People Share Their Experiences Quitting Toxic Workplaces

Ashley Hunte
A yellow post-it saying "I quit" stuck to a computer keyboard.
Getty Images | Nora Carol Photography

Not every job is easy. Or good. There are, sadly, a lot of work environments that just won't treat you right, whether it's because you don't get along with your coworkers or because the workplace is downright toxic.

I'm sure most of us have decided to leave toxic work environments before. So when the people of Reddit were asked about their experiences, they were quick to answer.

1. "Worked at a Spencer’s Gifts for a bit during uni." - battlelevel

An indoor shopping mall with multiple storeys and people walking around the shops.
Unsplash | mostafa meraji

"I was working and saw that I was scheduled for an evening shift the day before a morning exam, so I asked the manager if I could switch."

This already sounds awful, to be honest.

"She said no, the schedule is already made up."

A woman with her hands on her hips, leaning and saying "excuse me?"

"Went back and forth trying to negotiate with her. She ended with, 'You’re going to have to decide what’s more important, the shift or your exam.'"

Imagine thinking a shift at the job you're working to put yourself through school is more important than the schooling itself, which you're probably paying tens of thousands of dollars for. What was this manager thinking?

2. "Joined a call center with the obvious shady pay structure." - notahopeleft

Several people sitting in rows of desks with computers in an office.
Unsplash | Alex Kotliarskyi

"Turns out the inbound calls were generated by their robocall system indirectly implying that they were Google but never saying so and we were directed to use some dubious answer if someone asked ‘are you Google?’"

Uhh, what?

"After getting yelled at and cussed out and constantly getting people who had been called many times before and were clearly irate..."

A woman thinking for a few seconds, before saying "no"
Giphy | chelsiekenyon

"I just got up and left in the middle of the day."

Working customer service is bad, but working at a call center is so much worse. No one wants those calls, and management never supports you.

Plus they're, like, so shady.

3. "My first job..." - metrosphoenix

A dog with his head back and tongue out, and then turns his head. Text underneath the dog reads, "what?"
Giphy | Nebraska Humane Society

"One Monday, I was pulled in to the office and asked why (whatever thing it was, I don’t remember) hasn’t been done for the last two weeks."

"I replied I wasn’t aware it was part of my duties."

Mr. Burns and Smithers talk about Homer's job description.

"My supervisor said he was putting me on a 'mandatory non-paid vacation' for two weeks. No warning, no explanation on why I all of a sudden had to do work for a different department. So I said 'don’t worry about it, I quit.'"

Ah yes, nothing beats not getting trained for a job, and then punished for not doing the job you weren't trained to do.

4. "Manager claimed to have called me to change my schedule (my phone didn't show any missed calls from his number, he was lying)..." - [deleted]

An empty weekly planner schedule.
Unsplash | Eric Rothermel

"...and then same day scheduled me to work a shift that afternoon without confirming that I was free or willing to pick up the extra shift."

I swear, some managers don't think their employees have lives.

"When I came into my next shift, he asked why I didn't come in for my scheduled shifts, showing me my work schedule that he'd printed out."

A man looking confused, saying "I mean... why?"
Giphy | The Weather Channel

"I told him I hadn't been scheduled for that shift... and he said it was fine, smiled and nodded, and sent me back to my shift."

The fact that he insisted again after knowing that OP wasn't going to come in is so absurd.

"Next week's schedule comes out, I have no shifts."

A woman leaning and knocking on the screen, saying "hello. Hello?"
Giphy | Shay Mitchell

"I ask what's up, and he says that since I missed a shift and didn't call in to say I'd be missing, I had to lose two weeks of hours."

"He was absolutely shocked when I quit before the two weeks were over."

A woman turning her head, looking shocked.

"I got a voice mail three days later asking why I didn't show up to my scheduled shifts that week, and when I called him back asking what about "I got a new job and will not be back" was unclear, he claimed that he had never called me or left a voicemail and I must have just been confused!"

Sounds like a real keeper, that guy.

5. "One work day at a greenhouse was 8:00 AM to 1:00 AM. You're not misreading that." - ih8pkmn

Bramble and dead branches in front of a sky at sunrise.
Unsplash | OC Gonzalez

"I didn't even bother coming into work the next... ever."

Yeah, any job that tries to get you to work 17 hour shifts can't be good...

6. "Worked at The Source (Canada) and had a weird situation." - Jagdane

A wall in a store that carries various figurines and electronics.
Unsplash | Erik Mclean

"We had a PlayStation 1 in the back... After almost a year of working there, we got to talking about this PlayStation to find it didn't show a normal price in the system."

This already sounds like a weird and wild tale...

"A month goes by and we're still discussing it when a fellow employee's PlayStation died."

A retro PS1 console and controller on a black background.
Unsplash | Hello I'm Nik

"Another employee sold him the one from behind... 6 months later get a list from corporate to return items and sure enough, somehow this many years old item is on the list."

"The Source came in and cleared house of anyone thought to have interacted with the transaction. I was the only employee remaining."

Michael Scott from The Office looking stern and saying "you are fired." Jim and Pam can be seen sitting at their desks in the background.
Giphy | The Office

"They had me run a store solo for a week (impossible) before bringing a manager from a neighbouring town."

This seems like... such an extreme reaction. Over a PlayStation that was probably already obsolete by the time they sold it?

"The manager walks in and starts running his mouth about everyone and everything while literally having me do every single task by myself while he yelled."

A man with his hands in his hair, appearing to yell.
Unsplash | Ryan Snaadt

"By lunch break I had enough. Walked out back, grabbed my things, sandwich in hand I walked out telling him to have a great day and went back to my previous tech job."

Yeah, the fact that they had to run the store for so long on their own was bad enough. But this manager had some nerve.

7. "A little Greek Restaurant I worked at early in high school." - level 1advocatus_ebrius_est

The interior of a restaurant with white walls and chairs, wooden tables, and booth seating with blue and white cushions.
Unsplash | Jason Briscoe

"Got hired, and spent the first two days cleaning everything the owner and son were to lazy to clean. Years worth of old grease in the deep fryer's interior, mold in the fridges, stains in the bathrooms etc.."

So basically, doing the dirtiest part of the job.

"Ask about payday on the end of the second day and it went something like this:"

Michael Scott from The Office tilting his head and saying "what?"
Giphy | The Office

"'So, how does payday work here? Is it weekly, bi-weekly, what?'

"'You are on training, if we like the job you do we will hire you with pay.'"

They didn't think to say something before letting their new trainee fix their health code violations?

"Confused, I ask 'so you're saying that you're not going to pay me for cleaning years worth of mold, grease, and bathroom stains?'"

A man in a white shirt holding a completely empty leather wallet.
Unsplash | Towfiqu barbhuiya

"'No, you will be paid for work once your training is done.'

'Oh! Ok... I quit.'"

There should be laws against this kind of thing. If you work, you get paid, end of story.

8. "I was 14 and working as a bag boy at my local grocery store. Between football, school, and homework I only had time for 2-2 hour shifts a week." - dadurembarassingme

In the foreground, a blue shopping cart with two indistinguishable boxes in it. In the background, an out of focus cash register area for a grocery store.
Unsplash | Eduardo Soares

"My first pay check was negative after union dues. I was literally issued a paycheck with a '-' in front of the value. I did not go back."

I really hope OP didn't end up owing them anything for that negative balance.

"I had terrible post-natal depression after I had my second son, and my husband was a contractor at Barclays Capital in London." - yooohoooo99

A woman sitting alone at the end of a dock by a body of water, with foggy mountains and sky in the background.
Unsplash | Paola Chaaya

"He told his boss that he may have to take a few days off, given my condition, and was told that 'it doesn't work like that.' So he gave his notice."

That was really great of the husband. Earning money to support your family is important, but actually being around to emotionally support your family is even more important.