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22 Surprised People Who Screwed Up at Work But Didn't Get Fired

These people screwed up big enough that they thought they'd be fired on the spot, but apparently life isn't as cutthroat as you'd think sometimes. Whether they had an understanding boss, did the right thing, or just straight up weren't caught, these employees lived to work another day.

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  • 1
    Text - Nathaniel66 2.7k points 8 hours ago I work on a production line (manager) of quite expensive "toys". In the middle of the process we noticed that we used wrong material, and stopped the line. Everybody was freaking out, that we're all going to be fired, they're gonna charge us for this and so on. There were ideas how to fix it without anybody noticing it. I've made a very hard decision to be completely opern with my superiors, our co-operators and our customer. I described in details how
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  • 2
    Text - fluffy_assassins 712 points 12 hours ago I messed up some details on a project and they called me in. I thought I was in some shit. They're like 'you sound a little off today, you mind going home employees don't want to catch anything." I'm just like... fuck yeah' it was awesome and I went home and slept and slept and slept and slept.
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  • 3
    Text - PeopleAreIrksome 622 points 13 hours ago I had a bad jaw infection because of a tooth The Dr. put me on antibiotics and gave me tylenol with codeine. I took two before I went into work and brought the bottle with me. Well after an hour the pain was still killing me so I took another two. Repeat every hour for 3 hours. Lets just say I could not stand up straight and was really out of it. Someone noticed me wobbling and got the boss. He came over and asked me if I was alright and what was w
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  • 4
    fell asleep at work and no one discovered
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  • 5
    Text - Luckboy28 1.8k points 12 hours ago Worked in the oil-field for a while. One of the plant operators would sleep all day (for some reason) in his office chair, with his hands/head on the desk. One day, some of the higher-ups walked into the room. I was pretty sure he was about to get fired. Without skipping a beat, he said "In Jesus' name, amen" and then stood up to greet everybody. The boss nodded his approval and they all started talking about the plant. The guy got caught sleeping on the
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  • 6
    Text - followingboi123 402 points 11 hours ago I was a teacher, accidentally said the fword in front of the students since they were provoking me. None of the students bothered reporting it to the principal. I felt like I was pretty lucky
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  • 7
    Text - 11 hours ago crochetprozac 2.2k points Recently actually. I work in phone support for a big business and I was still learning the phone system. We have 2 different types of call transfer button: Consult - which means you place the caller on hold and go first so you can fill in another agent Blind -which means you just send the person to a random boss working the floor that day. Rules state we have to consult EVERY CALL and NEVER blind transfer or else we will get in a lot of trouble! Anyw
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  • 8
    Text - We're going around in circles on the phone. Im getting my ass verbally handed to me and I cant hang up on the guy because company policy so when he asks to speak to my manager, I oblige and open the phone book, hover over the department managers name and clic.. blind?! NO WHY FINGERS?! WHY?! All of a sudden, the big boss - the manager of the managers phone begins to ring and screaming on the inside "no... no! No0000!" The big boss is looking around as he picks up the phone, my look sees o
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  • 9
    Text - 10 hours ago mochajava1 1.4k points Worked as a Research Assistant while in college. My boss worked with mice brains and gave me a couple practice ones to learn how to slice and mount them onto microscope slides Eventually, she let me move onto the real thing. She literally said "this brain is really important, I've been working on experiments with this mouse for 6 months" In my anxious state I dropped it down the drain with the water runnin... She was not happy in the slightest but didn'
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  • 10
    Text - Flakester 309 points 12 hours ago I accidently overwrote the configuration for a remote flagship branch router 800 miles away when I was using it as reference for another device I was working on. I brought down the branch during business hours and lost connectivity, so there was no fixing it remotely. I was able to convince the branch manager to reboot it and it restored itself with a startup config that is saved whenever you write changes to memory Everyone chalked it up to a circuit out
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  • 11
    Text - Syzo 107 points 8 hours ago I work at Walmart, and every time I drop a jar of spaghetti sauce I think to myself "This is it"
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  • 12
    Text - ThereGoes Joe 53 points 7 hours ago I work at a radio station and one time accidentally deleted an entire commercial break and just played news room music on top of it and literally no one noticed.
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  • 13
    Text - Text - zeppelincheetah 19 points 7 hours ago I ruined the clutch in the work vehicle. I suck at using stick shift and before I started work my boss was having a new clutch put in. Only took 3 months for me to ruin the new clutch. Boss was furious, thought I was going to be fired for sure, but I am still there.
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  • 14
    Text - Knighthawk1441 17 points 10 hours ago Worked at a firework store, was stocking them, and knocked over a 15 foot wall of fireworks, breaking all of them, easily over 1k worth of fireworks
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  • 15
    Text - withteeth09 16 points 7 hours ago Worked as a detailer for Harley Davidson for a bit seasonally. Hadn't rode before no experience aside from a love of things with a motor and some good work ethic after each wash we'd push the bikes to the storage. First day I dropped a 30k bike. I got better but over the course of working there I knocked over 7 bikes. Instead of firing me the called me lucky since no bike was ever damaged. (Note I got much better at balance after this)
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  • 16
    Text - sal6a 976 points 12 hours ago I am a teacher, I broke up a fight. To break up the fight I had to punch a kid in his stomach. He was on the ground gasping for air while I pulled him off the other kid.
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  • 17
    Text - mylegismissing 295 points 12 hours ago I let a guy walk out with about $50 worth of food because it was my second day and I had no idea how to ring up phone orders. Another time my drawer came up $10 short. I still don't know what happened but I never heard anything about it after that day
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  • 18
    Text - Text - duhchuskies 15 points 6 hours ago I was a server and after a particularly long stressful week this old man came in and berated me for everything. At one point I just started laughed and said "Jesus christ dude chill" and immediately went to find my manager. Turns out the guy wasn't even supposed to be in the restaurant anymore because he always skipped on his bill managers just ignored what happened.
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  • 19
    Text - sadzanenyama 234 points 7 hours ago A colleague who had just been told he was going to be made redundant sent out a fuckyou email to a wide slew of the customer base and staff then trashed our development AS/400 (yes, I'm an old guy). He did it by logging on remotely using my login details. Two months of suspension, suspicion, investigation and me crapping myself until it was finally tracked it down to him. They apologised, gave me a pay rise and asked my not to seek recourse with him as
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  • 20
    Text - who717 746 points 12 hours ago edited 11 hours ago I was a cooking instructor for a camp. Kids lied to me about not being religious to eat something besides the vegan menu. They walked up to me later saying that it was nice to break the laws of their religion. Edit: guidelines not laws
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  • 21
    Text - Text - ayunalie33 13 points 5 hours ago edited 4 hours ago There was a great line from a boss after someone made an enormously costly mistake who said something like, "I just spent $x teaching you a lesson that you'll never forget, why would I fire you now?"
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  • 22
    Text - Text - TheMidnightScorpion 734 points 12 hours ago When a guy paid me with 20 counterfeit $100 bills. I hadn't been trained on how to spot fakes, so I had no idea they weren't real.
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  • 23
    Text - OmegaRannoch 135 points 10 hours ago I elbowed the Co in the nuts whilst I was trying to get a box out that had gotten stuck. Did not realise he was behind me. Until I heard the pathetic whimper and the thud
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