Computer engineer eats leftover pizza, loses job

Odd stories arise in Internet contest designed to find the strangest firing tale
|Canadian Employment Law Today

A computer engineer in Colorado who was turfed for eating leftover pizza has won an Internet contest that sought the most outrageous firing story.

A panel of judges picked the winning entry from more than 1,000 that were submitted through


With his pizza story Jim Garrison, 39, won a trip for two on

The Apprentice

Legend Cruise with cast members from the hit reality show who have been fired by Donald Trump. The week long cruise sails from New York to the Caribbean.

The winning story

Garrison had been working for a mortgage company as a developer for 18 months and, in his words, “things were going well.” Until, at least, some extra pizza turned up.

“One day I saw that a different group in my company had just finished up a potluck and had some pizza left over,” he wrote in his winning entry. “I thought they would probably end up throwing it away and I was kind of hungry so I went for it … I took a slice of pizza.”

But the workers who threw the pot luck had already made arrangements to split the pizza up and take it home. They went and told their manager about Garrison’s pizza heist, and that manager told her vice-president.

A month later, Garrison’s employment was terminated because of the pizza “theft.”

“Apparently the employees who threw this potluck were planning to take it home and were offended by my action,” he said. “Now I thought we were all basically on the same team and if someone didn’t like what I did, they would tell me so and I would apologize and maybe offer to pay for the pizza … the worst part about this is that I wasn’t told about any of this until a month after the incident. No warning, no second chance.”

Garrison said he knows the firing left an impression at the company because to this day his former co-workers refer to unattended pizza as “programmer bait.”

Some odd runner-ups

There were more than a few odd stories collected through the website:

•A furniture mover was fired after he got into a swordfight with adult toys they found in a customer’s bedroom.

•A worker was fired after his boss told him to put files on microfilm. He misunderstood and thought she wanted the files sent to Michael Finn, another worker he dealt with regularly.

•An office manager at a small distribution plant drove over the foot of his boss in the company car which, oddly enough, was a 1974 Gremlin. He kept his job after that incident, but lost it after a forklift he left running and in gear smashed into a warehouse garage door and got stuck.

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