People Share When Ordinary Days Turned Into Nightmares

Typically, workdays are fairly predictable. We follow a routine, do the same tasks repeatedly, and then go home when our shift is over. Sounds pretty safe, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s not always like that. 
However, there are some days that turn out to be less routine. The following are true stories of workdays that took the strangest turn.

You may have heard the phrase 'like yelling 'FIRE' in a crowded theater' to describe the chaos that ensues. However, this is not entirely accurate. While working at a very busy (20-screen) theater, we had an electrical fire in one of the projection booths.  All of the employees had to go to each theater and announce that there was a fire in the building and instruct everyone to remain calm, and follow evacuation procedures.

However, nobody really moved. The films were still playing (except for the one in the projection booth with the fire), and people were very unwilling to leave, even though we told them there was a freaking fire.

I was informed yesterday that I have to give a one-hour presentation at the next management meeting on how to use Google and its related services. Basically, a presentation on how to Google.  Working in IT can be a tedious and monotonous task.

I don’t recommend it to anyone. Not even to my worst enemies.

I work as a background actor in TV and films, which is a low-paying job where talking to an actor on set can get you fired (this has happened to several of my friends). One day, I was seated next to Jimmy Smits in a bar scene and tried to mind my own business. Suddenly, my brand new and completely silenced phone started ringing. I didn't realize the alarm would go off even if all the settings were set to silent.

I rushed out of the room, only to come back to one of the other actors in the scene saying I should be fired. Jimmy Smits then stood up and announced to the room, "I'm sorry my phone rang, everyone, but I had to take it. It was my agent." He gave me a small nod as he sat down and saved my job.

I work at a Sharis restaurant, which is similar to a regional IHOP in the Pacific Northwest. In our front display case with fresh pies, we also had a tray of caramel pecan cinnamon rolls that were at least four years old because they had been sprayed with preservatives and other substances. They were calcified and hardened, completely inedible. Apparently, we had a host (who was eventually fired for good reason) who sold one of those rolls to a customer. A woman asked him for a roll and pointed to the one in the display case. Instead of telling her that the rolls were only for display, he apparently took the tray into the back of the kitchen (it's unclear how no one noticed) and hacked at it with a steak knife, and god knows what else.

He boxed up the roll and sold it to the woman, while no one noticed that the tray of rolls in the front display case was gone. Several hours later, the woman called back and demanded to speak with a manager. She had no idea what to do with the "fossil." She didn't know if she should call the health department, the police, or something else. I don't think she tried to eat it, but she apparently microwaved it, and it started smoking. Needless to say, we gave her a full refund and a free pack of cinnamon rolls. You'd think the person cutting into it would have realized that if it takes that much effort to cut into the rolls, something might be wrong.

I work as a software developer at a very large online retailer. Yes, it is as boring as it sounds. But that’s not all.  One day at work, I tested a system I was working on for 15 minutes and caused a 30,000+ order backup.

This apparently wasn’t supposed to be possible. I found a way.

As a bank teller, I once discovered that I was $30 short when balancing my drawer. Our policy states that any shortage or excess of more than $25 results in a written warning. I frantically searched for the missing money, as I had only been at my job for three months and didn't want to receive a written warning. 
After 30 minutes of trying to figure out why I was missing $30, I counted the money in my tills according to my computer and found that I had $980 in fifty-dollar bills.

$980 in fifty-dollar bills. I brought this to the attention of my boss so we could correct it. She confirmed that this was the reason for the shortage and everything was settled. 

We had a shortage of personnel, and I ended up working in the front part of a submarine, launching torpedoes worth over $6.5 million. In movies, it looks like the captain launches a torpedo by pressing a button in the control room, but in reality, it only sends a signal to the forward torpedo room where someone (in this case, me) operates a handle with a small button on the top (similar to a hand brake on an old car) that actually propels the torpedo out of the tube with a burst of compressed air.  I ‘fired’ 6 Mk-48s that day, worth (I was told at the time) $1.1 million each.

Of course, the expenditure was not actually so high because they were retrieved.

I accidentally overcharged a man $20,000 on his credit card. He had a bill for $2,222, but I charged him $22,222. I had no idea a credit card machine would accept such a large amount or that anyone had a credit card with a spending limit over $20,000.  After I found out from the accounting department over the weekend, I called the man to let him know we would be reimbursing the $20,000.

His response was, "Oh that's embarrassing. I didn't even notice it was missing." It turns out he was a former Google VP.

A friend of mine is a manager in a supermarket. Apparently, old people shoplift more than young people. He told me stories of how he saw an older woman hiding a ham under her dress and trying to walk out of the store with it. He stopped her and went to call the authorities.

She ended up releasing herself right there on the spot. He was so surprised he just let her go. But this is apparently the “go-to” strategy when old people get caught stealing.

I am in college to become a special education teacher but I currently work part-time in a special education classroom as a paraprofessional. We had a six year old girl with autism last year- sweetest kid in the world, but she didn’t speak. Her mom had given up, and eventually she split and left her daughter in foster care. Luckily a foster family in the area took her, so we were able to continue working. She was working well with a speech device, and that was enough for her teacher… but not for me. I tried to get her to speak at every opportunity. June rolls around and it’s the last 2 weeks of school. She’s come a long way and done so much, but still hasn’t said a word in her life.

We’re outside, playing in the grass, and I ask her “Jane, what’s your favorite color?”. I expected the mechanical voice of the touchpad, but instead she deliberately pointed to the sky and said “Blueee”. I cried, the other paraprofessional cried, and we called her foster parents so they could cry too. We never dreamed that would happen, but it did. She’s doing very well this year and has a vocabulary of about 20 words. I babysat for her over the summer and her 5th word was “friend”, in reference to me. Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]

While working at a supermarket, I was walking through the dairy department and saw a fellow employee over by the eggs. As I got closer I could see him with a carton open and he seemed to be turning each egg.

After doing the whole pack, I asked him what he was doing and he responded, “the manager asked me to rotate the eggs.” I facepalmed and explained what they actually meant, to which he replied, “that makes a lot more sense.” For context, in the grocery world, to rotate means to make sure the earliest dates of expiration are towards the front of the shelf. 

In a creche/daycare. One of the moms dropped off her baby & when handing him to one of the staff she kissed the staff member on the face and said “love you” and went off to work.

Phoned a couple hours later to say “I’ve just realised what I did this morning. I’m so sorry, I was half asleep and I guess I’m so used to handing him to my husband.” We had a good laugh.

One Monday morning, at 8AM, there was a frog in the lobby. Not a small frog, either–a big frog.

The front doors were still locked and it was Monday morning, so we had no idea how the little guy got into the lobby. He would’ve had to have hopped all the way from the back of the building to get to the lobby.

A coworker (in a cotton mill) had a heart attack and died right there on the floor. The supervisor roped off the area around him and worked continued.

MT, Coroner, Police were all doing their job as we worked around them. 

I work in a kindergarden for kids with special needs. One kid kept going for a quiet place few times a day, and we figured he just needed some time alone. This was outside in the playground where there was a little treehouse in the back behind some trees.
On the third day of this happening I went to see what’s up and encourage him to talk about why he needed time alone.

I found him sitting on the ground eating one big spoon full of sand after the other. We’re not just talking baby eating sand here – more like a medium sized kid shoveling sand down his stomach like it was his favourite food. So yeah this little boy probably ate A LOT of sand during those three days and probably longer. 

One of our students rang me just after the birth of his first daughter and asked me to phonetically spell out her Arabic name for her birth certificate so that people would pronounce it correctly when reading it in English. 

One day, I’m sitting at my workstation, and the owner comes in. He opens the door to his office, which is behind me, and remarks, “Man! It is one windy day out there! Would be great kite-flying weather.” I said, “that’s a pretty good idea.

You should get one.” “OK, I will!” He leaves the office, gets in his car, and drives to the store. I’m sitting there saying to myself, “Wow…I just told my boss to go fly a kite! And he’s gonna do it!!” Which he did, from the parking lot, when he returned. 

I used to work in a chemical plant. The informal rule around the plant, due to the danger associated with most of the compound onsite, was that you never run anywhere, ever. Running meant you were running from something, and oil rig workers, chemical plant operators and prison guards don’t run unless there are lives in the balance. Anyway, I’m in the control room, in the middle of a shift run when a new-ish guy comes streaking down the hall like his hair was on fire and his ass was catching. Following him, and trying to keep up are half of my equipment operators/technicians.

My mind raced at all the potential scenarios that could be happening to make thus full grown, ex military guy flee like a 6 year old girl. I start to initiate an emergency reactor scram and quick stop, and hit the emergency over pressure bottles in the control room when the last guy in the conga line stops just outside my window with a simultaneous look of confusion and anger. 10 guys had abandoned their post because this one guy had diarrhea, and they played “follow the idiot” all the way to the men’s room because he had us all thinking that the plant was going to explode. Needless to say, he got more than a stern talking to when he got finished.

I am a teacher and one of the 5th graders at our school went missing. We made all-calls for him asking him to come to the office, all the admin was searching everywhere. They started interviewing kids in his class. One kid said the boy mentioned going to Target.

A few teachers drove over to Target found him there stealing DVDs in his book bag. This kid crossed a six lane highway and made it to Target. The teachers put the DVDs away and brought him back to school. The parent was contacted and responded with, “That sounds like something he would do.” 

I work in an office and thought it would be funny to put googly eyes on my coworkers desk one day. Everyone had a good laugh over it and a couple weeks I found googly eyes on all my stuff. It became a game of who could arrange googlys on peoples desk in the most creative/funny manner. It was hilarious.. Then one of the adjacent departments caught wind of the good times we were having and started doing the same. Cue a month later and there are googly eyes EVERYWHERE. It was absurd. On the drinking fountains, clocks, vending machines, garbage cans, toilets, you name it, there were googly eyes littered all over the goshdarn place. The day that I quit there (or get fired, more likely), there will be an unleashing of googly eyes that will be unrivalled. People will be swimming through piles of googly eyes just to get to their completely googly eye covered desks.

The custodians started complaining that they couldnt keep up with the mess. Visiting customers would look around at the googly spectacle in disbelief of the unprofessionalism. The head managers had to hold team meetings to talk to all the teams about removing all googly eyes.. and of course since I started it, any time a rogue googly eye popped up months later, I got a stern look from my boss. The vents will be spitting out plastic eyeballs of all shapes and sizes. People will open their lunches they brought from home and gasp in shock as they find nothing but little beady shaky eyes looking up from their tupperware. There. Will. Be. GOOGLY EYES. 

This was in the ’80s at a bad software company run entirely by men. Wonder of wonders, an extremely competent and popular woman programmer was appointed to a management position in Development. The younger developers decided to have a parade. She was of Scandinavian descent, so they made for her a horned helmet and sword out of aluminum foil, and made for her a sedan chair out of a wooden chair with a couple of pieces of lumber under the arms for support.

Then they carried her outside on the chair while she waved her “sword,” and paraded her around the parking lot at the head of a long column of programmers wearing fish hats and throwing firecrackers. I never understood the fish hats. Edit: And kazoo music. I forgot that.

I was visiting our warehouse which looked pretty standard as all things go. Tall shelves loaded with pallets, conveyor belts and forklifts going to and fro, burly men and women in high vis attire pottering about. When all of a sudden a song broke out over the PA system and every single person started dancing. Their expressions didn’t change, they didn’t stop what they were doing or where they were going, they all just danced as they went about their business. A few seconds later the music stopped and they resumed normal existence.

It was so bizaare. Like they had been brainwashed to respond to the music and didn’t recognise their own conditioning. Turns out that’s all part of their ergonomics program. Every so often the music starts up and they’re meant to move about as a form of stretching. 

It was a really slow day and I kept getting distracted from the Lord of the Rings fanfiction I was reading by the weird squeaky noises I kept hearing behind me. I finally turned around and there was my manager, a 35 year old man, about 3/4 of the way done with making a balloon animal crown for his life-sized Homer Simpson statue.

I asked him to make me a doggie when I was done, and he did–a blue one. I kept it until I accidentally popped it, which scared one of my other coworkers.

Coworker came in and found a chunk of his desk missing. After investigating we found a bullet, and a bullet hole above his desk.

I ended up on the roof patching the hole. No idea who decided to shoot our building in the middle of the night. 

My old office had these giant floor to ceiling windows that would get washed every month or so. One month the window washer was outside the window I faced with a long pole to wash the second story windows.

He let it fall away from the building too far and it hit a power line right in front of us. We all thought we had watched him die, but he ended up getting into the ambulance unassisted to go get checked out.

I worked in a small office. There was a front lobby area with a conference room off to the side. It was separated by a door from the rest of the office. So I’m sitting at my desk, just working, and I hear screaming from the front lobby area, like straight up someone is being murdered screaming. Everyone in the office area is freaking out, assuming there was a robbery or something horrible happening in the front. I hear someone shrieking for help, so I’m like okay this is clearly not a dangerous situation, it must be a medical emergency or something like that. I tell one of my coworkers to call 911. I proceed to open the door quietly and walk towards the lobby.

I do not see anyone, even the receptionist, but the screaming is still going on from inside the conference room. I slowly open the door and find about 8 people on top of the table, including the owners of the company and a couple clients. I’m just staring at them, seriously confused about what I just walked into. I look down and see a tiny little field mouse hopping around in circles around the table. I picked the little guy up and became the hero of the day. 911 dispatched a couple of police officers over a tiny mouse. My raise that year was substantially higher than usual.

Happened this morning… A woman came into the store, went through the perfume aisle, took a few bottles into the layaway storage room, and drank them. This was all right before closing, maybe 10 minutes, or so.

Watching this on camera was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. 

Some dude came in strumming a banjo as he followed his SO around as she shopped.

I, and all of my coworkers, searched for someone with a camera to see if it was some sort of gag, but nope.  Dude just walked the aisles with his girl playing the banjo to keep himself occupied. 

I work with aircraft and one morning on the flightline we found a cleanly cut off rabbit head. About a week later we found another then another. After a while my bosses took notice and believed that it was some psycho on night shift beheading rabbits and launched an investigation into it because they were sure it must have been a person due to them having such clean cuts and never finding the bodies or any blood.

Then one day in the wee hours of the morning we found the culprits. Owls. They would take the rabbits to the the top of the hangar eat the bodies leaving only the head and drop them over the side or occasionally inside.