There might be times at work where you find yourself in an awkward position, such as seeing or hearing a coworker getting fired.
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A lot of us have been there, so I turned to the BuzzFeed Community to ask people to share their workplace firing stories - and I was honestly surprised at the range of them. Here are some.
1."I worked for a law firm. They hired a paralegal who really just milked our firm. She kept to herself and I barely saw her. I just thought she was really professional and focused. Well, turns out, the reason we never saw her is because she would take long bathroom and lunch breaks and wouldn't return for hours."
2."I was working at a prominent private school in Washington state. I had a manager in my department who was sexist, racist, and anti-gay. He grabbed my thigh underneath the table where I was eating lunch and no one would call him out or sense my discomfort."
"He knew I was queer so he outed me to colleagues. After he called my coworker a racist word, I went to his bosses office and reported him. Within five minutes he was removed from the premises. His racism sent me over the edge."
3."I am a manager and we are pretty laid back and chill as long everyone does their job. We also try to have a very friendly environment, so people actually like coming to work. Some people seem to misinterpret that."
4."I was working for Frito-Lay and was tasked with working with new hires. They are told up front it's hard, long hours, you have set days off, and learning curve is intense. I had one guy who right out of the gate would wait for me outside so he could smoke and talk to his teenagers on the phone while I did all the work. When he did work it was messy and half-assed, which reflected on me and my customers on the route."
"He refused to work Friday to Sunday or try to do a good job. My week was Tuesday to Saturday. He was told the days were mandatory and he needed to put more effort in. He quit after four days. I had six people in six months like this."
5."We worked in these cool offices with a shared window between us. My office mate was in, but I didn't see the VP of the company sitting in the chair in the corner."
"I came in and opened the window and starting instantly blabbing about my night before. He looked at my with wide eyes and said, "Can we talk later?' This asshole was in the middle of firing me." I just shut the window and sat quietly until he was done."
6."My mom's coworker came to work every day seriously hungover or drunk and wherever she went, the scent of old beer followed. She got fired pretty quickly, especially considering that they work at a school with underage kids."
7."I worked at a restaurant and one day a new guy came in and was supposed to be a much-needed chef. They gave him a quick tour of the place and introduced him to everyone, but it didn't take long to notice this kid was higher than a kite."
"His eyes were barely open and he had a very distinguishable weed smell. They let him go to work in the kitchen while the owners discussed if they had picked up on the same thing. Not even 30 minutes after he walked in the door he was being escorted back out."
8."I was working at a summer camp and a new counselor started. He was on his second or third day and we were waiting for lunch with a bunch of elementary school kids and out of nowhere, he starts asking me sexual questions. He phrased it subtly and used some gestures so the kids didn't pick up on anything, but it was super inappropriate."
"I went to my supervisor, and she told me she'd fire him if he did one more thing. Went back to my group of kids. Within an hour, one of the female campers I'd gotten to know pretty well came up to me, asked to speak privately, and told me that other counselor had groped her. She was 11. Took her straight to the supervisor and the other counselor was fired that day."
9."I just saw someone get fired after a week. I work at a supermarket that has a gas station out front and a coffee shop inside the main store. We hired someone who could open both (I close the coffee shop). Literally five days in, our cash drawer was almost $50 short and the gas station was a couple hundred short. This girl was promptly fired for stealing."
10."On the first day of training at one of my first server jobs, the other new hire asked if we were allowed to take cigarette breaks. Management was pretty chill and said, 'Sure, as long as it's out back and not busy.' We trained four days and he would go off to smoke every once in a while."
"First day on the floor alone, there was a rush. He was so stressed out that he left all four of his tables and went out back to smoke for twenty minutes. Got fired an hour into his first real shift. I had to pick up all of his tables, half of which were waiting that entire time to order. So that was fun."
11."On a companywide Zoom meeting my boss made an extremely racist, misogynistic comment about another co-worker on the call. Her boss immediately dismissed everyone else from the call and fired her on the spot."
12."I worked as a bartender at a sports bar that heavily promoted a specific look for cocktail waiters. It wasn't too particular in comparison to other places like Hooters or Twin Peaks, but they did require girls to look fresh-faced and cute."
13."On the first day of training at my job, we were told we couldn't leave the property if we were clocked in, even during lunch. Second day of training, two guys in my training class hop in their car and drive to Sonic about two blocks away to get their lunch, even though there's a cafeteria with hot food on site."
"Training class resumes after lunch and those two were pulled out after five minutes and sent home. Our training leader said, 'Yeah. We're serious about that.' It turns out that people were going off-site to smoke dope too much so they implemented the rule."
14."I worked in a school in the height of COVID. My coworker was a teacher who told his students to email and complain about the principal to the superintendent. He believed he was being discriminated against for having multiple PTSD episodes at work."
"One kid actually did on a Friday and on the following Monday I watched the principal be escorted to his personal desk, angrily gathering his school memorabilia and photographs. Then he was escorted out of the building completely. He worked there for several years."
15."I work for a pizza delivery place and we have a decent turnover rate of teens, especially during the summer. One summer, we hired a very outspoken 18-year-old who seemed nice enough but a little on the sassy side. Day 1 of training went great. On day 2, he comes in again - clearly on something - but not enough for me to know."
16."My friend actually witnessed this and told me everything: We worked as characters for the Mouse. There was a gal that we worked with off and on, and my friend worked with her more because they were the same height for a lot of characters. She was always just...odd. She would blurt out random things, listen to weird music on full blast, and was just mean."
"Think: a ruder Luna Lovegood. One day, she SNAPPED. While in costume, she went to the buffet and snatched up a fistful of bacon and started to tuck it under her character head and eat it. The floor lead caught sight of this and she was promptly escorted off the floor with my friend following behind because she thought their set was up.
When the floor lead asked why she had done that, she shoved more bacon in her mouth and simply said, 'I was hungry, fuck off.' She smeared bacon grease INTO THE COSTUME and threw the head down. Floor lead asked for security and that was the last my friend ever saw of her."
17."I was working temp jobs in the early 2000s when I got laid off and one temp job ended early because I was 'typing too loudly' and 'slamming my stapler' into my desk. We worked in an open area and the girl next to me complained about my noise level constantly. I'm sorry, but I can't lower the volume level of a keyboard."
18."So I had this coworker - let's call her Emily - and she was responsible for tenders. (Tenders are an invitation to bid for a project or accept a formal offer.) Emily also has a scary supervisor. So, her supervisor was out of town and Emily was working on a tender that was super important because it was big and the money we are talking about was astronomical."
"Anyway, Emily decided it would be the best idea to go in for cosmetic surgery before the tender. She claimed that the tender file is all done and we have nothing to worry about. Oh, and she did not inform her supervisor about this absence. Emily goes to the surgery, the tender day comes and goes.
While we are waiting for the results, Emily and her supervisor turn back to the office. After couple of days, the results came - and we were disqualified because of a missing document. It took the company 20 minutes to find out that we lost the tender and the reason why we lost it, to then call Emily to the general manager's office to fire her."
19."Thirty minutes into the first day on the job, a new hire said she needed to run to her car to get a notebook to take notes. She got in her car and drove away. Never came back."
20."We were hiring another person for our HR team, and we thought we got a good one with this woman with a pretty impressive work history. We have one person on our team who speaks Spanish to assist with employees who don't speak English."
"Day 1 she overheard the coworker on the phone speaking Spanish and she said to me rolling her eyes, 'Are we gonna have to hear that crap all day from her?' She was fired an hour later.
21."I'm a labor and delivery nurse and occasionally our unit will hire travel nurses to help out when we're experiencing a shortage of permanent staff. We had one traveler who came on the unit one morning for her first shift with the worst attitude."
"She didn't introduce herself to anybody, except to complain that our Keurig machine was broken. She managed to rub enough people the wrong way and completely disappeared and missed the morning huddle. After getting a report from the night shift nurse, my manager pulled her aside and told her it wasn't a good fit and dismissed her within 15 minutes of the shift starting."
22."I work at a zoo. We have various attractions, such as train rides. I witnessed a coworker driving the train one day and a kid got so excited that he stood up suddenly and starting waving his arms aggressively at his parents. (Standing up while the train is in motion is against the rules.) He was somehow able to forcefully open the train cart door latch and fly right out. He was dragged by the train for a couple seconds before my coworker even noticed. I haven't seen the coworker since."
23."I was training a new hire and it was three hours into his first night. He almost went over the counter after a Karen refused to put a mask on. (It was early into lockdown and mask mandates had just rolled into my store.) I stepped in as manager, and he literally pushed me out of the way to keep arguing with the customer. I finally managed to de-escalate the situation and fired him on the spot."
24."I actually got a guy fired from my last job within three hours of him starting. Sorry bro, but if the VERY first time you meet me, a member of management at your new job, you compliment my cleavage? You're outta here. He was escorted off the property by security."