The Worst Mistakes People Have Seen Someone Do At Their Job

The Worst Mistakes People Have Seen Someone Do At Their Job
Adrian Sulyok/Unsplash

No matter the job or industry, things are bound to go wrong.

Human error is a constant and a minor blip at the workplace can be but a silly–if not, annoying–inconvenience that can by yesterday's news.

Some mistakes, however, are catastrophic, and hopefully, the ones making them are not you.

Curious to hear from witnesses online, Redditor Whomadethebed asked:

"What's the worst mistake you've seen someone do in their job?"

These mistakes had near-fatal consequences.

Severing Ties

"Plant manager let the safety guy go because they didn't believe safety was a full time job and wanted to cut back on company spending and decided the supervisors could do all the safety audits, training, keep the building up to code."

"Not even a week later 2 guys got their arms cut off working on a machine that they weren't trained/certified on and the back building caught fire due to pallets and cardboard boxes being stacked in the wrong area near the furnace."

"Update: The biggest question is 'Where/what company is this?' This was over 22 years ago in Asia. I apologize for not remembering the name, but they went under shortly after."

– Accomplished_Wolf400

Shocking Move

"Working with a tree cutting service in Tampa, I was asked by the boss to ascend a nearby tree and cut some limbs. After seeing how close they were to power lines, I refused. He got really pissed off, yelled at me to clean up the area."

"Then he sent up Dallas."

"Dallas put on his climbing spikes, roped up the tree and started cutting. I was worried and kept watching him as I picked up limbs."

"Sure enough, he leaned back and before I could yell, put his sweaty bare back right against the power lines. A bright blue flash arced across his back and his body jerked away and slammed against the tree trunk. He bounced off and back into the wires. And again. Finally his spikes got dislodged and he fell out of the tree, falling until his safety line snapped taut, leaving him dangling upside down like a broken-back doll."

"I thought he was dead, but a moment later he started moaning, then screaming. 'I'm on fire!' he yelled. We lowered him to the ground to the sound of sirens approaching; a neighbor had seen what happened and called EMT."

"A nasty black mark curved across his back and the current had surged down his legs and through his boot heels, seeking out ground. Both his heels were blown out."

"I quit at the end of the day."


Reminder To Always Power Off

"Saw a guy get zapped pretty bad when he stuck a tool in the wrong place on a big dryer at a hotel where I worked. We had asked him if he should cut the power first, and he said naww, don't need to. For a moment after, we thought he was dead."

– Imaginary_Medium

These former employees weren't very bright.

Spreading The Virus

"An IT worker once sent an advisory to the entire company about an email several people had received with a malware link. She did so by forwarding the actual email with the link."

– DP487

Egregiously Exposed

"Forget they had drugs in their pocket while crossing a border. This led the Austrian border and customs police to open up about 100 cans of exposed film stock that was in the van the guy was driving… film stock from a very expensive film shoot the week before."

"The result was second unit had to go back and reshoot an entire action set piece for the film. Line Producer told me the mistake cost about 5 million euros."

– PugsandTacos

Wrong Fuel

"I worked at a car dealership several years back. There was a new mechanic who was there barely a week, and tasked to go fill all the brand new, top of the line, biggest diesel trucks on the lot.."


"The guy filled all the trucks with regular gas. At the gas station down the street. Then drove them back to the lot."

"He was fired pretty quickly after that."

– NadjaStolz28

Can't Compute

"A girl on the till had a guy come up and buy a $2 pack of gum with a $100 note saying sorry he didn’t have anything smaller. She gave him his $98 change and he left. He came back in a few minutes later and said 'hey I found a $2 coin in my car can I have my $100 back?'. So she did it. It was a small shop so it was a tough scam to fall for. She also managed to lock herself out of her own car while it was running but parked in a way that no one could get in or out of the car park."

– quietlycommenting

And these incidences led to understandable termination.

"In the ER, Doctor wrote down an order for 15mg IM of Toradol (anti-inflammatory pain killer) and the nurse I was training misread and started to draw up 15mg of Haldol (anti-psychotic). That's triple the standard dose for Haldol. This was for a patient with abdominal pain. The nurse I was training didn't question it at all. This wasn't a newly graduated nurse mind, just new to my department."

"Yes, I stopped her before she gave the med. No, she did not continue to work in the ER."

– RadiantBondsmith

TP Thief

"A security guy at my job had been there for about a year and while it wasn't a lucrative job, he made decent money for the position and tons of benefits. He was fired for stealing toilet paper from the janitorial closet. This was low-quality super thin commercial toilet paper, too. He had been doing it for a couple of months before I was asked to put a camera in the closet."

– TheW83

It's confounding how very unqualified people continue to get work while those who are very capable and competent remain struggling to find work with sufficient wages.

But as far as major snafus in the workplace go, companies paying peanuts should expect monkeys.

Man with head in his hands
Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

An aged old proverb reflecting on when people perform what they think are well-meaning, helpful acts, but in reality, only worsen a bad situation.

A day seldom goes by when people won't notice an example of this, either on the news, in the book they're reading, or simply walking down the street.

This could be anything from someone making promises to help out, but never delivering on them, to saving money for a less expensive cleaner, which turns out to radiate toxic fumes, resulting in the building being closed for an indefinite length of time.

Ideas which might seem good in theory, but are impractical, illogical, or even harmful, in practice.

Keep reading...Show less
A glowing red sign that says "Nintendo Virtual Boy"
Photo by Senad Palic on Unsplash

Unless you grew up with the most doting parents on the planet, there's probably a toy or two that you really wanted as a kid, but never received.

Whether it was too expensive for your parents to afford, or something like a noisy toy that was going to be way too annoying for your parents, there are probably some toys that you really missed out on as a child.

Keep reading...Show less
cooked fries
Photo by matthew reyes on Unsplash

When it comes to fast food places, no two places are the same. Wendy's spicy chicken nuggets are far superior to those from McDonald's, while no one does milkshakes quite like Dairy Queen.

I have always preferred burgers from In-N-Out, but my brother will always go for Five Guys.

There will always be debates when it comes to which establishment does fast food the best.

The biggest debate surrounds the ultimate side dish: french fries.

No one can ever seem to agree on which fast food chain has the best french fries, but that doesn't stop the debate. Redditors are engaged in that very debate as we speak!

Keep reading...Show less
People Dispel Common 'Facts' That Are Total BS
Photo by Taras Chernus on Unsplash

Some people will just believe anything.

And if you call a statement a fact long enough, many people take it as gospel.

Some facts are absolute truths, others can be malleable.

Science changes.

History evolves.

Lies are exposed.

And research is an actual art form.

Keep reading...Show less