In April last year, US TV news anchor A J Clemente was fired on his first day - after saying the words f*****g s**t on live television. A month later he was back working as a bartender.
It's a particularly public example - but getting fired on your first day is by no means unheard of. It's even happened to Madonna, who was booted out of a job at Dunkin' Donuts in Times Square after squirting jam all over a customer.
So what are the things you might do or say that could finish your new job before it's begun?
Lie on your application
Your CV is a work of art - unfortunately, it may also a work of fiction. It's easy to assume that an employer won't check all that carefully, but they do. Earlier this year, basketball coach Steve Masiello was all set for his new job at the University of South Florida when the university discovered that he hadn't, as he claimed, graduated from the University of Kentucky. The job was reportedly worth $1 million a year for five years.
If you really want to do things in style, just remember you're a free spirit and either fail to set the alarm or hit the snooze button when it goes off. But you can be just as late if you underestimate how long it'll take you to get to work. Don't bother factoring in the possibility of delays on the tube, or traffic jams: it probably won't happen, after all.
And if you've got better things to do, throw a sickie. "I know a guy who called in sick for his first day at a new job. He wasn't sick; he was at the local MLB team's opening day," writes one poster on Reddit. "How do I know, and how did his new employer find out? Because his picture was on the front page of the newspaper the next day, standing and cheering for the team." Utterly unreasonably, the man was fired.
Ignore the dress code
You've got the job now, so the suit can go back in the wardrobe until the next interview. Why shouldn't you wear ripped jeans or a low-cut top? You're far too cool to follow a boring dress code. And if, like New Jersey woman Lauren Odes, your employer objects to your tight dresses and sequin-studded black leather boots, sue the company for discriminating against you for being "too hot".
Refuse to do as you're asked
Last year, Sainsbury's told the Daily Mail that staff who don't drink alcohol or eat pork for religious reasons should still be expected to handle them as part of their work. But just because you've agreed to do something as part of your job description, that doesn't mean you should actually have to. Do these people not understand just how special you are? Throw a hissy fit and demand a corner office.
Break a safety rule
Last month, an Australian science teacher lost his job after bungling an experiment, causing an explosion that left two boys badly injured. One suffered a severed tendon and the other was left with permanent scars. But where's the adventure in life if you can't take a few risks? Declare that it's all health and safety gone mad, and do things your own way: a hard hat just doesn't suit you.
Phone all your friends
Work is the perfect opportunity to catch up with all the friends you haven't seen for ages - and using the office phone means you can do it for free. When you run out of people to call, try playing games or checking Facebook. If the boss or a customer comes along, just ignore them - they can wait a few minutes, can't they?
Whinge on social media
"first day at work. omg!! So dull!!" posted Kimberley Swann on her first day at Ivell Marketing & Logistics. It didn't help that she'd already added some of her co-workers as Facebook friends. Her boss said it was "unfortunate that we didn't come up to Miss Swann's expectations" - and fired her immediately.
Make inappropriate comments
A 2012 study found that half of British women had experienced sexual harassment at work, including sexist jokes or even a slap on the bottom. Obviously, they're going to welcome that sort of attention from someone as attractive as you - it's just that HR might not agree. They're not too keen on racism or homophobia either.
Hit the boss in the face
"The only time that I was fired, on my first day of work, was shortly after I punched a manager," posts one ex-restaurant worker on Reddit. Yup, we think that would probably do the trick...