Screaming meltdowns aren't a part of company culture. Or, at least, they really shouldn't be. But these co-workers decided to act like toddlers in the most bizarre, over-the-top ways to get what they wanted. Something must have worked, because even supervisors would often resort to this behavior to keep the workday going. No idea how these people got fired in the first place. This content has been edited for clarity.
"I'm a hockey referee. Don't even get me started on the immaturity I have to deal with on the job. I was calling a game, when in the first period, I heard a coach screaming, 'WHISTLE,' repeatedly from his bench. As a person on the ice who blows the whistle when necessary, that's a word that instantly gets my attention. I looked around, but couldn't see anything that would necessitate a stoppage in play. I decided to give the coach the benefit of the doubt and stop things once his team had possession. I skated over to the bench and asked what the deal was. He told me that 'whistle' was his code-word for his team to ice the puck or something.
Obviously, that couldn't continue. I told the guy to pick any other word that didn't have the same confusing connotations as 'whistle.' He begrudgingly agreed, and the game continued.
Later in the game, it happened again. I waited until a normal stoppage this time, and tried telling him that it simply wasn't acceptable for him to be shouting 'whistle.' Instead of a calm conversation like last time, he decides to put both his arms up in the air and calling me every name he can think of. He gets one more warning. I tell him that I won't be talking to him any longer, and if he wants to take things up with me, it shall be through his team's captain.
After shouting a triumphant 'Forget you, zebra!' he turns his back on me and grumbles to himself. I immediately gave a bench minor penalty to his team, and this guy took offense to that as well. At this point, he thought it was a great idea to throw a water bottle at me to express his contempt. I asked him to leave, he refused, and I said that the game wouldn't start again until he had left the building.
We had a stand-off. The evil coach was refusing to leave. Eventually, the fans caught wind of what was happening, and soon, hundreds of people were booing this clown. It got the better of him, and as he stepped down from the bench, the boos turned into applause from the other team's fans. He was subjected to a disciplinary review, and I haven't seen him since."
"I work with a guy who is a complete monster. Since being at my work place just over a year, he has made 7 female co-workers cry. One of them actually left the company due to his behavior. He is rude, obnoxious, incredibly biased against women, and the whole company is certain he was the guy who pooped in the urinal because the cleaning lady threw out a week old bagel he had on his desk. He has created a void around him of empty desks due to people not being able to tolerate his belligerent and often abusive behavior. He has a personal vendetta against my boss, who is basically just too soft to complain about him.
We have this policy that all unattended computers must be locked for confidentiality and all that. So 6 months ago, he left his screen unlocked one day, so I set his background as a crude explicit paint drawing. He still refuses to talk to me. He reported me to HR and I have been instructed to never touch his property again.
So, every day when he leaves, I go to his desk and turn everything upside down or unplug every cable for his computer, just enough so everything looks normal but nothing works. Yesterday, I dipped all the ends of his pens in salt and told my friend in the office to tell him it's a sign he's having a stroke. He's been on Web MD since 3:00.
What I did causes him minor embarrassment and a small amount inconvenience. What he does demoralizes the entire office and creates a tension within the air that makes everybody uncomfortable. Everybody in the office knows about my little pranks and everybody gets a chuckle out of it. I don't see what I'm doing as wrong. I see it as a small amount of justice."
"I work with a woman from England who has been there 3 years longer than me. She takes extra long breaks and lunches and usually just disappears numerous times every day. I brought in homemade biscuits and gravy for everyone one day. She wouldn't touch it because she said it looked like 'sick,' and it would make her sick as well. Then she told everyone not to eat it. Luckily, they didn't listen.
When the lotto was super high, a coworker and I asked her what she would do if she won. She got enraged and told us it was none of our business. She then proceeded to tell us that she would buy an AK and rat-ta-tat-tat everyone. I then kindly told her to watch out cause people have been fired for comments like that. 'YOU better watch out!' was her reply.
She consistently breaks the rules, leaves client information out in the open, throws everyone around her under the bus, smacked a guy once because he didn't agree with her, and talks nothing but politics and religion on the phone with her clients. The sad part is, I work at an amazing Fortune 500 company who tries to make things work for everyone."
"My work environment is like a soap opera.
We are under a federal health sciences grant and the funds are quite poorly mismanaged. My boss fills our students' time with knitting and other unrelated activities, and she uses our rather tight budget to buy giant touch screen computers to try to impress the grant compliance people down the hall. I spend most of my time making our department look less like a dumpster fire than it really is. Recently, she hired a 'secretary' (that's her job title, but I'm not really sure what she does besides complain), who sounds like a T-Rex stomping down the hall. This secretary (whom I affectionately refer to as the Bug-Eyed She-Devil) walked into my office one day and said, 'I am going to find out how to antagonize you.' I laughed, thinking it an ice-breaker of some sort. Oh, how wrong I was.
She'd come in every day after that while I was busy doing work and speak so loudly at me it was difficult to ignore her, for about an hour at a time (asking her to leave had no effect, so I started tuning her out). I mentioned the annoyance to my boss and she did nothing, so I started being rude to the secretary (the wisest course of action, I'm sure). This seems to have made her snap. She'd come in and curse loudly at me, then stomp off calling everyone 'loser' (she once left my boss' office going 'SHE'S SUCH A LOSER!' in front of our students). My boss knows ALL of this, but she insists on 'giving her a second chance.' I'm all for second chances, but MY GOD THERE IS A LIMIT.
My boss is very passive-aggressive and paranoid. Because of the various ordeals with the secretary, she now spends her time worried that I am going to quit on the spot. She shows up with gift baskets of office supplies and candy and takes me out to lunch to try to keep me from quitting.
I will say, my job certainly isn't boring."
"I worked for a long time in an office with a resident demon. She had started with the company from day 1 and was therefore untouchable. She had a very specific job function and quite honestly, only did work about 2 hours a week. She would roll in around noon and sneak out around 3, spending those 3 hours making everyone completely miserable.
We had soft but ample lighting throughout the office. There was an option of fluorescent lights, but they were painful. This witch would come in after everyone had been there for 3 hours and turn on ALL the fluorescent lights.
She would complain that it was too cold (at 75) and turn the thermostat up to 80 something. When someone low on the totem pole agreed with her, she started making it colder in the office.
Again, her work was minimal. She had no use for interns and would tell them they 'wouldn't understand' how to help. If any of us had the gall to have an intern helping us with printing, she would remove those papers from the printer and hide them at her desk then go to lunch. She also gave interns the silent treatment at random, seriously stressing some out. She did it to us too, but messing with an intern is super low.
Every day, she would obtain 2 large cups full of ice and throughout the day, chew ice cubes with her mouth open. It was the worst noise I've ever heard.
The bosses were just as fed up, but they were either afraid of her or knew she would never get fired. In my exit interview, I made it clear that she was partly responsible for my deciding to leave. The company is definitely not known for loyalty but, alas, she still works there."
"I've been working for a bankruptcy law firm for the past year and a half prior to my heading off to law school. Today is actually my last day, thank goodness. Anyhow, we share a large suite with a family law firm, whose staff is the epitome of immaturity.
My soon-to-be replacement at work was interacting with a client and asked if I could come help resolve a question. I stepped over and quickly and quietly answered the question. The nearby partner flew out of his office and bellowed that she and I were, 'unbelievably annoying the eff out of him' in front of our client, spewing out profanities in front of her young children, and the entire office staff of both firms.
I calmly stepped into the lobby to finish with our client, apologizing for the outburst, and later went to speak with that partner. I waited until he was in his office, alone and at the end of the day, and I asked if he had a moment to speak. He replied that, for me, he did not have any time. I apologized for interrupting and said that I simply wanted to say that if he has any further issues with me or my fellow staff, he spoke to us in a private and civil manner. I followed that by saying that I felt that being cursed at in front of clients, children, and the entire office staff for doing nothing out of the ordinary or wrong was unacceptable. He became irate and screamed at me that I was unacceptable and that I should get out of his sight immediately. He's a charming fellow.
One of their secretaries sent around a memo notifying us that she had been counting the diet sodas and has noticed that there have been a few missing here and there. She asked if anyone would admit to the theft or if she should notify the police department that our janitorial staff is stealing office supplies. Additionally, they have now taken to locking up all of their office snacks in a particular cabinet prior to leaving for the day."
"Today is my last day at my job. What I deal with is so bad, the company owners are making me leave without telling my boss, because they know she will throw a temper tantrum. If she does not get her way, she starts crying, and this can sometimes last for days. She did the 'silent treatment' to me after demanding to hear my weight and subsequently being jealous, me not agreeing on what actors are cute, and me not wanting to tell her serious issues in my personal life.
I have caught her staring at herself for very long periods of time at portraits of herself, dressed as a goddess.
Any time we've gone out for food as an office, we have to wait about 30 minutes for her to decide, usually making the waiter stick around for ages while she creates her own dish.
We work in a small tight-knit, youngish local industry, and since she is friends with many of our clients, she constantly makes excuses for them when I have to work extra hard and extra hours because they're lazy. She simultaneously throws it in my face that she's friends with everyone possible, and saying it's okay to give me extra work because the guy can do what he wants; any excuse is okay for one of her friends. The way she acts with me about our clients she knows is how a child acts when their parents don't approve of the group their hanging out with, it's incredibly odd and creepy.
She treats me like I'm some unattainable dog, but my job has been fairly easy for me, I have all the right skills for it. Yet I am told how to do and when to do every task every day. If I don't listen to her instructions that I've known since week 1, she starts flipping out and cursing at me. When I do things right I get responses like, 'Atta girl', as if I'm mentally challenged.
Not to mention how she is sabotaging my work when she's randomly upset at me. It's been nuts, but I'm out of there for good now."
"I work with a guy who constantly has to one up everybody about anything they talk about or any experiences they've had. If you talk about skydiving, he has a friend that packs chutes and custom-made his own parachute. I mentioned helicopters, he chimes in he has over 12 hours behind the stick. I mention my tour in Iraq and how sad a story is I see in the news about a school attack in Afghanistan, he tells me he's got over 230 confirmed kills as a civilian contractor sniper. It's rather comical at this point though.
My favorite story of his: I was discussing with a coworker the prerequisites for admission to MIT one day, and also discussing the different programs they have. Mostly it was me reflecting on a school I really would've liked to have gone to, but felt that I lacked the ability to be successful at such a school. I then began discussing the possibility of getting an education from them due to their newly adopted online programs. At that point he offers, 'Yeah, I actually got accepted to MIT, I turned them down though.'
Just to spite me."
"I'm very lucky to work somewhere that really cares about us as employees. However, there is a woman I work with who thinks it's her job to complain about absolutely everything. Nothing is ever good enough, and she has to pass judgment that everything our work does to take care of us as is somehow a slight, not enough, or less than in years past. Get a new printer? It's not fast as one she had at her old job. Give her a bigger monitor? She complains that it's not as nice as a coworker has (even if it's nicer).
You get the idea.
Recently, my work offered as a celebration of their 5-year anniversary to buy pastries, coffee, and juice for all the employees (about 15 of us). I was given the responsibility of going and picking these items up as a surprise. I got two bakers' dozen boxes of Voodoo's doughnuts, a few different containers of fruit, a couple dozen cookies, brownies, a gallon of milk, a gallon of juice, and a carafe of coffee. Everyone thought it was great, and since it was unannounced and unexpected, everyone was pretty excited, except for Captain Complainer. The cookies were only 4 varieties, the brownies had nuts, the fruit was all berries and not anything less sweet. She claimed the doughnuts were a waste, since we didn't get enough (again: 26 for 15 people, with all those other treats). She even went as far as to email management of her disappointment, and to say in the future I shouldn't be asked to help, since it was such a 'terrible spread'.
Thankfully, the higher-ups know she does this kind of thing and it was dismissed, but nothing, even free things, is ever good enough."
"My one coworker is 48 and massively jealous of the younger woman who works here (who is 29). The younger one was talking to a boss, and the older one kept walking by them, so the younger one and the boss moved to the boss's office to continue talking. While they were gone, I caught the older one in a closet with her ear to the wall trying to eavesdrop. The closet borders the boss's office.
I could go on for pages about her. She is crazy.
She rips on a coworker who comes in at noon and works until five. Ironically, this accusatory woman leaves every day at 2. She also has blown up in meetings in front of the CEO and told someone else to get lost. Now, you may be asking how does she keep her job. Well, you may be shocked to learn I work for a governmental agency, where apparently everyone can do whatever they want.
She is a massive liar, and gets caught in her lies all the time. But she still keeps lying. I had a meeting scheduled with a client, and I had casually mentioned it to this coworker, but was vague on purpose because she is nuts, and so I am waiting for the person to come. The person never shows up. It turns out this psycho woman I work with had figured out who was coming to meet with me, called the person's boss, made up some story, and managed to reschedule the meeting so it would be her who would deal with it. When I called her out on it, she played dumb, smirked, and walked away."
"I have a fairly odd work environment– it's a very family oriented place and they like hiring people that are family members. I currently work with my wife, sister-in-law, and their cousin's girlfriend.
We all work with a woman that can only be nice to one person at a time and hates the fact that family members work together. She constantly claims that we're all loud and talkative while she needs to work (we don't, and in fact, my desk isn't even near them). She'll give you the silent treatment for no reason. She constantly gets her way with practically anything she wants, but she will complain for ages if someone does something she doesn't like or gets treated nicely. She also takes a smoke break for around 7-10 minutes nearly every hour.
One time she ended up really messing up stuff with a client (as in she didn't send in the right information and the client thought their $10,000 was deposited into something, when it actually wasn't, and it couldn't be fixed) and she denied it over and over. Eventually, she was asked to write a letter admitting to it and apologizing (for doing it, and for lying). She wrote the letter, but made it a point to say that she was only doing it because she was told to, and that she still wasn't at fault (she was the only one who had accessed the account). She also went to management and threatened to sue them if they fired her, under some crazy reasons. They didn't fire her, she still works with us, and she's an even bigger witch now."
"I don't have to deal with her anymore, thank God, but I worked with a woman for about a year who was in her 50s and a miserable wretch. I'm 25 and acted more mature than her.
At the time, I worked in a dish room at a university, and so did she. We served lunch until 3:30 and re-opened for dinner at 5. I worked mornings during the first semester and would leave at 5. She would be coming in around 4:30. The minute she came in, she'd start whining about how things weren't set up the way she liked them and how the dishes weren't completely done (even if there were only a few left). She would take long '15' minute breaks, do minimal work, and complain about how she's 'the only one who does anything around here.'
She got even worse when I started working evenings with her. One night, she started screaming at the top of her lungs at the student workers because she thought they weren't doing enough work. She got written up for that incident, but at that point, I think she wanted to get fired so she could collect unemployment. Fortunately, she ended up not coming back after that academic year. She was scheduled to, but just never showed up. The wording of our contract specifies that if you 'no-call, no-show' 3 days in a row, you've forfeited your job. So she wouldn't even be able to collect unemployment, thankfully.
If she weren't union, she'd have been fired A LOT earlier. The managers really didn't like her, but couldn't get rid of her without going through a long process. I'm in the union as well, but that's one of my biggest issues with union labor. We know we can't be fired easily and that leads some people to slack off and run their mouths too."
"I worked with a woman who stole my coffee cups (I'd bring my own cups to work), apparently whenever she felt annoyed with me. I had no idea who was stealing my cups - four of them went missing - until we were looking for a replacement printer cartridge - they were nowhere to be found and weren't on the shelf where they usually were. My coworker and I decided that since the lady in question was the person that normally replaced the printer cartridges and was in charge of ordering them, that the cartridge might be on or in her desk.
So we went over to her desk (she wasn't there at the time obviously) and opened up the only drawer big enough to hold a big honking printer cartridge to see if one was there. We were NOT snooping and got a manager's permission to take a look. There were my cups. And she hadn't been taking only my stuff. She'd been filching stuff from other people and collecting it there too. Why she kept it at work instead of taking it home, I have no idea.
I put them all on my desk where she could see them. Instead of apologizing she became outraged that I'd gone into her desk and began screaming at me and saying how dare I violate her privacy and tried to rally the office against me. She didn't look happy when the other people she'd stolen from silently put their retrieved property on their desks and glared at her.
She was gone by the end of the next week.
The crazy thing was she seemed like such a nice person. I would never have suspected her of doing anything like that. Just goes to show that you never can tell."
"I carefully corrected my coworker after she gave a visitor very, very incorrect information that would have messed up their entire tour (they wanted to bring 60 kids to the park and go on our guided bus tour, which maxes out at 34. She said it was totally okay to bring the 60 and they'd take them anyway). She said I should never correct her ever and it was rude and she knew what she was doing. She didn't speak to me for three months.
This woman also called the cops to file a missing person report because she couldn't find our boss to ask her a question (she was on the other side of the site for the day, which we knew). The horrible thing is that she asked a number of people where our boss was. We all told her she couldn't get phone service from the site's location.
We were short-staffed that day and she was worried that she might have to stay 10 minutes late because she'd have to wait for someone to cover for her. She was new to our department, in which it's a weird day if you DON'T have to stay late. She was so hung up on leaving at exactly 5:00 that she had to absolutely find our boss to make sure someone would be there at 4:55 to cover her for the last bit of the day. This was so urgent that she needed the cops to go get our boss so that she could ask them a question.
She also murdered one of her pets. Her bird's feathers were molting, which she took as it being sick, so she let it outside in the middle of winter to die."
"I worked with a woman with the worst personality I've ever met. If you said 'hi' to her as you came in, she would just growl or ignore you. If you had a conversation and didn't include her in it, she would get angry and tell you to shut up...even going so far as to tell her own team leader this. She muttered insults under her breath all the time, as if people didn't hear her. Obviously, we all heard her, but somehow she thinks it's acceptable to insult people if she muttered it, so they couldn't hear what she said clearly.
When she got frustrated, she would growl or slam her desk. And she would eat at her desk. We weren't supposed to, but we did have small snacks. Not her though, she didn't just eat a yogurt cup, she ate those huge yogurt buckets meant for families.
I pity her, because EVERYBODY in the office disliked her. I tried being friendly with her, I just have that sort of personality that pity the underdog and try to be nice to them, and the only thing I got back was her spreading rumors that I had the hots for her. I received even worse treatment when she got jealous over how I was actually seeing a girl at the office."