Relationships with coworkers are an interesting thing. They can be the best of friends, or the worst of friends. During the course of the work day, many interactions occur between coworkers. Occasionally, these interactions might leave a sour taste in someone's mouth. Just ask these Redditors.
Workers on Reddit share the moment they lost respect for a co-worker. Content has been edited for clarity.
Afraid Of The Customer
“My manager doing what I just told a customer we can’t do because of policy.
‘I want to return this gift card, it doesn’t work,’ the customer said.
‘We can’t do that, we do not do returns on gift cards because we can not verify the balance. If there is an issue with the gift card you need to contact Visa and have them solve the issue,’ I replied.
My computer system is even set up so that if you try to return it like you are supposed to, it’ll tell you to get lost. Customer asks for manager and manager just gives her the value of card plus the fee by returning it as a ‘Non-taxable Item.’
The reason it’s policy is that it’s a scam, and they want to double dip. They used the card, and they want to see if they can get the cash they just spent back again.
And of course the customer came back two more times and asked to return the card again and again. In total, she got $615 because my manager is such a idiot and so scared of getting negative reviews.”
“I Was So Stunned”
“A college girl I worked with at a restaurant on campus bragged about how she told off a manager who politely asked her to order or leave at a restaurant downtown where she was studying and not buying anything. She told him that the whole town is her library, and the only reason he had a job was because of students like her (college town), and that she was going to college to do something meaningful with her life and make a difference so she wouldn’t end up a sad restaurant manager like him.
I was so stunned I couldn’t say anything. I have never heard anything more bratty and self-entitled in my life.”
“An Awful Human Being”
“At my previous job, my boss would only hire her friends (except me, I was the only exception). One of my coworkers called off one day because she had a miscarriage. She messaged her being a supportive friend, while talking trash about the entire situation openly to other coworkers. She made miscarriage jokes, called her a liar, and offered to drive her to the doctor (telling her it was to make sure she was okay, but telling us it was to ‘figure out what the heck was wrong with her that her body kept aborting babies’).
She was saying all of this while customers were in the store, and could easily hear. Customers that could have had a miscarriage, who could have been hurt by what she was saying. The entire situation was messed up. It ended by her being mad that the girl never showed up for work, that she stole $100 and blamed it on her. Girl quit because she couldn’t pay that money back to keep her job, and the boss got $100.
There was actually so many more situations that made me lose every bit of respect for her and then some. She’s just an awful human being.”
“The Most Heartless Women Ever”
“I worked at a daycare for over a year. One of my coworkers (we’ll call her ‘Katy’) had a baby, and would call out of work many times because of her child being sick. Prior to having this child, she barely called out. Even with her child constantly sick, when she was at work she performed awesomely. Anyways, the management would constantly gossip and say they were tired of her excuses for not coming to work. The last time I saw Katy was when she was fired. We come into work, and she tells me our manager made her and the baby come in even though the baby was terribly sick. She said all day, her baby was in the classroom down the hall vomiting, feverish and not acting like herself.
Katy was very upset about this. Katy asked to leave an hour early which one of managers says ‘Welcome to parenthood,’ followed with a ‘no.’ Katy ended up leaving early, and management pretty much packed her baby’s stuff up and shouted at Katy for being upset because they were mad she had to leave early. Well they fired her because of that.
Two months later, that beautiful baby girl was diagnosed with blood cancer. Everyone at work was devastated and the same lady that pretty much fired her called her to apologize for her daughter’s sickness. The nerve! Anyways, another coworker set up a GoFundMe account which raised massive amounts of money for Katy’s little girl, while management walked around acting as if Katy and her little girl never existed. Now, two years after the diagnosis, Katy’s little girl is cancer free and doing way better!
I definitely quit not long after being pregnant and coming back to that job after maternity leave. The management were the most heartless women ever and even had kids of their own. Guess they couldn’t care less about anyone or their kids but themselves and their family.”
“I worked with what I thought was a petty group of people. My boss would complain about coworkers the instant they left the room, she could complain about anything. So I decided to apply for another job.
At the interview, the interviewer noted my current employer and asked, ‘Who do you hate most at (job)?’
‘I don’t make it a point to hold grudges or gossip, thanks for your time, and good luck in your search.’ I said as I left.
Apparently, the woman used to work with my boss and didn’t learn from her experience, but instead, took the petty with her.
I’m back in grad school now, I’m broke but I’m so glad I don’t work for either of those miserable people.”
Not Funny At All
“There used to be a homeless man that would sleep outside the pizza place I used to work at. Never bothered anyone, never asked for food, though we did offer him some when we had leftover pies. Middle of winter, he stopped coming around.
Couple weeks later, coworker tells me him and his friends dumped water on him while he was sleeping for no reason, thinking I would think it was funny. Yeah, no.”
“I’ve Never Seen That”
“A coworker was crying in the kitchen at work (like scared hiccough snotty crying) because she was so afraid of our boss, who would fly off the handle and be a complete bully – like he’d start screaming and yelling and then progress to really quiet intimidating threats. I tried to be supportive, I told her it was going to be okay, and she didn’t have to put up with this. I asked her to come with me to HR, and I’d stay with her while she filed a complaint.
Her response was to get furious at me and snap at me, she said something like ‘I would never do that!’
She then rubbed her eyes and stormed out.
I remember thinking: People like you are why people like him get away with being abusive at work. You enable it because you’re a coward. Afterwards, I thought maybe I’d been too harsh on her – I figured she was just scared and had been so cowed by him that she was basically acting like an abused spouse.
My initial judgment proved correct, however, because as time went on three senior managers in different departments (my boss’s equals) complained about his behavior, as well as at least four other junior employees in other departments after he’d tried to bully them or had full on harassed them (both with aggressive behavior and with inappropriate behavior). His behavior towards me eventually got so bad that I had to file a formal complaint too – threatening me in person and by email/phone on the weekends, shouting in my face, then being extremely touchy-feely, inviting me to go on non-work trips with him as his ‘PA’ – the worst roller coaster ever. One minute all over me, the next minute accusing me of being a workshy brat.
HR asked my snivelling coworker to come in to confirm that she had witnessed his behavior towards me (not even towards herself, because they knew all about it but she had point-blank refused to say anything even when asked by HR).
She looked at me, looked at the HR Director and said, ‘I’ve never seen that. I’m not saying … she’s lying or anything. I’ve just never seen that.’
One of the senior management started referring to her as Eva Braun after that. She chose to actively support and enable a person who was making everyone’s lives miserable, and because she wouldn’t confirm what he was doing he got away with it. Over time, he realized she was the only one who was under his thumb, so he eased up on her and she became his ‘pet.’ She used to intentionally tell him untrue things she knew would send him into a rage at other people, to make sure his temper was directed at anyone but her.
So my initial writing-off of her ended up being justified. Any time I think of her I just feel such contempt.”
“You’re Smarter Than This”
“I worked with a guy who I never liked that much to begin with (I thought he was a little of a brat), but I never had any problems with him.
Until on his last day at work, with just me and my manager there, he starts going on about how Sandy Hook was a conspiracy theory and started pulling all this stuff out of his butt. He started talking about how the response times from the police station were apparently too quick (they weren’t), and started saying how first responders couldn’t possibly get there that fast. I had to tell him my dad is a first responder and they absolutely can get there that fast.
Even my manager, who is normally impartial, was pretty well disgusted.
All he had to say was ‘Come on man, you’re smarter than this.'”
How Could He Say That?
“A woman I worked with committed suicide. Her life was a mess, and it was really sad. One of the guys, a born again Christian, said, ‘Well, she’s going straight to purgatory.’
I just looked at him and said, ‘Don’t you think God would forgive someone whose life is so scrambled that they saw no out but killing themselves.’
He just looked at me like I had a third eye in the middle of my forehead then stated matter-of-factly, ‘If you commit suicide, you go there. It says so in the Bible.’
The only one going there here is the guy who has zero empathy or sympathy for someone whose sadness ran so deep that they felt the need to kill themselves, buddy.”
“I Didn’t Know What To Say”
“When I was enlisted, I was put on a work detail with some soldiers and NCOs from across my squadron. One of the NCOs, hereafter referred to as ‘Sgt K,’ I had worked with prior and we had become work-friendly. Before this incident, I considered him a generally well-to-do, good person.
We were on the detail and a civilian that was in charge of the range we were on comes up to us and tells us he needs us to do something different, things changed. Ok, cool, let’s move and get that done. Let me mention now, the civilian was an older black man.
As soon as the civilian was out of earshot, Sgt K leans over to me and says ‘Freaking n-word, amiright?’
At first, I wasn’t even sure he actually said that and then he says, ‘Can’t stand ’em man.’
I didn’t know what to say and shot him a mixed puzzled/disgusted face. In seconds, he changed how I felt about him and my opinion of him.
To make it even worse, four of the soldiers we were working with that day were black and one of those soldiers was Sgt K’s (guy worked for and reported to Sgt K on a daily basis).”
Not A Good Mentor
“I work at a software company, coworker was mentoring an intern.
Intern had a project, coworker was responsible for providing functional definition for the project and then they would simulate a beginning to end development of the project. Coworker gave the intern very incomplete information and little to no guidance. Intern failed at the project and coworker proceeded to blame the intern in front of management for the failure and talk about how she just wasn’t doing a quality job, and how the project was a failure. His excuse was that she should have asked questions about the incomplete functionality – the information that was missing she would not know was missing unless she had a bunch of experience with the product…there was simply no way for her to succeed.
I went to management afterwards and told them the whole thing. They assured me they would talk to him and would take care of it…then promoted him a short while later to a management position.
He lost my respect entirely, and the manager that promoted him lost a lot of my respect as well.”
She Was Doing Her Job
“About a year ago, I found out a coworker seriously berated one of our hospital’s baristas for not taking her coffee phone order when she called (they aren’t allowed to do so, and she nicely explained so; this barista is currently our employee of the month and I’ve never seen her be anything but kind so I believe her).
When she showed up to order a drink, she was on her mobile and, since they also have a policy of not taking orders until people are off their phones, she just stood quietly waiting for her to end her call.
My coworker shifted her phone away from her mouth and asked ‘What? So now you aren’t going to help me in person either?’
Respect lost. I heard this from the barista (who was nearly in tears) right before going into a group meeting with aforementioned coworker. Her behavior was totally normal during the meeting (As in, no excuse for being in a terrible mood or something. No excuse!!).”
“Was on a business trip with a guy who used to work for me; let’s call him Donald. Donald and I had never traveled together before. At the airport, someone inadvertently dropped a $20 bill on the ground right in front of us. Donald got to it first, picked it up, and went to put it in his pocket rather than call to the person who’d dropped it.
I immediately called over the guy who’d dropped the money so Donald would have to give it back. The guy was appreciative. Donald didn’t comment, apologize, explain, anything.
Pocketing money that you could easily have given back to the person who dropped it — not a great statement on one’s ethics. Doing it in front of your boss — just stupid. I prefer to hire people who are neither unethical nor stupid.”
Not As It Seems
“Someone I work used to work with is a former Marine, which usually garners a decent amount of respect since my own father was a Marine as well. He hadn’t let himself go, and in a workplace full of people who are lazy, act unintelligent and are unmotivated, he was actually really intelligent and spoke impeccably.
I learned later through interactions with him that he’s cheating on his wife and kids with his children’s babysitter, who actually works at the same place. Given my families history with infidelity, almost all respect for him was dropped.”
“So I was working the grill at work, slow day but I was cooking up some hamburger and still had blood on my gloves from putting them out. An order for a hot dog comes back, I acknowledge it but due to the blood, cross contamination and me knowing what I’m doing I elect to take care of the blood before I do anything about that order.
‘Whenever you get an order, you should just go ahead and take care of it,’ Was the exact thing he said as he saw me toss some bloody paper, plastic and prepare to change gloves.
‘I know, I was just taking care of the blood and changing my gloves,’ I replied.
‘Why? Just grab it. Put it on the grill and get back to whatever you’re doing,’ I was told.
Now, I didn’t listen to him. Instead, I took off my gloves and he put the hot-dog on the grill since he was already there. And as an explanation for people who might not understand the significance of this: they were beef patties, and pork hot dogs, and while 90% of the time those two things can go together without a fuss, in a restaurant you shouldn’t do it unless there is an actual need for it. One because if the health department heard or saw it, we’d be closed down and drop from a 100 score, down to like 60 (the doors shut at 65-70 I believe.)
Two, he was trying to tell me not to even change my gloves at all, which would mean if someone came in wanting a burger and could not eat pork, all the burgers I had touched after that hot dog would get them sick or at least very mad.
Three, just like pork it’s possible to be allergic to beef, and if the lady wanting a hot-dog is because she can’t eat beef got a contaminated hot-dog, she’d get sick and very easily point to us as the ones that effectively poisoned her. And thus, my respect for him as a ‘professional’ chef went out the window.
Since then, he’s demonstrated that he has no idea what artisan bread is or how to make it, no basic knife skills/etiquette, no idea what half the recipes we use are, and a load of other things that anyone whose worked in a restaurant half as long as he has should have a vague idea about.”
“We Were Done Forever”
“A couple of years ago, I suffered a miscarriage. There was retained tissue which took repeated trips to the hospital to sort, and made what was an already incredibly difficult time that much harder to bear. My workplace is ordinarily very strict when it comes to sickness absence but pregnancy related absence doesn’t count against your sickness record. From start to finish, my miscarriage ordeal lasted seven weeks (nearly as long as my pregnancy had lasted), and I had a total of two weeks off work during that time. My boss was very supportive and understanding and I cried on her shoulder more times than I can count.
Fast-forward to last year, when my boss lost a parent to cancer. In the couple months leading up to the death, my workplace had done what they could to support my boss – giving her paid time off (which didn’t count towards sickness or vacation time), letting her work flexible hours and shortened hours so she could be with her parent at the hospital, and gave her a week off paid compassionate leave when her parent died. After the week’s worth of compassionate leave was over, my boss did not feel ready to return to work right away so management offered her the choice of either taking it from her vacation time or taking it as sick leave, since she was not fit for work. My boss did a combination of the two.
My boss objected to this massively and when she was back in the office, right in front of me, complained to my coworker, ‘I’d have had more time off if I’d had a freaking miscarriage.’
I’d always had my issues with her but right then, I knew we were done forever.”
An Interesting Conversation
“As a very young man, I worked for an engineer and draftsman who was super inspiring and very empirical in his methods. He cut steel to .001+/- .001 tolerances and was old enough to design on the board by hand. Dude was seriously old school. But he also had adopted CAD (this was like 1990… right when that stuff was coming on hard) and he owned many of the younger engineers with their fancy techniques. Dude could spot a trapped condition or design flaw on the tube from 100 meters. He often frustrated the executives, because he knew what was going to happen well in advance as they made poor decisions purely due to ignorance and making promises that steel just couldn’t keep.
He even told them… ‘Nope. That’s not going to happen.’ Dudes in suits hate hearing that. They called him a McDonald’s employee who would give you a Quarter Pounder when you’d ordered a Big Mac.
Anyway, dude knew his stuff, and I learned a ton from him. He was a scientist.
Then one day he told me that the Earth was 6,000 years old. All of the people and the various animal species had been saved from God’s wrath in a flood and we all floated to shore about 3,000 years ago. Everything on Earth is about ~5,300 years old.
Wow… talk about instant and total reversal of respect. I was surprised by that. Here’s this guy who lives his life by numbers and measurements… and yet he still subscribes to a weird mythology. I mean, I wouldn’t even have been upset if he at least was like total Christian, but not a 6K Earth guy (I was raised in a Christian household). But he was convinced. Earth and Creation are ~6K years old, and any other doctrine is not just false, but is also heresy. I mean, he got angry about it.
Not All For Him
“A coworker scooped up whole tray of cookies (wholesale club size) left in the break room after Thanksgiving Day. All of this, while two or three people were waiting behind him eager to get a sample. Oh, and a bag full of walnuts too justifying the act saying he would like to munch them on the long commute driving home from work.”