Managers Share The Most Obnoxious Reason An Employee Was Fired Or Quit
In respectable places of business, employee terminations aren’t typically random. Fireable offenses typically involve an employee’s counterproductive behavior, snarky gossip in the office, a controlling boss, or budget cuts. However, some employees take their workplace mischief to a whole other level, and sometimes it seems as if they have the intent to go out with a bang.
From stealing hundreds of hot dogs from the office picnic supply to starting at a pet store despite being deathly allergic to fish, these employees refused to curb their behaviors until it was too late. Their ticked-off managers, bosses, and coworkers took to the web to share the incidents that got their employees fired or finally fed up.
#1 Is This Guy Okay?
A pawnshop employee stole $400 from the cash register, then realized that there were video cameras. He had no idea where the security footage was stored, so to cover his tracks, he set the store on fire. He ended up getting pretty badly burned in the process and went to jail right after the hospital.
#2 You’re An Arrogant Jerk, Dude
I hired a guy who showed a lot of potential in sales. He was a little arrogant and had a good-sized ego, but it wasn’t enough of a problem. He was very good at what he did and eventually, it went to his head. He started showing up late all the time, leaving early, and cutting corners where he could. The final straw came when he showed up late and someone spoke to him about it. He decided the best choice of words he could yell were, “I MAKE THE MOST SALES, SO YOU CAN ALL SCREW OFF.” He was fired on the spot. Customers thought it was pretty funny though.
#3 Wow, You Weren’t Lying
I worked for a boutique hotel as an operations manager. Unless the area manager had to come in, I was the boss. One night, I got a frantic call on my downtime from an employee claiming our overnight guy tried to attack him. I let out a sigh, as the accuser was notorious for being a drama queen. I loaded up the security camera on my home PC, forwarded to the corresponding time frame, and I gasped.
Our night guy legitimately lunged at his coworker and tried to strangle him. Luckily, a desk was between them, and that gave the victim enough time to bolt. I instantly felt like a jerk for doubting him. I immediately called in the area manager. We showed up at the crack of dawn and spoke with the dude who made the attack. He claimed he didn’t do it, so we showed him the video.
I kid you not, he responded with: “I don’t recall the events of that evening.” We fired him on the spot. What started the fight you ask? Well, the victim had done extra work to make the attacker’s shift easier. The attacker felt like this was an insult to his work ethic. Later on, I got multiple reference requests from similar hotels calling for a reference for the attacker. I simply said I wasn’t able to provide a positive reference, as legally that was all I could say.
#4 Nice Try, Buddy Boy
My wife and I started a small software company 20 years ago. She’s the manager for the sales and HR departments, while I do the programming. Anyway, we hired a programmer one time and on his first day, I spent the whole morning with him going over our development philosophy, how we do source control, etc. I also showed him an overview of our applications and how we built them.
The entire time, he was highly critical, pointing out what he considered flaws in everything. After lunch, he went back in to see my wife. He obviously didn’t know we were married (we don’t share a surname and at work and we keep pretty much to ourselves). He said to my wife, “You know how to fix this company? You need to fire that other guy.” We still laugh about that one.
#5 That’s Not ‘Protecting’ Women, You Creep
About a year ago, I hired a guy who was down on his luck. I went against my best judgment and hired him out of sympathy. Due to the nature of my business, I usually don’t hire people that fit his profile (out of shape, poor hygiene, etc.). It wasn’t long before I started hearing complaints from female employees and clients. Turns out, he would often attempt to flirt with women and when he was turned down, he would lose his mind, calling them terrible names and insults.
I don’t tolerate that stuff at all, so I gave him a very stern warning. The very next day, I found one of my sweetest female employees visibly upset. When I asked her what was wrong, she said that the dummy had followed her home yesterday to “make sure she got home safely.” Then, he showed up in the morning to “escort her to the office.” She was genuinely scared.
I called him into my office and told him to scram. He threatened to file a complaint with the Department of Labor for discrimination against “men who have an innate need to protect women.” It didn’t matter. I told him to beat it! And now I’m fighting the stupid claim with the DOL. I’m going to make sure I remind the board what the definition of “protecting” is.
#6 Clever, But Not Clever Enough
I once had an employee who faked an injury. Now, mind you, he did injure himself, not in the way he initially planned. He had intended to fake a minor injury and get put on workers compensation. The problem was, he screwed up and ended up hurting himself severely. We had a 20-minute tape of him hiding behind one of the trucks on the worksite practicing his fall. We later received a written confession from one of his coworkers, saying that he’d been planning it since the day we hired him.
#7 You Had EVERY Chance Not To Screw Up
At a previous job, we had issues with food being stolen from the break room fridge. The company made a big stink about it and it kept happening, so they installed security cameras in the break room. Like, big freaking cameras in plain sight, pointing at the fridge, with our bosses being very direct about them. “We have cameras now. Do you really want to lose your job over eating someone else’s sandwich?” A few days later, a guy got fired for stealing food. Literally, he was caught on camera just grabbing people’s lunches out of the fridge and eating them.
#8 That Sure Took A Turn…
My dad and I ran a business together cleaning out foreclosed homes for a real estate agency. I was a senior in high school at the time, so I got out during lunch break and we could usually get a house done in a half a day. Sometimes, we’d get some bad ones and we would have to call a few guys to see if they wanted to make a quick hundred bucks for a day’s work.
On my last day of class, my dad picked up one of our usual guys and got one house about 90% done by lunch. He was a pretty normal guy who we never had any trouble with. He went out to the truck and came back into that house with a weapon, robbing my dad of his wallet and keys. He then bolted in our truck. The funny thing is, the only thing of value in my dad’s wallet was the cash he was going to pay the guy for his service.
The state police got the guy’s number from us and they told him some bogus story about how my dad was being investigated for not paying his workers. They told the guy that if he met them with the truck, they would get his statement and let him go. The idiot pulled up and got arrested on the spot. He got eight years in prison for his offense.
#9 This Is A New Level Of Nerdy
A guy I knew was extremely nerdy. He was absolutely obsessed with Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and Yu-Gi-Oh. Those were literally the only things he would ever talk about. One day, I was on a register and I saw him being dragged out of the store by the cops in handcuffs. Turns out, he had been shoplifting tons of playing cards over the past few months, at least $500 worth. Our store policy was to let employees “get away” with up to that amount before busting them, I think because the charges would stick harder or something.
#10 I Have So Many Questions
I run a small business. One time, an employee quit because he got bit by a squirrel that a customer threw at him.
#11 She Took The ‘L’ On That One
I used to do some consulting work and hired a woman to help out. Mostly clerical stuff and whatnot. I flew down to St. Thomas for a meeting and got a call from Sonitrol at 10:30 p.m. She had keys to my building but didn’t know about the alarm. Basically, she and her boyfriend brought another couple down to have intimate relations in one of my offices.
I called her during their pow-wow and she acted all normal. I talked about a few mundane details I needed to relay to her and then mentioned to make sure she only was ever at the office between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., since there was a silent alarm that that would alert me with audio of any activities in the building. When I got back in town, her keys were sitting on my desk.
#12 This Guy Is Just A Trainwreck
An 18-year-old guy was hired at my work around Thanksgiving. On what was supposed to be his first day, his mom called and said he got carried away with the holiday celebrations. He woke up and found himself in jail. Four days later, he got out of jail and finally showed up to work. He then warned me that if he ever didn’t show up for work, I should call the jail, then grab the roll of the 20s in his desk drawer labeled “Bail Fund” to get him out. I fired him after that.
#13 Of All The Things You Could Steal
A guy filed a discrimination complaint against the company after he got fired for stealing hot dogs from the refrigerator. Our warehouse kept a stock of hot dogs for employee appreciation picnics, and no one knew why they were disappearing. Announcements were made and all employees were asked not to eat the hot dogs. If they wanted some, they could ask, but they wouldn’t be able to grab several packs.
That didn’t work, so they decided to install a camera near the refrigerator. The guy got caught red-handed. He was practically inhaling the hot dogs directly from the refrigerator by the packs. After he was fired, he filed a discrimination claim on the basis of disability due to his weight. I sent the response with a video of him eating the hot dogs. Also, he couldn’t prove his weight was a disability under the ADA. We won that claim.
#14 This Is Definitely Not The Job For You
I owned a pet store and a young man came in looking for work. He seemed quite personable and had been a bit of a regular customer, so we gave him a chance. Turns out, he was allergic to fish. If he was near them, or worse, touched them, he would go into anaphylactic shock. We sell live fish as well as fish food, but he said it wasn’t a problem since he had an EpiPen. Um no. I couldn’t believe his mom even allowed him to apply.
#15 You Were Almost In The Clear
I worked with a girl in retail who just could not arrive on time. Even with a five-minute leniency rule, she still couldn’t get there for the start of her shift. We had a pretty generous tardy system: eight tardies in six months, and then termination after that. We were having a pretty high turnover rate, so even though the girl had more than 10 tardies, no one said anything to her.
She even admitted she was usually “on time,” but she would sit in her car and talk on the phone for a bit, or decide to hit up a drive-thru knowing she didn’t have enough time. One day, she cames in, late as usual, and immediately got called into the store manager’s office. We assumed she was getting fired, but it turned out she was simply getting “warned.” At that moment, she decided to ask the manager if her tardiness on THAT day counted. He fired her on the spot.
#16 He Had To Know He Was Getting Fired
I fired a guy because he said he couldn’t come to work due to the rain. He had just washed his car the day before and didn’t want to take it out of the garage.
#17 Hey, He Had A Second Chance
I’m a tool shop owner. One of our machinists would go out for lunch and slam back three to four drinks every day. When I found out, I told him he couldn’t drink on the job. He said it was his business what he did at lunch, not mine. The next day, he came back from lunch smelling like he had been drinking, so I let him go on the spot.
A few years later he showed up in my office asking for his old job back. He said that he was an addict back then and was sorry for his behavior. He claimed to now be sober and he needed a job. I hired him on the spot and it worked out great for five or six years. Then, he started drinking again and I had to let him go a second time. I have no idea how he is doing now, but I often wonder. He was a great machinist and a nice guy when he was sober.
#18 Well, That Lasted All Of One Day
When I was working at this Japanese restaurant, we had to fire one of the new cooks his first day because he showed up intoxicated. I actually had to go pick him up at the bus station because I was the delivery driver. When I pulled up, I saw him finishing a tallboy. I was thinking, “Oh man, this is not good.” He got in the car and seemed okay, so I thought maybe it would be alright.
When we got to the restaurant, I didn’t see much of him because I was out in front, but man, did I hear a lot. While the owner Carol and the other cooks were training him on what to do, he kept messing up and knocking things over. The final straw was when he accidentally lit a rag on fire. That was it. She screamed, “You’re fired, get the heck out!” She had me drive him back to the bus station and let me tell you, that was an incredibly awkward car ride.
#19 What A Wild Chain Of Events
A new employee was hired for a basic administrative role. “Scan this, copy that,” etc. After talking with her, I found out it was her seventh job within the past 12 months. We had a meeting with upper management and she was asked to come in and take notes for one of the VPs. About 10 minutes in, she slumped noticeably onto the desk to take a snooze. The COO politely asked her to wake up.
The girl, without skipping a beat, flipped off the. COO. She did not know he was the vocal type. He dropped a binder next to her head, snatches her notepad and told her to get the heck out. They then had a screaming match. She ended up leaving with security. She came back around lunchtime with a hammer to smash the COO’s car but turned out to be the CFOs new car. The CFO was trained in some kind of martial arts, so she grabbed the now ex-employee and threw her to the concrete ground. An ambulance was called after that.
#20 Next Time, Keep Your Mouth Shut
One of our crews was on a job and the client was going absolutely bonkers over something they’d done wrong. Ten minutes later, a guy turned up wearing hi-vis and our crew assumed he was also working on the project. One of the crew members, who was as dumb as a bag of rocks, went up to the newcomer and started talking about how the fat witch needed a good slap. “How dare she complain when she obviously doesn’t know anything about construction,” he added. Turns out, the newcomer was the fat witch’s husband…
#21 Is This Guy For Real?
I fired a guy who claimed, almost every week, that at least one of the days was a religious holiday of some sort and he couldn’t come in. Since we were not allowed to ask about religion or fire employees over religious stuff, it was quite difficult. Instead, he got fired when he was on the company messageboard getting into vulgar fights with people. The odd thing is, in almost every argument, he’d say something like, “That’s why I’m an atheist.”
#22 Have Fun For Taking Forever Off
One employee of mine always asked for a ton of time off and I always gave it to him. However, there was one time when he put in a time request form for two days and I blocked it because I had something to do that weekend. He said he needed to go to a wrestling show; not even a funeral or a wedding. It was a Friday, and when I walked in and he had pinned a handwritten note to my board, saying he wasn’t going to be coming into work that weekend. I had to cancel my plans and fire the guy.
#23 Don’t Make The Same (Ridiculous) Mistake Twice
One day, one of the non-local sales guys was in for a meeting. He said, “Hey, my computer is running really, really slowly. Can you take a look at it?” My husband replied, “Yeah, sure no problem.” The sales guy left the computer and went to whatever meeting he needed to attend. My husband and his colleague took a look at his computer and saw that the disk was nearly full. They figured that was what was slowing things down.
They dug deeper and found a bunch of adult videos stored in private folders. Now, mind you, all employees sign a document agreeing that their assigned computer was for business use only, not personal use. So, we had a slight problem here. My husband and his colleague, not wanting to make a mountain out of a molehill, just wiped the drive clean, reformatted it, and got things set up again.
The guy came back the next day and my husband said, “Hey, we took a look at your computer. It was running slowly because the disk was nearly full of personal files, which we wiped clean. You’re good to go.” The sales guy mumbled something, then grabbed his computer and was on his way without so much as a “thank you.” Well, the guys figured that was that, but guess who was back six weeks later with a broken computer? Yep, the same guy.
Once again, his computer was again filled with adult videos. They were done at this point. The two of them went straight to the president’s office, showed her what was on the computer and explained what had happened previously. She was a very no-nonsense lady, so needless to say, by 3 p.m. that afternoon, that sales guy was no longer employed. What an idiot.
#24 This Is Just Pure Stupidity
I know somebody they had to test for substance use. He brought a little sample jar of someone else’s #1 with him and gave the fake sample to whoever was doing the test. The tester had questioned why the sample was cold, so they made him do it again. That’s when he got caught. He’s no longer employed at that company.
#25 I Don’t Think That’s How That Works
I used to own a bakery. A woman quit because she blamed her yeast infection on a bad batch of yeast that I bought from China. I may be a guy, but I don’t think that’s how it works.
#26 Why Did You Even Apply?
A girl got fired at my work for basically hating cats and dogs. She worked at a veterinary clinic. She said as a receptionist, she thought she would only have to talk to people. She didn’t even like people. Thank goodness the manager found someone else for the role. I don’t understand why that girl even bothered applying in the first place.
#27 Good Luck With Your Hedge Fund, Idiot
Last year, one of our sales guys quit because he’d done an online video course on currency trading and decided to set up his own hedge fund. I have no idea how he intended to do it, but it was probably an unregulated collective investment fund. When he left, he said, “Screw you losers, I made $30,000 in the last month alone. I’m going to be rich!” Six months later, he was requesting references while applying for sales jobs online. He messaged me to ask for help setting up his website. I told him to get lost.
#28 Actually, I Can Fire You
My dad ran a small side business as a logger and I was his foreman whenever his main guys couldn’t show. It was nice to be able to skip school and make money at 13 years old, but this came with a drawback. Not many grown men respect the authority of a teenager on a job site. One day, we were out of state and didn’t have ANY of our usual crew, so we decided to knock on some doors to see if anyone wanted to make some money for the day.
We put together a three-man crew and started the job. Now, since we weren’t an above-ground business, it was really important that no one got hurt. Safety was the priority above literally anything else, so I was the only one allowed to use the saws on the ground. Along came captain big shot. Apparently, he knew everything already, so I didn’t need to teach him anything.
The entire day he had been backtalking me whenever my dad was up in a tree. I’d tell him to go left, he’d go right. I’d tell him to get to work, he’d tell me to go screw myself. I’d tell him not to use the saw, he’d scoff and keep using it. Charming guy. I decided I would tell him to hit the road after lunch. At some point, my dad walked off to go #1 and the big shot told me, “Hey kid, make yourself useful and refill your old man’s saw.”
Now, maybe it was my teenage hormones, but I got upset. “Hey jerk, you don’t tell me what to do. You’ve been talking smack all day. Hit the road, you’re fired.” We got into an argument that consisted of, “You can’t fire me,” followed by, “Screw you, yes I can.” My dad came back and asked what was going on. “You’re going let this kid fire me,” the guy asked my dad. Without missing a beat, my dad replied, “Yeah, you’re fired, get outta here.”
#29 Wow, This Is One Bold Employee
An employee was videotaped drinking on the clock. He figured the truth would come out eventually, so he confessed before we knew the video even existed. We’re relatively liberal, so we demoted him and put him through counseling. Upon completion of the course and a negative test, he could resume his normal duties. Fast forward two months and the employee’s position was reinstated. Everything was going well… until I walked out to the patio one day to find a stash of beverages underneath the planks, out of view of the security camera. He was let go the next day.
#30 That Seems Like A Load Of B.S.
An employee quit recently because she “could not handle the burning of Notre Dame.” She felt like she needed to be with her mom during that time. We live in Mississippi. She has never been to Notre Dame.
#31 But…That’s Literally Your Job
We had a driver that refused to drive at night, claiming it wasn’t safe. But she was hired to be a driver in the first place. That was all that was expected of her, to drive the three to seven trips a month that happen between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Our director at the time was shady and incompetent, so this went on for six months longer than it should have.
#32 Just Toss The Whole Crew Out
I worked in restoration. For fire losses, we would pack out an entire house or affected area. One of our jobs involved a woman who was a hoarder and during the packing, one of my techs found bottle rockets from the late ’80s. He thought it was a great idea to shoot them off in the customer’s yard. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Of course, since they were so old they were basically duds, but he still fired like five or six of them off before I told him to stop. The next day, we had a part-time kid shoot one of the rockets even after I told him not to. The neighbor told the homeowner, who then called our manager to complain. They both ended up getting fired. Don’t mess with customers stuff, it’s not worth it.
#33 Not The Time Or Place, Pal
I had to fire someone for trying to start a console war with an 8-year-old who really liked Nintendo, while the former employee was a diehard Xbox fan. He didn’t even try to be playful about it, he was just downright cruel to this poor kid.
#24 Or Maybe The Prices Are Too High
I sold Kirby vacuum cleaners for a day one summer. We drove around in a van and knocked on doors, trying to make sales. The driver owned a franchise or something, so he would come in and close the deal. I sold one on my first day. I called him and he came in, asking the buyer if there was anything he did not like about the deal.
Of course, the buyer said that the price was a little high. So the franchise owner knocked off my whole commission! His reasoning was that if I sold a couple more, I would be in some higher commission rate or something. I said screw that and took the T home. I hounded him for weeks until he finally gave me the money. Screw him, what a jerk.
#35 You Shouldn’t Have Shown Up
I was hiring for a government contract that required everyone to be substance tested. I told the guy in the interview of this, and he said it shouldn’t be a problem. I hired him, then he ended up failing the substance test. Even before his first day at work, I had fired him. When I told him he failed the substance test he said, “Yeah, I knew I would.”
#36 You Can’t Fly By On ‘Almost’
A new heavy mechanic was hired. He had a kid on the way and was in a bad spot financially, so the owners decided to give him a chance out of sympathy. Within a week, his nickname became Al-Most. He almost did the work correctly. He almost rewired an electrical system, he almost rebuilt an air dryer successfully, he almost mounted tires.
The probability of his rebuilds failing within a week was a solid 60%. By the end of week two, it was clear that most of his knowledge was book-learned. They wouldn’t let him do anything except change oil. Once his probation period was up and he showed no improvement or drive, they let him go. Trucks only make money when they move and he couldn’t get them moving.
#37 This Takes Incredible Confidence (And Incredible Stupidity)
We had a young IT intern helping with some hardware inventory tasks. It wasn’t uncommon for laptops not to make it back to us, but one day we noticed his backpack open and there was a laptop of a model we used sticking out. We sent him to the other side of the building and checked the serial number—yep, it was one he reported as missing during a recent inventory. Opportunistic theft is one thing, but bringing it back into the office every day… Just… wow.
#38 That’s A Strange Way To Treat Your Employer
My dad owned his own business working as a color corrector and editor. He had this one employee who had been there since day one and he ended up becoming similar to an assistant manager. My dad owned that company for 10+ years and, just recently, he had to fire the assistant manager because apparently, he was telling employees and customers that my dad hated gay people and colored people. He was basically driving all business away, pushing my dad’s company towards bankruptcy. Turns out, that employee was a narcissistic sociopath. My dad was sad his employees never trusted him enough to tell him about what this guy would say about him.
#39 Nice Try, Hot Shot
I had a subcontractor on a job for my company attempt to convince the client that they should dump me and go with their business instead. They said they would undercut me by 10%. I learned of his plans from the client, so I fired him on the spot. He asked me to find another person in my company to service our contract.
#40 Do I Need To Call Security?
I used to manage a store in the mall. One of my employees was cheating on her husband with the mall security guard. I would come by on my days off and he’d scurry out in a fluster. I never mentioned it, but the guy was coming by ALL the time to the point that it was keeping her from doing her job. Finally, we had a work meeting and I said in a very non-accusatory way, something like: “I know it gets slow in here during the week, and I’m guilty of it myself, but from now on I need everyone to keep personal visits to a minimum.” She stood up and started screaming at me. How dare I accuse her, she yelled. Then, she quit on the spot.
#41 That Poor, Poor Old Woman
I’m a student manager, which means I don’t really have the ability to fire someone, but I had to in this case. This one kid was a whole lot of trouble, to say the least. I asked him to go check the bathrooms to make sure they were clean and stocked. When he asked about the woman’s room, I told him to just to knock and make sure nobody was inside.
Apparently, he banged on the door and screamed, in his very deep voice, “WHO’S IN HERE? EVERYBODY GET OUT!” He then entered the bathroom where a poor little elderly woman was inside the stall. HE continued to bang on the stall, yelling “GET OUT.” He was yelling so loud I actually heard him from outside. I went in to investigate.
The poor woman was whimpering and calling the police, and he just was the kind of person who had no idea how he came across. There were many weird issues but this obviously topped the cake, and I told him he was done and needed to go home. The poor old woman was so upset that she refused to leave the bathroom and I had to call her son for her.
#42 This Isn’t For Your Side Hustle, Sweetie
A woman was using company FedEx to deliver purses for her Etsy shop.
#43 Were You Raised In A Barn?
The company I work is a contractor for a giant corporation and we go to different stores to do work. This new guy we hired seemed normal at first, but it turned out he was a complete idiot. So one day, he went on-site with one of the senior employees to shadow him. This genius thought that because we did work for the giant corporation we could just eat anything off the shelves and refrigerators for free. Well, an employee saw this and was like, what the heck are you doing, you need to pay. Then, a manager came over. This guy started fighting with the manager, then got in his car and drove off. Needless to say, he was fired the next day.
#44 It’s Time To Sue This Psycho
An employee had a corporate card and charged a vacation, purse, Fossil watch, and a bunch of take-out food on it. She also had a laptop “stolen” within weeks of joining. I fired her, and a few days later, a watch catalog from Fossil showed up at the office with her name on it. We have active court cases for all the theft she committed.
#45 If This Is ‘Selling Out’, You Can Show Yourself Out
We hired someone to do video and photo media work. After a certain point, he felt like he was selling out and didn’t want to do media commercially. He wanted to do “business stuff” instead. We asked him which role he would like, and we’d let him try it out. If he didn’t, he could quit. He decided to quit… He just couldn’t come up with a role.