It's only a matter of time before some people get fired from a job. We've all worked with these people who just can't seem to stay out of trouble, no matter how hard they try. While it's never fun for the person losing their job, sometimes those around them can and will take enjoyment in their future former coworker's misfortune.
A Reddit thread recently asked people to share the most ridiculous time they saw someone commit an act so dumb and so insane that they knew the person would be getting fired. While not all of the people described in the following stories got the ax for their misdeed at the workplace, there could be an argument for terminating their employment. The following stories, which have been edited for clarity, best illustrate that point.
His Face Said It All
“One of my former colleagues needed a specific washing machine for a customer. We had a pretty small warehouse for our stuff and it was around Christmas time, so you can imagine how much stuff we had in there on top of each other.
The washing machines were stacked up on top of each other, and the one he needed was right at the edge of something that was similar to a pyramid. He got the fork-lift and aimed directly at the machine without thinking about moving the machines on top first. The whole thing collapsed, and he destroyed a bunch of washing machines, TVs, and some other appliances. Our boss rushed in the warehouse, and you could tell by the face of my colleague that it said: ‘I’m fired, right?’
Oh yeah, he got fired like a cannonball.”
He Sent Out Lewd Texts And Then He Saw Who Received Them
“One of the guys who worked on the helpdesk at my company was sending very graphic and descriptive texts to his wife Andrea explaining exactly what he was going to do to her when he got home. Unfortunately, he sent it to Andrew, one of our biggest clients – Andrew’s name was next to Andrea’s in this guy’s contacts on his phone.
After he sent the text, a team member came rushing into my office the second he’d sent it and I had to ring Andrew to limit the damage. Andrew was fine about it, he said he thought my guy seemed ‘really friendly’ and luckily wasn’t mad.
No-one got sacked, but that guy was sweating bullets for a minute, and definitely didn’t live it down.”
What Was This Daycare Driver Thinking?
“When I was a kid, there was a van that used to come and pick us all up from school and take us to daycare. One day, all the daycare kids loaded up onto the van, and the driver told us that we weren’t going to daycare. We were going to her house.
Apparently, her 12-year-old daughter had been told not to get on the school bus that day, but to get on the daycare van. She disobeyed and got on the school bus anyway. Her mom was beside herself and wanted to meet the school bus at their house to catch her daughter.
So while she sat waiting for an hour for the bus to arrive with her daughter, we got to play on her trampoline in the backyard. While we’re there, all of our parents were trying to figure out why our van hadn’t ever gotten to the daycare.
She eventually loaded us up into the van with her daughter and drove us back to the daycare, where police were waiting and our parents were crying. It was then that realization dawned on her face that perhaps that wasn’t the best thing to do. She lost her job that day.”
They Thought It Was Just Another Customer Until She Turned Around
“My fiancè and I were in a Wawa around 10 pm. We were standing in line behind a guy who was taking a while to pay, so I left my fiancè there and walked a whole five feet away to return a candy bar I no longer wanted.
In that time, the guy had finished his purchase and my fiancè turned around to look for me before stepping up to the register. We’re talking, all told, maybe a two-second delay between the end of the purchase and when the woman who had been behind us in line stomped around my fiancè and cut in line ahead of him.
I only caught her getting in front of him, so I asked my fiancè, who makes laid back people look uptight, what had happened. I thought maybe he let her go ahead or something. He said she just got in front of him when he didn’t immediately put his stuff at the register. So I asked what she was doing. She turned around and got snippy with me and said that we were taking too long to move. I asked if she’d ever been to kindergarten and learned how to wait in line. She ignored me, but I continued getting on her, and she turned around and told me to shut up.
The thing was when she turned, I caught her Wawa name tag. I immediately went and got the manager and the woman hightailed it out of the store. The next morning, I got a call from the district manager or regional manager, and he was incredibly apologetic and promised me that he had reviewed what happened and she was gone as of that day.
But that couple of seconds when she turned around to look at me and I looked down at her name tag, you could see the ‘Ah, man’ look in her eyes. It was glorious.”
She Didn’t See Anything Wrong With Touching The Customer’s Food
“When I was working day shift behind the bar in an Irish bar/restaurant in France, a waitress brought a table of two their food. They were having different burgers, and the waitress never verified who was having what before putting the plates down.
She went off to take another order, and the first table called her back to say that she put the wrong plates in front of them, and she needed to switch them. I watched as she stared at them for a moment, and I could see the wheels in her head turning before she just grabbed the burgers, not the plates, and switched them, looked the customer dead in the eye and said, ‘Bon appetit’ and walked off.
The place was, and remains, an absolute disaster, as far as treatment of staff goes, everyone was constantly stressed and on their toes, and the running ‘joke’ was to tell new staff that if they did something wrong, they would be held accountable and punished, and if they didn’t do anything wrong, well, they would be punished anyway.
When she came over to the bar again, all I could think to say to her was ‘That was funny, but you know you’re fired, right?’
But the owner didn’t even get the chance to fire her because she went into the disciplinary meeting where she was going to be fired and quit before anyone opened their mouths, and left before anyone could speak.”
Having Known The Guy’s Wife, The Contents Of The Computer Made Sense
“I’ve been on the receiving end of that terrified look: I used to work support desk, and our VP of finance came in complaining his laptop was behaving weirdly. I started doing basic triage (it felt like a virus from the start) and went into the downloads folder to see if anything looked obviously suspicious. Sure enough, I found roughly 14gb of the most vanilla adult videos.
I like the VP, he’s always done right by me when I’ve interacted with him, and genuinely a nice guy, so I asked him to stop by my desk before he headed back to the hotel for the night.
Me: ‘So, I’m not sure how to tell you this, but you should just leave things that are meant to stay on the internet ON THE INTERNET.’
Him: ‘What are you talking about? The only people who’ve used this machine are me and my wife (the wife was six months pregnant).’
Me: ‘There are videos on the computer that you probably don’t want to save to your machine.’
The guy’s eyes went wide, the color drained from his face, and almost immediately he spouted, ‘I TOLD HER TO USE THE CHROME BOOK FOR THAT!’
Apparently, his pregnant wife was always in the mood and would download videos on the company laptop. I met his wife at a company dinner where she was very open about their love life, and so I knew he wasn’t making any of this up.
I had a good laugh, fixed his machine, deleted the videos, and told no one. I was not getting someone fired three weeks before Christmas!”
He Won’t Be Driving Anytime Soon
“I was working as a manager for a parking garage at a hospital in my early 20s, and supervising the valet crew was part of my job.
A lot of the valet guys were either 20 somethings without much direction or 60-year-old guys working a job in semi-retirement. One of the older fellas mistook the gas pedal for the brake while trying to drive a heavily modified transport bus (modified with lifts, gurney strapping points, and other features). He ended up totaling six cars before the bus finally came to a stop.
I ran towards it thinking he was probably hurt, but before I got there, he hopped out of the bus, shook his head, and looked at me and said, ‘So, I’m probably fired, right?’
I don’t remember what the final total was on the insurance claim, but yes, he was fired.”
The Tale Of The $900,000 Mistake
“I worked at Roche as a security guard for a while. One day, I was walking the floor of the manufacturing area and was asked to accompany a guy to get a roll of palladium, which was used to make the test strips that go into blood glucose meters. The stuff is insanely expensive and comes in rolls that cost (at the time) around $100,000 each.
I walked with him to get it, and while he was getting the roll off the shelf, something happened and three rolls fell into another shelf, and a lot of rolls crashed to the floor. By the time the company figured out how many rolls had been damaged or had to be scrapped as possibly damaged and sold to a recycler, the total figure the company said they lost was over $900,000, and the guy knew it.
He wanted to leave right then and avoid the firing, but I convinced him he might not get fired since it was an accident. The rolls were stacked separately with plastic dividers and guards on the shelves, so it’s not like it was stored improperly. The guy was just really talented at messing things up and grabbed the wrong roll at the wrong time and caused somewhat of an avalanche.
Sadly, he was gone the next day.
It was used company-wide as a teaching example of how not to do things and how accidents can cost a lot of money.”
He Obviously Doesn’t Understand The Meaning Of “You’re Fired”
“I worked for a company that used a point system when it came to missed days of work. We would get six points in six months, and employees would be let go if they used up all of their points during that time. Basically, you would get one point for calling in on short notice and half a point for being up to four hours late.
The company made plastic pallets and it would get really hot in the summer, so they were always looking for new people. About a year before I was fired (not for missed work), a guy who graduated from the same high school as me, named Marty, started working there. After talking to him for five minutes, you could tell he was not too smart. He called in quite a bit to get up to five points and was quickly on his final warning.
One day, Marty came in hungover in the middle of summer. Before we even got to the floor, he was talking about going home. An hour after the start of our shift, some of us watched Marty as he walked into the manager’s office and out again in like five minutes. Our boss then followed him out of the office with a confused look on his face. Our boss walked Marty out of the plant and was making his way back to his office when my co-worker and I stopped him to ask what happened.
Apparently, Marty went into his office and said he couldn’t work and was going home. The boss said if he did, he would get fired. Marty said okay and that he would be back the next day.
Our boss said that he spent the rest of the meeting in the office trying to explain to Marty what being fired meant.”
The Cops Couldn’t Find Him At Home, So They Came To His Work Instead
“We had a chef taken by police halfway through his shift on a busy day. Apparently, he had a case and they just made some breakthrough. He didn’t show up when the police called him that morning, so they came and picked him up at work.
We weren’t busy at the time, but a few customers saw a handcuffed chef and eight police officers with lights blinking outside. The guy didn’t resist, his face said it all (he was guilty). He asked if the police could either go outside or upstairs to not disrupt the service, but police didn’t care and a full report had to be completed.
About two hours later, as he was being walked outside, he looked at the other cooks in the kitchen and our boss standing in front with this ‘I’m fired’ look in his eyes. Well yeah, you just got arrested!”
They Knew He His Days Were Over
“I work at a bagel factory, and we have this long bagel stick for picking up multiple bagels and transferring them to the bagel staging area.
This one coworker loved bagels and loved scooping bagels with the bagel stick even more than anyone else. One shift, he took one bagel stick and duct taped it to another bagel stick for a super bagel stick and started sticking it through bagel hole after bagel hole until there were just way too many bagels to handle, and I tried to tell him there were too many bagels on the stick.
Slowly, more and more workers started to gather around with worry in their eyes as the guy delicately balanced the bagels on the stick and slowly raised it in the air like a bagel tower. As it grew, he looked like he was in over his head and he was trying to head towards the bagel staging area when the stick gave way and bagels toppled everywhere. A lot of the bagels bounced into some critical production equipment, and then the guy fell over after he tripped on some bagels.
We all just looked at him and he knew his days were over.”
He Should Have Checked The Contacts Before Sending This Email
“I work in a company that is owned by a really large company, and we have quite a few ‘sister’ companies.
One day, I received an email from a guy at one of the sister companies that was meant to be sent to just a few people at his workplace, but he blasted it out to EVERYONE in the corporate directory. This email literally went to anyone and everyone, meaning thousands of people received it.
It was this racist ‘joke’ that I can’t even remember clearly, but it was something equating black kids to monkeys in the classroom.
Nearly immediately after that, he sent out another email apologizing for it. I can’t even imagine the sinking feeling you’d get from that. Can’t even imagine it. I heard through the grapevine that he was fired immediately along with one or two of the other people on the email.
What’s worse is that since he sent it out to everyone, his prospects of finding a job in the same industry is probably next to nothing.”
She Tried To Come To Work In That Condition?
“Right after college, I worked as a receptionist at a dental surgery clinic. The pay was bad and the patients were always rude, so it wasn’t the best of jobs.
One of my colleagues (we’ll call her DB) was a trainee dental nurse, but also did shifts on the reception desk. It was a Monday and DB strolled in 15 minutes late. She overslept because she had come back really late from a festival the night before. Not a big deal, it happens. But she seemed to be still steaming wasted from the weekend.
Normally, she would have been sent straight home, but there was no management in the morning for a few hours so it kind of went unnoticed. But the more and more DB was interacting with the patients, it became apparent that she wasn’t wasted still, but rather very high on something she took the night before. She kept shoving her entire fist in her mouth to ‘itch it’ because it was too ‘dry’ and was starting to creep out the patients. Three of them actually asked me if she was okay because her behavior was so strange.
When management arrived, they quickly noticed DB was out of her mind and dragged her into the back office to have it out with her. Apparently, she kept trying to say it was her medication, but the area manager demanded to see a prescription. When she couldn’t provide one (even when she was offered a lift to her general practitioner to get one printed as evidence), she came clean that she was high. She was fired immediately.
Apparently, being a dental nurse was her ‘dream job,’ but obviously, she couldn’t have cared that much.”
It Was All Fun And Games Until The Owner Walked Up
“I used to work in a warehouse right after high school. Not knowing how everything worked and it being my first real full-time job, I just did what I was told and tried my best to impress the bosses. One day, in the packaging room, someone had thrown a screwdriver out of anger and it stuck into the drywall. Out of hilarity, my manager bet the guy two gas station taquitos he couldn’t do it again. This became a daily thing around lunch time.
Everyone would gather around and throw screwdrivers at the wall and whoever’s didn’t stick had to buy lunch. Well, this was right over a $8,000 heat shrink machine, and guess who accidentally hit the control panel breaking the machine. Well, one day, one of the owners came back looking for something specific and noticed the bludgeoned wall. He then looked at us and said: ‘So, you guys have been throwing screwdrivers at the wall?’
Me: hangs head ‘Yes.’
Owner: ‘That’s cool.’
He then just walked away. He wasn’t happy about the machine being broken, but no one ended up getting fired because of it. He just ended up buying a newer and better heat shrink machine.”
He Had To Have Known This “Joyride” Would Only Lead To Unemployment
“A long time ago, a friend and I were working a summer job at a federal agricultural research facility. We were cleaning out the bedding in a greenhouse and replacing it when the resident director walked in and informed us that the next day at noon would be our last day. This was not a surprise as we were in our junior year of high school and our senior year was starting in two weeks.
Once the director left to go about his business, we decided we weren’t going to work quite so hard. We had two John Deere Gators sitting outside the Greenhouse which we had been using to carry off old bedding. So we hopped on those and went joyriding. The director had to jump in his truck and chase us down across fields and finally caught us in the woods out on the edge of the federal property. We knew we were done.
Funny thing was that at that point he didn’t have anyone to drive the Gators backup to HQ, so he told us to follow him. On the way back, we were passing a lake that was on the property beside which was an empty trailer and a stack of aluminum irrigation pipe. He had us stop, and told us to load the pipe on the trailer then report to him, and left.
We didn’t hear from him the rest of the day, and after loading the trailer, we just goofed off. He told us not to bother coming in our last half day, but we were given good recommendations at our first real job by him (at least I was, I don’t know about my friend about Billy), so I guess it all worked out in the end.”
She Had To Go To Her Car But Ended Up Doing What?
“I managed a homeless shelter and had an employee leave after about 30 minutes of her shift. She said she needed to get something from her car. The primary phone we used for the shelter was a cell phone (it helped with folks who didn’t have minutes to call or service but could text with wifi), and she left with it. She was gone for several hours and wouldn’t answer the phone. I remembered that we had location tracking on the phone and I used it to find that she was a block away from the shelter. I was so frustrated with her at this point that I walked down there. I found her high as a kite and she had completely forgotten that she was supposed to be at work. I told her that she had the phone and we needed it and to call me the next day.
The next day, she showed up for her shift and I pulled her into my office (I had already spoken to HR and she was definitely terminated). I asked if she could tell me what happened the day before, and she pretended to not know what I was talking about. We had cameras that showed her leaving 30 minutes into her shift, three other employees and myself who were there and would attest that she was not, and the phone tracking. She sat there and straight up lied to me saying that she was there on shift and nothing was out of the ordinary.
I wish that she would have just said, ‘I’m fired, aren’t I?'”