It's never fun to watch someone dig their own grave. While it might inspire a sense of "gee, glad that's not me!" it still leaves a lasting impression on you.

People are usually doing the best they can with what they have. And sometimes that best is truly not enough to get them through the day in one piece. Sadly, if you work with them, you're beholden to this horror show, too.

u/chocolatefeckers asked:

What's the most spectacular way you've seen someone f*ck up at work?

These are their stories.

Be A Jerk, Get Kicked Out


A grad student was invited into a professor's office for a meeting and was left alone for a moment. There was a pile of cumulative exams on the professor's desk that had just been graded. These are subject exams for grad students, wickedly difficult, and you need to pass 4 to continue in the program.

This jackass decided he'd take a look at the stack of exams, then upon finding that some of his fellow students did poorly, he took pictures of their grades so he could use them to ridicule them and pass the results around the department. This was a big deal because numerical grades aren't ever given out for these exams, only pass/fail, and also it's a pretty big FERPA violation to distribute others' personal academic information like that.

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


21st Century Dumb Moves

Guy drops a glove in a deep fryer, sticks his entire hand in it before realizing it's on and set to 350 degrees F. My current job is a lab technician at a major university, and we had a new guy unplug the small -80 degree C freezer full of recombinant DNA because he wanted to charge his phone.


He's Gonna Win That Case

I was once a bank teller. One day, a guy comes in to pay off a line of credit that he shares with his son. Apparently, his son is a drug addict and ran the line of credit balance up to $10k (maxing it out). The guy comes in, talks to my fellow teller, pays it off, and signs to close it out. He asked my coworker at least 3 times that it was closed. She assures him that it is (she is also addicted to her phone and loans most of her attention to it). Guy leaves.

Several months later, the same guy comes in enraged with a line of credit bill. He comes to my window and explains the situation. He thought it was closed. It turns out that our bank's policy (not sure of this is universal) is that both he and his son have to sign off to close it out unless there was some sort of special circumstances that never happened. Dude owed another $10k because of course his son isn't going to sign off on closing it out if he can run up the balance again. He says he is going to sue. I point him in the direction of someone more qualified than me. My manager tells me he has a good case and will probably beat our corporate bank in court. I'm just a teller. Some days it's good to be on the bottom. Glad it wasn't me that messed it up.


The Cost Of Being Lazy

I used to work at Popeye's, this fried chicken chain. It sucked and I eventually quit. A week after I quit the night crew decided they didn't feel like putting the boxes away from a truck shipment. Someone could deal with it next day. Few days later, and several reports of food poisoning later, they got in a load of trouble. Boxes were full of raw chicken. So glad I quit.


Car-ry On My Wayward Son

Couple of years ago, we had a new supervisor directly from corporate. He got a promotion and moved from another city

He was a complete jerk, micro managment nightmare, arrogant, etc,etc. But someone up the corporate ladder really liked the guy, so he had full support from the bosses.

Then in his first month of work his company car was stolen, it was insured so no big deal. A week later his replacement car was stolen again and a third car two weeks later. Turns out the guy had a trouble with alcohol, he got really drunk and left the car open, on the street and he just forget about it.

He wasn't fired, he was just moved to a desk job with no company car.


This Will Teach Ya

I used to work in a grocery store and I had an HR person repeatedly "lose" my doctor's note stating that I have Reynaud's Syndrome and couldn't be in the freezer. I got a stack of them from the doc and would have to bring in a new one every few weeks. Finally, I had a department head fax a copy in to corporate for me before dropping off yet another copy to HR B*tch. The next week the HR b*tch called me into her office and told me I was going to have to put the frozen load for bakery away.

I told her I couldn't do it and I had a note on file. She told me she didn't have any paperwork on file for me and that she could "make me do anything she wanted to." I called my department manager into the office and told him what she had said. He got corporate on the phone and asked if they had received the copy of my doctors note detailing the fact that I had Reynaud's Syndrome and had already previously gotten frostbite at work from being forced to be in the freezer when I wasn't supposed to be.

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


Big Mix Up

Worked in a single story cinder block office with parking spaces out front. There was a big window that overlooked the parking lot. We had an older engineer (early 70s) that worked there. He pulled up one morning in his parking spot and must have gotten the brakes and the gas confused. He drove the car right through the window, taking out some of the wall with it. I can still remember seeing him gripping the steering window with this terrified look in his eyes while he kept slamming on the gas. The car must have gotten stuck on something because it would just lurch forward and the engine would rev. Luckily he didn't kill anyone. He retired soon after that.


How Can You Keep With The Same Mistake?

My coworker sold someone an auto insurance policy but forgot to check the effective date. Turns out she had pushed the start date of the policy out a month. Guy got into an accident a few days later. Cumulatively, we probably spent 10+ hours on the phone trying to get claims to cover this guy's accident.

She ended up messing up the effective date on about 10 other policies before she left.


Someone In The Government Is A Giant Jerkface

I'm a welfare caseworker. A few months ago I got a call from a client wondering what was going on with her case.... Read the case comments and found that one of my more intellectual coworkers shut down this case and assessed a FIVE YEAR overpayment on this client for her cash aid (basically saying that all the aid she had ever received was fraudulent and she needed to pay it all back). Her reasoning? There was a glitch in the system that made this woman's child show as a resident in a different county.

Rather than following established protocol and calling this woman, or ordering a fraud investigation from our literal unit of full time investigators, or anything else that would make sense, she went out of her way to make this woman's life hard.

For the record, I called the other county and the worker I spoke with confirmed that the child was no longer a resident, his father had reported to them that the family was moving to our county 5 years ago, and they'd been trying, unsuccessfully, to update his county residence ever since.

Because I caught the phone call, I had to un-f*ck the case and close out the overpayment.


Goodbye, Jerkface!


Surgeon was a notorious *sshole to colleagues but had been getting away with it for years. One day he was doing a minor surgery on a lightly sedated (mostly awake) patient and said some horrible things directly to the patient. And the patient remembered it.

He contested his firing, and the hospital had to go through an arbitration process, but all the other staff in the room corroborated the patient's story and testified against him. And now he's gone.

And he deserved to be gone a long time ago.


Ain't No Party Like A Sexist Party

I got promoted. New guy who'd been there a month (Id been there a year) threw a sexist fit that I was promoted instead of him. His fit took the form of walking to the back door and slamming it open so hard the automatic closer ripped clean out of the metal door. I was the MOD for that shift and terrified. I sent him on break, called my boss, explained the situation. He was gone the next day.


Not All Doctors

I'm a medical device rep - One time a Surgeon decided to just rip/peel a particular organ off/out of a person rather than take the 15mins it usually takes to properly cut and coax it off/out. This routine procedure ended up taking nearly 3 hours because he could not stop the bleeding. It got a little awkward. C's get degrees people. Not every surgeon is world class. I know who I wouldn't let operate on me and my loved ones, that's for sure.

Another time I saw an anesthesiologist elevate a surgical table mid procedure without paying attention to the mayo stand hovering over the table. The surgical table knocked the mayo stand over and it all came crashing down. Multiple glass scopes were broken and all new instrumentation had to be wheeled in etc.... it sounded like someone kicked over a crash symbol from a drum set. Those laparoscopes are like $7k a piece...


Way Out Of Line

A manager was operating a hi-rail vehicle on the mainline and rear ended another vehicle.

  • He was not qualified on the vehicle.
  • He was not expected to operate said vehicle.
  • He was travelling more than 25 mph over the limit.
  • He shortened the truck by 6 inches.
  • It wan't reported to control (me) until 2 hours after the incident.


Racism Doesn't Rock


Working at a company of about 5000 people and one day, we all get a message from some guy named Ming Wong saying "Hi, I can't remember the password to my timesheet software. Can anyone help me reset it?"

Then, a few minutes later, he replied to himself with "Oh no! Sorry, I didn't mean to send that to everyone."

It would have been just your standard accidental reply-all except then we got a third email. This one was from some guy who was trying to forward it to his friend, but also mistakenly replied to the entire company with "lol ching chong bing bong. Ming Wong send email wrong". Both him and the intended recipient were fired immediately.


Refined, But Unrefined

Was working at a refinery one time and a new unit was being built. Someone bumped the insulation of a large distillation column with a lift. There was only a small dent but the whole section had to be replaced. $30,000 later the person that bumped it was looking for a new job.


Your Uppance Came

In high school I worked at Babbages. Our manager claimed one of the employees was stealing stuff and fired him as a scapegoat after a regional manager said we had a lot of missing stock. Fired employee knew the manager was actually stealing and reported him to the regional manager. RM and police made a surprise visit and inspected manager's car. Found over 100 Dreamcast, PC, and N64 games in his back seat through the back window. He got fired and arrested on the spot. I was working that day.


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Sixth sense, hunch, spidey senses tingling, or gut feeling: no matter what you call it, we all have had that feeling at one point or another. Not everyone is as in tune with that feeling as some, but when we have that feeling it's important to listen to it. It could be life or death.

Science tells us that there's actual physical feelings associated with the gut feeling due to our gut-brain connection. Signals from our brain can actually cause intestinal signals to bubble up. It can come in a moments notice. Sometimes feeling a little like anxiety or even "hearing" a voice in your head telling you something might be off.

Healthline says:

"Research links these flashes of intuition to certain brain processes, such as evaluating and decoding emotional and other nonverbal cues."

We might need to listen to our gut specifically to protect ourselves. It's that intuitive knowledge that keeps humanity alive for centuries.

Antonia Hock, global head of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center said:

"Instinct is a powerful data point that can be a treasure trove of untapped generational knowledge in decision making."

Redditors shared their life-saving moments when they listened to their gut and trusted it.

Redditor TheGaySussyBaka asked:

"What's a gut feeling that saved yours or someone else's life?"

Intuition could save a life. Let's read some true stories about gut feelings that made all the difference.

It was worth being late to the party.

"Years ago, my wife and I were driving on the expressway that was under major construction. Traffic had slowed quite a bit and I saw a plume of smoke ahead. As we drew closer, I could see it was the beginning of a Carbeque, but the driver was still in the vehicle."

"I did a death defying move to cross multiple lanes of traffic to pull over, despite my wife's protests about being late to the event we were headed to."

"I approached the car, which was just starting to produce visible fire from the wheel wells and opened the door to the car. The guy was conscious, but in obvious shock and was unresponsive. I had to reach in to unbuckle him and pull him out of the car. Within seconds of me getting him out, the driver's compartment was completely engulfed in flames."

- TheSpatulaOfLove

"In that moment, that's what your wife was thinking about?"

- Nooseents

"I don't think she had malicious intent. She's just nuts about being everywhere 5 minutes early. She assumed the guy would get out of the car and all would be fine. I didn't get that feeling."

- TheSpatulaOfLove

"Tipsy" driving is still drunk driving.

"Do not get into a car with someone who says 'they are just a little tipsy.'"

"The guy who was trying to convince us that he 'was totally fine to drive' didn't die that night but he did have to spend a two years learning to walk again."

- fruit_cats

"My story isn't as bad as that but I'm pretty sure I saved a friend from getting arrested for drunk driving. She'd been hanging out at my fraternity and had at least a couple drinks. She said she was going to drive to the bar, but I told her I wasn't going to let her and would find someone to drive her. But everybody else had been drinking. I hadn't, but I also didn't have a driver's license at the time (not for nefarious reasons, I just didn't get one until I graduated college)."

"Refusing to let her drive, I told her I would. She got in next to me and even though I hadn't driven in awhile, I drove slowly to the bar. After I pulled in to the spot, I finally noticed that there had been a cop right behind us. Luckily he drove off. But the cops in our college town were notorious jerks and even if she had been below the legal limit, she probably would have been arrested. But she was fine and I drove her back to her apartment after we were done."

"Also later found out that the car I was driving wasn't even hers - it belonged to her sorority sister. So there's a good chance I prevented her a) from getting arrested, b) getting into a bad accident, c) damaging her sorority sister's car or d) all of the above."

- PAKMan1988

"You're really burying the good part."

"You prevented her from possible troubles by driving a stolen car without a license right in front of a cop."

- yourmomlurks

Listen to your parental gut feeling.

"My son has leukemia and is on chemotherapy. He was Looked paler than usual and something just felt odd. Turns out chemo had obliterated his blood so much it might as well have been water and he would have died within days. Two blood transfusions, five days hospital and two weeks off chemotherapy and he was on the mend."

"I went into traumatic shock and the one thing that pulled me out was a debrief with my doctor, who told me I had just saved my child's life with my maternal instinct and never doubt it. Fast forward a few months and he got an infection and that same odd feeling woke me up. He spent a week in hospital that time."

"Parental instinct is there for a reason. Don't doubt it. When you feel it, it's not like feeling a concern or worry that something might be wrong... it's a deep primal knowing."

- belltrina

"My wife had the same thing happen with our 3rd kid. 3 days old. Something was off for her. She had a feeling, called the pediatrician and tested his blood sugar with her kit since she was a gestational diabetic. It was in the basement. Like the oh f**k basement. Verge of coma basement. Doc had us call 9-11 and they would have life-flighted him to a bigger hospital had the weather not sucked a**. Spent 9 days in the NICU. Now he's a wild 5-year-old boy. She 100% saved his life."

- Fleadip

"When I worked in peds, this was the mantra among the nursing staff. If mom (or dad) thinks something is wrong, something is wrong! You know your kid better than anyone else in the world."

- vanillabeanlover

"This is so true! When I had appendicitis, my doctor tried to send me home saying it was the flu. If my mom hadn't insisted something was seriously wrong, I might be dead. It was hours from rupturing when they removed it."

- hotairballoons

A near miss.

"Scenario- driving myself and 2 coworkers back from lunch. Didn't immediately go when my light was green as I got this weird knot in my stomach like something was gonna go down. Car next to me went forward and got slammed into a brick building and post by a speeding car that went thru his red. Some debris rained on my car but basically was left unscathed. Shook but unscathed."

- tokoloshe_noms_toes

"My friends make fun of me for this, bc the 'light is green lol' but I've been involved in that type of accident, and am only alive because my dad, who was driving saw it in time to slam the gas and make them only hit the bed of the truck."

- marshal231

The man in the truck.

"This is before cell phones (think beepers). I went out one night and was meeting my bestie half way between my house and hers. I noticed this truck drive by me and he slowed down to a crawl. Another car was coming so he kept going. My spidey senses were triggered though. I saw my best friend and I grabbed her and pulled her into an old shed at an abandoned house. I shut the door quick and told her to be quiet. There was a space so we were able to see this truck coming."

"She is whispering rapidly to me asking what is happening. I told her that I had seen that guy a few minutes before and he made me nervous. He slowly crept down the street, pulled over and got out with a flashlight. That's when we saw the gun. The most terrifying thing, it was only moments, but felt like hours. He finally took off, but I was hesitant to leave yet. We stayed there for about 15-20 minutes and he came back 4 or 5 times."

"Finally we heard our names being called, her older brother and his best friend had come looking because it typically takes 10 minutes to get from my house to hers. I am convinced that she and I would both be dead if it wasn't for that shed and me trusting my spidey senses."

- Right-Mind2723

Caught it just in time.

"Was hanging out with my brother who was visiting from a few hours away. We went to one of his highschool friends house to shoot the sh*t."

"My brother's friend had a kid who was literally bouncing off the walls. After one bounce I heard a little scrape behind me. I looked behind me to see the 8 point deer head mounted to the wall just in time for another bounce."

"I snatched that head out of the air just about 3 inches from giving the kid 4 stab wounds to the skull."

- piratecheese13

"I was at a party my house was hosting back in the day. We had a back area that had a door leading to the backyard, the door swung inwards. Someone was bent over putting their shoe on and I heard someone coming up the stairs to come in. As soon as the handle started turning, I put my hand over the door to stop it coming in. The person putting on their shoe was so shocked because no one else noticed the door opening and their head was right near the handle. Maybe not exactly saving a life, but a solid concussion at least."

- Subject37

"Peacefully riding my motorcycle."

"'I don't think that guy is going to stop for that stop sign. I'll slow down just a little bit so he'd miss me if he didnt.'"

"Guy flys through intersection at 100km/h."

"'God wanted me to live this day, I see.'"

- shrapnullvxvsa

There are a few things you'll need to do to learn how to trust your gut. Part of it is recognizing when your gut is trying to send you signals. Body awareness, emotional awareness and cognitive processing is something that can happen intuitively, but we have to know how to recognize it.

Pay attention to when it is intrinsically emotional or when it might be clouded by bias. Know the difference so you can make choices that make the most sense for the situation.

And practice! Find ways to listen to your body and emotions and put the skills to the test.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.