Enough is enough. These workers shouldn't have to put up with so much disgusting, rude, or chaotic experiences. These people did the absolute most for their jobs, only to be completely ignored by their bosses. They clearly deserved more, and it was up to them to let their boss have it! Content has been edited for clarity.
"I worked retail in a secondhand game shop for just over a year, and as you can expect there were plenty of strange customers, but there's one that tops them all. This dude comes in with his caregiver, and he looks around for bit. He then comes to the desk and says, 'I would like the Xbox 360 Elite in the window please,' So I'm like sure, I'll go grab it.
I grab the only Elite we have and come back to the counter. 'THAT'S NOT THE ELITE, I WANT THE ONE NEXT TO IT!'
Alright mate, no problem, I'll grab the other, which is just a black 360. 'THANK GOD I WAS HERE, I KNOW WHICH ONE AN ELITE IS!'
Yeah okay, that's cool. His caregiver is just looking down at his phone, clearly not wanting to get involved. I started grabbing the wires and the discs for the games he wanted. That's when he starts getting a little distressed with his caregiver. All of a sudden, he's then shouting and punching himself. Okay I get it, he's stressed, but I'll just keep doing my job. Then he walks outside and starts ramming his head against the shop window, and then comes to the door, grabs it, and head butts it repeatedly. Let me be real, these were not little love taps, he should have been unconscious.
At this point I'm just looking at my colleague dumbfounded. What is the protocol in this situation? I definitely wasn't trained for this. And all of a sudden, he stops walks up to the counter, straightened his shirt, and in the most polite British accent says, 'Sorry about that.'
Yeah no, $4.20 an hour is not enough for whatever this is. There was also the dude who hadn't showered or changed his clothes in the year I worked there, and the dude who had full conversations with himself complete with separate speech patterns and accents. That was a wild place to work."
"I worked for Petco a little over a decade ago, and while there were any number of atrocities, it was actually a relatively small incident that pushed me over the edge. To get me to this point, however, I’ll share with you some of the things I experienced and witnessed: I was forced to crush a reptile egg that was nearly full term, because we were not licensed for breeding. (They regularly cage male and female reptiles and birds together). Seven hours, no lunch break. I was told to lie to customers about the health of the animals we were selling them. We had VERY ill animals in the ‘wellness’ room, and we were told they would not be taken to the vet despite my requests, because, ‘They are more expensive to fix than replace’. I was told to let fish in a shipment die rather than help them acclimate, because, ‘If more than a third die in 24 hours, we get a discount on the next purchase’. I was told that I would be fired if I filed an incident report about a hamster being injured due to a manager’s negligence. The list goes on. All of these things were crushing, but my tipping point came one day when a customer wanted to purchase a goldfish.
As per policy, I was required to ask them how big their tank was, how long it had been running, and how many fish they had in it. If they had more than one inch of fish per gallon of tank, we were supposed to refuse the sale. This customer was barely over the fish/water rule, and the type of fish she had in there would be fine with the addition of another fish. Regardless, I suggested that they increase their tank size in the near future. The man who came with her glared at me and spat out, 'Excuse me? I know how to run a tank!'
I nodded, then told him that I was glad he knew what he was doing, and that many people don’t. He stormed off, leaving just the woman and me. As I was catching the fish they wanted, I said to the lady, 'If you could let him know that I’m required to ask those questions, and didn’t mean any offense, that would be-'
She interrupted with the best ‘I want to speak to a manager!’ tone I’ve ever heard. 'Let me put this in perspective for you.' She walked over, wagging her finger at me and smirking. Before she could get the rest of her sentence out, I piped up. 'Which perspective would you like? The one where I have a four-year degree and had to take a job working for minimum wage, or the one where I have almost 20 years experience and still have to deal with people like you?'
I dumped her fish back, and washed my hands. Of course, the next sentence was, 'I need to speak with your manager, NOW!'
'Go ahead, I’ll call her over. Policy states that I wasn’t supposed to sell you that fish anyway.'
She stormed off. It was both the most satisfying interaction I ever had with a rude customer, and the moment it clicked that I absolutely did not make enough to put up with all this nonsense the job handed me."
"I was working the evening / closing shift in the operating room in a surgery center. A patient came in with feces coming out of his nose and mouth. The patient had, apparently, placed an onion inside himself and it got stuck. He left the onion in there for over a month (hoping it would pass). He couldn’t pass the onion, or his own waste, and he became so backed up that by the time he came in his feces were coming out of his mouth and nose. You could smell him from a mile away. We performed emergency surgery on him (we as in the surgeons and other workers, not me, but I was in the room helping by request). The onion was rotten, his feces was rotten, his flesh was rotting, and there was pus and all sorts of dead flesh and inflammation.
We had to give him blood because he was so ill and because the surgery went on for many hours. There was so much waste backed up inside him that we had to put tubing inside so we could secure a line for him to breathe and give him fluids. There was so much waste that it covered the entire operating table, the floor, and many other things in the room. The techs and nurses were going in and out of the room tracking the rotting poop, flesh, and blood everywhere, into the hallway and the sterile room where the supplies were kept. Two anesthesiologists and surgeons threw up because of the smell (in the operating room), and they were switched out with other surgeons and anesthesiologists. The nurses were relieved. The techs were relieved. The doctors were relieved. But I spent my entire shift in that room, with no relief whatsoever. At the end of the case, which went on for well over eight hours (because they not only had to clean him out, they had to remove the onion, scrape out all rotting flesh, repair his bowels, and give him blood), all the nurses, techs, surgeons, and anesthesiologists left the room and left me to clean up the mess by myself.
I remember one of them saying, 'I’m out of here, have a good night.'
I’m thinking, 'Really!?'
We had a type of scented oil like thing that we would put on our masks to mask the smell in the operating room. It was pretty strong stuff, so usually only a little bit of it would do the trick. However, in this case, the smell was so bad that I doused two masks in it and that didn’t cover the smell one bit. The jar said not to put it on your skin because it is toxic. I ended up smearing it on and under my nose anyway, which burned, because I could not stand the smell of rotting feces, flesh, pus and onion. It still did not do the trick. It was a nightmare.
Cleaning the operating room took hours. Everything was caked on so thick that the normal soaking of the room in sanitizer and wiping everything down one or two passes with a mop didn’t remove it. It took at least five passes with the mop and tons and tons and TONS and tons of scrubbing and scraping to get everything clean. There was even blood and feces on the ceiling. In all the crevices. On the cords. On literally everything. When I was finally done with the operating room the ordeal was not over. The room adjacent where everyone scrubs in and sterilizes was covered in it. The entire hallway, in the operating room, leading out to the locker rooms and break room was covered in it. I had to scrape and scrub both the carpet and the locker rooms. The sterile room. The instrument cleaning room… I don’t know how to express that it was literally everywhere and reeked.
By the time I was taking the garbage, linens, and biohazard out, the automatic doors were malfunctioning. The doors weren’t opening and I had to force them open while trying to get a large cart full of the many heavy trash bags, linen bags, and bio bags through. The doors started opening and closing spastically, hitting me multiple times and knocking one of the bags out, busting it open in the process and dragging its contents back and forth across the floor. So, again, another wretched clean up. I go outside where the biohazard is locked up, linens are dropped off and garbage is to be compacted. The compactor was full of garbage, as whomever had brought garbage out prior did not compact it. I had to compact all of their bags before I could get to my disgusting load of garbage. Again, these bags were heavy because of the waste and all the things that were used in the case. Another garbage bag broke open and the contents fell on me as I was lifting it into the compactor. The rain was making it splash into my face when it hit the load and bounced off.
THEN, as if this night was not bad enough, I got locked into the biohazard area. It was raining and windy outside and the door swung closed while I was inside. I could not turn the latch because my keys were in the lock on the other side of the door. I called for security over the radio but no one came or answered. I tried to get under the fencing but could not fit. I was slamming myself into the door trying to get it to bust open all while being drenched by the rain. The drain in the area was clogged and started filling up.
I finally decided to climb up the chain link, having to shove my hands between the plastic slats and chain link to get any grip. I had to squeeze through the opening between the roof and the barbed wire. I caught my shirt in the belly area as well as the thigh area of the pants. There was no way to hold on once on the outside, so I had to jump to get down to the ground. Pretty tall drop, and I had a bad ankle. I went back inside and the night was not over. The doors were still malfunctioning. I was left with all the day shifts duties to tend to because, 'It was a slow day and you don’t do anything on the night shift.'
I was in college while I had this job. It was finals time of year. I was stressed because of that. But I also couldn’t afford to fix the car I had that broke down, so I was riding my bike to and from work and school. I was exhausted. Which made for a really REALLY long day on top of the excruciatingly disgusting and long day in the Operating Room.
By the time I showered and changed out, I could still smell the rotting feces on my skin. The entire ride home, in the rain, wind and dark, I could smell it with every breath. Like it had seeped into my pores. Like the smell was never going to go away. I had many disgusting cases and smells at that job, and had to deal with many things I wished I never had to deal with, but that day was the worst. I wanted to quit. And the fact all the day shift people always left me their duties to do on top of mine, especially on that day, made me want to quit and leave it all there for them to deal with."
"During high school, I worked in retail and didn't make nearly enough. This very eccentric woman entered the store dragging her child by her hand. She wanted a very expensive, limited edition Louis Vuitton bag. My supervisor asked me to approach her, so I reluctantly agreed and began to walk up to her. She was frantically looking for the bag. It was in the center display piece.
I said to her, 'Hi ma’am, is there a specific item you’re looking for?'
To which she replied, while still swiftly looking, 'Yes, I’m looking for the Monogram Coated Keepall bag.'
To which I said, 'Ah yes, it’s over here on the display piece.'
As she speed-walked following me, this other woman grabbed the bag and proceeded to checkout. This woman looked enraged. I said, 'I’m sorry ma’am, but that would appear to be our last one.'
She said, 'Oh, whatever, I’ll just come back later.'
Then I said, 'Well unfortunately, that bag is likely never to come back, it’s limited edition, and if it does, it wouldn’t be for a long time.'
Her child was over at the front of the store, playing with the handbags. She frantically rushed to the woman in line with the bag and begged her to give it to her. The woman obviously replied with a cold, 'No.'
This made the mother extremely persistent. Then she began shouting at her. The woman in line shouted back. She then came up to me and started punching my chest, exclaiming, 'This is all your fault! If you had been faster I would’ve gotten MY bag!'
I said to her, 'Ma’am I apologize about the bag, however, this is not my fault,' to which she responded with a cold hard slap to the face.
Security rushed over and dragged her out of the store as she started banging on the glass screaming like a patient in an asylum. I gently took her daughter out with her and said 'good luck' to her, to which she giggled.
Then, I jokingly said to my supervisor, 'Can I get a raise now?'
To which he said, 'Hah - no.'
I was considering taking her to court; however, I didn’t want to take away from her child, although she just tried spending way too much money on a bag but whatever."
"I was on shift as Loss Prevention at Ross Dress for Less. My actual position there was cashier, but they would often put me on the schedule to fill in for that role. It was kinda annoying though, because Loss Prevention gets paid at a higher rate than a cashier. Yet when I was scheduled for it my pay rate stayed the same. Everything was going well and I just clocked in. Not even five minutes later, a mother walks up to me and she was so mad. She had her little son with her and she was holding him by the wrist, like she was trying to keep it away from her and himself. I didn’t see anything on his hand though.
And she says, 'You all need to clean your restrooms and I’m going to call corporate on you. Where’s the manager?!'
Her voice was shaky and I could tell she was having a hard time trying not to yell at me. The manager, being nearby and hearing this, immediately dashed over. So while she talked to the customer, I rushed straight to the men's restroom to see what the problem was. And as soon as I stepped in I was trapped. There was poop smeared EVERYWHERE, on the mirror, on the sink, on the faucet, on parts of the wall, and even the SOAP DISPENSER! I was disgusted! I looked around for a second thinking to myself, 'Thank God it’s just this area.'
Then I turned around to leave and God was with me. I had almost reached for the door handle, which turns out was full of poop. I was so relieved that I saw it before grabbing. I could’ve easily made that mistake. I’m guessing that was this kid's misfortune. I DEFINITELY wasn’t grabbing that door handle bare handed. So I turned around to check the stalls for toilet paper, so I could wad it into a sort of mitt to open the door. Well, of the rolls had been unloaded into the toilets. At this moment, I realized I was trapped. Thankfully I had a radio so I could call in for help. Another associate opened the door from the outside and let me out and we quarantined it off. Of course, we closed for the day.
To this day I still highly doubt that person cleaned their hands after leaving poop on the door handle! He couldn’t have left that restroom with clean hands. At this point, it’s really hard to imagine that there isn’t any poop smeared anywhere else in the store. They probably smeared their hands on clothes and other merchandise. From that day forward, I rarely touched anything and I only went to the restroom to do mandatory checks. And of course, I entered more cautiously. No amount of money would be enough for me to deal with that."
"My first bit of work experience was a 2-day trial at an industrial hiring shop. Among our many bits of industrial hardware, one thing we hired out were cement mixers. Naturally, we have to clean them whenever they return from site. The things are usually still caked in cement, making the task somewhat harder than just scourers and water.
The solution was Hydrochloric Acid, in a high concentration, kept in an open bucket, and applied with a paintbrush. No protective equipment was used except for some steel capped boots, and in fact I was the only guy there who wasn't wearing shorts and a short sleeved shirt. Now, I was already miffed at this idea, but it only hit me what we were dealing with when the first guy, maybe 25 years old, stuck his head into the first mixer to reach the back. He brought his head out after a few seconds of gasping for air and visibly straining. He held his breath the second time, as a rancid stench that burned my throat began to emanate from the mixer.
As it happens, the chemical reaction that occurs when Hydrochloric Acid is mixed with cement produces a rather interesting product: Chlorine Gas. For the uninitiated, Chlorine is a highly toxic gas, that among other things was a weapon used in the World Wars. To make matters better, Chlorine is heavier than air, and thus will 'pool' inside any convenient bowl shaped thing it finds itself in, like an upright cement mixer. This little pit of doom was what we were expected to stick our heads inside.
I could hardly stand to watch the guy clean this thing without any protective equipment, and I 'brought it up', with the boss. Everyone, including the guy currently cleaning the mixers, leapt to the defensive. Apparently there was a 'technique' to making it not that bad. The hacked breathing and bloodshot eyes on the cleaner were not raising my confidence, so I pressed further. They didn't end up hiring me in the end. Something about 'not enough experience'."
"I work at a theme park. Around the winter holidays, we start to hit maximum capacity and have to go into more strict crowd control policies. It was my first holiday season. I was standing in front of a barricade that was meant to be a one-way chute out of one of the most popular lands in any of our parks. The most popular ride in said land went down, and the ride had to be evacuated. Where does the emergency exit let out, you may ask? On the opposite side of the barricade line, of course. So, people are swarming my way, and I have to tell them, calmly and pleasantly, that they still have to use the reroute and enter the land from the opposite side because, you know, fire marshal type things? Only, I can’t tell them that it’s fire marshal rules because that could incite panic. So, there are easily a hundred and fifty people screaming at me.
One man storms from the back of the crowd and starts barraging me with petty insults and telling me that I will let him in and I will apologize and I will give him his money back for this HUGE slight on him personally. I handled all of that pretty well for a 25-year-old woman with extreme anxiety. But he wasn’t done. When I still wouldn’t let him through, he grabbed me by the shoulders and pressed his thumbs into my collarbones, holding me against the barricade. (Real talk, you could still see the bruises like a month later).
He shoved me back and sort of dislodged the barricades making them clang really loudly, which drew the attention of my manager. The guy must have realized that he was gonna be in deep trouble, because by the time they got to me, he was gone. At the time, I was so rattled that I couldn’t have given a description past a white guy between 20s and 50s, about vaguely this tall, and wearing a white polo and baseball cap. Which, to be honest, could be a thousand men in a theme park on any given day. But because I couldn’t describe him, there was nothing they could do.
So, I was excused to go back-of-house and get myself together. I just sat there and cried for like ten minutes. You hear horror stories about working in theme parks. You hear how horrible guests can be. You hear how taxing high capacity days can be. But you don’t really get it until you get it. That was, legitimately, the only time in the two years since I started that I can honestly say that I thought about quitting. It certainly puts some things into perspective.
I do love my job. The company I work for is great. My department is really cool. But that was the moment that the shiny gleam wore off."
"I took a part-time job helping a friend who worked in a Pay Day Loan store. I needed cash for Christmas and he needed help in the small store. Mostly I was just calling people to remind them of the payment due date. It was pretty easy work. One night, the shady manager came into the store, who was younger than both me and my friend. He continued to berate both of us and brag about his education and how much more money he was making than us. He went on to tell us that he would humiliate his own employees by posting their mistakes on the wall for everyone in his office to see. He figured that embarrassing employees was the only way they would learn from their mistakes.
At one point, I had my cell phone and was recording his 'conversation'. It was mostly him sitting on a desk talking down to us. He didn't even know my name or my background or why I was there. This punk just came in and was talking down to us. I sent that audio recording to the head of the HR department. The manager was fired the next day and I got paid for the full month. Of course, I quit. The shortest job I ever had - this was only my third shift, so I really hadn't invested a lot of energy into it.
The creep called me the next day and only said, 'You went too far, you didn't have to get me fired.'
I told him, 'Maybe next time, don't treat employees you don't even know like dirt?'
He hung up with a huff. And yes, the outcome was as satisfying as it sounds."
"The last few weeks, the coffee machines at my second job have been out of order. Yesterday, I was called on to address this when a customer complained. I got there to find an older woman and her husband. I explained to them that the 'OUT OF ORDER' signs had been there for weeks, and that the coffee machines were out of order. The old woman told me that I had, 'Just put those there,' and that they hadn't been there before, and that she'd poured beans into both machines, ignoring the 'OUT OF ORDER' signs. That meant I'd have to clean it up later. I apologized and explained once again that the machines had been out of order for weeks.
Her husband went on to tell me that, 'In Seattle if I did something like this, I'd be dragged into an alleyway and shot!'
I was annoyed enough to explain, as politely as possible, that I used to live in Seattle and that people were not regularly shot like that. He got upset and told me, in more detail, how I deserved to be hit by a car and disabled, and then shot. That was when I chose to thank him for his time, explain to them how I'd tell my managers about the coffee machines not working, and quickly left."
"I used to work for a carpet cleaning company. We did a myriad of things along with carpet cleaning, and one of them was water extraction. If your basement or whatever flooded, you called us. One time, we got called to a house where a city sewer had backed up into the basement. We made commission and I knew it was gonna be expensive, so I volunteered for it. Upon arrival in the home, we were told the sewage backup had been there for three months. On top of that, the woman who lived in the house had either Alzheimer's or Dementia, and she would throw her trash into the basement instead of taking it out to the curb. Why her family allowed this to happen is beyond me.
Our managers wouldn't give us the proper protective equipment at first because they thought we were just 'being babies'. Eventually, after I threatened to walk off and call the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, we were given respirators and Tyvek suits. We spent twelve hours just cleaning the trash out of the basement, and another eight hours cleaning out the actual sewage.
I developed a persistent cough for around five months after that job. Also, the homeowner's family called and complained that we had poor work ethic and attitude because of how long it took us to do the job."
"Back in the 1980s, my first 'real job' out of high school was copier repair technician. I worked for a big office machine corporation and maintained equipment on site for clients. I got a call that the client’s copier wasn’t copying properly, and they were in a rush and really needed it fixed immediately. When I arrived the firefighters were leaving. The building reeked of smoke, there was fire and water damage, and the remains of their copier was a melted, charred wreck. According to the office manager, they knew there was paper caught in the fuser (the part that gets hot), but they didn’t have time to play around with un-jamming it. And besides, that was my job, not theirs. So they just kept using it. They wanted to know how long it was going to take to get the copier operational because they absolutely had to have it that day for a board meeting.
I explained that what they had was no longer a copier and was beyond repair. The office manager just started screaming about everything that had gone wrong that day and how most of it was my fault or my company’s fault, and we were all conspiring to get her fired and even questioned the relationship status of my parents at the time of my birth.
I calmly told them that if they needed a copier that badly, then they shouldn’t have set it on fire and to call their sales rep about purchasing a new machine once the power was back on and the building repaired. Then I went back to my office, turned in my tools, drove home and never went back."
"Memorial Day. I was working as a kitchen manager at a restaurant in New Jersey. Knowing it was gonna be busy that whole long weekend, I scheduled accordingly. The weekend was busy as expected with its usual bumps and grinds. Then comes Monday morning, and the staff starts calling off way more than expected. Two cooks, my prep cooks, my baker, and my food runner all don't come in. And here comes the breakfast rush.
I'm bouncing between the line, prep, baking, and running food. In walks the General Manager around 9, totally ignores what's happening, and heads to the office and proceeds to sit down and do the previous night's numbers. I'm still running around, getting more upset by the moment. Around 10, the Regional Manager walks right through a packed lobby of clearly upset customers, who we can't seat due to not getting food out on time. I'm on the other line throwing down as fast as I can as with the other line too. The orders just keep on coming. The Regional Manager sees all of us struggling, but he just heads to the office. Ten minutes later, I get a call to come into the manager's office.
The Regional and General Managers shut the door and proceed to ask me why I didn't have enough staff scheduled for today. I pulled the schedule off of the wall and showed them that I had an adequate amount of staff scheduled, but they were calling off left and right. Then, they proceeded to blame me for this. That as the straw that broke the camel's back. I snapped at both of them. I walked out, rude gesture directed right at both of them. My only regret is that I didn't apologize to my dedicate staff that had been with me throughout my tenure. They worked hard for me and were loyal."
"I'm a mortician, so you already know this will be good. I was embalming a body, pretty standard case, and then it was time for the last step. That is where we take a long hollow tube called a trocar, about the diameter of a magic marker with a very sharp tip, and we insert this into the abdomen about an inch above the navel and slightly to the right. Then we attach this to a long tube which is attached to a suction machine, and we aspirate all the blood, pleural fluid, and anything in the bladder and intestines. We move the tube in kind of a fan-shaped pattern both above and below the navel, trying to pierce every organ.
I was aspirating the stomach and bowels when the tube came loose from the machine. I got sprayed in the face with everything that exists in a person's gut. Like many embalmers, I can sometimes be a little lax about face and eye protection. I said a loud profanity and stood there for several minutes contemplating graduate school. I got paid $100 that day."