Sometimes you land in the perfect job with the perfect people and perfect company and sometimes... you land in the 7th circle of Hell! More often than not it's the latter.
Sometimes you know within five minutes it's time to run like you're on fire out of the building! You won't even need red flags, the situation is a Crimson scene.
Redditor J-Bradley1 asked for everyone's best stories about the first job nightmares that led to an instant "Peace Out!"
25. ALWAYS COUNT FINGERS FIRST!Giphy
It was a shop that refurbished train suspension hydraulics. 40% of the guys were missing at least part of a finger, maintenance guy was missing 4 on one hand and 1.5 on another. The guy training me stormed out half way through the second day.
I was like yeeaaah, I'm just going to dip out now...
24. NOT GONNA HAPPEN! NEXT!Giphy
Many years ago I worked at a popular sports bar as a line cook. First day they had me train with a guy who didn't speak English for 2 hours. Not a huge deal. Mostly you observe people in a kitchen and that's how you learn. Owner came back and said she was scheduling me to be alone the next day.... which was super bowl Sunday.
Noped out of there so fast. Left right then and there.
23. YOU CAN'T HAVE MY SOUL
One week. It was 1985, and a collections agency was looking for an IT guy. It was basically desktop support on some IBM PCs. It took me a week to realize what a soul-deadening place that was and I bolted. It was mutual, actually -- they saw how I was reacting to some of the techniques the collectors used. The targets were mostly old people who were encouraged to sell family heirlooms and the like to pay off debts.
22. DOOR TO DOOR? WHAT IS THIS 1950?Giphy
I left halfway through the orientation when I found out it was a job selling those expensive vacuum cleaners door to door.
21. WHO IS THIS? STOP CALLING ME?!Giphy
Three days after my two week training. I was supposed to be a seasonal temp worker for a national propane company. The job distribution and training consisted of taking calls off-hours for people who wanted refills and acting as a messenger service, referring their contact info their local "store" when they opened the next day. Easy-Peasey.
When I got out onto the floor, I found I was actually expected to be a dispatcher for drivers AND ALSO FIRST POINT OF CONTACT FOR ALL EMERGENCY SITUATIONS. Things I had never been so much as briefed on in training. My first shift I had to field a call from a local police officer who was on site to a horrific propane truck crash. I got to wake the guy's district manager in the dead of night, tell him his worker passed, and the overturned truck was blocking a few lines of the freeway and the police were trying to get a hold of him.
That was just the start: A customer got the smell of garlic and eggs in the house? I got the call. (What do I do next, Miss Dispatcher? "Get out of the house ASAP?") CO detector is going off? I got the call. (Instead of 911 for some reason?!) I had ZERO interest in being a underpaid, not-trained emergency dispatcher. It's the only job I took off on without giving a 2 week notice. I was nice enough to finish out my shift on the third day, but that was it.
20. NEVER GET IN THE VAN!Giphy
I went in to an office for an interview. They said they had several positions available and I wanted to do some admin stuff... Welp, after the interview they told me to get in a van to do the next part of the process. Turns out we drove an hour away so I could shadow one of their door to door sales people. They would ask residents to go into their basement to check their hot water heaters to see if they were eligible to replace them with their companies own... I felt pretty uncomfortable about this and pretty mad my whole day was gone doing this. The worst part was the girl I was shadowing spent half the day sitting around in the truck reading magazines and waiting for people to come home from work... I was sort of asking questions about the job and she got defensive and said, well I decide if you get this job or not, to which I replied, yeah I don't know if I want to do this.. But she kept insisting that it was her who decided if I worked... Don't think she understood I meant that I didn't want to do this... Waste of a day.
19. NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENED AT BLOCKBUSTER.Giphy
Mine had to be when I was 18 and working at Blockbuster. I was helping the manager during the before open shift getting new items stocked on the shelves that came in that morning. My mom called me and told me that my dad was having a heart attack and she was panicking while waiting for the ambulance. Why did she call me at work to tell me this? The Blockbuster I worked at was in a strip mall type area behind my cul-de-sac, my house and the Blockbuster was separated by a small alley and a 3 min walk. I told my manager what was happening and asked if I could leave to help my mom while they waited for the ambulance. She said no. I just stood there looking at her thinking she couldn't be serious I would be gone for all of 10 mins and back helping her if needed. She stressed how important it was to get the things done that needed to be done and I could only leave if I called around to the other workers and found someone to come in and cover for me while I was gone. I took off my name tag slammed it on the counter and walked out. I never went back for any reason. For any who might wonder; my dad came out fine was in the hospital for a few days.
18. HOW ABOUT I JUST BE A MIND READER?Giphy
I worked for a newspaper for most of a week. I was expected to use my own laptop and software, no IT and I'd have to share logins and passwords with 3 other people and guess when they would need them.
They said I was being hired for a content writing position but on the first day it turned out fifteen other people were also hired and the position was to make outbound calls to businesses to convince them to pay us to make websites for them.
Noped out along with ten other people during lunch.
16. PYRAMIDS ARE FOR PHARAOHS
I've worked in dozens of different positions over the years, usually just to stay busy in between contracts or creative projects. Many of those odd jobs were short-lived, but there was only one from which I actually quit after only a day.
From what I had been told, I would essentially be acting as a clothing model who could make conversation with party attendees. It sounded like a fun way to spend a few evenings, and the advertised pay rate was more than generous. The one caveat was that I'd be required to attend a "rehearsal" of sorts, which was scheduled to take place about a week before the first official event. It seemed like a reasonable commitment, so I cleared my schedule and put in an appearance.
Upon arriving, I realized that I'd become involved in something very strange.
The first thing that I noticed was the eclectic collection of clothes - if you could call them that - draped over a makeshift rack in one corner of the room. At first glance, they looked to be little more than large squares of brightly colored fabric, but the presence of neck-holes made it clear that I would probably be expected to wear one in the near future. Furthermore, all of the other models (who covered an incredible range of ages, genders, and weights) were positively gushing about some business venture or another, which sounded amazingly like a pyramid scheme.
Unsurprisingly, that's exactly what it turned out to be. Oh, sure, there was a certain amount of "base pay" involved, but I quickly discovered that my actual role would involve finding a method of selling a hundred or so tickets for the events at which I'd be "modeling." If I failed to meet that quota, the remaining total value would be deducted from my salary. On the other hand - and this was drilled into me - if I wanted to buy (and presumably sell) even more tickets, I could stand to make hundreds or even thousands of dollars, all on my own time!
I was almost ready to head for the door by that point, and the last straw came when the "musical guest" arrived for the rehearsal. This was a woman lugging a large handmade drum with her, which soon became an object of fascination for one of the six-year-old girls in attendance. (Did I forget to mention that? Yeah, some of the models had brought their kids along.) This alleged musician was rather pleased with the attention, too, which is probably what prompted her to engage with her admirers.
"I'm a 'rhythmic poet!'" the woman declared. "Do you know what that is?"
"Um..." one of the girls replied. "Something you made up?"
The look on the woman's face was more than enough payment for the time I had wasted there... but after considering the bizarre assemblage of deluded "models," the shady business scheme, the clothing, and the so-called musical accompaniment, I decided that I was better off escaping while I could.
On the plus side, now I can say that I once turned down a modeling gig.
TL;DR: A modeling gig turns out to be a hippie pyramid scheme (with "musical" accompaniment).
15. I SEE YOU SHADY! DON'T TRY ME!Giphy
Found out that the educational assistance they touted in their advertisement applied only to full time employees and that they both defined full time as no fewer than 40 hours and kept anyone who would apply for that assistance from ever being qualified for it. None of this was advertised and the people I interviewed with assured me, a college student, that working 21 hours a week would get me the benefits. Too bad I read my contract before signing it and called them out. Don't lie to your employees, especially during an interview on something that can be easily and swiftly disproven. If you're willing to lie to me about this, what else are you willing to lie to me about?
(I did their training before being offered my contract, so I count it as having worked there, btw.)
First time, I accepted a job as a carpenter. When I got to the job site the next morning, the rest of the crew told me that the owner was one of those nitwits (libertarian) who believe that OSHA is a conspiracy against him. He had removed all of the safety guards from all powered equipment. I was gone before he got to the job site.
13. IT'S JUST FOOD! NOBODY'S CURING CANCER WITH AN APPETIZER!Giphy
Many years ago I was managing a fast food restaurant for a local franchise. Shortly before lunch, one of my employees got a phone call that their grandmother had been taken to the hospital with a possible heart attack. They lived with their grandmother, from what I understood their parents were not in the picture.
I told him to go to the hospital and I would find coverage. About 15 minutes later my district manager showed up and asked why I was short handed. (Fast food restaurants run on razor thin margins, so one missing body is easily noticed). I told him what happened and that employee was on his way to the hospital. His response was "What is he going to do, save her? He's not a doctor, we have a business to run."
That was the last straw for me with that company. It was part of a larger pattern of that attitude, and I refused to treat employees like that. I gave my notice shortly after and moved to a better job.
12. ZERO PERCENT OF ZERO IS.... 0? NO THANKS.Giphy
I was interviewing for a contract position at a very small game development company, and they told me they were looking for someone to help finish up an existing project.
Literally, the game looked like it was made in MS Paint. As if they had just hired some random guy off the street and asked them to make some art for them. Granted it's a mobile game and sold for the standard 0.99, so maybe that's not the worst, but the game itself doesn't look engaging at all either. But I figure, worst comes to worst I could make some money on the side with some low-effort work.
Then they told me that my pay would be a percentage of the sales. Noped right out of that one.
11. MAYBE WE SHOULD ALL BE HEALTH INSPECTORS?!Giphy
Worked in a bakery, it was my first day so I get there in the morning to meet everyone. Then they have me grease up baking trays for the others to fill... I lift up the first tray and like 10-15 cockroaches just scatter everywhere from under the tray. I tell the guy showing me the work that there were cockroaches and he just shrugged... This was all in the backstore, customers were about 10 feet away.
So i tell the guy that I'm not feeling too well after about an hour of doing that and i head to the bathroom.
When I came out I told him I couldn't do that job and he told me to get a real job then, so I left and got myself a proper job.
10. WELL THAT IS SOME INTERESTING ATTIRE.Giphy
I had an interview at what I thought was a regular steakhouse in a new town I had just moved to. The interview went well, it was just before the restaurant opened so it was pretty empty. At the end, a waitress starting her shift walked by in chaps and a thong. Turns out that was their uniform. The manager called like 30 mins later saying I got the job. I had to politely decline that one.
9. HANDY, MANGiphy
I was hired as an "IT guy". Employer said she was wanting to upgrade her systems and needed someone to do it.
Upon arriving I spent the morning looking for dead skunks she ran over the night before and learning how to feed the llamas. There was a cat walking all over the office area (I'm allergic). She asked me to mow the grass. I set up a deer feeder..
All work I'm fine with doing but definitely not what she advertised. I told her after the first day I wouldn't be returning.
8. DON'T MESS WITH MY COIN!Giphy
Graphic design from home job. Nailed the interview - had absolute confidence I could provide this dude what he was asking for.
Got the job, and the first thing he said was to take a rather large check that would be mailed to me and buy my equipment. It was supposed to be from a special vendor that was to engrave the laptop and provide software. It was a scam. I looked up his business on Google, rather than through the link he sent me. I found the exact same website with dozens of different CEOs.
Told him to not send me a check and that I was not longer interested. The check was going to be fake, and the money I would be sending to the vendor would end up being my own once the bank found out.
7. Telemarking WoesGiphy
Worked a lot of telemarketing in college. Nice companies and shady companies. In the area i lived in there were a bunch of companies getting shut down for shady practices and telemarketers themselves were getting locked up. So i tried to spot the more shady spots as quick a possible. Walked into one office after being hired and seen ashtrays on the desk. This was 2002. Yup, some shady shit is going down here. No day 2 for me.
6. IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTE....Giphy
Cold calling people about injury claims. "Have you been injured in the past 3 years?" That kind of thing.
The thing that really irked me was that all of the people I called in those 20 minutes were polite, said they're not interested, and they were just sitting down for dinner. I realized it was a horrible job and I was in no way cut out for it. I left after 20 minutes and just walked out the door without a word.
5. JUST RUN!Giphy
I was unemployed for a couple months, and started applying for pretty much any job I could do. This one was a basic small-biz IT support contractor. The employee the interviewer introduced to me mouthed "run" when he turned his back.
Took a job doing payroll for an independent heating and air company. I was about an hour into my first day, and the boss sends me off to the gas station to buy him a pack of cigarettes. He gave me a sticky note with exactly what he wanted me to get for him, Marlboro Ultra Lights in a soft pack. (I remember it so vividly).
I get the cigarettes, come back to work, and my boss immediately begins screaming at me because I got them from the gas station that he "refuses to do business with because of the goddamn illiterate Indians working there."
I never came back after my lunch break.
3. THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP!Giphy
This Quarter you guys have really achieved a lot for the company and surpassed our expectations...Just a reminder, we will be having to lay some more people off soon...
Peace out, I'll find something else before you make me leave
2. THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING!Giphy
I went to my orientation at a boot factory. They're government contracted and so pay minimum wage, so I figured I'd work there awhile and look for something better.
After we do the usual paperwork signing and such, we're taken as a group onto the factory floor for a tour. It's hot, it's crowded, it stinks, and everyone working looks annoyed by our presence... Okay, I guess not everyone loves their job right? No biggie, I'm sure this won't be so bad.
Then our guide informs us in no uncertain terms that our coworkers quite often give new people bad information to get them in trouble or make them mess up. They'd even be the ones to rat you out. Then we're told that our foreman is the type to yell for no reason, ask people if they're drunk in an accusatory way for no reason, and is generally a giant fool.
I took a few moments to think after these last revelations, said "Nah." And walked out of the building without a word to anyone. Forget that crap, Captain. I'm not putting up with all of that for 8 bucks and some change an hour.
1. UMMM... OH HELL NO FELICIA!Giphy
When I was 16 I had an interview at a local pizza place in a not so good part of town. I was hired and as I was walking out 2 guys came in and robbed the place. The manager gave them the money in the register and they ran out. I looked at him and he said "You get used to it". I never went back.