We all make mistakes, every single day. They run the gamut as far as big, small, consequences, minor or major annoyances, and we’ve all figured out how to deal with them in our own way.
There’s no arguing that these 16 mistakes would have been a pretty huge deal, though…if these people had gotten caught.
16. The cool kids would have loved it.
One of my grad school presentations had an anime meme on it and I only noticed in class minutes before the presentation.
Saved myself the embarrassment by removing it before presenting.
15. I bet that was a long two minutes.
Fucked up numerous times working on live applications.
The best one was accidentally deleting the user table. I was trying to delete a subset of users and managed to hit the key to run the statement before I’d written the “where” clause. If you don’t have a “where” clause to tell the database which records you want to delete, it just deletes all of them.
Luckily, the user table was only ever read by the application on log-in, so no one was going to notice unless they happened to log-in in the 2 mins or so it took me to load the records back in from a back-up.
14. Talk about saving the big day!
My sister tore the hem of her wedding gown halfway through the wedding badly, so I completely cut off the bottom and sewed it up turning it into a short dress, everyone thought it was meant to have a short skirt under for the reception.
Only her, her husband, and I knew. But she rocked it!
13. Who doesn’t love ice cream for breakfast?
Was going on a three night backpacking trip with friends, it was my job to round up three breakfasts.
At REI I picked up what I thought were six packages of freeze dried eggs hanging from a peg. Turns out only the first was eggs, the ones behind it were Neapolitan ice cream. The packages were identical, only a small label indicated the contents. Fortunately for me the first day and night of the trip we were harassed so badly by biting flies and mosquitoes everyone wanted to abandon the trip as nobody brought bug spray.
I only discovered my mistake days later. Bullet dodged.
12. Chickens are not as easy to catch as one might think.
This is great timing, I was just thinking about this a few hours ago.
I rented a room from a couple and one of the rules was that I could not enter their yard. In their yard they had all sorts of animals a lovely quaky duck, a few cats and chickens. The chickens were in a big coup cause the cats hunting instincts were still to prevalent.
One weekend they asked me to feed the chickens while they went on a trip. On the last day of feeding all the chickens got out (5), and I noticed just in time to rip one of the chickens from the cats mouth. After another hilarious 30 minute chase I’d put all the chickens back in the coop, minutes before they came home. I don’t think they noticed.
11. This is a horrifyingly close call.
Working at a laboratory that used acid solutions to dissolve geological samples for various tests, my technical manager left a component of a machine in a plastic beaker filled halfway with concentrated hydrofluoric acid, unlabeled, in a fume hood that other people used regularly, “to see what it would do”.
I dumped it in a neutralizer and this asshole had the balls to yell at me for ruining his “test”. I told him it would etch and dissolve the part because it was glass, and he didn’t require a test because that’s already a known property.
Had someone spilled it on even a gloved hand, the hydrofluoric acid would pass through protection and enter the bloodstream without sensation, where it would leach calcium out of the bones, wreaking havoc on the nervous system causing a horrible, agonizing death.
10. I want to give this guy a high five.
Years ago, I lived in DC. One morning, riding in on the Metro I was changing trains from the Red line to the Blue. I heard the door chime and realized I wasn’t going to make this train. As I stopped, a guy bumped into me and ran on around and jumped on the train as the door chime sounded again. As he passed, I heard a thump and saw his cell phone hit the ground.
In one motion, I knelt down, grabbed the phone, stood up and under-armed the phone 20 feet and hit hit smack in the middle of his chest. He caught the phone, and looked up right at me in shock- then the door closed.
I said to myself, “Well, damn. No one saw that so I can never brag about it.” Then I heard a voice behind me say “Holy shit! That was awesome!” Guy who sat in the office right next to me was coming up behind me, heading into work at the same time. So since Tony saw it, I get to brag about it!
9. That would have been a sad misinterpretation.
I once had a roommate who didn’t speak English too well.
She was moving away, and she was leaving in a hurry, and before she left she asked me to “take care of” a big bag of what was apparently clothes. I assumed those were trash she didn’t want to take with her, and she just didn’t have time to throw them away, so once she left, I took that bag to the trash canister outside. A few hours later, that interaction just came back to my mind and seemed strange to me. I went back to the trash canister, the bag was still there, and brought it back inside.
The next day, she came back to get it and thanked me for “taking care of it”.
She was a nice, poor girl from a rural region that was already struggling in the city, and I don’t want to think about what would have happened if I had to tell her that I threw her clothes into the trash.
8. He/She never would have lived that down.
As a teen, I’d do dumb stuff like burn little bits of paper. It wasn’t even things that I needed to get rid of, just something I’d do. Not sure when it started, but the last time I fucked around I’d put a small bit of paper on and was called down to dinner.
I blew out the candle but there was still some paper going. When I left, there was a small bit of paper left to go in the candle and, as it had many times before, I figured it’d be crisped up and done long before I was back.
It was a smaller candle in a metal tin that had some sort of plastic wrap going around as the label. When I got upstairs after dinner and saw just how tall the flames were, I realized the entire candle was on fire.
Somehow I got it out with only a few small scorch marks on the wall, which was hard enough to see on the wood paneling. Would have burnt the whole house down.
7. Wood glue wins the day again.
Worked at a record / video rental store.
After work on a weeknight, we close at 10pm, clean the store, count the register, lock the safe and go home. When we clean the store we would often play a CD someone may have returned or which we wouldn’t normally play. Tonight it was 2 Live Crew’s ‘Banned In The USA’ CD with their hit single, ‘Pop That Pussy’. We put this on and crank it and start falling over laughing. The bass is insane.
We have 8 speakers set up around the perimeter of the store, all on shelves hanging near the ceiling. We hear this loud “THUNK” and cannot pinpoint what it was. We notice a speaker is “missing”… then find the corpse. It had jumped off it’s shelf and split into several chunks in the aisle. Our night manager acted fast. “YOU!” she said, pointing to the 18 year old cashier. “Here’s $10. Go next door to Walgreens and get wood glue!” He’s gone. We start seeing if we can piece it back together. He returns. We glue it up and gently set that bitch back up on it’s shelf and left the speaker wire oh-so-gently unhooked.
The store closed about 6 years later and the manager never found out!
We won! Yay Miami bass! Yay Pop That Pussy!
6. Whew for the last minute catch.
Working on a presentation and managed to misspell the CEO’s name. We’d been working on it for weeks, the name had been there probably since day 3 or 4. No one spotted it cause who would be dumb enough to get it wrong? I finally caught it about a week before it went to the presentation. Definitely one of my sections, so glad I got it before it could do damage.
5. Ooh man that would have been awkward.
I used to work in transcripts for a well known university. You had the option to order a copy of your transcripts, or a digital certified PDF stating that you received whatever degree you earned.
One day I was trying to help a student troubleshoot an issue with not receiving this PDF, so I sent it to myself as a test. I then realized that even after this form was sent out, it was still editable by students. In theory, people could claim to have any degree from that university and it would still say it was a certified document. I brought it to my superiors attention and it IT obviously fixed it pretty quickly. Technically those old editable ones are still out there though.
4. Two YEARS. That’s more than lucky.
Worked in an IT company. Had to switch of the routines for data backups because of I even don’t know anymore. Forgot to switch them on again. After around 2 years I noticed it more by coincidence. Felt very warm and sweaty instantly.
if data loss had happened, that would have been the end of the company. And the end of my career of course.
3. I would have cried.
I was working on a case where I was responsible for preparing deposition outlines for the partners. One of the partners was very high-touch and kept sending his outline back for minor revisions, and between that, other work on the case, and high-priority work on other cases, I wasn’t able to start working on one of the outlines until the day before the witness’s deposition was scheduled. I opened the binder of documents for the witness, and there were like 400 documents in there — each of which I had to read, analyze in the context of the case, and then write questions for the partner to ask the witness about the document at deposition. To make matters worse, the partner who would be taking the dep was just brought on to the case and wasn’t entirely up to speed on all the issues, so I had to prepare all of his questions in as detailed and thorough a manner as possible. I had no idea how much material there was for this witness before I opened the binder, and for that much material there was no way in hell I’d be able to finish the outline in time. To put it bluntly, I was FUCKED.
With nothing else to do, I start working furiously on the outline. Perhaps ten minutes later I get a call from the lead partner — stop working, the case just settled.
2. That scared them straight.
Way back in high school, my lab partners were dedicated to sowing chaos in our chemistry class. It was mostly low-level, irritating stuff. Dumb pranks.
The chemistry lab was set up with piping that ran LPG (a propane/butane mix) through the room, so that you could hook up bunson burners. At some point, we got the bright idea that we should disconnect one of tubes and see what would happen if we lit it.
We pulled off this genius plan one day when our teacher had the rest of the class in the classroom next door. We opened up the gas, lit the nozzle… and witnessed a flame about six feet long. It scared the living shit out of the three of us. This was like witnessing the gates of hell flying open. We were lucky one of us wasn’t instantly consumed by flame. We were certain we were going to blow the entire school up.
We managed to get it turned off, though. As it happened, the rest of the class came in to the lab what felt like about three seconds later. A couple people asked why the three of us were ashen and sweating, but no one was the wiser.
None of the three of us spoke of it again. And the three of us were model students for the rest of the year. The memory still freaks me out.
1. Double check everything you’re going to inject into another human being.
I was mixing IVs at the hospital.
Someone had put the wrong bag in the wrong bin. I didn’t notice.
I proceeded to make a batch of epidurals out of the wrong medicine. No one caught it. It somehow made it to the OB floor.
I came back into the IV room and saw the empty bag hanging and my stomach dropped. I called OB to ensure none had been used and to make sure it wouldn’t. Brought them back and wrote myself up.
If I hadn’t caught it, it would of caused major issue’s including the possibility of killing the patients. There were 12 syringes if I remember correctly.
I learned a very valuable lesson that day.
I can’t believe they’re admitting these now, honestly!
Do you have a story that would fit on this list? Share it with us in the comments!