If you've ever had a job, then you've most likely had interactions with either totally horrible or positively delightful coworkers. Here some examples of both to get a full picture of the working experience.
Warning: Some of these submissions contain topics of verbal abuse and harassment, so please proceed with caution.
1.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"Several years ago I got a temp job at a nice quiet office, and the boss put me in Janice's office to train. At first we actually got along well — she seemed 'normal' during the first week, though I noticed she ran late a lot. Then, I started noticing things that made me grow to hate her.
She would kick me off of my computer and use it to browse the web because her internet access was restricted, then complain when I didn't get my work done on time. She also snacked on soy nuts all day long, and left greasy fingerprints on everything (including my mouse and keyboard). She made me cover for her whenever she was late, and told me to tell the boss that she went to the bathroom if he came looking for her when she disappeared for three hours every afternoon.
After a few months I was moved into another woman's office who thankfully wasn't like Janice, and I was switched to a different project. Janice still seemed to think she was in charge of me though, despite being in a different department and on a different project.
She began monitoring my lunch breaks, peeking out of her office door to see what time I came back. She'd send me emails with my boss cc'd on them that said, 'I noticed you didn't come back from lunch until 1:05 p.m. today — our lunches are ONE HOUR here, not one hour and five minutes.' Even though we were in different departments, that didn't stop her from sending me extra work — she expected me to do my work AND do her purchase orders as well, and if I didn't get all of her work done by the end of the day, she'd complain.
I never figured out why she hated me so much — it's like she just decided to pick on me for fun or something."
2. Coworker I'd love to work with:
3.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"I worked at Starbucks, and after a year and a half of solid barista work, I got promoted to shift supervisor and moved to a different store. I arrived on my first day there, and I reached out my hand to meet Maggie. The manager informed me that Maggie was their best barista and 'owned the morning rush.' Maggie grunted at me and didn't shake my hand — this job requires good communication, but Maggie still refused to talk to me a couple of days later, causing several orders to get messed up.
Another coworker told me that our boss had a strong favoritism toward Maggie, but refused to promote her to shift supervisor. She had been gunning for the vacant position, and then I got it.
She refused to perform her tasks well — in the morning shift she 'owned,' she constantly screamed at customers and insisted that they 'like being talked to that way.' As her supervisor, I explained that I value good communication and needed her to vocally confirm drink orders. She then lunged herself at me, red-faced, screaming that she was going to hurt me if I didn't stop 'getting in her face.'
After this encounter, our boss told me (again) that Maggie was the best barista in the store, and I just needed to listen to her. I said, 'I'm her supervisor, but I'm supposed to take orders from her?' The boss said it was just easier that way.
I explained to my boss that I had journals explaining everything that had happened — the next day as I was walking into their office, Maggie was walking out looking smug. As I started sharing my part with the district managers, they stopped me — they had heard enough, and trusted Maggie's side of the story.
Then I went home and applied to grad school programs — in a terrifying turn of events, Maggie is now a cop."
4. Coworker I'd love to work with:
5.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"I was a swing manager at McDonald's in high school, and we had one employee named Johnny who just didn't want to do any work. He was in the kitchen, so his duties were to cook, prep, clean, and restock. His favorite thing to do was prep — ask the man to make a Big Mac, and you'd get the worst sandwich ever; ask him to slice tomatoes, and you'd get perfection.
One day we were really busy, and I was helping out in the basement with an inventory order. Johnny came downstairs and his hand was sliced, bad — down to the bone, bleeding everywhere. It looked like he put his hand in the tomato slicer and just smashed it onto his hand. But thing is, he was so calm — and even pleased with himself. We sent him home thinking that was that. He strolled out, said goodbye to his coworkers, and we never saw or heard from him again.
That night I was sorting out all of the tills to take the dailies to the safe drop at the bank. We were missing nearly $5,000 in cash from the manager's safe (it never happened before, and it never happened after). I don't know how he did it."
6. Coworkers I'd love to work with:
7.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"Several years ago there was a hostess at the restaurant I worked for — she lasted about six weeks, and was the single-worst coworker I've ever had.
Thanks to my winning personality, I gained many regular customers (particularly older folks). The restaurant policy was that any guest could request a certain server, so this happened to me all of the time. This hostess would actually tell them they couldn't sit with me, and she was supposed to rotate through all the other servers' sections. Most of them were too nice to complain, and only mentioned it the next time they came in.
The worst incident was when she hit 'send' on a computer before I had finished ringing in food. I had a large party (about 15 I think), and I was meticulously typing in their complicated order. I got about halfway done but had to go back to the table to clarify one order — when I got back to the computer, that hostess was diddling away with random buttons. 'You didn't just send that, did you?' I ask. 'I needed to clock out,' she responded nonchalantly. There were four other computers within 30 feet that she could've used, but instead, she sent only half of my order to that computer.
Eventually half of the food came out, and then 10 minutes later, the second half came out. My party ended up tipping below the 18% auto gratuity (they don't have to pay it; it's just a suggestion, but everyone usually does). She eventually stopped showing up for work — worst coworker EVER."
8. Coworker I'd love to work with:
9.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"I used to work in finance at a company where everyone was an evangelical Christian. They found out I was an atheist through Orkut (an old social network where I was part of atheist online communities). This group of people from work started bullying me with religious stuff to try to get me fired, and they also made a new folder in our system with my name on it and put a lot of porn inside of it. The interesting part about this whole thing is the guy who did this to me actually forgot he had pictures of HIMSELF having sex with random people in this folder, and in the end, three people got fired (and thankfully one of them wasn't me)."
"K. A. R. M. A."
10. Coworker I'd love to work with:
My sister is fighting cancer & it's been absolutely brutal. It's really taken a toll on me & my work performance has dropped significantly, I feared I'd get fired. Instead, my coworkers presented me with this care package to comfort my sister through chemo, a hand painted card & a $750 donation. from MadeMeSmile
11.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"I was working as a cashier for a grocery store, and I had an awesomely friendly boss who was always quick with a joke and great with customers. She also counted the drawers and handled the front of the store. My drawer came up $20 short one day (it never happened in the year I was working there), and I got pushed in front of the store manger without any defense. They told me I could either pay it out of pocket or get written up — I couldn't afford the $20, so I took the write-up (I was a broke high school kid who had to pay car insurance).
My boss later went on and started talking about watching out for 'quick change artists.' Fast-forward three months later, and I quit because of a shitty raise (because of the demerit) — my former boss was arrested and fired for stealing money from the tills to feed her lottery habit."
"My god, this exact same thing kept happening at the theater I worked at. My managers kept an eye out for discarded ticket stubs so they could process refunds on them and pocket the cash."
12. Coworker I'd love to work with:
13.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"Not my current coworker, but he was from my last job — I worked in a call center, and it was simple, mundane work that paid well for a grad. This coworker was an awful human being in every way.
One day, half of the team was on lunch, and of course it was really busy — there were multiple calls holding, and more calls than people available. One of our team members was stuck on an important account, so he couldn't help me — my other coworker (who was also very hardworking) ploughed through them with me. I got a split-second break, and noticed my awful coworker was nowhere near his computer (he was distracting the youngest member of the team). I asked for help, took another call, and he ignored me — I asked the same thing again, and he started mouthing off at me and started a small fight. I was pissed off and told my manager what had happened, and a week later he was fired.
He blamed me for every single one of his wrongdoings in the past year, and obviously my manager was having none of it. Later on he personally sent me abusive messages, and other messages to a group chat slagging me off."
14. Coworker I'd love to work with:
15.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"I work in an engineering contracting firm where we mainly do electro-mechanical work for water-related projects, and we had this one electrical engineer who had a major issue with communication.
I was his project engineer for one project, and he'd never, ever ask me anything or give me any information unless I asked for it — he'd never take on tasks unless I told him to do task X or Y. He never communicated with the mechanical engineer, when there needed to be a lot of coordination for our projects. When we'd find out something went wrong on the electrical side, he'd blame us for not giving him information, and he'd blame us for not asking him to confirm beforehand. Further, whenever I'd ask him for something over the phone, no matter how small (like confirmation on an instrument tag number, for example), he'd request that I write him an official email with the question.
Needless to say, he was fired."
16. Coworker I'd love to work with:
17.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"I worked at a concrete company when I was 17 years old for a summer job, and it was really hard work (especially when you're the 'new young buck' because they shove all of the shitty jobs on you and see what it'll take to make you quit). About four weeks into the job, the owner of the company had his son (who's my age) come into work for him — he got all of the easier jobs, and whenever I was with him, he'd go out to the truck and take 10-minute water breaks. Then he'd come back and pretend to do work, but as soon as the foreman looked away, he'd slow down his pace or stop working completely. Since he was usually working with me, it became, 'Mr. Miyagi, hurry your ass up or GTFO.' I mean, I get that it's the boss's son, but don't mistake his laziness for my incompetence. I would strip whole rooms, and this kid would just sit there breaking ties — I'm still pissed off about it."
"Never work for a 'family business' if you're not in the family."
18. Coworker I'd love to work with:
19.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"My old boss was a lot — she removed her cubicle wall so she could watch us. No one was allowed to come talk to us about work or request anything from us without going through her first — and if anyone came to our area, she'd stomp out of her cube to interrupt. She'd follow us and eavesdrop on our conversations, but only hear certain parts of them, and then get angry because she misunderstood what she heard.
She required us to send our work to her, which she would then send to whomever it was we were supposed to be working with, and take all of the credit for it. She'd also yell at us on the floor — one time she made a woman on my team cry and then followed her into the bathroom to yell at her some more.
Even after all of that, it took more than a year of countless people in other departments making formal complaints about her for HR to pull the trigger (it was delayed because she was buddies with the head of the HR department)."
20. Coworker I'd love to work with:
21.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"I have a coworker who insists on talking to me like I have zero knowledge in my field, despite me actually having more experience and a higher job title than he does. He lectures people like he's their manager, even if they've been there longer than him (I even listened to him 'reprimand' his own supervisor!). He just gave me a lecture the other day on how to install a network printer...meanwhile, I've been in IT for eight years now, and in a hell-of-a-lot more industries than he is.
He said, 'Do you know where the power button is? Here, let me show you on these PCs we have on the tech bench — it's vitally important you know where the power button is. Let's spend the next 10 minutes practicing turning the PCs on and off until you get it."
22. Coworker I'd love to work with:
23.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"There was a new guy I was training to cook at KFC. He was slower than a sloth, and whenever I'd show him the way to do things, he'd just do it his own way and say it was easier.
One day he put his jersey on top of the cardboard boxes (which were on top of the lockers) — I grabbed his jersey off to get a box down, and his phone fell out of his pocket and hit the ground. I picked it up and checked if it smashed and it didn't, so I put it back in his pocket and went on with work.
The next day he came up to me angry as hell saying I had to pay for his new phone because I smashed his — he showed me his phone, and there was literally a 2-millimeter crack in the bottom right-hand corner. I just told him maybe he shouldn't put his stuff on top of things that we needed every day. This happened within the first three days of him starting."
24. Coworker I'd love to work with:
25.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"I work in a dog grooming salon, and my coworker doesn't like our customers — she complains if she's booked dogs, and she complains if she hasn't booked dogs. She somehow never managed to commission, and complains about that, too. She doesn't help to clean, and when I close with her, she'll disappear because at 8:30 p.m. apparently she has to take a 20-minute poop in the bathroom.
She's said on more than one occasion she likes to find out people's weaknesses and pick at them. One of my coworker's lives with her in-laws, as both of them have student debt they are very close to paying off — my coworker will constantly take small digs at her, saying things like, 'Not that you would know; it's not like you have to pay rent or a mortgage like real adults.'
Everyone complains about her, but our one manager has worked with her since the beginning and clearly doesn't feel comfortable talking to her (and our other manager is best friends with her husband)."
26. Coworker I'd love to work with:
27.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"This woman who works in a different department has been here for 30 years, and believes the department I work in shouldn't exist. Thus, she makes it her life's mission to fuck up our work at every twist and turn. She has contact with many of our clients and will deliberately sabotage events we have planned for them — she refuses to do stuff that is part of her job description, and forces us to do it instead. She gossips all of the time, and I've discovered on numerous occasions that I'm either a fascist, a liar, a womanizer, or just plain incompetent (and for the record, I'm none of these things).
The only reason she's still around is she's best friends with the boss, and so not only is her job protected, but crossing her means a call into the boss's office. She's a nightmare, and everyone but the boss wants her gone."
28. Coworker I'd love to work with:
29.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"I've posted stories about this coworker before, like the time the meeting didn't go her way and she smashed a keyboard across her desk and went home. She derailed a safety-critical update because nobody was allowed to criticize her code, and she demanded that I should be fired when I called her out for falsifying reports."
30. Coworker I'd love to work with:
31.Coworker I'd hate to work with:
"My coworker and I were account managers for a telecom company, and there were seven of us crammed into a small room in the back. He'd say sexist quotes from the Bible frequently, and wouldn't 'let' his wife work (even though she was in the pharmacy business, and we only made $12 an hour at the time). One day he was served a protective order against his wife and daughter and divorce papers all on the same day, and this unlocked some true horror.
He started spending all day talking on the phone to lawyers and family members, either quoting even darker Bible verses or wishing his soon-to-be ex-wife was dead. Soon, everything came to a head over striped socks.
It was a typical morning, and he was on the phone complaining to someone — another coworker of ours came in wearing striped socks, and everyone was joking around with her about it. Suddenly this guy SLAMMED his phone down and yelled, 'OH, GREAT, BECAUSE YOU WERE ALL LAUGHING IN THE BACKGROUND, THE JUDGE DENIED ME VISITATION WITH MY DAUGHTER!'
Another woman made a comment, saying, 'Jeez, don't go postal' — he replied in the flattest, coldest tone I've ever heard in real life. He replied, 'Oh, I won't go postal — god will kill you all, and when he does, I'll be there to take pictures of your bodies to show my daughter what happens to sluts like you.'
We threatened to put a restraining order on him, so they moved him out of the room...to the first desk outside of our door..."
32. And a coworker I'd absolutely love to work with:
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.