General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

What is your worst on the job mistake?

Asked by Aethelwine (41212points) February 20th, 2009 from iPhone

It was the first week for me as a front desk clerk at a hotel. I worked third shift and it was nearing 5am, so of course I had a large cup of coffee. That cup of coffee ended up spilling all over the keyboard. My boss was so upset, but luckily I still had a job to come back to the following day.

Not so bad I guess. I’m sure some of you can top that.

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58 Answers

mrswho's avatar

The only job I’ve ever had was as a grocery bagger. Sometimes I would forget to put people’s groceries in their cart. People went hungry because of me. It keeps me up at night… all those starving people…

Judi's avatar

I chose the wrong colors and painted 128 unit apartment building an awful color of turquoise. Cost thousands to fix.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Judi You must have felt terrible.

@mrswho Shame on you!

autumn43's avatar

I accidentally hit ‘respond all’ to an email and um, said things that I thought only the recipient was going to read! Holy carp it was awfully embarassing!! The ‘respond all’ was the wholec company.

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

Breaking up with the boss’s daughter.

Judi's avatar

@Johnny_Rambo ; are you sure it wasn’t dating the bosses daughter in the first place?

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Judi OMG, didn’t you KNOW that was the wrong color in the first place??? That sounds horrible. LOL

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

No Judi, things were fine up to that point, I was even in line for a promotion, so much for that. She was a nut-case. Daddy didnt like dat !

jbfletcherfan's avatar

As for MY bad mistake, I was going to put a new bottle of toner in the copier one day. It was in one of those biiiggg tall milk bottle things. I got it on there backwards & couldn’t get it off. We had to call the repairman to come out & fix it. I was duly embarassed & apologetic. I did feel a little better, tho, when he said it’d been done many times by other people.

buster's avatar

I worked at a BBQ restaurant. I was running the rotisserie smokers. The ribs were only supposed to smoke four hours. I left 200 slabs of ribs in one of the smokers all night. They were burnt. My boss was pretty mad.

Aethelwine's avatar

@buster wasted ribs :(

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

Buster, thats a sin man,,,wasted BBQ ribs….oh my God !

mjchatter's avatar

I worked for a small photo studio and put an ad in the newspaper for a Special Deal and put my HOME phone number instead of the studio number. THAT was fun!

ubersiren's avatar

When I worked at a hotel, once I forgot to take a guest’s room payment when I checked him in. He basically stayed in a $250 room for free. So stupid….

charliecompany34's avatar

lost a bullet-proof vest. don’t ask.

Aethelwine's avatar

@ubersiren When I was working at that hotel, I let my boyfriend (now husband), stay in a vacant room so that I could periodically visit him throughout the night. It was a mistake that didn’t get caught, thankfully!

Aethelwine's avatar

@charliecompany34 You can’t say “don’t ask” without a bunch of us asking “come on, please tell!”.

laureth's avatar

When I worked at a bank, one of my jobs was proofreading the bit at the bottom where they encode the amount for which a check was written. (It’s on the bottom right, underneath the signature.)

One time I misread the encoding and saw “000000000880” when what was really there was “000800000880” and just sent it on through. Because of this, somebody’s checking account was overcharged by eight million dollars. (Hey, it was midnight shift, so this probably happened about 3am when I was pretty bleary.)

Everything was taken care of, but it was kind of embarrassing.

Aethelwine's avatar

@laureth I almost feel bad for laughing my arse off right now! :P

miasmom's avatar

I have several. Two of the worst are the following and both happened at the junior high I used to teach at.

1. I was making an overhead transparency for my class and I didn’t know there are two kinds of transparencies…1 for the xerox machine and 1 not. You got it, I used the not ok for a xerox machine…had to call out the repair man to fix it, but even more so it was really embarrassing and no one else could use the copier until it got fixed.

2. We had these testing materials to prepare the kids for standardized tests…well all of that was done with and they were back in one of my cupboards. I was cleaning house (I hate keeping things I don’t need) and so I tossed them one day. How ironic that over the weekend my boss emailed us all and said she needed them back, apparently the district had paid big bucks for them and they all needed to be accounted for. I was so ashamed when I came in Monday morning and had to tell her I had thrown them out. She never let me forget it, but was very gracious about it.

tinyfaery's avatar

I worked for a few years as a counselor at a residential treatment facility for adolescent girls with Borderline Personality Disorder. I had to deal with cutters and suicidal teenage girls. Unfortunately, it’s easy to make mistakes in situations where reason and control are comprised. My mistake was trusting too much; it ended with a trip to the emergency room. For her, not me.

FiRE_MaN's avatar

i do matenance work at a school. and one day we went to lunch and didnt start back to work after lunch.. we just watched troy in one of the classrooms haha then like two hours after lunch bossman walks in on us.

loser's avatar

I mixed up the feeding instructions for a family and put that the lab was supposed to get 1/2 cup of food twice a day, and the pug 2 cups twice a day. Luckily the person doing the meals was paying attention. I almost made one pug very full and happy and, oh the poor lab!

iwamoto's avatar

when replacing memory in a mac mini, i sometimes forget to reconnect the little fan wire on the front, broke one connector already, oh man…

other stuff isn’t that bad, lucky me, oh, i remember reassembling a macbook pro, pressing the power button, nothing happend and at that moment the little voice in my head said “dude, you forgot to reconnect the logicboard connector” oh man, it wasn’t bad, but sooo stupid since i subconsciously knew already…

augustlan's avatar

I wiped the hard drive. Twice. Thank god for Norton Utilities.

At the same job, we had a big white board with dry erase markers in a long tray underneath it. For fun one day, I drew a huge ladybug on the board with a red marker… a red permanent marker. In my defense, what the hell was a permanent marker doing in the dry erase board tray?

critter1982's avatar

Accidentally sent my tooling designer the wrong computer aided drafting model, which ended up with us building tooling for the wrong design. In the end it cost my company about $120,000 to fix. It was a huge mistake, one that I know I will never make again, because if I did I’m sure my ass will be on the street.

When I was 16 I worked as a vendor in the Hershey Arena. During Sesame Street on Ice I accidentally bumped my pretzel box which was carrying about 20 snowcones, 10 cokes, some water, and lemonade into a little maybe 6ish year old girl. I spilled all of my refreshments all over the girl. Her mom was incredibly pissed, but I gave them the special treatment the rest of the night bringing them free food and drinks during every intermission. I felt so bad.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I forgot to put an actor’s show on the calendar at the theater I worked for and didn’t double check the calendar before posting it. No one spotted the omission.

Then came the night of the performance.


Of course I was fired! You kiddin’?

susanc's avatar

30 little tall prissy glasses of brightly colored expensive liqueurs on one tray.
High heels.
Rumpled carpet in unfamiliar restaurant bar.
My first night cocktail waitressing.
Big fat man in pristine white shirt with his back to me.
Jackson Pollock.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

In the olden days I worked in a shoe store. Those were the days when you actually measured a customers feet and helped them put the shoes on and tied them for them. Well, one day one of the cool kids from our high school came in looking for running shoes and of course I was the one who had to help her. Condescending little bitch. Anyway, she chose a pair to try and I got them and helped her put them on. As I am doing so she makes all sorts of snide comments to her friend she was with “too bad some kids have to work real jobs” and “I figured she would like stinky feet” shit like that. In them thar days running shoes had these really long shoe laces. So as she chatted with her bitch pal I tied both of her shoes to the foot stool. The laces were long enough to let her put her feet down off the stool, but as she got up to walk oooppppssss…...trip, stumble and fall. It was perfect.

madcapper's avatar

Just recently, I work as a server at a movie theatre that serves food and drinks like a restaraunt, and I was looking at my digital order pad and wasn’t paying attention and missed a step and fell in front of a whole theatre of people haha

autumn43's avatar

Here’s another brilliant moment…. This was when I was in high school. I worked in the Ladies Dept. of a local department store. I had gone to the service desk to get a whole carriage full of clothes to put away at the end of the night. I was not happy and sent the carriage for a ride – right into the three way mirror. Shattered the whole middle mirror. Terrified, I immediately went to the manager and told on myself. Luckily, she liked me.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Sueanne_Tremendous Oh, that’s priceless! Good for you. Too bad you don’t have the film on that one! LOLLLLL

fireside's avatar

I did a some light mechanical work for a while back in college and during my first week I hadn’t quite gotten my system down yet.

I pulled this car in, drained the oil, pulled the tires off and rebalanced them, pulled the brakes off, put new pads on the shoes, applied the new brakes, rotated the tires before putting them back on, dropped the card, closed the ood and pulled it around to the front.

Luckily, the customer didn’t get out of the parking lot before noticing an alert light, so we checked it out and put oil in since I didn’t do that before giving it back to them.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@fireside Just a minor detail.

Judi's avatar

@jbfletcherfan ; I actually liked the color but I guess no one else did. Not only did we have to fix it, but we lived with it for a couple of years and our occupancy suffered because of it. I was trying to “get out of the box,” but it doesn’t always pay. :-(

fireside's avatar

@jbfletcherfan – I was just trying to get them prepared early for more energy efficient cars that didn’t need oil.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Judi It does sound like quite a color scheme. What color were the ceilings? Peach? LOLLLLLLLLLLL

@fireside I think those cars need oil, tho, too. :-)

Judi's avatar

@jbfletcherfan ; It was the outside of the building. It was a dark green with a bit of a blueish hint to it. A light trim and burgundy accents. The building is now a beige brown with the burgundy trim and accents. It looks like the rest of the buildings in the neighborhood. (That’s what I wanted to get rid of. ) Oh Well. Occupancy is back up again, and It’s behind me. Big big mistake.

chyna's avatar

@Judi Apparently your town just wasn’t ready for your artistic eye. It’s a shame, it sounded pretty.

wundayatta's avatar

Burning down a field full of cow food.

steelmarket's avatar

Agreeing to manage people that I did not hire.
Must tell you that they were engineers.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Having sex in the walk-in freezer and nearly avoiding getting caught. Hooking up in a coworker’s car a few blocks from the restaurant and actually getting caught.

The job-related ones were not that bad at all… mostly just sending the wrong food to the wrong people, getting phone numbers wrong, making the wrong food, forgetting ingredients, dropping things… but I think the worst was accidentally making a hole in the floor or using stainless steel cleaner on the front of our gas oven, causing the whole thing to go up in flames for a little bit.

wundayatta's avatar

@TitsMcGhee: Come on! Ya gotta tell us about the sex in the freezer! Did your ass stick to the beef? I hope to god you didn’t run into any metal with that cute ass of yours, ‘cause it surely would have torn off a bit of skin!

how come nothing like that happened to me when I was a dish washer???

chyna's avatar

@daloon I’m thinking I should’ve worked in a restaurant, maybe life would have been more exciting.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@daloon: Haha, it wasn’t that eventful, just a quickie with most of our clothes left on. There were shelves along the wall that we kinda leaned against if we needed to, but we managed to stay standing. It all happened because an employee quit on us and we were very stressed for a few hours, but once everything got sorted out, we need a little tension release, and voila! We had been hooking up before that, and it all seemed pretty sweet of him, because I was getting something out of the freezer, and he came in behind me. We left the door open too (it locks when you close it and you can’t get out from the inside), so we were EXTRA lucky that no one saw us.

wundayatta's avatar

@TitsMcGhee: You know, you see that in movies all the time—about where freezer lock behind you and you can’t get out, but I find it hard to believe that happens in real life. Isn’t it just asking for trouble? Surely them must build them with inside latches now!

@chyna, now that I think about it, I had another career, but, even in the early 80’s, it was still pretty wild, hook-up-wise. Talk about getting caught (or not)... I recall doing it once in the back part of a station wagon, while two women were in the front seat. My “friend” had a hole in her pants in a very strategic place, so neither of us had to remove any clothing.

chyna's avatar

@daloon damn, my life was way too tame.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@daloon: Most of the people I worked with were guys who fell into that “older brother” type category, and they LOVED to lock me in the freezer. It definitely happens. There is a way to get out (there is a rod you have to put through the lock), but if they take the rod (and they definitely did), you’re screwed until someone lets you out.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@TitsMcGhee – Lurve for the phrasing of the last two-thirds of that last sentence. Hahahaha!

laureth's avatar

Screwed with the rod in the freezer, screwed if they take the rod out of the freezer. You just can’t win!

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@laureth: Story of my life. Lurve for that.

Judi's avatar

@TitsMcGhee ; I’m never eating in a restaraunt again.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@Judi: If it helps (or hurts, in this case I guess…), far worse things have happened for sure. And we didn’t screw ON any food, I promise…

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