Some people are excellent interviewees, but not always the greatest employees.These managers reflect on the most incompetent employees they ever hired on. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
“It Sounds Clever But We Did Lottery Counts Every Morning”
“An employee stole lottery tickets at work. His way of doing it was exposing the barcode to the terminal scans to see if it was a winner. If it wasn’t a winner, he would put it back. If it was a winner, he would cash it out and file it away with HIS paperwork.
Now it sounds kind of clever but we did lottery counts every morning. Not to mention the fact that people who buy lottery tickets would immediately notice if the barcode was already exposed.
When I saw this, I immediately checked the camera and saw him from multiple angles doing this. He then also threw the winners in the trash after he cashed them and left the trash in the can overnight. I immediately called the cops.
Once I showed them the footage, they had all the evidence they needed. They arrested him then and there. But I guess some poor soul took pity and posted his bail.
He then texted me, ‘I quit.’
I replied, ‘It’s hard to quit a job when you were officially fired while sitting in a holding cell.’
He was there for only two weeks.
The moral of the story is don’t be a freaking idiot.”
Clueless Girl Wasn’t Made For The Bakery Life
“This was a cutesy fancy ice cream place and bakery in Manhattan. Pre-orders were out of the world, hour-long lines, the whole deal. We were constantly busy. So we hired this girl who was either so dumb or so lazy, it was like she was constantly walking through molasses.
We sold coldbrew coffee during summer months. Since we only made a small-batch, we put a ton of ice in the drinks. One time, I noticed the new girl wasn’t putting much ice when she poured coldbrew, causing these small batches to run out way too quickly. She’d put in like three to four small cubes per 18 ounce cups.
I told her, ‘Put more ice in the cup.’
She looked at the ice chest, upon which sat a clipboard, and looked back to me, saying, ‘But, there’s stuff on top of it.’
I wasn’t sure how to respond and just stared at her for a few seconds.
Then I said, ‘So, move it.’
During cleanup one evening, she was using the sink and suddenly started screaming her head off.
I asked her, ‘What on green Earth is wrong?!’
She hysterically went, ‘THERE’S A RAT HEAD IN THE SINK!’
I thought, Oh no!
So I went to get a coffee stirrer to fish it out. That’s when we saw it wasn’t a rat head, but only an used teabag. She felt a used teabag in the sink drain and lost her everloving marbles. She jumped to the conclusion that it was a decapitated rat head.
I once sent her downstairs into the walk-in fridge to go get some more cakes or whatever and she got lost for twenty minutes. This is Manhattan, our downstairs is NOT BIG and there were tons of staff that could have directed her. You could walk through the entirety of the restaurant, front of house and back of house, in less than five minutes. It is beyond my comprehension how she managed to get lost for 20 and not ask anyone where the walk-in was.
She was fired in about a month.”
I Guess His Job Had Better Wifi Than At Home
“I was the Equipment Lead in a manufacturing environment. My team did maintenance on the machinery. I had a guy who would come in and immediately hop on Craigslist. While everyone else was checking their emails and preparing for the shift, this guy was online shopping.
He literally spent hours every shift paging through Craigslist. If he wasn’t doing that, he was watching online videos that either consisted of strongman competitions or attractive women working out.
I repeatedly caught him lying about work he never did. He talked trash about every other employee and would frequently get into screaming matches with his wife over the phone. He screamed at me when I told him he couldn’t spend four to eight hours of a 12-hour shift on break.
When I’d try to correct his behavior, his typical response was either, ‘I don’t give a hoot’ or ‘What the heck are you going to do about it?’
He even went to my boss to complain when I gave him a poor annual review. Unfortunately, despite a mountain of documentation and repeated requests, I was not allowed to fire him because the company was so short-handed. Since he wasn’t doing ANY work, it didn’t really make any sense to me.
When I finally quit, he had been there for almost five years and hadn’t received a single raise, promotion, or bonus. To this day he blames it all on me.”
Small Talk Gone Wrong
“I had an employee for months, who would help around the dining area, take orders, and help out with restock. Although he was a nice boy, he was very dumb. Let’s call him, ‘Alex’.
We train our employees for two full weeks and then we let them do it all on their own (while watching them, of course). Anyway, Alex couldn’t remember how to write down a bacon, egg, and cheese taco.
I told him, ‘B for bacon, E for egg, and C for cheese.’
He wrote ‘TEC’ and proceeded to say, ‘But ‘T’ is for ‘tocino’ because it’s Spanish for bacon. Doesn’t the cooks speak Spanish?’
I said, ‘Our employees all speak, read, and write in both languages. Also, why would you not write ‘H’ for eggs and ‘Q’ for cheese, if you were writing in Spanish?’
His response: ‘Well, I thought they’d know that kind of English.’
Literally the next day, a woman came in with her two children to pick up her order. Alex came up and checked her out and gave her the order.
He asked, ‘Your children are adorable! How old are they?’
They carried on a conversation for a few minutes, but then he said, ‘Well, what about daddy? Just sent you on a mission to get the food huh?’
She responded with, ‘Their father isn’t in the picture.’
He said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. Divorce is the devil.’
She said, ‘Actually, he was never in the picture. It was a one-night stand and when I contacted him, he never responded. I don’t know where he is or if he’s even alive, honestly.’
The face he made when she said that, I can’t even describe it.
He said, ‘Do you know how terrible that is?’
She said, ‘Yeah, he nev-‘
He cut her off and said, ‘Do you know what will happen to you and your children? Awful Things! Do you know you won’t be let into — ‘
The owner stepped in right before I could. Safe to say Alex was fired that very day. He tried to sue him, but the owner was smarter than him.
I have never had anyone say something so ugly to a customer. It was horrible.”
Did He Really Get Attacked By A Hobo?
“One of my employees called in and told my office staff they had been stabbed by a homeless person randomly while performing job duties in the field. They said they had contacted the police.
Then the office called me and explained the situation. After being told this, I quickly left my meeting in somewhat of a panic and rushed back to the office.
When I walked into the office, I saw the said employee with a band-aid on their finger. The receptionist pushed me out of the office doorway so she could explain what really happened.
The employee left their job duties, on the clock, in a company vehicle (branded), in their uniform, to go home because their estranged spouse was seen with a new romantic interest. They were actually on the sidewalk, not far from the office, when the employee started arguing with their spouse. The employee then pulled a knife on their spouse, who promptly went in the house and got their own knife. The spouse came out and swiped at the employee, cutting their finger. After the stabbing, the employee returned to the office.
All of these things would amount to the termination, but for some reason, we let him stay.”
“I worked at an ice cream shop where we got scam calls all the time. I alerted all of my employees of this before, and they all knew to be vigilant in any situation when a scam was apparent.
One night, a couple of months ago, around nine pm, one of our shift leads got a call from a man saying he worked for the corporate office.
The man on the phone said, ‘I’m doing a private investigation on your franchise because you are under by 1K in our weekly cash deposits.’
Which didn’t make sense since corporate offices have no way of seeing transaction histories for franchise private bank accounts.
He continued, ‘You can’t tell anybody you know about this, because the general manager is under investigation too. And if you ruin the ‘investigation,’ then you are committing a federal offense and will be sent to jail for at least five years.’
Then he told her he needed her to go to the safe, count all the money, take all of it to a local CVS, and put it on a visa gift card. From there, she needed to recite to him the gift card number over the phone, and then go behind the CVS, wrap up the gift card, and throw it in the dumpster.
He said, ‘Once you do this, the cops will be coming to the store tomorrow morning to arrest your general manager. This is why you can’t say anything.’
So this girl went out around 10 pm, drove an hour to a CVS on the other side of town, loaded more than 800 bucks onto a visa gift card, and then recited the visa card number over the phone. Afterward, she then chucked the card into the dumpster behind the CVS.
When she got back, I was waiting there for her with the police because I found out through another shift leader that this was happening.
After explaining to her that she was being scammed, she said to the police officers, ‘It’s okay, they’re coming here tomorrow to arrest the GM, so you guys can arrest them then!’
The police officers could not stop laughing.
She was not fired, but she and one other employee were expected to pay back all of the money.”
“Where’s Your Pants?”
“We had someone who, despite being there for nearly six months, didn’t know anything. Why? Because he didn’t want to.
I personally showed him several different tasks half a dozen times myself, and other managers. Even other workers who did their jobs told me they showed him too.
One night, before closing, I said, ‘Hey, Chad! Make sure you do what I told you to do.’
He said, ‘I don’t know how. Nobody ever showed me.’
Plain lies. I had shown him three days before, for the second time.
So I looked him full in the face and said, ‘Funny. I know I showed you how on Wednesday.’
He didn’t say anything. He just went and did it.
Another time, I was scheduled for six days of training with him and he called off for four of them, saying his grandmother was dying.
Two weeks later, he used the same excuse. Week four, he showed up to work out of uniform. We had a simple uniform: branded tee, apron, black pants, black shoes, and a hat. All he had on was the shirt. He had on blue jeans, no hat, and some redneck hunting boots, completely covered with mud.
Another manager asked, ‘Where’s your pants?’
He said, ‘Well, they were dirty, and I didn’t want to wash them.’
She asked, ‘Where’s your shoes?’
He replied, ‘They were hurting my feet, and the other manager said I could wear my boots.’
There was no way in heck they agreed to that.
She continued, ‘Where’s your hat?’
He said, ‘I forgot it.’
She lastly said, ‘Go home.'”
“What Was He Doing The Whole Time?”
“One person was the laziest person I’ve ever met. She literally wouldn’t do anything. We kept a very clean restaurant and I always strived for 100 percent on our inspections.
This girl, who I’ll just call ‘A’, worked two jobs. One at my restaurant and one at a McDonald’s. The McDonald’s she worked at didn’t seem to have any sort of health standard because she would constantly violate health codes. Then she would get extremely mad when I told her she couldn’t. For example, putting personal food/drink in the produce cooler and spraying chemicals near the food.
When I closed with her, I asked her to do the easiest thing in the whole store before she left, restock fortune cookies. All you had to do was pour them into a box. The box weighed less than a pound. And you know what she told me?
She said, ‘I don’t know who you close with but we don’t do that.’
I said, ‘Girl, I’ve literally been working here for two years. I’m your supervisor. I know what we have to do!’
Then there was this other guy who we still had on one day a week. I’ll call him ‘B’. B was the slowest person I’ve ever met. And because he was slow, he often forgot things. Like, I would ask him to clean and stick the bathrooms and he would go in, clean one thing, come out and stand there looking brain dead for five minutes. Then he would have the audacity to say he was done. But he did one out of seven things he had to do. He was so slow doing that one thing that he completely forgot everything else. And he did this multiple times a day.
As part of my job, I had to close safe and log cash deposits every night. One night, it took me 30 minutes because the money was disorganized and I had to find where it belonged. Guess what this guy got done in 30 minutes’ time?
One thing. He took the drink nozzles out of the soda machine and put them in sanitizer water. That’s all he did. And, after 10 times of telling him to go back in the bathroom and finish cleaning/stocking, he still forgot to stock the place up. Like what was he doing that whole time?”
“It’s Just A Building, Right?”
“I did contract work that occasionally involved training new hires. Light construction was involved, as well as the usage of basic tools like mallets, screwdrivers, tape measures, etc.
One time, I had a guy come in for his first day on a site in Florida. Started showing him and a few others the ropes, and after about an hour, let them at it. Everyone was doing fine, but then I noticed how the one man was just setting things up without measuring first.
I reminded him I had several tape measures and a yardstick if he needed it.
Turns out, he couldn’t read a ruler and didn’t think that would be a problem in construction. It’s just building, right?
He did not last the week.”
“Because She Was Attractive”
“I was a shift manager in high school at a small local grocery store chain in my area.
A high school-aged girl came in one day saying she had an interview for a job. Shift managers didn’t do any interviews of course, but the General Manager (GM) generally told us when they were happening so we could take interviewees to the conference room. And I hadn’t been made aware that anyone was expected on that day. So, I called the GM and asked if we were expecting anyone.
He said, ‘No. Just send her on her way.’
The girl still insisted she had an interview and started making a scene in the front end of the store. As I was getting ready to call security, the GM appeared. He took the girl to his office, conducted an interview, and ended up hiring her.
Turns out she did have an interview at one of the chain’s other stores in an adjacent town. But she was hired (presumably on my part) because she was attractive.
She got trained to run the register and every shift she worked for the next two years, her drawer always came back short. Most often it was a dollar or two, sometimes as much as fifty bucks.
To this day, I’m not sure if it was malicious or if she was just that dumb; either scenario is equally plausible. She would constantly leave her register whenever she wanted, usually when we were getting slammed. When I would confront her, she would say something about her blood sugar being low and needing to rest. Far as I knew, she wasn’t diabetic and she spent all of those ‘breaks’ talking on her cellphone in the deli café.
She would constantly make things up about other employees just to get them in trouble, though it never amounted to anything for either party. I kept reporting her to my higher-ups, but they never did anything about it.
When I went back to work there in my first summer break in college, I found out she quit to pursue her dream of ‘becoming a model’. The most exposure she got was on ‘Judge Judy’ when she took an ex to small claims court over something stupid enough to get you on ‘Judge Judy.'”
He Basically Threw A Tantrum
“As a area manager, I had an employee of mine complain to me about how a Dispatcher spoke to him.
I told him, ‘Don’t take it personally. That dispatcher talks like that to everyone. Take it with a grain of salt.’
This employee’s response was, ‘Well, I’m SENSITIVE!’
Same employee often tried to leave work early, and then cop an attitude when he was told no. He would also pass orders to other employees, just so he could get out early. By this time, my boss and I were wondering how much longer the employee would be with us.
Eventually, the employee called me to basically throw a tantrum. He exclaimed how the job was unfair, and become nothing but rude and condescending towards me.
So I finally asked him, ‘So what do you want to do then?’
Him: ‘I’m ready to quit!’
Me: ‘OK, if that’s how you feel, you also need to let our boss know.’
Him: ‘Oh I will!’
To the context of ‘I’m going to give them a piece of my mind!’
After he hung up, I immediately removed him from the schedule.
Side note: This guy is in his late-30s.”
“The Mining Industry Has Some Unreal Stories”
“I worked as a mechanical engineer at a mid-sized workshop servicing the mining industry. We worked on large trucks, loaders, fixed plants, gearboxes, and crushers, etc. All very skilled, technical, and dangerous work.
We had a boilermaker (welder for those from overseas) interview well enough that he was offered a job and instructed to start work on a given date. Now, for those who know the industry, you need to supply your own tools and equipment and personal protective equipment such as boots, protective clothing, helmets, and etc.
Blake showed up in thongs, shorty shorts, and a wife-beater. He had no tools, no clue, no nothing. Turns out, he had no trade certificate or qualifications, but wanted to lie his way to success. As far as I’m aware, he still holds the record for the fastest firing at that company with a time of 45 minutes.
One time, I saw an engineer at a mine fired for getting foot-pounds and newton meters confused, almost causing a structural collapse of a gantry crane we were working on top of. We had argued with him before the job started that we were going to over tension the bolts but he was adamant and threatened to terminate our contract. We started the job anyway and bailed when the bolts started stretching and popping.
Then there was another time, I saw a guy fired for leaving the handbrake off a Landcruiser on an incline in an underground mine, which proceeded to roll straight into a sump and sank into the depths. After that, he was never to be seen again.
The mining industry has some unreal stories.”
He Couldn’t Be Left Unsupervised
“I had a guy who was a bit soft in the brain. I can’t recall too much since this was 15 years ago but I know he was a constant cause of problems for me and my staff.
We worked in a restaurant with outdoor dining but we had covered seating. If I asked him to wipe a table, he’d grab a dry rag and just smear things around the table.
If I asked him to run a register, I had to stay with him or have a lead stay with him as our rather small selection of items on a clearly labeled keyboard was too much.
The funniest thing was when he’d brag about his girlfriend. He had a very obviously sourced picture he’d show us of a woman out of almost anyone’s league.”