Are you reading this at work? Caught you! Don’t worry, we won’t tell. There are people doing much worse things on the job, and getting away with it. Stealing, making mistakes that cost their company millions of dollars, even feeding a customer a dirty bandaid–you name it, these incompetent coworkers have done it. In some cases, their malfeasance is so epic, it’s almost admirable. Find out how much you could be getting away with at work as people share the most messed up things their coworkers did without getting so much as a reprimand.
73. A dying breed.
I worked with a guy who literally had no job. He was the “studio supervisor” but there was no activity in the studio to supervise because the studio had effectively become non-operational. He coasted for a full 8 years at this job. He would come in the morning, open his email, get coffee, gossip and complain about the industry for an hour, leave for an hour, come back for lunch, leave for another 3 hours, come back, send a few emails and then officially leave for the day. It was infuriating and majestic.
72. Don’t get greedy.
Store manager got caught adding hours he didn’t work to his time card. He got a reprimand and they removed the ability for managers to edit their own hours.
About a month later he gets caught using another manager’s login to add more hours he didn’t work. Another slap on the wrist and is still working at the same place.
71. Call it a bonus.
A coworker of mine used his corporate credit card for over $10k in personal purchases. He was reprimanded, but not fired OR made to pay the company back. Within the next year he did the exact same thing and only then was he fired.
70. Work zzz’s are the best zzz’s.
I had a coworker who I would repeatedly catch asleep. Not like a 2 minute doze – I’m talking hours. Has been caught multiple times, was even filmed twice by a new hire. Union won’t let him be touched – not even a suspension.
69. Nepotism is the worst.
I worked at a school for kids who need emotional support. We had a classroom aide who would scream at kids until they cried and then actively mock them for crying. These kids were 7 and came from horrifically abusive houses. It sucked to work in a place that allowed abusive behavior to continue. She was close family friends with the principal. It’s very hard to help a child when they learn from a young age that adults aren’t able to make things better and adults are capable of incredibly mean things.
68. Keeping it interesting in the kitchen.
Someone I worked with in a kitchen liked throwing ice cubes into the deep fryer. He’d stand far enough away that he wouldn’t get splashed, which made it a complete surprise to the person working the fryer. If you’ve never done this, it kind of causes a mini explosion of bubbles in molten grease, which splashes everywhere and, at the very least, makes a mess.
When this got too boring, he started stealing kid’s meal toys and chucking them into the fryer. It took longer for them to start melting, and if he couldn’t get them out, we had to turn the thing off for the rest of the day because it takes hours for it to cool off long enough to retrieve something, and then at least another hour to heat back up. I can’t remember what it was that he threw, but it caught on fire and he ended up pulling it out with a pair of metal tongs and threw it in the sink. Then he turned on the water and made (to his surprise!) a BIGGER FIRE. Did he get burned? Yes. Did he get fired? No. Did he do it again? Sort of. I think he went back to ice cubes after that.
67. So long as he’s not a pilot…
A guy I worked with ran a food truck into an airplane. When they drug-tested him he was super dirty. After being told that he’d be getting random tests for awhile, they showed up at his house within a week. Told them he couldn’t because he just smoked yesterday. He was still employed when I transferred from that airport.
66. Petty revenge.
I worked a horrible retail job near the University for a bit. The store manager was asking a young employee out on dates and she turned him down. So in retaliation he secretly docked hours off of her pay check for a few months before she noticed. When she told the store owner, they back-paid her and the store manager kept his job.
5. Not threatening at all.
I used to work at a Federal research lab. We had a guy who used to come to work and be ticked off about whatever. He’d get mad the printer wasn’t working. He’d be mad someone didn’t water the research plots right. He’d be mad about politics, you name it.
He used to say, and pantomime with his finger, that he was going to shoot stuff or people that were bugging him. That’s a bit weird by itself, but the bigger issue was he would also routinely drive to work with a loaded .45 on the front passenger’s seat of his car. He’d tell people he had his gun in his car and he was going to get it one of these days when he’d had enough.
It’s was actually illegal to bring a firearm onto the premises (at least at our lab it was) and I reported it to our HR person after a few times. I was starting to get worried he might actually do it. Turns out as I’m talking to the HR person, I’m the third person to complain about his bringing a weapon to work and threatening to shoot people in the last few months.
Nothing ever happened, other than my boss and I actually made up an escape plan for when Jerry went nuts and started shooting up the place.
4. You’ve got to admire him.
I’ve had all kinds of jobs, but have worked primarily as a coder for the last 25ish years.
I have seen SOOOO much nonsense on the job. Early in my career, I was working at a HUGE corporation on campus. This was in the late 90s. Anyway this dude sat in the cube across from me. His name was “James”, but he called himself “WebDawg”.
WebDawg knew all the right words; “SQL Server”, “Java Servlet”, “CICS System”. But unfortunately that was where his knowledge ended. He didn’t know how to use any of these technologies, despite being a “Senior Programmer.”
WebDawg would roll in at around 11ish usually. He’d try to slink in quietly, but his silence was always deafening if you know what I mean. He’d go to lunch (off campus of course) at 12, be back by 2 and leave at 3. They did actually *try* to get him some work a few times, but he never delivered and always managed to find excuses and pass the work to someone else.
This continued for…. Way too long. And eventually (like after a couple of years) it caught up with him and they let him go. Thank God. Now I don’t have to pick up the slack for him anymore with no thanks while he ‘works’ his 2 hour days.
Fast Forward (a phrase which surely dates me) a few months… Like maybe 3 or 4. We’re migrating the entire company backend to Java. We need tons and tons of contractors to help us rearchitect the entire backend all the way to the mainframe. And we only hire the *best* consultants. Like Big 3 consulting firms. Won’t name names.
And there he was… His dreadlocks rakishly held back by an oversize scrunchy, his backpack slung over one shoulder, his cargo pants and Doc Martins letting all of us know just what a cool dude he was. Yep. WebDawg was working with one of the shmansiest consulting firms in the country.
In a way I kind of idolize him. I mean, how big do your balls have to be to walk right back into the company you just got fired from a few months earlier and act like nothing ever happened? Chutzpah. WebDawg at least has that much going for him.
Sometimes I imagine where he’s at today. Probably a CTO somewhere.
3. Girls don’t know how to glue.
I used to work in instrument manufacturing. There were these tiny heater parts that needed to be glued together. Well, one of the employees, the sweetest lady, was new to that particular station that involved the heater part. All of her heaters kept leaking. Nobody knew why. They assumed that it was faulty parts. I had worked at that station before her and I came over to take a look. She was gluing the parts wrong. She was placing the heavier part on the bottom and the lighter part in top. To get a good seal, you obviously place the heavy part on top when you lay it to dry. Well, they got the engineers over to take a look. They told me I was wrong because that’s not in the instruction booklet. I told them I had been building these for months and never had any problems and that they might want to consider changing it in the manual because it seems to be common sense. They continued to tell me I was wrong because god forbid they take the advice of a young woman. This one engineer was a sexist jerk and he was in charge of this problem. They continued to trash thousands of dollars worth of perfectly good parts and this guy continued to blame the manufacturer of the parts. Sometimes I would work weekends with my boss. I asked him if I could please just work on one batch to prove I was right. He let me and guess what? No leaking! My boss tells the higher ups and the instructions are changed. I get zero acknowledgement in solving the case. Since thousands of dollars in product have been wasted, someone needs to take a hit. And that someone was the kind little older woman who had only been doing what the engineer told her to do. The person who should have been fired was that jerk who didn’t want to listen to me.
2. These people are saving your life.
One of the last places I worked at was a hospital and one of my duties was to put together Code Boxes. So a code box is basically a kit that a nurse, doctor, or whatever grabs if a patient is ‘coding,’ like if they stop breathing and they need a breathing tube type of thing. Well code boxes require two signatures before they can be sealed up and delivered. One signature is the person putting the kit together that basically says yeah all the parts are there, everything is clean, and nothing will expire anytime soon. The second signature is for the person who signs off saying they checked all the same stuff after the kit was assembled.
There was this one employee who everyone HATED because this employee was a nazi when it came to rules, would raise trouble with the supervisor who was a complete pushover and she (who had the same job title as me) would get him to make new rules, you know that type of nonsense. This employee for weeks assembled code boxes signed their name and then forged my signature as the person who signed off saying it was good to go. I went to the boss and this employee who has never not once apologized for one thing in her life was escorted by the boss and made to say, “I’m sorry you were offended when I forged your signature and it wont happen again.”
I told my boss I needed to talk to him in private RIGHT NOW and said that’s not an apology, she ain’t sorry. If a patient were to get sick because that stuff in the kit wasnt clean or had expired, I WOULD BE THE ONE TO GET SUED AND LOSE MY JOB. His reply was the best, “Well, what exactly do you want from her? She said she won’t do it again.”
The employee never did get fired, in fact some months later they got a promotion in that department, and about a year after that left for our competitor which meant a pay raise.
I’m glad I don’t work there anymore.
1. The most epic ghosting story of all time.
We hired this woman to my team. Her job was to do exactly what I did. We work from home, but we have constant conference calls and a TON of work to do. It’s simply not possible to slack off without being noticed.
I trained her and she shadowed me for a couple of months. She should have been ready to go off on her own, but she kept asking the same questions again and again. It’s like she wasn’t even sort of listening to anything we said. Which was super annoying…but then…
About 3 months in, she disappeared. Like stopped logging into calls, stopped logging into Skype, stopped everything. We emailed, texted, and called for awhile, until she finally responded that she had been in the hospital with a hernia. Now my mother had hernia surgery in her 70’s and was home within a few hours. So…red flag. We were also stunned and deeply offended that she never, ever bothered to call, text, email, ANYTHING to say she’d be out. Never in my 20 year career have I seen anything like it. In my personal opinion, I thought she should have been fired right then and there.
BUT, our boss didn’t want to make a big deal out of it – she didn’t want to tell the big boss for some reason. I’m still baffled by that, but that meant neither the powers that be nor HR had any idea it had even happened. So eventually, after having fallen off the planet for about 10 days, this new hire finally came back. Both our boss and I counseled her A LOT about communication. Things happen, we get it. Just TALK to us. Let us know what’s going on. Benefit of the doubt, right?
Yeah, a little over a month later, she did it again. At first I noticed she wasn’t joining calls or logging into Skype and she kept saying she was having connection issues. Fine. Once again, TELL US. And for god’s sake, call tech support. But then she was offline for an entire week, so we tried hunting her down again. Nothing. No response, no communication, nothing.
This time, the issue was escalated and HR got involved. After a total of two weeks, she apparently told HR she was having medical issues. She was counseled that she had to log on and fill out her time sheets to reflect she was out of office for ALL the time she was gone. She was given a deadline of a week to do this. This never happened, and she was STILL employed. Please note, at this point she had still not spoken a word to either myself or our boss.
So now we’re at three weeks of radio silence and HR contacts our boss to say new hire had reached out to say she’s filing short-term disability. Fine, whatever. We wait. And wait. And obviously, she never filed. So FINALLY, a month after disappearing for the SECOND time with zero communication, she was terminated.
The amount of work I had to pick up thanks to her disappearing act was madness. I’m talking upwards of 80 hours a week for more than a month. I am still bitter about it.