Folks Are Spilling The Tea On Their “Worst First Day On The Job” (20 Stories)

Published 1 year ago

The first day at work is usually a nerve-wracking experience. You have to make good first impressions with your boss, your colleagues and let’s not forget that you’re potentially setting a tone for the rest of your working career at that particular place too. 

But with all the hype surrounding the first day of work, sometimes things don’t always go as planned. One Redditor sparked an interesting discussion online when they asked folks to share their very “worst first day on the job”. The responses range from mortifying to horrifying because apparently, some people have unfortunately been really quite unlucky. 

More info: Reddit

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I was hired as a party host for a children’s playland. I was the only adult who was allowed in the playground area so half of it was coaxing children out when their time was up. The slide was wet, and the lower half of the ball pit was socks and diapers. We had staff meals from the on site cafe and mid afternoon we realized everyone had food poisoning when the character in the large fluffy suit vomited in the head of the costume. And I had to guide them out, with vomit pouring out of the mesh face hole.

I stayed another week after that and the next person in the character suit vomited because of the smell already in the head. They then chemically cleaned the head, and the next person to wear it vomited then passed out from the fumes and I had to drag an unconscious 6ft rodent from a room of screaming and crying kids.

Image source: Mandelbug_Myrtle


Image source: TheRealBradGoodman, Mikael Blomkvist

This wasnt a bad first day but sure was funny. New job site building a reststop for parks Canada. My boss and i are just surveying the site when he slips on a slope and slides down into a bog. Hes down there on all fours soaking wet and muddy and i dont want to help in case i fall in too. Searching for aomthing to say i muster out uh did you mean to do that? He replies ofcourse i didnt f*****g mean to do that god damm it. He crawls out, says well ive had enough for today, how about you? And im like ya sure we can call it a day. We drove three hours to have a look at the site for ten minutes and three hours back home. The ride was pretty quiet when he says, did you f*****g mean to do that, you f*****g guy! We dont work together anymore but he was an absolute gem of a guy, still consider him a friend.


My MIL was buying a restaurant and asked me to go work there for a day and take a look see. She gives me the name, I look it up, then show up at 6 am. The ladies working seemed a bit confused but they let me in and put me to work. Two hours later, one of them comes to me and says “We think you’re supposed to be at the OTHER Charlie Ann’s” There were two unrelated restaurants five miles apart with the same name. Later she tried to hire me, lol.

Image source: damasu950


Image source: TRIGMILLION, Adrien Olichon

I got hired at an insurance place. I was told business casual so my first day I was wearing Chinos and a sweater. I was still filling out paperwork when someone came in and told me I needed to go home and change. It was a half hours drive each way at the time but I was broke so I did it. Quit a few months later. Horrible place.


My first day as a medic was terrible. We got a call from a babysitter, she turned her back for what she said was a minute and the little guy she was watching fell into the pool. We got there and she was doing CPR, we took over and I don’t know how but we got that little guy to start breathing again. We got him ready to transport to the hospital and my partner decided I should get some experience so he left me in the back of the ambulance with the kid. Everything was going well until it wasn’t. We chatted a bit and things seemed okay. Then he looked at me, said my name and just flat lined. I did everything I could. S**t still hurts today when I think about it. Messed me up for a good while, got all of August off and got set up with a therapist. Being a medic can either be the greatest job in the world or the absolute worst. I wish I was still a medic sometimes.

Image source: Szver2727


Image source: whomp1970, RDNE Stock project

True story.

**I got mugged on my first night as a pizza delivery guy.**

It was my second delivery of the night. I parked the car, and had to walk a little bit to get to the apartment building. During that walk, two guys came up, hit me in the head several times, shoved me down, and took the money bag and the pizza and ran.

I went back to the pizza shop and quit on the spot.

The pizza shop owners sent me to the emergency room to get checked out, they paid for the bill, they made sure I got home safe and sound. So they were great.


Image source: Upper-Job5130, Kindel Media

When I arrived on the first day, there was an eviction notice on the door and a cop looking for the business owners. Bullets dodged, that day!


I was being trained on how to clean cages for Pet Smart before the store opens. First day. Manager hands me one of the Russian dwarf hamsters to hold. Hamster jumped out of my hand and hit the floor. Her eye popped out. Not all the way but still bulging out of socket in bizarre way. I was crying and saying sorry over and over and the manager LAUGHED at me and said “don’t worry! It’s just a hamster!”…..

Image source: Smooth_Exam_8137


Image source: agentmichaelscarn6, Infinity Shutter

Got hired on as a prep cook at a longhorn steakhouse as a second job to make some money before i moved. started in december. during orientation the general manager said “if you’re early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late, and if you’re late you don’t deserve a job.” fair enough, i usually arrive at least 15 minutes early to anything, work included. my first actual day of work i get dropped off at 7:45 for an 8:00 am shift. it’s like 30 degrees out, starting to snow. 8 rolls around and nobody else shows up. 8:10 nobody. finally 8:20 rolls around and the other two prep cooks show up. i asked them what the deal was and they said the GM was always late. then at 8:30 the GM finally shows up to unlock the doors to let us in. i looked at him and said “if you’re early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late, and if you’re late….” and just gave him this look. he told me it wasn’t gonna work out so i walked 2 miles home in the snow. was probably a good thing honestly


Image source: SurlyJason, Mizuno K

I was a supervisor in a technical support department for “professional” support, but was one day unceremoniously moved to “personal” support. (The former was expensive and for IT and experienced clients. The latter for regular home users.)

When I arrived in my new department, they were short 3 supervisors, so I was assigned all 3 teams, and the place was like Lord of the Flies. I was given a printout of schedules and names, with no way to find the people. I started tracking them down to find that nearly 1/3 of them had left the company, but previous supervisors didn’t notify HR/payroll, there were no files on what people were trained on, nothing.

End of the day my new boss asked how things were, and I told him people needed to be fired. He laughed, and said, “We’re understaffed already.”

I replied, “No, I mean the other supervisors who aren’t doing any job I can identify, and you for letting it get like this.”

Things with him were a bit touchy after that.


Image source: Leelluu, JJBers

Dairy Queen queen I was 17.

The layout was such that I had to repeatedly walk past the grill where the floor was so covered in grease that it was like trying to walk across oiled ice…super dangerous because if you slipped, you were likely to hit the grill. I got yelled at for mentioning that the floor needed to be cleaned (I even offered to do it but was told no).

I was scheduled for an 8 hour shift, so by law, I got a 20 minute unpaid lunch break, which I was made to take about 45 minutes into my shift. I got yelled at for asking if I could please take my break closer to the middle of my shift.

I was left alone as the only cashier and ice cream preparer, even though I hadn’t even been told what everything on the menu was yet, let alone how to make it. I kept getting yelled at for not knowing when I went to the back (past the slip-n-slide of death) to ask for help.

About 3 hours in, I was absolutely certain this would be a horrible place to work, so I told the owner that it was dangerous there, I was being yelled at by the manager for not knowing how to make things I had never even heard of, and the job was a bad fit for me so I was quitting and leaving.

He told me it was unacceptable that I wasn’t giving two weeks notice and yelled at me about it until I cried.

It’s been over 20 years, and I’ve never set foot in a Dairy Queen again.


Image source: captain_trainwreck, Denise Krebs

First corporate job. We had these large metal coffee urns in the break room on the floor. You put the grounds in the cup thing and hit a button because they were piped into the water line.

What I did not know was that it would run a cycle for each button push, I pushed it twice in a row and left for it to brew. When I came back it had doubled up and overflowed and there was coffee everywhere. Day one.


Image source: DrGingeyy, Rene Asmussen

My first job was at a new buffet in a small town when I was 14. They mass hired everyone that showed up to the interview.

I was supposed to be a dish washer but when I got there for training they handed me a ladder and told me to install the dry wall ceiling tiles in the kitchen. I, obviously, had no idea what I was doing and had a tile fall on my back, which caused me to slip off the ladder and fall on the ground.

The owner was upset that a 14 year old kid couldn’t do the non-dishwashing task correctly and chewed me out and sent me home and to never come back. I had to pester them for months to get my ~$6.50 for the hour I was there. Shockingly, they went under in just a few months.


Image source: rieixee, Gustavo Fring

I work at a gas station and I accidentally hit the button that emergency stops all the gas pumps my first day lmao


Image source: housebird350, Danial Abdullah

Not my first day but my second. I had just hired on at a steel fabrication plant. My boss gave me a broom and told me to keep the sidewalks clean, keep my head up, watch what everyone is doing and stay out of their f*****g way. Its dangerous working with this heavy steel and we don’t want you to get hurt your first week out here. It was about 7am. Around 8am a stack of steel fell over trapping another employee and I had to hear him scream bloody murder for about 3hrs while they worked to get the steel beams off of him. He lived. It crushed his pelvis, I worked there for 2 years, he never was able to come back to work.


I was working in a hog slaughterhouse when I was 18 years old. Clean up duty was the job I was given, so it was my duty to dump all the scrap bins from each work station. All these scraps ended up in a big pit with an auger at the bottom to grind and into a slop and send off to a rendering plant which turned this product into even more unspeakable things (pet food, animal feed etc). I was the last to go for lunch since I was to clean/dump scraps from each station before heading off. Last thing to dump was a massive wheel barrow (about 5 times the size of a regular yard work wheel barrow) full of pigs heads. There was a drain hole in the floor, me rushing to dump, hits the drain and about 60 heads fly all on the floor. So I spent my lunch collecting the heads back into the barrow. Needless to say I went for a bathroom break, got changed, cleaned up and f****d off out of there. Keep my pay, I said. Ha!

Image source: csthilaire85


Oh man.

Virgin Megastore – when those were still a thing. I applied not really expecting a call because it was a giant mall store and that’s just kind of how it went.

Manager calls me a week after I applied. Asked me to come into an interview. I told him I was sick as a dog. I had the flu, chills, puking, aches… the whole nine yards. He was enthusiast and asked me to come in anyway. I needed the money badly and the mall was only down the street. He insisted I come in. Whatever, if we can make it quick.

I go in for the interview. It’s a group interview. He failed to mention this. I’m doing my best to keep my distance from everyone while he asked the standard mall employer/corporate questions. “Why do you want to work here? How passionate about music/media are you? What does Virgin Megastore mean to *you*? Why do you want to join *our* family.

Me: Ugh. Man. Either give me the job or don’t but I need to go rest.

Manager: Nah, c’mon! We’re going to do a floor tour!

Me: I don’t have that in me. I need to go.

Manager: Well, if you stay and last a whole shift, you’re hired! C’mon, let’s hit the floor!

Me: vomits



Me: I’m going home.

They never called me again. But I was paid for the interview. All 40 mins of it.

Image source: ArrdenGarden


Image source: toothpastenachos, Mia X

In the first few months of the pandemic, I got hired at a dog daycare and the owner told me I’d be making $9/hour as their receptionist. I go in to fill out the paperwork and she tells me that she actually filled the receptionist position, but she has a dog handler position open for $8/hour. I was hurting for money, so I accepted it. She told me I’d start right away – literally on the spot. She didn’t tell me that before coming in, so I wasn’t wearing proper clothes for it (capri pants) and she berated me for it and said next time I do it, I’ll get written up.

As she was showing me around, I realized the entire play area for the dogs was inside. There were no outside areas for the dogs to run, and as a result, the whole place smelled like dog waste.

She then threw me in a gated area alone with a pack of large dogs without any formal (or informal) training. One dog was pretty aggressive and kept trying to bite me. She’d yell at it from the other side of the gate, and all that would do was get the dogs riled up. I’m not scared of dogs but I was scared that day. She yelled at me for not being assertive enough with the dogs, but I didn’t know the dogs personalities yet and I didn’t want to start a fight between them or get attacked. The dog that was trying to bite me kept picking fights with other dogs and she got mad at me for telling the dog “no.”

After my shift was over, I never went back. I had an interview at Target the next day and got hired there at $15/hour.


Back when I was in college, I started working at a certain sort of call-center.

My first day was emotional hell, and not just for me.

See, this wasn’t a sales gig in the traditional sense: I had been hired to be a “talent scout” for an incredibly shady organization that was trying to hoodwink unsuspecting parents into purchasing “acting and modeling lessons” for their kids. My job involved calling people, enthusiastically reciting a script, then booking marks into “one of our last remaining slots.” The children and their parents would arrive on a weekend, go through a fake audition (complete with fake casting agents), and then be instructed to call a given number on Monday morning.

That number would connect people right back to the call-center.

Hopeful “applicants” be told that the “casting agent” had *loved* the child’s audition, but that said child needed some additional training before they were ready for the screen. Parents would then be suckered into paying thousands of dollars for twelve days’ worth of completely worthless classes… and if a kid missed even one session, they would be summarily expelled (unless their guardians paid even more money to reinstate them).

Anyway, I started working on a Wednesday. By that evening, I was feeling physically sick, and I was kept awake by guilt-ridden nightmares. I struggled through Thursday, then quit on Friday morning.

Had I stayed any longer, I’m sure that my soul would have withered and died.

**TL;DR: I could only handle three days as a call-center con-artist.**

Image source: RamsesThePigeon


Happened in the Navy on my fourth ship.

I had to fly to meet the ship on deployment. Flew from Virginia to Spain. Everyone left the plane to refuel it on the tarmac. We boarded after refueling. Turns out too much fuel, had to deboard everyone to remove fuel. Several hours delay.

Don’t remember where it landed next, but it was delayed there too. All said and dine, we were supposed to land in Bahrain around 11pm local time after flying halfway around the world. Didn’t get there until about 3:30am.

Upon arrival, turned out the ship didn’t bother to send anyone to pick up the 60+ sailors who were transferring to the ship – most of which were 18-19 year old men and women straight out of boot camp. I was the senior person there, so made a phone call to the person in charge of picking us up. He said to wait where we were and someone would be there at 6am. After a very quick conversation, the guy agreed to send someone there right away.

A half hour later someone shows up with a clipboard, a list, and hotel keys. Turns out everyone had a room already reserved except for me. After a few more phone calls, I found out that the ship wanted me to fly out as soon as possible. So I had to wait in the hangar until the flight departed about 6 hours later. By this time, I had been traveling for well over 24 consecutive hours.

Flew out to the ship on my first and only COD flight (carrier onboard delivery). Guy in front of me threw up in the floor and got it all over my shoes. Made me sick. I almost threw up too, but managed to hold it in.

Plane landed. Went to the hangar bay to pick up my bags. Normally, when transferring to a new ship they assign a sponsor to help with the move. Normally the sponsor is there to meet the newly reporting person to get off in the right foot and help carry bags. I had a sponsor, but they didn’t meet me in the hangar bay. Not a big deal. I’d been on an aircraft carrier before and knew my way around. So I carried my bags down to the office where I knew I would be working, only to be met with a “Who are you? Oh, we weren’t expecting you.” Okay, definitely not a good first impression.

As an officer, my sleeping arrangement on ships was a stateroom (kind of like a smaller, crappier version of a college dorm room). After traveling for forever, I just wanted to go to sleep. Since they weren’t expecting me, they didn’t have a stateroom for me. So I waited several more hours until I could finally get a bed and get some sleep sometime on Thursday afternoon.

After a few hours of sleep, I was awoken to the sound of talking and running water. Turns out the communal bathroom right next to my stateroom had a clogged toilet, which resulted in an overflow of s**t water into my room, soaking everything that was in the floor.

That marked the end of my first day. The rest of the time onboard got worse from there.

Turns out that after waking up around lunch I’m Friday after a few hours of broken sleep. I found out that the ship was pulling right back into the same port I had flown out of 12 hours earlier.

Image source: BlueFadedGiant

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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embarrassing stories, first day, first day horror stories, work, work stories, worst first day
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