Everyone has had a job that they absolutely hate. Whether it's disgusting working conditions, bratty co-workers, an insufferable boss, or a combination of all three, it can be brutal to have to show up day in and day out to a job you despise. And if you've ever been pushed to the absolute brink at work, the following stories will make you feel way less alone.
Fair warning: If you say the words "fire me, I dare you" to your boss, it may not go as well as it did for the lucky people on this list.
"I was 17 and working part-time at a fast food restaurant. Someone wrecked the men’s restroom."
"The manager came out and told me to clean it. I refused. She threatened to fire me, to which I laughed in her face and told her 'You can clean it yourself or you can lose an employee and still clean it yourself. I don’t need this job.
Needless to say, I wasn’t fired and I didn’t clean that up. I still laugh thinking about it."
"When I was 17 I worked a summer holiday job at Pizza Hut."
"I was there for 5 weeks and hadn’t been paid yet. The boss claimed it was because I gave him the wrong employee number. I hadn’t.
After 5 weeks of no pay I rang him on New Years’ Eve (ie busiest night of the summer) and said I wasn’t coming to work because I wasn’t a volunteer and I wasn’t going to work for free. He told me if I didn’t go to work I may as well not come back as I would be fired. I didn’t go to work and had a fun New Years instead.
Then a few days later I called the Employment Tribunal (I’m in New Zealand) and told them what had happened. They called my boss. He then called me, offered me my job back and was nice as pie for the rest of the summer."
"I once called in sick to my part time job at Club Monaco."
"My manager told me that if I couldn't find anyone to cover my shift, I was going to be fired.
So I FaceTimed her from the ER and had the doctor explain to her that I needed an MRI cause they wanted to make sure I didn't have a brain tumor."
"Worked for Radioshack and always butted heads with the District Manager.""He wanted me to use these ridiculous sales techniques that might work in a big city but were really pushy. The year he became our DM I won a contest for best salesman in the whole company, out of about 14,000 employees, and I did it without being pushy and forcing stuff on people. He still tried to get me to use these ridiculous techniques each month when he would visit, but after I won the contest I stopped sugar coating it and would flat out tell him 'that's stupid, I'm not going to do it that way." -sonofabunch
"I'm a speech therapist. I work in a skilled nursing facility. the place I used to work, the boss was a scumbag.""To the extent that the entire rehab staff signed a letter asking to get him fired. He was basically forced out, I eventually left, and came to my current job. I swung by the rehab gym and.....saw his ass sitting in my current boss's office. I kind of froze in shock..... I thought he was interviewing for a job there. So I went to the boss at the time and told her flat out that if he got hired.....I was walking out immediately. She got a stunned look on her face and quickly assured me that he wasn't working there. That was my first time drawing a line in the sand like that." -consort_oflady_vader
"Was 19 and working a minimum wage job in a shop. Owner sold the business to a new guy, who had never worked in the industry and knew nothing about any of it. His first day in charge, he decides I look unprofessional and should be wearing a uniform."
"Then he decides the uniform should include a fluorescent cap with my name embroidered on it. I told him I wouldn’t have taken this job if it had included wearing a fluorescent cap with my name embroidered on it, but he tells me it’s going to be mandatory from now on, so I will be sacked if I don’t wear it. Fine by me, I’ll be leaving for any other job which pays exactly the same but doesn’t make me wear a ridiculous hat, and I’ll take with me my good relationships with all our contractors and suppliers, and my knowledge of how all your equipment actually works.
Reader, he didn’t fire me. Nor was I presented with a spiffy new hat when all the other employees got theirs."
"For the past few years I’ve worked at one of the “nicer" restaurants in my small beach town.""This past summer a new, very illegal, the rule was implemented that if we messed up an order in any way we would be liable to pay for that messed up food. I usually didn’t have a problem with mess ups so I didn’t bring up the legality of this matter since I make good money and don’t want to start fires in places that don’t concern me. That is until I rang in a ‘Cherry Glazed Burger’ instead of a ‘Cherry Glazed Steak’. I fixed this with the kitchen, but not before they had already started the burger. I told my manager and she just gave me a disappointed look and told me that the rules are the rules. I then dived into both federal and state workers rights codes and told her she would never see me again if I found any money out of my tips at the end of the night. Never had a problem fixing an order again." -WrestleCuck
"Was working in a restaurant, already knew I was sick but our managers were a******* and I knew if I called in they'd be extremely pissy. I showed up to work around 8 am, and by 9 am I knew I wasn't gonna last the rest of the day but managers still made me stay."
"Around 9:30 I was pre-bussing my tables and just the sight of half-eaten food pushed me over the edge. I managed to hold my vomit until I got to the dishwashing area but puked in a trashcan immediately after putting my plates down.
A coworker saw me and vouched for me. When I went to tell my manager I was leaving for the doctor, he said, 'Even with a doctors note, if you leave work today you'll be fired.' I said, 'You have human waste in a kitchen trashcan and haven't even done anything about it. It's on camera. I'm leaving.'
Showed up for work a few days later and didn't hear anything about it. Ended up quitting a few weeks later for a job at a couple considerably higher scale restaurant."
"My dog became very ill quite suddenly and he needed to be put down, I was at work and I asked to leave half an hour early so I could be there for him."
"I asked my manager and she got annoyed and said there was "no way" and that I should have told her earlier. I said "I'm sorry I didn't realize my dog was going to die" in the most sarcastic way possible then walked away knowing she'd follow me. I then stood at my desk and typed my resignation up in front of her.
She gave me the time off. No one was going to stop me from being there for my boy."
"Worked at a cancer nonprofit."
"Hired a lady who knew about us because her kid had cancer. Boss wanted me to fire her because she had to come in late or leave early to take her kid to chemo.
I refused. Boss said she'd fire me if I didn't. I told her she could go right ahead. Our CEO said no way."
"Not me but my dad. He was delivering catering to an office one day and the receptionist obviously f***** up. "
"She was yelling at him in front of her bosses saying that he was too late (on time with proof) and that the order was wrong when it wasn't. She was making such a big issue of it and then said she was going to report him to his manager and get him fired.
So my dad said 'See if I care' and gave her the number. She called and my dad picked up because he is not the manager but the owner. Everyone in that room was laughing at her."
"The place I work sees a lot of cash flow in and out, to the tune of 10's of thousands of dollars a day."
"We also have a tiny store on property that brings in about $50 a day. It's more a courtesy than it is an actual source of income. But because of it, we have a small cash drawer for making change and taking in profits. It has just under $300, and it's normal for it to be over or under by a little bit because again, the shop isn't really how we make money.
My old manager, however, had no business skills. She decides to do an "audit" one day behind our backs and counted it up. It happened at the time to be short by $10. This is nothing. That money was probably in the safe. She called me in the middle of the day (when as a graveyard shift employee is when I sleep) to bitch me out over $10 and telling me to bring it in.
I told her if I have to drag my ass in there at 2 in the afternoon, I'm bringing the money in quarters. She had a tantrum on the phone, so I hung up on her, called her manager and told him point blank: You can't afford to lose me, I'm the best you've got, and I'm the only guy you have who is willing to work the graveyard shift. I'm this close to quitting on your ass. What will you do to make this right?
He called her and chewed her ass out. She did not speak to me for 2 months. It was glorious."
"Told my boss 2 weeks in advance that I was taking PTO on Monday and Tuesday. She approved it no problem. I take the days off and went out of town for a school thing."
"I come back into the office on Wednesday and I'm locked out of my account. I talk to the operations manager (my boss's boss) who was the person who interviewed and hired me to see what's going on. He told me that my boss said I disappeared and didn't contact anybody for 2 days. I explained it to him and he said no problem. I talk to my boss later in the afternoon and she is furious.
Starts saying how I didn't tell anybody that I was taking PTO and thought I just suddenly quit. I told her 2 weeks ago that I was going to be out those two days and I have the emails to prove it. This b**** had the audacity to threaten to fire me. I said, 'If you feel like you need to let me go for your mistake, go ahead'. Ended up working there for another 7 weeks before leaving on my terms."
"I used to work at a small, family owned grocery store for a few years."
"We got our load in on Mondays and Thursdays, and we got passed over one Monday and the distributor said we'd get the missing load in on Thursday. So, what essentially happened was a double load and my two receiving partners were out sick. I was the only person in the warehouse/receiving at the time, and got to take on 15+ pallets of groceries that needed to hit the shelves immediately.
I put in my earbud, just one, and get to work. I'm halfway through checking in the pallets when I get called up front. So I ignore it and continue. Then I get called again. So I head up there and get yelled at by a new hire with a bad attitude to "do your job and bag for me!" The customer was a regular and we got along very well, and she told me that she was fine and could bag her own groceries.
Between the customer and the fact that I wasn't having it, I walked away. Then I get the newest hotshot manager in my face about having an earbud in on the clock (which is allowed as long as you have on ear free) and said I could be sent home and not come back if I wanted to listen to music. I gestured to the pallets and said "go for it, these all need to be checked in and broken down. Have fun."
I got to keep my earbud in."
"I had been working a series of split shifts and the wacky sleep schedule was really getting to me."
"I was told I would only need to do it three days in a row, but then it became four days...and then finally when I went to sleep after the 4th shift I got woken up to my boss calling me and telling me I would have to work one more split shift.
I told him 'No' and that I would come in for my usual schedule. He started to argue with me and asking me why it was a big deal. When I explained I was having issues with sleep he was like, 'But it's your job! I am scheduling you for another split shift. I just yelled at him, 'Then I don't need this job!'
He started apologizing and that he would let me get some sleep. I hung up."
"A "manager" threatened to fire me because I wouldn't make some system changes that would have led the company very open to a cyber attack."
"I had recorded a phone call between the manager and me where I explained the risk and that we needed someone more senior to sign off on that risk before I would make the change. He swore at me and told me just to f****** do it which was all captured on the recording.
He didn't know I was recording.
At the HR meeting where he was going to effectively fire me, I insisted on bringing representation and at the time the policy said I could bring whoever I wanted. So I chose his boss.
The meeting starts, the "manager" cites insubordination, etc and I just sat there. When they eventually said they were giving me formal notice, I just asked 'Are you sure?' He replied 'Yes.' It was at this point I played the recording.
I was asked to leave the room, then called back 15 mins later, apologized to, given a pay rise and informed that the "manager" will no longer be working on this client site."
"I worked for Burger King at one point and had salmonella."
"I couldn't find anyone to cover for me (I was scheduled for a long, understaffed shift with the most obnoxious supervisor). My boss said I had to come in anyway.
So I went into work, threw up in a lobby full of people, and said 'I have salmonella but my boss wouldn't let me have the day off.' I got the day off, and I found another, more reasonable job shortly after."
"My 22nd birthday I was working at a bookstore in the King of Prussia Mall. My college girlfriend of 4 years had broken up with me earlier that night."
"It was around 7-8 pm on a busy weekend night when I noticed a pretty awful smell. I glanced over at my manager working the other register and could tell he smelled it too, but we continued to power through a line of antsy customers.
Once we cleared the line a woman came up to me red-faced and laughing in shock and embarrassment. She said she had walked into one of the aisles to find a girl about 8 years old taking a crap on the floor.
I looked over at the manager who clearly had heard as well and said, 'Dave, you can go ahead and fire me, but I’m not cleaning that up.'"
"Was a resident assistant in college, didn't drink."
"Hung out with others (all RAs, senior RAs, resident directors) who were of age, and did drink.
In our school, the policy was, 'can't have alcohol when underage people are with you' - but literally everyone in the building knew I didn't drink.
One of the RDs who didn't like me called security on the party he wasn't invited to. It got into a big thing where the quad coordinator got called in, and I was summoned to her office. I was ready to be fired, but I would have been killed by my parents as I couldn't afford housing.
The entire party of RAs and highers came with me to the office. They all said, 'If he's gone, we're all gone.'
The quad coordinator was overwhelmed, knew she couldn't replace 12/15 of her staff, then gave up and said, 'I'll pretend as if nothing happened, and you will no longer be working simultaneously with [narc RD]'".
"As I was studying in Paris, I also worked night shifts in a hotel near the Hôtel de Ville district."
"I worked from 8 pm to 8 am several nights in a row. The hotel was very busy as it was a very touristic area so getting 4 hours of sleep over the total 4-5 nights was usual. It happened several times a week that the hotel manager simply forgot to relieve me in the morning, so I'd be falling asleep on the counter as they came 2 or 3 hours late. When I politely remarked that I'm tired and that they're late again, he'd simply laugh it off and say 'I guess we forgot about you'.
Finally, I decided to pass a job interview for some other work, that essentially happened during the day, so I'd finally sleep my nights. When I found out that they accepted me in that new job, I waited until my shift should've started that Friday evening and phoned that manager waiting for me to relieve him at the desk.
'Oh hello, I just called to say that I got a new job from next Monday, so I'm not coming tonight, nor ever.'
'What do you...but you can't... why didn't you say something sooner?'
'I guess I forgot about you.'"
"Working retail, I was department manager over six departments (with no backup) including electronics. I also ran return desk on my own, and was one of two front end managers."
"One day, I was asked to clean the restroom. I asked why our janitor couldn't do it. They said they were "busy". I listed off my responsibilities and said 'I'm the busiest one in here'. They insisted. I humored the idea and went to take a look. And that's when I saw it.
The women's restroom. The floor was covered in urine. But... none of the toilets had overflowed. One, however, had a literal pile of s*** that went at least 8" past the toilet seat. And there was s*** all over the counters, walls and other toilets.
I said back on the radio 'Nope. Not doing this. This is where I draw the line. Not my job.' She then insisted I had to, that it was part of my responsibilities as co-front end manager to assist in any way. I said 'You're just an assistant manager. You sit back in the office all day and aren't out here doing anything. You do this'.
She said 'We need to go to the office, now.'
I said, 'If you're going back there to write me up, you might as well just fire me. I'm not doing this, and that's final.'
In the end, they found someone else. The janitor. Who had like 15-20 minutes left of their break."
"I was working in the service industry and one of my customers ordered something that had since been reworked on the menu."
"I could tell he didn't like it but didn't want to complain. I told my manager exactly that and she got mad at me because he didn't actually complain. She yelled at me about how I couldn't know what he was thinking, so I asked her to just go talk to the guy and if I was wrong she could fire me.
You'll never guess exactly what the guy said to her. She didn't look me in the eye for over a month."
"I worked at a Cheeburger Cheeburger for 5 years out of high school while I got my degree."
"I started as a dishwasher and by year 3 was the shift leader and working the grill on rushes on Sat/Sun. Fast forward to about 7 pm, the height of the rush. I have at least 15 tickets on the grill with at least 10 hanging on the ticket machine. We were always told to keep tickets to 15 minutes. I may not have been 100%, but I would say 80% of those tickets went out on time and CORRECTLY.
The manager on staff at the time then proceeds to storm back to the line and scream in my face 'THE LAST TWO TICKETS WERE 18 MINUTES ANDY, GET IT TOGETHER OR GO HOME'.
I look at her and say 'I'm doing the best I can with what I got, Mary'. She responds and says 'Well, your best isn't good enough'.
I look her square in her stupid face and say 'If you can do better, go ahead. I bet you can't though'. And I stood there and stared at her. It felt like an hour, but someone else on shift said it was about 15 seconds of us just staring at each other, as the kitchen slowly goes to s*** around us.
Mary said nothing and walked away. Never heard another word about and worked there for another 2 years."
"I was asked whether I put my barista job first in my life before anything else (including relationships/family/education) during an argument with the cafe owner after asking for 1 hour off my 10 hour day to go to a meeting."
"I responded with 'no' (because, obv) and he yelled at me saying I don’t deserve the job, have no work ethic (despite going above and beyond to fix his mistakes and being the only reason half the customers stayed), I’m stupid (for being religious) and that I signed a contract to devote my life (not kidding, he said that) to this job. He finished by saying 'Other people would love to have this job if you’re not going to take it seriously.'
I didn’t say it, but I should have right then said 'Fire me, I dare you'".
"I left my water cup at the Nurse’s station when my patient’s heart-rate and oxygen monitors starting going off."
"I was taking care of a newborn with suspected brain damage from an intrauterine injury. He was a high risk for choking but so far was doing ok eating. I was walking into the unit from the break room when the alarms sounded so I put my cup down to go check on him. Infection Control walked through not 2 minutes later, took a photo of my cup, confiscated it, then got my manager. My manager told me it was a fireable offense to ignore infection control policies.
Firing a 30 wk pregnant nurse for putting down her water cup on the desk to save a tanking baby? Go ahead."
"Worked at a small software development firm and I screwed up something big. Can't recall what it was."
"The owner of the company came round and stared at me, the mug of coffee in his hand. It was a perfect Office Space moment. After a bit, he finally said, "after that boneheaded mistake, I should have you drug tested."
I turned to him and said "actually, I'm probably the only person in this company who can pass a drug test. And I know for a fact that includes you."
He stared again, turned, and walked off without saying a thing."
"I worked at a Goodwill for close to 3 years, at the time I was working as a cashier.""We were supposed to try to greet every customer upon entry. One day a guy from higher up in the company came in and wrote me up for not greeting him. I was stocking at the time, and the front entrance was to my left. Funny enough, I’m deaf in my left ear and the battery on the door buzzer badly needed to be changed. So, I had no idea the guy had even come into the store. Most people knew of my disability, yet I got called into the manager's office and lectured that I would be fired if this happened again. I said 'Yeah, go ahead, fire me. Good luck explaining to everybody that you, a company that brands itself on hiring employees with disabilities, fired a deaf guy for not being able to hear.'" -johnsonstein17
"Worked as Benefits Admin in the HR department at a mid-sized company.""Boss had comprised a list of female employees who were going to be taking maternity leave within the next month or two. Called a meeting with me one afternoon and told me I had to figure out a way to fire all of these heavily pregnant women so they wouldn't "suck our benefits dry" for their year (Canadian standard) of maternity leave. His wife was nine months pregnant at the time... I called him on it and he became belligerent and told me if I couldn't get the job done, someone else could. I quit, told the CEO why in my exit interview, and the boss was fired for unethical practices." -DubbMcLuvin8885
"Right before the start of my shift my mother had fallen down a flight of stairs and needed to be taken to the emergency room.""Having at least enough forethought and courtesy I called up my manager to let them know I wouldn't be able to come in. My manager then said 'Well I need you to call around and find someone to cover your shift.' Mind you I've graduated college at this point and have a degree and mostly was just doing this job to have some fun money until I got a real position in Engineering. I've had it and just growled into the phone 'I just told you my mother has fallen and has been hurt and that I need to rush her to the hospital. At what point during that sentence did you think I had the time to do your job' and proceeded to hang up. I figured I would deal with the repercussions the next day. They never came." -MechEng88
"Got called to a breakfast meeting with HR and my direct supervisor where I was asked for my resignation due to my attitude with the office staff who barely know anything about their job let alone mine."
"I looked him dead in the eye in front of HR and said 'You're asking for my resignation because the CEO won't let you fire me, right?'
Three years later I still work here and now have a position better than my direct supervisor had at the time."