They say you've gotta love where you work, but sometimes certain coworkers or company policies make it difficult to do that. Your mental health takes a hit every time you enter a workplace that makes you miserable, and at some point, you've just got to ask yourself: is all of this really worth it? People took to the internet to share the worst things to ever happen at their place of work. From witnessing wildly inappropriate acts by other coworkers to experiencing the wrath of a boss whose decisions completely ruined company morale, these stories will definitely make you realize just how important it is to find a place of work that you actually like:
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 The Plague Carrier
My boss doesn't believe in sick days (for herself or anyone else). So she came in all last week with a terrible cold and laryngitis. This week three other people have the same thing. Sick days aren't meant for fun times, they're meant to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses. She's such a horrible person. I need a new job.
#2 She Knows Best
I worked as a head lifeguard at a waterpark. We had a minor situation where a kid who couldn't swim jumped into the deep end. The lifeguard of that area went in to get her. No big deal, it happens a lot. My boss, the park supervisor heard the whistle blow, ran at full speed and jumped in with the non-waterproof radio among other important items. I let her know she didn't need to do that, that I had it under control. She replied that I should never tell her she is wrong and sent me home for the day.
#3 Netflix and Not So Chill
I used to work at Netflix and every time somebody was fired, department bosses would call a staff meeting and tell everyone on the team why so and so was let go and would go around the room asking everyone to unload any dirt on the ex-employee.
Even before that, managers would organize team lunches and have everyone at the table say what they don't like about their co-workers who were sitting right next to them. Awkward and very unprofessional.
#4 Law And The Lord Don't Mix
I'm in law enforcement. One of my co-workers is super-religious Christian, to the point where his advice to the rest of us always revolves around "you should go to church more" and "the Bible contains all of your answers."
Those of us that work with him tune him out. The real problem is that he talks this way to our subjects and victims, as well. He'll tell someone who's clearly an atheist that he will "pray for them" or that "God forgives you." Several times, he's given an impromptu lecture on getting right with Jesus to someone we've arrested.
We've counseled him over and over again to knock this off. First, it's not our place to proselytize. Second, there's a serious issue with church/state separation when a government employee, on duty, is lecturing someone about God or religion. Third, when you give that lecture to someone, you run the risk of pushing them into saying something, by making them believe that they are committing a religious sin as well as a crime.
In short, it's going to backfire on him at some point, which is why I make a point of staying far away from him when we're out of the office.
#5 The Kitten Might Have Been Undead
I showed a coworker a video of my new kitten. Next thing I know I'm in an office being scolded and told I should have known better as well as having my professionalism questioned. Apparently, someone walking by recently had their cat pass away and felt the need to complain. Now if I want to show a video at work, I have to have it approved by management first.
#6 She Put It In Writing
I've worked for my company for almost two years, and I haven't used any vacation leave. I decided to treat myself to a four day weekend; I took Thursday and Friday off. Thursday morning my boss calls me like four times. I'm so annoyed because I wanted to sleep in. I answer it the fifth time she calls.
She's begging me not to read the email she sent me when I get to the office on Monday. She said she wrote it while she was feeling mean-spirited and felt like bullying me. Can't wait to forward it to HR when I go back to work tomorrow.
#7 A Disgusting Policy
I was a seasonal salesperson at Sharper Image, so several people got hired around the same time. One of the new people was...odd. To start with, he smelled intensely of B.O. all the time. He'd talk about really inappropriate things, in a louder than normal voice all the time. Like one time, while we were on the sales floor, he started telling me about his personal…”preferences”.
I'm a woman, and while I didn't take him talking about this to be intended to harass me, some of my male colleagues who couldn't help but overhear were very uncomfortable with him talking to a woman about that. And obviously that was just inappropriate to be talking about on the sales floor anyway.
The last straw was when he told me that he had a "policy" of drinking from any open beverage container that was left out in the back. So, if you had a drink open in the break room, he drank from it. Every time. He told me this after he'd been working there for a few weeks at that point. We all had open drinks in the back pretty much every day. I immediately told everyone to get rid of their drinks and told the manager about it. He didn't come back after that.
#8 Some Places Are Truly Brutal
I'm a unit secretary at a hospital. Typically I'm the one that gets the call when we have a new patient coming to the floor. Since we are always understaffed, a new patient is always a call for moaning.
And guess who gets blamed?
The other day one of the nicest nurses lost her plot and started berating me because she was going to get her 8th patient. I don't make bed assignments, and she knows that. Still, I'm the one who has to absorb the screaming.
This was after my supervisor chewed me out because her supervisor had me helping out on the floor because we only had one nurse aid for 22 patients. And it was only two hours into my 12-hour shift.
I cry at work every day.
#9 Sometimes You Have To Play Dirty Too
At a part-time job I had eons ago, the boss would come in and flip through dirty magazines while we were talking. It was slightly awkward. I responded by putting up a mildly graphic calendar and praising the virtues of the young ladies featured. He assumed I wasn't interested in him after that and left me alone.
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#10 The Delivery Boy Was Not Happy
Was working for a small business and was repeatedly asked to use my own personal car to make deliveries and pick up supplies. I eventually told the owner that I didn't feel comfortable using my personal vehicle for company work. My statement was polite and voiced my concerns about only having liability insurance on it and having to pay for all the gas on my own too. The owner was like, how many miles did you drive yesterday? Maybe 3? Here are 75 cents. That's average mileage pay. And he drops three quarters into my hand.
I looked at the change in my hand, then looked up at him, then back at the change in my hand, and they were diamonds.
Just kidding. I threw the quarters on the ground as I looked at him and said I don't want your change. Then I quit and told him to bug off.
#11 The Stock Day That Never Stopped
Once I was working on the stock day, and although stock still needed to be put away, the employees that were scheduled to get off wanted to leave.
I asked them if they would stay and help put away stuff, but the one employee was whining that he wanted to leave, and I was really irritated with his whining, so I went ahead and let him clock out and go.
I walked back to the office to get something, and my boss who was sitting at the computer putzing around says to me, "Is the stock put away yet?"
I said "No. The employees that were scheduled to leave left, so I have to do it myself."
And he flipped his lid.
"What do you MEAN they left? I THOUGHT I told you to tell those employees to stay."
So I said, "Umm, If they're scheduled to get off, I can't FORCE them to stay. None of them wanted to stay to help; it's not my fault they were only scheduled until 1."
Then he pulls out this gem:
''I'm sick of your abject nonsense." I left the office. Then, a couple of hours later, he asks me if the stock is done again. I was really angry, so I said, "Mostly. But I can't put the sodas away because I can't reach the top shelf." Keep in mind, these are 50lb syrups, I have trouble lifting them.
And he says to me, instead of offering his help, "Get a stool."
I am so glad he no longer works there.
#12 Harassed On Her First Day
I was 15, the first day working at a small skate shop. I am a girl, by the way. My boss was 20-something, I know he had graduated from college, and this was a summer job. While I was reaching to grab something from a top shelf, he came over and smacked my behind. I asked him quietly to please not do that again, and he told me that this was his store and that I was lucky to have a job. I quit and called my mom.
Unfortunately, we had a family vacation the next week, and I decided not to bother with pressing charges or telling the boss, though I probably should have.
#13 The Payback Is Endless
I work in direct patient care in a psychiatric facility when one of my coworkers suddenly called a patient an incredibly rude name. Yelled it right in her face in front of myself and other staff. I wrote her up because I don't think it was right.
Fast forward a few weeks, and this coworker finds out that I was one of the people who complained and has been passive-aggressive with her comments and glares at me. She's been trying to get a friend of mine who used to work with us to harass me into changing my story. It hasn't happened though. There have been whispers that I have heard about "throwing people under the bus."
I had previously on several occasions talked to this person about her language, attitude, and behavior. I was told by her that it wasn't my job to do this. I have gone to my boss and informed them.
I have been made to feel like I'm the one that did something wrong. Screw me, right? I don't think that someone suffering a psychotic break should be called names in a professional environment!
#14 Food Fights Are Not Fun
My old manager used to flip out and give you a lousy schedule the following week if you brought in food for yourself and none for him. He also used to write slurs on my back in ranch dressing because I decided to stop seeing a girl we worked with (we were cooks, the girl was a waitress). This then exploded into World War III when myself and another co-worker dosed him with water and flour. The manager started pouring full 3-liter jugs of BBQ sauce on us.
#15 The Preaching Ninja
I used to go to a Christian private school.
Our athletic director used to be principal of a separate public school. He'd tell everyone who got sent to his office for doing something wrong that they needed to accept Jesus, etc., etc. Finally, he got fired from teaching at public schools for throwing a stapler at a kid who told him that religion is stupid. How he evaded being arrested, I have absolutely no clue, but holy, did I hate that man.
#16 Atheism Is Not The Best Call Here
My previous job my boss told me that I needed to go to church, and they were concerned because no one ever saw me say grace when eating lunch in my cubicle. She and others in the office would constantly nag me about Christian stuff. It got so bad that I would avoid conversations with many folks there because it always leads to Jesus. They ended up firing me for petty reasons and I've lawyered up.
#17 The Empathy Was Weak With This One
My last boss utterly convinced himself that I had made up an ailment so that I could skip work. I had a minor operation to remove an axillary abscess but it required nearly two months of aftercare by means of a nurse pulling the dressing out of the hole and then restuffing the cavity, which would generally only take a half hour out of the working day as the doctor's clinic was just down the road, and I managed to get most of my appointments during my lunch hour.
So despite having a whopping big bandage taped under my arm and across my shoulder that was visible under my clothing, he'd make snide comments and refer to my "appointments" with bunny fingers, and worst of all he would "pop out for five minutes" just before I was due to get a dressing change (it was a small business, so one person had to be there) so I'd miss my appointment and have to go grovel to the nurses because they had to deal with me after hours.
There was just not one ounce of empathy in that guy. I feel so sorry for whoever had to take over my role when I left.
#18 The Facebook 'Friend'
I removed my manager from my Facebook a few months back, and she told everyone at work and asked me to re-add her. I removed her because out of the two years that I've worked there, I was late ONCE because of a car accident that happened directly in front of me. When I called to let her know I had to give my statement to the police, she told me it was unacceptable, and I need to be more professional.
Note: That's still the only time I've ever been late, and I have NEVER called in sick. But my coworker comes in late at least twice a week. Cool story.
#19 The Flakey Faker Gets Away With It
I had an employer call me and another worker into his office. Apparently, there was a big mistake made on one of the client's forms. The client was mine, but I didn't recognize the handwriting on that particular form, nor did I have any recollection of making any arrangements with him. The other employee confesses that he had filed it "for" me, without my knowledge, and had clearly messed it up. He told our boss it was entirely his mistake, and that he was sorry to both me and the boss.
My boss responded by telling me I was being sent home and to spend the extra time thinking about what I had done. The other employee (who looked shocked) was told he was okay and to get back to work. I spent my "extra time" looking for a new job and quit the next day.
#20 That Confidentiality Clause Doesn't Hold Water
I'm being fired tomorrow for making an HR complaint against my director. I guess meetings with HR aren't confidential as I was told.
#21 They Stood Up For The Harasser
I worked for an employer where a supervisor was behaving inappropriately towards a female co-worker. She noticed that I witnessed his advances and inappropriate touching, so she asked for my help. I mentioned it to him and was blown off, so I brought it to his boss who said it was a non-issue. We ended up taking it to the General Manager who sent me home saying that my conduct was unprofessional. I was fired the next morning. The offending supervisor was deported a few days later for being an undocumented immigrant when the call center was raided by immigration.
From the description, you may think it was some horrible boiler-room marketing company, but it was ACS/Xerox, the same company that manages call centers across the country handling everything from student loans collections for the federal government to customer service calls for major companies. So yes, I guess it was some horrible boiler-room marketing company.
#22 Fetch And Carry Because I Said So
I had a nurse supervisor who would take advantage of me being a nice person by having me pick up her breakfast every day in the cafeteria since I was going over there for myself. Every day. She was lazy, and I was being taken advantage of. So one day I decided I wasn't going to do it. When she came to bring me her money, I politely told her that I wasn't buying that morning. It turned into an argument to the point of where SHE CRIED, and I said, fine, gimme your money, whatever, I'll go get your breakfast. She walked away. Later, I was called into the director's office, and she said I should have just got the breakfast for her. What the heck?
#23 Straight Up 'Me Too' Material
When I was 16, my boss called me to tell me that my super hot, much older co-worker said that I'd be the perfect guy for her if I were 6 years older. Then he spent the next 10 minutes telling me how I'm gonna get all the girls in college. "Alright, so I'll see you on Saturday."
"Uhm... okay... thanks, Aris..."
#24 A Completely Over The Top Reaction
this will be good to get it off my chest. I used to work as the head cook in a soup kitchen. One day, my supervisor called me into her office, closed the door, and screamed at me for fifteen straight minutes because one of my homeless volunteers had stored two boxes of cans in the incorrect closet.
Seriously, fifteen minutes of vein-popping, shrill, roid-rage shrieking.
#25 Sick Days? No Sick Days In The Workplace.
Got pneumonia. Got put on antibiotics which it turned out I was allergic to. Experienced anaphylaxis, so spent the night in the hospital and couldn't come into work. My boss was the kind who would rather people come into work sick than not work, so he was displeased.
I missed four more days. On the second day, he called me up asking "if there was something [he] should know about" i.e., thinking I was missing work because of partying or something. I said no. He said I needed a note for every single day I missed, so each day I had to pull myself out of bed and go to a walk-in clinic to get a doctor's note. Here in Canada, you have to pay for the doctor's notes, but the doctor was just like "What? Your boss is a jerk" and would give me the note for free each day.
The day before I returned, my boss e-mailed me saying that I was missing an average of 1/4 work day (having missed 5 days for that month) and that sort of absenteeism was unacceptable, blah blah blah. Revoked my right to sick days, and from then on until I left the company a year later, I had to call his cell phone when I arrived in the office to the time stamp that I had arrived and prove I wasn't being a lousy employee. If I didn't call by like 9:01, (for example, if my phone was ringing off the hook when I arrived), he would start calling my cell phone/texting me angrily.
#26 Feeding Your Boss’ Bad Habit
I had to pick up Tylenol-1 for an employer (now former employer) from a pharmacy. I went there once per week for several months. Eventually the pharmacist asked me if I had an addiction problem.
I told my boss that this had happened, and they said, “Well you weren’t supposed to go to the same pharmacy every week! Of course they’ll figure it out if you do that.” It had not occurred to me before that point that my boss might have had a problem with opiates.
#27 A Bad Case Of Victim-Blaming
One Saturday night this past summer I woke up in an ambulance. Apparently I had been attacked while walking home from a wedding near my house, but I have absolutely no memory of it at all. I called out of work on Monday because I was super hurt, and my boss immediately started grilling me "How much did you drink? Do you blackout often? What were you wearing? Are you going to the news about this?" She went around to all the restaurants in the area - it's a small town - to ask if I had been there that night.
The harassment about it was worse than the actual event because it lasted for weeks. She kept asking for more and more and more doctor's notes to "explain" what I'd done, and taking away my responsibilities because I "couldn't be trusted". According to her, I should have been able to remember what happened and since I didn't, it was obviously my fault. After about a month, I had to quit because I couldn't go into work without having panic attacks. It sucks because I LOVED that job.
#28 Nobody Likes a Toucher
Had a co worker that was a great employee except for one thing. He was a toucher. He'd walk up behind girls that worked with us (mind you, this was a professional office setting), put his hands on their hips or shoulders and just, rub them, for lack of a better term. It didn't stop there either, he'd lean in and whisper in their ears. Not only was he an Uncle Touchy Time, he was also a "close talker" (to the girls). He'd lean in as far as he could trying to see how close he could get his face to theirs. What made it even worse (if that's possible) was that he was in his late 40s and a lot of the girls he was doing this to were in their mid 20s.
#29 Security Is Of The Utmost Importance
Someone (A) asked a friend (B) of a friend (C) to translate some classified documents for the city court. C said yes, but she didn't speak the languages the documents were supposed to be translated to, so she asked someone else (D) to translate them. D asked my friend (E) to translate them. She refused. So, basically, these classified documents have been read by at least four people who should not have had access to them, AND the original person is getting paid by the city court to do a job they can't do.
#30 A Real Michael Scott
One time we had a meeting with a rep from a new payroll service, and my boss asked me to sit in so I could learn how to use it. In the middle of the tutorial he interrupted the poor guy, pointed at the two of us and said, "You two would make beautiful babies. You should ask her out!"
I excused myself and later heard the guy ask my boss if we had an HR department and suggest to him that we hire someone for that. My boss was too stupid to realize that he (the rep I mean) was almost certain I would inevitably sue for harassment, which I did not because he was beyond broke. He regularly did things like this, and worse things but that was the first one to pop into my head.
#31 It’s Fun To Be At The YMCA
I worked at the YMCA for a while as an after school counselor. My immediate supervisor, D, would show up to work late and hungover. He'd skip appointments with my coworkers to go out drinking. When we'd have staff meetings to talk about the many problems at our site, he'd throw you under the bus in front of everyone and say stuff like, "Well, I never saw that problem."
He didn't hold interviews for new people, so we were constantly understaffed, and then he'd give us heat for not being in ratio (there was literally nothing we could do about it if we didn't have enough counselors). But the one that beats it all: he was responsible for maintaining the site first aid kit. There were two: the one that we showed the inspectors when they showed up, and the "real" one that we actually used. The real one was typically empty.
#32 A Full-Blown Temper Tantrum
Worked in a big office space in the financial district of a big city. Very professional work culture. I was there as a co-op student. I was working when I hear a woman stomp past my cubicle huffing and puffing. She starts getting louder as she gets closer to the stairwell, which was about 15 feet from my desk. I look and she’s on the phone. She opens the door to the stairwell but instead of going in, she just stands there with the door open and starts going OFF to whoever she was talking to on the phone.
I’m talking full blown screaming, calling this person every name in the book, swearing like no tomorrow. The whole office can hear her. People start standing up. People were often on the phones at this place with important clients. Someone told her to stop and take it outside, that this was a workplace. Cue second temper tantrum. Then she stomped into the stairwell and we could hear her cussing out everyone on the floor. Never saw her again after that day.
#33 Out Of The Frying Pan, Into The Fire
When I worked as a hostess in a restaurant, our manager would try to give us back or neck rubs in front of customers. He also would come up behind us and grab our sides, trying to surprise us. He also hid my phone one day and thought it was hilarious. Supposedly he had been fired before for behaving inappropriately at a Christmas party, but for some reason he was hired back. Another one of our managers liked to wipe flour off my butt and joke about making out in the freezer and told me all the time he wanted to mud wrestle with me.
Now I am an accountant in a professional office setting. I had a coworker who loved to spit seeds loudly (and would spit them on the floor), put his feet up on his desk, shout at his wife on the phone and chew out random customer service people.
#34 Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
I was part of a 3 man team that started the sales department at a company. We became an Inc500 company in 2014 & 2015 (i.e. they were worth a lot of money) but we would mess around a lot every day. The partners had a "don't ask don't tell" concept but they weren't ignorant to what was going on. A lot of the other employers, like underwriters, would get pissy with us but the beauty of a career in sales is you walk in the office every morning with a + or a - sign above your head. If it's a + sign, then you're making the company money. If you're making the company money, it's tough to justify firing you.
#35 He Ended A Promising Career
At a company offsite, a leader of a team of 100 got up on stage and proceeded to roast his team. I don’t know if he thought it was funny, or if he genuinely lost it, but it was a train wreck. He started with, “Jane, you are a terrible version of Rachel” and went on to “Joe, you are the worst sales person this company has ever seen,” followed by, “80% of you shouldn’t even be here. You are worthless.” He kept going for 5 minutes. He completely lost it, and lost the respect of his team. Prior to that he was considered one of the “high potential” employees but in 5 minutes of unprofessional behavior lost all the goodwill.
#36 No Boys Allowed
I worked at a locally owned small drive in for a little while in high school. It was owned by this older creepy looking man and only younger girls worked there (the entire staff was under 23) and most were relatively attractive. We all knew he was creepy but we got paid well for our age, work was mostly easy, and since it was just him running it we could easily screw around and not get in trouble.
About a month into working there a 16 year old boy came up to the window and asked if he could have an application. I went to the boss and asked him for one and he asked me how old the person applying was to which I told him “he is 16”. He raised his eyebrow when I said “he” and walked past me with the application and checked out the boy while handing it over.
After he was done, he handed back the application to me, I handed it to my boss who was behind me. My boss looks the boy in the eyes and rips the application to pieces and sternly says, “We don’t hire boys,” and walked away. My jaw dropped. We of course were under the impression he never hired males, but he had never out right said it.
This boss went on to be even more weird and creepy, including walking in on us in the bathroom because the door wouldn’t lock and standing there watching for way longer than someone who “accidentally” walked in. The horror stories I have of that place are unreal.
#37 An Awkward Ending
I handed my notice in last week and sent a long email to my managers saying thank you for their support during the time I'd been there. One of them replied back to the email talking ABOUT ME saying how she never thought I'd make it and how I'd timed it terribly and she was surprised I thought I could make travel plans etc. Basically ripping me to pieces.
Unfortunately, she forgot to copy me out of the email & I saw the whole thing, as did my other two managers and their boss. It's made for a pretty awkward last month of work so far.
#38 What A Charmer
I was taking part in some office training and the trainers switched over between morning and afternoon. The morning guy was fine. Then, after the lunch break we were sat around waiting for the afternoon guy to come in. He was late - not massively late but enough to make people wonder if he'd show.
When he came in he apologized profusely, sat down on the trainer's chair (making him the focus of all of us sat round in a semicircle) mumbled some excuses, then proceeded to eat an enormous BLT sandwich as fast as he could, while panting and dropping bits out of it down onto his large shirt-button-straining belly. It was a disgusting, seemingly endless and very unprofessional few minutes of awkward silence, punctuated by heavy breathing and fast eating noises. Nobody learnt much that afternoon.
#39 An “Ethically Challenged” Company
I was once asked to create fake business cards for a fake company so that we could fraudulently pretend to be from a firm that didn't exist (this was early 2000s, so about the last possible moment before Google makes this plan go from 'unlikely to work' to 'never going to work'). I was working at a management consultancy where several of the partners were, let's say, 'ethically challenged', and we were doing competitive intelligence research on competitors of our client. The fake business identity was so that we could pretend to be potential clients and have a meeting with the competitors sales staff and hopefully pump them for information.
Thankfully, while I was stalling for time, because I really didn't want to be involved in something this obviously dishonest, one of the other partners (who was based overseas and not so immersed in the deeply dishonest culture of the main office) got wind of it and shut that down as the obviously bad idea that it was.
#40 The Ol’ Taste Test
I had a summer job at a restaurant in a busy town square. One day, a customer called for my colleague, saying the ice tea that they had been given 'tasted weird and fizzy'. Probably they just weren't used to carbonated ice tea. Anyway, my colleague first responded that 'the ice tea could not possibly be bad'. When the customers insisted they didn't like it, she took the drink back to the kitchen to check it. Checking here meant that she had a big sip from the glass, and concluded it was 'fine'. She then took the same glass back out again and gave it back to the customers saying she had better things to do than fix drinks that were perfectly fine.
#41 Dream Vacation
My boss pitched a sales incentive trip to Cancun if the team hit their monthly goal. My team exceeded the goal, but they still canceled the trip. Two people quit, and I accepted a position with their main competitor. Less than a year later, they closed in bankruptcy. Karma's a beach.
#42 Overseas In Sight
"We're moving our manufacturing overseas."
Uh... All we do at this facility is manufacturing.
The news was announced a year before the move and since then, everybody in the company was just unmotivated and unproductive. Though, that may not have been the worst decision—at least it gave people a chance to find new work ahead of time.
#43 The Chromebook Catastrophy
My school wanted to switch to Chromebooks. So what did they do? One summer while teachers weren't working, they removed every single Windows station and replaced them with Chromebooks. They were told to simply "figure it out."
When the teachers came up and asked how they could teach Photoshop, programming, and AutoCAD 3d modeling on Chromebooks, the admin basically Googled for related Chromebook extensions and said, "See? There's an extension for it and it works!"
They ended up bringing back the desktops for most teachers.
#44 A Sickening Sign
A manager put up a poster that said, "Complaining is like vomiting. You feel better but everyone around you feels sick." The morale was already bad, but it was just a terrible way to encourage already upset employees.
#45 Varying Levels Of Expertise
I told the hiring manager that I was disappointed in one of his hires because he knew literally nothing about our job. I asked him, “Doesn’t that cheapen my knowledge and expertise?”
His response was, “Well, let’s be honest, your job doesn’t really need all that, does it?”
There were four other people my level with varying fields of expertise at that meeting and it got real quiet after that.
#46 Distraction-Free Zone
They banned phones, electronics, puzzles, books, etc. from being used at employees' desks. I work at a call center. We were expected to just sit and wait for the next call to come in “distraction-free,” even if it was a super slow day.
#47 Club System
I worked at a club in Miami and the owner was out of his mind. When the housing market crashed, obviously people were spending far less going out, but he insisted we were all stealing. We had meetings once a week with all kinds of threats. Finally, he put in an automatic pouring system for $50,000. It basically looks like you're pouring drinks from a soda gun, super boring. The fun vibe and flair we had was totally gone, which made sales drop even more. He ripped the system out two weeks later.
#48 No Socializing In The Pub
She actively tried to ban friendships. If co-workers became friendly, she would schedule them so they would never see each other. "You're here to work! Not to socialize!"
She also banned everyone from coming into the workplace when they were not working.
It was a pub. She banned socializing in a pub.
#49 Time To Go
They held a super positive, pep-rally-style meeting about how they were going to start combining our sick days with our vacation days. This was presented to us as a great thing since we could all now use our paid time off days fully as vacation days if we wanted to. Once the system was implemented, everyone realized that instead of getting 10 vacation days and 10 sick days per year, we now all had 15 paid time off days. Everyone was angry.
#50 Family Restaurant
He had a big fight with his wife in front of everybody. I don't think you should run a restaurant with your family members unless you're really solid with each other.
#51 Clean Meat
They got rid of their night cleaning crew the week after I started, so we had to learn how to clean the whole department on our own before closing shop. I work in a meat department, so this meant taking apart and cleaning two meat grinders plus a band saw that was covered with meat goop. Almost the whole department quit because of this, but I stuck around and got the hang of it. After about three months though, they hired the cleaning crew back. Now closing is a breeze.
#52 Early Maternity Leave
They fired the girl who was in her third trimester of pregnancy three days before her maternity leave was going to start.
They started firing people by lining two employees up at a time and seeing which one they preferred to keep on. It didn't matter if a person was there for twenty years or two. Also, the new managers who were in charge of the cuts had no knowledge of anything that the company did in terms of ethics, procedures, or employee status. They turned the "clique" type environment into every person for themselves. Very toxic.
#54 Deflated Steam
We were once in the middle of a very stressful period of work, and everyone was feeling it. However, one afternoon, an off-hand comment turned into a conversation that we all got involved in and it led to a few laughs. My manager, returning from a meeting, piped up, "Oh, we've finished tomorrow's work, have we? What's all this about?" The entire team instantly deflated.
Unnecessary. Every employee needs time to blow off a little steam.
#55 Empty Desk Syndrome
In a very short span of time, they changed everyone's 401K plan and also implemented an office-wide cleanliness policy. No eating at your desk. Only three personal items were allowed on your desk. Everything had to be labeled. No items other than your keyboard, mouse, and monitors were allowed on your desk at the end of the day.
Talk about angry. You could feel the gloom when you walked in. Everyone's ability to care broke at once.
#56 Wasting Gas
I used to work at a gas station. Our manager was definitely cheap, but he brought it to a whole new level after he bought another gas station over 50 miles away.
He started scheduling his pre-existing staff from my store to work in his other store. Some of us were still in high school, but he didn't care. He refused to hire more people.
#57 Internet Class
To cut costs, they started a policy that allowed only certain departments to have internet access. It basically started a class system that bred resentment across departments and caused an exodus from the non-internet teams.
#58 Dog Of A Move
I worked at a dog daycare center as the assistant manager for a few months. We just started a training class so where people could tell us what commands they'd like us to teach their dogs. We would pull them aside for one hour and teach that command with a certified trainer. The service usually costs an extra $45 on top of the daycare visit.
Well, our trainer quit unexpectedly and the owner asked me and the other manager to step in as the trainers. We informed him that we did not have the proper certifications and our program promised the customers a certified trainer. We were blamed for being non-loyal, good-for-nothing millennials. Well, he received six two-week notices within one week after I revealed this conversation with the employees. This place only had 10 employees in total.
#59 A Bad Christmas
I worked at a plumbing shop. Newer owners came in. They were a married couple who had worked there for years and bought out the original owner. A few months later, as we headed into Christmas, they called each employee in one at a time to explain how they weren’t getting a holiday bonus for individual reasons. My reason was that I had apparently broken a mirror in a customer's bathroom and it cost $200 to replace. It didn't matter that I brought in over $500,000 worth of business that year. The next week, they drove up in a new sports car. They’ve had a huge turnover in employees now.
#60 Not Open To Open Plan
I just started a new job that I love. The only problem is they're converting all of the offices to an open plan. Our area is up next for conversion. Everyone I've talked to is against it, and everyone I know that's currently working in it says it's terrible. The only people who don't have to sit in the open plan space are the people who champion it the most, go figure. I can already see my productivity (and morale) tanking when I'm forced to hear every noise emitted by roughly 200 people in my section of the building. Open plan offices are the absolute dumbest idea ever conceived.
#61 Hell Of A Vacation
The company owner left on a two-week vacation to Chile without telling anyone. It was a small marketing firm with about seven employees. I texted him on Monday morning around 11:30 a.m. asking where he was (he stayed out late drinking pretty frequently and often didn’t roll in until 11:00 a.m.).
He informed me he was on vacation and put me in charge for the next two weeks, probably because I was lucky enough to be the first person to text him. He missed two client meetings and one campaign pitch, all of which went okay without him. I even signed on a new account, had all the paperwork completed and was working on brand new campaign ideas to show him when he returned. He only called twice to check in. He showed up two weeks later and declared that the company was bankrupt and we were all out of jobs. So yeah. That was an instant morale killer.
#62 Caffeine Riot
They replaced all of the soda machines with water and Sobe Life water machines.
There was literally a riot in the break room.
You do NOT deny overnight workers their caffeine.
#63 Quitting Over Questioning
I had a boss that got upset when nobody answered his question quick enough on a conference call. So he told all of us techs to bring in our uniforms and tools the next day and he would decide who stays and who leaves. He only fired one person that day, but the rest of us found other jobs and quit within the next couple weeks. So he ended up having hundreds of clients and only four techs (his family) to do all the work.
#64 Apathetic Toward Animals
My coworker lost his dog and came into work teary-eyed. Our manager looked at him, asked him what was wrong and then proceeded to go on a 30-minute rant about him needing to toughen up. "It’s just a stupid animal. Go buy another dumb dog.” Needless to say, she no longer works for the company.
#65 A Slice In Pay
I worked at a pizza place a few years ago. The pay was incredible for the job: six an hour flat rate, tips, and 52 cents a mile. I was making like $600 a week after taxes just to deliver pizza. Everyone loved the job. The owner decided to decrease to pay to $7.25 while in the store, $2.13 on the road, and $1 dollar per run. This resulted in about a $200 decrease every check. Half the drivers left.
#66 Hate Mail
The boss accidentally forwarded an email to the entire team of a conversation talking smack about some team members. That was harsh.
#67 Prison Over Phones
Company policy was that personal phones were to be kept in the back of the company vehicle except for lunch. For years, no one cared as long as you weren’t on your phone playing games or texting instead of working. All of a sudden, they went crazy about this policy and started checking us when we left and returned to the shop. They also started coming out randomly to do “safety inspections.” They have been writing people up just for having their phones in their pockets. It literally feels like a prison.
#68 Wrong Word Of Mouth
She takes other employees' words on who is a good or bad worker—but the ones who come running to her are natural complainers. She just believes them anyway. The wrong people have been fired because of this.
#69 Pretending To Work
My boss just entering the building kills employee morale. He doesn’t seem to get that when working at a store, sometimes it gets slow and there is nothing to do. Like, I’m a cashier and I’m not allowed to leave my cash register. All there is to do is check out customers and clean my general area. When both things are done, I have nothing to do. If he catches us just not doing anything he makes comments about how we are slacking off. So when he walks in, everyone has to start cleaning the already clean workspace for like an hour until he leaves.
#70 Cheap Over Chips
When I first got hired in a supermarket, the manager, who owned the store, told me in very bold terms not to steal candy and other things. After a year or so, we went to a social event with our colleagues. The boss then collected all the used chips and tortilla chip bags. I later found out he sent them back to the supplier on the grounds that the bags had broken, so he could get new bags for free. Jesus.
#71 Serious About Work
Morale was already rock bottom, but we learned it could go lower when we got told, "I don't want to see any of you smiling. Smiling means you're not working because nobody likes work."
#72 Wind And Water
They told the cashiers that they could no longer bring reusable water bottles to work, and instead could only have store-brand water at the registers. So dumb.
They also told us we could not have personal, battery-powered mini fans at the register because it looked "unprofessional." The store was always warm, especially in summer. It was a miserable two months until they got enough complaints that they put electric mini fans on every register (some of which ended up getting stolen, but that's beside the point).
#73 Pricey Pop
They replaced the 25¢ soda machines with $2 soda machines.
Sometimes when we were pulling overtime well past midnight, that soda machine was the only thing that provided us food since breakfast.
#74 Losing On Booze
I worked in a distillery for a few months while trying to figure out what to do with my life. It was fun: the brewers were great, creative, and taught me everything there was to know about the art. They had some great ideas to change up the craft liquor game and were motivated simply by their love of what they did.
Unfortunately, the owner didn't trust anyone else to do his job. He never ordered any of the brewing supplies on time, barely paid his employees enough to live on, and generally drove the business into the ground despite having a bunch of people willing to help him. The constant distrust between him and even his closest employees just killed any hope they had of trying to turn a sizable profit. Most of them got out of there before things went belly up, but it was just this sad, downward spiral for a long time.
#75 Mess Of A Manager
We had a new boss named Ali. He treated all of his employees like dirt. He refused to order anything until we had absolutely no restock items left. There was never any coffee in stock. He also would pull spoiled and damaged food out of the trash and put it back on the shelf. At some point, I stopped caring. In fact, everyone did.
I would even give him the middle finger to his back on the sales floor in front of customers and employees. It became a game actually. But I was always waiting for the day when he would screw up big enough that I could report him. Sure enough, one day I ran into him stealing groceries and he told me not to tell anyone or else he would fire me. I dialed corporate immediately.
He was fired the next day.
#76 The Leftovers
Several years ago, I worked catering in the south. We took things home from shifts from time to time, and everyone knew, even the owner. The key was not to take anything openly, and never in front of the owner. But if we had an open bar, we’d write that the party drank slightly more than they did, then we’d all get a few drinks to take home or drink at the end of clean up. And we definitely took leftover food home. Even though they didn’t have a “carry” license, we just knew not to waste food. We all had families so we’d wrap it all up for each other and bring home dinner.
A few years later, I moved to the upper Midwest and worked catering. Holy guacamole, these people had the biggest sticks up their butts. All the managers were fresh out of college, and they followed every rule to a T. We each got one plate of food to eat during the shift in rotation, whereas before we might have been allowed much more. After the event was over, we cleaned up and threw leftover food away. Naturally, the employees hated this but had gotten used to it.
Luckily, I was also hired as a manager and each event that was mine, I told everyone to take whatever they wanted home. Once, when I was training with them, one of them came back and yelled at the employees for taking things home after cleaning the entire venue. So I took the food they were wrapping up and wrapped it up myself. They wouldn’t even help clean up, and where I’m from, everyone helps. So I told them it was insane that they’d rather see food go into the trash for rats and flies to consume than to allow the employees, most of whom were much older than these 20-something-year-old managers, to take food home to their families after working a 12-hour shift.
I continued doing this, and I don’t know why, but the other managers never told on me so I wasn’t fired, but boy did they shut me out. Be aware of whose side you’re on.
#77 Impossible Inspection
When I first came onto my new job, it was a mess and they had just completely bombed an inspection. I mean, it was embarrassing and I was only there for a week when it happened. Heads rolled and people were forced out of the organization. I took responsibility for the entire program when the guy in charge of it “retired." I vowed to myself it wouldn’t happen again. I didn’t tell anyone this, I just took it and ran with it.
After two years of busting my butt ensuring it was perfect, we had another inspection. The inspector informed the higher-ups it was not only the best inspection that our unit has ever had but also one of the best he’s seen in 10 years. I was on cloud nine thinking I would get some sort of recognition for it, so I waited... and waited... but nothing. A month went by and my boss and I got called into the head boss' office only to be told: “The inspector must have missed something or didn’t know what he was talking about because no one person could have fixed all this in two years”. Needless to say, I haven’t been super pumped about going to work lately and I’ve almost given up caring about all the little details.
#78 Checks And Imbalances
My boss took a $130 delivery. A month later, the customer disputed the charge on their card. The boss went looking through all the receipts from that day and couldn't find our signed copy so there was no way to fight it, he just lost $130. He decided it was my coworker's fault because the receipt was supposed to be in his stack with all his other receipts that day.
But here’s the messed up part: My boss took the delivery so there’s NO WAY he could say, with 100% certainty, that he had that customer sign the receipt and then gave the receipt to my coworker to put in his stack. He’d rather just say it was the other guy's fault and take his money than admit that he could’ve made a mistake... that screwed my morale up. We don’t get paid much; I see his sales and $130 isn’t anything to him. To us, that’s like 40% of our check.
#79 Post-Poned Pregnancy
They asked a pregnant employee if she could postpone her due date because we were short on staff.
The manager was a woman as well.
We were all flabbergasted.
#80 Donating Time
An employee got cancer. Rather than giving her the time off she needed, they asked all the other employees to donate paid time off.
Making your employees choose between a much-needed vacation and the life of a co-worker is probably the darkest thing I've ever seen.
#81 Two Very Different Tales
Due to a lack of coordination, we got two emails back-to-back.
One was from our division president, saying that the economic downturn meant we'd have to tighten our belts, so the traditional sizeable Christmas bonus wasn't going to happen. Instead, we'd get some gift certificates. For $20.
The second was from the National President, congratulating the division on a record year and inviting the sales staff to a corporate retreat.
#82 Wasted Water
My terrible boss blamed me for giving away a water bottle to a very pregnant woman during a heat wave. I was working at a cabin in the forest and was the only staff with water within five kilometers (I was the only one with a mini fridge in my cabin to keep people's lunches cold). Furthermore, it was a staff bottle, so there was no profit to make there, but she was really annoyed and called the headquarters about the staff "giving away drinks for free." We had a visit from her boss the next week. I ended up buying six water bottles and putting them in that work fridge to make it up so she would stop being so angry at me. Not the nicest boss I've had.
(The cheapest water bottle costs 40 cents in my country, so I am not sure a national company cares about losing that amount.)
#83 Sad Secretaries
The new vice president came in and fired both of the secretaries from our purchasing department. These ladies had each been with the company for 25 years and kept things running like clockwork. They were like the cool grandmas in our department, organizing potlucks and giving out birthday cards.
When we got called into a staff meeting to hear that they had been "let go," people couldn't believe it. We came back to our desks and found the ladies weeping while trying to pack up their belongings. The whole thing was depressing and drove home the idea that everyone is expendable. Within three months we lost two buyers. About nine months later, when I quit, only three of the original twelve buyers were left.
#84 Tortured At Casino Tables
I worked in a casino. Morale was already very low. Then they added timers and bells to the tables to keep the games constantly going... even when there were no people on the table.
#85 Orange You Glad
She offered to treat the entire staff to a fancy restaurant for going above and beyond only so she could receive a fat bonus. She had multiple group sit-downs asking us for suggestions. She wound up instead forcing the maintenance guy to come in on his day off just so he could BBQ us hotdogs while we were compelled to participate in a game of water balloon volleyball unless we wanted to get written up.
Oh, and our Christmas bonus was an orange.
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