Everybody (and we mean EVERYBODY) has more than one job in their lifetime. And we move on because we either reach a breaking point or find greener pastures.
So… about those “breaking points”… that’s how posts like this come about. Because not all of us have happy exists. In fact, some employers can treat us like absolute garbage.
Here are some insane stories of how workers got fed up and went, “I’m out!”
1. Work Harder Minions!
“This happened years ago while working at a Safeway in the produce department. I worked from 1:30pm-10pm three days a week. After 4pm, I was alone in the department and as it got later in the evening I would spend my time helping the night manager with his duties because everything in my area was handled. I would help check when needed, stock other departments and clean the warehouse all while keeping my department perfect.
I asked the store manager for more hours after about two months of doing this extra work, and she told me ‘If you worked harder I would consider it.’
So I turned around, clocked out, and never came back.”
2. Proof of Death
“I worked at a family owned restaurant as my first job. I had been there for four years. In the summer of 2003, my best friend needed surgery, he ended up getting some rare form of pneumonia and was in a medically induced coma. I went to see him every day at the hospital. I worked five days a week in the summer and everyday I came into work my boss asked how is your friend? My dear friend died on a Thursday night, and his service was the following Monday.
The only day of the week when I worked the day shift.
On Friday (my next shift), I immediately go to the owner and tell him my friend passed away and I can not work Monday morning. He. Went. Crazy. I should’ve called him last night (I was 17 and my best friend just died why would I think to call him?). Then he said it: ‘I don’t believe you, bring me the obituary and maybe you can get the afternoon off.’
I laughed, and said go die in a fire and walked out. His daughters called me, apologized, and asked for me to come back. I told them to die in a fire too.”
3. How Can You Blame Me For This?!
“I had been telling my boss that there was an error on the website that I cannot fix because I don’t have the permissions. I mentioned this several times to him, and that it would take him one phone call to get it straightened out. The owner noticed this error. Not only calls me out in front of the whole department about not caring about my job and taking advantage of his kindness, but also makes it a point to tell me I should thank my boss for having my back.
It was the last straw placed on a huge pile of awfulness. I quit the next day. I sent the emails to HR. But also, I knew the owner wouldn’t care or listen as similar things had happened before. He was the kind of guy who surrounded himself with his buddies and didn’t let things like reality influence his judgements on them. At that point, I was so worn down, I just wanted to be done.”
4. He Was Extremely Inappropriate
“I worked at a residential care facility and was doing in home care for two adult men with mental disabilities. The one gentleman was average, agreeable, and generally just fine to work with. He ended up doing really well with me, and I was tasked with things like grocery shopping, cooking and errands with him because he would actually stick to the plan and wouldn’t cause a fuss.
His roommate was the complete opposite.
He was a total momma’s boy who had clearly been able to do whatever he wanted his whole life. Blew his budgeted grocery money on soda and other frivolous items. It’s cool, mom will be over shortly with a check for more. I understand they had the means and it was their choice, but the whole point of the living situation was to learn independence and how to lead as normal a life as possible.
His mom bought him a blow up doll (everybody has needs, I understand) but he named it after me and would take it into the shower with him yelling my name the entire time.
He was capable enough, so I never went into the bathroom, but I knew what he was doing. I had a discussion with his mom and program directors about trying to redirect this behavior because I didn’t feel it was healthy. I was told by his mother that my name was common and there’s no way to be sure it was me he was referring to.
Then he starts getting irrationally angry with me because I won’t be his girlfriend/respond when he’s participating in these activities.
I bring it up again and it’s swept under the rug. On what would be my final day working with him, he tried to pin me in a corner and kiss me. He’s much larger and much stronger than I am. His roommate sees and is able to talk him down by threatening to ruin one of his games if he didn’t stop. He then threw a DVD case at me, hit me square in the eye and I ended up with a black eye.
Called my boss, said I was out and would not be returning as they clearly didn’t listen to my safety concerns.
Felt bad that his roommate still had to live with him and thanked him profusely for stepping in, though.”
5. Paging OSHA… COME HELP US!
“I worked at a fast food restaurant as a teenager. It was a locally owned small business, not franchise. The owners were also the chef and manager; they were first generation immigrants from Korea. They barely spoke any English, and did a lot of stuff that uh… Wasn’t exactly up to OSHA guidelines. We had a health inspection once while I was there, and that was when I realized they actually knew they were violating health and safety code, because they had me spend all day cleaning the day before.
Some of the stuff that I saw while I was there:
‘Thawing Chicken’ by leaving it on a cutting board on top of an open trash can all day long
Leafy greens in the fridge under raw chicken. No shelf between them, mind you; we’re talking a tub of greens with a half-zipped gallon ziplock full of chicken just sitting on top of the lettuce
Re-using single use gloves. Each employee was allowed 1 glove per day.
They actually did use a probe thermometer to check meat temps…
But they never cleaned the probe after. Just wiped it off at the end of the day… On their apron.
All dishes were done by hand… But the water heater was so small that by the time we were half-way through the dishes, we’d have no hot water left, meaning half the dishes wound up improperly cleaned.
The last straw for me was when I caught a bad cold, and they first accused me of lying, insisting I was actually hung over.
I told them I’d never even been inebriated (which was true. I was a straight-edge teenager, I spent my free time watching anime and playing video games.) And again, they said I was lying, but angrily gave me the day off as long as I promised to be in the next day. When I came in next, they told me that from then on there would be no sick days; I had to come in no matter how sick I was. I said, and I quote, ‘…
No. Eff that, that’s illegal. In fact, bite me, you’re going to get someone killed the way you run this place. I’m done, I quit! Goodbye.’
As I walked out the door I heard them yelling something about 2 weeks notice, but I wasn’t going back to listen to it.”
6. Into The Hoarder’s Lair…
“The owner of a restaurant I worked at offered me $200 to remove ‘an evicted tenant’s old furniture and belongings’ from an apartment he rented out. He had a dumpster delivered and gave me the key.
He failed to disclose that the evicted tenant was a hoarder.
I almost left when I first opened the door.
The place stunk like dying animals, rotten food, and smoke. It had stacks of junk electronics, old magazines, food and drink containers, and trays of Marlboro butts
I finally noped out when I went into the bathroom which was full of swollen diet coke bottles filled with urine and plastic grocery bags full of human waste. I never made it to the bedrooms”
7. A Bad Move
“I was poached by a company which seemed like a leader in the field. It was a good opportunity, and they brought me on to build out a specific offering at their agency. Even at my old agency we had done some competitor research that basically said these guys were the best of the best. So when I got the offer, it was a no-brainer.
But then I get there and it turns out the department I’m in is complete garbage.
The rest of the company seemed pretty good, doing interesting stuff. But leadership didn’t care about our department much and the people leading it weren’t really invested, and so it was basically a bunch of junior employees just doing whatever they thought was right. I didn’t really have a direct way of influencing that since I was like a support piece to the main department. I’d work on their projects, for a particular purpose, but didn’t have any authority over their projects as a whole.
Still, I figured once I was there a while, I could push for some changes and try taking on more of a leadership role.
Anyway, I’m there almost a year and I get invited to speak at an industry conference. I had spoken at some conferences before, and so that’s not unusual. The speaking engagements were on my resume when I applied, and I had assumed they were seen as positives by the company when hiring me.
However, they tell me I’m not allowed to go. They have a policy that speaking engagements are reserved for ‘VPs and above.’ So, I ask them about making an exception, that it’s a good opportunity for the agency to be represented at the conference. They won’t budge. I say I can pay my own way. They still don’t budge. I say I can just go as myself then, and I won’t mention the agency. (I have my own small company where I do similar work basically as a freelancer with a small team of people, so I could have been ‘Clayburn from Clayburn, LLC’ instead.) But they say it doesn’t matter, that I’d still be seen as a representative of the company, and they can’t approve it.
The conference was in Las Vegas and I had never been.
So, I wanted to go and decided I’d just go anyway. They’re like, ‘Well, we said you can’t.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but I’m going.’ ‘We’d have to let you go then.’ ‘Okay.’ So, I guess I was fired. I went to Las Vegas and made a little vacation of it, and it was one of my favorite presentations I’ve done. It was about the psychology techniques behind social media networks. And Vegas was a nice place to visit.
I got to see Penn & Teller, and I lost about $300 gambling.”
8. Fecal Man
“I teach special needs. Severely autistic dude in his 20s who was super strong and we suspected he had schizophrenia too. Nonverbal, severely violent, the whole 9. He was 2:1 (2 staff dedicated to him). Which is pretty much unheard of.
I took a break with my aide for lunch and went sit in the room. I see him in the corner of the classroom and I see he’s taking a dump in his diaper.
No big deal, I had a protocol. Shoes and socks off and walk to the bathroom with a pocket full of gloves.
We got to the bathroom and I clear all my pockets and take off my glasses. I take off his shirt. And it’s on. I managed to get his pants and diaper off. Then he decides to run in the stall and paint the stall and himself in fecal matter. All while trying to attack me and the other aide.
My aide was gagging.
I told him to step out, get my vicks vapor rub (under the nose and in the nose will save any of those working in the population), a box of gloves, a bunch of trash bags, and a bunch of baby wipes.
I spent the next 40 minutes washing fecal matter off of a very hairy 20 year old who was trying to hit and bite me. Luckily he listened to me enough to grab to the top of the stall. Most of the time.
I went through 3 things of wipes and a box of gloves.
I got him in a fresh diaper and fresh clothes. Told the aides I was done and went back to class. I told the aides there I was no longer there. The buses would be there soon. I’m not helping anyone because I’m not here.
I got home, stripped in the entry way, and took a 40 minute hot shower. Then had a (few) Budweiser cans and a bowl in complete silence on the patio.”
9. The Legend
“Not me but a coworker. I worked at Baskin Robbins, and we had an awful manager/owner who treated us like complete garbage. One day, a woman came into our store and ordered a one-scoop sundae (cost $5.99 at the time). Only after we had made her the sundae and rang her up did she present us with a coupon for $1 off any sundae but it had expired in 1991 (this took place in 2015 or 2016).
When my coworker apologized and said we couldn’t take the coupon, the woman flipped out and started cursing at us claiming that it was illegal for us to not take her coupon because coupons never legally expire.
We asked her to calm down as there were kids in the store, and she demanded we call our owner…so we did. And being the absolute pr#ck that he is, he told us that we were costing him business by upsetting a customer and that he’s going to take the price of the sundae off my coworker’s paycheck and that he was going to get an official write-up for being rude to a customer. After hearing this, my coworker left the phone hanging from the wall, took off his apron, and calmly flipped the lady off as he walked out of the store.
I had to work a busy summer night alone and ended up staying two hours late to close everything and clean the store.
The whole night I wished I had the courage to do something like that. I’ve never seen or heard from him again but he will forever be a legend in my mind.”
10. Nothing But A Number
“I used to be a mental health tech at a psych hospital. I had previously worked at a residential facility before, so nothing was really new to me. However, the management at the hospital was terrible. This psych hospital was getting in trouble by the upper management of the hospital systems due to having too many psych crisis holds and told all of the staff we were to not do any holds no matter what.
They also started to schedule me for work for my grad school classes (which if you miss more than two classes you fail the class). Eventually I put my two weeks in.
On my last day of work we were way understaffed, which the hospital didn’t care because clients are just numbers and workers cost money. Our teen unit was over the allotted limit and had teens sleeping in other units, but had to stay in our unit during the day for ‘safety’ reasons.
It was about two staff for 16 psych patients. We had at least 4 on the unit that day that were negative attention seeking and one was frustrated that we needed to leave the dining hall after dinner. I was the last staff waiting at the door when one client tried eloping to the younger kid unit, so I blocked that door. The patient punched me in the head, and I got a small concussion. Of course, I was not able to put them in a containment hold because the hospital wanted us to avoid holds at all costs.
They asked me if I wanted to file assault charged on the teen, but I really wanted to file charges on the hospital. That’s when I said ‘forget it, I’m out.’
I heard another story of a guy punching out a window and grabbed shards of glass and was trying to stab the mental health techs. The nurse on the unit was going to call 911, but the hospital staff didn’t want her to do that and said they would deal with it internally.
The patient continued to gesture stabbing everyone so she called 911. They ended up firing her.”
11. No Thank You. Ever.
“I worked HVAC for a while a few months back. On one call I went to this office type building, and was servicing their AC unit. I did the condenser unit (the one outside) just fine, having no problems. Then I needed to go to the indoor unit.
When I opened the cellar doors to that, nothing but spider webs and hundreds, and I do mean hundreds, of spiders. Some spiders were definitely venomous. I turned around and told the manager it wasn’t happening.
He tried to fight me on it, so I told him to please, try finding a guy willing to do it.
He never did.”
12. Dog Fight
“I worked at a dog daycare for eight years, which was also my first job ever, and poured every bit of my heart and soul into working there. I started at $6.75 and worked my way up to $10 after many years. The work was exhausting and emotionally draining, the way the managers ran things there would often be dog fights or they would put a huge group of young dogs together and the person watching that yard would be so stressed the whole time trying to keep track of 15 crazies.
I had been there the longest and the dogs listened to me pretty well so I would often get put in the most stressful yards. I noticed a trend when I was allowed to make the play groups, it was always peaceful, because I knew how to group dogs based on age, temperament, play style, etc… but when anyone else did it one or more yards would always be complete chaos. The manager never listened to my suggestions for grouping dogs even tho I was out there with them for 6+ hours a day and she was out there for maybe an hour a day.
That among other things- I would often come in hours early and stay late to help out with cleaning and other things. Working conditions were rough- we were forced to stay outside in freezing temps and rain and blazing sun despite there being indoor play areas to use (it was a hassle to get dogs in and out so managers dragged their feet on letting them play inside). Some days there felt like an unending nightmare.
Management treated me and my coworkers poorly but I loved the dogs so I stuck with it.
It wasn’t a coincidence that I developed a more severe depression than ever before in my last few years there.
All of this incessant rambling just to get to my breaking point… which looking back was pretty stupid but I was so fed up with how tough that job was and how little recognition I received (or good pay for that matter) that I couldn’t take it anymore.
I had to call out due to being sick and when I came back the next day my coworker gave me grief for leaving them hanging like that, which really annoyed me to no end because she was one of the flakiest most unreliable people on our team. The manager was on her side. There were so many days where I had to struggle due to understaffing or callouts, and countless times where I came in on days off to fill in for someone…
the fact that they couldn’t treat me with a shred of decency after being out for one day was infuriating.
So I literally said ‘eff you, I’m out. Bye.’ Turned around, clocked out, and left that place never to return.
Never regret my decision despite how sad it was to leave all of my dog pals behind (I’m sure they forgot about me soon enough).”
13. No Pain. No Grain.
“I once took a job as a grain hauling trucker. Unfortunately I picked the worst time of year to do it, which was December when everyone is trying to get their harvest in to the terminal before year end. This December was also a cold one (I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and it was -30C to -40C for most of the 3 weeks this job lasted). The Peterbilt they had me in could throw little enough heat that I could feel my feet or see through the windshield, but not both.
My last run went as follows:
Dispatch gave me directions that took me an extra 3 hours to get where I was going. In addition to it being a much longer route, they sent me down a dead end road with a super B trailer (2 medium-to-long trailers instead of one long one) and I had to drive into a snow filled field to turn around because my other option was to back 2 connected trailers up 8km. I’ve never sworn so much in my life as I barely managed to not be stuck in a field in the middle of nowhere.
When I finally did get to the terminal to unload it was so late that I was the next semi in line when they closed. I was actively fighting sleep due to being cold all day and pulling a crazy long drive and being more than a bit angry. I had to drop trailer and come back the next day.
All told I put in over 14 hours for what should have been a 8 hour haul. We got paid by the loaded km, not by hour or total km, so I got paid for 4 hours.
I realized that right when the terminal closed. That was the point at which I actually voiced “Forget this, I’m out!” despite having nobody to hear me. Just an affirmation to myself. The next morning I told them I wasn’t returning to work and that I have no problem putting in 14hrs but not if I’m getting paid for 4, and not in a vehicle that won’t throw heat to the cab when it’s -40 outside.
I’ve since become an RN, I’m much happier.
Especially since I get paid for the hours I put in.”
Well, that was a roller coaster ride! Which one of those was the most insane? Let us know in the comments.
Oh, and if you have a particularly hairy work story, drop that in the comments too. We always love it when people share.