The only thing worse than a toxic workplace is staying in a toxic workplace, but like frogs in boiling water, we often don’t notice the “heat” until someone points it out or, finally, some final incident pushes us over the edge.
So one person asked the internet to share the reason they left or were fired from their last job. From idiotic management to unsafe working conditions, netizens responded with a host of stories. We also got in touch with career coach Daphne Gomez to learn more. So get comfortable, pour yourself another cup of coffee, and get scrolling. Be sure to comment your thoughts and upvote your favorites.
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I asked for a raise when I realized my job was about 5 positions in 1. When my boss tried to get my raise approved, she was denied. She told the big bosses that I would walk if this wasn’t approved and they literally said “oh well.”
I got my dream job the following week.
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The company didn’t offer bereavement days. I called off to go to my fathers funeral and my manager told me it was inconvenient for them to have to cover my shift because they were short staffed and that I needed to come to work. I told them I wasn’t missing my fathers funeral for their measly $11 an hour. They fired me the next day.
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Change in management. First day on the job, new manager said “what is it that you do all day, because nothing ever seems to get done”
Should have taken the 6 weeks of holidays that I was owed that day but didn’t.
Within a year of my finally leaving, I was replaced by 4 people
Image credits: arkofjoy
Bored Panda got in touch with career coach Daphne Gomez to learn more about avoiding bad jobs in the future and she was kind enough to lend us some insights. First, we wanted to hear about some red flags to look out for when reading through job postings.
“Job postings that pay entry-level but require years of experience, and job postings that don’t have clear descriptions of what your responsibilities will be in the position. This one is very niche, but we’ve also seen a small handful of companies explicitly write in their job posting “We will not hire former teachers for this (L&D) role.” I would personally never want to work at a company that openly discourages an entire applicant pool for an open position, regardless of how many match the qualifications of the job postings.”
HVAC installer here. I quit my last job because our scheduler decided she didn’t like me so when I’d message her to get the address of my next job, she wouldn’t respond. I had to call another office staffer to ask if she was In (she was) and asked to be transferred. She picked up, and hung up immediately. I called staffer again, asked to be transferred, again, she hung up. Again.
This was a Friday. I went home, cleaned the work van of my tools, dropped the van off at the office, keys inside, went home and emailed the boss a letter explaining WHY I was quitting, where the van was, and that he could mail me my final cheque.
He called me Saturday morning asking what it would take to get me back. I told him he’d have to fire the scheduler. (His wife), he said he could never do that. I told him I already knew that and had a job lined up for Monday morning.
In between getting home and returning the work van, I sent my resume out to five different HVAC companies. In the three hours it took to clean out and return the van, I had five offers.
I took early retirement to get away from the micromanagement/ bullying that was endemic throughout the company from the top down.
I now work part-time for a lot less money, but somewhere where I’m appreciated and looked after.
My mental and physical health has improved beyond measure.
Image credits: floydie1962
My father was hired in the same company.
When on working sites he talked to me like his ”kid” and spoke to other people about me like i was still a child…
It ruined every single relationship i had with other workers, i was looked on as a child when i was 20 years old, all respect from the boss was down the drain and i just had no voice anymore…
I had to go..
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Father of the year
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Of course, “skilled” toxic workplaces will find a myriad of ways to hide their problems from new applicants, as otherwise they risk never being able to find new employees when the old ones inevitably leave, so we wanted to know what are some good questions an applicant might ask when interviewing? What qualities or accomplishments have made past employees successful in this role? What does collaboration look like in this role? How does your company encourage work-life balance?” Daphne suggested.
Started a job as security for a gate at a nuclear power plant, enjoyed it, was working 40 hours a week. Showed up every day, didn’t complain. Then they fire 3 people for no reason and make me start working 80 hours a week mandatory. I was making tons of money but was struggling to find time to buy groceries since I worked until late at night.
Boss starts micromanaging every little thing while I’m working 16 hr days. Then they wanted me to start training people, said I’d get a 2 dollar an hour raise for doing it, that never happened. Then I had some car issues and I couldn’t come in one day. I had to go to Autozone and buy a replacement part. I got the problem solved and was good to go the next day. I never missed a day in six months. My boss called every car shop in town (allegedly), and said that I was lying. I bring the part that I replaced in to show her. She says that’s not enough proof and that no one in town said they sold me that part. She wrote me up and then said I might be fired or I might not, and I’ll know at the end of the week. I said okay and she asked me if I was coming in tomorrow morning and I said sure.
Next day I slept in and never showed up, apparently there were trucks backed all the way up the road for 4 hours since I didn’t show up to open the gate. Boss texts me saying I’ll be criminally charged for not showing, I just ignored it so she called me everyday for about a week. I never answered. Found out later that she went on a power trip and fired the people I trained because I “taught them wrong” then replaced them with her relatives. This is the person guarding your energy infrastructure America!
Image credits: Wildcardium
I was paid at a daily rate as truck driver. I was happy with that rate. I wasn’t a truck driver. I was the director of transportation. The gm had mentored me and trained me to handle all aspects of the transportation division. He planned on leaving and for the current director to take his place. I was to be the new director. The gm left and the same week that the director moved into his position he was fired for doing a lot of shady s**t. So here i am running s**t by myself, on the payroll as a truck driver. The president of the company brought in a friend of his from his previous company and made him the GM. This guy had no clue about anything shipping, and no clue about the crazy evolved over 70 years from scratch homegrown system we had. So I’m handling both positions so that his buddy can get a free salary. Meanwhile they decided that the director position would start out at 60k a year, which was less than half what i made as a driver/ trainer. I politely declined the position under those circumstances but said i would be happy to accept it if they would keep my pay as it was. This is what the previous gm had agreed to. We would end up having this same discussion every 6 months or so. They kept trying to force me to take the title and a salary that was half my yearly normal. I kept refusing. They would hire someone from outside the company. I would train them. It would never work out. They would usually quit because they couldn’t deal with the hobbled together rigged up system we had. The others would get fired for f*****g s**t all the way up. This went on for years. Like 7 or 8 years and 7 or 8 people they hired. I might drive 4 days out of the year. The rest of the time I was acting as the director or training a director. After 8 years of this I said f**k it and turned in a written notice saying they had 6 months to either formalize my position and pay or put me back in a truck and leave me the hell alone. It had my last day on it more than once. I sent it both by email and interoffice mail to the transportation GM, director of HR, warehouse gm, and the company president. These same people I’ve been in meetings with once or twice a week for 7 years mind you. I sent a reminder at 3 months, 1 month, and 2 weeks. Nobody busted a move. That day marked my 20y with the company and I left. Best decision I ever made. That was 6 years ago and they still haven’t got their s**t right. I still do business with them. I bought a couple trucks and started my own trucking company. 80% of my business is hauling that companies loads. I make a ton more than I did as their employee, I work half as much, and I deal with 0 bs at all.
Use to never understand people when they said “new manager so I left”. Use to think they were overreacting.
Last job I quit because new management. Now I understand what they were saying.
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Given her experience, we were curious to hear what horror stories she had encountered from friends or family when it comes to deeply toxic workplaces. “A friend of mine quit a role after a few weeks in a new position, she was hired for a remote company and during onboarding was shown her “virtual office.” All employees were required to have cameras on at all times and off mute so that everyone could listen in to all phone calls, making an extremely noisy and distracting environment.”
Both my office mates were crying at their desks due to stress when I received a message from my boss that I was working too slow and was no longer allowed to wear headphones at my desk.
That was the last straw, I took a break, ran it by my partner, and submitted my 2 week notice. They told me I could just finish out the day.
Now I run my very own Doggie Daycare and couldn’t be happier and less stressed. Don’t put up with it, people.
My last employer, of 32 years, had shrunk from 3,000 employees to ~200. I’d earned above average reviews for many years, then my boss gave me a below average one. That was the writing on the wall for me. Things were getting worse and worse, s****y attitudes all around. I just got fed up, gave my two weeks notice. I’d told them for years that they’d miss me when I was gone. Well, I left, they started calling, asking me to come back. Sorry! I’m retired.
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Boss reduced employee salaries 30%, all but his wife and kid, who also worked for the company. That was after taking his extended family on a 12 day vacation.
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“There were chats of people who were being scolded for turning their cameras off to use the restroom without asking permission first, etc. The friend ended up quitting within a month,” she shared with Bored Panda. If you want to learn more about finding a job that works for you and actually getting it, you can find more resources at teachercareercoach.com.
F**k them kids. Teaching has turned into behavior management day care. It sucks the joy out of you all day and then the parents are calling to suck out some more joy. A select handful of kids are incredible and fantastic. So many kids won’t turn anything in as in earning a literal 0 for the semester.
While all of this is going on you’ll have admin and the network telling you the kids are failing because you didn’t set them up for success, you didn’t invent a new wheel, you didn’t take enough data, you didn’t love them into behaving better.
I was a teacher. My vice principal yelled in my face in front of a student. A combination of other factors had built up over time and made me hate teaching, but that was the straw that broke my back at that place. After that, I walked down to the principal’s office and told him I intended to resign.
Right now, I’m in the process of changing careers, but I’m far happier than I was as a teacher. I’m glad I left when I did.
Image credits: Weary_Cartographer_9
I was teaching high school social studies. Had a difficult heart episode (had previous heart attack) and my friends at school who visited every day in the ICU, convinced me it was time to retire. That was 4 years ago. They were right. I love being retired.
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In general, many of the stories here showcase just how much poor management decisions can and will affect a workplace. This is why it’s not necessarily enough to research just the company itself, it’s best to understand who you will be working under. Sites like Glassdoor.com can help here, where employees can anonymously vent about working conditions, pay, and other aspects of a job.
The other esthetician constantly left the room, products, brushes, etc absolutely disgusting. All brushes and products should be sanitized and wiped down after every single client. She would also come in blasted off of whatever pills she decided to take that day. Police followed her once. Boss wouldn’t fire her bc she didn’t want to get audited again by the IRS since she committed tax fraud during Covid. Not losing my license over a trashcan of a spa and incompetence
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The site supervisor asked me to fraudulently sign training documents for an upcoming audit from corporate because nobody knew how to do their job.
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It’s a long story, but I’ll try to keep it short. I had been having a long, hard struggle with endometriosis for a while, and it came to a point where either I get a hysterectomy or get another repeat procedure in hopes of controlling the endometriosis again. After much hesitation, I made the fearful decision to get a hysterectomy. I knew kids were not in my future. And everybody had been saying, “If you aren’t actively trying to have children, what are you waiting for?” The doctor gets in there and sees just how out of control the endometriosis had gotten again. And had to do extra procedures to remove the scar tissue. As such, it caused me to have a hyperinflammatory response to the point where it not only shut down my bladder, but my colon too. I had no choice but to pursue a temporary disability.
My boss didn’t believe me that it was that severe. Before they could contact the doctor’s office to investigate my need for the disability, they fired me. I was able to push back, and they reinstated a temporary position for me and allowed me to get the disability as an apology. I took it, knowing at this point I wanted nothing more to do with them. Everyone there was encouraging me to get the procedure done, but when things went south on me for recovery, nobody even bothered to ask how I was doing. I was expected to be able to pick myself up and move on like nothing had happened. Now, I’m stuck fighting constant infections and have no hope for my health.
They sell snake oil to little old ladies and I couldn’t do it any more. I thought about all those grandmothers being taken advantage of and I felt so dirty. I up and left in the middle of a shift.
Had a Zoom meeting in which I was told that my department’s work was eventually going to be outsourced to India. They said “it could be six months from now, it could be a year, it could be two years,” and offered me a buy-out if I didn’t want to wait, so I jumped.
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Was being scheduled literally 13 hours a week. Most days I’d come in at 930 and leave at 11. Brought up to my service manager multiple times “ hey you only gave me one shift this week. Can’t afford daycare with only one shift” he’d say he forgot and sometimes give me a pity shift. Went to the GM she did nothing. I was tired of doing them the favor of coming in to open (cause they didn’t want to) and then not being given any serving shifts in return
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Really toxic workplace, but the last straw was when I had to miss a day and work over the weekend/night because my dad was having surgery… and my manager accused me of lying. He pulled in HR as a power play as well. He was absolutely delusional because he was new to the position and things were already a s**tshow. I ended up having an anxiety attack because I just couldn’t believe what was happening, on top of my parents’ health issues, so I got short term disability pay for a few months and then quit after lol
I got seriously ill from surgical complications and 2 months into my medical leave, when I was still in the middle of very involved and costly treatment, the company yanked my health insurance out from under me. I had to quit so I could qualify for Medicaid because I HAVE to have health insurance.
I am very sad about it because I loved the job and fought to keep it but yeah…they didn’t give a single f**k.
They wanted me to send all my private information through Gmail. Just in a regular email. No security measures, no contract for pay, nothing. So I started doubting if they were real. Go out to the place where they were located. Owner yells at me and starts cussing me out. I said f**k this and walked out. They were super shocked.
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I was burning myself out and losing my mind when they brought in a new system and what would have taken me 5mins to do on the old system now took me an hour. Department was understaffed and when I asked to get more help they refused. Needless to say, I left and they hired seven people to replace me.
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I told a regular customer who always acts like an idiot exactly what I thought of him. Unfortunately it turns out he is an investor in that business. I was sick of that job anyway. Just got a higher paid one closer to my house. I actually saw him today. As soon as he saw me he scuttled off to drink somewhere else.
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My janitorial job was easy enough before and even going into the pandemic, but once they had to fire another dude for refusing to get vaccinated, they gave me a good portion of his job on top of what I already was doing, and didn’t seem to feel like replacing him. I was struggling to keep up.
On top of this, I requested off to visit friends for Christmas and they waited until the last minute to give me a yes or no, making my plane ticket cost a lot more than it needed to. That was kind of my last straw among a bunch of other things.
I should add that I had to fight for the right to quarantine during the time when we didn’t have a vaccination ready, and people in close contact with covid positive people like myself were being given an automatic recommendation to take a week or so of (I forget the exact number). Their stance was if I’m not personally testing positive, I would be fired for not showing up. no exceptions. I was just trying to be safe, for myself and others.
I had to get the state involved to even get them to allow it.
In addition to that, my boss had a history of lying, framing people to make them look like they were doing worse than they were, I could name a bunch of others that quit for the same reason. I didn’t want to quit, parts of my job was almost too easy, but she crossed the line a few too many times with me to stay.
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I was unappreciated. My boss would only seem to critique us. Never any appreciation. He’d leave for a weekend vacation and come back complaining about something we didn’t do. While we were spending the entire weekend doing something he asked to make sure was done, and still helped customers, and one of the days was on the higher end for sales. I also worked there for three years and never got a raise. He also asked me to take on more responsibility, but never told me specifically how to do that.
Image credits: WatermelonAF
Worked the same position for 10 years to much growth and success. I was the “go to” person in my department and made many allies on other teams as well. My boss (who had occupied the position for 22 years) was retiring and I was a natural fit to be promoted into this very niche higher level position, which I very much wanted. instead, department head downgraded the position so it would have been a lateral move.
When this was happening, I was headhunted at another org. I was offered almost the same position as my old boss, almost doubled my salary, and it took my old company 9 months to fill the position (and had to hire more than one person). And as much as I’m happy and growing at my new role, I’m still sad about how it all went down at my old company, because it was an organization I loved.
Complete chaos in the IT department.
The company had a super tight budget and everyone from bottom to top was stressed out because not enough personnel was hired to meet the goals of the C-Suite. Basically you get paid below market to do the work of 4 employees. And this wasn’t a startup, it was a company that has been in business for decades.
Ended up finding a role that paid double for less work. Bottom line: if you are overworked and underpaid, look for a new job asap. It can potentially take a long time but it’s always worth it.
I was there for just over a year…still waiting to be trained. I sat in a room for 48 hours a week unable to work because “nobody wanted to train “.
Got hired on,
“oh yea we’ll let you implement a bunch of changes to make the system more stable and work on the DBA side of things”.
In actuality; “please make these reports for a washed up programmer we unwisely made into a VP. They’ll give you ‘pseudo code’ that doesn’t resolve to any data on our system, obey any form of logic and they’ll hire friends from church to be business analysts to muck up specs for major projects that literally do not make any sense.”
Nearly lost my nose to frostbite after working in -80°C (with windchill). When the day was done I got to go back to camp. They refused to evacuate the work camp in -60°C cold snap when we lost power and with it heat. We had to sleep in -30°C with a thin blanket and whatever clothes we had in the closet. I fell asleep prior to the power outage so I never had the opportunity to put on anything I was fecked. It was -63°C outside the camp the warmest it got was -49°C. No lights, nothing just cold and darkness looked like something out of the Walking Dead. Told the camp manager if it ever happened again I was going to take apart furniture and burn it for warmth
The head dental assistant had turned into a micromanaging nightmare, causing a LOT of toxic stress and anxiety. Couldn’t take it anymore, gave two weeks notice by surprise and caught the boss and her off guard. Been gone almost a year and I still shake my head why did I stay so long
While on maternity leave the cost of living went up so much that returning to work would lose us money. So basically forced to quit and be a stay at home mom. Not that i had a choice but im happy
I worked at walmart….do i need to say more?
Toxic leader in a peer department. Used extortion, fear, and blackmail regularly. His team couldn’t hold talent longer than a few months due to him. Leadership refused to address the issue, rumors that he had dirt on the company so he effectively got everything he wanted when it counted.
I left when he went after my team and leadership allowed him to. Turns out it was the best decision of my professional life because at the same time this was happening I was offered my dream job making more money, working fewer hours, and over a year in I can report no workplace drama here!
I worked in an special ed preschool. We were short staffed and any time we mentioned the dangers we were facing, the principal dismissed it. She even had the nerve to tell us that “everyone’s suffering.” We had 24 children, 16 of them had special needs, and many of them were not potty trained yet, but we only had two adults. I was not being paid enough to deal with that so I left for a better paying job.
There is no set schedule. Every week, the schedule would change at least 3 times. And you HAD to work the newest schedule. I had hours from 7 to 13 hours. Turn over shifts, no breaks (legal in that field), no benefits at all. I could work mornings, afternoons, or nights.
I couldn’t have a life, and I was burnt out.
Within 6 months of joining, I got an onsite opportunity. Department head said he can’t ‘risk’ sending a female ‘junior’ abroad all by herself. I let this slide. A month later, the onsite consultant requested for me to be present there because he wanted to come back and I kinda knew my way around things. BU head calls for a meeting and this f-ing arsehole came up with reasons to not let me go, he wanted to send his colleagues instead. I knew this was it. Sent my resignation the next day.
Manager had a grudge against me, because she knew my family member prior to me getting the job, and didn’t reveal that information to me until after I signed on.
Spent 3 months making my life a daily hell as a way to get back at that person through me. So I walked in and quit.
Had to quit to take care of an aging parent with dementia
One bad contract to the next.
Not hard work but death by a thousand cuts.
Show up to last contract… “oh by the way here’s the EXTRA DUTIES list.”
“Oh by the way your in this presentation, learn all this, do this.”
Plus a myriad of other stupid s**t that seemed dumb for someone my age to be doing.
After resigning they said I’m welcome back whenever.
Just a useless decent paying job I hated
I was canned because I was seriously underperforming. I’d had COVID, so I was dog-tired all the time, that was the truthful justification I gave for my underperformance, and they allowed me to claim unemployment.
There was an element of severe demoralisation there too though. I felt bad, because my boss was excellent and my team were good, and my underperformance screwed them over. But we were repeatedly just absolutely hung out to dry by other departments and completely dunked on by clients, to an alarming and utterly unacceptable extent, and my brain just broke.
Was head chef at a busy pub / music venue. Had been there 3 years, the previous year of which was under a new owner. It was her first time owning a business and she was eager but not quite cut out for it. She and I were good friends so it was a happy job even if I was having to pick up the pieces for her a lot.
She decided to sell the place but hadn’t found buyers yet. But once she made the decision she went wild trying to cut costs everywhere to get out with as much money as she could have. So she slashed my menu to pieces. All the work I’d put in creating unique dishes that people loved was gone in a day, replaced with the most basic pub fare. I thought she’d totally lost the plot and resigned when she told me she was certain about the changes.
She sold the place a month later and when I got that news it suddenly made sense. It was still a d**k move but at least it had a flavor of logic to it and wasn’t just complete disrespect for me with no rationale.
She and I have talked and hung out since then so we’re back to being friends. And ultimately leaving that job made me realize just how much stress I was under there. I took a nice easy job where I don’t have to manage anything and I’m way happier for it.
I quit for several reasons: micromanaging and condescending supervisor, the workload was too much with unrealistic deadlines and so much brain fatigue and stress trying to multi task and work fast, low pay for the type of job it was and the expensive city I live in, increasing work load with no additional pay, catty colleagues.
My idiotic manically depressed self decided to quit during an episode
Absolute disrespect, and a much better paying job
Hostile work environment
I had a mental breakdown. Drank a fifth of vodka. Almost killed myself. Just never went back to work after that.