35 Of The Stupidest Mistakes People Have Seen Their Coworkers Make

Published 8 months ago

It’s a given that we all make mistakes because no one is totally perfect. Mistakes on the job are also usually quite common and somewhat acceptable, especially in the beginning when you consider the learning curve people have to go through. But while some human error is to be expected, some people can really surprise you with the mistakes they make. 

Indeed, when things go wrong there is quite a high chance we might get overwhelmed and react in an irrational or stupid manner but according to these Redditors’ experiences, these particular coworkers should have probably come with a warning sign. Scroll below for a humorously entertaining yet mildly frustrating collection of stories of the dumbest things people have seen their coworkers doing on the job. 

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Image source: zyygh, Tima Miroshnichenko

He opened a Skype window (yes, this was ~10 years ago) and started messaging me to s**t-talk a person who was in the same call as us.

Except, he forgot he was sharing his screen.


Image source: downfallndirtydeeds, Lukas Lukas

A guy I worked with sent a spreadsheet round with all the women in the office ranked in a spreadsheet and graded overall based on 1-5 scores on ‘tits’ ‘a**e’ ‘legs’ ‘F**kability’ and ‘banter’ He was somehow shocked he didn’t pass his probation


Image source: -Words-Words-Words-, Jean-Daniel Francoeur Jean-Daniel Francoeur

Late 90’s, I was a custodian in a NYC public school to pay for college. One of my coworkers accidentally spilled about 15 gallons of gasoline in the school parking lot. He didn’t want to get in trouble for spilling that much gas so he thought the best course of action was to burn off the gasoline. Of course gasoline burns with huge billows of black smoke so he panics and tries to put out the fire BY DRIVING HIS CAR OVER THE GIANT PUDDLE OF BURNING GASOLINE. Fire department shows up within minutes and sees him doing donuts in the giant fire and they spend a whole hour screaming at my coworker about how f*****g stupid he was.

Edit: and in 1997 when this happened, gas was 97¢ a gallon. He could have replaced all the gas for less than $15.


Image source: emby5, Vaibhav Joshi

Office manager pitched the idea of having a live shooter drill, and not telling anyone in advance.


Image source: Lichruler, Nathan Salt

Taking out and using a vape pen in a clean room area that had an acid hood with butanol, nitric acid, and hydrofluoric acid in it.

Suffice to say he wasn’t employed for long after that.


Image source: WillardFist, GSB

Put a bunch of freshly sharpened knives in a sink that was full of soapy water and didn’t tell anyone. Another coworker got like 5 large cuts on his hand while reaching in to start cleaning dishes.


Printed the boss’ face in the toilet so people don’t pee on the floor. ?

Image source: Suitable_Ad_5386


Image source: Dogstar23, Anna Tarazevich

Colour the background of a word dock blue so she could get a blue piece of paper.

The blue paper was right next to the printer and had been there for months.

She printed daily.


Image source: Lizzy_Of_Galtar, cottonbro studio

I asked one of the new kids to stack the shoe department.

Easy if but a bit boring. I showed her, stack by brand then size, big at the bottom, small top yeah?

She decided to organise it by the color of the boxes instead because it looked prettier.

Took me hours to fix that mess.


Image source: Idontfeelold-much, Antoni Shkraba

After checking the correct lock-out tag-out procedure was followed, I assured an employee that it was safe to change dies on a horizontal press. But he was skeptical so unbeknownst to anyone he put a piece of tooling steel about the size of a coffee can under the die base. Some of you know where this is going.
He made the tooling change, forgot his “safety measure”, and cycled the press. We all heard a $400k press eat itself in a fantastic swan-song of a noise that would take Stephen King four pages to describe.


I saw a tattooist I worked with tattoo “Laugh now cry Ladder” across a guy’s chest…He was let go/ and a few years later a guy came in with “Warior” across his upper back in bold letters wanting it fixed. Same tattooist lol.

Image source: hurrythisup, Bethany Ferr


Image source: CwAbandon, Max Avans

In high school, working at a Chinese restaurant, was there basically to take orders and bus tables. Another dude I vaguely knew from high school got hired there. Nice, popular dude, but not much common sense. Within his first two weeks, he went to make himself some food (we were allowed to do that to a certain extent), and he dropped some wontons into the deep fryer. When he decided they were done, and as we were having a conversation, he just REACHED HIS HAND into the oil to retrieve it. I don’t think I even reacted for a moment or two, and then rushed forward. He somehow ALSO didn’t react for a moment or two before pulling his hand out and yelling out a cartoon-style “YEEOUCH!”

He went to the hospital, and quit the job.


We just had a high voltage KVA transformer installed in my warehouse, I asked the electricians to install it high so it wouldn’t be hit by a hi-lo. About 3 hours later one of my managers decided to hop on a sit down hi-lo and move some freight. He was not trained nor given permission to drive this machine. Well as luck would have it he flies past my office with the forks extended high. Yep, he punctured the transformer and boy what a spark show. He actually bent one of the forged blades which I have never seen before. He knocked out the power for our building and the surrounding neighborhood. He survived the incident luckily but I fired him on the spot. Good times…

Image source: skullfrucker


Image source: WitShortage, fauxels

Admit to not having spoken to any of the business stakeholders, but instead “made up their own story.”

This was at the end of what was supposed to have been a four-week information-gathering phase of the project.

That afternoon, when one of the managers went to escort her from the premises, they found her by the printer with a stack of confidential documents.


Image source: Pedantichrist, Mike Bird

Get a four gang extension lead, plug a computer and monitor into it, take the plug around a pillar, looking for somewhere to plug it in, and plug it into itself.

And get distressed that it did not work.


Image source: psych0h0sebeast, Rodolfo Gaion

I had a coworker that smelled of booze at 7am.

Supervisor told him he smelled like booze, and made a couple of “get lost/go hide somewhere” remarks.

Coworker was offended, and *demanded* to be given a breathalyzer.

Coworker blew hot and was terminated. The end.


Image source: 2gecko1983, ELEVATE

Telling the manager on duty, “I’m not the one eating it, so why should I care?” when the manager was trying to explain to her how to correctly prepare a customer’s food.


Image source: whitewolfdogwalker, RDNE Stock project

This guy had a good high paying job with a pension, was there about 5 years, good worker, he was finding and watching [adult content taboo beyond any set of morals] on the company computer on company time! The cops visited! His life went downhill fast.


Image source: mwcraft, ELEVATE

Running a walk behind crown stacker in a stock room. Stock room was separated from warehouse and receiving dock with 10’ door ways and a big wall covered in plywood. This idiot had just put up a pallet and didn’t lower the forks enough, and completely nailed the wall with the forklift. Luckily all cosmetic damage but it was dumb af

It was me. I was the coworker.


I was working in a little shack in a construction yard that stored tools and equipment. One of the shop guys walked over with two full jerry cans and a smoke in his mouth.
Even the token yard idiot came over and was like “wtf is wrong with you?”

Image source: Danger_Dee


I’m fairly certain we could all agree that a backup of anything is a physical replica of an item or data file, preferably placed in a location foreign to that of the original so that the unavailability of one does not affect the availability of the other.

With this in mind, I once asked a guy to backup the contents of an entire server on to another server. He was meant to spend a few hours completing this activity and verifying it had all been copied in full without any data corruption.

I come back the next day to find a shortcut in server 2 that was pointing to the folder in server 1.

This same guy knocked the Production servers over the weekend and didn’t tell anyone. Our company was fined $250,000 USD.

This same guy once logged into another server to complete some maintenance work and got hit with a Windows update notification. He accepted the update, got locked out and had to wait over an hour for the update and reboot to complete.

This guy wasn’t fired, he is now the Tech Lead in another team.

Image source: TrepidatiousInitiate


Image source: saves313, Malte Luk Malte Luk

I once watched a fellow auto technician attempt to clean up the threads on an axle nut he marred up with a giant tap on a pneumatic impact gun while holding the nut in his hand. Needless to say, it slipped and tore the ever loving s**t out of his hand, requiring a hospital trip and several stitches.

He’s the only tech I’ve ever seen that was so careless and stupid that he damaged axle nut and driveshaft threads often enough that he actually went out and bought a tap and die set of whatever monstrous size those threads were. It was something like an M28x1.5.

Naz if you’re reading this, you’re a f*****g idiot.


Image source: Bellyheart, Rick Obst

Smoking in front of propane tanks after being told not to because one might be leaky. When I reminder her, she put her finger up to her mouth as if to shush me so the boss did not hear. She did not understand what the potential was and just thought it was a dumb rule.

She was not a smart woman.

She once asked if Virginia was between New York and New Jersey because an online man was telling her he’d pick her up on the way.

She was 51.

She also didn’t drink water because Pepsi had water in it and it made her more thirsty.


A hostess at a restaurant I worked at on college. The owner taught her how to use the register. When things slowed down we found her ringing in things into the register. She was ” practicing “. She rang in over $2,000 of nonexistent charges. Took the owner three hours to correct it after closing

Image source: toddfredd


Image source: darkslug, Andrea Piacquadio

Telling the senior operations person for the office that they would “take a sick day as an extra day of vacation”. To be clear, neither I nor the ops person really cared, but it was the equivalent of telling HR that you were fraudulently taking time off. Really boneheaded.

Also, this person started at the same time as me and then made a huge stink when I got promoted and they didn’t. Basically subtly accused our bosses of sexism..

The catch? You AUTOMATICALLY received a promotion upon completing a series of certification exams (which I had). She had not. It was the most unremarkable promotion in history and she decided it was a hill to die on. She quit a few months later.


Image source: LinusMeindl, Antonius Ferret

One dude once photocopied a slice of pizza. We found cheese and stuff inside the machine for weeks. Was pretty funny though.


Image source: TheShadowDemon247, Venkatesan P

At an old warehouse job, on this dudes first day he offered the general manager a cup of Hennessy he was drinking out of. Never seen someone get fired faster than that since.


There were 2 of us installing an air conditioner. He had a bit of work outside that required him going up a ladder about 3 or 4 feet, not high. I was inside doing wiring.

I heard a loud thud and scream, so I ran out to see what happened. He fell off the ladder. I’ve seen gruesome injuries from stupid thing like this before, so I ran outside to help him out. No injuries, he picked himself up and got back at it, I went back inside.

Five minutes later, same thing. I walked out to check on him again after a small fall. He was ok again, but I told him to chill out and watch what he’s doing. I went back inside.

Heard another thud from outside. He fell again. I just looked out the window the third time and went about my business.

Image source: DrVanNostrand6


Image source: BigTiddyOstrogothGF, Chokniti Khongchum

Worked with a lot of hazardous chemicals. Had a coworker who was notorious for being on his phone. We had to use a pump to put a hazardous chemical into a tank. Problem was you couldn’t look at the destination and pump the pump at the same time. Someone had to pump and someone had to watch. So I specifically asked said coworker to not look at his phone this one time. Tank overflowed and spilt the chemical everywhere because he was staring at his phone. Took hours to clean up.


Image source: MrFavorable, PNW Production

My best friend, he took his mop bucket and poured it down a water fountain instead of using the closet with a sink that was literally right next to the water fountain. He got fired the next day.


Image source: CatchMeIfYouCan09, Andrea Piacquadio

I’m a nurse; my MedAid (certified and licensed) dispensed one pain med at a dose prescribed under a different med; giving the patient 10x the recommended dose (and didn’t recognize the mistake for 6 hours) to a 90lb older lady. Luckily this woman’s organs were shutting down and didn’t metabolize the med; she had 12 doses of narcan. And was alive, awake, and chatty thru the entire ordeal. No lasting effect if essentially being overdosed.


He cupped a piece of wood in his hand and tried to cut through it with a skill saw. He set the depth on the blade so it was just enough to go through the wood without hitting his hand. It hit his hand. Luckily, the depth wasn’t enough to go all the way through, but it was still a hospital trip and a lot of stitches.

Image source: tristenjpl


Co-worker held a block of dry ice in her bare hands and asked, “what is this?” The box it came out of had a hazard sticker that said Dry Ice and then a bunch of cautions, like use gloves or tongs to pick up.

Image source: angelaelle


Image source: Express_Let8362, Dmitry Zvolskiy Dmitry Zvolskiy

Cutting his hair at the bar, he was the bartender…


Image source: smooze420, RDNE Stock project

Oh I got one. So I used to work corrections and I was training this new guy, it was way before our job formalized training, idk why it took so long. Anyway my shift supervisor asked how he was doing and I straight up told him that he wasn’t going to make it. There wasn’t anything specific just a gut feeling. I guess since I couldn’t articulate the exact reason the supervisor signed off that he was trained. About 2 mos later he is working outside in the rec yard with other COs. One of those COs was a female with a large chest that she liked to poke out. Well mosquitos were out and about and so the COs got into a game of slapping mosquitos off of each other. Well homie saw a mosquito right on one of ole girls boobs and instead of maybe just waving it off he open hand slapped the mosquito and left his hand there for about a full second before taking it off. Naturally she complained and he was let go the next day.

Not done yet. My brother is a retired firefighter and a couple of years after the boob slap incident my brother was sharing all of these funny stories of a relatively new guy they have in the dept. He says the guy is nice and works hard but when it comes to initiative and critical thinking skills it’s just not there. For instance at a fully engulfed house fire everyone is running around doing their thing like unrolling hoses or staging equipment like axes/pikes and he’s just kinda standing there watching the house burn. My brother who was a captain at the time tells ole dude to grab the fan off the truck, idk the technical term but it’s a big fan they put at the front door to blow oxygen out of the house. Well it’s a big heavy fan and has rollers and a telescoping handle similar to pieces of luggage. Dude gets it down and just sets it on the ground and goes back to watching the fire. My brother then has to tell him to bring the fan to the front door. Ole dude stares at the fan and doesn’t know what to do. My brother has to walk over there and pull the handle out and homie is like “ohhhh..ok”. Ole dude sets his axe down, that he’s been holding this whole time, in a ditch with tall grass, leans the fan forward and begins to drag it on the road. This not only tears the body of the fan up but the fan is heavy enough it’s tearing up the road a bit as well. Eventually someone points out the wheels and again he’s flabbergasted by the technology. All the stories my brother shared he never said his name but once and my head snapped. I described the guy and turns out it’s boob slap guy. I then told the boob slap story and my brother was like yup, that sounds about right.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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colleagues, coworker, dumb, job, mistakes, office, stupid, work, workplace
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