In the days before computer technology revolutionized how we operate in the workplace, the worst consequence of falling asleep at your desk would’ve been a spilled cup of coffee and some soggy paperwork. Not so today.
A bank clerk in Germany accidentally transferred hundreds of millions of euros into the account of a senior citizen after dozing off on his keyboard with the number ‘2’ key pressed.
So what should have been a transfer of 62.40 euros ($83) ended up as 222,222,222.22 euros ($295 million). Oops.
According to a Telegraph report, the bizarre incident, which happened at the end of April, came to light this week at an employment tribunal brought by another bank worker who was given her marching orders after failing to spot her co-worker’s potentially costly error.
Unfortunately for the would-be recipient of the millions of euros, the mistake was later spotted by another employee before being put right.
The fired worker claimed that dismissal for failing to spot the error was too harsh a punishment, and the court agreed, saying she should have received a warning instead.
It’s not known if the clerk who dozed off on the keyboard is still in their position, but if we were to hazard a guess….
As the Telegraph mentions in its report, the incident is a variation on the so-called ‘fat-finger error’, which describes a typographical mistake when inputting data on a computer, a mistake which can prove to be not only troublesome to fix, but costly too.
The FT notes an incident in 2012 where a sudden 15 percent drop in the value of the Mumbai stock exchange was put down to a fat-finger error.