20 People Who Got Written Up At Work For Ridiculous Reasons

Three women in a meeting; one facing the camera
Unsplash | Tim Gouw

Perhaps the cruelest realization that comes with adulthood is understanding that you'll need to work in order to live. Working often entails long hours, ridiculous rules, and bosses that range from not bad to absolutely insufferable.

Another thing that will inevitably happen to even the best worker: the dreaded write-up. We've compiled some of the more entertaining examples of workers getting written up for your enjoyment.

When you violate a policy that was never explained in the first place.

Woman talking on a phone mounted to a wall
Unsplash | Andy Vult

"I just got written up last week for answering the emergency on call phone but not going to things that are not an emergency. After a year with this company I have never been given policy for the on call phone or what to do. I also did not have the option to give my side of the story. I put my 2 weeks in the next morning."


Building a paper trail.

Employee written up for refusing entry after closing
reddit | cyanwren

This boss should have a little more compassion for their employee. Closing time and closing duties have to happen at some point, and this often means that employees will have to deny entry to would-be clients or customers.

Sometimes you can't win.

After this little run-in with his supervisors, Elliot here is faced with a conundrum: should he tie his shoes, even though it might get him written up, or should he walk around with untied shoelaces? It's a tough call.

Say it with me: HR is not your friend.

Multiple people pointing at and using a laptop
Unsplash | Mimi Thian

"The only time I was written up was by a total trainwreck of a supervisor. I passed a hard test she failed and she instantly was lashing out. She wrote this weird 'I’m a crazy person who thinks I can abuse HR resources' e-mail about how I came to her and told her I couldn’t do my job and it was so stressful. I wrote back basically 'you know I didn’t say that' and her piss brained manager rubber-stamped letting her write me up for insubordination."


The irony is rich here.

Text from boss explaining their lateness and absences
reddit | AlcibiadesTheCat

For context, this is a text from the boss to their team. It came after they wrote up an employee for being 20 minutes late. I guess bosses can just set their own hours while punishing others.

"Not a happy camper."

Some workplaces allow headphones, others don't. Some workplaces provide their employees with earplugs. Apparently some workplaces not only provide their employees with earplugs; they also write up employees for wearing said company-provide earplugs. That makes sense, right?

When you get one back on your boss.

Employee written up for discussing low pay with customers
reddit | GALLENT96

"Boss couldn't find time to discuss a raise. So I started informing customers of my low pay. Got wrote up so I stole all the write ups & trashed them, kept mine because I was proud of this."


New company policy, gotta love it.

Work policy explaining that unscheduled leave will result in a write-up
reddit | dodo-spiritz

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that new rules and policies are never a good thing. Here's a fun new policy in one workplace: if you need to take unscheduled leave, you'll be written up for it.

This one's just funny.

Many of the items in this list are infuriating, but this one's just plain funny. Maybe the boss could have had a sense of humor, but then again, you don't want your employees harmonizing about wieners in front of customers.

Bosses hate medical emergencies.

A toilet in a public washroom
Unsplash | Jan Antonin Kolar

"Having to go to the bathroom to have diarrhea about 15 times because I had (undiagnosed at the time) e.coli infection. Then left work early because I couldn't hold it and went in my pants. Decided to go to the hospital after that, didn't want to at first because it cost so much money but it's good I did."


Sometimes you reach a breaking point.

Text exchange with employee telling boss they hate their job
reddit | noimnotawookbro

Here's a glimpse inside the psyche of someone who's at the breaking point because of a lousy boss. The backstory? They were threatened with a suspension because they'd sliced their finger open at work and couldn't do their job.

How dare they drink water on the job.

Notice prohibiting employees from drinking water on the job
reddit | kevorkian-scarf

I'm going to hand this one over to OP:

"This was several years back, but my GM used to post notes like this all over the place. Yes, employees got written up for having water bottles under the registers. He ended up getting fired for stealing money from the store, apparently."


Yes, they were written up for this.

Worker scheduled for shift six minutes before shift begins
reddit | Sinbinnedskater

Look closely at what this email is communicating: the fact that this worker was scheduled for a 9:30 am shift at 9:24 am — six minutes before they're scheduled to start. Of course their boss decided to write them up for it.

When is a heron a chicken?

A heron standing on a branch
Unsplash | Joshua J. Cotten

"Worked in an animal shelter. Paperwork on one patient said 'chicken.' Corrected it to wildlife: heron as it was actually a heron.

After I fixed the paperwork the manager running the shelter and her manager assistant both decided they needed to talk to me. Assistant said she would wait and manager could go first.

Manager tells me she is writing me up for claiming the 'chicken' is actually a heron and claims whoever wrote the paperwork out must have known what they were doing. She claims I am not allowed to change anything this person has written out. Argues that she fixed it so it says 'chicken' again."


Bosses find a way.

Yellow police tape
Unsplash | David von Diemar

"Got written up because I had to call in because my house was a crime scene and I wasn’t allowed to leave my house until we were all questioned. Still came into work the next day even after dealing with someone dying/having to clean up after the coroner left. Heavy trauma and couldn’t go 5 minutes without crying. But still managed to get written up."


"Financial restrictions."

Note saying employee was written up for not getting a doctor's note
reddit | bigtitsandrecords

If you can't read between the lines here, this is a write up that an employee received for going home sick and not being able to afford a doctor's note. Doctor's notes can be expensive, particularly for those who don't make much to begin with. If this place paid better, the boss could have all the doctor's notes.


Shirt depicting Captain America as a Black man
reddit | NathonDarnel

The poster here explains that they wore this shirt — one that depicts Captain America as a Black man — to work. Their boss deemed the shirt to be "too controversial." They wrote, "There are two races, white and controversial."

...but they were off the clock.

Screenshot of boss telling employees they'll be written up while off the clock
reddit | Mariocraft95

A Redditor posted this ridiculous text exchange sent by their boss to the workplace. Do bosses realize that when you're off the clock, you're off the clock? I mean, are you even allowed to write someone up for something they did while off the clock?

Well, if the computer says so...

Three women in a meeting; one facing the camera
Unsplash | Tim Gouw

"Worked in a place where you would clock in, then hit another button to get an assignment. You could not get an assignment without clocking in. If I remember correctly, coming back from lunch was just a clock in/get assignment button, so it only took one click.

I got in trouble for not clocking in after my lunch. Despite the fact that the computer showed I had gotten an assignment the exact minute my lunch was supposed to be over. Got the manager to acknowledge that there was no way I could have gotten an assignment without clocking in. But since the computer said it, I got in trouble for it."


When the courts disagree with the boss.

Tweet explaining that boss wrote employee up for being subpoenaed
reddit | stillabadkid

I thought that things like jury duty or getting subpoenaed as a witness in a trial would exempt an employee from going to work, but apparently that's not the case. Hard to believe this person was written up.