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12 People Share the Worst Cases of Incompetence They’ve Ever Seen

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Morons. They’re everywhere. EVERYWHERE. We’d like to think that all this technology we use every day has advanced our brains too, but that’s simply not the truth.

Take a look at the 12 entries below and weep for the future of humanity.

1. Genius

There was a guy who was famous among electricians for his stupidity. The best by far was when a foreman asked him to “Clean out that trailer and burn everything.”

He cleaned it out then burned down the trailer.

2. Kitchen Novice

Had one of my chefs chopping and blanching chips/fries, a job usually left for whatever commis was on shift but we were short that day so I got him on it.

He had a large container full of water and after he had chopped would dump the fries in there to soak the starch out. Usually you would drain them and then fry. Well he just walks straight over to the fryer and dumps the whole thing in, water included…

I’m in shock at this point but run over and drag him away and then lunge for the emergency electricity cut off switch, hit that then move away.

The oil fizzes for a few seconds and then just erupts and fills the kitchen will gallons and gallons of oil.

One of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen happen in a kitchen.

3. “Don’t say this part”

I was assistant to a VP at a bank. One of my duties was to make him look good each Monday morning for the meeting. I would print out his homework from the past week and keep it all tidy so he could just rattle it off.

One Monday, he literally said, “Don’t say this part” from my notes… wow, dude, I couldn’t have made it too much easier.

4. Nitroglycerin

I was doing contract work in Miami for a drug company making a product containing nitroglycerin.

They had a chemist, Ph.D, who I thought did some odd things, but one fine day we had a meeting across town with him in it. It was a planned meeting. The subject material was known to all days before it…

During this meeting, the good doctor gets up to make some point. This prompted him to start drawing a stick figure of nitroglycerin on the whiteboard.

He drew three carbons. So far, so good…

And then another, and finally a fifth.

I looked at my boss (I’m an R&D engineer, physicist by degree) and he saw it too.

Nitroglycerin doesn’t have 5 carbon atoms in it. It has 3.

While this might be a little nit picky, this guy was the chemist for this plant, with Ph.D, and nitroglycerin delivery was the entire point of the product.

I checked everything I saw from him after that lest it become my mistake.

5. Fun with chemicals!

We have this chemical we have to inject in our process to make sure solids don’t come out of the liquid. We have been warning this particular customer for months that the level of this chemical was low and dropping, and they better add some stat.

Instead they decide to use the Kramer approach and push it to the last drop. Now they have solids in all their tanks and pumps, causing them to have to shut down and clean out every piece of equipment manually, and losing production for about a week – that’s a couple of million bucks down the drain, good jobs guys!

6. DMV

I was getting my drivers license renewed in Chicago. I needed to get a vision check. I put my eyes up to the machine. The clerk said “please read the (couldn’t hear what number she said) line”. I asked “could you repeat that?” Her response: stamped my paperwork and said “go pay the clerk.”

7. Oil and Water

We have a coolant circuit that uses distilled water. Occasionally the tank is a little low and needs to be topped off. We tell a guy to refill it. Later we come back and we see empty oil jugs next to the tank. Noooo he didn’t…there’s no way… Sure enough there is now a ton of oil in our water system.

8. G’day mate

We (in Australia) recently had a national census – Government spent millions setting a up a website encouraging people to use it. Only it couldn’t handle more than a million queries an hour and so crashed just after dinner time – roughly 7pm (when not surprisingly more than a million people just happened to log in) on Census night. They’re now running ads to assure people they are competent enough to store all the private data gathered.

9. Paper Trail

For my job, I work with a lot of files and storing them.

This one lady didn’t quite get how that was done. So, she put a bunch of files in a box, and then wrote down the identifying number for each of those files on a piece of paper.

So then I get to the office, and I’m handed a stack of 20 boxes, and a stack of 20 sheets of paper. With no way of telling which box corresponded to which piece of paper.

We store thousands of boxes of files. No amount of explaining could get this woman to understand that we don’t go dig through every one of those boxes every time someone needs a file back.

10. “Hotter than Satan’s armpit”

I work in construction. Incompetence is a daily occurrence. In no particular order:

– Crane operator over compensated and slammed the 35-ton air handler he was placing on the roof into the wall of the hospital.

– Medical Gas Certification company didn’t check all the outlets on a line, just the last one. Well he screwed up and read the gauges wrong. Passed the system and it went into operation. Two weeks later, a patient is brought in to the ER and requires oxygen. So they hook him up to the oxygen wall outlet. Only problem is that during construction, some dumb person got the lines crossed and the oxygen outlet was actually connected to the vacuum line. Patient was fine….after some well deserved freaking out.

– All shaft walls are 2-hr rated, UL listed enclosures for fire safety and this is STRICTLY enforced and doubly so in hospitals. Well some hospital maintenance guy decided that the exhaust fan the hospital was putting in on the sly needed to have the ductwork go up this shaft. So he punch a 4’x4′ hole in it and ran some ductwork through it. Never sealed the hole, no fire/smoke dampers, no nothing. We found it during demo when we renovated the area.

– During an inspection, there was a problem with the way the sprinkler heads were installed. Nothing major, just needed to tighten some uplifts restraints. Well you need to be licensed to work on that stuff. So, the idiot plumber decides “Hey, I’ve got a wrench and can tighten stuff”, so he climbs on the ladder and starts going to town in front of the inspector. Came very close to failing the inspection.

– Everyone is complaining that there is no hot water to half the hospital and starts blaming my design. Ok, let me look. Well idiot plumber put all of the check valves in backwards so no hot water was allowed out of the system.

– Found a fire/smoke damper propped open with a 2×4.

– Previous contractor did not reconnect the storm pipes under the slab before re-pouring the concrete. Everytime it rained, water would bubble up through the floor tiles and flood the EKG lab. Hospital didn’t investigate until a patient slipped. They had just been sending a dude with a mop to clean the floor.

– An electrical ground wire zip-tied to a 1″ oxygen line.

– 2″ main hospital oxygen line installed above the main kitchen hood.

– Maintenance removed all the supply diffusers from the main hallway that had a west facing wall, a 60 foot long wall of glass and no shade because “they didn’t see the need for it during the last renovation”. Well then don’t complain to me when the insulation on the chilled water piping is soaked like a sponge and you have a nice brown line on your ceiling tiles showing the pipe path, and the room is hotter than Satan’s armpit.

11. Bagels

Went to a bagel place on a mildly busy Sunday morning. Ordered a bagel. Cashier looked at me wide-eyed, said nothing, went to her manager. Manager comes over, tells me it will be a good 40 minute wait.

12. The wrong card

Watched someone try to swipe a library card to try and get into a University building instead of his Uni card for about 5 minutes. He looked quizzically at the card and everything, and yes the two cards are completely different. The shock was so strong it took me a while before I corrected him.