People share their biggest job ‘oopsies’ and it’s a celebration of human imperfection at work
Nobody wants to mess up in their jobs, especially in a way that’s highly visible or embarrassing, but it happens even to the best of us.
And while it may not take away the red-faced embarrassment that inevitably follows a major mistake, it is always good to hear that other people have royally screwed up at work, too.
That’s why a 2021 tweet from HBO Max’s helpdesk about an intern sending a blank test email prompted a celebration of human imperfection as people shared their own biggest work “oopsies.”
The original post on X read, “We mistakenly sent out an empty test email to a portion of our HBO Max mailing list this evening. We apologize for the inconvenience, and as the jokes pile in, yes, it was the intern. No, really. And we’re helping them through it.” The ended their message with a heart emoji.
Responses to the tweet included a flood of “Dear intern,” messages with people sharing encouraging words and personal faux pas, such as the 37-year-old woman who realized she’d accidentally been putting her menstrual cycle start on the company’s work calendar.
Swipe through for more:
The share of the MaxHelp thread on Upworthy’s Instagram inspired even more people to share their work mistakes.
Here’s a sampling of the oh-so-very-human stories people shared:
“Sent a press release with Pittsburgh Pubic Schools in the headline.”
“I was in charge of creating tags for a local grocery chain. I proudly typed up ‘Colgate Cum Comfort Toothbrush.’ It should’ve said ‘gum comfort.’ This tag went to 200+ stores. I came in late the day after they hit stores and couldn’t figure out why I had roughly 80 emails. After dying inside at least 3x, I finally went to my boss to apologize. She was laughing harder than I expected. I was 30. I had been there for 5yrs. This tag is now framed in my living room.”
“I once worked for a large, very high quality (and high fees) childcare company…many of our parents were high profile people. I sent an email to an entire centre with over 700 families telling them about some new activities we had planned for the Tiny Tits room…instead of the Tiny Tots room. Thankfully most the parents had a sense of humor about it 😂😂“
“I made a huge mistake at work yesterday and informed my boss via email. He never responded, and I was nervous all night. This morning, he sent me a quick email in response: ‘Do not worry about this… we will fix it together when I come in.’ Not only did his kind response make me feel much better, but he ended up screwing up even worse than I had lol it was great.”
N”ot an electronic mistake but – my first night as a waitress I dropped a hot fudge sundae on a man’s lap and proceeded to grab a rag and wipe his crotch to get the whip cream off. It took me a few seconds to realize what I was doing and the whole table was laughing at me but I thought I would die. I did get a decent tip out of it, though. 😂“
“I once worked for a visitor’s center in a small town. I was in charge of mailing out a monthly calendar to the community of the different groups in town. I put that ‘Bikers Against Child Support’ we’re in town for a weekend rally. The name of the group is ‘Bikers Against Child Abuse.’ I found out when a couple of big names in the community got their calendar and called my boss. Everyone laughed at the mistake and the biker group got a kick out of it. I haven’t worked there in 15 years and it is still brought up each year at their rally.”
“I work for a rock radio station in Canada and once deleted ALL of the Canadian music out of the system. On a Friday. At 4:30. Good times. Still employed though!”
“Dear Intern, I did a search and delete for soft returns in a word doc and when I reviewed it with the lead engineers at Hewlett-Packard they noted 17 instances of the word penis inserted, where it should have been pen is inserted.”
“Dear Intern, I once sent out a confidential email about an upcoming stock plan to all our European employees. I was a 33 year old lawyer. We all survived and you will too. 😘“
“Dear Intern, I used to type retail ads for our local newspaper. One ad was for part-time work, and I didn’t find out until it was published in the paper that I had typed the heading as ‘Fart Time’. A local radio DJ took it upon himself to shout that out far and wide. He thought it was hilarious. I was mortified. However… no one actually knew I made the typo except my immediate co-workers. (Thank God.) But afterward, the owner of the advertising agency withdrew all of her commercial time from the radio station because of it, so, he lost out, and I was vindicated. 😏 🙌“
People loved reading through all the examples of humans not being perfect and others being understanding and compassionate about it:
“I ❤️❤️❤️ this. Let’s normalize making mistakes. We all do it. So nice to see humans uplifting other humans dealing with their human-ness.”
“Without the mistake, all these very genuine human connections would not be possible.”
“So much humanity and compassion…Am i living in a parallel world? I even smiled sincerely.”
Here’s to us all being being human, in all our embarrassingly imperfect glory.
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