Cringe Central: These Huge Mistakes Give Us Secondhand Embarrassment

February 7, 2020 | Scott Mazza

Cringe Central: These Huge Mistakes Give Us Secondhand Embarrassment

We’ve all had that moment. The one where we know we just messed up big-time. From accidentally greeting a stranger like an old friend to more serious—and fatal—errors, these are some of the worst mistakes people are willing to admit to. Just make sure you take a deep breath before reading: the cringe is real.

1. A Lovely Teacher

A teacher whose name I don't even know at my son's daycare once said, "Bye, love you too," after I told my son, "Love you buddy, have a good day," on my way out. I'm pretty sure she had a morning full of cringe.

Everyday mistakes FactsShutterstock

2. Thank You, Facebook Robot

I was sending an "adult" link to my girlfriend and accidentally shared it to my facebook wall instead of in a message. I don't know how, I must have been tired or something. We're talking some really bad stuff here. I didn't even realize I'd done it until the following day. I woke up to a message from Facebook telling me they'd auto-removed my post.

I don't think anybody saw it, thank god. I've never been so grateful to a robot in my entire life.

Worst Mistakes Factssunday sky

3. Dearest Ex-Wife

I used to work at a call center for a popular gift company. This one couple calls up and says "We need to cancel our order!" I look it up, and tell them UPS already has the order to deliver it. Then they tell me the horrific truth. They say, "You don't understand. We are sending this to our son and his wife. We accidentally put his ex wife's name on the card. It will ruin Christmas if they receive this gift!!!"

I was finally able to call UPS and get them to not deliver the package. Not my screw up, but dang.

Caught on Home Security Cameras factsShutterstock

4. Do NOT Call This Guy With a Medical Problem

Firefighter-Paramedic/Nurse here. I dropped a newborn baby. What it sounds like really. As soon as the sucker popped out, she was quite slippery and 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 freaked out entirely, understandably of course.

I also kicked a cardiac monitor/defibrillator into a pool during an active cardiac arrest. The patient was pulled from a pool, and as equipment was getting shuffled around, the monitor got moved and I inadvertently kicked it. It ended up at the bottom of a pool. They cost about $20K each. Luckily there was another one there.

Biggest Work Mistakes facts Shutterstock

5. Going for a Ride

I was walking into a dorm building with a friend one time, and she saw one of our friends coming into the dorm a few hundred feet behind us. She decided to scare him, so she hid behind a big pillar right near the entrance. The guy walked through the door, and she jumped onto his back, grabbed him around the neck, and started smacking his butt, yelling "Giddyup, Cowboy!"

The guy flipped out and got my friend off of his back. At that moment, we realized her huge mistake. It was not our friend, it was just some random, strange guy. My friend turned bright red and ran up the stairs without saying a word. From then on, that guy would see her sometimes in the halls and say "Hi, Cowgirl" and she was always way too shy to reply.

Mistaken Identity factsMedical News Today

6. Worst Trade Ever

I work at a slick entertainment company in LA where every executive has an assistant. The head of the company has had floor seat Laker tickets for the past 13 years. The waitlist for those tickets is over a decade long. One day, the executive told his assistant that he also wants four non-floor seat tickets for a certain game. This is where the trouble began.

Assistant thinks he means instead and switches his floor seats for non-floor seats, releasing these precious tickets forever. The executive screamed so loud that the floor above us came down to make sure everyone was OK—I am not joking. Apparently, the tickets were worth over a MILLION DOLLARS and he gave them away for free.

The executive had to shell out for other tickets but not the same ones, so now every game he goes to he has to stare at the people in his precious seats.

Work mistakes FactsShutterstock

7. Taking the Fall

So, I work in a workshop, and we often engrave stuff for customers. This particular guy wanted a nice wooden jewelry box for their wedding anniversary with a custom message he emailed me. For some reason, he chose to give the box to his wife at the workshop. Not the most romantic place I can think of, but whatever.

The guy's wife starts to look confused and tear up: "You don't remember the date?" Guy turns pale, looks at me with a deep stare, says: "No, I'm sure it's a mistake." Me: "No, I've copied it straight, can't be wrooon...waaait a minute, oh my god, it's my fault, I'm so sorry, I will redo it right away, no need to pay, please accept it as a gift..."

Wife gets angry a bit at me, but they leave with a different box and the correct date. But that wasn't even the best part. Guy comes back next day and pays triple the original price without a word.

Worst Mistakes Factsdavidkingraj

8. It All Comes Tumbling Down

At work, I accidentally knocked over two aisles filled with wine glasses. Lucky for me, everyone was too busy freaking out—there was apparently a customer nearby who also got a few cuts on his legs—that they didn't notice me slowly slipping away and reappearing a few seconds later to ask what happened like I was totally innocent.

No one ever suspected it was me, but I still felt horrible because it was over a few thousand dollars worth of stuff that I broke, which may not sound like much, but when you're 15 years old working on $11/hr, five hours a week...

Biggest Work Mistakes facts Shutterstock

9. Total Wipeout

I accidentally deleted the e-mail accounts for my entire organization...stopped the command once I realized what happened, but by that time it had wiped out three-quarters of the mailboxes, including both of the owners' accounts. That was a dark, dark day...I'll always be careful with "rm -rf" from now on though...

Biggest Work Mistakes factsPxfuel

10. Ashes to Ashes

One time, my husband called me at work, "Babe, you're going to be so mad! I made a mess but don't worry, I'll fix it!" I just sighed because he is basically Lucy from I Love Lucy. I wasn't prepared for what I saw when I got home. Our living room was COVERED in grey powder. Meanwhile, my husband was completely filthy with a trash bag, a broom, and a super panicked look on his face.

Turned out, he'd decided to help around the house and wanted to clean the fireplace. He just decided the best way to clean it would be to stand in front of it with a trash bag and use the leaf blower to blow the ashes in. Spoiler alert: that doesn’t work. I didn't want to hurt his feelings but I laughed so hard at him. He deserved it.

Married Men Dating FactsPeakpx

11. Consider Me Plucked

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, bird. I used a box cutter to rip the hose in half so I could get him out. So, this freaking bird is missing feathers and is bleeding and I am in tears. I run to my boss crying and say "IJUSTSUCKEDABIRDUPINTHESHOPVACHESGOINGTODIEIAMAHORRIBLEPERSON." 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.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

12. An Expensive Lesson

My dad always tells of a story when he (an electrician) plugged in some wires backwards and blew up a $10,000 piece of equipment. His boss was really cool though and told him, "Just consider this a $10,000 investment in your education."

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

13. The Mile-High Flub

I was an airline Duty Manager in the Operation Control Centre. I was like the Maytag repairman: I only worked when there were problems, and my job description was to save the operation, meaning: find solutions where there aren't any. One September, Air Canada crews went on strike, so my airline lent two aircraft with full crews to operate Air Canada flights.

That's minus two aircraft for my fleet. On Sept. 2, a terrible tragedy occurred: Swissair 111 went down off the coast of Peggy's Cove. Less than eight hours later, one of our flights en route to London did an emergency landing in Halifax because there was smoke in the cockpit—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 three 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 dead-head onto 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. The crew purser, Marie, 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 Marie, We're stuck in our uniforms, sleeping on the floor of a McDonald's. I'm a bridesmaid on Saturday. I have to get back. Please Berg, I have to get back." But I made things so much worse. 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...

Biggest Work Mistakes facts Shutterstock

14. Shred the Evidence

I pulled what I thought was my expired credit card out of my pocket, and ran it through the shredder at work. It wasn’t my credit card. It was my government ID card, which I also need to log onto my work computer.

Hacking factsShutterstock

15. Having Your Heart Ripped out

My brother is a surgeon, and during part of his residency, he had to work in the pediatric unit. He was working with two newborns. One was getting much better and fighting for life. He was going to make it just fine. The other baby was hours from passing on. He wasn't going to make it. My brother was in charge of informing the families.

My brother realized about 15 minutes later that he had mixed up the families. He told the family with the healthy baby that their baby wasn't going to make it, and he told the family with the dying baby that their baby was going to be just fine. He then had to go back out to the families and explain the situation to them.

How devastating. To be given a glimmer of hope and have it ripped away from you not even an hour later. That was most upset I've heard my brother. He felt destroyed.

Handsome young doctor worried about something

16. Runaway Driver

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 adrenaline is really pumping.

This was my first time actually being involved in a skit. I see the bright green jumpsuit, and I rev it. But when I realized what was happening, it was too late. 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.

Biggest Work Mistakes facts Shutterstock

17. His Loss

I left a huge folder for a multi-billion (yes, that’s a “B”) lawsuit on the subway. Some homeless guy finds it, calls the opposing attorney, and ransoms the darn thing. Needless to say, I was fired.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

18. Full Transparency

I accidentally sent out the salaries of every one of our executives and the owner to about 100 people in the company. I had requested info from HR (just a list of eligible employees for something) and what they sent had the default sheet 1/sheet 2/sheet 3 tabs at the bottom of the workbook...Sheet 1 was the list I had requested, Sheet 2 was, for some reason, executive compensation.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

19. An Incompetent River Flows Through It

I had an employee who was working night audit (hotel). I was the manager, so he called me when I was on-call and told me that a guest complained about water dripping from the ceiling in his room on the first floor. Uhhhh did you go up to check on the room above it? "No"... How long ago was this? "Like a couple hours ago."

I've never flown out of bed faster. I threw on some clothes and made it to the hotel in record time. By the time I got to the second floor, I could hear a WATERFALL. The source of the water was, in fact, not the second floor. Nor was it the third floor. No, no... it was the FOURTH FLOOR. We had the water shut off earlier in the day for work that was being done on the pipes.

A guest got angry and checked out because it took too long for the water to come back on. Apparently, they had tried to turn on the bath and didn't think to freaking turn it off. So, the bathtub overflowed for god knows how long, flooded the room, and the room underneath it, and the room underneath that, and finally the room underneath that.

As it turns out, my idiot employee had moved someone from the room on the third floor for the same thing, but he didn't think to check on it. Instead, he decided to call me when a second guest, now on the first floor, complained of the same thing. THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of dollars of damage.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsShutterstock

20. An Awkward Coincidence

On my first date with my wife, we started talking about tattoos. I have a rule that if I have an idea for a tattoo, I sit on it for a while to see if it’s something I truly want. I mentioned this to her and explained how glad I am that I do this because otherwise I'd be covered in Tool (the band) tattoos or some, "other dumb stuff."

Little did I know, I'd just messed up big-time. She rolled up her sleeve to show me that she had the lyrics to one of their songs tattooed across her arm. Oops!

Married Men Dating Facts Flickr,Roxie Rampage

21. It Feels Like Something’s Missing…

It went a little something like this: I work at a small cinema in a small town where everyone knows everyone, and I put my hand up to work the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Everything was going well, cinemas were working fine, the food was plentiful and everyone was having a wonderful time.

Until I remembered I never actually had the hard drive (our cinema is DCI) for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

22. Money on the Counter, Gum in Your Mouth

I get very nervous around women that are into me, especially when I know she's watching me do something (even if it’s something trivial). On an early date, we went to the local shop to pick up some things for a picnic, including gum. I was overthinking and aware that I was being watched. I kept reminding myself of my next moves.

Money on the counter, gum in your mouth. Money on the counter, gum in your mouth. Easy. Suffice to say, when I put the gum on the counter and the €2 coin in my mouth, the cashier was baffled and my girlfriend (now my wife) was crying with laughter.

Married Men Dating Facts PxHere

23. The No-Pants Dance

I invited this guy over to my place for dinner after we'd been casually seeing each other for three weeks or so. Things were going pretty well - we were chatting, getting along like a house on fire, and he was helping me cook dinner—when I started to feel extremely intestinally unwell. I've always been kind of a private pooper, and I could tell that this one wasn't going to be fun.

To get him out, I asked him if he'd pop down to the shop at the end of the road to grab a bottle of wine for dinner. He agreed and toddled off down the street, and as soon as he was gone, I raced to the bathroom and relieved myself with something roughly akin to the force of a...well, you can use your imagination here.

I took a minute to catch my breath, reached over to the toilet roll holder, and came back empty. Well, darn. No matter. I had a full nine-pack of toilet paper in the back room - I didn't have space to keep it in my tiny bathroom; it was a very small apartment, so I usually just grabbed a roll or two. Plus, he'd only just gone.

I had plenty of time. Cut to me, thirty seconds later, pants around my ankles and my poop-caked bunghole shimmying my way down the central hallway of my flat when I hear a still, small voice from behind me. "Erm... what are you doing?" Turns out he'd managed to get to the shop and back in record time, and was sitting on my couch in my living room with a perfect, perfect view of my little burlesque.

I was framed in the doorway like an unholy Renaissance painting. It was as though I was presenting myself to him in the worst possible, “You like?” come-on in the history of dating. It's very difficult to have a civilized dinner after that.

Significant Other Was "The One FactsShutterstock

24. The Town Fool

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 freaking 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 taken and they would trace this mistake back to me.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

25. Buckle up, This Is One Wild Ride

This happened to my friend. So this guy, Dan, is a good guy overall, but he can be kind of a jerk. Well, Dan, who was a medic, used to insist that not using all the cot seatbelts when he was riding the ambulance was fine. He was written up a few times, but nothing would change his attitude. So one day, we get dispatched to a very obese lady who has fallen down.

This poor lady needs to go get checked out at the hospital. 10 of us put her on a special sheet they make, get her out to the ambulance, package her up, and send them off to the hospital, with Dan of course insisting that two seatbelt straps are fine instead of five. As we are heading back to the house, we suddenly hear the dispatcher, in a panic, trying to contact his radio.

The dispatcher is saying “2389 ARE YOU OKAY?, 2389 ARE YOU OKAY??" At this point, she activates the emergency tones, and asks again “2389 ARE YOU OKAY?” So just about everyone and their grandmother knows that something bad has happened, and after the tone activation, we hear the driver get on the radio.

He’s screaming “Dispatch Medic 19 we need help at the intersection of XY”…and then nothing after that. The driver couldn't see what was going on in the back so until he heard the emergency tone, he had no idea something had happened. At this point, the radio lights up with the Chief, Deputy Chief, and Duty Chief responding from HQ.

We are thinking the worst, but nothing beat what we saw. We arrive and notice the two officers that beat us there are beet red, and we can hear cursing, and screaming. At this point, I knew everything was going to be okay because I could recognize the voice. I come around to the back of the ambulance, and this is what I see: A pair of soaked blue uniform pants and boots, covered by a very large, incontinent woman.

What had happened is that the driver took a turn, the weight of the patient snapped the belts as Dan was kneeling down, and he ended up pinned to the floor. Unluckily for him, the movement also caused the huge lady to pee on him. He could only reach his emergency button, which in retrospect is good for him, because otherwise he would have been found like that at the ER dock.

Biggest Work Mistakes facts Shutterstock

26. Nepotism Doesn’t Work, People

I lost my father's company three million dollars in assets due to a typo. As an 18-year-old intern.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsPixabay

27. The Mad Chemist

I am a chemist, and over a period of about a year, I was doing a series of very dangerous reactions. Essentially, I had to mix a strong acid with an alcohol solvent and several other chemicals, put the chemicals in a strong glass bottle (high-pressure reactor), seal the bottle, and submerge the reaction vessel in 175-degree (c) silicone oil.

If any of you have heated up a closed container, you know this builds internal pressure inside the container. I kept a valve on top of the reactor to monitor the pressure; the container was rated to be safe at pressures up to 150 PSI. Unfortunately for me, one particular day I started warming up the reaction, and the heat was applied to the solution just fast enough in just the right way to start a runaway polymerization reaction.

If you're a chemist, you just cringed. This runaway polymerization reaction gave off massive amounts of heat very quickly, thus shooting the pressure of this flask from 130 PSI to HOLY HECK RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! The resulting explosion was so loud it sounded like an 18-wheeler slammed into the side of the building. Luckily for me and my lab associate, no one was in the room when the explosion went off.

Hot shards of glass were spewed across the entire room, as well as a nice spray of hot silicone oil. Even worse, this explosion happened right next to the CEO's office. He ran out looking for me, to which I assured him, "We totally have everything under control (oh God oh God please don't walk in there and notice I ruined your hundred thousand dollar lab)."

Luckily, the damage to the facilities was minimal, no one was hurt, and I got to keep my job!

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

28. A Case of Mistaken Identity

One time, I went up to my girlfriend in a busy mall and put my arms around her from behind, greeted her and went to kiss her neck. Then, I felt my blood run cold. At that exact moment, the stranger I was hugging said, “uhh, hi.”  The stranger thought it was hilarious, my girlfriend who saw me do it thought it was hilarious and everybody in the vicinity who witnessed it was laughing.

Always Gotten Wrong factsShutterstock

29. Lucky Pull

Dentist here. I was performing a simple extraction and preparing for the case when I didn't realize that I had the X-ray flipped the wrong way the whole time. I was viewing the film backwards, and pulled out the wrong tooth. When I realized my mistake I started freaking out, only to find out that by some dumb luck, the tooth I extracted had to go as well.

The Biggest Mistakes Made By Doctors factsCloverdale Crossing Dental

30. Inside Jokes Are Not Outside Jokes

At work (on my personal email) I was emailing my best friend who was Polish, and we often used “polak” as a joke. Me being part Italian, I also referred to “greasy Italians.” Sent the email to my friend. Then I looked again, and my stomach dropped. I realized I had typed it up in the wrong email window and had sent it to a client.

Worst Mistakes Factsmake use of

31. Don’t Mess With the Internet

Not my mistake, but I think our CEO wins this. I used to work for a telecom company and our CEO went to a site to look at our new fiber optic shelter. While going around the shelter, he accidentally stepped on fiber that was transmitting more than a quarter of the data of our country. All our country had outbound connection problems for 18 hours. It affected more than 10 million people.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

32. Spam-a-Lot

I once worked for a music PR company. My first job was to send a promotional email out to about 1,000 journalists. I forgot to BCC every one and instead just CC'ed them. 90% of the mailing list unsubscribed. As you can imagine, those 1,000 journalists were this PR company's bread and butter. I…did not keep my job for long.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

33. Uno, Dos...Oops

In college, I was applying for a co-op internship at some big corporate company. Of course, like all applicants, I wanted to make myself sound as appealing as possible. I decided to change “Familiar with basic Spanish” to “Proficient Spanish Speaker” on my resume. The job didn’t have anything to do with speaking Spanish as far as I knew, so I figured it was a harmless fudge.

I thought they'd never find out the extent of my Spanish knowledge was the three years I’d taken in high school. Well, I get to the interview. Everything starts out seemingly going well. Until she says, “Oh, you speak Spanish! That’s great!” She said, “We’ve been hoping to find someone to help in our South American division. Let me grab my colleague.”

Before I could respond she leaves the room and quickly returns with a woman who is clearly of Latin descent. The original interviewer says to her “This is him; he says he speaks Spanish well.” I’m sweating at this point—but it was about to get so much worse. The Latina lady looks at me and immediately starts going off in full-speed Spanish.

I could tell she was asking me questions, but have almost no idea what she’s saying. I tried desperately to remember anything left in my brain from high school, but think I just stammered, “Si” a bunch of times while smiling and nodding like an idiot. Eventually, I just said, “Sorry I’m a little rusty, it’s been a while.” She just gave me an annoyed look and left the room.

Needless to say, the rest of the interview was pretty awkward. A decade later, and that remains the only job interview in my life that I didn’t get an offer from. Valuable LPT learned that day: Don’t put anything on your resume you’re not prepared to potentially get called out on. Too bad I had to learn that the very hard way.

Caught Lying FactsShutterstock

34. A Black and White Issue

I was officiating a soccer game of 15-year-old boys. The teams’ respective colors were RED and WHITE. There was one African American boy on the Red team. As the game progressed, it got more dangerous and out of hand. At half-time, I informed both benches that I would be calling the game tight, and that the next flagrant foul would not go unpunished.

30 seconds into the 2nd half, the African American boy had a hard foul. I blew my whistle very aggressively and yelled, "TAKE A REST BLACK!" After realizing what I had said, I immediately tried to correct myself. I stumbled over every word. The damage was already done. One player on the other team said to me, "Not cool dude.”

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

35. A Super Screwup

Back in high school, I had a job as a web designer at a small webshop servicing non-profit organizations. My bosses didn't let on that I was as young as I was, and they handled all the face-to-face client meetings. My job basically entailed designing and preparing the website for our clients. One of our big clients was Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

I sliced up the site and put in filler text, knowing full well that only people coming from our internal IP would be able to see the development. I should mention that my company was small, close-knit, and had a great (albeit vulgar) sense of humor. Rather than going the standard lorem ipsum route, I did what ended up being the worst thing imaginable.

I instead filled in something along the lines of "Herp derp I'm Christopher Reeve, I drive myself with a straw. Weaknesses include kryptonite and falling off horses." It got worse, but I'll let your imaginations fill in the blanks. There were about four paragraphs of filler text. I came into work after school one day and all three of my company's owners/my bosses were waiting for me.

I thought they were pulling some prank, but they asked me to come into their office. At this point, I knew something was definitely up. My boss: "Chris and Dana saw the site." Me: "What? Who?" Him: "CRPF. Chris and Dana Reeve. The director wanted to show them the progress. Apparently he didn't check before he showed it to him in person."

At this point I think my stomach hit the floor and kept going straight on to the Earth's core. My boss told me he'd let me know what the next steps were, but just to know that I was in deep, deep trouble. Anyway, I didn't get fired (despite how adamant Dana Reeve was about that fact) and I had to write an apology to the Reeves.

I found out later that Chris actually had a pretty solid sense of humor and thought it was funny. RIP, Mr. and Mrs. Reeve.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

36. Someone’s Ears Are Burning

Texted my friend to complain about someone. Sent the text to the person I complained about instead. It was awkward.

Best Pranks factsShutterstock

37. Test Drive Gone Wrong

I worked at a nice Chevy dealership a couple years back. It was right when the Corvette ZR1 was just getting released. We got one in that was a pre-order from one of our wealthier clients. It was one of the first off the line—Jay Leno actually has the first. Anyway, one of the salesmen thought it would be a great idea to take it for a quick spin.

I don’t know what he was thinking! How would he account for the miles on the car? This, by the way, is unheard of and never really happens. Well, you guessed it. He crashed it. A $120,000 car—at the time—super charged V8, ordered a year in advance for a customer.

Work mistakes FactsShutterstock

38. Let’s Go to the Tape

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 them 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 that the footage on the tapes I had misplaced had been shot from a goshdarn HELICOPTER. So my company had to fork out £18,000 for the camera rentals, the crew, and the hire for a chopper!

And then real kicker is that as soon as they had shot it again, the original tapes turned up.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

39. That’s Not Tomato Sauce…

I worked at a pizza place, and one night the oven guy went rushing past and mumbled something about someone taking over an oven. So, I went over and started cutting pizzas without really paying attention to what I was doing. Ten minutes later, the oven guy comes back with his hand all bandaged up and blood all over his arm.

He had cut his hand badly on the pizza knife and bled all over everything, but because the blood looked a little like grease and I wasn't paying attention I continued cutting pizzas with the bloody knife and cutting board. Many people had human blood all over their pizzas and I didn't have the balls to go own up and tell them.

Charles II of Spain factsShutterstock

40. Demon Dogs and Bitter Words

My parents have an extremely ugly little dog. Like, this thing is unfortunate. It’s basically a cross between a Chihuahua and some sort of lesser demon with buggy eyes, an underbite and just plain ugly features. Strangely enough, this little creature adores my husband. One day, he came into my parents' house from work (I was already there) and the ugly dog runs up to him like she just won the lottery.

He scoops her up, laughing and completely without thinking he says the cruelest thing I have ever heard: "Why is it that only the ugly girls like me?" There was dead silence and his expression faded in slow motion. I said nothing, just got up and walked outside, the sounds of his pitiful groveling and apologizing following me. I know he meant nothing by it, but to this day my family doesn’t let him live it down. He definitely paid for the faux pas.

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41. No Kids Allowed

My place of work has a 21 and over policy after nine pm, and a group of people walked in and I immediately assumed they walked in with their child because I couldn’t see her over the counter. So I said, “hey guys I’m sorry but we’re 21 and over right now.” Turns out she had dwarfism. Oh my lord. I tried to save myself by apologizing and telling them they all looked young despite obviously referring to her earlier. MORTIFIED.

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42. Lost and Found

I was at a holiday party at a friend’s house I had never been to, in a swanky neighborhood I was unfamiliar with. There were completely illegible house numbers plastered somewhere illogical. I parked on the street and had to walk through those newer construction townhomes with ridiculously long staircases and two-inch tall house numbers.

Heard a party going on and thought, "Welp, this has to be them, who else would be having a party with this many people over?" I Waltz right in, say hi to the dog, start chatting with various people, grab a drink and start thinking, “Hmm. I should recognize at least three people here. I wonder where they are?” Then the awful truth hit me. I was not at the right house.

The hosts were super cool about it, knew my friends, and pointed me in the direction of their actual house. Met up with my friends and regaled them with this story of confusion. It was wildly embarrassing.

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43. Crystal Clear Idiot

I broke a champagne flute at a wedding once. It was one of the bride and groom's matched set. I was picking up cake plates and saw the glass on the edge of the table, told myself, "Be really careful, that's at a bad spot," and then proceeded to tap it just enough to knock it off the table to the ground, shattered. The glasses were crystal and a family heirloom passed down through their Jewish family from before the Holocaust.

I have never felt more guilty or terrible in my life. I still think about it sometimes and want to curl up in a ball and die.

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44. A Slip of the Hand

I was in the middle of a remote assistance session with a user who was having trouble with his Outlook. I resolved his issue and proceeded to send a test email to myself along the lines of “test test this is a test.” I was doing a million other things at once, so I wasn't paying attention to the screen or keyboard. When I looked at the screen, my heart sank.

“Twat twat this is a twat.” Luckily, the user I was on the phone with was a good sport and thought it was hilarious. I was pretty mortified.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsPiqsels

45. Horsing Around

My very first job in high school was at a horse farm with about 25-30 horses. One of those places where rich people board their horses because they don't have the time or space for full-time horse ownership. The owner spent about a week training me on my duties. Each horse had their own stall and most of them had special diets that had to be memorized.

I figured the hardest part would be remembering which stall got which feed so I concentrated really hard on remembering it. The part that seemed easy was bringing the horses in from their pastures to the barn. There were three separate paddocks for obvious reasons; one for the geldings, one for the mares, and one for the stallions.

The owner showed me how all you really had to do was open the gate for one group. The horses would make their way to their own stalls. After locking that group in their stalls, you let the next group out. Simple enough, right? Well, the day came that the owner let me do my work unsupervised. I mean completely unsupervised. I was the only one at the stables.

I'm pretty proud of myself that I got the food combinations correct, so I head towards the mares. Normally, the horses would be waiting because they knew it was feeding time. Today, they were nowhere to be found—until I opened the gate. Suddenly, 25,000 pounds of horseflesh came charging up over a hill and toward the gate.

Every single horse on the farm was within the mare's paddock. I freaked. There wasn't a darn thing I could do but get the heck out of the way and hopefully they would go to their own stalls and I could save the day. Nope. I don't think a single one of them went to the right stall, and moving them around was impossible.

I sat there, not sure whether I was angry at whoever put them all in the same field or disgusted in myself for failing so miserably at my first job. After they were all done, I put them back where they were supposed to go, although I'm quite sure I was so flustered that I put some mares in the gelding pen and vice versa.

Convinced it was somehow all my fault, I was too cowardly to call the owner and tell her what happened, and I never went back. To this day, I imagine them coming back to the stables, only to find horses in the wrong pens and complaining about what an idiot I was.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

46. Call the Po-Po

My current boyfriend and I drank a lot on our second date, then took an Uber home. The next day, we went back to get his car and surprisingly, it wasn't there. He was so devastated because he just bought it recently and now it was stolen. We filed a police report. The process took forever and just generally sucked. The real story stunned us. 

We walked to his friend's house nearby and there was his car, perfectly unharmed. He drank so much the night before, he forgot he moved it before our date. Now, once in a while when we're trying to find our car in the grocery store parking lot or wherever, one of us will say, "It's stolen, call the po-po." Never going to live that one down.

Harvey Keitel factsWikipedia

47. Slow and Steady

I worked the closing shift in a deli, and one of our more daunting cleaning tasks was cleaning out the chicken rotisserie oven. Part of this included pulling out the drip tray from underneath it. It's about 2' wide, 2' long, and 4" deep, and collects chicken grease all day. It was disgusting and ranged from clear oily liquid to thick gelatinous pink globs.

We had to slowly pull it all the way out, and “carefully” carry it around the corner to the sinks. New guy decided to do it one night after I had already cleaned all the glass and counters, etc. Only he underestimated how full it was, and instead of “carefully” turning the corner, he whipped the tray out and pivoted, spun himself around to head toward the kitchen door, and literally flung chicken grease and goo all over everything.

He flung that thing like a Frisbee, and it splattered all over the glass cases, the counters and the floor. We were there like an hour late cleaning it all up. He was fired just a few weeks later, when he was caught drinking on the job.

Work mistakes FactsShutterstock

48. Having a Gas

When I was a kid, I used to work at a gas station. It was one of those one-man stations where the attendant sits in a little booth in the center of the pumps. This was before the days where you could pay at the pump. You would go to the booth, give your credit card to the cashier (through the little slit under the plexiglass) and they would open your pump.

One day, one of the pumps jammed, and I had to go out to fix it. As the station was very busy, I hurried out to the pump. Suddenly, I heard a sound that made my stomach drop. The click of the door closing behind me. I had locked myself out of the booth. Needless to say, the variety of people who were trying to get gas and now couldn't were quite upset.

Not quite as upset as the people who had their credit cards locked inside the booth, though. I ended up having to call my manager at home from a payphone to bring another key to let me back in. I was left dealing with irate customers for the hour it took him to arrive, and turn away other irate potential customers, one whom was completely out of gas and stuck there.

My manager had a chuckle when he arrived and I later learned that this eventually happened to everyone, and that you could use the stick used to measure the gas levels in the tank to push through the tiny slot in the front through the booth to unlock the door.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

49. Count Them All

Fun story, while my wife was having her c-section for our daughter she overheard one of the nurses say "there's only nine," and my wife thought they were talking about my daughters fingers or toes. So she's freaking out that our daughter is missing a finger or toe, and I keep assuring her that our daughter was perfect, which she was.

We found out about ten minutes later that the nurse was talking about the surgical tools that were supposed to be accounted for, and one of them was missing. So my wife got to spend the next two hours in x-ray because they thought they had left a tool inside her and stitched her up. They found the missing tool, not inside my wife, a couple hours later, so that was a relief.

The Biggest Mistakes Made By Doctors factsElections Saskatchewan

50. New Tenants

A few years back, my girlfriend at the time—she’s my wife now—just got a new apartment and we moved in together. About a week after we moved in, I was in the shower. Then the most terrifying moment of my life happens. The door gets kicked in and I get dragged out of the shower. Butt naked and soaking wet. My girlfriend is on the couch, handcuffed.

They start asking me about some Spanish named guy Roberto something. There were more uniforms in our apartment than I'd seen anywhere before, like two to three dozen in our apartment and you could see a bunch of other men, through the windows, walking around outside. I have no idea what this Roberto guy did but I’ve never seen such a show of force before.

The whole thing ended with the head officer yelling at the rookie who was supposed to verify the address. I guess it was the right address, but Roberto had moved out the month before.

Mistaken Identity FactsShutterstock

51. Paper Thin Excuse

I worked payroll for a contractor for a railroad company and I was in charge of making sure all of the companies got paid. I did pretty well and liked the job, but one of the companies who had the biggest contract with us (millions) had an invoice that was just one page while all the other contracts were pages upon pages of figures.

I ended up misplacing the invoice for a month, so they didn't get paid. This caused our company to lose this contract and pretty much go out of business. I was really young, and looking back on it, there were so many things that I should have done differently but just didn't realize. Plus it was, in my opinion, way too much work for one person, which I had said a few times before.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

52. Liquid Courage

I was at work when my crush (and supervisor, yep great situation) calls me into the office and asks me why I called her the night before. My heart sank. I got wildly drunk that night and honestly could not remember a thing. She also informed me that several minutes into the conversation/monologue she handed the phone over to her mother.

I still pulled a blank, in fact I was so convinced that nothing happened I was sure she was winding me up. If anything like that had happened after all why was she still even talking to me let alone letting me continue to work with her. She insisted that I called and I refused to believe her. But the awful truth eventually came out.

It was not until late January when I received my detailed mobile phone bill that showed a 48-minute phone call to her number late on December 31 that I finally had to believe her. The difficult part was facing her mother after my boss and I became an item. We are now very happily married but even now my MIL still takes the piss out of me over that phone call. My wife however is very happy.

Prisoners Adjusting Outside factsPixabay

53. Nice Save

One time I went to send my buddy a picture of this girl I matched with on a dating app. Derp no. I accidentally sent it to her instead. Talk about freaking panic mode. Felt like the biggest creepy tool ever. My saving grace was that the picture wasn’t just of her, and had some of her friends in it. So, when she texted “why did you send me this?”

I responded with “Who is the girl to your left? She looks super familiar. What’s her name?” even though I had never seen her in my life. My buddy still rips me to this day about it.

I Messed Up factsShutterstock

54. Slippery When Wet

Oh God…here goes. Working at McDonald's three years ago, little kid spills coke on the floor. I happily wander over to clean it up. Mop that stuff up lightning fast with a smile and everybody is happy. Go behind the counter and retrieve the “slippery when wet” sign to place over the newly-cleaned area, and when I get there, distracted by something, I slip! Embarrassing right? You have no idea...

My foot slips out like a javeline 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 behind 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?!

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

55. Giving New Meaning to Pie in the Face

I worked in a busy pizzeria when I was young. The pizza maker was talking to his girlfriend, who was standing in front of him on the other side of the counter. He throws up the pizza dough in the air to spin it and it comes down and lands on top of his girlfriend's head and still just continues to spin on her hair.

The packed dining room erupted in laughter and she ran out crying with flour all over her face and jet black hair.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsPixabay

56. Sound the Alarms

I screwed up opening a simple valve and shut down a port on my first day on the job. Estimated cost was £6 million. I was a brand new industrial QA chemist working for Exxon. The lab was located in the middle of the plant, it was a two-story glass-fronted building slap bang in full view of the control tower.

This was a production facility, the docking point for ships offloading petrol and fuel oils. The other plants on this strip of the dock were a natural gas cylinder company and four other petroleum companies, all with their own lines, ships, and docks. Job 1 was to test the viscosity of lubricant oils at low temperatures. For this job, one needs blocks of dry ice.

The CO2 cylinders were stored on the first floor under the stairs at the front where all that glass was. I went down there, box in hand, hooked up to the pipes, and tried to turn the wheel on the top of the 6 ft tall cylinder. Unable to budge the darn thing, I resorted to good old brute force and used a metal pipe to coax that thing loose. It was the worst mistake I've ever made.

I snapped the handle off and the whole canister (thankfully secured to the wall) dumped its load of compressed CO2. So…the whole building is now filling up with white gas and I can see alarmed yellow-helmets rushing around in the control tower trying to figure out what was happening. Knowing that they would suspect a fire, I ran out of the building trying to signal that things were ok.

For some reason, the sight of a lab-coated dude running from a building billowing smoke, waving his arms above his head like a maniac was interpreted as a bad sign. They hit the port alarm. The port alarm that sounds like a tornado siren. The port alarm that can be heard throughout the entire city. The port alarm that means all facilities must immediately shut all lines down and evacuate all personnel.

Yep. Every plant shut down and a throng of workers downed tools and headed for their evacuation points. Two of the tanker ships stripped their lines and started to remove themselves from the impending doom. Shutting these facilities down is NEVER done, ever. It was an unmitigated fiasco, and to this day (15 years later) when I go back to my home town, I still get tanker drivers beeping, honking, and pointing at That Guy Who Shut The Port Down.

The worst part of all of this was I got that job through nepotism: My dad also worked there, just not that day. So after the storm had cleared, I headed over to his house. "Hey kid, how'd the first day go? I heard the port alarm, odd time for a test, what was happening...?" "Ehh the thing is....."

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

57. A Costly Mistake

Due to a misunderstanding with my boss, I wired $7,000,000 of a client's cash to a hedge fund instead of $3,500,000. More importantly, this particular fund "locked" their assets on that date. They would not return the cash, and all investments were locked up (cannot be redeemed) for a year. So, effectively, my client had doubled his investment in this fund, and now had $3,500,000 less cash than he should have had.

That $3,500,000 was to be used to purchase a home and make other investments. I'm not sure I've ever felt more nauseated at work. Second worst day of my professional life. Thankfully, after many, many phone calls and arguing, some of my managers were able to get the funds returned, but it was a big deal. To his credit, the boss who I had the misunderstanding with about the amount of the wire never yelled at me.

He said that he knew I had already beaten myself up enough, and that was that. Never mentioned it again.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

58. Save Some Cringe for the Rest of Us

A female friend of mine–to whom I was admittedly attracted–had been expressing her reservations about an upcoming vacation with her family. Though it wasn't being overtly presented as such, the trip was meant as a way of re-solidifying her parents' marriage, which had been more than a touch rocky at the time.

They would all be driving from San Francisco to a small town in Northern California, where they'd stay at a bed-and-breakfast inn for a weekend before continuing northward for some unknown destination. In keeping with the alleged purpose of this so-called vacation, two rooms had been booked at the inn in question.

To her dismay, though, my friend discovered that her mother would be occupying one room, her father would have the other, and that she and her sister would each have to bunk with one of their parents. This was worthy of lament on its own, but it was made unforgivably worse by the verbal diarrhea that I offered in an attempt at providing comfort:

"Aw, it won't be so bad!" I told my friend. "Your father will probably enjoy sleeping with you." A moment passed before I realized what I had said. Then, with a feeling of growing horror, I tried to explain myself. Things only got worse from there. "Wait, I didn't mean it like that!" I hurriedly said. "I mean, like, he's probably sick of sleeping with your mom."

"No, wait, I mean... I just mean that he wants to spend some quality time with his daughter." If I had stopped there, I might have been able to salvage the situation, but as it happened, I decided that the best course of action would be to keep talking. "I can't say that I blame him, really. I'd love to sleep with you." She and I don't talk much these days.

Weirdest Date FactsShutterstock

59. Alert the Authorities: I’m an Idiot

When I was working at a liquor store, we had a super-serious alarm system that was ultra-sensitive once you activated it and locked up. Once you set it, you had 60 seconds to get out and lock up. My first time closing, I set the alarm and left, then realized I left something on the counter. I ran back in to get it, then ran back out and locked up again, thinking everything was cool.

As soon as I got to my car, the freaking thing started blaring "ALARM! ALARM! INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT! CALL THE AUTHORTIES! CALL THE AUTHORITIES!" over and over again. People a mile away could probably hear it, it came out of a PA on the outside of the building as well as one on the inside. I freaked out and went back into the building and called the security company and they had to verify my employment and walk me through turning the alarm off.

I then had to call 9-1-1 to let them know that I messed up and already talked to the security company.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

60. Foot in Face Disease

My story involves harming small children. I was working at a video store and was turning on all our display televisions. The controller was dead, so I was doing it the old-fashioned way by going up to each television and hitting the power button. Some were higher up than others, so I had to climb to get to them (probably against company policy).

Well, I climbed up a pillar to turn on a television near the top of the wall and when I jumped off, I landed right on top of a 6ish-year-old kid who was watching from right under me. When he got up, he had a perfect red shoe print on his face and was screaming. His dad came over and said not to worry, and proceeded to scold his kid for standing right underneath me. Whew!

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

61. Can’t Catch Spiderman

A psychiatric patient escaped the unit on my watch. It was my first job out of graduate school and I hadn't even made my three-month probation period yet. A gentleman with bipolar disorder who referred to himself as "Spiderman" actually fashioned an effigy of himself out of linens and put it in the bed. When I did room checks, I thought he was there.

To be fair, it wasn't all me—the air conditioning guy had been in the room earlier that shift and had forgotten to secure one set of locking screens. Spiderman jumped out the second-floor window, landing in the bushes and breaking his ankle. It was caught on outdoor security cameras, but no one noticed until the next day when I got a call from the nursing supervisor asking me how this happened.

Spiderman disappeared, only to return two weeks later for re-admission, with a cast on his leg, manic as can be.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

62. Delivery Dunce

I work for a lighting manufacturing company. We sold a huge amount of light fixtures to UPS that they were using in their warehouse facilities. Imagine a huge order with skids and skids of shrink-wrapped fixtures. Everything was going great. Even was asked to step up the delivery date to meet a deadline. Told them sure, no problem.

Fixtures make it to the job site. But there's just one enormous problem. They arrived in FedEx trucks. I did not live that one down for a long, long time.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsFlickr, Jason Lawrence

63. The “G” Is Silent

I once sent a direct mail piece out quoting an Angus Reid poll. Left the "g" out, so of course, the spell-check didn't catch it. Based on the feedback I received, virtually all those who noticed thought it was an improvement.

Bosses Fired factsShutterstock

64. What a Bonehead

I was the resident doing a craniotomy for a patient with a brain mass. It's a procedure where a window of bone is removed from the skull, the brain surgery is performed—in this case, removal of the mass—then the bone flap that was removed is replaced. The mass came out easily enough and we finished up the surgery without any issues. But the worst was yet to come.

Then my co-resident picked up the bone to put it back in the skull—and promptly dropped it on the floor. That day I learned there is a protocol for cleaning the bone flap so it can still be used. The patient actually did well, but my colleague has never been able to live that one down.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

65. Brain on Autopilot

Once while working in retail, I suggested a customer's husband "go on a Jenny Craig diet." I don’t know what happened or what my brain was thinking, but I didn’t really realize I said it until it came out of my mouth. The customer calmly replied, “I don’t think so,” and then walked out. Not my best day.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

66. A Teacher Gets Schooled in Empathy

I'm a teacher. I had a particularly difficult student who gave me a very hard time on an unusually hard day, early in my career. After class let out another colleague stopped by and without thinking, I said, "Nobody wants ("that difficult kid") in their class! It's hopeless." I turned around and went white as a sheet. He was walking in the room to apologize and heard me.

However withdrawn and difficult he was before this, it multiplied tenfold, and I felt terrible. I tried to apologize to him, but he didn't want to hear it. After that, I didn't breathe a negative word about a child on school grounds. As an educator, you have to learn sooner or later that your students are the ones who get to act like children. Not you.

Unprofessional Teachers FactsShutterstock

67. Self-Parting Gift

In 2009, we had some layoffs—like a lot of businesses—and one of those let go was a mechanic. Since most of the mechanics bring in their own toolboxes, when one leaves the company they need to load up their box. The screw up was that the supervisor of the shop that day did not pay attention/stick around while the mechanic was loading his box.

The mechanic not only took his box, he helped himself to several company-owned pieces of equipment totaling $18,000. But because the supervisor was not doing his job, there was no proof that the mechanic took those items. This is the same supervisor who didn't notice when a huge spool of copper wire somehow rolled itself out of the building. Said supervisor no longer works here, either.

Work mistakes FactsShutterstock

68. Cake Drop

I made a cake for work, and accidentally swapped sugar for salt. As I was prepping it in the staff lounge, I cut myself a small bite and tasted it, it was horrible! People were already arriving for lunch, and being known as someone who bakes amazing cakes, people were excited to have a slice. So I came up with an ingenious plan.

I picked up the cake and, using all of my acting abilities, "stumbled" and dropped it on the floor. Left a huge cake mess, but saved my reputation! Best part was that the boss felt so bad for me (and perhaps disappointed at not getting any cake) that he told me to head down to the local bakery and pick up a cake, and he'd wire me the money to cover the expense!

Worst Mistakes Factsone beautiful home blog

69. Wrong Room, Lasting Trauma

A friend of mine is a medical intern medical. There was a patient in her hospital that a whole team of doctors had just convinced the family to remove from life support after weeks. My friend went into the room after reading the wrong patient's chart and told the family she expected the patient to make a full was everything that the family had been praying to hear for months, only to find out it wasn't true.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsPxfuel

70. A Whole Lot of Baggage

Paramedic here. I've made some mistakes, but this one was a doozy. My partner and I got a call to a station for an "altered mental status, suicidal ideation" patient, a 22-year-old female. She seemed a little bewildered but was pretty much oriented if a bit distraught. The authorities 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 substances. 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 she 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. She 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 en route to the hospital. We arrived, unloaded her, brought her into triage, and got her assigned a room. Then she asked me a question I'll never forget.

She said, "Are you going to bring my bags in?" I looked at my partner and we both knew that we had left them outside of the station. "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 heck those bags were gone. Went into the station, asked 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. Nothing. I slowly drove up to the hospital and went into this patient's room. I felt horrible. 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 serious? You forgot them???" and then she started to cry. Her life was falling apart even faster because I was an idiot.

Moments That Changed Their Lives factsShutterstock

71. You Had One Job

Back in the dark ages, I worked for a small-town daily newspaper. There was one large discount store that refused to advertise with us, and would only use the other paper in town (our sole rival), which was more of a "weekly shopper"-type paper. For unknown reasons, the store finally decided to give our paper a chance.

Ad ran, and there in the double-truck, full-color ad, was "Men's shirts $9.99"—minus the ever-important R in "shirts." Yep.  Needless to say, they stuck with the other paper.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsPixabay

72. Good Luck Explaining This One

Connected my phone to the car Bluetooth to play music during a road trip with four of my friends. For whatever reason, as soon as the Bluetooth connected, it immediately played the last video viewed on my phone. It was the worst-case scenario. It was an adult video. Yup, still haven't been allowed to live that one down.

Ed Wood FactsShutterstock

73. The Affair of the Necklace

I work at a boutique, and my manager accidentally mislabeled two necklaces, switching their prices. Wouldn't be a huge deal, but one of the necklaces was $200 and one was $1,400. I sold the one labeled $200 about a week later (not having any idea), and then got in trouble for it after my boss saw the $200 necklace marked as $1,400 lying around.

How it was my fault, I'll never know...but according to her, I should have "known" that the little rhinestone looking things on the necklace were real diamonds, and that I should have recognized it was worth more than $200. Yeah.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

74. That’s Using Your Head

This is the dumbest thing I’ve seen for sure. The guy was about 21 and we had to wear “bump caps” which are like a very thin, small hard hat. Well, we worked in a cabinet shop, and he was using a 3” staple gun. He was having some problems with what he was building and starts tapping himself in the bump cap with the stapler.

He had his finger on the trigger and staples his hat to his skull. He kept trying to pull the hat off but it was distorting his face because it was pulling the skin up with it. When the staple hit the bone instead of going through, it spread out under the scalp. They ended up taking him to the hospital to get it removed, and fired him when they got back to work.

Work mistakes FactsShutterstock

75. The Mac Daddy of Mess ups

At the first advertising agency I worked at, one of our clients was an oil drilling company. I was working on some very standard ads for them, one of which had the headline, "FASTER, FARTHER, DEEPER." I made a typo that caused the ad to read, "FASTER, FATHER, DEEPER." Thankfully, my Creative Director caught it before it went to the client.

We all had a big (nervous) laugh about it and the original ended up on the creative department's wall.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

76. Good Riddance

A grad student was invited into a professor’s office for a meeting and was left alone for a moment. There was a pile of cumulative exams on the professor’s desk that had just been freshly graded. These are subject exams for grad students, which are wickedly difficult, and you need to pass four to continue in the program. His next actions were unbelievable. 

This jerk decided he’d take a look at the stack of exams, then upon finding that some of his fellow students did poorly, he took pictures of their grades so he could use them to ridicule them and pass the results around the department. This was a big deal because numerical grades are never given out for these exams, only pass/fail, and also, it’s a pretty big violation to distribute others’ personal academic information like that.

He was found out almost as soon as he sent the pics around and was dismissed and forbidden from campus immediately. Someone else had to pack up his desk because they were that serious about him never setting foot in the building again.

Work mistakes FactsShutterstock

77. Cookies and Scream

Working for a chocolate factory, and we were to sell 500,000 chocolate-covered Oreos to Walgreens…whoever was in charge ordered 5,000,000. Long story short, company later went under and all us employees enjoyed 4.5 million chocolate covered Oreos.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsWikimedia Commons

78. Bad Time Management

It was my first day flying solo as a manager at Burger King. It was a Sunday morning. A lady had called in a moderately-sized order to pick up. I made sure we had it ready to go and thought all was well. It had been about 15 minutes past the time she was expected to arrive to pick up the order. Soon, it was 30 minutes and the three or four bags containing the order were still sitting on the heat chute.

By this time, breakfast had closed (at 11:00 AM). About another 10 to 15 minutes later, I figured she probably wasn't going to come in, so I threw it out. This ended up very badly. As luck would have it, she showed up just after the food she had ordered went into the trash. Like, we're talking minutes or even seconds apart.

When she asked for her order, I had to politely tell her that since her order had been sitting on the heat chute long past the time she was due to pick it up, that I had thrown it out. She gave me the iciest stare anyone had ever given me. She didn't say a word and then she walked back out. I can't say it was necessarily entirely my fault, since the food was long past its shelf life as she had come in so much later than when she was expected.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

79. Safety First

I forgot to replace the filters on my full-face mask before going into a containment area where asbestos abatement was happening. I was filling bags with pure mag asbestos for 10 minutes before I realized it.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

80. Chemical Conflict

I was doing laundry and noticed our washer had a bit of funky smell to it, so I looked up some home remedies online that involved baking soda and vinegar. While I was standing at the washer I thought, "A cup of bleach wouldn't hurt." As soon as I threw it in and started the washer, my brain went "HEY! YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T JUST BE MIXING CHEMICALS ALL WILLY NILLY!"

So I pulled out my phone and googled “vinegar + bleach.” I almost cried when I read the result. “Vinegar + bleach = Toxic Chlorine Gas” I proceeded to panic and scream for everyone to get the heck out of the house. Be careful with chemicals people.

Everyday mistakes FactsShutterstock

81. Setting the Mood

I thought it was a good idea to play with some candles while having a Lord of the Rings marathon. Turns out that was a bad idea because I ended up getting distracted and set the family couch on fire. I frantically put it out and threw a blanket over it. I didn't leave that couch for a week.

My Life Is Over FactsShutterstock

82. Saturday Morning Smackdown

I'm a lawyer. I defended an officer who was chasing a bad guy and lost him in the courtyard of an apartment complex. This guy then ran into the back of the wrong apartment. After that, everything unraveled. He ended up tackling and tasing an old man who was just watching Saturday morning cartoons in his underwear while eating fruit loops.

He got tased because he was fighting back, as any sane person would do after being tackled by a stranger while watching TV and eating cereal. The city paid that man some money.

Mistaken Identity FactsShutterstock

83. Don’t Burn Yourself out

My parents are nurses. They knew a doc who'd been on a 36-hour shift. Patient came in with a punctured lung (I think) and the doc had to collapse the lung to fix whatever was wrong with it. Through tiredness, he collapsed the wrong lung, and the patient passed on. That doctor ended up taking his own life not long after being fired.

The Biggest Mistakes Made By Doctors factsLaughing Squid

84. This Isn’t the BBQ You’re Looking for

I invited a friend over for a BBQ. He didn’t know anyone and has never been to my house but seemed really eager to go. So, I was a little irritated that he was almost two hours late. I was just about to text him when I happened to look over my neighbor’s fence. What I saw made my jaw hit the floor. The neighbor was also having a BBQ...and my friend was there.

...It was like it happened in slow motion. I saw my friend in the neighbor’s yard chatting up some old lady. Our eyes locked. I saw the realization literally hit his face. I still laugh about it. I swear the guy turned white!

Oh No Moments FactsMax Pixel

85. Get Clean and Then Clean Again

I was working in a sterile hood when a massive sneeze hit me out of freaking nowhere. The force of it caused me to duck my head under the hood and blow mucus everywhere inside. The whole lab froze, and eyes slowly rolled my way in disbelief like this. I contaminated every sample and they had to call in an outside company to re-sterilize.

Weird Laws FactsWikipedia

86. Little Troublemaker

I'm a high school teacher, and this one student in my class is notorious for being a little troublemaker, to the point that no one in the class thinks he's funny. I had my back turned and was trying to help a student when the delinquent asks to use the restroom. Problem is, he already went 30 minutes ago near the beginning of class,

Plus, passing period is about five minutes away, so I said “no” and to wait until passing period. He then repeats: "Mr. can I use the restroom, Mr. can I use the restroom." Over and over again, this kid is 16 years old...not a little kid, bigger than me in fact. The other students are telling him to shut up, and he keeps going.

Finally, I turn around and snap at him, "Shut up you little turd!" He had his phone out and was recording me the whole time. "Ha! I'm sending this to my mom!" I messed up, and I'm thinking I'm in some serious trouble. But his mom's response was perfect. I got an email from his her later in the day: "He is a little turd, isn't he? My apologies."

Parent As Bad As Student FactsShutterstock

87. A Bloody Bad Time

I work in a blood bank and we sent some blood to the floor for a nurse to transfuse into a specific patient. Different nurse picked it up, doesn't look at the label, doesn't look at the patient name, doesn't do any of the three electronic checks and sticks it into a patient. Transfused the whole bag and then decides to “let us know she made a simple mistake no big deal thanks bye.”

Thank God the blood type matched or she would've seriously harmed that patient. We're freaking out and filing reports to managers and the FDA. She gets a slap on the wrist and is transfusing the same patient later that day

Work mistakes FactsShutterstock

88. Gone Fishin’

When I was a teen, I worked at a full-service gas station. One day, a guy came in towing a boat to get gas. A guy a couple years younger was working and thought the owner had taken the gas cap off of the boat. He placed the gas nozzle in a fishing rod holder. It is basically a hole on the top of the side of the boat.

He proceeded to pump about $40.00 worth of gas onto the floor of the boat. The owner was understandably upset.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsPixabay

89. No Really, Oh No

Working in an online gambling chat room. Dude comes to take me off my break and comes in the room. At that point, a player had told us his brother had just passed on so I said "Oh No!" Dude taking my place sees this and gives a big "OH YEAHHHHHH!" kool-aid guy style.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

90. Can’t Get Worse Than That

I'm a doctor, and I had a nine-year-old girl brought in one night with her parents complaining of fever and respiratory distress, presenting with coughing and wheezing. The kid was really out of it and the parents were very upset. I thought it was Bronchitis, but I admitted her and ordered treatment for her fever and cough as well as throat cultures.

I was with another patient when the kid started hallucinating, sobbing and spewing everywhere. I figured it had to do with the fever, so I packed her with ice, but she passed on maybe a half hour after that. This wasn't my first death, but it was one of the worst. I couldn't tell the stiff neck since the kid was out of it.

She also couldn't tell me anything else that would point to simple or complex seizures. She died of neisseria meningitidis. Completely wrong diagnosis. To make matters worse, we called in all her schoolmates and anyone else we could wake up just in time to see three other kids go. The rest got antibiotics quickly enough. Probably my worst day in medicine.

The Biggest Mistakes Made By Doctors factsJoanna Darrell

91. Don’t Judge a Truck by Its Size

TODAY was my buddy's first day with his work truck. He was getting gas and assumed that because it was a big truck, that it took diesel. It did not take diesel.

Work mistakes FactsShutterstock

92. What Goes Around Comes Around

I used to work in a grocery store and I had an HR person repeatedly “lose” my doctor’s note stating that I have Reynaud’s Syndrome and couldn’t be in the freezer. I got a stack of them from the doctor and would have to bring in a new one every few weeks. Finally, I had a department head fax a copy in to corporate for me before dropping off yet another copy to the HR jerk.

The next week the HR jerk called me into her office and told me I was going to have to put the frozen load for bakery away. I told her I couldn’t do it and I had a note on file. She told me she didn’t have any paperwork on file for me and that she could “make me do anything she wanted to.” I called my department manager into the office and told him what she had said.

He got corporate on the phone and asked if they had received the copy of my doctor’s note detailing the fact that I had Reynaud’s Syndrome and had already previously gotten frostbite at work from being forced to be in the freezer when I wasn’t supposed to be. They said they had it, and he then told them what the HR jerk had said.

He then handed the HR jerk the phone. She had to hold the phone about a foot and a half away from her face because they were yelling at her so loud. It was one of the most satisfying days ever working there. She went on leave shortly after that and never came back, and the official story was that she was having health problems.

Unfair Things Teachers Have Dona FactsShutterstock

93. They Don’t Call It Pop for Nothing

I used to be a product merchandiser for Coca-Cola a few years ago. Basically, what I did was go to grocery stores, meet the driver dropping the delivery, and stock the shelves as fast as possible, then get to the next store, repeat. My second day on the job, I was stocking 2L bottles at this mega grocery store, running a bit behind because the order came in late, so I was moving fast.

Dropped a bottle of Sprite on the floor, and it hit cap down. That little jerk shot up in the air and cleared four aisles. Luckily, it didn’t hit anyone. Then, on my last day of working for Coke, same thing happened, except this time it went flying straight for the cash and nearly hit some lady in the head. As I headed to the back room to get a mop, every employee was lined up, applauding.

One of them offered to clean it up, as it was the funniest thing he'd seen working at the store. That was the last bottle I stocked working for Coca-Cola.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

94. Close Shave

I was working at a shaving razor company. They had these large coils of metal that they ran through a machine. I had no idea what the heck I was doing, and removed the cover on the coil. This large coil just starts spinning fast and unraveling everywhere. I tried to stop it with this cutting tool I was holding...because I was supposed to take a sample of the metal.

This scrapes a huge line down the side of the coil. I managed to stop it and wind it back up, then put the cover back on like nothing happened.

Biggest Work Mistakes factsShutterstock

95. Big Pharma

I was promoted to VP of my company. The company was in trouble, and the CEO had asked me to figure out why and fix it. I arranged for a random drug test. All employees, the CEO, me, everyone. All on the same day, and everyone went down at the same time. Even said I would ignore weed, but anyone with anything stronger would be gone. We get the results back and I fired everyone who had tested positive for any drug other than weed. The CEO and myself were the only two people left working for the company.


Workplace StoriesShutterstock

96. My Boss Is a Heartbreaker

I once worked for a doctor who constantly ignored patients in serious pain. He thought all of them were faking it to get pain medication. After a senior director at Microsoft, who he refused to do an EKG on, expired from a heart attack in our ER, it was the last straw. I went to management and told them what I had seen. Thank God they fired him. I couldn't take it anymore.

Time factsPixabay

97. She Would Swim Any Waters for Me

I'd been drinking one night and peed the girlfriend's bed. With her in it. I spent an hour wide awake and mortified, as we hadn't been living together for very long at that point and I had no idea how to handle it. I eventually woke her up and shamefully told her what happened. Without ridicule or anger, she got up, helped me get the sheets in the wash, and took a shower with me.

It's been three years since that day, and she hasn't once used that event as harmful am3munition in an argument, or even mentioned it at all except as private playful banter once or twice. I understood then that she respected that embarrassing things happen to everyone and that I could always count on her to have my back, and to always keep our secrets.

Significant Other Was "The One FactsShutterstock

98. Always Check the Decimals

I very nearly injected a premature baby that had Down Syndrome with ten times the amount of Lasix I was supposed to give him: I had put the decimal in the wrong place when I did the math on the dose. That baby would almost certainly have died if I'd given it to him. I had the liquid drawn up in the syringe and had the syringe actually in the port ready to push through.

Then, I looked inside the chamber and realized how uncharacteristically full it seemed. Paediatric IV doses of anything are simply tiny. I was supposed to give him 0.1 mls, and nearly gave him 1.0mls. I needed a very large cup of tea after that.

Worst Mistakes Factshuffpost

99. MIA: Missing in the Air

I was an air traffic controller, and I have a million screwed-up stories about pilots. One very sad story was a pilot who flew in on “emergency fuel” in his MiG he flew around to air shows. He was erratic and didn’t listen to instructions well, but landed safely. He left my airport a few days later, then went down in the mountains and was never found.

The finding was: Likely low fuel due to scraping his fuel tanks at an air show prior to arriving at my airport. He never even had it looked at while he was at my airport. He was aware he had scraped his fuel tanks, he came into my airport using emergency fuel, yet he pressed on after that, to his demise. The truth is, pilots are just people. They’re flawed like the rest of us.

Pilot Mistakes FactsShutterstock

100. Irresponsible Faculty Meeting

One of my favorite moments: I walk into the school office to check my mailbox. A parent of one of my students sees me and says very loudly, almost screaming, "Oh, FINALLY!!!! LOOK, EVERYONE, I FOUND A TEACHER!!! Do you realize that I left work EARLY to come here after school to talk to my son's teachers about his report card, and you are LITERALLY the ONLY teacher I have found?!!! I went from classroom to classroom and everyone is GONE!!! Do you know what time it is?!! It's 3:45 pm! School ended FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO!!! FIFTEEN MINUTES!!!! And you're the ONLY teacher STILL HERE!!!! CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO ME WHY EVERYONE IS GONE?! CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO ME WHY EVERY TEACHER HAS LEFT THE BUILDING WHEN SCHOOL JUST GOT OUT?!!!!"

I paused, waiting to see if there was more. When I realized he had finished, I said, "All the teachers are in the library. We're having a faculty meeting." The look on his face was priceless. He knew he was in the wrong, but by that point, he had committed so fiercely to his anger and righteousness that he couldn't just apologize. So he said, "Well that's just irresponsible." And he walked out of the office.

Infuriating Parents factsPixabay

Sources: , , , , , , , , , 10

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