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Doughnut Plant Employee Says She Was Demoted, Then Fired for Being Pregnant

Doughnut Plant Employee Says She Was Demoted, Then Fired for Being Pregnant

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Mekhala Sofsky, a former supervisor for the popular New York City-based Doughnut Plant, has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the popular bakery, which fired her while she was on maternity leave, reports DNAInfo.

In a lawsuit filed on December 19, Sofsky alleges that the Doughnut Plant demoted her twice and cut her pay after she told her supervisors that she was pregnant.

“Up until I told them [that I was pregnant] I had been doing really well. No complaints, no issues whatsoever and then basically after I told them it started going south," Sofsky said.

"Nothing in my behavior changed except for being pregnant and having to deal with things differently."

At the time, Sofsky had been working for the company for more than a year, and had recently been promoted to personnel manager, overseeing two locations. Sofsky was later demoted from a salaried employee to an hourly one, and was told to manage just Doughnut Plant’s Chelsea location.

Even still, the lawsuit alleges, Sofsky was blamed for not fulfilling tasks that were no longer part of her job. In one instance, Mekhala was reprimanded “because there were insufficient supplies at the Grand Street location, even though she was no longer responsible for the store because of her demotion,” according to DNAInfo.

Sofsky was then demoted a second time in December 2012, less than two weeks before her scheduled maternity leave, and was fired four months later.

According to the lawsuit filed, Sofsky is seeking to be rehired and compensated properly for emotional and physical damages.

"Doughnut Plant is a fair and flexible employer with a strong track record of family friendly policies," the company responded in a statement. "We proudly embrace diversity, adhere to both the spirit and the letter of the law with regard to pregnant women, and offer paid maternity and paternity leave."

Is a PIP the First Step in Firing an Employee?

Is the purpose of a performance improvement plan (PIP) to document an employee's performance as the first step to fire the employee? PIPs are a popular topic because so many organizations do them wrong and use them for all of the wrong reasons—for example, as the first step to fire an employee. So employees are often confused about what being placed on a PIP actually means for their current and future employment.

Readers frequently ask, in terms of Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs), how does a manager do them? Is it appropriate for the manager to go "fishing" for feedback from other managers about the person who will be placed on the PIP?

For example, if an employee is serving their client group, and is put on a PIP, how does the manager find out if building trust has improved in the outreach of the person on the PIP? How can the manager know without asking each week for feedback from the client group? Is this the right procedure? Also, do PIP's really work? Or are they usually just the start of a paper trail to build up a legal defense to fire someone?

Lesson 1: Get your hands dirty

Julie Hall remembers the day she had to work the fry-o-lator at McDonald&rsquos. She hadn&rsquot signed up for the job she was a public relations pro with past experience representing Dunkin&rsquo Donuts, Baskin-Robbins, Au Bon Pain and others. But when her company took on the Golden Arches as a client, Hall and all her colleagues were required to work in a store for a week. I went to college for this? she recalls thinking as she made yet another batch of fries. But looking back on it now, she says, &ldquoIt was the best experience I could have had, because I understood the challenges the people in the store had. It was brilliant.&rdquo

Ask any franchising expert for advice, and they&rsquoll tell you this: If you&rsquore a franchisor, hire people with experience and make sure they get down into the trenches every now and again if you&rsquore a franchisee, buy into systems run by leaders who truly understand their franchisees&rsquo challenges. These are pieces of advice that seem so obvious, they&rsquore hardly worth mentioning. But they are worth mentioning, and here&rsquos why: Despite what the International Franchising Association estimates is its $1.6 trillion annual economic impact in the United States, &ldquonobody teaches&rdquo franchising in business school, says Joe Mathews, CEO of the consultancy Franchise Performance Group. &ldquoIt&rsquos not on anybody&rsquos radar screen.&rdquo

That&rsquos not entirely true. There are franchising schools, and an industry of consultants for hire to help companies at critical times. But compare that to the reams of academic studies and serious researchers who study the minutiae of other industries and produce well-educated graduates who are practically bred for success atop certain kinds of companies and you see just how underreported franchising is. One of the most comprehensive studies of the industry, by a professor at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, looked at 157 franchise businesses in 27 industries over 12 years -- and it dates back to the 1990s.

This means that few future business leaders are schooled in mastering the franchise model. Instead, franchises are often led by people who were successful in other realms -- like those who debuted the concepts in the first place. &ldquoWhat you see is someone who comes up with a great idea for a restaurant. They&rsquore hearing more about franchises, so they say, &lsquoThis idea is great. I can make money by having other people do the same thing and pay me royalties,&rsquo&rdquo says Scott Ratchick, a lawyer in Atlanta who represents franchisees. &ldquoWell, they know how to run their restaurant. But they have no earthly idea how to run a franchise operation.&rdquo

And sometimes franchises are managed by people who were successful in completely unrelated industries, which doesn&rsquot necessarily translate to being savvy about the business they&rsquore in now. Especially if they don&rsquot make a point of getting into the trenches like Hall did. A succession of chief financial officers who paraded through Krispy Kreme headquarters, for instance, included one who had worked for a kitchenware retailer and another who was an investment banker. The private equity firm that bought the now-defunct Hollywood Tans installed the former head of a tutoring service as CEO. &ldquoI know franchise companies that are being run by attorneys,&rdquo says Don Welsh, a Sonic Drive-In franchisee in Philadelphia who is also a consultant to franchise companies and partner of Franchise Performance Group. &ldquoThey don&rsquot know anything about the core business.&rdquo

Franchising certainly isn&rsquot void of smart leaders. It has plenty. But all these people tend to have something in common: They&rsquove experienced franchising from many angles -- working as everything from fry cooks to senior executives -- and have developed a personal understanding of exactly what&rsquos required to be successful. That&rsquos why it&rsquos so critical for prospective franchisees to study up on the backgrounds of the people in charge -- to ensure not only that they are credible businesspeople but that they empathize with the challenges of franchising, understand the business on a molecular level and know how to provide a level of support their franchisees require.

Leadership can come in other forms, too. Increasingly, successful franchisees have been taking matters into their own hands by organizing themselves into franchisee associations. They protect their interests by, among other things, sharing best practices and helping one another deal with emerging issues corporate may not have a good handle on. If business schools aren&rsquot going to study franchising, the thinking goes, franchising will study and educate itself. Strong top-down leadership is critical, but &ldquoone of your best tools is a strong franchisee association,&rdquo says Ratchick, the lawyer in Atlanta.

Ex-Employee Kills Himself After Shooting 3 in Factory

A man who lost his job at a nail polish factory in the Hudson Valley last year after child pornography was found on his office computer returned yesterday and hunted down and shot two owners as well as an office manager before fatally shooting himself, the police said.

The violence badly shook employees of the factory, Verla International, and residents of the hamlet, New Windsor, N.Y. Many said they searched their memories of the man the police identified as the gunman, Victor M. Piazza of Warwick, N.Y., to try to understand his outburst.

The three victims, who were all shot in the head, remained hospitalized last night.

The office manager, JoAnne Obrien, 48, of Monroe, N.Y., was in grave condition at St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, a spokeswoman for the hospital said. She was declared brain dead, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.

Ms. Obrien, who is also the factory receptionist, was the first employee that Mr. Piazza encountered when he walked through the doors about 12:25 p.m. yesterday, the police said. He fired one round from his .38-caliber revolver into her head before continuing inside, said Chief Michael C. Bisotti of the New Windsor Police Department.

He then found and shot Robert Roth of Wallkill, N.Y., one of the owners, twice in the head, before continuing upstairs, where he also shot Mario Maffei, 57, of Greenwich, Conn., in the head, Chief Bisotti said.

Mr. Piazza then walked into an office, sat at a desk and fired a shot into his own head, Chief Bisotti said.

Although critically wounded, Mr. Roth, 65, was able to stagger from the building and was found by officers slumped near a grassy hill in the company parking lot. Last night, he was transferred from St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, where he was listed in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The shooting caused bedlam in the factory, a squat, tan brick building, and in the surrounding area.

"People were running, yelling, the police were trying to control the situation," said Bob Spreer, who works in a tobacco shop next to the factory. "It was chaos for a while."

Mr. Spreer said he had played golf on occasion with Mr. Roth, whom he described as a "true gentleman, a really wonderful guy."

"It's awful that someone would want to do this to him or anyone," he added.

Neighbors of Ms. Obrien described her and her boyfriend as a generous couple who never accepted payment for kindnesses like plowing snow in the mountaintop development.

An avid gardener, Ms. Obrien, who has a son in college, is also devoted to her small dogs, they said, and enjoyed periodic visits of a black bear to her backyard, despite the fact that it frightened the dogs. "Joanne liked having it in the backyard," said a neighbor, Ron Sommer, 43.

Last night, officials said they were investigating whether Mr. Piazza's dismissal in 2004 touched off the rampage. Chief Bisotti said that Mr. Piazza, a quality-control manager, had been involved in a dispute with another worker at the plant and that a short while later, company officials discovered child pornography on Mr. Piazza's computer, fired him and referred the case to the police.

In July, Mr. Piazza pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography. He was sentenced to 10 years' probation and was classified as a sex offender. Chief Bisotti said there had been no complaints filed against Mr. Piazza since 2004.

The child pornography case was not Mr. Piazza's first brush with the law, the Orange County district attorney, Francis D. Phillips, said yesterday. In 1984, Mr. Piazza was arrested on a charge of unlawfully dealing with a child, he said, although the facts were unclear.

Grieving friends and neighbors of Mr. Piazza painted a picture of an ordinary man who lived with his widowed father and enjoyed puttering around as a handyman.

Outside the two-story gray house where Mr. Piazza's elderly father sequestered himself yesterday, a neighbor, Juan Santiago, 52, said he thought Mr. Piazza had been framed by someone he had fired. Mr. Santiago, 52, speaking as he stood outside on the gravel driveway in the drizzling rain, said Mr. Piazza had lent him money in the past. "I ask for a favor, he never told me no. He is like a brother to me."

Randy Harris, 56, who lives across the street, said the father and son were well liked and had lived in the neighborhood since at least the mid-1980's. About three years ago, he said, Mr. Piazza's mother died.

Mr. Harris said he had heard of the child pornography case, but never felt that his own children were in any danger around Mr. Piazza.

Mr. Harris said that Mr. Piazza had lent him a ladder when he painted his house and one time had fixed a leak in his bathroom. "I have no idea why he did what he did," Mr. Harris said. "But as far being a neighbor of his, he was a great guy."

Bipolar Disorder Stigma at Work

Unfortunately, you may still run into people at work who treat you unfairly because of your bipolar disorder. Often, their behavior stems from ignorance. They might see you as "crazy" or think your condition is "all in your head." You might be able to head off problems by teaching people a little about bipolar disorder.


But that's not always enough, and the stigma of mental illness can hold you back. Some people with bipolar disorder feel they're treated unfairly at work they might be passed over for promotions or raises, for instance.

If you think you're being treated unfairly, there are things you can do. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits an employer from discriminating against you because of a health condition and requires they make reasonable accommodations to your workplace if you need it. But don't do anything rash. Research the law, and talk your situation over with friends, family, your therapist, and your health care provider before taking action.


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth edition, Text Revision, American Psychiatric Association, 2000.
The Nation's Voice on Mental Illness.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).
American Psychiatric Association.
National Institute of Mental Health.
Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Bipolar Disorder, 2002.
WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder."
Muller-Oerlinghausen, B. The Lancet, Jan. 19, 2002.
Kaufman, K. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry. June, 2003.
Compton, M. Depression and Bipolar Disorder, ACP Medicine.

Latest Updates

Weight Watchers became a global sensation after its founding in 1963 by Jean Nidetch, a housewife from Queens. Millions of people turned to its programs to lose weight.

The program’s system of points — three for a boneless, skinless chicken breast or 10 for a chocolate frosted doughnut — gave them a road map to follow when eating. The group meetings and weigh-ins provided support and accountability.

“I believe in the program because it worked for me,” said Jennifer Remedi, a mother of three from La Grange, Ill., who joined in 2000 and lost 70 pounds in 10 months. She then worked part time for the company for 19 years as a receptionist, or “guide” in WW parlance, at multiple locations, making $25 to $35 per meeting for the two or three meetings she worked on Saturdays. Members she had seen for years had become friends.

“Working for Weight Watchers was about community,” Ms. Remedi, 52, said. “It was a community of support, encouragement and friendship. You helped people achieve their goals and, ultimately, helped them to be healthier and happier. That’s why I stayed there.”

But the company struggled for years as consumers shifted away from diet programs, instead embracing natural foods and health. Competition from free or inexpensive apps, like the Under Armour-owned MyFitnessPal, also pulled customers away.

The company’s fortunes appeared to take a turn for the better in 2015 when Ms. Winfrey, who had frequently talked about her battle with weight on her television show, paid $43 million for a 10 percent stake in the company and joined its board of directors. The day of the announcement, shares of Weight Watchers doubled.

In the spring of 2017, Weight Watchers named Ms. Grossman, the chief executive of the Home Shopping Network, and a friend of Ms. Winfrey’s, its chief executive.

Ms. Grossman moved quickly to reposition the company as more of a lifestyle and wellness brand. In 2018, Weight Watchers rebranded itself WW, saying that while it remained a weight-management company, it would also strive to be the “world’s partner in wellness.”

In June 2018, the stock of WW peaked at more than $101 a share.

Soon, group meetings that had been free form in nature and focused on topics like strategies for eating at Mexican restaurants — take only 14 tortilla chips from the basket, break them into small pieces on a napkin in front of you and do not touch the basket again — were replaced by broader themes like stress or exercise. Employees who had once asked members about their vacations or family had to strictly follow scripts.

“Members no longer had to weigh in, and we went from topics about what to do or how to handle the real world to these touchy-feely, warm-and-fuzzy topics that, at times, made me uncomfortable because I’m not a psychologist or a psychiatrist,” said Lynn Allred, 58, a teacher who worked part time at Weight Watchers meetings in California for 15 years before being fired over Zoom. She said attendance at meetings she worked at had dropped.

By the spring of 2019, WW’s stock had dropped below $20 a share after Ms. Grossman said marketing efforts that January — WW’s biggest subscriber month — had not connected with customers.

“I think it needed to be more weight-loss focus,” Ms. Grossman said in a call with Wall Street analysts in February 2019.

Since then, company executives say, they have been more successful in balancing WW’s wellness push with its weight-loss mission in its marketing, noting that the company hit an all-time high of five million subscribers at the end of last year.

“When this crisis hit, ironically, we had had a strong start to the year,” Mr. Hotchkin said. “We had introduced a new program and done a multicity tour with Oprah Winfrey, which had a great impact on the business.”

A problem to solve: A better vegan egg

"I've always wanted to go fully vegan, but I don't wanna give up eggs,'" Oɻrien says.

The vegan egg options available were not appealing to her: They had unnatural, confounding ingredient lists or could be used for baking but not for scrambled eggs, or they were largely relegated to specialty stores, Oɻrien says.

"I wanted to make sure there were options so people would be more inclined to adopt a plant-based lifestyle and wouldn't have as many ɻuts.'"

Oɻrien also felt there was a huge opportunity and market for vegan eggs. "You go to a grocery store now and half the dairy aisle is a different plant-based milk — from hemp to almond. And you go to the egg aisle and there is just hardly any innovation." (From 2017 to 2019, the plant-based egg category grew 228% percent but was still the smallest of the plant-based food categories, according to Good Food Institute.)

So in September, housebound in her Airbnb in Bend, Oɻrien started researching on weekends and after work. She documented the properties of "regular" eggs, like mouthfeel and their multi-functionality, meaning you can eat them for breakfast but also to make cookies.

Then Oɻrien drove to the local Walmart, bought a slew of ingredients, opened a spreadsheet for documenting results and started product testing.

Though she had baked and experimented with recipes when she was young, "I learned everything about egg alternatives through reading, trial and error and speaking to people with more experience," she says.

Former Tesla workers claim they were fired for using maternity and sick leave

In February 2018, Devon Beccera started working at the Tesla Giga factory in Sparks, Nevada. A few months into her employment she was promoted to supervisor , making about $25 an hour. She found out in July that year that she was pregnant, and informed management she planned on taking maternity leave in February, 2019, once she became eligible.

Instead, on 14 December 2018, Beccera was fired.

“Nevada is a right-to-work state, so they didn’t need any sort of reason for firing me, but it was very convenient to fire me two weeks before Christmas, and about 50 days before my maternity leave started,” she said.

It meant that 28 weeks into her pregnancy, Beccera lost her medical insurance and only source of income, as her husband was a stay-at-home dad. They later struggled to pay for diapers and other essentials for their newborn.

A Tesla spokesperson said Beccera’s termination was due to performance issues.

Over the past few years, Tesla has faced numerous lawsuits, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) charges and allegations that have included unfair firings, union busting, and a work atmosphere that enabled racial discrimination and sexual harassment. In March, an NLRB settlement mandated Tesla post flyers that affirmed workers’ rights to organize at their Fremont, California plant. A few months later, workers at Tesla’s Buffalo, New York plant filed federal labor charges accusing Tesla of firing workers for union organizing.

Now a Guardian investigation has revealed numerous cases where former workers claim they were unfairly fired and current workers allege threats of termination and disciplinary action for taking sick days.

Jennifer Peercy worked at Tesla as a customer care agent in Las Vegas, Nevada, since August 2018. A mother of four and more than five months into her pregnancy, her colleagues offered her their own time off to help with childcare. But Tesla management told her the time wasn’t transferable between employees. She stopped taking it, but was fired two weeks later for doing so.

“If I knew that, I never would have taken it,” Peercy said. “I’m 22 weeks pregnant without a job or income and four girls to care for.”

She’s currently applying for unemployment and looking for jobs while still hoping to return to Tesla . Peercy provided the Guardian with her termination letter and an email she sent the chief executive officer, Elon Musk, which resulted in another follow-up from an HR staffer who reaffirmed her termination.

“While we’re sympathetic to her personal situation and work hard to do the right thing by our employees, using another employee’s personal information to obtain their benefits – with or without their permission – violates the benefit policy, jeopardizes employee’s access to those benefits and is not appropriate behavior we can support,” said a Tesla spokesperson.

Maggie Aranda worked at Tesla’s Fremont plant for 19 months before she was fired on 11 June.

“I had permission from my supervisor to use my phone to help my husband and myself. My husband was very sick at that time. My supervisor then told me two hours into a shift to clock out and go home. They did an ‘investigation’ and then fired me for cellphone usage,” Aranda said.

She noted her husband, Carlos Aranda, who also worked at Tesla but had been on medical leave, submitted a letter of resignation from Tesla on 24 June but received a response from Tesla human resources that he, too, was involuntarily terminated on 26 June. Aranda said they are now currently homeless due to losing their jobs, still suffering from injuries sustained on the job, and are trying to raise money via GoFundMe to help get back on their feet.

“With only me working we got behind,” Aranda added. “The landlord worked with us for a while but it got to be too much and when I lost my job we had nothing, so we had to leave.”

A Tesla spokesperson claimed Maggie Aranda’s termination was due to cellphone usage at work, and Carlos Aranda was terminated over a tweet that violated Tesla standards.

At Tesla’s Fremont plant, several current workers claimed the company uses a point-system attendance policy and uses it to deter workers from taking sick days and prevent workers from promotions.

“I didn’t get leveled up even after two years of being a team lead because I had a couple of days where I was two minutes late to clock in because the parking lot was so hard to find spots,” said one Tesla worker who requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

The worker noted they had been threatened with termination after a supervisor asked them to work one Saturday, and the worker agreed if they could leave early to cash their check to pay rent.

“He said ‘yes’, and then wrote me up as an early-out, which they consider to be just like a late or call-in,” the worker said. The next week the worker claimed they were suspended for a day without pay, and threatened with termination for absence infractions.

“Two separate times I got points on my record for being out sick,” said another Tesla worker. “In my new department, we get points on our record for being out sick because they consider it an unplanned day off.”

The Guardian obtained a copy of Tesla’s attendance policy, which was revised on 23 June. The policy includes an attendance point system where workers with more than three months of employment face termination if they accrue 4.5 attendance points in a six month period.

“It’s at the discretion of the supervisor,” said a third Tesla employee. “If they want to get rid of you, it’s very easy to say an absence was unscheduled or not approved.”

Tesla declined to comment on record about their attendance policy or why it was recently revised, though a spokesperson denied their attendance policy penalized workers for use of paid time off.

Which Is The Superior Donut: A Cake Donut Or A Yeast Donut?

The world of donuts is divided into two camps: cake and yeast. (You could also argue that there are two more camps: doughnut and donut.) If you don’t know the difference between the two types of fried cakes, here’s a quick explainer:

A cake donut is made with a sweetened dough that’s leavened with the help of baking powder, and is extruded into oil to cook. It’s firm, often with a slightly crunchy exterior and a soft, cake-like interior. This is what a cake donut usually looks like.

Cake donuts include apple cider donuts, chocolate cake donuts with glaze, and those crunchy, old fashioned donuts that are sometimes glazed and sometimes not.

Yeast, aka raised (because the dough is raised) donuts, are your classic glazed donut ― the kind you get from Krispy Kreme. A yeast donut is made with a yeast dough. It’s cut out into a shape before being fried to golden, dough-y perfection. They’re light and airy, but have a chew and a slight yeast flavor. They are almost always glazed, frosted, sprinkled or filled (they’re what jelly donuts are made of).

This is what a yeast donut generally looks like:

Here’s what’s clear: the two donuts are not created equal ― and most everyone can agree on that. We turned to some experts to hear their thoughts.

First there’s Wylie Dufresne, the man behind the now-closed WD

50, who opened Du’s Donuts so he could devote himself to cake donuts.

“With a yeast donut, you’re paying for a lot of air,” he told HuffPost. The problem with yeast donuts, Dufresne said, is that “they’re often filled, and when they are they’re overfilled and when they’re not filled and they’re just glazed, they can come across a little sweet.”

But he was diplomatic in his stance on the two. “I don’t like to say that a cake donut is better than a yeast donut, I like to say I prefer a cake over yeast. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with a yeast donut, but when it comes to donuts I prefer cake ― I feel like a cake donut can stand up to glazing icing a bit more than a yeast or a raised donut can.”

Fany Gerson, the woman behind Brooklyn’s beloved Dough Doughnuts, begs to differ. Dough makes the lightest, fluffiest yeast donuts you’ll ever taste. She told HuffPost via email, “[Yeast donuts] are my favorite kind of doughnut.” The reason being, she explained, is that cake donuts, “are often more oily and can be dry. (But a good one is really awesome.)”

In an effort to be impartial, we also took an informal newsroom pool at HuffPost. The answers from our writers and editors were passionate and quick-fired, and instilled a good amount of debate.

30 Stories Of Coworkers From Hell People Had The ‘Pleasure’ Of Working With Interview With Author

Jonas Grinevičius and
Mantas Kačerauskas

You might think that your actual job is the most important part, but what&rsquos equally vital is working with the right people. The colleagues who surround you and help make up the atmosphere in your workplace can either lift you up with their support or make you curse the day you ever set foot through the door. The friendly folks of Reddit have been sharing their facepalm-worthy stories about the very worst coworkers they&rsquove ever encountered after user Fruntledumjam started up a thread about colleagues from hell on r/AskReddit. The thread went viral with 35.3k upvotes, 132 awards, and a whopping 8.4k comments.

Check out some of the best stories below and be sure to let us know about the very worst people you&rsquove had the &lsquopleasure&rsquo of working with below, dear Pandas. Remember to grab yourself some popcorn for this and don&rsquot forget to upvote the stories that made you cringe the most.

In order to learn more about how important colleagues are to our everyday welfare and how to deal with problematic coworkers, Bored Panda reached out to Dr. Vaneeta Sandhu, a workplace psychology expert who is the head of emotional fitness at Coa. &ldquoBenefits and pay are, of course, important aspects of a job but research continues to support they are not the top reasons why people leave a job,&rdquo she explained in an interview via email. Be sure to read on for her full insights, as well as for our interview with the author of the thread, Fruntledumjam.

I quit smoking due to a coworker that would follow me to every smoke break to talk about their problems when I needed some god damn me-time.

Its been 3 years, and I still haven't bothered to pick the habit back up.

An unhealthy behaviour ending an unhealthy beahviour. Quite interesting.

Jerk coworker threw away a Secret Santa gift because 'she didn't like plush toys' in front of the person who gave it to her.

How horrible! I'd take the plush Toy :)

First day of work she lit her desk on fire.

Second day of work she ate her lunch and broke out n hives.

Third day of work she arrives at work and sat in her passenger seat until one of us went out to check on her. She claims she hurt her back trying to pick up her purse and had one of her co-workers drove her home

Would not let us use the same microwave as her as she claimed she was allergic to garlic.

The list went on and on. until she was fired. Oh Marian I wonder where you are now as you were so entertaining.

How on Earth did she light her desk on fire? This needs explaining!

Dr. Sandhu, the head of emotional fitness at Coa, told Bored Panda that our work environment plays a &ldquosignificant role in our job satisfaction.&rdquo Naturally, our coworkers have a hand in shaping that environment. &ldquoThey help us feel connected to an organization and can help us enjoy the work that we're doing. It's difficult to emotionally separate how we feel about our &lsquocolleagues&rsquo from how we feel about our &lsquojob.&rsquo&rdquo

The clinical psychologist gave an example how an employee who feels a sense of purpose and belonging in a job where collaboration opportunities are available will have an even stronger feeling of belonging in an environment where their relationships with colleagues are nurtured.

Had an assistant who plotted to get me fired and take my job. Some of my workers let me know because he tried to get them onboard with him. Eventually, due to politics I was demoted but asked to be put on the shift relieving him (we would work 12 hour shifts on weekends). After being relieved by phone a couple of times (against the rules) I intentionally came in 4 hours early and he was no where on site. I still got a call from him when he should have relieved me like he was still on site. I let the guards know and they videotaped him and I got him fired.

This sounds almost criminal.

Tony. He never did his job but loves to tell you how to do yours.

I had just left an abusive bf and told everyone at work that if he shows up say im not there. One male manager decided to tell him exactly where I am and told me I have daddy issues.

A formal complaint needs to go in against that manager. That's potentially putting someone's life at risk.

Dr. Sandhu, highlighted the fact that we all tend to be more critical when we&rsquore under stress. What&rsquos more, we can view others&rsquo behavior as more critical than it actually is.

&ldquoIf you are experiencing a colleague as persistently rude, this is an opportunity to share feedback with them. Prepare to have a feedback conversation with them where you share concrete observations you've made and most importantly, talk about the impact on you. For example, &lsquoI noticed that you interrupted me twice during that meeting. The impact on me is that I don't get to share my ideas and feel like I'm contributing to the team,&rsquo&rdquo the expert shared what we can do to change the situation for the better.

&ldquoIf you do not feel safe sharing feedback directly to this person, look to your manager for support on how this rude behavior impacts you,&rdquo Dr. Sandhu said.

I fully acknowledge there are far worse things, but she microwaved salmon.

Arahahahahahahahaa! That must have stunk the bejasus out of the place!

She was a lady in her 50s. We worked at a drs office. Nothing was EVER her fault, she could not take even the nicest constructive criticism, and constantly complained about EVERYTHING. One of my nicest co workers ever (who was around the same age so not an ageism thing) often was the recipient of her blame and because she never took responsibility, it was regularly the same issues she never learned to correct. They bickered a lot after a couple years of this. One day the nice coworker went to the car to grab her anxiety med, and the obnoxious one went to the office manager and then HR saying she thought the nice one went to get a weapon to hurt her. Like what?! She didn't even own a weapon? And the nice one GOT FIRED. I was absolutely SHOCKED. Any lingering respect I had for her was gone. I've had a lot of jobs and met some sh*tty people but she was the most stressful nightmare who could boohoo her way into getting pity parties on cue.

You could have stepped in and said she was the the one who was the bully . You could have helped this woman , but chose not too.

I worked shifts. Can't go home unless I pass over my reports to the next person face to face. One particular b*tch loves coming in late. Not 5 or 10 minutes late, I'm talking 25 to 30 minutes late. Best part, she loves b*tching about how everyone is always on her ass for coming in late.

She literally lives 5 minutes walk away from work, so no one knows why she's always late.

Very easy reason: cannot be arsed.

Meanwhile, the author of the thread, redditor Fruntledumjam, went into detail about what (or rather who!) inspired them to create the viral thread on r/AskReddit in the first place. They've got a coworker from hell to deal with themselves, and they wanted to see what similar situations other internet users have dealt with.

"I have somebody at my work who finds anything and everything to complain about. We have a cleaner, and the place I work at is in a warehouse, so it&rsquos not exactly the cleanest. But the cleaner keeps leaving notes inside the break room, asking people to please at least wash their dishes and clean up spills," they said.

"So the complainer continues to complain (as you do) about absolutely nothing. She also brings a generally bad attitude to new people, and will give you the silent treatment if you&rsquore new. On top of that, she yells at the administrator about (you guessed it) things that don&rsquot really matter in the long run. And considering that the admin is also my girlfriend, I don&rsquot like her too much," the redditor shared their personal story.

I work with a woman who is threatened by other women, especially if they are younger and have more education than her.

She consistently tries to discourage women from furthering their education, and constantly tries to get women she is threatened by fired. She is a goddam nightmare.

Has no one brought it to the attention of HR?

I briefly had a co-worker at my current job at a local grocery store. We'll just call him "Fred".

Fred is one of those people who's always talking on his phone in the break room and that's my personal pet peeve at work. More often than not, he's usually arguing with his girlfriend and he doesn't seem to care that anyone's listening. He'd do other annoying, gross things like chewing with his mouth wide open and wiping his boogers all over the place, but then there was one day when he tried to flush a hot pocket down the toilet.

Needless to say that it didn't play out so well and that temporarily put an end to our closest employee restroom right by the break room. He surprisingly didn't get fired over that, but he did get fired when one of his old high school teachers came in shopping and he threw a whole sack of potatoes at her. She was an elderly woman who got seriously injured and both the ambulance and the cops had to get involved.

I never did hear about what happened to his old teacher, but Fred on the other hand is currently in jail for not only assaulting his teacher, but he apparently also attacked his lawyer for reasons unkown.

He told the General Manager that he might be a bit late for a shift due to his second job. When the GM reluctantly said OK, he apparently took this as thinking he had free reign to come and go as he pleased. He'd show up anywhere from 7:30-8:30 for his 7:00 shift. Then when the doors closed he'd insist he had to "head out" and he had an early morning the following morning, leaving everyone else to do the closing work. He also had other issues like being rude to customers and other employees.

People mostly kept quiet until one day a higher-level manager had to sub on night shift. When he went to leave early and the rest of us with the work, the manager flipped, "If you lay a f**king FINGER on that money before this work is COMPLETELY DONE, don't bother coming back." The guy insisted he "had permission" and left anyway. When our GM returned and he tried to come back, our manager said, "You warned me you were going to be late ONE TIME, and I never once gave you permission to otherwise start late or leave early. Clean out your locker NOW."

That's good! He got what he deserved.

In Fruntledumjam's opinion, it's always best to trust your own judgment before labeling someone a coworker from hell based on rumors alone. "If I had my way, I would choose to ignore them and not make myself a target. If you&rsquore just starting out, it&rsquos best to listen to if other people are talking of one certain person, observing the behavior of the certain person, and then making your own judgment. There&rsquos always going to be gossip at any job you work at, and sometimes it&rsquos true what people say, but sometimes it&rsquos the one who started the rumor that&rsquos the one to look out for."

The redditor shared with us that they also had another unruly colleague at work who never showed up because he'd always have hangovers from the night before. Other than that, "he really was a lovely guy."

We had a sysadmin who would come to work and run his real estate business from his desk while he was supposed to be working. The whole time coughing and sneezing and sniffling constantly. We called him "Itchy". He would also call friends and family and have hours long conversations with them while we all had to listen.

He picked up the nickname "Thanksgiving dinner guy" for using the break room (full kitchen) to cook entire meals that wouldn't be out of place at a family gathering. One of the offices in another wing had a sheet by the door for people to log when they saw him and what he was cooking that day.

He didn't like any of us (the feeling was mutual) and left books like "Jerks at work." on his desk.

When he finally got fired, they found out he never did any of his sysadmin work. No backups, no password changes, no log monitoring.

How could you hire this guy!?

Going through a court thing with my ex coworker atm actually.

She's a nurse that apparently had her license taken away prior to her hire at my work. Our HR didn't bother checking I guess. The first care meeting we had with her, she started accusing the black staff for stealing. She had been there a week and didn't know what she was talking about (the team ran the best out of the whole company). She was determined to make everyone feel uncomfortable. She'd stand near the bathroom pretending to wait to go inside, while listening to people chat in the kitchen/staff room (the bathroom was a one person bathroom and was obvious when no one was inside it). She'd chase staff down the hallways screaming at them for stealing, then when they showed her they had nothing in their hands, she'd say "OH I WASN'T YELLING AT YOU I WAS YELLING AT MYSELF".

She'd tell the black social worker she shouldn't wear straight wigs because "black people don't have straight hair". She'd also tell the staff they weren't working hard enough to get a raise when they asked for one in a meeting with one of the bosses (prick). He was racist too so he promoted her.

Finally after months of this bullsh*t, she finally f*cked up bad enough (a client had to go to hospital due to her negligence) and the family demanded to have a meeting about her attitude. She refused to acknowledge that she f*cked up, tried to blame me for "not reminding her that lunch was at 12pm" and told HR if she was going to get in trouble, she'd quit.

My social worker friend who was fired for complaining about this nurses racism is currently in a court battle with the company and how they received tons of complaints about her racists sh*t, and did nothing. F*ck that company.

WOW. F*ck that company indeed.

We worked in a store that sold specific and fairly expensive products, and there were 4 of us working there, including the owner. The woman in question was basically his second-in-command.

She seemed totally cool at the time, but then I got fired. And then a month later, our other coworker got fired. So it was just the two of them, and, when the owner was busy, it was often just her.

It wasn't long before he realized that she was stealing hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of products when he wasn't around, and that she'd manipulated him into firing his two other employees so she could have the store to herself.

He has new employees now and they're awesome. I plan on visiting a lot more once I'm vaccinated.

There is one upside to having coworkers from hell, however. They might actually force you to make positive life changes that end up benefiting you, just so you can get away from them. For instance, redditor Lil_BootySnack explained how they quit smoking just so they could get some peace and quiet from their stalkerish colleague. It&rsquos a win, overall. Health: 1 coworker from hell: 0.

Completely honestly, I&rsquove been blessed. In all the different places I&rsquove ever worked at, I don&rsquot think I&rsquove ever had a &lsquonightmare&rsquo coworker who made my life a living hell. That&rsquos not to say that there&rsquos never been any arguments or disagreements, but everyone&rsquos been quite professional, friendly, and (as cheesy as it sounds) pretty much wholesome.

However, far from everyone&rsquos as lucky as I&rsquove been. So it&rsquos useful to learn how to deal with difficulties in the workplace without resorting to lawsuits and/or quitting in the most dramatic way possible.

This woman who was one of those people who always had to one up you. Like if you cut your thumb off, she was just recently sawed in half. She was constantly complaining and miserable and it was so draining.

Ignore them. They wither and die without attention and validation.

An MMA fighter with serious PTSD (although it sounds like he was crazy and mean before he went to war). I have brown-ish skin, and he would threaten to kill me multiple times a day at work. Once he put me in a a sleeper hold just to put me down for fun, and two other guys had to get him off. Guy was laughing maniacally the whole time. Sometimes he would hit me around the waistline when no one was looking, so no one could see the bruises. Threatened to kill me and my family members if I ever reported it. Our supervisor was an ex Army Ranger, whom I deeply respected. but he defended this guy through it all and I never understood that. Finally the guy got fired after two years and ended up in jail for a while, but those were two terrible years.

That is a horrible horrible man

My old boss could be really good, but here are some of the things leading up to her getting fired:

• she would berate people into taking her random vitamins

• she would insist that we all attend her hot yoga class. She would get people to do it by putting them “on the clock”

• she would pinch your arm if she didn’t like what you were saying to a customer

• I had to share a room with her at a conference. She slept naked. She got so drunk she went to hang out with a random couple in their room, came back & puked all over our room

• she would climb ladders in front of customers while wearing tiny dresses

I worked at a fancy bathbomb store in the UK. No, she was not my type (my type is men).

She would pit me & the other floor managers against each other. We would have to go to her apartment when we were on the clock to make the schedule. She didn’t own a microwave because of . the microwaves, I think?

She really hated our only male floor manager. Probably because he’d applied for her job before she got it. He was no threat, so I didn’t get why.

Right before she got fired we had a team meeting in a park. Employees brought their dogs, smoked, and were down right mean to her. She brought it all on herself but it was awkward to watch.

She had a few redeeming qualities, but her awful ones are much more memorable.

Arm pinching? This cries for law enforcement!

Psychologist and author Sherrie Bourg Carter writes on Psychology Today that jerks at work are fairly predictable. &ldquoDivas will be divas. Complainers will complain. Suck ups will . well, you get the picture. Although you may not always be able to predict the exact details of each and every drama they'll create, you can probably predict the &lsquotheme.&rsquo Use this to your advantage by anticipating the next conflict and being prepared with a response.&rdquo

So instead of reacting instinctively, think about how you&rsquoll respond the next time there&rsquos a major drama or somebody tries to ruin your day by being annoying, bullying you, or not giving you a moment&rsquos peace.

I was a coworker from hell. I was real strung out and high all of the time, and a bad influence on my other coworkers. Much regret

well. at least you realize and regret it

This woman named Laurie use to be an operator at my work, I've since replaced her. I worked as her assistant for 2 years. She always made the job 10 times harder than it was and would very rarely pay attention to the trim system on the winder, causing many many many paper blow ups (huge pain in the ass to clean up). Every shift I knew I'd be working my ass off for a solid 12 hours. Looking back, I get why she was the way she was. She was literally the only woman employed on the production floor and was constantly trying to prove herself. She eventually just got so fed up that she stopped caring. Near the end of her time there, we actually got quite close on a personal level. Some of the stories she told me about what some of the guys would do to her actually made me so sad for her. So what started as my coworker from hell, is now actually one of my good friends! Funny how things work.

That's good! But it's really sad that she felt the need to prove herself.

Had a guy that I worked with in my meat department at the store I work at, he would lose his mind over any little thing and get super angry and make everyone very uncomfortable. I was training a new guy and he was on one of his tantrums so I had to get my managers to help me out. One time he got so mad that he threw an actual meat cleaver in the wall and the dent is still there to this day. He got fired a few months ago and it’s been the happiest that the department has been in a long time.

Surely he got fired immediately after chucking the meat cleaver?!

Psychologist Sherrie also points out that problem-causing coworkers love causing chaos, so you have to refrain from engaging in it, even if you might be tempted to put them in their place. If you keep your interactions brief, polite, and to-the-point, you won&rsquot reinforce their bad behavior.

What&rsquos more, you also have to remember not to take things personally. I know, I know, it&rsquos always easier said than done. However, problematic coworkers might have a lot of unresolved personal issues which cause them to lash out or act in problematic ways. That&rsquos no excuse for rude or unruly behavior, however, it&rsquos important to remember that we&rsquore all human. Flawed. Imperfect. And. always looking forward to the weekend.

KC. KC forgot to show up for her interview, but was somehow still hired. KC seemed to have all the signs of adhd, and admitted she probably did, but her dad was a doctor and said it wasn't a real thing so she never got treatment. KC told long, rambling stories about things no one cared about, and would try to read personal items in your purse. KC worked the late rotation after the supervisors left, and would just read fan fiction leaving everyone else to work the joint queue while doing nothing herself. KC bounced on a rubber exercise ball that squeaked. Everyone got theirs taken away because KC fell off hers and they were deemed a safety hazard. KC would kick her shoes off and rub her fingers between her bare toes at her desk. After everyone left, KC would raid their candy jars and snack drawers with her toe hands. The only nice thing the evil supervisor ever did was fire KC.

She almost got me fired because she wanted to find the weakest looking guy to be her little errand boy. When I told her politely to go screw herself, she told HR that I had been taking work out of her queue in the system.

It wasn't a very good lie though, because why would I want to do more work than I have to? I even said this to HR in the disciplinary meeting.

I used to work in a call centre and although we had our share of terrible hires one girl stood out.

She would regularly ignore her phone because she "didn't feel like taking calls" and would spend all her time on Facebook etc. One day she told the staff she was going in for a major operation and would be off for 2 weeks. Although she wasn't the most popular staff member at this point everyone still got her a card and put money in to buy her some gifts for when she was off work.

About 3 days into her absence and during what would have been her surgery time, another girl spotted her shopping for makeup with friends, and then took photos of her. When the girl came back in she was met with death stares from 100 colleagues, and when asked how her operation was she hammed it up and said she was still in pain.

The manager immediately screamed at her to get in his office and was so loud that the rest of us could hear every word. HR got involved and she was gone in 24 hours, which was followed by her attempt to sue for unfair dismissal. Thankfully she didn't get far.

Why do dumb people always assume they can sue for their own stupidity? Case in point: Gorilla Glue girl

A few years back at my old job we hired a web developer who on her first day on the job yelled at our CTO cause her mouse didn't work. she proceeded to be not just unpleasant but actively hostile to everyone she interacted with. I came in one morning at like 7am cause i needed to test some stuff and saw her at her desk eating a box of 711 wings and chugging a 2litre diet coke. she then threw the box of bones into a bin and missed, spilling it everywhere and she yelled really loudly "F**KING GOD DAMN IT UUUGGGHH" while me and 3 others were in the office. we all gave her the benefit of the doubt of extreme anti social programmer personality or maybe had personal problems to deal with and everyone tried to be nice.

the last straw was when she berrated at the most beloved guy in the office, one of the IT personnel that everyone liked, and she gave him a sort of school master style talking down to infront of the whole office cause her internet was slow.

she was fired within like 2 weeks of hiring.

also she smelled like old eggs and mildew.

A vet's office I worked for hired a girl to work as a tech whose only relevant experience was working in a non-medical boarding facility. She thought she was hot stuff. She expected to waltz right in with zero medical experience and get promoted to management above techs that had been working there for years, by sucking up to the bosses. Problem was, not only did she not have the experience, she also lacked the work ethic and desire to actually do any of the tech stuff. She just wanted to be able to cuddle puppies, sit at a computer, and boss peons around.

So, instead of learning how to do the job better, or actually putting in any effort, she decides the best way to get promoted is to make everyone else look bad and feel miserable. When things didn't go her way, she would make vague meritless complaints that her coworkers were being mean to her. Every week, someone was brought into the office about it. The thing is, the other 20-odd employees pointed out that, maybe, just maybe, if she was the one having problems with everybody, it could have been HER.

In the end, we lost about half the staff because of this chick. Ended up having to hire folks with no veterinary experience to replace people that had been there 7+ years. So, it wasn't just the staff that suffered. Quality of care took a noticeable hit. I stuck around for another year, but finally between her and the by then obvious management problems, I had enough.

After I left, she got bold enough to send threatening text messages to a couple of coworkers (we all had each others numbers to coordinate weekend duties). They reported her to the cops, and they arrested her while she was at work. If not for that, she'd probably still be there kissing the right asses while running off staff.

Oh my gosh, that is horrible!! Firing people with so much experience.

Had a co-worker who always gossiped about others and would say horrible things about everyone in the office. It created a super toxic culture and caused many people to leave, not because they didn’t like the work, they just hated the culture.

Some people thrive off of making others miserable

Had a colleague who genuinely enjoyed seeing people not do well and enjoyed when people felt uncomfortable. She’s very manipulative, and is actually quite good at it. She would ask you questions and sympathize with whatever you’ve got going on, only to turn around and tell everyone what you just confessed to her.

After about 2-3 months with the company, if she hasn’t already somehow screwed you over, you’ve heard enough about her to know that if you don’t want the rest of the room to find out, then you don’t tell her.

Yeah, I’m talking about you Carolina.

What's wrong with you Carolina?!

His name was Lenny, and he was a mess. His first day, he drove a van over the side of a loading dock, punctured the oil pan, and then didn't tell anyone until one of the long haul guys asked why the dock was blocked.

I was riding shotgun with him once, and he was driving. He was also nodding out. While driving. And trying to eat soup at the same time.

He once had me drive to the post office to pick up a package for him. It was a brick of hash. Sent to his full name. At the post office. He opened the package in the truck to show me all the hash he had.

He claimed that he was the bosses cousin.. well.. he was. He was The Boss's cousin. And an assistant tour manager. He died of a drug overdose while on tour.

Okay, this may not be my most hellish coworker, but I have a weird one for you guys.

My first ever job was at a coffee shop chain. The location I was at was connected to a gas station/convenient store. We kinda had an 'L' shaped corner of the store. As such, we didn't have a ton of space, including room for the larger ovens needed to cook bagels. So instead, we would have our bagels delivered to us from another (larger) location down the road.

For awhile the baker was this really weird, quiet girl who seemed to lack social self awareness. She always seemed a little unclean and just lingered a little too long around people without really saying anything. Honestly she just put out "not quite right" vibes.

Anyway, one day I head in at 6 and there are no bagels. I ask my manager if the store down the road was running behind or if they had a call out. (Both were fairly common.) My manager points to the rack of newspapers the convenience store had by the entrance and tells me to read the headline.

Apparently the weird girl was in FBI custody. Basically there was a couple who had kidnapped a minor (I won't get into why, as it may be a TW for some). Weird girl was renting a room from the couple, knew what was happening and never told anyone! Somehow they were all found out and arrested and the young girl was reunited with her family.

Reading the story, the whole thing felt very twilight zone.

As a teenager, I worked at a bowling alley. I greeted a new girl as she came in, and she just stuck her tongue out at me. Within the hour, she was fired for dropping a ball on a complaining patron’s foot.

how to speedrun getting fired 101.

Not as bad as some, but I'll never forget the 22ish year old girl who spent hours of one shift telling me, with no prompting at all, about how she used to be a raging heroin addict but she was over it now and had become extremely religious. She went into very explicit detail about her drug deals and the things she'd done to get drugs. My shy homeschooled ass was stunned.

The very next day she got fired for stealing 20 dollars from the cash register.

Girl I worked with when I was a personal shopper. She tried to get me fired a couple of times because she saw I was moving up faster than her. We both got sent to work at a different location for a couple of months and she went around bad-mouthing me to anyone who would listen, so they thought I was a sh*te employee and she was amazing. I proved myself with my work ethic and they realized she was a liar and it definitely changed their opinion of her.

I ended up going to a different location and when she went back to our original location she continued to say horrid things about me. My co-workers took my side and called her out on her BS. She left not long after on a bad note with them.

My manager a few jobs ago. It was a tech company. We were the marketing team, which really just meant digital marketing. She had a very loose grasp on how our various tech platforms worked, and one day said to me when discussing her exasperation at posting a YouTube video to our brand channel:

"I don't really understand the internet."

She was dead serious. It was 2014. She was ultimately fired.

The 50 something Turd that was the owners son. Spoiled brat, reminded me constantly who he was if I stood up to him. Creepy as hell too, could never just tell any of the women they looked nice, actually told me one day that my legs looked nice. I was wearing a skirt. That was the last time I wore a skirt to work for a long time.

I immediately started looking for a new job within a month. There were so many other things that occurred I was turned off from working for a small family owned business since.

Creeps who are there because of nepotism are the worst.

In civil service, there was this one woman who:

Actively hit other people.

Changed entered times on timesheets without the original party's consent (this is a *huge* no-no legally).

Sabotaged my work and other people's.

No matter how many complaints we submitted, she was never fired. Rumor had it she was never fired because she had some serious dirt on the administration--the kind that shouldn't be leaked to the press.

More like the kind that SHOULD be leaked to the press

The guy who touched himself the entire time I was doing the onboard packet with him immediately comes to mind.

This one coworker changed how I approached working. I was in the workforce for a decade when I decided to take a job with a very small, woman-owned company. It was just the owner and two employees, myself included. I worked my ass off and was very successful the first few months. And soon the other employee started to brazenly slack off, eventually calling in often (with what became the lamest excuses), weekly. Once she was out for almost a month because of a vague family issue that I'm convinced was made up. Our boss was so lenient because my coworker had been there for years. I ended up working harder and extra hours (even weekends) to keep our clients happy and the business going strong, which I so realized just enabled my coworker's sh*ttiness. I quickly burned out, got the hell out, and never let any person or business ever exploit me and take advantage of me ever again.

That's so great! I'm very happy you managed that well. I really hope the company is still going, though.

My former assistant manager (I quit that job). She got caught talking with her boyfriend for several hours never leaving our department desk (green hardware store prevalent in the Midwest) and got in serious trouble. Like do it again and you're demoted back to part time. Well, she forbade me from speaking to my boyfriend at all when we were working. One day, a month or so before I got the offer for my new and current job, I asked to take the recycle bin to the back where he worked and she said no. A little later, she got annoyed at me for only facing shelves and told me to find something else to do. So I took the recycle back and brought freight up. She came to the back aisle screaming her head off at me because she told me not to go back there and I defended myself saying "well, you told me to do something else, so I was doing something else!" I turned around and I guess she flipped me the bird (caught on camera) and walked away calling me a bi*ch. One of my coworkers went to HR about it as it wasn't the first time she's gone off on me and I was just ignoring it and they were fed up with her general treatment of everyone. We both got called back to write statements, and I wrote that I saw neither the finger nor heard her call me any names, but did go on about everything else. There were no punishments, however, about a week after I left, I get a text from a former coworker saying that said manager was with a customer when HR called her on the store phone. Manager answered, asked her to hold and DIDN'T PRESS THE HOLD BUTTON! Got demoted the next day back to a cashier for calling a guest stupid while HR was on the phone. Made my life he'll when we worked together, but darn was it satisfying to hear karma caught up to her.

i think 'he'll' is supposed to be 'hell' for context

I'll call her SJ because I don't work with her anymore, and you can't do a lot with just initials.

SJ worked for the company before, but was fired because of her former manager. She was hired back by the newer manager at the time because "everyone deserves a second chance". No, a lot of people don't. She would swipe groceries across the counter and bag them even if they didn't scan, call out almost every shift the hour before because she "can't find a babysitter", have her family come in and stock for her (which isn't allowed at all), complain about her store coupons not working and demanding we change them since "she works here", and most damning of all: THREATENED TO SUE FOR DISCRIMINATION WHEN SHE WAS WARNED ABOUT TERMINATION AFTER SHE HAD HER 10TH CALL OUT IN UNDER A MONTH! She claimed everyone there was racist because she only wanted to check out black customers because she was black and "white folks make her uncomfortable". Look, I'm not racist at all. After she was fired again, she made it her life's mission to give us even more Hell than before. Since she's "the customer now" we have to do what she says or she'll file a complaint. This didn't go on long, but she was also caught stealing when we wouldn't change prices for her. I hate her with an honest to God passion, but even more now knowing she's THE ASSISTANT MANAGER AT THE OTHER LOCATION ACROSS TOWN!

SJ, you are a terrible person. I hope you see this to know everything you do involving that job is wrong and honestly sad. You're part of the reason I quit, and you deserve nothing but the future firing coming your way.

TLDR: SJ is a coworker I had who was a terrible person in every shape and form. Worst employee I've ever worked with, and I worked with a crackhead before her.

"*insert skin color here* folks make me uncomfortable". yeah, that's racist, right there. Simple as that.

I used to deliver puppies to people who would adopt them from different shelters. I would drive with my troll of a co-worker from Arkansas to Maine and back every weekend. I was basically a puppy santa and I would get to meet wonderful people who have us cookies or other snacks and drinks and I would get to give them a dog and see them get so happy. That part was great. However, the woman I had to drive with was probably the most toxic person I've ever had the displeasure of knowing. She would freak out over everything, but in a very whiny "the world is going to end and you've ruined my life forever" kind of way. For instance, we would take turns driving and one time she told me to drive when we were about an hour outside of new York (I'm from a town of like 200 people and never driven anywhere near a big city) and I told her I didn't know where to go. She proceeded to say "just pay attention" and went to sleep. Of course I go the wrong way and end up on a highway leaving into new York instead of around it and she wakes up as I'm paying like $3.00 at a toll booth and freaks out saying "oh no" over and over again. I realized I went the wrong way for about 10 minutes. She said I was going to get in trouble for going the wrong way and that we can't afford to pay for extra toll booths (even though I paid with my own $3) and continued to freak out for the next hour even though we were back on track ( we only lost like 30 minutes). She even told our boss that I messed up and made us late for all our deliveries even though we weren't. She acted this way all the time. On top of all of that she would scream loudly at the dogs for barking or popping in their kennels. I call her the traveling troll. She was massively obese and never bathed. She had warts on her face and was always nasty and rude. THE co-worker from hell. I quit an amazing job bc of a troll.

Ok but no need to be cruel about her appearance

The classic relative of the owner.

Started working there a few years after me and immediately given a great position. I had been doing the work for this position for the year it was vacant.

I trained him, he seemed disinterested, and for the next 3 years I did most of his job while he took credit for it. Except when there was an issue then I got thrown under the bus.

Every time I walked by his desk he was watching F1 races or soccer.

I eventually asked for a raise, outlined what I was doing which was essentially two jobs and was told there wasn't enough budget.

The next day I quit, and shortly after that they asked me to train him on all the work I did for him to which I politely declined.


Leona Helmsley was born Lena Mindy Rosenthal [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] in Marbletown, New York, to Polish-Jewish immigrants, Ida (née Popkin), a homemaker, and Morris Rosenthal, a hatmaker. [12] Her family moved to Brooklyn while she was still a girl, and moved six more times before settling in Manhattan. After dropping out of Abraham Lincoln High School to seek her fortune, [11] she changed her name several times over a short period – from Lee Roberts, Mindy Roberts, and Leni Roberts – before finally going by Leona Mindy Roberts [13] and having her surname legally changed to Roberts. [14]

Roberts' first husband was attorney Leo Panzirer, whom she divorced in 1952. Their only son was Jay (1940–1982), who had four children with his wife, Mimi. Jay died of heart failure at age 42. [15] Leona was twice married to and divorced from her second husband, garment industry executive Joseph Lubin. After a brief period at a sewing factory, she joined a New York real estate firm, where she eventually became vice-president.

Roberts was a chain smoker, consuming several packs a day. She would later claim that she appeared in billboard ads for Chesterfield cigarettes, but her claim remains unsubstantiated. [16]

In 1968, while Roberts was working as a condominium broker, she met and began her involvement with the then-married real estate entrepreneur Harry Helmsley. [17] Two years later, she joined one of Harry's brokerage firms—Brown Harris Stevens—as a senior vice-president. At that time, she was already a millionaire in her own right. Harry divorced his wife of 33 years and married Roberts on April 8, 1972. The marriage may well have saved her career, [18] as several of her tenants had sued her the year before for forcing them to buy condominiums. They won, and she was forced not only to compensate the tenants but to give them three-year leases. Her real estate license was also suspended, so she focused on running Harry's growing hotel empire. [19]

Supposedly under her influence, Harry began a program of conversion of apartment buildings into condos. He later concentrated on the hotel industry, building the Helmsley Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue. Together, the Helmsleys built a New York real estate empire that included 230 Park Avenue, the Empire State Building, and the Tudor City apartment complex on the East Side, as well as Helmsley-Spear Inc., their management and leasing business. The couple also developed properties that included the Helmsley Palace Hotel, the New York Helmsley Hotel, the Park Lane Hotel, and hotels in Florida and other states. By the beginning of 1989, twenty-three hotels in the chain were directly controlled by Leona Helmsley. [19]

Helmsley was featured in an advertising campaign portraying her as a demanding "queen" who wanted nothing but the best for her guests. The slightest mistake was usually grounds for firing, and Helmsley was known to shout insults and obscenities at targeted employees just before they were fired. [18]

On March 31, 1982, Helmsley's only child, Jay Panzirer, died of a heart attack resulting from arrhythmia. [20] : 208 Her son's widow, who lived in a property that Helmsley owned, received an eviction notice shortly after his funeral. Helmsley successfully sued her son's estate for money and property that she claimed he had borrowed, and she was ultimately awarded $146,092. [20] : 212

Despite the Helmsleys' net worth totalling over $1 billion, they were known for disputing payments to contractors and vendors. In 1983, the Helmsleys bought Dunnellen Hall, a 21-room mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, to use as a weekend retreat. The property cost $11 million but the Helmsleys wanted to make it even more luxurious. The work included a $1 million dance floor, a silver clock and a mahogany card table. [16] The remodeling bills came to $8 million, which the Helmsleys were loath to pay. A group of contractors sued the Helmsleys for non-payment and the Helmsleys eventually paid off most of the debt owed to the contractors.

In 1985, during court proceedings in relation to the lawsuit, the contractors revealed that most of their work was being illegally billed to the Helmsleys' hotels as business expenses. The contractors sent a stack of the falsified invoices to the New York Post to prove that the Helmsleys were trying to avoid tax liabilities. The resulting Post story led to a federal criminal investigation. Jeremiah McCarthy, the Helmsleys' executive engineer, also alleged that Leona repeatedly demanded that he sign invoices to bill personal expenses to the Helmsley-Spear and, when McCarthy declined to do so, exploded with tyrannical outbursts, shouting, "You're not my fucking partner! You'll sign what I tell you to sign." [21] In 1988, then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani indicted the Helmsleys and two of their associates on several tax-related charges, as well as extortion. [13]

The trial was delayed until the summer of 1989 due to numerous motions by the Helmsleys' attorneys, most of them related to Harry's health. He had begun to appear feeble shortly after the beginning of his relationship with Leona years before and had recently suffered a stroke on top of a pre-existing heart condition. Ultimately, he was ruled mentally and physically unfit to stand trial and Leona would face the charges alone. [13]

At trial, a former Helmsley-Spear executive, Paul Ruffino, said that he refused to sign phony invoices billing the company for work done on the Connecticut mansion. Ruffino, originally employed to assist Harry through the Hospitality Management Services arm, said that Leona fired him on several occasions for refusing to sign the bills, only for Harry to usually tell him to ignore her and come back to work. Another one of the key witnesses was a former housekeeper at the Helmsley home, Elizabeth Baum, who recounted Leona telling her, "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes." [22] Leona denied saying this. By then, however, the trial was already highlighting her abusive and micromanaging behavior towards family members, employees, contractors and even senior executives. Former employees testified at trial "about how they feared her, with one recalling how she casually fired him while she was being fitted for a dress." [23] Most legal observers felt that Helmsley's hostile personality, arrogance, and "naked greed" alienated the jurors. [24]

On August 30, Helmsley was convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, [25] three counts of tax evasion, [26] three counts of filing false personal tax returns, [27] sixteen counts of assisting in the filing of false corporate and partnership tax returns, [27] and ten counts of mail fraud. [28] [29] She was, however, acquitted of extortion—a charge that could potentially have sent her to prison for the rest of her life. Helmsley was instead sentenced to sixteen years in prison, which was eventually reduced when all but eight of the convictions were dropped. [13] Nonetheless, when it was clear that she was going to prison, Helmsley collapsed outside the courthouse. She was later diagnosed with a heart irregularity and hypertension. [30]

Helmsley's new lawyer, retained to appeal the judgment, was Alan Dershowitz. Following the appeal, which resulted in a reduced sentence, [31] she was ordered to report to prison on tax day, April 15, 1992. [32] She was released from custody on January 26, 1994, after serving nineteen months. [33]

Helmsley's later years were apparently spent in isolation, especially after Harry died in 1997. He left her his entire fortune, including the Helmsley hotels, the Helmsley Palace and the Empire State Building, estimated to be worth well in excess of $5 billion. Her few friends included Patrick Ward, Imelda Marcos, Rodrigo Handall, the Noriega family, and Kathy and Rick Hilton. [34] A 2001 Chicago Sun-Times article depicted her as estranged from her grandchildren and with few friends, living alone in a lavish apartment with her dog. [35] Helmsley was forced to give up control of her hotel empire, since most of her hotels had bars and New York does not allow convicted felons to hold alcohol licenses. She spent her final years at her penthouse atop the Park Lane Hotel.

In 2002, Helmsley was sued by Charles Bell, a former employee who alleged that he was discharged solely for being gay. A jury agreed and ordered Mrs. Helmsley to pay Bell $11,200,000 in damages. A judge subsequently reduced this amount to $554,000. [36]

Although Helmsley had a reputation as the "Queen of Mean", some considered her generous in her charitable contributions after her prison term. After the 9/11 attacks, Helmsley donated $5 million to help the families of New York City firefighters and police. [37] Other contributions included $25 million to New York–Presbyterian Hospital for medical research in 2006 through a charitable trust fund, [38] the donations eventually grew to $65 million to establish the Center for Advanced Digestive Care at the hospital in 2009. [39] [40]

Leona Helmsley died of congestive heart failure at the age of 87, on August 20, 2007, at Dunnellen Hall, her summer home in Greenwich, Connecticut. [11] Cardiovascular disease ran in her family, claiming the lives of her father, son and a sister. [41] After a week at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel, she was entombed next to Harry Helmsley in a mausoleum constructed for $1.4 million [42] and set on ¾-acres in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Westchester County, New York. Among the few distinctive features of the mausoleum are three wall-embedded stained-glass windows, in the style of Louis Tiffany, showing the skyline of Manhattan. Leona Helmsley was known for not liking dirt and left $3 million for the 1,300 square foot Helmsley family mausoleum to be "washed or steam-cleaned at least once a year." [43]

Helmsley left the bulk of her estate—estimated at more than $4 billion—to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. [44] In addition to providing directly for her own dog in her will, [45] she left separate instructions that the trust, now valued at $5 to $8 billion, be used to benefit dogs. [46] The courts have ruled that the Trust is not legally bound to wishes separate from the Trust documents. [47]

The will left her Maltese dog, Trouble, a $12 million trust fund. This sum was subsequently reduced to $2 million as excessive to fulfill its purpose. Her choice was branded 3rd in Fortune magazine's "101 Dumbest Moments in Business" of 2007. [48] [49]

Trouble lived in Florida with Carl Lekic, the general manager of the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel, with several death threats having been received. [50] [51] Lekic, Trouble's caretaker, stated that $2 million would pay for the dog's maintenance for more than 10 years—the annual $100,000 for full-time security, $8,000 for grooming and $1,200 for food. Lekic was paid a $60,000 annual guardianship fee. [52] Trouble died at age twelve in December 2010, at which time the remainder of the funds reverted to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Although Helmsley's wishes were to have the dog interred with her in the mausoleum, New York state law prohibits interment of pets in human cemeteries and the dog was subsequently cremated. [53] [54]

Helmsley had four grandchildren. Two of them each received $5 million in trust and $5 million in cash, under the condition that they visit their father's grave site once each calendar year. Their signing a registration book would prove that they had visited the grave. [55] Her other two grandchildren, Craig and Meegan Panzirer, received nothing.

In a judgment (published on June 16, 2008), Manhattan Surrogate Court Judge Renee Roth ruled that Helmsley was mentally unfit when she executed her will. Hence, the Court, amid settlement, reduced the $12 million trust fund for the pet Trouble to $2 million. Of the $10 million originally bequeathed to Trouble, $4 million was awarded to the Charitable Trust, and $6 million was awarded to Craig and Meegan Panzirer, who had been disinherited by the will. [56] The ruling requires the Panzirers to keep silent about their dispute with their grandmother and deliver to the court any documents they have about her.

She left $15 million for her brother Alvin Rosenthal. Helmsley also left $100,000 to her chauffeur, Nicholas Celea. [57]

Helmsley acquired the moniker "The Queen of Mean", reportedly inspired after an advertising campaign promoting her as the "Queen of the Palace" of the Helmsley Palace Hotel. [58] [59] Helmsley became known by this nickname in the mainstream press. [59] [60] [61]

Helmsley was known for "tyrannizing her employees". [62] Alan Dershowitz, while breakfasting with her at one of the Helmsley hotels, received a cup of tea with a tiny bit of water spilled on the saucer. Helmsley grabbed the cup from the waiter and smashed it on the floor, then told him to beg for his job. [63] In another account of Helmsley's behavior, she had a barbecue pit constructed for her home. [64] The work was performed by Eugene Brennan, a personal friend of Jeremiah McCarthy, the chief engineer of Helmsley-Spear. [64] When the final bill came to $13,000, she refused to pay, citing shoddy workmanship. [64] When McCarthy pleaded with her to honor the bill, citing the favor done on his behalf and informing her that Brennan had six children to support, Helmsley replied, "Why didn't he keep his pants on? Then he wouldn't need the money". [64]

In 1989, an unauthorized biography titled The Queen of Mean: The Unauthorized Biography of Leona Helmsley was published by Bantam Books (ISBN 978-0553285581). The 1990 TV movie Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean starred Suzanne Pleshette as Leona and Lloyd Bridges as Harry. [65] Pleshette was nominated for an Emmy Award [66] and a Golden Globe Award [67] for the portrayal.

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