People on Reddit were asked: “What’s the most unprofessional or petty thing you have experienced or witnessed at work?” These are some of the best answers.
1. I showed a coworker a video of my new kitten. Next thing I know I’m in an office being scolded and told I should have known better as well as having my professionalism questioned. Apparently someone walking by recently had their cat pass away and felt the need to complain. Now if I want to show a video at work, I have to have it approved by management first.
2. At a part-time job I had eons ago, the boss would come in and flip through adult magazines while we were talking. It was slightly awkward.
I responded by putting up a mildly pornographic calendar and praising the virtues of the young ladies featured. He assumed I was a lesbian and left me alone after that.
3. I was working for a small business and was repeatedly asked to use my own personal car to make deliveries and pick up supplies. I eventually told the owner that I didn’t feel comfortable using my personal vehicle for company work. My statement was polite and voiced my concerns of only having liability insurance on it and having to pay for all the gas on my own too.
The owner responded with: “How many miles did you drive yesterday? Maybe 3? Here’s 75 cents. That’s average mileage pay.” And he drops 3 quarters into my hand.
I looked at the change in my hand, then looked up at him. I threw the quarters on the ground as I looked at him and said I don’t want your change. Then I quit and told him to shove it.
4. I was 15, first day working at a small skate shop. I am a girl, by the way. My boss was 20-something, I know he had graduated college and this was a summer job. While I was reaching to grab something from a top shelf, he came over and smacked my butt. I asked him quietly to please not do that again, and he told me that this was his store and that I was lucky to have a job.
I quit and called my mom. Unfortunately we had a family vacation the next week and I decided not to bother with pressing charges or telling the boss, though I probably should have.
5. My old manager used to flip out and give you a [bad] schedule the following week if you brought in food for yourself and none for him. He also used to write [homosexual slurs] on my back in ranch dressing because I decided to stop seeing a girl we worked with. (We were cooks, the girl was a waitress.) This then exploded into “world war 3” when myself and another co-worker doused him with water and flour. The manager started pouring full 3 liter jugs of bbq sauce on us.
6. I used to go to a Christian private school.
Our athletic director used to be principal of a separate public school. He’d tell everyone who got sent to his office for doing something wrong that they needed to accept Jesus, etc., etc.. Finally, he got fired from teaching at public schools for throwing a stapler at a kid who told him that religion is stupid.
How he evaded being arrested, I have absolutely no clue, but boy did I hate that man.
7. My previous job my boss told me that I needed to go to church, and they were concerned because no one ever saw me say grace when eating lunch in my cubicle. She and others in the office would constantly nag me about Christian stuff. It got so bad that I would avoid conversations with many folks there because it always lead to Jesus. They ended up firing me for petty reasons and I’ve lawyered up.
8. I had an employer call me and another worker into his office. Apparently there was a big mistake made on one of the client’s forms. The client was mine, but I didn’t recognize the handwriting on that particular form, nor did I have any recollection of making any arrangements with him. The other employee confesses that he had filed it ‘for’ me, without my knowledge, and had clearly messed it up. He told our boss it was entirely his mistake, and that he was sorry to both me and the boss.
My boss responded by telling me I was being sent home and to spend the extra time thinking about what I had done. The other employee (who looked shocked) was told he was okay and to get back to work. I spent my ‘extra time’ looking for a new job and quit the next day.
9. I’m being fired tomorrow for making an HR complaint against my director. I guess meetings with HR aren’t as confidential as I was told.
10. I removed my manager from my Facebook a few months back and she told everyone at work and asked me to re-add her.
I removed her because out of the two years that I’ve worked there, I was late ONCE because of a car accident that happened directly in front of me. When I called to let her know I had to give my statement to the police, she told me it was unacceptable and I need to be more professional.
11. I had a nurse supervisor who would take advantage of my being a nice person but having me pick up her breakfast every day in the cafeteria, since I was going over there for myself. Every day. She was lazy and I was being taken advantage off. So one day I decided I wasn’t going to do it. When she came to bring me her money, I politely told her that I wasn’t buying that morning. It turned into an argument to the point of where SHE CRIED and I said, fine, gimme your money, whatever, I’ll go get your breakfast.
She walked away. Later, I was called into the Director’s office and she said I should have just got the breakfast for her. WTH?
12. I worked as a head lifeguard at a waterpark. We had a minor situation where a kid who couldn’t swim jumped into the deep end. The lifeguard of that area went in to get her. No big deal, happens a lot.
My boss, the park supervisor heard the whistle blow, ran over full speed and jumped in with the non waterproof radio among other important items. I let her know she didn’t need to do that, that I had it under control. She replied that I should never tell her she is wrong and sent me home for the day.
13. My bosses gave everyone a copy of the schedule that had all the names of the workers. We were told to choose three people who we thought should be laid off.
I gave them back the list and told them that they didn’t hire me to make those types of decisions for them. Two days later as I was coming into work I was stopped at the door by one of the owners, he told me that “Survivor council has convened, and that I had been voted off the island. Yeah, your fired.” I had worked there for over a year, and to be dismissed like it was a game was pretty ridiculous.
14. My boss doesn’t believe in sick days (for herself or anyone else). So she came in all last week with a terrible cold/laryngitis. This week three other people have a terrible cold/laryngitis.
Sick days aren’t meant for fun times, they’re meant to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses. She’s such a damn idiot. I need a new job.
15. I had an asthma attack at work and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance because I was unconscious. Two weeks later, the operations manager was working there and the first thing she said to me was “You better not have one of those asthma attack [things] when I’m here”, then refused to put my new inhaler into the safe in the office where they always keep it.
16. Supervisor asked me for a hug. I declined. She said she refused to have anyone unhappy on shift and told me I should go home.
17. I currently work as a line cook in a non-franchise restaurant. The chef/kitchen manager has worked at the same location, through several different owners, over the course of 15 or so years. So you’d think that he’d know how to work under pressure and diffuse a situation.
Every single night it gets busy. And every single night, he becomes the most hated man on premises.
If it’s too busy (for him), he’ll get flustered and stop calling orders all together. Meanwhile i’m standing there with food getting cold in the window because he hasn’t told the other three stations what to do and I’ve caught on enough to check the bills as they come up.
I’m sure that everyone who works here is getting to the point of “It’s me or him”. We have a damn near 200% turnover rate because of him being a [jerk]. I’ve seen three cooks go (and one who’s been here for two shifts already decide to quit), and I’m next in line. It’s ridiculous.
18. I’ve worked for my company for almost two years and I haven’t used any vacation leave. I decided to treat myself to a four day weekend. I took Thursday and Friday off. Thursday morning my boss calls me like 4 times. I’m so annoyed because I wanted to sleep in. I answer it the fifth time she calls. She’s begging me not to read the email she sent me when I get to the office on Monday. She said she wrote it while she was feeling mean spirited and felt like bullying me. Can’t wait to forward it to HR.
“I will be taking disciplinary actions. You were approved leave 10/25-10/26 and not 10/24. I do not understand why you would not show up for work today. You are childish. It is grounds for termination, understand that. You are lucky I do not fire you.”
I’d like to note that I said “See you on Monday” to my boss an hour before the email was written, and she smiled at me. It’s just kind of sad, I’m not going to report her to HR. I just feel bad for her now.
19. My last boss utterly convinced himself that I had made up an ailment so that I could skive off work. I had a minor operation to remove an axillary abscess but it required nearly two months of aftercare by means of a nurse pulling the dressing out of the hole and then re-stuffing the cavity, which would generally only take a half hour out of the working day as the doctors surgery was just down the road and I managed to get most of my appointments during my lunch hour.
So despite having a whopping big bandage taped under my arm and across my shoulder that was visible under my clothing, he’d make snide comments and refer to my “appointments” with bunny fingers.
And worst of all he would “pop out for five minutes” just before I was due to get a dressing change (it was a small business, so one person had to be there) so I’d miss my appointment and have to go grovel to the nurses because they had to deal with me after hours.
There was just not one ounce of empathy in that guy, I feel so sorry for whoever had to take over my role when I left.
20. Cashier job. Got to work, my register is frozen. I call the boss over to see if he knows what happened to it and without ever actually listening to me assumes that I broke it doing things I wasn’t supposed to be doing. He calls me a useless idiot (in front of a bunch of customers) and just yells a lot in Spanish, not letting me explain myself. Finally a customer steps in a says “Man, maybe she would work better for you if you were nicer to her.” To which he responded that “She’s just stupid, there’s no fixing that!”
Oh wait, but that isn’t the worst part. By this point I’m crying out of humiliation but too shocked to actually quit and run from the building. By the time he’s done with his ranting and yelling I am just stunned and am able to babble out that I really think it best if I go home for the day and we talk about it when he’s calmer. He then says if I leave I won’t have any job to come back to.
I needed that job and he knew it. I worked the rest of my shift and sadly continued working there for another month before I finally quit.
21. I’m in law enforcement. One of my co-workers is a super-religious Christian, to the point where his advice to the rest of us always revolves around “you should go to church more” and “the Bible contains all of your answers”.
The real problem is that he talks this way to our subjects and victims, as well. He’ll tell someone who’s clearly an atheist that he will “pray for them” or that “God forgives you”. Several times, he’s given an impromptu lecture on getting right with Jesus to someone we’ve arrested.
We’ve counselled him over and over again to knock this off. First, it’s not our place to proselytize. Second, there’s a serious issue with church/state separation when a government employee, on duty, is lecturing someone about God or religion. Third, when you give that lecture to someone, you run the risk of pushing them into saying something, by making them believe that they are committing a religious sin as well as a crime.
22. I work in direct patient care in a psychiatric facility when one of my coworkers suddenly called a patient a b—-. Yelled it right in her face in front of myself and other staff. I wrote her up, because I don’t think it was right.
Fast forward a few weeks, and this coworker finds out that I was one of the people who complained and has been passive-aggressive with her comments and glares at me. She’s been trying to get a friend of mine who used to work with us to harass me into changing my story. It hasn’t happened though. There have been whispers that I have heard about “throwing people under the bus”.
I have been made to feel like I’m the one that did something wrong. I don’t think that someone suffering a psychotic break should be called names in a professional environment!
23. At the last company I worked for the vice president was a lesbian. She would sometimes get really drunk at lunch and come back to the office. Once when she did this she called me in for a meeting at which time she told me to sit next to her and put her hand on my thigh while telling me about all the potential I had with the company. To top this off, the conference room had glass walls so everyone walking by could see what was going on. One of those people happened to be her girlfriend who had showed up to drop off something to her.
It was beyond awkward.
24. I used to work at a bar.
Around 8 people worked there (2 per shift) and I was one of the best.
My boss didn’t bother to arrange shifts, so his much younger and much more inexperienced friend did that for him. She’d had a thing for my boyfriend (who also worked there) for years now and she didn’t really try to hide it.
He worked almost every day, I was called in once a week. After a month, they hardly ever called, and although I was never officially fired, she did ‘get rid of me’.
I hope she gets eaten by boars.
25. I’m a unit secretary at a hospital. Typically I’m the one that gets the call when we have a new patient coming to the floor. Since we are always understaffed, a new patient is always a call for bitching.
And guess who gets blamed?
The other day one of the nicest nurses lost her shit and started berating me because she was going to get her 8th patient. I don’t make bed assignments, she knows that. Still, I’m the one who has to absorb the screaming.
This was after my supervisor chewed me out because her supervisor had me helping out on the floor because we only had one nurse aid for 22 patients. And it was only 2 hours into my 12 hour shift.
I cry at work everyday.
26. One of my former managers got an employee to quit because she wouldn’t sleep with him.
He gradually gave her fewer and fewer hours until she couldn’t deal with two days a week any more.
27. I worked for an employer where a supervisor was behaving inappropriately towards a female co-worker. She noticed that I witnessed his advances and inappropriate touching, so she asked for my help. I mentioned it to him and was blown off so I brought it to his boss whom said it was a non-issue.
We ended up taking it to the General Manager who sent me home saying that my conduct was unprofessional. I was fired the next morning. The offending Supervisor was deported a few days later for being an undocumented immigrant when the call center was raided by immigration.
28. I used to work as head cook in a soup kitchen. One day, my supervisor called me into her office, closed the door, and screamed at me for fifteen straight minutes because one of my homeless volunteers had stored two boxes of cans in the incorrect closet.
Seriously, fifteen minutes of vein-popping, shrill, roid-rage shrieking.
29. Taking the razor out of the box cutter, going into the bathroom, and snorting Oxycontin off the toilet tank before clocking in every day. Still took the boss six months to fire her.
30. Two girls I worked with in a warehouse used to come to work in their pyjamas. Like all the time. No safety boots. Not fired.
31. My boss had to gather the entire staff together to talk about how one employee “felt as though he wasn’t friends with anyone.” You know what makes people not want to be friends with you? Making the boss order people to be friends with you.
32. On my first day of a new job at a pool and patio supply warehouse, I walked in to one of the employees standing on top of a pallet which was was lifted twenty feet in the air by the forklift. He was getting a box of chemicals, bleach or chlorine or something. As the guy operating the forklift begins to let him down I ask, “So… do you guys have forklift licenses?” He relpies, “Uhhh. What?”
33. The Principal at my old school stole money from the Parent Teacher Association and kept staff at part time when he had the funding to give them full-time jobs.
34. I had two co-workers who would often argue about religion. I seldom got involved, but I’ve studied theology and evolution enough to actually know what I’m talking about and sometimes they’d ask me to chime in. I hated getting involved, but I would sometimes.
Once the religious co-worker told me my answer was blasphemy and I was going to Hell. He was the boss’s brother, and when I complained I was told it was inappropriate to bring up religion in the workplace. Nepotism was pretty rampant there; said brother visibly did no work, had extra vacation days for no reason, and made $10k more than me with no experience as soon as he was hired.
35. Got remedial Physical training from my platoon Sgt for saying Or-e-gon instead of Ore-gin like he thought it should be said. I’m from NY.
36. I’ve had to ask an employee to stop selling weed on store property.
37. When I was 16 the manager at a pizza place used to let me stay clocked in hours after I was needed. We would sit in his office and he would ask me uncomfortable questions, and I would avoid the answers, happily taking the extra money it was giving me. I only realized later how messed up that is!
38. Got pneumonia. Got put on antibiotics which it turned out I was allergic to. Experienced anaphylaxis, so spent the night in hospital and couldn’t come in to work. My boss was the kind who would rather people come in to work sick than not work, so he was displeased.
I missed 4 more days. On the second day he called me up asking “if there was something [he] should know about” i.e. thinking I was missing work because of partying or something. I said no. He said I needed a note for every single day I missed, so each day I had to pull myself out of bed and go to a walk-in clinic to get a doctor’s note. Here in Canada you have to pay for the doctor’s notes, but the doctor was just like “WTF? Your boss is a douche” and would give me the note for free each day.
The day before I returned, my boss e-mailed me saying that I was missing an average of 1/4 work day (having missed 5 days for that month) and that sort of absenteeism was unacceptable, blah blah blah. Revoked my right to sick days, and from then on until I left the company a year later, I had to call his cell phone when I arrived in the office to time stamp that I had arrived and prove I wasn’t being a [bad] employee. If I didn’t call by like 9:01, (for example, if my phone was ringing off the hook when I arrived), he would start calling my cell phone/texting me angrily.
39. I had a boss who wouldn’t let me take sick days. I lived in a mould-ridden basement apartment and ended up getting really sick with a lung infection. This went on for months, I’d be sitting at my desk coughing up the weirdest colours and ask to go home and he’d tell me I wasn’t sick. Eventually I managed to get to a doctor who gave me a note and antibiotics and a puffer, and I told my boss I wasn’t coming in to work because I had a note. He said I called in sick too much and that I was lying. He had no proof that I ever called in sick, he just FELT that I had done this a lot. So I quit, I said “This is ridiculous” and stormed out, because I felt like [crap] and wanted to sleep.
40. When I was 16 my boss called me to tell me that my super hot, much older co-worker said that I’d be the perfect guy for her if I was 6 years older. Then he spent the next 10 minutes telling me how I’m gonna get all the bitches in college. “Alright so I’ll see you on Saturday”. “Uhm…okay…thanks Aris…”