Making mistakes is part of life. Whether you've put your foot in your mouth, flubbed something at work, or lost a valuable item, we all know how it feels to mess up. But when it comes to these people, "mess up" doesn't quite cut it. These errors were more than simple mistakes—they were all out disasters. Sit back and prepare to feel your self esteem go up by 10000%. You may not be perfect, but you've got it together more than these poor souls.
1. Taking the Fall
So, I work in a workshop, and we often engrave stuff for customers. This particular guy wanted a nice wooden jewelry box for their wedding anniversary with a custom message he emailed me. For some reason, he chose to give the box to his wife at the workshop. Not the most romantic place I can think of, but whatever.
The guy's wife starts to look confused and tear up: "You don't remember the date?" Guy turns pale, looks at me with a deep stare, says: "No, I'm sure it's a mistake." Me: "No, I've copied it straight, can't be wrooon...waaait a minute, oh my god, it's my fault, I'm so sorry, I will redo it right away, no need to pay, please accept it as a gift..."
Wife gets angry a bit at me, but they leave with a different box and the correct date. But that wasn't even the best part. Guy comes back next day and pays triple the original price without a word.
2. Wrong Room, Lasting Trauma
A friend of mine is a medical intern. There was a patient in her hospital that a whole team of doctors had just convinced the family to remove from life support after weeks. My friend went into the room after reading the wrong patient's chart and told the family she expected the patient to make a full recovery...it was everything that the family had been praying to hear for months, only to find out it wasn't true.
3. The “G” Is Silent
I once sent a direct mail piece out quoting an Angus Reid poll. Left the "g" out, so of course, the spell-check didn't catch it. Based on the feedback I received, virtually all those who noticed thought it was an improvement.
4. Drive-thru Drive-by
I worked at McDonald's when I was in high school and finally got a better job, with better hours, closer to home after a couple of years there. When I quit, I was annoyed to learn that they wanted my greasy threadbare uniform polo and pants back after I was done. See, I didn't want them, but it seemed cheap and sort of insulting—they were just going to throw them away, same as I would, but they were going to require an extra trip back there for me to do it? No, I don't think so. Screw them.
Keep in mind I was 16 at the time, and apply "I'm such a rebellious free thinker" teenage arrogance to the situation. What happened next makes more sense that way. So, on my last day, I put my plan into action. I went out to my car, stripped down to my boxers, went through the drive-thru, and threw my wadded-up uniform at the woman working the window.
That's when told her to give them to the owner. The look on her face was priceless. I drove off, music blaring, feeling ridiculously happy and proud of what I had just done, and happened to run into a friend of mine who was also cruising around. I explained why I wasn't wearing a shirt or pants, he laughed and said we should go get something to eat.
Sure, no problem, I'll just change into the clothes I brought, grab my wallet, and...Ah, crud. That’s right. My wallet was still in the pocket of the pants I'd thrown in the drive-thru window. I had to slink back in, sheepishly ask someone to search through the trash for me to find my pants and find my wallet. They did. I didn't go back to that McDonald's for years.
5. Kind of Had it Coming
I knew a guy who had "変態外人" tattooed on his arm. He said it meant "Lover of Asian Beauty" when in fact it means "Foreign Pervert."
6. It’s the Little Things That Trip You up
I scored an interview for a dream job. I did all of my research about the company, bought a new suit, the whole shebang. I gave the man interviewing me a firm handshake, answered all of his questions easily, and felt pretty confident. After finishing the otherwise flawless interview, we shook hands again, and I said, "Thank you sir." To my horror, she replied: "It’s Ma'am."
7. It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses a Toe
One day, I was taking a long leg cast off of a kid who was about three years old. After I got the cast split open, I started to pull it off, and the Mother suddenly said, "Oh, his toe fell off." I chuckled and replied, “Nice one,” thinking she was joking. She gave me a really angry look. It turned out that the kid had been in the cast because his small toe had been nearly amputated and then reattached.
The doctor was hoping that what tissue was still connected would be enough to vascularize the distal portion. It wasn't. The kid's toe had rotted and fallen off. Whoops.
8. Insured Losses
About 10 years ago, I got a part-time job that miraculously offered health insurance. Unfortunately, the paperwork they gave me when I started only listed the insurance rates for full-time employees, which was something like $60 a paycheck. I didn't even realize there would be a difference for me until I got my first paycheck and it totaled about $20.
I called HR in panic mode certain that there must be some mistake only to be informed that for the number of hours I was working, health insurance was $400 per paycheck. And no, I couldn't cancel my enrollment unless I had a "qualifying life event." I took home $20 paychecks for four months until open enrollment ended when I could finally cancel.
Luckily, I had another job at the time so I wasn't out on the street, but it certainly taught me a lesson about carefully reading paperwork.
10. Good Luck Explaining This One
I was on a road trip with four of my friends and I had been talking up this playlist I'd made for our drive. After reminding my pals that it would blow their mind, I connected the Bluetooth to the car's speakers. For whatever reason, as soon as the Bluetooth connected, it immediately played the last video viewed on my phone. Yup, It was an adult video. Yup, still haven't been allowed to live that one down.
11. Dearest Ex Wife
I used to work at a call center for a popular gift company. This one couple calls up and says "we need to cancel our order!" I look it up, and tell them UPS already has the order to deliver it. They tell me, "You don't understand. We are sending this to our son and his wife. We accidentally put his ex wife's name on the card. It will ruin Christmas if they receive this gift!!!" I was finally able to call UPS and get them to not deliver the package. Not my screw up, but dang.
12. Sweet Disaster
I went on a blind date with a sweet guy that my friends all said was perfect for me. We order a small snack for our coffee and as it's arriving at the table and we're chatting, he pulls out his Nokia phone. Trying to make a lighthearted joke, I say, "MAN, that has got to be the oldest phone I've seen in a while." I really dug it in, trying to break that awkward first date wall. Well, it turns out that it was not a Nokia, it was something much more embarrassing. It was his insulin pump.
13. Rush Order
At the company where I worked, there was a new trading assistant named Eli on the floor who thoroughly believed he was The Guy. He was going to take the world by storm and decided he was next in line to make partner. Only first, he was assigned the task of sending in an option exercise one Friday afternoon in order to capture a particularly large special dividend.
Poor Eli knew how to do it, but he was in a bit of a rush. He sent the fax through to the broker and then left before getting the confirmation. The fax failed and the options weren't exercised, costing the firm about $150,000. Poor Eli was met by a very angry head trader at the door on Monday morning and he got his walking papers. Poor Eli.
14. Learning Yikes
I'm a professor. I used to hook my laptop up to the projector up front to get my slides to display on the screen in the classroom. One day, while I was going through a PowerPoint, a text popped up on my screen from a woman I'd been seeing. All it said was, "I have herpes." I stopped connecting his laptop to the projector after that.
15. Bad Math
I offered to pay for the bill on a first date with a gorgeous girl. She insisted to pay half. I didn’t fight it, but I only had a large bill so I did some mental math, pocketed her money and put my bill in. Anyway, long story short, I did the math wrong and ended up fleecing 20 bucks from her. She sarcastically said, "thank you," and I thought she was being sincere. I'm an idiot.
16. Don’t Mess With the Internet
Not my mistake, but I think our CEO wins this. I used to work for a telecom company and our CEO went to a site to look at our new fiber optic shelter. While going around the shelter, he accidentally stepped on fiber that was transmitting more than a quarter of the data of our country. All our country had outbound connection problems for 18 hours.
It affected more than 10 million people.
17. One Wild Ride
After a date, I dropped the girl off in the parking lot where her car was parked. We said goodbye to each other and parted ways without a kiss, as it was our first date. As she got out and began walking across the parking lot, I suddenly got the courage to whip my car around, stop it right in front of her, get out, and kiss her.
In my head, it was going to be like something out of a movie. In real life, I pulled up to her, forgot to put the car in park, got out, walked away from the car, watched her look at me in horror and point, turned around, and ran towards my car as it slammed into another parked car. Just a typical day in my life really…
18. Trashy Day
I threw my keys away. It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but I threw them down a chute into a large apartment trash compactor so retrieval was impossible. I had to pay a locksmith to let me in my apartment since it was the middle of the night. Then the next day I had to pay a tow truck to tow my car to the dealership which was huge ordeal because he couldn't fit inside the parking garage of my apartment complex. We had to break into my car, have a dummy key made, jimmy it into neutral and push it down the ramp.
Finally, I had to pay a nice chunk of money to get fancy new keys made. I then had to contact the realtor for the house I had just bought and received the keys for that same freaking week and explain what happened and get a new set of keys made for the house. And this all made me miss a day of work. That was a fun day.
19. It’s the Thought That Counts
I offered my seat to an elderly lady on the bus. Turned out she wasn't that old and felt offended, so she screamed at me for the entire ride home.
20. Almost Infecting Yourself
Pathologist here. Biggest mistake I ever made was cutting myself during an autopsy on an HIV patient. Lucky for me, I did not acquire the virus, so everything had a happy ending (For me, anyway. That guy was still dead.)
21. Getting Hot in the Cockpit
Dad retired with 36,000 hours, closest disaster was almost a cockpit fire. So I got the short story from him: He was supposed to fly from Orlando to Boston, but as he was taking off, he noticed that there was a lot of super hot air pouring into the cockpit. What had happened is instead of wiring the engine valve shut like the mechanics were supposed to, they wired the valve wide open.
As I understand it, the engine valve usually automatically regulates the amount of hot air that the engine bleeds into the cockpit. However, the wiring they did made it so the maximum amount of hot air was coming in continuously from the engine. He made an emergency landing in Jacksonville, and by the time they landed, they couldn't touch the controls and they were using clothing as oven mitts.
He said he and his co-pilot were also completely drenched in sweat.
I once worked for a music PR company. My first job was to send a promotional email out to about 1,000 journalists. I forgot to BCC every one and instead just CC'ed them. 90% of the mailing list unsubscribed. As you can imagine, those 1,000 journalists were this PR company's bread and butter. I…did not keep my job for long.
This one time in sixth grade we were playing kickball in gym class. I went to a private school, so I was wearing a white polo and grey slacks. Well, I had just started playing football so I was bragging that I could kick the ball really far. Mind you I was the short little pudgy kid everyone picked on. Well, I was up to kick, I pointed way into the outfield, ran at the ball and tried to kick it realllllly hard.
Well, not only did I completely miss the ball, I farted really loud as my leg fully extended and ripped my pants and underwear down my butt, then I fell right back into a puddle of mud. Everyone started falling over laughing, even the gym teacher who pitched the ball to me.
24. No Kids Allowed
My place of work has a 21 and over policy after nine pm, and a group of people walked in and I immediately assumed they walked in with their child because I couldn’t see her over the counter. So I said, “hey guys I’m sorry but we’re 21 and over right now.” Turns out she had dwarfism. Oh my lord. I tried to save myself by apologizing and telling them they all looked young despite obviously referring to her earlier. MORTIFIED.
25. It Runs in the Family
Was at a friend's brother's 21st birthday party and was standing around talking with some other guys. On the driveway, a bunch of girls were dancing to the music. It was a really chill night. But it was about to get a lot chillier. The guy next to me said to the guy on his other side "How about the rack on that blonde chick?" The other guy replied, "That's my daughter.”
26. Like A Canary
I was the director of an a cappella group. During auditions, I projected sheet music from my tablet. After one girl finished her audition, the assistant director texted me from across the room, “Oh, that was awful.” My tablet received the message, and everyone saw the notification...including the girl who’d just auditioned.
27. Chubby Chaser
Dude was so proud of his grandson that he wanted a tattoo that said “I love my grandson” in Chinese characters. Except I’m guessing everyone just googled “I love my grand son” because it came out reading “I love fat boys.” Whoops.
28. Thank You, Facebook Robot
I was sending an "adult" link to my girlfriend and accidentally shared it to my facebook wall instead of in a message. I don't know how, I must have been tired or something. We're talking some really bad stuff here. I didn't even realize I'd done it until the following day. I woke up to so many messages. The worst one was from my grandma...
29. Big Tech
I used to work in the inventory department of an aerospace company. They did repairs mostly on Boeing hydraulic units. There are some very expensive parts on those planes! One in particular was about an inch long, and cost over $11,000. I saw the price tag and couldn't believe my eyes! I'd seen expensive parts before, but never one so small.
Being the idiot that I am, I took the part out of the little baggie that it was in, snapped a picture of it to show my friends, and put it back in the bag. I came back to my desk later that day to put it back in inventory, and it was gone. I lost it. I had absolutely no idea where the part went. I was a bit panicked, but I didn't think it was too big of a deal.
The part had never been needed and had been in our inventory for over two years collecting dust, so I felt like I had some time to search for it. I kid you not, the following day, we had a job that required that part. I almost passed out right at my desk.
30. Accidental Hypocrite
I’m a paramedic. Just two weeks ago, we had a call to pick up a paraplegic at a nursing home. He had called 9-1-1 himself because he had end-stage cancer and was in constant pain, and he was claiming that the nursing staff wouldn't give him pain medication. Turns out that was exactly what was happening, so I played hero and lectured the staff. Then I totally blew it.
I returned to the man’s room and saw that my partner and our student had him on the cot already. Forgetting he was paraplegic because I was still flustered about the nurses, when I buckled the straps over his legs, I thoughtlessly said, "Let me know if these are too tight on you." Totally straight-faced, he replied, "I can't, I'm a paraplegic." I wanted to disappear.
31. Save Some Cringe for the Rest of Us
A female friend of mine–to whom I was admittedly attracted–had been expressing her reservations about an upcoming vacation with her family. Though it wasn't being overtly presented as such, the trip was meant as a way of re-solidifying her parents' marriage, which had been more than a touch rocky at the time.
They would all be driving from San Francisco to a small town in Northern California, where they'd stay at a bed-and-breakfast inn for a weekend before continuing northward for some unknown destination. In keeping with the alleged purpose of this so-called vacation, two rooms had been booked at the inn in question.
To her dismay, though, my friend discovered that her mother would be occupying one room, her father would have the other, and that she and her sister would each have to bunk with one of their parents. This was worthy of lament on its own, but it was made unforgivably worse by the verbal diarrhea that I offered in an attempt at providing comfort:
"Aw, it won't be so bad!" I told my friend. "Your father will probably enjoy sleeping with you." A moment passed before I realized what I had said. Then, with a feeling of growing horror, I tried to explain myself. Suddenly, I made it 10 times more awkward. "Wait, I didn't mean it like that!" I hurriedly said. "I mean, like, he's probably sick of sleeping with your mom."
"No, wait, I mean... I just mean that he wants to spend some quality time with his daughter." If I had stopped there, I might have been able to salvage the situation, but as it happened, I decided that the best course of action would be to keep talking. "I can't say that I blame him, really. I'd love to sleep with you." She and I don't talk much these days.
32. The Mac Daddy of Mess ups
At the first advertising agency I worked at, one of our clients was an oil drilling company. I was working on some very standard ads for them, one of which had the headline, "FASTER, FARTHER, DEEPER." I made a typo that caused the ad to read, "FASTER, FATHER, DEEPER." Thankfully, my Creative Director caught it before it went to the client.
We all had a big (nervous) laugh about it and the original ended up on the creative department's wall.
33. Just Didn’t Click
I made a mistake sorting a list of addresses with Excel. I didn't select all the columns and consequently sent couriers to 400 addresses that didn't exist. It cost something like $8,000.
34. Crystal Clear Idiot
I broke a champagne flute at a wedding once. It was one of the bride and groom's matched set. I was picking up cake plates and saw the glass on the edge of the table, told myself, "Be really careful, that's at a bad spot," and then proceeded to tap it just enough to knock it off the table to the ground, shattered. The glasses were crystal and a family heirloom passed down through their Jewish family from before the Holocaust.
I have never felt more guilty or terrible in my life. I still think about it sometimes and want to curl up in a ball and die.
35. Slippery When Wet
Oh God…here goes. Working at McDonald's three years ago, little kid spills coke on the floor. I happily wander over to clean it up. Mop that stuff up lightning fast with a smile and everybody is happy. Go behind the counter and retrieve the “slippery when wet” sign to place over the newly-cleaned area, and when I get there, distracted by something, I slip! Embarrassing right? You have no idea...
My foot slips out like a javeline and kicks a baby's high chair, the baby's head whiplashes against his table so hard both of his shoes fall right off. I just stared in horror at the family. I place the sign down like an idiot and run back behind the kitchen for my dear life. Then I proceeded to crack up in the most maniacal nervous laughter accented with breaths of horror. What had I done?!
36. Filling With Poop
I'm not the doctor, but a couple years ago my father went in for a colonoscopy after experiencing abdominal pain. His doctor was a pretty young guy, and the procedure went routinely, with one "growth" removed for biopsy.
Within hours of the surgery, my dad spiked a fever of 105 F and went to the emergency room. With no idea what happened, the doctors opened him up to find actual poop all over his body cavity. The young doctor had removed my dad's appendix tie-off scar, which had been done using an out-of-date method from the 90s. He had no idea what it would look like, and didn't realize what he was cutting off, basically popping a poop balloon inside my dad's body.
He's okay now, but he nearly lost his life. We didn't sue, but the hospital paid for the colonoscopy and the following emergency procedures for us, which was nice of them.
37. Studying Hard
I was attending a school that did a drawing for free housing each year. It was a big production with prizes given out throughout the night with the big prize of free housing for a year, about $5,000, given out at the end. I stayed for most of the night but decided to study instead of stick around for the drawing. Guess who was called out first? You had to be present to win.
38. Slow Drip
There was a leak from my bathroom upstairs to the kitchen right underneath it. Every time someone would shower, water would slowly begin to drip into the kitchen. I thought there was a leak somewhere in the drainpipe and I took the kitchen ceiling down looking for it. And this was an old home, so there was this cement type of plaster with metal latticework through it on top of wooden slats.
It took forever to expose the drainpipe...only to find out that the little knob thing on the shower faucet that you pull up to turn on the shower had broken and I just needed to replace that. That piece costs me $7. Then I had to completely replace my kitchen ceiling.
39. Walk It off
I was discussing a recent surgery I had at work to a bunch of people, including a lady with spina bifida who lives in a wheelchair. I specifically was talking about how annoyed I was by not being able to walk for three weeks. I revisit that one a lot.
40. Beyond Remedy
I work in pharmaceutical manufacturing. A co-worker of mine in error threw away a filter used to sterilize meds before it is filled into syringes, vials, or whatever. The company searched through a local landfill looking for it. Without this filter being tested for integrity, the product cannot be verified as sterile.
The filter was never found and the entire lot was thrown out. The total loss was nearly $2.5 million USD.
41. Machine Reading
I was riding in the car with a co-worker when my wife texted. I told Siri to read it. Huge mistake. My wife texted to yell at me about leaving dingleberries in the shower drain.
42. Forgetting to Lock The Tiger Away
Once I left a door to a tiger's enclosure unlocked and let the tiger back in after I was done cleaning. Walked by a couple minutes later doing a lock check, realized my mistake, and nonchalantly placed the lock back on the door and kept walking past coworkers while internally freaking out.
I could have gotten myself or someone else mauled by a tiger that day.
43. Don’t Judge a Truck by Its Size
TODAY was my buddy's first day with his work truck. He was getting gas and assumed that because it was a big truck, that it took diesel. It did not take diesel.
44. Tinder Stack
I accidentally left a stack of paper coffee cups next to the stove. Shortly after I headed home from my shift, I heard sirens go wailing by. The restaurant was on fire and when they put it out, there was several hundred thousand dollars in damage for equipment alone. Needless to say, I was fired and then under investigation for quite a while afterward.
45. 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.
46. Nepotism Doesn’t Work, People
I lost my father's company three million dollars in assets due to a typo. As an 18-year-old intern.
47. Having Your Heart Ripped Out
My brother is a surgeon, and during part of his residency, he had to work in the pediatric unit. He was working with two newborns. One was getting much better and fighting for life. He was going to make it just fine. The other baby was hours from dying. He wasn't going to make it. My brother was in charge of informing the families.
My brother realized about 15 minutes later that he had mixed up the families. He told the family with the healthy baby that their baby wasn't going to make it, and he told the family with the dying baby that their baby was going to be just fine. He then had to go back out to the families and explain the situation to them.
How devastating. To be given a glimmer of hope and have it ripped away from you not even an hour later. That was most upset I've heard my brother. He felt destroyed.
48. Under Pressure
I cooked a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for an ex of mine back in 2002 or so. I was making some sort of chicken dish. I put it in a pot to cook. Meanwhile, my girl and I were hanging out in the bedroom while it was cooking. Let’s just say we got a little “preoccupied” for the next little while. Then, a few minutes later, I suddenly thought “Uh oh, the chicken!” and went running downstairs to check on it.
I ran into the kitchen completely undressed and grabbed the lid off. Apparently, I had unknowingly used my roommate’s pressure cooker. I didn’t actually know what a pressure cooker was at the time, but I definitely do now! I forced the lid open and got boiling water all over my stomach, arms, and private area. I spent the rest of that Valentine's Day in the emergency room getting burns treated.
49. Second Time Is Not A Charm
This will probably get buried and although I am a doctor this was NOT me but this happened to a doctor I know.
A patient had gone in for surgery on their right knee. The surgeon did surgery and everything was fine except he did the surgery on the wrong knee. Fast forward a few days and the patient returned for surgery on the correct knee. The surgeon did surgery on the patient's knee and forgot a sponge in the knee. The wrong knee, once again.
50. Darn Those Pencil-Pushers
My cousin was a pilot for one of the feeder airlines. One night, he was descending into Pittsburgh during an ice storm when there was a bright flash and an explosion right in front of the cockpit. He and his co-pilot can't see, can't hear. Blind, they increase power and start to climb out. They hope it was the right decision.
After 10-20 seconds, their hearing and vision start coming back. They see: the flight instruments spinning randomly. Calmly, they start going through the checklist and reboot the plane. Ten minutes later, they make an uneventful landing. Ground inspection reveals a hole the diameter of a pencil in the nose of the plane about a foot in front of the windscreen, and another smaller mark on one of the prop blades.
51. Baby Mistakes
I shudder just typing this one out. At the start of a 450 mile road trip home from my in-laws' place, I strapped my baby daughter into her car seat and put the seat into the car. Finished packing a few small items and set off. We stopped just over 2 hours later and I went to take the baby out of her seat. That's when I realized my huge mistakes.
The seat hadn't been secured, it was just sitting on the back seat. You're supposed to fasten it in place with the seatbelt and I had somehow in my sleep-deprived state forgotten to do so. We'd travelled almost 150 miles where one emergency stop or careless driver rear ending us could have had dire consequences. I am not going to tell my other half.
52. A Family Affair
When I was 14 year old, I was at a family friend’s Bar Mitzvah and I didn't know anyone. So, I was sitting there alone and then I saw this cute girl in the corner. I went over to talk to her and then we ended up just walking around this hotel and making out for about an hour (at 14, that was a big deal). Then she went off to do something. About 15 minutes later I was sitting alone again when my mom called me over and said, "I didn't know she would be here, but this is my cousin and this is her daughter.”
I look at the girl and realize that my second cousin is the girl I had just made out with. A moment of horror as we look at each other and shake hands. She still hasn't made eye contact with me since then.
53. The Butt of the Joke
My husband and I had an inside joke. Whenever someone lost something, the other person always asked, "Have you checked inside your butt?" I was in a meeting at work in my conservative and traditional corporate office one day, and a co-worker said, "I can't find my pen." Without any thought or hesitation I quickly responded, "Have you checked inside your butt?"
As soon as I said it, I snapped back to reality and realized I was at work. As you can imagine, everyone went silent and stared at me as my face turned bright red.
54. A Small Drop
A friend of mine in the RAF dropped a radar system that he was due to install onto an aircraft. It was £500,000 instantly in the bin.
55. Do NOT Call This Guy With a Medical Problem
Firefighter-Paramedic/Nurse here. I dropped a newborn baby. What it sounds like really. As soon as the sucker popped out, she was quite slippery and fell out of my hands right onto an ambulance floor as I was handing her to my partner. In the end it was okay, but the mother freaked out entirely, understandably of course.
I also kicked a cardiac monitor/defibrillator into a pool during an active cardiac arrest. The patient was pulled from a pool, and as equipment was getting shuffled around, the monitor got moved and I inadvertently kicked it. It ended up at the bottom of a pool. They cost about $20K each. Luckily there was another one there.
56. You Just Got Served
I work at a busy restaurant, so I end up saying “corner” hundreds of times a night as I go back and forth around corners and doorways in the kitchen. One day, I was running food to a table, set it down gently, and in my sweetest customer service voice I said “Corner” while looking the customer right in the eye instead of “Here is your soup” or something like I usually do.
They looked confused, my brain tried to reset, and so naturally I said, “Thank you” as if that made it better. I ended up just backing away. It was a lost cause.
57. The Sound of Silence
I stopped all power to a stage in a venue with 1,200 people raving hard. Longest 30 seconds ever while I switched the broken cable out...
58. You Had One Job
Back in the dark ages, I worked for a small-town daily newspaper. There was one large discount store that refused to advertise with us, and would only use the other paper in town (our sole rival), which was more of a "weekly shopper"-type paper. For unknown reasons, the store finally decided to give our paper a chance.
Ad ran, and there in the double-truck, full-color ad, was "Men's shirts $9.99"—minus the ever-important R in "shirts." Yep. Needless to say, they stuck with the other paper.
59. Glove on My Face, But Don’t Call Me a Gloveface
Not a big mistake but definitely awkward at the time. I was gluing up a laceration on a 14-year-old girl's forehead. Anyone who has used dermabond before knows that stuff can be runny and bonds very quickly. I glued my glove to her face. Her mum was in the room, and I had to turn to her and say "I'm sorry, I've just glued my glove to her face."
I had just told off my ex-boyfriend, who had been trying to tell me I had become too dependent on him and wouldn't be able to leave. "Screw that," I said, "I am independent. And I don't need you for anything!" Then I dramatically turned to get into my car and drive off...but I had locked my keys inside. Oh, but it gets worse.
The car was still running. I felt like a complete idiot. He had to call and pay for a locksmith because I had no cash and the dude didn't take cards. I will never forget that grin on his face. Dumbest moment of my life.
61. Kodak Moment
I was working at a Kmart Portrait Studio in an African American neighborhood. A father and son came in for pictures, and they weren't in very good spirits. In training, I had been taught to get kids to smile by telling them to say things like "monkey toes" and "chicken lips." I, a moronic, clueless white kid, slipped up and told this black man and his son to say "monkey lips."
There was no laughter, and I backpedaled quickly, but I felt terrible. I still get nauseated when I think about it twenty-five years later.
62. Do Not Touch
In the middle of the night at the hospital where I used to work, the entire staff of the Cardiovascular Operating Room gets paged in because this one guy was tanking fast. It turns out that his heart was just totally shot and he needed a transplant, but our hospital wasn't qualified to do transplants and we didn't have a donor heart. Cue technology.
We did have a device similar to an artificial heart that could sustain the guy for a few days until we could get him to a hospital with more resources. The nurse goes to open the device to give to the surgeon, and accidentally touches a sterile part with her bare hand. Now the entire thing is considered contaminated, and they have to go open another one.
They cost about $100,000 apiece, and the contaminated one just had to be thrown away.
63. Buckle up, This Is One Wild Ride
This happened to my friend. So this guy, Dan, is a good guy overall, but he can be kind of a jerk. Well, Dan, who was a medic, used to insist that not using all the cot seatbelts when he was riding the ambulance was fine. He was written up a few times, but nothing would change his attitude. So one day, we get dispatched to a very obese lady who has fallen down.
This poor lady needs to go get checked out at the hospital. 10 of us put her on a special sheet they make, get her out to the ambulance, package her up, and send them off to the hospital, with Dan of course insisting that two seatbelt straps are fine instead of five. As we are heading back to the house, we suddenly hear the dispatcher, in a panic, trying to contact his radio.
The dispatcher is saying “2389 ARE YOU OKAY?, 2389 ARE YOU OKAY??" At this point, she activates the emergency tones, and asks again “2389 ARE YOU OKAY?” So just about everyone and their grandmother knows that something bad has happened, and after the tone activation, we hear the driver get on the radio.
He’s screaming “Dispatch Medic 19 we need help at the intersection of XY”…and then nothing after that. The driver couldn't see what was going on in the back so until he heard the emergency tone, he had no idea something had happened. At this point, the radio lights up with the Chief, Deputy Chief, and Duty Chief responding from HQ.
We are thinking the worst. We arrive and notice the two officers that beat us there are beet red, and we can hear cursing, and screaming. At this point, I knew everything was going to be okay because I could recognize the voice. I come around to the back of the ambulance, and this is what I see: A pair of soaked blue uniform pants and boots, covered by a very large, incontinent woman.
What had happened is that the driver took a turn, the weight of the patient snapped the belts as Dan was kneeling down, and he ended up pinned to the floor. Unluckily for him, the movement also caused the huge lady to pee on him. He could only reach his emergency button, which in retrospect is good for him, because otherwise he would have been found like that at the ER dock.
64. Missing No Detail
I was heading to my school’s office of career services to have my resume reviewed. I got a couple texts from a guy vividly describing what he wanted to do with me, but I didn’t open my messages since I was thinking about the meeting. I used my laptop to show my resume. The career services woman started reading it over.
She was giving me some feedback, and the notifications I didn’t clear on my phone from the texts all popped up on my screen. The notifications were there for a couple of seconds and she definitely saw them. As my face burned and I turned bright red, she just primly said, “Those aren’t the “skills” we’d list on your resume, now are they?” Not only was I mortified, this middle-aged lady had to go and roast me too. It was the most excruciating hour of my life.
65. Ashes to Ashes
One time, my husband called me at work, "Babe, you're going to be so mad! I made a mess but don't worry, I'll fix it!" I just sighed because he is basically Lucy from I Love Lucy. I wasn't prepared for what I saw when I got home. Our living room was COVERED in grey powder. Meanwhile, my husband was completely filthy with a trash bag, a broom, and a super panicked look on his face.
Turned out, he'd decided to help around the house and wanted to clean the fireplace. He just decided the best way to clean it would be to stand in front of it with a trash bag and use the leaf blower to blow the ashes in. Spoiler alert: that doesn’t work. I didn't want to hurt his feelings but I laughed so hard at him. He deserved it.
66. Always Be Safe
I didn't wear protection—even though I knew the girl got around a little bit. It was a great night, but in the weeks to come, man I regretting it. I contracted genital herpes. Now I have to share my herpes with my wife, who did nothing to deserve them. Ugh.
67. Consider Me Plucked
My first job when I was 16 was at PetSmart. I had been working there for a few months when one night I was cleaning out the bird/small animal habitat. The procedure was to haul a ShopVac into the little room and vacuum up the spilled bird food/seeds/litter. Easy peasy. So, I'm cleaning out the cage with the cockatiels in it, when one of them decides to investigate the loud sucking machine. FWOOMP. The bird is gone.
I opened up the canister, no bird. I take the hose off the tank and, bird. I used a box cutter to rip the hose in half so I could get him out. So, this freaking bird is missing feathers and is bleeding and I am in tears. I run to my boss crying and say "IJUSTSUCKEDABIRDUPINTHESHOPVACHESGOINGTODIEIAMAHORRIBLEPERSON." He takes one look at me, then the bird, and starts laughing.
I ended up driving him to another PetSmart that had a Banfield vet in it; he laughed and gave the bird some fluids. My coworkers named him Hoover and he lived in quarantine in the back of the store for months until his feathers came back.
68. His Loss
I left a huge folder for a multi-billion (yes, that’s a “B”) lawsuit on the subway. Some homeless guy finds it, calls the opposing attorney, and ransoms the darn thing. Luckily, there was nothing in the file that wasn't secret or not public record. Needless to say, I was fired.
69. A Burning Passion
My girlfriend at the time had this friend who had passed on, which made her really upset. So, to try and cheer her up, I went out and bought some Chinese sky lanterns. We wrote messages to her friend on them and launched them up into the sky from my backyard. The plan backfired when her lantern immediately careened right into a tree and almost set the whole thing on fire.
70. Jerry, Jerry!
I was hanging out with a friend, out walking, and we ran into someone he knew from a while ago. They chatted for a minute, and then my friend asked, “How’s Jerry doing?” Without missing a beat, his friend replied, completely deadpan, “Oh he's dead.” I burst out laughing, and the guy looked at me as if I was the most inappropriate person in the world. He was not joking. Jerry was gone.
71. Gone Fishin’
When I was a teen, I worked at a full-service gas station. One day, a guy came in towing a boat to get gas. A guy a couple years younger was working and thought the owner had taken the gas cap off of the boat. He placed the gas nozzle in a fishing rod holder. It is basically a hole on the top of the side of the boat.
He proceeded to pump about $40.00 worth of gas onto the floor of the boat. The owner was understandably upset.
72. A Whole Lot of Baggage
Paramedic here...I've made some mistakes, of course, but this one was a doozy. My partner and I got a call to a station for an "altered mental status, suicidal ideation" patient, a 22-year-old female. She seemed a little bewildered but was pretty much oriented if a bit distraught. The authorities just didn't know what to do with her.
They could have put her on a hold, but because she was acting a little weird, they couldn't rule out that she might be on substances. More precisely, they were being lazy. I was talking to her and she told me that her boyfriend kicked her out of the house. She wasn't from around this city and had moved here to be with this guy.
She had no family, nowhere to go, and she felt that she was having a nervous breakdown and wanted to go to a hospital as she didn't feel safe...she was on the edge and thought that perhaps she should be committed for a few days while she collected herself. She had three huge suitcases with her...two of them had all of her clothes and small personal items, and the third had several of her paintings and art supplies.
Everything she had in the world was in these bags. We brought her and her things out to the ambulance and loaded her up. Took her history and vitals, and went en route to the hospital. We arrived, unloaded her, brought her into triage, and got her assigned a room. Then she asked me, "are you going to bring my bags in?"
Then my heart sunk. I looked at my partner and we both knew that we had left them outside of the station. "Dude...get her into the room and I’m gonna race down there and get those bags!" I raced down there code 3 (lights and sirens) and heck those bags were gone. Went into the station, asked if they had them, and they did not.
I started driving around the block, getting further and further out until I was driving in circles up to about five blocks out. Nothing. I slowly drove up to the hospital and went into this patient's room. I felt horrible. I told her, "I am so sorry, but we left your bags outside of the ambulance and I can't find them anywhere."
This girl, who was already on the brink, now had nothing in this world at all. Just the clothes on her back. "Are you serious? You forgot them???" and then she started to cry. Her life was falling apart even faster because I was an idiot.
73. Top o' the Morning
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.
74. An Important Lesson to Learn
When I was 22, I loaned my boyfriend all my savings. I gave him $10,000. He cheated on me, ignored my calls, and never paid me back. Not a good dude. I learned the valuable lesson to never loan money you can't afford to lose. Also I started dating nicer men.
75. Shred the Evidence
I pulled what I thought was my expired credit card out of my pocket, and ran it through the shredder at work. It wasn’t my credit card. It was my government ID card, which I also need to log onto my work computer.
76. Pain in the Neck
I dove into a pool and broke my neck, but my big mistake was thinking I just pulled a muscle or something...so I kept partying. There are pictures of me with a bag of frozen peas on my neck, taking a shots. All while my freaking neck was BROKEN. Once the disc popped out because I was PLAYING CHICKEN WITH SOMEONE ON MY SHOULDERS IN THE SAME POOL HOURS LATER, that's when I realized that maybe something was wrong.
One emergency spinal fusion surgery, five days in the hospital, three months bedridden, and I'm good as new. I totally should be paralyzed.
77. Lost in the Slots
I made $700 on a slot machine. I had been drinking and had to use the washroom so I made my way to the bathroom without thinking. And then after I was done, I sort of just wandered off and started playing a different machine. I didn't realize my blunder until much later. It hit me like a brick that I had forgotten to cash out before leaving the machine. Never got it.
78. Uno, Dos... Oops
In college, I was applying for a co-op internship at some big corporate company. Of course, like all applicants, I wanted to make myself sound as appealing as possible. I decided to change “Familiar with basic Spanish” to “Proficient Spanish Speaker” on my resume. The job didn’t have anything to do with speaking Spanish as far as I knew, so I figured it was a harmless fudge.
Well, I get to the interview. Everything starts out seemingly going well. Until she says, “Oh, you speak Spanish! That’s great!” She said, “We’ve been hoping to find someone to help in our South American division. Let me grab my colleague.” Before I could respond she leaves the room and quickly returns with a woman who is clearly of Latin descent.
The original interviewer says to her “This is him; he says he speaks Spanish well.” I’m sweating at this point. The Latina lady looks at me and immediately starts going off in full-speed Spanish. I could tell she was asking me questions, but have almost no idea what she’s saying. I tried desperately to remember anything left in my brain from high school, but think I just stammered, “Si” a bunch of times while smiling and nodding like an idiot.
Eventually, I just said, “Sorry I’m a little rusty, it’s been a while.” She just gave me an annoyed look and left the room. Needless to say, the rest of the interview was pretty awkward. A decade later and that remains the only job interview in my life that I didn’t get an offer from. Valuable lesson learned that day: Don’t put anything on your resume you’re not prepared to potentially get called out on.
79. Ladies Love to Walk
When I was a little kid, I mixed up the words "lesbian" and "pedestrian." Long story short, there was a circular park near my house that my mom would walk around for exercise. I would ride my bike next to her. As she was walking, I was riding ahead of her trying to clear a path by saying, "Excuse me lesbians" instead of "Excuse me, pedestrians.”
80. The Bloody Truth is Not a Meme
My best friend and I have this gif that we send to each other on the first day of our periods, the one from The Shining with the elevator doors opening and the blood everywhere. After her first miscarriage, I spaced and sent that to her and have hated myself ever since. Pretty sure she doesn’t remember, but I’ll never forget.
81. A Shocking Turn of Events
This is the story of how I learned to always, ALWAYS watch DVDs before playing them in front of clients. I'm a lawyer who specializes in wills. For one case, a man who passed fairly young left absolutely everything to his 26-year-old stepdaughter, which was quite a lot of money and property. The two ex-wives and his children from the first marriage got nothing, nor did siblings, nieces, nephews, etc.
The will specified that a DVD be played to explain why the stepdaughter was getting everything. Like everyone else, I thought it'd be the guy explaining the big "screw you" to the rest of the family. What followed was completely unexpected. It was a hidden camera recording of the guy and his stepdaughter going wild in bed together.
The video started in mid-action, with her screaming "yes oh god yes!" It had obviously been edited to start with maximum shock value, and it worked, because it took about 30 seconds for me to recover enough to turn the thing off. It was definitely the biggest "holy moly" moment of my career. I later learned that the guy and his stepdaughter had a relationship since she was a teen, all the way to when he passed (when she was 26).
Apparently, though this is second-hand and I can't confirm, there were multiple clips of various video bits through the ages on the DVD. At the end of the DVD, the guy explains that the stepdaughter gets everything because she'd been "the best lay of his life." The worst part was that the will specified that I was to give every single family member their own copy of the DVD.
The copies had been kept in a box and had been distributed prior to the showing, so everyone had "The Best Moments Of" in their hands, at the time the DVD was playing.
Epilogue: the family sued and lost, believe it or not. The girl got to keep everything.
82. The Wrong Foot Forward was Mine
I'm lucky this person didn't hear what I said but I was a jerk, nonetheless. My ex and I were driving home from dinner one night. I notice a guy running oddly down the street a block or two ahead. I pointed him out to my ex and joked the runner must be tipsy or something. We catch up to the guy and that's when I notice he was wearing an Army hoodie and had prosthetics on both legs.
I have never felt more ashamed of myself than I did in that moment.
83. Musical Urinals
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.
84. Not the Most Romantic Exit Strategy
My first boyfriend and I started dating in high school. We were absolutely inseparable, as we'd been best friends for years before we started dating. We were there for each other through the loss of a parent and a sibling, and so many firsts. We were going to live in the same dorm in college the next year. A pair, for sure.
Our senior year, I decided I wanted to go to prom with some random guy that I'd developed a crush on during our senior trip. Because we'd been friends so long, I decided that instead of breaking up with him (which felt cold-hearted), I'd soften the blow by just being incredibly mean to him. This way he wouldn't be as upset when I finally told him.
I was HORRIBLE to him for DAYS—just didn't let up. Everything he did was wrong. Nothing was funny. His new haircut was ugly. Why was he so stupid? I finally said something that broke him while we were watching a movie one night and he asked why I was being so awful. I decided that then was the best time to tell him that I was breaking up with him, specifically because I wanted to go to prom with someone else, who I barely knew.
He started sobbing, which my teenage brain could NOT understand. I kept asking why he was so upset, but he wouldn't tell me. It turns out that after years of friendship, I'd blindsided him with the world's cringiest breakup, on his birthday, which I'd completely forgotten. 20 years later, I still wake up in the middle of the night feeling guilty about it.
85. When the Sun Sets, so do the Yeehahs
A friend brought my group of friends to a bar on Halloween weekend. I was dressed up as a cowboy. I noticed that pretty much everyone else at that bar was dressed as a vampire. I went around and complimented a lot of them on their awesome vampire costumes. We eventually left and hopped over to another bar. I'm telling my friend I thought it was weird that everyone there had chosen to dress as a vampire.
He tells me that we were actually at a goth bar, and none of them were wearing costumes.
86. They Don’t Call It Pop for Nothing
I used to be a product merchandiser for Coca-Cola a few years ago. Basically, what I did was go to grocery stores, meet the driver dropping the delivery, and stock the shelves as fast as possible, then get to the next store, repeat. My second day on the job, I was stocking 2L bottles at this mega grocery store, running a bit behind because the order came in late, so I was moving fast.
Dropped a bottle of Sprite on the floor, and it hit cap down. That little jerk shot up in the air and cleared four aisles. Luckily, it didn’t hit anyone. Then, on my last day of working for Coke, same thing happened, except this time it went flying straight for the cash and nearly hit some lady in the head. As I headed to the back room to get a mop, every employee was lined up, applauding.
One of them offered to clean it up, as it was the funniest thing he'd seen working at the store. That was the last bottle I stocked working for Coca-Cola.
87. To Catch a Thrive
I work in a restaurant, but had just moved and needed a new job. So I whipped up a new cover letter and included the following sentence: "Good at helping my coworkers thieve whilst the restaurant is at its busiest." I meant “thrive"… and no, I did not get called in for an interview.
88. Ended up in the Wrong Place
I saw a patient once years ago for abdominal pain. She had had an IUD placed back in the 70s, a dalkon shield. Upon follow up, the GYN couldn't find the string so he told her she must have passed it. Well guess what—she passed it alright. We found it in the retroperitoneal space near her right kidney 17 years later!! She wanted to sue him but he had retired.
89. A Bloody Bad Time
I work in a blood bank and we sent some blood to the floor for a nurse to transfuse into a specific patient. Different nurse picked it up, doesn't look at the label, doesn't look at the patient name, doesn't do any of the three electronic checks and sticks it into a patient. Transfused the whole bag and then decides to “let us know she made a simple mistake no big deal thanks bye.”
Thank God the blood type matched or she would've seriously harmed that patient. We're freaking out and filing reports to managers and the FDA. She gets a slap on the wrist and is transfusing the same patient later that day