"In 2012, I worked as a busboy at an NYC restaurant during summer between college sessions. There was a 2-day period of extreme heat and heavy rainfall that filled the sewers and started coming up the drains in the middle of the basement floors (the basement was for all the food prep, freezers, drinks and keg storage, etc). Within an hour, the gray-brown water had risen to our knees and there were HUNDREDS of roaches swimming around trying to cling on to anything for dear life (mostly our legs). It was freaking horrifying and I nearly quit on the spot but sucked it up. The restaurant stayed open the whole time and I was yelled at for not muffling my screams better."
"I was working at a gas station on Halloween. Pretty normal night. And then I see some kid walk by with his collar pulled up, he's walking a little odd. Then he walks back the way he came which is a little weird. Then I notice his friends walking up. I 'm looking at them and I see one is wearing a mask. Then I see a fire extinguisher in his hands. I start moving to the switch that controls the electric locks but sadly I reached it half a second too late. Two kids hold the doors open and this little prick unloads an entire fire extinguisher into the store. Can't see anything, the entire store is filled with powdery haze. It took 8 hours to clean up. And it turns out, the whole point was to steal an 18-pack.
We had them on camera, but the managers decided it wasn't worth pursuing I guess. Nothing came of it. None of them could have been over 17. They had two guys holding the doors open the whole time, so their friend who came in earlier (and I hadn't been paying attention to) could run out with the 18-pack. They don't pay me enough to deal with some little dipwads who can plan something as elaborate as that and then take freaking Keystone from the store."
"I was working at a bakery/coffee shop as a barista and cashier. It was just me on the floor late at night and I see a lady run to the bathroom. About 45 minutes later she runs out, gets her stuff and leaves. At this point, I'm like 'Crap, I gotta go check this out.'
So I walk in there and there are toilet paper and paper towels all over the floor and stacked on top of the toilet. So I say a few profane words and go get some trash bags and gloves. As I start moving all the paper towels and toilet paper out of the toilets and surrounding floor I noticed some blood. So now I know that was a very intense session for the lady. Then I notice that there are some unknown highly viscous fluids with some odd colors. I'm starting to get disgusted. I reach down to get the last bit and I feel something heavy. At this point, I'm ticked because I think I just picked up a human turd. Look down and I see a freaking tiny fetus in my hands.
This was on Valentine's Day. Afterward, I went to a bar for obvious reasons, and the bartender I know gets me a drink (he knows what I like) and the name of it was 'My Bloody Valentine.' Also, I realize that the lady had a traumatic experience so I'm not trying to put the focus on me - it was a bad situation for everyone involved."
"I worked at a restaurant in northern Virginia. A few of my first days on the job were the hardest but these things stuck out:
1) Second day on the job an ethnic coworker kept pranking me by taking my notebook I took orders on. No big deal, I laughed it off until the tenth time it happened and I very calmly and sternly told him 'Knock it the eff off. I'm done playing games.'
He responded by telling me he was going to stab me after my shift, as all white people are entitled scum. I then realized I was working with an insane Hispanic supremacist who I, unfortunately, got to know more about throughout the year I worked there. When I discussed the incident with a manager he disclosed that 'Oh he just says that! LOL!' I almost quit on the spot.
2) My workplace was filthy. Before the new owners bought it, there were mice everywhere and it showed. In our back room where we got drinks and such were two drawers that were stained with urine and mouse feces. When asked if I would clean it with the bussers I promptly told him, 'I get paid $2 an hour, and I'm not cleaning your disgusting bar. Hire an exterminator and a contractor because you should just rip out the whole thing at this point.'
There were other things more customer related but I was stressed out by the horrid management and coworkers way more than any customer I encountered. Screw waiting tables."
"I was 20 and I had been working at Domino's for a few years managing. It was a great job while I was in school because they were flexible with my schedule. One summer night it was very slow and three young teens walk in and ask if we sold pizza by the slice. We didn't. One of the kids asked if he could use the bathroom. I obliged because the only other bathroom around was at a gas station next door and it was really bad. I led him through the back and patiently waited and escorted him back up front.
A few minutes after they left, I went back to use the bathroom. When I flipped on the light I saw that the little jerk had peed all over - on the seat, the floor, the walls, and on the lockers. I ran outside to see if I could see which way they were headed as I was about to call the police. Much to my chagrin, I saw them across the street at another pizza place that sold slices. I locked the door and sprinted across the street.
They didn't see me coming, but I could see them laughing. SCREW THAT! I didn't get paid enough to clean up some kid's pee. I barged through the door and grabbed the little dude by the neck and dragged him, kicking and screaming back to my store. His two friends did nothing. They were in shock and probably thought they would never see him again.
When I got back to the store, the two drivers who were out on delivery were standing outside because I had locked the door. They looked puzzled to see me carrying a kid in a headlock, but they must have seen the rage in my eyes because they said nothing.
I took the kid back to the bathroom and with a bucket of cleanser, I made him clean up the pee with his own socks and wipe every inch of the bathroom down with bleach. He cried the whole time."
"My first job, at a popular fish fast-food joint, I was idealistic, wanting to do well and eager prove myself as a hard worker (mostly to myself, that part is kind of important). I basically dropped stuff into huge vats of oil all day long, removed with tongs, placed in warming area, repeat (repeat, repeat, eat little fried bits, repeat, repeat, more fried bits, repeat). Closings regularly took us into the wee morning hours (around 2 am) due to the fact that the entire floor and surfaces get coated in sooooo much oil all day long, and required major scrubbing/cleaning daily.
Three weeks into this, and getting sick of 2 am closings, I decided it wasn't for me, especially since those late nights weren't good for me as a sophomore in high school. I found another job at a toy store in the mall, same pay, no late nights. So, I put in my 2 weeks notice. It's one of my last nights on shift. A gentleman comes up to the pay area and notifies the lady at the register that the men's toilet is backed up. This place was staffed mostly by women for some reason, and this fateful night was no different. Thus it fell to me to address the issue.
So, I head into the bathroom and assess the situation. We have a toilet completely befouled and un-flushable due to a First-Encounters style mound of poop just chillin' over the hole, soaking in the poop-water from someone else's attempt to flush it down. Seriously though, the construction of this turd-monolith HAD to be a group effort, it was insane. Another flush and it would likely dump foulness all over the stall/bathroom. I don't need to describe the smell of agitated soft poo-mound do I? Totally gross, but I suck it up. I mean, this is what happens when one has a job right? (Please refer to my previous disclaimer of being young, idealistic, and eager to prove that I can handle having a job).
So, I go to grab the plunger... can't find the plunger. Head out and ask the 'ladies' if they have a plunger or know where I can find one. The look they gave me should have told me to run, but I'm young, dumb, naive, etc. One of them headed to the back to grab something. When she came back, she handed me, with a straight face, some of those industrial strength looking yellow rubber gloves. No words were exchanged, this was simply my fight or flight moment.
The conclusion is that my misguided, idealistic sense of responsibility prevailed over common sense and the toilet was unclogged (I will spare you the more visceral details).
Crappy situation, eh? Though I guess I emerged a somewhat wiser person and keep that little moment tucked away whenever I think of the value of a dollar or ever get frustrated at my job."
"About 10 years ago I spent a summer moving from temp job to temp job while on summer break from UNI. One of the jobs was in a cereal factory where they made cornflakes for supermarket owned brands. When I arrived after being sent by the job agency, they struggled to find me anything to do. As the factory was on a 'cleaning day,' I was given a screwdriver and a hammer and was told to hack away at the cereal build up in a big pipe that I could only get to through a 10 cm by 10 cm access flap.
It was so hot in there because all the extractors were turned off due to the cleaning and to top it off there was a leaky water pipe above me that periodically dripped searing hot water onto my shoulder. I still have a scar from where it burnt me.
Anyway, after about an hour I'd had enough and decided that being paid minimum wage minus the agency's cut wasn't worth it. Literally walked straight out, got in the car, and bailed without saying a word to anyone."
"I worked at Subway and had a guy come in and say he wanted a sandwich on white bread. When I asked what kind he looked at me as if I was stupid and said 'meat.'
I asked what kind and he again looked at me as if I was a complete moron and repeated 'MEAT.'
At that point, I lost it and just pointed down and yelled 'WHAT KIND OF MEAT MAN?'
And he finally got it and with a deadpan look on his face replied 'salaymi.'
The way he pronounced salami made me want to jump over the counter and beat him mercilessly over the head with stale bread."
"I worked at a well-known ice cream chain. Minimum wage. The drains that consume all of the dairy and fruit from the ice cream scoopers had been clogged for a WEEK before my manager decided to do something about it. There was grey, smelly water all over the floor behind the counter. She calls the plumber who shows up like 4 hours late to fix this drain. Well let me tell you, friends, he opened up that grate and scraped off the first layer of muck and it was like Hell itself had opened up from this drain and had viciously lashed about searching for souls to claim.
The plumber immediately sat up, trotted out to the front of our building and vomited profusely for a few minutes while my coworker and I ran to the back room. We called the manager and asked if we could go ahead and close the store for the night so that no unsuspecting customers had to be subjected to this foul decay as they walked in. She refused and also told us it couldn't be that bad and that we needed to stay and serve. We were also not allowed to leave the store to buy medical masks across the street. I sat there. Constantly nauseous. Waiting for time to pass.
FOUR FREAKING HOURS pass and we can finally close down. We get another call, informing us that we are to stay another 2 hours until the manager could get to our store to ensure the plumber did not harm any store property. I left that night with the knowledge that I just subjected myself to a serious health hazard, without safety equipment, for $7.50 an hour."
"I used to tend bar at this crappy billiards/sports bar. Sometimes this place would be dead and sometimes it would be slammed. You couldn't predict the slams either because it was a CRAPPY BAR. One day I know I'm the only person working because it's a Wednesday. I go into work even though I don't feel well because I need the money and we get slammed out of nowhere. I mean, I'm a fast bartender, but this is beyond that because I've got a line across the bar and I'm alone and sick.
The owner was there too (as usual) and he comes behind the bar to help me, but the entire time he is telling me I'm a bad bartender and how much he hates me and on and on. Now, I've worked service industry since I was 16 so I have thick skin, but paired with also feeling like crap I broke down and was crying. So now, I'm still working my butt off and crying serving people and people are just like WTF and looking at me with such PITY. Then I realized, WTF am I doing? I could definitely get a job somewhere else tomorrow. So I turned to the owner and said 'Have at it' and just walked out. Yes, I did have a job the next day."
"I used to work at the local Dunk n' Donuts, one of the busiest in my area. It was Valentine's Day which made the day a little extra busy/hectic. While working the register we hear an elderly lady yell 'Oh Jesus, did someone have a dog in here?!' in a very frightened voice.
I walk over to investigate what in the world this woman was talking about and find a nice, fresh pile of elephant-looking poop in FRONT of the bathroom. My manager looks at me and goes 'Grab the mop.'
While trying to keep in my vomit I mop up this liquidly crap pile leading into the bathroom. Some old fart walks out of the bathroom with poop all over himself and goes 'Sorry for the mess, sonny!' and hands me a $5 bill.
The inside of the bathroom looked like a murder scene only if you substituted blood for diarrhea. I definitely did not get paid enough for that crap. I guess you could say I had a pretty crappy Valentine's Day too."
"I manage a supermarket. I was working one night and a customer comes running in saying that there was a brawl outside. I pulled out my phone and rang the police as I walked outside to assess the situation. I see half a dozen local ferals throwing punches.
I start to tell the police what's happening while keeping a safe distance. Then one of the brawlers pulled out a bow and arrow. My thoughts: screw this crap, I'm out."
"I worked in a deli at a grocery store. We did cheese and meat slices and sandwiches, other food, etc. One day in the busy lunch rush while making people sandwiches someone asked for a type of meat on their sandwich that we usually don't use, it isn't in our pre-cut selections we make right before the lunch rush. Okay, I say I'll go slice some. I let my teammate I'm working with know I'll be right back, they continue making sandwiches for other people. I slice the meat and, of course, they ask for cheese not on the usual list too. I slice that up, get back over to the sandwich making area, put on their toppings, and start to ring them up. They stop me and say, no no I didn't order off your menu there, just ring me up for the meat and cheese.
Of course, that's about $2 compared to $6 or $7 for a sandwich. We argue for a moment, loudly enough for all the other people in line, and my teammate to hear. I glance at my teammate (who had been there longer than me) for help and they give the tiniest of head shakes. So I looked right at the customer and said 'You want a sandwich, you pay for a sandwich!' And threw the nice, neatly wrapped sandwich in the trash can behind me and shouted 'Next!'"
"I worked at a deli near my house. Got paid 6.50 per hour because it was owned by a church (non-profit). Not too busy of a place, in a not so busy town. Except for when said town throws its annual festival. It's the busiest weekend of the year for nearly every business on every street. Me and three other people are working frantically to keep this little sandwich machine pumping all while the place is slammed to the hilt with people.
God, the people. Just so many jerks wanting so many different things: food, bathroom, directions, etc. In the midst of the chaos, somebody drops their basket of chips on the floor, WTF... So naturally, I go to grab the vacuum from the maintenance closet. I make my way thru the crowd toward the back of the deli, which is where the closet and bathroom are located. The line for the bathroom stretched all the way to the front door. I open the closet, turn on the light and take a good a hard look at the vacuum cleaner in front of me.
Apparently, some wasted jerk couldn't wait in line, saw the maintenance closet thinking it was another bathroom, went in, noticed it wasn't a bathroom but decided it was too late, dropped trow, and just left the creamiest, most explosive poo splattered diarrhea I've ever seen all over the vacuum cleaner I needed so desperately to clean the floor that belonged to the deli that only pays me 6 and a half American freaking greenbacks per hour.
I immediately went home because I literally did not get paid enough for that crap."
"I had a lady in the drive-thru when I worked at McDonald's ask me for a 'thickshake.' I asked her what flavor and she said 'I said THICK SHAKE,' really slowly.
I repeated the question a few times different ways and she answered the same getting more and more frustrated then she yelled 'Are you stupid? I told you I just want a thickshake!'
When finally her friend in the car told her that I was trying to ask her what kind of thickshake, at which she laughed and thought the whole thing was really funny. Sure lady, I LOVE being called an idiot because of your mistake. Don't apologize or anything, I'm just a lowly cashier, I don't have feelings."
"I work at Olive Garden and had someone ask me for 'the fritta' We have Lasagna Fritta, Shrimp Scampi Fritta (classic or spicy), Artichoke Fritti, and a Chicken Fritta topping for the Cucina Mia. This was after her husband ordered 'Chicken Freeda,' which turned out to be Chicken Alfredo.
I thought maybe she was a dummy and also didn't know how to pronounce 'Alfredo,' so I asked if she was getting the same thing. Nope. 'The fritta.' Then it turned into the 'spaghetti fritta, no the raviolis...' and then points to the Lasagna Fritta picture.
What the heck. You just read the menu. Tell me the exact name of what you want and stop trying to make stuff up."