What’s your record for the shortest time you’ve ever been on a job?
If memory serves, I once nope’d out of a tear-down crew gig about an hour in.
But that story pales in comparison to the adventures had by the people of Reddit.
Here are the jobs that almost were.
1. Like shadows in the dark
When I was 20 or so I got hired to be a temporary floor member for Forever21 during the holiday season.
My training started a week before Black Friday so the store was already kind of in chaos. On my first day of training I walked in and the floor manager gave all the new hires a tour showing us the facility and layout of the store. After this I was assigned to a veteran floor member to shadow and get an idea of what my job was and what my duties would be. As soon as I was assigned the manager dipped never to be seen again.
An hour and a half into my shift my shadowee got an emergency family call and had to take off for a week. When this happened I found some other floor manager and explained the situation and asked them who else I should shadow. The managers response was “just do what you can by yourself you’ll be fine, everyone else is busy.” Figured we’ll ok I’ll try…
I don’t know if any of you have shopped in the women’s section of forever21 but during seasonal sales they will have multiple articles of clothing that all look almost exactly the same but with slight differences (ex. A white cardigan with 4 buttons that looked literally the same as a white cardigan with 5 buttons). The best part was these different items were often placed in completely separate parts of the store and it was the job of the dressing room to return the unpurchased items to the correct section so the employees could put them back on the shelves. Well, these employees f**king sucked and I didn’t know if they were a part of my section or not so I’d spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to find where they go before realizing “wait this isn’t even my section I’ve checked literally every rack” so I’d put it back on the sorting rack and move to the next item. More than 50% of the stuff I was told to reshelf wasn’t my section. I just did as best as I could and got ready for my next miserable day.
The next day I come in and the store manager pulls me to her office and tells me how slow I was the day before and if I want to keep working here I need to be very fast. I explained my lack of training and unfamiliarity with the store and she told me if I didn’t know where the clothes were in sections I should come in my free time and memorize where stuff was at. I spent the rest of my shift putting clothes in random f**king places then never came back for a third shift.
F**k that place and their management.
2. Doing time
My first internship was at a brazilian teen detention center (it’s akin to a prison, but Brazilian law has some distinctions between crimes committed while as an adult or as a teenager – teens go through socio-educational measures).
I was walking through a courtyard with my supervisor when some doctors came running flailing their arms and screaming while officers came running from the opposite direction. I get pulled by my supervisor who just tells me to run back to our office. These teens as young as 12 had escaped their block. A few minutes later an officer comes knocking on the doors of the offices and yelling for everyone to run outside because a fire had broken out. Some of the teens had set mattresses on fire in their cells.
I didn’t really nope out. My teacher did (she hadn’t even been there that day). So i was forced by the university to choose another place to intern at. Oh well.
3. If you can’t take the heat…
When I burned my hands all night on the too hot plates as a food runner.
They wouldn’t let me use towels to carry them and said I just had to get used to it.
4. Lowe’s lows
I was a cashier at Lowe’s during college for less than a full day. I made it through the multiple day training but there was so much stupid s**t going on I almost thought I was on a hidden camera show.
All of the employees complained about how hard they had to work while simultaneously not getting enough hours. Nobody understood why they were hiring like 4 new people (I was one of those 4).
Turns out it’s because they were progressing through a sexual harassment complaint that required restructuring of the store and firing of some employees. This was known to HR and explained to new hires (against company policy), but wasn’t known to the employees, apparently some of whom still worked there, including the f**king person doing the training. She was really inappropriate and said not to worry about the sexual harassment stuff, that everything would “go back to normal” soon enough and we wouldn’t have to “be so uptight.” They fired her the day before I started, along with one of the cashiers who trained me.
She also offered me terrible guidance for the application process. They were looking for part time help and two of the three days they needed help on I had off from school. I told them I could work nights most nights, but if they needed daytime help it had to be on those days. She said if I was too restrictive they wouldn’t keep me on, lied to my boss about my availability to make me “even more attractive than I already was” wink, and told me to schmooze them a bit and I’d make it further. She said in the end it wouldn’t impact anything, and I’d get those days.
My first week’s schedule I was working mornings every day that I was in school, and I wasn’t given any hours on my days off. Aside from the fact that I was given 2 times the hours the position called for (when other employees were shorted), my work schedule way literally impossible to consolidate with my school schedule.
I only went to work on my “first” day to tell them I was quitting and that their application process was a f**king mess. They couldn’t figure out how so much went wrong and then they asked who trained me and everything made sense. They thanked me for “at least showing up to quit” unlike the other 3 they hired, who just stopped returning their calls and no-showed their first days.
5. There’s a first time for everything
My first ever job.
I was thirteen and I would be delivering phone books from the back of a van through peoples letterboxes.
So I’d be in the back of the van with the phone books and there was an older guy driving slowly while I went back and forth to the van/houses with the books.
At one point the van was getting quite empty so there was more space to move around and we had finished the delivery in the street we were paid to deliver to and he drove to another.
While driving there he drove lets say aggressively and I fell inside the back where the books were. I wasn’t sitting in a seat as the van had no seats in the back. As I put my hand out to steady myself I accidentally laid it across a portable radio that had its antenna extended but the antenna was also broken half-way and razer sharp.
It sliced the palm of my hand clean open 3-4 inches. I can only describe what I saw as gruesome. I said to him to pull the van over and I needed help. He saw my hand and just threw me a plastic bag, the kind you’d get at a supermarket and told me to wrap my hand in it.
Then .. he continued with the deliveries, at-least he delivered the remaining books himself.
I should have been taken to a hospital or at-least home to my parents. I quit after that and never showed up again. As you can imagine my parents were quite angry at him.
6. The marketer
Once I applied for and got a telemarketing job. I didn’t know what it entailed. After an hour I knew it was a terrible fit…auto dialing people during their dinners, trying to sell them stuff they didn’t want, reading a horrible script while sitting in a soulless grey cubicle.
I got up, went to the manager, apologized and said it wasn’t a good fit for me. He seemed understanding.
7. The stage
Answered an ad in the paper (this was the mid 90s) what seemed to be an office job making sales calls when I was in college. Did a phone interview and was called back for an in person interview. When I go to the interview I’m led into a room with about 50 other people and a small stage at the front of the room. We’re all somewhat confused as to what is going on.
Finally a guy gets on the stage and informs us that we’ve been selected for the opportunity to sell Cutco.
Me and 2/3rds of the rest stood up and walked out.
8. Not good enough
A long time ago, not long after getting my papers as a chef I had an interview at a hotel for a position in the kitchen. The Executive Chef and I chatted in his office for about 20 mins, at the time I remember him coming off as very arrogant which is quite common in this field, I didn’t think much of it at the time as the pay was decent and the shift was what I wanted.
As I was leaving his office I turned to leave through the dining room (the way I had come in) which was closed at the time it was another hour or so before service started and he says to me “No not that way, go through the kitchen, you’re not good enough to go through the dining room.”
I was so surprised by what he said, I just did what he asked without a word.
Later on after I had got home I phoned him up and said that after having a close look I decided that his menu wasn’t good enough and that I wouldn’t be accepting his offer.
9. The internship
Got what was supposed to be a prestigious political internship that came with a security clearance and everything.
Found out at orientation that the “part time” internship was really 40-60 hours, unpaid and that no intern had gone on to work with the organization and weren’t really given a leg up for other federal posts. We were supposed to facilitate meetings with heads of state, coordinate conferences and assist the actual employees with composing published research papers for which we would not be credited.
They were definitely drinking their own koolaid so I bounced right on out of there.
10. Dole it out
I answered an ad for a baby sitting job. I was already working on a casual basis but it was sporadic so I thought some after hours baby sitting would be welcome extra cash.
The couple were both in the military and proceeded to tell me that I would be staying in the spare room and looking after their 6 mth old child around the clock as well as doing the housework. I would have one day off every two weeks. They said it is cash in hand so I could sign onto the dole (unemployment benifit) to make up the rest of the money.
I left on the spot.
They wanted a live in housemaid and nanny not a baby sitter and they were not able to pay for one. Why they thought it was up to me to illegally collect the dole to subsidise them I don’t know.
If it doesn’t pass the smell test, get outta there.
When have you nope’d out of a job?
Tell us in the comments.