It's safe to assume that if you stay with a company long enough you'll see your fair share of firings. Some are necessary for the stability and growth of a company while others seem to serve no purpose than to give management more money to play with. No matter how you look it though, it's never fun for anyone. Well, maybe it's fun for those sadistic members of upper management.
A Reddit thread recently asked people to share the worst firing they've ever been a part of or witnessed, and the responses ranged from maddening to heartbreaking. It's sad to see how little these employers thought of their once devoted employees. All posts have been edited for clarity.
"Management summoned 17 people (20% of the entire workforce) to the operations manager's office at 8 am one Friday. This was the day before the company Christmas party, a party in which we typically receive our bonuses.
Two weeks before Christmas and they were all fired and left with no job and no bonus. Morale wasn't too good.
Two months later, there was another wave of firings. One of the guys was partying in Los Angeles the night before and called in sick. They forced his supervisor to call him repeatedly at home, telling him it was mandatory he showed up. He lived like 40 minutes away, and when he got there, HR was waiting in the parking lot.
Once he parked, they handed him a packet and a check. He turned around and drove 40 minutes back home."
"I worked for this woman who owned a bakery business with several locations. She was a lunatic, but she paid well, and for the most part, I loved my job. I was constantly told I was one of her best employees, and one day, she wanted me to be a manager at one of the stores. Honestly, I gave my all at that job because she paid me well above minimum wage for someone who had no experience in a bakery position prior to being hired, and I enjoyed making cupcakes for a living.
Three weeks before Christmas, she came into the store and told me that if the police showed up to give her a call in her office so she could come upstairs to meet them. Weird, but she was always dealing with something crazy like a customer she insulted or the like. The cops came and she took them into her office to talk to them and that was that. After we closed the store that night, she called me aside and accused me of stealing money out of the register.
She had cameras all over her store and told me she had hidden ones even the employees didn't know about. She 'caught me doing suspicious things' on camera such as taking an envelope off the counter and coming back into the store after I had already locked up to get something I forgot. Just weird and baseless accusations.
She told me she had called the cops on me to file a police report and they would be wanting to talk to me at some point. She then fired me and took away my keys for the store and I left. I was devastated and for the following week, I was a nervous wreck. I had never taken anything from her, ever.
I later found out from a friend who still worked there she told every single employee I stole $3,000 dollars from her, and probably stole her checkbook as well because it was 'missing.' She also told everyone who still worked there they weren't allowed to talk to me at all. That also really upset me because I really enjoyed my coworkers, but I knew most of them were so afraid of her, and losing their jobs if they didn't bend to her every whim they just obeyed. For weeks after being fired, she'd randomly call and text me and if I didn't immediately answer, she would call and text my girlfriend and threaten to have the police come to our house if I kept 'ignoring her.'
She stopped for a while, but two weeks ago, she started harassing me again trying to set up some sort of meeting to talk about why she fired me, but I pretty much told her it can be a phone conversation or she can get lost, and I haven't heard from her since. Honestly, I'm waiting for some crazy letter saying she's trying to sue me for god knows what."
"I was once on vacation when a bunch of people were let go. Workforce reduction was based on seniority by department. When I got back, they sent out an email explaining that all the firings were over and everyone reading the email had nothing to worry about.
I guess they forgot that they still had to fire the guy that was on vacation, though. After reading the 'you're safe' email, I was cleaning out my desk.
The post-firing story is even crazier. Immediately after I left, one of my co-workers went to our boss and told her he was finalizing details to take a new job and hadn't broken the news yet. Our department couldn't lose two people, so they asked me to come back. This was my dream job at the time, so I tore up the firing paperwork, came back and worked there for another eight years, including a promotion, and then left on my own terms when I landed a dreamier dream job.
In the end, me getting 'fired' was me spending a few days at home with full pay."
"A friend of mine helped secure a BIG contract for his company, and one of the incentives for getting contracts was a percentage of the profit.
He just started working there about two months prior and went out on his own several states away to talk to a potential customer from a lead he got at a convention in person, out of his own pocket. He secured the deal, called his supervisor to tell him, was congratulated, then drove 12 hours back home. His payout would have come out to around $40,000 over five years.
He went into work the next day and was fired for 'suspicion of theft,' and the boss of the division (not the supervisor, that guy is lower) would be taking over all his current stuff. He lawyered up immediately, but since he was still on his probationary period and they could fire him without cause, he got nothing but the $3,000 finder's fee.
Basically, his boss tossed him to get some more money."
"When I was in my early 20s, I was about nine months into a job at a retail store and had been working my tail off for a chance to be part of a new department that the store was about to open. I aced my review and I got the promotion to the brand new department. It was going to be more challenging work, it came with a pretty hefty pay bump, I would have my own office, and the work would be impactful to the whole company.
The promotion didn't kick in until the start of the next week. I was laid off that Friday. When they were asked to cut payroll, management literally selected the people who were making the most money. My name was listed next to the salary I hadn't yet received. Instead of admitting that they messed up and keeping their best performing employee at that store, they doubled down and tried to hold my last paycheck ransom until I trained my replacement in the job that I hadn't even done yet.
The store owner just happened to be around that day. Normally he was a very kind man and knew everyone by name. I tried to explain the ridiculous situation to him and he just told me to go home.
In a rare moment of frustration, I said something to the effect of, 'You know, bull like this kills stores.'
He coldly replied, 'Hastings will be around longer than you.'
I guess the joke is on him because Hastings filed for bankruptcy and was forced to close in 2016."
"We had this guy in our department that got fired within three days of starting. On the first day, he had emailed all the females - only the females - and wrote an introduction that resembled an eHarmony profile. Not that bad.
By day two, he was trying to get 'to know' a few select females better. One of them was Lori, who also in my department and who had a healthy sense of humor. She went with it to see how far this guy would go. He made it known that he was attracted to Lori and that he would like to give her a full body massage. According to him, he was quite good at giving them. I should mention at this time that Lori was eight months pregnant. We had a good laugh, but at that point, Lori stopped encouraging the 'Creepy Masseur' as to not get into any trouble for inappropriate use of company property herself.
On the third day, Lori started getting rather explicit texts. She discreetly let us know that she thought it was Creepy Masseur. My coworker, who is not discreet, heard this and loudly announced,'I'll call the number and find out.'
When my coworker dialed, behind us, you could hear the distinct 'Brrr brrrr brrr' of a cell vibrating in someone's pocket. My coworker called again, and again, we heard, 'Brr brrr brrr.' Creepy Masseur's ears turned red and he had a 1,000-yard stare at his monitor.
Lori was a pretty cool chick and could have laughed it off. It was some of us that gave our manager the heads up. Apparently, women in other departments were more disgusted by him and had already complained."
"A very close friend that was working with me at the time was fired in one of the worst ways.
His shift started at 11 pm, mine started at midnight, and we were both given transportation from door to door, meaning, pick up at your house, drop off at the very office, every day. My friend was picked up on time and brought to the office as usual, 15 minutes before his shift started. He was fired on the very spot for some errors he had made that, in my opinion, shouldn't have been grounds to fire him, but for a warning and coaching, but whatever. There were clauses in our original hiring contract, so, it wasn't appealed.
Now comes the bad part.
In my country, the last buses run at 11 pm for most areas, and even earlier in some others, and he lived two cities away. While firing him, they revoked his access to the building and the business center where the building was located. That meant he was was escorted out with no way to get home.
And of course they wouldn't provide transportation as he was no longer an employee, and neither could he wait outside for the buses or even his scheduled morning transport, since by firing him, the system automatically removed him from the travel routes.
It was awful. He texted me and let me know as soon as I got there. A friend had already offered him a place to stay nearby, so I just gave him cash for a cab there instead of to his house."
"I got assaulted by someone after work. In defending myself, the guy's car took some minor damage. I thought nothing of it, went home and then police turned up and arrested me on suspicion of criminal damage.
I was released without charge but told my boss about it just in case. The police had me on bail for like two months whilst they checked evidence putting me well in the clear. Due to form, the cockroach who assaulted me started calling my work trying to get me fired. My boss had my back on it but about a month later, I got called to a meeting about an hour and a half drive away on a Friday afternoon. This was whilst my boss was on holiday.
They made me go through the meeting for nearly an hour before suddenly saying they were going to let me go. Apparently, the person had been writing and phoning in every day. Here is the kicker though - they told me that I was sacked for telling this man to get bent in the process of defending myself. They allowed that I was entitled to defend myself and that I had not been charged with any offense but said that it was unacceptable to swear in my uniform under any circumstances.
I had to leave my work vehicle there and was then miles from home and had to take a taxi back costing me $80. Luckily, when my boss was back off holiday, he got them to refund me that."