Starting a new job is never easy. A brand new environment with new coworkers and tasks, it’s safe to say that most people are at least a little bit nervous on their first day. The following AskReddit users were asked about a time when they were let go during the early stages of a new job. Get ready for some hilarious stories.
Source list available at the end.
I worked for a day at an Apple store.
The guys were incredible rude and talked down to me constantly even though it was a relatively simple job that I was hired to do. I had worked as head of a technology department previously, so I kind of knew what to expect going into the workplace as a female, but they were downright hateful.
The point of no return was when some of the guys asked my why I chose this job, and I explained that I was in a pretty terrible car crash and needed something closer to home until I recovered. One of my new coworkers, who was in a wheelchair, cut me off and said that he had also been in an accident and that I shouldn’t be complaining since I still had my legs.
I apologized to him for the rest of the break and felt terrible. Then, I saw them all huddled together laughing, and he told me how he had made the whole thing up and that he was born that way and I was a baby for reacting the way that I did and for apologizing to him.
As I was leaving, I saw the manager ask the guys how things went. Wheelchair guy outright stated that, “I would be a massive failure and harmful to the workplace.” The manager asked me if I really thought this was the right job for myself and that perhaps the pressure and the required knowledge skillset was too much to handle. This was literally a small store in the mall, and I chose this job for how simple it would be to get into.
I left and never went back. They never called me either. To this day, I figure they probably think that they broke me. I decided to work for a bank and have been on an amazing career path ever since.
This was back in 1984. I was 14, and it was my first job ever. So, I was feeling really proud. I was working at my favorite fast food joint. The fries were my favorite. I made my first batch ever and ate one of the fries in celebration. BOOM. I was terminated on the spot.
Apparently, it’s forbidden to eat on the job. They were waiting for someone in the group to mess up, and I was the sacrificial lamb. No one told me, and I cried all the way home.
They thought the “bartender” part on my resume somehow meant “high-end chef,” and they were befuddled when I couldn’t carry out what they wanted me to do.
I had a job trial at some fancy restaurant when I was a teenager. I had never worked hospitality before, but I decided to give it a go. I was taking a tray of drinks out to a table. I had no idea what I was doing. I was just trying to balance everything without spilling anything. I started handing out the drinks. Being the young, dumb teenager that I was, I took all of the drinks off of one side of the tray. Obviously, the weight was offset and the rest of the drinks slid off the tray and went all over this lady. I’m talking rum and coke, beer, red wine, etc. I said that I was sorry, and she replied with, “You’re sorry! I’m sorry that I ever came to this restaurant.” Needless to say, I went to the boss and said that I was out, walked to my car, and drove home.
I got hired to work at a salon after college. There was also another girl that got hired with me. We went through the first day of training (maybe two, I can’t remember), and everything seemed fine and dandy. We were both doing really well, the manager liked us, etc. The next day, I come in and we get started. The other girl is nowhere to be found. I figured she probably had something come up and couldn’t make it, but then she wasn’t there the next day either, and the owner asked me if I’d be willing to take on double the amount of hours. I eventually asked my manager what was up with the other girl and where was she. She just said, “Oh, it didn’t work out.”
I found out later that one of the stylists had recognized the girl from all of the times that she had broken into her (the stylist’s) relative’s house to do drugs, mess around with guys, and generally wreak havoc on all of their stuff. (It apparently happened several times and resulted in a pretty ridiculous amount of damage). It’s safe to say, the owner didn’t want to hand over a key and give this girl free reign over a salon filled with thousands of dollars worth of products and equipment.
My first job in high school. I was hired to work an ice cream stand/small fast food joint. The owner’s 17-year-old son was supposed to train me. He didn’t.
Instead, he left me on my own and talked to his friends all day and would disappear for long periods of time. At the end of my shift, his father finally showed up. I told him that I needed someone around who would actually train me instead of leaving me to struggle- just as his son walked in.
His son looked at me and said, “She is cute enough, but I don’t think she’s working out.” I told him to drop dead and I left. I never even got paid for that day either.
Years ago, I went to work at a large department store. I was hired to work in the dry goods section (which is all of the stationary, cards, etc.) It was the first day of training and all of us were told that what we had been hired for had been changed, so we could either accept it or go to HR.
My section was changed to the loading dock (meaning I had to unload trucks) Having a bad back, I told her that I couldn’t do it. I was not allowed to lift anything over 10 pounds, which was why I had chosen stationary in the first place. She informed me that the stationary section had gone to someone else the day before, so I got reassigned. When I told her I couldn’t work the loading dock and the reason behind why, she asked me if it was doctor sanctioned. When I said yes, she fired me.
I started a temp job in Montana during the middle of winter. I was told it would be shovelling snow at a ski resort with vacation houses. I assumed it would be shovelling driveways or something. Turns out, I was working at various new construction projects digging out four-foot deep rock solid trenches of snow around the houses. I got yelled at all day for being to slow and had no access to water, was only given thin work gloves, and it was below zero all day. It was the longest and coldest day of my life. I wasn’t planning on going back, but I was told that I wouldn’t be needed the next day anyway.
On my very first job, I got fired on the first day. I was 14 and got hired at a drugstore/pharmacy. I was a stock boy and half way through my shift, a bunch of my friends came in and started messing around the store. The cherry on top was that two of them were having a “walker” fight at the front near the registers. Well, it was quite obvious that I knew these lads because they kept on calling out to me every few minutes to watch them do something stupid. The manager came up to me and told me to take my friends and go play outside and to never come back again. My first paycheck was for $15 and some change.
Our new hires were instructed that the paint was still drying and not to touch it. I’ll give you three guesses as to what one of them did next.
I was a host at a restaurant when I was around 16 or so. Now, the standard protocol when seating guests is to get them water with a slice of lemon immediately.
So, this middle-aged couple comes in. I seat them and go off to get them some water. As I put the lemon on the glasses (as per usual), my trainer tells me that they don’t want lemon. So, I take the lemon off and bring them their waters.
A few minutes later, there is a huge commotion in the dining room. I look over, and the middle-aged woman’s lips are all blown up and swollen. She is holding ice cubes on them and is visibly upset.
The next day, I call in to get my hours and am told, “Ahh, yeah, we don’t need you anymore.”
I hooked a friend up with a job at one of our stores. On the very first day she said, “This isn’t for me. I think I’d fit more into a management setting.” (This was her first hour in) For the rest of the day, she wasn’t very enthusiastic about anything. My coworker told her not to come back and asked me, “What the hell?” I quickly apologized and now have a rule where I don’t hire family or friends.
I fired some guy during his second hour in when he deleted the project folder he was hired to work on. It was as I was watching his screen explaining everything, and he still denied doing it three times after. (We had a backup because of the server cache, so it was no problem, but the lying was the issue).
“Peter, did you just delete the project folder?”
“But, I just saw you confirming that you wanted to delete the files…”
“No I didn’t.”
“Dude, no need to worry. I can recover it if we act now?”
“Man, I didn’t do it.”
“Peter, you denied it three times. Get out of that chair.”
I recovered the files, recorded what he had done in the work logs, and called HR to not sign his employment record book. I also got the nickname “Backup Jesus” from a male coworker who had overheard the exchange.
I know a guy who literally took out his college textbooks and studied while our boss was training him.
It wasn’t on the first day, but rather the last day of training. It was for a credit union, and the first week was spent in a classroom-type setting to learn the ropes. The second week was spent in the branches shadowing someone else. Let me preface this by saying, I am a great worker in customer service- even though I don’t particularly like people. I am also a very serious student.
During the classroom part, I answered questions and focused on trying to learn as much as possible, but the training lady seemed to think that I wasn’t “fun” enough or “personable” enough. At the end of the first week, I was talked to and I guess “warned” about this fact. I told them that I had a totally different persona when I’m actually working with customers, but that I was there to learn as much as I could (so that I wouldn’t mess up in the next week.) By the end of the first week of training, I was already at a disadvantage apparently. For what it’s worth, I didn’t think I was any less happy-seeming that the other trainees.
On the Wednesday and Thursday of the second week, I had apparently clocked in a few minutes late. I was there on time, but you had to sign in to your computer and load up the program. However, sometimes other people would be talking to you, and it would take longer. That Friday morning- on the last day of training, I was stopped by a train on my way to the branch. I called to let them know. I worked a window for basically the entire day, until about 2pm, when they asked me to step into one of the offices. The training lady and the branch manager were there, and they told me that I didn’t have the right material to stick around, gave me a check for my two-weeks of training, and sent me on my way. I had never been “fired” from a job before. It was a weird couple of weeks.
On a trial shift as a waitress, I dropped a tray with three wine bottles and twelve glasses. Everything shattered around me. On the same night, I dropped a fork. It ended up hitting a woman in the face before landing in her lap.
My boyfriend’s friend was hired for a desk job with my boyfriend. On his first day, they fired him for wearing the wrong colored shirt.
We never told him this, but we both knew why they had actually hired him. It was because they needed to meet a quota of employees who had a disability. They fired him because they had already met that quota, and now they didn’t want a guy that could defer a timed deadline.
Day one on my internship at an amazing design agency in San Francisco, and they had to send me home because the school didn’t give me proper authorization as an international student. I came in, got introduced to everyone, and was already pretty excited about all of the cool projects planned for the week. Suddenly, HR from the New York office gave me a call and told me to leave immediately because I wasn’t allowed to work with them. I remember just feeling numb after that. I had to leave all of the awesome swag that I had just received earlier behind. I just felt so drained for the rest of the week, and I still feel gutted thinking about it!
Not me, but I saw the entire thing. I work at a family-owned restaurant, and we hired a cook that was being trained by a manager. He was obviously high on something, kept backing into things, didn’t know what coleslaw was, and poured all-purpose batter into the mashed potatoes, and then looked down and said, “That’s not mashed potatoes…” Not to mention, he kept on interrupting the manager, asked very unimportant questions, would pick things up and say, “What are these for?” He was taken into the back and informed that he was the worst cook we had ever had. He responded with, “The kitchen is usually where I shine!” It’s still a running joke here.
I started working in the same office as my wife. We weren’t married back then. One of her co-workers said they were uncomfortable around me, so I was fired the next day since I was a contractor and not a permanent employee.
I got hired for a “Marketing Associate” job right out of college. I go in for training and I find out the job instead is selling knives and blenders in grocery stores. I left and never went back.
My first real job, it was at a car wash. The owner said during the interview that “he doesn’t care what any of my references say, if he doesn’t like the way I breathe, I’m fired because I’m replaceable”. So my first day I was panicking so I called in and left a message saying that I couldn’t come in because of family emergency. I later learned that the owner was telling people he fired me because I wasn’t good.
I started working at a nursing home. All of the residents who have Alzheimers have to wear these bright orange reflective vests. They asked me how to get out. I showed them the door and held it open. I thought they were construction workers.
Applebee’s. I got high with one of the cooks, got sick, passed out in the restroom with the door locked, and woke up 3 hours after close. I opened the restroom door and set the alarm off. I had to wait on the front steps for the police and GM to show up.
I lied about knowing how to drive a forklift with the assumption that I would be getting retrained on the job.
I was “hired” for a trial shift at a foods store at the beach for a summer. Another potential hiree, a girl about my age, was doing her trial at the same time. I worked for a whole 4 hours before being told I “lack initiative.” The girl and I did the exact same stuff in the 4 hours we were both there.
Now, I’m a student-athlete at my university. If you don’t want to hire me, simply say you’d rather have the girl; don’t you dare say I “lack initiative.” I juggle a busy schedule on top of running and tutoring. I’m on the dean’s list every semester. I’m the top runner on my team. Don’t give me that crap; just tell me you want a pretty girl at the front of the store to attract attention and call it a day.