It's always unfortunate when you get stuck in a job you don't care for, but luckily the solution is simple. As long as you're not under some kind of contract or binding agreement, you submit your two weeks, and you quit! However, sometimes the job becomes so unbearable that you feel totally compelled to just walk out in the middle of the workday.
Though it's not an ideal situation, when an employer shows you no respect it's better to quit mid-shift than to have a public freakout. Whether it's a home repair store manager not talking harassment claims seriously, or factory leadership showing zero compassion for someone's disability, it's no surprise at all that these people wanted to get the heck out of there. Here are some of Reddit workers' best tales about the crazy, atrocious reasons that they walked out in the middle of work. Content edited for clarity.
"After being ill for over a decade, I went job hunting and found that employers looked at my lackluster résumé and just ignored me. For two months, I was turned down from every crappy job I'd applied to, so I decided to volunteer at a charity shop to show initiative and get some experience.
At first, my manager seemed nice but we were very short staffed so she started scheduling me six days a week, eight hours a day, and always on the shop floor serving customers. She would sit upstairs sifting through donations and taking the best items home to sell on eBay. She kept the profits as the items never appeared in the books.
When I asked her about her stealing, she complained about her wages. Then after a series of shoplifting incidents, she told me that she expected me to restrain and stop all suspected shoplifters. I told her no, as the thugs doing the stealing worked in groups and I could've gotten hurt.
The final straw occurred after I finally got a job interview after four months of volunteering. I asked her if she would be a reference for me as I had no other job experience, but she said she didn't know me well enough and I wasn't dependable. I walked out right then and there."
"I used to work in assembly and packaging at a print office. One day I was needed on the job for something outside my usual duties, and I was initially a good sport about it. They were cutting a new door in the warehouse so they needed extra help for cleanup.
Suprise, the wall they cut was full of PVC pipes and congealed blood, as it used to be a dialysis clinic. They had me do cleanup with no gloves and handed me a shop vac for all the plaster and dust.
Suprise again, the shop vac had not been emptied or cleaned since they last used it for the sewage system. I dropped it halfway through and had to go straight to the office shower.
I washed and washed, but I could not get the stank out of my beard. That was it. I told them I was done and walked right out. Apparently, I was suddenly on the illegal renovations team after months of holding down steady work in the office. Unbelievable."
"I was the weekend breakfast cook at a Friendly's while in high school. I was completely unqualified for the job but they needed help and I needed a gig. It was a two person job but after my first week, the other breakfast cook quit.
I toughed it out for a few weekends without him and when I asked about another cook, Donna the manager said we'd save some overhead just having me cook and she'd come help when it got busy. She never helped.
Fast forward two weekends later and I was cooking with like 20 order tickets on the board. I had at least 20 eggs going along with 10 pancakes and 10 orders of French toast. I was struggling super hard to keep up so I shouted for Donna multiple times and she just sat on her butt in the office. Finally, the waitresses started complaining as well so Donna waddled out of the office to help.
I was in such a hurry that I was plating orders on the wrong plates just to get them out. Donna saw this and was enraged, taking one of the orders that was up under the heat lamp and throwing it against the wall, shattering the plate. Then she turned to me and screamed, 'What is wrong with you?!' and started to belittle me for how behind I was.
At that exact moment, I untied my apron, dropped it on the floor, and told her that I quit. She fell all over herself apologizing and asking me to stay and help her get orders out. I just walked right out of the kitchen into the dining area and headed for the door. She started screaming, 'You can't quit, you can't freaking quit!' in front of a packed house.
The entire place went quiet and as I kept walking she started yelling about me not leaving with my work shirt on so I took it off in the middle of the restaurant and dropped it on the floor. She kept shouting so I turned around and simply said, 'I would never eat at this restaurant after working in the kitchen, it's disgusting.'
Then I walked shirtless to my car and as I pulled out for the last time, I saw a good stream of customers leaving. Three months later, the restaurant burned down; I don't remember why, but I heard it was Donna's fault. Get stuffed Donna and Naugatuck Friendly's."
"I worked at a garden center throughout my senior year of high school. During Halloween season, we had a promotion where people could pay $20 for as many pumpkins as they could carry. Didn't matter if you got 5 or 50, it was a flat rate.
One day a dad came in with his young daughter, who must have been like 4 or 5. They were having fun looking at the decorations, Halloween stuff, pumpkins, and other items for sale. They were just enjoying the day.
Then the dad asked me if I could load up a few pumpkins into his arms, so I helped him and he checked out, smiling with his daughter the whole time. Later that day, my manager came over and started yelling at me, saying that I was FORBIDDEN from helping anyone. He said that if they wanted to carry pumpkins, they needed to bring someone to help them.
I said that the man had a little kid with him who wasn't able to do anything to help. I wanted to help him just because it was the nice thing to do and they might spread the word that a nice kid works there, plus they were both having fun, so why not?
My manager continued to yell, claiming that that's exactly how he loses money. He said I couldn't help anyone and that no matter what, they had to do it themselves. I was so blown away by his lack of kindness and goodwill that I just walked right out and never came back."
"One day when I was working at Home Depot, I had just finished ringing up two men who continued to loiter beside me while I was cashiering. Once I was alone and didn't have a line of customers, one of the men said to me, 'I'd love to take you to a party and get you so messed up that you wouldn't even be able to remember what happened to you.'
I used my radio to call a manager to the front for help. The manager arrived, recognized the men, and got into a laughing, joking conversation with them. When they finally left (in a white van with no windows, I kid you not), my manager took me to the side and asked me what happened. I explained the situation, and she responded by stating, 'You just need to get thicker skin, sweetie.'
At the same store, about a week prior to that incident, I'd had the worst period ever and bled through my clothes, so I repeatedly begged my manager to go to the bathroom. I was then told that I'd have to tell her exactly WHY I needed to go to the bathroom, and what KIND of emergency I was having. I ended up having to use my lunch break to drive to Walmart to buy pants and underwear. Nightmares all around!"
"My bosses went away for a week and left their wanker mate in charge of the pub. I was running the bar, doing every shift under the sun, and said wanker (who did NOTHING but sit around upstairs or in the bar) had a go at me for sitting down during a quiet shift. I was in the first month of pregnancy at the time and I was exhausted. That really ticked me off, then I found out from the chef that the jerk had been telling customers (regulars and locals mainly) that I was being 'temperamental' and he would be telling my bosses about it when they got back.
He did and instead of my bosses coming to me and discussing it, they took his word for it and basically stood at the bar having a loud-enough-for-me-to-hear conversation about my 'attitude.' Keep in mind, this was all over the fact that I took half an hour to sit down. I didn't get breaks or anything so if it got quiet and I had pretty much done all my jobs, I'd take a breather, plus I was pregnant!
At some point, after they'd had a nice loud discussion about why I was such an inadequate barmaid despite two years loyal service working my butt off for them, the boss made some snarky comment about my ability to pour a pint of Guinness and I lost it. I walked into the kitchen, told the chef I was done, and scrawled a note saying, 'I'M NOT DEAF NOR AM I STUPID!' chucked my keys next to it and just walked out.
The best part was that as I was getting into my car, the jerk pulled up, leaned out the window, and asked if 'everything (was) ok.' He was told exactly where to stick it. I never heard from them after that, and when I got home, it suddenly occurred to me that I probably had the reaction they wanted because if I stayed they would have had to pay me maternity leave and they couldn't fire me for falling pregnant. Terrible!"
"I was director of database operations at a large corporation and I'd had my job for a week when they fired the guy that hired me. Great start. I stuck it out, but the Chief Technology Officer was a guy who obviously did not like me. Nothing I did was good enough.
One day he called me into a spur-of-the-moment meeting with a database consultant and himself. He started talking about what we needed to do in my department and I was prepared because I had been working on planning from day one, so I started laying out what I thought we needed to do.
He then physically turned his back to me and started asking the consultant, who had been in the building all of 15 minutes, what he thought we should do. I got up and said, 'Well, it's obvious you don't need me in this meeting,' and I walked out.
As I was walking out of the room, he started literally screaming at me, 'DON'T YOU WALK AWAY FROM ME! YOU GET BACK IN HERE RIGHT NOW!' Yeah, how about no? I went to straight to human resources, quit, and told them the reason why.
Two days later, HR called me and asked me to come in for a meeting. They said if I wasn't comfortable coming to the office, they would meet me anywhere. I told them I was fine coming into the office.
I went in and they immediately offered me three months severance pay. I think they were afraid I was going to sue them for the way I was treated. I wasn't, but I took the money and never looked back. The Chief Technology Officer was out within two months."
"When I was 16-17, I had a job as an errand boy at a tanning salon/vintage gaming lounge. It was off the books and I didn't get paid on a regular basis, but I figured it was better than nothing. I pretty much did anything and everything at this job but toward the end, I was doing things I should not have been doing.
My supervisor wanted me to fix up a new store location and I tried my best, but it wasn't enough. I wanted to get paid on a regular basis, but whenever I brought the topic up, my supervisor would beat around the bush or offer to pay me in other ways. Instead of regularly paying me money, he'd want to loan me video games or something of the sort.
Then one day he started to insult me by saying that I was a disgusting fat slob who needed to lose weight. He said a 17-year-old shouldn't be overweight and that he was going to offer me something better than money: a paid membership to a gym to lose weight and completely change my life. I wasn't morbidly obese or anything, just overweight.
Fed up with his disregard for my dignity, I decided to leave one day while he wasn't around and never come back. I felt very disrespected and didn't want to be around someone like him anymore. However, I did feel entitled to keep a bunch of the Sega Genesis games he had let me 'borrow' as compensation. It's been 10 years and I haven't stepped foot in that store since.
"I used to work at an Italian restaurant and everyone who worked there was very professional and loved their jobs. However, the owner was a total moron who couldn't run a restaurant to save his life. One night it started to get very busy so we began to restrict the number of new tables in order to keep service top-notch and so our chefs could keep up.
The owner wasn't having it, so he ordered us to make more space in the back for customers. We ended up with about 60 customers between two chefs and three waiters. We could handle 30 at most on any other day in addition to our carryout pizza orders.
We started taking more orders but couldn't reach enough tables in time and couldn't get drinks out quickly, so the kitchen collapsed almost right away from having to prepare hundreds of dishes simultaneously. The boss and his mates took up two tables and started ordering tons of food while being loud and unpleasant. I began to near my breaking point from all the complaints, stress, and frustration.
The boss eventually realized that the restaurant was falling apart when guests started leaving after not getting their appetizers for over an hour. One of his friends called us up to order a pizza and was rude and difficult on the phone, so I asked him to call us back when he knew what he wanted.
The boss stormed over to me, wasted, and demanded to know why I was being rude on the phone and threatened to hit me if I did it again. I turned around in a fury and went to clean dishes in the back because if he hit me out front, pandemonium would break loose and the restaurant would likely be ruined forever. After an hour of angry glass drying, I told the head chef I was leaving and walked out. Now that restaurant is dying a slow death because they can't keep any good waiters. I wonder why?"
"I used to work a factory job refurbishing computers. We worked two hours of mandatory overtime every day plus Saturdays, so it got to the point where we had no life outside of our jobs due to working 10 hours a day, six days a week. This went on for over three months, leaving me exhausted and totally burned out.
We asked for an extra break because 10 hours and two breaks plus one lunch was rough. We were told no because it would hurt the workflow. I only had one day a week for stuff like grocery shopping and what have you, and on that day I didn't want to do anything but lay on the couch.
By the way, it was only the production floor that was on overtime. Shipping and receiving weren't, so after the refurbished computers were processed they sat on the line until the next workday when shipping and receiving were there to do their jobs. There was nowhere to put these computers other than on the conveyor system which was 100% at capacity, and slowing down because there wasn't room for additional computers wasn't an option. It was ridiculous.
Then one day during a meeting, it came out that the entire reason for our overtime was competition. Another branch was doing it and started producing some awesome numbers so we were doing it to challenge them. There was no demand, it was all ego, which made us all furious.
Then management implemented an awful new policy about getting through the security gate for the breakroom. They said that you had three tries at the gate and if you failed, you'd have to go to the back of the line where you would be given the wand. I have two steel plates in my right arm so I never got through security without the wand, but most of the guards knew why and just let me through anyway. Under the new policy, that wasn't allowed, plus we had to clock out before going through security.
This meant that on a 30-minute lunch break, I was going to have to clock out, fail security, go to the back of the line, get wanded, and then hope I had enough time remaining to eat. Also when figuring in breaks, I was never going to be able to take one because there was no way I could get through security in time since break began when you walked away from your workstation, not when you entered the break room. I asked about those of us with steel plates and if there would be an exception made for us. 'Nope,' was the answer. It was too much effort on their part to make an exception for a small minority.
We dismissed for lunch and I had to clock out, go through security, go to the back of the line, and get the wand. I explained to them why I had trouble and showed them the surgical scars, but they just said, 'These are the new rules.' I hung up my badge, said my goodbyes to my coworkers who were already done with their lunches by the time I got through security, got in my car, and left."
"I was 18 and about six months into my job in which I was basically attaching hinges to a wide array of different windows, ranging from normal residential house windows to big windows for high rise buildings.
One day, I received a strange order for a very rarely used set of hinges to attach to about 20 large steel windows on the production line. I went to my manager to confirm that the order was correct, and he said yes.
Five hours later and five minutes before I was about to clock out of a 12-hour shift, my manager ran out of his office in a panic. It turned out that the hinges were the wrong ones so whoever wrote the order into the system had messed up and he, the manager, had messed up, too.
I was told that if any of the windows got sent out of the workshop, I'd have $40 deducted per window from my paycheck ($800 in total). Cue me scrambling like crazy to stop them from going out; I even ran out of the workshop to stop a lorry leaving with 10 of the windows and unloaded them myself because the loaders/unloaders had gone home for the day. I then worked an extra three hours, unpaid, to correct the mistake which I hadn't even caused.
Payday rolled around two weeks later and I had $400 deducted from my paycheck because 'technically 10 windows had left the workshop.' I quit and walked out on the spot despite my manager begging me to stay and saying he would try and get the deduction reduced to $200. Absolutely not. I spent three unpaid hours correcting someone else's mistake just to lose around 35% of my paycheck.
Also, this same company would fire people four weeks before Christmas (building industry slows down in winter) and then rehire them when the demand picked up again in the summer. My experience there very much changed my life and inspired me to go back to school. It's been a long three years, but if all goes well I should be studying international business at a top-tier university this fall."
"I used to work as a coffee barista at a small neighborhood shop, the kind where they have regulars' drinks ready before they even get to the counter. At one point, the owners wanted to move, so they sold the shop to a completely clueless idiot that used his wife's retirement money to fund his 'dream' of owning his own business.
This man could not tell you the difference between a latte and a mocha if his life depended on it, and he probably would have smelled a bag of rabbit poop if I told him it was coffee beans. One day during a particularly busy morning, I suggested that he move his personal belongings from the largest table in our space, after watching three large groups enter the shop, see there were no tables available, and leave.
He absolutely freaked out on me, telling me that I had no idea how to run a coffee business and that I should never tell him what to do. This was on the floor, right in the middle of a full shop of customers. I said nothing, just turned to get my coat and left. He went out of business very shortly after.
Everything about that situation was just tragic. It was once a family-run business with a super loyal customer base who loved the free-trade, organic, global-awareness business model. Then this jerk turned it into a rock and roll motorcycle-themed coffee shop, alienating everyone. The crash and burn was spectacular. Also, the wife whose retirement savings he blew on buying the place was undergoing treatment for cancer at the time. He was the worst."
"I was working at a restaurant as a server and the managers were horrible. They ordered me to serve wasted customers and kept scheduling me to work when I had classes, despite promises that they wouldn't.
My last night there, they had once again scheduled me to work during class times and when I asked to have the schedule adjusted, I was told they'd do it only if I sucked them both off.
They asked me to meet them after work, so I took orders from all my tables, never sent them to the kitchen, and walked out the front door. I felt bad for the customers, but it was fun to watch my section fall apart as I sat across the street and waited for my husband to pick me up."