Work can be stressful enough — all you need is an embarrassing blunder or shameful mishap to completely ruin your day.
Spilled a drink on yourself? Accidentally tripped over in front of customers? You haven’t got it that bad. Wait until you read through our collection of funny work stories.
They’re bound to help you overcome a bad day at work.
1. “I love you. No, I don’t love you”
For this anonymous and ashamed employee, a well-regretted phone call left her humiliated at work for life. After a professional telephone call with her boss, she ended the conversation with “Alright, I love you. See you later!”. This is what she’d usually say to her family at the end of a call, but it certainly wasn’t meant for her boss!
To save herself from the embarrassing situation, she panicked and said: “Oh my God! I didn’t mean that. I absolutely don’t love you… No, I mean, I like working for you, but I know you’re married, and I’m married, and I’m not flirting, so please don’t report me to HR for harassment…”
In the midst of the madness, her boss hung up. Of course he did.
2. Barefoot and brave
We all have strange habits that make our daily lives much easier. Anderson from Virginia, for example, likes to drive with no shoes on. That’s all fine and dandy until you realize you’re driving to work!
Anderson forgot to slip on her kitten heels on her way to her psychiatrist clinic and was forced to walk around barefoot the entire day. She had the perfect excuse to get out of work that day, but instead, the “professional” psychotherapist pretended everything was normal. Smiling, shaking her patients’ hands and leading them to her office made up the most awkward few minutes of her life. Thankfully, her coworkers never mentioned a word about it, and Anderson went about her day as if everything was normal.
A day in the life of Fred Flintstone, hey?
3. An email nightmare
Lesson of the day: always double-check who your email is being sent to. David Champi had a really bad habit of communicating with close colleagues via email. Be it a joke, silly request or complaint about another coworker, David would use Outlook. One day, when his coworker Arnold enraged him, he couldn’t control his anger, and so decided to nag about it in an email to his friend from Marketing. Little did he know that out of his rage, he inserted Arnold’s email address instead of his friend’s, and woof, off the email went to the wrong person.
David had to apologize to Arnold for saying such nasty words behind his back, and it even led to him getting a warning from his boss. Learn about email etiquette, folks, especially in the workplace!
4. Attack of the pillows
A great customer service tip this employee swears by is having patience and thick skin. That’s what she did when a customer at her store started throwing pillows at her.
It was Black Friday when the customer started yelling about not having time to wait in line to buy her pillows. Calmly, the employee stated that queues were generally busy on Black Fridays, but that she should be checked out within 15 minutes. This clearly didn’t reassure the customer, because she started throwing pillows at the shop assistant and topped it off with: “You can do your job now and put those away”, before storming out.
5. A toilet blunder
Ever been goofy and awkward in front of a handsome guy (or girl)? Now, imagine that guy was also your new manager. Indeed, that’s what happened to Jen Fincham when she started her new office job. From blushing and stuttering every time he spoke to her to saying “yes” in a high-pitched tone to every command, Jen thought things couldn’t get any worse on her first day. Until the unthinkable happened.
Off she trotted to the restroom and, bam, she opened the door. Inside, doing a (very evil-smelling) number two was none other than her handsome manager, red-faced at the sight of her seeing him. Jen had never been more embarrassed in her life. But after that incident, he was the one blushing.
6. Bosses and beers
Bad bosses can be awful, but who knew they could also be the life and soul of the party?
Seeing his boss drunk was the funniest experience for this particular employee. John from London explained that his manager always gave him a hard time at the office, but seeing him embarrassingly drunk on beer at the Christmas work party made him more human and less intimidating. Watching his stern and serious boss belly slide across the table with a party whistle in his mouth was the highlight of John’s career.
As expected, he couldn’t take his boss seriously on Monday. And his boss couldn’t look anyone in the eye.
7. When nature calls
Some of us have had the great displeasure of breaking wind in public, just like this particular employee who let one out — loud enough to wake the dead. Suffering from a cold, this office worker went to blow her nose while everyone was going about their usual routines. Unfortunately, she ended up farting at the same time, and everyone in the room heard her. One colleague laughed so hard that the boss shouted “Karen!” to get her to stop.
Sometimes, your bodily functions get the best of you. What a work fail!
8. A real stitch-up
This real-life work story by Melissa Hill is enough to leave any employee red-faced. She knew her new employee was going to be a great one after this funny incident.
When the light bulb blew during this young man’s first day at work, he kindly offered to hop on the desk to change it. Much to his embarrassment, as he jumped back down, a loud “KRRSCHW” was heard. His trousers had torn! Melissa couldn’t keep her composure and simply laughed at the poor guy. But, kindly, she offered to stitch the fabric back up. “Could you imagine having your new boss sew up your pants on your first day of a new job?”, she said.
9. An invite gone wrong
Carelessness got the best of this employee. Working as a defense contractor, they wanted to invite their team to a New Year’s Eve party but, unfortunately, the invitation got sent to the wrong group of people.
They realized their mistake when they started getting replies like “Am stationed in Italy but will try to make it”. Turns out they had sent the e-vite to a Navy client list whose name was one letter different from their team’s. The NYE invitation had been sent to 7,000 sailors.
10. A yoghurt mishap
Chris from New York started raging at his colleagues when he’d realized his yoghurt had been opened and half-eaten. Storming around the office, blaming coworkers and scoffing under his breath, Chris was disappointed that someone could be so disrespectful.
It all turned out quite embarrassing when he messaged his wife at home telling her the story. Apparently, the yoghurt had been hers, and she’d half-closed it to eat it the next day. Little did Chris know that he’d picked up an open yoghurt to take to work that morning. And embarrassed he was when he had to apologize to his colleagues.
11. The revenge of the oyster
Since you’re looking for stories that will make you laugh, consider this premise: your boss, who is an unreasonably rude and hostile individual, discovers they’ve got a shellfish sensitivity — at work. This keeps them in the bathroom for the rest of the afternoon. Wouldn’t you be celebrating the occasion annually from then on?
That’s what happened to Joakim. The small team had gathered “round the cafeteria table, munching on their sandwiches and takeaways”, when the boss (who wouldn’t normally join in) sat down and tried oysters — of all things — for the first time. Though his face started twisting in new ways, everyone else looked unusually happy the moment he dashed out.
“Try to hide your human side”, Joakim says, “and a little clam will bring it out for you.”
12. Online documents aren’t safe
This is one of our favorite funny office stories!
Katie arrived to work one morning, feeling simultaneously overwhelmed and underwhelmed, as usual. Having had enough with her micromanaging boss and unmanageable workload, she went into an online document and started leaving comments for her colleague, suggesting changes to the content. Except her instructions were all along the lines of: “Do this — or don’t. Nobody cares about this stupid tish anyways”.
At the end of the rampage, she noticed a little icon at the top of her screen, informing her that her boss had also been looking at the document the entire time. Apparently, not a word was ever spoken about it.
13. The awkward trio
Christine’s manager happened to be the CEO’s wife. In her opinion, that’s the only reason the manager held the position, but that’s a story for another time.
One day, boss and manager called her into the conference room for a private chat. The company was, apparently, struggling financially. The CEO wanted to know why; he valued Christine’s quick-wittedness and wanted her honest opinion.
For Christine, the problem was as clear as day: the manager was doing an exceptionally bad job at managing, capable only of the most perfectly orchestrated chaos and shifting the blame. Missed deadlines, poor relations with clients, and below-ground-level team morale. Of course, she couldn’t say that. Instead, she sat there, looking back and forth between the two in awkward silence.
She handed in her resignation a few months later. We still don’t know if the CEO figured out who’s to blame.
14. My email hurts
Steph is really unhappy with her salary and role. So she’s started sending out applications to other companies frantically, day and night. One morning, while at the office, she accidentally engaged in an email exchange with a prospective employer using her work email — uh-oh.
When she realized what she’d done, she deleted the entire conversation in a moment of panic, convinced her boss must have been spying on her the entire time. This would have been hilarious, except she lost her new contact’s email address, as well as the interview invite they’d sent her.
Some things are not meant to be. Sorry, Steph.
15. Not Alex
One afternoon, Alice was waiting for a colleague to email her a document so she could start working on a time-sensitive project. She waited and waited, yet the familiar ding! of incoming mail never came.
On her way to his desk, she saw him looking at his screen in desperation. Without approaching further, she listened.
“What’s that girl’s name who was here earlier?” he asked someone next to him. “Alice”, came the answer. The man’s face looked horrified. “Not ‘Alex’?”, he exclaimed.
The two had been working at the same company for more than two years. In his defense, Not-Alex had only just transferred to his department and had never worked directly with him before. Still, they’d attended several office parties and interacted on multiple occasions in the past.
You can always rely on some humor to get you through your working day — just as long as you’re not at the rough end of the stick, dealing with some ridiculous situation!
What humorous workplace stories do you have to share? How about any funny interview stories? We’d love to join in on the laughs. Let us know in the comments below!
Originally published on July 17, 2019. Updated by Electra Michaelidou.