"I work at a kid 's play space.
One of my coworkers used to bring in her high school-aged daughter to help out on busy days. Well, one particularly packed day, the daughter did something that another co-worker (let's call him Jake) didn't like, so he said something mean to her. She went crying to her mom, and her mom exploded. She came at Jake, screaming and cussing and being violent - in a building full of toddlers and babies. The mom was fired on the spot, and the kicker is no one knows what Jake said. It's still a mystery a year later. Anyways, you'd think that'd be that, but nope.
The mom started threatening our boss with everything from knifing him to burning the place down. She also left a bunch of absurd Yelp reviews, saying our boss was abusive, that she bought illegal substances for him and that he stole and cheated and everything she could think of. We had police protection when we opened and closed for two months, and my boss still carried a switchblade on him."
"I worked in a building with a cafeteria in it.
My coworkers and I noticed that one of the everyday cashiers had stopped showing up to work and found out that she had passed away. My coworker asked who we were talking about and upon finding out, stood up from her desk, flung herself to the ground, and proceeded to roll back and forth crying as loud as she could. We all freaked out; we had customers on the phone we had to put on hold until we could get her to her feet and someone could escort her somewhere else so she could calm down. She took the next few days off, including the day of the funeral. Assuming she had gone to the funeral, we asked her how it was, she answered with, 'Huh? I didn't go, I barely knew her.'"
"I wasn't the one that got fired, but I watched it happen. I was at Publix getting a sub when I hear this:
Manager: 'What are you doing?! You know I have to fire you for doing this again.'
Worker: 'What is the problem? I didn't do anything wrong.'
Manager: 'You are allowed to get something to eat on your break, not eat while you're packing food.'
Worker: 'So I had a couple chicken wings, it's not that big of a deal.'
Manager: 'There are 50 wings in the bottom of the trash can.
Nothing else was said, and the manager escorted the wing eater out. The guy was making baskets of wings and was basically going, 'one for the basket, one for me' and eating his way through the batch of wings. The best part was the two people making subs just start laughing and one goes: 'If the manager knew how much that guy has eaten in the two weeks he has worked here, he would go ballistic. The other day, he just sat there eating a whole container of potato salad while he was working the fryer.'
"This is the story of 'Suit Guy.'
We worked in a business casual office, most of us just wore button up shirts, decent pants and dress shoes every day. However, Suit Guy showed up as a new hire and wore the same exact tan suit every day for the three months he was there, which is what earned him the nickname.
He also drank a large coffee, a Monster energy drink, and a can of Mountain Dew in that order between when he walked in at 8 a.m. and when he had lunch at noon. Apparently, he was going through a divorce that was getting pretty contentious and the combination of caffeine and rage put him over his boiling point.
One morning, he began screaming at his phone while at his desk and then broke his cell phone in half. This was 2012, so it was a full screened smartphone that he somehow bent until it broke. I don't know how he did it. My friends and I tried to replicate it using one of my old phones, a couple days later, and we could cause some bending but no break.
He came in the next day with a new phone and acted like he hadn't made a scene the day before."
"I was working as the electronics team lead at a Target store. This was also at the time of the release of the Nintendo Wii. It had a poor launch with a lot of scarcity.
My store was in a rural area and we usually got six consoles a week shipped to us, maybe three at a time on two random days. They came through our regular truck system at 4 a.m. and were immediately put onto the shelf in lockup, first come first serve. Team members even had to wait until 8 a.m.
At the height of the frenzy, we had customers waiting at the door every single day to try and get one.
I had a woman who would come in every single day at around 1 p.m., and ask if we had any. Every day, I repeated that if she wants one, she's going to have to get up earlier because they're always gone by 8:15 a.m. She always accused us of 'stockpiling them in the back,' saying things like: 'Oh, I KNOW you have them! You're lying! Who are you holding them for?' I am the epitome of a good service person at this point in time - I am polite, patient, and attempting to give her all the info I can to help her attain one of these consoles.
As December edges on and this woman still has not managed to change her tactics, or, unsurprisingly, get a Wii, she finally found my breaking point when she screamed this at me: 'You are going to ruin my kids' Christmas!'
I couldn't take it anymore. I was done with this woman. I slammed my hands down on the counter and said something to the effect of, 'You know what? I'm DONE. There is NOTHING IN THIS WORLD that I want more than to ruin Christmas, for you, and for your kids. I hate Christmas. I hate your children. I have a dream about building a fort out of Nintendo Wii's and hiding in it when I see you coming. Do you want to see the stockroom? It's right over there, and if you find a Wii console in it I WILL BUY IT FOR YOU.' I held out my magnet keys, knowing she obviously wouldn't take them, while she stood there with her mouth agape for a little while, and then, without saying a word, turned and left. I never saw her again, and miraculously, she apparently didn't say anything to anyone on her way out, because I continued working there without any of my coworkers ever knowing it had happened.
I felt guilty at one point, but mostly just satisfied, looking back. Now I wouldn't be able to basically scream at a customer without cursing, and that would definitely get me fired."
"I worked at a television news station in Austin, early 2011.
The station had just hired a woman billed as an 'investigative reporter.' Only thing I ever saw her investigate was the weatherman. I mean, it was no secret that they'd sneak off to his Lexus in the parking lot between the 5 and 6 p.m. shows.
But the deadlines loomed, and the woman's reporting skills were incredibly sub-par. She could not keep up with the mandatory quota of stories she was supposed to produce, let alone with the delicacy and finesse a good investigative story needs. So she started slipping into what I can only imagine was a former addiction. She started with friendly doses of medications. Then she started showing up with remnants of pink, coloring her nose. That degraded into her using illegal substances in the bathroom. The whole showdown ended when she passed out beneath her desk, wearing a male anchor's borrowed suitcoat and a pair of pajama bottoms.
She had a story she was supposed to present live on the air at 5:03 p.m. At 4:48 p.m., the executive producer started asking, 'Where's Loretta?' Nobody could find her. I was working as a cameraman at the time. My reporter and I searched the bathrooms, peeked in the Lexus in case that party had started early, and walked around the lot.
Finally, my reporter saw Loretta's heel poking out from beneath her desk. We woke her up and she started sobbing about how she was a lousy reporter, she needed help, the weatherman had dumped her, the station executives hated her. Then she started hissing, the only way I can describe it. She started hissing at my young, ambitious, smart and talented reporter, 'You think you're so great, but you're crap too. Like me, you're terrible!'
I had always had the utmost respect for my reporter who was barely two years out of university but was hard and tough. She didn't blink at all. She just said, 'Is your script loaded to the teleprompter?'
The lunatic cried, Yes! But look at me! I can't go out on set! My life is horrible!' My reporter stood up, marched out onto the set and read the story as smoothly as if she'd auditioned for the part. In the two-shots, where Loretta appeared on camera, she adjusted for that by saying, 'My colleague, Loretta L. questioned the city about this expense.' She was flawless.
Meanwhile, I was left to hunker on the foul carpet by the crying and twitching Loretta, until she fell asleep again. I didn't know what else to do, so I readjusted the anchor's coat on her and left her beneath her desk. Thankfully she was fired the next morning."
"I was working at a call center and was still in a two-month paid training program.
One day, one lady flipped off in the break room. She was normally a good person, was nice, and always talked about how she loved her religion, but then one day a bunch of people were talking, and she just started saying: 'I hope you are going to take that back,' and they had no idea what she was on about. Then she went on a rant about how everyone was talking about her or conspiring against her and how they were all laughing at her, and this whole time she's screaming at the top of her lungs at them. The guy who she was mainly yelling at just said: 'Miss, I have never talked to you in my life, why would I start talking bad about you when I don't even know you?'
She didn't turn up for the rest of in-class training, but when we started call training, she was there with us. Apparently, she had gone through a psychiatric evaluation and such and was found to have acted out of stress. I genuinely felt bad because I know that feeling of losing control and I'm sorry she had to experience that at work. And since people are fickle, we had to scorn people for calling her the 'crazy schizo lady.' Some people don't have control under stress. It's all a learning experience, in my opinion."
"At my old store, we had a high schooler employed as a cashier because her dad worked as the deli assistant manager. Everything was fine. She was a little bratty and wouldn't listen to me or any of the other service leads, but she did her job alright.
Her dad got caught selling illegal substances in the parking lot and was arrested, and she was promptly put under investigation too. Eventually, they found out that she had been stealing from her register and she was arrested during one of my shifts.
I watched as they told her why she was being arrested, that charges were being pressed, and that she was officially fired.
This 16-year-old tries to resist arrest, then she falls to the ground, and begins to beat on the floor while tearing at her uniform. They manage to get her hands behind her back after she'd gotten her shirt off.
Once she's in cuffs, she begins to shout that she's going to sue everyone because they're looking at her body and she's underage and 'don't they know who she is?' and 'she knows people who will mess us all up.'
They put her in the back of the cop car, and she thrashed around trying to escape, banging on the divider and trying to get her hands on the cops. Not sure what happened to her after they drove away."
"I worked with a sales representative who was about to get fired for faking his expense reports. He knew it was going to happen because corporate called the restaurant where he was pulling his scam, and they did some research and found it all out and got the law involved.
He took his company car and left it in the worst part of town, with the keys in it, hoping it would get stolen. Pure spite on his part. Unfortunately, he didn't plan on how he was going to get out of this part of town, so he got mugged. An ambulance came and took him to the ER. I should add here that he was about 25 or so and a complete idiot.
The interesting part: He tried to go out on work-comp, due to his 'injuries' and stayed away from the office because he knew he was going to get fired. I had to visit him at his home and explain that he was going to be fired and that he could keep the law out of this if he paid the money back. It was $2,500. He said he was on pain pills due to his injuries and couldn't understand what I was saying. He stays at home for two weeks, recovering from his 'injuries.'
Here's the meltdown:
After the doctor releases him, he comes back to work. The day he comes back, the legal team and the police are waiting for him. He gets formally fired, and the police arrest him. I should add that the whole thing was being recorded by the legal team on video. After they put the cuffs on him, he immediately drops to the ground screaming that he is 'injured' and 'in severe pain' and 'doesn't deserve to be treated like this.' The police grab him and throw him in the back of the police car while he is screaming like a baby the whole time. What he didn't know is that there was a video camera in the police car. Once the police put him in the back of the car and then went back inside leaving him alone in the car, he stopped crying and started laughing.
This dragged on for years. My firm refused to back down and we prosecuted him for everything we could."
"I worked as a pharmacy technician on night shifts. It was the only 24-hour pharmacy close to a hospital with a staggeringly busy ER room. Percocet was handed out like candy.
Well, we had this one repeat offender who was everything wrong with the system - she doctor-shopped, screamed the walls down if she didn't get what she wanted, and called us every name under the sun. Management didn't care because it was business as usual and furthermore when you get into working night shifts at a pharmacy in a city, you start to understand the element. I had an exceptional level of patience...until one day she just got under my skin.
Her co-pay was $0.50. She screamed at me because her co-pay was usually zero and that she couldn't afford it. She had just bought smokes at the front counter, by the way.
She got in my face and screamed that I was trying to kill her and that she wouldn't be able to take care of her son. She then turned to her son and pointed at me saying I was the terrible woman that was killing mommy.
I lost it. I don't know why this moment did it, but it did. I slammed my hands down on the counter, came from behind the register, and got face to face with her telling her she needed to leave before I called the cops because I was sick of her drama. She squared up with me, nose to nose, but when she saw I wasn't backing down, she stepped back and then proceeded to ask me to pay the fifty cents for her co-pay. She told me I could afford it.
My coworker saw what was going on and pushed me to the back room to chill out. I don't know how that situation ended because I was in the backroom blowing off steam - But the next time the lady came back, she refused to be helped by me, which was probably best.
I'm not proud of my ridiculous behavior, and I can't defend myself for that, but man, I had never felt anger like that before."
"My first job in college was food service on campus. My roommates and I did food prep in the back and really never had face to face interaction with customers. We worked with this one dude, Pat. Pat was a big guy. Scary as ever, but super cool. He liked all of us but hated the manager, Mary. He said she always gave him the crappy jobs and nitpicked everything he did, which she did.
One day, she asked him to make PB&J sandwiches, lots and lots of them. He was almost finished and she got upset that he put both the Peanut Butter and Jelly on one slice of bread and then just put tops on them. She said it made them messier and wasn't the proper procedure. Sure, it didn't match the picture with instructions on the wall, but it's a PB&J, who cares? Mary asked him to throw them away and start over. He got angry, and so a few of the other employees started siding with him, just telling him to bag them up and move on.
So now he is trying to bag them up and label them while she is at the other end of the table throwing them away as fast as she can. Pat starts yelling: 'Stop it, Mary! Somebody better come get this woman! I said stop.' She didn't stop. Pat grabs the corner of the table and jerks it away from where she is and she looks up and asks if he is trying to get fired today. He takes a few steps towards her, puts his hand around her neck (later claimed he put it on her shoulder) and yells: 'I'll strangle you, you witch.'
Two other guys grabbed him and took him into the manager's office.
When we went out for our break, there was a cop talking to Pat and the manager. Pat got fired, but I don't think Mary pressed any charges against him."
"I was shopping at a Stop n Shop one day, about 10 years back. I just went in to pick up a few items when I overheard some guy getting torn down by his manager. He was in the process of cleaning up a broken jar of jam, and his manager was ripping into him:
'Do you know how long this mess has been here? Why does it seem like I'm always leading you around like a dog just to get you to work? Do you know how many people would kill to have your job?'
The worker was a skinny guy, maybe 17 or 18 years old, and was just gritting his teeth and keeping it cool despite the barrage of insults. After he gets things cleaned up, he pushes the mop bucket away down the aisle and the manager walks off. I go into the aisle to get some peanut butter and just see him stop in his tracks, and take a deep, shuddering his breath. His hands clench and unclench, and he walks on. I continue shopping and he disappears.
About 10 minutes later, as I'm checking out, I once again see this manager publicly tear into the same guy for not being up front and bagging items for customers. Despite repeated calls, he's doing the best he can, bagging while under this stress. But then, he eventually lets 'I'm doing the best I can, man,' out under his breath.
This seems to incense the manager who goes on about how his best isn't good enough, and how he's not representing the Stop n Shop brand. The kid finally just stops working and stares at the manager for a moment before, with arms shuddering with rage, grabbing at his shirt. With a rage-filled yell that silences the checkout area, he rips the shirt off his chest like Hulk Hogan, throws it into his manager's face, then calmly walks out of the store. Everyone's just shocked, and the manager walks away speechless with the remains of the shirt.
The silence is pierced by someone on the intercom saying 'cleanup, aisle 7' and once more, items are checked out."
"I was working as a cook at Applebees. Well, a microwave technician.
Anyway, we were slammed. It was a Friday night, with a full window of tickets and everyone's moving at top speed. I was competent and fast, being young and all. The other line cooks liked having me around because I would get my food done and not hold them up, plus I liked to make jokes, and we made the night go by quickly.
A new manager was making a fuss over an order of chicken wings. I told him they're 'down' and will need a few minutes. That means they are in the fryer being cooked. He proceeded to berate me and tell me they'd better be done faster or something, I don't remember I repeated that they're down and I don't control how fast they cook. (My favorite line to use was, 'I can't change the laws of thermodynamics for you').
Anyway, he kept up being rude and screaming through the window at me. The other cooks were looking, as well as the servers, and even the dishwasher came over to see the commotion.
I looked around the room and saw everyone staring at me, wondering what was going to happen. I just took off my apron, threw it through the window at him, and said (while flipping two birds): 'Screw you! Carl, you make them,' and walked out the back. As I was walking out the back door I heard Kenny, a fellow cook, yell: 'OH MY GOSH, CARL!'
I went out back and sat in the grass behind the restaurant and just chilled for a bit. The other cooks came out slowly one by one and just said: 'I'm with you man, that guy's a jerk, but we need you to keep us from sinking in there! Please come back in.' This isn't because I was so great (I was decent), but mainly because you can't work all the stations without people on each one. There's just too much to do. I told them to get Carl to cook, I'm done. Carl did work the station for the rest of the night. He was not very good and was disrespectful to boot.
And so that was the night Carl got fired, and I resumed my normal schedule the following night."
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