Some people are lucky to have a boss they look forward to seeing every day, others not so much. They say the difference between a job and a career, is that a job simply makes you money, but a career fulfills you. With a terrible boss and stressful work conditions, any career and the passion behind it can quickly go down the drain. After some time, just one thing said by your boss can have workers throw in the towel. For these former employees, these are some of the things their bosses said that made the clock out for the last time.
All stories have been edited for clarity.
Let Your Husband Pay The Bills
“In 2003, I got married at the age of twenty-seven. I was an advertising consultant and the top salesperson in my district.
The day after I returned from my honeymoon, my boss pulled me into his office. We chatted for a while and I shared details about my wonderful time out of the office with my partner. There was a pause in the conversation. That’s when my boss came out and said, ‘Since you can now rely on your husband’s income, you don’t need to make as much for your base salary. We’ll be cutting your base pay by thirty percent beginning next week.’
I was absolutely floored. I couldn’t reason with him because he had already made up his mind.
I did not resign immediately. Instead, I called the CEO and listed the reasons why this pay cut was discriminatory. The CEO agreed to extend my base for three months, but the decision was final.
In that time, I found another job within weeks and happily told my boss where he could shove it.
Later I found out that it was my boss that delivered the news way more bluntly than he was supposed to. He strayed from the corporate line of ‘cutting costs across all departments and instead gave me the true scoop that was previously shared behind closed doors among the male leaders.
My boss was stupid. What he did was stupid.”
“I worked in a commercial bank for almost eight years. It was a stressful job that required long hours and adherence to strict rules. I supervised cashiers and managed the cash supplies. Sometimes cashiers would sit down the whole day serving customers because of never-ending queues.
All cashiers allotted ten-minute breaks to get snacks and relieve themselves.
The branch manager who contributed to my resignation was an awful lady. This woman was pure evil and hated everything that breathed. She would zero in on a person that she didn’t like and harass them until they resigned. No one ever called her out on their actions because there was never any proof.
A few years into my career, CCTV cameras were installed in the banking hall and staff areas. The operations manager, my immediate boss, had a screen to view the various cameras. He was a nice guy and didn’t really look at the screen because he was pretty busy most of the time. Unfortunately, the branch manager also had one installed in her office as a ‘backup’.
That’s when things got really bad.
The branch manager would open the camera screen and spend the day monitoring people. Excessively monitoring people. Cashiers received the brunt of her wrath. If someone stood up to go to the bathroom, their phone extension immediately rang with the branch manager demanding to know where they had gone. She would follow people from the moment they left their desks to the moment they returned, watching them the entire time on camera.
That woman had the poor cashiers walking on eggshells. They couldn’t even go on lunch breaks because they didn’t want to deal with the branch manager watching their every move. Morale was at an all-time low.
Now as with any bank, cashiers sometimes had cash differences, especially during busy days when it was possible to overpay a customer or to do a transaction incorrectly. We normally came together as a team to help the person reconcile the difference in their account.
In the event we weren’t able to do this, the unfortunate cashier had to fill a form indicating the cash difference and this would result in a warning letter from the HR department. If a cashier got three, they would be out of a job. To avoid this, my immediate boss and I gave the cashiers the option to pay whatever money they were short of.
With the branch manager monitoring the cameras, she knew when a cashier had a problem as everyone would gather at their workstation to help in any way. She would quickly make her way to the counter as well and intentionally made it difficult to sort the matter amongst ourselves especially if we couldn’t identify the short.
A once stressful environment became a torturous one. The last straw was when she decided to demote me to a lower grade after serving in a supervisory role for over three years. When I took my annual leave that year I didn’t return. I sent my resignation directly to HR. I was done. It was a well-paying job but not worth all the stress.”
No Apology Here
“While working overnight as an armed security officer I could only have a neatly trimmed mustache or I had to keep my face shaved. I was working two jobs at the time. Sometimes my post would be too far from home and my shifts were too close together, so I would occasionally sleep in my car to avoid wasting gas. It was the safest and most convenient thing to do because I could get six hours of sleep in my car compared to a mere three hours if I went home.
One of the companies would send out a supervisor to check on different posts and the officers manning from time to time. Most of the time they would just call me since I took my job seriously. One night the guy actually showed up, only to find I had some stubble. It was barely noticeable until you got within 5 feet of me.
He said no big deal but they required officers to email a picture of the stubble to the off-duty deputy sheriff they had working for them as a security manager. That’s when things went sideways.
The email was simple, a picture of me on my cell phone in a poorly lit bathroom with some quick text about how I will try to come up with methods for keeping my face shaved at all times.
In the morning, the security manager called me and asked for me to come to the office to meet with him. I reluctantly agreed since it would cut into some of my sleep time.
When I sat down with the security manager, he started off by calling me a ‘smart-ass.’
‘Excuse me?’ I was flabbergasted.
‘You wanna start explaining yourself?’ he snapped.
Taken aback by his offensive language, I asked if he could elaborate on why he thought my email was me being a smart-ass. His only response was that he wasn’t the only one who thought so, the office manager apparently thought so too.
I did my best to try and understand what about the email went wrong until he said, ‘I know who your other employer is and they have asked me about using some of our guys to cover for them when needed. I can just call over there right now and tell them what kind of person you are, and you’ll lose both of your jobs unless you apologize right now.’
This made me upset because a grown man acting like a child just threatened to try and take both of my sources of income away. I was the only one working at the time so I could take care of my ex-wife and kid.
My response to him wiped the smug look off his face. I started by asking him, ‘Who do you think gave your number to my other employer?’
Before he could answer I continued, ‘Before you start making threats you should think about who you’re talking to. I’ll be letting them know what kind of person you are, and we won’t be doing business with you.’
Now he was the flabbergasted one. You see he wanted me to apologize, but instead, I returned a real threat which I did follow up on. My manager at my other job thanked me for bringing this behavior to his attention because we only do business with companies and people who live by certain values. As it turned out, I had quite a bit of influence at that job.
After I walked out, and while still in the parking lot, I emailed the office manager to submit my two-week notice. The office manager called me and asked me what happened. When I told him about my interaction, he begged me to stay. He said I was one of the best officers they’d ever had, and asked what they could do to keep me. He even told me he didn’t think my email was bad.
I told him, ‘It’s me or him, and I have the feeling you’re not going to fire him over this.’
The office manager told me I was right, only the owner could fire him, but he knew he wouldn’t. He followed up with an email later asking me if I would reconsider if the security manager apologized, but I declined and said his apology would mean nothing to me.
I quickly found a replacement job working for a hotel I worked security for in the past. I went back to working the audit shift overnight. It was a cake job.
To this day, I’m still not sure what triggered that guy in my email. Was it my picture that didn’t even show the stubble because it was so short and light and the bathroom was dim? Or was it my message about finding other methods for keeping my face shaved? Guess I’ll never know.”
“When I worked for McDonald’s years ago, it was discovered that a crew member had been going into the walk-in fridge, downing chocolate milk, and chucking the carton under the shelf out of sight. They had to have been doing it for quite awhile because it was only noticed when the number of cartons grew too large and started to be visible without even needing to bend down to look under the shelf.
Word spread fast that we had a thief in our midst and an investigation was underway. The investigation mainly consisted of hourly counts being done by the shift manager to try to find what shift the thief was on first.
After some time, they were able to narrow it down to the regular day shift. From there, further observations prompted them to narrow down the list by identifying the people they knew had to go into the walk-in as a regular chore for their workstation. That gave leadership about six possible culprits, which included me.
As word got out about leadership narrowing down the search, the team started to talk among ourselves and it wasn’t long before we actually were pretty sure who it was. The guy resigned by the end of the same week we started hearing updates about the investigation.
Interestingly enough, he was NOT on the list of six suspects, but that didn’t stop the investigation from resuming based on information already gathered.
So, the six of us were brought into the manager’s office, and here is the part that finished it for me:
We were all given the SAME speech.
‘I am 99% sure that it is you. I want you to go home tonight and think about what you owe me.’ The district manager said.
That was the end of the straw for me. They didn’t have the right guy at all AND he was threatening everyone on the list exactly the same. Worse than that, the district manager was the only one that didn’t agree it was the guy that left. Even all of his managers and most of the day shift told the district manager who it was.
I moved to a sales job and never looked back.”
Everyone Gets A Raise!
“A few months prior to my resignation, I had asked my boss. I provided a well-thought-out argument for it and practically poured my heart out. I was a tenured and dedicated employee, and a raise was long overdue.
I knew it would take some time to process, so I gave him a few months before approaching again to ask about it. My boss called the service desk and informed me he was able to ‘negotiate’ a raise of ten dollars an hour.
I was so excited, I turned around with a big smile on my face and one of my co-workers asked what happened. So, I told her.
Instead of celebrating with me, my coworker frowned. That’s when she told me the disappointing truth.
She informed me they had started hiring everyone in at ten dollars an hour and bumped everyone else’s base pay up to ten dollars who wasn’t making that much yet. I was devastated.
I had been employed there for over five years. I worked as a cashier, a head cashier, and at the service desk. I filled in for the head cashier on nights when they called off and none of the managers even knew how to take the money out of the self-checkouts. I even covered for other departments altogether.
I was frequently at the top in the district for getting credit card applications, yet they wanted to give me the same amount as the people who hadn’t even trained yet.
I might have been able to accept this if my boss had told me the truth. If he had said everyone was getting a raise, so I’d be making more, but he’d work on getting more since I had been there longer and did more than a lot of people, I might have considered staying for a bit longer.
But I couldn’t work for someone who lied to me and didn’t value the work I do.
So, right after my coworker told me the news, I walked into my boss’ office and put in my two weeks’ notice.”
Oh, You’re Good…Too Good
“Years ago I worked as an overnight stocker for Walmart.
When a night manager position came open, I took it upon myself to put in an application. I was the team lead in the grocery department and had previously been an assistant manager for a local grocery store. After almost five years with Walmart and twelve years at the grocery business, I felt I was more than qualified for the job.
I went through several interviews. Toward the end, it came down to me and a suckup who worked the day shift.
The suckup ate lunch with management on a regular basis, so I had a gut feeling I was going to get screwed. It was hard to keep my hopes up, but I persisted and came to work with the best attitude I could muster.
I didn’t receive a call on the day they announced their decision, but when I arrived at the store at the beginning of my shift, an assistant manager asked me to come with him to the HR office.
I knew I had gotten screwed when he directed me to a chair in front of the desk. The manager leaned against the desk instead of sitting down. His informal demeanor also was a telltale sign, but I forced a smile and sat back to listen to what he had to say.
The manager started by saying that choosing between me and the dayshift suckup was an incredibly difficult decision, but they’d decided to promote the suckup.
The manager then said I was doing an outstanding job as a team lead. He then went on to say it would not be in management’s best interest to remove me from that position.
Then the manager said, ‘In fact, you are doing such a good job, they wanted to reward you by bumping your pay by fifty cents an hour, effective immediately. Do you have any questions about this?’
I heavily contemplated my next move. I could feel my hands trembling, but I swallowed hard and said:
‘So, I didn’t get the promotion because I’m doing too good of a job?’
The manager paused before he immediately began backtracking and saying that I misunderstood him, but I knew what I’d heard. I handed him my name badge and apron before leaving the store that very night.
I have not set foot in a Walmart since.”
Gonna Be Late To The Meeting
“I once had a great job that I really loved, but I worked some insane hours.
I would come in at five in the morning and stay until eight to ten at night most days. I put a ton of effort into this job because I loved the work I did.
My father at the time had cancer. I was still working extreme hours while taking my Dad to chemo or other doctor’s appointment he had. It was exhausting, but I loved my Dad and had no problem helping him fight the disease.
One day at an all-hands meeting, I was using my laptop to answer emails. I wasn’t paying much attention to the discussion because I had gotten behind. A short while into the meeting, my boss sent me a text to attend a project meeting at noon the next day.
I replied and told him I had to take my father to chemo at that exact time and had made arrangements with the Project Lead who said I didn’t need to be at that particular meeting. But, my boss who knew my father had cancer, demanded I go to the meeting anyway.
I reached out to the Project Lead and requested him to send a text to my boss informing him I didn’t need to attend the meeting because of the appointment and my presence was irrelevant. The Project Lead’s text still didn’t matter to my boss.
My boss was making it a huge issue and demanded I attended the meeting.
So I quit.”
An Extreme Line Of Questioning
“My boss accused me of snorting pills on the clock.
Her accusation came as quite a surprise as I had never done a drug in my life. I had no idea what had even given her the idea to make such an assumption about me.
With every ounce of patience I had, I told her right off the bat I did not snort pills. I then asked, ‘If I did snort pills, why would I show up to work to do so?’
Out of curiosity, I asked her exactly how she came to the grand idea that I snorted pills.
Amazingly, my boss claimed that a customer told her an employee was snorting pills in the bathroom.
I asked, ‘Did the customer give you any employee’s name?’
‘No, but the customer said it was a tall woman with red hair,’ my boss replied.
I looked at her, not even caring how my face looked, and said, ‘Well, I’m not the only employee who is tall, and clearly you can’t see my hair; it’s tucked under a hair net under a HAT.’
I told my boss to roll back cameras to see who went in and out of the bathrooms before accusing people. Not only was the appropriate thing to do. It was COMMON SENSE.
My boss said, ‘Well, you look like you snort pills and I should send you down and have them ram a light up your nose and that will tell the truth.’
I couldn’t believe it. I quit on the spot because I was done being treated not only as a liar but as a pillhead as well.”
What Sense Does This Make?
“I worked in the marketing department for a national retailer. In my duties, I used to come over from IT to manage their relational database system. We were responsible for the loyalty program and sending out mailers. The marketing department consisted of me, a data analyst, and our supervisor. We reported to one of the few VPs of Sales.
I had been campaigning for the creation of a sales analyst position for several months but was told there wasn’t room in the budget.
One day I saw a posting for a Sales Analyst position on the bulletin board. Naturally, I applied for the job. Within just a few days, the VP of Sales told me he didn’t think I could do the job, and a different Sales VP was bringing on someone from his former company to fill the position.
Even though he didn’t think I could do the job, he announced during our meeting that wanted me to train the new person when they started.
Stunned and disappointed, I asked him if that made sense to him.
‘What do you mean,’ the vice president asked.
‘I’m not good enough to do that job, but good enough to train someone else how to do the job?’ I asked slowly.
Before he could answer I said, ‘I’ll give you the weekend to think about that,’ and left his office.
On Monday morning, I went straight to his office. Little did I know, this next conversation would be our last.
I walked in and made myself comfortable in front of his desk. ‘Have you reconsidered?’
‘No,’ the VP said in a monotone voice. ‘But we still want you to train the new person.’
‘Then I quit.’ I didn’t even hesitate.
The VP’s eyes widened. ‘Effective when?’
‘Effective when I stop talking.’
I turned and left his office, gathered my few personal belongings from my cube, and walked out.”