The captain of the Titanic comes to mind. And that safety officer at Chernobyl who had hardly buttoned his overalls before he smelt something funny. But Gary Locke will not be consoled by other calamities. The Hearts manager arrived for his first day at the office, suited and booted and could, perhaps should, have been celebrating success before he opened his piece box at the break.
Instead, when the whistle blew he was left to reflect that it is possible to be lonely when the national stadium is packed with more than 44,000 spectators. Locke's thoughts will wander to what might have been. It is an anguish that comes with the job. It will also be no comfort to know he and his side played a part in a final that was thrilling until the last second.
This was a match of contrasting styles and it exploded from the very first moment. St Mirren were almost blown away, steadied, seemed to cruise, then drifted towards the rocks. All this in 90 minutes. Danny Lennon, manager of the winners since 2010, had his finest hour and a half. It was probably his longest, too.
The St Mirren manager must have wondered in the early stages if his side had the maturity and strength to survive after almost being overrun in a turbulent spell. After 30 minutes of this final, Hearts were a goal ahead through Ryan Stevenson and could have stretched away from the Paisley team with a series of excellent chances scorned, most notably John Sutton's header against the post.
Locke played it safely and steadily with a traditional 4-4-2 to almost win the jackpot. Instead, Lennon's more considered approach took the silver. St Mirren grew into this match, then strolled towards victory with their passing game finally clicking. There was, though, time for a stumble near the end of a final of sustained intrigue and extraordinary incident decided, properly, by the narrowest of margins.
If one could sympathise with Locke, who saw the early promise dissipate, the neutral had to blink in disbelief at the resurrection of the Saints. This was a side so passive at the start they should have had "Welcome" tattooed on their foreheads. Hearts, with Sutton and Michael Ngoo particularly belligerent, bullied their defence before Jim Goodwin and Marc McAusland flexed their muscles in the second half. Steven Thompson was left so isolated up front in the first half that he did not seem to be in the same time zone as his team-mates.
Then something very football-like occurred. The cliches all came true. One goal is never enough, you rue missed chances, the casual finishing comes back to haunt you -
As a half dominated by Hearts headed to a close, Gary Teale, crucial to the comeback, found space and raced in on goal, choosing to play in Esmael Goncalves. The wisdom of Teale's decision was only marked by the accuracy of the call on a possible offside by Alasdair Ross, the assistant referee. There was then only time to reflect during the break on another cliche: the momentum had turned.
St Mirren then scored two beautiful goals, with Thompson's smashing strike being complemented by Conor Newton finishing with power and precision after an exquisite one-two.
At 3-1, it was surely a time for a meditation on how St Mirren had persevered, had finally become fluent and could thank such as Teale, Thompson and the irrepressible Paul McGowan for bringing the cup back to Paisley. But Locke was made to suffer exquisitely. If he was resigned to defeat, he never showed it, motioning on his players, then celebrating when Stevenson scored a late second and also hit the bar and post. However, Hearts had only been outplayed for part of the second half, but this can be more than enough. They were undone by a misjudgment from Andy Webster at the first goal, hesitation by Danny Wilson at the second and a communal game of statues for the third.
All this, of course, is desperately unkind on what should be a day of celebration for those without sympathies for Hearts. The emphasis should be on the purity of the strikes that helped mark this indelibly as a great final. It took all of the 90 minutes to decide the destination of the Scottish Communities League Cup, with Hearts pushing relentlessly if futilely until the final whistle.
It was a great day for football, though not for one to start a job.