From conservative politicians getting caught liking explicit porn on social media to simple errors that caused some mild embarrassment, mistakes are an inevitable part of business (and, indeed, life).
As 2017 draws to an end, it’s a great time to look back at some of the lighter moments that have tickled our fancy in the past, and some new ones we, here at My Business, have yet to share.
One of our favourites pertains to an age-old saying in the media and entertainment business: never work with children, animals or the great outdoors, because things can and will go wrong.
However, instead of an actor or journalist, it was a real estate agent who was central to this funny story:
“[A] very posh buyer insisted on bringing her little handbag dog into the house. Much to my horror, she put the dog down on the white woollen carpet.
It did a huge poop and the buyer then trod in it!
“I was trying to get her to take her shoes off and go outside, but then the dog ran off up the hall and she chased it around, leaving a poop trail all through the home.”
A little too revealing
My Business also heard a rather unfortunate story about the pitfalls of teleconferencing – however, we still aren’t sure if it’s fact or fiction.
“We once had a teleconference with team members from across the country. One of the guys was working from home, but didn’t realise it was a video conference.
“After dialling in, he said his name and then hit the mute button, not realising that we could all see him – in all his naked glory! To make matters worse, he muted the sound rather than his own microphone, meaning he couldn’t hear us telling him about his faux pas as he wandered in and out of view of the camera!”
Check before you hit send
We also published a story in October urging everyone to be more diligent with emails.
That story was prompted by a PR agency that sent out a detailed and confidential strategy document about a client – to its entire journalist database!
No pain, no gain
Tax time is never fun – except for when the ATO issues its list of the most colourful and creative excuses people come up with for lodging their returns late.
There were quite a few good ones, including: “My paperwork flew out the car window when I was on my way to see the accountant” and “my ex-wife burnt everything belonging to me, including all of my tax records”.
However, it was this one that had us laughing out loud, and continued months later to be shared on social media:
“My accountant has gone to prison. He is working on it, but it’s taking longer than normal because he can’t access a computer.”
The tax office also received its fair share of “outrageous” tax claims, with people trying to claim everything from martial arts classes to underwear on their annual tax return.
Hiding in plain sight
Crime is sadly everywhere, and it is often the most blatant acts that are, ironically, the most baffling.
Homewares retailers Deb and Adam Drexler of Matt Blatt revealed on the My Business Podcast they were once party to two brazen thefts where people simply walk away with goods unrecognised.
“We were in our Paddington store once, Deborah and I, and we saw this rug on the wall – a big rug, 2 metres by 1.8 metre or something. And all of a sudden, it wasn’t there. While we were there, someone took a rug off the wall!” recalled Adam.
Deb had another example where brazen thieves relied on mundanity as their cover.
“The funniest one was at Westfield Bondi Junction, we supplied the big cowhide replica egg chairs, and one of them was pinched – two people walked in with overalls and walked out with one of them!”