Gather around as we reveal 13 real-life accounts of people sharing the blunders that led to unexpected pink slips. From cringe-worthy mishaps to honest mistakes, these stories provide a unique (and often humorous) insight into what NOT to do in the workplace:
13. Sleeping On The Job
“Built a castle out of Christmas chocolate biscuit boxes in the warehouse of a major retailer on a night shift and proceeded to fall asleep in it for a few hours.”
“A friend of mine used to work at a lumber yard as a teen. He would often climb up somewhere and take a nap during his shift. He was angry when they fired him.”
12. Poor Time Management
“Had poor time management, both getting to work and at work.”
“I’m struggling with this now, at work. I have ADHD but was managing it fairly well till having my second kiddo, since then the executive dysfunction and task paralysis are debilitating.”
11. Trying to Get Everyone Better Pay
“Tried to get better pay for my workers. Corporate did not like that.”
“The ultimate and most unforgivable sin: to take money away from rich people.”
“That’s the worst part is how ingrained the thought of “never take money away from rich people is” when it’s actually rich people taking away the value we create for them. Projection from the owning class all the way down.”
10. Going Against the Big Bosses
“I sided with the peeps under me as their manager.”
“Duuuuude I feel this one. It hasn’t ended my “career,” but siding with people under me vs people over me has definitely stymied my upward mobility.”
9. Threatening Your Colleagues
“I was opening my packages in the mailroom, using a pocket knife to slice open the package tape. Secretary came in and chatted. We’re both Italian so we gesture a lot while talking. Sometime after the conversation, the Ops manager came down from his office and escorted me out of the building. Had forgotten the knife in my hand while talking with the the secretary and she made an accusation that I had threatened her with it during our conversation. Was fired three days later.”
“Your work friends are not your true friends.”
8. Pushing Your Boss
“One of the Directors wasn’t happy with some work I’d done, started poking me hard with his finger to punctuate his comments. I punctuated back considerably more forcefully.”
“Go watch the Marines boot camp videos. Those dudes are masters of putting their finger so close to the person they can feel the heat from it but never actually touching. You can’t finger jab someone over crappy work.”
7. Putting Laxatives in Someone’s Lunchbox
“I remember a coworker of mine getting fired because he put laxatives in his own lunch bag. Some d******* kept stealing parts of our lunches. Turned out, it was our supervisor.”
“Imagine stealing someone’s food and then firing him.”
6. Putting Trust in the Wrong Colleagues
“Sent an email to someone I thought was helping me, threw me under the bus.”
“Same thing here. Stood up for myself one too many times, texted a coworker about this and some shared concerns he had also talked about with me. Coworker showed already angry boss my text. Bye bye job and career.”
5. Searching for New Jobs
“Browsing for another job while at the job.”
“That’s why you do it on your phone using your own mobile data.”
“Did that. Thankfully I got the other job.”
4. Working for Bad People
“I was a part time intern making $9 an hour (USD) and my boss asked if I had any plans for the weekend. I had said I was going to buy a new car (very much old and used as that’s what I could afford) and he asked if I was buying a brand new car. My response was that my budget isn’t big enough for a new car. A couple weeks later during my 1 year review my manager said they didn’t have the work for me and that I was disrespectful for telling the boss I didn’t make enough money.”
“You didn’t make a mistake at all. Your boss was being a p**** – how would you be buying a new car on $9 an hour? He knew how much you were getting paid and chose to ask you about a major financial decision. S**** that guy.
3. Stealing From Colleagues
“A guy I worked with was caught stealing 2 cigarettes from a colleagues bag. Was on a six-figure salary. Not anymore!”
“How can anybody be so dumb? Especially as a smoker he should be aware how other smokers are very likely to share their cigarettes with you if you just ask them.”
2. Telling Your Boss Exactly What You Think
“I sent a scathing email about my boss directly to my boss. It wasn’t meant for him. To this day I still have no idea what possessed me to put his name in the address bar. I noticed his name the exact moment I hit send. You have never felt that much panic.”
“I set my emails to delay being sent for 10 seconds after hitting the send button. It’s been useful many times.”
1. Holding Your Employer Accountable
“Not exactly a “career” but I worked in a fast food spot that didn’t have any air conditioning, and there’s a workers law where I live that states once it gets to a certain temp in the building they legally can’t stay open. I brought a thermometer to work.”
“F****** should be thanking you for helping them stay in compliance.”
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