Everybody has their breaking point, and for these restaurant chain employees, enough was enough. Whether they were getting shortchanged in tips or had a manager barking impossible demands, these employees share why they walked out.
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Getting The Short End Of The Stick Would Be Their Greatest Learning Moment
“My first job was working as a carhop at a Sonic Drive-In. I was a good worker. I was always on time, friendly, fast, customers liked me, and everything was generally okay. I had some issues with their ordering system since the button panel they had was outdated and had some things that were illogical on it, but I did my best and never got anyone’s order wrong.
Then came the lunch rush. The lunch rush was always busy so we would all hurry to take orders out as soon as possible. There was a wristband scan-in system for employees to accept an order and then scan again to take the food out. This would associate that dollar amount with your employee number (since if they paid with cash, then you’d owe that to the company).
Also, Sonic has a countdown on every order for how fast it needs to go out since they have a corporate policy for how long it should take. Restaurants are penalized if they have slow service and don’t meet their guaranteed order times. This caused my manager to decide that, hey, instead of actually waiting for each employee to scan in and take their orders, she should just take my band and have everyone pay me back.
The first few times it worked okay, but I realized I was coming up short and being forced to pay out of my own tips, so I was barely making anything. I tried to even out with everyone but nobody had any record of what orders they took out…
Then, one day, I came up negative by a large margin. My manager refused to admit that this was her fault and her problem. I didn’t have enough tips to cover it all and nobody would cough up the money they owed me. They all gave me the cold shoulder and pretended to act busy.
I was young and dumb and just wanted out. If it hadn’t been my first job and I had known better, I would’ve taken it right up to corporate and hopefully gotten it all lined out. Now I know better, and I know that I can stand up for myself.”
This Woman Was Super Serious About Her Bloomin’ Onion
“Worked at an Outback. A customer couldn’t wait for her Bloomin’ Onion to cool down and burned her mouth. She threw it in my face. My manager got mad at me and told me if I didn’t shape up I’d be fired.
Saved him the trouble and I walked out.”
This Money Seemed To Be Disappearing Out Of Thin Air
“I worked for Qdoba for 4 months as a manager. It was good food, I worked with good people, and nothing about how the day to day operation runs was bad, except how cash was handled.
Deposits were kept in the safe and would be periodically taken to the bank, deposit slips logged, etc.
As I was starting training, a deposit went missing. The two managers that had access to it were held accountable, and had their pay docked to offset the lost deposit — no police report was filed, no one was fired, and no procedures changed to prevent it from happening again.
3.5 months later, a deposit goes missing again from a weekend I had time off. Franchise owner pulled the same stunt, held the overlapping managers responsible for the missing money, docked their pay, and, again, no police report.
At that point, I dug into who had been taking the deposits to the bank when they were discovered missing. It was the franchise owner on both accounts, who was also docking pay as a penalty for the ‘lost’ money.
Within a week, I was ready to nope the heck out at the end of my shift. I left a backdated letter of resignation, and had copies of all deposits from shifts I had worked so they couldn’t pull a ‘missing’ deposit on me after the fact.”
It Was Time For These Lazy People To Figure It Out Themselves
“My first full-time job out of high school was working the graveyard shift at a Denny’s.
A new line dancing/cowboy bar opened literally around the corner, and they didn’t have any extra staff on hand for the overflow into our crappy little diner. One cook, one manager, myself and one other waiter.
We proceed to have a line out the door and every table full of grousing, grumbling, wasted suburban cowpersons. We’re sprinting for drinks, orders, trying to run the register, busing our own tables. The manager is pinned in the kitchen trying to make food happen.
The other waiter finally snaps. She’s too stressed out. She heads to the kitchen ‘to help cook’ and will not return to front of house.
Cue the dramatic music. I ran the entire front of house BY MYSELF for a freaking hour. I was doing a poor job, mind you. No man can run fifty tables, register, seat, and bus at the same time.
So I walk back to the kitchen and stare through the window at my manager, the cook, and the other waiter. ‘Any of you coming out here to help me?’
Three heads shake.
‘Cool. Figure it out yourselves, then.’ I wad up my apron, take off my corporate-issued tie, and walk straight out the front door, with a couple hundred faux-cowpokes staring.”
Is It Hot In Here Or…?
“I worked at Chuck E. Cheese. I was in the mouse suit taking pictures for three separate birthday parties. I passed out in the suit on top of the children. Kids were crying and screaming ‘Chuckie’s dead!!!!!’
My co-worker dragged me to the backroom by my ankles, then took my head off. I got out of the suit and cooled down, drank some water and was feeling a little better. Then my manager goes, ‘So, you ready to get back in the suit?’ Absolutely not. I quit on the spot.”
They Were Done The Moment This Hateful Behavior Reared Its Ugly Head
“I worked at Applebee’s. For many, nights before that, my coworkers chatted among themselves at the host stand, taking advantage of my good nature as I did all the grunt work. This was annoying, but it wasn’ the last straw.
There was a server there we’ll call ‘Tony.’ Tony seemed like a decent guy but was kind of a covert racist. When I had worked there long enough for him to get comfortable with me, he quietly asked me to not seat black parties in his section. I told him in no uncertain terms that I was not going to break rotation on basis of race. You’re in the wrong era to expect me to do that.
He wasn’t happy with that. He was nice enough to me after that but would complain time and again after being sat with black parties. I brought the issue up to management and surprise surprise, not only do they not care, they’re basically on his side, being racist pinheads themselves.
One night I’m working as hard as I can to bus tables on a 10-hour shift. The restaurant is packed and we’re on at least a 30-minute wait, but it’s strange as there are open tables all over the restaurant. I ask why my coworkers aren’t seating people. One co-worker tells me, with a smirk, that most of the people waiting are black, and they’re waiting to seat them in Tony’s section, which is full at the moment, purposefully to upset him.
I couldn’t quite verbalize what they had done wrong at that point in my life but I knew it wasn’t right. I walked right up to my newly minted manager who was hiding in the office from the busy kitchen service and told him that would be my last shift, and exactly what kind of discrimination was taking place under his watch. He said ‘Do what you gotta do,’ and closed the door on me. I stayed until I was scheduled to leave and clocked out.
I came back the next day, on my birthday, and asked my former GM for my tip share. He smirked and said that I was a quitter, and quitters don’t get tip shares. I was later told by a former coworker that he pocketed my tips and had a good laugh about it.
Immediately after, I drove a quarter mile down the street and got a new job as a waiter at a fairly nice steakhouse. I made more money on my first night at that job than I did in a week at Applebee’s.”
They Definitely Weren’t Crying Over Leaving This Job
“I was working part-time at an Olive Garden for the extra cash, not that there was much of it as one of my shifts was on Monday. It was basically no business and they used it as a training day for new hires.
There was no daytime bartender, so I had to start my shift by cleaning up the mess made during the day. This particular day someone had dumped a full container of strawberry daiquiri mix all over the floor and left it there. I walked in to start my shift, found that and six to-go orders waiting for me, with the hostess breathing down my neck about the take-out orders.
I decided that I could either listen to this twit scream at me, mop the floors, clean all the glasses, wipe all the countertops, and stock everything for probably $10 in tips, or I could say forget this and go home.
I walked in the back, told the manager on duty I was done and punched out. He told me if I left like this I’d never be rehired. ‘I’ll try to get over that’ I said on my wayout.”
They Couldn’t Stand The Heat Anymore
“I worked at KFC when I was 17. I was terrorized by the cook, who used to display his crush on me by dangling raw gizzards threateningly over my face. The floor of the kitchen was always slathered thickly with grease, and a couple of times I slipped and nearly put my hand in the fryer by accident. But that wasn’t why I quit.
I worked mother’s day, which is a big day for restaurants apparently. Every other employee had called in sick, etc., so it was just me, our store manager, and the district manager working the restaurant. We do the lunch shift, which was crazy, but managed. However, the A/C went out, and it was super hot for May.
After the lunch rush, the managers went back to the office which is the only place the A/C was working and left me to do the cleanup and prep before supper rush. I was overheated and feeling sick. I went back to the office and told them I was getting overheated and needed some fresh (cool) air, but they told me to get back to cleaning. I started getting nauseous and told them I was going outside to take a break, either with or without their permission. The district manager’s face broke into a condescending little smile and told me he knew I wasn’t going to just walk out. We all know how this ends. Even at 17, I had enough self-respect to leave those jerks in the dust.
That was the first job I ever quit, which makes it kinda special in my heart.”
“I’m Done Bending Over Backward Just To Get The Runaround From Jerks”
“I worked at Steak N Shake for three years split between two locations.
I did just about everything in the kitchen and often worked the overnight shifts. I was pretty confident with everything, but I reached a point where they told me they ‘couldn’t’ raise my pay anymore without promoting me, so I decided to try for a training position.
Well, to be promoted to training, you had to attend a class, which management had to sign you up for. Except management kept forgetting to do it. Three times. Then I eventually learned that being a trainer only comes with a $0.50 raise, and only for when you’re actually training somebody… which you can only do for three hours a day maximum.
I decided I’m done bending over backward just to get the runaround from jerks. When I quit, they had the nerve to tell me that they were marking me as a do-not-rehire and that I ruined my chances of advancement.”
Running This Pizza Hut Like A Boot Camp Wasn’t Gonna Fly With These Workers
“I worked at a Pizza Hut. It was ok at first until they hired a newly minted 23-year-old MBA manager who acted like a guard at a prison camp.
He messed with the breaks, scheduling and had a general contempt for us.
There was a huge local event going on and I was scheduled to work because someone had called out and the line was out the door. I show up and he starts going off on me about the other staff and tells me, ‘You’re in luck you showed up on time or else I would have fired you on the spot.’
I was like ‘Ok,’ and stared at him.
‘You can’t take any breaks today because we’re so busy and you’ll have to work a double…’
I was like ‘Ok,’ and stared at him.
Then I just walked out.”
Pulling Ridiculous Stunts
“I worked at Red Lobster. I was transferring from one store to another. My last day at the one store, a table walks in around 15 minutes before closing. It was a fairly large table (maybe 8-10) people. I had one of the large tables, but it was already sat. There was an open large table, but the server whose section it was in was already cut for the night.
Normally, the procedure is to set the table there, and have another server wait on them ‘outside of their section.’ Instead, the manager made the table wait until my table was done to sit them there (which was almost an hour, in a fairly empty restaurant).
So I thought to myself ‘so much for transferring’ and told the manager a piece of my mind. I guess he realized that if he fired me, it would go to the district manager, and they’d ask why he made the group wait, and he ended up getting somebody else to take it.
A few years later, at the new store, I had put in my notice as I found a new gig and being such a nice guy, I gave them a month instead of two weeks notice. Three weeks in, they pull that same stunt, and I just said this is going to be my last day. Technically, I’m on file with them as ‘no rehire’ because I ‘only’ gave them three weeks.”
They Had To Throw In The Towel On This Insane Manager
“I was working at a very busy Starbucks location in Dallas that consistently hit our goals and was a great producer for the district. Because of this, the assistant manager of the store was offered her own store up the road. I was one of the shift leads close to her and so she offered me a raise to join her at the new store.
A few months later, the shaky crew we had at that point started to quit for one reason or another — leaving me, my manager, a part-timer and a mentally handicapped full-timer. This store was insanely busy in the mornings and even more so when the soccer moms coasted during the day and on the weekends.
Not long after the foot traffic increased, my manager quit, leaving me to wait for her replacement. See, Starbucks at that time was going through a corporate reorganization. They wanted drink turnarounds to function more like fast food, so they hired fast food managers. My new manager had been a manager at Wendy’s for a while and apparently had it in mind to run this place like she ran Wendy’s. She was an awful woman, mean, and stupid as a hitching post and probably took 30 smoke breaks every hour.
Fast forward to a few weeks after she’d started — she’d run off the last two people I worked with. Rather than come in to help me, she scheduled me alone on a Saturday morning (one of our busiest times) from 6 am to 6 pm with no one else on the schedule. I was to run the bar and the register for one of the highest volume stores in Dallas with no help. After asking her if she’d be able to help me or get a floater to help, she told me to tough it out and it would be fine.
I no-called/no-showed, effectively quitting and ignoring the 30 voicemails she left on my phone asking where in the world I was.”
They Didn’t Even Last A Week
“I worked at Chipotle as a cashier for 3 days in my early college career. They were severely understaffed so I was trained with a quick 5-minute explanation of the cashier system and then expected to function on my own for the rest of the day. Every time I’d ask for help because I was confused, the manager would be annoyed and not understand why I couldn’t just get it. On top of that, I was required to clean, refill ice, and man the register all at once when the line was clearly poppin’ at all times. If I couldn’t refill napkins in time because I was ringing people up it was a huge deal that I was incapable of being in two places at once. I called in before my 4th shift and quit.”
Karma Is A B
“At Taco Bell, I worked for a hormonal monster of a manager who would, out of nowhere, have these massive screaming outbursts of rage. She also enjoyed mind games. One of these was to hire an outsider on as a new assistant manager who was always a young woman. She’d train her, be sweet as pie, and act as her new best friend. Once she lost interest in her new AM, she’d start nitpicking, then work her way up to straight up bullying, culminating in finally firing the AM. The girls were completely destroyed by the end. And god forbid anyone ever wear blue eyeshadow. She hated blue eyeshadow and would go on rants about how trashy women looked in blue eyeshadow if any of us came in wearing it. She was just a horrible woman. There were tons of complaints about her, but she presented well to the higher-ups, and she was fooling around with the regional manager, so nothing ever came of the complaints.
Another of her games was to mess with the weekly schedule. She’d pick a target and start moving their hours forward, usually the day before their next shift, and not notify them. The next day the employee would be late, and then she’d berate them for it and write them up. People started taking to calling in the evening before their next shift to check if their hours had been altered, so she started locking the schedule in her office. Eventually, it was my turn to experience her wrath. I was already upset about spending the previous year often being told I had to run both the walk-in and drive-thru registers simultaneously. Including during the dinner and lunch rushes, all while rushing to do the prep work between orders, keeping the dining room clean, and sometimes making the food when the cooks decided to go on break en masse. Then I’d get a five cent raise because I was not, in her opinion, a team player. So when my shift leader called me very early on a Saturday morning to tell me that I was scheduled to help open (um no, I was scheduled for 2 pm) and that I was already an hour late, I grabbed my uniform, drove to the store, walked up to the counter, and threw my unwashed uniform on it. I told my shift leader that I was sick of the manager’s crap and I was done. I never went back. I found out the next tax season that the manager lied to corporate and told them that she didn’t have any address for me so that they wouldn’t be able to send me my W-2s.
Four years later, Manager came to the funeral home I was working at to arrange services for her mother. I had the embalmer use blue eyeshadow on her.”
Any Hopes Of Staying At This Jack In The Box Went Up In Flames
“I used to work at a Jack In The Box. This place is managed by dummies, staffed with dropout addicts and run by a woman who is constantly on her phone when she’s not snapping at people.
I have already ‘quit’ this job twice because of 11-hour breakless shifts and random schedule changes and close/open turnarounds, and twice been asked to come back because there’s no one to replace me.
This day is a Friday and as always, the lunch rush is gonna be a couple hours long. Dumb Phone Owner is there on her phone, and the hoods above the grills and fryers have been broken for a few days so the kitchen is thick with smoke. I am 100% sure this is illegal but you know, it’s Jack, and I need a job, and I’m standing next to an open window.
And then I smell something burning.
I can hear one of the cooks making a distressed noise and I turn to find that one of the fryers is on fire. The cook has a wet rag and is slapping at the flames to try to get them out. Customers are grinning and filming this on their phones. Everyone else in the kitchen is just standing around.
Our grill cook goes into the back of the store to get one of the red fire extinguishers. He runs back and pulls the pin. It doesn’t work. He goes and gets another one. Runs back, pulls the pin – that one also doesn’t work.
So Dumb Phone Owner gets the bright idea to pick up the full bucket of sanitizer water and heave it back like she’s going to dump it onto the flames to douse them.
So I scream no at her, rip off my headset, speed walk through the kitchen to the big silver fire extinguisher, pull the pin and, with the help of a customer who’s finally come around the counter to help us all not die in a fiery explosion, put the fire out.
I said, ‘We have to call the fire department.’
DPO said, ‘Finish the lunch rush.’
I said, ‘But that’s what our INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO said we have to do if there’s a fire.’ (Which obviously you didn’t watch because you almost freaking killed us all)
DPO said, ‘FINISH THE RUSH.’
They put a piece of cardboard over the smoking fryer, but continued to use the other ones right next to it. I snarled at DPO until she agreed to comp the food of the customer who’d helped me put out the fire. And I finished the rush.
On the bus ride home, I actually felt relaxed and content, because I knew that I was never, ever going back to that freaking place again.”