Workers From Around Their World Share Their Liberating 'I Quit' Stories

Workers From Around Their World Share Their Liberating 'I Quit' Stories

We all know that most jobs are the worst. There are the unhappy bosses who's sole purpose is to make their employees lives more miserable, the owners who will find every excuse to milk every penny out of their workers' pay checks, and situations that make prison seem like a great place to vacation.

Many of the same people making these situation so much worse are the ones who say cliches like "never quit" and “Pain is temporary. Quitting is forever.”

Little do they know, the best satisfaction can be quitting a job that has been making you so miserable. Below are some of the best stories from workers around the world in their moment of fiery glory, the moment when they get to say "Screw you! I quit."

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35. Flying plates

I was waitressing at a small cafe, the owner was also the manager/cook. One day, we were in the weeds, getting thrown around left and right, and finally when it slows down, the other line cook messed up. So the owner, who already had had several screaming meltdowns, picks up a plate and throws it right at the server alley. It broke on the wall near my head.

So I took off my apron and waddled my pregnant butt on home. Screw that.

It closed a few weeks ago, which wasn't surprising.

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34. Atomic Burrito

Many many years ago I worked at a place called Atomic Burrito. I only worked there for 4 days. I was washing dishes and the manager walked by and started yelling at me for using soap!

He said soap cost money and we were just putting the same food back in the pans anyways. I quit right there.

Noped the frick right out the door.

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33. It's never going to happen

I worked for a company for over a year that was contracted to make deliveries for a big online company.

The vans they equipped us with were terribly maintained, and fully unequipped to handle winter weather. I worked with the company through their first winter, which meant sliding all over the road when it was icy and getting stuck constantly every time we had snow. I never had a major accident, though I did have 2 or 3 close calls where only minor damage was incurred to the van.

I decided to stick it out through the summer, when the weather was obviously much better. All summer long they promised us that new and better vans were coming. September rolls around, no vans. October, no vans. November, no vans.

That month we got our first real snow. I got back from my route and immediately put in my notice. My boss told me they would be getting new vans by the end of the year. I told her that was nice and walked.

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32. Digging your own grave

Boss wanted me to train people offshore that would eventually replace me in my job. Told him to go [Bleep] himself, left early, went to an Eddie Vedder show and met Eddie. Turned into a great day

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31. Never enough

Summer job in a downtown (scuzzy part of the city) retail store. Repainting the wooden fence around the parking lot. The fence wood was a pattern so on an angle you could see through it. I was painting the one site and a guy walked up on the other side and started peeing on the other side. A stream of pee almost on my head. I yelled and said get the heck out of here.

He continued to pee, and then dropped to a squat for a #2. I got up. Packed up the paint brush and paint. Went inside for a break. Boss said what are you doing in, the fence is not done.

I said you don't pay me enough to get peed on.

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30. Nepotism

I was interviewing for a managers job and got it. There was a woman interviewing for the same job and she was hired as an assistant manager under me. Obviously, she didn't like me. She was constantly trying to undermine me and I was planning on having her moved to another location or just fire her.

My VP then hired her husband as my district manager. After about a month of constant back stabbing I was at a managers meeting. Both the VP, the husband/district manager and about a dozen location managers were all there. District manager starts to lay into me while I'm the guy with the best numbers in the bunch. I stood up and told the VP I couldn't believe how he would make a hiring decision like he did with the husband that was so stupid and unethical. I told the husband/district manager that he didn't know his head from his rear and walked out of the room.

The location I managed closed about a year later and while I was happy that the wife/husband team couldn't achieve the success I did there, I felt bad for the employees there. They were good, hard working people that were suddenly out of a job because of circumstances they had no control over. And it didn't have to be that way.

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29. Just two more years

I am currently in the US Military. I was back and forth about re-enlisting for another 4 years (have done 9 to this point). I have a 3 year old daughter at home who I haven't seen in almost 2 years for more then 3 weeks. I was talking to an Officer in my chain of command when I told him my thoughts. I had just received orders to remain overseas for an additional 2 years.

His exact words were, "You've already missed 2 years of her life, you can afford to lose 2 more."

I went to my Command Career Counselor office that day and signed my intention to separate.

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28. 13th grade

Worked at a call center. Had 100% customer satisfaction. One day my manager called me to her office. We listened to a recording of a malfunctioning headset where I ended up having to terminate the call. She said they wanted to fire me but were going to make an exception. She knew it was 100% equipment failure.

I quit on the spot.

That place was the thirteenth grade.

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27. Never enough

I was working two jobs. I had gotten a job a the company my mom works for. It was a summer work program an paid considerably more than what my primary job was paying at a sandwich shop. So I worked days at the summer work program and evenings at the shop

My good buddy also worked at the sandwich shop and wasn't getting enough hours, so I gave him a shift or two to help him out. A few weeks later it was father's day and I was out at a carshow with my dad and the assistant manager called to see if I could take a shift, I politely declined.

I went into work the next week and discovered that I wasn't on the schedule going forward, so I asked said assistant manager why not and I quote, "We feel you aren't being a team player because you are giving away shifts and not picking them up when we needed you to".

Turns out that fathers day shift was to cover for her friend and that angered her, so she decided to be spiteful. I walked outside, called my dad to see what I should do, steaming. Walked back in 5 minutes before my shift told her she was being ridiculous and I quit.

I called the GM afterward to apologize and tell him I respected him, but at that point it was basically pointless.

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26. A real hero

Years ago, I worked at a place right down the street from the United Center in Chicago. It was before the smoking ban, and I was a server. There was a manager who was a total jerk, and she'd run into the bar to smoke. I didn't smoke, and hated working in the bar.

So this Saturday, I'm assigned to be the cocktail server in the bar. At the time, there were no customers. The manager comes in for a smoke, so I slink off and join the rest of the servers in the server area.

The manager finished her smoke, and apparently someone came in and had to talk to the bartender for a drink, so she comes looking for me with vengeance. She finds me with the others, and starts screaming at me. Just irrelevant nonsense. Three sentences in, I ask her if she's done. She gives a look of shock. How can someone talk to her like that?

It was over. Screw this place.

I just laid into her. Insulted her person, her position, her everything, then I grabbed my apron string, pulled it, let it fall, and walked off into the wind.

A month later, my sister was taken here by a date before a Blackhawks game. She mentioned to the server that her brother, (me) used to work there. That server told the others, and they all chipped in and bought their meal, and told them that she ran to the office and cried for hours, and that I had said everything they all had wanted to say to her, hence why they were buying the meal.

Greatest afterword to a job I've ever had.

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25. A good deed

I worked for a brand new major superstore that promised everyone full benefits if you at least worked an average of 30 hours a week. After hiring us, they cut everyone's hours under 30 hours to ensure that no one received the health benefits when it was time to enroll.

They also continued to hire people despite there not being enough hours to go around. There was a single mother of two that had been recently hired and was only working 12 hours a week despite being promised a lot more when they hired her. One day, she broke down in front of me saying that she couldn't afford to feed her kids. I found a manager and quit without notice so she could have my hours. I found a job less than a week later and never looked back.

Screw that place.

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24. 3 in one day

I used to work at a grocery store and there were 3 of us that stocked the shelves. Well the 2 guys ended up quitting on the same day because the boss was a total jerk. That jerk boss comes up to me when I started my shift and he told me they quit and that I would have too stay until I finished all of their work on top of mine.

Then he tells me that they don't plan on hiring anyone in the future to replace them and that they were going to expect me too carry their load.

I laughed and said [bleep]  this I don't get paid enough to do 3 peoples jobs so I turned around punched out and flipped off the boss and left.

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23. SEC lurking

I worked for a low cost airline in finance. Saw the maintenance and safety issues, and I called it out. I also saw a ton of illegal insider contracts and spending... called that out too.

Got yelled at for not putting profit over people and integrity.

I said, "When you are all in jail after one of these planes goes down or the SEC finds out about all the insider stuff think about this moment."


22. Inside job

I was ringing up a customer and he had a pack of light bulbs on the bottom tray of his cart. I didn’t notice and assume the customer forgot they were there, either way he wasn’t charged for the bulbs. My boss at the time lit into me like I’d just bankrupted the company, and just as I’d reached my point of beyond upset, he suggested that the customer and I knew each other and I deliberately didn’t charge him helping him steal them (freaking light bulbs!), and he even went as far as to say I was probably meeting him after my shift to ‘split the take’! (again, just LIGHT BULBS!)

That was pretty much it and we had a fairly hostile exchange, then I was out. As I walked out the door, one of my life’s greatest moments unfolded, the customer was on his way back into the store to correct the mistake and pay for the DANG LIGHT BULBS!!!!!

Never the less, I saluted my boss with the ol’ middle finger and we never spoke again.

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21. Old school

I was 20 and had been running a movie theater in a small town in the 80's. Having gone through several deadbeat managers that were skimming off the top, selling illegal substances out the back, etc, the owners promoted me to manager at 17. Van Halen was coming to play the Bay Area. Two shows. Months in advance, I told them, I'll work Friday, but Saturday is off limits. I will not be coming in. The show comes around, whatever Nightmare on Elm Street sequel was opening that weekend, and the owners told me I had to work both Friday and Saturday.

Nope. I told them I had been very clear months ahead of time that I would not be there. They said if I left that Saturday, not to come back. I told them my keys would be pushed through the box office slot and they should probably send someone down from corporate if they wanted the theater open that Saturday.

I saw Van Halen.


20. Sour milk

I worked in a healthy restaurant that also served coffee. A customer wanted milk in theirs, so I go to the fridge in the backroom to grab some and what do I find? 20 day old milk. I bring it to the owners attention and they tell me it's fine . Blew my mind that they wanted me to put sour milk in the coffee.

I walked out and never looked back.

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19. Make up your mind

When I was just out of high school I worked at a car dealership detailing cars. They had a big sale coming up on the weekend and I was trying to get over 150 cars ready for it. The service manager told me to stop working on them and get a truck detailed that was going out to a customer that day. I went to work on it and about 20 minutes later he came back and started yelling at me because I wasn't washing the cars for the sale. I told him to make up his mind because I couldn't do both at once and he acted like he didn't tell me to detail the truck. He was yelling at me in front of the mechanics and told me I had to be the dumbest guy he'd ever seen.

I went to the office, asked the payroll lady to cut me a check for the hours I'd worked that week. Once I had the check, I went back to the service manager, told him I hoped he could find someone else dumb enough to get all those cars ready for Saturday and went home. The sales manager called me and wanted to know what happened and if I would please come back. I asked him if Larry was still the service manager and he said he was. I said to call me once Larry was gone and I'd consider it, then hung up on him.

It felt really really good. I had already enlisted in the Navy and was just waiting to leave for boot camp in a few months so I didn't care one bit.

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18. You can't...

I was working for Sears in 2014-15 when I was 18 as an employee who basically maintained the men’s floor (folding clothes, helping customers find their size, clearing the fitting rooms, etc).

We were super understaffed. It was only 2 employees per shift who maintained the floor. We never had any down time and the managers yelled at us from across the store if they found a t-shirt that was folded wrong.

I came in to work on Black Friday at 5 PM and worked non stop til 6 AM on Saturday. Then came back that same day at 2 PM and worked til Midnight. I was working over 40 hours every week after Black Friday and they refused to make me a full-time employee because then they would have to give me benefits and since I was young they told me I, "didn’t need benefits anyway.”

One bright Sunday afternoon after the New Year my stomach wasn’t feeling good so I decided I was gonna call in sick. I was told over the phone that “You can’t call in sick, someone already called off today.” And that, “You need to find someone to cover your shift if you want to call off.”

I hung up on them, turned off my phone, and went back to bed.

The morning afterwards, I turned on my phone and saw a number of text messages from my manager, and from her manager, begging me to come back.

I blocked both their numbers and never went back.


17. Less pay, more work

Started out in a small (10 person) Company, at the bottom of the totem pole. Owner is a frugal guy, but will spend when convinced. He also has to make sure everything is fair, and makes things much more difficult when he feels someone is being slighted (sales rep, customer, vendor, anyone).

​The owner pulls me into a special project after 2 years or so of employment, hires someone else to my job, then 6 months later fires my old manager, and replaces her with me. Cool, I get a nice raise and get to hire another team member to work under me, knowing they would make a few thousand less than I do. I am now one of the three mangers, the defacto leadership, and am constantly leading the two other managers to make out dept's work more efficiently.

I get called into the owners office one day, where he forgets he has his employee pay spreadsheet on one screen. The one manager who had 8 months tenure on me was making 20% more than I do. The other manager with 2 years less tenure, again same level as me, was making 22% more than I do.

​I look at the owner and go, "So that's how much I'm worth." Fast forward a month, he offers to make me their boss, with the pay bump and all. I decline, because I've got a job offer elsewhere with a raise and much better work life balance


16. Even the shirt?

I was working for fried chicken chain, and I was about to get off when my sister calls me and tells me I have her keys and she can’t go to work and she’s going to be late and I tell her I’ll be off in 30 minutes. She says she doesn’t have time and she would come get them herself but obviously she can’t. (All I had to do was wash a bunch of dishes, as a cashier this was hardly an instance of me being needed immediately as my replacement had arrived.)

I asked the manager if I could bring the keys to my sister and then come right back. She told me no and then told me I had even more work to do for asking. So I quit and then she tried to accuse me of stealing and made me take my work shirt off and give it back to her in the restaurant even though I didn’t have another shirt on underneath.

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15. Sexist pig

I worked for a company that was owned by this old white dude who got wealthy from his dad's oil business. He was sexist and racist - just a monster in general. As a woman, I endured a year of sexist comments from him. This was my first job out of college and the only reason I stayed for as long as I did was to gain enough experience to get hired somewhere else. He would come into an office I shared with men and tell me to make him coffee (he would never ask the men). He told me I wasn't allowed to wear my hair in a bun because he said it looked dirty. He would have me run errands for him, things that had nothing to do with my actual job. I dropped off his mail at the post office and picked up lunch.

Every Friday I had to pick up groceries for the whole office before coming in to work. One day he told me that he no longer wanted me to answer the phone because I was "too stupid to talk to clients". I asked to have a sit-down meeting with HR. Turns out HR was just his personal assistant who had been working for him for 30+ years.

When I presented her with a detailed list of all the things that I had endured, she told me that I was too young and naive to know what a real job entailed and that I should just smile and endure it.

I walked out.


14. Who's that girl?

I worked retail for about a year for an outdoorsman store. The workers got a super good discount (whatever the store paid for the item+ 10%) which usually came down to around half off most things.

My wife had her own discount card as shes my spouse, and it goes without saying that the store was pretty strict on discount-sharing.

I'd bring her in and we'd browse camping supplies and clothing, amongst other things, from time to time. There were three times within a 2 week period where I'd get brought into the managers office during my shift and id get written up for "bringing in a blonde friend". They accused me of bringing in my "girlfriend" and "sister" and then just "friend" in that order.

After the third time, they wanted to start taking away my pay from my next check and I quit on the spot because they didn't recognize my wife for the third time, even though I had BROUGHT HER IN TO GET HER DISCOUNT CARD, and, I told them each time it was my wife.

Screw that place.

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13. Shady dealings

I worked as a mechanic doing vehicle inspections on newly acquired vehicles for a small mom and pop dealership that had 3 lifts. Working on a car about a year into the job and one of the equalizing cables on my lift breaks and the mini van that’s above my head suddenly pitches sideways and almost comes off the lift.

It took a high lift transmission jack to even the van out to get the cable hooked back up and as it was the end of the day I took off and asked the boss to get the lift inspected and repaired to which he said, “Of course, no problem we’ll have a guy come in over the weekend.”

Back to work Monday-they said the inspection passed, but they were really weird about it when they told me. I asked who did the inspection. They gave me a company name so I called them and they had never heard of us.

I let them know in no uncertain terms that I thought they were pieces of crap for lying to me and walked out.

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12. No more dishes

Worked at a major grocery chain for a year and some change, my manager came back from vacation and told me that everyone was telling her they hate me because I stopped doing the coffee shop's dishes (we had a deal, I do their dishes, they give me a free drink).

I told her that that was uncalled for, and I told her that if you take away the incentive for me to do a favor for them, I wouldn't do it anymore. She told me I had to do the dishes or find somewhere else to work. I walked into HR and explained everything, and she happened to be at her desk, she walked out to us while I was meeting with HR and called me a liar to my face.

I quit on the spot and said, "Wash your own dishes, [bleep]."

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11. Another Karen

It was my first job at 18, working in a grocery deli. I was pretty excited at first. Took me a lot of mental strength to go out and find that job, since I was such an anxious teen. Settled in pretty nicely, had a couple coworkers who watched my back.

But my manager. Karen. She was that kind of Karen. She had one of those "I Want To Talk To Your Manager" haircuts, but she WAS the manager. She hated my guts.

I thought I was being paranoid, too, until all of my co-workers pointed it out to me. They told me that she bullied me, she nitpicked, she made me do stuff no one else ever had to do, etc. My manager, a 50 year old woman, was hazing an 18 year old for God knows what reason, and my coworkers actively pointed it out.

I had a lot of panic attacks on my bathroom breaks because of her. Maybe too many. Sometimes my bathroom breaks were just Panic And Cry breaks. My mental health was already kind of bad, but this was making it worse.

I wanted to go to a concert, they didn't give me that night off, and that was the last straw for me. Make me miserable and then deny me the joy of seeing Fall Out Boy on their reunion tour. I sent an email to the store manager saying, "Mail me my paycheck, I'm not coming back," and then I never worked for them again.

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10. You got this

Working in a restaurant, they took my previous experience as a reason to no train me. Trying to learn a menu and computer system, while being double and triple sat hard to maintain. I asked for help and asked for a smaller section, I was told no just deal with it.

Made it 2 weeks, Saturday dinner I waited till my section was full, and walked out the kitchen door.

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9. "How much did we lose?!"

This was back in 2010: I was working overnight, alone, at a gas station in Queens, having recently moved to the city as part of a pretty brutal life crisis that I needed to fix by being somewhere new and spontaneous. I was working two full-time jobs (that one, and at another minimum wage place) to make ends meet.

Well, this gas station was in a fairly seedy area of the borough, and one night, I looked up to find some jerk waving a gun in my face, demanding my drawer and a bunch of packs of smokes. I wasn't about to be a hero when I was getting 7.25 an hour, so I gave him everything and called the cops, and then my manager at home. I told him the story (albeit very shaken up), and the first words out of his mouth weren't, "are you okay?" They were, "How much did we lose?!"

I hung up, texted him, "YOU lost about 500 bucks and 6 packs of Parliaments. Slow night. I quit." Blocked the number, looked for a second job in a better part of town, because screw that job.

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8. Surprise at the end of the bar

I worked at a nightclub and was training to be a manager. I worked split shifts setting up in the day, running bars and keeping on top of the cellar and supplies at night. It was tough, not great paid, but largely fun because it was social.

But the bar had the worst students. In the UK, university students drink a lot and are notoriously cheap. At the time it was £1.50 a night for any drink on a Tuesday, great prices.

I remember one night vividly.

I was covering someone's break on one of the bars and a tipsy student meandered up. "Mate, what can I get for... 87p?"

"You can have a glass of water. Drinks are £1.50."

He then said, "Well at the Students' Union I can get a drink for 75p!"

"Go to the students' union, then, mate."

I was walking round later, checking the toilets were cleaned, and that nobody was doing illegal substances in them (except for staff, obviously...) and spot checking for empty glasses on bars, ledges and the dance floors.

And I saw a pint glass on a bar. Empty.

Except someone had put a turd in it or, probably, pooed in it.

Because there were rugby teams in. Nobody drinks like rugby teams. Or, rather, nobody turns into a loud, braying jerks like a uni rugby team on cheap Tuesday. One with a belief that scatological humour, drinking games and bets are the peak of humour.

I handed my notice in the next morning.

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7. Angry pizza man

I worked at a pizza parlor for about a year in high school. My boss was a constant source of stress for me as he was controlling, rude, and just downright degrading. One time, when I went slightly off script on a phone order, he mocked me while I continued to handle the call. The straw that broke the camels back happened on a busy Friday night. Someone came in and placed an order. I got their name and told them it would be about twenty minutes.

During this time, the same customer left the store to wait in the car. Twenty minutes later, they sent someone else in to pick it up. Problem was, this person didn’t know the order, and claimed that it was under their name. When I struggled to identify their order, my boss grabbed one of the giant wooden pizza spatulas, swung it full force, and shattered it over one of the ovens.

After about five minutes of attempting to serve the customers in the store, I walked into his office and told him I was out. I walked to a nearby Wendy’s in the snow and waited for my dad to pick me up.

I’ll never forget how freeing that feeling was.

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6. Evacuation

I worked in an office in the heart of downtown. There was a shooting around the corner from our office in a government building. We were on lockdown for a majority of the day and had police outside our building with guns drawn.

Eventually they were evacuating all of the buildings and police were escorting people to bus stops to get out of the downtown core. Everyone in my office was packing up to leave when my boss came up to me and said, “You need to stay here till 5, the office is still open”. My usual shift was 9 to 5.

I was so shocked I didn’t even know what to say. I started to say something like, “Everyone else is leaving and evacuating, I’m not staying here alone”. My boss scoffed at me and said “the building management is downstairs you’ll be fine” ... I started to get emotional because I couldn’t believe she wasn’t taking this seriously and finally said, “I don’t care what you want I’m leaving with everyone else and going home”.

The next day I reported her to HR because I wanted to quit, but I also had bills to pay.

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5. Not worth it

Used to be a parts associate at a dealership.

I sold parts to outside entities such as body shops and repair shops.

I recorded a RECORD month. This was just after the recession so everyone was hit hard and dealerships in particular were struggling because no one was buying or fixing cars.

But I went out, pulled sales calls day in and out, and ended up still making huge numbers despite the setback.

That year at the Christmas party I received my Christmas bonus. It was 25$ and a cinnamon roll.

I walked into the owners office the next day and put in my two weeks then took all of my PTO.

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4. Where's the money?

Doing some side work on a farm where we would be bailing hay, which is notoriously hot and miserable work. I inquired to the farmer I was working for about when I could expect to be paid for the hours I had already done -- about 40 hours already that week. That's when he broke the news to me.

"Well I usually pay all of my help at the end of the season." The end of the season was about three months away, and I have bills to pay unlike most of the high school kids that were working on this farm with me. I then requested that I be paid bi-weekly at the very least or I would no longer be able to work for him.

He said that he was not willing to do this. so I said okay then I will require my pay by the end of the day and that I will not be returning tomorrow. I felt bad leaving him high and dry for the rest of the week but how does he expect an adult with bills to pay to work for months on the promise that I would eventually be paid.


3. Lucky guy

I was working at a major pizza chain. It was okay 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, water, scheduling, and had general contempt for us.

There was a huge local event going on and I was scheduled to work. Someone had called in sick 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 lucky you showed up on time else I would have fired you on the spot."

I was like "okay" 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 "okay"..0 and stared at him.. smiled.. then walked out.

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2. She forgot her lie

First job, working at a little BBQ place with a drive thru. My day off. Manager calls me at 8:30 am (30 mins before we open) saying she doesn’t feel good and needs me to open. I rush in and end up working all day. 5 pm rolls around, manager comes in with the owner of the business, who she’s dating. They were at the fair all day and completely forgot they lied to me about her being sick. I bite my tongue and ask if I can go home, they say no and keep me until close (9 pm). At 9 pm I took my shirt off, handed them my keys, and said “Today was my last day”, as I walked out the door shirtless.

Best part, when I got home my dad was angry that I quit my job. I told him what they did and said I wasn’t making enough money. He looked at my pay stubs and saw they hadn’t been paying me over time the entire time I worked there! He made me go back in and demand my overtime pay. When I came in with the pay stubs the manager started crying and gave me cash out of the register to cover my overtime and then some.

They called me the next day making sure I wasn’t going to report them to the BBB.

I didn’t, but my dad did.


1. Not the favorite

I was working at a catering hall. The people there would show favoritism (I wasn't a favorite), and were just terrible people. Anyway I bring in a tray of plates to the kitchen, do what I was supposed to do with them, and while I'm the middle of doing that, the new guy comes in, and the person training him tells him to put his tray down. Which he does, on top of the tray I was using.

Instead of telling him to move mine next time, or to just not put his on mine, I get called an idiot for leaving mine there. I finished what I was doing, got my tray from under his, and left the kitchen telling myself to just get through that party, and never come in again. Which I did.