Plenty of people have had experiences where they have watched as their not-so-competent co-worker slowly make a bad name for themselves and are eventually asked to move on for their job, however it is much rarer for someone to do something that forces their boss to let them go right then and there. Sometimes, the workers are in the wrong place at the wrong time or they are getting exactly what they deserve. Below are some stories where people have seen their co-workers fired on the spot.
"I ran a five-person staff nonprofit. My first week or two, the payroll information came from ADP and it was left sealed on the office assistant's desk. I was at work early the next morning and opened it; I discovered the office assistant (who was responsible for entering staff hours online every payroll) had given herself a raise. She got there a couple minutes later, I asked her about it, and she said it had been promised to her (you'd think the board or my predecessor would have told me that, huh). She was also ticked off that I'd opened it (Hello? I'm the boss. I get to look at the payroll).
It wasn't a giant raise, but you increase your own pay without permission, you're going to be fired, and she needed some strong encouragement to remove her person from the office too. She went down the block to where our board chair worked, told him I was a prejudice person (she was black, I'm Asian, the chair was Latino) and generally made a loud fuss, but he was pretty clear with her about why you don't go giving yourself a raise no matter what you think you were promised. A further investigation revealed, of course, that she wasn't promised anything."
"I was working as a baggage handler, and they'd hired a guy whom everyone hated. He was lazy, stupid, and annoying.
One of the big rules when working around airplanes is you don't go anywhere near the engines while they're still running. They'll suck you right in and cut you into a million little pieces in a second. They put the fear of God into you about this during training, well before you get near an airplane. Once a plane pulls into the gate, you wait until you have confirmation that the engine has been turned off before you approach it. If you're not sure, you don't approach the plane.
Well one day a plane pulls up to the gate, and he walks right up to the engine while it's still running. People are yelling, his vest is flapping like crazy, but he's so aloof he doesn't notice. Someone runs up to him and yanks him back to a safe distance.
They had already been building up a case to fire him, but that made it a lot easier. The supervisor walked him into the manager's office, and he was fired right away. We all rejoiced."
"In 2010, I worked as a Census Enumerator. For anyone who doesn't know how that works, you basically take a test, and a few months later you get your scores. If you score high enough, they'll offer you a position. The job itself is pretty easy, but does have some technical aspects in terms of data collection. All in all it's not a bad gig - it ended up paying like $20/hour, which for a kid fresh out of college, was not bad at all.
Anyway, they call us in for training, which was like two days long and probably six hours per day or something like that. They teach you about how the Census works, demographic information, and logistical stuff. It's pretty straight forward.
Well, one of the guys there was this weird dude - long beard nerdy but strangely confrontational, basically like weirdo neck beard. After every example he would ask stranger and stranger questions - hypothetical ones that would never happen and basically could never be answered. Everyone started getting really annoyed because this guy was just getting very weird, and also wasting a boatload of time for no reason.
It got progressively worse until the moderator started clashing with him in front of everyone. Finally, the neck beard guy admits that he's an anarchist and 'trying to take the system down from the inside out,' which apparently consisted of wasting a few hours of some poor retired schlub's time. Needless to say, he was fired on the spot, in front of everyone."
"My first job, I worked at a grocery store. I don't remember much, but I do remember one day when the store got crazy busy, and they had to pull people like me from other departments to work checkouts lanes. They had me as a bagger, and the guy at the scanner was another guy that I worked with in produce.
Now, when this guy gave change, he'd 'accidentally' pull out an extra fiver, and pretend to put it back in the register when counting out change, then he'd slip it into his pocket once the customer turned around. I noticed this pretty quickly because he's doing it with literally every customer. Even if they weren't getting change, he'd pull one out and act like he forgot they paid with a card.
After I noticed it, I saw him do it a couple more times and thought, 'wow. I wonder how long he can get away with that.' Not two seconds pass between me thinking that and me turning to see that night's manager with a police officer walking towards our checkout counter. Fired on the spot and arrested."
"I worked at a Nissan dealership for a few months. The entirety of the shop suffered from general incompetence and the service manager was extremely unpleasant. He had been a service advisor and took his authority WAY too seriously.
Dealerships have these things called Friends and Family days, where regular customers come in and get discounts. Problem was, Dumb Boss decides to schedule it for two days before Christmas. Half our crew had vacation time they were gonna use. Boss calls everyone in saying, 'No one gets to use their holidays this season except management, since our numbers are down.' Basically tells the entire service staff the only one getting a Christmas is him. Mandatory attendance or automatic firing. The entire service crew got together and agreed that no one show up at all. No advisors, no parts guy, NO ONE.
They forgot to tell me and one other guy, who didn't show up anyways because he was out the night before drinking.
I show up for work. There is a 13-car line out the door and almost 60 people waiting on me to change their oil. The boss is furious and tells me I have 30 minutes to get all these cars done or I'm fired, which is physically impossible. I tell him to shove a wrench where the sun don't shine and go back up front. I busted my butt and did almost 19 oil changes in four hours. He refused to let me take a break, and screamed at me when I went to use the bathroom. Most of these customers yelled and screamed at me, since there was no advisor except him, and he locked himself in his new office. I finally say 'forget this,' call the General Manager at his house, explain what's going on. Eight minutes later he comes roaring in the parking lot and storms into Dumb Boss' office. Ripped this guy a new one so deep NASA uses the gravity to accelerate particles at CERN. Dumb Boss is sent home. General Manager starts taking over, helps me get everything sorted out. He was cool, brought pizza and kept things smooth as possible. In its entirety, I worked a 16-hour shift almost nonstop.
The next day was Christmas Eve. Dumb Boss calls me at 6 am. I ignore it. He leaves a message telling me I'm fired for making him look bad, and that he's taking my tools as payment for his lost bonuses. Oh, ABSOLUTELY not. I spent Christmas furious.
I go in the day after Christmas and talk with the General Manager and play back the message. Dumb Boss is promptly taken off the property and banned for life from any associated dealership in his chain (which means pretty much everybody in the area). I get my job back, a healthy late Christmas bonus, and a few extra days off. The last I heard Dumb Boss was selling junkyard parts three towns over."
"I worked at a dog daycare place for a little over a year. When I started working, there was this girl that was a notorious witch to work with and everyone hated her, but she did her job so our manager didn’t have any quarrel with her. I started in June 2017, and I hated her up until the day she was fired, which I will NEVER forget.
On Halloween, this girl that I used to date but I’m still good friends with brought her dogs to daycare (two Australian Shepards) and we just let them play and do their things. One of the dogs is super sweet and laid back at home, but at daycare she let all of her energy loose and barked constantly because she was really excited to be with all of her friends.
Well on this particular Halloween, the dog was barking a little more than usual, and was in MY yard, which was complete opposite of the yard this co-worker was in. After about two hours of hearing the dog bark, she comes over, pulls the dog out of my yard, and carries the dog by the back of its neck over to her yard. In the process of doing this, she KICKED THE DOG IN THE FACE as hard as she could. I’m not even kidding with you. She kicked this poor dog in the face because it was having fun and playing.
I watched this happen with my own eyes. I was seething and immediately went and told my manager. After letting my boss know what happened I went and got the dog out of her yard while she yelled at me and I went and took her (the dog's name was Mollie) and put her in a little kennel with water and some treats. I checked up on her, and she seemed to be fine.
My manager called her into his office and asked if this was true, and she tried to cover it up and explain why she did it. He told her to pack her stuff and never come back. I never saw her again and I hope I never do."
"This was my at my wife's (at the time fiancée's) work, but the employee was one of my good friend's boyfriend at the time. We basically got him the job since he moved here to be with my friend after they had been in a long-distance relationship for almost a year.
He worked in the sales department and my wife in marketing, and it was a small but successful athletic apparel company. He had been working there for only a few months - my wife said she got a weird vibe from him, being creepy and just odd. My friend who was dating him, however, said nothing but praise.
One day on his last week, my wife and I were having dinner, and she said that something terrible happened that day, starting from the past weekend. Apparently, they had lost some inventory, as it was unaccounted for on Monday. Her boss told her that there were no signs of intrusion, however, and that the only key card that accessed the company was our mutual friend's boyfriend who had only been there a relatively short time. Sketchy, but there wasn't any solid evidence.
Long story short, the CEO set up a trap after they found that piece of information and caught him - he was stealing from the company, selling the items online to pay for expenses like shoes and clothes. The cops were brought in, he was immediately fired, and taken out in handcuffs. My wife, witnessing the whole ordeal, was mortified, and the guy had the nerve to tell her not to tell his girlfriend, my good friend, about the situation. She was appalled, and told him, while he was handcuffed, that he needed to man up and tell her himself.
Fast forward six months. We were trying to nail down our wedding guest list, and my wife was very honest with me - she didn't want him being there, as they were still dating at the time. I told her I'd talk to my friend and explain the situation. When I called her, asking her in the best way I could to not invite her boyfriend that swindled my wife's company, she very blatantly asked me 'what are you talking about?' My heart dropped. I said, 'you know, when your boyfriend left athletic company six months ago?'
She told me honestly that she had no idea he left, that just the other day he said he was getting a promotion in the same company. I told her he was actually fired, and has been for six months, and that she needed to discuss the situation with him. I felt so bad for her, because she then had to go since he was pulling up to her house.
One of the worst experiences of my life."
"I work in a very popular bar that was regularly five to six deep, the team had awesome banter. In the middle of summer, the 'while you’re there' call would go out to anyone who had to get something from behind the bar. Nothing meant by it, a simple call, could have meant, 'while you're there, pass me a bottle.'
Down comes the duty manager one Friday night, there's a big football game on and the bar is pumping. She gets all strung out and gets down on the floor to pick up some bottle caps from the ground (for what reason, we still have no idea).
Without thinking, my bar back just sees a person bent over and calls out 'while you’re there.' Instantly, the duty manager is bolt upright, straight to him and fired him on the spot for 'harassment.'
He just stops what he was doing, calmly takes off his apron, gives it to her and walks out. As he leaves, he hits the panic alarm button which shuts down the bar, locks all the machines and summons security to the area to clear everyone out.
She goes after him to berate him and runs into the busboy who is returning with a full rack and has leftover drinks and gunk tipped onto her. It was truly beautiful justice."
"A waiter got fired after our meal, I actually felt sorry for him!
I have a friend (Steph) who is around 26 and never had a boyfriend. Another friend (Fiona) invited 10 of us for a birthday dinner at the local Olive Garden. It turns out Steph’s mother worked at that Olive Garden and knew that one of the waiters there was young and single. Steph didn’t want to get set-up or anything so the whole thing was kinda embarrassing for her, but her mother kept insisting that she at least see/interact a bit with him.
I’m not sure if Steph’s mother managed to assign him to be our waiter or if it just happened naturally, but it happened. We had a long table, one side facing the wall. Fiona and her boyfriend were on the inside (so the wall was behind their backs), Steph was on the end, my girlfriend and I were on the outside across from Fiona and her boyfriend.
The young/single waiter seemed nice enough, he wasn’t overly making conversation with Steph or anything awkward, but he did acknowledge that he knew Steph’s mother. The server didn’t do anything wrong but I think Fiona’s boyfriend was a little demanding, as if he expected fine-dining service. Little things like 'he should have brought the drinks out by now' or 'we asked for something five minutes ago, do we have to ask again?'
When the meals were ready and brought out to the table, the plates were given to each person one by one and placed in front of them. Now remember I said Fiona and her boyfriend were on the inside so the waiters couldn’t really serve the plate from behind them. So in this case, the people who were sitting inside were given their plates from across the table. Even so, the waiter was placing the plates in front of people. When it was Fiona’s turn she and her boyfriend both reached up to grab the plate but it was hot, and she recoiled a bit. Fiona’s boyfriend took personal offense to this and was in visible anguish that this happened to her. To me it seemed like Fiona kinda shrugged it off like yeah it was hot but it is not THAT big of a deal.
We aren’t a loud group, and although I am making Fiona’s boyfriend out to be very demanding, he’s still calm and polite when explaining things to the manager. He airs out all his grievances with the last straw being that the plate was hot and the waiter didn’t even say 'careful it’s hot' when giving it them, but from my point of view I felt like they reached out for nothing since he was placing plates in front of people without them needing to touch it in the first place. It really seemed like they were creating their own problems that night.
So because Fiona’s boyfriend was polite (but upset) while explaining everything, I think the manager took it very seriously and immediately assigned a different server to us. (I’m thinking 'oh-no!' Because I wanted to see something develop between him and Steph)
At the end of the night, the manager fired that waiter. Yes, all because he didn’t say 'careful it’s hot.'
I’m just thinking DANG that must have been one bad night for all those involved. Steph’s mom must have felt like garbage, the waiter must have felt even worse. To me this seemed to stem from things that were not a big deal at all. I mean the server might not have been A++ service but my dude, this is Olive Garden, he was nice and didn’t spit in my food, what more do you need?"
"I work at a fast food restaurant. This new kid 'Alex' started working about three weeks ago. We all knew something was super off about him, but we sort of just let it slide. He always said weird/obscure comments, but he was generally nice and a hard worker. Three nights ago I did my closing stuff and my coworker 'Grace' stayed to close everything instead of me. The next morning I found out that while they were there (Grace, Alex, and another guy that worked kitchen), as the other kitchen worker was taking out trash, Alex grabbed one of our kitchen knives and pulled it out on Grace. She asked what he was doing, and he just stood there staring. The other worker walked back in and Alex dropped the knife and claimed he just didn’t know what came over him.
Our boss fired him promptly."
"A kid I worked with when I was in high school got fired on the spot. He had found a gift card lying on the ground earlier in the day. He decided to use it to buy energy drinks and candy and when our boss approached him about it he was totally honest. The kid told him he found the card on the ground and just decided to use it. Boss proceeded to fire him for not following protocol. Apparently (I learned this right on the spot there) he was supposed to report it to the store and give it 24 hours and then it would be given to him.
The kid was absolutely heartbroken. Totally honest mistake (albeit kinda boneheaded), but was mercilessly fires right in front of me."
"I watched an entire engineering team get fired on the spot during a meeting with the CEO, about ten years back.
We were working on developing a new chip as a successor to the company's current offering. The old chip had been developed on an expensive process (meaning more advanced technology was used in making the wafers, thus increasing the cost), and the CEO was adamant that the new chip be made cheaper.
To keep the story short, let's just say the new process wasn't working, and during a status meeting with the CEO, the team leader tried to argue we needed to scrap a lot of the existing work and go with the more expensive process. The CEO wasn't having it, cursed out the team lead in front of all the VPs, and fired nearly the entire group. Only a couple of us were kept around to keep the previous chip on life support.
After a few years of steadily losing market share, we tried again, paying millions of dollars to buy a new team with new IP. And the first thing they did was switch us to a more expensive process, just like the first team had tried to do.
They didn't do anything to deserve it, some bosses just suck."
"I used to work at a store in the mall where the manager didn't bother coming in on some days, other days she'd come in late. Well one day she was scheduled to open the store alone, and I was scheduled 2pm to close. I get to the store at 1 since I wanted to get some new shoes. She hadn't bothered showing up to open the store. I called the district manager, and she asked me to open the store and told me that she's deal with the situation.
Turns out manager had a medical condition, and she'd been at the hospital that morning. Or so she claimed. This went on for a few months and in that time I got an offer to work at the store directly next to my original store. I took the job and a few weeks later, as I'm coming into my new store I see my old district manager sitting on a bench outside the old store. About an hour later I see the manager walking towards the store and when she sees the district manager she turns pale. The district manager gets up asks for the manager's keys, gives her get final check, and tells her go home. I had front row seats, it was magnificent.
I later got the full story from my former coworker. It turns out that manager did have a medical condition, but she lied about hospital visits and was actually going through a rough divorce and was staying home to improve her marriage rather than working. On the day the manager got fired the district manager called the store at opening time and the manager answered and said she was at the store. The district manager had her doubts and decided to go and verify that she was actually there, to no one's surprise she wasn't. She had however set up the stores phone to forward calls to her cell.
The real kicker to this story is that the manager was the one that made the work schedule."