Forgot to grab coffee... Misheard the boss whilst speaking... Muscle memory from the daily routine... These are all potential causes for the weirdest and most embarrassing mistakes an employee can make. Whether they were working late nights, didn't sleep a wink, or just woke up confused, these poor workers made some hilarious mistakes in their fuzzy-headed state.
These stories come from redditors who did not catch their mistake at work until it was too late. Luckily, most of their employers had a great sense of humor! These stories have been edited for clarity.
They Did Not Need Coffee After All
“I work as a special makeup effects artist for films. On one night shoot, we ran out of containers for fake blood and I had to put some in a disposable coffee cup instead. Midway through a conversation with the lead actor, I took a massive swig before choking in surprise and spitting most of it back out.
That woke everyone up a bit.”
No One Borrowed A Pen From Her Again After That Meeting
“My husband and I had an inside joke. Whenever someone lost something, the other person always asked, ‘Have you checked inside your butt?’
I was in a meeting at work, at a conservative and traditional corporate office, one day and a coworker said, ‘I can’t find my pen.’ Without any thought or hesitation I quickly responded, ‘Have you checked inside your butt?’
As soon as I said it, I snapped back to reality and realized I was at work. As you can imagine, everyone went silent and stared at me as my face turned bright red.”
This Guy Can Write In His Sleep!
“I was working as a summer counselor at a college, helping incoming freshmen pick classes and stuff like that. The job was exhausting, but I loved it. I poured my all into it, making arts and crafts in my off time to make the experience more fun for the kids, writing skits, building sets and costumes, that sort of thing. The result was that I slept three to four hours per night, for three months on end.
One night, around 3 am, just as I was going to bed, I realized that I had forgotten to tell my kids that tomorrow’s meeting was in my office and not at the outside benches where we had met the day before. Oops! So I sat down to write a note for each of my students. Here’s what I wrote:
‘Hi, [student name],
Just letting you know that we’re all meeting in my office tomorrow at 9 am instead of at the benches.
Simple, right? I sat down to write out 12 notes, dozing off as I did so. Finally, I got them all done around 4 am and delivered them under each student’s dorm room door. I got three hours of sleep. The next morning at 9 am sharp, the students started filing into my office. As they sat in the chairs, one asked, ‘Why didn’t I get a funny note like everyone else?’
Um… what? I didn’t write any funny notes. I wrote… Oh God. I had been dozing off… WHAT DID I WRITE???
Here is what the notes said:
– ‘Dear [student name],
Just letting you know that I see bicycles bicycling.’
– ‘Dear [student name],
Just letting you know that we are all crazy everywhere. You can eat here. Enjoy your food.
– ‘Dear Student (I actually wrote the word ‘student’ instead of their name),
Student student student. Student.’
– ‘Dear [student name],
Just letting you know that office buildings explode.’
– Dear [student name],
I don’t know why I’m writing this. I see it. Maybe.’
– Dear [student name],
Just letting you know that we’re all meeting people all the time everywhere we go.
Thanks. (And then I drew I heart with an arrow going through it.)
– Dear [student name],
Just letting you know that we’re all meeting in my room tomorrow at 9 am. _SHARP! Sharp. Sharp_. SHARPPPPP.’
The other notes were all the intended message. Needless to say, I was freaked the heck out. Thank GOD my students thought this was hilarious, because I do not, to this day, remember writing any of those, but they were definitely in my handwriting. I have never been so mortified in my entire life than I was as those kids kept passing me weird note after weirder note. I keep them in a drawer in my desk to remind me to get some sleep. Almost 20 years old now.”
In The Navy…
“I am in the Navy. It was really late one night and we were all exhausted. We basically worked and stood watch 24/7.
We were all in our lounge area and everybody was sitting except for me. We were all watching TV and I leaned down and kissed a very good friend of mine on the head and said good night. Everyone thought it was hilarious. I guess I kind of thought it would be, too, but didn’t realize I was actually doing it.”
Getting Friendly With The Boss
“Usually, if I am in the car or sitting next to my wife, I reach over and stroke her hand.
At work in a meeting, I was spaced out. My brain decided to go on holiday for a few seconds. Ten seconds later, I snapped to attention to see the whole meeting staring at me as I casually stroked our CEO’s hand next to me.
Thankfully, he just turned around and said, ‘Can we at least wait till we’re out of the meeting?'”
If Only The Car Could Go Autopilot When Their Brain Does
“It was a hot summer day. I work construction. I was driving an old truck with out air conditioning.
I was pulling up to an intersection. I could see the light’s green. The thing is, I was looking at the light. It was green. My brain said Go. I did not brake. I continued. As I got to the intersection without breaking, they saw me and stopped, even though I was looking at their green. I honked and flipped them off. It wasn’t until five minutes later when I realized I ran a red light, honked, and flipped some guy off that had the right of way.
Heat exhaustion is no joke. I’m lucky no one got hurt.”
It Had To Have Be 12 O’Clock Somewhere
“I am a elementary school teacher. I had a long commute and, in order to get as much sleep as possible, I would eat breakfast in the car on my way. I would also grab a generic version of Mountain Dew for later in the morning. The ‘Diet Citrus Drop’ was in a silver can.
One morning, I pulled into the parking lot and walked into my morning meeting. It was a meeting with my principal, some teachers, and the parents of one of my special education students. I put my drink on the table and everyone was staring at me.
‘Having a rough morning?’ one of my teacher friends asked.
I looked down to realize I had brought a Coors Light to the meeting. I had not opened it yet, but I was so embarrassed! I am positive I was waving to kids and parents in the parking lot on my way in with the adult beverage in my hand.
Fast forward 15 years and I now work at a high school. I was in the teachers’ lounge and overheard another teacher telling the story about this ‘one guy a friend of a friend knows’ who took a Coors Light to a parent meeting at another school. I never said a word.”
She Became Infamous Around The Office
“One time, I was putting leftovers in the fridge and I had my car keys in my other hand. After I put the food in the fridge, I pointed my automatic keys towards the fridge door and, yes, tried to lock the fridge.
While working as a receptionist, I was making mac ‘n cheese in the break room. When it was done, I walked back toward my desk. The phone started ringing and, at the same time, I accidentally flung my fork out of the bowl and sent a piece of mac flying onto the floor. I picked up the noodle with every intention of throwing it into the trash, but was focused on picking up the phone. Naturally, I popped the noodle into my mouth without thinking. This was in front of an entire floor of salesmen whose desks were all facing my direction. They burst out into hysterics. I got made fun of until I left that job about seven years later.
At the same job, I got so used to my spiel when picking up the phone that, one time, I was trying to answer about six different lines to put people on hold when someone physically walked in to check in at my desk. I looked up to address the walk-in with all the enthusiasm you fake when you answer a phone all day and said, ‘Hello. Thank you for calling [place of business]. How can I help you?’
I realized what I had done and had a mild laughing attack to the horror of my boss’ guest.”
A Telephone Mix Up
“I worked two jobs for about five years, one at a local used game store and the other at a Men’s Wearhouse. My game store also did repairs in addition to the standard trade and sales thing. Part of my job was calling people to let them know that their consoles were ready for pickup.
One day, I had quite a few repairs to call back for, about six or seven. I set aside time and started doing them all in a row: pick up the phone, repeat my pickup script to what was usually a person’s voicemail, hang up, repeat.
My boss showed up as I had began the call to my last customer. He waved hello to me and then started looking at me funny as I went through my pickup script again.
It turned out that, instead of my ‘Your repair is finished, come get it’ speech, I had instead been calling customers and telling them that I was from Men’s Wearhouse and that their tuxedo rental was ready for pickup.”
His Intentions Were Pure But His Words Were Not
“I work at a grocery store that lets you save money on gas. I start every conversation with, ‘Do you have your rewards card?’ and end every conversation with, ‘You have 10 cents off gas.’ One time I turned to a customer and said, ‘Hi, do you have gas?’
We just stared at each other.”
Thanks For Calling My Subconscious
“I worked in a call center for a year. The opening script got pretty ingrained. Nearly a year later after leaving that job, I woke up one morning to my cell phone ringing. I immediately grabbed it and began to to rattle off the entire opening script. I, honestly, got mad when they would not give me their company ID number.
It was my grandmother calling. She had to call me back because she couldn’t stop laughing.”
Talk About Getting A Hotel Wake Up Call
“I work at a hotel and do room service to guests. As I was walking to get some shampoo for a guest, I blindly walked into what I thought was the housekeeping room. In fact, I had just swiped my card and entered a guest’s room without even knocking.
I proceeded to walk further into the room, being attracted to the shiny box of donuts sitting atop of the table when, mid-grab of the donut, it suddenly hit me, Should I really be grabbing this donut?
Then it REALLY hit me… Oh No, I’m in the wrong room! I ran out as fast as I could. Luckily, no one saw what potentially would have gotten me fired.”
That Call Center Really Had A Hold On His Mind
“I used to work at a call center. When we would get a call, a little ding would sound, similar to that of a microwave. One night, I was talking to my mother-in-law while reheating some dinner and the microwave went off in the middle of our conversation. It went like this:
‘School is going okay [ding]. Thank you for calling Melaleuca, the Wellness Company. This is “Gary.” How can I help you?’
My mother-in-law was clearly confused by my Pavlovian response.”
When The Lifeguard Says “No Running,” He Means It
“I worked as a lifeguard for a long time and got used to blasting my whistle at running kids. After a shift was over, I tried to do it in a Target parking lot with no actual whistle as some kids ran by.
I ended up just spitting on myself while letting out a weird, high pitched whine.”
They’ll Never Believe Where He Found His Keys
“A co-worker and friend of mine could not find his car keys around lunch time. We tore the office apart even spent half an hour walking the parking lot figuring he dropped them somewhere on the walk in. After almost two hours of looking, we gave up. He called his wife to have her bring him his spare.
On the walk back into our office, being a smart aleck, I said, ‘Maybe they are in the fridge!”
They were. It turns that out when he put his lunch in the fridge, he also put his keys on the shelf next to it. I am never going to let him live that one down.”
A Movie Theater Blooper
“I worked at a movie theater. When we answered calls, we had to say the usual thing: ‘This is blah from blah theater. How can I help you?’ I accidentally answered with just, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ to this random guy, then stammered to collect my thoughts.
As I was listening to his stuff, my father and sister walked out of a movie they had been watching and were leaving. They said, ‘Love you’ as they were walking away. At full volume, I replied ‘Love you!’ while still on the phone with the customer. I just hung up. When he called back, I made my voice sound lower and helped him with his bull.”
Social Media Proves To Be Quite The Distraction Once Again
“Last summer, I worked at an internship in a co-working space. There were glass walls everywhere, etc. One day, I was walking back from the elevators to my office after lunch, scrolling through reddit as I walked. As I approached the corner before my office, I turned a bit too early and walked straight into the glass wall of some other dude’s office. Him and at least two other offices full of people watched me pick up my phone and beeline it back to my desk.”
This Receptionist Has A Good Tip For Following Phone Call Blunders
“I used to work for a reproductive health clinic. I now work for a renowned university, sometimes providing reception cover.
I am usually so, so careful, but one time I answered the university’s phone by announcing ‘Hello. Contraception and reproductive health. How can I help?’ to a very flustered professor who sputtered that he must have the wrong number and hung up. I was so embarrassed that when he rang back, I put on a different accent. Welsh.”
At This Moment, One Prays It Is A Wrong Number
“I worked at an optical clinic as a receptionist for a bit. A child or senior eye exam is covered by the province, but the clinic also did a retinal photo. There was a charge for that, which I typically had to explain to patients.
One time, I was explaining this to a patient on the phone during my first week, and I said rectal photo. I basically told an old woman I would charge her $20 to take a photo of her butthole.”
They Have The Right To Remain Embarassed
“I was getting a suspect’s testimony at work when my captain walked in the bullpen. I asked him if he got my report on a murder. He said that he looked it over and said that I did a good job.
‘Good,’ I said. ‘Thanks, Dad.’
All of my coworkers stared at me.”
Never A Bad Time To Call A Friend
“I was managing a 24-hour gas station and had been stuck on a 16-plus hour shift because someone did not show up. I went to call my relief associate, Dan, for the overnight shift before my co-worker broke their drawer for the night since Dan did not have a car and I had to go get him about 50% of the time. It was no big deal. He lived close enough to the store that he would walk if the weather wasn’t awful.
But, I called the wrong Dan. I called Dan Avidan. At midnight. When I had not spoken to him in about a year.
Thankfully, he was the chillest dude on the planet and had just recently moved to LA, so when he picked up and it had not yet registered that he sounded nothing like the Dan I had meant to call, I just asked ‘Hey, you need a ride?’ and he replied, ‘No, I’m good. Thanks. How are you? It’s been a while!’
He was not bothered in the slightest that I had called him at what was midnight in my time zone. To offer him a ride. When I lived across the country. And had not seen him in years.
When I realized I had messed up and called the wrong Dan, we laughed it off and chatted for a minute while I quietly died inside. At the end of the call, he joked that if I was still on my way in his direction, he’d see me in like two days.”
“I drove 30 minutes of my 45-minute drive to work when I had an OH CRAP moment: I suddenly realized that I had forgotten my keys.
I turned around on the freeway, texted my boss saying I was going to be late and that I’d explain when I got in, and drove all the way home. It was not until I put the same keys I had driven home to get into my front door to unlock it when I realized what I was doing was madness. Absolute madness.
I told my boss what I had done. He thought it was hilarious.”
Race Against Time
“This story took place at a time in my life when I was working exclusively at night, between 9 pm and 9 am, walking to work, and taking a cab home. Also, for approximately an hour after I wake up, literally nothing makes sense to me and I function in a deep haze of routine and instinct.
One time, I woke up and glanced at my alarm clock and saw that it was 9:15. I freaked out for a moment because my alarm was supposed to wake me up at 8, giving me time to shower and make the half-hour walk to work. But, in its thoroughly non-functional state, my brain posited that since it was only 9:15 and it took me half an hour to walk to work, I could sleep for 15 more minutes before leaving to get there by 9.
Yes, I am aware that the math did not make any sense. That’s how things work when I first wake up.
I went back to sleep and woke up fifteen minutes later, ready to head to work. By the time I had put on my clothes and made my morning coffee, I realized my error and freaked out, because it was now swiftly nearing 10. I would now, at best, be an hour and a half late for work. I did the logical thing and called into work, leaving a message telling them I was sorry and that I’d be there as soon as I could. Immediately, I took off speed-walking.
Half an hour later, I arrived at work, unlocked the door, and stepped inside, only to find the normally-empty halls of the building full of people. One of the store managers looked at my crazed expression and asked if I had forgotten something.
It turned out that I had left work at 9 am, taken a cab home, gotten into bed, and immediately looked at my clock only to realize it was 9:15. In the morning. Never once during the entire half-hour walk back to the office did I clue into the fact that the bright morning sun would not be there at 10 pm. It was not until halfway through my second cab ride home when I realized it was Saturday and I didn’t have to be in that evening at all.”