What people put out on the internet is there forever. That's what our parents always told us, and these people know it to be true after they made the biggest mistake of their professional career. We searched through Reddit and found stories of people who lost their jobs for the message they sent out into world wide web. Let's just hope they've learned their lesson. Content has been edited for clarity.
Be careful of what you post on social media. Content has been edited.
The Gamestop Spirit
“I worked at Gamestop until 2010. The store was in a mall and parents would always leave their kids in the store and go do their shopping. Sometimes the children would cry, sometimes they’d pee themselves, even had a #2. Parents would get mad at us for not bringing them to the bathroom or start screaming at their kids for not just playing games for a few hours without causing any problems. I tweeted about how the store wasn’t there to babysit children and never really thought about that tweet again, until…
A few months later, same thing. A parent drops this kid off in store, then leaves. 20 minutes later, an older looking guy is outside the store, on his flip phone, aiming it at the store. He’s creeping me out but I continue offering pointless warranties to customers while waiting for my next break. Then, I noticed him walk near the entrance of the store and ask that kid where his parents are. This seemed really fishy and the guy looked beyond suspicious, I was thinking he could be a child abuser and I was right. He gets the kid to go with him, I call up mall security so they could check it out and they caught him before he left the mall.
He was arrested, the kid was crying and asking for his mom.. Who mall security could not reach because as it turns out, she went to some stores outside of the mall area and she didn’t actually come back for another 2 hours, at which point she threatened to sue me, Gamestop, the mall, etc. The security guard lady told her that child services were called, they all walked away, and that was the last time I saw them.
A few days later, the District Manager shows up in store and I was fired on the spot because that lady made a complaint, DM found my twitter and informed me that my approach to yesterday’s dilemma and my tweet about how Gamestop isn’t a babysitting service has made them believe that I don’t have the ‘Gamestop spirit.’
Both the manager and district manager told me I could use them as a reference on my resume though, which was great until they both lost their jobs a few weeks later.”
20 Minutes After The Interview
“A prospective employee had just passed his interview, and was told that all he needs to do is pass a pee test and a physical and he would start on Monday. Someone from our company found the new hire on Facebook and the guy had just posted 20 minutes after the interview, ‘Anyone know how to pass a substance test in 24 hours?!'”
Young and Dumb
“I was younger and an idiot. I posted something on Facebook about wanting to go home and play The Sims so I could create [telecommunications store I worked for] on it and then slowly kill off all the customers.
I was working a late night shift in a mall and forgot our new coworker had added me on Facebook days before. I guess the fact that I had the name of the company I worked for on my facebook profile didn’t help. Their staff implying they want to kill off all their customers in a virtual world probably isn’t a good look. My co-worker seemed really cool and friendly so I thought nothing of accepting his friend request. Found out later by one of my other ex co workers that head office had specifically put him in our store. Que retail drama that I escaped before it started. He became the manager not long after even though he had 0 experience in that job before then thanks to more head office politics. Jokes on him though because I was a good sales person and I bet he missed my accessories add on percentage once he was manager. “
The Mail Man Is Not Always Nice
“A girl on my Facebook worked for the postal service in my town. She posted on Facebook how she wanted to slit her bosses throat and went into some gory details. Then, about 5 hours later, she posted another status about how the Feds showed up at her house and that one of her coworkers had shown her boss the status and she was now fired. She’s obviously really dumb and trashy.”
“He Said His House Was On Fire”
“I had to fire someone for a social media post. He was a volunteer firefighter and left for a call which I allowed. Fifteen minutes later someone showed me his 5 minute old post of him riding quads saying something along the lines of ‘sometimes you just need to F off from work’. That put him on a final warning. He then left because he said HIS house was on fire then half an hour later his wife tagged him in a photo of him sitting in a kiddie pool in front of his house.
The funny thing is, in both cases, if he had simply asked to leave early I probably would have said yes. To clarify, this was over different days a few weeks apart and he worked for me but also volunteered as a firefighter. The fire chief also found out about this and dismissed him from that position as well. This guy had a few issues needless to say and honesty was not something with which he was familiar.
“Former Chipotle manager here- as many of you know, Chipotle gives away free stuff on Halloween. So it’s a mandatory weekend for everyone to work. Well, one of our employees called off that Thursday saying he had swine flu… right.
Of course he posted pics of his weekend parting on his FB. Upon which he was friends with our kitchen manager, general manager, and district manager.
Per company policy (and common sense), you can’t return to work from serious contagious sickness without a doctor’s note. So he shows back up on Wednesday acting all fine and saying the doc cleared him. Oh, but his mom threw his release note away. Too bad buddy, we need that or you can’t work. Since we didn’t know when he would have it, we only gave him one day on the schedule anyway.
So then HIS MOMMY calls me and asks why he can’t work. I ask her, if she went to a restaurant and found out a cook hadn’t proven he was cleared from having swine flu, would she eat there? She saw my point. But it’s not his fault she threw away the note! They were REMODELING! I asked, why can’t the doc write a new one? Well, he went on vacation! …Couldn’t the receptionist or a P.A. get them something? She huffed and hung up on me.
The next day he puts on FB: ‘Dear Chipotle and managers: instead of cutting hours on someone, why not grow the balls to fire them outright? Suck it.’
Pretty easy to let him go after that…”
“I Was Seen As A Liability”
“I got fired from an internship for posting on Reddit before. It was a very small environmental engineering consulting firm. We were doing work on a site that had lead and arsenic contamination on it. The site was very dusty and if it didn’t rain for a few days, the dust would often kick up and blow onto the street next to the site, which happened to be the main road in this semi-smallish town.
Someone mentioned on Reddit, in a totally unrelated way, that they were from this town. I made a mention of the contamination, and told the dude that if he ever saw dust coming off the site that he should contact the engineers which were housed above one of the local bars.
Apparently this guy didn’t really want the site to be redeveloped at all because of the already high congestion in the surrounding roads, so he called and complained and mentioned my post on Reddit.
The company was so small it was obvious it was me who posted it, and I fessed up about what I had said, and immediately deleted the post. Even though I didn’t do anything illegal, or even remotely immoral, I was fired because I was seen as a liability.
Whatever. People deserve to know if the dust they’re breathing in could give them cancer. I moved onto a different field (marine biology) and haven’t even remotely looked back.”
“This is about a friend of mine.
He and his girlfriend (at the time) both worked at Zellers. He worked as the head cook in the in-store restaurant, and she worked as a server/hostess. After a few years of being together, they decided to get married. They announced their engagement proudly to everyone, and the branch manager of their Zellers gave them a massive discount on food and supplies for the wedding. The wedding preparation took nearly a year, but they pulled it off and had a great wedding. When they went to return to work, however, my friend’s wife was promptly dismissed because ‘husbands and wives aren’t allowed to work in the same department.’ After months of lead-up to their wedding, the manager somehow forgot to inform the happy couple that getting married would mean one of them being let go.
So my friend posted on his Facebook. ‘Zellers has a policy where a husband and wife may not work in the same department. Because they did not tell me and my wife this policy, my wife has been fired. If you disagree with this policy, please contact Zellers at (blank).’
The next day, he was fired as well.”
Yeah… You Can’t Do That
“A girl I went to college with (in the same program as me) interviewed for a position at the school I teach at. The principal loved her but then we found tweets from her asking to borrow a weapon to go to the interview (I teach at an urban, inner city school).
It gets worse. She then went on to post a similar status on Facebook, something to the tune of, ‘My ride to work will be all click, click, lockin my doors!’
The principal printed out the tweets and confronted her with them at the final interview. She said they were meant as a joke and the principal stone face responded, ‘I’m not laughing.’
She was blacklisted. She still (4 years or so later) cannot get a teaching job.”
“I was fired from a nightclub security job for posting on Facebook.
We had provided our bar for a large frat party. This group had tried reserving space at a number of other bars in my city with no luck because of their over-the-top wild antics, but my owners decided to let them come because, well, money.
Flash forward to midnight. We had three tables and a couch broken, and two female staff assaulted.
After I had just broken up a fight, I took one of the involved to the kitchen to help him get cleaned up. He was not the aggressor, but since he had a broken nose and was bleeding, we had to call an ambulance for him. Out of nowhere, he decides to spit a mouthful of blood into my mouth mid conversation.
I had just had my wisdom teeth out, so I had open ‘wounds’ in my mouth. Needless to say my owners and my boss urged me to go get tested for any diseases carried in the blood, including HIV.
So, after the most nightmarish night experienced, a few of us posted about it on Facebook. Our owners saw multiple postings, but apparently mine was the only one to warrant termination:
‘(Name of Frat) should go die in a fire.'”
“Worst Driver Ever”
“This happened to me many years ago. I was on the job a week at a law firm, and had to ride with one of the female employees to the UPS store. She was a terrible driver and almost wrecked multiple times. I posted on Facebook, ‘One week on the job and my coworker is trying to kill me; worst driver ever.’ The next day I was called into my boss’ office with the girl sitting there with an expressionless look on her face, and there was a printout of my post. It was awkward and they fired me on the spot. All of my account information was also set to private, so they figured a way to check my activity.”
That Poor Turtle…
“A couple years ago, I was working as a Camp Counselor for 5 and 6 year olds. One day, we took the kids on a field trip to the Bronx Zoo. While walking through the reptile exhibit, one counselor noticed two turtles getting it on. A couple of the counselors thought it was pretty funny and one of them took a picture. A couple days later, he posted this picture on Facebook onto which I commented how I would do it with a turtle.
Days later all the supervisors and even the director of the camp had seen my comment and proceeded to tell me that they ‘would never trust their kids with me’ and how ‘sick it was that I would say that about a turtle.’ All in all, it was a pretty awkward conversation on top of a very awkward situation. The part that bothered me was the fact that none of the supervisors were tagged in it- they were just browsing my co-worker’s pictures and found my comment. I’m sure if they dug deep enough they would’ve found incriminating things on all our profiles. Also, I’m not actually going to do it with a turtle. Maybe I should’ve driven that point home. I did not get hired back.”
“Well, I Don’t Know How To Handle This”
“I was working for a company who, in my opinion, was underpaying, considering the guy I worked side by side with, who only had six months experience over me, was making twice what I made. So I was looking for other jobs, but not full time, because despite the low pay, I still liked this job. So I posted to Facebook asking if anybody knew of any part-time jobs in graphic design, or if anybody needed any personal/freelance work done.
In the comments, someone asked if I was interested in full time positions, too. I said I was if the pay was high enough because, let’s face it, I didn’t like the job THAT much to turn down more money. So I made a comment in the thread about how ‘[current job] doesn’t pay me as much as I’d like, I should have negotiated for more.’
So about three days later, I get called into my boss’ office. He has a screenshot from my Facebook in an email. He asks me what it’s about. I tell him I was looking for side work because I could use a bit more income. Here is where it gets weird. He basically realized after arguing with me that he had no case, because it’s totally in my rights to look for a second job. Also, he can’t discipline me for seeking a new job unless I’m doing it on company time, which I wasn’t. Something I avoided in case this exact situation ever came up.
After realizing that his argument isn’t working, he switched his game up. He then tells me this is because I was on Facebook on company time. Which, yes, I was at work, BUT I was on my lunch break when I posted, from my phone, on my network, not company WiFi. Then, I happened to notice the profile picture from who was taking the screen shots. It was a woman who worked right across from me. The TIME STAMP from her phone was 1:27PM on the Friday before.
I raise a point: ‘Hold on, you’re disciplining me for not doing anything wrong, yet, the person you are taking “evidence” from was ON FACEBOOK, on their PHONE during WORK HOURS? Which is the exact reason you’re talking to me in the first place?’
He, being the extremely competent, and extremely mature boss/CEO/President that he was then says, ‘Well, I don’t know how to handle this, so why don’t you just clean out your desk…’
So, I cleaned my desk out and left. and then to top it off, the fat dude that sent the screen shots is just grinning at me.
The CEO then had the balls to tell me on the way out, ‘Sorry, I had to do that, I still think you do grade A work, and you can still use me as a reference…'”
‘”I worked for a place that has a gift shop. Inside of this gift shop were the most ugly, unwearable scarves on the face of the planet. I was younger and didn’t really care about the company or any possible consequences.
I started a movement called ‘Scarf Tuesday’. Basically, a few of us (on the clock) would meet up at 9 every Tuesday and wear a scarf for a photo on Facebook. Absolutely put it back when we were done. The process literally took five minutes max. We’d pick our scarf of the week and a few props (a beanie baby to pose with us or maybe a banner of our favorite sports team). Then we chose a pose. Picture was snapped, items were put back and we went about our business. These photos started getting likes and people loved them, so we kept going.They usually got anywhere from 30-50 likes a week. People would give suggestions. It was the one thing that we looked forward to at a dead-end job.
A few months later, I get pulled into my bosses office. On the wall, I’m not kidding, there are at least twenty of the scarf Tuesday pictures WITH THE FACES BLURRED OUT. My boss asks me, to this day, the funniest question I’ve ever been asked:
‘What do you see here?’
I smiled and told him it looked like employees wearing scarves.
He said he found it ‘hilarious’ but it was unacceptable and he was disappointed. Apparently somebody watching the cameras wasn’t happy and watched us for weeks piling evidence. EVERYBODY (fifteen people at least) had similar meetings in the next few days. We weren’t working for three minutes that it took to take the picture, it looked ‘unprofessional’ to customers, we were wearing our uniforms in the picture…his list went on and on.
I didn’t get canned right away because we stopped doing Scarf Tuesday, but the retaliation was awful and eventually I was blamed for just about everything that went wrong and got fired.”
“I almost got fired alllll the way back in 2006 for a Myspace post. I had just started a new job and the shift manager was really micromanaging me- timing my breaks down to the minute, keeping track of my bathroom breaks, monitoring my productivity, etc, and giving me a hard time about all of it. In my defense, I hadn’t actually done anything to deserve all this extra scrutiny above all the other employees, even the other new ones, so it wasn’t just her keeping tabs on me to make sure I was a good fit or anything like that. She had just decided she didn’t like me for whatever reason and it made me so mad, so I blogged about my frustrations.
I’m not proud of what I wrote, but it was something like, ‘I hate my manager, she’s a nosy old butthead with sand in her soul and she never leaves me alone!’ Very juvenile, but I was mad and I felt victimized by this woman. Now before anyone crucifies me for doing something so stupid- social media was in its infancy back then and employers spying on you online wasn’t widespread like it is today. The thought didn’t even cross my mind that anyone from work might see it. To me, my blog was little more than a diary and a place to vent.
Anyway, I posted it and didn’t give it another thought until I got called into the main office a few days later. The big boss told me that my manager had seen it, corporate was ‘investigating,’ and I was most likely going to be fired. Well, I soon found out. There was one girl on my shift who had immediately befriended me when I started there. She was super-nice and talked to me all the time, and I found it odd that nobody else would talk to her. But I found out from another employee that it was because she was the manager’s little toadie who spied on everyone and reported back with everything she overheard. She had found me on Myspace and shown my blog to the manager.
I ended up writing a groveling apology letter and begging for forgiveness. The manager accepted my apology and I got to keep my job, but I learned several things from that experience: don’t talk about coworkers online, or if you absolutely HAVE to, make your profile private and use a fake name. Very embarrassing lesson learned, and I’ve been super-paranoid about keeping my online life completely hidden from bosses and coworkers ever since.”
“I Was Gone Within A Week”
“I worked customer support for a mobile game company. I was honest with a disheartened customer, who had complained that recent changes had made the game pay to win. It had, in truth, been a glitch with an update. I told them as much, assuring them the team would be fixing it in the next update. But then the games profits skyrocketed. The team kept the glitch and put out a statement describing the change as an intentional one designed to improve the play experience. But there was my name, plastered all over the game forums, claiming the opposite. I technically worked for a separate company that provided support for several studios, but the studio behind this game was our biggest customer. They approached my bosses, furious I jeopardized their cash cow, and demanded I be fired. I promptly became familiar with the underside of the bus, as I was gone within the week.”
They Really Should Have Investigated
“A little over a year ago, a bunch of employees at my old job at a restaurant got a rash. It wasn’t contagious, our blood was clean, and the doctors were confused. I took steroids from day one and had it for a little over two weeks I believe. I didn’t even have it as bad as a couple of people. Everyone continued to work, even though some people had it in exposed areas. Employees were itching and talking about it, but management did nothing. Even the manager had it, but the owner didn’t so he didn’t care to take any action.
Well, I posted a picture of my rash online and gave absolutely no information on where I worked. It got to the front page of that website, and a coworker saw it and obviously recognized it. He showed people because he thought it was funny, but there was a coworker already out to get me. To make matters worse, she was close with our manager. So they told the owner that I had posted the picture on Facebook, which obviously would have been a big deal.
So the manager told me to leave, but said she would have the owner meet with me. I knew as soon as I got home that she wasn’t going to tell the owner to contact me. But I was already planning to quit the next weekend, so I didn’t bother to meet with him. I’m not working at a place that allows the majority of their staff to get a rash and not investigate it.”