People Confess Their Most Horrific Workplace Mistakes

Medical Leave Gone Wrong

Image: Compliance Poster Company

A young accountant (around 24) made an appointment to see her manager. Both parties agree that she informed him that she would be having surgery the following day to remove and biopsy a tumor. She wanted to discuss the status of her projects and develop a coverage plan for while she was on medical leave. He wanted her to delay her surgery until after a certain project was complete.

While she was walking to Human Resources to apply for a medical leave of absence, her manager followed her and screamed at her about being insubordinate and insisted that he would fire her if she didn’t return to her desk immediately. She calmly stated that this was a medical emergency and the timing of the surgery was non-negotiable, so he fired her. In front of the director of Human Resources.

He was terminated the next day (which I did not witness). She returned to work once she had recovered enough to do so (about a month later if memory serves).



Fire Extinguisher Fiasco

Image: Safety and Health Magazine

Years ago, I worked for a government contractor in a torpedo manufacturing plant. The electronics were assembled in a cleanroom, which is a pressurized room that keeps dust out, and employees had to wear special suits and masks so as not to contaminate the goods. Two dudes in their 20s worked in there, and they were a couple of idiots.

Well, one day they decided, for reasons only they could explain, that it would be fun to have a fire extinguisher fight. They blasted the extinguisher material all over the cleanroom, including the precious torpedo electronics and associated million-dollar pick-and-place robot. Management was displeased, to say the least.



Boss Trouble

Image: Inc.

Our desks were separated by a 5-foot cubicle wall. My boss was under the mistaken impression that it totally blocked sound. Thus, I got to hear all his loud phone conversations, primarily his booty calls including those with his boss’s fiancé. I figured it was none of my business and tried to ignore it. Well, there was a position in another department that I was interested in and as per procedure, I handed in an application to my talkative boss.

I didn’t hear anything further and followed up a couple of days later, only to be told that something must have happened to the application. I filled out another one and handed it in. As I return to my desk, I hear the boss on the phone with a friend laughing about how he had just trashed my application again and how he was never going to let go of me.

I go to my boss’s boss and angrily offer my resignation, telling him what I had just overheard, explaining that I was constantly hearing his phone calls like his booty calls with <woman’s name> and <woman’s name> and <boss’s boss’s fiance’s name>. He got very quiet and told me to go back to my desk and he’ll take care of everything. The next day I come in and the boss is gone.

The day after, I have an interview with the other department (got the position). I tend to avoid office drama, but really, he should have stuck to screwing his boss’s fiancé, and not tried to screw me as well.


Allergic Reaction

Image: iStock

Well, when I worked as a waitress, there was this guy who was allergic to mushrooms. So, he ordered a bacon and egg omelet and I put in a memo saying, “No mushrooms allergic.” As if out of spite, the kitchen left one shred of mushroom in the guy’s omelet. The guy had a reaction, but luckily it wasn’t so bad that he needed to be hospitalized. I apologized profusely but I’m sure he probably thinks I tried to kill him.