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What was your worst screw up at work?

(26 Posts)
Greyhound Sun 24-Aug-14 12:53:30

I have so many...

I once send an important client a draft letter instead of the finished letter my boss had signed for him. I got into sooo much trouble sad

I also lost an important fax someone had sent and had to ring the guy up and request another copy confused. Again, my boss (same boss) was livid and really shouted at me sad

IntheYear2525 Sun 24-Aug-14 13:05:43

I transposed two numbers (the numbers technically stayed where they were but the labels were transposed). As a result the end client cancelled their advertising campaign and commissioned new ads, costing mid five figures. About a year later I was looking at the project for an entirely unrelated reason and noticed the mistake. blush I still cringe about it now, the fallout was horrible.

ZebraZeebra Sun 24-Aug-14 13:10:09

I forwarded an email exchange between my Europe boss and my NYC boss discussing how to basically screw over a contract by a designer we'd used for years...to the designer himself. I still don't know how I did it and it was that instant heart-in-throat moment. I went straight into my boss's office and fessed up immediately. It was awful.

ZebraZeebra Sun 24-Aug-14 13:12:29

And I mean like, in the email, my two bosses were being horrible about the designer. Horrible. And the essence was how to screw him out of his contract and save paying him thousands of pounds that the guy had technically earned.

susiedaisy Sun 24-Aug-14 13:14:02

Zebra. I'm cringing for you confused

LEMmingaround Sun 24-Aug-14 13:14:21

Well someone at mnhq tech has definitely fucked up this week!

ZebraZeebra Sun 24-Aug-14 13:17:55

Maybe my subconscious did it. I was being cc'd into their email conversation and then they finally said "Zebra please respond to "designer" with this" and I didn't agree with any of what they were saying or wanting me to do!

Greyhound Sun 24-Aug-14 13:17:56

2525 - that heart stopping moment of realisation is hideous.

TheHobbit Sun 24-Aug-14 13:18:01

I have loads! My boss used to joke about how many disciplinaries I have had ! But I'm a hard worker so always generally forgiven, I just forget stuff sometimes and have no organisation lol!

LEMmingaround Sun 24-Aug-14 13:18:52

Someone at work asked me do some work on something he had been working on for weeks. At 4am the following morning i woke up feeling sick realising i hadn't done the final wash. Weeks of work ruined sad i found him working at the stuff the next day and fessed up. Nearly in tears. They were the best results he had had yet grin

JustAShopGirl Sun 24-Aug-14 13:19:08

I sold £250 craft equipment for £2.50 by mistake.. it was £270 reduced to £250 so I had to type it in the till... put the decimal in the wrong place - then said two fifty please to the customer, who paid by card....

Not surprisingly, they never came back..

did not make me the most popular chicken in the coop....

OneHandFlapping Sun 24-Aug-14 13:21:10

I left my notes behind after a meeting at a company we had recently taken over. Unfortunately I was very critical of the senior management's commitment to the new parent company.

These comments were read by the junior staff member who found the notes, and circulated throughout the business. I got a gentler bollocking than I deserved.

The senior management team did in fact all resign within a few months. So either I was right, or I actually brought it to pass. I've always wondered which.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 24-Aug-14 13:22:07

My boss once received an email from his boss who had forwarded [at the tail end of his email] a whole to and fro quite rude [think 'hey thanks for last night's ride cowgirl] exchange between his boss and the 'lady' his boss was having an affair with. There was an immediate recall of said email but he had already opened it, was chortling/choking/unable to breathe [we all knew about the affair but he didn't know we knew] and had called me in - we were crying as we read it - it was so cringey. [esp as we knew he had to take tablets to even get it up...TMI].

We never said a word. We were the stoney faced beasts from the East at the next managers meeting. Two months later they were both 'dismissed'. As were some of the other managers at that level who were shagging each other/other people. However they then promoted a different manager who had in the past been shagging my friend and colleague. It was a funny place to work. I used to go to bed early on management nights out - didn't want anything to do with the bed hopping.

Greyhound Sun 24-Aug-14 13:22:15

Zebra - oh dear lord, how awful. How did the designer react?

I once got caught trying to cover up a mistake - I'd booked a hotel for the wrong month and was stupid and dishonest enough to "forge" a fax with the correct date on it.

Of course, my boss had the original in his file so he knew perfectly well I'd fucked up. I was young and foolish. Nothing was said as my boss was not the confrontational type but, much later, I found both faxes in a file he'd kept on me and my various failings... I left soon afterwards.

Greyhound Sun 24-Aug-14 13:25:14

Zebra - I think your subconscious wanted you to do the right thing and let the designer know he was being slagged off.

ROARmeow Sun 24-Aug-14 14:44:05

When I was 16 and in one of my first Saturday jobs I was asked by a customer where the loo was.

I wasn't fully paying attention - it was busy Christmas period and she had 2 young kids with her. So in my innocence I pointed towards the STAFF ONLY door and told her toilets were in there.

Of course that's also where staff room, staff lockers and the shop overstock was!!! I really didn't consider the idea she could rob us, and as far as I know she didn't.

My boss never found out, or even if she did I was never shouted at.

Zebra I feel for you.

I'm self-employed and run a charity that does projects in Asia. The first time we did a training, the local gov denied permission the day before the foreign trainers were scheduled to arrive... I was 23 then and it was really hard to handle.

Not me but someone I know worked in a high end electrical shop and was asked to cash up and lock up one night despite only having done it once before and never unsupervised (not supposed to do it alone and not a manager) the person counted the days cash takings-upwards of 10k packaged it up to slide into the drop safe and then had a brainfart, locked the shop up and went home where they found all the money in their bag, the shop was alarmed and couldn't open the doors during the night without setting the alarms off so after one very sleepless night sat staring at a bag of money they went to work early so they'd be the first there and dropped the money into the safe.
Luckily no one ever found out as it was definitely not an attempt to steal it or anything like that just a mistake.
They've now left that job.

BoredPanda Sun 24-Aug-14 16:13:30

My work means I used to have to travel abroad regularly and I'd only get five hours notice maximum, usually. I got told the flight I needed to go on a day and a half before I went, which makes it even more embarrassing as it was so much longer than normal...and I missed my flight thanks to poor planning and stupid traffic. Due to the destination meaning I could only transfer to a flight ten hours later, which messed up accommodation arrangements and so on, this cost them A LOT of money.

Toooldtobearsed Sun 24-Aug-14 16:13:54

I rang in sick, with a migraine. I did have a headache.

That night, I came home (from the pub) to find a burgler in our flat. I had a tussle with him and knocked him out with a teapot (!). The police were on the scene, swiftly followed by the local press.
I appeared on their front page the following day.....and got a written warning from work the day after!

Many years ago now, but still feel the burning of the cheeks when trying to justify going on the piss after phoning in sick!

How awful. Just realised that was 30 years ago...... I am old.

GreatAuntDinah Sun 24-Aug-14 16:20:58

I was interpreting for an Arab head of state when I missed a negative and made it sound as if he were a fervent supporter of Israel's nuclear programme. Nearly triggered WW3 grin

justcallmethefixer Sun 24-Aug-14 16:24:45

I recently ordered in twice the amount of raw materials needed. I read the email, printed it out to tick off what I had ordered in. I ordered the total required for the job, not what was needed to be ordered, but ticked the what was to be ordered line.
When material was delivered it was realised we had £10k more material that what had been sold! The director spotted this and pulled me to one side asked for the explanation, when I realised what I had done I was so gutted. Just wasted 10k in a admin mistake!

AuntDinah, which school did you attend for specialisation?

I'm training to be a Vietnamese interpreter and I dream of doing simultaneous. I have only found 3 schools that have a Vietnamese program and all are Masters degree programs.

Greyhound Sun 24-Aug-14 16:38:52

Tooold - that is a corker!

OnlyLovers Sun 24-Aug-14 17:26:19

I had to send a condolences fax (yes, fax, I'm old) to someone regarding their colleague who'd died. In a moment of madness I addressed the fax not to the colleague but to the deceased. blush

Thank fuck, our fax machine malfunctioned and didn't send it. Less luckily, it wasn't me but my nightmare boss who was the first to walk past the fax machine and notice. She never said anything to my face because she was a passive-aggressive kind of bully but she scrawled my name and lots of exclamation marks all over it in disapproving red pen and left it on my desk.

Euphemia Sun 24-Aug-14 17:42:24

I worked in Admissions at Edinburgh and accidentally put in a U offer instead of a C offer for someone who hadn't even taken her A levels yet. blush

I fessed up to the Associate Dean straight away, who was very sweet and phoned the applicant, who was cool about the error and let us change it.

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