Well, folks weren't afraid to share their experiences with HORRIFIC coworkers. Like, if I ever had to work with any of these people, I'd probably quit my job. It just wouldn't be worth it!
So, here are some of the most insufferable coworkers that have probably ever existed in the workforce:
Note: This post contains topics of verbal abuse and racism. Please proceed with caution.
1. "Several years ago, I got a temp job at a nice quiet office, and the boss put me in Janice's office to train. At first we actually got along well — she seemed 'normal' during the first week, though I noticed she ran late a lot. Then, I started noticing things that made me grow to hate her. She would kick me off of my computer and use it to browse the web because her internet access was restricted, then complain when I didn't get my work done on time. She also snacked on soy nuts all day long, and left greasy fingerprints on everything (including my mouse and keyboard). She made me cover for her whenever she was late, and told me to tell the boss that she went to the bathroom if he came looking for her when she disappeared for three hours every afternoon."
"After a few months, I was moved into another woman's office who thankfully wasn't like Janice, and I was switched to a different project. Janice still seemed to think she was in charge of me, though, despite being in a different department and on a different project.
She began monitoring my lunch breaks, peeking out of her office door to see what time I came back. She'd send me emails with my boss cc'd on them that said, 'I noticed you didn't come back from lunch until 1:05 p.m. today — our lunches are ONE HOUR here, not one hour and five minutes.' Even though we were in different departments, that didn't stop her from sending me extra work — she expected me to do my work AND do her purchase orders as well, and if I didn't get all of her work done by the end of the day, she'd complain.
I never figured out why she hated me so much — it's like she just decided to pick on me for fun or something."
2. "I used to work in finance at a company where everyone was an evangelical Christian. They found out I was an atheist through Orkut (an old social network where I was part of atheist online communities). This group of people from work started bullying me with religious stuff to try to get me fired, and they also made a new folder in our system with my name on it and put a lot of porn inside of it. The interesting part about this whole thing is the guy who did this to me actually forgot he had pictures of HIMSELF having sex with random people in this folder, and in the end, three people got fired (and thankfully, one of them wasn't me)."
"K. A. R. M. A."
3. "I worked in a kitchen at a retirement home. I was the morning cook and became good friends with the night cook before he got promoted to head chef. I even attended his wedding with my partner, and overall had a good time. Shortly after he got promoted, he started to get more and more lazy — I'd have to stay later in the day to make sure all the orders were put away. He'd sit outside and smoke for an hour at a time (I put up with it for a few months). When I told him that my partner was pregnant and my son was due in July, all he said was: 'Oh, man, that better not fuck up my birthday weekend.' Fast-forward to when my partner went into labor at 4:30 a.m. — I called my boss and told him I wouldn't make it to work, seeing as my son was being born. He called me back at 5:30 a.m. asking if my son was born yet, and when I told him no, he asked if I could come in for a few hours while we waited."
"When I told him no, he had a hissy fit over the phone and hung up. On my first day back, he brought me into his office and wrote me up for missing shifts. I quit and thankfully got a new job right away, but it took him three months to give me my vacation pay (and he only did so when I went to the labor board)."
4. "My coworker and I were account managers for a telecom company, and there were seven of us crammed into a small room in the back. He'd say sexist quotes from the Bible frequently, and wouldn't 'let' his wife work (even though she was in the pharmacy business, and we only made $12 an hour at the time). One day he was served a protective order against his wife and daughter and divorce papers all on the same day, and this unlocked some true horror. He started spending all day talking on the phone to lawyers and family members, either quoting even darker Bible verses or wishing his soon-to-be ex-wife was dead. It was a typical morning, and he was on the phone complaining to someone — another coworker of ours came in wearing striped socks, and everyone was joking around with her about it. Suddenly, this guy SLAMMED his phone down and yelled: 'GREAT. BECAUSE YOU WERE ALL LAUGHING IN THE BACKGROUND, THE JUDGE DENIED ME VISITATION WITH MY DAUGHTER!'"
"Another woman made a comment, saying: 'Jeez, don't go postal' — he replied in the flattest, coldest tone I've ever heard in real life, 'Oh, I won't go postal — god will kill you all, and when he does, I'll be there to take pictures of your bodies to show my daughter what happens to sluts like you.'
We threatened to put a restraining order on him, so they moved him out of the room...to the first desk outside of our door..."
5. "I was a swing manager at McDonald's in high school, and we had one employee named Johnny who just didn't want to do any work. He was in the kitchen, so his duties were to cook, prep, clean, and restock. His favorite thing to do was prep — ask the man to make a Big Mac, and you'd get the worst sandwich ever; ask him to slice tomatoes, and you'd get perfection. One day we were really busy, and I was helping out in the basement with an inventory order. Johnny came downstairs, and his hand was sliced, bad — down to the bone, bleeding everywhere. It looked like he put his hand in the tomato slicer and just smashed it onto his hand. But thing is, he was so calm — and even pleased with himself. We sent him home thinking that was that. He strolled out, said goodbye to his coworkers, and we never saw or heard from him again."
"That night I was sorting out all of the tills to take the dailies to the safe drop at the bank. We were missing nearly $5,000 in cash from the manager's safe (it never happened before, and it never happened after). I don't know how he did it."
6. "He was an older guy, and would make racist jokes all the time. He would also play his country music out loud, which was very distracting (and try to whistle to the music, but couldn't carry a tune nor follow a melody). He was an awful whistler. I'd be on the phone, and he would turn his music louder just to be a dick. I don't really get offended about anything, but I know what is/isn't appropriate in the workplace. He once made a joke about Jewish people, and I jokingly put an HR complaint form on his desk. My other coworker knew it was a joke, and laughed about it. Well — this guy got upset and called me a piece of shit. So apparently, he likes making jokes, but doesn't enjoy it when others make them."
7. "My old boss was a lot — she removed her cubicle wall so she could watch us. No one was allowed to come talk to us about work or request anything from us without going through her first — and if anyone came to our area, she'd stomp out of her cube to interrupt. She'd follow us and eavesdrop on our conversations, but only hear certain parts of them, and then get angry because she misunderstood what she heard. She required us to send our work to her, which she would then send to whomever it was we were supposed to be working with, and take all of the credit for it. She'd also yell at us on the floor — one time she made a woman on my team cry and then followed her into the bathroom to yell at her some more."
"Even after all of that, it took more than a year of countless people in other departments making formal complaints about her for HR to pull the trigger (it was delayed because she was buddies with the head of the HR department)."
8. "My boss was an attorney who knew I was underpaid but acted friendly toward me. Whenever I interviewed somewhere else and they called for references, he lied about me being impatient and said I had a temper when dealing with others. Luckily, I had given my next interviewer written copies of annual performance reviews that he had written praising me. I didn't learn about the lies until a year after leaving my job and my boss. The interviewer told me she found someone else in my references who had said that '[my boss] was an asshole.'"
9. "Once I worked as a hairdresser at Celly's in Brighton, and the owner wasn't a hairdresser (more of an entrepreneur). Anyway, we were in the car driving between salons (he owned three), and I told him I was gay — his response was that he'd allow it. I was thinking: 'WTF — you'll ALLOW it???' First of all, I'm a HAIRDRESSER — of course I'm gay. Secondly, you'll allow it, like you have any fucking choice?"
10. "I was working as a cashier for a grocery store, and I had an awesomely friendly boss who was always quick with a joke and great with customers. She also counted the drawers and handled the front of the store. My drawer came up $20 short one day (it never happened in the year I was working there), and I got pushed in front of the store manager without any defense. They told me I could either pay it out of pocket or get written up — I couldn't afford the $20, so I took the write-up (I was a broke high school kid who had to pay car insurance)."
"My boss later went on and started talking about watching out for 'quick change artists.' Fast-forward three months later, and I quit because of a shitty raise (because of the demerit) — my former boss was arrested and fired for stealing money from the tills to feed her lottery habit."
"My god, this exact same thing kept happening at the theater I worked at. My managers kept an eye out for discarded ticket stubs so they could process refunds on them and pocket the cash."
11. "This woman who works in a different department has been here for 30 years, and believes the department I work in shouldn't exist. Thus, she makes it her life's mission to fuck up our work at every twist and turn. She has contact with many of our clients and will deliberately sabotage events we have planned for them — she refuses to do stuff that is part of her job description, and forces us to do it instead. She gossips all of the time, and I've discovered on numerous occasions that I'm either a fascist, a liar, a womanizer, or just plain incompetent (and for the record, I'm none of these things). The only reason she's still around is she's best friends with the boss, and so not only is her job protected, but crossing her means a call into the boss's office. She's a nightmare, and everyone but the boss wants her gone."
12. "Whenever anyone went into my coworker's office, he would make them wait to speak to him (depending on how 'important' they were). So, his boss didn’t have to wait at all — his equals and his secretary would have to wait until he finished the sentence. I was the new start, and sometimes I would have to wait 10 minutes. If I tried to leave, he would stop me and make me wait even longer. Fuck you, dude."
13. "I worked for a company that paid you for the mileage for using your own car. They found out someone was logging hundreds of hours a week unnecessarily to get paid. I logged my time, but cheated myself out of 11 miles (23 cents per mile) due to the inverted last two digits. The manager wrote it up, documented it, and sent it to the home office. They didn’t make any attempt to reimburse me. At the same company, I was getting bonuses for being the top sales rep every month. The manager fired the rest of the sales reps, called the home office, and told them I didn’t deserve the bonus because there was no competition. He collected a bonus every month for keeping the hours low."
14. "I had a power-hungry manager several years back. Her demands were over-the-top, and she would belittle and scrutinize us under the guise of 'elevating' our roles. Needless to say, this included a lot more work, stress, and conveniently no more pay. If you ever sent an email she didn’t like, she’d pull you into an office and berate you for 'unprofessional behavior' or something to that effect. Luckily, management disliked her difficult nature, and several employees quit under her leadership, and HR got involved due to some scathing exit interviews. She was on a work visa from another country, and the company did not renew it. It's unimaginable how people could act this way."
15. And finally: "An incompetent mid-level boomer manager who's 20 years older than me performs his tasks with the simple click of a button. If there's anything requiring his approval, he approves it without even reviewing it. When someone asks a question, he forwards it to me for an answer. He's like a transparent window: Everything that comes his way simply passes through. He doesn't provide any added value whatsoever, which makes him more of a liability than an asset to the company. Unfortunately, his own manager doesn't seem to care — any errors or missed deadlines are always attributed to me, yet I never receive credit when tasks are completed successfully. After a year, I decided to resign. I tried to have him removed from the company by raising my concerns to senior management. I refused to continue tormenting myself by doing his job."
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.