15 Embarrassing Work-From-Home Stories That Speak To My Awkward Soul
"As I unmuted, my S.O. sleepily walked in and ripped the loudest fart I have ever heard."
Working from home has some nice perks, but mixing the office with your home life can be a perfect recipe for awkwardness. And as many more people have worked remotely over the last year and a half, embarrassing, funny, and just plain awkward moments have become a part of business as usual.
1. "Working from home 7 months pregnant with twins, I was on an early morning video call with two senior directors as well as my immediate boss and a vendor we use. As I unmuted, my S.O. sleepily walked in and ripped the loudest fart I have ever heard. I watched as my microphone picked it up, and the conversation simultaneously fell silent."
2. "I am a manager and have monthly one-on-ones with my associates where we discuss performance, career goals, developmental opportunities, etc. When [I was working from home] earlier this year, my kids were also home doing virtual school, so I would have to bounce around the house all day escaping the noise and seeking privacy."
"About halfway through a one-on-one, my laptop was dying so I told my associate to give me a moment so I could grab my charger downstairs. On literally the second step, I slipped and proceeded to tumble down the stairs LAPTOP IN HAND, on this Zoom call with the camera on. I quickly got up, put my laptop down on the table, plugged it in, and proceeded with the conversation as if nothing happened. My poor associate sat there with the most extreme look of confusion on her face, trying to process what she just saw while I sat there flustered and out of breath, talking about her attendance and not at all addressing what just happened LOL."
3. "I was on an all-day sales Zoom call when I heard the cats fighting in the hallway. I stepped away quickly and realized one cat was on top of the other. I screamed fairly loudly, 'WE DON'T HUMP OUR BROTHERS IN THIS HOUSE.' The cats retreated, but I returned to the Zoom call only to hear the team laughing and asking what exactly was going on at my house!"
4. "I was staying at home while attending Zoom university, and I happened to be eating lunch within view of my mother as she worked from home. I started choking on my lunch, and my mom had to run over and give me the Heimlich maneuver while still in a meeting. Her camera and mic were on, so her coworkers saw and heard the whole thing. That was not my finest moment. Sorry, Mom!"
5. "I was having a telephone interview at home for a job with a new company, and the lady I was talking to was nice and professional, but somewhat humorless. Unfortunately, during the call, a text came through and my message alert tone was (me being a massive Harry Potter fan) the booming voice of Albus Dumbledore yelling, 'ARRESTO MOMENTUM!'"
"It came through at very high volume, drowning out the call, and my interviewer heard it loud and clear. I'd just managed to stutter an apology and brief explanation when it happened again. She paused for an awkwardly long time, sighed in a way that suggested I was getting ALL the judgment, but then continued as if nothing had happened. Thankfully I still got the job, but it was rather mortifying!"
6. "I was taking out the trash in my apartment during a break and managed to lock myself out. In my horribly mismatched PJs. Cellphone and everything still in the apartment. Had to knock on a neighbor's door and then wait 45 minutes in the hall for someone with a spare key to let me back in."
7. "I work as an online English teacher and teach business English to Chinese students. My background is a window with curtains that block out the sun. One of the days, I left the window open and began with the lesson. Whilst teaching, I noticed a hand pulling back the curtain, and then a monkey popped up behind me."
8. "Not really embarrassing for me, but embarrassing for my boss. I live about 3 or 4 miles from an Air Force base, so it can get LOUD when they are doing their test runs and all that, especially in spring and summer. I asked for a meeting to be moved into late afternoon for this reason, but no one was willing."
"So from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., planes were going OFF all morning. My boss asked me to close my window (it was closed) and then got mad at ME. For planes. She said, 'Is there another room you can go to that's quiet?' NOPE. I have a desktop, not a laptop, and there is no quiet room. She was clearly about to blow when another manager asked her, 'What do you expect her to do, call the base and ground everything until the meeting's over???' Everyone had a good chuckle, except for my boss."
9. "I teach high school. My 3-year-old daughter was off screen but in the room with me. She reached in my bag, pulled out a tampon, and said, 'Mommy, is this the thing you put in your butt??'"
10. "I was Zoom teaching from home when our district was on distance learning last year. My students fell in love with my dog (understandably), and so I would regularly include her in our lessons and/or use her as leverage to get them to do work."
11. "Sales manager didn’t realize his camera was on and spent three minutes picking his nose. Followed up THAT performance by realizing his camera was on, but NOT realizing his mic was also on when he said, 'Oh shit, my camera’s on while I’m sitting here picking my nose.' 😐."
12. "Teaching special education from home. My kids were often in my classes, as I had no daycare at the time. So I’m sitting in a class with all of my juniors and seniors. My 2-year-old is snuggled up with me and doing a great job actually letting me teach."
"All of a sudden he reaches his hand in my shirt, and before I can stop him says, 'OOOO, MOMMY'S NIPPLES!' Luckily only a few of my students caught on, but either way my face turned as red as the sweater I had been wearing!"
13. "My job is to take calls from financial advisors and help them with queries and basically be a point of contact if things go wrong for their clients. One day I get a call, and the advisor is PISSED — he's in the middle of chewing me out on the phone — when I hear a YOWWWWOWOWOWW from behind me."
14. "I’ve been doing court virtually (juvenile law for child welfare). I said, 'Don’t worry, these private attorneys (parents will sometimes hire instead of using the free ones who actually do this all the time) never know what they are doing.' The entire courtroom saw my comment. Me for the win."
15. And finally, "In spite of a horrid heatwave England was experiencing, I managed to focus on my work. So focused that when the bell rang, I went to answer it. The delivery driver, holding my parcel, instantly went from 🙂 to 😮."
"I realised then that I was still in my underwear. I slammed the door shut. He left the parcel at the door and left. I was so mortified that I stood there with my brain missing for a bit."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.