Employees Share The Biggest Work Scandal That Got Someone Fired


Have you ever watched someone go through the crummy process of getting fired? No matter what, the scenario is often awkward, infuriating, embarrassing, or just plain sad. Sometimes, it’s not the employees’ faults—it can be the result of budget cuts, downsizing, or other internal factors. Oftentimes, it’s the result of lazy, annoying, defiant behaviors from certain workers. And then, occasionally, the reasons for firing are so obscure and disturbing that it’s hard to believe the employees lasted as long as they did.

Could you imagine using your work ID as an excuse to harass the players at the NBA Championship game? What about peeing on the office’s fake plant every day? Or licking liquids in a lab to figure out what chemicals they are? Yeah, neither can we… yet actual people have done these things, and subsequently been fired (and hopeful charged) for them. While they’d probably never want to admit to these acts, plenty of their coworkers remember these oddballs and their work scandals, and took to the internet to share their stories!

All He Had To Do Was Pick It Up…

A guy brought in his gaming laptop on the night shift to play World of Warcraft and got nothing done.


One night the boss sneaks in, walks up behind him and calls our 800 number from his cell phone. The employee completely ignored the incoming call and got fired on the spot.

Yeah, That’s A Costly Mistake

My first day on the job as a “financial analyst” at a large Blue Cross health insurance company in December 1986. It was my first job at a big company. They give me a paper version of their “group accounts receivables report” that’s literally two feet thick and ask me to look at it—like I’m going to see anything. So I go through the report and later that day they ask me if I have any questions. I say, “Why are the same groups appearing three times in different sections of the report?” My boss says, “They’re not.” I say “sure they are, let me show you.” It turns out there’s an error in the receivable estimating logic of the report and it’s caused the company to overestimate their accounts receivable by $75 million through November. There was a quick investigation and the corporate controller was fired before the end of the week.


Well, He Went Out With A Bang

Dude used his City Arena Employee ID Card to get into an NBA Championship Game. Then, rather than chill in the corner and watch the game, he flashed his card to get past security and get courtside. Coach Carlesimo wasn’t having it. He called Arena Management and reported this yahoo getting in the way and bugging his players. Dude lost his gig with the city; ultimately got kicked out of the Union. If he’d just snuck into the game and chilled quietly, he could have watched the game and nobody would have said “Boo” to him. But he had to push his luck till it gave out.

Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman Org

How Did He Plan On Getting Away With That?

We hired a new guy. On his first day, the helpdesk guy is setting up his computer and the new guy asks, “Could you change my username from ‘tscott’ to ’twilliamson’?” The helpdesk guy asked why, and he was told that’s his real name. So he changed the username then went to HR to mention it to them.

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I guess HR re-ran their background check with his new name and found some things they didn’t like, because like an hour later he was being escorted out of the office.

That Went From “Bad” To “Worse”

We had a contractor who fell asleep in front of the CEO when he was giving a tour of the facilities to the board members. Also, solitaire was on his screen instead of work. It was pretty bad.


I’m Surprised He Lasted That Long

We’re in a field where you have to record every little thing you do in case you get audited by the state. One of my coworkers was copy and pasting the notes for six straight months and skipping out on going to actually see any clients. It was found out when one of the clients called and asked a supervisor why they hadn’t been seen in so long when they were supposed to be seen once a week.


I Hope Waiting Was Worth It…

A co-worker who I trained in electronics managed to steal almost $8000 worth of iPads. I always felt like garbage for not realizing it but also it wasn’t necessarily my job to look out for employee theft and he seemed like such a good guy. The worst part is that they knew he was doing it but let it continue so they could charge him with a higher sentence.

Bloomberg via Getty

First Rule Of Lab: Don’t Eat Chemicals

Dumbest screwup: I work in a site that manufactures chemicals for blood typing. We had a guy start here in the development lab. Pretty much straight away, it became obvious he had lied about his previous experience working in a lab. Someone asked him whether a liquid he had added was glycerol or BSA, so he stuck his finger in it, tasted it and said, “Tastes salty so I’d say BSA.”


Needless to say, he was fired on the spot.

Wait, She Wrote Them In Blood?

When I worked in an ICU I worked with a married couple. They seemed normal for the most part. The husband especially, but the wife was a little high energy—still not that weird. Or so we thought.


Anyway, the woman wrote herself multiple death threats (one was written in blood, don’t know if it was hers) and would put them in her locker. Then, she’d put on this full show complete with tears and a full freak out every time she’d “receive” one of these letters.

She spread rumors and tried to peg these threats on another co-worker that she didn’t get along with who was a highly unlikely culprit.

It was a huge deal. The police had to be involved and we had to keep security on our floor at all times. They interrogated every employee that worked each time one of these letters showed up. They installed a camera in the locker room and that’s when they found out the psycho wife was putting the letters in her own locker.

Something Isn’t Quite Adding Up…

A salesman at my old job would sell whatever he was selling—TVs, furniture, mattresses—to customers then after they left he would go back into the system and give them a discount in the amount that it would take to buy another item (usually a tv) then take the TV home. Inventory matched and no one was on to him until someone came in for a refund and things didn’t match up.


Let’s All Thank Technology For This One

I worked at a supermarket, and once two girls went out the back of the produce section with a bunch of fruit and veggies and knives and filmed each other doing “fruit ninja,” then posted it on Snapchat. One of the girls was Snapchat friends with our manager and two days later they were gone. God, I feel second-hand embarrassment just typing this and I barely knew either of them, it was just so stupid.

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Yeah, Hitting A Customer With Potatoes Is A No-No

I once worked a couple of summers on a casual contract in a food factory, one of those ones that makes microwave meals. We worked in the cooking area and would have a laugh during the shift but we’re all mature enough to know when to get on with the work.


Anyway, there was one kid who started with me fresh from school and really wanted to get taken on permanently.

A couple of months in, we both got offered full-time positions, I turned it down as I was going back to college a few weeks later so no point but this kid took it.

Having done all the paperwork, he started his first week on the job. It would also be his last. Most of the meals were made for big-brand companies and a very major customer was coming in for a visit during the week. This usually meant we all had the day off from work so we didn’t screw up, but instead, a sample line was being run just so they could see the process and we wouldn’t lose the contract.

The kid doesn’t get the importance of this and comes out of the cold storage with some mashed potato to throw at someone. This would have been ok on any other day as long as senior management weren’t around but not this day. Instead of a co-worker, he hits one of the visitors. The kid was gone within the hour and left in a flood of tears.

Um…Yes, I am

Cursed out the CEO’s wife and ended her rant by saying, “What are you gonna do, fire me?”


This Is Worse Than Everyday Laziness

I was a bank teller while I was getting through college. At our bank, we had a “limit” system where to cash a check over a certain amount you had to have a manager override the transaction and approve the check themselves. One day I was at a new branch (we got shuffled around a lot) and someone comes in with a $25,000 check. We had enough to cash it for him so I asked the manager to come over and take a look and override it. She didn’t, instead, she was too busy texting/Facebooking at her desk so she just “remote overrode it” where she didn’t see the check or customer and just typed in her password/okayed the transaction from her own computer. Because she did this, I figured she must know the guy with the check, maybe he’s a regular, etc. So I gave him his money and he was off. A week later we find out the check was a counterfeit. She was fired on the spot for negligence because they had her on camera on her cell phone and remote overriding instead of coming over to look.


It’s Best To Double-Check On These Things

HR received an email from some random AOL account that was using our President’s name as the friendly name. The email said, “Hi, I am unhappy with my bank’s customer service. Can you change my direct deposit to the following…”


She changed it.

Textbook Example Of A Horrible Human Being

The manager who threw a staple gun at a disabled wheelchair-user on his team’s head. He screamed at him that he didn’t know the meaning of disabled, that he had a disabled brother, and that the team member was just a lazy bastard who was trying to get out of work by making up the pain he was in. Team member subsequently found out that his pain was due to spinal cancer. The manager was fired on the spot after it happened.


That Went 0 to 100 Real Quick

I used to work at the post office. In December, there’s always a flood of mail (both packages and letters) so we temp-hire like 10 extra people as drivers and about 30 extra for mail (small-ish town). This one temp-mailman would load his car with the mail for his route and then dispose of it and spend the day at home playing videogames.


When he was found out, he was fired and charged with a felony. Turns out that destroying mail in the amounts he was doing is considered an act of terrorism (since there are a lot of official documents that go through the mail system), He’s still a deadbeat and he’s also not allowed to leave the country because he’s on an international list of known terrorists.

There’s Just No Fixing Stupid

Its a long story, but basically a dude kept pissing in the ficus tree in a conference room.


At first, maintenance thought it was an animal doing something in the walls, and gutted the room.

That didn’t fix it, so they put a camera in. EVERYONE knew the camera was there, what we would catch was the talk of the office. Dude gets busted on camera, flat out denies he was pissing in the ficus tree.

HR just says, “Well, ok, stop then.” It was an old-school company that wouldn’t fire people unless you flat out murdered your boss.

Dude gets busted AGAIN like a week later. Still denies it even though he is there on tape, pissing in the tree. HR relocates him to pretty much the opposite side of the building, right next to a bathroom, and someone finally has the common sense to get rid of the ficus tree.

Dude now goes in and just pisses in the corner. They finally fired him after that one.

You Had ONE (Almost) Job, Dude

My friend in college had an internship at some engineering company. He went up to a co-worker who had a banana on her desk, and loudly asked, “Do you ever use that for anything else?”


Only dude I ever knew to be fired from an internship.

You Should Have Appreciated Your Employee Discount, Pal

Most recently, an employee was stealing customer rewards. We have a lot of customers that don’t care about rewards, so he would just key his numbers in on dozens of transactions a day. We found out when a manager was issuing a return and saw his name and rewards number attached to the customer’s receipt. We scanned a copy of the receipt and reported it to loss prevention. They found out he had over $300 in rewards coming his way and had been spending past rewards at other stores to avoid suspicion. They obviously voided the newest reward, had a meeting with our LP manager and DM, he pretty much got fired on the spot. He tried taking something like two to three other associates down with him on made up claims.

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Do You Even Know Where You Work, Bud?

Apparently, a dude at my company was hired into a remote position, and then outsourced most of his job to someone in India. I dunno how long he kept up the charade, but the company started getting suspicious about him constantly “forgetting” conversations and giving different answers to the same questions.


I’d Be Over His Tantrums, Too

There was a guy who was notorious for throwing temper tantrums. He would get red-faced, ruffle his hair up, and get all worked up over stuff that was purely business. He was a pathological liar who constantly painted himself into corners. He was also a small guy, so he obviously had some Napoleon complex that made him weird. One day, during a tantrum, he threw down his badge (the one that grants him access into the building) and walked out. He did this in front of his boss and coworkers at a stand-up meeting (right next to the front doors). The next day, he tried to come back but couldn’t get in. When he called, they told him no, he walked off the job. Also, no severance pay since he technically quit.


Now Isn’t The Time To Play Robin Hood, Dude

The CEO had his own private “Executive Lavatory” that was off-limits to everyone else (the door even said “Private” on it).


As a prank, one new hire challenged the rule when he mistakenly thought the CEO was away and the coast was clear. He got caught red-handed when the boss walked in. He was fired as a result.

(Apparently, the guy didn’t apologize, but told the CEO in a confrontational manner that all lavatories should be available without restrictions.)

It’s Not Gonna Work Out, Bernie

I worked at a steel machining facility; a large steel plate would be set on a rotating electromagnetic table. The magnet would be turned on and the table would rotate so that specific tasks could be performed at duty stations. Bernie came in and turned the table on but not the magnet. The steel plate went through an exterior wall.


Ouch, This One’s Pretty Embarrassing

I worked for a short time as an insurance salesman. When I joined my office, there was this guy who was just killing it in policy sales. My first quarter there, he was top salesman in the nation and we had a big office dinner to celebrate. A few weeks later, he quits showing up at the office; we wonder what is going on. Turns out he was selling policies to people who either didn’t exist or friends and family members, then paying for the policies himself. After a few months, he would let the policies lapse. Of course, after his big quarter he couldn’t keep up and company auditors got suspicious. This was a huge scandal since the president of the company had shouted out congratulations to him in a company presentation. He got himself fired, and our office and regional managers demoted. Everybody working in the office at the time found different work soon after (myself included).


You Know What A DUI Is, Right?

Worked in a pizza shop. I was the cook and the night was winding down. One of the guys was outside smoking. He had a soda cup that our manager thought was his so he took a sip. It was Jack and Coke. That guy was a delivery driver.

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You Know, That’s Not Really Necessary

Boss decided to have an affair with the accountant in order to get approvals for needless lunch/dinner meeting expenses as well as international travels that provided no benefit to the company or her position.


This went on for over five years… the parent company finally caught on and fired both of them. I wonder if it was worth it?

If The Competitor Tattled, You Really Screwed Up

I worked at a firm where carbonated soft drinks are made.

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Someone tried to sell the most secret information to a major competitor. The competitor contacted the firm, and he got fired. Competitors work closer together than some people seem to think.

Just When They Tried To Make Your Life Easier…

I work for a regional airline (pilot).

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The parent company finally got us iPads to use as Electronic Flight bags, and distributed them to all the pilots. One guy thought it would be wise to sell the company iPad and try to activate his Samsung phone as the EFB. Didn’t work. He goes to the company who asks, “Where is your iPad?” Turns out he sold it on eBay. Genius got canned for being an idiot, but last I knew the pilot union was working with him to get his job back.

We just got rid of 20 pounds of paper that you had to lug everywhere and replaced it with an iPad, and you go and try that? C’mon man.

Yikes, This Is Painfully Ironic

Screwup… breakfast cook was grilling two 10-ounce beef tenders to take home. When confronted about them by the owner of the establishment, she proceeded to say a guest called down and requested them (they’re only on our dinner menu). So he checks phone records and finds nothing. Fires her right there… anyway, the stupid part here: she should have just wrapped them up in a takeout box and grilled them at home and she would still have her job. Ironically, she was grilling them to take home to her boyfriend who had just gotten his first job in three years or something.


Don’t Worry, Guys, I’ve Got This!

I worked at a large oil change chain for a while after high school. We had just had a meeting about how if the customer was on site, or if the car was a manual transmission and you didn’t know how to drive one, to have the customer move their own car.


This guy finished up on a car. He jumped in to pull it out of the bay. It was a manual transmission. He didn’t know how to work one. The customer had left it in gear instead of neutral with the parking brake on. The guy fires it up, the clutch pops and the car goes flying through the garage bay door. The guy just left. He didn’t change clothes or anything. He just left and we never saw him again.

The customer was in the waiting room. The whole thing was on tape. We watched that tape over and over. The customer’s reaction was priceless.

Oh, Man, That’s A Terrible Audience To Have

Coffee shop, big company.


One of the young baristas couldn’t open a bag of coffee for a customer who wanted it ground up.

He wasn’t thinking and used his teeth on the bag to tear it—bad.

Right in front of the customer—very bad.

Also, right in front of the district manager who was doing a walk-through of the store with the store manager.

The district manager immediately took the kid to the back. The store manager started helping the customer and throwing free drink coupons at him.

Five minutes later the kid walks out with his stuff—fired.

Why Just Fire When You Can Get Sweet, Sweet Revenge?

A dude I worked with at a dealership had a pill addiction and would steal things around said dealership to feed his addiction. It came to light that he had also been stealing the extra gas that we keep in a gas can for emergencies. Our general manager found this out and didn’t fire him—instead, he started filling the cans with diesel. The dude comes in a few days later saying his car isn’t running right, the engine is knocking a lot, trying to play the sympathy card. The general manager then confronts him about his various thefts, then fires him. It was some pretty sweet vindication.


When We Said “Be Friendly,” This Isn’t What We Meant

A bus driver telling customers about his escapades and asking random women to run off with him, completely seriously. He literally had no idea this was inappropriate and was absolutely stunned when he was fired. This was among a laundry list of other complaints.

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So That’s What They’re Doing When We’re On Hold…

I worked the phones for a furniture retailer a few years ago. We had an agency temp who muted his headset, flipped it up and surfed the Web for a good ten minutes, and afterward replaced it and told his customer who he’d had on the line the whole time that his computer had crashed.


I watched as the deputy manager casually walked over, waited for the call to end and then escorted him out of the building.