In every professional's life, there comes an experience that makes one think, "do I really get paid enough to deal with this stuff?" Sometimes, one realizes that yes, in fact they do and things could be much worse, or they definitely do not and they run away from that job as fast as they can (AND NEVER LOOK BACK). Here, we have some workers who felt the latter and decided that the jobs they were working at just weren't working for them.
"I worked at a small grocery chain that put an emphasis on customer service a few years ago. I worked as a cashier in the 15 items or less lane, where I would both scan and bag the items. This lane was marketed to customers as an express alternate to normal check-out, and in-store management promised every transaction would take no more than 2 minutes. Obviously, people would commonly come into the lane with more than 15 items, and some people would come with a carriage chock-full of groceries. Despite this, management would still give me crap if it took longer than 2 minutes.
Anyways, one summer, my store was having a sale on 2 liter sodas. I don't remember the exact details of the deal, but it was good enough that our store would run out of soda by 11:00 AM most days the sale ran for. On an exceptionally slow day, this guy came into the lane with a carriage filled to the brim of 2 liter soda bottles. He was huffing and puffing as he pushed the carriage towards the belt. He looked at me with a smile and went to move a pair of bottles to the line, when suddenly the back wheel of the carriage bent inward, and the carriage tipped on its side. By some stroke of terrible luck, every single bottle cracked, and soda flooded across the tile floor from the express lane all the way to the front doors. It looked like that scene with the blood from The Shining.
Mind you, the janitor had left for the day, and the supply closet in the back room was locked. All I had at my disposal were a few roll of paper towels and and some spray clean. Better yet, we were short staffed for the day, so I constantly had to run back and forth from cleaning the ginormous mess to helping customers check out. The store manager, rather than covering for me in one way or the other, hollered at me when I spent too long doing any one thing.
'There's a line forming, get back to the register!'
'Hurry up and clean that, people are stepping in it!'
Suffice to say, I gave my two weeks notice that night.
"I had a man come through my line to buy one, solitary baby banana. It didn’t have a sticker on it so I pulled out my PLU book and found the baby banana code and it rang up at 26¢. This man gets all angry and says 'you’re overcharging me!' I tell him that’s the code and that’s all I can do. So he asks my manager to come over (note this is during a super busy time of the day) and tells her the situation. She says he can just have it, and he gets even angrier saying he wants to pay for it but he wants to pay the right price. Eventually we convince him to just take it and go. My manager then tells me he comes in all the time and goes out of his way to make the employees miserable (he even made another employee cry once).
He then decides to come through my line again a few minutes later with the same baby banana and this time a sticker and hands the sticker to me and goes 'maybe you’ll get it right this time.' I use the code and it comes to 11¢ so whoop-dee-doo this man saved a whopping 15¢.
THEN he comes through my line for a THIRD time, with the same baby banana and goes 'this one’s just practice for next time' with the smuggest grin on his face. I have never actually wanted to slap a customer more than in that moment."
"I worked for a rental company when I was 15 or 16. I worked there every summer since I was 12, first cleaning chairs and what not and eventually out in the delivery trucks.
Was on a delivery with a guy who was probably in his 40s. He was overall a horrible guy and employee, wasted time on the clock just sitting in the truck, dropping equipment, talked to home owners while I unloaded everything. I was a kid and didn't understand what was going on. Anyway, one day I've finally had enough of him not helping and I decide I'm not going to unload anything until he starts. He sees me sitting in the truck and starts yelling and swearing at me to do my job. I tell him I'm waiting for him to do his. He gets mad jumps in the truck to back it further up the driveway. Floors it and takes out all of the power lines that run over the driveway and to the home we are delivering to.
Guy jumps out of the truck, sees me standing behind the truck, dumbfounded and says 'What are you doing back there? Just standing there letting me do that? What's your problem!? You're completely worthless!' To which I replied, 'You can finish this job your self.' Dropped the stuff I was carrying and walked off the property and all the way home.
I got a call from the owner(my boss, it was a small company) that night telling me that what I did was unacceptable and that if I did anything like that again I would be fired. I said, 'No I won't be back, I quit.' And hung up."
"I work front staff at a vet clinic (title is Client Care Coordinator) and one of the hard truths of working in a veterinary environment is that not all the animals that come through your door leave.
He was a big lovely dog who had a tumor in his mouth. Family comes in and I instantly know I'm gonna be a wreck. Parents are sobbing (this dog was their baby before their children, a literal symbol of their own time together) and they have two young children, probably not much older than 6 who are just wailing.
The kids are really inconsolable, just crying their little eyes out about their dog has a tumor in his mouth that just won't stop growing and they give him medicine and clean up the blood that comes out of his mouth even though it ruins the rugs in the house but it just keeps growing and he doesn't breathe so good anymore and they're so sad because he's their only dog. And I'm comforting as best as I can to what I feel is appropriate and while I am doing this the mom and dad are leaning over their pet who is just wagging his tail and wuffing but they're sobbing too, like full body sobs and when I finish the paperwork and get out of there, their sobs are just echoing through the entire clinic.
The parents had the kids step out for the act of the euthanasia, which is fine and not unheard of, so they end up with me in the lobby (which has other clients checking out!) And they rotate between sobbing hysterically and telling me about their favorite toys and TV shows.
Let me tell you, I was real messed up that night. My dad (now recently deceased from stage 4 cancer) was in at home hospice and was rapidly beginning to decline. I knew, on some level, what this couple and their kids were going through. I legit got into my car after close, cried my eyes out, and seriously thought about putting in my two weeks on Monday."
"At the time I was an HVAC installer. The worst day was when I had already spent 12 hours under a house with around a foot of clearance between the ground and the joists (sometimes it was 4 or so inches, so I had to use a shovel to dig myself a path). We were tearing out a pretty large system and had to replace it. It was a down-flow, so the ducts that went from the furnace/AC to the vents were under the house. As an apprentice, I did the majority of crawling. This was during the rainy season, so there were also some really muddy spots (which were a nice break from the rocky ground under the rest of the house).
So, I knew there was a rat problem at some point because there were dead rats in a few places. Anyway, I crawled through a stem wall (like a concrete wall from the ground to the floor, usually around the perimeter of a house, but they'll make holes when they renovate and add on to the house). My arm goes in, and touches the bottom; the water was up to my shoulder, with deep, squishy mud at the bottom. I took a deep breath and went in, relieved for the 3 or so feet of space I now got to work with (and not stoked for the 2 feet of water). I started crawling carefully, working my way in with the ducts to hook them up when my head lamp beam hit something as my head was sweeping. I looked, and my gaze fell on the corpse of a rat floating on the water I was now almost completely immersed in. I looked around more, and found the corpses of six more rats, all in various states of decay.
I took a deep breath (I was wearing a respirator) and went to work. I finished the three duct runs to that part of the house and got out as quick as I possibly could. I crawled all the way back to the access point, got outside, peeled my crawl suit off, hosed myself off with the garden hose, and took my supervisor up on a smoke. After he left, I broke down a little bit. That's the only time in my adult life I've just lost it and cried. Thankfully nobody else saw, and we finished the job.
It taught me a few things:
-The human spirit is stronger than any of us think, and sometimes hiking your pants up, taking a deep breath, and going for it is all you need."
"Managed a rather famous donut chain (at least in Colorado and Kansas), when I was a teen. I was filling in at another shop and we were getting a big order ready. One of the production guys (Jose) had said that he was going on break. Usually I'd give the guys 20 minutes or so if they just needed some air aside from their standard break periods. Well 30 minutes had passed and I decided to go take a peak out back. The guys worked nights, they'd sometimes fall asleep out back if they sat down too long.
I found him flat on his back on the concrete walkway behind the shop. He wasn't breathing. I hollered for one of my co-workers and began administering CPR. The firehouse was literally right across the street so they were there in maybe a minute or two tops and took over. He didn't make it.
I called the regional manager to let her know what had happened and her response was 'Well... Did you make sure to clock him out?' Before letting out a long raspy laugh. She then said 'See if you can knock his hours down a bit, that store is way over its labor budget and we're going to have to cut a check to his wife and kids today probably. Oh and make sure that order goes out on time!'
I walked out of the office and talked to the other production guys. Most all the production guys at this donut chain were illegals and it turns out they'd often be threatened by the regional manager with deportation whenever they'd ask for a raise to above minimum wage or of they weren't willing to work enough hours. Turns out Jose regularly needed to get dialysis but hadn't been doing so because every time he'd try to get time off for treatment, the regional manager would threaten to call immigration. This was a guy with a wife and two young daughters and despite your feelings on illegal immigration, he didn't deserve what he got for trying to provide for his family.
They later called me from the corporate office to tell me his wife was coming in to pick up his final check and that they needed final numbers. Let's just say somebody got a whole bunch of overtime hours right before I quit. I hope they get back what they've put out."
"I was a private investigator working a divorce case. Standard gig, husband was a high up corporate schmuck who got caught banging his secretary, while the wife was a trophy trollop banging half the help.
Once they split up the wife starts banging her dope dealer. Spending tens of thousands a day on shopping sprees for herself, the dealer and his crew. She parties all night while her kids are up until 3am because of the noise and lack of stability or discipline.
The husband hired our company to get the dirt on her for the divorce and custody proceedings.
So there I am parked half a block away getting audio and video of the partying and the kids wandering around with no supervision.
This is a million dollar home kind of neighborhood, It's gated but I shmoozed my way past the security and had a nice enough car that no one who lived in the neighborhood would really question my being there. It was one of the dozen or so our company keeps for business use. They are registered through other shell companies so is they can't be tracked back to us or investigators directly. It's legal just shady which is kind of a requirement and that sort of business.
So around 2:30, I'm getting some pretty good evidence of child neglect, endangerment, etc.
Suddenly some guy comes out of the gate for the house next door to the one I'm surveilling.
Total tweaker, no shirt on looking like skeletor. The guy starts coming toward my car, about 50 feet away he pulls a glock out of his waistband and starts popping rounds at me.
I'm in the middle of drinking out of one of those 64 oz quick trip big gulp cups when the first round hits my car. I spill my monster&mountain dew mixture all over the interior and my slacks while simultaneously starting my car, throwing it into drive and speeding off as fast as I possibly can.
I stopped at the edge of the neighborhood at the security section tell the guy to call 911 immediately and then I get out of there as fast as I can since my even being in the neighborhood without proper authorization is close enough to trespassing that I don't want to answer any questions from the cops.
So the next day I see a news story with the house that the shooter came out of plastered all over the screen. Apparently the guy thought I was a cop scoping out that house which it turns out was a way station for human trafficking and dope smuggling coming in from Mexico. He was so tweaked out that he thought it would be a good idea to come out and shoot at me to scare me off.
The cops ended up arresting the guy, I guess he ran out of bullets or something. They raided the house found a s* ton of dope and about two dozen girls that were being held in the home.
I get to our office the next morning and my boss who I had contacted the night before is there throwing a fit because of the bullet holes in the Bentley and the "sticky mess" all over the leather seats and floorboard.
I tossed him an SD card with the video, gps tracker data and my report on it and walked out right then.
Forget that noise. I wasn't getting paid nearly enough to get shot at let alone get berated for it because I spilled a drink getting out of there."
"Before starting my own, I worked for a cleaning company in a neighboring town. My boss would make a habit of agreeing to clean a place without looking at it first, so we were often unprepared. It was usually ok, but one house was a complete disaster. It was a big brick plantation house built in the 1800's and sat vacant for 10 years except for four weeks out of the year. That's when the lady owner came up from Florida to oversee planting and the harvest.
It was so nasty. Antique sofas with the stuffing chewed through and rat droppings everywhere. The walls were so covered in dirt that you could write your name on them, and the spiders...holy crap. Spiders everywhere. From floor to ceiling in the corners and covering the window sills. We had to clean it all. I'm terrified of spiders and I was literally shaking and teary eyed the whole time. The kicker is that lady had already slept there for two nights by the time we got there. Nope. When we left, I told my boss that I absolutely would not go back. We'd done the main level and she wanted us to come back at harvest and do the upstairs. I got home and took the longest shower of my life. My skin crawled for days after. I have long hair and made my husband comb through it to make sure there were no 8 legged guests living in there."
"A long time ago, I was one of 50 or so 12-17 year olds working on this farm harvesting crops. Most of the kids were illegal, but I was just 17 and homeless and couldn't get a job cause I didn't have an ID or any paperwork. I'd started hanging out with the Hispanics because they were the ones who got under the table jobs.
We got there at 6, lunch at one, leave at eight. It's summer and it's the heat of the day a couple hours after lunch and this young girl (not more than 14) working alongside me suddenly passes out and will not wake up. I called for help, and one of the guys watching over us walked over all slow and unconcerned.
'Can you wake her up?'
I said I couldn't.
'Alright. Let's bring her to the house.'
I picked her up and carried her there. He had me set her down by a tree in the shade and then disappeared into the house. I didn't know what to do and I'm panicking, so I pour water on her forehead and take off her long sleeves (you have to cover every part of your skin when working with a large amount of this specific crop or else you'll get sick). A few minutes pass. She's breathing rapidly and shallowly and I'm still freaking out. So I yell to this other guy who's supervising us and he just says:
'Did someone call an ambulance?'
I said no.
So he calls the ambulance and then comes over and basically just watches me as I try to cool this girl down. As soon as they get there, all the supervisors tell me to go back to work and I don't get to talk to the EMTs. I never saw them ask any of the other Hispanic kids for her name or anything. I don't know if she came there alone or they just didn't notice. My supervisor later told me the EMTs said she was having a serious heat stroke. Never heard how she turned out.
I just went back to work. It was pretty good money compared to what I was used to.
They used to make us leave our water jugs by the barn because they thought we slowed down too much with all our hydration, allowing us about 10 minutes every two hours to drink up. We had to wear hot as hades long sleeves and gloves and jeans. I remember drinking so much water I threw up, then drinking more cause I'd just lost it all. That really taught me how much a hat helps you when you're in the sun all day.
There were thousands of acres that all needed to be harvested and put up in less than two weeks. We did it in a little more than four days. Payment was $50 a day. That's the hardest I ever worked. Life isn't worth living if you work that hard. Those Hispanic kids, though, they were insane. Never saw them complain. They'd just sing and joke if they said anything. That girl was dead silent up till the heat stroke. I still remember that. I never went back to work on that farm again, and I don't know if places like that are still around but they shouldn't be."
"I am a part time dancer in a very nice club on the East Coast. Let me tell you, I get this dead pan look on my face so often and get hit with a wave of 'I don't get paid enough for this.'
Most recently, I did a private dance with one of my friends, a fellow dancer and a very inebriated regular. This regular is notorious for being a character: almost 70 years old, bizarre, loose cannon, heavy drinker, with incredibly bizarre fetishes. That being said, he's a former mechanical engineer and incredibly intelligent, and thankfully completely harmless. When he drinks he loves doing one of 2 things. He either gets multiple girls, duct tapes them together (and to the pole in the private room), where they have to only use their mouths to bite and get out, or he likes to be berated, called Jessica, and have his nails, hair, and makeup done while we drink and talk about how its "girl time".
The night in particular, he booked an hour with my girl and I in which we were going to drink and fix 'Jessica' up, then he was going to duct tape us. He had been in the club for hours by the time we got in and he was very messed up. We-being opportunists and wanting to start the night right-ordered drinks and started knocking them back. Heavily.
We did our hour dance, had a great time and I moved on to my next customer. I did another hour dance and after I emerged, I remember being hit with an awful smell. I chocked it up to trash about to go out or something and went upstairs to freshen up before my next stage set. Only then did a girl come running upstairs and screamed "OH MY GOD [insert regulars name] POOPED HIMSELF". In the hour that I had been in another private room, my girl who had done the room with us, got the regular so messed he crapped himself, covering his legs and the floor of one of the rooms. He then, not knowing what had happened, touched his leg (was wearing shorts), then his face and ended up effectively covering himself in it like a small child. My manager kicked him out but didn't get it cleaned up in time before a poor unsuspecting younger dancer slipped in it and fell. Obviously resulting in tears and a storm out.
So it didn't necessarily happen to me, but I was one of the pieces. Upstairs I sure did laugh my butt off and think 'I don't get paid enough for this,' but I'm sure she was thinking that 100 times more. She ended up fine but I doubt we will see him for a while. Also events like this are make me love my job and laugh even harder/more."