That Time You Got Fired!


#1

Continuing the discussion from Do you want to play questions?:

Tell us about that time you got fired.

  • Don’t post if it’s still too fresh
  • Don’t say shit that will get you in trouble in the real world
  • Multiple firings should get individual posts
  • This thread is explicitly NSFW - Contents may be hazardous to employment

(Oh yeah you know I’ve got a couple. I’ll post soon!)


#2

It’s been ages since I’ve held a “real” job (does grad student count as a job - I don’t feel fully human), but I look forward to commiserating with those of you in the real world!


#3

Well, I took down a companies entire auto update mechanism for half a day. That may not have been the entire reason, but the next day I was escorted out in the Walk of Shame.

The details are in a thread around here that I really don’t want to dig up.

A time I came close was another company where I was working on a preso for some execs. My wife is an artist, so while working on a slide I shared it with her. I was ‘caught’ in the act–the slide had some inadvertant, not really damning, but still PII Intel on it. And I worked with the data loss prevention team :smile: I came within an inch of a, “we don’t want to can you, but we have to”.

Such a bone headed move, I could have shared it completely anonymously :smiling_imp:


#4

I worked for RadioShack back in 2008-2009 for a year or so.

They had commission goals for post-paid cellphones, but nobody could ever make those goals for a couple of reasons:

  • They were supposed to be self-set, but the District Manager would change them half a day before the end of the sales week so that the number you needed to get would be impossible to sell.

  • Boost mobile had just come out with the $50 unlimited talk+text prepaid deal. The only thing remotely similar in postpaid options were Sprint (2400 mins/month and 2000 texts, for $159.00/month) and AT&T (1600 mins/month and unlimited texts, for $120.00/month)

Basically anyone who could do arithmetic understood that postpaid was a ripoff and irrational. So I sold no postpaid phones, didn’t meet sales goals, was considered under-performing (some of my colleagues literally would buy postpaid plans, cancel them, and just refuse to pay the penalties. Just to stay employed. I wasn’t that dumb.)

After that, I worked at little Ceasers for about 2 weeks. That was really gross. They fired me for folding boxes and making pizza dough too slowly. Whatever. It was a shit job, the owner had about 2 dozen webcams in the back kitchen, and called me on day 3 to order me to not check the time on my phone while at work. I said I’d be happy not to if they put a clock on the wall. The owner wasn’t impressed. I got the impression that he wanted to run the place like a casino or Microsoft. Never let the employee know that they’ve been force-clocked out for an hour, and that they’re being taken advantage of.


#5

I was a teen and I worked at Utah’s main amusement park, Lagoon.

Pictures of people on roller coasters was a new thing. Lagoon’s best coaster then was the Fire Dragon, so naturally the Australians who set the thing up and rented the booth called it Fire Dragon Photos.

So my cousin’s been working in this booth since the start of the season, and I’m just tired of working the gate so these guys hire me.

Right away there are problems on the team. The local managers are getting creative with the sales numbers so they can disappear cash. The Australians are mad because the Americans seem like such dumb shits around their fancy digital thermal printers. And the local management are embezzling flakes but there’s no easy way to replace them from Australia, so this goes on.

My cousin is tight with the asshat managers, and the other two kids on the crew are in love and in active contention for some kind of favor with the management against my cousin.

The Australians decide that instead of flying someone out, they’ll hire a secret shopper to find problems. The local managers catch wind and figure out who the shopper will be so they could behave and warn their friends.

I’m too young and stupid to be political and make alliances, and that’s that. First time fired. And I knew the damn printers better than anyone!


#6

Never been fired, but I did get made redundant once.

A previous employer - a software engineering house - went out looking for new business and were very pleased to get what to them was a big (multimillion GBP) contract on a large transportation system.

They were taking the project on from a different company that had given it up/been fired by the primary contractor (which should have set off alarm bells, but evidently didn’t). Anyway, my employer went on a rapid hiring run to get all the software engineers they needed.

It wasn’t my project but I got roped into doing some of the verification work (software verification = blech). One look at the design we’d inherited and it was obvious the whole thing needed to be thrown in the bin. It was an utter clusterfuck. Somebody didn’t do due diligence at our end, we never should have touched it with a bargepole.

Turns out we’d got the contract by massively under-estimating how much work was needed. So after a few months of not being able to deliver the impossible things we’d promised, the customer canned us over a weekend, and suddenly we had twice as many software engineers as we now needed.

I was a fairly recent hire, which meant I got binned as part of the Last In, First Out principle. Sucky job, anyway. I walked around the corner and into a better job with our parent company, which eventually led me to where I am now so it all worked out.


#7

I’ve had my contract terminated twice on different occasions, both within a week of being personally commended to my department head by a different department head and a Project Manager who’s project deadline I saved.
First time was this shitty Personnel Manager/TL who didn’t like me talking to him like another human being. Fucker tried everything under the sun to get a rise out of me but I didn’t ever flinch, let every hook sail by. I bumped into one of the other guys from the site not long after and he let me know about the house of cards situation. It wasn’t quite collapsing but another one of the techs who knew what they were doing had left for foreign climes the same week leaving an inexperienced team headed by Team Lead with his head up his ass. Second job was one where literally every single other contractor bar one PM from my agency had been booted off the site on bullshit pretences in preparation for another, newly favoured agency taking over the contract positions. The day after I saved an apoplectic Canadian fellow from his communication woes in some deep dark shithole somewhere on the other side of the planet, which prompted him to contact my dept head commending my calm and helpful manner, I was given a customer service review where it was pointed out that my customer service was lacking ‘because we’ve found some spelling mistakes in your ticket reports’.
Funny thing was, I already knew exactly what was about to go down because the PM had caught wind of what was happening and forewarned me. My team lead and his manager couldn’t figure out why I refused to sit down with them in the conference room and after I told them that I’d known what was going to happen since before lunch, and were perplexed at how I knew before they had found out (letting me know the decision had just been handed off to them in the prior minutes).

Office jobs. Fuck off!

Most recently I ‘just missed out’ on getting a technician job for the local group that runs some of the theatres around town. They suggested I go for personnel management instead but I really want to get backstage or tech experience so my options are basically DIY.

Hopefully I can get a decent short film proposal together before the end of the month and maybe a little moolah from Scottish Screen to make it early next year… I’ve been reading stories about Rodriguez stealing all of the film equipment he needed to make Mariachi Man and, well… isn’t that cool story to have. Unless you’re telling it from behind bars… :imp:


#8

I’ve quit a few shit jobs in somewhat dramatic fashion, but was only fired once. It was because I refused to drive 30 miles through fog bad enough that it closed the only highway leading to work. Sorry, shit job providers, my life is worth more than your awful job.


#9

Never fired.
Quit once – they fired my old boss and brought me back to take his place.


#10


#11

Never been fired, but I did quit a job that was driving me up the fucking wall. There was all kinds of weird accountability bullshit, where you would get called in to speak to a manager about something you supposedly did three weeks ago, and it was impossible to remember the episode. The idea was that our department could be responsive to concerns as they arose, but the reality is that 58% of the time, we couldn’t remember an incident and most of the other percent the customer was an asshole. The pay and benefits were great. But we also discovered that my boss was secretly monitoring everything that happened in the office with covert video and audio surveillance. It was a tiny lockable office. When my officemates discovered what was going on, there was a brief moment of, “We have all changed clothes at least once in there.” My jobs since then have had some level of surveillance, but at least I knew there was a camera and there was a legitimate theft concern there.


#12

Somehow I’ve never yet been fired. I came pretty close when I had this craptastic job at an auto salvage auction, ferrying prospective buyers from the parking lot to the auction shed in an old Dodge Caravan. The job was every Saturday, and the auction would start at 10:00 AM, so around 9:00 buyers would start showing up to inspect the seized/salvaged cars up for auction, and I’d circulate back and forth between the shed and the parking areas, picking up people and dropping them off like a little shuttle bus. I typically kept the sliding door open just to make it easier for passengers to hop on and off, until one time I took a corner a bit too tight around one of those yellow concrete-filled posts, and it popped the sliding door right off onto the ground. My passenger had a good chuckle, and was nice enough to help me wrestle the door into the back seat so I could go report the incident. Since I reported it in good faith, they didn’t fire me, and my insurance paid for the door. I quit a few weeks later because that job was lame and sad.

More recently, I was working on a TV show that some of you have seen. My boss was the head of post production on the show, and he had to jump through a whole lot of hoops to get the shows done for the amount of money we had in our budget. (The post budget had been ransacked by production to help pay for more practical robots and explosions, which left us precious little for sound and color correction and anything except visual effects,) We ended up with a budget so lean that we were forced to spend 25% less per episode on sound than we did on The Mentalist (a show without many robots and explosions, I’ll remind you), and in fact we had to mix the show on a sitcom sound-mixing stage instead of one of the larger single-camera ones. The executive producers were pissed when they found out, even though we’d given the heads-up to the line producer weeks in advance. She just hadn’t bothered to tell them, and acted all surprised that we had to mix on a smaller stage (which honestly was equipped with every bell and whistle we’d need, just in a more economical space). The line producer hung my boss out to dry at every turn, and just turned out to be the sort to cover her own ass at the expense of everyone else’s. At the end of Season One, my boss was “not asked back” for Season Two, which meant I was out of a job as well, since a new department head typically brings in their own crew. As it turned out, they went through two or three new Post departments that next year.


#13

My boss tried to fire me once, then he got fired and they gave me his job. That was sweet. :wink:


#14

Nearly 20 years ago, I was fired from a bartender job in a really shitty bar. I was new to the area, and took the job because I had spent my last $300 on a car to get to town where the jobs were, and needed money to pay rent. About two weeks in, one of the regulars told me that the head bartender wanted to have me fired because I was younger than her, and the regulars liked me. I laughed uncomfortably, and didn’t really take it to heart. What do you say to that? I thought he was hitting on me.

A few days later, I decided to quit, because I’d made enough money to pay a month’s rent and wanted something less… well, less sleazy and better smelling, and more reasonable hours. My plan was to finish cleaning up and come back the next day to quit and give them my key. About 5 minutes after I locked the door, with at least an hour of cleanup left to do, the head bartender showed up. She said I was fired for incompetence. My response was to laugh, hand her my key and walk away smiling. I smiled all the way home.


#15

I have the perfect job for them…


#16

One more pic:


#17

I work in an industry where getting fired is significantly less common than having the entire damn company collapse out from under you.

The first time it happened they offered to pay me in company stock if I would keep working. Stock in a company which both isn’t publicly traded and also can’t make payroll - hooray. The only reason to stay on was because they had coffee and a good printer for my resume (this was the late 90s - resumes were still being sent on dead trees)

The most recent occurrence was the 38 Studios catastrophe / clusterfuck. That one is still too fresh to say much about, even 3 years later.


#18

I was fired once, back when I was 16, working for a document storage company. Don’t recall why they fired me, but I was okay with it–the job was shitty, as were the owners.

After that job, I found another working for a concrete pumping company–we had a warehouse-sized parking area for the pump trucks, and I did odd jobs around the yard, helping mechanics, parking/cleaning the trucks, etc. One day I happened to see a coworker backing a truck without a spotter, and as I walked over to spot him, he hit the truck in the next parking slot. He then proceeded to threaten me with grievous bodily harm if I said anything…and I completely expected him to uphold that particular bargain. Fortunately for me, the absolutely bad-ass yard manager (Wendel–you’re awesome!) saw the whole thing and fired him.

I read a zine article years ago in which the author got a job at McDonalds just to see what he had to do to be fired. He’d change out of his uniform mid-shift, and then keep working the front till in his civvies (only to be told to put his uniform back on by the manager); he’d show up late, leave early, and finally just stopped showing up. Which did the trick nicely.


#19

I almost forgot, another time I was almost laid off.

I was working for a small music instrument store when I was 17. Sales had been tanking, so a few people were let go. The owner came to me and said, “I’m sorry, but we don’t need your position anymore”.

I thought about it, and said, " Uh, yes you do".

To which he responded, “I guess you are right. Thanks!”


#20