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Boss fires Aussie worker after ‘extreme’ act on lunch break: ‘Taking the absolute piss’

Real estate boss Troy Holmes said the “extreme nature” of his employee’s excuse led to her being fired.

A real estate agent is flipping the script on horrible bosses by revealing his own employee “horror story”.

You often hear stories about terrible bosses - including one who recently tried to cancel his employee’s annual leave after it had been booked in for months - but Holmes Real Estate principal Troy Holmes says there are lots of “good employers out there” and he’s hoping to bring attention to the other side.

Holmes has worked in the real estate industry for more than two decades but says one former employee’s story stands out as the worst.

Aussie boss Troy Holmes sharing worst employee story
Real estate boss Troy Holmes has shared his employee “horror story”. (Source: TikTok)

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Holmes ended up firing a staff member after she came back from lunch late and was unable to meet their scheduled appointments because her “heart stopped”.


“We had a busy afternoon planned so I said ‘Whatever you do is fine for the morning but by 1 o’clock I need you here and we’re going to be doing x, y and z and you can’t be late’,” the Sydney boss told Yahoo Finance.

After she was 15 minutes late coming back from her hour-long lunch break, Holmes gave her a call to see where she was. She told him she had fallen over and was about 1.5 kilometres from the office.


Holmes said he got in his car and drove to find her lying on the footpath. After she got into the car, she explained to him that she had been running back to the office when her “heart stopped” and she fell over.

Holmes said he offered to take her to the hospital or to a doctor for medical assistance, but she said it wasn’t necessary. Once they were back at work, he said her “entire demeanour changed”.

“The moment we got back to the office, she walked through the front door and everything changed. She was more than totally fine and was up and about and totally skipping,” Holmes said.

“That’s when I was like, ‘Hang on, now you’re taking the absolute piss’.”

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Holmes said he was stunned by the “extreme nature of the excuse” and ended up terminating her employment a day later because she was still in her probation period. He added that she had also been disappearing “for a few hours at a time” and seemed unable to “follow instructions”.

“One of my best mate’s died in 2009 when his heart stopped because his electrical pulse in his body stopped and he fell through his coffee table,” Holmes explained.

“So, maybe I was a little bit over-sensitive to someone using ‘my heart stopped’ as an excuse for not being back from lunch on time.”

3-day lunch, 4th grandma died: Bosses share horror stories

While some Aussies criticised Holmes, saying that people’s hearts could indeed suddenly stop, others agreed with his decision to let his employee go.

Some bosses also shared their own employee horror stories online.

“I let one guy go after he needed another day off after his fourth grandmother died,” one employer wrote.

“We had a guy go to lunch for three days then came back like nothing happened,” another said.

Holmes said he had since employed a number of staff members and had a “good relationship” with the majority of them.

“Staff, to me, are your number-one asset. I understand how the story can be interpreted and I can come off a little bit bad … but I’m comfortable that I looked after my employees very well,” he told Yahoo Finance.

Holmes recommends workers “be upfront” when they do something wrong, so the employer and employee can work together to figure out how to fix it.