Managers hate having to fire people. Even when they deserve it, there is always the change the person will lose their minds. Only a few will completely go nuts, like the people in these stories.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
Thieves And Their Fears
“I caught an employee stealing one day after a tip-off from a customer clued me in to watch the security footage. He opened up a brand new car stereo amp and receiver kit and removed a small plastic package of wire from inside. It was just a little bit of wire, but now I couldn’t sell the kit as new due to missing parts.
The boss wasn’t on site at the time, so it was up to me to fire him. He begged, pleaded, whined, and cried until finally, I got him to leave.
Later that night, he came back with his girlfriend to beg for his job. His girlfriend wigged out and started threatening to kill herself, and stormed out the door. I had to go after her while the boss handled the thief. Ultimately, for whatever the reason, the boss hired him back. Like, huh?.
One week later, I caught him -again- on the security cameras loading some subwoofers into a trash bag while cleaning the shop. He took the trash bag around back and gingerly put it in the dumpster for later recovery. When he came back in, I told him he was fired and that he needed to get out. Now.
His response? I had it in for him. That he didn’t do anything wrong and that the footage (recorded five minutes earlier) wasn’t him, and that I set him up. He started screaming and raising cain, flinging stuff off the shelves, and smashing things. He only stopped when two HUGE bodybuilder-type guys came in the shop. I guess he thought I had called them because he took off running like a bat out of you know what. I never saw him again.
The first guy asked me “what was his deal?” I told him I didn’t know. The guy then told me he was there to buy a new stereo for his boyfriend (the other guy) who then piped in with a ‘Haaaaaaaay y’all!'”
A Smashing Exit
“I witnessed this crazy lady I worked with at veterinarian office get fired. It was one of those, ‘You can’t fire me because I quit!’ scenarios. Classic. She made a big scene screaming and yelling about how we were nothing without her, while everyone just stared at her with blank expressions. She finally made her way out to her car, just to reverse it a little bit and put it back in park. I saw her speed-walking back towards the building. At this time, I was a little nervous about what the heck she was doing. She walked in, not saying a word to anyone, grabbed two stools in one of the back rooms, brought them outside and smashed them into pieces right in front of the window. In her defense, I found out later that she bought those stools a while ago for the office. Everyone’s reaction to this was the best part, just watching, looking confused but calm. Then, when it was all over, we all just looked at each other, shrugged and then went back to work.”
Losing It After A Test
“I once worked at a foundry where we poured iron. It wasn’t a glamorous job, but it paid decent enough. It was part of my job when someone got injured or had a near-miss, no matter how small to take them off site for a substance test. One evening someone wasn’t paying attention, and one of the induction furnaces overheated and molten iron breached the lining and streamed out on the floor. Well, before I got into the car with the guy I looked at him dead in the face and said, ‘Man, if you are on something lets just forego this whole afternoon and just get this over with and just fess up.’ He swore up and down that he wasn’t, so we went to the hospital.
He went into the back, and 10 minutes later, he calmly sat down back in his seat. Well, the nurse came and handed me the results. Then out of nowhere, he jumped up in this quick motion and grabbed the chair he was sitting in and then just went nuts on the door which lead back to the lab, ramming the legs of the chair into the door. He was screaming, ‘LIARS LIARS LIARS!’ He turned to me with this look of panic, and said ‘Tell them I am not using substances, I need this job!’ I was like, ‘Hey, he isn’t on substances.’ I mean, who wouldn’t? No one wants to be pummeled with a chair. Security came, and about 10 minutes later so did the cops. His test was negative. HR let him go anyway.
I never knew what happened to him. I felt sorry for him, but I am glad I moved to another job years after the fact.”
Dumb Things To Do At Work
“I once fired a guy for having lied about an MBA on his CV. I also fired the HR rep who cleared him. The guy who lied about the MBA didn’t do anything drastic other than making some smart aleck comment about having gotten about $70,000 out of the company before we found out. He was a solid asset to the firm and made money for us, but I don’t tolerate liars. The HR rep, however, went ballistic. He went into my office, whipped out his junk, and urinated on my desk right in front of me.
Earlier in life, when I was fresh out of college, I was a warehouse manager/foreman. I caught a guy shooting up in the break room and fired him. It was a union warehouse, so he went to his union rep. I wasn’t a member of the union even though I did a lot of the same work they did because I was technical management. Regardless, the head of the union local at that warehouse and I were pretty good friends at the time. When he came to me asking for an across the board 3.5-percent raise for the next fiscal year during contract renewal negotiations, I told my boss we couldn’t keep the crew for anything less than eight percent and ended up getting them 5.5 percent (I have a soft spot for hard-working labor). So anyway, I told the union rep what was up and that the idiot I fired was shooting up at work, and he told me the union wouldn’t contest the termination. The guy I fired slashed my tires.”
“My boss had been telling me for months that he was going to fire one of my subordinates. Calls the guy in his office, talks to him for 30-45 minutes and the guy walks out. Next morning, I see the guy at work in another area. Boss tells me we are going to try him out in another spot. A few weeks later, the boss tells me he’s going to fire him again. Says this time he wants me to be a witness. I should have known this was trouble.
Boss tells the guy that it’s not working out and we just need to part ways. The guy looks straight at me. Boss tells him that he needs to leave the building. Guy loses his mind. Starts screaming at the top of his lungs at me.
“YOU DID THIS, PRICK! YOU SET ME UP TO FAIL, YOU PRICK! THIS IS BULL!!”
He must have picked up on my utter look of amazement.
“DONT ACT LIKE YOU DIDNT WANT TO GET RID OF ME YOU PIECE OF DUNG. YOU MOVED ME TO [other department] SO THAT I’D FAIL. FORGET YOU, PRICK. I KNOW YOUR GAMES. FORGET YOU, YOU PIECE OF GARBAGE!!”
Unfortunately, the uniform company had delivered a big stack of shirts on hangers that day. Dudeman picks up the stack of shirts by the hangers and throws the entire stack at me. They fly over my head and knock all the stuff off the wall and shelves behind me. We had these ultra heavy duty staplers that you use with one hand (almost like scissors but way heavier.) I reached over and grabbed the one on my desk and was ready to knock this dude out if he came close to me. He sees me grab it, stands up, grabs the door handle and on his way out he looks at me and says, “YOU BETTER HOPE I DONT SEE YOUR BUTT OUTSIDE!!!”
As he walks out, he tears a bulletin board off the wall and destroys two desktop computers and monitors on a desk. One employee had just ordered business cards, and they come in a box of 1,000. The box is on the desk, he throws it across the room, and 1,000 tiny rectangles go everywhere. We were still finding them underneath things months later. As he reaches the back door to walk to his car, an unfortunate employee with no knowledge of this situation thinks he is just leaving for lunch and says, ‘Hi [name]!’
He yells explicits at hum and out the door, he goes. I look around and see employees rushing for the doors and locking them. One of them comes to me and tells me, ‘You know he carries a .38 on his ankle every day, right?’ I call the cops, tell them what happened and walk out to the front to make sure I see his car leave the parking lot. A few minutes go by, and I see nothing. I feel a tap on my shoulder and nearly pooped myself when I turn around to see him standing there.
‘Hey man, no hard feelings, ok?’
I was floored. I told him the cops were coming and he should leave. He shakes my hand and off he goes, never to be seen again.
Until about three months ago, I’m in a weapon shop browsing, and I hear my name. I turn around, and guess who works in a WEAPON STORE now and is walking around with a weapon on his hip. The dude approaches me like we are best friends. He asks what I’m looking for, I kinda make some chit chat and use the excuse that I’m on my lunch break and have to go. I get back to my office, and there’s a message on my voice mailbox. I check it, and it’s him.
‘Hey man, it was good to see you today. Glad you are doing well. Let me know if you need to order anything; I’ll let you use my discount. Ok man, take care. Come by the shop and hang out sometime. Later.'”
A Close Call
“My dad has been a ‘boss’ for most of his career. He supervises bus drivers for a living.
We used to live in a rural area — my mom used to joke that it was ‘the last stop before Alaska’ (for crazy people).
One winter, my dad had to call this big, burly, young bus driver into his office to fire him. This guy had used racial epithets against some of his riders — these were elementary school kids, mind you. It had happened more than once, he’d been warned, and now my dad was going to cut him loose.
My dad told me that he was pretty sure this dude was going to come across the table at him — the guy was red in the face, barely had a lid on his rage, made some vague threats my dad, of course, can’t remember. My dad was legitimately shaken up when the guy finally left but got on with his day.
That night, back at home, my dad was out working in the garage with the garage door open. We lived WAY out in the sticks, and across from our front yard was a big field with trees scattered here and there. Dad’s working in the garage, when all of a sudden he hears a huge BANG, like a weapon going off. Dad drops to the ground and remembers the kid he just fired that day and starts to flip out. This idiot is across the street taking freaking SHOTS at him. Dad holds still a few minutes and hears nothing else, so he crawls over to the side of the garage and pulls himself up using the handle of a drawer on his workbench, ready to go in and call the cops.
As he stands up, he opens the drawer he used to pull himself up, and realizes that the BANG he heard was actually…a can of soda pop in the drawer that had frozen and exploded in the frigid midwinter night.”
A Headmaster Runs A Loose Ship
“I work for the government in the education department, making sure schools are meeting regulations and are up to snuff basically. This one school had a crazy headmaster, and I don’t know how he kept his job so long. During his rule, kids were getting serious injuries, and one even disappeared for months. Anyway, I went to the school and started evaluating the teachers just to get a START on the problems there. After meticulous monitoring, I finally fired a teacher. And she lost it.
Now keep in mind this is a boarding school, so there are always children present. I fired her in my office, of course, but she was a melodramatic type and ran to the cafeteria where she started screaming and sobbing. I tried to keep everything under control and would have managed if it weren’t for that meddling headmaster. He interfered and decreed that the ex-teacher could continue living on campus! I didn’t know what to say to that.
Luckily that headmaster left soon after. He fled because he was wanted for criminal behavior – no wonder why the school was going to pot. I took over in the interim, but that old prick had brainwashed the students against me. Even giving multiple detentions couldn’t change their stubborn, deceitful views. Two students even caused a lot of damage with pyrotechnics before fleeing the school.
Unfortunately, I had to leave the school after the biggest troublemakers of all falsely led me into the grounds. I don’t want to discuss what happened after they tricked me into the forest, but let’s just say I would eat UK burgers with relish. Horrid creatures, centaurs.”
And Then She Sued
“My family owns a flower shop. We had this woman who had been with us for a few years, but the quality of her work was sliding. She was nearly forty and had just married some 20-something Spanish guy who was dependent on her. She ended up getting pregnant (which we had no problem with). About three months later, she ended up forgetting to do flowers for someone’s wedding (I cannot stress enough what a huge deal that is). She ended up being fired for it. A few months later we ended up having to go to court because she had said we ‘violated her human rights by firing her because she was pregnant.’ Her man-boy left because she was broke and she blamed my family for her divorce as he left when the money stopped.”
Stealing From The Boss
“I let a girl go for stealing $400 out of my wallet while I was outside on a phone call. We had security cameras in my office, but she didn’t think they recorded. I ask her for the $400 back, and she denies it. I show her footage, and she leaps for the DVR and starts smashing it. Gives me the biggest poop-eating grin and says, ‘Good luck firing me now, and I am calling and telling him I caught you doing substances, and you broke the DVR to cover it up.’ So she is standing there staring me down, I turn on my monitor and open the saved video of her opening my desk and taking my wallet out and money, she lunges at the computer trying to break it at which point I pinned her on the ground and called the police. Ended up being such a huge issue, and the crazy thing is she wasn’t even immediately fired. We had like three meetings with her making up loads of nonsense to get me fired. It caused a lot of drama for me. They end up terminating her, and in that phone call, I tell them I quit and that the company that hired me was hiring me on directly and cutting them off as a contractor.”
A Woman Loses Her Grip
“I had about five write-ups on this girl at work. She consistently had a terrible attitude at work, would wander off to make long, painfully detailed personal phone calls, was confrontational and volatile.
My documentation was impeccable, and I wrote down, verbatim, every single one of our check-ins, verbal warnings, constructive criticism conversations, etc., and I let her know this, every time. The day that we sat down with our director to tell her she either needed to move to a different position in a different location or leave the agency, she sat stone-faced while the director read off the exquisitely detailed and specific (with dates and times) incident reports, then asked if she recalled any of those incidents.
She stood up and started a slow clap. She looked me in the face and went, ‘Oh, Bill [me], brilliant. Well played! You got me! How proud of yourself are you? Amaaaazing. Fantaaaaastic. Good for you. Good for you. Are you happy with yourself? This is just great.’
I sat there and stared at her until she stopped. She sat back down, cleared her throat, and said, ‘I had no idea this is how you felt about me, Bill. I wish you had come to me sooner.’ She started blubbering like a baby about how ‘fragile’ she is and in the next sentence claimed I hadn’t been ‘direct’ enough with her and just needed someone who ‘wouldn’t hold (her) hand and would just man up and tell (her) what to do.’
Our director looked at her dumbfounded and said, ‘Well, no one has ever called Bill a hand-holder before, but if you insist.’
So our director then placed her in a location with a high turnover rate and the hardest boss to work for in the agency. She quit soon after marrying one of their staff on a whim. FUN!
Also had a woman burst into tears and tell me I was firing her from her entire life. I informed her that if her job was her life then maybe she should think about taking up some hobbies. (hand-holder? I think not.)”
She Thought She Was Going To Die
“My boss and I let a woman go who was not performing her job the way she needed to be, even after an extended period of working with her. So, when we told her what was going on, she started hyperventilating. We had to call the paramedics because she could not control herself. I felt embarrassed for her.
Another time we had an entry-level delivery driver, and he had been acting weird, showing up late, taking too long on drives, etc. So my boss asked him to take a substances test. He went willingly and then came back to the shop, he was back just a matter of minutes then just left. I asked my boss if he knew what was going on, but he did not.
A little later that afternoon, the driver’s mom calls and starts telling me she will pay for all the merchandise he broke if we would let him have his job back. He was over 18, so none of this was her business, but I told her he did not break anything. As far as I knew, he had not been fired and that he just left without saying anything. So I told her she should go talk to her son and find out what is going on. We never heard from her or him again.
His results came back a few days later, and he tested positive for a lot of things.”
She Raged Too Hard
“I had to fire a secretary once, and she flipped out on me. It was awkward as she did not work for me, but I was her official supervisor as she was on my department’s payroll (my department was profitable, and the department she worked for was new and not yet profitable). Even more awkward was the fact that although she was being fired for extensive tardiness, the real reason was that she had recently gotten herself addicted to speed, including allegations that she used at work.
On a Friday morning, when she bothered to show up late again after about 10 warnings, I asked her to meet with me in a shared office. When she entered, she noticed that my boss was there as was the head of the department she worked for, and we had the company’s general counsel on the speakerphone. She knew what was up and got combative immediately, but she appeared to give in and started to cry, so she asked to used the ladies room before she left. A friend of hers followed her in, and we here a commotion to discover the fired woman was taking speed when her friend came in, there was an argument, and the woman slammed her friend’s head into the mirror in anger. We called the police, and she was removed, but her friend refused to press charges.
Fast forward a month, and I get a letter from the state unemployment office stating that she had applied for unemployment and an administrative judge would have a hearing on her eligibility. I participated in the hearing by phone with the judge asking about what happened before firing (the assault in the bathroom was not considered admissible as it occurred after the firing). After I walked through the warnings that led to the firing, the judge announced her ineligible for unemployment, which led to her screaming obscenities over the phone at the judge and her lawyer.
I don’t know what happened to her after that, but I hope she got help for her problem.”