30 Times Superiors Had To Lay Off Their Best Employee For The Most Unexpected Reasons, As Shared In This Online Group
Finding people to work for you isn’t as easy as it looks because they may excel at their interview and write a convincing resume, but when it comes to doing the actual job, they might not have what it takes, which is disappointing.
Other times, managers and bosses might think that they've found the one, because the employee shows up on time, reaches the goals, performs well under pressure, but is a nasty person or makes an unforgivable mistake and they have to be fired.
People on Reddit shared the valid, the absurd and sometimes funny reasons they had to fire someone or they saw someone being fired, despite that person being considered the best employee when machewwy asked, “Employers And Managers Who Had To Fire Their Best Employee - What Happened?”
More info: Reddit
For Relapsing From Recovery Of Illegal Substances
We hire a lot of people in recovery who are a part of the [illegal substances] court program under the condition that they will be terminated if they go back to jail for [illegal substances]/alcohol charges.
This coworker was our hardest worker and always picked up shifts and got tons of compliments, so it really sucked when she relapsed and failed her pee test with drug court, she got sent to jail for a week and we had to fire her.
I still kept in touch with her, and when I found out she was pregnant, I convinced my boss to hire her back. One last chance.
I'm so happy I wasn't wrong because she's about to celebrate her 4th year of sobriety and she's now management.
For Training Temporary Workers
I used to work for Dell back in 1998-2000 in their sales department. This is juuuuuust right before people ordered online so it was still a call center. To make a REALLY long story short, I was one of their best sales reps. Top 3 every month, I was making about $5,000 a week as a 23 year old. They decided to replace me (and most of my team) with "temps" making $11 an hour an no commissions-- only I didn't know this. I was given a "great opportunity" to train a new class of incoming sales people. Little did I know I was training our replacements. Once they hit the floor and were running, they fired me and about 200 other sales people. F**k Dell. Oh, then a few years later even the temps got fired so they could move all those jobs to a call center in India.
For Sleeping With The Director's 16 Year Old Daughter
Obligatory not me but... Coworker.
I had joined the company a few months prior, was still getting to know the various details of my job and this guy was the star of the company. I spent as much time working with him as i could honestly.
I mean, he was the f*****g star. He was a solid programmer, great project manager, awesome account and customer management skills and he had a knack for thinking outside the box on creative solutions.
He loved working there, had rejected offers from google, Facebook and pinterest (that i know of!).
...and then he [slept with] the directors 16 year old daughter (Age of consent is 16 here) he was 31.
For Trying To Give Credit To The Coworker Who Didn't Show Up Because His Mom Just Died
Obligatory 'Happened to a coworker'
Working at a bank, my branch had the Biggest superstar in the STATE, always crushing sales numbers, he generated more revenue than the rest of the branch COMBINED.
He set up a really big business account presentation, but his mother died literally on the day he was supposed to give the talk. Branch manager stepped in, held the presentation.
The guy had built everything up, it was essentially a done deal, branch manager just had to get a signature on the paperwork. Obviously feeling bad for him, thinking he deserved the credit, they booked the deal under his name the next day (technically to get credit for a deal you HAVE to be there at signing).
BOTH were fired within a week for sales manipulation.
For Being Racist
Super talkative girl, really annoying, but was great on the phones. She caught on faster than anyone else at the job, the trainers were pretty impressed, and there was a lot of a*s-kissing on their end. By the first month she's been there, she was already in the top five for sales.
The problem was that she was a giant racist. She would've been totally fine if she kept her Neo-Nazi lifestyle quiet but she got in the mindset of "they won't fire me, I'm the best they have at sales". So she got comfortable and let the causal and not so causal racism flow.
It didn't help that the guy who sat next to her was a black guy from Spain and the girl behind her was Mexican.
For Stealing Money From The Registers
Top manager for retail job I worked at "lost" her keys to the store that also had the keys to all the registers on the key ring. The registers started going short or would be empty aside from the change and dollar bills in the drawer. This went on for months. Corporate found out after installing a new set of security cameras overnight without her knowledge. She enlisted a group of sales associates to do most of the dirty work but they found out she was the ringleader when they found out all the sales associates would bring her the stolen money and she would dole it out after taking her cut.
For Not Joining The Owner's Scientology Activities
As the employee, with a manager who clearly didn't want to fire me, it was because I was not going to join the owner's Scientology activities.
At the firing interview, the owner's stooge, fellow Scientologist, and son-in-law, tried for 20 minutes to come up with reasons I was personally responsible for getting "fired". Every reason he floated for my "bad performance" was shot down by my own direct manager, whom I'd invited into the meeting as I suspected what it was. And get that - they WEREN'T going to invite him to a meeting where his own direct managee was being dismissed. It was all shady af.
Stooge "CEO": "well, I see here that you have a lot of unfinished tasks."
Direct manager: "No, actually, everything on his to do list is complete."
(which, by the way, is why I thought I might be getting fired - I'd never had a clear to-do list).
It went on like that, until McStooge ran out of ideas.
After all that, the stooge then said, "well, the industry is on a down-turn, so we're downsizing and laying you off."
Upside: left in excellent financial condition, took a year off to complete a major goal in the martial art I'd been studying, went to Japan and achieved the goal, and now am being courted by terrific companies with interesting and challenging work. None of which are owned by Scientologists.
See, when you complain that a tiny company gives the entirety of its operational and expansion budget (about $1 million at the time) to Scientology, and thus suddenly can't pay people, it appears that that is called an "industry downturn".
For Stepping Away From Her Desk Too Often To Cry
I didn't have to do the firing, but for whatever reason, my colleague had it in for this mid-level supervisor. She was a great trainer, did everything she was asked, took initiative, and then some. She was always worth well more than what she earned, and had an absolute passion for the work (we worked with kids with autism).
After a few months of having some vendetta against her, my colleague wrote her up, literally for "being away from her desk too often".
Her uncle had recently been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and she was the only relative in town who could care for him. So the times she was away from her desk, she was stepping out to cry when she felt overwhelmed and didn't want people do see her cry.
I found out after she was let go for this that she had informed the supervisors of this when her uncle was diagnosed and that she was feeling very emotional about it and may need to take days off/take more frequent breaks to gather herself again and remain productive. Instead of showing compassion, my colleague used this as an opportunity to terminate her despite having no other red flags, feedback, or performance issues. There was simply a personality difference and she didn't gossip with the other supervisors. And this was all done with our other colleagues and supervisors' blessings.
I don't work for this company after I found out about this.
For Trying To Steal A $3 Bottle Of White Zinfandel
Had a great waiter, Robert, f****r could run circles around the entire staff. He knew the kitchen as well, could jump in at prep and assist if we got backed up AND STILL tend to his tables.
Dumba*s put a $3 bottle of White Zinfandel in his backpack, right in front of a security camera AND while the owner was sitting at the bar eating. He was a student and working part time he had to be bringing in $300-500 in cash a week.
For Stealing A Box That Wasn't Listed On The Record
Corporate set a trap, and baited him into stealing.
He was a great guy, fun and interesting. Easy to get along with. He would volunteer to take the early shifts and open the store. He'd receive the new inventory and stock the shelves himself. His cash was always correct and he never did anything wrong, until he did.
One morning he opened the new stock shipment, and loaded the shelves. There was an extra item in the box that wasn't listed on the manifest. The correct procedure was to add it to inventory, and put it on the shelf. He instead opted to claim it wasn't there, and took it home. The perfect crime, right?
I had to fire him the next day. And it sucked.
For Stealing A Fancy Pen
Work in retail. One of the staff from checkouts was amazing and would come up and help in our cafe constantly. She was fast, friendly with customers and we would get so many compliments and we asked if we could have her up here permanently.
She stole a pen. Security had her on camera, fired immediately.
EDIT: pen was a fancy pen, packaged on shelf to be sold. She was right under the security camera stealing it, security saw, told higher management and I don't really think stealing, regardless what of, can just be ignored. I believe they probably did it to scare employees like "this is what happens if you steal"
For Serving Tables As A Manager
Worked in a restaurant at hotel chain; management regularly found meaningless reasons too suspend various employees or cut hours. This one guy had been there almost 13 years, clients loved him, staff appreciated his presence and he often came to the rescue of anyone requiring help. Everyone could depend on him and he supported everyone. He had, like everyone in a restaurant, bumped heads with management now and again, like EVERYONE. On one particular season they decided they were going to "groom him" in the eventuality to take on more responsibility. His position would eliminate his right to tips but it came with insurance, a retirement plan and steady pay. He had kids, was in his mid 40's, it all made sense why someone would take that job. He would however no longer be in the union.
Fast forward to the day after his training is complete. The guy comes in with his management uniform and all. Some waiter calls in sick, and instead of him calling in another employee he decides he was going to handle a few tables and the management responsibilities.
At the end of the shift the hotel manager "summons" the guy into his office (like the boss of his boss). They fired him straight away. He was escorted out of the building and our boss said there was strict rules and management working tables "harmed" the hotels image. It was complete B/S. He had maybe taken 2 tables and split the rest amongst the rest of the staff. Everyone basically agreed they promoted him just to get him out of the union to be able to fire him.
A number of employees left shortly after for other various reasons. It was a sort of shaking up the coup and anyone who wouldn't fall in line would be shown the door.
Today, that restaurant no longer exists, they closed down maybe 2 years later, rebranded the restaurant from American Steakhouse to Italian/French dining. New cooks, new waiters, new management... It was just sort of the catalyst or the first domino.
For Not Being A Legal Citizen Of The Country
Managed a grocery store in the midwest in the early 2000's.
Had a great night stock guy we'll call Juan. Because that was his name. I got to know him a little bit since I'd occasionally have to stay and help the night crew stock since they were frequently understaffed. Juan was from Mexico, lived in a tiny apartment with his extended family (parents, siblings, an aunt & uncle, few cousins, and a baby nephew and niece), and he worked two jobs full time. So for 8 hours a night he'd throw stock for me, then go work at a restaurant as a cook for 8 hours afterward, then go home and nap for as long as possible before repeating all over again.
I had nothing but respect for Juan, he was my 2nd best worker on night stock, always showed up on time, his output was quick and steady, and the man was scrupulously honest. One night he wanted a soda, but we had already closed the store/registers, so I told him to just get one out of the display case and pay for it later. He kept the receipt for 3 weeks until I saw him again and made sure he showed it to me because he wanted me to know he did, in fact, pay for it.
Anyway, after a few months on night stock, he asks me if we have any positions available during our open hours because he missed being able to see his family and wanted a more "normal" schedule. We needed an extra person in the meat department, so I asked him if he would be interested in that. He said he would, so I had him sit down with the butcher for an interview. The butcher liked him so we transferred Juan to the Meat Department. He did very well there and the hours allowed him some more freedom so it seemed like a great arrangement.
Here's where it goes bad: This was about a year after 9/11 so the new Homeland Security & Patriot Act laws were being enacted fast and furious. One side effect of this was background checks and the like were being conducted by EVERYONE so there was a backlog of requests. I get a notice from SSA that Juan's SS# wasn't valid. No big deal, someone probably put a number in wrong somewhere. I call our HR and read the number he put on his application, no errors. I go and find Juan and double check it. As I thought, one number was off. I send it back to HR. A week later I get a call from the HR director, she conferences in the regional AP guy. Apparently Juan is not a citizen of our country, we need to terminate him immediately.
I call Juan up to the office and let him know he's being let go. He's upset, but nods his head and leaves. He comes in a week later to pick up his last check but there's no check for him. I call HR and find out that since he's not a legal citizen, we're withholding his pay until we hear back from INS. I have to tell him this as well.
I don't know what happened to him after that. We DID eventually pay him for his last week of work, but we ended up not paying out any of his vacation time (of which he had a fair amount) because of reasons I'm not very clear on.
Tl;dr - Best employee was undocumented, had to let him go once corporate & HR found out.
Because His Coworker Wanted Him To Take A Job With Better Pay
Lots of not-great stories here. I wanna share a good one.
I worked at a call center, and this guy was an awesome customer service rep. We provided support for Android devices. We had a non-compete clause with the client that stipulated any current employees and former employees had to wait two years before working for the client. When we lost the project, we moved to a different client and we were a sales team. I found out that the client was hiring in-house support at twice the pay, and that if he was not rehirable, he would be exempt from the non-compete.
So, I talked to him about it, and started fiddling with the performance report. In just three weeks, I was able to progress through our discipline steps to termination. He was fired, and then he contacted me on Hangouts to let me know he got his new job with the former client. It felt really good to help somebody promote out of a fairly poor call center into a better role.
Also, since more than three years has passed, he's now rehirable at the old place. Win win!
For Hiding Cameras In The Women's Bathroom
He'd been at the company for 8 years before I became his manager. All of his reviews were 5 star. He was f*****g awesome. So, I wanted to see what his deal was because it was odd to have the one stand out person.
I shadowed him for ~5 days. He was 100% on the level with his work. He did it all correctly and quickly. Satisfied, I just let it be.
2 weeks later he's arrested and fired. He'd hidden several cameras in the ladies bathrooms.
For Being Friends With An Employee That The GM Didn't Like
Was working for a rental company and the top seller got fired after getting into it with the regional GM.
I was good friends with him (the seller, not the GM) and so the GM was out for my blood. I kept records and was careful but sure enough, I got hauled into the Managers office with the GM there to fire me. I asked for cause and he gave a bunch of flimsy c**p about my work and how I didn't complete the sales reports properly. I responded calmly each time, showed him the paperwork.
His response? "I don't care that you have an answer for everything. You are friends with (ex employee). so you are fired."
My manager, after the GM left, came to my desk and apologized. Gave me a great reference letter. So now their top two salespeople were gone.
Had a job that afternoon.
For Becoming A Tyrant Boss
Scott was my riding buddy. We rode together everywhere on our motorcycles. I managed a small restaurant of a small chain, only 2 shops but it was growing. When a night manager position opened I gave it to him. He worked hard and was enthusiastic.
A couple years passed, now five locations. I was general manager and Scott managed the original location.We still rode everywhere, swapped girlfriends, played pool... Life was good. Scott began to miss rides we had planned because he was working. He really was a hard worker, tireless energy.
I soon noticed he was working so hard because he was understaffed. His employee turnover rate was high. i initially thought it was because of the young employees that typically applied at that location but there was more to it. I started spending more time around him and noticed he was, when he thought I wasn't looking, a tyrant boss to the kids that worked there. Kids left and he covered it up by working more himself. Overworked he became exhausted and an even worse boss.
I gave him some time off, sent in experienced employees worked with him on training and communication. I thought he was absorbing it but I got reports back that he was worse than ever.
I sat and talked with him, a serious job threatening talk.He argued, said it was under control. I took his keys and handed him a box of his belongings.
This is long ago, early '80s. As the recession wound down I was able to find a better gig more suited to my skills and education. I heard from him a couple times, usually looking for something, a fake recent reference, cosign for a loan, etc. I don't do that for anybody. Last year I got a sad call from him, saying he wished we had stayed in touch. We both still rode. Actually he didn't still ride. he was calling from his deathbed as cancer ate the last of him away.
I have always felt that it was my hiring him to a position he wasn't really ready for that started him down the road from being an enthusiastic bright-eyed kid full of hope and integrity to the sad narcissistic bill collector he became.
TLDR: wrecked my friends life
EDIT: OK, I don't actually blame myself for the arc of his life. We each are responsible for our own choices. It's just that I can't help but feel that I missed something, some opportunity to steer him in a happier direction.
For Selling Illegal Substances At Work
I wasn't the manager, but we had a supervisor who was a rising star in the company, turned a struggling operation into one that was running well under budget and was generally easy to work with. We also had a mechanic who was a lazy sack of s**t and nobody could every find him. So one day the operations manager was looking at the security footage trying to figure out what the mechanic was doing so day and caught him selling pills out of his truck in the parking lot, so he called the police. When the police showed up, the mechanic was in his truck, in the middle of selling [illegal substances] to the supervisor. They were both fired. The operation went from under budget to being $50,000 - $100,000 over for the next few months
For Using Her Phone Even After Her Final Warning
Call center who's client was an insurance carrier. Rules are, no cellphones on the call floor. We dealt with HIPAA and SSNs so was a total no brainer, and not that hard a rule. Best rep on my team by far. Her call stats were awesome, she handled tough customers professionally but that's the rule and it's there for a reason.
I look over one day and she's got a phone in her lap. I had to pull her from the call floor and issue a "First and Final" warning. I let her know she's actually doing awesome and while I get she's not stealing personal info - the rule is there and we all follow it - myself included.
Two weeks later.. I look down the row at something and I see her with her phone in her lap again. *sigh*
Had to sit down, review that she had already received a first and final, and we had to part ways. She did burst into tears. I felt bad about it, and letting her go did nothing good for my team stats - but that is one rule that's gotta stand, and it shouldn't be that hard to put your phone away and do your job. I do hope she found a good job after that, truly I do. Was a good kid.
For Starting To Get An Attitude
He was our fastest fork lift operator. Guy could get a truck loaded in 7-15 minutes. But he started developing a sh**ty attitude and we just couldn't work with him. The new operators we have take 30-45 minutes to get a truck loaded and they're legitimately a little dumb and have a hard time reading.
I don't know if it was worth it.
For Doing Returns On Old Receipts And Taking The Money For Herself
Few years back, working in returns. One girl always worked the morning shift because she knew no one else wanted to get up and be there by 7AM. Always on time, never called in sick, etc.
Quick description to set the scene: Our returns department didn't handle cash. We would give vouchers that could be cashed out or used as credit or did returns right to cards. Each return required the password of a security personnel to ensure the items being returned were in fact being returned. Returns over 90 days old could only be returned as a gift certificate, and required a managers password.
Well one day I come in and ask where she's at (it was busy, we needed another body for returns) and my manager tells me she's been in the GM's office for two hours. Thought to myself, "That's weird. Maybe they're promoting her?" Nope. Turns out she was returning items off of 3+ month old receipts paid with cash, then walking down to the cashiers and having them put the money on a gift card. She watched the managers and the security people put in their passwords and while no one was around in the mornings she would find high dollar items and return them this way. She got over $25,000 in gift cards over the course of 2 years. Corporate was monitoring her doing it for a year before they called the cops.
Last I heard she didn't do any jail time but she had to return all of the merchandise she purchased that way and is never allowed to set foot in the store again.
For Offering A Discount To A Customer In Exchange For A Donation
I work at a store where we have to ask for donations for the charity we support at every transaction. We're in competition with the other stores in the chain, and whichever store has the highest percentage of donations after 3 months get a bonus. Every employee, cashier or not, gets $100. Well one of my assistant managers was awesome, always had the highest percent of donations per transactions, and highest dollar amount. She always did a great job in all other aspects of the job as well. Well, it turns out she was offering every customer her employee discount if they donated. So if someone spent ~$500 and she gave them 30% off, they wouldn't at all mind donating $10-$20 per transaction. Welllllll it came back from corporate what she was doing and we had to let her go.
For Lying About Having A College Degree In The Resume
Was one of my best. Was being "Reclassified" into a salary position (with raise). HR reviewed his original application and it said he had completed college. HR verbally asked him (no research done) and he said "No, I haven't". Wasn't required for role, nbd. Writing it down? Big deal.
Gave him (almost to the point of coaching him to say it) every chance to say "Whoops, made a mistake". He didn't. He cowboyed up and said "I lied on my application". I am fully sure they would have let him go back to work with just a note in his file (totally survivable)
Super big (Fortune 10) company. No option. Fired him immediately for falsifying his application.
HR person was in tears. I did my best to help him find his next job.
For Coming To Work On His Day Off Drunk And Trying To Help Customers
Hardest working guy I knew. He would Always come in early and pick up a shift if someone called in, and willing to learn everything. Turns out he stops in on his day off to get a slice of pizza but he's drunk as s**t. Not a big deal in and of itself, but we were really busy and his work ethic took over. This guy, again drunk as f**k, gets behind the counter, in a wife beater, and starts trying to help customers. We asked him politely to leave but he just wanted to help so bad that he got really upset and caused a scene. Had to let him go for that. Super sad because it turns out he has a bad drinking problem.
For Sexually Harassing A Coworker Who Was An Ex
Amazing worker but he just couldn't help fishing off the company pier.
He had a relationship with a girl from accounting, but then they broke it off and she got bitter and started complaining about him daily claiming sexual harassment, unsafe work place, yada yada.
They let him go because of the threats of possible legal actions.
Do not use your work place to find girls. It doesn't work out well.
For Cancelling Transactions And Taking The Money
Out of highschool I got a job at Arby's, and there was a guy who pretty efficient at drive thru and could run it by himself during lunch rush if he had to. Turns out during slow hours he was skimming money by deleting orders after taking the money instead of completing the transaction. Manager's estimated he did it for 3-6 months without getting caught and took upwards of $2,000-$3,000. They never pressed charges cause he confessed.
edit: almost forgot, he signed for the package and stole our team's christmas "bonus" walmart gift cards that were $25 each.
For Being Short To The Customers, Rude To His Peers, Homophobic, And Slightly Racist
I had an employee that was, by a very large margin, doing more work than everyone. Unfortunately, the amount of grief and anger he left in his wake was extraordinary. He was short with our customers, rude to his peers, homophobic, and slightly racist, but never quite enough to do anything concrete. In the end, I let him go because the damage to the team wasn't worth his additional output. So "best employee" is maybe a misnomer, but there ya go.
For Lying About Travel Expenses
Part of my job is to process expense reports from the sales department. I noticed one month that the top salesman had claimed a plane ticket expense twice, once when he booked it and then again when he took the flight months later. I reviewed his past expenses and noticed he was doing this regularly. When he booked the flight originally he would claim the full amount of the ticket. Then when he used the flight he would claim each leg of the trip as a separate daily expense so that the receipt amounts wouldn't match so as to avoid detection. This is how I figured out he was doing it intentionally. I showed the evidence to the CFO and he was gone the next week. I only went back three years but he stole about $10,000 over those three years.
For Going On A Ride After Work Without The Lap Bars Down
Not me, but a story from when I worked at Disneyland a long time ago in Attractions (rides).
The area manager loved this one particular Cast Member (employee). Like, this was the son he never had. This CM was promoted to lead on one of the roller coasters fairly quickly in his regime. One night he was the lead on the closing crew, and the crew decided to ride after hours. Idiots that they are, they went without the lap bars down, and on one turn the ride is visible from the walkway. Even though the park was closed to guests, security was still in the park, and a security guard saw the train go by with the CMs standing up through the turn. Security gets a hold of Theme Park One (the manager in charge of the park for the night), who calls Attractions One to find out what's going on.
Not surprisingly, every CM who was on the closing crew that night was fired. Unfortunately, so was the prodigal son, because he was the one who dispatched the train without the lap bars down.
For Creating An Uncomfortable Work Environment
over 20 years of mgmt experience. I've had to fire several great employees & the main reason is because they 'upset the herd'. they show up & most other employees are negatively affected by their presence... they complain too much, exceed boundaries, gossip, instigate c**p, or whatever. they know they're good & act bulletproof. I'll usually pull them aside & give them a warning. you know they're good & they care, but if they don't quit 'upsetting the herd' they will soon be gone.
Note: this post originally had 36 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.