In any line of work, we all have made our share of minor mistakes that were acknowledged with a slap on the wrist.
Work mistakes are one thing. Intentionally committing a transgression while on the clock is another.
I had a performer friend who was in high-demand and seized every opportunity to book more work, even though she was under contract with me in a show.
It was during the holiday season when there was a high volume of one-off gigs. She called in sick for the weekend and used her sick hours so as not to miss out on a full paycheck.
Lo-and-behold, the stage managers discovered during our matinee that she was not sick at all. But it appeared she had given birth.
To Jesus Christ.
There, on live television in the stage management office, was my friend dressed as Mary – the mother of Jesus – in a televised live nativity scene.
Although her dishonesty was a cardinal sin in the theater world, she was not terminated because our company was short of performers who were already on approved vacations or were legitimately ill.
Redditor pieter2501 wondered if people have ever pulled a fast one at work and got away with it.
"I called my general foreman a f'king idiot for doing something. I don't remember what it was but the safety foreman called me and apparently I was right to call him out because what he did was an osha violation or something."
On The Company's Dime
"For my last buisness trip, I booked myself not into the usual mediocre 2star-bed-'n'-breakfast our company wants us to book, but into a nice 5star-Wellness-Resort with daily 5-course dinners, free access to a large spa, and a complimentary 45-minute massage."
"I payed with our company credit card, fully expecting to get into trouble (although I actually didn't expect to get fired). When billing called to have me explain what I was thinking, I explained that, due to the fact that dinner was included in the rate, we were able to save on additional expenses. The guy literally said 'Oh, well, that's fair, I guess!' and hung up on me. I haven't heard anyting from them (nor from my boss) since, so I guess everything's fine...."
"I constantly clocked in late, took 1-2 hour lunch breaks, and left early."
"My boss finally caught on and told me to come into his office later that afternoon to presumably reprimand me and/or fire me."
"But before he got the chance to, his boss came into his office and fired him."
"Funny Looking Backpack"
"My company once helped provide technical support for a local high school's back to school event. I left a piece of equipment roughly the size of a football that comes in it's own portable backpack on the athletic field. That piece of equipment costs $45,000. We didn't know it was missing until we drove the hour back to headquarters and all had dinner. I drove back down at about 10 PM to look for it with the help of police and couldn't find anything. I cried myself to sleep after getting back around 2 AM."
"At 8 AM our company got a call from an older lady who said she 'found a funny looking backpack' with our logo on the football field and took it home since no one was there and asked what time would work best to drop it off at our facility."
"I think the fact that it was found is the only reason I remained employed."
"To protect each other from cooties, my office installed plexi glass around our desks. I found out that you can use dry erase markers on them and wrote little notes to my colleague, which erased just fine. I joked, 'Watch, I'll write a dumb note and it won't erase.'"
"At the end of a long day, I was foolin around and drew a naked lady fully expecting to be able to erase it. It did not."
"I made sure the marker was indeed dry erase, it was the same plexi glass I had marked on before. For some reason this one just didn't come off. I was panicking and NOTHING worked. How could I even explain this to my boss?"
"Eventually, I remembered that Mr.Clean's Magic Eraser took off the 5 year old permanent marker drawing that I put on my mom's cabinets as a kid. That finally got the scandalous drawing off. I swear I would've been fired."
Toddlers And Pink Eye
"I worked in daycare. If your child had pink eye they were sent home and not allowed back for a couple days or until it went away. This really bothered some parents."
"We sent one child home with pink eye and his mother was pretty pissed at us. Whatever rules are rules."
"Next day at drop off, she has this kid wearing a damn eye patch. Tells me I'm not allowed to touch it. It was pretty flimsy and if you know toddlers you know it wasn't going to last. So as soon as she hands me her kid I lift up his eye patch and bam, pink eye."
"She's livid and starts yelling at me. My supervisor gets involved, I'm pretty sure I was going to get fired. But I didn't somehow. Just got chewed out pretty bad."
"There were numerous steps I should've taken instead of lifting up his eye patch right infront of his mother. But when you're getting minimum wage to change dirty diapers and keep little suicide machines alive you just don't care."
The Day After
"I've definitely turned up to work bagged up after a few too many on Friday night turning up twitching like a bird and sh*t."
"In college, I once went to work not realizing I was still drunk from the night before. Back when I was young and desperately wanted to appear cool, I had a party trick of doing rows of flaming 151 shots, guaranteed to impress and give you alcohol poisoning."
"At work, I started to open up the store around 7am, tripped over a box, and apparently just passed out and stayed in that exact spot until my next coworker came in to find me laying there around 8am. This was a cool coworker who just laughed about it and helped me finish opening up real quick before the boss man came."
"I was doing programming for kids at the library and the summer theme was bug-related. Remembering a charming movie that involved bugs, I gathered all the kids together and put on the movie... Joe's Apartment. (If you've never heard of it, it's a fairly innocuous rom-com plot with a ton of swearing. One of the running jokes is that a character is in a band called "SH*T.")"
"The library was in a super conservative neighborhood and if even one child had told their parents I could have been in a world of trouble. However they all thought it was hilarious and didn't rat me out."
"I worked at a movie theater and would give free stuff to people who i randomly liked everyday on the cash register. Probably tens of thousands in lost profit because of me."
Better Drunk"When I work for an auto parts store I would drink on the job daily. The manager even knew but wouldn't fire me because me drunk was better than half the people there."
"Please Don't Stay With Us"
"I worked at a reservation center for a large hotel chain."
"A lady called to stay in a small town. As it happens, it was my hometown. She wanted to book the suite at the hotel for her honeymoon."
"I told her not to. That it was nice, but not for an occasion like that. That they would be disappointed. I recommended a much better, locally ran, hotel that was way better for a honeymoon."
"If my boss had heard that call, me recommending another hotel... I'd have been gone that day."
"About two weeks later, she called back and asked to speak to me. Which wasn't that uncommon. Usually it was to thank you. This time too. She was so happy. The hotel I had sent her to was exactly what she had hoped for. She said her and her husband looked at the suite at the chain's hotel that I talked them out of and she agreed that they would have been pissed."
"I'm lucky that my boss never heard any part of either of those calls, lol"
Dealing With A Boozy Patron
"When I was a server there was this lady that came in on the busiest day of the week, that was intolerably impatient. When I went to run her tables food, the cook told me they had dropped her entire plate and were making another one. When I went to tell her this she got all in a huff so I asked her if she wanted me to scrape the food off the floor and give it to her instead. She lost it, demanded to talk to my manager, didn't tip etc. My manager said she reeked of booze at 8am so I just got a slap on the wrist for being rude to the customer."
Never Mess With A Nerd
"I was a pizza delivery driver right out of high school. Our pizza place had a contract to deliver pizza to the school cafeterias. So I delivered to the local Middle School and a group of cool kids were out front talking sh*t. On the way back out the little bastards kept talking sh*t. So I lunged at one of them with my fist raised up and he screamed and jumped back. I walked away laughing, got in my car, flipped them off and drove away. When I got back to the store my manager was waiting for me, I denied everything, blamed the kids, and kept my job. As a real adult I know I should have done nothing, but I was so sick of stupid sh**ty pre teens thinking they were big tough guys and I had seen them bullying nerd folk before, nerds are my people."
The Big Bang Incident
"Made a dry ice bomb that exploded in my coworkers hand."
"I work with icecream at a theme park and we use dry ice for a lot of the carts. It was close to closing and there was a crate full of the stuff next to our table in the little warehouse we work out of and pretty much everybody was working just outside or in the office. So we decide we're going to put dry ice in a bottle and seal it up and throw it into our giant walk-in cooler."
"I took a bottle of water, he drank half of it and I scooped out some of the dry ice with a paper cup and whacked it against the table to try and break it up because it likes to stick together. Start pouring it in until we have a pretty decent bottle of smoke going and he seals it up. I slide open the door of the cooler and he starts shaking the bottle."
"Suddenly there's a BANG and me and this dude are staring at eachother with everything in a 2 meter radius covered in a fine mist of water. We bust out laughing, he looks at his hand and points to it bleeding and we laugh harder. Uncontrollable, jovial laughter. People start walking in from outside to investigate the bang, and then the managers came out of the office from the opposite side of the building. So it's me, this other guy everything is slightly wet and we're still laughing like idiots. The manager on duty asked what happened and we couldn't even answer her. We just start trying to put words together but we're still losing our sh*t too much to make any sense."
"She pulls me into the office and makes me write a statement on the situation while they bandaged his hand up and I wrote that we were working and I heard an explosion and we were covered in water and that I had no idea what was going on. They swapped us out and he said the bottle must have fallen in because his water bottle was missing from the table and he had no clue how the explosion happened, but his hand was on the same side as the dry ice. We walked free, no discipline. She knew we were full of sh*t, but HR said the story made sense. I still am not sure how they let us get away with it."