Have you ever had an 'off' day at work? These people have and let's just say, some of them messed up BIG TIME!
Knee-Deep In An Awkward Situation
“One time at work, I accidentally uploaded the email templates to the wrong website. The email template I uploaded was from an organic farm company with a message like, ‘If we don’t get back to you soon, we’re probably knee-deep in mud.’
The company I uploaded it to? Yup, Funeral Directors… yikes, right?”
The Company Needed That Letter Urgently
“I worked in a mailroom right out of college for a fairly large company.
We often times had Overnight, Next Day AM packages that HAD to be there or apparently the world would explode. I was responsible for getting these to the drop boxes before pick up time, which means I had to take them with me when I left work and drop them off.
Well one Friday, had one of these urgent letters. Left work and completely forgot about it. It sat in my car all weekend. Got to work the next Monday, the CFO and several upper management were literally freaking out cause the letter didn’t arrive (got yelled at, etc). It apparently was a half a million dollar check that this company was waiting for or they were going to take some kind of legal action or something.
It turned out fine, but I wanted to die at the time.”
Please Don’t Play With Fire At Work
“One day, I found a lighter in my pocket while standing in my boss’ office at the deli I worked at.
I was bored and accidentally LIT MY SHIRT ON FIRE!
The most terrible/awkward part of it all was that I had to run past the entire deli counter screaming to get to the sink with my burning shirt on me.
There were at least 15 customers in line…”
Never A Dull Moment Working In Emergency Services
“I have worked as a Firefighter-Paramedic/Nurse. I have been doing this all for 12 years (Fire/Medic 10 Nurse 3).
One time, I dropped a newborn baby. Literally, as soon as the sucker popped out she was quite slippery fell out of my hands right onto an ambulance floor as I was handing her to my partner. In the end, it was okay, but the mother almost murdered me (understandably of course).
The second time, I kicked a cardiac monitor/defibrillator into a pool during a Cardiac Arrest. The patient was pulled from a pool, and as equipment was getting shuffled around the monitor got moved I inadvertently kicked it, and it ended up at the bottom of a pool. They cost about 20K each. Luckily there was another one there…
A third mess up was when I destroyed a garage door by driving a ladder truck thru it…while it was closing. I was backing up my spotter and wasn’t paying attention. Someone closed the garage door, and it was destroyed.
The last mess up was when I set fire to a fire engine… Way too long of a story, but as the officer in charge when this happened, it’s my fault even though I wasn’t the operator of the engine. But the operator parked much too close to a fire, and the engine ended up on fire, although it sounds worse than it is.”
When One Mistake Costs You EVERYTHING
“I worked in windows and doors, for many years. This gave me an opportunity to witness some massive f— ups. Some were made by contractors, some were made by manufacturers, some by my mill and indeed some by me. I had spent years developing an excellent reputation for working on high-end homes. I worked with the architects on the front end, the clients and the contractors on the back end. It was a sweet deal for a guy in his late 20’s. The money was good and I was turning away clients.
So it was a real blessing for me to land a gig in Seattle working with some great clients on some amazing homes, being from the bay area, I reluctantly agreed to move to Washington. These jobs were big and needed serious project management so I needed to be on site a few times a week.
Well, the primary residence I was working on was located in the Orca Islands and was a completely custom job; custom paint, custom wood, custom mill work, custom glass, custom hardware. The total job cost was $750,000+ and I was acting as an independent contractor supplying the material.
We spent 9 months planning every detail, generating a construction document of 500+ pages. We spent 2 whole days before ordering the product going over the specs line by line. I had the client and the contractor sign off on every line item. Finally, I got a deposit on the material and initiated the order. The whole order took 6 months to receive.
Once everything was in and the contractor was ready, I made plans for the delivery. It was not an easy delivery, so I brought in a driver I knew from my work in Big Sur. It was a muddy mess getting the material to the job site and took 3 trips over 5 days to fill the unfinished garage with all of the windows. We met with the contractor and inspected the goods, everything was fine. He signed off and all I needed to do was go home, wait for the final check (the part of the payment that had my profit in it).
I stopped and had a drink with my driver friend and headed back down to the ferry dock to take the ride over to my house on Bainbridge when my phone rang. It was the interior designer. ‘These aren’t the right color,’ he said. All the blood in my body drained, I quickly grabbed my briefcase and started to flip through the work order, every f—ing page of the 500 pages of order said the color that was delivered. I insisted, ‘I’ve got the contract signed by the client and the contractor. It’s the color that was ordered!’ ‘This color will not do! I have ordered siding, trim, everything is coming in for the color we changed it to!’ I hesitated and asked to let me review everything and get back to them.
I got back to my office and gathered all my paperwork and right there, dated on the order’s file folder, ‘Change color to blah, blah, blah!’
I had the windows, I had the temporary windows I supplied them to keep the job on track, I had chargebacks from the contractor, I lost 2 upcoming jobs, I had the cost of sending a crew out and replacing the windows with the correct ones, I had everything and had to order the windows again. I had moved my family up to Seattle for this job, I got a house, I bought a new car, etc. I was ALL IN on this job.
I went out of business at the end of the job. Returned to the Bay Area and went back to college. I will never put myself in the position where a one line f— up will f— anything up that bad.”
The Wrong Tapes To Lose
“I used to work for a TV company that makes a lot of high profile shows, including one of the most popular shows on British TV, which is also broadcast around the world.
Our client had gone out on location and shot all their footage for an episode of this show and brought it back to my work… Only for me to then lose their tapes. The show goes out on a Wednesday night, and it got to the Sunday beforehand and we still couldn’t locate five of their tapes of footage, because I had put them somewhere, and not in the location, I logged them into on our system.
Everybody chipped in to help look for these tapes, staying behind and pulling 16-hour shifts to search for them, but when push came to shove, we couldn’t find the right ones and my company had to pay for the client to re-shoot their footage. Not the end of the world, right? Wrong. It turns out the footage on the tapes I had misplaced had been shot from a g-ddamn HELICOPTER. So my company had to fork out £18,000 for the camera rentals, the crew and the hire for a dang chopper! And then real kicker is that as soon as they had shot it again, the original tapes turned up.”
Will The Real Prankster Please Wear A Different Color
“I was working on one of those TV shows where you do stupid things in public and film people’s reactions. In the skit we were doing, a man would be jogging with a stroller containing a life-like baby doll, and I was going to hit him with a car. The jogger was wearing bright green (they dress funny on these shows so that you don’t mix up the cast with pedestrians).
So I’m cruising up to the stop sign in a beat up old ford, my adrenalin is really pumping (this was my first time actually being involved in a skit). I see the bright green jumpsuit, and I book it.
I hit the wrong guy. It was just some dude jogging with his kid. I realized what happened when the guy I hit didn’t jump onto the hood the way you’re supposed to in these stunts. I honestly don’t remember anything about the incident after that, I was in shock. The dad had a few broken bones, the baby was fine.
Needless to say, there was a huge settlement paid out. I’m currently pursuing an unrelated career.”
The Girl Didn’t Own Anything Anymore
“My partner and I got a call to a PD station for an ‘altered mental status, suicidal ideation’ patient, a 22 y/o female. She seemed a little bewildered, but was pretty much oriented and a bit distraught. The cops just didn’t know what to do with her. They could have put her on a hold but because she was acting a little weird, they couldn’t rule out that she might be on something. More precisely, they were being lazy…
I was talking to her and she told me that her boyfriend kicked her out of the house. She wasn’t from around this city and had moved here to be with this guy. She had no family, nowhere to go, and she felt that she was having a nervous breakdown and wanted to go to a hospital as the didn’t feel safe… she was on the edge and thought that perhaps she should be committed for a few days while she collected herself.
He had three huge suitcases with her… two of them had all of her clothes and small personal items, and the third had several of her paintings and art supplies. everything she had in the world was in these bags. We brought her and her things out to the ambulance and loaded her up. Took her history and vitals, and went to the hospital. We arrived, unloaded her, brought her into triage, and got assigned a room. Then she asked me, ‘Are you going to bring my bags in?’
Then my heart sunk. I looked at my partner and we both knew that we had left them outside of the PD station. So I said, ‘Dude… get her into the room and I’m gonna race down there and get those bags!’
I raced down there code 3 (lights and sirens), and those bags were gone. I then went to the station, asked PD if they had them, and they did not. I started driving around the block, getting further and further out until I was driving in circles up to about five blocks out. F—ing nothing.
I slowly drove up to the hospital and went into this patient’s room. I felt like s—. I told her, ‘I am so sorry, but we left your bags outside of the ambulance and I can’t find them anywhere.’ This girl who was already on the brink now had nothing in this world at all…just the clothes on her back. ‘Are you f—ing serious? You forgot them???’ and then she started to cry. Her life was falling apart even faster because I was stupid…
Needless to say, I felt like s— for a long time. This happened years ago and I still feel terrible about it when this memory comes up…”
A Grand Theft Auto Type Of Situation
“I used to work at a car rental place. My job was to clean the cars, get them ready for customers and do the inspection of the car before people took off with them. One day I was in the lot parking a truck that I had just cleaned and got out to head back into the office. It wasn’t uncommon for people to come up to me with their rental papers and ask for the keys to their car so as I was walking back, a couple of older sort of grimy looking guys walked up to me.
The one guy said, ‘Hey, we’re all done inside and the lady said that truck is ours.’ I’m not even going to make excuses for why I did it but without even asking a question I said, ‘Ok great, here ya go!’ and handed him the keys. I thought it was weird at the time because when I handed the guy the keys, his friend said ‘F—!’ under his breath. Anyways, I walk back into the office without a care in the world and I see my boss. She asks if I saw those two guys out in the lot and I said, ‘The guys who rented the truck? Yep.’ Then she looks at me with her jaw on the floor and says, ‘NNNNnnnoooooooooooo.’ She turns around immediately and calls the cops to tell them we just had a truck stolen from our lot.
Weeks go by and eventually the truck turns up out in the middle of nowhere. The cops find needles and bottles all over the inside and they returned it back to us. I had to go to the police station to pick the guy I gave the keys to out of a photo lineup.”
The Airline Crew That Slept In A McDonald’s
“In 1998, I was an airline Duty Manager in the Operation Control Centre. I was like the Maytag repairman: I only worked when there were problems, my job description was to save the operation, meaning, find solutions where there aren’t any. In September of that year, Air Canada crews went on strike so my airline sublet 2 aircraft with full crews to operate Air Canada flights. That’s minus 2 aircraft for my fleet. On Sept. 2, Swissair 111 went down off the coast of Peggy’s Cove, a terrible tragedy. Less than 8 hours later, one of our flights en route to London did an emergency landing in Halifax because there was smoke in the cockpit – the same thing that had happened to SR111, except ours was a different aircraft type and only a minor technical problem. Because of all the media attention, the aircraft had to be grounded for over 36 hours to make sure everything was all right. That’s a total of 3 aircraft that I can’t use.
From that point on, we went into full crisis management. My phones were constantly ringing and I had to solve each and every single problem. When a crisis like that occurs, we’re bound to forget certain things. For operational purposes, the crew that was supposed to fly the aircraft back from London to Toronto was sent to Lisbon to fly deadhead on to Toronto. Only, the Lisbon flight was subsequently canceled and it was the Lisbon World Fair… There wasn’t a single hotel room in the whole city and around. M, the crew purser kept calling me asking me what to do. I kept telling her that I was trying to find a solution. To this day, I can still hear her sweet little voice: Berg, it’s M. We’re stuck in our uniforms, sleeping on the floor of a McDonald’s, I’m a bridesmaid Saturday. I have to get back. Please, Berg, I have to get back.
I was so busy, this one got by me. The crew came back the following Wednesday and she missed the wedding. I still feel extremely bad about it, especially because she was so nice about it. She never freaked out and she kept her crew calm and they just waited…”
Usually Everyone Enjoys Chuck E. Cheese Pizza
“I used to work at Chuck E. Cheese and was taking a pizza from the kitchen to the customer. At the time, it was extremely busy and there were little devils running everywhere. Also, this lady was at the far end so I had to zigzag through the games to get to her.
So after successfully maneuvering through a bunch of games and small children with two pizzas on my hands, I came within 10 feet of her table and thought I was home free. Well turns out there was a 2-year-old kid crawling right in front of me. I tripped on the kid, the pizzas went flying and hit another kid, and both of the kids were crying because I stepped on one and nailed the other with pizza.
And before you think this can’t get any worse, I then had to deal with the parents…that part alone still makes me shudder to this day. After about 45 minutes of yelling at me, they pressure my manager to fire me. My manager is a cool guy so he said no, but he pulled me aside and told me he would have to pretend to go bat-s— crazy on me to make the parents happy. He did and it was the finest acting I have ever seen a non-actor pull off. It even scared me for a minute. I continued working in that nightmare for another year before I left for college.”
An Unaccompanied Minor And Local News Attention
“So I was working the gate, and we had one delayed flight and one flight on time. As there were ATC restrictions on flying out (bad weather) I had to load up both planes at the same time. So what I did was just call everyone up and tell them which plane to get on once they got outside. We also had some rampers outside who could assist if people had any questions about which plane to get on. So let’s rewind about an hour. There was a lady who was sending her 13-year-old son to see his father in Chicago but refused to spend however much it cost for UM status (Unaccompanied Minor). Apparently, she had made a big fuss about it in the security checkpoint too because they wouldn’t let her through security without a gate pass (issued to parents of UM’s so they can see their child off at the gate).
So I load up the planes and go about my business for a while. About an hour and some change later I get a phone call from Dulles, saying there was a kid who was supposed to be in Chicago who ended up at Dulles. So we fix up a hotel and someone to stay the night with him and send him to Chicago the next day since last flight out from Dulles had already left.
Cue local news flooding our ticketing area the next morning demanding to speak to the gate agent who outrageously put this young boy on the wrong plane on purpose and whatnot. The whole thing was hard to digest, but at the same time, I kind of felt like the lady was blowing this out of proportion. It’s really not that unheard of that people get on wrong planes and she was the one who vehemently refused to pay for UM. After investigating, we found out that the kid had just gotten on the first plane he saw, heard over the intercom that they said this plane was going to Washington Dulles, he calls his mom, she tells him to stay on that plane because it’s ‘probably just stopping in DC before it gets to Chicago.’ I ended up not getting any blame for it from the airline either, after going through everything, with the circumstances being what they were (I don’t remember the exact wording). I had little to no fault in what had happened. I still feel kinda bad about that one though, not because I feel that the blame was on me, but for the kid who has to put up with a mom like that. Side-note: the father was on our side during the whole thing.”
Standing In Horror In Front Of Them
“I worked at McDonald’s three years ago. So a little kid spills coke on the floor. I happily wander over to clean it up (never was bitter about my job…it’s my job! It pays and I chose it!) with a mop. Mop that s— up lightning fast with a smile and everybody is happy.
I then decided to go behind the counter and retrieve the ‘slippery when wet’ sign to place over the newly cleaned area. When I got there, distracted by something, I slipped! My foot slipped out like a javelin and kicks a baby’s high chair, the baby’s head whiplashes against his table so hard both of his shoes fall right off. I just stared in horror at the family. I place the sign down like an idiot and run back to the kitchen for my dear life. Then I proceeded to crack up in the most maniacal nervous laughter accented with breaths of horror. What had I done?!”
Not The Best Impression At A Newer Job
“I was at my first ever job in animation. A friend of mine had gotten me a job as a renderer on a TV series.
The basic workflow is the first pass of animation is rendered, then revisions are called on those, the scenes are tweaked, and then re-rendered as the final show, or more revisions are called till everyone involved is happy.
On my third or fourth week working there, I lost all of the revised scenes for a show. Two or three days of work for the animators.
The line producer stormed into the room I was working in and yelled, ‘PAT, WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?’ and if I’d said anything except, ‘I f—ed up, sorry’ I would have been fired on the spot.
As it was, I worked there for 10 more months on that project. I got rehired a couple of years later, and now I’m on my third project for the studio as a compositor.”
Town Hall’s New Operating Hours
“I worked as a cameraman in high school. One night I was working alone at our town hall filming a committee meeting and my boss gave me the keys. I was told to break down and lock up after the shoot.
I forgot to lock the town hall. My f—ing town hall was wide open for a whole weekend. I realized this after I returned the keys, so for the whole weekend, I was freaking out, thinking everything would be stolen and they would trace this mistake back to me.
Nothing happened surprisingly and everything was fine. I’ve never actually told anyone this before.”
The Bird Named Hoover
“My first job when I was 16 was at Petsmart. I had been working there for a few months when one night I was cleaning out the bird/small animal habitat.
The procedure was to haul a ShopVac into the little room and vacuum up the spilled bird food/seeds/litter. Easy peasy.
So I’m cleaning out the cage with the cockatiels in it when one of them decides to investigate the loud sucking machine. FWOOMP. The bird is gone. I opened up the canister, no bird. I take the hose off the tank and found the bird. I used a box cutter to rip the hose in half so I could get him out.
So this f—ing bird is missing feathers and is bleeding and I am hysterical. I run to my boss crying and say ‘I JUST SUCKED A COCKATIEL UP IN THE SHOP VAC HE’S GOING TO DIE I AM A HORRIBLE PERSON.’ He takes one look at me, then the bird, and starts laughing.
I ended up driving him to another PetSmart that had a Banfield vet in it, he laughed and gave the bird some fluids.
My coworkers named him Hoover and he lived in quarantine in the back of the store for months until his feathers came back.”
The Guy Was Walking On Broken Glass
“I once broke over 1,000 glass cups at once. It created a pile of broken glass half as tall as I am.
I was working in a glass factory, and we shipped them on skids, with the glasses stacked on top of one another, with a cardboard divider. So, I’m standing on a towering machine that raises the skid to my level, I slide the cardboard piece with around 100 glasses on to the skid, press a button that lowers the skid the height of the glasses, slide another piece of cardboard on top of those glasses, with another 100 glasses on them.
When the skid hits the floor, there’s someone there to wrap the skid in plastic and stuff to keep it all together.
Well, it was my first day, and I’d been warned to make sure that when the ‘kicker’ puts a skid out, that it doesn’t also put another one, half out, in the ‘landing zone’ for the skid you’re working with. After 6 hours, I guess I got lazy. So, when I had a full skid, and pressed the button to set it down on the ground to be wrapped, it hit another skid, and tipped over.
It was literally a tower of brand-new glass cascading to the floor. Everyone stopped to laugh. The shift manager screamed at me, rolled a dumpster over to the pile of glass and handed me a shovel. He told me when I was done to see him.
When I was done shoveling and sweeping up the mess into a dumpster, I told the shift manager, who pulled me into an office where a higher-level manager chewed me out for half an hour.
It was good that it was my first day, since that was probably the only reason they didn’t just fire me on the spot.”
A Bloody Unfortunate Man
“Luckily this wasn’t me, but a co-worker. I worked at a blood bank for a while. If you aren’t aware, blood has to be processed before it can be used in a hospital. Also, the blood plasma that is not of a higher quality, is usually sold to companies for research. Instead of sending the companies 3 hundred small bags full of plasma, they sometimes ask for it to be put into 1-gallon bags. One of my coworkers wasn’t paying attention at all while filling up one of the bags. He ended up overfilling the bag… The pressurized bag burst and covered him, me, and a sizable part of our lab in sticky yellow-colored plasma…”
The Mortifying Situation That Gave Her A Sigh Of Relief
“I was waiting tables at a restaurant, back in college. I was picking up some sauces and I slipped and an almost full cup of orange dip went flying and hit an old lady customer on the back. This woman’s black shirt was DRENCHED in orange-ketchupy-mayonnaise-God knows what. She was sitting at a table with at least 10 other people. Big family dinner. NOT ONE of them noticed.
In fact, my eyes darted around the room and nobody was looking at me. Literally, no one had noticed. At this point, I just analyzed the situation
1) I could tell her now and she’ll get mad and yell. Also, I might get in big trouble.
2) She could find out later on her own and get mad and yell. And in that case, I won’t get in trouble.
That was the easiest decision I have ever made in my life!”
Don’t Sound The Alarm Next Time
“Worked as a student in a bank agency.
I wasn’t 18 yet, so I wasn’t allowed to be at the front desk (some insurance issues), essentially I was doing paperwork in the back. Once, a customer wanted to enter, but one can’t just walk into a bank, you have to ring a bell, and have an employee open the door for you by pressing a button under the front desk.
Long story short, he rang, all employees were busy, so I went to press the button. I check under the desk, s—, 3 buttons. The man was looking at me, looking pretty angry by the waiting time, so I just press a random button. Turns out it was the stupid alarm button.”