People Divulge The Exact Moment They Realized Their Workplace Was Toxic

People Divulge The Exact Moment They Realized Their Workplace Was Toxic
Image by Malachi Witt from Pixabay

Leaving a stable job is a weighty choice. Good salary, benefits, friendships with co-workers, and room for upward growth are all factors that may entice someone to stay put.


But sometimes those positive elements can cloud a person's vision.

In fact, there may be a slew of factors that make the job absolutely miserable, and they're all being silenced by a person's focus on the positives.

But then, in a single instant, the cons outshine the pros: a manager does something stupid or unfair, "legal" begins to seem like an optional concept to the higher ups, or somebody in the office is just plain inappropriate.

Suddenly, there is clarity. The only drawback? Realizing that maybe the person should've listened to their gut a little sooner.

Expwar asked, "When was the moment you realized your workplace was toxic?"

A Constellation of Toxic Variables

"I had a job where my girlfriend's Mother was my boss, so I guess the moment I realized my workplace was toxic was when my girlfriend cheated on me and then my girlfriend's Mom hired the guy she cheated on me with."

"In hindsight, probably more than just the workplace was toxic."

-- the-cschnepf

Mafia Ethics

"When someone was called into the manager's office, then returned to box up their desk and leave. When I asked the manager if she was okay, I was told, 'We don't talk about people after they leave.'"

"If someone quit or was fired, they were just never mentioned again. It was creepy AF."

-- solar-shock

Power Hunger 

"They fired a new father the day before Christmas eve because he missed a month of work due to his wife getting very sick after giving birth, he didn't try to get medical leave or anything because he was worried about his wife and taking care of his newborn."

"Second one was when I sat in on a leadership meeting, I worked at the time as almost a bridge between two sides of the company and all the leaders did was gossip about their employees and talk about who they wished they could get rid of, and who annoyed them."


"One of them was a new leader and they were friends with these people a month ago."

"The meeting was about how to improve morale on the floor and the end result was a competition for a 25 gift card to the company store that is nothing but company apparel that no one wants anyway... it didn't work."

-- Earthwick

Look at Your Shoes, Look at Your Shoes

"When our boss got into a screaming match with one of the managers (his daughter) in the middle of the office."

"I'd just started there 3 weeks ago and it was absolutely mind boggling to watch. I looked around at my coworkers and everyone was just looking away, doing their best to stay quiet and not look at either of them."

"Person at the desk next to mine saw my shocked face and whispered 'they do this a lot. Just ignore it.'"

-- thrown12212020

Incentives All Out of Whack 

"One of my job's metrics for how our performance is graded by is 'on time departure.' We get so many points if we're within -10, -5, 0, 5 or 10 min from scheduled."

"People try to cheat by tampering with the clocks and that's a punishable offense."

"I was good at leaving early or on time most of the times. Got a call one day to warn me that I was under investigation because I had the most points in the company."

"They assumed that I was cheating, that's when I knew I had to go. I wasn't going to start being late to avoid repercussions."

-- wearsAtrenchcoat

Skipping Town 

"We reached a point where we regularly had to wait to cash our paychecks. We basically were told we had to get orders completed and paid for, in order for the account to have enough money to pay us."

"During this time, the boss went on a vacation which was just great for morale."

"My manager had to take a day off, effectively putting me in charge for the day. I texted my manager, 'What should I do if the IRS shows up? lol.' 2 hours later an IRS agent did stop in looking for my boss."

"I found a new job not long after."

-- ghost-0427

Left Out in the Wild 

"I once got asked if a wanted a different position, away from coding, into project management. I said, okay, if you help me set it up and give some guidance."

"The next week I got a project, through a binder being placed on my desk and the words, this is your project, good luck. Before I could react, they were out the door."


"I had a hard time getting projects started, worked on common sense and some help from coworkers taking pity on me. I made a checklist for software deployments, for instance, but when I told in a rare department meeting that I made such a checklist, I was told sternly not to waste time on stuff I couldn't charge customers with."

"After the confusing meeting, several coworkers asked me for a copy of the useful list... It still took me some 2 years of working 60+ hours a week, to make my way out the door. (And got a 65% raise starting the next job.)"

-- gozba

"Hurtful For This Man to Hear..."

"A couple of female coworkers went to the HR manager to file a complaint about sexism in the workplace, related to the same guy."

"They got told by the HR manager and their boss that the company wasn't gonna do anything about it, because it would be very hurtful for this man to hear that his behaviour was wrong..."

"Later when some anonymous survey showed that employees were really not as happy as they(company) were claiming on social media, and people even felt discriminated against in the workplace..."

"...they brushed it under the carpet saying people were just too stressed when they filled in the survey, like that is not a problem on its own."

"Many more of these kinds of things, but that's defo when I realised I had to get out."

-- uselessacount4ever

Terminally Mixed Messages

"In college I had a part time job at a big retailer selling appliances. They would generally have a promo of either 0% financing or free delivery, one or the other but not both."

"That being said, there was a workaround where we could still give people both, and multiple members of our management team told us that if that was the only way to get the sale to do it."

"2 months later they fired half the department for doing what we were told to do. I quit right after that."

-- Marijuanavich

NOT Your Fixer

"When a boss told me to go to the port to bribe the officials there to release several containers of materials for the hotel we were building."

"I did not (and neither did that chickensh**)."

-- BillionTonsHyperbole

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Profile view of Buzz Lightyear at Hollywood Studios
Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

Anyone who enjoyed watching movies as a kid likely had their favorite films they liked to pick from.

But those who have revisited some of those childhood favorites may have discovered there was more awaiting them in the film as an adult.

Keep reading...Show less
Man screaming into payphone
Alexandra Mirgheș/Unsplash

We all have our different breaking points when it comes to tolerating certain behaviors.

When pushed too far, people can act impulsively and wind up causing irreparable damage and also ruining various relationships.

Some people may find it difficult to do, but turning their back on the situation is key, but if their backs are up against the wall, they may find that counting to ten may bring momentary peace.

Curious to hear about strangers online suppress their rage, Redditor Grouchy-Trip9582 asked:

Keep reading...Show less
Girl crying on school stairs.
Photo by Zhivko Minkov on Unsplash

When we look back on our childhood, we all reflect on things we regret doing.

From stealing money from our parents' wallets to buy candy or cheating on a test, to sneaking into an R-rated movie against our parent's advice, or being caught coming home past our curfew with our first crush.

While these things naturally got us in trouble, we often look back on these things with laughter and amusement, as they seem to be things all children are guilty of at one point or another.

Of course, some of us also may have done things that we can't simply brush off as "kids being kids."

Things we did that couldn't be fixed by an apology or a punishment, and which still cause us to lie awake in bed at night to this very day.

Keep reading...Show less

There are certain things men keep to themselves when it comes to life and dating.

And no one talks about the bro code much.

A recent Reddit thread gave us a chance to peek behind the curtain.

Keep reading...Show less