1. Hotel maid
I used to work as a maid in a motel and our usual supervisor was out sick. The person who took her place that day mixed ammonia and bleach in a window cleaner bottle and poisoned me with ammonia chloride gas fumes when I sprayed the bathroom mirror.
If the maintenance man hadn’t come by and found me unconscious,it could have killed me. For several months after I had respiratory problems,vision issues and a lingering burn in my nose and throat.
2. Just take it so we can go home
Working at a car dealership. Last deal of the night, after closing time. Our check verification system was down and the customer has a personal check for $50,000 USD. Manager said to take the check because he wanted to go home. Finance guy took the check. Customer left with a new car.
Check bounced. Customer didn't return calls. Dealership went to his listed address, it was an abandoned house. They called his listed employer, they claimed to have never heard of him.
"Just take it so we can go home" cost them $50k
3. Count the children
Taught preschool for 8 years before the pandemic. It's protocol to count the children before moving from one room to another to make sure no one gets left behind.
Had a coworker on her phone, didn't count kids, and had left behind a child in the toy closet. Kid was 2 years old and trapped, screaming and crying in a dark toy closet for 20 minutes before a teacher passing by the empty classroom heard her.
My coworker didn't even get a slap on the wrist and management never told parents.
This same coworker forced her class of 2 year olds to "get dressed themselves" for outside play in the winter so one time a little girl ended up playing outside in the Minnesota snow without boots on for ten minutes before my coworker noticed.
4. Safety is not important
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.
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.
5. Bad move
A lady in our sales department sent a racial message bashing foreigners and how cheap they all are to another coworker using our company email...which tagged the entire company. The CEO is also foreign.
6. Movie down
Forget they had cocaine 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.
7. Human subject
I'm a healthy human subject for medical research studies. I did a study with special dietary restriction groups of zero carbs, no carbs, and a regular diet.
I was in the zero-carb group and our breakfast consisted of a large stack of Canadian bacon and a drink. I read on the side of the can that it had 18 grams of carbs.
I mentioned this to the doctor in charge and he said, "Well, umm, it's hard to get zero carbs." I thought to myself, "In a drink? No, it's not!"
Three days later they realized that I was right and they had to stop our study and send us home. The doctor had been in charge of the clinic but I noticed he was no longer in charge when I was invited back to the next cohort of the same study.
So instead of earning $7,000, I earned $4000 initially and $7,000 for a total of $11,000. So his mistake earned me more money.
8. Canceling cards
One time a member of my dev team was given a task to cancel a few credit cards (less than 10) directly in the database.
They cancelled 17 million, the mistake was only caught when the company helpline started to receive millions of calls the next day from all over the country with people asking why their cards were not working.
9. Bad timing
Guy I know was looking at porn on his laptop at home, battery died and he passed out. Gets up the next day, goes to work and is in a conference room with co workers, plugs in the laptop and opens it.. immediately the room fills with loud gagging noises, he slams it shut.. and the noise goes on for like 10 more seconds. Left the job a week later.
10. Travel plans
Company director sent his travel plans for a ‘work convention’ to the communal printer in the staff room. Bet him and the other director would have had a lovely time. 5* hotel, presidential suite in Barcelona for a week sounded nice.
His wife thought so to and was furious she wasn’t going also surprised that him and lady director were sharing a room … for a week … and that when she looked into it there was no convention. Things went south pretty fast and now the company is no more.
11. $100 bill
I had a girl that worked for me that one day had a guy try to pay with a $100 bill. We all knew that we did not take any bill over a $20 but she didn’t listen sometimes.
This time she took the bill and when she was cashing out her draw the smart safe didn’t take the $100 bill. I asked if she checked it and she of course said yes. I looked at the bill and noticed it said “Movie Prop” on the bill. She somehow missed it.
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.
13. Email servers down
Someone managed to CC the entire enterprise, consisting of 6 figures of employees.
Then the follow up idiots all hit reply all “I don’t think this is for me”
In a matter of minutes there’s were probably hundreds of millions of emails produced as a bunch of idiots piggy backed off the first idiot and hitting reply all.
Email Servers crashed and weren’t restored until the next day.
IT quickly fixed that too so people could only mass CC within their own department unless IT approved it.
14. That's one good IT worker
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.
15. Robot arm
Dude gave the signal that he was done working on a forge. Then he put his arm in to check something.
His robot arm is pretty cool, though.
16. Paella pans
I heard there was this guy who had to clean a load of paella pans by tying them down and letting the tide of the sea do the work (was a beach restaurant in spain) apparently he forgot to tie them and almost everyone of them floated away. Sounds funnier when he tells it though.
17. Mixed drinks
Once, I served drinks to a little girl and her mom.
I accidentally got them mixed up. The mom ordered a mixed drink with bourbon and the daughter said her drink tasted funny.
18. Stealing juice
A guy i worked with got fired from his 120k a year job because he was stealing juice from the stock room
19. $2 gum
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
Years ago, about 8 or 9 years ago. A nurse give an adult dose injection of a med to a 4 month old in the Emergency room. I even called him out on it and said, "...check that medicine before you administer, I think that's the wrong one."
He killed the kid.
Destroyed the family. Obviously lost his license. Devastated the hospital system with huge lawsuit payout. Made us all look incompetent.
F*****g cocky idiot. I hope it ruined his life and haunts him forever to the point he can't function or ever have a normal life.
21. Triple dose
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.
22. The same gardener
Worked at a large casino in a large tourist city.
The penthouse garden was being redone, and the gardener has put tarpaulins down to protect the tiles. A storm rolled through, and the tarps were blocking the drains, so the garden flooded, back into the penthouse, down the lift shaft, and into the restaurant I worked. Chaos.
2 years later, I'm working in a different hotel, same city. The restaurant had a fountain in it. I come in to open up one morning, and the restaurant is flooded. Gardener has turned on the fountain tap to refill and forgot to turn it off.
It was the same gardener.
23. Tattoo artist
I'm a tattoo artist and I have two stories.
So these two things weren't like f**k ups that had a massive impact on a lot of people, but something that required immediate removals and getting fired from their jobs.
We had a new apprentice, maybe on the job less than two weeks. We already took the time and showed him everything related to his daily/weekly work, so he was familiar with the job duties.
First time he attempted to clean the metal tubes and piercing equipment that we kept in the 'clean room' before going in the autoclave, he didn't wear gloves. He got like two tubes cleaned of excess ink before I caught him and I explained that whenever he deals with any equipment, he needs to wear gloves because there is a fuckton of s**t that can go south (AIDS, Hep, Staph).
Instead of just admitting his mistake, he grabs the metal brush he was using, starts rubbing it on his hand hard as f**k and says "Dude that s**t is so rare, I dont know why you'd even worry about it" i stared at him blankly for about 10 seconds and told him to grab all his s**t and get the f**k out and don't bother coming back.
Second one; Had a 'street tattoo artist' coming in to do an apprenticeship. We were gonna let him still work with his clients he already had under our supervision, but not work on people coming into the shop ('walk ins' as they are called) and he would still be incharge of cleaning and normal apprenticeship s**t even though he was gonna still work a couple tattoos a month.
Within the first month I should him how to make his own shading ink and keep it stored properly so he didnt have to keep mixing his color for every cap of shading ink he needed to pour.
Yeah, well I walked into the shop early the next day for an appointment and found him standing over the sink we cleaned the metal tubes in (the one from the above post) using the metal tube scrubber to clean out excess ink from an old plastic bottle of red ink. I said "what the f**k are you doing, thats unsanitary, you need to throw that plastic bottle now."
And once again instead of just admitting the mistake, literally turned to me straight faced and said "What the customer don't know won't hurt em" to which I responded "No, thats the exact type of s**t that will not only hurt them but potentially kill them." And promptly told him to grab his s**t, get out and don't come back.
24. 911 operator
Was a 911 operator. I quit when I realized the job wasn't for me, because it's not a job you can half-a*s.
Anyway, we had a new guy who didn't take the job seriously at all.
One time somebody called and said they were paranoid that people were listening to their phone calls and their thoughts. This guy was calling from a neighboring city, so new guy had to transfer him to an operator at the neighboring city.
Once the call is connected, you have to hang up, since it's no longer your call. But new guy thought "this call's too interesting" and decided to mute himself and listen on the line. The operator is assuring the caller that nobody's listening to his calls and thoughts, and at this point new guy goes, "Ah this is boring," and hangs up, which makes a loud audible **click**.
Now the caller is going into a paranoid meltdown because **somebody actually was listening to his calls**.
Didn't personally see it, but my MIL' s doctor (family doctor/general practitioner) forgot the fax with her lung scan report. Next time she was there (about 6 months after the scan) she asked: "BTW, what did that report say?" "What report???" "From my scan?!"
*Searches in a huge stack of unsorted papers on an untidy desk* "Oh." Well, she had lung cancer and nearly died because her treatment started 6 months late.
26. $30,000 art mistake
Make a $30,000 art mistake. Misspelled text on a tee shirt that was produced for costco and the spelling error was only realized after 15k shirts were made. Really the opportunity cost probably bumped that up to about $60,000 since the shirts couldnt be remade in time.
It was me about 10 years ago.
Edit: about 3 months after this i got a promotion to mid management. The handling of this error probably caused this. I owned up to it and took full responsibility. A mistake of this magnitude is a humbling thing. To this day i wont hire or promote someone into a high level leadership role unless theyve made a big a*s humbling mistake at some point, and owned it.
A nurse friend told me a colleague hadn’t been checking the PH aspirate from a baby’s Nasogastric tube (meant to do before every tube feed to make sure it’s positioned correctly etc) baby ended up passing away because the tube had actually been passed into the lungs not the stomach due to an unknown cut being made during intubation the baby had previously had.So she had been feeding the milk into the lungs and essentially drowned the baby.
28. Scrap metal
There was a company in rural New York in the late 1960's that took scrap metal, melted it down in big coal-fired crucibles and made home decor pieces - doorstops that looked like little dogs, bookends, that kind of thing. Not a huge profit margin but their materials were cheap and they had a steady market.
An industrial consultant convinced them to transition to electric furnaces - significant up front expense, but much lower ongoing operating costs. The consultant even designed the new electric crucibles for the company.
The company president had been thinking of expanding operations, so asked the industrial consultant to double the size of the electric crucible designs. The consultant did so, but made a mistake with the cube-square law in designing the supports for the crucibles.
The first time the double-sized (but about four times as heavy) crucibles were filled with scrap and fired up they collapsed, flooding the factory floor with molten pot metal and chunks of wrecked equipment. The company went straight to bankruptcy.
29. Truck giveaway
A local dealership was promoting a contest where they would give away a truck. I was driving around with my parents who were visiting from out of state when we hear the commercial for the give away on the radio. The drawing was in about 15 minutes, and we were right there, so we stopped in and put our names in the collection bin.
I watched them take the bin upstairs out of sight of the crowd. They had clearly selected the winner in the back room and announced that if the winner was not present, they will contact them for the winnings.
So they chose a winner ….that was clearly from out of state. But what they didn’t realize, was that it was my mom visiting for the weekend.
She walks right up to the announcer, showed her license, and said, I’m so happy I won the truck! The look on their faces was priceless!
For the next couple of weeks, the dealership tried everything to not give us the truck, It was clear that they had no idea how to even give away the truck.
But we prevailed. And I’m happy to say it we loved the truck!
Every job has its own set of responsibilities, no matter if it is a simple or complex job. It is important to understand the duties associated with a job and to take them seriously. Responsibilities can range from completing tasks and projects, interacting with customers, adhering to safety and security protocols, following established procedures and protocols, and meeting deadlines.
It is also important to be able to take the initiative when needed and to be able to problem solve and make decisions. Additionally, it is important to be able to work as a team player and to be able to communicate effectively with others.
Responsibilities can also include working in a fast-paced environment, having excellent organizational skills, and managing time and resources.