Not everyone is cut out to work in food service. Most people can usually make it past the first week, at the very least. Unfortunately, these poor saps just did not make the cut. Whether it was because of something they did or just bad luck, they all were fired within their first week on the job and shared the experience on reddit. These are their stories.
(Content has been edited for clarity)
Do As The Manager Says, Not As He Does
“I got a job at a local taco joint. It was a slow day and I was training with the manager. We were in the back. The manager took a chip, dipped it into a guacamole tub, and ate it. I was like, Cool, it’s snack time, so I followed suit.
He looked at me and said, ‘You can’t do that. I have to fire you.’
I thought it was a joke… but then he fired me. It was so ridiculous that I wasn’t even mad.”
Strange Way To Keep Track Of The Schedule
“I was working at a pizza shop. On my second day there, a Thursday, I asked the boss when my next shift was. He said Sunday evening.
‘No problem. See you Sunday.’
When I showed up Sunday, I was fired for not being in on Saturday evening. When I said I asked him when my next shift was, he said I should have checked the schedule. When I asked where it was, he pulled a napkin out of his pocket and showed me.
I told him he can keep his crappy upstate pizza and away I went.”
Those Weren’t Red Tomatoes?
“I was 16 years old. I got a job picking tomatoes. I was fired on the first day when they realized I was color blind after I kept picking all the green ones. I didn’t know myself, at the time. I thought they just didn’t like me. It was a traumatic experience to say the least.”
How Does Filling Balloons Correlate With Bartending?
“I was hired as a bartender, a job in which I had plenty of experience.
On my first day, they assigned me to fill up helium balloons for their New Year’s Eve party, along with one other girl, rather than mixing drinks.
Whatever, I’ll do what I’m asked.
Hundreds of balloons later, my fingers were darn near severed from tying off the stupid things by hand, but I was finished. They told me to go on home. I didn’t hear anything about my next shift, so I called the owner after a couple of days to find out when she wanted me back in.
‘All of the balloons YOU filled up came down from the ceiling way before midnight,’ she said. ‘If you can’t even fill up a stupid balloon, I’m not going to trust you to make drinks.’
Number One: they’re unrelated.
Number Two: how exactly were you able to determine which balloons I filled versus the other girl?
Number Three: get stuffed.
My fingers hurt just thinking about it.”
Unforseen Consequences From An Unfortunate Reunion
“I was looking for a job. I came into a local chain restaurant, met the manager, shook his hand, and asked for a job. We had great chemistry. After a brief chat session, he told me I was hired and to come back on a certain date about a week from that day. I waited a week, then came in on the date I was told. I was in a great mood and ready to work, especially since I was totally broke after going another week without work.
I met my trainer. She brought me new hire paperwork and a T-shirt. I put on the tee and started filling out paperwork. While filling in the spaces, I looked up and behind the kitchen line, which had a big open wall that showed into the kitchen from the dining room, and saw a guy from high school who was a huge bully to me. He sucker punched me more than once, would call me out in the hallways and at lunch to challenge me to a fight, and just generally smack talked me.
Being that this was almost five years after high school, I barely give a crap. I waved at him and smiled, thinking we were about to start working together. Honestly, I was kind of excited to have someone I recognized there, even if he was a jerk in high school. In response to my wave, he just scowled at me and walked away out of sight. I didn’t think much of it and just kept working on my new-hire paperwork.
Not even a minute or two later, my trainer walked up and said, ‘Yeah, I’m sorry, but actually we just aren’t looking for new people right now.’
When I found out why they were firing me, I could not believe someone could be that petty.
My mouth was agape in shock.
‘But,’ I said, ‘I have been waiting for this job for a week now.’
She just kind of shrugged.
‘Sorry,’ she said, but she did not really sound sincere. ‘I am going to need that T-shirt back.’
I began to become furious at that point. I looked up. The bully from high school had appeared again behind the line and was just smirking with his arms folded. I couldn’t help but think this was his doing. I began grabbing my things.
‘Heck no. I am not giving it back,’ I told my now ex-trainer with a laugh. ‘I am taking it, since you dingbats made me wait a week for this.’
‘Dude, you can’t keep it,’ she said with growing aggression.
‘TAKE IT FROM ME, BIMBO!’ I shouted at the top of my lungs.
I left, accidentally knocking over my chair in the process. I ended up making the decision to move away from that town a week later, so it was probably for the best. But seriously, forget people who live their lives still in high school. I still have that shirt. The whole thing, including my reaction, was super embarrassing.”
Tears Shed In The “Happiest Place On Earth”
“They told me I started on the 14th at 8 am. I said OK and submitted all the paperwork for background checks and all that. It was not a formal-type job with an offer letter or anything. I didn’t have a start date in writing, other than me writing it in my date planner right there at the end of the interview after verifying with them.
This would be my big mistake.
I got a call from the manager on the 7th at 8:15 am asking where I was.
‘Disney World,’ I replied, ‘Why?’
He said I was supposed to be at work.
‘I understood my start date to be the 14th, at 8 am,’ I replied. ‘We verified this in my interview.’
He told me I was mistaken and told me I had 15 minutes to get to work or I was going to be let go. I told him I couldn’t get from Florida to Wisconsin in 15 minutes and my family vacation was set to last until the 13th when I would be coming back a day prior to my official start date.
‘I could beg my parents to get me a flight later today or tomorrow if that would suffice?’
‘No,’ he said, ‘that’s not good enough.’
Apparently, he didn’t believe I was actually in Florida and was now offering to cancel my biannual family vacation and spend $300 to change my flight to come home early for them. They thought I was lazing about in bed in Wisconsin just refusing to come in for whatever reason. I was now in tears in the middle of Fantasyland in the ‘happiest place on Earth’ at the fear of losing my job.
My uncle and my father noticed me crying on the phone and asked what was going on. I was crying too hard to answer, so they grabbed the phone and asked who it was. The manager explained the situation. They told him some very un-Disney words and hung up on him. When I caught my breath, I told them I had to get home right away, and they told me that I didn’t because I didn’t have to work that job. I started panicking again because now I didn’t have a summer job. My uncle said not to worry. I could even work for him that summer. Then, we went on Peter Pan’s Flight and 15-year-old me was happy once again.
A week later, I got another call, this time from the person who interviewed me. H asked where I was, again.
‘[Manager from last week] fired me,’ I explained.
‘What?’ he asked. ‘You haven’t even been in. How could you be fired? You haven’t had a shift with him?’
‘I know. He called last week and said I was supposed to be in and if I didn’t come in within 15 minutes, I was fired, but I was in Florida, so I couldn’t. So, he fired me.’
‘But you weren’t supposed to start until the 14th.’
‘I know. I tried to tell him but he insisted and fired me for “no-call, no-show” on the first day.’
The guy who interviewed me apologized and asked me to come back. He said he would talk to the manager who fired me and messed up the schedule. Hah! As if I’d want to work under someone who already hated me! I thanked him for the offer but said I had already accepted another position.
I should mention that this freakout and breakdown was over working at the ol’ Macky D’s Supper Club. Yeah. I was so committed and had such a strong work ethic that I was going to spend $300 to start a $6.25/hour job a week early because the manager messed up the schedule.”
An Explanation Given To Late
“I was fired from this crappy, organic grocery store in Pittsburgh my first week. They would not tell me why, just that it wasn’t working out.
Later, someone I knew socially, who also worked there at the same time, told me the manager told him that I was fired for being fat and sweaty. I worked next to a pizza oven and they would open the doors and turn off the AC. Also, it was the middle of summer.
A year later, they went out of business. From what I understand, they had a huge turnover.
What annoys me the most is, why did they hire me if they didn’t want a fat person working there?”
The Disappearing Money Game
“When I was 16, I got my first job at a small discount grocery store. It wasn’t a great job but my parents had just bought me a car and the deal was that I had to pay the insurance. I didn’t care either way. I was a very responsible kid and had some experience running a cash register at a relative’s store. I figured it would be easy money. I went in for my first shift. It was uneventful. So was the next one.
We didn’t count our own drawers at the end of our shifts there. The manager on duty did and we were not allowed in the room. The third day, my drawer came up short $40. Mistakes can happen to anyone, but I felt totally stupid and was upset with myself. The manager on duty was really mean about it, but just told me to be back the next night.
On day four, my drawer was short over $100 and I knew I hadn’t messed up that bad, especially since I had been sure to be extra careful and count everyone’s change back to them. The same manager counted my drawer that night and informed me I would have to pay that money back by the end of the week or they would press charges. She still didn’t fire me.
When I told my dad what happened, he put two and two together and told me I was being taken advantage of. He took me to work the next day and spoke to the store manager, who said there were no cameras in the counting room so they had to take the manager’s word.
I worked my shift with the same manager that night. Sure enough, my drawer was short again. This time, I called my dad. He came and called the police, who watched me willingly turn out my pockets and purse in front of the manager. She refused to do the same and told the police I was lying and that I was mad she had fired me earlier during my shift for not being at my register. She said I had been stealing from day one and I was lucky she didn’t press charges.
I never went back to even try to speak to the store manager. That was my first time dealing with an adult ‘authority’ figure who blatantly lied about me. It messed with me for a while.”
It Was The Most Humiliating Moment Of Her Young Life
“My first job was Subway when I was 15. I was training, so I wasn’t on the official schedule yet, but the store manager told me to come in from 9-5, Monday-Friday to train. I left on Friday at 5 and he said to check back that weekend to see if I was on the schedule for the following week. I came in on Saturday and went to check the schedule. I saw that I had a few weekday shifts the next week, wrote them down, and left.
I came in the following week and went to walk behind the counter when a coworker stopped me. It was during the lunch rush and she stopped serving customers and shouted, ‘YOU’RE FIRED. YOU DIDN’T SHOW UP FOR YOUR WEEKEND SHIFT!’
I was stunned. I told her I came in on Saturday, I’d WALKED PAST HER to check the schedule, and I wasn’t on it! If I was supposed to be working, why didn’t she say something to me when I was there?
She then told me to take off my uniform and give it back. I had to undress in a restaurant full of people and then leave. Thankfully I was wearing a tank top under my work shirt.
I was so humiliated. Easily one of my worst memories.”
He Felt At Home In The Kitchen
“I worked at a Japanese Hibachi restaurant in town that had just opened. It was under the table since I was a freshman in high school. Some of my friends worked there too as waiters and waitresses, but I was assigned to the kitchen. I was the only white person who worked in the kitchen, everyone else were either chefs from Japan or dishwashers and preppers from Indonesia.
Immediately on my first day, I was taught some basic Japanese, basic Indonesian, basic food prep skills, and then was fully expected to act as a go-between for the two groups. In the morning, the Indonesians had me chopping vegetables I had never seen with knives I had never held. In the evening the chefs, who were normally very stoic, would grow sentimental and let me cook with them. I left work well past midnight, having not spoken English for hours, sweaty as all get out, and smelling strongly of soy sauce.
On my seventh day at work, the Indonesians gave me a bracelet made out of seashells from their country to wear. That evening, the chefs tied a Japanese flag bandana around my head to wear, just like them. They brought in a black and white samurai movie to watch while we worked.
Suddenly, I was called over by the boss, whom I had never met or seen. He was Japanese and spoke English with a thick accent. He commanded me to sit. To my horror, I saw that three of my coworkers from school were there, too. He then informed us that we were all fired, effective immediately.
It turned out that one of the other white kids was stealing drinks from the bar and selling it in the parking lot. The boss man did not like that and thought it reflected poorly on all of us white kids. So, we were all fired, even though I had no idea what was going on. The Japanese chefs looked at me sternly when I went back to grab my things but gave me firm handshakes. The Indonesians were teary-eyed and gave me quick hugs.
A few days later, I returned to school and to my boring existence. This was many years ago. It was the greatest job I’ve ever had.”
This Guy Should Have Known Not To Sit In The Same Place Twice
“It was my first time waitressing. A guy and a girl came in on night one and sat in a booth in my section. He ordered grape leaves. The next night, around the same time, the same guy came in with a different girl, and sat in the same booth, which, again, was my section. He ordered grape leaves again. I thought I was doing a good job with some customer service by remembering him and his grape leaves.
‘Oh hey, I remember you!’ I mentioned. ‘From last night. You got the grape leaves again!’
He acted clueless, as if he had no idea what I was talking about. The girl looked really confused. I assume the other woman was his mistress, or something along those lines.
Next thing I knew, he was calling over the manager. Within minutes, I was getting ‘laid off.'”
He Did Everything That Was Asked Of Him, But It Still Wasn’t Enough
“The guy was looking for a bar staff who could hit the ground running. I told him I did not have much experience behind an actual bar, just a limited one at race events (15 drinks compared to 50).
He said, ‘As long as you are good, I don’t mind.’
He gave me three shifts during the week. I texted him on Sunday to find out what shifts I had the following week.
‘Oh, I asked somebody to tell you not to come back,’ he replied. ‘Tell you what: I’ll give you another chance. You can do two more shifts.’
Alright, get stuffed. But, whatever.
When I turned up on Monday, I was on my own. The normal staff didn’t turn up, so I got everything ready for me and the cook.
After my two shifts, my boss told me not to come back because I wasn’t experienced enough. It took me a month to track the sucker down to pay me. He stopped answering my calls so I used a different phone and got him. He was actively avoiding me.
This guy took over the pub and was trying to get it back on it’s feet, but it turned out that he failed. It’s closed now.”
Taking Revenge On The “Demon Woman” Of The Deli
“I only made it to day two. I was fired because they could ‘clearly see’ I wasn’t ‘getting it.’
This was at a deli. They never actually showed me anything and left me on my own to serve customers during a lunch rush. Nothing was labeled to tell me what it was and their selection was HUGE. The customers were actually very nice about it and pointed to what they wanted, but when my coworkers finally returned, they yelled at me in front of customers for the place being untidy.
The owner turned into a demon woman when she told me to clean their meat slicer and I asked for training. When I was let go, she bellowed, ‘And return that uniform, and make sure you WASH IT!’
A friend and I ran the uniform over with his car several times. I then dragged it through the mud and posted it through their letterbox when they had closed.”
All Of That For A Bag Of Chips?
“It was my fifth day working at the store while I was in high school. It was my first job ever, so I had to keep up with a fast-talking boss. She told me I could take food home, but I had forgotten which ones. I thought it was things like ice cream I couldn’t take home, but it was any packaged item.
I casually got a bag of chips and put them in my bag. The boss noticed and asked if I paid for them. I said, No. She said I had to pay for them. I told her I didn’t know that. I put them back. I got called the next day in and she fired me for stealing.
I was 17 and kind of sheltered, so I didn’t know how a job environment was or how businesses were run. I was a dumb kid and I don’t blame her for firing me. But, man, I had no idea I was doing anything wrong.”
That Coffee Shop Did Not Realize What They Had Until They Lost It
“I worked at an up and coming coffee shop for a total of six days. I had recently lost my job and had worked at a Starbucks before. I figured it would be the same sort of pace.
I made an effort to be as kind to customers as possible, take down orders, make them exactly as asked, and get it all done in a timely manner. I thought I was doing great. The owner would occasionally step in and help when it would get busy, but she was easily distracted and would religiously make the wrong drinks. I was pulled in to the office on my last day by her husband. He asked me how I liked the job. Then, he proceeded to tell me that his wife believed I wasn’t a good fit, mostly because I was late (never happened), and had trouble remembering orders (also untrue).
Now, I occasionally stop by and order a coffee and pastry and relax in the awkward tension while I watch the owner continue to hand out the wrong drink orders.”
They Took The Training Wheels Off Too Soon
“I was fired because ‘We can clearly see you aren’t getting it.’
This was at a deli. They never actually showed me anything and left me on my own to serve customers during a lunch rush. Nothing was labeled to tell me what it was and their selection was HUGE. The customers were actually very nice about it and pointed to what they wanted, but when my ‘trainer’ finally returned, they yelled at me in front of customers for the place being untidy. The owner turned into a demon woman when she told me to clean their meat slicer and I asked for training. When I was let go, she bellowed, ‘And return that uniform, and make sure you WASH IT!!’
A friend and I ran the uniform over with his car several times, I then dragged it through the mud and posted it through their letterbox when they had closed.”