Your first day at a new job is a lot like the first day of school — except this time, instead of gym classes and pop quizzes, there's a paycheck waiting for you at the end of the week.
1. "I got mugged on my first night as a pizza delivery guy."
2. "My first job was at a new buffet in a small town when I was 14. I was supposed to be a dishwasher, but when I got there for training they handed me a ladder and told me to install dry wall ceiling tiles in the kitchen."
"I, obviously, had no idea what I was doing and a tile fell on my back, which caused me to slip off the ladder and fall on the ground.
The owner was upset that a 14-year-old kid couldn't do the non-dishwashing task correctly, chewed me out, sent me home, and told me to never come back. I had to pester them for months to get my $6.50 for the hour I was there. Shockingly, they went under in just a few months."
3. "When I arrived on the first day, there was an eviction notice on the door and a cop looking for the business owners. Bullets dodged, that day!"
4. "I worked at a flower shop in high school. My trainer and I found this pink plastic gun thing. Obvi not a real gun, but we barely touched the trigger, and all of a sudden we were coughing and our eyes were watering. We had to leave the room and close up the shop early. It was some kind of pepper or bear spray."
5. "I work at a gas station, and I accidentally hit the button that emergency stops all the gas pumps my first day, LMAO."
6. "I got hired at an insurance place. I was told to dress business casual, so my first day I was wearing chinos and a sweater. I was still filling out paperwork when someone came in and told me I needed to go home and change."
"It was a half-hour drive each way, but I was broke so I did it. Quit a few months later. Horrible place."
7. "First day at work at a library. I’m 18 years old, but I look like I’m 12. My very first patron comes storming up, and I ask, 'Hi! How can I help—' and he starts cursing up a storm at me because his card had been deactivated a few days before."
8. "First corporate job. We had these large metal coffee urns in the break room on the floor. You put the grounds in the cup thing and hit a button because they were piped into the water line."
"What I did not know was that it would run a cycle for each button push. I pushed it twice in a row and left for it to brew. When I came back it had doubled up and overflowed. There was coffee everywhere. Day one."
9. "I accepted a new position as a director. Upon arrival my first day, I was informed that 'Corporate' did not approve my position, and though it would not affect my pay, my title was going to be 'Nurse Manager.'"
"It made no sense. After breaking the news, I was led to my office. There was some small talk about the office’s need for art, and then my new boss left stating, 'Get settled in.'
I sat at my new desk staring at bare walls for the next three hours. Finally my phone rang, and my boss said, 'Meet me in the cafeteria for lunch.' I have never been so grateful for a phone call.
At lunch, I asked if I could visit the units I would be tasked with running. 'No, we have not told the leaders that you are taking them over. We want you to keep a low profile until the logistics are worked out.'
I spent the afternoon staring at bare walls. Finally 5 p.m. arrived, and I left my first day without speaking to anyone, feeling confused by the entire episode. I regretted accepting the position."
10. "In the first few months of the pandemic, I got hired at a dog daycare, and the owner told me I’d be making $9 per hour as their receptionist. I go in to fill out the paperwork, and she tells me that she actually filled the receptionist position, but she has a dog handler position open for $8 per hour."
11. "I got hired as a prep cook at a steakhouse as a second job. Started in December. During orientation, the general manager said, 'If you’re early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late, and if you’re late you don’t deserve a job.'"
"Fair enough, I usually arrive at least 15 minutes early to anything, work included. My first actual day of work I get dropped off at 7:45 for an 8:00 a.m. shift. It’s like 30 degrees out, starting to snow. Finally 8:20 rolls around, and the other two prep cooks show up. I asked them what the deal was, and they said the GM was always late.
Then at 8:30, the GM finally shows up to unlock the doors to let us in. I looked at him and said, 'If you’re early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late, and if you’re late...' and just gave him this look. He told me it wasn’t gonna work out so I walked 2 miles home in the snow. It was probably a good thing honestly."
12. "My boyfriend of five years decided that a Monday at lunchtime was the perfect time to break up with me via text message. I'm a teacher, and this was my first day at a new school. Everyone was lovely, happy, smiling, and so was I. Then I sit down to eat lunch, and my phone dings."
"Well, you can imagine what that was like. I hid in the bathroom for a while trying to keep it together because the opening ceremony was in the afternoon.
The whole ceremony takes about two hours with speeches, intros, information, video, taking pictures, etc. All the teachers and I had to stand on a stage and give short introductions in front of about 700 children, their parents, school officials, etc. So I was sitting on the sidelines trying not to cry or vomit or let my emotions be obvious. Probably didn't succeed. Then had to get up onstage in front of well over 1,500 people and keep it together long enough to give my little intro about looking forward to the new year blah blah.
I could finally leave after the ceremony and bawled the whole way home."
13. "I got a temp job at an office going through files and shredding old documents. What they didn't tell me until I got there was that the shredder was actually a leaf shredder located on a loading dock."
14. "I unknowingly took a dump next to my boss. When we got out of the stalls things were awkward for a bit. We now laugh about it every now and then."
15. "I took a temp job from an agency while I was looking for a permanent position. I showed up and was told they forgot to cancel the request for a temp, but they let me work for the day anyway. They had me go through résumés for the people they were going to permanently hire into the position I was there for."
"Icing on the cake was that I had bought new shoes the day before and made an ass of myself several times tripping in front of everyone in the office. They probably wouldn’t have kept me anyway."
16. And finally, "I was hired as a party host for a children's playland. I was the only adult who was allowed in the playground area, so half of the job was coaxing children out when their time was up."
Note: Comments have been edited for length and clarity.