If an hour of your labor can be defined by a wage, then how much is your dignity? These workers share the moment that made them say “Enough is enough” and quit right there on the spot.
IKEA? I Quit!
“I worked as a delivery man for IKEA the year after I finished my conscription. They had just recently set up in my town, and had some excellent deals on delivery, which people used to the fullest extent.
So my partner and I used to get the trucks prepacked, and our job was to drive it to the customer and unload. The rule was basically that we should deliver it to the correct room, but nothing more than that.
The day starts being odd because we only have one address on our paper, when there’s usually about five or six. This turned out to be correct because it was to a family that had ordered absolutely everything from IKEA to a two-story house. Beds, sofas, desks, every machine for the kitchen, washer, dryer and so on. I don’t remember exactly but it was a few tons of stuff being delivered.
One item caught my eye: Two marble counter tops, with a total weight of 600 kg (that is about 1300 pounds for any colonials reading). It could not be right, so I forgot about it for a minute.
When we get to the house, the whole family was there — not to help us of course (because the husband had a sore back) but rather to inspect our job. They insisted that we line up every single packet with the label in a direction so they could inspect the delivery before we left. This was even after my partner explained to them that if there is anything wrong with the delivered packets they had to report it to IKEA, since we only deliver and can’t bring anything back.
They of course refused to listen, and instead ran around looking at labels before we even emptied the truck, hoping to somehow get a correct count of every item while also really being in the way while we moved stuff. This almost escalated to a violent confrontation with the husband.”
It’s Just A Joke! Chill Out, Lady!
“I accidentally scanned the next woman’s deli meat because she hadn’t put a divider on the belt. The current customer said, nicely, that it wasn’t hers and I voided it. The next woman seemed agitated and complained again. I joked ‘I forgot my mind reading glasses at home. Next time I guess you’ll have to use the divider.’ other customers chuckled but the lady turned red and raised her voice ‘WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY’
I said, ‘Don’t worry about it, it was just a silly joke.’
I started scanning her stuff and she calls the customer service desk from her cell phone and starts telling a very dramatic version of my scanning and joke. The manager walks over after realizing this psycho is in the store. The woman is complaining about me and looking over and occasionally saying ‘Oh, double bag that one.’
I had zoned her out and looked up to see her and the manager looking at me expectantly. The manager says, ‘Well?’
‘What?’ I asked.
The manager says the woman wants an apology. ‘Oh! Sorry.’ I said super nonchalantly then asked her if she was ready to pay. This ticked the woman off even more, that I was not crying from embarrassment or fear. She paid and starts yelling again as she’s walking backwards out of the store, to me ‘I hope whatever made you this way gets better!’
Yep, okay. Buh-bye, lady.
Manager pulled me aside and asked ‘What do you have to say for yourself?’
I replied in that same calm tone ‘I don’t need this in my life.’
‘Excuse me?’ she retorted.
‘That customer was rude and unstable. She was drawing attention from other customers and detracting from their experience. She clearly was looking for an argument and nothing I could say would change that. The most I could do was ring her up and tell her to have a nice day,’ I replied.
The manager shrugged and said, just remember that sometimes we can’t say what we want to– and then walked off. I probably lasted another week before I said sayonara.s”
What Happened In There?!
“I was managing a fairly nice restaurant. It was a ‘white tablecloth’ place, good food, and average checks for two people well over 90 bucks (25 years ago!).
A woman called me over to the door to the ladies room and whispered ‘You need to look in the ladies room!’ in an urgent tone of voice. I went into the ladies, and immediately the smell of feces assaulted my nostrils. Whatever was going on in the stall, clearly there was feces out in the open air.
When I opened the stall door, I was greeted with a sight that I still can’t explain. The tank of the toilet and the wall around it were covered in what I can only describe as aeresolized poo. It looked like someone had filled a paint sprayer with liquid poo, and sprayed it evenly in a three or four foot radius centering on the toilet. I have had diarrhea before, even explosive diarrhea; I know things can happen. Even so, I still don’t quite get how this was anatomically possible, as the center of the blast appeared to be at roughly waist level for the average woman. It was awful.
To make matters worse, the restaurant was extremely busy and was going to be so for the next several hours, based on our reservations for that night. There was no way I could get my dishwasher to come out of the dishroom to clean this mess, that would have killed us for the next few hours. Once your disher gets behind, that has negative ripple effects on a restaurant’s kitchen and table service that can’t be overstated.
I knew all that, and I was wearing a suit. I took off my jacket and tie, rolled up my sleeves, and spent the next half hour scouring all the surfaces in that bathroom clean of poo spray. When I finished, I then obsessively washed my hands and arms, as I was paranoid that I was going to actually smell like trash for the rest of the night.
I made okay money at that job, however I definitely did not get paid enough to do that, ugh.”
Don’t Work At Petco
“I worked for Petco a little over a decade ago, and while there were any number of atrocities, it was actually a relatively small incident that pushed me over the edge.
My tipping point came one day when a customer wanted to purchase a goldfish.
As per policy, I was required to ask them how big their tank was, how long it had been running, and how many fish they had in it. If they had more than one inch of fish per gallon of tank, we were supposed to refuse the sale.
This customer was over the fish/water rule, but barely, and the type of fish she had in there would be fine with the addition of another fish. Regardless, I suggested that they increase their tank size in the near future- not that day, nor even in our store if they had a preferred shop.
The man (there was both a man and a woman) glared at me, and spat out, ‘Excuse me? I know how to run a tank.’
I nodded, then told him that I was glad he knew what he was doing, and that many people don’t, so I make sure to mention that.
He stormed off, leaving just the woman and myself.
As I was catching the fish they wanted, I said to the lady, ‘If you could let him know that I’m required to ask those questions, and didn’t mean any offense, that would be-‘
She interrupted with the best ‘I want to speak to a manager!’ tone I’ve ever heard.
‘Let me put this in perspective for you.’ She walked over, wagging her finger at me and smirking.
Before she could get the rest of her sentence out, I piped up.
‘Which perspective would you like? The one where I have a four year degree and had to take a job working for minimum wage, or the one where I have almost 20 years experience and still have to deal with people like you?’
I dumped her fish back, and washed my hands.
Of course, the next sentence was, ‘I need to speak with your manager, NOW!’
‘Go ahead, I’ll call her over. Policy states that I wasn’t supposed to sell you that fish anyway.’
She stormed off.
It was both the most satisfying interaction I ever had with a rude customer, and the moment it clicked that I absolutely did not make enough to put up with all the nonsense the job handed me.”
Making $3.50 An Hour Selling Louis Vuitton?
“In college I was studying Law, Politics and English Literature.
I was working part-time as a retailer, with an annual wage of $5,000 at $3.48 an hour. I was 16-years-old at the time.
One day, this very eccentric woman entered the store practically dragging her child by the hand. She immediately started scouring the store, evidently in search for something specific. I was kind of loitering at the time and my supervisor asked me to approach her, I reluctantly agreed and began to walk up to her.
Our conversation was the following:
Me: ‘Hi ma’am, is there a particular item you’re looking for?’
Her: ‘Yes, I’m looking for the Monogram Coated Keepall bag.’
This is a very expensive, limited edition Louis Vuitton bag that had recently come out at the time. It was selling rapidly and retailed for around $2,000 – probably even more now.
Me: ‘Ah yes, it’s over here by the display piece.’
I led her to the display piece and the moment she recognizes the bag she begins beelining towards it.
This was the very last one we had in the store. Just like in the movies, another woman picked up the bag before she could get her hands on it and proceeded to checkout.
The woman was visibly upset and I began to get a little nervous.
Me: ‘I’m sorry ma’am, but that would appear to be the last one.’
Her: ‘Ugh, whatever. I’ll come back later, when will it be back in stock?’
Me: ‘Unfortunately, seen as it’s limited edition, it likely will never come back, and if it does, it won’t be for a long time.’
Her child was in the makeup section playing with the testers.
The woman went bright red and approached the woman who obtained the bag first and began pleading with her. To which she replied with something along the lines of:
‘No, sorry. It’s the last one and I’ve been waiting for weeks.’
The woman became increasingly persistent and the woman whom she was harassing was becoming visibly irritated. After failing to persuade her to hand over the bag, the persistence turned into anger.
Eventually she snapped at the woman, it wasn’t necessarily loud, but it was definitely clear her patience was wearing thin.
The woman with the handbag rightly snapped back and loudly said:
‘Bug off, you crazy hag.’
The woman noticed me staring and at this point was choleric. She hastily made her way towards me and began literally shoving me, exclaiming:
‘This is your fault! If you had been faster, I would have my bag!’
I replied: ‘Ma’am, I’m sorry, but this is not my fault.’
Her response? A cold, hard slap in the face. I was taken aback, I couldn’t believe I had literally been assaulted over a handbag.
My supervisor came over and began trying to placate her but to no avail. Her screaming remained persistent and she was refusing to leave.
We eventually called security who also asked her to leave and she (once again) refused. They had to physically remove her from the store with my supervisor following behind with her child. The woman screamed like a banshee throughout.
We informed her that she was banned and if she entered the store again we would contact the police. Fortunately, this was enough to deter her.
I left that job shortly after.
I was seriously considering pressing charges or perhaps suing her. However, I didn’t want to be responsible for separating a child from her mother and a lawsuit would have been tedious.
I was just happy to be done with it. I felt genuinely humiliated during the ordeal, like I somehow caused it.”
Crazies At Chick-fil-A
“It was a busy Saturday in the summer working the drive-through at Chick-fil-A.
On this particular day, our parking lot had gotten sealed and the lines were repainted in fresh white paint. I couldn’t help but notice how sharp it looked when I went into work that day!
As customers dwindled in the drive-through into the late afternoon, a woman pulled up ready to speak. The first words out of her mouth were regarding our parking lot. I was expecting her to compliment us on how nice it looks since it was redone.
Boy, was I wrong…
This woman, like customers do frequently, got confused by our one-way parking lot (which is labeled with arrows and signs). She mistook the drive-through (which is also labeled) for the exit and was stuck in the drive-through line for six minutes at the very most.
This woman was livid at ME for how poorly our parking lot was designed. And of course, she told me she wasn’t coming back to our restaurant.
I was so shocked that I didn’t say anything except ‘Have a nice day.’ In my head I was thinking, ‘Yes, the next time I, a 16-year-old fast-food employee, decides to design and engineer a parking lot for a restaurant, I will do it so much better.’
The thing I hate most about customers like this is how cowardly they are. She was negligent; she got stuck in the drive-through because she didn’t read the signs, yet she had the nerve to blame me and then speed off. She was too scared to confront the issue so she bolted.”
Just A Day As A Mortician…
“I’m a mortician, so you already know this will be good.
I was embalming a body, pretty standard case, and then it was time for the last step.
That is where we take a long hollow tube called a trocar, about the diameter of a magic marker and two feet long with a very sharp tip, and we insert this into the abdomen about an inch above the navel and slightly to the right.
Then we attach this to a long tube which is attached to a suction machine, and we aspirate all the blood, pleural fluid, and anything in the bladder and intestines. We move the tube in kind of a fan-shaped pattern both above and below the navel, trying to pierce every organ.
I was aspirating the stomach and bowels when the tube came loose from the machine. I got sprayed in the face with everything that exists in a person’s gut. Like many embalmers I can sometimes be a little lax about face and eye protection…
I said a loud profanity and stood there for several minutes contemplating graduate school.
I got paid $100 that day.”
“I was on shift as Loss Prevention at Ross Dress for Less. My actual position there was cashier, but they would often put me on the schedule to fill in for that role.
It was kinda annoying though, because Loss Prevention gets paid at a higher rate than a cashier. Yet when I was scheduled for it my pay rate stayed the same.
Everything was going well and I just clocked in. Not even five minutes later… a mother walks up to me and she was so mad. She had her little son with her and she was holding him by the wrist all jacked up; like she was trying to keep it away from her and himself. I didn’t see anything on his hand though.
And she says ‘You all need to clean your awful restrooms and I’m going to call corporate on you. Where’s the manager?’
Her voice was shaky and I could tell she was having a hard time trying not to yell at me.
The manager, being nearby and hearing this immediately dashed over. So while she talked to the customer, I rushed straight to the male restroom to see what the problem was.
And as soon as I stepped in I was trapped…
There was poop smeared EVERYWHERE: the mirror, sink, faucet, wall, and even the SOAP DISPENSER
I was disgusted! I looked around for a second thinking to myself, ‘Thank God it’s just this area!’
Then I turned around to leave and God was with me. I had almost reached for the door handle which was full of poop. I was so relieved that I saw it before grabbing, it because naturally- who hesitates or thinks twice about it? I could’ve easily made that mistake. I’m guessing that was this kid’s misfortune.
I DEFINITELY wasn’t grabbing that door handle barehanded. And I DEFINITELY wasn’t cleaning that. So I turned around to check the stalls for toilet paper so I could wad it into a sort of mitt to open the door.
And ALL of the rolls had been unloaded into the toilets.
WHAT. ON. EARTH.
At this moment I realized I was trapped. Thankfully I had a radio so I could call in for help. Another associate opened the door from the outside and let me out and we quarantined it off.
**Closed for the day**
To this day I still (wonder if/highly doubt) that person cleaned their hands after leaving poop on the door handle! He couldn’t have left that restroom with clean hands.
At this point it’s really hard to imagine that there isn’t any doodie smeared anywhere else in the store. They probably smeared their hands on clothes and other merchandise.
From that day forward I rarely touched anything and I only went to the restroom to do mandatory checks. And of course, I entered more cautiously.
I literally didn’t get paid enough for that.”
“I had this lousy job with a buddy of mine. It was a lot of stress for very little money, but the economy had just tanked so you kept what you had. He had just had a baby, and his fiance was probably in postpartum depression. Between that and hurting his back real bad, he started boozin’ pretty heavily.
It got to the point where it was affecting his work, and I had to cover for him. He was showing up to work wasted, drinking at work, going into itfs of rage. He was starting to drag me down with him. I had to do something.
One day, he buys a new car, and tries to drive it into work without tags or insurance, because he wants to show it off. A stupid thing to do. He gets pulled over, the car gets towed, and he calls me to say he’s going to be a few hours late to work.
This was such a stupid thing, that I put my foot down. Something had to be done. I talk to my boss, and say he’s gotta do something. My friend was very important to this business, he made everything run (when he had himself together, at least). I tell my boss he’s gotta dock him a days pay or something. My boss, well within his rights, says my friend is fired.
This is my best friend. He has a kid. He has mouths to feed, and rent to pay. I couldn’t have that on my conscience. As right as my boss was to fire him, I couldn’t let this guy lose his job, not right after the crash. I was just in this job to pass time, I had no real responsibility, so I pull a wild-card. I tell my boss ‘If you fire him, you fire me’.
My boss gets in my face, telling me he doesn’t respond well to threats like that. It was just me and my friend keeping this business alive. He needed one of us or the other. If both of us quit or were fired, he would have to close the business. My boss says ‘If you think I’m afraid of a threat like that, just try me’. I look him in the eye, and walk right to my car, burning rubber out of the parking lot.
I called his bluff. My friend kept his job. It sucks, because I know the boss was grooming me to take over. That was the last I ever talked to my friend though. Last I heard, he was able to kick the drinking, found Jesus or something. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole, though. Burned bridges.”
“Hey! Let The New Guy Do It!”
“I was going back to school and put in my two weeks notice at the grocery store where I was a bagger. ‘Bagger’ actually meant ‘custodian’ because this place was too cheap to hire real cleaners, which is why the place looked like trash.
On my very last day, instead of having a relaxing day, I was working the first weekend of the month (if you’ve worked in a grocery store, you know what that means) and had just cleaned about five broken glass bottles of bloody mary mix off the floor (if you’ve ever mixed cleaning agents with that, you’ll know that it was a near-death experience in terms of smell).
After that fiasco, during which I was yelled at for not helping the busy cashiers bag groceries (???), a customer told me that the men’s room was ‘probably not looking too good’. The tip-off was that this was a female customer, and she didn’t seem to be shopping with men. I got near the dairy section before it hit me: The Smell.
Not just poop. Not just vomit. Have you seen Daddy Day Care? And you remember that moment when Eddie Murphy enters after a kid used the bathroom saying ‘I missed’? A vomit-diarrhea milkshake had been power-blasted into the handicapped stall. Not in the toilet, mind, but on, around, and beside. The walls weren’t safe. The CEILING wasn’t safe. This place should have been a biohazard. We should have had to call in field specialists to analyze what went wrong. CSI should have been on the scene trying to figure out who or what died to cause this.
So I did what any lowly, minimum wage worker would do. Worried about the health and safety of all still-living organisms within 1,000 feet, I told my supervisor. I assumed that someone would be called in.
I was the person who was ‘called in’.
So I took a bucket of disgusting vomit mop water to my manager and didn’t squeeze it clean before vaulting it at his gaping-open mouth.
Or, at least, that was what I IMAGINED I did, while I cleaned it for over an hour straight, getting paid $7.25 minus taxes the whole time.
When I came out, I was a changed man. And then I got yelled at for not helping bag groceries for the poor, overworked cashiers.”