IT Workers Reveal the Biggest Mistakes They’ve Made on the Job

©Wikimedia Commons

FAIL! Everyone messes up at their jobs once in a while, with varying degrees of consequences.

If you work in the IT field, you better have your head on straight. If you don’t, you could make some seriously huge mistakes that might lead to enormous headaches.

Here, AskReddit users share their own IT horror stories.

1. Ooops…

“I was trying to determine where some cables were going and had to open the cable management for that. I accidentally cut through the fiber connecting the two data centers of that company.

I was called Edward Scissorhands after that.”

2. Gone

“I deleted 50-70% of the photos on the site/project I’ve been working on. (Not mine, customer photos) =).”

3. Time to make amends

“I do test automation for an insurance company. Once, I accidentally pointed tests at the production environment and bound a bunch of policies. It took several people a couple hours to clean up the data before it got migrated to accounting. This was all after 4:00 on a Friday afternoon.

The next week, I spent $250 on a pizza party for the team to make amends.”

4. Don’t turn your back

“I was tasked with mounting a switch in a network closet alone. Those things are a bit heavy and difficult, even moreso that I was alone. So, I barely got two screws in and I released it and it stayed. I turned to get my other two screws and the switch fell 5 feet and broke the mounting bracket.

Not me but someone on site also delete an entire database and backed it up. So, basically, all data was lost.”

5. Sorry, Doc

“Lost a doctor’s spreadsheet she’d put ten years worth of work into.”

6. Panic

“Deleted my entire hard-drive just from moving too fast.

i was trying to delete some files, but i didnt realize i had the entire root directory highlighted instead of the one directory i needed. deleting took no time, and then i went to clear the recycling bin which happened to be in OSX – and i got curious as to why there was a progress bar that projected like 6 minutes to clear the bin. i was like oh well, just a system hiccup.

it was systematically scrubbing all thirty thousand files from my entire computer.

and i was the entire video editing wing of an advertising agency. i am not an emotional guy, but this had me running around in a panic, almost in tears in front of coworkers.”

7. Journals

“It wasn’t technically work but I was helping my sister with her computer and accidentally deleted her journal entries from like two years. Told her her hard drive had gotten corrupted and she may have lost files, but now that I defragged it it should be fine. She gave me a hug and surprised me with ice cream for helping her; I’ve never felt more guilty in my life. If you ever see this Cate…. sorry.”

8. Wrong word

“I once worked in IT support, biggest mistake I made was emailing whilst frustrated.

We needed everyone to turn their PCs off so we could roll out an update over the weekend, it saved us time to not have to go around turning them all off manually, not to mention if someone left a PC running with some work on it they’d lose it, which is never good. We also had lots of VMs running at any given time too and they can be a bit of a ball ache to turn off as I recall.

So. I sent an email out to the whole company asking people to turn off their PCs this time using a tone that was obviously slightly irritated, I signed off with my regards and sent it.

Only to be called in by the boss 5 minutes later so he could point out that I wrote ‘Retards’ instead of ‘Regards’, and the tone of my email made it look intentional.

Thankfully he was a good boss and just laughed it off.”

9. Rickrolled

“We were testing out our new phone system and it appeared to let you set different hold music per site. So we loaded up Rick Astley for our hold music. A day or so later we’re talking to several people on speaker phone at another site when they mute one of the phones they were using and suddenly…. never gonna give you up…

The MD in the room got all snide about the stupid 80’s hold music, the assistants are confused, and we are on mute laughing our a–es off.

So yeah, I rickrolled the hold music on our whole phone system. Might have to turn it into a yearly April tradition.”

10. That’s a lot of gift cards

“Oh man. This takes me back to my early days. Many years ago I did essentially the same thing to a database of currently active gift cards for a very large company. It’s our responsibility to load in new gift cards every now and then, and I did a batch but forgot to set the credit amount when loading. The update I wrote had a WHERE clause but the logic was bad and it updated every single gift card to essentially brand new.

Over 100 thousand currently active gift cards, all instantly refreshed to 100$. Fortunately it happened in the early morning and a peer and I were able to pull the right amounts out of the data warehouse and correct the issue within about 30 minutes without anyone being able to use any credit they weren’t entitled to, but man… What a harrowing learning experience. I was literally dripping sweat. I have taken the “write all deletes/updates as selects first” approach since.”