No matter how bad you've ever screwed up at work, it probably pales in comparison to the 3 million euro blunder made by a Dutch police worker.

Making matters worse, the catastrophic error has now been compounded by a Dutch judge who declined to make the software company return the money to the hapless police department.

It all started back in 2008, when a law enforcement employee accidentally ordered 13,656 licenses for a special home-working edition of Microsoft Office.

Despite the massive mistake, the order went unnoticed by even the finance department which shelled out a staggering €2,961,029 (about $NZ4.5 million by today's exchange rate) for the software licenses, reports Dutch media.

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Once they realised what had happened, the police department filed a lawsuit recognising the mistake and asking for the money to be returned in full.

However no such luck for the boys in blue.

This week a court in Hague sided with Microsoft saying the company founded by the world's richest man wasn't legally obliged to pay back the money.

The reason being - if you can believe it - is because a very similar case has transpired before.

Only that time Microsoft paid back €765,000 to Dutch police after they botched an order in 2005. At the time, the software company made a point of highlighting the fact that it was not legally compelled to return the money and that it was a one time deal.

And apparently this time around, they're sticking to their word.

To add insult to injury, police will have to foot the bill for €10,000 in legal fees.

So if you've had a bad day at work, just think of this story to get a little perspective.