Sometimes people get fired for the strangest things, perhaps even unjustified reasons. To see you, or someone you know, forced to turn in the badge over something so minuscule is infuriating. But do you know what is ever more maddening? When someone makes one (or more than one) mistake that anyone one else would be terminated for, yet, you see them in the workplace the very next day, having faced zero consequences.
Sounds way too good to be true, right? The following stories, as told by the angry working class of Reddit, prove that the opposite. These are the most messed up things people saw someone do at work, but they did not get fired over.
"I worked with a guy who literally had no job. He was the 'studio supervisor,' but there was no activity in the studio to supervise because the studio had effectively become non-operational. He coasted for a full eight years at this job. He would come in the morning, open his email, get coffee, gossip and complain about the industry for an hour, leave for an hour, come back for lunch, leave for another three hours, come back, send a few emails, and then officially leave for the day. It was infuriating and majestic."
"I worked at a school for kids who need emotional support. We had a classroom aid who would scream at kids until they cried and then actively mock them for crying. These kids were 7 and came from horrifically abusive houses. It sucked to work in a place that allowed abusive behavior to continue.
This was reported, but she still got a letter of recommendation from the principal, who she was close family friends with. It's very hard to help a child when they learn from a young age that adults aren't able to make things better and adults are capable of incredibly mean things. Fortunately, she no longer works with children.
Adults who show maladaptive behavior might have been these children. It is never too late to be kind to someone. Adults may be less cute than children, but they still deserve a world that is kind to them and gives them hope."
"One of the last places I worked at was a hospital and one of my duties was to put together code boxes. A code box is basically a kit that a nurse, doctor, or whatever grabs if a patient is 'coding,' such as if they stop breathing and they need a breathing tube type of thing. Code boxes require two signatures before they can be sealed up and delivered. One signature is the person putting the kit together that basically says, 'Yeah, all the parts are there, everything is clean, and nothing will expire anytime soon.' The second signature is for the person who signs off saying that they checked all the same stuff after the kit was assembled.
There was this one employee who everyone HATED. She was a nazi when it came to rules, would raise heck with the supervisor who was a complete pushover, and she (who was the same job title as me) would get the supervisor to make new rules. That type of crap. This employee, for weeks, assembled code boxes, signed her name, and then forge my freaking signature as the person who signed off, saying it was good to go. I went to the boss. The employee (who has never, not once, apologized for one thing in her life) was escorted by the boss and made to say, 'I'm sorry you were offended when I forged your signature and it won't happen again.'
I told my boss I needed to talk to him in private RIGHT NOW.
'That's not an apology,' I said. 'She ain't sorry. If a patient were to get sick because that stuff in the kit wasn't clean or had expired, I WOULD BE THE ONE TO GET SUED AND LOSE MY JOB.'
His reply was the best: 'Well, what exactly do you want from her? She said she won't do it again.'
She never did get fired. In fact, some months later, she got a promotion in that department. About a year after that, she left for our competitor, which meant a pay raise. I'm glad I don't work there anymore."
"A guy I worked with ran a food truck into an airplane. When they tested him for substance use, he peed super dirty. After being told that he would be getting random tests for awhile, they showed up at his house within a week. He told them he couldn't because he had just smoked the day before. He was still employed when I transferred from that airport.
Another time, that same guy crapped his pants at work and sat in the break room until the smell became pretty loud. Someone told him he should go home.
'Naw, dog,' he responded. 'The damage is already done.' I'd like to say he was the only co-worker that I have a story about them pooping their pants. Alas, he was not. He was the only one to just lounge in his dirty poo pants, though.
The airline industry is filled with people like this. There are a lot of weird people with no criminal record. It keeps things interesting, but also makes you question humanity."
"I worked a crappy retail job near my college for a bit. It was a local chain in Austin that sells shoes and college kid clothes on the drag. The store manager asked a young employee out on a date and she turned him down.
In retaliation, he secretly docked hours off of her paycheck for a few months before she noticed. When she told the store owner, they back-paid her and the store manager kept his job."
"At a previous job, we had an 'employee' who was called in to clean on an as-needed basis. The employee, who I will call 'Fred,' was ex-military with no real home, and only worked 1-2 times a month. He would just pick up odd and end jobs and stayed with some chick that took him in. He had no phone and we think he had some PTSD from his time in the military because he was paranoid as all get out and would not give any personal info to anyone. He also owed a lot in child support.
After an unusually long break of not working, we called Fred in to clean the work place. I think he expected to be paid under the table because, when he was given a paycheck, it was darn near zero because of all the back-due child support he owed that we were forced to take from his paycheck. He literally started screaming, swearing, calling the boss every name you could think of, punching walls, and he threatened to shoot up the place. The boss still called him back to work as needed to clean because he 'is really good at cleaning.'"
"At a factory I started working at, someone on a far more advanced piece of machinery asked me to take their place since my team's machine was down and he was needed elsewhere. Being new and 18 years old, I said, 'Sure thing!' I arrived at this machine and everyone on the line was about the size of a dumpster truck. I proceeded to bust my rear end, lifting 50 pound stacks of material for 12 hours.
At the end of my shift, I felt miserable and I was in so much pain I called in sick the next morning. I even explained that I was on a machine I wasn't trained for and it must have been too much. MONTHS later, I got fired on the spot, a week before Christmas. The reason? I had accumulated two missed days, the other one being when I got sick four hours into a shift and went home.
Here is the kicker: I ended up working on the other machine numerous times, a machine that I later learned people were being paid $4 an hour more to work on. The guy whose place I took because he was 'needed elsewhere'? I later learned that every time he did this, it was so he could go sleep for several hours in a dumpster for cardboard.
I overworked myself to the point of being fired from it. I had to retrieve bundles of product and load them onto a pallet. All so another employee, who received more pay than me, could sleep on the job. I did not know."
"I worked at a daycare. I have one story from that job in which a coworker had two child abuse charges placed on her while at the daycare and was allowed to stay. There was another case a parent witnessed and reported, but there 'wasn't enough evidence.'
We had a special event earlier in the day which caused a lot of children to leave early, so we had super low numbers. Two of my coworkers moved their kids to another room (with teachers, the kids were fine), turned out the lights in their room, and hid behind the desk. For over two hours.
My boss was running around searching for them everywhere and couldn't find them. I knew where they were, but it was my last day and I hated that place so I didn't say anything. She eventually found them, 'spoke to them sternly,' and sent them to cover rooms. Nothing happened to them because, honestly, they were so short staffed they couldn't reprimand anyone. If you showed up and weren't obviously high, you got paid.
I left that place because I couldn't watch all the disgusting things that were happening and just being allowed. Thoroughly research your daycare, people!"
"I had a coworker who broke up two marriages back to back, one of which had kids. She kept hooking up with the first guy, even after he was dating someone else at the company... and even after she wooed the second guy away from his wife, the mother of his three kids. She constantly talked crap about anyone that got anything she felt she deserved instead. She spread vicious and hateful rumors because she was mad about being passed up for promotion.
She also, habitually and loudly, overshared her private business - 'All three of my kids are the product of assault!' That sucks but... not work appropriate. She was always loud and aggressive while blaming her unprofessionalism on her ethnicity - 'That's just how we are!' She flagrantly abused the 'honor code' clock in/out policy. After running through all her paid time off and her family and medical leave, she would still continue to miss work or go home early with zero consequences.
She disregarded company policy regarding smoke breaks. It was non-smoking campus. Plus, we weren't authorized breaks since we had an hour lunch for a every eight hour shift. She was such a well-known problem that managers would literally refuse to take her onto their teams. But, for some reason, this walking disease was untouchable."
"I used to live in a small town and worked at a local gas station. It was one of those half gas station, half Subway places (as in sandwiches, not transit). We would usually have between three to five people on shift at any given time. The town was small and this was one of three gas stations in town. But, even by those standards, it was pretty busy usually.
At one point one evening, we all noticed that one of our co-workers was missing for a while. This would happen often and we always noticed, rolled our eyes, and went about our business. It was getting near closing time when a couple comes in. The woman was in tears.
'Hi,' the male customer said, 'we were in here earlier today and my wife thinks she left her phone here. Did anyone turn anything in?'
'No, no one turned anything in,' I replied, 'but let's retrace your steps and see if it turns up.'
We started walking around looking. We checked the Subway counter, floors, seating area, around the fountain drink dispenser. We found nothing. The girl who disappeared returned and was sweeping the store, despite it having been swept already.
Weird, but OK, I thought. Work is work.
'I'm so sorry,' I told the couple. 'Is there anywhere else you stopped?'
'No,' the man replied, 'this is the only place. We were passing through on our way North for our honeymoon.'
'We just got married and all of our wedding photos were on my phone!' the woman said through tears.
'Is there any way you can check the cameras?' the man asked me
'Of course!' I replied.
I and three other staff members went in the back. I had someone take my register while we looked. The sweeping co-worker also came into the office. She swept the office while we were in there.
Again, weird, but all right.
We were all huddled around the cameras. I backed up the footage to around the time they came in, got to where we saw them on one of the cameras, and began retracing their steps. They went to Subway, during which the woman looked at her phone. They went to the checkout for Subway and she placed her phone on the counter while she paid, but picked it back up after the transaction was over. Then, she went to the fountain machine and set her phone beside the machine while she filled her drink. She finished filling it, but didn't pick up her phone and left the store. We knew she left it there, but it was gone.
We kept watching. Immediately after they left, our sweeping co-worker was on camera, slowly walking to the fountain machine. She grabbed a cup and filled it, but also scooped up the phone very quickly and walked to the back office. She then went outside. We were all huddled around the computer watching this footage, the culprit included.
In unison, all of us stopped, turned around, looked at her, and said (no joke, this happened), 'Rachel?!'
'Sorry...,' she replied, beet red and looking like a deer in headlights.
'You need to go get the phone and give it back,' I said. 'Right now.'
'What do you mean, you can't?'
'I took out the SIM. I broke it.'
'Well, you need to tell them that.'
I was angry at that point. You don't do something like that. Ever. We all forced her to go give the woman her phone. She didn't tell her she took out the SIM card. Her photos of her wedding? ALL FREAKING GONE. The couple, very rightfully, were angry and yelled at her. Normally, I'm the type to protect my co-workers and employees from abuse from customers. But not this time. Heck no.
We told the store owner, but she received zero punishment. The worst of all was that her family is very wealthy. She had zero need to sell stolen phones. Her sweeping? It was her way of following us around to listen to what we were doing and to see if anyone noticed. She allowed a woman to bawl her eyes out and had no remorse. She's an awful person."
"I work in a typical office setting with about 500 employees, badges to get in, etc. A coworker brought a loaded weapon to work. We didn't know he did this until he set it down on the bathroom sink when he was using a stall to poop. One of the coworkers I was tightest with actually found it and took it to the boss.
The dude didn't get fired for this. He said he always carried it. A new policy was, obviously, immediately implemented that you could not bring such an item to work. This guy was later fired for stabbing our supervisor with a fork in his side. No blood was drawn. After he was fired, we had a hired security guard at our entrance for about two months.
I wonder why..."
"When I was working as a Phlebotomist a million years ago, I straight-up saw one of my co-workers pour one patient's blood into an empty tube and label it with another patient's label. It was freaking ridiculous and easily the most unethical thing I have ever witnessed. She missed a tube earlier in the day and didn't want to call the patient back for a recollection because they were fairly difficult to collect from.
When I confronted her, she was so nonchalant with her bullcrap excuses, which led me to believe she had done it before. She had a squeaky clean record and was very popular with her patients. According to her, it was my word against her's. She was right. I was pretty new at the time and, unfortunately, I was never able to prove it to my manager, due to the main lab discarding samples once testing was completed.
The real kicker? The patient had ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) and when I called the Primary Care Physician to renew the patient's S/O (Standing Order) about three weeks later, I learned that the patient had passed. Was my co-worker to blame? I'll never really know for sure. I can say with absolute certainty that the patient I am referring to received their last draw at my facility though. I ended up transferring out of that facility and leaving that field altogether after graduating college. That psychopathic witch still works for my old company, but now as a team lead (facility manager).
Long story short, when you go in for blood work, please watch your phlebotomist closely! Especially if you suffer from anything debilitating! Ask you doctor about the panels they order so you know for sure what tests you'll be getting. Also, I know most people are busy as heck these days, leaving them ultimately consumed with their day-to-day, but it wouldn't hurt to learn the tubes necessary for your specific tests."
"I worked at a doggy day care a decade ago. The big and small dogs had separate areas, and I worked up front with the little ones in reception. I got a call to the back from some other employees saying something happened to a big dog. I was no supervisor, I was just a measly peon in the hierarchy of this small, but popular, facility. Why they called me to the back for an emergency is beyond me.
I got back there and was informed that the back door was slammed on a dog's tail. The back door was made of super hefty metal and did not sit properly on its frame. It typically had to be slammed shut. Usually, the employees were supposed to keep a count of the big dogs as they came back in so this very thing didn't happen.
One of the questionable, incompetent employees did not count, a dog slipped past at the last second, and this gargantuan metal door was slammed shut directly on its tail. When I went into the back, I could hardly believe what I was seeing. The poor dog's tail was literally hanging by the skin. They had completely severed this dog's tail. There was blood everywhere. The poor thing was just standing there, not really even reacting.
The employee was sent home for the day and brought back in on her next shift. She was wholly at fault and, for that, should have been fired. At least, after having seen what I saw and knowing her ability to do her job was iffy in the first place, I couldn't understand how she kept her job. I quit shortly after that. You just can't unsee some things."
"I work in security. A floor supervisor followed a black family around not so subtly, basically watching them because she suspected them of being thieves. They weren’t doing crap and I know because she called them out to us and we watched them not do crap. It was fairly obvious they weren’t doing crap, so we dropped surveillance pretty quick and went on to other stuff. But she kept following them.
One of the family said something to her and she called them 'ghetto trash,' apparently. The problem is that none of us heard it. We only saw video of two of them flipping out. So, we know she said something and I’m sure it was what they said.
Then, she went behind a counter and called the police. No one has authority to call police but security, except in extreme situations. I told her to hang up and she refused. I and a different supervisor spoke to the nice, remarkably calm family and advised we would handle it. She slipped out and had a tantrum about how we were not keeping her safe and blah blah blah, just yelling on the floor. I’m not a supervisor, just security, but I calmly, not so subtly, told her to shut up.
'We’re not having this discussion on the floor in front of people,' I told her.
Then, we went upstairs and reamed her. She threatened to quit (Bye?). Police showed up and I told them what was up and that nothing had happened. A couple days later, all she got was a talking to because no one could prove what she said."
"I did not get fired for this.
I worked at a car dealership as a salesperson and it was maybe my third month working there. When I arrived at work, I saw that someone had traded in a nice 2011 BMW 135i. Usually, when someone trades in a car, we were supposed to remove their tags and take the traded in car to another lot we had strictly for trade-in vehicles. But sometimes we left the car in front of the used car department if we were one of the last people to leave before closing. That way, we could move the car the next day.
I always took the 'fun' cars for a spin. Since this was a really nice vehicle in good condition, our next step would be to take it to service so it could be inspected and sold on our used car lot. Before I did that, I asked the sales manager, who I was good friends with, for the keys so I could 'test drive' it before we inspected it and got it cleaned up. He tossed me the keys and I headed straight to the BMW. It was a manual. I wasn't great at driving manuals at the time, but I decided to drive it anyway. One of our porters wanted to tag along, so I told him to get in and we headed out to the highway.
After stalling a couple of times at the lights before we reached the highway, I decided to rip through the gears to see how fast I could go. I blew past a red Mustang GT at, maybe, 140 MPH. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the mustang starting to gain speed. He was trying to race, I assumed, but I decided to slow down, since I already got my thrill for the day. I down shifted from sixth gear to first by accident. We both crapped ourselves. I had to call the sales manager to have someone pick us up and to send a tow truck because the car would not start back up."