Jobs can be more lenient than you might think. Made a small mistake? No problem! But sometimes, an employee screws up really badly—so badly, that they just have to be fired.
I am a chef at an upscale restaurant, and the sauté cook has a lobster dish on his station that involves a technique called deglazing that involves alcohol, so in turn the pan catches on fire briefly and flames up. When you do it correctly, the liquid is cooked off and the flame goes out. Well, this cook had his own nasty method.
Every time he made this dish, he would deglaze the pan, catch it on fire and then blow it out. He was blowing his own germs and nastiness all over someone’s food and everything in the blast radius. That was a week ago. I fired him after he did it multiple times after being asked not to.
Maybe it’s because of the current state of affairs, but I couldn’t believe a trained cook would do that.
I used to run a sports bar a few nights a week. One night, when I was off and the owner was supposed to be there running things, I got a call from one of the bartenders, who told me that I needed to come in. When I got there, I couldn't believe my eyes. The owner was sitting in a booth in the back corner, passed out.
One of the bartenders was so hammered, he was staggering around breaking things. The kitchen staff had walked out, one of the waitresses had burned herself trying to cook something, and the doorman was apologizing to an irate group of sports fans.
Apparently, the owner and the bartender had started pounding drinks. The owner got tipsy and screamed at everybody, so the cook and dishwasher walked out with food still on the grill.
I sent the bartender home, sent the waitress to the ER, cooked up a bunch of the food that was prepped and sent it out comped, closed the kitchen, comped a round for the house, and we ended up having a fun night. I didn't make any money for the owner, but it was fun.
After we closed, I took the owner home, and by then he was clearheaded enough to be remorseful. He decided on the spot to hire me as full-time manager, asked me to hire an assistant, and pretty much stayed out of the place from then on. So in effect, I fired the owner!
I was a manager in a bank. We had a mandatory three-day training course before the person could start working in the branch. I got a call in the middle of the first day of training for my new hire, and it was the trainer asking where she was.
I called the new hire’s cell and she said, "Well it snowed a lot last night, so I assumed the training would be canceled. I'll just show up tomorrow". I told her that we would need to have her start the following week because all three days needed to be completed in order.
She told me that she couldn't work because she had a five-day Vegas vacation set next week. I should have fired her right there, but we didn't have many good applicants, so I gave her one more chance. I told her that no matter what, she had to be at training.
The next week, I got a call from the trainer asking where she was again. I called her and she said, "My flight back from Vegas got delayed and I only had like three hours of sleep. I didn't want to show up tired and make a bad impression". So, I fired her.
I was supervising a call center where the agents did market research surveys. One of the new guys from the recent training class had been working for a few days and had yet to even get decently into a survey with anyone. Like, he'd sit there for four hours at a time doing nothing but occasionally throwing out an intro.
But since he was a quiet kid and didn't complain, I spent more time with the others in his training group and didn't focus on his lack of production until about his third day. I just wanted to hear how he was pitching the survey to give him some pointers, so I tapped in.
They couldn't tell if we were listening in, and I was on the other side of the room. The first call hits the answering machine...On the second call, an old man answers, saying, "Hello?" The trainee's response made me gasp out loud.
He says, "I know where you LIIIIIVE. Beeeotch!" and hangs up.
It took me a minute to compose myself, but I asked him to come into my office and told him "Yeah, you can't work here anymore... "
I was a bartender and bar manager. This guy came in one night and said he was an aspiring DJ and asked if we would consider hiring him to come in just on Sunday nights to DJ for us. He said we wouldn’t have to pay him at first, he would just take tips and we could renegotiate after he helped to build up our Sunday night crowd. He lasted less than three months.
He drove away so much business and I got so many complaints. He played the same songs every week, and when people made requests for commonly known songs, he would have no idea who the musicians were. I had to fire someone who was working for free. He was a really nice guy, which is the only reason he lasted as long as he did.
I had this girl working for me as a lab technician. She was this little Chinese girl, seven months pregnant, and was really nice. One day, she comes up to my office crying. Her purse had been taken from her locker. The lock had been cut. It contained her cell phone, car keys, green card, money—everything.
Apparently, it is very expensive to replace a lost green card. She said it was 400+ dollars. Also, since her car keys were now gone, she had no way to drive home. She lived 50 miles away. Keep in mind, she was seven months pregnant.
So, her husband had to leave his job to bring her the spare keys so she could drive her car home. Meanwhile, I review the security tapes with HR and lo and behold, we caught a girl on camera with a pair of bolt cutters going into the locker room.
The girl we saw on the tape was one of the other lab technicians. She was my employee and someone the victim worked with every single day. We used the company bolt cutters to get into her locker and we found the bolt cutters she had used. We also found food and a bunch of other stuff she was not allowed to have in her locker.
At that point, we didn't need to prove she did it to fire her, but we were going to try anyway. The next day, she comes in to get her check, and we bring her into HR and show her the bolt cutters. She admits that she took the purse, took the money and credit cards, and threw the rest in the trash.
We tell her that she is fired, and to please wait while we write her another check so she wouldn't have to come back in next week to pick up her last check. While she was "waiting," we called the authorities who came and took her in.
She had to take them back to her apartment where she gave them the purse which she had not thrown in the trash after all.
We had a really tough time for about a year finding good dishwashers, and by "good" I mean one that could get through a shift without falling asleep at the dish sink or smoking out of an aluminum foil pipe. Well, we finally thought we found our guy, a mid-20s dude who seemed to have his act together, and his past references checked out great.
On his second day of work, he showed up at 10:30 am for an 8:00 am shift. I asked him what happened and why he didn't call. He told me that he had lost his cell phone the night before, and since that doubled as his alarm clock... that's why he was late.
I usually give my employees one free pass, but I was reluctant this time because it was his second day. He begged and pleaded, and I finally relented. About an hour into his shift, the kitchen manager came and got me and told me to come see the dishwasher.
I go into the kitchen and find the guy only using one arm to move stuff around, and he is wincing in pain every other second. We asked him to come out of the kitchen and talked to him in the dry storage area. He says he's fine, he's just a little sore from getting into a fight last night.
A fight? We prod him some more and he says the real reason he lost his cell phone was because he got mugged last night. At this point, we tell him that he needs to go to the hospital to get himself checked out because he is obviously in pain. He is adamant that he can finish his shift and he won't go to the hospital.
This is when I see the blood seeping through his shirt from the side of his chest. He finally 'fesses up and tells us that he got shot last night and that he won't go to the hospital because it was his cousin who did it. Sadly, we had to let him go. I really admired his work ethic, though.
I work at an art studio where we teach classes and sell pottery that our artists make for others to paint. I'm one of the artists and the manager. I started getting a funny feeling about one of my employees...
She wasn't doing anything blatantly wrong, just seemed to work really slowly sometimes, request insignificant but kinda odd schedule changes, and have different break habits from the other staff.
I started feeling like she was stealing but this is a small business, so I didn't have her on camera or any way to really prove it... Until she accidentally sent me a video of herself painting pieces that I made from her home!
I had an employee that was going to get fired for simply showing up late constantly with no legit reason. During the term meeting, she tells me another employee cut the brake lines in her car—it’s obvious this was to save her from being fired. She didn’t realize that something like that gets people involved.
She was termed, and then detectives showed up at her house to get statements. Of course, there was no evidence of lines being cut and now she’s dealing with making false statements.
When I worked in retail, I was a district manager for a kiosk-based company. I had a manager in one of my stores who was bizarre, but she sold really well and showed up every day, so we put up with her.
She used to claim she talked to angels all the time and she performed some sort of ritual blessing on the store when she opened up every morning, but...whatever. She sold.
One day, in the middle of the holiday season, someone called out to her, and she was working alone. We had a procedure in place for being able to close the store temporarily if you're working alone so that you can go to the bank, the bathroom, or whatever else you might need.
You must remove the merchandise from the countertops, make sure everything's locked, set the alarm, and go. She had to go to the bathroom, and didn't feel like doing all that and didn’t feel like walking all the way to the bathroom, I guess.
She stepped out of her kiosk, strolled over to the giant potted tree in the big ceramic urn near the mall fountain, hiked up her skirt, and squatted on it as hundreds of horrified shoppers looked on. I got a call from mall management, and I let her go the next day for "not properly securing the store".
I worked in an office, and they hired a girl from a temp agency to help me. She wouldn't do anything unless I walked her through each step after telling her she had to do it. Hey, an estimate just arrived on the fax right next to you, complete the quote and send it back. I come to find out she was playing spider and solitaire on her computer...
She was also sneaking out back all the time doing who knows what. I told my boss to get rid of her, and that I would rather work alone than babysit her, so he called the temp agency and told them to stop sending her. She showed up the next day anyways, so the boss sent her home and called the agency saying she is useless, and to please stop sending her.
She showed up again the next day! This went on for over a week. The people at the temp agency said they told her to stop showing but she kept coming in every morning, usually 10 to 20 minutes late.
My boss wouldn't say anything to her face, so finally, I said, “Hey, we can't afford to pay you, so we had to let you go through the temp agency. They should have told you”. She said, "Oh, I thought they were joking”. I was so glad she was gone.
This happened just after an employee at my company was laid off. While cleaning out his office, we found the entire back wall of his work area caked with boogers. It was so gross! I asked him, "Dang it, man! What the heck is this?" His explanation made my blood boil.
He said, "Oh, the trash can is right there, and when I flick them in the trash, sometimes I missed".
My first "real" job was at a poster factory, building shelving in a new stock warehouse. I was working with another new hire—the first day for both of us— cutting pieces of plywood to the appropriate length to serve as shelving. Two and a half hours in, we took our morning 15-minute break.
My coworker goes off to the convenience store, like many other workers, to grab a drink or something. At the end of the fifteen minutes, he's nowhere to be seen. When my boss asked where he was, I said I had no idea, and my boss just shrugged and said, "Huh". I never saw him again.
The new hire started work at 10 am in the supermarket I manage. At 10:04, I asked him to bring a case of Coke-a-Cola from the storeroom and put it on the shelf. At 10:06, he came back from the store without the Coke and said, "I didn't know this would involve manual labor," and promptly left.
He only had six minutes of total employment time, it must be some kind of record.
I used to manage a pizza joint years ago, and another manager hired this guy. My first time working a shift with the guy, he was practically sleeping on the counter. I told him he needed to get to work, and he blew up. He was walking around the store, stomping his feet, and taking his shirt off wanting to fight me in front of customers.
I'm an ex-bouncer and I don't take any of this kind of stuff from guys like that and called his bluff. He ended up leaving, accidentally hitting another delivery driver's car as he sped out of the parking lot.
I fired a guy looking to pay someone to cast black magic on the owner and the owner’s family to bewitch them into giving him a raise and, ironically, never firing him. The only reason I found out was because he asked someone else in the office for help in finding a witch doctor to cast the spells and word got around.
No one wanted to be in the same room as him after that. When I confronted him, he said the devil made him do it, so it wasn’t his fault. I definitely did not wake up expecting to fire someone for black magic that day.
I hired and fired an employee on the spot. He went out for his testing in the morning, passed it, and came back ready to work. I handed him his safety glasses as we proceeded to the shop, and he said, "I didn't sign up for this," and proceeded to tell me what an awful company this is for making him wear safety glasses.
I fired him then and there, and he then pleaded to rehire him if I wouldn't make him wear safety glasses.
I let myself get pressured by my boss into hiring a copywriter—and it went so wrong. She did a couple of writing tests that came back okay, and her attributed work on other sites and magazines was passable so I didn't fight it too much.
On the first day, she announces that she is both dyslexic and suffers from adult attention deficit disorder and will need all sorts of special equipment to work with and longer deadlines to complete her work. Not really what you're looking for in a wordsmith.
When I pointed that out, she rattled off a list of other companies that she was in the process of suing for unfair dismissal. Happily for me, she also began stalking someone else at work, ultimately sending him hundreds of explicit text messages, so we were able to get rid of her that way.
Back when I was a manager, my assistant manager did the hiring. He hired this one lady who ended up being pretty awful. She was really, really, slow, and was always sneaking breaks. She'd take five minutes to walk to her soda and get a drink, and just didn't get anything done.
We moved her around to every position she was qualified for and couldn't find a spot. So, I was told to fire her. Anyway, the day I was going to fire her, she came in with a huge grin on her face and was all happy and told me that she was finally able to get off food stamps and pay for her son's bail.
I felt like an absolute jerk, even though I had tried everything. It ended up working out alright for her. She went crying to the assistant manager, who went to the owner who hired her back. They told me they would be responsible for her after that, and that I didn't try enough or whatever.
They ended up firing her two weeks later and she was the only one to ever collect unemployment benefits from that place, so she still made out. I am so glad I don't work there anymore.
I had a guy come in every day and beg me for a job for almost a month straight. He came in every day at 9:00 am, pleading for a job. I didn't have any open spots, but when I did, I thought, "This guy has determination". So, I hired him. BIG MISTAKE.
His first day on the job, he worked for 10 minutes, and then came into the office to use the bathroom. I stepped out for a few minutes to check on the yard, and when I came back, I assumed he had already gone back out to the shop.
A few hours later, one of the shop guys came in and said, "I guess the new guy quit. He went to the bathroom and never came back". I proceeded to check to see if he was in the bathroom, and sure enough, he was passed out on the floor in the fetal position sleeping.
I woke him up and asked what his problem was, and he said, "I took some bad stuff last night, and I don't feel good". To top it off, he stole ten rolls of toilet paper and stuffed them down his pants. I told him to keep them and just get out. The next day, he tried to return to work as though nothing happened.
He thought it was his first day. He didn't remember anything about the day before.
In the early 2000s, I managed a coffee shop that required the customers' names to be written on the cup. One guy looked like he was doing it—but upon closer inspection, on some cups, he was writing an IP address.
Turns out, he was running a sports betting book out of the shop. However, he did quit before I had to technically fire him because he found out that I knew.
I hired an older guy for a customer service position in a call center via a temp agency. Well, after two weeks, he called me to tell me he had a heart attack and is going to be out for a while. Seeing as how he works for a temp agency and not directly for us, my response is "Okay, just let the agency know, and let me know when you can come back in".
The guy would call me about once a week just to let me know he was alive. After about six weeks, I happen to be looking at a report of payouts from the temp agency, and I see this guy's name on there claiming 40 hrs. After some digging, we figured out that he had been forging my signature on them since the day he had a "heart attack".
I ended up waiting at the temp agency for him to come to pick up his "check"… and by check I mean two officers with handcuffs.
I had two guys, one worked overtime without being asked, the improved overall performance of the office by several percent, and the other guy came in plastered every day, staring at the monitor for half an hour before even moving.
I had to fire the first guy because the higher-ups did not like having unexpected costs. The second guy got promoted since "He is always cheery at work and gives off good morale".
I didn't stay much longer after that.
We hosted a networking breakfast every other month and my assistants had to meet me at 6:45 am to set up and check people in. This kid shows up half an hour late, sits at the check-in table, and doesn't look at anyone. He just crosses his arms and looks mad.
I tell him to check people in and he says, "It's too early for this, I don't even want to be here". I tell him, "Then go home," and he picks up his jacket, walks up to me like he is going to strike me, huffs and puffs and takes off.
I get to the office at 9 am, and he's sitting at his desk as though nothing happened. I tell him, "OK, guy, obviously, you are fired, let's pack your things up". He just stared blankly at me and asked quietly, "Um, why?" I reply, "Are you kidding me? Why would I want an assistant who I have to babysit?"
He replies "Yeah, you have a point," and leaves.
This guy had previously been fired for being an idiot, but I honestly don't know the real reason. For some reason, a year later, management thought he had changed so they hired him back. A serious error in judgment.
He was making coffee in the staff room and spilled some water, so he cleaned it up with a towel. But then the towel was wet, and he decided that the best way to dry it was to put it in the microwave for five minutes.
He set the towel and microwave on fire. He was promptly fired again.
I hired this guy on Friday. On Sunday, he kicked in the back door of the store, cleared out the register of $200 in ones, fives, and change that we kept in it for the next day, took one of the work trucks, and took off to the next town over.
Monday morning, I arrive on the scene and call the authorities. They said, "Yeah, we had this guy yesterday and let him go because nobody had reported it yet". Sadly, the worst was yet to come.
They found him right where they left him in the parking lot of a sketchy apartment complex. I went to pick up the work truck from the station and there were hair clippings all over the back, along with the empty change rolls for the ~$10 in nickels and dimes he'd spent on who knows what that night. So I fired the guy.
My dad has a small handyman company with less than a handful of employees. His tools somehow have the habit of growing legs when he's at construction sites, so he rigorously writes his name on everything with permanent marker.
One day, shortly after he hired someone new, his folding ruler goes missing. He asks around if anyone has seen his folding ruler but that doesn't seem to be the case. He doesn't think much of it, because sometimes things get lost.
The next day, he sees the new hire with a familiar-looking folding ruler. He asks him to see it. The new hire refuses. Dad tells him that he's his boss and insists he shows him the ruler. He complies under pressure. Sure enough, there's my dad's name on it in capital and bold letters.
Now that could've been an honest mistake and there probably wouldn't have been any repercussions if he simply said, "Oh, my bad. Must've put the wrong one in my pocket. Here's your ruler". But the new hire insisted that this was his ruler and that the name on the side of it wasn't my dad's handwriting but rather a note the new hire had written on it himself to remember my dad's name.
What makes it even more stupid is that my dad's company pays for the tools of his employees. He could've simply asked for a folding ruler and my dad would’ve given him one for free but no, he needs to take the boss’s folding ruler and give the stupidest lie imaginable as an excuse.
I went into my store on my day off, since sales had dipped during the day, and I wanted to figure out why. I saw customers in the store and no sales associate. It went like that for twenty minutes. I walk in, look around, and head to the back. The new hire is there with his girlfriend, halfway dressed. It very suddenly was no longer my day off.
For a big project I was working on, I had to have a full-time door guard. All the guy has to do is sit there and take down the names of construction workers. Even though this position required minimal skill, he still managed to call me every five minutes with some ridiculous question. One day, I had just had it.
When we had another issue at the door, I went over to him and said, "Why can't you just communicate with me over the walkie instead of calling me to the door every time you have a question?" To which he replied, "Why can't you be nicer?"
At this point, I went absolutely crazy and he told me all smugly, "You know what? You'll just have to find yourself another door guard". I responded, without breaking eye contact, by calling one of my other employees over the walkie "to cover the door," and then pointed to the exit.
I worked at a grocery store for my first job in high school. They have a sizable crew that comes in to stock the store each night. They noticed that this one guy was disappearing all the time and decided to investigate. They found him asleep in the bailer.
If you don't know, a bailer is a large piece of machinery that packages cardboard into gigantic bundles to be hauled away and recycled. It uses hydraulics to apply several tons of pressure to create the bail. During a night shift, the bailer is run every 30 minutes or so due to the large quantity of cardboard that products come out of.
The manager simply told this guy that he was lucky to be alive and to never come back.
I fired a bloke by text message once. The day he started, he sent me a text asking for directions and saying he was going to be half an hour late. He'd already been there for the interview, so asking for directions seemed a bit odd, but I let it go.
Each day for the rest of the week, he sent texts saying he was going to be either late or absent. On Friday, I replied to his "I'm going to be an hour late" message telling him not to bother coming into work and I would send him his paperwork.
I manage a dentist's office, one of those big ones with several dentists. One night, I forgot my cell phone in my office. So, I doubled back about an hour after closing. I unlock the door and hear murmurs in the operatory. Like the naive girl I am, I go to investigate.
There I find two of my doctors flanking a chair and the nitrous canister running. In the chair is my 19-year-old insurance biller. She's on the chair huffing on the nitrous. And the best part? The biller still asked me for a reference after I gave her her last check.
We hired a contractor to manage our small-ish network. We'll call him Steve. He did great work for about two months, but was often holed up in small offices, closets, and was very hard to find. As he did good work, nobody really complained.
One morning we had a power outage and one of the core switches didn't come back. I hadn't seen Steve all week, so I dropped him a line in hopes of getting him on-site to look at the issue. Immediately I could tell something was up.
He wanted me to do all the hands-on rebooting while he controlled the device remotely. I told him I didn't have the time, and that he'd have to come in to do it himself. At this point, he tells me, "Well, that may be a problem..."
It turns out he had been working our job remotely for almost a month, while he'd accepted a full-time position in Miami—almost 2000 miles away!
Needless to say, this was the last we heard from him... until the company sued him for breach of contract and eventually bankrupted him. Sad thing is, I'd 100% take him back compared to the half-wit contractors we've had since.
When I was a bank teller, a fellow teller got fired for stuffing her purse with a strap of $100s every day, adding up to $10,000. Here’s the interesting part. She always put the strap back into her teller drawer at the end of the day.
She did this for months and months apparently without anyone noticing, but when the camera auditors finally did catch it, she was confronted and fired.
When they asked her why she put a strap of money in her purse each day but always put it back, she said that if the bank were ever held up then she could just take the money home because everybody would’ve assumed it was taken by the intruder.
In the late 70s, I worked in an electronics manufacturing plant. There were perhaps 75 or so folks working on the manufacturing floor, one of them having been hired only that morning.
We were about four hours into our day, nearing lunchtime, when this fine young man leaps up and starts screaming incoherently. Before anyone can react, he whirled around and ran, still screaming, through the assembly area.
He went past engineering, hung a right at accounting, and screamed—literally and figuratively—out the front door and continued across the parking lot, over a fence, across a busy southern California eight-lane freeway, over the far fence, and was never seen again. We fired him.
I worked at a pet store, and I was the lead cashier, so I had to train this girl who didn’t think she had to abide by the uniform because it “doesn’t count as a real job”. That was a warning that despite what she thought, she did need to follow the uniform rules.
Then when ringing up customers, she actually told customers they couldn’t buy certain items because we were running low, and she planned on getting a pet soon and wanted these items. I apologized and rung them up.
Cue a second warning with me explaining that’s not how it works, and that she could shop when she’s off the clock. Oh, but that wasn't the worst thing she did.
Finally, my manager fired her when she tried to take one of the cats that were up for adoption after being told she needed to wait for approval after they do a home visit and make sure she can care for the cat. Her excuse for trying to steal the cat?
Her landlord doesn’t allow pets so she wouldn’t be approved, and she’d be a much better pet parent than anyone else who wanted the cat and much better than any of the customers we got. That girl didn’t even last a week.
I was running a restaurant one time and had to let this dishwasher go. No real surprise, he came to work high out of his mind. I asked him to go into the walk-in fridge and grab something. 45 minutes later, I couldn't find him.
I go into the walk-in, turns out he couldn't figure out how to get out of the refrigerator, so he ends up making the best of the situation, starts juggling fruit, and ate an expensive dessert because he "didn't know how long he'd be in there for".
When my father was a teenager, he was a big guy at 6'4" and 240 lbs. He got a job working at a donut shop moving and loading large bags of ingredients. The manager told him he could eat as many doughnuts as he wanted. At noon, the manager fired him.
He told my father that most kids would start slowing down eating after a couple of hours. After four to five hours, they never wanted one again. My father was speeding up after five hours, and there was no end in sight.
The manager realized he could not afford him so gave him a baker's dozen and let him go. Long story short, he ate himself out of a job!
Hired a server at an upscale-ish restaurant. He was hired on one day, started the next day, and then had a day off before his next training shift. We had a very generous employee meal plan; half off for you anytime, and once a month, an additional 30% off for up to three guests.
On his day off, he brings three of his frat brothers in to take advantage of his discount. His server is the guy who trained him on his first night. These guys order BIG. Apps, drinks, steaks, the whole nine yards. When the server rings in the second round, it occurs to him that when they'd done paperwork the day before the kid was 19.
The server comes to me and says, “I think that new hire is drinking underage”. I go to the table and ask him, "Are you 21?" And he says yes. I walk back to the office, open up his paperwork, and see that he's nineteen. I fired him on his day off and charged him and his friends full price for everything.
The worst part is that when the district manager found out, he made me write up the trainer for not carding him.
A guy was re-hired at the metal fab shop I was working at. He had been laid off when we were slow. He was re-hired on a Friday, and started Monday. He goes and does his substance test first thing. He failed. Apparently, he had celebrated being rehired over the weekend.
It was funny listening to my boss say, "Are you kidding me? You knew our testing policy! You couldn't wait three days??"
I was a florist and had a 40-something woman delivering for me. I received a call from the building manager of a brand-new office building with only one tenant, telling me my driver wrote on the elevator wall with a sharpie.
They had a video showing that she was the only person to use the elevator during the time the vandalism took place. The worst part for me was, this happened a few days before Valentine's Day, so now I had no driver!
A coworker called me and asked if I could work for her one Saturday. I told her no because I had plans with friends that day. That Saturday rolls around. I'm in another town with friends, about an hour's drive from where I work. Then, I get a call.
"Hey, so-and-so said you were going to work her shift today". I had to explain that I told her I couldn't come in and that I was around 50 miles away. She was told never to come back to work.
I kept telling my employee to never delete a file when working on our systems, but to rename it for a week to see what broke before deleting it. He finally broke a mission-critical system late one Friday night by deleting a file, requiring a restore from tape that took hours.
I decided to fire him and was bummed all weekend, dreading having to tell him on Monday morning. I walked into my office bright and early to find a manila envelope on my desk with his pager, keys, and a letter of resignation. He knew he just wasn't right for the job. Whew!
We were doing an IT project, and the client was paying for contractors on an hourly basis rather than paying a lump sum for the project. We had a contractor working in a lab in a basement that was caught by the client sleeping on the job.
He was warned not to do anything that might make the client think they were being ripped off, even if it was in-between periods when batches of work required input. The client caught them sleeping again, and I had to send them home on the spot.
Some guy wore a hat to his shift that had a large logo from a competing brand. I told him to take it off and he complied while whining, "but my hair is awful today". I told him he could buy one of ours or he could go home. A few minutes later, he was wearing it again.
I had the handbook ready and pointed out that he was breaking policy and I would be writing him up. He huffed and went back to the break room, but when he emerged onto the sales floor, he had his hat on again. I told him to go home. He threw a couple of obscenities at me and slunk out of the store.
I put the paperwork together and was ready to fire him in person, but he never showed up for another shift. He was a strange guy, but this was just idiocy that caught me off guard.
A co-worker got fired for trying to race our sales manager down the highway. I work in radio, and we have station vehicles covered in logos. One glance and you know which radio station a car represents. So, our new promotions guy is out in one of our cars coming back from an event.
He rolls up to a traffic light, pulling next to a newer BMW. Our promo guy revs the engine, challenging him to a race. The light changes and he guns the station vehicle, speeding off down the highway. When the sales manager found out who was driving the sponsored vehicle that very publicly represents the station, he was fired instantly.
The lack of brains in that decision was baffling.
When I was working at Burger King, our restaurant manager was away on maternity leave, so we had someone from another store come in over that time to fill the role. He ended up hiring someone who had worked there five to six years previously.
The few staff that had known her before she’d left hated her but had no idea why she left. She even passed all the checks from head office before she was hired. The restaurant manager comes back about a month after she’s been hired. She takes one look at her and goes bananas.
Like, my manager is yelling at this girl, she’s yelling at the manager that hired her, and all the crew that had known her when she was here last. Obviously, none of us knew what was going on, but it turns out this girl hadn’t left, she’d been fired, and management at the time had only told people that she’d quit.
Turns out, this girl had scammed Burger King by pretending to be pregnant, using fake ultrasounds, plans, a baby shower, the whole lot, and then took paid maternity leave so she could go work somewhere else because it was seasonal work with better pay, with the idea of having a job for the off-season to come back to.
I have no idea how she got through the head office checks, but she was fired that day. It was super impressive when you consider that I’m in New Zealand, so getting fired is usually a month-long process here.
I had a food and beverage manager that brought a coffee to his female assistant manager on inventory day when the two of them would be alone performing inventory. She drank about half the coffee, started feeling dizzy, and saw there was a heavy table pushed up against the door.
She freaked out and got out of the area. She went to HR and they tested the coffee. The truth was chilling. He'd spiked it. That was definitely the most interesting firing I was involved in.
We had a new guy who was pretty quiet. He wasn’t the best worker ever, but he was good enough. Another guy was talking about hobbies with him to try to get him out of his shell a bit. Turned out they both played World of Warcraft. The new guy lit up. Great right? Wrong.
They talked a bit more, and then it came out that they played different factions. The new guy had an absolute meltdown on the spot. I mean, it was so dramatic we thought he was joking at first, then were like “what the heck” when we realized he wasn’t.
The next couple of days, he refused to talk to the other guy. He got told that wasn’t okay, especially over an incident like this. A couple of days after that, the new guy just didn’t show up. It was a pretty easy decision to fire him.
A guy told a female co-worker he wanted to take her newborn baby home with him to “inspire” his wife to have one. The dude was creepy as heck before that, but the complaint she made to management was what got him cut loose. He denied ever having said it, despite corroborating statements from other employees and a couple of customers.
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