Firing people is something that comes with owning a business and being in charge. It’s not an act that most enjoy doing, but it is a necessary evil, especially when certain staff members act like they can do whatever they want, whenever they want. And we’ve got some stories about the things employees have done to get the chop.
Here to tell us about them are their bosses, and in some cases, their own co-workers. If you’d like to read about some hilarious, creepy and downright disgustingly obnoxious things that resulted in someone losing a job, keep scrolling.
40. Audio Activities
I used to do some consulting work and hired a woman to help out; it was mostly clerical stuff and whatnot. I flew down to St Thomas for a meeting and got a call from my security at 10: 30 pm- the woman had keys to my building but didn’t know about the alarm. Basically, she and her boyfriend brought another couple down to have some naughty time in one of the offices I converted into a bedroom where I could crash if I worked late.
So I called her. She answered mid-act and acted normal. I talked about a few mundane details I needed to relay to her anyways and then mentioned that she should only be at the office between 7: 00 am and 7: 00 pm since there was a silent alarm that would call me with audio of activities in the building. When I got back in town, her keys were sitting on my desk.
39. Sorry, Wrong Person
Back when I had my translation business, I hired a guy to seek out contracts for me and I’d pay him a 20% finder’s fee. Instead of sending the finished project to a client, he accidentally sent naked pictures of himself.
I learned of it when my client forwarded me the mail half an hour later, including the (multiple) pictures of his privates. I didn’t even know what to say.
38. Getting Frisky with Herself
The one that instantly jumps to mind was the woman who was fired on day two of a call center training course because she wouldn’t stop touching herself. I’m not sure how she got through the HR screening, but she did. This was for a wireless phone company too, not a chat line or anything of the sort.
It was really somewhat sad. She was late 30’s/early 40’s and it was really not that subtle. She did it under a shawl/scarf thing draped over her lap. She was politely and quietly asked to stop by the trainer; she then stopped momentarily but would start up again 15-20 minutes later.
37. Caught in the Act
I used to work for a theater chain in a mall and one morning, my boss walked into the employee break room and found a pile of poop on the table. We grilled every employee about it and could not figure out who it was. So, we thought maybe it was a mall janitor.
Fast forward six months later and me, my boss and the district manager came in to do a late night viewing of Star Wars Episode 3. We walked in on one of our high school employees taking a poop on the break room table. She pulled her pants up without wiping and ran out the door. We never heard from her again.
36. Taking What’s Not Yours
I’m not an owner, just a customer service rep; we help make sure funding for repairs and fuel for fleets get from the companies to the sellers. One rep would give out fake verification codes for checks and then would take the funds and cash them at local places.
Those same people called in regarding why the checks would bounce, so after some tracking on our side, they discovered it was the employee. Not only was she fired but the sheriff and two other officers came into the building and took the rep in handcuffs.
35. So You’re Not Dead?
I had an employee call in on a Monday morning saying that his dad died, so I gave him whatever time he needed. Well, Tuesday was the viewing and Wednesday was supposed to be the funeral. But guess who showed up on Wednesday? His dad! The son had left his lunch bag on the table and he didn’t want him to miss out on lunch.
I was so shocked that I blurted out, “Ernie’s not here he told me you died.” The poor guy was shocked sick. I don’t know what I should have said or done, but I probably shouldn’t have said what I said. In my defense, I was shocked.
34. “I Make the Most Sales”
There was a guy who we hired that showed a lot of potential for making sales. He was a little arrogant and had a good-sized ego, but it wasn’t enough of a problem. He was very good at sales and eventually, it went to his head; he started showing up late all the time, leaving early, cutting corners where he could.
The final straw came when he showed up late and someone spoke up about it to him. He decided the best choice of words he could yell was, “I MAKE THE MOST SALES AND I HAVE THE BIGGEST MEMBER SO YOU CAN ALL BUGGER OFF.” He was fired on the spot. The customers thought it was pretty funny, though.
33. Taking Fiery Measures
A pawnshop employee stole $400 from the cash register, then realized that there were video cameras. He had no idea where the security footage was stored, so in order to cover his tracks, he set the store on fire.
He actually ended up getting pretty badly burned in the process and went to jail right after the hospital.
32. Using the Company’s Credit Card
An employee had a corporate card and charged a vacation, purses, a Fossil watch and take out to the card. She was also miserable to work with and had her laptop “stolen” within weeks of joining.
We fired her, and a few days later, a watch catalog from Fossil showed up at the office with her name on it. We now have active court cases for all the theft.
31. Stole His Own Money and Went to Jail for It
My dad and I ran a business together cleaning out foreclosed homes for a real estate agency as I was finishing high school. I was a senior, so I got out at lunch time and we could usually get a house done in a half day. Sometimes, we’d get some bad ones and we had a few guys that we would call to see if they wanted to make a quick hundred bucks for a day’s work. On my last day of class, my dad picked up one of our usual guys and got one house about 90% done by lunch. He was a pretty normal guy that we had never had any trouble with.
He went out to the truck and came back into the house and robbed my dad of his wallet, took his keys and left in our truck. The funny thing is that my dad only had the cash he was about to give him an hour later for finishing up the house. The state police got the guy’s number from us and they told him some bogus story about how my dad was being investigated for not paying his workers. They said if he met them with the truck, they would get his statement and let him go. The idiot pulled up and was arrested on the spot; he got eight years in prison.
30. Complaining to the Wrong Guy
One of our crews was on a job and the client turned up extremely upset. She lost her mind over something they’d done wrong. Ten minutes later, a guy turned up wearing hi-vis clothing, so my crew assumed he was also working on the project.
We had this one guy who was as dumb as a bag of rocks. He went up to the newcomer and started talking about “the fat freaking cow who needed a good slap” and how dare she complain when she obviously doesn’t know anything about construction. It turns out that the newcomer was “that cow’s” husband.
29. She Was Being Kidnapped?
My coworker got inebriated with a client on company time. She also hooked up with the said client in a car. They both passed out in the client’s car and when the client woke up, he didn’t want a coworker to be taken advantage of by any passers-by, so he locked her in the car.
She woke up in a locked car in our parking garage on company property. She called the state police and told them she was being kidnapped.
28. The Client Sold Him Out
I had a subcontractor on a job for my company try to convince the client that they should dump me and go with their business and they would undercut me by 10%.
I learned this from the client, who asked me to find another person to service our contract.
27. Over the Bridge
I was a truck driver in my early 20s and a coworker called our office and said he couldn’t complete his route. He said he couldn’t bring himself to drive over a long, suspended, bridge because he thought it was going to collapse as soon as he got on it.
I drove two and a half hours to pick him up and found him blocking almost all traffic going over the bridge with a line more than one mile long backed up behind him. He screamed in absolute terror when I told him we were going over the bridge (there was nowhere to turn around anyway) and complete his run. It was a fun five hours of him crying (mostly because he knew he was fired at this point) mixed with long periods of uncomfortable silence.
26. Too Much Licking
I was only an assistant manager at the time and didn’t fire her, but I used to work for a local chain burger place. We tried to teach this girl to bag the fries at first because we only had two fried products; it should have been simple, but she kept licking her fingers before she would grab a fry carton. I continuously had to tell her to wash her hands and try again.
Our district manager showed up that day and got so frustrated with her that he told her to go clean up the lot. She then almost got hit by two cars in the parking lot because she wasn’t looking where she was going and was fired that day. She was hired at the donut shop next door after that. I went to get donuts one day and she licked her fingers before she grabbed the bag to put my donuts in and gave me the wrong change back.
25. On Her Own Time
I’m not the owner, but this happened at our clinic. There was a girl who was on week two of training. One day, she clocked out for her lunch break and never came back. The business was a small family place, so instead of being mad everyone was concerned. Well, they called her and she said she got lost on her lunch break and didn’t know her way back. Now our town is five miles long and about three miles wide; it’s tiny and we’re on Main Street, right in the heart of town, with signs that are hard to miss. They asked her where she was and she said, “Well, I knew how to get home, so I just went there.” It was bizarre considering she had been there for almost two weeks, but they let it be and said they would see her tomorrow.
The next day she walked in like nothing happened and didn’t bring it up to anyone, so it seemed to be under the rug. Until she left for lunch. An hour after she was scheduled back, she still wasn’t in. Nobody called her this time, they just figured she was not coming back and that was her way of quitting. Monday rolled around and she just strolled on in, acting, again, like nothing happened. Apparently, she had gotten lost again and went home without a call or anything. She was let go within an hour of her shift that day.
24. Fake Leads
We had a sales guy join our software company a few years ago. It wasn’t long before he was showing leads from cold calling, and passing on the LinkedIn contacts of these leads to the sales manager. It was great and the leads kept building, but nothing ever turned into a sale.
Eventually, the sales manager called the company of one of the LinkedIn leads and they said they’d never heard of the guy. It quickly became apparent that every lead was faked, and the dude had made many LinkedIn profiles. I keep thinking if he’d just spent that time and effort actually calling some folks, he could’ve made some actual sales.
23. No Doors
I worked for a company that had no office doors because the previous sales manager would watch dirty movies in his office with the door closed. He watched it on the company’s computer and the company ended up with a nasty computer virus.
He got fired for that and the owner removed all the doors off all the offices. It’s a small building with only six doors, but as a new employee, you were told on your first day about it and no one dared mentioned the former sales manager’s name. He was that hated.
22. Fired Because of the Smell
I’m an employee, but currently, my work is in the process of firing a guy because he always smells awful. It smells like the combined body odor of a dozen middle schoolers with no deodorant on a hot summer day.
He’s been talked to four times that I know of. It’s ridiculous.
21. What Are You Drinking?
I came out of the manager’s office to find one of my servers having a drink in the dish room. Where was the drink from? It was one he had bussed off a customer table that was half drank.
It was totally disgusting. I was like, “what are you doing?” He tried to play cool, but it was so easy. I said, “Yea bro, you’re fired.”
20. I Unwittingly Ratted Her Out
I wasn’t the boss but rather a teenager working my first job. I worked at that video game store that buys used games for a penny and wants you to reserve every game coming out, ever. So we had just gotten a new assistant manager and she was a super nice girl and we got along great.
One night we were closing together, and she asked if I wanted pizza. I said sure thinking we’d pitch in. Well, when the pizza arrived, she opened the register, pulled out a $20 bill and paid the delivery guy with it. I ended up mentioning it to my store manager, not because I wanted to get her in trouble, but because I was a stupid teenager and found it super odd since no other manager did that before while I was there. It turns out she’d been stealing and was fired soon after.
19. The Unconventional Toilet
Someone I worked with was caught peeing in the trash can. Three times. For the first two times, they told him not to do it again and how it was unacceptable. But he did it three times.
We were working at a coffee shop/restaurant, as servers. The trash can was in the kitchen and could be seen by the customers.
18. “I Don’t Recall the Events of That Evening”
I worked for a boutique hotel as an operations manager. Basically, unless the area manager had to come in, I was the law. Once, I got a frantic call during my downtime from an employee claiming our overnight guy tried to assault him. I sighed because the guy is notorious for being a drama queen. So, I loaded up the security camera on my home PC, go to the time frame, and our night guy legitimately lunged at his coworker and tried to hurt him. Luckily a desk was between them, and that gave the victim time to bolt.
This was when I called the area manager. We showed up at the crack of dawn and spoke to the guy who made the attack and he claimed he didn’t do it. We showed him the video, and I kid you not, he responded with, “I dont recall the events of that evening.” We fired him on the spot. What started the fight, you ask? Well, the victim had done extra work to make the attacker’s shift easier. The attacker felt like this was an insult to his work ethic.
17. The Holiday Habit
I fired a guy for claiming that for almost every single week for a year, at least one of the days was a holiday of some sort, so he wouldn’t come in. Since we’re not allowed to ask about religion or fire people over religious stuff, it was quite difficult.
He was fired because he was on the company’s feedback/messageboard getting into vulgar fights with people for petty nonsense. In almost every argument, he said something like “that’s why I’m an atheist.”
16. In the Business of Being Tardy
I worked with a girl in retail who just could not arrive on time. Even with a 5-minute leniency rule, she still couldn’t get there on time. We had a pretty generous tardy system: 8 tardies in 6 months and then termination after that. We were having a pretty high turnover so this girl had more than ten tardies and no one had said anything to her. She even admitted she was usually “on time,” but would sit in her car and talk on the phone and end up late. Or decide to hit a drive-thru knowing she didn’t have time and end up late.
One day she came in, late as usual, and immediately got called to the store manager’s office. We assumed she was getting fired, but it turned out she was simply getting “warned.” At that moment, she decided to ask the manager if her tardy from THAT DAY counted. He fired her on the spot.
15. C’mon, It’s A Wrestling Show
It was a manager of mine who was fired. He always asked for a ton of time off and I always gave it to him. He put in the time request form for two days that I blocked because I had something to do that weekend. I told him I’m sorry, but I can’t give you those two days.
It was to go to a wrestling show which was what he normally asked days off for. It wasn’t a funeral, a wedding, etc. It was a Friday and I walked in to see he had written a note saying he wasn’t going to be coming into work that weekend, but wished to continue working for me. I had to cancel my plans and fire the guy.
14. She Hated People and Animals
The best story was from back in the day when I worked at a veterinary clinic. A girl got fired for hating cats and dogs. She said as a receptionist, she thought she would only have to talk to people.
She didn’t even like people. Thank goodness the manager switched into a different role- that wasn’t even her worst hire.
13. Fire the Owner?
My wife and I started a small software company 20 years ago. She’s the manager and does sales and HR and I do the programming. We hired a programmer one time and the first day on the job, I spent the whole morning with him going over our development philosophy, how we do source control, etc. and then showed him an overview of our applications and how we build them. Along the way, he was highly critical, pointing out what he considered flaws in everything.
After lunch, he went back in to see my wife. He obviously didn’t know we were married (we don’t share a surname and at work, we keep pretty much to ourselves), so he says to my wife “you know how to fix this company? You need to fire that other guy.” We still laugh about that one.
A new mechanic was hired at my job; he claimed to have prior experience. He was hired because he had a kid on the way and was in a bad spot financially and the owners had a soft spot for unlucky people. Within a week, his nickname was Al-Most. He almost did the work correctly. He almost rewired an electrical system, he almost rebuilt an air dryer successfully, he almost mounted tires. The probability of the part he rebuilt failing within a week was a solid 60%.
By the end of week two, it was clear most of his knowledge was book learned and not from the real world. They wouldn’t let him do anything except change oil. Once his probation period was up and he showed no improvement or drive, they let him go. Trucks only make money when they move and he couldn’t keep them moving.
11. Fired for Fraud
I had a guy on a location fake an injury. Now, he did injure himself severely, by accident, but that wasn’t his plan. His plan had been to fake a minor injury and get put on workers comp. The problem was he screwed up how to do it and ended up hurting himself.
You’re probably asking how we knew he was trying to fake injure himself. Well, that’s very easy to explain. We had a 20-minute tape of him hiding behind one of the trucks on the worksite practicing his fall, where his plan was to twist his ankle. A written confession from friends saying that he’d been planning it since the day we hired him was also submitted. We didn’t discover the fraud until a few days later when the accident investigation was carried out. The company just wrote off the medical cost of hospitalizing him for two weeks, and we had insurance to cover that stuff. We just fired him and moved on. But he did have a huge AD&D insurance plan and I know they didn’t pay him because it was a fraud. If it had been real, he would have landed millions. The video evidence sealed his fate. The signed testimony by his friend buried him.
10. The Hot Dog Heist
I don’t own a business, but I work on employee claims and lawsuits. Once, a guy filed a discrimination complaint against the company after he got fired for stealing hot dogs from the refrigerator. This warehouse kept a stock of hot dogs for employee appreciation picnics (usually weekly cookouts) and no one knew why they were disappearing. So announcements were made and all employees were asked to not eat the hot dogs; if they wanted some, they could ask, but couldn’t have several packs. That didn’t work, so warnings were announced.
Finally, a camera was installed near the refrigerator and he got caught red-handed. He was practically inhaling the hot dogs directly from the refrigerator by the pack. After he was fired, he filed a discrimination claim on the basis of disability due to his weight. I sent the response with a video of him eating the hot dogs. Also, he couldn’t prove his weight was a disability under the ADA and weight is not a protected class. We won that claim.
9. Ridiculous Rumors
My dad owned his own business working as a color corrector/editor. He had this one employee who had been there since day one and ended up becoming similar to an assistant manager. My dad owned that company for 10+ years and, just recently, he had to fire the assistant manager because apparently, he was telling employees and customers that my dad hated people who were loved and looked different to him. He even said my dad hated his kids, his whole family and that he was a terrible person.
He basically drove all business away, pushing my dad’s company towards bankruptcy. It turns out he was a narcissistic sociopath. My dad was just sad that his employees never trusted him enough to tell him about what this guy would say to them.
8. Well, If the Cap Fits
I used to manage a store in the mall. One of my employees, I’m pretty sure, was cheating on her husband with a mall security guard. I would come by on my days off and he’d scurry out in a fluster. I never mentioned it, but the guy was coming by ALL the time, to the point that it was keeping her from doing her job. Finally, we had a work meeting, so I decided to say something.
I said in a very non-accusatory way, something like this, “I know it gets slow in here during the week, and I’m guilty of it myself, but from now on I need everyone to keep personal visits to a minimum or during your lunch break.” She stands up and starts screaming at me and saying some very mean things like how dare I accuse her calling me a stream of bad names and then she quit. She continued to call me and leave me harassing voice-mail for a while too.
7. Doing Things Her Way
I work in a small independent pharmacy where it’s only the owner, me, and a coworker. Business is really picking up, and the boss wanted to hire someone; he asked me to sit in on the interviews to ask questions he may forget. We met this girl who seemed great. I explained the importance of protocol and procedure so we don’t accidentally kill someone with the wrong medication and that we had to follow all the laws. She had never worked in a pharmacy, was called back for interview #2 and we agreed she was the best choice.
I fired her after two weeks. She couldn’t understand when we’d tell her not to do something. She’d do it anyway because “I figured you wouldn’t care and I thought my way was better.” This happened AT LEAST three times a day. A few times she would lie and say, “I didn’t do that,” but everything would be stamped with her initials. The final straw was she tried to process a prescription under MY name while breaking HIPAA and screwed up the claim that could have caused an audit.
6. Our Yeast Became Her Infection
I used to own a bakery and a woman quit because she blamed her yeast infection on a bad batch of yeast I bought from China.
I may be a guy, but I don’t think that’s how it works.
5. A Job Under the Job
We had an employee who had been fired- it was one of those really contentious firings and he was physically removed from the building. After he was fired, he used the company’s FedEx account to deliver his eBay sales; the company brought charges against him.
It wasn’t one or two sales here and there. He had an entire operation and was shipping out at least twenty shipments a week. I guess he thought it was too big a corporation for anyone to be reviewing the FedEx bills, which was true, until one of the big executives hired on a family member and we had to find something for them to do!
4. He Upset An Old Lady
I’m not a business owner, but I’m a student manager; I don’t really have the ability to fire someone, but I had to in this case. This one kid was trouble, to say the least, and I once asked him to go check the bathrooms to make sure they were clean/stocked. When he asked about the women’s room, I said he could knock and make sure nobody was inside. Apparently, he banged on the door and screamed, in his very deep voice, “WHO IN HERE? EVERYBODY GET OUT” and proceeded to enter the bathroom where a poor little elderly woman was inside the stall.
He was yelling so loudly that I actually heard him and went to investigate. The poor woman was whimpering and calling the police, and he just was the kind of person who had no idea how he came across. There were many other issues, but this obviously topped the cake. So, I told him he was done and needed to go home. The poor old woman was so upset that she refused to leave the bathroom and I had to call her son for her.
3. Stealing As An Intern
We had a young IT intern help with some hardware inventory tasks. It wasn’t uncommon for laptops not to make it back to us, but the interns would keep track of them as best as they could. One day we noticed his backpack open and a laptop of a model we used sticking out.
I sent him to the other side of the building and checked the serial number and yep – it was one he reported missing during a recent inventory. Opportunistic theft is one thing, but bringing it back into the office every day? He was let go right then.
2. In the Business of Undercutting
My parents got a quote on some plumbing work they needed once from a chain company and they quoted some enormous fee in the high thousands. Then, individually while one guy is talking to my mother and the other guy is talking to my father on a different area of the property, they each mention they run their own side-business and could do the work for way less.
I still wonder if they knew they were trying to undercut each other as well as trying to undercut their employer; my parents went with someone else.
1. When Hunger Causes Unemployment
I’m not a business owner, but at a previous job, we had issues with food being stolen from the break room fridge. The company made a big stink about it and it kept happening, so they very obviously installed security cameras in the break room.
The cameras were in plain sight, pointing at the fridge, with our bosses being very direct about it and saying, “There is the camera. Do you really want to lose your job over eating someone’s sandwich?” A few days later, a guy gets fired for stealing food. He was literally on camera, just grabbing people’s lunch out of the fridge and eating it.