Chuck E. Cheese is supposed to be a wonderland for kids, but according to the people who work there and places like it, "wonderland" isn't the way they'd describe it. Between the parents trying to start fights, people trying to rip them off, the endless stream of bodily fluids, and wearing the mouse costume, these workers have LOTS to complain about. Here are some horror stories that are all the more scarier because they're absolutely, totally, true.
Just Scratching The Surface
“I worked there for 5 years. Here’s a few of the things I can think of off the top of my head:
-A couple was busted doing coke off one of the tables.
-One of the servers once dropped a pizza that had just came out of the oven. He put it on the tray to take out and dropped the tray, top down, on the floor. It was busy as all get out, so the server took the spatula, went all the way around the pizza, and flipped it over. The pizza LOOKS PERFECT. He looked at it and said, ‘Forget it!’ and served it to the party. About 10 minutes later, he was called to the table about the pizza he brought out. They said it was the best pizza they’d ever had.
-A group of adults had a birthday party for their dolls. They brought them in, bought cake, pizza, and tokens, and made the server take their order.
-All the sexual acts between the co-workers. One of the manager’s kids was conceived there, in fact.”
A Highly Unfortunate Attraction
“Where do I start… I guess the best one was a customer who had lost touch with reality and fallen in love with the animatronic Helen (the bird) that was on our stage. He brought her an engagement ring at one point, and was banned from the establishment.
There was also the time my friend was in the mouse suit, forgot to strap the head on, and had it fall off in front of a birthday party of children. There was a lot of screaming and crying involved.”
Too Bad About Your Birthday, Kid
“I was the horror story in this case. I worked at Chuck E. Cheeses and one day, I was asked to go ‘wake up Chuck E.’ for a birthday party (this meant I had to go put on the suit and take some pictures and dance). So I go to put on the suit and I come out to the party and the kids are so excited to see me. I did my little dance and the groups of kids wanted a picture with Chuck E. I had a cold and I wasn’t really feeling well, and the inside of that Chuck E. suit is hot. So, I passed out mid picture and dropped to the floor. When I came to, ALL the kids were crying hysterically and yelling, ‘Chuck E.’s dead!’ My coworker dragged me by my shoulders into the back room. I ruined three birthday parties that day.”
Brawls Are More Common Than You’d Expect
“I worked at CEC for 2 years. Absolutely loved it. The common thing I got was, ‘How do you deal with all those bratty kids?’ The answer is simple: the kids are NOT the problem. It’s the adults.
So, I started during the end of the summer. When 4th quarter came around, our busiest time of year, I volunteered to cover a friend’s shift. It was my first weekend in the 4th quarter as a birthday party host. We are at full capacity with a wait. It’s freaking packed. At cake time, CEC hosts will do a song and dance. During this delightful performance, I see a rather large woman punch another woman in the face. All of a sudden, the entire balcony is involved in this fight. Someone jumps on top of the balcony ledge and does a freaking wrestling move on someone else (all adults). Of course, there are kids around though, because it’s freaking cake time! Some of the people on the floor next to the balcony are getting hit, but most everyone was able to walk away. Unfortunately, a little baby newborn ended up getting hit with something.
We only had one manager on duty and he called the cops quickly. It ended up taking several cops to break it up. Everyone’s meals were comped. And ever since that incident eight years ago, CEC hired county sheriffs to stand around as security from Thursday to Sunday every week.”
Clean Up Can Be…Challenging
“I was a Chuck E. Cheese Star Cast Member for awhile. Fifteen minutes before I was going to leave on break, a child peed inside of the crawl tubes. There was a general manager onsite who proceeded to tell me if I didn’t clean it up, I shouldn’t bother coming back. Needless to say, I crawled up through alternating plastic floors to find out that it was not only piss, but also poo.
Since it was Chuck E. Cheese, we did not use normal cleaning products that would have made the clean up easy. We had a non-toxic sanitizer and a pink cloth that was porous.
After spraying the poo multiple times to sanitize it, I went in to scoop it up. This was when I realized I made a terrible mistake… Poo was flowing through holes in the wipe. It was like one of those toys with the Playdoh hair. Once the job was finished, they gave me five minutes to eat in the break closet.”
“Even After Warning Them About The Animatronics, Parents Still Did Nothing”
“I just recently quit working at Chuck E.
Vomit and poop was a thing, but that really shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. But, we would find things like empty beer cans, fried chicken bones, or rubbers disposed of on the bathroom floor. Also, parents would let their children on stage to play with the animatronics. Even after asking them to stop and warning them that the animatronics would literally maim or kill their children, the parents would continue to let them play up there.
I have seen some scary parenting situations, as well. There was one occasion where two girls came up to me and said they were lost, so our procedure was to take the lost children to the front of the store and make an announcement on the intercom for the parents. I stayed with these girls for almost half an hour, and we were ready to call the police when their mom showed up. She had ‘just gone out to the car for a minute’ and left them there alone. These girls were no older than 4 or 5, definitely not old enough to be left by themselves in an area full of randoms and no supervision. She yelled at them for coming to an employee for help and making her look bad. There were also countless times when I was working a cashier, where a parent would pay their bill and say something to the child(ren) along the lines of, ‘This is really expensive so you’d better enjoy yourself.’ I can understand that everyone has financial concerns, but making a kid feel guilty about your own irresponsible financial decision is so disgusting.
Honestly, the worst part wasn’t the kids or parents, but the deplorable working conditions the company had us under. We would have two people running the entire store on weekday afternoons, and if you’ve been to CEC you know there is one person who is always stuck at the front doing the hand stamps. So, that left one person to be cashier, game room attendant, prize counter, cook, waiter, you get the idea. Every hour on the hour, someone had to get in that costume and make an appearance, and so that left one sole employee stuck standing at the front. They also had a lot of really ridiculous rules and expectations, and I saw coworkers fired for things like getting caught on camera playing an arcade game on their break, or eating a piece of cake with the birthday kids when their parents offered.”
“Don’t Let Your Kids Run Around Barefoot”
“The one I worked at was apparently the best-run one in the area, so we got people coming in from up to two hours away. So we were always over capacity and under-staffed.
1) Kid pooped on the slide. Someone had to climb the slide to clean it while other kids up top kept trying to come down.
2) Don’t let your kids run around barefoot. Every inch of the carpet has been covered in every bodily fluid known to man, and probably some unknown. Look at any kid wearing white socks. See how dirty they are? Those carpets are vacuumed every night, but only washed on Christmas Day (only day we were closed).
3) I did kid check a lot because I was good at faking cheerfulness. There were three separate occasions where parents tried to beat me with their strollers (kids inside) for asking to see their stamps.
4) Holidays. The worst manager was on duty and he sent home everyone so we only had a skeleton crew. One kitchen, one game room attendant, one cashier, no kid check or showroom. He didn’t stop people coming in when we hit capacity. It became as densely packed as a mosh pit. People were overflowing into the kitchen. Everyone was mad because we couldn’t even get out to serve food. These three kids were camping the salad bar and just shoveling into the hard boiled eggs. They’d eat the entire pot immediately. I got stuck in the back prepping salad bar. I couldn’t keep up with the egg demand. Entire stock (week’s worth) was gone in an hour. Kids clogged the soda fountain drain and used token cups (fingers plugging the holes) to drink the overflowing swill. Don’t know what happened after, because I was also sent home and booked every holiday off after that.
5) Just assume all your worst nightmares about the kitchen are true. The mozzarella sticks, wings and fries are straight to the oven from the freezer. They’re the safest things to eat. We used to ‘paint’ finished pizzas with fake garlic butter. I think it was canola oil mixed with salt and MSG. Just a giant vat of that, with a big glorp sloshed all over the pizza.
6) I was never supposed to be in the Chuck E. costume, I’m too short. But once we were short staffed, had three birthdays, etc. Got in Chuck E for the show, kid grabbed the nose and climbed me. I was supporting an eight year old’s weight with my neck.
7) Cops called every day. Birthdays make people violent and insane. Once, two birthday moms were fighting and one stole the knife from our kitchen, threatened the other mom, had it confiscated, then went back for the knife and repeated it. They were fighting over a single chair. There were dozens of empty chairs five feet away.
8) Birthday with 75 adults, 50 kids. Started at 8:30 pm, ended at 1:30 am. We close at 11. EVERY game was displaced. Tables were flipped in the showroom. Showroom and game room 3 were 100% covered in neon pink something. One guy licked it, was frosting. Had to clean 125 people’s worth of frosting off two areas. The men were also constantly stealing from behind the counter, but the manager was cool with it because of how much the party was bringing in. The birthday girl? Two years old.
9) Was doing merch (ticket/prize counter). No calculators, so I was running four separate guests’ accounts mentally. One guest was furious that I took longer than 0.5 seconds to deal with her constantly changing her mind and began berating me for being ‘stupid’ and in her day they kept people like me out of polite company, etc. Luckily my manager was beside me and ripped into her.
10) Women’s bathroom always looked like a diaper, pad and toilet paper nuke went off in it, but, whatever, they’re easy enough to pick up. Men’s room always had poo and 1″ of piss on the floor. Men’s room had poo writing, poo footprints (yes, foot, not shoe) and more fun stuff. Diapers stuffed in weird gaps in the pipes where they couldn’t be removed without tearing them open. Women’s room = always bad, but predictably so. Men’s room = either great or awful, and always a special kind of awful.
Most of the stories are just too-stupid-to-live customers though. Honestly, you stop hearing the screaming and games by your second hour into a shift.”
“They Got Me, Darn It. They Got Me”
“So, when I worked at Mr. Cheese’s establishment, I was delighted to get to partake in the honored tradition of ‘being the mouse.’ My mother ran a daycare out of our house for a lot of my childhood, so I enjoyed making kids laugh, and was pretty good at getting them to listen. I thought I’d be good at it.
One day, I was the rat, and this kid…this kid was just standing, looking at me. He was somewhere in the 8-10 age range, and he looked real nervous to be around me. My heart bled, someone was scared of the rat, time to cheer this kid up. I did the whole shy act, wave, all that. The kid started laughing, opening up. I put my hand out for a high-five, he returned, all was right and good with the world.
‘Chuck E?’ I heard him murmur. ‘Can I have a hug?’
I responded with an over exaggerated nod and opened my arms. This kid opened his arms, took two steps close to me, and suddenly screamed, ‘NOW!’
He dodged out of the way, just in time to miss his friend’s fist punching me square in the stones.
As the first shockwave hit me, I realized that I had been had bested by psychopath children. I ran into the kitchen, into the freezer, and told my boss what happened. I have no idea if he kicked them out of the store. I was too busy icing my balls through a costume of a mouse wearing a backwards baseball cap.
They got me, darn it.
They got me.”
“They Never Asked Me To Wear The Costume Again”
“Worked there twenty years ago as a game technician. I’d get pulled out of my repair room to help understaffed areas, which I didn’t really mind much. They asked me to be the rat one time. I’m 6’7”, so everything that was supposed to be baggy was comfortable, like that episode of the Simpsons where Homer goes to clown college. So I walked out there, over 7′ tall with the head on and wearing my own shoes since the suit ones were too small. Children started crying and running away. The poor kid who was there for his birthday pooped himself. So they immediately pulled me into the back room and got a guy from the kitchen to take over. They never asked me to do it again.
My second favorite story was the time the girl I was helping into the suit vomited in the head. So I took it from her and start carrying it outside to hose it off. Once again, the kids started crying. I guess I should have been aware that bringing the severed head of Chuck E. Cheese across the floor could cause some panic in our young customers.”
“So Please Kids, Don’t Run”
“We didn’t have a Chuck E. Cheese where I grew up, but I did work at another family fun center. It was a small pizza parlor/mini golf place with an arcade and pool tables. I started there when they introduced the laser tag arena. I was 15 when I was hired and I helped set up the system and maintain computer functionality. Since this wasn’t full time, I refereed laser tag games to work extra hours. To get the full picture of how horrible this is, you have to know a bit about the area. The town has a few very large craft breweries. One in particular had a beer that was 11% (not common in bars around 2005). It was very common for a group of college kids to roll in, chug a few pitchers of 11% beer, and then decide to play laser tag with a large group of children. We tried to separate groups as much as possible, but the laser tag was very popular, and we weren’t allowed to turn down people from playing at a specific time just because they were older. Now I’ve seen kids crap and pee in the arena. I’ve seen older guys throw up in back corners. What I saw one day, beat all that.
So, I’m refereeing a game. One rule which may seem crazy in a small, dark room, only illuminated by black lights, was that you could not run. Liability stuff. Well, people ran anyways and refs did what they could to stop people. One day, we have a group of 3 college kids who we put up against a group of about fifteen 10-year-olds. The college kids were drunk, and the kids wanted to be on the same team, so it seemed fair. First few rounds, everybody was having a good time. Older kids were playing nice, younger kids were dominating and having a blast. Then one of the older kids got upset about losing 3 rounds in a row. He decided that he was faster than these kids, so he could out run them to not be shot. Well, most arenas have obstacles that are very hard to see through. And one obstacle happened to have a kid behind it.
I was standing about 5 feet away when the frustrated older kid came around the corner. The college kid noticed the younger kid and tried to move around him, but it was too late. What resulted was a kid getting pushed to the side a couple feet and a young man trying to jump and dodge the kid, but instead slamming into a wooden wall head first. This lead to blood splattering on the wall, which I had never seen before. The college kid was not moving, but after hitting the wall and his head busting open, he threw up. So now we have vomit and blood in a very large area (which happened to be by the main exit). The kid on the other hand was okay, but he was so freaked out by the blood, that he started crying and pooping. Now we have too many bodily fluids flowing around and an ungodly smell. After the sudden shock wore off, I immediately stopped the game. Ran out of the arena and told the front desk girl to call for emergency services. I went back inside to escort people out of the arena but found that none of the kids would walk passed the disaster that now blocked the exit. I decided to lead the group out the emergency exit, which triggered an alarm. I now have a horrendous scent behinds me as well as several screaming kids and an alarm going off.
Eventually, kids get out. Older kid goes to the hospital with his friends. Parlor stops servicing 11% beer. An age restriction is set on laser tag. And I spent a long time cleaning up what looked like the underground slime river from GhostBusters 2. So please kids, don’t run.”
That’s Not Rain…
“Not Chuck E. Cheese, but when I was a teenager, I worked at a similar kid’s fun place with tubes/ball pit/video games/screaming children.
As part of our elaborate play tube system, we had this really cool netted section that happened to be located directly over the area where people who had scheduled a birthday party waited to go into the special birthday room.
So, yeah, one day a little kid with bladder control issues just totally gave like 20 people an impromptu golden shower. Kids, moms, dads, the birthday boy; everybody got peed on.
And then I got to go search the tubes for the peeing kid who had immediately run off to hide. Wasn’t hard to find her. There was literally a trail of urine to follow.
Wish I could say stuff like that was an isolated incident, but if there’s anything I learned from my time there, it’s that kids are weird and gross. On one occasion, we caught them playing the world’s most disgusting game of dodgeball in the women’s restroom with used tampons they found in the little trash cans from the stalls.”
It’s Not The Tweens, But The Tots You Have To Watch Out For
“Way back when I worked for Showbiz pizza, very similar setup, I think they eventually merged with Chuck E. Cheese. Their main character was ‘Billy Bob,’ a singing bear. Occasionally, I had to wear the Billy Bob costume to go out to the birthday parties. Billy Bob came out when the server took out the birthday cake to the party. Most kids were fine, but there were two types that were problematic.
The first were some ‘tweens,’ usually boys, whose parents didn’t quite accept that their darlings were a bit too old for a birthday party at Showbiz. These kids were mean, they knew it was just someone wearing the suit, and they’d hit you to try to make you yell/talk (a big no no). The suit absorbed most of that, but it did teach you to be wary of kids that age.
Worse were the occasional 3/4/5-year-olds that mom & dad would send running out in the isle to hug Billy Bob. You wouldn’t think these kids would be a problem, but ‘bear’ with me for a minute.
First, let me explain the intricate workings of the Billy Bob costume head. First off, you looked out through the ‘eyes’ of the head, they were made of a very fine, see-through mesh. The problem was they were about 2″ in diameter, about 6″ from your head. Imagine your vision reduced to looking through two toilet paper rolls, and you’ll get the idea. Serious tunnel vision. On top of that, the head actually rested on your shoulders, so your own personal head could turn inside without moving the costume head. This meant that to change your view, you had either turn your body, for right & left, or bend at the waist to look up or down. Finally, having your head fully enclosed, and being in a very noisy environment, with people talking, kids yelling, music playing, and arcade & skeeball games making a racket, let’s just say that your hearing wasn’t the best either.
So anyway, I’d be done with the party, and be be-boppin’ down the aisle to head back to change out of the costume, when bam, I’d run into something that, unsurprisingly, I couldn’t see. Ok, back up a step or two, bend at the waist to look down, and there, sitting on floor, was a surprised and usually close to tears toddler. They had run into the aisle (below my range of vision), thrown open their arms, and said ‘Billy Bob!’ Which, of course, I couldn’t hear. They were expecting a hug, but instead ole Billy Bob just ran into them and knocked them down. Of course, you’re not allowed to say anything, because you can’t do the Billy Bob voice. Do you know how hard it is to pantomime ‘Billy Bob is so sorry he ran into you?’ I’d feel awful because the poor kids always looked so hurt, not so much being knocked down, but that Billy Bob didn’t notice them. Bet some of them went on to become early cynics about Santa Claus, too.”
All That And The Pizza Sucks, Too
“I can tell a couple quick and dirty stories after working there for three years which was basically my first job…
I worked in the kitchen as the crew leader, but we were such a close group of employees for whom nothing there was secret.
-One time an exotic dancer got hired for the show room and she told me that the manager used to sneak her and her dancer friends in after hours for private shows.
-There was an assistant manager who got fired right before I was hired- he was known to take money out of the safe, buy a bunch of drugs, flip it and then return the money to the safe later that night.
-We had a gang fight. I was in the kitchen cleaning up and three guys violently spilled into the kitchen rolling around on the ground throwing blows. We had an employee who was trying to leave the gang life behind and rivals had recognized his tattoos and decided to jump him. Luckily, the customer who started the fight didn’t use the knife the cops found on him when they showed up.
-Older kids would beat on the costumed characters all the time. I don’t know what it is about those costumes that made little kids, the evil ones anyway, want to hit them. One time the girl that was in the Chuck suit came running into the kitchen crying after someone had slammed her on her back hard enough to leave a bruise.
-Once, when working the ticket prize counter, a father threatened to ‘break my freaking neck’ because he thought I was rude to his son. Another time, I watched a man back-hand his 16-year-old daughter for an unknown reason. I did not speak their language, so I don’t know what she did to get smacked. A game room employee almost got hit by a parent who was not happy about the employee stopping their delinquent child from running up and down the Skee Ball Lane.
Every day at that job was an adventure and we were always busy – weekends were usually booked solid with parties and insanely busy all day long. It was hard work, minimum wage, long hours and greasy uniforms but I made some lifelong friends and it was a great first job because it taught me how to work: There was no slacking off when we were busy, those pizza orders piled up very fast and you couldn’t get behind. It was a great first job. Everyone should have to work foodservice at least once in their life.
And yes, the pizza sucked. That’s what happens when you buy the cheapest ingredients possible.”
People Just Don’t Know How To Act In Chuck E. Cheese
“Worked during high school as a game tech/ guy who cleans up after crappy customers at a CEC in Mississippi.
-First week on the job working without someone watching me, I had to physically get in-between a young guy and an elderly lady while they were fighting. The lady stole three tickets from dude’s daughter and threw them in her face when I told her to return them. I’m a small guy and my GM thought it was hilarious when I told him. Definitely not something I was expecting to do.
-Had an overweight woman cuss me when I told her she was too large to ride a kid’s ride. That one was funnier than anything!
-People trying to leave their kids while they shop. Other people getting angry when we had to go on a wait and cussing me or the girl working at kid check.
-I was taking a quick poo/check text messages/ mini break in the bathroom one day and the little kid runs into the bathroom and jiggled the stall door and I said, ‘It’s taken.’ So he got down on his hands and knees, climbed under the door and into the stall with me. I’m like, ‘Get outta here, kid!’ And he just stared at me until his mom came and yelled for him to get out.
Now, the Chuck E. suit.
For the record, I was in it a lot and all the other employees said I was the best at it so I did nearly every party and show that came on when I was working. I never minded because it gave me a chance to be goofy until I had to get in it 6 times in a row a couple of times. The show comes on two times an hour plus whatever parties may be during that time.
-Got groped in the crotch and butt on several occasions. Can’t say anything or do anything because you have to stay in character.
-Had a grown man grab my arm through the cracked door to the chuck e room and try to follow me in while tickling me. That was freaky because that room is pretty much sound proof. I slammed the door on his face.
-Had a kid sprint across the floor and punch me so hard that the mask got knocked sideways like in the movies. That stuff hurts so much because it rips the Velcro and inner helmet around your face.
-During a busy hour, I did the show and got tackled by about 30 kids and, when the mask hit the floor, it jumped into my mouth and a sharp piece of plastic sliced the piece of flesh that connects my gums and lip completely in half. I bled all over the inside of the mask. Didn’t even finish the dance, just ran back to the room.”
There’s Never A Dull Moment At Chuck E. Cheese
“Worked at Chuck E. Cheese when I was in high school. Here are a couple of things that happened when I was there:
1) The longer a pizza sat in the window waiting for table delivery, the fewer toppings it had when it got to the table.
2) The costume room was the only place without security cameras. It became a sex den for horny high school kids.
3) A Chuck E. Cheese sex tape was filmed in said sex den. The four participants were wearing nothing but the costume heads.
4) On nights when we threw out the raw pizza dough, we would have pizza dough fights after we closed. A ball of raw dough to the gut hurts like heck.”
“El Ratón! El Ratón!”
“I’ve been working at one for over two years now. I’ve had kids push me and kick me while in the suit, but one kid stood out. I was walking around when this little Mexican kid came up and, as Bloodhound Gang would say it, starts kneading my balls like hard-boiled eggs in a tube sock. He kept repeating himself as he did it, ‘El ratón! El ratón!’ All while his whole family was sitting nearby, watching him pull this as they laugh their butts off. I was so infuriated. He continued this all the way up to where I would dance and throw tickets, but I decided to say forget it, and I just walked away and got out of the suit. No tickets this time sucka!
The only other time I just walked away from all the kids while in the suit was because the oldest kid there (12 or 13) just kept running into me. At first, I thought maybe he tripped or got pushed, but he looked me in the eyes and kept on doing it, and he had the other kids laughing, giving him approval. I decided I’m not dealing with this, and just walked away. When I got out of the suit and back in the game room, I noticed his mom was talking to him about it while he was crying. That’s right, sucker! Learn how to not be a jerk.”
Trying To Expose Chuck E. As A Fake Got This Kid Kicked Out
“I worked there in 2003. I was 15.
First, I was in the costume and this kid keeps going ‘You’re not the real Chuck E! You’re not the real Chuck E!’ He got so involved in proving to the world that there’s a person in there that he started trying to pull off the costume. I tried to just ignore the kid, so I walked over to the game area. All of sudden, the kid punched the head of the costume and the rat’s nose flew right off. I immediately covered up the missing nose, got a coworker to find it, and changed out of the costume. It was pretty great when my manager told me I personally had to kick the kid out of the place.
Second, I was sent up to clean the crawlspace one night with a bottle of pledge and a rag. When I got up there, there was no less than two full poops and three piles of vomit. I quit that evening.”
“This Kid Wasn’t The Sharpest Tool In The Shed”
“Had a friend who worked there years ago in high school. It should be known that this kid wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, his antenna didn’t pick up all the channels, if you get what I’m saying. His job was to dress up as the rat and do the meet and greets with all the children. On his second day, he got bum rushed by a pack of kids at a birthday party. Not being accustomed to wearing this big outfit, he bent down and BONK! He smacked a little girl in the head with the plastic nose of the rat suit. Now as soon as you heard this BONK, the little girl started screaming something fierce that would have given Mariah Carey a run for her money! The little girl started yelling, ‘He hit me! He hit me!’
Upon hearing this my friend got nervous, this being his second day and all, and fearing he could very well get fired, he started to console the kid. ‘I’m sorry little girl, it’s ok, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you,’ he muttered. Upon this realization, the little girl completely flipped out. Apparently, the rat isn’t supposed to talk and this little girl was a Chuck E. Cheese regular, so this crap wouldn’t fly.
This revelation compelled the girl to scream even more, ‘He’s talking! He’s talking! Mommy, Chuck E.’s talking!’ My friend looked at me (I’m his ride home) and I looked back at his silly rat head, knowing he had the most confused, embarrassed and helpless look on his face underneath that getup. I commenced to bust a gut and he just ran, he ran like the wind. He ran somewhere in the back and I went outside to my car. He came out a few minutes later and we took off home. He was fired the next day and hasn’t been back since.”