Office Culture

Three people who had the absolute worst days at work this week

Sometimes you screw up at work, but perhaps it’s not as spectacular as these unfortunate employees whose mistakes this week were seen by millions of people. Here are two recent examples of the ultimate #workfails.

Timing is everything in Hollywood

The Oscars this year were notable for a mix-up of epic proportions when the wrong “Best Picture” winner was announced.

The excruciatingly awkward situation embarrassed a lot of people — including presenter Warren Beatty, host Jimmy Kimmel, and most of Hollywood — but it wasn’t clear at first who was to blame.

Now we know: the disaster was down to two PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants: one who was distracted by tweeting backstage, and the other who froze rather than jump in to fix the mistake.

The two accountants were stationed backstage to hand out the winning envelopes and make sure everything went smoothly. PwC partner Brian Cullinan was waiting on the right side of the stage, with most of the celebrities, and PwC partner Martha Ruiz was on the left, according to TheWrap. Each was supposed to have memorized the winners to catch any mistakes during the broadcast.

But they didn’t.

Things went wrong when Cullinan, busy tweeting backstage, accidentally gave presenter Warren Beatty an extra “Best Actress” envelope with Emma Stone’s name on it, which led his co-presenter Faye Dunaway to announce Stone’s film, “La La Land,” as the winner.

Cullinan also reportedly tweeted about “La La Land” actress Emma Stone moments before the “Best Picture” winner was announced. Because Cullinan was distracted, Beatty never received the “Best Picture” envelope that said “Moonlight” was the winner.

Cullinan was apparently so concerned that the day before, he asked what to do if the wrong winner was announced. The problem: he didn’t do it.

To make things worse, Martha Ruiz, the other accountant, didn’t notice the mistake even though she had the winners memorized, and froze backstage, refused to go in front of millions of people to fix the mistake, Oscars stage manager Gary Natoli told TheWrap.

The work of repairing the disaster fell to “La Land Land” producer Jordan Horowitz, who was praised for showing some leadership. 

“I’m sure they’re very lovely people, but they just didn’t have the disposition for this…You need somebody who’s going to be confident and unafraid,” Natoli said.

PwC apologized on Twitter and issued a statement.

Cullinan and Ruiz won’t be able to work the Oscars again, but will stay at the company— and have been given amped-up security because their personal details have been put on the Internet, PwC told NBC News.

So “La La Land” was the official “Best Picture” at the Oscars…until it wasn’t. That’s a bad day at work that will go down in Hollywood history.

Breaking part of the Internet

We all joke about breaking the internet — especially when a Kardashian is involved — but only one Amazon engineer can actually claim to have done it.

The engineer’s single typo disrupted the Internet on Tuesday and took down major East Coast-based websites including Trello, Giphy, Slack…and yes, Ladders.

It all started when the Amazon Simple Storage billing system was having problems, and the company started checking it out, according to USA TODAY. To do that, an engineer had to take some s3 servers offline, according to USA Today.

A wrong command input created a four-hour outage in Amazon Web Service’s cloud computing system.

The situation escalated, with additional servers being taken offline than planned, including two used heavily by the East Coast, according to USA Today.

The company said it is “making several changes” to keep things like this from happening in the future in a statement, and it is running safety checks.

There’s no word on what has happened to the engineer, but we’ll guess it was perhaps that person’s worst day of work.