April 21, 2020 | Andie Wood

Bosses Share The Craziest Reason They Had To Fire An Employee

No employee is perfect, but sometimes you come across workers that make you wonder exactly how they got hired at all. These bosses share the craziest reason they had to fire an employee, and their stories will make you glad you're not in charge of the hiring process at your work:


#1 Candle Chaos

We had someone fall asleep at his desk with a lit candle by his stack of papers... in an office full of cubicles like maybe... six to seven years ago? Candles weren't even allowed anywhere indoors let alone in an office building. And the first time he wasn't even fired. He was fired when it happened again! I really don't understand how some businesses work sometimes. How do people really get away with breaking the simplest of rules?


#2 Worst Employee Yet?

Oh boy... I'd have to go with the guy who in the span of 24 hours... started a fistfight with another employee (on camera, with witnesses) then called the police and said the other guy did it, trying to press charges. I just sent the video. I trespassed on the property the following day and slurred at my boss (on camera, with witnesses), then called the police and said my boss did it. I just sent the video. He also hurt himself somehow and went to the hospital, where he told the doctor he'd been attacked at work. The doctor found his injury consistent with his story.


#3 Happy Hour

Once I had a guy call in sick to his restaurant and bar shift right before his shift started and then proceeded to show up totally tipsy for happy hour during the time he was supposed to be working. He was not a bright man. To clarify, with this guy, it was not an isolated incident. Mental health days are totally legitimate, just don’t come to work for happy hour messed up out of your mind. Restaurant life is so wild on so many levels.


#4 "I'm Sick"

Probably. I once had my friend call in sick to not come into work for me. Problem was, he didn't work for me, to begin with. I'm not an employer. He just called and said, "Hey, I just wanted to let you know... I had the stomach flu. I'm sorry, I can't come in today... I'm sorry..." And I said, "Well... that's fine with me, but maybe you should call your work and tell them that. Also, try not to sound so tipsy."

He replied, "I'm sorry... but I can't...

And then he hung up.


#5 What The Heck?

One employee was fired for pretending to ring up his friend. He could have gotten away with it. He scanned everything on price check mode, pretended to swipe his buddy's credit card, and fed a length of blank register tape out as if a receipt were printed out. No one noticed anything off. Except his buddy never asked him to do it. The cashier took it upon himself to hook him up, and, the friend was left thinking "What the heck just happened?" He felt so guilty the next day he brought the items back and told the manager what had happened.


#6 Chipping It

My buddy worked at Quiznos in high school and we would order a whole meal and he would "chip it," that is, just charge us for a bag of chips. He eventually got caught and fired after like a year, but then someone else bought the store from the previous owner a couple of months later and he got rehired, only to get fired again for the same thing after a few months.


#7 All About A Ruler

Not me but my dad. He has a small handyman company with less than a hand full 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 a permanent marker. One day, shortly after he hired someone new, his folding ruler is 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, sometimes things get lost.

The next day he sees the new hire with a familiar-looking folding ruler. He asks him to see it. 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 bold, capital 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 steal the bosses folding ruler and give the stupidest lie imaginable as an excuse.


#8 The $110K Loss

Not too crazy. More stupid than crazy. One of the programmers on my team was sitting at his desk looking at sensitive images. And this is cubicle land. No offices. My director walked into the area to talk to me and saw it. Then, it was the first thing he told me about, so I got up and walked over for a look myself and there it was. We looked at each other and I said, "I gotta take care of this." So we walked back to HR, I told them what was going on and they told me to fire him. So I did. He lost a $110K job for looking at sensitive images on his computer at work.


#9 Self Sabotage

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 also the manager. I started getting a funny feeling about one of my employees... She wasn't doing anything blatantly wrong; she just seemed to work really slowly sometimes, request insignificant but kind of odd schedule changes, and she had different break habits from the other staff. I started feeling like she was stealing but this is a really 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!


#10 Casual Encounters

I worked at a retail store and found one of my coworkers was using the company iPad (that we used to play music and order lunches) to go on Craigslist and search for hookups. She didn’t even bother to delete the search history. It was back when “casual encounters” were a thing on Craigslist. She was 18 and seemed to be drawn to men at least 20 years her senior. Eek.


#11 She Snapped

One of my ER nurses was chasing another down the hall with a scalpel in her hand, screaming at the top of her lungs: “I’m going to end you!” She just snapped. I remember when I hired her, she had glowing recommendations from mutual friends. I honestly think they just wanted to get rid of her. She lost her license a short time later because of substance abuse. It’s a shame really, she was great with our patients.


#12 The Black Magician

I fired a guy for 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 that 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 evil forces made him do it so it wasn’t his fault. I live in the Middle East. I definitely did not wake up expecting to fire someone for black magic that day. Side note: practicing black magic is literally a death sentence here.


#13 The Fired Volunteer

I was a bar manager. This guy came in one night saying 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 had no idea who the musicians were. I had to fire someone who was working for free. He was a nice guy, which is the only reason he lasted as long as he did.


#14 Deer In Headlights

My coworker at a coffee shop couldn't figure out the concept of milk? This still baffles me to this day. Like, I was trying to show her how to steam milk properly, but she was off in la-la-land. When she snapped back into the conversation, she started asking, "What are we doing again?" I had to remind her and she quite literally asked what was in the gallon jug that I poured into the metal pitcher. I told her it was milk and she just looked at me like a deer in headlights.


#15 Blowing Germs

I am a chef at an upscale restaurant. The sauté cook had a lobster dish on his station and cooking it involves a technique called deglazing. When you do it correctly, the alcohol is cooked off and the flame goes out. Every time he made this dish, he would deglaze the pan, catch it on fire and then blow it out, 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.

#16 Caught By The Boss

We use separate attendance and pay software. We had someone punch into the pay software at 5 a.m, go home, come back and work his scheduled 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., clocking out at 10 p.m. Opening and closing crew aren't too familiar with each other, so he wasn't caught until the big boss came in early one day and saw him doing it.


#17 A Hero's Downfall

The guy had somehow hung on by the skin of his teeth when caught making plastic model funny cars at his desk (pro tip: throwing a newspaper over the model doesn’t hide the smell of the glue). But when a client called complaining about our hero trying to sell him golf clubs out of the trunk of his car, he was gone.


#18 No Receipts

I work construction, and one of the subs gave me an invoice with no receipts. Turns out, he wanted $30,000 for four weeks of work without paying the companies he rented equipment or dumpsters from. I paid off the companies he owed money to and told him to screw off. The sad part is, he’s probably out there still doing the same thing.


#19 The Illegal Sportsbook

In the early 2000s, I managed a coffee shop that required the customers' names to be put on the cup. One guy looked like he was doing it, but upon closer inspection on some cups, he was writing an IP address. It turns out, he was running an illegal sportsbook out of the shop. He did quit before I had to technically fire him because he found out I knew.


#20 A Lucky Pass

I wasn't the one who had to fire him but I reinstalled Windows with a crack on his work PC to get rid of antivirus and administrative control, plus pirated software in the thousands of dollars which the PC previously had genuinely licensed. His direct manager didn't want him fired because "it would mess up the kid's career." Sometimes, people just don't make it to day two.


#21 Dangerous Coffee

I had a food and beverage manager that brought a coffee into his office. 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. They tested the coffee and it was tampered with. It was definitely the most interesting firing I was involved in.


#22 Car Troubles

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 told me another employee cut the brake lines in her car—it was obvious this was to save her from being fired. She didn’t realize that something like that gets cops involved. She was termed, and then detectives showed up to her house to get statements. Of course, there was no evidence of lines being cut and now she’s dealing with police for making false statements.


#23 No Patience

A guy was 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, started Monday. He goes and does his blood 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 just wait three days?"


#24 A Creepy Request

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.


#25 Brotherly Business

I had to fire my own brother from our distribution "company." It really was not easy and definitely caused family fights. He had been using our product so much so that we lost half our stock. To be fair, he got over it in about half an hour... we were seven and five years old selling candy to fundraise. It still counts as a firing, though.


#26 Valentine's Day Vandal

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.


#27 That's Just Gross

Okay, this is my cousin's story. He worked as an electrician. He and a co-worker were running some data cables in an office. An attractive young female office worker got up from her chair and left the room while the co-worker was working in her office. When she returned, she found the electrician intently sniffing the seat of her chair. She complained and the guy got canned.


#28 The Photoshop Jerk

The dude I worked with badly photoshopped the face of a 40s-something single mom that also worked there onto the body of some nude lady. He then proceeded to show it around to the other female workers. This was while he would continually brag about the girlfriend he had at home. He got fired, then dumped by his girlfriend and kicked out of their apartment.


#29 I Really Tried

Probably a sad story. I had a really sweet, enthusiastic kid. He showed up on time, got along really well with others, and never once complained. The problem was that he had severe ADHD and learning problems. I tried everything possible to keep him, find jobs he could do, train and re-train him, but I eventually had to let him go. He was basically a danger to himself and others. He's someone I legitimately believe should be on public assistance.


#30 It's Always The Quiet Ones

We had a new guy who was pretty quiet; not the best worker ever, but good enough. Another guy was talking hobbies with him to try to get him out of his shell a bit. Turned out, they both played WoW. The new guy lit up. Great right? They talked a bit more and then it came out 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, and then we were like “what the heck” when we realized he wasn’t. In 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. He just stopped showing up to work after that. IT was a pretty easy decision to terminate him.


#31 Punishing The Innocent

Because she saw her friend's partner cheating in the pub and she told her friend. The cheating girl came into the pub during the middle of lunch service and made a massive scene, threatening to smash up the pub and the girl. She was kept safe in a room and let go. The poor girl didn't deserve to lose her job over that... She really did nothing wrong.


#32 The Dirty Deed

I used to work at a laser tag facility. It was mostly high schoolers who worked there. One guy had only been working there a couple of months when he came in on a field trip with some classmates, including his girlfriend. He thought it would be a good idea to sneak his girlfriend into the fog room inside the maze during their game, get intimate, then brag about it to the management team. That's definitely not something you should be publicizing.


#33 Two Creepy Cases

My manager showed up tipsy to an overnight shift he wasn’t working and then got into a fight with two associates. I begged my associate manager not to tell me what happened. He didn’t seem to remember there were cameras all over the store. Oh, and also, I had another manager at another job who harassed three different employees and got a fourth pregnant. The first three came forward once we began an investigation after the fourth told us about the pregnancy.


#34 No Means No

My 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. When Saturday rolled around I was in another town with friends, about an hour's drive from where I work. I got a call from work: "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.


#35 It's The Drinks Talking

I worked in a hotel. She was a waitress, and probably tipsy. She took a half-full plate off a table in front of a guest, excepting to clear it; however, the guest wasn’t finished, so the guest reached for the plate, and the waitress slapped the guest on her hand, saying: "You don’t get to touch that anymore." Shout out to all shy people who'd be too perplexed to answer anything in that situation.


#36 The Backdoorer

I fired our “web guru” after he copied our entire product, supplier, customer, and order history database onto an AWS server and tried to sell the data to our competitors. We found out after we stumbled across a copy of our website registered in his name with GoDaddy.com while doing market research. We took screenshots of all his activity and he’s currently in prison. Screw that guy.


#37 Inconsiderate Worker

I had to fire someone because they refused to take off their confederate flag hat when politely asked by the wedding party who were concerned it might end up in the back of photos. 18-year-old me and him had quite a discussion about freedom of speech and at-will employment that day.  I was the head lifeguard at a community pool which had a clubhouse people could rent for special occasions. We were doing work in the background while they were in the clubhouse for their event.


#38 Three Bad Hires

One of my colleagues installed a torrented copy of Cinema 4D on a company, networked computer. Admittedly, it doesn’t sound like it, but he was a really smart guy. How he didn’t think anybody would find out is mystifying. One guy was fine for six months but then decided he was going to start going to sleep at his machine on night shifts. Another idiot, Leon, was late for every shift and one day he just didn’t turn up. He got his friend to call his manager to tell him that Leon was ill.


#39 The Zodiac Believer

I had to fire a manager because she was hiring people for her department based on their zodiac sign. I was in charge of recruiting for her department and kept sending her qualified candidates and her feedback was always so vague on why she didn’t like them. Apparently, she was asking candidates when their birthday was (she's not supposed to do that, by the way) to see if they would be a good “fit” for the team.


#40 Throwing Tomatoes

I used to be a manager of an unnamed fast food place. The craziest reason I had to fire someone is they decided to throw a tomato at one of the employees in the drive-thru (from inside the building). They missed the employee and it went through the window, splattering in a car that had just pulled up to pay. The employee paid for the detailed cleaning of the car and then we let him go.


#41 Sanitation Issues

She was a holiday hire. I was a supervisor at Lush at the time. On Black Friday, she showed up an hour late with a bleeding leg saying she'd locked her keys and phone in her car and had to kick the window out. She had a bandage on her arm, and also a maxi-pad wrapped around her leg to stop the bleeding. I figured the bandage was from the car window or something. Nope. It was ringworm. She mentioned this in passing a few hours later. That was her last shift.


#42 Under The Influence

A younger girl worked the counter of a cosmetics area in a department store that I managed. One random weekday, she went around counter to counter saying that her skin was falling off and started wrapping her face in toilet paper to keep it on her head, so she said. This was in front of several customers, so she had to go. She was definitely on something that day.


#43 Milk Rack Pranks

I was a manager at the dairy department in a grocery store a few years ago. I hired this 16-year-old kid to work the second shift. After his second or third day of work, I got told by my management that customers complained he would hide behind the milk racks and scare people when they opened the door to get milk. He had a horrible work ethic, to begin with, and he fought with both of his trainers; so instead of writing him up, I just told him to not come back.


#44 The Hit List

When I first started my fast food job, a guy got fired. He had worked there for about six months. He apparently made a "hit list" of people who worked there that he wanted to take out. One guy who I worked with for about a year was #1 on the list. He was one of the nicest guys I'd met,  and we're all pretty sure the reason he was #1 was that he was gay. I only ever talked to the guy for maybe 10 seconds one day, so I never made it to on the list. He ended up telling someone about the list, they told management and police had to escort him out of his next shift and have words with him.


#45 Well, That's Awkward

Not me but a manager told this story: I was working at a bowling alley. At the back of the building, there was a garage door that, in the summer, the pin chasers would open to let some air in the back room. The manager had called back for this particular pin chaser to set up pins for a certain lane. After calling back three times with the lane never getting fixed, the manager walked to the back to find the guy's girlfriend's car parked in the back. Upon further investigation, the pin chaser was getting it on his girlfriend while he was supposed to be working.

#46 Red Lobster Bandit

We had a girl at Red Lobster go all the way through training. Her first night on the floor, was Saturday night. In the middle of the shift, she ran out with $700 cash on her and went right to the shifty house. Police found her the next day at her home going through withdrawal and arrested her. It was all over the news I felt bad for her, but at the same time, her struggles do not justify the crime she committed.


#47 Taco Bell Disaster

 My sister got fired. She worked at Taco Bell. There was a mess made and she was told to clean it. She grabbed the mop and mopped the floor, then mopped the freaking table. She was already on thin ice, so they fired her. A couple of weeks later, she got a job at a sandwich shop located next to Taco Bell. On her first day, she was told to mop the dining area, and she mopped the freaking tables! In less than a month she was fired from two places in the same parking lot, for MOPPING THE TABLES! She isn't the brightest screwdriver in the refrigerator.


#48 Excuses, Excuses

I had to fire a guy who called in sick for a day. The excuse he used was sunstroke. I might have believed him if it wasn't December in the UK. When he came into work the next day, it was obvious he hadn't seen any sun. It was a long line of days off for stupid reasons. Another excuse was he didn't have enough money to come to work, yet he lived local and cycled to work every day.


#49 Threatening Words

I worked in a retail jewelry store at the mall. I had a long-term girl working there who was as nice as could be. We hired this off-guy because it was just for an admin job doing paperwork, and he already worked in the mall. The guy made it about three weeks before he tried to impress two members of management, saying that "he would end the girl's husband, put a ring on it, and take care of her." Needless to say, HR made us fire him at the end of the phone call.


#50 Sharpened Drumsticks

A place I worked had a musical instrument section and we just had an order come in, so I sent two guys to go in the back and unload the order and inventory stuff. One of those guys was a new guy. He proceeded to unload the drumsticks we ordered and spent the whole day sharpening them to points and throwing them at boxes seeing if they would stick. We fired him for ruining like $200 worth of drumsticks. They were like $4 a pair so he sharpened a lot.




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