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This is a question Expensive Mistakes

coopsweb asks "What's the most expensive mistake you've ever made? Should I mention a certain employee who caused 4 hours worth of delays in Central London and got his company fined £500k?"

No points for stories about the time you had a few and thought it'd be a good idea to wrap your car around a bollard. Or replies consisting of "my wife".

(, Thu 25 Oct 2007, 11:26)
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This question is now closed.

Re: Don destroyer of latops

I used to work with a "Don" but mine was called Gary.

He was renowned for fucking up every computer/application he ever went near.

The mere act of logging on to the internet, on a fully suited & booted networked pc would result in a company-wide virus somehow getting downloaded. At one time, he fancied himself as a programmer, wrote some Java app and then brought it to work on a floppy. Then, to show our manager how great he was, he let it loose on the network. Cue machines crashing and servers bogging down as the anti-virus systems desperately tried to catch and neutralise the 'virus'.

In his attempts to better himself, he set up a test domain in the lab and never let on, not even when the eejit gave it the same name as one of the company domains and let it loose on the network. It took three days of lost work for a hundred people before the problem was tracked down as, unsure that he should have the thing running or not, he kept switching the server on and off just as the IT dept were checking the network.

He once wiped a build server by accident by amazingly ignoring the A4 sheet with the DO NOT TURN OFF THIS MACHINE in bold lettering stuck to the front of it.

Another project had him scripting oodles of code for some system checks. He spent several weeks writing the programme, gathered us all together, entered the launch command and hit ENTER. Nothing happened. Apart that is from the programme somehow self destructing and taking the hard drive with it in a digital murder/suicide pact.

Amazingly, he was never sacked by the company. The only stipulations were that he was never placed onsite with a client and that someone should shadow his work and correct any major mistakes.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 13:18, Reply)
Software house breaches Council Race policies...
I used to work for a software house which made bespoke systems for councils - these were nice little earners - 25-75k/year, so we would work hard at getting everything *just so* for that all important first sales pitch in front of the great and the good of the council.

So we are all set up and ready to demo to a large council. The system is hooked up to a Barco so is in glorious Gianto-Vision on a screen, very important so that everyone can read all the words. The first of the dummy records is called up, and an audible gasp comes from the audience.

It would appear that our rather unreconstituted Directory of Marketing has decided to key some test data into the system, so the first person in the database would appear to be:-

"Mr Zippah De Doo Dah"
10, Am Dat Wate'melon Street"
Darkie Town"

...he'd been busy because the next few were, shall we say, similar. Oddly, we didn't get the contract.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 12:52, 2 replies)
True Story.
I used to work in the Army for a certain country in the middle-east. Our General, our Prime Minister, pretty much our King, who shall be called X for posterity, was a genius. The Royal Guard were thought of as immortals. Our army was unparalleled. Our vehicles were armoured in the thickest steel, our missiles never deviating from their target.
My job in the army was mostly in communications, I worked before the frontline, informed base camp of the defence, of the kind of welcome we could get wherever we went. My job was a simple one, but I took pride in my work.

This one time I went to a city and, though this was in no way a requisite, told the ruling party that my army planned to invade. I showed him a list of our archievements, made a passing comment about his wife and he went fucking ballistic. What happens? The silly twunt pulls his piece on me! "This is madness!" I shout, "Neither Persian nor Greek dares harm a messenger." After all I was just doing my job, and posed no threat whatsoever. He was silent though. Stared at me like I'd photoshopped a really realistic picture of Maddy McCann getting done up the arse.
"Madness?" he said, "This." "Is..."

Shitty formulaic dialogue. How the fuck do you people love that film? It cost me £5 to see that piece of shit. That was a fucking expensive mistake. Frank Miller would be turning in his grave if he wasn't alive and bound by contract to remain silent.

Length? It was about three hours of staring at waxed male chests. Girth was shitty too. Two pairs of tits in the whole film.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 12:41, 3 replies)
I would like to tell you all the tale
of Kidderminster legend Relegation. Sit down, get comfy, and I shall begin.

Relegation is an extremely hairy beardy man who roams the streets of our beloved home town. Once upon a time, long long ago (in the 70s) he had it all, a nice house, a wife, kids. Life was pretty much perfect for our dear Relegation. Then one day, without any real reason, he placed a bet on Derby to win some sort of football thing. For lots and lots of money. All he owned, pretty much. And instead of them winning like he had anticipated, they were relegated, and our poor hero lost it all. His house, his car, his job, his wife and his kids, everything.

To this day while wandering about town he has to deal with people shouting "RELEGATION" at him wherever he goes. Hahahaha, twat.

He's even got a little facebook group in his honour. Yay.

(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 12:03, 6 replies)
Expensive mistakes? easy stuff!
Enrole at university. Set up a loan. Then avoid doing any real work by sitting on the internet.

I might come to regret this in ten years time.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 11:39, 2 replies)
I really need to think about how I can
change how I act, I'm never going to get a girlfriend...oh, what's this? 'Dungeons and Dragons'. Hm, looks interesting.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 11:20, 1 reply)
Being stupid and skint at 18
Blagging my way to a student overdraft, and a credit card. I wasn't a student, and I am now. With no chance of an overdraft because I partied the other one away. So not only am I living off my wages, I'm paying lots of money into that account
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 10:51, Reply)
I bought a car from Carcraft. 'Nuff said.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 10:19, Reply)
i paid my old company's wage bill grose instead of net.


never trust me me with accounts.

(we got the money back eventually. but then my boss did the same thing to me. after i left the company.)
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 9:44, Reply)
Cost me a girlfriend
Due to a series of stupid arguements last night stemming from me making a passing comment about her ability to skin up I cost myself a girlfriend.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 9:27, 1 reply)
Many years ago at a very large company in London which I won't mention I accidentally mis-selected a small '=sum' cell in Excel
missing out the top-most cell of the intended formula, easily done I'm sure you'll agree, we've all done that kind of thing before now, I'm still convinced it was simply a slippy mouse-surface myself. Either way the revenue held in that cell would have been very helpful to the company at the time but as it 'wasn't there' the financial results were far lower than had been expected and a significant number of people had to be made redundant. I know for a fact at least one of these unfortunate chaps lost his wife and kids due to his unexpected joblessness. The odd thing was that via other people's calculations we all somehow managed to receive far larger than expected bonuses that year! It was only the following year when I was preparing that years' calculations and slides that I noticed my mistake, I never told anyone at that company what happened.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 9:06, Reply)
Bloke I Used To Work With
I worked for Transco, part of British Gas, and I met the unluckiest guy in the world. Lovely bloke, but unlucky.

He managed to write off 2 brand-new Land Rovers in a week.

First one had just been delivered and he took it home overnight. Next morning, got up, fired up Land Rover and drove out of his drive onto the hill leading from his house. Well there's been a wicked frost that night and the hill was just a sheet of black ice. Land Rover just started skidding downhill and then turned sideways just as it reached the main road at the junction at the bottom of the hill.

Bloke bailed out as the Land Rover slid gently into the traffic. One massively wrecked Land Rover.

So Transco gave bloke another brand new Land Rover. First one been smashed to bits was an accident that could have happened to anyone.

So a few days later, bloke drives shiny new Land Rover onto Morecombe Sands to take some readings from some instruments that were out on the flats. Parks up Land Rover, hops out and connects his gear to the instruments on the sands. Downloads data, farts and turns around to get back in the Land Rover - and freezes. It's gone. Not there. Pissed off. Missing. WTF?

Nobody could possibly have sneaked up and pinched it without him hearing or seeing something. He was miles in the middle of Morecombe fucking Bay for fucks sake! He could see in every direction for miles!

And then he noticed the car ariel. Sticking out of the sand. Bloody thing had sunk.

So off he trudged across the sand wondering how the fuck he was going to explain this one.


And doubters and members of the "I Hate Legless Club"? Do us all a favour and just click ignore. That way, you'll never have to read my stuff again and the rest of us will, hopefully, be spared your childish tantrums and tedious whining. Or, if you *really* feel the need to let the rest of us know how you feel about me, at least have the courtesy to construct a decent flame. If you're going to hate me put some *effort* into it you drooling fuckwits.

Honestly, me being flamed on B3ta is like being savaged by a dead sheep.

(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 8:51, 24 replies)
HOW MUCH ??????
Not me but.....

A few years back i worked in London on various building sites as a sparks mate for a well known publically listed construction firm. Among the people i worked with one of them told me this tale of his little accident.

He had been working on a building refurbishment for a large london based multi national bank. What this meant was that 2 or 3 floors at a time were worked on while the rest of the building was occupied as normal and bank stuff got done.

Working in a utility room one day he was called away by his charge hand to have a look at a job on another part of the site as it was more urgent . So he went off and left his tools in the utility room while he got various bits from stores for the new task.

Upon returning to the utility room to pick up his tools he accidentally kicked the piece of diamond tread antiskid plate that was on the floor.
The problem was the plate was not attached to the floor and whoever had cut it had neglected to file off the sharp edge.
In front of the plate was an open door to the electrical riser complete with the main busbar for the whole building. In order to protect the busbar and for safety a cover is fitted made out of plastic not dissimilar to an icecream carton.

The inevitable happens when the sharp edges slice through the cover and short out the busbar. A huge bang , nasty smell in the air and lots of pretty blue sparks. The end result is that all the power is off in the building for the rest of the day.

The bank could never put an atcual figure on what it cost them to be out of buisness for the afternoon . They couldnt say what deals the dealers would have done or what currency trades they would of made and how that would have influenced the brokers.

Mercifully the construction firm had public liability insurance .
The end cost?

Insurance was paid out at the sum of 100 MILLION POUNDS an hour.

Thats right the insurance pay out was greater than some countries GDP. This happened over a decade ago as well , i would hate to think what a similar incident would cost today.

All this could have of been avoided with 2min with a file , about 50 pence worth of hardware and employing someone who was not as lazy or stupid.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 6:45, 1 reply)
I just assumed Iraq was another name for Iran.

Oh well, not to late to fix it.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 5:48, 1 reply)
My brother
two hours late the previous afternoon. Seems someone found suspicious-looking abandoned luggage on the train.

Strange coincidence, that.

(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 4:28, Reply)
Bye-Bye Savings
I got laid off in 1999 and decided to use my savings to day-trade stocks. I figured I could work from home and earn as much or more than I had made before. So I day-traded stocks during the 2000/2001 crash and lost $82,000 USD.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 3:41, 2 replies)
50 000 Letters To The Same Person
Count 'em. 50 000.

When I was a really young Legless, back in the days before PCs (yes, I am that old) I had a job as a trainee COBOL programmer for the AA. (This was in the days when the mainframe filled a room, a disk drive looked like a washing machine, offline storage was on Tapes that looked exactly like the computer rooms in bad sci-fi movies, and the JCL (job control lanuage) was inputted on punched cards. Oh - and I think it was steam-driven.....

Anyway, I was given a program to write that had to search the database for people who met certain criteria and print out a form letter to them offering them more crappy insurance. A piddly, dead-easy prgram. So I quickly wrote it (on coding sheets), submitted it to the punch girls, waited 24 hours and then corrected and compiled it. Ran a bunch of test data through and everything worked and then submitted it to the overnight batch run.

And it ran. And printed out 50 000 letters which were then sent to the post office to deliver.

Now I only made one mistake. One tiny little error. For the geeks amongst you.

I started my count at 1.
Incremented by 2.
Tested to see if count=10.

You can see what happens. Bloody count never equaled 10. Went from 9 to 11 (waving to 10 in passing) and got stuck on the same record. And printed out 50 000 letters to the same person.

(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 3:21, 3 replies)
Not myself but...
well tellnig this will most probably reveal the person.. should said persons be rawling le tinternet...

Anyway... My old geology tutor strange as it may seem used to actually have a proper job... in the real world.. and we're not just talking about for 5 minutes before he failed and had to go into teaching...

No my tutor was a Dr. in Geology... and was exiled from that lovely country of Yeomen... you know where they chop of peoples heads with rusty pigeons...

apparantly the yemonise gov. had been sureveying an area for years.. plowing money into oil exploration... but with very little luck... Said person came on the scene, made a hand ful of discovery's over a 2 week period... and I cant remember the entirity of the story... but essentially... well... the yeomonise gov. wasnt too happy with the whole affair...
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 2:54, 5 replies)
had about 45k to spare in 1998. so either buy a nice semi for cash or buy 9 terraced houses in a shyte part of manchester?
guess which option the wife wanted?
BTW the shyte houses are now selling for about 80k each.
(the semi is now approx 160k).
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 1:48, 1 reply)
I Work for The Disney Store
I misquoted some Paris DisneyLand park Tickets to a woman who was buying about 20 of them, subsequently conning the company out of about hmm..£9..so yes they LOST £9 because of my mistake, and I get hauled over and an official warning, the person who I was selling these tickets to who made such a fucking fuss over this "Well I am taking 20 disabled children there and I quoted this price and now this and that blah blah my life is so fucking shallow blah blah"......St Johns Ambulance Charity..FUCK THEM GRRR..£9 pounds FFS!
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 1:26, Reply)
videocamera brick
I was living (for living read doing lots of drugs) in America for a couple of years, and this guy came into the deli I was working in. He had a shrink wrapped video camera box with a Circuit City receipt that looked like the guy had just taken out some finance deal on it. He only wanted $120 (that was ten years ago - $120 would have bought you lots of stuff then) so I rushed upstairs to my coke-addled boss and got an advance (the guy assured me he would wait till I got back, stand up bloke that he was). I scampered back and thrust the cash in his face and grabbed my ill-gotten gains. Imagine my surprise when I unwrapped an house brick, lovingly encased in the polysterene foam packaging. As a laugh, I kept it for a while, and sellotaped the Sony logo to it, and would pretend to video people with it. Of course, inside I was seathing.... bastard.....
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 1:16, 1 reply)
I work for an aircraft company, I can't say which one.
Whilst carrying out an extensive modification, one young lad, who of his own opinion, had been everywhere and done most everything, was tasked with drilling some holes.
These holes used existing holes in the airframe to match to the new component, and were difficult to view. Anyway , when the supervisor checks correct alignment, he sees not one misdrilled bodged up hole, but 30 plus completely fucked up mangled attempts instead of a row of neat and round (to +/- .004").

Result- major repair , costing (including future maintenance) around $7,000,000.AUD
Oh and young tacker gets moved to a different job where he doesn't get to play with sharp things.
(, Sat 27 Oct 2007, 0:34, 1 reply)
Publicly funded DISASTER
I return to b3ta after and exptended hieatus to inform you of my folly and how it almost bankrupted a school.

After being lured away from bligty to another land where blonde hair and blue eyes and happy disco songs are the norm I manage to procure a job as a IT bod in a school in the suberbs of the capital city.

After a few years, due to the manic rate at which all the other staff got replaced I was one of the few original staff left and therefore may have had more sway over opinion than.... perhaps I should. Eventually the caretaker retired, a good freind an academic at heart knowledgable on nearly every subject and eager to hear about new subjects, however his health was deteriorating and could no longer function in his job. So it came to me to help decide who was the best candidate for the job. I listened to all the interviews, discussed at length the merits and pitfalls of the best 5 and chose one above all the other to be responsable for what is in essense a multi-billion (crown) establishment.........

There was one thing that I didnt appeciate about this guy.... He was Incredibly competent about disguising his own incompetence. Imagine Frank Spencer with a vent for decite and guile. This man sytematically destroyed / damaged / in his opinion fixed.... over 300 hundred peices of furnature and fixtures. Unbeleivable. legs that were shorter than others on tables and chairs, nails banged in to service ducts, doors where hung crooked and the handles and locks bodged to fit- Everything he touched was beyond repair. A true anarcist. Eventually the fabrick of decite dissentigrated and he 'left' to persue another career. When we got another guy in to do the job we found storage areas were piled in so hap hazzardly that when the new caretaker tried to empty the bays half the stuff was trashed. Finally we ordered a 60 tonne waste container and filled it. the price tag on that I stopped taking note of when it went over the £100,000 mark . :(
(, Fri 26 Oct 2007, 23:47, 3 replies)
Don versus Laptops
Working in IT Support you get used to dealing with fuckwits of the highest order, but Don surpassed the lot with his laptops

Laptop 1 Incident 1
On a plane, Don gets the great idea to take the laptop out of its intended bag and wrap it in a towel in his Samsonite suitcase. Result = 1 fucked screen costing £700 to repair on a non-warranty cost from Dell

Laptop 1 Incident 2
Don goes away over Xmas and is worried about leaving his laptop at home in case of burglaries. So he has the great idea of taking it out of its case so if he is broken into, they may get the case but not the laptop.
OK - so where to hide it???
How about under that pile of wood in your big open wooden fireplace.
You can see where this is leading to..... and yes he did come back forget about it and light the fire forgetting all about his laptop underneath.
I would have loved to have been there at the moment of realisation. He brought it into the office and the smell hit you as soon as you opened the bag, all the keys had fallen off, the plastic had melted the screen - but amazingly the battery still worked. He even had the nerve to ask if anything may be recovered from the frazzled hard drive...

He got a used laptop next time due to stupidity reasons.

Laptop 2 is leased and after the leasing period is up, managers decide that he is worthy of a new one again.

He comes in, I spend 1/2 the day configuring his new laptop and transferring all the data on to it, handed over and all is happy with the world.

Until the next morning when I get a phone call. My office was City Centre Manchester and Don used to travel in for any IT stuff from miles away out in the sticks. He got caught up in a traffic jam on the way home from the office and decides to try and do a shortcut through the other side of town. Getting completely lost, he pulls over goes to his boot and gets his A-Z out to try and find where he is.

Whilst looking at the map, he hears his boot open and looks out to see 2 scrotes legging it down the street with his brand new laptop which had been on view there for all to see.

Where had he got lost? Moss Side, which for anyone who doesn't know Manchester is the place you are most likely to get shot round these parts.

I left shortly after so haven't heard of any more escapades, the one regret I have is no having any pictures of the burnt laptop.
(, Fri 26 Oct 2007, 21:40, Reply)
does anybody want to buy a 1983 series 3 land rover (project)?
nuff said.
(, Fri 26 Oct 2007, 21:15, 3 replies)

This question is now closed.

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