We've all had a day or two at work where things were going fine and suddenly, the you-know-what hit the fan.
A Tirade For The Ages
“I used to work for a company that made “closures”: ie: lids for bottles, etc. Their most popular type of closure was the ‘volcano type’ that is used for squeezy sauce bottles. This is the type where you twist the outside to open it, squeeze the sauce from the pointy bit of the closure and onto your hotdog (incidentally, the type that opens and closes like a sphincter like on the bottle of squeezy honey bottles is called a ‘cat’s bum’ closure). You know when you get the bottle back from the shop and you first have to unscrew the lid to peel off that paper foil thing and then put the lid back on?
That piece of paper actually starts life in the lid and is bonded to the plastic bottle with heat when the lid is first screwed on. But you have to use the right paper for each type of plastic bottle so the rolls of the paper in the factory were very clearly labelled. Except for one. One day, the machine ran out of the big paper roll so an employee picked the one without the label. It looked the same and was in the right place so the paper roll was put in the machine. The lids were manufactured, were sent to MasterFoods, were assembled into thousands of tomato sauce bottles, which were packed into trucks and sent to supermarkets. When the trucks arrived at their destinations, some of the sauce bottles were found to be leaking badly as they were unpacked and this was found to be caused by the wrong paper type.
Apologies were issued, trucks were cleaned, everything was returned to sender and a big recall process began, along with liquidated damages. It cost a lot of money. At the factory there were meetings, notices were put up about correct procedures, processes were revised, people were retrained. Obviously the paper roll was removed from the machine and the correct roll was inserted. Production resumed. A week later the machine ran out again. Another employee went to the store room and found the unlabelled paper roll back where it had first started and put it back into the machine.
Needless to say, the exact thing happened all over again and as before, the problem was not noticed until the bottles arrived at the supermarket. I had the privilege of being in the previously civilized room when the Production Manager and a few other important people were told. Hooooly s–t. Amidst all of the shouting, the Production Manager screamed something along the lines of “What the f–k is wrong here? How the f–k are they so f–king stupid that they make such a huge f–k up and learn f–king nothing from it?!” Then he literally lifted his leg and let rip one of the loudest farts I have ever heard and left the room. I kid you not; this was a businessman in a nice grey suit and I had never heard anyone break wind at that company in the 6 months I had worked there.” (source)
Just Doing What He Was Told
“Halfway through a wedding reception. Lots of booze. Bandleader asks crowd to find out which man at their table has the nearest birthday. Ok, accomplished.
Then, the bandleader says, each guy, give the flower centerpiece to the prettiest girl at the table.
11 other guys get it right, and give it to their girl. The guy at our table, fairly inebriated, doesn’t give it to his wife. He gives it to the prettiest girl at the table.
Holy shit. The air got sucked out of the room. The wife is steaming. She looks ready to grab the vase and smash him in the face with it. The other, less pretty girls are fuming. The girl with the flowers has no idea what to do, but her boyfriend wants to kick the husband’s ass. The rest of us are either horror-stricken, or nervously laughing. We know we are all gonna hear it.
The tables nearby have seen/heard most of it, and the whispering spreads. The band starts to play, and the wife takes the opportunity to get louder, before storming out. The party was over.
He was just doing what he was told. Poor bastard.” (source)
Q&A Off The Rails
“In the spring of 1999 I went to a film festival that debuted a documentary about the Gothic subculture called Sex, Death and Eyeliner. It was made by one of the guys who made Trekkies and was very similar to that movie. It poked fun at the Lunatic Fringe elements of the subculture, but overall it was pretty respectful and everyone in attendance (mostly a toned down group of goths) enjoyed it.
At the end of the film the producer did a Q&A, and during it mentioned that he was having a difficult time trying to sell it to the right people. The Columbine massacre had happened just a few weeks earlier and for a while the media was trying to portray the shooters as Goths. A lot of companies were interested in buying it, and the producer was very concerned about not letting it get into the hands of someone who would try to portray Goths negatively.
The final question of the Q&A was from a guy who went off on a tirade defending the shooters of Columbine, and explaining how he understood how they felt and why they did what they did. The entire room went from laughing and feeling very good to overwhelmingly pissed off at this guy and booing at him. Completely killed the mood of the evening.” (source)
Mixing Business And Pleasure
“At my work we host weddings.
A few years ago the groom and one of our waitresses were caught having sex on the ninth green by the maid of honour.
The 180 degree turn of drunk happy people to incredibly angry drunk people was insane, the families were screaming at each other the bride was crying, the mother of the bride was crying, the dad was being held back cause he was gonna kill the groom (understandable). We ended up calling the police, they came and escorted the grooms family out the door (some of the smart grooms family took off right away when they heard). It all happened within an hour.
We call the incident “Night putting” (source)
Keep Your Promises
“One day at work we had an hour meeting followed by a planned pizza party as a reward for meeting some safety goal. They’d been telling us all week not to worry about food because they were getting pizza. Well after the meeting were sitting around waiting for the pizza to get there when out boss comes in and tells us there was a failure of communication and no one actually ordered the pizza. If you want to see 50 factory workers go from excited to murder ready in less than a second that’s what you tell them.” (source)
Nice Prank, Not
“April Fool’s Day 2009 everyone at the dealership I was working at gets called into the shop for an important meeting. We all assume it’s going to be something silly. The owner informs us that the dealership has gone out of business effective immediately and for everyone to pack up their stuff and wait to be escorted out of the building. We just stood there waiting for someone to shout “April fools!” It never happened and the building stands empty to this day.” (source)
“We were all called in to a meeting. Rumor was that because we had had such a great year we would all be getting an extra bonus. Excitement ensued as bonuses were a rarity.
The manager of the store clears his throat and a hush falls over everyone. Then he says the words we all should have known was coming:
“We’ve been lying to you. It’s been a terrible year. We’re so far in the red we’ve no choice but to close shop. Tonight. You’re all let go as of right now. Your final paychecks will be mailed to you. Do not come in to work tomorrow.”
I turned in my keys and got out of there. There were some folks who had been there for close to twenty years who were blindsided by that.” (source)
“I was waiting for a flight at Newark when an airline employee gets on the PA of the gate next to mine and says: Dear passengers, flight *to _* has been delayed due to a pigeon entering the aircraft during the maintenance process. So I thought, okay a pigeon got sucked into the engine or something, serious stuff. But then the announcement continued. The pigeon entered the cabin through an open door while the aircraft was being cleaned. Our crew attempted to find it, but could not. United Airlines was being outsmarted by the dumbest of birds. This guy clearly knew that the passengers were not impressed. We don’t expect your understanding, but your patience would be appreciated.” (source)
Good Going, Boss
“The clueless CEO made us all watch the longest, most boring powerpoint presentation in the history of the fucking world, with graph after graph showing how great we were doing. Then at the end he announces that the branch is closing and we’re all unemployed. There wasn’t enough business overall to keep all the branches open, so they closed the only profitable one and kept the headquarters branch open even though it was complete shitshow losing money hand over fist.” (source)
Who Gave Him A Mic?
“At a friends funeral who had committed suicide. Everyone was somber and respectful as the service went on and the clergy talked about heaven and whatnot. The last speaker comes up and says well she may not be allowed in heaven because of the suicide and how that’s a terrible sin Yada Yada Yada. A huge portion of the family starts sobbing uncontrollably and some outright walk out. Those that stayed were super angry and began to threaten the speaker. He had to be escorted from the funeral home by security. By security I mean employees of the funeral home, not the armed guards at clubs. From what I understand of this guy, he was trying to discourage copycat suicides by not glorifying it and saying my friend was definitely in heaven like it solved all her problems. Certainly not the best way to go about it.” (source)
A Somber Night
“I was volunteering at a dance at a teen center. Small town, everyone knows everyone. Night is going great, then we get a call that one of our friends was killed in a gang-related drive-by while getting a soda at a Sonic Drive-In. Stray bullet, wasn’t even intended for him. Died in his girlfriend’s arms. It wasn’t so much that things turned “ugly and sour,” but the mood in the place did a 180. We turned the music off and just sat around, stunned.” (source)
“The owner of a property management company I worked for in high school summoned all of the employees into a conference room for a special announcement. She had been hinting at retirement for awhile so everyone suspected she was about to hand her responsibilities over to the office manager to transition into ownership over time (as promised). Turns out she sold the company to a larger management firm and as of that day, nobody in the room has a job anymore.
Wasn’t a big deal to me because it was just a summer job and I had already given my 2 week notice before school started back up, but it was the livelihood to most people in the room.” (source)
Never Press A Button If You’re Not Sure…
“Was at a bar with my gf and a bunch of her work friends. Place was packed and everyone is in a pretty good mood. Dude at the table next to our was playing with some girl’s keys and pushed what he thought was the on button to a small flashlight. In reality, it was a small can of mace that he ended up spraying into the air. Cleared out the whole bar with everyone coughing and crying.” (source)