Usually, in the working world, one of your basic goals is to not get fired. However, sometimes an employer is treating you poorly or the customers are so terrible that things reach a boiling point, and you know it's only a matter of time before you quit or get the sack. And if an opportunity presents itself where you can take a stand or make a point about why things suck, it's hard to pass that up.
The food industry seems to attract more than its fair share of lunatic patrons and wacky workers, and it's known for being a high-stress environment. Whether it's calling out an unfaithful manager or jumping ship at a highly inopportune time, it's a small way to get some petty revenge. Here are some of the food industry workers of Reddit's wildest, most absurd stories about getting fired and why it was totally worth it.
The Woman Lashed Out At Him For No Reason
“I used to be a barista at a higher end grocery store. One day I was running late for work and I had to pick up my check before clocking in (didn’t have direct deposit at the time) so I could deposit it and pay my phone bill.
Normally when we park, we’re told to go in the back so customers can park in the front, but it’s an unwritten rule. There were two open spots at the front; a car pulled into one and I pulled into next spot, no issues or anything. I got out of my car and started walking into the store to pick up my check, when out of nowhere and for literally no reason, the lady coming out of the car next to me said, ‘Nice uniform,’ in the snottiest, most entitled way possible.
No time for nonsense that day, I said, ‘Thanks,’ and kept walking. As I was about 20 feet from the store entrance and 50 feet from the snide lady, she took it upon herself to scream out to me, ‘NICE UNIFORM!’
That triggered me and without thinking, I screamed out back to her, ‘Suck my dong!’
Then I thought to myself, ‘Dang, I should find my manager and tell them the really dumb thing I just did to get ahead of the ball.’ But I couldn’t find my manager and at that point was super late, plus I still needed to collect my check. The accounting office was just passed customer service, where low and behold, the snide rude-for-no-reason lady screamed at me, ‘I’M TELLING A MANAGER!’
I was seeing red by then so I yelled, ‘I DON’T GIVE A CRAP!’ at the top of my lungs, and continued walking towards the accounting office.
But then a wild snide husband appeared, saying that someone needed to teach me some manners so I should step outside with him. Consumed by anger, I threw my jacket on the ground and went out with him, where I was tackled by several fellow employees and taken to the assistant manager’s office. I was fired on the spot, but it was absolutely worth it to defend my integrity.
I don’t know what makes people think they can talk down to service employees, but they’re people too, working their crappy jobs to make a living. You don’t know what the rules for the store are, lady, and there was no reason for you to make snide remarks, so go about your business. Luckily, I found a new retailer job the next day, but I still shop at that grocery store from time to time.”
That Ice Cream Shop Wasn’t Too Sweet To Their Employees
“I went into a business meeting for the ice cream shop I managed (Cold Stone) and was told that the girl who was 7 months pregnant needed to be written up as much as possible so they could have a legal reason to fire her.
I told them it wasn’t going to happen and they suggested that I put in my two weeks and find other work, essentially firing me. I did, then I was told that I was going to be gone in two weeks so I might as well just fire her. There was no chance I was going to do that.
I walked into that meeting with a 50 hour per week, decent paying job and left with nothing but my integrity. Then I preceded to drive to my store and pull the girl aside to let her know what was going on. Last I heard, she manages that store now.”
He Had No Shame About His Dirty, Lascivious Ways
“I used to work in a bar with an awful boss. He would always flirt with the young female bar staff, making us all uncomfortable, even though he was 50 years old. We all knew his wife and two young children, but about six months into me working there, he began to ‘date’ a 22-year-old customer.
By date, I mean he used to go downstairs to his office and sleep with her…while he was on shift. No one was allowed to talk about it, but we all knew. Quite quickly, he knocked her up and ended up breaking up with his wife, but he still flirted with his staff relentlessly even after his new baby was born. He once told a male employee that he liked asking female bar staff to pick up things from low shelves so we would bend over and he could check out our butts. Eww!
He also always used to break health and safety rules if he could get out of doing a task he didn’t want to. He was prolific for asking bar staff to clean human waste (vomit/poop customers had done on the floor) even though legally anyone cleaning that stuff needed to have passed a certain health and safety qualification. I spoke to my assistant manager about it and she confirmed that only management could do it, so I should refuse next time.
One day, he demanded I cleaned up vomit in the male toilets and I refused, repeating what the assistant manager told me. My boss went absolutely mad (he wasn’t used to people standing up to him) and he told me to go downstairs to his office to speak about it. At that moment, I knew I wanted to quit, so I told him I wouldn’t be going downstairs with him. He asked me why, and I replied, ‘The last girl who went down there with you ended up getting pregnant, so that’s gonna be a no from me.’
After I made that comment about impregnation, he became even angrier, firing me on the spot – which I later found out he wasn’t even allowed to do. He yelled at me to get off his property. I just laughed and told him it’s not his property. He simply manages the bar for a nationwide company so he certainly didn’t own the land/ building. I left at my own pace supported by my colleagues who also disliked him. We left him there alone, spluttering in anger, red in the face. Still makes me chuckle thinking about it.
I think he ended up losing his job a little while later anyway because when I spoke to my ex-colleagues, they said he was long gone.”
No Server Deserves To Be Treated This Poorly
“While in college, I was a waitress at a small family-run Italian restaurant. Management was wishy-washy and never had our backs. To them, the customer was always right, even when he’s a grabby and verbally abusive jerk. He’s bringing money in and I’m costing them money was they way the saw it.
We got entitled jerks from time to time and having to deal with their verbal crap was bad enough but grabby hands were too much. We had a table of three guys who were regulars, sometimes they came in together, sometimes in combination or with others. They were always rude about service, always ‘accidentally’ brushing my butt, and they used to snap their fingers and point at the table like I was dog expected to fetch their empty plate or they’d shout, ‘Hey! I need a refill over here STILL,’ as if they’d asked before and been turned down.
One day they were in making snide comments about the female staff and what they’d be like in bed while, all while placing their orders and brushing an arm over my chest. I was so irritated that I couldn’t even muster a smile, but I returned with their drinks and later their food. It was a busy night, so guess what? You might get low on soda before I get back to you. No one else had an issue with this but that table.
One guy snapped his fingers and pointed at his glass. I glared because I was so done with them and continued speaking with another table. The guy then whistled at me and shook his glass hard. I held up one finger (not the one I wanted to) to let him know ‘one second please.’ I finished with the other table and went to get his glass and refill it. He then said something about how he was glad to see me finally doing my job. Without a second thought, I emptied the glass over his head, dumped out the other glasses, and said, ‘Get your own refill, jagoff.’
The owner came out of the kitchen and fired me on the spot. I told him he was also a jagoff for letting people abuse his staff the way he did. I then ‘accidentally’ bumped those guys’ table and knocked their food all over them on my way out.”
Nothing Is Worse Than Baseless Accusations
“I was accused, time and time again, of stealing money from the tills at a pub I had been a loyal employee of for almost two years (if they were ever short on staff, I’d be the first to show up).
They did a full-scale investigation of me and found I never stole, yet every shift I’d have a finger pointed at me for taking something out of the tills. One time I was giving a customer change and my manager started shouting at me for taking money out of the till not realizing I was serving someone.
After six months of these accusations, I finally lost my rag and asked one manager, ‘Why have you suddenly turned into such an insufferable jagoff recently?’ He flipped his lid, we had a meeting seven days later, and I got the sack.
Funnily enough, the other manager that formally sacked me didn’t want me to go, so he made sure I got paid 100% of my holiday pay which I wasn’t entitled to.
Unsurprisingly, a few weeks after I got the sack most of the other people at the pub got fired too, leaving only two staff members behind: the manager I got angry at and one waitress. It turned out they were getting new management in and wanted to start fresh with new staff.”
He Was Targeted For Calling Out A Highly Illegal Workplace Practice
“I delivered pizza for a few years during college. One day when I came in, several managers were working and they were all taking their sweet time. It turned out that the regional manager had made them all work overnight to deep clean the ovens…while off the clock. The general manager was a young guy that just wanted to look good for his bosses and avoided confrontation at all costs, so he didn’t say anything.
I brought it up and was told ‘quit or be fired’ immediately…so I called the owner and corporate, so the regional manager panicked and tried to rehire me. During our conversation, I may or may not have mentioned the labor board after refusing her job offer. There was no way in heck I was going to work for any manager that fires people for ‘causing contention’ and a ‘hostile work environment’ (for, you know, telling them that they could lose their jobs for making people work for free). Everyone got paid for that night, and I never had to work another day in that nightmare.
I do realize that I could have had some sort of court case due to the whistleblowing laws, but I was a poor college student and couldn’t afford a lawyer. I refused the job offer and technically quit. It would have probably just cost a ton of cash and I probably wouldn’t have gotten anything out of it.”
He Was Astonished At The Amount Of Hypocrisy
“We had a ‘backstock’ area where employees would go to instead of the break room. We did literally whatever we wanted in there, including, but not limited to, throwing knives at the foam wall. I had been working with this company for about four years with never a word from management (they even participated a few times) about it being unsafe or something to report.
After a while, I became a manager in training and decided to take my break back there one day. Another employee was present when I walked in and was doing his thing with the knives and the wall. I casually joined him as I’ve done plenty of times and we went about our day after our breaks were up.
An entire three weeks went by and then one Friday morning, I walked in and almost immediately got snatched by my manager who told me that they wanted to see me in the store manager’s office. I went in and they sat me down and asked me what I was doing on the day of the knife throwing break.
I was wracking my brain trying to think of what I might have done wrong, while at the same time giving them an incredulous look because I can’t recall what I ate for dinner the night before. I politely told them to quit wasting my time with the bullcrap guessing game and just get to whatever they pulled me in for.
Then they pulled up security footage of the employee and myself in the backstock area, doing exactly what these two have done before. They asked me, ‘As a management trainee, why didn’t you report this?! You should’ve known better.’ Knowing where it was heading, I pulled off my badge and handed it over to the store manager, telling him go ahead and say the magic two words (‘you’re fired’) and I’d leave. He did and I left, and then called up a buddy who previously offered his extra 4-wheeler for the day (I told him no originally because I had to work). Then I proceeded to start the weekend early with some brews and 4-wheeling. I had plenty of money set away because I was planning on quitting soon anyway, so that was just icing on the cake for me.”
It’s Illegal To Bully A Student Like This
“I worked at a Quiznos type place with oven baked subs to order, calzones, soups, etc and I started the summer before my senior year of high school. I liked the two shift managers I had and they liked me because I worked hard and didn’t waste time cleaning on closing shifts.
However, the place wasn’t doing well and the turnover rate was high, plus the owner was a jerk to everyone. He refused to listen to issues and never took advice. In a three month period, 10 people had been hired and then fired or quit before I even had a shift with them. Toward the end of the year, I had certain obligations as a student that required me to ask for a day or two off.
It’s against the law to prevent a high school student from those things by scheduling them then or threatening to fire them if they don’t show. The boss did everything by paper so if you wanted time off, you had to write a note and leave it on his desk. Well conveniently for him, he didn’t see my requests every once in a while and would schedule me during a time I wouldn’t be around. My managers were chill though and would cover for me when that happened.
I finally had enough when I requested two days off, back to back in the middle of the week and not even busy days. I came in on Friday for my check and schedule, and saw that I was scheduled ONLY on those two days. I came in Saturday for my closing shift and after we locked up, my manager said, ‘Alright, see you in the morning.’
I told him, ‘Nah, I quit. Sorry.’
He looked at me and said, ‘I’m so glad you are, the owner told me if you showed up tomorrow morning to fire you before you clocked in.’ Yeah, that’s the kind of guy he was. Epilogue: both shift managers quit about a month after that, leaving the owner to work the store with his lazy son. I found out about a year later it was under new ownership and business was doing pretty well, and they even rehired one of the old shift managers.”
He’d Already Invested A Bunch Of Money Into His Trip
“I used to work at a regional Midwest gas station making pizzas part time. I once requested time off to go to a convention 12 hours away for a long weekend like 3-4 months in advance. I made sure that requested time off was plastered on every calendar possible, left notes, and told my manager in person many times in the month before that time was requested.
When the schedule for that two weeks came out, my days off were not the ones I’d asked for. I already had around $500 invested into the trip and I wasn’t getting it back. I asked my manager what the deal was and she said, ‘Oh, I forgot you requested a Saturday off a month ago for your cousin’s wedding, so I gave time-off priority for this weekend to another employee. If you try to call in sick, you’ll be fired.’ Then I called in to the assistant manager who knew about my days off and warned her I wasn’t coming in to at least be a decent person.
I came back from my trip and was promptly fired. I was super professional, as I shook the manager’s hand, told her to have a good day, and walked out. She was absolutely shocked that I didn’t try to retaliate or anything.”
She Was The Hardest Worker And Got Punished For It
“It’s incredibly hard to get fired from Starbucks. There are many people who come to work and sit on their phones, performing the bare minimum. I was a closer, closing the shop up and performing all cleaning tasks, etc. Usually there were three or four people with me, depending on the day, one of whom usually called out. Much of the time, I ended up doing a lot of the work, especially the physical and gross stuff, like drain cleaning and bathrooms.
I brought this up multiple times to the manager, then took it upon my self to create a task list in order to better delegate tasks to coworkers, mostly to make it easier on myself. Well, another store’s manager came in, saw my list, and noticed how confidently and properly I did my work all while-multi tasking and doing multiple roles in a busy store. She asked if I wanted to be a shift manager at her store on the spot, having never met me and only watching me for thirty minutes. She gave me her card and I told her I’d be in touch. One of my other salty co-workers heard that and ratted me out to my general manager. Apparently, the whole thing wasn’t kosher in the company, and the whole thing fell to shambles.
My general manager then did everything in his power to indirectly make me miserable at this job, from things like scheduling me with frequent no-showers to making it difficult for me to store transfer, and plenty more.
I eventually was just so over the job. I was overqualified and overworked, so I left. This method of ‘firing’ someone is called constructive dismissal and it’s where the boss creates a hostile work environment to make a certain employee quit. I’m probably one of the best employees they’ve ever had, having a perfect attendance for two years and being the favorite co-worker of anyone who wasn’t lazy/a no-shower. Though I’m still looking for a job, I have zero regrets about leaving and know that I’ll never put myself in such a negative position again.”
“Laziness Has No Place In A Kitchen”
“I was hired as a consultant in a kitchen along with another person. She was more qualified then I was in the science of cooking, no doubt about that. She couldn’t stand me and questioned my ability at a craft I have been in for 10+ years. She got the lead position with me under her and a young kid who was days from being fired.
I took the young guy and turned him into a real cook who is now a chef back in his home state. I was told by our general manager how I was a godsend for them and how I was such a role model for the young guy.
The woman then became the chef and she would sit in the kitchen and work on dishes for 4+ hours without making any decisions and had the two of us doing everything without ever checking in on us. Most of the time when we would be backed up in the kitchen, she would be just sitting there. She was collecting money and putting no real work in. She never added any dishes to the menu other than a few specials that weren’t anything to write home about.
I called her out on it and she kept telling me my work wasn’t up to snuff for the restaurant. I’d come in the next day and nail it, then it was something else. I’d change what I was doing and correct the issues she had, and then something new would be wrong.
Finally one day I was alone in the kitchen. Because the young guy was on vacation, she was at a funeral, and I was sick as a dog, I shouldn’t have been in the kitchen but I was and had a fever. The next day, she told me she was grateful for me doing what I did, but I could have done a better job. I told her that if she didn’t like the job I did to either shut it or fire me.
The next day I obviously knew I would be fired because you can’t talk to a chef like that and I understand that. At the end of my shift, the general manager and the ‘chef’ sat me down and asked me if I knew why we were talking. I turned to the general manager and went off about how I shouldn’t have been in the kitchen at all the day before, how all the random issues with my performance would come up and be corrected instantly, yet the next day there was something new, and then I looked at the chef and said she’s full of crap and just didn’t like me, so she was targeting me because of it.
The general manager of the restaurant then explained how yes, they were letting me go but they wanted to give me a severance for me leaving my last job to come to them as a consultant. I was actually surprised, as that’s not a common thing in the food industry at all and I was a bit embarrassed because of it and said so, but also that it ‘didn’t change anything I meant or said.’
The general manager caught me on the way out and said how he agreed with me, but he was required to listen to the chef as well. Less then two months later, she turned her anger on the kid and fired him, and six months later she was let go herself.
I hired the kid at my current job before he moved back home. I have been at my current kitchen for three years and I manage a mobile kitchen that has two permanent spaces and also functions at pop-ups and concerts and such.
I still hate her with all my heart because laziness has no place in a kitchen. The only great thing I can say about all the work I had to do there is that I was pretty muscular from literally lifting things by myself up and down stairs from prep to kitchen. My arms and core never looked better.”