On-the-Job Nap Leads to $293M Banking Error

Nodding off at your desk can cost you after all

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Dimitri Vervitsiotis / GETTY IMAGES

As one German banker can tell you, nodding off at your desk can cost you. In this case, a quick workplace nap almost cost one woman her job and caused a $293 million banking error.

The clerk “momentarily fell asleep” on the job and accidentally held down the number 2 button on his keyboard for a little too long — think 222,222,222.22 — causing that much money (in Euros) to be transferred out of the bank.

(MOREOregon Burglar Falls Asleep While Robbing a House)

While the mistake was eventually noticed and corrected, the on-duty supervisor originally approved the payment request, allowing the funds to go through. On further review of the supervisor’s records, it was discovered that the 48-year-old woman had spent less than 1.4 seconds to examine a total of 603 payments. She was fired for not catching the glaring error — although after bringing her case to court was given her job back — while the snoozing clerk was only handed a slap on the wrist.

So the next time you’re feeling a little drowsy on the job, you might want to take an extra cup of coffee instead of a power nap.

MORE: Don’t Nap On This: Why The Business of Sleep Will Keep Booming

26 comments
Ocsicnarf
Ocsicnarf

More and bettet sleep. Do not encourage to abuse coffee, which endangers sleep.

valentine.godoflove
valentine.godoflove

90% OF PEOPLE LACK SLEEP......THEY WAKE UP WITH THE ALARM CLOCK......NOT THROUGH THE NATURAL CIRCADIAN RHYTHM........THAT IS WHY ......THINGS LIKE THIS.....ACCIDENTS, ETC HAPPEN.....

A SUGGESTION....DRINK MORE COFFEE TO START THE DAY......LOL...

VALENTINE, COMEDIAN,LOL

dx2718
dx2718

Just don't fall asleep on your keyboard, you'll be fine.

infinitezenith88
infinitezenith88

Her not his. The clerk “momentarily fell asleep” on the job and accidentally held down the number 2 button on her keyboard for a little too long — think 222,222,222.22 — causing that much money (in Euros) to be transferred out of the bank. Corrected.



JedClampett1
JedClampett1

Wee doggy,that's a expensive little nap you got there.

Come on out by the creek and get yourself a tree to sleep on,next time.

MikeLand
MikeLand

Did the same thing with a FOREX trade last year.  I meant to do just 1 k trade to test out a mirror trader.  I put in 100k.   Thankfully it gained and didn't loose.  I never will do that again because of the nature of FOREX.  I usually limit myself to 10k trades.

popcornmaltese
popcornmaltese

Back in 1973, I was a new college graduate working in the executive headquarters of a Fortune 100 firm. They had (for the employees, not the executives) a "rest room" which contained only a cot. If you were truly feeling sleepy, you could take a quick nap, say 15-20 minutes. That was all it took to get rid of those after-lunch "nods" --- instead of battling sleepiness for hours, you could catch a quick nap, have a cup of coffee, and be good to go for the rest of the day. Nobody ever abused the privilege, and I came to truly love that job and company for its humane and sensible policies.  

Sleepiness during a workday with a demanding schedule is not some moral crime or reflection on one's sybaritic lifestyle, but just a physiological quirk. Some cultures build in an after-lunch siesta. But in truth, hours of sleep are usually not needed; just the chance to let the brain relax and recharge for a short time. It's better than drinking cup after cup of powerful coffee that often ends up keeping the person awake that night.

blkshoe946
blkshoe946

If I were the boss, I would change her job description to toilet cleaner 3rd class

FernandoTheThinker
FernandoTheThinker

1.4 seconds for all checking? how the hell she got her job back? obviously she wasn't doing it. Making a mistake is understandable but if the person checking your work doesn't do it that is a good reason to be fired.

SherylMexic
SherylMexic

The Supervisor doesn't deserve her job back.

akjdsfja
akjdsfja

This is old news - I saw this same story last week.  Why is it being reported as new news?

poizon.ks
poizon.ks

Why the hell would the supervisor be given her job back? It is her responsibility to REVIEW and approve/deny the transfers, not just accept anything that comes her way.

JacobBe5
JacobBe5

So misleading, and so not surprised.
The person wasn't taking a nap, an intentional break away from work to catch a couple Z's. Rather they fell asleep on the job becaus they needed a nap

Instead of self-medicating with a cup of coffee, which doesn't address being tired but might instead mean she can save her sleep debt for later, perhaps when driving home. 

They should have gone ahead and gotten a nap, taken 20 minutes and come back refreshed, able to perform their job.

Rather than jittery.

RegCliff
RegCliff

Strange CNN reported the exact same thing 5 days ago. 

RichardRosefsky
RichardRosefsky

It would be easy to have the computer check each transaction for 'unusual' amounts.

I received a $5,000 cell phone bill twice because the period went missing in the actual $50.00 bill and neither the carriers system nor my bank noticed that after years and years of monthly $50 deductions a $5k phone bill may be considered unusual.


mas8baller
mas8baller

No just dont lay on the keyboard.

nsmith3a
nsmith3a

@infinitezenith88...No, It's correct.  It was a male that fell asleep on HIS keyboard.  The supervisor, a woman, approved the high amount that the male clerk put in by falling asleep, and was fired for HIS mistake.  It's confusing how it's written in the beginning.  Although that was kind of irresponsible on her part as well but not looking more closely at the numbers or investigating further

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

@blkshoe946  

...but you're not, so instead you're stuck here inventing fantasy scenarios to post on internet message boards.  winner

reptar100
reptar100

1.4 seconds for all checking?


sure - since that is what the bank allows.

Her throughput (number of items checked per hour) was not unknown to the bank - they knew how long she took and it could be  reasonably argued,and probably was, that the bank knew full well that a "good monitoring job" could not be reasonably accomplished in the time it took.


Furthermore, the bank could have implemented software that could check more efficiently, i.e. presenting for supervisor attention only the transactions that were suspicious or outside of the norm.



chippy1
chippy1

@JacobBe5 You're sooooo good and efficient. If this bank is like others the people working for them are just a little bit better off than being in a concentration camp. I'm happy that the bank finally felt the sting that banks give out to the rest of the polity on a daily basis. The only thing that would make me feel even more joyous is if the banks CEO(s) salaries  had to pay for the error.

herbys
herbys

@reptar100 You don't have any indication of that. Nowhere it says that she had to approve 400 transactions per second all day (which would be absurd, and it is the sort of error that would be detected at the first process audit), it just says that she approved over 600 transactions in a little over one second, which is a completely different thing.

If she had been ordered to approve 400 transactions per second all day and she approved the instructions she would be an accomplice of fraud. But almost certainly she wasn't. She was just told to review and approve transactions and she did it with that speed, which is most likely an indication of negligence.