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?

READ NEXT: 😆 Funniest Job Search Tips on Tiktok That Are Too True

Laugh it up? Subscribe to JobMob via RSS or email and follow me on Twitter for more job search hilarity.

Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 37 Comments

  1. Pingback: My Favorite Job Hunting Pet Peeve » Ronalfy.com

  2. Will Stickney

    My company just made this video about some career horror stories, take a look and send a video if you think you have a better one!!!

  3. Jacob Share

    That’s a pretty funny clip, Will. Thanks for sharing.

  4. C Brugnolotti

    I’m sure the interviewer wasn’t too happy to hear that the novel was written at work.

  5. Recruiting Services

    oyy…firing someone must suck

  6. Pingback: paul steele

  7. Pingback: EBTH

  8. Jacob Share

    Julia- I gave the reference articles in each case…

  9. Chris

    number 3 made me laugh! The sock one is just ridiculous, who would think to do that haha.

  10. Pingback: cookijarmonster

  11. Pingback: Sharon Kissack

  12. Pingback: HRWebAdvisor

  13. Adam

    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.

    1. Jacob Share

      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.

  14. Kate

    I just cannot laugh at these because I know they are true.

  15. Pingback: 5 Hilarious Job Horror Stories - openreq

  16. Rafael Hurovich

    Actually most of my job history in Israel since I made Aliyah has been a “job horror story” (now I’m already 3 months unemployed and searching once more for a decent source of sustenance for my family).

    One of the funniest stories however, was about that old Russian guy (ca. 75) who worked with the final packaging of machines before dispatch. I worked as a warehouse keeper (being a Sr. Design Engineer for 30+ years before Aliyah). So this guy came into the warehouse and started to curse and rant about something I did by mistake (nothing serious, to be clear), loudly shouting at me in a strange mix of Russian and Hebrew. I got fed up from the abuse, as it was not the first time he did such thing, and also shouted at him. The shouting escalated until I shoot the phrase: “why don’t you go home and enjoy your retirement??? Suddenly the old grumpy guy got red as a tomato, took a large paper cutter he had in his pocket and ran towards me, swishing the blade back and forth a few centimeters away from my face!! At that moment came in the logistics manager and tried to calm down the potential killer. He grabbed the guy by the arm and took him out of the warehouse. Immediately I ran upstairs to the general manager and told him what had happened. The manager got extremely upset and summoned the grumpy guy and the logistics manager to his room. He admonished the aggressor and told him that if anything bad should happen, he would be dismissed and also face the legal consequences.
    After the grumpy one left the room, the manager asked me whether I wanted to have him reported to the police… I felt sorry for the poor guy and asked the manager not to take any legal measures against him. From that moment on, every time he entered the warehouse I managed to go out and do something else until he returned to his place.
    Fast forward, few months later I quit that frustrating job as I found my first job as an engineer in Israel (which turned to be a nightmare also). As I walked through the production hall saying good-bye to the (almost normal) work mates – suddenly popped in the crazy guy with a huge smile, hugged me, patted me on the back and asked me “–hey, you didn’t take that incident seriously, did you???”

    1. Jacob Share

      I wouldn’t say that was the funniest story, but it’s definitely memorable! Thanks for sharing, Rafael, and good luck in your job search

Leave a Reply