Everyone has their breaking point, and then they get pushed past it, it can be ugly. Especially if it happens at work!
Workers on Reddit share the meltdowns they witnessed at work. Content has been edited for clarity.
Dave Had A Heck Of A Last Day
“I used to work for one of England’s most well-known carpet companies, at their head office and main warehouse in South East London.
The problem being, it was abundantly clear there was a big divide between Warehouse staff and Office staff. The office staff tended to get paid at least 3-4k more per month than the warehouse. The offices were decked out with fancy dining areas, relaxing areas on balconies, a pool table, and a chill-out room, and not to mention a big expensive tropical fish tank display next to a seating area.
Warehouse staff had to go out the back or side fire exits to take breaks. We were timed for how long we could go, and if we took too long had to make it up over lunch or staying late. And even though we were doing very heavy-duty manual labor, had to specialize in operating forklift trucks and carpet cutting tables as big as a medium-sized swimming pool, we always felt like we were undervalued.
Anyway, one particular staff member (Let’s call him ‘Dave’) loved to moan and whine about it on a weekly basis. Any time we would be in the canteen and a group of white shirt, stiff collar, suited, snobby office guys would walk past, he would always make some snarky comment.
‘Privileged little brats!’ he would vaguely mumble under his breath.
The office staff mainly rubbed it in his face by laughing as they got in the lift to go and play pool upstairs, or occasionally would say something from the balconies if one of us was below on the floor level huddled around a bench.
So I was about halfway through my shift. Middle of the week. When suddenly, three forklift drivers come shooting down the aisles towards the cutting dept, all beeping their horns and waving down anyone who would see them.
One of the guys pulled up beside my area and said, ‘The boss just tried to fire Dave!’
Me: ‘What do you mean ‘tried’ to fire Dave?!’
Turns out Dave got pulled into a meeting with the warehouse manager and an office manager who was rather recently promoted from second-floor office staff to a head of Dept on the fourth floor.
He had enough of Dave always trying to have digs at the office team, and his blatant disregard for respect, and wanted to make an example out of him.
But when he made his argument against Dave in front of the warehouse boss, he apparently made a load of stuff up about him just to make sure he got fired.
Well, Dave didn’t take too kindly to that and lunged across the office table and knocked out this office manager in one fell blow. According to the warehouse manager a few weeks later, he told me it was a punch so well executed, he wish he had filmed it in slow motion.
But that’s not all Dave did. We had a mini in-house radio station for the warehouse staff as it was such a large building. They pumped all sorts of music into the warehouse all day, and occasionally interrupted it from one of the office girls who would announce any weekly/monthly/annual profits or staff member birthdays, and so on.
Well, Dave broke into the glorified broom closet filled with a sound system and a microphone, right after he knocked out the office manager. He kicked out the girl who looked after the desk there and locked himself in. He then spent the next 45 minutes using the microphone to verbally abuse every single office worker who had wound him up over the years, all in between songs boomed out into the warehouse!
‘That was Michael Jackson with his hit song, ‘Beat it!’ Seemed an appropriate choice after remembering when I saw Jeremy from accounts beating it on the balcony one late shift when he thought he was alone. What a poop stain of a man.
Anyway, next we have Cindy Lauper with ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun.’ A song dedicated to Janet on sales on floor one, for the countless men she’s been with in that office while spreading her diseases across the whole team. Get tested boys! She may leave a lasting impression on you.’
Eventually, police were called and he was dragged out and we all had a meeting with our managers, who told us we had to sign new forms forbidding us from entering office areas without an office manager present, and any other issues between Warehouse and Office staff would be met with disciplinary action.
Dave was a legend.”
This Guy Tried To Pull A Fast One
“I used to work at a Starbucks in the city. It was busy as heck, and I very quickly learned to read people who were up to no good, and by read I mean their body language, not their clothing or apparent social status.
One day this guy came in, and he was acting shifty. I was alone at the register and my barista was busy. He didn’t order a drink, but he kept asking for things that would require me to turn around while he was glancing at my barista. So I was immediately onto him. He started asking for pastries that aren’t in the pastry case, clearly trying to ask for something, so I’d need to turn around to get out of the cabinet. Eventually, I had to turn around to get a freaking chocolate chip cookie for the guy.
Even though I turned around, I sort of kept him in the corner of one eye. And sure enough, I saw one of his hands make a quick motion in my peripheral vision.
So I turned back around with his cookie and put it on the counter in front of him, ‘That’ll be $1.72, oh and do you mind putting the tip jar back?’
It was gone. Of course. This guy was easier to read than Where’s Waldo. He gives me a terrible impression of someone who is confused, so I continue, ‘You know, the tip jar you just took. The one you’re hiding under your jacket? Do you mind putting it back?’
Guy continues to fail at acting like he didn’t know what I am talking about.
At this point, I was done with this nonsense. So I leaned in really close like I was going to whisper a secret. The guy actually did the same thing and leaned in close. I’m guessing it was a kind of instinctual reaction. But, I don’t whisper a secret.
‘Do you think I’m a freaking idiot? Put the freaking tip jar back or you’ll be in jail so fast your head will spin.’
The dude almost pooped his pants. The store went utterly silent, and every single person was looking at me. And then they look at him.
‘Now everyone in here has seen your face. Put the freaking tip jar back. Now. Hey [barista’s name] here’s the phone [hands barista the phone while I stared directly into dude’s eyes]. Call the police.’
So at this point, the guy was utterly stunned. Everyone in the store was just staring. Finally, something clicked in his head, and in one motion he slammed the tip jar back on the counter and ran out of the store. As he did, I noticed a woman behind him who looked scared as heck. She looked at the guy as he ran off, like she wasn’t sure if she should follow. I realize she was his accomplice, maybe there to distract the barista? Not sure. Anyway, I am full of adrenaline and mad as heck, so I just gave her a withering glare and she goes wide-eyed and runs away too.
My manager came out and told me to go take a break. And that was that. I didn’t get written up or fired. Company policy is/was you’re not allowed to touch someone who steals your tips. They never said anything about yelling. Hurray for loopholes!”
He Was Finally Put In His Place
“My first job was working as a host at a local restaurant. Our short/stalky chef was being particularly pestered by our 15-year-old dishwasher boy. Now this dishwasher boy was annoying on any given day; non-stop talking, tons of gossiping, whining, and bragging pretty much from the start to the end of his shifts.
I was standing at the host station at the tail end of the evening rush when out of nowhere, I heard our chef yell (through the walls of the kitchen, mind you) ‘That’s it you little brat,’ followed by the high-pitched wail of the dishwasher boy.
I only had time to move my head towards the racket when the dishwasher boy came sprinting out of the kitchen (still screaming) past me, past customers, and out the door of the restaurant. Seriously, him shrieking as he ran by was the only time I’ve had the chance to experience the Doppler Effect without a vehicle passing by. Seconds later, the chef bursts out of the kitchen and follows him out of the restaurant, hot on his heels.
What incited the altercation was the dishwasher boy was being his usual aggravating self and chef, having enough of his nonsense, told him to knock it off. Dishwasher boy then decided the appropriate thing to do would be to overhand throw a spoiled spoon at chef while he was working at his station. Spoon caught him square in the face and that was that.
So now every customer in the restaurant and I were staring in awe into the parking lot as the chef closed the distance on dishwasher boy. The dishwasher boy appears to turn and say something to the chef in frantic defense for himself. Whatever he was trying to say is cut short as the chef grabbed his torso with both hands, literally hoisted him up above his head, took two large steps towards the open steel dumpster, and hurled the dishwasher boy right into it.
Chef walked back in and got back to work without saying a word. Dishwasher boy climbed out and came back in, crying, and got back to work. Customers asked me what just happened.
Received a lot of customer complaints that night.”
That Was The Wrong Thing To Say, Sally
“One of my old coworkers told me about the biggest meltdown he ever saw. The job was pretty high stress, to begin with, and people were always on the verge of screaming at each other.
So, this guy (let’s call him ‘Jake’), had been working 12-14 hour days. Was on call 24 hours. Had two hours of commuting a day. Said he never saw his girlfriend, who he lived with. Missed his niece’s first birthday because of work. The dude was on the edge.
Enter ‘Sally.’ Sally was in charge of invoicing and had spent the whole previous week on vacation spending time with her daughter that was visiting. She came in on a Monday to finish up some billing, but was taking the rest of the week off for more vacation. She approached Jake while he was in the middle of working out some major issues, saying he needed to get some things for her to finish billing. Jake told her he would get to it as soon as he could.
Sally continued to ask again every ten minutes, getting more irritated with each request. Finally, she entered Jake’s office (big open area shared with coworker mentioned above) and nastily says, ‘It’d be real nice if you’d do your job so I can go home and see my family!’
Jake proceeded to kick the door open behind him, breaking the frame and the automatic closer. At the end of the hall, he kicked another door open, putting a hole in the wall behind it. He then went to the equipment storage area and began throwing pieces of metal rigging, making a ton of noise. This drew the attention of others who came to check out what was going on.
When someone asked what was going on, Jake said, ‘If that woman says one more word to me, I’ll be leaving in the back of a cop car!’
Sally was gone by the time Jake calmed down enough to go back inside.
Jake wasn’t fired or even written up. Management knew he was under stress, and Sally was told to keep her distance.”
She Was Not Going To Put Up With That
“I used to work in a kitchen in an old folk’s home. I had a manager named ‘Edward’ who was a know-it-all piece of uninformed trash. I had a co-worker named ‘E’ who had a very serious medical condition and required a certain medication at certain points of the day.
Edward didn’t like E or the fact she needed to keep her medication on her person. One day, E forgot her medication and begged to run home and retrieve it. Edward smugly denied her and told her to finish work. So she tried and ended up briefly collapsing. She was okay, but very weak and disoriented.
Edward grabbed her by her arm, walked her to her car, handed her the keys, and told her to leave. Then he left to go tell anyone that would listen E was on substances and he smelled drinks on her. E was in the parking lot and called her mom to take her to the hospital. E was only 20 and very scared.
E was discharged that night after some fluids and came back the next day upon hearing what Edward told everyone about her. She stormed into HR, screaming for them to bring Edward into the office immediately. As soon as he was called in, she whipped her name tag at him. I obviously lingered close by like a nosey person. She was screaming at the top of her lungs Edward denied her to go home to get her medication, which was on file and HR was very aware of, and how dare he accuse her of being an addict. And if he really believed she was under the influence of something, how stupid was he to put her in a car on the company’s property, leaving them liable for her damages. At this point, much noise can be heard- as all three of them are screaming full force at one another.
She threatened legal action and stormed out. Well, she did take legal action. For a ton of things, including putting a clearly ill person behind the wheel. Not too long after this, I also quit. And a few months later, Edward was no longer employed by the kitchen, but rather was working as a deli boy in the local grocery store.
I don’t know what happened with E’s lawsuit, but I hope that place and Edward got everything they deserved.”
Her Boss Was Put In Her Place
“I was about seven months pregnant and had just recently been moved to a different office. The new office had all kinds of rules no one informed me or my coworkers of, and I kept getting hauled into the office to be told off for things I didn’t even know I was doing wrong. Now, if it was just friendly reminders I wouldn’t have had a problem, but my supervisor was this high and mighty woman who kept belittling me and trying to make me feel bad. She kept commenting on how I wasn’t fit for this job (keeping in mind I had been doing it for over two years at this point with the no problems). The time before the blow out, she said I’d be written up next time she has to talk to me.
So I’m working away, trying my hardest to not mess up because I really don’t want to be written up and I honestly couldn’t handle any more stress. Well, I got called into the office with her and our union rep and I saw a notice on her desk. I lost it. I starting yelling and crying and listing off all the horrible things she’d been putting me through and how it was unfair for her to treat me like this, and how half the things I wasn’t even told about.
I think I actually started having a panic attack during the whole ordeal and told the union rep some of the comments she made to me over the past few months. It felt good to get it out and finally put her in her place. She was so taken aback I stood up for myself (read: freaked the heck out) I ended up being sent home early because they were worried about my baby’s wellbeing. The notice turned out to just be a list of expectations (only six months late) which I had to read and sign, but she left me alone after that.”
He Didn’t Let It Phase Him
“My ex-co-worker had quite an interesting day.
We work in an office and this one day, she must have just been in a bad mood. We were due to have a staff meeting and she was supposed to arrange it all, hand out agendas, prepare the conference room, lock-up etc. It was about 10:05 and the meeting was at 10. My boss, who was also in a bad mood, came down to reception and asked what the heck was going on. She just flipped out on him. She threw a bunch of paperwork at him and just started shouting about how she’s fed up with him and is quitting. She then storms out of the office. My boss just stood there, then turned around and went back to his office.
The rest of the staff made their way to the conference room for this meeting, and as we were sat there, it was really intense and awkward and deathly silent. We were all just looking at our boss, waiting for him to react. Surprisingly, he stayed super calm.
The next thing we know, we hear someone unlock the front door and come in, we assumed it was this lady. We then start to hear furious typing. I mean, she must have been slamming her fingers on the keyboard because we could all hear it from upstairs.
So we all just sat there listening to this noise, still deathly silent. Eventually, it stopped and this lady storms up the stairs and throws her quitting notice at my boss and leaves again.
My boss just looks at it calmly, then finally addresses the rest of us and just said he will not tolerate being spoken to the way she spoke to him, and that was pretty much it. We carried on the day as normal.
Still makes me laugh to think about it. That was a good day.”
He Couldn’t Be Calmed Down
“I worked at this retail store for a couple of years. One of the assistant managers with whom I had to work almost every shift was a complete creep and mentally unstable. Let’s call him ‘Ted.’ He did some stupid things before, like yelling at the cashiers, and also liked to make filthy comments at me in the form of ‘jokes.’ Keep in mind, this was a 50-year-old man and I was 22. So Ted was always a total scumbag. But oh man, he just had a complete breakdown one day during the holiday season.
Since it was December, it was very busy and we had all the cash registers open and several managers. One of the assistant managers, call him ‘Carl,’ sat a small stack of shopping baskets on Ted’s register with the intention to put them back at the front where they belong when the line went down.
Ted came back from his lunch 10 minutes later. He saw the baskets on his space and flipped out. He whipped one at the wall and throw another one on the floor so hard it kinda bounced. He started screaming about how people were making his register a mess and how Carl did it on purpose to make him mad.
Carl and I were so confused, trying to get him to calm down. This made him turn on us, and he began screaming even more.
By this time all the customers in line were all in complete shock too. A couple of them threatened to call corporate because Ted at this point was a train wreck. His fists were clenched, and his face was red, veins popping. One dude told Ted that he was going to beat him up.
Then Ted called the cops, they came and took reports, nothing happened though. All over some freaking baskets.”
They Should Have Let Him Take The Vacation
“I worked at a popular US chain restaurant, in a popular tourist city, near all the popular things. The place was packed from May to September. I mean a waiting list from three pm till eleven pm. I wasn’t working this day, but our head bartender requested off a four-day period. He loved playing poker and was in some small tournament in Vegas. Somehow it got brought up two weeks out, at like seven pm on a Friday, he wasn’t getting those days off he requested like two months prior.
He argued and management said basically, ‘You work or you’re fired.’
He had management’s ID card for whatever reason. He deleted every single check he had open for people at the bar, likely 20+ checks. He told them everything was free. He poured a handful of people another drink. The bartender had three ‘ice wells,’ as we call them, just big open areas of the ice. He grabbed a couple pint glasses, and purposely broke them over each ice well, and flipped the bird as management came out to the sound of breaking glass, and walked out drinking his own drink.
Now, you have to understand, the point wasn’t to make people drink glass. He knew management would have to melt all that ice with hot water and get fresh ice. That’s a solid 10-minute process when multiple drink orders are coming in every 30 seconds. He basically crippled the entire bar, and restaurant as well. Guests were complaining their bar drinks were taking so long, management had to comp a lot of them.”
There’s A Common Factor Here
“About 15 years ago, I was working for an automotive tier-one seat supplier. We had an office manager who was a lady in her let’s say late 40s, early 50s, and an HR Manager who was an absolute nightmare. Anyway, the office manager reported to the human resources manager.
I was in the office one morning around six a.m. and the office manager came up to me with a deer-in-headlights gaze and an envelope and asked me what she needed to do with it. I explained to her, it’s already pre-addressed and has a stamp on it, so it just needs to go out with the regular mail that day.
Fast-forward two hours. She comes back by my desk with the same deer-in-headlights gaze and same envelope, and proceeded to ask me the same questions on what she should do with it. I politely explain what we could have gone over earlier and she moseys on.
Fast-forward one hour. She locked herself in the bathroom and started screaming about something. The maintenance guys unlocked the door and let the human resources manager try to deescalate the situation, which apparently didn’t work because about 15 minutes after she was in there, the local police department showed up. They had to physically remove the office manager from the building. The police then took her back home, that was the last anybody saw her.
Fast-forward six months. Same human resources manager, new office manager. The new office manager got up from her desk, headed to her car, and never came back. She left all of her personal belongings in her desk, including her driver’s license and a few library books.
Fast-forward one year. The human resources manager was removed from the building by the state police for embezzlement and various other workplace privacy violations.”