When going into work, one thought on everyone's mind is Am I going to be fired today? Sometimes, the person can see it coming. Other times, it can take them completely by surprise, leaving them feeling shocked and confused. While nobody hopes the latter will happen, sometimes it unfortunately does.
People on Reddit share the time when they were fired on the spot. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I worked at TigerDirect. I got fired 30 minutes after the store closed as soon as the 'investigation' ended.
Someone stole a laptop. They blamed me. Not for stealing it, but for aiding' the thief.
This was false. I gave the laptop to the cashier and told her it was for that guy. The guy slipped out of line and said 'I forgot one other thing.'
Came back with a monitor box and placed it beside the laptop to hide it away from the cashier's point of view. While she was cashing other people out, he swiped the laptop, walked up the greeter at the door and said 'This is my laptop, I was just getting it repaired.'
The greeter let him go and off he went on his merry way.
TigerDirect does not have barcode door detectors. The greeter also got fired at the end of the shift, and he was rehired five months later because he has down-syndrome and was going to sue the store.
Forget that place.
That was my first 'infraction,' and was there for two years as a Service Technician. Selling laptops wasn't even my job, I was doing the salesman a favor. The same thing would have happened to anyone. But because I touched the laptop, I was automatically labelled as an aid in theft.
Unemployment insurance saw through my boss' bullshit reasoning and compensated me for 9 months of same-wage pay. Win."
"A buddy and I worked at a movie theater. He was working one day as a floor supervisor, which meant he was in charge of cleaning things up. So this really old woman trips in the hallway and breaks her hip. It's a big ordeal and the ambulance has to come. This woman starts claiming that she stepped on a raisinet and that it was the theaters fault. Who the heck trips on a chocolate covered raisin?
So the manager, who was new to the theater, gets worried and decides to suspend my buddy to hopefully make the woman feel better. My friend was really upset about the whole situation, and was already getting sick of our new boss, so he decides to take a box of raisinets and pour them all over the floor in the manager's office.
He then starts stomping around yelling 'Do you see this?! Do you see how they smash when I step on them? It's impossible to trip on a freaking raisin!'
Fired on the spot. Worth it."
"My worst job to date. I was working as a game tech for an arcade. My job was supposed to be simple things, like fixing ticket jams and token counters. Since I had a basic knowledge of computers and electronics, I was usually asked to do the more elaborate things that we normally left for my supervisor who was responsible for actual repairs. It was our busy season and unfortunately we were understaffed. I was asked to work a lock-in after having work an open and close shift, but I need the money so I agreed.
Before the lock-in, I was charged with setting the games to free play for the people who paid to stay overnight. By three am, the owner of the arcade could see that I was physically and mentally exhausted and sent me home early knowing I had the next few days off. I reminded him about the games on free play, and he assured me my supervisor would fix them in the morning.
Fast forward to two days, later I come in for my opening shift to find four games still set to free play. I ask the owner what other game techs worked while I was off (since I had trained several on how to change games to and from free play). He informs me that only my supervisor worked while I was off. He asked why, and I showed him the games still set to free play. Furious, the owner then confronted my supervisor reprimanding him for the obvious oversight.
Jump forward five minutes to the owner going back to his business, and my supervisor calls me to his office. He tells me that since I can't be a team player he's going to fire me. He continues that I should have taken the blame since I was the one who changed them in the first place. Fast forward a few months later, I find out that the owner immediately fired my supervisor for firing me and wanted to hire me back since I could do the supervisors job anyway, but I had already found a better job."
"I worked at a fast food joint when I was 17. In the middle of my shift, I got called into the back office by two managers. They told me (not accused, they presented it as fact) that $300 was missing from a till and that I had stolen it. Being young, and very afraid I bawled my eyes out and just went home.
When my mother heard what had happened she was having none of this nonsense. Enter super mom.
My mother pulled together a bunch of facts, and took the fast food chain to the Labour Board, and eventually to court for unjust firing. When they fired me, they had absolutely no evidence I had committed any crime; no video (there was two cameras in the store and neither of them covered the register in question), any employee on staff had access to the register at any given time, and also I had just gotten paid $700+ for two weeks where I had worked overtime. My mother caused an investigation which ended up proving that a manager (who had taken a previous disliking to me) had actually stolen the money -- one of the managers who had been present at my firing.
I won over $7,000 in settlement, and promptly put it into my university fund."
"When I was 21, I worked at a cheesy hotel resort in Phoenix. I had to hustle drinks from the restaurant/bar at the top floor of the 10 story resort to the people at the pool (ground floor obviously).
It was a pretty fun job actually. I got a lot of exercise, the customers were pretty fun, I spent most of my time outside, and I made really good tips. I wasn't too fond of my boss though. She seemed really immature, harping, vain, just kind of rude.
But whatever...people are people...
One day, I had to serve about eight women. They were kind of like sorority girls. They got wasted and were super mean to me, made fun of my uniform, made fun of me, would purposely run me by massively staggering their orders, laughing hysterically every time. And of course they stiffed me completely. Zero tip. Bad day at the office for me.
The next day I went into work, and my boss fired me for stealing money from those chicks. I didn't steal a thing! I was floored. They told her I'd left with money and didn't come back with the change (like $15). I'd never do that. Anyway, she wouldn't give me my last paycheck until I gave her the 'stolen' money. She was totally rude about it too.
I went to the bank and got $15 in pennies. I came back into the office and grabbed my last paycheck out of her hand and threw the pennies all over her office. I tried to run out, but she grabbed me by my hair. I got free but lost a chunk of hair in the process.
I'd like to say it felt great...but it didn't. I went home and cried about losing a job that I liked, and the injustice of the world."
"I took a new position at an IT shop that seemed pretty legit during the interview. All is well but after a few days I get asked to do something rather sketchy. I was asked to install pirated Windows on business machines. That's quite illegal, and could cost me my Microsoft certifications so I pushed back.
The owner says, 'If you don't install that software, consider yourself fired.'
I politely said. 'Works for me, you can take this job and shove it up your butt.'
Called the business and told them what was going on. They immediately fired him as their IT contractor, and word slowly spread around town. Last time I checked he had to close up shop. The company I left to go work for this other company immediately hired me back, and I was able to bring a good portion of the sketchy company's clients with me."
"I was working at a movie theater, and had put in my two weeks notice one week and six days before. On my last day on the job, I spilled a huge tub of ketchup on the floor by accident, and said swore a little too loudly. The manager then made me come to his office, told me that cursing in front of customers was not allowed, and my history of bad judgement was grounds to fire me. And so even on my last day he proceeded to fire me, and tried to get me to sign a piece of paper saying that I have done this in the past, and have been written up multiple times. I told him to show me the write-ups, since I had never been written up, or in trouble before.
After a half an hour sitting there he comes back, says that he can't find them 'right now,' but that I'm still fired, and need to sign the piece of paper. I was furious at his attitude, and didn't care because I was starting a job at a hospital for three more bucks an hour. So, I just wrote 'Forget You' on the signature line, and walked out.
Two weeks later when I went to pick up my final paycheck, I came in my new work uniform.
The same manager was working it and it was a little awkward until me asked me 'Do you miss this job yet?'
'No, I make more money than you now,' I replied.
I signed the pay sheet, and haven't been back since."
"I worked at a terrible job binding books for four hours a day, every day. Not too bad considering I could listen to my iPod and just go about it mechanically. I worked with a guy who was way into weird conspiracy theories. I listened to him and humored him, because it was fun.
Then we got a new guy. When we hired him, I had been there about four months. On his second day, while my other co-worker was away, he told me straight to my face that I don't have the authority to tell him how to do anything. Mind you -- I was showing him how to bind a book properly because he was messing it up royally, to the point where the book was falling apart. I wasn't mad at him, I was simply trying to correct him.
He came to me a few days later and complained that I wasn't stocking the soda in the refrigerator properly. Being the person I am -- who has three jobs as it is -- I stopped caring what he had to say. Until one particular day, in which it was just me and him working.
I had had a pretty rough morning at my other job, and we were left that afternoon to bind a lot of books by ourselves, which meant that, as the senior employee, I would be supervising. At the end of the day, right before we left, I discovered that he had been binding the books completely wrong, again, and they'd all been sealed in envelopes. If they had gone out that way, we'd have been royally done.
So I said, 'We need to open each of these and fix them.'
To which he replied, 'You don't have the authority, they're fine as they are."
I'm a relatively calm guy. I get angry, sure, but never really explode.
I exploded on this guy in a series of profanities and verbal assaults that, by the end of it, he was cowered into his turtle shell and kept repeating, 'Okay, I'm sorry, okay, I'm sorry.'
Unfortunately, the manager happened to overhear this and I wasn't allowed to come in the next day.
But honestly, it was completely worth it. Guy was a total tool."
"I worked at Blockbuster for a couple years while I was in college (and while Blockbuster was still a thing). I often worked with a short, round, awful girl who was a huge suck up to the boss, and loved to brag about her meager accomplishments like she just conquered the world. Essentially, imagine an extremely shorter Violet Beauregarde with the ego of Dwight Schrute. She had serious short-tubby-person-syndrome, and didn't care who knew about it.
Anyway, it was just the two of us one night and we were slammed. We were both behind the front desk but she wasn't helping me with the long line of customers. Two older ladies came up with a stack of DVDs's and a Blu-ray.
Blu-ray was still kind of a new thing, so I kindly asked 'Do you ladies have a Blu-ray player?'
Old lady: 'What's Blu-ray?'
Me: 'Well it's a new movie player system.'
Old Lady: 'Oh no we don't! Do you have this on DVD? Thank you young man, it's so hard to keep up with you teenagers and your technology these days.'
I laughed it off, as she meant it in jest. I gave that little Blu-ray speech about ten times a day at the time, but my grumpy little blueberry of a co-worker came waddling over with her ever predictable commentary:
Co-worker: [To me, but loud enough for the ladies and the rest of the line to hear] 'Well, I'm not a teenager and I know what Blu-ray is!'
Of course she does. She FREAKING works at Blockbuster. I didn't make eye contact with her as I kept scanning the movies into the computer.
Me: 'Yeah, I've still got a few months left before I lose the teenager title.'
Her: [matter-of-fact-ly] 'Well I can legally buy adult drinks!'
I didn't miss a freaking beat. I turned to her, looked (down) into her eyes and said 'Well I can legally ride roller coasters!'
She goes bright freaking red. Guy a couple people back in line loses his cool laughing. She storms back to the office and calls the regional store managers' cell to make up some story about how I wasn't doing my job or something. I'm on final warning the next day. Not a single care was given."
"I was working at a telemarketing place. Horrible job. The company sold those paper rolls you put in debit machines at five times the normal price. The pitch was essentially designed to trick the caller into thinking we were the usual supplier, and we were just calling to confirm an order. It was selling by lying.
Obviously, I decided it was unethical and I refused to do it. But I didn't tell them that, of course. Instead, I would go into work every day, put on my headset, and pretend to call people. Sometimes, if a supervisor was nearby, I would actually call people and go through the pitch. On occasion, a caller would fall for it, and I would have to tell them not to buy anything from us. It was great fun.
On the fourth or fifth day of work, the head office of this company was raided by the cops. We didn't have work that day. We came back the next week, and our company had 'a new owner' and a 'new company name.' It was back to business as usual. I think they were a bit distracted with hiding from the authorities, and it took them two weeks to notice that I hadn't done anything the whole time I was there. Finally, the 'new owner' called me into his office and told me I hadn't sold anything and I had to change my attitude or I would be fired.
I apologized and said I would try harder. The next day, I did what I normally did: pretended to call people and drew epic pictures on the back of the calling lists. The boss called me into his office again. He was furious. So angry that I would dare to lie to him about trying harder. I have to admit I was a little confused. Did he not realize what kind of company he was running? Anyway, I just smiled at him and walked out. I had successfully acquired enough money to get home for Christmas, so I was quite pleased with myself."
"I was working in an architect's office. Times were tough and I had to have three interviews for the job. But, I eventually got hired. A few weeks into the job, my boss called me over and told me I had to be more punctual as I was supposed to be at my drawing board at 9 am on the dot. He told me I was always between five to ten minutes late. I was confused by this as I pride myself on being on time. I then discovered that my boss and the awful office manager both set their watches 10 minutes fast for some reason.
That evening, I called the speaking clock from my apartment, and verified that my watch was set to the correct time. Next morning, I arrive in ten minutes before 9am. At 8:58, I ask my boss and the office manager what time it was. They both said it was 9:10am. I dial the speaking clock and put it on speaker phone as loud as possible.
The At the signal it will be 9am. Beep is heard by everyone in the office. All the other office staff try to hide their grins behind their hands. I hang up and continue working.
Boss and office manager go into the conference room, five minutes later, I'm called in.
'We don't appreciate your attitude, it's best that you leave the office now and don't come back,' I was told.
I packed up my stuff and walked out into the bright morning sunshine with a smile on my face. Found myself an early pub and got trashed out of my mind. Glory days!"
"A year ago, I was working as a tour guide at Madison Square Garden (the world's most famous arena!)
My entire department was called in for an emergency meeting where they proceeded to tell all of us that we would be out of a job in two days. Apparently, someone high up in the company decided that with all the renovations going on, having tours was not acceptable. We asked if we were going to get any kind of severance or anything for being laid off with two days' notice.
The HR VP in the room said, 'If you were, we would have told you about it already.'
Two days later, on my last day, I told my boss that I felt the company was one of the worst companies I've ever worked for. I then called my bosses boss and told her the same thing. I then got in contact with a big wig friend of a friend at a major media corporation in NYC and told them what happened.
About a week later, I got a call from my bosses boss (the one who I chewed out on the phone) telling me, 'So, because we didn't give you any notice, we're going to give you two weeks of pay.'
I figured they thought it would be cheaper to just pay us all two weeks salary (which wasn't much anyway) than deal with the bad publicity."
"When I was 16, I was employed at a large grocery store. I think it's only a midwest chain, but it rivaled Walmart for size/ability to abuse it's employees. Anyway, it was New Years Eve and I was scheduled to push carts all night and into the morning. One of my coworkers and I thought this was so stupid. So on one of our breaks (around 10:00 PM or so), we went to his friend's apartment and got royally trashed. We had so much to drink, then went back to work. I was young, stupid, and didn't know my tolerance level, so of course I was ripped to the gills.
When we got back to work, we first went into the bathrooms to see how bad we looked. The bathroom had the closed sign on it and was obviously shut down, but we figured that just meant someone was cleaning it. As we went in we heard a funny noise but didn't think twice about it since we were super messed up. We turn the corner and saw our mentally handicapped coworker who was fully deaf and about forty years old (you know how these big chains always have a few) seizing and twitching on the floor, facing away from us. We rushed over to help him and saw his pants were down. I guess we thought he had had a seizure while using the urinal, so when we get to him we're totally unprepared for what we see. The guy is touching furiously on the bathroom floor, looking at the bra section of our store's Christmas ads. I realized he was the one to put up the 'bathroom closed' sign, expecting some privacy for a New Years wank.
So we clock back in, and go out to collect carts and try avoid as much human interaction as possible. This is easier said than done, since we were very obviously messed up and falling all over ourselves. We had a ton of people coming up to us, most of them laughing at us or giving us high fives, but there were a few people who were rude. One obviously trashed customer offered us a drink from the case he just bought, but we turned it down.
Eventually we grow tired of doing our job while the earth won't stop wobbling, and we decide a race in the motorized grandma-carts would be in good order. So we each hopped in one and took off at full speed (about three miles per hour). We raced Mario Kart style (everything was fair game) around the whole parking lot for three laps while smoking cigs like two very-hammered chimneys. That took us about a half hour. After this, our boss finally figures out that we aren't doing anything, and comes out to find us. She finds us while we still have cigs hanging from our lips, relaxing in the grandma-carts, and freaks out.
She screamed for a solid ten minutes, ending with 'YOU'RE FIRED' while we sat there and took it like champs.
As she stormed back in to the store, she yelled over her shoulder she was calling the cops since we were underage. My buddy yelled back that Gary (the handicapped man) was jerking off in the mens bathroom. She perked up, totally shifted gears from angry-mode to disaster-mode and SPRINTED to the north entrance (we were at the south doors at the time) and we called our friend to come pick us up.
We later found out that this was something Gary did on a semi-regular basis but the higher-ups didn't want him fired for one reason or another. So, the managers at the store I worked at had to deal with this numerous times. Also, the manager never called the cops on us, I guess she was too busy dealing with Gary to bother with us anymore."