I have never been fired from a job. Is it because I am a terrific employee? No. It is because I know how to hide all my fireable offenses. Here’s a tip. Hide in the bathroom. It is great for screaming, and crying, and its normal function.
Turns out though not everyone knows all the secrets to avoid getting fired and sometimes proud fools get caught. Whether it was because they were caught drinking and smoking (Instead, smoke and drink in the bathroom), or because they were caught stealing (Instead, steal from the bathroom), or because they screaming at customers (Instead, scream at people in the bathroom.)
Seriously it would have been very easy to hide these crimes but alas, hubris destroys even the laziest of employees.
1. I hear you but...
Every year during the holiday season, I’d warn the new hires, “listen, no matter how tempting it is, don’t steal a customer’s gift card. We can track it, I will track it and if I catch you, you will get fired. Every year people try it, every year people get fired. Don’t do it.” They do it anyway.
2. But it seemed like the perfect crime
Girl decides to start stealing some of our products from the warehouse and sell them on eBay… as brand-new, with factory warranty. It only took a couple of weeks before we started getting calls for tech support for products with serial numbers we did not have registered as “sold” in the system. Brief investigation leads straight to her.
She is fired (of course), and legal action pursued, but the sad angle to the story is that her father worked there too, and we were forced to make him stay at home with no pay until it could be determined beyond any doubt that he wasn’t involved.
3. Why do I need money for things? when I could just steal things?
Offered a job to a candidate, but had to step out of the office to grab some paperwork. Came back and a bus pass that was on the desk was missing. Newly hired employee stole it. I asked him to return it because a previous candidate dropped it and he said he needed it more than they did and walked out.
4. They'll never catch me.
New guy, around 20 yrs old or so, called in sick saying he thinks he had a stroke. Since he lived across the street from the store where we worked, we all then stood and watched through the store’s glass door as he packed up his truck with beach gear and drove off with his girlfriend. Fired the next day.
5. A 40% tip.
Forging a tip on a receipt. Like adding $20 wasn’t going to get caught.
6. Don't ask for permission. Ask for forgiveness.
During my first real dev job, the company I was working for tried to implement a bunch of things to improve efficiency and employee satisfaction. Two interesting programs they implemented were ‘work from home’ and agile development, along with the requisite bullpens (shared team areas). What this basically meant is that we only had to show up in the office for core hours (4 hours) 3 days a week, and the rest of time we could work in shared areas, restaurants, parks, home – you name it. Sometimes, if you couldn’t be at core hours, you would just dial in. We were young and excited and dedicated, so the core team really got a lot of good work done with this model.About two weeks after we started, our scrum master casually mentioned ‘Has anyone seen Phil?’ Phil was a quiet guy, and he was still answering emails and IM, so it took us a while to agree that no-one had actually seen him in a long time. She called him from the speakerphone in the bull-pen, and as God is my witness, here is the call that took place:
Boss: Hey Phil! What’s up?
Phil: Hey Boss – not much, what’s up with you?
Boss: Hey, we were just noticing we hadn’t seen you much lately. You ever coming back in for core hours?
Phil: …Probably not…
Boss: Oh… why is that?
Phil: Because I moved to Idaho.
Boss: …But Phil, we’re in DC?
Phil: I know.
Boss: Why didn’t you tell us you wanted to move to Idaho?
Phil: Oh. Because I knew you wouldn’t let me.
7. He was a High School bully too.
I had an employee lock another employee in a closet one time. The person that was trapped called the police from inside the closet. It was quite an HR nightmare.
8. Only way we can be certain
Had a server drink out of the customer’s Dr.Pepper and Coke to see which was which….in front of them…
9. Technically not at work.
Managed a long term care facility. Got a call one night from a resident telling me that the new night time worker was acting weird. This was about midnight and the shift started at 11. I called my lead (there were 3 people on duty). And asked how the night was going. She told me that “yea ‘Sally’ was sick”. Hmmmm. I put on my shoes and headed in. Now having the administrator show up at almost 1 am is never a good thing so I’m pretty sure all three of them felt scared when I showed up. I took one look at ‘Sally’ leaning against the wall, and asked her to come into my office. I asked her if she had been drinking. “I never drink at work” she slurred at me. I told her I had to have her blow into this tube. We had breathalyzer tubes that registered if they were over a specific level. The crystals changed from clear to dark blue if the alcohol registered over the legal limit. No surprise. Turned dark blue. I asked her again if she had been drinking. She admitted to have been drinking earlier in the evening. She and her friend had been doing shots up until about 10pm. ” but I’m not drunk! I stopped and ate almost 2 hours ago so it’s all out of my system”. Nope. Doesn’t work that way. “Sorry Sally, but I need to let you go. Call someone to come get you”. I told her as I was filling out paperwork for the breathalyzer usage and final check request. ” Oh that’s ok I drove in”. Nope nope nope. She then asked what time she should come in tomorrow.
“Sally, you no longer work here. Coming to work intoxicated is not tolerated”. Oh. Really? Yes. Really. Please call someone, who has not been drinking, to come get you.
She called about 16 hours later asking me for her next week schedule. She didn’t remember being at work and getting fired.
10. Hiding in plain sight.
I was assistant manager at a restaurant for a while and one of the newer bussers had called in 3 times in his first two weeks. He called in on Saturday telling me he was deathly sick and couldn’t even get out of bed.
Around 9pm after the dinner rush one of my servers ask me to go check on table 42. I turn the corner and there is the ‘sick’ busser stoned out of his mind with two buddies eating.
11. I nearly got away with it too!
Every day at lunch, she would drink roughly half of her Jimmy Johns (or whatever) soda, then take it with her to the bathroom to fill it back up with whiskey. She did a pretty good job covering up the smell, and since she did it from day 1 it wasn’t immediately obvious that she was getting drunk.
Found out on day 4 when she knocked her full cup over and we all got punched with the smell of booze in the afternoon.
Not me, but a friend of mine had to fire a sales clerk because she stole computer duster from the office and left the sales floor during her shift to hide in the supply closet and get high with it.
Don’t do inhalants, kids.
13. At least this has a happy ending.
Back in my days working at a used car dealership, we had a teen come in and test drive a 1,500 (mile) Corvette, todays equivalent would be the ZR1.Anyway, the kid drives it around our set loop once, and is being a little waffley on if he wants to get it or not, he says it doesn’t really drive as well as he thought it would.My salesman told him it was user error, and he’d prove it to him, they went out for another loop around, with the employee driving it.He managed to get pulled over doing 135 (MPH) in a school zone, got arrested if I recall correctly. Needless to say, he was not welcome back at our store, however the teen did buy the car.
14. This is the worst thing to happen to anyone
Not me, but my boss.
Boss had to fire a lady in our office because she lost her “marbles” when someone ate her bagel from the fridge. She literally had a tantrum, like a toddler. Also, the girl who ate it, ate it by mistake. She thought it was a bagel from the office breakfast we had earlier that same morning (it was in the same packaging as the office stuff). Now, I absolutely hate it when people eat my lunch, but the girl who ate the bagel profusely apologized. Even stated she would go and buy her a new one right on the spot. But tantrum lady couldn’t let it go. So, that ended up being her last night.
15. Crime is pointless.
He stole a bunch of bananas. Seriously. It was a college dining hall. He was an employee of the dining hall, and got free meals while on-shift. He was not working that day, walked into the serving area, hid a bunch of bananas in his bag, and tried to pass the cashier only paying for what was on his tray. When confronted and asked if he “had forgotten anything, maybe in his bag?” He denied having anything else. Fired on the spot. The worst part, he was on a meal plan (a kind of debit system, except you never get the money back at the end of the semester if you don’t spend it). He had plenty of money for the semester. I have no idea why he felt the need to steal bananas.
16. I thought that was more on a volunteer basis
Guy hired to manage a store in a mall REFUSED to park in employee parking.
As I’m sure everyone knows, mall employees have designated parking places, far from the choice spots near mall entrances. This guy refused to park there, and every time he parked illegally, the store got fined $100. And he parked in customer parking Every. Damn. Day.
He was called out on it, the policy was explained over and over. He got written up. He was told that on the next infraction he would be fired. And he did it the very next day.
Was totally blindsided when we actually fired him.
17. Dumb. Weird. Sad.
Hired a girl to work in a bagel store, who on her first day told me she couldn’t touch any of the meats because she was vegan.
Had another guy show up for work his first day, was doing just fine, seemed to be good with the job. I went to the office to get some paperwork for him to fill out, and he was just gone. Never came back, didn’t steal anything, no explanation at all.
The bad one was had to fire a girl for not showing up for several days in a row, saw in a newspaper the next week that she had been in jail the whole time because she had locked her kids in a closet while she was buying coke.
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