I’ve always wanted to quit in a blaze of glory and leave a job on top, but I’ve never really had the opportunity. One time, I did quit a gourmet burger place by just never showing up again, but that was less of a “blaze” and more like an “incense stick burning slowly” of glory. That being said, here are seven people who got the better of their horrible bosses, much like the Bateman/Sudekis vehicle of the same name.
1. Always Good When You Get Paid Afterwards
Told the office manager that he couldn’t arrange a successful Girl Scout cookie drive let alone run a business. On the way out I told him I was going to report him to the state labor board for working everyone 8.5 hours a day without lunch. The state made him cut me a check for 2.5 years of missed lunches.
2. Sometimes You Can Do It Altruistically
I worked at Boston Market and I had been getting screwed on hours for a month or so. The new schedule came out and I had 6 hours for the whole week! I was pissed. A guy came in and just wanted 2 kids meals. I asked him if he wanted anything for himself but I could tell that he was in a bind with money. He paid in all change and barely had enough. So I went to the back and got him a party platter that we use for catering, at least 15 peoples worth of food, and almost a whole rack of fresh cornbread. I put my apron on the counter and helped him carry it to his car. He started crying as we packed it all up and then I just walked home. I think it was a good way to go out. Bonus: Turns out my shift manager at the time had been stealing money and they didn’t catch on until another manager had to pull my shift and he caught him doing it.
3. Stick it to the Man!
I was an investigative reporter in Cleveland and had turned in a solid story about State Senator Kevin Coughlin using his campaign finance money to buy tickets to Ohio State games and hotel rooms for his mistress. It was approved by the editor and publisher but the CEO Matt Haggerty spiked it when Coughlin threatened a lawsuit. I told him to go fuck himself on conference call with his people. Before security escorted me out of the building, I sent the spiked story to everyone in my rolodex. It circulated the statehouse and a couple weeks later, Coughlin dropped out of the race for governor. I sued the paper and Coughlin for wrongful termination. Coughlin agreed he never had grounds for a lawsuit and I settled with the company. Slate and a few other places wrote about my graceful exit.
4. Sounds Like an Episode of ‘Kitchen Nightmares’
I was a server in a really crappy restaurant owned by a husband and wife. She was truly in charge and responsible for actually getting most things done. He was a hotheaded asshole who showed up from time to time to kick the cook out of the kitchen and play chef himself. He was terrible at cooking. One day on a slow morning when I was the only server, he came in to cook breakfast and was just ruining everything. He was smoking a cigar in the kitchen, using way too much grease and burning things. After telling him I wasn’t comfortable serving this food to guests and having him berate me, I took the terrible food to the table. They complained and asked me to replace it. I brought it back to the kitchen and he doesn’t believe me and yells at me some more. I am not about to bring the same food out to the table so I refuse and tell him to do it himself. They gave him the same response they gave me and he shouted at them! He shouted a whole rant at them about how they had no idea what food was and he grew up in Greece where food was an art and he went to school and owned a restaurant and what credentials did they have and they could just go eat somewhere else. They did leave.
When he came back from his incident he told me I was on thin ice and he didn’t care for the backtalk I had given him. He said if I don’t like the way he runs things I could just leave. I was the only server in the place. I was so pissed off I couldn’t see straight and he had just told me to leave if I didn’t like how he operated. I didn’t like how he operated so I did leave. He must not have realized that there were no other servers because I immediately got a voice mail about how it was all a misunderstanding and I should come back because they were busy and everything would be all right. Luckily I was working two jobs at that time so I had the option of just picking up more hours at the other place. I didn’t answer his calls until hours later when the voicemails started sounding really desperate. All I said but I’m not coming back so stop calling.
5. He Picked the Perfect Day
Worked in a wings place just out of college as a cook. Everything is going ok except for the fact that I’m really underpaid. I was making minimum wage as 1 of 2 cooks in the restaurant. Work there for a few months and the manager sits down to talk with me. We discuss a few things and I bring up the fact that I really deserve a raise. I was working 50-60 hours a week and the compensation based on my effort really wasn’t evening out. He basically told me to f#ck off and that cooks are a dime a dozen. Times were tough for me at that time so I bit my lip and just went back to work. The next few months were hell. The manager of the restaurant would openly put me down in front of other employees and constantly berate me for asking for more money. He would put me on back to back to back opening and closing shifts and send people home on purpose so I would be the only one left to clean the kitchen at the end of the night. I was beginning to lose my chill with this job.
Super Bowl Sunday rolls around and this is a very busy day for restaurants that make wings. I get into work the other cook didn’t show up and nothing is prepped for the day. I roll up my sleeves and start working. It’s f#cking chaos. I’m working my ass off and my manager comes up to me and starts giving me the same shit. Then some of the manager’s friends (not employees) come into the kitchen and start messing with all my stuff. Moving things, disorganizing stuff, sitting on my prep counters. I tell them to leave and my manager storms in, tells me I’m worthless, I’m not worth more than minimum wage and I never put in any extra effort. That was it. I slowly took off my kitchen apron and removed my hat. Stared dead in the manager’s eyes and calmly but sternly said, “Have an enjoyable Super Bowl Sunday.” I threw the apron and my hat in the fry oil basins and walked out. Arrived at my home and met up with my roommates. I told them the story and we decided to order 200 wings and watch the game.
6. This is Some Mr. Robot Shit Right Here
I was the IT Director for a small software company working 80-100 hour weeks trying to meet the recent demand that the owner had placed on the team. I woke up one morning expecting to see a confirmation email that my paycheck had cleared my bank account, but instead had an all-employee email from the owner saying that paychecks were being withheld until production goals were met. A few minutes later, I changed every password in the entire environment, shut down every server, and even changed the code on the magnetic door lock to enter the server room. The production environment that customers access as well as the development environment that employees use were all completely down. The owner probably called me 100 times easy that hour. After saving several incriminating voicemails and texts that I received from him, I finally returned his call and informed him that I no longer worked for him. Then we negotiated how much he would pay me to turn his company back on (including the original pay check). I got paid, did my part of the agreement and went on my way. The company was bankrupt three months later.
7. That’s Why Intercoms Need a Lock
I was a Department supervisor at Best Buy for a while back in the early 2000’s. We had 10 rows of software. The store manager always made this one employee rearrange the planogram each week. It sucked. One day, this dude had had enough. He farted into the overhead intercom, shouted, “Eat my shit,” and shoulder checked the software racks to the ground. Knowing I was going to have to clean it up, I was never more pissed at a person. Looking back, never more impressed.
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