Have you ever been at work and had something so absolutely strange happen before your eyes, you just pause and think, "There's no way this is actually real life. How did I even get here?"
1. "I work in influencer marketing, and we hired an Instagram influencer to work on a yogurt brand campaign. As part of the activation, we also sent a tie-dye kit and branded swag for them to make tie-dye shirts, hats, etc., with their friends or family. One of the influencers pulled the tie-dye ink out of the T-shirt kit and used it to tie-dye her yogurt bowl, took a video of herself eating it, then shared the video with her followers who ultimately alerted her that you can't eat tie-dye ink. This was, of course, our fault (the agency) for not being more clear that the tie-dye kit was not edible."
2. "I worked in HR for a nonprofit that hired people who are legally blind. That was the mission. One day, two employees got into a fight. One was partially sighted, and the other was totally blind, swinging his cane. I had four witnesses to the altercation. However, they were all totally blind, and thus, couldn’t tell me what happened."
3. "We had a guy who robbed our gas station for, like, a month with finger guns before he finally got caught. That's right, finger guns. Like, when you hold your thumb and index fingers up like a fake gun. Everyone knew it was a finger gun, but we have to comply when someone robs the store, so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯."
4. "A coworker screamed at me for leaving food to rot in the shared fridge. It was my first day there, and I hadn’t even unpacked my belongings yet."
5. "One of my coworkers was constantly stealing my food. I couldn't figure out who was doing it, but I was pissed off. So, with no intention of actually eating them, I put laxatives in my food for a few days. After the dude who stole it spent two hours in the bathroom one day, he came out demanding to speak with me. He tried to threaten me saying he could sue me. It took way too long for him to understand that he stole my food. He skipped the part where I didn't give it to him. So naturally, I said, 'Now why the fuck are you eating my food?'
"He backtracked and tried saying he didn't know it was mine. 'Then why are you saying you'll sue me? How do you know it was mine, and also not know it was mine? My name was on the lunchbox.' I countered. The kid just straight-up cried and went to the boss. The boss never said if he got fired or quit, but he never came back."
6. "I had someone throw a drink at me through the drive-thru window, which is an unwise thing to do to someone standing in front of a shelf of other drinks waiting for the customers behind you."
7. "A group of four grown men snuck into the fitting room of the place I worked to smoke a joint. This would already be really, really dumb, but it's even worse given that the store they did it at was…Justice. For non-Americans and those outside the demographic, Justice was a clothing store for tween (or 8-12 year old) girls. They didn’t sell anything for men at all, and it was literally impossible for them to blend in. Moreover, the tops of their heads were visible over the child-sized stall curtains. We called security, they got escorted out, and we had to close to air out the windowless store. I have no idea how they thought this was going to play out."
8. "My grandfather was a contractor. For years on his job sites, workers would find human turds in their toolboxes, atop piles of boards, everywhere. No one knew who was doing it, but whispers circulated about the Phantom Shitter. You guessed it: My grandpa was the Phantom Shitter."
9. "I worked at a call center. Someone came to me to complain that there was an inordinate amount of pubic hair on the flat top of the urinal in the men's room. I went to check, and there was, in fact, a remarkable amount of pubes there. It was nasty and clearly placed there by someone on purpose. I cleaned them off with a paper towel, washed my hands vigorously, and continued on with my day. A couple hours later, I was told the pubes had returned. Not quite as many as the first time, but still too many for the universe to have deposited them there naturally.
"Another manager and I had our suspicions as to whom the culprit was. We tried to catch him, but couldn't get more than circumstantial evidence. Not enough to confront him. After a third iteration, I'd had enough. So, I called all the male staff into the board room and addressed them as a group, saying the disgusting behavior had to stop immediately and there would be grave consequences for whomever was caught doing it. I made sure to make eye contact with the main suspect multiple times during the meeting. It never happened again. It still boggles my mind that I had to deal with that crazy behavior, but you know...call centers."
10. "A coworker attempted to prove that you couldn't actually hurt yourself slipping on a banana peel by stepping on one. To no one's surprise, he slipped and hurt himself. I refused to write it up as an incident, it was too stupid."
11. "I worked in returns at IKEA and had a customer complain that they accidentally ripped the instruction manual in half when they were cutting open the box and couldn’t finish assembling it. I politely informed them that all our instruction manuals were available online in PDF form, but this just made her mad. She demanded to speak to the manager. Manager gave her a few five dollar gift cards just to get her off my back, but I will always find it so funny that this lady thinks accidentally cutting an instruction manual in half — which she still had both halves too, so she could have just easily put them together to read the instructions — inhibited her from assembling furniture."
12. "I work in the funeral industry, so I get to deal with new, ridiculous things on a near-daily basis. For example, today I had to look for a bullet in a body bag, because the list of personal effects of a deceased that we got from the medical examiner included 'ammunition x 1.' This person was going for cremation, and bullets in a crematorium are a no-no for obvious reasons. So, we looked and looked — inside the body bag, inside the clothing, pockets, shoes, under the body, everywhere. I even shone a flashlight into the hole that used to be the deceased's face to see if it was maybe still in the head-ish area, but no. So after 20 minutes or so of thoroughly searching this poor dead person, I called the MEO to see if they had the bullet.
"The girl who answered the phone checks with the morgue and came back to say, 'Yep, it's here, we always take and keep the bullets!' Great! Then WHY list it on the personal effects sheet with everything else that is still with the body? My job is weird as hell, y'all."
13. "I worked at a grocery store. A customer's dog took a shit at the front of the store by the registers. He just stood there while I cleaned it. Suddenly, the dog took a second shit while I was still cleaning. But wait. As I’m cleaning the second shit, the dog then puked. As I’m cleaning that, the owner pats the dog on the head, saying, 'Good boy.'"
14. "One time, while working front desk at a gym, a woman complained that there were too many geese outside. She said that they should’ve flown south by then and we needed to do something about it."
15. "I work in film and television. We were shooting in a pretty upper-class neighborhood, and the woman living beside the house we were filming in decided that she hadn't been paid enough. So a few hours into our day, she started playing opera music as loud as she could with all her windows open. After an hour or two of that, she ramped it up and started mowing her lawn. Then, she just sat right on her property line with the mower going full blast, until a producer went over and kindly asked her to stop. I'm not high enough in the production to know how much she was asking for, but apparently, it was too much because he walked away shaking his head and told the sound guys there was nothing he could do.
"Once night rolled around, my boss had had enough of this lady and decided to annoy her right back. So, we got some 10k lights — which are pretty goddamn bright — and pointed then directly into her windows. It was basically midday sunlight blasting into her house at 10 p.m. That's when she called the police, saying that we were filming illegally (it was a full union show with permits, and on duty police were also there). A cop pulled up and saw the other officers already around to block traffic for us. They went to the craft table, got a snack, and left. We did turn off the lights around 1 a.m., though, because we're not animals."
16. "When I worked in the NHS, I had to take part in an investigation about a poo on the floor in a community hospital. A patient had missed the bog, so it sat steaming on the floor. The nurse said they were too busy and couldn't clean it up, but the cleaner could. The cleaner said they couldn't touch it, because it's biological waste. Then the nurse said to find a healthcare assistant. The healthcare assistant said they couldn't do it, because they hadn't been signed off on the infection control policy. This escalated to a sister, who said the student nurse should do it. The student nurse vomited and ran out crying. I was in the building at the time and heard all the fuss, so I thought, for fuck's sake, and cleaned it up myself. I got reported, because I was just a manager and not clinical, so I wasn't allowed."
17. "One of my employees was propositioned in quite an explicit way by the general manager of the site — who was, like, four levels up — on Grindr. I overheard him telling another employee in a 'holy shit, can you believe who messaged me???' way, and he was not offended at all, but it became a whole thing. The GM did not recognize him at all, due to the fact they are four levels apart and did not interact much."
18. "I was working as a sign language interpreter in a classroom setting, and the teacher’s aide decided to stand between me and the student, blocking their view. I asked her to move, and she told me that she was doing it on purpose so that the student didn’t rely on me too much."
19. "I had to massage a woman who was drunk at the spa I used to work at. She had an appointment for a facial and massage, but wanted to cancel because she was tipsy. She didn't want to pay the cancellation fees for both, so she only cancelled the facial. Long story short, she peed on the table. (I didn't realize until she left and was cleaning the room.) I had to knock on the door several times when we were done, because she kept falling asleep instead of getting dressed. It was my last appointment of the day, too. Management didn't care as long as she paid."
20. "I was a tour guide in Central America for a few years. One of my passengers was so scared of eating local food that she brought a small duffel bag of protein bars and only ate those. By day four, she was complaining of stomach cramps, and her farts were so bad that I thought they would strip the paint off the interior of the bus. I had to help her find a McDonalds or something so that she would eat actual food."
Now its your turn! Do you have a ridiculous workplace story like these? If so, tell us about it in the comments below or via this anonymous form.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.