It seems that too much attention to detail can ruin a critical deal. In an attempt to secure a partnership with global shipping firm UPS, a team had spent a year preparing the details and conducting exhausting research to finally draft a convincing partnership proposal, only to wrongly send it to UPS’s main rival, FedEx. This of course resulted in losing the partnership a couple of days after making this tragic mistake.
An intern at a CPA firm reported that when they didn’t have to work on anything, they had to email the entire department using an ‘available for work’ template so that their colleagues would know that they were free. When an intern sent his email, another intern friend of his accidentally hit “reply all” with a message that read “Suck my dick”. Everyone got this outrageous message at the same time, and you could immediately see everyone staring each other in shock! After this incident, the company offers “reply all” training to all new interns.
An intern at a winery was driving a forklift through the cellar past of several tanks with thousands of gallons of wine ready to bottle. Sadly, she got so close to the tank door that she pushed the hinge just enough to dislodge it, breaking the door and creating an immensely forceful explosion of wine. Suffice to say her internship was terminated immediately.
A cabling mistake by Gil Silberman, a lawyer and social software entrepreneur caused an entire office to get burnt down. This resulted in the displacement of more than 100 people, complete destruction of lots of important files, records, artwork and many of the CEO’s memorabilia.
A student intern doing research at London Heathrow Airport’s control tower managed to bring flight traffic to a standstill after switching his radio to ‘broadcast’ before leaving for lunch, by mistake. This action essentially disabled the frequency that was being used to give take off permission. The final result? All departures from the one of the world’s busiest airports had been brought to a standstill until a colleague rushed over and switched off the radio.
Starting an internship involves an extensive and invaluable learning experience that helps millennials adapt to the realities of the world of work and immerse themselves in the workplace culture. Part of this experience is inevitably making mistakes – some of them being innocent and others being harder to fix, leading to major consequences.
Blowing an internship with a disastrous error could cost you the potential of getting a full-time job with the company you are interning for.
A Quora thread inspired me to investigate some of the most catastrophic mistakes made by interns as they learnt the ropes. Check out this slideshow to find out the top 5 most disastrous intern gaffes that made interns go as red as beetroot and their employers go mad…