People Are Sharing The Moment They Understood They Were Being Exploited (39 Comments)

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There's only so much an employee can take. No matter how big the pot of gold their boss is promising, if the worker is exploited, eventually they'll realize that.

In an attempt to find out what pushes people over the edge, Redditor u/UsefulComputer4476 recently posted this question on the platform: "What was your 'I'm not paid enough for this s*** moment?" And I think they did because the replies came flying in!

As of this article, there are over a thousand of them. Continue scrolling and check out the most upvoted ones.


So if you're familiar with build a bear, you know the happy faces the employees are supposed to have. You might also be familiar with the bear stuffing process. You pick a bear, bring it to me, pick a heart and you do a little dance (or whatever else I'd pick) I'd stuff the bear, you put the heart in and I stitch it up. There was a couple that came in one night in January 2008. She was extremely pregnant. They came in and pick one of the little blue bears. I asked how they want it stuffed, the normal. And then when they pick the heart oh, they also pick one of the fancy hearts that has a heartbeat. Then tell me that their son, who she is still pregnant with is going to be stillborn. And they are making a bear together to give to him to be buried with. Obviously, I immediately tone down to the happy-go-lucky bulls**t. The store was empty so it didn't really matter. And no, I didn't make them do the little dance and wish that you do for most people. I finished the bear myself, walk them through the clothing, check them out myself and then close the store. I got written up the next day for not showing the Build-A-Bear spirit. I was 16. I quit and got into a screaming match with that dumbass manager.

Image credits: enemyoftoast


When the boss said he was going to hire "Mary" back.

Mary, the woman who was fired for having her friends call me with death threats because I wouldn't switch days off with her.

Mary, the woman he told me he was never in a room alone with because she was 'the type to claim sexual harassment'.

He hired Mary back and gave her my job after I quit.

He was fired 6 months later over the sexual harassment claim filed by . . . . Mary.

Image credits: jaimystery


When a customer had a full-blown adult tantrum on the floor of the supermarket I was working at because we were out of red cabbage two hours before we closed on Christmas Eve. Mind you that almost everyone eats red cabbage on Christmas here in Germany. To top this off she also threw frozen bread rolls after me because I told her to have her tantrum outside.

Image credits: Lelexxia


I worked at a Starbucks in a grocery store and a customer got mad because she wanted a drink cold but it was served hot (the girl taking her order was new and didn’t ask her if she wanted hot or cold, I was making the drinks so went with what was on the cup) so she threw it at me, while still freshly hot. Burned my face down to my stomach. I was 5 months pregnant. I quit a week later.

Image credits: Zealou_luv


My boss refused to evacuate for hurricane Ida and somehow managed not to lose power or sustain damage. Everyone around her did. I evacuated with a large group and my complex lost power and water for days. The day after the hurricane hit she demanded we all traverse flooded roads so I could come back and do some things she “just didn’t have time for.” She threw a tantrum over the phone when I told her I wasn’t going back to an apartment without power or running water. I’m looking for another job right now.

Image credits: poser-inaparka ·


Telling a grown ass man that he shouldn’t be sh***ing in a customers parking lot.

Image credits: mymindisoverheads


State of Louisiana. 8 year employee, Good employee. Weeks of accumulated sick time. Professional position.

They send us to work at home and put time tracking software on our computer so they can see we are working; because that big pile of finished work at the end of the just got there by its self.

I got a message one day asking to explain what I was doing on my bathroom break and why it was longer than 5 minutes.

Image credits: UsefulComputer4476


I was the 24/7 OnCall for failing jobs in our I.T. department. After 3 days of no sleep and stress I had a "cardiac event". Quit the next day.

Image credits: hyteck9


Being scheduled to work 30 days in a row without a day off

Image credits: The_Observatory_


I live in a country where there is no particular 'minimum wage'. So the job I work in doesn't pay us much and we generally get paid very late (mostly a 1 month delay). Our boss's daughter had a very fancy wedding and all that, his son bought a fancy car but we still were not paid our salaries. One fine evening, I finished my usual work and i was on my way out. My boss called me and asked me why i leave on time and why i dont spend extra time in the evenings. I just stared at him and said I have a personal life too and went home.

Image credits: batmans_apprentice


So I’m working this register at a truck stop circa 2011. It’s by a door that gets very little traffic so I mostly just watch the gift shop area and try to deter people from stealing. It’s an overnight shift about 3 am. This man comes barreling in bleeding from his hand and yells “IVE BEEN STABBED!”

Immediately I call for security. My manager is nearby. Security calls 911 on their way and shows up a few moments later. This guy is bleeding profusely, all over my freshly mopped floor mind you.

I’m off to the side “Sir where is the stabber?!”

My manager is asking for towels, so I bring a clean towel. Again I ask “SIR, where is the stabber?!”

My manager and security are saying stuff like “Put pressure on it. Go wave down the ambulance when they arrive!”

So at this point I’m practically yelling “There is a stabber on the loose in that parking lot some where and I’m not going out there until I know where he is!”

Finally the guy goes “Oh he was at the truck stop across the street. We got into an argument it wasn’t random.”

Relived and now no longer fearing for my safety I went out to wave down the ambulance.

Unfortunately $8/hr is not enough to get stabbed over.

Image credits: ItsTylerBrenda


Worked in recruitment, my phone would start around 6am and stop around 10pm, go off at weekends and even got calls on my personal phone when I was out of the country on holiday. I lasted 2 years and left, even now, when I hear the Apple ringtone, I still get an ill feeling in my belly.

Image credits: godca_grema


While working with a client as a consultant employed by a consulting agency. The client tried to hire me full time and offered me triple the salary. That was like the wtf moment which made me research the market value of my skills and turned out I was super underpaid. So I left and found a new job straight away.

Image credits: vegetable-table-man


Scooping a stillborn baby out of a toilet.

I'm a cop and I make $20/hr.

Image credits: startedoverthrowaway


Coming in to afternoon shifts as a cook at KFC and finding that the morning cook didn't clean anything before leaving (and left everything particularly trashed) and prepped nothing. And this was a normal occurrence. I'd leave morning shifts stocked up and perfectly clean every morning I worked. I think the GM there quit not long after I left.

Image credits: RayTrain


I was told to look the other way on a $1.5 million mistake I found on the books that one of the managers had made. Told the higher ups and was pressured to quit as a result.

Image credits: LifeIsBizarre


Leaving my previous position that hired three people and an intern to replace me.

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Was working in a large bakery for my first job at 15. Tried to pull a six foot tall baking tray but there’s a lip to get the tray over, started to fall on me and caught it with my forearms, burning myself (not terribly, but still not great feeling). Told my boss and showed him my swelling, reddened forearms and asked to go home. He said I could, once I’d mopped out the bottom of all the 10+ freezers and then he left, leaving me alone. I left as soon as he did and then road my bike home to take care of my burns.

Image credits: therustedrobot


Working for a nonprofit. At a fundraising dinner, a major donor touched my knee then later my butt and flirted heavily. I am a woman and was 25 at the time. When I brought it to my supervisor I was told that is just something you have to put up with when fundraising if you want to make the organization money. Stayed at that job a few months before I was fired for not being happy enough. Note that after that incident I refused to attend events where the creep would be there.. Can't say I was sad. Got a job that paid twice as much and came without sexual harassment. An employment lawyer probably would have loved if I called them, but I lacked the confidence to take that big of a stand. Now I would absolutely take action. I would actually probably yell in the moment to get your forking hands off me. Which would have been awkward for him because his wife was present.

Image credits: smughippie


When the public school system told me to either risk my life or leave. Bye.


Realizing the police reports i'm translating are not to help the victim escape her abusive husband, they're to help the abusive husband gain a refugee visa to Canada.....

I quit translating as a freelancer soon after.


I am a babysitter since I am not 16 so it's really hard to get a real part time job.

I baby sit a 3 year old who we will call Sarah. This was when I had to stay until 10:00pm babysitting Sarah, she kept face planting on the couch playing around while I pretended she turned invisible every time she did so. The timer went off and she knew the drill and used her toddler toilet thing. When she was done I was supposed to giver her a sucker/lollipop as a reward. She started to eat it then face planted again Exept this time she had the candy and I went to the back of her throat. I paniced and I removed it by pulling it out, I didn't thing it was nesasary to use Heimlich maneuver since I could still see it, plus I was panicking.

I got it out of her throat and she just stoped crying and continued eating it


I practically saved a 100.000 euros deal at a company, and I got awarded a pay cut. What a time to be alive.

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I was on a royal navy warship and we'd pulled into Hull UK for a visit. Their dockyard regulations prevented the ship from discharging solids overboard so the total of all the crews toilet flushings were diverted to a holding tank so we could discharge it overboard when back at sea. After the crew had been in port for two days, which for most involved copious drinking and then finishing off with a large curry or spicy kebab, the additional load on the system was too much for the circulating pump inside tank. The pump was also used pump the contents overboard so needed to be fixed before we went back to sea. Unfortunately I was duty electrician the day the pump failed. The contents of the tank was about a foot and half deep! I suited up with waterproofs and copious amounts of duct tape to seal the seams and descended. The pump was bolted in place and to free it I had to work with my face about four inches from the liquid curry and beer smoothies as I bent over. I definitely want getting paid enough... But I was given an order and it was my job, so I just got on and did it.

Image credits: Androm57


We had one of those too. I was eating lunch in my car and saw him in the rear view mirror.

I got out of my car and shouted as loud as I could SIR YOU CANNOT PEE THERE, not to get his attention so much as to make him, you know, not piss on the side of my school building. And embarrass him out of doing it again.

I was pissed off, too, there were two portapotties within sight of where he was.


Lying in intensive care, reading a text from my manager that said I should have really phoned in - not texted - to advise I was in intensive care and would not be in work that day. Also instructions to phone every day until I was back in the office. Nurse took my phone off me and literally said they weren't paying me to do that.
When I got back (two operations and two months later) work had just been piled on my desk with management telling me "well, we didn't know when you'd be back". Put my notice in around 3 weeks after that. While working my notice I was suddenly made "office contact" for a department in another country and one day found myself covering for our IT support team.


When a car intentionally tried to hit me while I was directing traffic for the city of Chicago. There isn't enough money in the world worth losing my life over.


When my company commander in Iraq asked me to kick around a very large pile of trash to confirm if there was an IED inside, he didn’t think we were doing a good enough job so he yelled to us to say something to the extent of like hurry up or something, I proceeded to jump up and down on top of the pile and say “SEE NO IED!” Looking back I feel bad for the guy who was also checking the pile with me, but hey it wasn’t an IED

Edit: backstory we were driving about a mile along side a canal and had to keep raising all these power lines that were too low to pass under, it would have required backing up a Stryker about along side a canal or drive over this mound of trash. Risk of sliding into canal and drowning, I guess two grunts are worth the risk right?


I work in retail. The past two days I have been doing construction type work - sanding walls, painting the walls. Definitely not in my job description.


Two specific cases.

One was when I was working retail. I was sick as a dog, throwing up, completely lost my voice. Got a call from the manager that even though I had called out sick I needed to come in that day because the district manager was there. Was told in no uncertain terms that if I didn't show up I could expect to lose my job. So I got dressed, came in, and within the hour proceeded to get absolutely reamed out by the aforementioned DM for making a mistake on a receipt. I saw red, resigned on the spot and never looked back.

Second case was when I was working in construction a decade later. I was told to visit a vacant apartment in the Bronx to take measurements and provide an estimate for carpet removal. Nothing out of the ordinary, visited a ton of apartments before. It wasn't until the super let me in and immediately left that I realized something was off. I walked into the bedroom to find a blood-stained mattress and splatter all over the wall. Apparently this apartment had been the site of a murder-suicide a few days earlier. I did the job, drove back to the office, and proceeded to tell my boss that if they ever sent me into a job like that blind without informing me that I would be walking into the middle of a crime scene, they would have to find a new estimator. Thankfully they did not.


I was engineering manager for a previous company. There was one day where the septic system failed, and I happened to be the only manager that showed up to work that day, so I was filling in for everyone. Plus, we had customers on site. I put signs up saying the restrooms were out of order but people were ignoring it and it was all backing up.

I had to send an email out to everyone explaining how to "go easy" on the bathrooms since it was apparently a difficult concept to grasp. Turns out the VPs, CEO, COO, and CFO were all included on the branch distribution list, so they got a friendly email from me saying 1's are ok and 2's are not.

I told the customers that if they have to use a restroom, let me know and I would drive them to a nearby gas station. One said "**** that" and relieved himself outside in the parking lot.

I returned to my desk where I had an email waiting for me. It was from one of the VPs, asking "is everything alright out there?" I replied with some "sanitized" explanation of the situation. He replied back "That stinks. Have fun."



I was called to a newish mobile home that had a bad smell in the yard.

I pulled off a couple of pieces of underpinning and saw that soon after it was set up (6 to 8 months ago) the no-hub band had come loose under the the children's bathroom (3 kids).

all the s**t from the toilet was pooling under there.

I told them to call the people that set up the mobile home and I left.


I was building, installing, and managing ESXi hosts and clusters..... for $14k a year.

Normally that job pays over $90k a year


I enjoyed my job, but it could have been better. There were certain aspects of it that were making it hard to work there. Then, in a span of 3 months, half of my coworkers quit (2 of then resigned within 2 weeks of each other). So I started cleaning up my resume and was ready to get back out there. I figured I'd ask for a raise to see what would happen. I mean I was picking up the slack from 3 different people and other departments were seeing people resign for similar reasons (people were being given tasks that weren't anywhere near their job descriptions).

Suddenly, I see my very own role posted on the company website. Word for word what I was currently doing, with the same exact title. I had already submitted my request for a raise the week before, so this seemed like they were giving me the boot. The next morning my boss was scrambling. Turns out they didn't mean to post that job yet and they were reformatting the team and giving me a promotion. I was honest with him that it's been an absolute mess lately and I wasn't enjoying the direction we were heading.

I got a 20% raise and have been given some room to make higher level decisions, so I guess now I'm paid enough for this s**t.


When I was 16 and worked in a supermarket, I was asked to escort a mentally and physically disabled person around and help him with his shopping. No biggie, I did that quite a lot. This one was veeeery different though.

When we went by the clothing section he took a pair of panties and asked me to try them on for him. I was shocked to say the least, but firmly told him that I would not do that, and he had better behave like a gentleman, or I wouldn't help him anymore.

He then proceeded to take of his pants and started masturbating! I don't think I've noped out of anything as fast as I did in that situation.


Being paid $13/hr to be a one-on-one Para to a 10 year old who swore, ran away, tried to stab me and other kids with pencils, scissors, etc. AND having to listen to the parents blame me for not getting their child to behave. I felt bad for the kid - seriously damaged, in a less than great home. He’s in an fortified school now.


While managing two different locations about 2hours apart, that i was unable to fill positions at both locations because of a hiring freeze. Working 70+ hours a week and covering shifts for months. I was told by my manager i need to take my vacation in the next month (impossible) or lose it.


I worked at a high-end car dealership in the service department where the customers could be pretty demanding. One lady came in complaining that her car was making a noise. I asked what kind of noise and where it was coming from, since the car wasn’t currently making any unusual noises. She snapped that I should be able to figure it out. I told her very politely that since the car was not making the noise at the time and no codes had come up on the computer when we plugged it in, that knowing what kind of noise and generally where it seemed to be coming from would help the technicians figure out what was going on. She screamed “JUST DO YOUR F-ING JOB AND FIGURE IT OUT!” and threw her keys at my face. I caught them, threw them on the ground, and walked to my manager’s office to tell him what happened and to request that he deal with her, because I was not going to. He told me that difficult customers come with the job. I’d been yelled at, talked down to, hit on, basically disrespected in so many ways at that job, but having someone chuck keys at my face and being told to accept it was the last straw.


When my boss laughed and bragged to my face about how much he was saving by having me do professional design work (in addition to my other duties) instead of a designer he'd have to pay 5-6x more. That didn't last long.