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This is a question Screwing up at work

Someone on the security team signed off that a fake bomb had been recovered at Old Trafford when it hadn't. Cue one controlled explosion and a postponed soccer game. Tell us your tales of workplace screw ups and the consequences of your mistakes.

(, Tue 17 May 2016, 8:59)
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Practical joke gone wrong
The manager of the number-two-works (synthetic yarn spinning) laboratory was always over worked and would virtually sign any lab request you put in front of him. One day, just as a prank, someone put in a request for a box of atomic weights*. The requisition sheet was put in front of him, he signed it and into the paperwork system for a massive chemical site with over a dozen labs it went - off to our own, on-site lab stores.

About a fortnight later, he got a phone call from the irate man at the external lab suppliers asking him what he was playing at and everybody got a bollocking. It turned out that the site stores didn't know what a box of atomic weights was so sent a requisition in to the external supplied company instead of queerying the lab first. Oops.

*For those who don't know (maybe you had found something more interesting to do in science, like our on-site store manager clearly had), atomic weights are numbers given to elements (hydrogen oxygen, iron and so on) that indicate how heavy their atoms are. In an environment that uses balances that measure down to tenths of milligrammes, to the uninitiated, it sounds like a set of very accuratly manufactured metal weights.
(, Sun 29 May 2016, 12:16, 10 replies)
at least a third of the users know what atomic weight means mate

(, Sun 29 May 2016, 13:12, closed)
knowing this already
'at least a third of the users know what atomic weight means mate'

Good. So that was useful to nearly 70 per cent of users.
(, Sun 29 May 2016, 15:07, closed)
Doesn't everyone say realtive atomic mass these days,
as atomic weight makes chemists seem silly to physicists?
(, Sun 29 May 2016, 13:42, closed)
Everyone says...
Just to put this into context, it was in the late 1970's - the phlogiston theory had only just been discounted.
(, Sun 29 May 2016, 15:11, closed)
I don't believe this.
The idea that it'd take a fortnight for any order even to get looked at defies belief, especially given that it involves a company that, by your account, is "massive" enough to have over a dozen labs.. The alternative is that it didn't take a fortnight, but that the person who received the order was (a) made angry by it at all, (b) sufficiently to make that feeling known after two weeks had passed, and (c) that the person who received his angry phone call then saw fit to pass on the bollocking.
(, Tue 31 May 2016, 9:32, closed)

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