10 cringe-worthy work horror stories by students

Harpoon Henry’s in Dana Point/Courtesy

Jobs are a place to make money and go home, you thought. No. They can be a place of pure insanity, herds of Karens and pure comedy. Get your popcorn ready and pull up a chair because these work horror stories are going to rock your world.

Trash Poop

“When I worked at pick up stix in highschool there was this lady that would always come in and take showers in our bathroom with the sink. She left a ton of wet paper towels everywhere and water all over the place. We finally had to ban her from the store when she went and did the same shower mess but this time she took a MASSIVE dump. Not in the toilet, but in the trash can. Then walked out like it was nothing. We got tons of complaints over the next couple of hours about there being a terrible smell coming from the bathroom. That’s how we found the trash poop. Guess who had to clean it all up.” – Josh, 19. 


“One night I was cocktailing at the restaurant I work at and it was a very busy night. The live band was really loud and it was hard to hear anyone, so I always had to bend down to talk to my tables. I was leaning down talking to one of my tables when my other table behind me grabbed a hold of my ponytail and yanked me backwards to get my attention. It was so rude and unexpected. All they wanted was another drink and apparently they were very impatient.” – Kendall, 21. 

A Sticky Situation

“I was about to get off of my shift and was doing my assigned work before getting off. I had to restock the salad bar with all of the dressings, cheeses and toppings. I was refilling the downstairs salad bar, so I had to grab all of the items from the upstairs walk-in fridge. I was walking down the stairs when my toe got caught on the carpet and I went flying down the stairs. I split blue cheese dressing and ranch all over myself. I screamed in the process and a few curse words spewed out. Now there is a yelp review on my restaurant’s website about it.” – Jess, 20. 

Water Baby

“I had just started at my new job and I was still getting the hang of things. I brought out food to a table and the plate hit a water cup in the process. The water spilled all over the table and ‘waterfalls’ off the table onto a baby sitting in a high chair. Let’s just say the mom wasn’t happy with me.” – Emily, 18. 

Loco Boss Lady

“I worked at a small clothing store and had worked there for a while. One time my boss was like insane and was in a bad mood and was throwing clothes and sh*t everywhere yelling at me and my coworkers really bad. Then she started throwing clothing and hangers at me. I quit the next day.” – Ciarra, 21. 

Wine or Whine

“I was serving one night at this restaurant I used to work at and I got a table of two. I greeted them as usual and gave them bread. I asked for their drink order and instead of ordering a drink the requested a wine sample. I went to the bar and got a couple samples for them. I brought them back and they tried them then requested more. This went on until I swear they almost tried all of our wines on the by the glass list. Finally they ordered their wine and I brought them the glasses they ordered. When I brought them the glasses they ordered they made a huge scene and said that was not what they ordered and that they wanted a bottle of wine instead. I took the wine back and gave them the bottle of wine they changed their mind for. After that they were fine but got super drunk. They split an entree and got more drinks, so by the end of their dinner they were hammered. They were so rude to me and degrading. When they left they gave me a five percent tip and gave me a mean face when they walked out.” – Greg, 22. 

Rude AF

“When I was hosting, I had a middle aged man that was pissed he didn’t get sat right away on his reservation time. It was a busy night and the party that was sitting at his reserved table was taking forever to get up, so I couldn’t seat him right away. He started cursing at me and said I was very inconsiderate, that I ruined his daughter’s birthday, and that I should use my tiny brain to figure out where to seat his party. I ended up crying in the bathroom and on the patio for like 30 minutes.” – Ellie, 19. 

Creepy Customer

“Well one time I was working as a hostess at the restaurant I used to work at and this drunk guy came up to me and started talking to me. I was being very professional, as always. Then he came behind the hostess stand and gave me a huge hug then proceeded to move his hand on my a**. We kicked him out of the restaurant, but that was pretty traumatizing.” – Jesea, 21. 

Stranger Danger

“We had a regular customer guy that would kinda hit on all the girls. One day he asked for everyone’s ethnic background. I remember we had a new girl and he asked her for her background and when she said half Persian he took a step back and said ‘wow.’ After that when he would come in he would only ask her for extra utensils and sauces and ignore everyone else. The girl thought he was so creepy and I felt bad for her that he was like obsessed with her after that.” – Lucy, 19. 

Chicken Feign

“I used to work at a restaurant that specializes in salads. There was this one lady that would always call in the same salad then come and pick it up. It was a chopped salad with chicken. It was really slow so I took my time and made sure that the salad was exactly right before putting it in the bag before pickup. The lady picked it up them called back an hour later saying that her salad didn’t have chicken in it. I made the salad myself so I knew that I did. We even checked the cameras after and saw that I put it in the salad. She made a whole fuss about it and eventually drove back to the restaurant to just get a side of chicken. It was insane. She came in a few times after that for her order, but we always showed her the chicken in her salad before she left so she couldn’t pull that cr*p again.” – Maddie, 20.