Embarrassed Employees Dish On The Worst Workplace Mistakes They've Witnessed

May 10, 2019 | Christine Tran

Embarrassed Employees Dish On The Worst Workplace Mistakes They've Witnessed

Everyone makes mistakes. Some mistakes are simply bigger than others. With luck, a boo-boo here and there won’t cost anyone their livelihood. Redditors stepped up to share the biggest mess-ups they—or others—ever made on the job. From busted cars to burnt bodies, here are 42 wild stories of the biggest workplace mistakes ever made.

1. Vegetables Aren’t Always Good for You

Well, when I worked as a waitress, there was this guy who was allergic to mushrooms. So, he ordered a bacon and egg omelet and I put in a memo saying, “No mushrooms allergic.” As if out of spite, the kitchen left one shred of mushroom in the guy's omelet. The guy had a reaction, but luckily it wasn't so bad that he needed to be hospitalized. I apologized profusely but I'm sure he probably thinks I tried to kill him.

Acts Of Kindness FactsShutterstock

2. Just Thought You Should Know

I was transferring 100+ transaction records from a certain company's old database to a new one. I'm doing great until I realize that I forgot to remove the notification settings on the form I was using so I [accidentally] sent over a hundred emails to the company's vice president. I only knew this because he emailed me asking me to politely stop.

Angriest ever factsPixabay

3. The Sweet Sound of Something Else

Didn't see it, only heard about it...I work at a radio station. Apparently one of the board-ops who worked here before me accidentally let some audio slip over the air from his computer. It happens all the time, no big deal. Unless you're watching dirty movies...like this guy was.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes facts Pixabay

4. The Sweetest Mistake

We had two massive dip cases of ice cream at the shop at the mall. The switch to turn off the lights was very stupidly located right next to the switch to turn off the freezer. Came in one morning to find all the ice cream in puddles in the die case. My poor worker who accidentally flipped the wrong switch was beside herself.

It was a mess to clean up, but luckily it ultimately cost us nothing because the company refunded us for the "damaged" ice cream.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

5. Crash Test Dummy

I worked at a nice Chevy dealer a couple years back. It was right when the Corvette ZR1 was just getting released. We got one in that was a pre-order from one of our wealthier clients. It was one of the first off the line (Jay Leno actually has the first). Anyways one of the salesmen thought it would be a great idea to take it for a quick spin. I don’t know what he was thinking! How he would account for the miles on the car.

This, by the way, is unheard of and never really happens. Well, you guessed it, he crashed it. A $120,000.00 car (at the time), supercharged V8, ordered a year in advance for a customer...

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes facts Flickr, Alexandre Prévot

6. Better Lit Than Fired

Found a lighter in my pocket while standing in my boss' office at the deli I worked at. I was bored...I had to run past the entire deli counter screaming to get to the sink when I lit my shirt on fire. There were at least 15 customers in line.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

7. Gamble on a Customer’s Mistake

My co-worker noticed that someone left their card in the ATM, he then proceeded to withdraw as much money as he could from their account. He was arrested and fired. I heard that his reasoning was he needed to make a car payment, but he spent all his money at a casino.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

8. Frisky Business

Office manager—"visited" the office in the middle of the night with two ladies of the night, drunk and high. He set off the alarm and got arrested. But, the thing is, the police didn't come by the office until eight in the morning to explain why the door was unlocked and why there were sex toys on two of the desks...Ahh, good times...

Awkward Conversations to Translate factsShutterstock

9. You Can’t Cover Up This Crash

Working as a cashier in a family-owned Dodge dealership a few years ago. The lead detailer was a friend of the owner, guy's name was Tim. Tim was an older guy, and the owner trusted him enough to give out a set of keys to open the shop. Late one Friday night, Tim decides he really needs to impress a much younger lady, so he borrows a customer’s Viper out of the mechanic’s bay area.

Date didn’t go well and now he’s drunk as heck. He hits something and does a ton of damage to the front of the Viper. Tim figures the best thing to do is drive the car back to where it was and clean the stuff out of the damaged front, then run away. But Tim didn’t realize the owner had installed some cameras in the mechanic's area.

So, when everyone shows up and holy moly what happened to this customer’s supercar, well let’s roll the tape. There is Tim, spending hours drunkenly cleaning the front of the Viper in an effort to make it go unnoticed. The car ended up being totaled, but that one section of crumpled up panel was spic and span. They found Tim in another customer’s car sleeping it off.

Tim didn’t end up getting fired until the customer threatened to sue the dealership, it actually got reported to corporate and FCA had to give the guy a brand-new Viper. If the customer hadn’t complained to corporate the dealership owner would have laughed it off. Because old friends, right?

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPexels

10. Bald Ambition

This happened when I was in cosmetology school. There was a newer girl on the floor who was performing her first color job. Her client wanted highlights for the summer. Well, when we get a new client in, we are supposed to take a total hair history. She failed to do this and didn't realize the client had previously colored her hair with henna. For those who don't know, henna + bleach = B A D.

The client’s hair literally melted off. It fell apart and looked/felt like instant mashed potato mix. There was NO saving her hair. Needless to say, it was a disaster. The girl ended up learning from the experience, but my heart broke for the client who had to literally have her head shaved because of this girl’s screw up.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsShutterstock

11. No Security Like Insecurity

Worked as a student in a bank-agency. I wasn't 18 yet, so I wasn't allowed to be at the front desk (some insurance issues). Basically, I was doing paperwork in the back. Once, a customer wanted to enter, but one can't just walk into a bank, you have to ring a bell, and have an employee open the door for you by pressing a button under the front desk.

Long story short, he rang, all employees were busy, so I went to press the button. I check under the desk, darn, three buttons. The man was looking at me, looking pretty pissed by the waiting-time, so I just press a random button. Turns out it was the freaking alarm button. In short, I accidently pressed the alarm-button while working in a bank.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

12. It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Celebrity Faux-Pas!

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

I sliced up the site and put in filler text, knowing full well that only people coming from our internal IP would be able to see the development. I should mention that my company was small, close-knit and had a great (albeit vulgar) sense of humor. Rather than going the standard lorem ipsum route, I instead filled in something along the lines of "Herp derp I'm Christopher Reeve, I drive myself with a straw. Weaknesses include kryptonite and falling off horses."

It got worse, but I'll let your imaginations fill in the blanks. There were about four paragraphs of filler text. I came into work after school one day and all three of my company's owners/my bosses were waiting for me. I thought they were pulling some prank, but they asked me to come into their office. At this point, I knew something was definitely up.

My boss: "Chris and Dana saw the site." Me: "What? Who?" Him: "CRPF. Chris and Dana Reeve. The director wanted to show them the progress. Apparently, he didn't check before he showed it to him in person." At this point, I think my stomach hit the floor and kept going straight on to the Earth's core. My boss told me he'd let me know what the next steps were, but just to know that I was in deep, deep trouble.

Anyway, I didn't get fired (despite how adamant Dana Reeve was about the fact) and I had to write an apology to the Reeves. I found out later that Chris actually had a pretty solid sense of humor and thought it was funny. RIP, Mr. and Mrs. Reeve. In other words, I insulted Superman and lived to tell the story

Customer Isn’t Always Right factsPixabay

13. A Job Half-Well Done

I incorrectly labeled about 30 pairs of shoes as being $80 instead of $150. That was not a good day.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

14. Can’t Paint Over Every Mistake

For many years, I worked in windows and doors. This gave me an opportunity to witness some massive screw-ups. Some were made by contractors, some were made by manufacturers, some by my mill, and indeed some by me. I had spent years developing an excellent reputation for working on high-end homes. I worked with the architects on the front end, the clients and the contractors on the back end. It was a sweet deal for a guy in his late 20s. The money was good, and I was turning away clients.

So, it was a real boon for me to land a gig in Seattle working with some great clients on some amazing homes. Being from the Bay Area, I reluctantly agreed to move to Washington. These jobs were big and needed serious project management, so I needed to be on site a few times a week. Well, the primary residence I was working on was located in the Orca Islands and was a completely custom job; custom paint, custom wood, custom millwork, custom glass, custom hardware. The total job cost was $750,000+ and I was acting as an independent contractor supplying the material.

We spent nine months planning every detail, generating a construction document of 500+ pages. We spent two whole days before ordering the product going over the specs line by line. I had the client and the contractor sign off on every line item. Finally, I got a deposit on the material and initiated the order. The whole order took six months to receive.

Once everything was in and the contractor was ready, I made plans for the delivery. It was not an easy delivery, so I brought in a driver I knew from my work in Big Sur. It was muddy mess getting the material to the job site and took three trips over five days to fill the unfinished garage with all of the windows. We met with the contractor and inspected the goods, everything was fine. He signed off and all I needed to do was go home, wait for the final check (the part of the payment that had my profit in it).

I stopped and had a beer with my driver friend and headed back down to the ferry dock to take the ride over to my house on Bainbridge when my phone rang. It was the interior designer. "These aren't the right color," he said. All the blood in my body drained, I quickly grabbed my briefcase and started to flip through the work order, every freaking page of the 500 pages of order said the color that was delivered.

I insisted, "I've got the contract signed by the client and the contractor. It's the color that was ordered!" "This color will not do! I have ordered siding, trim, everything is coming in for the color we changed it to!" I hesitated and asked to let me review everything and get back to them. I got back to my office and gathered all my paperwork and right there, dated on the order's file folder, "Change color to blah, blah, blah"!

I ate the windows, I ate the temporary windows I supplied them to keep the job on track, I ate chargebacks from the contractor, I lost two upcoming jobs, I ate the cost of sending a crew out and replacing the windows with the correct ones, I ate everything and had to order the windows again. I had moved my family up to Seattle for this job, I got a house, I bought a new car, etc. I was all in on this job.

I went out of business at the end of the job. Returned to the Bay Area and went back to college. I will never put my self in the position where a one-line screw-up will screw anything up that bad. Damn, that felt good to write about.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsShutterstock

15. Slip and Ride

Right out of tech school, I got a job as a mechanic in a small chain shop. Oftentimes, experienced techs would diagnose a problem, then pass it along to me to do the hard labor. I think that is pretty typical. So, I get this car that needs an air conditioning evaporator replaced. For those that don't know, this is often found way up inside the dashboard and can be a considerable amount of work to extract.

This particular one was a beast and fought me every step of the way: hidden screws, unseen clips, tight spaces. I get it all back together and recharge the AC system. The car goes out working perfectly. As it turned out, the driver was taking a trip across country and I missed a crucial part of any evaporator install: checking the drip valve. All of the accumulated water that would normally drip outside onto the ground was instead pouring inside her car.

So, she gets back from her trip and the car was soaked. Over an inch of water under the carpet and seats. We had to strip it down to the metal and air dry everything for two days.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

16. Snakes and Ladders

I work at a pet store. I accidentally threw a snake away. I was cleaning the bedding and didn't see him buried in his. I dumped it. 2-3 days later, my department manager brought it back to me after finding it in the receiving garbage. Somehow, I didn't get in trouble. Snake was fine.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

17. No Butts About It!

I work in a theme park, and on this particular day, I was manning the control booth. I was sitting in the chair, which was a rolling office type chair, when I decided I wanted to stand. I hopped down and somehow managed to propel the chair into the wall with my ass. The chair slammed directly into a fire alarm, and the lever ended up getting depressed AND pulled down. By a chair. I stared at it in horror for a moment, but nothing happened—until suddenly: "BEEEEW. BEEEEEW. BEEEEW."

Yup, I set off a fire alarm. With my ass. So when you have a fire alarm at a ride, you have to cycle all of the guests clear of the attraction, kick all of the guests out of the queue, and then evacuate all of the employees while you wait for the fire department to come and give you the ok to resume normal operation. Once we had gotten the venue fully evacuated, I was freaking out. I figured I was in huge trouble, what with inconveniencing several hundred guests and wasting the fire departments time and all.

I came clean to my supervisor immediately. I mean, I was the only person in the control booth, it would be obvious that I had done something, so better let her know of my clumsiness before she thought I had had a more sinister agenda. To my great surprise, she started laughing hysterically and told me not to worry about it.

The ride ended up being closed for like an hour and a half, and during that time, I had at least seven or eight managers and supervisors from around the park come and make fun of me. I think the best part of the whole situation, though, was that after the incident, my supervisor and I decided there should be a cover over that fire alarm, so we gave a call to the safety department.

We never did get a cover, because apparently, a room full of engineers and the man in charge of safety resort-wide spent hours trying to fling a chair at that goddammed fire alarm, and not ONE of them could recreate what I somehow managed to do in one try. With my ass. I still get flack for that one, and it happened nearly two years ago!

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

18. Snail Mail

I worked in a mailroom for a fairly large company right out of college. We often times had Overnight, Next Day AM packages that HAD to be there or apparently the world would explode. I was responsible for getting these to the drop boxes before pick up time, which means I had to take them with me when I left work and drop them off.

Well one Friday, had one of these urgent letters. Left work and completely forgot about it. It sat in my car all weekend. Got to work the next Monday, the CFO and several upper-management were literally freaking out cause the letter didn’t arrive (got yelled at, etc.). It apparently was a half a million-dollar check that this company was waiting for or they were going to take some kind of legal action or something.

It turned out fine, but I wanted to die at the time. Been there.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsShutterstock

19. Crossing the Teas

Not a career-altering mistake as this was retail, but a huge mistake on my part, nonetheless. Years ago, I used to work at a Starbucks. I worked an opening shift and getting there at 5:15 am in the middle of winter meant that I wasn't in the most awake states of mind. We had a drive-thru, and I was stationed on it for the day.

Now to help us get through these early mornings, we were allowed (if our supervisor was cool) to make ourselves a drink to keep by the till/bar while we worked. I made myself a grande Chai latte. I get through about half of it when a customer appears at the drive-thru. She orders a grande Chai. Tired me makes said chai.

Tired me accidentally hands out my half-finished chai to the customer. She drives off, and after a few minutes, I wonder why there is a full chai latte sitting there. Luckily, she never came back to complain, but that was the biggest mistake I made at a job. In short, I made myself a drink at work at Starbucks and accidentally gave my half-finished drink to a customer.

Biggest Impact FactsFlickr

20. Get Clean and Then Clean Again

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

Weird Laws FactsWikipedia

21. Blast from Credit Card’s Past

I used to run charges on credit cards as part of my job at a bike parts vendor. One day, I mistakenly charged a bike shop over $1,000. It made the owner of the shop go over their credit limit and get a bunch of fees. I was fired soon after. The only job I was ever fired from. I later moved to the town where that very same bike shop resides. I spoke with the owner and mentioned that I had worked for the vendor long in the past.

She told me in detail about the time that her card was charged by accident. I feigned ignorance.

Fire Me, I Dare You factsGetty Images

22. Hello, Mr. Sandman

I worked at a plant nursery that sold bulk soils and sand. We loaded this into customer’s trucks with a Bobcat front end loader. Guy jumps into the Bobcat after improperly attaching the bucket and scoops up ~2,000 pounds of sand. Everything is fine and dandy until he attempts to tilt the bucket down and dump the sand. BOOM, 500-pound bucket holding 2,000 pounds of sand SMASHES the side of a guy's brand-new Tundra.

Couldn't even drive it.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

23. Bottoms Up and Down the Drain

I work in the cold room of a busy venue with several bars. It's my job to change the beer kegs when they run out. When it gets busy, I am literally checking and changing the kegs as fast as I can. After a keg is changed over, you pressurize the beer line by opening a valve called a fob. This wastes a small amount of beer as it creates a siphon to allow the liquid to flow again. The waste beer ends up in a water cooler bottle in the room outside the cold room.

Anyway, one day I was really busy, and I forgot to close one of the fobs. I went off and changed another two or three kegs before going out of the cool room for a break. And stepped right in the middle of a massive pool of foamy beer. Here's the kicker though: my cold room had 24 of those fobs and I had to check most of them before I found the open one. Then I tried to clean up the mess before a supervisor noticed. I failed, and I got yelled at for wasting at least double my day's wages in spilled booze.

In short, I flooded a small room with beer

Espionage factsPixabay

24. Welcome to the Neighborhood

Tore a front bumper off a minivan I was towing right in front of the whole family watching me unload their van. I felt awful, but they were understanding. We fixed it for them, plus fixed the reason it was broken down as well since it was a cheap/easy fix.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

25. Burned for the Last Time

I cremated a lady too soon (I'm a funeral director). Here's how it went down: You can't cremate a person unless you have received a permit for that person to be cremated from the coroner/medical examiner office. Takes a few days to get one usually, and a licensed funeral director (me) has to sign the permit along with the coroner to make it valid.

So, I met with the "Smith" family, the husband and two daughters of the deceased. The daughter wanted to see her mother again before cremation took place, so I set that up for two days later. The next day was an extremely busy day. I was dealing with a very difficult family, among a million other things. I was on the phone getting yelled at by a guy over something that had nothing to do with us (the church he wanted to have his mother's funeral at already had one scheduled for the day/time he wanted, so he was yelling at...ME, of all people) when the office secretary walks up and hand me a stack of permits to sign.

So, I'm glancing through the files to make sure we have everything we need for me to sign these permits, with the phone to my ear, being called every name in the book. I sign the permits, the secretary takes them and faxes them to the crematory, the crematory cremates the bodies. I literally sat straight up in bed at 1 am the next morning because I realized my lady whose daughter was supposed to see her again was in that stack of permits.

So....not good.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

26. A Teacher Gets Schooled in Empathy

I'm a teacher. I had a particularly difficult student who gave me a very hard time on an unusually hard day, early in my career. After class let out another colleague stopped by and without thinking, I said, "Nobody wants ("that difficult kid") in their class! It's hopeless." He was walking in the room to apologize and heard me. However withdrawn and difficult he was before this, it multiplied tenfold, and I felt terrible.

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

Unprofessional Teachers FactsShutterstock

27. Hit Snooze to Send

Falling asleep while working from home was my least proud moment. I felt less bad about it when another co-worker fell asleep during a conference call, with his mic on, snoring loudly.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsShutterstock

28. Unlocking a Beatdown

I worked at Best Buy and had just signed out a set of keys to retrieve a high-value product from a cage. Lost the freaking keys. I paced like a mad man trying to retrace my steps and find them, but ultimately, I went up to my boss and told him I just screwed up. He said, "The keys you signed out had keys to seven other cages and the warehouse."

"The value therein is over $400,000, not to mention the cost of re-keying and re-locking is about $1,500, considering parts and labor, PER lock. Do you know how long it would take you to work that off? Did you know that this is an offense that results in immediate termination?" I went pale as a ghost and almost soiled my pants.

"Lucky for you, I saw you set them down where you weren't supposed to, then walk away, so I grabbed them myself and let you worry. This is a cheap lesson, sign the keys back in." In sum: Lost a set of keys in a big box retailer, put $400,000+ at risk, the boss had them the whole time so I'd learn my lesson to keep them on my person at all times when I've signed them out.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

29. Pet Shop Boy

When I was 14, I managed to get a job at a local family-owned pet store. Pretty much every single one of the dumbest things I've ever done in my entire work history was something I did at that job: On my first day, I was asked to clean out the cages for the pet rodents (gerbils, guinea pigs, etc.). While I was doing this, a kid of about ten approached me and told me it was his dream to work at a pet store and asked if he could help.

I thought that was a great idea because the work would get done twice as fast and I'd be helping this kid get his start. The owner was not happy to come in the back room and see a strange kid back there helping me out. There was a huge cage in the middle of the store that had about eighty or ninety birds in it (budgies, cockatiels, etc.).

One night before we closed up, I was asked to change the water dishes in the birdcage. Those who have ever been around a birdcage know that they put little doors on the side so you can take food and water dishes out without reaching all the way through, especially useful on a cage as massive as this one. The only problem was that when I put one of the water dishes back, I forgot to close the door.

When the owner came in the next morning all but eight of the birds had escaped and four had died flying into the front windows of the store. It took three hours to catch the escapees. There were a lot of other smaller things I did too, like try to pour out mop water in a stopped drain that I had been told was stopped, flooding one of the back rooms, on top of the fact that I sucked at cleaning in general and was constantly getting chewed out for it.

I didn't get a lot of chances to make mistakes though because I was fired after a month. At the time I thought I had gotten screwed but looking back on it I realized there's an extremely important lesson to take away from the experience: you should never hire a 14-year-old to do anything because they're all idiots.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

30. Red in My Ledger

Used to work at the theatre. Sold a $100 gift card to this lady in red. I pre-loaded the gift card, handed it to the lady, then she pays on debit. Before the transaction fully completes, she says thanks and I let her go (there was a huge line). The card got declined but by the time I realized it, she was already walking into the women's washroom.

I stand outside the women's washroom waiting for her to come out. At this point, I don't even remember her face, but all I remembered was that she wore red. A lady comes out in red and I tell her, “Hey ma'am, your card got declined, can you please come back and pay.” She doesn't know what the heck I'm talking about and tells me she never purchased a gift card. I told her yes, she did, and that she needs to come back to pay for it.

The commotion caused her husband to show up, who was also waiting for her to come out of the washroom, yelling, “How dare you accuse my wife of stealing your gift card? Let me speak to your manager.” To this day, I'm still not sure if the woman I accused was the same woman who hustled me or if it was a coincidence that this was another woman who also wore red.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

31. That’s Not Tomato Sauce…

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

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

Charles II of Spain factsShutterstock

32. Ocean’s 16,000

Worked at a hospital and sent a $16,000 machine to the wrong place, where it was poorly watched. This resulted in some guy trying to walk out with it, only to be stopped because the person who requested it happened to see him trying to leave out the loading bay doors and called security.

Kindness Backfired factsShutterstock

33. A Spoonful of Acid Helps the Medicine Go Down

I accidentally lost a tab of acid in someone's food one time. Didn't realize it fell out and it landed in the food. Of course, the food had already gone out, so I just walked out the door and went home.

Life-Ruining Secret FactsShutterstock

34. Something Looks Familiar…

We once lost a six million dollar per year account because sales guy forgot to change the competitor’s logo from a previous contract offer.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

35. An Incompetent River Flows Through It

I had an employee who was working night audit (hotel). I was AGM, 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 pissed and checked out because it took too long for the water to come back on. Apparently, they had tried to turn on the bath and didn't think to freaking turn it off. So, the bathtub overflowed for god knows how long, flooded the room, and the room underneath it, and the room underneath that, and finally the room underneath that.

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

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsShutterstock

36. The Bubble Bursts

I used to work at a corn maze with several other attractions, a mini maze (my job), a giant slide, a bounce pillow, a fishing pond. We were all teenagers, none of us really UNDERSTOOD the bounce pillow, it was just always inflated when we got there. One day it wasn't. The guy who was stationed there thought he could figure it out himself. I heard it explode while I was getting my morning snow cone. The whole staff was replaced the next season.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsShutterstock

37. Consider Me Plucked

My first job when I was 16 was at PetSmart. I had been working there for a few months when one night I was cleaning out the bird/small animal habitat. The procedure was to haul a ShopVac into the little room and vacuum up the spilled bird food/seeds/litter. Easy peasy. So, I'm cleaning out the cage with the cockatiels in it, when one of them decides to investigate the loud sucking machine. FWOOMP. The bird is gone.

I opened up the canister, no bird. I take the hose off the tank and, bird. I used a box cutter to rip the hose in half so I could get him out. So, this freaking bird is missing feathers and is bleeding and I am hysterical. I run to my boss crying and say "IJUSTSUCKEDABIRDUPINTHESHOPVACHESGOINGTODIEIAMAHORRIBLEPERSON." He takes one look at me, then the bird, and starts laughing.

I ended up driving him to another PetSmart that had a Banfield vet in it; he laughed and gave the bird some fluids. My coworkers named him Hoover and he lived in quarantine in the back of the store for months until his feathers came back.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes factsPixabay

38. Talk About a Hot Ride

Worked at Circuit City circa 2005 installing car audio. One of my co-workers put a satellite radio in a brand-new BMW but apparently wired something wrong and the car burned to the ground. Oops!

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes facts Pixabay

39. I Spot Trouble

When I worked at Home Depot, we had a guy who was really something special. When driving a forklift during store hours, you're supposed to have a spotter with flags guide you through the store. It's pretty much an instant firing if you don't. So anyway, this guy drives the forklift into the store with a pallet of cinder blocks and no spotter.

He proceeds to hit a shelf, which damages a cinder block on the bottom. He panics, realizing he damaged a $1.00 cinder block and speeds through the store on the forklift, weaving in and out of customers, and gets caught by the manager trying to dump the entire pallet of blocks down the garbage chute to cover his tracks. That was his last day.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes facts Wikipedia

40. So Much for Due Diligence

Financial firm looking to open a crummy cash for gold place. A senior manager led the effort. Secured a property, hired staff, rigged up high-end security, secured partners to resell the gold to. Warehouses ready for storage with their own security. Millions spent. Thing is: it's a pawn business and this guy never looked into if that was legal on the property/area he bought.

Whole thing was lost, and he was fired immediately.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes facts Pixabay

41. Someone’s Work Performance Smells Fishy

I worked in a salmon processing plant in Alaska. There was a dude in his mid-20s who had worked there before, so they assigned him to run the holding tanks. The tanks were two huge (like three stories tall) tanks that stored the fish from the boats. One day, the dude thought he had drained both tanks of all the fish, so they called it a day.

We didn't work with fresh fish for two days, when we got back it smelt like death. Turns out he hadn't drained one of the tanks, so the fish sat in lukewarm water for three days. He destroyed about 500,000 lbs of salmon. After that, he worked in the gutting section.

Their Biggest Workplace Mistakes facts Shutterstock

42. Face-First into Unemployment (for Show)

I used to work at Chuck E. Cheese and was taking a pizza from the kitchen to the customer. At the time, it was extremely busy and there were little devils running everywhere and this lady was at the far end, so I had to zigzag through the games to get to her. So, after successfully maneuvering through a bunch of games and small children with two pizzas on my hands, I came within 10 feet of her table and thought I was home free.

Well, turns out there was a two-year-old kid crawling right in front of me. I tripped on the kid, the pizzas went flying and hit another kid, and both of the kids were crying because I stepped on one and nailed the other with pizza. And before you think this can't get any worse, I then had to deal with the parents...that part alone still makes me shudder to this day.

After about 45 minutes of yelling at me, they pressure my manager to fire me. My manager was a cool guy so he said no, but he pulled me aside and told me he would have to pretend to go crazy on me to make the parents happy. He did and it was the finest acting I have ever seen a non-actor pull off. It even scared me for a minute.

I continued working in that hell hole for another year before I left for college.

Worst Thing Found in Hotel FactsShutterstock

Sources: , ,

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.