"I worked as a janitor at a hospital, cleaning bathrooms in the patients' rooms. An old lady lying in her bed called me over and said she was born in Germany and she'd learned to speak English, but couldn't read it very well. She had a get-well card from someone and asked me to read the poem inside. I did. Someone reported me because I wasn't supposed to 'interact with patients.' Got fired before lunch."
"I spent the morning of my first (and only) day at a medical equipment calibration facility being introduced to the whole team. A very nice woman spent time taking me around the building and we wound up having small talk with dozens of people from upper management to the warehouse guys. We returned to our desks and a very cute guy started talking to me. I noticed someone in an office observing this interaction. She then called the nice lady into her office. The nice lady told me that was enough for the day and that we would get a fresh start the next morning. When I got home, there was a call from HR telling me not to come back. I never got an explanation. I think the woman in the office liked the cute guy and got jealous."
"It was the first day with a new training class, and my training assistant looked like she was about ready to vomit by the first break.
I pulled her aside when break started, and she informed me (with great difficulty) that she recognized an older, male member of the class as someone who had sexually abused her when she was younger, but she'd only noticed him after he had drawn attention to himself by 'adjusting' his pants and licking his lips as he stared at her.
I sent her to HR, where she repeated her story and gave his name, which was NOT the name he had been hired under. HR called the police and deactivated his access badge (we had just dismissed for lunch), and two officers parked outside to watch for him.
Something must have spooked him because he never attempted to use his badge to re-enter, and we never saw him again."
"It was my first day of training at an office supplies retailer. Things to note: I was super nervous and hopped up on caffeine (probably related), extremely addicted to cigarettes (I have next to zero willpower whenever a craving hits), and I have pretty bad social-anxiety. The combination of these qualities served as a catalyst for the following incident:
A couple hours into the shift, all of the managers and trainers were occupied by a sudden influx of customers (it was during 'back-to-school' season, so the store was busier than usual), and I was left alone in the break room and told to read some training modules on the computer. After reading one or two, I got hit by a craving to smoke, probably amplified by the caffeine in my system. I noticed a door just outside the break room and figured it must be the employee entrance, so I decided I'd just take a puff or two just outside, not intending to be gone for more than a few minutes.
As I go to open the door, the fire alarm went off. In the whole store. The employees at this particular establishment all wear earpieces connected to radios, and I immediately heard a cacophony of outrage and bewilderment explode inside my head. I still had the door propped open with my arm, and just sort of stood there completely frozen, listening to the angry yelling of people I just met in one ear, and the shrill, incessant screech of the alarm in the other.
At that point, something primal erupted within me, and I went full flight-or-fight mode. I ripped the radio off my belt, dropped it on the ground, and made a break for it. I threw the door wide open and booked it out across the back parking lot at a full sprint. The far edge of the lot is bordered by tall hedges, and as I reached them I looked back and saw two managers standing outside the door behind me, calling something out that I couldn't quite hear. After pausing only a moment, I plunged into the bushes and vanished, never to return; They didn't try to contact me again either. I can only imagine what they thought had happened."
"I got hired through a temp service to work at the local phone company. I thought it'd be no problem as I'd done tons of telemarketing before and figured it would be working on the billing/customer service end. Nope. First day, they had me on the phone with linemen who were up a telephone pole somewhere halfway across the country and asking me which wire to cut. I had NO clue what I was doing and had a mini-meltdown talking to my supervisor. She asked me how I could possibly not know what I was doing when I had clearly passed the test to get the job. My response was, 'Test?! WHAT TEST?!' Turns out the temp agency was supposed to give any and all applicants a test to see if they had the experience necessary to do the job. I had a call from the temp agency telling me I was fired before I got home that day."
"I got to witness most of this. I was working at a Grain Mill, overnights, easy job. Fill up 2,000lb totes with oats or grain and seal them up and put them on a pallet for shipping. It was a boring job with 12-hour shifts. We stop for 'lunch' at midnight.
New guy was a kid I went to high school with, few years younger than me, always getting in trouble and there is probably about a dozen stories about the crap he got into. We'll call him Peter. Peter was dancing and laughing all shift, seemed to enjoy the job (lots of standing around waiting for feed to fill). Come lunch time, Peter disappeared. Everyone figured he went to smoke or hadn't taken his break yet. Comes back around 45 minutes after everyone else.
Instantly, I knew something was up. Peter was now quiet and basically hiding in the office. He got a phone call from his sister about an hour after he came back. Whatever, at least the kid wasn't singing anymore and being distracting. Two hours later, Peter started watching the clock, hard, and the doors. Got really fidgety every time the supervisor walked past. Supervisor asked what was up with Peter. Everyone shrugged, everyone figured the new guy probably wasn't used to nights. Thirty minutes before the shift was over, the supervisor got a call. Police officers were at the plant and wanted to speak with him. Confused, the supervisor went and talked to them, then escorted them into the plant. Soon as Peter saw the cops, he ran. Cops chased him, tackled him and handcuffed him, supervisor ushered the rest of us away.
Turns out, Peter was having a fight with his family. During his lunch break, he took the truck he drove to work (which it turns out he basically stole from his uncle; he'd taken the keys and left without asking to borrow it) and drove to a small town about 15 miles away, sideswiped his cousin's car, on purpose, and drove back to the grain mill to finish his lunch. Cousin was apparently awake and ran out to see his car and the recognized the truck driving away, so he called the cops. Cops checked his house looking for him, which was why his sister called the plant to inform Peter the cops were looking for him."
"I worked at Pita Pit in college for a day. About halfway through my first shift, the manager asked if I have a car. I said, 'Yes, why?' He said I had to go get it and deliver for him until close because the driver (who he was into) called out because she was too hungover. She said this while on speakerphone in front of, like, half of the people waiting in line and everyone else who was working. If I didn't, he said, I was fired. He also told me I had to pay for my own gas and give all my tips to him since I was still making $8.20 an hour instead of the $4.50 the drivers made. He handed me seven bags and a list of Mapquest directions to them. Three of the deliveries were over 10 miles away, with the furthest being 17 miles away in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania that just screamed trouble.
Boss called me not even 15 minutes later, screaming at me for not making all of the deliveries yet and said that once I came back and gave him his tips, I was fired. With five deliveries left to go, I said, 'Screw it,' and went to my friend's place with the rest of the food.
Screw that manager. They closed a few months later. He was doing all sorts of things wrong. Shoulda been on guard when the interview process was, 'So this is my first business and I run things pretty casually, but to Pita Pit standards. Can you start Wednesday around noon?' That was it."
"I worked at a summer camp in this big country club near my house as a head counselor. We had the kids all running around this small aerobics room, blowing off steam since it was raining outside. The clock in this aerobics room was broken, so we couldn't tell the time. I was told by the camp director to take a specific child to her office at exactly 1 pm so they could be given a medication they needed. So I very quickly pulled out my phone, glanced at the time, and put it away. At the end of the day, I was pulled into the director's office and told I was being fired because someone reported they saw me using a phone, and the camp had a strict policy about texting while on the job. No chance to explain myself, I was just told I was fired and to leave. I took off my camp shirt, placed it on her desk, said, 'Have a nice day,' and never looked back. Poetic Justice: That camp went out of business a few months later; a combination of going bankrupt and not being able to find employees."
"I'm a developer. We hired a guy who did an amazing interview. He really seemed to know his stuff and was clearly very intelligent and capable.
On his first day he saw some old code in a crappy legacy app which wasn't great and he went freaking nuts. Like, began ranting at his desk, then stood up from his desk and started shouting at his screen, then started verbally abusing the developer he thought had written the code (he hadn't).
The other developer just sat and took the abuse calmly and tried to explain it wasn't his code, and anyway we knew it was old and poorly written, but there was no plan for the team to rebuild it, etc. But it was futile and he barely got a word in with the other guy just shouting him down in an endless tirade. He had a full meltdown and was beyond civilized conversation.
Project manager had to intervene and have an emergency meeting with the MD and the developer. They mutually agreed he wasn't right for the company.
The guy eventually said he had Aspergers and had left many jobs for the same reason."
"I was 16 and landed my first job in a paint store mixing custom colors for customers.
On my first day, I mixed a requested color, following the paint manufacturer's directions exactly, but the result turned out wrong because the formula had changed and my employer had not updated his store's formula specifications.
So when the customer complained about the color variance, the boss fired me in front of everyone - even though I had done the job correctly.
It was humiliating and left a lasting negative impression as to what's involved in joining the workplace."
"The girl who was training me was also the boss's daughter. She seemed friendly enough, a bit quirky, but we got along fine at first. When I was writing up appointments in this book, this vase was being annoying and getting in the way, so I moved it to the other side. The girl told me that I had just 'destroyed the zen' and made me move it back after giving me the most evil glare ever. She then asked me what star sign I was (Aries) and went to have a talk with daddy. Apparently, he didn't think I was compatible with the business."
"I worked as a proofreader for a printing firm that made pay-per-view TV guides. When we were given a file, we scanned it with a wand thingy so that the system would assign it to our employee number with a time stamp. I was called into the manager's office at the end of my first day and let go. I asked if my work was poor and she said, 'No, there were no errors.' The reason I was being fired was because I was finishing the files too quickly. 'We can't bill the client if you finish the file in less than an hour.' No one ever told me that we had a minimum work time.
Basically, I was fired for being too efficient."
"Someone I (briefly) worked with had it happen to them. I was a line cook at a small pizza place. We hired this kid, who was around 17/18 years old, to work the counter. Simple enough job: answer phones, handle customers, etc. We also had a small label printer hooked up to the register. The labels corresponded with pizza/calzone orders. When the order was processed, the label would print out with the order number, pizza toppings, size, the basics. All there was to do there was grab the right sized pizza box, stick the label on it, and leave the rest to the pizza guys.
So on this kid's first day, one of the girls up front was showing him the ropes, but he seemed really spaced out. When she was going over the labeling process, he looked dumbfounded. So an order came through and she instructed him on what to do. He was holding the label while staring intently at the empty box, focusing like he was about to defuse a bomb. He would reach towards the box, label in hand at the speed of a tortoise. He never got the label on.
So, weirded out by this kid's overall being, the girl who was training him just awkwardly took the label, stuck it on the box for him. He didn't say a thing. He was not embarrassed, he was not apologetic; he just looked almost lobotomized. Now here's the weird part:
He said he needed to use the bathroom. He went into the single use bathroom in the front of the store. He was in there for about 25-30 minutes. He came out, somehow looking worse and said he wasn't feeling well and that his mom was on her way to pick him up. So now we're all just thinking he was really sick or something. Explained the weird behavior, I guess. Regardless, we said no problem and sent him on his way.
About an hour later, the girl who was training goes to use the bathroom that he had used and found an eyeglasses case. She brought it to the manager and just said that someone must have forgotten it there by mistake. The manager opened up the case, and inside was a syringe, an empty baggie, and some thick rubber bands. Not sure what to do in this situation, our manager just immediately called the police and told them the situation. The cops came by about a half an hour later and went over the story, trying to figure out where the stuff came from. As the cops were about to leave, who walked in but Droopy McGoop Face himself. He immediately said, 'I'm just here to pick up my eyeglasses case that I forgot in the-' At this point, he finally noticed the cop holding said case, 'bathroom.'
Cops took him away. No clue what happened to him. All I know is that he did not end up working with us. Don't do drugs, kids."
"When I was in between jobs, and early in my tech career, I took some temporary work. Among this work was a manufacturing outfit that needed a few thousand records digitized. Upon the early part of my discovery, I found that they already had most of this data in a giant flat file, and were bringing in only two new pieces of unique data.
I found a few correlation points with just a glance, and immediately started scripting. It took around four hours to get my script ready, and then all I had to do was enter two pieces of unique info per record, and the script would take care of the rest. This was going to be a huge time saver, likely cutting the five day job to one and a half to two days. I would be paid the same either way, and would be out of their hair days early, so I figured it was a win-win.
The lady in charge of watching me asked me right after lunch on that first day how many records I had completed so far, and I answered her honestly. I had done four records (the ones I had tested my script against), but was going to blast through hundreds before the business day was done. I went back to the desk and computer they had provided me, and started banging through the stack of records. After I had only done about two dozen of them, a security type showed up, and escorted me out while muttering something about non-performance. I asked to be given three minutes to show my script to anyone that cared, but they were not interested at all. I was marched out the side door, and was never again used by that temp agency.
Those folks just did not understand what I was doing, or how powerful scripting is. All they knew was that I spent the morning doing something other than the mind numbing data entry that they had hired me for."
"When I was 17, I got a job at Chuck E Cheese. I worked the front door and once an hour, I had to put on the Chucky E costume and parade around the place. Here's the deal with those. Kids are jerks. They kept constantly running up to me, hugging me and punching me in the crotch. After about five hours of this, I'd had enough. I purposely didn't attach the head to the body. It was supposed to button into place. So after the 20th or so time being nut checked, I backed up, did a stupid little dance, grabbed my head piece and slowly began to twist it around my head. The kids started to freak. Some screamed, some cried. Parents started protesting. The older kids started laughing. The attendant who was with me fell out in laughter. I thought it was hilarious, however, the restaurant manager who hired me didn't think it was that funny. I got ushered out the back door and banned from that particular Chuck E Cheese. Do I think it was worth it? Definitely."
"When I was in school, I worked as an assistant manager in a deli. In all those years, this one girl stood out as the absolutely worst employee imaginable. She was just SO stupid.
Things she did:
1) Customer came up and asked for an extra side of ranch dressing. We had those little plastic dressing cups all over the place. But does she use one? No. Her solution was to grab a napkin and pour some ranch dressing on it and hand it to the customer like that.
2) When it was a bit slow, I said, 'Hey why don't you take a moment to wipe down the tables.' Obviously, I meant the empty tables. But I looked over to see a whole group of customers cradling their food and drinks in their arms because she had asked them to take all the stuff off the table so she could wipe it down.
3) Like most restaurants, behind the counter and in the kitchen we have floor drains. This is so that at the end of the night when we wash the floors, we can use a copious amount of water to get them really clean and then squeegee the water into the floor drain. So a customer came up and said he got the wrong drink (diet vs regular or whatever). I told her, 'Just pour it out and give him what he asked for.' Rather than take three steps to the sink to pour the drink out, she turned around and poured it into the floor drain, getting soda all over the floor and splashing it onto our pants.
4) While fixing a turkey sandwich, in plain view of the customer and myself, she kept popping pieces of the turkey into her mouth and eating them.
5) Customer walked up to give her order and before she could order, the girl said, 'Do you mind if I go to the bathroom real quick before I take your order? I gotta go really bad.'
6) Customer asked for black pepper on his sandwich. At the time, it was the holidays, all of our salt and pepper shakers were these unique Christmas ones. You know, one was Santa Claus, one was Rudolph, etc. She literally came up to me, all frustrated, and said that she couldn't tell whether the shaker in her hand was salt or pepper. I grabbed it, shook a tiny bit into my hand, and said, 'It's salt...'
7) Customer asked for an egg white omelet. She asked me if he still had to pay for the whole egg.
8) Customer asked for a medium coffee with 'part skim milk, part whole milk.' She poured the coffee into two separate cups. One with skim milk and the other with whole milk.
9) Final straw: In the middle of taking an order, she pulled her phone out and answered a text.
The crazy part was when I told her that she should just leave, it didn't work out, and she shouldn't come back, she kept acting like it was my fault for not explaining stuff to her. Like the rule that you shouldn't answer a text in the middle of waiting on a customer, or that she didn't know we weren't supposed to use the floor drain to pour out drinks, or that she didn't know she wasn't supposed to ever tell a customer that she had to go to the bathroom, that she didn't know there was a rule against eating the turkey off of a customer's sandwich.
And yeah, she was a college student."
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