you, but I just got a job in Korea”.
They had the dean in there to make sure I didn’t make a scene, and I think even he was surprised that I was almost laughing as I walked out of the office and shook hands with everyone with a big sly grin on my face.
Right now, I am sitting here at my desk in Korea, the only native English teacher at my school, and they love me. To tell you the truth, I might have stayed at that job another five or 10 years. Getting asked to not come back was the best thing that ever happened to me.
6. An Eye For An Eye
I had a picture of my mom and me on my desktop (I know, corny). This guy, Pat, kept commenting on how attractive my mom was (he was about the same age). After about a month of this, I asked my mom to jokingly call him and tell him he was being inappropriate and a bad influence and whatnot.
She did this, but they ended up talking for 30 minutes, and after that, Pat told everyone at the office that my mom was trying to pick him up. For the next year, every time he saw me he asked how my mom was. At my five-year pinning ceremony, he told the story to a bunch of strangers and my bosses.
Fast forward a year later—I had just gone through a bad breakup with my long-time girlfriend and this Pat guy kept coming into my office and telling me that I need to get out and start playing the field. He did this for about a month, so then I asked a guy at work what his daughter’s name was (she was around the same age as me).
I found her on Facebook and asked her if she would help play a prank on her dad. When she agreed, I set my devious plan into motion. I went out on a “date” with his daughter and took a picture of the two of us drinking out of the same drink with two straws then proceeded to put it in a heart-shaped frame on my desk.
Then I got another manager to tell Pat that I got a new girl and that I was head over heels for her. He came straight to my office and I didn’t say a word—all I heard from behind me was, “What are you doing with my daughter?” To this day, he hasn’t asked when my mom is calling next!
7. NYC Comes First
I used to work at a sandwich shop and bakery in Nashville, and my shift started at 6 am. The horrible, uptight manager would call at 6:01 if I wasn’t there and he’d flip out.
I had taken a weekend off to travel to New York to play a show, and when she realized she forgot to take me off the schedule, she tried to get me to cancel my trip. When I said we had already booked a show, she told me my music sucked and that the girl singer of our band was “too ugly for country”.
Firstly, she’s hot and secondly, we didn’t even play country music. Inside I raged, but I kept cool on the outside. I eventually decided that enough was enough. I told her I would cancel my plans so I could work that Saturday for her.
Little did she know that while I sent her that message, I was already on my way to New York, and I put my phone on silent mode when I went to bed. The next morning, I had six new messages.
The first three were her freaking out, the fourth was just silent, the fifth was my shift leader saying, “I think he’s trying to tell you to take a hint,” and the sixth was my boss telling me I was fired. I just shrugged and carried on with my life.
8. One Problem Too Nanny
As a nanny, it’s weird when your boss is a mom with no actual experience being a boss. I worked for this mom who was my worst boss. She wasn’t that bad when I first started working for her. Over the course of the year, she kept adding more and more things for me to do. Eventually, I wasn’t just taking care of the baby. I became their maid.
If you think I got a pay increase, think again. And then, things got even worse. Eventually, I was basically this woman’s personal assistant. She got a taste of power and took advantage of it. As a young 19-year-old, it was hard for me to see how bad it was. But I knew one thing: my boss was a nut job.
One day, she got mad and fired me. The very next morning, she called me asking where I was. It was so confusing. But I was broke and young, so I went back. At that point, I did everything from taking care of the baby to hand-washing her delicates.
She gave me a “uniform” and reprimanded me if it and my hair and makeup were not well kept. When she got pregnant with baby #2 and suggested I become a “wet nurse” I just flat-out said no. So she fired me. Then, a few weeks later, she showed up at my house begging me to come back!
Saying “no way” and slamming the door in her face was so, so satisfying.
9. Failed Sabotage
I had a terrible boss who was out to get me. Within his first week at the company, he decided he wanted to fire me even though he had no idea what I did. I was actually the only IT person and I was probably one of the more productive people in the entire building. He told me I had a week to “turn things around” or I was gone.
There was no explanation as to what needed to be “turned around” or what in particular was wrong. My assumption is that he had his own guy who he wanted to bring in. I basically told him to shove it up his rear and if he didn’t like it, I’d walk right there.
He was a bit taken aback by that and after another nine months of being there, he continued being a jerk toward me. Fast forward another three months and the tables had turned—the company had decided it was going to fire him.
The decision was based on information I had provided to them in regard to his lack of performance and waste of company resources. The irony, right? The owners (against my recommendation) gave him advanced notice of their decision and let him stay for an entire day in his office without any supervision.
As I didn’t trust him, I started monitoring his activity very closely. That’s when I discovered his secret operation—he was copying a large amount of data from our servers and deleting it. Additionally, he was cleaning out his contacts and other client-related information. He was copying all of this to a USB drive.
On the final day, the owners took him to lunch right before he was going to leave. I took the opportunity to “return” all of the data he took. I had backups, which I was going to restore; however, I didn’t want him to walk away with stuff that didn’t belong to him.
Finally, a couple of very incriminating emails “accidentally” got forwarded to his wife. Turns out, he was cheating on her for months—he had been talking to this other woman about ditching her and screwing her out of the house, then leaving her with the kids…I’m not sure how that worked out, but I hope the wife got him good.
10. Four O’Clock Shadow
I worked as a stock boy in the back of Hollister. I never really had any interaction with customers but was still forced to buy their clothes to wear to work. They had all these rules about hairstyles, fingernails, and facial hair.
One night I came in to start a shift at 2:30 am to do a floor change, which meant the shift would end around the time the store opened up. I had the slightest bit of stubble on my face, like a day and a half’s worth of stubble.
My manager, at 4 am, told me she had a problem with my facial hair and that when the mall opened up, I better go buy a razor and shave before anyone saw me like that, or she would have to send me home for the night.
I basically said, “Well lucky for me, I was planning on quitting anyway, good luck with the floor change,” and walked out. I left, got a biscuit breakfast, went home, and got in bed.
11. Food For Thought
This wasn’t really my boss, but my school principal, who was kind of like a boss to me as a kid. I was at an Opus Dei school, so the nuns were pretty freaking strict, and I hated the freaking salads they gave us.
To avoid eating them, I found multiple ways to hide my food because, as they used to tell us: “You can’t throw away food when there are millions of people starving”. Until one day, I had enough.
Tired of hiding it, my nine-year-old self just went up with my tray still half-full of food to dump it all. Immediately, the nun went ballistic, but I just said, “I’m full; gluttony is a sin,” and threw it all away. That got me in trouble.
12. Lazy Boss At The Bookstore
The best way I’ve gotten back at a boss? Brutal honesty. I worked at a bookstore. I used to be on the overnight shift, shelving books, but they did away with that to try and save some money and brought us all into the daytime shift. When they enforced that change, I was doomed to eight-hour shifts—usually by myself—at the registers.
Now, our store manager at the time was totally useless. He’d lock himself in his office filled with pictures of his ballerina boyfriend and do absolutely nothing during his shifts. One morning, in particular, I was at the register, and I had a line. I tried paging for backup, and no one came. I assumed everyone was busy, so I just did my best to bust out the line.
Meanwhile, our phone started ringing. No one went to get it because everyone was busy helping customers…or so I thought. After three rings, our intercom system beeped and the manager started saying: “Backup to phones…back up to the phones”. The brilliant part was that you had to pick up the phone to even use the paging system.
Meanwhile, I was nearly through my line, and a sweet old lady tottered up and told me she ordered a book and got a phone call about it being in. I got her details and went hunting through our order shelves. I couldn’t find it. I verified that I had all the info right and tried again. The order just wasn’t up there.
So I paged for a supervisor or manager, and then the store manager paged for me to call him at his office extension. I called the manager’s office and explained the situation to him. He told me to look at the hold shelves again. I tried to tell him I’d already done that, but he just hung up on me.
The lady was looking unhappier by the second, and I was worried I was going to get yelled at. So I paged the manager again, asking him to come to the front register. He paged me back, telling me to call him at his office extension. I do. He asked me what I wanted from him.
I told him I still couldn’t find the lady’s order and that I could really use some help—but he cut me off mid-sentence and told me he’d check in the office to see if there were any additional orders back there. Meanwhile, I kept telling the woman how sorry I was.
I asked her if she can move aside while we kept looking and I continued ringing up other people. I was nearly done, there were maybe two people left in line. I’d handled three more pages from the incompetent manager—all of which were to tell me he couldn’t find this book—and I was forced to tell the lady we can’t find it.
She still looks annoyed, but she patted my hand and told me she knew I did all I could. She called the manager a useless piece of trash for not getting off his behind and coming out to help like a good manager should do, and then she breezed out of the store. Two minutes after that happened, the line was gone, and I was alone.
Three people come up to the registers, claiming that the manager sent them up there to “help me out” and he told one of them to have me go into the back “to talk” when I had a free moment. When I got back there, he was all buddy-buddy. “Hey what’s wrong, you sounded stressed…everything okay?”
And I remembered that old lady. And I told him that no, it wasn’t okay. So he asked me what was going on—and I told him exactly what frustrated me. I told him it was the first time ever that I felt a manager didn’t have my back. I said he was unprofessional and complete nonsense.
I also told him—word for word—what the old woman said. He just stood there and stared at me. I asked him if I could go back out there and do my job since it was awfully busy out there (I sort of expected him to fire me)…He didn’t speak, just nodded. So I flounced back out.
Apparently, he locked himself in his office and cried for the rest of the day.
13. Their Boss Thought They Wouldn’t Notice
My best friend and I worked at the same small company under a horrific boss (think Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada, but with early-onset dementia).
One day, my friend got a great new job and submitted her notice. In an effort to get my friend to stay, our boss did something that made my blood boil—she offered her my job. I don’t know why the heck she thought my friend would accept. She knew we were friends—we’d even booked off the same holiday week to travel together.
Of course, my friend said no, and then I handed in my notice the very next week—and I let my boss know why. I mean, there were a hundred reasons, but I told her that her little scheme was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
She had no idea until then that I knew what she’d done, and the look on her face was priceless as she tried to figure out some way to deny it.
14. Mourning Event Staff
A friend of mine passed nearly a decade ago. When I requested the day off for his funeral, I couldn’t believe the response.
My request was denied. I had to go to work after going to the funeral of my 21-year-old friend. I was an event captain, so I had to be the face of the staff for the contact of the event, I tried my hardest to put on a happy face, but I failed.
My mood was terrible and the event contact complained to my boss after the event. The next week I was scheduled as an event server for my whole schedule with less hourly pay, less tip percentage. When I asked my boss, I was told that I had been demoted because of the complaint from the prior event.
I quit on the spot, I should not have been forced to work that day, and I should not have been demoted for being in a bad mood after burying one of my closest friends. Screw that place.
15. They Turned On A Dime
While I was in the Navy, a doctor recommended that I get extensive surgery on my ankle. In a weird twist of logic, my command said they would approve the procedure, but not the convalescent leave because they felt that I didn’t deserve a bunch of time off for surgery. Huh?
They refused to sign ANY paperwork for it, but I quickly set out to challenge their decision. They weren’t ready for what I was about to hit them with. I first slapped them with the regulation stating that they were required to respond to all requests within a certain amount of time (three days, I think).
They still responded with a “no,” so I proceeded to get some Naval lawyers to draw up some paperwork (in accordance with all regulations). The notice stated that my command would be responsible for 100% of my medical care if they did not abide by the doctor’s orders.
I also let them know that this would mean leaving ALL of my medical care for civilians to handle and that the command would then be responsible for paying the bill out of their budget. THAT got their attention: They approved my surgery, convalescent leave, and convalescent leave extension.
16. Home Is Where The Manager Isn’t
My manager had never been that great, but she completely lost it as soon as our company shifted to mostly work from home. She didn’t want to pay us overtime and had the mindset that working from home would always be less productive than in the office.
Her entire opinion was based on the fact that because she got a quarter of her own work done when she was at home, the rest of us would too. Because she was so set on getting back into the office, she volunteered our department as the pilot project to go back in first, even when cases were at an all-time high. Oh, but it gets worse.
Everyone goes in, except one person: Her. She’s a no show. We couldn’t believe it. After that, everyone started looking for other jobs.
17. The Higher They Creep, The Harder They Fall
It was my supervisor. It got to the point that I had decided to quit. I had my resignation letter in my purse but decided to let his boss know why I was quitting. The supervisor would talk about all the people on our team constantly, but only behind their backs. I got so sick of telling him to cut it out. My husband and I happened to work at the same place (different departments) and my supervisor would make comments about threesomes (with him, ewww), what hotel we picked for our afternoon delight, stuff like that.
It was so bloody uncomfortable. Apart from this, he spent most of his supervising time outside on smoke breaks. The problem was that the supervisor was “one of the guys” and I was the only girl. Turns out his boss was disgusted, told his boss who lost his mind. They started an investigation which took three days. They interviewed staff—they corroborated what I said.
They checked the security cameras and saw he was spending most of his workday outside, lighting up. And was fired. When he was told he guessed (wasn’t hard!) that I was the person who complained and tried to get to me to “apologize that I took it the wrong way”. The best feeling was my coworkers surrounding me as he was walked out. That was a lovely ending to it all.
18. My Boss is a Heartbreaker
I had a doctor that constantly ignored patients in serious pain. He thought all of them were faking it to get pain killers. After a senior director at Microsoft passed from a heart attack in our ER that he refused to do an EKG on, I went to management and told them what I had seen.
19. Screw Me Twice, Shame on You
Our desks were separated by a 5-foot cubicle wall. He was under the mistaken impression that it totally blocked sound. Thus, I got to hear all his loud phone conversations, primarily his booty calls including those with his boss’s fiancé. I figured it was none of my business and tried to ignore it. Well, there was a position in another department that I was interested in and as per procedure, I handed in an application to my talkative boss.
I didn’t hear anything further and followed up a couple of days later, only to be told that something must have happened to the application. I filled out another one and handed it in. As I return to my desk, I hear the boss on the phone with a friend laughing about how he had just trashed my application again and how he was never going to let go of me.
I go to my boss’s boss and angrily offer my resignation, telling him what I had just overheard, explaining that I was constantly hearing his phone calls like his booty calls like with <woman’s name> and <woman’s name> and <boss’s boss’s fiance’s name>. He got very quiet and told me to go back to my desk and he’ll take care of everything. The next day I come in and boss is gone.
The day after, I have an interview with the other department (got the position). I tend to avoid office drama, but really, he should have stuck to screwing his boss’s fiancé, and not tried to screw me as well.
20. A Slam Dunk
I worked for an electrical company that was family-owned and operated. The owner’s brother was constantly calling me an idiot all day, saying I couldn’t do anything right. One day, he told me to go to Dunkin’ Donuts to get breakfast for everyone. He said to me: “Can you at least get donuts for us without screwing it up?” That was the last straw for me.
I took his van to the donut shop, bought myself a nice sausage egg and cheese sandwich, called my girlfriend to pick me up, and left his van right there. He called me at 11 am, flipping out. He shouted: “Where the heck is my van? Where are you?” I told him that I went and got breakfast as he said, but that he never told me to come back. So I went home.
21. You Never Know Who’s Listening
I worked at a supermarket, and my manager Rob was as jerkish as it gets. He gave us bad employee evaluations so that we couldn’t get raises, and he’d leave the store for hours at a time, which sometimes even confused the other managers. He treated us all like garbage—he walked all over us, yet he was probably the least productive of us all.
Then one day, I got angry at him. On that day, some old woman in the parking lot fell RIGHT in front of me. I grabbed another customer, told him to stay with the woman, and then ran inside to grab the store manager, a pharmacist, and a bottle of my water from the break room. I then helped her in her car and had someone at the service desk call an ambulance.
Afterward, I received a customer compliment (which can be redeemed for a free sub if the manager deems it a formal compliment), but Rob refused to honor it. He said, “That’s not exceptional; it’s what we expect out of you”. Annoyed, I clocked out for a break and bought my own lunch. One of the cashiers mentioned something about the incident and said, “Rob the hero,” was now taking care of the situation.
So I said, “Right. More like Rob the giant jerk”. That was a big mistake—I didn’t notice who was checking out behind me, so I looked to see if anyone had heard what I had just said. To my horror, behind me was a customer who was known throughout the store for his autism and tendency to remember and repeat phrases. I immediately took off out the door, thinking I’d surely be fired when I came back.
Luckily, the customer said nothing, so I managed not to get in trouble at all. This is where it gets interesting: For a few months after that incident, every time the autistic customer would see Rob, he’d say “Rob the giant jerk” right in front of everyone. The first time I saw it happen, the look on Rob’s face was priceless. It was very deer-in-the-headlights.
Of course, I busted out laughing, and so did all of the other employees who heard it, so I blended right in. It was unintentional, but it was probably one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen…AND I got to see it happen myself three times.
22. Nefarious Negativity
I hated my boss. Nobody ever received any positive comments in evaluations. One time in a meeting, someone asked, “Do you think we could hear something nice about somebody just once?” All my boss did was bark, “That’s not what we’re here for!” That’s that kind of person I had to deal with for five long years. It was absolutely brutal.
People who held grudges against me personally rose up to the right positions to put together a case that would get me railroaded out. Fortunately, one of my co-workers clued me in about it, and I was able to interview and get another job before the hammer came down. They would have fired me at 11 in the morning. I got the other job offer at 9.
I pre-emptively turned in a resignation that said nothing more than, “I resign my position effective XX/XX/XXXX”. I also refused the exit interview and presented state and federal statutes that showed I was not required to give one. Even though they so badly wanted me gone, they were mad that I got to leave on my own terms, instead of getting fired.
And I got them good. I handed them a post-dated resignation instead knowing they would immediately throw me out of the building, but also that they would have to pay me until the date on my letter. And the timing worked out perfectly. The dates worked out so that I received my annual bonus too. Now, I’m in a job with far fewer hours, making more money, and coworkers who I actually like.
Meanwhile, the old company where I worked laid off ten percent of their employees and slashed the compensation of those who remained by thirty percent. Good. They suck.
23. Didn’t Sign Up for Homework
My boss would show up at my house after work hours to discuss work stuff. When I asked him to stop, he tried to fire me. When at the HR meeting the following day, I explained my story and showed them the video from my door camera. They literally go “John (bosses name), we’ve talked about this” and asked me to leave. Two hours later he walks out and announces that he’s leaving.
24. Starting A Tradition
A co-worker of mine at Subway once quit when I was working during college. It was the lunch shift in one of the busiest shops in the area. The guy got halfway through making a sandwich, then he looked at the customer. He said three simple but effective words: “Till next time, bro”. He then just walked out. He never came back, not even to pick up his final paycheck.
When I left the shop to go back to school at the beginning of the next semester, I left 100 sticky notes in random places throughout the store that said: “Till next time”. It was the only way I could possibly give my notice after that experience! And something tells me I probably wasn’t the last person at that store to quit in this fashion…
25. Music Is Food For The Soul
I worked in this one corporate kitchen where our general manager didn’t like our music, so he would put on children’s music instead. When we all started singing along at the top of our lungs…Well, we quickly won that battle of attrition. But then, years later, we got surround sound in a different, closed kitchen. Once again, the uppity manager did not like our music and started passing draconian censorship rules about what we could play.
Little did he know that we had the perfect plan to really tick him off. We switched it back to children’s music for a week. The moral of the story: Never underestimate the power of a kitchen crew of misfits singing “Banana Phone” at the top of their lungs to fight fascism, jerk! Viva La Raffi! Viva La Raffi!
26. First Mistake Kit
I had been running the restaurant for weekend nights for three years. These were not easy shifts. They were from 5 PM–3 AM and the restaurant was always packed with college kids. Still, I was a night owl, and it was my pleasure. Or it was, until I took a few days off and went to a hot spring with my wife. On our way back, I noticed that my leg hurt.
Within 2 hours, I was in the hospital for a severe infection. It needed three antibiotics at once to treat. I called in sick three days in advance. My assistant general manager told me to heal up and that they would cover my shift. They did not. For my “first infraction” they gave me a final warning. I was one step from being fired, after all my years of hard work. I put in my notice the next day.
27. Exit, Pursued By A Boss
I left my last company due to a jerk of a general manager. Many people were leaving over him causing problems, being prejudiced, and doing things people could easily sue them for, claiming harassment. The list goes on. Everyone informed HR during their exit interviews. Heck, he even tried to make my exit interview not happen. Though they still weren’t doing anything.
I had been at my new job for a couple of months now and was STILL getting complaints from my old team almost daily. So, I made an email account. Sent an email to EVERYONE who had an email account within the company explaining what he did/still did with events spanning from his start to the day prior. They fired him within the week and my old crew thanked me.
28. You Should Be Dancing
My first and greatest quitting story? My boss told me one day we would be spending our breaks doing mandatory Zumba lessons. I simply looked her in the eye and told her I was going home.
29. Knee-Jerk Reaction
I used to work at the Jaws ride at Universal Studios, Florida. Our uniform consisted of a blue T-shirt, jeans or jean shorts, white socks, and white shoes. However, the “unofficial” dress code had all of us girls wearing jean shorts and white knee socks. One summer, I ended up working the Jaws ride and the Jungle Cruise ride at Walt Disney World simultaneously. I love Disney and had always wanted to work there, but I ended up finding it stifling, with all sorts of silly and over-the-top rules.
While working at the Jungle Cruise ride, I had to wear a khaki shirt, khaki shorts or pants, white socks, and brown shoes. But one day, I didn’t have any normal-sized socks to wear to the Jungle Cruise ride, so I ended up wearing my white knee-highs from the Jaws ride, which looked RIDICULOUS with the Jungle costume.
When I got to work, one of my managers flipped his lid. He told me my socks weren’t in compliance with “The Disney Look” and he made me roll my socks down. It looked like I was wearing little white life preservers around my ankles, and they ended up looking even more out of place than they did originally.
I was annoyed, but I would end up having the last laugh. When I went home, I scoured my Disney Look booklet for the policies pertaining to socks. All I could find was that the socks had to be long enough to cover the ankle bone—there was no maximum height. Heck, I could have worn white tights under my khaki shorts if I really wanted to. So, the next day, I wore my knee-highs again as a small act of rebellion.
The same manager was there, and of course, he flipped out. He actually pulled me into the office to write me up, but before he could get me to sign the paperwork, I pulled out my copy of The Disney Look. I showed him that, while incredibly silly looking, my socks were perfectly acceptable, and I told him I would continue wearing them like that.
And so I did. I looked stupid, but I didn’t care. Working for Disney wasn’t a pleasant experience, in my opinion, and it was very liberating to know that I could at least wear my socks…however the heck I wanted to.
30. The Bright Side Of Life
My brother-in-law worked for UPS for 17 years. He was a bit of a joker and was constantly getting in trouble for coming to work with crazy hair colors or cornrows (he was a big Italian guy and was told by his superiors that it wasn’t appropriate). It was always something. But then, later on, he learned that his bosses couldn’t say anything to him about wearing sunglasses. So, his little rebellion at work was to wear the most outrageous sunglasses he could find.
He had ones shaped like giant red lips; guitars with the stems sticking up; purple ones with rhinestone hearts on them…Anything for a laugh. After a while, people knew him by his glasses. If someone said they lived in a certain area, I would say, “Oh, my brother-in-law is your UPS man, the guy with the crazy glasses,” and their reply would almost always be something like, “Ohhh, John. Yeah, I love that guy. He’s hilarious”.
He passed four years ago after being hit by a tipsy driver while out walking one night. When we attended his funeral, we were shocked at how his co-workers honored him—all of his guys from work attended, dressed in their browns and wearing crazy sunglasses. His best friend gave his eulogy wearing a pair of neon green glasses three times the size of his face, and the pastor even borrowed John’s guitar glasses when he went up to speak.
We counted after his funeral, and he owned over 200 different pairs of crazy sunglasses. What started as him being a pain in the butt to his boss ended up as a tribute to his character in life: He always wanted to make someone else smile.
31. Mommy, May I
I work in home care. My “boss” is typically the family I work for. It’s always the families that are the reason I leave, never my clients. Families are the worst. One mom got so mad when I dared to take a week off. I had worked for her for five long years, taking care of her very handicapped child. I did not get paid if I took time off.
So, I planned accordingly. She told me that I needed to make that time up and that she had no idea what she was going to do with her child while I was gone. This was ridiculous. I was one of 3-4 home aides; she had enough help. I told her I did not need to make any time up. I didn’t get paid for not being there, so it wasn’t my problem.
I told her that she would have to take care of her own kid. She didn’t like that answer. I went on my vacation and decided I had had enough of her, so I quit. I felt bad for the kid who wasn’t a bad kid at all. But I could not take that mom anymore.
32. There’s No Secret to Safety
I got handed a complete mess of paperwork that OSHA requires that hadn’t been done in years and was told to forge whatever wasn’t there. I sent that email to OSHA with a handful of stuff that was missing that they should ask for when they came. He only made it a couple of days after they came in to review the complaint.
33. Food For Thought
Back when I worked at Taco Bell, I also had another job as a bar back. The bar back job was paying me enough that I didn’t need the Taco Bell job; I only stayed for the extra money. Anyway, I previously never asked for time off at Taco Bell, but I told them at least a month in advance that I needed to be off for the Super Bowl. I reminded them every week leading up.
What they ended up doing got me so heated—they put me on the schedule for that day anyway. I told them I could not work that day and that I would not be there. They wouldn’t budge and left me on the schedule. So on the day of the game, I did not show up to work, but I did go in to order food. They were like, “What are you doing? You’re supposed to be working”. I said, “I quit. Let me get a Mexican pizza combo, and add some sour cream”.
The manager actually made my food and gave it to me. She was not happy, though.
34. Sorry, Not Sorry
I used to work at a TV station. This place had absolutely awful management and I complained about it to my friends all the time. Eventually, some people began asking me about my job on Facebook, and I would reply truthfully, knowing I could get fired for speaking ill of the company. So I started reading the HR handbook, and I found out that as long as I didn’t specifically name the company, I couldn’t get fired for talking about it.
Then about a month later, I realized I couldn’t take the misery of my job anymore. I did what I never thought I would never do—I posted on Facebook how terrible my job was, and even though I never mentioned the company by name, my bosses fired me the next day. I gladly walked out of that building and into a lawyer’s office. In the end, I got $17,800—my yearly salary (seriously). Felt good, man.
35. Can’t Play Favorites
A now-former colleague and I both applied for a more senior position that had become vacant. I had vastly more experience and had held a similar role in the past. I was better qualified and, frankly, a better fit for the job. But none of that mattered. Even before my interview, senior management had already decided to give the job to my colleague.
Unfortunately, nepotism prevailed. My colleague was so smug about his promotion, which was already bad, but then he decided to treat me like an idiot child for the next year, rather than the experienced professional that I am. I chose to leave after like six months and secured a much better job with better pay and working conditions.
I gave my required 90 days’ notice. My new manager was so good at their job that they didn’t even advertise my job until it suddenly occurred to them that I was due to leave in two weeks’ time. The manager tried to offload my duties to someone on my team. To my satisfaction, that worker promptly burnt out and resigned due to the impossible workload.
36. Just a Miscall
After working for the same company for 17 years and always getting praise for my work, I finally got a position in a department that I’d always wanted to work in. My manager was excited to have me and continued to praise me. Then one night, while I was on-call, we got an “urgent page,” which was sent to my phone. My phone didn’t ring.
They called my manager. She texted me a few times. Well, I didn’t have my texting alerts set to be very loud, so I didn’t hear anything. She was annoyed the next day. I apologized that my phone hadn’t worked properly for the call. Besides, my “backup” co-worker got the call and fixed it quickly. But that didn’t satisfy her. She would not have it and kept telling me I’d screwed up.
She told me that it better not happen again and suggested I get another phone. I apologized again but said, “Look, what happened could happen to anyone. Mistakes happen. [my backup] got the call and handled it anyways. Besides, it really wasn’t that urgent”. She wouldn’t let it go. Our relationship went downhill from there. Mind you, I’d been at this job for almost 20 years.
I would get up early and work late to accommodate our customers’ schedules, put in time on my days off for big urgent issues, and never got paid overtime. I didn’t mind. I liked the job and got paid well. But then, a few months after the text incident, I ended up sitting with an HR rep who tried to mediate a truce between me and my boss.
From the beginning, it was clear that he’d sided with her. They just kept bringing up the very few times I hadn’t performed up to par, missing the context every time. Like, “Boss-Lady says there was this one email where you were a little rude to the customer. Is that true?” I had tried explaining myself, but he’d interrupt me with, “No. Just answer the question. Were you rude?”
I said, “Well, yes, a bit I suppose”. HR Rep then moved on to the next accusatory question. After a bit of this, I looked across the table at my boss and said, “Boss, are you willing to meet me halfway here?” She just looked at HR Rep. “Okay, that’s what I thought”. That was it. I stood up and threw my security badge down.
I grabbed my personal bag, which I had prepared for just such an eventuality, said, “I quit,” and walked out. Then the HR Rep followed me out the door calling after me, “Don’t quit! We don’t want this!” I turned around and said, “Neither do I”. I felt so good driving back home. I’ve got a much better job where I’m much more appreciated now.
37. Exit Survey
A few years ago, I left my job in the industry that I went to school for, after having worked for ten years at a truly terrible place. I was there for almost three years, and one month into the job, I realized what a mistake it was to work at this place. Sadly, the job was a little specialized and niche. And on top of that, I had moved across the country for the position. So, even though the place was a mess and I knew it, I did not want to just say “screw it” and quit, either.
It took me the better part of three years to find another job, but eventually, I did find an opening in the same industry and in the same city, too. The best part? It was known to be the polar opposite of the place where I was working at the time—a good work environment, a positive place, a butt-kicker in the industry. Basically, I thought I was moving from a nightmare to heaven in my business, and I didn’t even have to move anywhere to take the job.
So, once I had accepted the new position and was about to give the old place my two weeks’ notice, I was feeling pretty good for the first time in ages. It just so happened that my current job, on top of all of their other nonsense, was going through a “management shake-up” and some departments were answering to new managers across the entire company.
This meant that every employee was having these “sit-downs” with their new department heads to “talk about issues, workflow, etc”. And a lot of my co-workers were terrified or hesitant about these meetings. They certainly did not feel comfortable to be open and candid and honest about the real “goings-on” at this miserable place. But, not me.
I could not wait for this opportunity. When my time came, I went into my new “manager’s” office. I should note that most of the managers at this place were a big part of the problem, and this new manager of mine was no exception. I strode in confidently and with purpose. He sat there, initially with this poop-eating grin, and one leg over his knee.
He probably expected more of the same that he had undoubtedly been receiving so far. A lot of good-intentioned but miserable and cautious people had surely just been saying “All is well”. His grin subsided once I spent the next hour telling him everything that I truly thought about that place, about the people who worked there, and everything in between.
I was polite but firm. I did not let emotion guide my words and start flipping tables, but I also was very forthright about every single thing I could think of. It probably was not going to make any difference or change anything. But what did I care? I was leaving! I also kept in mind that there were still some good people that worked there and I wanted to say what I didn’t think they felt comfortable saying, but needed to be said.
After literally an hour of me going through everything I could think of, he sat there with his mouth open and a pad full of notes. He then asked if there was anything else he needed to know. I stood up, shook his hand, and said “Actually, yes. I have accepted another position at this other place, so you can consider this my two weeks’ notice”. And then I walked out of his office. It felt incredible.
38. Thinking Inside The Box
This was relayed to me by one of my buddies. Way back when we were still in high school, my friend’s coworker was getting fed up with the supermarket they worked in. It was a few towns over in a not-so-nice area and was right off the highway, so that made it super busy and a lot of out-of-town commuters would shop there. This guy was going away to college and hated management.
On his last day, a woman walked up to his line and tried to browbeat him into taking a bunch of expired coupons. He told her he needed to check with his supervisor, but instead, he did something super strange—he slowly pulled out a Jack-in-the-Box toy from under his till and methodically placed it on the scanner. Then, he started cranking the thing while giving her a creepy smile.
When it finally popped, he looked her in the eye and just said: “Yeah, he said no”. She flipped out and screamed for a manager while he just cracked up, took off his smock, and walked out.
39. Out To Lunch
In the McDonalds I used to work at in Pennsylvania, it was the norm for the managers to not clock out for their lunch breaks. This, unfortunately, meant that whenever there was a huge rush, you HAD to forfeit your break to get up and help. Well, according to the rules of the state, we were entitled to a lunch break off the clock, undisturbed. But one day, I just had enough—I clocked the heck out, then sat down and had some food.
Then the owner walked in. He immediately wanted to know why I wasn’t helping because they were backed up. I put him on notice, and everyone left me alone afterward. In fact, they actually started doing it themselves.
40. He Nailed It At The Eleventh Hour
Nobody ever received a positive comment in their evaluations at the place where I used to work. In fact, somebody once questioned in a meeting, “Do you think we could say something nice about somebody just once?” Coldly, the immediate response was, “That’s not what we’re here for!” I resisted all of this for five long years until, eventually, certain people who’d held years-long grudges against me personally rose up to the right positions and put together a case to get me railroaded out.
Fortunately, my co-worker filled me in on what was going down, so I was able to interview around and get another job before the hammer finally came down. They were gonna drag me in on a Tuesday at 11 o’clock, and I got the other job offer at nine. I preemptively turned in a resignation that said nothing more than, “I resign my position”. I also refused an exit interview and presented state and federal statutes that showed I was not required to give one.
Even though these people so badly wanted me gone, they were furious that I’d beaten them to the punch. The reality of their intentions was much darker than I had initially assumed—they wanted to put me on a set-up-to-fail PIP so they could exploit my expertise through the summer season. Instead, I handed them a post-dated resignation, knowing they would immediately throw me out of the building.
I also knew they would have to pay me through the effective date, which gave me my annual profit-sharing distribution. Now I’m in a job with far fewer hours while making more money, with co-workers that I actually like. Meanwhile, the old company laid off 10 percent of their employees and slashed the compensation of those who remained by thirty percent.
Good. Screw them.
41. Changing Ways
I worked in an agency environment with big clients and big expectations, but we had a small staff for all the projects we took. Late nights were expected, and some nights I barely had time to eat before I went to sleep, so I could wake up the next day and restart the cycle. We tried to ask for structural change to have some breathing room between projects, but upper management and my boss always ignored us. I was tired, frustrated, and felt like I was just a tool for the man.
We worked late and never got anything back from the company. So, I sent out applications and found a bigger company with a cool culture. They offered me a gigantic pay raise and offered better benefits. I went to my boss to hand in my resignation. I gave him two weeks’ notice. This somehow became a thirty-minute conversation telling me how good I had it there and how miserable I’d be at this other company.
I hadn’t even mentioned the name of the new company, so I knew he was talking straight bull. I went back to work. But my boss then pulled me back into his office and told me he was going to let me go that day. I did so and never looked back. My new job is great by the way. Better boss, better work, better life.
42. Working Together
The company where I worked rented out office space to self-employed people, entrepreneurs, etc. One of my clients approached me about starting a business together that actually piqued my interest. I didn’t know it was against any rules to work a side hustle, and I was very transparent about the whole thing. My co-workers and supervisors all knew about it.
My boss in particular always knew and never said anything negative about it. Six months later, there was a new sales manager hired for the company who was a bit of a jerk. Within two weeks of her starting, she became aware that I had a side hustle and reported me to HR. I went into work one Friday and saw I had an HR call scheduled.
I felt my stomach drop. That was never a good thing. So, my actual boss and I got on the call, and HR said I’d broken a huge rule. I explained that I did not know and thought it was okay since I had been telling my boss about it for nine months. And yet, HR still gave me the option to quit my side hustle and receive a final written warning from them.
This was despite me not having any other discipline in all of my time with the company. My other option was to quit the company. It made me so furious. But the worst part was that my boss never stepped up and defended me. She didn’t even acknowledge that she also had not known about this rule. That’s what made me thank them for their time and leave.
43. Fight You In The Unemployment Line
My boss grabbed the back of my neck and said, “If you ever say I’m wrong in front of a customer again I will beat you”. I went to the general manager and told him, and my supervisor was relieved of his duties about 5 minutes later.
44. Smile! You’re On Candid Camera
I took a cell phone video of my boss taking money from the safe and putting it in her wallet. I knew she was doing it, and I also knew that the moment it came out that money was missing she’d blame it on me. She was so stupid that she didn’t realize she should stop doing that while I was standing ten feet away with my phone out and facing her.
45. Let’s Not Point Fingers
Back in the 90s, I was working in a warehouse with a guy who had lost his middle finger in a construction accident many years before. So when I knew him, he had a prosthetic middle finger. Our boss was a guy who would look forward to finding any reason to yell at any of my coworkers, even if it was not their job or fault.
So early one morning, the boss asked that fellow to use the big forklift to get some stuff from high up. The guy apologized and said that he couldn’t, as he did not have a license to use it. Doing so could make him liable for damages and such. The boss’s face immediately turned red. He started screaming at the dude, who in turn just listened for a while with a blank look on his face. Then, once the yelling subsided, he removed his prosthetic and handed it to the boss.
The boss took the prosthetic and asked the guy what the heck he was doing. Without missing a beat, he replied: “I’m giving you the finger,” and then he just walked out without another word. And we never saw that legend again.
46. Long Term Goals
Eight years ago, I quit my job during my performance review. It was awesome. I had gotten my license to be a mortgage broker while working for a large automation company for 10 years. I started doing mortgages part-time and had a plan to leave after one year if things were going well for me with this side gig. Five months in, I was starting to find my groove.
I had just had a really good previous month, but I still didn’t have any intention of quitting my day job. Well, during my next performance review, my manager told me I was doing really well, and wanted to know what my aspirations were for the next six months. I don’t know what hit me, but I thought about it for a second…and then I blurted out some rather surprising words: “Well, Frank, I gotta be honest. My goal for the next six months is to not be here anymore”.
He was so confused, so I told him what I was doing on the side, and he was super supportive. I told him I didn’t see things slowing down on that front, and that if I was doing mortgages full time, I probably could have made enough money to have quit already. And he said, “Well, why don’t you?” So I did. I thanked him for being so understanding and supportive.
I told him I would use my remaining vacation to cover my two weeks and emailed him my formal notice the next day. I then shook his hand and left. I called my wife from the parking lot, shaking like a leaf, and surprisingly, she also was super supportive even though I hadn’t run this major decision by her before acting on it.
Shout out to her for being so amazing! Fast forward eight years, and it was the best decision I ever made. I love helping people, I love math, and I love trying to come up with ways to pay the bank as little as possible for my clients. Plus, I have way more financial freedom now, and I get to control my own schedule. Even though my former boss was a nice guy, I know I made the right choice.
47. Yay, Or Neigh?
Our old CEO was a jerk. He made a rule saying that no dogs or cats were allowed in the office (we were previously dog-friendly). Our department head was not having any of it. One day, he decided to bring in freaking a miniature horse. He was fired a week after for it, but it was hilarious. He got rehired after we got rid of the CEO. Our new CEO lets us race our dogs.
48. He Paid For It In The End
Back when I was working and attending classes, I would go straight from campus to work and would often arrive 10 to 20 minutes early before my shift. On occasion, my boss would ask me to help him out with something before I clocked on, like putting something away or answering the phone. But over the span of a couple of months, this evolved from “occasionally” to “every day”.
After doing this for a couple of weeks (still clocking in at my usual 3 pm), I decided that if I was to work for a few extra minutes each day, I’d better get paid for it. One time, I tried to ask him to pay me, and I didn’t even make it an hour into my shift before my boss started screaming at me and throwing down the employee handbook, saying that I’m only allowed to clock in five minutes before and after my scheduled shift.
That’s when I decided to fight back…in the most passive-aggressive way. From that moment forward, I made it a point not to check in until five minutes after my scheduled shift every day, no matter how early I was. Fast forward to three months later, and my boss got fired. He got what was coming to him.
49. Personal Efforts Rewarded
I used to work at Comcast and had aspirations to move up into management. I was pretty green to the corporate world, so I thought that helping my supervisor with her job would help move me up. And by help, I mean my supervisor made me do her whole job. I ran her meetings, did scheduling, and went through her paperwork.
I did all this while working on the phone as she sat at her desk playing Candy Crush on her iPad. I did this for months until I was so stressed that I snapped at a customer. Now, I took full responsibility for what I did, but that wasn’t good enough for her. Nope, she had to sit me down and humiliate me in front of the upper management.
For an hour and a half, she made me listen to the recording while pausing it every few minutes to say something like, “How could you?” I was in tears at the end, and she used that to show how bad of an employee I was and how good a boss she was for “helping” me learn from my mistake. She then pushed for a Final Notice.
If I went out of line one more time within a year, I’d lose my job. She wasn’t going to fire me. I would have to do that for her. HR was predictably useless as were my friends in management. Now that I had become a pariah, people didn’t care about me at all, except for my supervisor who, of course, still expected me to do her job.
My next few days were filled with a lot of crying. What followed was rage: Endless, white hot rage. I didn’t quit. I didn’t give up. Instead, I went back to school to finish my degree. After a while, I was offered an internship at 20 hours a week, which I took while fighting an uphill battle at Comcast 40 hours a week.
I was also a full-time student. And I let my supervisor know this. “Sorry, boss,” I’d say, “I can’t do this report for you. I have a final to study for,” or, “Want me to stay late? No can do. My internship is working me hard, so I want to spend my night off at home doing nothing”. I kept ignoring her whenever possible.
If she emailed me a question relating to my job, I’d respond, but if she sent out a group email about an incentive plan, I’d put it in the trash. At one point, she pulled me into a meeting, which was just me and her where she antagonized me and repeatedly told me, “You don’t know me”. The whole thing was really cringey and awkward.
This went on for the year that I was on probation. During that time, I always kept my sales numbers just high enough not to get fired, but good enough so it looked like I was still “trying”. This affected my commission, but it was so worth it. Before my probation was over, I had the option to switch to another supervisor, which I did.
I upped my effort those last few months, and my sales numbers skyrocketed. I had intentionally done this so my old boss would look bad. The upper management saw how my new supervisor succeeded in one month where my older supervisor failed in nine, and it pleased me to no end that I had played the long game and humiliated her like how she humiliated me.
On the one-year anniversary of my probation, I put in my two weeks’ notice. I let them know in my exit interview what I did with my life, omitting the undercutting part, and that had I had spent the last year becoming a better person just to spite Comcast. But even without spelling it out, that exit interview was one of the most satisfying moments of my life.
50. Bad Move
I worked at a small company with less than 40 employees. My boss encouraged us to get into fights with other departments. And when I refused to participate, my team ghosted me. I went to the CEO indirectly a few times, but nothing happened. Then I finally lost my patience, scheduled a 1-on-1 with the CEO, and told him that he was running a circus.
I said that if he didn’t take action fast, the company would fail, and I’d be gone long before. Three weeks later, they walked me out. But I got the last laugh. A year later, they walked the CEO out.
51. Should Have Focused on Your Own To-Do List
The CEO publicly praised me for completing a task that my boss had struggled with, so my boss retaliated by forwarding all of his tasks to me in an effort to overwhelm me with work. I actually found his job pretty manageable, which the CEO also noticed and fired him, giving me his job and office.
52. Headcase at the Head of It
I was working maintenance at an ice rink. The rule for anyone who knows how an ice rink works is if the Zamboni doors open, you get the heck off the ice. Some jerk decided to ignore the fact that they were open, and that I was standing in the doorway, and decided to rip off one last slapshot. The puck bounced off the glass and hit me in the head. I was okay, but reported it to my boss, because we have to fill out an incident report for things like that.
The boss asked, “Are you okay?” I said I feel okay, then he responded with “Well, we don’t really have to report it then do we?” I reminded him of the protocol, but it was clear he didn’t want to do it. Since he wouldn’t do it, I sent a descriptive email of the incident up to the administration, because I felt there should be some sort of documentation/paper trail, in case, god-forbid, I ended up having a brain hemorrhage or something a few days later. The boss was fired by my next shift.
53. Breakfast In Bed
I used to work for a terribly cheap software company in the early days of the internet. You’ll recall hearing about all the perks being lavished on dot-com employees back then. This was not that kind of place. We were expected to put in crazy extra hours with the only additional perk being an unspecified bonus payment at the end of the year.
These bonus payments always amounted to getting paid far less than minimum wage for your overtime hours. At some point, management determined that having our weekly status meeting during the workday was hurting our productivity. Their solution was completely uncalled for—they decided to have the weekly meeting on Thursday in the hour before work starts!
We grumbled, but we all showed up on Thursday mornings expecting at least some bagels or donuts. Nothing. After a month of this and feeling generally unappreciated, my coworker had enough. The next Thursday, we showed up for the 8 am meeting and saw a big tent set up in the parking lot, with tables and a catered breakfast buffet.
My coworker was there with a huge smile, telling everyone to grab some food and enjoy themselves. We were all giddy with delight. Management did not join us, but also did not say anything about us all being 30 minutes late for the meeting. After the meeting, this coworker went straight to HR and handed in his two weeks. They asked him to leave the premises immediately.
As he walked out the front door, he yelled a loud Braveheart style “Freedom!” Pretty legendary.
54. That’s Not What I Ordered!
I managed a sandwich shop in college for a terrible owner, but he at least put me in charge of hiring. I hired this guy that was covered in tattoos and had piercings because he was really chill, lived within walking distance, and had experience working at a deli. He checked all the boxes that matter for job performance, so it was an easy decision for me.
But the owner did not feel that way, and he was suspicious of the guy right from the outset. On his very first day on the job, the owner made a horrific accusation—he claimed the new hire had swiped a freaking Gatorade from the refrigerator. He was on lunch and had made himself a sandwich, which we were allowed to do. Nevertheless, the owner confronted him about taking the Gatorade.
So, the guy threw his sandwich down at the owner’s shoes and walks out. He texted me later and said, “You’re a cool guy, but that other dude is a freaking jerk. Don’t tell him, but before I left, I stuck my junk in his gas tank and took a pee”. As hilarious as this was, I chose not to tell anyone about that last part…until now.
55. It Suited Him Just Fine
My father was working in a post office in the early 80s. It was an unusually hot day with ~85°F inside. There were no fans available, so it was crazy. Men weren’t allowed to wear shorts, but my dad came to work wearing shorts that covered his knees and a part of his shin, figuring he was fine. Apparently, it wasn’t, and his boss sent him home to change.
His boss probably thought that was the end of that, but he had no clue what crafty plan my dad was cooking. He returned in his grandfather’s apparel from the late 19th century: top hat and all. The boss kept asking if it wasn’t a little hot in that suit, but my dad insisted he was fine.
56. Good Thing She Maid It Out
As a nanny, it’s weird when your boss is a mom with no actual experience in being a boss. The worst boss I worked for wasn’t that bad when I first started working for her, but over the course of the year, she kept adding more and more things for me to do. Suddenly, I wasn’t just taking care of the baby; I became their maid too, with no pay increase. Eventually, it got to the point where I was basically her personal assistant.
She got a taste of power and completely abused it. As a young 19-year-old, it was hard for me to see how bad the situation really was because it wasn’t an overnight thing. I was eventually “fired”. Then, the day after she fired me, she pulled a major Uno reverse card—she weirdly called me asking where I was. By that time, the job was so bad…I did everything in that house, from taking care of the baby to hand washing the mom’s delicates.
She even got me a “uniform” and would reprimand me if it wasn’t kept well. It was the same with her hair and make-up requirements. Then, when the woman was a couple of weeks pregnant with baby #2, she suggested that I become a wet nurse for them. After I got fired, I never went back—and the lady flipped out and showed up at my house.
57. Bigger Issues
After two years of incredible personal stress with multiple losses, my marriage ending, a car accident, and two weeks after reeling from another unexpected passing of my brother, I was pulled into a meeting where my boss let me know that I was “too distracted at my desk and spending too much time on ‘non-work-related issues.’”
I tried to explain that I was the executor of my brother’s estate, but they explained that away by saying that I shouldn’t allow it to affect my work. I was also doing the majority of my work unassisted because asking for help usually fell on deaf ears or my boss would tell me, “Just put in more hours”. Those extra hours were unpaid, of course.
There were plenty of other issues, but this broke me. I had a different job in under a month that paid more. I’m still upset about how I was treated.
58. Not Moved By His Excuse
Our executive director was moving and took my practicum student and a low-level employee to his house to help him move furniture. I told him that was unacceptable, both from a respect and a liability perspective. His response to me was, “You know since I hired you, I can fire you, right?” I told him to go ahead and try it, then promptly called our board, who dismissed him that week.
59. Bad Teamwork Always Backfires
About 13-14 years ago, I was working as a web designer for a dot-com. In our immediate group were a creative director, a creative manager, and two of us who were designers. We were all part of the marketing department. The creative director was a joke. He was brought in by the previous VP of Marketing, who he was friends with.
He hardly did any work himself, and just played online poker waiting on us to send him things for approval. And he’d never stick around late when the rest of us needed to stay late to hit a deadline or deal with a crisis, etc. The creative manager, who’d been in charge for a couple of years before the creative director’s hiring, still ran the day-to-day.
So, the creative manager gave his notice that he’d accepted a new job, and when I met with the current VP of marketing to discuss transition, I mentioned that the creative director would need to step up and pull his weight. I guess a similar message was expressed by a number of people, and less than a week after the creative manager’s last day the creative director was fired!
This kind of sucked because we went down from 4 to 2 people in our group. I was appointed acting creative manager, and we eventually did hire one more designer. I left the company a couple of months later, too, after the latest VP of Marketing was let go and there was going to be a 10th different person overseeing marketing in my 5 years there. And the jerk creative director?
He’d reached out at some point (looking for files for his portfolio, I think?), and it happened to be in the two-week window where I’d accepted my next job but hadn’t yet started so I mentioned my new position. Well, he fires off a copy of his resume to the company president and tried to poach my new job out from under me!
On my first day at the new job, the president mentioned that somebody else from that same company also applied for the job and forwarded me the application email to see if I knew him… saw that the date was after he and I had last communicated!
60. Chain Reaction
I worked for a company that planned a huge annual event. I was asked to take over the role of someone who was retiring. It seemed straightforward enough, but it ended up being a total nightmare. She proceeded to give me a bag of mish-mashed instructions and a task list of very illicit things she was doing because she didn’t want to make anyone mad. I got written up for not doing things in a timely manner and asking too many questions.
This then started a waterfall in which I got written up any time anything bad happened in the office. Power goes out during a storm? Write up. Does the building need to be re-mortared? Write up. The pollen count is high? Write up. Noisy road work happening outside the office? Write up. So, I very professionally and calmly explained that this job was not what I had expected.
It was supposed to be an HR position. I calmly expressed that, under the circumstances, I thought it best that we part ways. I gave my two weeks’ notice and wrote up all the notes on all the things I had been doing. I attempted to train everyone on what I was doing, but they all dismissed my efforts because I was clearly an absolute imbecile who couldn’t even prevent our admin’s allergies from flaring up.
On my last day, I packed up my office, said thank you, went home, and drank a ton. But I would end up having the last laugh. Within the next month, literally, everyone I had been working with rage quit at one point or another, because they couldn’t do my work without me. I had been given such convoluted nonsense instructions by my predecessor that no one else could figure out how to untangle things to make the processes work.
I handed over all the handwritten notes I was given, so they knew I wasn’t making it harder. It was clear that I had inherited that mess. Then, they all got written up for not doing things in a timely manner. They quickly saw where things were headed for them, decided it was a joke, and left. The owner ended up losing her mind about it and selling the company.
And that’s the story of how I indirectly took down an entire business by quitting calmly and professionally.
61. Just Before The Deadline
I was working for this huge American company that had a lot of trouble making decent plans and keeping promises. I work in IT projects, but due to a vacancy, I was asked to pick up a commercial role. I refused. Then, it turned out it wasn’t a question, it was a demand. I had until Tuesday to give the wanted answer. But there was an important detail that they didn’t know—I was already working out contract details with another employer, which luckily got sorted out by that Monday.
Come Tuesday morning, an angry manager called me into his office, stating that I didn’t reply to the request in time and that I was in serious trouble as a result. I then had my Hollywood moment by being able to silently slide my resignation paper towards him as an answer. This only got under his skin even more, but alas…
62. Too Little, Too Late
I once worked for a landscaping company. The owner was cheap, with a bad habit of biting off more than he could chew and trying to run projects with nowhere near enough people. More than once, my boss and I saved him from getting fined for projects not being completed on time. The breaking point was him taking an absolutely massive homeowner’s association on as a new client.
We were barely treading water as it was, and then he dumped that surprise on us. It took all of two weeks in that awful homeowner’s association situation for us to realize that this wasn’t worth it. My boss and I quit two days apart from one another, and we both immediately went to work for another company. But the story didn’t end there…
The best part is, a month later, he called us both and begged us to come back, because all of his projects were woefully behind schedule and he was losing clients left and right. We both told him no, and that he should have hired more help like we had told him to do on several occasions. He swore at us and hung up. Screw you, Brad.
63. All Planned Out
Our division chief assumed that if he and the other managers weren’t micromanaging us, we wouldn’t do our work. He was very against working from home even though the job could be done 100% remotely. He only started giving us one day a week at home because his supervisor forced him. We worked in an area with terrible traffic. It’s one of the worst in the nation, so most people usually understood if some employees were a couple minutes late. Not this guy.
If we were even a minute late, we’d get a lecture that would frankly take more than the minute we had missed. The worst part was that if we were late or took a longer lunch, we had to put it in the calendars. There were three different supervisors’ Outlook calendars and our own where we had to plan to make up that time, even if it was just five minutes. It was so patronizing. Once, I emailed all of my supervisors to ask permission to leave four hours early on a Friday because I was flying to a wedding. It was approved. I put it on all the Outlook calendars.
I planned how I was making that time up by coming in 30 minutes early and staying 30 minutes late for four days leading up to the trip. When I stepped on the plane, I got a frantic call from a co-worker saying that a supervisor was looking for me and “had no idea” where I was. I said she should check her dumb calendar. I had already put in my notice by then, so I didn’t care if they got mad.
64. Dangerous Measures
I was told to take and hold a heavy piece of hand railing over the edge of a platform while my buddy underneath tried to bolt it. We were about 60 feet off the ground, and this thing weighed probably 100 lbs. If my hands slipped and I dropped it, that would be it for my friend and whoever was on the ground when that thing fell down.
Because of this, I said absolutely not and kept it on the crane. That’s when my boss cuts in on the crane operator’s radio channel to swear at me. At that moment, I snapped. I said that he could get his fat little self up here and do it himself. And I got fired for insubordination. If my wife wasn’t about 6 months pregnant, I would have beat him when I got down.
65. Higher Learning For Somebody
About 15 years ago, I worked at a major university in the IT department. After I was hired, it took me a couple of months to realize my boss was a sociopath, as was his #2 guy. Once I realized what I was dealing with, I just tried to keep my head down because I didn’t want to job hop so soon after leaving my last job. But they made that impossible.
We had a database administrator and I was interested in becoming a DBA so I talked to him a lot about what I should do to transition from a programmer to a DBA. The VP of IT, my boss’s boss, would stop by and talk to me and ask me about my aspirations, so I told her about wanting to be a DBA and that I was actually taking night classes so I could.
This was a woman who my boss referred to as “she who must be obeyed” in a totally disrespectful manner. As the months went on, I saw more and more egregious behavior by my boss and his #2 toady. We had a large corporation consulting on transition to their database. This included a young guy who was doing the database install including ordering the right equipment and migrating the data.
We also had student workers in our department. They were students who worked part-time hours. One of these was a young woman. The big corp young guy and the young woman started going to lunch together. Apparently, this was offensive to my boss, who threatened both of them with termination for “fraternization”. The university had no such rule, my boss was just making it up as he went.
About six months after I was hired, the DBA quit. I went into our weekly staff meeting and at the end, my boss announces that I’d been promoted to DBA. My spidey-senses were tingling because of his tone of voice and because this was the first, I was hearing about it. After the meeting, I went to his office to thank him and tell him I really appreciated the chance.
He was very angry. Apparently, his boss had made him promote me. I had no idea. The next thing I know, I’m being called into my boss’s #2 guy’s office. He tells me that performance reviews were coming up and I would have to be reviewed on job description of DBA rather than the job description of my old position. That is, unless I turned down the DBA position.
Yep, he was threatening me to get me to turn down the promotion. I asked him to see the written description of my old position as well as the one for DBA. He couldn’t give them to me because they didn’t exist. Now, I can be a pretty stubborn lady, and this really ticked me off. I didn’t do anything wrong and now my job was being threatened.
Part of my job duties during the six months of my employment involved working with the head of every department of the university, including the legal department. I had a good working relationship with every head of every department. So, I made an appointment with the university’s head counsel. I explained the situation to him including my boss’s boss making him promote me and my boss threatening me with my performance review.
I told him that, although I was studying to be a DBA, I was really not qualified to be one without some hard work and if the university didn’t want me to take the position, I would absolutely turn it down. I also mentioned my boss’s nickname for his boss, and the issue with the student worker and the big corp guy. Apparently, the student worker had already filed a harassment complaint, so the head counsel knew about it.
He told me I had been promoted by someone (boss’s boss) who had every right to promote me and I should not worry about anything. He said if my boss gave me any more trouble that I should let him know. A week later, my boss and his #2 toady were fired. My boss ended up working at a small city college and is there to this day. I pity his employees. I left the university about two years later and had a successful career as a DBA.
66. Not Tickled to Work With You
In college, I worked in a take-out restaurant just off campus, and we were all employed by the school. I was 17-18 years old (back in 2007/2008) and my boss, the manager, was a 40-something creeper. Hitting on me, touching me inappropriately (trying to massage my shoulders, tickling me, putting his hands on/around my waist) despite me asking him to stop.
Then he friended me on Facebook, I declined, and suddenly my work schedule was changed. I was on shift during hours when I had class, and when I explained that problem, I got taken off the schedule altogether. I told the assistant manager what was going on (which I was explicitly told by the manager not to talk to the assistant) and he reported what was going on to upper management—boom, the manager was fired. I worried for a while if he was going to come after me for that.
67. This Train Is Bound For Glory
I was severely underpaid and tried for two years to have constructive conversations with management about it. But unfortunately, the problem wasn’t going anywhere and it generally led to a lot of unhappiness from me. When I handed my two months’ notice in, I was asked, “Is there anything we can do to get you to stay?” I was so proud of my response. told my manager that if he had a time machine, then he could go back two years and listen to me then.
The company then tried to claim that I was liable for a large chunk of money because they had paid for training. The amount they were asking was in the thousands, and they were threatening via email to take it from my next two months’ pay. So I verbally agreed until two weeks before leaving, and then asked them in writing for proof of these costs.
They were unable to provide it. The cherry on top occurred during my exit interview—I made the HR manager write down that HR needed to brush up on their training course funding rules.
I work in the field of recruitment, where our job is to find potential employees for companies that are looking to hire. Whenever we make a new placement, we ring the bell and write it up on the whiteboard for a round of applause from the entire office. This one guy on our team filled a job with—get this—himself. Then, what he did next was epic—he then rang the bell, wrote up his own name on the board, and mic dropped the marker as he walked straight out into his new job.
69. Sandal Scandal
The company I work for has a dress code that allows women to wear open-toed shoes, so long as they are leather; however, the dress code does not allow men to do the same. When I started wearing leather sandals a few years back during the warmer months, some managers mentioned to me that I was violating the dress code. I had a simple but highly effective response to this.
I pointed out that they would consider my shoes acceptable if I were a woman and that it was gender discrimination to deny me the ability to wear something considered okay on someone of the opposite gender. I haven’t heard any comments or problems since.
70. Found The Loophole
When I worked at Best Buy, the dress code was black shoes, pants, a belt, and a tucked-in blue shirt. Except I never wore a belt nor tucked my shirt in, because as a chubster, whenever I knelt to organize the DVDs on the bottom shelf, my shirt would come untucked, and the belt would cut into my belly. First-world problems, huh?
Anyway, my boss would constantly freak out on me for not having my shirt tucked in, and she eventually got on my case for not wearing a belt, too. So, I checked the dress code and found it read something like: “Wear a belt if there are belt loops on the pants”. What I did next is pretty genius, if I do say so myself—I found an Exacto and cut off all my belt loops.
When I came into work the next morning, my boss again noticed I wasn’t wearing a belt and exclaimed, “WHERE’S YOUR BELT?” I gave her the biggest smirk I could muster and replied, “WHERE’S MY BELT LOOPS?” It was one of my finest moments.
71. Career Recircuiting
My boss was a jerk on a massive power trip. He knew nothing about cars, despite managing a big fancy car dealership. I was a trainee mechanic/tech on apprenticeship wages. The worst task I had to do was replace the wiring. We had a Karen who was the boss’s friend harass us apprentices for a non-existent wiring issue. We were told to replace all the wiring! Twice! Free of charge for the customer. It was grueling, awful work.
And this lady was crazy. She was impossible to deal with, and eventually, she called the authorities on us because she convinced herself that we were “holding her car hostage”. Even though she was the nut, my boss suspended all of the apprentices. We didn’t take it lying down. Instead, we banded together and went to the local media and then HR. We got our jobs back, and the boss was sacked.
72. Walk A Mile In My Shoes
I was fired because I “abandoned my job” while on short-term disability, even though I was on approved leave. They made a date for me to return, never informed me (by their own admission), and when I obviously didn’t return to work…I was fired. The locker I had at work had my work boots in it that the company pays $90 a year towards.
However, there isn’t a pair under $100 available. So, you always end up having some come out of your paycheck. At that point, they are yours regardless of the company line. They disagreed and said they were thrown out, I reported them stolen, and the HR director responsible for getting me fired was fired.
73. Big Boss Is Watching You…For Now
My manager wanted to prove I was slacking off so he could write me up. So, he watched CCTV footage then wrote, printed out, and SIGNED a detailed 17-page Word document what I did in the past two days. With timestamps (like, 07:59 arriving, 08:01 speaking with co-worker A and B, 08:07 sitting down to my desk, etc.). He told me that he’s not happy with my work ethics, and if I won’t improve my efficiency, I’m fired.
I took the papers and showed to his boss and told her that I’m not happy with my manager’s work ethics and his efficiency might be better if he wouldn’t watch 17 hours of CCTV footage to spy on an employee. She was terrified (it would’ve been a rock-solid lawsuit for me, but I love my job) and we had to search for a new manager. Also, I got a raise.
74. I’ll Check My Schedule
I had been asking for a raise for months and kept getting excuses from my bosses. I finally put my two weeks’ notice in, citing the fact that I would need the raise we had been talking about in order to continue my employment there. Two weeks went by and, on one of my last days there, management sent out a company-wide email, making up some fake excuse as to why they were losing me.
I immediately wanted to email back and plead my case to everyone in the email chain, but instead, I devised a better plan of my own. Having my own company email address at the time and understanding how email works in general, I decided to schedule an email to go out from my address a day or so after my last day. This email would explain my real reason for leaving and shed a bit of light on the low-wage issue that ran rampant throughout the company.
Just as I had planned, the email went out and upper management lost their minds. They even went as far as to accuse one of my co-workers of sending the email out on my behalf. It was pretty apparent that they just simply didn’t understand how email scheduling works, which I have to admit made me smile a bit. When all was said and done, this little kerfuffle was an incredibly satisfying experience for me.
It also led to them taking a look at and improving the wages of many of the workers there. A win-win situation in my book.
75. She Got A Kick Out Of It
I work at Home Depot, and steel-toe footwear is mandatory. A typical pair of steel toes cost over $100 and the company doesn’t pay for them. I work minimum wage and I’m female, so finding an appropriate pair was very difficult. But I still took the opportunity to get my passive-aggressive revenge—because the company didn’t mandate any specific colors, I went out and bought bright white and green steel-toe shoes with matching laces.
They are the ugliest things ever and the first thing my co-workers notice.
76. From Zero To Hero
At the store I worked at, they wanted a minimum of 70% of our transactions to be membership transactions. I found a foolproof loophole for this, and they hated me for it. I would deliberately get 100% by only ringing one customer through on my whole shift and I’d get them to either use or sign up for a membership. Then, on a random day, I’d ring someone though without using their membership card so that I would be at 0%.
Whenever management came to me to complain that my percentage was zero, I’d tell them that I’d been 100% all week and that I’d only had one transaction that day, and the customer didn’t want to sign up. They couldn’t get mad at me for 0% on one person (you can’t win ‘em all), and they couldn’t get mad at me for only ringing in one person every other day because my numbers were technically 100%.
It annoyed the heck out of them, but on paper, it looked great.
77. Shoe Boss
I used to work at a lingerie store as an assistant manager, so I had to dress nice and look professional. All the other girls wore huge heels, and they always ended up complaining about how sore their feet were at the end of their shift. I always wore flats to avoid having sore feet. They were still nice, stylish shoes, but they didn’t have towering heels on them.
My manager always used to get mad at me for not wearing heels and tried to claim they were part of the dress code. I looked up the dress code and showed her that it didn’t say anywhere that I had to wear heels; just that I had to wear acceptable work attire (or something along those lines). She then tried to tell me it was an out-of-date dress code. That’s when I had the final straw.
I told my manager that she should get an updated dress code if that were the case. Eventually, she brought the head office into the argument, and the provincial manager ended up trying to convince me to wear heels to work. I replied that they would have to pay me much more than minimum wage to ruin my feet.
Needless to say, I did not get a raise, but no one ever told me to wear heels to work again.
78. Bet This Threw Her For A Loop
Five or so years ago, I worked at a Petsmart in the “Pet Hotel,” where we boarded the animals whose “Pet Parents” (owners) were on vacation. Everything I did was in the back, and no customers ever saw me—just the dogs and kitties. Still, my witch boss would always get on my case for forgetting my belt. One day, she got particularly mad at me for not having a belt despite the fact that I’d only just taken that shift last minute for someone who was sick.
My next move left her speechless—I picked up a dog leash, put it through my belt loops, and said, “Well, it appears I now have a belt”.
79. Taking A Breather
When I worked at OfficeMax about 10 years ago, I was the only employee who didn’t smoke. Naturally, this meant that everyone in the building got to take 15-minute smoke breaks two or three times per shift—and I got squat. But I would soon have my sweet, sweet justice. One day, I asked the manager if I could have a “clean air break”. Needless to say, he was confused.
I explained that if the smokers could take 15-minute breaks two or three times a shift, I should be able to step outside and do the same without having to smoke. It irked my manager, but he knew he ultimately had to let me do it to avoid any discrimination.
80. All Wired Up
I work in foodservice. My job created a rule one day that no employee’s hair should touch his or her collar. I have rather long hair, but I always kept it in a braid, and we wear hats, anyway. I was informed of this new rule about two hours before the end of my shift and told that I HAD to comply IMMEDIATELY because I was breaking the health code.
I politely informed them that no, I was not. It was only a store policy, but I would be happy to come in with my hair up the next day. I didn’t think this was unreasonable—it would take me a while to put my hair up, not to mention all the pins, hair products, etc. that I would need to do it. Unfortunately, I got told, “Not good enough! NOW!!!” That lit a fire in me.
I punched out for a break and bought some rubber bands and floral wire. I then made eight braids with the wire woven inside and stuck them out in every direction. When my boss saw me, he began screaming. I calmly told him that my hair wasn’t touching my collar.
81. They Had A Right To “Bare” Arms
I’m a senior in high school, and one day, a bunch of senior guys decided to start up a “Tank Top Tuesday”. So every Tuesday, about half of the senior guys would come to school wearing tank tops. Our school had no rule about tank tops except that the straps needed to be at least two inches thick, so we didn’t anticipate any problems (especially considering that the girls at our school wore tank tops all the time).
But after the first day, the school announced that boys were no longer allowed to wear tank tops. When we questioned why that was, they claimed that visible armpit hair was a distraction that inhibited learning. Our solution made our teachers want to rip their hair out. the following Tuesday, we all went to school wearing tank tops and sported shaved armpits.
82. He Sub-Dude His Boss
In the navy, you must always wear a white T-shirt under your uniform. I had a Senior Chief who would constantly check if our T-shirts were not visible, and he required that they be seen. I checked the uniform regs and found that we could wear a V-neck tee while in a working uniform. So I started wearing them, and sure enough, he took notice as soon as he saw me. That’s when things got heated.
When I told him that the regs allowed it, he was taken aback. His only comment was, “One for the blue shirts,” before he walked away. Then, he hammered me for every regulation misdemeanor he could find. Smart alecks never win, at least not in today’s Navy.
83. This Principal Got Schooled
I went to a Pentecostal School even though my family and I aren’t Pentecostal. They made me get haircuts all the time, but I liked having long hair and sideburns. One day, the school gave me the most disturbing ultimatum: Either I had to shave my sideburns, or they would do it. So, I told the principal that I wanted a tattoo. She immediately told me that I could not because the school’s rules were biblically-based, and then she read Leviticus 19:28: “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD”.
I then told her to please read the verse above, which read: “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard”. I got to keep my sideburns.
84. There’s No Shaving Face Now, Stesha
I worked at a chain Americana restaurant and I had this one witch of a manager who would always send me home to shave if I came to work with a five o’clock shadow. I was a busboy and I never even talked to the customers, so I don’t know why she had it out for my facial hair (which I grew out like Wolverine), especially since we could technically either be clean-shaven or have a full-grown beard, mustache, or goatee. They couldn’t stand what I did next.
I took a week off, grew an amazing beard, and came to work the next day to show it off. Suck it, Stesha.
85. They Made No Concessions
I work at a movie theater, and because I’m a girl, I always have to work concession. One of our managers even calls us the “candy girls,” which is ridiculous. Anyway, we all have to wear these stupid visors, and THEY DO NOTHING. So, I always tried to get away with not wearing one until one day, the oldest manager working there got so furious with me that he threatened to write me up.
However, I noticed one very important detail that would end up giving me the upper hand—the boys never had to wear the visors whenever they came to help with the concession, with the justification being that they “don’t have as much hair as us girls do”. So, I got a pixie-style haircut, and now I laugh my butt off every time my old-timer manager tries to say something.
86. She Earned Her Stripes
We had a dress code for our “casual” days where I worked: No jeans, no T-shirts, and no sneakers. Basically, casual days are days when “men don’t have to wear a tie,” but otherwise, they’re just like regular, business-formal days. So, I decided to make a point. One of the outfits I liked to bring out for our casual days went something like this: black-and-white zebra-striped pants, a black and white horizontally striped shirt, a black and white vertically striped jacket, a black and white scarf, and four-inch platform heels.
Then there was also my glorious, perfectly respectable blouse—in neon green, neon orange, and chartreuse—which looked absolutely delightful when combined with my modest turquoise skirt and rainbow-striped knee-high socks. Technically, I was completely in compliance with the dress code. The ladies from the admin section would stare at me by the elevator banks and whisper to each other in what they considered a secretive manner about my fashion faux-pas.
Their pitying expressions read, “Clearly, she doesn’t get it”. Heh, yeah. I’m pretty sure I’m not the one who “didn’t get it”.
87. Vacation, Or Power Move?
I worked for an IT department that was just the pits. At the time, the company was in the process of merging with another organization, so the IT budget for my department got cut by over 50% and I had to lay off six employees. Unfortunately, the company still required that the workload of those six employees get completed; otherwise, I’d get written up. I worked 80-hour weeks for about three months before I finally had it.
I was ready to quit without another job lined up just because I felt my health had deteriorated and frankly because zero effs were given. But the day before I was going to give my notice, I re-read the employee manual and found the section on terminating employment. My eyes widened with intrigue. It stated that if an employee gave their notice, they would be entitled to take their vacation time immediately because the company would not pay out that time.
In the company’s eyes, this was their dumb way of saving money. So the next morning, I walked into my boss’s office, placed my laptop, blackberry, and keys on his desk, and said, “I am resigning; thanks for everything. Take care”. He looked at me, shocked at first, and then asked when my last day was. I replied, “Right now, I’m leaving in five minutes. In accordance with the HR manual, I am taking my 10 vacation days that are in my bank, which translates to two weeks”.
His jaw dropped. He was on the phone with HR before I even walked past his office door, and I went back to my desk to pack up. Needless to say, my boss was aggravated, but HR confirmed the policy. I left in the next five minutes, and I got paid my vacation time for the next two weeks. I heard the policy was changed right after I left.
88. Stocking Fees
I work at a bank, and it’s in our dress code policy that women MUST wear nylons or socks with their shoes. I work behind the teller line, so no one sees our freaking legs. Also, does anyone really NEED to see the fact that I’m wearing underwear under a skirt?! They had no idea who they were messing with. Anyway, now I wear knee-high boots every time I wear a skirt or a dress to work.
Whenever someone asks, “Where are your nylons?” I stick my foot up on a chair, unzip my boots, and point: “Socks”.
89. Not Lovin’ It
Probably the worst boss I ever had was at a McDonald’s. We had a younger manager for the first 10 months that I worked there, then they decided to bring in a second manager from another store. For the first week or so, he was fine—but then one day, one of the 16-year-old girls that usually worked the drive-thru got put on the grill for no reason.
At some point, she accidentally got grease on her shirt, and the manager flipped the heck out. What she told her was disturbing: “You look like pig. Either clean it up or go home”. She left crying. The next day, another underage kid asked to get a drink of water after a three-hour non-stop rush—the poor kid looked like he was about to pass out. The manager told him no, so the kid said he’d drink from the sink in the back.
The manager then told him that he would send him home if he did that. I lost my temper when I heard that. I basically told the guy to eff off and left. I never went back. I heard that a month later, that manager got fired.
90. Blue Collared Workers
The company I worked for was a large, nationally-known engineering, architectural, and surveying firm, and my position required me to work both in the office and on construction sites. Our office dress code required dress shoes, slacks, and a “collared shirt” at all times. We had to wear steel-toed boots, jeans, and long-sleeved work shirts on the construction sites.
Our former vice president, a small Jewish man in his 50s with a temper and a thick North-Jersey accent (that’s important for later), used to berate people for violating company dress codes whenever he visited the offices. Well, one day, I was required to visit a site to perform some inspections, and when I returned around midday, he was there, standing by my desk.
“Where’s your collared shirt?” he demanded. “Excuse me?” I said, confused, as I thought it was obvious to everyone that I had just come from a dirty, dusty construction site. “Where’s your collared shirt?” he repeated in his thick North-Jersey accent, louder than before, and coming closer to jab his finger right at my shirt. At that point, I got angry—and even.
I fired back with the first thing that came to mind: “Blue is a ‘collar,’ are you blind?!” I snapped, pointing to my blue T-shirt. He stood there, stunned, and for the first time, he had no comeback. After a moment, he gave me the biggest stink eye I’d ever seen and stormed off to throw a temper tantrum at someone else.
I was a legend for the longest time after that encounter, although to this day, I continue to wonder why I got passed over for every raise and promotion opportunity during my time there.
91. A Matter Of Life And Employment
I worked at a facility that manufactured medical devices, mainly catheters. One day, a work order came in and my manager came into the clean room to hand me the work order and to enter in the order specs (things like dip speed, dwell time, extraction speed and cure time) for the production run. Entering in the specs is literally the one thing I wasn’t allowed to do.
That had to be done by a supervisor or the manager. After he leaves, just for the heck of it, I double check the specs before I start the test run. The specs were off. Like, WAY off. I call the manager who literally just entered them in and asked him if he knew something I didn’t and if he wanted me to correct them. He vehemently told me to leave the specs as is and run the machine as per his specs.
I ask for his reasoning (something I don’t normally do, but I had a funny feeling) and all he said was, “They won’t know the difference”. Now, considering these catheters go INSIDE of people and can cause serious injury if they are faulty, I call up the production manager and tell him what’s going down. He’s on the phone for less than ten seconds, and all he tells me is to stop production and to hang out.
Cool, I hadn’t even started so I left the clean room and took a break. Not even five minutes later I hear some yelling, a door slam, and the production manager goes into the clean room to enter the specs into the machine and has me verify the specs right in front of him. He turns to me and says, “If this ever happens again, with anyone, let me know. Personally”.
They put him on suspension and sent him home. They started an investigation, (there’s a ton of paperwork and lots of paper trails when it comes to medical devices) and it turns out he had been fudging the numbers for a solid month and not with just this customer. The company that had been ordering the products threw a fit, and said they would find another manufacturing company if you don’t fire the guy (my boss) immediately.
It was a multimillion-dollar contract at risk, so he was gone after the week-long investigation. All I got was a measly handshake and thanks from the owner of the company. In short: the boss was knowingly fudging the specs on medical device manufacturing. I found out, told his boss, he got fired.
92. Freelancer’s Choice
I took a phone call on my cell when at my desk. Middle manager came up and screamed at me. Yelling about how I was not allowed to take calls for clients while at that office. I was a contractor and made it perfectly clear that I did work for multiple clients prior to doing work for this company. The CTO’s office was 10 feet from mine. He came out and stood in his doorway listening to the rant.
When the middle manager was done, I just looked over at the CTO and said: “it’s him or me and at the moment I don’t care which you pick”. CTO walked the middle manager out right then. Funny thing: I didn’t hang up throughout the incident. And it was my wife on the other end. I was spending about 70 hours a week at their site digging their staff out of a hole they had dug themselves in.
93. The Fall Of An Empire
Public agency hires someone out of the private industry at the vice president level. She immediately begins hiring all her cronies and brown-nosers from her old job at very nice salaries for jobs that didn’t previously exist. That’s the sort of corruption we’re used to in North Carolina, so no biggie so far. But she runs out of slots she can just create with a little paperwork so she starts to persecute people in order to get them to quit so she can fill their jobs with her friends.
One job was that of an executive assistant, and she was pretty harsh on the woman who had that job. I witnessed some of this and told the assistant to take it to HR—which she did, and HR just told her to document everything. So, she did and one day the VP caught her recording a yell-fest on her phone. The VP wanted to know what was up, so the exec assistant told her that HR wanted documentation and that I had told her how to record conversations on a cell phone (which was legal, BTW, I checked).
So, she yells at the exec assistant, yells at me, and then gets on the phone to HR, yelling at them that they were a bunch of incompetent fools, and that she wanted to know what kinda Mickey Mouse outfit she was working for if she couldn’t fire whoever the heck she wanted to fire. Sure enough, HR initiates an investigation that took 300 hours (!!) of interviews with everyone in the department and a board of inquiry headed up by a Senior VP.
She was called to the Senior VP’s office at 4:30 in the afternoon and when we came to work at 8 the next morning, her office was cleared out. Most of the cronies she hired were gone with a couple of months; no one wanted to work with them so with no projects on their docket, they knew the writing was on the wall. When the last of the cronies left, her job was eliminated, and her staff transferred elsewhere. It was like the evil VP and her mob never existed.
94. Teaching Them A Lesson
I was teaching in a private school. At one point, I got promoted and was given way more responsibility. These new responsibilities included training staff, coordinating assessments, etc. All of this was on top of my regular duties. I asked for a €200 per month pay increase to cover the final 12 months of the contract.
The boss refused to give me this raise, citing budgetary restrictions. Instead, she gave me another offer that basically felt like an egg to my face—€100, which still left me earning less than some of the unqualified teachers who she employed that just so happened to be friendly with her. She wished me luck on my return to my own country. I wished her luck with recruitment, as I knew a standard job search for that position actually cost €2,500.
The most satisfying part was passive-aggressively telling her I hope she can find someone as good as me to work for that little again, knowing full well that she wouldn’t be able to. Not only did they fly three different applicants out, costing the school well over €1,500, but my replacement left after just six months, so they had to recruit all over again.
Meanwhile, I went to work for a different school across town for a significant pay raise and an easier job, too. Thanks, new boss!
95. Thrown To The Suits
I walked into an off-the-rack suit store, resume in hand, and talked to the store’s assistant manager. The guy’s a couple of years older than me and looked like the kind of guy that would sell you a time share in Florida with his fake tan and bad hair. He hired me on the spot, though, so he had become my new best friend.
Apparently, the manager of the store was on vacation in his native Jordan, but he’d be back at the end of the week. The job itself was very laid back. We spent a lot of time folding clothes and even more time slacking off behind the till waiting for people to come in and purchase cheap suits. I was great at doing both.
That first week was a breeze. The assistant manager had a camping trip on the weekend, but it’d be cool because the real manager was coming back the day before. Except Jordan revolted, and the first thing the revolutionaries did was take the airfields, so he was stuck. I tried to convince the assistant manager to stay.
I had less than a week of experience and no training. He chose to give me a key and go camping anyway. So, with less than a week of experience, I was now the de facto manager of the shop. On Saturday, the vice president of operations came in from across the country to see how the shop was doing. When he learned what had happened, he was ticked.
The assistant manager was fired. I was given his responsibilities and a very brief rundown of what my new job was while the VP stormed around the store trying to make it presentable barking orders and was very grumpy about stuff. My new day, I was to get in at seven thirty in the morning to prepare to be open by eight.
If we opened five minutes late, we got a $500 fine from the mall. I was the only person on staff able to come in that early. I was also the only person who could reliably close, so I started working 14-hour days, every day, for a little over a month doing a job for which I was unprepared, untrained and under-qualified.
To be fair, the guys at HQ were great. They offered a lot of support that actually took the store through the roughest patches, walking me through payroll management and scheduling, helping me do orders and calmly getting me through merchandising and display making. That month was one of the hardest I have ever worked.
It was not just the long hours but constantly trying to keep up with stuff I was not prepared to do, but the HQ guys made it as easy as they could on me. Then the manager got back from Jordan, and he was mad. Nothing was like how he left it. Displays were a disaster. His assistant manager had been fired in his absence.
The guys from HQ were giving him all sorts of trouble for letting his store get that out-of-whack in the first place. His job was much harder than it would have been if he’d come home on time, and he thought the best way to deal with that was to yell at me. He snapped, and he berated me in front of the other employees.
He made it very clear that the state of the store was my fault and that I had screwed everything up. He complained about me to the HQ guys. For a full week after he was back, I was working the same schedule I’d been working while he was in Jordan, and now, I was getting yelled at the entire time. So, I decided to quit.
The guys from HQ were not happy with that decision and forced the manager call me at home and ask me to come back. So, I went in to discuss the terms of my return, and it was pretty clear the manager wanted nothing to do with me offering exactly nothing above the same entry-level position I’d been hired for originally.
No pay raise. No promotion. No acknowledgement, even. The guy never even thanked me for keeping his store from collapsing. All he offered was just $10 an hour to continue being his monkey butler. I went to work at a comic shop after that.
96. Profit First, Safety Second
I used to work for a smaller company with about 12 employees. The president/owner of the company was completely out of touch on how to appropriately run a business. All he cared for was just profit. He provided no health insurance and would purposefully keep his number of employees down so that he wouldn’t have to pay.
Employees were only given 2 weeks for vacations and no personal or sick time. If you were sick, oh, well, use your vacation or just don’t get paid at all. Raises? What is a raise?! Seriously, one employee had been working there for 10 years, he was still making $8 an hour and had never received a raise all those years.
He did not care for employee safety. Dust particulates and small objects flying around? You don’t need a mask or safety glasses. Fiberglass particulates in the air from cutting? Nope, you don’t need gloves or masks or really anything to protect you from that. Long sleeve shirts and hair not tied back is perfectly fine!
One employee got a hernia from heavy lifting. He asked for work comp for the surgery that he couldn’t pay for without any insurance and wasn’t making enough because he hadn’t had a raise in years despite performing above expectations. What did the owner do? He refused because, “he could have gotten the hernia at home”.
This was despite multiple witnesses watching him double over in pain after lifting the component he was building. Almost a year and a half later, the guy still had a freaking hernia. This guy was just a total jerk. Every 2 months, he’d come in a new car and take employees off the production floor so he could flaunt it.
We’re talking like Porsche GT3’s, 2 Tesla Model S Nissan GTR, Audi S8, and the list goes on. When I quit, I just gave him a 5 minute notice and walked out of the door. He tried accusing me of taking sensitive company information, which was untrue. I left everything given to me on my desk and told him to leave me alone.
I told him that if not, I would contact OSHA and tell them what’s going on. He backed off, but since then, about four of their most experienced employees have left, and 3 more are still looking for jobs.
97. Management Was Super Tucked Off
When Circuit City was still in business, I worked in the warehouse. For whatever reason, they had a strict dress policy of khaki pants and this awful collar shirt that employees had to wear tucked in. This rule went for everyone—even the warehouse staff. But I discovered through an old warehouse employee guide that as long as the warehouse employees wore khaki-colored shorts without cargo pockets and a t-shirt with a Circuit City logo, there would be no problem.
Circuit City stopped making Circuit City T-shirts long before I started, but thanks to a local Salvation Army, I was able to pick up two Circuit City t-shirts. Also, after a quick trip to Target for some shorts, my new uniform was complete. When I went to work the next day, my managers’ faces turned red. They were not happy about my appearance, claiming I looked sloppy and unkempt.
Even better, when the giant dude (who hated his job and just slept in the back and talked on his cell phone all day) from the warehouse found out about this, he too got some old Circuit City T-shirts and joined in. Management hated us working together. I miss Circuit City.
98. Following Up
My insufferable manager followed me after work to my second job because she didn’t believe I had one and was just using it as an excuse to get out early. My manager at my second job said, “There’s some crazy lady banging on the doors yelling your name”. So, I grabbed my uniform from my bag, opened the door, threw it in her face, and told her to shove off.
99. Disappear This Miss, Please
I may or may not have carried a heavily intoxicated girlfriend and a large amount of substances out of my boss’s house (CEO of a very large company) while she was covered in her own filth so his wife wouldn’t catch him as she arrived home from her sister’s house a day early. How did this happen, you ask?
My old boss regularly cheated on his wife with any number of women. Well, he calls me one day, because we are friends away from work, and asks me to come to his apartment ASAP. I drive over there, and he’s blitzed, and this undressed chick is laying in her own filth mumbling about something. He says he has to shower and clean up because his wife is ten minutes away so please “Get that out of here”.
I grab the girl and help her to her feet and cover her up with a t-shirt. As I’m walking her out, he yells for me to grab the party bag. The only bag is a Dopp kit. I grab it, jump in my car and drive off. This girl is blasted! She doesn’t know where she lives and is sure she’s having a heart attack. So, I calm her down somewhat and reach in her purse and find her ID.
Luckily, she has her current address on it, and I take her home. I drive back to my house and pull into the driveway and remember the Dopp kit. I open it up and there’s a LOT of illicit substances in there. I got a steak dinner and a few beers later that week from the boss. Needless to say, I no longer work there.
100. Going Out with a Bang
I did not like the overly condescending boss that I had at my last job. One day, while looking over my shoulder at my work as usual, he said: “Can I ask a stupid question?” Since it was my last week at that job anyway, I immediately came back and responded with: “You seem qualified!” I have to say I was pretty proud of myself!
101. Peer Pressure
During an exit interview with my last job, HR asked me where I was going to next. HR: So, what’s the name of the company you are moving to next? Me: I’m not really comfortable disclosing that. HR: Are you sure? It would really help us out. Me: I’d rather not say. HR: It’s company policy. You need to tell us. This is where I snapped.
Me: I said NO, and if you continue further you’ll be hearing from my lawyer. I told my old boss this after I left and he was absolutely shocked. HR has no right to know anything about the next place you are moving to. It’s literally none of their business but they tried to press it out of me anyway, more than likely to call them up and talk bad about me.
102. The Principle of the Thing
I worked as a database administrator for a community center one summer in university. Basically, I created a database for them to track who was donating to them and how much they were donating, as well a who was volunteering, and for how many hours. Very simple work and despite being the youngest person on staff, I got along well with my co-workers.
Well, except for my immediate boss, who was a total piece of work. The next spring, I was applying for jobs and e-mailed my old boss to ask for a letter of recommendation. Much to my surprise, she told me that she didn’t write recommendation letters “out of principle”. I was pretty ticked off about it because I was finding it very difficult to find a position.
Not being able to count on my most recent employer for a reference was a definite blemish on my resume. However, in spite of this, I managed to land a decent job. Lo and behold, I got to get revenge on day one of my new job. That 3day, my boss happened to email me about a problem at my old work with the database I had worked on.
She had moved some files around, rendering it impossible for her to access the database. She asked if I would come in. I had the best reply. I e-mailed her back and told her I already had a job and couldn’t do it “out of principle”. From the center’s perspective, it effectively made my entire summer a waste of time. Hey, what can you do?
103. Egg On His Face
My cousin once quit his job by throwing an egg into the boss’ face. He worked in a restaurant and brought me along one day to see where he worked. I was only a little kid at the time. While I was there, the boss was yelling at him because he brought me. He went on a whole rant about how I was too young to be there and needed to be babysat.
Somewhere during the rant, the boss said a curse word in the regional language that could make your family disown you (not joking). This got under my cousin’s skin. He got fed up, took off his nametag and uniform, picked up an egg from the kitchen, and with a powerful swing threw it directly into his boss’ face. And that was the end of that job.
104. Golden Parachute, or Golden Arches?
I worked in a high-end restaurant that didn’t treat its employees well. One of the cooks gave his two weeks’ notice and, in a passive-aggressive move, they didn’t schedule him for any shifts for what should have been his last week. So, on his final scheduled shift, he showed up in a full McDonald’s uniform. The managers were in shock.
He refused to take it off and they couldn’t tell him to leave, because then they wouldn’t have enough staff for the dinner rush. So he worked for his whole eight-hour shift at this fancy upscale restaurant wearing the McDonald’s uniform, and any time the manager asked or told him anything, no matter what it was, he responded with “Would you like fries with that?”
105. He Had Himself Covered
My boss told me, “You have to cover Jo this coming weekend, for both days, since everybody else said no”. I asked, “How do you know I’ll say yes?” He said, “You have to. There’s nobody left”. My response made his jaw drop. “You’re wrong; I’m left. But I quit. Now, there’s nobody left”. He was speechless, and his expression was priceless. I stood there for about 10 seconds before telling him, “I’m walking away now,” and then I just left.
Thank God this happened the day after I had secured a better job. It’s probably one of my fondest memories.
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
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