When you’ve been fired, it feels like you’re the only person in the world who’s ever lost their job. Then, you start talking to your friends and family and discover that it’s a pretty common occurrence.
Beyond that, it might even be good for you.
“…I have come around to the view that everybody should get fired at least once,” writes Liz Ryan at Forbes. “Getting fired is a kind of inoculation against fear. Your boss can only do one thing: He or she can let you go. That’s it.”
Once you’ve experienced it, you learn that being fired isn’t the worst thing in the world. And that realization frees you up to make better, bolder decisions in the future — while also helping you to identify signs that your next job is about to disappear.
Never been fired, and worried about it? It might help to read the stories of those who’ve gone before you.
Recently, Redditors shared their stories of being let go during their very first week on the job. Some of these accounts remind us that everyone makes mistakes — others that bad jobs (and bad managers) definitely exist, and sometimes, getting fired is the best possible outcome.
Seems Like an HR Problem
“The job required specific licenses and technical knowledge which I said I didn’t have during the interview. They hired me anyway. Three days in and the director of the company found out that I didn’t have [what was needed] and I was fired.” – imiweli
What’s More Important — Your Child or This Brand-New Job?
When my wife deployed, I got a job at a warehouse in our hometown and signed up for a 55-hour workweek job. I worked 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., four days. Then on Friday, my boss asked me to stay from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. I said I couldn’t because my son’s daycare closed at 6, but I would stay until 5:40. He called me a slacker and demanded l have one of my in-laws pick up my child for me. I left at 5:40 and he called me to tell me I was fired. – octonautsfan73m
Lesson: Always Hem Your Pants
16 years old. Day two of work. Hired as a busboy for a fancy restaurant. Cleaning up a table of food, drinks and stuff. As I finished up, I tripped on my too-long pants, and dumped a whole tray of all the food and drinks all over several people who were “very important.” Got fired right on the spot. – mrsheikh
The Firing That Doubles as Sexual Harassment
I got fired from a landscaping job after two days. Supervisor told me my work was fine but that I didn’t chat enough. Maybe I would have been more willing to chat with him if he hadn’t been hanging out on the porch naked when I showed up at his house on the second day to drive to the work site. – Paraffin_puppy
Dip as I Say, Not as I Do
Oh, man! My time to shine. OK, so I got a job at a local taco joint, it was a slow day and I was training with the manager. We’re in the back and the manager takes a chip, dips it into a guac tub and eats it. I’m like cool, it’s snack time, so I follow suit — and he looks at me and says, “You can’t do that. I have to fire you.” I thought it was a joke … but then he fired me. It was so ridiculous that I wasn’t even mad. – Try2beNice
The One That Was Totally Worth It
I used to do tennis court maintenance on an island in Florida at a resort. My first day, the shop pro is late and I’m sitting on a golf cart after brushing the clay courts.
Monica Seles is just standing around waiting. She busts out with, “Want to hit a few balls?”
So, I’m down — how awesome is this? If you’ve never played with a professional tennis player before, you have no idea how fast that ball comes flying at you. It was like she was just practicing serving at me and I may have, being very generous, tipped a couple, maybe.
Well, the shop pro shows up 15 minutes later and they do their thing. Comes up to me afterwards tells me I’m fired because policy says the court maintenance cannot interact with the pros. Best thing I’ve ever gotten fired for! – Seamonkeyknifefight
Seems Like a Lucky Escape, TBH
In college, I tried picking up a summer job at a furniture factory. I lasted one week. Over the 40-hour week, I was put into 22 different jobs. After finishing up on Friday, they let me go because I “wasn’t fitting in anywhere.”
They also weren’t happy with me because I didn’t show up on Thursday for the weekly off-the-clock staff meeting a half an hour before the shift started. The one I didn’t hear about until they were chewing me out for not showing up to it. – Freadan
Be Grateful You Didn’t Eat Your Free Meal
I showed up to a restaurant for my first day and there was a notice on the door that they had been shut down. …I have so many unanswered questions. – FarmPhreshScottdog
The Worst Private Investigators Ever
I was hired as tech for a private investigator. They mostly did cheating spouses or insurance fraud.
Second day, I walked in to get started in my new office. I was told I’d been let go — they don’t disclose why, something about my background report and a “state police matter.”
Never been in trouble. Never been arrested. I was so confused. So, I pulled my own records. Nothing.
My last name is common in Portuguese/Brazilian areas. They had mistaken me for another woman, same name as me and of similar age, who had quite a lot of bad behavior.
I wonder how reputable they are if they didn’t think to not only cross-check the ages or go by last four of the social — but at least the state police weren’t investigating me.
Which would explain why [the police] were confused when I called them, hysterical, asking if they needed me to come in for questioning. – Luanne_Lucky
Stories have been lightly edited for clarity and style.
Tell Us What You Think
Have you ever been fired shortly after taking a job? We want to hear from you. Tell us your story in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.