The employee was thrown in at the deep end and forced to learn on the job despite having little to no communication with management.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 30, 2021. It has since been updated.
Working at a toxic workplace can drain the life out of anyone. One person who worked in one such environment took to Reddit and shared how they turned the tables on the company that tried to fire them for taking 10 minutes to respond to an email. The company was sent scrambling as the employee pulled the rug from under the company after being fired from the job. "Gather round as I tell you the story of the time I got fired at the worst place I have ever worked," they wrote on Reddit.
They had just been hired as in charge of speaker coordination for a company that planned large conferences. They had no one show them the ropes or guide them on what to work on but that didn't stop the employee from getting into the thick of it. "From day one, it was a nightmare. There was 0 onboarding or training. I was simply given the log-in info for a couple of different websites and told to get to work," they wrote. "I was the only person in this role. The information solely resided with me."
"Not a big deal, I say to myself. I'm good at thinking on my feet" they wrote, but there appeared to be a communication problem with their manager not being fluent in English. "My manager's first language wasn't English. I'm all for learning new languages. I think it's a great skill to have and it takes a lot of work and being able to speak multiple languages is impressive. The problem was that her English was so poor that it was often very hard to understand what she was trying to say," they wrote.
"I once asked if she had time to hop on a call and explain something to me and she responded with 'No cranne. Self skills is a must. I am bird without head.' It took me a few days to figure out that she was trying to say that things were hectic, she was running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and she needed me to be self-sufficient," they wrote, leaving them to figure out stuff on their own and coordinate speakers.
While things weren't smooth, they still got a handle on the job and got things done. "I did my best in the position. Small mistakes happened here and there but overall all the speakers were very happy and felt well-supported. I struggled with communication with my manager, but I thought the company was happy with my work," they wrote. Then out of the blue, they were fired. "I asked why I was being fired and why this was the first I had heard of any problems. Why wasn't there a write-up or a verbal warning?" they wrote.
"My manager said it was because the ten minutes (I ran the analytics) it takes me to respond to an email was too slow," they wrote, leaving them shocked. "That was a bullsh*t reason. To be honest, I was furious," they wrote. Aware of the NDA they were made to sign on taking the job, they turned it around on the employers. "We do the exit interview with HR and then she asks me to send over any documents I had (we worked on personal computers remotely) and describe where I was at in regards to our next event and our speakers. NDA's are really common in this field, I've signed one at every job I've ever worked. But this employer's NDA had a clause in it that worked to my advantage," read the post.
"As per my NDA, I am not to discuss intimate details or share documents relating to this position with any employer — past or future. Since this firing was effective immediately, you are now a former employer and I am bound by my NDA," read the post. HR was in a fix because they knew only the employee had information on the speakers for the next event. "HR hemmed and hawed a little bit telling me that of course, I could speak to them about it, this was about their event. I pulled out my copy of the NDA and pointed out the exact clause and said that it clearly stated that if I violated this NDA I would be sued, so no, I couldn't talk to them about the position," they wrote.
"HR turned to Legal and Legal pointed out that I was technically correct. They were a former employer and I was bound by my NDA. They fired me 17 days before the event. They didn't have time to start over from scratch. I still keep in contact with some of my co-workers and apparently, the event was a shit show and the manager nearly lost her job because of it. Over half the speakers pulled out once communication broke down. All because I ~tAKe ToO lONg tO ResPoND tO EMaILS~" they wrote.