Employees Reveal The Most Epic And Embarrassing Work Meltdowns They've Ever Seen
Piling stress on top of stress only contributes to a very tenuous state of being. You can easily break under pressure at any minute. And where are you most apt to do this? At the source of your stress: work.
Flaxmoore was morbidly curious and asked Reddit:
And here were some of the stories.
I work for my local municipality. Coworker was driving one of those sidewalk plows. He was ready to retire any day (65+) and it was garbage day. What a lot of people don't realize is when you place your bins on the sidewalk that the guy plowing the sidewalk has to stop, get out and move the bins then continue. More often than not you're doing this for EVERY driveway.
He was ready to retire and was having a bad day. He said f-ck it. Drove down the sidewalk and crushed every single blue box that was on the sidewalk. He did one street, drove the machine back to the depot and parked it. Got in his car and drove downtown and quit. Didn't tell the foreman or any of us, just said f-ck it and quit.
I miss him.
Writing financial software in the 80s. The systems analyst sitting at her desk near me suddenly burst into tears and wailed "it's all so pointless - money doesn't mean anything!"
Ring The Bell
I worked at a fast food joint while in high school. One of my coworkers was this guy who was really friendly, but also really strange. He was obsessed with being a "straight edge" kid and drew the Xs on his hands, and the whole nine yards. He had a high pitched, but pleasant voice, and spoke in an overly polite manner.
Anyway, he had put in his two weeks and on his last day he was working the front counter register. This lady walks up to order and he just stares at her. After a few seconds she says "Umm... can you take my order?" In his very calm and polite voice he says "Oh, I am sorry ma'am, but I cannot." There was another awkward pause and she says "Ummm... well why not?" He responds with "....BECAUSE I AM A DINOSAUR!!!"
He immediately started growling and roaring at her, and he walked back and forth behind the counter like a T-Rex. He did this until the GM who was back making food realized what was going on. On her way up to the counter he calmly clocked out and left. The GM had to apologize over and over again to the poor woman trying to order.
I wasn't there to see it, but my coworkers have talked about "the cabinet incident." Last year was my first year of teaching, and I was working in a low-income inner city school. People kept saying to me "there's no way you could possibly be worse than the last girl we had." When I asked what they meant, I was told that a few years prior the principal had hired a first year teacher. Apparently one day she got so overwhelmed and upset by the behavior of her class that she chucked a ream of paper out the window and then ran into the back room, shut herself in a big cabinet and cried. Her class was unsupervised for a while (apparently none of the kids had told anyone what happened) and when the principal found her, she was curled up on the floor of the cabinet, rocking back and forth and sobbing. Clearly, she was fired soon after that.
I didn't stay at that school longer than a year because the principal was the equivalent of Satan, but when I left she said to me "despite all the s* you were put through this year from your kids, you're the first teacher I can remember who I never saw cry at school." I'll take that as a compliment, I suppose.
It Wasn't His Fault
Working a retail summer job. A forklift driver was moving a skid of pickled eggs that wasn't wrapped properly. It fell, and a ton of juice and eggs went everywhere. Manger comes out and does the "takes off hat and throws it on the ground while yelling GAAAWWWW DAAAAMN IT." After he went full Gunnery Sergeant Hartman on the dudes -ss for f-cking up. It was enough to make him cry and quit the next day.
Like A Robot
This guy in a restaurant kitchen got in a fist fight with a younger guy, punched him in the face, backed up, started shaking his face and doing the Scooby-Doo voice. He was nuts. I broke it up and took the other guy out of the kitchen to separate them and came back ten minutes later and the crazy guy had perfectly cleaned his area - like freaking spotless - and clocked out early and never returned. Never seen or heard from him. Never picked up his last paycheck. Weirdest sh-t I've ever seen.
New hire in her first week rubs coworkers the wrong way, acting as though she's the hottest thing to hit our restaurant since food its self.
When told her schedule for the next day, she argued with the manager about her availability. Threats of litigation start coming out of no where.
She approaches two police officers who are trying to enjoy their meal completely in tears, breaking down and begging them to arrest our manager for firing her unjustly. The helped escort her out of the building.
Not Worth £5
First, this involves the new £5 notes. For those who don't know, they're polymer notes, and if you fold them up they tend to stay folded. Its important for the story.
I served a customer, a friendly old man with white hair, who paid with a folded £5. I put it in the till. A few minutes later my boss was in the till and saw the folded note.
He decided that the folds meant it had been rolled up into a tube to snort with. He was absolutely adamant. I said no, I just took that note, from an old man. He started yelling, rolling the note up in his fingers to make a tube, shouting at me, "Look! It rolls up like this! Don't tell me I don't know what I'm talking about! Don't tell me I'm wrong!" He kept shouting at me, basically waiting for me to apologize and back down, say I was wrong. But I wasn't so I didn't.
He wound up storming off, throwing things and slamming things. He's f-cking insane and I should have complained but there would be no point, everyone knows what he's like and no one cares.
My boss was pretty tightly wrapped. One day I came into the restroom and there she was in a stall smearing her poop on the floor (I recognized her rings) and muttering. When she was finished, she cleaned up the worst of it off the floor, somehow got dressed with her icky hands, got washed, and went back to work.
During grad school a professor in my department had a doctoral student who'd been there a few years, had passed candidacy exams and was writing up the dissertation.
I still don't know what truly caused the argument, but they ended up having a shouting matching in the hallway in our academic building one day. Allegedly student wanted to publish results and prof said no because they actually corrected a previously published theory he had first authored. Major fireworks.
Student ends up switching to a new lab, refuses to let professor have the lab / research notes, and wrote up his dissertation using the original data funded by the original prof under a different prof (a big deal, again).
That professor submitted his tenure packet one year later. It was unanimously approved by the dept and college.... the provost rejected it, because this former student went to the provost with the prof's original paper, student's data, the still-unsubmitted manuscript the student had written up...everything.
The uni had a rule that if you don't get tenure you have to leave....prof never could get hired in the states after that and had to go back to his home country in the Middle East.
When I was an intern we had a high priority project come through that my mentor was working on. Really fast turn around with many late nights, shitty coffee, and good beer. Anyway it was towards the end of the project and I was finishing bring up on the board at my bench when I heard him muttering quietly to himself. I looked up to see if he needed me and watched him absolutely POUND a computer monitor with his fist then grab it, smash it down on the floor before stomping on it screaming "Theres no god damn DRC error!"
He calmed down after a bit, got a beer then requested a new monitor. Thats when I learned that no matter. How mad you are screaming at Altium will not make your sleep deprivation better.
I had a coworker freak out on a customer. I used to be a cashier, and people used to tend to treat us like sh-t. Anyway, the lady got pissy because she couldn't price match some doritos because it was the wrong size or something. Anyway it escalates, we cant find the csm and a few minutes later they are screaming at each other. The cashier's parting words were "I ain't f-cking price matching your doritos! You don't even need those doritos"
Needless to say, that was her last day.
I was in court (lawyer) and we were arguing a motion and requesting sanctions against Plaintiff's attorney. The judge starts talking and dressing down the Plaintiff's attorney... who, now offended, decided it would be a great idea to interrupt the judge, insult the judge, and flat out told him "You were too stupid to make it in private practice and you do not know what the f-ck you are doing."
She had been licensed for all of 3 years.
She is no longer licensed.
Don't Mess With Howard
I'm in radio and one of the group of stations I worked at had an oldies station, a rock station and a pop station in the same building. We had an announcer who was really eager and wanted to learn and work and was really a great guy, but the big bosses were total jerks to him and were stuck in their old ways of doing things. They treated the announcer (we'll call him Howard) really poorly and Howard used to come in and vent about it. He ended up getting hired at another station but before he left, he went into the music libraries and replaced all the Led Zeppelin songs on the rock station with a gospel song from the oldies station called, "Trumpets Of Jesus." For an entire weekend, any time Led Zeppelin was supposed to play, Trumpets Of Jesus played instead. Howard has since gone on to become program director and has won all kinds of leadership awards... total legend!
Take Him Down
I use to work in a kitchen in an old folks home. I had a manager named Edward who was a know it all piece of uninformed sh-t. I had a co-worker named E who had a very serious medical condition and required a certain medication at certain points of the day.
Edward didn't like E or the fact that she needed to keep her medication on her person. One day E forgot her medication and begged to run home and retrieve it. Edward smugly denied her and told her to finish work. So she tried and ended up briefly collapsing. She was okay but very weak and disoriented.
Edward grabbed her by her arm, escorted her to her car handed her the keys and told her to leave. Then he left. To go tell anyone that would listen that E was on drugs and he smelled booze on her. E was in the parking lot and called her mom to take her to the hospital. E was only 20 and very scared.
E was discharged that night after some fluids and came back the next day upon hearing what Edward told everyone about her. She stormed into HR screaming for them to bring Edwards -ss in the office IMMEDIATELY. As soon as he was called in she whipped her nametag at him. I obviously lingered close by like a nosey b-tch. She was screaming at the top of her lungs that Edward denied her to go home to get her medication, that was on file and hr was very aware of, and how f-cking dare he accuse her of being a drug addict. And if he really believed she was under the influence of something how stupid was he to put her in a car on the company's property leaving them liable for her damages. At this point much noise can be heard- as all 3 of them are screaming full force at one another.
She threatened legal action and stormed out. Well she did take legal action. For a ton of sh-t including putting a clearly ill person behind the wheel. Not too long after this I also quit. And a few months later Edward was no longer employed by the kitchen but rather was working as a deli boy in the local grocery store.
I don't know what happened with Es lawsuit but I hope that place and Edward got everything they deserved.
I worked in IT and one guy, who was one of the most chilled guys I knew, was responsible for the deployment, updates and maintenance of a specific product that generated high revenue.
One afternoon I was sitting at my desk and just heard a big crash and saw one of his 3 monitors on the floor. He stood up, shoved the next monitor over the divider onto the next sections desk, then swiped the third monitor off the other side, picked up his keyboard and smashed it as hard as he could, kicked his chair away and slowly, and calmly walked out the department, without saying a word.
He came back to work the next day as if nothing happened. Everyone knew the pressure he was under and was very good at his job so nobody said a thing.
I Didn't Do It
In high school I worked at a grocery store and this kid was all pissed off at another bagger and swearing in front of the customers. He said he was hoping he'd get fired. I told him he should quit before he gets fired so that it would look better on his resume in the future. A few minutes later I realized he was missing, then suddenly he comes around the corner from the managers office, no longer in uniform (he threw his uniform in the trash in front of the manager) then he looked at me and said loudly "I took your advice" then proceeded to walk across the front end, point to each associate saying "F-ck you" to each of them and walked out. Everyone was staring at me after and I said "I did not tell him to do THAT!"
Louder Than Words
Actually it was the quietest most calm meltdown, but it screamed of anger and frustration.
So I used to work in a bank's call center. A colleague of mine came in the morning (he came in late and didn't even have his coffee) and logged in. The first caller was a rude -sshole who started screaming obscenities so early in the morning. My colleague without saying a word, hung up the phone while the customer was still talking, logged off and put his headset on the table. He walked calmly and get a pen and paper, wrote his resignation and handed it over to his supervisor alongside his access card. He walked out the call center and never came back. All of this without saying a single word.
It was the embodiment of the phrase "action speaks louder than words."
Best I've seen was my 7th grade math teacher. There was a girl who always talked in class. She got moved to the front at some point and she was laughing and giggling as always. After being told to be quiet about 8 times, the teacher is standing front and center in front of her, back to her and writing an example on the board. Girl has one of those plastic pencil boxes all the girls used to decorate sitting on the front corner of her desk.
The teacher just cracked. In one smooth motion he spins around, yells SHUT UP and smacks the box as hard as he can and it goes flying 15 feet across the room, smashes into the wall. Pencils. Freaking. Everywhere. He swiftly walks to the door, slams it shut and we could hear pounding on the wall. One brave kid peeks out the window....dude was banging his head against the wall.
About 2 minutes later, he walks back in. Crickets, not a noise in the classroom. He begins walking around picking up every single pen and pencil, puts them all in the box, places it gently on her desk....And then just continues the example like the nothing ever happened. It was exquisite.
Not saw but had. I was about 7 months pregnant and had just recently been moved to a different office. The new office had all kinds of rules no one informed me or my fellow coworkers of and I kept getting hauled into the office to be told off for things I didn't even know I was doing wrong. Now, if it was just friendly reminders I wouldn't have had a problem but my supervisor was this high and mighty b-tch that kept belittling me and trying to make me feel bad, and kept commenting on how I wasn't fit for this job (keeping in mind I had been doing it for over 2 years at this point with the no problems). Time before the blow out she said I'd be written up next time she has to talk to me.
So I'm working away, trying my damnedest to not f-ck up cuz I really don't want to be written up and I honestly couldn't handle anymore stress. Well I get called into the office with her and our union rep and I see a notice on her desk. I LOST IT. I starting yelling and crying and listing off all the horrible things she's been putting me through and how it was unfair for her to treat me like this and how half the sh-t I wasn't even told about.
I think I actually started having a panic attack during the whole ordeal and told the union rep some of the comments she made to me over the past few months. It felt good to get it out and finally put her in her place. She was so taken aback that I stood up for myself (read: freaked the f-ck out) that I ended up being sent home early cuz they were worried about my baby's wellbeing. The notice turned out to just be a list of expectations (only 6 months late) which I had to read and sign but she left me alone after that.
If You Can't Help Yourself...
One day when I listened to a call this woman had a very slow meltdown over the phone that ended in her in sobs. The caller didn't hear something she said and asked her to repeat herself. My coworker repeated herself in a really irritated tone and then says "why does everyone want me to be mean today?" To the caller. The girl on the other line is obviously confused and asked her if she was having a bad day and if she needed to speak to someone else. She then says NO and that she will be the one helping her...
It gets worse.
She bombs this call. Like totally does not do her job correctly and makes this painfully obvious to the point where the caller says that she will help her figure this out together and to not cry anymore (this was a help desk type job for other employees). Well they don't and she ends up crying and you can hear her snap at someone else in the office which obviously has the caller insanely concerned. My coworker goes on a rant about how people are hateful and that she hates this job and that it's too hard for her to do (it wasn't really easy for everyone) and tells the caller she's going to be transferred...
We had to call back and issue the caller an apology, she responded by asking if my coworker was going to be okay. We said yes but no, she wasn't. The office manager ended up having to fire her for another call where she was complaining and abusing the caller. Before she was fired she was told she could use her benefits to speak to a counselor because she kept having outbursts bay work and everyone was getting worried about her, she said this wasn't the first time she heard that and didn't know why people kept saying it......
I still think about her (this was 2 years ago) and wonder if she ever got help.
Drinking On The Job
When I was in college, I worked at an animal hospital. One week, the boss/owner was on vacation and several coworkers joked about having a "liquid lunch" together one day. One girl thought it was such a good idea that she brought a bottle of vodka back to work from her break. She tried to get us all to drink together, while on the clock, but no one else participated. So she was butthurt and drank herself into oblivion. She made an absolute fool of herself. During all this, she hid one person's wallet, asked me on a date, cursed two people out, spun herself around in circles on the floor like a drunk break dancer, and puked all over the only employee bathroom and passed out. The office manager helped her to the couch to sleep it off.
As most folks were leaving for the day, she woke up and snuck out to her car and flew out of the parking lot, almost hitting a coworker. She floored it down the road and eventually ran over a large curb, which messed her small car up, and she left it and walked to a friend's house.
Yeah, she got canned the second the boss got back, and even acted surprised about it....go figure!
Appreciate Your Teachers
I went to a private high school. The teachers having 12 to 14 hour days plus their grading wasn't at all weird. One of my teachers ended up completely snapping one day in the middle of the school year. He went on a full on rant at one of his classes because they wouldn't stop talking. He was so angry the entire class of about 30 students was being yelled at full volume for 45 minutes of their class time because of this and left them all in complete shock. For the first 20 minutes of my class period he sat there, quietly, without addressing the class. I've never seen a group of 20 teenagers so silent in my life and I'm sure I'll never see it again.
Only One Bad Day
My ex co worker.
We work in an office and this one day she must have just been in a bad mood. We were due to have a staff meeting and she was supposed to arrange it all, hand out agendas, prepare the conference room, lock up etc. It was about 10:05 and the meeting was at 10. My boss, who was also in a bad mood, came down to reception and asked what the hell was going on. She just flipped out on him. She threw a bunch of paperwork at him and just started shouting about how she's fed up of him and is quitting. She then storms out of the office. My boss just stood there, then turned around and went back to his office.
The rest of the staff made our way to the conference room for this meeting and as we were sat there, it was really intense and awkward and deathly silent. We were all just looking at our boss waiting for him to react. Surprisingly he stayed super calm.
Next thing we know, we hear someone unlock the front door and come in, we assumed it was this lady. We then start to hear furious typing. I mean, she must have been slamming her fingers on the keyboard because we could all hear it from upstairs.
So we all just sat there listening to this noise, still deathly silent. Eventually it stopped and this lady storms up the stairs and throws her quitting notice at my boss and leaves again.
My boss just looks at it calmly, then finally addresses the rest of us and just said that he will not tolerate being spoken to the way she spoke to him and that was pretty much it. We carried on the day as normal.
Still makes me laugh to think about it. That was a good day.