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What is the biggest goof you've ever done at your work

Karnati Sudhakar
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Joined: Aug 26, 2008
Posts: 270

Yesterday i did a biggest mistake and i felt like why i am still alive? I just forgot to capture some result, to capture that result again i had to work for 13 hours with no success.Even i am unable to sleep with that thing bugging in my mind.


Did you ever done such kind of mistake.


Regards
Sudhakar
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60740
    
  65

Never type svn revert when you meant svn update.


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Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18497
    
  40

Never type svn revert when you meant svn update.



Definitely not my biggest goof, but I did this exact mistake this morning. I typed "p4 revert" instead of "p4 submit" -- lost about an hour of work.

Henry


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Arvind Mahendra
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Joined: Jul 14, 2007
Posts: 1162
I laughed at the wrong moment at a joke my Boss was telling. I'm usually very good at anticipating when the punch line has been delivered and i am supposed to let out a chuckle but this time I just wasn't paying any attention so i goofed up and laughed before the joke or funny story or whatever it was was over.


I want to be like marc
Jhakda Velu
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Joined: Feb 26, 2008
Posts: 166
I ventured into ladies toilet. I screamedinstead of the gals who were inside

Jhakda


If I become filthy rich, I'll sponsor research for painless dental treatment at Harvard Medical School. Thats why,I'm learning Java.I have 32 teeth, 22 are man made.
Christophe Verré
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Posts: 14687
    
  16

I unplugged the computer's power cord of a colleague sitting next to me


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David O'Meara
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

When I was in the Sydney office I accidentally sent NSFW to a printer in Perth.
Needless to say it wasn't actually my fault, but I'll omit the specific details.
Monu Tripathi
Rancher

Joined: Oct 12, 2008
Posts: 1369
    
    1

When I was new at work, I logged on to my neighbors machine because my friend was using my PC for something; it(neighbors PC) was running a critical job. I came to know of my mistake the next day since I was working in night shifts.


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60740
    
  65

Henry Wong wrote:... lost about an hour of work.

Ah, if only it had been just an hour's worth...
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18497
    
  40

Bear Bibeault wrote:
Henry Wong wrote:... lost about an hour of work.

Ah, if only it had been just an hour's worth...


Source code control is my friend. It has saved my arse more times than I can count. I don't know how many times that I have spent weeks on code -- only to realize that it was a dead end (or found a better way to do it). I have lost count of how many times I have tagged code as dead end, and reverted to an earlier release.

I have also gotten comfortable with reverting when I make some small changes that I didn't like. These are for 5 minutes changes, that I am too lazy to undo manually. No tagging, just reverting. I have to get rid of this habit. Reverting should not be such a common operation that I accidentally revert code instead of submitting code.

Henry
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18497
    
  40


To answer this topic, I guess my biggest goof happened in college (and no source code control, of course). I had spent weeks (on and off) working on the final project for an AI class. Lots for coding, much more debugging, etc.

When it was finally complete, I decided to delete all the backup files (my idea of keeping old copies). The command that I wanted was....



But my right had flinched, and I accidentally added a space...



The error message was something like ".bak" file does not exist. Of course it doesn't exist! I had deleted everything in the directory!!

Anyway, it took about two long days to reproduce everything -- as I had an idea in my head of the complete working design, of the call structure, etc. etc.

Henry
Darya Akbari
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Joined: Aug 21, 2004
Posts: 1855
I once went to the wrong airport


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Sameer Jamal
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Joined: Feb 16, 2001
Posts: 1870
I checked out all the files from source control and went on a week long holiday
Monu Tripathi
Rancher

Joined: Oct 12, 2008
Posts: 1369
    
    1

Sameer Jamal wrote:I checked out all the files from source control and went on a week long holiday


you made sure everyone misses you!
Bauke Scholtz
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Joined: Oct 08, 2006
Posts: 2458
At work? No one I can really remember.

But there's one which I never forgot which occurred during my freelance jobs. I offer PC hardware and software repairs as well. Since the emigration I took all my material from Europe to the Caribean. Here 110V electricity is common, but I've added 220V to my house as well. So, when receiving one of the first PCs for repair, I took my 220V power cord, plugged it in at both sides and turned the PC on .. Kaboom! Pzzzz!! Smoke!!! Aarghh ..
Rambo Prasad
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Joined: Feb 23, 2006
Posts: 628
This happened in my first job..We had an internal messanger for communication..
My Manager sent a mai "Out of Office fpr 45 minutes".It was around 4 in the evening..I quickly sent a message to one of my other friend in the team.."Let us escape from office before he(Manager) is back"

The mistake I made was instead of sending the message to my friend I sent the message to my manager itself..


Helping hands are much better than the praying lips
Sujai Kaarthik
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Joined: Dec 29, 2008
Posts: 162
That was a model examination during my under graduation days.

Actually the seating arrangements will be done once in a year. They wont change unless a real need for that. That time I was unaware of the new changes to the seating arrangements. Computer science students (I) will occupy 2nd floor and Biotech students will ocupy ground floor. The new change was made so that the CS students will write their exams in ground floor and Biotech students will use 2nd floor.

I was totally unaware of the new change. I went to the second floor and occupied my chair. At that time Biotech students entered the hall and was taking their seats. I confused them (without knowing the actual thing) and sent them back to ground floor. At this time the examiner entered the hall and was enquiring me about the absence of other students. At this time the CS students entered the hall and got seated.

Now the examiner started to supply the question paper. The QP belongs to Biotech

That was a real mess and it took half an hour to settle. The lecturers scolded me like hell and I was popular all over the college within 30 minutes!


The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it
Chetan Parekh
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Joined: Sep 16, 2004
Posts: 3636
How about giving presentation to the team with open zip?


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Martijn Verburg
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Joined: Jun 24, 2003
Posts: 3274
    
    5

Make sure you colour code your terminal windows and really make sure that your 'shutdown now' command goes to the right server


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Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14074
    
  16

Christophe Verré wrote:I unplugged the computer's power cord of a colleague sitting next to me

I did that too...


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Sameer Jamal
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Joined: Feb 16, 2001
Posts: 1870
Chetan Parekh wrote:How about giving presentation to the team with open zip?


That reminds me of a goof done by my former colleague, he was to give client a presentation , when he switched on his laptop there was some porn stuff popping out and one of the person from the clients commented , no we are not into this business.
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Long back, we, bunch of freshers working on project that was to sent to client place(our first project for any client).
And project did not run there, because we hard coded DB details in all servlets. (no JSP at that time.)

Now we were sitting whole night opening each and every file of project and changing the DB details as per client environment.

Still we laugh on this blunder .. product was later bought by ICICI .. and after few months scraped by them .. ;-)


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Ankit Garg
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9291
    
  17

Rambo Prasad wrote:This happened in my first job..We had an internal messanger for communication..
My Manager sent a mai "Out of Office fpr 45 minutes".It was around 4 in the evening..I quickly sent a message to one of my other friend in the team.."Let us escape from office before he(Manager) is back"

The mistake I made was instead of sending the message to my friend I sent the message to my manager itself..


This kinda things happen to me very usually. And not only on chat, I once was making comments about my boss and he was standing behind me


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Karnati Sudhakar
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Joined: Aug 26, 2008
Posts: 270

Once i wanted to ask my colleague to come for a break so i searched for that member in communicator and pinged him as 'hey saale chalo chai ko chalte hai.' In english 'Hey Dude come lets go for a cup of coffee.'

But the thing is i pinged this to my vertical head(Dirtector).The reply i got is 'where shall we gor for coffee Barista?'

and one more mistake i did for 4 times is i forwarded some mails to gals which i should not..Those are the most embarassing situations..Anyway those are softcore only..I dont know what they are thinking about me..Everytimr she sees me gives a smile Thank god she did not report that to the HR manager.
Marcel Wentink
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Joined: Sep 19, 2008
Posts: 157
1. Made comments about my job on a public newgroup that later my boss read.
2. I made copies on my local HD, but never copied those files to a server. Then my local HD crashed. I almost lost a few months of work. Happily the HD could be recovered.
abhishek pendkay
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Joined: Jan 01, 2007
Posts: 184
I was once giving a presentation to a client and my laptop was connected to the projector. Now the same day
India vs Australia cricket match was also going on. So on my laptop I had my presentation window open and also had a browser window which was showing the latest scores and there were other windows open too. Now in the middle of the presentation while shifting through the windows using Alt + Tab I accidentally opened the score window and worst of all while hitting Alt + Tab someone from the audience asked me a question and turned to reply and I didn't notice that I accidently opened the score window. Now the projector was showing the latest match scores and I didn't realize this and continued with the presentation till all of them suddenly started smiling and giggling. Its only when I looked at the screen I realized what I had done. Fortunately for me the client was cool about this and just laughed out the incident , but it was one goof up I will never forget


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Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4646
    
    5



Not only that, but in shame, I wrote "don't do 'rm -rf /' on the whiteboard and the boss did it to our development server
Sujai Kaarthik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 29, 2008
Posts: 162
Today, the biggest goof of my life happened.

My boss(I am an apprentice) sent me a link about JVM. He asked me to do a research on that and blah blah blah. I always used to take much time to do a task. For this one, I thought that I can do this job in the evening.

Now to my surprise, just half an hour before, he came to my desk and asked about my progress on that link he gave. I just told him that I was coding for some module and I can learn that later. He asked me to open that link. I just opened the mail and to my bad luck, my friend has sent me an email with the subject line Don't care what your boss says! he is just a stupid!!

I felt really ashamed of that and I cant look into his face. He just gave me a smile and yelled "see you tomorrow" and went before I opened the link he gave

The first thing which came to my mind is this thread
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24183
    
  34

For a year between university and grad school, I was a programmer/lab tech at Yale Medical School. Half-time I wrote data-collection software, and half-time I was a wet bench tech, growing colonies of bacteria, extracting proteins, running electophoresis gels, etc. I was a chemistry major at university so I had some appropriate background, but most of the things I was doing were completely new to me.

One thing I had to do was put bacterial cultures into a centrifuge to extract the actual bacteria. The heart of one of these ultra-centrifuges is the rotor, a big, heavy solid frustrum of metal, with a bolted-down lid; inside the lid are form-fitting chambers for the special disposable sample tubes. The rotor sits in a vacuum chamber, because drag from air would slow it down. These centrifuges could spin at 20,000 rpm or more, so getting them exactly balanced was important. Big heavy stuff, but very delicate.

Anyway, there are a number of different kinds of sample tubes: glass, polypropylene, Nalgene, etc. So one of the first times I did this, I selected a nice matched set of glass sample tubes. I carefully fill them up, put them in the rotor, bolt the top down, put it in the chamber, pump it down, and start it spinning up. I hear

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
rrrrrrrrrrRrRrRRRRRRRRR
KKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHH!!!

which is really not what you want to hear.

I was unfortunately unaware of one extremely important fact: glass centrifuge tubes can't handle 20,000 rpms. In fact, I don't think they can handle 5,000 rpm. Despite the fact that the tubes were exactly the same dimensions, the glass tubes should never go in the ultracentrifuge -- they are just for the plain old wimpy low-speed centrifuge (there's a lesson in there for software engineers about strong typing).

Anyway, the glass tubes shattered and were pulverized into dust from the force, freeing their contents, as you can imagine. The fragments permanently scratched and destroyed the rotor, and the bacteria contaminated it; thank goodness the seal on the lid held, and the whole machine wasn't contaminated.

Word of my deed spread far and wide. About a month later, at a department meeting, I was presented with the rotor, cleaned up and painted shiny gold with spray paint, along with a certificate: "This GOLDEN ROTOR AWARD is presented to... yadda yadda... blazing new trails... yadda yadda... singular creativity..." etc. From that day on, every time somebody screwed up, techs, students, or post-docs, the Rotor would get passed on. It sat on many a desk that year!


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