1. Hitting “REPLY ALL” when an e-mail was only meant for one person.
Once you hit send it’s gone and you’re powerless. You can’t undo it and you can’t pretend it didn’t happen. All you can do is send out another email—chances are apologizing or clarifying the message content—and hope people feel bad enough for the idiot who copied the entire company that they won’t mention it until they are ten G&T’s deep at next year’s holiday party.
2. Getting caught with non-work related websites open.
Mid-morning Facebook creep? Don’t mind if I do. Pre-lunch Twitter scroll? Sure. Post-lunch PGP browse? You bet. If you’ve worked a monotonous nine-to-five, then you understand it’s nearly impossible to get through the day without taking a couple minutes to check out what your FB friends/random strangers you follow/fellow Pinterest addicts are up to. If you’re lucky enough to have prime cube real-estate with a wall-facing monitor you can creep with ease, knowing you have a solid ten seconds before anyone approaching your desk can see your screen. For you sad SOBs with computers that every person who passes by can see, minimize the window in question and act like you aren’t online shopping for a new set of clubs.
3. Instant messaging the wrong person.
Mark (IT): You see the new chick at reception?
Jess (HR): Yes
Mark (IT): Man, I’d give my left nut for five minutes inside her.
Jess (HR): …
Mark (IT): Oh my God. I’m sorry, that was meant for Jessie!
Jess (HR): Please come see me when you have a few minutes. Thanks.
4. Getting audited.
If you work in finance or healthcare, you can relate to the body-numbing fear that paralyzes you when an auditor shows up in your office unannounced. Remember when you were a kid and your parents got home early when you had friends over, and even though you weren’t doing anything bad, you still FELT like you were? It’s like that. But instead of living in constant fear of losing Game Boy privileges now you get to worry about losing your job.
5. Forgetting to put your phone on mute.
Conference calls, obnoxious client calls, angry customer service calls – these all require the use of the mute button. Forgetting to place the person on the other end of the line on mute while you rattle off obscenities about their bad attitude is only going to end one way. You’re fired.