I’ve been very lucky that I’ve never had to work with anyone particularly terrible, but I have gotten some crazy jobs off of Craigslist before. The Craigslist job market is a very weird place, and, if you get into it, you will find yourself doing very weird things for money.
Like I said though, my co-workers have always been lovely people. Not so for everyone, according to these AskReddit threads. We’ve gathered 22 stories of the very worst co-workers – the ones that would make you take deep breaths and count backwards from ten – below for your enjoyment:
1. “Don’t go postal”
We were account managers for a telecom company and we were part of a team that specialized in a specific type of product, so there were 7 of us crammed into a small room in the back.
This was back when Glenn Beck only had his stupid AM Talk Radio show, and this guy listened to it all day. We asked him to wear headphones but he refused. He would say weird, sexist quotes from the Bible frequently, and wouldn’t let his wife work…Even though she was in the pharmacy business and we only made about $12/hr at the time.
Up until this point the craziest thing he had done was take off June 6, 2006 (666) to hide in his bunker. Then one day he was served a protective order against his wife and daughter and divorce papers all on the same day…This unlocked the true craziness.
He started spending all day talking on the phone to lawyers and family members, either quoting even darker Bible verses and wishing his soon to be ex-wife was dead or complaining about not getting sex anymore. He then started saying that God “takes care” of [promiscuous women] like his ex-wife, and when God does it he wants pictures of his ex’s body to show his daughter what happens when women don’t obey their husbands. It all came to a head over striped socks.
It was a typical morning, he was on the phone [complaining] to someone and a girl came in wearing striped socks. We kinda laughed about it and were joking around with her when suddenly Christian guy SLAMS his phone down and yells ‘OH GREAT, BECAUSE YOU ALL WERE LAUGHING IN THE BACKGROUND THE JUDGE DENIED MY VISITATION WITH MY DAUGHTER!!!’
Another lady just made the comment ‘Jeez Jeff, don’t go postal.’
To which he replied, in the flattest, cold tone I’ve ever heard in real life ‘Oh I won’t go postal. God will kill you all and when he does I’ll be there to take pictures of your bodies to show my daughter what happens to [people] like you.’
Oh, and when we told the supervisor he said that she laughed then said ‘What did you guys say to him? You know he’s going through a hard time. You all need to be more sympathetic towards him.’ We threatened to put a restraining order on him and so they moved him out of the room…To the first desk outside of the door. So we had to walk past him and still heard the douchey Glenn Beck show.
When I was sixteen, I worked at Wendy’s. One day I went in to find out that I was training. I am working back window, and as I am training her, she starts filling me in on her situation. She was a recovering crack addict who had just been released from jail for theft, and was living in a halfway house. She was also forty years old and kept hitting on me, asking if I had ever had women, telling me constantly how cute I was, etc. I thought I’d have to get a new job, but two days later, addiction won out and she ran out the door with a hundred bucks. The funny thing was, had it just been the money, she would have just been fired, since she ran out with the work walkie-talkie, she was charged with a felony.
3. “Look how well I work!”
I once had a coworker who wouldn’t do a damn thing if the boss was not in the store. If he wasn’t there, she would be on the store phone talking to her baby daddy, outside smoking, or out in the mall shopping. She would do enough work to cover a 15 minute break, if you complained long enough for one.
However, if the boss was there, she was all over the customers like they were her new best friend and all in the boss’ face saying, ‘Look at how well I work!’
I complained, naturally. He just said there was nothing he could do because he never witnessed any of this behavior. Well, one day, while she was pulling her BS, another coworker and I were hit hard with a really huge rush. She was supposed to be helping with handing out orders, making fries and drinks, and whatnot. Instead she was off on the phone talking about sex, loudly, in earshot of the customers.
I had a mental breakdown and just started crying. I turned around and yelled at her, saying something along the lines of, ‘No one cares about your stupid sex life. Not me, not [coworker] and not the customers. Either get up here and DO YOUR JOB or just leave now.’
She came up to ‘help’ but with the worst attitude ever. As soon as the rush died down I booked it to the back, grabbed the cordless phone, and called the boss in tears. (I thought I was going to get fired for yelling in front of customers.) He agreed to do a stake out’ and watched her from afar. She was fired. I was given a raise. I quit 2 months later.
4. Love Triangle
Easily the love triangle that I had to deal with while working at Arby’s in college.
One of my managers (female) had just split with her husband, so she started banging one of the kitchen [staff] (male). When that went sour, she started hooking up with one of the female employees. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem, except the male kitchen [staff] clearly still harbored feelings, which led to some nasty shouting matches during work hours.
They’d try to pull the other employees into it and get us to take sides. I was all like, ‘I’m just trying to slice roast beef.’
5. The Braggart
There was this [jerk] that used to bring in framed photos of various exotic wildlife and show them off to everyone in the break room. He would go into a long story about his trip to Africa or whatever country that particular animal of the week came from. The thing is, they were all taken from the Internet and printed on photo paper. If he brought in a Siberian tiger photo, I would google Siberian tiger and BAM…Oh look its a pic from a brochure…for a Mexican zoo. I hated that guy.
I share office space with a woman who’s been working in our firm for 35 years now. Underneath her desk she has a banker’s box half-filled – at least 10 kilos – with colorful rocks.
One day I asked her about the rocks. ‘Oh, every time somebody reaaaally pisses me off, they get a rock in my box, so I can remember it.’ ‘You mean…all of those rocks represent somebody?’ She rummaged in the box for a second and pulled one out. ‘This is for the time [department secretary] didn’t invite me to her Christmas party, even though I gave her a present.’ I picked one out at random. ‘So…who’s this for?’ ‘That’s for [old boss, retired circa 2003]. I told her not to hire that Paki for accounting, and she got pregnant six months later. She should have listened to me.’ I stared. ‘So… do I have any rocks?’ She just glowered at me for a second, then turned back to her newspaper.
7. The Clicker
The woman who sat next to me and clicked her pen all damn day long.
Click click. Click. Click Click Click.
It wasn’t even rhythmic. Just a random cacophony of clicks. Enough to make a man lose his mind and daydream of taking that pen and stabbing her through the neck with it. She was the worst.
8. The Boss’s Son
I worked at a concrete company when I was 17 for a summer job. It was really hard work especially when you’re the new ‘young buck’ they shove all the [bad] jobs on you and see what it’ll take to make you quit.
Anyway about 4 weeks into the job the owner of the company has a son who is my age come into work for him, he got all of the easier jobs and whenever I was with him he would go out to the truck and take 10 minute long water breaks. Then he would come back and pretend to do work but as soon as the foreman looked away he would slow his pace down or stop completely; and since he was usually working with me it became Mr. Miyagi hurry up or GTFO. I mean I get that it’s the boss’s son but damn don’t mistake his laziness for my incompetence. I would strip whole rooms and this kid would just sit there breaking ties and I’m still pissed off about it.