Going to work is never entirely trouble-free. That's why they call it work and not "having fun."
However, it doesn't need to be a nightmare, but some co-workers can really make it that way, especially when they are prepared to backstab their way to the top. The following people know this all too well, and share their infuriating stories of the worst co-workers ever.
One of them was even prepared to kill to get their own way!
(Content edited for clarity.)
This Was Not The Outcome That She Expected, At All
“A coworker named Andy once ratted me out to our boss because her name in my contacts was AnnoyingAndy DoNotAnswer. How did she know? She went through my phone while I was in the bathroom. Boss thought it was hilarious. Was still laughing when she told Andy if she touched my stuff again, she could pack hers and walk out the door.”
When The Bad Gets You Where You Want To Be
“When I was in my late teens, I had a job in a computer shop. I have always had trouble getting up in the mornings and I would regularly be a few minutes late to work. I know it was wrong of me to be late, but I would often stay upwards of 30 minutes after my shift to finish a job that needed doing or just help out. All the managers knew that and most were okay with it.
This one manager started to really take issue with my lateness and said he was going to dock 15 minutes pay whenever I was late, even if it was just a minute. I was like ‘okay’ and sure enough, my pay started getting docked 15 minutes every single day without fail. This went on for like 3 months.
One day said manager comes into the break room at like 9:08, telling me there is a huge queue at the service desk and I needed to go man it (my role was pretty specific at the time so nobody else could really do it). I said, ‘No can do, I don’t start getting paid until 9:15 so technically I’m not working yet.’
I’ll never forget the look on his face, it was like a mixture of rage, confusion, and defeat. Next paycheck there were no deductions and I went back to being 1 or 2 minutes late. We got on alright after that.”
Her Petty Revenge Plot Could Have Resulted In Someone’s Death
“I was running HR for a small company that ran an ADT (adult training meant for individuals with intellectual disabilities). I had two female employees who hated each other and for the sake of clarity, I’ll call them Kim and Lucy.
Now, Kim was well liked by staff and participants while Lucy had a tendency to become hostile if she was asked to do anything by others. These two would often clash but never anything that required my intervention.
One day I am the only administrator in the office and Lucy comes over complaining that she was reviewing medical records and realized that Kim missed distributing a bunch of scheduled medications to the participants. Being that our folks were on a lot of needed anti-convulsants, this was a huge problem, so I go and check it out in the record. According to the logbook and bubble packs, Kim missed almost a weeks worth of a guy’s anti-convulsants. I call the guy’s doctor who said he should be ok so there wasn’t anything to be worried about as long as he didn’t push himself too hard physically. I call Kim into the office who says she didn’t touch the meds and wanted me to check the cameras that we had monitoring the med room. As I am going through the footage, I find that Kim was right and Lucy actually went in every day with the non-verbal participant, popped the med, would drop it down the sink and then give the man a cup of water.
I call Lucy in prepared to fire her and of course, she denies it until I show her the camera footage. I then ask why she did it and she told me it was because Kim never offered to bring her coffee in the morning. This lady could’ve killed a man because a co-worker didn’t ask her if she wanted coffee.”
When Two HR Managers Go To War, One Is All That You Can Score
“I was an HR manager for a small company that shared an office with a mid-sized business. Their HR manager really disliked us, mainly because our company cultures really clashed. It wasn’t a big deal for a long time, maybe just a little tense, until one day they decided to terminate one of the shared administrative staff members. I wasn’t part of this decision, though I agreed with it, and technically that was their employee.
The other HR Manager (let’s call her Cheryl) calls me into her office to inform me the next morning that this admin had been let go. Cheryl made it clear I was not to e-mail our company’s employees and inform them of the change in employment status. As she put it: ‘They’ll find out when they get in and she isn’t here, and if they don’t, well that’s not my problem.’ Lovely. That is not how we handle communication matters in my company, and I was completely uncomfortable with it.
So I go to a VP and discuss what we should do. He says to hold off for a day, let everything settle, then go back and work out a strategy with Cheryl on how to redirect employees who used the old admin until we can hire a new one.
Most of our employees, unlike theirs, work out in the field, so it would be important to communicate with those individuals specifically, but it could hold a day. We knew that the old e-mail for the admin was being forwarded to Cheryl, so at least someone was watching the e-mails in case something critical came through. Ok, cool.
Not two hours later Cheryl comes barreling into the cubical area of our office screaming about how our employees are idiots. They clearly are too dumb to understand that the employee who was terminated the night before was no longer with the company.
She was sick of getting our stupid e-mails and didn’t want to have to deal with our incompetent employees e-mailing her non-stop. She went on to say that I was a horrible HR manager, I didn’t know how to control my people, I clearly wasn’t able to handle my job, basically just insulting me, our employees, and the entire company at the top of her psychotic lungs.
She then said that I was clearly to blame and she was going to get me in so much trouble. She goes running into the CEO’s office and starts flipping out about me. It was a complete disaster. She had completely set me up as a scapegoat in case her lovely approach to HR went wrong, and when it did immediately, tried to throw me under the bus for something she did! I believe that someone had sent the admin a time-critical e-mail the night before, and Cheryl hadn’t caught it, and the deadline had passed for the item maybe 15 minutes before she actually opened the request.
Thankfully I’d already talked to the VP, who was a lifesaver. Cheryl was reminded that whatever had happened was her own fault, and she was told behind closed doors that if she ever did that again, our company would be logging major complaints with her company, and the CEO’s of the two companies were close friends.
After that, she told every new hire they had that our company was full of lazy, entitled fools, and actively encouraged hostility between people in each company. She forbid our company from going into their part of the office, despite the shared (and partially paid for by us) soda fridge being over there. She would host ‘office lunches’ for her company, and bring the leftovers across the hall to other companies so that our employees couldn’t get some. It was the pettiest, most childish reaction to her attempt to slander me and get me in trouble.
We moved offices in under 6 months.”
The Exit Interview That Didn’t Come Soon Enough
“I was doing an exit interview with a female marketing person. As the interview came to an end she stood up and said ‘Oh, and by the way, John McPrick has been inappropriately harassing me for weeks. I thought I would mention that.’
I stopped her before she could walk out of my office because, even though she said it so nonchalantly as she was walking out of the exit interview, the other guy still worked there. The company and I would have to take it seriously and investigate. While I was pulling more details out of her, she said that he was sending her racy texts on her company phone. When I asked if she had turned the phone in yet, she told me it was in her purse. I asked her to hand over the phone, and she initially refused. After I reminded her it was company property she relented.
This is where things got REALLY shady. I looked through the first 100 texts between them, and it was definitely inappropriate material on both sides. I had to contact our cell service company and get a full dump of the messages. What we ended up printing out was a 300+ page transcript of messages between the two of them. McPrick was way out of line, for sure; but we ended up piecing together the whole story just from the text messages.
McPrick and Shady Girl started dating not long after she started. They exchanged loads of dirty text messages, and loads of racist remarks about other employees, between the two of them over the course of a few months. He dumped her and then proceeded to try and keep a Friends With Benefits relationship with her by constantly asking her to ‘just come over and get it on’ when he couldn’t find any better prospects. They went back and forth for several weeks until she found another job, and that was when she backed away from him.
Now, he definitely got what was coming to him, but she admitted to us that she only waited to tell us when she was on the way out the door was because she knew we would find out the stuff she was saying/doing as well; which would have meant she would have been fired for being making racist comments about other employees. I honestly can’t say whether she would have been fired or reprimanded had she told us sooner due to how awful his side looked, but I was glad her leaving meant we could get rid of two awful people.”
The Unkindest Cut Of All
“I was working in a call center designed to retain customers. We had to NOT cancel 75% of the services for calls that came in, which is a pretty high number.
So this girl in my team bounced this client to our Credit Team because their service was credit restricted, saying she couldn’t close it until it had been removed. Credit bounced it right back and I took it and canceled the service.
I told her, exactly, ‘Hey, just FYI, I’ve done it, but we’re supposed to close it even if it is credit restricted, just so you know for in the future.’
She immediately went to HR and complained saying that I’d called her ‘stupid’ and told her, ‘If you can’t even do your job right then I don’t know why you’re even here you idiot’ and stuff like that. The supposed ‘witness’ was someone who literally sat halfway on the other side of the floor – who claims to have CLEARLY heard me say that. But none of the people sitting between the three of us heard a thing.
This crazy girl nearly got me fired because she didn’t like being told she’d done something wrong in a perfectly reasonable way.
I later found out that SHE got fired because while off work on ‘stress leave’ as she messaged someone at work (via Facebook) asking him to log in and apply for an internal role for her. When he said he didn’t feel comfortable doing that, she went off on a massive rant ending with some choice slurs about his race, culture, and sexuality.”
A Drowning Rat Has No Friends
“I started on the same day as 2 other guys at my current company. We were temps being brought in as project coordinators for a specific project. The 3 of us got along really well. We went out to lunch together, joked around in the conference room, and had hung out outside of work.
By the time our project started, management got wind of one of us falling asleep at work and just being all around lazy. He was moved to do grunt work for full-time coordinators and we got new help. Well, he continued falling asleep and doing about 1 hr of work over the course of 8 hrs.
My boss said that when he was being fired, he tried to tell her that the other 2 of us that started with him didn’t do jack, and we had to rely on him to do all of the work. He went on to say that he was constantly fixing our mistakes and had been doing a small amount of work afterward because he had been ‘demoralized’ for getting in trouble when we did not.
Dude was full of it, and she knew it. She hired both of us on full time at the end of our project, and now we are the top performers on her team.”
No More Mr. Nice Guy
“I had a Department head in maintenance who asked me to stop an employee from smiling. You see, he decided employees could no longer read on their breaks, yet there was this one employee who started having a newspaper that would hang out of his back pocket.
My boss told me to have him stop doing that. I refused and told him what a person had in his pocket was not under our control.
Then, when this same employee started smiling at him whenever he saw him, he blew up. He ordered me to tell him to stop smiling at him. I asked him if he was nuts. ‘You want me to go out there and tell him to look sad everytime he sees you so you’ll feel better?’ I told my boss he needed to talk to HR about this request. Eventually, the company fired him after I got promoted to another factory and the next guy reported his shenanigans.”
Should Have Just Kept His Mouth Shut
“I was a general manager of a pizza joint. One of my 20-year-old shift managers came to me crying about a 35-year-old driver that had broken his bowl and flushed his weed down the toilet. He said he had taken it out of his pocket in the back of the store so he could shake the flour out of his pockets. When I asked the driver, he said it was because when he went to take a leak, he found the manager in the bathroom smoking said stash. When I check the bathroom, there is ash all over the floor between the toilet and the wall. I fired the manager for being a lying, cry baby.”
What Happens When You Backstab Your Own Career
“Some equipment went missing from our storage cabinet. It wasn’t too expensive or irreplaceable, but still, it had to be investigated. I work in a pretty small office so the number of people that could be involved was fairly limited.
So I talk to a couple of managers and employees, I try to keep it low key. Then out of nowhere a wild jerk appears and goes to my boss and accuses me of stealing the equipment (which of course I didn’t do). It happened to be someone that I had hired as a favor to a friend that referred him to me. So I had bent over backward getting him an easy job and good pay, and this is how he returned the favor.
So I talked to my boss and I asked if I could fire him and he said yes. So I fired him. He stormed out shouting to everyone in the office that he had done nothing wrong. It seemed like he interpreted it as me firing him for stealing, which just wasn’t the case. I fired him for backstabbing me.”
Just Desserts Are Best Served Cold
“I got hauled into HR because we were incredibly busy. End of the tax year and at the same time we dropped a load of new mortgage rates so we were dealing with people wanting to discuss their investments and a ton of mortgage appointments. One manager was really kicking off about losing customers as we weren’t working quick enough. For the record, we have always been told to take our time and make sure the customer has not missold a product and is confident in our information. That comes from the top.
Anyway, he pulled us into a meeting room to shout at us. Me being an eternal big mouth responded by saying ‘well this just wasted 10 minutes of our time and customer appointment time and if it’s so bad, why don’t you take mortgage appointments as you are a qualified mortgage advisor?’
A day later, I’m in a meeting with the HR manager for ‘undermining his position.’ She didn’t even make any notes on the matter. I got the feeling she massively disliked the guy. Anyway, he got fired about 6 months later for hiring two women who were under qualified because they were attractive. He gave them both personal phones and was sending them pics of his junk and lewd messages over a weekend. On Monday, they went to HR and he was marched out that very same day.”
It’s Not Us, It’s You
“I was a manager and a regular complaint from one older woman was that no one emptied the garbage can at her workstation. This went on for a while.
I finally got fed up and went to see for myself and was going to take care of it if needed.
Turned out it was a decorative pot for plants just outside her area which she used as a garbage can instead of the one inside her cubicle. Apparently she was getting perhaps either a tad blind or maybe senile.
I had one employee double check all her recent work and it turned out to be a mix of both.
We decided to get her family involved.”
Harassment Is Harassment Even When A Woman Does It To A Man
“Had an employee come to me saying he was very uncomfortable because one of the female employees kept showing him nudes on her cell phone acting like they were something else (for example: look at my new puppy! Aw, oops, shucks that’s just my lady parts hehe). She was also shamelessly flirting with him. I question the other male employees in the department and find out she has been doing it to all of them! Only one of them actually looked at her nudes on purpose. That guy was is in his 50s, married, and has twin daughters. He told me he liked it so he didn’t think she should get in trouble.
I tell the main boss this is harassment and she should be fired (if a man showed pics of his junk to female employees he would be out immediately). Instead, he gives her a verbal warning and she worked for a few more months until her husband made her quit. For informational purposes, this girl was 18 and married to a very jealous 40-year-old. She has 1 child with him and he has 3 total.”
Either You’re On Call Or You’re Not
“I used to be on a rotating on-call. If they needed someone to fill out a light shift, I’d need to log in remotely or come into the office. On-call was only a week, starting midnight Friday, ending the next Thursday at 11:59 PM.
I had just finished up my week of on-call and being on night shift, I took time to enjoy my weekend and sleep in on Saturday, which was interrupted by my supervisor, who asked me to log in remotely because I was the on-call… On my eighth day.
I sighed, got out of bed, and did work, but I talked with him afterward, stating on-call was Friday to Thursday. He argued that since the weekly on-call assignments were not emailed to the group until noon Saturday, that on-call was from Friday to the following Saturday.
I called bull because the on-call schedule was posted two months in advance, on a calendar to which we all had access to and were expected to check; the emails were more for management to conveniently know who’s on-call for which group that week.
And then I asked him that if what he said was even true, does that mean I make 8.5 days of on-call pay, as opposed to 7? To which he said no, my on-call is only a week long, and thus I’m paid 7 days.
I took this up with management to clarify the situation. I was very pleased to see the same supervisor send out an email to everyone days later, to clarify that on-call ran from Friday to the following Thursday evening.”