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Toxic Managers: Fired For Calling In Sick




From Witcheypoo:

I was fired for being sick once. Got sick at work, had to call the boss at 2a.m. to get a replacement. He got pissed, the next day he called and fired me And threatened to have me arrested for leaving the register when I went to puke.




Over the years we have posted many situations like this. It appears that when you work in retail or most other customer service positions, management is rarely supportive or prepared when their employees get sick.

Have you ever been fired or threatened for calling in sick?

Share your story in comments.




Bored at the Bookstore

I once worked as a Christmas help at the now-defunct Bradlee's (think upper class Walmart, lower class Kohl's). The final before Christmas, I did something, somewhere, that damaged my back - like constant back spasms. I could barely walk, and the pain when standing at the register was excruciating. In tears, I went to the front-end manager and asked to be sent home. He refused. I went to the furniture area and borrowed a wooden stool, which I dragged behind the register with me so I could have a respite sometimes between customers.

When the manager became aware of my rebellion, he came and took the stool away. I was not allowed to sit during my shift. Period. I asked him, "You do realize that was my only way to manage this pain, right?" and was told to suck it up and finish my shift - and don't even think about calling out tomorrow. I had a line of about ten at that moment. I removed my apron, pulled the key out of the register, and handed them over. Grabbed my drawer to turn in. Said, "I quit!" And left him sputtering, "You can't DO this - I'll FIRE you! You'll never get another shift here!!!"

He'd entirely forgotten I was a holiday temp, and that it was Dec. 22. My last day was the 24th anyway... I never looked back, had my final check mailed to me.

Years later, when I owned my own shop, there was a comfortable draftsman's chair at the register for employees to use!


My first security shift was a double, and I got massively sick on it. Supervisor told me to stick it out, and if it got bad to go to the janitor's office and "lie down for a little bit".
The janitor's office was hard concrete flooring with folding chairs and two folding tables. Plus lots of cleaning chemicals.
Best part: the relief that called out sick was the managers best friend and they had decided to tie one on the night before.


I too used to work security, and one night, before my shift, I got hit by some kind of stomach bug. It caused horrible evacuations from my body.

I called my supervisor and was told I either come in for my shift, or I come to the office tomorrow and pick up my final check.

I went in for my shift, but I bet he got a few calls about one of his guards walking around looking like death warmed over while carrying a garbage can with him 'just in case'.


During my years working restaurants, I have twice gotten a concussion due to work-related accidents. both times I had to finish my shift before going to the hospital.

The second time I was working at a pizza place and got written up for refusing to drive a delivery while I was seeing double and out of focus. (I wasn't employed as a driver, but the only person in the restaurant at that moment with a driver's license.


I was really sick in January two years ago. I was misdiagnosed repeatedly; first with a cold, then a sinus infection, then bronchitis, and finally, with pneumonia. None of the antibiotics I was prescribed did any good, so I went back one more time to find out that I had the flu (achy type) as well, so I was dealing with a flu/pneumonia combo. I was put on a nebulizer treatment (a machine that you use a face mask with to breathe the medicine directly into your lungs) and instructed to use it every two hours. I was also put off work for two weeks.
When I called to let my job know, the manager who took my call argued about it for several minutes, threatening a write up and everything. Asking why I couldn't come to work and use the machine while working at the customer service desk (keep in mind I had a fever of 102.1 at the time as well) I pointed out the fever and the coughing/hacking/wheezing I was doing but it wasn't until I told her I didn't think customers would appreciate seeing me like that and being exposed to the flu and pneumonia that she finally gave up trying to convince me to work. I really don't understand what her thinking was, tbh. I had a legit dr note and don't call in very often.


I really wonder about this kind of manager- don't they notice that they are making work for themselves when they have to keep training new people since everyone will have to call out sick eventually? I mean, even the most stubborn people will eventually have an accident or emergency that makes them completely unable to come in, because life. Isn't high turnover bad for their performance reviews? The stupid, it burns.

I've also had management that refused to let me use a stool behind the hostess stand when my foot was healing from a bad sprain (walking cast), so I couldn't stand for long without pain. I wanted to work, but ended up having to go home because they wouldn't allow such a basic accommodation, and the managers had to fill in the scheduling gaps. They were afraid my sitting would "look bad" to the guests who couldn't see my foot over the hostess stand. Such BS. Oh, and my foot took weeks longer to heal because I kept trying to walk on it too soon.


Why the hell do they bitch about people sitting at a register or whatever? It's not like pressure on your ass is going to make your drawer come up wrong. Had the same thing at the convenience store I worked at. So I usually brought a couple of milk crates out to sit on, and when I got a bitching for that, just sat on the counter behind the register when I wasn't doing other stuff.

It's the same kind of thing for forcing a dress code on people who work on the phone. Nobody can see me through the phone, it doesn't really matter what I'm wearing...


I was threatened to be fired, if I called in sick again once. I had called in sick for Saturday, because my cold had worsened to the point of a fever - and with my compromised immune-system, I really need to watch out with fever. I was back at work on Monday and supervisor said that, if it happened again, I'd be fired. (And according to a co-worker, it wasn't a very busy Saturday, anyway) I just stood there thinking, "Yeah, I got sick ON PURPOSE."


Yeah, I'm a little late to the party :) (But I brought cookies!)

I had developed a very bad case of pink eye, it was so bad that the entire side of my face swelled up and my eye was swelled shut. It happened so fast that I took myself to the ER. Was diagnosed with something akin to acute infected conjunctivitis. Had drops that had to be put in every two hours, was declared extremely contagious (since it had started to ooze) and was given an excuse from work for three days. When I called in I got a supervisor on the phone who was very lazy and part of my job was making her job look easy so when I said I had a doctor note and was out for three days she said "oh just put a patch on and get in here, it's audit day and I can't do them myself", to which I replied "You'll have to. I'm highly contagious and it wouldn't do to be spreading pink eye to the other employees and customers."

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