Let’s face it: sometimes, we’re not necessarily the smartest people in the world, solar system, galaxy, universe or multiverse. If we haven’t had our caffeine fix first thing in the morning then we may arrive at work and conduct ourselves in an abhorrent manner. If we haven’t had enough sleep then our work may suffer. Unfortunately, it’s our own stupidity that can sometimes force us to lose our jobs. Whatever the excuse is.
It’s easier said than done to just not be dumb. But we’re only human. Even the smartest of people around, have acted in a questionable fashion. Whether we’re astute in quantum physics or smart in economics, we can be senseless, naïve, ludicrous or inane at least once in our life.
OK, perhaps your confidence is shot after these remarks so let’s move on, shall we?
With today’s lackluster economy and less than stellar job market, we have to compose ourselves in the most dignified manner. Or, at the very least, not be foolish during job interviews, at our desks or even outside of the workplace (we’ve seen time and time again people losing their jobs because something they said on Twitter or something they yelled at a reporter).
Perhaps you lost your job because you failed to meet deadlines. Maybe you were given the pink slip because of job cuts. Or you were let go because were unable to adapt to new software. Whatever the case, you have nothing on these ways!
Here are 14 of the dumbest ways to lose your job:
1. Stealing Office Supplies | Administrative Assistant
Although stealing office supplies isn’t as prevalent as it once was, there are still some employees that take advantage of pocketing pens and snatching staples. A lot of people over time have decided to help themselves to a box of pens and bags of paperclips. Why not? It’s the company’s money and not mine! Well, people have gotten fired for this; a 2006 poll found that 40 percent of managers have given employees the boot for stealing office supplies.
2. Being Honest on Social Media | Any Worker
Ah, social media. For the past decade, a great number of people have gotten themselves into trouble by being too honest on social media. Whether it’s making fun of the boss or making racial comments about one’s colleagues, it seems everyone’s social media history and current activity is being placed under the spotlight. Remember, if you haven’t turned on any privacy settings and you have connected with any of your superiors then you’re just asking to be fired.
3. Not Working When You're Supposed to | Repairman
Repairmen are out with their trucks for most of the day. If a company employed the honor system then a certain repairman could take advantage of this type of system. You may not, but there are others who will. Businesses know this so they have installed GPS systems into the trucks. Once business owners take a gander at the worker’s whereabouts, then they’re fired on the spot.
4. Applying Yourself to the Food | Cook
Many cooks are dedicated to their jobs. They love food so much that they want to put themselves into their work. But it goes too far when they literally put themselves into their work. We’ve read countless stories over the years of cooks, both professional and non-professional alike, of spitting in the food, taking a bath in the water, rubbing the plates with their bums and serving the food with their snot. It’s disgusting, but this is what happens when customers irk the cooks too much for every little detail.
5. Taking a Nap | Public Transit Employee
Let’s be honest: it’s pretty boring being a public transit attendant, especially if you’re working the night shift. You just sit behind glass for eight hours collecting fares. Since it’s empty, why not take a two-hour nap? Many public transit operators have been discovered doing this, and, not to the surprise of anyone, they’ve been let go. If you’re taking a nap then it’s quite likely that transit riders are going to evade paying a fare. It’s costly, and not to mention dangerous, for a fare attendant to be sleeping on the job.
6. Doing a Crossword | Driver
Prior to the advent of social media and cameras on mobile phones, it was quite ubiquitous to see a bus driver or subway operator to fill in a crossword as they drive the vehicle. Today, bus drivers have smartened up, but there are still some who are unaware that they are always being watched by someone with a camera phone. Not only is it unwise to do a crossword while driving a gigantic bus, but it’s also candidate for the Darwin Awards.
7. Abusing Your Authority | Police Officer
It seems like on a daily basis there is always some police officer somewhere who abuses his authority. Many of them have made front-page news for their poor conduct. Whether it’s demanding free coffee or trying to sell tickets to motorists, police officers can take advantage of their badge. Due to police unions, it’s very hard to fire an officer, but there are times that it does happen.
8. Locating Private Records | Government Tax Auditor
Much like police officers, government bureaucrats can abuse their power. Since civil servants, particularly tax collectors, auditors and administrators, have access to a wealth of personal information of individuals, they may use it for their own personal gain.
For instance, if someone who works for the IRS or CRA owns a property and the tenant skipped town without a forwarding address, that individual could access public records and locate that person. Of course, this is wrong, and those who have used government records for their own personal gain are fired.
9. Lying on Your Job Application | Any Worker
Nobody should ever lie on their job application. Well, maybe a slight embellishment there and there. But on the whole, things like telling a fib about your education or lying about a previous occupation will get you fired down the line. If a human resources manager wants a record of your Ph.D in chemistry and you don’t have one then they will obviously find out that you’re lying.
10. Showcasing Your Disgusting Behavior | Food Server
Sneezing in your hands. Maintaining a vile odor. Coughing into the air without covering your mouth. Picking your nose while waiting for customers. Showcasing your disgusting behavior in light of everybody will definitely be reasons for dismissal. It’s gross and should never be done. Plus, you work in a restaurant or fast-food joint, so it’s just plain stupidity to do such things.
11. Yelling at the Camera | News Anchor/Reporter
Bill O’Reilly was quite the Internet sensation a few years ago when footage of him was revealed yelling at the producer telling him "we’ll do it live." Also, over the years, there have been footage of news anchors saying and doing some disgusting things when they think the cameras aren’t rolling. But reporters aren’t the only ones guilty of it. Remember President George W. Bush’s famous middle finger? Or what about 2011 Senate candidate Carly Fiorina making fun of her rival’s hair?
12. Complaining to Customers | Customer Service Representative
You’re serving someone who has just bought $100 worth of clothes or groceries. You get into some chit chat. But as you converse with the customer, you reveal to them how much you hate your job and that you are looking forward to getting off work soon. You go as far as saying that you detest your colleagues and that you can’t wait to leave this place. You won’t have to wait long: if a manager or store owner hears that, you’ll be fired after you finishing serving the customers.
13. Berating Passengers | Flight Attendant
Being a flight attendant may seem like a fun job: you travel all over the world, you see different places and people and you get discounts on flights. However, it can be strenuous at times because of difficult customers, who can’t follow the simplest of instructions or demand your undivided attention to each and every whim of theirs. One day, you blow up. You take the microphone and tell everyone how much you loathe them. Or, you go to your Twitter one day and start bashing every single person who has caused you trouble that day.
14. Telling Off the General Public | Business Owner
If there’s one thing a small business owner shouldn’t do it’s telling off the general public. For some reason or another, Facebook and Twitter have eliminated our common sense and good judgment. If customers are complaining about poor service or shoddy quality of products endlessly, you will become frustrated. So much that you go to your professional Facebook account and tell everybody to kiss their, you know what.
Pundits and politicians always like to divide us. But if there’s one thing where we share something in common, it’s that we all have done something dumb in our adulthood. And sometimes, this led to our downfall at an employer. Oh well, we all learn… Or do we?
Have you ever lost your job for something dumb you did? Let us know in the comments section below…