People Share The Dumb Things They Have Done While Their Brain Was On Auto-Pilot
Hey, we can’t always be at our sharpest. We’re only human, and some days our brains just can’t keep up with our bodies. When we’ve driven our brains to exhaustion, we often let our minds switch to auto-pilot for the rest of the day. However, our subconsciousness isn’t always working in our favor when we’re sleep deprived, stressed out, or overworked. In fact, our auto-pilots can often wreak havoc in some pretty strange and hilarious ways.
The following people’s mistakes are proof that letting your mind glide on habit isn’t always beneficial. Of all the brain farts, slip-ups, and miscommunications between our minds and bodies that exist, these auto-pilot screw-ups are on another level. It may be hard to imagine mixing up some nasal spray with Gorilla Glue, leaving a dressing room in your undies, or trying to turn down the noise in the street with a television remote. Well, imagine it, because these people fell victim to their clumsy auto-pilots with some embarrassing consequences.
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#1 Come Inside, Trash Can
I normally only see my old next-door neighbor when I arrive home from walking my dog. One day, I dropped the dog off inside my place and headed out to bring the bins. I saw my neighbor and exchanged greetings with him, as per usual. As we finished, I turned to the bin and said: “C’mon, let’s go,” thinking it was my dog.
#2 Your Phone Is In Your Hand, Bro
Just recently, I was talking to my friend and we got on a topic about something that I had been looking up on my phone. I started to search for my phone so I could send him the link. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I was talking to him while walking from room to room looking everywhere… Eventually, I told him I’d send it to him when I found my phone. He then reminded me that I was talking to him on my phone.
#3 Knock Knock, Who’s There?
One time, I was sick and not thinking too well. A delivery person rang the doorbell. I, not thinking, got up from the couch, walked up to the door, and knocked on it. Then, I opened the door to a mildly confused delivery man and took the package. It wasn’t until I had closed the door, with the box in hand, that I realized my error.
#4 This One’s Got To Be Embarrassing
I work the front desk at a hotel. The daytime staff works either 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sometimes, when I’m working the evening shift, I’ll accidentally say “night night” instead of “goodbye” when I hang up the phone. It’s an uncomfortably intimate thing to accidentally say to a stranger. It’s even worse if the guest is in a different time zone.
#5 Yeah, Don’t Mix These Up
I was fishing around in my purse for some eye drops because my contacts were feeling gross. I was in my car and it was dark, so I didn’t bother to look at it before squeezing it into my eye. I had just enough time to think, “I don’t remember my eye drops smelling like fruit loops…” before the burning began. I then realized that I had just doused my eyeball in vape juice.
#6 How Did It End Up There?
I once misplaced an important paper for one of my classes. This was in the late ’80s and I didn’t own a PC, so it was handwritten. I knew I had it when I woke up, but I couldn’t find it when I was packing my book bag. I frantically looked, retracing my steps, but there was no sign of it. I had to give up to get to school on time, but I explained to the teacher why I didn’t have it ready. I was a pretty good student, so she just told me she’d let me slide for the day and to bring it in the next class.
I went straight home from school and searched every darn inch of the house, but there was still no paper. Out of desperation and with nowhere else to look, I opened the freezer. There, on one of the shelves, was my darned paper. I must have put it there while I was grabbing some ice out of the fridge earlier that morning. To this very day, I will look in the freezer for things I have misplaced. I have never found another lost item magically sitting in the freezer in over 30 years… but I still look. Every. Darn. Time.
#7 I Wonder Why This Didn’t Work…
I was playing a very intense video game and during the break period, my mom opened my door. Since the door was behind me, I was just going to turn around and ask her what she needed. I turned my character in the game around (a full 180) and had no idea why I couldn’t see my mom. I literally mixed up my in-game movement for real-life movement.
#8 Time To Throw Those Socks Away
I got home from work after a long, difficult shift at work. My usual routine was as follows: shoes off at the door, go #1, throw socks into the laundry hamper, wash hands, then get started on making dinner. I had a brainfart that day after work, and I ended up taking my socks off and throwing them into the toilet. I didn’t realize what I’d done until I was halfway through eating. I found my socks in the toilet bowl and felt like the world’s biggest idiot.
#9 Oops, Wrong Sister!
I was driving through Yosemite with my girlfriend and her sister. We had stopped to look at some landscape, and my girlfriend was standing at my right side for a few minutes. At some point, my girlfriend and her sister went to the car to rummage through some clothes. When they came back, I was zoning out on the scenery.
For about 35 seconds, I had put my hand on my girlfriend’s butt, telling her we should head to a hotel early for, um, things. It ended up NOT being my girlfriend’s butt, but her sister’s. They had swapped hats while putting on hoodies and I didn’t notice the difference in my peripheral vision. Luckily, they both thought it was hilarious while I turned beet red. My girlfriend had been standing behind me watching this whole exchange. Honestly, they look very similar.
#10 A Strange Force Of Habit
I’m a dog mom and a frequent dog shelter volunteer. I was working in the yard the one day and realized how bad my allergies were. I went to take a Benadryl and instead of taking it normally (with water), I stuck the tab on my finger, swiped it in a jar of peanut butter and stuck it to the roof of my mouth… like a dog. I immediately spit it out.
#11 Wait, Where’s The Wheel?
I’m a kiwi living in the US. I just recently moved and I still haven’t gotten used to what side of the car the steering wheel is on. It’s on the right in New Zealand. When I am distracted or stressed, I’ll go to my car, drop my bags in the back seat, then get in the passenger seat and buckle my seatbelt. It’s only when I can’t find the wheel that I have my ‘darn it’ moment. I always feel super self-conscious afterward thinking that someone might have seen me. I stay in the car for a bit until I feel like the people aren’t nearby anymore. I then swap sides and drive away five minutes later.
#12 How Did You Not Scream?
I work in sales. One day, I was speaking with a customer face-to-face while holding a stapler in my hands. I was kind of fiddling around with the stapler while talking and, for some stupid reason, I stuck my finger in the stapler and punctured it with a staple. I tried to hide what I’d just done and tried so hard not to react to it.
#13 Yay, You’re Dead!
I teach group fitness over a very loud popstar-esque microphone. At the end of the class, I have things that I like to say, such as “Congratulations,” or “That’s your workout for the day,” or, “You made it! Let’s stretch it out,” etc. On one particular day when I was especially tired, I said, “Congrats, you made it dead!” I sat there confused for a minute, then one of my members said, “Heck yeah, I’m dead! This is why I stopped coming in the first place!” Needless to say, she saved me from being too embarrassed.
#14 That’s One Way To Diffuse Tension
After a fight with a family member, I was so angry that I walked away blindly and missed the large doorway, ramming full-speed into the wall. Luckily, they found it so funny that it diffused the argument?
#15 Thank God No Cars Were Coming
I rolled up to a red light, stopped, looked both ways, then drove through like it was a stop sign. I realized what I was doing after I was already through the intersection. Luckily, there was no accident or ticket issued.
#16 You’re Off The Clock, Man
I went to work even though I had the day off. I was so used to working the same schedule when I was a cashier at Borders. I woke up thinking I was going to be late, so I sped through my routine, got on the train, got to work and only after I ran into my manager did I remember that I was off that day. It was the worst waste of time.
#17 I Think You Ruined The Salsa
I was attending a funeral reception with catered Mexican food. We were served chips and salsa and after salting a chip, I put the salt shaker DIRECTLY in the salsa bowl. I didn’t even realize that I did it. The person that I was sharing the salsa bowl just looked at me, then, with a weird face, motioned with his face and eyeballs repeatedly to the salsa bowl. I looked down to see what I had just done. I literally said to him out loud: “I think that is the stupidest thing I have ever done.”
#18 They Won’t Misplace Their Laptop Again
I went on a road trip and lost my laptop, but didn’t know how. I remembered carrying it to the car, yet it wasn’t with me or at home. It was odd—I could picture carrying the laptop, but I couldn’t picture it in the car. I filed a list item report with the police, checked my warranties, and even shopped around for a new one.
Then one night, I stumbled upon a Craigslist lost-and-found page and saw my laptop had been found… It was cracked across the screen and dented in a corner. When I left for the trip, auto-pilot me evidently placed the laptop on top of the car, got in the car, and drove away, dropping it on the street. Luckily, it was retrieved before I drove over it. I was reunited with it about two weeks after having lost it.
#19 That’s Not Quite How That Works
I got irritated with construction noises outside of my house, so I angrily grabbed my TV remote, pointed it in the direction of the noise, and pressed the volume down button several times. I was so frustrated that it wasn’t turning down the sound that I went to change my remote batteries. The only logical explanation to me was that the batteries were dead, sigh.
#20 I Think You Should Call In…
I used to work a 6 a.m. shift. I spent three years at that job, despite not being a morning person. One time, my alarm went off, so I rolled out of bed and got dressed. It was winter, so it was still pitch black out. I got out to the car, turned it on, and noticed the stereo said 3 a.m. At that point, I didn’t know whether to just stay awake until my shift or just call in sick.
#21 That’s A Time-Consuming Accident
When I was a truck driver, I drove 200 miles down the wrong freeway and had to turn around and drive 200 miles back. I never told my dispatcher and he never caught it.
#22 What An Unfortunate Wake-Up Call
I work in a small coffee shop. Along with your standard coffee, we have an espresso machine for lattes and the like. I usually have to be in for work at 5 a.m. That is early for me. I am not a morning person. One morning, after making a latte, I was headed to the sink to rinse out the milk pitcher I had just used.
Auto-pilot me decided not to wait until I got to the sink to dump out the still semi-full milk pitcher. Half-way to the sink, I just dumped the still scalding milk out of the pitcher….all over myself. My brain had just decided it was time to dump the pitcher. My hand followed suit. I was very awake after that.
#23 That Definitely Wasn’t The Plan
It was about 7 a.m. and my brain just wasn’t 100% awake I guess. My former boss came in and said, “Good morning, how are you?” She was kind of across the room and my voice wasn’t working properly either. So naturally, I just wanted to give her a “Thumbs up” but ended up GIVING HER THE FINGER. To this day, I have no clue why I did that. I said sorry so many times and I explained it to her. Thankfully, she actually understood. At least, I hope so.
#24 Sleep Deprivation And Jet Engines Are A Poor Mix
In the USAF while working on airplanes, anyone can be called in to “B man.” That means you have to man the fire extinguisher and help chalk an aircraft after it lands. I worked on F-15s and after spending 8 months on swing shift, it had been a while since I’d helped catch a jet. I was also pretty out of it from the shift change, so I was on full auto-pilot mode.
I put the pins in the two rear wheels, which keeps the landing gear from collapsing when there is no power. As I held the third pin, I couldn’t register what to do with it. I was supposed to walk to the crew chief and hand it to him so he could have the pilot turn off the second engine. He would then walk over to check that the engine was off by holding his hand close to the inlet (often while holding onto something in case the suction tried to grab him).
What I did instead started walking straight to the nose wheel from under the jet. I got inches from being sucked into a meat grinder when I saw the crew chief’s face contort into an expression that can only be described as: “I’m about to watch someone die.” I snapped out of it and backed the heck up. Sleep deprivation and jet engines are a bad and all too common combo.
#25 It’s One Disaster After Another
I work overnight, so I’m always a little loopy. A little while ago, I held the door open for someone else behind me, forgetting that I was walking into a one-person restroom. Another time, I was in the bathroom and when someone knocked, my response was “Come in.” Thankfully, the person did not. Then, two days ago, I was emptying my dishwasher and dropped a santoku knife.
I instinctively reached out to catch the knife as it was falling. Luckily, right as I wrapped my bare hand around the knife, my brain remembered “knife = sharp” and I let go before cutting myself. Later that day, I went to dump out the water in my glass and started to pour it into my trashcan.
#26 Hello, Coffee Speaking?
One morning, I was having my morning coffee with a spoon in the cup. The spoon scraped against the worn edge of the cup, producing a buzzing sound. I, naturally, thought it was buzzing and tried to answer the mug. I got some coffee in my ear and had to change. Thankfully, it wasn’t that hot, so I stayed out of the burn ward.
#27 Honey, We Have Company
I take my pants off as soon as I get home from work. My husband had his friend over and as soon as I walked in, I started talking and took my pants off without thinking right in front of the friend. I only realized something was wrong when the friend looked at me and quickly turned away.
#28 I Think You’ve Got A Technology Addiction
Just so you know, my watch needs to be tapped in order to display the time. I was out at a formal event and decided not to wear my watch to it. My friend noticed and was watching me during it. According to him, I tapped the skin on my wrist 40 times in an hour. I was tapping my wrist expecting the time to be displayed to me. I looked like an absolute dummy.
#29 Come On, The Universe Was Queuing You In
I went to work on a holiday. I listened to the radio hosts talk about the said holiday while I drove there. I parked in the empty parking lot. I walked through a dark building alone to my desk. I didn’t even think to wonder if something was wrong until I checked my intraoffice e-mail and realized there was literally nobody there but me in a vast space with 20 cubicles.
#30 It’s Done When You Hear An Explosion
I’ve overheated bacon and a bag of rice in the microwave because I have this thing where I take out the food every minute to check on it. Early in the morning and late at night, I constantly just kept putting the food back in the microwave without checking it. I didn’t stop until I heard something explode.
#31 One Parts Mug, Three Parts Coffee, All Parts Catastrophe
I am a creature of habit. I go to bed at the same time every night, I wake up the same time every morning, I eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every week because I meal prep, I get off of work at the same time every day and I get home at the same time every day. The first thing I do when I get home is take a shower.
Well, this one particular day, I got zero sleep. I had a lady friend spend the night and so my brain was on auto-pilot all day. I made two cups of coffee, then decided to make a second cup. I didn’t realize until I started to make a third cup that there was coffee all over my desk. Later that day, I got home and hopped into the shower. I opened my eyes and tried to figure out how water drops got on my open eyeballs. Then, I realized I left my glasses on.
#32 Time To Go Back To Bed
I got up and took my three nighttime meds (two sleeping pills) instead of my morning meds. I had a moment where I thought, “Maybe I could go to work?” But then wisdom prevailed and I called in sick.
#33 It’s Funny Until It’s Not
I work at a fast food place where most of our food is served in bowls. Often, if I’m not paying complete attention, I’ll nearly dump an entire dish into a bag without putting a lid on first. it’s hilarious until you have a cheap paper bag full of mac and cheese and the bottom breaks out, covering the counter and floor with cheese and noodles.
#34 Your Mind Was In The Right Place
I wanted to refill my cup with more water, so I just poured my already half-filled cup out on the table to make room for more water.
#35 We’re Not Home Yet, Kiddo
When I was five, I was at the beach with my parents and their friends. I was fighting with my sister over who was going to take a bubble bath first when we got back. She said that since she was older, she had to go first. I got mad at her and I forgot where I was for a moment. I then just took off my swimsuit in front of everyone screaming, “I’ll go first.” Everybody looked at me and laughed, even my mom! Then I died inside.
#36 Ah, You Were So Close
I got home and entered the alarm code. The alarm started screaming, so I punched the code in again. And again. And AGAIN. Why wouldn’t this freaking thing turn off? I waved at the neighbors coming out to see who was burgling my house. I texted my mom, telling her that the alarm is broken. Long story short, I was entering my work alarm code. My brain was fried.
#37 You Can’t Paste On Paper
I was filling out a form on paper and with a pen. I needed an account number. I went online, logged into my account, located my account number, highlighted it and hit CTRL-c. Then, I looked down at the paper. As luck would have it, there was no CTRL-v on the piece of paper. I felt so stupid I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at myself.
#38 You Must Really Love School
When I was in the 10th grade, I went to school in the next town over. This usually meant that I had to get up at 6 a.m. to make the bus. I woke up one morning at 6 a.m., got up, and did all my morning stuff. I noticed the clocks were all wrong and figured the power must have gone out because they all said 24:30. I walked 20 minutes to the bus stop before I started to wonder why it was dark out. I then looked at my watch, which read 24:55. I walked back home, went to bed, and re-did everything six hours later.
#39 Sorry About That, Inanimate Object
I was a rather awkward teenager. My mother’s favorite story about me is how I got up from the table after eating dinner, walked into a wall, apologized to the wall, and proceeded to take my dish to the sink without breaking stride or even realizing that I had done any of it.
#40 Just In My Boxers
I went to a consignment store, trying on jeans. I had tried on a few pairs and my brain was on auto-pilot, so I wasn’t paying attention at all. The dressing rooms were situated along a wall in plain view of the main floor where all the clothes were. Instead of doors, there are curtains covering each cube. I had tried on the last pair of jeans, took them off, and completely walked out of the dressing room with just my boxers, not even my shoes on. I walked out a full 10 paces before I realized what I was doing. A few people saw me and laughed. I was kicked out of the store.
#41 That’s A Mistake You Won’t Make Twice
I squirted Gorilla Glue up my nose thinking it was nasal spray. It was the middle of the night, in the pitch black darkness, and the bottles are the same shape and size. It was not pleasant. No, not pleasant at all. Luckily, that nostril was already so clogged that I didn’t get a good sniff. After an hour’s worth of furious blowing my nose and rinsing with warm water, I got most of it out. I found a bottle of saline in the bathroom and used a ton of that also. Even so, my nose was messed up for a few days. The glue was returned safely to the kitchen drawer where it stays, to this day.
#42 That’s An Interesting Fashion Choice
At my last job, I worked in a lab. My commute every day involved taking the train and transferring to a bus. I distinctly remember having a long day and finally leaving work. On my entire commute home, I got quite a few weird stares. It wasn’t until I went home, made myself dinner, and decided to take a shower that I realized I left my safety glasses on for the last five hours. I felt pretty stupid after that.
#43 Wait, Something Is Off Here
Recently, I was trying to microwave some popcorn and instead of putting the popcorn packet in the microwave, I put in the plastic wrap and proceeded to press start. I did not realize what I had done wrong until I looked down at the popcorn packet and thought, “Something’s not right here.” Two and two got put together before anything nasty or disastrous happened, thankfully.
#44 That’s Enough Food-Prep For The Day
I had made a tea with ginger chunks but found the ginger to be too strong. I grabbed a strainer and proceeded to pour out my tea in the sink with the ginger chunks in the strainer. It took me a second to realize what I’d done.
#45 You Might Be A Workaholic When…
I had a week or two straight where it was pretty much: wake up, go to work, go to bed… repeat. Finally, I finished my project and had some time off. The wife wanted to try a new restaurant for lunch and spend time with me, so we piled the kids in the car and went. It just so happened that the first leg of the trip to the restaurant was exactly the same as my commute, so I just went into autopilot. I didn’t realize until I was halfway to work and my wife asked me where exactly we were going.