I don’t know about you, but I hate wasting money. Maybe it’s my Midwestern roots. Of course, that doesn’t mean I never do it, but I try to save where I can and use what I buy.
For some folks, though, money is no object. These employees reveal the craziest money-wasting moments they ever saw on the job.
12. Names have been changed to protect the…well, not innocent
Kevin pulled up to the carnival in his $300, 1987 Chevy Celebrity, slowed down on his $800, 18″ rims and turned on his $400 under-car lights and $500 audio system. Not 100 feet into showing off for the ladies one of the police officers, of which there were many, decided to show off the lights on his 2002 Chevy Impala.
He was given a ticket for $180 but told that if he had the lights removed and showed up to his court date then the ticket would likely be dropped. Returning to the shop at which he’d purchased the lights for $400, Kevin paid another $100 to have them professionally removed, which he then earned back by selling the $400 set of lights to the very shop for that $100 that he’d just handed them, having only gotten to use them the one time.
After removing and ridding himself of the lights that had caused so much drama to Kevin and his $300, 1987 Chevy Celebrity, he decided to celebrate by trying to drag race a Mustang on the way home. He wrecked and totaled the car but walked away unscathed.
Thus was the end of the $300, 1987 Chevy Celebrity with it’s $800 rims, $500 audio system and $400 under-car lights. Since the car had been totaled, Kevin never got the chance to prove to the magistrate that the lights had been removed and still had to pay the $180 fine.
11. Well, that was short-sighted
One of our sister companies decommissioned a printing press that was identical to one we were using. It was given to us to store in a warehouse so we could scavenge it for parts as needed. (Parts for older presses can range from $500 for little things to several hundred thousand for larger assemblies so this was a great gift for us)
Our maintenance supervisor (he’d been with the company for about a year) decided to show management how good he was at cost saving so in an effort to save warehousing costs on “useless parts” he told the warehouse to scrap the whole thing.
Even if it cost $15k a year to warehouse it, we’ve needed about 20 times that amount in ordered parts now that could have come off that old machine.
Edit: a lot of people seem to be hung up on the $15k storage number. I honestly have no idea what warehousing costs. I picked what seemed like a ridiculous number to illustrate that even if the costs of storage were astronomical, it would still have been cheaper to pay that rather than buying parts.
10. Seems like a lot for booze
I work in a nightclub in Las Vegas. Table/bottle service on an average night starts at around $2,000. You get your own table in the club. Bottles of liquor and mixers. Security. Your own waitress. It’s already rather silly to spend $2,000 to drink at a club for a couple hours… However… Big holiday weekends those prices rise. I’ve seen people $100,000 for a night out. One person in particular. Works in finance in Dubai. Himself and his wife, along with 6 security guards (who weren’t drinking by the way) order 40 bottles of champagne, at $800 a piece. 4 magnums, at $2,000 each. And several large format bottles(3Liter and 6Liter) of champagne at $5,000+ each. I think they only finished 10-15 of the normal sized bottles. A few sips out of the bigger ones, mostly just pouring glasses and handing them to people.
Yeah, you wanna see people throw money away? Go to a Las Vegas nightclub on Memorial Day weekend. It’s kinda gross.
9. This place deserved to go out of business
I was an assistant manager at a grocery store and you wouldn’t believe how much produce I threw out because it wasn’t pretty enough. The district manager set a high standard of how the produce should look. If I didn’t cull it correctly, he would write me up. He came in 1-3 times a week, so I couldn’t get away with not doing what he asked. When I looked at weekly reports of the shrink, produce amounted for about 100-200 dollars. I asked him if I could donate the produce we throw out, and his response was “that’s theft”.
I was so glad when this place went out of business.
8. Wedding waste
I work as a freelance musician and often stand in for wedding bands; have worked at lots of weddings where clearly the families have crazy money.
One thing I always see at the fancier events without fail is a TONNE of amazing, fully prepared food and expensive drink being tipped/thrown away at the end of the night.
When I asked about it once, I was told by one of the staff that a lot of catering companies are trained to prepare enough of every menu option so that if everyone orders the same thing, they have enough. What happens in reality is they tip away enough food to feed the wedding party (often of 200+ people) another two times over.
Particularly annoying when the band are served cold chips as their ‘evening meal’ because “we couldn’t stretch the budget, sorry!”
On a more positive note, one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen was a drummer successfully sneak out of a catering tent, having liberated a whole wheel of cheese that night.
7. Seems impractical, but okay
Not the biggest waste, but weirdest one.
Around 2001, my wife worked for a national company, and her team was split between east and west coast.
No working from home or laptops, Desktops were standard for them.
If someone needed to work from home, they had a single laptop they could use. For the whole team. So, if that laptop was in NC, and someone in CA needed to work from home, they had to box it up, ship it (with full insurance, rush shipping, and a few days notice) to the other coast.
6. Measure twice…
I used to have something to do with warehouse logistics, and whatnot. A new manager came in, and his first project was an order of about half a million dollars worth of pallet. These weren’t wooden pallets, but plastic moulded ones, specifically made to fit the forklifts that we were using. The order had to be made overseas and brought in by freight. They had to be exact measurements, of course, to fit the forklifts.
He started bragging that my sales department made all the money “for him to spend.”
A few months later, the pallets arrived and none of them fit the forklifts in our warehouse…
Except for one.
Turns out, he measured only one of the forklifts for these pallets. That one forklift was part of a unique, non-standard system used for minor moves.
Faced with a warehouse of half a million bucks worth of plastic pallets that won’t work with our standard forklifts, the guy was swiftly asked to resign. But yeah, now we use wood pallets.
Not sure the amount of money, but it was a lot of bacon.
I once worked for a 3PL warehouse primarily focused on food storage services. A client company was storing some pre-cooked bacon for use in some product they were planning to release. They decided not to release said product and ordered all of the bacon we were storing for them to be destroyed. We loaded multiple trucks with close to 150,000 lbs of perfectly edible bacon to get tossed in a landfill. Saddest day of my life while working there.
Before anyone asks, there was an auditor from the client there making sure all of the pallets of bacon were loaded onto the trucks and none “fell off.”
4. A whole room of chalk
High school head of math department buys about ten pallets of chalk, and retires the next year. The new head of the math department decides to switch out all the chalk boards for dry erase boards. They aren’t allowed to throw out the chalk, and aren’t allowed to share with other departments who still use chalk boards. They had a room full of chalk for at least 7 or 8 years that no one was allowed to use.
It was still there 15 years ago when I quit my job at that school. They are now tearing down the school and building a new one in the same location. I would assume that they are going to put the chalk in storage somewhere until the new building is ready for it.
3. Maybe you should check before wiring thousands of dollars?
The top business manager for the East Baton Rouge Parish school system fell for an unsophisticated con, wiring $46,500 to someone who claimed via a Hotmail email address to be Superintendent Warren Drake, even though the man himself was working in an office next door. She also made no attempt to call or talk in person with Drake, whose office is adjacent to hers at the School Board Office on South Foster Drive. The fake Warren Drake says at different points that he’s busy or in a meeting, which appears to have dissuaded her from trying to talk to him directly. The fake Warren Drake requested the first wire transfer of $22,500 go to the account of “Rosa a oboadey” in the Bronx, and that the second of $24,000 go to “Johnson Chepkwony” of Brooklyn. The third wire request, which was halted, was for $25,000 for “Sylvester Namutedi,” also from Brooklyn. I’m so glad I was at the school board office doing HR paperwork the day the police were called for this, lol.
2. Give Cheryl a raise already
It’s pretty weird what some companies will do. The company I last worked for before changing jobs would often (every week) fly in professionals from other cities/countries. Every one of them got their own private Executive SUV (Denali/Escalade/etc) paid for by the company. You’re talking people all arriving on the same flight and going to the same hotel. So instead of paying $200 for 1 SUV to take 4 people they’d pay $800 for 4 SUV’s to each take 1 person.
The company prioritized treating the travelers so highly they’d do stupid shit like that…. but giving employees a raise was always a huge hassle. It’s like, give Cheryl who busts her ass working late an extra couple grand for cripes sake! But no, ever traveler getting their own SUV is way more important.
1. No need to be impatient
I worked at a phone store and this guy just lost his iPhone X in a river. The guy had insurance on the phone and had a $250 option to use it and get a phone the next day. He said he needed a phone now and ended up paying the $850 he still owed on his phone plus signing a new agreement to get another iPhone X. We make commission off the phones, but I was looking out in his best interest that doing the insurance would make the most sense but then scoffed and said it’s only $800.
He was the epitome of I live off daddy’s money and him acting like $800 is nothing is the most pretentious thing I’ve ever seen.