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Top 10 staff horror stories


In honor of Halloween, you’re getting an updated batch of staff horror stories.

Today, in honor of Halloween, you’re getting an updated batch of staff horror stories.

Check out our story from last year!

Do you have a staff horror story to share? Let us know!

Click here to read our staff horror stories!




Ben Casella, OD, FAAO

Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

It makes sense that our practice is haunted, seeing as our office was a movie theater over a hundred years ago. The ghost’s name is Fred, and I knew him when he was alive in his later years. He was a good man, and I like to think he had some of his happiest times in this building.

Related: Managing your employees’ social media use





Tom Cheezum, OD

Chesapeake, VA

Via ODwire

We had an employee who had worked for us for a couple of weeks, then no showed one day and never called. The office manager called her mid-morning and asked why she hadn’t come to work. She said she’d “forgotten how to get to the office.”

Needless to say, the manager told her that wouldn’t be a problem moving forward because she was terminated immediately.

Related: Understanding millennial patients and staff





Mike Alvarez, OD

Fort Wayne, IN

Via ODwire

Had a new employee who no showed on her first Saturday. We called her, and she said she was confused and it would never happen again.

She was next scheduled to work the following Monday. She again no showed.

She also no showed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Then, on Thursday, she came in as if nothing had happened.

I was staring at her, taken aback by her gall, then I called her to my office. I asked why she had no showed. She said she'd been confused and had spoken with our office manager and told her it would never happen again. I said, “Yes, but that was for Saturday. What about Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday?” She just stared at me.

I told her she was fired.

I'm pretty sure she also stole $50 during her brief tenure at my office.

Related: How I prosecuted an embezzling employee




Jennifer Ambler

Brattleboro, VT

Via ODwire

I let an employee go because she had become very lazy and basically wasn’t doing her job.

She used bad knees as one excuse, but difficulty walking doesn't preclude using one’s computer, keyboard, pen, telephone, and brain.

Her husband then made threatening phone calls to the office and scary posts on Facebook, necessitating calls to the police and a hurried run to Staples for our first security camera.

Thank goodness, like many of his type, it was more talk than action, but it was pretty nerve-wracking for a while.

Related: Getting your staff off to a great start




Clarence Widmann, OD

Waco, TX

Via ODwire

I had an employee who would schedule fake patients for Saturday so she wouldn’t have to work so hard.

Related: 10 tips for reducing staff time on managed vision care plans




Daniel Navarro, OD

Redlands, CA

Via ODwire

I fired some staff who were involved purposely mismanaging contact lens orders. I found two boxes full of contact lenses that should have been mailed back due to wrong orders or patients not picking up.

The employees were a mother/daughter team who were spawns from hell who quit on me without notice with a full day’s worth of patients the next day.

Related: 4 steps to adjust staff salaries




Karen Henson, OD

La Grange, TX

Via ODwire

I have had “interesting” employees.

One worked three days, then quit and requested a letter of recommendation.

One employee had a large number of siblings, found 13 free pairs of glasses sent all over the country.

One optician I paid so well that alternative “medications” became her hobby and downfall.

With another employee, I changed the locks after dark, minutes before the disgruntled employee could get in to delete incriminating emails, letters, and applications left in office computers.

Related: How your practice can learn from successful companies




Tom Cheezum, OD

Chesapeake, VA

Via ODwire

I had an employee who quit voluntarily so she could spend more time with her boyfriend and his band. She happened to be about three months pregnant when she quit.

Two years later, I get a notice from the unemployment commission that she was filing for unemployment benefits. She told them that she had given us a letter from her doctor stating that she needed to have her work schedule changed due to her pregnancy and that we refused the request, so she quit.

She never gave us such a letter.

During the hearing, when asked to produce a copy of the doctor’s letter, she could not, so the hearing examiner ruled against her. When the ruling was read to the employee, she just said, “Oh, OK. Thanks,” and got off the phone.

I asked the examiner if she could be reprimanded in any way for perjury because it was obvious she had lied, despite us having sworn to tell the truth. The examiner said that couldn't be pursued, but she'd put a note in the employment record.

Related: 3 steps to staff empowerment




Jennifer Ambler, OD

Brattleboro, VT

Via ODwire

I also had an employee who would schedule fake patients at the ends of afternoons. She would also fail to confirm late-morning and late-afternoon appointments.

That explained the suspiciously high no-show rate.

Related: Does your practice have a culture of can’t?




Mike Alvarez, OD

Fort Wayne, IN

Via ODwire

I also had an employee who would schedule fake patients at the beginning and end of the day.

She would also call and reschedule patients whose appointment times were inconvenient to her personal schedule.

It was the rescheduling that got her caught.

I noticed that a patient had rescheduled and asked why. No one would admit to having done it, so I called the patient. He told me he had been called and told I would be out of the office so he needed to change his appointment to another day.

Related: Top 18 staff horror stories

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