Crazy co-workers: we've all had at lease one. But sometimes, they're a special breed of crazy and bizarre. Here we compiled a few stories of the craziest encounters people have experienced before their fellow employee was let go.
The Bathroom’s Closed
“I’m a student manager, aka I don’t really have the ability to fire someone, but I had to in this case. This one kid was trouble to say the least, and I asked him to go check the bathrooms to make sure they were clean/stocked. When he asked about the woman’s room, I said just to knock and make sure nobody was inside. Apparently he banged on the door and screamed, in his very deep voice, ‘WHO’S IN HERE? EVERYBODY GET OUT.’ He then entered the bathroom where a poor little elderly woman was inside the stall, and continued to bang on the stall yelling, ‘GET OUT.’ He was yelling so loud I actually heard him and went to investigate. The poor woman was whimpering and calling the police, and he just was the kind of person who had no idea how he came across. There was many weird issues but this obviously topped the cake, and I told him he was done and needed to go home. The poor old woman was so upset that she refused to leave the bathroom and I had to call her son for her.”
Use Your Work Computer For Work Only
“Years ago (like in the 90’s), my husband worked for a small company. He did a little bit of everything and one of his jobs, along with a co-worker, was keeping all the computers running. Now this was a sales-based company, so all of the salespeople had laptops for themselves. If there was an issue or problem, they’d bring them in to be looked at.
So, one day, one of the non-local sales guys was in for a meeting. He said, ‘Hey, my computer is running really, really slowly. Can you take a look at it?’
My husband says, ‘Yeah, sure no problem.’ Sales guy leaves the computer and goes to whatever meeting he was off to.
My husband and his colleague take a look and see that the disk is nearly full and figured that was slowing things down. They dig deeper and see the computer is filled with adult videos, like FILLED with it. Adult videos of all sorts – nothing illegal per se, but very, very close to it. Now, mind you, the salespeople signed an agreement that their assigned computer was for business use only, not personal use. So, we have a slight problem here. My husband and his colleague, not wanting to make a mountain out of a molehill and not wanting the guy to lose his job over a fixable problem, just wiped the drive clean, reformatted it, got things set up again and the computer was working great.
The guy comes back the next day and my husband goes, ‘Hey, Sales guy, we took a look at your computer. It was running slowly because the disk was nearly full with personal files so we wiped it clean, reformatted things and you’re good to go. You know, just a reminder, that [OurCompany]-issued computers are for business use only. If you’re looking for something for personal use, here are some relatively inexpensive laptops with a lot of storage space. You can put whatever you want on it. Small investment for privacy, you know.’ And with that, they gave him a printout list of some good, reasonably-priced laptops he could purchase for himself.
The sales guy just kind of mumbled something, grabbed his computer and was on his way without so much as a ‘thank you.’ Well, the guys figured that was that, but guess who was back six weeks later with a not working at all computer? Yep, moron. Problem? Yep, computer was again filled with new adult videos.
They were done at this point. The two of them went straight to the President’s office, showed her what was on the computer (well enough to give her an idea) and explained what had happened previously. She was a very no-nonsense lady, so needless to say by 3 pm that afternoon, that sales guy was no longer employed.
What an idiot.”
An Amateur Botanist
“Employee was videotaped smoking a j by a temp while on the clock. Employee figures the truth will come out or the video will surface eventually so he confesses before we knew the video existed. We’re relatively liberal when it comes to the devil’s lettuce, so we demoted him and put him through substance abuse counseling. Upon completion and a negative screening, he can resume his normal duties.
Fast forward 2 months, employee’s position is reinstated, everything is going well… until I walked out to the patio one day to find a pot plant growing in a flower pot. The flower pot is in clear view of a security camera.
Roll the footage back several weeks and there is said employee pulling seeds from a bag placing them in various pots around the patio.
He was let go the next day.”
“I Don’t Recall”
“I worked for a boutique hotel (you know, small, cute, crazy expensive) as an ops manager. Basically, unless the area manager had to come in, I was the law. I get a frantic call on my down time from an employee claiming our overnight guy tried to assault him.
I have a sigh, as the guy freaking out is notorious for being a drama queen. I load up the security camera on my home PC, go to the time frame, and holy cow. Our night guy legitimately lunged at his coworker and tried to strangle him. Luckily a desk was between them, and that gave the victim time to bolt. Instantly felt like an idiot for doubting him.
Well, this is when I call in the area manager. We show up at the crack of dawn and speak with the dude who made the attack and he claims he didn’t do it. We show him the video, and I kid you not he responds with: ‘I don’t recall the events of that evening.’
We fired him on the spot. What started the fight you ask? Well, the victim had done extra work to make the attacker’s shift easier. The attacker felt like this was an insult to his work ethic.
Oh, and I got multiple reference requests from similar hotels asking for a good reference. I simply said I wasn’t able to provide a positive reference, as legally that was all I could say.”
Hot Dog Hoarder
“I work on employee claims and lawsuits. A guy filed a discrimination complaint against the company after he got fired for stealing hot dogs from the refrigerator. This warehouse kept a stock of hot dogs for employee appreciation picnics (usually weekly cookouts). No one knew why they were disappearing so announcements were made and all employees were asked to not eat the hot dogs and if they wanted some, they could ask but couldn’t have several packs. That didn’t work so warnings were announced. Finally a camera was installed near the refrigerator and he got caught red handed. He was just practically inhaling the hot dogs directly from refrigerator the by the packs.
After he was fired, he filed a discrimination claim on the basis of disability due to his weight. I sent the response with a video of him eating the hot dogs. Also, he couldn’t prove his weight was a disability under the ADA and weight is not a protected class. We won that claim.”
Momma’s Boy Slacks Off
“I was suddenly put in charge of this store when they fired the store manager. It was a store in a mall. The district manager was in town (hence the firing of the store manager) and decided he needed to hire another employee to fill the hours until he could find a useful manager. (I wouldn’t be manager, but I was the only employee of the store left…)
Well this guy, we’ll call him Danny, was notorious for working for nearly every store in that mall. He’s worked at 5 different stores at separate times in the span of a year or less. Half the mall knows this guy and no one really likes him. He’s your classic 30 year old spoiled dude who lives with his mom.
Our moron of a district manager decided he’d be a good addition to the team, against my protests. So he was trained in by the district manager and his final day of training was the day the DM was supposed to fly out. The next day the DM flies out and instructs me to give him the key to the door so he could open and close by himself. His mom also worked in the mall and he helped her out part time at a survey place (where they bug you to take a survey and offer to pay you like $2.) So I went down to the survey place and tried to give him his key. He refused, said the job was too difficult for him (we bought gold… and it’s not actually that difficult…and I spent most of my days actually playing video games in the corner.) Told me then that he quit and would not take the key. Then I had to call the district manager and tell him that he refused to take the key, said the job was too hard, quit, and I was still the only employee of the store. And I was part time.”
“It Makes Perfect Sense!”
“My dad’s best friend owns a small bar in the center of my local city. He got offered a high paying job somewhere else so got someone else to manage and run his own bar. This guy is hosting a wedding after party thing and realizes he’s run out of Co2 for his drinks half way through. Now I don’t know a lot about this sorta thing but I know the logical thing would be to 1) shut down the kegs all night or 2) try ring up and buy some quickly. Switch to cans/bottles and offer some free shots or a discount to make up for it. Simple. This genius of a guy decides, no, you know what I’m going to do. I’m going to connect a FIRE EXTINGUISHER up to the system. To the drinks that people are drinking at a WEDDING reception/party thing. Surprisingly enough people then complained that the drinks tasted awful and there was a massive backlash. He was then promptly fired when the owner found out. It was a wonder that no one got hurt!”
Separate Work From Play
“I was working at a security company and made site lead at this latino night club where I live. They always had live bands and such. One night Chuy Lizárraga came and performed. He is a big deal in Latino music. I tried radioing this guard several times and no response. Had to leave my spot to go find him. One of the guards was a fan. So I out him on parking lot and then was going to have him do smoking area so he basically could watch the show.
Me: ‘Hey, so is your radio working?’ That’s a legit concern, it could be a safety issue for him or us.
Me: ‘Pull out your radio and make sure it works.’
He pulls out his radio and it doesn’t.
Me: ‘Okay, I’ll go get you a new radio make sure to leave it on so we can get ahold of you. I put you on parking lot and I haven’t seen you in a minute, and we are at capacity. Can you go into the smoking area since it has calmed down now?’
Guard: ‘Why do I have to go to smoking area?’
Me: ‘The owner wants someone in the smoking area like usual and I asked you to.’
Guard: ‘No, he doesn’t!’
Me: ‘Yes he does. I have been at this site for 6 months now and nothing has changed. Please go to smoking area and I’ll bring you a new radio that works.’
At this point he goes and points at the head of indoor security.
Guard: ‘Well, he’s in charge and he says that no one needs to be back there.’
Head of indoor: ‘No I’m not and (actual owner’s name) does want someone back there from outdoor security.’
Guard: ‘Man, forget this mess, I’m out! I don’t know why you came at me so disrespectful like that!’
Me: ‘Look all I’m asking is that you do your job, I’m site lead and I am only doing what the owner wants.’
Guard: ‘Forget this!’ Throws shirt on ground. ‘I quit. I’m gonna call and get you fired!’
Me: ‘Good luck with that.’
The owners of the security company called me later and asked what happened and they were like, ‘Well, good riddance to that guy.'”
“I own a tree removal service. I hired this young kid a few years back. They all do great their first month. After that, most of them check out, become lazy, and avoid work at all costs possible.
So this kid I hired no shows 3 days in a row. I blew up his phone. Apparently his grandpa up in Green Bay had a heart attack so he rushed up there. He couldn’t notify me because he didn’t have my number saved in his phone, and looking up the company number online is way too high tech for a young millennial. He assured me he’d be back in a few days ready to go.
Later that day, we stopped at our usual gas station to fuel up our equipment. He’s in a car with his dad filling up gas. At this point, you can probably feel out that he was lying to me about the Grandpa situation. You’d think he’d be smart enough to avoid places where he might see people from work.
I decide to go say hi. He didn’t see me and I knocked on his window. I ask, ‘Oh, you’re back early. How’s your grandpa, is he gonna make it?’ The look of horror on his face and the confusion on his dads said it all.
He tells me, ‘I can tell you about it tomorrow.’
I said, ‘Nah, thats ok, I’ll let you be someone else’s disappointment. I’ll mail your last check.’
A Rollercoaster Of A Person
“I work at a dog daycare/boarding kennel. Christmas and Thanksgiving are our two busiest weeks of the year. People travel and we take care of their dogs. Staff-wise, it is unfortunately all-hands-on-deck during the holidays. When you accept a position of employment here, you are expected to work all major holidays.
We had an employee, we’ll call her Bertha. She was a problem. Caused lots of drama. Never pulled her weight. Extremely volatile and reactive personality. If I was the boss, I would have fired her months before. But instead, my boss just started scheduling her one or two days a week, hoping she would quit.
It’s Christmas Eve 2016. Maybe 2015. Normally our handlers’ shifts are 2-7 pm. But since we were so busy, we pushed things back to 5-10 pm. It was going to take a loooong time to get all of our dogs fed, pottied, and tucked in.
I honestly didn’t expect Bertha to show up for her shift, so I kind of planned around her not being there. The rest of my team and I were going to be absolutely swamped, but we’ve dealt with worse. 6 pm hits, and I haven’t heard from her, so I’m thinking we can finally just fire her and move on.
At around 7:30, she strolls in in a really good mood. 5 minutes later, my other employees tell me I need to go check on her. She was wasted. Red faced, sweaty, slurring her words, wobbling around in the break room eating cookies and candy that our clients had bought us for Christmas.
I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, so I just started a conversation without accusing her of being under the influence or mentioning that she was 2 and a half hours late. But it was too much. A real deal all out show. She hugged me, and tried to kiss me. I pulled away and got serious, and said she had to leave the building immediately. The rest of my employees had been hustling all night, on Christmas Eve of all days, to pick up the slack and take care of the 100+ dogs in the facility. They did not deserve to have to deal with someone in this state.
Bertha did not like this, and got angry. Insisting she hadn’t been drinking and could do anything I asked her to do. She repeated the word ‘anything,’ insinuating something very inappropriate.
After a minute of that, she started ugly crying. Apparently she was pregnant, and hadn’t told anyone but me yet in that instant. WHAT!”
“My brother and I run a small business with about 5 casual employees who have a flexible roster.
We had hired a young woman who was quite good with customers and had previous experience. We gave her a slightly higher than normal pay rate and a few extra responsibilities around the shop.
Within a few weeks it became evident she had a bit of an attitude about being asked to do things. Okay, we don’t really care. A few weeks after that she starts demanding four days a week. Hmm OK, guess we can make that work.
Week or so after that, she tells us that she can only work on 4 particular days of the coming week. We tell her we will accommodate this time but we’ve had to shuffle other people around as a result. If she can’t offer more availability, she might not always get the four days she wants. We have other staff who also have needs. She agrees and things continue for another two weeks.
At this point we are a bit sick of her antics.
Again, she tells us she only has 4 days available in the coming week. We do up the roster and she has 3 shifts instead of her normal 4. Half an hour after the roster goes out, my brother receives a text message:
‘Why don’t I have my four shifts this week?’
To which he responds:
‘We have other staff who also need shifts. If you can’t give us full availability, we will do our best to accommodate you but can’t promise 4 shifts if you only give us 4 days availability.’
To which she responds:
‘How hard is it to give me the shifts I want? I told you I need 4 shifts a week and doing this roster isn’t exactly rocket science.’
At that point we had a good laugh, told her she had no shifts this week and not to worry about being on the roster anymore.
About two days later, we got a text from her saying:
‘Well, I’m glad we could come to an understanding’
We still have a good laugh about that one.”
Paranoia Knows No Bounds
“At my previous job, in a research capacity, our unit hired a very smart, young female who was very friendly.
Our operating hours were standard business hours. On Friday morning of her first week, I was driving to work when I saw her walking on the side of the road where there was no sidewalk, with no jacket in the winter time.
This was an industrial area so there was nowhere for her to go.
I pulled over and invited her into the car. She immediately went off on a rant about how I was tricking her, how everyone in the office was gaslighting her, and then she went into some kind of rant about how people were watching her through her windows at home? And how she was being followed?
It took me about 20 minutes to get her home, and she rambled the entire time. She hadn’t slept or eaten for days, she’d said.
Turns out she had gotten to the office early via the bus, walked into the office and told whoever was there that she quit. Turned in all her stuff then was going to walk the ten miles home.
After I got back to work, we called the police to do a welfare check. For weeks after, she would call us and just breathe into the phone, sometimes several times a day. She emailed, left messages, asking for her job back. She even tried contacting me on Facebook.
Was a shame because it was a really awesome job and she seemed pretty normal.”
“I absolutely could not stand this guy because he started his job by telling me I was going to ‘somewhere hot’ for living with my boyfriend in sin. He also constantly caused a lot of trouble for me by being a compulsive liar, which made me hate him pretty fast. But the worst thing he ever did was forge signatures for two elderly people, who were almost deaf and one had dementia, by putting them in contracts with Verizon Wireless. He did this not knowing they were the county/district attorney’s parents and the DA got ready to sue fast.
So to get out before he got fired, he interviewed for a job with AT&T across the street, in the same town, while on the clock and walking around the sales floor. He quit the next day before the company could fully investigate. About a week later, when the attorney came into my work demanding to speak with him, I told her he quit and where to find him.
She left and found him and informed him she was suing him on behalf of her parents as their power of attorney. She came back to my work and asked me if I would help her get her parents out of the contract and get them a full refund, which I did. She proceeded to tell me all about the legal battle and, on behalf of helping her, she gave me her card and told me she owed me a favor. It was honestly the best thing that has ever happened at my job when it comes to karma.”
Keep Your Personal And Professional Life Separate
“I had an employee as the primary worker for one of my clients (computer services). The employee got very ‘chummy’ with the woman in charge. He decided he wanted to work for them full time. They tried to hire him out from under me, but I had him sign a solid non-compete, so he couldn’t work for them for a year after leaving my employ. Their lawyers tried and could not figure out a loophole. He refused to work for any of the other clients I had, so I left him on the books (hourly employee). He didn’t want to work anywhere else, so he didn’t rack up any hours. He couldn’t work anywhere else (very small town) in the field, so he was stuck.
After 2 months, the client offered to buy out his contract, at which point I let him go, and let him work for the client.
Karma, being the b she is, I get a call a year later. The woman had been fired for mismanagement of funds, and he lost his marbles and tried to lock out the finance director because he was livid. I was asked to lock him out of the system, restore the systems he locked down, and take them back on as a client. Unsurprisingly, my rates had gone up, and they were more than happy to agree. The look on his face when he came into the office (along with security) to retrieve his personal effects was one of the more enjoyable things I have experienced.”