My First Job: Crazy Stories

A while ago I wrote about my first job ever, working at a pizza place, and a little bit of background on how I landed the gig. Earlier this month I wrote about some of the lessons I learned there. Today is the most fun part as I dive into some crazy stories from my first job.

Crazy Stories

People Don’t Always Deserve a Second Chance…

I worked with a cook who was probably in his twenties. He was nice enough but he just wasn’t mentally stable. He’d go to Barnes and Noble on his lunch breaks and go steal CD’s and DVD’s then come back and brag about it. I don’t know if they were actually stolen or if he was just trying to show off. Regardless it was stupid.

Things got crazier. One day he wanted to go home from work early and the shift manager told him he couldn’t, after all, he was the only cook that night. So what did he do? He stabbed himself in the stomach with a kitchen knife. It wasn’t very deep but it definitely needed stitches. Best I remember he was sent to the hospital.

They told him he could no longer work there. Smart decision right? It gets crazier. He came back and apologized and the manager rehired him!!! You have got to be kidding me… it was insane. He did end up quitting a few weeks later but man… craaaazy.

We Got Robbed… Twice

The first time we got robbed was November 9th, 2004. Luckily I didn’t work that night but how do I remember the exact date? It was the Halo 2 launch date. I didn’t own an Xbox and I didn’t play Halo but you’ll understand in a minute…

Basically a group of three people came in through the back door of the restaurant after they thought everyone but the manager went home for the night. The office was downstairs and they went down and robbed him at gunpoint. Scary stuff. Luckily the cook was putting some items back in the walk in fridge and heard the whole thing go down. He freaked out and ran out of the restaurant to the near by mall.

Normally the mall wouldn’t be open at midnight but it was the Halo 2 release party. He had someone call the police but unfortunately the robbers got away that night. The manager was shaken up but didn’t get hurt. Fortunately the robbers were stupid and got caught a couple days later.

The Second Robbery

We got robbed again just a few weeks later. The assistant manager was alone closing the store one night and claims to have gotten robbed. This time the robbers broke a few things, locked the manager in the office and disconnected the office phone. He was found the next morning.

I’d feel bad for him except it turned out that the assistant manager actually orchestrated this robbery himself.ย  See, he was a bit of a crack head and owed his dealer some money. He staged the robbery to pay off his crack dealer. No one could prove it but the manager was promptly fired… this place was seriously messed up.

That Manager Wasn’t the Only Druggie

We had other managers and employees that were druggies too. In fact I’d say probably 75% or so. I witnessed cooks snorting pain pills with shift managers in the office with dollar bills out of the till. I kid you not!

We also had a cook who didn’t do drugs but dealt drugs. He used the money to pay his way through college. I don’t know what brought him to do it but I know he made a ton of money. He did get in aย quandaryย once when someone didn’t pay him for a large amount but I think that worked itself out one way or another.

I Could Go On For Pages…

… but I won’t. Thinking back on it I know exactly why I didn’t turn out like my coworkers. My parents. They taught me well and while I didn’t agree with the majority of what went on there it was an easy job with a paycheck that would schedule the hours I needed. I witnessed a lot of crazy stuff but did not participate. Did I get made fun of? You bet, but I wasn’t about to become one of them. Only a couple of them went on to college and I bet many of them aren’t much further along in a career than where they were many years ago.

Do you have any crazy stories from your first job? Please share ๐Ÿ™‚

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. I don’t have any stories that come close to comparing to these! How ridiculous is your manager??? Too bad nobody could prove that he staged the robbery himself…that would make it even better!

    How messed up does that guy who stabbed himself have to be? Some people in this worlds are nuts.

  2. Wow! That’s a mess.

    My best first job story? I was cleaning oil out of the fryer at the Tastee Freeze and forgot to put the plug back in. We had oil all over the kitchen floor. The whole place could have gone up in flames. I remember the manager screaming at us to clean it up quick before there was a fire. Nothing will teach you attention to detail more quickly…..

  3. I used to own a restaurant years ago. I was robbed twice. although I think it was an inside job both times. The stories that I would relate had much more to do with the customers. Friday and Saturday nights after the bars closed were crazy! Halloween was the height of the craziness. A Penthouse centerfold frequented my place and her brother tried to sell her stripper services.

    • Man that must have been one interesting restaurant. Why’d you end up selling? Not making enough or just got sick of it?

  4. I don’t have stories that would compare either. My first job was working for the family business which flooded a year later and made the news. I got to learn how to build sand bags pretty quick.

  5. OMG! This is intense! I can’t believe you had managers doing drugs at work. I have never had experiences like this at all with my jobs. (Thank god)

  6. I worked at my aunt and uncle’s gift shop. One time a couple of people came in and were acting a little off, but I sort of just brushed it off, only to find out that they’d stolen a couple of expensive items. A few weeks later they came back figuring it probably had been too easy. I tipped my uncle off and we tailed them around the store (straightening up) until they realized the gig was over and took off. Felt bad that the first theft got by me but was pretty pleased that I thwarted a repeat.

    • Awesome job the second time around. I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to catch a thief. I could always catch people sneaking things into bowling alleys though (food alcohol etc)

  7. My first job was soldering on a manufacturing line at 14! Haha. My dad ran the unit so no crazy boss stories there :p

  8. Wow, remind me not to visit those places! I worked with a TON of screw-ups and there were some pretty bad things that went on. Probably one of the funnier ones I can remember happened to a friend of mine at a Subway where he had his way with his female coworker right on sandwich station. How gross is that??

  9. Working in clothing retail, I have SO MANY crazy stories. We used to have a customer that would come in all the time and she was literally the devil. We eventually had to call the cops on her. The cops told us that all the Target, Wal-Marts and all the malls have already put restraining orders against her. So our store was one of the only ones that she was allowed in until we got our restraining order.

    She would spit on us, yell at us, throw hangers at us, hit us, make us stand a certain way (arms directly in front of us as if we’re waiting for something to be put in our arms, and after an hour this would literally start to hurt. And if we put our arms down for a second, then literally all hell would break loose) when she was in the store (and if we didn’t stand that way then she would literally hit us). Our boss used to tell us that we had to do EXACTLY what she said or we would get fired, but then she witnesses the devil one day and even she was scared of her.

  10. Call Me What You Want Even Cheap says:

    Wow, those are some crazy stories! How bold and stupid do you have to be to not only snort drugs at work, but to use the company’s money to snort the drugs. Wow!

  11. Let’s see I’m trying to remember back to my first job… hmmm… I guess that would be the one where I worked at an office supply superstore. I can’t say I have anything to compare to your first job, but I could probably come up with some real crazy stuff from my current job. It’s like one big dysfunctional family some days. I can’t believe that guy stabbed himself to be able to get off work. What a dork.

  12. And the manager of the year goes to…

    By the way do you know why I never sniff coke?

    The bubbles tickle my nose. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Oh very crazy, really. My first job was in a building with 5000 other employees developing software, there were no craziness apart from the mass layoff during dot com bust era.

  14. Seriously glad you made it out alive. My first jobs were fairly uneventful compared to your drama.

  15. Wow! My first job doesn’t compare at all so I’m going to go with my third. I was 18 and got a job demolishing the inside of a jewelry store at night. All the merchandise was gone and we had to clear out all the glass shelves, mirrors, etc…..Sledge hammers and wheel barrels and a lot of fun. Anyways, I didn’t have a car so the project manager would transport me to the trolley stop and back. One day he showed up acting a bit odd like he had too much caffeine. His driving then started to reflect it and seconds later out came the white powder….I declined and didn’t ride with him again. I think he ended up getting fired but our crew got hired for another project.

    • Just a bit crazy… and why one earth would you make a bigger mess to clean up? I guess it’d be fun but man wouldn’t that make the job worse?

  16. What the……
    Where did you work? (no offence) but it sounds like a ghetto! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ve never had any experiences half as exciting as yours.

  17. Wow those are some crazy stories. Makes we want to think twice before I order a pizza.

  18. I don’t have ANY stories that could compare to yours! WOWOWOWOW! You’ve worked with some real…. interesting… characters. My best story would have to do with the years I worked as a lifeguard, and had two co-workers get caught hooking up in a pile of inner tubes.

    • I definitely didn’t catch anyone hooking up at work but then again I didn’t try looking for it either… Probably a good thing.

  19. I also worked at a pizza place as my first job. The people also were fairly crazy, but I worked at the rare pizza place where there were a decent number of people who you’d call “normal” compared to the stereotypes of pizza employees.

    Hmmm crazy stories…my manager used to arm rob people (this was years before he was manager) and had a gunshot wound in his leg. Honestly, he was and still is one of my favorite managers I’ve ever had. You can learn a lot at your first job, even if you’re making pizzas.

    • Sounds like an interesting character. I just hope you didn’t learn how to become an armed robber from him. It apparently didn’t work out too well for him.

  20. That’s nuts man. I hope I don’t have to deal with that kind of situation. ๐Ÿ™‚

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