OSHA Employees Reveal The Biggest Violations They've Seen In The Workplace
"It didn't seem like an big deal at the time."
Workplace safety is no joke. Injuries on the job can lead to lawsuits and months of headaches. Last thing any shift supervisor wants to see when they arrive at 5 in the morning is the "Days Without Incident" poster reset to 0. That's what OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other safety organizations are for. They keep people safe and those poster days up. Sometimes, though, a day at work doesn't always go completely safe.
Reddit user, u/KrazyKingZ, wanted to hear from OSHA people firsthand about the dumbest thing they've seen when they asked:
50. Surfin' USA
Not OSHA but I worked for a year in a small plastic molding plant. Saw a guy surf a bale of scrap plastic as it ejected onto the pallet. To be fair it wasn't on purpose lol, the bale wasn't coming out so he climbed behind it (so his body was between the back wall and a 1500+ pound bale) to push it out from the back. It worked but he held onto the bale and rode it on the way out.
49. Gross People Shouldn't Work For Food Places
I'm not an OSHA employee, but I worked at a convenience store that had a pizza place inside that made food for travelers and that locals could order. We had to make cookies and we had about 6 kinds, two of which contained peanut butter. It was important to keep those two separate from the rest when making them because of how serious nut allergies can be. My manager put all the cookies into one tub to bring out (they were already pre-made in frozen disks, we just thawed and baked them) completely contaminating all the different kind of cookies with each other. I brought it to her attention, but she didn't care.
There were other violations when she was there. Like leaving food in the way past its time just so she wouldn't have to make new stuff and never dated any of the food in the fridge. She never cleaned up after herself either by wiping down counters.
48. Who Needs BOTH Hands?
I was the new safety guy for a metal shop that would send out a can of aerosol adhesive(flammable) with some products. For some reason they had someone peeling the label off of the can and applying a new one. The guy was using a heat gun to remove the labels. He said he didn't think it was safe, but one of the other guys told him that they always did it that way. I've seen some crazy and dangerous practices, but this stands out for the absurd lack of common sense.
47. Shot Yourselves In The Foot
Military safety guy here. We have a building on base with a ceiling that leaks and basement that floods when it rains. The coolest part is that there are unshielded wires and comm boxes laying in the parts of the basement where water pools. We also have the emergency phone lines for the fire department for the nearest large civilian, passenger airport right next door running through that basement. So, F everyone if we get water in those. You didn't need the fire department anyway.
It has been two years since I reported that building. The responses I got then were "it has always been like that". Also, we're "still waiting for bids for the repair".
OSHA doesn't cover the military.
46. Not A Single Thing Right
I'm not in the USA but part of my job involves working in confined spaces accessing cabling ducting and risers etc. There's a crap-ton of confined spaces working regulations in this country that have to be met when working in spaces such as these.
The work we do is classed as very low risk confined space but a friend of mine works at a chemical processing plant and sometimes has to enter empty chemical holding tanks or pressure vessels to clean out sediment and other contaminants by hand. Obviously these are classed as massively high risk.
There was an incident a few years back at his place when a new management team took over and the cleanup crews were ordered to go in and clean out an unknown sediment layer without proper breathing apparatus. They had air-fed fume hoods but these were nowhere near sufficient protection.
Previously they would bring a specialist contract company onsite who had all the necessary BA gear and training to carry out the work safely but the new management didn't want to spend the money. The union got involved and there was threats of the company being reported to the HSE (UK equivalent of OSHA) for endangering life.
Weirdly though, according to one of the BA contractors i was speaking to previously mentioned that it's usually the confined spaces classified as low risk that are the biggest killers. Apparently when it's an obvious high risk situation or when nasty chemicals are involved, you're more inclined to treat it with caution, yet it's in a seemingly harmless space that stuff tends to go wrong.
Apparently what usually happens is Person A enters an unknown space without a risk assessment or the proper protective equipment, passes out. Person B enters the space to try to retrieve Person A, passes out. If they're lucky, Person C calls the fire service and once they arrive on site and suit up, enter the space to retrieve two bodies. If they're unlucky, there is no Person C.
45. I Guess It's Problem-Solving?Giphy
None summer in college I worked in construction. We had to hang some stucco board on the side of a building. It was probably 50-60 ft tall at its highest, at the bottom was a sort of drainage ditch. We had to build scaffolding to get to the top... of course the drainage ditch isn't level, so our boss found some flat rocks, stacked two or three of them and then we continued to build the scaffolding. We worked at the top of that thing with heavy ass 12 ft stucco boards on scaffolding that was balancing on a couple of rocks stacked up. Hindsight, I can't believe that scaffolding held up over two full days.
44. Almost Blew Up The Town
Uhh not sure if it's exactly an OSHA violation but I worked as a security guard out of high school for a high security warehouse (stored toxic, flammable, and otherwise dangerous containers) and one night a driver fell asleep while bringing his load in and flattened our plywood guard shack, turned the truck on its side and dumped a bunch of oxygen tanks into the countryside. Nobody got hurt though!
43. Pendulum Swung Into You
I was at a steel mill in the middle of PA. One of the EEs had gotten really good side pulling the ladle from the furnace, arcing it down a corridor, and placing it in the cooling area.
All of the overhead cranes had just been modified from a pendent control to a wireless control.
The EE stood at the top of the fulcrum, next to a railing of a cooling pit for another furnace.
As the EE swings the load, he is struck by the ladle and hit into the railing.
He suffered several broken ribs, a broken back, and arm. His side pull did not go as planned.
I've also investigated fatalities, and a bunch of other stupid decisions that lead to bad injuries.
Everyone needs to slow down and think about what you are doing, at work AND at home. Bad habits follow you everywhere.
Remember stop work authority too, be that guy or gal. If your company doesn't care that much, you don't want to work there.
42. Flip Flops Go With Boats, Not Cranes
Intern at an osha equivalent org in asia. Was at a site where they were building two housing blocks very close to each other. The blocks were up to 40 floors high. The main contractor installed proper bridges with handrails to link the two blocks every 10 floors, but the workers also placed thin, unsecured planks on every floor to link the blocks. The end of the plank on the top floor looked like it was less than 3 cm away from the edge.
There were bare live wires randomly poking from the ceilings, workers climbing on scaffolding without helmets or harnesses, workers on 3m tall ladders and using them like stilts (rocking side to side to "walk" the ladder to the next light fixture) and the workers were housed on the site in the unfinished building. Their tower crane operator turned up and climbed up the crane in wifebeater, sarong and flip flops - his excuse was that the weather was really hot that day.
That site was disastrous. My supervisor was shaking with anger by the end of the inspection.
41. A Ticking Time Bomb
Security tasked with ensuring EHS compliance here.
The absolute worst has to be this one department on my post (chemical processing and storage facility.) Going in there when they have agitator motors running on drums (and venting the exhaust right into the room) will physically make you sick. I once had an extremely painful sore throat for a week after one ~60sec exposure.
Yet, not a single person who works in there regularly wears even a dust mask, let alone a respirator. Elsewhere in the facility, people have allegro hoods being fed O2, good respirators, etc, but not in this one area where it seems to be the worst.
Other than that, fire extinguishers with blacked-out gauges, lights starting fires because they're so covered with cobwebs, PPE is essentially optional, yeah, good times.
40. Standing Up For SafetyGiphy
but my job put in brand new 20 foot shelving units for holding pallets. They looked great and we really desperately needed the space to get pallets off the floor. Only one problem: they weren't bolted to anything. They also were not against a wall, so if they fell it would almost certainly hurt or kill someone. They'd be bolted down in a week, my supervisor said.
I was threatened with a write up for insubordination because I refused to load a dozen pallets weighing over 200lbs each on this shelf. I told them I had already taken a video showing that no shelves were bolted down while my coworker loaded them and they could kiss my *ss. They did not kiss my *ss, but they did not write me up either.
39. What Not To Do
One of my college instructors showed us a picture he took of a scissor lift on an angled rooftop with it fully raised the basket fully extended doing repairs on the building. The roof in the picture did not look sturdy whatsoever, and it looked like the slightest breeze would topple the thing. He doesn't even know how they got the lift on the roof to begin with since the only machinery that place has were fork lifts and the one scissor lift.
38. My Cigarrette Took Down The Store
When I first started working at my current workplace, I used to smoke and I had to go to a designated shelter, which was right next to a large pressurised oxygen tank. On a number of occasions I saw employees actually smoking right next to the tank itself, for some reason deciding that they didn't want to be in the shelter. What people don't seem to realise is that yes, oxygen is good for breathing, but that goes doubly so for fire. If that tank sprang a leak and someone lit up nearby, their ordinarily not so flammable clothes and flesh would suddenly be very flammable indeed.
In the end they moved the shelter after a couple years to be at least 200 yards from any building.
37. Sparkling Cyanide
I once found a cabinet with random vials of cyanide laying around. Another time I found an asbestos enclosure where the enclosure had failed and it had been without negative pressure for 2 days, this was in a VERY busy federal building. I know of one agency that routinely sends it's employees into high pressure steam tunnels without any kind of confined space training or rescue apparatus. I saw one of the carry-on scanners the TSA uses (480V) with exposed wiring directly adjacent to carpet/passengers. I know of a popular online retailer that under-reports its recordable and lost time rates by writing an essay on why the injuries don't count for every single injury.
36. A Difficult Thing To Witness
real life OSHA inspector here. Most gnarly case I had was when a father/son team was doing field service work on the hydraulic piston of a mobile crane. The piston cylinder casing failed due to a combination of over-pressurization and metal stress fatigue. Opened up an 11" fracture on the piston, releasing pressurized hydraulic fluid directly into the torso of the father, who was standing on the crane deck next to the piston. The pressurized fluid jet cut his torso in two, from roughly his left collar bone to the bottom of his right rib cage. The son was on the ground and watched it happen.
35. Just Like A CartoonGiphy
Maintenance guy was changing the bulbs in one of our overhead light fixtures in the warehouse. Goes up in the scissor lift with the new bulbs and somehow makes contact with the live part of the fixture...with his bare hands.
He's shocked pretty good, even his belt buckle flew open because of the surge. He apparently "squealed like a stuck pig", somehow manages to hit the lever to lower the lift, and stumbles off of the platform.
He never went to the hospital and said his arm "tingled for a few weeks".
34. Malicious Noncompliance
I was the safety officer at a few workplaces. I had a bunch of rescue qualifications. The rule was this: protest the bad thing in writing. After that it's not your problem. The boss will break any law he sees fit and if something goes wrong, you told him so and it's not your fault. Some businesses actually care about getting sued and the safety officer is king. The companies I worked for cared about daily costs and that was all. I was often asked to do things (as I was also a worker) that contravened OH&S and I would refuse but I would never stop anyone else from doing it.
I was never given that authority. Managers like to keep all the "God of this activity" to themselves even if they don't know what they're doing and they just want A done, they don't care how. I was once asked to move 40kg loads on a regular basis. I refused as it exceeded the legal limit and I didn't want to hurt my back.
I suggested the person telling me to do it should do it that way if they wanted. They apparently couldn't as they had hurt their back. Strange coincidence yeah? Different guy wanted me to store a 20kg box at full reach from a ladder. I refused as it was unsafe. He put it up there himself.
Cue two days later when the box broke as it was being retrieved and destroyed the expensive contents. On another occasion I was busy with something and someone wanted to use the forklift to shift a drum of oil. I was the driver but we had one of those walk behind models with a steering handle which you are allowed to use without a license. I announced that I would be a couple of minutes and of they simply went to collect the drum pincer (a special tool for picking up drums that is awkward and heavy) I would be there shortly.
No. They are in a rush, they'll just do it themselves. OK, I think. Saves me the effort. Suddenly, I hear telling and commotion. This is never good. I run out and they have pierced the drum with a tine. What's more, they have removed the tine from the hole and the drum has fallen over. Cue me on safety mode yelling at everyone and rolling out the super expensive spill kit. Two hours later and it was decided nobody was at fault as it was the boss who did it and since he couldn't blame anyone, nobody was to blame. That place was a hotbed of malicious compliance. Always had to get it on writing though.
33. Pipin' Dangerous
Watch 8 tonnes of pipe fall from about 20m because someone was in a rush and used the incorrect rigging.
The kicker is everyone there (20-30 people) were totally willing to let it go unreported, except me. I never really did make too many friends after that. Oh well.
32. That's No Lift...
But my local junkyard has their draining lift made out of steel shelving with 3 legs. The 4th leg is a piece of 4x4 wood, sitting tall ways, with a bottle jack on top of it. They have it covered with a tarp so it's safer or something. A good friend of mine worked under it for a number of months.
31. Like The Least Fun Game Of Jenga
two electricians changing the lightbulbs of the street lights in my hometown did it with one driving the van and the other standing on top of a ladder on its roof.
30. Water + Electricity = BadGiphy
My tafe teacher tells a story of an employee hosing down a three phase outlet with a water hose and getting badly shocked. He copped all the blame as he was not following the safe work method statement.
29. All With A Chainsaw
It wasn't related to my workplace (which is extremely strict with OSHA) but work I needed to have work done in my yard and knew the violations because of my job. Hurricane Florence knocked a tree over in my yard. The contractors who ended up coming out to remove it didn't use any safety equipment at all and, while wielding a chainsaw, stood on a bobcat with a forklift attachment to get a better reach, being raised up at least 10 feet in the air.
28. All For The Trash
I'm OSHA certified since our store needs so many employees certified.
We have a magnetically sealing door that leads to a trash compactor. The door is broken so it won't stay open. So instead they use a broken bungee cord to hold the door.
The one window is taped up because someone thought it would look better.
They lost the key to the door so the only way to keep it open is to wedge a peace of card board in the hole so it won't seal.
And it doesn't open from the other side for some odd reason.
When I have to use it,I have to put one foot in the door and toss my trash.
27. Sparks! Face! Burns!
go to a lot of sketchy body shops all day, so I see some unsafe practices. I have two.
Once saw a guy using an angle grinder to cut metal. He wasn't wearing any eye protection, and the sparks were flying straight into his face. He wasn't even looking away.
I also once saw a guy using a MIG welder with no welding helmet. Staring straight at what he was working on. Bonus points because he was smoking a cigarette.
26. Why Is There Always A Chainsaw
I work in construction and have seen some gut-wrenching safety violations. Too many to count. I once saw a man walking across a 2 x 4 brace (1.5 inches thick) cutting the unwanted remainder on support beams off with a chainsaw while 60ft high and no safety harness.
25. Is It Really Worth It To Cut So Many CornersGiphy
I work for a company that manufactures electrical equipment that prevents explosions in hazardous environments like and oil rig or refinery. I've seen electrical enclosures that are designed with very small tolerances for error that have only had 4 bolts holding the cover on when 20+ are required. Even one missing bolt can lead to catastrophic explosion. We're talking the risk of major loss of life just to save a few minutes of time.
24. Poor Cows Don't Deserve This
My old boss had us spray out trailers hauling cattle with Sulphuric Acid to sterilize them, all without using PPE or respirators. Cheapo wouldn't even buy us gloves until I had to take a month off work due to chemical burns to my right arm.
23. Yum, A Fungus!
the restaurant I used to work had mushroom formations a foot tall growing under the drink station. I saw it being scraped out during my last week.
22. This Ain't A Race, It's A G*D* Post Office
I wish OSHA would come to my local USPS facility. But only sort of. They'd shut it down after just a few hours, no doubt.
Some forklift / tug operators zooming by in the halls at 20-25 miles an hour when they're not supposed to go more than walking speed. Also just the general unsafe nature of equipment.
21. Micro Center With Macro Problems
Worked for a Micro Center that way overstocked its warehouse without good options for navigating the mess. We'd have to regularly climb on, through, and around loose pallets and gaylords, as well as boulder about 15 feet of shelving. Hard drives dropped on heads (thankfully packaged) were really common. Lucky it wasn't more often worse.
20. No Safety HereGiphy
A "friend" worked for a safety audit company. Fire alarm goes off. Not a drill. Turned out to be a false alarm. Which was handy because when they went to leave via the only emergency exit on the floor the door handle came off in his hand... Only other way to exit the floor was via the elevator.
19. Door To No Escape
I opened a fire escape door once and someone had removed the staircase from the other side so the door just opened into thin air with a 20foot drop on the other side.... it was like something out of an acme cartoon.
18. Sometimes It's Not Worth The Court Case
Not an inspector but did work comp insurance for a bit.
I saw this on cctv for evidence
Factory that made foam for mattresses had a machine that would cut up medium sized chunks of foam into smaller ones to put into mattresses. Sort of like a wood chipper.
One guy got tired of putting handfuls at a time (the recommended way) and decided to get a bucket and starts shoveling into the cutter.
When it got stuck from too much foam he used the stick part of a broom to push it thru. This got the broom stuck. He then decides to put both hands in to dislodge the stick and stuck foam.
The machine was still on this whole time.
He somehow manages to get the stick out and the blades start going again.
He amazingly only lost two fingertips and tried to sue his boss.
We settled for 30k...
17. Gotta Love Ingested Chemical Burns
While working on a small pipeline project, one guy had a 6-pack of beer under the back seat of his truck. Obviously the beer was warm. We figured we could cool the cans by tipping a propane bottle upside down and spraying them with liquid propane. I guess there is a safety device to prevent this, so we put a hose on the tank and cut the hose. One guy held the cans with his bare hands in the stream of liquid propane on the worksite. Good times.
16. Electric Coats
I interned at OSHA. I got to ride around with a former electrical union superintendent and I'm still telling stories. As an intern they honestly let me ask anything. The inspectors were so glad that someone actually respected them and wanted to learn so they just spilled.
Personally the worst was a couple dozen guys hung their coats up to cover the hot commercial electrical box they had pig tailed their broken radio directly to. The OSHA inspector saw it and just turned to them and said "do you have a family?
Do you ever want to see them again?" Turned out the crew chief had a brand new baby girl at home. He basically cried his face off about how stupid they were and shut it down until they could make it safer. No fines were issued. Even though it could've bankrupted all 3 companies on site. Just real talk.
In case you didn't know that amount of electricity would kill you in the worst way (unable to let go and feeling every single shock) and leave you a pile of dust.
15. Eh, We'll Fix It Later
In college I took an OSHA certification course and my instructor, who was an OSHA inspector, shared this story;
My instructor was inspecting a lumber mill in northern Maine, walking around the facility. Employees told him to be careful around two large milling machines in the back of the mill. Every 10 seconds, like clockwork, a giant high voltage charge would jump between both machines, arcing over the walkway path. Apparently all of the employees knew about it and just carefully timed when they would walk through.
That, he said, was the most glaringly obvious violation he's ever seen, ever.
14. So Long As It's Dry, Right?
Using a wet-dry vac to clear a plugged drain.
In a lead-acid battery pit.
Without the benefit of any PPE at all.
13. A Story Of Catastrophe
I work in pharmaceutical manufacturing, and we occasionally get OSHA investigators to give safety trainings. One trainer/rep in particular had been assigned to a case in Texas where a natural gas refinery exploded because a perfect storm of miscommunication, failed safety checks, and employees not following their SOPs. Opaque sight glass (that needs to be clear to detect levels), pressure gauges out of calibration, broken overfill alarms, among other safety violations.
12. The Things You Do When You Think You're Not Being Watched
I do EHS and watched a bunch of guys using a forklift to literally lift an entire box truck over a fence instead of just pushing it through the gate.
They thought I was at lunch. I was not.
11. It'll Hold. Trust Me.
Once saw a foreman tie a rope around a 100lb gooseneck elbow, secure the rope with a pair of vice grips and then pull it up about 40-50 meters onto the roof of a building.
10. When Your Bro Doesn't Have Your Back
I work in a CSO and had to clean out one of our vortexes manually. It's a confined space so I needed an attendant. After about an hour I finished and came out to find nobody was around. Walked up to the office and two of our guys were asking where I'd gone, because my attendant went to take a sh-t 45 minutes before and was playing on his phone in the office. He said he told me to come out and figured I was f-cking off somewhere. Should of lost his job then
9. Buses On The Run
I don't work for OSHA but I do work in a role where ensuring compliance with Workplace Health and Safety and arbitrating on those matters were a major portion of my role.
The worst issue I have ever seen has been a bus operator (for a major metropolitan area) direct their employees to drive buses which due to the inclusion of a new safety barrier did not possess a line of sight to the Left-hand side mirror ( This is in a Left-Hand side driving Country). I filed a dispute, and after some argument, approximately three weeks of it, they came to the conclusion that there was a problem and made the right decision to withdraw them and install a new less obstructed panel. Through this period the operator was threatening to take disciplinary actions against drivers who refused to drive these buses, drivers who couldn't see the mirrors and posed a huge risk to the public.
8. Skateboards Aren't Safe
I work in construction, and when on site, I heard our OHS person had to leave to write up a violation.
Someone decided to send one of the young blokes down a drain pipe on a skateboard to clear a blockage on a pipe. The line was 80m long, and a 450mm dia pipe. It was also storm season.
Apparently they used the skateboard so if he passed out, they could pull him back, or words to that affect.
7. How Did This Place Not Close Already?
My father was a safety coordinator at Kennecott Copper Mine and... Boy... I'll go in order of severity:
First, there were times that he caught the crew out by the woods trying to feed apples to the deer. They had skewered the apples and were trying to reach as far over the fences as they could to coax them just a bit closer. Nobody fired.
Next, he found some guys trying to break this gigantic bolt. He came across them right at the time that one was standing under this giant wrench to hold it in place while another guy was climbing up onto some equipment and planned to jump onto the wrench. Genius, I know. Two guys got fired that day.
Then comes the story about the acid vat... During a shut down, he came across some guys playing "Jack Be Nimble" with the opening of the acid vat. Needless to say, these vats, designed to process ores, were extremely dangerous. My father came across them doing this as one guy jumped and lost his shoe in the vat. Instantly disintegrated. About eight guys got fired that day, and the one had the balls to ask for a replacement for his shoe! Probably why my dad has high blood pressure nowadays.
There are more, but those ones stood out the most in my mind.
6. The Wheels On The Bus
Bus had the donut on for 8 weeks. WEEKS
5. Sour Experience
International Gas Plants, construction and operations:
-Once my idiot Chinese customers decided to ignore a massive leak in a sour gas line, that was like 200,000 ppm of H2S. I was infuriated and fled site, and only then were they willing to shut it down. Waiting to kill off the control room and poison the nearby town. This was by far the most dangerous thing I've seen.
-Confined space entry without an attendant. Yea that was stttuuupid. And of course this is the time it catches on fire. Luckily were able to escape.
-Hey lets dump sour water into an open drain = slowly forming cloud of poison gas.
-Online unplugging: In one case this guy waits for the bottom of a vessel to plug. He has a drain the same diameter as the vessel discharge pipe. SO when it plug he blocks off the discharge valves, opens the drain, and eventually the pressure builds up and a hunk of solids flies out from a 300 psi source.... followed by a corrosive solvent which they'll quickly block but not before getting it all over their boots
I was in the receiving end of an ice plug that blocked a vent valve while we were pressure testing some pipe. It released with enough force to tear apart the metal pail we had hanging on the valve to catch what should have been a couple cups of fluid. I got showered head to toe with methanol. Ended up totally fine.
4. Importance Of Grounding
A 19 yo employee was cleaning out a silo with a vac-truck and got fatally electrocuted. There was enough static generated from the friction between the air and the wall of a 100ft hose to stop his heart. All because the other operator said he didn't need to ground the hose because he'd "done this a hundred times"
Another time for a hydroelectric power plant, some guy had literally gotten cooked with a ton of voltage when someone forgot to lockout/tagout something. My friend said will never forget the smell of burning flesh.
Not an OSHA employee, truck driver instead. I don't see a lot of big rigs violating the safety laws since we get in huge trouble if we do, but I see stuff on dualie pickups and box trucks all of the time.
Last week, I saw a pickup with mattresses stacked almost as high as my trailer (~13'6") It reminded me of this one time when I saw the front end of a Mustang completely smashed in from a mattress that had fallen on it, on the freeway.
It's terrifying how some people load their pickup trucks. I once saw an uncut 4'x8' sheet of heavy (like 3/4") plywood fly out of the back of a truck on the Dumbarton Bridge going over the San Francisco Bay. The guy was going 70mph, and I had to swerve big time to avoid getting hit, nearly going over the side. I see loose steel pipes all the time too, reminds of the opening scene from The Descent...
3. Crushing News
Owens Corning had a company wide stand-down that affected all their plants. The issue? Someone had disabled an interlock that prevented the door to a caged in area for an automated robotic portion of the production system. A worker was crushed. Cleaning agents were stowed in the area and it seemed to have been used as stowage for a long time.
I was part of an engineering team that was modernizing the system at the time this occurred about 15 years ago. Same company also had a tornado response of going outside in the even of a tornado warning. The muster area was also where millions of squares of shingles were stowed. There was perfectly adequate "building inside a building" called the restrooms and showers.
Yeah, that pace was unreal.
2. Employee Revenge
My first job was for a large grocery chain and the store's huge walk-in freezer wouldn't defrost. It was covered in sheets of ice and wasn't getting fixed. When I ate sh!T hard in there one day, twisting my arm and smacking my face, I marched my overly confident teen self over to the store manager and told him, as if he didn't already know, that the freezer floor was covered in ice and that I had fallen and hurt myself. He replied, verbatim, "Yeah! Haha! It's like an ice skating rink in there!" And then he walked away.
Which it was. Which was dangerous. So I filed a complaint with OSHA and investigators showed up THE VERY NEXT DAY. The store had to finally fix the freezer and no one else got hurt in there.
1. Mai Eyez
I worked for the USAF, and I usually made people run safety equipment, like eye washes, rather than relying on the inspection cards not being pencil whipped....
One time (in Texas), they hit the foot handle for an eye wash and water trickled out then a swarm of fire ants came out with the water. I couldn't even get angry and their pencil whipping the inspection card because all I could think of was some poor bastard getting degreaser in his eyes and running to the eyewash.... to get his face full of fire ants. It was literally the scene from a cartoon waiting to happen.
Have you ever found yourself in an argument so stupid and/or pointless that you were sure you were being punked? Like you keep looking away from the other person to check your surroundings for places Ashton Kutcher and a camera crew could come popping out of?
You're not the only one.
u/Anti-hollowkid asked: What is the dumbest argument you've ever been in?Brace yourselves, folks. Some of these arguments are breathtakingly bonkers. The sheer number of people who are willing to argue with someone over provable facts and what that other person likes or doesn't like is just ... stunning. It's stunning, you guys. Just not in a good way.
I Know What I LikeGiphy
My wife and I once argued over whether or not I liked mustard on my hot dog. I was for me liking mustard, she was against me liking mustard.
The argument lasted way longer that you could ever imagine it would.
A Stair Step
My brother and I argued if our staircase had 13 or 14 steps, based on an argument about if the floor of the second floor counts as a stair-step or not. We still have no solution.
My dad is a stairbuilder and I spent many summers working at his warehouse, so I can clear this up. 14.
My husband and I have this thing where we only say "I love you" on Saturdays. Every other day it's "I love you, but only on Saturdays." I don't know how it started, but it's been going for 11 years now.
We're both shiftworkers, so sometimes we have to stop and think what day it actually is. We had an argument recently over whether it was Saturday or not. I said it was Saturday, he said it was Friday. It was Monday.
I remember when I was about 13 my parents had an hour-long shouting match that ended with them almost getting divorced. The issue? Whether or not the nation of Iraq has a coastline.
My mother arguing that Iraq had a coastline, while my stepdad argued that it did not. This was back in 2004, and they are still quite happily married to this day. That incident is something they look back on and laugh about, and both of them admit it was really a pretty stupid thing to argue over.
With an ex:
"I owe you $80 for the bills of ours that you pay, and you owe me $40 for the bills of ours that I paid. Here's $40 in cash; we're even."
She did not understand this.
I literally had to go get another $40 out of the ATM, and hand the $80 to her. Then I had her hand me the $40 she owed me.
"Now how much do you have in your hand?"
She still didn't understand.
She somehow has a college degree.
When we were kids my brother and I got in a physical fight because he said I like mini wheats and I insisted I didn't. His argument was that I always sang the mini wheats song and I was deeply offended that he wasn't aware that it was just stuck in my head but I hated the cereal. I actually did like the cereal I'm not sure why I was arguing with him about it but I remember how genuinely angry I was.
I'll tell you about the only legal trouble I've ever been in, the fight that got me arrested. It started over whether we should return a box of crayons or not, and to this day I don't have any idea how it escalated to the point of the cops being called, but they were and I was the one taken in.
My boyfriend insisted that when two people are in an argument and one makes a point so reasonable and logical the other one can't disagree with it - it's unfair. I tried, logically and reasonably, to explain several times why that is just winning the argument, proving your point thoroughly and is completely fair.
His answer was that I was being unfair.
How the ch in masochism is pronounced. My friend caught me saying "masoKism" while he would say "masoSYism."
To be fair, he grew up speaking French, in which the ch in masochism is pronounced in "his" way. But he insisted that I was the wrong one here and that was just infuriating.
A woman was adamant that looking at the big solar eclipse on the television was unsafe unless you were wearing glasses. She wouldn't believe us and insisted on emailing NASA to check.
A Non-Standard Ruler?
I worked for a company that made signs. We had a customer ask for signs that were 7mm wide that were to go on a door. Our sign makers figured the order meant inches because 7mm is pretty small, so made them 7 inches. I got a phone call from the customer who went mad at me for making them the wrong size. So I put a reorder through for 7 mm.
Argued with the sign makers over it but they eventually agreed to do it after I shown them the order in writing. I even had the customer put her complaint in writing, reiterating the size they wanted.
7mm signs went out and a day later I get the customer on the phone literally screaming at me.
Cue the dumb argument - we ended up having an argument over how big a millimetre is, and obviously everyone in the office were laughing, but this customer just wouldn't accept it and said we must be using a non-standard ruler to measure.
Ended up being escalating to the sales department manager who refused to issue a refund. We still don't know what they actually meant.
This Unusual Vegan Argument
Was in a pub with a few friends, and some random Dude dropped an ear, and somehow figured I'm vegan. Well, people like him are the reason I usually avoid mentioning it. He came up to me and insisted on starting a discussion about veganism. He claimed that by the end of it, I would be eating meat again.
He listed some stupid arguments, I told him I was not convinced and then tried to keep on drinking beer with my friends. He followed me, and wanted me to "try to convert him to a vegan." I stupidly listed some of my reasons thinking it would make him go away. He told me he still was not convinced, so I was like whatever. Again, I really just wanted to drink beer with my friends.
That dude followed me all night and expected me to try make him vegan. Doesn't matter what I said, and all the reasons that for me are obviously good enough to be vegan. He'd be just like "No, that doesn't convince me, therefore your argument and how you life is stupid."
Didn't matter how often I told him that I honestly don't care; 5 minutes later he would come up to me again "I'm still not vegan, so veganism is stupid, all your arguments were stupid, now give me a good reason to become vegan!" At one point, I was literally yelling at him that I don't give a single flying f about what he eats and why, that it's in no way my responsibility to "turn somebody vegan" and in no way his business what I eat.
Honestly, for that dude, I would have bought a whole ham, just to shove it up his stupid annoying face.
In college my roommate and I argued about a line in Monty Python & the Holy Grail. The scene with the Black Knight where the line "Alright, we'll call it a draw" is uttered. We argued about who said that line, whether it was King Arthur or the Black Knight.
It went on for hours longer than it should have because I was stubborn and refused to admit I was wrong.
Albert or ArnoldGiphy
Whether Albert Einstein or Arnold Schwarzenegger would be more useful to have around during a Zombie apocalypse. How on earth would Albert Einstein come in handy!?
Below Sea Level
I live on an island and when you go upland and you look out the sea looks like it's higher than or on the same level as the land. It's just a weird perspective thing because of the horizon. One day some kid says that it's because the island is under sea level.
I'm like wtf bro all of us would be with the fishes. He argues that no that's not true and if I just go upland I'll see. We then spend a good 5 minutes of my time arguing about it until I decided to leave this kid in his stupidity. He even said we shouldn't believe everything adults tell us and sometimes we need to think for ourselves.
This kid was older than me and was going to a good school. Lost my respect for him ever since then.
Someone tried to fight with me over how to spell my name.
Now, my name is in a lot of languages with slightly different spellings. I would have accepted any of those spellings, but this one was just... Not even close. It didn't make any logical sense.
An analogous example is if my name was Thomas and someone was insisting it was spelled Tomash. And not just the name Thomas in general, but that me specifically, on my birth certificate, was named Tomash. I know how to spell my own name.
I swear to god, it went on for like an hour.
Whales Are Mammals
I was in an online chat room one day, and we were talking about whales. I commented on how whales are mammals and the next thing you know, someone was arguing with me and trying to convince me that a whale was a fish.
Stupid microwaves. Having a man child talk down to me about how microwaves work only for him to google it and prove me right. He slept on the sofa that night.
My friend keeps telling me that the norm is that a person should shower once a week. This has been going on for years. I'm almost convinced he's trolling me.
No Balloons For Grandma
My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky.
He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space. Releasing balloons is terrible for the environment and kills/harms so much wildlife.
He got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.
Spontaneous Dolphin ExistenceGiphy
How dolphins reproduced. It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence. The argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures.
Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day.
I repeatedly had the argument with a friend over whether roosters were chickens. She was convinced that only the females were chickens (hens). We were 18 at the time.
Me and my friend were drinking underage, we ended up in an argument of whether lightning McQueen's eyes were blue or green. Somehow throughout the whole thing both of us never thought to straight up google a picture.
But ... Ice Floats
Woman wanted ice on the bottom of her drink.
Now read that sentence again and try to imagine arguing with that particular brand of stupid.
Time Zones Exist
Coworker claimed that it was the same time of day and the same season on the whole globe. Had to get 4 coworkers to confirm to him that time zones do in fact exist.
My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.
"Hey could you hand me that red _____?"
"no, it's red"
"YOU CANT EVEN KNOW"
It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.
I'm late, but I saw this question and instantly remembered that I was booted from a Facebook group because I called someone out on a lie that was not only bull, but extremely pointless. She was friends with the moderator and they made the case that my argument over such a little lie was more of a problem than the lie itself (though they didn't refer to it as a lie.)
The woman said that she used to babysit for Andre 3000 and that his name was Andre 2000 - but he changed it after the year 2000 had passed. This was so easily disproven it was ridiculous. Their debut album came out in 1994 and he was already going by Andre 3000 at that time.
The argument wasn't a huge long drawn out thing, but the fact that either of us were on Facebook at separate times meant that the responses were over a long period of time so this argument lasted a few days.
It was stupid.
Stars Like Our Sun
I was arguing with my grandpa about stars he didn't believe that there are other stars like our sun. Basically he thought there is only the sun, the moon and the earth.
I have a degree in history. I mostly focused on nationalism. Wrote a 50 page paper on it and Richard Nixon with around 50 100 sources. Looked at micro film for hours on end. Part of the paper focused on how Nixon being chair of the house committee of Unamerican Activities was used as a powerful weapon to use against political enemies. It also inspired Joe McCarthy. Have had people tell me I was wrong and Nixon was never elected to a position besides the president and Joe McCarthy came before Nixon. I stopped trying to talk history to people.
I also know quite a bit about the history of the Balkans its amazing how many Serbs refuse to believe Tito did anything wrong.
Wrote 100 page paper on nationalism in Israel. Its frustrating to talk about because for some reason a lot of people think Palestinian firing rockets randomly into Israel is ok but if Israel retaliates the people get up in arms over a targeted air strike that kills 3 people.
Balloon to Heaven
My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky. He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space.
And he got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.
I got into an argument with a co-worker over how we were attaching two pages of a letter together: small binder clips or paper clips.
He felt that paper clips would leave a "dent" in the paper when removed, but binder clips won't. He refused to staple them together. I felt that binder clips would also leave a "dent", so we might as well just use the paper clips.
It ended with him saying: "Do what you want [me], I don't care!" and storming off.
Once got accused of faking being Jewish. Why? I have no clue. We argued over the course of a month, any time I'd bring it up and she heard about it, she'd begin going after me for "faking it".
My mother's side is ethnically Jewish. Grandparents were practicing.
3 friends and I once got into an argument about how to pronounce Nutella. It lasted for about 3-4 months. It was hilarious how serious we took it, it'd get heated but never for real serious.
I think someone even called the company that made it to check, or that may have been for the Cheetos company. We were really bored in high school.
Late to the party, but there it is.
I'm a manager at a small store. We're only 4 working there, so my team and I grew very close and we joke around a lot. Once during a slow shift, my employee and I had an argument because we were looking at the lingerie boxes, and I thought that two specific boxes had the same woman on it, but she was 100% positive they weren't the same person.
Looking back, I don't know why it was such a big deal to us at the time, but we even called another employee who lives across the street to come and tell us what the heck was up with that. Turns out I was right, and she was pretty salty about it. It was a great night.
Wicked Witch of the West
I almost got into an argument with an old girlfriend over Glinda the good witch from Oz. She insisted that Glinda was manipulating Dorothy to assassinate the Wicked Witch of the West and convince the Wizard to leave to create a political void she could fill.
I conceded the issue when I heard the whole premise because I thought it was too damn stupid to get worked up over.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Just the other day I legit got in an argument with my co-workers on why I don't like my butt being grabbed by anyone (I'm a guy). Seriously.
They went on about "I don't mind it. Mike and I do it all the time and we don't care." Yeah, that's nice dude, but I'm not you, and there's something called "Keep your hands to yourself" (which was taught to a good portion of us growing up). Just like how Karen wouldn't like it if I touched her boobs or her grabbing your crotch or frankly ANY area you wouldn't like being grabbed, keep away. In general, you should not be touching me in any areas after I've told you not to several times before.
So unless you're sleeping me or dating me, keep your damn hands off my toosh.
My best friend and I argued over whether or not telekinesis was possible. Her argument was that humans don't yet know what the human brain at 100% usage was capable of, and that telekinesis was inside the possibilities.
I said the brain does use 100%, just at different times.
We didn't speak to each other for four days.
How dolphins reproduced and whether or not ghost existed (back to back with the same person). It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence (the argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures).
How it shifted to the existence of ghosts is a solid and reasonable question to ask (I don't remember why). I had to then proceed to tell her that ghost hunting TV shows do not constitute as undeniable evidence.
Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day. This was in high school SO... hopefully she was kidding.
Dogs and ChocolateGiphy
I told this stupid woman that chocolate is toxic to dogs. She went on to tell me how a little bit will just make them hyper and then they will calm down. I told her to google it. Her and her bf shut right up. Now they have a kid. Good luck, Jeremy and Andrea. morons.
I should also add that this argument started because Jeremy was giving his tiny dog chocolate and I told him it was toxic.
Is water wet?
My roommate and I have a recurring argument over whether or not water is wet l, and whether or not a person is considered wet underwater.
For the record, it is no to both questions.
A kid a church telling me about the mission trip I went on. Not only was I not on that trip, but I had never been on any mission trip. We were good friends, so it's not like he would've mistaken someone else for me.
He insisted I was there as if an entire week long trip would just fall out of my memory. He even had stories of things we'd done together. I'm not sure if he thought I was lying, joking, stupid, or crazy, but I was pretty sure he was some combination thereof.
One time I got into a shouting match with my mom and little brother in the car. The issue? The names of the two-headed dragon from the PBS kids afternoon show Dragon Tales. I swore it was Zack and Macie.
It was actually Zak and Wheezie. I don't even remember why we were yelling about it.
Green Or Yellow?
When I was about 15 or so my mother and I spent about 20-30 minutes arguing about the color of a shirt. We agreed it was blue/green, but to me it was just a shade more blue, while to her it was just a bit more green.
Turns out, your eyeballs yellow as you age and hers were 24 years yellower than mine, so I think that skewed her color vision.
Stars In Their MultitudeGiphy
I once got in an argument over whether or not a line from the song "Stars" in Les Mis says "...but mine is the way of the lord" or "mine is the way of the law".
I didn't even really care what he thought but he was so adamant and cocky that it got me heated. By the end of it we were shouting at each other and I had to apologize, which I think is what he wanted the whole time.
My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.
"Hey could you hand me that red _____?" "that's orange" "no, it's red" "orange" "YOU CANT EVEN KNOW".
It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.
About five years ago, my girlfriend (now wife) once had a very intense argument about whether or not hot water cleaned things better than cold water.
She genuinely believed that water temperature didn't matter. This is someone who has not one, but two masters degrees.
We argued for something like 2 hours, and we seriously almost broke up over the whole thing.
I had an argument with a girl IN THE MIDDLE OF A BIOLOGY CLASS in high school about how humans are not mammals. She thought a human was a human and we are not mammals because "mammals are animals and humans are not animals"
I tried explaining to her the difference between reptiles and mammals and how humans fall under the mammal category to try and educate her... but she just wouldn't listen.
I still have no idea why the BIOLOGY teacher did not get involved...
Solid Or Liquid?
Some classmates and I got into a heated debate as to whether or not the human body could count as a soup, salad, or sandwich. The teacher got mad at us, but hey! All we were doing was watching a movie.
For the record, my logic lays with soup- Liquid contained within a solid, at a hot temperature.