human resources online

"We quit!": When incompetent bosses cause mass resignations

Crazy work stories - they're always a good read. But this recent thread from Reddit has to be one of the best sources of bad work stories ever.

On an AskReddit chain, someone asked people to share their stories of incidents which happened at work, which either caused people to quit together or which led to mass firings.

While the stories about getting fired are great (to read, obviously not for the people involved) the tales about how people walked out en masse are being shared in abundance, thanks to these terrible bosses and poor management (and HR!) decisions.

1. This (very) illegal move

"All the engineers at one job I was in had their contracts changed to that they had to buy their own tools, Due to the specialist nature of our jobs we were all looking at over £4000 per engineer.

"10 walked and the rest threatened to strike. The boss had to give in and buy the tools himself."

2. This absolute backfire

"I work in local Government for an urban county. One of the IT Departments, reclassified all their employees as Exempt (a designation designed for political appointments), fired them all (only Exempt employees can be fired without cause), and asked them to submit resumes if they wanted their jobs back.

"Their goal was to get rid of some employees they felt were dead weight. But it turns out, the most valued employees, the ones with readily marketable skills in the prime of their careers, just shook their heads and had jobs elsewhere by the end of the week. Furthermore, when you pull a stunt like that, word gets out, and resumes don't come flooding in. They are still trying to recover."

3. Trying to re-write history

"I used to work at a pickle factory in Michigan. When the new owners took over they insisted they change the recipe that had been the same for over 50 years without consulting the workers. Some of the employees parents and grandparents had worked there and apparently felt so strongly about the recipe that 13 people quit and the majority else were outside with signs the next days until eventually they switched it [almost] all the way back. None of those who quit came back."

4. A really bad move by HR

"At my old job, my boss brought in this total a****** HR manager who made up shit about the staff in order to mess up everyone's working relationships. Then one day the CEO and HR manager called a meeting to tell us that the wage structure was going to change with immediate effect, from a monthly salary to being paid every three months, with a substantial wage and commission decrease, with no chance of renegotiation. The whole sales team quit on the spot.

"Turned out that the HR guy gets commission on every new member of staff he recruited, so he got us cleared out for his benefit. One of my colleagues was pretty much forced to quit about a month before his first child was born. The company are still (three months later) advertising our old jobs."

5. Overtime gone over-kill

"Several things are happening right now. Mandated 36 hour shifts. Mandated over time shifts changed from 2 a month to 6-8 a month. Refusal to allow people to go part time. We have lost and will lose 15-20 people by the end of the month."

6. The crazy CEO

"The CEO constantly would throw hissy fits. Yelling, screaming, questioning your motives and keeping people she didn't trust at arms length. She wouldn't respond to emails, had no idea what was going on with management, and had to be in the limelight at all costs. It was truly bizarre.

"After a couple of attempts at intervening, a few times softly and once very firmly, people started to drop like flies. And we're talking highly skilled employees that could find work anywhere. We weren't 'McDonald's' in the sense that the positions could be filled easily. It was really sad and infuriating at the same time. A shining example of incompetence."

7. The boss who tried to bring slavery back

"Our company was bought by a larger company. The sales and marketing team got a new boss. Within a week of the first meeting with the new boss 75% of the team quit. No one outside of the team knew why. A few months later I met the new head of sales and marketing, he was insane. When one of the top sales guys put his 2 weeks notice in, he was escorted off of company property within an hour.

"The next guy who resigned was told he had to work the rest of the week with no pay so he could transfer his accounts over. Someone in HR had to explain to him that is slavery and illegal."

8. Nepotism gone wrong

"I worked in the corporate headquarters for a large national retailer. After 20 years in business, the company was sold to an arrogant billionaire who put his son in charge (his first job after completing his MBA). The son decided to relocate headquarters 500 miles away, close to his daddy's headquarters. He gave us 30-days notice to move with no moving compensation or lose our jobs.

"Out of 300 employees, one moved."

9. And finally, this awful example of "synergy" and seriously bad management

"I used to be a senior staff member at a web agency where the owner was completely bonkers. She'd already managed to run a previous agency into the ground and was in the process of doing the same to her current one.

We were at crisis stage.

We'd just about made staff wages for the month, I and another senior staff member had deferred ours to make sure all the regular staff got theirs. We had one big client who was providing about 90% of our revenue.

That client was getting pissed as we were behind on a couple of projects as idiot owner lady had promised them unreasonable deadlines without consulting the team.

So I have everyone working flat out. Weekend plans are cancelled, this is real crunch time we need to keep this client!

So boss lady shows up, late as always and SENDS ALL THE STAFF HOME WITH FULL PAY! This is at 11am. She wants to have an urgent planning meeting with just the senior staff. Of course we had to do this on the studio floor not the board room as the studio had the big whiteboard. So she sent everyone home as it required total privacy.

We're 15 mins into the meeting, I shit you not all she had currently written on the board was "Synergy, Ideas, Excitment" when she declared that "Whoops she'd forgotten she had a hair appointment" and left!

Oh, and as a parting gift she asked the senior staff members to spend the rest of the day moving around the office furniture into a new layout (most of which was screwed to the floor!) as she thought it would "Energise" and "Mix things up" when the guys came back to work the next day.

As soon as she left the entire senior management staff decided to quit. We checked the incomings for that month, made sure everyone got paid and then resigned. 60% of the agency resigned on the same day."

Image: Shutterstock

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Related topics

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top Human Resources stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's Human Resources development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window