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Bad day at the office?


SuperBacon
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If you're ever having a terrible day at work, just remember it could be worse. You could be blocking the Suez Canal and causing a massive backlog of ships.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/24/huge-container-ship-blocks-suez-canal-evergreen

Any particularly horrible days you've had at work? I'm trying to rack my brains (I think I've repressed most of them).

I "lost" a company £40,000 in a single day once, I suppose that's pretty bad. 

I also once saw a drunk Housing Officer attempt to set fire to a confidential paper bin to hide evidence of his wrongdoings. At 7.30am, and I was the only one in the office with him, that was a rough start to the day.

Any better stories?

 

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When I started out as the office junior I had to make the tea and coffee for all the big suits when they had their big monthly board meetings. That was all good until one day I somehow made all the drinks with salt instead of sugar. I wanted the ground to swallow me up.

A few months later I managed to make a round of drinks for my team with cold water instead of hot. So regardless of how well I performed the following seven years I was always the bloke who couldn’t make drinks properly 

 

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3 minutes ago, waters44 said:

When I started out as the office junior I had to make the tea and coffee for all the big suits when they had their big monthly board meetings. That was all good until one day I somehow made all the drinks with salt instead of sugar. I wanted the ground to swallow me up.

A few months later I managed to make a round of drinks for my team with cold water instead of hot. So regardless of how well I performed the following seven years I was always the bloke who couldn’t make drinks properly 

 

Shrewd thinking to get out of making office drinks. Nice.

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Back in the early 2000s, the government introduced a new voluntary scheme to make it easier to choose a decent individual savings account. Companies could meet criteria covering low Charges, easy Access to the money and reasonable Terms for the investment. Working at Plain English Campaign, I wanted to highlight that the criteria required the companies to use clear communication so people understood their investment.

Which is how I came to issue a press release beginning "CAT-standard ISA providers are failing to...."

Some very cynical journalists suggested this might be considered jargon and that there might be just a tiny degree of irony in the situation.

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1 hour ago, Chris B said:

I once sent out newsletters to every school in the borough, referencing a 'Service for deaf children' that, due to a typo, went out as 'Service for dead children'.

I worked for a mail order company that sold bouquets of flowers at Christmas. 

One year, an unfortunate typo meant that a recent widow received a bouquet with a card that, instead of "sending Christmas wishes with our love" said "send Christmas wishes without love". 

A similar cock-up led to the even better "have a lovely Christmas" being sent as "have a lonely Christmas". That one became the stuff of legend, and I still get the odd Christmas card or text with that written on it some ten years later.

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The worst I've been around for, thankfully, wasn't me. It's how someone almost got fired on their first day of training.

So, back in the early 2000s, I worked in technical support for Sony Playstation. It was mainly checking for overheating, and giving advice around disc-read errors, then arranging repairs, replacements, refurbishments, etc. They brought a bunch of us in for training, and our first day was partly spent listening in to calls - we'd sit next to agents and plug headphones into their phones. That was it.

Some people were a delight, some were weird, some were angry. And on this day, two of us were listening in to the same agent, who was on a call to a mother from Manchester. She was FURIOUS. It was half-term, and the Playstation had 'disc read error' and she was busy enough, and the kids were meant to be distracted by this thing, and she'd spent a fortune on it, and on and on and on. She wouldn't do anything to check if it could be simply fixed, and we couldn't book it in for anything until she did. She just kept escalating and getting angrier, until... the phone suddenly went dead. Complete silence.

The other guy on training waits a moment, then goes "Hey, maybe she's died?" Then, laughing at himself, "God, I hope so. What a bitch!"  The call centre agent connects the next call and continues on.

Ten minutes or so later, one of the guys from the other side of the call centre calls out 'Was anyone just speaking to a Mrs [surname]?". The agent puts his hand up. "Yeah - only your side of the call cut off. She heard everything."

The guy on training got straight up to a written warning before the end of his first day of training as a result.

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I found out the hard way that recorded phone calls are NOT muted when you hit the mute button and/or put someone on hold when my manager called me in to his office and I had to sit and listen to me call someone a "fucking cunt" on a phone call.

He was a nuisance caller who used to call up and ask if we wanted any "really rough sex" that day.

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Worked in a Call Center as part of the Mortgages team for a well known bank. Had a woman in her 90s as the named account holder but her son was on the phone with me to make a payment. Because he's not the account holder, I can't give him any details whatsoever about the account and all I can do is a black and white taking of a payment. 
The man gets the mortgage amount under by a few quid. I'm not allowed to tell him, hint that it's wrong, ask if he's sure it's the right amount, ask to speak to the account holder or anything that would give the impression it's the wrong amount. 
I had to just take the wrong amount and know that she was immediately going into arrears on her mortgage and in a week or so collections would deal with her. I tried everything in my power to stop it happening and no managers would budge. 
It was the straw that broke the camels back and I left a week or so later.

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Most of my worse days at work happened back when I worked in IT in the late 90s/early 2000s. One of my companies clients used this very fringe accounting software which needed to be installed. The software company was literally two blokes, who insisted that they have to come install it because it was "too complicated for non-software people". Which was a complete load of shite, it was literally just a bog standard application that connected to a database backend.

All they needed to do is take a backup, convert it to a newer version of their software, restore it and away we go. These two fucking morons made my day a complete nightmare. They were both the typical middle aged posh duffers and I was a piece of shit in their eyes - started off me saying "what can I do to help you?" and them going "couple teas would be wonderful", I mean ok fair enough but I'm the bloke who knows how this entire network is setup and first thing you're asking me is get you tea?

They spend ages figuring out what to do, but eventually get to the point where they've got their database backup converted and are ready to restore it. Now this was MSSQL and it had this annoying thing about not wanting to restore a backup from a prior version unless you forced it, it was a confusing flow and the error messages were not clear. But after these numpty's tried and failed for a while, with them throwing out absolutely insane suggestions like "I think the RAM is bad" (you wot m8?), I eventually say "why not try the force option on the restore" and they waffle on about how that could "corrupt bits". This is going on numerous hours at this point, I'm getting calls from my cunt of a boss who wants to know whats taking so long and that I should be going to see another client so wrap it up, so I explain whats going on and him being a massive cunt takes the side of the two duffers.

Roll on two hours later I start getting more and more annoyed and more insistent that they try the fucking force option. So they do and it works. Those two posh cunts turn around and go "beginners luck eh?"

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3 hours ago, SuperBacon said:

If you're ever having a terrible day at work, just remember it could be worse. You could be blocking the Suez Canal and causing a massive backlog of ships.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/24/huge-container-ship-blocks-suez-canal-evergreen

Any particularly horrible days you've had at work? I'm trying to rack my brains (I think I've repressed most of them).

I "lost" a company £40,000 in a single day once, I suppose that's pretty bad. 

I also once saw a drunk Housing Officer attempt to set fire to a confidential paper bin to hide evidence of his wrongdoings. At 7.30am, and I was the only one in the office with him, that was a rough start to the day.

Any better stories?

 

Funnily enough that actually is my office. Well, not that ship obviously. I’m looking forward to reading the report because the early noises about a gust of wind catching them doesn’t make sense, for a start, a ship that size would have two escort tugs which would have easily countered the reported met conditions. I’ve never transited the Suez but it’s notorious for being a shit show and poorly maintained/dredged.  It would have been a pilot that had the conduct of the vessel but again, in Egypt, they’re notoriously shit. I did work on a feeder on the Med coast that called at Port Said (the port at the North end of the Suez) loads, by far the worst place I ever visited on a ship.  It’s referred to as Marlboroland in the industry because nothing happens without 200 fags changing hands first. 

My early guesses, because they haven’t reported anything mechanical, would be a breakdown in the relationship between the Captain and the Pilot and once that happens it’s only ever bad news. 
 

 

Edited by stumobir
really need to start proof reading.
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When I was 18 and worked at an accountancy firm I somehow accidentally paid the wrong company £25,000 not once but twice. And the company was based in Texas so it wasn't like we could send someone round to get back the 50 grand I had sent them for no reason whatsoever. They didn't return my emails and I quickly realized that accounting wasn't for me.

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