5 Worst Workplace Blunders

Think your job sucks? At least if you get fired for browsing porn, you can conveniently leave it off your references page when you send out a new resume. These idiots were so irresponsible and incompetent that Wal-Mart wouldn’t even hire them.

5. Jayson Blair

Occupation: Journalist for the New York Times

Screw up: Remember that time it was 3 in the morning and your midterm was due the next day? You probably went on Wikipedia and stole a few lines changing a word here and there. If only Jayson Blair was so crafty because he decided to rip off other sources verbatim and use the tried and true technique of making sh-t up.

Aftermath: Blair resigned after a national editor pressed him on proving he’d interviewed the woman quoted in a particular article. Of the 73 national articles written by Blair, 36 were found by a NY Times committee to be suspect or completely fabricated. Jesus, he even failed at being good at plagiarism. Where do you go from there? USA Today?

4. George B McLellan

Occupation: General for the Union Army (Civil War)

Screw up: After some of McLellan’s men accidentally discovered papers displaying Lee’s divided forces, he prophetically told fellow General John Gibson, “Here is a paper with which if I cannot whip Bobbie Lee, I will be willing to go home.” Unsatisfied with that kind of unapologetic boasting, he telegraphed his boss, President Abraham Lincoln and told him, “I have the whole rebel force in front of me, but I am confident, and no time shall be lost. I think Lee has made a gross mistake, and that he will be severely punished for it. I have all the plans of the rebels, and will catch them in their own trap if my men are equal to the emergency. … Will send you trophies.” McLellan, apparently suffering from amnesia, decided against his own words and failed to take action. Sort of like the small kid at the basketball courts that continually talks trash but refuses to ever take an open shot.

Aftermath: McLellan’s reluctance to go on the offensive, left them vulnerable to Lee’s divided armies at the Battle of Antietam. The result? 12,401 casualties with 2,108 dead on the Union side. The less equipped, undermanned Confederates managed to escape with 10, 318 and 1,546 respectively. McLellan was soon sh-tcanned by Lincoln and replaced by a much smarter, drunker Ulysses S. Grant.

3. Joseph Jeffrey Hazelwood

Occupation: Captain of Exxon Valdez

Screw up: After retiring to his stateroom, Hazelwood left the large oil tanker with Third Mate Gregory Cousins in charge of the wheel house and [not so] Able Seaman Robert Kagan at the helm with instructions to return to the shipping lane at a prearranged point. The ship never reached the shipping lanes, instead striking the Bligh Reef spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the Alaskan waters. Free oil for all!

Aftermath: The US Coast Guard suspended his masters’ license for 9 months. A known alcoholic blows a .061 after his negligence caused an oil tanker to crash and he only gets 9 months? Who the hell is his lawyer?

Alaskan wildlife suffered the loss of 500,000 seabirds, at least 1,000 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, and 22 orcas. They had to kill off the cute ones, didn’t they? They missed a huge opportunity to rid the world of beavers and platypuses. Hazelwood was, however, convicted of a misdemeanor charge of negligent discharge of oil, fined $50,000, and sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service. And if there’s any god, he was forced to scrub the foreheads of the cute little seals with Dawn soap and a toothbrush.

2. Daniel Duncan and Jack Gillum

Occupation: Engineers


Screw up: Signing off on new design plans for a walkway in the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Mo.

Aftermath: The revised plans sent by Havens Steel Company could only bear 30% of the mandated minimal load. While a crowd gathered to watch a dance contest, the walkways gave way killing 114 and injuring 200 others. And girls wonder why I stand off to the side of the dance floor. Alone. Drink in hand. Watching their every move. Licking my lips. Wait, what?

A total of $140 million was awarded to victims and their families through lawsuits and settlements. And let’s face it, if someone’s grandmother was terminally ill with emphysema, that’s a way more badass way to go out than suffocating on her own lung fluids. Not to mention the sweet monthly check coming your way. Thanks grandma!

1. Richard Millhouse Nixon

Occupation: President of the United States of America

Screw up: Conspiring to break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate housing complex. Woodward and Bernstein, who sound like they should be filing my taxes instead of reporting massive government conspiracies, also uncovered campaign fraud, political espionage/sabotage, illegal break-ins, improper tax audits, illegal wiretapping on a massive scale (sound familiar?), and a secret slush fund laundered in Mexico to pay those who conducted these operations. To be fair, I have an illegal slush fund in Mexico, but it’s usually saved for Cancun bar tabs and donkey shows.

Aftermath: Nixon, realizing he was screwed like Thai hooker on Valentine’s Day, resigned as President. He was later absolved of any wrongdoing when his VP, Gerald Ford, took over as President and pardoned him. And justice for all.

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