Everyone has experienced a tough day on the job. These workers’ first days were so terrible that they handed in their resignation letters on day one! Sorry, boss! Content has been edited for clarity.
Phony Phone Calls
“I walked out of a job on the first day. I didn’t even make it past eleven in the morning.
Simply, the company was composed of a bunch of scammers.
The company had a massive list of people who owed them money. These people either had bad credit or had previous interactions with the criminal justice system. The company had two teams to handle their clients, team ‘A’ and team ‘B’.
I was a member of team ‘A’. Our team was supposed to cold call the clients and pretend to offer these individuals unbelievably cheap loans. These loans had favorable interest rates and terms, all of which were completely fake.
What my team did was try to convince the individuals on the phone to call the other team. The other team would keep these people on the phone as long as possible and pretend to enter the caller’s personal information.
I remember walking into the job at eight-thirty in the morning and starting training. The higher-ups constantly mentioned big bonus opportunities for getting a certain number of referrals.
I immediately noticed there was something wrong. The training was only forty-five minutes long!
After the training was over, one woman attending excitedly asked, ‘Is there any way I could get one of these loans?’
The boss replied, ‘Well, of course! Just call the phone number and talk to one of our representatives.’
I didn’t notice the company was a scam until after the training. I made five phone calls to clients and got hung up on almost immediately. Afterward, the boss came to my desk and threatened to fire me. I hadn’t been employed for about four months and was hurting for money. I was also young and naïve, so I made a few more phone calls.
About an hour later, the boss came to the front of the room and said, ‘There has been a change of plans! The clients are catching on to our scheme. I wrote a new telephone script, only say exactly what it tells you to!’
She grabbed a stack of papers from the printer and passed them out to the team.
After I read the script, I felt an incredible sense of guilt that I was scamming innocent people. I got up to go to the restroom and simply walked out. I felt guilty for working at this company for several days after I quit.
A few weeks later, I was involved in a door-to-door charity scam as well. I was also desperate for money when I worked here and was quite hungry as I couldn’t afford food. The job comprised going door-to-door and getting people to donate money to a fake charity. In my defense, the charity seemed legitimate. At this job, I left within the first hour of training.
I later found a decent job at an industrial bakery. It was boring work, but at least it was honest and I could live with myself.”
“This situation happened when I was nineteen years old. I was hired to work as a doorman at an exclusive hotel in Budapest. I was extremely eager to start the job and excited to make my own money.
On my first day, I was given a fancy uniform which included a hat and a dapper navy blue suit. I was happily greeting the guests, helping them out of their cars, and holding doors for them while they carried their luggage.
After about three hours, a manager came to me and demanded, ‘Go to the back and clean out the trash bins. They are full of rotten food and raw meat.’
He pointed me towards a hose and some chemicals to disinfect after I was done.
I was only halfway through cleaning the trash bins when I started heavily sweating and smelled like garbage. I didn’t want to disappoint the manager, so I had to finish what I started. By the time I was finished cleaning, I was sweating like a pig and smelled like one, too.
After all the bins were cleaned, I went to see my manager and asked politely, ‘May I please have another uniform to wear? I don’t smell good, and I don’t want to get any complaints from guests about my appearance.’
To my surprise, the manager told me, ‘No. Just go back to the front door and keep working. Nobody will notice.’
I questioned, ‘Are you sure? Because I don’t feel like I look or smell up to the standards of this five-star hotel.’
He asserted, ‘Since I am your boss, you will do whatever I say. You are fine. Go to the front door and get back to work.’
Not only did I look and smell like a pig, but I seemed like I would be treated like one, too.
I made a split-second decision, looked at him, and exclaimed, ‘You are not my boss anymore!’
I quit the job and never looked back.”
The Sloppy Store Owner
“I worked as an Assistant Manager at Advance Auto Parts when I found a job opening for a store manager at a different company. My friend worked for the other company, so I figured the job couldn’t be too bad. I applied, and shortly after, I was called in for an interview. The owner, who was younger than me, interviewed me and offered to hire me right away. The salary was much better than I was making at Advance Auto Parts. Taking the job offer seemed like a simple decision. If I took the job, I would make more money and work with one of my good friends.
I was close to the District manager at Advance Auto Parts, so I told him about the opportunity they offered me.
I asked, ‘Can you potentially match my salary? I’m not sure I want to leave the company hanging.’
He declined and said, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t match the money. However, if your new position doesn’t work out, you are always welcome to come back and work at Advance.’
On my first day on the new job, I found out my first task would be firing the current store manager. The store owner never said a word to the manager about being fired previously! Afterward, I toured the facilities with my friend who also worked at the store. The place was a complete mess. Inventory was stacked haphazardly, and random boxes were opened everywhere. The mess was so bad, it would have likely taken a week to fix.
I talked to the other associates there and discovered they resented authority figures. They essentially did whatever they wanted while at work. Then, I found out the store owner was the son of two people I had gone to school with. The employees had to hide the petty cash from the store owner because he would spend it illegally! To make the situation worse, the store owner was going through a divorce. His ex-wife was related to the store’s most profitable customer, and they stopped shopping at the store during this time!
On my drive home, I called the store owner and told him I would no longer work there. He cursed at me, threatened me, and pleaded for me to stay, but I couldn’t work at the train wreck of a store. I called my old manager at Advance, and thankfully, he allowed me to come back to my old job.
The funniest part is, my friend who also worked at the store quit only a month later!”
A Sticky Situation
“When I was fourteen years old, I applied and was offered a job as a dishwasher at a local diner.
On my first day, I walked in thinking the job would be a piece of cake. How hard could washing dishes be? I only needed the money to afford Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Monster Energy Drinks during high school, anyway. Plus, the diner offered to work around my football and class schedule.
Only minutes after arriving, the manager gave me a tour of the kitchen and showed me my dishwashing station. The kitchen seemed pretty standard, but it was disgustingly dirty. So dirty, that after a couple of hours, I decided I would never eat at this diner again.
During a dinner rush, the plates seemingly never stopped coming to the dishwashing station. On this night, breakfast food was the specialty. I hated sticky stuff, and syrup was everywhere! I powered through my phobia because the thought of a paycheck was extremely enticing.
I kept washing dishes when suddenly a server threw down a basket of dirty dishes in the wash station. Sticky syrup splattered everywhere! There was syrup on my face, hands, and doused on my uniform.
At this point, I realized I was better suited as a host at my mom’s restaurant. I sprayed myself down with water and immediately fled the diner.
When I got home, I think I stood in the shower for nearly two hours. I couldn’t get the syrup out of my hair or ears. The worst part? My mom, who was a manager at IHOP, brought home pancakes and syrup for dinner.
“I Sprinted Out Of The Building As Quick As I Could”
“I’m fairly sure I worked as a ‘lady of the night’ for about five hours fifteen years ago. I was in London on a visa and was desperately searching for a job. Finding a job was difficult because I would only be in London for a limited time. Eventually, I got hired as a kitchen assistant at a hotel.
My duties were supposed to be simple. I was to help with the preparation of appetizers, plate food and deliver it to tables, and offer customers drink refills. I had previously worked as a server for years, so I thought this job would be perfect for me.
When I arrived on my first day, I reported to the kitchen and did nothing for four hours.
When I tried speaking to the other workers, they told me, ‘The manager in charge of you isn’t here yet. You don’t even have to help with dinner service, so we don’t know why you are in here.’
Alright, fair enough. I didn’t know what to do, so I wandered around and poked through some store rooms. I just needed to look busy.
Shortly afterward, the manager who hired me arrived. He immediately whisked me away to a private VIP bar upstairs. We walked through the bar and into a large room with multiple closets and mirrors.
He told me, ‘You know, you can wear whatever you want to work. You can even keep all of your clothes, makeup, shoes, and jewelry here.’
I thought he was just showing me the employee lounge. I thought it was lovely I could change clothes and store my belongings there if I was spending the day in the city.
I figured we would head back down to the kitchen, but he brought me around to a hidden part of the bar which was separated from the main area. He started listing off people I might find back there one day, such as business executives, football players, and government officials.
He explained, ‘If any of these important figures have special requests, you need to honor them and make sure they receive the best service possible.’
Only later did I realize what this statement meant. I was fine with serving semi-famous people because I probably wouldn’t recognize them, anyway.
Then things got weird. He started talking about tips and began winking at me a lot.
He told me, ‘I can loan you some money to buy some beautiful clothing. You’ll make enough tips to pay me back this evening.’
He probably winked at me eight times during this conversation.
I told him, ‘I thought I was going to get a restaurant uniform shirt. I’m not sure I understand what you are talking about.’
He replied, ‘You will not be in the kitchen at all.’
This is when I finally realized what kind of job position I had accepted. I sprinted out of the building as quickly as I could.”
“The Organization Was Just A Scam”
“I had just moved back home after graduation. I had a few tests to clear before getting a full-time job, so I needed a part-time job to earn some extra money and keep myself afloat. Luckily, I got a recommendation from my dad’s friend about a job as a customer service representative. The job paid well, so I got the phone number and address of the organization.
I called the organization, and they asked me to come in for an interview the very next day. I was armed with multiple copies of my resume and arrived at the interview at ten in the morning the following day.
When I pulled into the parking lot, the building seemed to be abandoned. I walked up to the building and pressed the doorbell and was allowed inside. I took a seat in the reception area, looked around, and realized I was at one of the oldest evangelical missions in India.
I asked the receptionist if I was at the right building, and she confirmed, ‘Yes, you are at the correct organization. Your interviewer will be out in a few minutes.’
My interviewer walked around the corner, introduced himself, and led me back to his office. I sat down, and he gave me a basic questionnaire and reviewed my resume.
When I was about to leave, the interviewer said, ‘I will let you know by the end of the day about our hiring decision.’
I thought the interview went well, so I expected to get a job offer. Luckily, I got a callback and was to report to the office the next day.
When I reported to work on the first day, my interviewer met me at the door and handed me off to my managers for training. They informed me the training would last two weeks, dependent on how I performed. After the two weeks, the company would decide if they would allow me to continue working or not.
The training started with an hour-long video about the organization. Then, one manager introduced himself and started the actual training. Essentially, my job was to pray for people who call the organization and ask for donations. It did not matter whether or not you prayed, but the donation was important.
The organization monitored every phone call, so you had to ask, ‘Would you like to make a donation at this time?’, at the end of each call.
If you didn’t utter these magic words, your managers would reprimand you.
As soon as the training was over, I left the building. I am sure the organization was great once upon a time, but its primary motive was to make money now. I honestly felt like the organization was just a scam and didn’t want to be associated with it.”
Restaurant Industry Reject
“I got a job at a bagel shop. I didn’t have work experience, so I was unaware of how business was conducted in the restaurant industry. On the first day, the boss told me his biggest employee pet peeve.
He didn’t want you to greet the customers by announcing, ‘Hello, how may I help you?’
I was a little confused about why this statement was bad. The greeting sounded friendly enough.
Rather, he wanted his employees to say, ‘Welcome! How are you today?’
Needless to say, it wasn’t my personality. Again, I had barely worked a day in my life. My personality was not suited for acting so stuffy. I wanted to work, not act like some happy clown.
So after my first shift, I went and spoke to the gentleman who hired me.
I said, ‘Thank you for this opportunity. I really appreciate it, but I don’t think this job is the right fit for me.’
I figured he’d be upset, but shockingly, he said, ‘I judged you to be a good person, and I can see I was right. Instead of being miserable at this job, you spoke to me like an adult and I appreciate it. If you ever need a job again, come back and see me.’
I was a little surprised, but now owning a business, I understand his reaction. It was a valuable experience, and a lesson I convey to many of my new hires.”
The Bothered Business Owner
“I once worked for two entire weeks for a small company which sold medical supplies. I was a graphic artist. I used technical pens all day long, the kind with the points which needed to be cleaned often to prevent clogging, but which were prone to wash right down the drain if not careful.
The owner’s wife constantly harassed us! She hovered, complained, and accused us of slacking. One day, I took a handful of pen points into the bathroom to clean them, where there was a strainer over the sink. When I finished and opened the door, there stood the owner’s wife, arms folded across her chest, foot-tapping, and steam coming out of her ears.
She asked me, ‘What do you think you were doing in the bathroom for so long?’
I told her, ‘I was just doing what people do in the bathroom.’
I walked around her and went straight back to my desk. The technical pens which belonged to me were among the items I gathered up.
I went to the owner and exclaimed, ‘I quit! Your wife needs psychiatric attention. Good luck!’
She was right behind me, screeching, ‘You’re fired!’
He raced behind her and yelled, ‘Calm down! You can’t fire her, she quit! Just like the rest of our employees!’
I walked out and never looked back.”
“I worked at a hospital in the kitchen. One day, I was on the serving line for dinner trays. I was stationed at the end where the trays go into a special elevator. Occasionally, something would go wrong and a tray would jam or fall down the shaft. It could be hazardous, and I once made the mistake of climbing into the shaft to clear out the trays. It was dangerous, stupid, and not my job. It was the duty of the maintenance crew.
So on this particular day, a tray was jammed, and the supervisor asked me to clear the jam.
I said, ‘No, it’s dangerous and not my job.’
She concurred, ‘You need to think of the patients who need to eat. They are the first priority.’
I replied, ‘The most important rule of first aid is to not harm yourself first. If I harm myself, how will I keep doing my job?”
She snidely replied, ‘If you don’t fix it I will write you up”.
I laughed and said, ‘We don’t have a write-up system here. We don’t have reviews or anything else, and really, I don’t care.’
She retorted, ‘These patients need to eat! If you don’t clear the jam, you will be suspended!’
I told her, ‘I don’t need this job! You know what? I quit!’
She said, ‘You can’t quit, you’re not allowed. And if you quit, don’t expect to receive a favorable reference from us.’
I laughed. It was truly the funniest thing I had ever heard.
I responded, ‘I am attending school to become a lawyer! What could I possibly need a dishwasher reference for? By the way, I am very familiar with labor laws. I can refuse to do hazardous work. The only person in trouble here is you.’
I filed a complaint with human resources and the union. They wanted me to go back to work, but I said the environment was too hostile. They gave me a payout, which was hilarious since I was a part-timer.
The manager was reprimanded and had to take training courses in the future.”
“My Manager Was The Worst”
“I previously worked at a laundromat. I checked and sorted clothes along with a few other teenage girls. They didn’t like talking to customers, so they could mostly clean out the pockets of clothes, mostly to find money to keep. I didn’t believe it was fair I was the only person who dealt with customers every day. Even if we had a line of customers, the other girls would ignore them, take a break, or even nap in the back room!
Even though the other girls were bad, the worst person at the laundromat was the night manager. She constantly sent the other girls home and kept me working until midnight. Even the night manager refused to work! One night, she sent all of the girls home and had me close the laundromat by myself. I only had two hours to complete all of the work.
My manager was the worst!
As soon as I got a different job offer, I quit. It was so satisfying! The look on the manager’s face was priceless when she realized she lost her best employee.”
The Sick Starbucks Employee
“One day, I had flu-like symptoms, but I couldn’t get a coworker to cover for me because it was an opening shift. At my local Starbucks, the opening shift started at four forty-five in the morning, so I wasn’t surprised when no one wanted to wake up early on a Saturday with short notice.
My manager told me to come in with a doctor’s note, or I would no longer have a job. Every time a morning anchor reported it was the worst flu season ever, I rolled my eyes. If that were the case, managers would stop forcing food service and other minimum wage workers to come in sick.
As it was nine the previous night before my symptoms got very bad, my only option for a doctor’s note was an emergency room visit. I didn’t have the money for a visit, nor the energy to leave my bed.
I showed up to work and started the fifteen-minute process of opening the store with two other coworkers. About three minutes before the doors unlocked, my store manager strolled in just in time and watched me vomit all over the floor in front of the register.
Dehydrated, feverish, and unfit for work, I stood back up. As soon as I did, I was handed a mop and told to clean up my mess before the store opened.
I walked out when it was clear he still didn’t intend to send me home.”