When compared to most other lines of work, the turnover rate in the restaurant industry is ridiculously high. Even with that being said, there are times when people just can't get fired. Whether it be short-staffing, unconfrontational managers, or a lack of oversight, the people in the following stories just couldn't get fired.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
“Just Do Your Job”
“It’s hard to pinpoint the worst, but I’ve seen some crazy coworkers. I’m going to go with handling raw chicken and then making sandwiches afterward without washing their hands. The worst part? I said something to her, and being as how she was my supervisor, she said, ‘Just do your job.’ Forget that place. It was the worst job I’ve ever experienced.”
His Recreational Activities Carried Over To Work
“I worked at a McDonald’s for a few years, and besides all the dropped food and stale fries that went out, the worst was ‘Corey.’ He was the dumbest worker there. Somehow his shirt was always covered it ketchup and mustard despite not having worked the whole week.
One day, he was handing food out of the drive-thru, and the girl that was getting the food screamed, ‘Eww! Gross!’
She refused to work with him in the drive-thru after that, but I wasn’t sure why at the time.
My brother and Corey were friends. Corey came over one time, and when my brother went to sleep, he tried to hang out with me until I caught him pleasuring himself. I told my boss and they ‘suspended’ him. While talking about it, I found out that he had been doing similar things in the drive-thru window that day, and possibly had been doing it many, many times.”
He Was Fired, But For Something Else Entirely
“I used to be the midnight manager of a grocery store. An employee had asked for a specific Friday night off, but I could not give it to him. The night came, and he got a couple hours into his shift when he came running up to me with blood all over his leg and a decent two-inch cut.
I let him go to the hospital and got thinking to myself that it all seemed sketchy. Only the managers knew there were cameras in the store. I went up to check the videos. I saw him standing in the aisle getting himself pumped up before slicing his own leg with a box cutter. I’m assuming he had some girl lined up to want the night off that bad.
I never told him I knew he did it because he’d know that we had cameras. He was fired shortly after, but for something else.”
“I used to be a cart pusher and bag boy at a local grocery store. Typical work diversions included ‘produce room machete baseball’ and ‘can I shrink wrap it?’ in the deli.
Anyway, if you worked until 10 pm, you had to bring all the carts in before closing. One day we got the bright idea to make a big train of them, and use this one kid’s mom’s minivan to push them all in the door at once.
He slammed on the gas with terrifying and predictable results. A 200-foot-long line of carts was quickly accelerated well past the speed at which their wheels would function normally, and well past the speed at which their mass could easily be stopped by a handful of scrawny teenage idiots.
The doors did not have time to open, so first, the line of carts went through them like a locomotive. Then the second set of doors. Then crashed into one of those stacks of 12 packs type displays. It was all over in about five seconds of astonishingly loud crashing glass and a geyser of Dr. Pepper.
The damage tally was something like $120,000, the store closed for a full day (loss of profit), we had to repair both sets of sliding doors, and we lost a lot of inventory.
But, our store was union, so that was that. But you better believe the manager made me clean every toilet and mop every jar of broken baby food after that. None of our parents ever found out.”
Putting The Gold In The Golden Arches
“I worked at McDonald’s from summer 2004 to early 2005 in Ontario. I would sometimes work the overnight shift.
I was working the drive-thru when this car full of people pulled up and the driver asked for a co-worker named Chris. I got Chris and walked away, and I started to hear arguing, so I went back to the drive-thru window. The arguing died down and Chris told the driver that he would hook him up at the second window. The driver moved ahead and Chris closed the window and said, ‘Mess this guy’s burger up.’
Chris was mad because this guy had been coming by the drive-thru every weekend for a month, asking for free food and pretending like he knew employees. This is how he decided to deal with it.
He told me to prepare a quarter pounder, so I made it and left it at the end of the line. Once the meat was cooked, instead of taking it to the end of the line and putting the meat in the burger, Chris grabbed the meat while wearing a latex glove, went to the sink and peed on it.
Everyone working was groaning at this, and some employees warned him that the driver of the car might get sick, but Chris didn’t care. Chris then rubbed this urine-soaked patty on the floor which had not been cleaned in 8 hours. To this day, I haven’t seen a greasier and dirtier floor than a McDonald’s kitchen floor when it hasn’t been mopped in a long time. If I clawed at the tiles, grease and fat would build under my nails.
After rubbing it a few times on the floor, Chris saw the mop bucket at the end of the line. On this particular day, since there was a rush from around 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., the mop bucket water had never been changed. What was once soapy and clear water was dark, smelly, and swimming with chunks of fries that fell on the floor and a bunch of other food-related filth. Chris dunked the patty three times in the water like someone would do Oreos to a glass of milk. Right when that happened, Chris’ friend Darrell grabbed a handful of fries and said, ‘I’m going to fart on his fries,’ and then he did just that and threw them into large fries container. He did this until he ran out of farts and filled up the container with fries to make it look nice.
Chris threw in some other untampered food as well and gave the bag to the driver. There weren’t any customers behind him, so he continued chatting. Chris kept a calm face, told the guy goodbye, and when he left, all the employees let out a collective gag while Chris laughed.”
Starting Them Young
“I work at a bar that both adults and children come to. A 7-year-old asked for a Shirley Temple, and my coworker ended up giving her a Tito’s and cranberry juice. The girl complained to her mom claiming it didn’t taste like Sprite. As expected, the mom came back to the bar and asked for three Sprites and to ‘try not to spike these, they’re for the kids.’
That happened about two months after he was hired. He’s also known for showing up hours late to his shift. I have no idea how he’s still here.”
The Look On His Manager’s Face Said It All
“I worked for a rather large grocery store chain many years ago. I hated my job from day one because everyone talked down to me since I had previously worked at a rival store.
One night, I was busting my butt trying to finish work and left the freezer door slightly ajar. EVERYTHING melted. EVERYTHING. And to make things worse we just unloaded a truck of inventory that night so the freezer was even more packed than normal.
The next morning, melted ice cream was pouring out from under the door and into the drain. Frozen bags of vegetables and fruit slumped limply in their crates. The smell was terrible, but the look on my manager’s face was worse. His stringy red hair and untucked shirt made him look like he had been there all night. All in all, it cost the store around $50,000 in lost inventory, plus however much more to bring in everyone for overtime to clean.
I never got fired, but I quit soon after because they just kept hounding me about it. It is funny now but was sickening seeing that lovely chocolate ice cream go to waste.”
That Counts As Fresh, Right?
“I used to work at a four-star restaurant. We had pretty much shut down the line, probably 15 minutes to close, when a couple came in. Some of the stuff had already been thrown out. These two customers ordered a filet, which came with vegetables and rice as sides. The red seal chef was angry and did two things: 1) Kicked their filet under the line and out the other side, and 2) He had already thrown the rice in the trash, so he walked to the garbage, and while saying, ‘You didn’t see me do this,’ and proceeded to get enough rice out for the side. The customer got fresh vegetables though, so I guess that was okay.”
There’s A Little Something Extra In The Cookies
“One of my coworkers threw a ketchup bottle at the boss’s face. She ducked, and it splattered on the wall behind her. The same girl gave everyone cookies one day and then revealed they had pot in them, smoked weed under the cook’s hood twice in one day and was caught both times, and got caught doing coke in the bathroom. Also doesn’t show up for shifts sometimes and doesn’t take others’ shifts. I have no idea why she is still there.”
Fired, But Rehired After This Offense
“A friend worked at one of those quick service restaurants. This place was awful. One guy stole a bunch of blank payroll checks, got fired, and hired back the next day. And after that, when employees went to cash their paychecks, they had to wait for the bank to call the restaurant’s main office to verify the check was good.
On Independence Day, a supervisor and at least one other employee were getting hammered. They went on break to a place that served some kind of drink in a fishbowl, drank that, and drove back to work. On arrival, they urinated on the shrubs in front of the much nicer restaurant next door. Supervisor, at least, got walked out by the cops. He missed as much work as it took to sober up and bail out – his only punishment was having to write an apology letter to the restaurant.
That whole chain was a circus.”
Assault On Monday, Prep-Work On Tuesday
“I worked at Pizza Hut. The regional manager was in the building. One of the black guys working there after 20 minutes of hearing the manager list off the things he wanted to be done said, ‘I’m not gonna stay here and listen to you talk to me like some slave on a plantation,’ took off his uniform shirt and hat and threw them in his face. I’m talking he wound up and tried to throw it THROUGH his face. One of the cook’s longevity pins scratched against the manager’s face and made his cheek bleed. The cook then walked out, and halfway out the store, he started smoking as he was exiting the dining room and entryway.
The next day he was doing morning dough prep when I came in as if the day before didn’t even happen. No one ever talked about it.”
Now Is The Perfect Time To Drink
“I used to work in a hotel restaurant attached to a casino. One night, one of our valet drivers decided to steal the key to the storage room for the bar and drink warm buds until he was totally housed. I noticed when he came down the escalator that he was swaying.
When he came to the hotel to bring a guests’ luggage, I knew he was wasted because I could smell him from across the desk. I reported him to my manager and she spoke to his manager and he was detained until an officer arrived to do a sobriety test.
An hour after his last drink, he blew a 0.136. They sent him home for the night, and he came back that following Monday as if nothing happened.”
Would You Like Some Food With Your Garbage?
“I watched a guy at work accidentally throw away the remains of a steak that the guest had requested to take home. A few minutes went by before he realized that he was supposed to box it up. As the steak sat on top of the trash, he picked it up and put it in the to-go box.
He rapidly ran out of the back and delivered the half-eaten, garbage-covered steak to the guest.”
When You Have To Go, You Have To Go
“A bartender at a local establishment near me dropped her shorts and relieved herself on the patio when she was there drinking one night. She didn’t lose her job until she did it a second time a few months later.
The owners and managers were well aware of the first incident.”
The Disappearing Act
“I used to work in a deli. A co-worker named Mike stopped showing up to work with no word. We assumed he had quit. A lady showed up a week later asking about Mike, and I told her that I didn’t know the guy that well, and that I hadn’t seen him in a week. She told us that she was the mother of Mike’s girlfriend, and they ran away together. This being a minimum wage job, I didn’t care about all of this and dismissed her with ‘Have a nice day.’ Five days later, Mike showed up to work and no one questioned his whereabouts for the previous two weeks.”
Maybe You Should Avoid The Free Samples
“I used to work at a grocery store where we would put out samples. One sample was a pretzel cracker with some dip. A coworker opened the sample dome and dipped her finger in the dip. Then she proceeded to DIP HER FINGER THAT SHE JUST LICKED INTO THE DIP AGAIN. She went back for thirds but I rushed over and told her now I had to throw it all out and sanitize the whole thing and why did she think that was okay to do since other people would be sampling? She replied, ‘I don’t know why you think it’s such a big deal!'”
He Was Literally Walking On Egg Shells
“I worked on an egg farm in college. I had to collect the eggs and bring them over to the storage building (25 meters away or so).
One day, I hit a small rock with the trolley on my way to the storage building. The trolley lurched, and I made a 3,000-egg omelette on the pavement.
I was super embarrassed to tell my boss. I thought for sure that I was going to lose my job, but he just chuckled and told me to be more careful in the future. I later learned that he had once broken 5,000 eggs in a similar incident.”
Their Supervisor Tried To Get Them Fired Over Spilled Milk
“I used to work in a busy restaurant. One night, it was my turn to change the milk dispenser (shove a huge bag of milk into a tiny compartment). But it was also my turn to go for dinner, so my supervisor kindly agreed to do it for me while I went to eat.
When I came back half an hour later, everyone was ANGRY with me.
My supervisor (who was a bit of an idiot) had done it wrong and spilled about 15 liters of milk all over the carpet. Then she told everyone that I had done it.
I just went along with that and took the blame 1) because I was loyal and I kind of understood that she didn’t want to look incompetent in front of everyone, and 2) nobody would have believed me anyway. That was my mistake.
I figured she would be grateful that I took the fall for her. Instead, she actually took this mistake (which SHE MADE) to the manager and tried to get ME fired over literal spilled milk.
When the manager called me into her office two days later, I told her what happened, and gave her a very angry lecture about the incompetence of her supervisors. She believed me.
I quit two weeks later because I got a better job. The supervisor was fired shortly thereafter.”
A Not So Quick Fix
“I used to work for a very popular gas/food chain in the Mid-Atlantic region. Well, one Christmas Eve, our system messed up, and while we could activate gift cards, we could not scan them at the register. The customers were screaming, and I was alone on the front, and I realized I could cash the cards out as something else that didn’t get taxed. So I rang up a single piece fruit and activated the cards on a separate system, so the company made their money and the people quit screaming at me.
Six months later, we were deep in inventory, corporate sent teams down to find the missing $10,000 in inventory, and we were all wondering who was the thief. Come to find out, that $10,000 was in gift cards. I owned up to my error and got to remain employed for two more years.”
Tales From The Graveyard Shift
“I used to work at a Circle K gas station that was less than a minute away from a hotel (walking distance). There were a couple of people that would come in regularly who were homeless. One of these guys lived on the street, and one of them was living in the hotel. The one living in the hotel admitted to me he stole candies and other things he could stuff in his pockets every couple days and being a veteran, I never said anything because those guys get treated like crap when they come home. So I’d pretend to be busy when he came in, but knew I what he was doing.
The guy that lived on the street would come in when I was throwing away donuts at the end of the day, and because I knew he never had money, I made sure to put the donuts destined for the dumpster on top of the wax paper and walk away from it before tying up the trash bag because I knew he would take them. I don’t feel bad about either, and I don’t regret either of those things. There was one guy who looked like he was barely 21 who came in and bought some drinks one night though, and I didn’t ask for his ID because I was just feeling lazy. He walked out and snickered and told me he was actually 20. Nothing came of any of this at all, and the manager never knew any of it even happened.”