Work can be one of the most stressful parts of our lives, but it's also the place where we need to hold it together most. That's why work meltdowns are so startling when they happen. People on Reddit revealed the most intense breakdowns they'd ever seen at their jobs. Be prepared for a lot of smashing.
I worked in IT and one guy, who was one of the most chilled guys I knew, was responsible for the deployment, updates and maintenance of a specific product that generated high revenue.
One afternoon I was sitting at my desk and just heard a big crash and saw one of his 3 monitors on the floor. He stood up, shoved the next monitor over the divider onto the next sections desk, then swiped the third monitor off the other side, picked up his keyboard and smashed it as hard as he could, kicked his chair away and slowly, and calmly walked out the department, without saying a word.
He came back to work the next day as if nothing happened. Everyone knew the pressure he was under and was very good at his job so nobody said a thing.
One of my old coworkers told me about the biggest meltdown he ever saw. The job was a pretty high stress to begin with and people were always on the verge of screaming at each other.
So, this guy (lets call him Jake), had been working 12-14 hour days. Was on call 24 hours. Had 2 hours of commuting a day. Said he never saw his girlfriend who he lived with. Missed his niece's first birthday because of work. Dude was on the edge.
Enter Sally. Sally was in charge of invoicing and had spent the whole previous week on vacation spending time with her daughter that was visiting. She came in on a Monday to finish up some billing, but was taking the rest of the week off for more vacation. She approached Jake while he was in the middle of working out some major issues saying he needed to get some things for her to finish billing. Jake told her he would get to it as soon as he cold.
Sally continued to to ask again every ten minutes, getting more irritated with each request. Finally, she enters Jake's office (big open area shared with coworker mentioned above) and nastily says, "It'd be real nice if you'd do you job so I can go home and see my family!"
Jake proceeded to kick the door open behind him breaking the frame and the automatic closer. At the end of the hall he kicked another door open putting a hole in the wall behind it. He then went to the equipment storage area and began throwing pieces of metal rigging making a ton of noise. This drew the attention of others who came to check out what was going on. When someone asked what was going on, Jake said, "If that b!tch says one more word to me, I'll be leaving in the back of a cop car!" Sally was gone by the time Jake calmed down enough to go back inside.
Jake wasn't fired or even written up. Management knew he was under stress, and Sally was told to keep her distance. Also, Jake is me. My blood pressure was so high my vision was blurry.
Best I've seen was my 7th grade math teacher. There was a girl who always talked in class. She got moved to the front at some point and she was laughing and giggling as always. After being told to be quiet about 8 times, the teacher is standing front and center in front of her, back to her and writing an example on the board. Girl has one of those plastic pencil boxes all the girls used to decorate sitting on the front corner of her desk.
The teacher just cracked. In one smooth motion he spins around, yells SHUT UP and smacks the box as hard as he can and it goes flying 15 feet across the room, smashes into the wall. Pencils. Freaking. Everywhere. He swiftly walks to the door, slams it shut and we could hear pounding on the wall. One brave kid peeks out the window....dude was banging his head against the wall.
About 2 minutes later, he walks back in. Crickets, not a noise in the classroom. He begins walking around picking up every single pen and pencil, puts them all in the box, places it gently on her desk....And then just continues the example like the nothing ever happened. It was exquisite.
In high school I worked at a grocery store and this kid was all pissed off at another bagger and swearing in front of the customers. He said he was hoping he’d get fired. I told him he should quit before he gets fired so that it would look better on his resume in the future. A few minutes later I realized he was missing, then suddenly he comes around the corner from the managers office, no longer in uniform (he threw his uniform in the trash in front of the manager) then he looked at me and said loudly “I took your advice” then proceeded to walk across the front end, point to each associate saying “Fuck you” to each of them and walked out. Everyone was staring at me after and I said “I did not tell him to do THAT!”
This guy in a restaurant kitchen got in a fist fight with a younger guy, punched him in the face, backed up, started shaking his face and doing the Scooby-Doo voice. He was nuts. I broke it up and took the other guy out of the kitchen to separate them and came back ten minutes later and the crazy guy had perfectly cleaned his area - like freaking spotless - and clocked out early and never returned. Never seen or heard from him. Never picked up his last paycheck. Weirdest shit I’ve ever seen.
Guy who’s hard of hearing had to BLAST the radio. Another guy gets sick of complaining to a dickless manager who does nothing. So he silently rips it off the cubicle and smashes it on the floor. Which is not carpet. And. Hard. Really really fucking hard. Like the damn thing killed his grandmother. With a look of silent but unfathomable rage on his face like Hugh Jackman coming out of the water or whatever in that wolverine origin movie.
It explodes. All the guts -capacitors, coils, resistors, transistors, circuit board etc etc go flying. And then as people are gasping and screaming he just sighs, satisfied like he’s just busted a huge nut and leaves.
I pretended to be horrified but I was so happy inside.
I had a coworker freak out on a customer at Wal-Mart. I used to be a cashier, and people used to tend to treat us like shit. Anyway, the lady got pissy because she couldn't price match some doritos because it was the wrong size or something. Anyway it escalates, we cant find the csm and a few minutes later they are screaming at each other. The cashier's parting words were "I ain't fucking price matching your doritos! You don't even need those doritos, with your fat ass!"
Needless to say, that was her last day.
I was in court (lawyer) and we were arguing a motion and requesting sanctions against Plaintiff's attorney. The judge starts talking and dressing down the Plaintiff's attorney... who, now offended, decided it would be a great idea to interrupt the judge, insult the judge, and flat out told him "You were too stupid to make it in private practice and you do not know what the fuck you are doing."
She had been licensed for all of 3 years.
She is no longer licensed.
Edit: she was being sanctioned for soliciting false testimony by falsifying an affidavit.
9th grade, my english teacher had a breakdown in front of the class. kept silent but started crying whilst writing on the overhead projector her complaints about the disrespectful kids in her class.
writing financial software in the 80s. The systems analyst sitting at her desk near me suddenly burst into tears and wailed "it's all so pointless - money doesn't mean anything!"