First jobs are inevitable. We’ve all had them. Maybe some of you have just gotten your first job, are still working for your first employer, or working in the same field. Along with the first job comes hilarious stories. Some are funnier than others, but regardless, we’ve got them. Everyone’s got stories to tell from their first jobs. While not every first job has a disaster story, we can surely sympathize with these stories because we’re human. Some of these hilarious stories don’t even have to be for the newbie. These awkward occurrences happens even after years in the workplace. We have a legacy of our own and the best part is that, as adults, we can look back, laugh, and understand the lesson. With each error, there’s something to be learned. Don’t underestimate life’s ability to teach you those lessons in funny mysterious ways. Whether it’s bathroom mishaps or simply being clumsy, you’re sure to get a unique learning experience of your own. Many of you might even recognize these stories because they already happened to you or someone you know. While it does pay to work hard, but at the same time don’t take life or work too seriously. We all mess up, and the best part is that we can laugh about it now and later. Laughter is the only way to respond to such situations.
“I'm a teacher. I flipped over a desk and fell. In a skirt. With a thong underneath. Whoops. Lesson learned, now I wear generous sized panties under skirts. Just in case I ever fall again. I simply laughed it off and told the class that they now knew everything they needed to know about me, so let's get on with learning about something else. Anything else.”
It’s tough being a teacher. All eyes are on you and the slightest mishaps seems and feels like a molehill turned into a mountain (or even a volcano). Any error is scrutinized by everyone in class, and any major mistake will be remembered and even brought up every now and then. Yes, students can be cruel, but at least this teacher handled her fall quite well. Instead of letting the students laugh at her blunder, she laughed at herself, thus turning the joke on itself and refusing to let anyone make fun of her. That doesn’t make what happened any less embarrassing. Surely, she felt horrified when it happened, but thanks to her quick thinking, she recovered sooner rather than later.
“I had a terrible cold. I blew my nose and ended up farting at the same time. Everyone in the office heard me, one girl started cracking up and I heard my boss go ‘Karen!’ to get her to stop.”
Surely everyone has experienced this at some point, right? If you are caught doing this in front of friends and family, then it would be easy to brush off. But at work? That’s a whole different story. Work is where we’re supposed to be all buttoned-up and serious. Poking fun and laughing at jokes are usually frowned upon at work. Nor is farting. Things like that should be done in the privacy of the bathroom. But should something slip out, like a fart, it can be totally and utterly appalling. Sure, we all fart, we know that. But it’s what you do next that seals your fate. When you fart loudly at home, everyone can have a good laugh. But at work, this could ruin your image. The moral of this story: Blow your nose in the bathroom, corridor, or your cubicle, but not in a room full of people. You never know what will slip out. The same goes for coughing and sneezing.
“I was an intern at a marketing company once. First day on the job, they had me edit a video that was going to be used to attempt to get the business of a fairly large company. To make a long story short: I accidentally deleted all of the video footage and had to re-import it from the tapes (which took hours). Facepalm. Spend the rest of the day importing the footage from the tapes, which has to be done in real time. I used iMovie again, since it would just re-create the exact same files that it did originally.”
No doubt this is a nightmare, if I ever heard one. But, thankfully, with each mistake is a lesson to be learned. Yes, it was a travesty to lose video footage, but there’s always a solution to every problem. It was a good thing the intern proved to be a quick thinker, resourceful, and calm. No doubt in any situation where something is lost or deleted feels like the end of the world. But with a few deep breaths, there is a way to correct what has gone wrong. Stay calm and move forward. Apply that to work and life in general for optimal living.
“On my way back from my lunch break on the first day of an internship, I tripped up the stairs. Somehow broke off part of the toenail on my big toe, even though I was wearing closed-toed shoes. I was bleeding pretty profusely for such a small injury. So I had to hobble back in to the very small office and timidly ask if anyone had a Band-Aid. No one did, so I had to go to the company next door and ask. They did not speak English. Fortunately, through the power of pantomime, I got a Band-Aid from them. But I had already made my mark as the klutzy bleeding girl.”
Oops! Clumsy much? If you’re one of those clumsy chicks, this could have been your story, too. I know it could have been mine. Why is it so hard to do something as basic as walk when humans have been doing it for millions of years? Who knows? Maybe it’s the way the Earth tilts on its axis or maybe it’s an inner-ear imbalance. Whatever it is, it can be tough to get around the office without tripping, falling, or stubbing a toe. Wear comfortable shoes, check your eyesight, and keep plenty of Band-Aids in your desk drawer just in case.
“I worked for a woman who could not remember my name. When she needed my attention, she would throw pens, pencils, highlighters, staplers and even cups out of her office to summon me.”
Talk about life imitating art. This is a straight up nightmare, and I'm sure this is not the only b*tchy boss story out there. Surely, there are hundreds, if not thousands, more. While it's nice to see that a woman made it to the top, it's equally as unfortunate to see her abuse her power. What ever happened to just being polite or decent? Like even semi-polite or semi-decent would work wonders. As the old saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than sh*t. But clearly this b*tch boss has either never heard that expression, or she gives zero f*#$s about what the rest of the world says about attracting people. Bosses like these live in their own world under the control of their own ego and lack of compassion. Bosses like these breed terror and that's just what they want. To beat them, give them what they don't expect: Don't let them control you, don't fear them, and walk out if need be.
“I worked for a very small company (under 20 employees) and we were discussing a rebranding with senior leadership, something very exciting to be a part of. During one of our meetings, I was showing a presentation on the large monitor in the conference room. I had my hair in a ponytail that I guess was ‘bouncy’. I turned my head to look at the screen, and the next thing I know the CEO grabbed my ponytail and used it to move my head! Mortifying, infuriating, and as a woman, something that makes you feel value-less instead of valuable. I gave my notice a week after that meeting.”
How infuriating. Like seriously, violating anyone's personal space like that is outright disrespectful, but this has taken things to a new level. This poor, unsuspecting girl was tossed around like a ragdoll by her hair. Not figuratively but literally, and that's not even the half of it. What’s more appalling is that the boss thinks such behavior is acceptable, otherwise why would he have done it in public? Mortifying and depressing at the same time, these sorts of attitudes of men towards women happen way too often. And, mind you, this is a tame case. Never let anyone put their hands on your or disrespect you. This girl did the right thing by resigning, and should anything similar happen to you, hit that door running. That's not any company worth working for, period.
“I unknowingly took a dump next to my boss. We both had pretty nasty sh*ts, and when we got out of the stalls things were awkward for a bit. We now laugh about it every now and then.”
The uncomfortable elevator ride has got nothing on the employee bathroom. The workplace bathroom has to be the most uncomfortable place in the entire building. Add in the presence of your superior and things are bound to get really awkward. We’ve all had our fair share of encounters with co-workers in the bathroom that would make us blush. But when it’s the boss that’s around, our face just becomes redder. What people do inside the bathroom stalls is super personal and meant to be private. However, depending on the acoustics of the bathroom and its dynamics, privacy might fly out the window like a toilet paper streamer. When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go, and there’s not much you can do about it. When circumstances like this happen, laughter is usually the best medicine. Remember, we all poop and fart and it’s part of being human. Keep reminding yourself that when someone enters the neighboring stall while you’re handling your business.
“I was in the middle of a lunch meeting with a really fantastic client — a professional sports team. We were sitting with the Vice President, and I was the only female at the table. My boss was talking about our corporate culture and policies, and turned to me and said, ‘If you have an HR problem, why don’t you come sit on my lap and tell me about it?’ I was mortified, everyone awkwardly laughed, and I’ve never felt worse as a female employee.”
Here's another chauvinist boss to add to the pool. And by now, the pool is beyond overcrowded. These bosses don't have a limit. They cross whatever line is in front of them and no one seems to say anything. How disheartening is this, ladies? And I know that some of you have been the victims of such harassment. Don't let anyone call this by any other name. Alluding that she sit on the bosses lap to share her problems is not ok. It's belittling and it's awkward. Shame on everyone for awkwardly laughing. Stand up for each other, ladies. If you see or hear something wrong, disrespectful, or rude, say something. The change starts with us. Change your workplace today.
"I went to work for an insurance company. First day they asked me to sell the product to them as best as I can. I was going on and on about car insurance and they stopped me and had to explain that I would be selling life insurance."
When we get nervous, boy oh boy, do we ever get nervous. When our nerves get the better of us, sometimes we forget basic information, we fumble with our words, and we stutter and mumble – basically make a real fool of ourselves. This interview is no different. It’s easy to get flustered and confused during a stressful situation like a job interview. Because of the pressure, it’s no wonder so many people fail at the job interview. You have to talk about yourself, answer a list of standard questions, and respond to off-the-cuff questions, too. And at the same time, you’re trying to play it cool, be suave, and show off a bit. Come on, think about what torture the job interview is in general. For the majority of us, it’s right up there with public speaking. Don’t be so hard on yourself should something like this happen. A nice smile and quick but sincere apology will do just fine. Don’t be too worried about making mistakes. After all, we’re human, it’s in our nature. No harm, no foul.
“My first job out of college was at a live TV show: a great learning experience — for the work, yes, but mostly for learning about how to handle absolutely crazy people. Before I came in one morning, a woman everyone called ‘pot roast lady’ came in really hungover/still drunk from the earlier show that morning. I guess she was really drunk because she THREW UP ON HERSELF, but instead of getting up and cleaning herself off, she just took off her shirt and proceeded to work on the rest of the show without a shirt. She really took ‘the show must go on’ to heart, I guess. Anyways, I came in at the end of the show and all my co-workers just looked a mixture of horrified and stunned. She still works there, I think.”
When the show must go on, it must go on. There’s no stopping it and a little vomit wasn’t about to stop this woman. Her attitude is one that more people should adopt. Unfortunately, we have egos and feelings, and we’re not all so comfortable with ourselves during embarrassing situations. The scene must have both shocked people and got a real rise out of them. And it’s no wonder she continues to hold down her position in the company. Who doesn’t want a no-nonsense gal who keeps on going when the going gets tough?
“I once watched my boss belly slide across a long conference room table after he got super drunk at an office party. He giggled the whole time while everyone cheered him on, and he landed right in front of me, his new assistant, as I walked into the room. The most awkward part was watching him sloppily sideways-roll off the table while sheepishly trying to tug his shirt down over his very exposed stomach.”
Here’s an entry about a boss’ embarrassing behavior. The few times liquor is allowed in the workplace, things surely get crazy. But they also get super uncomfortable, too. There’s no getting around that. Don’t even try to deny it. Getting drunk with your boss will have consequences. Some are good while others are bad. And most of the time, it’s you who makes the faux pas. But in this story, it’s the boss making a fool of himself. We need to see more of this. Stories like this makes bosses seem more relatable and human. It’s also great to see that bosses let loose. The image of a boss all stiff and strict is enough to make anyone nervous and feel awkward. But a boss who belly slides across a conference table is one I’d like to work for, wouldn’t you?
“I worked in content management for a now-defunct internet company and one day decided to take a liberally long lunch. When I returned, my direct manager, a sweet but nervous type of fellow who often wore neckties with puppies and ducks on them, asked me to step out into the hallway where I assumed I was going to be reprimanded. Instead he basically asked me if I would go on a date with his adult son, whom I had never met or heard of. I lied and said I was dating someone, but diplomatically asked about his son's interests in case I thought of any single friends. He replied: ‘Games and gaming. Computer, board, video... all varieties. [Huge sigh] And he's a theme park mascot. We really just want to get him to move out of our basement.’ Great pitch, and also made me wonder about how my manager perceived me. Basically, this was a Failure to Launch situation. Had I had my druthers, I would have figured out a way to charge for my services à la SJP.”
It’s got to be tough for a parent when their adult child still lives at home in the basement, and all they want is their privacy. Clearly, the son is not a catch, but this poor dad hasn’t given up hope. And this poor girl was caught in the cross-fire. Godspeed to the parents and the son. May the gaming girlfriend of his dreams come along sooner than later and sweep him off his feet and out of the dredges of the basement forever.
"I had a job where the new person was welcomed with a luncheon at which everyone got to ask the newbie anything they wanted. I was asked when I lost my virginity, if I had any secret tattoos or piercings and other inappropriate questions! I had come from a conservative company in DC, and this was my first job in L.A. My thought to myself was, 'This would have never happened in DC. These people in LA really don't know professional boundaries.'"
Unfortunately, women still get the short end of the stick in the work place. If they don’t experience straight up discrimination, then it’s sexual harassment. This isn’t funny, actually. If there’s anything funny at all, it’s that people still treat women in those old-fashioned, antiquated ways, as if we don’t live in a modern society. Asking about a woman’s personal life, her body, etc. are not acceptable, and should this happen to you, speak up about it the moment it happens and report it immediately. I bet you they don’t ask those same questions to men in a job interview. And when you report this backwards treatment, you’ll see who is laughing last.
"Here I was, the newly appointed head of global communications for a UK-based company. I found a nearby cafe and picked up a brown bag lunch to bring back to the office so I could eat on the balcony I'd seen earlier in the day. I picked the table closest to the tree-lined edge and proceeded to sit down. Within seconds, I could feel the [heavy cement] bench collapsing beneath me. I landed on top of the cement pile of rubble with my legs pointing into the air and bleeding from my hand and knees. I had a cut in my pant leg and black dirt all over my business jacket. Sadly, my lunch also suffered the same fate and was sprawled over the ground with me."
This takes lunch break to a new level. This story sounds more like it came from a slapstick comedy show. Instead of getting upset, the best thing to do when you experience a similar situation is just laugh it off. Laughter is the best medicine, and more so in a mortifying situation that could burst your ego. Just have a laugh and shake it off. After all, it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
"My first day at a management consultancy in New York was my only day. Born and raised in London, England, I have a pronounced British accent. On my first day as a secretary, my immediate boss had found out that very morning that her British hubby had been cheating on her. She held court in the office where the other three secretaries were gathered, and spewed out his questionable parentage, the size or lack of private parts and commented that British people like to bathe, not shower, and how filthy that is. She continued, [saying] the stiff upper lip is to mask their total lack of feelings and on top of it all, we are apparently cheap, suffer with halitosis and rotten teeth, oh and our food is disgusting. I spent my first day saying very little, and when I did speak it was in my very best American accent. I threw in a few 'awesomes' and used the word 'like' as much as possible, in all the wrong places, so she would not know I was a Brit and hate me too. I left at 5 o'clock and headed to the nearest Brit hangout for some comfort and love."
No doubt, it’s got to be tough when working with jerks. They’re everywhere. But this poor person had to hide their accent, and ultimately their nationality, because of some xenophobe. Don’t hide who you are because someone is a fascist or a bigot. Be whoever you are, period.
Sources: reddit.com, cbsnews.com