I still feel bad about this one up this very day, but my story is the time I accidentally got someone fired because the company we were acquiring part of their business from sent us data they should not have. I was in charge of reviewing the data received and noticed there was much more than expected.

During a phone call to discuss the project, I mentioned that we seemed to have received much more data than expected, and could someone tell me what was all the other data we’d gotten?

The other company reviewed what had been sent and determined they’d provided other customers’ confidential data to us. Later, I found out that the very nice, very capable technical project lead from that other company had been fired for that mistake.

I don’t know for sure that they wouldn’t have noticed on their own, but it’s fair to say that I quite accidentally got her fired by mentioning that data during a meeting. Nevertheless, I needed to know what it was, and I didn’t think there’d be such terrible consequences for her.