Everyone has a unique story about their job that no one else outside of their profession understands.
That's what's so great about the proverbial conversation starter, "So, what do you do for work?", when meeting people at any gathering.
Even a job in the customer service industry–like a server or flight attendant–can have amusing anecdotes to share among coworkers because every day and every customer interaction is different.
Curious to hear fascinating workplace stories from strangers online, Redditor sparklingshanaya asked:
"What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever had to deal with at work?"
Not all workplace environment foster loving and caring employees.
Tony's At It Again
"A drunk guy in his early 60s who was constantly sh*t-faced at work. He’d have screaming matches with my boss in the middle of the office, he’d call me on the phone from his cubicle to ask why he was cc’d on certain emails (they were short emails sent for informational purposes to everyone and I wasn’t even the author of these emails) and my favorite thing was when he would pass out and fall out of his chair. 'Call 911, Tony collapsed again' was like a monthly thing. I really liked my boss and when she left, the new boss kept asking me to finish Tony’s work. I left shortly after."
"Worked in HR for a nonprofit that hired people who are legally blind. That was the mission. One day, two employees got into a fight. One was partially sighted and the other totally blind swinging his cane. I had four witnesses to the altercation. But they were all totally blind and thus, couldn’t tell me what happened."
"As a teenager while working as a cashier at a store, I was robbed at gunpoint by two dudes with guns pointed inches from my face. The store manager and someone from corporate showed up shortly after the police came to show support. Immediately after the police left, both the manager and corporate rep tried to convince me and my other coworkers that also had a gun in their faces to keep the store open for the remainder of the shift (~6 hours). I was literally still shaking from the ordeal, and somehow they felt that I was good to work until midnight as a teenager. I asked to go home, as did everyone else. Management decided to compensate us for the trauma by paying us for the remainder of our shifts but, said that we still had to work our next shifts and could not call out. It's amazing how insensitive some people in management can be."
The Mystery Pubes
"Call center setting. Someone came to me to complain that there was an inordinate amount of pubic hair on the flat top of the urinal in the men's room. Went to check and there were a remarkable amount of pubes there. Nasty. And clearly placed there by someone on purpose."
"Cleaned them off with a paper towel, washed hands vigorously, and continued on with my day."
"A couple hours later, I'm told the pubes have returned. Not quite as much as the first time, but still too much for the universe to have deposited there naturally."
"I and another manager have our suspicions as to the culprit. We try to catch him, but can't get more than circumstantial evidence. Not enough to confront."
"After a third iteration, I've had enough. And so call all the male staff into the board room and address them as a group that the disgusting behavior had to stop immediately, because there would be grave consequences for whomever was caught doing it. I make sure to make eye contact with the main suspect multiple times during the meeting."
"It never happens again."
"Still boggles my mind that I had to deal with that crazy behavior, but you know...call centers."
People who work remotely from home are spared some of these encounters.
They Were All The Rage
"A coworker screaming at me for leaving food to rot in the shared fridge. It was my first day there and I hadn’t even unpacked my belongings yet."
"Had a coworker eating other peoples lunches instead of bringing her own, or just take one or two things. She'd sneak in the breakroom before breaks."
"Jobs would be so much better if there were no other people."
"Maybe i should be a fisherman. But i like fish. No fish has ever yelled at me on my first day of work. :("
"I was 'counseled' for a good hour because I offended the other ladies in our small office by...get this.....I used big words that they didn't understand. Not bad words. Big words."
"The ridiculous/sad thing? The job was for a book manufacturer and at any given time there were several dictionaries being printed."
People share their workplace drama dealing with interesting customers.
"I work at a library. The amount of people who don't bring their library card with them and then refuse to give me ID so I can look up their account is baffling. I'm just trying to prove they are who they say they are."
"Also a mentally ill lady once told me that Osama bin Laden wanted to steal shoes from the artist formerly known as Prince."
"Yep! Fellow library employee here. The people who act surprised when I ask to see their library card! One guy got ANGRY when I told him he owed 30 cents for a late DVD. He kept insisting 'I turned that in!' Left the desk, marched over to the DVD stacks, found said DVD, came back, plunked it on the counter and insisted 'SEE, I turned it in!!!' I took a deep breath and said 'sir. That’s not the issue. We know you turned it in. You turned it in a day late.' He pauses, says 'oh…' and gets his wallet out."
Customer Thinking They Were Playing A Midway Game
"I had someone throw a drink at me through the drive-thru window, which is an unwise thing to do to someone standing in front of a shelf of other drinks waiting for the customers behind you."
"Close second: we had a guy that robbed our gas station for like a month with a finger gun before he finally got caught. Everyone knew it was a finger gun, but you have to comply when someone robs the store so.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"
"I work at a pet resort/spa. I’m checking in this lady’s dog at like 7 in the morning. Real sweet lady, she has an Australian shepherd. But before I take the dog inside to his kennel for the groomers, she asks me to tell the groomers to separate whatever hair they shave off him into separate ziplock bags based on color and texture. Turns out she makes jewelry out of her dog’s fur. Later in the day I bring out the dog along with probably 7 little baggies of hair and the lady was very excited. She gave me a fat tip so I didn’t complain but that’s by far the weirdest request I’ve heard in all my time working there."
The Missing Bullet
"I work in the funeral industry, so I get to deal with new ridiculous things on a near-daily basis. For example, today I had to look for a bullet in a body bag, because the list of personal effects of a deceased that we got from the medical examiner included 'ammunition x 1.' This person was going for cremation, and bullets in a crematorium are a no-no for obvious reasons."
"So, we looked and looked, inside the body bag, inside the clothing, pockets, shoes, under the body; I even shone a flashlight into the hole that used to be the deceased's face to see if it was maybe still in the head-ish area, but no. So after 20 minutes or so of thoroughly searching this poor dead person, I called the MEO to see if they had the bullet. The girl who answered the phone checks with the morgue and comes back to say 'yep, it's here, we always take and keep the bullets!' Great! Then WHY list it on the personal effects sheet with everything else that is still with the body??"
"My job is weird as hell, y'all."
"Had someone complain that the toilet he used wouldn’t flush, and when I asked which restroom/toilet he made it clear they used one that was blocked off with an out of order sign and he removed it (it’s a sticker you put over the latch) to use the toilet. I told him that that toilet was out of order because it wouldn’t flush, even specifying something was wrong with the flow regulator. He then asked how he was supposed to know that, to which I replied the out of order sign that was on the door. He then got quite angry, giving me reason after reason why he had to use that specific toilet and how it wasn’t his fault he used a broken toilet, culminating in him asking to speak to my manager. I then told him that I was, in fact, the facilities manager and was the one who handled anything involving the cleaning or maintenance of the building. He then nearly shouted 'Fine I guess I’ll just f'k myself!' and stormed out of the building; I assume because he realized he wasn’t going to get a refund because he left a massive sh*t in an out of order toilet, which he wouldn’t have no matter what anyway. It’s a movie theater, not a perfectly operable toilet emporium."
"Either that or teenagers in suits throwing bananas at the movie screen, one of the two."
I worked in retail once when I was 16, selling video games.
During one shift, I had a kid who leaned over the counter and grabbed a Nintendo video game and ran off with it. I contacted security and they managed to apprehend the young teen. Later, the kid's mother came into the store after being asked to pick up his son from the mall, and she chewed me out for accusing him of stealing.
That same shift, my co-worker said she was going to take a break. I didn't know it was going to take an hour. I also didn't know she was shopping inside the mall with her boyfriend–who was the manager of our store and was cognizant of the fact that she was still on the clock. Meanwhile, I was in the store by myself and I had to improvise when dealing with a return transaction.
It was my first day on the job. It was also my last.
I endeavored never to work in retail again after that. So far, I've managed to avoid it.
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