work screw ups, job screw ups

People Are Sharing Their “Massive” Work Screw-Ups (20 Stories)

We’ve all made a massive screw up at work. It’s all part of the human experience. Unfortunately, messing up at work never gets easier. You could be a fresh-faced college grad or a veteran with decades of experience. No matter what, it really sucks when you eff up on the job.

Redditor sspecZ wanted to hear the worst of the worst, which is why they asked “Redditors who massively f–ked up at work, what happened?”

Some are hilarious, while others are like watching the “Scott’s Tots” episode of The Office for the first time.

Here are the best of the best. 


“I worked in a pizza place and they caught me eating olives on camera. It wasn’t 2-3 olives, I could eat like a thousands in a shift, I really don’t know why and it’s a time in my life I want to forget” – mlorenzana12


“One of the managers where I work had the junior IT guy add a vacation auto-responder to his email and the confirmation window had a checkbox “Apply to inbox”. The manager never cleans his inbox and the IT guy decided to check that box.

Something like 10,000 emails were sent that day. Important clients (who he would have been conversing more often with) were getting multiple hundreds of vacation notifications. Nothing bad came from it and most of the clients were good-hearted about it. He was getting replies like “Frank, please stop. We KNOW you’re on vacation!” – splat313


“Working the stock room at MalWart, grabbed a pepsi pallet with the forklift and didn’t realize it was a short pallet. The forks came out the other side and through to the pallet of glass coke bottles it was up against. When I lifted the pepsi, the coke came up with it and dumped the entire unwrapped pallet of glass bottles spilling all that sticky soda on the floor.

That mess was hell to clean up. However the vendor had to eat the cost because that stores posted policy is that they cannot leave unwrapped pallets unless it is being worked.” – spaceduckcoast2coast


“Slammed a forklift into a camaro” – veemon657


“I dropped a screw inside the engine (edit:motor) of a TGV train. Oh god. We spent half an hour trying to catch it by moving a magnetic stick inside the crankshaft, with oil spilling everywhere.

The engine was new and about to be mounted on a train that was supposed to run later in the day, I was so terrified I would possibly cause quite a lot of trouble since no other train or engine was available. Shoutout to my manager who finally got that screw and definitely deserved his half a dozen of croissants the next morning.” – JPDLD


“I was new to SQL and accidentally mailed a list of people with deceased_date IS NOT NULL instead of IS NULL. So an entire marketing campaign was sent to dead people. That eventually led to our marketing tools being hard-coded not to mail dead people (which makes sense) but I was terrified when I found out.” – MikeRabsitch


“My first day working at a coffee shop I left my sharpie in the oven. Finally found it while trying to warm a sandwich and had to shut the whole thing down to be cleaned. It smelled like a chemical weapon.” – anexistentialpeanut


“Chemistry teacher here, on my first day of teaching I set my classroom on fire after some unfortunate incidents involving sodium, water and a glass tank. The problem was that the glass tank was too big, so the hydrogen gas got to build up to a decent amount. Then suddenly kaboom! The glass tank exploded, there was shattered glass everywhere and hit the students, who were all wearing safety glasses. A column of water grew from the glass tank to the ceiling and the ceiling started to burn.

After a few moments the fire died out and the fire alarm was loud and I had to make sure all of the students were ok. Which they were.

It ended up being one of my funniest classes to teach for many years. The students absolutely loved it, I was a bit of a nervous wreck for a few hours.

The worst thing in hindsight is all of the comments saying things like “you started your career with a bang” and stuff like that.” – FatChemistryTeacher


“The chef was angry that day. I was advised by my coworkers to do whatever it takes to get on his good side. I thought, “eh, I’ll just try to avoid him.”

He was standing in the cooler taking inventory. Beside him were the 5 gallon containers of prepped food. I sneaked in and tried to quickly grab the ranch container, but in my haste, I nudged another.

It was the french onion soup. All 5 gallons of it. On his pants and shoes.

Yes, he was upset. The prep girl was upset. I had 10 minutes til lunch service started. I have no idea how I’m still alive.” – Chazzyberry


“I was a nanny. A little 2 year old I was watching fell down and hit the back of her head on the concrete. I rushed over to her but she didn’t move or blink, just laid on her back motionless. I tried to check for breathing and pulse and pretty much blanked on everything I’d ever learned in CPR/first aid training in my panic.

She seriously looked dead. I screamed for help, the neighbors came running, I told them to call an ambulance. The police, fire department, ambulance showed up within minutes. She was rushed to the hospital and a million tests were run.

Turns out she barely even had a bruise, no concussion, no seizure, no injury, nothing. The doctor said she probably just got scared and froze, for just long enough for me to lose my shit. Her parents were charged 5,000 dollars to tell them their child got surprised.” – JamesandtheGiantAss