“What Is Your ‘I Don’t Get Paid Enough For This’ Moment?” 30 People Reply Interview With Author
Pretty much anyone who’s ever worked an honest job in their lives has had a “they don’t pay me enough for this [insert unPanda-like words of your choosing]!” moment. Or even several. It’s that dramatic moment when you feel the final straw metaphorically breaking your back and you decide to make your exit, stage left. Preferably while singing, “Fudge this manure, I’m out!”
Well then, you’re likely to relate to a lot of these stories. Redditors have been posting their “they don’t pay me enough for this” stories that made them give up and leave or raise their voices after user Indian_boy786 started up a viral thread. Grab some popcorn, have a scroll down, and upvote the stories that stunned you and made you laugh. A sense of humor helps when you have to deal with stuff like this!
In an in-depth interview with Bored Panda, the author of the thread and a salesperson in India by trade, Indian_boy786, told us all about what inspired them to strike up the topic on Reddit, gave us some advice on how to deal with rude customers and managers, as well as what you ought to do if you find that you can't stay at your current job even a moment longer.
I worked at walmart for less than a month in 2009. I scanned a big box fan for a guy and it didn't ring up, so I said "I gotta do a price check on this, I apologize." The guy said "It's $24.99 you f***ing idiot." I stared at him for a moment, then reached up and turned my little register light off, turned around, walked out to my car, and went home.
I was working in a grocery store one time, and as I was checking people out, one lady came up to me and the very first thing out of her mouth was: "You're a failure and an embarrassment to humanity. If you were my kid I'd beat your [arse] right here right now." I had done literally nothing but ask how she was. Like what. Then her card declined lmao.
Had a customer who didn’t “believe” in the virus, so he coughed in my face when I was taking his order as a way of protesting.
Because, you know, a 17 y/o making minimum wage is responsible for a global pandemic and forcing you to wear masks.
"I was at work and my phone fell off the desk resulting in its death. So long partner. It was a tense day and I was mentally and physically exhausted then I asked myself, 'Am I getting paid enough for this' which I posted on Reddit," Indian_boy786, the original poster, told Bored Panda.
"I have been around Reddit for a few years now and I have received my fair share of upvotes and awards but this post blew up. It was on Reddit's popular page for 3 days and became one of the most interacted posts on r/AskReddit. The people interacting on the post helped me a lot going through that month. There were so many people which I could relate to on a cosmic level. I felt happy as to where I am currently because people out there are struggling more than me and working harder than me each day. It actually changed my perspective towards so many things and I am thankful for it," the redditor shared just how much the thread impacted them.
We removed a fabric foreign body from a dog's small intestine. Owners wanted to see what it was. We cleaned it up and saw it was a pair of panties. We handed them over the the wife takes one look at them then goes red.
"Those. Aren't. Mine."
Husband apparently had a whole castle of lies that started crashing down then and there in our lobby. Eventually had to have security remove them because they were really going at it with no intention of taking it somewhere else, and we had other clients in the lobby getting really uncomfortable.
Grocery store cashier. The customer was angry because her cereal had rung up wrong. I called a price check and this lady berated me the whole time. I recall that she accused me of trying to steal from her. Said she was going to get me fired.
I looked at her and said, “I make $7.25 per hour no matter how much you pay for this cereal, so I do not give a [damn] how this situation turns out.”
She stared at me in shock. The price check comes back saying the price scanned correctly. Silence.
I said, “So do you want the cereal or not?” She said, “Yes.” And that was that. She did not complain to the manager.
I was volunteering at a state park. One of the (paid) park rangers would drive people around to various locations to work. Then come check on you throughout the day.
B*tch tried to drop me off at the bathrooms and told me to clean them. I was like, "Nope, that's not happening. I'm here to work OUTSIDE."
She told me, "You're gonna do whatever I tell you to do or I won't sign off on your hours."
Then I had to explain that not everyone who volunteered to work was there because they'd been sentenced to Community Service.
Indian_boy786 revealed to us that they work in sales, so they get their fair share of rude and sweet customers alike. One time, a customer who was both rude and violent, however, made them lose their patience. As it turns out, the customer was complaining to Indian_boy786 even though they got the wrong company and this had nothing to do with them. So the redditor eventually got their revenge by sending him on to a completely different city and the wrong address, wasting their time.
As for dealing with rude managers, Indian_boy786 believes that they "are being paid for the work you do. So work for yourself and never correct a rude manager. Look for a better job and after you leave, write a letter to the boss about the manager and tell your coworkers to do the same. Managers don't get their job at any company after they are kicked from one." In other words, the redditor suggests gritting your teeth, nodding politely, and ruining your manager's career once you decide to switch jobs. Revenge, however, is a dish best served cold and isn't for everyone; it's the last resort.
I used to be a counselor at a methadone clinic. Had a client who was going to prison for slitting the throats of his ex-wive's beloved rottweilers because "I couldn't kill her and it was the best way to hurt her. "
The day he was supposed to go to prison, he showed up at the clinic, after dosing hours, demanding his dose. He was no longer on the clinic so, legally, there was no way to do this. I stood behind the counter and tried to explain the situation to him. He grew more and more irate and then called his lawyer and put me on the phone with him. His lawyer explained dude didn't show up for prison, was now a fugitive and had pulled a knife on his own sister in her car just outside my clinic. So, dude had a knife. Lawyer told me not to piss dude off. He was violent and to call the cops.
By this point, every other therapist and office worker had mosied out. So, I told the lawyer thanks, hung up the phone and mosied out of the front office and called the cops from the break room. Dude hopped over the counter and trashed the place and left.
The bosses asked why I didn't stay and make sure he didn't trash the place. I explained they paid me $10.50 an hour and refused my raise. I was the only man in the building and was left alone with an armed violent felon. [Screw] their stuff.
I ran the entire company’s financials and general management for $14/hr. I had a meeting with the owner telling him I need a raise and to hire an assistant, he told me I wasn’t “business minded” and should be a stay at home mom. I quit the next day.
I worked at a heating and air conditioning company doing bookkeeping. I was being trained by the companies accountant. If I made a mistake the owner would literally scream at me full voice. I overheard him talking to his brother and his brother had told him not to scream at me. The owner said, "you have to tear them down to build them up." I decided I wasn't going to take another day of his screaming after that.
According to Indian_boy786, your experience is what really sells and that's your main ticket to finding a better job if you feel like you're trapped at your current company. "The work does not get easier over time, you just find easy ways to do it. If you are not getting paid enough, I would recommend you to get a degree if you don't have any. And if you do, just keep looking for another job."
The redditor suggested covering your bases and not quitting your old job even if you've already found a new one; at least at the very start. "You should not leave your current job when you get into a new job. I would say take a week's leave from the current job to see if you like the new job or not. If you do like it then there's no reason to go back and if you don't you were never out of options."
I'm a public librarian. I was helping someone in the computer room and turned to tell someone he needed to keep his exclamations at the video he was watching down. Just then, the woman I was helping leapt aside because the man I was shushing pissed himself. It ran down onto the jacket he had tied around his waist, down the chair, onto the ground. Turns out he'd snuck in alcohol and was totally black out drunk. I told him he had to leave. He put the piss covered jacket on and stumbled out. As I returned with gloves and cleaning supplies, another patron decided this was a good time to complain about some kids who were making noise. I took a deep breath and said "This is a good time for us all to appeal to our higher selves and do our best in the moment. Please just adapt for a minute". Then I thought about the student loans I took out for the master's degree as I scrubbed up piss.
When I was 20 I had 3 jobs. I worked as a bank teller from 8-4, then as a closing shift manager at a coffee shop from 5-10, then as an overnight janitor from 11- 2 am.
This wasn't every day but it was enough that it equated to about 80 hours a week between the 3 jobs, and yes you can imagine this would lead to burnout real fast.
So at the overnight janitor gig my "boss" comes over to me and asks me to come to the office for a review. This was weird, all I did was mop floors on a production line that made air train brakes. But whatever.
I go into his office and he closes the door behind me and pulls out a gay porn magazine and starts asking me about different d*cks and put his hand on my shoulder.
I was surprisingly calm and just said I don't like d*cks and went back to work.
Then it hit me what happened. I called in sick the rest of the week and picked up my final paycheck when he wasn't there.
It was a hard enough job without being sexually harassed for $8.50 an hour.
I currently work at an escape room and an anti-masker came in refusing to play wearing a mask (which is currently protocol) - he was playing our Matrix themed room and after I refused to let him play without a mask he kept repeating about how this was "Just like the Matrix" and "Have you even seen The Matrix, it's all about control, and what happens when they lose control? They send in Agent Smith".
Sir I am not earning minimum wage to argue with you about a film from 1999. Wear a mask or get out.
The author of the thread on r/AskReddit believes that "revenge is the purest of emotions" because it "drives people to better themselves in so many ways." They believe that you can learn a lot of useful things not just from good people but from bad individuals as well. Everyone's an example if you have the patience to see this. "Good people will teach you what to do and bad ones will let you know what not to do."
They continued: "If you're getting asked to do things you don't wanna, the manager/boss is very rude to you, and you are not bettering yourself in any way through your work, then consider yourself lucky that you are brought up well and you are not a jerk like them. Look for opportunities and believe in karma. You do your part of good deeds and the course of nature will find it's way to the well-deserving. Your end goal is to be remembered as a great person. Nobody remembers jerks."
Owner of a mobile home called and said they had a stinky yard.
I could smell it when I pulled up.
the mobile home was new and had only been set up for about 8 months. while setting it up, someone didn't tighten a no-hub band of the toilet in the kids bathroom.
8 months of flushed toilet was all over the ground, under the home and had just started being noticed outside.
I told the homeowner to call the guys that set it up to come fix it. I wasn't crawling under there.
Used to work at a gadget shop - loads of silly squeaky things, things that flew about, novelty gadgets etc. - you get the picture. We always had to wear something from the novelty clothing range. One day I wore an apron that depicted a buff guy (I'm female), and my male co-worker wore the female version. During that day I had so much abuse. I asked my manager if I could change into something else and she said that it was a talking point. I had people calling me all sorts - from fat to idiot, to questioning my true gender and sexuality. I had some teenage boys push me into some of the shelves and then made me fall into one the central box tub things we had that held lucky dip products. Still my manager wouldn't let me change.
I quit. If she had said that I could change after the first few incidents, then I would have been ok. But seeing the abuse was reducing me to tears and still not doing anything about it? It wasn't worth the pay cheque.
I have an mildly irrational fear of spiders. I was asked to help clean out an old storage area/shed type building. It was covered in dust and a ton of these big black spiders but a big enough space that I felt fine. Until my supervisor handed me a leaf blower and asked me to go through a back hallway with it.
Opened the door to the hallway and it was cramped, just tall enough to be a little over my height and just wide enough for me to walk through. Except there was no light so it was pitch black, until I held up my phone flashlight and saw the largest mess of tangled webs filled to the absolute brim with thousands of the big black spiders. Straight up refused to walk down that thing, especially with a leaf blower. Like no thanks, I don’t want to create a spider tornado.
My supervisor was irritated with me that I refused to do this, but I would rather be fired than walk through the arachnid hell hallway for 10 dollars an hour.
If by any chance you’re one of those rare people who haven’t ever been in a situation like this, we have to ask: what’s that like? Are you a unicorn? How do you feel living in a better parallel universe than the rest of us?
Unfortunately, plenty of us have reached our breaking points at least once in our lifetimes. There comes a moment when what you’re asked to do is so outrageous, so inhumane, so degrading that you realize the doubloons you take home with every paycheck really aren’t worth it. They’ll have to pay you in solid gold bars to make you deal with that stuff!
Most of these stories deal with one of two problems: either horrible customers who really have to learn not to be rude or incompetent managers who really need a lesson or two in Manners and Leadership Theory 101.
Bartender here. Grown man threw a lit cigarette at my face and threatened me with physical violence. This was a year or so ago but a 45 (maybe older) year old man behaving that way towards a 24 year old female was definitely one of those moments. Plus the people getting handsy and occasional cleaning of vomit I do not get paid enough.
When I was doing 90% of my boss’ job in hopes of a full time promotion that I had been promised for three years and he took all the credit and told me my promotion wasn’t in the budget.
I worked at McDonald's when I was 16 and some crack head complained that her fries were too cold, so I made her a fresh batch which she proceeded to throw at the upper part of my chest/neck and gave me grease burns. She then spat at me and left. My manager told me to get over it. I'm 20 now and can still see the burns in the right lighting.
If you end up having to deal with rudeness from your boss, there are a few things that you can do. You first have to consider the circumstances surrounding your manager’s outburst. They might be under a lot of pressure and their rudeness toward you might be an involuntary reaction forced out by stress rather than any actual ill will aimed at you. See if things are better when the circumstances have changed: there might not be any need for further drama.
Because your manager is, well, your manager, there’s always a certain amount of fear that you might slip up while speaking to them. Nobody wants to lose their job over an argument; on the flip side, you also can’t avoid important issues just because you’re afraid that someone might get offended and fire you.
That’s why you always have to be very polite, humble, yet firm when speaking to your manager. You have to strike a balance between being direct enough so that the problem (e.g. rudeness, excessive demands, changes in workload) is addressed while also being diplomatic enough so that you don’t trigger their defense mechanism. Few people are willing to change at the best of times; even fewer will if they feel personally attacked.
I worked for a summer camp one year that was run by a stereotypically hippie-dippie organization. Now, I personally support this organization but they had some ridiculous idea about how to discipline children. In that they didn't believe in discipline at all.
No time outs. No raising your voice (even just to be heard). No rewards to be earned or positive reinforcement. No loss of privileges. No warnings. No speaking to the parents about behavioral issues. Nothing.
Now, most of the kids were coming to this camp because their parents didn't have the means to send them to more expensive camps and quite a lot of them had behavioral issues to start with. But none of the kids were monsters, in fact, they were all pretty great. They mostly just needed some understanding and solid boundaries.
Unfortunately, with no discipline, comes no boundaries, or at least no way to enforce boundaries. So the kids tended to run amok and there wasn't a whole lot we as counselors could do.
So I surreptitiously gave a few time outs to some of the more wild kids and, guess what, their behavior immediately improved and I never had trouble with them again. In fact, they had a better time because they weren't constantly getting into fights with their friends.
But, I guess the higher ups found out about it somehow and sat me down to talk about how "you just need to talk to them, find out why they are behaving badly and make them understand the correct way to behave".
I knew why they were behaving badly - they were kids in a place away from their parent with no rules and no discipline - they were seeing what they could get away with.
In the end, I basically ignored the higher-ups. I wasn't getting paid enough to deal with kids all day without having any way of keeping a bit of control. Regardless, the only problem kids had already had their time outs and, like I said, they were fine once they knew where the line was. Besides, I wasn't worried about my job... they don't believe in discipline.
When a thick stream of sweat drained out of this girls cell phone case. I had to explain to her that her phone had water damage and that she shouldn't work out with her phone in her bra, all the while trying to be professional and not gag while cleaning the mess. (I sold phones at Sprint).
I used to work in a mall music store, back when that was a thing. There was a corporate policy to play new music regularly, y'know, because that's the thing you're trying to sell.
My boss, every single day she worked, would play the entire Madonna album, Ray of Light. Hours of the same eight [goddamn] songs. For most of a year, until it was either go mad, commit murder, or bail. I bailed.
That music franchise went under a little over a year later. I hold Madonna and my old boss responsible.
If your manager doesn’t react to subtle or more overt hints, then it might be time to ask for help. Think about talking to your Human Resources department. Provide them with all of the necessary evidence and speak to them about what can be done.
While some HR staff are absolutely wonderful and will do their best to solve your problems, the fact is, you don’t get these wonder employees in every company. In some HR departments, the staff see it as their responsibility to protect the interests of the company itself rather than those of the employees. The latter tend to get the short end of the stick and have to fend for themselves, grit their teeth, and accept that some issues will never be fixed.
In those cases, when you’re left well and truly alone, it’s best to consider changing departments within the company, finding another job entirely, or (in extreme cases where rudeness and demands turn to harassment and exploitation) even seeking legal advice. Everyone has a different limit for what they can tolerate and it’s important to respect your own boundaries. Easier said than done, of course, but vital nonetheless.
Bagging groceries at a major supermarket. The manager came over to tell me that I needed to clean up the bathroom. An elderly gentleman fell off the toilet while pooping and it was a literal s**tshow. Apparently I was the most qualified because I was 16. I was handed a broom and a dustpan. I s**t you not (sorry had to.) My reward for going above and beyond the call of duty? Five dollars in store coupons. Sometimes dreams really do come true.
Doing volunteer work and some busybody started bossing me around like they were in charge (a neighborhood association type person). I told them to back the [hell] off. It took a couple of seconds for people to realize that the person barking orders wasn’t a boss, but an a-hole that was used to being in control.
Assistant manager at a movie theatre, fight breaks out between two teenage guests that we had to restrain, fill out police report etc.
Police seized one of our garbage can lids as evidence (teen A hit teen B in the mouth with it - blood was all over it)
Got in trouble for losing a can lid whilst on duty
On the other hand, if it’s a customer that’s causing the “they don’t pay me enough for this” situation, things are a tad different. Here, you always have the possibility of simply telling them ‘no’ in a firm but polite way, refusing to serve them outright for failing to treat you like a human being, or asking for backup from your coworkers or manager.
It’s best, however, not to give rude customers a taste of their own medicine. Fighting fire with fire only escalates the tension. And even though it can be dramatic and entertaining to watch from the sidelines, it’s not doing wonders for your reputation or that of the company. It’s always better to err on the side of cold professionalism rather than passionately looking for justice (choose to be the English butler rather than the charging crusader… at least at first).
My boss demanded I work 12 hours/day 6days/ week paid by the load. The first day I spent 12 hours and didn’t haul anything. Second day same story. Third day I pulled one load. $50 in 3 days. He refused to pay me or the other drivers hourly so we all quit. I still have the voicemail of him yelling at me and the one of him begging me to go back and he’ll pay me hourly. Nah.
Working for a popular grocery store, the amount of people that think the workers are stupid are astounding.. the produce all have codes and sometimes I forget. To the customer, this looks like I simply don’t know what a broccoli is. They’re like “it’s broccoli” in a condescending tone, and I just have to brush it off. It happens so many times, and though it’s not terrible it really gets me down sometimes. Most people assume retail workers are people with no goals, or even bums. That’s not true at all, everyone I work with including myself is planning to go to college or already enrolled.
Manager at a grocery store I worked in my teens refused to pay the waste management bill for several months. When they finally came and emptied the dumpster, there were still mounds of trash laying about around the area.
He had me go out and clean all of it up alone. I didn't have any protective gear or supplies whatsoever, and was out in 100+ degree weather. I was only given a bunch of trash bags to put it into, and when I went in to ask for help, I was just given a shovel.
I worked one more day after that, and after just being given more work to do without so much as a "good job" or "thanks", I never went back.
Whatever you do, don’t take things personally when you have to deal with a privileged customer who’s stepping on your toes. They usually don’t have a problem with you; rather, they have a problem with the company and how things are done. They’re just taking it out on you because you got ‘lucky’—they spotted you first.
Ironically enough, if you empathize with a rude customer’s concerns, you might end up turning a foe into a friend. There’s always a win-win possible, no matter how badly you might think the odds are stacked against you.
Other customers simply need to vent. They’re not here to listen to rhyme or reason: they need to offload because they’ve had enough. And even though none of us deserve to be their proverbial punching bags, sometimes there’s no getting out of the situation smoothly. So listen to them, apologize where necessary, and show them that you’re here for them. We’re all human after all and at some point in time, we’ve vented when we shouldn’t have.
Worked at a retail store. Fiends would come in occasionally looking to steal stuff and the worst we could do legally was ask them to leave but my boss insisted we get physical with them, to which I obviously told her [hell] no.
I watched her chase one out of the store one day and she screams at me since I’m standing by the door like “TACKLE HIM” and I’m like uh no lmao
When my patient threatened to kill me and my family, then brought out a hand-made wooden knife from under his bed.
Working at a large chain retail store, come across a spot of s**t in the toy aisle. Oh, look! A mess for me to clean! And what’s that over yonder? Another one not far away! Nice little trail of brown nuggets left behind and leading me on the worst scavenger hunt ever all the way across the store to the bathrooms. What do I find waiting for me inside? The mothership turd, sitting proudly in a small heap on the floor in the corner. Merely a few feet away from an actual, factual, functioning toilet.
Turns out a kid was in the toy aisle with their parent, and couldn’t hold it in any longer, followed by a mad dash to the bathroom. My supervisor literally said they felt bad for me, and I didn’t get paid enough by corporate. Raise? No. 5$ gift card? Yeah.
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Having a stoic outlook helps in these kinds of situations… however, there really does come a point (for everyone) where they don’t pay you enough for dealing with this kind of stuff! Have you ever been in similar situations, dear Pandas? How did things end? Share your stories in the comment section below!