There are some industries where you just can't mess around if you want to stick around. The food industry is definitely one of those industries.
A Reddit thread recently asked people to share their craziest stories about either firing someone or watching someone get fired. These workers didn't know how to behave themselves in a proper, professional manner, so they had to be let go.
Content has been edited for clarity.
He Was So Confident That He’d Get Away With It, He Just Went Right Back To Work
“Apparently, a really sketchy dishwasher went out to smoke and came back in with a laptop he wanted to sell. He said his friend met him with it out back on his smoke break and he told the guy he’d ask around. The bartender bought it immediately because it was such a great deal.
About an hour later, a guest who’d just finished eating came back in and told them her car had been broken into and her laptop was missing. She asked if we could check the security tapes of the parking lot.
Yes, this idiot dishwasher went outside to smoke, broke into a car in the parking lot, sold the laptop to the bartender, and went about washing dishes all while this lady was inside eating dinner.”
A Firing So Bad It Had To Happen Twice
“I work in catering and one of our typical tasks is butler passing: carrying around drinks or hors-d’oeuvres on trays and offering them to guests. This one new hire, let’s call her Tulip, was assigned to butler pass cosmopolitans, which is fancier and more expensive than your standard pass. A tray probably holds as many as eight of these, but at least six.
After a couple of trays, Tulip was noticeably sloshed. In case this isn’t clear, she was slamming the cosmos. She was stumbling around, unable to balance a tray. So somebody pulled her off passing and Tulip walked off in a huff.
The manager, let’s call her Tracy, got wind of what was happening and when she came back to take control of the situation, Tulip was nowhere to be found. That is until she was spotted smoking with the guests on the balcony, which is a no-no in formal banquets. Tracy went out and told her to put it out and come inside, to which Tulip replied, ‘FORGET YOU, TRACY, FORGET YOU!’
Tulip finished her smoke, came inside and passed out on a sack of dirty linens. Tracy asked a chef who needed to drive back to our headquarters if he could bring Tulip there and find a way to get her home safely. They roused Tulip and Tracy fired her.
The chef was driving one of our semi trucks back to HQ with Tulip in the passenger seat. She was flirting heavily with him. She then pulled off her pants and underwear and began pleasuring herself right then and there. The chef ignored this the best he could and got her a cab home from HQ.
The next day, Tulip showed up for her shift, having blacked out during yesterday’s termination, and Tracy had to fire her all over again.”
No One Could Find The Bartender Anywhere
“It was my second day as kitchen manager at a restaurant. There was a table that wanted a drink made and the server in question couldn’t find the bartender. Thankfully, it was just one of the specialty drinks for our house, so I could make it out of our book. We still couldn’t find the bartender.
Another drink order came in half an hour later. There was still no bartender. As I was trying to mix the drink, I realized I couldn’t find a specific bottle, so I went to get a new one and saw our bartender coming out of the bathroom with her jacket on. I rolled my eyes, handed her the new bottle and let her finish making the drink for the customer. I, being naive and an optimist, just told her we’d need to talk later, intending to lecture her about taking long breaks.
One of our servers was the owner’s daughter and knew the password for the cameras. She checked them and saw the bartender take a bottle and go to the bathroom, where she apparently spent half an hour drinking. She was fired on the spot. If you’re going to steal from a restaurant, why would you take it from the rail?”
She Didn’t Even Try That Hard To Hide The Fact She Was Lying
“I work at a particular sandwich shop. My boss hired this one lady as a closer despite a few red flags during the interview. Her favorite thing to do after she finished her training was to tell customers we were out of bread so that she wouldn’t have to help them. She would just say that nobody had baked any that day.
The best part is that customers who witnessed this said that she didn’t bother to move the bread cabinet behind the line, so they could visibly see the bread right behind her.”
He Was So Terrible, His Union Just Gave Up On Him
“I worked at a grocery store. It was unionized. Union dues suck, but it’s not like they don’t do stuff for you. There were regular pay raises and a decent layer between you and management.
The neatest thing with unions is that it’s pretty hard to get fired. You had to be stellar at uselessness to get canned. One week, we hired this new kid. He was young, self-entitled, and he bragged a lot about nothing.
He rarely arrived on time. He took overly long breaks, always asked to leave early, and complained about lack of money and union fees.
He got fired. I was there for a year and I have never seen anyone actually get fired.
As it turns out, he would ask for tips. He would argue with the elderly over the quarters that were inserted into the carts. He wanted those quarters and they were his, dang it!
He also somehow bagged groceries badly. Turns out that heavy cans of soup and whatnot didn’t do good things on top of bread, eggs, and various other crushable items.
I don’t believe he made it a full three weeks before he was let go. To this day, he is a testament to idiots everywhere.
The last straw was when he put eggs in the cart first, then dropped a bag of heavy cans over it. The customer got home, saw what happened, and came back furious. She had dented cans and a bag full of yolk surprise. He also argued with her over her quarter used to get the cart. He may have also insulted management/the job when confronted.”
This Was Just The Excuse They Were Looking For To Get Her Fired
“A cook at my restaurant called in sick one day, and the very next day (her scheduled day off), she came in for happy hour to get wasted. This was after a dedicated career of poor work, so when we begged the owner, ‘Can she PLEASE be fired now?’ He acquiesced.
We called her in to meet, and when we let her go, she said, ‘Crap, you called me in for this? I’ve been fired through text before.’
Yeah, I bet you have.”
His $500 Scheme Cost Him Tens Of Thousands
“I used to work at a fast food restaurant. This guy was caught stealing money from customers by essentially charging $0.50 to use their debit card (which has no charge) by doing it in cash out. He would remember how many times he would do this in a day and stopped when he reached $50. This might sound time-consuming, it was easy to rack up money on a normal eight-hour shift. The customer typically wouldn’t notice $0.50 extra charge and the tills were never down.
It was a smart scheme until he got caught. He lost his mind because he thought they wouldn’t be able to fire him because he wasn’t stealing from the store. He ripped off his uniform, stormed out the store, turned around and said, ‘Good luck cleaning this up’ and pulled the lever on the anti-fire mechanism, filling the entire store with this foam that is used to put out massive fires. That was a $20,000 cleanup. All stock was ruined. The store took him to court and being a multi-billionaire company with some very good friends who happen to be lawyers, I assumed he lost.
He probably stole around $500 over a month, and cost him tens of thousands. So stupid.”
Line Cooks Are Often Troubled People, But This Guy Was Something Else
“We had a line cook who was an ex-gang member, had lots of gang tattoos, spent weekends in the police tank. You know, your normal, crappy line cook stuff.
One day, he sauntered into work with a backpack, reeking of pot and Jack, not in uniform, and under the influence of probably like four different illegal substances. This was also the first time he came in with a backpack, I should note. He worked the line for 10 minutes, messing up, like, four orders, then went and took a 10-minute break. I went out and found him sitting out back in full daylight, and in FULL VIEW OF THE PARKING LOT, smoking a crack pipe. I walked over to him to tell him off and tell him to pack his crap up and leave for the day. Then I noticed the two 15-year-olds sitting next to him, waiting their turn.
He freaked out, begged me to not call the cops and to let him finish his shift. First, he broke the rules, and I had to let him go. Second off, dealing out of the restaurant to MINORS is obviously immoral and illegal. Third, this had been his last warning, as he had come in a few times completely off his rocker. He started crying, begging me to not fire him. I told him I would bring his bag out to him and then he had to go. I went inside then came back out to give him his bag, only to find him getting arrested. Someone saw everything in the parking lot and called the cops. He looked at me with puppy eyes and shook his head as hard as he could, basically begging me without words to not give the cops the bag. I just handed the bag to the cops, said it was his, then turned to him and said, ‘You reap what you sow. Hope everything works out eventually.’
This was about two years ago. I’ve heard he got out recently and has turned his life around.”
She Had A Complicated System For Ripping Off Her Workplace
“Before the proliferation of debit cards, a shift manager at the fast food joint I worked at schemed her way into a massive pay increase.
She was smart, but not smart enough. She worked the drive-thru window as the cashier/order-taker. She had memorized the totals for the most popular combos. She would call out for the orders manually to the kitchen, which was staffed mostly by high school kids who just wanted to get through the shift. They’d make whatever she called for.
When the customer would arrive at the window with cash, she’d make change in the same way that a waiter/waitress would, but would do it out of the customer’s view, usually between the register and the wall, or she’d leave the till propped open and make change out of there.
She’d pocket the $3 to $7 for the order and the register would be balanced because the order never entered the system, and she’d walk with an extra $50 each shift.
Eventually, management caught her (I think it was a customer who said something was suspicious). She wasn’t prosecuted since this was before the proliferation of interior cameras in the work areas and they didn’t have any concrete proof of more than one incident.
So if your fast food job seems overly Big Brother today, this is what caused it to happen.”
Security Cameras Can Catch Employees Doing All Sorts Of Things
“My family owned a restaurant. One night, the general manager sent all of the staff home early inexplicably. My parents thought they should look at the security videos to see why he might have sent all the staff home early. They discovered that, as soon as all the employees left, he pleasured himself all over the food prep surfaces.
Later, at another restaurant, one of the managers was a lesbian and there were repeated incidents of vandalism to the outside door with anti-gay slurs and hate speech. The GM moved a security camera to see if they could catch whoever was doing it. It turned out to be that same lesbian manager writing fake hate speech to get attention. It was especially messed up because the owners of the restaurant had taken care of her. Like, they’d paid $15,000, cash, for a medical procedure she had needed just because they were really nice people.”
It Was Basically Her First Day, And She Was Already Accusing Her Boss Of Being A Liar
“A new employee had just finished training for part-time work. She received her schedule and immediately accused our store manager of lying to her. She claimed she was promised full time.
When our store manager informed her that she was not and that we didn’t hire full time for this position, she looked him in the eye and said, ‘You need to clock out so we can go outside and talk about this.’ She then started rolling up her sleeves.
My manager was less than impressed. He told her to leave and that we’d call the cops if she returned.”
He Couldn’t Even Do The Set Up And Prep In That State
“I once had a bartender on my staff blackout behind the bar by 7 pm. I got the call from my chef, who said, ‘Hey man, I think [bartender] is wasted, dude. I think you need to get over here.’ I got in just as the dinner rush was starting to see a wildly under-prepared bar because he was too hammered to set up and prep, and he was apparently so wasted they had to send him home before I even got there.
Cameras showed him literally falling over, unable to figure out how to exit the building when he’d finally been told to leave.
It sucks because he’s an old friend of mine and I really hope he gets the help he needs. But man, talk about how to get super fired.”
They Were A Unit: They Lived Together, They Worked Together, They Got Fired Together
“I work in a small food plant. Our busy season is during the summer, so we hire a lot of part-timers. We had two newcomers, who were a couple, apply and get the job together.
Midsummer rolled around, and it was a very nice day out, so we are working at full capacity. This usually meant that a lot of our workers were doing overtime to keep up with our demand. These two called in together and said they were not coming in, they’d need to take a sick day. This was a half hour before our shift started, by the way. The supervisor who answered the phone was like, ‘Is there any way to change your minds? We are working full out and really need you in.’
Their response was, ‘It’s a nice day, we are going to the beach.’ They were fired the next day.”
He Was Humiliated To Learn That Everyone Knew Exactly What He’d Been Up To
“My sister owned a restaurant where I used to help with the bookkeeping and inventory. Each day around 7:30 am, the prep crew would come in and get everything ready for that day’s lunch. The chef, waitress, and I would all come in around that time as well.
One morning, I was sitting in the basement office, working away when all of a sudden, the waitress flew in with one of the chefs with a horrified look on her face. She said she was out on the patio and heard a noise, so she looked around the wall and found one of the prep cooks ‘slapping his salami’ in the corner by the delivery door.
We quickly flipped on the security camera and sure enough, this poor kid was in the corner behind the restaurant absolutely beating himself like a drum. We all laughed hysterically and waited for him to finish. When he came back in, he washed his hands and then was asked to come to the office. Guess who got fired for spanking it at work? Poor kid. He was mortified and started crying. It was quite embarrassing for all of us.”
He Almost Caused Himself Serious Injury With A Rookie Mistake
“I’m the director of brewing operations. I hired a dude who claimed to have three years of professional brewing experience on his resume.
About two months in, I was training him to run our brewhouse, and as part of the process, boiling water is cycled through the system to sterilize/clean it. This guy almost opened two different valves doing this, both aimed directly at his crotch. This would have resulted in him getting literally 300 gallons of boiling water poured onto his family jewels.
I tried to have a talk with him later that day about why he did that/how to make sure he didn’t do it again. This dude slammed his fists on the table, yelled, ‘That’s a lie! You told me wrong!’ at the start of the conversation.
He was fired the next morning.”
He Let His Temper Got The Better Of Him And Said Something Terrible
“I worked as a manager at a restaurant that delivers pizza. I once had a driver call a non-tipping customer the n-word. It was within his second week on the job.
Despite our best efforts in apologizing and sending gift cards, the customer never did order again. He admitted to it, and I told him that obviously, he had to be fired. He went, ‘Well, fine since it has to be that way.’ All grumpy like.”
He’d Been Doing It All Along, This Time He Just Got Caught
“This guy grabbed a coworker’s butt and it was caught on camera. He had been harassing her for a while but he was sneaky and made sure not to do it in front of people who would do something. So it was difficult to get hard proof, but I knew it was happening.
The boss was also conflicted because he was friends with the guy’s dad. But as soon as I had the video evidence, he was instantly gone, and I never felt so satisfied with a termination in my life.”
This Was A Long Time Coming
“I was working in a restaurant in a small town at the time, so everyone knows each others’ business. Or so I’d think. They hired this lady named Jenna. No one knew of her history except for me. She and her husband stole hundreds of dollars of tools from my dad’s auto mechanic shop five years back. She also would purposefully trigger her son’s autistic attacks in public as a distraction to steal things.
I was extremely nervous as I had to train her and she knew whose daughter I am. She played dumb and I played dumb back. I decided I’d give her a second chance, maybe she got clean and needed one. I was wrong. Money would fall out of her bra all the time (we were hostesses so we didn’t get direct tips) even AFTER she’d put her wallet away. She also chased a customer down for a ‘smoke’ (aka PILLS) and was so loopy she had to get sent home. They were going to train her to be a manager. Finally, the other managers caught on she was stealing the waitresses’ tips after bussing tables and I came forward. She never realized in her messed up state they had cameras EVERYWHERE and I was able to identify when and where she was stealing. She got fired that night. That’s what you get for stealing from my dad.
She introduced me to the leader of a notorious biker gang. His wife asked if I would join a pyramid scheme with her. I’ve never NOPED so quickly in my life.”