Stupid mistakes you've done at work

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
I've made a few. I have not lost 16000 cases off a spreadsheet. My worst mistake in my current job is spending lots of time trying to work out why a display wasn't working, when the brightness control had been turned down. Another time I broke my team's only prototype PCB by connecting a DC pump to an AC power source. Accidentally deleted the team's development folder once, but someone more competent had backed it up.


Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
A few ...

- In a previous career I accidentally ordered 100,000 toolkits because I didn't realise they were sent in batches of 100. Took about 18 months of promotions to shift them :blush:

- Son no. 1 ate a student's exam paper ... before I'd marked it! Fortunately she had children and saw the funny side. Her response: "I did really badly, at least I get another go with a chance of full marks". I might have marked that attempt more generously than I should :whistle: He's currently at Lincoln University doing a 4 year master's in Mechanical Engineering so something must've been OK with him :laugh:

- Threw another student's exam paper in the bin ... after I'd marked it and needed to apologise to the exam board. Fortunately I'd remembered the grade and they gave her the choice of re-sitting or keeping it: she was quite happy to keep the grade.

- Left a batch of exam papers on a train. They were found sat there about 20 minutes later after I'd phoned in a panic.
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Setting the controls for the heart of the sun.
Providing the email address to a colleague of the tax tribunal and making a number of disparaging comments about them in the same email. I overlooked I had accidentally cc'd the tribunal in the same email. The eventual recipient passed my email up their chain and that caused me a bit of flak. Fortunately I could back up my comments.
Certainly with working from home, IT is providing a rich, almost weekly, source of cock ups as new software and groups are created to accommodate working from home. Only a couple of weeks ago, in error, someone invited over 3000 people to a virtual Teams meeting due in 5 minutes after the invite was issued. That was amusing watching the trail of responses.
I once measured up very carefully before drilling a hole through the wall of the stairs to run some flex through for a client.

The drill went through the first course, then hit what felt like wood, followed by insulation. When I pulled the drill back out, it was a like a magician with the handkerchief's, only it was a string of ladies underwear, as my careful measuring was miles off, and I'd gone into the back of her knicker drawer. :blush:


Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...
When delivering furniture, many moons ago, we got to a tower block estate in London. I went up in the lift to make sure someone was in as my mate got the settee ready to lug into the lift.
We struggled to get it in there, managed to press the button for the lift to ascend.
When we manoeuvred the settee out of the lift, the flat door was closed and no one answered when we knocked.
Wierd, we thought....
T'was then that we noticed someone in the adjacent tower block gesticulating that we needed to be there, not where we were... in the wrong block :laugh:

cougie uk

Senior Member
I'm just going to bookmark this thread for when Chris Grayling gets here...
As an office junior at the start of the 80s, I ordered 3 months worth of letter headed paper from Head office, as requested by the boss. However, unfortunately, I ticked the box for Welsh language offices..... Our office was in Nuneaton.

Oh how everyone laughed when boxes of the things arrived a week later.


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
Many years ago, probably around 30 years ago, another colleague was sending me random pop up messages. He'd anonymously sent them. My reply went to every PC in the building. Fortunately no swearing.:ohmy:

Chris S

I made the mistake of taking a job that was paying 1990's wages for working on 1990's technology - in 2007. I was on the same money when I resigned in 2019.
As a youth, I once thought I'd help by running a quick report. The printer was in the main office remote from where I was, so I pressed print, and finished off a few more bits before going to collect it.

There was a lot of worried faces in the office, and a massive pile of paper spewing out of the printer. Instead of the report I thought I'd run, it printed all the work by employee for several years, so people thought that the higher management were reviewing things to see who wasn't pulling their weight, as redundancies were being mooted.

I feigned concern, denied any knowledge and left them to it.
Having realised that you can change the icons in word and excel, I amused myself by rewording them, and changing the pixel images.

A week or so later, IT are sending emails around to see who else was affected, after a colleague reported a virus, as his icons and words underneath had become disfigured and abusive, and lots of others were also 'infected'. I didn't realise it changed the corporate template. :blush:
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