As Neil Young once said, sometimes 'it's better to burn out than to fade away,' and that sentiment can often be applied to the working world. When people feel overworked, underappreciated, or just generally stagnant in their jobs, some change has to be made. Sometimes the person gets fed up and quits, while others their dissatisfaction manifests itself in other ways and they get fired, justly or not.
Whether it's a father who uses his firing to spend more time with his kids or an exploited accountant who finally gets retroactive payment from a shady employer, in some cases getting fired can end up being more of a blessing than a curse. Here are some of Reddit users' most outrageous, scandalous stories about times they were fired but it was totally worth it.
This Practice Sounds Totally Illegal
“I was working in a small accounting firm making less than minimum wage. The boss was exploiting the fact that people like me were desperate to get their foot in the door of accounting, as it is very competitive in Australia.
One day I was stupidly posting on a forum about my situation and looking for advice. The boss found out and fired me on the spot. Feeling pretty spiteful about the whole thing, I reported my situation to the fair work ombudsman. A month later, I got payment for the amount I should have been making at minimum wage for the six months I was there.
About a month after that, I landed a much better role at a large company making almost double what I was making previously. The icing on the cake was that my first employer ended up getting investigated by the fair work commission, and I can only assume they received a hefty fine because they are no longer in business.”
This Was That Straw The Broke The Camel’s Back
“Due to an industrial accident, I had my hand crushed in a machine, so the company put me on light duty upon my return to work. They had me doing the equivalent of fastening a nut on a bolt. While sitting at my station, I was using my left hand to massage my right hand as it was hurting and fatigued. A supervisor confronted me and asked me what I was doing and if I was going to do any work that night.
I simply snapped and lost my mind. I told him that what I was doing at the moment was thinking about shoving one of these parts right up his butt, getting progressively louder with each word. People at other stations around us scattered while another shift supervisor made a dash to the office and called the police. When they arrived we were nose to nose arguing, and I was trying to get my supervisor to hit me. The police took me off the property and I went to the bar.
The next morning, I was fired over the phone and told in no uncertain terms I was not to return to the property or I would be arrested. Friends told me that they hired armed security to patrol the building and grounds. They also moved the HR lady’s office from an outside wall to an interior office in the building. They were afraid that I was going to drive my car right through her office which was located in a corner unit at the end of a long driveway. This was roughly 25 years ago when ‘going postal’ was just becoming a thing. I hated that job, so I think the chaos I caused was absolutely worth it.”
They Blatantly Disregarded The Deal Made When Hiring Him
“I work two jobs: my main one is Monday through Friday, and my second one is on the weekends. When interviewing, I stated to the second job that it’d be strictly weekends only unless I said otherwise, and I also told them that my primary job may call me in for emergencies from time to time. They were hurting for people, so they hired me.
Fast forward two weeks, the second place scheduled me for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday. I let them know that there was approximately zero chance I’d work during the week and I reiterated to the person that interviewed me (same as scheduler) about working weekends only. He said, ‘Tough, we need you that day.’
I said whatever and stormed out. I had a plan. The second job started an hour before my main, so I showed up Monday and got ready like I was going to work for them that day. I got my route, loaded my van, and then left to go to my other job while still punched into the first. I got a call around 8 am asking where I was, saying that I should have left to get on my route.
‘Yeah, I told you I’d only work on the weekends and I meant it. The phone, keys, and bags are in the van. It’s loaded for whoever is going to take that route. Have fun dealing with it. I’m sure (huge online retailer) will love to hear why those packages won’t get delivered.’
‘You’re fired, this is so disrespectful and unprofessional.’
‘I responded in kind. I expect my check mailed to me, enjoy your day.’
I was rehired for the next weekend, without that scheduler.”
He Was Astonished At The Amount Of Hypocrisy
“We had a ‘backstock’ area where employees would go to instead of the break room. We did literally whatever we wanted in there, including, but not limited to, throwing knives at the foam wall. I had been working with this company for about four years with never a word from management (they even participated a few times) about it being unsafe or something to report.
After a while, I became a manager in training and decided to take my break back there one day. Another employee was present when I walked in and was doing his thing with the knives and the wall. I casually joined him as I’ve done plenty of times and we went about our day after our breaks were up.
An entire three weeks went by and then one Friday morning, I walked in and almost immediately got snatched by my manager who told me that they wanted to see me in the store manager’s office. I went in and they sat me down and asked me what I was doing on the day of the knife throwing break.
I was wracking my brain trying to think of what I might have done wrong, while at the same time giving them an incredulous look because I can’t recall what I ate for dinner the night before. I politely told them to quit wasting my time with the bullcrap guessing game and just get to whatever they pulled me in for.
Then they pulled up security footage of the employee and myself in the backstock area, doing exactly what these two have done before. They asked me, ‘As a management trainee, why didn’t you report this?! You should’ve known better.’ Knowing where it was heading, I pulled off my badge and handed it over to the store manager, telling him go ahead and say the magic two words (‘you’re fired’) and I’d leave. He did and I left, and then called up a buddy who previously offered his extra 4-wheeler for the day (I told him no originally because I had to work). Then I proceeded to start the weekend early with some brews and 4-wheeling. I had plenty of money set away because I was planning on quitting soon anyway, so that was just icing on the cake for me.”
No Server Deserves To Be Treated This Poorly
“While in college, I was a waitress at a small family-run Italian restaurant. Management was wishy-washy and never had our backs. To them, the customer was always right, even when he’s a grabby and verbally abusive pricks. He’s bringing money in and I’m costing them money was the way they saw it.
We got entitled guys from time to time and having to deal with their verbal abuse was bad enough but grabby hands were too much. We had a table of three guys who were regulars, sometimes they came in together, sometimes in combination or with others. They were always rude about service, always ‘accidentally’ brushing my butt, and they used to snap their fingers and point at the table like I was a dog expected to fetch their empty plate or they’d shout, ‘Hey! I need a refill over here STILL,’ as if they’d asked before and been turned down.
One day they were in making snide comments about the female staff and what they’d be like in bed, all while placing their orders and brushing an arm over my chest. I was so irritated that I couldn’t even muster a smile, but I returned with their drinks and later their food. It was a busy night, so guess what? You might get low on soda before I get back to you. No one else had an issue with this but that table.
One guy snapped his fingers and pointed at his glass. I glared because I was so done with them and continued speaking with another table. The guy then whistled at me and shook his glass hard. I held up one finger (not the one I wanted to) to let him know ‘one second please.’ I finished with the other table and went to get his glass and refill it. He then said something about how he was glad to see me finally doing my job. Without a second thought, I emptied the glass over his head, dumped out the other glasses, and said, ‘Get your own refill, jagoff.’
The owner came out of the kitchen and fired me on the spot. I told him he was also a jagoff for letting people abuse his staff the way he did. I then ‘accidentally’ bumped those guys’ table and knocked their food all over them on my way out.”
The Laptop Wasn’t The Only Thing Unfairly Taken Away That Day
“I used to work at TigerDirect, an electronics store. I got fired 30 minutes after the store closed, as soon as the ‘investigation’ ended. Someone stole a laptop and everyone blamed me. Not for stealing it, but for ‘aiding’ the thief.
It was totally untrue. I gave the laptop to the cashier and told her it was for a man whom I pointed to. Then the guy slipped out of line and said, ‘I forgot one other thing.’ He came back with a monitor box and placed it beside the laptop to hide it away from the cashier’s point of view.
While she was cashing other people out, he swiped the laptop, walked up the greeter at the door, and said, ‘This is my laptop, I was just getting it repaired.’ The greeter let him go and he went on his merry way. TigerDirect does not have barcode door detectors.
The greeter also got fired at the end of the shift and he was rehired a few months later because he has down syndrome and was going to sue the store. That was my first ‘infraction’ and I was there for two years as a service technician. Selling laptops wasn’t even my job, I was just doing the salesman a favor. The same thing would have happened to anyone, but because I TOUCHED the laptop, I was automatically labeled as an aid in the theft. Luckily for me, unemployment insurance saw through my bosses’ bullcrap reasoning and compensated me for nine months of same-wage pay. Win!”
He Had No Shame About His Dirty, Lascivious Ways
“I used to work in a bar with an awful boss. He would always flirt with the young female bar staff, making us all uncomfortable, even though he was 50 years old. We all knew his wife and two young children, but about six months into me working there, he began to ‘date’ a 22-year-old customer.
By date, I mean he used to go downstairs to his office and sleep with her…while he was on shift. No one was allowed to talk about it, but we all knew. Quite quickly, he knocked her up and ended up breaking up with his wife, but he still flirted with his staff relentlessly even after his new baby was born. He once told a male employee that he liked asking female bar staff to pick up things from low shelves so we would bend over and he could check out our butts. Eww!
He also always used to break health and safety rules if he could get out of doing a task he didn’t want to. He was prolific for asking bar staff to clean human waste (vomit/poop customers had done on the floor) even though legally anyone cleaning that stuff needed to have passed a certain health and safety qualification. I spoke to my assistant manager about it and she confirmed that only management could do it, so I should refuse next time.
One day, he demanded I clean up vomit in the male toilets and I refused, repeating what the assistant manager told me. My boss went absolutely mad (he wasn’t used to people standing up to him) and he told me to go downstairs to his office to speak about it. At that moment, I knew I wanted to quit, so I told him I wouldn’t be going downstairs with him. He asked me why, and I replied, ‘The last girl who went down there with you ended up getting pregnant, so that’s gonna be a no from me.’
After I made that comment about impregnation, he became even angrier, firing me on the spot – which I later found out he wasn’t even allowed to do. He yelled at me to get off his property. I just laughed and told him it’s not his property. He simply manages the bar for a nationwide company so he certainly didn’t own the land/ building. I left at my own pace supported by my colleagues who also disliked him. We left him there alone, spluttering in anger, red in the face. Still makes me chuckle thinking about it.
I think he ended up losing his job a little while later anyway because when I spoke to my ex-colleagues, they said he was long gone.”
He Moved On To Much Greener Pastures
“I worked part-time at a radio station in the late 80s. The way up the ladder was that you got hired part-time, then as the full-time people moved up and out, you were slotted in for promotion based on how long you’d worked there.
I’d worked my way up to the top of the part-time heap, so the next full-time slot that opened was mine by virtue of seniority. However, the next job that opened up was for the mid-day show. That show had always been hosted by a female, and while I was next on the list, the job was given to a woman who’d worked at the station for a grand total of two weeks. She was terrible and it was very unfair. I expressed this in a letter to the program director, and was promptly fired for having an ‘attitude.’
It was the best career move I’ve ever made. I walked out of that place with my head held high, and within a year was working at a much larger station on my way to a career in major markets. Last I heard, my old boss is still there in charge of that little station.”
The Woman Lashed Out At Him For No Reason
“I used to be a barista at a higher end grocery store. One day I was running late for work and I had to pick up my check before clocking in (didn’t have direct deposit at the time) so I could deposit it and pay my phone bill.
Normally when we park, we’re told to go in the back so customers can park in the front, but it’s an unwritten rule. There were two open spots at the front; a car pulled into one and I pulled into next spot, no issues or anything. I got out of my car and started walking into the store to pick up my check, when out of nowhere and for literally no reason, the lady coming out of the car next to me said, ‘Nice uniform,’ in the snottiest, most entitled way possible.
No time for nonsense that day, I said, ‘Thanks,’ and kept walking. As I was about 20 feet from the store entrance and 50 feet from the snide lady, she took it upon herself to scream out to me, ‘NICE UNIFORM!’
That triggered me and without thinking, I screamed out back to her, ‘Suck my dong!’
Then I thought to myself, ‘Dang, I should find my manager and tell them the really dumb thing I just did to get ahead of the ball.’ But I couldn’t find my manager and at that point was super late, plus I still needed to collect my check. The accounting office was just passed customer service, where low and behold, the snide rude-for-no-reason lady screamed at me, ‘I’M TELLING A MANAGER!’
I was seeing red by then so I yelled, ‘I DON’T CARE!’ at the top of my lungs, and continued walking towards the accounting office.
But then a wild snide husband appeared, saying that someone needed to teach me some manners so I should step outside with him. Consumed by anger, I threw my jacket on the ground and went out with him, where I was tackled by several fellow employees and taken to the assistant manager’s office. I was fired on the spot, but it was absolutely worth it to defend my integrity.
I don’t know what makes people think they can talk down to service employees, but they’re people too, working their awful jobs to make a living. You don’t know what the rules for the store are, lady, and there was no reason for you to make snide remarks, so go about your business. Luckily, I found a new retailer job the next day, but I still shop at that grocery store from time to time.”
He Realized He Had To Set His Priorities Straight
“I got fired unjustly from a job I worked at for 25 years a month after my dad died, who himself had put over 30 years time into the same company. After three months, the company decided it would be in their best interest to bring me back to work (lawyer involved). Not gonna lie, those three months were a life-changing, soul searching, stressful, scary, dark time in my life.
The day before I was to return to work, my wife and I sat down and she told me that she thought I should be a stay at home dad. She said that the money from the job was not worth the betrayal I felt from the company and that the family was secure financially and my mental and physical health were more important than a company that obviously doesn’t care about its employees.
I went back to my job…for one day. I walked in before start time, approached all my immediate coworkers, and told them goodbye, I’ll miss you, etc. Then I went into the employee relations office, put my two weeks notice in, and told them I would be using my paid personal time to cover the two weeks.
That happened in December of 2016. I am now the coach of my younger son’s football team. I am also a member of the PTA, a high school soccer booster, and the neighborhood ‘handyman.’ My physical and mental health are still on the mend, as it was a very difficult working environment, but my family and I are happier now.
When I was still working, I remember telling my kids, ‘Good night, love you.’ I would get a normal, ‘Night, love you too,’ response. Now when I tell my kids, ‘Good night, love you,’ they say it back, but it’s…different. They hug me a little bit tighter, hold on a little bit longer. The strengthened relationship between us IS worth getting fired from any job.”
“Laziness Has No Place In A Kitchen”
“I was hired as a consultant in a kitchen along with another person. She was more qualified then I was in the science of cooking, no doubt about that. She couldn’t stand me and questioned my ability at a craft I have been in for 10+ years. She got the lead position with me under her and a young kid who was days from being fired.
I took the young guy and turned him into a real cook who is now a chef back in his home state. I was told by our general manager how I was a godsend for them and how I was such a role model for the young guy.
The woman then became the chef and she would sit in the kitchen and work on dishes for 4+ hours without making any decisions and had the two of us doing everything without ever checking in on us. Most of the time when we would be backed up in the kitchen, she would be just sitting there. She was collecting money and putting no real work in. She never added any dishes to the menu other than a few specials that weren’t anything to write home about.
I called her out on it and she kept telling me my work wasn’t up to snuff for the restaurant. I’d come in the next day and nail it, then it was something else. I’d change what I was doing and correct the issues she had, and then something new would be wrong.
Finally one day I was alone in the kitchen. Because the young guy was on vacation, she was at a funeral, and I was sick as a dog, I shouldn’t have been in the kitchen but I was and had a fever. The next day, she told me she was grateful for me doing what I did, but I could have done a better job. I told her that if she didn’t like the job I did to either shut it or fire me.
The next day I obviously knew I would be fired because you can’t talk to a chef like that and I understand that. At the end of my shift, the general manager and the ‘chef’ sat me down and asked me if I knew why we were talking. I turned to the general manager and went off about how I shouldn’t have been in the kitchen at all the day before, how all the random issues with my performance would come up and be corrected instantly, yet the next day there was something new, and then I looked at the chef and said she’s full of it and just didn’t like me, so she was targeting me because of it.
The general manager of the restaurant then explained how yes, they were letting me go but they wanted to give me a severance for me leaving my last job to come to them as a consultant. I was actually surprised, as that’s not a common thing in the food industry at all and I was a bit embarrassed because of it and said so, but also that it ‘didn’t change anything I meant or said.’
The general manager caught me on the way out and said how he agreed with me, but he was required to listen to the chef as well. Less then two months later, she turned her anger on the kid and fired him, and six months later she was let go herself.
I hired the kid at my current job before he moved back home. I have been at my current kitchen for three years and I manage a mobile kitchen that has two permanent spaces and also functions at pop-ups and concerts and such.
I still hate her with all my heart because laziness has no place in a kitchen. The only great thing I can say about all the work I had to do there is that I was pretty muscular from literally lifting things by myself up and down stairs from prep to kitchen. My arms and core never looked better.”