Sometimes, there’s a particular instance that makes you come to the realization that you just aren’t paid enough to deal with what’s expected of you.
Here, employees share the moment when they realized, “I’m not paid enough for this crap.”
1/28. Was a manager at a McDonald’s and I got screamed at by our district supervisor, mid shift, for putting two more ketchup packets in a bag then I was supposed to.
2/28. I’m a teacher. We had to call a conference with a parent because her child’s grades had dropped significantly and it didn’t help that he was absent often. So much, in fact, that we were about to file truancy charges on mom.
She was hostile during the meeting. She seemed on the edge of violence. She would slam her hands on the table and lean into my personal space. I remember her big black handbag on the table. She kept picking it up and putting it in her lap. After the meeting, life went on. Two days later, that mom was arrested. She had robbed a bank teller at gunpoint. That same day as our conference. The video footage and picture showed her in the same clothes, pulling a revolver out of that big handbag.
3/28. I had to stand there while some lady told me I was incompetent for not being able to make her steak sandwich medium rare.
I was working at Subway.
4/28. When a thick stream of sweat drained out of this girls cell phone case. I had to explain to her that her phone had water damage and that she shouldn’t work out with her phone in her bra, all the while trying to be professional and not gag while cleaning the mess.
5/28. I worked at a well known chain ice cream place. Minimum wage. The drains that consume all of the dairy and fruit from the ice cream scoopers had been clogged for a WEEK before my manager decided to do something about it. There was grey smelly water all over the floor behind the counter. She calls the plumber who shows up like 4 hours late to fix this drain.
Well let me tell you friends, he opened up that grate and scraped off the first layer of muck and it was like hell itself had opened up from this drain and had viciously lashed about searching for souls to claim. The plumber immediately sat up, trotted out to the front of our building and vomited profusely for a few minutes while my coworker and I ran to the back room. We called the manager and asked if we could go ahead and close the store for the night so that no unsuspecting customers had to be subjected to this foul decay as they walked in. She refused and also told us it couldn’t be that bad and that we needed to stay and serve.
We were also not allowed to leave the store to buy medical masks across the street. I sat there. Constantly nauseous. Waiting for time to pass. FOUR. HOURS. Pass and we can finally close down. We get another call, informing us that we are to stay another 2 hours until the manager could get to our store to ensure the plumber did not harm any store property. I left that night with the knowledge that I just subjected myself to a serious health hazard, without safety equipment, for $7.50/hr.
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6/28. Right now.. I’m on hour 12 of what is shaping up to be a 16-18 hour day, and I’m fixing the mistakes of someone who gets paid at minimum 40k more than me.
7/28. I was a rookie wild land fire fighter making ten/eleven bucks an hour, and I seriously questioned why I only got paid that much, particularly that one time that I had to hold two hundred yards of road with nothing but a tool, and two other rookies who were pissing their pants, when a wall of flame hit our line and started throwing spots into the tall grass we were standing in. Luckily a brush truck arrived before we lost most of our facial hair, and we made it out alright.
8/28. Picking up an intoxicated person and he slapped me in the side of the head with his colostomy bag. I turned around for like 2 seconds to talk to my partner. Her eyes got big, and it suddenly felt like I got hit with a water balloon. A warm, gooey, stinky, repulsive, crap filled water balloon.
9/28. When the lady at the table I was serving complained because the ice in her glass of ice water had melted and the water was “too watered down for her liking”.
10/28. I worked at a deli near my house. Got paid $6.50 per hour because it was owned by a church, non profit. Not too busy of a place, in a not so busy town. Except for when said town throws its annual festival. It’s the busiest weekend of the year for nearly every business on every street. Me and three other people are working frantically to keep this little sandwich machine pumping all while the place is slammed to the hilt with people… And the people. Just so many jerks wanting so many different things: food, bathroom, directions, etc. In the midst of the chaos somebody drops their basket of chips on the floor, what. the. heck… So naturally I go to grab the vacuum from the maintenance closet. I make my way thru the crowd toward the back of the deli, which is where the closet and bathroom are located. The line for the bathroom stretched all the way to the front door. I open the closet turn on the light and take a good a hard look at the vacuum cleaner in front of me. Apparently….. some drunk moron couldn’t wait in line, saw the maintenance closet thinking it was another bathroom, went in, noticed it wasn’t a bathroom but decided it was too late, dropped trow, and just took a crap all over the vacuum cleaner I needed so desperately to clean the floor that belonged to the deli that only pays me 6 and a half american greenbacks per hour. I immediately went home, cuz I literally did not get paid enough for that.
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11/28. When my jerk of a patient pointed his finger at me angrily and said, “Your job is to serve me.” No one has ever talked to me that way in my life. How dare someone speak to me that way who is depending upon me to make sure they don’t bleed out after their heart catheterization and advocate on their behalf to the physicians.
12/28. Literally getting yelled at for not staying late. I don’t get paid to stay late. My bosses are a married couple and think it’s OK to lose their crap at me. If I didn’t really need money right now, I’d quit.
13/28. Had a guy come in with a raging hard on that wouldn’t go away. Priapism for those that enjoy science. I had to hold this guys throbbing boner while a resident stabbed it with needles trying to drain it and inject medications to make it go down. After 8 stabs, no luck. Dude went to surgery and was told he will never have an erection again. I was the last person to hold his functional wiener. PSA- if you’ve had a four hour long stiffy, get to the ER in a jiffy.
14/28. Me and 3 others got the crap kicked out of us in a small horse stall by five emus we were trying to de worm. Not worth $8 an hour.
15/28. Was flying a jet full of tech people to SXSW. Eight seats on the plane and they were all full. First thing in the morning, the passengers started having drinks. 2 hours into the flight someone taps me on the shoulder and says “Captain, the toilet isn’t working.”
It was working just fine, but the tank was “at capacity.” We could either land the plane and delay for a while, or they could hold it. Meanwhile, I had to pull on some rubber gloves, grab the knife from the bagel tray, and try to go Super Mario on the airplane’s lavatory.
So there I was at 41,000′ plunging a toilet with a plastic knife thinking, “I’m too old for this crap.”
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16/28. Starbucks barista here. Countless horrifying customer stories… but really, why do you people go to the bathroom into an already clogged toilet that has multiple other people’s crap and blood and whatever else?!
17/28. While working at an adult video store, I discovered a bucket of piss in the broom closet. For a moment, I tried to summon a normal reaction of disgust or anger, but I felt nothing but indifference. The piss bucket wasn’t what broke my spirit… It was what made me realize I had no more spirit to break.
18/28. Used to work retail security, got threatened by a junkie with a dirty needle over a Friends box set…
That was my last day.
19/28. Five college students came in Sunday and ordered one pizza (we’re a carryout/delivery store). They wanted to pay for it five ways. They stood there for ten minutes, while I got each of them their change, each of them having a $50.
The pizza was $8.
I still don’t understand why they didn’t just chip into together and have one person cover it, but I also don’t get paid enough to figure that one out, either.
20/28. Cable guy here:
You know that really run down trailer park with hundreds of cats running around unchecked outside? The one that’s full of rust bucket trucks with confederate flags painted on the tail gate? When the wind blows you are overwhelmed by the scent of cat urine…
I go into those trailers and dig through piles of garbage/diapers/animal and human crap all because “my Fox News pixelated once during the debate” only to find the customer had spliced in their own line because they wanted tv in the rest of the trailer. I then have to crawl under the trailer and run a new line to replace the one they messed up, all the while being told how I’m a piece of crap because I’m following company policy that you pay for every room you have TV in. Also here’s 2 dead cats and a black widow colony that I carefully avoid, until I am backing out (because you don’t have room to turn around under a trailer) and my boot goes into the web. I do all of this just so they can have cable for the 3 months until they get disconnected for not paying the bill and switch to dish.
It was a long day.
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21/28. When an 8 year old lied to his mother and had her call the school to complain, and then to my face the next day said “I’m going to get you fired” all because he got tagged in the game we were playing. Thank you, Matthew.
22/28. Due to being short staffed at work I was doing the job of 2 people. I agreed to it knowing it would be temporary and it would give me an opportunity to stand out and be noticed by going above and beyond.
Temporary turned into 6 months and instead of getting noticed for going the extra mile I was starting to get in trouble for not meeting goals and deadlines.
Review times came around and I received a pretty negative review stating that my failure to meet goals and deadlines meant I was going to get a lower than average raise that year. I told them that effective immediately I would resume doing just my job unless I was actually getting paid to do the job of 2 people.
I received a halfhearted apology and they soon got someone to fill the void making it a 2 person job again. Still didn’t get the raise I think I deserved and to top it all off my attempt to get noticed now got me viewed as a troublemaker and not a team player.
23/28. I worked in a deli at a grocery store. We did cheese and meat slices and sandwiches, other food, etc. One day in the busy lunch rush while making people sandwiches someone asked for a type of meat on their sandwich that we usually don’t use, it isn’t in our pre-cut selections we make right before the lunch rush. Ok I say I’ll go slice some.
I let my teammate I’m working with know I’ll be right back, they continue making sandwiches for other people. I slice the meat and of course they ask for cheese off the usual list too. I slice that up, get back over to the sandwich making area, put on their toppings, and start to ring them up. They stop me and say, no no I didn’t order order off your menu there, just ring me up for the meat and cheese.
Of course that’s about $2 compared to $6 or $7 for a sandwich. We argue for a moment, loudly enough for all the other people in line, and my teammate to hear. I glance at my teammate, who had been there longer than me, for help and they give the tiniest of head shakes. So I looked right at the customer and said “you want a sandwich, you pay for a sandwich! ” and threw the neatly wrapped sandwich in the trash can behind me, and shouted “Next!”
24/28. I used to work at a McDonald’s in high school and it was constant crap from day one: My coworkers would only ever call me “skinny” and refuse to use my name, the managers would look straight at me as I was asking a question or asking for help and then just turn around and walk away, I would get harassed by creepy old men at night who would follow me through the lobby as I was cleaning, and my managers would do nothing, if I was sick (i.e. a fever) I was not allowed to go home.
And that’s not even half of it.
25/28. I worked at a gas station in my teens. Lived on my own, needed the money, and there weren’t many options in my area for someone my age. Every week I’d clock in a minimum of 50 hours and only ever get paid for 30-38 hrs. They kept saying they’d fix it, it never got fixed. I worked double shifts regularly and got called in every single day off I had scheduled. But, I needed the money.
My breaking point was shortly after I’d already quit once. The first time was because I’d requested my birthday off, they approved it, and then the day before told me I’d need to come in. I said no and stood my ground. The manager eventually agreed to figure something else out. Birthday comes around and my phone gets blown up by every on duty employee and one off duty. I finally tell the boss they can leave me alone for the rest of the day or I quit. He replies “Well… we’re going to need you to come in still.” So I quit. I got rehired the next day after I plugged my phone back in (because quitting didn’t stop the calls) by the district manager who begged me to stay and promised to have the store back off when I had a free day.
A few weeks later was Easter. I’d surprisingly been given it off, and was excited to finally get to spend a holiday with my family (story continues on the next page…).
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That morning I woke up to the phone ringing. And ringing. And ringing. It was 6:30 AM. I am not a morning person. I answered, told them no, and ignored the barrage of calls that continued until I went out the door. About an hour after I got to my Mom’s, the calls started there. I’d never given them her number. I refused, asked them not to call there again and hung up. My mom answered and asked them not to call back. My step dad answered and threatened to call the cops for harassment. They wouldn’t stop. We had to unplug all the phones for dinner and I was terrified they were going to show up there too. As soon as the phone reconnected, the calls started again. That’s when I finally snapped. I answered and told the boss every possible way to go screw himself. He eventually hung up on me so I called his butt right back and continued. I didn’t just quit, I unhinged. I kept calling until they took their phone off the hook. Then I (kind of) enjoyed the rest of my Easter evening. I’ve had my share of crappy jobs before and since, but nothing that compares to that place.
26/28. Happened about two weeks into my job working at a college bar. Was on my hands and knees beneath a urinal, cleaning up the puke that had overflown and fallen to the ground. Surprisingly wasn’t until another drunken idiot stood over me and began to piss into the urinal I was cleaning under that I had my “I don’t get paid enough for this crap” moment.
…He didn’t have the greatest aim.
27/28. When I got yelled at because I had to refer to a post-it on my desk to give the fax number of the boss’ 2nd office instead of having all 4 phone numbers and 2 fax numbers of his 2 offices memorized…
28/28. I work in a public library. A grown man got mad over a $30 fine (for failing to return DVDs) and proceeded to push books off of shelves and try to knock our display case over.