Some companies are destined to fail, with managers trying to take all the employees down with them. These poor employees suffered through far more than anyone should have to, regardless of the field they work in. it was up to the employees to seek out revenge and get back at their inhuman supervisors. These stories represent both the highs and lows of the massive fallout that came from a satisfying revenge. Content has been edited for clarity.
Three Strikes, She’s Out!
“When I was 16, I worked in the concessions stand at a minor league baseball stadium. Minimum wage at the time was $5.15 per hour. This job paid $8 an hour, and it was always in the evenings, so it was perfect work for a high school student. The only bad thing was that our management was TERRIBLE. The main manager would throw toddler tantrums once per shift over stupid things, like not ordering enough of a specific drink (even though she did the ordering), or running out of pre-cut lemons for tea.
One night, the stadium was running a promotion and it was incredibly busy, easily two to three times the normal volume of customers. We were all working our butts off handling multiple roles each, with absolutely no downtime. Although we all cleaned as we worked, nobody had a chance to do thorough cleaning for the whole shift, due to the never-ending horde of hungry baseball fans.
The manager showed up three to four hours late per usual, and she and throws the biggest tantrum ever over the unswept floor. Finally, she states, ‘Listen up you lazy morons! Minimal work gets minimal pay. Everybody is being paid minimum wage tonight because you slobs won’t clean up anything!’
Both of our bartenders quit on the spot, which caused a chain reaction. We all took off our aprons and hats to leave. She blocked the exit and was red in the face from screaming, so one of the cooks climbed out of one of the big serving windows where we served customers. I did the same, and most of the staff followed. Bear in mind that this all happened in front of over 200 customers. Of course, my final paycheck ‘got lost’, so I had to file a wage theft complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission.”
How To Destroy A Business
“Many years ago in high school, I worked at a movie theater. The place was pretty poorly run from the moment I started there. We never got paid on time, and management was basically a bunch of lazy slobs who sat in the office talking all day. They never actually did any managing. It would have been hard for things to have gotten any worse, but after a couple of months, they brought in new management. These people seemed to make it their personal mission to run the theater as poorly as possible.
They first decided to implement a new policy requiring all projectionists to wear ties, despite the fact that projectionists are never seen by the public, not to mention that tiny little detail that the projectionists worked around giant, rapidly spinning objects that a tie could get caught in. Management refused to reconsider the policy, and every single projectionist quit as a result.
They then decided that the door people (of which I was one), who were always scheduled seven days a week, would now only be scheduled on the weekends, and refused to reassign any of us to concessions on the weekdays so we wouldn’t lose hours. As a result, almost every single door person quit, including me.
After that, they started imposing impossible cleanliness standards on concessions, things like requiring them to scrape popcorn kernels out of the cracks in the trim behind the popcorn machines. Concession workers were there until 5 a.m. every night trying to meet their standards. Most of the concession people quit as a result.
By my count, the theater went from a staff of about fifty to a staff of about twelve in three weeks. I swung by about a month after I quit and found out that entire management staff had been fired and replaced yet again by an entirely new one. These people actually seemed to be running the theater properly. My best guess is that the previous management had been told to whip the theater into shape, and they were idiots who had no idea how to effectively do that.”
Animals Caught In The Crossfire
“I worked at the SPCA, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The month I was hired on, there was a lot of stuff changing because a couple managerial and senior staff were moving on to other things, so it turned into a hot mess when a new manager came in. The district manager also tried to scheme senior staff of their bonuses. But most controversially was the new manager and her bosses deciding that they needed to try to save money. So we stopped spaying and neutering cats and adopted them out that way (really smart idea). She was also told by the District manager that the SPCA needed more money, so if we got a good purebred dog in off the streets instead of registering it we should take it home, breed it, care for the pups (on our dime by the way), and then surrender it to the SPCA for some extra income. They also shut down their grooming facilities (which made them roughly 55% of their income).
What made me quit was that I was hired to replace their head of technology, but I wasn’t being trained properly because their current head of technology kept telling me to go clean dog pens or cat rooms instead of showing me how to work the systems properly. After a month of not being properly trained and me constantly mentioning it to her, I come in one day and find my name omitted from the schedule. The manager’s reasoning? ‘Oh, well you struggled a bit the day you were the only tech, so we dropped you from full time to on-call. We’re going to hire someone else and train them to take over tech.’
Good job! I already knew about 90% of the job by this point, so you’re going to hire someone else and ‘train’ them like I was being ‘trained’? After I quit, things grew even worse.
Management wanted to save more money after I left, and they decided to do that by not paying for the shampoo, conditioner and other products in their salon. They instead told the salon manager to pay for it out of her own pocket. It was the start of the nightmare for the salon manager, that ultimately ended in her being bullied and almost assaulted until they fired her. When she decided to claim Employment Insurance after she was fired, the management denied that she was fired and said she quit under ‘hostile circumstances’ or something. Luckily she got the position as salon manager at PetSmart, and pretty much the entire client base went there. It rendered the SPCA salon null.
Another coworker quit because he was expected to take care of 48 dog kennels and about double that in cat habitats. Management cut hours, where they had 6 people opening in the morning they only had 3, so my coworker was expected to do a 4 -person job in 3 hours.
Another coworker quit because, again, the low hours meant that tasks couldn’t get done on time, so she comes in for morning shift to a mountain of dog and food dishes stacked together with cat litter pans that were not washed. None of the animals could be fed and watered properly, and the cats had to wait for their litter. That was the day she quit.
All in all, they lost 11 employees in about 3 weeks because of negligence and stupidity. Seven other employees and I went to the PetSmart on the other side of town, as it was just opening and needed employees, so it wasn’t completely terrible.”
“What Else Weere They Forging Our Signatures On?”
“Several years ago, I worked in a mental health center. We worked primarily with kids. It was time for the center to renew their certification. Instead of keeping up with everything that needed to be done over the course of five years, the proper procedures were ignored. In this couple months before recertification, administration made us sit through a ridiculous amount of training on things that we would have already been aware of. Then came our paperwork. Our center encouraged us to do things that aren’t exactly covered by Medicaid or approved through certification. For example taking kids to the park isn’t allowed, but guess where they instructed us to take these kids so they didn’t disturb the therapists working? I had to go back and edit five months worth of documents to get rid of the evidence.
The kicker was that bathrooms were supposed to have a log of when it was cleaned. An administrator perfectly forged the signatures of multiple employees. I don’t think they would have gone through that trouble just for a bathroom log. What else were they forging our signatures on? The potential risk of being charged with Medicaid fraud was too high for me. I quit as did many others. I did report them to the authorities. Shockingly they are still in business. I did what I had to to cover my butt.”
Sales Force Slacking
“I worked at a data-company. The guys in the sales department messed around all day. They’d literally be in the parking lot drinking and racing RC cars. When it came to handling accounts/clients, they frequently gave away free accounts in order to ‘retain’ customers (and make their own sales numbers look good), and somehow they got away with it. Meanwhile, there were dozens of programmers and database nerds working tirelessly behind the scenes to integrate a bunch of complicated data and make it easy to access via the website.
Yearly holiday announcements come around, and upper management decides to send the entire sales team to Hawaii for an all-expense-paid vacation. When the furious developers asked why they were just taking the sales team, the confused CEO literally said, ‘Well, I mean I guess we could ask the sales team to pick one person from each department who helped them the most this year, and take them too.’
The programmers/engineers/database people were livid, and they all walked out in droves. Gee, I wonder why the company tanked.”
Don’t Be Like Becky
“I worked at a discount store, and it wasn’t that bad at first, until one of our night managers quit and was replaced with Becky. So Becky seemed nice at first, but we all started to notice her changing a lot of things around the store. People on the night crew got moved to day, she gave people weird orders, and most of the time she wouldn’t even be at the front when we needed her. She used to be on a phone call constantly with her partner, who happened to be a manager from a neighboring store.
One day, someone stole a box of candy from the store, and she literally went out there and got into a fist fight with them. That’s definitely is a huge no-no. So Becky comes in all red in the face, and we’re not really sure what to say or do, so we all just look away and get back to work. After that she acted really REALLY weird, throwing people under the bus and claiming we weren’t doing our jobs, which is funny because she was never up front when we needed her.
What ended up making pretty much the whole night crew quit was when Becky started getting grabby with one of our younger cashiers. The girl was already in a bad place and didn’t want to lose her job, so she tried to ignore it for a bit. One day Becky tried to get the cashier in her car to take her home, since she didn’t have a ride. The girl wasn’t comfortable with it, so she ended up calling me to come get her.
She rejected Becky’s approaches, so Becky went on full petty mode and claimed the cashier had illegal substances on her and told the cashier to go home. The next day the younger cashier was fired, so the younger cashier tried to tell our district manager about it. He said there was nothing he could do.
This was the last straw for everyone, and most of us quit within the month.”
“I’m the manager of a retail store and I had found out a cashier was stealing products by scamming reward card benefits. I came up with a detailed incident report to present to this employee, and I was under the assumption it was just her. After I confronted her in a reasonable manner, she freaked out and got really angry and quit on the spot. She was using fake accounts instead of using a customers reward card to get herself points, to redeem them for product and gift cards. So the customers weren’t getting the points they are owed, which is a headache for me if they notice and complain.
The next day, every other cashier called me and quit. Barely believing it, I found out they were all in on it and were using this lady’s fake card on their shifts too. So I’m down four cashiers and I have only one left. This same day, my last remaining cashier disappeared for twenty minutes. Turns out she was in the bathroom with another employee doing the nasty. She quits because her dad is a cop, and she didn’t want him to find out she got fired for this. The guy also quit because he ‘didn’t care and was moving anyway.’
I was down to literally managers only.”
“I was hired by the new owners to replace the existing manager. I was under the impression that he was moving on to another job somewhere. So after about four days I ask him where he’s headed and if he’s excited. He just looks blankly at me and says, ‘I’m not going anywhere. I’m just training you as the assistant manager, right?’
The look I gave him must have been a great tip off, because he got up and walked into one of the new owners offices. After about 30 seconds they were screaming at each other, then he just storms out of the office, grabs his stuff, give me the finger, and leaves.
Over the next few days, I’m trying to calm things with the employees. They’re not faulting me, but now have a very bad taste in their mouths about the new ownership. Over about a 7-10 day time period, my team shrank from 15 people down to 3. I hobbled along with that the best I could while we tried to hire new people, but the new owners were offering so little that we had trouble finding people. After 3 months or so of that, I started to get fed up and overwhelmed. When the owners started to get on me about missed deadlines, I had had it. We were still only at 5 people, 2 of which were brand new and still training. They didn’t allow me to refuse work or push deadlines out. They expected the same output as a 15 person team. So after my third day in a row of being berated for missing a deadline that was impossible to make, I quit.”
Left Them High And Dry
“For me it wasn’t what happened, but what didn’t happen. We were making only about $2 above minimum wage (around $11) to do tech support for a web-based startup. A college degree was required for the position, so we all had large amounts of student loan debt to pay off, but we weren’t really making enough to do so and still pay for rent, groceries, and other life expenses. Three of us (there were four in addition to me) had other part-time jobs in addition to this full time, 40-hour per week position, because we couldn’t survive otherwise. Every other position in the company was being paid quite a bit more, so we didn’t exactly feel valued.
We got sick of this and were talking with each other how abysmal the pay was, in addition to less than glamorous (and often frustrating) work. We also didn’t get any PTO or bonuses, and there was pretty little momentum for moving up in the company. So at our next team meeting, we asked our supervisor if we could discuss our pay grade and the opportunity for a raise. We had all started at the same time, during a very busy time of the company, as it was undergoing a platform transition, and there were no higher members on our team aside from our supervisor. We felt like we had all put in good work and deserved equal recognition.
Our supervisor flipped out at us, saying that we should never talk about our compensation with any coworkers, and that we could potentially get a raise in a year or so, but that our inability to pay expenses wasn’t the company’s concern. So of all us found other jobs and bounced within the next two months, leaving them to start over with a brand-new staff during the busiest season of the year.”
“I worked at a really terrible law office in a small town while doing my articles. It had been recently thrown together by a retired CEO who bought up all the retiring lawyers’ practices. Looks like he wanted to be the boss in a working retirement. Everyone that worked there was great. We had a good lawyer, great assistants and good support staff.
Then there was Karen (not her real name, but close enough). She had been brought on because she was the assistant to one of the retiring lawyers. She was old and nasty, but sucked up to the boss enough that he trusted her. I was forced to work with Karen every day, and she made my life awful for three months. She refused to answer questions, refused to train me after the first week, and gave me conflicting instructions. If I messed something up (I was learning after all), she would tell the boss whenever I wasn’t around. Whenever she messed anything up, she would blame it on me when I wasn’t around.
After three months I was let go, because Karen had made the boss so suspicious of me that he felt he couldn’t trust me to do any work. Turned out to be a huge blessing. I got a much better position. Success is the best revenge and all that.
I met up with one of the other lawyers that worked there a few years down the road. It turns out, after I left, Karen had no punching bag and so she started taking it out on one of the other clerks, driving her out of the firm. Then she did it to another one. Then all the other lawyers left except for the boss. Eventually the boss had to hire all new staff. They’re still struggling along, but they have high turn over and I now know why.”
“We got bought out. Our president said, ‘They want us for what we do, they’re not looking to make changes.’
Then he bailed with the several million he got for selling us. Our new overlords said, ‘We’re not going to be changing anything, we want everything to keep going as is!’
Then they replaced all of our laptops with locked-down versions where we couldn’t even install software (and we’re a software development company). They blocked access to our coding system. They said, ‘We have the means to help ensure you are fully funded and able to grow!’
Then they denied us regular raises. And refused to pay for ‘promotions’. They cut our recruiting budget. They yelled at us for having our yearly Christmas party. They put a stop to welcome luncheons and occasional catered lunches. They told us, ‘Great job in the work you’ve done obtaining these huge new customers! We’ve surpassed our expected profits!’
Then in our performance reports, they told us we only performed at 61% of what they expected and used it as justification to deny us bonuses. Then they gutted all the networking in our office and replaced it with their own. Our ethernet cables no longer function, and the Wi-Fi is incredibly slow when it works at all. It drops a solid 20 times a day.
We lost over half of our office, and management refused to acknowledge a problem. When we finally managed to replace everyone that left, we were at a point where we didn’t have enough desks for everyone. For 8 months, we had to force people to work from home simply because there was nowhere to sit. We could have gotten by with more desks (we had some floor space we could use), but management refused.
Finally, we got more space for desks. A couple months later they install sensors on our desks to monitor when they’re used. They want to find all the desks that aren’t used all day and use them as ‘hotel’ desks. So now, I’m expecting to come in any day and find my name has been removed from the desk and some random guy sitting there.
I have never seen a corporate office so disconnected with the needs of the employees. I got all the responsibilities with the promise of payment, and management kept delaying it over and over. Eat my poo.”
“Almost Comically Radioactive”
“We had a massive over-reliance on institutional knowledge. Basically, it was company policy not to bother documenting anything, never to create procedures, never to get ‘wrapped around the axle’ by planning, etc. So the jobs basically lurched from crisis to crisis aimlessly, in the name of being biased towards action and not getting bogged down by bureaucracy.
As a result, getting anything at all done meant finding the person who already had the knowledge in their head, and relying on them to remember how they addressed a specific issue previously. Annual maintenance was basically a scheduled crisis, with everyone fumbling to remember exactly what they did a year ago. We would desperately try to adapt memories of previous crises into a solution for the current crisis.
Then one day, a multi-decade employee got sick of the dysfunction and left for greener pastures. This gaping hole meant that simple problems became actual crises, and genuine crises became group hysterics. This made an already toxic environment almost comically radioactive, and within two or three months, over three quarters of the department had left the company.”
“I worked at a VERY small nonprofit. This was the kind of place that doesn’t pay a living wage, but routinely asks all the employees to donate and to invite their families and friends to fundraisers, to have them donate. It got out that the executive director, who never showed up and falsified her time cards, was making almost $100k (10% of the entire annual budget), and on top of that had finagled a $10k annual car allowance. She already drove a Lexus. She also hand-picked every board member and deemed the monthly meetings closed to the employees. She is a horrible person.
There were certainly a lot of times I thought about writing the board, or even a letter to the editor to out her. However, the one thing she did do right was stacking the deck with some really great employees, whose life’s work was to help people. The mission of the nonprofit was great. We worked with families and children. A letter to the editor would have devastated that place and put some really great people in a bad spot, possibly unemployed. The life lesson I took away was this: what goes around doesn’t always come around. And I can’t be the enforcer of such.”
“Perfect Storm For Stress”
“I worked at Toys R Us a few years ago. They had a rule where an employee could not approach a customer if they saw them steal something. The employee had to witness it, then get a manager who then also had to witness it. And since the only cameras that worked were pointed at the cash registers to make sure the cashiers didn’t steal, hardly anyone got caught.
One day, a girl was walking to the break room and saw a lady put multiple things into her baby stroller, which was weirdly empty. She was attempting to the leave the store, but didn’t bother buying anything to throw off suspicion. She just tried to walk out. The girl confronted her, and when she tried to run, the employee grabbed her arm. This thief even scratched her arm. I was outside getting carts when I saw the lady bolt out of the store into traffic. The manager was even on duty, but refused to do anything about it. I was called into the manager’s office and told not to go after the thief at all, not even alert the authorities. Another hour went by, and the girl who confronted the thief was fired. She was well liked by everyone. Since management cared more about their employees stealing than customers, all but three people quit. Side note, this happened during the holiday season. It was just a perfect storm for stress cause by management.”
Fake It ‘Til He Made It
“Our call center management promoted a guy to supervisor, who was clearly a sociopath. It turned out that everyone had individually been going to the manager above our supervisor with our complaints, so management knew perfectly well what was going on, but they just didn’t care. From a team of 12, 3 people quit, 2 people changed departments, and 4 people had nervous breakdowns, including one addiction relapse.
Our supervisor was so anti-praise that it was clear his efforts were something his manager was making him do. As part of this initiative, when my supervisor pulled me for our 1-on-1 performance review, he simply said, ‘Now is where I’m supposed to say something nice.’
He starts digging through metrics for a few minutes (keep in mind, I won a national award for my role in the company two months prior), then just gives up. He simply says, ‘You annoy me less than the others.’
And he pulls up some more metrics and spends the rest of the meeting criticizing other people on the team behind their backs.
This guy even faked a bad annual performance reviews, and when I called him out for it, he barely changed. He kept all the scores as they were, but he just made his comments more vague. Employees had severely low scores, with details suggesting they barely interacted with their supervisor. This supervisor’s team surveys were so low that two levels of management came down to have a chat with us about the scores. They opened the floor for feedback, and everyone was afraid to say anything. Management said, ‘It’s okay, we understand it can be scary to speak in front of a group. Feel free to email your feedback to us. But only if you CC your supervisor.’
I bet that worked out great.”
Skate Park Wipeout
The management of the skate park I used to work at deserved to fail. It was an indoor skate park that only existed for maybe three years. The owner was a rich monster with no social skills, whose spoiled kid was a skateboarder. The guy thought that opening a skate park was a great ‘get-richer-quick’ scheme. He had zero passion for skateboarding already. Never mind that kids and teenagers don’t have a ton of money to spend on something they can do outside for free. This guy was one hundred percent sure his plan would succeed.
He was classic middle-aged businessman trying to make a place hip for the kids, but with no idea of what they actually needed. It looked like a lame mall, charged more than your average bowling alley, charged patrons for the drinking water, and had no realistic monitoring system in place. There was no way to ensure there weren’t too many kids skating at once, or that kids would leave when their time was up. They treated the customers as entirely disposable, and they treated their young staff even worse.
On top of that, the older guys they hired as managers were absolutely creeps and would hit on the teenage girls who also worked there. After one of the managers referred to my 17-year-old friend by saying she, ‘looks like she knows how to ride it rough’, about a half dozen of us decided to quit. I’m sorry I didn’t kick the guy’s butt looking back on it. I was glad to find out that a few months later, the guy was thrown over a table by another teenager and had the stuffing kicked out of him for making similar comments.”