You know the bad feeling churning in your stomach, the tiny hair at the back of your neck stands and somehow no matter sitting, lying or standing, something seems to be off. Sometimes it isn’t so bad to listen closely to your guts once in a while, it may just save you from being exploited or even your well being. 

These people who share their stories with me, walked out on the job after their first day and never returned. 

Enjoy their stories!

It was my first job after high school. One of the family restaurants in the town that my family used to patronise a lot. I was hired as a dishwasher, nothing too fancy. The job was sort of a stand in until I can get my head together on what I want to do next in my life. The moment I entered the kitchen, a strong stale stench hit my nose.

The kitchen looked like it has never been cleaned since day one. There were rubbish everywhere. In the sink. In the cupboards. On the stoves. The floors looked like they haven’t been cleaned. My last straw was fighting the rat to get off the dishwashing sponge. I made a feeble excuse on how my mom was taken ill and left the place immediately.

Oh, the restaurant is still around but my family have never eaten there since. 

Connor, Busboy

I have been in security all my life. I happened to be out of job when the last company got busted by cops for doing something illegal (can’t discuss it because it is still an ongoing court case). So my cousin got me a job as a security guard at one of the warehouses right at the docks.

The money was good and the hours were short. Basically, I was to work in the mornings and someone will come over to take my shift from the afternoon onwards. My job is to make sure people don’t take anything out of the warehouse.

I was two hours early in reporting to work so I decided to linger around the docks. My instincts suddenly were on high alert when I saw what seems like an illegal activity. After one stupid investigation still lingering above my head, I’m not going to bag myself another one.

There were people dressed in rags being led to the same warehouse I was supposed to work in. They looked tired, weary and haggard. Even the children looked lifeless. While walking alongside them were ruffians with guns that kept poking them with their barrels to hurry them along.

I didn’t stay to watch anymore, scoot my ass out of there and called the police. It turned out that I was right. The warehouse was used to smuggle humans into the country. 

Rowan, Head of Security 

The first part of my first day was okay. Nothing major, I was shown to my desk and left alone for awhile. Then I need to read some papers and sign some papers. Nothing dramatic until I took my break.

Apparently, I took a wrong turn and walked aimlessly into rows of empty meeting rooms (it was a huge office). I heard some sounds coming from one of the rooms, I thought I better ask someone how to get back to my department.

I forgot to knock and I opened the door, in time to witness a room full of people snorting up white powder that laid in the middle of the huge conference table. I quickly asked for direction to the main lobby, closed the door and scrambled pretty fast out of the office. I didn’t even collected my bag.

HR did sent me my things after one week, without asking me why I didn’t turn up for work anymore. Maybe she knows too.

Alice, Graphic Designer

I was interviewed in the role of customer service representative a couple of years ago. It was a reputable company and I’m excited to start work.

The first sign that gave me the weird vibe was the day I reported to work, HR told me that they had mixed up my start date and I was suppose to start a week later. No biggie. I can use a break anyways.

Then the week came and I reported to work, I was told that my position is no longer available and I was placed in technical support which was ridiculous because I have no technical knowledge at all. I was told I will have ample training and not to worry.

In the first few hours into the training, I was struggling badly. I got scolded for not recognising basic technical terms and when I tried to explain myself, the trainer show me the door instead. I gladly walked out of the office. My recruiter did called me to apologise the next day when I didn’t report to work. 

Candice, Quality Assurance Manager

I was applying for a position in a fast food restaurant while waiting for my exam results.

My first day at the fast food restaurant, I was commanded to wash the toilet, scrub the kitchen floor and wash the trays. During my lunch break, the HR of the second job I applied for, called and asked if I can report to her company tomorrow. Grinning from ear to ear, I hung up my uniform and informed my manager that I quit.

The second job paid three times better with shorter hours and I don’t need to scrub the toilet bowls. 

Danny, Data Technician

Some years ago, I applied for a junior clerk at a law firm downtown.

On my first day of work, I was greeted by a weary and grumpy looking HR assistant who asked me to sign a stack of papers. When I asked what are they for, her reply was “Oh, so that you won’t sue us for unfair dismissal, sexual harassment, prejudices, discrimination etc. Don’t worry about it. One way or another, you’ll leave eventually.”

She shrugged and walked out. I left before she came back. 

Sabrina, Legal Secretary 

Just out of university, I wanted to work in a restaurant before my backpacking vacation starts. I figured that I can earn some cash for my trip while I wait.

I was interviewed at the back of the restaurant by the floor manager. He was happy with my credentials, how I had waited on tables for my last summer job and agrees to hire me on the spot. He asked me to fill up the application form while he go and find me a uniform. Apparently, a spot just opened up because one of the wait staff did not report for duty.

After half an hour under the sweltering heat, I decided to enter the restaurant to pass my form and to find out if I can start now. I saw the floor manager yelling at a poor female wait staff. She is barely into her teens and she is sobbing and shaking badly. The rest of the crew simply watched and didn’t give a damn. The yelling becomes screaming until the floor manager grabbed hold of a glass and smashed it on the ground next to her, making her shrieked and cry even louder. A guy from the kitchen came and defend her but was yelled down by the manager.

I didn’t stay long to watch it all. I figured I didn’t need that kind of negativity in my life. 

Garrett, Chemist

I came from an abusive family background and it took me all my strength and money to move out and never to contact my family again.

A few years passed and I grew stronger and wiser. I was happy that I have gotten a dream job I wanted. I couldn’t believe it when I was told to report to work.

The first day of work, I was immediately ushered into a boardroom where a meeting was already in place. An older man, I presume to be the boss or at least a manager, started nitpicking and criticising at others. It wasn’t pleasant and it was personal.

He would walked around the room and say things like “You think you are pretty enough to wear pink? It remains me of Miss Piggy!” or “You have a face that gives children nightmares.” or “Is everyone so dumb that nobody can think of any idea? Where’s your brain? Flushed in toilet bowl?”

Even I was in there for just 20 minutes, I have heard enough. I didn’t struggle to get out of my abusive family to jump into another abusive environment. I walked out straightaway without waiting for the meeting to be over. I was lucky that now I’m happily working with a boss and a team that treasures my work. 

Merci, Production Assistant 

Enjoy reading the above stories and gaining an insight into someone’s worklife? Here are some of the other stories that I collected over the years:
Worst Interview Stories by Recruiters & Managers
Memorable Stories From Grab / Uber Drivers
Bosses who are irritating as hell

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40 replies on “8 Stories on Folks who Quit on their First Day of Work

  1. These stories are straight out of a horror novel. It is frightening that this goes on today. I was treated better in basic training in the military. I am glad they all walked out and found something better.
    There’s always something better. Never settle for working in in bad job. Thank you for sharing. Scott

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve had one of those jobs. I didn’t make it past a few hours. It was a job placement company and I was to try to find them a position. They gave me a huge procedure manual to read through after signing a disclaimer that I wouldn’t disclose their methods. The process was to interview an applicant and tell them they cannot leave, that I had some good possibilities for them and would make some calls. Then I was to cold call different companies and try to sell the applicant. It was devious and required me lie to both the poor unemployed person and the company about their strengths and experience. The top management met me in a little room and looked at each other as I told them I couldn’t do the job. Someone was standing in front of the door and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to escape, but finally, after they reiterated the nondisclosure terms, he let me pass.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh dear! Sounds like an elaborate scam! I’m glad you ran out of there quickly. Good that you have your wits around you. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.


  3. These are unbelievable. I haven’t quit on my first day (yet), but have walked off jobs. I worked at a retail place in college during the summer that was chaos city. The store would be destroyed, and they made us stay after closing to straighten until the wee hours. They’d lock the doors, and everything. We couldn’t get out. I’d leave so exhausted, I could barely stand. For some reason, I usually had to close. Being in my 20s, I wanted some of my evenings to go clubbing and enjoy life.

    Anyway, the last straw came when they called me in to close on my day off. I agreed to make extra cash. I was told I didn’t have to stay to clean up. I could just go after closing. Big lie. They refused to let me leave after the store closed. When the manager left me to keep working, I went & got my purse, and told the guard at the door I had medication in my car I needed to take. Could he please unlock the door? He did. I cranked up my car and drove home.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Woah! That’s straight up abuse! Locking the doors. What if there’s a fire? Oh dear. Sounds terrible. Glad it was just a summer job and not somewhere you need to work in order to feed yourself. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Sean. Stay safe and well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I never quit a job the first day, but I quit a college class the first day. The professor was late and showed up with a racquetball racket and sweating and huge sweat stains on his back and armpits wearing a t-shirt and shorts. No problem, I thought. Here’s a guy who likes to work out right before class. He walked back and forth bragging about his many acheivements, no problem I thought, he’s trying to let us get to know him. Then he started swearing, using the F word and other words a lot. No problem I thought, he’s a man who swears. But then I noticed each time he swore, as he walked back and forth in front of the class, that he’d stop and whip around with intense eyes and scan the class and ask if he’d offended anyone. Each time he seemed disappointed that no one reacted. No problem I thought, here’s a guy who is trying to shock us and eager to get a rise out of us. Then for the whole long class, I saw that he didn’t teach us a darn thing, he just talked dirty the whole time. I got up after class and asked him to sign my withdrawel. “Did I say anything to offend you?” he asked looking at me hopefully, intensely, studying me. “No” I said, “It’s just this class isn’t what I thought it would be.” What I thought it would be was a class, and not an ego swearing session by a sweaty guy who didn’t care about teaching at all. I asked my acquaintance who stayed in the class if he ever actually taught the English class. She said every class was like the first and painful to sit though. So glad I left!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post Kally. You always come with new ideas abd this one was amazing. Must convey our gratitude to the brave souls who shared their experiences

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, sometimes it’s best to just walk away than to suffer. The one where the employee was made to sign papers so that she doesn’t sue was shocking. The abusive environment in the meeting story shows the worst type of venting boss. Thank you for sharing these stories with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The first tale, and the Sabrina, Legal Secretary tale reminds me of Gordon Ramsey’s Hell Kitchen (yikes !). The Candice, Quality Assurance Manager, tale is a perfect example of how to burn bridges. What was she expecting from a fast-food job…


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