These People Came Dangerously Close to Getting Fired | 22 Words

We've all been there. You make a mistake at work, and either you're looking over your shoulder for the next month making sure no one noticed, or you get called in to talk to HR to say you've been fired. Either way, you're terrified. It's basically the adult version of being called to the Principal's office.

Your stomach is in knots, you want to pass out, or just call your mom and tell her that you need her help updating your resume. And then... nothing happens. You either get off with a warning, or it's totally unrelated. The relief is everything you needed. There's nothing quite like it.

Well, we turned to Reddit to ask for their best "I almost got fired" stories, and they're hilarious. Stories about people accidentally drugging themselves at work, getting the cops called on them for "terrorism," or losing $2,000 from counterfeit bills in one transaction. You'll be thanking whatever god you believe in that this didn't happen to you.

First things first, it's always about being a good person.

I manage a production line of quite expensive "toys". In the middle of the process we noticed that we used wrong material, and stopped the line. Everybody was freaking out, that we're all going to be fired, they're gonna charge us for this and so on. There were ideas on how to fix it without anybody noticing it. I've made a very hard decision to be completely open with my superiors, our co-operators and our customer. I described in detail how we found out about the mistake, how we double-verified it was truly wrong material and so on.

My superior gave me a promotion.

Our cooperators found out they have some "holes" in the system that allowed to mark the material not properly and fixed it. Our customer was not happy about the delay, but also impressed with the quality control and transparent information that we provided. -Nathaniel66

Hitting the wrong button at the wrong time is my nightmare.

I work in phone support for a big business and I was still learning the phone system. We have 2 different types of call transfer button: Consult which means you place the caller on hold and go first so you can fill in another agent. ​And blind - which means you just send the person to a random boss working the floor that day.

Rules state we have to consult EVERY CALL and NEVER blind transfer or else we will get in a lot of trouble!

Anyway, we are all taking calls and I get this customer who is just not having the greatest of days and has decided the best way to deal with his day is yelling at somebody who literally just can't help him solve his problem. We're going around in circles on the phone. I'm getting my ass verbally handed to me and I cant hang up on the guy because of company policy. So when he asks to speak to my manager, I oblige and open the phone book, hover over the department managers name and click... blind?!


All of a sudden, the big boss - the manager of the manager's phone begins to ring and screaming on the inside "no... no! NOOOOO!"

The big boss is looking around as he picks up the phone, sees my look of complete horror and picks it up.

I'm sitting there, getting another call, trying not to look over at him but after 5 minutes he's finished and starts walking over to me and I'm like "well, I had a job..." and he pats me on my shoulder and says "Your face is priceless right now!" and walks off! He didn't care! My office team still make fun of me for that. -crochetprozac

This one should have been way worse.

I fell asleep for 3 hours. But nobody came in to talk to me so I wasn't discovered... -Ass_Clapptron_3000 Talk about dodging a bullet.

This next guy is operating on a level above everyone else.

Worked in the oil-field for a while. One of the plant operators would sleep all day (for some reason) in his office chair, with his hands/head on the desk.

One day, some of the higher-ups walked into the room.

I was pretty sure he was about to get fired. Without skipping a beat, he said "In Jesus' name, amen" and then stood up to greet everybody. The boss nodded his approval and they all started talking about the plant. The guy got caught sleeping on the job, and managed to look good doing it. -Luckboy28

Here's how you can pull this off for yourself.

A guy that my uncle used to work with would fall asleep on his office floor with the door closed. In front of him on the floor, he would have a small box of paper clips with some of them out on the floor while he took a nap. If anyone opened the door to come into his office it would hit his feet and wake him up and he would immediately start putting the paper clips back into the box as if he went down on the floor to reclaim his lost office supplies. -waltsnider1

This is why I don't do anything useful with my life.

I worked as a Research Assistant while in college. My boss worked with mice brains and gave me a couple of practice ones to learn how to slice and mount them onto microscope slides. Eventually, she let me move onto the real thing. She literally said, “this brain is really important, I’ve been working on experiments with this mouse for 6 months".

In my anxious state, I dropped it down the drain with the water running...

She was not happy in the slightest but didn’t fire me at least. -mochajava1 Honestly, I think if I messed up this badly, I'd just fire myself.

This sounds... like the wrong way to go.

I am a teacher, I broke up a fight. To break up the fight I had to punch a kid in his stomach. He was on the ground gasping for air while I pulled him off the other kid. -sal6a I feel like you didn't have to punch a kid to break up a fight.

This would still have me living in fear that my mistake wasn't caught.

I messed up some details on a project and they called me in. I thought I was in trouble. They're like 'you sound a little off today, you mind going home employees don't want to catch anything." I'm just like... 'heck yeah' it was awesome and I went home and slept and slept and slept and slept. -fluffy_assassins

This is how you get fired at Whole Foods. I would know. I've been there.

When a guy paid me with 20 counterfeit $100 bills. I hadn't been trained on how to spot fakes, so I had no idea they weren't real. -TheMidnightScorpion

I would be lying if I didn't say I want this to happen to me.

A colleague who had just been told he was going to be made redundant sent out an f-you email to a wide slew of the customer base and staff then trashed our computer system.

He did it by logging on remotely using my login details.

Two months of suspension, suspicion, investigation and me crapping myself until it was finally tracked it down to him. They apologized, gave me a pay rise and asked me not to seek recourse with him as it was in the hands of the police. He and I discussed it about 2 years later. It was a short conversation. -sadzanenyama Hey, at least you got a pay raise and two months off out of the whole thing, right?

Not gonna lie, this guys boss was maybe too lenient.

I had a bad jaw infection because of a tooth. The doctor put me on antibiotics and gave me Tylenol with codeine. I took two before I went into work and brought the bottle with me. Well after an hour the pain was still killing me so I took another two. Repeat every hour for 3 hours. Let's just say I could not stand up straight and was really out of it.

Someone noticed me wobbling and got the boss.

He came over and asked me if I was alright and what was wrong, so I told him. He asked me where the bottle was and then took it and locked it in his desk drawer. He walked back over to my work station with a chair and asked if I was okay to keep working. I told him I was so he set me in the chair and let me continue. Never said a word to me about it after and gave me the bottle back at the end of the day. -PeopleAreIrksome Maybe the boss just wanted the meds for himself...

This guy sure embarrassed himself on the first day.

The first day at my first job out of college, I landed a great gig as a junior software developer at one of the very few studios in my city and was loving it. But I got distracted when pushing some code. I pushed my code changes straight onto the development team instead of to my boss.  Instead of my team, the development team suddenly had this untested bit of fresh graduate muck all over it. I was freaking out thinking they were going to fire me and give me a fine or something, but they were really chill and understanding about it all. Never made another mistake like that again though! -ThatOneVRGuyFromAuz

I feel like the students at my private school wouldn't have been this forgiving.

I was a teacher, accidentally said the F word in front of the students since they were provoking me. None of the students bothered reporting it to the principal. I felt like I was pretty lucky. -followingboi123

This one is honestly just messed up from the boss.

I had booked a few "vacation days" to help my mom move to Florida. While in Florida, my employer called me six days before I was scheduled to be back and said they needed me the next day, no exceptions.

That was 1600 miles that they wanted me to drive nonstop for a 4-hour shift in the afternoon the next day.

I made the trip. I worked my shift. Then they fired me after my shift for no apparent reason (found out later that my boss did this on purpose to prove a point to some fresh blue-blood employees).

I was livid, but there was nothing I could have done.

However, the employer was a (now former) friend of my mom's and all of her retired Bridge-Club friends. After the news got out that she had made me drive 24 hours at the drop of a hat simply to fire me (which incidentally cost my mom $500 in movers' fees to finish the move that I wasn't able to), she lost enough of her local patrons that she couldn't sustain the business and filed for bankruptcy less than a year later. -country_run_by_apes

This story gives me retail horror flashbacks.

I let a guy walk out with about $50 worth of food because it was my second day and I had no idea how to ring up phone orders. Another time my drawer came up $10 short. I still don’t know what happened but I never heard anything about it after that day. -mylegismissing

And this one is even worse. I hate getting in trouble for things that aren't my fault.

I was on headset all day and had a drawer upfront. End of the day I’m counting it and some idiot took a fake $20. I told the manager at the time and he said don’t worry about it. He wouldn’t let me get in trouble for it. Two days later I got an email saying if I was short again I would be written up and on probation. I talked to the owner/operator about it and she told me to not let it happen again.

I told her what happened and how I wasn’t on my drawer and she said I was still responsible for it.

So from that day on, I lock my drawer when I walk away from it. I’m a manager now and don’t give myself a drawer if I’m not going to be taking orders. Solved that problem. We get soooooo many fake bills and we keep training people how to spot them and they still don’t do it. I check every bill I get handed. Haven’t gotten a fake given to me in a while. I think people see the manager uniform and try not to go to me or pass one off on me. Or they see me checking each bill I get for the texturing by the head but I do that so quickly with my nail I don’t think many people catch on to it. -nathan_rieck

"I'm not a terrorist, I swear"

I just started my apprenticeship in a hotel and was maybe there for 3 or 4 months. Up until the 6th month they can fire you for any reason, they don't even need to give you one. After the 6th month "trail" you really need to fuck up, for them to be able to fire you. That day I was working with the manager of the banquette department. We finished our work around 2 hours into our shift and got bored. 

He then had the great idea of chilling on the rooftop and get some beer/food on.

I was hesitant because I was new, but hey, he is the manager, I will just go, I had nothing to do anyway. We grabbed another apprentice and went to the roof. The two guys had maybe 4-5 beers while I was drinking coke. I always hid their bottles behind a wall, in case someone would come up.

All of a sudden we see 2 policemen, 2 security guys from the hotel and our duty manager get on the roof. We all just froze.

The police tell us people called, saying there are people doing suspicious things on the roof and due to it being next to the airport, they needed to investigate in case of terrorism. They took our names and checked our data and left. My duty manager had to write a report on what happened. I was sure I would have to pack my bags. The next day, I got called into HR and they told me that I'd screwed up. I was like "yeah I know", I was ready to get fired. They gave me a warning letter and I left. -explision