A sudden bang in the boiler room. A hospital patient gone wild. A run-in with a wanted fugitive. Sometimes, the craziest things happen at work. Whether the following people love their jobs or not, they can at least say there was never a dull moment. Here are some of the worst moments that have happened on the job.
1. A Pianist's Panic
I'm a pianist who plays both jazz and classical tunes. Once, during a performance at an upscale cocktail bar, I saw something chilling out of the corner of my eye—an elderly man suddenly slumped over at his table. He was all alone, and surprisingly, either few people noticed he was in distress, or they simply chose to ignore it.
Either way, no one made any rush to help him. So, I took it upon myself to intervene and announced over the mic: "Is there a doctor in the house?" A lady came up, clearly concerned, but thinking I was the one who needed help. So I quickly pointed her toward the area where the man was seated.
By that time, the bar staff had started to gather around him. We later discovered he'd suffered a heart attack. Thankfully, he was alright. What amazes me is how he could be in such a crowded place, yet no one else seemed to care about his well-being, or even noticed he needed help.
2. An Honest Review
My brother and I ran a restaurant together for seven years. One evening, a woman approached the counter to settle her bill and my brother assisted her. I was next to him, chatting away as we usually did with our regular customers. Suddenly, she apologized to us out of nowhere—before we could even figure out why, she took us completely by surprise.
She unexpectedly threw up through her fingers, directly onto my brother's face. I yelped out in horror and bolted out of there, while my brother was shrieking, "Oh no, oh no" over and over. He darted into the kitchen and started to wash his mouth out with soap. To this day, he still gags whenever I bring up this memory.
3. Triple Tragedy
Three people tragically lost their lives at one of our work sites. Disaster struck when one individual fell and two others passed within a confined space. This occurred back in 2008 in Idaho, during our time handling hazardous materials at an acid plant shutdown.
The cause of death for two of the men was asphyxiation—one gentleman entered a tank to check the level of grime present and subsequently collapsed. The second man's story is even more heartbreaking. He courageously ventured into the tank to save the struggling colleague but sadly, he didn't survive.
As it turned out, they were not authorized to enter the tank at that time, yet they proceeded anyway. The third man met his end after falling from the top of a platform where the safety rails had been taken down. He plummeted 70 feet, and the noise upon impact is a sound I'll never forget.
4. Dangerous Obsession
I'm employed at a secondary school. Once, a pupil brandished a pistol at one of the females teachers in the car park following the end of classes. At first, we assumed he was driven by vengeance, but the real reason was even crazier—he forced her to hand over the underwear she was wearing.
The authorities managed to apprehend him later on the same day, and he admitted to them he did it merely because he found her attractive.
5. It's Raining Planes
I once had a job in air traffic control. While this incident wasn't directly my experience, I was on duty that day and later heard the recording. Several planes had taken off during rough weather conditions which caused excessive ice to build up on their wings. Once they were airborne, it was too late to act.
Sadly, they descended rapidly, but that wasn't the most devastating part...You could hear the cries of fright from the passengers over the radio channel throughout the entire descent.
6. Temper Tantrum
I once worked at a renowned sandwich shop famous for its "fresh" concept. Hired by the store owner, I swiftly rose to the position of the shop's main closer within a month. However, I had all the responsibilities of a manager but none of the perks or recognition. I recall one day a man walking in, demanding to talk to a manager.
Since I was the only staff around with managerial duties, I engaged him. He complained that his online sandwich order was incorrect and requested a refund. I explained to him that refunds were against our policy, offering instead either a store credit or a fresh sandwich on the spot. His reaction was completely unhinged.
He began screaming, threatening that I'd regret it if I didn't return his money. When I suggested calling 9-1-1 if he didn't cool off, he further escalated his behavior. He even attempted to vault over the line counter to grab me, but I managed to evade his reach.
His tantrum resulted in him flinging his phone, which hit me in the face and cut open my eyebrow. Thank goodness another customer had called the authorities earlier, who coincidentally arrived at that moment. Needless to say, he was taken in and I pressed charges against him. The cherry on top?
My boss criticized me afterwards, accusing me of needing to improve my people skills.
7. Lost Appetite
A couple of years ago, while working as a waitress, someone had put a metal cooler on top of a cupboard. As I opened the cabinet, the cooler toppled over onto my forehead, causing a cut between my eyes. I didn't even notice the blood until I went to serve a customer.
The customer asked with concern, "Are you alright? Your forehead is bleeding". Nonchalantly, I asked him, "What would you like to order?" His response made me break into laughter. He said, "I think I just lost my appetite".
8. Office Drama
One coworker lost it on another coworker, using a letter opener. Unfortunately, the victim did not survive. The assailant left the scene but was caught by the authorities later that day. We were all puzzled about why this happened, until the startling details came out.
It seems his spouse had an affair with the coworker he attacked. All of this occurred within my first week at work, so I wasn't familiar with either of them. Though the company provided counselling to deal with the awful event, I personally didn't need it.
9. Giving Up
I did an internship at a mining company for three months. During that time, a guy fell from a 30-meter height and he passed instantly. The official judgement was that it was an accident. However, many of us are uncertain about that conclusion. The word around is that he might have jumped intentionally because he fell headfirst.
Usually, if a fall isn't planned, you would naturally try to land on your feet or at least use your arms to lessen the impact—not that it would help much from that height though. Eyewitnesses reported that they saw him plunge headfirst. I didn't witness the incident or its aftermath but from what I heard, it was a disturbing sight.
The company did extend paid leave for two weeks to those who witnessed the incident.
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10. Kids Say The Darndest Things
As a teacher, I shared lunch duty one day when a four-year-old girl sought my help. Disturbed, she told me a boy threatened to harm her mom and bury her in their yard while forcing her to watch. I decided to report this incident immediately, but I first aimed to comfort the girl.
I told her, "It's normal for you to feel upset about this, but sometimes people say hurtful things they don't really mean". Suddenly, the boy chimed in, adamant about his horrible threats. "I mean it. I will harm her mom!" When I reported it, it was largely ignored because the boy was notorious for his behavioural issues.
These issues were so intense that it led to a teacher's resignation earlier. The common school discipline approach was to ignore his misbehaviour and reward his rare instances of good behavior. Regrettably, I couldn't even give that poor girl a hug.
11. Creepy And Crawly
I used to work in the low-voltage integration industry, setting up smart homes. As the main pre-wire guy, I would handle all pre-wire installations, unless, of course, a more experienced tech was around. At the age of 24, during my time there, I often took on the more uncomfortable tasks like getting into crawl spaces or attics since most of the older guys weren't fond of those jobs.
There have been a few times where I've encountered my biggest fear. I've been bitten by two brown recluse spiders and one black widow. There's still a mark on my side from one of those brown recluse bites. What's terrifying? There's no anti-venom for a brown recluse spider bite available in America.
12. Hospital Chaos
I'm a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. Two colleagues of mine discovered during work that they were dating the same man. They started to brawl with each other right in the corridor. As if that wasn't enough chaos, unexpectedly, a patient began to flatline further down the hall.
Meanwhile, in one of the rooms, a family accidentally ignited the trash can. It sure was a crazy, unforgettable night shift.
13. A Big Impact
A few weeks ago, I was videotaping a football game and witnessed a young player crash into the opposing team's goalie. He was knocked off his feet, visibly startled, lying on the ground trying to regain his breath. I assumed he just needed some air and he'd be alright.
After a short while, he was assisted off the field and replaced by another player. I spotted him later, noticeably walking with caution. However, the situation was actually far graver than it seemed. That evening, he ended up in the hospital, where he received quite a shocking diagnosis—a ruptured liver!
He underwent hours of surgery, almost lost his life, lost 30% of his body weight, and was practically held together by an alarming number of staples. He was luckily discharged afterward. I've got the entire incident captured in slow-motion footage. I'm sincerely hoping he can bounce back.
14. Burnt To A Crisp
As a real estate appraiser, I've come across all sorts of strange things. The most shocking incident was when I discovered a man lying on his back in the basement of an empty foreclosed house, slightly burnt. It seems he attempted to extract the electrical wiring, presumably to add to his collection of copper plumbing, unaware that the power was still switched on.
The smell of that situation is something I'll never forget.
I used to be a pizza delivery driver and trust me, I have seen all sorts of stuff. Our shop is located at the city's outskirts, so we often cater to the little country towns. The quirkiest delivery I've done? Well, once a fellow paid me $150 to hand feed him a slice. He was decked out in black leather, tied up to a door. You know what? I don't regret it at all.
My father works as an electrician. Some time ago, he was tasked with inspecting the wiring in city-owned buildings. Once, he entered an apartment that was FULL of pets... it was swarming with cats, dogs, and birds.
While he was checking a plug in the living room, he was startled by the most unexpected vision—a tortoise casually crawled out from under the couch and strolled right past him. The residents later admitted that they had "overlooked" the fact they were the owners of this turtle.
17. Dark Ritual
As a paramedic, my job often leads me into some really messy situations. Once, I arrived at a site where an officer was standing guard at a trailer. As I approached, he greeted me with a knowing smile and cautioned, "Brace yourself". I warily stepped inside and was shocked by the sight.
There was blood, organs, and chicken feathers strewn about the place. Inside, a man with a wild look in his eyes awaited me. I questioned him about what had happened, and he explained that he was trying to teach his kids how to do a proper sacrifice. He had chosen his children's pet chickens for the demonstration and decapitated them.
Needless to say, it certainly was a tense trip to the hospital after that.
18. A Messy Situation
I work as a barista, and there was an elderly lady who frequented our cafe a few times a week. She would stay for prolonged periods, yet she wouldn't order anything, just a glass of water and a place to sit. About 90 and clearly going through memory loss, I felt sympathy for her and allowed her to stay. I had no idea how challenging it would become.
At first, she just drank her water and left. But then, she started to use the restroom. I suspect she wore diapers and probably forgot when to change them. Because after each of her restroom visits, there would be poop everywhere: walls, floor, door, bin—you name it.
Though she attempted some clean-up, the mess would always remain. We secretly nicknamed her "Poop Granny". I have dedicated countless hours of my work-life cleaning up after her. It eventually got to a point where my manager had no option but to ban her completely.
19. Pool Bandit
Once, I was working as a lifeguard. One late afternoon, while closing up with my supervisor, I heard loud voices coming from outside. Leaving the cleaning I was doing inside the pool house, I quickly went out to the pool area. To my surprise, my boss was arguing intensely with a lone man in the pool, who refused to leave.
Initially, I suspected he might have drank too much, but his true intentions soon became disturbingly clear. He began to reply loudly and stubbornly that he couldn't get out because he was too "comfortable". Unbelievably, he had been misusing the pool jets.
My supervisor, upon realizing the odd scenario, directed me, just a 17-year-old girl back then, to retreat to the office and dial 9-1-1. When we informed him that the authorities were due shortly, he quickly exited the pool, scaled the fence, and fled the scene.
This unfortunate incident took place in what was usually a charming, family-friendly community pool. Needless to say, he was promptly prohibited from returning.
20. Blood On My Hands
I received an alert about a person getting severely injured using a system that I had designed years ago. I felt a sense of sickness and kept wondering, "How could this occur?" When I learned about the incident, I could only shake my head in disbelief.
The individual had deliberately ignored various safety mechanisms and used the system while it was still operational. I had all the risk assessments completed and all hazards properly addressed as per ISO 13849, so it was concluded that it was an intentional misuse of a safe system.
Yet, knowing that something I contributed to indirectly led to someone's end was deeply unsettling.
21. Scum Of The Earth
I used to travel frequently with my boss. Even though he wasn't the nicest person around, he was pretty good at his job. One time when we arrived at a hotel, a woman had crossed the road without looking both ways. While it was a bit frustrating, it wasn't too dangerous given we were moving at a snail's pace—just 5 mph.
My boss, however, was quick to lose his temper and started to rant. Now, I usually didn't let his outbursts faze me, but this one was out of the ordinary. He began making unsettling comments like, "I swear, I'm going to find her room and put an end to that witch. She's practically asking for it, isn't she?"
Things escalated when he questioned the receptionist: "Who was that lady that just checked in?" Of course, the receptionist gave him a puzzled "No". His words and conduct left me more than a little shocked. He blurted all this out in a corporate car equipped with dashcams and microphones.
After checking in, I ordered room service and tried to shake off the disturbing conversation. Later in the week, I brought up the incident with the higher-ups. The executive promised to investigate, but mysteriously the recordings vanished and I was urged to let it go.
Not long after, I handed in my resignation and found a new job. I couldn't continue working for a company that wouldn't take action against someone with such troubling behavior. Eventually, the guy was fired, but not before he'd made a hefty chunk of change. To this day, it still boils my blood.
22. He Let His Guard Down
Previously, I worked at a cabinetry workshop that used a hefty tool called a "beam saw". This device was designed to cut large sheets of materials like particleboard or MDF. You would place the material onto rollers and the saw would securely clamp the ends before pulling it into the machine for cutting.
It used a programmed sequence that had a guard descend onto the material before a powerful blade made programmed cuts. On one occasion, an operator placed his material and hit the start button. But just as the machine began pulling the sheet inside, he realized it wasn't positioned correctly.
He hastily tried to adjust it, but it proved to be a major mistake. The metal guard dropped down, trapping his hand. The automated blade, following the programmed sequence, began cutting the path right through the middle of his knuckles, severing his four fingers.
23. Warning! Danger Ahead
I used to work in a manufacturing lab with stringent cleanliness rules. The protocol included showers upon entry and exit, and sometimes even respiratory protection was necessary. One day, while I was alone in the lab, a piercingly loud fire alarm erupted.
I'm talking wailing sirens, flashing lights, and a booming robotic voice ordering an immediate—no drill this time. I was stuck in the dilemma of potentially contaminating the entire lab wing if I exited through the fire door, but also not wanting to risk my life. The alarm made it evident that danger was definitely in the air.
Fortunately, just in time, my colleague stormed in and we managed to escape through a second set of doors meant for emergencies. As it turned out, the situation was truly BAD. A considerable 50-gallon container holding a dangerous chemical had been dropped in the wing resulting in the manufacturing floor shutdown for a day.
24. Totally Helpless
I'm a school bus driver for a district, and I had a colleague I used to see every day who suffered a massive heart attack once. She wasn't even on the bus; she was in her own car. She was one of the last ones to return to the depot, so no one knew she was in distress.
She had her car parked but kept stepping on the accelerator while she was quite literally fighting for her life. Despite being rushed to the hospital, it was sadly too late to save her. Bus drivers like us are prone to heart attacks, considering our frequent lack of sleep and tendency to be overweight.
Despite being one of the younger employees, I can't help but feel anxious about this.
25. Karma Comes Back Around
Cheryl, a woman married to a former football star, really fancied herself as something special. One day, she lost her temper and started picking a fight with one of our plant sellers. When we told her we were dialing 9-1-1, she hopped into her SUV, trying to make a mad, heated escape. Luck was on our side though.
She mistakenly reversed into a stack of ceramic pots before ramming the front of a patrol car as she surged forward. The best part? The officers checked her car and found a flask of Jack in her bag. As a result, they took her in and slapped her with charges.
26. Thrashed Around
In a different job, a roofer was hauling a plywood sheet up to the roof of a four-story beach house. The wind was strong that day, so arguably, it wasn't the best idea for him to be up there. Suddenly, a powerful gust of wind swept under the plywood, and strangely enough, he clung on.
The sequence of events that ensued made me cringe. He wound up tumbling off the roof, striking his head on the hard concrete below. The corner of the plywood sheet also pierced through his chest. The scene was intensely gruesome; it distressed the owners to such an extent that they decided to sell the unfinished house.
27. Corporate Wolves
One boss I had was secretly involved with an employee. They were caught kissing at work by a co-worker, who then reported it to Human Resources. The boss tricked HR into thinking that the employee who reported her was actually stealing, and had made up the story to cover her tracks.
HR sided with the boss and immediately sacked the whistleblower, despite having no evidence. Fast forward two months, and she was found again with a different employee. But this time, HR did nothing, as it would mean admitting their previous mistake of firing the wrong person. But it gets worse.
They promoted the boss to an open position in another department. That was the last straw for me, and I decided to quit not long after.
28. The Takeover
A few years ago, I was part of a company that got unexpectedly sold out. Suddenly, a group of suited men marched in, sacking all senior management. Everyone else was left to undergo job screenings and substance tests to prove their worthit was anything but calm.
As higher-ups were tearfully clearing out their desks and breaking the news to family, middle managers strived to keep the wheel turning and get ready for interviews. A few employees got particularly fretful about the substance tests; one actually barricaded himself in a shed with a huge jug of water from the cooler.
He guzzled it too quickly, causing a seizure from depriving his body of salts during his interview. In another bizarre turn of events, one guy returned from lunch break with his baby's urine carefully attached to his leg. However, nothing topped the shock of them saying I had failed my test, despite me never having used any form of substance.
I urged for a retest, which proved my innocence, but it still took two gruelling weeks before they let me return. I hung in there for a few more months, then I called it quits. The new bosses were lackadaisical, pointed fingers at original employees, and even had the nerve to question the quality of our work.
They'd say things like, "If you were all so good, why did we have to buy over?" This all happened around 2008 when the market was ravaged by the housing crash. The original owner had aspirations of grand success but unfortunately, couldn't shoulder the losses indefinitely and was compelled to sell the company.
29. A Near Miss
One evening, I was out on my usual night-time bread delivery run across Melbourne, dropping orders off at various shops and markets. My regular shortcut led me through the back of Brighton, up a driveway, and across a grassy park to the next main road. Nearing the end of the road, I spotted a flurry of blue and red lights flashing.
My first thought was that it was a sobriety checkpoint, but the time (3 am) and day (Tuesday) made that scenario seem odd. As I drew closer, I was met with several officers. I instinctively stopped the van and raised my hands. One officer instructed me to park on the left and stay put until given further directions.
The reason for all the drama became clear when they filled me in and I went pale from shock. Apparently, I had unknowingly bypassed a complete street lockdown while there was a dangerous person on the loose. I candidly explained that I was just taking my usual shortcut through the park for my deliveries.
Just then, I heard a loud explosion coming from the direction I had just left. They urged me to leave the area promptly. Upon arriving home at 6 am, I learnt that I had driven straight through a scene of a deadly attack. The offender had tragically ended a resident's life in the process.
30. What A Shocker
My colleague was working on trimming the top of a tree, utilizing a rigging system. However, the person helping him on the ground mismanaged the process and it all went a bit wrong. The tree's tip unfortunately landed on a major power line, and the base got stuck in the fork of another tree, causing a continuous electrical current.
Initially, it didn't feel overly dangerous...but soon, it transformed into a nightmare scenario. After a series of startling blue sparks erupted, the tree began burning. The poor guy aloft had to remain at the very pinnacle of a trunk for about two hours, inhaling smoke, because he didn't want to risk getting shocked. Eventually, the fire department arrived.
The power was cut and the entire neighborhood was plunged into darkness, but thankfully, no one was injured.
31. An Unbearable Pain
A father had been sharing sleep with his new baby in their room post-delivery, snuggling in a comfortable chair. I heard that he shockingly appeared at the nurses' station, holding his lifeless, cold child.
Despite an hour-long attempt to resuscitate the infant, the little one was mostly brain dead by the time we airlifted them out via helicopter. What cuts most deeply is the way it happened.
The baby was unintentionally positioned in a way that it suffocated, with its tiny face pressed against the father. A few days later, they decided to donate the baby's organs. I've seen worse things happen to infants, but this scene haunts me because of that heartbroken father.
His grief was profound and seemed irreparable, an absolute and permanent anguish beyond description. I sincerely hope the father and the post-delivery nurse are coping. Let's remember to practice safe sleep.
32. Maintenance Mishap
I used to be employed at a large retail store. Our maintenance man was an immigrant from Eastern Europe and he was always kind and was an expert in fixing just about anything. One day, I arrived at work to find the entire office and locker area soaked, with industrial fans scattered about drying out the carpets.
Naturally, I asked what had happened and was informed by my boss that a pipe had burst in the sprinkler room, causing a flood upfront. Chatting with one of my mates from the security team, I asked him what caused the pipe to burst. His response was incredibly unsettling.
He revealed that our maintenance man had taken his own life in the sprinkler room by hanging himself from the pipe, which had broken under his weight. This news was truly shocking. From then on, the atmosphere at the workplace took a drastic change.
33. Code Yellow
I work as a psychiatric nurse in a mental health ward. One female patient really didn't like other women, especially the female nurses. Once, when one of our nurses attempted to provide her medication, the patient became extremely upset, yelled at the nurse, and refused to take it.
Just as the nurse was leaving, the unexpected happened—the patient leapt at her with the intent to physically harm her, even going as far as attempting to gouge her eyes out. Thankfully, another member of our team witnessed the incident and immediately shouted "Code Yellow!"
The code called for the immediate intervention of all available staff members. The team quickly intervened, managing to medicate the patient before she could inflict severe harm.
34. The Dressing Room Debacle
Back in the '90s, I was working in a JC Penney Catalog Outlet. They also sold wedding dresses, and those that weren't sold in the catalog got shipped to us at the outlet. Our dressing rooms were usually managed by women, because you could only enter the fitting room for the other gender if nobody was in there.
Given that men usually tried on less clothing than women, it just made sense to have ladies run the place. But, this was the '90s, remember? People weren't really clued up about things like gender identity and LGBTQ matters.
One day, a guy came in and told the staff that he and his partner were holding a ceremony, and he wanted to try on a wedding dress. He told us he identified as female and asked to use the women's dressing rooms. Because of the era and the store rules, we couldn't allow him use the women's fitting rooms.
However, we made the men's one available to him. Off he went, taking six potential dresses with him to the men's changing area, where we couldn't keep an eye on him. After three hours we got worried and called security. They checked on him and he reported he was nearly finished.
Later, he came out and said that none of the dresses were the right fit for him, leaving them in the fitting room to be picked up by staff. When a staff member went in to gather them up, she was totally shocked. Each and every dress was soiled.
35. Cast Iron Catastrophe
I once worked at a seafood restaurant where we served dishes on hefty cast iron skillets, placed on wooden planks. Carrying them was no easy feat, but as an experienced server, I could shoulder even the biggest trays. One day, however, a table ordered not one, but six of these platters, which I loaded onto one tray.
I might only be 5'5" and 100 lbs, but I managed to carry that loaded up tray over to the table, tray stand in hand. So far so good, until I tried to lower the tray onto the stand, that's when I lost my balance.
It was bad enough dropping six cast iron skillets, but it was even worse because I dropped them onto a three-year-old kid at the table, which knocked him clean off his seat. Miraculously, the kid wasn't hurt, just covered in a mountain of deep-fried seafood, fries, and sauce.
Obviously, panic ensued—the kid, his parents, and I were all screaming. It was utter mayhem. In light of the situation, the family was given their meal on the house and a gift card. Unsurprisingly, I didn't get a tip. But you know what, that was totally fair. I was just relieved I hadn't seriously hurt that little guy.
36. Let It Burn
Around 13 years ago, I was employed at an oil patch in Saskatchewan. It was my seventh consecutive workday, and I was 13 hours into my shift. I wasn't sleeping much due to a flurry of personal issues. I grew a bit careless as I’d been making the same route for over two years and was so knowledgeable about every location and tank—from identifying the problematic ones to knowing which were likely to sand off, and so on.
I was eagerly awaiting my days off since my parents were heading my way for their anniversary. In a moment of inattention—it was hardly a couple of seconds—a bad accident occurred. I mistakenly disconnected my hose from the valve before making sure it was closed. Remember, in Saskatchewan, they heat their tanks to aid oil-water separation.
So here I was, soaking wet from 160-degree water jetting out of a tank’s four-inch hole. Additionally, the tank had just been treated with a defoaming chemical, contributing to chemical burns along with the scalds.
I drove myself to a nearby hospital where they prescribed Tylenol 3 and gave me a four-day sick note. But when I visited another hospital closer to home (an hour’s drive away), they informed me I wouldn't be able to work for at least two months.
It was too late for skin grafts but, luckily for me, the only lasting evidence of the accident is a faint scar and, more importantly, I survived.
37. Caught Red-Handed
I'm a bartender. One evening, just after closing and completing my cleanup duties, the boss took a walk around to inspect the place. He noticed a stall in the bathroom was locked, so he grabbed his master key, assuming he'd have to jostle an unconscious patron awake. But upon swinging the door open, he was met with a shocking scene.
A man, pants around his ankles, was kissing a woman. But that's not all—the boss recognized the woman. She was the wife of one of his buddies…and the man she was tangled up with in the stall was definitely NOT her husband!
38. All The Rewards
At my job, we have a loyalty scheme where we ask for customers’ addresses to register them. Some folks don't like sharing their details, so my boss suggested a placeholder address she usually uses: 123 Tree Rd. Funny thing is, we received a call from a perplexed gentleman recently.
He was swamped with hundreds of our discount vouchers, all mailed under different names. Surprisingly, 123 Tree Rd actually exists, and this poor guy was unknowingly enlisted in countless loyalty schemes. Thankfully, he had a good sense of humor about it. After my boss hung up, we spent the rest of the day chuckling about our faux pas.
39. A Dark Realization
Back in my days as an officer, I worked on crash analysis and drug enforcement. Once, I had to respond to a tragic accident involving a 12-year-old girl on her birthday. A woman turned unsafely into the parking lot at a place called Amazing Jakes, and unfortunately, it was fatal.
The hardest part was having to tell that woman the harsh reality—she was at fault for her own daughter's tragic passing. You see, when she turned into the parking lot, she accidentally hit her daughter, causing fatal injuries. Even now, I can still hear that woman and her husband crying out in disbelief.
40. Instant Regret
I used to work in the kitchen for a local restaurant. Frequently, the staff took shortcuts in order to process their tasks faster. One evening, I was working alongside a co-worker; our job was to clean the deep fryers while they were still warm.
Unbelievably, he was attempting to multitask, draining the fryer into a container with one hand while using his other to text on his phone. Somehow, his phone slipped and fell into the container. This marked the beginning of a rapid downward spiral.
Panicking, he instinctively tried to retrieve his phone, plunging his hand into the hot oil. He immediately pulled his hand out, shrieking with pain. When I ran over to see what had happened, I nearly fainted at the gruesome scene.
His skin had started to peel off, a horrific sign of severe third-degree burns. We quickly transported him to the hospital, and what followed was a difficult journey of recovery (including many months of agonizing treatments and skin grafts).
41. Stage Fright
I used to work backstage in a theater. Lighting and sets are arranged by lowering a bar, using a pulley system, to the ground level. We then attach set panels to the bar while crew members up on an overhanging walkway place metal blocks on a counterbalance.
One evening, as we were gearing up for a show, the bar was lowered excessively, making it impossible to fix the lights on it. We informed the system operator who then released the brake. It seemed alright, until we realized that the counterweight had been already adjusted.
When the brake was released, it was already too late—the bar soared upwards. Trying to slow down the bar's ascent, the stage manager grabbed the rope. Big error. The rope swiftly slid through his glove, peeling off the top layers of his skin.
A coworker stationed at the loading bridge repeated the same error, resulting in his hand being pulled into the pulley. He lost a few fingers in the incident.
42. Gone Too Soon
My coworker headed to the restroom. When she didn't return, we decided to check on her. It was obvious she needed medical aid. Everyone on the lower levels was asked to remain inside while she was helped off our floor. We closed the blinds, so no one on the main level had any idea what was going on.
The paramedics continued their efforts in the parking lot, but unfortunately, it was too late. She was gone within the hour. The news from the hospital left us all in shock. They attributed her passing to a blood clot, which was shocking given her young age and good health. It was the most difficult day I've ever experienced at work.
43. A Beautiful Mind
I spent several years working for a terrific family-owned manufacturing outfit. We had this fantastic colleague who was bright, charming, entertaining, and impressive-looking. However, there was something a bit off about him.
I was typically the last one out of the office, but one Friday evening at 7 pm, he was still persistently plugging away at his desk. I bid him goodnight and headed home. Come Monday morning, our office was in chaos. I took a glance around, and what I saw gave me goosebumps.
It seemed our colleague had gone full A Beautiful Mind on us. Apparently, he'd spent the whole weekend at work hiding documents, breaking into work emails, and engaging in other oddball activities. To top it off, he turned everything into a sort of scavenger hunt, leaving hints scattered around.
For example, there was a brain teaser on a note left on the president's desk that led to the following hint. All in all, he left about 50 sequential hints. It exhibited his brilliance really. I have got to say, being a big fan of riddles and brain teasers myself, I found it entertaining, but the management not so much.
Most of us ended up spending that day resolving the clues to recover our stuff. Every riddle was enthralling, but the final one was the show-stopper. It guided us straight to his farewell note. Due to a few unnerving remarks addressed to his superior and the leading engineer within the clues, local authorities got involved.
It emerged that he had a mental disorder, and for years he had kept it under control with medication. His recent girlfriend was a Muslim, and she was observing a religious fast, which he joined her in. Not consuming food had disrupted his medication regimen. He was hospitalized for a few weeks and attempted to regain his job once he was discharged.
They did rehire him, but his tenure with us was brief after that. The lingering reputation seemed to be too much for him, and he eventually left, seeking a fresh start.
44. Pre-Grave Digger
My fellow employee was found lifeless in one of our warehouses, spotted by our supervisor. Oddly, rather than dialing 9-1-1 immediately, he decided to snatch the wallet from the lifeless body. This detail became apparent when the departed's spouse came hunting for the missing wallet.
While his locker was already emptied earlier, the supervisor turned up claiming he had found it there during a so-called "additional" check. Needless to state, he's no longer employed with us.
45. So Heartless
A guy actually suffered a seizure and tumbled down the stairs. Rather than helping or asking someone else to assist, our terrible boss shockingly suggested: "We should test him for substance use. He's clearly pretending". This made me less upset when the same guy falsely created scenarios to get me fired later on.
He was honestly a horrible person.
46. Bates Motel
I was barely 14 when I started working at a pay-by-the-hour motel, run by a lady who didn't give a hoot about dangerous waste handling rules. One fateful night, she asked me to tidy up one of the rooms. As I unlocked the door, a chill ran down my spine.
Stepping inside, I was freaked out by a scene straight out of a horror movie, with blood smears all over. My only cleaning aids were bleach and regular kitchen gloves provided by her. I was certain I'd find a body behind the shower curtain. Thankfully, there wasn't any; just more blood splatters.
This super stubborn lady didn't let me report the incident and at 14, I was scared to be in a pickle for cleaning up a possible crime scene, so I kept mum. Never did I reach out to the authorities.
47. Behind The Door
My co-worker had been missing from work for a few days and wasn't picking up her phone calls, so my boss and I decided to check on her at her house. Shockingly, the building supervisor gave us her apartment key—it wasn't technically allowed, but we went in anyways. What we found took our breath away—there she lay on the floor, motionless.
Before we even walked in, a strange, sweet smell hit my senses, and I had a feeling something wasn't right. The paramedics arrived later, who then officially declared her gone. Apparently, she had been unwell for several days but hadn't sought any medical help or told anyone.
She had just been slowly withering away all alone in her apartment. The shocking vision of her home will always be etched in my memory.
48. An Eventful First Day
A decade ago, I was figuring out my next career step when I took a job in a small town hospital as a telemonitor. My main duty was to check for any abnormal heart rhythms throughout the night. During my induction, I learned about "Dr Strong" code, signaling if a patient was causing troubles.
In our rural hospital, every floor would dispatch two staff members to respond to such incidents. Funnily enough, on my very first day, they thought it would be a great idea if I went to respond to a "Dr Strong" alert. Now, years later, I've attended countless similar situations.
Their seriousness varies widely: Sometimes it's a false alarm, other times it feels like a brawl. But, the first "Dr Strong" situation was extraordinarily memorable. My colleague, Shawn, a CNA and I were headed to the Emergency Room when a woman, having clearly drank too much, went on a rampage in one of the rooms.
She boldly removed a morphine line from a very large patient, I've come to refer to as Valkyrie, hoping to feed her addiction. But, Valkyrie was anything but pleased. Surprising all the staff, she turned into a one-woman army against the intruder. However, the addict wasn't going down easily either.
She climbed up onto Valkyrie's back and began hitting her head ferociously. Both women were drenched in blood from the IV line and physical hits. Valkyrie sported a black eye and a lacerated lip, whereas the addict had both her eyes swollen shut from all the punches she received.
Finally, we managed to separate them, dial 9-1-1, and share our accounts of the incident. Certainly an unforgettable initiation into my journey in healthcare!
49. Breach Of Privacy
Back in my college days, I used to tutor high school students in math. One of my students was a 15-year-old boy named Chris who had a 20-year-old sister living with them. One particular day, as I was helping Chris with a geometry problem, we were startled by a loud argument unfolding in the living room.
His dad was shouting, asking his daughter to show herself: "GET DOWN HERE NOW". The yelling quickly escalated into a huge quarrel with the dad throwing all kinds of insults. Stunned and unsure, Chris and I stayed in his room, trying to make sense of the loud confrontation. Later, we learned the shocking cause of the dispute.
As it turned out, Chris's sister had been unfaithful to her former boyfriend and he had learned about it several months after they split up. Instead of handling it maturely, the ex-boyfriend sent them all the explicit photos he collected during their time together.
He also included a note admitting that he had discovered the infidelity. Typically, my tutoring sessions are an hour long, but because of the timely dispute, I ended up staying three hours. The situation was so unnerving that I quietly slipped out without asking for payment that day. After all, they clearly had much more critical matters on hand.
50. Overwhelming Toxicity
Every week, I used to visit a Brazilian family. The couple struggled; the husband regularly cheated and was physically brutal towards his wife. He even threatened to throw her out of the house whenever she retaliated. She and her children were at risk of homelessness or even worse, due to her immigrant status while he was a legal resident.
Behind the scenes, the social worker and I were working diligently to involve the authorities. One day, while I was giving therapy to the infant, the husband came out boasting about his newly-acquired revolver. He shockingly claimed that he bought it to "handle anyone who meddled with his family".
The situation was dire, especially when they abruptly took me out of the home, leaving the baby behind. I'm unsure what eventually transpired with that family. What saddened me the most was when our Brazilian translator dismissed the situation, asserting, "That's just how Brazilian marriages are". My heart ached.