"We'll call her M. M already had a habit of being lazy and complaining, and during lunch once said something to me along the lines of, 'I wish they would just fire me so I could collect unemployment.'
We worked at a cafe and though it was my first job, I thought the company policies and the general atmosphere were good. M complained that this was the worst job she'd ever had.
Here comes two o'clock on this most fateful of days. M was off the clock at two and then had to go pick up her son from her mother's. At maybe three minutes till, the manager asked M to restock the line. This would take maybe five or ten minutes and we got paid for every minute we were on the clock. It's not remotely unusual to stay five or ten minutes past your shift. M started arguing with the manager. The manager rolled her eyes, said, 'Do it or don't do it,' and walked back to the office.
M kind of huffed and stomped to the back of the house, and I figured she was restocking. A customer came up then and, as the cashier, I began the usual dance.
Then I heard something. Raised voices, I thought. The customer didn't seem to notice, so I ignored it. A minute went by. We had finished with the order and were idly chatting while the food was being prepared. I heard raised voices again. The customer noticed this time but I managed to wave it off.
Over the next five minutes, the occasional raised voice became a constant screech in the background, as M yelled her expletive-filled rant at the manager. I was afraid to go to the back of the house and instead just tried to keep the customers distracted. M, at this point, sounded like Gordon Ramsay after huffing helium.
Another five minutes went by, M was still shouting. It was already 2:15. I idly thought to myself that M could have already been out the door if she had just stocked the line. Finally, blissfully, the shouting stopped. I held my breath for a moment before M burst through the Employees Only door, red-faced and gasping for breath. She looked around wildly before strolling up to me, pushing me aside, and grabbing a drink cup. She shouted, 'I'M DONE!' and then stormed out, harshly elbowing a new employee on the way.
I went to go see the manager, who was messing around with the schedule, not looking at all like she had just been screamed at for a solid fifteen minutes. She looked up at me and casually said, 'She's fired.'
Afterward, they had to write up an incident report because M actually bruised the new employee's ribs when she elbowed her. I was eating lunch with the manager and mentioned that comment about M 'Wishing they would just fire me so I could get unemployment.' The manager grinned and asked if I would be willing to sign a document saying I had heard that.
M was fired. M did not receive unemployment. M was lucky not to get charged with assault."