What is the Dumbest thing you have done at work????

I will start. I just broke the screen on a 24inch LCD monitor that did not belong to me. I then had to tell the person that it belonged to, only to find out that she was borrowing it from someone so I had also go talk to them. I know that they are not overly expensive, but when times are tight you can’t spend any money. Not even the $500 need to replace the monitor.

Oh well. Let’s hear some of your stories. I know there has to be some good ones out there.

Forgot my laptop at home on a day that I biked in… had to turn around and get it. I haven’t been there very long, so I’m sure there are worse blunders to come :laughing: .

When I was in high school I worked at a car dealership. My boss had just bought a new Benz CLS the first week they were out for sale and had me detail it for him. I pulled it into the wash bay out of the afternoon sun and started spraying it down… the cold water cracked the hot windshield almost immediately. Luckily my boss was a great guy and went through the dealership channels to get it replaced without making me pay for it.

I have some crazy stories from that dealership where I ended up on the short end of the stick, but none of them were really my fault so I guess they’re for another post.

Lost the only key to the safe we keep all our high end camera equipment in.

Thankfully someone had saved the manual with the key reorder codes or I would’ve been completely screwed.

I worked at a large design oriented manufacturer when I was younger and they would bring an outside “name” designer over from Italy to oversee yearly design reviews. The design director was a great guy and asked me to give him a ride to the airport at the end of the week… I think he thought it’d be a good experience for me. I had just gotten out of school and had still had my college car, an old Celica that was starting show it’s age and had a worn down CV joint. I spent the entire Friday morning out in the parking lot vacuuming my car and cleaning everything so it would be as nice as possible for him, and then when I drove him he looked so concerned about the clicking joint, we barely even spoke… It was so embarrassing - I should have just borrowed someone else’s car

Great stories. Makes me feel better for trashing someone else’s stuff. Travisimo, I know the feeling with the car. I used to have a beater for a pick-up and I had to drive my boss to a meeting after only being with the company for 2 weeks. You at least cleaned yours up. Mine was disaster inside and out. He look nervous to even get in the thing.

Well since you chimed in with stories about driving, I have another from that dealership job. This was really in no way any fault of mine, but I sure felt like it was. Its a long one too, but I think its pretty funny… maybe you’ll get some enjoyment out of commiserating.

I had been promoted from car wash detail to delivering parts and picking up customers in the dealer shuttle. One morning I had to bring a woman to her office downtown on the only highway going in that direction from the dealership. Before I left, the guy who previously had my job said “Have fun with Claire,” and laughed sarcastically. Claire was a particularly overweight woman, who apparently had a reputation I didn’t know about.

I dropped her off and she told me to be there at 5. I took both her office and her cell phone numbers down so I could call when I was on my way and again when I got there to pick her up.

It got to be around 4, I knew rush hour traffic would be bad so I left real early. Soon as I hit the highway there is some traffic stoppage up ahead. I don’t move anywhere for 30 minutes so I call her office to give her a headsup, it goes to her voicemail and I hang up. I try her cell, also goes to voicemail, I leave a message explaining the situation… and again call her office number, this time to leave another message. When I Identify myself a man picks up and tells me she already left for the day… 30 minutes early.

I call my boss to explain and ask if she called the dealership, he said no. I call her office again at about 4:50 and get the same coworker, saying she just came in and back out again. No cell answer still. I end up getting there at about 5:10 and call her office, this time she answers and says she’ll be right down.

She comes out, and before I can even say hello shes already screaming. Something about how she nearly had a heatstroke on the sidewalk waiting for me for an hour, and how the elevator was broken so she had to climb the stairs up and down 4 times… she claims to have called my boss and that “nobody had any idea where you were.” I tried to explain that I had called her a number of times, even left messages but nothing could convince her that her alternate reality was false. I even gave her the name of the guy I spoke to in her office, she then claimed (impossibly) that she was in the office the whole time and didn’t hear him.

I gather that I won’t be able to convince this woman of her insanity, so I just apologize and admit guilt. To which she replies “don’t say another f’ing word, I don’t want to hear it.” After a few minutes I try to apologize again, she says “what did I just say!” and swears at me again. So just say “absolutely,” and put on my STP CD. She shoots me a nasty look but doesn’t say anything.

We get near the exit for the dealership and I signal to turn off, when she tells me “No, you’re taking me home. I was going to the dealership, but you made me late and you have to stop at my house first.” I’m so confused and peeved right now but I hold my tongue.

I usually get off work around 4 because I would start the day around 6. It is now after 6 pm as we pull into her house, and my impatience is building. She says “Now you wait here, don’t move,” and disappears inside for a minute. She comes outside with a little shihtzu, takes 20 minutes to walk around the block, then puts the dog inside and gets back in the car. She sits down and says “thank you.” To alleviate the pressure of all that pent up anger, I let a sarcastic comment slip: “I’m just glad I could be some help.” She screams again about how she told me not to say anything.

Getting near 7 now we actually pull into the dealer, I drop her off and roll around back. I get into my bosses office and find him with the same coworker from the morning, at the same time one of the service reps walks in and says “Kevin, Claire wants to talk to you, says shes very upset.” My coworker says, like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy (or is it Black Sheep), “What’d you doooo?” and my boss just burst out laughing.

Now, I’ve been in fistfights, I’ve been in bad breakups, but I’ve never been as pissed as when my boss started laughing… I was angry for days.

In the early eighties I worked as a technical illustrator in the Engineering Development Group of a Space Shuttle contractor. It was the group’s responsibility to adapt hardware, and other equipment, that was in use at the Kennedy Space Center to use at Vandenberg Air Force Base. My task was to do the illustrations of proposed equipment. Work was conducted in a formal setting; everyone wore long-sleeved shirts and ties, with jackets worn during meetings.

All of this was pre-computer, pen and ink, on vellum days. Text was generated on a Kroy machine, trimmed off, and applied with an X-acto knife. The finished “art” was then photocopied and a transparency was burnt off of it for use as overhead protections for presentations at client meetings. The “client” was the Commanding General of the Western Test Range at the base.

I worked at a traditional drafting table that had a “pencil tray” across the front of it; it was a catch-all and everything ended up in it, pencils, erasers, Rapidographs, X-acto knives, etc. Having just finished a particularly complex drawing, I had laid an X-acto in the tray, mindlessly did a couple of other things … and with my arm resting on the tray while sliding another drawing from under a pile, my right elbow slid down the tray and jammed into the the X-acto knife … with a #11 blade in it … Jesus F-----g Christ !! Mu-th’r F----r!!!, etc. … instantaneously came out of my mouth loud, and clear (but mostly loud). I instinctively jerked away with the knife sticking out of my white-sleeved elbow … a secretary seeing this from not more than five feet away, came unhinged and screamed, “Oh, My God!!” (at least as loud, and as if it was her arm) and the Engineering Group Manager came running out of his adjacent office to see what the hell was going on.

By this point I had recovered enough to pull the damned thing out of my elbow … which was, as it turned out, a bad thing to do. Blood started dripping everywhere, but mostly on the newly completed master artwork that was scheduled for presentation in about forty minutes. And that’s how it was presented, although the “red” was now transposed to black on the overhead projection.

A great day … and it was only 08:45.

hmm… hope this won’t come back to bite me :slight_smile:

Was on a sales trip to present the new collection in Miami to all of the Latin American country managers and sales people. As usually happens on these sales trips, after the meetings for the day, we all went out to dinner and for a long night of drinks. Being pretty young at the time (I think I was 2 years or so out of school), I naturally drank a bit too much given it was all comped by the company and the fun of partying in Miami.

Thing was, I had a flight the next morning (only me) to from Miami to Toronto, then the next day to Ottawa to get a visa for the Czech Republic that I would be leaving for a few days after that. I came back to the hotel maybe around 4am, and my flight the next day was scheduled for 10ish. I figured I could grab a few zzz’s (I already packed before we went out for the night). Big mistake. I woke up at 9:45 and nearly had a heart attack! I think about 3L of sweat immediately poured out of my entire body. Seriously I was instantly dripping all over! I called our travel office and they arranged a redeye flight for me later that night, with a 3 hour window to the flight I was supposed to go on to Ottawa. I took the flight, met my parents at the airport with a bag they packed for me (all I had was shorts and summer stuff for Miami, but it was the middle of winter and -30C in Ottawa - I wasn’t going without pants and a jacket). It all worked out, but was certainly a pretty hectic and embarrassing ordeal.

Then there was this time (another sales meeting, a different company) in Zurich where I managed to sever the tendons in my hand and needed emergency surgery (lucky it wasn’t the drawing hand), while also spraining my ankle. Coming back into the office with a huge arm cast and one on my leg, sure got a lot of looks! I just said “you should have seen the other guy!” (really there was no other guy, it was all just a bad accident), but I didn’t live that one down for a while…


R I know the feeling with a nice loose night of drinking on the company. Hopefully this will not come back to bite me too. :smiley: The first year I was working out college I was on the job for about 4 months and the company decided to send the whole group to Vegas for Pack Expo, which is a big packaging and machinery show. About 2 months before we went there was a re-organization in the company and our new director thought that it would be a good idea for us all to put together presentation that we would give in Vegas on what we are working on and what our background was sort of as an opportunity for everyone to introduce themselves to the new team.

At this point I was probably in my really early twenties and still had my college party hat on, but I was not the only one. They had hired about 5 of us all around the same time all fresh out of school. When we got to Vegas all of us forgot about work and our first day there we thought it would be a great idea to go out and party like rock stars forgetting about the fact that we had to give a presentation to not only our peers and the director of our group. We got in really late or early the next morning depending on how you want to look at it and had to in the conference room to give our presentation at 7 am.

We all look like a bunch of walking zombies. The presentation went as good as to be expected but I still talk to those guys and the managers and still have yet to live that down but I did find out that they where probably just in as bad of shape as me. I guess that is what happens when you have a meeting in Vegas. Now that I am older I have not done that again and look back a think damn that was stupid, but it was a fun night.

Forgot to pick up a client at O’Hare. She was waitting at the curb, tapping her toe. Traffic has heavy and needless to say it was a long 45 minutes back to the office.

Non-design, I paid for college by landscaping. At one job in the course of a week I used a back-hoe to tear out the cable and electric line with one hole I was digging and the gas line with another hole. I then backed the dump truck into a pickup and crushed its hood. My boss said I did more damage in one week than in the ten years he was in business.

Surely not the dumbest, but pretty funny: I was fresh out of school and working on a joint-project between our Milwaukee and Chicago offices. I was told to “drive half-way and meet a designer from the other office at the Cracker Barrel” to hand-off deliverables. I sat in that parking lot for at least two hours before finding a public phone and calling the office. Turns out the other designer was waiting at a different Cracker Barrel on HIS side of the freeway, about 5 miles away. Doh!

The worst part is the other guy blamed me, I guess because I had the ball. Thank God we’ve got mobile phones today…

Printed thousands of business cards and posters for a convention with a misspelling in the logo. My graphic designer sent me a logo with the word mechanical spelled Mechanichal and I didn’t catch it. I triple check everything now.

Wow, big bring back on this topic. While on vacation I once replied all when I meant to reply to just the sender… sounds harmless… except the reply was an HR issue I was tacking and instead of me getting the one person in the loop on a sensitive issue I ended up getting about 300 people in the loop. Luckily I was sufficiently vague in the email but it was embarrassing to say the least. I’m thorough about checking who is on the reply list now… my wife says it was payback for working while on vacation.

Well, there was that time I hired this guy…