Sometimes people feel as if they've found the perfect job: it's in the right industry, the pay is good and overall the people they work with are great, or so it seems at first. Once people realize how crummy their job/coworkers actually are, it's only a matter of time before they make their leave, sometimes in truly epic ways. Here are a few instances where people left their jobs and their former employers with quite a mess to clean up.
Fast Food Isn’t Always The Cleanest
“Always worked the close shift at a fast food joint. My managers LOVED to hand out citations for any little thing. The policy was 3 strikes and you’re out. I had two strikes left and was told to clean up the entire front end and bathroom in an hour or risk getting a third strike.
To put things in perspective, I had to close the register, count the money, clean up the front end, restock everything, sweep and mop the floors, and clean the entire bathroom (including the toilets) for basically $8.05.
I walked into the bathroom, just to see what to expect. Looked like someone had finished projectile defacating all over the toilet and then decided to wiz next to the sink.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to do everything in an hour and that I would get fired regardless. So, I took my uniform off and walked home shirtless. I still feel kind of bad for whoever had to clean that whole mess up.”
“I had a job as a fairly niche field service engineer in IT. Started off covering my local area, which was fine, maybe an hour traveling time to my most remote site, tops. Then they lost an engineer in my adjacent territory and I had to cover that too. Put my travel time up to about 2 1/2 hours each way that wasn’t great, but it was temporary, allegedly. Then they lost a further engineer and guess what, I had to cover that area too. That meant I was having to do up to 4 hours driving each way just to get to a site, and then they expected me to put in up to a full 8 hour day.
I mentioned this to my manager and pointed out that if I was pulling multi-day jobs at a site 4 hours away it’d be far better to put me up in a hotel, But they said ‘nah’ as it was unusual for me to do multi day installs. Anyway, a month or so later, I was expected to put in a compete new system at a site, spec’ed up 4 full days to do it, high profile client and I basically told my manager I needed a hotel. They pushed back, ‘It’s only 4 days. You’ll be fine, just charge them the travel time as worked hours.’ Which is fine, but I was salaried and they were the ones invoicing the client so no overtime for me.
Anyway, on the second day I arrived at nearly lunchtime after a massive accident on the motorway held me up for 4 hours and got a complete bollocking off the client for it, I thought ‘forget this’, packed my tools, left the site with their old system ripped out and a pile of unopened boxes of new kit, switched off my mobile and drove to head office. Parked close enough to the main entrance that the car operated the automatic doors, went into reception, and told the receptionist (very politely, it wasn’t her fault) that I quit, all my gear was in the car and here are my keys, phone and pass, then walked out and got a cab home.
Found out from a friend that they lost that client, which was one of their main ones, even after my manager basically spent the rest of the week installing the kit on his own, without any documentation as I’d written the spec and ‘accidentally’ kept it.”
The Corporate Stiff
“I worked 25 years for a large company in the sales division. I was making 6 figures and had earned my role as VP of the west coast. My plan was to stick around to retirement
But then we got a new president. And the new president was an absolute piece of garbage to everyone. I saw one sales guy walk up all excited and offer a handshake to meet him. The president didn’t shake the extended hand and instead said, ‘I can’t believe you came here without polishing your shoes.’ The president gave a directive for me to stop hiring people with business or sales experience and to start just hiring attractive men and women. Because ‘their good looks will sell product better than the educated words of a veteran salesperson, plus they are young and work cheaper.’ I went along with this request and made 2 such hires.
Then the next request came along. ‘Tell me who is the worst member of your team right now,’ I explained my team was #1 in the company and all members were doing well, but the weakest one was an 8 year employee who had a bad year last year. He was making less frequent calls and the quality of calls was dropping. I had to place him on a PIP to improve in 3 months. And he did! He worked long hours and weekends and moved into the #1 spot on my team.
At the end of the 3 months the president calls me to discuss the PIP. I explain the great progress and that I want to release him from the PIP because he is on-track now.
The reply was, ‘Well there’s probably other things wrong with him anyway so terminate him and document it. Make sure to hire a young attractive person as a replacement.’
I quit on the spot with zero days notice (unusual for a white collar job) and told him to do his own dirty work.
Now I work as a high school teacher and I’m much happier.”
If I’m Not Scheduled, Don’t Bother Me
“I was working at a small bar/hotel in some remote place.
The manager was an absolute piece of garbage, just rude to staff and the customers and unpleasant to be around. There was only a small handful of staff there expected to work all day every day, myself included. I worked 9 long days in a row – finishing really late and getting up really early in the morning to come back and clean the hotel, with not many hours in between (pretty sure that’s illegal). It also wasn’t that close to my house – about a 40 minute drive each way.
I had a day off after my long stint doing lots of shifts which I was excited about and planned a nice day out with my boyfriend but the manager rings me the day before to ask me to cover someone’s shift who wanted it off. I said no because I had plans. He lost his mind and told me when I started I agreed to work weekends and I need to be available. Well, yeah, I worked every weekend since I started and I would have been available but I wasn’t rostered on originally.
I decided I had enough of being treated terribly and the money wasn’t worth it to dread coming to work. I don’t like confrontation and felt bad because my friend got me the job so I wrote a letter quitting and planned to leave it on managers desk and then get the heck out of there. Plan half failed cause I got asked to stay back at work and panicked cause manager was out so it was perfect to leave the letter on his desk but if I stayed back he’d be back and I wouldn’t have the chance. Stayed back for a bit then decided stuff it I’m leaving so said I forgot I had an appointment, dropped the letter and ran – I was casual so didn’t have to give notice. Manager has a big party booked in for the next day and I was his only staff who could work it – NOT ANYMORE! He rang me non stop for 2 days and I ignored it – best decision ever.”
Small Business Backstabber
“My first professional job was an event planner for a small business, like 3 people. I was 24 and I worked there for a year.
After about 5 months, my boss became extremely abusive. She would make little snide remarks about my terrible skills or time management or organizing. She stopped talking to me and would basically act like I wasn’t there unless it was to criticize me for something. One day she asked me if I implemented a new filing system she had learned from the bank she used to work at. I replied no, as she hadn’t yet showed me how to do so. She said, with a stack of papers in her hand, ‘Well I guess giving you these would be absolutely useless then.’
Another example is that she would find little ways in which I was being pert or snide in some way, usually something completely ridiculous, and would make me sign forms saying we had meetings about my behavior and listed all the things we would do to change it and ‘help me grow.’ Like I worked for a big corporation or something with an HR department, and not a private office with literally one boss. If I argued why I wasn’t doing so, she made me sign something saying I was refusing training. I literally have no idea who those papers were for.
It made me so paranoid and unhappy, I spent many lunches crying in my car and many nights stressed out completely after work. I couldn’t understand what had changed, and felt so stupid and helpless.
My coworker had just left, so it was just the two of us, and I gave my 2 weeks because the thought of being alone in an office with her was unbearable. As soon as I left her office, she called her mom to complain about me ditching her and talked about how happy she would be with me gone…while I was about 10ft away in another room with the doors open.
I lost it. Got up from my desk and grabbed my purse. Went to her office and told her that I was leaving for good. Right this minute. I was shaking and terrified, and she was furious. She told me, ‘Good luck finding another job in this town. I know everybody.’ Spoiler alert, I did.
What I didn’t know at the time, was that my coworker had been feeding her lies about me the whole time. When it started to affect how I was being treated, and I would complain or talk about it, guess who also told my boss all of that. Yup. With many embellishments, of course. I had zero experience with people like that, and overlooked many clues, (like how she would stay after work a lot to ‘finish her assignments’…while in reality she was staying to tattle on me) because I was so new to the real world and naive. I found out all of this a few months later from one of her friends I ran into who she had also manipulated in some way.
It made me stronger, and after I left my boss had to deal with scrambling to find people to do all her events and I’m sure it was terrible. I felt happy about that at first, but now that Im 10 years older I can see things differently. She definitely could have handled it better, but it was her first boss-job too, and she maybe had some things to learn herself.”
All Because I’m Not A Man
“In high school I worked at a grocery store that had very misogynistic hiring practices. The men do the bagging groceries, stocking, trunk loading, etc. and the women stay up front and look pretty for the customers, cashier, and then have to stay later to do all the cleaning after close.
I worked there during the summer, and then when school rolled around and I tried to get my hours so that I could still do my drama club, they tried to convince me to quit my club because all the male high schoolers had to work around their sports (I guess that was more worth while in his opinion).
I just quit outright, and then I had to find an entirely new place to shop because the manager harassed me every time I came in trying to get me to come back.”
Don’t Take Your Workers For Granted
“I started a job building and troubleshooting electronic equipment. I was told I would get a raise after 90 days and again at six months. He hired a woman to do all of the wire wrapping for a big order. There were only two of us and I asked my boss how she was doing because I did not have time to examine her work he told me, ‘She’s doing fine she’s really fast.’
I knew how picky the customer was and the directions they provided for the assembly were very explicit. Sure enough, we finish the project and it’s delivered to the customer. The woman who did the wire wrap quit immediately afterwards every thing she had done was rejected. It all got returned to me and it all had to be inspected and then repaired. I spent three months getting everything done.
I went to my boss and said, ‘I was supposed to get a raise.’ He tells me he did give me a raise and I point out that it’s not in my paycheck. We went around about it and I thought, ‘that’s it I’m done.’ I found another job when I told my boss I needed the next Monday off so I could do my physical for my new job. My boss was furious and said that I should leave right now, I said ‘you’re really firing me for giving notice? Cool,’ and I immediately walked out. I was in the middle of fabricating and wiring a pretty large piece of equipment. I heard later when he realized what I left him he got very angry and was throwing things and screaming. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy.”
Under New Management
“I worked at an internet company in the late 90’s early 2k’s as a senior tech. Between myself and 3 other guys, we ran the place. We had all the technical knowledge and did all the back end work. We had 40k dialup users, 1800 websites, business fibre, DSL, Wireless long distance internet, etc.
When the .com bubble burst, the company went into receivership. The owners just didn’t know how to run the business, and had no trained accountant that knew what they were doing. All the management was family with no real business experience. But in the beginning being in an internet business was a license to print money.
All of us techs stayed on for the sake of the business. Even though the owners didn’t know how to run the business, we had pride in the organization and didn’t want to see it die.
The company was purchased and we were all offered our current jobs with a moderate raise. This was pretty good as a lot of people in the business were out on the street with nothing.
The new owner took all us senior people out for dinner shortly after the purchase to celebrate. The new company’s big money maker was selling long distance calling cards and providing the long distance service using the public internet.
One of the big selling points was that anyone purchasing the cards would be able to call our help line and get a support person that spoke their language. This was before phone centers were located outside the US, so the company would hire recent immigrants to man the call centers.
The new owner, at this dinner with the senior techs, was bragging about how he had built the company up. He said that he liked to hire new immigrants because they didn’t know how much they should be paid and he could pay them tiny wages. When they discovered that they were being paid far less than the minimum wage and complained, he would fire them. There were always more immigrants that he could get that would work for what he was paying.
Not one of us returned to work the next day.”
“I was working in a very specific, high tech field for a fortune 500 company for 12 years.
It was a super stressful job using highly specific computer software to get custom (very expensive) product out the door of our plant.
I was really good at what I did, worked like CRAZY (10-12 hour days, 7 days a week sometimes) to keep up with On-Time delivery to the customer. This was salaried. No over-time pay.
I trained people. I was the go-to person if people couldn’t figure things out.
Unfortunately a lot of management there was ‘old school’. They wanted things to be like they were in the 1950’s. It was more important to my boss that he keep track of what time I showed up for work and what time I left rather than how well I did my job. The administrative assistant hoarded office supplies and you could not get a pen or a roll of tape without begging her for them.
There were also a lot of back-stabbing, useless people there who continued to stay employed simply by making other people look bad.
Since I was sitting at a ‘desk job’ for 10-12 hours a day, I took 2 casual breaks per day and a 30 minute lunch. There were no assigned breaks and since I was working no less than 10 hours a day even with a few breaks in there, I still had plenty more than 40 hours a week.
I would use my breaks to walk around the plant. To keep my body moving and get some exercise.
Queue back stabbers.
My boss sits me down one day, absolutely furious. Keep in mind, he KNEW I was the only employee of his working 10-12 hours a day, six to 7 days a week. He told me that someone had told him I was spending 4-5 hours a day just wandering the plant, effectively ‘stealing’ from the company. I was no longer allowed to leave my desk. I was given 2 ten minute bathroom breaks a day and a lunch. These rules did not apply to ANYONE else in the company.
I was upset that he took the word over someone else over knowing me and how I worked. I told him he should have told this person ‘I’m her supervisor and I am completely knowledgable about the hours she works and the time she takes breaks.’
He was more concerned about treating me like a 5 year old than the fact I was one of the best at what I did at that company.
I tried to do what he told me to do for a few weeks. Sit at a desk without moving for 12 hours a day. My back went out. Both hips, knees, and ankles. I ended up in this hospital and missed a week of work.
When I got back, my boss told me if I ever missed another day because of my back I would have to file disability so he would only have to pay me 60% pay for a day I missed because of my back.
That was a Monday. I had a new job by Wednesday. I walked into his office, handed him my typed letter of resignation, and told him ‘Friday will be my last day.’
The look on his face was priceless. In my industry, notice is usually a month. Not a few days.
Two years later, former co-workers STILL text me, email me, and call me, telling me they miss me and things are not the same there without me. Because I was the one who knew everything and knew how to rally the team.”
The Way The Cookie Crumbles
“I used to deliver cookies in college. It was ultimately a pretty sweet gig (pun intended), but the owner was a micromanaging piece of garbage.
On 4/20 (our busiest day) I was working a 12 hr shift (no I didn’t have any breaks, yes it was illegal). I ended up witnessing an assault, called the cops, etc. The second I was done giving my statement I got back in my car and had the biggest panic attack I’ve ever had. Finally got to the point where I could drive back to the store but was so shaken I couldn’t actually communicate to anyone what was going on. My manager luckily figured out something was up and sent me home with two hours left on my shift, saying they’d figure something out.
I got a text from the owner about 30 minutes after I left because he noticed I clocked out early. I told him everything, including the fact that I still couldn’t breath normally. He asked me who I’d gotten to cover the rest of my shift. I didn’t respond to him but I told my manager I was quitting effective immediately and sent a screenshot of the owner’s text as reasons why.
Finals week was coming up at the college and I had signed up for at least one shift a day for the entire week and a half. I was a year and a half into the job and one of the most experienced workers at that point because he couldn’t keep most employees longer than a few weeks/months. 90% of the people working there had only been there a few weeks – i.e., only worked a couple shifts and had no idea where the special deals were/how to work the computer/what the routes were.”
Thanks For Having My Back
“I was doing a 3-4 person job by myself, plus at least half of my manager’s work. It was almost Christmas, and both my grandfather and my husband’s grandmother were very ill. Grandmother was in hospice care, and grandfather was in the hospital ICU, and family was debating whether or not to stop treatment and place him in hospice, as well.
I gave my manager a head’s up, that I may need to leave work early, even though it was our mandatory work Christmas party that day. Grandfather started to respond to medication at the last minute, and I ended up not having to leave, but it was a stressful day pretending to be festive.
The next day, I was pulled into the directors office, and I was berated for having a terrible attitude was called, ‘nasty’, and was told, ‘people physically recoiled from you because you’re so unpleasant to be around.’ My manager sat there, and said nothing, even though she knew I had two potentially dying family members, and was trying to hold it together.
I found out the manager complained about me to to the director because she was worried I would take bereavement (and she would actually have to do her job, for once). She was also upset that I didn’t volunteer to run the holiday party festivities.
I started sending out resumes the next day, and was gone to a better position 4 months later. Before I left, I did not fill out my employee engagement survey (so they wouldn’t get a 100% participation bonus), and I gave them a low rating during my exit interview.”