Imagine starting a new job and learning that you're expected to wear a nightmarish uniform, or that the company had just fired most of the staff and you were hired to do the work of three people. These folks shared their horror stories of the moment they decided to walk off the job. What would it take for you to do the same?
1. Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Once, I lost my job as a pizza delivery guy, but they expected me to work out a full shift on a Friday night. Their reason was that I had been a "no call, no show" the previous day. But I wasn't even slated to work.
It seemed they'd added me to the roster but failed to notify me. And it was obvious—their add-on was in a different ink color from the rest. But they still axed me for "no call, no show" and expected me to stay on. I didn't put up with that.
I just walked two shops down to a Chinese restaurant and asked if they needed help with deliveries. They hired me immediately, and guess what? I got to enjoy free egg rolls.
2. Got Burned
While I was managing a restaurant, the boss accidentally spilled piping hot chicken noodle soup all over my upper body, causing a horrible burn. The pain was so severe that I had to remove my shoes full of scalding soup. I reacted by running and swearing out loud. My boss then warned me that if I swore loudly again, he would fire me.
Despite being in pain, he denied my request for medical help. Ignoring him, I went to the hospital anyway and came back to work the next day, bandaged up. That's when he told me that I had to cover that day's shift to make up for my absence a day before.
I argued that this was against the law and presented him with a choice: either pay for my treatment or let me go. He shrugged it off, telling me I had no say in the matter. So, I quit. And then, three months later, I got my revenge.
Armed with evidence, I filed a lawsuit against him presenting proof of tax evasion, lack of proper insurance, and unsafe working conditions. All this forced him to sell his businesses to afford the legal expenses, my medical bills, and the mandatory restitution payments.
The poor guy's still making payments to me. After he served his time, he moved to a smaller town where we often cross paths. Each time we meet, I make sure to remind him about his next payment.
3. The IT Crowd
On my first day at a new job as an IT tech, I quit. The company had a misguided understanding of what an IT person's duties were. They seemed to think that "IT fixes everything," even things like changing lightbulbs. A coworker even grumbled at me for not changing her lightbulb quickly enough after I injured my hand because the old bulb shattered.
To make a point, I dropped a box full of fluorescent bulbs, breaking every single one, then left. Before I walked out, I advised my boss to recruit a proper maintenance team because an IT specialist is meant to repair computers.
4. All Work And No Play
At the large company where I was previously employed, they kept cutting the staff but not the amount of work required. We went from a team of 15 down to just two of us. Despite the fact we were now doing the work of three people each, and pulling in over 60 hours a week, we kept our heads down and didn't complain, grateful to still be employed.
A while after a new head of the department was hired, it was time for my yearly review. It was in this meeting he said, "we just need you to contribute more," to which, without any previous planning, I responded, "No". Quite shockingly for me and definitely for him, I found myself unintentionally refusing to take on even more work.
We were both taken aback. In essence, my unplanned "No" turned into my notice of resignation.
5. Pitiful Promotion
I served as an engineer in a large corporation. At the onset of the Covid lockdowns, I was in line for a promotion to Senior Engineer. However, they informed me that due to the pandemic, the promotion was on hold. I understood, yet shortly thereafter, they announced a cut in our salaries, citing financial challenges. I accepted this, was extremely disappointed.
A few months on, the corporation elevated two of its Vice Presidents to Senior Vice Presidents, accompanied by substantial bonuses. When I inquired about my long-awaited promotion, they reiterated their stance on not advancing anyone during Covid. Eventually, they promoted me, but this was the biggest disappointment of all.
The raise was a mere £100 annually. This increment was substantially less than the salary cut I had experienced due to the pandemic. After receiving the official promotion letter, I handed in my resignation and began searching for a senior engineering position elsewhere.
It's worth noting that while our bonuses were halted during this period, the management still received theirs. Large corporations need to treat their employees better.
6. After Hours
My schedule was altered without any notice, and got into serious trouble when I just showed up according to my usual schedule. Right before my designated three-day break, a colleague resigned. I proactively texted my supervisor to check if I was needed during the break, and he confirmed I wasn't.
On Friday, I reported to work based on the original timings. My supervisor was present but didn’t comment on any timing discrepancies. The same scenario played out on Saturday. On Sunday, I arrived ten minutes late due to unforeseen traffic. Even though tardiness isn’t typical for me, I intended to apologize and move on. However, my supervisor's reaction was extreme.
He criticized me for being consecutively late for three days. Puzzled, I asked him to explain. It turned out he had revised the schedule on Friday and Saturday, making me inadvertently four hours late on both days.
When I highlighted the lack of communication about the change and even my prior check-in with him, his response was dismissive, suggesting it was my responsibility to be aware of my timings. Frustrated with the whole situation, I placed my keys on his desk, walked out, and never looked back.
7. Too Old For This
I was a CNA at a nursing home and had been loyal to the institution for three years. However, in my third year, the facility underwent a change in ownership. This led to a reduction in staff, supplies, and the eviction of patients who weren’t deemed financially profitable.
Having navigated the challenges of Covid with this team, I remained hopeful for improvements. But the breaking point came when I was assigned 29 patients for a daytime shift with just one nurse for support.
The workload expected of me included administering eight baths, assisting nearly half of my patients with lifts, and managing three-quarters who were incontinent. Overwhelmed, I contacted my supervisor, tearfully explaining the impossibility of the situation and emphasizing the unethical treatment of the elderly.
I pleaded for additional assistance. His response was shocking—dismissive and completely unsympathetic. He claimed that state regulations didn't explicitly set a limit on patient numbers for CNAs, implying that the setup was permissible. He further clarified that no help would be provided and that I should manage as best I could.
Distraught, I decided to resign immediately. However, out of compassion for the patients I had cared for over the years, I committed to completing my shift. Once done, I formally resigned.
8. Do It For The Dough
On my first night as a pizza delivery guy, just a couple of deliveries in, I had a run in with two men. Walking through the apartment complex yard to deliver a pizza, these guys confronted me. They knocked me over after a few punches to the head, grabbed the pizza, the money bag, and bolted. Luckily, they left the car.
This happened back in 1989, way before the convenience of smartphone apps. I high-tailed it back to the pizza place, handed in my resignation immediately, but was in for another surprise.
The pizza joint owners were incredibly understanding. They not only drove me to the emergency room, but they also covered the medical bills. And incredibly, they completely got why I wanted to throw in the towel.
9. In The Mines
Before diving into the story, it's worth noting the mine was slated for closure in about a month. Sand mines feature "screen towers," tall structures (around 60-foot high) that function like sieves to separate sand.
One particularly frigid January day in Minnesota, with temperatures plunging to -11 degrees and fierce winds making it feel like almost -40 degrees, the seals on our screen tower malfunctioned. It was essential for operations, so a team of six, including myself, braved the extreme cold to replace those seals and get the tower running again.
We spent an excruciating three hours up there, battling gusty winds at such an elevation. Despite our insistence on using high-temp seals (considering the heat generated by the machinery), the mine superintendent insisted on low-temp seals. His rationale was that the cold weather warranted such seals, even though they are generally reserved for water screens exposed to cold water.
Unsurprisingly, a mere 15 minutes after restarting the tower, the seals gave out, exactly as we had anticipated. Despite our prior advice and the evident failure, the superintendent, clinging to his engineering degree as if it invalidated our on-ground experience, wanted us to redo the task. His disregard for our expertise and well-being was the last straw for me.
Without announcing my departure, I collected my belongings and left. When he reached out shortly after, I made it clear I couldn't bear to work under someone with his approach any longer. Fortunately, I had a standing job offer from a Texas mine. I promptly accepted it and relocated within a fortnight.
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10. Schedule Scrum
I let them know I couldn't work on Saturdays due to my rugby games. It was okay for several months, but then I noticed they had scheduled me to work a few Saturdays from now. I brought it up to my manager, reminding them about my rugby games, and they agreed to adjust the schedule. However, the next week, I was still scheduled for that upcoming Saturday.
My manager was not around, so I left them a note explaining that there may have been an error since I was still on the Saturday schedule. Their response was a capital-lettered message basically saying, "You're supposed to work from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm this Saturday. Either show up or don't bother at all".
So, I decided to quit that afternoon and never returned for another shift. I received calls and messages asking when I'd be coming back over the next couple of weeks, but I never responded.
11. Flapjack Faux Pas
I left IHOP within just a few minutes of starting. After securing the job, I was scheduled to start a few days later. I had a dense beard at the time and decided to tidy it up for my debut, so I trimmed it significantly. On arrival, the same manager who interviewed me mentioned they'd deduct a certain amount from my earnings for the meal I'd consume during shifts.
While I wasn't thrilled about that, I thought I could deal with it. However, things quickly took a turn. The manager subtly told me I should've been clean-shaven, implying he had mentioned it during our interview. He hadn't, but when I attempted to clarify, he interrupted, asserting that he had.
I'm all for complying with workplace guidelines, but it's difficult for me to respect individuals who refuse to acknowledge potential oversights and then become defensive. Had he simply said, "I thought I informed you,” there wouldn’t have been an issue.
Recognizing the likely challenges of working under such management, I handed him back the IHOP uniform and voiced that this arrangement wouldn't be feasible. They never compensated me for that brief stint, and it took me around 15 years before I considered dining at IHOP again.
12. What A Tool
I once took a job at Goodyear, even though it wasn't quite aligned with my expertise, but I needed employment at the time. After their lead technician had to leave due to a bicep injury and another colleague was let go for inappropriate behavior during lunch, I was left to handle all the intricate technical tasks beyond mere oil changes.
Upon inquiring if this increased responsibility came with a pay bump or upward move, my manager responded, "Bring me two ASE certifications and attend three local seminars, then we can discuss a promotion, a dollar raise, and a commission on your tasks". I couldn't afford the pricy ASE tests, and the seminars weren't any cheaper.
To fill the void, they brought in someone from a nearby Firestone. This new hire was inept at detailed technical work, often causing more issues than he solved, but he was efficient with tires. I constantly found myself correcting his errors or assisting him with tasks he wasn’t equipped or skilled for.
Yet, to my astonishment, during a team meeting, he was lauded and promoted for his "industry contribution". No certifications, no training seminars. I handed in my resignation immediately. As I was wrapping up for the day, the manager approached, realizing that without me, the team lacked someone skilled for advanced tasks.
He dangled the same carrot—a raise contingent on two ASE certifications. I chuckled, reminded him he'd made the same offer before, and said I’d immediately pack up my equipment.
13. Not My Job
At 19, I held the position of assistant store manager at Papa John's. My responsibilities seemed to eclipse those expected of my role; I managed scheduling, inventory, ordering, handled cash, took bank deposits, stepped in for absentees, and frequently worked extensive shifts. Essentially, I was fulfilling the General Manager's duties.
One particularly hectic Friday evening, I snapped. I decided to have a memorable conversation with the manager in the back office:
Me: "I won't be coming in tomorrow, unfortunately".
Him: "Did you make plans?"
Me: "Actually, I won't be coming in on Sunday or any other day after that".
Him: "What are you saying?"
Me: "I'm resigning. Take care".
I placed my keys on the table, exited the store, and never returned.
14. Money Talks
When I was just 15, I started working at a corner store. It was my third day when the boss gave me a gentle pat on the head as I tidied up the shelves. However, later that day, he singled me out and took me into his office.
He claimed that I'd taken money because the cash register—which I'd been put on without proper training—had been misbalanced over the last two days due to my errors. On top of that, several other employees had been dipping their hands into my cash drawer throughout the day, something I was unaware wasn't normal practice.
Looking back, I realize he probably used these allegations as an excuse to get me alone. No way. I was making peanuts per hour and it wasn't worth staying in such an uncomfortable environment. I remember running out of there in tears. Since then, I've only ever worked for myself.
15. Every Day I’m Hustlin’
I was employed at a nursing home, handling medical records. My overbearing supervisor, who I didn't get along with, retired. Despite my extensive knowledge, she didn't endorse me for her role. Instead, they brought in a newcomer with no prior experience. When I requested time off to attend a conference related to my secondary job, they declined.
Their rationale was that the State might conduct their annual review, and since the new manager lacked experience with such inspections, I had to remain present. Even as my hours were reduced due to fewer patients, this new manager incorrectly claimed I had been skipping work, not mentioning the actual reason.
In response, I interrupted a morning meeting, tossed the keys onto the table, declared I wouldn’t work with dishonest individuals, and exited. Subsequently, I committed fully to my side job and never regretted my decision.
16. Brain Pain
I once held a position that involved a great deal of driving and strenuous loading and unloading tasks. One day, while in a rush and not being cautious, I accidentally sustained a concussion at work. Feeling unwell, I took a break from driving and asked for assistance to visit a physician. The response from my superiors was less than empathetic.
Upon examination, the physician diagnosed the concussion and prescribed two days without driving, heavy lifting, or repetitive motions. However, my manager proposed that I perform "light duties" in the warehouse. It was at that point I realized I needed to make a change. The warehouse work was by no means light-duty.
Fortunately, my earnings had allowed us to save for emergencies. My wife then recommended that I take a brief hiatus to consider other opportunities, reassuring me that we had a contingency plan if things didn't pan out. I didn’t report back to work the following day.
Resigning in such a manner was unprecedented for me, and while I might never do it again, it felt liberating. The role had not been a suitable match for me and it was taking a toll on my personal life; easily the most challenging job I've ever had.
A silver lining was that I got to spend one and a half months with our newborn. This quality time bolstered our connection. Reflecting on it, that experience played a pivotal role in shaping my current circumstances.
My mother secured me a position as a busser (though I was promised a serving role, which never materialized) at a newly established bistro/bar in our town. While the pay left much to be desired and the declared tips were unsatisfactory, it provided some income during my school days and the working hours were manageable.
A couple of months into my job, I was assigned to work Easter, with a promised bonus, at their associated country club alongside some colleagues from the bistro. The event was organized buffet-style, with the expectation that the wait staff and I would clear away used plates.
However, the majority of the bistro staff chose to stay hidden in the kitchen, indulging in the food, leaving only a handful of us, including a few permanent country club employees, to attend to over 40 tables. Upon receiving my paycheck, I inquired about the holiday pay with a food runner.
To my astonishment, he had been paid significantly more than me, even after hearing that the wait staff were compensated even better. He sympathized with me, remarking that my compensation was unjust given my efforts. I approached the manager, questioning the disparity in our pays, especially since I'd taken on the bulk of the work.
His response was rather callous, suggesting that even what I was paid was too generous. Disheartened and disrespected, I handed over my badge and keys, leaving them understaffed for the day. But that wasn't all. To add insult to injury, both the boss and I were servicemen from different military branches.
Such a blatant lack of respect from a fellow service member was the final straw for me. On my way home, I relayed the events to my mother. She, being one of their most skilled waitresses and bartenders, resigned a month after I did.
18. Pack It Up
At 17, I took up a job in a warehouse. With a recent move to a more spacious warehouse, the need for an additional store person arose. I referred a friend, whom we'll name Greg, who was seeking employment. While Greg struggled with some warehouse tasks, he held a driver's license, enabling him to make customer deliveries, something I lacked.
A month in, the warehouse manager hinted that the higher-ups intended to retain just one of us due to budget constraints. They favored Greg for his ability to drive. Given the enormous task of organizing numerous pallets in this new space, I thought it best to part ways and wished them luck.
However, Greg, who had initially enjoyed working alongside his friend, found little reason to stay without me. He promptly submitted his resignation that day, leaving them overwhelmed with countless items and no dedicated store person.
19. Head Count
Back in December 2019, the census was recruiting part-time employees for the 2020 round-up. Then some worldwide events unfolded in early 2020 that pushed back all census activity. I initially thought this would be an interesting thing to try out in the spring, but we didn't get kick-started until August.
I've completed all the training, received the equipment, and had my first day on the job. The temperature that day was way above 90 degrees. I spent roughly three hours driving from one place to another (since my assignments were spread out) to cover 30 addresses, with only three responses.
My second day was just as boiling hot but more productive. After knocking on ten doors and getting no response, I said to myself, "This is absurd. I don't need this job. This was meant to be a fun little side hustle, but it's more than I bargained for". So I walked away and sent a text to my field supervisor saying that I was quitting.
She didn’t appear shocked or offer any resistance. She just scheduled a session for me to return my equipment. On a little quirky note about resigning: all our census work was carried out using a government-issued iPhone. But when I took back all the gear, I didn't include the iPhone earphones.
She insisted I drive all the way back home to fetch the used earbuds for collection.
20. Just The Tip
Years back, I was a server at PF Chang's. Within that year, we were already on our third General Manager. This new manager introduced a policy: for tables of eight or more, two servers were required, with the tip to be split between them. This rule seemed to stem from the presence of underperforming servers who struggled with handling large groups.
For seasoned servers like me, this rule was impractical. More often than not, I'd be paired with a less competent server and end up shouldering most of the work, making them mere plate carriers. Although I didn't mind sharing tips with those assisting with food, dividing the entire tip was unacceptable.
Thus, among experienced servers, we'd symbolically pair up but primarily serve individually, assisting each other only when necessary. During one quiet lunch shift, a challenging scenario presented itself. A group of eight entered, and I found myself partnered with a notoriously unreliable server, especially with the manager watching.
After providing water for the table, this server vanished, only to return when the bill was settled, naively asking about "our" tip. I suspect she might have been drinking. When I asserted I wouldn't split the tip, she complained to the General Manager, who, despite witnessing my solo effort, insisted on dividing the tip per the "rule".
Frustrated by his indifference, I demanded a full payout, threatening to report to the higher-ups if denied. After waiting a short while, I left with all my earnings. My colleagues later informed me there was a minor discrepancy in the amount, but given the situation, it wasn't pursued.
The manager's blatant disregard irritated me immensely; that's his primary role! To this day, I stand by my decision without regret.
21. Prime Time
I once worked for a niche warehouse firm that acted as an intermediary between Chinese businesses and Amazon, mainly handling the placement of barcodes on Amazon Prime shelves. The business was managed by three women and one man. The setup was chaotic; they had no adherence to health and safety regulations and lacked an organized system for storing items in the warehouse.
Two of the women, one of whom was the wife and co-owner of the male manager, made some adjustments in the warehouse. Without any prior notice, the male manager confronted me, berating me loudly and labeling me an imbecile. That incident marked the first major issue I had there.
Meanwhile, the trio in the office began to treat me condescendingly, reminiscent of stereotypical high school bullies. A week later, I was using a pump truck to position pallets for a forklift to load onto a truck. As I was working, the male owner aggressively took the pump truck away from me, criticizing my capabilities.
In that moment, I retorted, "Enough is enough! I'm done with this place," raising both my hands in frustration. I left immediately. They subsequently neglected to process my payment on the due date. Only after I invoked the possibility of involving ACAS did they settle my dues.
22. Tech Talk
At a firm I once worked for, every time I highlighted a misinterpretation regarding technological operations, they'd contest my point, despite my position as the HEAD OF IT. Often, their misunderstandings revolved around areas like Google Ads' functionality or algorithm intricacies.
Despite my explanations, they frequently disregarded my advice. This either added significantly to my workload or led the company to squander money on unnecessary services, simply because they chose not to heed my counsel.
One day, I voiced my concerns, and the company's Managing Director responded, "When our views clash, I doubt your honesty". Without hesitation, I replied, "If you question my integrity in this role, then it's best I don't continue serving in this capacity. I hereby resign, effective immediately".
Fast forward six months, I ran into them and was candidly informed about their struggles with IT after my departure. Apparently, subsequent IT professionals left shortly after being hired, and the externally sourced IT solutions weren't as efficient as anticipated.
I couldn't help but add, "I did warn you," before we parted ways for the last time.
23. Double Up
While I did provide a two-week notice rather than leaving abruptly, here's what transpired: After a colleague resigned due to excessive workload and secured a role with a significant pay raise for much lesser work, the company passed all his tasks to me.
This was because they were reducing the responsibilities of two other PMs as a form of reprimand for underperformance. The company, despite receiving financial aid during the Covid crisis, went on to lay off 30 staff members, leaving only four of us to manage everything.
The owners disappeared for about a year. When they returned, they acted in the most infuriating way imaginable. They flaunted their luxury cars and boasted about their new vacation properties under construction on a Florida golf course. Subsequently, they sold the business, which spiraled into chaos.
Only three original team members remain, and the firm's sales, which once reached $25 million, are now projected to barely touch $4 million.
24. Garbage Man
After leaving the Marines and having worked in IT in California, I found the cost of living there too steep and relocated to Ohio. In the small town I settled in, job opportunities were scarce. My savings dwindled, leading me to approach a staffing agency for assistance.
They placed me in a recycling center where my task was to pick non-specific metals off a conveyor belt filled with trash. While the task itself wasn't challenging, the 12-hour shifts required me to stand in one position and lean over continuously, which took a toll on my back. I managed to endure this for about two to three weeks.
Though the experience left me feeling disheartened, I appreciate that role. The income bridged the gap until I found a job better suited to my abilities.
25. Power Trip
The pandemic made my boss power-hungry. While he wasn't affected by the virus, he eagerly seized every chance to capitalize on it. Over several weeks, his behavior became increasingly erratic. One day, he abruptly confronted me for not finishing some checklist he'd given.
The way he addressed me was as if I was a student reprimanded by an overbearing teacher—both condescending and unpleasant. Without hesitation, I resigned. This led me from a remote job to working in a warehouse during the pandemic's peak.
Of course, he quickly shifted to the "Maybe we can sort this out" mode, but I stood my ground. Would I make the same choice again? Absolutely. Now, I've returned to my prior field, working with a rival company.
26. Workin’ 9-5
For about half a year, I served at a restaurant, progressing from dishwashing and salad-making to line and prep cooking. The head chef always boasted about being "employee-centric" and "prioritizing preferred schedules". Yet, after six months, I barely had any joint days off with my fiancée, despite several pleas.
Our work timings were staggered; she worked mornings to midday, while I clocked in during the evenings, leaving us minimal time together. Then, an opportunity emerged. A daytime prep role became available, aligning perfectly with my partner's schedule.
I was elated, sharing the news with loved ones and experimenting with recipes at home. However, this joy was short-lived. Just a week in, the head chef decided to bring someone familiar onboard for the evening line position, pushing me aside.
Soon after, I received an extensive message from him, detailing how I'd be more "suitable" returning to random evening shifts, while my newly acquired prep slot was handed to the new recruit. My response was succinct: "I quit". Their shock amused me.
A twist of irony occurred a few months on; they let go of the person who had taken over my role. That gave me a slight sense of vindication. Today, I'm in a much more rewarding job.
27. Curtain Call
I once held a position at a quaint drapery store, initially joining as a cutter and shipper. Within a year, due to staff turnover, I inadvertently became the primary person in charge of warehouse inventory. However, my compensation didn’t mirror my elevated responsibilities.
There was a peculiar phase when several employees had left, creating a vacuum. Residing in a university town meant the owner had a penchant for employing inexpensive college students. At a point when I was solely overseeing the warehouse, I approached him for a pay hike that matched my duties. His counteroffer?
A mere 25¢ increment. I handed in my resignation right then and there. Ironically, this is the same employer who could afford extended vacations but not a decent wage hike for his most valuable and, at that time, sole worker. Such an attitude was simply unacceptable.
28. On Your Knees
At a grocery store where I was responsible for replenishing shelves, the store policy mandated that we kneel to stock the bottom racks, rather than sitting on any support. This eventually led to a painful buildup of fluid in my knees. When I consulted a doctor, he attributed the discomfort to the kneeling required by my job.
That evening, I attended a theatrical performance featuring my mother, taking care to only sit as the doctor had permitted. However, the store manager decided to visit my home in my absence, subsequently leaving a note summoning me for an early morning explanation. That was the last interaction he had with me.
I had the store's uniform at my place which I never felt the need to return, and they never bothered to ask. Later, I secured a similar position at another grocery store. Once, while struggling to stock a bottom shelf, the floor supervisor questioned why I wasn't using a seat from the storeroom.
His approach was refreshing, and I continued working there for a considerable time without any issues.
29. Snooze Fest
I was employed at a factory where the schedule consisted of three 12-hour day shifts, followed by a day off, then three 12-hour night shifts. The machinery was outdated, and any downtime impacted the factory's efficiency. The expectation was clear: continuous work with minimal breaks.
However, persistent machine malfunctions compounded by the mechanic's consistent unavailability made the job tough. Additionally, my coworkers frequently took extended smoke breaks—roughly eight each shift, lasting about 10 minutes—besides their allocated 20-minute lunch breaks.
On challenging days, our earnings plummeted to as low as $14 per shift. Though we occasionally hit a peak of $50, that was rare, approximately bi-monthly. On average, a shift brought in about $27. Some months, my total earnings barely touched $450. After enduring this for eight months, I decided to resign.
When I informed the office, the response was feigned ignorance about the working conditions.
On my first day, I decided to quit immediately. The behavior of the manager/owner raised many red flags, making me doubt I'd receive proper payment. He seemed to employ individuals who needed guidance, perhaps hoping I'd step up as a guiding figure. The job was of a general labor nature.
Interestingly, he seemed to control the finances of the employees, distributing cash as and when they required. I approached him with concerns about the lack of official paperwork and the fact he didn’t have my SSN for tax purposes. His proposition was an informal arrangement, promising I wouldn't need to worry about taxes.
Not comfortable with this, I resigned immediately and asked for my wages. Initially, he denied my request, claiming I wasn't technically employed. I threatened to inform the IRS right then. He reluctantly handed over some cash, but I still reported the situation to the IRS.
31. No Show
After graduating, I joined a company where I'd interned during extended breaks over the previous three years, contributing positively and enhancing their operations. This was during the era when 8-bit computers dominated offices, and if you could perform tasks beyond simple typing or basic Lotus 1-2-3 data entry, you were considered quite skilled.
I excelled, crafting intricate spreadsheets and designing custom software that transformed tasks which took hours into mere minutes. As my final spring break concluded, they promised to carve out a unique position for me upon my return in June to further tap into my expertise.
But, when June arrived, they totally did me dirty. They designated me a file clerk. A) This wasn’t the deal. B) It wasn't my passion. C) I wasn’t adept at it. A couple of weeks in, I expressed my dissatisfaction to the office manager. He requested patience, proposing a dedicated meeting to discuss the matter further.
On the designated day, he was absent without reason or notice. He wasn't ill and didn’t notify anyone of a change in plans. I informed the HR representative about the situation and departed. The office manager was irate upon discovery, fervently calling me to return. His astonishment was palpable when I declined.
A few months later, I landed a position at a company where I've remained ever since.
32. Big Ask
I used to work for a standard package delivery company. Before I started my shift one day, my supervisor shocked me right from the get-go. He incorrectly informed me that I owed the firm $800 for damages to their vehicle, which is illegal in my location. Despite this, my supervisor seemed to have a great day working two shifts.
I quickly went to the labor tribunal to lodge a complaint. I didn't even have to consult with a judge. The issue was resolved quickly and that practice was discontinued.
33. Extra Credit
For nearly four years, I was dedicated to a company I deeply respected. Arriving early, staying late, and even working six-day weeks or on my off days was routine for me because I was passionate about my job and the company.
A few years earlier, my manager had hired her daughter, and even when she left for a new job, she remained on the payroll, just in case. When her daughter decided to return and I received an incredible job offer from another company, I approached my manager.
Out of respect and commitment, I offered a month's notice and even proposed staying on the payroll like her daughter, making myself available for occasional weekend shifts. However, her response was cold and unexpected.
Suddenly, she claimed the position I requested no longer existed. She hastily prepared my resignation letter, demanded I sign it immediately, and promptly moved another employee into my role. The betrayal from a company I had given so much to was deeply painful.
Instead of challenging the situation, I graciously wished them well with the upcoming Christmas season just a fortnight away. I left then and there, relishing my holiday before embarking on my new job journey. In hindsight, it was a pivotal and positive step for my well-being.
Back then, I was working as a professional cabinet maker. I took up a contract job to fix poor installations in a 16-apartment building. The supervisor and I took a tour of the premises and trust me, it was some of the most subpar work I'd ever come across.
Many of the kitchens needed total overhauling, being taken apart and properly reassembled to meet acceptable standards. The supervisor gave me a timeline that was so impractical it actually made me laugh out loud. I inquired about who else was on the job with me and learned that I was supposed to do all this on my own.
I couldn't believe it and asked if he was joking around. He was completely serious. I flat-out told him he had no clue how to manage things and I walked away. I didn't even bother unloading my tools from the car.
35. The Checkup
I specialize in welding and fabrication and decided to leave my job after just a handful of days. The company had a substantial team, with over 100 employees on the floor and had recently relocated their operations. Some executives from a different state came down for a health and safety review. Surprisingly, they approached me, questioning why specific standards weren't being met.
Despite clarifying that I was a temporary hire with only four days under my belt, they continued to press and criticize. Instead of engaging further, I spent the remainder of the day in the break area, just waiting for my shift to end so I could ensure I'd be compensated.
It's worth noting that the workshop's dedicated health and safety professional was conveniently absent that day.
36. Family First
I missed my sick mother's 60th birthday because a famous British fashion firm forced me to attend a manager's conference in Melbourne, and they knew how tough this was for me. My mom was upset but understood. However, upon returning, they went a step further.
They tried to deny me the leave I had previously arranged for our final family vacation. Furthermore, I had to assist with packing up our holiday unit and taking my parents, who were both battling terminal cancer, back home. They were in poor health by the week's end.
After a tense quarter of an hour negotiating with the area manager, I handed in my one week's notice. Then, I announced I was going out to lunch. I walked over to a local cafe, scored a new job, and spent the rest of the day laughing with relief.
37. Road Trip
A few weeks earlier, I had started seeing someone new. I worked as a delivery driver, transporting aerospace components. Much of my route was in the heart of LA, though our workshop was situated more inland. One evening, after wrapping up my last delivery a tad early at about 7:30 pm, I rang my new girlfriend, assuring her I'd be at her house within the next half-hour to 45 minutes.
When I arrived at our workshop, I was suddenly asked to make another trip to LA to deliver some urgently needed parts. I explained to my supervisor that I had prior commitments for the evening. Despite this, he responded, "It's crucial these get there right away".
Without hesitating, I handed over the truck's fuel card and my ID badge, stating, "I won't be making that trip tonight". He looked puzzled and asked, "Are you certain about this?" I replied, "I'd rather not, but I'm DEFINITELY not heading back to LA tonight". Accepting my stance, he took the truck himself.
The following morning, I collected my final paycheck and moved on.
38. Sharing Is Caring
I landed an interview for a data analysis role. During the meeting, they continuously avoided my inquiries about their business model. Eventually, they disclosed they're in the timeshare advertising sector, luring people with a sales presentation in exchange for a complimentary gift.
Their intention was to have someone extract potential client data and compile their contact lists. I promptly exited, not even bothering to pick up the complimentary offer.
39. Injury Free
I used to work in telemarketing, specifically asking folks about any injuries they might have had within the last three years. You know, that sort of stuff. The part that truly got under my skin was how everyone I called within those first 20 minutes was nothing but kind, expressed no interest, and were just about to sit down for their meals.
That's when it hit me—this job was incredibly unpleasant, and I was not at all suited for it. After enduring just 20 minutes, I quietly walked out, never to return.
40. Birthday Bummer
Back in high school, I had a job at a supermarket and I had asked the manager for a day off for my girlfriend's birthday, giving them plenty of notice—about a month. Everything seemed fine. However, when a new manager took charge, he insisted that I work that particular day.
I explained that I had arranged for this day off in advance and therefore had made plans, so I wouldn't be able to come in. His immediate reply was that if I failed to show up, I would be fired. In response to that I simply said, if that's how it's going to be, then I might as well quit right now.
41. Super Man
A long time ago, I was a line cook at a well-known sports bar. On my first day, they had me learn the ropes from a guy who didn't speak English for a couple of hours. That wasn't a big issue, as most of the training in a kitchen is through watching others. When the owner returned, she said I'd be working solo the next day, which happened to be Super Bowl Sunday.
Upon hearing that, I immediately left. I didn't stick around for a second longer.
42. Knock Knock
I attended an interview at an office, expecting to discuss potential administrative roles. However, after our conversation, they instructed me to board a van for the next phase. To my surprise, the van took me an hour away to shadow one of their door-to-door sales representatives.
This person would request homeowners to show their water heaters in their basements to determine if a replacement from their company was required. This whole situation made me uneasy, not to mention that I had lost an entire day to it.
To top it off, the representative I was shadowing spent a significant amount of time idling in the truck, engrossed in magazines, waiting for homeowners to return. When I inquired about the nature of the job, she responded defensively, asserting that she would decide if I was fit for the role.
I don't think she grasped that I was reevaluating whether I wanted to be part of such operations. Overall, it felt like a day squandered.
43. Got Schooled
I discovered that the educational support they promoted in their ad was exclusive to full-time employees. Their definition of "full-time" was 40 hours or more, effectively barring anyone who might seek this assistance from ever qualifying.
This was not clearly communicated in their advertising, and during my interview, they had reassured me that, as a college student, my 21-hour workweek would grant me these benefits. Fortunately, I thoroughly reviewed my contract before finalizing it and confronted them about the discrepancy.
Misleading your employees, particularly in an interview over a matter that can be quickly verified, is not a good practice. If they're deceptive about this, what else might they be dishonest about?
44. Game Boy
I had an interview with a tiny game development company for a contract role. They mentioned they needed assistance with completing an ongoing project. However, when I saw the game, it looked as though it had been crafted in MS Paint, almost like they had enlisted a random passerby to create the graphics.
Sure, it's a mobile game retailing for the typical 99 cents, so perhaps the quality isn't paramount, but even the gameplay seemed lackluster. I thought that at the very least, I could earn some extra cash for minimal effort. But the dealbreaker was when they revealed my compensation would be based on a share of the game's sales.
That was my cue to exit.
45. Secret Ingredient
I once took a job at a bakery. On my initial day, I arrived early to get acquainted with the team. They assigned me the task of greasing baking trays for the others. When I picked up the first tray, I started screaming: a swarm of about 10 to 15 cockroaches darted out from underneath. I pointed it out to the person guiding me, and he seemed indifferent.
The unsettling part was that this was happening just a short distance from where customers stood. After enduring this for roughly an hour, I excused myself, claiming I felt unwell, and went to the restroom. Upon returning, I expressed my inability to continue with the task. His response was to suggest I find a "real" job.
Taking his advice, I promptly sought and secured more suitable employment elsewhere.
46. Peep Show
I once interviewed at a steakhouse in a town I'd recently relocated to, believing it to be a typical establishment. The meeting seemed to go smoothly, especially since it was conducted just before their opening hours and few people were around. However, just as we were wrapping up, a waitress walked past, donning chaps and a thong as her attire.
Evidently, that was the uniform. About half an hour after the interview, the manager rang to offer me the position. I gracefully turned it down.
47. Order Up
I once worked in fast food, and the experience was as typical as you'd expect. During the day shift, it was just two cooks and me. For a straight four hours, I juggled the front counter, drive-thru, and fry duties, barely keeping pace. Customers grew increasingly frustrated, voicing their annoyance at the long waits.
Instead of assisting me, my manager opted to aid the two cooks, seemingly avoiding the disgruntled customers. I observed this for another hour, feeling increasingly overwhelmed. The breaking point came when a customer berated me at the drive-thru window for a ten-minute wait.
I handed the headset to my manager, exiting without a word. Outside, I sat in my truck, grappling with an intense panic attack for an hour before heading home. Given the challenges I was facing in my personal life then, it just became too much. It remains the only time I've ever suffered a full-blown panic attack.
The experience was deeply distressing.
48. Which Way
I served as a personal assistant to an executive in an advertising firm. His interpersonal skills left much to be desired, and he had an unreasonable expectation. Even though I started my day at nine and he strolled in around noon, he wanted me to remain at my desk until he left, which was often around eight in the evening.
One day, I received distressing news that my father had been rushed to the ER with heart complications. I informed the executive about the situation and expressed my need to leave immediately. His response was despicable, "First, I need those directions". The irony? He had been to that location just the day before.
At that moment, I realized I couldn't put up with his power plays any longer. I left his office, gathered my belongings, and made my exit. As I departed, he kept paging me, but my colleagues, sensing my intentions, remained silent, even as he persistently called out for me. Frank, take a hint. And your pretentious wife can too.
49. It’s Been A Slice
While working as a delivery driver for a late-night pizza joint, the evening supervisor consistently favored his close friend. He would give his buddy multiple deliveries at once, while assigning me individual, distant ones. When I raised concerns, my protests were dismissed.
The moment that truly pushed me over the edge was when his friend was chosen for a large lunch order for the Ford truck plant—it included around eight different deliveries. Following this, I decided to make my own "compensation".
Over the next few hours, I began to load up my car with pizzas, chicken wings, bags of frozen fries, multiple 24-packs of sodas and beers, and a substantial amount of family-sized Double-Stuf Oreos. Before leaving, I informed the supervisor that I hadn't prepared anything for the night shift, hinting at his unfair behavior. And with that, I resigned.
When it came time to collect my final paycheck, they claimed it hadn't arrived. I warned the main manager that unless I was paid promptly, I'd expose them for selling drinks to underage customers, an indiscretion I had witnessed the very same supervisor committing for his pals.
Not surprisingly, my paycheck appeared shortly after. The eatery shut down within a year.
50. In Hot Water
I used to work at the call center of a popular Australian plumbing company, setting up appointments. Once, a distressed single mom called in because the pilot light on her hot water system was off and she hadn't had hot water for over a week.
She was struggling financially and couldn't pay for repairs, so she was just trying to manage the best she could. Knowing that one of our technicians was already nearby helping her neighbor, she sought his assistance.
He prepared to help her, dialing the call center to see if we could skip the $150 house call charge and send him over to at least evaluate the issue and estimate repair costs. However, my operations manager turned down the request arguing it would put the company at a loss. But it got even more distressing.
At this point, the woman was crying on the phone, emotionally overwhelmed, and my boss just commented, "I guess she'll have to decide how much a hot shower is worth to her," with a wide, smug grin on her face. That's when I decided to leave, right then and there, packing up my desk and walking out.