I’m sure we can all recall a time we’ve overreacted at work.
Tasks get on top of us, things could be going on at home, a colleague could be driving us crazy…
Or, maybe we’re just not in the best of moods and work just isn’t where we want to be at that point in time.
And sometimes it builds up (and up) until we just can’t bottle it anymore…
But have you ever completely lost it and overreacted at work?
I bet these people wish they had just taken the day off…
1. The Uniform
Pizza Hut manager asked one of the drivers to put on his uniform shirt.
Driver flipped out and tried to set his shirt on fire in the lobby while screaming about oppression.
Then he took off for some reason and drove to the airport where he jumped the fence leading to the tarmac. Got arrested by the airport cops.
We never saw him again.
A manager that wasn’t really my manager. When his bosses were gone, he would take 1-2 hour lunches. On the clock.
We were allowed a 30 minute lunch off the clock. He would sit in the management office and eat a little, read the paper.
Just basically not working while the store got busy. It was fairly well known by the lower workers he did this, we just didn’t say anything.
One day a manager of equal power from a different department confronted him about it while he had been on lunch for over an hour.
He picked up his sandwich and threw it at her yelling about why doesn’t he get to take his lunch in peace like everyone else.
Basically just went on this rant of irrelevant stuff. Then just stopped, and went back to reading the paper. He was fired by the end of the day.
3. Cat fight
At 21, I got hired at what was my first ‘grownup’ job.
It was a small team—just my boss and two other women—and I couldn’t have been more excited on my first day.
Everyone had been so nice in my interviews. My boss was there to help me get situated, then took off for a lunch meeting, leaving me with the coworkers.
Coworker #1, who I’ll call Emily, asked me a few questions about myself, and we laughed about something or other. She seemed great.
As soon as we got back to work, though, I get this ping in my Google Hangouts.
Coworker #2, who I’ll call Jane, had sent me a message. It just read, ‘Don’t talk to her. Ever.’
Over the next few days, it became clear that Jane was at war with Emily—a full-blown harassment campaign to try to get Emily fired.
I never figured out why. But the longer I worked there, the more Jane targeted me, too, because I wouldn’t pick a side.
I wound up taking screenshots of all the threatening and crazy messages and emails she’d send because I was afraid she’d try to sabotage my job, too. And she did.
But when she complained to our boss about me, I walked into the office with literally 60 pages worth of her crazed messages. The horrible thing was, they never fired her. She got off with a warning and I found a new job ASAP.”
4. It went legal…
About once every six months, we’d have a night where we came in after the store closed to rearrange/build shelves or other tasks that would be difficult to do when the store was open.
It normally took only an hour or two, for which we were paid overtime.
Tina hated these. She’d whine the entire time, make mean remarks about the manager when she was out of earshot, and just make the night long for everyone else.
This time, right as she said, ‘Christine (manager) is such a little brat,’ guess who was right behind her?
Christine lost her mind. She let out eight months of pent-up aggression out in about 30 seconds, finishing up with, ‘You are done here. For good. Get out of my store.’
Tina lost her mind. All in all, Tina’s rampage that followed cost the store around £8,000 in damages. She knocked over several shelves, knocked our cash registers off the counter, and threw a planter through the manager’s office window before storming out.
Our registers were very intricately hooked up so that corporate could see every login and transaction. All of the wires were ripped out during Tina’s rampage, and not 10 seconds after she bailed, our phone was ringing, and some suit in Dallas was asking why our entire store just went offline.
Our manager explained the situation in great detail. Corporate asked every employee who was there to fill out an incident report.
About a week later, our regional manager comes in with some guy in a suit. The company was paying to hire a lawyer to sue Tina for damages.
The company won. I don’t know if they ever got their money or not
5. Didn’t like the shrubbery anyway…
I witnessed a co-worker get fired for showing up late. He was really in a bad mood that day.
Then, he started yelling at the manager and then kicking the back door. He broke through the door which was unlocked at the time.
Then gets to his car, makes a call then races his engine and pops it into drive.
He manages to run over most of the small shrubbery in front of his parking space and get his bumper hung up on a rock.
Then throws is into reverse and sequels the tires until he gets free of the rock. Then starts randomly running over all the landscaping in the entire lot.
At this point most of the coworkers are near the big window in front watching this, one is getting it on his iPhone. He finally peels out into the street nearly missing a truck.
I work at a company with commissioned salesmen.
Due to some market changes, commissions got slashed by a bunch of companies we represent. One of them, a major company for us, decided to announce this via e-mail on a Friday evening, after business hours.
A 30-year veteran salesman was out at the bar, saw it, and drowned his sorrows for a few hours.
Then, he decided to let the sender know how he really felt about the decision.
As you might expect, he ‘replied all,’ and sent his profanity-filled, inebriated-composed rant to every competitor, salesman, and company official (of course, tied to our company’s e-mail, even has our business card as his e-mail signature).
Then, he sent a follow-up, letting us know just how little he cares.
Monday morning, we called him in, and he just shook his head and let us know he’s well aware of why we’re here, what he did, and he’ll pack his stuff.
7. New Hairstyle?
Didn’t witness this, but my current coworker at a dog grooming salon did.
One of her old coworkers had a history of outbursts.
One day something provoked him and he flipped a grooming table over, grabbed his clippers, and proceeded to shave his own head.
8. Holding a grudge…
I used to work in a high-end children’s clothing store. The assistant manager at the time was kind of a jerk, really full of herself.
She liked to criticise employees in front of customers, rig sales for her regular customers, steal big sales from other employees, etc.
Well, one night she forgot to lock the store (we were located in an outdoor, pavilion-type mall), and was naturally let go (it did help that store DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM US had been robbed earlier that night).
About a week later, I was working with the newly-promoted assistant (previously a shift lead), closing shift.
She goes to throw the trash, comes back a few minutes later, ashen-faced.
She locks the doors, calls the cops, tells me to call our manager…turns out, the old assistant was outside the back of the store, drunk, screaming about how the company had ruined her life, and making threats against the building and the employees.
I’m glad I’m not the one dealing with any of these reactions! Although, in fairness, no one’s going to react well to getting sacked!
Sure, work can get hard, but are these reactions really necessary?
The answer should be no… but if you feel like you’re on the verge of losing your cool, then I reckon it’s probably time to start looking for a new job!
Either way, good luck and if you have any meltdown stories, we’d love to hear them!
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