People Share 50 Examples Of Their Hard Work Being “Rewarded” With Nothing

Hard work is the key to success, right? From a young age, we are taught that buckling down, staying loyal, and going above and beyond will eventually pay off and lead to something good. Employers want us to believe that taking on additional tasks, staying late, and helping out our co-workers will advance our careers. But unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily true.

Sometimes, people who work beyond the narrow boundaries of their job get "rewarded" with nothing in return. Like Ben, a Twitter user who shared how he closed a $7.5 million contract at work and "got a $20 gift card for Subway as thanks." The post quickly triggered an avalanche of responses and proved this is far from an isolated case.

Eventually, it made its way to the 'AntiWork' subreddit, where fellow members chimed in with examples of how bending over backward for a job just isn't worth it. We at Bored Panda have gathered some of the most infuriating stories from the comments section to share with you all. So continue scrolling, upvote the ones that ring true to you, and if you have any similar experiences to share, let us know all about them in the comments.

Then after you’re done reading through these replies, be sure to check out our earlier piece filled with cases of employees who went the extra mile just to be taken advantage of right here.


I closed a 7M contract in 2007 and got a slap on the back and a cheap bottle of bourbon. My boss got a Lexus and his boss bought a luxury swimming pool to match his luxury gated home.

Image credits: Apetivist


For working double shifts at a nursing home in the pandemic I got a coupon for $15 off a turkey at the grocery store. I’m a vegetarian.

Image credits: Cloberella


For 25 years of service at Ford they gave me a “ Have a drink on us” card worth $2 at our cafeteria.

Image credits: cecilmeyer


gf been at her job for 30 years ... had 2 years in a row of perfect attendance .... she got a plastic cup and canvas bag with company logos on them. I told her she should have gotten a raise

Image credits: Other-Tomatillo-455


I have saved the company I worked for €150k, what did I got a €75 euro bonus…

Image credits: LimeSixth


During the last 6 months my company had record revenue & profits and got acquired, no promotions and all people got were 2-3% increases. Ive never seen so many people quit, must be over 20 people already in that same timeframe, including me just got a new job with double pay starting next week

Image credits: coolstorybro42


My company gave me a lapel pin with the company name on it for my one-year anniversary... on my two year and 3 month anniversary.

I still keep it next to my computer, to remind myself "fuck them, don't do more work than you need to."

Image credits: cogitaveritas


My first job out of college I did data analysis that was crucial to my division winning a contract bid that generated $10 million annually (in 1995).

Managers involved in the bid got bonuses of $25k and up.

I got a 4 function calculator with a plaque on it that said "A World Of Thanks".

One colleague that got a 50k bonus asked for it to be split with her and her team of 4 and was told no. So she wrote them all $10k personal checks.

Image credits: csp1981


During a new application deployment that had taken 2 years to develop and test, we spent a weekend going through the deployment. A legit Friday - Sunday thing. Management thanked us by giving us a voucher for a free bottle of soda of our choosing from the lunch room. This is a fortune 80 company. I’ve stopped busting my ass ever since.

Image credits: Friggz


The job I quit earlier this year was always going on and on about how productivity has been through the roof since me and a couple others got hired. So they gave us more work. When we got that stuff done, more work. And more. And more. I had to miss a month of work due to catching COVID and then the flu immediately after, when I came back they called me a stupid lazy f****r and that I needed to learn how to be a proper employee. I told them to f**k themselves and left. They called my entire family 1 by 1 and begged them to tell me to come back, not even kidding. It woulda been funny if they weren't asshats.

Image credits: pres1033


My dad worked risk management for American Express. Found an error that would’ve cost 5 mill or so. He got a glass paperweight.

Image credits: GunnieGraves


I remember when we busted a** to bring a project online almost an entire week ahead of schedule, made tons of money for other folks...we got t-shirts for it.

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The company I work for gives us scratchers for our birthdays and anniversaries. Lol

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I found $100,000 that hadn't been collected, and created the policy that resolved that system error. I didn't even get a thank you.

Image credits: MeestowKitty


Do a good job and they reward you with more work. I used to be a "company man" till I learned that lesson. These days I only go above and beyond so me and the rest of the boys don't have to put in more than 40 a week.

Image credits: dirk_danglerno766


I have helped bring in about $135 million in donations to my employer. My bonus is my job is unionized.

Image credits: KawarthaDairyLover


Yeah, I nearly-single-handedly helped a company rake in millions in revenue, with millions in profits (I was the sole software developer and was #4 in the company). I made $65k/year when I left after 4 years and got no real bonus, ever.

Sadly they’re still in business. But no original employee is still there except the original two owners.

Image credits: ulkesh


I did process design and scalability R&D on a $30 million/yr production contract. It was like pulling teeth trying to get management to even slightly deviate from very vague and error ridden instructions from the client.

For the sake of my own sanity, I put in a ton of extra hours and did some experimentation with the process. I figured out how to increase yield by about 12% without compromising the quality of the final product or changing the bill of materials. This included proof of concept for suggestions I had brought up even before production began. It took 3 months of convincing before I got the go ahead to test the new process at production scale, during which I also brought up concerns about product safety numerous times.

So to everyone's surprise but my own, the new process was a success. Everyone was happy until regulatory oversight forced a recall of those 3 months worth of production for the exact reasons I had brought up. 4.8 million units. The point where the product was released and not included in the recall? When my new process was fully implemented...

So what did I get in return for saving the company's a*s and keeping the contract from getting cancelled? I got to sue them for wrongful termination and human rights violations...

Image credits: bigpipes84


My crew worked on the first of 4 nuclear reactors to be refurbished over the last 5 years. We’re halfway through the second and we’ve blown our previous work out of the water and broke world records on this type of refurb on this type of reactor by MONTHS, completing the work right and safe. Every stage of the job we’ve been told to pat ourselves on the back literally saving our contractor and our customer hundreds of millions. I haven’t even got a cup of coffee.

And they wonder why the guys with training and experience keep leaving to go back to the oil fields and refineries.

Image credits: Strain128


A couple jobs ago, worked at a place where morale was low - supervisors were awful, pay low, productivity requirements ridiculous and ended up with many people taking work home to do unpaid. Powers that be decided an additional mandatory monthly meeting where one person would be given a balloon and a five dollar box of chocolates for "going above and beyond" would fix it. Ended up my entire department except two left within a few weeks of each other.

Image credits: knitreadrepeat


I fixed an unsupported out of date application that no one else could figure out, and would have cost the company millions of dollars to replace. That got me a 3.7 out of 5 instead of a 3 on my review.

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This brings back memories of buying our house. The Realtor was ZERO help but when we finally closed on a house, getting him at least $5,000 in commission, he congratulated us with a $50 gift card to a steak house where plates start at $24.99.

Image credits: xCanont70x


The company I work for is having its best financial year ever, better than last year which was previously their best financial year ever. They’ve cut payroll across the board and won’t even give their full time employees 40 hours. Bunch of people looking for new jobs now, I hope these greedy f**king companies get f**ked and tank

Image credits: [deleted]


My office randomly found 100k spending money but wouldn’t give us raises last quarter

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One time I found and solved a series of inaccuracies in company records that could have lead to a huge lawsuit. Like, I saved the company from a giant scandal.

They gave me a piece of paper that had a cartoon businessman on it who was saying "You're a hero!"

When I asked for a raise a month later they said my level of work wasn't noticably above other people with more seniority. So I stopped coming in early and staying late. Stopped coming in on days off for them.

edit: for those wondering, apparently this isn't a common thing. When a supervisor or manager asks you to come in to work on your day off, they're most likely asking you to cover a shift or because the workload is higher than expected. They still have to pay you and do still pay you. It's your choice as to whether or not you go in for them, but if you do they still pay you. Sorry, I thought this was common knowledge.

Image credits: MangOrion2


Last week I mentioned that I worked 35 years freelance as a contractor, without benefits, because I detest corporate culture. Someone replied that that's not a leftist thing to do.

I think everyone should be a contractor and be compensated for what their work is worth.

Image credits: fanchuqi


The company I used to work for would give each employee a "bonus" at Christmas every year - $50. Unless you were a very new employee, then it was $25.

Image credits: Razziecat1


I had a 3% commission up to $1mil. Then 10% on any investments over that number. Contact reset annually on my hire date every year. After 5 years I got to decide if I wanted a watch a water camel backpack or a $35 gift card. Still got the water camel backpack in the closet.


I used to work in the trucking company department of a large tomato processing plant. The majority of their money is made during the harvest season, which falls from July to October. This place pays the lowest wages. It's a great place to start because they'll get you your license and have housing in the yard.

So, my 2nd year there they started a program where they brought in Puerto Ricans. I mean flooded the place where they no longer needed to hire sub-contractors that owned their own trucks. They thought they could get these people to work hard and their full 16 hour shifts since they would live on site. Well, the PRs were smart they stuck together and spread the word to just work hourly and make as much money if they hustled and brought in multiple loads.

I would do my full hours and hustle for loads. I'd make like $240 a day. Then I did the math. If you sat at rest areas and took your time coming in with loads, you'd make $240 in the 16 hour shift. We were making the same and I was busting my ass to save an hour or two. It wasn't worth it.

Long story, short. I was seen as just as valuable as people who worked the system. I brought in more loads and was paid the same. I never saw any benefits even as small as picking my truck for the day or getting priority on loads. The place did not incentives to work hard. They just needed bodies to bring in loads all day.


A friend was given a KUDOS candy bar for her outstanding work.


Reminds me of my "we won this big case" at the law firm I worked at, and my "bonus" was a $25 card to The Coffee Bean, not even Starbucks.


A former employer offered me a $500 gift card for a $3m contract. I resigned, and the company I was trying to bring on told them they would never to a contract with them unless I was the one running it.


My boss is giving me 50 dollars worth of 4X4 posts she doesn’t need. The two of us would be lucky to make 2.5 million dollars in our lifetime. This is just petty. Be better if they gave you nothing.


They had extra money at the end of the year to spend so they bought a bunch of office supplies we didn’t need. Like thanks, I rather have enough hand sanitizer for the next 100 years instead of a bonus! Needless to say, I left that company.


My 30 yr bonus after making my company over $115M in sales was $100. That's it. $100.

Oh, and I'm "maxed out" in compensation and will not get any raise that even begins to counter inflation, so every year I continue to work is a cut in pay.

Good times.


I was fooling into thinking a very large bank I was working in was funding it's own motivation fund. It wasn't. The bosses would sell the employees stuff like candy, etc, and that was the money used for the gift cards.


When my video won my old job a $25 million dollar donation, I got to have my SVP take full credit and then write me off accreditation.


Ugh. I worked for a large Corp that cut administrative bonuses in half, they made them line up to personally receive the envelope and a paper coffee cup of chocolates. Each thanked the executive handing it out, only to be shocked at the amount later


They’re offering us gift cards to do obscene amounts of work at my job (after refusing to hire anyone and then blaming us for all the work we can’t get done).

They also asked me to work more hours for free when my coworkers get paid time and a half. It’s hell.


Years ago, a new general manager took over our location.

When some of the managers brought up the fact our annual employee appreciation event was coming up, his response was, "We give them a paycheck, that's how we show appreciation."


Most supervisors, like myself, only make like 10% more that our staff. I buy my 3 staff a $100 gift card every new year as a thank you. I buy it with my own money and it’s because I truly appreciate them making my life easier.


I remember at my old job my supervisor went around and gave us like 20 dollar gift cards to Walmart like the last day or two before our Christmas break.

I remember thinking “wow 20 dollars to Walmart, is that all they can afford?”

BUT THEN I found out actually, my supervisor himself went and bought all of them with his own money for all of us on his shift.

Then I just felt bad for him honestly


My first job after the military was like that. Jumped into a role I had never done before, spent 6 months learning my contacts, workflow, and started building my own database to simplify my 65 year old bosses spreadsheet. Got to the point I spent the first 4 hours clearing out the overnight backlog and the next 4 hours playing minecraft/fucking off. Made some contacts at that job that referred me to another, then just recently the 65 year old boss from then (now 75) referred me to yet another job.


Knew a guy that worked with 3 others.

He told me he found a way to cut his workload by 75%.

I told him to keep it under his hat, and coast.

He said his work had a $500 bonus for efficiency gain suggestions.

I told him that unless he was getting evicted and he needed the money to shut the fuck up about it.

He didn't.

They gave him $500

He bought himself a PS4.

They fired his coworkers and dumped all the work on him.

He demanded a raise.

They declined.

He quit.

They replaced him.


Sounds like my job where I'll sell 20k tractor and get $25 commission


Years ago, I worked at a tech startup spun off from a major manufacturer. They had their hands in a few different fields like beverage dispensing, RFID, and amusement games. I was moved into their production department and helped them grow their profits from $1m a year to $1m a month consistently the entire time I was in that role. My reward for helping turn record profits was getting fired because an audit showed around $80 in shipping labels wasted. Gotta love it!

Image credits: midniteneon


I was the principal engineer on the main EMR product my company used. Hell, I was the only engineer.

They had some contractors working on an app that interfaces with it. They eventually dumped tons of bad data into it because they sucked at their jobs. Made it impossible to bill millions of dollars in claims.

I spent two weeks researching their f**kup and fixing it, along with creating and running cleanup scripts.

When I was finally done, they greeted me with a layoff, as they were going to replace me with the vendors who f****d it up in the first place.

Image credits: Tyrilean


So my dad back in the day worked for a oil company. They where going into a complete 90 day shut down to replace some out dated equipment. The estimated cost of the unit being down was around 1 million a day and a loss of something like 200k barrels of gas. Long story short, he looked over the plans and was able to cut the time down for shut down to 37 days, ended up taking around 40 due to waiting on parts.

He didn’t ask for anything, nor expect it, as he was doing his job as lead operator but when they gave him a $15 Wal-Mart gift card and a card as a thank you, he lost his s**t.

Image credits: Time_Transition


Know someone in a similar situation, the company he worked closed down, not because of support contracts but because of the unrelated PC building side. He asked me what to do, as he had the contacts, told him to go self employed, he turned over £1 million in his first year.


This is back in the early 2000s. My uncle worked for Menards. He worked for a long time on a deal and got them a $20 million contract. They fired him so they wouldn't have to give him a bonus. Then a slew of other companies did this to him. Did great work and amazing things and fired him after.

Edit: Now my uncle is definitely an odd guy, and there definitely has to be a little more to it. He only closed one massive deal like this, for Menards. He worked with Amazon and got fired there, and another company did the same. From what I understand he does rub some people the wrong way.

Edit 2: as for the insults. What the f**k is that about? Don't have to believe me, but to resort to insults over it?

Edit 3: I found his LinkedIn. He was a hardware buyer from 1986 to 2004. Led product reviews and researched product lines nearing $200 Million in sales.

After them he went to Amazon for two years, basically the same job.

Then True Value Company, same thing for 2 years.

And a few others. He's now, as of 2021, back with Menards doing the same thing. So he's obviously older and has that loyalty mentality.