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Moron Strikes Again

I should keep you posted on the Stupid Things I’ve managed to do in my new job. There is quite a comprehensive list.

Every time I have a new job there is always a phase where you do a lot of Stupid Things. It started at my first job at KFC where the boss asked me to scrub the floors and there I was on my hands and knees with this pissy little scrubbing brush that may as well have been a toothbrush, trying to blast away 27 levels of chicken grease. The boss stood over me and cackled for a full ten minutes before showing me where the big broom-like scrubbers were. I was 15, so I can blame that on youth.

But almost ten years later I am running out of excuses. Yesterday I had to print off 150 copies of a newsletter I’d made and I was rather smug about how sexy it looked. I didn’t realise til the bloody thing had been distributed that I’d printed off my draft copy, the one where the contact details said Call Mr. Blah on 123 456 for further information.

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


26 thoughts on “Moron Strikes Again

  1. That’s nothing. I once accidentally deleted a whole operating system – and everything else I had on that computer.

    And even more stupendous, on another occasion, I accidentally installed an operating system!

  2. At least your copy didn’t say, “Call Mr. Numbnuts at 123 456, etc.” or similar insult. 🙂 THAT would be a problem.

  3. once, early on, i had to type an email to Billy Brownless and I wrote it as ‘Billy Brainless’

    i didnt even know who he was until one of my friends told me a week or so later

  4. Well I guess Mr. Shredder must have been a busy chap then. Mind you, shredded paper makes great packing material. Remember that candle? Shredded marketing draft report I tells ya. 🙂

  5. urgh! slip-slidng in the chicken grease! man, that stuff used to eat through the soles of my petroleum/acid/dynamite-proof doc martens. i’ve still got the things 9 years on and they STILL have that KFC taint to them.

    try as i might, i ashamedly go through so much wasted paper at work that i’m certain that i’ll come back as a pine tree in renewable forest as punishment.

  6. Hiding the evidence is part of my job description, I think. Or it should be. I either stuff my screw ups in the bottom of the trash can underneath other papers, or I hide it in my shoulder bag until I can chuck it later. Hee!

  7. hehehee! I thought much the same thing as Alice, except in my version it was ‘Mr Thunderpants on 69-69-69’.

    Talking of menial cleaning jobs when you’re s’posed to be doing something less dire, I remember one time when I was a supermarket trolley collector (I was a trolley-wally, in other words). I was told to clean the outside drain after pouring dirty water down it. Not wanting to make a skimpy job of it, I got some paper towel stuff and proceeded to give it a good clean.

    “No!” said the person who’d told me to clean it, looking down at me in horror. “All I meant was to give it a quick rinse, not polish it!”

    I felt very silly, especially as I was crouching down over the drain to give it my full attention. I felt like an utter turd who aspires to move up to living in the gutter.

    Anyway, at least you can blame your mistakes on how it takes a little time to fully get aclimatised to a new working environment, get into the groove, that kind of thing.

    Besides, most people make lots more mistakes than would usually be thought. All you’ve got to do is find a way to incorporate (and disguise) mistake-making into everything else.

    Engineers, for example, do this by stating that analysis and research for any engineering project is always an ongoing process throughout all phases of an engineering project. In other words, they keep realising they made mistakes that they have to go back and put right!

    Erm, I s’pose you could always have an ongoing policy of continually reviewing your own working methods, not being afraid to try out new approaches, in the interests of increasing efficiency, productivity and cost-effectiveness. That way, you can blame most blunders on that, explaining that you were trialling a more efficient approach to personal task organization and management.

    Then again, perhaps I’ve been influenced by the episode of Yes, Minister I found on telly this afternoon.

  8. Not to be not self-effacing, but the best one that comes to mind is something eRoom did — she was hired as the overseer (or what) in the university computer room, y’see. Now, this girl had never had a computer; she had a *typewriter* at home and it follows that she could just about manage to figure out how to run Solitaire. So she was the “specialist”, with students coming to her when they needed help printing their term papers or what, and she had as much idea of computers as my mom or Pop. Long and short of it: one n00b spent five hours straight writing his paper, had no idea how to save it and asked eRoom how, and eRoom was all “oh no problem! let’s just clickety clickety on the mousey wousey” or some such (and while she’s talking and clicketing, a box comes up saying “Save changes to Document1?” and she’s all like “N!”).

    I wish I had been there to see the ensuing hilarity, even though the guy, screaming like a tornado, magically refrained from kicking shit over and smashing monitors on the ground.

  9. I got the sack from KFC one saturday afternoon after I had tipped over the big bucketty mop contraption. I had also negelcted to snap the cardboard boxes together in the morning so that for the erst of the day all the pieces of chicken shot straight through the box onto the floor.Prior to this, my best friends’s stalker/admirer had stood at the counter for about 2 hours moaning on how my best friend wasn’t paying him any attention. Finally, all the paper roll from the till knotted itself into oblivion and I was supposed to add up the orders. Which of course I could not do.
    AS any self respecting art student could not do. When the mamger said finally,”I don’t think you really ae what we want here, I was secretly proud, yet humiliated…
    then there was the time I tried to measure out a nip of angostura bitters on the last day of my barmaiding career…
    don’t worry! I am the biggest failure at jobs! I could continue ad infinitum…but I won’t..
    love reading your stuff

  10. You rock! This is exactly the type of thing I would do and I’d be horrified about it at the time but later (probably after ingesting alcohol) I would laugh my ass off about it.

  11. Shauny, you sound pretty dumb…but that’s not a bad thing. I once accidentally drank both of my new contact lenses…but retrieved them a few days later.

  12. Hehe, reminds me of the bank that sent out canvassing letters to their x number of best customers, addressed Dear Rich Bastard.

    I sent you an email, but it was rather melodramatic… I’ll resend it anyway.

  13. I’m glad I’m not the only one who makes these kind of mistakes, but I didn’t even wait until I actually had a job for making stupid errors. I had a phone conversation with the department manager at a hospital I was interested in applying to and told her I would send a resume straight away. The only problem was I hadn’t actually finished my resume yet (alright I had barely started).

    So I sat at the computer and wrote the perfect resume to get me the job and saved it to my documents folder. Then I connected to the internet and started chatting to a friend on MSN while I typed up an email, attached my resume and pressed send. Cleverly I also sent a copy to myself just to check it worked all right — my email came in and I opened the document to check that it would open (I don’t trust computers…).

    To my horror I realised I had managed to send my draft version complete with comments such as “Sam Smith – ?? would he remember me?” and “Responsibilities – crap all really”. I emailed the correct version with some lame excuse and hoped that she wouldn’t look too closely at the other one, but wasn’t too confident.

    The surprising thing was I got the job… although I couldn’t claim at interview that my strength was attention to detail…

  14. I once sent out some letters to people who had ‘no mail’ flagged on their accounts.

    Actually I think the actual number letters could have been near 10,000. And when they were returned (bags and bags of them) people had to open every single one and check them to see if they were legitimate returned mail or the fuckups.

    Oops.

  15. mr. blah really doesn’t get many calls, i’m sure he would appreciate your thoughtfulness in ensuring he receives lots of calls asking him for these further details.

  16. At my last job there were only 3 designers in the dept. Me, another girl and our “lead” Chris – who was only lead designer by default.

    Well, he was a total idiot. The man could not spell, was arrogant, sexist, stubborn, just plain stupid. Anyways, the other girl and I would talk shit about him over IM.

    Well, we would both sometimes accidentally IM him instead of each other when talking shit. I guess because we’d think of something to say about Chris and would click his name on the list since his name was in our heads. Needless to say it was quite the awkward moment at times.

    No matter, he was fired later for coming in to work 4 hours late, hung over and high off coke.

  17. I’ve been job hunting these days. And in an interview I had yesterday, it only recently came to my attention that there was a slip-up in the section marked “Interests.”

    “You realize, Mr Champion, that you list ‘walking’ twice on your resume.”

    “Oh, you got the double walking resume. That’s the BAD resume.” (Of course, this is complete bullshit. This was actually the finalized resume I had sent out and I had not caught this error.)

    Cue humorless interviewer with sullen expression on her face: “Walking is listed twice. Do you have an explanation for this?”

    “Well, I figured that if you didn’t catch it the first time, if you didn’t understand how much I enjoyed walking, the doubting Thomas inside you could see it the second time and say, ‘Okay. I’m convinced. This guy really likes walking. He’s serious about it. In fact, he’s so serious about it that he’s listed it twice.'”

    “This is entirely inexcusable.”

    “Or possibly, if you look really hard at the second ‘walking,’ the W will turn into a T.”

    “Are you trying to be funny?”

    “No, not at all. I’m a big fan of optical illusions. Aren’t you?”

    “You should look at your resume thoroughly before submitting it to us.”

    “Miss __________, I’ve been trying to disarm what is essentially a simple mistake. Something easily fixable, something that could be sent to you in an e-mail or fax almost immediately when I come home. You see that job I had back in ’98? Read the description. Do you know what ‘hypostasis’ is?”

    “No.”

    “It’s a term for the essence of underlying reality. I used it in the plural form.”

    “For an admin position?”

    “Yes, actually you deal with a lot of hypostases in the office world. And I’ll see your lack of understanding of this word with my two walkings.”

  18. Hehehe. I feel so much better after reading all these comments. So nice to know I am not alone in making royal fuckups.

    Call Mr Blah
    That’s my name
    That name again
    Is Mr Blah

  19. I did the reverse of that once. I typed up some minutes and they were full of factual errors, spelling and grammatical mistakes etc. I got a concerned call from one of the managers (I hadn’t thought anyone bothered to read them) so I emailed everyone with an apology for accidentally posting out the rough draft rather than the polished final version.

    My speciality was including the term “This isn’t for the minutes but…” with the various salacious gossip people had revealed at the meetings.

  20. >>My speciality was including the term “This isn’t for the minutes but…” with the various salacious gossip people had revealed at the meetings.

    BWAHAHA!! Of course they were read with EXTRA SPECIAL attention. People love that stuff. Good job.

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