Dumb coworkers may make the day go longer, but they sure are entertaining. It’s just too bad they probably don’t realize it.
I’ve had some pretty dumb coworkers in my day, but none as bad as the stories people are sharing in this viral AskReddit thread.
What’s the dumbest mistake you’ve seen an incompetent co-worker make?
My wife worked at a gas station and found out her coworker, who had been there for years, had been refilling the napkin dispenser by cramming them one at a time through the front slot. She walked up and unfastened the back and apparently his jaw hit the floor. He had never considered that there might be a better way to do this.
Working in a pharmacy, a pharmacist gave a customer a flu shot and threw the used syringe in the container with the new syringes instead of the container to dispose of them. Another pharmacist went to grab a new syringe later on and ended up getting stabbed with the used syringe. Caused a total shit storm.
Took the wrong coffin to a funeral. Someone else had to drive to the cemetery with the correct deceased on board, and thankfully they made it before the viewing.
Putting all the patients’ false teeth in a bowl together to soak in a dementia ward. Took us weeks to try and match patients to teeth, no, they weren’t marked up with the patients’ names. Doubt the right teeth ended up with the right patient, it was guesswork.
I worked as a Radiation Protection Tech at a power plant that was refueling. My job was to sit outside of a contaminated area and if anyone wanted to take something out of the area (tools, etc.) I had to make sure it didn’t have any radioactive particles on it. To do this you wipe the tool with something like tissue and then hold the tissue up to a machine called a frisker. If the needle on the frisker goes above a threshold then the tool has to be cleaned or left in the area. One day I come back to relieve a guy who had been sitting outside the area for 2 hours. He tells me there have been no issues and everything has cleared. I look at the frisker, lean over and turn the machine on.
Removing the plastic wrapping from a pallet of 5-gallon cans of (highly flammable) acetone. He didn’t have a box cutter so he proceeded to melt it with a lighter
There was a guy who drove a forklift through a wall in the warehouse.
We work in IT.
I didn’t expect this comment to get as much attention as it did!
It wasn’t Michael Scott. Or Dwight.
It really happened, it was a guy named Tom who was tasked with going to the storage area in the warehouse to get some laptops.
When asked why he used the forklift (which he had never driven before or was even authorized to touch) he said “I thought it would help”.
Spoiler: It wouldn’t have helped.
He was fired immediately.
Shut down a critical file server, then lied about it…even after he was presented with the logs that showed it was his user account that initiated the shutdown.
It’s not so much the mistake that he made, but it was when he lied about making the mistake…that was a rookie move.
My coworker at the bowling alley had to walk down a lane where a group of very young children (maybe 4-8 years old) was bowling to retrieve a ball that had stopped in the gutter about halfway down to the pins.
When he had picked up the ball my other coworker told him to go walk it back down to the children. However, this guy had it in his mind that it would be best to bowl it back down at the group of small children instead.
Luckily one of the adults with the children was a big muscular guy who was able to stop the ball and pick it up without anybody getting hurt.
Poured sink cleaning solution into the ice cream machine instead of the cream mixture and I had to stop them, they then said: “I’m sure it’ll be fine, it was only a little.”
No that would poison people. I had to clean out the whole machine top to bottom and refill it. I ended up throwing away nearly a whole bucket full of contaminated ice cream mixture.
I would also like to add that the containers didn’t look anything alike, the sink stuff came in big plastic jugs with screw tops and the ice cream comes in cardboard cartons (like orange juice) that you have to cut open. so I don’t know how she could have possibly mixed the two up.
Was making pizza. Guy broke the pizza board(the thing with the handle you make the pizza on and then slide the pizza into the oven) I found the other one and he lost that. So I told him to make pizzas on one of the plastic cutting boards. He put the pizza into the oven on the board and just left it. The board melted No more pizza that day
Tried to retrieve his lighter from a deep fat fryer with his hands. boy was that fun to clean up.
I used to work for a landscaping company and over the course of a summer I witnessed one of my co-workers accidentally set 3 different things on fire (a hedge trimmer, a truck, and himself)
The office we worked in was shut down due to covid and the company went 100% remote. A new senior engineer was hired to work directly with our product team and also manage a team of developers. During our company-wide weekly zoom meeting after he was done presenting for the company, he turned his camera off but forgot to put himself on mute. 100+ people heard this man playing Fortnite and talking down about the company to someone else in the background among other things. He only lasted a month.
Planted a tree, F***ING UPSIDE DOWN.
The designer, creative director, and head of the production all missed that there was an eight-day week on the calendar. We sent 10000 copies of a useless calendar to a client. Rightly so, they refused to pay for it.
When I was in the Navy, this known dumbass and pathological liar was on armed watch with an M-14 patrolling the topside decks. Literally, all you have to do is walk around for 4 hours with a rifle on your shoulder.
This dude came back to the Quarterdeck (main entrance to the ship) WITH NO GUN.
He tried to claim it fell off his shoulder and into the water while tying his shoe. How a rifle would fall off your shoulder, pass through your hands that were tying the shoe, and through all three lifelines (like guard rails) is still a mystery.
My theory is that he was doing drill team stuff – like tossing it spinning in the air – and lost it that way.
The new guy was dragging 2 8000lb rolls of paper through the warehouse. This is against the rules for good reason, anyway, he drove through a door designed for 1 roll, and drug the top roll through the wall
Edit: No, that isn’t a typo. I spoke with a roll grab driver this morning to double-check my facts; the rolls in this plant are between 6000 and 8000 pounds each. The picture really can’t do justice to the scale here.
I used to work as a pharmacy tech. Most antibiotics for kids come as a powder in a bottle. We add distilled water to make it liquid upon receiving prescriptions, as the solution only remains stable for 10 to 14 days, depending.
One day, a father drops an amoxicillin prescription for a child. Usual questions are asked (age, weight, allergies, type of infection, desired flavor). The product is prepared and given to the father. He leaves.
Two hours later he comes back. Says the medication smells funny. I think “duh. Medication often does”. But I still waft the scent with my hand to my nose and….he’s right. Something is off. I give the bottle to the pharmacist. He agrees and makes another bottle right away.
The original antibiotic bottle smelled like straight-up alcohol. In a lab, we keep multiple solvents, for many uses. Water, simple syrup, mineral oil,…ethanol. One of the techs added ethanol to the antibiotic instead of water. And we were all flabbergasted as to how the mistake could have occurred because all the solvents are (1) of different sizes, (2) of different label colors,s and (3) identified in huge letters.
We identified the tech guilty of that mistake and they couldn’t even say how that error occurred.
Nearly leaving a child behind on a field trip. We took a large group of 4 and 5-year-old children to visit a farm/petting zoo/pumpkin patch. We had three vehicles. I was in charge of my own group, but I noticed one of the other teachers was being very lax in her supervision for most of the trip.
When it was time to leave, I loaded my children on the bus (with some other adults) and did a head-count/attendance check. Before getting on my bus, I noticed that the other teacher had climbed onto her bus and sat down BEFORE the children boarded. She walked on first and had the kids follow her. I almost let it go, but gut instinct told me she wasn’t counting her students. Once they were all boarded, I walked back and climbed on her bus. She seemed irritated when she realized I was checking on her… I was not a supervisor or anything, just a fellow teacher, so she didn’t answer to me in any way. She said something like, “We’re all good, let’s go!” I knew how many were in each group, so without answering her, I did a quick count. Sure enough, we were missing one. I ended up leaving the bus and going to find the kid myself… he was still on the playground with children from another school.
When we got back to the bus, the other teacher blamed the kid! She said he “wandered off.” Really, she is the one who gathered the group and left the play area, meaning she is the one who “wandered off.” She was pissed when I went to the administration about the incident.
New temp-to-hire admin, she was supposed to order lunch for a big meeting. They told her where to order from and how many omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans. She showed me the order she was going to place, and I corrected her, pointing out she didn’t have any vegan food or enough vegetarian. She told me I was wrong and ordered anyway, even with me screeching at her not to do it and explaining what was wrong.
Omnivores got beef.
Vegetarians got chicken. (“It’s not meat.”)
Vegans got salads with egg and cheese. (“But it has vegetables.”)
…she was not hired on full-time
At a Petco, all the Guinea pigs were in a big plexiglass enclosure with a center divider. Boys on one side and girls on the other. An employee decided that all the long-haired Guinea pigs should be on one side and short-haired on the other. It took forever to sort them out and all the females were pregnant.
I work maintenance at a grocery store for context. My boss at the time was very inept when it came to technology. He hated technology with a passion. I understand everyone should know how to use a mop if you are in this line of work but when you have machines that make it easier, I see no issues in using one.
So anyway, my boss couldn’t figure out how to use one of our machines (the taski) and hated it with a passion even though it’s one of the easiest things to use. He couldn’t figure out why water wasn’t coming out to clean up a sticky floor. All he’d have to do was press the little button that has a water spout on it which means water will come out if pushed. Instead of asking me or trying to use his brain, he proceeded to kick the shit out of it and destroyed the water tank and then couldn’t understand why water was leaking from it after and then proceeded to call it a “piece of fucking shit” and said, “this would’ve been better if we just used a fuckin mop!!”
I have so many stories about him but that’s one of my favorites. Dudes fuckin wild
Edit: The reason it’s easier to use the machine is that it not only cleans up the mess but drys the floor too to prevent people from slipping unlike a mop
He parked in the CEO’s reserved parking space – a clearly defined area – and was surprised at the end of the work day to see that his car had been towed.
I worked in a veterinary hospital for a good number of years. One day, unknown to me, some little girl had found a dead/dying seagull with her family and brought it in to see if we could help it, but it has passed by the time they arrived.
Our veterinary technician took said bird for disposal but was too busy to deal with it then (like… Put it in the freezer. One minute tops with labeling!), so instead, he just packed to box with the dead bird into our storage area with dozens of similar boxes and just leaves it there.
Days go by ( while he is still working, I should add) and I come back on shift and something is seriously rank in the office. Customers are complaining! No one knows what would cause it, but I eventually find the box buried beneath other supplies. I walk up to my head receptionist and say “So… Seagull?” and watch the absolute fury grow in her eyes. The tech did not last long after that.