Britons reveal their most embarrassing workplace moments

Emma Haslett
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Opening Of Oktoberfest 2006
Two minutes later, they all went crashing to the floor... (Source: Getty)

We've all had that moment in the office where we wanted the floor to open up and swallow us, but some have had worse times than others, it seems.

Pollster YouGov asked British workers for their most cringe-inducing moments in the workplace, and it wasn't disappointed: it said the results ranged from the mundane, such as forgetting someone's name, to the "downright bizarre - involving mouldy food, fire engines, and in one instance, a sex doll".

One person assumed someone was pregnant when they weren't, while another mistook someone for the opposite gender. Common mistakes involved sending emails to the wrong people, and (naturally) accidental "all staff" emails.

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There were eyebrow-raising ones...

While serving a customer with carvery turkey I told them I had a nice couple of breasts.

... and fireable offences...

Dropping an entire tray of glasses.

Working as a ride operator on a theme park ride, I got distracted by colleagues and ended up leaving a group of customers on a haunted house ride... we told them it was a technical issue.

Losing £2,000 cash by putting it in a waste paper bin by accident.

Turned a client's hair green - before it was fashionable.

Accidentally being rude about a customer while I thought they were on hold. They were not.

Some were medical in nature...

Asking a blind club which power point projector they have

Mixed up several old people's dentures as a student nurse.
Giving an enema to the wrong patient.

... and some may have required medical treatment afterwards.

Dropping a wardrobe off a fire escape while moving it.

There were those ones that haunt you in the middle of the night....

Forgetting to turn my microphone off before visiting the toilet.

Catching my skirt in my knickers after going to the loos before a client presentation

Mistook a photo of my colleague's dead father for Nigel Farage, on her final day after losing her job.

And some were results of being scatty.

I was supposed to be conducting a short service for the burial of ashes on a Saturday afternoon but I completely forgot about it because I had gone shopping with my family.

Turned up at the wrong venue in a town 100 miles away from where I should have been.

Then there were the ones we can put down to lack of experience...

Setting a new pupil work to do and checking up on him, only to discover later that he was a graduate trainee [who was] supposed to be observing the lesson.

As a police officer trying to shoulder charge a door unsuccessfully to gain entry before breaking a window to enter the property, only to then learn that the door was not locked but opened outwards.

And some were just a bit sad:

Accepting the job offer in the first place.


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