Recently, there’s been a massive reckoning happening in the workforce that has resulted in employees telling off their bosses in record numbers. And experts are struggling to understand why. But if you simply read the personal stories of workers who are quitting, you’ll quickly learn a lot about the ‘Great Resignation’ that’s going on.
In fact, you may even be left wondering why it didn’t happen sooner. Perhaps you have your own horror story of toxic bosses or horrible work conditions. If so, you can relate to these examples of times workers finally said goodbye to their toxic bosses, low pay, and just plain bad jobs. Read on below and see if you can identify with today’s current workplace trends.
25. No Respect For Personal Space
Some bosses think that while you’re on the clock, they own you and can behave however they want because you’re getting paid. Daneen Emele shared why she quit her job: “My last supervisor followed me to the bathroom and said, ‘I’ll wait’ while I went inside. He also gave my coworker the silent treatment for almost two weeks because she asked for a copy of her timesheet. It was beyond toxic.”
Teresa Vargas shared her own horror story on Facebook. “I was working as a server at a retirement center, and my boss noted that I wasn’t my usual ‘cheerful’ self. I informed her I had just received a message that my dog had unexpectedly broken his back and had to be put down earlier during my shift. She proceeded to write me up for not smiling enough for our guests. Yup. Quit that crap real quick.”
Paula Burnett shared, “I was a receptionist for a urologist at one of his two offices. There was another receptionist for the other office. The doctor and his nurse saw patients in both locations on varying days. The nurse went on maternity leave, and rather than shell out money for a temp, the doctor asked the other receptionist and me to help him out in the exam rooms.
“I figured he wouldn’t ask us to do anything that we weren’t properly trained for, as that would put his practice at risk. I performed lab tests, gave injections, and assisted with biopsies, ultrasounds, and stent retrievals. One day, the doctor pulled the other receptionist and me aside and told us that we were not allowed to tell patients that we weren’t really trained nurses. That set off my warning light, and I quit.”
Packofdogs said, “I worked for a jewelry company in a boring position where I filled in spreadsheets. I have a degree in design, and the company owner got me to stay by baiting me with the promise of one day promoting me to a designer role, which was never going to happen. The office was disgusting and had this old, musty carpet everywhere. The factory portion was straight-up dangerous.
“They made employees do hazardous work with no respirators, goggles, or other protection. Someone called the health unit on them. It wasn’t me, but people started a rumor that it was. I had middle-aged men throwing insults at me and acting super crazy, defending the crappy owner. So, I quit, and the owner was so angry that he started asking employees where my partner worked and threatened to come by my house. I was 23.”
Some places don’t offer health insurance and some fire employees for being sick. Said Ashley Valentine on Facebook, “I worked with my mom at a car dealership, and they fired her after she had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. I quit the next day. She had worked there for 20+ years.” Jessica Mills said on Facebook, “I worked at a restaurant in a management position during the pandemic. All of us worked pretty closely together because there were so few of us. One day, the guy I usually had my shifts with started sniffling and coughing. I had my two days off, and the rest of the staff said he hadn’t come back because he was still sick.
“It turns out he tested positive for COVID-19 and had all the symptoms. They decided to bring him back less than five days later, still with symptoms and wanted me to work side-by-side with him. I asked if he had gotten a negative test. They said they couldn’t tell me private medical information about another employee. I told them I couldn’t expose myself and wouldn’t be back. They actually asked if I was going to give my two weeks’ notice, and I told them they were preventing me from doing that. Afterward, I found out that other restaurants in the chain were having their employees who tested positive for COVID-19 work side-by-side with uninfected employees across the country. I’m so glad I stuck to my guns.”
Some bosses pride themselves on being difficult to work with. But there’s a whole new level when they throw a temper tantrum. Bosses who cannot behave like adults probably should not be running organizations, and workers are best off leaving.
Karinanakamura wrote, “I used to work at a language school in the pedagogical department, and I would organize the teachers’ supplies for them, which they always appreciated. The owner of the school showed up out of nowhere, noticed a teacher’s room was not displayed how she wanted it to be and proceeded to throw everything on the floor, saying it was all wrong. I’d never seen an adult throw such a tantrum. That day, I told my family I was going to hand in my notice.”
Angelabolen shared, “The two worst jobs I have ever had were at a call center and a bridal store. I walked out of the call center when the supervisor wrote me up for taking too many bathroom breaks. The constant verbal abuse from customers was degrading and demoralizing.
“The bridal store was a nightmare from start to finish. The store manager acted like a spoiled child, the customers were horrid, and the pay was beyond laughable. Also, the dresses are DISGUSTING. We would lie and tell the brides, ‘Oh, we’ll steam-clean your dress and make it just like new!’ False. Lots of women walked down the aisle in dirty, used gowns.”
Chelseabarton1 wrote, “I worked at a SUPER-toxic doctor’s office. The manager couldn’t manage, patients were verbally abusive, and the doctor didn’t care about us at all. The final straw was during the pandemic when he gave us absolutely no time off. (We were a dermatology office, so not exactly essential) and offered no financial assistance for those of us who had to voluntarily take time off because we lived with immunocompromised individuals (me).
“Then, we found out he got a small business loan and purchased a plane for himself instead of taking care of us. I quit as soon as I found another job and told him EXACTLY why I was quitting.”
Needsanap said, “I worked as a case manager for a disabilities services company where we had on-call rotation. I completed my on-call week and went home to my 2-year-old. My husband was away at a work conference. I got a call later that evening that someone had a medical emergency. Since I wasn’t the on-call person, I directed them to contact the person who was on-call. No answer. I directed them to the on-call employee’s supervisor, who, in turn, called me and directed me to go to the hospital and relieve the staff, even though it was her responsibility.
“Then, I explained that I had no child care and did not want to take my 2-year-old out at 10:00 p.m. I was given no choice and had to take my daughter with me. I was at the hospital until 2:00 a.m. then had to go back to my office to complete mandated paperwork. At 4:00 a.m., once I had finished the paperwork, I cleaned out my office, left my keys and pager, and wrote an email saying I quit.”
Plenty of employees can relate to being underpaid, but not being paid at all? Yes, there are scummy bosses who will attempt to withhold a paycheck as a form of blackmail so they can get their own way. Heather Cobb recounted on Facebook why she quit. “I was told that I had to clock out and continue working because two new workers weren’t pulling their weight. I quit the next day.”
If you ever find yourself in a similar position, keep in mind that working off the clock is illegal. If your boss ever tries to make you work off the clock, call the local labor department as soon as you’re able to.
Plenty of companies pride themselves on their charity work to help feed children who do not have enough to eat. But have you ever imagined a boss who would be proud of the fact that a child is hungry and that it is the child’s own fault?
Jessbruso shared, “I once taught at a private school that prided itself on being extremely strict. One kid came to me during snack time and told me he hadn’t eaten breakfast and forgot to pack a snack. I tried to give him food from the cafeteria (which was free for students but only during breakfast and lunch), and the principal angrily told me that the student should’ve known better than to be late for breakfast. He was 11. I quit the next week. My only regret is not doing it on the spot.”
Theamazinggrape wrote, “I was with the same company for almost five years, and before COVID-19 shut everything down, I asked to be moved to a different department. I met with HR and a supervisor, and they tried coaxing me out of my decision. They said, ‘No matter where you go, you’ll never be happy.’ I listened to 15 minutes of their bull, got up, and told them my last day would be March 26.
“The next morning at 6:00 a.m., I was met in the parking lot by the supervisor who had a letter saying I was finished. Then, a few months ago, guess who called? The same company asking if I wanted to come back because they needed help. They received a hard NO. Then, they called back a couple of weeks ago asking if I’d changed my mind and would maybe come in so we could sit down and work something out. They, again, received a hard no.”
Whyteigress13 wrote, “I had two different managers at restaurants tell me, while I was working 50+ hours a week for them, that they couldn’t give me a promotion because I was ‘too good at my job.’ When I told them I no longer wanted to work for them, they told me I didn’t have a choice. Quitting is ALWAYS a choice.”
u/NotNedScheebly shared on Reddit, “Went to the toilet before a meeting to negotiate a raise. I heard both directors of the company (small firm, everything ran through them) talking outside the window, saying that they were going to flat-out refuse any offers and ‘make the a-hole work overtime to prove his loyalty,’ and ‘he has no prospects anyway, where will he go?’ I entered the meeting with my signed and printed resignation in hand, slapped it on the table after sitting down, and stood straight back up, saying, ‘Meeting over.’ I now work for a successful company, am part of a brilliant team, and obtainable progression with a great work-life balance. If you’re being mistreated at a job, overworked, underpaid, whatever it may be: Get your affairs in order and walk.”
Christine Stearns shared on Facebook why she quit her job. “About 10 years ago, I started work at a call center where I’d call people to renew their subscription to different trade magazines. I called a woman about a renewal, and she got emotional as she told me that her husband, the actual subscriber, had died. She hung up. I was told I could not take her off the call list because she hadn’t specifically asked me to, and they told me I’d have to call her back. They wanted me to get this lady to renew a subscription for her deceased spouse. I walked out right that second.”
Egc26 shared, “I very briefly worked at a call center. People would see products on commercials and call in to order them. One product was geared toward the elderly and cost over $600, so it wasn’t something that many elderly people in the US could necessarily pay for all at once, which was what was required. Therefore, I didn’t push it if the caller said they couldn’t afford it. It was completely understandable, and I was not going to try to convince an old person to buy a product they couldn’t afford. That’s just scummy. I got reprimanded for not pushing the sale on those calls, so I quit.”
Some bosses might expect you to show up for work when you are sick, putting your coworkers and customers at risk of also becoming ill. And not being able to work because you have a child who is sick is certainly a headache for many bosses. But life-threatening situations should prompt some sympathy.
Beccawoodwardt shared, “My coworker’s young child was in an accident, and she had to rush out to meet them at the hospital. She had permission to leave from the assistant manager, but when the manager arrived, he was angry. The next day, he told my coworker that someone else needed to be responsible for her child while she was at work. She quit.”
Brian Baj shared on Facebook, “A senior position was opening up, and my direct manager told me about it. I had pulled up my resume when an HR person stepped into my office. I thought nothing of it, but the next day she had my manager write me up for updating my resume on company time, which made the promotion unattainable. He refused to have my back and admitted to HR that he had tipped me off about the opening. That was my last day. Ridiculously petty.”
This boss had no integrity. No one should have to work for someone who cannot have their back once in a while. Perhaps someone else had favor over them, so they needed a reason to refuse the promotion for nepotism.
Having to work when you are sick is a bit ridiculous. After all, you may get someone else at work sick. But what if you are in the hospital? Surely, your boss would understand this unexpected matter, especially if you had proof. Instead of ridiculing the ill, they could close the shop, but then what about the customers’ happiness?
Loopy143 said, “I worked at a spa for a while. I ended up getting really sick to the point that I was in the ICU with lung failure. I told my boss, and they replied with, ‘You have appointments this weekend, it’s my birthday, and the other lady who could cover is getting married.’ Sorry that almost dying and being in the INTENSIVE CARE UNIT was so inconvenient for you.”
Username913 wrote, “My manager laughed as she told me our bridal shop had an earwig infestation, then my coworkers laughed at the panic attack I had over finding dead bugs in the lace of a dress.” Tiafranco also shared a gross story: “The FASTEST job I ever quit was a meter-reading position I took three years ago. They were severely understaffed, and we had over a thousand meters to read with just a team of 12 people. The meters we had to check were under street lids that weighed 40–50 pounds. It was a back-crusher to repeatedly stoop and lift them, especially in extreme weather.
“The day I started, it was close to 90 degrees outside. They told us to come in at 6:00 a.m., but they didn’t actually START until about 8:00 a.m. The meters are underground, so they are often filled with water, caked with dirt, or covered in insects (PILES of ROACHES) or snakes. The WORST moment I experienced on this job was when the girl who trained me told me to clear the dirt off the meters by licking my finger and wiping it off. I watched as she slobbered on her bare finger, reached into the dirty ground, and wiped it off. She said she had been severely sick several times before, too. I quit after ONE day.”
u/grasshenge shared on Reddit, “After working my butt off during the pandemic and being promised an additional bonus, I received a ‘low performance’ review conveniently timed a day before my bonus was to be paid. The low-performance feedback canceled my bonus.
“Given all the other bull I was putting up with, I broke and quit. I had a nice month off, and my new job pays significantly more. Never work for people that don’t appreciate you; there are always others that will.”
Alyxpd wrote, “I worked as a receptionist for a very unethical therapist. It was common practice for us to do reminder calls to patients less than 24 hours prior to their appointment so that we could bill for missed appointments AND schedule another client in their place. One day, they made me drive to work in a flood so that they could charge clients if they missed their appointments.
“I wasn’t able to get there because of said flood, and when I called the therapist to let them know, they informed me that they hadn’t even gotten dressed for the day yet. I put in my two weeks’ [notice] the next day. It took me years to trust therapists again after that nonsense.”
u/evan2621 shared on Reddit, “Worked a retail job as a cashier. One part of that job was to sign customers up for our (rather predatory) credit card. We were supposed to ask every customer. Well, I was helping a woman and told her she could save money if she signed up for the credit card. She seemed interested, but I could clearly tell that English was not her first language.
“I grabbed a pamphlet and made it abundantly clear that it was a CREDIT CARD, not a rewards account. When she understood, she said, ‘Oh no, not today.’ Understandable. Well, I didn’t know a supervisor was standing behind me. After she left, he asked why I did all of that and if I tried to talk every interested customer out of signing up. When I explained myself, he said, ‘Next time, sign them up. They don’t know any better.’ I handed him my red vest. That was it.”
u/Voidsleets shared on Reddit, “Worked as a cashier in a local shop. One night, two guys came at me with knives, trying to get in the till. I just walked away and said, ‘Have at it.’ It wasn’t worth the minimum wage to get into it with a couple of guys waving knives at me. After they ran out of the store, I picked up my mobile and called the police, then called the store manager.
“The next day, the district manager met me as I turned up for my shift. Her first words were, ‘It was very unprofessional of you to be on your phone while at work.’ I laughed at her and told her she could take this as my notice and walked out.”
u/Minimum_Reputation48 shared on Reddit, “I got mugged during a pizza delivery and came back to the shop, crying and panicked. I had my phone, wallet, and pizza taken. I told my manager what had happened. ‘Are you hurt?’ ‘No, but I lost my phone and wallet. I need to call the police.’ ‘No time for that, here’s your next delivery.’”
And then there’s lying. u/notsurprised92 shared on Reddit, “Asked for a raise and was told okay. The next morning, I was told by the same person who agreed with the raise that I should put a few more years in, and then we’ll talk again. I locked my toolbox at the end of the day and called a tow truck to pick it up. The shop manager was shocked that next Monday to find an empty spot where my tools were and couldn’t understand why I left.”
u/Knuckles316 shared on Reddit, “I was working at one of those stands that sell frozen ice cream droplets. You know the ones. It was at an amusement park. I scooped some ice cream balls into the plastic tray, slid my scoop over the top to knock off the excess ice cream, then handed it to the customer. A wild manager appeared! He told me I didn’t level off the ice cream correctly. Then he took the scoop and small bowl from my hands and leveled it off just like I had. He then dumped it out and made me do it again.
“Mind you; I still had a long line of customers. So I did it again. This time, he also was not pleased and berated me. So now, I was confused as to what I was doing wrong and had a line of customers staring at me, leaving me thoroughly embarrassed. I proceeded to overfill every container and hand them out to each customer while not taking any money from them. Then, I simply walked out to my car and drove home. There is no time when it’s appropriate to scold and reprimand an employee in front of customers.”
u/tvcky69 said on Reddit, “I worked as hard as I could to unload pallets of merchandise. I always thought I was so darn fast. I studied the process, and I believed I perfected it. EVERY SINGLE DAY, my manager came up to me and told me I needed to be faster. So I did, and the fast pace made me lose a little focus, causing me to break a finger.
“I let management know that I might be a little slower due to my injury, and they straight-up told me, ‘We won’t tolerate any laziness.’ They wrote me up when I didn’t meet their ridiculous standards. So I went home after my shift and never returned. Never called, never formally quit. I just never came back.”
u/Cavalleria-rusticana shared on Reddit, “My grandfather, who I considered like a father, passed away after a long stay in hospital. We were closer than he was with his own kids, and our bond was quite special. I spoke to my manager about getting the day of his funeral off — since I was organizing part of the arrangements and having a day or two of bereavement leave — and he agreed.
“The day of the funeral finally came, and the staff started calling me, leaving me messages asking why I wasn’t at my shift. They were telling me, while I was in a suit and hosting family members at the funeral home, that I had to find someone to replace me or would face repercussions. Needless to say, I told them to figure it out and never looked back.”