There’s nothing better than letting a terrible manager just have it. And by “it” we mean ripping them a new one. These fed-up employees share the time they put their lousy boss on blast.
The “F” Word
“I worked at a company that had a very public but unofficial policy of firing people if they started talking to recruiters or interviewing and they found out. They were a nice company, employee loan, good benefits, even a private pension plan.
I had already been recruited (using my personal email, of course) to take a job out of state. The company I was going to was moving me, paying off my employee loan, signing bonus, the whole red carpet thing.
I asked my boss at this nice company when she would have time to meet privately, she said 11, I usually got to work about six, and arrived to find an email from a recruiter I’d never heard of before at my corporate address with a low ball job offer. I just laughed and deleted it.
About 9 am, my boss, my boss’s boss, and the head of HR came in carrying boxes. My boss said ‘it’s not working out, we’re letting you go.’. I played dumb, go where… she tried a few more ‘soft phrases’ so I said after three years and five days, it’s suddenly not working out? You’re going to have to use the ‘F’ word. The HR lady sensed something was up but didn’t have time to stop my boss. My boss said, ‘We’re firing you, we don’t have to explain why.’
I said thank you and while she stood there looking puzzled, I said ‘I don’t know who that recruiter was, but by firing me instead of letting me quit, I get one month of severance for each year I worked here, plus all my vacation, plus your policy is to give me two weeks vacation to ‘go on’ immediately, so I have 4.75 months of pay, plus, since I worked for more than three years, I vest into the pension program at that level. Really I owe whoever sent that email….
At that point, my boss turned to HR lady and said wait, what? HR lady waved her to silence and said, ‘You’d have to pay off your employee loan in full within three days…”
I said, right. Picked up a cashier’s check off my desk and handed it to her. (It was to the penny) my boss’s boss finally spoke up and said wait, ‘You already had a job?’ I said, ‘I’ve told you before, this policy is dumb. If I was a recruiter and I wanted to place one of your people, I’d send them an offer, wait, call them up and talk about a new job, now that they are unemployed. I’ll probably get a call this afternoon. (I did) Anyway, because you fired me. I get the money! I had in a CD to pay off the loan (I called it a lock pick for golden handcuffs) that check is from my new employer, four months three weeks’ pay, and a sign-on bonus (one month), along with a moving bonus. I just put six months of pay in the bank, thanks guys, best firing ever!’
Then I swept the stuff off my desk into one box, pointed to the stacks of stuff with post-its for other employees, showed all my drawers were empty and asked to be led to my car. My boss was still trying to figure out what happened while HR led me out, then I followed her to the main building, signed my exit paperwork, she took my badge and I was home by 10 to start packing.
It was awesome!”
Enough Was Enough!
“The best ever ‘I quit’ statement was for my first job out of college.
I took a job in a restaurant to gain some management experience and to see how mass production ordering worked. The company was staffed by ‘Sunday Christians.’ Religious on holidays and when it’s convenient to wield it as a weapon. I tolerated a series of homophobic jokes, and outright slurs. All the while, I did my job and well. A RATHER effeminate USDA inspector came to do a facility inspection so the company could step up and add extra services from that building.
The inspector heard some truly awful homophobic comments as we were paired together to tour the facilities. I was handed a form to check off while we toured the facility. We chatted along the way and he asked me how I can handle such terrible behavior. I told him how it was my first job out of college and I had to make it work. He pulled out his phone and called someone then handed me the phone.
It was his husband who was looking for someone with my skills. I should mention, I grew up working in a bakery before formalizing my education. We continued the inspection and while we both wished terrible social manners would be disqualifying, the place was kept very clean.
I broke for lunch and went to meet my potential new employer. Talk about a night and day difference. I was greeted warmly and respectfully addressed as Chef. I was handed a folder and a hiring bonus check at the end of my interview. All I had to do was cash the check and fill out the hiring forms. The job was mine to take. The place was a true to life dream come true.
I went back to work like I was being led to my death. I was growing to strongly dislike the people I worked with and wanted to get out before It became hate.
The owner made an off-hand comment about hoping I’d enjoyed hooking up with the inspector. Without missing a beat, he went on to tell me how I’d be responsible for the new branch they would be opening without any raise in pay.
I knew this project wouldn’t happen without a dedicated Chef to manage production. I also knew they didn’t have the money to hire anyone else. I took the job at a low wage because I needed a job on my resume that wasn’t a family business. I heard all these new demands on my time and energy-laden with homophobic comments. I listened numbly and put my hands in my pockets to avoid reflexively punching this monster evolving before my eyes.
After he finished, he actually said they were depending on me for this new income and I shouldn’t plan on late nights grabbing my ankles.
That was it.
I walked into my office wordlessly and packed up all my things. I kept calm and didn’t say a single word I typed up a hasty message for every foodservice monitor in the whole company.
‘I’ve had the profound displeasure of working with ignorant bigots for the last year. I’m happy to say that ends today. ‘
Ironically, my new boss’ name was Moses and it didn’t click till two weeks after I started my awesome new job.”
Take This Job And Shove It!
“Many years ago I took a job as a busboy at Machine Shed (farm-themed restaurant chain) right when it opened up in my town. When they first opened they overstaffed to a ridiculous level. Our employees were falling all over each other, trying to find room to do our work. After a few weeks, poorly-performing employees started disappearing. Every week, we became a little more short-staffed. Finally a few months after opening, the managers had fired everyone they didn’t like. But the problem was that the good employees that were left were also getting fed up with the shabby treatment from management.
One Friday during an even busier than normal lunch rush I was the only busboy for the whole restaurant. Now keep in mind it was a pretty big place, with three separate rooms plus a small bar area. A lot of ground to cover for one skinny kid with a bus tub. I was running my butt off, and I must say I was actually killing it. Operating on a level that should have earned me a spot in the busboy hall of fame. The waitresses could see how hard I was working and tried to help as much as possible, though they were short-handed as well.
On one of my countless trips to the kitchen with dirty dishes, the shift manager told me I needed to ‘speed it up.’ Now that ticked me off, but I knew I was doing a great job and just ignored it. The next trip, he stepped in front of me and started yelling in my face about some table on the other side of the store that needed clearing. He proceeded to tell me what a terrible job I was doing, and how I needed to step it up if I wanted to keep working here.
I shoved the overloaded bus tub into his gut and said, ‘You think you can do a better job? Here you go, good luck.’ And then I walked out the door leaving him high and dry. The next day a different manager called me to ask if I was ‘feeling better today?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I feel great because I’m not going to work there today or ever again.’”
“A Massive Weight Off My Shoulders”
“I once again had a pointless convo with my manager about how I absolutely could NOT do this shift for the 37th time.
I was a 22-year-old single mum working three jobs and would take every shift I could and was offered, bar this one. It wasn’t really much to ask to not be put on the rotation one evening a week. I could even work during the day.
I had the hours I was available for written down, pinned to my then manager’s notice board so he knew exactly what I could and could not do when he did the rota.
Every week without fail, he would put me on a 5-Close shift on a Wednesday evening, despite me having explained to him that I wasn’t available for that shift due to my parents having to travel to take care of my grandma, so they couldn’t have my daughter.
I had written it down, I had met with him and I had even had my own mum come in to explain that I wasn’t available that evening and why. Yet he still kept putting my name down for that shift.
There were times I couldn’t work because the childminder got sick or was on holiday, was sick myself, or my daughter was sick and needed to see the doctor. On those occasions, he would get lousy and not put my name down the following week for any shifts at all (the joys of a 0-hour contract eh?). He would also expect me to call around my colleagues and sort out my own cover, on my own time and would blame me if the shift didn’t get covered, despite also refusing to give me certain phone numbers or to make the calls himself.
I stayed in this job for almost a year but had started looking for another job where my hours were set and guaranteed. I managed to get an interview for another restaurant who was completely sympathetic to my situation and offered me hours that suited me and for them to be put into a contract with the option of overtime, plus that they would organize any cover needed.
That evening I wrote out my resignation letter but decided that I’d talk to my current manager one last time to see if I could get anywhere with him.
I went in the following day half an hour early to speak to my manager. During the interview, he basically told me that nothing would change and he couldn’t offer me set hours. I told him I understood that he couldn’t offer the set hour contract and got up to start my shift when I noticed the schedule on the wall. The first thing I saw was that I’d been put on the roster for Wednesday evening.
‘You’ve put me on for Wednesday evening?’
‘Yes. 5-Close as usual.’
‘But you know I can’t do that shift. It’s right there on your pinboard that I’m unavailable.’
‘Ah yes. You’ll have to sort out the cover.’
‘I was on the fence about resigning because I get so many hours from you, and would be taking on less at this other place but… that’s helped me decide. Thanks for helping me make my mind up. See ya.’
‘You’re due to start now. Where are you going?’
‘To try on my new uniform. Byeeeee’
And I just walked out. It was a massive weight off my shoulders.”
Mic Drop Moment At McDonalds
“I worked at McDonald’s. I caught my manager having hanky panky with a 15-year-old employee in the kitchen, and the following day, she asked the head manager to fire me.
‘I’m really sorry about this, but—’
‘You’re firing me.’
‘I take it you knew this was going to happen?’
‘After catching a 25-year-old manager having panky with an underaged minor in the kitchen, I could easily guess that you’d have to make me look like a ‘disgruntled employee’ when I called the head office. Oh, but don’t worry. I called the police and his parents instead.’
I just mic dropped out of there as a hysterical mom came in with two cops. But because the kid claimed they ‘only kissed’ (definitely not what I saw), she just ended up getting transferred. That said next time I saw her it was at the crappiest McD’s in town working part-time as a crew member, and I didn’t see her for very long before she just didn’t work there anymore.
The one I worked for was garbage in other ways too, so truth be told I’d already found another job long before the incident. I was just planning to give my two-week notice instead of leaving immediately.
But to this day when I’m in a bad mood. I just remember the look of horror on that head manager’s face. That was a truly cool moment in my life. I felt like the protagonist in a really good action or mystery film. Twirling my mustache.
‘I’ve already thought of that, and this is why I’ve applied for a different job last Tuesday muahahahahaa!’”
A Boss’s Bullying Backfires
“I didn’t quit, but I was fired. I made a presentation to a customer that was very well received. The Boss always liked to be a ‘one ups-man’ type. He liked to bully people around and show his dominance. As an example; One day he was telling me that (whatever ‘that’ was, I can’t remember) and he said, I’ll prove it to you.
He said ‘Tell you what…..we’ll start throwing $100 bills on the ground and see who stops first’. I thought it was strange…I didn’t even have a $100 bill in my pocket. He said ‘I’ll start’ and took a $100 bill out and threw it in the ground. I looked at him for a minute and then figured what the heck… I bent down and picked the $100 bill up and put it in my pocket and walked away. As I left I turned and said…’Thanks,’ and never looked back. He laughed like a hyena so…? I don’t know he was a weird guy.
But anyway! I gave a presentation to the customer that was very well received. As a very new employee, they didn’t think our small company could do it. Previously the customer said he didn’t want me working on his project because I didn’t come from the customer’s very elite background and would never be able to understand their requirements.
So after the presentation and after the customer said ‘That is the best thing that has ever come out of this company…Bill thanks…we didn’t think you could do it and it was EXACTLY what we wanted’ So, jokingly, the arrogant bullying Boss told the customer he was going to fire me and said to him ‘Watch this.’ The Boss came up to me and said in a very loud voice so that everyone in the room could hear…’Bill…if the customer’s happy, you’re not doing your job’ (I know you would think it would be the opposite, but he liked bullying people.) So, I folded up my papers and said…’OK….I was looking for a job when I found this one…I’m sure I’ll find a better one’.
Now the customer looked worried because he didn’t think we could do it and we had and he was happy and now it looked like he was going to lose me…and he didn’t want that. So, I started to walk away. The customer said ‘Wait’. The Boss seeing that he may have gone too far said….’Bill, I was only joking…come back!’ I told him, ‘You fired me, I’m unemployed…the customer said ‘You better hire him back!’ I told the Boss that I was looking for a new job, so I said ‘I’ll come back for a directorship and $5K more per year’ (That was about an 8% raise….but I had only been there three months. I got it…guess the joke was on him….he was an a-hole though!”
“I was in a horrible job with a boss who would sneak off at lunch to drink or lock himself and his assistant in the office to ‘talk’ for hours. I was the ‘black sheep’ because although I worked my butt off covering deadlines for the assistant (because it was a joint project) I’d also made it clear I was resentful.
The same boss regularly had meltdowns and I was his favorite target — screaming, cussing, and threatening. I’d only recently moved so had to hang in for a while until I was familiar with other companies in the area. I waited until close to the end of the quarter and went job hunting. I found a great job, which I accepted. I returned to the sucky job and instead of giving notice I waited until ‘layoff day’ (always one week before the end of the quarter).
The boss called a big meeting and laid me off in front of everyone. The gloating look on his face was evident to everyone. I got some additional gloats and some pity smiles from co-workers. But the best was yet to come. I signed the severance agreement with a poker face. As soon as he signed it, too, I stood, smiled, and said, ‘Thank you for laying me off. It kept me from having to give two-weeks notice so I could move on to the new job I already accepted. The severance package will be a nice transition fund.’ The look on his face was priceless.”
He Had A Golden Ticket
“Not me but my dad. He was a supervisor and had a less than stellar employee. My dad was offered a job with the potential for a promotion on the other side of the country. He was retired military so we had moved a lot, so he didn’t take it as he didn’t want to move us again. The job was offered to the problem employee; my dad was happy to see him leave.
Two years later, the guy comes back, only now, he was my dad’s supervisor, and made his job a living nightmare. For example, this was back in the days of overhead projectors (a precursor to PowerPoint). My dad was to give a presentation to some high-level people. He starts, but the projector isn’t working, so he had to give the presentation with hastily copied handouts. His boss had removed the lightbulb from the projector and then chastised him for not ‘checking his equipment.
He pulled a lot of similar unprofessional stunts. My dad had already retired from the military and had enough years in to retire again. His physician told him that based on his medical problems, he could retire any time he wanted to, so my dad had him draft an undated letter stating he was retirement-eligible based on years of service and medical issues.
We had an expensive vacation planned and were to leave on a Friday night. My dad had put in for vacation, so the boss was well aware of it. Ten minutes before he’s about to leave, the boss shows up, drops a file on his desk, and tells him not only does he have to stay late to get started on the project, but he’s canceling his vacation.
My dad got a box and started filling it with his personal items. The boss goes ballistic, so my dad pulls out the physician’s note, dates it, says ‘I just retired’ and walked out. It was a tad petty, but it was epic.”
That’s A Lot of Zeroes
“When I set up a small freelance bureau, my first client was run by a no-nonsense CEO and we agreed on a contract where I got paid for every day I worked in their offices plus a percentage of any new business generated. This worked OK for a couple of years until he put in a new tier of managers to run the company, who were incentivized by the profitability of their accounts.
The new director began a cost-cutting drive about wasting photocopier toner etc. to try and boost the bottom line, but most of all she hated the fact that I cost her money. So after a month or two, she told me I needed to switch to a commission-only contract where I got nothing for project delivery and client management, just a percentage on new sales. She told me to present a revised contract reflecting the new reality, which I was happy to do as they had been soaking up too much time, now that I was getting more business from other clients.
She seemed slightly surprised at my pleasant acceptance of what she saw as harsher terms, but I said I could see it made sense for her and I’d bring a new contract in a few days. When I did, she immediately checked the clauses on no payment for on-site time and signed both copies.
A few weeks later, with a healthy order book projected for the next year, she asked the accountant how much she owed me and what it would cost her to get rid of me that Christmas? The accountant looked at the jobs remaining and she told the new director she would probably have to cut me a modest check for about X grand. The director immediately emailed me that she wanted to end our collaboration and I wouldn’t be needed in the new year. I said that was OK and as per our contract I would spend the notice month getting everything in good shape. I spent a few days firming everything up and asked if she could let me know what numbers she was working from so I could make the project list match up.
The accountant sent me her X grand number and I replied with my number which was seven times as high. The accountant said she had agreed on X with the director and listed the projects involved that would complete the year’s work. I suggested she tell the director to check her contract and come back with the correct number, which included all the work booked for the following year.
This caused an immediate flurry of action and resistance, which prompted me to alert the CEO and send him a copy of our original contract that I had written, which had not changed in terms of commissions. He called us into his office like two naughty children and the director said by her calculation she thought I was due X as final commission on items uncompleted by my enforced departure.
I agreed but added that the contract differentiated between commission entitlement – which occurred at the time of sale – versus commission draw-down, which happened in stages as project milestones were reached. The only reason I was demanding my full year’s entitlement of 7X up front was that I was fired and had managed during my notice period to get all sales confirmed in writing. Had I not been fired I would have overseen the completion of all projects, without charge and been paid the commission in stages as per contract.
The CEO asked for the director’s response, but apart from saying she didn’t agree, she avoided all eye contact. The CEO asked me would I negotiate and I replied I was agreeing to meet in his office rather than in court, whereas the author of the contract I was likely to prevail and claim for damages on top.
The CEO closed the meeting and told the director to take me down to accounts and cut me a check for the full amount. Once cleared, I treated myself to a new motorcycle and saved the rest.”