Blunders are a part of being human. Whether it's walking into a glass door or sending an email to the wrong person, we usually have multiple ones every day. But every now and then, we manage to mess up so badly, we surprise even ourselves and everyone around us.
A few days ago, Reddit user xk543x made a post on the platform, asking other people, "What's the dumbest mistake you've seen an incompetent co-worker make?" And the replies have flooded its comment section. So we decided to compile the best (or worst?) ones and, honestly, I don't know if I'm impressed or disappointed by these folks.
#1At a Petco all the Guinea pigs were in a big plexi-glass enclosure with a center divider. Boys on one side and girls on the other. An employee decided that all the long haired Guinea pigs should be on one side and short haired on the other. It took forever to sort them out and all the females were pregnant.
Image credits: PumpkinsDad
#2I worked at a company with a shared inbox. One guy sent all of his emails with a distinct font and color. He was super untrustworthy and sucked at the job.
One day he sent an email to a customer from the shared inbox but put my signature on it, to make it seem like it came from me instead of him. He left the font and color the same as all of his other emails.
He didn’t last long there after that.
Image credits: Visible_Love_1955
#3Removing the plastic wrapping from a pallet of 5 gallon cans of (highly flammable) acetone. He didn’t have a box cutter so he proceeded to melt it with a lighter
Image credits: FormerWordsmith
#4The designer, creative director and head of production all missed that there was an eight day week on a calendar. We sent 10000 copies of a useless calendar to a client. Rightly so, they refused to pay for it.
Image credits: atot806
#5Annual sales meeting.
Brand new guy is seated next to the CEO. He proceeds to put his head down and fall asleep on the table. During the meeting.
They woke him up at lunch to fire him.
Image credits: barto5
#6Had a coworker land a plane on the edge of the runway. Like the starting edge. Cracked a landing gear leg and bent a turbine blade in one engine. Then the scatter brained old moron doesn’t log it or tell anyone. Just parks it and walks away. The next crew doesn’t notice the damage, because it’s really not easily detectable. So they go flying and get a bunch of weird s**t going on with the port engine. When they turn back, the f*****g gear wouldn’t lock down. Fortunately they were able to get on the ground and stopped without making themselves or anyone on board dead.
All we did was fire him. No reports to our regulator, no criminal complaint about his conduct. In hindsight I should have made those complaints myself rather than leaving it to our management.
Image credits: BigZombieKing
#7Not a mistake necessarily, but I once witnessed our chief accounting officer (and our only accountant; it was a small company) type in values into two Excel cells, pull out a calculator, add the two numbers together in the calculator, and then type the answer in a third cell. She had apparently been doing this for years, with sheets consisting of thousands of rows. I explained how to use formulas and copy them but she apparently forgot because I saw her doing the same thing again months later.
Image credits: zachm26
#8I hired a new employee on Friday and gave him directions to the job site for Monday morning. He got there early and helped thieves load all of the building material on their truck and take off. The webcam showed him stopping traffic so they could leave.
Image credits: Clear_Suspect2987
#9Was making pizza. Guy broke the pizza board(the thing with the handle you make the pizza on and then slide the pizza into the oven) I found the other one and he lost that. So I told him to make pizzas on one of the plastic cutting boards. He put the pizza into the oven on the board and just left it. The board melted No more pizza that day
Image credits: allthefishinthelake
#10Poured sink cleaning solution into the ice cream machine instead of the cream mixture and I had to stop them, they then said "I'm sure it'll be fine, it was only a little."
No that would poison people. I had to clean out the whole machine top to bottom and refill it. I ended up throwing away nearly a whole bucket full of contaminated ice cream mixture.
I would also like to add that the containers didn't look anything alike, the sink stuff came in big plastic jugs with screw tops and the ice cream comes in carbord cartons (like orange juice) that you have to cut open. so I don't know how she could have possibly mixed the two up.
Image credits: Yaboijustlikesgoats
#11I worked for a non-profit that hired a guy in fundraising purely “for his rolodex” and they couldn’t care less about any of his job functions as long as he kept bringing more rich people to fundraiser parties. Well when the pandemic hit and we were forced to go remote, it became clear how incompetent he was with technology, and how he’d been coasting for years in the office by sticking to phone calls instead of email, etc. We had our first major online fundraiser coming up and I warned my boss that this dude had no idea how Zoom worked - never muted himself, camera up the nose, treated it like watching a YouTube video. But again, he was the guy inviting all the rich people to the event, so they didn’t want to “lecture him about a computer program” and “hurt his ego”.
Then in our massive 200+ person zoom event, he set his laptop on the bathroom counter and proceeded to take a shirtless, nasty old man dump complete with grunting, splashing, and squelching. It was so loud it drowned out the speaker. They had to end the event early because they had no way to mute him and it kept going for a full two minutes with no sign of stopping. I nearly threw my laptop out a window that night.
Image credits: remembering_things
#12I used to work for a landscaping company and over the course of a summer I witnessed one of my co-workers accidentally set 3 different things on fire (a hedge trimmer, a truck, and himself)
Image credits: RosenBrtt
#13Working in pharmacy, a pharmacist gave a customer a flu shot and threw the used syringe in the container with the new syringes instead of the container to dispose them. Another pharmacist went to grab a new syringe later on and ended up getting stabbed with the used syringe. Caused a total s**t storm.
Image credits: kingcrimson881
#14Tried to cool down hot oil (in a chute, all ready to be emptied) with a nice big bucket of water…..I heard “THOMAS NO” only to turn around and see a GEYSER of hot oil shooting towards the ceiling before it hit and splashed down around him. Nobody was hurt some f*****g how
Edit: because it has come up, the chute that the oil was in was on wheels and had a wooden handle, it absolutely didn’t need to be cooled lol
Image credits: Ohiolongboard
#15I knew a guy who was a foreign exchange dealer in London. He made a trade but apparently forgot to press go (or whatever) When he got back from lunch the company had lost £10m. The whole department had to work together all afternoon/evening to make enough to cover his losses so he wouldn't be sacked. A hell of a team building exercise. ;)
Image credits: the_real_grinningdog
#16I worked as a Radiation Protection Tech at a power plant that was re-fueling. My job was to sit outside of a contaminated area and if anyone wanted to take something out of the area (tools, etc.) I had to make sure it didn't have any radioactive particles on it. To do this you wipe the tool with something like a tissue and then hold the tissue up to a machine called a frisker. If the needle on the frisker goes above a threshold then the tool has to be cleaned or left in the area. One day I come back to relieve a guy who had been sitting outside the area for 2 hour. He tells me there's been no issues and everything has cleared. I look at the frisker, lean over and turn the machine on.
Image credits: LtDirtyBear
#17The office we worked in was shut down due to covid and the company went 100% remote. A new senior engineer was hired to work directly with our product team and also manage a team of developers. During our company wide weekly zoom meeting after he was done presenting for the company he turned his camera off but forgot to put him self on mute. 100+ people heard this man playing Fortnite and talking down about the company to someone else in the background among other things. He only lasted a month.
Image credits: theysocool
#18I don't know exactly the problem, but my wife and I had a house built, 3 months after our closing the company that installed the HVAC wanted to do a routine maintenance as part of the warranty. The guy came in and looked at the system setup in the attic and just "oh this is Jerry's work" in a very apologetic voice and scheduled someone to come out and redo 90% of the work before the warranty began.
I don't know what Jerry did, but it was apparently well known in that company to likely need to be redone.
Image credits: ONSFishing
#19I was working in an open plan office that had a small kitchen area at one end, microwave, kettle, sink, toaster and water cooler.
We saw one of the managers fiddling with the toaster for a while, looked like she was trying to clean it. It never occurred to her to remove the crumb tray, she was poking around inside it with a knife while it was still plugged into the wall. People just sat back and watched, wondering how long before she got zapped.
Then she turns on the tap and lifts the toaster towards the sink. Someone stepped in then to stop her.
You might just write this off as someone being a bit dim but she was the Health & Safety Officer for the building.
Image credits: tallbutshy
#20Nearly leaving a child behind on a field trip. We took a large group of 4 and 5 year-old children to visit a farm/petting zoo/pumpkin patch. We had three vehicles. I was in charge of my own group, but I noticed one of the other teachers was being very lax in her supervision for most of the trip.
When it was time to leave, I loaded my children on the bus (with some other adults) and did a head-count/attendance check. Before getting on my bus, I noticed that the other teacher had climbed onto her bus and sat down BEFORE the children boarded. She walked on first and had the kids follow her. I almost let it go, but gut instinct told me she wasn't counting her students. Once they were all boarded, I walked back and climbed on her bus. She seemed irritated when she realized I was checking on her... I was not a supervisor or anything, just a fellow teacher, so she didn't answer to me in any way. She said something like, "We're all good, let's go!" I knew how many were in each group, so without answering her, I did a quick count. Sure enough, we were missing one. I ended up leaving the bus and going to find the kid myself... he was still on the playground with children from another school.
When we got back to the bus, the other teacher blamed the kid! She said he "wandered off." Really, she is the one who gathered the group and left the play area, meaning she is the one who "wandered off." She was pissed when I went to the administration about the incident.
#21New temp-to-hire admin, she was supposed to order lunch for a big meeting. They told her where to order from and how many omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans. She showed me the order she was going to place, and I corrected her, pointing out she didn't have any vegan food or enough vegetarian. She told me I was wrong and ordered anyway, even with me screeching at her not to do it and explaining what was wrong.
Omnivores got beef.
Vegetarians got chicken. ("It's not meat.")
Vegans got salads with egg and cheese. ("But it has vegetables.")
...she was not hired on full time
#22I worked with a guy who “cut” the grass on the greens of an entire golf course with the mower blade off.
Image credits: Errol-Flynns-Ghost
#23I worked on a golf course during the summer. Area with lots of poison ivy. Two of my coworkers were instructed to weedy a river edge area. If we encounter poison ivy, we either stop what we are doing or go get full suit protection with respirators. These dumba**es were weedwhacking in the thickest poison ivy I had ever seen. No protective suit or glasses or respirator. I roll up and notice what the hell they're doing and point out all the poison ivy everywhere- they were aerosolizing the oil. They both ended up in the hospital on steroid to prevent their death because of the oils they inhaled.
Image credits: Onwisconsin42
#24I have a list a mile long of the s**t our completely incompetent project manager did, but the best was insisting that a $3000 load of fertilizer still absolutely had to be delivered as previously scheduled despite the company warning against it as we were expecting heavy rains that day. The entire pile was washed away within a couple of hours.
Image credits: lydriseabove
#25A guy was using the overhead crane in a machine shop I worked in. It had two hooks on it, one was raised right to the roof, the other was lowered and beside another guys machine. The guy using the crane was looking at the hook by the roof and mobilized the crane, he was wearing earmuffs and the shop is loud af so when he started almost killing everyone in the line of machines with the other hook he couldn't hear the rest of us screaming. The hook almost threw the first guy into his lathe, hit the next guy's tool board, flipped over to the side he was on almost put him into his lathe, rinse and repeat for the next three machines. When it bounced over the last one it grabbed the A-Frame that held all the bar stock and started lifting 30-40T of steel off the ground someone finally made it to him and slapped the controls out of his hands. That was his last day at that job.
#26Emptying hot fryer oil into a plastic container. Guess how that went
Image credits: jeffers2286
#27Wouldn’t say incompetent, but was quite an entrance. A new person joined and on day 1 remote was somehow able to delete the production teams entire Dropbox file directory, which was about 25 TBs of video, design files, production files etc.
Was about 2 tense weeks working with Dropbox to get it back, but yeah that new person was uncomfortable…
Image credits: Flat-Cold
#28I worked in a paint shop and every time a new chemical was introduced to the shop, I would ask about the hazards. They would tell me that it is a green chemical; there are no hazards. "It's baby safe" they would say. Once when I entered the shop I saw a guy using a new spray. The side of the bucket indicated that it was dangerously poisonous and highly corrosive. I told him that he should be using a mask and gloves to use that chemical. He said "Don't worry, it's baby safe. They even have a picture of a baby playing in it."
After seeing the image, I yelled at the guy, "This is the baby. He is not playing, he is not swimming, HE'S DYING!"
#29This was in school but it’s so incompetent I want to put it here. It’s a fairly recognizable story from my school I hope someone finds it.
This kid tried to use the teachers computer to find the answers to our next test. He did it while she was teaching. Science class, so there was a separate room attached where she stored materials and her laptop. So he’s in the room and she’s lecturing to the class. Turns out the computer was connected to the projector display. We’re all watching on the projector, along with the teacher what this genius is doing. Man was in her directory folder typing in “test”
#30I worked in a place notorious for having bad recruiters and hiring bad temps. They had this one guy, on a 3-month lease, and we couldn't get rid of him fast enough, in the summer of 2001.
First, he claimed all these Microsoft certifications, and after a few days, we realized he didn't even know how to use a mouse or how scrollbars worked. So we put him on the worst detail: all he had to do was go to one of 20 popular websites, and use a stopwatch to time how fast he clicked "enter" and how fast it took the web page to load. We were testing some web caching software. Then he had to go on another machine with the software, and do the same thing. He had never used a browser. So we had to teach him how THAT worked. The concept blew his mind, and we wonder how an adult had lived in 2001 who didn't know how a browser worked. We knew he lied about the certifications at this point, but he had 90 days we were stuck with him.
Very quickly, however, he discovered how to find p*rn. And started browsing that instead of testing websites. This was in the days of MSIE 5 or 6, so of course, they became infected with popups and viruses. We'd catch him at it, and he'd deny it every time, and we'd have to complete wipe the desktop and reinstall Windows, only for him to do it again. We caught him doing it with other machines in the lab, too. The guy literally had no impulse control, claiming the whole test lab was infected and just absolute lies that a kid would tell who had no idea how computers worked. Thank god we never caught him jerkin' it, but I feared reviewing the lab security tapes should it have gotten to that.
"You were browsing p*rnography again. We have told you many times, that's against company policy."
"No, I didn't."
"I am literally looking at you browsing p*rn."
"That's not me."
"There's [p*rn site] on your task bar."
"That was always there."
"You have a popup from [lewd site name]."
"That was someone else who was here, earlier."
"You know, that hairy guy. With the beard."
"There is no hairy guy with a beard who works in this lab. You have been the only one here besides me."
"I know I saw him. He browses the p*rn all the time!"
Ugh. Like a mentally deficient 12 year old. I was so glad to get rid of him.
#31Not a co worker but a fellow culinary student.
I am in college one day a week training in advanced patisserie. Two weeks ago we were making sugar sculptures from isomalt. We had to bring in blow torches to use to “weld” parts of our sculpture together.
Our instructor was explaining step by step what to do with the isomalt and explained that when we had our pieces molded and cooled he would show us how to use the blow torch.
So a lot of us were busy molding and cooling our pieces before assembling our sculptures. One of the students who shares a station with me sort of jumped the gun and thought he could just assemble his sculpture without the instructor. He turns on his blow torch, sets his sculpture on a surface COVERED IN CLING FILM and proceeds to just set fire to everything around him. At this point I am roaring at him to stop but he just brushed me off and screamed back he knew what he was doing. Before we knew it the cling film was on fire and fire blankets were grabbed quickly. The instructor managed to get the fire put out but dear Jesus did it frighten the lot of us. The instructor chewed the student out of it for being so reckless. I actually can’t believe what the this student did and how he saw no danger. I really hope he chooses another career other than cheffing.
#32I worked grocery for twelve years and one day I get an in house page if I could come to the receiving dock (I worked produce) to assist the grocery manager.
We had just got a grocery load in, and the driver hadn’t used a load lock (a bar that goes across the truck if it’s not a full truck) and we had NINE full pallets of product toppled over and broken.
My job was to take pictures on my cell phone of the mess and the grocery manager called up our distribution center to inform them of what happened.
We had to take the keys to the truck away from him as he was fired on the spot and he had to find his own way home. And it was a four hour drive home from our store.
The whole time he was bitching that he wasn’t his fault that they can’t force him to supply his own load lock as he was an independent contracted driver.
He did about 10k worth of damage to product, lost his job, and any future possibilities at driving a big rig for anyone in the state because he didn’t want to buy a piece of equipment that cost $50 or even worse he didn’t ASK our warehouse for one, which they would have HAPPILY loaned him one (he’d be fined if he didn’t return the lock back after his run)
#33Had a guy leaving Afghanistan from deployment make it through the MP customs with two forgotten grenades in his backpack, only to have them found while trying to clear Qatari customs after landing for his connector to the US. Didn't go too well.
#34I didn't see it happen, but I used to work at a factory making N95 masks, and one night the entire place ground to a halt.
Turns out that an incompetent co-worker running the machine that made the basic form of the mask decided that the best way to clear a jam in the thing was to ignore the sign that said "don't put your hand in this part of the machine," removed the safety cover that was clearly marked with a label that said "no, seriously...do not remove this," and stuck his hand in there.
The machine did to him what Gollum did to Frodo on Mount Doom, and as a result a factory the size of an Ikea shut down for half the shift.
#35A new nurse was going to inject lice shampoo into an IV line. Thank God she came and asked me what is was first. Don't be afraid to ask questions about your medical care
#36A few years ago, I was working in IT at a hospital. The following is a genuine account of what occurred:
We had received a call regarding a computer that was not turning on, so I went to one of the offices. This wasn't strange because we got them all the time. To put it mildly, 95 percent of those calls were due to "user mistake," so I was bracing myself for the worst... However, not to this extent.
When I arrive, I confirm that she is correct; the computer will not power on. I examine the plug first. It's affixed to the wall, and it appears to be in good working order in the computer's back office. "So, what were you doing when this computer stopped working?" I inquire. In response, she state
As a result,"Well, I thought it was too hot, so I used the water cooling option."
As a piece of background, this model of computer featured a fan port on the top of the machine that looked like a funnel. She pointed to this fan port when she said "water cooled."
"...There aren't even any water-cooled PCs here." When I returned to my desk with the now sloshing PC, my IT colleagues were bewildered as to why I had pulled the machine without permission... Until I emptied the water into a garbage pail
#37When I was in the coastguard, there was an incident when a vessel called in what they thought was another vessel in distress, but couldn't be sure and couldn't raise them on VHF.
The watch commander kept refusing to launch the rescue boat until he had 'more details'.
Like, dude, this far North the life expectancy of a person in the water without a survival suit is measured in single digits of minutes. We can get more details when the boat is en route; the exact position of a bunch of floating corpses is of limited value.
After three or four minutes I just said 'f**k it' and launched the boat.
It turned out the suspected casualty's radio was banjaxed, but they were otherwise fine; their boat just had a very low freeboard and looked a bit 'sinky'.
I fully expected to be sh*tcanned for it, but I was not; the old man had a long conversation with the guy about how nobody will ever find fault with sending an asset to a possible false alarm, but failing to send an asset to a real emergency is...well, it's Not Good.
The dude had previous before I joined for shrugging off a red flare report as a hoax. Two people died in that one.
#38Not a coworker but a lab partner in school. We were making bacteria cultures and the teacher was explaining that the petri dishes were sterile. "So don’t, like, open it and smell it, don't touch it with anything but the swab...."
Moron immediately picks it up and smells it. We failed.
He sells cars now
Image credits: Armonicai
#39Planted a tree, F*****G UPSIDE DOWN.
#40Working at jack in the crack there was 2 dudes on the grill and the order said only lettuce only mustard so that’s what he got lol. That guy came back f*ckingggg angryyyy. Lolol. They both looked at the screen and said “ the screen says only lettuce and mustard” to which I replied “bro he wants the meat too”
#41The one I think about a lot isn’t necessarily ridiculously stupid, but did surprise me with how little attention colleagues actually pay. One colleague decided to update the currency exchange rates in our procurement system without really knowing what she was doing. The system uses the inverse rate, but she input the flat rate. Essentially she saw the exchange rate swing wildly from 0.811 to 1.23 in the course of a few weeks and at no point did this substantial financial fluctuation cause any alarm bells to ring, or cause her to question if she might have made a bit of an error.
#42I didn't see it directly, but my coworker told me: during covid we were not allowed to check in regular, private guests in our hotel. On one night a couple came in begging to get a room, because they had a huge water damage in their flat, which made it unlivable at the time. My coworker turned them down. Next day a sketchy dude came in and asked for a room claiming he was there for business (without proof). He payed half of the room with cash and my colleague didn't take a credit card from him. In the morning the dude was gone, the hotel room was completely trashed and the TV was gone. Turns out my colleague didn't take an ID or passport and the name and address didn't exist. Also the hotel had to pay fine since she checked in a private person who had no proof of doing business in the city.
#43A coworker I had put a 250k horse on the walker and forgot to turn the electricity on.
Horse broke out and went hell for leather across the property and jumped a fence ONTO the pavement.
Thank the gods I had 2 other competent workers with me to catch the animal without serious injury.
A week of ice boots and poultice later and he was perfectly fine.
But that could have gone soooooo wrong soooo fast.
Image credits: momogirl200
#44Someone I know who worked for a big bank looked up the personal accounts of various high-level executives to "see what they had". She is no longer employed by said bank.
#45Worked in construction.
New guy from the recruiters comes in. He was asked by the forman if he'd ever used a circular saw (the concrete cutter type) and he said yes.
Gets a hold of the saw. Waits for the forman to leave, looks at me and asks me (just started the day earlier) how to use it!
I just tell him I don't know but will get someone to show both of us.
As I walk away I hear it rev, some cutting then a loud bang.
Turns out he thought he'd try it out by cutting something thinner. Like a thin black power line looking thing.
He was asked immediately to leave the site in very colourful language.
#46A grabbed the arm of an intern once, right as he was about to grab a 00 gage (the big wires that feed electricity the whole building) bare handed to move it out of the way to show us a problem behind. It was hot.
He claimed it was fine cause he was only gonna touch one wire at a time. The lead electrician "respectfully" requested said intern be removed from his sight before turning himself into carbon and paperwork. I agreed with this sentiment and had intern watching OSHA videos for almost 3 days straight as punishment.
#47I had a coworker who was a guidance counselor at five schools in district. She was supposed to work one day at each school, unless she was called to a school for an urgent case.
She would frequently call the school she was supposed to be at, stating she had an urgent case at another school.
One day at lunch she was talking about what was happening in her favorite soap opera. This was before VCRs, and the show aired long before the school day ended. The principal was sitting at our lunch table. He got up, smiled, and told her, "see me when you are done with your lunch."
After checking, she hadn't seen more than a few kids per week, for many months. Funny thing is, complaints about her work had gone down in that time. She was a crappy guidance counselor.
#48Worked at Starbucks about 6 years ago. Had a newish coworker come up to me and ask why the water was going straight through the coffee and not changing color. He was trying to brew coffee without grinding the coffee beans. I still have a good laugh about this every once in awhile.
Edit: he was a newer employee but definitely knew better. I had seen him brew coffee regularly before.
#49I managed a construction security team for a beachfront project which required 24 hr on site patrol, so I ran the daytime team and my friend ran the graveyard shift. As it was a dredging operation, we had to have two guys posted near the shore to make sure civilians weren't running into the area. So think of a square on the beach with a guard on each corner.
Well one night we couldn't find one of our night guards and his phone was sending calls to voicemail. Turns out, he had set up a folding chair in the sand at 2am and fell asleep at post, only to get wrecked by high tide an hour later. His phone and everything in his pockets were destroyed, and he went home soaking wet without telling anyone. I don't think he was reprimanded, as I'm sure the shame should have been enough punishment.
He later got fired for driving a company ATV off a sand bank and getting it stuck.
#50When I was in the Navy, this known dumba** and pathological liar was on armed watch with an M-14 patrolling the topside decks. Literally all you have to do is walk around for 4 hours with a rifle on your shoulder.
This dude came back to the Quarterdeck (main entrance to the ship) WITH NO GUN.
He tried to claim it fell off his shoulder and into the water while tying his shoe. How a rifle would fall off your shoulder, pass through your hands that were tying the shoe, and through all three lifelines (like guard rails) is still a mystery.
My theory is that he was doing drill team stuff - like tossing it spinning in the air - and lost it that way.
#51I work maintenance at a grocery store for context. My boss at the time was very inept when it came to technology. He hated technology with a passion. I understand everyone should know how to use a mop if you are in this line of work but when you have machines that make it easier, i see no issues in using one.
So anyways, my boss couldn’t figure out how to use one of our machines (the taski) and hated it with a passion even though it’s one of the easiest things to use. He couldn’t figure out why water wasn’t coming out to clean up a sticky floor. All hed have to do was press the little button that has a water spout on it which means water will come out if pushed. Instead of asking me or trying to use his brain, he proceeded to kick the s**t out of it and destroyed the water tank and then couldn’t understand why water was leaking from it after and then proceeded to call it a “piece of f*****g s**t” and said “this would’ve been better if we just used a f****n mop!!”
I have so many stories about him but that’s one of my favorites. Dudes f****n wild
edit: the reason it’s easier to use the machine is because it not only cleans up the mess but drys the floor too to prevent people from slipping unlike a mop
#52I worked in a veterinary hospital for a good number of years. One day, unknown to me, some little girl had found a dead/dying seagull with her family and brought it in to see if we could help it, but it has passed by the time they arrived.
Our veterinary technician took said bird for disposal but was too busy to deal with it then (like... Put it in the freezer. One minute tops with labeling!), so instead he just packed to box with the dead bird into our storage area with dozens of similar boxes and just leaves it there.
Days go by ( while he is still working, I should add) and I come back on shift and something is seriously rank in the office. Customers are complaining! No one knows what would cause it, but I eventually find the box buried beneath other supplies. I walk up to my head receptionist and say "So... Seagull?" and watch the absolute fury grow in her eyes. The tech did not last long after that.
#53There was a guy who drove a forklift through a wall in the warehouse.
We work in IT.
When asked why he used the forklift (which he had never driven before or was even authorized to touch) he said "I thought it would help".
He was fired immediately.
#54Had a temp that was difficult to train. She didn't have a log in so had to use mine, including my email (for comms) which she used to b***h about me to a colleague sitting right next to me, coz I had to tell for 100th time how to do something. How did she not realise I would see those emails?
#55One of my reports missed a 9 AM meeting and when I asked him why he said “you said the meeting was at 12, not 9!” Of course I was very confused because the meeting invite said 9 and everyone else on the team knew it was at 9. So he sent me a screenshot of his outlook calendar and it turns out he just had all his s**t set to the wrong time zone.
#56My wife worked at a gas station and found out her coworker, who had been there for years, had been refilling the napkin dispenser by cramming them one at a time through the front slot. She walked up and unfastened the back and apparently his jaw hit the floor. He had never considered that there might be a better way to do this.
Image credits: eljosho1986
#57Took the wrong coffin to a funeral. Someone else had to drive to the cemetery with the correct deceased on board, and thankfully they made it before the viewing.
Image credits: Shubabi
#58Setting up my truck to be towed by another, driver of the front truck forgot to put the handbrake on, her truck rolled back as we were about to attach the towing frame and nearly squished the both of us. Literally had to jump out of the way. She was a complete airhead
#59Radar repair. Cruise ship had 4 radar with one not working. Coworker removed suspected faulty pcb and placed it in one of the other working radar. Didn’t work. Place original one back in and now two radars were down. Took the fist pcb and inserted it into radar number 3. Now three radars were down. Turned out the original faulty pcb had a short that damaged some other components in the other radars. This all happened within 20 minutes as I was talking to the chief officer about how the repair was only going to take about 5 minutes. Imagine my surprise when I entered the electronics room to find three radars taken apart with only an hour left before the ship was to depart. Ship left port (illegally) with only one radar working.
#60Putting all the patients false teeth in a bowl together to soak on a dementia ward. Took us weeks to try and match patient to teeth, no, they weren't marked up with the patients names . Doubt the right teeth ended up with the right patient, it was guess work.
Image credits: Independent_Wafer719
#61Tried to retrieve his lighter from a deep fat fryer with his hands. boy was that fun to clean up.
Image credits: Mr_Frible
#62When i was an emt, my partner (paramedic) forget the drug box at the station. We were out for several hours without any life saving medicine save for the little we had in our first in bag
#63I work in a camera store. The coworker this comment is about worked in our lab that prints pictures and processes film. We have a machine that develops film automatically, all we have to do is load it and change the chemicals around every once in a awhile.
For those that might not know, film is light sensitive. If it's exposed to light before it goes through the chemicals, the film is ruined and there won't be any pictures to make from it.
My coworker was working on his computer when the film machine started beeping. He went over to the machine and opened it up while film was running through it. This was bad because he was exposing film that a customer had dropped off and paid for. Our head lab guy started yelling at him saying "close it, you're exposing film!"
I was nearby, I'm a sales worker, and was just in shock at what I was seeing. The machine has a screen that says what the problem is. More importantly it tells you when film is being processed. Why he felt the need to open it? I have no idea.
He wasn't fired over this, in fact he quit two days ago, but my manager was going to write him up for a few other thing and they were looking to replace him. The guy barely lasted a month.
#64Former 911 operator. When you go on your break, or to the bathroom, you have to completely log out of your phone. Reason is, when the phone rings you don't get to just pick it up, it beeps in your ear and the call is immediately live. I would obsessively check to ensure mine was off and sometimes would come back to check.
Coworker who was hired who seemed to not GAF walked away with a hot phone. Let's say a very serious call went to an empty desk.
#65Shut down a critical file server, then lied about it...even after he was presented with the logs that showed it was his user account that initiated the shut down.
It's not so much the mistake that he made, but it was when he lied about making the mistake...that was a rookie move.
#66My coworker at the bowling alley had to walk down a lane where a group of very young children (maybe 4-8 years old) were bowling to retrieve a ball that had stopped in the gutter about halfway down to the pins.
When he had picked up the ball my other coworker told him to go walk it back down to the children. However this guy had it in his mind that it would be best to *bowl it back down at the group of small children instead.*
Luckily one of the adults with the children was a big muscular guy who was able to stop the ball and pick it up without anybody getting hurt.
#67I saw a guy try to push a cart over a hose vs either moving the hose or lifting the cart. The hardware piece that he was moving on the cart fell and hit the ground. We sent it back to the manufacture for repair/inspection and they sent us a repair bill for $585k USD in 1985, so it would be much more now. We were building military aircraft.
#68One of those giant coffee makers broke and was spewing out coffee. My manger and two coworkers were on the ball and tried to fix it.
After twenty or so minutes, I went to get coffee and they were all proud sitting around high fiving. Perfectly proud of themselves.
It was still leaking, albeit slower, and there was duct tape, rubber bands, and all sorts of s**t. It looked like young Frankenstein gone bad.
I tore it all down and just wrapped the spicket in a bag and secured it with a rubber band. It took me two minutes.
I asked for a raise after but it didn't work.
#69I was doing a tile repair in the lobby of a taco bell. Had to build it up on a heavy layer of thinset. Had my son's buddy helping me.... super nice kid but not the brightest.
So we get the whole thing laid down and level (about 10 tiles, 12x12 inches, two rows wide). I say to him, ok whatever you do, don't step on it. He says "OK boss", stands up and steps directly on it. Had to pull it all up and redo it.
#70Worked in a machine shop. One of the lathe operators left the bar of cold rolled steel he was turning hanging out the back. When he turned the machine on, it literally deformed and turned into a a freaking helicopter blade ripped the back of the machine apart, and eventually flew off at high speed. Luckily no one got hit by it. If so, they'd be dead.
#71Many years ago a Co-worker was drilling 1/2 inch holes in a bar above his head with one of those big old metal hand drills he pushed the button for so drill would not stop. I told him that was not safe.
The bit jammed and the drill whipped out of his hands as the drill fell he caught the cord. The drill continued down arching towards his private parts.
The bit grabbed his pants began twisting he caught the drill at that point screaming, man that big old drill just chewing up his pants.
I ran over and pulled the plug rudhef over to him as he was laying on the ground at this point still screaming. We had to cut his pants away they were so knotted around the drill bit.
He didn't lose anything important but there were cuts all over a couple serious enough for an emergency trip.
Guy never returned.
#72A coworker of mine turned off the refrigerator unit on the trailer because, "Roses don't need to be chilled."
Firstly: Roses are chilled.
Secondly, and much more importantly: He wasn't hauling roses, he was hauling CADAVERS.
It took 2 days across the west for him to notice the smell and liquids leaking from the trailer.
#73I worked at a tech repair shop, or not sure how to call it ,- but we basically repaired laptops, pcs, printers, and the like (no tvs, not that it matters). This was ran by three older dudes and one of their nephews worked there too. The dudes were pretty chill most of the time, and one of them was really cool like, ALL the time.
The nephew was a moron, though. He had seniority over me, but they trusted me way more than they did him. Despite being there for more than a few years, and despite him being a close relative.
So one day, the chill dude has to take a printer to a company that was like 2 hours of driving away and since it was the nephews task to test the printer properly, he asked him like 10 times if he had tested it. The nephew said he did, just 5 mins ago, and that it worked...
Of course, he did not test it and it did not work when he hooked it up at the company. Needless to say, the chill dude went ballistic on him. Shortly after that, he got fired because of many similar mistakes he made.
All he had to do was test a f*****g printer. It was 5 minutes of work.
#74Had this new delivery kid at a pizza shop
He would take a fair bit longer than normal to deliver, saying it's easy to get to the Street/road, but difficult to find the exact house.
Turns out he had no concept of odd and even house numbers being on opposite sides of the street (exceptions apply obviously) and was zig zagging across the road.
It's one thing to not know that before starting, it's another to do the job for a couple of hours and not immediately recognise it
#75A coworker of mine deleted an entire database of millions of records, that contain information that would have been impossible to "fake". Imported a backup from weeks ago, then when the client started asking questions they tried everything in their power to prove the client is wrong. Including lying and manipulating records and reports.
I'm in Canada and this a direct violation of CASL and it was a disaster for not only this employee but for the company.
#76I work in the OR and a coworker left a donor kidney uncovered and unsupervised in a room. Thank god the kidney was deemed ok for transplant but this is a very serious and fireable offense. The coworker has high seniority so she was just written up and my job tends to favor their older staff. (That’s why my vacation requests are denied but they can take off whenever they want). But newer nurses would’ve been severely punished. God forbid the kidney fell off the table or something else. I would be livid if I was expecting a kidney only to wait longer for another one because of someone’s lapse in judgment because of their perceived immunity to punishment due to tenure.
#77Had a guy take a cover off the base of a radar unit which had like 40 bolts holding it on. Gave him a ratchet wrench to do it. Half hour later I go check on him.....only had about 10 off. Watched him a bit....he would take it off each time to move it for the next turn! showed him how a ratchet works....never assume people know stuff.
#78In the chemistry lab, he forgot all safety measures, while handling a cancer causing oxidizer, endangering a lot of people near his work station.
#79Saw a coworker tell his apprentice to install a new ground bar above a live 480V disconnect. Kid went in there without proper PPE on...dropped an Allen wrench across the first two legs. He shielded his face with his hand..his fingers came out looking like burned hot dogs. All black with cracks of red running through them.
Incompetence all around, from the journeyman not telling the kid to kill the panel, to the kid not following proper lockout procedure...the half of his face that he didn't shield with his hand got burned and scarred so badly we called him Two Face once he got back.
#80I work on a production line that builds aluminum trailers. I told the new guy to cut me a sheet of aluminum for the roof, 12½ feet long. When he came back I went to roll the roof out and it rolled all the way across the trailer, over the front, down to the ground, almost took out a trimmer and then continued to roll out another 15 feet or so. He was demoted to prep duty that day lol
#81When I worked construction, there was a guy who showed up with nothing in his tool belt except a small bag of peanuts in one pocket. He didn't stay around too long.
#82A co-worker told me she got lost trying to lead someone to the disabled exit.
The route to the disabled exit is a straight corridor with no doors on either side, I just don't understand how it was possible for her to get "lost".
Also, I had to teach her how to make a G&T 9 times. After the 9th time she got it wrong (either by using the wrong ingredients or using the wrong glass), I gave up.
#83I worked at a small time aircraft maintenance and supply place. They had opened a new hangar down the road and ordered new tool sets. Why not send the resident moron to pick them up? It was a holiday weekend and he was visiting family in the same city as the tool supplier. It was a win/win. They buy him a ticket to go down Wednesday, and then Monday after his vacation he rents a box truck and picks the tool sets up. From my understanding it was only slightly cheaper and not that much faster. Anyway, he rents the truck and picks up the tools the day he gets to town, then proceeds to park the unlocked truck somewhere in the city. Picks up the empty truck Monday. Doesn't call the police, the company, Tyrone. No one gets a call. He drove the empty truck back. Cost the company over 150K.
#84My dumbass boss lied to a supplier by claiming we are selling a certain job at loss and called favours to lower the price of printable items.
Proceeded to put a 150% markup and send the quotation to the same supplier instead of the client ?
#85She threw an urn - with ashes inside - into the dumpster.
I work at a vet clinic. We have a contract with a local pet cemetery to do cremation services for our patients that pass away/get euthanized. The cremains are shipped back to us with a packing list that we have to sign and mail back stating that we got all the urns and that they were in good condition. She unpacked and put away the other urns and signed the form, then proceeded to throw the box in the dumpster with the last urn still in it.
What made the situation really infuriating was that the urn contained the ashes of *my pet*. The package came in on my day off and when I came in the next day, I saw the clinic's copy of the packing list with my pet's name on it, but no urn to be found. Fortunately another coworker had the idea to check the dumpster and the urn was still there and not damaged. I didn't like her before that, but I hated her guts after.
#86I'm a chef and we were making pulled pork. We slow cooked it in water baths so afterwards we would drain all that water, fat drippings, bone etc into a big pot. Started getting busy as I finished and asked a coworker to go ahead and dispose of the drippings. Came back about an hour later to see the sink full of about 15 gallons of pork fat jous.
#87I worked in the parts dept of a Cadillac dealership. Our manager quit, and the other parts guy (who had over a decade managerial experience) was turned down.
They hired a guy who supposedly had 20+ years managerial experience, yet somehow didn't know how to use an office phone, nor use literally the most common software that close to 50% of the industry uses. Not only that, he'd never heard of it. He also hadn't heard of the other software which close to the other half of the industry uses.
It wasn't so much a single mistake, but a never ending series of mistakes that only accelerated in hilarious fashion once my coworker and I decided we were no longer going to train him to be paid significantly more than us.
But absolutely the dumbest was that our GM didn't see the giant red flag when our manager couldn't figure out how to pick up a call from another extension, or to transfer a call after three months of "working" there.
#88A patient needed tPA administered into their chest tube. Very stupid, very dangerous, very crafty nurse rigs up multiple different tubes and adapters to administer this massive dose IV.
Patient dead, sentinel event, whole big thing. Never once did she question herself or ask anyone for help.