We have all been around for a workplace meltdown. It happens in every office. It’s fantastically cringe-worthy. It’s brutal. It’s death.
Some meltdowns are worse than others, of course. There are major differences between a rant and a tantrum, as evidenced below. Sometimes, when the workday is long and the week is too slow, a nice little workplace meltdown is just what you need to heighten your spirits. Below are some of the best office meltdown stories the internet has to offer, courtesy of Reddit.
I’ve posted this before, but it still makes me laugh. I wasn’t the one that got fired, but I watched it happen. I was at Publix getting a sub when I hear this:
Manager: What the hell are you doing?! You know I have to fire you for doing this again.
Worker: What is the problem? I didn’t do anything wrong.
Manager: You are allowed to get something to eat on your break, not eat while you’re packing food.
Worker: So I had a couple chicken wings, it’s not that big of a deal.
Manager: THERE ARE 50 WINGS IN THE BOTTOM OF THAT TRASH CAN!!!!
Nothing else was said and the manager escorted the wing eater out. The guy was making baskets of wings and was basically going ” 1 for the basket, 1 for me” and eating his way through the batch of wings. Best part was the two people making subs just start laughing and one goes “if the manager knew how much that guy has eaten in the 2 weeks he has worked here, he would shit a brick. The other day he just sat there eating a whole container of potato salad while he was working the fryer.”
Publix. America’s No. 1 grocery store chain.
I saw two stone masons get in a fist fight when I worked construction. I was laying electrical underground pipe, and they were laying block wall. One threw a hammer at the other one and hit him in the head. Cracked his eye socket. Cops came and took our statements and the guy got arrested for assault.
Blue collar workplace meltdowns are typically more violent in nature.
I didn’t actually witness this, I did it. I was working at a Wendy’s my senior year of high school with that being my second job, the first was the McDonald’s across the street. McDonald’s taught me drive thru, and Wendy’s got 1/10th the business so i was a drive thru god there. One night there was a football game we didn’t know about, and when it let out we got absolutely slammed. I was working 3 positions in drive thru, which i could handle, but when i had to do fries i couldnt deal with it. I asked the guy who was working front counter, who hadnt had a customer in about an hour, to hop on fries and help me out, he mumbled something and walked over there. I relax and go back to drive thru, and when i go to bag my order i see all this kid did was drop a basket of fries, not make any of the 20+ orders we had. At first i was like fuck him i got this, and made a large fry. I then turned and threw it at him calling him a lazy incompetent asshole you cant even work a fast food job, walked back to the office and tossed my head set at the manager and told told him i quit
Quitting in the middle of a crisis. Classic.
I got into a screaming match with my boss. He was furious, and after the altercation, I saw him head to the elevator. I knew he was going to Human Resources, so I ran down the stairs and beat him to the HR office by about 20 seconds. He had to sit in the HR waiting room for half an hour until I was done speaking to them which made him even more furious.
Uh, I have a feeling he’s going to win that battle.
We worked in a business casual office, most of us just wore button up shirts, decent pants and dress shoes every day. However, Suit Guy showed up as a new hire and wore the same exact tan suit every day for the three months he was there, which is what earned him the nickname.
He also drank a large coffee, a Monster energy drink and a can of Mountain Dew in that order between when he walked in at eight and when he had lunch at noon. Apparently he was going through a divorce that was getting pretty contentious and the combination of caffeine and rage put him over his boiling point one morning when he began screaming at his phone while at his desk and then broke his cell phone in half. This was 2012, so it was a full screened smartphone that he somehow bent until it broke. I don’t know how he did it, my friends and I tried to replicate it using one of my old phones a couple days later and we could cause some bending, but no break.
He came in the next day with a new phone and acted like he hadn’t made a scene the day before.
Reminds me of the Larry David quitting story. Act like it never happened and maybe everyone will just forget.
I worked in a building with a cafeteria in it, we noticed that one of the everyday cashiers had stopped showing up to work and found out that she had passed away. My coworker asked who we were talking about and upon finding out, stood up from her desk, flung herself to the ground, and proceeded to roll back and forth crying as loud as she could. We all freaked out, we had customers on the phone we had to put on hold until we could get her to her feet and someone could escort her somewhere else so she could calm down. She took the next few days off, including the day of the funeral. Assuming she had gone to the funeral, we asked her how it was, she answered with, “Huh? I didn’t go, I barely knew her…”
Women are the emotional being.
I didn’t witness this myself, but a former co-worker did. She worked at a law firm in one of the upper floors of the Empire State Building. She was in a office with another co-worker interviewing a client when the co-worker just mumbled something, got up, walked over to a window and jumped out to his death.
You shouldn’t be able to open a skyscraper window. Here is the backstory, by the way.
I work in hospitality. Our old head of housekeeping was a small Polish woman with a spitfire personality. She refused to hire minorities or heavier woman (even though some of the best cleaners we’ve ever had were one of those two). She worked 7 days a week at least 50 hours total. She was burning herself out hard core. She was very paranoid and always afraid someone was out to get her position.
Well, one morning she got into it with one of our best housekeepers. She grabbed the woman’s wrist and gave her an indian burn. Then she came to the front desk, yelling and screaming, and threw herself to the floor, like a toddler having a tantrum, kicking her arms and legs. This was in the middle of a busy check in window as well, and here she is rolling on the ground crying and yelling.
I looked at her and said, “get your ass to the office if you’re going to have a melt down”. So she picked herself up, then threw herself down in the office and finished her tantrum there. She was fired that day.
That’s the way to go.
While I was at college learning metalworking, our teacher got so pissed off with the complete lack of respect/attention by his students that he stormed out of the engineering lab and got in his car then drove off, only to hit a lampost at nearly 30mph. He got out of his car, pushed it off the lampost, which fell over and nearly took him out. He drove off with steam coming out of the bonnet of his new Porsche.
Meanwhile, he had left an Aluminium crucible on full heat which literally went into meltdown. Molten metal started bubbling and bursting out of the crucible like a volcano. Where the molten metal touched anything flammable, it started a fire.
When molten metal starts erupting, you know your having a bad day. He was remarkably not fired, and all of his students made rapid life adjustments and never disrespected him again.
That kind of power move commands respect.
was interning at a local ABC news station for awhile. one day, I was alone on the set sitting on one of those couches you always see anchors sitting on in morning shows (I was waiting for my boss to come down and tape something for his show.)
enter the weatherman. he walks over to his desk, looks at something on the computer, stands up, slams his hand on the table and yells at the top of his lungs “THIS IS SO FUCKING OUT OF CONTROL! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?? GOD DAMNIT!”, then straightens up his tie, calmly and coolly walks by me again and says “pardon my French” and walks out the door. I sit for a minute in shock and then go upstairs.
turns out the national weather service was trying to get him in trouble because someone reported a live tornado in a distant corner of the state, when there actually wasn’t a tornado at all, and caused the sirens to go off. I think, that’s at least what I got out of what him & the other weatherman were talking about.
Weathermen answer to no one.
This crazy lady they hired as a cashier didn’t take getting fired too well. After they fired her, she told the owner to fuck off and proceeded to ram his truck with her car as she left…
And it’s funny because it barely dented the owner’s bumper, but her car got really fucked up. I don’t even think he pressed charges.
A for effort, F for execution.
When I was a teenager, I worked at a job where the general manager’s husband was sleeping with the assistant manager. The assistant manager flaunted it too. She would go around saying things like “He told me I give better head than you do.” and “No wonder your husband cheats. I would cheat if I were married to you!”
Anyway, one day, the general manager finally snaps and they get into a full on cat fight right in front of the entire store. We had to call the police to break them up.
It is pretty bad when the teenage crew can act more civilized than the adult managers.
She should have kicked the shit out of that bitch.
Freshman year of high school, Sales and Marketing teacher. Wrote my name on the board for acting up but spelled it wrong, so I said “Well when [wrong name] show’s up I’ll tell him he’s in trouble”
Flipped out, started screaming at me and another kid that was being a smartass, threw his stool across the room where it broke on the opposite wall, tried to pick up this huge folding table Hulk-style but slammed it back on the ground when it was too heavy to lift, and then just glared at me for like three minutes straight.
Teaching high school is just never the right move.
There was an Arab man named Ahmed that delivered food to the factory I worked at a few years ago. He was the nicest guy I ever met. Always gave me free food just for being respectful to him. One day he was delivering food to employees who had to work on Sunday and they were all whining and complaining about how unfair it is, even though they were being paid double time. Apparently, Ahmed had heard enough because in front of the whole plant, he began to scream at all of them for being ungrateful crybabies, and reminded them how good they have it in America. I had never seen the factory so quiet. I asked him what was up as he left and he explained to me how he had come here from the Middle East to escape famine and terrorism and he started with nothing and worked all day everyday to get where he is now. It was one of the most motivating things I’ve ever witnessed.
Ahmed straight laying down the law.
One morning my manager called me and asked me to switch shifts with him, meaning I would open and he would close. Cool, no big deal. I go in early, open the store and receive a phone call in the middle of a consultation with a customer. It’s my manager and he tells me that he just resigned. That was it. He came by about three months after his resignation and was looking pretty frail and skinny. He told me it was from eating healthy, but I wasn’t sure. About 8 months later, after I moved to a different store, he held up my old store at knife point and stole the money from the safe. He got caught a few months later during a traffic stop. It all came about because his ex wife refused to let him see his daughter and he just went off the absolute deep end. It was a slow breakdown, but nothing that we ever expected from him.
Of all the stores to rob, don’t rob the one with all your friends working there.
Worked with a sales rep who was about to get fired for faking his expense reports. He knew it was going to happen because corporate called the restaurant where he was pulling his scam from and they did some research and found it all out and got the law involved.
He took his company car (a Saab 9000CD) and left it in the worst part of town with the keys in it, hoping it would get stolen. Pure spite on his part. Unfortunately, he didn’t plan for how he was going to get out of this part of town so he got mugged and the crap kicked out of him. Ambulance came and took him to the ER. I should add here that he was about 25 or so and a complete jackass.
The interesting part: He tried to go out on work comp due to his “injuries” and stayed away from the office, because he knew he was going to get fired. I had to visit him at his home and explain that he was going to be fired and that he could keep the law out of this if he paid the money back. It was $2500. He said he was on pain pills due to his injuries and couldn’t understand what I was saying. He stays at home for 2 weeks, recovering from his “injuries”.
Here’s the meltdown: after the doctor releases him, he comes back to work. The day he comes back, the legal team and the police are waiting for him. He gets formally fired and the police arrest him. I should add that the whole thing was being recorded by the legal team on video. After they put the cuffs on him, he immediately drops to the ground screaming that he is “injured” and “in severe pain” and “doesn’t deserve to be treated like this.” The police grab him and throw him in the back of the police car while he is screaming like a baby the whole time. What he didn’t know is that there was a video camera in the police car. Once the police put him in the back of the car and then went back inside leaving him alone in the car, he stopped crying and started laughing.
This dragged on for years. My firm refused to back down and we prosecuted him for everything we could.
Best one yet.
Got your own workplace meltdown story? Share it in the comments. To read more stories and replies in this thread, click HERE..
Image via Shutterstock