In an ideal world, all bosses in the world would rise to their positions through skill and competence, and only want to better their employees by sharing their expertise. While there are many bosses out there for whom that is true, there are unfortunately also some who con and scheme their way up the corporate ladder in order to get as much power as possible, which they love wielding over people.
Bosses that fall into the ladder category also have a tendency to make some outrageous requests of their employees. Whether it's a manager asking that someone work more hours for less pay, or an executive who pushes his own duties of onto his underlings, their demands can range from irritating to straight up illegal. Here are some of the workers of Reddit's best stories about the most shocking, jaw-dropping requests made by their bosses.
He Was Trying To Be Nice But She Wanted To Use Him
“Once my boss asked me to do this quality assurance thing before the week’s end. When I asked if she wanted me to wait until the next week because otherwise I’d go into overtime, she responded by saying, ‘Do it this week, but put it in next week’s payroll.’
Ummm…no. It made me so angry. I was simply being nice because I don’t care too much about the cash and I figure what’s good for the workplace is good for me. She did that kind of stuff a lot, but that request was simply ridiculous.”
He Stood Up For Women Being Abused In The Service
“I was an Army officer and, at the time, a company commander. Not only was I instructed to assist in sweeping a female’s assault ‘under the rug,’ but I was ordered to appoint as my acting company first sergeant (top sergeant for the company) a man I had relieved of his duty position and assigned to a desk for misconduct with female trainees.
I refused and actually got the victim the medical and mental assistance she needed. He was still assigned the post by higher command and less than two weeks later, I lost my command for creating a work environment so hostile I had ‘lost the confidence of the sergeant.’ I still don’t regret it, even though it eventually cost me my career.”
That Would Definitely Be Against Sanitation Procedures
“Years (and years) ago, I day managed a deli. The owner was a staunch ‘blow for nighttime/Xanax for daytime’ believer and was usually pretty easy to deal with. One day, I had to knock on the office door to tell him that the new girl being trained had sliced off the very tip of her finger while prepping lettuce for the bain-marie.
I told him what happened and that her ride to the hospital was already set up, so everything was taken care of. He looked at me with droopy lids and asked me how much lettuce she’d prepped when she messed up.
I replied that it was about five heads and he told me to go through the bin, find her fingertip, remove it, and use the lettuce anyway. I smiled, assured him I would, and closed the door so he could go back to la la land. Yeah, no. I grabbed the nearest employee, asked her to toss the old lettuce out back in the dumpster, and prepped replacement lettuce myself. Dear lord, that memory still gives me the shivers.”
Her Vacation Time Meant Nothing To Him
“I saved up for a trip to France/England and I had two weeks of vacation that I had planned for months. Then my boss called and wanted me to come home early to work someone’s shift. When told, ‘She’s on vacation in Europe,’ the boss was like, ‘Can’t she just catch a flight?’ For $11/hour that I would have been gotten anyway on vacation pay?
It was so ridiculous and, to be honest, even If I had been at home lounging around in my underwear, binging junk food, and playing Xbox, I would have been like, ‘Nope, not available.’ I basically told my boss, ‘Don’t call me on my day off. Ever. I’m not going to be available, especially since you just cut my hours somewhere else so I don’t get overtime.’ She didn’t like that.
The Europe thing was the last straw in a downward spiral of, ‘Sod off, don’t talk to me,’ I had with that job. I no longer work for that company; I got fired for a bad attitude, and used my time out to go back to school and get a job I love making more money with better management.”
This Is Why The Rich Just Get Richer
“I was once asked to take a pay cut so I could work more hours. Yes, he wanted to tack on an extra 16 hours (Saturday and Sunday) to the work week while reducing my pay so that I would have the same amount of money for more work.
He was angry when I said no, then told me I had no choice. When I told him I’d rather quit, he tried to tell me I couldn’t. He was very insistent that I was going to work for him. I ended up quitting, and it wasn’t so much due to the work as it was the fact I worked for a ‘small’ business owner who was a tea-party conservative.
His opinion was that since he was ‘rich,’ he was entitled to everything. He hated taxes, so he wouldn’t pay them throughout the year; I’d have to get a 1099 and pay them myself. He hated parting with money, so the job had no benefits and several times I fought with him to get a paycheck. The business wasn’t small, but it’d gotten too big for him to do by himself and he was unwilling to really pay anyone to help him.”
His Laziness Nearly Got Him In Deep Trouble
“My boss was too lazy to do my department’s reviews, so he told me to do all of them. I told him to sod off. He said he would take me to human resources. I told him I would bring the email where he asked me to review my coworkers and myself, which was his job. Let’s just say, I got a great review and he bought me lunch.”
He’s Certain This Teenage Gig Will Cause Him Health Problems In The Future
“When I was 16, I got hired to do cleanup on a paint factory that was over 100 years old. They had huge Varsol (paint thinner) tanks on a hill behind the plant that were gravity fed into the factory and had clogged.
The boss wanted us to physically climb down into the tank, which was waist deep full of Varsol, and remove it all with 5-gallon buckets. This was a while back in Newfoundland and safety gear didn’t exist on the island yet.
We all refused and after that spent most of our time smoking dope on the roof. We all got fired a few days later, although some of the other stuff we did there will probably show up as some strange form of cancer at some point in the future. They had a hole in the floor the flowed directly into the harbor where they used to dump all sorts of nastiness. I’ve breathed in more lead paint dust than you can imagine.”
Her Fear Of Germs Was Way Beyond The Pale
“I did some nannying for this really crazy lady last summer. She had hired me to take care of the kids, but it was mainly housework. She was an extreme germaphobe who obsessively made me wash my hands after I touched any surface (not exaggerating) and would make you wash the bottom of your shoes if you went outside and came back in.
She would constantly be on me for not cleaning the kitchen, BUT I was not allowed in the kitchen at the same time as her. She would literally be in the kitchen asking why it wasn’t clean yet, and I would have to sit on the outside threshold and jump in the second she left or else she would freak out. Then she would come storming back in and I would have to jump out and explain why I wasn’t working (because she’d freak out if I was in the kitchen at the same time).
Then, once in the kitchen, I could only use the sponge and gloves on the left side of the sink, and I was only allowed to touch dirty dishes, never ever clean dishes after the dishwasher was done. One time I had to wipe every knob in the house with hydrogen peroxide because strangers had done some work and touched all the knobs. So, moral of the story is, if you ever nanny, ask around about the mom first.”
His Boss Was The Quintessential Used Car Salesman
“I was a used car salesman for a few years. At one location I worked, one day a lady and her kids came in looking for a car. She saw one she liked but it had not gone through the safety certification yet. Until a car has its safety check, I legally can not show it.
I went and asked my manager when it would be checked so I could show it. He handed me the inspection sheet and said, ‘Go do it right now.’ These checks include things that you need a trained mechanic to complete, like break wear, frame integrity, etc.
I told him I don’t even check my own oil so I can’t do a safety inspection and refused. I was fired the next day because we ‘had too many sales people.’ Knowing what I know now, I would have sued the crap out of them, but 22-year-old me was not that wise.”
“He Literally Expected Me To Be In Two Places At Once”
“I used to work at a grocery chain as a courtesy/utility clerk. One day, the vendor for 7UP and Dr. Pepper messed up stacking their pallets, so they all fell over, creating a nice pile of broken glass, sticky soda, and wet, messy cardboard.
My boss made me clean it all up and told me not to leave it for even for a second. I got it all cleaned up in about two hours, which wasn’t bad save for me nearly getting shanked by some large glass shards on the floor.
Where it became unreasonable was the very next day, I got called into the office and written up…by the same boss. Why? I had failed to do floor inspections. He literally expected me to be able to be in two places at once.
I ended up contesting it with the union, but it stayed on my record and was eventually used to fire me one year later. Apparently, if you miss floor inspections three times in a year, they can fire you. That was never consistently enforced on anyone else, except for me.
I didn’t even bother trying to get my job back and that store ended up closing a few months later. To top it all off, the union also wanted my remaining dues; like, my final paycheck was $100 and they wanted $50. Sorry guys, there’s just no way.”
They Found The Practice Supremely Wasteful
“In the early 90s, I worked at a well-known US depot for office supplies. One time, for reasons I never understood, an edict came down that a certain class of inventory was to be destroyed and discarded.
That meant that perfectly good merchandise, including office furniture, lamps, computers, printers, copiers, fax machines, and some other random bits were to be taken out back and literally smashed to pieces with a hammer, then thrown in the trash.
The most amazing part was that under no circumstances was this stuff allowed to be given away, sold, or otherwise allowed to survive and benefit anyone. Several employees begged and pleaded to be allowed to buy some of the things but nope, better to destroy it and get nothing in return. It wasn’t a huge number of items, but it was easily $10,000 worth of stuff.”
He Was Beyond Disgusted With The Mess He Was Expected To Clean
“When I was 18, I worked part-time at UPS and part-time at Burger King, which was more of a way to eat for free every day than anything else. This was in 2000, so the minimum wage was around $5 and I wasn’t making much more than that at Burger King.
I was working the drive-thru window one night when a visibly wasted couple came into the dining room and ordered some food. My manager was working the register and one other guy was there ‘cooking’ the food. The couple ordered a bunch of deep-fried stuff and we didn’t have enough chicken tenders on hold, so my manager told them it was going to be a couple minutes while the tenders and fries cook. They said no problem and went to use the restroom.
The restrooms were down a hall and the doors faced each other, so we didn’t think anything of it when they went down the hall together. Then their order came up and they weren’t back yet, so we bagged it all up and left it under the heat lamps while we waited for them. Two minutes turned into 5, and I was busy on the drive-thru window so I forgot about them.
An indeterminate amount of time went by, probably 15 minutes, maybe half an hour, and my manager asked me if I’d given them their food yet. I told her no, because they never came back for their food after going to the bathroom. She went into the women’s room, didn’t see anyone, then opened the door to the men’s room…
I heard her dry-heave from my station at the window, a good 20 feet away. She came around the wall that separated the dining area from the work area and it looked like she’d seen a ghost or a dead body. I asked her what was wrong, and she just shook her head, telling me that she would take over the drive-thru window because I had to clean the bathroom.
I geared up with elbow-length gloves, goggles, dust mask, and slickers, not knowing what kind of terror was unleashed in that stall. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could have prepared me for what I saw in there. It looked like they hooked up a colostomy bag full of mostly-liquid feces and semi-chunky vomit to a paint-sprayer and blasted every single surface in there with the crap/puke. The stall was caked, the door handle had poo smeared on it, and there was vomit in the sink, next to the sink, in the trash can, and next to the trash can. Freaking everywhere I looked, there was crap, puke, or both.
I didn’t even make it three steps into the room before my gag reflex reminded me that it existed. My eyes were watering, my stomach was doing somersaults, and I was choking back my own barrage of puke when it hit me: ‘Hey, eff this.’
‘Nope, not a chance,’ I choked out through gasps of air. ‘Not a freaking chance I’m cleaning that up, call HAZMAT,’ I said, half-joking, not thinking my manager would actually expect me to clean that up. Boy, was I ever wrong.
‘Listen, if that bathroom isn’t clean by the end of your shift, then don’t bother coming ba-‘ She didn’t get to finish the sentence, because I’d already thrown my hat and shirt on the floor.
‘Sorry, Jill, but you don’t pay me nearly enough for this. I can find another crappy minimum-wage job tomorrow, so good luck with that debacle in there,’ and then just like the phantom crap/pukers, I was gone.”
They Assured Their Customers They Wouldn’t Neglect The Dogs
“I was the only employee in the store (Petcetera) with 3-5 customers in line as I was working the register. My manager kept calling me every minute (literally) to rudely ask how long it was going to take to help the ever-growing line of customers so I could sneak into the back and send him tons of information that I didn’t even know how to find yet (I had been there less than two weeks at the time).
There were customers in almost every department waiting for help they’d never receive, and somehow it was all my fault. Another nice part of Petcetera was that if you left your pets in their doggy daycare, we promised to take them outside every hour. However, if you actually did that, management would get mad that you were wasting your time by following through on our promise to not neglect people’s dogs in our daycare.
I decided to quit that day. Eff you, Petcetera Waterloo, I hope you go out of business soon. It was by far the worst job I’ve ever had.”
That’s Definitely Not His Job
“A manager once asked me to wrap my arm up in a trash bag and stick my hand into a toilet to try and unblock it. I was a waiter/barman taking food out to customers, so I highlighted this to him and he insisted that I do it.
I promptly told him to get lost and mentioned health and safety. He ended up doing it.
On a side note, he was fired two weeks later for making inappropriate comments to female staff members. He was a real jagoff.”
What He Found In The Freezer Turned His Stomach
“I used to work in a restaurant that was above a golf shop. Across the street was a ski area (Bear Mountain, CA), and the guy that owned the restaurant where I worked also owned the seasonal snack bar/restaurant in the chalet at the bottom of the ski slope.
He had a big chest freezer in the chalet where he kept a bunch of meat, and one time some doofus turned off all the electricity (including the lines going to the freezer) when the ski slope shut down for the season. My boss didn’t discover it for almost two months.
He told me, ‘I have an unpleasant job for you to do, but you have to do it.’ When he lifted the lid on the freezer, the shock of how bad it smelled literally made me vomit right there on the floor. I could tell my boss was close to hurling as well, but he’d already been exposed to the horror once already, so he was prepared.
He told me to put it all in garbage bags and tote it out to the dumpster. He said that dealing with the smell and the slime was really nothing more than ‘mind over matter.’ He looked me square in the eye and told me, ‘I don’t mind, so it don’t matter.’ I was 14 years old and living on my own. I needed that job, so I did it.”
People Like Her Boss Are The Reason Women Struggle For Equality
“I ran the company social networks and one man started harassing female posters and women in general. He was escalating his behavior, none of the female staff wanted to serve him when he came in, and he was offending other customers. After a few very generous warnings, I banned him.
He found out and called my boss. I got word that he called me every name in the book, as well as worse things. A reasonable boss would have banned him from the store, but no, I was told to unban him and ignore his behavior. I refused (citing all my reasons why) and my boss did it anyway, as well as apologized to the guy. Needless to say, I don’t work there anymore.”
He Could Not Believe His Boss Wanted Him To Do Such A Gross, Menial Task
“Two weeks after being hired as the IT Manager for a manufacturing company, my boss stopped by my desk and told me he needed me to unclog a toilet in the men’s bathroom. When I looked at him weird, his reply was, ‘Oh, you’re the Facilities Manager too, didn’t anyone tell you?’
I told him to give me the phone number of the plumber that they used and called them. If he was willing to pay my hourly pay rate to have me fix a toilet rather than getting one of the $10 an hour shop guys to do it, he could pay for a plumber instead.
My point is, they hired me at a very nice salary to run their IT infrastructure. To expect someone that has 15 years experience in IT to be ok with unclogging a toilet that someone else stuffed up is ludicrous. I have no problem unclogging a toilet in my house, but to spend the money on my time to do it rather than having someone that they pay 20% of what they pay me is a dumb business move.”