It's incredible how cheap some people can be. We're not talking about frugal, we're talking about CHEAP. Like, so cheap that they come into work on their day off because there was free food! So cheap that stole donuts from the break room to take home to their family!
These are some of the most ridiculous stories we found on Reddit of people's co-workers and worse, their bosses, acting insanely cheap. Everyone has to deal with this kind of miserly behavior at the office? We're sure glad we don't!
Scrounging For Free Food
“I worked for a short time as a luxury travel agent and agents get tons and tons of free stuff all the time. Every day, there would be vendors setting up in the conference room for breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks, which we got for free, we just had to go listen to the vendors’ pitch.
This would totally go to some of the old-school agents’ heads. The agents in the office next to mine were notoriously cheap, especially the 60-something-year-old boss. They would push their way into the conference room, throw their business card in the general director of the poor vendors, and take as much food as possible. Multiple plates piled high. I’d pass their office and the food would be just sitting out on the desks uneaten. The boss was known for showing up at vendor-sponsored dinners and events with his wife (uninvited), and they’d bring plastic ziplock bags and fill them with food from the buffet to take home. He made a ton of money, so it wasn’t out of necessity, he was just insanely cheap and entitled.
My favorite story about him was that our company used to go around the offices some Friday afternoons in the summer with an ice-cream cart, and everyone would grab something. One each because we’re freaking adults in a professional workplace. Not this guy. He filled a manila envelope with like 20 ice creams, labeled in PROPERTY OF [NAME] DO NOT TOUCH! and put it in the office freezer. My sassy coworker used to go steal ice creams from the envelope all the time for our office just to spite him. Tasted so good.”
Getting Cheap With Travel
“My boss is a millionaire. He owns a lot of companies, is well known in the industry, and is generally a big-time baller.
He splurges on us if we’ve done well, always picks up the tab if we’re out and doesn’t put a spending cap on things like Christmas parties.
But one time I had to fly from the UK to America. To save money, I had to get four flights instead of one direct one. My journey took 24 hours instead of 11. And I had to do three days work in the US, literally 7 hours after I landed, jet lag and all.
If that wasn’t annoying enough, the flight was booked to take off at 9 am. That meant getting to the airport at 6 am. I don’t live anywhere near an airport and had to travel south to London, then get across London, and then travel south for another hour to the airport. The whole journey could have been done in three hours at a push. Due to the time of day, public transport was limited. There was one train I could get that would have allowed me to make it. Considering there would have been six stages to my journey, I didn’t want to risk any delays that would mean me missing my flight.
An old neighbor of mine was a taxi driver, I called him up, got ‘mates rates’ on a journey – the taxi costing a whole £10 more than my public transport journey would have done but taking less than a third of the time.
My boss threw something of a fit in front of the entire office about this. About how it was lazy, about how there were ways I could do it on public transport that would be cheaper. He didn’t understand that not living in London means I’m limited to one train per hour, there are no 24-hour buses. If the train doesn’t show up or is late, that’s it.
After a while, he calmed down and said it was fine to get the taxi IF I didn’t take any luggage. He wanted me to travel with just hand luggage. It wouldn’t have been the end of the world if I didn’t have to carry about 50 brochures, a ton of contracts and loads of other stuff which filled half a normal suitcase. He also said I could just wear my suit on the plane, the same suit I was going to wear for the next three days to save space. I was traveling for over 24 hours each way and going to the west coast in peak summer time where temps were 45 degrees C during the day.
It was so weird to see such a generous man being so uptight about what was only around £50 worth of extra costs to make the experience remotely bearable.”
Getting Technical With A Car Crash
“I had a friend who drove for her job. She had a tablet that used GPS to track her and she clocked in and out of work on the thing. The company does not reimburse for the first 20 miles and last 20 miles of travel in a day, saying that it was equivalent to commuting.
One day she was in a town far from home, finished her last job, and had clocked out. She was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light hard enough to total both vehicles. She was farther than 20 miles from home and never would have been there except for the company business. She was clocked out, though, so the company treated her like she was hit on her own time.
The company provided no help replacing the car, not even a rental to use. The boss expected her back at work after three days. She had to use personal days and vacation to deal with insurance and finding a new vehicle. She and I sat down to do the math after all this. That single car accident wiped out darn near a third of her take-home pay, after taxes, for the year. She quit a few months later.”
Reusing The Cole Slaw
“I have seen a high dollar seafood restaurant take the old coleslaw and rinse it in a sink with hot water to remove the old mayo or dressing (whatever is on it) and then toss it in another bucket with fresh mayo/dressing.
I was working, disassembling an old freezer unit after hours.
When I asked the guy, he said it was a normal practice at three of the restaurants he’s worked at. Needless to say, I never eat slaw anywhere ever again.”
Never Miss An Opportunity For Food
“My former co-worker could sniff out leftover meeting food form his cube and always made sure to make the rounds of the secretary area a bit after lunch.
Whenever food was brought out, there was a very strong chance he was either waiting or was the first one to the food. He would pile a massive plate with as much food as it could hold. In one meeting he was in that included lunch, my boss watched him pile a plate high then go back for seconds.”
The Donut Thief
“I worked at a car dealership.
One or two times a week, vendors would bring in doughnuts. We had a big fat slobby service writer who, when he saw them walking up with doughnuts, would take them and put them in his cabinet so he could bring them home to his wife at lunch. I noticed him do this one morning, so when he was speaking to a customer, I took the dozen and put them in the showroom by the coffee where they are supposed to go. They were for our customers.
He told the service manager that I broke into his desk and stole his and his wife’s lunch. The manager called me in. I explained. He got written up for taking the customers’ doughnuts. The boss said he wondered why no one brought doughnuts to use any more. On a side note, a month later he had a heart attack. Karma. That will teach him to be a maple bar bandit.”
Too Cheap To Chip On, Not To Cheap To Eat
“In a previous job, I organized cakes for people’s birthdays. It was voluntary to have a cake on your birthday, some people did opt out, that’s cool. Also voluntary to donate for cake. What wasn’t cool was everyone chipping in $2 for said cake except for this one annoying woman, who I shall call Bertha for short. Bertha had worked there for years, same role, same daily tasks, you know the type. Bertha believed that her ‘seniority’ afforded her perks. She never paid for a darn cake! Bertha would be first in line for a slice though, a big slice, aka, twice the size of everyone else. So I monitored for four cakes, Bertha didn’t give me a cent. I discreetly asked around if this was normal for her, was she experiencing hardship? Nope, Bertha had always been like this.
I waited and when it was time for the next cake, I sent the usual email but also included, ‘To ensure everyone who contributes receives a piece of cake, I will be noting who donates. You are still welcome to come and sing happy birthday but if money isn’t received by X date, you will be unable to have cake.’
Then the glorious day came! Bertha made a beeline for me (swear that woman could smell cake from the carpark). We sang happy birthday, then I started cutting. I had my list, those people get the first pieces. Birthday person gets to decide what was done with the leftovers because there would be leftovers!
Bertha pushed into the front of the line.
Me: ‘Bertha, you did not donate, so no cake for you sorry!’ (sickly sweet smile on my face).
Bertha: ‘I need my cake now, I have important things to do. I’ll give you money later.’
Me: ‘That’s not going to work, I brought this cake with the budget of donated money.’ (side note: I would chip in my own cash if donations were low).
Bertha: ‘This is not appropriate, this is discrimination! I’m reporting you to my manager.’
Me: ‘Ok, do what you need to do. Please move aside or get back to your important work.’
Bertha: storms off hollering about cake and discrimination.
Cut to four hours later. I’m called into a meeting with Bertha’s boss, my boss and the boss for the entire site. To summarize, Bertha accused me of discrimination based on her weight. I ‘shamed’ her by not giving her cake. It was then I produced my email (which they were all on), the spreadsheet where I had noted who paid and when and the cake receipt. Those four cakes I monitored, I’d done the same thing.
I’d love to say the bosses collectively tore Bertha a new one and she was on thin ice. They didn’t and she wasn’t.
There was, however, an email sent to everyone advising that from now on when people gave me a donation for a cake, they also needed to sign next to it. Then once the due date had passed, I was to scan and email it to management. I did this for three glorious years, it was a pain in the behind for everyone concerned but Bertha never ate free cake on my watch! No one gave her a piece from their leftovers, it became an unwritten part of induction.
I’ve been out of that company for over 10 years, Bertha is still there, so are some of my friends. She still doesn’t get free cake!”
Literally Nickel And Diming Lunch
“So I used to work as an assistant for this rich video studio owner. He takes the cake in my book.
One day, we were hosting a video shoot for a documentary with some fairly famous people in attendance. He asked me to go down the street and pick up some sandwiches for the crew; sure, no problem. But right as I’m about to leave, he called me back, and said, ‘Oh, and pay with the money that’s in the top drawer of the desk to your left.’ I open the drawer, and there are no bills, just a bunch of loose change. I mention this, and he just gives me a blank stare for a few seconds, then says, ‘Yeah? So what’s the problem?’
So yeah, I went and bought $50 worth of sandwiches, and had to spend 20 minutes counting out nickels and dimes to pay for it.
He also kept me for four years without a raise, despite quadrupling my responsibilities. I basically started as an intern and then rose to become his assistant manager, but was never offered a raise. I wasn’t able to support myself on what he was paying, so finally demanded only a $2 per hour raise in order to stay on, which he refused. Shortly thereafter, I got a job that paid 3X what he was paying and got the heck out.
I could go on about this guy, he also did stupid stuff like buying poor equipment that later ruined shoots by not working properly, making the editors use outdated software, nickel-and-diming the labs we used, all this while being worth easily $50 million and the business doing very well. I think he started out poor, but his frugality never wore off, in an extreme fashion.”
A Dollar Means The World To Him
“I’m part of a friend group of three. We’ve all been buds since countless after-school detentions in high school, and now we’re in our late 20s.
Well one of us, let’s call him L, is insanely cheap. One fine afternoon we walk into a bar, and L’s girlfriend approaches the bartender to order a drink. L sees his opportunity and slides over to his lady to ask if she’ll order him something. He is quickly denied, because he is known for being so cheap. L then proceeds to approach me and ask the same question, only to be denied once more, rinse and repeat on our other friends. Finally, L let’s out an audible sigh and pulls out his wallet and buys himself a $1 Pabst blue ribbon, then proceeds to complain to us that he is trying to save for a new video card, so his computer can run two movies at once. The bartender bought his girlfriend’s drink and told her to dump him immediately.
This other one has happened countless times. We’ll all be outside having a smoke and L proceeds to try to bum off of any and everyone in sight. Once he is denied by everyone, because he is a cheap weirdo, he will once again let out a loud audible sigh and get his own smokes out of his car less than 10 feet away. His excuse is always, ‘Well I was saving these ones, smokes are expensive!’
This guy has 2 cars, one of which has $10,000+ of race components on it with multiple sets of wheels and multiple extremely high-end computers. He won’t even pay for his girlfriend’s lunch, and he will usually try to get her to cover his half as well. L always tries to disappear outside if we haven’t split our bill yet. L tries to bum any and every thing you can bum. L wouldn’t buy his girlfriend back if she was held hostage for any more than $12.50, and he’d probably ask us to foot the bill first.
The most aggravating part is L is always buying expensive luxury items, like $4000 drones, just to mess around with. He thinks because he wants to buy something, everyone else should pay for his everyday expenses while he is ‘saving’. L is also convinced he was the poorest kid at our high school and had it rough. Except poor kids don’t get the real electronic Lego trains for Christmas.”
“I was working as a bookkeeper for a company that rented out really nice buses for group events. Every other company in town had a 15 – 20 % gratuity for the driver built into the price. The company I worked for was owned by a private billionaire, literally the richest person I’ve ever known, and although our prices were no lower than the other companies, he would only charge the client for an 8% gratuity.
This was bad enough, but then he would make me deduct 2% off of the 8% for the time it took me to figure out their gratuity.”
Father Doesn’t Know Best
My dad can be really cheap, to the point it’s disturbing. If I drove his car, I was forbidden from running the AC. Even after I bought my own car, he tried pulling that nonsense. I had the AC going and he was with me. He shut off my AC and started rolling down windows saying, ‘I didn’t need it.’
I rolled the windows back up and locked them, cranked the AC and reminded him that I was the one paying for the gas and car.
He would put the water heater on the ‘vacation’ setting. When you’re in a house with 5 people in it and it’s on the vacation setting, the first person of the night (or morning) to shower was the lucky one to get 5 minutes of hot water and after that a frozen apocalypse. For nearly 3 years, the only time I got a hot shower was if I stayed over at a friend’s house.
Despite the fact that both his wife and daughter are asthmatic and sensitive to the cold, he would always change the thermostat to 60F to save on heating costs. It took a few trips to the ER with my mother before he finally knocked that behavior off.
It drove me up the wall when I was living at home because he would disable the heated dry function on the dishwasher to save on the electric bill. He would also watch the washer and dryer like a hawk. We weren’t allowed to wash our clothes on anything but COLD, and he would take your clothes out of the dryer if he felt they were in there long enough. Nothing like going to work in still wet jeans that smell like mildew!
He would bring home as many soy sauce, ketchup, hot sauce, sugar packets as he could and not only that, but he’d bring home plastic silverware if we went out to eat. He would ask the servers for extras for this reason!
He has a 6’3″ stand-alone freezer that was literally full of nothing but old bread and breadcrumbs. There was so much that the bread acted as an insulator and even started molding in the freezer, and he still tried to save it. My family waited until he was at work one day and just dumped it at the edge of the yard and scrubbed out said freezer.
He would plan meals around what was in the Scratch-N-Dent (clearance, marked down shelves) at groceries stores. You don’t want a chili dog for dinner? Too bad, because I got 10 cans for 35 cents a piece! He would purposely purchase foods that came in glass jars, like salsa, so it could be washed out once eaten and used as a drinking glass.”
Coming In On A Day Off For Free Food
“One of my coworkers is ridiculously cheap. The most hilarious incident was when he was on PTO. He came to work in the middle of his week off because he heard there was free food.
Speaking of food, he always sulks around after the party and takes any leftovers…even the half eaten ones.
He likes building models. The site he purchases them off of gives a 10% discount for your first purchase. Pretty much everyone he regularly works with has had him use their email account for the 10% off, yet he refuses to create a fake Gmail account for this.”
“I used to work at a dealership with a salesman who was in his 60s and the #1 guy there. He made $125,000+ every year. He also received a veteran’s pension from the Navy. Dude was fine, money-wise. He also never bought lunch or contributed to office pools. He was known to be very tight.
Anyways, one day, some of the lot attendant’s bought pizza and offered him a slice. He goes, ‘Well I brought a sandwich but I will take some home for later,’ and take 3 slices. The guy taking handouts from the minimum wage workers was disgusting”
“I work at a small distribution center for a refrigeration manufacturer located in another country. Our office handles all of the orders for the United States. I am in charge of replacement parts.
I even have a stupid title, ‘Parts Order Specialist.’
Needless to say, we get parts (motors, motor mounts, fan blades etc) in bulk shipped to us from the factory. These parts are often encased in bubble wrap, which is like crack for me.
Anyway, in the name of cost efficiency, I have to save the bubble wrap for reuse when we ship the parts to our customers because apparently, bubble wrap costs a lot- but not nearly as much as the markup on a typical motor.”
Cutting Off A Nose To Spite The Face
“Every month, we have a meeting where all the sales guys get together and talk about how sales are going in their respective territories. Afterward, we used to have a meal where everyone sat and talked. This is when the guys that have been there would impart their knowledge to the guys who haven’t been there as long. Basically, it was a really cheap way of passing knowledge between them. There is little doubt in my mind this time was invaluable.
The meal couldn’t have been more than $100, but it was cut in the name of cost savings.
So now instead of all the sales guys getting together and sharing their wisdom with each other, they just leave. Oh well.”
Dirtier Hands After Washing And Drying
“I used to work in a restaurant where my boss was notoriously cheap. I think the worst was that we weren’t allowed to use the brown paper towels to try our hands after washing them, only the ‘Big Boss’ was allowed to use them.
We instead had to use a dish towel to dry them, which eventually started smelling really bad. It kind of defeated the purpose of washing our hands after drying them on the smelly cloth.”
Stealing Food At Every Turn (Who’s The Cheap One?)
“I work in a retirement home as part of the kitchen staff. It used to be that we were allowed to have whatever leftover food was there after dinner. Now we have to pay $2 for that stuff. It’s not even like they reuse it. They just throw it out.
But it is whatever though, we still sneak the food out anyway and I think so many people are sneaking it that the big boss just gave up on trying to enforce the new rule.”
Risking Public Health!
“When I worked at Aldi, this happened more than eight times. I only worked there 18 months.
We would get a note from headquarters to remove all chocolate and meat and place it in the back of the store because they had found salmonella. The next week, we would get a new note telling us to put the very same meat and chocolate back since ‘now the story is no longer in the papers, so now people are not thinking about it.’
There was still salmonella in it, but Aldi did not care, they just wanted to make money. My friend who works there today says they still do it every once in a while. Many customers don’t know that there can be salmonella in chocolate from Aldi, because it has eggs in it, and chocolate usually doesn’t have eggs in it. But Aldi’s does. So when people get sick with salmonella, the last thing they expect they got it from it the chocolate from Aldi.”
Living On Cheap Hot Dogs
“When we were doing union negotiations at my company, we were at an offsite, so the company paid us lunch every day.
The union side, instead of buying lunch, gave the bargaining council a stipend to buy lunch with, like $20 a day. Apparently one of the guys on the union side insisted they go to Costco every single day and eat a $1.50 hot dog and samples instead of going to a restaurant so he could pocket the $18.50.
I have no idea why the other guys were ok with that since they complained a lot about how the company side was eating Applebees while they just ate hot dogs.”
Not Just Cheap, But Dishonest
He had some racks to sell and put them on Craigslist. One of the people a few stores down asked if he would donate them to a place that helps get people back on their feet, and find a job.
When that person came to get ’em from him, he hid so they couldn’t take them because someone offered $30 on Craigslist. However, he scammed that person over and went with someone who was offering $40. Pretty sure he ended up telling the other two people that they were ‘stolen,’ or he didn’t know what happened to them.”
Get Every Last Step Out Of a Shoe
“My first job was at a DQ.
The guy who owned it was very wealthy and very…unique. One time, I was cleaning something and was on the floor so I noticed his shoes. One was a brown leather loafer, the other was a snow boot. I had to ask why. ‘The other boot wore out.’ I always checked when he came to the store, he never had matching shoes.”