tifu

TIFU by trying to be Tesla

TIFU by trying to be Tesla

In keeping with TIFU tradition this happened many years ago. We were a pair of young and passionate engineers. If you only care how this ended, skip down to the part where we departed engineering and entered the hallowed, and now carbon-scorch marked, ground of the TIFU. TIL: Tesla himself submitted a TIFU after melting the first AC generator in the country at Niagara Falls. He forgot the off switch.

The Plan

HAARP is a government project and we wanted to see if we could do something similar with spare parts and a pickup truck -- instead of a bloated military expenditure run by professionals. We were going to try for a bit of mad science instead of the nice and polished kind a billion dollars buys. Point of note: There are no mad scientists, just mad engineers. They don't have control groups and tend to care more about making awesome as fuck things happen than petty contrivances like FCC radiated power standards.

The goal was to use some Tesla-inspired engineering and a junkyard of old electronics parts to make our own HAARP. Tesla's experiments are simple and every electronics enthusiast knows them by heart. They need: capacitors, coils, and a really big off switch.

The Capacitors

Capacitors usually come in micro or pico-farad sizes. We needed a really big cap -- so about, uhh, a few million times bigger. America! Go big, or go home. We built some big honkers out of metal drums and coated the inside with paint. We checked continuity and had to redo it a few times before we actually got that right. In went the guts that make a capacitor, and we're done with that.

We had to come back to this once the coils were done. At the end of the series we filled up some two liters with our secret capacitor sauce and would run some AC pulses through it into a multiwatt resistor block out of some industrial equipment. Math ensued, and we hit our tolerances.

The Coils

We had to wind the coils ourselves too. We needed what was basically a voltage ladder, which would be a series of transformers at like 50:1 each time. It's not a problem for the first few in the series, but when you start getting reeeeeeally high voltages, even the tiniest crack in your wiring and everything's on fire. We had to use really thick wires because those come with really thick insulation that won't have any cracks in it. It got... big... and... heavy. And this is how we went from pickup truck to flatbed. Go big or go home!

The Off Switch

The most important part of any mad science... is making sure you can shut it off. Many an evil overlord have died shortly after screaming "But -- I am invincible!" Off. Switch. Ours was made of some pneumatics pulled from a dead caterpillar. It pushes forward, the connectors meet, and we have juice. When we're done, we hand-pump it the other way to release it. It's also safe because we're not near it and it's all plastics, rubber, and non-conductive oils. Out of a fear of having the pump fail from our nearby barely controlled chaos, we opted for the hand pump. Slow -- but it can't break.

The Juice

We were going to power this off the mains. No, not house mains. Overhead mains. The big ones. Don't ask how we hooked it up. Think junkyard. Bored engineers. Imagine! Tesla's experiments needed a lot of juice. So does HAARP. And there was no legitimate way to get that much power except right from the source just like he did.

How it Should have worked

We'd get some spectacular arcing in our mystery sauce substitute for the primary tap output. It would make the air ionize. That's what HAARP tries to do, except a mile in the air. Normally, Tesla coils are put in open air to let the arcing have a little fun and put on a light show. We needed that in a confined space so it was less the light show and more what the light show did that we needed: Ionization. We put it inside a tall pipe and sprayed the inside with non-conductive paint many times. We should also get some pretty good heating effect, so air would draw in from the bottom, pushing the ionized air out through the top. I think it put out something like 800 million volts by the math. For comparison, most people are sane enough to stop at around 500k to 3 million. If it were left in the open air... the arcing distance would be over 20 meters long.

There was no video of this because, obviously, hooking into the HV mains is frowned upon. Most people do it for less savory reasons than the wholesome pursuit of science. Also, we didn't think anything more sophisticated than a vaccum tube would survive anywhere near our monstrosity. The intense RF radiation causes lightbulbs to glow -- even just from the transmission tower, which is just due to the current flow and not a deliberate engineering choice. Cell phones near it would probably never work again. But that was going to be all we'd have to worry about. The circuit was balanced. We had a off switch that could not fail. It wouldn't draw any more juice than the factory that had run here before. Nobody would notice.

Transportation

We thought it might be best to not be around when five hundred people called in asking why the lights flickered and then everything wireless went ape shit. A normal car has normal electronics, which might not work after if this was loaded in back on the flat bed. Remember what I said about big drums and big coils? That's... big heavy. So -- diesel engine. God bless something that can survive a nuke. We also needed to sure our vehicle was primitive enough to survive any mishaps and carry away the evidence with us.

This was less a finely tuned chunk of RF engineering and more like a hundred ton coal-powered locomotive. But it'd put on a pretty light show. We would throw a couple thick plastic tarps and sheets all over the back of the truck, which should protect it. Electricity takes the shortest path to ground -- with all the metal covered and the vehicle propped up on rubber tires, it wouldn't be a problem. Airplanes get hit by lightning all the time and nothing happens. Our ride was sure to live.

The Location

We carefully selected a location where we could set up, and be near a transmission tower and a road. That took time, but we eventually found a parking lot behind a closed factory. A few cars were around, parked, but it was quiet and that was perfect.

Here's when TIFU enters the game

We waited until it was late enough nobody was going to see a couple dumb kids pull up in a wheezing diesel with a tarp over something big in the back. A few minutes of setup and we do our (redacted) on the tower, and we're ready to throw the dead man switch. The hydraulic pistons edge slowly forward as we frobbed the foot lever. After a minute or so, a loud and deep buzz filled the air.

The st. elmo's fire was spectacular. Just as we expected, the heating effect caused the air to ionize and in seconds we had a nice glow coming out of it. And by glow, I mean roar. Like back of a fighter jet roar. It actually reminded me of some experiments you see in high power physics or nuclear reactors. It was a sight to behold ripping out of the back of a flatbed. It started to heat up. A few sparks flew out of the coils, but given the juice pouring through it that was hardly a surprise. We weren't going to run it long.

Well everything went to hell pretty much as soon as we confirmed our little frankenstein did something cool. The two liters? We did the circuit perfectly. We overengineered everything else. Except those fucking bottles. We were tired and it'd been a month of fuckery building it. We fudged. Just run it a few minutes, see what happens, and then pack it in, right? The bottles didn't last that long. And when they went a minute in, it was to a loud boom and spray.

Inside the circuit, there's a resonant frequency allows the best discharge of energy. Deviate much from that, and your whole circuit can become unstable. Rather than a smooth cycling flow, you'll start to get harmonics and stuff. Ordinarily, this just means you don't get a pretty lightshow anymore and your little Jr. Tesla Coil Science Kit just makes an underwhelming buzzing noise and lets out the magic smoke. The feedback eventually just karks it. We... did not have a Tesla Coil Science Kit Jr. -- "For Safe, Clean Fun!". No. We had the Tesla Coil Science Kit Sr., and it's motto was "Let's Fuck Some Shit Up."

With that much energy floating around, that meant wild excursions in voltage and current. Gratz... we're now ground zero of exactly what happened to Tesla right before he melted the Niagara falls generators. The only difference is... this thing has an RF element. The smooth flow of ionized air started chiefing bad. It started shitting out lightning balls like an angry steam locomotive. Near a transmission tower. Which it was connected to. We... are not clever engineers anymore. We'd put it at least five times the distance of our expected arc distance between our apparatus and the tower -- so there was no way for it to ground out on it. That would have been very bad.

Ionized air is... ionized. Ionized means it eats the paint off of shit. Literally. While we were trying to figure out if our new Chiefer Coil Deluxe(tm) was either an experimental success or a horrifying failure before shutting it off, Chiefer Coil decided to end the debate with huge fucking sparks in the everywheres. The drum wasn't insulated anymore. And our circuit wasn't stable anymore. This... was now causing lightning on a cloudless night that would have been visible for miles, along with orange and bluish shit floating around up there. It would have looked like an angry UFO saucer on a war path to the people on the freeway miles away.

We didn't know if there was enough left of the equipment to dampen any oscillations enough to keep the current from jumping to one of those ionized pockets that it was shitting out. Main line current will crispy critter you instantly With transformer isolation compromised the secondaries (output) could feed back into the primary (input). We were faced now with a daunting choice: Rush the hydraulics to release the connection, run and leave a very pissed off power company and half a million people behind, or begin praying at about 7 megaprayers per second. We made about 21 megaprayers while throwing paper-rock-scissors to see who'd rush the hydraulic disconnect.

It was a harrowing run to the primer to retract the hydraulics. I stomped on that like a Erdogan body guard on that thing, pulling the oil into the reservoir and kark it before it karked me. All around, lightning was grounding out to everything metal and the air was humming after our equipment dropped the bass. Well, again, our circuit execution was flawless. Our materials design was... less so. We retracted the hydraulics but a spark gap had formed. The mains didn't want to let go. Now we had an ape-shit tesla coil feeding back on itself next to something that was now sending a continuous arc ten feet straight up. It danced about in curling ribbons while pyrotechnics of blue and gold shot all around it. If one of those hit, the ionization path would send potentially a billion volts up to the tower and backfeed into the main grid. It'd be exactly like a lightning strike, only far, far worse. The noise of all of this had everything around us vibrating with a deafening and modulating hum. We thought we just needed to retract it a little more than the arc gap would be if the HV grounded out. Which is true: We didn't know it at the time but this is how power companies turn them off.

We were fucking terrified for about ten seconds that it might not actually turn off. It did, just like it does for the power company, and the acrid smell of ozone was the only trace we left behind as we took our asthmatic (and borrowed) diesel, only the engine working and all the lights dead, and the smoking ruins of the equipment back out into the country before taking grinders to our equipment. Engineers: 0. Mother Nature: 1.

TL;DR We built a really big tesla coil and nearly melted a power plant.

EDIT: Some note technical details are incorrect or missing. This is not accidental. Moderators allowed this post on that condition.

EDIT: PLEASE stop asking how to do this! It was a fuck up in the fine establishment of mad science, not a ringing endorsement to be suicidal. The plans were inscribed in the Electronomicon and left in an electronics graveyard. Only the high priests in the field of EE know of its location.

EDIT: After some hand-wringing, I'm adding an epilogue and stepping up to collect my gold star: An overnight systems engineer in the plant's control room cough may be a fellow redditor who found out the computer was not lying that night years ago in detecting a Tesla-level "anomaly" after this post. Waking his boss to report it however took longer than we did. Er, maybe. He was left with a grumpy boss going back to sleep thinking the new guy was nuts when the board showed normal again. Er, maybe you read that just fine man. But it still could have been aliens. Me and Elvis are keeping mum. fuck me...

Jesus god man, this is how the world ends. You hear me? ENDS.

...

...can I come next time?

Yeah that's how I imagined the world ending too... With a bunch of people from Pompeii holding cell phones in the air. On volcano day. Dude, this was God getting pissed at engineering and going full on Old Testament on the place. Even Thor would have looked at that and said "fuck this. you win."

Umm, no. We opened a portal to hell that night. Those designs belong in a grimoire left in an electronics graveyard. The Electronomicon. You want it... you go mutter the words. Don't fuck it up.

This was an excelent read. Electrifying, I may add. Just that. Not one volt more than that. Would you share some basic artistic representation on how the monstrosity looked like?

TIFU by politely walking into my friend's 21st birthday party

TIFU by politely walking into my friend's 21st birthday party

OK, this didn't happen today, it happened 10 years ago...

A friend of mine was having her 21st birthday party at her house. She's Greek, so it was a huge family thing with about 100+ people there and I didn't really know anyone but her. It was a pretty formal event so I was rocking a cocktail suit type thing.

Anyway, I'd never been to her house before and it was out in the suburbs so I'm running properly late. By the time I get there the birthday girl is already giving her speech in front of a big crowd in her yard. The lights are dim so I figure I can just sneak in around the back of the crowd and wait for the speeches to be over.

So I see that there's a concrete driveway behind the crowd underneath a carport. I head down some steps and I'm walking behind the crowd onto the driveway, when I suddenly drop like I've missed a step - but this time I'm knee deep in water.

My momentum keeps me going forward while my brain figures out that I've just stepped into a swimming pool. In what felt like slow motion, I plunged suit-and-all straight into the pool and I'm underwater coming to terms with the situation I've just landed in. I thought about what is going to happen when I come up to the surface, with a crowd of 100 strangers staring at me, so briefly contemplated exhaling and sinking to the bottom for eternity. Anyway I re-surface through a me-shaped hole in the pool and my fears are realised when everyone is laughing hysterically at me.

Turns out that the birthday girl had arranged for the pool to be covered in foam earlier. The foam had settled down leaving a grey film over the whole pool that, in the dim light, looked exactly like a concrete driveway - meanwhile there's no goddamn pool fencing. I ended up giving the birthday girl a soaking wet hug and splooching around in my wet shoes... word got around that I had been pushed in, so I went with that to save some face.

TL;DR: Tried to sneak into my friend's birthday party during her speech, and fell into a pool instead.

21 seems a bit old to have a clown performing at her birthday party, but at least you delivered.

Edit: thanks Reddit, especially OP and u/billbertking1... i've almost doubled my karma and received my first gilding thanks to this post.

rekt

This was a tifu by a person who thought disguising a swimming pool was a good idea.

OP could bury himself in Antarctica and he still wouldn't have enough ice to cover that burn.

Tifu by not wanting to be a dick on a tinder date.

Tifu by not wanting to be a dick on a tinder date.

I This happened yesterday. I'll start off with my background using tinder. I find it entertaining. I enjoy trying to find different ways of opening up a conversation, seeing which ways work out the best. Until yesterday I had never actually met anyone on tinder in my year or so of having it; this was my first (and likely my last) tinder experience.

So, I am staying with my family in the Florida Keys for the summer, trying to save up some spending money for my next year of college. I matched with this girl on Friday and she messaged me saying that she remembers me from a long time ago, I didn't remember her but she knew one of my brothers and said that he and her sister were friends back in the day. So I started talking to her and she asked me after a few messages if I wanted to go kayaking with her the following day. I said "Sure! I love kayaking." I figured I might as well, given that I do not own a kayak myself and I had that day off of work with nothing else to do.

I arrived at her house at 6 pm the following day, which was about two hours before sunset. She told me that was her favorite time of day for kayaking and that there was a little Island with a beach that was right near her house which which was really nice to paddle out to.

We talked for a couple minutes before we took off. I was not really interested in the girl after talking to her. Her pictures were misleading and she didn't strike me as my type personality wise. I thought we would just take out the kayaks, I would tell her I enjoyed meeting her and be on my way.

Unfortunately I fucked up, and things did not turn out so simple. My biggest fuck up was that I did not bring my cell phone, I was worried about it getting wet or lost so I did not bother, given that it was such a short trip also.

Her house was on the ocean facing the Atlantic. We kayaked maybe ten minutes across very shallow water about two and a half feet deep. During the trip I asked her if she knew whether the tide was going in or coming out. Sounding very sure of herself she said "Coming in, I have never seen it this shallow before." I didn't trust her, I told her I thought we shouldn't risk it but she claimed it would be fine, and that she had been there plenty of times. So I continued on; which was my second fuckup.

We get to the Island and walk around. It was a nice spot with a nice view of the ocean. I enjoyed the scenery. The sun was very close to setting so I told her we should head back before it does. She agrees and we walk back to where our kayaks are parked to find that the flat we kayaked on before was now in about 15 inches of water, in other words there was no way to get back without walking across a bunch of coral and shit and risking possibly stepping on a singray or something.

So at this point I had no other option but to wait there with this girl until the tide came back in a bit, which would be a few hours at least. I decided to make the best out of the time and have a nap while I waited.

I asked her to wake me up when it looked like we could kayak back. Instead what I get woken up to is a coast guard helicopter flying out in the ocean and her telling me that her mom whom I did not even know knew that we were out on kayaks probably called them to look for us. Somehow they didn't see us waving our arms to try and let them know we were alright, we had to wait until it was time to kayak back.

Just before one o clock the water was finally deep enough to make it back.

When we arrive back at her house is where things get really shitty, her mom is there obviously drunk along with three police officers with flashlights shining them at us as we kayaked back in. The cops asked where we had been and I explained to them what had happened.

Apparently the girls mom told the cops that she thought we were lost out at sea and that one of the kayaks had a leak in it. Which wasn't even true. The mom was hysterical and not thinking clearly about the situation, only considering the worst possible case; perhaps because of her drunkenness, perhaps not.

Once the girls mom told the deputies my name from looking at my drivers license which was left alongside my cell phone outside the house; the cops who all know my dad because he is also a cop, send an officer to my house at midnight while my parents are sleeping and wake them up.

Worst part is that the officer told my parents the story that the girls mom told them. She started crying and panicking and for about an hour and a half she thought that I was lost at sea in the middle of the night on a sinking kayak. My mom called all of my siblings and told them right away, so my whole family was thinking that I was done for.

Needless to say I would rate this tinder experience with Zero stars if I could.

TL;DR Got stuck on an island near the shore hours after sunset with a girl I met on tinder, girls mom calls the cops who send the coast guard to look for us. The cops show up at my parents house in the middle of the night, my whole family thought I was lost at sea in the middle of night.. I guess that's what I get for using someone for their kayak.

Edit: I guess fifteen inches may have been an overstatement of how much water there was. I'm not good with water depth measurement estimates.

Edit Edit: Damn never expected this to reach the front page. Thanks for reading! I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the comments on here lol

I love how you just decided to have a nap

But still. I've never been on a date and thought, "well this isn't going well, guess I'll have a snooze"

It seemed like the most productive thing to do at the time. Also I was getting to be very tired of the whole date at that point to be honest.

Lol. She's literally a "helicopter mom"

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TIFU By trying to shake Obama's hand and almost getting taken out by Secret Service and ruining thousands of peoples day.

TIFU By trying to shake Obama's hand and almost getting taken out by Secret Service and ruining thousands of peoples day.

As with most TIFU, this did not happen today but the memory was spurred by a post I saw on the front page. During the 2008 election, Obama came to my University to give a speech. I went through all the usual security screenings and made my way to my seat. I was about 3 rows from the front but on the outside seat of a row right against the entry and exit way for the future president.

When Obama came out, he went straight to the podium to give his speech and do a QandA session. When he finished he made his way down the steps where the crowd rushed to shake his hand. I was probably 4th or 5th down the walkway to shake his hand. Everybody in front of me was not only shaking his hand but handing him copies of his book to sign. He had a pen in his hand and was signing away. I thought to myself "Damn, I don't have anything for him to sign. hmmm OH WAIT! Yes I do. My ticket I used to get into the event." There was only 1 issue with the ticket, it was in my jacket pocket...my INSIDE jacket pocket. So as the future president is 4 people away, I hastily reach my hand into my jacket pocket to grab my ticket but my hand kinda fumbled around a little before latching onto the ticket. Just long enough for the 2 secret service agents standing right in from of me to notice...

They immediately grabbed both my arms, while the one who grabbed my arm that was in the jacket twisted it to pull my hand out of the pocket while preparing to break my arm off if it was any kind of dangerous object. It all happened so fast I couldn't even utter a word, but when they saw all I had was a piece of paper for Obama to sign, he let go of my arm, patted me on the shoulder, and mumbled something into his headset. I was just able to get my bearings about me and I was the last person to shake Obama's hand at that event. About that time the security all turned to Obama and shuffled him through an open door to the hallway to exit. As Obama was being ushered out he said "Sorry guys, they said I have to leave now." as he was pointing at the secret service around him. So not only did I almost get taken out by secret service, I ruined anybodies day that wanted a chance to meet the man.

TL;DR: Tried to shake Obama's hand and get an autograph, reached in my jacket and got assaulted by secret service and made Obama have to leave which ruined a bunch of peoples day.

Secret Service into headset: I really scared the hell out of a kid lol.

Another agent replies: "Savage, lol. Over."

Good story.

I've always wanted to tell this tale on reddit, and this is probably as good a place as any.

Back in 2009, my Wife and I were on Capitol Hill for a rally. We had been there for several hours, and wanted to refresh our weed buzz. We moved across the lawn to a large bush away from everyone, and proceeded to puff away in the shade.

We started discussing how many people were there, the security on the rooftops watching over, and whether they had people in the crowd undercover...Generally just making jokes and wisecracking as you do. I said to my Wife, "Haha, they probably have a sniper in this bush!".

Directly behind us, in the bush, came a soft, throat-clearing cough. We both instantly froze, apologized to the bush for the smoke in the air, told it to have a nice day, and got the heck out of there.

Edit: I just wanted to add (Since I have mentioned being a parent) that this was three years before our first child was born, and we had ceased our awful, sinful ways before he was born. I'm still paranoid, and don't want a knock from CPS. Haven't touched the stuff in a loooong time. However, the moment they are adults and it is decriminalized in our state (It will by then), I will certainly be taking a nice long toke.

This is as good a place as any for my secret service story. I was in highschool and was chosen to be in the group of students standing behind Bill Clinton for one of his re-election speeches. As i was in the secret service pat-down line, i realized my keychain in my pocket mayyyy have raised some red flags. It was a 5"long metal bar with finger grooves and a tapered end, known as a fist-pack.

As i got up to the first secret service agent, i put my hands up and told him he wasn't going to like my keychain. Lol. He asked to see it, i showed him and he just shook his head and said nope. I took it off the keyring and turned it over to him, it was only 8$. But then he told me to find him afterwords, i did, and he returned it to me after Clinton got in his limousine. I have a weapon thats been in possesion of the secret service!

TIFU by cleaning my humidifier and almost killing my entire family

TIFU by cleaning my humidifier and almost killing my entire family

Obligatory - This actually did happen today.

My family and I live in the sun-blasted hellscape that is central Arizona, USA. The whole area is a hot, dry desert, and if you live outside of the city (as we do) it's common to see relative humidity in the teens, and single digits are not uncommon. For those who don't live somewhere that's anathema to life, that's very dry. Since we aren't a family of kangaroo rats, we keep the air in our house comfortable with an evaporative humidifier. Basically, a pump drips water on an absorbent pad, and a fan pulls air through that pad to blow out more humid air to the house. It's one of the full household-sized jobs that will humidify your air with twelve gallons of water a day.

For various reasons not apropos to this TIFU, the humidifier hadn't been maintained well for the last few weeks. Today I decided to change the filter and give it a good cleaning. Possibly inspired by another recent TIFU, I also decided to attack the calcium buildup with a 1/3 vinegar solution. While cleaning, though, I noticed a sliminess that made me think that there was bacterial growth. "No big deal," thought I. Eventually a biofilm will grow on something that's always wet, no matter what precautions you take. I scrubbed off the biofilm, cleaned the calcium scale with my vinegar solution, and reassembled the unit.

Here's where the TIFU really starts. Some parts of the mechanism aren't accessible - they are in the pump, water lines, etc. I decided to run my vinegar solution though for a few minutes to dissolve some calcium deposits in places I couldn't reach. "But," thought I, proving that too much thinking causes trouble, "there's probably bacteria in there, too." I figured I should add something that would kill the bacteria and what, I figured, is better at that than bleach?

Right now, readers with some chemistry are thinking, "Uh, dude..." Yeah, I know. Or, I should have known. But I didn't think it through, so I poured some bleach into the humidifier, followed by the remains of my vinegar solution, and turned it on to pump the mixture into the water lines. Almost immediately thereafter, I took a whiff and started coughing. At that point the little voice that remembered my college chemistry finally was heard. Turns out mixing a sodium hypochlorite solution (like, say, bleach) with a weak acid (like, say, vinegar) creates chlorine and chloramine gasses, both of which are very toxic - like, they have been used as actual chemical weapons toxic, and I'd just put them in a goddamn distribution system.

I immediately unplugged the humidifier and carried it to the bathroom, turned on the vent fan, and poured my ersatz chemical weapon down the bathtub drain. Of course, the pouring process gave me another good snoot of the offending vapors. So now the house is airing out, the wife, son, and dog are playing in the backyard for a bit, the wife is trying to mail back my engineering degree, and for the next few days I'll be coughing like I've got the black lung, Pa.

TL;DR - Tried to clean my humidifier, accidentally tried to kill my family trench warfare style.

EDIT - Words

EDIT 2 - Front page, neat. It has been pointed out that there wouldn't be chloramine, just chlorine - I think this story shows that chemistry isn't my forte. Finally, to those giving me shit for making sure to mention that I'm an engineer, I have to - if everyone doesn't know, I'm just some guy with a lot of student loan debt. Can't have that.

EDIT 3 - Lot's of fake internet points AND my first gold!? It's almost worth the war crime! Thanks!

I love the bit where your wife tries to mail back your degree because you decided to go all WWI on them

I can't even blame her. That's, like, chemistry 101.

everytime I read "almost killing" in the TIFU people used bleach the wrong way.

Nope, aerospace. I'm thinking of fluid dynamics, dammit!

Still embarrassing. I had to take a lot of chemistry.

TIFU when gardening

TIFU when gardening

So I have this really nice vegetable garden growing on my balcony.

Or rather, I had this really nice vegetable garden...

There are radishes, leeks, potatoes, garlic, onion, chives, arugula and a few other plants which I forgot to label so they're mystery plants.

Anyways, I went outside today and saw that the soil could use a little bit of moisture. So I grabbed my squirt bottle and sprayed the plants and soil liberally in every pot. All the plants were watered and I was happy.

But then... the smell appeared. And the realization hit me...

You see, yesterday was sunny so I thought it was the perfect time to wash all my windows. I wash my windows with a combo of water and vinegar... which I mix in a squirt bottle.

Oopsy

RIP veggies

TLDR: I watered my plants with acid instead of water.

Flood it with water to rinse everything you can.

Absolutely this. If you think it will harm the plants just flood them. Since they are in pots the excess water can drain and wont kill the plants. Diluting the solution should solve the problem due to plants having very limited time to soak it up. Also may want to watch the drain water and grab a PH test kit just to make sure you didn't screw the PH of your soil.

How to grow pickles 101

And sulfuric acid will neutralize the baking soda

I can be easily obtained by cracking open your car battery

TIFU by spilling gas on myself

TIFU by spilling gas on myself

Unlike many stories, this happened about 7 this morning, so, 4 hours ago. I'm sitting at home writing this.

I sell parts for a dealership that's part of a corporation owned by a few partners in the southeast United States. This morning my boss says a body shop is in a hurry and sends me on a delivery. Not normal, but he's one of my favorite customers I've known for awhile. So I go put gas in our van. Ford Transits are pieces of shit anyway, but you have to open the drivers door to get to the gas cap. Out of frustration, when the pump clicked off I jerked it out. Welllll, for the first time in my life I grabbed the handle, and gas covered my pants. Well they're dark dress pants, not like anyone will notice.

Fast forward a couple hours, im back at the shop and its a really strong smell. My boss pulls me in and says "I hope that gas spill can go away quick, (one of the big guys) is here and wants to talk to you. We've already gone in its your turn.

There's alot of issues here and I might have another job, nothing I've done wrong, but that's unrelated.

So I go in and our controller (the lady who runs the office, is in charge when the general managers not there ) is here to. Partly because there's been descrepencies with commission.

So maybe 5 minutes in she starts coughing and quickly throws up. I guess I've been around cars all my life and been soaking in it all morning, I didn't realize how bad the smell was.

So the meeting promptly ended, I quickly explained the situation, was called a dipstick and told to go home and change. And to make sure not to use a company vehicle until then.

So I just drove my 28 year old truck that can't pass a gas station, 20 miles one way to go change. So I'm gonna sit here for a minute, drink a beer, write this out and come up with an apology.

Oh well, might have a job paying twice as much soon anyway

TL;DR spilled gas on my pants, was in a meeting with a really high up guy and a nice lady, nice lady threw up

"Dipstick" is such a fitting insult for one working in the automotive industry.

Thank God, with that title I thought you had lit yourself.

I don't know, I'd say walking around wearing flammable pants might be considered a health and safety violation in almost any circumstances.

If a company gets mad at you for an accident so unimportant, you need to leave that company...

TIFU by stealing over $2000 from my parents

TIFU by stealing over $2000 from my parents

PLEASE READ FAQ BEFORE COMMENTING :)

I'm a university student. In the fall, I withdrew from some classes for medical reasons and was able to petition for a tuition reimbursement due to my situation. My tuition reimbursement was granted in February, and my parents, who are kindly footing my college bill, were set to receive about $5000 back from the school.

Here is where things went awry.

I decided to take a semester off from school and had gotten a job in January. Due to the nature of the position, I was required to travel for some time (February-April). During this time, I had a couple thousand dollars in my checking account from work that I was using for my expenses. I ended up having to pay for a lot more than I thought while I was on my work trips (gas, hotel, airfare, food, etc all came out of my bank account.) I should have been keeping track of my bank account, but didn't, and failed to realize that I was spending more than the couple thousand in per diem that was in my account.

While I was away, I was speaking to my parents often and they were trying to tell me that they had never received the refund back in their bank account. I didn't think anything of it, and reassured them, as usually these types of things with my college take a while to process.

Fast forward to when I return home. As I am a college student and don't normally have a lot of money in my bank account (aside from this job), I rarely check my statements as I know my balance is usually $25.00 lol. However, I happened to check my account and saw that I still had about $3000 in my account, which didn't add up.

Turns out, my university refunded the money back to my personal bank account instead of my parents'. I had accumulated several parking tickets in the fall semester and put my bank account on file to pay those with my own money. It seems as though my bank account, which was the last known account making payments to the university, was the default account to where the money was sent.

Upon realizing this, I freaked out. My parents still don't know and are trying to get me to call my university to ask about the money (they can't call because of FERPA/confidentiality...the student must call themselves). I've been procrastinating because I know what actually happened and I don't know how to break the news to them.

I feel awful and I don't want to put further strain on my relationship with my parents.

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

TL:DR I unknowingly spent over $2000 of my parents' money on work expenses. I welcome advice on how to redeem myself from this mess.

FAQ

Wow, I've gotten a lot more response to this than I was expecting! I've spent some time reading through every comment and responding to your questions. I'm new to Reddit and I'm quickly learning that many people are very kind and resourceful, while a few others not so much! There have been some miscommunications and frequent questions that I want to address at the same time:

1) This job was an UNPAID INTERNSHIP. I was NOT on vacation. At the company where I worked, everyone (even full-time salary employees) is given a $2000 per diem UP FRONT and IN ADVANCE for these work trips. The per diem was intended to be for food. My company paid for a rental car and company housing. I ended up having to pay for work expenses like: airfare, gas, warm clothing (location was unseasonably cold and I didn't pack winter clothes), hotel (had a medical incident, and after several hours in the hospital, I called my parents and they suggested I get a hotel rather than try to recover in the company housing where there were other employees around). I spoke with my boss about reimbursement. I was told that I could get gas covered, but getting all of the other expenses covered is highly unlikely. Another question I got, "what would have happened if you hit $0.00 while you were traveling?" My parents and I had this discussion before I left, and they would have helped to pay for small expenses while I was away. They wouldn't have left me hanging on my own, especially while I was far away. Bottom line: like many college students, you do internships for the "experience" and to boost your resume. My parents were very supportive and proud of me getting this internship. It was a good experience, but having to pay for everything else sucked. A lot of questions have come up about the legality of my internship as well: the company I worked for is a huge corporation, very reputable, and well-known. However, it's possible that my internship did not comply with the labor laws for interns.

2) About the funds in my bank account: my college misplaced my tuition refund of $5000 to my bank account instead of my parents'. I received a $2000 per diem from my job. That totals $7000. I spent $2000 from my per diem, plus an additional $2000 by accident from the refund (which was essentially my parents' money). I now have $3000 left in my account that must be returned to my parents. I also owe them $2000 for spending that on work expenses.

3) "How did you not notice that you were spending so much!?" As I've stated multiple times, there were several reasons. I was working crazy hours and had a very hectic work schedule/wasn't paying attention to the costs of my expenses. I'm irresponsible and don't check my bank account. I've never had over $2000 in my bank account before, so I didn't realize how quickly one can blow through that money (and more) to pay for necessary (and expensive!) things. Airfare isn't cheap, I was constantly driving and paying for gas, and hotels are pricey.

4) About the hotel: Had a medical incident and ended up in the hospital. Called my parents, who suggested I spend the night in a hotel rather than go back to company housing (living with several other employees) to recuperate. I spent one night in a hotel, in a very large city, during peak season. It was expensive because of this. There weren't many hotels that were available on such short notice, but I found one and I reserved the last room in the entire hotel. Parents offered to pay the hotel bill, but because I thought I had per diem money left, I told them that I would pay for it myself.

5) Yes, I know I'm a stupid idiot who really needs to learn how to check a bank account! Thank you all for your advice on budgeting apps, that is extremely helpful!

6) This is a real story, happening in real time! (unfortunately)

7) Planning on telling my parents within the coming days.

8) To the people saying I knew what I was doing, I did this intentionally or on purpose...stop right there. Spending $2000 on work/internship expenses, like gasoline, isn't ideally how I'd choose to spend money. I can think of a million different ways that $2000 can be put to better use.

Thank you everyone for your words and suggestions. They mean more than you know! I appreciate all of you!

Own up to it. Your parents will be happier that you were honest with them rather than trying to hide it from them and they figure it out some other way.

Maybe the fact that you spent $2000 more than you thought was in your bank account indicates you should be checking your account balance.

This was just an honest mistake, tell them as soon as possible and they'll understand. You don't have any other options though so just don't fuck it up further!

And pay it back. Don't just offer to pay it back, make a plan to pay it back

TIFU by costing my business 15k and losing my dream job.

TIFU by costing my business 15k and losing my dream job.

TIFU: So in honor of the norm of this sub this incident happened about a year ago. I worked as a Travel Agent in rural Australia in a small office that was run by the largest Travel company in Aus. I had a client come in one day one of my very first who wanted a basic travel package to Vanuatu, sure no problems easy enough I work it up for them take their money and send them on their way until their tickets are ready (about 4 months after the payment). Fast forward 6 months I get woken up at 3am from our customer relations team letting me know of my colossal fuck up. We had a system that let us know of all flight developments for the tickets purchased by our clients cancellations, time changes etc. Now I had next to no training on this system and thus very important message got overlooked by my rookie eyes. It turns out Virgin Australia had cancelled all flights to Vanuatu due to runway conditions about a week after I booked these flights. So my clients are at the airport at 3 in the morning being told that their flight DOES NOT EXIST. Long story short we paid for 2 first class tickets, 2 weeks of 5 star resort accommodation as well as food and drink expenses. Totalling $15,673AUD. And was promptly "let go". TLDR didnt know what I was doing customers tried to board a nonexistant flight and I cost the business 15K and lost my dream job

Well, that's what happens when you don't train your staff.

Yeah, while this was OPs fault at the base level, fundamentally their boss should have not let them use the system solo

Edit: also that's a basic travel package? The fuck?

Setting up a client on one of your first days without supervision? That one's on management, mate. They were takin a piss or wot?

That's the "fuck don't sue us" package

TIFU: Mixing up two containers = $1,500 mistake

TIFU: Mixing up two containers = $1,500 mistakeTLDR: I mixed up containers and sprayed round-up on 250,000 sqft of campus just in time for graduation.

So.... I am a full time teacher + part-time maintenance worker at a high school and part of my job is to take care of the area surrounding the gym and center campus before major events such as Graduation, Alumni Weekend, and the visitation weekend by prospective students. 

A few weeks ago I get the campus looking pretty awesome after planting a few hundred flowering plants, mulching everything, and pulling weeds until my fingers have a permanent green tint to them. After this I started to work on the center campus and parking lot grass which for some ungodly reason has been completely taken over by dandelions. I go to the store and pick up several large containers of bargain name round up and more containers of something to spray on the lawn and kill broad-leaf plants. So after teaching a full load of classes I got on the tractor, filled up the sprayer and sprayed for the next three to four hours every single square inch of the center campus and area around the main parking lot. I come back to fill up my final load and I'm out of the chemical mix, to late in the day to run to Home Depot to pick up more so I decide to edge the parking lot and cracks to kill the weeds. I reach under the work bench to get the other canister of 'round-up' and pull out instead a completely full container of Tri-mec lawn-safe broad leaf weed killer. Stomach sank to my feet as I realized that I had just sprayed the entire campus with round up. Every. Damn. Inch. All this is perfect timing because graduation will be the weekend that all the grass is supposed to be completely dead. 

Now im researching how to reseed 250,000 sqft of lawn and calculating how much I'll have to spend to get the grass looking nice by August. The seed alone is gonna cost $1,500 minimum.

Evidence of my stupidity and exhaustion

http://imgur.com/4rngPiI 

*Edit for Grammar Nazi's and additional details

http://imgur.com/EZykJBH

http://imgur.com/SAXF2ME

*Edit added two pictures of the dandelion problem and the instrument of my doom

Update: Local Home Depot has committed to "helping" not sure what that means yet but we'll see. Also I'm calling Menards and Lowes as well to see if it'll work to spread the charity out.  (6pm central 5/12 edit)
TIFU: Mixing up two containers = $1,500 mistake

TLDR: I mixed up containers and sprayed round-up on 250,000 sqft of campus just in time for graduation.

So.... I am a full time teacher + part-time maintenance worker at a high school and part of my job is to take care of the area surrounding the gym and center campus before major events such as Graduation, Alumni Weekend, and the visitation weekend by prospective students.

A few weeks ago I get the campus looking pretty awesome after planting a few hundred flowering plants, mulching everything, and pulling weeds until my fingers have a permanent green tint to them. After this I started to work on the center campus and parking lot grass which for some ungodly reason has been completely taken over by dandelions. I go to the store and pick up several large containers of bargain name round up and more containers of something to spray on the lawn and kill broad-leaf plants. So after teaching a full load of classes I got on the tractor, filled up the sprayer and sprayed for the next three to four hours every single square inch of the center campus and area around the main parking lot. I come back to fill up my final load and I'm out of the chemical mix, to late in the day to run to Home Depot to pick up more so I decide to edge the parking lot and cracks to kill the weeds. I reach under the work bench to get the other canister of 'round-up' and pull out instead a completely full container of Tri-mec lawn-safe broad leaf weed killer. Stomach sank to my feet as I realized that I had just sprayed the entire campus with round up. Every. Damn. Inch. All this is perfect timing because graduation will be the weekend that all the grass is supposed to be completely dead.

Now im researching how to reseed 250,000 sqft of lawn and calculating how much I'll have to spend to get the grass looking nice by August. The seed alone is gonna cost $1,500 minimum.

Evidence of my stupidity and exhaustion

*Edit for Grammar Nazi's and additional details

http://imgur.com/EZykJBH

http://imgur.com/SAXF2ME

*Edit added two pictures of the dandelion problem and the instrument of my doom

Update: Local Home Depot has committed to "helping" not sure what that means yet but we'll see. Also I'm calling Menards and Lowes as well to see if it'll work to spread the charity out. (6pm central 5/12 edit)

Solution: Spray paint your high school's rival's logo throughout the stadium and do doughnuts with a car on the field to make it look like a senior prank.

Dangit.... I should have thought about this two days ago...

Ask for donations by lawn and landscape companies for spare and exess grass seed. Might get more than you bargain for and it's a tax write-off for those companies.

Still not as bad as leaving 15 minutes early.

Try one of these subthreads