People Share Their Worst Experiences With Horrible Coworkers

We all had at least one experience with a coworker (or perhaps more than one), that made our job a living hell. From slight misunderstandings to full-blown arguments, and even doing nothing at all at work: everything you can think of is here! 

1. Control Freak

  My coworker likes to initiate conversations, then does long pauses where you go to say something back, then he cuts you off and keeps talking.

He has entire conversations almost entirely by himself. He also likes to make changes to my paperwork before it's turned in.

It ends up riddled with spelling mistakes while he tries to make the content look smarter. Fortunately, it's all electronically stamped with who made revisions.


2. Doing Nothing All Day

I once worked with a girl who would sometimes just lie on the floor and play on her phone.

She would routinely flip out about something her boyfriend did and just start screaming curse words, and sometimes, in front of customers.

She was eventually fired for using substances, while on the clock.


3. Nasty Attitude

I work in a hospital as a nurse’s aide and my department focuses on transporting patients around the facility for tests and room changes. I work the night shift and this person started their shift at 6 am.

There was this lady I worked with who just had the nastiest attitude. Normally I can get along with most folks but this person just brought the whole room down with negative vibes. 

Nothing was ever good and she always had bad shifts. One thing she did that upset a lot of people was take patients down for X-rays and leave them down there to return to our office. 

The big thing to remember here is that even the lengthiest X-rays take maybe 10 minutes at the very most (2-5 minutes on average for the scans).

Every morning we got X-rays to do and I had to send her back down to return patients to their rooms after the x-ray technicians called right as she got back to our office.

The instances of leaving patients were common so I informed my boss several times in person and by email. Apparently, she had an attitude with every other department we worked with and never informed nurses that we were moving their patients (a big no-no when meds and vital signs needed to be done).

One day she had abandoned a patient in the ER waiting room when they were waiting for a ride home and told no one so security had found a patient just sitting alone for 15-30 mins without supervision.

It took this and a year of recorded evidence for this person to finally get fired. When that happened it was like a dark cloud lifted and a lot of people were relieved.

Oh, and she tried to get various employees around the facility to sign a form to argue against her case - one person signed.


4. Where’s The Food?

I hired a cook on a good recommendation. He was just fine the first two weeks. Then I noticed food going missing. Then supplies started going missing.

Then a customer told me that he had been adding auto 30% tips to his food purchases. When I looked at the books, I saw that he had been adding 30% tips to ALL the credit card sales.

And the cash rings were off from what should have been sold. I fired him that day.

The next day he came in and apologized. He said he was doing substances and was going to rehab. I wished him well. The next day he tried to break in after close and was caught. Idiot.


5. Thanks For Sharing… I Guess

This guy named Daniel I used to work with at a fast food in high school. He let everyone know he worked out and enjoyed being on the football team.

He had this thing about going to the toilet 5 times a day. He would walk by on his way back from the toilet, chest out, shoulders back, and triumphantly announce "That's sh*t number 3!"... damn Daniel.


6. The Perfume Mystery

This is about 15 years ago but the office I worked in instituted a scent-free policy. One woman, who was already insufferable, was so offended by it that she snuck in her perfume collection.

She'd walk down the halls and spray perfume into empty offices or cubicles when no one was looking or before everyone arrived in the morning.

This went on for well over a month or two and we had no idea who was responsible. My coworkers and I started referring to this mysterious person as the Chanel Bandit.

She was finally caught on camera in the act. She'd left for three weeks vacation and was unaware that we had installed cameras after a break-in. Some of us already suspected her, as the Chanel Bandit mysteriously stopped spraying while she was away.

She quit right after she was caught. None of us were sad to see that cedar-scented psycho leave.


7. She Did It!

My worst co-worker was one I worked with when I was a cashier at Walmart. She approached me and asked me to cash out her paycheck.

I was still new at the job and never got training on how to do that function. She was sympathetic, so she walked me through how to do it. Transaction over and done, I go on about my day.

I got called back a couple of days later by my managers and they circled me in an office and accused me of stealing.

After tears, videotapes, and telling them what happened they told me that apparently this coworker of mine had stolen not only from me but several other people that day as well.

They just wanted to confirm I wasn't in on the deal. Screw that supermarket, and screw that witch for almost getting me arrested.


8. Memory Issues Or Being Careless

He would walk in every day like it was his first day with no memory of anything we showed him the previous day. He was only focused for the first 30 minutes then the rest of the time would be on his phone and try to work with one hand which is bad because I work in a restaurant.

He can’t cook with one hand but that didn’t stop him from trying, then one day, he just stopped showing up for like a week, then was confused when he came back and was fired.

I’m not sure if he had memory issues or anything like that, at least he didn’t tell us or the owner. He did however like to talk about how easy our job was because he’d had four other restaurant jobs before this one.

He was only 19, but we didn’t make him do anything complicated he would forget easy things like where we kept burger buns or where buttons were on the register.

Also, he always left trash lying around after he was done with a job it would be me and my other coworkers who cleaned up after him and his excuse was always that he didn’t think it mattered because it was gonna get cleaned up eventually.

He still comes in every once in a while to watch our TV, sometimes with friends and sometimes by himself, he never buys anything but he just does it quietly so no one bothers him.


9. She’s Here For The Gossip

When I was an intern, there was this old shrew who would call people into her office (my cube shared a thin wall), gossip, then call those people in to tell them what was said, etc.

She would try to frame people for stuff she did wrong. She was so arrogant. And she refused to adapt to workforce modernization. For example: she refused to learn how to hyperlink in emails, documents, etc. A real ray of sunshine she was!


10. Too Careless

I worked at a grocery store, and one of the scheduling ladies was a total C-bomb. When you work at a grocery store, you expect to have shifts all over the place, that's part of the job so I'm not complaining about that.

Just about 2 years into working there, I had an accident and broke my thumb/hand (not while at work, unfortunately) and needed surgery.

I went to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) and they required a Record of Employment (ROE) so I asked the woman in charge of that (the aforementioned scheduling lady) if she would mind sending that off so I could still pay rent while I was off work recovering (btw she told me she already had).

So I went back to the EI offices and they told me they still had no ROE, so I went back to my old work and asked her a second time, this happened until I asked her to do it 4 times. This resulted in me having to borrow money from my parents for Christmas in order to pay my rent.


11. I Am Enough

Back when I worked at a restaurant, I was friends with the bartender, a chill dude. Right up until they made him manager and that small amount of power and increase in pressure made him so angry all the time.

He screamed at me that I "suck at my job" because I didn't do a thing that I'd never been asked to do before. He made me miss my last bus so I couldn't get home, it was pitch black outside and I cried on the bench outside the restaurant. The worst working day and the worst co-worker.

It took me a long time to get over that and realize I wasn't a crappy worker, he was just stressed and didn't know how to handle it I suppose.


12. Laughing Isn’t Enough

My old supervisor was that special brand of "too nice." Laughing was her nervous tic and, oh boy, it was CONSTANT. She was incapable of being assertive which is not the best quality for someone whose job is telling other people what to do.

The best she could do was be passive-aggressively nice when she REALLY needed something done which just made everyone dislike her.


13. He’s “Better Than That”

One of my favorite things about being in the military was that your pre-military status did not matter. Everyone wears the same uniform and you'd never know if your favorite military leader came from privilege or squalor.

The uniform, for all of its drawbacks, is an objectively effective unifier. It levels the playing field. Looking the same as everyone else challenged me to ensure that my work ethic and ideas created opportunities, not some predetermined status.

I had a peer who was "better" than all of that. He didn't do the work unless it interested him (we didn't do interesting things) and constantly complained that our work was below him.

On more than one occasion, he tried to pay for others to do his work for him. His entire point of being in the military was to prove to his father that he could earn something and sought to accomplish that by claiming he'd already earned it. Screw that guy.


14. That Makes No Sense

His name was Dan. Dan was 37 working at a dead-end job as a lab specimen processor in a windowless room for 9 hours a day. He ate only fast food, but without the lettuce, because that’s “rabbit food”.

He drank literally a gallon of fizzy drinks a day and was confused as to why people were horrified by that. “There’s water in it” he would say. Apparently, if he ate corn he would vomit and have to go to the hospital.

He would tell me he firmly believed that man and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, along with many other “theories” that came from his “gut”.

One day we got into a political argument before the 2016 election where he said “If Bernie Sanders is elected president, there will be a civil war, and I will not hesitate to kill you and your family”. Dan was fired. I got out of there as soon as I could. Don’t be like Dan.


15. She’s Different

I worked on a certain touring exhibition last summer. And of the 200 people who were applying for jobs, 20 of us got the job. We were all close-knit and had. A love for the exhibit content and being all genuinely interesting people made us a family. Bar one woman.

She thought she was the world's biggest star for having a 3-second cameo on GOT. And sent harassing messages and calls to many of us. She really messed with a lovely guy on the shop team who had no interest.

Undermined the bosses constantly, talked back and was rude to customers. When she thought we talked about her behind her back she got defensive and spiteful (we didn't) one day she got knocked back for good by the shop guy, and for some reason decided to take it out on me.

Started slabbering about me around to every other co-worker, but never to my face. She called me a white snake. Now, I am albino and my hair color got me seriously bullied in school along the vein of her insults, so her name-calling was very hurtful.

I had enough and took it to HR, and she was fired for her actions. I could go on, but she doesn't deserve any more thought.


16. Proving Her Wrong

At my first job (vet assistant at a small animal clinic), there was this middle-aged woman (she primarily worked as the receptionist) who was constantly snarky and rude towards me and my work.

After sharing with another coworker that I was planning to go to school to become a vet, she (the receptionist) laughed at me and said "I don't think I could see you as a vet."

I was only 16 years old, mind you: I had big dreams and goals, and I was taking solid steps towards achieving them. I remember standing there, taken aback, and honestly holding back tears or any indication that I was upset.

I was accepted to vet school at age 18, and I am still in school actively pursuing that dream. Guess I’m gonna prove her wrong.


17. You Can’t Control Anyone

The CEO's girlfriend was a devout vegan who would patrol the office around lunch to make sure that anyone who was eating meat promised not to use the sponge in the kitchen to wash anything that meat had touched.

She did this in yoga pants and heels, but because her personality sucked, she wasn't remotely attractive.

For April Fool's Day, I rinsed out a carton of chicken broth and filled it with mango juice, and made a point of pouring myself a glass and drinking it in front of her. She was disgusted, so it was twice as delicious.


18. So Entitled

Three-person department. Me, an awesome dude, and this terrible new co-worker. She was fresh out of college and believed that she was smarter than me and our other team members because of that.

She totally discounted anyone's opinions except her own and one manager who let her do whatever she wanted. She was the worst one-upper than I'd ever met.

Even for stupid things, like going to a coffee stand, she'd chime in and say how her friends work at a coffee stand and they know her order by heart. Just stupid stuff.

She thought she was adorable and charming but was incredibly grating and worthless. She constantly messed up on her job but if you tried to help or give any constructive feedback, she'd cry and go to her wet nurse (also known as the one manager who liked her.)

She lasted almost four years, which blew my mind. She was furloughed at the beginning of Corona, but will not be returning as her position is being taken by the owner's daughter.

The company split about two years ago, I went to the new company and she and an awesome dude stayed at the old one.


19. That’s Disgusting

I'm pretty cool about eh, people all have their role to play, but one time we had a secretary that would microwave eggs and canned tuna every morning in a bowl.

Now... I am not a violent person, but the smell generated from microwaved eggs and canned tuna is downright repulsive by anyone's standards.


20. What’s Up With That Smell?

A girl I used to work with, used to microwave tuna 3 times a week and it was an old building with windows that didn't open because of 50 years of paint accumulated on the hinges.

Me and the workshop manager decided to relocate the microwave to a more ventilated area. Out in the warehouse, by the door. We knocked up a bracket in the workshop and screwed it down over the microwave so it couldn't be brought back to the main wing of the building.


21. Wasted Time

I worked with a guy who couldn't learn new skills. When he started, he had to learn new programs and processes, just like anyone would at almost any job. He couldn't pick up on it, whether it was where to click in a software to get a certain result or how to fill out a report.

Everyone on my team took turns showing him the ropes and it never sunk in. I remember being so frustrated because he could not figure out how to minimize a window.

"Top right corner, click on the straight line." It took like 3-4 seconds for him to drag the mouse to the corner and then he'd hover around it but never on it.

Super nice guy, but impossible to work and collaborate with on projects because so much time was wasted.


22. No Experience

The HR manager at my last job had zero training, education, or experience in HR. She was argumentative, passive-aggressive, and incompetent.

Toward the end, she asked me “Why are you being resistant?” and “You’re not being a team player” when I was advocating for client safety. I was the second person in less than a year to leave and hire an attorney.


23. Not Doing His Job

I worked with a teacher that sat at his desk the ENTIRE year. Kids walked in and out whenever they wanted to. They did practically no work. He told racist jokes and was terrible with the students.

One day I was sitting in the teacher work room and another teacher noticed a phone on the counter. She asked if it was mine. When I said no we looked at the lock screen to see whose it might be.

The picture on the lock screen was of someone’s bare tits. A few minutes later the bad coworker walked in and picked it up. Needless to say, he was let go.


24. Completely Useless

My receptionist is the most useless person I’ve ever met. Ignores the phones while playing on her own personal device. Takes countless personal calls too.

Also does all personal business on their work computer from shopping to bills. On any given day will constantly find ways to avoid doing work by getting up and shooting the crap with anyone patient enough to listen.

My personal favorite? Does not take an ounce of criticism whatsoever. Every question or suggestion is an attack or bullying in their opinion.

A person has filed countless HR complaints because other employees have suggested this person focus on their work. Countless meetings and time have been wasted trying to appease this person.

Their last day is coming in a few weeks and I’m going to celebrate. From the bottom of my heart and every fiber of my being; screw you.


25. Doing No Good

Her picture belonged next to Passive-Aggressive in the dictionary. She knew how to stay on the good side of the boss, but treated almost everyone else like dirt.

She would intentionally ignore your attempts to communicate with her regarding important work matters, then turn around and claim you were the one being difficult.

Whenever you pointed out one of her mistakes (however small), she would throw a temper tantrum like a little kid.

Haven't worked with her for many years now, and I sincerely hope I can eventually forget what she looks like.


26. At Least I Had Fun

Not the worst, but the one I remember the best. We shared an office. She would - fairly regularly - open a can of tuna at her desk for lunch and throw the unrinsed can into the trashcan at her desk. She also put things like banana peels in her trashcan.

There was a conference room we could go into for personal phone calls, but instead, I got to listen to her talk to doctors about things like her husband's impotence, her frequent yeast infections, and how her toddler got so constipated that they had to manually dig hard poops out of her butt. Fun times.


27. Lying For… What?

I have a coworker who's very old-fashioned and strongly believes that males and females cannot be friends. Well, it just so happens that my manager and I, a male and a female, happen to get along quite well because of our similar ages and interests.

She reported me to the other managers for it and accused me of sleeping with him.


28. Anger Issues

I worked at a foreign embassy years ago and let's just say the work culture/interactions between different tiers of employees was very different from what I was used to.

Hands down the worst example of this was the ambassador himself. He would regularly have screaming temper tantrums whenever someone "disrespected" him or otherwise did something he didn't like. And I mean literal screaming, at a volume so it could be heard in the entire 3 story house.

He only did this to the employees from his own country, not the native hires, so I didn't get to see it up close, but I heard it plenty of times...

Also, we live in one of the most peaceful countries on the planet and have strict gun laws but because he was a diplomat he could willy-nilly buy himself a gun.

Which he did, and then he walked around with it in his pocket, from where it randomly dropped out to be found in odd places around the embassy.

This impressed the other diplomats so much that they all went out and got guns too.


29. Not Good At It

I worked in a place similar to the YMCA. They hired a tramp/gym coach who was great at those things. But somewhere along the line she also picked up reception shifts. She was also dyslexic.

This meant I would get emails I couldn't read with phone messages for obviously wrong names and phone numbers without enough digits or when I called them turned out to be wrong numbers.

The workplace was too scared to move her off reception in case it was discrimination. There was plenty of other work to be done, she didn't need to be fired or anything.

So instead of taking a job, that wasn't meant to be her job, off her, the rest of us had to endure the upset clients because we weren't going to blame her mild disability for us not calling them back.


30. Maybe He Was Lying

I worked in a restaurant with a guy who claimed to have PTSD from tripping too hard on LSD. It was a busy place around 4 to 5 hundred plates a night with only 5 chefs.

Every time his station got more than like ten simultaneous tickets he would run out the back. Leaving me and the guy on the other side of him to do his job. Also his "PTSD" was never medically confirmed, and we believed he just made it up.


31. Can’t Rely On Him

The ones who don’t tell you they have too much work. In my culture, people believe you have to be multitasked and bear as much work as possible.

However, it’s unrealistic. Those who follow are usually unreliable. I had one who was always late to submit his work, because he had too much work, and took everything as a prior task. His being late led to disrupted arrangements.

Yes, he is hardworking, but cannot be relied on. I would say the lack of communication is worse than incompetence. I mean, it’s necessary for me to know one’s difficulties, so that I can arrange the work better.

Since he was also my friend, I trained him to reject my or my boss’ offers whenever he felt pressured. It worked well as he was comfortable saying no.


32. Don’t Be Like Him

This dude we all called "Pockets." Had a crew of about 12 journeyman painters who were always on point... Except Pockets. Pockets could be found smoking out in the porta potty.

Pockets could be found on the opposite side of the building we were painting. Pockets could also be found on his phone talking dirty with his nasty girlfriend. Pockets would be found walking 2 blocks away from our job site.

One time, we didn't see Pockets for damn near an hour. We found Pockets when we took our lunch break. Know where Pockets was? At the exact same fast tood we went to.

Pockets had already been there for at least 45 minutes from what the cute counter girl said. Pockets was being paid $2 an hour more than me. Pockets was caught sprinkling meth on a fat bowl by the boss.

I got a $2 raise when Pockets was fired. Nobody talks to Pockets. Don't be like Pockets.


33. The Worst Employee

This girl I work with is overly picky about stuff, everything has to be her way or no way... she does everything louder to make it seem like she’s working, but she’s not actually getting anything done.

She has been caught stealing from other servers several times, but we have no concrete proof. She “accidentally” takes people’s tips. She’s hellacious.


34. She Needs Some Help

I had a supervisor who LOVED to chew a*s and mess with people. You could make the most minor mistake and she would yell at you.

And if you asked to do something or have her show you how to do a task, her excuse was “Go ask this person, they’re better at it,” or “I’m kinda busy” followed by jumping on her social media.


35. Once Toxic, Always Toxic

I had a co-worker who was hired the exact same day as me and claimed to have been a warehouse manager. He held it over my head occasionally as if he had seniority and more experience.

He was also a toxic ex-boyfriend to a friend of mine. He is 25 and was fired last week while I was at home quarantining.


36. Creating Problems For Attention

I have several bad ones but the one that drives me the most crazy is a lady who creates problems just so she can solve them. Ugh. She takes a simple job, finds the one tiny issue, blows that up, freaks everyone out, and then “solves” it so she can be the hero.

Just take 1 minute to fix the issue in the first place. It would save the literal hours she spends working everyone up so she can be their savior.


37. I Have Other Plans

I can't decide which one to pick. Oddly enough, we all worked in the same quad-cube, and their crowning highlight moments both surfaced on the same day: Sept 11th.

One of them spent the whole day stomping around the office, complaining about how SHE had plans to watch the ballgame that night, and now HER night was ruined because the game was canceled.

"And for chrissakes, it's not like the planes flew into the stadium, it's just some buildings miles away."

The other had some sort of video capture software on his computer and kept replaying the clips of people jumping from the burning buildings, cheering and giggling as if he were watching circus clowns.

"Duude! Look, there's another one, wooah, he bounced off the side, MANN! THAT HAD TO HURT! Hey, watch this!"

Then he'd roll the video backward and forwards, making a slide-whistle noise as the people repeatedly went back and forth.


38. Monster Manager

I had this monster store manager (a pretty big supermarket). She was horrible, it was all about money and everything she could sneak out for free. She made people cry every day.

I hope she is suffering during this lockdown, just because she is forced to stay home with her family (who she actively hated).


39. Control Freak

I worked with someone in retail. He was my boss and not a particularly bad guy, but he was a control freak who had to interject his opinion during every conversation anyone was having with a customer.

This also went as far as him being in the middle of helping someone himself, stopping helping that customer to lean over to my till to “help” me with my transaction even though there was no indication I needed help and had worked there for over 5 years.

This “help” would be in the form of him telling me what button to hit next on the till, to telling a customer they were wrong to have any given opinion on a topic, to telling customers that their choice of entertainment they were purchasing wasn’t what they were after, even if they specifically came into the store for that specific item.

He was also lazy as hell! Not a bad guy, but holy hell do I not miss working with him.


40. Careless Boss

The boss who used to grab my butt. She knew I was married, and not interested, but kept doing it. I finally went to HR, but it was a small company and they were close friends. My workload then grew, and she got more aggressive.

She told me that no one would believe a man was the victim, and everything I looked into said I didn’t have a lot of hope. I ended up quitting the job and not finding anything new for six months.  

It was expensive. I told my parents that I got fired because that was strangely less humiliating than admitting I was a victim.


41. Trashy Coworker

I used to work for a 20-person company, and they hired a guy to manage our department of 4. One week in, he was sick and shoved a tissue up his nose and left it there to hang out of his nose hole. He then went into a client meeting with the tissue still up there.

Two weeks in, we had some wine on a Friday afternoon in the office. A coworker asked him why he had put ice cubes in his, and he said casually that he had put Tito's in it.

All in all, I believe he only worked at the company for 3 months, but in that time he was just a garbage human, and impossible to work with. After he was fired he stole his work laptop, and eventually snuck it back into the office after he found out charges were being pressed.


42. That’s Not True At All

One guy swore that the company was conspiring against men since they continuously hire people and the last batch of new employees were women. 

Literally would wait till all women leave the room to say that the company is plotting against us men.

I would just tell him to shut the hell up since it was workplace-appropriate but he was serious as all hell.


43. Accidents Happen

Some chick named Millie. Apparently, this mother of 3 didn't know how to cut bread safely. She cut the baguette while it was still in her hand. We worked in a kitchen and she was standing in front of a cutting board. Surprise, she sliced her hand.

I took her upstairs to the office with the first aid kit. I turn around and she is spreading open her wound trying to make it worse. I yelled at her. She quit soon after. I hope I made her feel dumb.


44. Think Before You Act

I used to work at this sports bar that served house brisket sandwiches, smoked and sliced in-house. Apparently, a year or so before I had started there, some dumb witch in town on a working holiday had decided she wanted to slice every last bit of the brisket even though the guard didn't reach properly.

So she used her bare palm. On a goddamn rotary slicer. That was her last day I think.


45. Don’t Do That

I guess one of the worst was the one who every time they walked up behind me, they'd grab my shoulder and squeeze my shoulder every time they walked past me even if they weren't trying to get my attention.

I think the most appropriate way to get someone's attention is to call out their name or to tap them on the shoulder instead of grabbing and squeezing their arm. I've had a traumatic childhood so I especially never took this behaviour well. I ended up reporting it to my supervisor tho.