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20 Workplace Horror Stories That Will Absolutely Shock You

workplace horror stories
Comments (14)
  1. Ali Brisbane says:

    It’s sad hearing these stories. We spend most of our lives at work – for most people who work 40 + hours a week, your job becomes your life (we see our coworkers more than our family!). It’s important to work for a company with a positive environment and not the toxic ones I’m reading about. I hope most of you are reporting your experiences (either with HR or glassdoor/ other job review sites). This may help someone going through the same thing in the future, if they have the ability to hear about your experience prior to applying or accepting a position at these companies. Also, pressuring our governments to audit these companies and successfully bring positive change to work forces across industries.

  2. Michelle DeWeese Barnett says:

    I could write a book about terrible jobs I have had, and sadly most of them were for about $10/hr (with two degrees). I have had harassment, bullying, and outright battery and sexual assault in jobs ranging from real estate to social work. Sadly, the managers that proliferated these behaviors move up in the company and excel, while those suffering are required to suck it up or leave:(

    1. whatevernice345 . says:

      SO what do you do since it’s the norm in the US? Plus, jobs these are getting WAY, WAY worse.

  3. Farah says:

    My new boss is terrible… but I’ll only you tell one thing about him, he’s a chain smoker and he ignores the (no smoking in the office) rules. Whenever I’m in his office I have to endure at least two cigarettes, and whenever I leave him I rush to the garden for fresh air. The worst part is: other smoking employees are now encouraged to do the same and the workplace is now unbarable… seriously though.. any suggestions to what should I do? I can’t report him. I’d get into trouble so… any ideas ?

  4. KP says:

    I worked for as a contractor for a federal agency and my supervisor had to have been bipolar. He was fine one minute and horribly angry the next. One day he got so mad he threw a small office printer at the ground right in front of myself and a co-worker. Parts flew everywhere and he was lucky nothing hit either of us. My coworker and I were speechless. I have been in the workplace for over 35 years and I have never, ever seen this kind of behavior.. We didn’t even report it because we couldn’t believe it happened. I left shortly after but the tirades continued with my coworker and after an afternoon of abusive name calling, my coworker had had enough and quit but before he left, he made a report to the director of the department. The supervisor was given a long paid leave of absence and my co-worker was hired back. Apparently federal employees are hard to fire. In the corporate world, this person would have been long gone and possibly with criminal charges against him.

  5. Gwen says:

    I had a lady boss who has made more than 10 employees left the department in within ONE year.

    She would call you inside her room and begin to scold you for whatever she thinks that you are wrong with. She would use mean words to insult you and in the end you will feel that everything is your fault and you are worthless. Even some of the things went wrong because of her own decision, she would put it in the way that you are the one who made her did. She would shout at you and the colleagues outside her room would hear everything even though the room door is closed.

    She scolded very badly on some of us for playing office politics and destroying the teamwork among the department. We even had a closed door session for 4 hrs just to sit there and being scolded. There was no point defending ourselves as it made the situation worst. Eventually, we found out that she was the one who is playing the politic game by telling untrue stories to each of us individually.

    I was being mentally tortured by being called into the room and being insulted in every other day. I was so traumatized that I had depression, having nightmares every night, feeling unhappy in the morning to go to work, my hands are cold whole day because feeling stress in the office worrying might be summoned into her room at anytime, very alert on what she was doing inside her room and on her mood, always made wrong decisions in work because I wasn’t sure what is right or wrong anymore for getting shouted at any decision that I’ve made….Things got worst after I tendered my resignation letter. The 3 months that I was serving my notice, I would say it was hell.

    Now I have left the company for 6 months. But still, I am still being haunted by the bad experience and trying very hard to shake it off from my life.

    1. Hey Gwen, very sorry to hear about your experience! Hope that you’re enjoying the workplace at your current company :). Cheers!

  6. Spring Blossom says:

    What’s shocking me about the workplace is the number of team members who bully and harass decent reasonable managers because they don’t like authority and don’t want to deliver their contract.

  7. Claire Jones-Hughes says:

    I think all this shows to me is I never want to work in the US. I’m sure in the UK there are horror stories (I have a few of my own) but in many of the these stories we could have easily taken them to a tribunal.

  8. cvxxx says:

    Yep,most of us have had jobs where it was hell but we needed the money. When you are in the situation it is so much harder to realize you need to leave.

    1. whatevernice345 . says:

      So money is keeps you staying, despite the abuse?

      1. cvxxx says:

        Better than being homeless and deep in debt. Job hunting takes time.

  9. Wow – these are insane! I once worked as an event planner for a woman who made Miranda Priestly look tame. I became so stressed, that I was unable to swallow anything more than fluids. As a result, Red Bull and cigarettes became my sole sustenance for several months – which, paired with the stress, left me with a bleeding ulcer so bad that I was THROWING UP BLOOD on a daily basis. Hoping that she’d relent a little bit, I approached my boss and told her about the health issues I was experiencing due to stress, but nothing changed.

    On my last day, someone dropped and broke a cheap glass fish bowl (meant to be used for a raffle at an event that evening) and she flipped out. She blamed me, and began screaming from the back of the office to the front (where I was sitting), “YOU’RE F*CKING STUPID!!!!”

    I let her finish, then calmly packed as many things as I could into my purse without raising suspicion, said I had to run to my car and made a break for it…. and never looked back. Sadly, I’m still dealing with the health issues, six years later.

  10. Joe Albergo says:

    Excellent article… I will be looking for more now 🙂

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