Every workplace has one: the guy or girl who nobody quite understands how they've gotten as far as they have. It's no coincidence that these whacky employees tend to have the biggest impact on the company, usually followed by them being shown the door.
These Redditors responded to the AskReddit question, "Why did 'that guy' at work finally get fired?" Do these stories remind you of anyone you know?
[Source listed at the end of the article.]
He made them do all the work
“He missed a major deadline and didn’t tell anyone and didn’t show up to work to face the music. Then they found out he was assigning some of his work to another co-worker but turning it in and saying he did it. Then they tried to fire him but he didn’t show up for 3 days. They basically drove to his house to fire him.”
HR dropped the ball on this one
” For example, I complained to HR about her and we got called into a mediation session with the HR guy, where she just talked about everything I ever did wrong in my life, real and imagined, and made it seem like I was just trying to get back at her.
It basically just became a missing stair situation where everyone just stopped complaining and avoided her because it was clear management wasn’t going to do anything. Finally, things came to a head when we had a vendor rep who was going to do a presentation at a meeting and she spent the first 20 yelling at everyone… This was like, full-throated screaming–nasty, ugly, personal stuff, going around the table to each team member individually–because we were pushing back on a completely untenable deadline she’d agreed to with management to make herself look good. Again, in front of a total stranger. The vendor rep then had lunch with the CEO and mentioned the outburst and how it seemed kind of weird.
I think something about an outside observer seeing her tantrum made the CEO snap out of the mindset of ‘well maybe she’s a problem but there’s nothing we can do’ and that was basically the end of her. The HR person actually left not too long after that and I’m pretty sure it was related to the enabling he was doing.”
“He was watching adult films on company computers and must have been on something at work because his behaviour was so strange. He was also an hour or two late every day.
The guy only lasted one week. I honestly thought this only existed in movies, I didn’t realize there are actually people out there careless enough to do this.”
Was he trying to get fired?
“He was found sleeping under his desk. When awake he was caught repeatedly sneaking out the back door and leaving his desk for hours at a time. Plus, he was taking credit for the work of others while trying to pawn his work off on the young woman doing data entry.
He worked there for 2.5 weeks.”
Go home and get some sleep, buddy
“This guy always got to work really tired because he had sleep problems. As in, too tired to function. We worked at a grocery store, so the work wasn’t hard but we tried extra days of training anyway. The guy said the job was too difficult and that he was going to quit. We tried to convince him not to, but left him alone after that.
About a week later, a picture of him appears in the office on the ‘Do Not Serve’ wall. Turns out he sent a letter to management threatening their safety and had a no-trespass and no-contact order for the premises.”
Someone give this guy a chemistry lesson
“He got caught eating snacks in a cleaning room at our factory. The room contained hydrofluoric acid, butanol, and a salt bath with a temperature of 500 degrees Celsius near him, all of which are considered extremely dangerous and highly reactive.”
Rebel without a job
“She sent a message in the group chat we had for employees, saying something along the lines of how she hated the job and she hoped the building burned down. I loved that girl, it was sad to see her go.”
Too good to be true
“She got caught breaking federal law by a regulator, then asked the regulator to cover for her. Regulator didn’t cover.
Here’s a tip: when someone in the workplace makes little things happen your better judgment says probably shouldn’t happen, be suspicious. It is very easy to smile and accept the outcome if it’s stuff you want.
This individual’s superiors thought she was a miracle worker. If they had asked questions they would have found out she was misappropriating funds and forging documents.
It ended up taking down another career besides her own.
She said yes to Uni-Ball pens when she should have budgeted for Bics. She got reimbursements for cab rides when someone forgot the receipts. The top executives got their last-minute deliveries at the workplace on the day they had to leave straight from work to the airport for vacation–and after a couple of years of cutting small corners, one of her superiors approved one bad idea too many.”
“A guy in the shipping dept. kept calling the shop manager a clown, to his face, and was warned to stop. The guy finally got fired when he decided to play circus music at full volume the next time the boss man came around.”
Worst roommate ever
“This guy we called ‘Sharkie’ continually came to work late at our civil construction site and then went out to a bar. One time, when he got back he got his muddy boots all over the bed and then tried to wash an electric blanket in the washing machine. This all happened in the shared house that my company pays for.”
The camera doesn’t lie
“He carved an expletive-laden rant into the bathroom wall directed at our boss after she strongly encouraged him to stop being rude towards female employees.
He tried to deny it, not realizing he had been caught on camera.
After being fired, he sent me a picture of his Johnson that night in the hopes of getting with me, which I then sent to his wife via Facebook.”
“The hospital tech was working a 3rd shift. He was using an ‘out of view’ work computer to view adult films. He had been doing this for about a month before he got caught.
He was caught because one of the sites had infected the computer. One day, when the female chief mammography tech started the computer in front of a patient in the mammography x-ray screening room, the screen started filling up with dirty pop-up ads.
When the investigation was done, the listing of all the sites he visited during his misadventure used up nearly a ream of paper.”
“A customer finally made a complaint about an inappropriate comment ‘that guy’ made.
This guy was super weird around women, got really depressed a lot and would talk about being alone forever often, despite being 24. When he was in a good mood though, he would apparently be hitting on customers as a cashier at a fast-casual restaurant. The kicker was when a customer pointed to a picture on the menu and said ‘That looks delicious!’ to which he said ‘Not as delicious as you must be.’ She phoned in and he was fired.”
Albert Einstein, or Bernie Madoff?
“I’m a software engineer. My company hired a software architect who specialized in a different field. About a week after joining, he declared we need to restructure the whole software. So far so good, except: The new structure was not clear to anyone but himself. He could not explain what was wrong with the existing structure.
Now, software engineering is still engineering. There’s some leeway but ultimately there are right and wrong answers. Reasonably adept engineers should be able to communicate and convince each other of ideas, barring their egos.
This guy, though, just sort of made up his own language. Like he’d tell you the software needs to be made of boondoggles connected to filibusters, and you’d ask what he meant by filibuster and he’d just launch into a long (~10 uninterrupted minutes) explanation at the end of which you still had no idea.
While this was going on, he was generally being annoying. Nothing earth-shattering, but he’d leave empty coffee cups on people’s desks, would pull them in ‘a brief discussion’ that would take up over an hour, bad-mouthed some of us to the rest of us, bad-mouth some of us to upper management, generally sleazy stuff.
It went on for two months. Two months where we engineers genuinely couldn’t figure out if the guy was a misunderstood genius or a scam artist, because nobody could figure out what he was going on about, and he was extremely adamant about whatever it was, repeatedly bashing the existing architecture for being a dead-end.
It ended when one of us basically called him out on his bogus ideas. My colleague told management ‘we can’t figure out what to do here, let’s take all the time we need to make it concrete’ and just spent entire days locked in a room with him and management, slowly forcing him to go into details. The endgame was for Mr. Architect to write a document explaining in full detail what needed to be done. He had two weeks. He didn’t show up to work after they passed, and the document he left behind was just the chapter headings.
I think we dodged a bullet. Still, the story is so wild, I don’t think I’ll ever be free of the doubt that maybe he really had a good idea we were too dull to comprehend.
Did they learn nothing??
“I worked at a restaurant a few years back. It was a terrible place to work at, in a shady part of town. Roaches, rats, management sleeping with servers during work hours. We had to have an off-duty cop work as security, it was such a complete disaster. I was a hostess and I had the immense displeasure to work with this wonky girl I’ll call K.
K was rude. She was unprofessional, unhygienic, lazy, volatile, and had to have had some form of blackmail against the GM because if anyone else had pulled half the stuff she did, they’d have at least been written up, if not fired. She blatantly stole, argued with customers, pushed an old lady out of her way, disappeared for hours on end, and threatened several co-workers daily. I hated working with her. I would do anything I could to not work the same shifts.
What finally got her fired, though, was when she got into an argument with the District Manager. He told her to leave the premises, and she lost it. She spat on him, threatened to burn down the building, and had to be escorted out by security. The last I heard, she was working at the burger joint nearby. I quit that job shortly after because they were talking about bringing her back.”
“We had someone that was impossible to work with, largely because he couldn’t listen or comprehend what others are saying.
This isn’t a language issue. He just literally could not comprehend what he was being told. He was so self-involved that it was impossible to get him to stop and listen to someone else. I was the lead over him for a project briefly, simply because the project was going sideways.
My way of dealing with him was to not assign ANY tasks to him that actually had to be done–I would assign him bugs we had already decided not to fix–and then refuse to help him. His favorite thing to do was to ask for help, and then argue and try to make the conversation take as long as possible, keeping the other person from doing their job.
In the end, he got put on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), which he had to fulfill or else he would be fired. He argued with our boss about it, all the while not comprehending what it meant, then left his office and went to the office of the next person up (who obviously knew of the PIP) and proceeded to argue with him. The great part was that the PIP was about comprehension and listening skills and he completely failed to listen to THIS boss as well and was fired on the spot.
He then kept saying he would go get his stuff from his desk, and refused to heed their warning that he could not go back to his desk and they would ship him his personal possessions. He just kept repeating that he had to go back to his desk to get his stuff. This guy had his M.S. in Mathematics.”
“This was at a fast food chain. One employee poked holes in the cups, so that when we filled them up they would pour right on to the customers. He had anger problems, was lazy, showed up late a lot, would purposefully mess up orders and get people the wrong drinks.
The last straw was that one day he didn’t show up at all. When the Director called him to ask why he didn’t show up, all he said was, ‘yeah, I just didn’t feel like showing.’ My supervisor then informed him that didn’t need to show up ever again. No was was sad or surprised to see him go.”
He had a license to be a jerk
“When he first got hired, he had an ankle monitor. He backed into a customer’s vehicle… three times. He missed work several times from being too exhausted from his escapades. He pulled dangerous stunts all the time.
One night, he got pulled over because he drifted around a corner and it turned out he didn’t legally have a license and got taken to court. He had gotten three citations and got arrested twice in one week. The second time he was fired, my employers finally decided not to bring him back.”
That’s not what you should be Googling
“He was a big dude. 6′ 5” and not skinny. A very close talker. When he got upset, he got even closer. There were times he would be inches from someone’s face. He was a contractor, so we let him go.
When we checked his computer after he was escorted out, we found out he had been cruising both dating sites and adult content sites. He hadn’t even cleared his search history.”
Things went downhill pretty quickly
“We had a guy who was brought in as a senior computer guy, but knew nothing. He would get halfway into fixing a bug and just stop. Then he blamed everyone else. He HAD to work out at lunch, taking two hours to do so. An important meeting? Nope, have to work out.
What got him canned was ski season. Our office was about 45 minutes from reasonably good skiing. About once a week, he would concoct some wild story about having to come in after lunch. At a meeting, in front of managers, I asked him how skiing that morning was. He turned bright red and said, ‘It was OK.’ He was gone soon after. He ended up copying and pasting entire sections of other people’s LinkedIn profiles to use as his own.”
She really had to work hard to get fired
“I work at a high volume brewpub and we had this manager/bartender who was completely bonkers. She was manipulative, threatened and hurt multiple employees, and constantly stole from the company. She would go on tangents that were half to herself, so you weren’t quite sure if she was talking to you or not.
One night she had a few drinks after work and tackled a hostess. Then she relieved herself on our patio while guests were dining. Like legit pulled her pants down and started going next to a table of people who were eating dinner. She was fired and banned from the premises the next day.”
“One Monday, a guy came in 3 hours late and clearly on something, after a weekend off at some electronic dance music camping festival. Started rubbing all the walls and lying on the floor and stuff. He was fired soon after that.”
He acted like he ran the place
“He put an ultrasound-guided IV in a patient’s artery instead of their vein. He wasn’t signed off on performing that task yet and did it anyways.
If that was his only infraction ever, he probably would have kept his job. However, he was a complete nightmare as a person. We worked the night shift so he’d go sleep in empty offices, transport patients to other floors and then stay and flirt with the nurses for hours, and he’d ignore any task a nurse delegated to him. He was a paramedic. He thought he was hot stuff and could do whatever he wanted. Hence why when he messed up he didn’t get any grace.”
Hm, not sure about that idea
“He used a can of Axe body spray and a lighter in the crew room as a flamethrower. This was on a commercial ship carrying gasoline.”
Note: Comments have been edited for clarity.