Stories Of People Who Got Fired For The Most Ridiculous Reason.
Getting fired for something you have done and are well aware of is one thing, but getting fired for just doing your job as expected is frustrating. In this article, people share the most ridiculous reasons they've witnessed someone getting fired.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
I worked at a cancer-related non-profit. I hired a lady, her son had the cancer we were trying to raise money to cure and treat.
My boss tried to make me fire her because her schedule was "unpredictable." Because her son had chemotherapy and unexpected doctor visits.
I explained what a very, very bad idea that would be and refused to do it. She said I'd be fired if I didn't fire that employee. I stuck to it and asked to talk to higher ups. He basically dismissed it with two words. I kept my employee, but my boss kept her job too. She eventually made my life a living hell, talked crap about me to my employees, would schedule me for 13 hour days, etc.
One of our IT admins landed a job with Microsoft as a field engineer... BIG day for him but they wanted him to start in 1 week.
HR pitched a fit saying he had to give 4 weeks notice or forfeit all his accrued time off. He started arguing with them over this, words were said and they terminated him at the end of the week.
They gave him 4 weeks severance and said he could never work there again. He didn't cry about it.
6 months later we call MS for on-site support. Guess who shows up. Classic.
I got fired from a meat market/deli for cutting cheese wrong. I rotated positions to learn them all, and had done the meat section, cash register, and backroom stocking stuff. My first day in the deli, while I'm being taught, my trainer has to go do something, and there's no one else to cover so I'm stuck in it alone with almost no experience. First customer wants sliced provolone, I try my best with the deli cutter thing and while it's not perfect, it's not terrible. He complains anyway. I tell my trainer what happened and she says "Oh it shouldn't be a big deal, I'll cover for you since I shouldn't have left you alone." Well, she didn't. Next day when I come in, boss stops me and tries to berate me for not perfectly cutting the cheese, and promptly fires me. Nothing else negative, just one customer upset about cheese.
They went out of business not too long after.
I was fired from a restaurant for not working someone's shift after they called out. It was not my scheduled shift and I had never agreed to work it but wouldn't stay and work what would have been over 12 hours so the manager fired me as I left from my shift.
Worked at a same day procedure facility. One of my nurses was legally blind, often describing what she saw as looking through a pinhole. When she was having trouble seeing something clearly she would squint her eyes.
We had a full case of patients that day and every single one loved her. Then at the end of the day we had a return VIP patient. Nurse is as sweet as candy, starts to squint when charting. Patient says the nurse must hate her job because she looks unhappy. Scrub tech had it out for her and told the supervisor, who told the president. They were going to fire her on the spot. Everyone else vouched for her so instead she got written up for the reason of having a resting "unhappy" face when trying to see and then quit the next day.
When I was an RA (resident adviser), our boss insisted that we come to her if we had personal problems, not to each other. She said she would help us through whatever came up.
One of the guys went to her and said he was having a bit of a hard time. He was in the process of coming out, had told his parents with mixed results, same with his friends from back home. He was starting to date men, and he was nervous about first time with a man.
She fired him the next day because she said he couldn't handle his personal life and the job. A couple of weeks later she asked the staff why no one wanted to talk to her and would leave the room when she entered.
A colleague was fired for going on a two-week holiday. During her job interview, she pointed out that she already booked everything, but she would be available for the rest of the summer. My (now ex-) boss agreed on those terms. Two months later, he had already forgotten everything and insisted she couldn't go. She went anyway and was told not to come back.
We were all in the back, ready to clock out. A coworker was just about to clock out, when she saw another coworker, a receptionist of sorts. Instead of clocking out just then, she went over to other coworker and pulled out her phone to show a picture of her wedding dress. After, she clocks out and goes home. Receptionist coworker turns other coworker in for having her phone out during work hours. Coworker is fired without so much of a warning.
Put in for a vacation 3 months in advance. Was approved by my employer. Routinely reminded him at 2 months, 1 month , 2 weeks , 1 week and 3 days and final day I was supposed to leave. Time to leave rolls around . He told me he needed me to stay and finish up maintenance on a property of his. (I was doing carpentry work on his rentals. Non-urgent stuff.) I explained I had to leave then or I would miss my ride. I was then fired that upcoming Monday.
Moral of the story is, if you can't trust your employers word don't work for that jerk anyway.
I saw a woman get fired from a big box store because they changed her schedule. She had Wednesday after 1pm off and Thursday after 3 pm off. On Wednesday at 2 pm, they changed the schedule to say she was working 3-7pm on Thursday. BY LAW they gave the requisite "24 hour notice" SHE WASN'T AVAILABLE to see the schedule because she was out of the store. She wasn't notified in any way. And what was the manager's response? "All employees need to call 2 to 3 times a day to check and see if the schedule changed. it isn't our responsibility to check that for you." Even though they made the change for THEIR own purposes.
Maybe not "why" but how and when. I had a co-worker go on a 3 week cruise in the Mediterranean for like his 15th wedding anniversary. He had plenty of vacation, gave something like an 8 month notice, talked about it for weeks and weeks before he left. About 4 days into his 3 week dream cruise they called him and told him they were letting him go, that his job was no longer necessary or whatever. That's just terrible... let the man have his vacation and terminate him when he returns, it wouldn't have cost the company any real money and he would have enjoyed his dream vacation a little more I would assume.
A young woman at my last job had apparently done something to anger someone in the office. She had 4 HR complaints against her for random fireable offenses - none of which she committed, and none of which she was reprimanded for. This lady was a model employee.
So of course complaint #5 is that she's falsifying her timesheet. HR looks into it and sees that she walked in the office 1 minute 45 seconds after 7:30 (the official start of the workday) on a Wednesday, and walked out 52 seconds before 4:00 (the official end of the workday) on Friday. Because her timesheet stated she worked a full 40 hours, technically she falsified 2 minutes 37 seconds and was instantly fired. What bothers me most is that the time sheets only allowed us to input time to the tenth of an hour (6 minutes).
Also, the company KNEW full well that someone was out to get her, but did nothing about it and fired her on a technicality.
Me and my coworker were under fire about working overtime, as in if we continued to work overtime we would get fired. Keep in mind only 3 people work in this depart (me, coworker, and other coworker).
Coworker was finished with his closing shift, some guy asks for a tour. Coworker politely declines, explains that we are closed, and offers to schedule a tour. Guy gets very upset, complains to higher-ups. Next day coworker gets fired. After seeing that I quit next day, same with other coworker.
I was working at a now failed electronics chain. Well, the regional manager and I really didn't get along. He tells me he needs me to manage a new store being opened. I wasn't to have anything to do with actually setting up the store, just manage it once it's opened. I get pulled out of my current store (and of course I'm not getting paid during this time) and told I'll get a call when the new store is open. After a few weeks of not hearing anything I figure this was just the regional manager's way of backdoor firing me. So I go and find a new job. Months later, I get a call - the new store is open and I'm to start there tomorrow. I laugh and ask him if he's kidding, considering all the time and the fact that I'm now at a new job that pays better and I'm happier with. He angrily tells me that if I don't report to the new store tomorrow, then I'M FIRED!
A forklift driver was being repeatedly paged and couldn't be found. He was out in the parking lot using the lift to raise his car so he could work on it. Fired immediately but convinced them to let him finish whatever he was doing to the car so he'd be able to drive it home. That guy is still talked about 10 years later.
My friend recently got fired from his job for sticking his finger in a moldy orange.
We work at a casino as bartenders in the back, and one of our duties is to make sure our bars are stocked with fruit for garnishes for our cocktails, and one night he was cutting up oranges and he came across a moldy one. To show the surveillance cameras that it was in fact moldy and he wasn't just throwing away a perfectly good orange and wasting company food, he stuck a finger in it to show "Hey, this orange is too soft." essentially. About a week later he was fired for "sexual harassment" even though really no one was in the bar to be "harassed" by the act and he didn't even do anything to make it vaguely sexual.
With the help of the union however he's fighting back and getting a great big sum of money against the casino because according to the union he can get the casino back since they can't really assume his sexual orientation.
When being hired for a job, I was asked my availability during my last stage of the hiring process. I told them I was getting married the next week and then going on my honeymoon. After that I was completely free. The person hiring me told me that was no problem, as they wouldn't even be able to train me that soon, as they trained on a monthly schedule. However, a few days later I got a call letting me know I was supposed to start training the same day as my wedding. After explaining it to the caller, I was asked to reschedule my wedding (that I had planned for two years at this point.) When I said no, I got a call later that day from the company, letting me know I was "being let go for not being a team player and not being an adequate fit for the company.
A guy that worked where I do had a heart attack which put him in the hospital for a bit. When he got out of the hospital and off of his restrictions and came back to work, they fired him.
The reason was because his FMLA paperwork filed while he was in the hospital wasn't filled out correctly so he technically pointed out (too many unexcused absences).
He was in the hospital, he wasn't able to deal with work and all of the paperwork they required. They won't go out of their way to make sure you are able to get the paperwork filled out. If you don't do it yourself they don't consider it their problem.
They basically fired him so they wouldn't have to pay for all of his medical expenses.
This guy once got fired from a movie theater I worked at for sitting down while waiting for theater-goers to get out so he could clean it.
He wasn't alone. There were two other guys with him, one of which was a supervisor.
And the only reason they got busted was because one of the managers was in that theater. Watching a movie. On his day off. Yep, he went up to the office on his day off just to complain about that. Nobody liked him before that, and this incident certainly didn't help.
I got fired from a pizza joint for not being "aggressive" enough on the phone while taking orders. I had been there 3 weeks and left confused and crying.
Turns out my manager didn't appreciate me taking a certain delivery driver's attention away from her. It was pretty funny to find out about several years later from a friend of the driver.
A friend of mine was fired because while at the bars (off the clock and away from work) her co-worker/ friend borrowed her phone and unbeknownst to my friend called a 3rd co-worker to leave a message on her phone that everyone at work hates. So, my friend and her friend who left the message were both fired for harassment. Even after the person who made the call took all the blame and said my friend had nothing to do with it (other than using her phone), they still fired my friend.
So, to summarize, my friend who was not at work, not on the clock, did not make the phone call and was not aware of the phone call until after it took place was fired for harassment.
My old supervisor at a factory job was pissed that someone much more productive than he had been noticed and promoted to his position. So Mr. Newly-Demoted putters around for a few weeks, fuming and not getting much done, then one day stays after work for an extra half hour. He violently disassembled the 1000ea order that I'd spent the entire day pressing together, and got caught and fired the next day when security tapes were reviewed.
So altogether he ruined productivity on that order for three days, having negated my full day assembling it as well as causing me to spend another day sorting out the pieces that could be salvaged, then placing an order to get replacements machined.
I sent my boss an email of resignation with a two weeks notice, talked to him about leaving and thanked him for the opportunity. He then told another employee "He didn't know what I would be doing for the next two weeks." I was closing out a major project for a client and needed to devote time to it before I left.
When leaving for the day he would ask me into his office and talk about unrelated tasks he wanted done such as hiring another employee for him, fixing his computer, excel spreadsheets, etc. This would result in 12 hour days. After two days of this into the week I called him one morning to tell him I quit.
I received a letter of termination which was full of anger and slander but basically said I was fired for not completing my final two weeks. In my state, if your employment agreement states you must complete your two weeks notice, you can be fired for non-compliance. He won't send me a copy.
I was fired from a fast food chain when I was a teenager.
At the end of the night they were throwing away all of the apple pies. I pretended to cry about them throwing away good food, took one and smashed it on my face. It was very dramatic. Everyone thought it was funny except the one manager who took her job very seriously. She reported to the store manager that I was stealing and eating food on the job and I was fired.
The ridiculous part was, I probably did way more fire-able things while I worked there but that was the one they were going to stick to me.
I work in childcare so I have a couple.
One girl was fired for taping a piece of paper to the wall that later fell off during the night. The rush of wind it created while falling triggered the motion sensors and the director, police, and fire squad had to all trek up the hill to where the school was located at 2 am in the rain to see what tripped the alarm. They blamed the girl for not using "stronger tape" and fired her on the spot.
Another girl was fired for nodding off in a chair while all the kids were napping.
Another girl was fired for eating leftover food from lunchtime. Management said it was against code and that if she wanted the lunch leftovers, she needed to "buy" them from the office.
Another girl was fired for letting a door close between her and a child, even though she was right there and hadn't even turned her back.
I was given two demerits (maximum of three before termination) for clocking in six minutes late.
Then you have the flip side where people have smoked around the kids, come in drunk, slapped or jerked children's arms, stolen things from their bags, written fake information on the daily sheets, texted and FaceTimed while children were crying, etc., and nobody said a word.
It's a profession involving a lot of nepotism and rules and standards vary widely.
I work in a retail store that spans the entire US. Last year, we got 6 of those NES classics in stock. Everyone and their mother wanted one so we naturally sold out within 2 minutes. A customer returned one and the receiving lady, who we'll call Barbara, had to re-inventory it and put it back on the shelf. Barbara has two grandkids and knew that they wanted to get their hands on this NES classic. The rule at our store is the item in question has to be on the shelf for 15 minutes before an employee can purchase it. Knowing this, Barbara sets it on the shelf in it's proper location, sets a timer on her phone for 15 minutes, then goes to the cafe to get a bite to eat while she waits.
15 minutes runs up, Barbara runs back and purchases the NES since no one had bought it yet. She didn't use her employee discount or store credit card to buy it. She left no traceable evidence that she was the one who purchased it. A week later, Barb gets pulled into the store managers office and he tells her she's being "let go" for buying the NES. She asks how they knew she bought it and why they were firing her for it when she left it on the shelf for the required amount of time. They told her "This is a high demand item that we aren't getting a lot of. Guests come as our first priority when it comes to things like this." She was essentially fired for something that she didn't even do wrong. The worst part about it was that they caught her by reviewing the surveillance footage of the self check out lanes and saw her buy it.
Luckily for Barbara, she came back to the store a few days after she was fired and essentially blackmailed the store manager into giving her job back, threatening legal action for wrongful termination. She told him she had already filed a complaint with the district manager who wasn't very fond of the store manager to begin with. She ended up getting her job back and now still works at our store. The manager that fired her no longer works with us but for other reasons aside from Barbara's situation.
I used to work as a photographer for new families and heard the following story from one of the managers:
A family had brought in their newborn and were kind of making light hearted conversation about a birthmark the baby had on her cheek. The mother makes a joke and the photographer in good nature laughs. That afternoon the mother calls to complain and the photographer is fired on the spot.
Side note: Immediately after hearing this story I have a session with a family with a newborn. Parents start making little jokes about their babys toes and Im too scared to say or do anything I just kind of blankly stare at them probably looking odd.
When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.
These are those stories.