"I had been working in a restaurant for three years for the crappiest, most self-absorbed, selfish, ungrateful owner ever. If you did him a favor or extra hours to help him, he'd find something to scold you about just so you didn't feel too important. He's yelled at staff in front of a full restaurant on a busy Friday night about stuff that happened weeks ago, just awful.
Well, I'd been getting harassed by a co-worker for months. It was getting progressively worse until the only things he'd say to me, regardless of what I asked him, would be 'If you go out with me/ when you go out with me, blah blah blah.'
Now, he was the busboy in a small restaurant so I didn't have any choice but to interact with him. It would go from grabbing my body to pulling and yanking on my arms when I was grabbing dishes from the kitchen window. It got to the point where I often got the food, bread, water myself just to avoid having to interact with him. He was always playing with my hair, trying to give me massages, poking me and constantly asking me out.
I tried every possible way to stop this. I told and asked him to stop. I physically pushed him away, I've shoved him away. I asked nicely and not so nice. I once kicked him in a restaurant full of people. Customers and co-workers witnessed this. One day, it got so bad that I texted the owner, basically saying, 'If this doesn't stop, I will have no choice but to quit.'
I agreed to work that shift with the guy and he talked to the owner that night. The owner had arranged a meeting before my shift the next day so we could talk. It was 30 minutes of him basically saying that I was making something out of nothing, that I was just 'jumping on the #metoo movement bandwagon' and that this guy couldn't possibly do what I'm saying (though I told him the names of every customer and coworker that had witnessed all of this) and that the guy had said to him that he's not attracted to me, so it couldn't be harassment. When I tried to argue that, his response was, 'C'mon, you really think he wants to date you?!' I got up and walked straight out."
"I used to work at Chili's. It was my first restaurant job outside of working at a table service restaurant in Disney. I didn't know that there was a stereotype that black people don't tip, which I legit never heard because I'm black and I tend to OVER TIP, and so did my friends and family. So, I was a hostess and I sat this one waitress with a black family...which was what I supposed to do because it was her turn to be sat.
She became upset. Like, literally flew in a rage. She went into the kitchen (their table was unfortunately right by the kitchen) and loudly complained about how she didn't want to serve them, how she hated serving black people and all that. It was a shame because they seemed really nice when I sat them and even though they obviously heard what she said, they weren't rude to her at all. They just under tipped her. Which made her even madder. And she went on another racist rant.
So. For the next few days, I sat every single black party with her. Every single one. Just to mess with her. She caught on and complained to the manager. I got written up. She didn't get written up for racist remarks.
So I left. In the middle of a dinner rush."
"I picked up a second job during college because...college. It was a cafe, cozy and Northwoods themed up in Minnesota. My manager was hired without any floor experience and I'm pretty sure she was bipolar. She really hated any women younger than her (like me) and was always trying to reclaim her youth in the wrong ways (reading Twilight, singing with songs like 'Teenage Dream').
She couldn't get past the fact that I, a low-key, non-bubbly introvert, connected better with our customers than she did. I was already fatigued and stressed from college, so the constant stress of her hunting for any excuse to write me up was wearing me thin. Here's the last straw:
A little girl and her dad walked into the cafe and sat by the fire. There was a fierce blizzard outside and they were the only customers. The little (probably eight or nine) girl gave her dad her hat and gloves, then ran to the restroom. The dad came up to order a coffee and hot chocolate, which I prepared and gave to him. The girl came back from the restroom a minute later and was horrified to see that the whipped cream was mostly melted into the drink.
Now, I'm not going to say for sure, but I got the impression she was a bit special needs. She started crying but didn't communicate more than a few words. Definitely not a spoiled and bratty disappointment, but more like someone just threw her ice cream on the sidewalk.
Anyway, I felt pretty bad, so I took a coffee plate and put my most gorgeous spiral of whipped cream ever with beautiful chocolate shavings sprinkled on it and brought it out to her with a spoon. Her wordless delight was so warm, it could have thawed the blizzard.
After I got back to work, the Antichrist, my manager, stiffly walked up to me and said, 'You know, stealing from the store like that could get you fired.' All I could do was stare in confusion. But she continued, 'I'm only going to write you up for now, but if [general manager she had the hots for] doesn't approve, you could lose your job.'
I was supposed to open the store with her the next morning, but I let her shovel the sidewalk and do everything else on her own. I slept in for the first time in months, never been warmer."
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"I worked at a Five Guys through high school and requested off for my high school graduation. The manager I asked was fired the following week, but I assumed he had put in my days off before he left, so I didn't check the system. The Friday before graduation, the General Manager said, 'I'll see you tomorrow!'
To which I corrected him, 'You mean next week- I'm graduating this weekend!' With a big smile on my face, expecting to be congratulated. Instead, he freaked out. Yelled at me in front of other staff and customers, and demanded to know, 'Which is more important to you?' I just laughed, I was stunned that he would even ask that."
"For a couple of summers during college, I was a dishwasher at a local youth correctional facility. The job sucked, but the pay was really awesome (about $3 more than the minimum wage at the time) and I was able to get free (yet questionable cafeteria) food. Most of the staff really couldn't care less about the job and the kitchen was always gross. For example, the industrial dishwasher we had was almost never cleaned before I got there. They would clean it maybe twice a month when the supervisor would bother with an inspection. The dishwasher was like a mini car wash, you would put the plates on a conveyor belt and they would go through each section before coming out. That means all the gunk, all the leftover food on the plates (that were usually not even completely cleared off) wasn't really cleared off. This is doubly true with those plastic cafeteria trays because the curves on the tray (especially the back) is perfect for collecting gunk. I was completely grossed out by this, plus all the staff used the same stuff as the kids so they were eating off of these filthy trays, bowls, plates etc. as well. So I would always clean the dishwasher before I left, which was super tedious, but completely worth it. It would even work better when taken care of properly.
Fast forward to a college break, I think it was spring break. I decide to pick up a couple of shifts to make some quick cash. It was a standard crap day (I also had to be a server that day, which was always awful). At the end of the day, I went to disassemble and clean out the dishwasher and immediately regretted that decision. Like I mentioned, taking apart the dishwasher was tedious and there were a lot of different compartments to it. The most important one to clean was basically where all the trash would go after wiped from the plates, which was like a gutter in the bottom of the machine. As I got closer down to this gutter, I could smell that it hasn't been cleaned in a while; it smelled awful. So I took a deep breath and undid the hatch and was immediately hit with literally the worst thing I've ever smelled. I can't even really put into words how awful the smell was, I would imagine it smelled pretty similar to the box of male jelly if it was also home to a collection of putrid cheese, rotting meat, and a heaping scoop of pig guts. I immediately threw up, didn't even have time to gag or process what was happening.
I actually hightailed it out of there and my coworkers asked if I was okay, to which I answered with a resounding, 'What in the actual world!?!'
When I asked when's the last time someone actually did a thorough clean of the dishwasher, one guy shrugged and said, 'Probably when you cleaned it last,' WHICH WAS ON THANKSGIVING BREAK. I just left, didn't say anything, didn't even both to gran my backup from my locker, I just left. My boss called the next day to ask why I wasn't in and I told him I would never come back."
"Back in college, I delivered food. I worked all the time, picked up shifts and was highly valued. Corporate wanted to have a front staff meeting and the managers didn't communicate it to the employees, so literally, no one showed (I was working at the time of the meeting so I saw the managers get reamed by corp). They rescheduled the meeting for the following Saturday morning, which happened to be the day after my birthday and one of the few days I requested off. I told them I wasn't going to make the meeting and they got all huffy puffy about how they would have to 'do something' if I didn't come. This happened at the end of my lunch shift and I just said whatever, called a local pizza shop, set up an interview, and didn't show up for my evening shift. They called and were all, 'We can figure something out.'
I said, 'Nah, I'm good.' I probably could've just toughed it out because the managers typically only lasted four months or so, but I'd had enough of this dude by then."
"The Jimmy John's manager wanted us to literally run to our cars. Normally, I'm cool with that. But it's a busy parking lot and it was raining. Tons of cars were going 20 mph in between me and my car, so I carefully walked as to not slip or get run over since it was hard to see in the rain. Strangely enough, I refused to risk being run over for $5 an hour. The manager just started ripping into me, literally yelling at me in front of the staff for not running in the parking lot.
Sadly, he didn't realize I wasn't a college kid he could abuse and I snapped back at him. He ended up going into the back because he was about to cry and I let my boss know I wouldn't be coming in anymore and he'd need to cover the four days where I was the only driver for five hours."
"I worked at an ice cream shop for a month. Within that month, I got a promotion (I was assistant manager? I was never sure actually).
My first night closing by myself, I was also tasked with training three new hires on how to do everything, and then train another employee how to count the cashbox. While I was teaching how to count money to the first guy, two of the new hires managed to lock not one, but TWO keys to the bathroom inside the bathroom. We never got them out. While I was dealidng with that, apparently the third new hire did not shut the freezer properly... however I didn't discover this until the next day when all the ice cream in the fridge was half melted... and we still didn't have a way into the bathroom.
I called the manager several times and he would not answer. My entire shift, there was a line out of the door, so I was attempting to put soft ice cream in our 'deep freezers' and thaw out ice cream that was rock hard from being in the deep freeze.
I was still trying to call the manager about the ice cream and the bathroom. My new hires were making lots of little stupid mistakes all along the way.
Someone else called the manager and he answered right away! I called him again and nothing. So now I knew he was purposely ignoring me and this situation.
While we were closing, a bunch of roaches crawled across my foot and that was my last straw. I came into my shift the next day (knowing the manager was working) and told him I was done. We screamed at each other for a while and I left.
I am no longer allowed in that ice cream shop."
"I was working my first serving job at a less than appetizing Italian restaurant. It was like three days before Christmas so every single night, we had a full house with at least one huge holiday party. I was working the regular tables and messed up on one dish and forgot to note that the pasta was supposed to be gluten-free. The owner of the restaurant was a total punk but would usually only yell once and be done. I accepted my first round of yelling in stony silence and continued working. However, every time I went into the kitchen, he'd start right up again. I had two of the sweetest old couples come in that night and BOTH of them told me I was the best waitress they'd ever had. And then I'd go back to the kitchen and be told that I should just be a permanent host if I can't write food orders down correctly. As my last table left and I said goodbye to them, I just knew they were the last table I would ever have at that restaurant.
So, I did my checkout and went up to the front of house manager and said I was giving him my two weeks. He told me, 'You can't quit in the middle of the holidays.' I then went to the back of house manager, asked him to come to the posted schedule with me. I counted out two weeks of shifts for me, and then drew a line all the way through the other shifts and said, 'I'm done after that date.' I then went to go roll silverware and other closing duties. That's when the owner walked up to me and said, 'Take your crap and get out.'"
"I worked for a fast food restaurant.
Being a proud employee, I had fantastic metrics across the board, though it wasn't hard because of the nepotism in the store. Everyone but me and two other people (the guy who hired me and his best friend) were members of the same family. Small town, sorta happens... but everything was garbage because of it.
One guy came in after having a few drinks every day and continued to drink through his shift. He left his cans in the ice bay beneath the fountain for the drinks. Eventually, I called the cops on him doing so, after a particularly bad incident involving a screaming match with customers.
So the regional manager came in to talk to us, especially to me because I've been written up three times and I was about to be fired.
Er... what? Hold the phone. With a single exception of spilling a drink on a customer, I'd made roughly no mistakes in my nine months here... and no one's said a thing about anything, and these are all performance write-ups?
They forged my signature on my write-ups and backdated them. I never heard a thing about this. But because I was the reason one of the family members was sent to jail for public intoxication in violation of his parole after killing a guy...apparently, that makes me the bad person.
They were solid forgeries, though, except that, for my initials, they copied the capitals of my signature when I use different initials for signatures things. And that's shown on my ID, and on my acceptance signatures for the handbook.
I took one look at 'my write-ups,' tore off my shirt, threw it in her smug face, thinking she'd won, and screamed at her for the forgeries.
The regional manager tried to smooth things over. I told him to fire her on the spot and then I might be willing to talk. He said, 'Well... I can't,' and then I walked out.
The lawyers had a blast, especially after I was like, 'I'm more than happy to sign over whatever you win. This isn't about me getting rich, this is about them burning for it.'"
Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock
"I started my first job working at McDonald's when I was 15 and a half. Not sure what the laws are now but I couldn't work full time and I couldn't work past, like, 7 pm.
When I turned 16, they were supposed to automatically give me a raise, which was in the corporate policy at the time. That didn't happen. When I approached management about it about two weeks later, they apologized and said they would work on putting the paperwork in immediately. It never happened because new management came in. So I once again asked the new management for a raise, as I was previously promised a raise two times. They said they would work on it. Once again, never happened.
I saw Burger King was having open interviews on my way home, so I sat down with them, interviewed, got the job and told them I could start in two days. I was still scheduled to work the next day at McDonald's. I came in, did my job and started telling all my coworkers I was done and not coming back. Management easily overheard and sat me down. They offered to give me a $1.50 an hour raise. I told them my new job was still going to be paying me $1 an hour over that, then got changed out of my clothes and left. Best decision because within a year, I was promoted to assistant manager and got another $2 per hour pay raise. Still ended up quitting a year after that due to college."
"I actually did this like two months ago for the first time! I'm a bartender and I was working in some god awful Mexican restaurant downtown. The tips were terrible because the food was horrible, so we were barely ever busy. So, already I was living in NYC, making barely $400 a week when I'm used to making more than double that. At this point, I'd been there two months and I hated it more and more every day.
Around this time, my mother got really bad pneumonia and due to complications, it degraded her heart, so she had to have open heart surgery to repair a valve. It's a risky procedure and my mother was touching 65.
Now, let me state that staff turnover was incredibly high because, in addition to us making horrible money, the manager was a complete and utter moron. Most staff left after a month.
So when my mom gave me a date for her surgery, I went to my manager and gave her a basic breakdown of the situation and told her I needed four days off from X to Y so I could be with my family. She said no problem, but just to play it safe, I sent emails and texts to her confirming that I indeed did have these days off. She agreed. I thought, cool no problem.
Well, I was dead wrong.
Three days before the surgery, the schedule for the week came out and I was scheduled through the entire week. I immediately went to my manager and asked what was up because I'm not wasting away behind this moldy, rat-infested bar in the West Village while my mom has surgery. Not kidding, this woman had the nerve to say I didn't request off at all! When I showed her my paper trail stating that yes, I undoubtedly did put in a request, she said, 'What difference does it make if you're there the surgery is going to have an outcome whether you're there or not.' And she started to rattle off how I needed to be a team player and I'm messing up her schedule by requesting off and yadda ya.
Her voice faded away and I literally saw red. I said nothing and got back to work. This was at 5 pm. Happy hour and our rush started at 8. I was the only bartender on that day. Fast forward to 8:30. My bar was slammed, I had a bunch of drink tickets from the servers and it was a mess. Total chaos. My manager came behind the bar and instead of offering me any assistance, she told me to not bring 'home drama to work.' I stare at her in disbelief for a moment, truly stunned that such a tone-deaf moron could possibly be in charge of anything. I laughed in her stupid face and walked right out the door and went to go see my mom."
"This was fairly recent, about a few months ago, just before summer break. I worked at a local fish and chip shop. The job itself was fine. The pay (for a 16-year-old) was quite good, too. The owner, however, was unbearable. He constantly insulted me the entire time I was still picking up one of my first jobs. Because of that, I was on the fence of whether or not to get another job.
On a fairly quiet night, I was listening to Pink Floyd on the radio, when he suddenly turned it off, walked up to me with my phone in his hand, and said something along the lines of, 'I see you using your phone again, and I break it. The music you like, no one likes.' Following that, I calmly asked if he wanted a two weeks notice, or if I should leave now. Later, the owner asked why I was talking about leaving in front of customers, failing to realize that he was guilty of a similar crime. After I mentioned that, he fired me on the spot."
"I needed a summer job while in high school, so I applied at a local grocery store to bag/stock/clean. My first day there, there was some sort of confusion as to what I was supposed to do or to whom I was to report.
I was sent to the front counter where the customer service manager gave me a till and told me to open a register. Mind you, I'd had ZERO training on a register (I didn't even know how to put the till in it for god's sake). I told the lady this and was told to go do my job.
Within about two minutes at the register, there was a line several people deep, and I was just standing there with the till in my hands.
The customer service lady came storming over asking why I had such a line and I tried AGAIN to explain to her that I was supposed to be a stocker or whatever and that I knew nothing about operating a register.
She called me stupid in front of the customers so I handed her the till and told her to go eff herself.
Walked down the street in my uniform and got a job at another grocery store."
"I was working at Steak and Shake and we had to essentially clean house because a handful of employees and management were pulling a scam where they got caught shorting the registers or not even ringing up orders. Because of this, we had a lot of new staff in a very short period of time, management included.
I had to pull a double on a holiday as the grillmaster because of all this, which I was fine with. Holidays were already time and a half, so overtime was 3 times my normal wage, megabucks for a dead-end job. I was on hour 13 or 14 with only a short 10-minute break between hour 7 and 8 when I had someone cover the grill for literally one minute while I went to have a smoke. In said one minute, the guy that I had covering the grill decided to go take a whizz, so when one of the new managers walked in to start his night shift he saw ~10 orders not being cooked and I was in the back smoking. He started going off on me, and as I was on my way back to the grill to start the orders, he said some smarmy comment about my work ethic and how I should have been fired with the rest of them. Now, keep in mind I wasn't even aware of the scam that was going on this entire time, which was one of the reasons why I was one of the only people that didn't get fired for it. But that was irrelevant to him.
I was already short-tempered from being at work for 13 hours, already short of tempered because I only had ~15 minutes through the entire 13 hours as a break, so I just snapped. Started cursing him out, saying basically, 'Eff you, eff this job! I don't need this and you're a joke!' One of the waitresses had just set down a table's order on one of the little serving trays so I grabbed a handful of fries, chucked it at the manager, then grabbed the tables milkshake and started chugging it, smashing the glass on the floor as I walked out, telling the manager to go off himself.
Never even bothered going back for my final paycheck."