The 15 Stupidest Ways to Get Fired
by Zac Frank and Tania Khadder
1. Rectal Advertising
Our first nominees come from Lake Geneva, Wisconson. Local news station WISN says two nurses snapped photos of a patient’s X-ray and, according to their employer, posted them on Facebook. The patient in question allegedly had a sex device lodged in his rectum, hence the keen interest on the part of the nurses. The accused nurse claims she never actually posted the pictures on Facebook—that they only discussed the incident on her page. Police haven’t been able to locate anyone who has actually seen the photos. Nevertheless, both were dismissed for misconduct. Moral of the Story
Violating a patient’s privacy is just plain wrong. Violating a patient’s privacy, then advertising it on a social networking site is just plain stupid.
2. Would You Like Boogers with That?
Our next contenders are competing in two categories: stupidity and depravity. Dominos workers Michael Setzer and Kristy Hammonds filmed their gross-out kitchen antics, like sneezing on sandwiches or cleaning a pizza pan with a sponge one of them used to wipe his bare bottom just moments before. They posted their video on YouTube, and it quickly became an internet sensation. Both employees were fired and now face criminal charges for tampering with food. Moral of the Story
You are what you eat? Let’s hope not.
3. Calling Your Boss on His “Self Love”
Our next nominee proves social-networking stupidity is not just detrimental, it’s universal. A 23-year-old administrative clerk from South Africa called his boss a “serial masturbator” on his Facebook status. A co-worker saw the status, informed the employer and the young man was fired. Oops. Moral of the Story
It’s a double whammy for this ex-employee. Don’t say anything on Facebook you wouldn’t want your boss, spouse, parents or children to see. Ever. Also, that’s TMI about your boss. None of your friends want to know that.
4. A Wii Bit Stupid
Sadly, this next nominee is more tragic than dumb. Three radio DJs in Sacramento ran a contest in which listeners were asked to drink as much water as possible without going to the bathroom. The prize? A Nintendo Wii console. The price? Someone’s life. A 28-year-old contestant was found dead in her home five hours after drinking around two gallons of water. The coroner concluded that the cause of death was “water intoxication”. The DJs, along with seven other morning show employees, were subsequently fired. Moral of the Story
You can have too much of a good thing.
5. Busted by GPS
John Haplin worked for the NYC school system for 21 years. He was a carpenter supervisor who, according to his managers , was falsifying time-records. How did they know? They’d been tracking his whereabouts for five months, via the GPS system in his government-issued cell phone. They found that he’d repeatedly accepted payment for times when he was clearly not working. Haplin says it was unfair for his employer to track him without warning. Fair or not, he no longer has to worry about them tracking his location. Moral of the Story
Disable the GPS tracker on your work phone.
6. Sleeping on the Job
It wasn’t enough that he’d already missed three appointments. When this Comcast technician finally did show up to repair a faulty cable modem, he fell asleep the customer’s couch. Not surprisingly, he was canned. Moral of the Story
Napping mid-day is only okay if you’re in one of two places: preschool or Italy. And it’s certainly not okay in a customer’s home.
7. Teacher Sends Nude Photos
High School teacher, Beth Ann Chester, sent nude photos of herself to a 14-year-old student’s cell phone. Allegedly, the student’s parents later found suggestive text messages in his phone and confronted Chester. Later that day, the 26-year-old physical education teacher resigned from her post (not quite fired, but close enough). Since the photos emerged, Chester has confessed to having a sexual relationship with the aforementioned student and now faces criminal charges including sexual abuse of children and corruption of minors, among others. Moral of the Story
It better be obvious. Pedophilia is something for a rap sheet, not a resume.
8. The Coffee Cop
In many parts of the world, police live on bribes and kickbacks. An officer in Daytona Beach, Florida seemed to forget that he was a cop in a country where that doesn’t happen. For about two years, Lieutenant Major Garvin was given free specialty coffee drinks from a local Starbucks. When one day he was refused his drink on the house, the Lieutenant threatened employees with a much slower response time if they “needed a little help.” When investigated, he denied the claim and agreed to a polygraph. He failed. Moral of the Story
A Triple Chai Latte isn’t that good. And don’t abuse your authority, whether or not you’re a law enforcement officer.
9. Crime Scene Photography
You hear some weird stories out of New York, but usually not from its smallest borough, Staten Island. Earlier this year, an emergency medical technician (EMT), responding to a murder snapped some photos of the strangled victim. The EMT proceeded to upload the pictures to his Facebook page. (We wonder what he called the album…). A friend who saw the gruesome images contacted his employer, the Richmond University Medical Center, and he was promptly let go. What’s sadder: the EMT, a former cop, had been a hero before he retired from the force. He saved a man from a burning car, rescued a mother and daughter from a capsized boat, and prevented a homeless man from taking his own life. With a click of the mouse, he ruined his reputation and landed himself unemployed. Moral of the Story
All employers take privacy rights seriously. Be careful that the photos you’re posting online don’t violate those rights. Bonus Moral
Your friends don’t want to see gruesome pictures anyway. They’ll probably think you’re creepy.
10. A Bath Isn’t a Job Perk
After a hard day’s work, what do you do to unwind when your shift ends? Dinner? A long, hot shower? Three now former employees of a KFC decided to take a bath. The only problem? They went for their soak in one of the chicken fryer’s dishwashing sinks. Though the restaurant was closed, one of the trio put some pictures on her public MySpace profile and of course, their manager learned of the incident. Apparently, bathing in the multi-section sink is a violation of KFC’s operating standards. Who knew? A local health inspector noted that the girls’ actions were also a violation of the state health code because “they are not wearing clean outer clothing.” Would it have been all right if they were? Maybe their path to unemployment was a blessing in disguise. Now they are free to find work at a spa, where after-hours bathing is a career benefit. Moral of the Story
When you want to relax after work, leave work.
11. We’ll Do it Live
In most jobs, accuracy is a key benchmark for keeping your job. If you are wrong 90% of the time, odds are you will be joining the legions of the unemployed. As we all know, though, there is one profession for which this is not the case: the weatherperson. As far as “sciences” go, meteorology’s closest cousin is astrology (though horoscopes are usually more on point). But a forecaster is not immune to the chopping block. As this one from upstate New York learned, a meteorologist’s job is really just to smile, stand in front of a map, and not yell a string of profanities. (Fortunately for Bill O’Reilly, he’s not a weatherman…) Moral of the Story
If you have to unleash a string of expletives, don’t do it on live TV.
12. Felony Urination
When April 15 rolls around, urinating on the IRS might be on top of your to do list. But be careful—like audits, the IRS does not take peeing lying down. As first reported by The Smoking Gun, an IRS employee relieved himself in the freight elevator “on numerous occasions.” After the signature scent was noticed, a federal agent installed a surveillance camera and caught the urinator in the act. Did the culprit have a bladder problem? No, he said he “did this because he felt he could get away with it.” If you think you can get away with something, make sure you actually can. The contract employee not only lost his job but got slapped with a $4,600 cleaning bill and a felony charge for damaging government property that carries a maximum ten year sentence. Moral of the Story
Use a urinal. (If you work in art, just be careful which one!)
13. That’s Not Mud on My Forehead
Of all our nominees, this one fell the farthest. Niklaus Leuenberger was the managing director of The Palace, one of New York’s most exclusive and luxurious hotels. On Wednesday, February 25, he spotted an employee with something on his forehead. Rather than try to figure out what it was (or think for a second what the day was), Leuenberger told his employee, “Wipe that f*****g s**t off your face!” The bell captain, a Catholic, had ash smudged on his forehead in observance of Ash Wednesday. Moral of the Story
Think before you go ballistic… Or at least have some basic knowledge of religious observations, especially if you’re a manager.
14. Fake Celebrities Deserve Privacy Too
In ages past, celebrities were people who had amazing talent or skill. These days, being a rich alcoholic or accidentally birthing eight children at once seems to count. 15 Kaiser Permanente employees were not immune to the public’s strange fascination with Nadya “Octo-Mom” Suleman. Curious about the medical oddity, the employees rummaged through her medical files looking for clues to the secret of this prolifically fecund beast. All they found was a pink slip. Without even trying to sell or publicize whatever they found, the workers were fired. Moral of the Story
Some mysteries aren’t worth solving.
15. Conference Call Hang Up
Several senior employees at a technology retailer were on a conference call with the CEO who was out of the office. When the meeting had ended, one employee said, “If that idiot tells me how to do my job one more time, I’m going to quit.” He didn’t have to. A few seconds later everyone in the room heard an ominous sound coming from the three-footed conference phone, “I’m sorry, what was that?” She hadn’t hung up. They hadn’t hung up. That “idiot” told him how to do his job one more time: leave it. Moral of the Story
Don’t shoot your mouth off unless you are 100% certain who’s listening. Hit the button on the conference phone until you hear a new dial tone.
BONUS: You’re No Dumbledore
The location was Land O’ Lakes, Florida 2008, not Salem, Massachusetts 1692, but a substitute teacher was fired for witchcraft. Jim Piculas, the teacher in question, performed a 30-second magic trick in front of a middle school class where he made a toothpick disappear. Later that day he got a call from the substitute teacher coordinator who told him he could not take any more assignments. “Why?” he asked. For being suspected of “wizardry.” Moral of the Story
Leave your wand at home. Apparently, witchcraft is still a scourge on local youth. ——
source – SalesHQ