People From Around The World Share The Biggest Mistakes They Were Able To Fix Just In Time

People From Around The World Share The Biggest Mistakes They Were Able To Fix Just In Time

Mistakes happen. Some are minor mishaps bringing little consequence while others are major disasters causing serious damage, whether it be at work, at home, or in our social lives. Every now and then, though, we get lucky enough to be presented the opportunity to correct our mistakes. Just take it from these people, who recently shared stories about the biggest mistakes they ever made that they were able to fix just in the nick of time.


45. An Anniversary To Remember

So, I work in a workshop, and we often engrave stuff. This particular guy wanted a nice wooden jewelry box for his wedding anniversary with a custom message he had emailed to me. For some reason, he chose to give the box to his wife at the workshop (not the most romantic place I can think of, but whatever).

The wife starts to look confused and tear up: "You don't remember the date?" The guy turns pale, looks at me, says: "No, I'm sure its a mistake."

Me: "No, I've copied it straight, can't be wrong... waaait a minute, omg, it's my fault, I'm so sorry. I will redo it right away, no need to pay, please accept it as a gift..." The wife gets a bit angry at me, but they leave with a different box and the correct date. The guy comes back the next day and pays triple the original price without a word.


44. Reverse Transaction

Instead of charging a customer's credit card for $150, I charged $15,000 and it went through. I ran up to a private office and immediately called the issuing bank. Told them what happened and they made it as if nothing happened.


43. Free Bird

Was taking care of my neighbor's bird. He flew out of the house as I opened the door and went over and behind it. I was nervous because she really loves the bird. I heard him chirping on the trees behind the house and kept calling him, "Mango! Mango! Mango!" He came to the windowsill and I lured him in with food. Best believe I didn't let him out of his cage after that.


42. A Steamy Situation

I had my first job as a wardrobe stylist assistant. We were shooting Renee Zellweger for the cover of a magazine. I can’t remember which one. The stylist asked me to fill up the steamer and turn it on. The steamer was one of those big ones where you can’t see how much water is in it. I filled it to the top. Apparently, there is a stick with a line to tell you how much but I didn’t know it. After about half an hour boiling hot water starts spewing out of the steamer in the only area where there wasn’t Renee getting her makeup done or the very expensive clothes she was going to wear. I unplugged it and cleaned it up. Crisis averted.



41. Dirty Laundry

Growing up, my mom always told me not to overload the dryer. It was one of those fancy expensive ones and she didn't want it to break. For years she said this and I never took her seriously.

Then one time, after I moved out, they had me housesit for a weekend. I brought literally all my laundry and washed it in a single load (stupid, I know). I ended up breaking the dryer. They were coming home the next day (Sunday). I went full repairman and took the entire thing apart. Turned out I had snapped the band. I called everywhere and no one had a replacement.

Ended up finding this random store downtown that specialized in washer and dryer repairs. Went in and bought a band similar to what I needed. Went home, put it on, and put everything back together. Took up my entire Saturday. It's been three years and my mom still doesn't know. Whew.


40. Mopping It Up

Home alone at nine and playing with matches in the garage. I didn’t notice a mop catching fire. Went into the living room to watch some tunes and smelled smoke. Mop cotton part burned clean off and produced a hole in the wall where the mop had been hanging. The wall was wood paneling and I found a discarded piece, a drill, and saw. I replaced the wood paneling, found another mop, hung it up over the replaced wall, threw away evidence. My parents had no idea. Learned about home improvement after starting a fire when I was nine.

20874-1550442400167.jpgAqua Mechanical/Flickr

39. Cracking Up

When my buddy was a kid, his friend and his brother were fooling around and throwing things at each other in the yard. A wayward throw sent the projectile right onto the windscreen of his dad's car, cracking it. They decided not to face the music and just went inside without saying anything. The next morning, before leaving for work, the dad comes in and says, "You wouldn't believe it. I was hosing the ice off the windscreen and it bloody cracked it!"

Problem self-solved, I guess.


38. Wax On, Wax Off

I spilled red wax all over the cream carpet when I was about 16. Then I carefully cleaned it all up using printer paper and an iron (you lay the paper over the wax, iron on low heat, and it transfers the wax from the carpet to the paper). What made it harder was that my mum (one of those really particular, house-proud people) was napping in the next room the whole time. I had to do all of this without waking her up. When we moved out, there was a tiny stain still there, but she never picked up on it until then.

20839-1550438254571.jpgKarolina Miss/Flickr

37. A Complete Wash

I made the fatal mistake of putting regular dish soap in the dishwasher! I’d never had a dishwasher before so I was like, “there can’t be much of a difference between soap and the dishwasher liquid, right?” So I used it because we were out of the dishwasher liquid... Luckily my husband was at work so he couldn’t see the epic mountain of bubbles spewing from our dishwasher, I started crying and trying to google how to fix it, all while trying to text him back like I normally would. Never doing that again!


36. A Christmas Miracle

I used to work at a call center for a popular gift company. This one couple calls up and says, "We need to cancel our order!" I look it up and tell them UPS already has the order to deliver it. They tell me, "You don't understand. We are sending this to our son and his wife. We accidentally put his ex-wife's name on the card. It will ruin Christmas if they receive this gift!!!" I was finally able to call UPS and get them to not deliver the package. Not my screw-up, but dang.

20841-1550438690810.jpgAtomic Taco/Flickr


35. Old News

When I was 17, I worked for the city's newspaper and one of my jobs was to add up all the orders for the next day's papers so they could print what they needed. Once I made a huge error and they printed off thousands of extra papers. I was very lucky; they covered up for me, quietly disposed of the extra papers and didn't tell the boss. I was just asked very nicely to never, ever do it again.

20842-1550438803699.jpgMax Pixel

34. Five-Second Rule

When I was in first grade, I was carrying a Tupperware tray of cookies into the school lobby for a class party. Mom had taken me to school early rather than the usual bus ride. A few feet into the school I tripped, and the cookies scattered all over the lobby floor. The school principal was the only witness. I was mortified and started to cry. He quickly picked up all the cookies and placed them all back in the container, and told me, "It's all right. Nobody will ever know. Go on to class!" I did. My classmates and teacher ate all the cookies, complete with high-traffic lobby cooties. Sorry, I just couldn't hold our dirty little secret to the death as we agreed.

20843-1550438951210.jpgPublic Domain Pictures

33. Innocent Internet Glitch

I once was configuring the network firewall of the university I worked on and accidentally, and without realizing, toggled a switch that effectively cut all internet access across the university. I realized it only when someone in the room asked another person about the internet being weird. My heart started racing as I went back and correct the configuration setting. I cut the university off from the world for about 5 minutes; it probably affected about 150,000 people, at the very least. "Internet glitch" was the official diagnosis.


32. Cat's Name

I'm a freelance app developer. I was preparing to submit an app to the store for this client. The build was ready, and I was just about to upload it. "I'll just install it and do a final check," I think, and I'm glad I was paranoid about it. The app name was something like "psihgdfhgdlgh"... My cat used to have a bad habit of jumping on my keyboard when I wasn't looking. He actually managed to send a Skype message to a client once, full of jibberish. I was in the process of training him that he's not allowed on the desk. I can only imagine what my client's reaction would have been if the app had been released with that name.


31. Liquid Mistakes

Woke up at 3 am on my friend's couch after a late night of drinking and pizza. Within about 10 seconds I proceeded to vomit what I estimated to be a full large pizza and a pitcher's worth of liquid mistakes. It was a massive amount of puke, and most of it went on the coffee table which had a recessed groove around it so that a glass top could sit within it. Meaning crevices full of soggy cardboard pizza stuff.

In my stupor, I had to clean up that mess. And take the trash out. And lift the four to five foot glass top out of the coffee table. It was a miserable accident. Meanwhile, a friendly german shepherd pup was attempting to help me clean by trying to eat it all. My friend didn’t know until I told him. I don't know how.


30. Financial Ruins

I dropped a financial client's LIVE payroll database, all of it... gone! All at 5:15 on a Friday. As the stench of death lingered, with my hands shaking and sweaty, knowing my weekend had just been ruined, I went digging on the server to find that back-up the client did in our system 10 minutes prior. I cannot describe in words the feeling that came over me as it restored successfully and the system worked fine by 5:25. Still, to this day, I can mostly laugh off the problems I face at work because of that one time.



29. Diesel Mistake

I borrowed my brother-in-law's care while moving some things. I accidentally filled it up with diesel because I stupidly assumed it was a diesel engine (definitely sounded like one). Had to get the thing towed and flushed out that night but luckily no damage was done. Returned it with no one the wiser but could have been pretty bad if I had mixed the fuel the other way around.


28. Messy Roommates

One night during my sophomore year of college I came home fairly hammered and really needed to go to the bathroom. I shared a room with two other girls who were both sleeping at the time. Instead of going into our bathroom, I went into our closet and peed into my one roommate’s laundry baskets.

The weird thing was... I was aware that I was doing it but I didn’t think it was a big deal. The next day, I woke up and completely forgot until I went into the closet. Before she woke up, I took out all her dirty clothes which were now covered in pee, washed them, and disinfected her laundry bin. Luckily, it was plastic so it was easy to clean. Although she’s my best friend, it’s been about 4 years and I’ve still never told her. I'm waiting for the right time.

20849-1550439790806.jpgPaul Gormon/Flickr

27. Slippery Slope

I was driving in a snowstorm in the North Woods in Rhinelander, Wisconsin recently. I had to drive to Chicago, and I usually go fast and make it in about four hours. My car is a little VW Jetta and for some reason I felt confident going 90 mph in a snowy highway.

Anyways, I drove over a little ice patch or something, lost control of the steering because I freaked out, and braked too suddenly. My car drifted what seemed like 50 feet, just spinning out of control. I was just clutched to the wheel praying I wouldn't end up in a ditch -- or, even worse, hit someone.

My car finally stopped and I was in the middle of the highway. I looked around and there was not even a car in sight. I chalked it up to God being merciful and tooted back home going 40 mph the rest of the way.


26. Smooth Transition

Back when I was taking my driving test, there was a part where I had to do parallel parking. So, I did as how I was taught and noticed that I accidentally knocked the pole at the front, which was an obvious mistake. Luckily, my examiner, who was sitting beside me the entire time, was looking at his phone, so I quickly threw in reverse and slightly backed the car away from the pole, then placed the car in parking. He looked up, seeing the pole not moving at all, and then told me to drive out. I got my driving license in the end.


25. Thinking Fast

Late one morning, I was going 68 mph in a 35 mph zone. Saw the cop on the side of the road and pulled over before he could even start his car or get his lights on. Came up to the window, said he's never seen someone pull themselves over and that he wished I ran because that would be more fun. Thirty seconds later he gave me a verbal warning and sent me on my way... lucky!

20852-1550440072695.jpgJohn M/Flickr

24. Sweet And Salty

I made a cake for work and accidently swapped sugar for salt. As I was prepping it in the staff lounge, I cut myself a small bite and tasted it -- it was horrible! People were already arriving for lunch, and being known as someone who bakes amazing cakes, people were excited to have a slice. Not knowing what to do, I picked up the cake and using all of my acting abilities. "Stumbled" and dropped it on the floor, leaving a huge cake mess, but saving my reputation!

The best part was that the boss felt so bad for me (and perhaps disappointed at not getting any cake) that he told me to head down to the local bakery and pick up a cake, and he'd wire me the money to cover the expense!



23. Down And Out

Where I went to university, there was basically a "three strikes" rule in terms of failing grades. If you got an F in any class two semesters in a row, you were placed on Academic Probation, and if you get another F the next semester, you were ineligible to register for classes the next semester, and you had to wait a semester if you wanted to re-apply.

So despite my attempts to right my sinking academic ship, I struck out. However, after talking to the admissions advisor, we found a loophole that allowed me to re-apply immediately because my GPA was above 2.5 (I was taking so many classes and doing decently well in them, aside from the F, that it pulled my GPA above the cutoff). I was accepted right away. Registered for classes that day and never told my parents, and then went on to get my Bachelors.

20854-1550440255999.jpgCOD Newsroom/Flickr

22. Close Claw

Once I left a door to a tiger's enclosure unlocked and let the tiger back in after I was done cleaning. Walked by a couple of minutes later, doing a lock check. I realized my mistake and nonchalantly placed the lock back on the door and kept walking past coworkers while internally freaking out. I could have gotten myself or someone else mauled by a tiger that day.


21. Trash Picker

We were about to head into a rather isolated room to work and we needed our keys. I had been drinking something out of a styrofoam cup and walked over to a trash can. In one hand, the cup. In my other, my keys. I proceeded to empty the contents of the wrong freaking hand into the trash. As I was walking away, I realized that I still had the cup in my hand, but I distinctly remembered throwing something into the trash. Then I realized what I was missing...

This is absolutely a job where you're fired if you lose your keys, and all of my co-workers were milling around, but none of them noticed. Fortunately, the trash can was mostly empty, so I quickly fished them out and excused myself to the bathroom to clean them off. No one was any the wiser.

20856-1550440373969.jpgPatrick Kwan/Flickr

20. Extinguishing The Situation

A few years ago in college, I was making fries and I apparently I had the oil too hot because when I dropped the fries in, it splashed and started a big fire. Luckily, I had seen a video just a week before on this exact thing and to not throw water on a grease fire.

So I grabbed a towel and tried to soak it super quick to throw on the fire to smother it, but it didn’t kill the blaze somehow. Another thing that was lucky is we had just had a fire safety inspection two days prior and they found our extinguisher under the sink. I remembered that and put the fire out. The white powder was everywhere and the smoke alarm was going off. I ran into my room and grabbed the box fan. Then I opened the doors and got the smoke out and the alarm turned off.

I knew my roommates were going to be home soon so I had to bust my butt cleaning all the powder for 20 minutes, that stuff was everywhere. Did the best I could to clean it but one of them saw some of it that I missed and asked me what it was. Lied and told him it was pancake mix that I spilled (I made pancakes a lot so it was believable). I still haven’t told them, they would have roasted me forever if I told them I almost burned down the apartment.


19. Video For Class

I accidentally uploaded a personal YouTube video to my college course’s channel. I hadn’t logged out of it for a project earlier that week. Later, I went to go upload a video of my friends and I playing cod (swearing and using inappropriate language) and put it on the wrong channel. Thank goodness it was late at night so I was able to take it down from the classes channel before anyone saw. Yikes.


18. Mean Messages

Sent a Lotus Sametime message to a work colleague about how much of a lazy jerk one of our other colleagues was. Unfortunately, I sent the message to the lazy colleague, not the one I was meant to be talking to. Looked up from my desk, and he was standing about 5 feet away from his desk talking to someone, with his back to his PC. I walked over to his desk, and for once in his life, he didn't lock the workstation. I closed the chat window and walked back to my desk, without him any the wiser. Was drenched in cold sweat though. Thankfully, we had chat logging disabled by default, so once the window closed, the message was gone forever.


17. Mangled Money

Due to severe levels of a brain fart, I somehow managed to melt all the paper money in one of my till floats, and the hard plastic till tray itself, earlier last year. Sent the mangled money to the Bank of England to be replaced, and Amazon covered the tray for me. Sorted.


16. Bad Burn

I got a cigarette burn in the driver's seat of my father-in-law's new van. It was actually simple to fix: I used a razor blade to remove a tiny piece of the missing fabric from under one of the rear seats, glued it into place, and topped it with shavings scraped from the seat. You literally cannot see it. He doesn't even know I smoke.


15. Fishy Situation

I was working as an intern for an aquarium and I was told to put six bags of salt each into two holding tanks for some fish that they were going to throw in. Between dumping bags of salt, I was also moving around and cleaning the filtration bags for each tank. I put six in the first one, but only put four in the other because I got distracted part of the way through. I was collapsing boxes when I realized my mistake and panic snuck over to the holding tank fearing that I accidentally murdered a ton of fish. Luckily, they weren't added yet and I hurriedly poured two more bags in. The pucker factor was off the charts.


14. In Quite A Bind

I used to work in a print shop that did binding. A college student comes in with their dissertation (only copy) that's due that afternoon and asks for it to be bound. I have about three hours, so no worries. I start punching the holes. Not paying much  attention, I punch one set too close to the edge. No way that can be saved.

I spent the next 2 hours scanning the pages individually in high quality, manually photoshopping out the punch-hole marks, and re-printing them. Luckily, it was only about 50 pages and not all 600 or so, but man that was a lot of work! Finished about 20 minutes before they came to pick it up.


13. Missing Money

My mom and dad gave me a $100 bill when I turned 13 and I lost it the same day. Absolutely terrified, I looked for it for months, all the while acting as if I was saving it up. I found in one of my jackets and no one was the wiser.


12. No Connection

I was in the mountains over the weekend. Fought with my girlfriend over the phone and almost ended up breaking up with her through text. I lost signal for 20 minutes. I had enough time to think about how I messed up, wanted to ask for forgiveness. Turns out my texts never ended up getting sent so there was nothing to apologize for.


11. Popping Bottles

A hyperactive eight-year-old me thought it would be fun to toss around one of those huge bottles of Pepsi in the kitchen while my parents were out. Forgetting what I had done, I opened it five minutes later with black sticky Pepsi erupting all over the clean white kitchen floor. My mom was due home soon enough, and she would have killed me (parents used to hit their kids back in those days).

Somehow, I managed to clean the floor and my mom was none the wiser. But I still remember the distress I was under, even 30 plus years later, panicking about the mess I had caused. At eight years of age... that's end of the world stuff.


10. Saved From The No Show

I accidentally slept through a shift that I had agreed to pick up. I thought that I was going to get in trouble because not only did I no-call no-show, but I screwed over the person I covered for. There was no doubt I was in for it the next day when I showed up. But it turns out that due to some unusual circumstances they had sent most of the employees home for the day. In the confusion, no one even realized or cared that I didn't show.


9. An Expensive Mistake

I accidentally let a customer leave with a $100 gift card without paying for it. I had done the same thing with a $50 gift card about a week prior and was nearly fired. So my boss wouldn’t find out, I ended up paying for the $100 gift card.


8. Water Works

I set a tree on fire with a firework and put it out with a water gun before anyone noticed. Luckily, it was only one branch --also it was one heck of a water gun. I was 14 years old.


7. Ringless For A Bit

I managed to lose my wife's wedding ring hours before I was supposed to put it on her finger. Nearly had a heart attack when I realized it was no longer in my pocket. I pulled my brother to the side, took a wild guess as to where it might have fallen, and asked if he would go check to see if it was there while I kept up appearances. Sure enough, that's exactly where he found it. I cannot convey to you the amount of relief I felt when he came back with the ring. I owe him for his effort and his discretion.


6. Hole-y Hell

I accidentally punched a hole through the wall at the place I work, directly behind the customer service desk and the day before a store visit. Being the quick-thinking man that I am, I cut the hole out. Polyfilled it and left a picture in front of it. Then a few hours later, I decided to "repaint the wall" and got extra credit for my good thinking to make the store seem extra good.


5. Pour Decision

I am a recovering alcoholic. One of my biggest screw-ups that I didn't get caught with was a night I passed out on my mom's couch while holding a glass of wine. Her WHITE couch, holding (spilling) a glass of RED wine. Which I slept in for hours. I woke up at 4:30 a.m., realized what had happened, panicked, stumbled around her house looking for cleaning products, trying not to wake anyone.

I scrubbed it while trying not to cry too loudly, flipped the bottom cushions while trying to move the top cushions around in hopes no one would see, and crept up to my room just as their alarms started going off. Got up the next morning to finish scrubbing and left a week later. Never heard anything about it, and my mom is extremely meticulous when she cleans her house.


4. Website Sabotage

I started an apprenticeship in IT for which I was woefully underqualified. I was given the responsibility of maintaining the intranet site for our whole department; they obviously have me an internal role so I couldn't mess up anything customer-facing. They underestimated my power.

On one cheery Friday evening, when half my department had gone home early, I was experimenting on the site, creating and deleting test pages in a hidden area. I got two different delete buttons mixed up and accidentally deleted our entire site. And there was no 'undo.' I didn't have access to the log either.

What I DID have was another tab open with the same site on it in edit mode that I had forgotten about. I hit 'save changes' on that page and voila, everything came back! After changing my pants, I went home and spent the whole weekend terrified that my boss would find out. They never did. Fast-forward two years, I've been training hard and now I design systems for our staff. Never screwed up that bad again. Yet.


3. Phone Interception

When I was in high school, I was dating this guy for a few months. I decided to send him a risky pic of myself while I was getting ready for school. I took the picture, attached a saucy message (even though the most we had ever done was over-the-clothes touching) and hit send. Then I finished getting ready.

Five minutes later, I'm in the back seat of my mom's car and I open my phone to check for a reply. That's when I realize I accidentally sent that picture to my mom instead of my boyfriend.

I silently freaked out before I realized she obviously hadn't seen it yet or else everything wouldn't be so calm right now. Her purse was on the console between the front seats, phone peaking out with a text notification. I grabbed it as quickly as I could, she asked what I was doing and I just said, "I'm checking to see if I'm getting texts." I deleted it, TRIPLE checked and deleted all evidence from my own phone too.

I'm almost 24 now and I am still super cautious any time I send anything even slightly questionable to anyone. I won't text my sister something with a curse word in it unless I check the recipient box twice.


2. Failed Science Experiment

As an undergrad in college, I worked in a research lab for the school's chemical engineering department. My partner and I were making a reactor that could contain hydrogen gas (hydrogen gas is the smallest molecule there is which makes it very difficult to effectively contain).

We made our prototype reactor and needed to test it to make sure it was sealed tight and could handle high internal pressure. To do this, we submerged it in a 55-gallon barrel of water and kept pumping air into it to see if any bubbles escaped. We kept filling it with air and didn't see any bubbles. But we wanted to know at what pressure it would start to leak, so we kept pumping air in.

It didn't leak. It exploded.

Fortunately, the explosion was contained by the water. But all that air being rapidly released blew all the water out of the barrel and flooded our professor's lab. There was no drain in the floor (in case of a chemical spill you don't want that hitting the public water supply). So we had to break into the janitor's closet and clean the entire lab.

To this day, our professor still doesn't know about it. And it wasn't even the only time we accidentally blew something up or flooded his lab.


1. Fractured Frames

I worked at an optometry office and help the optician a lot. One time, a patient came in and asked for me to adjust his glasses. I accidentally snapped that frame completely in half and was in full panic mode because usually we only carry each frame once. Luckily, we happened to have that frame on the shelf so I quickly switched his lenses into the new one to give back. I shipped the broken frame back to be replaced on warranty and told literally nobody until NOW. Doesn't sound like a big deal but these glasses were probably around ~ $1,300 and the frame alone $600.



Want to learn something new every day?

Unlock valuable industry trends and expert advice, delivered directly to your inbox. Join the Wealthy Driver community by subscribing today.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.