Most companies are in business for one reason: to make money. However, some employees at these company's may have gone a step too far in their quest for bolstering profit. There are policies and guidelines set up for a reason, but these workers went around them in the most outrageous ways just for a quick buck! Content has been edited for clarity.
"Years ago, I was working at a local pharmacy. The owner had always seemed like a revenue above all else kind of guy, often ranting at us pharm techs about not making enough money. One day we had a patient come with with a prescription for an expensive HIV medicine. So, I try to fill the prescription but notice that our inventory for this rarely filled medication was expired. I was filling out the forms for new inventory when the owner saw what I was doing and told me to fill the prescription with the expired medicine. I tried to explain but he silenced me with a glare. I looked to my coworkers for support but they averted their glances. I ended up filling the prescription but to this day I feel ashamed for not taking a stand against it. I quit the job a week later."
"In the pet store I used to work for, I told my manager that a young rabbit had a runny nose. She told me to put it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer.
The rabbit would have to be quarantined for a week, during which it couldn't be sold, and we'd have to feed it and give it a dollar or so worth of antibiotics. On the other hand, if it died within thirty days of our purchasing it, the distributor would refund our money or replace the rabbit for free.
I refused. I later found the rabbit in the freezer. I quit the pet store and now sell weapons for a living. My coworkers, customers, and employers are much better people than anyone I ever met in the pet industry."
"I applied and got a job when I was a teenager for a siding company for a few weeks for some quick cash. I went to the job site for 2 weeks, finished the siding job, then the guy just ghosted me for a month. I told everyone I knew the guy was a sleazeball who is trying to take advantage of kids. Sure enough, he hired another guy I know and stiffed him. I lost track of him after that because he was dead to me essentially. I hope he gets his in the end."
"My father works for an organic milk company as a truck driver/delivery man who takes the milk to big chain stores. One day he got a call from his super account (retirement fund) saying that someone had tried, but failed, to add money to his account. Perplexed, he called back and found out that his employer hadn't been paying his super for the last 5 YEARS. Under Australian tax laws, not only is this insanely illegal but can cost companies thousands in fees and repayments and with this organic milk company being fairly small, would guarantee bankruptcy. Fortunately, my father was basically able to walk in and say, 'Pay me or I end your company.' He also made sure all other employees were receiving their payments. Crappy affair, but he is getting full reimbursement in weekly payments."
"I worked at a credit union.
Our ATM had just been updated but the software was glitchy: if someone tries to transfer money between accounts, the money would disappear from their account. It wouldn't show up as a debit from their account, there would be no trace on their statement.
Anyway, a guy came in missing a few hundred dollars (all of the money in his account). He needed to make some purchases and whatnot and I had solved this problem a couple of times before, so I informed the manager of the situation and credited the guys account the correct amount.
As soon as he left, the manager went back into his account and withdrew the money I had just credited. If his account was missing funds, that was 'his problem' and if he came back, I could deal with him.
Yes, we were financial institution and we literally stole money from people's accounts. I tried to reach out to people in other departments to get this guys account right but nobody gave a crap.
I quit shortly after."
"I used to work at a law firm that handled class-action lawsuits. There are always a lot of deadlines that need to be met, which would be easy to do if you were handling one case, but since class-action lawsuits handle thousands of people, it can be tough to complete things on time.
Before I was hired, the boss apparently told all staff members to fudge the numbers on thousands of forms so that they could meet a deadline. This was totally illegal. People wrote in numbers that would have greatly increased each clients' settlement amount, even though they knew the supporting paperwork would contradict it. Boss believed that no one would check and they wouldn't be caught. Boss was wrong. At the time I quit, he had been threatened with a lawsuit.
Another thing that ticked me off about this place is that they took on way too many clients. This was an injury lawsuit (people had been exposed to high levels of carcinogens), so many of the clients were suing because they needed money to pay for their health problems. Some of these clients were dying of cancer. Some had already died and their families were waiting for the settlement amount. The boss knew that the vast majority of these clients would never see any payout because we were too understaffed to file everyone's claim, but he would not let us inform clients that they should consider finding new representation. He only saw them as easy money and would not let them go.
I only stayed there for four months because I felt like such crap. It broke me to have to talk to clients who were crying on the phone because they had started their claim five years ago and still hadn't gotten any money. And my boss truly sickens me. This jerk owns part of a private island. He doesn't give a hoot about the people he's representing."
"I worked at McDonald’s for my first job when I was 15, and the #1 thing the managers always told us was to 'check the time.' I was so confused until I started doing drive thru, and I realized from the moment your order is processed, the staff is timed on how long it takes for you to finish saying your order to you grabbing your food at the last window. Once you get your food, the staff is supposed to press a button which clears your order off the screen, meaning the customer got their meal in a certain amount of time. I forget how much time you had before it started taking seconds off the store’s average time, but it was insane. There’s competition with other McDonald’s in the area on who can make the best average time it takes for the customer to get their food. So to keep the best time in the area, they cleared the 'time' right after your order was taken. So it wasn’t on the monitor for everyone to see to make sure we got it right. That means that none of the staff could see your order. It was a memory game. I don't know if that’s what they do in all stores, but they did in mine. But in my store's case, that’s why your order is always wrong. The staff has to complete your order and 6 others at one time all by memory. Going back to the monitor to check was seen as a last ditch effort. I never caught on until after I quit. But yeah. Worst first job ever."
"I worked in clothing retail. Some of our jeans were found to contain carcinogenic dye, and we had to box them up and put them in the back room until we could send them away. No problem. We put away like, four, maybe five boxes.
Almost a year goes by and those jeans are still out there. Finally head office sends through a list of instructions on how to label them in order to send them away. Thing is, the instructions are really sketchy. They weren't sent using the official HO email, and they explicitly tell us not to inform the delivery driver what is in the boxes, that we can't use the usual delivery labels we use, and not to write anything about 'RECALL' or 'HAZARD' or anything of the sort on the box.
Anyway, delivery driver rocks up and he immediately knows what's up because we aren't using the labels we're meant to be using. He tells us he can't take the boxes, and we say fine. We're casuals. The boxes sit there a bit longer and our area administrator gets on us to force the delivery guy to take the boxes.
I do a little research. Carcinogenic jeans aren't meant to be transported in the regular delivery truck, our company has got to pay for a different service because they're classed as hazardous material. The company wanted to save money on the products they'd already lost money on by sending it through the regular delivery channels.
Eventually the area administrator had to come in and pick them up himself. I wish I had told the delivery driver so he could've reported the company to his company."
"A (long) while back, I worked for a company that was run by 2 families (lots of kids and in-laws on the payroll in high positions). One of the VP's came to me and asked a favor. He asked me to run an inventory report for his division, but to increase the value of each item by a random factor.
He explained that he had a rivalry with another VP (they were the sons of each of the owners) and wanted to have his division look better than the other one. The whole thing was presented to me as a harmless internal-only thing.
I was pretty young and I guess not very street-smart, so I created the report as requested.
A few months later the FBI showed up and shut the company down. Jail time for most of the executives. Turned out it was a huge Ponzi scam and they were grossly overstating their value to potential investors.
I honestly had no idea we were anything but a legitimate business, but looking back I can't help but think that my inventory report was another part of the scam."
"They told me I was hired with the promise of a signed contract within the week. Two months later, I realized no worker except for the head chef was on a contract yet, so we all had our paychecks discounted for our provisions and pension funds and taxes yet they never paid any of those. Then in a meeting the boss claimed she would only give you a proper contract if you were an excellent worker, everyone else is paid under the table for the restaurant's benefit.
Also, all the higher ups did less work than a sack of potatoes."
"Telling families of autistic kids they could 'recover' their kids 85% and they can live full, 'normal' lives. They would get families to move to my state, get funding and then fudge the results to show 'improvements.' Families would move with no family support, split families where one parent moved and the other would have to stay because or work or own a home. So much money out of pockets for extra services. Once I learned they were super shady, I quit."
"My brother had a coffee shop/restaurant. He bought a big container with that pumped of Ghirardelli chocolate syrup for the mochas and when that ran out he poured the cheaper Hershey’s chocolate but still told customers it was the Ghirardelli one. He also claimed his canned chili was homemade and got mad at one of the employees when she told a customer she cut herself opening the chili can. When he made fish and chips, he told people it was cod when he was using pollock...
Yeah, he’s a piece of work and that’s the least of the stuff he’s done."
"I worked for a third party call center ages back. Pretty average place, lots of different clients and they'd occasionally add or lose one. When a major group closed up show, they'd try to find a new client or expansion to fit their good agents on whatever they could until the next one started up. This is pretty normal employee retention stuff because finding new employees is expensive.
Still something strange always happened a few weeks before they'd lose a big client: HR would have a campaign wide substance test. So you'd have 30% of the staff fired for cause due to those results (mostly just pot) and they wouldn't be responsible for paying unemployment benefits. The rest of the time they didn't care at all as long as people showed up and did their jobs and weren't noticeably high on premises."
"I worked at a restaurant and was told on orientation day, if it goes out to a table, we can never serve it again. This included the tiny butter packets. Whenever I got those back, I would throw them away. The owner saw me throw some away one time and pulled them out of the trash and put them back in the bin to go out. He also gave me a verbal warning saying to never throw those out again. As soon as he left, I threw them out and hid them under some stuff, I was absolutely disgusted."
"First engineering firm I worked for set absurd deadlines. I was given the task of designing a landing gear retraction mechanism for this company making electric small aircraft (2 seater, electric ducted fans, company went bankrupt and no longer exists, but it was a cool concept). That entails about a week of work just to get a good idea of how it will work generally, then probably another 2 weeks to design all the parts, then you need to evaluate it for safety, functionality, find limits and flaws, etc. After that you need to build one and test it, get it approved by safety standards, and ensure it works. All in all this was months of work. They told me to have something ready to build and use on a production aircraft in 3 days. There was absolutely no way this could be done, and have it be safe, so I just told them that. They said do it or I was fired, so I quit. Luckily this plane never was built, let alone flew, so nobody was harmed, but someone could have been killed, and I sure as heck didn't want to be liable for that."
"My former employer would keep all tips from the restaurant that the waitstaff made and pocket them all. I’d average $200-$300 a shift and I’d get $10/hour. We were fired if we told customers that we never got to keep the money they tipped, I had tables that tipped 100% of the bill that I never saw the money from. It sucked so much and was probably illegal in some form."
"The Goodwill in my area won't pay more than minimum wage, while raising prices, and not allowing its employees to shop at the store they physically work at.
Meaning someone working there for 10 years is still making minimum wage, and has to travel across town to shop at Goodwill (a place where those making minimum wage should be a large percentage of their clientele), and they can't afford what they need because the prices are going up."
"I used to work for a company that would put their employees' physical and mental health constantly at risk via overwork and stress. The owner and his son would constantly make promises to customers with unrealistic timelines for manufacturing and then expect the customer service and planning teams to just... make it happen. Now, when someone messed up, or once in a blue moon for a good opportunity, I can see pushing your employees, provided they see some benefit. But for this to be basically your entire business strategy?! I was there about a year and a half and by the end the stress was so bad that I was having almost daily panic attacks. People would work absolutely crazy hours trying to keep up. They either didn't know why turnover was so high, or just did not care.
Oh, and they had a ton of shady HR practices too, though that was probably just due to cost cutting by using the owner's wife as HR."
"Convince gullible people it was a great idea to max out 3 or 4 credit cards to pay for a program that will teach them to be successful entrepreneurs. The best part - the supposed highly crafted, years in the making course was written in a last minute weekend brainstorm session just before the course started. Total crooks."
"Fresh out of film school, I met this director who had a cult status in old school horror. He was having trouble picking up high profile gigs in recent years, but would still work on a pretty sizeable indies every couple of years.
He took me under his wing, I thought I was learning a lot from him- I would cut together some of his older material and repurpose it for him to send out to producers on potential productions. I would get paid per edit, but that would mostly cover my cost of travel.
Eventually a high profile series came along, and he had set his eyes on it- he saw this as his way to break into blockbuster films. He told me that if I helped him prep his material for this series, he would bring me on-board, no matter what it took.
We spent a ridiculous amount of hours pouring through everything he’s ever done to cut together a reel that would showcase and present his work as a blockbuster filmmaker. As we were editing on the final night, I had the makings of a wicked migraine. I don’t know how others deal with it, but my body instinctively tries to go into shutdown mode. The director kept pumping me full of coffee, telling me how he was going to teach me so much on set when he gets this series, how it was going to kick things off for me with a bang. Eventually at 5-6 am, he was happy with the edit I gave him, and then drove me home.
I found out from the series announcement that he was set to direct 2 episodes. I’m sure it wasn’t entirely due to the reel I cut for him, but it probably helped. When I tried calling him to congratulate him, he ignored my call. A couple of weeks of me not being able to get a hold of him told me enough, he ghosted me.
Lesson learned. In the end, a small part of me enjoyed hearing the series flopped hard."
"I worked for a big chain electronics retailer for 5 years, and one of the biggest things they wanted from employees was to push for people to sign up for our in-store credit card. We would get reprimanded for not pitching it, or for not meeting our quotas.
There was one girl I worked with, and she was just awful. She actually was a sales associate, but couldn’t sell, so they made her work up in customer service with me. Anyways, she was just terrible. Her numbers were terrible. Week after week, just terrible.
Then, out of nowhere, her credit card applications were through the roof. Like, higher than anyone in our district. No one understood how this could be possible.
One day I overheard her pitch — she was not giving the customers the full details. Without going into a bunch of boring details about how we were supposed to pitch vs how she did, basically she signed everyone up who came through her line, without telling the customer what exactly they were signing up for.
A lot of them thought it was a rewards card, until it got to the screen where they were supposed to enter their SSN — which usually tipped the customer off to what was happening, and if they tried to back out, she would tell them they were ‘too far’ into the process to back out (which is NOT true).
I went to my GM and explained to him what she was doing and how her numbers were so good, but how upset customers were getting because of her deceiving sales tactic; he didn’t care at all. Not a word was said to her about the way she was going about it. All he cared about were the numbers."