For most of us, the office is no place for playing around. A job is not a fun thing to lose, and doing something stupid or inappropriate on the job is never a good idea.
Nevertheless, there are times when, for one reason or another, someone does something they should not have done—and gets off scot-free! Why didn’t these particular people face any consequences? Your guess is as good as mine…
Here are 42 examples of times employees should have been fired, but weren’t.
42. Choked Up
I got into a full-on physical fight with a coworker on the job, culminating in me choking him unconscious with some packing straps. Neither of us was ever punished in any way and we just continued working as if it had never happened once the situation was resolved.
I accidentally deleted over 750K data points from my company’s medical database because I missed a “=” in my statement. My company had to pay out $10,000 as a settlement as a result of the problems this caused them. Somehow, I did not lose my job.
40. Inside Job
I worked a job right out of college that I had to travel for 300+ days a year. I got per diem and a company credit card with literally no limit. The company bookkeeper was a mid-forties alcoholic woman who hated her husband and was hell-bent on making him jealous. Less than two months into my employment, I began an affair with this woman. For the next two years, I kept her happy and she overlooked all the outrageous personal charges to my company credit card—including $200 dinners, hotel suites, strip clubs, casinos, and Amazon.com purchases.
39. Special Delivery
I was working in a ticket sales booth at Six Flags. They left me there for eight hours, despite my having to pee for the last five of them. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and peed in the vacuum tube which takes the money to the counting room. At the end of the day, people were wondering about the tiny droplets on all the canisters.
38. Someone’s About to Have Beef
I used to work at the Cheesecake Factory, where we had a chicken and shrimp gumbo. One day, I had some devoutly religious Muslim guests come in and explain very clearly before ordering that they can’t eat anything that contains alcohol or pork. I said sure, no problem. They ordered the chicken and shrimp gumbo and I put the order through.
Then I remembered that the dish had pork sausage in it, and I had completely forgotten. The lady was halfway through eating it when she asked me what the meat was that she was eating. If she hadn’t already eaten most of it, I would have taken it back—but given the situation, I just lied and said it was beef. No one caught me!
37. Really Turning Up For Work
I once turned up for a shift completely drunk. Either nobody noticed or nobody cared. I was working in a supermarket making pizzas and I was about 19. It was an isolated event, so nothing came of it.
36. We’re Not Gonna Take It
My boss was criticizing a job I had recently done, and I blurted out “I can’t deal with your BS right now!”
Not only did I not get fired, but I think he actually started to respect me more from then on.
35. A Matter of Life and Death
I am a train engineer and I accidentally killed a guy on the job. The guy ran out in front of the train I was driving thinking he would probably still have time to make it across the tracks. He didn’t. And somehow, I did not lose my job.
34. Coffee Break
I worked at a coffee shop and lost my mind when this one extremely rude customer came in. Normally I’m really good at keeping my cool, but this day I just lost it—and threw a muffin in the customer’s face. He fully deserved it. And he was so shell shocked that I responded this way, that he just stormed out to his car and I didn’t get in any trouble!
33. You’ve Got Mail!
I used to work in a law firm. I once left a file relating to a case in a mailroom, and the person in said mailroom sent it to the opposing side. Somehow, I got fired and the mailroom person who was actually responsible did not!
32. Showing Them Who’s Boss
When I got my first summer job, I had a strict manager who pointed out every minor detail about how the job should be done. He did this repeatedly over the course of an entire summer, just drilling it into my head. Well, for some reason they liked me and wanted me to come back the following summer. And that manager didn’t work there anymore. The other summer workers were completely new, meaning I was the only one who had been there when that guy was.
I used all my knowledge to boss all the new people around, pretending to be a manager. None of them ever doubted me and I spent the entire summer under this guise. They all flipped at the end of the summer when I revealed that I had just been one of them all along and that I didn’t actually have any company-sanctioned authority over them. At that point, it was too late for anyone to do anything about it.
31. Statue of Limitations
Working as a caddy, I crashed a golf cart into a million dollar metal statue and left a huge dent in it. A client witnessed this go down. By some miracle, I never got caught—but it sure made every call for a meeting terrifying from then on!
30. Killing Time
One day, I went into work at around 8:45 am. I got on the Internet to do some literature research. Then, my autopilot kicked in. I don’t even know what happened. The next thing I recall, it was 2pm, all the Reddit links on the top 600 were purple instead of red, and the only reason I stopped was to check the time because I was hungry. I got paid for the whole day and felt guilty. Went home, ate dinner, slept, and repeated this process again and again for the next six months.
29. Up Close and Personal
I started flirting with my boss at a social event, and later that night I sent him nude photos. We would interact normally and never had a fling—he would just smile at me when no one was looking from then on. It was awesome.
28. Day On
A guy I used to work with would come to into our shop every morning, drive off in the work truck, then go home and chill all day while pretending to be out on a job. He would then bring the truck back at the end of the day like nothing. Nobody caught on and he got away with it for over a year.
27. American Sniper
I squirted a police officer with a water pistol out of my office window. Beat that!
26. Chuck Steak
Some jerk came into my restaurant and ordered a well-done steak literally one minute before the kitchen was supposed to close. The grill was already off and cleaned for the evening, so I just chucked the meat into the deep fryer with the chips.
25. The Cat’s Out of the Bag
I dropped a big ol’ bag of weed out of my purse in my middle of my office. I picked it up, shoved it back in my bag real quick, and managed to get away with it. I think a few people saw, but no one said anything.
24. Forget Me Not
As a customer service rep, I had to call 50+ angry people every day to talk to them about the complaints they had submitted. When I didn’t want to call someone, I would pretend I “missed” their name and “forgot” to call them. I would then throw away my call sheet so that nobody would find out about those few people. Never got caught!
23. The Musical Fruit
Two weeks into my first job, I had a huge plate of beans for lunch. I felt bad all afternoon. Towards the evening, thinking I was alone, I let go my biggest fart of all time. The boss walked in right that moment…
22. Speedy Recovery
I was once several hours late for a job interview. I was using a new digital calendar and had asked for an afternoon interview time since I lived a few states away and needed some travel time. I got the email with an appointment for 1:15 pm. Sounds good to me! Unfortunately, the new calendar defaulted my time zone to GMT. I was more than two hours away when I got the call asking where I was. I sped the last 120 miles like a madman, without getting a ticket. Somehow, I still got that job. No clue why.
21. I Know You Are, But What Am I?
I called my manager “Stupid Breath” for about three months. The whole time he just laughed it off, so I kept doing it. Towards the end, I even started saying it in front of customers. Suddenly, it hit him how inappropriate this was. He was squarely pissed for weeks.
20. Close Shave
I accidentally shut down the entire network of a major retailer for about two hours—at a cost of several million dollars. It caused a massive disruption and I thought I was definitely a goner. Luckily, though, I figured out what I had done wrong and managed to changed it back so that everything started working again.
19. All Play and No Work
The computer security at the office was pretty tight with regards to what we could install or download, but they didn’t lock down the Remote Desktop connections—so I connected my home computer to the office one and spent days playing games instead of working.
18. Lap of Luxury
Working at a drive-thru, I spilled three large cokes on a customer’s lap. Amazingly, nobody complained!
17. Inconvenience Store
I worked alone at a convenience store. One day, I gave a homeless guy a few bucks from our till and free coffee from our coffee pot, in exchange for helping me with various duties I didn’t like to do myself. I never got caught.
16. The Customer is Always Right
A woman came up to me, tired of waiting in line on a busy retail Saturday. “This is taking too long. I’m going to take my business elsewhere.” I said, “Sounds good!” and went back to work. My manager was right there. I was rather surprised I never heard anything about it afterward…
15. Under the Table
I notoriously have my own “desk whiskey” in the office, and no one seems to mind. Don’t worry, I’m not an alcoholic. It was expensive scotch, so it’s totally classy!
14. Always Leave ‘Em Laughing
I was a customer service rep at a grocery store. One time, a lady wanted to return a box of cereal because it was “stale”. I look in the box—it’s almost empty. I asked her if she had decided that the cereal was stale before or after she ate the whole box. I gave her the money back anyway, but she complained. My manager scolded me—but laughed while doing so. I was good.
13. It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It
I once told a rude customer to go to hell. My boss just asked me to please tell her that politely next time.
12. Creature of Habit
I was a barely functioning alcoholic and drug addict for 15 years, and it interfered with my work regularly. Somehow, no one ever did anything about it at my company. I recently got sober, so hopefully that’s all done with now.
11. Don’t Let the Desk Bugs Bite!
I had sex on my desk, then fell asleep for the rest of my shift. Working overnight solo in a data center, you can get away with anything you freaking want!
10. Hair Raising Mistake
At work, we all communicate through Skype. There was a coworker who I often flirted with. We had a game where we would ask each other questions and the other person had to answer honestly. One time, I asked whether he had chest hair—and then realized that I had accidentally sent the message to my boss instead of to him. Fortunately, my boss just laughed it off and told me to go back to work. I still cringe at the memory though…
9. Setting the Precedent
I worked in fast food with long hours, little pay, and short breaks. During my shifts, I would often snack on bits of pickle, ham, fries, and whatever else I could when no one was looking. I never got caught, but I eventually stopped because another girl got caught and was fired for doing the same thing.
8. It’s the Economy, Stupid!
I didn’t have internet at home as a kid, so I went to my mom’s work to play flash games. One day, I felt the computer I was using was too slow, so I restarted it. As it shut down, the entire floor started to get very noisy. I later found out that the PC I had restarted was actually the server, and because of where my mom worked, my actions would have a drastic impact on the entire country for years to come. My mother worked for the Treasury Ministry of Turkey, and our economy has been slow for the entire ten years since…
7. Office Guests
I held an unauthorized bachelor party at my office. I paid for two strippers to come and do their thing. Our poor young Mormon intern was present and couldn’t believe his eyes.
6. Beauty Sleep
I was working construction on a huge mall project. I had partied all night long the night before, so I decided to take a quick nap as soon as I got on site. That was the worst choice I ever made, because I ended up sleeping from 8am to 7pm. When I arrived back at the shop with the work van, the owner was waiting for me. I was sure I was getting fired, but nothing could’ve prepared for me what he did next. He thanked me for working late and told me he wished the rest of the crew had my work ethic. I got paid time and a half for the three hours overtime, and he gave me a dollar raise a few days later.
5. Shake It Off
I was running out orders and bussing tables at my cafe, just learning how to hold the tray properly with my left hand. So I get an order of one cappuccino and one strawberry milkshake for a mother and her little girl. As I get to their table, I put the coffee down in front of the woman. I then unbalance the tray and accidentally spill the milkshake all over her seven-year-old kid. It was her birthday and they were brand new clothes and shoes.
4. All About That Bass
When I was younger, I worked a summer job at a home for deaf people with severe autism. There were five residents, one of whom was completely deaf and blind. Coupled with his autism, he didn’t have many pleasures in life other than wearing comfortable hats and necklaces. One of the workers there decided on a whim that it might be a good idea to buy him a very expensive stereo set and top of the line headset.
There were attempts to get him to use it, the idea being that he might enjoy the feeling of the bass on his eardrums. However, he never took a liking to it and it just sat there untouched in his room year after year. I came back summer after summer, and every time I went into his room I still saw the headset lying there collecting dust.
In a spur of the moment decision, I took the headset home with me one day and kept it for myself. No one ever noticed or cared and I did not get in any kind of trouble whatsoever. Nevertheless, nothing can change the fact that I stole from a blind, deaf, autistic man with epilepsy and, at the time, a broken jaw.
3. Keep On Truckin’
I backhanded a trucker off a barstool. I was a waitress and he had just sexually harassed me as I was walking by his table. I honestly don’t remember hitting him, just looking at him sprawled out on his back looking at me with wide eyes. We stared at each other like that for a few seconds and all I was thinking was “I just lost my job!!” The trucker stood up, apologized, and left.
2. Unfinished Business
My then-boyfriend showed up at my office in the middle of the day and texted me saying I had to leave right away because he was bored and wanted to use my car. He kept threatening to break in and hotwire it, so I got up and left work. Didn’t say a word to anyone, just clocked out and left to meet someone in the parking lot. I still can’t believe I didn’t get fired for that.
1. Needle in a Haystack
One of my roommates was working in the parking garage at Universal Studios Florida during the peak of summer. He got bored and, at the start of the day, decided to marshall every single white colored car to the third floor of the garage. By the end of the afternoon, the entire third floor was a sea of white cars. The next shift was very pissed because they had to work extra hours since people were having a hard time finding their cars.