British people reveal the most embarrassing mistakes they’ve ever made at work

July 19, 2017, 9:35 AM GMT+0

With a lone engineer recently being blamed for accidentally causing travel chaos for BA customers across the globe, Brits tell YouGov their most embarrassing work mistakes

Have you ever made such a big error at work that it’s haunted you for years? Either you said something that caused a commotion, or got caught in a compromising position? In the wake of the chaos laid at the feet of an engineer who was blamed for crashing British Airways’ computer system, YouGov Omnibus asked members of our panel to tell us about the worst mistake they’ve ever made at work.

Responses ranged from the mundane (forgetting someone’s name) to the truly bizarre (involving mouldy food, fire engines and, in one instance, a sex doll). Many were just too inappropriate to publish. Embarassing situations included assuming a woman was pregnant when she wasn’t, mistaking someone for the opposite gender, and complaining about someone whilst they were within earshot. By far the most common mistakes revolved around sending emails to the wrong recipient, and the devastating consequences of an accidental “all staff” email.

Below we’ve recounted the very best (and worst) of the answers we received. Responses have been anonymised and edited for brevity and clarity, and are almost certainly not suitable for work. Read on at your own peril, side effects may include severe cringes…

It’s no secret that working in customer service can be tricky:

And sometimes you can really drop the ball…

Some of our respondents were particularly forgetful:

And sometimes luck just wasn’t on their side:

Public sector workers can make mistakes, with some *painful* consequences:

But this was perhaps the saddest confession of all: