When you think of people getting fired from their jobs, you would assume it’s because they’re a poor employee. Well, that is not always the case.
Here, managers reveal the reason that they actually had to fire their best employee.
1. We hire a lot of people in recovery who are a part of the drug court program under the condition that they will be terminated if they go back to jail for drug/alcohol charges.
This coworker was our hardest worker and always picked up shifts and got tons of compliments, so it really sucked when she relapsed and failed her pee test with drug court, she got sent to jail for a week and we had to fire her.
I still kept in touch with her, and when I found out she was pregnant, I convinced my boss to hire her back. One last chance.
I’m so happy I wasn’t wrong because she’s about to celebrate her 4th year of sobriety and she’s now management.
2. Had a great waiter, Robert. He could run circles around the entire staff. He knew the kitchen as well, could jump in at prep and assist if we got backed up AND STILL tend to his tables.
Idiot put a $3 bottle of White Zinfandel in his backpack, right in front of a security camera AND while the owner was sitting at the bar eating. He was a student and working part time he had to be bringing in $300-500 in cash a week.
3. I had joined the company a few months prior, was still getting to know the various details of my job and this guy was the star of the company. I spent as much time working with him as I could honestly.
I mean, he was such a star. He was a solid programmer, great project manager, awesome account and customer management skills and he had a knack for thinking outside the box on creative solutions.
He loved working there, had rejected offers from Google, Facebook and Pinterest (that I know of!).
…and then he had sex with the director’s daughter.
4. He was one of my best weekend workers…dependable, always on time, really good at his job. I got a call from my management on a July 4th saying “We are going to need to find a replacement for name“
I say “Why, did he find a better job?”
My management, “No, he was arrested for murder last night.”
So let’s just say I didn’t have the chance to fire him. I was dumbfounded when I got that call.
5. I had a guy swipe $40 out of the till under the security camera, knowing full well it’s counted at the beginning and end of every shift. He wasn’t exactly making bank at $11/hr, but there was like $400 in there, he could have done better if he was gonna get fired anyway.
6. I used to work for Dell back in 1998-2000 in their sales department. This is juuuuuust right before people ordered online so it was still a call center. To make a REALLY long story short, I was one of their best sales reps. Top 3 every month, I was making about $5,000 a week as a 23 year old. They decided to replace me (and most of my team) with “temps” making $11 an hour an no commissions– only I didn’t know this. I was given a “great opportunity” to train a new class of incoming sales people. Little did I know I was training our replacements. Once they hit the floor and were running, they fired me and about 200 other sales people. Screw Dell.
7. He was a great guy, fun and interesting. Easy to get along with. He would volunteer to take the early shifts and open the store. He’d receive the new inventory and stock the shelves himself. His cash was always correct and he never did anything wrong, until he did.
One morning he opened the new stock shipment, and loaded the shelves. There was an extra item in the box that wasn’t listed on the manifest. The correct procedure was to add it to inventory, and put it on the shelf. He instead opted to claim it wasn’t there, and took it home. The perfect crime, right?
I had to fire him the next day. And it sucked.
8. Not me, but I was working In retail, and one of the customer service guys was being groomed for management. He’d been there for a while, was trusted to count money and with the safe combination, opened if managers couldn’t, etc.
He was a cool guy but a bit cocky and arrogant. My cousin also worked there. Who was also cocky and arrogant.
Anyway, my cousin put in his two weeks, but wasn’t being a bad employee. My cousin didn’t like the soon-to-be-manager (because they were pretty similar in a lot ways, and they clashed because of it). On my cousins last week, unprovoked, he approaches the guy and says “you look like a dildo.”
The guy walks up to my cousin, puts his finger to his head and says “do YOU have a problem with me?”
It ended there with my cousin walking away…then reporting he was threatened. Because a finger made contact, the guy was fired. My cousin was a jerk and didn’t regret it and laughed about it with my other friends.
9. Working at a bank, my branch had the Biggest superstar in the STATE, always crushing sales numbers, he generated more revenue than the rest of the branch COMBINED.
He set up a really big business account presentation, but his mother died literally on the day he was supposed to give the talk. Branch manager stepped in, held the presentation.
The guy had built everything up, it was essentially a done deal, branch manager just had to get a signature on the paperwork. Obviously feeling bad for him, thinking he deserved the credit, they booked the deal under his name the next day (technically to get credit for a deal you HAVE to be there at signing).
BOTH were fired within a week for sales manipulation.
10. He was our fastest fork lift operator. Guy could get a truck loaded in 7-15 minutes. But he started developing a shitty attitude and we just couldn’t work with him. The new operators we have take 30-45 minutes to get a truck loaded and they’re legitimately a little dumb and have a hard time reading.
I don’t know if it was worth it.
11. Work in retail. One of the staff from checkouts was amazing and would come up and help in our cafe constantly. She was fast, friendly with customers and we would get so many compliments and we asked if we could have her up here permanently. She stole a pen. Security had her on camera, fired immediately.
I believe they probably did it to scare employees like “this is what happens if you steal.”
12. I wasn’t the manager, but we had a supervisor who was a rising star in the company, turned a struggling operation into one that was running well under budget and was generally easy to work with. We also had a mechanic who was extremely lazy and nobody could every find him. So one day the operations manager was looking at the security footage trying to figure out what the mechanic was doing so day and caught him selling pills out of his truck in the parking lot, so he called the police. When the police showed up, the mechanic was in his truck, in the middle of selling drugs to the supervisor. They were both fired. The operation went from under budget to being $50,000 – $100,000 over for the next few months
13. Top manager for retail job I worked at “lost” her keys to the store that also had the keys to all the registers on the key ring. The registers started going short or would be empty aside from the change and dollar bills in the drawer. This went on for months. Corporate found out after installing a new set of security cameras overnight without her knowledge. She enlisted a group of sales associates to do most of the dirty work but they found out she was the ringleader when they found out all the sales associates would bring her the stolen money and she would dole it out after taking her cut.
14. Super talkative girl, really annoying, but was great on the phones. She caught on faster than anyone else at the job, the trainers were pretty impressed, and there was a lot of ass-kissing on their end. By the first month she’s been there, she was already in the top five for sales.
The problem was that she was a giant racist. She would’ve been totally fine if she kept her Neo-Nazi lifestyle quiet but she got in the mindset of “they won’t fire me, I’m the best they have at sales”. So she got comfortable and let the causal and not so causal racism flow.
15. My girlfriend is a retail manager, she had to let go of this kid that apparently was awesome. Hard worker, always early, great seller, kind of hard to come by in retail nowadays. Anyway, where they work there are a ton of tourists from all over the world, your typical customer doesn’t speak english. A guy and his girlfriend come in, the guy is wearing some crazy shoes. The kid looks at another employee and says “what are thooose!?” Turns out they speak English, oops. The guy laughs about it, but his girlfriend flips out. She’s trying to get a discount out of it, so she blows it wayyy out of proportion, and calls customer service. The kid was going to get fired over it, and he knew it, they were just waiting for hr to clear it. He ended up quitting so that he could still use it as a reference.
16. Part of my job is to process expense reports from the sales department. I noticed one month that the top salesman had claimed a plane ticket expense twice, once when he booked it and then again when he took the flight months later. I reviewed his past expenses and noticed he was doing this regularly. When he booked the flight originally he would claim the full amount of the ticket. Then when he used the flight he would claim each leg of the trip as a separate daily expense so that the receipt amounts wouldn’t match so as to avoid detection. This is how I figured out he was doing it intentionally. I showed the evidence to the CFO and he was gone the next week. I only went back three years but he stole about $10,000 over those three years.
17. Best Buy manager. Had a guy in Geek Squad who was a great sales person. Probably top 10 in the district. He had an incident during a data transfer where he accidentally transferred another clients information to the external drive. The customer flipped out, and unfortunately due to company policy, we had to let him go. Fortunately, he knew it was going to happen, but it was just a matter of time.
18. He had sex on the table at work. Caught on camera.
19. Was one of my best. Was being “Reclassified” into a salary position (with raise). HR reviewed his original application and it said he had completed college. HR verbally asked him (no research done) and he said “No, I haven’t”. Wasn’t required for role, no big deal. Writing it down? Big deal.
Gave him (almost to the point of coaching him to say it) every chance to say “Whoops, made a mistake”. He didn’t. He cowboyed up and said, “I lied on my application.” I am fully sure they would have let him go back to work with just a note in his file (totally survivable).
Super big (Fortune 10) company. No option. Fired him immediately for falsifying his application.
HR person was in tears. I did my best to help him find his next job.
20. Over 20 years of management experience. I’ve had to fire several great employees & the main reason is because they ‘upset the herd’. They show up & most other employees are negatively affected by their presence… They complain too much, exceed boundaries, gossip, instigate crap, or whatever. they know they’re good & act bulletproof. I’ll usually pull them aside & give them a warning. you know they’re good & they care, but if they don’t quit ‘upsetting the herd’ they will soon be gone.
21. I work at a store where we have to ask for donations for the charity we support at every transaction. We’re in competition with the other stores in the chain, and whichever store has the highest percentage of donations after 3 months get a bonus. Every employee, cashier or not, gets $100. Well one of my assistant managers was awesome, always had the highest percent of donations per transactions, and highest dollar amount. She always did a great job in all other aspects of the job as well. Well, it turns out she was offering every customer her employee discount if they donated. So if someone spent ~$500 and she gave them 30% off, they wouldn’t at all mind donating $10-$20 per transaction. Welllllll it came back from corporate what she was doing and we had to let her go.
22. Out of high school I got a job at Arby’s, and there was a guy who pretty efficient at drive thru and could run it by himself during lunch rush if he had to. Turns out during slow hours he was skimming money by deleting orders after taking the money instead of completing the transaction. Manager’s estimated he did it for 3-6 months without getting caught and took upwards of $2,000-$3,000. They never pressed charges cause he confessed.
23. I had an employee that was, by a very large margin, doing more work than everyone. Unfortunately, the amount of grief and anger he left in his wake was extraordinary. He was short with our customers, rude to his peers, homophobic, and slightly racist, but never quite enough to do anything concrete. In the end, I let him go because the damage to the team wasn’t worth his additional output. So “best employee” is maybe a misnomer, but there ya go.
24. Dude, we know the trick of taking store merchandise out with the trash, then coming back later and picking it up. We’re hip to that. We check for it. We check for it all the time. I like you and all but it isn’t going to work.
I didn’t want to, but THAT’S why I fired you, that’s why you left the store in handcuffs and that’s why, 2 day later, I testified against you in court.
25. We had a field tech that was awesome, probably the best I’ve ever seen or heard of. He was knowledgeable, skilled, and personable. He was always early, worked great under stress when things went south, and often finished jobs early. If we had off hour issues, he was always available and it seemed like he was in his truck and ready to get going right away.
Well it turns out that he was always in his truck and ready to go. He had been living in his company truck for sometime and just pulled off the side of the road each night at a utility pole, climbed up, stole some cable TV and set up shop for the night. We found that out, and had to let him go.
26. Not me, but I happened to someone I worked with, very sweet lady, very nice, couple of young kids. Always a good/hard worker, and very motivated for a cashier. Well we had a POS system that printed coupons for people based on what they bought after the transaction, to be given with the receipt. She would ask people if the wanted them, and if they said no, she would pocket the ones she knew she would use. Loss prevention made an example of her. I mean, I get why they didn’t want people doing that, but it was a new system at the time, they didn’t have rules against it.
27. Hardest working guy I knew. He would Always come in early and pick up a shift if someone called in, and willing to learn everything. Turns out he stops in on his day off to get a slice of pizza but he’s drunk as can be. Not a big deal in and of itself, but we were really busy and his work ethic took over. This guy, again drunk, gets behind the counter, in a wife beater, and starts trying to help customers. We asked him politely to leave but he just wanted to help so bad that he got really upset and caused a scene. Had to let him go for that. Super sad because it turns out he has a bad drinking problem.
28. He’d been at the company for 8 years before I became his manager. All of his reviews were 5 star. He was awesome. So, I wanted to see what his deal was because it was odd to have the one stand out person.
I shadowed him for ~5 days. He was 100% on the level with his work. He did it all correctly and quickly. Satisfied, I just let it be.
2 weeks later he’s arrested and fired. He’d hidden several cameras in the ladies bathrooms.
29. As a more light-hearted one in here.
I work at the YMCA, and many people come through our staff. It’s a nice enough minimum wage job, but not forever.
A kid who was smarter than everyone else on staff. She was good at her job, just finished her degree (was working while studying), and her passions were in a different field.
So I talked with her about moving on and she admitted to being scared about finding someplace else. After awhile, we fired her, and now she just got hired at her dream job a week later.
30. I was Managing a clothing store and I had this very good employee, always on time and really good with customers. The only weird thing is that she was obsessed with the garbage, always volunteering to take them out.
One day, I decided to look at the garbage she was throwing. I got in the bin (high heels and all) and got the bags. The were full of brand new clothes. Who do I see coming in his car? Her boyfriend.
Got back inside and fired her on the spot. After that, I bought see thru garbage bags.
31. Was a Domino’s manager and had to fire my best driver. Not my best employee strictly speaking, but an awesome driver.
He kept coming to work with the 3 day beard growth which looks like shit. Domino’s has a strict clean shaven policy unless you have a well established beard. No tolerance for being lazy and sloppy in appearance. I had told him the first TWO times I would let it go but he HAD to shave. The 2nd time I let it go I told him clearly if he ever showed up again like that, he would be sent home immediately, not allowed to clock in, suspended for that day, no pay, etc.
Of course he shows up one day and looks like crap. Immediately sent him home. He has the nerve to mouth off to me like “it’s no big deal.” But once I told him what would happen, I always stick to what I say. He mouthed off just a bit too much in front of the crew (busy on weekends) and I had to fire him for the attitude and basically insubordination.
32. Swore at me because he thought his sales numbers made him indispensable. First strike I warned him, could tell he didn’t take it seriously. 2nd time it happened I fired him and he was totally shocked.
33. Had a guy who would work his ass off daily inputting data into spreadsheets.. Would come in, put in solid hours of actual work, not goofing off. He would literally get 4 times as much stuff done a week as anyone else in the office. After 3 weeks strait of this, other people start to take notice and occasionally ask him to help them out when they are behind, and he obliges.
This gets worse and worse, and eventually people are basically just walking all over him while they spend all day Facebooking and whatnot, because he won’t say no if they ask him to help with their work. The dude just keeps trucking through though. About 4 months into working there, its gotten to the point where you can hear the extra rude girls talking about leaving early and not getting in trouble because “he will just do all the work for us if we ask anyway”. Well the guy goes into the bosses office, and I work right next to it so I can hear more or less the entire conversation. I am paraphrasing but it went something like this.
“I would like a raise, I am doing way to much work for how much I am getting paid. Everyone else who works here is so damn lazy, I even have people making jokes about how I will do their work for them and they will get paid for it.”
“Well (name) I can sympathize with you, but you have to understand, I can’t just GIVE you a raise. If I give you a raise I would have to explain to everyone why you got a raise and they didn’t.”
“You could tell them its because I am doing half of their work for them while they look at stupid memes.”
“I’m sorry (name), it just wouldn’t work out well.”
“Well then is there any positions available above mine that I could apply for a promotion too.”
“I don’t think we can really look into a promotion this early into you working here. We would need time to properly evaluate your work ethic.”
“Seriously. You seriously just said that to me. I’m not going to break my back doing an entire office’s work for a company that doesn’t care about me. You and this entire office can go screw themselves.”
He walks out of the office fuming mad and yells “Hey everyone, (boss) just denied my raise, so no more leaving work early for any of you lazy butt heads, cause I quit!”
It was like a scene from Office Space only in real life.
34. I managed a coffee shop/bakery. My best employee was this kid named Alexis. He was sharp, and was quick to pick up on all the skills required to work in our fast paced environment, but he was also someone who would stay out really late at night partying, and it would affect his attendance.
One night in particular he calls me up and tells me he’s stuck in Baltimore, (we live in dc) and won’t be able to make it in for his shift the following morning. He called me at 7pm, the last commuter train leaves at 9:30 or so, and there’s a free circulator that runs throughout the city. I used to visit Baltimore pretty regularly at the time because there was a girl I was seeing from up there.
Anyways, I only had 1 day off a week, and was working 14 hour days. It was the last straw in a series of no call/no show situations where he had left me hanging for our busiest days.
I called his phone that same night, and told him that if he didn’t show up for his shift on time the following morning, he was fired.
He didn’t show up, and I never saw him again.
This was a few years ago, but I sometimes wonder what happened to him. He was a really sharp kid, but he did way too many drugs, and wasn’t as clever as he thought he was, so would often get into trouble with police.
35. Not me, but a story from when I worked at Disneyland a long time ago in Attractions (rides).
The area manager loved this one particular Cast Member (employee). Like, this was the son he never had. This CM was promoted to lead on one of the roller coasters fairly quickly in his regime. One night he was the lead on the closing crew, and the crew decided to ride after hours. Idiots that they are, they went without the lap bars down, and on one turn the ride is visible from the walkway. Even though the park was closed to guests, security was still in the park, and a security guard saw the train go by with the CMs standing up through the turn. Security gets a hold of Theme Park One (the manager in charge of the park for the night), who calls Attractions One to find out what’s going on.
Not surprisingly, every CM who was on the closing crew that night was fired. Unfortunately, so was the prodigal son, because he was the one who dispatched the train without the lap bars down.
36. Scott was my riding buddy. We rode together everywhere on our motorcycles. I managed a small restaurant of a small chain, only 2 shops but it was growing. When a night manager position opened I gave it to him. He worked hard and was enthusiastic.
A couple years passed, now five locations. I was general manager and Scott managed the original location.We still rode everywhere, swapped girlfriends, played pool… Life was good. Scott began to miss rides we had planned because he was working. He really was a hard worker, tireless energy.
I soon noticed he was working so hard because he was understaffed. His employee turnover rate was high. i initially thought it was because of the young employees that typically applied at that location but there was more to it. I started spending more time around him and noticed he was, when he thought I wasn’t looking, a tyrant boss to the kids that worked there. Kids left and he covered it up by working more himself. Overworked he became exhausted and an even worse boss.
I gave him some time off, sent in experienced employees worked with him on training and communication. I thought he was absorbing it but I got reports back that he was worse than ever.
I sat and talked with him, a serious job threatening talk.He argued, said it was under control. I took his keys and handed him a box of his belongings.
This is long ago, early ’80s. As the recession wound down I was able to find a better gig more suited to my skills and education. I heard from him a couple times, usually looking for something, a fake recent reference, cosign for a loan, etc. I don’t do that for anybody. Last year I got a sad call from him, saying he wished we had stayed in touch. We both still rode. Actually he didn’t still ride. he was calling from his deathbed as cancer ate the last of him away.
I have always felt that it was my hiring him to a position he wasn’t really ready for that started him down the road from being an enthusiastic bright-eyed kid full of hope and integrity to the sad narcissistic bill collector he became.
37. Worked in a restaurant at hotel chain; management regularly found meaningless reasons too suspend various employees or cut hours. This one guy had been there almost 13 years, clients loved him, staff appreciated his presence and he often came to the rescue of anyone requiring help. Everyone could depend on him and he supported everyone. He had, like everyone in a restaurant, bumped heads with management now and again, like EVERYONE. On one particular season they decided they were going to “groom him” in the eventuality to take on more responsibility. His position would eliminate his right to tips but it came with insurance, a retirement plan and steady pay. He had kids, was in his mid 40’s, it all made sense why someone would take that job. He would however no longer be in the union.
Fast forward to the day after his training is complete. The guy comes in with his management uniform and all. Some waiter calls in sick, and instead of him calling in another employee he decides he was going to handle a few tables and the management responsibilities.
At the end of the shift the hotel manager “summons” the guy into his office (like the boss of his boss). They fired him straight away. He was escorted out of the building and our boss said there was strict rules and management working tables “harmed” the hotels image. It was complete B/S. He had maybe taken 2 tables and split the rest amongst the rest of the staff. Everyone basically agreed they promoted him just to get him out of the union to be able to fire him.
A number of employees left shortly after for other various reasons. It was a sort of shaking up the coup and anyone who wouldn’t fall in line would be shown the door.
38. I managed. A restaurant for years, I had a line cook who worked for me who was the best cook that I had ever seen. He was fast, his food looked great, he was cool under pressure, and his line was always spotless. Only problem was his dependability, he had a wife who was chronically sick, and everytime she got sick he wouldn’t show up for work, or even call in.
I finally had to tell him I understood why he couldn’t come to work sometimes, but he had to at least call to let us know he wasn’t going coming. Less than a week later, he did it again, and I had to let him go.
39. Embezzled 70 thousand dollars over the course of 2 years. It is easy to get away with when the one person in charge of making sure nobody is embezzling money is the person embezzling the money. He would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t been getting increasingly bolder with how much he took. The way it is set up it would be untraceable without some serious digging through a floor to ceiling archive of documents.
40. The dude was one of the smartest and hard working people on my team. My ops manager comes up to me one morning saying she needs to speak with me. He drunkenly texted her the night before and asked if she wanted to come over to his place for sex. She politely declined, not knowing what to make of it. Had to go.