5 First Days at Work That Went Right Off the Rails


Your first day at work could go very well or very poorly. Best-case scenario: The computer has an error, and suddenly, the entire company belongs to you. Worst-case scenario: Two planes fly into the World Trade Center, and you’re the brand-new Chief of ATC Operations for the FAA. The following first days aren’t quite as bad as that last one, but they’re pretty bad. 

A Teacher Was Immediately Arrested, Drunk and Pantsless

As soon as you read that headline, you started picturing exactly what sort of debauched classes this Oklahoma high school teacher hosted. But when Lorie Hill was found drunk at school in August 2014, classes were still a week from starting. She showed up anyway — and also decided to ditch her pants. 

Lorie Ann Hill

Wagoner Police Department

It was August in Oklahoma. Who could blame her?

When you find a woman in a building drunk and without pants, there’s often the possibility that’s she’s a victim of a crime. The teachers who entered the classroom and spoke to Hill quickly concluded that she was instead the perpetrator of a crime. While there is no specific law against shedding lower garments in a school zone, police booked her on public intoxication. 

Her arrest meant she’d miss the first week of class, which really sounds like a blessing. 

A Florida Cop Was Arrested for Child Porn on Day One

If you were disappointed that our last school story didn’t feature any actual sex crimes, fear not: We have another for you. This one’s about sheriff’s deputy Kai Cromer, who set a department record this past March for quickest arrest — meaning, he was the cop to be arrested the quickest, not the cop to arrest the quickest.

For his first day on the job, Cromer had to attend an orientation for new recruits, which was held at Vero Beach High School. The exact reasoning behind this choice of venue is unclear, but it proved fortuitous because it allowed a teen at the school to catch sight of him and say, “Hey, isn’t that the guy who was on Snapchat asking me for nudes?”

Kai Cromer

Indian River County Sheriff’s Office

Most Florida cops aren’t caught committing any kind of sex offense until day three, at the earliest.

It certainly appeared to be. To make sure, that very same day, police entered Cromer’s home to check his computer. This is speed you rarely ever associate with police policing themselves, but it was essential in this case if they wanted to act before their guy deleted the evidence. Inside, they found enough photos and videos of underage subjects that they fired him immediately as well as arrested him.

Cromer is only 19 years old. In response to the incident, the department announced that they’re considering raising the minimum age of recruits to 21. We could write an entire article analyzing the dubious reasoning behind that choice. 

A New Tree Cutter Fell Right into the Wood Chipper

Our next new employee was also 19 on his first day. His name was Mason Cox, and he was working for a North Carolina landscaping company named Crawford Tree Service. He’d arrived with no previous experience with trees, but he’d climbed cell towers professionally, which is the sort of terrifying job that may well make someone feel ready for anything. 

The team was pulling down unwanted trees and putting them into a wood chipper. No one alive witnessed exactly what went wrong, and maybe that was the problem — maybe a supervisor should have been overseeing this new employee on his first day with this dangerous piece of equipment. Police would later guess Cox may have kicked a branch into the chipper. The head of the company, Jon Crawford, instead suggested maybe the chipper grabbed a loose piece of his clothing. Whatever the cause, Cox found himself being pulled in.


Stegeren/Wiki Commons 

Fargo was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual.

Crawford hit the kill switch on the machine, but that wasn’t enough to stop what was in motion. Reports say that Cox was eventually found inside the wood chipper. If our knowledge of chippers is accurate, a certain percentage of him must have been ejected from the chipper after passing through it. 

Medical personnel arrived too late to help Cox, but they did find themselves with a patient to attend to. Crawford had a heart attack at the scene and needed to be rushed to the hospital.

A Very Important Man Had A Heart Attack

Next up is another tale of a heart attack. When you’re a paramedic working for the city, you know you’re going to have to attend to a heart attack patient sooner or later. When you’re a medic hanging around a TV shoot, however, you perhaps don’t expect something like that will happen to the small handful of people in your building. And you probably hope it won’t happen to this guy:

Bob Odenkirk Better Call Saul


Oh no, Saul is down. Who do we call?

Bob Odenkirk had a heart attack while filming the sixth season of Better Call Saul. Attending to him that day was the onsite medic, and it was his first day on the job. He was a retired firefighter, so he had a certain level of training, but he’d never once done CPR on someone before. In fact, someone else attempted CPR on Odenkirk before the medic acted, and it’s possible that this other person saved his life. The medic later visited Odenkirk in the hospital and apologized for his inexperience. 

Odenkirk’s heart attack happened three years ago this month, by the way. That may surprise you if you remember hearing about it in the news — if you, like so many other people, had your sense of time broken at the start of this decade, and it’s still not recovered.

A Most Awkward First Day for a Street Sweeper

In December 1959, one street in Beijing got a new sweeper named Puyi. He had no experience sweeping, and he didn’t have much experience navigating the streets of Beijing either. He lost his way, and he asked started asking help from random passersby. With his broom in his hand, he said, “I’m Pu Yi, the last Emperor of the Qing dynasty. I’m staying with relatives and can’t find my way home.”

If this sweeper had lost his mind, that might have been a bit embarrassing. The truth was more embarrassing. He wasn’t crazy. He really was the last Emperor of China. 

via Wiki Commons

Here he is in ceremonial garb. Wait, no, that’s a prison uniform. 

Puyi had been emperor all right — when he was two years old. Then when he was six years old, in 1911, revolutionaries overthrew the monarchy. He spent the next few decades as either an emperor in exile or emperor of a new fake country, carved out in China by Japan. The Soviets showed up next, and he wound up in a prison for war criminals for 10 years. 

Biographers say that his time in prison taught him humility. It’s less clear, though, if it taught him how to sweep properly. You need to use short powerful strokes, picking up your broom and slamming it down after each movement, then you quickly take a step forward and continue. Don’t just lightly drag your broom over the ground as you walk. Sweep like you mean it. 

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