Everyone has work or job search horror stories to tell, but some are worse than others.

Top 10 Funniest Job Horror Stories
Photo by Pascal

10. Concerned Employer

From Workrant.com:

“Firing a married couple who had just bought a house and were expecting their first child. The husband was simply fired because they (upper management) figured he'd be mad that his wife was fired.”

9. Honesty is the Best Policy

From The Real World:

“I instantly realize, of course, that there had indeed been a dollar on that table and I tell them that, and that I know that dollar is somewhere deep in the bucket, since that was the first table I had bussed and the bucket was now full, and since I don't empty the buckets, I obviously wasn't stealing… They say if it isn't in that bucket I'm fired.”

8. Job Search Computer Virus

From ResumeEdge.com:

“I sent a digital resume and cover letter via email to apply for a position as a technical writer. Within a few hours, a message from the director in charge of hiring came via email. Full of anticipation, I opened the email to find a terse message: ‘your resume is infected with a virus and has been quarantined.' A person cannot recover from an infected resume. I did not pursue the position further.”

Funniest Job Horror Stories Toy

7. Interview Crashes

From Careerbuilder.co.uk:

“One of my first jobs as a supervisor was to interview candidates for an administrative assistant,” Leigh S. recalls. “We scheduled a full day of screenings. Following a very wet and rainy night, some areas of our office roof were leaking and maintenance had a couple of buckets in the hallway. Not a great first impression, but hey, it was a quaint old office building. Each applicant had to complete a battery of written tests.

As one candidate dutifully sat at a desk outside my office, I heard a “crack,” a “swoosh” and then a huge splash. The ceiling tile just above the candidate had collapsed under the weight of the rain water and drenched her. Wet but unharmed, the experience clearly dampened her spirits and her prized interview suit. She immediately informed me that she was no longer interested in the job.”

6. Owning up in Public

Also from Careerbuilder.co.uk:

“I'd been looking for a different job for several months and after much searching I was finally offered a new position,” Julie N., an administrative assistant, says. “Of course I accepted, but days after I'd given notice to my current employer, my new employer called and told me they had re-evaluated their financial situation. They were rescinding their offer!

“Panicked, I tucked my tail between my legs and went looking for my current boss to tell her I wouldn't be quitting after all. I made every effort, but she was tied up in meetings all day. The following morning, during a staff meeting she made reference to my upcoming departure. I was stuck. I had no choice but to reveal my predicament and ask for my old job back — in front of the entire office staff. She gave me two months to find a new job.”

5. My Way or the Highway

From WorseThanFailure.com:

“Oh I'm sorry,” the Chief Development Manager barked, callously, “were you guys trying to have a meeting in here? Because, if I was interrupting you two, I can stop. And I'm sure all the fifty-three other developers sitting here have nothing better to do than wait for your little meeting to end…”

“…A week later, the Chief Development Manager approached David and each of the other developers from the Build Process meeting and apologized to them.

I'm kidding. He fired them on the spot.”

4. Creative Job Seeking

From Washingtonian.com:

“A guy who forgot dark socks to wear with his suit colored in his ankles with a black felt-tip marker.”

3. Unfaithful Family

From Helium.com:

“Yes,” I said at last, wanting to be honest, and still not overly concerned, “Anna Wilson's my sister… why?”

Complete, utter, uncomfortable silence, before my boss pulled the car into a parking space. We were back at work.

“She was dating my husband. My married name was Shrayger.”

2. It's All an Act

From Tales of Corporate Oppression:

“I once got talking to a guy whose job it was to go into a company, sit alongside the Systems Administrator for two weeks, and write a professional audit on his processes and practices.

Naturally the sys admin would be on his best behavior, showing off all the clever things he did to keep the company's computer network ticking over.

At the end of the two weeks, the sys admin would be fired. There was never any audit: this was just the method the company used to replace their IT people without disruption, making sure the new guy was trained up and the old guy didn't cause any damage before he left.”

1. Too Good to be True

From Captain Internet, Ha'aretz (Hebrew):

Aleksey Vayner applied for a banking position at UBS AG with a video job resume entitled Impossible is Nothing. After becoming the laughingstock of Wall Street, impossible became something for him.

Bonus Horror Stories

More from the really funny Washingtonian article:

“The candidate said that by crossing the Maryland state line he was in violation of his probation but felt the interview was worth risking possible jail time.”

“Someone was asked what person they would most like to meet, living or dead, and their response was ‘the living one.'”

“When a candidate was asked about his greatest accomplishment, he replied that it was writing a short novel. When the interviewer said, ‘No, I mean something you did while at work,' the candidate replied, ‘But I did write it while at work!' ”

Do any of these sound familiar, or have you seen worse?

If you liked these, you'll love 150 Funniest Resume Mistakes, Bloopers and Blunders Ever.

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.
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  • I used to work as a phone sales rep at an international company whose USA office was just eight people…and they were all football fanatics. There were two of us phone sales reps.

    Football, football, football was all they talked about. The frigging game was more important than making sales. They would leave early, with the Director’s permission, to go watch the local football team. As you can imagine, sales revenues were not the best.

    When layoffs came, I was the one laid-off!!! Even though my sales were 60 percent higher than my football freak co-worker, he was buddies with the boss.

    • Adam- it doesn’t seem to make sense at first glance but in reality:

      1. People want to work with people they like (e.g. people who adore the same sports team)

      2. Not every company’s priorities are what they should be

      So it sounds like they may have done you a favor.

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