There are plenty of legitimate reasons to leave a job. You had differences of approach. You wanted to explore new opportunities. You stole a company truck, drove it to Mardi Gras, and ran a woman over. You know, the usual reasons…
This piece is based on a number of AskReddit threads. Links on the last page.
1. BIG pharma.
I was promoted to VP of my company. The company was in trouble, and the CEO had asked me to figure out why and fix it.
I arranged for a random drug test. All employees, the CEO, me, everyone. All on the same day and everyone went down at the same time. Even said I would ignore weed but anyone with anything stronger would be gone.
We get the results back and I fired everyone who had tested positive for any drug other than weed.
The CEO and myself were the only two people left working for the company.
2. Smoking gun.
Found a gun in the desk of a guy who we would frequently half-joke about (behind his back) being the one guy who would shoot up the office.
3. The chair man of the board.
Caught an underage restaurant employee stealing liquor and drinking it on the job. He got so drunk that he couldn’t stand on his own and he was trying to put a chair in the dishwasher.
4. ‘She pulled a Sharon Stone.’
This girl came in on her first day and we literally had no idea who she was. She wandered in and the first thing she said was, “guess who just got married?!??!?!??!” And she flashes her ring. My coworker was like…”you?”
So, I start to train her.
She says, “wait, let me check my OkCupid account right quick.” I’m like, “uhhhhhhh, okay?” We next start calculating simple prices and she’s like, “hell no, I didn’t sign up for this math business.”
That very day, we had a potluck for Thanksgiving. She zones in on the owner of the company and wont leave him alone. Suddenly, she pulled a Sharon Stone. (She was wearing a short leather skirt with no underwear.) After she’s gone, my boss calls me into his office and says, “get rid of her.” I sighed.
I called her up and told her things were not working out. She went ballistic and started calling all of us “Roman Catholic child killers.” Huh? We put her cheque in the mail.
5. Best served cold.
A server was waiting on an older man and younger woman. She assumed that he was a sugar daddy taking advantage of her. She slipped the woman a note saying “I know what’s going on, call me for help” with her number on it. He was her grandfather.
6. A little Klingy.
There once were a couple of guys at my work who were fired because they wrote the entire maintenance log in Klingon and refused to translate it.
7. Search and seizure.
While leaving worth, an employee had a seizure while still in the parking lot. By rule, we had to do drug test on him. He failed and got fired. I felt super bad but it was corporate policy.
8. Driving Miss Crazy.
My previous job was at a transportation company. One of the drivers took the flatbed truck down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and used the truck as a float in a parade without asking. A drunk girl fell off of the float and there was a police report filed. That was the weirdest phone call Ive ever received.
9. Toxic workplace.
One of my coworkers at a previous job got fired for poisoning a fellow coworker.
He filled the guy’s can of Coke a quarter of the way full with laxatives, which it turns out the guy was allergic to. He spent three days in the hospital. The guy that got fired said it was just a “prank” and they had no right to fire him. He was lucky that he wasn’t arrested.
10. Signed, smashed, delivered.
I once had to fire a delivery guy for disappearing for two hours on a delivery. We were a busy lunch place in midtown Manhattan so it really left us backed up. When he came back he still had the food, had lost the bike (which we provided), and was fall-down drunk.
He then proceeded to lock himself in the bathroom (our only one) where he passed out for an hour while I scrambled to find a key. I fired him on the spot, but he came in the next day, apparently because he was too drunk to remember he had been fired.
11. Cash and carried away.
We had a kid at my department store who got marched out of the store in handcuffs on a busy Saturday after they figured out he was stealing merchandise and cash from two stores.
You see, we got a new CEO a couple years ago who instituted a return policy where you didn’t need a receipt to make a return. This kid, who was a cashier in the men’s department, would go to the closest store to the one he worked at, shoplift a bunch of merchandise, come to the store he did work at and return it for cash.
12. Brand recognition.
The guy used a company truck to act as a look-out for a bank robbery while wearing a safety vest with our company logo on it.
13. Great job. You’re fired.
Ironically, I had to fire a lady for catching a serial shoplifter.
The company had a zero tolerance policy when it came to confronting people about suspected criminal behavior.
The girl ended up getting punched in the face by the shoplifter and fired on the same day.
14. Didn’t pass the nose test.
Had a guy who kept leaving his dirty gym clothes in his cabinet and they stunk the place up. We warned him at least 10 times. Ultimately, the smell was so bad we just had to let him go.
15. Wherever I may Rome.
One woman asked to go on vacation but we already had the calendar booked for the date’s she wanted. She called in sick and the caller ID said Rome, Italy (we worked in NYC). She didn’t come back for two weeks, we sent her a telegram to her home notifying her of the termination, she thought we were kidding, we weren’t.
16. What a dis-service.
I got fired for having a service dog. (Illegal, yes, I know, I’m following up with a lawyer.) But more than six months out I can now almost laugh at some of the incredibly stupid stuff in my termination letter. For example, “We also cannot permit you to smear peanut butter on your face and allow the dog to lick it off.”
This was absolutely not a thing that happened. My dog is trained to lick my face as an alert and I sometimes gave her a kong full of peanut butter to occupy herself with while I worked. But I can not imagine how these two things got conflated. And I’m still amazed that my termination letter was the first I heard about it.
17. Pleased to meat you.
While in college I worked at a sandwich shop. This guy was working a slow shift and thought it would be a good time to grab a snack on the company dime. He proceeded to go to the back area where the meats were stored, and tear into the packages of meats and cheeses. I’m talking double fisting anything he can get his hands on. He thought he was pretty clever until he looked up and saw a security camera watching him.
18. Obtuse excuse.
“Why were you 3 hours late today?”
“I had to move.”
“Why didn’t you tell me you were moving? I would have let you borrow the shop truck and we could have all given you a hand.”
“I forgot I had to move until my landlord stopped by this morning telling me the lease was up and I had to be out by lunchtime.”
A few days later.
“Why were you 6 hours late today?”
“My sisters car broke down and I had to help her.”
“Where was your sisters car broken down at?”
“Across the Kansas border.”
“Dude, you’re on parole right now. You can’t leave the county without notifying your PO, let alone the state. Does your PO know about this?!”
“No. He’s already mad at me because I keep showing up late for my pee tests.”
“So… how the hell did you get around your little ankle monitor problem?”
“Oh, I found out how to take that thing off months ago.”
A few weeks later.
“Why didn’t you show up to work yesterday?”
“I had to race this dude, but my car wasn’t ready, so I had to get my car ready to race this dude.”
19. Professor Plumb.
Back when I owned a plumbing company, I had an employee who wasn’t quite a plumber yet but could do service work pretty well. I had to send him to a new home for a ist of some minor repairs. On the list was the shower head which was making noise.
When he was talking to the homeowner (a woman in her late 20s) she mentioned that the showerhead made a whistling noise while she was in there. And then he said, in front of the superintendent “Well, if i saw you naked, I’d whistle too.”
My boss had to fire a wman who fell asleep in a chair that faced a window next to the Vice resident’s office, who caught her snoozing whle he walked by.
It was her first day on the job. I guess she hadnt earned napping privileges yet.
21. You don’t need x-ray vision.
Family restaurant manager, there was a hostess who always wore things that were a bit too revealing.
Halfway through a Saturday night rush, realized she had not worn anything under her super short mini skirt after she bent over, in full lobby view, to grab some menus. I’m sure it had been going on for hours.
I’ll miss her.
22. I guess he was successful, in a way…
He had a simple task to do, and screwed it up royally to the point where I had to go back and fix it. Later that day I heard him bragging to another employee about this trick he learned in the army, where if there is a job you don’t like to do, you just screw it up bad the first time and you’re never asked to do it again. I canned him on the spot.
23. Punch(clock) drunk.
Got drunk with someone who worked below me. They showed up for work still drunk, and I was told to fire them.
24. Sleepy hollow.
My director found this guy sleeping under my desk one morning when he came in early. He was a temp and from an agency, I was given no choice in the matter.
Worst part was the reason he was sleeping there was because he was saving money to rent a room…
I did give him a reference and hook him up with a consulting company though.
25. How did it take them that long to notice?
In high school this guy I knew got fired from a department store because they found out he was taking 4 hour naps on the toilet.
26. Keep your mouth clothesed.
I own a clothing store, and for weeks I noticed things going missing around the store. I work cash just like the rest of my employees, and we’d just hired this girl who was about my age. We’re there alone one day, and she just grabs a shirt and stuffs it in her bag. What the hell? I must’ve looked at like her as though she just ate a baby, but she just shrugs it off. “I take stuff all the time, the owner never even stops by.”
She thought my dad, who stops by once a week or so to say hello, owned the place. Took me forever to clean up after blowing her mind.
27. Grand Theft A.
This employee had been with the family business for about 4 years. He had also been surreptitiously stealing from us for 3 of those years. We switched over to a new system and he just kept doing what he had been doing. We went back and checked the records and added up his total theft to be just below Grade A Grand Theft for our state. So we sat on it trying to decide what to do for a day and by the time we acted he had moved himself up to grade A Grand Theft. The felony charge i am guessing is still sticking to this day, and we got all our money back.
28. Would you like drugs with that?
One of my employees was selling drugs through my internet cafe while on shift. I had my night guy come in with me, went behind the counter and asked her to come talk to me outside. She asked “who is going to watch the till?” … “Sandy.” We went outside and I asked her if I could buy an ounce off her. She said “Just a sec, I’ll get you some.” … “Hey, don’t bother.” … “What?” … “You’re fired.”
29. Prank call center.
I was supervising a call center in the early 2000’s and we were still manually dialing numbers off of paper call sheets. Had a new guy who hadn’t converted a call yet after a few days (we did surveys) so I listen in to see how his introductions sound.
First call- answering machine.
Second call- “Hello?”
“I know where you live, p*ssy! B*tch!”
Of all the hundreds of calls this kid made, I catch that one on the second try. Holy jeez…
I called him in the office and was like “Dude, you can’t work here any more.”
“Why not? Because I didn’t get any surveys?”
“No… because you said ‘I know where you live p*ssy b*tch.”
30. Stealy Dan.
I supervised a group home for adults with developmental disabilities. I found an employee who was stealing from the residents. Couldn’t wait to fire him.
31. Candid camera.
I used to do mechanical maintenance at a brewery. A chain on a conveyor kept coming off and it was very difficult to put back on, so it would usually end in the packaging line shutting down and all the staff got to go home early with pay.
We decided to set a camera up to try and capture how the chain kept coming off as we were at a loss to explain how it kept breaking. Turns out an employee that didn’t feel like working the rest of the day would jam a metal pole between the chain and drive sprocket. He didn’t know about the camera and we got everything on tape.
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