24 Employees Who Went The Extra Mile And Were Punished For It

They say no good deed goes unpunished, and in the corporate world, that seems especially true. 

What should be, in theory, a meritocracy, based on work output and effectiveness is often not, rewarding those who play politics well over those who produce the most. 

I’d maintain this phenomenon is a failure of management at almost every level, and is the main reason most people hate their jobs.

The following stories are from people who talk about the times they did their work, above and beyond, and instead of being rewarded, basically got punished. 


My wife got a job at DVF a few years ago. She was top sales in her store, district, state, and region within her first 3 month. She continued to just kill it quarter after quarter.

She got a new coworker and was training him (she liked him as a person but said he was a terrible employee who could barely follow simple instructions.) She gave him a ride home and learned that he was make 3.50 more an hour since hire compared to what she was currently making (before commission)

She called her boss right after dropping him off, quit on the spot and mailed the key back into corporate. They blew up her phone for 3 days offering her more money, store management, better scheduled etc. She told them straight up she isn’t an after though.



I keep telling people. Get up go to work, be on time leave on time. Be decent/ good at what your specific job is. Do no “take one for the team” unless you are able to do so without discomfort and if you are helping a colleague who is likely to help back.

Your real life and friends take priority always.



I worked somewhere similar and the owner stopped coming in to the shop, except to drop off groceries. I was the only cook during shifts with one dishwasher and I only made 13.50 an hour in a very high priced state….when I knew I had to quit for my kids’ and husband’s school schedules, I gave her TWO MONTHS notice… find someone to replace me and I’ll step down after training before my notice was over. She started snubbing me in the restaurant so I ditched out. Good luck with finding someone before the 2 months are over



Dont you know you were supposed to be grateful just to be there? I’m a baker. The only way I got a raise was from leaving to work at a place paying me almost twice as much. This was the ONLY way my boss understood that I was worth more than 9 an hour.



When I worked at McDonald’s in 2018 I was hired on at 7.25 an hour, I got really good at the job really fast, was one of the fastest order takers and McCafé makers and eventually they let me learn grill too. After 13 months working there I got 2 raises and was now making $7.70 lmfao. I found out that the owners wife was doing interviews and hiring new people on at $8 an hour. So I was training new people who were making more than me after I’d already had 2 raises just because they were hired by someone different than me. Eventually they made me crew trainer which would’ve upped my pay to $8 an hour and they had me working the position for months and never gave me the raise so I quit. Now at my new job I make $18.50 an hour



I was working a full commision paid job, no hourly. After two years, I asked for a 10% raise because I found out I was paying the entire rent and bills for the business just based on my commisions. My boss threatened to Lower my percentage from 55% to 50% if I brought it up again. I quit the same night, brought in 6 of my friends and took everything I had.

Almost all of my clients followed me to my next Job, which humbly offered me 60% at the door and another 5% for every two years I worked up to 75%. The few clients that were unable to make it to my new location still didnt go back to my old job, just went to another place closer than were I had moved.

Business went under a year after I left because he wasnt good enough to keep it open by himself [and whatever clowns he hired after me]

10 years later I still send my ex-boss Photos and Updates of his building. He usually gets two updates a year, every 6 months. Its now a small clothing store. They’re doing very well, even launched their own in-house brand in the last year



I took a university job to advance my career. The position wasn’t approved but I was overly enthusiastic and did the work regardless. I did this for 2 years; took the department to the next level of division 1. My boss and I agreed to have the conversation about permanent employment at the end of one summer after I took 4 athletes to the Olympic games. My boss had advocated for the position to be full time and we finally had the talk; he had offered the job to someone else and expected me to continue my “unpaid” position indefinitely because it was “good for the university.” I left on the spot and never worked in the field again.

Never ever ever ever give even the slightest of fucks about your job.



I worked for Miss Moffets Mystical Cupcakes in Olympia WA. I worked there for three months. Two months through an internship program where I was by a different company and then 1 month directly for Miss Moffets.

Despite my boss, Rachel Green, refusing to train me on proper cake decorating, I was still expected to frost cupcakes and was yelled at for not knowing precisely how to place the strawberry slices.

Rachel would schedule me for overnight shifts and watch me through the cameras. She called me to scold me everytime I dared to sit down during mixing or baking times. Or when I stopped baking to clean. Or when I finished up early and left instead of staying longer to bake the next shifts cupcakes.

Rachel Green owns Miss Moffets Mystical Cupcakes. And at the end of my third month, the first month I would be paid by Green, she pulled me aside, told me my work was subpar and that even though I could mix, bake and frost a cupcake as fast as her star baker, clearly I wasn’t good enough to stay. And that since I put out such subpar cupcakes, she would not be paying me for my full months work. And then she told me to leave and not come back.

I was fortunate enough to know D, the person who gave Green the money she needed for starting her business. I went straight to D and she let me listen in when she called Green. Oh man she screamed at Green for nearly 10 minutes. Then D told Green that if she don’t pay me immediately, that Green would be sued for breaking labor laws and have to pay me at the very least everything she owed me if not a whole hell of a lot more. Oh man it was glorious. 😂😂😂😂😂



I worked at a NYC style pizza place in the small suburban town I grew up in. When it was bought back by the original owner he belittled my 4 year degree after I JUST graduated, the same degree his daughter said she wanted to pursue, and asked me to deep clean a deep fryer w/o eye protection or skin protection. I read the label on the junk I was handed to use and it was a big fat OSHA violation to NOT HAVE SKIN PROTECTION. I asked if gloves or safety glasses were available. I was told no, so I left and never looked back.



I have a high school friend who owns 15 franchises of a business. He brags regularly that he personally makes about 5 million dollars a year.

The other week he was complaining to me about how he would go out of business if he had to raise the minimum wage pay from $8 an hour to $15.

I asked how many total employees he has, and he said 120. He could give every single employee a raise or 25,000 a year and still make a million bucks yearly without even affecting the actual business profits



It’s a lot like being in IT lol. Learn everything do work above your position no raises, no promotions. The best option is always leave and go elsewhere take your new skills and get a better job.



On my first job, they announced the employee of the year. They said he is a hardworking guy, who works for free (yes, 0 salary) – they gave him this “opportunity” to get experience in the field of IT.



Reminds me of the time I was doing work study tutoring at my college and I found out that my coworkers were making almost double than me hourly. Asked for a raise was denied and never went back lol.



This happened to me. I started when the company had only two clients. When I started working, the turnaround time for the sample processing was less than 24 hours, because I was more than willing to do over time and come in at odd hours throughout the day to make sure the samples were received. Because of the quick turnaround time, we were able to secure more clients. I then Asked for a raise. And then suddenly I was being “terminated” for unprofessional behavior and not doing tests according to SOPs… which I WROTE. After that, I haven’t volunteered at any of my jobs to do extra stuff. If you want me to do more stuff, then you gotta pay me more.



A “mom n pop” coffee shop tried to do something similar to me. Went in for my first day of training, knocked it out of the park! My second day, the guy who was training me ghosted and did not show up. I had to call the owners at 4am because I could not get into the store. We worked our butts off getting everything ready for the morning. I thought I did amazing. When the wife gave me an official offer letter I asked if I would be getting additional compensation for working an undesirable shift. They ghosted me completely and I had to chase them for my check for training. They kept saying they sent it via direct deposit and I explained to them how that is literally impossible because in my new hire paperwork I selected “paid by check” and did not enter in any bank details.

Finally was able to get the check that I had to go get from the store. I told the employees there what happened and they were like, yeah, not surprised, this place is terrible.



What’s sad is that $1 an hour raise is only about $100 a month after taxes.

So many places losing people because they won’t pay 1, 2 or 3 hundred dollars more a month to keep them. Like the company won’t make that up in the next 20 minutes.

My wife used to work for a vet clinic where she handled the finances for them and they only payed her $14 an hour.

They make $20k a DAY and refused her a raise of $100 a month. She no longer works there. She gave them her life. She came in 6 days a week, 8 hours a day for 3 days of the week and 12 hours a day the rest and they lost her over $100 a month.



similar story.

Got hired for 1 specific job title.. then when word got out about my resume that i had actually gone to school for something different, they asked if i would be willing to do BOTH things for them. Meaning not only will I do what i was hired to do.. but also help them with development on projects in line with what I took in school. When I said. OF course.. I then sent an email to the COO and CEO about possibly a raise since i would be doing both things.

anyways, the next day the COO told me “I’m not a good fit” lol



This happened to me also! I worked at a bakery, was told I had to work at least one, if not two weekend shifts every weekend because I was the only one that could do it and was threatened to not be rostered any hours if not – and I did it dutifully, would stay back to clean the bakery after work when everyone had gone home and start all of the crazy morning shifts as well! I later found out that literally everyone else got paid more than me and penalty rates on weekends (I didn’t) which is why they insisted on me coming in! When I asked to have more convientent shifts or also be paid penalty, the owner baker got really defensive, turning it back on me for taking home the day old bread (literally everyone did, and it goes in the bin otherwise) saying « I only make 10cents in the dollar for every loaf we sell » in order to guilt trip me



I once worked at a place and got the highest sales every month even though I often took off because of major depression. Instead of praising me, my bosses made my colleagues hate me by saying stuff like, ‘Animefaerie is off sick all the time and still makes higher sales than you.’ Made the workplace rather toxic.



I’m going through the same thing! I’ve worked at this small business for almost 5-6 months and I like it for the most part. Pay is pretty poor ($14/hr in Las Vegas) but not the worst. This week my boss put a job posting on Indeed offering $15/hr. I’m confronting him about it today and if I’m denied a raise then I’m walking.



I was working in a law firm and knew I was the lowest paid employee because that was just my rank. But then a project came and I was hand picked to work on it alongside a partner. It was urgent, so I had to drop all of my other work/push deadlines back. I came through. Firm got a big payout and everyone received windfall, down to non-legal staff. Twice the monthly pay for everyone. Great!

Except I didn’t get anything on top of that bonus. I worked my ass to get the same bonus as everyone else. People who literally never touched the file got more money than I did. I confronted the partner about it and he said, didn’t I get a bonus? That was the moment I decided that clown wasn’t worth my efforts and I was never coming through as clutch for him again.

I resigned a few months later. I now get paid twice more than what they were paying me, for less stress and less work on my part. That partner has asked for some files here and there, and had it been any other partner, I would’ve combed through my personal copies of files to see if I could track it down. Nope. I left a USB with my old secretary, go ask her.

I send gifts to friends who are still at the firm (both legal and non-legal staff, all the partners I’ve worked with) every Christmas. I leave him out every time.



Years ago I worked for Cadbury Adams , I did the job that every shift needed 2 people to do ! I was killing it ! So after 3 months I asked to be hired on full time , they said they couldn’t hire at the moment, so I quit ! Coworker called me 2 weeks later telling me they had to hire 2 People to do what I did ! Moral of the story, know your worth , never settle and always work hard even if they don’t appreciate you , that way when you leave , they fucking wish they had done everything to keep you !



Stuff like that happens at a smaller scale almost routinely. People fresh out of high school or college will start a job and have a lot of pep in their step giving a lot of effort and eventually something will happen where they don’t feel appreciated and then they figure “why give extra effort or care when everyone else doesn’t” …



I was working in a nursing home in which the boss’s daughter and the daughter’s best friend both got hired for $6 more per hour than even their most experienced and senior staff. When I found out I asked for a raise, got told if I want to make $X then I need to go work the other side of the building and sign up for over-time. (Other side of the building is about twice as much work and has grueling back-breaking lifting with mandatory stay-over if the next shift calls out.)

I ended up quitting, I’d like to think I was one of their better workers, so hopefully they regret losing me. I did get a call from the administrator on behalf of the CEO that they were going to look into the situation and see if they can get me back, but that was 4 days ago, so who knows if they’ll come back with a counter offer or not.




Jason Mustian

Jason is a Webby winning, Short-Award losing humor writer and businessman. He lives in Texas with his amazing wife and four sometimes amazing kids. All opinions are mine and very dumb.