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7 Terrible First Day of Work Stories

Topics: Work Culture
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It’s easy to make mistakes on your first day at new job. But that doesn’t make missteps any less upsetting. However, these tales of first days gone horribly wrong should help you put your bad day in perspective.

The first day at a new job can be more than a little scary. It’s hard to be the new person. You feel out of your element, and often out of your depth. You want to make a good impression when beginning a new job, but sometimes the first day just doesn’t go your way. Have you ever had a terrible first day or work? Here are some stories that will help you to remember that you’re not alone.

1. Steady now

“I accidentally tipped over a cup of water near the very expensive laptop I’d been given less than an hour earlier. In a panic, I tried to grab the laptop without realizing it was attached to a number of different things, including an external monitor. The monitor tipped over, smashing the screen and the shock of it caused me to drop the laptop on the floor, busting the keyboard. Somehow I still have a job.” -Tom, totaljobs

2. You’re in big trouble, mister

“I graduated college in 2009 and couldn’t find a permanent job, so my mom got me a job working as a substitute teacher at my high school.

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“I showed up for work on the first day on school in September 2009 and when I reported to the office to get my classroom assignment/schedule the secretary asked me where my school ID was and what homeroom I was in. I tried to explain to her that I was there to work but she didn’t believe me and tried to send me to the principal’s office for lying to her.” – sneakerstoole, reddit

3. A harrowing commute

“I got a new job working downtown. Since parking was crazy expensive, I decided to commute by bus. One problem – I’d never taken the bus before and didn’t know that it made me CRAZY motion sick.

So, yeah, I barfed all over myself and my briefcase on the way to my first day. I spent the first 20 minutes of work in the bathroom trying to get the puke smell off me. Excellent first impression.” – Carly W., Saint Paul, Minnesota, cafemom

4. Breaking down

“First day in IT for a school, was responsible for an easy AV setup during the Friday night event. Literally had to push two buttons on a crestron panel in our auditorium and walk away. It could not have been easier. The “catch” was that this was the night shift and so nobody else was there in case something went wrong.

“The Crestron panel broke right after our actual hardware technician had left for the day, and he lived in Maryland (this was in DC) so there was really no turning back for him. The other trained AV techs were also gone. I couldn’t find the remote for the projectors to do it manually because it was locked in a closet that only the hardware tech had a key to (since there was almost never a reason to use it). It was an absolute nightmare, and I didn’t know what to do, and everyone I called was gone since it was a Friday night. Someone else from work stopped by to help even though he wasn’t trained for AV equipment and he wound up locking us out of our office. So we had to call a manager who also knew nothing about this just to get let back in.

“The people involved were super nice about it, especially once they realized the horror of this being a first day for me, but it was still just awful. I did wind up working at the place for a few years and becoming the top computer tech there and getting some contracting jobs elsewhere because of my AV work, but it was such a dreadful way to start. Absolutely miserable.” – KontraEpsilon, reddit

5. Don’t sit there!

“Here I was, the newly appointed head of global communications for a UK-based company.  I found a nearby cafe and picked up a brown bag lunch to bring back to the office so I could eat on the balcony I’d seen earlier in the day. I picked the table closest to the tree-lined edge and proceeded to sit down. Within seconds, I could feel the [heavy cement] bench collapsing beneath me.

“I landed on top of the cement pile of rubble with my legs pointing into the air and bleeding from my hand and knees. I had a cut in my pant leg and black dirt all over my business jacket. Sadly, my lunch also suffered the same fate and was sprawled over the ground with me.” – Diana Rohini LaVigne, CBSNews

6. Dress to impress

“I was construction worker for three years. I was doing road work and I was hired as a laborer and ended up doing flagging and traffic control. My first day it had rained heavily the night before so everything was muddy….it was my first time working outside also, and it was kind of chilly. First thing that I do, while climbing onto the traffic truck is split my pants…jeans were too tight, and when I stepped up on the high step, just completely ripped….now…I’m wearing a thong….so cheeks are exposed….couldn’t leave right away though, so had to tie my sweatshirt around my waist.

“Get to where we are setting up the traffic signs, and I step off of the truck…into a bunch of mud…it goes all the way up my calf…..I pull my leg out, and my boot comes off. Stuck so far down my co-worker had to pull it out for me. We ended up getting to leave early that day because it started raining again…but yeah, I was cold, wet and muddy by the time I got home.” – tequiladrinker, reddit

7. Remain calm

“Long story short, don’t road rage or flip off other drivers until you know what your new boss drives…” Mynock33, Mamamia

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a bad first day of work story that you’d like to share? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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