People Share Their Most Memorable 'First Day On The Job' Experiences
Image by Lukas Bieri from Pixabay

I once was a restaurant worker and though the money was good, that period was definitely one of the more stressful ones of my entire life. I will never forget going to work at one restaurant... getting caught in traffic and arriving 45 minutes late (and then thinking I would be fired on day one), only to be thrown into a busy late shift with six tables at once. I wasn't even fully versed on the menu yet! Somehow I survived.

After Redditor JPetty97 asked the online community, "What is your worst or most memorable 'first day on the job' story?" people shared their stories and we have to say... we don't envy some of them.

"It wasn't a big learning curve..."

Most memorable: Interviewed at Subway for a summer job. Manager shook my hand, handed me an apron, and put me on the line because a regional school board convention was happening at the nearby high school. I was allowed to wear shorts as a one-time dress code exception that day as there was no time to go home and change. I at least got a shirt from the back room.

It wasn't a big learning curve because I ate at the Subway on campus so much that I already had most sandwiches memorized. We had a line out the door for hours. The manager was so grateful that I was allowed to make as many sandwiches as I could carry to take home for family dinner.


"Thankfully it was just a summer job..."

Got hired on Friday... showed up on Monday and the place was literally out of business and the building boarded up.

Thankfully it was just a summer job, but it was pretty confusing, to say the least.


"That was the day I decided..."

I went in to ask my former boss something about how he prefers client correspondence to be addressed. He starts telling me what to do. I pull out a pen and paper to take notes. He tilts his head to the side, looks at me, and condescendingly says, "if you need to take notes for this, we need to get you professional help."

That was the day I decided I wasn't going to last there for much longer. I ended up quitting a month thereafter.


"When I started my first internship..."

When I started my first internship I went to lunch with some women from my team. At lunch we found out that someone's mom passed away and here I was, a new intern, sitting at a table with four grown women that were all crying.


"I work at a hotel..."

Where I work now. I work at a hotel, been there over a dozen years. My very first day, my very first check out I remember this well: the gentleman's total was $800. I ran his card for $8,000. So the first thing I learned how to do wasn't a check-out, it was a refund (for $7200). I did wonder my first few days if I was cut out for this place, but a dozen years later here I am as night manager.


"My first ever job..."

So this was stupidly awkward of me. My first ever job was at a Safeway grocery store as a courtesy clerk. The store grunt basically. Showed up in the morning for the shift, it was quiet with nothing really going on. They told me to just man the bagging for awhile.

I somehow misheard that and thought they were telling me to go home. Don't know why that made sense to me, but it just did. So I left. About an hour later I got a call asking where I was. There was no harm done, but I got made fun of for awhile after that. Very embarrassing...


"He was deceased..."

First day was Thanksgiving. First call of the day (or first call ever for me) was an 18-year-old cardiac arrest. He was deceased for several hours. Parents did not want to believe so. Completely lost their minds. Blamed us for his death. Dad swept the entire Thanksgiving table set up on the floor with one huge arm sweep. Dishes and glasses flying and crashing everywhere.


"I began working at a supermarket..."

I began working at a supermarket in the bakery department. The majority of people I was working with were females a year or two older than me. Wanting to fit in, I wanted to say something funny and crude to join in their comments so far. So I decide to say "I may be vegetarian, but I still eat d***." Safe to say, that got me in their funny books.

It's been 4 years since I left that job to go to uni, and I still keep in contact with them.


"Spilled orange juice..."

Spilled orange juice all over an unpleasant woman on my first day as a flight attendant.


"Another guy and I..."

Another guy and I had the same start date. We arrived in the lobby, and while I checked in with the desk, sat down and waited to be taken back into the office area, the other guy went on back on his own (unescorted) and started to chat up the staff.

When the boss arrived, he took us both into the conference room and delivered the most red-faced, Tony Soprano @ss-reaming to the other guy that you can imagine, while I looked on. I spent six years there. The other guy, six months.


"Mouse Whisperer"

While I was waiting for my HOD on my first day in a new school, alone in the staff room, a mouse came out from under a shelf. It seemed to be looking for a way out, so I grabbed a mug and caught the poor thing to take it outside. The HOD came in while I was trying to calm the mouse down and that's how the department came to know me as the Mouse Whisperer.

ETA Definitely most memorable, not worst.


"But the first day was really awkward"

I was a maintenance supervisor at a hospital. And when they sold the hospital I did not like the new owner company and was sniffing around for a new job. One day I get a call from a big church and conference center and they are looking for a maintenance supervisor and said my name had come up as a possible candidate, so i meet for a lunch interview with the guy that does their hiring and firing.

We chit chat for about an hour and then he says "ok I appreciate you time , I gotta get back for a meeting " I'm thinking this didn't go well because he didn't ask anything about my background or experience and I mentioned that as we were walking out .

He says I'm not concerned about that, I need good attitude and honesty, as you know we are a non profit and exist totally on donations, you gotta be nice to everyone , and if there's something you don't know , we will pay for whatever training you need , and you're working for mr smith at the hospital, and he only hires the best.

So a few days later they offer me the job and I agree to start on a certain date .

So I show up on that date and walk in and tell the receptionist I'm the new maintenance guy and I'm here to see mr Jones .

"He's not here, he's in China for a month, I have all the paperwork for you to fill out"

So I do that and then ask : " uh, wheres the maintenance office ?"

"Oh there's not one, he's said you'd need to find some place to use as an office" "And you would need to buy some tools"

So she calls the two custodians to the office and I have to introduce myself to them as their new boss and neither one speaks English except a few words.

And then I have to wander around and find a big closet to turn into my office and then go buy some basic tools to fix the doors that won't close and to troubleshoot the Air conditioners that don't work etc .

I wound up working there nine years , but the first day was really awkward.

"Horror flick"

I once ended up on what turned out to be an accident plagued set of a horror flick. "The Room" Tommy Wiseau level bad leadership meets Final Destination style injuries everywhere. Everyone's day was bad and one guy almost lost his balls.


"Left me alone"

I taught horse lessons. When I arrived the barn the owner showed me around and asked about my experience for all of 5 minutes. Then she introduced me to two people on horseback, said have a nice lesson, and left me alone with them in the arena. It went okay, but it was just the first indicator of shoddy management and I only stuck around a few more months.


"Elementary Level Math"

Mine is a little different. I worked at a burger place in a mall food court all throughout high school and in to college. I quit after 4 years and came back the year after to help during the holidays. My first day back, I was on the register helping a customer. I wasn't familiar with it yet because they had upgraded from the ancient ones they'd had when I worked there before, so I looked at the wrong amount to give him change back.

I noticed before I finished giving it to him and apologized. I said I had accidentally told him the subtotal instead of what it was with tax. He asked me how I could make such a stupid mistake, and proceeded to yell at me, telling me that it was "Elementary Level" math, and I shouldn't have told him the wrong total. Called me stupid a couple more times, then left.


"Suddenly this alarm goes off"

This isnt mine, but a friends and I was there during the whole thing.

So a friend of mine had gotten hired on at my work, and I was set to train him on his second day. I clock in and he shows up about an hour later, business as usual. I feel like I need to say here that we work in foodservice. So, around 5 pm, we get a really bad rush when people want their dinners. So, him and I are cooking and suddenly this alarm goes off in the back. It's loud and piercing. No one there knew what to do.

So, our manager walked into the back and shut it off. 2 minutes later, it's back. Manager goes back again to shut it off. We continue like this for about half an hour. Mind you, we were extremely busy at this time. Well, lo and behold, after 30 minutes of fighting the alarm to shut up, the fire department shows up. I saw one of them walk into the back with a detector and next thing we know, our manager is telling us to shut everything off and is ushering us all out the door.

As it turns out, one of the cookers we had in the back was having a carbon monoxide leak, and that's what the alarm was for. We basically got told to wait two hours for the air to clear out, then go in and quickly close then hurry out.

And yes. There were Karens who still demanded us to make their food

"One of the most memorable"

One of the most memorable... probably in my first job in retail for a grocery store. My department manager in the meat department was showing me around the store. We saw the assistant store manager and he said to my manager "she's not going to last" and chuckles. My manager told him don't say that, laughed it off, and continued to show me the recycling compactor.

We went to cooler (like a giant walk in refrigerator) in my department.

​He lifted a half-filled box of raw meat and put it on the ground. Told me to try lifting it. The astonishment on his face when I lifted it up and put it back down. Then he told me to put it back on the shelf. I did so, and his astonished reaction again. He seemed to have high hopes for me after I showed him what I could do. He continues to show me around but I definitely proved those guys wrong especially that rude comment the assistant store manager said on my first day, I was there for 1.5y before I moved to another job. The store manager, my dept colleagues and most of the front end all loved me. Never underestimate people. Most my colleagues in all my workplaces still underestimate what I can do all the time, I am use to it.


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