Stuff up at work? Come on, fess up


First day of job in educational reference library located in old an primary school hall with floor to ceiling windows. I couldn't see computer screen due to sun, so tried to pull heavy duty curtains. The whole lot came down, including the guy on a step ladder who'd just finished hanging them.

2. During a night-shift I updated the grid on the Telegraph website crossword without updating the clues. The day-shift guys had to deal with all the angry emails. There were many.

3. Filing job at a bank many many years ago. Printed off some shall we say "flirtatious" emails with the boy I was seeing. Accidentally stapled them to the loan reports. Filed them. Couldn't find them again once I realised what I'd done. For all I know, they're still there ...


4. Accidentally pressed "correct all" instead of "cancel" when spellchecking a feature I'd written about a local businesswoman. The next day I got a call from her husband asking why The Birmingham Post had printed an article naming his wife "Natasha Psychopath".

5. I once sent a company wide virus warning by forwarding the email so they could see what it looked like should they receive one, and forgot to remove the infected attachment.

(Via on Twitter)

How a secretary made a $6 million dollar donation

Sylvia Bloom was a legal secretary who worked with lawyers in New York. Friends knew her as frugal — someone who used the bus and trains rather than buy herself a car to travel from her modest home to her workplace. Over the course of 67 years, she worked for the Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton law firm, and when she died at the age of 96 years old, she made a $6.24 million donation to the Henry Street Settlement, a not-for-profit social service agency that distributes scholarships and aide to disadvantaged people. It was the largest by a single donor in the organisation's 125 year history. How did she make her fortune? Her niece told the New York Times: "She was a secretary in an era when they ran their boss's lives, including their personal investments. So when the boss would buy a stock, she would make the purchase for him, and then buy the same stock for herself, but in a smaller amount because she was on a secretary's salary."

Author's homework help flop

Author Ian McEwan tried to help out his son Greg, who was writing a high school essay about a novel he had read. After talking to his son about about the story and things he should think about, the son ended up with a measly C+. The irony is that the essay was about one of McEwan's own novels — Enduring Love (1997). McEwan told the Los Angeles Times that the experience made him feel "a little dubious" about his books being assigned in schools.