So far, we've covered odd interviews, interviewers, things seen on LinkedIn and resumes. Today, we'll share unusual reasons people lost their jobs. Thankfully, none of these apply to anyone we've interviewed. If you lost your job for a wacky reason, you can let us know!
1) A blog. While blogging is everywhere, it's unusual to be fired over one, especially one where you praise your company and not say anything negative about it or any of its employees. Imagine one woman's surprise then, when a company fired her over her blog, which detailed (without giving away private information) her work life. At first glance, it seems unjust, until you find she posted pictures of herself wearing her uniform with small alterations, sometimes revealing things that should have remained covered. The takeaway: if you're going to blog about your company, be sure everything is professional, including the pictures.
2) Too good. Yes, someone was fired for being too good at his job. He was so good, his competition couldn't function in his area. The company decided he was acting against policy (or that's the reason they gave, anyway) and let him go.
3) Saving a life. A man looked out the window of where he worked to see a woman under attack by a man with a weapon. He rushed outside, fought the attacker, and held him until police arrived. The woman was grateful, but his employer wasn't. The employer stated that he didn't like all the (free, good!) publicity it gave the company, so the man was let go.
4) Wearing the wrong color. Employees wanting to get together after work all agreed to wear the same color. It went on for months without incident, until one day the manager fired over a dozen people wearing the color that day. The manager said it was (somehow) insulting.
5) Seinfeld. In an episode of Seinfeld, two characters, Jerry and Elaine, said "You're so good looking" when someone sneezed instead of "bless you." Although an employee at one company meant it as a joke and repeated it to a number of people, one woman claimed it counted as sexual harassment, and it got him fired.
6) ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. An employer claimed an employee would constantly type in all capital letters and use red lettering as well. Although he was only able to produce one such email as evidence, she was let go. She promptly sued for wrongful termination and won.
7) Gangnam Style. Back when this was first becoming popular, some employees decided to use their break and make a parody of the viral sensation. Their employer fired them, but after a month decided that since it was during their break, they were reinstated. Perhaps our next blog should be, "Things we never thought would have to be put into an employee manual." A similar incident occurred over a Harlem Shake video at another company.
8) Cardboard. A man happily employed at a certain bank and near retirement was fired for something he did as a teenager. Apparently, he used a cardboard cutout of a coin to use a laundromat once. The bank had a policy of not employing people who showed any kind of dishonesty with money and let him go.
9) A quick game. As part of a little social media challenge, people were taking pictures of themselves lying down at work. Although managers admitted no harm was done and that their work did not suffer from it, roughly half a dozen people were fired for taking part.
10) The wrong account. Someone was marketing for more than one company and got two tweets mixed up and posted them on the wrong accounts. Even though both were for very similar companies and people would have been none the wiser, the marketing agency knew and fired him over it.
What do you think? Overreacting or totally justified? Were you or someone you know ever let go for an absurd reason? Let us know!
(Sara was once written up for 'walking too slowly' because she was reading a product and walking toward the break room at the same time. Not here, though. We're not weird like that. That may make it into a blog, though. "Weird reasons people were written up.")