22 True Stories About Awful Co-workers You’d Totally Want to Strangle

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I’ve been very lucky that I’ve never had to work with anyone particularly terrible (lurv ya dyk!), but I have gotten some crazy jobs off of Craigslist before. The Craigslist job market is a very weird place, and, if you get into it, you will find yourself doing very weird things for money.

Like I said though, my co-workers have always been lovely people. Not so for everyone, according to these AskReddit threads. We’ve gathered 22 stories of the very worst co-workers – the ones that would make you take deep breaths and count backwards from ten – below for your enjoyment:

1. “Don’t go postal”

We were account managers for a telecom company and we were part of a team that specialized in a specific type of product, so there were 7 of us crammed into a small room in the back.

This was back when Glenn Beck only had his stupid AM Talk Radio show, and this guy listened to it all day. We asked him to wear headphones but he refused. He would say weird, 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 about $12/hr at the time.

Up until this point the craziest thing he had done was take off June 6, 2006 (666) to hide in his bunker. Then one day he was served a protective order against his wife and daughter and divorce papers all on the same day…This unlocked the true craziness.

He started spending all day talking on the phone to lawyers and family members, either quoting even darker Bible verses and wishing his soon to be ex-wife was dead or complaining about not getting sex anymore. He then started saying that God “takes care” of [promiscuous women] like his ex-wife, and when God does it he wants pictures of his ex’s body to show his daughter what happens when women don’t obey their husbands. It all came to a head over striped socks.

It was a typical morning, he was on the phone [complaining] to someone and a girl came in wearing striped socks. We kinda laughed about it and were joking around with her when suddenly Christian guy SLAMS his phone down and yells ‘OH GREAT, BECAUSE YOU ALL WERE LAUGHING IN THE BACKGROUND THE JUDGE DENIED MY VISITATION WITH MY DAUGHTER!!!’

Another lady just made the comment ‘Jeez Jeff, don’t go postal.’

To which he replied, in the flattest, cold 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 [people] like you.’

Oh, and when we told the supervisor he said that she laughed then said ‘What did you guys say to him? You know he’s going through a hard time. You all need to be more sympathetic towards him.’ We threatened to put a restraining order on him and so they moved him out of the room…To the first desk outside of the door. So we had to walk past him and still heard the douchey Glenn Beck show.

2. Trainee

When I was sixteen, I worked at Wendy’s. One day I went in to find out that I was training. I am working back window, and as I am training her, she starts filling me in on her situation. She was a recovering crack addict who had just been released from jail for theft, and was living in a halfway house. She was also forty years old and kept hitting on me, asking if I had ever had women, telling me constantly how cute I was, etc. I thought I’d have to get a new job, but two days later, addiction won out and she ran out the door with a hundred bucks. The funny thing was, had it just been the money, she would have just been fired, since she ran out with the work walkie-talkie, she was charged with a felony.

3. “Look how well I work!”

I once had a coworker who wouldn’t do a damn thing if the boss was not in the store. If he wasn’t there, she would be on the store phone talking to her baby daddy, outside smoking, or out in the mall shopping. She would do enough work to cover a 15 minute break, if you complained long enough for one.

However, if the boss was there, she was all over the customers like they were her new best friend and all in the boss’ face saying, ‘Look at how well I work!’

I complained, naturally. He just said there was nothing he could do because he never witnessed any of this behavior. Well, one day, while she was pulling her BS, another coworker and I were hit hard with a really huge rush. She was supposed to be helping with handing out orders, making fries and drinks, and whatnot. Instead she was off on the phone talking about sex, loudly, in earshot of the customers.

I had a mental breakdown and just started crying. I turned around and yelled at her, saying something along the lines of, ‘No one cares about your stupid sex life. Not me, not [coworker] and not the customers. Either get up here and DO YOUR JOB or just leave now.’

She came up to ‘help’ but with the worst attitude ever. As soon as the rush died down I booked it to the back, grabbed the cordless phone, and called the boss in tears. (I thought I was going to get fired for yelling in front of customers.) He agreed to do a stake out’ and watched her from afar. She was fired. I was given a raise. I quit 2 months later.

4. Love Triangle

Easily the love triangle that I had to deal with while working at Arby’s in college.

One of my managers (female) had just split with her husband, so she started banging one of the kitchen [staff] (male). When that went sour, she started hooking up with one of the female employees. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem, except the male kitchen [staff] clearly still harbored feelings, which led to some nasty shouting matches during work hours.

They’d try to pull the other employees into it and get us to take sides. I was all like, ‘I’m just trying to slice roast beef.’

5. The Braggart

There was this [jerk] that used to bring in framed photos of various exotic wildlife and show them off to everyone in the break room. He would go into a long story about his trip to Africa or whatever country that particular animal of the week came from. The thing is, they were all taken from the Internet and printed on photo paper. If he brought in a Siberian tiger photo, I would google Siberian tiger and BAM…Oh look its a pic from a brochure…for a Mexican zoo. I hated that guy.

6. Rocks

I share office space with a woman who’s been working in our firm for 35 years now. Underneath her desk she has a banker’s box half-filled – at least 10 kilos – with colorful rocks.

One day I asked her about the rocks. ‘Oh, every time somebody reaaaally pisses me off, they get a rock in my box, so I can remember it.’ ‘You mean…all of those rocks represent somebody?’ She rummaged in the box for a second and pulled one out. ‘This is for the time [department secretary] didn’t invite me to her Christmas party, even though I gave her a present.’ I picked one out at random. ‘So…who’s this for?’ ‘That’s for [old boss, retired circa 2003]. I told her not to hire that Paki for accounting, and she got pregnant six months later. She should have listened to me.’ I stared. ‘So… do I have any rocks?’ She just glowered at me for a second, then turned back to her newspaper.

7. The Clicker

The woman who sat next to me and clicked her pen all damn day long.

Click click. Click. Click Click Click.

It wasn’t even rhythmic. Just a random cacophony of clicks. Enough to make a man lose his mind and daydream of taking that pen and stabbing her through the neck with it. She was the worst.

8. The Boss’s Son

I worked at a concrete company when I was 17 for a summer job. It was really hard work especially when you’re the new ‘young buck’ they shove all the [bad] jobs on you and see what it’ll take to make you quit.

Anyway about 4 weeks into the job the owner of the company has a son who is my age come into work for him, he got all of the easier jobs and whenever I was with him he would go out to the truck and take 10 minute long water breaks. Then he would come back and pretend to do work but as soon as the foreman looked away he would slow his pace down or stop completely; and since he was usually working with me it became Mr. Miyagi hurry up or GTFO. I mean I get that it’s the boss’s son but damn don’t mistake his laziness for my incompetence. I would strip whole rooms and this kid would just sit there breaking ties and I’m still pissed off about it.

9. Dianne and Brenda

Dianne and Brenda from the pet store.

Both were old ladies with horribly bad attitudes. They both believed they were just a step below the managers and acted like total [jerks] 90% of the time, even to customers. Dianne had about a dozen or so complaints against her from customers while I worked there, things like breaking merch by throwing it down into the bag really hard, slamming the cash register because someone forgot to give her their coupon, making a big show of wiping something off the counter and throwing it into the trash can angrily.

Probably the funniest thing happened because of a policy our store had. The cashier had to say ‘Hello’ to every single customer who walked through the door. Dianne was in a pissy mood one day because the manager told me to put something away, he usually asked her to put things away and she was jealous. When I got back, she said something like ‘Doing anything you can to get off that register, you’re lazy.’ I told her to [go away]. The next customer who walked through the door heard her say in her loudest booming voice ‘HELLO!’ It was the most angry hello in the history of greetings and was so shocking the customer jumped with fright.

Brenda had no sense of humor and reported me to the manager for every joke I made. Once she asked what I did all weekend, I jokingly said ‘I drank myself into a coma Friday and woke up Sunday.’ She went to the manager telling him he should piss test me for drugs because I admitted to doing drugs on the weekends. Once I was joking around with another cashier and said ‘I’m going to just clock out, go home, and go back to bed, cover for me please.’ She ran to the manager quickly and told him I was about to walk out on the job.

By the time I put in my two weeks there, I’d just started saying off the wall [stuff to mess] with her.

10. Sneaky sneaky…

I was a swing manager at McDonalds in high school. We had one employee, 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.

Anyways, one day we’re really busy and I’m helping out in the basement with an inventory order. Johnny comes downstairs and his hand is 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. Thing is, he was so calm. Looked 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’m sorting out all the tills to take the dailies to the safe drop at the bank. We’re missing nearly $5,000 in cash from the manager’s safe. Never happened before. Never happened again. Don’t know how he did it.

11. Jenny

Jenny is 30 or 31. I have never worked with a more incompetent person in any job, ever. We’re both pharmacy technicians, and I honestly believe that if she keeps working in this job, she’s going to kill someone. Over the past few months, I’ve had to deal with some of the most incredibly stupid questions that could ever come out of a person’s mouth, especially since she went to one of the local trade schools to prepare her for this ‘career’: ‘Is a tablet the same as a milligram? What’s that cancer that makes your hair fall out? Is crystal meth kept in the safe?’

Recently, Jenny had a conversation with a pharmacist who was filling in at our store for a few days last week. The pharmacist was talking to her about school, after hearing that she’s going to one of the big technical colleges in the area, and asked what she was studying there.

Jenny: ‘I’m studying engineering.’

Pharmacist: ‘Oh, that’s cool.’

Jenny: ‘Yeah, I don’t even know what that means, but I’m hoping to get a job making those board things that go in computers.’

I’m hoping she quits soon; she hates the job because ‘people be telling me what to do, like ‘Jenny do this’ and ‘Jenny do that’,’ and just recently told a pharmacist that when it comes to doing the basic tasks like helping to put our weekly order away or using the register, she doesn’t care if it’s part of her job description, she doesn’t want to do it.

12. Failure to Communicate

I work in an engineering contracting firm. We mainly do electro-mechanical work from water-related projects.

We had this one electrical engineer who had a major issue with communication. I was his project engineer for one project and he would never ever ask me anything or give me any information unless I asked for it. He would never take on tasks unless I told him to do task X, Y. He never even communicated with the mechanical engineer, although for our projects, there needs to be a lot of coordination. When we’d find out something went wrong on the electrical side, he’d blame us for not giving him information. Or he would blame us for not asking him to confirm beforehand. Further, whenever I’d ask him for something over the phone, no matter how small (like confirmation on an instrument tag number for example), he would request that I write him an official e-mail with the question.

Needless to say, we [messed] up on every project he’s worked on. He was fired.

13. Dirty Gurneys

I used to work for a full-body donation facility. Like, you donate your body to science, we would cut it up and send your different parts to researchers all over the world. In this facility we had lots of gurneys to transport the 7-8 bodies we received a day. We would also cut up the bodies on the gurneys…which meant these things were disgusting. We cleaned them…but still.

My coworkers and I began noticing that some of the gurneys weren’t always in their rightful place when we opened shop in the morning. Immediately you think, ‘ghosts.’ Nope. Turns out two employees were always staying late and having sex on them. They didn’t get fired for it. They did get fired though, when they forged letters to their welfare agent saying they got paid below X amount of dollars and still needed welfare. Which was a lie. They signed the bottoms of the letters, each claiming to be the other’s boss.

14. “Baby mama issues”

We had a guy on the night shift that would come to work clock in and then drive away, come back at the end of his shift and clock out. The manager was told about it a number of times but said ‘I didn’t see it, so I can’t do anything about it.’ This guy was doing this for over a year. I ask what was up and the manager said, ‘He has baby mama issues.’

15. Darwin Award Winner

I had a coworker so incompetent he only LIVED for 2 days.

A bit of background: I worked construction back in the day and was working at the world expo 88 site in Brisbane, Australia dismantling the buildings and displays.

Anyway, day one of this new guy showing up for work, I was teamed with him as we had a pretty easy task of using a cherry picker inside the USA pavilion and removing ceiling panels. I was stacking them in the cherry picker with us and he decides he is just gonna start throwing them over the side, telling me they had to be down there anyway, well, one of the panels smashes into the side of the cherry picker severing the main hydraulics hose. The thing dropped out from under us so fast we were both briefly floating in the air before we came crashing down on it and bounced out. I was pissed, he thought it was a big joke.

Next day: I am teamed with him again which didn’t make me very happy at all.

We are now working on the monorail station platform loosening bolts from the concrete walkway that lead to the top where you would board the train for the tour of the site.

While we are doing this we are told the crane needed to be re-positioned so it could lift the concrete slabs from the walkway, I take this to mean we got ourselves a few minutes break so I walked away to go sit under a tree, I look up and see the idiot I am working with standing underneath the platform so I motion for him to come to me because it wasn’t bolted down, he refuses so I walk over to him and explain that to him and he just shrugs and says whatever, he just wants to be there to chain the crane to the slab asap so we can go do something else.

After a minute or so of telling him he is a moron I just turn and walk away, not 3 steps into the walk I hear a mighty crash and the ground below me shudders, I turn back and the concrete slab above this guy has fallen on him. I run over and start lifting the slab (which by the way is apparently 3 tons) and between me and another worker we lifted it. At that point just about every drop of blood in this guys body came shooting out from under the slab from the deep gashes in the top of his head.

Needless to say, he died instantly but damn that guy just didn’t give a [crap] and I still can’t work on construction sites because of that event.

16. Cathy the Thief

Cathy used to steal my tips when I was a server at Swiss Chalet. In fact once she stole all the money a customer had left for their meal. She told me they had dined and dashed. ‘Luckily’ I knew the people who’d ‘dashed’ – they lived in my college residence. So later that night I got home and accused them of dining and dashing. They told me they’d left the money and a nice tip and that I was a [jerk] for accusing them. They called my manager at Swiss Chalet (Cathy) and got a bunch of free coupons. A year later I was working elsewhere and a former coworker told me that she’d confessed to the whole thing one night while drunk, and thought it was hilarious. Stupid Cathy.

17. The Shirker

We had a guy who would spend all day doing literally nothing but play Angry Birds on his phone and go on random 20 minute walks through the building.

He had 3 different managers in HR meetings because he accused them of bullying him anytime they decided he needed to start working.

And the cherry on top was he was desperate to be a white knight so would falsely tell people’s girlfriends they were being cheated on then offer himself as a fedora clad shoulder to cry on.

18. “Intentional pest”

I had a boring summer office job working in newspaper archives. Some other college guy would brag about everything. The women he was dating, his money, his car, fights that he had been in. To make matters worse, he was an intentional pest. He’d hover around people just to make them feel uncomfortable.

One day I asked him to please go away. He ignored my request multiple times. I gave him a final warning and he suddenly reached down, grabbed my food and started eating it in front of me.

When I stood up, I could see he realized his mistake, but I was already gone at that point and something else took over. I grabbed him by the neck, slammed him face first into the carpeted floor, and told him in no uncertain terms to ever [mess] with me again.

As soon as I let him off the ground, he sprinted to get the boss. The boss walks over to me and says, ‘What did you just do to [him]?’

I seethed, ‘Not nearly enough!’

At that point, we were both warned not to interact. Win-win solution.

19. The Whiner

Worked with a guy whose only intent in life was to annoy people. He never did any work, usually claiming he was ‘new to the company’ and someone with a better notion of the background should do it instead, even after 6 months. Any work he did had to be redone.

He’s spend the whole day singing, whistling and/or tapping his foot. On the many occasions that I asked him to please stop, he’d intentionally do it louder, like a little kid. He wouldn’t miss an opportunity to whine about how little money he made, even though we all made the same, and while most people had rent and even kids to feed, he lived rent-free in a place his rich in-laws owned.

He eventually quit to spend a year abroad doing nothing but travel and smoke weed. Yes, the guy who kept complaining about money took a year off work.

20. Major Dummy 

‘He hit on female co-workers relentlessly, repeatedly begged me to sell him prescription drugs, kept asking me if I would cheat on my wife, claimed to be a Crip (he was a white redhead with a southern accent), and my favorite incident was where he once asked a Muslim co-worker if he would teach him to ‘speak Muslim.’ When corrected that it wasn’t a language, he responded, ‘Oh, I thought it was like Amish.’

21. Stabby McStabberson

I had a coworker LITERALLY STAB ME WITH A FUCKING FORK. It’s our lunch break and it’s around 12. This devil spawn looks at the microwave time, looks back at me, looks back at the microwave and comments “What asshole cooks something for 12 minutes.” I at first thought she was joking so I didn’t say anything. But she kept waiting for the microwave in her self righteous stance. Now I’m thinking holy fuck she actually thinks something is in there. Keep in mind that there is now a lineup to use said microwave. Anyways to hurry things up I politely inform her that it is 12pm and the microwave was displaying the time. Everybody behind me figured out why the lineup wasn’t moving and started laughing. Now visibly embarrassed I notice a twinkle of rage in her eye, and as she tries to play it off cool she jabbed me with her fork on my chest. But the thing no one noticed except me was that SHE FUCKING STABBED ME REALLY HARD.

22. Sam the Racist

Had this coworker one time at a bank that we’ll call Sam. Sam would go into the breakroom and dip his fingers or already-licked spoon into everyone’s lunch and the ice cream we used for celebrations. He would sexually harass all the female tellers and constantly invade their personal space. He would roll around in his chair behind the teller line and taunt working tellers and piss off customers who thought he was still on the clock and not helping them. He would ignore the manager. He would take forever to finish one simple transaction. He always made terrible mistakes, and we’d have to stay late to fix them. He’d purposely antagonize other tellers and prop his feet up on the manager’s desk. On top of her work.

Sam was also a racist and was finally eventually fired for being unable to keep his racism to himself.

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