The number one reason people have given for leaving work, isn’t the job itself, but the because of the management.
Here are 30 bad experiences employees have had with upper management.
1. All Fired Up
Working at a fast food restaurant. Fire Dept. came by and said our fryer was a fire hazard because of the extremely frayed cords. Got large grip tool and pulled the plug while wearing thick rubber gloves. Gave the paper to me (shift lead and highest ranking) that basically said it was fire hazard and it needed to be repaired or replaced. Put an orange sticker over the plug and basically made it very obvious. Unfortunately, we only had two fryers, and the other was used for chicken only and we weren’t allowed to fry fries in this one. So, the guy leaves and I get to work and hang signs saying blah blah blah no fries today, sorry. About 3 hours later night manager comes in and flips. Says that I needed to plug the fryer in ASAP. Told me to rip the orange security tape off, grab the frayed plug, and ignore the safety dept and just plug it back in.
I told her no, that I wouldn’t do it. MY NAME was on the sheet signing. It was MY job if they came back and saw that we didn’t get it fixed. Not only that, but it was a FIRE HAZARD. She wanted me to barehand it when the other guy used a special tool and rubber gloves for it. I told her no. She sent me home and tried to bully others into plugging it in. I told them not to and that it was dangerous and breaking a law by doing it. I tried to explain that by doing it, they could face lawsuits and whatnot, because cameras and I sure as hell wasn’t taking the fall for that. Big fight with the manager and finally she just grabs it and plugs it in. She tells me not to bother coming back since I was starting a fight and riling people up. I go outside and call the fire dept. and get in touch with the marshal and tell him everything. Watched them pull up before I left. I mean, I guess I got her back, but I still lost my job.
2. A Severance Is a Severance Is a Severance
It’s a two-parter: Part 1: Hires me for full-time permanent position first week of August, then announces on the second week of August that the office will be closing at the end of the year.
Part 2: Promises excellent severance package for those who stay on ’til the end of the year. I do so, and in the last week the office is open, they then try to take it away from me, telling me I didn’t work there long enough to qualify for it.
My supervisor was quite pissed at this, so she called Corporate HR and arranged it so I got the full package AND an apology from the jerk who tried to shaft me.
3. Those Gosh Darn Labor Costs Are So High
One spring morning my city was hit with a freak snowstorm right before morning rush hour. Several inches of wet snow fell quickly and snarled traffic all over town. At the major insurance company I worked for at the time, about 1/3 of the staff said screw it and just stayed home. The rest of us all arrived for work anywhere from one to three hours late.
In the days following the storm, all the people who stayed home were stressed about how the company would deal with the unexcused absences. They were all hoping they would catch a break and be allowed to use a vacation day instead of being docked a day’s pay and getting dinged on their next performance review. When the next payday came around, we got a memo with our stubs explaining that all the employees who stayed home would be given an excused absence and paid in full, while the rest of us were docked for the time we were late for work. This happened thirty years ago, and I still can’t talk about it without sputtering. Yes, this really happened. I only remember that it was spring 1987, and my search of historical weather data shows it was probably April 1, 1987.
To clarify, the employees who stayed home didn’t even have to burn a vacation or sick day, they were given a bonus paid day off.
4. Extreme Delay Tactics
I got another job offer for a position that paid about 50% more than what I was currently making. My supervisor made a counteroffer that more than matched it – I just had to jump through some paperwork formalities. That paperwork gets dragged out for about 2 months, when I’m told that the supervisor didn’t have the authority to make that kind of counteroffer. Instead I was told 10%, take it or leave it. I had the offer in writing but it wasn’t an official document – fighting it would have been a long uphill battle. I took the 10%, found another job, and left without helping train a replacement. New job was even higher than the original offer, so it all worked out.
5. Half-Time Entertainment
Last job (I now run my own business). I quit and gave my boss 30 days notice. I timed this, politely, on the beginning of our pay cycle. Because I’m nice. Figured it was easier on everyone with the paper work.
He calls me up at 8am on the end of the first 2 weeks (payday). ‘I’m only paying you 50% for the next (last) 2 weeks’ Even though I had in email confirmation of my expectation to work and be paid for 30 days. ‘Okay’ I said, ‘I’ll only work 50%’. He was shocked when I only worked 4 hours a day for the next two weeks.
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6. I Went to War and Lost My Job
I got activated and sent to war. When I came home, my employer said I no longer had a job. I called the head of the department of the Soldiers and Sailors Act. And was informed that activated reservist get fired all the time and there is nothing they could do about it. The biggest offenders where the large contractors that build all of the military assets, jets, ships rockets etc. My employer was a small electronics company with a lot of government contracts. The Colonel at the SSA asked me the name of my company that had fired me. I told the Colonel. The response was ‘hmm, they have a lot of government contracts. I’ll give the CEO a call and let them know that they have fired one of our reservists for answering the call, and we are going to review their government contracts’.
I was back to work the next day and the Human Relations manager and my supervisor where in a lot of trouble. The CEO was pissed that those two knuckleheads had jeopardized the main source of income for the entire company over a mid level employee. It was all a bluff, but fun to watch. I quit for a better job a year later. That company folded a few years later. Not because of me but because they kept too many knuckle heads on the payroll.
7. The Making of an IRS Auditor
I was a manager at a fast food restaurant. It was my day off and I was prepared to post up on my bed and play video games all day when my phone started ringing. It was the closing manager asking me to take his shift because he was going to get food with our mutual friend. I remembered that I owed him one because he had covered for me before. So, reluctantly, I prepare myself mentally for an unexpected closing shift and head to work.
I get to work and see not just our mutual friend, but all of the other managers and also the general manager and the gm’s girlfriend. Turns out they all decided to go get dinner together and they decided calling me in to watch the store was not a horribly rude and insensitive thing to do. None of them had asked me before hand if I wanted to come, and it was my day off. These were the people I hung out with on a regular basis. So I spent the next 7 hours sitting in the back playing games on my phone and letting rage boil inside of me.
8. That’s Just Fine
I had a job a couple years ago that hired me to do Job A. Job A involves being on-call to drive upwards of 10 hours to sites across two states where the company gets fined if work isn’t completed within 24 hours.
Right after starting I get handed Job B to do when not doing Job A. Job B involves repairing equipment necessary for other people doing Job C. It’s okay doing Job A and Job B as I can usually get far enough ahead in Job B to not have issues, but times do happen where Job A and Job B are both idle. So, I get given Job C, too. Job C involves performing regular maintenance and the occasional on-call job where the company gets fined if work doesn’t get done within 72 hours. It did not take long for me to figure out that, under some circumstances, I’d be forced to either get the company fined for failing at Job A or Job C, while also failing at Job B. I raise concerns and get told ‘that will never happen, don’t worry about it.’ Within a month it almost happens, but get talked down to and told to do my job(s) Cue me quitting before I get blamed for getting the company fined.
9. The Company Without a Pancreas, Er, Heart
Two stories from the same employer: STORY #1: I’m colorblind. My boss assigned me a work task once that was color-coded in a way that I couldn’t see. When I brought up my vision issues — not refusing to do the work, but asking for accommodation — I was written up for what they perceived as ‘insubordination’.
When I filed a complaint with HR asking for the write-up to be removed, the HR rep ‘graciously’ gave me what she perceived as a solution: that I should go use the company’s Tuition Reimbursement program to go take a remedial art class at my local community college. ‘So that you can finally learn your colors’, she said.
STORY #2: Same employer. I was working second-shift hours (four to midnight) in our network control center. At one point during the holiday season, I was working the last part of my shift alone — nobody else in the building except the security guard, who was out of my line-of-sight. At midnight when my shift ended, my coworker came in to start working the overnight shift alone. This coworker is seriously diabetic, of the type who wears an insulin pump to regulate her system. Literally the moment she walked in the door, her pump started beeping that she was out of insulin. To avoid going into a diabetic shock at a time when she had nobody else around to help save her, she had to drive home quickly, pick up an insulin refill, and then come back to work. That required me to stay overtime by about 45 minutes to keep the place staffed.
When I showed up at 4 the next afternoon for my next shift, I discovered I had been written up for the unauthorized overtime. I left the company within a few weeks after incident #2.
10. Hollywood Ain’t No Walk in the Park
Day 1: I am contracted to edit a screenplay for an up-and-coming feature film production. Day 2: I receive the first draft of the aforementioned screenplay. Half of my payment is provided to me. Day 3: I return the edited screenplay to the person who hired me. Day 5: Having heard nothing back from my employer, I follow up with a question about next steps. Day 7: The silence continues, and I start to get worried about the second half of my payment. Day 8: I finally receive a response. In it, I am told that I was budgeted for a minimum number of hours, which I had yet to meet (as a result of editing the screenplay so quickly). I am asked to ‘fill out’ the remaining time by doing a scene breakdown and a cost analysis of every prop that will appear in the movie. Despite initially wanting to protest, I look at the turn of events as an opportunity. Day 10: The requested documents are sent to my employer. Day 11: Oh, look… the silence is back. Day 13: Neither my emails nor my telephone call are answered. Day 15: I get in touch with another member of the production team, and discover that nobody has any idea who I am. It comes to light that the person who’d hired me had subcontracted what was supposed to be their work, and had taken the credit for everything that I’d done. This person was subsequently fired from the project… after being paid several times more than what I had been promised. I ask to take their place, but am told that the work is already done. Day 200-ish: My name does not appear in the credits.
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11. Just Don’t Be a Braggart
A manager at work. Now I always try to be helpful, I do my work and try to contribute to make other people’s days easier. I arrive to work after school and I’m just about to get changed. A manager comes in and says ‘Hey PM_ME_U_SMILING, would you be able to bring something from the freezer to the front?’
I figured sure, it must be busy, it doesn’t hurt me. I don’t clock in, just quickly nip to get it. I arrive on the front, the store is completely quiet and the manager is bragging to another manager about how convincing she can be, getting me to work for free. It doesn’t seem like much now I’ve typed it, but by god my blood boiled, and she is the only person I resent. (Multiple instances of her being manipulative, but this was the most innocent it seemed and I thought I was genuinely helping.) Just a few clarifications. Working off the clock was my choice (fault, it’s illegal!) to save time. However sassy it would have been to return the item to the fridge, it would be an item I needed when I did clock in, so wouldn’t have been worth the cool points. I doubt I’ll bring it up with her, but might call her out in future now.
12. To Promote or Not Promote, That Is The Question
I work at a department store as a Backroom Associate. The PMT (Preventative Maintenance Technician) position opened up. The day the old PMT worker put his two week notice in, my boss approached me asking if I would like the job. Knowing that the pay was better than my current position’s, I was excited and instantly told him yes. The following day they started training me for the position. This went on for about a week or so, they announced that there would be a meeting at the end of the month. Well, I attended the meeting only to be introduced to the new PMT worker! I couldn’t believe it, they gave me the job and then took it away just like that. Ever since then, there has been no mention of the incident. They handled the entire situation in such a horrible manner, I guess that’s why Sears is one of the top ten worst places to work at.
13. That Restaurant Is Really a Transformer!
Worked delivering pizzas for a local Italian restaurant. One evening I showed up for work and the place was suddenly a Chinese food restaurant, fully staffed and open. Happened overnight, never got a phone call.
14. Revenge Is a Dish Best Served at Another Interview
I’m currently supervising anywhere from 7 to 22 guys at work (depending on the season). I don’t get paid extra to do this, I just do it because it needed doing, and have been doing quite well at it for the past 14 months. Recently we had quite a few supervisor positions open up. I put in and was interviewed for one of them. My boss called me into his office, and informed me that he and the warehouse director felt I was too introverted to be a supervisor. He suggested I start working on coming out of my shell, so if another position opens up I can try again. I’ll work on coming out of my shell alright; going to get a lot practice interviewing for other jobs elsewhere.
15. There’s Always a Bigger Boss
Two very short stories: Old employer put a lot of requirements on me to achieve full time status. I spent thousands to do so, then they dropped my contract without notice. Current employer – I worked 18 months without any vacation or even requesting a day off for personal. One of the guys I supervise died, and he happened to be my stepfather. Instead of taking time off for my mother and brothers, I covered all my hours plus his for the next several weeks, running into 100+ hours per pay period multiple times, because the department couldn’t handle losing BOTH of us and we were already limping by with temps. I finally ask for a night off to spend with family and help with their things, and my boss tells me no and calls me a liar.
I’m currently on a 3 week paid vacation after the bigger bosses heard about that one.
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16. The Catch-22
Last week my boss gave me a difficult task with an impossible time frame. When the time was up and I said I needed another day to finish, he got all cocky and went ‘I know. I don’t need it until tomorrow. But I told you I need it today because if I told you I needed it tomorrow you’d say you couldn’t get it done until Monday’. And when I told him that’s not true, he pointed to the fact that I was unable to do the task in his just recently admitted impossible time frame as evidence that I wouldn’t have finished it on time if he’d told me when he actually needed it. So, setting me up for failure, and then using the fact that I failed as evidence to say I’m a bad employee. Ain’t management grand.
17. No One Deserves This
When I was 16 I worked at a grocery store. One of my co-workers (28) kept sending me pictures of his penis and one day cornered me in the break room and started kissing my neck. Someone else came in and he got off me so I told my manager. He said, ‘As a woman in the work place that’s just something you’re going to have to learn to deal with.’ I quit right then and there but I should’ve reported him to his boss and so on until someone fired him.
18. The IRS Offers Sweet Revenge
When I was 18 I had a boss who constantly told me how stupid and useless I was, which was annoying but I tolerated it because I needed the job. But then he started making comments about how hot my mom was, and eventually tried to move me around the office when I was in his way by grabbing my hips and pushing me, so I walked out. Another boss around this time spilled coffee beans on the floor, asked me to clean it up, then walked around behind me to watch and said, ‘Now there’s a sight I like’. That one I didn’t walk out of, but it ended even worse because through some shady tax stuff he was doing, we all ended up paying tons of money come tax season (even though he’d evidently been taking taxes out of our paychecks all year?) while he ran away to Canada.
19. I Thought Slavery Was Illegal
Years ago I was working for a small retail company. We had a truck come in that we needed to unload. It was a 600+ box truck that we had to unload by hand. This particular day was incredibly hot. By around 8am it was already 85. My boss stuck me in the truck by myself to unload it. When I asked for water she said no and that I needed to finish unloading the truck before I was allowed to take a break. I just looked at her and said ‘Why yessa massa’. Then got written up. Hooray!
20. Bad Apples
I worked at an electronic store and management was already terrible, and on that particular day we had a couple of the more useless managers on the floor. I was up front doing the greeting, directing traffic, etc. Part of that position requires a headset to communicate to the rest of the staff (who aren’t paying attention anyway) that I need them/someone is coming their way. I’ve been up there for a while, and useless manager #1 comes up to me and tells me I’ve been doing a great job. Cut to half hour after I was supposed to go on break, I flag down useless manager #2 to see if I can go on break. He says yes, but then he needs to talk to me. I was like ‘Oookay…’ We go into the back area that was like a hallway between our breakroom and BOH (read: public area for employees.) He goes, ‘You’ve been doing a horrible job in that position’. I was like, ‘What? We’re slow, everything is really smooth?’ And he’s all, ‘Your lack of headset usage has been incredibly detrimental’. And I was like ‘I’ve been doing is using my headset since no one is up there?
Useless manager #1 just told me I was doing great!’ He goes, ‘Let me go get her’. He goes and gets her, says, ‘Did you tell her she was doing a good job because she wasn’t’ and UM#1 replies, ‘Oh, no, I meant she only did a good job with THAT customer’. And I just stood there flabbergasted while they both yelled at me…like literally yelled at me like a child that I was wasting time and not using the headset right.
Needless to say I go on my break absolutely infuriated, and a coworker of mine who witnessed the whole thing was almost more pissed than I was. He said he would 100% vouch for me if I took this up with HR (as did a couple others). I come back from break, they put in that SAME POSITION so they can ‘train’ me. I’ve been here almost 2 years, I know what I’m doing, you’re high thinking I wasn’t doing my job.
Cue a customer walking in, I use my headset to call someone and UM#1 goes, ‘Wait, say something again into the headset?’ So I do… TURNS OUT MY HEADSET WAS BROKEN AND I HAD NO IDEA! Most of my coworkers I had previously asked for over headset I had just made eye contact with and waved them down on top of asking. So UM#1 goes, ‘Oh….your headset must be broken which is why we couldn’t hear you. Nevermind, you’ve done well’. I quit the next day.
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21. Fired for Having a Child
I got pregnant while working for a small subcontracting company. I told my boss (I was assistant to VP) and let them know I’d need to take a few weeks off after I gave birth. So the VP hired an ‘assistant’ to cover my duties while I was gone. I gave birth and took the week off and then an additional week with the baby for a total of 2 weeks of leave. I returned to work for a bit until my newborn son got sick. Very, very sick. He was hospitalized for almost a week. I missed 3 days of work because of this and the day I returned, I was fired and guess who replaced me? The person who I basically trained to do my job, ‘my assistant’. Taught me a life lesson there, never train someone to do your job. Bonus: The company was running out of money, and fired others as well without warnings, cause, etc. I filed for unemployment, along with others, and was subsequently denied. The VP and managers submitted forged time sheets, our signatures on the cards and said the employees who were fired were termed due to being late three or more days in a row, and were warned.
22. They Were Fired HOW?!?
Not me, but a friend a while ago worked for a company that had a mandatory meeting at a hotel on the other side of town. Everyone had to wrap up their work early and drive on over to the hotel. When they got there, a couple of the higher ups were there directing people either to conference room A or conference room B. As they’re all waiting for this thing to start, he noticed that there were only like ten people in his room… this is for a company that had 100+ employees. Eventually a manager walks in and is all ‘Thank you for coming today. If you’re in this room, congratulations, you still have a job. Now please return to work’.
People weren’t even allowed back to the office to collect their things.
23. I Believe He Said He Had to Pee
Not exactly my employer, but she was the supervisor directly over me. I was working control, which basically means I spend about 6 hours in a small room, hitting buttons, watching cameras, and filling out paperwork. Nothing too bad, but you can’t leave the room until you have someone come and relieve you. Around four hours in, I realized that I needed to piss. I called her and asked for someone to relieve me. She said she’d send our other coworker up when he got rounds done. And then she left. So no one could have relieved me, because you have to have someone on the floor at all times. I called her three more times — every time she came back to our floor — but she kept blowing me off. I ended up pissing myself coming down the stairs when she finally came to relieve me, after she’d spent the last twenty minutes standing in the doorway down the hall, talking with her higher ups after she went for a bathroom break. I could see her from my chair. Hell, I could see the bathroom from my chair. And she still let me piss myself. Jokes on her though. I talked to my lieutenant, he moved me to work with people who actually knew what they were doing, and, after two months, I finally got moved to days, which she’d been putting in for for forever and not getting.
24. Turnabout Is Fair Play
I was a ‘team lead’ in one department when a manager job opened in another. I was 100% qualified for it. I had all the experience they wanted and I’d worked with the director and other people on related projects that went really well. I interview, it goes perfectly and the interviewers even tell me that was their best interview. I find out later only 3 people had applied and I, by far, was the best person for it. About 3 weeks later they announce McGee got the job. He seriously is about the worst employee ever. I damn near had a mental breakdown and wanted to burn the place to the ground. I ended up finding a better job with a different co ~4 months later. So it all worked out. I ran into one of the ladies that interviewed me later after I’d left the company. We talked for a few minutes and she said she was disappointed to see me leave, but understood. I flat out told her if they would have made me the manager, I’d still be around and I hoped McGee screwed them over. She then went on to explain that they wanted me for the job, but my current boss told her that they didn’t want me to leave because I do too much. So if they were to offer it and I accepted, she would drag out my transition as long as the company would allow. It took several years but the karma train hit that her good and hard when I was able to advise my VP at the time to not hire her for a very good job because of what she’d done to me in the past.
25. Always Get Deals in Writing
Put in a Resume for a new job. IT Director. Met with owner, we hit it off. Gave him my desired Salary (54K). He didn’t care for it. Left interview and went about my business. I wasn’t in a hurry for a job. 4 months later he calls me back, and says he’d like to sit down with me again. He mentions that he can’t meet my Salary request, but we could work out other benefits in it’s place. I’m more than open to this idea. So we sit down, and decide to knock off about 5K in salary in favor of the company paying for my cell phone, and a better than standard vacation package. Now, this company has been around forever, but they never updated their vacation package. It is terrible for new employees. Basically, you have no vacation for your first year, at all.
Once your second year starts, you start accumulating days off. So basically, by the end of your second year, you now have 5 days off. If you were there for 10 years, you got a second week. So I said I wanted two weeks right out of the gate. He agreed, but asked me to be very quiet about this arrangement as it could potentially anger other employees. No… I didn’t get it in writing… 6 months later, my wife and I have planned our very first out of country vacation. Beach. Cozumel. All-inclusive. A month before said vacation I remind my boss (the owner) that I’ll be taking some vacation time, and that I’ll need to use those vacation days we discussed when I got hired on. He ‘had no recollection’ of such an agreement. ‘We’ve always had the same vacation plan for every employee, so we wouldn’t have given you special treatment.’ I argued with him. It didn’t do much good. By the end of the conversation he agreed to let me take 5 days of unpaid vacation, and thus would dock my first post-vacation paycheck. I had resumes out by the end of the week.
Thankfully I’m skillful enough in my jobset that finding another job of near equal value was pretty easy.
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26. No, Servers Can’t Make Less Than Minimum Wage
Waiting jobs are supposed to make up your tips if you don’t make enough to make whatever the minimum wage is. So if you made $4/hr and worked for 10 hours, you would be expected to make $37.50 to pull your hourly wage up to the minimum (say, $7.75). My employer stiffed us instead.
‘You’ve got the job!’ ‘Sweet. I’ll go give notice at my old job.’ Two weeks later, ‘Just kidding. You don’t have the job’.
28. They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To!
Let’s see … Required furlough days, nobody received a raise in 10 years, we were using computers more than a decade old and office furniture decades older than that, we received ever-increasing responsibilities and saw co-workers who had worked for the company for longer than I’ve been alive fired so they could hire a cheap college grad to replace them for half the price. Kids, don’t get into the newspaper business.
29. Don’t Tick Off This Guy
This goes into revenge territory. Had a job where once a week the boss would bring us into his office and scream at us. Usually some minor issue, sometimes one caused by one of his deadbeat sons that also worked there. Finally, because one of the sons slacked off so much that it impacted business, he brings me in, tells me I’ve been wasting his time, and tells me that he’s keeping my last pay check. Before you all get up in arms that I should have called a lawyer, this guy was connected to all the local judges and officials- and I was 19. I waited a month, then made an anonymous call to the NY DEP (basically a stricter NY state version of the EPA). I let them know about the dozens of barrels of used antifreeze buried in the swampy area behind my workplace. They were pleased, and I’m sure digging up that field cost more than the $400 they screwed me out of.
30. That’s Not as Funny as You Thought It Was, Boss
When I was 20 I was working at a gas station. My grandma became very very ill and we thought this was ‘it’. I was advised to head to the city 3 hours away ASAP to say goodbye. I was bawling and asked for a few days off. I got them. My grandma got well enough that we realized she would probably be ok. I was only gone 2 days and I was going to work my days off to make them up. I walked into work and my boss asked in a very snarky voice ‘Did your Grandma die?’ I said ‘no’ and she said ‘Oh that’s too bad’ and walked away. I was shocked/horrified/crushed and started crying again. She later told me to ‘Get over it cause it was just a joke’. I quit less than a week later.