"I worked for a company that cleaned out houses after they were repossessed. The owner was invited to a conference in California put on by Countrywide Real Estate Company.
After a day of meetings at Countrywide, the boss headed across the border into Mexico to let loose. He was around 30 years old and he was recently divorced. So he went absolutely wild in Mexico. We never got the full details but he was arrested that night after causing quite a commotion in Mexico. In total, he spent $15,000 in one night on drinks and 'pros.' The $15,000 just happened to be the payroll due that week. I worked in the office with one other lady, and we had to explain to the workers (approx. 20) why none of us would be getting paid that week. Try having to explain the indefensible actions of your idiot boss to people who live paycheck to paycheck and who were doing their best to feed their kids on what little they make.
We did not tell them what happened to the money. We just told them checks would be delayed a week. The workers eventually found out part of the story. At the moment, I guess I just felt really bad because I hated to even mention delayed checks especially when I knew it was due to the idiot owner and when I knew many of the men struggled to make it on what little they were paid.
Then the office manager and I hid all incoming payments from jobs completed from the owner. The next Friday, we took the checks to the bank and we cut checks that day. We told all the employees to be sure to cash their checks immediately. We did this because we were not sure what else might have been trying to auto pull from the business account. We wanted to be sure that they got paid before anyone else, just in case funds were short due to the owner spending frivolously.
This was just one of the many horrible things that happened there. I have a ton of stories involving the police, gangs, theft, threesomes, etc. It was a crazy place to work. It eventually shut down in about eight months after this. We found out the owner was committing fraud against the companies that were paying us. And I turned him into a few of them. As part of the business, we got paid to keep the yards cut at almost 100 properties across the Eastern U.S. The grass was to be mowed every two weeks and pictures had to be taken as proof that it was done. The owner would get the workers to mow the grass once and take two sets of photos. Instead of mowing twice a month, he was only mowing once. He would send in one set of photos every two weeks as if the yard had recently been mowed. We got like $150 to mow a small yard each time, $250 for a medium, and up to $700 for a large. Spread across a 100 lawns, the owner was defrauding thousands of dollars from Countrywide, BB&T, M&M Properties, etc."
"I worked for minimum wage at a car rental place.
It was a nice place, but the management was awful. We had a guarantee that we could pick you up if your car broke down since they weren't supposed to break, this was NEVER a problem, until one fateful night.
A man flew in, rented a VW, and drove two hours for a funeral. He tried to leave, got in his car, and the key wouldn't go into the ignition. He couldn't figure it out, so he called us. A coworker was sleeping in a chair while on duty, so I took the call. I told him we guarantee we'll come to fix it, you know- the company policy, I told him to wait and I'd call my manager.
I called the manager. He was audibly wasted and at some loud event. I told him about this situation and asked him what we can do. He said, 'Wait, you told him YOU guarantee to fix his car? You're on your own.' Then he hung up.
It's nearly 10 pm. We had one more flight coming in. I told my coworker to take it since I took two flights on my own while he was sleeping, and I'd be back.
I drove to where this man was and got into his car. He's right, the key won't go in. I drive a VW, and I know they have a steering wheel lock. I turned the wheel hard and then fidgeted the key in. Started right up. He was amazed and very pleased. Since he was already super late for his next flight, he canceled it and got one in the morning. He invited me into his family's home, where they were all still up, and kind of having a party. I told them about my job, and my jerkoff boss and they got an idea. They said they'd vouch for me for working on the car until morning, and then I could drive back behind the renter. I agreed. We had some drinks and food, and they were really nice people.
In the morning, I went back to work, and clocked out at around 9 am, completing a full 21-hour shift. I was met by my jerkoff manager, and he asked what I was doing. The man who rented the car vouched for me, saying I was up all night working on his car.
Manager asked what was wrong, I said the starter was missing a ground wire, and we had to borrow tools from the neighbors. To get everything taken apart, and then put back together.
The boss was really mad, but the man said that I saved him, and got him to his flight on time. He also handed me a crisp $100 bill just to prove a point, something that I was very shocked and grateful to get.
The man said goodbye, shook my hand and approached his gate.
My boss was upset, chastised me for leaving in the first place, and told me if I did that again, I'd be fired.
I told him that HE'S the one who told me I was 'on my own' in the first place, and now I'd permanently like to be on my own. I quit right then and there, with a ton of flights about to land, and without any notice or backups. Part of me wanted to say, 'Now who's on their own?' But I was just too mad to even think it.
Never been happier in my life. That was the only job I ever quit.
Oh, and since I covered someone's shift BEFORE mine, and clocked in a 21 hour day, I made nearly 15 hours of 3x overtime, since it was an overnight shift.
Eff that manager, and I love people. Didn't get paid enough there anyway. Best decision ever."
"I worked for a life insurance company. I noticed a lot of issues with agents lying to customers. Agents wouldn't put in the work to find new potential policyholders. It was a racket of agents dropping in on current customers and signing them up for new plans. They would say that they are 'adding' coverage but all they were doing was signing them up for a new policy.
I saw so many agents who would put 10-20 year policies on a cancel notice, to sign their customers up for a new policy. Since the policyholder was now 10-20 years older with new medical issues, they were basically giving up their good policy at a decent price, only to be given a bad policy with a major difference in coverage for a lot more money.
PSA: If you have a life insurance policy, do not cancel it or have an agent make changes, there is a good chance you're going to get worked over. Also, since they would cancel their old policy for a 'better' policy, there is a three month period where the insurance company can legally fight against paying you out.
The last straw was seeing this done to a man who was a customer for many, many years. An agent put in a request to cancel his old policy, with the guy's permission since he was lied to, and put him on a new worse, more expensive policy. Then the client died a month later. The company made money of this man for 15+ years and then when he finally passed, they were able to dismiss the 'new' policy due to the three month period they are legally allowed to fight against paying out on a 'new' policy.
I went over all of the math, you are better off having a cheap policy and putting additional money into investments if you want more money to get to your family. Unless you die within a few years, the insurance company is making hand over fist money on you while you barely get anything close to what you paid in back when you die.
Also, unless you explicitly requested to be taken off of a certain feature, you automatically agreed to have your cash value used to pay any missed bills. This is nice if you randomly miss a payment, but what they did was when you canceled your insurance, you wouldn't pay anymore because you canceled it right? Wrong, the agent would not put in the request, all of your cash value would get eaten up paying for coverage you thought you canceled, and you were out every ounce of money you gave them.
Also, multiple times agents offered to pay peoples bills via money order, because it was worth the bonus to them to literally pay your bill and look like they had customers."
"My manager never trusted me and was willing to throw me under the bus to save his own skin.
We were waiting for confirmation from another company about a contract and apparently my manager had a stake in it, probably a bonus or a raise if it went well.
Every day at 9 am, I checked to see if an e-mail from them came telling us about the confirmation.
This went on for a week and he could not wait anymore and just left to go to the other company, which was three hours away.
He left with another co-worker and when they came back eight hours later, he was red as a tomato. The next day, I was yelled at for embarrassing him in front of important partners.
HR came in and I knew they were on his side, so I just declared I'm quitting and when asked for the reason, I showed them the e-mails and gave this little speech about how my manager is a jerk and that he should have waited, and that him not trusting me and treating me like I'm disposable just irked me."
"I worked at a convenience store. A lady that was hired recently was refusing to do certain parts of the job. It was so annoying working with her because I had to cover those parts while she just ignored them. She would refuse to be on the register if there was more than one person in line and that was horrible when I had to go get other stuff done. One day, she refused to clean the bathrooms because they were filthy but she wouldn't watch the register so I could. I was running back and forth across the store to clean a bit, washed my hands, then headed to the register to check people out. It took two hours but I finally got the bathrooms cleaned.
My replacement came in and I was about to leave but had to use the restroom first. I started walking back toward the bathroom and saw dark blotches on the floor. I got closer and I realized what they were. It was poo. A trail all the way from the front door to the bathrooms. I opened the bathroom door and took a peek inside the stall. Poo everywhere and a clogged toilet that was overflowing.
I went back out and saw that my replacement was swamped at the register and the lady was still refusing to do it. So, I doubled up on gloves and went at it and stayed an extra hour to clean up the foul mess even though I was supposed to leave. About 15 minutes into it, I realized that they were not paying me nearly enough to deal with that (literal and figurative) crap."
"I took a job as a senior sales rep at a company that pulled a switcheroo. I was transferred to a distant office - two hours on the subway each morning. The company was unrelenting pressure. They always tried to avoid paying commission and bonuses. And the CEO screamed and pounded his fists all of the time. It was awful.
What broke it for me: I was the sales guy on site with a bunch of inbound sales reps. The pipes in the kitchen exploded and launched vile water across the kitchen. I called building management and he told me to take a hike because our company had been ripping him off on the rent and paying late and hadn't paid this month. I tried calling the CEO but he dodged my calls.
I cleaned up the kitchen, used the company credit card to get cleaning supplies and air freshener and closed off the kitchen area. Then the internet went down. Our servers were broken and the back-up wasn't working. I was on my cell with the IT manager, who was dealing with a similar problem at a different office, one and a half hours away (by car). He told us there was nothing he can do, it's our hardware that's not working. So, I dismissed the staff in the office - it's 2:40 on a Friday. That's when the CEO realized he couldn't reach a rep.
I told him of the flood and the pipes. I told him of the broken hardware. He started screaming about letting the staff out at 2:40. I told him there was no internet. There was consequently no phone. It's already the weekend in most markets. No one was making a deal at 2:40 pm in Rio de Janeiro. He kept screaming. I could hear his wedding ring pounding on the desk. I lost it and told him no one talked to me that way. He hung up on me. I packed up my desk and took all of the company snacks in the office - chips, crackers, candy, coffee pods, jerky (all things I had paid for and wasn't reimbursed for). I took all the office supplies I bought and was never reimbursed for. I downloaded every piece of evidence I had saved onto USB keys. I walked out at 3:30.
He fired me on Monday morning for insubordination. I was paid-out my commission, back salary, bonus and reimbursed for the snacks. I was technically 'laid off' and could get unemployment benefits.
I should never have tolerated half of their crap."
"I worked at Toys R Us at the beginning of return season as the front end manager.
I was called to the front to deal with an irate customer, get up front and see the issue immediately. The customer was trying to return an open Xbox One which we could only exchange for the same item, with a reciept. She, of course, didn't have one.
I went through all the options. 'Did you use a credit card?'
'No,' she responded.
'Did you use your rewards card?'
'I have one but I didn't use it.'
'Ok, how did you pay?'
She said, 'Cash.'
'Do you remember what day?'
'It was sometime the week of Thanksgiving,' she answered.
At this point, I called my store manager to see if she could help because we sold hundreds of Xbox Ones that week and my access to the electronic receipt system didn't show all the product serial numbers. I would need to match two different serial numbers and the UPC to verify that we had sold the machine and give her the cash. My store manager basically told me to take off and deal with my department myself.
I turned back to the customer and informed her that without her receipt or a way to narrow down day and time, I would not be able to do a refund/exchange for her system. They had just come out and were well above our systems threshold to do a no receipt return.
She started screaming at me about how I was going to get beat and that I better have cops there that night when I got off work. She accused me of being racist.
Uh no...I just need your receipt lady, can't do what I can't do. Then she picked the Xbox up and threw it at me. She straight up threw a brand new, several hundred dollar game system at my face. For the first time in my super clumsy and uncoordinated life, I successfully dodged something. Her butt got dragged out by a customer in line behind her and I just smiled and waved.
Yeah, that was my 'forget this' moment. Not worth my not even $11 an hour."
"I worked at a fancy movie theater. I was working a custodial shift and my manager nonchalantly came up to me and said, 'There's a small mess in one of the bathroom stalls. Can you go and clean it?' I said sure thing and went to the men's bathroom. I didn't see anything until I checked the furthest stall. The entire stall was painted in poop. It looked like someone got brown paint and threw it everywhere near the darn toilet but not in it.
I looked at it and just turned around and headed to the door to leave but right before I could, a co-worker comes in and we just lock eye contact. My coworker asked, 'Are you here to clean that mess?'
I replied, 'I get paid minimum wage, I'm not cleaning that, man. EFF that.'
I left the bathroom and just continue doing my work. The coworker I talked to earlier quit the following week. Can't blame the guy. I don't know if he ended up cleaning it or what, all I knew is that neither of us should have to clean a poop-soaked stall for minimum wage."
"I work doing IT support in healthcare and we had a flood in one of our IT closets. Since I was the new guy, they sent me down to investigate it.
I saw 'water' pouring out of the ceiling right next to our rack of equipment, grabbed a plastic tarp and started covering it up without thinking about where the liquid was coming from and sure enough, my skin started to tingle, itch, then full on burn.
Turns out that they had a cleaning room right above in the GI suite and were cleaning equipment with caustic chemicals.
Wound up with chemical burns on both arms sitting in the ER doped up on painkillers (it was excruciating). I lost a button down shirt and tee shirt but scored my first pair of free scrubs.
Now I just let the darn stack fry and when the water stops, we rebuild it. Not worth the risk.
Another time, we had a new tech called up to one of the floors because a laptop on a cart 'wasn't working.' He brought it back to the data center and as he tried to roll it up the ramp, yellow liquid spilled out of the cart on his hands.
I yelled stop, let it go and come with me; we washed his hands, had facilities clean up the ramp, and I biohazard bagged the laptop and cart. Marched up to the nursing floor with the tech to see the charge nurse.
I asked her why one of her nurses would call a cart in that had urine spilled on it and just tell us it was broken. Then I explained that she had to buy a new unit from her budget.
Thankfully that incident was enough to convince our management that we needed more training for infection control. Also prompted us to all get our hepatitis shots (work around a lot of blood in this place)."
"I worked at a gas station. We had issues with a couple of recurring customers stealing every chance they got and it was very difficult to do anything about it because of discrimination laws, etc.
This one time, I followed them around the store ensuring they will not steal anything this time around. I was rather obvious about it while they strolled around. Eventually, two of the women decided to go to the bathroom. Ok, fine I thought. I could keep track of a few other folks in their company while they were in the john. When the two women walked out from the toilets, they smiled at me in an arrogant fashion. Freaking idiots, I thought to myself.
Directly after they leave, a customer walked up to me and told me that the toilets were freaking disgusting. I went to check to see how bad it really was. It was absolutely disgusting. SOMEONE had smeared excrement on the toilet seat, the mirror, walls, door. There was poop EVERYWHERE in the bathroom. I just locked the door and said forget this.
The next time these disgusting, vile, piece of trash human beings came by, I locked the doors before they could enter, apologized to the customers waiting in line and walked outside via the back door. I screamed so hard at those freaking disgusting ladies and told them how nasty they are. I proceeded to show the driver photos of the bathroom and tell them that they're not welcome to stop here for fuel or anything else anymore. I took down the registration number on the bus and told the driver I was going to report the incident to the police.
Despite all that, the bus with the ladies has not stopped at our place in two years now."
"Back in the days when dinosaurs still walked the earth, my dad helped me get a summer-semester job in the steel mill where he worked. My dad was not management, just a really good worker, as had been his father in the same mill, so this was just management being nice to someone who they thought was worth it.
But there was a caution given to me -- the rule was that there were no summer jobs, only permanent employment, so I had to give a non-answer if anyone asked whether I was intending to quit and go back to college.
Some of the workers there thought I really did plan to drop out and start a career in the mill. They (particularly the ones who knew my father or remembered my grandfather) wanted to encourage me to go back to school. Some others suspected that I had temporary work in mind all along and were annoyed that I had a good, high paying union job that maybe one of their buddies could have gotten as permanent work. The consensus of both factions was that I should get the nastiest, hardest work that could be found.
There are plenty of such jobs in a mill. My days started at 8 am with a sledgehammer. I had been a high school wrestler and was in pretty good shape, but I was not large (5'7" and 115 pounds), and a complete stranger to a sledge. They ascertained that I had no idea they came in sizes (6 pounds being considered 'average'), and gave me my very own 18lb hammer. That doesn't sound heavy, but imagine tying an 18lb kettlebell to the end of a three-foot stick, and swinging it up over your head. Do it again. And again. Each morning they had lined up for me about five hours of things that needed pounding, enough to last until the 30-minute lunch break.
Remember, this is in Alabama, in August, in a steel mill.
At 1 pm I started the harder, dirtier work.
The shop I was working in fixed railroad 'trucks' (wheel assemblies) and the large gears in the guts of giant cranes. The cab of a large crane in those days was mostly sheet metal with some windows, unlike the mostly glass ones of today. The huge gears and pulleys were under the floor of the crane cab and to get to them, the floor of the cab was removed. The gears were coated in 'gear shield,' a black grease about the consistency and color of soft tar. It had enough body to help prevent the gears from clashing and chipping, but the mechanics wanted it all cleaned off before they touched the gears. It was nasty, sticky stuff, and the tiniest bit that got on you stained your skin a deep mahogany color that was impossible to wash off.
To clean the gears, you first put on a rain slicker (pants and coat) that had once been yellow, then take a generous glob of 'white' (actually clear-ish) grease and slather the exposed skin on the back of your neck, ears, and your face, except where protected by goggles. Heavy protective clothing covers everything else, including elbow length welder's gloves on both hands. Meantime, the steam generator has been building pressure. This is a high-pressure tank of about 500 gallons of detergent water that is brought to a boil. You know it is ready when the pressure is up and a small relief valve whistles with live steam.
Take the steam wand (about 6 feet long) and climb in the cab, balancing on the greasy gears. The cabin is a little warm, since it's a sheet metal box sitting in the Alabama sun at 1 pm in August -- maybe 130-140f. It gets a lot hotter when I open the steam valve and superheated steam and detergent water blasts out of the pressure washer wand. I now can see absolutely nothing - the vapor is too thick even to see my hands. I just spray the steam down to where I remember the nasty gears to be. Gear shield melts and flies in globs in all directions, but eventually finds its way out the bottom of the assembly. Every couple of minutes shut off the steam and wait for the air to clear enough to see what remains to be done.
After about ten minutes, the steam pressure has dropped because of the venting, and it's time for a break while another head builds up. Climb out, take off the slicker, and go stand in a cold shower. You only get wet on the parts that don't have the grease -- the water just rolls off there. In five to ten minutes, your core temp has dropped, the steam is back up, so have another go. Five or six rounds usually cleans a crane. They started me out on one-a-day, but after two weeks to acclimate and to confirm I was not going to unexpectedly pass out, I was expected to do two.
When finished, you remove the grease that has kept the gear shield from getting to your skin using a rag soaked in mineral spirits. A soapy shower takes off the mineral spirits before it irritates the skin too much. If you missed greasing a spot it will be dark brown for a week or two. If you missed the mineral spirits it will be red and tender. Lots of opportunities to develop creative patterns.
At one point, I asked why not do the cranes in the morning before they got so blasted hot even without the steam; they pointed out that after doing a couple of cranes, no one could be expected to swing a hammer, and both needed to get done.
On the plus side, I was amazingly buffed after three months of five hours a day with that hammer followed by three hours of super-sauna. The one-semester transformation was like Steve Rodgers into Captain America, and was well received by the opposite gender back in college."
Subscribe to our digest and receive a weekly email of hand-picked stories.
At RateMyJob, we put together this website to provide professionals a way to share & unwind and to compare work experiences with others.