Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

15 of the most hilarious employee fails ever…

By Mark Wilkinson | Apr 17, 2015 | Friday Funnies

(…and you thought you were having a bad day!)

We all have bad days (or even bad weeks) at work but most of the time we pick ourselves up and move on.

If you leave at the end of the day without offending a co-worker, embarrassing yourself irreparably, completely botching a job or getting caught out on a ‘little’ white lie you ‘accidentally’ told your boss…you can pat yourself on the back and breathe a sigh of relief.

But in the grand scheme of things, even if you did do all of the above (and more) it wouldn’t be the end of the world…

…but then there are those days; the days we’ll never forget, the days we’ll forever look back on with dread and shame.

When those days loom, it’s important to take comfort from the fact that others know just how you’re feeling.

So, cheer up and take a glance at 15 of the most hilarious employee fails ever (and don’t try this at work!)

1. The “Curse” of Live Television.

In 2013, on his first day nonetheless, AJ Clemente made his grand debut as an anchor at KYFR; it didn’t go well. Within seconds of appearing onscreen, Clemente managed to audibly mutter the words ‘f–king s–t’ on live television.

Unsurprisingly, Clemente was sacked shortly after the show aired and hasn’t anchored since.

2. Toilet Humour.

You’ll no doubt remember this hilarious story from 2014; well-known Conservative politician Michael Gove somehow managed to lock himself in a toilet in the House of Commons. As a politician, with a serious reputation to maintain, this cock-up certainly didn’t do his public image any favours.

3. An Accidental Embezzzzzzling?

Have you ever fallen asleep at work? If so, you might want to be careful where you rest your head!

In 2013 a (clearly very tired) German bank employee mistakenly transferred 222,222,222.22 euros to the bank account of a very surprised retiree after falling asleep with his head against the keyboard (guess which key he was resting on…)

I bet that woke him up! 

4. A Very British Problem.

Essex-born Rochelle Peachey (founder of I Love Your Accent dating service) describes her worst day at work at a New York Management Consultancy.

It was her first day and she arrived to find her new boss in a particularly bad mood, having just found out that her British husband had been cheating on her.

Said boss spent the entire day badmouthing the British for their terrible teeth, filthy bathing habits and tightfistedness with money.

This left heavily accented Peachey with two options…

  • Admit to her questionable English heritage and hope for the best.
  • Pretend to be American (using an American accent and stereotypical slang like “awesome”).

…she chose the latter.

5. Oh Susan!

If you’re a big fan of Britain’s Got Talent, you’ll remember how Susan Boyle’s first appearance brought a tear to the eyes of a nation.

Unfortunately, her fame was fairly short-lived and after an unfortunate Tweet went live in 2012 SuBo decided to step out of the limelight for a while…a grave day for her social media manager.

Susan Boyle's Tweet #susanalbumparty

These Tweets brought a tear to my eye for an entirely different reason…

6. Flying Low…

JFK International Airport ex-employee Gerard Robson could probably do with some tips on workplace etiquette.  As a security supervisor seeking respect, it’s pretty important to maintain a sense of professionalism and charm…it’s also pretty important not to send out a picture of your private parts to the entire workforce.

More than two dozen co-workers and high-level executives at the Port Authority of New York & Jersey received the photograph, accidentally attached to an innocuous report about a car accident.

7. You Had One Job Martin (!)

It’s human nature to get a little star struck when you meet a celebrity, whether a complete z-lister or one of the EU’s most powerful politicians…but in most cases, the worst thing to happen is that we get a little shy and garble some nonsensical conversation.

Unfortunately for Martin, a waiter at an Ash Wednesday event hosting Angela Merkel, the pressure was a little too much and he proceeded to accidentally pour an entire tray of beers across the high profile politician.

Merkel’s reaction was surprisingly calm and collected, although she is a politician and the entire event was caught on camera…better luck next time, Martin.

8. What a Tweet!

Do you remember the worldwide controversy of Apple’s ‘Bendgate’? When the world was left reeling by the fact that the iPhone 6 Plus would bend if placed it in your pocket?

Perhaps you also remember LG’s reaction to the news (admit it, you would be smug if the world realised your main competitor wasn’t in fact infallible).

The French arm of the company proudly Tweeted “Our phones don’t bend, they’re naturally curved : ) #bendgate” referring to their own product GFlex.

Unfortunately though, karma was on Apple’s side and LG were cruelly betrayed by the Twitter caption that displayed ‘Twitter for iPhone’.

An LG advertisement on Twitter with caption Twitter for iPhone

Image credit:

Strangely, the BlackBerry social media team went on to commit the same crime just a few months later, tweeting the following…

Blackberry tweet advertisement from an iPhone












…is everyone in the world using an iPhone?

9. #whatisaslizzerd?

I must admit I’ve cheated a little bit with this one. The following hilarious social media blunder didn’t technically occur at work…but it did materialise from a professional Twitter account.

American Red Cross Tweet with hashtag #gettngslizzerd

Image credit: mashable

The guilty party had obviously forgotten to sign out of his professional Twitter account…oops.
Someone’s #gettngintrouble

10. Apple Lose It.

In 2010, one particularly unfortunate Apple employee (Gary Powell – 27) misplaced his iPhone 4 testing prototype in a bar. The device soon found its way to gadget website ‘Gizmodo’ who published every single detail of the ‘secret’ new design.

An article revealing all of the features of the secret iPhone 4 prototype

Image credit:















Gary’s final (and damning) Facebook post from the phone read “I underestimated how good German beer is”. Perhaps he also shouldn’t have underestimated the curiosity of Applephiles across the globe.

11. For hack’s sake!

It seems that barely a week goes by without a fresh computer hacking story splashed across the internet…but this week’s fabulous foible really is worth a read.

French TV network, TV5Monde faced a security breach on 8th April and on the 9th appeared on television to discuss what they called an ‘unacceptable attack on freedom of information.’

Unfortunately, as spokesperson David Delos recounted the story, watchers realised that behind him, displayed boldly for all to see, were confidential papers revealing TV5Monde’s social media passwords.

Come on David…one might think you almost deserve to be hacked! 

12. Car trouble..?

Most of us will already have a trusted mechanic who we visit when it’s time for an MOT or service; perhaps one that we’ve known for years or one recommended by a loved one.

For those who don’t, the next best thing would be to visit a well-known garage brand, right..?

Shaun Ingram from Cornwall thought so, until he caught a Halfords mechanic joyriding his car.

Ingram was appalled after reviewing seven hours of footage from his dashboard camera revealing the culprit boasting, swearing and joyriding his car at 57mph in a 30mph zone.

It’s almost like this employee wanted to get sacked!

13. Yours Not So Sincerely…

An angry customer of United Airlines recently published an absolutely fantastic apology letter from the company, revealing a customer complaint’s procedures at its best…

Letter with no personalisation, just fields like (CUSTOMER NAME)

Image credit:














The letter isn’t personalised and is instead riddled with fields like (SPECIFIC EVENT) (SPECIFIC ITEM) and (CUSTOMER NAME) exposing a very simple cut and pasting methodology for apologies.

The customer services representative really (SPECIFIC WORD) up with this one.

Would you accept their apology?

14. Strabocks Speeling!

We’ve all experienced that awkward moment when we’ve already said ‘pardon’ twice but still have no idea what the person has said…so you just laugh, nod and hope for the best, right?

That’s all well and good in a standard situation, but the pressure’s really on when you’re tasked to actually write down that person’s name, in permanent marker, for the world to see!

Starbucks’ employees across the world face this formidable task every day and more often than not, things don’t exactly go to plan.

Here are just a couple of my favourite misspellings; this lot are definitely having a bad day…

(Of course, if you believe the conspiracy theories this is nothing but a very clever way to promote Starbucks.)

Either way, troubled Starbucks’ employees, we salute you!

15. Confessions of a Paramedic.

A new mother’s first moments with her child should be beautiful and life changing but paramedic and anonymous Reddit confessor “paramedic_Throwaway1”reveals a birth story that was memorable for all of the wrong reasons.

“As soon as the sucker popped out she was quite slippery fell out of my hands right onto an ambulance floor as I was handing her to my partner”

“In the end it was okay, but the mother almost literally murdered me (understandably of course).”


So the next time you shame yourself at work and are subjected to that harsh feeling of doom, spare a thought for these fifteen poor professionals who have (probably) had a worse day than you.

On the other hand, if you feel that you can top these terrible workplace fails, at least feel content in the knowledge that you are not alone!

- Mark Wilkinson
Mark Wilkinson

Mark Wilkinson

Mark is one of the founders of Coburg Banks and heads up the permanent recruitment division of the business.  Every day he helps companies with their recruitment projects, sourcing the very best individuals for their vacancies.  He understands recruitment inside-out.

> More blog posts by Mark Wilkinson

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