Getting fired from a job, especially one you love, is a terrible feeling no matter the circumstances. Sometimes employers try to provide sound reasons of their action. But every so often an employee gets the boot for the most nonsense reasons. In this article, unemployed people share the most ridiculous reason they got fired.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
I temped when I was out of college, and was almost always praised for my speed, accuracy and focus when doing tedious things like filing and data entry. (I am autistic, so this has some bearing on why I can hyper-focus on a task and not bother to break for the bathroom or food and why I like the tedious tasks). On one particular assignment, Id shown up early and was flying through the work – twice I had been complimented on my accuracy and speed.
About an hour later, I was approached by the office manager and escorted out of the building because I had pagan/witchy stickers on my car. Being the lone temporary person there, it had been easy for them to connect the unfamiliar car to me, and though I wasnt very visibly goth on the job (aside from having long black hair), theyd decided they didnt want someone of the devil to be in their office. After they escorted me out, they literally watched me drive off as if they expected me to… do something. (Im 411 and was 88lbs at the time. Also, I was even more timid than I am now, so if you looked at me wrong I was basically dropping rabbit turds).
I never told my roommate at the time or spoke to the agency about it.
I am an engineer working mostly on contract. I took an assignment at a Holland, Michigan (USA) company that was known for being rough on employees. Anything for a buck.
Anyway, after several months with no complaints about my work, I was called into my managers office and he stated that a regular employee had filed a complaint about me.
The complaint? He stated that when I went to the restroom, I didnt walk fast enough. I burst into laughter thinking it was a joke, but it was not. They had no objective measurement of walking speed, and no written standards. The employee just claimed that my walking speed wasnt up to company standards by his perception.
Yes, I was terminated for this, and no I didnt stop laughing for a couple hours. Being a fairly well respected engineer, a new job was easy to get. And my recruiter wouldnt believe me when I told him why I was terminated.
I once worked as the only male in an office of about 6 employees.
The day I was let go, my manager explained that a couple of the other employees had said they just werent comfortable with the office no longer being all-female and that she feared what it would do to the company if one of them decided to file a harrassment suit in protest.
So, I basically got fired because of my gender.
The job was a temp assignment via an employment agency, so technically I wasnt fired – the client simply notified my agency that I was no longer needed.And it wasnt worth it for me to protest or challenge, as the job paid just barely above minimum wage. I got another assignment right away, helped no doubt by the positive review/recommendation the manager supplied to my agency.
When I was an electronics teacher, I was fired for using my finger to point at something on an overhead projector slide instead of some sort of other pointing device.
Context: I was one of a group of teachers who started a union in order to get better pay and benefits. After we settled with the owners of the school, we agreed to complete a 22 part course on teaching tips and methods within a certain period of time. I had finished 21 but never used or had a need to use an overhead projector.
Near the end of the allotted time, I modified a lecture so that I could use an overhead projector in place of writing the information on the chalkboard. After presenting that lecture (in front of a management observer), I felt I was in the clear. Being too busy, they didnt get around to grading the lecture until after the time had run out. I was informed that on page whatever, it said to never use your finger when pointing at the slide and that I therefore didnt pass and therefore I was fired.
It turned out okay, though. I started my next job on April 3rd and made more money during the rest of the year than the maximum I could have made at the school. I didnt have to take work home to grade, either.
My manager when I worked at an arcade effectively rage quit, and fired all the staff but his Assistant Manager who promptly got promoted- with only a very part timer to cover a couple of nights a week.
Since everyone was fired, no rehire, the paperwork involved with rehiring wasn’t worth it. So he had to recruit a trained, experienced staff from scratch. It was months before it was working well again.
Recently, I was fired from my job as general manager of a dance studio.
The boss said she loved me, and the specialized marketing and social media skills I brought to the table.
For me, it was the best job I ever had. It touched on all my favorite things!
So the first weekend after I was hired was their annual dance show, and none of the dance moms had been told the General Manager was leaving. No one told me they didnt know.
So I am doing my best to help out, introducing myself as the new General Manager, guiding children to the dressing room, answering moms frantic questions, explaining why the show was running late, handling all the last minute things that go wrong. I did my best to be bright and cheery when everyone seemed angry, rushed, and overwhelmed.
But when I came into work the next day, my boss said the dance moms didnt like me, they didnt think I was bubbly enough – so she had to let me go due to their pressure.
I worked for Panera for two months as my first job. I was SUPPOSED to be the one to serve coffee and clean the dining area. I was hired because I had the cafe feel to me.
They got me doing dishes almost every shift instead. And if someone was absent, theyd put me on main chef duty line. By the way, they only trained me one time for 5 minutes on the menu and expected me to fulfill each order within 2 minutes. Of course I couldnt meet those standards! How do you expect me to know 50 menu items and each detail of the chef job within 5 minutes? How could I get an order in under 2 minutes if I wasnt taught where all the ingredients were? I didn’t like the job but I put up with it because I was stubborn, it was my first job and I assumed itd get better.
Then after two months, they fired me. Why? I didnt have the cafe feel.
I was fired because I came in to work after an illness. During lunch, I went to the doctor to get my test results and it was strep and something else. I returned to work with the note the doctor gave me to take off three days. The question then became, I did work before giving them the note. I tried to explain that I just got the note. I went in because I still felt awful and they had my results ready. I did not follow the proper protocol.
When I was in my first year of college, I was dirt poor—in fact, I couldnt even afford dirt. I was working a construction job in far west Texas and sleeping in my car most of the time—baths were a pot of water obtained the night before at a local filling station before I retired for the night, and it sufficed for tooth brushing, washing and shaving – in that order. Long distance calls were not free in those days (cell phones were a few decades off), so I stayed in touch with my family mostly by mail. The company I was working for had an office with postal supplies, and during one particularly dismal stretch of poverty I used an envelope and 3 cent stamp to mail a letter home—total value about 4 cents—and dropped it in the outgoing box. My prick of a supervisor, who had desperately wanted a reason to fire me (old history involving him and my father) pulled me off the job the next morning and could scarcely contain his glee while mumbling the standard crap about not the amount but the principle of the thing.
I was fired for not working without a contract.
Simply put, they expected me to do the work without even seeing the contract they had promised to send me. Union guy warned me not to sell my soul without the security of a contract, since the work included physical labour, so I had been calling the workplace for a week or more, kindly but firmly stating that I would not work if I did not have at least seen the contract. Its illegal, too. Some office lady called me up and gave me a shower of harsh words including some very unprofessional name-calling.
I ended the conversation in tears. I have never been treated like that by anyone. I wish I had stolen a moment to explain to her how shady their work policy was, but I was lost for words.
Yep, I was 16 years old, and working at a drive-in theater in 1976. One of my co-workers was in charge of baking pizzas that night, and he burnt a whole oven full of them! Our boss was a cross between the wicked witch of the west, and a rabid pit bull. He was scared to death of her. He was actually crying! I don’t mean 1 or 2 tears, I mean red faced, snot slinging, balling his eyes out crying. Well, I went over to try and comfort him, and gave him a hug. Of course, that’s the moment she decided to walk in, and 2 seconds later, I was fired!
I’d do the same thing over in a heartbeat. People are always more important than money.
I worked with a store manager way back when I was a junior sales assistant who claimed all my sales as his own for commission. He collected trading stamps which were a thing in those days. One day he sent me to the shop to get toilet paper and when I returned he asked for the trading stamps. When I told him the toilet paper was too cheap to earn stamps, he blew his stack and ordered me back to get dearer paper and the trading stamps. I angrily told him I would get his trading stamps and he could wipe his arse with them.
The next day I was half an hour late back from lunch. He asked me where Id been and I told him, “for a job interview. I start next week. Then he told me I was fired.
A couple of days later I met the man who owned the company as I was walking down the street. He offered me a job at the store he worked, with a pay rise. I politely declined on the grounds that I had already accepted the other job and it would be wrong to let them down.
When I was 13 years old I was working part time in a smoke shop (a convenience store). The owner was a bit of a grump guy and a really tough boss. I had been working for him for about six months. One day he was at the cash and I was in the back sorting out a magazine delivery we had just received. I heard a commotion at the front of the store and went there to see what was going on. When I arrived, some kids were just leaving the store. The owner told me the kids had tried to steal some chocolate bars. He said it was my fault because I was not watching them. I explained I was doing what he had just asked me to do but he was not having any of it.
He told me I was fired and started counting out my pay for the day (about 35 cents an hour) from the cash register. I told him he better add $10 to that or I would call Revenue Canada. He always paid me cash and I never signed any forms for income tax when I started working for him. I dont think he was even allowed to hire a 13-year-old to work (this was in the early 60s).
Of course, I didnt really know what I was talking about but he did give me the $10. After that, I never went in his store again.
That was the only job where I was fired.
I worked at a bank as a temp. There was another temp, an older woman with a husband and kids. I was engaged and planning to marry soon. I’m male.
I saw everyone else in my office using their phones including the other temp to make phone calls or play games, so I texted my fiance during break, never between breaks. I was reported in for selling company secrets. I showed I was texting my fiance, which they knew about. They let me continue working on the condition I don’t use my phone anymore, not even at breaks. The rest continued using their phones no problem, and the other temp used company phones for personal calls, no problem.
I asked for a week off at Christmas because my fiance was vising me. My manager OKd it (I had managed a project that got her office two weeks ahead of schedule when they were originally two weeks behind schedule. They were legal docs). The other temp asked for time off to spend with her family. She was given two weeks off. The day after my vacation started, the temp agency called me to say I had been laid off. I asked why. They said because I had asked for vacation time (unpaid). The employment agency treated me like I was an idiot. I asked about the other temp. Nope, no penalty. She was still there.
I didn’t feel bad about leaving. I don’t like walking on eggshells.
I was in college (1970s) and applied for a job as a part time shoe sales associate at J.C.Penny. I was hired and given a two hour orientation about my responsibilities. This included a long speech about the importance of giving a 2 week notice before quitting. I learned the job and became one of their better sales associates. I even developed a following among local nurses because I knew how to ‘break in the shoes before they left the store (using equipment to stretch out parts of the shoe to fit over bunions, and adding small holes under the arch to allow for ventilation). They later hired a man who continually screwed up (but was paid a $1.00 more an hour) and I cleaned up after him without complaint.
Pennys asked me to train a CETA participant (Federal program—Comprehensive Employment Training Act for unemployed disadvantaged people). After I succeeded, I was called into the office and terminated with NO NOTICE. I never shopped there since, although they certainly may have changed since then.
I worked at a Subway in high school. Everybody that worked there were really close friends, so all of our other friends would come hang out after school.
The owner didn’t like this. But to be fair, group of rowdy teenagers had effectively taken over his store. I think he was looking to make an example of somebody.
He ended up firing three people. Two employees had recently closed the restaurant about five minutes early (one of the practices he had a problem with), and they got the boot.
I was fired as well. The reason I was given?
I had given a piece of pepperoni to a buddy for free.
Employees giving their friends food was another problem he’d been having. Some guys would make sandwiches for a whole group and not ring up one of them. But I was fired for a piece of pepperoni!!
I have been fired once and it was for a ridiculous reason. Shortly after getting out of the military, I worked as a bartender in a restaurant/bar in Jacksonville, FL. This one night, the dishwasher, after getting off work, ran up a tab and left without paying. I asked the bar manager what I should do. She told me to not ring it up because there would be a discrepancy between the money we had and the amount of sales for that evening; besides, we could get him to pay the next day he worked. So being a good soldier I did what I was told.
The next day I had to open. After setting up the bar, the owner confronted me in front of everyone by screaming at the top of his lungs demanding to know why I did not ring up that sale. When I told him that I was merely following the instructions of the bar manager, he called me a liar and fired me on the spot. So I was fired for following the orders of my supervisor, which really did not seem to violate the Geneva Convention. As karma would have it, that place lasted only about a year before it closed down and the owner was arrested for embezzlement. So I guess it was good I was forced out when I was.
I was fired, officially, for having to leave early from work (4:30 instead of 5:30), so I came in early each day (7:30 instead of 8:30). I cleared this with my manager before starting and this was fine for nearly two years. I got my work done, always early.
Then, one day, we noticed something strange in our Android analytics. I, the only one with an Android, had also noticed something weird around the same time as the strangeness started in our analytics. I had been digging in for a couple hours when we had a meeting the CTO dropped in on. I talked a little about my discovery. Apparently he wasn’t pleased that I was talking about the solution in a meeting…
So, I was fired. Go figure. It’s been great not having to be there, ever again in my life.
My purse was stolen from me one day after work, containing a lot of cash that I had taken home from the office per my bosss instruction (he didnt like to leave a lot of cash at the business, so if he wasnt there I would take it home and give it to him the next morning). In the 18 months I worked for him we never had an issue, but apparently the cops thought I had stolen this money myself, so they went into my job questioning my boss about this practice. They proceeded to tell him I had an extensive criminal background (I did not… I had a small claims case still open, but that was the extent of it). My boss decided he could no longer trust me, and fired me. He also refused to give me my last paycheck, saying he was keeping it against the money I had lost.
When W-2 time came around, my ex-boss asked me to come pick up my W2 rather than mailing it. I had time, so I went in. He asked if I wanted my job back! Apparently no one else could do the amount of work I had done for what he paid. I had loved that job, and certainly would have preferred it to the job I was currently working, but I was afraid to go back. He thought he couldnt trust me when he fired me, what if something happened again? If I was blamed the first time, I would certainly be blamed again. I politely had to decline.
I still miss that job, and I wish it hadnt ended that way.
I was fired after 11 months in a highly funded start-up. It was a hardware product (range of comms module) that went into other companies products (OEM product- if you like!)
Over the previous 10 months I had opened the door into the worlds top 10 companies to have the modules designed into their products. This all on the back of a paper specification from our company.
When it came time to produce design samples for testing, the company could not produce on time and could not get regulatory approval (all comms modules need regulatory approval).
So, as head of sales I was the sacrificial lamb as I had missed the sales forecasts for revenue.
The VCs and board were happy the Directors were taking action by firing a senior person.
Im glad to say the VCs subsequently lost all their money and the company never did actually produce anything.
What a waste of a year!
I was a hostess in a small, quiet Italian restaurant in Tampa in the early 90’s. I did my job appropriately and was never insubordinate but the manager (a woman around 3 years older than me) could not stand me. She would insist I do jobs that had absolutely nothing to do with my hostess duties like fold pizza boxes in the back of the restaurant or serve drinks in the attached bar, which was also in the back of the restaurant. I did all these things because I was intimidated by her and I wanted to keep my job but… whenever I was doing one of her goofy requests there (of course), would be new guests that needed to be seated and she would yell across the restaurant, “LISA!!! WHERE ARE YOU?? You’re not doing your job!!” and I would come running like the dummy I was and of course she would get mad and (try) to humiliate me.
After about 2 months of this I went home after work and the phone rings, my husband answers it and it’s the manager and she tells him to tell me not to come into work the next day and he asked why and she said, “because her eyes are blue.”
Come to find out (I had no clue at the time) she was having an affair with one of the employees that also babysat for her and he had an interest in me but never said anything so I did not know. She had to get rid of the threat (me).
I got fired for NOT smoking and drinking. Seems that everyone who got a promotion or raise went out to smoke on break with one of the assistant managers at least once during the day. I didnt because as I told them quite often, I am allergic to nicotine. I also did not go out drinking after work to the local bar with the staff and buy rounds for everyone. Apparently they found this was not being friendly enough. Mind you, I had to get home to help look after my grand kids who were living with me at the time. But I got called in to the office and told my attitude was wrong for their company and they hoped I would change and be more personable in the future. I politely told them to bugger off. Within a year, the assistant manager was dead from lung caner from smoking 2 packs of cigarettes day and the business had a no smoking on the property policy implemented.
I was a temp for an international shipping company near the border. We were a truck yard, actually, a container yard.
My job was to check each container and chassis before accepting it into our yard.If there is damage, we refuse, or we get responsible party to fix it. When drivers come to pick up, they check for damage.
Well, there was damage on a container (2 foot gash), and driver refused it. Upon checking records, we show it was not damaged when it arrived. So it means we caused it when moving them around with our rigs.
Well, the boss wanted me to write another check-in report and say gash was there before we took possession.
I didn’t do that, and when I contacted them, they asked if it was damaged before it arrived. I said no, it was good. So our company had to pay around $500 USD to fix it.
The next day I was told my services were no longer required.
In early 2010, I started working for a company that manufactures and sells magnetic card stripe readers. 12 months later, I had just had my annual review, which was extremely positive: Id met all of my goals; had helped bring in several new customers and close new deals; had represented the company very well in the press and at trade shows; had put together a security training program to get our employees certified; and had produced some marketing videos which were very well received. However, a week after I casually mentioned to a co-worker that my wifes cancer had spread, and that she was probably not going to live through 2011, I got a call from HR: I was being terminated.
I was bewildered, and laid out the above list of accomplishments, adding, So let me get this straight. Youre firing me, even though I just had a great review, and you know that my wife is dying of cancer.
Of course we know that, [my name], thats why were doing this. We sympathize, but we have a business to run. Do you really think your mind is going to be on your work for the next, well, how many months does she have left? And we like your work, so you are free to re-apply after shes gone.
I was fired for being too good at the job I was hired to do. I was between jobs, having recently lost my job because a rich kid had bought my old company, and after promising us the moon, cherry-picked the pieces of the company he wanted and then dumped us like a hot rock. 30-year line employees out on the street, and some of them never found another job. Thats another story.
I had been hired to do some Microsoft Excel work for a company in Fort Worth that shall remain nameless. When I got there, I discovered that while the data entry part of the job would be fairly easy, it would be much easier if I tweaked the spreadsheet so that the ultimate function of the silly thing worked better. I showed the woman I was reporting to the changes I proposed, and how they would help in the long run, and of course, saved the original. She agreed, and seemed impressed.
At the end of the day I received a call at home and was told not to come back. My agent told me I was too smart for the job. Wow.
I was once fired from a job because I pointed out to my boss that we were spending an average of $30 to send a bill to a client for $.25 (yes, twenty-five cents). His response was We need to show them that they have to pay every dime they owe us. Thinking this was an illogical answer, I asked HIS boss why we were doing that. His response was: I didnt know we were doing that. Next thing I knew, I was fired because of my personality and over $1 MILLION dollars worth of invoices for an average of $1 or less were removed from the system, saving the company over $3 million in processing costs. The company went bankrupt shortly after that, and that fact still makes me smile.
I got a good one. I worked at 7Eleven just as I was graduating high school, my first job. Something like 12 weeks in, I got a call on a day I was not scheduled to see if I could come in and cover someone who didnt show up. I was visiting my mother who was in the hospital at this time, so I told them that I couldn’t and gave my boss the reason. He fired me on the spot. I was never told I was expected to be on call. I didnt steal anything, swear at any customers, or show up tardy at any point. I may have been a socially awkward teenager but thats the worst thing you could reasonably say about my performance at my first job.
A number of friends suggested pursuing a lawsuit, but it just didnt seem worth it to me. I didnt know what damages I could really prove…