We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to them while working in an office. Here are some of their responses!
1. The accidental reply:
"I meant to forward an email to some colleagues who were studying to do the same job as me, saying it was the most incompetent thing I had ever received and the person sending it clearly didn't understand their or our job....but I hit reply instead of forward. I had to apologise for at least a month and still have to work with the original sender who hates me!"
2. The regrettable slip of the tongue:
"I worked for an insurance company, so using the phonetic alphabet was pretty important when giving car registration plates over the phone. I had to call one of our business partners to check on a car, so I started to confirm the vehicle registration as follows 'D for delta, A for alpha, 0, 3, Y for WANKY...', I had no idea what I had done until the guy on the other end of the phone (who couldn't contain himself) and the whole office told me what I had said."
3. The seriously smelly situation:
"The first day I met my boss I was sat at my desk talking to him and suddenly started to smell a horrible stench of poop. All through the conversation I was thinking to myself 'What could it be? Is it him?'. Once the conversation was over I turned over my shoe and realised I'd stepped in a huge dog poo. I'm sure he could smell it the whole time. Worse thing was my boss saw me trying to get it off with a tissue and I had to lie and say I'd stepped in some mud."
4. The elevator disaster:
"I bought new black slacks for work. They were a little loose around the waist in the store but fit well otherwise. Flash forward to me in the elevator two days later with some random woman and my pants fell. Like below my crotch line. I apologised profusely, dropped everything (including my laptop) and hiked them back up. She got off very quickly at the next stop."
5. The literal shitshow:
"I've definitely clogged the toilet before and it overflowed to a massive degree and some of my um, leavings floated into the break room. No one knew it was me but I still quit soon after that."
6. The extremely cringeworthy mistake:
"I was brand new and sitting at someone’s desk getting trained. Without thinking, I picked up their mug and took a sip. They looked and me and said 'enjoying my coffee?'"
7. The inappropriate new name:
"I accidentally emailed one of the partners at work and addressed him as Daddy. Every time I saw him after that I either threw myself under my desk or tried to remember his name but still called him Daddy. His name is Dani."
8. The poor choice of wording:
"I used to work at City Hall in a very small town doing their water billing. When I started, the process was so archaic that the bills were on tiny post cards. Customers often complained that they got lost and didn't contain enough info, so I found a company who would print and mail out full sized bills for us. I was so excited, I put a short announcement (as many words as would fit) on the tiny bills letting customers know that the change was coming.
"The day the bills went out, I got a call from the Mayor's office wanting me to come up immediately. He looked frantic when he held out one of the postcards and said 'Can you please tell me what this means, my phone has been ringing off the hook!' This was when I re-read my note and realised what I had done. It said 'Coming soon! New larger bills!'"
9. The dirty drunk text:
"I was hooking up with a guy I couldn't stop drunk texting, so to remind drunk-me to stop it I saved him as XXX to put him at the bottom of my contact list and it stood for 'don't do it, nope, stop it!' Working in an office at the time, one weekend I get hammered and horny and decide to drunk text XXX anyway. A VERY detailed sext, and apparently passed out pushing send. The next day I look at my phone and I did NOT text that guy, I texted a female coworker, who moved to the United States that week from China, and whose name started with X.
"I was MORTIFIED, and planned to quit my job and never return...I tried to call to apologise but of course she didn't answer (who would!). My message was a basic 'you got something not meant for you I am so sorry!!' Well on Monday I went back to work despite my fears. I see her, and she is laughing, hysterically. Says to me, 'BTW I haven't set up texting yet on my phone (this was circa 2009) so I never got what you accidentally sent. But it sounds pretty bad so that's hilarious!' She just kept laughing. I truly believe she was lying and got it but said that to spare my feelings and I will love her forever for handling it that way. I've never saved co-workers phone numbers again."
10. The misread situation:
"I thought one of the guys in my office was leaving early for the day so when he was saying bye to me I was all cheery and happy, turns out he had just gotten fired."
11. The email that should never have been seen:
"I dated a guy in our office for a short amount of time. I thought things were going well, but out of nowhere he stopped calling me or returning my calls. Really not cool, and super awkward because we sat fairly close to one another. One day I was emailing a girlfriend there about how he had seemingly ended things and how I just didn’t understand why he couldn’t tell me to my face he didn’t want to see me. I may have also added some jabs about how he had trouble getting it up and couldn’t last 20-30 seconds. Sent the email and realised that I had sent it to HIM. I was mortified!!"
12. The inky embarrassment:
"I was very young at an internship, chewing on my pen while working on the computer because I was nervous about not getting the hang of the system. The pen leaked a LOT, and I spent the rest of the day with black ink on my lips, tongue and teeth, even after scrubbing and swishing water frantically in the bathroom. My pen chewing habit broke really fast."
13. The mistaken location:
"Our office has two kitchens, one of which is a room separate from the open plan desk area, the other which is essentially a kitchen counter built into corner of the room, but the areas are decorated the same with the exact same appliances and everything. One time when I was really tired (and not really paying attention to what I was doing), I dropped a mug which shattered, and I let out a fairly violent stream of expletives thinking I was in the safety and isolation of the kitchen.
Turns out I was in front of the entire office who all looked at me with stunned silence before one person started slow clapping."
14. The accidental flashing:
"I once walked from the bus stop, through the busy centre of town, past colleagues outside my office, up the lift, across the floor past further colleagues and finally sat down at my desk, only for my very embarrassed looking team mate to coyly inform me that the split in my pencil skirt had split further and now currently started at the bottom of my back. This coupled with no tights underneath and wearing a thong that day meant that everyone saw my WHOLE ARSE just jiggling about as I walked to and through the office."
15. The lesson in double-checking your attachments:
"I once had to write a report on a software bug and attached videos of the error occurring. This report was circulated round various countries and top honchos at the company. A week later I got an email from some high-up guy in India asking if I'd been hacked. I had accidentally attached the wrong videos to the report. The first of my friend eating a teaspoon of chilli flakes, the second of another friend getting a lap dance at a hen-do."
– Faye Falulla Dunlea via Facebook
16. The conference call fuck-up:
"We had an all-company conference call. I muted my phone so I could talk to my co-worker, but apparently you have to hit the mute button again if you put it on speaker phone. I did not know this and was talking about how a client was super annoying and hard to handle. Everyone heard me sounding like a whining baby. My boss was quiet for about 15 seconds and then just said 'Okay then'."
– Samantha Hamm via Facebook
17. The group-chat mess:
"My work BFF meant to send me a text about another co-worker but accidentally sent it to our office group chat. It was very obvious that it was about her even though it didn't name names. She went to our boss who then decided to look through all the emails that my work BFF and I had sent each other over the past several months. These emails were basically us talking crap and letting off steam about other co-workers and work etc, and lots of GIFs and memes were used. It was hella embarrassing being exposed like that and being seen as the office bitches. I’ll never use a work email for personal use AGAIN."
Note: submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.