A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

15 Outrageous True Stories of Dumb Employees

Note to staff: One Direction breaking up is NOT a valid reason to call in sick.

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businessman dialing voip phone in the office, keyboard and monitor detail in the background with vintage color tone effect
Don Pablo/Shutterstock

Needed: Someone who will answer the phone like a normal person

New York City’s Department of Health may have a job opening soon if one of its employees doesn’t stop screwing around. It seems that management does not care for the fact that the twice-suspended help-line operator keeps answering IT calls by talking like a robot.  —New York. These are the most ridiculous excuses people actually used to get out of work.

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Businessman passing document to manager at the office
Atstock Productions/Shutterstock

Can you pass a simple test?

An Egyptian bus driver had an ingenious plan to beat a mandatory drug test: He used his wife’s urine. Nevertheless, he failed the test. He found out when his boss handed him the results and reportedly said, “Congratulations; you’re pregnant.”  —BBC News

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for rent sign for business in window with sunny reflection
Ben Harding/Shutterstock

Looking for a house sitter who will actually watch the house

A San Francisco couple got quite the surprise when they returned home from the Burning Man Festival last September—the house sitter they’d hired had rented out their apartment on Airbnb.  —seattlepi.com

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justice and law concept.Male judge in a courtroom the gavel,working with digital tablet computer on wood table in morning light

Have a pulse? You’re hired!

The city of New York had trouble with another employee. This one, his bosses claimed, abandoned his job when he missed 18 months of work. An administrative law judge even recommended firing the slacker when he didn’t bother to show up for his hearing. Turns out, the employee would have loved to have gone to work—even to the hearing—save for one small detail: He was dead.  —rawstory.com.

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Day Off Annual Leave Relaxation Holiday Vacation Concept

Wanted: A Frank Sinatra fan

When singer Zayn Malik quit the British boy band One Direction last year, young women were inconsolable. How upset? An employment firm reports that companies were inundated with requests from female employees for time off while they recovered from the devastating news. —telegraph.co.uk

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Business man holding his resume and explaining about his profile to two senior manager sitting in during job Interview.

Probably shouldn’t admit that

“I falsified my résumé. Now that I’m working here, can I change it?” —workforce.com

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businesswoman boss checking the time on watch waiting for partners coming late sitting at her desk office

Most employees do

“Can my supervisor require me to have specific working hours?” —workforce.com. Check out the stories of the dumbest criminals ever.

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Man calculate domestic bills at home. Businessman using calculator at modern office. Young male checking balance and costs. Start up counting finance. Business people doing paperwork for paying taxes

You can’t avoid the IRS

“Can I have my salary deferred until next year so I don’t have to pay taxes this year? I don’t need the money this year. “—workforce.com

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fire alarm sprinkler system in action with smoke

You can’t make this stuff up

“Will you give me a raise if I stop smoking marijuana?” —workforce.com. Read up on these funny jokes to diffuse any awkward work situation.

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Taking time for a minute break. Cheerful young man holding hands behind head and keeping eyes closed while sitting at his working place with his colleagues working in the background

That’s a little too casual

“Can I wear a swimsuit and towel on casual day?” —workforce.com

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Weekly Planner Schedule Memo Timeline Concept

How long ago did they pass?

“Since my mother and father both died before I came to work at this company, will I be credited for bereavement leave I didn’t have to take?” —workforce.com

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Indian woman laughing at funny joke eating pizza with diverse coworkers in office, friendly work team enjoying positive emotions and lunch together, happy colleagues staff group having fun at break

How much power does my supervisor have over me?

“Every day my supervisor tells me to stop chatting and get back to work. Can he do that?” —workforce.com. Check out these ridiculous requests shoppers have actually made in stores.

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young handsome carpenter working behind a circular saw in the workshop

He’ll look like the worst employee

I’m a teacher, so I have a million stupid rules I have to follow. But the worst one is that my performance evaluation is based on student improvement on a statewide literacy test. I teach wood shop.

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Co working conference, Business team meeting present, investor colleagues discussing new plan financial graph data on office table with laptop and digital tablet, Finance, accounting, investment.

Very professional, HR

At my old job, HR held a meeting to tell us that there was too much swearing on the sales floor. Someone pointed out that swearing is very common in our industry and that is the way that our customers speak. HR later sent out a memo explaining that swearing should be limited to conversations with clients.

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Fails Building Tower, Concept For Challenge And Fail In Business
Nutthaseth Van/Shutterstock

0 problems

My workplace doesn’t let you use the word “problems.” Instead, we have to say “challenges” if something is wrong. ­­—reddit.com. Next, take a look at these funny work cartoons to help you get through the week.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest