Fed Up Bosses And Managers Share Their ‘Worst Employee Ever’ Stories
Managing a business isn’t easy: you have to deal with the day-to-day challenges of making the best of your resources and dealing with customers. You also have to deal with employees, some of whom merely exist to inflict various levels of frustration on their bosses and manager and in the process, inspire our more violent tendencies. We all know them: the ones who perpetually come in late, who are never at fault for anything, who never pull their weight, who have an excuse for everything under the sun. Worst employees.
Perhaps the only people who suffer at the hands of these employees more than their co-workers are the bosses themselves who end up paying (literally) for their behavior.
Some are tolerable and some are straight-up nightmares. Just ask these bosses and managers on Reddit who share their worst employee stories. From chronic lateness to theft, here are worst employees managers have had to deal with!
Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#25. The Pathological Liar/Video Game Addict
The company I work for is pretty hard to get into, even if you have an impressive resume or an awesome reference. Unfortunately, we had a new client. In 1 quarter his business would keep our lights on for about 10 years. He asked if his cousin or “little nephew” could have an entry-level position at our company and we reluctantly said yes.
The kid surfed the web all day looking at cars to buy. Whenever we’d ask him if he completed a task he’d either lie to us and say he did or say he didn’t know how to do it and didn’t want to bother any of us for help. Then he brought in all of his gaming systems into the conference room saying that clients could play them while they waited. Which would have been nice but he played games in the conference room all day. So it came to a point where we gave him the least amount of work to do (ordering paper, delivering lunch, etc).
Two years later the client comes to us and says that he’s going to have his nephew handle the work he was giving us to help him start his own consulting firm. Apparently, the kid lied like no other, making his uncle believe that he was helping run our company.
3 months later he came back to us for our business. Nephew tried hiring a consulting firm to the side to do his work so he could play Sonic the Hedgehog all day.
#24. The Food Bandit
Lazy, incompetent, couldn’t handle any criticism, and she stole my food! She was very overweight and anything I ate she would stare down and be like, “Ohhhh my godddd that looks so gooood” I was the manager of a very small business, just me and two girls under me, so we spent a lot of time together. She would talk about how she couldn’t buy groceries or keep her utilities on, but she wanted to have another baby. And she was cheating on her husband. I hated her so much it gave me anxiety. She messed up my business too because of her mistakes, and our clients hated her. I eventually told my boss it was her or me. Boss didn’t like confrontation so I said okay and took a job elsewhere. The girl ended up getting fired but it was too late. I wasn’t going to stick around after that.
Oh, and several times she took her medication during the day (I think they were meant to be taken at night) and leave. She slept through the phone ringing and me yelling her name because I needed help. Ugh. I get mad just thinking about it!
#23. The One That Worked With Math
Hired a summer laborer, as his aunt was a close friend. He shows up the first day: 5’5″, 375 lbs, 16 years old. I put him to work digging. “No one dies working for me,” I said, “Work at a pace that’s comfortable for you, but do keep working. Drink lots of water!” I come back 30 minutes later and he gets in my face (literally) and says, “I was not raised to do work like this, I was raised to work with math!” That was just the beginning. I fired him two weeks later and apologized to his aunt. When I told her why I fired him she chewed him out. Turns out he had never even mowed a lawn. Total mama’s boy!
#22. Look What She Made Him Do
Supervising security in the barricade for Taylor Swift, I had to tell a grown man several times not to watch the show, you have to watch the crowd! It got so bad that I told him I would have to charge him for a ticket if he was caught watching the show again.
#21. The Curious Case Of The Fingerman
I was giving him, and one other employee, mandatory food safety training (not the most riveting subject by any means, but like I said it is government mandated) and he fell asleep. Literally two feet away from me…we were sitting across from each other at a table.
He also was missing two fingers when we hired him, injured a third on the job using a power drill, re-injured the finger pulling wire after being told not to, and finally was fired for tardiness. I have been told he lost another finger at his next place of employment.
#20. The Gym Bunny Who Hopped Away
At my old job, we had this meathead guy who would take a 2-hour lunch break to go lift weights at the gym (we were only supposed to take 1 hr). Then he’d leave work about an hour early to go do cardio. This went on for like 6 months before he quit. Obviously, we didn’t have a lot of micromanaging going on.
#19. Private Trips
Caught him using illegal substances in the bathroom. When I confronted him he told me what he did in the bathroom was private. Then his tires got slashed another night due to owing a dealer money and he wouldn’t come back into the kitchen to keep working. He went to jail shortly after being fired.
#18. The Devil You Know
The worst employee you can have is one that doesn’t do anything egregious enough to fire, but manages to make every single workday that much more aggravating.
The worst guy had an attention span of a gnat. You had to write down instructions for everything, even tasks he’d done a million times before, and check in on him every 15 minutes or so. And yet, given these parameters, he’d complete perfect work.
Every year during performance reviews, we’d argue about whether or not to keep him on. And every year, we’d keep him on, because the devil you know… I mean, at least we knew how to manage him, and he was manageable.
#17. The One With The Shower Allergy
The one that had to be repeatedly sent home to shower and change.
#16. Lifeguard Off-Duty
Showed up unusually early to find her sleeping on the job. She was a lifeguard. Fired on the spot.
#15. Crazy Cat Lady
The worst employee I’ve ever known is a girl who told me she hated waking up to come to work, so in order to sleep longer in the morning, she would put her clothes on the night before and sleep in them and roll out of bed and come straight to work. She never wore pants, only thick leggings under heavy skirts. She lived with her parents and their 20 cats and would always be covered in cat hair. She didn’t brush her hair and always wore a beanie, even inside. She eventually got fired over it as she was a sales rep for our company.
#14. Netflix And Bill
I had a coworker who lasted a month. He literally just did nothing and would flat-out put on Netflix at his desk before they decided to fire him. Also, he’d stand behind me during video calls just looking at my screen even though I had a headset on.
#13. Worst Aide Ever
We were hospital aides on an inpatient floor. So we did vitals, helped patients walk to and from the bathroom or chairs, that kind of stuff. Nurses depended on us to do our jobs so they could do theirs.
This girl would avoid doing any work she could. She’d constantly hide in one of the back nursing stations and hunker down where she couldn’t be seen and read. She’d ignore call bells for select patients who were known to be messy. Just sit and read while the bell went off and wait for one of the others to grab it. She was allotted a 30min break and constantly took up to an hour. When she was training a new girl, she encouraged the same work avoidance behavior.
Then she got busted for falsifying vitals. She was upset that she couldn’t take her break on her schedule, so when she did go she was gone for an hour and a half. She came back after the second round of vitals for her shift was due, so instead of getting in gear she made them up. Manually typed made up vitals into the computer instead of taking vitals on the machine and saving them (they went to a Wi-Fi cloud to the chart).
What ended up happening was she put an average blood pressure measurement (think 130/85) on a patient whose normal parameters were about 90/60. So the nurse sees this, notice the patients blood pressure is 40 points higher than it should be, so she gives him a dose of BP meds. His BP tanks, the patient nearly dies. It’s terrible.
She gets busted because our heart monitor tech suspected what had happened, gathered ALL the vitals machines and printed out copies of every set of vitals that had been taken that evening. Even if you don’t save it to the cloud under a patients name, the machine saves it.
None of the numbers matched the ones this girl put in the computer which proved she hadn’t done her job. Who knows how long she’d been doing that without getting caught. We’d get busy and lose track of her all the time.
Because of that tech, the nurse wasn’t in trouble and that aide got fired. Good riddance!
#12. Chronic Lateness
Always late and always asked when we could take a break. Every day he had some injury which excused him from working hard like the other guys. He wanted to use a company truck to pick up a girl he was seeing to go to dinner. One day he showed up at the job site at noon and said he had court that morning. Never let me know and had no paperwork to prove it. Fired him there on the spot and have no idea what he’s doing now.
11. Slow And Steady
You really can’t fire someone for being slow. I mean, I guess you can but… you can’t.
I manage a restaurant. There are certain people who are just slow. And no amount of practice is going to change that. They just move at this pace that isn’t conducive to working a cook line. You can do all the coaching in the world, and it won’t matter.
There’s this one guy we’ll call Jordan. Jordan moves at the speed of mud. His mouth is always slacked open and he speaks in such a monosyllabic fashion that you’d wonder if it was a put-on.
We have Texas toast where I work. The procedure for dropping Texas toast is as follows: pick up a piece of bread, brush garlic butter across a piece of bread, drop on the flat top for 45 seconds. Flip for an additional 45 seconds. Serve. The end. Simple. I can drop an entire loaf of Texas Toast in under 20 seconds, followed by the 2-45 second cook times. This is a SIMPLE PROCEDURE.
Jordan stands there with his loose jaw flapping in the wind, meticulously placing garlic butter on every square inch of each piece of bread. This results in one piece of toast being completely toasted by the time the next piece hits the flat top.
I’ve gone over to him and demonstrated time and again. “Jordan, it’s a quick process. Brush, drop, brush, drop, brush, drop, brush, drop, hit the timer. Wait. Flip. Hit timer again. Serve.” He nods his head affirmatively then proceeds to butter every square inch of the bread again.
He walks one-foot per minute to the fridge to grab cheese sticks to drop in the fryer. He spends 5 solid minutes putting chicken on a plate.
Half the time I just tell him to go do dishes.
But I can’t really fire him because TECHNICALLY he’s not doing anything WRONG exactly, he’s just doing a poor version of the correct thing.
#10. The Smooth (Phone) Operator
A guy who was constantly on his phone. Had an arrogant attitude. And always failed miserably with hitting on the female employees, but never stopped.
#9. Too Many Pints
I work in a liquor store.
One guy didn’t show up for 3 days and had his mom come in and apologize. A month later we started finding empty beer cans throughout the fridge at the end of each shift. He would also leave randomly for 15 minutes without telling anyone. What did he leave for? For pints at the adjoining bar, or to ask for cigarettes in the alley, or probably to drink more of our booze.
#8. The Big Flirt
Absolutely slam dunked the interview. I like to think I have a pretty good eye for bad people. I hired him.
By his second day, we started noticing he was missing for hours at a time. By his fourth I found him three buildings down, chatting up the receptionist. Fired him.
Heard later he had slept with three different people in those 4 days. The guy obviously knew how talk to people.
#7. And Like That, He’s Gone
Worst guy was a contractor who “lost” approximately $140,000 worth of inventory (retail pricing). Then when we went to confront him about it, he disappeared.
We’ve filed a police report but that inventory is long gone.
#6. Steak For One
The one who stole all the steaks out of the fridge so we had nothing to cook for our safety celebration after a year injury-free.
#5. He Loves (And Fights) Hard
The one that regularly had to knock down drag out fights with his girlfriend. Much respect for that woman because she gave better than she got.
He’s in prison now. Armed robbery.
#4. The Flipper
I once had an employee that thought to flip a burger you were supposed to flip it like a pancake. He didn’t last long considering he constantly had moments like that all day, that was just the thing I remember specifically. Too many stories to pick from but that one still makes me laugh when I remember it happening.
#3. A Unique Way Of ‘Disposing’ Of Office Supplies
The one who stole office equipment and posted it on eBay under his own name. When confronted, he said we’re throwing them away anyway. They were locked in a cabinet inside the server room.
#2 Not Coming Back
The kid I worked with last week trained for one day, another girl called to ask where he is the next day. He responds with, “Oh yeah I don’t work there anymore.”
I respond with, “We’d like a two-week notice before you quit, you have shifts you’re responsible for.”
Kid: “Yeah, no I’m not coming.”
#1. Café Repulsa
A girl who is so bad people go to other cafes to avoid her, and come in when she’s not there. When she is reprimanded for making yet another mistake, she will lose a shift and then purposely open the store hours late the next day, killing business, out of spite. She knows we can’t fire her. She sleeps with the owner.