There's nothing quite like getting a good groove going at work. Things are chill, life is easy (even if you're not the biggest fan of the job) until one day... the day that you f*** up royally. What do you do? Do you panic? Do you ignore it and pretend it never happened? Do you risk telling others and endangering your standing at work? Or do you solve it as discreetly as you can and hope the boss never finds out?
And what about if you mess up very publicly? The embarrassment would be enough to end a career, right?
After Redditor sspecz asked the online community, "Redditors who massively f***** up at work, what happened?" people offered their stories.
"The bulk plant finished on time..."
A very important and very big customer placed an order for some chemical bulk to be delivered early January. Our contract with them stated that every day we were late we would be fined millions.
The bulk plant finished on time and just needed the drums to pour the bulk into.
Warehouse come up to my office (I was the purchaser responsible for buying the drums) where are the 250 litre drums!? Bulk plant need them. It's fine I thought, I placed the order before Christmas, I remember doing it. Looks at SAP why is the supplier late.....they're never late... checks my order mouth goes instantly dry and I start to sweat. I had placed the order, but I forgot that for this particular supplier I needed to email them the PO. We had just changed the system to allow SAP to auto email the supplier after we placed an order, but not for this 1 supplier. I knew this, but must have forgotten.
These drums had a 2 week lead time from the supplier so I knew I was dead. Not only would we have had millions of pounds of fines, but the production plant would have been put on hold having to store tons of bulk with no where to put it.
I went and told my boss and just told him I had funked up. Being an awesome guy and boss he thanked me for being honest and told me it's going to be ok. He called the supplier, sweet talked them, and because we were a good customer they allowed us to take another customers order. The drums were delivered next day. That was about 9 years ago and I still think about it.
"Good thing it was only a test!"
Accidentally left out the "MoveNext" method on a loop that sent out an email broadcast, which meant it mailbombed the first recipient in the loop until we realised what was happening and killed the process.
The CEO's email was the first email address in the loop.
He was an arsehole anyway, and was absolutely incoherent with rage when his outlook crashed when downloading 15,000 emails inviting him to take a satisfaction survey.
Good thing it was only a test!
"I worked in a pizza place..."
I worked in a pizza place and they caught me eating olives on camera. It wasn't 2-3 olives, I could eat like a thousand in a shift. I really don't know why and it's a time in my life I want to forget.
"My first day..."
My first day working at a coffee shop I left my Sharpie in the oven. Finally found it while trying to warm a sandwich and had to shut the whole thing down to be cleaned. It smelled like a chemical weapon.
"I had been corresponding..."
Years ago I worked in an office and had a very cool boss who was the general manager. He and I were quite close and used to joke around all the time.
I had been corresponding with a fairly important customer overseas about an issue they were having and I needed information from her to move forward. I asked for info a few times but she kept coming back with different details than what we needed.
I sent an email to my boss saying something like, "I can't believe I ask the same simple question three times and this is what I get in reply."
Except I didn't send that email to my boss. I sent it to the customer!
I was in a panic when I realized what I had done. Went to my boss to let him know what happened and he thought it was hilarious but that I should write a brief apology to her for an "outburst".
Was dreading the reply the next morning but to my astonishment our customer actually apologized to me for not paying attention. Felt like I got away with murder.
I flew fromOttawa to Halifax..."
I love telling this story...
Back in the floppy disk, pre-Internet days of computers I was tasked by my job to do a software installation onboard a coast guard ice breaker. I flew from Ottawa to Halifax. Then I caught a taxi to CFB Shearwater, from where a twin otter flew me 1000 km north to a little town on the border of Quebec and Labrador. From there I was flown by helicopter to do an at sea landing on the ice breaker. After landing I went down to the engine control room, where the computer was located, and laid out the disks: disk 1, disk 2, disk 3, disk 4, disk 6.
Disk 5 was still on my desk in Ottawa.
"The chef was angry..."
The chef was angry that day. I was advised by my coworkers to do whatever it takes to get on his good side. I thought, "eh, I'll just try to avoid him."
He was standing in the cooler taking inventory. Beside him were the 5 gallon containers of prepped food. I sneaked in and tried to quickly grab the ranch container, but in my haste, I nudged another.
It was the french onion soup. All five gallons of it. On his pants and shoes.
Yes, he was upset. The prep girl was upset. I had 10 minutes til lunch service started. I have no idea how I'm still alive.
I worked in a nice steakhouse. First week, I accidentally put salt in the sugar bowls and sugar in the salt shakers. Customers started to complain about their sweet steaks and salty coffees. We had to pull all the salt and sugar from each table. My last day as a waiter.
Measured something on a construction site off by a foot. It wasn't discovered until it cost $150,000 to remedy the mistake. Nothing happened to me because it was a 10 million dollar job.
"I worked upper level customer service..."
A customer got the best of me.
I worked upper level customer service for an Australian winery conglomerate that shall remain unnamed. They owned a bunch of exclusive brands, but only had a team of 6 or 7 customer service reps to service them all. Two of us got paid $1/hr more to be "upper level" customer service, and take "escalations", which is fancy talk for "get sh!t on by the wealthy". A customer from their top brand made an online purchase, which we shipped immediately. He decided he was upset about that, as we should have read his mind and known he wanted it three months later.
Anyway, he called me a retard, so I cancelled his order, his wine club membership, and deleted his customer profile.
I was not let go due to them literally needing me to keep the department running, but my manager burst a blood vessel in his eye.
"We were dong drills..."
We were doing drills during flight ops and I caused a nuclear reactor to scram. Paralleling two power sources 120 degrees out of phase isn't a good idea (I grabbed the wrong switch). Cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. Got a three month "vacation" out of it.
"I was mortified."
Accidentally bumped into my manager after he had just counted all the tills. They all flew up in the air. I was mortified.
"The patients there..."
I'm a therapist at a psychiatric hospital. The patients there are involuntarily committed which basically means they are held there against their will. My first week working I accidentally helped a patient escape who had a fairly dangerous personal history. Man was that a moment I wish I could take back.
"A couple of months..."
A couple of months into my first animation contract, I was allowed to work from home and had to transfer rotoscoping data to the office every Friday might. Once I got mixed up and deleted a week's worth of files - spent that weekend and the following week working double time in secret. When someone eventually asked where the files were I had just started transferring them. No one ever knew.
"I was a photographer for an online car dealership..."
I was a photographer for an online car dealership and one day I had to photograph a Harley. I had help getting it out to the area I was shooting, but my help decided he had somewhere else he had to be, and left in spite of my request to stay. So I got some shots from one angle and had to move it to get a different angle... and I dropped it.
I dropped a Harley that was supposed to go on sale later that week.
At that time I was getting paid by the vehicle, so I didn't get paid for that one, but luckily that was the only repercussion.
"She placed an order at the counter..."
The woman who oversaw all our franchises in the state came to visit our store. I had no idea who she was. She placed an order at the counter with me and I couldn't find what she wanted on the register. I swore without thinking and looked at her, immediately apologising. My boss and the owner of the store looked furious at me, but this woman just gave me the biggest grin, and I knew I was okay.
"I incorrectly fitted drains..."
I incorrectly fitted drains to all the refrigerated deli cases in a brand new supermarket and the entire place was flooded the next day.
"It took us 20 minutes..."
I clicked the wrong checkbox, and kicked a few million gamers offline. It took us 20 minutes to restore the service and the idiot who made the system that easy to mess up (and without any validation checks) took responsibility. He was an untouchable senior engineer and I was a new hire, I feel like I got very lucky it was him.
"I worked seasonally..."
I worked seasonally as a cashier when I was in university to earn extra cash in a mid/nice-ish shoe store. It was back in the day when the pin pad didn't connect to the computer so I entered in $50 instead of $500 and I got let go on my next shift. Those people got hella a good deal for those 90% off shoes though!
"I put a piece of toast..."
Busser here. I put a piece of toast off someone's plate in my apron. Presumably out of sight. Spoiler alert: it wasn't out of sight. Literally everyone saw me with some customers toast in my pocket.
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