"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe".―(possibly) Albert Einstein.
Work doesn’t always have to suck, though it often can. Depending on the perspective, however, a dumb co-worker can either make work even worse or make it bearable and even entertaining. And while dumb co-workers can really test one’s patience, try not to let them get under the skin and instead get a good laugh when they prove their idiot chops. That's what these Redditors did, and now they're here to share their brilliant stories about their dumbest co-workers.
1. All Out of Spite
I worked very briefly with a woman who proved herself to be both an idiot and a jerk. Her grandmother passed on and she and her relatives discovered that the man she'd known as her step-grandfather had never really been married to her grandmother. She bragged about the family throwing him out of the only home he'd known for three decades because, "If he wasn't good enough for my grandma to marry, he's not good enough for us". He was an elderly man who lived as the grandmother's husband and had everything taken from him out of pettiness and spite.
It showed me how stupid she was, and I was right. She was fired a week later.
2. Taking Things Seriously
My brother and I used to work in a bar with this bloke who wasn't the finest vintage on the shelf.
One night, this bloke and my brother were washing glasses and stacking them away. He asked my brother where a particular type of glass got stacked. My brother jokingly said "Oh, whenever I don't know where to put a glass, I just smash it". Without hesitation, old mate smashed the glass he was holding on the edge of the nearest table.
I loved working with that bloke.
3. Dumb Boss
One story is the time when she was trying and trying to save data to a thumb drive and eventually asked me to try on my computer because hers wasn't recognizing it as a storage device. She gave me the device.
It was an external battery pack.
This is only one of so many stupid things she's done. It wouldn't be so bad if she acknowledged her stupidity or missteps sometimes, but she is too stupid to even realize that her problems are because of her own mistakes.
4. Pushing the Limit
I have a coworker, she likes to test her luck.
2 weeks ago: "I’m not pregnant!" Why would that be an issue? "I’ve never used protection!" What about the pill? "I don’t take anything!"
Last week: "I was out of town. Went to a party with a bunch of people I didn’t know. I left. I was driving, sloshed and stoned, found a dude I didn’t know passed out in my backseat. Cop pulled me over. I somehow didn’t get a ticket".
This week: "I don’t know how I’m gonna get home.".. where’s your car? "I let so-and-so borrow it, but he’s not answering his phone, which means it’s dead. It’s only dead when he’s stoned, so that means he’s at so-and-so’s house. He has multiple warrants out for his arrest. But he’s cool".
Also this week: facetiming while at work "Bro, your boss FaceTimed me. Why? I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you. Talk louder. I’m at work. Why are you FaceTiming me? I don’t like you. Don’t call me again". You know you can block their number, right? "I don’t want to". Why not? "Because I hate him". What....?
5. Puppy Scam
A new guy at work is the dumbest person I know. Everyone takes advantage of him in his personal life, he has no money and whatever he does have, his mother/girlfriend (not exclusive, she sees other guys) take.
He walks into work last week, I just bought a new puppy! Oh cool. What did you get? XXX (can't remember). It's from over the border but I had to pay a guy in Zimbabwe via WU and they will mail it in 2 weeks.
I couldn't stop laughing and had to explain he got scammed and how it's not a good idea to send money to other continents and that you can't buy a dog for 50 euro and that you can't just import pets from outside the EU (where I live).
6. Australia, America; Tomato, Tomahto
A woman I work with thought that Australia and America were the same place, and that they were just essentially different names for the same country. She also automatically assumed my Australian boyfriend was black. She recently called me to help out with her till, as she was given £5.20 (a £5 note 20p coin) for a £4.20 charge and didn’t know what to do. She’s in her 30s and I don’t know how she’s made it this far, but bless her she means well.
7. Communication Issues
I used to work with a girl at the bank, and she told me she wouldn't date anyone without an iPhone because they couldn't communicate.
She's now a nurse.
8. Roy’s Guide to Life
I worked with a man named Roy. Roy had theories about how to live life. Royconomics.
One day, he turned to me and the other member of the crew. "You boys wanna know how you get nice things?" he asked. "You go to the store, and you finance everything. New furniture, new appliances, televisions, stereos, everything. Then, you don't make any payments, and you don't show up for your court date. They'll end up garnishing your wages, but they take way less than the payments would have been!"
Then, about a week later, "You boys wanna know how you buy a house? You apply for every credit card you can possibly get, you take out your entire balance in cash from all of them, and you use that for your down payment. Then, you don't make any payments, and you don't show up for your court date..".
9. Black Magic Moon
The foreman of a paint crew I once worked with had absolutely no concept of how the whole sun/earth/moon thing works. He would freak out when I was able to tell what time of day it was by looking at the sun, or when the moon would rise based on the time it rose the day before. It was all black magic to him.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Stories that matter — delivered straight to your inbox.
10. Tales From the Monkey Lab
I worked at a monkey lab with a guy who refused to wear seatbelts. He said, "I've been in three accidents and every time the only place I'm hurt is from the seat belt".
I also worked with another guy at the monkey lab who worked the graveyard shift. He'd take the work truck, drive 80 miles to pick up a hooker, drive the hooker to his trailer, do the deed, then drive the hooker back. He'd get sloshed at some point during this. I'm not sure when, but in the mornings he'd sometimes smell like booze and the truck would be on empty.
And for the "alleged" story. There are the two guys who abducted a monkey and realized they had no way of fencing said monkey. They said it crawled down a drain and the monkey lab stuck with that because they had no proof they took the monkey. I'm guessing it was buried in a nearby ditch or field.
11. Who Wants to Hear Animals Making Noise?
Back in my younger and crankier days I worked with a young woman who was hands down the dumbest person I've ever met.
Her highlights include:
- Winning a basket auction that included a copy of The Beach Boys classic album Pet Sounds and complains because she "didn't want to hear a lot of mooing".
- On a day she was driving me up a wall I convinced her to wait to open her bottle of Coke because the bottle said there was a winner every five minutes. She was disappointed she didn't win after waiting exactly five minutes. I, however, enjoyed her sulky silence for the rest of the day.
- The best/worst one involved her chatting with a manager who was African American (she's white). They were discussing their shared slightly uncommon name and then realized their families both came from South Carolina. She thought for a few minutes and then excitedly exclaimed, "I bet my family owned yours!" She was so proud of herself for figuring out that historic connection. The manager didn't say a word and just walked away.
12. The Danger of Windmills
Coworker was anti-windmills. When I asked why, she said, "there are way too many popping up and we’re going to use up all of the wind".
I was speechless. I’m never speechless.
13. The Moon Is for the Night
Old coworker of mine. He was helping me move and while we were carrying a couch he dropped it. Thinking he was hurt, I asked if he was OK, and with the most serious and frightening look in his eyes he said, pointing: "Look, it’s the moon and it’s daytime". He was 25 at the time.
14. Surgery vs. Genetics
I had a manager named Roxanne (Rocky). She was a bleach blonde (literally bleached her hair once a month and then wondered why it broke/fell out) bubblehead who only had the job because daddy owned the restaurant.
Rocky was really obsessed with her looks and not much else. One day she told me and a co-worker that she had her nose job done so that her eventual children wouldn't grow up with the same nose as her. She wasn't kidding. The co-worker and I just looked at each other and walked away. We knew it wasn't worth the effort.
15. Bad Credit
Guy I worked with named Buddy bought a huge Snap-On roll-away tool box for over $3,000, on credit. Two days later, he sold it to a coworker for $1,500 because he had some overdue bills and had to pay them.
Needless to say, he never paid Snap-On for the toolbox, and he was off into the winds after he was fired for starting his fourth fist-fight at work. One of the other guys I worked with told the Snap-On salesman where Buddy's new job was, and last we heard they are now garnishing his wages.
Guy was a nutcase though. He had very thin skin and the slightest thing would set him off. He'd go absolutely nuts when he was set off. He yelled at the security guard and threatened to have him fired because he didn't like his tone. He almost got fired three times for fighting, but he was able to win the department manager over until the fourth time. Oh, and one time he was told to put Caution Tape across a malfunctioning gate and he said "I don't know how".
16. Raw Eggs Are the Key to Immortality
Work with a guy who honestly believes he will not die. Also believes that doctors are "part of the system" and that they lie to you for profit and personal gain. He does believe in Eastern traditional medicine, however. And if you're interested to know his secret to eternal life, it's six raw eggs a day and a keto diet.
17. Geography Master
I worked on a hay press for about a month. Most guys had a high school education. One particular guy was telling me about a girl he was talking to on Tinder (or some various dating/chat app) when he said that she was in New York and that he wanted to go visit her. I told him that that’s pretty cool and New York will be quite the change from our little town. He then asked me how close New York was...we were in Washington State...he had no idea New York was over 2,000 miles away.
18. At Least Jim Follows Directions
Guy in my aircraft technician class. I'll call him Jim. The module at the time was about electrical power. We were having a review one Friday before the exam started. Earlier that week we had covered the batteries used on the aircraft, what types, how they were constructed, etc. Trainer turns to Jim and asks him about the different types, expecting him to say "lead-acid, lithium-ion" and so on. Nope. Jim thinks for a moment and says "AA, AAA, C...".
When we got to the hangar for work experience, the same trainer had lost all faith in Jim. We were all assigned jobs in the morning. Me and another guy on wings, couple more on landing gear, all down through the group. Then he gets to Jim. Placed an A4 sheet of paper on the ground and told Jim to stand on it so it didn't fly away. We all laughed, Jim included. The trainer was joking, right?
He wasn't joking. Jim stood there all day.
19. Depression Years
She ashamedly told us, her coworkers, how she dry humped her boyfriend and thought she was pregnant.
They were wearing clothes.
She wasn’t pregnant.
She also thought the Great Depression was in the '60s, along with the end of WWII.
In the '60s.
She’s a nurse now.
20. Capital Numbers
The dumbest person I ever met was my friend's uncle Franky. Growing up, my buddy and I worked in his father's insurance office during the summers. One day Uncle Franky comes in to use a computer so he could compose an email. It was the first time; this was in 2009. As he was trying to add the @ symbol in the recipient's name, he asked where he could find it. I told him to hold down the shift button and press the number 2 key at the same time. He turned his head, and with a puzzled look his in eyes he asked me, "Wouldn't that be a capital 2?"
21. How to Get Fired
An old co-worker named James. We worked at McDonald's and were both 16. One time, while mopping the lobby, he for some unknown reason decided to chase a number of customers around with the mop yelling "I'm gonna getcha". He was fired on the spot.
22. Delicious Cheesecake
Once, at a company party, he grabbed a wedge of Brie cheese and took a bite out of it. I later asked and pointed it out to him and he said, "This cheesecake tastes really weird".
23. The Price of Gas
My mom's coworker claims she doesn't care about the price of gas. She says, "It doesn't matter how much it costs because no matter what I only put in 20 bucks".
24. Believing the Internet
So, there's this woman who works with me. Eva. She's the stupidest person I've ever met. One day I overheard her saying that the oldest man alive is 600 years old, and when confronted she said in a very defensive yell-y way "I SAW IT ON THE INTERNET! THEY HAD PICTURES!!!" Then she got really angry because people wouldn't believe her.
25. Wrong Guy for the Job
When I was in the Navy, there was a cook on my ship. He once served "rare" chicken. I genuinely couldn't tell whether he was trying to cover up his limitless incompetence or if he genuinely believed that rare poultry is a real thing. Another time, he just filled a pan with ground beef and called it meat loaf.
Another time he was supposed to make sugar cookies, you know, several hundred of them for the whole crew. He didn't bother to read the label on the container he opened, and apparently he didn't taste the batter at any point, and he actually made salt cookies. He used up all the remaining salt in the pantry and we had unseasoned food for the remaining several weeks of the mission, during which time the captain assigned someone to be the cook's bodyguard.
26. Too Inept to Break It
I worked with a guy for a while at a maintenance job. Well, we did snow removal. One morning, I come in a bit late and get regaled with the story of true, unadulterated idiocy.
This guy got a riding lawnmower with a John Deere snow brush attached to the front (think how a vacuum works) to remove the snow in a parking lot. He decided that it would be better if the snow blew backward (toward himself) rather than away from himself for whatever reason, and asked our boss about it.
Now our boss hates this guy, and he basically told him to just get the snow moved and be done with it. So what does this guy do?
He called John Deere and talked to them for AN HOUR. They told him that yes, you technically CAN reverse the brush, but it will mess everything up if you run it like that for any real amount of time. He proceeded to tell John Deere that they were wrong, and tried to do it anyway. The only reason he didn’t ruin the brush was because he was inept, and our boss basically told him that if he broke it, he was fired.
27. Faxing Paper
I worked with a girl who was entitled, and dumb, so we used to mess with her.
Once I told her we were out of paper and asked her to call up Office Max and have them fax us over 100 blank sheets, and charge it to our account.
Then we watched as she tried for a few minutes to convince the worker to fax us paper. Pretty sure she thinks the only reason it didn't work is because the guy wouldn't charge it to our account.
28. Directionally Challenged
We shall call him Chad. Chad was a guy I worked with years ago and he was terrible with directions. He had no idea where he was, or where he was going and was terrible at identifying landmarks. So we are working less than 5 minutes from our store on this particular day in a small residential area about a mile and a half down the road. Including the turn out of the driveway, you have to make 3 turns, all right-hand turns, and cross one intersection, and you'll be at our store.
A short time into what is an all-day job we realize we have some equipment at the store that would help us out tremendously. I ask Chad to go get it. He doesn't know the way. I explain it to him. He stares at me. It's 3 right-hand turns, Chad, I think you can do it. Chad wants a map. Fine. I draw a map. Chad leaves. 25 minutes go by. Chad should have been back by now. I call the store and I'm told that Chad left 10 minutes ago. As I am on the phone I hear the truck coming and he drives right by the house.
Well, darn. Poor Chad forgot what house we were at. No big deal, the road is a giant circle and he will come around again in a moment. So I walk up the driveway and sure enough, here he comes again. I wave, and he pulls in the driveway. As he gets out I laugh and say, "Haha, aww man, you forgot what house we were at?"
Chad deadpans, "Naw man, ya moved the truck".
...Chad was looking for the company truck in the driveway. The very same truck he was driving.
29. Sucking out the Vaccination
This French-Italian guy I used to work with. I could seriously write a book about how ignorant, idiotic, and illogical this man was, but this story sums it up pretty well:
He's against vaccinations because he thinks everything in the world is a government conspiracy and he's also a nature freak who believes in homeopathy. He believes clay has a lot of almost supernatural healing qualities. When he lived in Denmark, he and his wife couldn't enroll their son in kindergarten unless he had some basic vaccinations because that's the law.
So they went to get the boy vaccinated, but as soon as he's gotten the shot and they've walked out of the doctor's office, he took the bandage off and slapped a lump of clay on the boy's arm right where he got the shot. This, he believed, would suck the liquid that was in the syringe out of the boy's veins and get absorbed into the clay to be disposed of safely. So, in his mind he had basically "un-vaccinated" the boy and the silly reptilian surgeon general had no idea! Haha, in your face NWO!
It's kind of a happy ending though, stupidity saved the day and the boy now has the vaccinations he should despite his insane father.
30. Coca-Cola Premonitions
I used to work with a kid at a movie theater. He claimed he could see the future and said he had a premonition that we would bring back the old Coke machines. The old Coke machines don't even work anymore because they were scrapped for parts.
He loved to cosplay and was blown away by the amount of cosplayers he saw when Justice League came out. We had maybe six customers that were dressed up. He thought he started a trend.
He showed up to work on his first day of orientation and training at 10 pm. He was scheduled for 5 pm. He lived on the other side of town and walked. When asked why he didn't leave earlier if he was walking, his reply was, "I didn't think of that".
That same week he took a 15-minute break and vanished for 2 hours. When my coworker found him, he said the line at Subway was really long.
He said the first Jumanji movie was supposed to be about a video game but video games weren't invented yet so they scrapped the idea.
He probably thought the world didn't exist until he was born.
31. Dinosaur Conspiracy
A kid I worked with, Freddy the Man Child, actually believed that dinosaur fossils were fakes planted by atheists to test the Christians' faith.
32. A Future Accountant
I worked with a woman who became a dear friend. While I adore her, she's... not the brightest.
She didn't believe me when I told her that Native Americans lived on the East Coast of the US and still do. She insisted that they only lived in "Oklahoma...or the Southwest...or the Northwest, whatever".
She once wondered (out loud) if we could see Earth in the sky...from Earth.
I mentioned that I have a friend who's an archaeologist and the friend had worked in Greece. My coworker said, "What's there to dig up in Greece, anyways?"
I had to explain basic cardinal directions to her. Basic geography in general.
This woman is now working on her MBA and wants to become an accountant. I'm scared.
33. Pickles From the Ocean
I used to manage a restaurant and there was this girl Emily who was legendarily dumb. I have a thousand stories about her but my fave involves Subway. So one day Emily comes into my office complaining of a hangover whilst toting a sub from Subway and going on about how it was the only cure for a hangover, etc.
Anyway, I ask her what kind of sub she got, to which she replies, "Pickle, cucumber and mayo". I say, "So you spent $10 on a cucumber and mayonnaise sandwich?" And she says "No! It has pickles on it too!" I then say that, "Pickles are just vinegar-soaked cucumbers, so it's basically just a cucumber and mayo sandwich".
Her mouth drops. "No way!?" She exclaims. I then had to explain to her the basics of pickling. When I asked her where she thought pickles came from, she replied "The ocean?" I miss that girl.
34. Gotta Choose One
Someone at my work once sold their TV so they could buy a VCR.
35. Taking Care of the Fire
This is actually my SO's story but it always makes me laugh. My SO used to work as a squad leader in the army. In his country, they have a 3-month introduction education for the new people. One time, my SO had the task of leading them on a two-day field trip in the middle of the forest. Mind you, it's February and 5 degrees Fahrenheit at night, at least. So, during the night they set up a guard schedule because someone needs to take care of the fire. At around 4 am, my SO wakes up because he is freezing cold. He walks up to find a new recruit sitting by a cold fireplace".
Hey recruit, what happened to the fire?"
"It's okay sir, I took care of it. Nothing is on fire".
36. Moving Through Time
I worked with a developer who couldn't work out why the result of subtracting a fixed date from today's date increased by 1 each day. I literally had to tell him that it increases by 1 because we're moving forward through time…
37. Not Knowing Left From Right
Used to carpool with a coworker. I ask her where to turn and she said, "That way". I ask her left and right, and she had zero clue. We were 16 and she doesn't know her left from her right.
38. Halving the Sandwich
Back when I worked as a server, our restaurant hired a new cook. He was a lovely guy but darn was he stupid, at least when it came to cooking. He was still learning the menu, so some mistakes were understandable, but for some reason when a customer ordered a half sandwich, instead of making a sandwich with two half pieces of bread, he made a full sandwich and just took off one slice of bread and served it.
39. Manipulation Backfire
This girl I used to work with before she got fired. One day she came to work with a broken arm and claimed her boyfriend pushed her during a fight and she fell. We all were super concerned for her until she came in a week later saying she stabbed her boyfriend in the hand during a fight to get back at him for breaking her arm.
Then a few weeks later she told everyone she was secretly trying to get pregnant because if she got pregnant her unemployed boyfriend would have to get a job and help pay rent. She got pregnant and her boyfriend immediately dumped her.
40. Staring Down a Gun
I can sum it up very easily: We were at the shooting range, his gun jammed, he looked down the barrel to see what was wrong.
41. Stretching the Earth
I had a boss named Tammy. One night, we were all working late doing stocktake, and we were discussing the impending lunar eclipse. Someone asked what happens during an eclipse. Tammy grandly explained that the eclipse would occur when America went in front of the moon, blocking our (Australia’s) view of it. Like she literally thought the earth stretched itself into like a U bend or neck pillow shape, and half of it stayed in our normal orbit, and the other half stretched itself over and around to casually block the moon for the rest of the earth.
42. Cupcake Disaster
I used to intern at a TV station. It was really small and sometimes if too many interns were booked for a show there would be a few with nothing more to do than be an extra set of hands. When this happened, this job was often assigned to a particular intern named M, who was notorious for not caring and for being rather oblivious. Basically, the wheel was spinning, but the hamster was dead. I have never in my life met anyone as stupid as M. I honestly could not tell if she was faking it for attention or if it was genuine. M was also a rather "thick" girl and was constantly snacking, taking extra long lunch breaks, etc.
One day, we were overbooked for interns and once again, M got the duty "help the guests on/off the show, stand there, and shut up". This segment had a baker. Most of our cooking guests would prep their meals on the kitchen set while the rest of the show was being filmed. The baker finished her prep early, leaving a gorgeous set of cupcakes on the counter of the set, placing them perfectly for the camera.
We take a few minutes to let our floor cameras set up for the next segment, and all of us in the control room relax and chit chat. We are interrupted with about five minutes to go by the director poking her head in. She notifies us, in disgust and bewilderment, that M was eating the cupcakes. The only cupcakes the baker had. The cupcakes that were set up PERFECTLY for the shot.
With 5 minutes until filming. I remember turning to look at my shot and seeing M literally stuffing cupcake down her gullet, wiping off the fondant, and slapping it on the counter only to grab at more. Our producer lost her mind. She practically dragged M up the stairs and chewed her out in front of the entire staff. M was whisked away to be reprimanded by the intern coordinator, and the rest of us helped the baker with the remaining cupcakes, trying to hide the slaughter of fondant bunnies that had now been smeared all over the set.
The cleanup created a half an hour delay. The worst part is? The staff gets to eat the food brought by the cooks and bakers anyway. If she had just waited twenty minutes for the segment to end, she would have gotten to have as many cupcakes as she pleased.