The Least Professional Moments of My Illustrious Career - Please Feel Free to Add Your Own

(547 Posts)

Please reassure me I am not the only one to behave less than professionally occasionally. So far I have:

Called my boss 'Dad'.

I stood up in front of a major customer's supplier quality improvement conference and informed them, 40 other companies, and my boss ('Dad')that "Quality Improvement programs usually come in steps - ours is a 12 step program".

I started a new role in my company, went to a conference with representatives from all the company sites who were now relying on me to ensure the correct products reach them with the correct test reports, labels and packaging. I introducted myself by saying "Good morning, my name is Angela Hernandez". 30 faces went hmm and a voice from the back went "No, it isn't". The real Angela Hernandez (our Quality Director), known to them all for the past 25 years looked very confused as to why I was apparently trying to impersonate her. Not so confused as I looked, obviously.

janeite Wed 19-Nov-08 15:04:22

Lol. Fantastic!

The head teacher once walked into the staffroom years ago, to find me on the floor, up to my elbows in fake blood, with a bloody and torn sheet spread out in front of me. I just said "Oh don't worry: the republic is safe now" and carried on tearing the sheet.

I've done the name thing before too.

TrillianA Wed 19-Nov-08 15:04:45


I'm Angela Hernandez, and so's my wife.

littlelapin Wed 19-Nov-08 15:10:42

PMSL Angela Hernandez grin

I got off the phone to DH once, and obviously still thinking about our conversation, shouted "Darling!" to get my boss's attention. In a sudden lull of trading floor noise blush

I fell asleep during a conference call to China. It was a video conference call blush I had to be prodded awake by the analyst next to me.

Lastly, when asked by our junior what I would like for breakfast, I called across the desk "Mine's a ginger muffin". I am a redhead. blush

<gets coat>

quint Wed 19-Nov-08 15:10:54

No I'm Angela Hernandez

quint Wed 19-Nov-08 15:11:50

OK I have to go now - this is the 2nd thread thats made me cry with laughter. I think I may need to get out more

janeite, did the teacher back slowly out of the room?

I was wearing a floaty dress to work one windy day. I was carrying a huge armful of manufacturing records across the site when the wind caught my skirt and blew it clean over my head in the alleyway between the Maintenance Department and the Men's Locker Room 5 minutes before shift change. A true quality professional would have gripped onto those manufacturing records like grim death and to hell with letting every male in the place see my knickers and thigh highs. As my heart is really in engineering I dropped the batch tickets and adjusted the skirt. The Site Engineer appeared about 2 seconds later. We spent the next half hour chasing manufacturing records across the Mojave desert.

Blinglovin Wed 19-Nov-08 15:13:35

LOL Littlelapin. I was once sat in a meeting with various senior people and a journalist and one of the VIPs started nodding off. It was horrible. And I was too far away to wake him up. Luckily the journalist didn't notice, but the other PR person and I were struggling not to laugh and/or cry throughout the presentation!

I was invited to give a paper at the Ministry of Culture in Madrid and I had to cancel at the last minute because I'd lost my passport blush

The 12 step program comment wouldn't have been so bad if my boss and I hadn't trawled about every bar in the city the night before, we were on a business trip. I think it was a Freudian slip myself.

Kally Wed 19-Nov-08 15:15:11

My boss had just had a very fine antique table 'french polished' (whatever that is, I thought it was for nails) anyway, it cost him an arm and a leg.
I made him a cup of tea and put it on his table...
He tore me apart very unprofessionally infront of everyone.
He beat about the bush so much and was so redfaced I didn't know what he was beefing about. Then he said ' I'm talking about the tea you put on my table!' and I said 'wasn't it sugared?'...

LOL littlelapin.

UnquietDad Wed 19-Nov-08 15:15:29

Am I thick? I don't get the 12-step program one.

cornsilk Wed 19-Nov-08 15:15:34

I went to school with 2 0dd boots on. The children all noticed in assembly.

milkysallgone Wed 19-Nov-08 15:16:01


HowardMoon Wed 19-Nov-08 15:16:10

I once farted whilst standing in a quiet corridor showing a new member of staff around the building. It was loud and unannounced. I paused momentarily and having assessed the situation, carried on as if nothing had happened...

janeite Wed 19-Nov-08 15:16:24

She certainly did. But the look of alarm on her face was worse when she found me in the corridor lying down pretending to be dead, whilst I waited for Year 8 to line up and shut up. It worked though!

I have posted this before, but I sat in a meeting to hear about a new project I was going to be working on. I was told to contact an American Engineer. I misheard his name as being Randy Beaver. I spent the next hour or so pretending to cough. There were only 3 of us in the meeting, I think they noticed.

snigger Wed 19-Nov-08 15:17:22

Once arrived late in the midst of a cycling-to-work health drive, gasped down a can of Coke (so much for the health drive), answered the urgently ringing phone with a 'from the depths of hell' resonating belch, and hung up.

UnquietDad Wed 19-Nov-08 15:17:56

There is a Randy Bender who works for Novell.

bythepowerofgreyskull Wed 19-Nov-08 15:18:48

my very first business lunch.. with very important potential client.. I ordered pasta and slopped on my blouse.. I was soo embarrassed - felt like a child - but somehow managed to get the contract smile I think they took pity on me!

taralee Wed 19-Nov-08 15:19:03

thank you for making my day. grin

No I'M Angela Hernandez!

The 12 step program is what alcholics use to get back to sobriety UnquietDad.

PerkinWarbeck Wed 19-Nov-08 15:20:07

I was presenting a report to a tribunal. Everyone else had met the chair on previous occasions, so I was the only one who involuntarily snorted as she introduced herself as "Mrs. Gaylord".

It wasn't him UnquietDad. Poor man, that name would be fine in the US.

squeaver Wed 19-Nov-08 15:20:41

Fell asleep in a meeting.

Called a colleague (not my boss) "darling".

Excused myself from a meeting to throw up - hangover.

I once met a really, really important client on a Saturday in a park and I had a TOTAL blank about who he was. he recognised me; I'd have walked straight past him. Thankfully he introduced himself to my dh so I didn't have to ask his name. I'd been in a meeting with him for five hours the day before blush blush

Bramshott Wed 19-Nov-08 15:20:59

A long time ago, I was the only person in the office to do induction with a new staff member. Unfortunately I'd had one too many vodkas the night before, and couldn't move from the 'horizontal on the floor groaning' position until well past lunchtime. blush The new staff member is now much more successful and high-powered than me blush but I'm sure she still remembers!

PuppyMonkey Wed 19-Nov-08 15:20:59

I just went out to do some vox pop interviews with members of the public (don't ask) and during the first interview my pen ran out and the woman I was interviewing had to give me her pen as I had no money to buy another one. blush It's a very nice pen.

I also often call a colleague of mine by my 19 mo dd's name. blush

UnquietDad Wed 19-Nov-08 15:21:07

MadamD - ohhhhh, I seeeee..... Thanks. I genuinely didn't get that! Surely If I didn't get it then lots of other people... didn't?...


squeaver Wed 19-Nov-08 15:21:21

Oh, lost my passport too, the night before a major trip.

littlelapin Wed 19-Nov-08 15:22:27

oh goooood thread grin

Boco Wed 19-Nov-08 15:22:27

I over rehearsed my equal opportunities spiel for a job interview at a disability charity. I messed it up though and said
'I believe in equality of access for all life forms'.

I then imagined aliens using ramps to get into supermarkets and got the panic stricken giggles. You know the kind that comes out in a kind of blast? They looked generally unimpressed.

Didn't get the job.

On my very first business trip with my new boss we went out to dinner. Unbeknown to me she was a heavy drinker. In an attempt to ingratiate myself I matched her drink for drink...... and never made the conference the following day because I couldn't stop throwing up. She was completely fine.

milkysallgone Wed 19-Nov-08 15:23:17

My dh once texted to me "Urgent, ring me now!" I panicked and rang him immediately, onlt to find it was a cunning plan to excuse him from a meeting so he could let rip an almighty fart!

Pinkjenny Wed 19-Nov-08 15:23:19

On the first day of a new job, my new boss took me to lunch, and I, stupidly ordered chicken kiev.

As I put my knife into the chicken kiev, the butter just squirted out at him, onto his tie. It was awful.

Another one, from work experience when I was about 15. One of my front teeth was a crown then, and had a tendency to come out. I was taken to a meeting with some suppliers, who offered me a coffee, and as I took the first mouthful, my tooth fell out into the bottom of the mug. I had to try and drink the scalding hot coffee in record quick time, without letting anyone see, and then tip the mug really high to retrieve said tooth. I managed to get it back in without anyone noticing. I still die a little inside when I remember it.

I sat in another meeting, the tea trolley came around, I bought a juice box. The juice wasn't coming out. For some reason I thought I could look down the straw and see a blockage while it was still in the box. I gave the box a good squeeze and a jet of juice shot out and splashed all over my glasses. This struck me as so hysterically funny I was pretending to cough for another 30 minutes (once I start laughing I just can't stop). The other people in the meeting must have wondered what on earth was so amusing about carbon fibre computer board racks.

littlelapin Wed 19-Nov-08 15:24:51

snigger - snigger! grin

HowardMoon Wed 19-Nov-08 15:26:03

I have moments during every interview where I briefly stop listening to whoever is talking and get distracted by their big ears/facial moles/badly applied makeup. I then have to drag myself back and try and cobble together an answer to the question they have just asked. Think Spud in Trainspotting, but without the speed of course.

Thank you for that Boco, now I can't stop laughing - again.

JackieNo Wed 19-Nov-08 15:32:50

ROFL - this has had me almost pmsl. Fab thread grin.

janeite Wed 19-Nov-08 15:33:11

Boco - your life forms one reminds me of Simon Groom on Blue peter saying they were collecting money for "Blind dogs for the guides" - still makes me giggle!

SexyDomesticatedDad Wed 19-Nov-08 15:34:01

Once did a presentation in US and talked about doing a design on a fag packet - got some very hmm odd looks from audience.

snigger Wed 19-Nov-08 15:34:20

Equal access for all life forms - I'm going to remember that in the middle of a meeting and snort, I know it. God, that's funny.

[wheeze] [sniff] [wipes eyes]

igivein Wed 19-Nov-08 15:36:42

Whilst working as a senior CSI I strode purposefully and professionally into a murder scene, tripped up over the body (that I hadn't noticed!)and ended up sprawled on the floor next to him.

codling Wed 19-Nov-08 15:37:20

i once sent a note to a colleague (a mate)asking for some text books.
She sent the note back saying they were "not in hear".
I sent it back saying" God you are shit at spelling"

It was a supply teacher.

milkysallgone Wed 19-Nov-08 15:38:05

PMSL igiviein!!

sparklestickchick Wed 19-Nov-08 15:39:22

probably not as career minded as many of you sad but in the throes of labour a male consultant was called who proceeded to examine me internally whilst explaining to s many students that would fit into the room how best to perform an epesiosotomy(sp) came to the head of the bed and in a shocked voice said 'oh its miss Dee ,my sons favourite nursery nurse'blush- he was very pleased to see me hmm but despite seeing me several times a week hadnt realised i was pregnant!!-he told all my colleagues v proudly hed performed the epesiostomy too blush

littlelapin Wed 19-Nov-08 15:39:52

SDD, I was still a smoker at uni in the States, and asked someone in a bar if I could "bum a fag". blush Definitely 2 nations separated by a common language!

Blinglovin Wed 19-Nov-08 15:41:24

igivein - is that really true? It's both hilariously funny and horrifying, all at the same time!!!! And I could totally see ithappening on CSI or something on the telly!

I keep giggling inappropriately at my desk!

rempy Wed 19-Nov-08 15:42:36

Am an anaesthetist. On one of first days back to work after mat leave with DD, put someone out saying "sleepy time now sweetpea............"

I suppose I could have added "heres blankie"

Lawrene8 Wed 19-Nov-08 15:44:01

I once snorted really loudly in court as the witness explained how he had arrested a donkey and taken it into custody. Then tried to cover it up by pretending it was a coughing fit. Then got a terrible fit of the giggles and had to ask for a short adjourment to recover myself.

littlelapin Wed 19-Nov-08 15:44:36

<snort> at least you didn't try to feed them to sleep!

Grammaticus Wed 19-Nov-08 15:45:06

My professional lapses usually take place in the ladies' loo where I hide after a meeting has ended in order to let out gales of laughter at something that a client told me in a meeting, that at the time I addressed with my best "I'm an unshockable professional" face. In no particular order:

the time a gentleman told me that he had a penchant for vegetables as sex toys, then added that he ran a greengrocers' business

the time a woman told me that her husband would go out for beers every saturday night, then wake in the night and wee in the wardrobe. she cleaned it up. once a week for 9 years.

most embarrassingly, the time a particularly earnest german doctor told me that his christian name was herman and I got "Herman the German" stuck in my mind and had to fight off the giggles for the rest of the meeting. I don't know why, it's not really funny grin

Oh, there must be so many more...

Pawslikepaddington Wed 19-Nov-08 15:45:38

I called my director "poppet' a few times (pet name for dd)-in front of his none too impressed wife once too! Also strode around the office productively for a whole morning once not realising one side of the slit in my skirt was tucked in my tights,

The thing that bothers me UnquietDad is not that you didn't get the 12 step reference, but that so many people supplying the aerospace industry obviously did.

pagwatch Wed 19-Nov-08 15:45:58

I was at work with 3 year old at home. We had been enjoying Alladin at the weekend.
I was lost in thought and sang very loudly the line "still I think he's raaathhheeeer tasty " with all the tuneless screeching from the original. Looked across to see five Nordic gentlemen looking at me very puzzled as I was supposed to be talking to them about Bank mergers.

Worst one I was involved with was waking up in my house and complaining to my flat mate about her shrieking, noisy, hee-haw sex that had disturbed my whole night.
I hadn't realised donkey man was still there until my married boss sheepishly emerged from the room and mumbled good morning before fleeing.

Pawslikepaddington Wed 19-Nov-08 15:47:09

Am now singing "herman the german, herman the german" in my head!

I had to get some information from a colleague so went into his office. He immediately said "Have a bullseye". I stuffed one in my mouth, then realised his foul plan. I was now unable to talk until the bullseye was gone, and it was going to take a long, long time. I had to back out of his office with my jaws and mouth working and a frustrated and boggled stare. He found it very amusing.

Twiglett Wed 19-Nov-08 15:48:51

"Mine's a ginger muffin" OMG I'm going to explode

Not too bad here - most embarrassing was when I was doing a presentation in front of about 50 doctors and professors.

I was supposed to say "and there are many things you can do like..." but the do like came out as dyke.

Strangely enough even though it was said in a running sentence, dyke really stood out and echoed around the room (well in my ears anyway).

I had to keep saying to myself "Don't think about it. Don't think about it...."

boredjustabout Wed 19-Nov-08 15:49:55

Thank you everybody it is ages since we had a really funny thread

FlirtyThirty Wed 19-Nov-08 15:51:31

Boco - I have just sprayed my keyboard with juice laughing at your expense! Thank you so much.

igivein Wed 19-Nov-08 15:52:18

Blinglovin - yes it really happened, I really am that much of an oaf. What was even worse it seemed to happen in slow motion, as I was heading for the floor I had this vision of landing on the poor dead bloke's chest (he was on his back)and the pressure making him fling his arms round me, which would have been really euwww,so I twisted myself round really awkwardly so that I'd land next to him rather than on top. This meant I twisted my ankle and was limping for days, people kept asking me how I'd hurt my leg...

BitOfFun Wed 19-Nov-08 15:54:44

I am notorious for my verbal gaffes at work. A lady phoned the bookshop and asked me if we had any self-help books on agoraphobia. I was running around the shelves, listing the titles and prices to her, and then said "do you know what? We've got loads, it's probably better if you come in and have a look"... blush

Blinglovin Wed 19-Nov-08 15:55:01

Please stop it. I am not supposed to be reading funny online things at work and it's hard to hide what I'm doing when I have visions of you falling into murdered chaps chest while hubnky police partner (there must have been some, right?!?!?!) stands by!!! grin

littlelapin Wed 19-Nov-08 15:58:09


igivein Wed 19-Nov-08 15:58:11

I will stop now cos I've got to go pick up ds, but I will say there were about 5 police officers and a doctor in the room, all male but non of them hunky. They all rushed gallantly to my aid (not) - they were too busy pissing themselves laughing

dramaqueen Wed 19-Nov-08 15:59:27

I was taken out for dinner by the board of directors (and their wives) of a company as part of the interview process. It was a very posh french restaurant (L'Escargot) in London. I was with 2 others they were considering for the position, one of whom I knew. I arranged to meet the other candidates before meeting the directors at the restaurant, so of course we downed a few bottles glasses. When we got to the restaurant I was fairly merry. I couldn't read the menu because I couldn't focus on it, and then proceeded to knock over a huge glass of red wine all over the MD's wife, who was wearing a white dress.

Oh, and I did get the job. Not sure how.

I was deeply concentrating on some work on my screen, with my back to the main part of the office.

A collegue walked up with my client (very senior) and spoke to me, it made me jump so much that I screamed. Which in turn made my collegue jump and he fell over backwards onto the (quite small female) client.

Having previously been very nervous about my annual staff assessment meeting, the following year I decided to take in a hipflask so I could have a quick glug for some Dutch courage.

As the time for me to be called in to the bosses office drew nigh I pretended to drop something and disappeared under my desk to 'retrieve' it and had a good swig of rum whilst I was under there.

I emerged to find my boss looming over my desk ! All he said was " Are we ready then ?" so I was never quite sure if he had seen me on my hands and knees, drinking under the desk. Needless to say it was the first and last time I did that.

ScottishMummy France Wed 19-Nov-08 16:04:48

i introduced a speaker by the wrong name,even had it on the handouts,the big heid never found it funny

for ages after referred to it any ole time.think was secretly hoping i would be carted away and thoroughly remonstrated with

pingping Wed 19-Nov-08 16:07:56

When I was younger I jumped over the bar I worked in and Knocked out a customer. [blush} she had attacked the Managers husband and best friend.

O another job it went around the work place the boss looked like Kermit the frog I accidently called him it when he asked me a question I was a manager as well

Pingping have you done the Staff rota

Me Yes Kermit I mean o shit

BetteNoire Wed 19-Nov-08 16:19:23

I trapped the head of the Sales Director in my car boot.
It was still attached to the neck and body of the Sales Director though - I didn't murder him or anything.

BitOfFun Wed 19-Nov-08 16:21:54

ROFL at the hip flask!! grin

smugmumofboys Wed 19-Nov-08 16:22:46

Was once in a language lab with a group of Year 9 boys in a posh boys' school. Something went wrong with the tape and I said "Oh shit!" really loudly, forgetting that I was speaking directly into the boys' headphones.

I looked up to twenty odd boys, wide-eyed and mouths gaping.

rookiemater Wed 19-Nov-08 16:23:56

I was incredibly busy at work and a meeting was scheduled that I had to fly to. I took the red eye special down, arrived at the office, asked for the meeting, only to be told I had the wrong day and it was actually the day after.

As it was a risk meeting and no one else in the entire office, least of all my boss, was in the least bit interested in the outcomes, I slunk back on the next plane and teleconferenced in the following day blush

freshprincess Wed 19-Nov-08 16:27:48

I'm guilty of being drunk and disorderly at many a company function in my younger days. Social functions that is...

I once received a text from a friend saying that John Taylor had died. I thought she meant my teen heartthrob from Duran Duran, so excused myself hurriedly from a very important client meeting to go and google it - she meant someone her husband played football with.

TheProvincialLady Wed 19-Nov-08 16:30:42

I turned up for a new job and asked the receptionist for my new manager, Cynthia Payne. Except that her name was Cynthia Brown (ie not a famous madamhmm)

I delivered the same 45 minute lecture to the same group of women within 2 days. No one had told me that the same women met under a different name. I even added the jokes etc in the same place. Then I started to recognise faces....but I still had 35 minutes to go, knowing that every one of those women hated me.

freshprincess Wed 19-Nov-08 16:31:14

Was once in a meeting with some German clients. The project manager said that we would start on a certain day and said 'OK, so we've got our D-Day then'.

It probably would have past unremarked if I hadn't been falling about laughing hysterically for 30 mins. (actually still makes me giggle now!)

ScummyMummy Wed 19-Nov-08 16:31:56

Love this thread, esp boca's life form story.grin

Few years back was in staff meeting being told about new referral: homeless man with mental health problems who had dog and both were in a local hostel. So far so good. The meeting went downhill in terms of my behaviour when it was matter of factly reported that the hostel worker had done a routine room check and after knocking on the door and receiving no response had entered the room to be confronted with the sight of the man in flagrante delicto shagging the dog with gusto. As my concerned and dedicated colleagues earnestly discussed their theories about his mental health and social problems and wondered about an RSPCA referral, I suddenly utterly lost it. A massive snort of mirth escaped me and I started belly laughing uncontrollably. It was the thought of the poor hostel worker! Can you imagine the shock of doing a room check, thinking you are going to be looking at a more or less tidy empty room and tick all your health and safety boxes and instead eyeballing a man getting jiggy with his dog? I had to leave the room to pmsl.

freshprincess Wed 19-Nov-08 16:34:34

Have been on MN whilst at work and during telephone calls - is that unprofessional?

NewspiritsFromOldghosts Wed 19-Nov-08 16:36:50

I went for a job interview for a job that was very much wanted. I knew one of the interviewers as he was an ex client and mate.
To get to the interview room i followed a corridor and turned left round a sharp corner, he was hiding there and jumped out at me causing me to scream.

When i came out, i hid outside the loos as he had followed me out for a comfort break and when "he" came out i jumped out and went "raaargh". It wasn't him. It was my brand new very distinguished and senior boss.
I still work there. I have no idea how.

BitOfFun Wed 19-Nov-08 16:37:43

Oh god, I am actually crying now! grin

ScummyMummy Wed 19-Nov-08 16:37:57

lol newspirits!

Califrau Wed 19-Nov-08 16:38:16

My father once addressed a press conference to do with the Civil Liberties Lobby and called it the Civil Liberties Lobberty throughout. grin

glamourbadger Wed 19-Nov-08 16:38:29

I walked around an exhibition at ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) with a long piece of loo roll trailing out of my pants. It was a corporate view which is usually fairly serious so I wondered why the suits behind me were laughing. I assumed it was at the poncy art blush.

snowleopard Wed 19-Nov-08 16:42:13

The director of the publishing company where I worked once walked into my office to find three of us literally lying on the floor, completely helpless with laughter. It was about some funny picture we'd found during our researches - wasn't even that funny - you had to be there. We were embarrassed but just couldn't stop laughing so we carried on.

She was cool though (which was a huge surprise as she was known for her ballbreaking tendencies) and said "mind that plant, mike" or some such as my colleague thrashed around on the floor in his hysteria - then walked out.

BCNS Wed 19-Nov-08 16:42:41

right in the middle of a training session.. ( I was the trainer).. I'd left my phone on vibrate ( just in case of the dc's).. phone buzzed.. I looked to see who it was while explaining how being proffesional and competant was really important blah blah.. realised it was the school.. held my hand up to excuses myself taking the call.. ds1 needed to go to A+E..
so I dumped my notes on the most reliable sales rep..said take over.. I'm off to A+E

leaving everyone stumped !!!

PtolemysMummy Wed 19-Nov-08 16:43:59

On a night out after a few drinkies, I told the nice lady from HR that she should really check a certain chap's pockets for Rohypnol. Reader, she was married to him.

Boco Wed 19-Nov-08 16:46:33

OH another painful moment was the first day of a temp job - I took off my jacket and hadn't realised that where it had been thrown over the drying rail at home, some knickers were wedged in the arm. The knickers fell on the floor, where they stayed all morning, just behind me. It was a long thin office and I was on my own, but people walked through to use the photocopier. I didnt' understand why people kept walking through, squeaking to themselves at the photocopier, leaving and then joining a huddle of women outside the door to giggle and whisper. I started to get really paranoid. Then spotted the knickers, shrieked and stayed paranoid for the rest of the job.

I was giving a lecture once which included talking about the inert foam called Plastazote that you use for packing fragile objects in. I couldn't remember the name and was racking my brains and came out with 'zygote', which is actually the word for what an egg and sperm become just after fertilisation....

Pacific Wed 19-Nov-08 16:47:31

In my job we have some lovely old dears working as volunteers serving soft drinks to our clients. After many months of trying we finally got nice new shiny containers to serve juice. The refreshment area was really busy one day with both staff and clients and I walked up to a sweet little old lady and said " Oooh! Nice jugs!" blush

boredjustabout Wed 19-Nov-08 16:50:58

Boco, why is your life so filled with bizarre interesting incidents?

Boco Wed 19-Nov-08 16:52:26

I'm just a bizarre interesting kind of gal.

OrmIrian Wed 19-Nov-08 16:54:34

Being responsible for the IT system that sent a batch of prices to all the stores on a weekly basis when I worked for a well-known DIY chain. And sending prices from 18m before blush Only reason we weren't in lots of trouble with Trading Standards was because they prices on the shelf-edge were higher than people got charged so no-one complained. But company could have lost lots of money. Reversed the prices quite quickly but even so. Not good....

ScummyMummy Wed 19-Nov-08 16:58:03

Also, I still blush with complete shame at mispronouncing a very nice person called Maureen's name as "Moron" on one very unsplendid occasion.

ScummyMummy Wed 19-Nov-08 16:59:34

As in "How lovely, thank you very much, Moron". Silence as scummy turns puce.

Boco Wed 19-Nov-08 17:00:22

After the life forms incident, friends texted for weeks saying things like 'what about the amoeba?' 'what about the plankton?' 'snails, have they got access?'


TheDevilWearsPrimark Wed 19-Nov-08 17:00:27

I worked in a job for a while where we pre wrote copy before releasing it so we were ready to send as soon as we got confirmation. Hence we'd write two versions so we were ready for either outcome.

I once sent entirely the wrong thing to a fair number of regional newspapers and they went to print.

ScummyMummy Wed 19-Nov-08 17:02:23

lolol Boco.

(What about the slug, btw?)

gosh-my previous jobs have not been anything like as illustrious as all yours sound.
i think the worst thing i ever did was rush into an interview room with a woman who i believed had lost her husband.
i sat down and went into my spiel about how sorry i was to hear that her husband had died, that i would try to make things as simple as possible for her, and would she like me to help her fill in her widows benefit claim form.
to which she replied 'it's my mother who has died'


she was very hmm

i the had to leave the room to get the correct forms and sear at the bastard who told me she was a widow.

twofalls Wed 19-Nov-08 17:04:04

<snorts tea through her nose all over the keyboard>

Boco - I can't get the image of aliens in wheelchairs using the ramps out of my head now.

Very, very funny thread.

When I was 17 I was working as a waitress and on one pretty awful day I referred to rather hirsute lady as sir (pity she was one of the bridesmaids), automatically reached down to retrieve a sausage off the lap of someone I had dropped it on with my spoon and fork only to grab a bit more than the sausage, and then slid on a piece of carrot on the dance floor, fell over with a crash carrying an armful of dirty plates and spend the rest of the night with bits of turkey hanging from my earrings.

I think I am Manuel's sister.

ScummyMummy Wed 19-Nov-08 17:04:15

There was a great thread on here from a woman who'd written silly sexy stuff on her husband's power point presentation. And he hadn't noticed and showed her embarrassing sexual nicknames for him to a high powered gathering... Was that real? T'was a hilarious thread.

janeite Wed 19-Nov-08 17:06:21

I love this thread, especially Cali's dad!

I had to do some work once with a consultant called Mr Bunting. Of course, in my head, even before I'd met him, I was calling him "Baby". Did I manage to call him by his first name? Of course not. "Hi Baby" has never really cut it as a professional introduction though, has it?

boredjustabout Wed 19-Nov-08 17:08:00

When I was ordained I had to go away on a four-day retreat beforehand. During that time my husband looked after the boys, and used some pretty colourful language.
My eldest interrupted my FIRST EVER SERVICE AT THE PARISH with sweet little cries of "f* it, f* it," as he banged his toy hammer on the church floor.

twofalls Wed 19-Nov-08 17:08:21

Still laughing at Cali's dad too. They should rename it. Its much better.

Fairly soon after going back to work post-DS, sneaking out of house trying not to wake anyone, got to work to find I had one black and one blue shoe on.

Littlefish Wed 19-Nov-08 17:09:57

Not a funny one, and I still go hot and cold just thinking about it!

I once worked for a marketing company and was travelling to Nice for a major conference for our clients.

I was in charge of bringing the slides and video tapes (yes, this was about 20 years ago).

I got onto the plane and just as they had closed the plane doors, I realised that I had left them all in the airport shock.

I managed to persuade the airline to let me off the plane, even though all my bags were loaded on. (it would never happen now!)

I was taken back to the terminal, 5 airport staff helped me search for them and we eventally found them at the xray area. They then put me on the next plane out to Nice (First Class) where I arrived 7 hours late!

How I didn't get the sack I'll never know.

gizmo Wed 19-Nov-08 17:12:45

Once, after a particularly long and liquid lunch (I was a surveyor, FGS, it's part of the job description), I found myself the only back at the office on a Friday afternoon when the phone rang.

The voice that asked for my boss was spectacularly squeaky. Minnie Mouse on Helium. To my addled brain it was obviously someone having a lighthearted Friday afternoon jape, so I pitched my voice as squeakily as I could and responded:

'He's not in the office right now, he's on a cheese tour.'

My afternoon took a downward slide as SqueakyVoiceMan calmly asked for Boss's PA, in exactly the same tone. In desperation, I had to continue the squeaky tone throughout the rest of the conversation, which strained my voice for the next 24 hours, but at least ensured my anonymity.

That was 15 years ago and you lot are the first people I have ever told about that. <cold sweat>

Littlefish Wed 19-Nov-08 17:12:58

I once got caught by the headteacher of my first school (when I was a teacher), pushing a wheeled drawer unit down the corridor, and flinging myself onto it to ride along, pretending to be an aeroplane.

It didn't help that the headteacher was showing round prosopective parents blush

Just in case anyone's worried - the children were all in assembly.

ScummyMummy Wed 19-Nov-08 17:14:44

Oh gizmo, that is hilarious!

I did something similar with a new colleague who has a tic. Didn't know and winked back...

edam Wed 19-Nov-08 17:16:35

I've done the calling a boss 'dad' by mistake thing (never worked with my dad, no idea why it happened).

Even worse, years ago when I was very young, somehow found myself saying 'I love you' to one of my bosses. blush Not intentionally as a romantic declaration, just as I'd say it to a family member or really good friend. It came out of my mouth without my conscious mind actually intending it! Fortunately either he didn't hear or pretended he hadn't.

UnquietDad Wed 19-Nov-08 17:18:08

Gizmo and Scummy's anecdotes remind me of the Catherine Tate sketch with the Embarrassing Social Function Woman.

I'm laughing most at "Civil Liberties Lobberty".

Megglevache Wed 19-Nov-08 17:18:37

I was 16 and working as a waitress in a pub and was so nervous because I am so very naturally clumsy. Things were going very well until I went to deliver a Ploughman's salad towards the end of the night and noticed what appeared to be a hair on the slab of cheddar as I went to lay the plate on the table I blew on the cheese propelling the hair into the air, then looked at the poor chap who was aghast and said "don't worry it wasn't a pube"

I don't know why I blew or said that but put it down to nerves.

Oh I have so many more. grin

Twims Wed 19-Nov-08 17:20:11

ROFL Marmaduke!!

Kathy - PMSL - crucial technical terms are always evading me in the middle of presentations - it always takes me back to my German 'O' Level oral exam - questions all based around a picture of people swimming in the sea, and I could not remember the word for waves. Plus ca change, and all that.

edam Wed 19-Nov-08 17:21:31

Oh, I was once burbling in an interview about how to get everyone motivated and enthusiastic after a wave of redundancies, got very caught up in it and then realised I might have been a bit too cheerleader-ish and said 'but of course, you wouldn't want to take it too far and be all American about it'. Only to suddenly wonder whether the boss's accent was actually American or Canadian...

She was American but I got the job, bless her!

wotsits Wed 19-Nov-08 17:23:10

When I was having my SATC period, I had a brief crush on my boss. He was in his early forties, tall, handsome, successful, and very much married. We were discussing a client and I meant to say "I'll schedule a meeting" but said "I'll sexual a meeting" blush. The crush ended there and then.

pushchair Wed 19-Nov-08 17:23:20

Once a stunningly handsome man walked into the despatch area of the co. I worked for and asked to see the manager. I said I would just buzz through and ask if he was available and walked into the telephone room expecting the gorgeous hunk to wait outside. As I picked up the phone one of my colleagues looked at me and said 'ooh you look a bit pink' Yes says I there is a fabulously good looking bloke outside wating to see the boss. Turned around and of course there he was behind me, grinning all over his beautiful face.
Died on the spot.

TheDevilWearsPrimark Wed 19-Nov-08 17:24:24

Gizmo, you just reminded me of something really similar I did.

One of our regional bosses had a voice that sounded like Margaret Thatcher on helium, he was a man.

It's mean but we used to make fun of him and do impressions. One time I called into the office and thought it was my workmate having a laugh so responded in the same voice. Argh.

littlelapin Wed 19-Nov-08 17:34:34
bluebump Wed 19-Nov-08 17:41:57

One of my colleagues is a lesbian but as she hasn't told me this herself but someone else did I always have to remember not to let on I know as I assumed she'd tell me if she wanted me to know etc. I was in the middle of ranting about something in the office and went "That is so..." and she came in the door and I got distracted from what I was saying and went "gay" blush Cue me trying to dig myself out of a hole.

Then there was the time me and a friend put together the results from some student surveys for the board of governors, we had prepared our draft version and the ratings were sayings from Neighbours, ie Spigging Cuban for good and Daggy for bad...only we forgot to change them and got a telling off from our manager who had been presenting them to the puzzled governors!

freshprincess Wed 19-Nov-08 17:42:46

Not happened to me, was once with an ad agency who were pitching a campaign to me and my Irish boss. The ad exec said something along the lines of 'that sounds a bit Irish' meaning something was the wrong way round.

(I did laugh an inappropriate amount though)

HowardMoon Wed 19-Nov-08 17:47:24

Not me, but we had an elderly extremely posh dear who used to come in and 'volunteer' when I worked for a charity (make cups of tea and stand around nattering). We were chatting to a gay colleague (male) about his long term partner and she suddenly piped up in an ever so prim voice, 'so, who is the man and who is the woman...?' I think she was talking about who does the household chores, but I had to go outside for a quiet moment.

I had to take my department out for a Christmas lunch. At the end of the lunch I had to give them a motivational speech which I was obviously not prepared for as it can be summarised about like this

"Well we've had a really, crap year, everything has been completely horrible, and you've all had to work like slaves in a salt mine (thank's for that by the way). Next year is going to be even worse, there's going to be even more work and longer hours.....". Fortunately before I got to the bit about plagues of locusts o'er the land, but don't worry 30% of people do survive having the black death, my boss took over and things ended on a high enough note that everyone did actually make it back to work instead of choosing a fiery car involved death.

MummyDoIt Wed 19-Nov-08 17:58:13

When we first met, DH and I worked for a bi City bank. One Christmas, the big, important boss decided to tour the building and wish we lesser mortals 'happy Christmas'. DH got a bit flustered and replied 'Happy Birthday'.

AngelaHernandez Wed 19-Nov-08 18:00:02

No! I'm Angela Hernandez!

littlelapin Wed 19-Nov-08 18:00:17

Clearly he thought the boss was the son of God grin

From the pattern of my postings you probably now realize why I am self-employed now. No company could stand the constant embarassment.

Legacy Wed 19-Nov-08 18:03:30

Had a PR shoot with some minor slebs and the Senior Client (a woman in her late 50s). As it was a head & shoulders, close up photo, I casually went to remove a visible hair from the client's suit collar.....

...and found it was attached.... to her neck

Marina Wed 19-Nov-08 18:05:11

Fabulous many brilliant stories here
I was co-managing a project with the world's most inept research officer based 100 miles away. He was off sick for a couple of days and deluged me and my colleague with TMI e-mails about a pulsating boil on his arse which meant he couldn't sit down in the office etc
I sent my colleague an exasperated and trenchant message saying what I'd like to do to this idiotic youth and his arse...except that by a slip of the fingers it went to a professional acquaintance in a very elite rival institution. Who was also funded by the same Research Council. He very politely sent the message back. I am amazed it went through their obscenity filters tbh.

Winebeforepearls Wed 19-Nov-08 18:05:35

I used to work for a publishing company and copy-edited a book by a rather long-winded and pompous writer. The book needed (I thought) a lot of cutting and tightening up, and I had to correct lots of quotes from other works.

I composed two emails, one with comments for the author and one - with shall we say a little less tact - for the commissioning editor. And yes, emailed them the wrong ones. I still cringe ...

watsthestory Wed 19-Nov-08 18:08:37

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watsthestory Wed 19-Nov-08 18:09:26

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squeaver Wed 19-Nov-08 18:17:09

DWP - I did the sending out the wrong version to the press thing once too. And it was the result of a court case.

God I haven't thought about that for years blush blush

Not me thank God, but a friend of mine who was very fed up with his job at a local paper wrote a fantasy 'I've just got a features job at a national so you can stick your pathetic local paper reporter job up your arse' letter to his boss late one night, and then pressed 'send' instead of 'delete'....

Jun Wed 19-Nov-08 18:25:20

My manager at a DIY store was ex army and thought he was terribly macho. His name was Steve Peel

I got a bit tongue tied and announced down the tannoy 'would steel peel please come to the checkouts'.

VeniVidiVickiQV Wed 19-Nov-08 18:36:46

ROFL at these grin

I regularly used to have wardrobe malfunctions at my old job. Well, I say malfunctions.... on no less than 4 occasions I went to work with a top on inside out, labels flapping everywhere and seams on show. Several times I've had buttons mysteriously undo on a shirt without my realising too blush

I meant to forward an email on to my manager once, with my response on it, sent from another senior member of staff in the company calling her a "silly bitch". I had clicked "Reply" instead of "Forward"...!

ScummyMummy Wed 19-Nov-08 18:37:24

oh legacy! How absolutely awful! I think I would absolutely die on the spot with that one.

Email ones are always corkers, marina. One of my best friends did the classic and sent a smoochy email to someone she was having an affair with to all their colleagues by accident...

Jun Wed 19-Nov-08 18:41:32

Agree re email ones. On more than one occasion I have written a bitchy email about a colleague and sent it to them instead.

You'd think I'd learn

Steala Wed 19-Nov-08 18:42:02

I can't believe how much I have laughed at this!

One of my worst was when I was in a large meeting with an important client. She kindly pointed out that one of the buttons on my (maternity) shirt had come open. Yes, of course it was the one I least wanted open! I was horrified at having exposed myself so publicly, so tried to cover it up by calmly and professionally passing her a large document to review. I slid it across to her, but massively overestimated the friction of the table. It crashed into the cup of coffee I had just placed in front of her and covered her from chin to knee in boiling coffee. My bosses were deeply unimpressed.

Shoshe Wed 19-Nov-08 18:54:19

I have had to stop reading this thread about half a dozen times, as laughing so much, I coughed myself into having to take my inhaler grin

differentID Wed 19-Nov-08 18:55:53

I was at a meeting with some head office people and other stores last year when I discovered that I had forgotten to turn my phone to silent/off.
My dh sent me a massge just as the director of retail ops began to speak after we had returned from break.
My message tone is "Exterminate" as in the Daleks.
Guess who was still being talked about at head office 6 months ago?

Miggsie Wed 19-Nov-08 18:56:47

I used to work long hours, the only woman on used to talk to DH and say things with "darling" "lovey" and other forms of endearement, which my colleagues found very funny and used to take the mick.
Then DH finally came into my work and they all wanted to see "love lump". In walks DH and strides up to my boss, (the chief piss taker), who says "so I finally meet you, lovey wuvvy lump", and DH says "darling!", grabs him, throws him down in a romantic dance hold and french kisses him...after DH let go, my boss slid, rigid with horror, to the floor.

It was an open office with about 50 people looking on.
Up jumps the boss of the entire company and says "this is your DH???" in a voice that could be heard in Timbuctoo.

Yes, reader, I'd married him.

I'm a vet and some family friends bring their dogs to the surgery.

On one occasion they brought one in with a very minor lesion on his foot. When they brought him back a week later and it wasn't quite 100% cleared up I merrily joked that "we'll just have to chop your leg off if this doesn't fix it!". The woman was a recent amputee. [die]

What made matters worse was that another of their dogs subsequently needed an amputation too shock

alors Wed 19-Nov-08 19:28:01

I used to work in a and e - once stuck my head round a cubicle curtain and said brightly to the woman sitting on the bed:

"The doctor will be in you in a minute....."

I had a friend who after a heavy night in icu was driving home in uniform and spotted a badly parked car and a man face down on the round about. She leapt out of her car, flipped him over and put her head down to see if he was breathing, finger on his pulse. She breathlessly asked if he was all right? He said "Yes, I am just reading the water meter!"

She flipped him back, leapt in her car and drove off at great speed.

MotherFlippin Wed 19-Nov-08 19:42:46

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Tortington Wed 19-Nov-08 19:46:16

i never cry with laughter.

this has made my MN year

Tortington Wed 19-Nov-08 19:46:50

meant to say - am crying with laughter now - am all fuddled

Littlefish Wed 19-Nov-08 19:50:57

I've e-mailed MNHQ and asked them to put this thread into Mumsnet Classics grin

I have been snorting all evening about Boco's equal access for all life forms. Sublime grin

Tn0g Wed 19-Nov-08 19:58:36

After an art class, whilst having a chat about holidays, one of my students announced how they had just returned from a trip to Naples and asked me if I'd ever been there.

'Oh, yes' I replied, 'I absolutely fell in love with nipples'

parachutes Wed 19-Nov-08 19:59:46

Ok, beat this: I always hated meetings, always made me so bored I lost the will to live. Unfortunately I had to attend many.
In one I had taken a member of my team along and was taking a back seat so that he could then take over etc.
So I started to play with my pen and I was, as you do, sort of tapping it on my face, just basically killing time...until my colleague turned to me and whispered "you appear to have something on your face!!??"
I had actually been drawing lines on my face with my ballpoint. I then had to whip out my mirror and proceed to try and rub off the pen marks and continue the meeting with livid red marks all over my face.
Needless to say I never returned.

popsycal Wed 19-Nov-08 20:03:18

i have referred to a pupil as 'dad'

once we were readiong some mystery story set in a pawnbroker's shop ..... I spent an entire lesson duiscussing the pawn shop and only realised afet when a mate casme in, looked at the blackboard and said thatwasnt how to spell porn.... blush
glad they didnt write about the story that day

Oh top thread

I worked in an office at one time. The receptionist rang me to say that Mr Russell was in for his appointment.

I asked her if he was wearing paper clothes, she was baffled which made it even funnier. I was shouting with laughter.

V unprofessional blush to laugh at someone's name innit.

My worst email was many, many years ago when email was quite new and Microsoft Office was the new way of sending email through the office.

I worked out of the office a lot so set up an address list on my home computer with the team's email addys on and so I could tell them apart called them helpful names like: 'dave the IT guy' etc.

Sadly I didn't like all my colleagues and I was also unaware that when you send a message to everyone in the group, their names come up in speechmarks at the top of the email.

My apologies go especially to: Piers the pompous prick, Floppy Dick and Janet the bike. blush

boredjustabout Wed 19-Nov-08 20:09:23

My sister was a junior doctor, and she went into a cubicle one day to explain to the uncaring relatives of old Mrs Smith that since their aged mother had been found wandering in her nightie for the umpteenth time by the police and was clearly demented she needed to be hurried into safe accommodation....

Only unfortunately she entered the wrong cubicle and told Mrs Jones' family this sasd truth. Mrs Jones' family were devoted to their bright and lively mother, saw her all the time and had brought her into hospital themselves for a completely different (minor) reason....

They were terribly upset and couldn't understand why they hadn't noticed the warning signals. Until the consultant arrived and cleared up the misunderstanding.

differentID Wed 19-Nov-08 20:09:32

wmmc- my screen now needs cleaning! That is (now) hilarious!

TheGreatScootini Wed 19-Nov-08 20:09:36

PMSL at this thread..

I once spent an hour dealing very sensitively with a woman who had Learning difficulties who lived in one of my services.I had met with her and her advocate (who was supplied by a local Church organisation) to discuss her first forays into having sex with her partner, with the aim of making sure she was aware of the risks, used protection , was fully aware of what was going to happen etc..
We had explained everything using very careful and gentle language so as not to offend her innocent ears.When we got to the last bit about using condoms, I said it might be an idea to go to the family planning clinic and get them to show you how to use them.The woman piped up, 'No need!Can always just practice on my dildo!'
Am ashamed to say that I laughed so hard that snot came out of my nose.Twas NOT very professional grin

But possibly I can top that with the presentation where I had food poisoning.

During at twenty minute presentation three times I had to duck under the podium to vomit in the waste paper basket. In my slightly addled state I didn't think anyone had noticed but had forgotten I was wearing a radio mike blush

Then I brought the house down by deciding to finish my presentation sitting down, plonking myself down rather hard on a wheeled chair and cascading gracefully off the back of the stage yelling 'FUCK!' loudly blush

Mind you on the same conference my boss said (on mike) 'oh fucking hell, I thought that prick was dead' about another speaker grin and my other colleague walked out on stage with tight trousers on and her tummy fat as she walked forced the zip down. She had no knickers on. Twas neither pretty nor endearing. I legged it after her with a file and encouraged her to turn round to look at it so I could get her to zip up pronto!

I'd also like credit for actively encouraging my much hated boss to hold a presentation to advertise the productivity benefits of her new 'blueberry' to the entire company. grin It probably wasn't very professional, but it was fucking funny.

snigger Wed 19-Nov-08 20:19:33

I've got one more but it's that notorious anyone who knows me will recognise it -

I blagged my way into my first (mainly secretarial) job, and hastily garnered some tips from friends on how to layout standard business documents, with a good friend typing out a crib sheet for me to copy from.

I forgot most of her helpful explanations, and as a result, typed

Enc 2

at the bottom of everything I sent out - pp'd letters, invoices, and most notably, a covering letter attached to a bottle of vintage single malt.

My unnaturally cruel family had a t-shirt printed when I was pregnant with DD1 with guess what logo....

differentID Wed 19-Nov-08 20:20:04

I now hurt!

quint Wed 19-Nov-08 20:21:07

thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm so pleased I'm no longer in the office,, it was geting embaraasing what with this and the moon cups thread!

Many years ago I working i a hairdressers, I remember one very busy saturday someone called wanting to book an appointment and I had to tell them that we were fully booked, only it came out bully fu.... luckily I realised before I finished!

When I was a junior one of the stylists boyfriends used to love winding us up and would call asking to speak to her, he would disguise his voice and give his name, we never realsied until we said it out loud to the stylist and her client - it was silly stuff like Ivor Biggun etc - very embarrassing for this young naiave 16 yr old

ChukkyPig Wed 19-Nov-08 20:23:21

WMMC that is fucking hilarious!!!!

Thank you!!!

ChukkyPig Wed 19-Nov-08 20:27:13

When I was PG I had to go and talk to the IT guys about something or other. I was standing next to top IT guy peering at his computer and talking in top professional stylie voice when suddenly and with no warning I let out an audible and fairly stinky fart. As he was sitting the lucky chap had face right at bum level.

I soldiered on pretending nothing had happened blush

Megglevache Wed 19-Nov-08 20:28:51



bran Wed 19-Nov-08 20:33:26

I love all the farting at work stories (I'm quite immature and never really grew out of toilet humour).

WMMC, PMSL, especially about the email names. grin

cocolepew United States Wed 19-Nov-08 20:38:02

I was asked to get a urine sample from a pupil and take it to the nurse's office and leave it there so she could test it when she came back. I got an impressive amount in a plastic jug, opening
the toilet door a teacher walking past yelled boo. I jumped 6 foot in the air and he got covered in wee.

Poledra Wed 19-Nov-08 20:38:51

WMMC, i laughed so hard I just woke up DD3 who was asleep on my lap!

kitbit Wed 19-Nov-08 20:53:37

My then boss and good friend in the early days of email once sent a mail to a technician saying "please go and fix Mr X's PC. He's a big cheese and really bloody stroppy so can you prioritise please. Details of the fix are below".
Previously the techs would take a paper job sheet with all details but when we started using email they usually didn't...however my boss received a phonecall later that afternoon from Mr X thanking the IT department for their swift response to his support call, and reminding my boss to mention to the techs not to leave their printed out emails lying about. Apparently the phonecall began with "ah, good afternoon Mrs Y, it's the Cheese here."
She had to be taken to the pub at lunchtime by the rest of us and forcefed red wine.

WMMC you just spilled my tea angry grin

OracleInaCoracle Wed 19-Nov-08 21:02:35

my first xmas in my last job i went to the staff party in jan. i was a waitress then and only 20. anyway, got there at 7.30 and realised that the wine was FOCso got stuck in, only to find that i was at the table with the directors.unfortunately, this didnt deter me and i asked the owner of the chain why he'd been drinking my wine. was v indigniant. he turned to me andsaid "actually lissie, you are the only person drinking red and have polished off 2 bottles since we sat down". i then told him that i had been barred from the pub i worked at twice for underage drinking. blush

MadamAnt Wed 19-Nov-08 21:03:06

My toes still curl at the memory of a Very Big and Important meeting I had to attend immediately after a holiday in Barbados. Unfortunately I had zero sleep on the overnight flight. In desperation I had taken one of my Mum's valium, but instead of getting me off to sleep, it just made me very mentally fuzzy. I literally got off the bus from the airport, changed into my suit in a public loo and went straight into the meeting.

Not only was I incapable of stringing a sentence together, but I also had some sort of water-retention issue, as I had to excuse myself literally every 10 minutes to go to the (far away) loo for an enormous wee. About an hour (and six wees) later I had to admit defeat and check myself out of the meeting.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Wed 19-Nov-08 21:03:30

I worked in a big office that had escalators between each floor. There were always lots of self-important busy people running up and down them and huffing and puffing at you if you got in their way.

One day I was with a very senior boss of mine who was carrying a huge armful of piled up files, and so to make sure no one came up behind him and pushed past him on the escalator, I said 'I'll make sure no one comes up your bum'

I realised what I said and just cracked up laughing until I cried, and from then on whenever I saw him I would burst into giggles. Luckily he saw the funny side!

emma1977 Wed 19-Nov-08 21:04:14

I had to take a smear on a lady with a rather overgrown ginger pubic region. Unfortunately, the handles and ratchet of the speculum became entangled in her unkempt bush to such a degree that I couldn't remove it. I had to resort to using a pair of scissors to hack away a large clump of pubic hair to free the speculum. Afterwards, it looked as though she'd been set on by a demented beautician. Oddly enough, she has never chosen to come and see me again!

rempy Wed 19-Nov-08 21:04:51

I once chose to wear a particularly uncomfortable bra to work. So uncomfortable that I decided to take it off when I had a chance to go sleep in the on call room.

My contributions to the cardiac arrest call later that night were greatly appreciated by the male medical registrar, staff nurse, and junior doctors present.

I work in V neck scrubs...

One of the lab techs had noticed the women's toilet wasn't working. She knew the Maintenance lead man's last name was Clark. She was less clear about his first name. She left a message "The women's toilet in building 11 is broken and you need to fix it RIGHT NOW".

Apparently our CEO emerged from his office looking really worried and told his secretary "I just got a message from Vicky in QC. She sounds really mad at me". Yup, the CEO was also Mr. Clark.

ReginaFalangi Wed 19-Nov-08 21:06:48

I had just been transferred to this new job in ENgland from Germany. I really wanted to make a good impression, answered my first phone call very professionally, and left an equally professional message on my boss's desk:

"could you please ring JOAN LOUISE back"

He came back and asked who Joan Louise was, I had no idea, just assumed he would know. He didn;t. Nor did anyone in the office, we spent a couple of days trying to figure out who the fuck Joan Louise was, searching through all our clients database, until the phone rang back one afternoon.

Twas someone from John Lewis.


domesticslattern Wed 19-Nov-08 21:22:52

About a decade ago I worked in a market research company where we had to send a paper questionnaire survey to about 200,000 people in Norfolk. It was a massive undertaking. Unfortunately the guy in sampling messed up the data so that the "name" moved one down the spreadsheet from the correct "address". So every fourth person in Norfolk got sent a letter addressed to their nextdoor neighbour. The complaints poured in in their thousands. I was running the telephone helpline, it was really embarassing. We apologised profusely, and organised (at the research company's expense) another mailout. This time it was corrected twice blush and again was addressed to the next door neighbour, just this time on the other side. Doh. The helpline was not a pretty place to work. Having sent out 400,000 wrongly addressed surveys, we then had to write out AGAIN. The response rate was absymal and we never worked for that client again.

domesticslattern Wed 19-Nov-08 21:25:15

Just reading that back I am wondering if I remember the numbers correctly! As I am wondering now about the population of Norfolk! Still, it was a lot.

HowardMoon Wed 19-Nov-08 21:36:34

Oh god - re ginge pubes...

Have just remembered another. Was at Royal Albert Hall for a celeb bash run by the organisation I worked for. Was in Green Room as I was general flunky, getting celebs to sign visitors book etc, with a colleague (also v good mate) who had decided to neck the free champers (meant for stars only). A small, well respected lady actress had just arrived from one of the grand tier boxes, shortly followed by my straight laced boss (head honcho) who breathlessly remarked, 'Oh x, I was just about to come up your box...'
My colleague sprayed a mouthful of fizz across the room, and spluttered and snorted for a good few minutes, whilst boss and lady actress kept glancing at him, and I went puce...

Wiffle Wed 19-Nov-08 21:40:50

Call my boss "Mum" all the time recently. His name is Mike, maybe that's why?

Quattrocento Wed 19-Nov-08 21:51:28

I was giving a presentation to Very Important Clients and Targets. I had rehearsed for literally days and was a bag of nerves. One minute into the talk, my mobile went off. I had forgotten to switch it off. This was the ringtone. I tell you, that ringtone went on for ages ...

That was bad. Worse still was qualification day. But I can't tell you about that. It's too embarrassing.

pickie Wed 19-Nov-08 21:53:07

just before I went on a Gap year to Australia I worked in a restaurant and the tradition there was the chefs would throw you in the biggest pan they had or in the sink on your last day. Just as I thought I escaped this treatment they threw me in. but in anticipation I brought spare clothes but couldnt find them....

I found them upright in the freezer frozen in a huge block of ice, they must have so busy that day....

I was given a voice activated tape recorder once so that my boss wouldn't have to completely rely on my notetaking at a very long and involved conference. I dutifully recorded all the speakers and then stowed the tape recorder carefully in my briefcase. I didn't remember to take the tape out of the recorder. I handed the recorder into my boss the next day and never heard anything about it again, it was never transcribed into the notes I had been expecting, nothing.

I now believe the recorder was reactivated by the noise of all the attendees picking up their stuff and leaving the room and instead of the conference my boss was treated to the sound track of me
- using the toilet and washing my hands
- swearing in violent technicolor at many drivers on the M6.
- my karaoke version of the the entire Mike Oldfield CD 'Five Miles Out'.

wonderstuff Wed 19-Nov-08 21:57:49

First day as NQT I have to take a group of parents of my new tutor group from the hall to my classroom to introduce myself etc. I go the wrong way, get a bit lost, have to get directions from a prefect blush Then I introduce myself - Hello I'm Miss Stuff and I teach geography, still cringe, some parents weren't too impressed.

differentID Wed 19-Nov-08 22:01:24

quattrocentro- go on, you know you want to unload your deepest darkest humiliations.

wonderstuff Wed 19-Nov-08 22:05:07

DH started at a new job, one of the directors was called dave, he thought that two of the directors were called Dave, and for weeks called Martin Dave. This was about 10 years ago and he still get called 'Trigger' grin

Oh and there was the time I was holding a presentation for teenagers at a summer camp and explaining that when they heard the fire alarm they should evacuate immediately. I even had a 'nee narr' sound built into my PowerPoint presentation and at this point I heard it go off. The kids all stood up but I said 'erm no, that's just me, sit down, sit down, I'll make it stop' and started fiddling with my laptop. But strangely I couldn't seem to shut up the darn machine.

Cue hot firemen running in and evacuating the students who were pissing themselves laughing at me. blush

PtolemysMummy Wed 19-Nov-08 22:15:59

My old boss was describing his long journey down to Tenby to join his family. What will you do on the train I asked. He said he would read and sleep. On the way out of his office with a big pile of papers I crashed into his briefcase and out fanned about 20 porno mags.

PtolemysMummy - LOL, I do hope he gave you a big bonus to shut you up?

AlistairSim Wed 19-Nov-08 22:18:08

I am so ashamed but on my first day working as a grief counsellor, I wore a t-shirt with the slogan "I see dead people".

wonderstuff Wed 19-Nov-08 22:18:26

wmmc you have made my week PMSL

smartiejake Wed 19-Nov-08 22:19:01

I remember asking the children who worked the overhead projector in a singing assembly I was taking to adjust the focus as the words were all fuzzy.

Much fiddling ensued until I realised that the reason the words were fuzzy was that I didn't have my glesses on. blush

wrinklytum Wed 19-Nov-08 22:19:29

Not me but a colleague.She did a big poo in the staff toilet,and,embarrased at the smell,sprayed air freshener around the tolet so liberally it set off the fire alarm.With it being a hospital the fire service have to send out two fire engines.So a while later several burly firemen turned up on the ward to investigate the reasons for the alarm.Colleague was very red faced and hiding behind desk as firemen laughed uproariously when Senior nurse updated them on the situation.

I once mistook a patients partner for his daughter,which was very embarrassing.

Once as a very green staff nurse left in charge of ward I put out a crash call on a patient who I thought had arrested (Could get no pulse).Managed to manhandle poor guy onto bed with aid of colleague.By time crash team appeared he had come round more a collapse than an arrest...crash team not impressed!blush

Botbot Wed 19-Nov-08 22:21:38

Not me, but one of my colleagues once sent an email saying 'Is xx gay?'

To xx.

phdlife Wed 19-Nov-08 22:23:29

Used to have an admin job working for my dad. Every fortnight had to fax a request for info from 30-odd different regions, to meet a particular deadline. Then spend the entire morning before the deadline ringing the slackers who hadn't sent the info.

One week aafter typing up the request I made a modified version explaining that it was no surprise they were going to get this request as they'd been getting it every fortnight since the industry was invented so for the love of god would they just send me the blimmin' info and save me running round like a headless chook on deadline day. Showed it to colleague, good laugh, frustration vented, sent the proper request.


oh this thread is so so so funny....[weeps laughing]

DisasterArea Wed 19-Nov-08 22:30:20

i once vomited in a clean pint glass i was about to pour beer into.

now we do taped handovers in work and when pressed for time i fill mine full of the expletives and bits i really should leave out or delete. unknown to me the boss was visiting with new head honcho who wanted to listen in. had to hide in the loo until they had left.

AlaistairSim - I think we must have been shopping in the same T shirt store - I had that one. However it was the I poke badgers with spoons t-shirt I was wearing when forced to pick up Bill Oddie off the train! blush

mrsmalumbas Wed 19-Nov-08 22:30:48

Oh I have been laughing so much.

My own list of embarassing episodes would run to pages. I once posted a job ad which was distributed to 1,000's of BT engineers all around London. The phone number for enquiries was mis typed and turned out to be a phone box on the mile end road. Cue various bewildered passers by answering a ringing phone to be asked about rates of pay, hours, etc.

I had a boss once who referred to me as "you fuckin' dizzy tart". I think that says it all really.

Oh and as a fresh young graduate recruit I got very pissed at a staff party, heavily snogged a senior manager on the dance floor, told another senior manager to fuck off, then went back to a colleagues house who had very kindly offered to put me up for the night - and vomited all over her double bed. Which I was sharing with her at the time.

Oh the shame.

weebleswobble Wed 19-Nov-08 22:31:26

Going back to the days of early telex machines - it would have been early 80s and I was 17 working in a small office. For those that don't remember life before computers, you had to type your message, no screen to see what you were typing, and just a holey tape to feed back through the machine.

I send the telex and the machine typed back what was being read:

Dear Mr so and so

Re: Your acunt

I went all shades of red and green and can still feel the horror!

LoolaBoys Wed 19-Nov-08 22:34:09

This thread has made me PMSL. DH is looking at me like I'm totally crazy.

I don't have story, but DH and I used to work at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. DH answered the phone {wasn't even his job he was just passing) saying 'Old Oaks how can I help you' (our previous workplace. The person on the other end of the phone was of course Gordon himself

TrillianA Wed 19-Nov-08 22:34:27

You poke badgers? With spoons? Now that is a very original sin.

grin weebles <weeps with laughter>

DH has just walked past and said 'don't forget about the time you did the video'.....

<oh god the horror>

In my first job I was paid horribly little, so I supplemented my income with session work as a singer. I got a gig playing at the NEC for a few days with a well known rock singer. I had to wear a slutty adult themed PVC outfit onstage.

I didn't realise at the time it was recorded. Anyway, I moved on and ten years later I mentioned this to someone at work, confident in the knowledge that the video had been discontinued and it hadn't been released on DVD <smug cow emoticon>

Of course I didn't realise that YouTube had been invented and found images of a much younger me on every screensaver in the dept when I came back from lunch one day blush

Of course I spent the next year exacting painful revenge took it in good humour.

weebleswobble Wed 19-Nov-08 22:47:55

More recently in my current job, a patient comes to the reception desk, and I can usually keep a straight face...patient is an elderly grey haired gentleman with mutton chops and wearing a flat cap. A colleague walks behind me and says "fish fingers for lunch?"

I burst out laughing and had to excuse myself before I had an accident.

PtolemysMummy Wed 19-Nov-08 22:48:34

DP's old boss sounded just like David Jason's Del Boy character. At home we referred to him as Del Boy. On a particularly busy day, DP forwarded me an email from his boss saying 'Message From Del Boy - is this evening OK with you', copying Del Boy!

phdlife Wed 19-Nov-08 22:51:00

wmmc - you just teasing or you actually going to give us the link??

Certainly not, in your delicate state you'd have kittens! grin

NuttyTaff Wed 19-Nov-08 22:52:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Portofino Wed 19-Nov-08 22:54:05

Come on wmmc!!!!!

phdlife Wed 19-Nov-08 22:57:19

no we've had the scan there're no kittens in there TELL grin

I don't think so actually, Suebaroo has already managed to weedle out of me which famous American I cheated on ex-dh with when drunk, think that's quite enough disclosures for one year.....but would be interested to know Phds due date!

DrNortherner Wed 19-Nov-08 23:00:20

At an old job we had an area manager called Rosemary xxxxxxxx, she was awful. Very serious and stern and strange so we called her Rosemary West.....awful I know. Once day I actually introduced her as Rosemary West to a colleague in her prescence blush

Once I emailed a mate/colleague 'Oi cunt, where's my lipstick?' (she had borrowed it) except I sent it to a client with the same christian name.......

RustyBear Wed 19-Nov-08 23:02:24

When I went to my SIL's last Christmas, I put a lot of pictures on my laptop of my DCs & my niece & nephews when they were little. Luckily I realised just before I showed them that they included two or three of me feeding DS in bed, topless - so I moved them quickly to my USB drive.

A couple of months later, a teacher at the school where I work asked if I had any pictures of flowers he could use in an ICT lesson.
"Oh yes," I said, "I've got some on my USB drive" So I plugged it in & we started looking through the pictures - then I came to an unnamed folder.

"I don't remember what's on here" I said, opening the folder & clicking on the first picture on the list....

(The only saving grace is that his laptop was not actually connected to the classroom whiteboard at the time, so it was only the teacher got an eyeful, not his class of 27 8 and 9 year-olds.)

Mhamai Wed 19-Nov-08 23:03:12

MAny many moons ago while temping as a receptionist, instead of saying. "Daniel your wife is on line " I said "Daniel your life is on wine" shock blush

He said "Mhamai you could be right!" grin

sallystrawberry Wed 19-Nov-08 23:03:21

I'm Angela Hernandez and so's my husband!

MatBackFeck Wed 19-Nov-08 23:04:00

these are hilarious - I feel professional in comparison. Liberty Loberty and the teacher that threw pee over her colleague, hilarious!

My only one was first IT job on a crappy helpdesk while a student, used to burn the candle at both ends, one day came into work straight from a club, went to the loos for a "rest" and fell asleep. Cue waking up to the Paramedics that had been called by the supervisor who had seen my feet, and I had to pretend to have fainted for the rest of the day and be carried out through the open plan office on a stretcher.

thumbwitch Wed 19-Nov-08 23:04:18

when I worked in a blood-testing lab, in the age before computers, we had to carefully transcribe blood group results from a printout to a book of results, and then from that book to the report cards for each pregnant woman. It needed 2 people to take it in turns at reading out and writing down; and it had to be double-checked. This meant that pg women's names had to be read out 4 times. This was generally fine until we had a pg woman called Imelda Nash Wanklin - oddly enough, this caused myself and my colleague unseemly hilarity and we collapsed in giggles when we got close to this name.

As poor li'l juniors, we both got taken off into the Lab Director's office and given the "frivolous and unprofessional" talk, where we were warned that laughter could cause fatal errors...

Another time, I stopped a man from following me and my friend back into the labs after lunch (they were closed off by security doors) and asked him who he was - he said "I'm your new QA manager, I met you this morning" - boy, did I go red. He saw the funny side, luckily - and I hadn't even had a drink that lunchtime!

DrNortherner Wed 19-Nov-08 23:05:00

OOh just remembered, many years ago when working as a hotel receptionist I answer the switchboard to a womn asking to be put through to Mr xxxxx room. Oh Mr xxxx has just gone out to dinner with his wife says I.
I'm his wife says woman on the phone.....

Mhamai Wed 19-Nov-08 23:06:45

Ooh heard this happened to a teacher in ds's school. One of the classes <they are aged 6> is doing "Greased lightning" she sent home the song sheet but didn't edit it so there are probably lots of parents hmm ing at wordsheets with "shit" and "tits" all over it! shock grin

Mhamai Wed 19-Nov-08 23:07:45

<cringe> for you DrNortherner.

Oh fabulous

Now in Classics, Thank you MNHQ

phdlife Wed 19-Nov-08 23:08:09

for wmmc everyone else pls ignore hijack!

I have been PMSL at this thread.

I have some embarassing work stories.

In my young days, I worked in a cash office, and was doing some filing one day when I could hear one of the shop floor supervisors talking to one of the other cashiers quite loudly "look at the arse on that!". I ended up having a rant at him until I realised that he wasn't even referring to my arse, and had to back peddal some of my comments.

My worst moment came during a job interview. I was in over my head, was mumbling and panicking, and then I was asked "what kind of relationship would I expect from my boss". I burst out laughing, got terrible giggles, spluttered "what kind of question was that?!" and spent the rest of the interview giggling every now and again. I got the job. I'm still there five years later, and have been promoted - they must be looney!

MrsTittleMouse Wed 19-Nov-08 23:09:20

I once had to give a very important presentation that included the word organism....

A colleague of mine was doing a presentation to BP. They were one of our clients. He was talking about the essence of the BP brand, and the brand's values. However, when he started talking about BPness, it all fell apart ...

(you have to say it out loud for best effect)

Califrau Wed 19-Nov-08 23:13:50


I think I'd quite like to work with some of you lot, we're all endearingly incompetent at very simple things (anal continence and oral competence or lack thereof seem to be recurrent themes). grin

DrNortherner Wed 19-Nov-08 23:15:30

PMSL at BPnes!!!!!

One of our clients was Sterling Health (now part of GlaxoSmithKline), and we were working on two of their brands, Califig and Andrews Liver Salts. Both deal with digestive disorders - most notably constipation.

I think the longest we ever lasted (in internal meetings) without falling apart in fits of the giggles about poo-related issues was 5 minutes.

We always gave our projects code names, as everything we worked on was top secret. This particular project was named Project O'Hara - after Scarlet O'Hara, because she was fast and loose and Gone with the Wind ...

nibnabs Wed 19-Nov-08 23:18:51

I like to say 'jizz' instead of 'cheers' when i'm serving a customer. If you say it with a smile it sounds the same, thou i do get the odd customer whose face flickers with a 'did i just hear her say jizz...?' look!

Mhamai Wed 19-Nov-08 23:19:10

This was far from funny at the time but I can laugh now. Another company I was doing temp reception, well this very irate/blood boiling etc customer was trying to speak to someone in accounts, he had been overcharged on his bill. Accounts were telling me to tell him they were not available and to take his no and they would call him back.

He was having none of it and was becoming more agressive by the second to the point where his voice had dropped to a growl. I had just come back to work after a recent bereavement and was trying to hold it together.

To cut a long story short, he flipped, then so did I sobbing into the mouthpiece. "My mother died last week!" ............................... He went very quiet.

Portofino Wed 19-Nov-08 23:22:24

These are all excellent. I can't think of any funny ones.

My worst moment, quite new in a job, was doing a tender exercise for a new project and i accidentally sent the spreadsheet containing ALL the first round quoted prices to ALL the companies taking part. After some embarrassed and pleading phone calls, none of them actually dropped me in it. I had weeks of sleepless nights about it.

I do expect that the company had to pay more than it should have done though.....

We had a Christmas party. They were all day jobs, so there was a lot of drinking. However on this particular day, we were playing a drinking game, and the drinks that had to be drunk as the penalty had been spiked.

I was very, very drunk.

Coach brought us back to the office at around 9pm. In the lift up to our floor I suddenly felt really sick, so insisted on the lift being stopped. I got out on the 2nd floor, chucked up, then got back into the lift and rode it up to my floor.

Trouble was, the 2nd floor was another company and had nothing to do with ours blush

I did answer the phone at my new job as "Hello, ELF at company X" and slowly realised I was actually now working at company Z. Unfortunately/fortunately it was my boss who was ringing in. Luckily he saw the funny side of it. But this was the same boss who interviewed me for the job where I giggled the whole way through.

I have worn my clothes inside out a couple of times before, sat in meetings with labels sticking out and stuff, and NOBODY has noticed!!

I named a large project I was responsible for 'Jude' as he is the patron saint of hopeless causes. All went well until our new VP asked 'Why is it called Project Jude?'

My boss made me rename the project 'Darwin'.

MARGOsBeenPlayingWithMyNooNoo Wed 19-Nov-08 23:26:50

I had to giv a presentation at work about finding ways of to make their teams feel proud at work. Unfortunately I got the words "proud" and "bad" muddled up.

Actually, the way things are going in the work situation....

It went very wrong, released a small cloud of oil vapor over the town of Mojave and featured on Channel 9 KTLA news. They should have stuck with Jude.

On a brighter note though, the reporters got the company name wrong so no one really knew it was us.

Portofino Wed 19-Nov-08 23:32:25

Ooh talking of Xmas parties....probably 20 years ago, we all went out for a drunken long lunch on Xmas Eve and as i was on duty I was supposed to go back to close up the office. Part of my "responsibility" was to leave a festive greeting on the office ansaphone to the effect that the office was closed til XXXX. And Happy New Year everyone etc....

But I got the hiccups, and a fit of the giggles and was literally ROFL at every attempt. After 20 goes I thought i had left a sensible one, only to find that one of the bosses had had to come in over Xmas to rerecord it...blush

At a job i worked in in my younger days we were having a casual discussion about plastic surgery and I asked my boss if he wouldn't even have a blow job.

I meant nose...obviously

Mhamai Wed 19-Nov-08 23:42:33

Ooh just remembered this one. Again many moons ago I was working in a ladies clothes shop in a shopping centre. This woman came in and her card wouldn't go through. At the time the protocol was to hold onto the card and report it as possible fraud.

The machine that swipes the card was in full view on the desk. I asked the manager should I retain the card, she said yes. I said, "but the woman will want to know what happened to her card." She said, "tell her the machine swallowed it!" shock

This was a tiny flat machine, I said "tell her yourself!"

controlfreakyBANG Wed 19-Nov-08 23:42:47

good thread!

as a trainee lawyer in a v v boring meeting i managed to staple my thumb by fiddling with stapler..... had to run out of the room clutching my hand.... didnt scream til i was outside.
god that hurt. the worst bit was getting it out.

NumptyMum Wed 19-Nov-08 23:44:40

I recently had to contact a company to ask for their bank details so that we could pay their bill by bank transfer. I rang later in the afternoon, but hadn't expected to get their ansaphone - so I left a message. I hate leaving messages when unprepared, and got a bit flustered. All went OK until after I said what details we needed; I then explained that we needed them faxed on headed paper or in an email to prove they were a bona fide company - then, thinking they might be offended by this implication that they might not be bona fide, I said that otherwise it could be me sending my own bank details to my company and trying to defraud them...

Contemplated adding burglary to my budding fraud career, and stealing the ansaphone before the message was heard!

Cringe, just remembered another!!

My first job was when I was 17, I was doing my A levels and just working a few hours for booze money.

I was working in the cash office, and on one MOnday night I was tip tapping along, and started tapping my fingers on some red buttons and casually asked the woman working with me what they were for.

So she informed me that they were our direct link to the police should the place be burgled.

No police car turned up, so we assumed that I'd not actually pressed them, as you know, you'd expect the police to rock up in those circumstances. So we didn't tell anybody what had happened because we didn't think it was an issue.

It turned out that when the managers came to lock up the building, they were unable to do so as they were getting some random messages about how the alarms needed re-setting, and they had no clue what was going on.

Took about an hour / two to find out what the issue was, they were fumbling around in the dark to get the stuff sorted.

I was mortified. Whenever we got a new member of staff after that, I kept telling them "dont every touch those red buttons!!"

unknownrebelbang Wed 19-Nov-08 23:52:26

Being caught talking about my boss being two-faced about an incident.

Shaking, I apologised for talking about him...but reinforced that I did consider him to be two-faced. blush

spamm Wed 19-Nov-08 23:52:31

When about 7 months pregnant, I met one of our Senior Directors at Waterloo by chance. Used to work for him in Comms, and was delighted to see him. At the time, I worked for another business, and was quite junior to him. We chatted for a while and then when time to go for our trains (different ones) I leant forwards and kissed him on both cheeks.

I immediately realised my mistake and the look on his face was so funny - I had to just run away. I later heard through his press officer that he was totally taken aback. I asked her to tell him that I completely blamed it on lack of brain due to pregnancy....nearly 4 years later, I have only started to be able to talk to him straight without blushing. And we never mention IT. blush

MmeLindt Wed 19-Nov-08 23:54:11

Great thread.

I worked in the kitchens of an outdoor centre and once dropped a huge pile of dinner plates just as the 100 guests were coming into the dining room.

My German friend once asked her boss if he would like her to make a cup of coffee or "bring him one down" (she meant from the canteen).

That phrase in German means "give you a BJ"

He replied that he would have a cup of coffee first

Mhamai Wed 19-Nov-08 23:56:26

In the same clothes shop I was greatly miffed that our boss had bought cheap choccys and washing up wine for the staff to have on xmas eve. Everyone had agreed to do a walkout when said chocs and wine appeared. To my dismay I was the only one who walked out pulling the shutters down behind me.

I had executed a very proud huffy yet dignified exit until.................................. I had to come back and announce "I forgot my tights!" and then repeat my proud huffy yet dignified exit. blush

One of the girls I'm still in touch with still reminds me of this......20 odd years later. blush grin

spamm Thu 20-Nov-08 00:00:50

And was once working at an event as PR, when Prince Charles came to visit our stand. As I was watching from the side, I flung my bag over my arm - and promptly caught a wasp between my bag and my bum blush.

I managed not to scream when I was stung, mainly beacuse I did not know what his security team would do to me if I did. And because of all the cameras and tv crews assembled to get a photo of him getting into our aircraft. My colleagues were trying not to laugh too loud, as tears streamed down my face.

Still cannot believe I had the presence of mind not to scream....

<proffers fist>

spamm Thu 20-Nov-08 00:06:27

<bangs fists with BIWI> Yey!

sallystrawberry Thu 20-Nov-08 00:08:31

I was working as a house manager at an events place a few years ago and had a bit of a dodgy tummy and basically needed a big poo blush as you do.

there was an office area out the back , with a staff loo, the loo had a little room leading to it, one door in, no windows, no air freshner.

I go in, do my thing, it really really stinks blush, then I hear someone come into the little room..... they knock the door - its only bloody Lisa Lashes the DJ and her mate, shes just about to go on to do her set and wants to use the loo shock

I sat there for about 10 mins hoping she'd bugger off - she didn't.

Not only did I have to open the door and release the foul smell into the atmoshere - as I walked past her out of the foul smelling loo, her whole entourage, plus all the security staff were there waiting for her to come out, at least 10/15 people

oh god I was mortified blush

sallystrawberry Thu 20-Nov-08 00:17:25


othersideofthefence Thu 20-Nov-08 00:26:52

We had a new IT technician in work who gave me the creeps. Myself and another colleague spent a long time talking about how creepy he was, and how we hoped he wouldn't ask either of us out (we were the only 2 single people in work)

He turned out to be having an affair with another colleague - and yes, she had been in the room everytime we had gone on (and on and on) about how odd he was and how you would have to be desparate to even consider him ...

LaDiDaDi Thu 20-Nov-08 00:34:45

I was sitting at the nurses station at work when a visitor left the ward saying "Bye" to everyone. I replied "Bye, love you" blush, must have been thinking about dp, and then immediately dived under the nurses station so that she couldn't see who had said it. Everyone else was ptsl.

stoppinattwo Thu 20-Nov-08 06:10:44

when dd was little and she was potty training DP once phoned me whilst I was in work with a rather excited DD....she proclaimed "Ive done a poopoo in my potty" at the time we had the poopoo in my potty song which went along the lines of "lets all do the conga" was an encouragement/ celebration type thing.

Well I was in work singing "poopoo in my potty, poopoo in my potty" with DD at the other end of the phone doing the conga around the living room...I had completely forgotten where I was as this was such a revelation blush blush followed with an "oh well done darling for doing a big poop in your potty, will have to go now as Im in work......." at which point I remebered exactly where I was, I put the phone down to a completely silent mate was in silent hysterics on the floor, how embarrasing

mamakoukla Thu 20-Nov-08 07:00:32

Demonstrating to a lab of undergraduate first year students .... their very first lab at uni, may I add. Glass pipettes were in cane holders, bunged in with a sort of synthetic cotton wool. Whilst talking about the hazards of handling pipettes, I had inadvertently touched the cotton wool to the bunsen flame blush. Voila! Students flapping about. I calmly pulled down the sleeve of my lab coat, whacked the fire out and carried on with the class. Ooops....

HeadFairy Thu 20-Nov-08 07:06:01

Hilarious thread, has really woken me up at the end of my night shift!

Mine's not nearly so funny. I was working for local telly in London, it was the week Diana died, the day before her funeral. We had a special programme presented by a well known newsreader live from St James' palace where her body was lying in state. The whole programme was presented live from there, with some video inserts. We had a standby presenter back in the studio in case the link went down.

Anyway we did the whole programme, the well known newsreader was doing his best hand wringing bit and I was sitting in the broadcast truck with the director. The air conditioning was on in the truck and it was freezing so I casually flicked the switch off and caused a power surge that took us off air. We were on a pre recorded bit so as far as the viewer was concerned, they'd just watched a whole programme presented by a well known newsreader only to see a startled presenter sitting in a studio come in to vision to say goodbye. The director and I didn't tell the well known newsreader, he carried on doing his bit, thinking he was still on air. I had to wait several months (and for a day when he'd had a few bottles glasses of wine) before I was brave enough to tell him I'd ruined his big moment.

alors Thu 20-Nov-08 09:25:33

My sister swallowed a drawing pin in the first hour of her first morning in her first job. She put in her mouth while she was hanging up a poster and was so nervous that she gulped and it went down!

She hung on for an hour before plucking up the courage to tell someone....

UnIllustrious Thu 20-Nov-08 09:41:13

Had to name change for this to avoid "outing" myself.

I decided I wanted to be a doctor. I went to an open day at medical school, full of bright young things eager to impress. The day started at 9.30 and we were split into groups. My first session was a demonstration on resuscitation models called "What to do when someone falls unconscious". At 9.35, I got squeamish and fainted. I came round to find the whole group crowded around me, clearly thinking I was a plant and keen to show off their bedside manner and how calm they were in a crisis!

As I have never made it through a first aid course without fainting, I had to concede that the illustrious career of medicine was probably not for me!

shockedatboss Thu 20-Nov-08 09:50:58

I'm going to have to add mine. Unfortunately have had to namechange, not because of hiding my identity particularly, but to protect the other person...

Early in my career, I worked in a department with just myself and my boss. She was a strange and irritating woman. One day she was on holiday but was expecting an important email that I would have to deal with. So she gave me the password to her email account so I could check throughout the day.

When checking I had a little nosey blush. I saw an email with a slightly, shall we say, saucy subject line that intrigued me as I knew my boss was single.

I opened the message and was shock at the contents, fairly graphic arranging to meet with this man. I was fairly traumatised as picturing my middle aged boss in that context wasn't something I wanted to do.

However I was hooked, and looked for more messages blush


There were hundreds of messages, from various different men and women, arranging various group and individual sex sessions with all sorts of different people, and discussing them.

I spent the rest of the day trawling her email inbox with my mouth wide open.

To be fair, anyone stupid enough to conduct that kind of correspondence on theit work email and then not even delete any of it deserves it to be discovered by their assistant. grinblush

Now I am older and wiser I would be less shocked by this, but my young and fairly innocent self was in disbelief!

I have told people this story in RL so if you recognise me from it, please don't out me for the sake of said boss.

Pinkjenny Thu 20-Nov-08 09:57:46

Meggle's 'don't worry, it's not a pube' has just made me spit coffee all over my keyboard!

squiffy Thu 20-Nov-08 10:08:29

I am still crying with laughter over "Mine's a ginger muffin" on a dealing floor of all places.

mehgalegs Thu 20-Nov-08 10:13:22

When I taught in London we had a very new age head, she often arranged "interesting" INSET courses for her staff.

One guy gave a seminar on self esteem, he started the session by plugging his book called "Knowing Me, Knowing You" cue me and mate doing an Alan Partidge style "ahaaaaa!". Followed by silence and icy glares all round.

Poledra Thu 20-Nov-08 10:19:33

Hilarious thread, about which I was feeling quite smug, as I coudn't remember doing anything quite so embarassing. Then, oh god, I read about mamakoukla's incident in the lab......

As a PhD student, I tutored undergraduate classes, which I considered a fairly thankless task. Follwing on from a very heavy night once, I vomited three times during a 90-minutes tutorial, fortunately held in a small lab with sinks. I carried on with the tutorial between-times, and the undergrads were very quiet that day. As it turned out, I had gained a new respect from them all, and got high ratings from them all at the end of the course grin

harleyd Thu 20-Nov-08 10:21:49

i used to work in a open plan office. had a heavy nites drinking session and fell asleep on my desk the next day. was half woken up by someone shaking my shoulder, saying harley wake up. i muttered oh fuck off, im tired, just have a wank and leave me alone...
all of a sudden realised where i was, jumped up to find my boss and 10 people staring at me in stunned silence blush

AussieLou Thu 20-Nov-08 10:28:48

I am in hysterics over this thread.

I was working a night shift (I was an ambulance dispatcher) and was incredibly bored as it was a quirt night. The rest of the team and I were looking up lyrics for dodgy songs and I start singing 'Ice Ice Baby' by Vanilla Ice, not realising that a friend had opened all the radio channels and my singing was being broadcast on an open radio channel to about 100 paramedics and other listeners.

kitbit Thu 20-Nov-08 10:34:54

I was sent up north on the redeye flight for my annual appraisal which was cancelled, so they put me in a hotel for the night in order to do the appraisal the next day. Of course I was entertained by our northern counterparts, until the wee small hours. An early start topped by a hangover, and I wasn't at my best. During the appraisal (with v big boss) I suddenly became aware that he was shaking me gently by the shoulder... I had apparently fallen asleep in this *one to one meeting* and he couldn't rouse me, so left me to sleep on the desk for 30 mins before trying again. Bless him, he'd even gone to the canteen and was proffering hot coffee and biscuits. blush
I got high marks in that appraisal, I like to think it was due to my work but perhaps not!!!

GentleOtter Thu 20-Nov-08 10:36:54

When I was a student nurse we had a really arrogant surgeon that used to swan about the hospital. He wore a leather jacket and always a snappy tie. He was a real letch.

My friend and I were just finishing our tea break and I was none too pleased as 'Dr Perv' was coming to grace us with his presence. I muttered to my friend that I was unhappy that Dr Perv did the smear tests with his tie - thinking about the hygiene aspect - but my friend misheard and hollered out "Dr Perv does the pap smears with his tongue"?.....

He was standing right behind her with a big group of trainees.

wilbur Thu 20-Nov-08 10:50:22

I work from home and not long after ds1 was born I was taking a call from an agent, trying to convince her that motherhood was not getting in the way of work, oh no, it was business as usual. While I was talking to her, ds1 who was lying at my feet without a nappy on (curse that book that recommended nappy-free time) decided to wee an impressively huge arc onto my leg. I couldn't move away as the wee would then have hit the sofa, so I just stood there, being pissed on, while trying to concentrate on the phone call.

Oh and as a student, I got fired from my dad's company for sending a client down to the kitchen as I though he was there to chef for the big meeting, when in fact, he WAS the big meeting.

chipmonkey Thu 20-Nov-08 11:10:18

A patient was asking about the possibility of Laser Eye surgery but her prescription was complicated and I tried to explain that the surgeons hadn't had much success with her type of prescription. Except that I said they hadn't had a lot of sex!blush

A colleague was dealing with a Mr Hancock. Fine except she called him Mr Hardcock throughout!grin

Another colleague was explaining to a patient that the reason his glasses were in such bad shape was that he was taking them off with one hand. Therefore when he got his new specs he was to make sure to take them off with both hands. Then she noticed he only had one hand!

BitOfFun Thu 20-Nov-08 11:28:51

Wouldnt you want the ground to swallow you up? blush

DrNortherner Thu 20-Nov-08 11:37:06

When I worked as a wedding planner I was sent on a wine course, all about upselling and matching wine to food etc etc.

There were only about 8 of us on the course, and to assess our knowledge the trainer asked us to write down as many different types of grapes that we could think of. I wrote green and red........blush

Then when demonstrating how to open a bottle correctly he said 'Look at the lovely flange on that'

At which point I PMSL.

DrNortherner Thu 20-Nov-08 11:38:16

Oh, and once when working as a hotel receptionist as I was checking in a blind man with his stick and guide dog I asked 'would you like a newspaper in teh morning'.........

LilRedWG Thu 20-Nov-08 12:05:15

My first job out of universtiy I shared an office with the quality manager and he was such an arrogant, sexist, rascist son of a bitch that I was constantly biting my tongue.

One day he was late (again) to a quality meeting he was hosting in our office with all the departmental head so everyone else started without him. We were all cold (this was portacabin central) so all windows were shut and the heaters on full. I sat at my desk working whilst they all got on with their meeting.

He waltzed in and proclaimed, "It's far too hot in here!" and prceded to open the window at his end of the office. Everyone exchanged looks and ignored him.

Then he came to my end of the office and lent over me, removed my coat from the window latch (did I mention this was a cheapskate engineering company) and proceeded to open my window. At which point I lost it completely and month of supressed vitriol came pouring out of my mouth. The meeting was adjourned and all the chaps scurried out whilst I raged at the twat. When I stopped for breath he demanded an apology to which I responded by bursting into tears (I'm such a girl) and walked out. I stormed through the factory to one of the managers offices to ask him to come with me whilst the boss fired me.

My boss suggested that I go home and calm down, by which point I seriously thought I was going to be sacked. I stayed and worked in a meeting room for the day. At the end of the day the BIG boss asked if I was okay, to which I shamefacedly apologised. He did a double take and asked why I was apologising - I'd only said what everyone else thought and would I like an office of my own.

chuffinell Thu 20-Nov-08 12:05:29

have to confess this one - i was 18 and didnt know my a**e from my elbow in my first job in a bar

a man asked for a hot toddy (it was country style pub) and i asked the manageress how to make one. i gave it him and he said 'ooh lovely but its nicer with honey in' (dropping his H)

the next one he asked for, i went to the kitchen and put a slice of onion in

i still cringe blush

LilRedWG Thu 20-Nov-08 12:07:43

For weeks after that guys were stopping me on the shopfloor asking for blow by blow accounts and buying me drinks down the pub.

I chose the only female engineer to offload on about what a piece of crap he was. Little was I to know that shortly after the two of them would divorce their respective partners and married. blush

ghosty Thu 20-Nov-08 12:14:37

Similar to the "angela hernandez" fiasco grin:
It was my first term as a newly qualtified teacher. I was 23. I was at an evening drinks 'do' at the school held for parents of new children to the school. I was terrified. I had a little girl in my class called Lindsay-Kate who had just arrived from South Africa. The headteacher led me to her parents and I said hello to the mum (who I had met the day before) and then held out my hand to the dad, saying, "How do you do? I am Lindsay-Kate's mother." Cue looks of shock from Lindsay-Kate's parents and a shocked silence from the Headmistress blush

When I was a live in nanny, my employers used to go away most weekends. My boyfriend used to come back and stay from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. We went out one Friday, got totally trashed, came home to find the family car still there. I was too pissed to care and took my BF in anyway. We staggered up 3 flights of stairs thinking we were being really quiet hmm. After some loud bonking blush he needed the loo so I told him to go to MY toilet, not the employers bathroom. After what seemed like hours he didn't come back upstairs so I went to look for him (stumbling around in the dark, stage whispering his name). Eventually I found him. He was passed out on the floor in MY EMPLOYERS BATHROOM! I couldn't open the door properly as his head was wedging it shut but eventually, after some subtle banging I managed to open it and get my hand around to hit him over the head to wake him up. He jumped up, stark bollock naked, shouting, "DON'T WAKE THE CHILDREN!"
THAT is why I have never ever contemplated having a nanny grin

DH used to drive me to work before I had a car in our early days of going out. I worked in a lovely private school for 'gells' (same school that Lindsay-Kate went to). One morning, after a big night out at the pub, DH was driving me up the hill to school. Passed all the lovely nice 'gells' on their way to school. Suddenly he pulled up, said, "Sorry" in a strange voice, opened his door and chundered all over the road. Right in the path of the Headmistress' car ... blush

DH works with a gorgeous young man called Dominic. He really is lovely and I have always had a bit of a crush. When DD was two she couldn't say 'Dominic' and when we went into the office to see Daddy one day she called Dominic "Donkey Dick" in front of everyone.

ForeverOptimistic Thu 20-Nov-08 12:16:00

When I was pregnant and hormonal I was getting really fed up with people not thinking for themselves and asking dumb questions (I worked in HR). So I started issuing homework, if people contacted me with daft questions I would ask them to research a certain area of employment legislation and write a little essay on it. blush

SoupDragon Thu 20-Nov-08 12:23:42

[happy sigh] This it what MN is about

This wasn't me but a friend and I went to the open day at a boys' private secondary school recently., She asked the smartly dressed member of staff who was meeting & Greeting in the foyer about tours. We spent the remaining time (and a good while after) giggling about his response which was "ask a prefect and he'll give you one."

I regularly came to in boring meetings to find everyone looking expectantly at me because they'd asked me a question, but that's kind of dull compared to everyone else's tales.

I also once changed our company name to Comical Onion in what I though were the non-printing headers of an important return to the government. Then I sent it to my boss for proof reading.

Chuffinell - your brilliant onion story reminds me of one of mine.

I was temping, reception and answering phone. Woman rang up and said brusquely 'Your account's payable.'
Me: 'I'm sorry, would you mind telling me which account so I know who to put you through to?'
Her (again, getting cross): 'Your account's payable.'
Me: 'Sorry, I need to know more about how you need to talk to....'
Her: 'Oh, for God's sake!' - slams phone down and calls my boss directly to rant about the moron on reception.

It was only later that day I realised she had been saying in her strong Essex accent 'Your accounts people.'

Mind you if she'd been politer and had prefixed it with 'I would like to speak to....' I might have worked it out hmm

MissusH Thu 20-Nov-08 12:25:53

Used to work in retail as store support so was responsible for queries about deliveries etc.

Had one phone call where the manager of a Scottish store called with a complaint and went off on a total rant - in fact I could not understand a word he was saying (had a strong Glaswegan accent which was difficult to understand when he wasn't foaming at the mouth) nor could I get a word in edgeways!

After listening to him go on and on for 15mins or so I was slumped down, banging my head on the desk.

At that moment one of the Vice Presidents walked into the office with a group of visitors proclaiming proudly how efficient we were and that all queries were dealt with in the most professional way blush

Snort @ 'donkey dick'!!!

Pinkjenny Thu 20-Nov-08 12:32:59

Forever Optimistic - what a fabulous idea! I could have issued about 50 pieces of homework already today!

LilRedWG Thu 20-Nov-08 12:32:59

DH reminded me of the time that an email went around to everyone telling us that the CEO would be showing around some very important clients, so everyonewas to be on their best behaviour etc, etc.

Cue one guy in DH's office sat with his back to the door giving a belting rendition of Wheels on the Bus, complete with actions...... You get the picture.

TheProvincialLady Thu 20-Nov-08 12:33:26

Chuffinell your onion story reminds me of when I had to interview a lovely old couple about their experiences being children in the 1920s. They were from the East End of London. We had just started when the man kept going on about orps and how much fun he had picking orps. I had to stop him and ask what orps were. After about 5 minutes of him describing them and trying to say the word in 15 different ways (none of them involving the letter h) I eventually worked out that he meant HOPS. He must have thought I was such a snobblush <regrets grammar school education>

Not my story but my bf's. She was working for a cycle company and was looking through some documents about bikes that had been imported from Japan and one was called the JI-SM and this was on the paintwork of the bike .

Her boss said " this model isn't selling very well " and without thinking she replied " Well perhaps people don't want jism on their bike "

AmIWhatAndWhy Thu 20-Nov-08 12:54:48

My worst has to be serving coq au vin by silver service as a 16 year old. It landed in the brides lap! I dropped the platter and grabbed a napkin from the grooms lap and frantically dabbed at her crotch. It ended with both of us in tears but she was very nice about it and thankfully so was my manager.

To this day I have an all consuming hatred of silver service. What is the bloody point. Plated is fine!

Litchick Thu 20-Nov-08 13:11:16

Am glad I'm not the only one gulity of total twattery.
I've been to court so many times in odd shoes, shirt inside out, and one time with a half nibbled breadstick poking out of my suit pocket.
However one that still makes me cringe is when I mistakenly posted the autopsy photos of a murder victim through my next door neighbour's letterbox.
Actually in that same case I sent all the evidence to the QC and instead of the suspect's interview tape I gave him a recording of my Nan singing Amazing Grace.
The QC laughed. The neighbour didn't.

Jackstini Thu 20-Nov-08 13:16:23

Cornsilk - I have done the 2 odd boots at work before!
PMSL at Lapin's ginger muffin.

Rushing to get out on time to meet my sister, I yelled to all in the office, "where's my bloody mobile" then realised as they all PTSL, erm - I was on it, letting said sister know I was running late... blush
At a previous company I had a secretary once send our Argos pricing to Boots and vice versa. (Buyers had the same first name - cost a fortune& lots of face and she was 'encouraged to leave')
When younger more than once went to work in clothes from the night before...

I don't get the odd shoes thing. Inside out shirts or clothes covered in baby sick, yes, but don't your pairs of shoes all feel different?

Thank you so much for this thread. I haven't laughed so much for ages. Feel 10 years younger!

In my younger days as a PR pup, I'd been looking after the winners of a modelling comp who were due to go on the Frank Skinner Show in the BBC. I'd taken them round the BBC, into the Green Room, into make-up, back to Green Room etc etc. Prob been walking around the BBC for a good couple of hours. Went to the loo. Came out, did a quick mirror check....and realised that I'd been walking round the BBC with a HUGE rip in the back of my trousers and that my g-stringed ass had been hanging out for all to see blush.

Had to walk cracb like along the wall of the Green Room (everybody obviously knew why) and beg boss for her coat to tie round waist to cover exposed arse cheeks.

Oh the shame!

morningpaper Thu 20-Nov-08 13:53:39

mine was when a work accountant (and Director of the company) said "Oooh, my wife is a Beaver leader!"

I don't know why but I just LOST ALL CONTROL for about 10 minutes, hysterical with laughter

Spent a 3hr meeting suppressing howls of laughter disguised by coughing as a colleague accidently said Arse Management instead of Arts Management grin I'm a lecturer.

lillypie Thu 20-Nov-08 13:54:41

LOL at all of these!!

I work in a pub and recently served a very beautiful man who asked for something just as I was taking the money at the end of his order.

I added the extra item to the total,handed him his change and said "I'll just grab your nuts for you" grin

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 20-Nov-08 14:05:59

Oh, I once sent an affirmative email response of "okey dokey" to an MD.

He emailed me back swiftly asking why I'd called him a donkey! Then he emailed back even quicker to apologise for misreading my email grin

I once attempted to explain the site safety rules in French to a group of French Canadian customers. They were a bit taken aback when I told them they needed to wear traffic lights on their heads at all times.

littleoldme Thu 20-Nov-08 14:08:30

Whe I was on teaching practice a year 10 pupil came in late. this was all the excuse the rest of the class needed to start nattering so I said, " Alright everyone, there's no need to have a mass debate about it." Needless to say choas ensued.

I'd love to tell you the story of the 52 kids and the S and M porn vid - really but I Ds has just woken up.

thumbsucker Thu 20-Nov-08 14:11:17

This thread has completely made my day. I once said 'loads of love' at the end of a conversation with a potential new client shock.

My new job is looking after my two DCs -one baby and one toddler, both breastfed. At mums and toddlers I was holding forth last week about the importance of getting the basics right if you are sleep deprived and not worrying about the little things.

I broke off from conversation to yell 'DD, where are you, come here please. DD...'

Friend PTSL as I said 'now where has she got to.

I was breastfeeding her at the time and had forgotten blush

clarabellabella Thu 20-Nov-08 14:18:53

Oh, I've had a few. When I was on work experience, I was wearing a crossover top. I thought I was fine as long as I sat up straight. Anyway, the solicitor and myself went to interview a witness in a bar for a really large case. Everything was going well, the witness was telling the lawyer all the stuff we needed and then I heard some familiar music. thought it was nice that the bar had the same taste in music as me, but then realised that it was my mobile. On loud. I then dived forward to retrieve said mobile, and in the process gave the witness a rather nice view of my norks. When I sat up, he was sat there in shock.

on my first business lunch, the person I was meeting had ordered champagne. A couple of glasses in, I dribbled it down my chin. The person I was meeting did the same, to make me feel better I presume. That same person also hung up the phone by saying "lots of love" once. I sat for a minute, and then he called back and said "I'm so sorry!. I've been speaking to my Mom all day".

Tortington Thu 20-Nov-08 14:19:34

i said to the gay guy in the office " comin' out fer a fag...its fag friday"

that was a couple of weeks ago.

i want to die

Kathy you would think so wouldn't you (on the shoes thing) - I would have said it was impossible until I looked down as I got out of the car at the office (2 hours from home) to see one black and one very obviously blue shoe.

I was late and the office is nowhere near any shops so I couldn't even go and buy replacements - I had to brave it out and try hard to convince myself that I work in a very male-dominated environment and that men don't notice things like that.

No-one said anything but I somehow doubt that means that no-one noticed.

snickersnack Thu 20-Nov-08 14:32:39

On my second day at my first proper job after graduating, the head of the global team was over from NY and came in to say hello. I was sitting on a chair with one leg tucked underneath me, and in my flustered rush to get up, sort of forgot to unhook my leg, and ended up collapsing on the floor with my chair on top of me (couldn't do it again if I tried). The worst thing was I was in a lot of pain, and had to pretend I was fine, while my boss and the rest of the team sniggered crazily.

MUCH more recently, I walked in to a meeting with a brand new client, introduced myself, sat down and got my notebook out. Somehow, with the notebook came a pair of dd's [clean] Charlie and Lola knickers which flew across the table and landed in her coffee cup. She's never let me forget it.

TheGreatScootini Thu 20-Nov-08 14:39:10

I wnet up to a woman in HR today who I have 'known' for 5 years.I started talking to her about the details of a staff disciplinary for which she is my HR link person.
About 3 minutes in she said,'sorry what are you talking about?'
I said, 'you know-member of staffs name-the notes you sent'She continued to look confused, then said, 'I think its Jennifer (another HR person)who is handling that case'
I have worked with these women for years, at times quite closely and honestly believed that one was the other.blushI wanted to die.

I once gave a member of staff a hug(she had been going through a hard time) and as I was releasing her from my arms got caught on her hair.Which then came off.She was completely bald.It was a wig.I did the only thing I could do.Picked it up, dusted it off and handed it back to

pagwatch Thu 20-Nov-08 14:43:53

I was asked by very senior female boss if I would be keeping maiden name and combining it with DH's to make doubled barrelled.

NO I said " made up doubled barrelled names are really naff and common".
I was of course talking to Mrs Blardy-Blar.

In fairness it was at office party and i had had a few.

Twas Karma for being snotty.

I also threw up in my handbag at DHs office party and thought no one noticed. blush

pagwatch Thu 20-Nov-08 14:44:43

all those doubled blush. I am still focussing on the gin all these years later

clarabellabella Thu 20-Nov-08 14:58:07

once we had someone from the Head Office a few months after I started. It was the first time I met her, and was walking over to meet her with a male colleague who said "Isn't Ms. X really hot?" needless to say, she isn't, so I spent the whole time trying really hard not to wet myself laughing when we were introduced to her. I also once walked into a meeting room and grabbed the big bosses cup of coffee (in a dazed state, thinking it was mine) and then proceeded to argue with him over who's coffee it was. blush However, we do get on and he seems to like me despite my coffee stealing antics.

theSuburbanDryad Thu 20-Nov-08 15:09:29

I've asked a patient with one arm if he'd "like a hand with that".

A few years ago I was also doing a dispense on a profoundly deaf patient. We'd managed to get through the whole process and then got to the end where I said, "Right, we'll phone you when your new glasses are ready." He said, "I'm deaf." I said, slightly louder, "We'll phone you when your new glasses are ready." He said, "I'm deaf!!" I said (slightly despairingly) "WE'LL PHONE YOU WHEN YOUR NEW GLASSES ARE READY!!"

He said, "I'm deaf! I don't have a phone!"


kitbit Thu 20-Nov-08 15:13:24

When I started my first "proper" job the dept boss was due down from Scotland for a meeting and it was the first time I'd met him. Our office was TINY and the coat stand was at the end of the row of desks nearest the door. Trying to make a confident impression knowing he would be in the office when we returned for lunch I flung the door was a fire door and very heavy and he was standing behind it. Next to the coat stand. Holding a coffee.
The door caught him off balance and flung him sideways. He, the coffee and all the coats ended up in a heap on the floor under the engineer's desk in amongst all the screwdrivers and cables and 3 of us had to disentangle him. When he was back on his feet he stuck his hand out and smiled and said "you must be kitbit". blush

oysterpots Thu 20-Nov-08 15:23:56

I fell asleep in my chair at work when I was heavily pregnant. I woke up to realise that all my colleagues were talking quietly so as not to wake me up - sweet, but very embarrassing.

Once my boss missed his last bus home and the next morning we came in to find him asleep on the office floor wrapped in bubble wrap. It was the only thing he could find to keep himself warm! We made him a bubble wrap sleeping bag as part of his leaving present

A friend of mine had a meeting with a woman called Sue Pope, but friend was hungover and tired, and in front of entire workforce managed to refer to her as Poo Soap instead! Poor old Poo has never lived it down.

SexyDomesticatedDad Thu 20-Nov-08 15:30:58

I had recently changed jobs / company - sitting with new colleagues over lunch relating a tale about my old boss and something to do with equal opportunties for gay people in the work force - his comment was something like "soon it will be compulsory for everyone" - one colleague turned to the other and said - "will you tell him or should I" - I hadn't twigged blush.

At a business diner in US remember saying in a loud voice "goddam Americans" - can't recall why just went blush.

Lilymaid Thu 20-Nov-08 15:36:14

I went to a Christmas lunch with my then boss, a very distinguished QC, related to most of the greats and goods in the legal world. She had turkey and I pointed to the bread sauce, which she liberally poured over her meat. Unfortunately it wasn't bread sauce but horseradish ...

BigGitDad Thu 20-Nov-08 15:49:28

This thread is absolute quality!
It really should be made into a small book which people could keep on a coffee table or by the bed etc. Superb!
My contribution? Many years ago I had an interview for a job with a charity for the blind. During the interview the interviewer said one of the things we try to do here is educate people in the terms of the language they use. For example we don't say I'll see you later because for a blind person they would not be able to do that. So it would be offensive. Anyway the whole interview went really well until the end when she saw me out of the office building and she said thank you very much for coming along today to which I replied Yes it was lovely, I'll see you soon. DUH! No I did not get the job.

SoupDragon Thu 20-Nov-08 15:53:04

MadamDeathstare, how the hell have you ever managed to keep a job?? You seem to have posted rather too many Professional Moments on this thread... how many more do you have up the sleeve of your business suit?

A friend once sent an email to his boss saying "YO! Big Dick!" because he'd forgotten that BD was the email shortcut for his boss and not his large friend Richard, commonly known as Big Dick.

I was talking to a woman at an architectural firm in New York and was enjoying the rare opportunity of acting like an informed, professional, technically competent adult (I have my own very, very, small business)Suddenly:


I think it was the company I worked for SoupDragon.

They had to issue a memo to one of its US sites stating that "Security Guards are not allowed to discharge firearms at members of the public". They took the firearms away altogether after one guard shot himself in the foot.

Companies do tend to hire people with similar attitudes and behavior. I was just fortunate to fall in with one that had a practice of hiring buffoons.

SoupDragon Thu 20-Nov-08 16:08:17

TheOneAndOnlyTroll Thu 20-Nov-08 16:21:31

Am PMSL at this thread! It's great!!

I'm from Malaysia, but I came t the UK in my early 20s and set up a restaurant. I had no experience at such a job, especially when it came to serving food, drinks. One night I had a very smartly dressed cuple arrive. When I brought him his food, it slid off the plate onto his lap!!

I sat through a meeting only to find out that I had buttoned my shirt wrong that morning.

crumpet Thu 20-Nov-08 16:23:20

MadamDeathstare your last post made me snort - am on a conference call with 20 people...

MrsMattie Thu 20-Nov-08 16:28:57

What a brilliant thread!

Not really 'unprofessional', but an embarassing work moment:

I sat through a job interview watching the male interviewer's gaze lowered to my chest every now and then. I was fuming by the end of it and very close to saying something. Went to the loo afterwards and saw in the mirror that I had leaked two enormous patches of breastmilk all over my top. It was like a wet shirt tee shirt competition gone wrong (wrong because I was a pasty, postnatal hippo, not some nubile young hottie! grin). Mortifying. I got the job, though!

This wasn't me but I was one of over 2000 recipients of an email which asked:

'Which of you bastards has nicked my sandwich from the fridge'

which some unfortunate soul had emailed, not to his floor as he thought, but to every office globally.

Of course we deluged him with 'not guilty guv' messages and posted him pictures of sandwiches for years afterwards! grin

cnutdibbler Thu 20-Nov-08 16:57:47

We had a very high up royal visiting the factory. I am noted for my, um, explicit descriptions of prostate cancer treatments, and had been told in no uncertain terms that I was to keep it very clean in my description of the treatment. Ok, fine, I take out all the funny bits of my usual non technical talk.

Visitor and entourage arrive. I talk. Visitor brings the tone right down to gutter level, so I end up having an indepth conversation about medical procedures up the arse (in his words). My MD (v straightlaced and apoplectic with strain about this being a good visit)nearly died. The security guys were silently wetting themselves.

And something that happened to someone I once worked with: this is an old style psychiatric hospital with a number of dementia wards which were locked, although some patients were allowed to leave the ward and occasionally you got escapees who would be found wandering the corridors. This nurse was walking to the canteen one day when she spies this 60ish yr old man, dressed in a battered suit, and with a tie covered in dinner, and not looking terribly with it, hanging around the corridor outside one of these wards. Assuming he belonged in there, she walked up, said 'ooh, you need to get back inside for lunch don't you' unlocked the door and gently guided him in. She found out later it was a psychiatrist who was doing a locum..

squeaver Thu 20-Nov-08 17:08:23

whomoved, I used to work somewhere with offices all over the world and the receptionist in New York used to do this all the time. We used to look forward to 2pm (9am NY time) to see what gem it was going to be e.g. "I'm going to the dentist today"; "who has taken my stapler"; "there's a package here with no name on it" etc etc.

Eventually she got fired.

Which royal Cnutdibbler?

squeaver Thu 20-Nov-08 17:11:10

Actually emails probably deserve their own thread.

This wasn't me but someone I know: she got an email from a client then forwarded it to a colleague using some choice language about the client (I think the words "unreasonable bitch" were used). Of course she'd hit "reply" not "forward"...

Wigeon Thu 20-Nov-08 17:11:25

Since I've enjoyed laughing at everyone's else's misfortune I ought to share my own:

I'm a civil servant. Last year, I was attending a meeting with my Minister and arrived before him. He arrived, and I went up to him to discuss the briefing I'd given him for the Parliamentary Questions (PQs) he was doing later that day. He looked confused and smiled mildly. I sat down and worried he'd forgotten about the PQs. I realised that I'd gone up to a Minister from a completely different department. Well, they were both men in their 40s with short brown hair and glasses...

Sidge Thu 20-Nov-08 17:13:25

When I was a student nurse I was helping a man to get dressed - he had had surgery, a below knee amputation.

I put his sock and shoe on, then spent a few minutes scrabbling around on the floor.

"What are you doing?" says he.

"Looking for your other sock and shoe" says me.


Then when I was working as a practice nurse I looked at my clinic list and saw I had to call in a patient called Mr Foreman. I then went out into the waiting room and bellowed for Mr Foreskin.

Cloudhopper Thu 20-Nov-08 17:15:34

I regularly get the giggles in a particular meeting at work. To make it worse it is the senior managers meeting (of whom I am supposed to be one) My boss goes through a huge list of tasks and there is one manager who always makes excuses about why he hasn't done any of it.

As we go through the list of excuses bullet point by bullet point, I just can't see anything but the funny side. The excuses range from minor to major, including one where he said "I think this is going to be very much like the Millenium Bug". Once he dragged someone more junior into the meeting to reinforce one of the excuses.

Because this has now been building for weeks and weeks, it has got to the point where everyone else in the meeting is fighting back the giggles as well.

I feel really bad, but I have brought the whole meeting down to a joke. My boss and another colleague were almost in tears of laughter last week, when he turned up wearing a 'bird flu' type mask.

BoffinMum Thu 20-Nov-08 17:17:18

I have made two classic howlers at work, and many more mundane but excrutiating ones.

1. I was lecturing at an OU summer school, and sent the participants off over the lunch break to read through some materials and extract the important points for us all to 'share' later on. When we all came back after lunch, I asked the group "So, did you manage to get anything out of your passages?" Cue riotous laughter with me standing at the front going "What? What?" as I am very slow on the uptake.

It probably would have been alright if they hadn't turned this event into a song and performed it at the whole course entertainment evening at the end of the week ...

2. Whilst being harrassed by a very nasty colleague in one job over a period of months, I decided to take revenge privately and creatively by morphing a picture of his head from the company website onto a picture of David Brent from the office. One of the design team helped me learn to use Adobe Professional so this could be done to a sufficiently high standard. However I must stress this was meant for private consumption only.

I had a real sense of achievement and puerile empowerment from doing this, and saved it to my memory stick for later enjoyment. However what I didn't realise was that next time I used my memory stick to download a Powerpoint presentation onto a colleague's computer, it immediately starting downloading all my photos and asking me if I wanted to load them into a software package my colleague had. Flashed up onto the screen came the David Brent inspired artwork in all its glory. I was mortified.

However luckily my colleague just said, "Oh, are they all your holiday snaps?" and moved swiftly on.

DH works in the media and also had a great office moment when a person he thought he recognised came into the office. He 'luvvied' her by kissing her on both cheeks and saying "How are you?" theatrically in front of some senior colleagues. It turned out she was from IT support ...

cnutdibbler Thu 20-Nov-08 17:26:47

Kathy - Prince Phillip

I knew it Cnut! grin

cnutdibbler Thu 20-Nov-08 17:31:31

Yes, I did think it might happen, but still couldn't believe quite how informal he got grin

loopy9 Thu 20-Nov-08 17:55:43

ROFLOL... I have tears rolling down my face thank you everyone I haven't laughed this in much in too long x

SpringySunshine Thu 20-Nov-08 18:29:37

I worked with the best colleagues in the world for 6 months last year. We were mostly temps & all had an amazing time. But one of the lads in the office wasn't quite so up to his job. He continually got removed from more & more responsibilities because he was just so incompetent & ended up being left to unnecessarily count stationery for the last few weeks of the contract because they didn't have the heart to sack him. I came across a rather cruel email sent to me & another friend in the office by another colleague/friend at the time the other day & it really does belong here. These don't even cover everything grin:

"The following is comparing ** to Gareth from The Office. Though there are a lot of similarities we need to look at the differences as well.

1) Have you seen the episode of The Office where Gareth goes to get the training registers and then shits himself and has to go home to change?

2) Have you seen the episode of The Office where Gareth goes out with the other lads and gets drunk then admits that he thought he might be gay so he put a chisel up his bum to check?

3) Have you seen the episode of The Office where Gareth comes into work on the Monday and when asked what he did with his weekend says that he spent two days chatting to a 14 year old boy on a internet gaming chatsite, otherwise known as the 'Guild' whereby their two characters are now getting married?

4) Have you seen the episode of The Office where they go to Nando's for lunch, where Gareth goes to get free refills and then loses them on the counter then deliberately hides them somewhere, then disappears to the toilet, then when he finally comes back he's filling up the drinks and has a spaz chicken arm fit and sends the drink all over himself?

No because these all occur in **'s real life. Nobody would write this.

In conclusion, as you can see, ** is actually very different to Gareth from the Office."

Every day there was something new & bizarre to add. & don't make me feel bad for laughing - there was nothing wrong with him. He honestly wasn't special needs or anything like that. He was just too lazy to go to the toilet when he felt the urge, etc. I really miss that job grin

Chooster Thu 20-Nov-08 19:20:16

Loving these!! I was snorting my way through my lunch earlier, but feel the need to add my own.

The worst one was when I was mid-twenties and was doing a presentation to the board of directors of the company I worked in(all male). They were quizzing me quite heavily about something in my presentation and one of them said "I dont mean to sound anal and go on about this but..." To which I said.... "There's nothing wrong with a bit of anal" blush. blush. Cue lots of sniggering and me going beetroot red. Why I said that I'll never know - Nerves I think smile. They were very nice to me after that though grin.

Weegle Thu 20-Nov-08 19:45:42

Brilliant thread, been in stitches.

I have a few:

1. I was dreaming of resigning from a job due to wanker manager who drove me nuts every day. I thought it would be cathartic to write down everything that irritated me about him in a list, full of expletives. I then picked up a pile of papers, photocopied them for a meeting with the board of directors. Went to meeting, distribued papers and then part way through the meeting to my horror I realised I had photocopied the list and attached it to the back of everyone's papers blush.

2. I was on a business trip down to Plymouth with big cheese - felt completely out of my depth and so was v nervous. We had a day of meetings then decided to go and get some dinner. He ordered me a glass of wine without asking and I was too embaressed to explain I didn't drink due to weird reaction I have. 10 minutes later I wake up with my face flat on the table (he managed to just move the plate of food in time), and just to make matters worse my sinuses seemed to have let go of their grip on reality and so I was face down in a pool of snot! So I had to fumble around without lifting my head trying to find a napkin to clean my face without him seeing. I think that is the most embaressing moment of my life blush He was very nice though and kept asking me for weeks afterwards to go and see a doctor!

3. I was on my way back from London with some big wigs and we were at the station. I stepped up on to the train and my shoe slipped off my foot and down between the train and the platform - I had to wait whilst someone got a hook thing to get it, I found it very embaressing but I guess in hindsight wasn't really that bad.

LazySleepy Thu 20-Nov-08 19:53:58

I need to go out and get a life, Ive spent all day reading and laffing at this thread!

two of mine-

1. I used to work at a place where whenever anyone left I would organise a leaving do and thoughtful presents. When I was leaving they had a presentation and handed me a card, I lost it and said really loudly " 2 years here and all i get is a card"...cue total silence..I then opened the card and there was 500 pounds in it blush..I then said " 2 years here and all I get is a card and 500 pounds"..

2. On my first day at a job I was sitting for lunch with my team and and a overweight girl was talking about going to the gym everyday...she then said her Dh also joined her sometimes..I blurted out.."oh, is your Dh fat as well?' blush

Bink Thu 20-Nov-08 20:25:32

Discussing a project with an in-house lawyer (as an external lawyer, all frightfully mutually self-important).

Referring to his bit, he said that when he was finished "I'll show you mine and you show me yours"

Not very awful, you'd think.


squirm, for years

AuntyVi Thu 20-Nov-08 20:29:30

I used to work from home occasionally and had a lot of telephone conferences. One day it was beautifully sunny so I decided to test our new wireless broadband by taking the laptop into the garden. While on a long & boring conf call with about 10 people, I was wandering round the garden with my phone headset on when I suddenly saw not one, but 3 hedgehogs emerge from under the shed! We had always wondered about whether we could attract a hedgehog to our garden but had never seen one, so I got a bit overexcited at seeing 3 of them, squeaked and dropped the phone... which knocked the battery out and made it stop working. Took me several minutes to get it working again, not to mention going to look for a camera to take a pic of the hedgehogs so DH would believe me, before dialling back into the call. Of course I had to make some excuse about phone problems rather than admitting to embarrassing hedgehog-over-excitement-related phone dropping!
I did later confess to a colleague in the US who I knew would see the funny side... cue a big discussion about what a hedgehog is, as they don't have them there apparently - I had to send him my photo in the end!

Great thread. 2 of my best:

1. After unloading a van of underwater camera equipment onto a large fisheries research vessel, in full view of all the crew and scientists, I reversed the van into a skip (that of course hadn't moved an inch since I'd parked). I will be reminded of this I think still after I retire!

2. In my early days back to work after DS was born, I went to a high profile government fisheries meeting first thing in the morning. Half way through said meeting I realised my top was on inside out (having dressed in the dark while DS was still sleeping in same room) and worse still my boobs had leaked through my breastpads. I'm sure a fair few people noticed and it was incredibly hard to focus on anything else for the rest of the meeting blush

Keep them coming ladies!!

AuntyVi Thu 20-Nov-08 20:37:23

Oh and my first job was in a hotel bar. I knew NOTHING about bars or drinks... On my first day I put my things in a storage area which held lots of gas cylinder things(?) for the fizzy drinks machines; but my bag fell down and knocked all the cylinders - and this really loud, horrible screeching noise started. Naive little me thought it must be something to do with the gas cylinders, and went off to find the boss telling him some kind of alarm was going off on these cylinders and what should I do about it? He was mystified and came over to try and find out what was wrong... Only after 5 minutes of trying to figure out what was causing the noise - which he said was nothing to do with the cylinder things - did I remember my mum had just bought me a rape alarm and insisted I put it in the bag which I'd just dropped blush

wonderstuff Thu 20-Nov-08 20:49:25

Weegle I have a total phobia about loosing my shoe like that, get really stressed if I have sandles on and have to get on a train

liath Thu 20-Nov-08 20:52:50

These are hilarious!

Am I the only person who was wondering if the boss who gave her email address & password with all the expilicit emails really wanted them to be seen and was hoping to set up a threesome or something??

I remember when I was a waitress a diner asked me how the trout was cooked - "Do you fry it or poach it?" My reply - "Oh no, we just bung it in the microwave". The chef was not happy with me.

More recently I was ushering my first punter of the day into my room and she solicitously peeled a large dinosaur sticker off my bum and said "I'd imagine you'd rather not walk around with this on you all day" blush

chequersandchess Thu 20-Nov-08 21:10:12

Oh God, just remembered when I walked in call centre years ago and a customer phoned up about travelling to Itally and I talked him through flights to Nipples.

My first placement as a student nurse was on a rehab ward where PAT (pets as therapy) dogs came to visit the patients. One of the patient's began to tell my how much she was missing her cat. A wee while later, I found a rather energetic spaniel with its head buried deep in said lady's crotch, and attempted to shoo it away. She said, "ooh, it's all right luv, he can probably just smell my pussy"......

Raggydoll Thu 20-Nov-08 21:45:52

alors - the water meter story is the funiest thing i have ever read - i really did cry with laughter - thanks

SoupDragon Thu 20-Nov-08 21:48:23

"ushering my first punter of the day into my room"

<<wonders exactly what kind of professional girl Liath is>>

I hmm at that too SoupDragon grin

liath Thu 20-Nov-08 21:53:15

grin Did I mention that I was only wearing said dinosaur sticker & a pair of thigh high boots? wink

QwertyQueen Thu 20-Nov-08 21:58:43

not me, but my friend...
she is a very senior accountant in a city bank, but you would never guess it, she is as dappy as the day is long.
Once, while bosses were having a meeting she decided to show a colleague how she could do a handstand, proceeded to over balance, and her foot went through the partitioning into the meeting room!

Another time she and her colleague were acting silly and pretending to have posh accents and exaggerating the way they spoke. She says to the other girl, "would you like some cake?". Her friend says "what was that?" so she says again, loudly "WOULD YOU LIKE SOME CAKE?" Only she pronounced "cake" as "caaaark". Which said allowed sounds like American...
Cue bellows of laughter from floor and boss!

Ah, she is good value for money!

mamadoc Thu 20-Nov-08 22:00:22

Not exactly my own embarrassing moment but memorably cringy:
Whilst working as researcher my American colleague and I did a presentation at a school assembly. She was feeling a bit underdressed in a tee shirt and combats. She stood up in front of the entire school and said, "Gosh you all look so smart and here's me in my khaki pants." Cue me and 50 schoolkids in hysterics.

Pendulum Thu 20-Nov-08 22:04:51

another vomit story here, although not mine.

when I was a trainee lawyer in a big city firm, a fellow trainee came in one morning looking very green after a late night session.

at lunchtime he looked much better and confessed that he had suddenly had the urge to be sick while in his office and just had time to drop under the desk to barf in the bin. (Luckily his supervisor was not there at the time)

He then had to decide what to do with the bin full of vomit. In the end he took it to the goods lift, put it inside and sent it to the ground floor. It later returned to his room all clean and disinfected. Marvellous service at these big firms.

I was 16 and working as a clerical assistant (ie lowest of the low)at DHSS.

One lunchtime I was sat at my desk eating an iced bun. Suddenly a group of people appeared, including the top honcho, who had never spoken to me, and he was introducing me to the Minister for Health - the Minister stuck his hand out to shake hands, mine was covered in sticky icing, I didn't know what to do so I licked my fingers and then shook his hand. The head honcho's smile had frozen and he had gone a funny colour. The Minister was a total gent and pretended he hadn't noticed.

I found out later that a visit from the MP was a very big deal that didn't happen very often. A notice came round shortly aftrwards telling us that we were not allowed to eat at our desks, "due to a member of staff's sticky bun causing an embarrassing incident with the Minister".

Well, I was only 16...

Kewcumber Thu 20-Nov-08 22:31:33

I once was looking at a list of the worlds largest companies in the Financial times (bear in mind here that I am a finance director - makes the comment about a zillion times denser)

Top company was a Japanese one I hadn't heard of so looked under "Category" to see what they did = Umbrella. "How odd " I said ALOUD - the worlds biggest company makes unbrellas.

Someone very kindly explained it meant covering a multitude of industries rather than a ginormous umbrella manufacturer to the universe... whilst the rest of my colleagues lay on the floor wetting themselves and doing deep-breathing exercises to control themselves.

Kewcumber Thu 20-Nov-08 22:34:02

I once received an email for someone who worked for me about a non-work topic (I think it was something about the welsh rugby team). Forwarded it to my brother who rang mean said "very very funny that he forgot to remove the earlier comment"

Scrolling down the email I realised it had been sent to sadi subordinate by a friend who said "I wonder what scary boss lady would think of this.."

Was very flattered acually.

Kewcumber Thu 20-Nov-08 22:40:11

Anyone who works in marketing might know this story as its a well known one in the industy but I know the person it happend to.

Colleague dictates memo to CEO of FSTE 100 marketing group who is known to be aggresive, scary and very very short. Gets secretary to pp it and stick it in the internal mail...

Gets into office next day and skimms through memo, blanches and calls sec in

"Please tell me you didn't send this out?"
"Yes whats wrong with it?"
"blah blah blah...see you shorty"

Kaloo007 Thu 20-Nov-08 22:44:27

lol 'twas young and keen ... was rehearsing presentation on "the benefits of global email" to the board of directors at the massive global the bank I worked for in the days before email was readily available.

Five minutes before my slot I managed to lock myself in a 1st floor side room. After frantic door banging and cries for help I had to use my laptop to send an email to my colleague already in the meeting asking for help blush.

theSuburbanDryad Thu 20-Nov-08 22:46:22

Kew, you just made me snort so hard I think I damaged my sinuses!

grin Roffle @ "umbrella company".

Jackstini Thu 20-Nov-08 22:54:39

So glad this has gone in classics grin
First job in a travel agent (age 16) a man asked me for a specialist brochure. I meant to say "I'll just pop in the back and get it for you" but it came out as "get in the back and I'll pop it for you" blush
In same job manged to staple my thumb and stay very professional until I had finished serving the customer with their travellers cheques. Then asked the next customer to just excuse me a second, turned away and pulled the staple out. Blood shot up the back wall and I promptly fainted.
This one dh's fault not mine. Had a colleague stay overnight after her leaving do - she had a very squeaky loud voice. Next day (hungover) we drove to work much later than usual so when dh called he presumed I was at work.
dh "is that annoying woman out of our house yet then?"
me (looking straight ahead) "nope she's sitting next to me in the car and you are on hands free" shock
dh " see you later" click.....

Kaloo007 Thu 20-Nov-08 22:55:14

When I was a secretarial student I offered to do my Dads business correspondence in the Summer hols. He dictated onto tape and I typed it up.

... months later he was flicking through a major clients file and noticed I had sent a whole summers correspondence to Fawn EMI blush

For those of you feeling bad about turning up for work in mis-matched shoes, I have turned up for work at least twice in no shoes at all.

Cue rapid tip-toeing across 1/4 mile of gravel to my office and my nice, comfy work boots.

mamadoc Thu 20-Nov-08 23:18:57

Recently I was supervising a foreign medical student doing an eye examination. I spent some time emphasizing the importance of explaining what you would be doing to the patient especially the need to get quite close to them.

This is what he actually said to the lady, "Madam I will now switch off the lights and come in your face."

Not exactly what I had in mind..

Califrau Thu 20-Nov-08 23:19:26

I worked with a girl who once turned up in a knee length zip up black boot and a lace up black lower heeled ankleboot. hmm. No idea how she didn't notice.

glitterball Thu 20-Nov-08 23:33:41

many years ago, i worked in a building with (very old & decrepit) sash windows. one summer i tried to open one & as i pushed the bottom half up, the top part dropped down trapping my thumb. i couldnt get my hand out, or move the window with my one remaining hand. i also couldnt reach the phone on my desk, so had to shout very loudly for what felt like an hour til the secretary at the end of the corridor (everyone else on our floor was out at court/meetings) came in to rescue me!

on the phone to a v v v irritating client one day i said 'tosser' under my breath of those occasions when i meant only to think it, but it just came out. funnily enough, he was very nice to me after that!

one of my fellow trainees got in a lift with all the male partners - our office was on 2 floors & we would use the lift to go up to the other floor, or down to reception. she said 'going down?' blush apparently they all pissed themselves. after that we all just used to say 'which floor?' grin

at the same firm, a colleague had a fight at the xmas party; it took 3 people to carry her out, still fighting...she's still at the same firm & now a partner

at the same party, another colleague cut his crown of roast lamb which flew off his plate and into my lap. i hadnt started eating, so my lap wasnt covered by my napkin, only my new & v expensive dress.

still at the same party i also in my horrifying naivety tried to chat up the only gay man in the firm [shame] until he said you do know dont you
what said i have you already got a girlfriend?
no, im gay.

id gone on about him to everyone at work for weeks but apparently i was the only one who failed to spot he was as camp as a row of tents grin

also at the same firm, i got a warning for wearing skirts that were too short because they distracted the partners from working shock[shame]

dmon Thu 20-Nov-08 23:36:09

haven't even read the rest of this post; pmsl at mamadoc grin

Working in a lab, my friend was crouched on the floor looking for something in the bottom of a freezer. Boss walks in and says 'while you're down there... can you get out some X for me?'

We all stayed very quiet until he had left the room. He might have had a small heart attack if he'd known what he was saying'

newbiemumzee Thu 20-Nov-08 23:53:53

My work has a gym in the building. They once had to renovate the changing rooms to fix leaking showers, which involved closing the mens and splitting the womens into two by putting up a temporary wall between the two.
Well one day I went for a workout and guess who was in a daze and forgot which side was the mens?
It eventually dawned on me when I was faced with lots of men in the nud blush. Needless to say I made a rapid exit!

Kaloo007 Fri 21-Nov-08 00:02:37

Or, of course, the day I accidentally depressed the button for a major data server at a large city firm shock

- realised whilst the button was still depressed what I done blush and with the help of a mobile phone and wonderful colleagues smile we managed to keep (in rotation) a finger on that damn button until the office closed for the day and we had backed up the server and could reboot it safely grin

laundrylover Fri 21-Nov-08 00:06:43

OMG I've been reading this thread for nearly two hours!!!

Must go to bed but Cali's Liberty Lobberty reminded me of the humanist minister at my sister's wedding last year....his speech contained the word 'ceremony' quite a lot and he proceeded to call the groom Jeremony throughout.grin

The occasion will always be known as the Ceremony of Beccie and Jeremony.

thell Fri 21-Nov-08 00:27:03

OMG, I'm going to have to come back tomorrow to read this, I'm only on page 3 and crying with laughter grin

The worst thing I've ever done was when I was 17. I finished a long shift working in a box office at the Edinburgh Festival, then went to see a one-woman show, in a tiny theatre at our venue. It was on very late, and there were only about four of us in the sudience. The woman knew me from the venue, and could plainly see me sitting in the second row.

During the very quiet, emotional climax of the piece, my mobile started ringing loudly, in the bottom of my bag. I couldn't escape because it would have meant opening the door out into the well-lit hall about four feet away from where the actress was sitting, so I had to pull everything out of my huge bag to get to the bloody stupid thing!
I still want to die when I think about it blush

Ozziegirly Fri 21-Nov-08 05:35:24

My best friend once sent an email to me, and who she thought was our other friend, but it accidently went to an important and high powered client (she's a lawyer at a very exclusive bank).

The email went something like this;

"Mondays are crap aren't they? You're all hung over from the weekend and just praying the day will pass without being negligent. Then Tuesdays are crap becuause you can't get drunk as it's Tuesday. Wednesdays are better because you're nearly at the weekend so can get drunk. Thursday you are recovering from Wednesday's hangover so you drink again to hide the pain, and then friday we're drunk from lunchtime! Yippee!".

She received the reply "yes, the week is rather hard work isn't it?" from said very high powered client.....

The same girl on a night with work out was drunk and told that she couldn't go into a bar with her drink, so she smashed the glass against the wall and turned and said sweetly "is that better?"

Oh and a third story from the same girl. She had a mobile that you could record a noise on and it became your ringtone. So we recorded us all screaming. Obviously the phone went off when she had ducked out of a meeting and when she came back, he boss handed her her handbag and said "something seems to be screaming in your bag".

Shoshe Fri 21-Nov-08 06:21:32

No me but DH ( I work at home as a CM, so only the kids see me being a prat grin)

DH is in a Army Motorbike Display Team. They were invited on Blue Peter, and were suppose to do a trick when about 10 men are on one motorbike.

Cue the presenter talking about them and then handing over to the Captain, He told the Camera what the Team did, and then signalled them to turn the engine on.

It didn't work. Tried again it started.......... and stopped.

Four times they tried, all I could see was DH (the Chief Mechanic as well as a rider) frantically trying to get it to work.

Back to presenter and excuses grin

It was shown on live TV, everyone that knew the Team was watching grin

And then to make it worse, just when all the laughter had died down a few months later, The Most embarrassing Thing On TV programme was on TV at the end of the year.

Yep there they were grin

happychappy Fri 21-Nov-08 06:54:31

I sent a text to a client and later that day sent another I thought t my husband saying F**K F**K F**K. However my phone sent the text to my last cntact my client OOppppps

Shoshe I remember watching that episode !!!

Blinglovin Fri 21-Nov-08 09:58:48

I feel I have to contribute after some of these brilliant onces (I still love the CSI moment the most!).

I was working for a French company and had a very nice desk, tucked in a corner, between a wall and another desk. I thought I was safe - private, hard to reach etc.

The big boss turned up from Paris and I quickly realised that there was kissing going on - so french. I was horrified (I'm south african for pete's sake!). So I stayed tucked into my corner thinking I could get away with as she'd never navigate all the way round.

I was wrong. Not only did she come all the way round, she stepped over my gym bag, the pair of high heeled shoes I had left lying around because my feet were sore and went in for French double air kiss at my seat!

Martha200 Fri 21-Nov-08 10:05:34

Not of my career, but been known to walk in to the study where DH was on a conference call (me assuming and not checking the phone is on mute when he is just listening and not talking) and announce "oh you're still on the phone to that tosser (his boss at the time blush

When I worked as a care assistant to teenagers with disabilties, I had a mad rush on one sunday morning to get my group ready for Church, and in my hurry I put one girls shoes on the wrong feet (2 hrs later I noticed blush

CaurnieBred Fri 21-Nov-08 10:08:12

I used to work as a junior PA in a small, UK Consulate overseas. To set the scene - one day, was wearing a rather short skirt with opaque black tights; I got a ladder in my tights and tried to stop it by dabbing on some tippex/snopake (as you can imagine this looked wonderful against the black, opaque background).

The Prime Minister of the day was visiting the country and staying in a hotel downtown. All restricted correspondence for his office was received at the Consulate and we had to hand deliver it to them - I was having a quiet moment so volunteered to deliver it.

I headed off downtown to the hotel, flashed my diplomatic id to the (local) diplomatic protection guy and asked for the "Prime Minister's Office", meaning the Private Office where his aides were based. The guy checked my id and, opened the door behind him and ushered me inside. And there, sitting behind the desk in his hotel bedroom, was John Major himself. Cue me trying to back out of the room whilst babbling an explanation as to who I was and trying to cover the white blob of tippex on my thigh at the same time! He was really nice and just said "the Private Office is two doors down - ask for <name>" whilst the poor security guard is saying "but you asked for the Prime Minister's office!".

I could have diedblush. And then, when I got outside, was that flustered that I managed to back the Consulate car into one of the security barriers outside the hotel. There was only a little scratch . . .

Martha200 Fri 21-Nov-08 10:13:26

Oh no, things are coming back... I once worked in Sweden as a Nanny the Dad was a well known and respected American bloke. He told me to make his boys enchilladas and off he went to work. Well back then I wasn't sure what they were blush so I called my friends and they told me, but in the house I couldn't see the ingredients and just threw something else together.

Days later this dad was working at home and he asked me to make them again so I threw together what I had made the day before.. Dad then appeared to inspect and he was definitely a bit baffled and I just carried on as if all was normal, or rather this was the way the British made them blush blush

This is the guy who thought Wales was in England, so it wasn't just me who was thick!

PMSL at the umbrella company, Kew - I love it.

envy of you being the scary boss lady - can I be one of those if when I grow up?

Noodledoo Fri 21-Nov-08 10:46:51

Love this thread!

On my first day in a new job I was taken out for a drink by the rest of my collegues. By around 10 it was only myself and my three managers left. I was pretty p*ssed already but as a parting gift from one of my fellow workers, she had bought us all a round of shots. I proceeded to vomit all over myself in front of my three managers and everyone else in the bar. Worst of all I didn't even bother to go and clean myself up - I was so sozzled, I just brushed it off my lap and carried on drinking. Needless to say I wasn't so gung ho about it in the morning! Classy chick eh!

DaisyMooSteiner Fri 21-Nov-08 10:48:13

I was on my very first day in a new job and was being shown round the office by my new line manager. Out of the blue I suddenly felt very very nauseous (was about 6 weeks pregnant) and the next second I was puking all over my new boss with the rest of the office watching on. blush

DaisyMooSteiner Fri 21-Nov-08 10:49:16

PMSL Noodlenoo - was typing mine at the same time!

BoffinMum Fri 21-Nov-08 10:49:22

Once we had the Duchess of Gloucester visiting the school I was working at. The Head asked me to prepare a Danish song that the whole school could sing in her honour (as she is Danish).

I don't speak a word of Danish, so I got the Danish embassy to teach me a special song by phone and fax, and then taught all 300-odd children to sing it.

On the day we broke into song, with me conducting exuberantly. At the end of the song, she frowned, and said "Could I hear it again?" So we burst into song again. Only then did I realise that by now the Danish was so unrecognisable she wasn't sure what the hell we were singing about, or even what language it was in ...

hez011 Fri 21-Nov-08 11:35:56

i used to work overseas for big holiday company and used to accompany bus loads of holiday makers to and from the airport . One winter on a departing coach in sunny Tunisia I said on the microphone Well sadly you'll be leaving this lovely sunshine behind so I hope you've got your willies with you - meant woolies blush.
another time I announced the drivers name KOKOS - a nickname for george in Greek - cue sniggers at back of coach

bluenosebear Fri 21-Nov-08 12:07:17

A couple from where I used to work, about other people because I've never done anything silly......much.

One February I had about a week to go before an interview. Exactly a week before, my interviewer called me to ask where I was as I was late for the interview! Not wanting to sound argumentative to my hopefully soon to be new boss, I politely pointed out that we were scheduled for the following week. He looked at his diary and said "Oh, happy early April Fool!" and hung up! I got the job.

And one that hit the headlines so you may know this, but I actually worked with the girl involved. She was having a porn party for girls, and invited a few people using work email. Unfortunately her friend had the same name as one of the directors, and the invite went to the director. She lost her job.

And OK, one about me. We were being introduced to our new line manager, and he was fairly cold to me. Later I remembered I'd snogged him at a nightclub a few weeks before, and been a bit of a slut because he was gorgeous blush. I hadn't slept with him though!

BexieID Fri 21-Nov-08 12:40:53

I smacked my head on the first aid box at work once, lol.

B52s Fri 21-Nov-08 12:46:31

My boss was giving me a lift to a meeting a couple of hours away. It had been an early start and I nodded off in the front seat. I was woken up later by my boss driving over the rumble strips deliberately and then saying 'there's some tissues there'. I opened my eyes and found I had a 10 inch line of drool from my lip to my belly, and my shirt was now see through and shiny with dribble. ewww.

BoffinMum Fri 21-Nov-08 12:50:43

Got caught by a member of the Board doing this by the lift doors...

Such an inspiring website, that, by the way.

sockmonkey Fri 21-Nov-08 12:51:29

I had a cold and dripped snot on a file I was handing to my boss.

costagirl Fri 21-Nov-08 12:53:29

Putting 2 classes of 9 year olds on a train headed for Horsham instead of Brighton, after day trip to London. Then shouting "oh shit, everyone off NOW." (Don't think they heard me swear..?")

Sending home a child's report with several sections about a different child on it. Had muddled them up.

Sobbing in the staff room ALL MORNING instead of leading a training session with visitors from other schools, because I'd seen a cat run over on the way to work. The secretary had to keep making the visitors coffee and saying, "she'll probably be down in a minute..." I wasn't.

AmIWhatAndWhy Fri 21-Nov-08 13:19:16

I just remembered something the manager at a restaurant I worked for did, it was so funny.

There was a fairly large outbuilding where we stored the wine with a sort of staff room at the back. Basically just a small room with an ironing board, coat hangers and a small table. At the end of the shift we always had a drink together in the restaurant (or several sometimes, they were very generous)

One night after a fair few we said our goodbyes and left him to lock up. He didn't realise two of the chefs had gone to collect their coats and got sidetracked by arguing about football. Well, he did when he opened up at 10 the next morning to find them both sleeping on a pile of dirty napkins in the staffroom.

There was no mobile reception in there either. We all watched the cctv later as it slowly dawned on them what had happened and settled in for a long cold uncomfortable night. Fortunately for him they were very good humoured about it, but one of the poor guys had to bring his girlfriend in to prove what had happened as she didn't believe the story and was furious about being left worrying about him all night.

ilovemydog Fri 21-Nov-08 13:25:06

My boss was in charge of the Queen's arrival at a major train station. He asked me to get the measurements for the station platform so that people could be in position to greet her on arrival, including dignitaries, the band and the ever important red carpet.

Right before she was about to arrive, he said to me, 'let's go and see how things are going...'

The train over shot the platform by about 30 feet, and there was this absolute panic. All the dignataries and band make a mad dash for the train, but then realized the red carpet would have to be moved too.

My boss was mortified, and asked what he should say. I reminded him that it was April the First, so he told the Queen that it was a joke between the driver and the station staff. Apparently she thought it was very funny blush which was just as well as I got the measurements totally wrong!

kitbit Fri 21-Nov-08 13:34:38

I worked in a restaurant when I was a student, it was a small bistro style place, quit exclusive. One of the dishes was a moussaka type thing that was served with these yummy roasted sweet potatoes. The waiting staff would often nick one in the small blind spot between the hatch and the swing doors where you could turn your back for a split second and noone would see blush
My friend was serving a table across the other side of the restaurant. I saw her come out of the kitchen doing to tell tale pirouette...except that although she'd managed to chew and swallow in double quick time, there was a looooong string of cheese from the plate right up to her mouth and she hadn't realised. I watched helpless as she walked all the way across the restaurant floor amid turning heads and silence, and placed the plate on the table...realised...squeaked...blushed...and legged it back into the kitchen.

Bink Fri 21-Nov-08 13:39:20

Does this count? I have just laughed out loud, in my office, in a honky sniggering way at kitbit's greedy friend and the person in the next office has just firmly closed his door in that My Ability To Concentrate Is Very Important Right Now, You Know way.

GentleOtter Fri 21-Nov-08 14:05:47

An ex who was a Pooh-Bah in Health & Safety decided to do a safety audit and risk assessment of the roof of a big power company. The object of the excercise was to see how slippery it was hmm
The assessment was done in December in Northern Scotland so it came as no surprise when he went his length on the icy roof and landed in a recess - his glasses took the brunt of the fall and though shaken, he was ok but looked like a budgie with purple bruises and fat lip.

He said that he felt horrified filling in the accident report as the previous two incidents had happened to him.

trixymalixy Fri 21-Nov-08 14:16:47

PMSL at all these. Has made my day!

Was thinking I had never done anything embarassing at work and then remembered these.

My two offerings are:

I had been sitting at my desk all day with my legs in an awkward position and hadn't realised that they had gone to sleep. I sent something to the printer and jumped up to get it. My legs completely buckled under me and I fell headlong onto the floor. I then couldn't get up until the blood flow to my legs had restarted. Was very blush!

Another time I got up from my desk to go to the loo and it was closed for cleaning, so i had to get into the lift to go to another one. I somehow managed to catch sight of my backside in the mirror in the lift to see that my zip had burst and my thong and arse cheeks were on full view. I cringe thinking about how long for and if I hadn't had to go into the lift, I probably would have been on display for the rest of the day.

I then rushed out to buy a new pair of trousers to find I had forgotten my bank card and had to rush back to work to ask someone to lend me some money.blush.

WhineyTinker Fri 21-Nov-08 14:22:49

This isn't mine but a bit of a blush for the poor guy invloved.

Years ago I was drafted in to train a Police division a comms package somewhere in the UK.

I had to stress to the trainees about security and logging on and more importantly off the system- I was told I really had to drill this into them all.

I had one session where the group were really fun and spent the entire time winding each other up etc. During a comfort break one guy shot up (to get to the front of the donut/coffee queue apparently)and forgot to log off his machine. I noticed this and informed everybody else (knowing that they would rib him about it and I wouldn't have to) As quick as flash one of this poor chap's colleagues leapt onto his PC and started to message the Chief Constable, inviting him to his BBQ that weekend and complimenting him on having lovely shoes and a cheeky smile. He asked me if it was ok to send and I said yes shock

I still feel bad about it to this day.

AbbyMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 21-Nov-08 14:50:08

Yonks ago I went horribly unprepared and over tired (straight from Glastonbury tbh) to a job interview at a tv company and, while sitting in the reception, noticed some parcels being delivered to the "today's the day" production office. During the interview I was asked why I wanted to join the company so I waxed lyrical about how TTD was one of my favourite programmes, that I loved satire and thought Chris Morris was a genius. How the interview panel kept a straight face I don't know, nor why they gave me the job, tbh.

Today's the day

the day today

WhineyTinker Fri 21-Nov-08 14:56:05

AbbyMN! shock

I would've done the same.

AbbyMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 21-Nov-08 14:59:04

Even now I still get the giggles just thinking about it.

FattipuffsandThinnifers Fri 21-Nov-08 14:59:23

pmsl at these grin

I once sat through a breakfast meeting on low sofas & tables with my trousers completely undone. I happened to be wearing a pair of knickers with a florescent pink leopard-skin print heart on. And I had a huge crush on one of my colleagues there.

And in a previous job in my first week it was the Xmas party. MD came up to me at the bar where there were lots of empty bottles/glasses and jokingly said "oh I hope we haven't employed an alcoholic". My reply? "At least I'm not fucking Irish". He was, of course, Irish. blush blush blush I just don't even know why I said it. He replied "I'm Irish" and all I could say was "I know". blush

God I just want to die even thinking about it.

Molivan Fri 21-Nov-08 15:02:29

Years ago when my children were small, I worked some of the time from home. My very nice and very enlightened boss wanted to offer me promotion, but asked to come to my house to do talk about it on a home-working day because he wanted to put out an announcement about staff changes later that day.
I was trying to look totally in control and on top of things. DS was three and I put his new Thomas video on to keep him quiet, but DD was about a year old and chose to take part in the discussions.
She was a very sociable child and went and stood next to boss, who was sitting on the sofa, and then did one of those enormous, hands-free snotty sneezes that small children specialise in.
He was very understanding as I appeared with tissues and wet wipes for his suit. Still got the promotion. Still cringe when I think about it 12 years later.

FattipuffsandThinnifers Fri 21-Nov-08 15:03:34

Have just read Megglevache's pube story. Crying with laughter! grin grin grin Is so the sort of thing I'd say too!

WhineyTinker Fri 21-Nov-08 15:15:08

Hey fatti, never mind that I had just gobbed all over his lunch blush

pooter Fri 21-Nov-08 15:47:02

When i was doing a placement for my PGCE i had spent HOURS preparing snazzy overhead transparencies for my lesson on 'The Male Reproductive System'. One was a diagram of the male bits and i had cunningly sellotaped other bits of transparencies with the labels on it so i could 'flip' them over to reveal the correct answer.

Lesson a success, i managed not to get embarrased, but there was a big kerfuffle in the prep room. The lab techs were in a flurry wondering how on earth All of the 120 Exam papers they had just photocopied had the word 'SCROTUM' in large letters on the front cover.

It was of course printed on transparent paper, and invisible to spot on the photocopier plate where i had inadvertantly left it. The mystery of the invisible yet appearing scrotum. blush

FattipuffsandThinnifers Fri 21-Nov-08 15:56:03

Whineytinker are you megglevache name-changed? And if so, is this following the 'tiny wanker' episode earlier? grin I pmsl at that too! grin

kitbit Fri 21-Nov-08 15:57:03

I have been sniggering and chortling all the way through this thread, but pooter's SCROTUM now has me weeping with laughter! oh God how am I going to do any work for the rest of the day!!!!
<clutches sides>

Thanks to pooter I am now holding my hands over my face at my desk (in between typing this) pretending to have a quiet thoughtful moment while I PMSL!!!

kitbit Fri 21-Nov-08 16:11:16

I think it's just the word "scrotum" that does it. Always has made me pmsl!!
<wipes eyes>
Am still doubled up. Pooter, this is your fault!

AphroditeInHerNightie Fri 21-Nov-08 16:25:49

I worked for Customs at Heathrow for years and have many gems which common decency (and The Official Secrets Act) prevent me from disclosing.
There was, however, the time I stopped the young girl off the Qantas flight. As happens when you pull over a person to the baggage bench, a bottle-neck of travellers expecting to be interrogated, too, tends to congregate in the Green Channel. So, as normal I annoyedly waved on the large gaggle of people who were loitering.
Then I started the routine questioning of the young lady:
Me: Why have you come to the UK?
Her: I'm here for a concert
Me: Oh that's nice, tickets must have cost a bomb, who are you here to see?
Her: (looking quizically at me as I opened her passport to see the name 'Minogue'...)

The gaggle I'd shooed away were a mixture of her entourage and hangers-on, obviously gawping at the stuopid Customs Officer who couldn't even recognise Kylie!

She was very nice about it, though and, no, a strip-search wasn't required.

I've also been involved in a colleague's incident on an early shift on a Sunday morning after a heavy 'night-before' when a passenger who my colleague had intercepted approached me with the opening gambit "Excuse me, officer, but I think your colleague had fallen asleep in my suitcase."
And lo and behold, there he was bent over, head in the case, comatose!