Friday Funny: 25 Cringe-Worthy Work Moments

From wayward toilet paper to falling asleep in a meeting, here are 25 embarrassing moments at work that will make you glad they didn’t happen to you.

We’ve all had a bad day at the office. Too much work, a crabby client, an annoying coworker—these are all to be expected in the normal course of a career. But some of us have had some really bad days. In a new survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam, senior managers were asked to recount their most embarrassing moments at work.

embarrassing moments at work
Credit: BananaStock

Here are some of their responses:

  • “I screamed because a coworker put a spider on me.”
  • “My swivel chair moved as I was sitting down and I ended up on the floor.”
  • “I turned to talk to someone and walked into the elevator door.”
  • “I fell and broke a tooth while running up the stairs.”
  • “I came out of the bathroom with toilet paper stuck to my shoe.”
  • “I vomited onstage while receiving an award.”
  • “I fell asleep during a meeting and had to be woken up.”
  • “I mistakenly went into the women’s restroom.”
  • “I swore after a phone call without realizing the person was still on the line.”
  • “I couldn’t find my car after happy hour.”
  • “I showed up for work on a Saturday because I thought it was Friday.”

Tech troubles were a common theme:

  • “Everyone showed up for a meeting on the wrong day because I had incorrectly scheduled it.”
  • “I sent an email badmouthing a person to that individual.”
  • “I got caught hiding in the bathroom using my phone.”
  • “I broke the coffee machine, and it started spraying nonstop.”

Others suffered a case of mistaken identity:

  • “I gave an award to the wrong person during a recognition ceremony.”
  • “I greeted two clients who were sisters as mother and daughter.”
  • “I accidentally called a male customer ‘ma’am’ on the phone.”

Several respondents experienced wardrobe woes:

  • “I ripped my pants while playing hacky sack and had to get a new pair.”
  • “I wore mismatched shoes to work.”
  • “I spilled food on my outfit during lunch with a client.”
  • “I didn’t realize until after a meeting that my zipper was down.”

Finally, these bloopers gave managers something to chew on:

  • “I sneezed while eating and food flew everywhere.”
  • “I made a cake to celebrate an employee’s birthday and found out she was allergic to it.”
  • “I ate the wrong lunch out of the refrigerator.”

“Experiencing the occasional embarrassing moment at work is something we can all relate to,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Recover smoothly and avoid any prolonged awkwardness by staying composed and responding with a sense of humor.”

The survey was based on responses from more than 300 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in Canada and the United States.