Total Facepalm: Idiotic Mistakes

To err may be human—but these mistakes are monstrous. Whether it’s an on-the-job misstep in the middle of an important day or a social gaffe that has all our friends talking about it for months, some errors are inevitable. But these ones from Reddit? Well, these people really should have known better—and they soon paid the consequences.


1. 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.

ranoverbaby

2. A Slip Of The Hand

I was the patient, and it was a kidney biopsy. I was pretty out of it, but still awake so they could talk to me, laying on my stomach as my kidney doctor worked behind me. He warned me, “You’re going to hear a click and it will feel like Mike Tyson punched you in the back”. “Ooookayy?” I hear, click, feel the punch, then hear, “Oh, GOD. Get on the phone now”.

A nurse came up near my face to calm me, and maybe keep an eye on me. I don’t really remember everything. Apparently, the doctor had nicked a blood vessel, and I was bleeding internally at an alarming rate. I got to spend the night in the hospital and peed what seemed like pure blood for about 24 hours. Never try to fit your kidney biopsy in on a Friday before the doctor leaves for vacation.

jvhero

3. Can’t Handle Everything Yourself

There was a guy who had a rare condition that required bloodletting, but he didn’t have the money to afford the treatment as often as he would need it. Like any rational human being, he decided to build an apparatus at home using a shop vac, Mason jars, an IV needle, and surgical tubing. Surprisingly, he had no issues for a few weeks.

He set the vacuum to pull the blood through the tubing via the needle and drain into the Mason jars. No big deal. Except it all went wrong in an instant. One day he isn’t paying attention and sets the vac to pump instead of pull. Dude switched it off after a few seconds, but he still had a massive air embolism. He’s very lucky he didn’t die, he “just” had a major stroke. He goes in for treatment now the last I heard.

Empty_Insight

4. Old House Rules

My fraternity’s party house was over a century old. A long pipe ran down the wall from one end of the basement out the back wall. We’re finishing off the last of our kegs one night when one of the pledges wanted to do a reverse keg stand. While he chugged, he lost his footing and fell leaving the keg to smash the pipe. What happened next was so gruesome, it’s unforgettable.

The pipe immediately sprayed out raw sewage into the basement. Everyone ran to the stairs. But the stairs were only made to hold a person or two at the same time and collapsed. So, that left 30 of us stranded in the sewage-flooded basement. People were throwing up all around the room. It was horrible, and we needed a plan.

So, three other guys and I had to hold up the stairs to get everyone out. And then to get out, someone else had to pull us up to the first floor. It was the most disgusting experience of my life.

joshg8

5. A Good Samaritan

I was a bank teller working the drive-thru at my branch. I had a fat stack of cash in an envelope, roughly $3,000, that I had set aside for my manager to take to the vault because my till drawer was already full. I was just going through the motions and there was some guy who needed a cash withdrawal. While I was on auto-pilot, I made a HUGE mistake.

I sent back his tube with the envelope containing $3,000 instead of the few hundred he was withdrawing. The worst part was that I didn’t realize my mistake until about 10 or so transactions later. I immediately called my manager and just said, “I messed up big time”. I couldn’t even remember which account the transaction was made on, so I had no idea who to call.

He could have kept that money and we would have never known. Luckily, he was a good Samaritan and he came back into the branch. He asked for the manager, saying: “I believe there was a mistake, I was given way too much money but I noticed it wasn’t taken out of my account. I don’t want your teller fired over this!” The issue was resolved in under an hour and I’m forever thankful that guy was a good person.

HallucinatesOtters

I messed upShutterstock

6. Handles Influenza And Brain Cells

When I was in med school on my family medicine rotation, I was sent in to see a middle-aged woman with complaints of sinus congestion. Sure enough, from the very beginning, I can tell she’s really stopped up with her nasally voice, and my history and exam are consistent with your run-of-the-mill viral upper respiratory infection.

I begin educating her on symptomatic management and the following exchange ensues: Patient: “Do you think it might be the flu?” Me: “It’s possible but unlikely; it’s really out of the typical season”. Patient: “Yeah, I guess I wasn’t sure; I’ve been spraying Lysol everywhere and it doesn’t seem to be doing any good, and it says it removes the flu bug”.

Me: “Well, that’s something that could help disinfect the house and keep it from spreading”. Patient: “I guess, I just wish it didn’t burn so much” Me: “…what do you mean, ‘it burns’?” Soon enough, it all became too clear. Patient: “You know, when I spray it up my nose, it burns so bad”. Yep. My patient thought that since Lysol gets rid of influenza, the best way to nip it in the bud was to flush her sinuses with it like a saline spray. It did not work, for the record.

SRA6185

7. Opening Up

I was drinking at a friend’s house when his girlfriend’s sister came over. She’s gorgeous, and to make everything better, we had all decided to party sans pants that evening as we had a habit of doing. With some encouragement from her sister, this girl was all over me, and it looked like I’d round the bases that night.

But one of my friends sitting across from me in the living room made some dumb joke. I responded by gently tossing an empty can at him. So, he picked up the can and whipped it. He was way off, and the can hit the girl on my lap right in the forehead. Her forehead was split to the bone. What ensued was a lot of yelling.

She called her dad to come and pick her up even though I tried convincing her that some butterfly bandages would be fine and we could continue the evening.

tbroski

8. 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.

BurberryCustardbath

9. Did I Do That?

I once saw a med student suck up a skin graft with a suction device. The skin graft is a very thin piece of tissue that was being carefully laid onto the wound where it was then to be sewed on, carefully, like a patch. The med student was using the suction to clean up the wound and accidentally sucked up the carefully-prepared graft entirely. Gone instantaneously.

purpleddit

10. A Really Big Mess

I was at dinner with my band section after a concert, so we were all out in fancy tuxes. Our waitress was walking up with our milkshakes, but she tripped and spilled 6 milkshakes on my chest, lap, phone, my open wallet, and in my shoes. But that’s not all. A glass hit the table, broke, and cut my hand. She started freaking out and kept apologizing, on the verge of tears.

She kept bringing more napkins and towels, trying to help more. After I was somewhat dried, she came back with her manager. They were both still apologizing and told us they would cover the bill. As we were leaving, she stopped me and apologized again, but then said, “I’d like to make up for this ruined dinner with another one,” and handed me her number. All in all, ruined dinner, but a date with a cute waitress.

fuzzypyrocat

11. It’s Cheaper Than A Kid, At Least

I’m a doctor. A gentleman walked into the emergency department one day after he tried to give himself a vasectomy with an animal neutering kit he bought on the internet. When we asked him why he said that his wife wanted to have a sixth kid and it was too expensive to pay a doctor to do it. He didn’t think it would be all that difficult to do it himself.

iilumos

12. Traps In Aisle 4

In my 20s, while working at Home Depot, I walked by an aisle full of pallets of doors. As soon as I passed through, chaos ensued. All of the doors came crashing down, as well as the pallets. No one knows how it happened, but I’m pretty sure I was the one that put the pallets there a few days prior. Damages were in the thousands. Luckily, no one was hurt; but I still think about all of the traps I left in that place.

Jetix_MK3

13. Nick Of Time

Doctor here. During the first surgery I ever scrubbed into in my surgery clerkship in medical school, I accidentally impaled the patient’s liver with a tool called a trocar. Just for some background, in laparoscopic surgery, typically three small incisions are made and surgical tools like a camera (laparoscope) are inserted in order to perform the surgery. After making the initial incision, a trocar is placed to widen the hole and facilitate the passage of tools.

Basically, I misjudged how much force I would need to push the trocar through and I very slightly nicked the patient’s liver. I immediately began to sweat and fog up my eye protection, thinking I ended the patient. Luckily, the injury was very minor and I didn’t hit any major blood vessels. The surgeon cauterized the area that I hit to stop some minor bleeding.

A few weeks later, we saw the same patient again to take out her gallbladder and she was perfectly fine.

PMME_ur_lovely_boobs

14. Canine Chaos

I almost ended my dog an hour after adopting her. I had just brought her home and I took her for our first walk. I’ve owned dogs before, so I wasn’t particularly stressed; plus, we had bought a few collars for her ahead of time, so I tried them on and went with the one that fit the best. The walk was fine until we ended up beside a busy road with no street lights. She was getting riled up, wanting to chase the cars, which I obviously wouldn’t let her do.

She looked back at me for a moment, and then in one fluid motion, she slipped out of her collar and sprinted onto the street, chasing cars. I’ve never felt so helpless, watching her stand in the darkest part of the road with cars doing 60 mph, rapidly approaching. They definitely had zero chance of seeing her and I had about 30 seconds to save her. I ran after her, but every time I approached, she just ran away, thinking it was a game.

I had this rising nausea as I was sure I was about to watch my dog lose its life. I did the only thing I could think of. I ran full sprint away from her. She saw me running and chased me all the way back to the sidewalk. When she got there, I just hugged her and stayed with her until I caught my breath. She’s fine and we walk her with a harness now, but that was the worst feeling of my life.

To this day I get flashbacks about it.

Now-Kiss

15. Full Of Heart

One time when I was in nursing school, I was doing ER clinical and a guy came in with “penile pain”. Long story short, several days prior, he decided he wanted a texture implant to help enhance pleasure during bedroom activities for his lady friend. He and his buddy got tipsy (of course) and decided to do it themselves. It couldn’t have gone worse.

They went in his garage and took a box cutter to slice open the skin on the dorsal (top) side of his member, made some room between the skin and underlying muscle, and put a small porcelain heart underneath. Then he superglued it shut. To make matters worse, the guy didn’t wait for it to heal and decided to take it for a test run immediately.

He ended up with a major infection and presented several days later. I, unfortunately, don’t know the outcome; I was just there for the porcelain heart extraction.

meatcoveredskeleton1

16. Into The Abyss

I have been a scuba diver for 22 years and I’ve done over 3,000 dives in my career so far. I have seen only a couple of major dive accidents—one was a heart attack (the guy lived and is doing okay now), and the other happened to me and my two buddies. I was in the Komodo Islands and it was a drift dive, which is when the current is so strong you make yourself neutrally buoyant to purposely go with the current.

We were diving nitrox (a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen with a higher concentration of oxygen than regular air). I had a mixture that was 36% oxygen and my buddies were within 0.5% of my oxygen content. This is important because, under pressure, oxygen becomes harmful to the human body. For recreational divers, there is a depth limit of 40 meters to make sure nobody gets oxygen toxicity. Normally that would set in at around 90+ meters; however, with a higher oxygen content, the safe level becomes shallower.

We had a fourth buddy with us who was a part of our guides group. She was a lady who spoke little English and was very aloof. Our tour guide went into the water and all of us followed him—well, almost all of us. The lady decided she wanted to go her own way, and the guide proceeded to chase after her. The current was so strong we had to climb horizontally across the reef using reef hooks. And that’s when the real nightmare began.

As we were climbing, my buddy’s clip broke. My other buddy and I unhooked our clips and went after our friend. As we drifted, we noticed another group of people from our boat, so we joined them. The dive was going smoothly until I noticed my buddy was trying to take a picture of something. He was facing down, staring at the ground, and when I checked on him, I realized that he was undergoing nitrogen narcosis. Basically, it makes you feel tipsy and causes disorientation and other effects.

I grabbed onto him as our tour guide came over to help. Out of nowhere, the ocean floor started dropping from underneath us. I started pulling us towards the rest of the group we had joined but then noticed that all of our bubbles were going downward. I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen…until a split second later when I realized we were caught in a down current.

I quickly checked my depth and realized I was at 130 feet and sinking quickly. I grabbed my two buddies by their tank valves and kicked as hard as I could. I ended up getting us all up to the surface. After a few minutes, I notice that we were alone. I blew into my whistle and heard a response, so I swam towards it while towing my two buddies.

Eventually, I reunited with the group. But that was far from the end. Because we all got caught in the down current and the water was moving so fast, we ended up more than a mile from the island where we had been diving. We were still drifting away. We threw up our marker buoys and started making plans to go to one of the other islands that we were drifting past depending on how long we would be drifting for.

I told the group to wave the buoys in distress, but to conserve their air for emergencies and to keep the lights off until nighttime if it came to that. Luckily, another boat saw us in distress and rescued us. I put us all on DCI (decompression illness) watch and we monitored our symptoms for the next 24 hours. We were all okay and nobody had any lasting physical symptoms.

Though, a couple of people had PTSD, which is understandable given how close we came to dying that day.

jimmyjonsassman

17. Welcome To The World

My dad is a pediatrician specializing in neurological issues. He was seeing one of his patients at the hospital and got dragged into the NICU unexpectedly by a nurse who insisted that a baby wasn’t well. The attending doctor insisted the kid was fine, and that he was just tired from a difficult vacuum assist delivery. My dad could tell the baby wasn’t okay and managed to talk the parents into a brain scan.

The NICU doctor insisted my dad was nuts to the parents. Little did he know his arrogance would cost him, big time. The kid had a brain bleed and was rushed to surgery. The baby would not have lived without the nurse bringing my dad in and the parents listening to him. The delay caused by the NICU doctor almost certainly cost the kid some brain function. I’m proud that my dad did the right thing.

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18. Gates Of Hades

After a high school football game, I had some friends come over to my place for a backyard fire. We couldn’t get the wood lit, so someone had the bright idea of getting out the gasoline. As I poured some of the gas onto the barely lit fire, the fire traveled up the stream and into the gas can. I went into full-blown panic mode as I held this now flamethrower that could explode in my hand at any time.

I then had the genius idea of tossing the gas can into my pool that was nearby. Little did I know that gas floats on water, so when I threw the gas can into the pool, it looked like the Gates of Hades with flaming water flying everywhere. My friends were astonished at the scene. Everyone ended up leaving and I just waited for my mom to come home and end me.

RaccoonNew113

19. Horses And People Are Very Similar

As a doctor, I once saw a young child with a bruised, swollen, crooked forearm. He had fallen on the playground three days earlier and another parent there was a vet and had horse X-ray equipment in his truck. That parent took X-rays and told the mom that the kid was probably fine. So that was apparently good enough for mom and she didn’t do anything for three days.

Her child was up all night screaming in pain. Finally, she took him into my office and brought me the fuzzy copies of the X-rays, which were useless and impossible to accurately interpret. I got him real X-rays and a nice cast for his very broken arm.

doctorvictory

20. Totally Stalling

One day, I woke up, wrote to my friend, and we played the entire game A Way Out in one sitting. We took a break at lunch and I ate some sandwiches with a funky-smelling blue cheese that we had in the back of the drawer in the fridge. It tasted just fine, so I didn´t think much of it. Later on, I ate the rest of the cheese as a snack while we played. Oh, how wrong I was.

About an hour after we finished, my co-worker came to pick me up for work. We were at the cleaning makeshift headquarters near a factory that was being built, and we were there alone because all the workers had left for the day already. While mopping the toilets, I thought to myself, “I should probably just go now”. So, I entered the stall with my bucket and mop and tried to go.

It was fine, but when I cleaned up and put on my pants, I felt my stomach rumble. Thinking I wasn’t done, I pulled my pants back down and tried to go again. That’s when things got bad. Worst yet, my co-worker was at the opposite side of the headquarters, cleaning the other part of the building, so she couldn’t hear me. At one point, I started getting dizzy, and I was pretty dehydrated. Still, the worst part was yet to come.

A few minutes later, I felt the need to burp and I gagged a little. I thought to myself, “Oh no”. I had just enough time to reach for the bucket with water from my mop…and then I started throwing up. This went on for five minutes straight. I just remember sitting there regretting my life choices. Why did I ever think eating those sandwiches was a good idea?

Finally, my co-worker came to my part of the headquarters to check on me. She opened my bathroom stall. When she say me, she gasped. There I was, pants pulled down, squeezing a bucket between my arms and thighs. She opened up the window, picked up her phone, and called my mom (we were working for my mom’s cleaning company). At that point, I was crying, because I wanted it all to stop.

My mom asked, “How are you feeling?” All I could say was, “I shouldn´t have eaten all that blue cheese…” before I turned my head back into the bucket to vomit some more. My co-worker ran to get me a bottle of water and two activated charcoal pills. I chugged it in one go. A few moments later, it was all over. It all stopped. My head was spinning like crazy.

I couldn’t even sit straight, so I had to lean against the bathroom stall. My mom came to the scene. At that point, I was pretty weak and dehydrated, but I was alive. When I wiped and flushed, I tried to stand up. My feet were so weak from how much I tensed up my muscles that the moment I stood up, I fell back down on the toilet, nearly passing out.

I leaned against the stall, and my mom literally had to pull up my pants because I just couldn’t do it on my own. They helped me walk to the car, and by the time I was home, I had just enough strength to wash and go to sleep.

BandicootSVK

21. In A “Flash”

In high school, I had these jeans with a zipper that would automatically open whenever I put my hands in the pockets. For some reason, I continued to wear these pants; mostly out of laziness to get a new pair I guess. I was wearing those jeans in one of my classes where the teacher was really cool and I got along with her pretty well.

For some reason, I thought it would be funny to go up to her while she was sitting down, put my crotch area about half a foot away from her face, and go “Watch this” as I put my hands in my pockets to unleash my zipper. I didn’t realize that my boxers were opened and, well…everything flopped out right in front of her. I have NO IDEA why I thought it was a good idea.

Thankfully, she said she didn’t see anything…but I’m still traumatized by that whole situation.

pumper911

I messed upShutterstock

22. The Slow Trickle

In middle school, I was on the track team. I used to avoid going #1 in school for no other reason than an inconvenience. Anyway, one day at track practice, I couldn’t hold it, but I was at the starting line getting ready to run. Before I started running, I had already started to go in my shorts. I pretended I was stretching and got really close to the ground. It didn’t help much.

My shorts were wet all over. How no one found out, I’ll never know.

imbadatthese

23. Read The Label

I had a guy come to my hospital for coughing and shortness of breath for the past few months. His lungs were making some very concerning noises. He got a chest X-ray that looked horrible, so I did a CT scan. The radiologist called it the worst case of necrotizing pneumonia he’d ever seen. The dude had like 15 percent functional lung tissue left.

The patient then mentioned things had been worse after he started using a new breath freshener spray. He whipped out one of those concentrated air freshener bottles. It was clearly labeled “Not For Internal Use”. Apparently he had been using it like mouthwash spray, and had already gone through three bottles by the time he came to us.

Iamthewarthog

24. Systems Down

15 years ago, I had one of the file servers crash in the middle of data migration. It was a double-drive failure that happened all at once, plus the backup I had only consisted of the stuff that changed in the last seven days. Luckily, only about 20% of the personal files were on that device. But here’s the unlucky part: Half the executives’ files were on that device. So politically, it was bad.

I went to my boss right away with a quote to have the disk cluster re-built. I sent the disks out that day, restored as much as I could, then went home that night and told my wife that I’d probably be canned once it was all fixed. After all, the whole debacle racked up $15K in expenses and 36 hours of downtime for about 13% of the data.

I ended up getting called into the CEO’s office a week after everything was fixed. He wanted to know my side of the story directly. I told him that, at the end of the day, I was in charge of that stuff, so it was on me. But I also stressed that we had an extremely tight budget which didn’t allow for a lot of safety mechanisms and that the window to move data like that was limited.

So, I did the best I could with what I had and the double failure still occurred. I didn’t get fired, nor did I get much of a budget bump…but did get a good raise six months later. That said, I think it still took a long time to gain trust back with the rest of the execs.

Shroom4Yoshi

25. That’s Not How Any Of This Works

I work in the ER at a trauma center. This guy comes in with his little girl and says that she was bit in the face by the family German Shepherd. I immediately take her back, assuming that I need to control the bleeding. Then the whole situation flipped upside down. What I encounter is a little girl with a laceration going all the way from over her left eye, crossing her nose and mouth.

It is not bleeding whatsoever and it seems to have an odd-looking substance inside. So I obviously ask the dad what she had inside it. He responds very proudly with, “Ah yes, I packed the wound with leaves and super glue”.

C10Sutton

26. Trippin’ Out

When was a stupid teenager, I took double the number of psychedelics because they were not kicking in fast enough. We were in a park and my friend had a whole stash on her. Unknown to us, the park closed at 10, and that’s when they kicked in big time. A couple of patrol cars came around to make sure everyone was out of the park, and we were sitting in the car. They pulled up behind us with the lights on, and I had a total meltdown.

I was sweating buckets, from the top of my head to the bottoms of my feet. My friend (while tripping out of her mind) calmly explained that I was having a panic attack and needed to be left alone. They believed her and let us go. I called my buddy to pick me up and take me home. I later found out that I had locked myself out of the house, and my mom was out of town.

I couldn’t stay at my buddy’s place, so he drove me a couple of cities over to another friends’ place. I ended up arriving at her doorstep at 1 am. Her Catholic parents were not happy to see me.

Top_Box_1935

I messed upShutterstock

27. Like Pulling Off A Band-Aid

When I was 19, I had no job, home, or money and was couch surfing various friends’ places. A back tooth cracked in half on me. I dealt with it for a few days before realizing something was wrong and this wasn’t your regular toothache. I loaded up the ol’ search engine and found that I needed a dentist to remove the tooth. Well, having no money made that difficult, but something had to be done.

One day while I was in pain, I went to the kitchen grabbed some needle nose pliers, went to the bathroom and pulled that sucker out, albeit not very successfully. For the next 11 years of my life, I would live with pointy little fragments of tooth stuck in my jaw. I finally got a job that gave me dental insurance, went to the dentist, and got the rest of the tooth fragments pulled out.

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28. Epic Face Plant

I was riding my bike around the edge of the lake as a child. Somehow, I got it into my head that riding on my wood dock would be perfectly safe. Less than a minute in, I went off into shallow water, with the gears catching onto the wood. I ended up hitting the rocks face first, and it was so painful. I have never felt my spine curve that much. At that moment, I knew I had messed up.

In the aftermath, half of my face was skinned, and my glasses had punctured in two places around my eye socket. I walked up to my mom and just said “Hi!” while dripping in blood. She was not pleased.

hatduck

29. Where Do People Get These Ideas

I had a patient who came into the ER with a chronic cough which was not resolving. She subscribes to holistic medicine and lives out in the bush. She had been struggling with this worsening cough and feeling unwell for about two entire months before she came. The whole time, she was taking a homemade bovine lung extract.

She made it on her farm. She was proud that she dried the cow’s lung herself. I suspect she either inhaled bacteria or she aspirated some of it. In any case, she now had a huge lung abscess. She required a lung pneumonectomy (removal of her upper lung). Pathology came back with some bizarre bacteria I never heard of, nor was taught in medicine.

She survived and has become my patient, but I still never see her unless her home remedies fail. She never really learned her lesson but has thankfully sworn off the bovine lung extract at least.

IamsomebodyAMA

30. Keeping The Faith

I tried moving to Seattle from Buffalo with only $1,000 saved up, thinking I had a job lined up. Turns out, they’d only interviewed me to get information, and I scrambled to get employment as I stayed in a hostel. The temp agency got me to work, but three weeks later, the call center no longer wanted me there. I got the phone call, in the room I was staying in, that I wasn’t being kept.

After a lot of thought, I realized no matter what, I would be completely homeless. I took the last $300 or so I had left and bought a bus ticket back to Buffalo, salvaging the stuff I could. To me, it was better to be homeless in a city I knew than in a city where I knew nobody. I ran out of money completely in Wisconsin, I lost my wallet in Chicago, and by the time the bus reached Buffalo, it had snowed a bunch, so it made it difficult to drag my stuff around.

Two and a half years later, here I am, back at work in Seattle. I have a roof over my head, reliable transportation, two jobs, and a large number of new friends. I’ve been here for nearly a year now after managing to get back onto my feet with my parents’ help after the disaster in 2019, and I truly have never been happier.

ShamusJohnson13

31. Just An Off Day

I worked at a fast-food restaurant when I was 17. I had a very long and busy day once, and I was extremely tired after my shift. The manager on duty asked me to stay late to do the overnight porter’s job, but I told him I was exhausted. Still, he didn’t take no for an answer, and after him pressuring me some more,  I reluctantly agreed. Cue my big mistake—I drained the deep fryer of its oil and forgot to turn it off.

A huge fire ignited inside it, with the flames almost touching the ceiling. I grabbed the fire extinguisher and quickly put the fire out, but now I had to clean all of the white powder. I grabbed a bucket of water and tossed it into the fryer. What I didn’t know was that under the fryer, there was an open valve and a bucket full of very hot oil. An eruption of violently boiling oil exploded at my feet and the whole kitchen was in smoke.

The white powder was everywhere and the entire kitchen floor was now covered in crackling oil. My manager showed up and found me in tears. In shock at what he saw, he just told me to go home…but I couldn’t abandon the mess I had just caused. I spent the whole night cleaning up the mess until the sun came up. I could not believe I wasn’t burned by the flames. I wasn’t even fired!

AbbreviationsGlad833

32. Lost Gems

I worked at a warehouse that stocked and rented jewelry showcases of all kinds for trade shows. We had a trailer of six-foot counter cases that were like 70% glass. All but the last row of cases were left on dollies for quick unloading when it came to the dock (these cases never left the yard; they just went into a trailer to clear room in the warehouse).

We were pulling the truck into the warehouse to clean them for a show. We had to open the trailer doors before we backed up to the dock. Stupidly, I opened the doors, then decided that while it was backing up, I’d run behind it. The driver saw me make that move and he slammed the breaks. That’s when I saw my life flash before my very eyes.

The momentum sent all the cases on dollies flying out of the trailer and onto the concrete. About 22 cases were shattered on the ground. Luckily, the warehouse manager kept his cool and just told me I was lucky I didn’t get crushed by all those cases. That was easily my largest contribution to company loss.

Kmccabe1213

33. Just Making It Worse

I had a patient come in complaining of pain in her arm. I looked at where she points and it looked like a cyst, but it was pretty deep. She said it was a recurring problem and it just kept coming back. I flipped through her chart and the first instance of that weird lump was nearly a year ago. I do some more reading on her chart. Its contents made everything disgustingly clear.

I found out the patient would come in every few months for the same issue, but in-between, she would use a kitchen utensil to dig it out despite being told multiple times not to, you know, do surgery on herself at home. That was probably why there was so much pain to the area and why it was now burrowed so deep underneath the skin.

I phoned the doctor on-call, who asked me a bunch of questions. In the end he said, “I don’t even know what to tell you. I’m referring her to surgery. And tell her not to take a sharp object to it again!”

duckface08

34. A Blonde Moment

At a job interview for Whataburger, the guy asked me: “Do you think you could handle this job?” And for some insane reason, I answered like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde when she says, “What? Like it’s hard?” after her ex is shocked that she got into law school. As soon as I said it, I realized I sounded like a jerk and I watched this 30-something manager sneer in disapproval at 16 year old me, probably shouting in his head about arrogant youth or something.

He thanked me for coming in and that was that. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. The dumb things you do in your teens, man.

zerogirl0

I messed upFlickr

35. Wyoming Drift

I live in Wyoming. I was getting into rally racing a while back and I had an all-wheel-drive hot hatch. The town over has a football field that they don’t use anymore (it’s exactly how you’d imagine it to be), and the track around the field is dirt. One night, on the way home from the bar, I decided to take a few laps drifting on the corners. I did pretty well, and I left about 15 minutes later with nothing bad happening.

However, I decided to go back after getting halfway down the road, just do another lap or two. I was doing well, but then it all went off the rails. I started pushing the boundaries of the car and on one of the turns, I lost it and slammed into a concession stand, putting a hole in the corner. After that, the car wouldn’t run because the front axle got ripped away from the transmission.

At that point, it was late at night, so I had really no choice but to call the authorities and say, “Hey uh, I messed up”. The officers were mad at first, but they softened up after a few minutes since I was compliant. I felt terrible. I still feel bad about it.

Tsubinki

36. What Can’t Be Fixed With Duct Tape?

I’m a doctor, and I once had a good ol’ boy farmer slice open his thigh with a chainsaw while cutting a tree. He proceeded to wrap about half a roll of duct tape around it until the bleeding was controlled. Then he decided to drive himself (with his horse trailer still attached to his pickup) from the country into the city to our hospital, about a 40-minute drive.

Now, our trauma center hospital is right next to the children’s hospital. He accidentally went into the children’s hospital, where they proceeded to panic and call for an ambulance to drive him across the street to our hospital. To be honest, that duct tape was on so tight he saved his own life because it essentially became a tourniquet.

VagueInfoHere

37. Urgent Matters

I went to a hospital for my kidney check. At one point, I suddenly needed to go to the washroom, so I went out and searched for one. I immediately went in and did my business. It took me a second to realize I had just made a huge mistake. It turned out to be a ladies’ bathroom. In front of the single toilet, there was a line forming, with everyone waiting for me to get out all of a sudden.

The scariest thing, however, was that the first woman in line was a 90-year-old lady. When I went out, I saw a line of over three women waiting for me. Their first reaction was: “What the heck are you doing here?” At that point, I started staring at the sidewall like some type of psycho while limping as I got out of the bathroom. I’ve never been so ashamed.

Ok-Lead-3813

38. Time Out, Ref

I used to coach a soccer team of four-year-olds when I was 14 or 15. I played soccer 10 years prior and still played at the time. During one game, they went to take a water break, and I was on the field juggling. The kids were always fascinated by it, so I kept doing it. After the water break ended, I kicked the ball out one direction and they all ran towards it to bring it back so we could resume playing.

I did this often so all the kids were used to this, and they knew I could kick pretty hard, so they all typically stepped away when I went to kick. We were on a time crunch during that game, so I didn’t want to kick it too far out. But in this particular game, a kid didn’t step away. He was right outside of my periphery, so I didn’t even see him. He ran right out in front of me as I kicked—and I absolutely clobbered the kid.

I felt so horrible. The kid was fine though; he was laughing and he got up immediately. But man, I couldn’t shake that image from my head of what could have happened if I had decided to kick it hard that time. I never did it again and I stopped coaching after that season. The parents were so sweet to me and they told me that it wasn’t my fault.

upset-noodle

39. Not Flossing Is The Least Of His Worries

I had a patient come in with a mouth full of weird gloopy white mounds on his molars and some old caps on his teeth that were falling off. He was phobic of the dentist and hadn’t had insurance for 10 years. Turns out, his temporary healing caps from 10 years ago were falling off of his teeth. Of course, they were meant to be temporary, not permanent, hence the name.

To fix his “minor” issue, he was gluing them back in with plumbing cement! Then he decided to just go for it and do his own fillings! When the caps would come off while he was chewing (and they did) and he swallowed them, he would sort through his poop for them and glue them back in. Just absolute ridiculousness. That was NOT a good day.

SrirachelSauce

40. In Tow, In Toe

This happened when I was about seven years old—I chased my brother inside our house and as I yanked the front door open, my big toe got caught on it. A horrifying pain engulfed my entire foot. The space between my toes had torn and I was in immense pain. My brother said I went silent and his face turned white after he looked down and saw all the blood on our deck.

He was a great big brother, though. He scooped me up and set me down on some stairs with a towel, then ran to get our mom and dad. One emergency trip later and I was able to get all stitched up. If he didn’t act quickly, I would have had to amputate my toe.

TheZoomingMonkey

I messed upShutterstock

41. I Don’t Want To Hear It

I was working in a community practice in the country when an older male comes in complaining of ear pain. He was a sailor and said that out during long journeys on the open ocean there wasn’t always a doctor and you had to often fend for yourself when it came to medical issues. He had long had a problem with his ears and said it had been getting much worse recently despite the use of his favorite maritime remedy.

I examined his ears. What I saw stopped me in my tracks. Both of his ear canals were caked in a black/green mold overlying extremely irritated bleeding tissue. Looking down each canal, he had bilateral perforated ear drums with blood slowly emanating from his middle ear. I asked him what he had been doing with his ears.

He then pulled out a semicircular black piece of rubber tubing about the size of a bike pump tube. He proceeded to tell me that any time he had ear trouble, he would fill up his mouth with water, put one end of the tube in his mouth and the other end tightly in his ear canal. He would then proceed to push the water in and out between his mouth and ear trying to flush it out.

He lived to tell more tales, despite some deafness. I still shudder to think about his maritime “fix” to this day.

MADTurnUP

42. Geez, Take A Hint

Two years ago, I was into goth, emo, and punk girls—and I had this one friend at work who fit in one of those categories. We started getting along well over time, and she kept wanting to hang out with me. One year, she invited me to her birthday party, telling me that “there’s gonna be drinks, so if you need to spend the night, you’re more than welcome to”.

Being the oblivious idiot that I was, I didn’t get her hints.  I started looking back at our old messages and I don’t know how I didn’t realize she was flirting with me the whole time. We would stay up until 5 or 6 am just talking and yet I still didn’t get a clue. She has a boyfriend now, but I promised myself I wouldn’t be so clueless in the future.

Possible_Summer8720

43. Little Fires Everywhere

I spent one of my summers at my grandparents’ house in the Colorado mountains. I was playing with fireworks alone, and being around 10 years old at the time, I wasn’t exactly responsible. I ended up lighting one of those bouncing, spinning things and I threw it off the hill onto the gravel road. That was not my brightest moment. It backfired on me big time. 

It went crazy, letting out sparks everywhere as it bounced off the road and down another hill. I rushed after it and found that every place it had touched, it had started a small fire. Each one was already about knee-high. Luckily, I was smart enough to stomp each one out. To this day, I always think about what would’ve happened if I didn’t go down the hill after it.

TheOrionNebula

44. Forced Adulthood

One night when I was 17, I went to see my boyfriend. My mom told me she’d kick me out if I ever went to my boyfriend’s house—she didn’t like him because the one and only time she met him, he talked back to his own mother across the dinner table. After a small argument with my mom, I ran out the door and walked to his house. When I got home, the unthinkable happened.

She had a small laundry basket of clothes ready by the door and she said, “Don’t even think about taking those shoes off! You thought I was joking? Get in the car”. Then, she tossed the laundry basket into the trunk, took my house key, and drove me to a women’s shelter in town. When we got there, she basically pushed me out of the car and said that if I came back onto her property, she’d call the authorities.

She ghosted me for almost a year. The only reason she got back in contact with me was to ask if I’d gotten into substances “as the shelter people do” and if I had gotten a job yet. Now that I’m 23, she uses me as a negative example for my younger brother because, according to her, I’m what happens when you’re lazy, possess zero work ethic, and don’t go to college.

I’m what happens when your mom kicks you out WAY too early and you have to claw your way up via welfare, going in and out of shelters, and renting rooms while attempting to become an adult literally overnight.

SnowyInuk

I messed upShutterstock

45. Sheer Luck

I once impaled my hand on the top of a fence I was climbing when my feet slipped out while I had one hand on top. I wound up with 18 stitches total, 10 internal and eight external. They told me to come back in two weeks to get the stitches out. So two weeks go by, but I don’t have insurance. I figured, “How hard can it be to remove stitches?”

It wasn’t hard, however, a doctor probably would have looked at my hand and said, “Those aren’t ready to come out”. I did not have any such medical knowledge, so when I removed the stitches, I ended up with just a big hole in my hand. I didn’t know what to do and I definitely didn’t want to get more stitches in the raw skin I had just removed them from.

So I crazy-glued my hand shut and kept reapplying the glue a couple of times a day for two weeks. In the end, I peeled off the strip of dried glue and my hand was perfectly healed.

RealBowsHaveRecurves

46. Hydro Hazard

I’m an HVAC tech. About 13 years ago, I was replacing an expansion valve on an air handler in a 2nd-floor apartment closet which required a torch. Well, I had my torch going and I didn’t realize there were sprinklers two feet above where I was brazing. BOOM! The sheer force of the water blasted through the closet wall, flooding the whole apartment and the apartment below.

I couldn’t get the water turned off, but luckily the FD showed up very fast and shut it off from the main. Horrible day. I wasn’t fired, surprisingly…

Phrankespo

47. Stop Using Superglue For Medical Purposes

l had a patient whose upper denture was loose so they applied superglue to it, dried their mouth, and stuck it in! It worked great. But there was one enormous problem. Obviously they couldn’t get the denture out again. A couple weeks later, his wife forced him to come see me due to the smell coming from his mouth. The gum tissue became necrotic and the patient lost all the tissue on the roof of his mouth.

MichaelScot69

48. Super Well Done

One night, after a long night of gaming, I decided to microwave some chicken nuggets. I got them out of the freezer and read the package: “30 minutes on high” blah, blah, blah. I shoved them in the microwave for 30 minutes and went back to watching my movie in the living room. About five minutes went by, and I smelled this awful stench.

It was at this moment I knew I had messed up. I jumped up and ran to the kitchen to see smoke pouring out of every crack and crevice of that microwave. I opened the microwave door, fanned the smoke away, opened the back door (to let even more smoke out), and grabbed the plate of chicken nuggets with a hand cloth. They were literally black rocks that looked like coal.

I poured them in the trash and they burnt straight through the bag, then I decided I didn’t need food anymore and should just sleep instead. Turns out, those 30-minute instructions were meant for the oven.

da_boy-roy

49. That’s For Soup, Not Hands

One day we had a kid, about 14, come in after getting his hand chewed up by a meat grinder. Apparently this is pretty common, because it was the second time I had seen it in a matter of months. Anyways, when I went to irrigate his wound I noticed he wasn’t bleeding at all but had chunks of dark red “crumbs” stuck in the wound.

Turns out they put cayenne pepper on it to stop it from bleeding before heading to the hospital. Honestly, I was pretty impressed…at least at the beginning of it all. The only problem is that the pepper was so deeply lodged into the cuts that I couldn’t get any of it out, so he had to go to the OR and get his hand amputated.

pljeskavica

50. For My Eyes Only

I went to a bank once to ask a question. I handed some paperwork to a manager, who was already holding paperwork relating to a vault (presumably with very sensitive information on it). He put my paperwork on top of what he was already holding and simply handed back the entire stack when he was finished answering my question. I looked at the stack of paper, saw that I had his document, and handed it back saying, “Is this yours?”

He SNATCHED the document out of my hands really quickly, and then looked at me with eyes all scared and wide. He probably saw his job flash right before his eyes.

tardis3134

51. U R an L

I did marketing for a major US-based restaurant chain in 2015. We were launching a loyalty program and one of our tactics was to put up little flyers and pop-up banners in the restaurants with a QR code that took you to a link to download the mobile app and sign up. I used a shortened URL and was unaware that the short URLs could be case-sensitive.

Our brand standards meant all URLs were to be printed in all caps. This was a horrible idea in the end. See, if you actually typed the short URL in all caps, it would take you to an adult website. We definitely got some customer complaints that day…but in my defense, who the heck types in a URL exactly as they see it when there’s a QR code right there?

J1P2G3

52. Mothers Always Know

A while ago, I was taking biotin supplements to strengthen my hair and nails. I had never taken them before and my mother warned me that the supplements had made her nauseous and she had to stop taking them. Well…I didn’t listen. Let me just say that I took my mom’s advice to heart later that day when I started getting nauseous during my morning choir rehearsal.

The girl in front of me was showered in…love.

sh31byrenee

53. Back It Up

I was trying to back into a parking space in my 18-wheeler in the pitch black with blinding snow all around me. At the time, I had barely six months of experience under my belt. It didn’t take long for everything to go haywire. I got all lined up but the truck wasn’t straight and all the backing and straightening was causing me to shimmy to the right every time I did it.

I didn’t think to get out and look one more time—instead, I kept going and smashed the heck out of the front end of another truck. I was fired and sent home on a Greyhound the next day. It took me like a month and a half to find a company that would hire a guy with six months of experience who was fired for safety reasons.

But I eventually found a company, repaired my record, and now I have seven years of driving experience, making roughly $60k a year.

johnnythesailorman

I messed upShutterstock

54. One Way To Save Money

I once had a guy come in who had severely broken his pinky to the point that it was going to have to be amputated. He asked about the treatment options and cost. When we gave him ball-park estimates for the surgical amputation, he refused treatment and left the hospital. About an hour later, the same guy came back. I couldn’t believe what I saw.

He now required stitches on his hand after his friend chopped his pinky off with a hatchet. Honestly, he saved himself a lot of money and they made a surprisingly clean cut. But still, I would not recommend.

asweeney930

55. Fungal Fiasco

I’m currently busy with the final year of my master’s in plant pathology. I’m working with a fungus that causes wilting symptoms on bananas. Last year, during one of my trials where we screened plants for disease progression, I forgot to take samples that would have been used in quantifying the amount of fungal DNA in the plant material.

It dawned on me this week that I will have to report on the results at some stage before final submission. It’s not the only variable we look at, fortunately, but it’s quite the substantial loss of data that could have contributed to my research. This lack of DNA data might be the cause of the failure of my three-year-long study. I messed up.

JollySupremacy_

I messed upShutterstock

56. A Losing Game

I got sick last June. I was trying desperately at the time to recover financially from 2020 (I had lost jobs, all my theatre gigs, AND I was denied unemployment). June came around and I started working three jobs, so I simply did not have time to be sick. But I did get sick–I couldn’t move, I had a 104-degree fever, I couldn’t keep any food down…it sucked.

When things weren’t improving, I was talked into going to the walk-in clinic from my home. I really didn’t want to go, but I was having fever dreams and (apparently) talking to deceased people at times. When I walked in the doors, I could tell something was seriously wrong. The walk-in staff told me I was too sick for them to deal with.

They then pushed me in a wheelchair over to the Emergency Wing. Turns out that I had viral colitis. The treatment for that was a bag of IV fluids (which I desperately needed, I will admit) and to “go home and be on a liquid diet for three weeks”. I now wish I hadn’t gone in as that IV bag cost me $6,000, which I didn’t and still don’t have.

Remember those jobs I lost because of 2020? I lost my insurance, too. My insurance didn’t start up again until September. Anyone who wants to defend that $6,000 price tag can take a long walk off of a short pier. I knew I shouldn’t have gone in.

MTPippin

57. Rules Are Rules For A Reason

I had a rather frail middle-aged gentleman who was positive for some highly contagious illnesses, so he was on contact infection precautions. He had a large cyst on his inner thigh that was to be operated on the next day. However, this time frame was “not suitable” for this gentleman. He asked for a razor to shave his face and I gave him one.

A few minutes later, I heard the screams and shouts of one of the nurses walking past that patient’s room. I came running. As I come to the door I see the man sitting at the edge of his bed, undressed, with his thigh sliced open, razor in hand. I had to very quickly and carefully put on gloves and grab a towel to apply pressure to the wound gushing blood while avoiding the highly infectious individual.

Marcanius

58. Mice Mania

Three months after moving into my new place, I had a bit of a mice problem. It was winter in Toronto, so it was not all that uncommon to see rodents, but I really hate mice. On the first night, I only saw one; but as they say, if you see one, there are definitely more. I spent ages trying to catch that one mouse but I couldn’t—I must’ve gotten only an hour’s sleep since I was so stressed about it.

Both of my housemates were away for a few days, so I went about setting loads of traps all over the place and stuffing any hole I could find with steel wool. I came home from work later that day and sure enough, I found two mice caught in my traps in different parts of the living room. Even throwing away those deceased mice freaked me out.

I came back inside and decided to do a lap of the whole house to see if any other traps caught anything. In my room, I noticed a small hole to the side of an electrical socket by my bed. I pulled the bed away from the wall and decided to stuff steel wool in the hole. This turned out to be the dumbest decision ever. Two seconds later, a huge spark flew out of the wall and a painful shock ran through my body.

At that point, I didn’t know what to do, so I called 9-1-1, I explain what just happened to the lady on the other end of the phone and asked her what I should do to safely remove the steel wool. She advised me not to touch it anymore and instead asked for my address so she could send a team over. I told her not to bother as it wasn’t a big deal and I could fix it myself.

But 10 minutes later, a huge firetruck showed up outside the house and four firemen got out in all their gear as if they were about to tackle a huge fire. I let them in and explained to them what had happened, and they all just looked at me in disbelief. “Why would you think putting steel near an electric socket would be a good idea?” I felt so stupid.

All five of us went upstairs to my room, but only me and one other fireman went inside. I pointed out the electric socket and he pulled out a plastic pen to scoop the steel wool out of the hole. The whole process took exactly five seconds. He then explained to me why I shouldn’t do that again while the other three firemen stood outside my room laughing to themselves.

My irrational stress over mice nearly ended my life.

NoSweet3666

59. The Wrong Switch

At the ice cream shop where I worked, I had a shift with a new hire who had just come from another location that day. At the end of the shift, we were in charge of closing the store, and we had to make sure the ice cream tubs were closed and the freezer lights were turned off. The freezer lights switch was right next to the on/off power switch, and they were both unmarked. I didn’t ask the new hire which one she flipped because I was incredibly stupid.

I said to myself “It’s 50/50,” and just hoped she picked the right one. The following morning, I woke up to a barrage of texts saying that there was $300 worth of ice cream lost. Somehow, I still kept my job but they reduced the heck out of my hours. Life lesson learned: I’m stupid and not asking questions will end up making me look extra stupid.

RowdyCollegiate

60. A Series Of Mistakes

When I was a senior in high school, I had to go on a school retreat and stay in an old cabin for three days. As the weekend progressed, I was struggling to breathe more and more and couldn’t sleep, but I figured it was just bad allergies and nicotine withdrawals. By day three, it was so hard to breathe that I could hardly speak.

I just kind of walked around bent over and occasionally went outside for a smoke. I finally got home and told my parents about it and my dad decided it didn’t warrant an expensive doctor’s visit, so he gave me two pills and told me to take a shower and I’d be fine. Several hours after taking them, I still felt terrible and could no longer talk.

I drove myself to the ER. They finally gave me the horrific answer. Turns out I breathed in a bunch of mold at the cabin that I was allergic to and was having bronchial spasms, causing an extremely low oxygen level. It was to the point where I may not have made it through the night had I not checked in. The doctor called my family to find out what pills I had taken so they didn’t give me any medicine that would react poorly with it.

Dad’s response? “Oh those were just sugar pills; I was hoping the placebo effect would cure him”.

Alabaster2020

61. Slippin’ Through

When I was like 14 or 15 years old, I was drilling a thick, small metal plate while holding it with my hand. Then, the worst happened. I drilled through my finger. The drill bit broke into three pieces when it hit the floor: one of the pieces rolled onto the ground, the second piece stayed in the drill, and the third piece was stuck in my finger. It never got removed because I went to see a doctor a bit late and it had healed by then…

So now I have a drill bit in the entirety of my finger’s width.

yeh_

62. Illogical Choices

I’m a physical therapist and used to work in Alabama, where we would see some rural country folk. One poor guy was chopping wood and the axe slipped and gashed his leg pretty badly. An old country remedy for wounds is to put kerosene on it. Which he did. But after he did that, he unfortunately decided to light up a smoke. So we were treating him for a very infected, very burned leg.

Sanna43

63. Recalculating Route…

It was literally my first day in my new town. I got up early, made a plan, and headed out in my tiny little Scion. I was trying to find a thrift shop nearby, but I got lost after making a wrong turn. I then tried to double back. My phone was in the seat next to me, but it had course-corrected and kept telling me to turn at random places. I ended up blowing through a stop sign.

In my defense, some jerk in a big SUV was illegally parked next to it, and I never saw it while dodging around him. I realized too late that the car wasn’t stopping and I T-boned an innocent lady. The crash absolutely destroyed my little car. My seatbelt did its job, but I got a scar on my neck and a hematoma on my stomach. I was the only one injured and the only one who couldn’t drive away.

I got stuck at a dead-end job for way too long because the public bus system was a barely-functioning disaster. But I walked a lot more. I saved an absolute ton on car maintenance and gas, so I like to think it somehow balanced out.

Professional_March54

64. Cat-Like Reflexes

In a high school play, my character was throwing a dart at the dartboard on the flat just next to the stage left entrance. We were doing dress rehearsal with a full audience of middle school kids. This was a recipe for disaster. I missed and ended up throwing the dart RIGHT at the dude who was entering just then. He, being a complete badass, caught the thing, and improved a good joke while in character…which is good, because it would’ve hit him in his Adam’s apple.

Why were we using real darts, right next to the entrance, on a line during which somebody was entering, adult me wonders…

Cat_Prismatic

65. Of All The Possible Tools

A totally normal-seeming gentleman in his 80s came in looking uncomfortable and not really wanting to sit down for us. He said he hadn’t gone to the bathroom in days and instead of going to a doctor to get a catheter, he decided that all he needed to do was, you know, unplug it. So he stuck a pencil so far up his urethra that he lost said pencil.

By the time we checked it out, we couldn’t even see or feel it. The look of panic and fear on the urology resident’s face as the ER doctor told him what was happening and showed him the X-ray was unforgettable. All this while the guy who had the pencil elbow deep inside him looked like he was waiting calmly for the bus. The most confusing aspect of all of it was that he went eraser first.

pupkitchow

66. Why’s It Spicy?

My son, who was about two at the time, was supposed to be taking a nap but he wouldn’t go to sleep. I was making jalapeños poppers for a get-together that evening while he was laying down. He was crying non-stop so I went to check on him and it turned out he needed his diaper changed. I changed it and put him back down. After a few minutes, he went nuts and wouldn’t stop crying again. I couldn’t figure out why.

Then my hands started to burn like heck from the juice of cutting up jalapeños peppers. And then it dawned on me. I guess some of it rubbed off on him around his diaper area. I felt SO bad.

matthew83128

67. The Thought Was There

We had a doctor some time ago who was performing an emergency craniotomy. Someone had broken their skull pretty badly, but I don’t know the circumstances. He was operating and a piece of the skull fell on the floor. Well, that’s not sterile, so he can’t put it back, but he still wants to. My supervisor gets a call about placing the skull piece in the autoclave.

The autoclave is a 270-degree steam sterilizer. My supervisor had to resist making jokes and we contacted the right people who could tell this very stubborn surgeon that we don’t steam human body parts.

AmishApplesauce

68. Lesson Learned

I entered my ex’s home with my fiancé after my ex told me I wouldn’t be getting my daughter that weekend. It was my originally-planned time to get her too; he was just being a jerk to be a jerk. I was upset to the max because it appeared we were going through a rough patch after 2+ years of co-parenting successfully without a custody order.

I had nothing on paper to back up my time with her. His new lady pulled some nonsense move and lied to the officers about the whole situation, leaving me screwed without unbiased witnesses. I even almost went to prison. I had to sit in a cell for a few hours, and it was probably the lowest moment of my life. I was young, scared, and naive, and I regret it to this day.

I spent money I didn’t have after that for a lawyer and won nearly full custody after what they pulled.

S0rchaa

69. Technical Difficulties

I had been working in IT for about three years when I got tasked with getting our existing grassroots advocacy tool ready for Elections 2000. This was big. People were just starting to use the internet to find out election results. Election 98 was no problem, and our single host served all of the traffic. We had six hosts for the election in 2000.

Little did we know that it was about 100 hosts too few. We loaded it throughout the day, and it was unlike anything we’d ever seen. We’d basically just reboot them every 20 minutes so someone could see something. It didn’t help that folks couldn’t call the race due to Florida, so everyone just kept checking for updates. The next morning, I thought I was gonna be fired—but it didn’t happen.

I didn’t press my luck though, and I left before the next one came around.

robertlandrum

70. Somehow Poison Oak Sounds Nice

One day, an older woman came in with a white towel wrapped around her forearm. I asked her what she was there for and she said she tried to treat poison oak at home and it didn’t work and it was really painful. I asked how she tried to treat it and she said she came across an at-home remedy which she thought would work. When I heard what she did, I nearly gasped. 

Essentially, you make multiple superficial cuts or scratches to the affected area and then wrap the area in bleach-soaked bandages. Kind of like a bleach bath. It was day three when she came to the ER because it hurt so badly and she was having issues bending and moving her arm. My eyebrows went up at this and I asked to see her arm.

Her arm had such a significant chemical burn that areas were black around the cuts, other parts were fire engine red, and the skin was peeling. She was admitted for five or so days. She had an infection, debridement surgery, and would likely need skin grafts in the future.

Say_What_425

71. The End-All Cure

My parents essentially kept giving me too much Benadryl. I, unfortunately, grew up in the age of “Benadryl is a miracle cure” and my parents absolutely swore by it. It started off as a minor allergic reaction, but they just kept forcing it on me any time I had the slightest symptoms. It went on for several weeks. I remember my heart beating so fast I thought it was gonna EXPLODE.

The symptoms were terrifying. I was seeing things, my stomach was in knots, and my mouth was so dry it hurt. It’s all really blurry and I don’t really remember much up until they brought me to nanna’s and I was sitting at the table, waiting for her to make me something to eat. She started to suspect something was wrong when I woke up panicking, nauseous, and unable to move.

That’s when she put a stop to it—she yelled at my parents and stayed by my side until I got better.

EquivalentBill9337

72. A Lot Of Work For Terrible Results

I had a guy present to the ER complaining of a “mouth problem”. Something about his mouth just didn’t look quite right. Upon closer inspection, we realized he’d done some DIY dental work. The patient claimed he’d been in a fight and had all his front upper teeth knocked out. He had no insurance, so he decided to DIY a partial denture for himself.

He went to Wal-Mart and got one of those fake grills you use with a costume and used that as a mold. He took his knocked-out teeth, ground them into a paste, mixed with some epoxy-type material, and then put that into the grill mold to set. After they were hard, he cut away the rubber grill, trimmed the new fake teeth, and then tried to super-glue that to his gums.

comfortablepanic

73. Major Malfunction

I was commissioning a unique system in a nuclear facility. Effectively, it was a giant pair of copper doors inside a vacuum vessel. It used microswitches inside the vessel to detect whenever the doors were fully open and at the end of their movements. I was using a local laptop to issue direct commands, sending single-step commands to the doors to open them.

At one point, I entered ‘1K’ which is a reset command…and in microseconds, the laptop dropped its connection to the door drivers. As a result, the microswitches didn’t detect that the doors were already fully open, so the motors just kept running, opening the doors beyond their allowable limits. The consequences were disastrous.

I ended up breaking some incredibly expensive equipment that day—like, worth more money than I’d make in my lifetime—and it imposed a seven-year setback on the project.

Ghostpants101

74. Line Of Sight

This was one of the more bizarre things I’ve witnessed in an OR. So, the surgeon brought in a bad pair of glasses. Here we are, total hip replacement, and the surgeon is going to town with what I lovingly call the human grater, which is a doohickey to make sure the new hip socket will fit in. Picture a cheese grater wrapped around a golf ball on the end of a power drill. It’s not pleasant.

Anyway. Dude’s grinding away at the guy’s hip and suddenly yelps in surprise and stops, backing quickly away from the table. We’re all like, what the heck? Well, his glasses spontaneously broke in half. They were the type that didn’t have rims, just lenses with a bar across the nose and bars for the ears. So the metal crossing the nose snapped at the screw.

The surgeon quickly starts stripping off his gown, the rest of his equipment, and leaves the room. Comes back with a roll of tape. Him and the circulating nurse can’t get the glasses fixed, so he just holds them to his face and has her run the tape around his head a few times. Then he suits up again and goes back to acting like nothing happened.

All in all, it only added like 10 minutes to the surgery time, at least that I could catch directly. I hadn’t been with that surgeon before, but I can’t imagine that was his best performance after the glasses broke, seeing how they were now taped across his eyes at weird angles. But yeah, don’t buy $5 readers for the freaking operating room.

Permalink

75. A Real Big No Thank You

I had a patient who had surgery on their leg a few weeks beforehand, and the dissolvable sutures were taking a long time to leave. No big deal, it can happen. However, it was causing some inflammation, pulling and swelling. Instead of going back to their surgeon to have them removed, they cut one or two, and to their horror noticed pus in the gaping suture hole.

Half an hour of rinsing and removing this “pus” layer with tweezers and a scalpel revealed it went all the way down to the muscle. How horrible. But here’s what was really going on. It turns out that body fat can look like pus, and the fat layer doesn’t have many nerve endings. Yep, this person just cut away at their fat layer like, well, an amateur.

Ramiel01

76. Putting Comfort First

I used to be an undertaker. After a particularly stressful month, I noticed that a lady I was dressing had been overly shoved, poked, and pulled by the coroners, the doctors, and the care home. I decided while dressing her that she had been pulled enough, and after finding out from the family that she liked being comfortable, I didn’t force her bra onto her.

For context, deceased people’s flesh (especially chests) are like those stress balloons filled with flour that hold their shapes. I dressed her, did her hair and makeup, made sure her socks and shoes were done up properly, gave her hair clips, and straightened her rings. My diary manager called me in and told me that the lady’s daughter was in and she was furious about the bra not being on.

I saw the daughter and she was waving the bra at me with tears in her eyes, demanding to know who was responsible. The Diary manager smirked at me (we didn’t get on) and said I was responsible, then shoved me towards the daughter and shut the door behind me. I took a deep breath and asked the daughter to sit. I then explained that I felt her mom had been shoved, poked, and pulled enough and that I thought she could probably do without the bra.

The daughter almost cried, explaining that her mom had always said that she couldn’t wait to not be bound by society’s rules. I hugged the daughter, sent her on her way, and came out of the viewing room to see my diary manager staring smugly at me, waiting to see me get torn a new one from the daughter. Instead, they saw the daughter hugging me and walking away, wiping away tears but smiling.

“My mom is in good hands,” she said out loud for everyone to hear.

catsareniceDEATH

77. Smelly Science

When I was in high school, I would help coach the Science Olympiad at a nearby middle school. If you’ve never heard of it, the short version is that it’s a science competition with a bunch of different events focusing on various areas of science. One of the events I helped with was a chemistry event that involved doing chemical tests on powders and making observations on how they react with certain chemicals such as HCl and NaOH.

I did the event myself as a middle schooler, so I was one of the most qualified people to teach it, even though I hated that event. I had done a bunch of boring white powders with the kids that didn’t really react with anything, so I pulled out the potassium permanganate, a purple powder that has some pretty interesting interactions.

My knowledge about it was limited, but when I was learning about the event as a middle schooler, the high schooler that was there used it, and I kind of remembered what she did. So I set them up with the powder and the typical reagents of water, HCl, and NaOH. I also warned them that they had to be careful with it before letting them be on their way.

After they started to do some testing, the room began to smell like a pool. That’s when it hit me. Turns out that when you mix potassium permanganate and hydrochloric acid, you get chlorine gas. I opened all the windows and evacuated the kids out of the room. I thought back to when I used the powder the first time and then remembered that the high schooler never put out HCl, even though she never explained why. Whoops. Everyone was fine though, no harm done.

Gneissisnice

78. No Air

Last month, I was about to take a long trip across the Pacific. One hour into the flight, they asked for a doctor. I volunteered myself. I saw this lady literally gasping for air, waving her hands because she couldn’t breathe. I looked through the meds in the first aid kid. I listened to her lungs, only to hear faint wheezing and no air movement at all. I figured she was probably asthmatic.

They later grounded that plane because there were another sixteen hours to go and she was on the verge of being intubated. Later on, I got more of her story from a family member. What they told me was absolutely shocking. Apparently, she hadn’t been able to sleep well for the past two weeks. Her doctor just gave her sleeping meds and told her that that flying was not a problem.

I asked the family why she couldn’t sleep: “Does she wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, i.e., a classic sign of uncontrolled asthma?” They responded, “Yes, how did you know?” I explained to them that sleeping meds were probably among the worst things she could have gotten, and the doctor almost ended her life by saying she could fly.

If only patients knew what the doctors missed or whatnot. Half the time, I really think it’s like going to a bad auto shop and not realizing they’re just making up half of the stuff. The same thing happens in medicine, except people’s lives suffer because of it.

TheWizardPenguin

79. Keep It Down, Will Ya?

When I was living in my apartment, I once had a girl come over. While we were getting intimate with each other, I got a knock on my door—it was my complex’s security guard, asking me to close the window in my room. I had forgotten that it was wide open, and everyone could hear what we were up to. Apparently, the security guard said our noises were bouncing off the walls between the two buildings and echoing into the courtyard.

I thought it was hilarious—but ever since that moment, I started getting nasty looks from all the older women in the complex as I was some sort of freak.

santichrist

80. Absolutely Not Medically Approved

A lady comes into the ER and refuses to tell triage what’s wrong, other than to say she had something growing “down there” and she would absolutely not elaborate. She wants a lady doctor and that’s that. So we get her set up for a pelvic exam in one of the OB/GYN rooms and call the only female physician working that night to come check her out.

The doctor is in the room for maybe two or three minutes before she comes out. The minute she did, we knew something was very wrong. She came with a stench that made everyone in the vicinity gag, and it was wafting from the room behind her. So here’s the store: The patient is about middle-aged and had about 11 children with no medical insurance.

Her uterus had begun to prolapse, basically turning inside out and starting to fall out. With no money and no insurance, it was suggested she just put something “up there” to hold her uterus in. Without much on hand that could both fit inside her and stay inside her without falling out, she came up with a “genius” plan. She decided to stick a potato up there.

And what do potatoes like to do in warm, dark, moist environments? The “something” she had felt growing down there was ACTUALLY growing down there. It was the vine the potato shot out for sunlight. The potato had fully rooted into the woman’s uterus as well, and the potato itself was rotting, hence the stench. She had to have a full hysterectomy.

rileyjw90

81. Mental Fortitude

My friend’s dad got skin cancer on his right bicep. At the time he was a large muscular man who ran a horse farm, so instead of going through all the normal processes of treating skin cancer, since he caught it early, he thought he could stop it at the source. So, he heated up a railroad tie with a massive torch he had on his farm.

He then shoved it into his arm where the skin cancer was…he did this TWICE. Then he wrapped up his insane burn hole. A while later he went to the doctor, who said the burn he inflicted was the craziest thing he’s ever seen. But here’s the kicker. All signs of the cancer were gone. His arm and burn healed months later and he remains cancer-free to this day.

The5thLoko

82. Just Keep Swimming

I was swimming at a hotel pool with built-in tables and chairs attached to the bottom. I figured it would be awesome to swim in and out between them like a fish in a reef. Keep in mind, this was during the off-season, and nobody in the pool area was anywhere near me. I zoomed through a few chairs, feeling like some kind of underwater rock star when suddenly my chest was on fire and I was not moving. Panic set in.

I had wedged my chest between a chair and table, and my body was underneath the table where there were two inches of cement between me and sweet air. I was pretty sure I was going to be on the Darwin Awards in about forty-five seconds, so I thrashed and wiggled as my life depended on it. Thankfully, I managed to get out, but I scraped a six-by-six-inch patch of skin off both my back and chest in the process.

The idea of drowning is terrifying, but the idea of drowning in a hotel pool due to your own stupidity is both terrifying and humiliating. I think the humiliation is what gave me the burst of energy to get free.

mightycow

I messed upShutterstock

83. The Doctors Know Nothing

A patient was admitted for syncope (passing out), and it turns out his magnesium is super high, which slows your heart and can eventually cause cardiac arrest. He wasn’t feeling well several weeks prior and went to a naturopath who diagnosed him with low magnesium. He started taking tons of supplements but started feeling worse. Then came the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

The naturopath said to take more magnesium. His wife called an ambulance when he passed out and at the hospital, we diagnosed him with an irregular heartbeat. He was still convinced he needed more magnesium, even when we told him it would be an absolutely terrible idea. He left against medical advice after a day. Because we’re quacks.

dogen83

84. Free Show

When I was 18 years old,  I tried to scale a chain-link fence, making it halfway up before my arms gave out. My feet slipped and I was left hanging by my shirt AND bra, with my girls waving in the breeze and my shirt pulled up over my face, hooked on the top of the fence. The kid walking by had the biggest eyes, and his mouth was agape as I flailed around, trying to free myself.

Ashton42

85. Measure Twice, Cut Once

I work in the pathology lab where the hospital sends all the specimens. One day, a surgeon did a double mastectomy based off a different hospital’s pathology report. The report said the woman had the kind of breast cancer where both need to be removed. But when we examined her specimens, we made an utterly disturbing discovery.

We found zero cancer in either breast. Obviously, the surgeon was beside himself and made us look through both IN THEIR ENTIRETY…It’s unheard of to submit all the tissue like this, but he needed to find cancer. I’ve never seen a surgeon stand there and watch the pathologist like this guy did. We all felt so bad for him and of course the patient.

He was so upset, cussing up a storm the whole time and screaming about “this is why I never take outside pathology reports!” Turns out, the other lab had mis-labeled her tissue, so some other lady got the all clear who had cancer, while she lost her entire chest when she didn’t need to. All around a horrible situation, and the surgeon was sick over it all.

anutteranceofshush

86. Dr. Google Is Not A Registered Physician

I had a really hard bump on the inside of my inner thigh. I was a teenager, so I googled it and the first thing that came up was that it could be a cyst. Then I googled what a cyst was and figured it was basically just like a big pimple, right? Similar enough. So I should just pop it. Only this thing wasn’t going to pop. So I figured maybe the skin was just too thick.

Cysts weren’t right up to the surface like pimples were according to Google. What now? So I decided to try to lance it myself using an old safety pin. After drawing quite a bit of blood this thing still wasn’t popping and I was getting kind of worried so I figured maybe I should just leave it alone and let it sort itself out without my help.

I found out a while later that I had swollen lymph nodes, so I unknowingly almost cut out my lymph node thinking it was a pimple-like cyst.

DylanDr

87. Turbulent Skies

I jumped out of an airplane for my first solo skydive with two instructors holding on to me…but I didn’t arch like I was supposed to, so I ended up tumbling through the air with only one instructor managing to hold on. He managed to pull my chute for me, but it was too close for comfort. Then, as I was still tumbling out of control, the canopy opened and I ended up with my legs caught in the lines, leaving me upside down.

Also, the canopy was only open about 80%. Somehow, I still managed to ace the landing, but I was super embarrassed when I did touch down. Yeah, I messed up big time…and it could have had the biggest consequence.

enodllew

88. His Physician Left Him Sore

A guy came into our ICU and was very septic but still talking. He had visited his primary care physician complaining of a sore throat for a couple of days and was dismissed without any intervention since he didn’t appear to have strep throat or the flu. When he reached the ICU, he had pretty severe abdominal discomfort, so we sent him for a CT scan.

As the scan was finishing, he coded, had to be intubated, and had a multi-organ failure. The CT scan was like a horror movie. There was a whole bunch of stuff in his peritoneal cavity. His wife told us that he had choked on an ice cube the day before seeing his primary care doctor. Evidently, he had swallowed a whole double half-moon-shaped ice cube that perforated his esophagus with a HUGE 4.25-inch tear.

This allowed a significant portion of his swallowed food and drinks to get into his peritoneal cavity instead of his stomach. To make things worse, he had some reflux that allowed stomach acid to get in there as well. Once we realized what was going on, he went for extensive washout and exploratory surgeries to repair the damage to his esophagus and other organs. Thankfully, he made a full recovery, but he was very close to not making it at all.

brianlpowers

89. Healing By Making It Worse

My cousin’s wife got a terrible burn on her foot from a bunch of hot oil falling on it. She goes to the doctor and is treated well, and given good instructions. My cousin follows these to the letter, changing her gauze and keeping her wound clean whenever he needs to. All seems well and she’s properly on her way to a full and healthy recovery.

One day, I walk up to her house and see her with her burned foot out uncovered in the sun. The hot, middle eastern sun, by the way. She’s got tears streaming down her face and I immediately run over and urge her back inside. I then clean and cover her wound. It turns out she had fluid buildup and her uncle had told her to dry it out in the sun.

This led to me getting in a screaming fight with her uncle, who told me it was sound Chinese medicine to dry fluid retention in the sun. I explained he was encouraging further damage to her tissues. He would not hear it and kept barking orders at this poor woman to do as he instructed. I had my cousin take her to the doctor again, and they explained how to properly treat this issue.

After it was explained to him by a professional, my cousin banned the uncle from visiting until she healed.

liroop

90. When Nature Calls

On the day I was moving to NJ from VA, I had a date. I planned to drive straight to NJ afterward, but I ended up eating something bad during dinner and my stomach began acting up. The date was going really well and I didn’t want to cut it short, so I decided I would just hold it in until the date was over. As soon as the date was over, I got in my car and drove to the nearest restaurant to use the bathroom. But in the end, nature prevailed in the worst way possible.

I couldn’t hold it and I ended up soiling my pants. It was so bad, I couldn’t even get out of my car. So…I drove with that disgusting mess in my pants from VA to NJ. I was driving so fast that I was worried that I might get pulled over. Luckily, I got to my apartment building at 3 am. I walked up three flights of stairs to make less noise, got rid of my clothes, and took a shower.

The next day, I bought tools to take out the driver’s seat and I threw it away. It cost me $2,000 bucks. Then, I had it detailed, which was even more money; but eventually, I decided to get rid of the car to get rid of the trauma. It’s all good though because I ended up marrying that girl I went on a date with. She does not know the story. Nobody close to me knows. I will take this to my grave.

joker1547

91. Up In Flames

I was working a facilities job in my early 20s and I was a heavy smoker at the time. I worked for a very wealthy company that had a no-smoking rule, so every time I wanted to light up, I had to hide behind the building. Due to a recent change in furniture, we were left with lots of cardboard and plastic wrap, so the company ordered a roll-away dumpster to the site. This roll-away dumpster just so happened to be put around the corner of where I smoked.

One night, while on my smoke break, I got a call to do a fix on a machine, so I put it out before finishing it and planned to come back to it later. The only problem is, it broke in half as I was doing so, and in my frustration, I tossed it into the dumpster. I went back inside to fix the machine, then made my way back to the office to sit down.

Five minutes went by and one of the other facilities guys came running in, telling me there was a fire. My heart sank. I immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran outside to see the dumpster completely engulfed in flames. Me and three other guys attempted to put it out, but the fire just kept getting bigger, so we eventually caved and called 9-1-1.

The flames erupted nine to 10 feet out of the dumpster when the fire department arrived and it took them nearly half an hour to put it out. We were all examined afterward and the fire department recommended we all go to the hospital immediately due to smoke inhalation. My sloppy mistake sent three people to the hospital. But here’s the horrific kicker. 

A security camera above the dumpster captured the whole thing. There was no going back after that, I’m sorry to say. I was fired and banned from that place entirely. Which, okay, I accept. In the end, I was very fortunate that nothing was damaged and nobody was seriously injured. It was definitely was an “I messed up” moment.

MessageLarge5901

92. He Was Itching For Some Help

I was in the hospital following a motorcycle accident. My hospital roommate, who was beside me, had been in an 18-wheeler accident. He was complaining that his back itched and someone finally came in and rolled him on his side. When they turned him over, their faces dropped—his back had pieces of glass stuck all over it. I still don’t know how that was overlooked.

Blizzard_a_foz

93. The Pizza Pedestal

I was once at a restaurant where I noticed a mid-20s couple that was on a date. I assumed it was a first or near-first date in their relationship because they were dressed sort of nice for a restaurant that was pretty casual. Anyways, the girl got up to go to the bathroom. While she was gone, their pizza came, and it was set up on a little stand thing on the table.

The guy was trying to adjust it or something, and he knocked the entire pizza onto the floor. The girl came back, but I’m not really sure what happened after that. Figured he’d be pretty mortified.

Paul_Eggert

94. Hats: Functional And Fashionable

One day, a patient comes in and is pretty vague about his actual complaint, something about head pain but he looks just fine sitting while he was waiting to be seen. When I finally get to see him and ask him what actually happened, he removes the hat he was wearing and a chunk of skin about the size of my hand literally flaps off of his skull.

This guy managed to basically scalp himself, and apparently it had been like that for three days. According to him, it was caused by falling in his bathroom and hitting his head on the toilet. He had been previously duct taping it down or using the hat to hold the skin on, but it wasn’t sticking well and that’s when his wife convinced him to come to the hospital.

Do_my_cat_daddy

95. Fully Laced Up

My friend is a car mechanic. On several occasions, he’d get work orders on cars that had their climate control intakes near the passenger floor. This was a poor design, as light objects such as plastic grocery bags from the outside would often get sucked into the intake and cause a terrible vibration from the air vents. Customers with this issue would almost always be insistent that nothing could possibly have gotten sucked into their intake…

But then we’d triumphantly reach under the passenger side dash and remove some random object, immediately curing the problem exactly as we predicted. Anyway, one day, my friend told me of this one crabby and skeptical lady who had never been into his shop before. She came in with the same issue for her car, and when he reached under the dash, he pulled out a pair of slinky red lace-trimmed panties.

They both stared down at his hand silently, then she snatched the panties and hissed, “These are not mine!” She then screeched out of the lot, never to be seen again.

MentORPHEUS

96. Checking In

A foxy older woman executive happened to be walking by the front of my office, and I recognized her as a contact for my regional president. So, I wanted to be polite and said, “Can I take your clothes off,” instead of, “Can I take your coat”.  I turned beet red and started stammering and apologizing immediately. I am so glad that she laughed and literally patted my head, teased me, and said, “Maybe if you were my age or older, I’d give you a shot”.

Rumble73

97. A Change In Your Morning Dental Routine

When I was 10 or so, I woke up before everyone in the house (it was like 7 am) and decided I would sneak into the pool. I was waist deep in the water before I saw the alligator on the other side of the pool.

discourse_commuter

98. Sir, I’m Afraid You Are Mistaken!

At our local Red Lobster, someone once grabbed the “manager” to tell him that his shrimp was cold and that he wanted a free beer as compensation. He even went as far as to exclaim that he could get better fish by fishing. This “manager” was actually just my dad, who was there to pick me up from work, but apparently looked like an authority figure since he had a tie on.

My dad replied, “That’s cocktail shrimp, you moron!”

ooo-ooo-oooyea

99. Taking The Fall

So, I work in a workshop, and we often engrave stuff. 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, says: “no, I’m sure it’s a mistake”. Me: “no, I’ve copied it straight, can’t be wrooon…waaait a minute, omg, it’s my fault, I’m so sorry, I will redo it right away, no need to pay, please accept it as a gift…” The wife gets angry a bit at me, but they leave with a different box and the correct date. THe guy comes back the next day and pays triple the original price without a word.

shwowmyst

100. Expensive Tastes

First week, a customer called over my co-worker to the unstaffed truffle counter. He hasn’t been trained in truffles, so he just grabs one from the display case and sells it to the customer. This turned out to be a massive mistake. See, what he didn’t know was that the display “truffles” aren’t actually real truffles; they are made of plastic.

By the time he realized, the customer had already left and paid $90 for it. Fired.

sum_mutha_where

101. Musical Urinals

I was on a date and we went to a movie. During the movie, she got up to go to the bathroom. After she left, I thought I could run to the bathroom myself, and be back before her (for some reason, I thought it would be rude to leave her alone). When I came back to our seats, she was already there but I didn’t give it much thought.

I hung out at her place for a bit afterward, gave her a kiss goodnight, and went home thinking that I just had a pretty nice date. A week later, after she wouldn’t return any of my calls, I asked our mutual friend who introduced us what the deal was. Turns out that when I went to the bathroom, I accidentally walked into the women’s room.

I peed in the stall next to her, and she recognized the boots I was wearing. She was totally freaked out. When I finally got a hold of her and tried to explain myself, she told me she was moving to Turkey to get back together with her ex-boyfriend.

lostandalong

102. Shut My Mouth

I’m a dermatologist. I was reading a patient’s notes and found out he had been diagnosed with deadly skin cancer and was booked in to have his whole upper lip removed. Obviously, this would leave the patient quite disfigured. On a whim, he’d booked in to see a dermatologist at our hospital…who advised it was just a cold sore. He prescribed some medication and the problem was resolved.

meehaja

103. Some Things Can’t Be Put Back

When I was in EMT school, we were told about a paramedic student (the instructor was a paramedic as well) who observed a stabbing call. They arrive at the bar and see a dude with a knife in his abdomen. Medic student takes lead and pulls the knife out, something you never do, as I’m sure you know. Senior medic loses his freaking mind at this dumbass, asking him what the heck he was thinking.

Student freaks out and, you guessed it, puts the freaking knife back in. The patient died as a result, student lost any chance of having a good job (not even just in EMS) and was charged with the death of the patient (might’ve been manslaughter I don’t remember). His entire life was ruined because he freaked out and made a mistake on a call, not a rookie mistake or a common slip-up, but in about half a minute, he ruined his life.

Sal4Sale

104. Always Check The Decimals

I very nearly injected a premature baby who 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 before I looked inside the chamber and realised 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.

JaniePage

105. A Tickle Under The Rib

I saw this one patient with a really odd condition. While she was asking me why she gets rib pain so often, she literally reached under her own rib and jiggled it with her fingers.  Turns out, there were a lot of other things she could do that she shouldn’t ever be able to. I attributed it to a variant of Ehlers Danlos syndrome, which causes connective tissue abnormalities.

I was so distracted by the popping in and out of her rib that initially, I didn’t even notice how horrifying it was that she could get her hand under there.

myopicchihuahua22

106. That’s No Scratch

I’m a nurse, but I was working in the ER when a guy came in for a scratch on his neck and “feeling drowsy.” We start the usual workups and this dude’s blood pressure TANKED. We scrambled, but he was dead within ten minutes of walking through the door. Turns out the “scratch” was an exit wound of a .22 caliber rifle round.

The guy didn’t even know he’d been shot. When the coroner’s report came back, we found that he’d been shot in the leg and the bullet tracked through his torso, shredding everything in between. There was really nothing we could’ve done, but that was a serious “what the heck just happened” moment, and for a good while we thought we had made a fatal error.

pause_and_consider

107. Odd Anatomy

I’m a biomedical scientist, and my officemate was a medical doctor working on his PhD. He once did an appendectomy and cut into this person’s abdomen—only to find no appendix. He started freaking out. The support nurses in the room, however, started snickering at him because they knew right away what the problem really was.

Occasionally, they see someone with a rare genetic disorder where all their left-right asymmetries are reversed. This patient’s appendix was on the other side.

SatanScotty

108. Missing Persons Report

For background, I usually make the bed in the mornings, but I didn’t yesterday morning because I was running late. I went to see my dad yesterday, but my wife wasn’t feeling well so she stayed home. I got back at around 8:30 and couldn’t find her anywhere. I checked the bedroom, the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom, everywhere, and I just couldn’t find her.

Her wallet was there so I figured she just went out for a walk, which is normal since we live in a big city that’s active into the night. I started getting worried at around 9:30 because she also wasn’t answering her phone. I called a few of her friends and asked if they’d seen her, but none had. I called her parents and asked them if they knew where she was, which led to them freaking out because no one could find her.

My father-in-law told me to track her phone, so I went into her Apple account and it told me that her phone was in our apartment. I turn on the find my iPhone sound and start running through the apartment thinking I should call the authorities. I hear the sound coming from our bedroom, so I go in and start tearing the room up…when suddenly my wife pops up from the bed and asks me what the heck I’m doing.

Turns out the small lump that I thought was just a pile of blankets since I didn’t make the bed that morning was actually my wife, who went to sleep early because she didn’t feel well. She sleeps with earplugs in so she didn’t hear me in the apartment. I had to sheepishly call her entire family, own up to my stupidity, and apologize for terrifying them.

tifu439587283

109. Step Into My Office

Ever since I was a kid, I loved to fiddle around with staplers. Playing with the automatic ones and doing dumb stuff like any child would, opening the manual ones and swinging it around, stuff like that. One of my favorite things to do was to open up a new strip of staples and break them apart before putting them in. Running my fingers through the staples, counting them, and breaking them apart…I loved it.

There are 210 staples in a standard strip and sometimes I’d break off each individual one until my fingers hurt. I’ve even found strips with 209 and 211 a few times. This progressed from me messing around with staples in Ms. Grady’s second-grade class, to buying a box of staples every other payday to play with, to literally having a collection of different brands and sizes of staples in my college dorm to break apart.

I had a problem, but no one was hurt, so who cares? Well…Fast forward to present day. I am a functioning middle-class adult with a wife and two children. I have a home, a normal car, and an office job. I am by all accounts a normal human being, and I still love staples. Working in an office with a supply room full of staples was a problem.

I’d spend my lunch break in the room opening boxes and breaking apart staples to get my fix before returning to work. It got so bad over the course of a couple years that my boss changed our supplier because the boxes all had broken apart staples and were sometimes ripped. So I had to stop doing that…I turned to Amazon first, buying 10 boxes of staples at a time for about 20 bucks a pop. It wasn’t enough. I went to 20, then 40.

My wife got curious then and asked, “Why are you buying all of these boxes of staples,” but I brushed it off as a work issue that I’d get reimbursed for and knew I had to change my methods. Over the course of a few months I enabled myself. I started using cash only at different office supply stores around my town and neighboring towns.

I would sit in my car and break apart staples before going to the next store. I began to stay out late and tell my wife I would be home soon, so I could go buy more staples from different stores. I opened up a new credit card to put online so she wouldn’t know, but she caught it in the mail. She then got suspicious because things weren’t adding up.

This past Thursday after one of my “late nights,” I get home with a trunk full of broken staples and 10 freshly broken boxes in my passenger seat to see my parents’ cars at my house. I walked in and everyone is sitting around like it’s an intervention. Because it is. My wife asked if there was anything I wanted to tell them, and to tell the truth about my problem.

I sat down and kept saying, “What are you talking about?” until my mom said, “Honey, we saw the pictures.” Then my wife tells me that my late nights, excuses, and general weirdness about the credit card, and some other little things made her hire a private investigator. This man followed me around to office supply stores and watched me “do something” with what I had in the bag from multiple stores.

It basically looked like I was a drug runner for Office Depot who was using some of the product for myself. At this point, my wife started to cry and my dad shook his head. I had to come clean and all I could muster was, “I…I like staples.” The “what the heck” looks I got afterward turned into disbelief, then concern, then fits of laughter when I showed them my car.

I came clean. I backed this up by showing my secret stash of used staples in my attic and explained the purchases on the card to my wife. Right now, my only concern is my dad. He didn’t laugh—just kind of shook his head continually in disappointment without saying a word. Believe it or not, I think therapy or addiction meetings may help, as my wife gave me these suggestions the day after. I was told that although the addiction is not typical in its damage regarding my mental or physical well-being, I do need help.

I am going to go through addiction counseling like any other addict would. Just tailored to my specific issue. Apparently, part of fixing my brain is to know that it is not okay to continue this level of staplephilia. That included cleaning out my car, attic, and not garnering more attention through memorializing pictures, and stuff like that.

My wife initially thought I was having an affair. She didn’t think I was doing substances until she got the pictures. The PI just told her what he saw, and she deduced that I had an undercover type distribution thing going with someone in the office supply business. She admitted that she didn’t think it all through, but her mind was racing and conclusions came as they did.

I do not have autism or any diagnosed mental disability. I am just an addict, and an idiot. I know how stupid the addiction is and so I tried to hide it. It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things I guess, but my embarrassing white lie just spiraled out of control.

Throwaway194333

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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