Content edited for clarity. Sometimes people aren't who they say they are. And sometimes people do things that seem wildly out of character. Now imagine if a person like this was your employee or co-worker. Things could get a little bit crazy. People have the ability to shock us, even at work.
Crazy, but very true complaints. Content has been edited for clarity.
Buying Some Time
“Bank life was fun. I worked as a banker, and there was this teller that started with us. She was a nice girl at first, very helpful, but her attitude just flipped overnight a couple of weeks in. Suddenly she was picking fights with the other tellers, she was telling customers to shut up when they didn’t actually say anything to her, and she straight-up ripped up a guy’s paycheck at the drive-thru line because he copped a bit of an attitude with her. Somehow, none of this got her fired.
She finally messed up enough when her drawer was off for the tenth day in a row, this time she was under by $500. The managers brought her in, we all knew she was getting fired, but she walked out and gets back behind the teller line, and started working again. My manager then brought me into the office.
‘So she is going to HR with a harassment claim against you. I’d like to clear this up, because I’ve literally never seen you be anything short of completely professional to all the women here, including her,’ my manager said.
Apparently, she complained the whole time to the manager about different things that were ‘setting her off’ and when it seemed like none of them were working, she claimed that I was distracting her by talking to her and ‘harassing her.’ HR was going to get involved and I knew it wasn’t even going to take any proof, I was going to be fired and this was going to mess my life up forever.
I felt bad at first, I really did, because I thought maybe I hadn’t noticed if I made her feel uncomfortable at any time and I really do care about making sure I maintain professional relationships with my coworkers and I’m usually overanalyzing people’s facial expressions and body language. I thought maybe I missed something and I felt really awful about possibly making her feel uncomfortable.
But then it turned out it was just to stall for time while she searched for another job.
Luckily, we had a bazillion cameras, and every date and time she said these things happened, I was either working at my desk on the other side of the branch, or she wasn’t in that day, or we never made any sort of contact. HR saw that she was clearly just pulling dates and times randomly so they did their due diligence for about a week and then said we should be OK to fire her. She then claimed that we were all prejudicial because she’s middle eastern, thinking that would save her another couple of weeks, but HR processed her termination that day.”
Something Was Off About This Guy
“So I worked retail and we got this guy named something like Gus.
My boss told me, ‘Hey this guy’s got anxiety, go easy on him OK?’
And so I was like, okay that’s cool I get it I can relate. I do everything I can to help him make sense of the infernal forsaken hellscape that is retail. It started off with little forgivable things like forgetting a task here, forgetting things there, accidentally giving the wrong info, and things like that. You know, newbie retail stuff like that.
He quickly devolved in popularity as his complacency grew over time and his helpful attitude shrank. My guy started messing around during his shift, getting caught on his phone while ignoring backup cashier calls and things like that. He would make stabbing motions behind the manager’s back to other employees, tell off new employees, and play it all off like he was some innocent dope who didn’t know any better.
None of this got him fired. Day after day was a new complaint from an employee about responsibilities he shirked or a customer about blatantly wrong info like, ‘Oh yeah we have another location up on the hill’ and we didn’t. No idea whose son he was, because that was apparently all kosher.
What actually got him fired is the one day he brought a dog and a super expensive dog collar into work. He claimed he almost hit the dog on the way to work and it was running around wild, etc. He tried to sell the dog collar to a customer, then tried to ‘adopt out’ the dog to a coworker. This coworker was competent enough to take the dog to a vet whereupon they found a microchip and contacted the actual owners. That’s where the fun started.
It came out that Gus never found the dog at all. He straight-up kidnapped this dog from his neighbor and tried to pawn it off, knowing full well what he was doing. The guy lawyered up immediately, tried to sue Gus, and threatened to sue the store and the store manager if Gus wasn’t fired. Suffice to say, Gus was gone the very same evening. Nothing else came of it, but we talked about him for years and years.”
She Packed Her Own Lunch
I had a number of complaints about a new member of staff, they said that she kept taking off her shoes, pulling dry skin from her feet, and eating it. I thought the staff was lying and being mean about her just because they didn’t like her. That is until I saw her do it. She didn’t finish the week.
She wasn’t fired for this act, she quit about a week later. She didn’t really get on with the other staff, because they all thought she was a bit gross, and she quickly got into a bad mood because of it.
I’m not entirely blaming her. And as I said before that I thought the staff might be ‘lying’. The reason I say that is that it is a small group of staff, and they all collectively decide pretty quickly if they like or dislike someone. If they decide they like you, you’re golden. If they decide they don’t like you, you are shut out. By all of them. It’s quite a brutal environment, psychologically I mean. But she got cold shouldered pretty quickly, and left before the week was out.”
They Learned The Truth Eventually
“I had a coworker that was adamant about being my friend. It got to the point I went to the owner of the company and straight up told them, ‘Please tell this guy I am here to work. I don’t want to be friends. I just want to work my job and then go home.’
I had told him several times before that he was making my job difficult and I didn’t want to be friends. I thought it was finally resolved when I went to the owners. The next day he came in and told me, ‘Even if you don’t want to be friends, I still see you as my best friend.’
Eventually, I went in to quit, and instead, they called me into the office to let me go, saying I was their hardest worker and got the most customer satisfaction and most compliments from customers, but the ‘atmosphere is too tense when you both are working.’
He had anger issues and would curse up a storm if I didn’t respond kindly to friendly banter. In front of customers. He would literally ignore customers to try to ask things like, ‘What’s your favorite movie?’
Making me have to stop what I was doing to help the customers, ring them up, and then go back to what I was doing. He’d go into the backroom and kick something and scream tons of profanity you could hear if I didn’t answer his question. He even had a habit of yelling at and harassing customers.
The owners decided it was my fault for not wanting to be his friend. So they let me go. Really. In the exit interview they said, ‘You are one of our best workers, but since you can’t get along with him, we do have to let you go.”
Then they handed me a paycheck for $20 and told me not to worry, they hadn’t taken taxes out. I heard they made him a manager and then later fired him after finding out he was stealing merchandise. I liked that job until he was hired.”
Too Many To Count And One Of Them Escaped Getting Fired
“A customer complained an employee was stealing. I didn’t believe it, at first. The man was stealing Playboy magazines. No idea why, since his preferences swung a different way. But, then he got caught with them. Multiple copies of the same issue. He was fired.
One employee was spotted by a customer pleasuring himself on the roof before the store opened. Also used a magazine. I didn’t believe it. But I still staked out the roof. It turned out to be true. He was fired.
One customer told me the bookkeeper was up to something because she didn’t get a receipt for a space she rented. I didn’t believe it. Turned out, this employee was pocketing a few hundred at a time when a vendor paid in cash. Was doing all kinds of embezzling that wasn’t easy to catch. He was fired. And then jailed.
After a while, I started to believe anything was possible. One customer walked in on an employee who was pleasuring himself. There was a lock on the door. The lock not used. He was fired.
One customer spotted a receipt that showed a coupon when they paid cash. The coupon code should have been cleared out of the system years before. It was a one hundred percent off coupon. This employee made an extra $100 or so per shift. They were fired. And then also jailed. It was a total mystery as to how they found the coupon code.
One customer found a camera in the women’s restroom. I knew right away who it was. Staked out the camera feed until I saw him go in. He was fired and then went to jail.
One customer was hugged by an employee. No idea why. It was the employee’s first day. They were fired.
One customer spotted a security guard selling crack to his friends. He had been selling it and other stuff on his shift for over a year. Added bonus when we got rid of him, thefts went way down.
One customer complained an employee pointed and laughed when an old lady fell. I reviewed the tape. It was pretty pronounced. She had tripped on an end cap, fell, and wasn’t able to get herself up. He was pointing and laughing for a while. When someone else helped her up, he was berated about doing nothing. Not fired, though.”
Did No One Notice?
“I was working in the snack bar at a local Target and we’d gone through a handful of employees who just didn’t work out for whatever reason. Then they hired this guy (I’ll call him Red because he had reddish hair and I can’t remember his name anyway) to be a supervisor. He was probably in his late 20s, early 30s, somewhere around there.
He was awful. All the dept leads at Target had walkie-talkies and headsets. Red had neither (and neither did our lead supervisor, I don’t think) because we just didn’t need them in the snack bar. Red, however, insisted that we did and threw a fit to multiple dept leads, including the customer service lead, about it.
Because of the store’s location, we often had construction workers come in to grab a quick breakfast. One of the construction workers who came in regularly for about two to three weeks was a lady and Red decided to try and hit on her. When she told him she was married, he upped the ante. One day, she came in, and before she could even walk up to the counter, he reached out and grabbed her hand and tried to pull her towards him. The next day her husband (who was several inches taller, heavier, and more muscular than Red) came in and told him to leave his wife alone or he was gonna get it.
Another time, Red started hitting on one of the pharmacists. She didn’t want anything to do with him, so he followed her out to her car. When she locked the door and told him to get lost, he walked to the back of the car and started pushing up and down on the bumper, which freaked her out and she called the cops on him.
The absolute last straw was his doing a no-call no-show. I’d left a note for our lead supervisor about his no-call no-show and Red became absolutely furious at me. Like, screaming in my face, threatening to hit me. That got him fired. Why his other creepy behavior didn’t, I have no idea.”
No One Could Believe It
“Many years ago, the bookshop I worked at hired a new employee with terminal cancer. It was very sad since she was quite young. She wasn’t around too much due to the chemotherapy etc., but when she was in she worked in the children’s department. She was actually a pretty good children’s bookseller, and was a huge fan of a fairly major American children’s author; she ran the UK branch of his fan club and knew him personally, he occasionally flew her out to the States for events.
One day, she wasn’t in, and all employees were called to a staff meeting. We were informed that she had passed away. There was a lot of sadness; her close colleagues were devastated. Only a few days later one of our staff happened to go into a branch of McDonald’s in a nearby town. Guess who was working behind the counter?
Turns out she was never ill. She had made the whole cancer thing up, as well as faking her own death, for reasons that we never really fully understood. The general consensus was that it started out as a way to connect with her author hero and kind of spiraled from there; in the end, she couldn’t handle living the lie anymore. So she decided to have her mother tell people that she’d died. And then got a job in Maccie D’s a few miles down the road, and was surprised when she got found out.
That was a pretty what-the-heck sort of experience for us all.”
“I was Legit Sad”
“When I was a teenager I worked for a movie theater. One day I came in and there were three managers, including a regional manager who sometimes worked at our location, counting everyone’s drawer to verify during shift changes. Usually, only one manager verified counts, and usually, they would do it in the cash room, not right in front of you. When I asked the person I was in the ticket booth with what it was about they said they suspected someone was stealing thousands of dollars.
At the end of my shift, the three managers came in and counted my drawer. It was exactly right to the penny. They all looked at each other and then told me to come with them. They locked me in a room by myself. An hour later the general manager came in and interrogated me. After 20 minutes of questioning, she said, ‘Your drawer count was exactly accurate tonight.’
I said, ‘So, it always is.’
She said, ‘Not according to your records.’
I said, ‘That can’t be right, I’ve never been off, not once. You count my drawer most of the time, you know that.’
I could see a lightbulb go off in her head. She left the room. Three more hours later she came back and told me I was free to go and would be getting paid overtime for the extra time I was kept after my shift. (It was only supposed to be a 3-hour shift). She didn’t say anything else.
My friend was an assistant manager and worked that night. After he got off his shift I asked him what that was all about. He told me I was literally the only one working that day who had an accurate drawer count, and that’s why they suspected me as the culprit.
Turns out, people who get paid six dollars an hour are terrible at counting money/doing math, and usually, everyone was a little bit off. Also turns out the regional manager was the one who was stealing. They later figured out that she had been skimming from a dozen locations, totaling hundreds of thousands over the years, a few bucks at a time. If it wasn’t for me and my accurate counts they might never have caught her. I never even got so much as a thank you or a ‘sorry we thought you were a thief.’
Me being the perfectionist little overachieving teenager I was, I asked the next time I came in if they could correct my record to show that I was never off on my counts. They said no. I was legit sad.”
“My wife’s car broke down about 30 miles from home when she was at work and she and the car were returned home by a tow guy. In the course of the journey home – I discovered later – they had talked a lot and she had told him that she worked at a big hospital (she’s a specialist nurse but doesn’t always wear a uniform). He told her that he often parked in the car park there while waiting for calls, which she didn’t really think anything of. In retrospect, she said that he was being very friendly and asked lots of questions about her – how old she was, was she married, did she have kids, etc. He also told her he was a mobile mechanic and could look at her car for her. She politely declined and said she’d get the dealer to look at it.
That evening she got a text from an unknown number, saying (I paraphrase), ‘hi N, it’s Mike from XYZ recovery. It was really lovely to meet you earlier. like I said earlier, I do car repairs much cheaper than a garage. I’d be more than happy to look at your car if you wanted?’
So far so innocent, although he signed off with an X which I thought was a bit creepy. My wife said he was just being friendly and she teased me that I was being jealous for no reason. She replied saying something along the lines of ‘thanks for the offer but the car is booked in at the garage tomorrow, N’ and left it at that.
The next thing I knew was a couple of weeks later when she came home from work looking upset and told me that he had texted her about seven or eight times, initially repeating the offer to look at her car and then saying that as he was at the hospital often perhaps they could meet for a coffee or lunch ‘or something’. He left several during the day saying that he was in the car park right then if she wanted to ‘meet up’. The greeting on each of the messages had also grown increasingly creepier, starting with ‘hi N’ and then ‘hi babe’ or ‘hi gorgeous and finally ‘hi sexi’.
She had replied coolly and politely at first with ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and eventually with a much less polite ‘stop texting me’ (she isn’t very tech-savvy and didn’t know at the time how to block someone).
The final straw was when she came out of work to find a bunch of flowers on her car windscreen. There was no message or card, but it was pretty obvious where it had come from. This was when she tearfully told me what had been going on. I was furious and rang his number, which he didn’t answer. So I waited an hour or so and rang it from her phone and he answered straight away with a cheery ‘hi N!’
I ripped into him and told him I was going to ring his company and he’d be lucky if I didn’t report him to the police for stalking as well. He hung up. I spoke to the breakdown company and they were shocked to hear what had happened. Although, I did feel at first like they didn’t quite believe me. That is until I emailed them screencaps of the texts and replies. I was assured that it ‘would be dealt with’ but I wanted more than that and eventually my complaint got escalated to the head of HR at the breakdown company (which was a woman, which I’m sure helped). She assured me that if it was down to her, he would have been sacked on the spot. The complication was that the breakdown company didn’t always use their own crews and vehicles. Often they used local suppliers who weren’t actually employed by them, they were self-employed contractors, which this guy was. All she could assure me was that he would not ever work for them again.
We never heard from him again and my wife changed her car and phone number shortly afterward (partly due to him) and no longer works at that hospital (nothing to do with him) but while she was there she had a word with the security guys and parked near their office so they could keep an eye on her car.”
They Had Bad Feelings About That One
“My first job was with a very small company which had about 19 employees in it. As you can imagine, people tend to get to know quite a bit about each other with such a few number of employees, typically because there’s daily interaction with many of them.
I sat across from a very young and attractive girl I’ll call ‘Helen.’ She was one of the art designers for the company, and had been there for about a year. About a month into my new job, and we had talked a bit, Helen started making comments about a specific employee, who’ll I’ll call ‘Bob’ because I hate this name.
Helen said Bob made her uncomfortable but had never done anything she could report. He would do little things like the way he stared at her as he walked by, or made idle talk starting off with how nice she dressed. Helen arrived at the office about an hour before most people, which puts her almost in an alone status with Bob daily. She asked if I could come in early and I said sure.
It didn’t take long for me to notice her issues, and yes, this guy knew precisely how to stay under that line of a talk from HR versus pleasant, daily conversation. This dude made my skin crawl too. That feeling you know something isn’t right, but can’t do anything about it. I hate that feeling!
Apparently, my early arrival must have hit Bob pretty hard, as his awkward conversation starters began to diminish as we’d engage in conversation before he came through the hallway.
A few weeks after I started coming in early, we both began to experience some weird things. Helen would come in and find her seat was damp, or the items on her desk were rearranged. I found my chair would be missing, broken, and my computer refusing to start because it was unplugged. They were just little things, not all at once, but definitely noticeable. And we knew it couldn’t be the fault of the night cleaning crew. So, Helen and I decided to report these issues to HR. We believed they talked to Bob because the issues started to diminish.
Unfortunately, they didn’t disappear completely. In addition, things just started getting worse in a different way. For example, Helen worked on a new design for a customer portfolio, but the next day, the work was gone. Completely removed, even from backup. Her chair would still be damp at times, but not as it used to be. On my end, some of my code began to generate errors after new updates, which didn’t make any sense since the processes that were breaking weren’t touched by me. Upon review of my code, it looked as though someone intentionally altered the code, just enough so that I wouldn’t notice. Since I used source control software, I could easily see when the program was altered, and who altered it.
I reported this to HR as well as Helen’s continuing issues. The HR person stated it wasn’t enough that we had Bob as the author of the changed programs since it couldn’t be verified he was the one actually logged in. My boss, however, was started to get upset as well. With the issues and delays, he took notice, so he requested a secret meeting with the executives to figure out what was going on. The decision was made to put cameras into the office. One weekend, a crew came out and installed tiny cameras into the vents, and began recording.
What they found was shocking.
Bob had always been an early person, but it was more than just to ‘greet’ Helen. He would rummage through people’s desks, and stare at photographs, particularly of those with young girls. He took one of the photos and went over to Helen’s desk, then dropped his pants and began jerking off. Once he was done, he went back to clean up his mess, which explains why her chair was damp. At my desk, he’d pick up my picture of my family and start finger flicking the image (I’m guessing at me). This particular day, he decided to remove one of the capstans from my chair.
Of course, of that day, we had no clue what was going on.
From our perspective, what we saw was about 9:00 am, several police officers entered the office, and took Bob out in handcuffs. Surprisingly, a couple of employees clapped as he was lead out. I guess he did something to them, too. It wasn’t until the police left that Helen and I were called in and told what they found on the video. Helen immediately started to cry. I couldn’t imagine what she was feeling, but it was a violation so disgusting to cause such a breakdown.
Of course, the owner and CEO were very concerned for the employees, and offered counseling and any other services, including as much time off as a person needed, to help recover from this heinous act. It took time, but eventually, things got back to normal, but it was an experience I will never forget. I’ve heard about employees jerking/peeing into coffee, harassment, and other issues, but having experienced first hand what it was like to know of these things but at the same time make it difficult to report was awful. It happens. What’s worse is when it happens and you can’t really do anything about it. At least the company I worked for set up cameras to resolve the situation.
My condolences to all those out there whose company won’t do a thing about it.”