Workers in unfair and tough situations don't always get a fair deal. Sometimes this boils over into people leaving on the job because they can't take the hassle. These stories detail workers experiencing a variety of unfair and in many cases illegal labor practices. Some of these stories will involve the satisfying feeling of victory as a worker gets a sick burn in on their boss, or involve them telling their coworkers off. In the end they're an eye-opening glance into the anger that can accompany people when they're pushed too far at work.
"I worked at a small, family-owned restaurant for over a year. All I did was wash dishes. The owner hated me and always made my shift miserable because her creepy husband loved being around me and talking to me, and she accused me of hooking up with him more than once. My last straw was her calling me a filthy homewrecker in front of not just my coworkers, but also some customers.
I was 15."
"I told three out of four managers (one wasn’t there that day) that my grandma had died so I wouldn’t make it to work the next day. I also left a note for the 4th manager, and asked everyone to let him know.
DURING the funeral I got a call from the fourth manager asking where I was. I called him back and explained and he said ok.
Went to work the next day, and they handed me a paper saying I’d been written up for doing an improper call out. I handed the paper back and just left."
"I used to work as a lifeguard. I had injured my shoulder and was in a sling, and they forced me to come into work and threatened to fire me If I didn’t. I had to guard a pool being unable to swim because MY ARM WAS IN A SLING. I did the pettiest thing possible and sent in my resignation late at night, the day before my morning shift."
"I worked at an animal shelter. I loved my boss, manager, everyone that worked there were like family to me.
But the board of directors kept messing with us, cutting our budgets and hiring people without our knowledge. One day when I was off my boss arranged a walkout to go complain to the county executive about the unfair behavior of the board and the mistreatment of our staff (including EXTREMELY racist remarks towards our manager).
All of the animals were taken care of before the walk out, and they were only gone for an hour. We thought things were finally going to get better, but ten days later the board of directors came in and fired my boss. Most of the staff quit and walked out with him, I wish I did too.
Within the next month the new management let the place go nuts, cats not getting their medications, being given the wrong food, and a massive ringworm outbreak. They had to open a new building just for the cats that needed to be quarantined, and the remaining original staff was thrown into the mess to supervise the new buildings ourselves. It just kept getting worse, spreading around the shelter like a wildfire. New management had no idea how to handle it, and one day a couple of veterinarians came into our building and put down three cats. They actually had to restrain us from the room they were euthanizing in, and after that I sat in the break room and refused to work for the rest of the day, just crying with my other coworkers instead. I went home that day and never showed back up.
I now volunteer with an amazing organization with my old boss and other staff members, still rescuing animals and doing all that we can."
"There were a couple things building up to the last straw. Mainly, I was the supervisor of my crew but the boss was 'getting around to the paperwork' that would confirm my title change and pay raise for three months. I was also supposed to get full medical benefits, but the day I quit, the benefits were 'in the mail so just wait' for seven months.
The last straw was when the company had approaching deadlines and the scumbag management staff was getting desperate, they kept cutting out everyone's breaks and harassing people out of filing first aid reports. Someone on my crew was starting to get heat rash (working in summer in the middle of a heat wave) but the boss was standing in the shade glaring us down, so we wouldn't take breaks. After my coworker collapsed I stopped everything and ran to her side to help. The boss came up and said, 'Oh Christ, heat stroke? Take five minutes, get water, get back to work.'
I exploded and told them to go off themselves, and they're as bad as a manager as they are a person, and they can't treat people like that. I helped my coworker gather her things and I gathered mine and I drove her to the hospital and I never went back.
I immediately filed a safety breach report explaining every safety rule they broke. And since then I heard that two others quit, the company is under investigation, and another co-worker asked me to support him in filing a discrimination lawsuit against the company (the same horrible boss was very racist towards indigenous people)."
"My wife was about to give birth, and I took the job as a temp worker. I was only there for three weeks (I’d just moved to the city). I worked with the temp agency while I continued to look for an office job in engineering. I called my supervisor to let them know my wife was having contractions and her water broke, and he told me to get to work and that the baby wouldn't be born till later anyways. I said no, I'm driving my wife to the hospital. In response, he told me to get back to work. I simply responded ‘I quit,' and hung up on him.
Ten days later I found a job, and have been employed there for four years now."
"I worked at a Red Lobster for a few years in college. I didn't really have any complaints, it was what it was. Right after graduating, I moved to another town and was able to transfer to one near my new location.
It was the worst experience of my life. Horrible management, and the location was in a relatively upscale part of town, so there were MUCH better alternatives for seafood so the customers were always terrible as well.
We were required to be in 15 minutes prior to the start of our shift for a pre-shift meeting and change over and stuff. Thing is, you couldn't clock in until 5 minutes before your scheduled start time. The company wanted to run skeleton crews to save money, so we were always scrambling. I would often come in and I would already have seated tables (plural) waiting for me. The host managers mentality was 'well they need to be here 15 minutes early anyway so if they can seat them 15 minutes early.' Nothing seemed to ever clarify why this was wrong on many levels.
One day I came in and already had a seated table. Went over and greeted them immediately (They were upset but understanding) and then went to the bar to ask them to make some drinks (I couldn't enter them in the system since I couldn't clock in yet). While I was waiting for the drinks I was venting to a fellow server about it and mentioned 'If they seat me again before I can even clock in I'm done.' Well, before I could even finish the sentence, they had seated me again. I told the server I was talking to it was nice to have worked with them, made sure to let BOTH tables know they were seated in a section that didn't even have a server yet because the company didn't want to pay for a full staff and that they should dine at restaurants that care about them having a good experience, and walked out."
"I was 18 and working at a movie theatre concession stand on an extra busy day. My coworkers made themselves busy doing things that didn’t need to be done like checking toilet paper or organizing candy instead of helping me with a line that wrapped itself around the stand. One lady got extremely nasty with me because I didn’t butter the middle of her popcorn, she was literally screaming at me for it.
I looked and saw one of my coworkers just watching me and laughing as they pretended to clean the ticket booth window. I clocked out of the position, walked out of the concession stand, slammed the door behind me, told the customer she was being a complete wench and didn’t need more butter, told my coworker to go eff himself and walked out.
I never went back despite them willing to apparently forgive me because this wasn’t my usual behavior."
"I was working my second job as a welder and booked two weeks of vacation for a trip to Canada to see the now wife's family. The day before we are set to leave my manager tells me he's going to have to cancel it as he's booked three people off on the same weeks. I explained I'd spent thousands on this trip, he then said I booked mine last so I'd have to loose it. I spoke with everyone on site yet no one else had time booked. I went to human resources, and he was called in to explain. He came out with the same nonsense and HR backed him up. I said OK got up and walked off site. I had 45 phone call missed by the time I'd driven home and a voice mail demanding I get back to work or I'm fired. I called the owner and explained I'd quit and my reason. Turned my phone off and went on my trip.
I returned from the trip to nearly 50 voicemails from manager telling me I was in deep trouble and that I should watch my back when in public. I sent them all to a solicitor and police just in case anything happened, along with sending former boss everything. He was dismissed, and I was offered his job as I'd been there longer than most of the team. I didn't accept as wanted to become self-employed and it was the push I needed."
"I once had a manager at Panera Bread who would constantly be complaining about how the high school employees' schedules were so tight. I quit the job my senior year when I was also enrolled in college courses and had basically no free time. She rolled her eyes when I handed in my two-weeks notice, and said something like, 'I don't understand why you're all like this, when I was in school I worked full time.'
To which I responded with a year of built up passive aggression and the new release of having quit anyway, 'And now you're a manager at Panera.'"
"I worked at a gas station deli and right before I went in for my shift my mom called me to tell me my sister had been rushed to the hospital. I needed to go there to be with the family, so I called my manager and they said to find someone to cover your shift. I called a few people and one person said they would come in and cover my shift. I called manager back and let them know that a friend was covering my shift , they said ok. I came in 2 days later for my next shift and the manager starts flipping out on me , saying the business was messed up because I didn't show up for my shift. I proceeded to remind them that I had to go to the hospital for my sister and that my friend was covering my shift. She then proceeds to tell me how my friend didn't show up therefore it was my fault and that I cost them money and all this nonsense. I was like 'Are you freaking kidding me? I'm sorry you were too high on coke to remember our call but I had a family emergency so eff you and eff this place!' I walked out the door and proceeded to yell 'bite me' to them."
"I was working at a restaurant that was, to put it bluntly, absolutely atrocious. The place was almost always dead apart from the owners friends who would make it their life’s mission to be incredibly rude to myself and other staff members. Somehow I stuck it out for 6 months.
The final straw came at Christmas when I wanted to travel back home to spend time with my family (as my grandmother was sick at the time), and their response was ‘you have to decide what’s more important, your job or your family.’
I told them that was the dumbest question I’ve ever heard and walked out."
"I got a job re-locating large fully grown trees. The shop workers were talking this company up while I was doing my orientation saying this place was a 'feel good' career.
First week, we tore down an old house on our tree farms land, all of the drywall - which is technically toxic because of how old it was, was supposed to be removed for a fee by the dump. They dug a ditch on a customers house and buried in on their land when they weren't home.
I then was asked to change crews (there were only 2 - and the one I moved to had a very high turnover rate). Todd was the boss of this crew, Todd was a freaking prick. He was a 35-ish year old man with a 18 year old girlfriend, he bragged about how he banged her at her family camping trip with her parents in the next tent. About how he cheated on her, etc. He also loved calling everyone names. On my first day with him he called me a loser because I had a RHCP sticker on my car. I had literally zero experience in that field, was hired as a laborer and was made to drive an excavator. Never used one before, got the hang of it pretty okay after a day or two. I was trying to get it in between two houses that were pretty close together, taking my time. He yelled at me to, 'hurry up slowpoke' I got out of the excavator, threw the key in the middle of the ditch and got in my car and left."
"I was working for a very prestigious school. Spent years there. The head left. The bursar (second in command effectively) was forced out by the new head. On his way out, he warned me what was going to happen. I was later accused of not doing my job properly (non-specific, which was my warning sign that they didn't understand anything that I did). They paid an equivalent guy at another school more than three months salary to come in and 'audit' my systems for a month. We couldn't stand each other. But, I'll give him credit, he did his job. His report was hundreds of pages long but boiled down to 'The guy's doing far more than he should be, the systems are far better than should be possible, the school is doing absolutely nothing they should be doing to help and are getting in his way at every turn'. There was a short list of recommendations for me (things like 'formally write down the password rules that the servers use'). There was a MUCH MUCH MUCH bigger section of the entire report that told the school to form committees, plan things properly, manage projects better on their end, give me more time, let me take my full holidays (which they hadn't done in years), pay me more, get me more staff, formalize their requirements, and do all kinds of things they had never bothered to do.
I was called before the headmaster, threatening me with all sorts if I didn't back my ideas up. I was formally given my list of recommendations on an 'if you don't improve all these by this deadline, you will be sacked' basis. They never published their lists of things they needed to do, but I was informed of them. I made an ultimatum there and then. You fix the items on your end of the report (shock, they didn't realize I'd been furnished with a copy of that), that the guy YOU hired wrote, that you PAID him to write, and I'll stay around. If you fail to do that, I will 'sack' you, my employer. They agreed. I completed all mine that same afternoon, to the auditor's satisfaction.
The deadline for theirs came, a few months after. I suspected that they had done little. I booked a meeting. It was postponed. Then cancelled. Then I had it put in their calendar by a formal process. Inside the meeting, they wouldn't let me speak from the start, I let them do their full diatribe. Even down to some guy that was nothing to do with IT there, who walked into the meeting uninvited and who had brought in his laptop to show that 'nothing worked.' However, I had a complete help desk with full history. Nothing about that unauthorized laptop that I'd literally never seen (and hence would never have been set up to actually work on the network in all the years I'd been there) had ever been filed. Oops. I waited my turn before dropping that on them and then asking them to leave.
Then, to the head: 'I have, as per our agreement, fulfilled every element of your request. Months ago. Correct?'
They couldn't disagree.
'Could you point to a single item that the school was required to do that they've even initiated?'
'Not even the official recommendation that says that you 'MUST decide who should be on an IT-based committee', when there is one IT teacher, one IT guy, and few others with an interest in such things? You couldn't even be bothered to write two names on a piece of paper in several months?'
Lots of nonsense and excuses.
'Cool. I understand completely. I quit.'
'You'll have to serve your notice.'
'I will fulfill all my legal obligations. I suggest you get someone to come in tomorrow to do my job, because I won't be here.'
'We'll sue you.'
'Breach of contract, because you're leaving without notice.'
'Actually, your own report, and your own HR person, who I have literally just visited, says not. You owe me eight weeks of paid holiday that you have never let me take, because I was so overworked, and which your predecessor guaranteed that I could roll-over to this year because of that. My notice period is eight weeks. You will therefore pay me for the next two months, but not see me again.'
'You can't do that.'
'I'd consult a legal expert on that, if I were you. My wife's quite a good one.'
Stood up, left the meeting, left the building. Never went back. I had literally nothing to go to, but just walked, I was so mad at them for not even bothering. They did pay me my money.
A few hours later, a bigger, better place caught wind of the whole thing and hired me on the spot.
The school nearly collapsed. A few months later, several former members of staff (who were less prepared than I was) had the same thing happen to them. But they were much higher up, so many of them did the same and then also dished all the dirt they knew to various agencies and ombudsmen. They were investigated top to bottom. Every senior member of staff was sacked, demoted or otherwise removed. The head was sacked. The governors were removed from the school. Pretty much all new staff top to bottom.
It was then revealed that that was the second time that head had done that to a school."
"I worked an overnight job. During the holiday season all other overnight guys and I took all the overtime we could get , working 18-20 hour days, working after having 4 hours off, whatever. It was all legal in the state I'm in, and it's not critical or cerebral work so no harm, we're basically just lumps of flesh in a uniform.
That was fine for a few months, I bought a bunch of extra nonsense with it. But I got burned out after about four or five months of straight overtime and just started turning it down. Then the manager started making it mandatory. I told him no, we drive on our regular job so pushing it when we can't do it isn't a good idea. Appealed to his manager and the mandatory overtime went away for awhile.
Suddenly one day I come in to the other overnight guys being moved elsewhere and I have to pick up their slack. Why? That shift needs to be covered, so I'll cover their shift and mine. If I'd done that it would have forced me to work 4 to 5 hours overtime to just cover the shift and the work required on said shift. I texted the manager immediately and told them I can't do it. He stated it's mandatory and if I can't do it, I'll no longer have the job. He said he'd do me a 'favor' this one time and move the other overnight guys back so I don't have to stay over.
They were legitimately shocked when I didn't show up the next night, or ever again."