!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Fortune's "101 Dumbest Moments in Business, 2007"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fortune's "101 Dumbest Moments in Business, 2007"

In its December 24 issue, Fortune publishes its 101 Dumbest Moments in Business, 2007. Yes, they're all dumb, some are funny, and several are truly appalling. My personal Top Ten:

10. "Diebold tightens security after it is revealed that a simple virus can hack its electronic voting machines. Months later a hacker uses a picture of a key from the company website to make a real key that can open the company's machines."

13. "Disneyland announces plans to close the 'It's a Small World' attraction to deepen its water channel after the ride's boats start getting stuck under loads of heavy passengers. Employees ask larger passengers to disembark — and compensate them with coupons for free food."

44. "A Bank of America branch in Ashland, Mass., is evalucated after it receives a fax with the image of a lit match being held to a bomb's fuse. The fax, sent by the company to alert employees to an upcoming promotion, somehow comes through without its text, which should read 'The Countdown Begins ... Small Business Commitment Week June 4 – 8.'"

45. "Just one week after unveiling the world's most expensive dessert — the $25,000 Frozen Haute Chocolate, 28 cocoas infused with edible 23-karat gold served in a goblet with a diamond bracelet at its base — New York restaurant Seredipity 3 is shut down for failing its second health inspection in a month. Inspectors find a live mouse, multiple piles of mouse droppings, fruit flies, houseflies, and more than 100 live cockroaches."

49. "A worker in a German screw factory smuggles out 2,000 to 7,000 screws per night, ultimately stealing more than a million units. He sells the screws below cost on the Internet, artificially depressing the entire screw market."

50. "Exploiting a flaw in a Defense Department purchasing system, South Carolina parts supplier C&D Distributors rakes in $20.5 million in shipping fees on just $68,000 in sales. The scheme is finally detected when a Pentagon clerk spots a $969,000 bill for shipping two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas."

57. "'The segment was intended as a lighthearted tribute to Mexico and its vibrant cultural heritage, which we all admire and enjoy.' — Australian TV production company Endemol Southern Star, in a statement apologizing to the Mexican government for a segment of its Big Brother reality program in which contestants wear sombreros and floppy mustaches and throw water balloons at a Mexican flag.

80. "After Hugo Chávez calls the former Prime Minister of Spain a 'fascist' at a summit in Chile, Spanish King Juan Carlos leaps to his countryman's defense. His retort to Chávez, 'Why don't you shut up?' ['¡¿Por qué no te callas?!'] becomes one of the nation's most popular cellphone ringtones, downloaded more than 500,000 times within ten days."

93. "On its British Airways flight from New Delhi to London, first-class passenger Paul Trinder wakes up from a nap to find the corpse of a woman who had died in the economy cabin being placed in the seat next to him. Upon complaining about the incident, Trinder — a gold-level frequent flier who logs 200,000 miles a year with the airline — says he is told he will not be compensated and should just 'get over it.'"

97. "Google's Blogger software misidentifies a company-written blog as spam and automatically disables it." (I know from personal experience that the Google spam detector is suspicious of blogs that have lots of links.)


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